Today Marks Metropolitan Jonah’s Third Year Anniversay as OCA First Hierarch

It looks like we beat the OCA website out of the gate (although we’re a bit late too), but for those who don’t know today is the third year anniversary of the elevation of Met. Jonah as the First Hierarch of the OCA.

It’s been a tumultuous three years but the future is looking better. We’ve been give a leader who teaches the truth, stands by it when pressured, and who deserves our support and prayers.

Comments

  1. Burn on the OCA website for not acknowledging the anniversary. Many years to our dear Metropolitan Jonah!

    Let’s all keep him in our prayers for the next week as he endures this “evaluation” for the sake of others.

    May Metropolitan Jonah continue to bear the heavy cross of primatial leadership with God-given grace, strength, courage, and humility. May God protect him, and guide the hearts and minds of his doctors to evaluate him fairly and ethically. May the doctors be granted the wisdom to recognize spiritual gifts for what they are, and not blindly confuse them with mental illness or delusion.

    May God grant the other members of the Holy Synod the courage to live up to their vocations, and accept and support their First Hierarch. May they be inspired to work synergistically with the Holy Spirit and one another.

    If anyone continues to make strife within the Church, may he be turned from his wicked ways and live, or else cut off for his own sake.

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    • Patrick Henry Reardon says:

      Amen, and amen!

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      • alf kentigern says:

        Many years to His Beatitude, indeed, who is in our unworthy prayers!

        What an outpouring of Christian love in terms of mention of the anniversary on the OCA website (nada) and a free trip to St. Luke’s this week! But the real love comes form elsewhere.

        Reading a blurb from the St. Luke’s website, re-posted on another thread here, it mentioned that they practice a combination of spiritual and laboratory evaluation. This made me wonder again: Spiritual evaluation of an Orthodox monastic and chief hierarch of the American Orthodox autocephalous church at a Catholic institution? The combination of “spiritual” with “laboratory” evaluation made me think of C.S. Lewis’ National Institute for Coordinated Experiments (N.I.C.E.).

        But then I was comforted by M. Stankovich’s comments. (Btw, I don’t know exactly how to address him, so I do not do so directly–although perhaps he will come on this thread to wish His Beatitude “many years” on this anniversary week with magnanimity, as is his wont. He is not a Ph.D. or an M.D. so not Dr., nor is he an Orthodox “Father” in any sense I know. Yet he speaks with such authority here and on his blog that Mr. seems inadequate. And his initial– does it fittingly stand for a title, such as Master as for an M.S.W., or Monsieur because he is, as his blog proclaims, a legacy of Paris-trained OCA founders?)

        Still, as I am an expert practitioner of both pretentiousness and messiness (of which he accused George recently regarding a post on the Metropolitan’s “evaluation”), I can appreciate the same in M. Stankovich’s un-peer-reviewed blog, with its lengthy multi-part series, and the blog’s modest “We are their legacy” title, all of which he refers us to frequently.

        There his online colleagues include Fr. John Jillions, who as the new Chancellor displayed his view of the Metropolitan at the AAC, similar to one displayed elsewhere by the latter’s brother-in-law Dn. Eric Wheeler, also a “Legacy” colleague. This is an objective social milieu to ground Master Stankovich’s scientific assessment of our current situation and related issues (see Thomas Kuhn’s writing on sociocultural influence on scientific paradigms).

        Indeed M. Stankovich’s comments subtly open a new way of understanding the current situation. When he asked rhetorically in another thread whether His Beatitude should have been “sent” instead to another facility such as Stanford, rather than St. Luke’s, at first this seemed like a slip. He had been arguing that His Beatitude was going on his own based on his words.

        But perhaps he is hinting from his network of connections that His Beatitude was “sent” by appreciative OCA leaders at this third anniversary to highlight our Metropolitan’s monastic sense of podvig and kenosis as the shepherd of our Church’s flock, willing to sacrifice rather than divide it.

        And maybe God knows more than even M. Stankovich!

        Meanwhile we await patiently a public declaration from the rest of the OCA leadership on their rather abrupt treatment this year of the “DC nuns” in the Washington Diocese, who thanks God move forward in ROCOR now.

        Maybe that account is withheld pending group spiritual and laboratory evaluation for the rest of the OCA leadership in retreat at a Buddhist institution?

        Please pray for me a sinner,

        Alf Kentigern

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        • Carl Kraeff says:

          “I am an expert practitioner of both pretentiousness and messiness…” Agree with you 100%!

          PS: Love your penultimate sentence.

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        • M. Stankovich says:

          I would note to you that, by what seems to be a quirk in the WordPress theme employed, you cannot see the citations and notes I have meticulously attempted to provide unless you specifically click on the title of the individual post. In other words, if you simply scroll from post to post, you cannot see the citations. I presume there is a way of correcting this, but I haven’t had the time to fully investigate the correction. My apologies.

          As to the matter of “peer-review,” I do not know how much more transparent I can be in stating that I alone take full responsibility for what I have written. I openly invite review and correction of factual inaccuracy, be it scientific or theological. I have said many times that I believe scholarly inaccuracy is as dangerous as scholarly misrepresentation. If you click on the title of each post, you will see specific citations for the science upon while I rely, and you are encouraged to examine the data yourself. I would also clarify that, while many of my citations point to abstracts of the actual references, I rely on my examination of the full text of each reference. Likewise, if I cite a textbook, I attempt to provide a link to the volume on Amazon (or SVS Press, etc.), where TOC and sample chapters are frequently available. I strive to be emphatic in indicating what is unsupported and unlikely pursuant to the data equally with what I believe to be true. I believe I approach complex issues in the systematic manner required and`by which I was trained, and I do not see the need to defend or apologize for the process. If I, indeed, “frequently” refer you to our blog, it is because I find it completely inappropriate to “defend” here what I have said there – it strikes me as the purpose of maintaining your own blog, no?

          To suggest I am “subtle” in conveyance, “hint” at matters, or am somehow “connected” is, for lack of a better term, hoohah. I remain responsible for what I commit to text, not for what passes through your mind, or what you “believe” you read. You may rest assured that if I had a question as to what I believed you might be “hinting,” I would show you the common respect of asking you outright. I have no reservation in speaking directly and to my point – and that would be by name.

          And speaking of which, I have responded to, “M. Stankovich,” “Stankovich,” “Stanky,” “Michael,” “underminer of the Tradition of the Church,” “monstrous,” “evil,” and every contrivance and manipulation of the ten letters that constitute my last name. And I dare say, your mother would undoubtedly gasp at what I have responded to in the confines of CA state prisons. So, knock yourself out.

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          • Alf Kentigern says:

            Dear M. Stankovich,
            I apologize for notputing a smiley emoticon on my wondering whether you were hinting that the Metropolitan was sent to St. Luke’s as an appreciative gesture on his third anniversary.
            It was a joke by a jamoke who is rarely funny by intent!
            Meanwhile you keep evoking your experience in the prisons as apparently a source of authority.
            Others here undoubtedly have had hard encounters with people and life too, though with folks not patients in captivity.
            Surveys would show that most jamokes, based on street sense, would balk to “send” their Metropolitan off to a place like St. Luke’s.
            Meanwhile, Carl, in doubling “sub” prefixes, you may reveal Latin inclinations requiring evaluation–which reminds me of my son’s joke that “your sub ubi is showing.” :-) (please note emoticon!)
            Yours unworthily in Christ,
            Alf Kentigern

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            • M. Stankovich says:

              Alf Kentigern,

              Your comments about me have a tone of sarcasm that to me seem very personal. If I have offended you personally, it was never my intention & I apologize. I have strong opinions but it is not my intention to be condescending, if only because it is not about “me,” but rather principle. I have no “battle” to win or advantage to gain.

              I do not “apparently” cite prison for purposes of authority. I am quite comfortable in my own authority. I cite my experience because it is a continuous source of conflict for me: it is a world of lies, where there is no appreciation for truth because there is no benefit to truth. By contrast, I believe I have repeatedly made the point that here there is no appreciation for the truth because there is no consequence. Gossip begets innuendo, innuendo begets conjecture, and conjecture begets “internet truth.” “Apparently,” I am the only one distressed by this parallel.

              I would note to you that you arrive very late to the “game,” as it were, but I will repeat what you may have missed: Met. Jonah is not “my” Metropolitan because I am not a part of the OCA; my last visit to Syossett was approximately 1976; I have never inquired or discussed with my dear brothers, Fr. Chancellor or Protodeacon Eric, the history or events that led to the chaotic mess that is your OCA; I believe I am one of the few persons here who actually have had extended face-to-face discussions with Met. Jonah, and I have no issue with him; I became aware of the Metropolitan’s address to the AAC from the Ancient Faith Network; and no one discussed, inquired, or consulted me as to where the Metropolitan should be “sent,” transported, carried, faxed, of FedXed. Y’all are in a mess I did not help stir.

              Anything else?

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              • alf kentigern says:

                Dear M. Stankovich,
                Please forgive my offensiveness. But when you say things like “And I dare say, your mother would undoubtedly gasp at what I have responded to in the confines of CA state prisons,” your style is personal and I think fairly opens itself to criticism in a forum like this. And if you’re not in the OCA and are so removed from it, why be so passionately engaged then here in its doings? Your words regarding your interactions with your OCA web colleagues are well circumscribed.
                In Christ,
                Alf Kentigern

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        • Orthodox & Psychiatrist says:

          Dear Mr. K:

          Are you sure M. Stankovich does not have an MD degree along with extensive clinical experience in the area of psychiatry and chemical dependency (as well as another graduate degree?) A simple google search by this technie novice suggests otherwise via a public document. But he would have to confirm/deny if he chooses. I am from another state and do not know him. I also do not keep up with all the Monomakhos posts so this may be a settled issue. Always hoping for respect exhibited toward each poster regardless of his/her position on an issue.

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          • Dn Brian Patrick Mitchell says:

            His resume was available online until very recently. It did not list any doctoral degrees. It did show extensive experience in social work, some of which related to chemical dependency.

            Stankovich’s credentials were first questioned on the AOI blog after he disparaged at length the professional opinion of an experienced Orthodox psychiatrist, Dr. Lynne Pappas, regarding same-sex attraction. He continues to present himself as an authority on the “science” of many issues, disparaging others for their lack of scientific training. He has also shown himself to be a sly but sometimes carelessly tendentious pontificator. On his website, he has insisted emphatically that same-sex attraction and same-sex sex are “mutually exclusive.” He has never answered for this absurdity.

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            • M. Stankovich says:

              There is a fundamental difference between me any you, Fr. Deacon, and that is I will speak only to what I know, and you will speak: or as Hamlet better described it: “You jig, you amble and you lisp.” If I have been critical of the lack of authority and training of anyone, including yourself, it is because I evaluate your comments on merit. Not by my perception of your personality, contortion of your name, or in reference to your hair: by merit. Anyone can go to the AOI site and read what exactly I “disparaged at length” in regard to Dr. Pappas: merit.

              I have said to you before, I may well be a “slicked-back jamoke from the streets,” spouting off with all the authority of a GED, but I am transparent enough to invite correction of factual error, because truth is infinitely more important than my “reputation” or “authority.”

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            • Brian McDonald says:

              I have only gone to the “we are their legacy” site on one occasion, but I’ve read a number of Mr. Stankovich’s posts on Monomakhos and I don’t recall him saying that same sex attraction and homosexual behavior are “exclusive.” What he has said, as I recall, is that there is no necessary connection between ssa and homosexual behavior. Prisoners who do not experience ssa may turn to homosexual behavior because of lack of normal outlets. On the other hand, many who experience ssa don’t act upon it. The one doesn’t exclude the other; rather the two may not always exist together. The distinction seems neither difficult nor absurd to me.

              I know that Mr. Stankovich’s posts are not always free of a certain condescending tone not calculated to win friends and influence people, but I can’t quite understand what about the actual CONTENT of his posts on this subject (as opposed to, say, his views on Metropolitan Jonah) sets people off. If he were advocating that the Orthodox Church alter its stance in favor of gay marriage or asserted that in an unfallen world gay behavior would be just as natural as the attraction between man and woman, then I could understand the outrage in an Orthodox forum. On the other hand, he has repeatedly and clearly declared that he doesn’t believe either of those two things. Unless what he has stated clearly and often isn’t what he means, all I hear him urging is that we use modern science, medicine, and psychology to understand the multiple and complex causes of an syndrome for which we may be all to quick to judge and condemn people . Understanding doesn’t equal endorsement (though Pope’s words on vice: “first abhor, then pity, then embrace” must always wave a cautionary flag); however, given that the Orthodox church’s approach towards sin has tended to be therapeutic rather than juridical what is FUNDAMENTALLY wrong with Mr. Stankovich’s approach—based on what he SAYS rather than meanings people tend to see between the lines?

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              • Jane Rachel says:

                Brian. Maybe. However, I do wonder what M. Stankovich is really saying beneath these layers. (Honestly? His “I am so much smarter than you are, get a clue” attitude tells me heaps.)

                What M. Stankovich is “really” saying is only important insofar as he is connected to Father Robert Arida and Father John Jillions, the OCA’s new chancellor. But wait, he also has a direct connection to our “heroes,” Protodeacon Eric Wheeler, Mark Stokoe, and who knows who else? M. Stankovich is their mouthpiece, it seems to me. What are Wheeler’s views on whether active homosexuals should be communed in the Orthodox Church? They are the same as Father Robert Arida’s views. I know because their photos overlap on M. Stankovich’s site.

                Then, I connect those dots to Wheeler’s close connection to Mark Stokoe and Steve Brown, and from there, I connect the dots again to their close association with Archbishop Job of Blessed Memory, who, together with Mark Stokoe et all, took the spotlight away from “Who Knows What” and shone it, I suspect, on those who threatened to reveal their skeletons. I don’t know, but I remember what I have read and seen about Archbishop Job, and, beginning to connect the dots, despair.

                What are their connections to Archimandrite Zaccheus Wood, who was Archbishop Job’s deacon and traveled all over the Midwest with him?

                Then there is the awful dissension amongst the bishops, which came out into the public eye thanks to Archbishop Job, Eric Wheeler, and Mark Stokoe and who knows who else? I connect what these three said and compare it to what Bishop Tikhon (Fitzgerald) said, his support of Father Robert Kondratick, what happened to Bishop Nikolai and what he said, and what Monk James said. Also, to how these men were discredited, slandered, and hated. I connect these dots to the Deacon who lives with the retired bishop, to what Bishop Nikolai said about that, demanding that he be removed. What I’ve read. And it really is depressing, isn’t it?

                I know for a fact that several priests in the Orthodox Church in America regularly commune active homosexuals. It’s not a hate statement, just a statement that is “true” (is it true, or were the persons who wrote that lying?). I believe Father Robert Arida does, and also Father Ted Bobosh, and also, the homosexual deacon who lives with a bishop. By reasoning, then, I come to a conclusion that because Father Robert Arida communes homosexuals, that M. Stankovich is also not against communing homosexuals in the Orthodox Church.

                Whatever else M. Stankovich writes about accepting, loving, and understanding their pain, along with my pain, you see, or your pain, for that matter, is another thread altogether.

                The bottom line is, connect the dots and stop pussy-footing around the facts.

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                • M. Stankovich says:

                  Jane Rachel,

                  It is neither an honor nor flattery to me that you would invest what appears to be considerably more time contemplating what I have not said, what you think I, and breaking the DiVinci code that will reveal I really said, than what I thoughtfully, carefully, and painstakingly actually wrote.

                  If it is the truth that you do not understand what I have written, ask me. I am happy to clarify in whatever manner I am able.

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                  • Mr. Stankovich,
                    While I have asked pointed questions, I do try to refrain from unkindness or sarcasm, which I hasten to state so that you will not think that I ask questions of you with any agenda other than to merely learn the answers.

                    I am sincere when I state that I believe you when you say that you agree with the Church’s teaching regarding sexual activity outside of marriage. Having read things that caused me to believe that Frs. Robert Arida and Alexis Vinogradov do not share your agreement with Church teaching on this topic, I wondered if your participation on the “legacy” blog was similar to TV news shows such as McLaughlan Report where the participants hold differing viewpoints. I am still wondering about this. You referred me to the blog when I inquired about this before. I still don’t understand why you didn’t simply give a direct answer to my question.

                    If you consider my question foolish, please forgive me. I may be thick headed and missing something obvious. I do hope that your assent to Church teaching will have a positive influence on your co-contributors on the blog.

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                    • M. Stankovich says:

                      Catherine,

                      I am happy to answer any question that relates to me, personally. My intention in referring you is that your concerns are specifically in regard to what you have read by and about others. I believe it is inappropriate to request clarification of me. Secondly, in that these men are, for nearly 40 years, my most respected and beloved brothers, I could easily be perceived as the most reliable or the most biased.

                      As to my serving as a “counter-point,” in that you do not know me, I can appreciate that my “word” alone may seem insufficient. Likewise, I would hope that you could appreciate my taking offense at the suggestion (or from others, the accusation) that I am a “mouthpiece,” mindless foil, or “puppet” for some undermining “agenda.” I write at my own initiation and purpose; “report” to no one; and as am transparent and open to correction from my brothers as anyone else. I have no idea as to how you would measure “influence,” unless I would promote something contrary to the theology and Tradition of the Church. Truth, by nature, hardly replies on my “assent” for its validity.

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              • Dn Brian Patrick Mitchell says:

                Here’s what he said, with his emphasis:

                For our pur­pose, then, I define homo­sex­u­al­ity as same-sex-attraction (SSA). While this will be expanded as we progress, I am emphatic in mak­ing an absolute dis­tinc­tion from same-gender sex­ual activ­ity. They are mutu­ally exclu­sive, dis­tinct and sep­a­rate, and I believe it is a grave error to mis­use or con­fuse the terms, or to pre­sume them as “inter-changeable.”

                Now, we can all agree that same-sex attraction (SSA) and same-sex sexual activity (SSSA) are conceptually distinct (i.e., not the same thing), but that doesn’t make them “mutually exclusive.” The words “mutually exclusive” mean that they never coincide; you never find the two together because the presence of one excludes the presence of the other. This cannot be said of SSA and SSSA.

                Furthermore, while taking pains to distinguish SSA and SSSA and push them as far apart as possible, Stankovich deliberately overlooks the difference between SSA and GID (gender identity disorder) so he can point to prisoners and say, “See: They engage in SSSA but do not experience SSA because they’re not gay.” In fact, prisoners who seek out SSSA do experience SSA, though some do not also suffer from GID, are also sexually attracted to the opposite sex, and prefer sex with the opposite sex when it’s available.

                These flaws in Stankovich’s thinking have been pointed out to him, but he still refuses to come clean and admit when he’s been wrong.

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                • I wonder why M. Stankovich titles his “We Are Your Legacy” articles as “”The Science of … .” Some how or other that doesn’t seem “kosher” to me.

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                  • Perhaps it’s a reference to the Latin meaning of the word that “science” is derived from (which merely means “knowledge”), but in English, “science” carries a connotation of non-biased, objective facts.

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                • Carl Kraeff says:

                  I agree that SSA and SSSA cannot logically be mutually exclusive. However, regarding prisoners (or some folks in the general population), is it possible that for some people the object of their lust does not matter as long as they obtain satisfaction? In other words, I am talking about sex without feelings, sex as a mechanical activity, and/or sex as a vehicle for power/submission issues.

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                • M. Stankovich says:

                  Fr. Deacon,

                  You want to fight. I do not. You are neither my elder by age or education. Scour the playground for another.

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                  • Bishop Tikhon (Fitzgerald) says:

                    That’s about as clear an “uncle” as we can hope ever to see from anyone. Possibly the Deacon is the elder relative to emotional maturity and peace of spirit.

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                  • Sounds like Stanky should just peddle his piddle on his own website and stop trying to use this website to drive eyeballs to his.

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                    • Jane Rachel says:

                      Amen.

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                    • M. Stankovich says:

                      Jacob,

                      Fr. Johannes has said here that “the priests are an untapped resource.” He is also the one to say the “bishops lack moral authority.” I believe both statements are accurate. But I also believe it is an attitude that has led us to this shameful mess: waiting around for an immature church to produce “men of character,” capable of inducing even a modicum of inspiration and the confidence of leadership.

                      We are the untapped resources! We out-number the clergy hundreds-to-one. We are educated (graduate levels and beyond), talented & insightful, we are practiced and expert (physicians, educators, lawyers, researchers, administrators, financiers), and we are energetic, trustworthy, and faithful. In any other circumstance, we would be valued for the vitality we represent, for the vision we might contribute, or the co-operative wisdom we might offer. And we have been convinced to wait for somebody to even seem interested.

                      I have to laugh at the excoriation of Fr. Hopko because of the ruthlessness of his “lenten diss.” I’m still trying to get over his visit to my troubled home parish where, in his “theology-on-meth” style, told us “You get the priest you deserve.” I couldn’t help but see my fellow-parishioners exchange looks that said, “This is our fault?” I would expect we should complete the syllogism by concluding that the obvious answer to the incessant whining and complaining I read here is that you’ve got the bishops, and the Holy Synods, and OCA you deserve!

                      I have some education and experience and decided that I wished to make a reasonable contribution of discussion, as a laymen, based on a gift of my exposure to extraordinary teachers and scholars. I have been clear as to my intent, motivation, and “agenda.” Fr. John Whiteford asked me directly if I my beliefs are (and I reasonably presumed “would be”) in conflict with the theology or Tradition of the Church, and I continue to insist, no. I have no pretension to influence or “impact,” and it is, ultimately, not my concern. I will not even pretend mine is a “noble” effort. And If this “piddle, and unworthy of your consideration, so be it.

                      You will not, however, convince me that I should not aspire to something more than continuous, helpless complaining without any attempt at solution, or settle for something that isn’t dependent on a rise in mediocrity.

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        • Bishop Tikhon (Fitzgerald) says:

          Excellent, Alf!
          As for Carl’s keeping his oar in, I myself prefer, rather, your sub-penultimate sentence, speaking, as does Carl, pretentiously.

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          • Carl Kraeff says:

            Touché, Your Grace! But, don’t you think that the sub-sub-penultimate sentence is the apex of Alfism and thus worthy of adoration?:

            “And maybe God knows more than even M. Stankovich!”

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    • Helga, as usual no further words need to be said. Except for this: if it wasn’t for your earlier post, it would have slipped all our minds! AXIA!

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      • Perhaps, George, but I would not blame you for not remembering. It’s not your job. But the OCA web team ought to be able to keep up with the anniversary of a seminal event in the OCA’s history. One thing I admire about the ROCOR website is that they prominently honor anniversaries, especially the memories of departed hierarchs.

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    • Helga,

      From your keyboard to God’s eyes!! ;-)

      Vladyka Jonah has shown himself as an icon of Christ, as he loves the Church as Christ did, and is sacrificing for its good. Me, I would never have agreed to this next fishing expedition, looking for some reason to throw him overboard. Good thing I’m not Metropolitan.

      It seems that whatever our differences, we owe one another respect – recognizing the image of God present in us all. I am saddened that our official website did not acknowledge this anniversary, but thank you George, for taking up the slack!

      Many, Many years, Metropolitan Jonah!

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  2. Lola J. Lee Beno says:

    Here’s an update on the DC Nuns: http://theinstituteonline.wordpress.com/holy-monastery-entrance-of-the-theotokos/

    Note that they’ve found a fabulous 131+ acre property within 1 hour’s driving distance of Washington DC and and are fundraising to meet the December 1st deadline. There’s a link to more details about the property, as well as their Facebook page.

    As you can see, there are good property to be found for decent prices that are just as good, perhaps better than, Syosset within 2 hours of Washington DC.

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    • Pravoslavnie says:

      I hope the sisters succeed in purchasing that property as I live less than an hour away from it. There are endless possibilitiies and opportunities for the nuns, as well as for all the region’s Orthodox regardless of jurisdiction. I would hope that they could obtain a mortgage as it seems perfectly suited to their needs.

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      • Geo Michalopulos says:

        Indeed! All: please feel free to contribute to their down-payment. Their Elder (Dionysios), is a wonderful, grace-filled man. It would have been nice to have them in the OCA but at least now they are safe from the clutches of the Stokovites and can remain here in perpetuity.

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    • Lola J. Lee Beno says:
      November 13, 2011 at 7:42 am
      “Here’s an update on the DC Nuns: http://theinstituteonline.wordpress.com/holy-monastery-entrance-of-the-theotokos/
      So it appears to me that the transfer of the “DC Nuns” to ROCOR was Providential.
      And I wonder how +Mel. feels about that (an ‘unintended consequerce’?)

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      • George Michalopulos says:

        Lots of unintended consequences, ain’t it so? None of the conspirators expected OCAN to be shut down and Stokoe removed from his perch on the Council. What else? Nobody expected people to be talking openly about a certain bishop’s various run-ins with the law either. What else? Syosset didn’t expect to see people talking openly about the Gay/Ecumenist Cabal that has run the OCA (into the ground) these past few years. And see its power being slowly broken. That’s just the tip of the iceberg.

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        • …these past few years

          How many years would you say?

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          • I dunno, since the time of Theodosius? Maybe after Kondratick? I think it’s more complicated. That the cult of the “married protosbyter running things because the bishops are too compromised” has been going on since the time of Schmemann. If I’m wrong, please correct me.

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            • Ken Miller says:

              I have a first hand account from someone who was very close to Bishop Basil that he believed he was forced into early retirement as a result of the “gay lobby.” I don’t know what year that was. I suspect this stuff goes back all the way to the early 70s when Theodosius was first elected.

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              • Bishop Basil was indeed forced into retirement in the early 1980’s I think in 84. Interestingly enough during that time Mark Stokoe was working for Bp. Basil in his San Francisco chancery office. Theodosius, Kishkovsky, Hubiak and Bishop Kyrill of Pittsburgh were all in on Basil’s ouster. It was this same procedure that was resurrected by Kishkovsky to Garklavs in their early 2011 attempts to oust Jonah using the Rodzianko method.

                As far as it being part of a “gay cabal” there is no credible evidence to support that and it would be a bit too much to simply link that to Bishop Basil’s forced retirement simply because Stokoe was working in the San Francisco chancery office at the time. A more willing participant inside the San Francisco chancery office at that time was the late Fr. Michael Prokurat who’s issues with Rodzianko were well know at the time.

                Today, what is not conjecture but proven fact based on what Jonah found out from Garklavs emails is that Kishkovsky reminded Garklavs about the Rozianko method as the way to get to Jonah by psychologically discrediting him. This was proven when Garklavs’ oca.org emails (lawfully secured by Jonah) provided the smoking gun evidence that did in Garklavs. Even the synod could not ignore such a blatant attack on the Primate. But, in hindsight, the Synod did not go far enough. They should have also relieved Kishkovsky of his position. But that would have removed one of the chief inside and experienced architects of OCA bishop removal services and the Synod, especially Benjamin and Mel. could not afford the removal of their inside man. The fact that Bradley is in almost daily contact with Kishovsky also did not and still does not bode well for Jonah.

                So in 1984 they branded Bishop Basil “gravely troubled”, he who was truly a spiritual man but a luddite when it came to diocesan administrative matters. Sound familiar?

                At the moment, the key player in all of this is Moscow. The OCA (Kishkovsky) must convince Moscow that Jonah is unfit to serve. He has been trying all year. Moscow does not respect Kishkovsky nor do they care for his constant attempts to belittle Jonah. Note well that during Kishkovsky’s last visit to Moscow (to deal with the Zacchaeus affair) he met with no high-ranking official of the ROC. However that never stops the true puppet master of the OCA. He has been working non-stop and is working even today to make sure that Jonah checks into St. Luke’s as Metropolitan but as a result of his evaluation will be the retired Metropolitan.

                Keep this in mind – any negative evaluation assessment of Jonah – sorry kids, that is why St. Luke’s was chosen by Kishkovsky and Bradley, they both know that St. Luke’s will find something wrong with Jonah. St. Luke’s is not in the business of dealing with fit for duty clergy but bringing in troubled clerics and “rehabilitating” them. Jonah’s “evaluation” will forever be on his record and it will be used as a stick to beat him. Even if he is evaluated as being an administrative luddite, it will be enough to make the case against Jonah.

                If this is not the case, then all Kishkovsky and the Synod need do is make a public statement NOW that they will support His Beatitude and work with him when he resumes his duties as Primate of the OCA. That they have no intention of retiring him. Quite a simple statement, it can be crafted by the end of today if they want to, but given the Synod has said nothing, no statement one way or another about Jonah being in St. Luke’s this week, it seems pretty clear that Jonah is on his own and he will be left twisting in the wind.

                I do hope I am wrong, but we have seen this before in the OCA. I truly look forward to be proven totally wrong by the facts and the results of Jonah’s stay at St. Luke’s. If I am not proven wrong, I hope Moscow stands firm against such goings on. Could they already be sending a signal through ROCOR about the December 10 concelebration with Hilarion and Jonah in NYC? They could also just be covering their assets though!

                Pass the jug (credit to Stan). Life in the OCA is never dull, that is, what is left of it!

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                • Carl Kraeff says:

                  Vow—you know quite a bit. I am thinking you are a priest with connections or was a priest in high positions (and with connections)..Now, please tell me why I should believe a person who is using only “Jacob” for an identity? Lest I incur George’s displeasure here, I assure you that I am not being facile. When I read something from you, Jane Rachel, Amos, Helga or similar one-name posters, I have no context to help me evaluate their credence. Thank God for our gracious host, His Grace Tikhon, Monk James, Fr Deacon Brian, Alf, Ken, M. Stankovich and others who are using their real names.

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                  • Jane Rachel says:

                    Carl, you will just have to come to terms with the fact that sometimes people have very good reasons to comment without using their full or real names. I would dearly love to use my real name, but don’t to protect myself. Sorry. It does not mean we are cowards or not nice, or not real, normal people. It has been very helpful to post here, to speak freely and speak out without worrying about being hurt. So thankful for this site and for the opportunity to “have a say” after all these years, to discover I’m not alone, and to interact with others here, especially about the OCA and the Orthodox Church.

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                    • Carl Kraeff says:

                      I am also thankful for this site and for the many points of view and opinions that are found here. It has been an education for me, whether or not I agree with a particular poster, and I do appreciate those who have been communicating with me. That said, I am sure that being anonymous, while having the advantages that you enumerated, also has a down side–that of credibility. I am not saying that anonymous posts have no credibility at all–certainly those posts with which we agree are most credible! :) However, it is hard to put an anonymous post into context and to assign it a credibility rating. Take Jacob’s post for example–it was really chock full og inside historical information and as such potentially most valuable. Since I do not know the source, I don’t really know how much of that post I should believe. Now, if I were to show his post to my priest and he gave it credence, then I would be much more accepting of its credibility.

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                  • Is Carl Kraeff your real name? Prove it to me.
                    (I don’t use my name in order to protect someone else bearing my last name. If you don’t
                    like it, “you can lump it.”)

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                    • Carl Kraeff says:

                      I will be glad to. Just give me contact information and I will do it. Phone number or email would do fine.

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                    • Carl Kraeff says:
                      November 16, 2011 at 3:48 pm
                      I will be glad to. Just give me contact information and I will do it. Phone number or email would do fine.
                      Not a chance!!!
                      Because an email or phone call from you would verify nothing.

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                    • Patrick Henry Reardon says:

                      PdnNJ says: “Not a chance, because an email or phone call from you would verify nothing.”

                      You know, friend, you’re not giving Carl much of an opportunity to do what you have challenged him to do: Prove that Carl Kraeff is his real name.

                      You won’t let him do it by phone. You won’t let him do it by electronic mail. Presumably, you won’t let him do it by regular mail. What else is left?

                      That is to say, you have cut off every possible avenue of communication with you—while you remain anonymous—but you still want him to prove that he is who he says he is.

                      I suspect I am not the only correspondent on this blog site who finds the conditions of your challenge just a tad unreasonable.

                      Let’s even the odds here: For the sake of argument, I would like for you to prove that you really are PdnNJ. Not some phony PdnNJ, not some faceless replica of PdnNJ, not some shameless impostor taking advantage of PdnNJ’s excellent reputation. Not some distant relative hoping to rob PdnNJ of his expected inheritance. No, no, you must prove you are the genuine article, the real, the one and only PdnNJ.

                      Now, you may prove this any way you like—except by phone, e-mail, regular mail, classified ad, Morse Code, or Cherokee smoke signals.

                      Does that sound reasonable?

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                    • Well Fr. Pat, with all due respect, I guess I just should have said “and what would an email or phone call prove in this day and age of false identities.
                      But I do intend to belabor the point any longer.
                      (I use a moniker, which are my initials, to protect an Archpriest with my same name from being associated or blamed with what I may say on this blogsite.)

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                    • Fr. Yousuf Rassam says:

                      Thank you Fr. Patrick, for once.

                      Dear Carl,

                      Here’s a head’s up. I think Pdn is an abbreviation of Proto-Deacon. There is exactly one deacon on the OCA website who has the initials NJ. As it happens, there is an Archpriest relative of his with the same last name, (his son I think). I have always assumed that that is who PdnNJ probably is, and it means, I think, that PdnNJ and I have met. It also means that you could send him a snail mail with your address and , say, a peice of junk mail with your name and address on it. If indeed you are Carl Kraeff, and could do that, for someone to continue to insist that you do not use your own name would be irrational.

                      While proving anything on the Monomakhos level of discourse is futile, like the Borg, perhaps actual human contact might be more fruitful.

                      Fr. Yousuf Rassam

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                    • As I’ve said before on this blogsite, a bloggers name or moniker authenticates nothing for me; only what is said, in what spirit it is said, and how relevant it is does.

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                    • Carl Kraeff says:

                      I did try to send an email to the person that I thought could be PdnNJ but it did not go through to his Comcast address.

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                    • I have a dream that we will one day live in a world where we will judge blog commentary not by the anonymity of the author but by the content of the postings.

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                • M. Stankovich says:

                  You clearly mistake the point of this “evaluation.” This is not a process of determining “if” something is wrong – the Metropolitan has already detailed the problem himself and accepted responsibility – but to assist him in “doing whatever it takes” to resolve the conflict and heal the relationship with his brother bishops. You choose to label this in the pejorative terms of “humiliation.” I am also quite confident that the administration and staff of St. Luke’s would, justifiably, resent the implication that they were “selected” to demonize the Metropolitan in a “13th Crusade.”

                  Vladyka Basil was one of the most joyful, loving, wise, pastoral, and insightful men I have ever experienced. Much to the consternation of my family, once I sat down for a simple “cup of tea,” when listening to him, I became totally unaware of time. Before he died, a Russian news organization produced a 6-volume documentary of his life, following, for example, his first joyful return to the parish in Serbia where he served as a priest, later to be imprisoned with his “friends” that we now celebrate as saints. And imagine, Vladyka Basil, at the invitation of Patriarch Alexii II, leading a procession through the streets of Moscow – described by the press as the greatest expression of the Orthodox Church since before the revolution – to deliver the “Holy Fire” to the hands of the Patriarch.

                  Nevertheless, Vladyka Basil was not an administrator, and his best effort was marginal, at best. It simply was not his gift. He was a teacher, and evangelist, a theologian, a pastor and spiritual guide, and an image of repentance, but he was not an administrator. But I also believe that, if he had been offered the similar opportunity of a “St. Luke’s,” he would have done so gladly and sooner.

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                  • Knits Havoc, St. Luke’s is a place that deals with people who have serious psychological problems. (Whether or not they do that adequately or ethically is another matter.) The bottom line is, it’s not a freaking business school. They sent Metropolitan Jonah there in order to brand and humiliate him. They did the same thing to Bishop Basil of blessed memory (who was in fact the very bishop who blessed the young James Paffhausen to go to seminary and pursue a clerical vocation). The difference is, they will NOT SUCCEED this time.

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                    • Carl Kraeff says:

                      Reasonable conjecture based on your facts and your interpretation of them. I just do not understand why you have made this conclusion prematurely. I do nt think that it is good for you or for the Church. Let events unfold and then we will see. If +Jonah is like +Basil, then I am sure that he will do fine as the Primate with proper administrative structure around him, augmented by some relevant training (Harvard’s senior executive fellow program comes to mind or he can attend various seminars on management and transformational leadership). If +Jonah has psychological issues that can be controlled through medication and/or therapy, I cannot imagine those to be cause for his removal. I have a real professional and personal stake in treatment of behavioral health diseases, for example, and I will personally help lead a crusade not to brand, humiliate or get rid of anyone with behavioral health or mental health issues, as I would with folks with physical health issues, that do not preclude one from performing one’s duties.

                      In the interest of transparency, I will tell you that I am in the substance abuse field and am motivated primarily by the untimely killing of my mother by a driver who was under the influence (alcohol and cocaine). The way I look at it, the more addicted folks that we treat, the fewer loved ones that will be killed or injured. I have to finish by saying that one of the greatest obstacles that we face is social stigma attached to both mental illness and addiction. Folks, please quit saying that folks with either are branded or humiliated when their condition come to light. W don’t say that about folks who have heart problems, diabetes, cancer, do we?

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                    • In my estimation, the only group qualified to “evaluate” +Met. Jonah for any reason is the Council of Startzi/Geronta on Mount Athos.

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                    • Don’t forget his spiritual father of nearly 20 years, Bishop Pankratiy.

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                    • Jane Rachel says:

                      “Knits Havoc.” Oh, Helga, thank you.

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                    • I thought I should add a few permutations to the ten letters of his surname. :)

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                  • I’m sorry. If the Metropolitan had shown evidence of mental impairment or addiction, many who have frequent contact with him would, albeit reluctantly, see this as a option to allow +Jonah to recover enough to lead.

                    Many people do not see any such evidence. I have asked them, although I do not expect you to believe that.

                    You seem to overlook in your comment below:

                    If +Jonah has psychological issues that can be controlled through medication and/or therapy, I cannot imagine those to be cause for his removal. I have a real professional and personal stake in treatment of behavioral health diseases, for example, and I will personally help lead a crusade not to brand, humiliate or get rid of anyone with behavioral health or mental health issues, as I would with folks with physical health issues, that do not preclude one from performing one’s duties.

                    Sending someone who does NOT present the symptoms of addiction or mental difficulties to treatment for political aims, as appears to be the case here, will throw up new obstacles for getting help for those who DO present those symptoms and desperately need such help. If you have worked in this field then you know that the window is often very small in getting people to accept help. The Synod, with their do-it-yourself intervention, may literally be the reason that others who do have such problems, die after creating untold havoc within their families.

                    If you were truly a champion for this help, you would speak against using it in a punitive manner, Soviet in flavor, as is the case here.

                    So please look at the root cause here. The Metropolitan has accepted responsibility for administrative problems – no admission of mental problems. (As I have argued elsewhere, he is taking “the buck stops here” responsibility, as he is not tasked to be an administrator, moreover, the Synod took that job in May.) The Synod’s solution to “his” problem is not a solution at all, and Jacob provides an explanation that rings true.

                    …fact based on what Jonah found out from Garklavs emails is that Kishkovsky reminded Garklavs about the Rozianko method as the way to get to Jonah by psychologically discrediting him. This was proven when Garklavs’ oca.org emails (lawfully secured by Jonah) provided the smoking gun evidence that did in Garklavs.

                    I do not believe that Metropolitan Jonah has ever made that email public, but he could have.

                    He attempted to work this within the Synod, who did agree in the firing. Then Bishop Melkesidek pasted Father Garklavs back in place, and the MC took budget actions (golden parachute, salary guarantees, placement options) designed largely as a thumb in Metropolitan’s eye. This Metropolitan has turned the other cheek so many times his head should be spinning.

                    The Metropolitan has been behaving appropriately. His opponents’ behavior bear a resemblance to that of jackals. The rest of the world is watching.

                    The OCA has littered the landscape with the bodies of retired hierarchs. It is a source of scandal among the other jurisdictions, as well it should be. The name Kishkovsky surfaces again and again with these retirements.

                    Perhaps after his evaluation, Metropolitan Jonah should share the emails to which Jacob refers.

                    We have no choice but to allow this to play out, as +Jonah has made a decision, one more time, to attempt to reach out to his brother bishops. The next intervention may have to be of the Holy Spirit, because based upon the shameful actions within the OCA to date, it is unclear how this Synod will ever be able to work with one another in trust.

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                • Bishop Tikhon (Fitzgerald) says:

                  I think Jacob has glossed over some matters relative to the end of Bishop Basil (Rodzianko)’s term as Bishop of San Francisco. Indeed, both Mark Stokoe and Fr. Michael Prokurat of blessed memory worked at the diocesan office located at the Bishop’s Residence in San Francisco, on Anza and Tweltfh. Both Stokoe and Father Michael were actively involved in investigating Bishop Basil’s past in England in apparent hopes of finding some kind of financial high-jinks or shady dealings during the time when he was but a Priest there. I believe it was mark who had a “contact” in the Serbian Church in London with whom he conferred.
                  But Bishop Basil was a MUCH more complex man and hierarch than Metropolitan Jonah is. A priest from the Serbian Church, family name Krashkevich, transferred into our diocese and was assigned to our parish in Bryte (it’s now called West Sacramento), a parish which had “gone through” several priests in an amazingly short span of time: Fr. David Black, Fr. James Worth, Fr. Nicholas Czurak, Fr. Seraphim Gisetti, etc. The Serbian Priest was a well-educated and even “spiritual” man, a graduate moreover of the St. Sergius Institute in Paris. The lay leadership of the Paris was always on the defensive about “who runs this parish.” The sort of issues with which Fr. Hans claims to have the correct approach to were fully engaged in that parish. Things got very bad. One day, a parishioner punched the Priest’s wife in the face, knocking her to the ground. Bishop Basil related the matter to us at a Diocesan Council meeting and expressed his shock and displeasure. Some of us chimed in with appropriate expressions of dismay. Then Bishop Basil suddenly came out with, “But she had it coming: she could not control that mouth!” No one dared reply to that one. That’s part one of the NOT Metropolitan Jonah matter. How did Bishop Basil address the problem in the parish? He commanded that all parishioners come to a meeting and each of them go to confession. There immediately followed a Liturgy at which they all had to commune. Immediately AFTER the Divine Liturgy at which all partook of the Mysteries, Bishop Basil conducted an EXORCISM of them all, which, like the exorcism before Baptism, required that everyone “breathe and spit” upon the Devil! I know of no one, living or dead, who had been ordained to be a Priest in the Orthodox Church who has ever done or would do such a thing, let alone our Metropolitan Jonah. Bishop Basil’s ministry in retirement was much less problematic, and many witness to his good deeds and preaching in retirement.
                  Metropolitan Vladimir was also “invited to retire” as Bishop Basil was. I know the details of that matter and I can say with some degree of certainty that he would not have been allowed to retire today, but might have been deposed on the testimony of some young men which was given in writing to the diocesan chancellor and the central administration of the OCA at the time.
                  I would rather refer to, without making comparisons, the expulsion of Archbishop Dimitri (Magan) from his see and forced retirement by decree of the Great Sobor of Bishops of the Russian Metropolia the OCA’s corporate predecessor.
                  One Essential reason given for this action in the official decree was that Archbishop Dmitri had made ‘disrespectful” utterances relative to the Primate, Metropolitan Leonty. I believe that the Archivist of the OCA can, if requested, produce that document from the archives so that any who are considering the way today’s hierarchs are addressing and speaking of Metropolitan Jonah may be educated in how such awful behavior may be canonically addressed.

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                • Jane Rachel says:

                  Jacob, you wrote:

                  Today, what is not conjecture but proven fact based on what Jonah found out from Garklavs emails is that Kishkovsky reminded Garklavs about the Rozianko method as the way to get to Jonah by psychologically discrediting him. This was proven when Garklavs’ oca.org emails (lawfully secured by Jonah) provided the smoking gun evidence that did in Garklavs.

                  That makes sense, and I believe you are telling the truth. Why does Kishkovsky want to “get to Jonah”?

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  3. Has anyone considered the thought of sending cards, notes of prayers and support to the Metropolitan as he endures this week at St. Luke’s. There are many delivery options out there and a massive show of support may just send a message to those who insisted on this crazy excercise.

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    • Of course, but I never once believed he would see it. Name a delivery option that will see such a message arrive safely in the metropolitan’s hands.

      (Madame, please assure the metropolitan that my daughter and I are praying for him. My prayers aren’t worth much, but my daughter’s are.)

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      • I think you can send correspondence in care of the DC cathedral and it will reach him. It may be opened and read by someone else first, though.

        The address is:

        3500 Massachusetts Ave NW
        Washington, DC 20007

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  4. Bishop Tikhon (Fitzgerald) says:

    This is a link to a video (“OCA bishop supports sex-change”) of Archbishop Lazar Puhalo AKA Ron Haler teaching his own Orthodox doctrine on the rightness of sex-change operations.
    http://news-nftu.blogspot.com/2011/11/oca-bishop-supports-sex-change.html

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    • ROCOR didn’t have any problem defrocking him. I think the OCA would do well to consider that example!

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    • Ashley Nevins says:

      The OCA is not the only jurisdiction trying to deal with sex policy issues in the church. The GOA is a far more closed system than the OCA . The sex problems in this church are license and legalism. Both ends of the spectrum control this church leadership. Extremes control this church. What controls the leadership controls the laity, but only if the laity does not stop the corrupt control. Don’t stop it and you are under its mind control.

      How a church thinks determines its outcome. What controls the mind of a church determines its outcome in the real world. The GOA thinks legalism and license. That is a cult. Cults control by legalism and license. You have to understand how cults really operate to understand this. Cults control by being out of control by their control. That is the GOA and like a cult it does not want to change how it operates. Cults only change if it is in the cults power and control best interest. They are highly self focused and self centered and that is because they are a highly closed system. Everything in a cult is about power and control. You serve the cult. In Gods true church everything is to be about humility and service. The church serves as Christ serves. Cults are highly self centered. Gods true church is highly other centered.

      The subtle power of sexual corruption has this jurisdiction in its grip. The homosexuality issues among its hierarchy is well known. However what is less well known is the legalistic teachings on sex by the GOA living saint elder ephraim. Between the elder and the bishops problems with sex are systemic in the GOA and they permeate every aspect of this church system.

      In this church you have the extremes of legalism around sex and lack of moral heterosexual example around sex.

      Did you know that the elder wants you to live as brother and sister in marriage?

      Did you know that the elder wants man and wife to sleep in separate beds?

      The last person to realize that he or she is involved in a cult is the cult member. Anyone following the elder is following a cult leader. The GOA hierarchy KNOWS the elder is a cult leader and they do nothing to stop it and just like the GOA has done nothing to stop homosexual bishops from ruling over them. The monastery in Astoria NY has the Patriarch’s name on it. He is exposed and no one does one thing about what is exposed regarding him. That is a cult. The cult leader is not held transparent and accountable with consequences. All are powerless to stop him. That is a cult leader. Period.

      Cults control sex to mind control their followers.

      SEE: gotruthreform.org/defeaning-silence/

      This website is just touching the tip of the iceberg of corruption in power over the GOA. The problem is much larger than in Chicago. It is systemic throughout the entire GOA. These people were warned of the elder and they did not listen. I warned them years ago and they did believe me when I told them the elder was coming to take over the GOA parishes. Now they listen, but now its too little too late. They are addressing just one issue in one geographic area in their church and when they really need to be addressing the bishop corruption in the entire church. So what if they are successful against the elder. They still have a completely corrupt hierarchy that allowed the likes of the elder into the GOA. Typical Orthodox. Address the symptom and not the cause. Confront the elder and leave the bishops to corrupt the entire system of the church. Focus on the local bishop and leave the rest of the bishops to completely corrupt the GOA. No wonder to me why they are in this position with their bishops and elder. (Lol, you go after the bishop who by diocese is geographically in authority over the elder).

      Legalism is the elder telling you how, when and where to have intimate relations with your spouse. He is in the bedroom mind controlling the faithful. Couples are wondering in the bedroom, would the elder approve? They confess their sex life to the elder. Twisted.

      Is the GOA being turned into a cult? How does a church progress down into a cult? What are the signs and symptoms of a church being turned into a cult?

      Incompetent church administration leads to corruption (Sin) and corruption leads to a church being turned into a cult. The GOA is in far worse trouble than the OCA. In the OCA the problems are in the open by expose’ and the church is at war over the problems trying to destroy them. It’s not pretty or nice, but at least the OCA is trying to solve its internal issues. The OCA war is a war over corruption. Yes, it is being handled immaturely, but at least the OCA is today out in the open regarding its issues.

      What you see is what you get in the OCA today. Not so in the GOA. It is all hidden, kept secret and covered up. It is a closed system structure and so it operates just like one. The OCA wants to change. The GOA does not.

      Being under foreign rule, being highly ethnocentric and being carnal apathetic and indifferent is what has brought the GOA into this cult state. This is a far more closed system than is the OCA and that is the perfect set up to be turned into a cult. They are arrogant and proud in their Hellenism and they are totally corrupt. The perfect set up to be turned into a cult.

      All the really good cults claim to be Gods only true and right belief and/or salvation. That is how you really mind control. You just can’t beat being so right when all in comparison to you are wrong. That ego trip will turn a church into a cult and it will never see it coming. It will turn who ever believes that into proud arrogance that does not have to listen for it being so right about itself in comparison to everyone else. That is a cult.

      The cult only really listens to itself for it being a closed system. Believing you are Gods only right and true is the perfect set up to be turned into a cult and you will never see it coming for your belief in the cult being Gods only true and right belief. In a cult critical independent thinking stops and that is cult mind control. In the cult you really only can think like the cult thinks or you are in rebellion to its authority. You don’t question it. You follow it right over the cliff. You don’t question the cults only true belief or that means you don’t believe it and that means you are a problem to the cult. You are the problem and not the cult if you point out the problems. That is the GOA. It is gone right over the cliff.

      The more closed system the more able to be turned into a cult and not see it happen. Cults by being closed systems are highly subjective and highly isolated. The more subjective and isolated the more capability to be turned into a cult and never see it coming.

      Now, Orthodox, think this through. The GOA leads the all American bishop conferences. That is the leadership future of the EOC in America. Their patriarch covered up the Astoria NY sex scandal. They are sexually corrupt and when a church goes sexually corrupt without solution it is only a matter of time before it is turned into a sex cult. Yes, you heard me right, a cult of sexual corruption.

      Sexual license and sexual legalism from the top church leadership is the GOA. This is sexual totalism power and control destroying the GOA from the inside out and top down. Sexual license and sexual legalism are both forms of totalism power and control. License tells the church, I can operate like I want because I have power. Legalism tells the church, I can control your sex life because I have power. That’s the GOA bishops and elder. Both believe they control sex by either license or legalism. Sick.

      Both license and legalism now TOTALLY control the GOA. This church is sexually out of control because it is under the control of sexual corruption.

      This is the frog in the kettle church. Turn the water temp slowly up on the frog in the kettle and he boils to death without even noticing the temperature change. It is the subtle power of cult transformation taking over a church by slowly but surely destroying its Christian moral and ethical foundation and replacing it with Satan. Once boiled you have reached the point of no return. The gates of hell have prevailed against you when your church is turned into a cult.

      The gates of hell can not prevail against Gods true church. A cult is a totally different matter. It is not a church. The gates of hell cannot prevail over what is of God. The true church is the Christians who live for Christ and do not live for corruption. In other words, any church can be turned into a cult if it does live for Christ as Christs true church. False church is easily turned into a cult. The GOA lives for corruption and not holiness. That is a cult.

      You know when Satan has total control of a church when that church cannot or will not find solution to what Satan corrupts it by. Satan is circular without solution and if a church cannot find solution it is most likely using Satan’s solution that does not solve Satan in control. God as solution leads to solution. Satan keeps a church without God solution by turning the church into circular without solution. He does that to keep power and control. If you can’t remove him he stays in power and control and your church remains circular without solution.

      The GOA is cooked. It has reached the point of no return. America’s role model and example largest jurisdiction is floating upside down in the boiling pot. They never saw it coming and they still do not even know it happened. Those who stand up to the corruption in this church are a very small group and they are not growing. There is no laity rally behind them and that speaks volumes about this church.

      The church is carnal apathetic and indifferent to the corruption and it can only be in that state of mind by Satan controlling their minds. Yes, you heard me right, Satanic mind control is what leads to apathy and indifference that will not confront or face down the evil one’s schemes to destroy us. The spiritually carnal and corrupt are the spiritually dead and the dead cannot protect the church from the evil one. Only living salvation can. Living salvation is Gods true church. Notice I did not say it is Gods only true church. Thus, the GOA in its carnal apathetic and indifferent state is dead powerless to stop its death. A church without Christ life can easily be turned into a cult by the degree it does not have true salvation by life in Christ. If you have death in Satan as salvation that will be the ultimate outcome of such a church. A church either lives or it dies by its salvation. How hard is that one, Orthodox?

      The evil one is dead. He leads by death. Death is apathy and indifference. Death is POWERLESS. That is the GOA and it is not going to change. Life is God. He leads by life. Life is growing and involved. Life is POWERFUL. That is Gods true church. It is not the GOA no matter what the EO try to say in its defense. It is indefensible what is going on in this church. It is also unsustainable and that means this organization of religious crime corruption is going to die over time. Anyone with a rational mind and good vision can think to see and see to think that this is exactly what is going on. The GOA is powerless to stop its death by its salvation and that is because its salvation is DEAD. It can claim to be as Christ alive as it wants too, but all anyone has to do is look at its true state of corruption to see the true state of its corrupt salvation.

      Satan kills salvation in such a church to kill that church. The salvation of a church determines its outcome in the real world. The real world is not the deceived and delusional state of the GOA world in denial. True salvation exposes the deceived and delusional state of false salvation. It does not work the other way around. True salvation Christ exposed the deceived and delusional state of those with false salvation. He exposed their outcome by their salvation in comparison to Him alone as salvation. This is difficult to hear if you are an Orthodox.

      The GOA is nothing more than an organized spiritual crime organization. It is organized crime against God and its outcome proves it. This is the Orthodox role model and example to those it is trying to convert? This kind of conversion will result in a transformed life by Christ? This is a transformed by Christ church and whose salvation is from God? If this is salvation what is hell?

      This is what I know about hell church. It is characterized by license and legalism. This is what I know about Christ’s true church. It is characterized by holiness and freedom. You can easily tell the difference between them unless you are involved in hell church. If that be the case hell church is Gods only true church and you say that because you don’t know the difference between hell and Christ. The church outcome proves it. Those who are alive with Christ do not allow the dead by Satan to control their church.

      The GOA claims to be of Gods only true and right salvation. Oh, really, what does the outcome of its salvation tell you what its salvation really is??? Your salvation determines your outcome. Yes it does too, Orthodox. To not believe that will only cause you to fail with your salvation. Living salvation has a living outcome. False salvation has a dead outcome. The GOA needs to reconsider its salvation. It needs to evangelize its own, but that is not going to happen when all believe they are of Gods only true and right salvation and even when the evidence in their outcome says different. The GOA cannot evangelize outside of itself let alone inside of itself. That is the truth of its salvation in the real world outside of the delusional GOA world.

      You can tell the life of a church salvation by how it evangelizes outside of itself. Salvation is other centered. It is not self centered. Other centered is open system. Self centered is closed system. Closed system salvation is not Jesus in the Gospel salvation. Salvation is open and therefore it is shared. That is not the GOA. Not even close. Closed system salvation does not share. It is not really salvation or it would share that salvation outside of itself. The less salvation a church has the less that salvation is shared. Get it?

      THE GOD YOU FOLLOW DETERMINES YOUR OUTCOME AS A CHURCH. A church either follows God to a Godly outcome or it follows Satan to an evil outcome. You can easily tell the difference between churches and salvation by their outcome. Those with salvation are at war with those of corruption of salvation in the OCA. The OCA is quite literally fighting for its salvation life. Not so in the GOA. There is no salvation life that fights for the salvation of this church. It is a religious ethnocentric social club of carnal apathy and indifference that is self centered upon itself. If that is salvation what is hell?

      Hell is a closed system that closes out the sharing of salvation. Christ is an open system that opens the sharing of salvation. How much a church is controlled by hell can easily be seen and known by how it shares salvation. Yes, I know my rational Christian thinking is scary to the Orthodox. It makes Christian sense. If I was an Orthodox I would be questioning the salvation of my church by its outcome in every jurisdiction. Orthodox salvation is not saving the EOC. Quite the opposite is taking place. It only makes rational and Christian mature sense to question what is in complete systemic failure by its salvation that cannot reverse that failure.

      When Satan controls a church that church has been turned into a cult. Satan is the ultimate cult leader you do not see. He is in control and you do not see him in control. He pulls the puppet strings and the church remains powerless against his corruption that is his control. That is a brilliant strategy on his part and he controls the GOA by it. Anyone who believes God the Holy Spirit is in control of the GOA is delusional and deceived.

      Think it through, Orthodox. Think it through.

      Ashley Nevins

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      • Carl Kraeff says:

        Ashley–I m not in the GOA, but I do know some folks who are in it and I am here to tell you that the vast majority of GOA folks and parishes do not fit your description. You have blown out of proportion the problems that do exist.

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        • Ashley Nevins says:

          The only thing out of proportion is the size of GOA denial. Support your statement by objective facts and not subjective opinion based on what you feel.

          Carl, what are your evidences, proofs and facts that tell the Orthodox the GOA is not in a corrupt, failed, irrelevant and dying state that is without solution….

          The GOA bishops are not corrupt? Yes or No.

          The Patriarch handled Astoria like God would have him? Yes or No.

          The elder is not a cult leader? Yes or No.

          The GOA archbishop is not lying spin master? Yes or No.

          Youth is not leaving the GOA in droves? Yes or No.

          The GOA is not more ethnocentric centered than it is Christ centered? Yes or No.

          The parishes don’t enable the failure and corruption? Yes or No.

          The GOA laity is not apathetic and indifferent to the state of their church dying? Yes or No.

          When you think for yourself you ask very difficult questions that leads to objectivity that exposes misplaced loyalty and denial.

          In my city of 200K the GOA parish has been here for 55 years. On a good Sunday maybe 100 show up.

          By comparison and in less time than the GOA parish has been here 4 churches in my city have avg. Sunday of attendance of 2K+ each. In other words, had it been left up to Gods only true and right church only 100 Greeks would have salvation in my city. Of course, from the Orthodox viewpoint I am blowing this out of proportion. I’m making it sound worse than it really is.

          These problems are not blown out of proportion when the rational facts are observed. The only thing blown out of proportion is you lack of objectivity caused by misplaced loyalty that is subjective reactionary rather than objective factual.

          The ephramites do not pose a serious threat to the GOA?

          The homosexual bishop problem is blown out of proportion in the GOA?

          Sexual corruption cover up is not out of proportion in the GOA?

          Carl knows what is going on in the GOA, right?

          Yes, I know, I got it wrong. I’m overstating the seriousness of the crisis facing the GOA. The GOA is right on the verge of a revival and it soon will become Gods only true and right role model and example to my community of what Gods only true and right church is. Within 5 years the GOA parish will be the most dynamic, alive and growing church in my city by the Gods only alone right and one true truth that it claims to have and be. Once Christian people in my city realize what they have been missing and how heretical they have been by not being in the GOA there is going to be a overwhelming rush of converts into this local parish. This revival is going to take place in every city where there is a GOA parish. The GOA bishops are going to lead this cutting edge Orthodox relevancy evangelism of America. This is the Orthodox century for America.

          Ashley Nevins

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      • So…which denomination has your seal of approval?

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        • Ashley Nevins says:

          Gods true church of living Christians has my seal of approval. That is a radical concept not understood by most all EO. It seems ambiguous to them. If it isn’t Orthodoxy it is heresy.

          Having said that, I like denominations that focus on dynamic church growth that is caused by bringing relevancy ministry to the society around them. For example, one of them has an extensive ministry to victims of sex abuse. Does your jurisdiction have a ministry like that?

          I don’t have a favorite denomination simply because I don’t see the true church as a denomination.

          I believe any denomination or church that cannot find relevancy in the generation it is found in needs to die and get out of Gods way. Dynamic, alive and growing Christians is my favorite denomination. That is Gods true church.

          Maybe if I explain to you what does not have my seal of approval that will help you here understand what has my seal of approval. A church that exists in a survival existence state and that is corrupt without solution does not have my seal of approval. So, you can say with accuracy that Ashley’s seal of approval is not a corrupt, failed, irrelevant and dying church that has no solution to its state of church. The opposite of this has my seal of approval.

          Do you have a favorite jurisdiction that has your seal of approval? I answered your question now please answer mine.

          Ashley Nevins

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          • Ashley,

            Why is it so difficult for you to accept that one of your family members embraced the One True Church, the Orthodox Church? Can’t you just be happy for his decision and rejoice that he is part of the Church?

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            • Ashley Nevins says:

              Nikos, he escaped the elder in the middle of the night afraid for his life. The first thing he said to me is when I picked him up, The elder is a charlatan and the GOA is a cult.

              I do not know if you are a responsible Christian parent, but I am going to take that approach in answer to your question.

              You would have a difficult time believing what my son has told me really goes on at St. Anthony’s. My son is not happy with his decision to belong to a GOA cult nor is he rejoicing in your church of corruption. He was severely spiritually abused by the cult and the corrupt GOA. Only a sick and twisted personality disorder can be happy and rejoicing over that. That would be insane. It is spiritually insane to spiritually abuse like the GOA does. Only those corruptly twisted by their absolute power and control would spiritually abuse an entire church and only those as spiritually sick as the abusers would allow them to spiritually abuse them at this depth and width across the spectrum of the church and for this length of time. Spiritual abuse is the accepted norm of a spiritually sick church. Period.

              If you enable sickness it will make you as sick as the sickness you are enabling. Thus, the sick state of the GOA.

              To be consistent I suppose you would ask a similar question of the Greeks in Chicago who are exposing the GOA and the elder? You want them to be happy and rejoice too? They don’t seem to be too happy about or rejoicing over what the ephraimites have done to the parishes there. They are not rejoicing and happy over the state of the GOA. The stories told on their website about ephramite spiritual abuses sound very similar to what your happy and rejoicing church did to our son. The entire of the elders system of monasticism is as sick as the entire GOA system. They are systemically tied together by the sicknesses that corrupt them both. That sickness is in denial of its sickness or the GOA would not be found this sick.

              The only persons having a difficult time of acceptance are the Orthodox who are in denial over the accepting the cause of their corrupt church failure. The GOA is the BE HAPPY DON’T WORRY CHURCH. Just trust the bishops and the elder to lead it into a relevancy future of holiness. Let them think for you and don’t concern yourself with anything other than what they tell you to think about. Let their thinking be your thinking and then have their same outcome of lying corruption. That is what has happened to the GOA. Now deny it.

              You’re going to love this…the GOA adult parents who allow and enable sex abuse and sex abuse cover up in the church to go on without church discipline with consequences are the ongoing set up of child sex abuse in the GOA. Did I upset any GOA parents by saying it that frankly? Too bad if I did. It is the truth of it and the truth is not always brought to us in a warm and fuzzy package. I am not your bishop come to tell you how wonderful and Orthodox right you and your church are. I do not bow and kiss the hands of known corruption. I confront it to its face and could care less what the fallout of that could be. Compromise or enable corruption and you will end up compromised corruption yourself. That is the truth told to the Orthodox and denied by the Orthodox. Gods only true church denies the truth of itself and that is why it is a corrupt failure.

              God’s true church doesn’t have the truth to see the truth about itself. Nikos, you are the perfect example of that RIGHT HERE AND NOW. The state of the GOA couldn’t possibly be as horrific as I state it, right?

              From the sound of it you are happy and rejoicing over the state of the GOA and that you see it as a safe and healthy church that young adults need to be involved in. You would not have one problem allowing a hierarchy protected homosexual bishop or a bishop protected pedophile priest baby sit your children, right? You would want them to be the spiritual authority in leadership over your kids, right?

              It is no wonder to me why the GOA is corrupt. You are clueless as to what is really going inside of its inner circles of corrupt power and control. Those who are in denial of the true state of the GOA are the happiest and most rejoicing of the GO. So, of course, you believe I should see it the same way. And, of course, from the EO perspective I am painting a wrong picture of this church. I have blown it out of proportion, right?

              I am not delusional and so I am not happy and rejoicing over what reality tells me is really going on in the GOA. I am not in denial about what the GOA bishops and elder are really all about. I can see right through them.

              Every Christian father wants his children involved in a church that is corrupt, failed, irrelevant and dying by spiritual abuse and spiritual abandonment. A church that protects pedophiles and enables homosexual bishops. A church that is delusional about itself by its delusional and spinning archbishop. A church whose character is apathy and indifference in carnal corruptions and cult mind control. A church whose bishops see you as expendable to their power and control. A church that is being turned into ephramite cult legalisms. A church that continually places its self centered self interest over the people it is to serve. A church that lies, covers up and keeps secrets to self protect its image. A self centered and closed system church of you come to us and because we for sure are not going to bring the Gospel to you. A church that is not transparent or accountable because it sees itself as God by claiming to be Gods only true church. All good Christian fathers would want this kind of a church to be their role model and example of a Christ alive, safe and healthy church to their children, right?

              My son is young adult the GOA hemorrhaged by spiritual abuse of power and control. Gee, I wonder why the GOA is loosing its youth??? Not to worry, rejoice, the GOA archbishop just a few years ago told a group of heavy hitter contributors at a posh NY hotel dinner that the GOA had grown by 1 million in the previous ten years. Certainly, any good Christian father wants his children under the delusions of a corrupt hierarchy that is a LIAR.

              The GOA is not growing. It is dying a slow, ugly and painful death by belief in lies over belief in Gods truth. If your church has Gods only true truth by being Gods only true church I am just not seeing it. If you got that special truth where is you special outcome by that truth. If your truth believed is Gods truth your outcome will not be corruption, failure, irrelevancy and church demise. Only those made delusional by deception lies believed would believe that bold face lie.

              Nikos, is the GOA having a liar outcome or a truth telling outcome? Is this church truly transparent and accountable? Liars hide, cover up and keep secrets. Truth tellers are transparent.

              All good Christian fathers want their children following corrupt liars, right? With a million new members that means the avg. size of a GOA parish is around 2,400! Wow! What explosive growth clearly seen in objective reality that tells the truth!!!

              And, what about Katinas and the bishops who protected him? I see the church discipline by consequences brought to them over how they handled that.

              What consequences did the GO Patriarch experience over his handling of Astoria NY? I bet you are happy and rejoicing over what happened to the children sexually abused by a pair of 400 pound monks, right? Gross sin is the holiness of the GOA covered up? That is Gods only true church that all parents would want their children involved with, right? Any responsible Christian parent would want their children influenced by that as representing Christianity, right?

              This is just to tiny tip of a huge iceberg of corruption that has the corrupt GOA held in lying bondage. I mean, what good Christian father wouldn’t want his children involved in a church like that!?! Yes, GOA parents, rejoice that your children are being raised in a church like this!!!

              This is what you, Nikos, call Gods one true church. I call it a cult of corruption led by demonically controlled liars. I see those who follow these liars as deceived by lies believed to be truth. Lies lead to deception and deception leads to DELUSION. It is delusional to ask me to rejoice over a son involved in a mind control cult of legalism and corrupt church of irrelevant carnal apathetic indifference. Oh, but, that’s just too harsh and not at all the truth of it, right? It is actually far worse than anyway I can describe it.

              What is going on in the GOA is unsustainable. It is self destructing your church. Oh, you will continue to exist. But, what will you continue to exist as? I see what your future existence is. The state of your church is only going to grow ever worse and that is because the GOA faithful enable the corrupt failure.

              Thank you, for posting. You said so much in a short post. I read right through the lines to what you were really trying to get at. Your mind set and worse is exactly the problem I confronted the GOA with. Frankly, the GOA parents are now the ones responsible for the abuse of youth by leadership in your church. It’s OK that some other child is spiritually and/or sexually abused and just as long as it is not mine and even then that’s OK by how I involve my children in the corruption by taking them to a corrupt church. The real reason this abuse towards young people goes on is because the spiritually immature and carnal apathetic and indifferent GO parents allow it to go on.

              The self protection of the church by the GO parent is more important than the protection of its young folks and who are its future. What a dynamic future vision does the GOA have!!!

              Yes, GOA parents just ignore the obvious sin against children and turn your faces away from the abuses of youth in your church. Keep it up and you will not have youth left for the next generation of your church. Your children will WALK. Tell me they are not walking out right now in droves.

              Be happy and rejoice in the corrupt and failed GOA that is Gods only true church!!!

              Involve your children in it as Godly responsible parents and spiritually mature adults.

              Ashley Nevins

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              • Ashley,

                You could have stopped, as far as I am concerned after you mentioned St. Anthony’s Monastery. You need not go on and on. What goes on at the Ephramite monasteries is not representative of Orthodoxy in this land, especially at St. Anthony’s. That is representative of a type of Orthodoxy, being transplanted here that gives little credence to a local Orthodox expression of the faith, rather an attempt at transplanting a narrow type of greek Orthodoxy, from a particular strain of monastic greek Orthodoxy and projecting it as the only greek Orthodoxy, or even more troublesome the ONLY TRUE Orthodoxy that exists.

                But please, don’t think the Ephraimites speak for all Orthodox in this land. They do not. Heck, Elder Ephraim doesn’t even speak for all the Greeks, and certainly not the GOA.

                God give you peace.

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              • Geo Michalopulos says:

                Ashley, I know many people who go to the Ephraimite monasteries and come back overjoyed. I know quite a few monks (at one in particular), and there’s nothing of what you say your son experienced at St Antony’s.

                Let us assume however that what you are reporting is accurate. Would your son go on the record and confirm chapter/verse what you say went on there? I’ve proven my bona fides –anybody can write anything here.

                The time is coming to put up or shut up.

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              • Harry Coin says:

                Well I’m pleased your son is safe and that struggle is over. You must be beyond relieved.

                One thing that doesn’t come through much in your writing is that in most parishes, the people there, well.. There’s no strong real knowledge of any of these ongoing shenanigans.

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          • Ashley: “Seal of approval” like in “GoodHousekeeping”?

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          • Antonia Colias says:

            One point on which we can agree. The true church is not a denomination.

            The Orthodox faith is not, and never has been, a “denomination.” Orthodoxy is the Christian Church. The other Christian groups are the “denominations.”

            The amorphous “church” of “living Christians” (your terminology) is a concept easily understood by Orthodox Christians. Nothing radical about that thought, as many people espouse it. It just happens to be a man-made concept that we reject.

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          • Ashley Nevins says: Maybe if I explain to you what does not have my seal of approval that will help you here understand what has my seal of approval.

            That’s positively apophatic! I see you’re learning something from the Orthodox. I was hoping your answer would include something more substantive, though, perhaps an address or a schedule of services times.

            I didn’t consent to a quid pro quo, but you’ve asked so politely it’s hard to refuse. The answer is, no, I do not have a favorite jurisdiction.

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            • Ashley’s incessant, long winded posts here saying basically the same thiings over and over seems to to reveal a person undergoing constant mental pain, the cause of which he/she is blaiming on the Orthodox Church. (???) Let’s remember him/her in our prayers.

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            • Ashley Nevins says:

              Not the real issue. The real issue is the failed and corrupt state of the EOC. All else is off point and really pointless. Solving the problem is the issue and not minor semantics around a post. Rabbit trails will not take you down the trail of solution to your church failure.

              Ashley Nevins

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          • Geo Michalopulos says:

            So I guess Ashley that because something has your “seal of approval” it makes it the One True Church which was Founded by our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ? This approaches blasphemy, Ashley.

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      • Bishop Tikhon (Fitzgerald) says:

        Ashley describes what she sees from the outside, looking in at the Orthodox Church Which, she feels, took somebody AWAY from her; somebody who refuses to listen to her. So she rants away at us. She should go incognito to live in a Serbian or Russian village for a year and THEN tell us how Satan is in charge. All those pages!!! You can allow your vision to alight almost anywhere in all that suppositional verbiage and you’ll come up with “I feel SO resentful of you all!”

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        • Jane Rachel says:

          I believe Ashley is a he.

          I can’t read Ashley’s posts. I try, but within the first sentence or two, I decide not to after all.

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        • Ashley Nevins says:

          Resentful or not deal with the facts of the corrupt, failed, irrelevant and dying church that is circular without solution or see it die right before your eyes. Like me or not deal with the source cause of the failure or see your church die by denial of the cause of its failure.

          Ashley Nevins

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          • Jane Rachel says:

            The Orthodox Church will not die. Some are corrupt but most are not. Orthodoxy not only makes sense, it speaks to the senses directly, it speaks to the soul no matter where we are on our journey. Its beauty speaks to the heart. Therefore, it is not irrelevant. It is not dying, not by a long shot. Orthodoxy struggles in America, well, because we are BONEHEADS. It is not circular. Why do you say that? It reaches to the ends of the universe. The source cause of the failure in the OCA is traced back to a handful of bad shepherds and a whole lotta sheep who, like sheep, followed their voices. “…or see your church die by denial of the cause of its failure”. Yes, we have to wake up to the source cause of the failure or see our OCA die by denial of the cause of its failure. Yes. I agree one hundred percent. But all is not this way. There are good Orthodox leaders, good bishops, good priests, good people aplenty. It will be okay.

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    • Carl Kraeff says:

      Your Grace–What exactly is the problem with Archbishop Lazar’s presentation? I could listen for only a few minutes and what he said seemed unobjectionable.

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      • Jesse Cone says:

        Carl,

        What did you think of his reduction of the person (gender, emotions, identity, knowledge or understanding, etc.) to their brain?

        And the split between “body” (electro-chemical system) and “brain”?

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        • Carl Kraeff says:

          To satisfy His Grace’s apparent delight in howlers, how about this question: Do you think that the genitals have their own miniature brain?

          Now, to answer you Jesse–I think that the entire creation is a miracle of God. The human body is to me the pinnacle of God’s creation and I respect it as such, to include the way that it works. I believe also that God gave us the means to understand—albeit imperfectly–how His creation works. Thus, we outgrew our understanding of the universe revolving around our Earth as we better understood Natural Law. In the same way, we have made progress in understanding how Natural Law works in us. I am not a scientist so I do not know whether the distinction made by the Archbishop is correct or not. Does it really matter? From the reaction of Bishop Tikhon and others, it seemed to me that there were some horrific, heretical beliefs expounded in that presentation and I did not see them in the first few minutes. So, I confess that I was a bit lazy in not listening to the whole thing.

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      • Bishop Tikhon (Fitzgerald) says:

        Carl should listen to it all first. Then, if he still feels he needs to ask what exactly is the problem, we’ll have a better picture of his pathology or whatever and be able to perhaps point up the amazing bits in the presentation. Having thus replied, I did mention some of his howlers previously, did I not? Or was that on the Indiana List? I thought it was here.

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  5. Lola J. Lee Beno says:

    Here’s a notice for any of you in NYC . . .

    Metropolitan Jonah and Metropolitan Hilarion will con-celebrate in the ROCOR Synodal Cathedral of the Sign in NYC on December 10th. Other Bishops and Clergy from ROCOR/OCA will also be con-celebrating.

    http://www.eadiocese.org/News/2011/nov/dec10.en.htm

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    • That most certainly is a ‘sign’!

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    • That will be awesome, Lola!

      If anything happens to Metropolitan Jonah, ROCOR could send a very powerful message by calling off the concelebration.

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      • Carl Kraeff says:

        Since the OCA is not one person but the autonomous local church in North America, why can’t they concelebrate with the other two bishops who are on the list–Bishops Tikhon and Michael?

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        • George Michalopulos says:

          Because Carl, that’s just not done.

          You know what’s pathetic? The non-traditionalist mindset evinced here by people who think that protocols and canons (to say nothing of coercion of bishops) is simply nothing but so much folderol.

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        • The OCA’s current status is beside the point: if the other bishops get rid of Metropolitan Jonah by anything other than due canonical process, other jurisdictions could, and likely would, react by refraining from concelebrating with OCA clergy under the circumstances.

          If the other bishops would not then repent and seek reconciliation with their unlawfully-exiled first hierarch, those other jurisdictions might even break communion with the OCA altogether.

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          • Carl Kraeff says:

            George and Helga–I was reacting to “If anything happens to Metropolitan Jonah…” I was not thinking of the worst possible thing that could happen; I was thinking of things such as an illness or an emergency that could preclude him from concelebrating at that occasion. This in fact happened when he could not travel abroad when he was with the dying Archbishop Dimitri of thrice blessed memory. I guess I was looking at the glass as half full, while y’all were looking at it as nearly empty.

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            • Bishop Tikhon (Fitzgerald) says:

              When Senator Dole was asked by Johnny Carson if the tumbler was half full or half empty, he replied, “Oh what a good place for my teeth!” (It would have been better to highlight the “anything” in the original post; otherwise it looks like an awkward attempt to recover from having presented a very problematic scenario.)

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              • Sorry about the confusion. By “If anything happens to Metropolitan Jonah”, I should have said what I meant, which is specifically if anything uncanonical happens to Metropolitan Jonah that causes him to no longer be Metropolitan.

                Obviously, if he were to simply die or become incapacitated for some reason, or run off to become an Appalachian snake-handler, God forbid, that would be a different story.

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                • Carl Kraeff says:

                  Whenever a church does anything uncanonically, it would of course be of concern to the other local churches. Some folks here seem to think that I am not aware of that. What an idea!

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          • Ashley Nevins says:

            A dead church is spiritually dead.

            Can you list the characteristics of a spiritually dead church?

            A highly dysfunctional church is a unsustainable church.

            Can you list characteristics of a highly dysfunctional church?

            A corrupt church is a self destructive church.

            Can you list the characteristics of a corrupt church?

            A toxic faith church is spiritually abandoning and spiritually abusive.

            Can you list the characteristics of a toxic faith church?

            A church can be dead, dysfunctional, toxic and corrupt and still exist. What it exists as is the real question to ask. A church spiritually dies before it starts to demise by numbers.

            Bone heads. No. The Orthodox are highly intelligent people. They are simply being held down and held back by their structure and system of church authority that is more than proved not to work. That is, the Orthodox are intelligent inside of their closed, isolated and subjective box. The real problem is that the only solution the Orthodox have is an in the box solution and it is now more than proved not to work. The Orthodox lack out of the box intelligence for living inside of their box that does think outside of that box.

            It has not been OK for a very long time now and it is not getting any OK better. Your future is your present and that is OK? Your church is irrelevant to our generation and that means it will be in the next generation and you are OK with that? Ahhh, your church is not going to be OK. It is not OK today in irrelevancy and it is not going to be OK in the future by irrelevancy. To think that it will be is either delusional or denial or both.

            The problem is the structure and system of top down hierarchy totalism power and control that closes, isolates and makes subjective the church. It thinks closed system and when Christ in the Gospels came to us as an open system. No way a Roman state dictatorship of church/state religion is not a closed system of top down totalism power and control. Now the Orthodox can believe all that they want that this structure and system is going to lead them to Christian relevancy to our generation. The fact is that it is not taking place.

            You can believe you are Gods only true church. However, your outcome must prove the claim true. If your church is who and what it claims to be it needs to be the most dynamic, alive, growing and relevancy church on the planet. If the claim is true then your one true truth is the most moral and ethical church ever to exist. Your church would be the role model and example to those heresy churches as to what Gods truth in church is by its outcome in the real world.

            Jesus and the Apostles had a real world outcome that could be seen. They lived up to who and what they claimed to be. You can see the outcome of the EOC in the real world and what its claim is. They don’t remotely match up. Not even close. Close is good enough for me. I don’t expect perfection. Just close to what you claim to be.

            Any church that follows your role model and example of Gods only true church will end up in your state of church. They will end up a corrupt failure that is irrelevant in its generation. That is its role model and example seen and rejected by church that really works. Church that really works does so because it can change to relevancy. It can change to relevancy because it is based upon repentance to transformation to innovation to change to relevancy. It can do this because it is not inside a closed box of we are Gods only true and right and therefore do not have to change. The closed box is Gods end all of change. How hard is this one, what is closed closes out change and solution for it believing it is the only change that can bring solution. The more closed the more you close out solution, change and new found relevancy. In other words, your dead in the water and sinking.

            You can be the most good Christian people to have ever lived. However, if your structure and system are not good nothing is going to work good. A good structure and system works good. What you got GOOD Orthodox? You got a structure and system with many good folks, but that structure and system do not work good. In fact, it is killing your church for how good that it works at killing itself.

            Why would Gods most true and right have to change? With that mind set any change would ruin you. So, don’t change and don’t be ruined. Stay the same and see where your church ends up in the real world that can see your outcome without denial of what that outcome really is.

            If your church is Gods only true church role model and example of what Gods only true church is about then God has a serious problem with His only true church that is not operating in His truth by its outcome in the real world. If Orthodoxy is the outcome of God and salvation in the real world then God and salvation are in serious trouble.

            Ashley Nevins

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            • Jim of Olym says:

              There you go again, Ashley!
              I’ve tried thoughout this thread to understand what you are saying, but most of what I pick up is that you don’t think the Orthodox Church is the ‘real’ Church. OK. That, I can get my head around, but what or where IS the ‘real church’ in your view. I would want to be part of it. Can you direct me to a local parish?

              Jim of Olym
              PS I fully understand your dislike for that ‘elder’ fellow. I know someone who left St. Anthony’s years ago and had some clear mental problems as a result of his stay there. But many have stayed and it seems to be thriving from all reports.

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              • Priest Justin Frederick says:

                When spiritual things are properly used, they sanctify; but when they are misused, they can turn us into kin of the demons. Fr. Hopko made this point more than once in seminary. St. Theophan also comments somewhere on the phenomenon of people who frequent the church but are made worse, not better. Going to church or a monastery will not automatically make us better. We’re dealing with the God who is a consuming fire; and if we come merely to play, we’re likely to be burned.

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              • Chris Banescu says:

                Fr. Justin reminded me of these warnings and wisdom from Fr. Hopko along these exact same lines:

                St Ignatius insists that ascetical efforts and bodily disciplines are essential as means to the fulfillment of Christ’s evangelical teachings. He says that those who neglect these means leave themselves victims of the crudest forms of carnal passions: gluttony, greed, lust and anger. But the holy father reserves more violent warnings for those who make ascetical discipline the very essence of their spiritual life.

                Those who practice immoderate bodily discipline, use it indiscreetly, or put all their trust in it, seeing in it their merit and worth in God’s sight, fall into vainglory, self-opinion, presumption, pride, hardness and obduracy, contempt of their neighbors, detraction and condemnation of others, rancor, resentment, hate, blasphemy, schism, heresy, self-deception and diabolic delusion.

                The saint is especially hard on monastics who allow the devil to destroy them through the acquisition of costly things, or through decorating their cells, or through being excessively concerned with buildings, gardens and furniture. He speaks of abuses of fasting which lead to the attribution of “special significance to dry bread, mushrooms, cabbage, peas or beans,” abuses that “corrupt the ascetic” and reduce “sensible, holy and spiritual exercises” into “senseless, carnal and sinful farces,” producing “conceit and contempt for his neighbors, which snuffs out the very conditions for progress in holiness.”

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                • Ken Miller says:

                  Thanks, Chris, for posting these thoughts from Fr Hopko. Of all the sins, spiritual pride is the deadliest. All of the fathers and monastics I have read emphasize this point, including the Ladder and the Philokalia. For any monastic establishment to miss this most important point would be amazing, and it could only mean that they have not mediated properly on the scriptures and the fathers, nor properly practiced ceaseless prayer. I have never been to St Anthonys and I know nothing about it, so I have no idea whether this remotely characterizes them or not. I am only commenting on principle.

                  The thing I find ironic is that I believe these very words could have been written by Metropolitan +Jonah. It is definitely what he believes, and he says essentially the same thing in his book. At the heart of +Jonah’s vision is avoiding spiritual pride and viewing all of our practices and rituals are means to an end — Christ Likeness, but never as the end itself. The reason I call it ironic is because Hopko was among those who, probably for political reasons, jumped on the bash +Jonah bandwagon. Imagine if the best minds of the OCA could work together in the cause of Christ under +Jonah’s leadership instead of bickering and attacking.

                  Although spiritual pride is a pitfall, it does not mean that we should accept the lowest common denominator and call worldly mindedness spiritual. The goal has to always be the climb the ladder of divine ascent, to overcome our passions, to live lives of true repentance and humility, to purge our sins both outward and inward, to be filled with the Holy Spirit, and to find true union with the Holy Trinity. The ideal is neither arrogant strictness nor easy going American laxity, but a sincere, earnest, and humble use of the holy practices such as meditating on the scriptures and the fathers, ascetic practice, and ceaseless prayer, each according to our abilities and life situations.

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                  • “Hopko was among those who, ……., jumped on the bash +Jonah bandwagon.”
                    His infamous Forgineness Sunday post on OCANews and “nonapologetic apology” which followed, causes me to think that maybe Fr. Hopko is one of those who doesn’t practice what he preaches, and, as I have just read in Archbishop Dimtri’s book “The Epistle of St. James, A Comentary,” is a sin of great consequence for those of the clergy with teacher’s responsibility/authority.

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                    • Ken Miller says:

                      Agreed, sadly Hopko’s decision to jump on the anti +Jonah bandwagon probably does have to do with the fact that he has been part of the modernist movement that wants to revise Orthodox attitudes toward sexual sin. I had forgotten about his OCANews post. It is amazing that there are people who actually believe that they can fly in the face of the scriptures and two thousand years of Orthodox tradition and revise attitudes toward sexuality. The only “Legacy” they can possibly leave is a blip on a sea of obscurity in a particularly low period of Orthodoxy in America.

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            • Jane Rachel says:

              I haven’t read your entire post, but the term BONEHEAD is reserved for Americans in general, not for Orthodox in particular. Americans do tend to be boneheads.It’s not an insult, just an observation. We’re a lot like a teenager. In countries where the Orthodox Church is ancient, Orthodoxy is wired into the fabric of the country, and hard wired into the people’s brains. Not so here.

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            • Lola J. Lee Beno says:

              Ashley, can’t you just get to the succinct point quickly?

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        • Lola J. Lee Beno says:

          Umm . . . because neither of these bishops are the number one senior bishop like Met. Jonah is? Who else in OCA is on the same level as Met. Hilarion??? Please think before asking more questions like this.

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          • Carl,

            The OCA is an Autocephalous Church. If it were Autonomous, we would not be going through all this baloney. Our Mother Church would have stepped in long ago and brought order.

            IF (and I think very likely) Jonah is ousted, then the Locum Tenens appointed by the Synod would serve in the place of the Metropolitan, if invited. I doubt he would be by ROCOR.

            That is the proper protocol.

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            • Carl Kraeff says:

              Of course–autocephalous. My apologies.

              In any case, the OCA is the local church in North America (as I said) and it would be the height of folly for the ROC and ROCOR to identify the OCA with the Metropolitan. It would be bad theology, bad ecclesiology, and a show of bad faith on their part. Furthermore, it would make a joke of the Tomos of Autocephaly, undermine Moscow’s objections to the novel interpretation of Canon 28 by Constantinople, and bring Moscow at the brink of meddling in the affairs of another local church.

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              • Bishop Tikhon (Fitzgerald) says:

                The “Event” is two First Hierarchs serving together in the Cathedral Church of one of them.
                if Jonah were unable to attend for any reason at all, the event would not be a historic concelebration by two First Hierarchs that have never concelebrated in each others’ cathedrals before. Remember that ROCOR has ALMOST the same position as the Ukrainian and Belorussian exarchates. They all have their own synods and first hierarchs while, acknowledging Patriarch Kriill'[s first place among them. Guess what, Carl (and others) A First Hierarch is ****symbolically***** more important than other bishops. Face it. He is a symbol of a Synod’s unity and of the unity of a Local Church. The other hierarchs are NOT. He is the leader of a synod of bishops: none of the other bishops is or is called to be the leader of that synod.
                Metropolitan Leonty and Metropolitan Anastassy used to serve alternately at the (then) parish of Christ the Saviour in Manhattan, sometimes on succeeding Sundays, AFTER the end of the Temporary Agreement. That only changed when Metropolitan Philaret with his more “pinched and mean” approach to inter-Orthodox activity came along.
                To have both hierarchs actually serve together is a wonderful, albeit symbolically wonderful, event. The Liturgy Itself, of course, is above all such matters: it’s eternal and one.
                If, Some of the hierarchies that concelebrate with the OCA hierarchy do so perhaps distastefuly, but because they HAVE to, there being no canonical justificatio for not doing so. They would jump at the chance to stop that if there was any substantial case to show that the First Hierarch was replaced uncanonically. Of course, if he should be declared INSANE or incompetent by competent and credentialled authority all bets would be off. Anything less than that and they wouldn’t be receiving Fr. Leonid Kishkovsky at ANY level in the Church of Russia or elsewhere.

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                • Of course, if he should be declared INSANE or incompetent by competent and credentialled authority all bets would be off.

                  Your Grace, I think Moscow is savvy enough not to take such a declaration at face value. They, after all, had a front-row seat for witnessing the political abuse of psychiatry in the Soviet Union.

                  Furthermore, there is the simple fact that the whispers about the Metropolitan’s sanity are silenced by any face-to-face interaction with the man himself. Metropolitan Jonah has had a number of face-to-face interactions with agents of the Moscow Patriarchate. Those envoys may not be qualified to diagnose or treat mental illness, but it stands to reason that if the Metropolitan suffered from a mental illness that was serious enough to incapacitate him (and that’s the burden for declaring the Metropolitan See vacant under the statute), his family and friends outside the OCA would notice the symptoms.

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                  • Aside from the “gravely troubled” label, how did we get from “administrative disaster” to potentially “INSANE or incompetent”?

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                    • Bishop Tikhon (Fitzgerald) says:

                      Helga and DM, it’s called “reductio ad absurdam.”
                      As far as I know, no one declares anyone “insane” anymore, so I put the word in capitals. I’m not sure that the word “insane” is even in health workers’ vocabulary any more. If so, please tell me how the health industry or the medical profession, etc., define “insane.”
                      Was I mistaken to assume that everyone posting here thought that a declaration of the metropolitan’s insanity would be seen as overreaching and a stress even to Mrs. Steve Brown’s fan club.

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                    • Your Grace, I didn’t take what you said as if it were the actual diagnosis they would come up with, just a general reference to any diagnosis coming from SLI that would mean he was unable to continue as active primate.

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                    • Your Grace, my question wasn’t in reference to your remark, per se, although I did quote you, so I apologize for the confusion.

                      The whole situation is absurd. Your reduction doesn’t fall short of the reality, hence my reference to your remark. I really want to know how it came to be that a man who admits to administrative short-comings must submit himself to a mental health evaluation in order (or so it appears) to obtain a declaration of sanity competence? I can’t balance a checkbook, so, naturally, I must need to be put under a 96-hour hold.

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              • Geo Michalopulos says:

                No it wouldn’t Carl. What is happening here is not only uncanonical, but unethical as well. Forcing a man into “rehabilitation” when nobody else who knows him thinks it’s warranted is the sign of a dysfunctional –and possibly, uncanonical–church. No other ecclesial body in their right mind would concelebrate (or recognize the canonicity) of such a body. Any more than the Orthodox jurisdictions recognize the canonicity of the various fringe bodies that call themselves Orthodox presently.

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                • Carl Kraeff says:

                  Would you be kind enough to back up your claim with some actual citations?

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                • Ashley Nevins says:

                  George, I don’t see Jonah being forced. I see him agreeing to go and I see him admitting his failure. If he is that easily manipulated to be forced to go by agreeing and admitting then he has the problem. If this be the case this is nothing more than the continuation of the disaster he created for himself.

                  That is not against Jonah. Actually, it is quite for him by giving him the grace and mercy to step away and work in the church where his gifts work best.

                  The real problem here is that all of his supporters really love him in spite of his admitted incompetence and failure. They are not being as objective about it as is Jonah who they don’t want to go into evaluation or treatment. Jonahs admission is an admission that he knows he cannot lead as Met.

                  The last thing the OCA need now is another leadership debacle created by a poor selection of Met and that is exactly what you got. Saving Jonah is not going to save your church. He has admitted his leadership resulted in another disaster. Seems to me your church does not need anymore such disasters. So, you take another risk on Jonah not to create another disaster?

                  Your love for Jonah is not going to make him competent or gifted to be Met. That is not how it effective and competent SENIOR leadership works. It works when you love him and he is competent and gifted. If you don’t love him it don’t work. If he is incompetent and not gifted it don’t work. You got to have it both ways or he is simply not going to work in the senior leadership position in a large organization.

                  Frankly, I believe Jonah agreed to the evaluation because he is crying out for help over his issues that brought this about. He knows he needs serious professional help. He had to HIT BOTTOM before he would admit it. He is powerless over his issues and he knows it.

                  Corrupt bishops or not causing problems Jonah can’t lead the OCA. I know how much most of you don’t want to hear that, but its is the truth of it. He simply does not have the competency, experience or gifts to lead a large organization.

                  Now, the second and more serious problem is that there is no one in your minds competent enough to replace him and lead. He was placed in that position because there was no one that the church had to lead. I don’t believe that is the case, but that is what happened. I believe if your church had patience and high leadership standards the Jonah disaster would have been avoided. Your church would have not rushed in by insecurity and placed someone in the position without experience or gifts.

                  The objective standards of leadership excellence and with God working through His high standards of leadership would have helped you and slowed you down to finding the right leader for that position. Jonah filled the insecure void of pain you all felt. Then great relief came when he was made Met. and you all once again felt secure in your church after the years of insecure debacle. The church is not feeling relieved or secure now, is it.

                  Certainly, there is a competent, loving, caring and gift of administration priest in the OCA that could become Met, right? The bottom line is your church is going no where with Jonah and disunity. It is also going no where with its bishops of disunity either.

                  So, George, where do you go from here? Seems to me that a clean slate re-start is in order. A restart that the laity has real authority in and in the selection of who leads.

                  Jonah going into treatment is not going to give him the gift of administration or the competency to lead. Good Orthodox folks you are going to have accept this reality about Jonah. He can’t lead your church. On top of that and from what I can gather the bishops, right or wrong, don’t want him as their Met and nor do many others in your church.

                  Your church is in quite the pickle. Jonah leaves and his supporters hate it. Jonah stays and his detractors hate it. Your church may not be physically split, but it is split by its mind set over these issues. This is like a couple going through a divorce and are for some reason forced to still live with each other. How sick is that??? Like that is going to work.

                  ‘Nobody else who knows him thinks it is warranted’ Allow the process to play out. Fact is, others do too know him and they disagree with you. The professionals will get to know him and if there are no serious issues then what you say will prove true. George, if the psych team comes back and says he does have serious issues and needs treatment does that mean they are in a conspiracy with the bishops to remove Jonah? Treatment, if Jonah has serious issues, will save his life.

                  What, you can’t tell that Jonah has serious issues around food addiction? His weight issues alone will shorten his life and cause serious other health issues if not treated now. Men with food addiction have other addictions found in 80% of the cases. So, George, this has the potential to be more serious than you realize.

                  You can ignore that fact or you can research it out for yourself. You can approach this from a subjective bias that simply FEELS that he does not have serious issues or you can approach it with a search for the objective truth. Facts or feelings, You decide.

                  I really believe that most of you who support Jonah are playing a zero sum game. If he goes into treatment that means your side looses and the bishops win. Admitting he has serious problems admits they are right and you got it wrong about him and none of you like or want that. Well, guess, what? Jonah delivered that to his loving supporters whether they like it or not. Lol, Jonah in your minds looses if he enters treatment and finds recovery and health. Yes, all of you will really lose if that happens and especially Jonah.

                  The zero sum black and white and win or loose game is not going to help Jonah if he has serious issues that need to be treated. Those issues come first over anything any of you want from him now or in the future. His recovery and health takes priority over all else and especially over your priority to keep him as your Met.

                  So, what’s next, Jonah goes into treatment and you still deny he does not have serious issues that need to be treated? Seems to me if I wanted him as my Met I would want him to deal with any such issues. That is, if I really loved and supported him. I would care less if my side lost if he recovered and found health. That is, if I loved and supported him. You support the health of the man first and then the healthy man in the position second. Get it? From what I am hearing not many of you see it that way. He simply could not have serious issues and he is being forced into the evaluation.

                  Did feelings or facts put Jonah into the Met slot? That is fuel for another conversation and it ties directly into feelings that do not see the need for him to be evaluated.

                  Facts = high leadership competency standards.

                  Feelings = we are desperate for anyone to lead us.

                  Facts are patient and secure in finding leadership excellence without compromise.

                  Feelings are inpatient and insecure in finding leadership without leadership excellence standards and that is compromise.

                  Compromise leadership excellence standards and you will end up with a compromised church. Fact is, the OCA under Jonahs leadership is still a highly compromised church after three years of his disastrous leadership. You can blame the other bishops, but I believe Jonah on his own without their divisiveness created enough problems to prove he was not competent for the position.

                  Ashley Nevins

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                  • another one says:

                    Ashley,

                    Your analysis, though interesting and thought provoking, is delivered with many of the facts missing. You appear to have bought the press release that everything is +Jonah’s fault. The facts are that His Beatitude has already been through a thorough evaluation, physical and psychological, during his retreat time after Santa Fe. The result came up clean. So to continue to repeat it is a fishing expedition.

                    Psychology has never been an exact science, and it is possible that if you go from place to place you can eventually find someone who will decide something is wrong, if you look hard enough for a place that leans toward the answer you want.

                    If Jonah has a problem, it is believing that those implementing the Rozianko method are operating out of good will.

                    This is not a position that he sought, but one that he accepts as a cross that was given him. Whatever your opinions, Ashley, the opinion of the Holy Spirit might count for more, don’t you think? I think HB would have been much happier as the Bishop in the South, but in obedience and love, he took on this mess that was the OCA (and it was hanging by a thread back in 2008, without any help from him.) Not what he signed up for, but when asked he said yes.

                    And he continues to be obedient to his brothers on the Synod, despite the petty behavior from that body. Why, I don’t know. Maybe we have come to that place where the sane are told, “You are mad, because you are not like us.”

                    May the Lord bless HB and keep him in the palm of His hand, now and ever.

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                    • It’s like the old TV show “Green Acres.” Mr. Douglas was the only sane one, but because everyone else was so crazy, they made it seem like he was the one who was of place.

                      The level of spirituality among the old guard and +Jonah’s detractors is so low that +Jonah seems unusual when he humbly praises his fellow bishops while they hammer him with insults and accusations. His detractors continuously throw stuff against the wall trying to see if anything sticks, counting on the fact that most people who read the blogs have never met Metropolitan +Jonah and the accusations will tarnish him even though there is no truth to it. The faithful who actually know +Jonah (apart from the old guard who have a political agenda) very consistently characterize +Jonah as an intelligent, gentle, humble leader. Those of us who have been fortunate to see him frequently at the primatial cathedral consistently attest how utterly absurd the accusations are about him. For anyone who knows +Jonah, the notion that he has any psychological issues is so absurd it is not even funny. He is ALWAYS the most sane person in any room. When others get heated over political disputes within the church, he always responds calmly, compassionately, and intelligently. When others show their carnality and political agenda’s, he responds with humility and understanding of all sides. This is what it means to overcome our “passions”, and this is the definition of sanity. All of the passions of the world, principally lust for things, lust for pleasure, lust for power and glory, and anger, are the definition of insanity, yet this is the stuff we consistently see coming from the +Jonah haters.

                      As for leadership, +Jonah has it in spades. Unfortunately, the +Jonah haters are so blind that they can’t see it. +Jonah always gives the most intelligent, spiritual, inspiring homilies and speeches. That was evident at both at both of the most recent AACs. He is a very popular speaker that gets invitations even from outside Orthodoxy. If you read his book, it is evident that he has an amazingly insightful spiritual vision for the church. He has taken first steps to clean up the corruption that has plagued the OCA for so long, namely, the corruption of sweeping sexual sins under the rug and letting clergy and laity lead hypocritical lives contrary to Orthodoxy. He also understands the issues involved with achieving a unified American Orthodox church, and has the best vision I have ever read about how to get there. The very people that keep slamming +Jonah for not being a good leader would have slammed Christ becuase he ruffled too many feathers among the “old guard” Pharisees, because he overturned the tables of the money changes and didn’t understand the go-along, get-along world of church administration, and because he spoke boldy about sin and repentance rather than adapting His message to the mores of the day in order not to offend people.

                      They crucified Christ. They exiled our most holy father and saint John Chrysostom. They ousted for a time the holy St Gregory Palamas. Now this spirit of carnality and arrogance seeks to tarnish +Jonah, the most spiritual leader we have ever had in the OCA. For him who has ears to hear, let him hear!

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                    • Jane Rachel says:

                      Ken Miller, now that makes sense.

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                  • Ashley,

                    You hit the nail on the head.

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  6. Bishop Tikhon (Fitzgerald) says:

    My word was meant to be “stretch” not stress. I’ve just quit.

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    • Cathryn Tatusko says:

      Ken–

      Many thanks for taking the time to set the record straight as one who has spent a good deal of time with HB and can thus speak with some authority.

      On the occasions when my husband and I have heard our Met. speak, we have always been struck by the depth of his spirituality, his quick wit, and his kindness–thus your characterization of him rings very true to me. If you would be so kind, please let us know when HB is back at St. Nick’s, and please be sure to convey to him all of the good wishes and concern that are expressed on this Web site.

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  7. The Crown Court in Canada has ordered that there is sufficient evidence to proceed to trial against Archbishop Seraphim…

    http://www.winnipegfreepress.com/local/breakingnews/Former-archbishop-to-stand-trial-for-sex-abuse-137687378.html

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