Al and Lefty’s Excellent Adventure

Hierarchs and leaders of Orthodox Churches around the world converged on Kiev, Ukraine to mark the July 28 (OS) Feast of St. Vladimir and to pay their respects to the beloved First Hierarch of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church, Metropolitan Volodymr on his 20th anniversary as the Head of the Orthodox in the Ukraine.

Coverage of the celebrations were marked well by both the Russian Orthodox Church and the Church in the Ukraine. Other Churches also reported on the events but not a word on it from the Orthodox Church in America. Nothing said by the OCA who sent Bishop Alexander (Golitzin) of Toledo and Archpriest Leonid “Lefty” Kishkovsky.

As already reported, the OCA was not mentioned during the commemorations during the Divine Liturgy on July 28 in Kiev led by Patriarch Kirill of Russia. Some say that such a non-commemoration could be normal since the OCA is without (another) Primate. Others have noted that in the past when the OCA was without a Primate the Locum Tenens, or temporary placeholder, was commemorated as a sign of continued recognition of that Church.

Given the very uncertain times in the OCA the oversight was not missed and we know that Bishop Alexander and Fr. Leonid went to Kiev because an invitation was originally extended to Metropolitan Jonah as Primate of the Orthodox Church in America. In the absence of a Metropolitan, Archbishop Nathaniel sent Bp Alexander the Episcopal head of the OCA Department of External Affairs and Kishkovsky, the real head of the DEA to represent the OCA.

Their trip had another purpose besides sending greetings to Moscow and Kiev, it was to try and explain the recent events in the OCA.

Because the OCA Synod went “all in” by removing Metropolitan Jonah on the grounds he was not mentally stable, it was up to Alexander and Kishkovsky to try and convince Moscow and the Ecumenical Patriarchate – also invited to the St Vladimir Day celebration – that the actions of the OCA Synod were correct and justified. It appears their efforts were not met by sympathetic ears and they failed in their diplomatic mission.

We now know what was done in public (the non-commemoration of the OCA) was equally expressed in private. Was the private dressing-down as scathing as is rumored? If so, then the entire botched ouster is only getting worse for Syosset. Did the delegation try to enlist Moscow’s help to exile Jonah deep into a remote Russian Orthodox Church monastery while still keeping him a bishop in the OCA?

We don’t know the answers to these questions but subsequent events here in the USA confirm that Moscow is not eager to help the OCA out of its messy situation. If so, then the situation is indeed desperate for Syosset.

Metropolitan Hilarion Alfeyev –the head of the ROC Department of External Affairs–was scheduled to celebrate the Divine Liturgy in the OCA Diocesan Cathedral of Archbishop Benjamin in San Francisco after events marking the Russian Orthodox Church’s missionary efforts in the New World at Fort Ross, California later in August. Although Hilarion will be at Fort Ross he will now not serve with Archbishop Benjamin in San Francisco as originally planned. Is this another signal of Moscow’s attitude?

The lack of OCA news on their website on the Ukraine trip can be further explained since Kishkovsky’s attempts to improve OCA relations with Constantinople made no progress in Kiev. Was a request for a meeting with Patriarch Bartholomew rejected? Was Constantinople sending a signal to the OCA? Are there more signs from Constantinople on the way?

The double whammy of witnessing the displeasure of Moscow and the cold shoulder of Constantinople in Kiev certainly makes the recent trip of Bishop Alexander and Archpriest Leonid Kishkovsky a Not So Excellent Adventure.

Church diplomacy requires that Moscow and Constantinople will be careful not to publicly interfere in the internal affairs of the OCA, but Moscow is upset and will balance her diplomatic duties with her genuine concern for how her missionary efforts in this country begun in Alaska in 1794 and symbolized at Fort Ross are now being lived out by the OCA administration.

However, we shall wait for the OCA to finally say something about the Kiev trip but you can be sure that unlike the old days, what really happened will not not be so easily nuanced away by the Syosset Spinmeisters.


  1. George,
    I believe Bp Alexander’s surname is spelled ‘Golitzin’.
    Feel free to correct and delete my comment.

  2. George Michalopulos says

    Basil, you’re right. I regret the error.

  3. Catherine says


    I am curious what your thoughts are on the report that is posted on the website. By the way, thank you for posting the video of the Patriarchal Divine Liturgy. Personally, I like to work with facts and in this case, it’s pretty clear that the OCA was snubbed at the Liturgy.

    As to the posting on, my personal opinion is that it certainly makes Metropolitan Jonah look like an incompetent administrator but it is doesn’t seem to rise to the level where he should have been ousted. And as to the “rape” charge, there appears to be absolutely no basis in fact.

    What, in my opinion, would have been a much fairer way to handle this would have been for the Holy Synod to insist that he delegate the administrative responsibilities to someone like Bishop Michael. Clearly, his ouster could have been avoided. His Beatitude used some bad judgment in certain administrative matters, but so did a lot of other people. Think about it for a couple of minutes: Metropolitan Jonah was not the only clergyman around this priest. Why didn’t any one of the other priests at the cathedral say or do anything? Don’t they have some responsibility in this as well? What happened to his administration? Reading through the timelines, it almost appears that his administration and perhaps the other bishops let this happen. Common sense would dictate that if you saw someone with a very serious problem (whether you saw someone with a psychological disorder, administrative ineptitude, or whatever) you would intervene and help them immediately. You wouldn’t just dig your head into the sand and wait for something bad to happen (which appears to have been the case here).

    The video you posted is a shining example of what I am saying here. Where was Metropolitan Vladimir? In a wheelchair and can barely speak! Does anyone in their right mind actually think that he is “administering” the entire country of Ukraine? Of course not, there are other people behind the scenes helping him. Basically Metropolitan Jonah was like Metropolitan Vladimir. And instead of helping the poor man they threw him to the curb. Nice church.

    • OccidentalGuido says

      Common sense would dictate that if you saw someone with a very serious problem (whether you saw someone with a psychological disorder, administrative ineptitude, or whatever) you would intervene and help them immediately. You wouldn’t just dig your head into the sand and wait for something bad to happen

      Part of the preparation for the priesthood under the old guard was the removal of the upper part of the spine prior to ordination as a presbyter. This makes it much easier to keep ones head down. Furthermore, in the event one is later elected to the sacred episcopacy, full removal of the spine is that much easier.

      In many clerical circles there is an attitude of fear that prevents many priests from taking action if it does not directly effect him.

      • In sermons and during confession, our priests constantly remind us to pray, to focus on our own sinfulness, and not to judge our brethren, so it is not surprising that many of our OCA laity and clergy are silently repenting and praying that the OCA Synod will continue to “rightly divide the word of the Truth.”

        However, when one OCA hierarch after another have been asked to resign, it would take an ostrich not to see that something was terribly wrong with the OCA Synod.

  4. Bruce Wm. Trakas says

    I’m surprised at the reaction of Moscow as reported here because their Director of External Affairs seemed to have sided with the Synod after its representatives had reported their disputes with Metropolitan Jonah’s administration of the church, at Oyster Bay Cove, when the last dispute exploded upon the public arena, when the Synod had asked the Metropolitan to take a “leave,” at the begining of this past Great 40 Day Fast. At least that is what was reported by “OCANews” at that time.

    • Bruce Wm. Trakas, Metropolitan Hilarion is a good ambassador and diplomat who, though relatively young, was not born yesterday. And he is not a “minister plenipotentiary” who could pronounce judgment in the name of the Russian Church. It’s not in his portfolio. The phrase “seemed to have sided” could be translated as “but, but, but, I thought they loved us!” by this or that member of the Synod in despair now.

  5. Lola J. Lee Beno says

    I know there was a list of bishops and phone numbers posted on this blog, but I just can’t remember who put up this list and in which blogpost. I did use the search feature, but “phone number” results in 5+ pages. George, could you retrieve this and put this up as a page so those of us who wish to have the list can access it easily?

  6. David Di Giacomo says

    We now know what was done in public (the non-commemoration of the OCA) was equally expressed in private.

    We do? How?

  7. phil r. upp says

    Amazing that you people really think that it matters what the Ukraine or Russian bishops think; it doesn’t. I’m sure Bishop Alexander and Fr. Kishkovsky explained to them why + Jonah was relieved of his duties. I am also sure that supporters of + Jonah (like you people) put their spin on things and had these people thinking something nefarious was done. Not so. ALL the OCA bishops agreed that + Jonah couldn’t handle his Metropolitanate; simple. In fact, it’s time to change the OCA Statutes that the Met. must be re-elected every 4 years or not. Also, simple. This makes a stronger church where conciliarity rules; not some crazy bishop acting unilaterally.

    • Phil,
      Yes. By all means. Let us remake the Metropolitan into the image and likeness of the typical American politician. Let us turn our Senior Pastor, a living icon of Christ, into a political vote whore. In fact, let’s send all our Bishops off whoring for votes. How else will they ever get their shot at wearing the white klobok?

    • phil r. upp says:
      August 2, 2012 at 11:31 am

      Amazing that you people really think that it matters what the Ukraine or Russian bishops think;
      it doesn’t.

      It’s amazing to me that phil r. upp should think that.

    • ProPravoslavie says

      “In fact, it’s time to change the OCA Statutes that the Met. must be re-elected every 4 years or not. Also, simple. This makes a stronger church where conciliarity rules”

      …and which is on the road to losing its Orthodoxy.

      • Priest Justin Frederick says

        And just what is this ‘conciliarity’ that should rule? A robust theological and canonical discussion of ‘conciliarity’ is desperately needed.

    • Lola J. Lee Beno says

      First, you have to change the canon laws to allow the 4-year reelection (and hey, why not 10 years?). And I may not be an intellectual, but don’t canon law stay uniform across all autocephalous and autonomous churches? And in that case, wouldn’t there need to be an majority agreement to allow for such a revision? Tell me again – how many years has it been that people have been preparing for the Great Council, and what is the exact date that this Great Council be held and where (and who’s going to pay for it)?

      Good grief.

    • Will Harrington says

      The triumph of the intitution over the canons. How about this, the bylaws of the OCA should be brought into line with the practices of Orthodox Christian churches around the world. I don’t think any amount of jiggering policies and procedures will create the balance of conciliarity and obedience that really only comes from letting Christ be the head of the Church and listening to the Holy Spirit. What I know, without a doubt, from this whole debacle is that the Holy Synod of the OCA either can’t discern the leadership of the Holy Spirit in the first place (when Jonah was made Metropolitan) or they truly believe they know better than the Holy Spirit what needs to be done. Arguing about rules and procedures does nothing to adress a much deeper problem.

    • Oh, phil r. upp

      Sure have bishops run for the office of Metropolitan every four years. Maybe we can have campaigns with buttons and spontaneous demonstrations at the AAC! Where did you this stuff? If you think that is how the OCA should do things, it makes one pause if you really know about anything or that you have a firm grasp on reality.

      BTW you and Diogenes could be twins!

    • whaaaaat? Why are you Orthodox?-to change the church and her ways . . . I see.

  8. George,

    you were absolutely right, when you stopped people’s speculations about Father Symeon Kharon and the “rape” issue. Now it’s obvious that the allegetion about cover-up was wrong. You should do something about allegation of mental illness as well.

    Catherine, have you ever seen the Metropolitan? Have you seen him lately? I have. Have you spoken to him? Do you have proof that he has any psychological medical issues. There are so many videos, and legthy ones as well. Could you point out at least one video, where Metropolitan Jonah would be slightly unstable?

    If we don’t have any proof, we must stop repeating this nonsense. George, please, take care of that. The more it is repeated in public, the more people start to believe in it. Don’t you understand that it could be stated without proof about you and me, and about any human being.

    “Basically Metropolitan Jonah was like Metropolitan Vladimir. And instead of helping the poor man they threw him to the curb.”

    This is so untrue! The Holy Synod would love to have someone as weak and fragile as Metropolitan Vladimir of Kiev in the position of the OCA Metropolitan. The bishops of HS are outraged that Metropolitan Jonah is strong, bright and educated, gifted spiritually and intellectually. He is a true leader and not only for the Orthodox, and is an obstacle for their plans.

    Patriarch Kirill didn’t believe this insane allegation of “insanity”. It’s such an old trick of our Soviet times, when difficult people had to be “healed” in the psychaetry clinic for being independent! His Holiness sensed it immediately. Now we simply need to wait for his further actions.

    • M.Vasiliou says


      Several posters have insinuated that the unholy OCA Synod went on a fishing expedition to try to get one mental health report that would commit Met. Jonah to an institution. One poster went so far as to say that there were three separate mental health evaluations done, and only one of the three were negative.

      In this time of political correctness, anyone who gets married or freely takes the monastic vows of poverty, chastity, obedience, and stability is a candidate for a mental hospital where psychiatrists and psychologists will diagnose such a person with homophobia and/or rigidity. However, take a good look at the psychiatric and psychological profession: these two professions are said to have the highest rate of suicides, adultery, and promiscuity with their patients. These doctors tend to be the unstable ones who probably got into this business because of their own insecurities, phobias, and lack of self-control.

      That the OCA Crisis Management Team went to such extremes to get a mental health commitment shows how nefarious the OCA Synod really is. Perhaps the former Bishop Nicolai of Alaska is to be commended for suing the OCA because a lawsuit is the only way to bring the OCA Synod and the S-NY Apparatus to their knees.

      In the meantime, I am praying that the OCA Synod and the S-NY Apparatus will be brought to repentance, and swiftly.

      • ok everyone +Jonah is NOT mentally ill. Those of us who are around him know this. If anyone knows people who are mentally ill than you know you can’t be around them long to see that they are not right in the head.
        These accusations about +Jonah are made up to manipulate us, the people.

        • M.Vasiliou says

          Exactly, people who have taken Psychology 101, those in the mental health professions, or those who are in group therapy have been programmed to see mental illness in everyone they meet.

          How many of the OCA bishops have been through group therapy? +Benjamin certainly has as he admitted that he sought help in a treatment facility. Was that at St. Luke’s? Not only did he publicly admit his alcoholism, but also he sought medical help for his obesity.

          Sadly, our society has been brainwashed through our educational system into believing that everyone is either a self-admitted neurotic or a psychotic, or that they are in deep denial. Furthermore, the belief is inculcated that neurotics or psychotics can never be cured, but only controlled by pharmaceuticals, group therapy, or psychotherapy. Once a person receives a psychiatric or psychological diagnostic code, that code will stay with them until they die.

          Instead of making us couch potatoes who reveal our dreams and phobias to a shrink, Christ and His Apostles taught that all of us are sinners, and that if we deny that we are sinners, then we make ourselves into liars (read the epistles of St. John). The remedy for sinners is the Holy Mysteries, especially Baptism, Holy Confession, and Holy Communion because Christ is our Divine Physician.

          Today, however, psychiatrists, psychologists, and social workers replace Christ and His Holy Church with their mental hospitals.

          Note: I have read many excellent peer-reviewed articles in good psychiatric or psychological publications. While the mental health profession has made many wonderful advancements in helping people who are brain-injured due to tumors, strokes, and brain injuries, they have not made that many strides in dealing with those who are paranoid schizophrenic or bipolar. If anything, the pharmaceutical industry has put us back in the dark ages as those who suffer from mental illness twitch, suffer weight loss or gain, slur their words, and/or have other severe side effects.

          M.S. should be ashamed for promoting the humanistic mental health profession instead of Christianity.

          • Michael Bauman says

            A little levity: The old Chad Mitchell Trio song, “Dr. Freud” was quite apt and it ends with the lines: ” O, Dr. Freud, O Dr. Freud how we wish you had been differently employed but I wouldn’t be complainin’ ‘cept for all the loot I’m paying just to lie on someone’s couch and say confession”

            There is a big difference between psychotherapy and and seeking Theosis through the spiritual discpline of the Church. The spiritual discipline of the Church has far better results over a greater span of time and been tested in far more situations and cultures than anything modern psychological practice and offer. The confusion of the two is the tragedy.

            Psychology, for the most part it seems, concentrates all of its energy in ‘discovering what makes their patients tick’ (another line from the song) while studiously avoiding what really makes us human. They take the mind out of context of who we are as human beings (a body, mind, soul unity) and often say that the spirit is of little to no importance (at least in the terms that the Church has always taught and experienced).

            Combine this with the politically correct ideology and the RX approach to ‘treatment’ and you have quiet a mess. Would anyone in their right mind want to be subject to any of it?

            • M. Stankovich says

              Mr. Bauman,

              And you speak and define for whom? Yourself? Fine then be so kind as to make that clarification and distinction. If you are suggesting that your definitions or opinions are mine, you are ridiculous, presumptuous, insulting, and ludicrous. Yours are the worst and most harmful misunderstandings and stereotypes of the field of psychiatry and its relationship to the Church that frequently prevent those who need help from seeking it. They read your misguided personal “opinion” as the truth and continue to needlessly suffer, frequently isolated within the very Church itself.

              Better that you would hold out the assurance that there are, in fact, well-trained, ethical, moral, even Orthodox Christian professionals who can be of assistance in elevating needless and pointless suffering – or far better, knowing the resources in your community and having the willingness to take them there yourself.

              • M. Stankovich, I find myself agreeing with what you say here. I rarely agree with your opinions which are not so well-formed, but you’ve got the right idea. Someone previously alluded to anyone who had taken Psychology 101. It’s true that many have taken it, and few have really got it. I remember Dr. Irma Bache, the DoD psychiatrist in the Pentagon as a personnel resource, In the course of my own work on the Air Staff in personnel security, I had occasionally to consult with Dr. Bache and confer with her about subjects of background investigations and members of the Air Staff. One time, the Director of the OSI sent a newly commissioned Air Force Officer and OSI agent to our office as part of his orientation in the OSI in preparation for a field assignment at Hqs OSI. I took him around: to the office of the adm. asst to the Secretary of the Air Force, Mr. John Hochleiter, and to various offices such as that of the Director of Administration, the Asst. Chief of Staff of this and the Chief of Staff of that. Finally I took him to Dr. Bache. We had coffee in her office and a nice chat. Towards the end of the chat she said, “I see you took psychology at the Air Force Academy.” He said, “Why, yes.” She said, “I thought so. I see your fingernails are bitten completely down to the quick. It’s probably caused by too much introspection which is why you took Psychology 101. Too many people nowadays study Psychology in order to study themselves. That’s not why it’s taught.” (I must confess that i immediately checked my own fingernails, since I had a minor in psychology!) Many people, too, have a most inaccurate conception of the psychiatrist, based on movies and book fiction, mostly. Some are surprised that not all psychiatrists are psychoanalysts; that not all of them delve more than superficially into a patient’s past—family life, especially, and/or childrhood. No, they do not. I myself enjoyed the services of a psychiatrist for over a year for what I’ll call for simplicity’s sake, “clinical depression.” I enjoyed a rather long period of freedom from that malady under my psychiatrist’s care, because he was a good person who really liked people and knew his profession and knew his limits. He once said to me, “You know, I rarely do psychoanalysis, but i CAN do it if you ever feel that you want to go down that road, you know. Just let ME know if you do.”
                It’s no wonder that people fear the psychiatrist or fear being found to be seeking or getting help with illnesses!
                Your last paragraph has points quite important to get across.
                I should point out that while enjoying a period relief, due to the changes I made in my life AND the medication my doctor prescribed, I sent out a letter expressing my optimism and referring to my course of treatment. I said that I felt I should do this so that anyone else who might be fearfully hiding evidence of illness or avoiding professional help could possibly be encouraged by my experience to (1) come forward, and/or (2) seek help. I said we all should help each other.
                But, M.S., Bishop Benjamin, then the (Vicar) Bishop of Berkeley, upon getting my letter, immediately contacted Metropolitan Herman to say how worried he was about me and that “everybody knows the dangers of antidepressants, and I’m worried Bishop Tikhon might commit suicide or something!!!! There, M. Stankovich,you also see the fruits of taking Psychology 101 and putting one’s trust in the current media “revelations.” It was only then that I realized how focussed on ruling that Diocese Bishop Benjamin had become. i foresaw deep division in the future and the loss of much of what had been gained, thanks to God alone, during my incumbency. There were further, even dramatic, examples of oblique and not-so-oblique machinations. Finally, I decided to swallow my pride and go ahead with a retirement I had previously informally spoken of, and at the next Holy Synod meeting, I announced it, with no prompting or encouragement from ANYONE, including Metropolitan Herman, but with the rather obvious satisfaction and relief of those pursuing Protodeacon Wheeler’s goals, some of whom are still alive. Oh yes, in my letter, I referred to Bishop Benjamin’s case as well, saying that some had thought I should have kept his tragic arrest and subsequent treatment for acute alcoholism a secret. I said that I hope that others seeing his willingness to undergo therapy would encourage some alcoholics among the clergy to come forward \and get help: that my own ‘revelation” demonstrated that this was my purpose and not anything personal directed at Bishop Benjamin.
                There’s a saying, “Lend a dollar: lose a friend.” It’s “right on” as we used to say in the glorious 60s.

              • Michael Bauman says

                Sorry, Mr. Stankovich, but your cold, empiricial nonsense does far more harm to your profession than anything I could possibly say. Your posts just naturally bring all that other stuff to mind so easily and unbidden.

                I have no problem with honest psychology which draws from the wisdom of the Church as well as modern understanding as approprate (interpreting the modern from the standpoint of the Tradition of the Church, not the other way ’round), but at the same time recognizes its own limits and the superiority of the Church. It can be quite helpful. I’ve made use of it myself a time or two for specific situations. I have no problem asking for help when I feel I need it. I doubt that Met. Jonah does either. What I do have a problem with is arrogant, high minded people settiing themselves up as leaders and, essentially rulers over all of human behavior in thrall to modern political correctness and pharmacological mumbo-jumbo, when they obviously are struggling just like the rest of us.

                I have, frankly, never found anything in your posts other than presumption and arrogance with the attitude that you and your profession know better. It is not psychology that is anathema to me, just the manner in which you present it. I’m sorry I have not made myself clear before now.

          • Anna Rowe says

            I don’t think M.S. is promoting anything. He advocates treatment, therapy,Christ, and the Church. A handful of pills alone is not the answer but together with trained professionals there are positive outcomes. Add prayer and support of family, friends, and Church for even greater results. Some make mental illness sound like a sin. Many suffer in silence. The mind is very complex, the more we know the more we can overcome. Try dealing with loved ones with Dementia and PSTD …you can pray all day…but it will rip your heart out.

    • His requests (1) to downsize the central church administration and implement many of its functions at the level of the diocese, (2) to move his administrative support team to his cathedral seat, and (3) to hire administrative support workers interested in supporting his work also belie all claims that he is not a good administrator. These are all insightful decisions that demonstrate some real administrative skill.

      It would appear he was not a good politician. That’s a very different issue.

      There are also stories about a messy desk and such that suggest he was not a very good administrative assistant. But again that is a very different issue, almost certainly irrelevant.

      To all those who think they will win brownie points with progressives in the church by “acknowledging” various unspecified “administrative weaknesses,” you just don’t understand what you are up against. Stick to the truth. That’s the only way forward.

      • George Michalopulos says

        Um, ironies abound, don’t they? The most delicious one will be when they finally create the Sex Czar and the bishops are completely neutered.

        Oh well, can’t say we didn’t warn them.

    • Catherine says


      As a matter of fact I know Metropolitan Jonah quite well. I am simply trying to have a somewhat dispassionate opinion about everything. I think you have missed the point about my last post. Metropolitan Volodymir is loved and admired throughout all of Ukraine. I believe that Metropolitan is also loved throughout the United States and Canada. I have been highly critical of his administrative skills because, quite frankly, he has been atrocious at administration. Nonetheless he still has wonderful gifts and should have been allowed to use those gifts rather than be thrown to the curb. He could have actually been in a great leader of the OCA with the right support.

  9. PelagiaMB says

    I have a suggestion. Let’s collect some money and send +Jonah on a vacation to Moscow. Let’s see what kind of reception he gets.

  10. Lil Ole Housewife from Virginia says

    Dear folks,

    I found a recording of last year’s celebration in Kiev. Indeed, Jonah was commemorated, the Russian news agency promoted the ecumenical nature of the event and all was well in the area of OCA acceptance of its canonical legitimacy within an Ukrainian setting, if the mention of the OCA in a foreign setting is a bellwether of the same.

    This year, the theme of the event was the twentieth anniversary of the service of Ukrainian Metropolitan Volodymir on his name’s day on the Julian calendar, also the Day of the Christianisation of Kyiv – Rus as marked by the baptism of St. Volodymir. The news was uninterested in which jurisdictions, this year, were commemorated, but rather the reception of the Patriarch of Moscow and all Russia in an unique manner by the protest group Femen, who protested in solidarity with certain jailed Russian sisters, not of monastic orders. See

    Twenty years of service as a Metropolitan under Moscow among the ecclesiastical factions in the Ukraine is indeed something to celebrate with great attention to said Metropolitan’s comfort and well being. A Patriarchal Synodal meeting was also planned in Kiev, the results of which we shall no doubt shortly see. One presumes that the Synodal meeting would have been attended by our OCA Rissian heritage representatives? We even sent a royal this time

    For those interested in the difference between this and last year’s celebrations, you can watch a video here, in which Jonah is given Many Years last among those specifically named at the 27:09 minute mark:

    The diptychs start around twenty-three and a half minutes in the video. I actually came across the video by accident while searching websites in Ukrainian for events associated with the other two Ukrainian jurisdictions. The following news article explains the Russian participation in Kiev in context:

    The rationale for last year’s visit of Patriarch Kiril is in this article:

  11. ProPravoslavie says

    Patriarch Kirill went to Diveevo to celebrate the Liturgy on August 1, 2012. Parts of the Liturgy are in this video:

    The commemoration of the primates begins at 4:39.

    Once again, no mention of the locum tenens of OCA.

    We can be now be sure that what happened in Kiev wasn’t a one-time slip up.

    • I listened to the entire video clip. The sound quality is excellent. Every word is clearly enunciated. There is not even a hint of any mention of the OCA Metropolitan See’s locum tenens.

      Sometimes the words not spoken speak most clearly.

      We poor fools may be inexperienced, naive, and confused, but the Patriarch of Moscow and his advisors are not. They are not happy with us, and they do not suffer fools gladly.

  12. AnonCanadian says
  13. ProPravoslavie says

    “According to Father Leonid, the OCA delegation met with Patriarch Kirill for one hour at the Lavra in light of the recent resignation of Metropolitan Jonah. The discussion included a candid review of the current challenges faced by the OCA”

    A *candid* discussion with the Patriarch of Moscow.

    When the Patriarch gets all candid with you you are most likely in deep trouble.

    • Mike Myers says

      “Deep trouble,” meaning he’s about to present the OCA with an offer she can’t refuse?

      Propravoslavie, please believe that what follows are absolutely serious, sincere questions that arise from persistent accounts of scandalous behavior by churchmen in high places, accounts that genuinely trouble me and many, many others. These problems raise questions about how well-founded Orthodox ecclesiology is in the Truth, instead of in mere rhetoric, given the practical realities evident in Orthodox hierarchies all around the world.

      First, some background to the questions: It’s widely reported in Russia that Fr. V. Gundaev (nee Kirill) a) was a KGB informant (Mikhailov) at the same time as Putin’s tenure in that organization, b) was essentially just another Russian oligarch prior to his elevation, having raked in hundreds(?) of millions in personal profits exploiting, some would say profanely abusing, a charitable exemption from taxation for non-profits in order to import cigarettes and then sell them, toether with liquor, in Russia at cut-rate prices, c) stashed as much as billions of profits from this and other trades in foreign accounts, d) has gradually morphed over the past few years into a potent PR arm of United Russia, and V. Putin. A PR flack for a decidely secular and partisan bunch, who’s managed as a result to turn off tens of millions of decent and aware Russians from the ROC and the rank corruptions of all kinds observable at its summit. Just a few issues from a long list of gravely serious concerns that could be cited.

      My questions: Does entertaining such concerns suggest a lack of faith, in your view, in the truth of Orthodox ecclesiology and its teaching about authority in the church? Does the Holy Spirit choose the hierarchs of the Orthodox churches? Is there any particularly compelling reason why a rational, sane human being, particularly anyone outside of Russia, should assign much value at all to what such a hierarchy has to say about matters ecclesiological moral ethical or spiritual? What do the words whited sepulchres, hypocrites, workers of iniquity, false brethern mean to you? Are you an American citizen?

      I ask you these questions because you’ve clearly taken upon yourself the unenviable burden of defending the contemporary ROC and its hierarchs against its critics here on Monomakhos; I don’t intend these questions to be taken personally or as ad hominem shots, as such, with respect to yourself or your crediblity. I’m genuinely puzzled, and curious. Thanks in advance for any light you might care to generously shed on these matters.

  14. macedonianReader says

    One thing I’ve learned is that when you do not have respect for yourself, it’s up in the air whether or not others will follow.

    But what I really would like to know is if this trip is signal of peace between Moscow and Kiev?

    • Lil Ole Housewife says

      The other Ukrainian jurisdictions did not attend, but rather had their own services. See the last two paragraphs of my posting above. Although there is one for last year, the Ukrainian Orthodox Church, Kyiv Eparchy, did not yet post a video and there are only still shots of the public parade for St. Vladimir’s Birthday on the old calendar, aka The Day of the Christianization of Rus. Relevant website for general information on each jurisdiction is followed by the official website in English, if available. Most of the information on their official websites is not in English so if you can read Ukrainian, click on their flag on each official website. For the jurisdiction under the Patriarch of Constantinople that is in the U.S., I have given the American website which is available in English, Spanish and Ukrainian.

      By the way, on the above website, you can see their article, apparently in Ukrainian only, on the Den’ Hrishchennya Rusi-Ukraini 2012 at

      You can see that in their case, their service is in their cathedral and then there is a procession to the statue of Saint Vladimir. A news station covered the procession but not much of their church service so I won’t paste that video.

      This is the jurisdiction that has Ukrainian Orthodox churches in America and is under the Ecumenical Patriarchate, as is a Carpathorussian Archdiocese in America. Both share facilities in the U.S.

      Their article on their Ukrainian website on Saint Vladimir Day is located here:

      recent newsletter:


      You will note that our OCA bishops attended the St. Vladimir celebration of this particular Ukrainian jurisdiction, ie. a branch of the Russian Orthodox Church. The news agency of the Ukrainian branch of the Russian Orthodox Church said that Greeks also concelebrated with Ukrainians in Kiev on Saint Vladimir day. If there was official representation from the Ecumenical Patriarchate, one would tend to think that it would be at the celebration of the UAOC under Kyiv under Bartholomew. Maybe someone can go to the official website of the Patriarchate of Constantinople and read in the recent articles whether or not representation was sent, and, if so, to which jurisdiction or jurisdictions.

      Note that both the Ecumenical Patriarchate and the Churches of Greece, Albania, Bulgaria, Romania and the OCA all celebrate Saint Vladimir Day on the new calendar, i.e. on July 15th. The ROCOR and everyone else, including the Ukrainian Orthodox in America under the Ecumenical Patriarch, celebrates on the old Julian calendar.

      • Fr. Yousuf Rassam says

        Dear L’il

        The UOAC in Ukraine is most definitely not under or otherwise directly affiliated with the Ecumenical Patriarchate or any other Canonical body.

        Some parishes in Carpatho ACROD are new Style, so I imagine it is at least possible that some Ukrainian parishes in the US or Canada might be new style.

        For quite a while now what was “UOAC” in North America have been under the EP and not autocephalous, which is what the A is in”UOAC”, so they are not UOAC. They call themselves, at least in terms of their web addresses, the UOCofUSA, Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the USA, and UOCC, Ukrainian Orthodox Church of Canada. Folk in the UOCofUSA and UOCC may have a lot of sympathy with the UOAC, but they and the EP are only in communion with the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the Moscow Patriarchate (UOC MP) and not any other body in Ukraine.

        The UOAC has only one parish linked to their American website, and it seems mostly Arab!

        • Dear Father Yousuf,

          I thought there is one Ukrainian jurisdiction under the EP, but maybe there are two, in addition to the Carpathorussian one.

          By the way, has everyone seen the video of the acclamation of the new Metropolitan for the ACROD?

          You will note that the video above shows the commemoration of the Ecumenical Patriarch. Not everyone knew the melody, but eventually, the Synod joined in the chant for Bartholomew. It is HUGE that the ACROD has chosen a Greek archimandrite from a parish in North Carolina to become their Metropolitan. Short biography from

          We are pleased to announce that Very Rev. Fr. Grigorios Tatsis is part of our Cathedral family! He arrived on October 1, 2011.

          Fr. Grigorios was born in Charlotte, North Carolina and graduated with a B. A. degree in Biology from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He was involved in Cardiovascular Research at Carolinas Medical Center in Charlotte, NC for over 10 years, authoring/co-authoring over 100 articles, abstracts and book chapters.

          He attended Holy Cross Greek Orthodox School of Theology in Brookline, MA earning a Masters of Divinity degree and was ordained a Deacon at St. Nektarios Church in Charlotte, NC on November 4, 2006. Fr. Grigorios was tonsured a Monk at Agia Lavra Monastery in Kalavryta, Greece on January 17, 2007 receiving the name Grigorios. He was then ordained a Priest at Annunciation Cathedral in Atlanta, GA on January 28, 2007 and was elevated to rank of Archimandrite on the same day. Fr. Grigorios has been serving as the Ierokyrix (Itinerant Preacher/Confessor) of the Metropolis of Atlanta since February 1, 2007. He received the Offikion of Confessor at the Archangel Michael Chapel in Atlanta, GA on September 14, 2007 and served as Priest of Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church in Raleigh, NC. We welcome Fr. Tatsis and pray that the Lord grant him a long and blessed ministry.

          I am sorry to be ignorant of the present state of affairs in Patriarch Bartholomew’s leadership in the jurisdictional struggles in the Ukraine. In 2010, I think it was, he urged the Kyiv Patriarchate to try and forge unity with Patriarch Volodymir, recently honored for twenty years service to the Ukrainian branch under the Moscow Patriarchate. Since then, I have not paid attention, but know that the jurisdictional issue is still alive, not the particulars.

          Forgive me if I have caused any confusion. The Ukrainian churches in the USA , many parishes, and the ones in Canada, also many parishes, do commemorate the EP. I do not know the ones who do not since the era before 1989.

          • macedonianreader says

            I believe I am the one who should apologize. I should ask such question with a little more sensitivity.
            Forgive me.

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