The Sex Czar: Conclusion –A Failed Paradigm for a Failing Institution

Is this the face of the Syosset Sex Czar?

Loius XV (Click to enlarge!)

[EDITOR’S NOTE: In Parts I and II of this essay, we raised valid questions about the propriety and mechanism of action for a national officer dealing with sexual misconduct in the priesthood. Thanks to the contributions of our many readers and especially in light of recent events, I have decided to revisit the first two parts. What follows is a reiteration of both parts plus a conclusion. Please forgive me for any repetition.]


No one has come up with any nuts-and-bolts answers as to why the OCA should proceed headlong into into instituting the regime of the Sex Czar. The appearance that it is merely a ruse to continue the present assessment to Syosset has not been lost on many. Others have pointed out that such an office short-circuits the normal canonical relationship that exists between a bishop and his presbytery. The closest answer that the OCA Nomenklatura has offered is that “maybe” our insurance carrier is mandating such a policy.

Unfortunately that’s not good enough. For one thing, if true, this creates the illusion that this is merely a pro forma gesture intended to mollify our legal team. If on the other hand this was approved by a simple majority of the bishops who would rather not deal with these problems in the first place, then this raises a whole slew of uncomfortable questions. The most serious being why do some bishops feel that they have to cede yet more of their authority to someone outside the episcopate? This leads to the next question: then what is the purpose of the episcopate? To enforce liturgical rules only? Otherwise, the OCA should devolve into an openly congregational form of ecclesial polity, with a central administration whose only purpose is to coordinate certain national ministries and/or otherwise enforce discipline.


Lest anyone think that this is overstating the case, we already have in our ecclesial model a Metropolitan Council which is superior to the Holy Synod –in fact if not in theory. The Metropolitan Council for example has statutory authority to create line-items in the budget on its own, independent of the Holy Synod or the All-American Council. It can modify, alter, or otherwise emend the budget in the intervening years between All-American Councils and in defiance of the stated wishes of the previous Council. To our knowledge, this system is nowhere replicated in the other jurisdictions. This raises interesting questions, the most immediate being that it is certainly curious that a truly local Church which prides itself on “conciliarity” and (supposedly) desires the input of the laity would deprive the laity itself of their stated wishes as conveyed by All-American Councils.

Be that as it may, it is clear that the Sex Czar, who is an employee of the Metropolitan Council, will have actual authority over the episcopate. Once this is realized by the majority of the people, the idea of true episcopal responsibility will in time be viewed as superfluous. Instead, the highly-centralized bureaucratic clerical/lay governance that was put in place decades ago (as exemplified by the Metropolitan Council/Syosset axis) will be solidified once and for all. For all intents and purposes, the Holy Synod will be replaced by a Holy Politburo.

This is certainly one way to do an end-run against the gradual elimination of the dreaded “head tax” but it is too clever by half. This was not necessarily the impulse behind this concept. The continued and augmented aggrandizement of power centralized in Syosset is what is driving this locomotive.

Of course, this will not be without unintended consequences. As mentioned in Part II of this Essay, the continued demoralization of the priesthood will proceed apace, followed by the continued demographic implosion that has gripped American Orthodoxy over the last several decades. It will erode priestly independence (which based on my own experience is more robust in the OCA than in the GOA). And as stated, it will make a mockery of the OCA’s long-envied belief in diocesan autonomy, which is one of the hallmarks of our autocephaly.

Because of these questions, it is impossible to come to no other conclusion that this idea has not been completely thought through. That it is at best, merely a band-aid for a problem that may not really exist, one conjured up in order to create opportunities for increased bureaucratic featherbedding.


How will a Sex Czar impact the priesthood? As noted in Part II, it is our contention that it will be by and large, negative.

For one thing, there is no provision for named priests to have an advocate. This is not adversarial process but a punitive one. It flies in the face of Anglo-Saxon Common Law, the right for a named individual to face his accuser, and an open trial by jury. According to the proposed guidelines, if a bishop thinks or suspects that there is a problem with “sexual misconduct,” he will have no choice but to turn the priest in question over to the Sex Czar. At that point, not only is the Sex Czar superior to the bishop, but the priest will have no advocate. This makes it therefore a punitive process, not a judicious one. Moreover, there is no distinction between molestation (which is a crime) and lustful thoughts and/or actions (which is a sin and not the purview of the state). The former needs no investigation but immediate police action; the latter requires repentance.

This is no small thing. One of the hallmarks of the OCA’s self-understanding is that it is a local Church –indeed, the only local Church on this continent. More than any other jurisdiction, it makes an honest effort to be sensitive to the folkways and customs of American people. This extends even to the ability of laymen to help nominate our own bishops. (If Orthodox unity is truly on the horizon, then this will be one of the gifts that the OCA will bring to an American Orthodox Church.) The input of the laity is reinforced by the self-understanding of the English-speaking peoples. One of the greatest distinctions that is found in the Anglosphere is immediate control of our local institutions when it comes to governance. In the area of the law, one of the hallmarks of our culture is our insistence on the presumption of innocence and habeas corpus. Trial by jury was invented in pre-Norman England and it was the basis of English Common Law. The very concept of the Rule of Law is impossible without understanding our history. Indeed, our ways fly in direct conflict with the Byzantine imperial tradition of arbitrary hierarchical action. Simply stated, both cannot exist within the same institution, much less the same country.

A single phone call from the Sex Czar or a visit from a private investigator, will mean that a priest is on the radar, even an innocent one. One simply cannot overestimate the possibility for mischief or score-settling, even within the ranks of the priesthood. If the parish council finds out, then his ministry in his parish is effectively over. Even if nothing comes of it, the very fact that he is on the radar will demolish the trust that exists between him and the parishioners. It can in fact be used by antagonistic parish elites to increase their leverage over him. As for his family, the resulting turmoil could be devastating. Under such a scenario, which pious woman would want to encourage her husband to pursue the priestly vocation?

In fact, what man would want to go into the priesthood? Would parents would want their son to undertake a grueling seven year journey to an M.Div., incurring massive debts along the way knowing that it could be all for naught at the drop of a phone call? What would happen to the seminaries, which are heavily dependent upon head-count (i.e. tuition) for their economic viability? We saw the economic wreckage that was visited upon St Vladimir’s Seminary a few years ago when the Antiochians withdrew just three students. Could either seminary long survive if each year saw fewer and fewer students? As for those priests who are presently serving, it’s probable that some will go ahead and take early retirement rather than have to worry about The Dreaded Phone Call from Syosset, especially if it is in relation to an incident or a misunderstanding that took place decades earlier. (This is not far-fetched: the present Archbishop of Canada has been suspended from his ministry because of allegations that are over thirty years old.)

This brokenness can take many forms: alcoholism, eating disorders, porn addition, or adultery, among others. All of these things can play havoc with a man’s family and push him over the edge. Therefore, when we come across a priest who has fallen into depravity, we are left with only two realistic choices that have any explanatory power: (1) that our system for weeding out questionable men is completely inept, or (2) that the dysfunctions of most parishes combined with an uncaring episcopate caused the priest in question to succumb to sin. (Some could interject here that a third choice exists: that the Orthodox priesthood is a “dumping ground” and it is exclusively the preserve of only the most mediocre and/or sexually immature men.)

The first option is unlikely –in fact it’s patently ridiculous since it would involve a conspiracy so massive that it would rival anything found in the fever-swamps of Conspiracy Theory websites. Not only the man’s parish priest who recommended him to the seminary would be singularly inept, but the seminary’s professoriate, his classmates, visiting speakers, his father-confessor, and of course the ordaining bishop as well. As for the Dumping Ground scenario (which was truer in the immediate post-immigration period), that is belied by the sterling character of most priests that most people know.

Some might interject here that we have veered off into tangential points. Instead, a case could be made that if there was any reason for concern about how to stop abuse from happening in the first place, our Church would do a better job of seeing what our priests need in order to function better as priests. What it would take to not brake them in the first place.

A Sex Czar in Syosset who reacts to every allegation is not going to solve a problem that may not exist. And if there is a problem, he will probably make it worse.


And what of the privileges and duties of the episcopate? Canon law is clear on this point: the priests and deacons are deputies to the bishop, acting in his name. All juridical and executive authority resides in the diocesan bishop alone. He is responsible for the well-being of the clergy in his diocese. Perhaps this concept is honored more in the breach than in the ideal but it doesn’t make it any less true. My contacts in the other jurisdictions have told me that seminarians make every effort to avoid serving in certain dioceses which are led by bishops who have a long history of throwing parish priests under the bus at the first sign of trouble. Presently, this problem is not as acute in the OCA as it is in other jurisdictions but the creation of an official inquisitor will undoubtedly result in a similar situation. It may take some time, but it will happen.

Under this new regime however, the normal relationship between a priest and his bishop is interrupted. If a priest feels burdened by lustful thoughts and seeks spiritual counsel from his bishop, the bishop will have no choice but to turn him into Syosset. Contrast this with a layman can go to his confessor and confess his struggles on a frequent basis; such a spiritual regimen helps him from actually falling into sin. Such a repentant journey would be denied the priest.

This is most unfortunate. Truth be told, it’d be better for all concerned to not bring it up. It’s rather conjectural –certainly within the realm of possibility but hypothetical nonetheless. The most important issue however is what this means for episcopal governance. By ceding their archpastoral authority to Syosset, the bishops are inserting a central bureaucrat into the hierarchy of the Church. It’s clearly uncanonical. The priest receives his antimension from his bishop. It’s in his name that he celebrates the Divine Mysteries. In some ways, it’s no different than having roaming monks going to parishes and hearing confessions.

So what will the reality be? First, an increasing number of priests will not develop a proper relationship with their bishop. Even a slight word said in jest could compel the bishop to act. It’s possible that priests will instead cultivate a spiritual relationship with an hieromonk and receive guidance from that quarter. What if the bishop suspects something untoward about the priest? Can he compel the monk to make the priest “come clean” merely so the bishop will not have to answer for his own “negligence”?

What is being described is nothing less than a Spanish Inquisition-like scenario in which fear abounds on all sides.


Needless to say, the advocates of the Sex Czar will argue that innocent men don’t have to worry. This of course has been the siren song of prosecutors since time immemorial. It’s also nonsense on stilts. The historical record is littered with the names of innocent people who have been arbitrarily punished by judicial authority. Ever hear of Socrates –or Jesus? How about Chrysostom, Maximus the Confessor, or Avvakum? These men were unjustly persecuted by religious authorities.

And are we really to believe that centralized authorities are above using official means to punish people they don’t like? The litany of names mentioned in the preceding paragraph certainly gives the lie to those who believe institutions can do no wrong. Of course some would say that this was long ago, that we have “evolved” since then and take greater care when leveling accusations. And anyway, this is America and things like that don’t happen.

Would you permit me to bring up a rather recent case? One that is presently tearing our Church apart?

Consider our current Metropolitan. As anybody who has ever met him knows, he is manifestly a sane man. Yet he was the subject of an uncanonical conspiracy instigated by the Best and the Brightest in the OCA. Certain Metropolitan Council members even yelled at him in public meetings. Another priest ridiculed his physical appearance in front of him and many seminarians. Uncanonical actions were taken to curtail his power. Some of his supporters were threatened with deportation and/or ecclesiastical court. Yet it was he who was trundled off to a facility which “treated” priestly pedophiles –a shameful and disgraceful episode that would have broken other men. If the Metropolitan had to submit to this atrocity, then what makes any priest think that he would immune from such an action?

Indeed, to this very day, the humanist, materialist, and anti-Christian psychiatric paradigm is considered the only viable therapeutic course of action to “treat” His Beatitude for his supposed failures.

Given what happened to our Metropolitan, what assurances do we have that priests who have been critical of the leftward drift of the OCA won’t receive the Dreaded Phone Call? This path has already been pioneered in those Christian denominations that have succumbed to the worldly blandishments of priestesses and homosexual “marriage.” For them, the journey began decades ago precisely under the rubric of “sexual misconduct.” It was Traditionalist critics only were singled out for opprobrium, ultimately silencing their voices. Liberals who were guilty of misconduct were instead lauded as “courageous” and “martyrs to homophobia.” Thus did the libertine view gain the upper hand in these mainstream denominations.

“Don’t worry, be happy” is meager reassurance that it “can’t happen to me.” And anyway, it’s not much of a mission statement.

Equally important, is that this therapeutic (in reality, punitive) model can in no ways be trusted in light of recent events. For example, the classified Sexual Investigating Committee (SIC) report of Nov 16, 2010, was illegally leaked to a website that has long had an adversarial relationship with the Orthodox Church. It is unknown at present who provided this confidential information to the website in question, but the fact remains that in doing so, this person exposed the OCA to a defamation suit at the very least. That this was probably done to cause collateral damage to His Beatitude is beside the point (in fact, the report itself exonerates him).

A pattern of vindictiveness, score-settling, and exposure based on the flimsiest of evidence (the Report for example states that despite the allegation of rape, there was no actual rape) has been proven. The seal of the Confessional as well as episcopal-priestly relationship was cast aside in a most cavalier fashion for nefarious reasons.

This is not to say that if there is in fact criminal misconduct, the perpetrator should not be subjected to the fullest measure of the criminal justice system. Indeed, the presiding bishop or respective authorities should immediately notify the police. If an arrest is made, and charges leveled, then the cleric in question should be immediately suspended. If the court system finds him guilty, then an ecclesiastical court should be convened and he should be removed from the ranks of the clergy as early as possible. On the other hand, it is ridiculous to expect that the Holy Synod has the capacity or the competence to conduct a criminal investigation on its own. That is beyond its purview.


Overlooked in all of this is the fact that there is still no hue and cry from the laity that a problem of “sexual misconduct” really does exist. More importantly, there seems to be a conscious(?) willingness to conflate “misconduct” with actual criminality.

Consider: adultery, homosexuality, eating disorders, and porn addiction are sins. They are not crimes. These are not the purview of the state and are therefore not criminally actionable. The OCA as a national corporation thus would not be dragged into any court of law should a priest be caught in flagrante delicto with an adult. A child of course is another matter entirely. Unfortunately, once that happens, it is too late for a Sex Czar to do any good. The molestation of a child (or the sexual assault of an adult) has to be handed over as quickly as possible to the police as noted above.

So the question is not so much how prevalent this problem is but what the problem is. Are we talking about lustful thoughts, lustful actions with adults, or child molestation and/or assault? Or is this fevered hysteria ginned up to remind everybody how wonderful and necessary Syosset really is?

If on the other hand, it is true (as one correspondent recently wrote) that Syosset received allegations on a bi-weekly basis, then the OCA has more problems that can be solved by a single individual drawing a six-figure salary in Syosset. Indeed, such a man would be inadequate to the task. Under these supposed circumstances, it would in fact be unconscionable for Syosset to not expand this office, adding additional people and throwing as much money as necessary at the problem.


At this point, your humble correspondent shall go out on a limb and assert what he thinks is the real problem in the priesthood. It is my contention that the real problem stems from the lack of decent compensation. One of the positive legacies of Fr. Alexander Schmemann has been that parishes need an educated, married priesthood. I think we can all agree on this. Indeed, the concept of a celibate clergy in a parochial setting is one which should be avoided at all costs.

Unfortunately, the legacy of immigrant Orthodoxy on the other hand was one of celibate clergy serving in parishes. This was mainly because of the poverty of the immigrant generation. I dare say that a great many of these men were true to their vows. Sadly, we know of many who were not. And therein lied the problem which Schmemann tried to address. For the most part he succeeded. I know of precious few parishes in the OCA in which there are celibate clergy. Even within missions the preponderance of family men is astonishing to behold.

To be sure, he did advocate for the creation of a Metropolitan Council, but that was because he was very sober about the quality of the episcopate and the unmarried priesthood as then constituted. There was a real fear that without a firewall of laymen with some integrity, the episcopate could very well ruin the Church. And those waiting in the wings were no better.

Unfortunately, Syosset has chosen to make an idol of an obsolete paradigm and is prepared to keep the clerical elite devoted to this idol going at all costs. However the cupboard is bare and try as they might, no amount of invoking the holy name of Schmemann is going to fill the coffers. It is not merely the depressed economy that will see to it but increasingly the bishops, many of whom are actively interested in directing diocesan monies to parochial needs. One wants to think that this is necessitated by the good order of the Church. If not, then the economy will see to it that it is.

Earlier, I made mention of the hamfisted nature of what increasingly looks to be a naked power grab. The use of inappropriate tools, the inability to see what the real problems are, the obeisance to a moribund paradigm, is nothing but a recipe for failure. Instead of trying to fashion a one-size-fits-all solution to a problem that may not exist, our church would be better served asking what the real problems are and do everything in their power to augment the authority of those who are most immediate to the problem –the bishops.

However, an honest inquiry would reveal unpleasant answers. In my contacts with priests in other jurisdictions, I have been told that the pathologies that exist in the priesthood are due because many of these men are caught in vice between unsympathetic parish elites and an irresolute bishop. I imagine that priests in the OCA –who are notoriously underpaid–have similar stories to tell. Pathologies erupt under these circumstances. Some, like pedophilia, adultery, fornication, are acted out. Others are sublimated and are expressed as porn addiction, eating disorders, and chaotic home situations.

May I suggest instead that if Syosset is rolling in money that it use these funds to normalize remuneration rates for priests across the board? Perhaps block-grants of monies can be doled out to parish priests who make below an agreed-upon minimum salary. At the very least what is called for is a program all parish council members must undergo which stresses the need for adequate priestly compensation. (Yes, I will talk about tithing until I’m blue in the face.) No priest should feed his family with food stamps and it is nothing less than a disgrace that the central administration is oblivious to this reality. What else are we to expect from an administration that is presiding over a shrinking pie and obliviously wants to expand this pie in the face of economic reality?

Instead our elites should point out that the sign of a mature local church is one in which only married men are assigned to secular parishes whereas those who chose a life of celibacy should repair to the monastery. Otherwise, priorities are skewed and pathologies emerge. Let me be blunt, a priest is also working out his salvation. It’s unconscionable to put a single man in a parish setting, regardless of his own sexual maturity.

I’m just a simple man and I have a simple solution, one which won’t cost $125,000 per year. If you know of a situation in which a priest is molesting a child, call the police. Then call his bishop. If the priest is having an affair with an adult, call his wife, then call his bishop. It’s not rocket science.

As for the bishops, I am calling on them to take back their church from the bureaucrats. It’s nothing but a naked and clumsy power-grab. If they don’t, then they will not be able to withstand the next encroachment on episcopal authority that will come down the pike. Eventually the laity will ask if they’re all that necessary. Under such conditions parish formation will come to a screeching halt. And then when the next All-American Council occurs it will be even more poorly attended. The coffers will of the OCA will dry up in due time. At that point, the interminable who-was-here-in-America-first gamesmanship between the OCA and Constantinople won’t matter because there will no longer be an OCA.


  1. George,

    I agree with the compensation part of your conclusion but not the part that parishes need married clergy. Sexual abuse has nothing to do with being a celibate or being married. One thing we learned in the RC’s sex abuse situation was to shed light on the fact that most of these cases happen between parents and their children. As well as a most recent case of clergy sexual abuse here in Massachusetts and the priest was married. The point is if we are forming our candidates for the priesthood in a faithful way that will go a long way in helping to stem the tide of these situations. I am in the parish I am in because this parish could not afford a married priest. So are we to close this church and others like it because they cannot afford a married priest? What shall we do with the celibates currently serving in parishes all across the USA? Should only married men be admitted to the priesthood? I think these are questions that need to be asked. Since bishops need to come from the ranks of the celibate clergy how will we ensure that episcopal candidates have a proper pastoral experience prior to their elevation? Being the abbot of a monastery is much different then being a parish priest. The reality of the monastery and the reality of the parish are very different. I like that in the most recent past we have been selecting men for the episcopate from the widowers in the Church but what happens when that well runs dry? What this all boils down to is how are we selecting men for the priesthood and what kind of formation are they getting in the seminary. Telling me I cannot serve in a parish because I do not have a wife does not quite seem fair to my vocational calling in the Church. The last question I have is what do with widowers? When a priest’s wife dies and he now must live a celibate life do we remove him from a parish? If we do what do we do with him? Ship him off to a monastery? What if the monastic life is not his calling? How many monasteries would we then need and how would they be funded? Monasteries are not rest homes. I think you are on the right track but this needs a little more thought. Not allowing celibate priests to serve in a parish is not a solution to the problem. The formation system of the current seminaries is what needs to be examined not the celibate priesthood.

    • George Michalopulos says

      Fr Peter, what I am going to write is not going to sound pretty and I mean no offense. I am sure there are dozens of good, celibate priests serving at present in all the jurisdictions. From what I’ve heard about you, you’re definately one of them.

      I believe we’re in a point in American Orthodoxy where things have to get very absolute regarding the quality of the priesthood and the episcopate. I say this because the reason the OCA is being prresently torn asunder is because of the quality of men in the Synod. I don’t know what percentage are compromised men but even one bad apple can gum up the works dramatically. Not only has it derailed the fraternal relationships that should exist among the various bishops, but it has given the married archpriests who run the show (Garklavs, Tosi, Jillions, etc.) a tremendous club to use. The power of the Sysset/MC axis is tremendous because of this.

      Having said that, here goes:

      1. No man who want a parish assignment should enter seminary until he is 30 years old and is married to one wife.

      2. A monk who desires and MDiv should be senior in his brotherhood (at least 35 years old) and of good repute.

      3. Both parochial candidates and monanstic candidates should be above reproach. Perhaps, the guidelines that St Paul set up in Titus and Timothy should be etched in stone above the front entrance to every seminary.

      This is unfortunately an absolutist regime that will hurt many fine men and parishes. But the idea of “never married/ordained early” men simply riding it out in seminary, performing mediocre work, because they’ve calculated that this is the episcopal track should be a non-starter.

      Again, forgive me, as you’re in the Romanian patriarchal jurisdiction and the problem is not as acute perhaps. In the GOA, this dynamic is par for the course with the newer bishops and it was this dynamic that Schmemann was at play in the Metropolia. The irony is that even though bishop-for-bishop we have probably a more qualified episcopate than forty years ago, the fact remains that there is still a residue left ofter from the bad old days. One of them is that Married Archpriesthood has entrenched itself in the bowels of Syosset and has augmented its power significantly. Truth be told, even if every bishop on the OCA synod was 100% above reproach, they don’t have the moxie or cojones to reduce the power of Syosset.

      This is very ironic because it appears that it was people in Syosset who sold the bishops this bill of goods, that is to say, that Jonah was behaving in a criminal fashion. In many ways, the played the part of George Tenet who assured George W Bush that Saddam have WMD. He told W that it was a “slam dunk.” Too bad, it’s the bishops which have egg on their face.

      • V.Rev.Andrei Alexiev says

        I tend to agree with what you’ve written above EXCEPT I feel someone under 30 could enter seminary,but(assuming he’s married) remain in the diaconate until he reaches the canonical age of 30.
        In addition,I would support the practice of the Bulgarian Church(in which my deacon was ordained) and the Greek Archdiocese which mandate that the candidate’s spouse put her agreement in writing before the ordination can go forward.In addition,the Greek Archdiocese requires that the candidate be examined by a phsycologist.I got this information from my spiritual father,a Greek American ROCOR priest,who did serve some years in the Greek Archdiocese.
        As a widower myself,I would consider the monastic life someday,but I admit to being a bit leery.There are those tales of Abotts who are “control freaks,”the leader of the HOCNA cult comes to mind.I’M all for obediance,but not blind papal obediance.

        • lexcaritas says

          Fr Andrei, bless. I would like to comment on this part of your post, where you note that the GOA “requires that the candidate [for orgination] be examined by a phsycologist.”

          I would agree with this qualification–provided the psychologist be found, on the bais of reliable evidence, to be a pious Orthodox Christian who also meets the qualifications for bishop, presbyer and deacon set forth by St. Paul in his letters to Timothy and Titus and recounted by St. Luke in the Acts of the Apostles. We must take care not to turn the management of the Body of Christ over to secularists.

          What gives us confidence, after all, in their assessments? Is such reliance actually reasonable? is there evidence demonstrating that it is?


          • George P. says


            I agree with your statement. Considering the damage control that the GOA has done over the past few years with sexual misconduct and law suits, it is clear that psychological profiling and testing is not fool proof. Many clergy successfully completed the seminary, were very highly regarded, were serving for many years and then *poof* – you find out they have been convicted in the civil courts and returned to the laity after 30 or 40 years of priest hood. Scary. Why didn’t the psychologists catch on? (I am thinking of a particular example, but it’s not fair to write of the dead). There is no way to guarantee safety. To expect a guarantee of safety is unreasonable. We do need to be watchfull and not create or be a cause of scandal to any person.

          • M.Vasiliou says

            Certainly, a good and devout Orthodox Christian psychologist needs to be found if candidates for Holy Ordination need to be screened. However, having a degree in psychology or in social work does not guarantee that these professionals are capable of discerning whether a person is merely devout or is suffering from paranoid schizophrenia since diagnoses are so subjective. As a further example, if a patient presents with allergies or asthma, some psychologists will deem that person to have a mental health problem such as anxiety, while more astute and objective psychologists will immediately refer such a patient to a board-certified allergist-immunologist and/or ask them to go to an emergency room.

            Also note that misfits enter the mental health profession to find relief from their own insecurities, phobias, and neuroses.

            • Agreed. The idea that psychological profiling should be turned over to a clinician who has materialist presuppositions is abominable.

            • Richard Morowski says

              Obviously, we are all concerned about the welfare of each other either being a child or an elderly person. I am definitely concerned about the establishment of a so called “Sex Czar” position.

              I believe that my education and experience plus working in the mental health field allows me to speak on this subject. (No, I don’t have to give my whole resume for others, to see, if I qualify to comment, on this subject matter).

              What exactly is the purpose of developing this position? What are you trying to accomplish?
              Are you trying to weed out “undesirables” from becoming clerics; or are you trying to stop having clerics with maladaptive behaviors (primarily of the sexual nature)?

              I’m afraid the answer is that it will not happen, even if you administer a battery of tests. e.g. T.A.T, Psychosexual Life History, with Mutiphasic Sex Inventory II and with Rorschach and don’t forget an old time sentence completion.

              When you obtain the data do you know what exactly you are receiving?

              Yes, I believe testing is needed in certain cases but not straight across the board. To enter the seminary a preliminary evaluation is needed not Psycho-Testing. Only use this when one is “believed” to have some sort or maladaptive behaviors and needs further investigation.

              Actually I believe that each and every Bishop and cleric should be administered some sort of Testing to and OCA administrators to see if they qualify for their position. However, who would make that call if the test results are in?

              This whole thing has opened a can of worms, frankly it is a witch hunt.
              This idea is not going to help those in the future who are offended by clergy.

              Focus on how you can treat those who have been offended and also the offenders.

              I could go on an on about Psychological Testing. Some contributors to this blog seem to be good others seem to have just read “Psychology Today” others have just taken Abnormal Psych 101 and have all the answers.

              What ever happened to Discernment, Prayer, and Listening to the Holy Spirit and not depend on Technology / Behavioral Sciences for the solution?

              After all what do I know from my studies and experiences? The older I get the less I know.
              Too much book learning and not enough prayer.

              • Richard, I think the point of establishing the position is not to prevent sexual molestation, but to avoid liability in lawsuits.

                An institution that can prove it does what they call “due diligence” won’t be found liable for behaviors that the due diligence is supposed to prevent.

                • Richard M says

                  Avoiding liability in lawsuits and “due diligence” = trying to win the Lotto.

                  There will always be lawsuits. Just ask a lawyer, You can always find one who thinks they can win.

        • George P. says

          Rev. Fr. Andrei Alexiev,

          Your blessing.

          Thank you for sharing your thoughts so openly. I don’t disagree with them (per se) but I feel that they reflect your lack of experience in certain situations. It is this same lack of experience that many people have. They talk and they are regaled and regale others with

          those tales of Abotts who are “control freaks,”the leader of the HOCNA cult comes to mind

          . I am not discounting the veracity of this statement concerning that particular group but this is the problem with individiuals who have not experienced life in monastic communities (which are healthy) so that they can experience for themselves how relationships between human beings become transfigured when Christ becomes the center of the relationship instead of personalities being the center of the relationship. The problem is experience to build a frame of reference to apply that all important “common sense” and discernment. As long as we continue to accept as normal for the sake of “safety” the paradigm of “guilt by implication” or “guilt by association” or “guilt by suspicion” instead of “guilt by due process of the law” then we undermine ourselves and the Church.

          • V.Rev.Andrei Alexiev says

            The Lord bless you.I know a bit about HOCNA because I was ordained in ROCOR when they were still very much part of that church,I almost followed them into schism in 1987,because my then spiritual father was part of that movement.
            Later,I had another experiance with a control freak abott.I can’t be specific because there are people still alive who might potentially be hurt by any revalations.Let’s just say I saw it firsthand.I DIDN’T see any signs of sexual abuse in this second situation,but I did see plently of unhealthy game playing.After all,it’s not about you,me,or Fr.X.It IS about Christ and HIS Church and our relationship to same.

          • M.Vasiliou says

            Go on a monastic retreat or visit for three days to one week. If something does not seem right, trust your intuition, and leave. Then do an internet search to see if anyone else has reported problems.

            If a monastery is healthy, it is usually growing in numbers with candidates waiting in the wings to enter.

            Read any publications produced by the monastery. Even though HOCNA has wonderful service books, there is a cult mentality associated with Holy Transfiguration Monastery that is seen in many of their publications where the Abbot is glorified. This is a red flag.

    • Samantha Keimenon says

      Fr. Peter,

      Your blessing.

      Really? The celibate clergy are formed in seminaries? This isn’t a conscientious spiritual life direction/choice that is made by the individuals with the assistance of a qualified spiritual father? These individuals don’t feel “called” to this particular ministry? I was always under the impression it was a special type of calling within the church, just the way marriage and children are also a special type of ministry within the church. If we follow your reasoning out to it’s logical conclusion then human beings are reduced to robots. Good spiritual formation in seminaries = fool proof guarantee against producing sexual predators dressed in cassocks and kobluks. If this were the case, this discussion would not be occurring. George P. is correct, ultimately this boils down to the free will of individuals.

      We need to be vigilant. The best protection a parent can offer their child is to know their child. Just the way a parent knows that their child is coming down with a cold because their behavior and appetite changes, the same types of things happen when abuse occurs. Pay attention, use common sense as so many others have said. For those of us who help with Church School and youth groups in our Parishes, let’s help our clergy use their common sense also. Let’s get to know parents in our communities better, let’s educate ourselves better about appropriate physical contact between adults and children but also between children and children and when we have to help make interventions and clarify appropriate boundaries. Let’s help things from getting out of hand and being blown out of proportion. We don’t need national programs or sex czars. If you don’t know what to do, coordinate with your parish priest. If he doesn’t know what to do, let him talk with his Bishop and get advice about how to proceed. That is what is responsible. Not anonymous name calling and panicked nit picking.

  2. M. Stankovich says

    Mr. Michalopulos,

    As I am presuming you consider yourself to be someone of “influence” and “consequence” because of the evolution of the notoriety of this site – and the marked, commensurate increase in the authority of the tone of your essays and comments – it mystifies me as to why you do not directly solicit the comment of those you claim “run the show” and report it here. While I have never met Fr. Tossi, he did, after all, accept the call of Rostislav, “defender-of-the-faith,” and the “I got coin on it” dentist. The fact that – on paper – you are civil and polite would seem to be in your favor. My opinion of the hospitality of Fr. Chancellor is well known. Otherwise, you are making your customary error of drawing conclusions with insufficient data; the same data errors I could make in reaching the polar opposite conclusion as you. And while equally constituting significant error, the only difference would be that I would predictably earn significantly more “thumbs-down.”

    You either want input from the source, or you do not.

    • George P. says

      Mr. Stankovich,


      You are truly one of the few people on the face of this planet that I have ever had the pleasure to encounter on a blog who is consistently illogical and obtuse strictly for the sake of being argumentative. A true internet troll of the highest caliber. You have raised the bar of trolldom to a dizzying height that will be daunting for trolls for generations to attempt to surpass.

      Sir, I salute you!! THPPPPPttttttttttt!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

      • Michael Bauman says

        George P, Mr. Stankovich’s observation is not an unreasonable one–though the syntax leave much to be desired. Suggesting that George M go publically to more primary sources is not a bad idea. The use of the most primary sources one can get is a hallmark of good history and good journalism as well. If they are not willing to talk to George, refuse to go on the record or prevaricate in a proveable way, that shows much about the truth or lack thereof of their position.

        Don’t over react.

        • Michael Bauman says

          Documents are one type of primary source material. The people who produce them another.

    • The OCA got their monies worth in the hiring of the the wacker Jillions. Garklavs had Jonah in his sights but Jonah caught him in the big lie and the synod had to let him go as chancellor much to their collective displeasure so they paid him a king’s ransom in his severance golden parachute. So they turned to Jillions who the MC and synod made sure would continue the hunt for Jonah with Benjamin always in the background pulling the strings.

      So the dysfunction continues in a foundering jurisdiction known as the OCA and we the people do the suffering.

    • M. Stankovich says

      Knows the Score,

      I am most certainly not arguing a position of “how wrong everyone else is.” To say Mr. Michalopulos draws conclusions that I believe are based on insufficient data is to fully accept the possibility that he may be absolutely correct. While I do not ordinarily place wagers – and my personal opinion is that much of his conjecture is unlikely – if he is proved correct, you will not find me supporting anyone who is dishonest or subversive, regardless of my historical relationship. Perhaps, then, we can simply agree that the truth, goes a long way to.. well, establishing the truth.

      As I have no idea who you are or how you entered this discourse, I would note to you that my position(s) are consistent for more than a year; straightforward and unmistakable. Factually, it is Mr. Michalopulos who made quite an excited, “draw-a-line-in-the-sand” objection on Fr. Han’s site, in no uncertain terms, to those who would “proport and propend” without the slightest support in facts. Nobel, him. On paper. How many times have I read on this very site, “Now let him tell his side of the story” in relation to one character or another? Ah, ’tis a consummation devoutly to be wished! My suggestion that the respectful action to finding out a man’s opinion and course is to ask him directly is described as “illogical and obtuse strictly for the sake of being argumentative?” And “Hunkyland?” Steady yourself, man. It’s just a discussion, for heaven’s sake. You’re acting like I want your shoes.

      • George P. says

        Mr. Stankovich,

        As I am presuming you consider yourself to be someone of “influence” and “consequence” because of the evolution of the notoriety of this site – and the marked, commensurate increase in the authority of the tone of your essays and comments –

        My suggestion that the respectful action to finding out a man’s opinion and course is to ask him directly

        Good heavens!!! We all know that you never whine and pout and stomp your feet, you poor maligned thing you.

        the only difference would be that I would predictably earn significantly more “thumbs-down.”

        Translation: they like you better than me and I have no idea why.

        It’s just a discussion, for heaven’s sake. You’re acting like I want your shoes.

        If you want them you can have them and my socks as well.

  3. MartyOlson says

    What I am reading of your post is that celibate priests are more apt to have sexual molestation problems than married clergy. Or, that celibate priests are more apt to be gay, leaving them open like in the old days with spys: vulnerable to extortion or blackmail. Further, that the married priest “politburo” in Syosset are in fact capable and willing to do the extorting and blackmailing. That’s a lot of conspiracy goin on. What evidence is there within the OCA among the employees that are alleged to have problems, how many were celibate vs married clergy/church employees? How many allegations by children, women, other men? This data would give a better understanding of the situation on the ground.

    The use of the term ‘sex czar’, which gives the impression that person is in charge of sexual behavior generally, also colors the position in a ridiculous way. This kind of combo investigator/trainer/adviser is pretty familiar given the potential legal problems churches generally face. I am a trained investigator, which is as far as I am gonna go with details. There’s a lot involved in just managing the details of these kind of investigations which gives credence to the need for some expertise of legal and/or investigative nature. I would be concerned about “where the buck stops.” In the current church statutes there is a “leading” bishop, Metropolitan, which means in most legal cases the responsible entity is gonna be that person. Then there is a need for a central person to investigate an issue. That leader is going to want someone to have his back, which would be this investigator/ad visor person. Then there’s the AAC, MC, Lesser Synod and Synod all of which establishes central administrative bodies who are I guess responsible for budgets, etc. When it comes time to litigate, that is if an abused party is going to sue over damages, that is the level at which the lawsuit is going to be aimed.

    If the priest sexual abuse allegations investigations were going to be de-centralized to each diocese, ea. bishop would then be responsible to investigate/advise and in some cases adjudicate canonically in these cases. Each bishop would need this same investigator/adviser assigned to his diocese. Each bishop would need to be educated in many details concerning this policy and how to enact it. This would definitely take time from their other duties. In addition, all the bishops would have to be 100% consistent, because any variation in the implementing of the policy among dioceses within the OCA in this discussion, will be fuel for lawyers to challenge the interpretation and biases of one case compared to another. As in the area of sexual discrimination policies in other workplaces, consistent implementation of policy is the key to limiting and containing further lawsuits by aggrieved parties.

    There is an undertone I’ve picked up in a number of posts in this blog that the bishop himself would investigate these allegations and there might be some way to circumvent implementing the policy by coming to some understanding among all parties. This concept is going to be viewed by the courts as further abusing the person alleging abuse. It is extremely unwise to pursue this course. If there’s going to be some understanding reached between parties either to drop the case or change the seriousness of the charges the lawyers for the aggrieved party (plaintiff) must work that out with the representative (lawyer) of the church/diocese or the court. The person responsible for the alleged perpetrator, in this case the priest or church employee, can not initiate negotiations or advise the aggrieved party. This would definitely include anything advised to the aggrieved party in any kind of spiritual “obedience.” If there is further legal trouble, that bishop could end up being criminally responsible and definitely liable for civil penalties. Remember, any entity with general church governance responsibility, i. e. the Holy Synod would also remain legally responsible as in this case would the MC and AAC. Lawyers always look for the party to sue who has the deepest pockets.

    If I were to put my wizard hat on and predict the future: the central investigator and other advisers will be deemed necessary by lawyers for the church to protect the church from lawsuits that would claim the church although has a policy had not established a mechanism to ensure the policy was carried out and procedures implemented to protect the vulnerable, which would depend but would include children, women and potentially men.

    • Just Guessing says

      Yeah, forget all that crap about being a hierarchical church. There’s a business to run here. The lawyers will let the OCA know what they need.

      …implemented to protect the vulnerable, which would depend but would include children, women and potentially men.

      Define ‘vulnerable.’ Sounds like a convenient term that’s useful for just about any prosecution. I assume, in your way of thinking, if someone breathes, they’re ‘vulnerable’? Did you really define all women as vulnerable? ROTFL!

      • Just Guessing! I, too, wondered about that “and potentially men.” Why “potentially?” Wouldn’t it have been more accurate to write, “…would potentially include men, women, and children?” The rest is a mixed bag.

    • Rdr. James says

      In that case who would ever want to be a Bishop?

  4. Lil Ole Housewife says

    I really don’t get the point here. Souls are at stake so I hope the presumption is true that the Holy Synod strives to attain holiness on a minute to minute basis.

    The administration of churches under communism often had a secular administrative component. It was this unholy administration in those countries that enabled abuse within the Church. Our administrations now, wherever they are, must also strive for holiness.

    I hope everyone in the Church is sensitive to the dangers of predators in our midst and acts and is encouraged to act pro-actively to keep holiness within our house.I hope also that we institute the best practices in every parish for any kind of abuse, marginalization or even social maltreatment of any of the souls among us. And I hope we have the maturity to go beyond throwing away the treasures of our family members (each and every one of us all) by helping save and protect one another. We are a family. Our Heavenly Father sets the bar for behavior and attainment

  5. George P. says

    Lil Ole

    Yes, souls are at stake. The saving is and was done by our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, not by flawed human beings (and we are flawed, ALL OF US) working out their salvation. A quote attributed to Mother Theresa “Every saint has a past, every sinner a future.” The implication being of course that they desire to have a future and that God helps them, because nothing is possible without God.

    We are a family. Our Heavenly Father sets the bar for behavior and attainment

    Yes, quite right. Permit me to present an example from the Old Testament.

    Cain and Abel. Hopefully most readers are familiar with the first offspring of Adam and Eve. They are familiar that Cain’s motive in murdering his brother was his jealousy with God’s favour for Abel. God could have destroyed Cain, God could have left him to the wrath and devices of other people, but God protected Cain even though Cain was cast out of the assembly for the senseless wanton murder of his brother.

    Yes, there are consequences for passions, and for sins. The bar which our Heavenly Father sets is a compassionate one, not just for the victim, not only to “protect” but also so that we can get over this silly, juvenille, paranoid, demonic attitude which always perceives everyone as a possible attacker, which assumes the worst about everyone, which destroys love, that promotes fear, creates unjust laws, convicts people on blogs without proof, destroys souls and clouds discernment.

    Ya’ll want to know want to know what the problem is? Here it is: Everyone (myself included) spends too much time with their fists up protecting themselves and their stupid egos rather than with their arms spread out on the cross embracing one another and being brave. Until we learn to be brave, until we learn to love, until we learn to be Christ we don’t have the means to hold anyone accountable for anything, because Christ is the measure of EVERYTHING.

    Degrees, impeccable, impeachable characters, letters of character from saints aren’t going to do a thing George Michalopulos. If a priest or any person wants to sin they will. Period. This is the joy and the tragedy and burden of freedom….our desire. Let us hope we desire Christ more than anything else. If any person wants to be perfect, they will become perfect, with the help of God. Amen.

    • MartyOlson says

      Unfortunately, due to the history of abuse within the various churches, the potential of having an idyllic situation where the hierarchy alone can proceed with investigating, monitoring and implementing these sexual molestation cases by priest or church leader/employees is impossible. Unhappy as it may make anyone feel, the situation is “what it is.” Are all women “vulnerable?” As a group, yes. Individually, the contrary can be quite true. Yet, the burden of proof will rest with the alleged perpetrator, regardless of gender. Although it is conceivable that a man could alleged abuse by a woman, that generally occurs in businesses where women are bosses. Unfortunately, in a completely male hierarchical structure, most cases will have the woman (or gay man) as the alleged victim.

      How do priests conduct themselves to avoid being accused? I assume, perhaps wrongly, that in seminary these matters are explained and discussed. The one thing that will prevent almost any allegations is for the priest to avoid being in situations when “matters” can get out of hand. There are unfortunately a certain number of cases of false accusations. I hope all of those who accuse falsely are investigated and brought before the court for filing false reports, etc. Given all this legalese, all religious organizations however structured are going to be in this situation. The best advice is to have qualified and experienced people hired to investigate these cases and advise on implementation of the policy.

      • Just Guessing says

        And your completely ridiculous assertion that “all women as a group” are defined as ‘vulnerable’ flies in the face of clearly defined state law. Go look it up. Every state defines an adult as ‘vulnerable’ in cases of abuse as either someone who is in a psychiatric facility or has a severe physical or mental impairment.

        For instance

        Honestly, to even suggest such a thing as you did is complete insanity. Stop it, please.

  6. Archpriest John W. Morris says

    When I read all this, I wonder what do your bishops do? It is their job to deal with these kinds of problems. Recently in an Antiochian parish Archbishop Joseph learned that a priest had abused some young people in the parish. His Eminence did not need a sex tsar. He had the priest laicized and called the police. That is the way to deal with this sort of problem.

    Archpriest John W. Morris

    • V.Rev.Andrei Alexiev says

      Fr.,you’re absolutly correct.That’s exactly how Archbishop Alypy dealt with a certain molesting priestmonk here in the Detroit area.Said monk was relieved of his priesthood,sought refuge with a Greek Old Calendarist bishop in New York.He was caught,sent back to Michigan,and served time.Now I believe he’s in a nursing home.

    • Alexander says

      Exactly. Common sense simple. Although, I assume he called the police first.

      Only add to it that upon a discovery that someone tries to cover up the crime, call the police immediately and then laicize him too.

      I can only assume that the Church, diocesan, and parish insurance brokers and insurers have addressed this with the people responsible for insuring the Church in equally simple, stark and candid terms.

      Not a science project.

    • Lola J. Lee Beno says

      That’s exactly the type of leadership we need and expect from our bishops. Its all about common sense, folks.

  7. George P. says

    Its all about common sense, folks.

    Exactly. Common sense simple. Although, I assume he called the police first.

    I’m willing to bet that when the bishop learned of the allegations (below), first the priest was suspended from all liturgical function. Police were called, and when an official verdict was reaced in the courts then he was returned to the laity. It would not have been the first time a bishop had to take such action (tragically), unfortunately, it will not be the last.

    He had the priest laicized and called the police

    What is pathetic is that even though there is a precedent set in other Orthodox jurisdictions on how to address sexual misconduct (both alleged and actually proven) Syossett seems to be determined to continue on this Salem witch hunt type of strategem in the hopes of safeguarding the illusion that they are working towards preserving whole, intact and unblemished the entirety of all persons from the sins and passions of others who they deem are incappable of mastering their own sins and passions. It is the equivalent of blasphemy of the Holy Spirit, because there is no room for repentance with this model. Dangerous does not begin to describe how inappropriate a “sex czar” is.

    What I find disturbing is that the above people said it so plainly…it’s not rocket science. Call the police. If there is physical evidence, let them collect it. Where is the rape kit? (As Harry Coin asked at one point…sorry I couldn’t find the post…but Harry, you know you asked it) If there is no rape kit, it is because a rape did not occur. I know this is going to upset a lot of individuals. I am not unsympathetic to people who have been rapped. I know individuals (men and women…yes Virginia, men can be rapped too) who have survived this obscene and atrocious form of violence. It’s not normal to keep silent after an attack. What is normal is to call the police. What is normal is to seek medical attention. What is normal is to call your friends, your loved ones and tell them “something happened, I need help.”

    People I am sorry, an adult does not wait 2 years to report rape unless they were in a coma, drugged, or being held by pirates on a remote desert island. I don’t think the “godmother” was lying, but I do wonder about the credibility of the “victim,” why she chose not to call the police when it happened. This is about “common sense” and about a sic report which was irresponsibly and immorally released on public forums and to boot makes no sense at all even to the casual observer all for the sake of shaping and moving public opinion within our church and creating havoc.

    I trust Christ. I don’t trust the people that concocted this travesty. I don’t trust the people that continue to step on the due process of the law.

    • George P., I find your comment extremely disturbing and disrespectful. People don’t report rape and sexual abuse for all kinds of reasons. It is often very difficult for a victim of such a crime to go to the police and have a rape kit done promptly, for reasons that should be obvious and I shouldn’t need to go into detail about.

      I deeply respect the woman in this case for coming forward regardless of how long it took. Whomever she is, I have been and will continue praying for her health, healing, and salvation. Not knowing her name, I gave her the letter “K” on my prayer list in place of a name, and plead especially with the Most Holy Theotokos on her behalf.

      There is also the Synod’s contention that the woman in this case was discouraged from reporting the crime. It did not carry much discussion here because it was not a direct charge against Met. Jonah, but it is important to remember the existence of that charge. We also have to remember that there are other people involved.

      • George P. says


        I am not surprised that you would find my comment extremely “disturbing and disrespectful.” This entire situation is extremely “disturbing and disrespectful,” not only, but also, UNLAWFUL AND ILLEGAL. I am not unsympathetic to survivors of sexual abuse and rape. I despise the word “victim” as do many individuals who are in the process of healing from those types of events – it implies a continued state of helplessness, an inability to heal – an infant, a small child who can not express themselves, a mentally challenged adult – these people are helpless victims and have an excuse not to report (a few not all the possible examples) – those individuals that have been raped and assaulted at gun and knife point, who have been jumped by multiple assailants in locker rooms and latrines are survivors. Men who have been rapped (especially in the military or prison) due to the shame involved and because the survivor is further penalized by higher ups are the ones who tend not to report as are women in countries like Saudi Arabia.

        I have also been praying for the alleged victim. Helga, don’t you see what you wrote? Don’t you see what you’ve committed to? You are ABSOLUTELY CERTAIN this rape occurred. As I said previously. I don’t believe the “godmother” is lying. I believe the “godmother” believes that she reported an event that actually happened. However, DID SHE ACTUALLY SEE IT HAPPEN? Did you? Do you realize what this accusation means in terms of this person’s priest hood, and now he is convicted by Helga et al through a sham of a report published illegally and irresponsibly on POKROV.ORG, and you see nothing wrong with this at all?

        What if it was your father, or your brother or your son that was accused of these things? Forget just for a moment the contempt we all feel for the “SUPER VILLAIN WORSE THAN RASPUTIN SEXUAL PREDATOR EVERCLEAR AND ORANGE JUICE TOTIN’, ICON TO THE WALL TURNIN’ GUN SHOOTIN’ POLICE COP ASSAULTIN’ CANONICAL PAPER RELEASE MANIPULATIN’ SO CALLED PRIEST MONK X.” If it was someone that you love, that you gave birth to, that you are related to, wouldn’t you hope that he would be tried according to the law? Wouldn’t you be disturbed if some person just comes up and says “hey, ya know what, I was never suffering from mental illness, I was able to speak, I’m mentally competent but I just didn’t feel like saying anything just then…just because I didn’t….oops, sorry. So now without proof let’s go out and lynch Helga because she victimized me.” Then everybody does. No due process, no court, no civil trial. Just internet bashing. Yes, we must remember that there are other PEOPLE involved, and they ALL have rights.

        Unless the victim provides a suitable explanation as to the “why” she failed to come forward, we all need to start asking why. This is not about insensitivity for people who are recovering from rape and sexual abuse and assault, this is about individuals who are taking advantage of rumors of a “crime” which has not been proven to weave a thick and tangled web of deception. I would’ve hoped Helga, that you would have been able to discern the difference and I hope you understand a little better where my heart is. We should all continue to pray not only for the alleged victim but for every person that we feel sympathy for and especially the people we feel contempt for. I ask that you pray for me the sinner.

        • Lola J. Lee Beno says

          I can’t believe we’re arguing over whether said individual should have been quicker in reporting this rape and coming forward versus keeping quiet. I think perhaps I can see now why she wasn’t so forthcoming.

          And we don’t know what her state of mind that caused her to do what she did what she did, and we shouldn’t blame her because of that.

          Come on . . . I only have to use a bit of imagination as to a possible scenario that could have happened, hypothetically: This is a person of authority who others apparently had respect for, especially older people, some of who were monks and nuns. Most of the interactions would have been in public, with other people, for short periods of time, and I would have observed his behavior and seen nothing that would have been alarming. Then, one day, somehow, I find myself alone with person of authority, and then he proceeds to assault me and I can’t get away till it’s too late.

          Now, up to this point I’ve viewed him in good light, and then he does this terrible thing. Maybe he threatens me if I open my mouth about this assault. Now I’m left to wonder if people would believe me, especially after seeing his behavior in public. Do I just keep quiet, or do I just go ahead and tell other people, and let the chips fall where it may?

          Remember – it’s a PRIEST we’re talking about, one who has taken vows as a monk. And he has apparently violated his vows. Is it a problem with him, or did I do something to cause him to do that?

          Which is why I think its ridiculous to speculate what one could have done, should have done, should not have done AFTER THE FACT.

          • George P. says

            Ms. Beno,

            My point is not about ‘the alleged victim” it’s ABOUT CONVICTING SOMEONE WITHOUT PROOF!!!

            Whatever the “victim’s” reasoning was, if there is no proof then all that exists is an accusation, and if we convict people on the “because I say it happened” then we might just as well throw out the Constitution and Laws. Are none of you capable of seeing that without physical evidence, that without some sort of proof, all that there is against Fr. X is an “allegation” ? Since when did the laws of the USA change? Since when were allegations and rumors enough to convict someone? For the umpteenth time this is my point of contention. The “alleged victim” of the rape made a mistake in not going to the police when the rape occurred. There is no evidence, WE DON’T HAVE THE RIGHT TO CONVICT SOMEONE ON HEARSAY. She chose not to go to the police, that’s fine. There is a consequence to that choice. That is her right. Sounds callous I know, but it is the truth.

            If she had contacted the police when the rape occurred, a rape kit would have been collected. It’s not much different than a gynecological examination. She would’ve spoken with social workers and possibly psychologists/psychiatrists at the hospital who are trained in counseling people who have been through a traumatic crime. Someone in her home would have been called and informed that she is at the ER to come pick her up. She would have been interviewed by police officers who specialize in investigating these types of crimes. Unfortunately, I have too much experience in this particular area.

            It’s a nice hypothesis you try to weave, but not at all reasonable. Anybody who has actually lived it can tell you so.

        • George P., I am not asserting that a crime took place or that any particular person committed it if it did.

          But in calling her allegation into question simply because she waited two years to report it, you are displaying remarkable insensitivity to victims of sexual assault. There are perfectly understandable reasons for her to have waited to report it if she did in fact suffer a sexual assault.

          Whether the allegation turns out to be true or false, or remains unproven, the woman making the allegations deserves compassion and sensitivity, not to have her credibility openly and baselessly questioned by complete strangers.

          • Helga,

            I understand your point…..but I feel my breath is best saved for cooling my porridge. You don’t see the truth because you don’t wish to see the truth. So be it. Every person is free.


        • G.P.

          “I despise the word “victim” as do many individuals who are in the process of healing from those types of events” –

          I do too. It’s one thing if a person sees them self in such a light, but at some point if you are actually healing you don’t want to be called ” victim” . . . and what you claim it implies I agree with too. But my point still stands, that kind of trauma is confusing to anyone and sometimes their actions don’t make sense.
          . . . I knew of a man who was accused falsely of a crime. he community blew up, The man had just moved to the area as a professor so no one really knew him. Even though it went to trial and he was found innocent, people still remember him as the guy who touched a boy. This happened over 20 years ago, and I think people still remember him that way. A criminal for life and he did absolutely nothing wrong. This is one reason I am outraged that people took our story here to the newspapers with +Jonah’s name on it. He will forever be attached to the sentence ” he covered up a rapist”. I can’t think of a more evil thing to do to someone-especially intentionally. Someone on this blog said something about +Jonah getting a job-he’ll be fine no big deal . . . except this poster must have forgotten what his name now carries with it. I just don’t know how anyone can go along with this and think everything is fine . . .

          • George P. says


            Thank you for your gracious and thoughtful response. I see that you do comprehend my reasoning at least in part.

            I am outraged that people took our story here to the newspapers with +Jonah’s name on it. He will forever be attached to the sentence ” he covered up a rapist”. I can’t think of a more evil thing to do to someone-especially intentionally. Someone on this blog said something about +Jonah getting a job-he’ll be fine no big deal . . . except this poster must have forgotten what his name now carries with it.

            This not only applies to Met. Jonah, this also applies to Fr. X. the “alleged” drunken rapist. Remember him? He was already accused (falsely) of raping J. Amos made a reference on this site that +Mel, Faith Skordinski and Fr. Tossi put out that allegation way before the “goddaughter” story ever came out and even though I asked him to clarify how he knows it was them, to the best of my knowledge he’s not taken the time to respond to his assertion. If he has responded, I apologize to him here and now. I just haven’t seen the response and I would be grateful if someone would link me to it. I hope it is very clear to everyone that we owe this respect to not only those we esteem but to those whom we don’t. We can not assume Fr. X’s guilt based upon our sympathy for an alleged rape victim. In fact, St. Theodora of Alexandria had cut her hair, dressed in men’s clothing and entered the men’s monastery of Octodecatos using the name Theodore. She was slandered by a promiscuous woman who claimed that Theodora had made her pregnant and it was not until after Theodora’s death when they took her body to wash it for burial that they discovered the awful truth that she had been slandered, that it was not possible for her to make any person pregnant (I’m not saying Fr. X is a saint, it’s just an example of the kind of stuff that has been known to happen).

            Why is it okay to be angry for Met. Jonah but not okay to be angry for Fr. X? Why are we convinced that Fr. X is the heavy? Why does Fr. X have to prove his innocence? Why is this okay with everyone? What is wrong with us, with our fundamental concepts of right and wrong, with our respect for rule of law that we allow ourselves to be manipulated so easily? It’s nothing personal against you colette (I don’t even know who you are), the general attitude is a hindrance to me. What I perceive to be a strange turn in the moral compass of humanity in general which reflects such a hardness of heart, such base cruelty, such mind numbing insensitivity, a self righteous hide so thick and callous it couldn’t be skinned using a hundred chainsaws….and it doesn’t bother anybody that there is not a shred of proof against Fr. X that he actually committed any crime, otherwise, he would have been charged by now, and there never would have been this farce of an attempt by the folks in Syosset to create this alternate reality they’ve been feeding to the general public for the last few years.

            • You are right that the OCA world has made Fr. X a rapist without a trial and that is wrong. I think most people just naturally feel for the alleged victim. Plus we know some of his offenses. He is guilty of something. As for whether these accusations are all fair, we don’t know and we may never know because no one is pressing charges, or suing. Maybe he should sue the Synod for defaming his name . . . ???

              • Thank you colette. Ultimately my argument is for us as discerning sheep to not have these “knee jerk reactions.” All of us need to respond with measured care, discernment, love, and prayer, but most of all we need to be responsible in our discussions, because it has become obvious that there are individuals in positions of authority who are NOT responsible or honest and we victimize one another.


                • Yes and hopefully these individuals who are in authority and are using persons for their end will be dealt with accordingly. Of course if most of the OCA wants to ignore this ugly page, roll over so they can get back to their lives, there maybe more victims ahead . . . .

                  Anyway, you’ve made your point earlier and it needed to be made. Thank you.

        • Rdr. James says

          Remember the McMartin case, the Wenachtie and others like them where multiple people were accused as perpatrators and multiple victims taken away to foster care and worse, only to have verdicts overturned years later. Not only the victims victimized again, but the alleged perpertrators were victimized. Not to say that abuse does not occur! I can attest as a former victim myself and as a former social worker in the field, that it does, but we should be cautious in our assessments.

          Jim of Olym

      • There is also the Synod’s contention that the woman in this case was discouraged from reporting the crime. It did not carry much discussion here because it was not a direct charge against Met. Jonah, but it is important to remember the existence of that charge. We also have to remember that there are other people involved.

        I don’t know who discouraged her from reporting it, but she had already reported it to the police by the time she took it to the Godmother, +Jonah and ROCCOR??

        Also, I would agree with you about rape, people act very illogically in such a violation.

        • Helga and colette,

          Synod’s contention that the woman in this case was discouraged from reporting the crime

          right, the same Synod that rail roaded +Jonah…again, it’s not a matter of being unsympathetic to this particular alleged victim, but I can’t trust these individuals (on the Synod) anymore. It’s been demonstrated clearly that there are ulterior motives at work (by some) and so we must consider that other parts of the story as reported might possibly be fabricated.

          I don’t know who discouraged her from reporting it, but she had already reported it to the police by the time she took it to the Godmother, +Jonah and ROCCOR??

          Also, I would agree with you about rape, people act very illogically in such a violation.

          I don’t blame them for being illogical. It is painful – physically, emotionally and spiritually. It affects the survivors ability to maintain and form lasting relationships and effects their spiritual outlook. Full recovery, especially if it is a date/acquaintance rape can take even longer. If it is someone who is coping with the pain of sexual abuse it can have affects people can’t begin to comprehend. It is one of those things that we can be sympathetic about, but unless you have actually lived it, it’s like being sympathetic with the discrimination that someone receives because they are black. You can be angry that they are treated badly, that they are discriminated against, denied employment opportunities, stereotyped, followed by mall cops and pulled over when they are driving nice cars, but in the end you are white and you can never know what it truly means to be a black man living in a white man’s world…especially in some place like South Africa let’s say. I hope my point is clear. Sympathy isn’t enough in something like this, a person has to live it to get it.

          This doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t ask why now, why this way especially when there has been an overwhelming argument made (that makes sense) of an attempt by individuals in Syosett to deceive, manipulate, and concoct all manner of slander. I don’t believe that even one of them gives a hoot about the alleged victim. Not one of them gives a care about trying to heal her wounds whether or not they are real. Somebody saw a way to utilize this person, and if she wasn’t raped before, she certainly is being raped now, but it’s not physically and certainly not by Fr. X.

        • lexcaritas says

          Reading between the lines of the SMPAC report put up by Pokrav, one might venture a guess as to who discouraged J– from reporting.

          Now the innuendo in the Synod’s letter of 7-16-12 is that such discouragement was malign, but what if the charge was false? Then, such discouragement would be understandable, wouldn’t it?

          Also, has anyone investigated or asked J or her godmother what J’s relationship with Fr. S was or has been after the alleged crime? Suppose it were found to have been or be friendly? Would that put the allegation in a different light?


          • I don’t want to assume anything at all about the alleged discouragement to report, until we know more about what happened.

          • Lola J. Lee Beno says

            Umm . . . please read that report again . . . J is NOT the godmother’s goddaughter. There’s nothing in the report to indicate that J is the goddaughter. J is the neighbor who lived in the building where the godmother had the apartment that Fr. X was living in.

            This is a crucial point that people keep getting wrong. I admit I did get this wrong until I read through this report twice.

            • The goddaughter and her husband are living in another part of the country (other than DC) . It was mentioned in the godmother’s letter.

              The goddaughter was not mentioned in the report that was published on POKROV.ORG.

              Why did the goddaughter not want confidentiality going beyond Jonah?

              The goddaughter knew the relationship of her godmother to Jonah, that she was (and continues to be) one of Jonah’s major supporters both emotionally and financially.

            • lexcaritas says

              Thank you, Lola, for correcting me. May I rephrase my previous questions, therefore:

              Now the innuendo in the Synod’s letter of 7-16-12 is that the efforts to discourage the alleged rape victim was malign, but what if the allegation were false? Then, such discouragement would be understandable, wouldn’t it?

              Also, has anyone investigated or asked the young woman or her godmother what the former’s relationship with Fr. S was and what it has been after the alleged crime? Suppose it were found to have friendly for a period of time after the alleged incident? Would that put the two-years-later allegation in a different light?


          • lexcaritas-

            Suppose it were found to have friendly for a period of time after the alleged incident?

            Help me out here friend. Help me understand your reasoning, because if such a thing did happen, it would have been the very first time that I ever encountered THAT phenomenon.

            I can’t imagine that someone I know commits an act of physical violence like rape against me, violates my body, betrays my spiritual trust through that violence and for two years after that I am going to be all “oh, I just love him! He’s my best-est buddy in the whole wide world!!! Honey, let’s ask him to perform our marriage!! Let’s invite him over for dinner! Let’s see if he’s on skype I miss him!!”

            Most people that I know if they are able to identify the rapist would want to disembowel the creep from toe to tonsil with a dull twig….repeatedly and slowly…..and truthfully, who could blame them? Getting over the pain and anger takes a while.

            So-ah…help me out here lex…how does the alleged perp commit a rape, the alleged victim is still buddy-buddy with him for two years and THEN everything goes sour? ‘Cause I’m not getting it.

            • George Michalopulos says

              George, Lex can answer for himself. All I want to say at this point is that according to the SIC report itself, that despite the allegation of rape, there was no “physical” contact. Hence, there was no rape.

              • Two different incidents here that we MUST differentiate between… George M. is talking about the J incident, not the 2012 allegation.

              • George Michalopulos,

                I understood that the SIC report was referring to J who was the neighbor that lived upstairs and not a relation by baptism to the “godmother.” That there was not physical contact with her. The allegation which is under debate that Helga, colette and I have been going on about for days now is the “goddaughter” mentioned in the “godmother”‘s letter published on your site which was only revealed this past Spring. It post dates the SIC report if I am not mistaken, and therefore was not included.

                lexcaritas is offering for our consideration the possibility that the relationship between the alleged victim and the alleged perpetrator was still friendly between the time of the alleged incident and the time it was reported in 2012. Which leads me to several possible conclusions:

                1. Let’s assume for the sake of the discussion that lexcaritas is indeed correct, that the relationship was still “friendly”. Sorry, that is just surreal for me. I don’t get how somebody can be friendly with their rapist. I don’t comprehend the dynamics. If somebody understands how something like that works I would appreciate a reference to an article. They would have been able to compartmentalize their every interaction with that person….I can’t even imagine. I’ve never met anyone going through that phenomenon. If it was friendly, what would make it go sour after two years of silence? I know it’s a callous question, but it needs to be asked since we are contemplating possibilities.

                2. The other possibility that comes to my mind is that there was never any rape. I hate to say it, but I think we need to consider the possibility that the “victim” might have been paid off to say that something happened. Who could disprove it.

                I don’t think the goal in this entire fiasco was ever +Jonah although he ended bearing the brunt of it. Ultimately I believe the target was someone else but for the purpose of undermining any hopes for the establishment of an American Patriarchal Seat.

                Maybe it’s time to re-examine +Mel’s trip to 79th street and re-name it the kiss of Judas? Just a thought.

                • I am a witness that the relations between the accuser and the accused were more than friendly. I was in their joint presence within 2 months after this alleged incident (“rape”) and they were on very good terms with each other. I appear to be one of the few people on this blog who has first hand experience of the nature of the relationship between these people . It was loving , supportive and mutually respectful. In my personal judgement it is impossible to believe that any prior inappropriate behavior could have occurred given the very positive, friendly and mutually supportive nature of their interactions with each other. This whole affair appears to be a figment of someone’s imagination. My only hope is that those on this blog who do not have any direct knowledge of these people and their personal relationship will refrain from making any judgments about either of them. This has gotten way out of hand and people who don’t know the facts should not speculate on them. On this point I am in complete agreement with George P.
                  God have mercy.

                  • IB

                    Thank you for bearing witness to the Truth.

                    I would encourage anyone else who has witnessed similar events or knows of others who may have witnessed to also come forward.

                    May Christ have mercy on all of us

                    • George P.

                      Thank you for your support! Metropolitan was vilified for covering up a crime that he could not have knowledge of and maybe even did not happen. Let us pray that he will be vindicated!

                      Lord have mercy!

                  • IB, to which accuser are you referring? The one who made the allegation about the drunken pass or the one who made the rape allegation in 2012?

                • M. Stankovich says

                  Rather than leaving it at “it doesn’t make sense to me, ” the three of you continue on as if you have even a minimal insight into the horrifying “tangle” that is the treatment of victims of sexual violence, abuse, and intimidation. I stopped at fifty scholarly and instructive journal articles in the best of psychiatric literature for the past 12 months alone: cognitive distortions associated with denial and minimization; police observed patterns of reporting, avoidance and denial; denial of the need for emergency protection and the role of the court; forced family recantation of sex abuse charges; dissociation and “memory loss” for sexual abuse events; “victim empathy syndrome”; pregnancy & disease prophylaxis, denial, and rape; lack of perceptions of threat in rape victims; PTSD, EMDR, and rape victims; risk recognition and trauma-related symptoms among sexually revictimized women survivors of rape. And it goes on.

                  Because it doesn’t make sense to you, because a victim seems comfortable in proximity to a suspected perpetrator seems odd to you, what? You would draw a conclusion that perhaps it is a wrong accusation? You are three top-flight jackasses! You make the gravest, dumbest error any undergraduate first-year counseling/social work/psychology student is taught from the outset: Never, ever presume anything about anyone you haven’t determined directly for yourself! Never. Ever. You haven’t the faintest idea of what you speak, and you have reached the shallowest, most sexist, and ignorant conclusions The woman is a victim without your moronic sideline scrutiny because she said she is a victim. Period. And apparently your former Metropolitan abandoned her. Maybe it didn’t make sense to him either.

                  • “Rather than leaving it at “it doesn’t make sense to me, ” the three of you continue on as if you have even a minimal insight into the horrifying “tangle” that is the treatment of victims of sexual violence, abuse, and intimidation”.

                    You really are clueless . . . .

                    • M. Stankovich says

                      Ah, collette, reveals me for the clueless dumbass I am, again!

                      Who could have predicted that training and experience could earn more “thumbsdown” than nameless nobodies in an internet forum speaking without knowledge or authority? Who are, from sheer ignorance, indicating the event “maybe even did not happen” because they cannot understand the common dynamics of physical/sexual trauma!

                      The other possibility that comes to my mind is that there was never any rape. I hate to say it, but I think we need to consider the possibility that the “victim” might have been paid off to say that something happened. Who could disprove it.

                      We are talking about RAPE, you simpletons! Murder of the spirit upon a living woman! And jump in here anytime protodeacon from NJ with your dictionary-definition of coercion, because that is what the Synod is accusing your former Metropolitan of attempting to do with this victim: prevent her from filing charges. Do you imagine, after reading today’s letter from the nuns, that I specifically mentioned “forced family recantation of sex abuse charges” by chance yesterday? You are inches from blaming the victim and outright declaring her a liar and deceiver for no other reason than your own ignorance.

                    • Mark from the DOS says

                      Mr.Stankovich –

                      Are you saying there is no such thing as false allegations of sexual abuse. I am certain that with all your “training and experience” you are well aware that there are.

                    • George Michalopulos says

                      Thank you Mark. How quickly we forget the Anita Hill/Clarence Thomas tumult of 22 years ago,

                    • Stanky,

                      It is not that you are a dumb ass it is just that you are a pompous dumb ass who is quick to quote Scripture and the Fathers but slow to patience towards the rest of us simpletons. You have reached the point here that whatever you pontificate it is taken within the context that, as least for me, you are also a pompous bore. I really don’t care what you write here any more.

                    • Mr. Stankovich,

                      Your comments suggest you have some insider or direct knowledge of this case that most of us do not. Either that or you have condemned Jonah with no direct evidence. That would be hypocritical. “Never, ever presume anything about anyone that you haven’t determined directly for yourself.” I took the liberty of unbolding your text, but it should still ring a bell.

                      Are you a hypocrite or are you withholding direct knowledge from us?

                      Mr. Stankovich, what exactly is your dog in this fight?

                    • Dr. Stankovich, you claim the following:

                      And jump in here anytime protodeacon from NJ with your dictionary-definition of coercion, because that is what the Synod is accusing your former Metropolitan of attempting to do with this victim: prevent her from filing charges.

                      The Synod did not accuse the Metropolitan of doing any such thing. They accused other unnamed parties of that, but not the Metropolitan. Retract your accusation and apologize.

                      You can also retract your accusation that I am a simpleton, considering that I have been arguing from the beginning that the alleged victim should be given the presumption that she is telling the truth. This does not “convict” the accused or give him any less than the presumption of innocence which he is due. For all we know we could be dealing with a case of mistaken identity in which the accuser truly suffered a rape but for whatever reason was led to accuse the wrong man.

                    • George Michalopulos says

                      Helga, you are completely correct. Jonah was not accused by the Synod of trying to hush her up at all. Of course they wanted the implication to be out there. Mike, “Let your yea be yea and your nay be nay.”

                    • Lola J. Lee Beno says

                      M. Stankovich, please don’t call us simpletons. I’ve seen what my childhood friend had to go through as she was raped by someone she trusted (they were both RAs at a college) and it had a dramatic impact.

                      I’ve also seen what happens when you grow up with (like I did) someone who is a pathological liar. It got to the point where I just blocked this person from my life. Oh, and before you ask, not the same person as my childhood friend.

                      There are just too many holes in the story, and we don’t yet have the goddaughter’s story (nor do we have Fr. X’s story), so we are left to piece this together with what we can figure out to the best of our ability.

                    • Helga says:
                      August 14, 2012 at 9:32 am

                      Dr. Stankovich, you claim the following:
                      And jump in here anytime protodeacon from NJ with your dictionary-definition of coercion,

                      I missed that because I don’t read any of his comments anymore. They are all intellectual b. s. written just to get much desired/needed attention and response.

                  • Mr. Stankovich,

                    I have a childhood friend who as an adult has accused literally dozens of men of molesting her when she was a child (I honestly lost count of the precise number years ago). Most of these allegations came after years of psychoanalysis. Every few years some new names would be added to the list. Countless hours have been spent investigating these claims. Over the years she has thrown out various names, molding her stories based on the reactions she has gotten. As a result of these stories, her parents have divorced and no longer speak to each other. This friend even tried to plant the seed in others minds that they may have been abused by one or more of these accused parties. Years later, after being raped as adults by strangers or boyfriends, some of these childhood friends have slowly become more receptive to her accusations. But still none could confirm her accusations were based in fact. She was anything but an easy target growing up. On the contrary, she was the first to cry “abuse” when a teacher disciplined her too harshly for her liking (which is to say: if they disciplined her at all).

                    Over the years, none of her sexual abuse accusations have stuck, there was just no evidence to support her claims, and over the years the claims just became less and less believeable, and finally not even physically possible. Many of us have continued to do what we can to support her the best we can, but we would be fools to assume she is a victim in all of the ways she has claimed.

                    Just yesterday, approximately 25 years after the alleged years of abuse, I received news that she finally got her man. This was a new name, not one previously mentioned. But like her most repeated claims, he was not a charismatic fellow (an easy target if you will — is easy target the language you used to discuss likely victims? Men who are unattractive, authoritarian, or who have some personality quirk will cause people to take an accusation more seriously). No legal charges were filed but she convinced the organization that this man worked for to do an investigation. They hired a retired cop to head up the efforts and he went to work doing hundreds of hours of interviews with individuals now spread all over the planet. His conclusion was that there was enough evidence to require the man and his wife to resign from their positions and find other employment. Is it possible that this man abused this woman when she was a child? Strictly speaking, it is possible. But during many of these intervening years, those inclined to believe something happened viewed her dad as the most likely culprite. Now no one knows what to think. What we do know is that many innocent men have been accused, and that this man will never be offered meaningful justice. The case against him is a sealed internal organizational report and will remain so. He will never have his day in court unless he takes the organization (and the confidential testimonials used in his “conviction”) to civil court. Most likely he will not have the money or will-power to clear his name even if he is innocent.

                    I don’t know all the answers, but I do know the current approach organizations like the OCA are taking towards sexual assault charges is flawed to its core. The power placed in the hands of the investigator or investigative committee denies due process to both the alleged victim and the alleged abuser. Once a person is accused publicly, they then live the rest of their lives with a target on their backs. Clearly, if someone is a victim of sexual assault, it is always best to go directly to civil authorities as soon as possible. But with able-bodied and able-minded adults, it must always be the decision of the victim to take their story to the police. When third parties (like friends or OCA oligarchs) take it upon themselves to force the issue, then they increase the chances that injustice will result. I was recently reminded of this fact when a friend shared with me that she had been raped on a first date several weeks prior to our conversation. I was the first person she had told and I immediate felt the self-righteous urge to call the police on her behalf, the protector in me wanting this perp behind bars ASAP. She ignored my advice to call the police (even when I offered to look up the phone number for her) but followed my advice to seek professional counseling. She actually checked herself into a local treatment facility for a week or two. When she emerged from treatment, her health was notably improved. I asked if she had gone to the police. She said she had not and did not want to. I asked if her therapists from the program had filed a report with the police. She explained that they were trying to determine if they should or not. And that was when she explained that she was not really sure if it was a rape or not. She had led him to believe they would have sex, and had told him that she likes a man who takes charge and doesn’t take no for an answer. After their encounter started she did ask him to stop but she could see why he didn’t based on what she had told him and really had very mixed feelings about the encounter. She herself was not sure if she was just feeling guilty for having casual sex with a stranger and she wasn’t sure whether the man truly was a danger to others women or not. It was a humbling reminder why it is important to respect the freedom of grown adults to make their own choices in these matters.

                    I know nothing about the current sex assault allegations, but I do know that about one year ago, an email shared among MC members discussed a plan to use charges like these as a “hook” to get rid of Jonah. Those listed as supportive of the strategy included some bishops and staff members. In my own mind, this email casts a shadow over everything that has happened. Pretty much everything has gone according to script since that plan was revealed. The fact that the synod did nothing to address that conspiracy, shows that they have no interest in truth, justice, of due process for anyone. They may be incompetent, but they also lack credibility and moral authority. Repentance and redemption for the synod will require nothing less than the miraculous intervention of an all-powerful God. I’m watching carefully, and hoping for the best; but I am profoundly pessimistic.

                    • Lola J. Lee Beno says

                      Thanks for the anecdote – this is highly illustrating and reminds us all to be careful – actions can have unintended consequences.

                    • Um

                      Thank you for the anecdote. Very powerful indeed.

                      You said it friend.

                      I know nothing about the current sex assault allegations, but I do know that about one year ago, an email shared among MC members discussed a plan to use charges like these as a “hook” to get rid of Jonah. Those listed as supportive of the strategy included some bishops and staff members. In my own mind, this email casts a shadow over everything that has happened. Pretty much everything has gone according to script since that plan was revealed.

                      Isn’t the fact that Abbess Aemiliane released the e-mails of the couple an intervention of an all-powerful God?

                      If there is something you don’t understand about what’s been released, ask them.

                  • Mr. Stankovich,

                    Never, ever presume anything about anyone you haven’t determined directly for yourself!

                    exactly…you assume much, much, much…too much.

                  • Mr. Stankovich-

                    Never, ever presume anything about anyone you haven’t determined directly for yourself!

                    Does that mean that you have PERSONALLY done an evaluation of the alleged “victim” yourself? What were the results of that evaluation? Have you shared it with relevant law enforcement agencies? How about the lawyers for the monastery in MD? You have been authorized by her or her attorney(s) to act on her behalf in this forum? Come on Mr. Stankovich, enlighten us, the huddled, ignorant, wretched masses with your superior intellectual pseudo-scientific wisdom which can’t seem to read the plain and simple text of an official statement which reads….”they tried to take advantage of us and when we told them no way they screamed rape.”

                    “4. In February of 2012, an American couple, spiritual children of the hieromonk, sought permanent residence in our Holy Monastery. This was completely ruled out by those taking responsibility to pay off the purchase of our Monastery.

                    5. Becoming resentful due to this, this couple slandered the hieromonk in like manner, while he had settled canonically in the Sacred Monastery of his repentance in Greece.”

                    Do you not comprehend something here Mr. Stankovich? Are you not capable of seeing how this casts serious doubts upon the allegations of the supposed victim? IB is not the only individual who has seen interactions between the supposed victim the supposed perp.

                    And apparently your former Metropolitan abandoned her.

                    No, He was crucified because of her.

                    Ah, collette, reveals me for the clueless dumbass I am, again!

                    Momma always said, “clueless dumbass is as clueless dumbass does” Stankovich.

                    • M. Stankovich says

                      George P,

                      I say when in conflict, submit to arbitration.

                      You gather up the real names and home locations of those of your discussants, and I will write up a short, submittable version of the history of this matter, sequence of events, timeline, accusations, and disposition to date. I will gladly include direct quotes from you and others as to the theoretical motivation(s), including the recent opinion of the DC nuns. I will submit it to my local San Diego Union Tribune newspaper, unsolicited, for their consideration. I would note that San Diego is traditionally considered a conservative “red” county and city in a very “blue” state. It is home to several military air and naval bases, US Marine bases, medical facilities, National Cemeteries & Memorials, and the retirement home of many US military families. Truth and honesty are fabric of the community. People do serious time for rape in San Diego County.

                      How about we see what a real Momma thinks about clueless dumbass me, shall we? Are you man enough to be my man?

                    • Heracleides says

                      Stankovich: “Are you man enough to be my man?”

                      I don’t think George leans that way… perhaps you are confusing him with your old gal pal Mrs. Mark Stokoe-Brown?

                    • M. Stankovich says

                      A patient said it me yesterday, “You man enough to be my man, (expletive deleted)?” I laughed so hard I thought I’d have to use my albuteral inhaler! Turns out it’s a lyric from the Dixie Chicks. I am honored that you bit responded.

                  • Michael Bauman says

                    Mr. Stankovich, I mostly agree with you on this matter. Perhaps because I have close friends who suffered the depradations of a sexual predator (their own father), I understand your anger too. Unfortunately, even righteous anger is tough handle and can easily lead us astray.

                    I am sure you realize more completely than I how evasive and maniputlative sexual predators can be. They manipulate the knee-jerk reaction of denial that most people have when they first hear of such events. They manipulate the hope of the victim that it didn’t really happen. Such predators can appear to be very charming but many are, in fact, dedicated, practiced and skilled liars, true children of the evil one.

                    When substance abuse leads to the predation, is it easier of more difficult to help the abuser? Can you say?

                    One place where I think psychology can be of great help, is of great help, is treating the effects of the abuse in the victims especially when combined with prayers to the Theotokos. Much less successful it seems is the treatment of those who abuse, but perhaps I’m wrong.

                    IF Met Jonah really tried to get this all to go away by putting unjust pressure on the victim, that IMO is enough for his deposition. In general I don’t think he understands the depth of damage that sexual predation does or the depth of evil that resides in the heart of many predators. He too easily accepts the lie. Nevertheless, that does not excuse the manner in which the synod handled the whole mess. Their actions and ‘explanations’ just further muddied the water and make it more difficult to see the truth.

                    However, I hope you would agree that it is also important to determine the truth of accusations, because false accusations, particularly in the Church are also extrodinarily damaging. So, we cannot just assume the accuracy of the accusations. Still, favoritism must not be given to the priestly caste just because they are part of the club. In fact, just the opposite. They must be above reproach and even the appearance of evil.

                    The first step is to separate the two parties I would think. It is unlikely for the truth to come out when there is still contact is it not?

                    It seems that sexual temptations are among the evil one’s favorite in bringing down clergy these days. We must work to fight such tempations in ourselves and in our parishes by errecting fences of protection for our priests. Having a priest who is without an assignment and just sort of wandering around puts them and us at great risk, I believe.

                    If such priests are invited into any parish, they must be under greater scrutiny than others or so prudence would seem to dictate.

                    • George Michalopulos says

                      Michael, you seem to have accepted the meme that it was Jonah who told the girl in question to not press charges. That is nowhere in evidence. Otherwise, great post as usual.

                    • lexcaritas says

                      Our brother Michael says: “IF” Jonah tried to discourage the filing of charges it would be grounds for depostion.

                      I agree, but as Monomakhos points out there is NO evidence of this condition; rather the synodal explanation was that certain people tried to discourage the alleged victim from filing charges, telling her to do so was to put her salvation at risk. No where is it suggested that JONAH was among these people though the way the letter is written, if it is not read carefully, it is easy to think so. Now, as I asked before: what if these people were reasonably convinced that the allegation was false? Then, wouldn’t it be right, in fact, to discourage the making of unfounded accusations? And wouldn’t the making of false allegations damaging to another person’s reputation and future amount to bearing false witness and, in fact, put the false accuser’s salvation at risk?

                      These were not my original impressions, but the fact is the synod’s letter was written in such a way as to make a careless reader think (1) that JONAH was in on the suppression of the accusation (but careflly read the letter inidcates he was not, because it says it was others) and (2) that there was something sinister going on in their effort to discourage the victim from pressing forward with it. There could have been; but again, not necessarily and, in fact, maybe not . . . especially now that we know of other testimony indicating a continuing cordial and warm relationship between the alleged victim and the alleged perpetrator until somthing else happened to sour the relationship in the alleged victim’s mind and heart.

                      In any event, how was JONAH to blame? It appears to me he wasn’t.


                    • M. Stankovich says

                      I absolutely agree with Mr. Bauman that “it is also important to determine the truth of accusations, because false accusations, particularly in the Church are also extrodinarily damaging. So, we cannot just assume the accuracy of the accusations.” The problem, as I see it, is that the victim in this terrible matter has been so compromised by those who were obligated, before men and before God, to protect her, that it is increasingly meaningless to “dialog.” This, in my mind is shameful, and cries out to heaven.

                      Nevertheless, simpletons, out of their own ignorance and arrogance, have focused on behaviours that, to them, would clearly demonstrate the improbability of sexual trauma and subsequent intimidation because they appear paradoxical, even antithetical to rape. Hmm. And not being satisfied with their “observations” and thoughts alone, they begin the ancient Native practice of “softening” a deer-skin by slowly chewing away at it, day-by-day, until the combination of spit & jaw-jacking results in a pair of pants! She made it all up! Perhaps she was paid? As the abbess noted, “by usurpers to the Chief Hierarchs Throne!” Focus: the story.

                      On the other hand, clinicians look at the same behaviour and determine it to be, sadly, consistent with a far too common pathological process and natural history. Translation: symptoms are predictable and observable, measurable and occur over stages. Paradox & antithesis are explainable and understandable within the proper context. Focus: the person.

                      My conclusion is that there will be no justice for this woman in this life. “She chose not to report it” is about as ignorant, self-serving, and shameful a statement as has ever been uttered. The perpetrator is long gone, her “silent salvation” has been paid in full, and no attorney on this earth would touch her (and the wait in line for a trial date…). Perhaps after an intimate family dinner at the La Jolla Cove – funded by his multimillion dollar “monastic” settlement with the OCA – the former Metropolitan can send a check to this poor woman to fund therapy. I know several excellent doctors in the Village that he won’t be using.

                    • meanwhile I just saw this posting by IB


                      In all the excitement over the posting of the official release put out by the monastery, I’ve not asked or looked, but is their any new about the big pow wow that was supposed to happen on Monday?

                    • Dr. Stankovich, I have no cause, currently, to dispute what you say with respect to the accuser (that’s my more-empowering word for “alleged victim” since people apparently had objections).

                      However, you go much too far when you resort to attacking the Metropolitan. He handled the allegation as he could, considering the accused priest was well outside his control, and the accusation bore a confidentiality clause. The Metropolitan personally offered pastoral care to the woman and her husband over the phone. For this, he was hounded and coerced into resigning.

                      So Dr. Stankovich, when you are throwing out blame against people here who are dissecting the allegation, be sure to include plenty of blame for the people who decided to exploit this woman and her allegation as fodder for ecclesiastical politics to begin with: the Crisis Management Committee of the Metropolitan Council, and the Synod of Bishops.

                      By the way, someone who has been forced to beg his so-called brothers to be able to earn money so he could continue supporting his family, is generally not going to be shopping for houses in La Jolla any time soon, even if he did grow up there. The bishops must not begrudge the Metropolitan what he needs to take care of himself and his family. They need to pay him off, give him a canonical release, and then leave him the hell alone.

                  • Let’s follow M. Stankovich’s axiom:
                    ” Never, ever presume anything about anyone you haven’t determined directly for yourself!

                    This means we have to absolutely dismiss what he wrote in the next breath:
                    “The woman is a victim without your moronic sideline scrutiny because she said she is a victim. Period. ”

                    What can we deduce from M. Stankovich’s professional advice? One: Unless “the woman” was examined by M. Stankovich personally for evidence of being raped, M. Stankovich may never ever presume she was raped. Right?

                    There are some people who know Metropolitan Jonah better and more personally than I, however, I do have some experience of him. Anyone who assumes he would put pressure on anyone to do anything is, in my opinion, mistaken. Metropolitan Jonah is a somewhat effective public speaker. He couldn’t pressure an eggshell to break, let alone pressure a rape victim to keep quiet. What an idea!! Metropolitan Jonah.
                    Let’s watch M. Stankovich’s messages in order to learn how to effect his commandment about “presuming” anything about others. No doubt he’ll exemplify that standard, no?
                    For example, he’d NEVER presume that others posting here were less qualified than he in the behavioral sciences, right? Unless he’s already interviewed you all personally.

                    • M. Stankovich says

                      Vladyka Tikhon,

                      As always, I appreciate your confidence, particularly your adeptness at noting my shortcomings. Most mindreaders are hardly as scrupulous. If, perchance, I ever advertize, I will certainly seek your endorsement.

                      As I can be slow at times – head trauma and all that jazz – I thought I might clarify with you, are you actually soliciting an examination, or is that rhetoric?

                    • M. Stankovich!
                      Never ever PRESUME anything about anyone (me) you have not determined DIRECTLY for yourself.

                    • M. Stankovich says

                      Vladyka Tikhon,

                      My! And I was prepared to offer the full clergy discount… AND I also have three discount cards for up to $50 off the monthly co-payemnt for Lunesta (Eszopiclone) for up to 12 months (can you top that, Mr. Michalopulos?) and two coupons for $25 off a Honey-Baked-Ham! (not the Costco imitation, mind you, the real deal). Your response makes me question my initial generosity. but like Nineveh, I can repent.

                  • Clearly you didn’t get my point, but what’s new. You are too disrespectful for me to continue reading your posts. I’ve been more than fair in giving you room to be ugly and yet still make some point in all that poo, but clearly you need firmer boundaries. I am done reading your posts.

                    • M. Stankovich says

                      Well, colette, as apparently the only person here who has actually provided care to victims of sexual trauma, let me again concede to your superior insight and fairness – for what I’m not exactly sure, but hey, as long as I’m in a gracious mood, let’s run with it. And please, allow me to correct any “boundary” violation for expressing outrage that rape – the murder of the human spirit in a living human being – has been reduced to just another “dynamic” to be argued among conspiracy “dynamics” – no more significant than other “lies and accusations.”

                      Imagine, a woman of otherwise no importance or consequence in this world would disrupt her entire existence by falsely accusing an acknowledged drunken hieromonk? This bears repeating: a drunken hieromonk accused of rape! And the reasoning behind her epic criminality? Someone’s jealousy of the “primate’s throne!” “All that poo,” favorite correspondent colette? Seriously? “Who would have thought the old man had so much blood?” (That’s Macbeth, colette) You would question my boundaries? You can’t even imagine my sense of outrage! And thanks to God, it appears that ROCOR believes her and “she was removed for her own safety!” Those with the duty to protect her scorned her every bit as much as is happening here.

                      You are absolutely correct, I don’t get your point, nor am I interested.

      • Helga,

        t is important to remember the existence of that charge

        charge n. 1) in a criminal case, the specific statement of what crime the party is accused (charged with) contained in the indictment or criminal complaint. 2) in jury trials, the oral instructions by the judge to the jurors just before the jury begins deliberations. This charge is based on jury instructions submitted by attorneys on both sides and agreed upon by the trial judge. 3) a fee for services.

        allegation n. a statement of claimed fact contained in a complaint (a written pleading filed to begin a lawsuit), a criminal charge, or an affirmative defense (part of the written answer to a complaint). Until each statement is proved it is only an allegation. Some allegations are made “on information and belief” if the person making the statement is not sure of a fact. (See: complaint)

        A criminal complaint must state the facts that constitute the offense and must be supported by Probable Cause. It may be initiated by the victim, a police officer, the district attorney, or another interested party. After the complaint is filed, it is presented to a magistrate, who reviews it to determine whether sufficient cause exists to issue an arrest warrant. If the magistrate determines that the complaint does not state sufficient probable cause, the complaint is rejected and a warrant is not issued. In federal court, the complaint is presented under oath (Fed. R. Crim. P. 3).

        Have you seen the criminal complaint? A criminal complaint was filed without physical evidence? I would be very interested in seeing that. Could you please obtain it and post it? Have you seen an arrest warrant? I would be interested in seeing it also. Since people are posting things…why not post those as well? Just a thought….

        • A charge states that a given law was broken. A specification to the charge tells HOW the law was broken. There must be evidence, though, before a charge and specification are accepted. How much evidence is what it’s all about.

  8. I’m sorry if I’m annoying anyone by being repetitive, but I have to say this again.
    There is an Elephant in the room. It is a crisis in FAITH within the highest ranks of The Orthodox Church in America (OCA) that is coloring ALL the current discussions on “Monomakhos.”
    The two most important documents under consideration are the STINKBOMB of a Statement by the Holy Synod of the OCA, on the one hand, and the STINKBOMB of a resignation letter somehow produced by Metropolitan Jonah, on the other.
    No one outside the ranks of The Orthodox Church in America could possible deduce that either STINKBOMB was of Christian, let alone Orthodox Christian, provenance! Why would the Holy Synod of the OCA put out a letter in no wise different in character AND CONTENT from a letter of the Majles, or parliament, of the Islamic Republic of Iran? Why would a Metropolitan and scholar sign a letter of resignation no different in character from the confessions “voluntarily” signed by this or that disgraced liberal politician upon being released from Iran’s Evin Prison to go into exile?

    • George P. says

      Master Bless,

      Why would a Metropolitan and scholar sign a letter of resignation no different in character from the confessions “voluntarily” signed by this or that disgraced liberal politician upon being released from Iran’s Evin Prison to go into exile?

      I’ve not a clue. Supporting family doesn’t cut it for me. Either way, they had no intention of supporting Him or His family, if they did, they would have set up a nice incentive package from the beginning to pay off Metropolitan Jonah. A nice little comfortable severance package to make sure that His mouth would remain shut, permanantly and He would stay out of the way WITHOUT GRUMBLING. No, this was personal. He had the goods on someone and He was going to call them on it. Question is, who and what? He had nothing to gain by cooperating with their lie. I would be interested in reading Your thoughts on the topic.

    • Lil Ole Housewife says

      Dear Vladika,

      Whereas the letter from the Synod of bishops could be characterized negatively, it is clear by Metropolitan Jonah’s letter that he did not agree with the letter of the Synod and that built into the letter were both a statement of duress and reasons for signing, those being individuals for which he is responsible.

      Since the allegations of the letter of the Synod were false, we all await the apology statement. The last time that Metropolitan Jonah is mentioned is on July16, 2012:

      Metropolitan Jonah was also recently added to the retired bishops list and former Metropolitans list.

      About which list, one might consider with all this instant updating, whether the OCA realizes that retired Bishop Nikolaj no longer resides in Alaska, having been released to the Serbian Orthodox Church. Or, has he been officially released back to the OCA? I’m out of date. Perhaps one of these blogs could do some reporting on the current lives of our three living retired Metropolitans. All are coherent enough for an interview.

      Which brings me to the question of why the Metropolitan is forbidden from serving in any parish he likes, if he is retired. There were no irregularities of finance or coverups or any reason why he, unlike his predecessors, had to be confined to one or another parish. So why the restriction?

      Meanwhile, we have this instead at the OCA website in addition to highlighting a new chaplain serving in Afghanistan:

      August 4, 2012
      Bishop Michael named Interim Rector of St. Tikhon’s Seminary
      SOUTH CANAAN, PA [NY/NJ Diocesan Communications]

      On April 25, 2012, His Eminence, Archbishop Tikhon submitted a letter of resignation as Rector of Saint Tikhon’s Seminary here to His Beatitude, Metropolitan Jonah and members of the Holy Synod of Bishops.

      During the Spring Session of the Holy Synod May 7-10, 2012, Metropolitan Jonah, with the concurrence of all the hierarchs, accepted His Eminence’s resignation, effective August 1, 2012. At the most recent meeting of the Lesser Synod on July 5, 2012, Metropolitan Jonah appointed His Grace, Bishop Michael, as Interim Rector of the seminary.

      In a letter to the seminary community dated July 31, 2012—the full text is found below—Archbishop Tikhon explained his decision to resign, noting that the “single and fundamental reason for my decision is the reality of the full time work required within the Diocese of Eastern Pennsylvania.” He also emphasized that his decision “did not arise from any sense of frustration with, or disappointment in, anyone on the Board of Trustees, Administration, Faculty or Staff of the Seminary,” and he expressed his joy at continuing as a member of the Board of Trustees and as a participant in the sacred task of theological education.

      Bishop Michael has begun working with the Seminary Dean, Archpriest Alexander Atty, in preparations for the new academic year. A large incoming class is expected and the faculty, staff and administration are busy making arrangements to welcome the new and returning seminarians for the challenges of the new year.

      Bishop Michael stated that he and the entire seminary community are grateful to Archbishop Tikhon for his yeoman service to the theological school over the many years that he has taught as professor and the past seven years he has served as Rector.

      Bishop Michael noted that his own goal is to continue the rich legacy of Archbishop Tikhon and Father Alexander—a legacy of spiritually forming and theologically educating future clergy for the Orthodox Church in this country and beyond, a legacy initially inspired by Saint Tikhon of Moscow, who envisioned a school to form priests in South Canaan while he was Archbishop in America, and a legacy carried into our own time by Saint Nikolai of Zhicha, who served the last years of his life as Rector of Saint Tikhon’s Seminary.

      Father Alexander expressed his gratitude to Archbishop Tikhon for the support, guidance, and love he has shown during Father Alexander’s tenure at the seminary helm. “We know that the love Archbishop Tikhon has for the seminary community is shared by Bishop Michael, and all of us here at the seminary look forward to the continuation of the support of both of these great warriors for Christ.”

      The text of Archbishop Tikhon’s letter reads as follows.

      “To the members of the Administration, Faculty, Staff, Board of Trustees, Alumni and Seminarians of Saint Tikhon’s Orthodox Theological Seminary: Christ is in our midst!

      “Since 2005, I have served as the Rector of the Orthodox Theological Seminary of Saint Tikhon of Zadonsk, a position that has given me the great blessing of participating in the sacred work of preparing young men for service in the Orthodox Church. At the same time, I have also served as the ruling hierarch for the diocese of Philadelphia and Eastern Pennsylvania, which is likewise a rewarding, yet very demanding, position. Both the Diocese and the Seminary are important institutions within the Orthodox Church in America and each has unique and demanding pastoral and administrative needs.

      “While I have felt great joy in fulfilling my responsibilities in both the Diocese and the Seminary, it has become increasingly apparent to me that the changing and growing administrative needs in each institution were making it more difficult for one person to adequately address those needs. In prayerfully considering many factors, I have come to the conclusion that it is not possible for me to serve both the Diocese and the Seminary without compromising the stability and integrity of each institution.

      “Therefore, after much prayer and consultation, I wrote a letter on April 25, 2012, to His Beatitude, Metropolitan Jonah, and to the Holy Synod of Bishops in which I submitted my resignation as Rector of Saint Tikhon’s Seminary. This letter was reviewed by the Holy Synod during its Spring Session (May 7-10, 2012) and, with the concurrence of all the hierarchs, Metropolitan Jonah accepted my resignation, effective August 1, 2012.

      The single and fundamental reason for my decision is the reality of the full time work required within the Diocese of Eastern Pennsylvania. The issues faced in this diocese, like other dioceses, are very complex and they require my full time attention as diocesan hierarch. Since the position of Rector of the Seminary is likewise a full time position, I have felt for some time that I could not devote the time and attention that both the Seminary and the Diocese required. Therefore, it seemed clearly evident to me that I needed to withdraw from one of the institutions in order to focus exclusively on the other.

      “My choice to withdraw from the Seminary was based solely on the needs of my diocese and does not arise from any sense of frustration with, or disappointment in, anyone on the Board of Trustees, Administration, Faculty or Staff of the Seminary. Although there have been, and continue to be, many challenges and difficulties facing the Seminary, none of those is the reason for my decision and none of them take away from the joy that I have felt in serving as Rector of the Seminary.

      “Historically, the position of Rector of the Seminary has been filled by the Bishop of Philadelphia. However, while the governing documents of the seminary call for the involvement of the Bishop of Philadelphia as a member of the Board of Trustees, they do not mandate that he serve as the Rector. Although I am resigning as Rector, I will continue on as a member of the Board of Trustees of the Seminary and am in no way cutting off my personal or hierarchical relationship with Saint Tikhon’s Seminary or any seminary of the Orthodox Church in America; nor am I severing the very positive relationship that the Diocese of Eastern Pennsylvania has with the Seminary.

      “I believe that my decision is a disinterested one that will be beneficial to the Diocese of Eastern Pennsylvania and Saint Tikhon’s Orthodox Theological Seminary and I am grateful to the Holy Synod for their trust in me during the years I have served as Rector. On July 5, 2012, Metropolitan Jonah appointed His Grace, Bishop Michael as Interim Rector for Saint Tikhon’s Seminary and this appointment was confirmed by the other hierarchs. I have offered my assistance to His Grace during the next few months of transition but I am confident that his previous service to the Seminary as its Dean and as Professor will make this a smooth transition and will be greatly beneficial to the Seminary Community. Please give him your full support and cooperation as we approach the new academic year.

      “In conclusion, I would like to ask forgiveness of every member of the Saint Tikhon’s Seminary Community for any way that I have hurt or offended you and for all my weaknesses as Rector. I look forward to continuing my support of Saint Tikhon’s Orthodox Theological Seminary, to developing the good relationship I have with the members of the Administration, the Faculty and the Board of Trustees and to offer my encouragement to all the Seminarians, both those currently enrolled and all the alumni and graduates. May the Lord Jesus Christ continue to strengthen you in your labors, your ministries and your studies within our sacred theological institution.”

      • George P. says

        Lil’ Ole,

        What’s your point darlin’? Just askin’.

        • Lil Ole Housewife says

          Dear George,

          One point was that the Synod’s bombshell does not in any way equate with the Metropolitan’s forced resignation letter. One was smelly, the other sad. Another point was that the OCA website crew has been quick to consign the Metropolitan to the former bishops category as if writing his epitaph while being extremely sloppy with regard to updating us on other bishops. Bishop Nikolaj, who I mentioned, was released from the OCA to the SOC to serve under Bishop Irenej, who used to spend a lot of time at the “primatial” cathedral while in Washington.working as a lobbyist. And Nikolaj is the tip of the need to update category on the official OCA website. Another point is that Metropolitan Jonah actually set the tone for how to apologize for any sins or perceived sins to others, as in the letter on the resignation of Bishop Tikhon as provost.

          An overall point is that the Synod should publicly apologize and and publicly correct their actionable slandering of their Metropolitan. Silence of other clergy is also deafening.

          My post was not explicit. Forgive me.

          • Thank you Lil’ Ole, I always enjoy reading your posts even if I don’t always agree with the contents. You have a remarkable felicity of expression and a happy talent for composition.

          • Just Guessing says

            To LOH’s reference to the “silence of other clergy,” I would venture to guess (I am, after all, “Just Guessing”) that the culture of retribution emanating from this current crop in Syosset, as well as the make up of the existing Synod, in collusion with the Metropolitan Council, makes it extremely difficult for clergy speak out. Contrast that with the so-called “70 Senior Archpriests” who signed the now infamous letter in the Kondratick affair. This is exactly why you hear deafening silence from the priests, in my opinion. Meanwhile, their phone lines are probably burning up.

            I also believe this is the central point of our host’s current letter. The “Sex Czar” is yet another billyclub to keep the troops in line. A priest could speak out about the treatment of Metropolitan Jonah and in weeks be sitting in an interrogation room in the basement of Syosset.

    • That raises two disturbing questions in my mind:

      1. How do we know that Metropolitan Jonah actually wrote that letter of resignation? Was it written for him and “robo-signed”?
      2. Has anyone actually seen Jonah, or spoken with him on the phone, since his resignation?

      Under normal circumstances, I would not ask such “Oliver Stone” type questions. Howerver, these are not normal circumstances.

      Can anyone assure me that I am just being paranoid? Thanks!

      • M.Vasiliou says

        Re. Met. Jonah

        Obviously, he has been silenced due to the vague and threatening nature of the OCA Synod letter. Hence, no phone or email contact. Could he be forcibly sequestered at St. Lukes?

        The only thing we can say for sure is that he is not dead or else there would have had a funeral announcement.

        Lord have mercy.

        There remains an unanswered question. Why was that letter from the OCA Synod unsigned? Is that a sign of cowardice or are they fearful of a lawsuit? Or is it proof that the lesser Synod (especially AB Benjamin) had it generated through the OCA Management Crisis Team?

        • Michael and M. Vasiliou, Met. Jonah has only been murdered in a purely metaphorical sense. People have seen Met. Jonah since the resignation. He has received visitors at home, and has been to church at St. Mark’s in Bethesda. No need to start crazy rumors. Syosset and the bishops already try to dismiss this site as nothing but that. We have enough crazy facts to cope with.

          As to the resignation issue, while I find the style of the letter out of sorts for Metropolitan Jonah, I currently have no reason to dispute Fr. Jillions’ assertion that Met. Jonah actually wrote it.

          What is bothersome about it is how the decision was compelled, by presenting Met. Jonah with an ultimatum consisting of non-viable “options” other than resigning. Those were: being suspended without pay (meaning immediate hardship to his vulnerable family, including his elderly parents), or abandoning his family altogether in order to waste half a year of his life confined to a mental institution.

        • Lola J. Lee Beno says

          No, he isn’t sequestered at St. Lukes. Other than that, I can’t answer your question as to why no phone or email contact, because I’m not at his residence.

          • To all,

            This Sunday at 8pm a group of us will be in prayer for the decision of the Bishops concerning +Jonah and his “retirement”. Please join us wherever you are.

            • Lil Ole Housewife says

              Dear Collette and friends,

              Although I think it would be a good idea to advertise praying all at the same time for the Metropolitan and the holy Synod, is there a parish in the DC area where we could meet to pray together? What do you plan to use as a service? Here is something lovely:


              Suggestions for spots to meet in the Washington area

              Church walkable from a Metro stop -=

              Nice parking lot =

              Another nice parking lot but there are regular AA meetings Sunday nights =

              The site of Hegumena Aemiliane’s last retreat in the area, also possessing a decent parking lot =

              And, the cathedral itself =

              Someone besides this particular notorious sinner would have to get permission for a prayer group to meet. Work it out and I will be there, maybe even wear a headscarf for a change to show I’m serious, bring a couple three Dormition vegan dishes in case we get weak from prayer, or maybe some lovely fish if we are allowed some that late at night? talks about the fast. A really fun blog on recipes is here

              We could have regional weekly prayer meetings.

              • Lil Ol,

                I am unable to organise something in DC, but perhaps we could meet in houses all over the country and pray the Lord’s will be done and the Akathist to the Theotokos.

                • Let’s follow what Colette said this week.

                  Maybe we could schedule a Metropolitan Jonah Sunday in the future. We can all light candles for him at church in the morning, or in your prayer corner if you can’t make it to church that day. Then in the evening at an appointed time, we can pray an akathist or something like that as individuals or in small gatherings.

                  • Great idea Helga.!! I am all for praying for his protection. I just hope NO ONE would want or expect him to continue his life dealing with the unHoly synod and all the committees(children) of the OCA. What a horror of a life, I would not wish on my dog.
                    I think it would be a great gesture, if someone would offer him land with water, and electricity, close by to start a good monastery where perhaps housing could be built for his dad and mom and what the heck OTHER DADS and MOMS. He would love that. . He wanted to set up an Orthodox department at a college or two. That would be encouraging also.
                    The OCA looks terminal to me. It’s just a question of throwing good money after bad now.
                    It is also important to recognize that the Group OCA wants to keep him from doing anything positive to detract from their play and pay plans. To go forward, one more thing, has to happen. This business of him being slandered internationally MUST be turned around so that we read it in every newspaper that printed this twisted story.

                    • Praying for Met. Jonah is EXTREMELY important this weekend, because apparently the Synod is meeting on Monday!!!

                    • M.Vasiliou says


                      Did you happen to find out any of the agenda items for this OCA Synod meeting? Also is this a meeting of the Synod-at-Large or the Lesser Synod?

                      I wonder if this Lesser Synod will disappear once a new Bishop of NY/Washington, D.C. is elected to take Met. Jonah’s place? I bet that if Bishop Benjamin gets that White Hat, that Lesser Synod will be history.

                      Lord have mercy on Met. Jonah.
                      Most Holy Theotokos save us.

                    • M.Vasiliou says


                      Thanks, I just found this new information on the OCA website:


                      DETROIT, MI [OCA]
                      The Holy Synod of Bishops of the Orthodox Church in America will hold a one-day meeting at Saint Andrew’s House here on Monday, August 13, 2012.

                      In addition to His Eminence, Archbishop Nathaniel of Detroit and the Romanian Episcopate, Locum Tenens of the Metropolitan See, and the other hierarchs, Archpriest John Jillions, Chancellor; Archpriest Eric G. Tosi, Secretary; and Archpriest Leonid Kishkovsky, Director of External Affairs, will also be in attendance.

                      Fathers John and Eric will offer updates on work in their respective areas, while Father Leonid will report on a variety of matters, including the recent visit he and His Grace, Bishop Alexander of Toledo and the Bulgarian Archdiocese, made to Kyiv, Ukraine in conjunction with the 20th anniversary of the election and enthronement of His Beatitude, Metropolitan Volodymyr of Kyiv and All Ukraine. [See related story.]

                      High on the agenda will be a discussion concerning the date, place, and parameters of the special 17th electoral All-American Council, for which guidelines will be established. [See related story.]

                      According to Father Eric, other items on the agenda include recommendations for appointments to various positions, including Dean of Saint Catherine Representation Church, Moscow; ORSMA coordinator; and Chancery Executive Assistant. Other urgent clergy matters also will be discussed.


                      Notice the final sentence, which expresses concern over clergy matters, at the end of this press release? No doubt the OCA Synod is concerned with keeping Met. Jonah and the OCA priests compliant. Have any clergymen requested releases to other jurisdictions? Is mutiny already happening? It appears that the Synod really did not think this matter through. Amateurish? Acting in haste?

                      George, maybe you are causing a wave or perhaps even a tsunami?

                      Lord have mercy. Most Holy Theotokos, save us.

                    • anonymous also says

                      I’m surprised this hasn’t come up earlier…maybe it has…I think a poster named Rosa mentioned it…but what about a class action law suit by members in good standing of the OCA?

                      Doesn’t the OCA have some sort of corporate status, and therefore, can’t it be sued? If there was a class action law suit then at least it would force all the financial holdings to be put in escrow, opening books, examining finances, etc, etc. causing independent examinations by external auditors so it can finally be discovered from where the fish head started to stink.

                      Somebody in the OCA has got to be a good lawyer that can do this pro bono…maybe a team of them…for the good of the church to end this cancer once and for all.

      • Priest Justin Frederick says

        I can only report what principals in the matter have said, as any good reporter would. I leave the judgment to you, and you may determine for yourself whether you are ‘just being paranoid’ or not.

        Fr. John Jillions, Chancellor of the OCA, told us in Miami last month that, after he had presented the Metropolitan with his options from the Holy Synod and the Metropolitan had made his decision to resign, that the Metropolitan sat down at his computer and typed up the letter while Fr. John waited elsewhere in the room. He said the the Metropolitan asked him from time to time how it sounded. Once he had written and printed a final copy, he signed it.

        I know people who have spoken with His Beatitude.

        If it makes you feel any better, I believe that this part of the story is accurate.

        • As I said, his letter or resignation did not open with a blessing nor close with one, nor did it ask for prayers or blessings from anyone else. There was an apology and request for forgiveness, such as could be made by someone resigning from the CPUSA or the Kiwanis. Was it not an opportunity to refer to, if not to preach, the Gospel? Metropolitan Jonah seems to have simply turned in on himself in that letter. The composer(s) of the STINKBOMB of a statement attributed to the Holy Synod and also signed by a couple hierarchs on their diocesan websites, were likewise too busy to bother with blessings prayers, invocation of the Trinity or the Holy Spirit or anything with evangelical or theological content. It was like a letter put out on Clean Monday blackening the name of a fellow priest and praising a moral conundrum of an embittered gossip-monger. IF the OCA is going the way of the Church of Carthage, but by its own hand, it is this godless manner of ‘interfacing’ with the people and the godless lives that have adopted it that will be the engine of it.

          • Your Grace, it should be noted that Met. Jonah did ask for prayers at the end of the letter.

            However, he didn’t say who to pray to. For all we know, he could have been requesting sacrifices to the Aztec god Huitzilopochtli.

            • For anyone who was confused, the Aztec god remark was a joke! I was teasing, since His Grace likes to dissect the resignation letter so much.

            • Exactly, Helga! It would appear that the farthest thoughts from Metropolitan Jonah’s mind when he wrote down his resignation (the one which he probably punctuated with, “What do you think about this, Father John, do you think they’ll be ok with it? Are you OK with it? OK, then,’) were thoughts of God, Jesus Christ, the Theotokos, Glorious Prophet Jonah, St. John of Shangai, etc. etc. When my mother was in Grace Hospital decades and decades ago, the next bed to hers was occupied by Mrs. Greenberg. Mrs. Greenberg, too, a devout Jewish woman, asked my mother, before going in to have her goitre removed, ‘Pray for me!” Some say it before duelling or playing in the Table Tennis Finals.
              Likewise, the composers of that STINKBOMB of statement would have got all mixed up and lost their chain of thought if someone had said, “Let’s pray a Molieben to All American Saints before we send this one out!” Hah! It’s more like, “Let’s pray they buy this one!”

              • M.Vasiliou says

                Your Grace,

                No doubt, Met. Jonah’s monastic training kicked in and he was unceasingly praying the Jesus Prayer asking for mercy while trying to compose a letter that would not infuriate his overlords in the OCA Synod and S-NY.

                On the contrary, as you indicated, the authors of the unsigned OCA Synod letter were probably not focused on prayer, but might have been enjoying a bottle of scotch. Perhaps that is why that letter is incoherent and blathers on without giving any facts, just suppositions.

          • Lil Ole Housewife says

            Dear Vladika

            Could we see a copy of your resignation letter, for comparison sake? Was it signed under duress and in shock?

            • I’ve never resigned from anything. I retired. All I did was notify the Holy Synod orally, so it could be included in the official minutes signed by Archbishop Seraphim, the Secretary of the Holy Synod; who was closer to Archbishop Job and Archbishop Nathaniel than to anyone else in the Synod, let alone me.
              No. Bishop Nikolai resigned but I don’t think they demanded a letter or got one. I mean this was just a hit job. Who’d ask for proof? The Faithful, including most of the instances writing here, swallowed everything about Bishop NIKolai uncritically. If a microscope with one-tenth the power of the one that is examining the procedures against Metropolitan Jonah, were to have been used then, Sidebotttom, Fr. Anderson and some other entities, living and dead might be behind bars right now and the legends of Lydia Black and Fr. Oleksa would be quite a bit different, for starters.

              • Dear Vladika,

                i was writing somewhat rhetorically. The key points I wanted to get across were forced resignation and shock.

                Bishop Tikhon (Fitzgerald) says:
                August 10, 2012 at 12:56 am

                I’ve never resigned from anything. I retired. All I did was notify the Holy Synod orally, so it could be included in the official minutes signed by Archbishop Seraphim, the Secretary of the Holy Synod; who was closer to Archbishop Job and Archbishop Nathaniel than to anyone else in the Synod, let alone me.

                That you retired is your right, but you are still active and capable. I am happy to know there was no coersion.

                No. Bishop Nikolai resigned but I don’t think they demanded a letter or got one. I mean this was just a hit job. Who’d ask for proof? The Faithful, including most of the instances writing here, swallowed everything about Bishop NIKolai uncritically. If a microscope with one-tenth the power of the one that is examining the procedures against Metropolitan Jonah, were to have been used then, Sidebotttom, Fr. Anderson and some other entities, living and dead might be behind bars right now and the legends of Lydia Black and Fr. Oleksa would be quite a bit different, for starters.

                At least one local priest had Bp Nikolaj as a confessor, so all that business of his transferring to the Serbian orthodox Church came as a shock to some who had just assumed he was fine but had never known him. I’ve never met him or any of the other individuals you talk about except for Father Oleksa who I met once and had the absolute joy of hearing sing the Lord’s Prayer in Yupik and other parts of a service in two other Alaskan languages. He seems a very holy man.

                • Jane Rachel says

                  Lil’ Ol’ Housewife, there are public, well-known spiritual leaders who look and seem holy and the people love them to pieces, but they would abandon an orphan or a widow or a wounded Samaritan for the sake of appearance alone, or to protect their precious reputation, and all the people except those who know better would praise them far and wide for their “good deeds,” and bristle if anyone dared to tarnish that image by telling what they know. And there are men who look or seem “unholy” but they are holy and I think God likes them because they’re honest. I’ve learned the hard way not to judge a book by its cover.

                • Ah, the servant of God, Michael Oleksa, an Archpriest…I’ve met him more than once; in fact, he served in the diocese of the West, in Santa Rosa, when I was bishop there. The parish was a rather troubled one, except during the incumbencies of Father Andrew Morbey, and of the Margitiches, father and son. Both the Morbey and the Margitich pastorates saw the real spiritual growth of the parish. Father Michael mostly feuded with Father David Black’s followers and rejoiced in himself, as he still does today. Academically, he’s very accomplished, indeed! Seems to me he got his doctorate in Prague. He was brought up Lutheran in a Lutheran family, I believe. I don’t remember when he converted to Orthodoxy. he has a wonderfully supportive and Alaskan spouse and some offspring.
                  He used to mock Bishop Gregory (Afonsky)’s scholarship. IN general, he’s an expert at good-natured belittling of those with whom he disagrees. That’s better than nasty belittling, but it’s still belittling, even if it does give a sense of comradeliness to those who are included in his audiences. I believe Bishop Nikolai was alarming to him. Bishop Nikolai was a totally “no-nonsense” type person, and he expected a Priest assigned to a parish to put that parish at the head of all priorities and even BE there every Sunday and Feastday No Matter What! The Archpriest, however, considered that his personal (and Apostolic, of course) freedom to travel and enlighten should take precedence over mundane parish service. Therefore, he also encouraged the priests who had been used to the totally laissez-faire governance of previous hierarchs to object and resist the idea that they could not take a season off when it was culturally OK. Also, he is well-known for having discovered an early clergyman, Jacob Netsvetov (always Russified by Oleksa to “Yakov”, who nevertheless decried the “Russification” of a diocese where the laos was rather proud of its “Russian heritage” and Slavonic chants, until learning from Oleksa that they had rights, i.e., the right to use American, rather than Russian, in their services) and INFORMED the Alaskans that they had been “locally venerating” someone they’d never heard of until Oleksa discovered him in a library!. And so on. I’m happy for Father Michael Oleksa, since now that Bishop Nikolai’s been got out of the way, he can forget about staying in some God-forsaken Native village and resume his enlightening lecture tours, the subject of which is always Father Michael Oleksa.

              • M.Vasiliou says

                Why would Mark Stokoe and others fabricate such vile information against Bishop Nikolai on

                A. Bishop Nikolai imposed the Old Calendar on Alaska.
                B. Bishop Nikolai was tough on those who were alcoholic or living the homosexual lifestyle in his desire to help them achieve salvation.
                C. Both of the above.

                I have heard it said that if a person dislikes homosexuals or is opposed to the homosexual lifestyle, then he is probably a closeted one. So, if someone were given the diagnosis of homophobia, then he would be treated as if he were a closeted homosexual. Can you just imagine if someone, especially a monk or hieromonk, were to receive treatment for homophobia at St. Lukes.

                Patient: I am not a homosexual.
                Therapist: You are a homosexual by your very denial.
                Patient: I am not denying anything.
                Therapist: Really? All you have been doing since we began therapy is one denial after another.
                Patient: I am a heterosexual with normal sexual urges.
                Therapist: Okay, how do you act out those urges.
                Patient: I am celebate.
                Theraplist: Oh, so you suppress your urges?
                Patient: No, I pray and offer my chastity to God.
                Therapist: God, who is God? Are you admitting that you have a invisible friend, whom you label “God?”
                Patient: It is impossible to reason with you.
                Therapist: That is because you have so many denials.
                . . .

                Oh, yes, I have witnessed this confrontative style of therapy when I was in the lab. It can get brutal.

                So, round and round they go. Thank goodness Met. Jonah did not submit to the OCA Synod’s fraudulent diagnosis, whatever it was, and spend six months at St. Luke. That experience could have made any sane man crazy.

                • M. Stankovich says

                  When you were finished mopping the floors at “the lab,” did anyone question as to how or why you were “overhearing” such “brutal” confrontation? What you describe, pal, is “fool’s gold” pawned off as rich, “insider” dope! Fairy tale and contrivance is best left to writers of some meager knowledge of the topic. If your ignorance of psychiatry were any more ridiculous, some therapist would be treating you for psychophobia, because on some unacknowledged level you believe you are one. Fortunately for the field, it takes a little more schoolin’ than eavesdropping to practice with live, breathing humans. Rest assured that one does not reach the level of a St. Lukes with a certificate from the Google Board of Psychiatry.

                  • Mr. Stankovich-

                    Then you and others have the audacity to complain when you are referred to as a troll when you post such off topic personal attacks against others instead of contributing to the conversation? Why do you even bother coming to this site…..seriously man. You are officially on my ignore list.

                    • M. Stankovich says

                      George P,

                      I do not know who you are or how you came to this discussion, but my comments are not “hit and run” trolling, rather they are consistent and unmistakable for more than a year, seriously man. It’s a simple matter of clicking on “View all comments.” Troll my derrière.

                      I am open to any and all commentary based on merit and will stand corrected immediately if I have made a factual error. M. Vasiliou scolds that I “should be ashamed for promoting the humanistic mental health profession instead of Christianity” based on Psych 101 from the Church of Scientology, and Mr. Bauman shamelessly ascribes to me the worst excesses of the field he can dig up without ever once asking if I hold such opinions. These are not arguments on merit, based on facts as I understand and practice them. They are factually misguided and misrepresent my training, experience, and practice. Period. I maintain that I have proposed nothing that contradicts the Scripture, Patristic Teachings of the Holy Fathers, Canonical Traditions, or the Holy Tradition of the Church.

                      And while I live to please you, seriously, George P, I see no shame in being ignored by you, officially or otherwise.

                  • Michael Bauman says

                    Mr. Sankovich, I honestly don’t understand why you feel the need to defend your particular view of your profession with such ad hominum ferocity. It dosen’t help your cause. It only severs to validate the negatives many people perceive in the practice of psychology.

                    Unfortunately, it also feeds the beast that is causing so much trouble in the OCA.

                    • This is from Washington Post:

                      “A Silver Spring psychiatric hospital that specializes in treating Catholic clergy has been cited for problems that are “serious in nature”, according to a report from Maryland health officials who investigated the facility after a patient drowned himself in a bathtub there in January (2009).

                      A report by the department of Health and Mental Hygiene said St.Luke Institute has left potentially suicidal patients in unsafe environments, had inadequate staff to monitor high risk patients — including one whose log showed only his admittance and his discharge six month later” ….
                      This is where our beloved Metropolitan spent his precious time last year and where he was recommended to stay for six more months ?….
                      Lord have mercy!!!

                  • Mr. Stankivich,
                    Is it possible for you to respond without being so slimy?
                    M. Vasiliou you just got slimed . . . .

                • Geo Michalopulos says

                  MV, although your generalization can be mischaracterized as cartoonish, it is in essence what we are dealing with. Modernism for all intents and purposes anymore is not merely materialistic but anti-theistic. (Note I did not say “a-theistic”. We are dealing with theomachists here.)

                  I very much believe that modern psychiatry for the most part would view any traditional Christian who is faithful to his anthropological vocation as a whack-job.

                  • Well said George M.

                  • M.Vasiliou says

                    First, a big thank you to George P., Michael Bauman, Colette, and George Michalopulos for your supportive statements.

                    Even though confrontative techniques are commonly used during intervention to get a person to commit into an institution for his/her alcoholism, drug addiction, eating disorders, pornography, uncontrolled online gaming or texting, and/or financial irresponsibility involving credit cards, gambling, or shopping sprees, we can see that the OCA Crisis Management Team nefariously used the same techniques to force Met. Jonah to:

                    1. resign;
                    2. admit his apparent “demons” and seek psychiatric help at St. Luke; or
                    3. lose his pay if the above two options were rejected.

                    Of course, Met. Jonah submitted to a forced resignation. That was the only real option left.

                    Now that we know of the existence of this nefarious OCA Crisis Management Team, what is to prevent:

                    a. The OCA Synod from mandating that all priests sign a petition creating the illusion that there is full support of the recent actions of the OCA Synod and S-NY; and/or

                    b. The OCA Crisis Team from springing into action to force all non-compliant OCA priests and bishops into therapy, resignation, or early retirement with cuts in pension?

                    Those OCA priests who are close to retirement age can possibly wait the one or two years before they retire into the safety net, but what about those priests who are only five or fifteen years away from retirement and who cannot possibly start a new career or change jurisdictions as they would lose all retirement and health benefits?

                    I guess we might find out on Monday, August 13, when the OCA Synod meets as they have some urgent clergy matters to discuss.

                    If OCA Synod decisions on August 13, 2012 are draconian, then devout laity and clergy might have to take immediate and drastic actions. OCA parishes can do what some Traditional Anglicans did: create a separate building fund to build a new church once they have broken free from the OCA bureaucracy and put all funds that would have gone into the OCA treasury into that new account.

                    Most Holy Theotokos save us.

        • Priest Justin Frederick says:
          August 8, 2012 at 5:35 pm
          “I leave the judgment to you, and you may determine for yourself whether you are ‘just being paranoid’ or not.
          Fr. John Jillions, Chancellor of the OCA, told us in Miami last month that, after he had presented the Metropolitan with his options from the Holy Synod … .”

          Coercion ( /koʊˈɜrʃən/) is the practice of forcing another party to act in an involuntary manner (whether through action or inaction) by use of threats or intimidation or some other form of pressure or force. In law, coercion is codified as the duress crime. Such actions are used as leverage, to force the victim to act in the desired way. Coercion may involve the actual infliction of physical pain/injury or psychological harm in order to enhance the credibility of a threat. The threat of further harm may lead to the cooperation or obedience of the person being coerced.
          (Source: Wikipedia)

        • lexcaritas says

          However, wasn’t even the Chancellor’s continued presence while the letter was being composed a form of intimidation and coercion? Why not give +JONAH 24 hours to consider and the right to compose his resignation reflectively and in private? No wonder it didn’t invoke the name of Christ as his Grace, +Tikhon, seems to wish it had. On the contrary, the careless use of the divine name to sanctify otherwise unholy activities is to profane It, isn’t it? How many times was “Glory to Jesus Christ” said in Miami with mixed motives–i.e. with sincereity mixed with a desire for “crowd control”? Eis polla despota was sung with great vigor wasn’t it, when it arguably might have more fittingly be muttered with a whisper.


          • Lex, I do wonder what kind of situation we would be in if Met. Jonah had been given some time to decide. The Chancellor’s presence tells me something like, “I’m going to stay here so you really go through with it.” What was Met. Jonah going to do, call the Patriarch of Moscow? (I wish he had.)

            Yes, we all know Met. Jonah offered Fr. Jillions a drink, but he’d probably offer a drink to someone who spat in his face and called him a horse’s behind, so that really says nothing but that the Metropolitan has hard liquor and is willing to share. (Yay!)

            For some reason, the discussion about the letter’s content reminds me of that weird scene from The Royal Tenenbaums where Richie talks about a letter he wrote around the time he tried to kill himself: “Of course it’s dark, it’s a suicide note.”

            Of course it’s dark, it’s a forced resignation. Of course it doesn’t mention God, that would have been sacrilege.

          • Priest Justin Frederick says

            Like I said, I leave it for you all to judge.

            I’ve been told we in the OCA (certainly in the DOS) sing ‘eis polla’ far more frequently than other Orthodox Churches do. I would be curious to learn from those with experience in other jurisdictions, outside the US, and in Russia, just when do they sing it for their bishops?

            One thing the Chancellor did not mention to us in Miami was the third option reportedly offered to His Beatitude: that if he chose neither to resign nor to submit to treatment for six months, he would not receive a paycheck. It would certainly have been interesting had he chosen neither, either calling the bluff or, if the threat of non-payment was made good, calling his lawyer. Does this procedure represent the ‘best practices’ and the ‘proper procedures’ we claim highly to value? Does it reflect the Gospel? (I ask this sincerely.)

            Unfortunately, none of us in Miami was thinking quickly enough publicly to ask the Chancellor about this possible omission from his narrative, and I did not get the chance to speak with him privately for which I hoped. He did tell me in an email (July 27) that neither he nor the Synod could enter into a point by point refutation of all the questions and evidence online that seem to contradict to the Synod’s letter. He asserted that there is serious misinformation, yea, disinformation out here.

            If all that has been said about His Beatitude is true and the way in which he has been handled reflects the Gospel, the best practices of the OCA, and what will be best for the Church, so be it. If not, we have a deeper problem on our hands to engage that jettisoning His Beatitude will not solve if we want the Church in America to flourish and effectively preach the Gospel to the peoples of our land. Meanwhile, we watch and pray, ponder and weigh evidence…

            • Roboacolyte says

              What I have observed is that there is a competitive dynamic within the Bishop realm.Bishop Ben.has
              demonstrated a peculiar predeliction for over powering people.Could be he was picked on too much in grammar school.Whatever the history or reason for his behavior it seems to me that Bshop Ben was once Met. Jonah’s superior .Blah blah blah.You all figure it out.

              • Rdr. James says

                Careful there! He might just be the new Met. Then the West and Alaska and the south (along with Washington DC)will both all be vacant until the holy synod declares otherwise, Have jun, you guys!

                How many wideowed and celibate priests do we have in the OCA?

      • Thanks for the information, all! That is all I wanted to know.

        I am not “starting rumors.” I just wanted to know if anyone knew how he was actually doing. It seems that a number of people do, and that is enough for me.

        • Lil Ole Housewife says

          Dear Michael,

          He is coherent, clear, still smiling, still obviously caring for all those around him, still attending and serving, still chanting and still praying. He still is delivering good sermons. He is accessible by phone and email.

          In reading about all this stuff imposed upon him, how does it come to be that a priest, Father Jillions, who I have never met, is the Metropolitan of my Metropolitan?

          I hope everyone is attending Vespers tonight. I better get going myself. Then, as I suggested to Collete, we can each chant the supplicatory Canon to the Theotokos.

          • M.Vasiliou says

            Dear Lil Ole Housewife:

            I will be joining you in spirit tonight and tomorrow.

            Most Holy Theotokos, save us.

  9. Catherine says


    While I completely disagree with your analysis of the “sex czar,” I do agree that the OCA system of governance is completely broken. Have you or others considered breaking away from the OCA? There are, of course, other jurisdictions. When ROCOR reconciled with the Moscow Patriarchate, there were a number of parishes that chose not to go with them. I wonder if now is the time to seriously consider using the power of the internet to start a kind of grass roots change. This keystone cops approach to the administration in Syosset could stop. The bleeding of parishes for frivolous and unnecessary departments could also stop. Imagine how strong a new OCA could be if it had just the Diocese of the South as its main base. Certainly Metropolitan Jonah could be brought back to head it up and there quite a number of disgruntled OCA parishioners that would probably support such a move. The OCA does not legally own most of the church properties in the OCA. They are owned by the individual parishes who chose to be under the tax i.d. number of the OCA. The only real loss would be that the the churches might lose their not-for-profit status for a while (which seems to be a pretty small thing in comparison to all of the issues).

    This may sound crazy but it’s obviously not as difficult as it might seem. Sometimes we just have to say, “No. Enough is enough.” I am not trying to be an anarchist but watching the continual implosion of the OCA just doesn’t seem to be a very productive use of time and resources.

    • Lil Ole Housewife says

      Dear Catherine,

      I will become a second class citizen within a Diaspora Church before joining a ROCA or a HOCNA. If you mean a Save Our OCA movement of some kind similar to the GOAL movement to effect change in the GOA, it would be hard to envision joining such a movement with no clergy brave enough to join. Our clergy voices are silent at present

      • M.Vasiliou says

        I remain extremely leery of the Orthodox Christian Laity (OCL) and its counterpart GOAL with their secretive websites and memberships. Isn’t Mark Stokoe part of the Orthodox Christian Laity? While Stokoe was actively involved with his, the OCL had a link to his website, as they did to GOAL. And both GOAL and the OCL have made a lot of unfounded accusations against Orthodox Christian clergymen. While GOAL printed expensive brochures which they sent to the mailing list of the GOA, the OCL posted GOAL’s accusations against Archbishop Sypridon and Archimandrite Ephraim of St. Anthony Monastery in Arizona. I received a copy of said publication and searched the OCL website (the part that was open to the public) and found the same people involved in both organizations.

        GOAL and the OCL were largely responsible for the ouster of the former head of the GOA, Archbishop Spyridon of the GOA who was forced to resign under vague circumstances similar to Metropolitan Jonah. Since GOAL and the OCL have used the same unchristian tactics of the MC, the OCA Synod, and the S-NY Apparatus, forming a similar group like GOAL/OCL would not work even with the involvement of the OCA Clergy as it would rapidly become a very rich ungodly oligarchy with no accountability just like the S-NY Apparatus. We would be working against the Holy Church.

        Searching for other options:

        1. HOCNA (aka HOMB), with its ungodly cultist abbot ruling from Holy Transfiguration Monastery, is not an option. Not only is it schismatic, but also HOCNA is apparently heretical as it reportedly espouses the Name-Worshipping Heresy, which was denounced by the EP back in 1917. If HOCNA has not fallen into heresy which it claims, then let its Synod publicly denounce the Name-Worshipping Heresy. Otherwise, people should definitely stay away from this group.

        2. HOTCA under Metropolitan Pavlos is a viable option as more clergy from the Antiochians, Greeks, and OCA have recently joined that GOC jurisdiction.

        3. Stay within the OCA but refuse to fund S-NY and the OCA Synod until they repent. There is one problem with this option: during the Divine Liturgy, an OCA bishop from the Synod will be commemorated. True, we should pray for them, but do they rightly divide the word of the truth? Lord have mercy.

        • Priest Justin Frederick says

          They certain don’t “define” the word of truth, a mistranslation from the 1967 book that never ceased to exasperate His Eminence of blessed memory Dmitri.

        • Archpriest John W. Morris says

          To M.Vasiliou

          Do not leave the canonical Orthodox Church to join a schismatic non-canonical group. I do not think that God cares what calendar we use. Of all the reasons to leave the canonical Church, leaving over what calendar they use is the dumbest. The Old Calendarists completely misrepresent the true nature of Orthodox ecumenism. They take a Protestant definition of ecumenism and falsely apply it to the canonical Orthodox Church. They completely ignore the many statements made by Orthodox authorities on the Orthodox approach to ecumenism which completely reject the Protestant approach to and definition of ecumenism. I recently read the statement on ecumenism made by the group calling itself the Genuine Orthodox Church. It is a complete fabrication made by people who are either totally deluded or who are deliberately lying. That may sound harsh, but their claims on what Orthodox mean by ecumenism are completely false. Ecumenism as practiced by the canonical Orthodox Church is neither a betrayal of Orthodoxy or nor is it heresy.
          I am not OCA. I am Antiochian. Therefore, I do not know what is going on in the OCA or who is right or even how deep the divisions are. I do not know if there is a real crisis or it is just a few people posting on the internet. I do know that despite all the fighting, the OCA is a canonical Orthodox Church with grace filled Sacraments. I suggest that you ignore all the conflict. Go to Church, support your local parish, pray and let God resolve the problems in the OCA. Let God decide if your bishop is rightly dividing the word of His truth. Remember the validity of the Sacraments do not depend on the worthiness of the Bishop or Priest. In time, the dust will settle and the OCA will survive because it is part of Christ’s Holy Orthodox Church. God will protect His Church and the OCA.

          Archpriest John W. Morris

          • Subdeacon David says

            In time, the dust will settle and the OCA will survive because it is part of Christ’s Holy Orthodox Church. God will protect His Church and the OCA.

            Father, your blessing! Are you aware of any local Churches that have been “part of Christ’s Holy Orthodox Church” that have not survived? Certainly there have been many. While we can have faith that the Church itself shall prevail, that ought not be taken as a guarantee that any particular expression of the Church, including the OCA, will. By all account, the OCA is hemoraging members. Its bishops are at best incompetent or, at worst, dishonest and disingenuous. Here in America the OCA is not THE Church, but merely an expression of it in this uncanonical mess we have ourselves. While I wish your advice was sound, I fear that it is not much more than that of one whistling past a graveyard.

            Additionally, just HOW would “God decide if [our] bishop is rightly dividing the word of His truth”? How is that decision manifested? Is it not in PEOPLE? Is it not in the “rational sheep” saying “anaxios”? I am reminded of the joke about the couple whose home was flooded and “put their trust in God”, climbed upon their roof and turned down all offers of help, as “God would deliver them”. When the flood waters finally overwhelmed them, they appeared before the Lord and ask Him why He hadn’t helped them. The Lord, of course, patiently pointed out all the people He had sent their way…

            • Archpriest John W. Morris says

              I know that the OCA is not the only canonical Orthodox Church in the USA. I did not want to suggest that he leave the OCA and join another jurisdiction like the Antiochian Archdiocese because I did not want to be accused of sheep stealing. In addressing M.Vasiliou my concern was that he not leave the canonical Orthodox Church to join an uncanonical sect, especially one like HOCNA with its rather sordid orgins. I do not know where he lives. In some places the OCA is the only canonical Orthodox Church.

              Archpriest John W. Morris

              • Geo Michalopulos says

                Fr John, I don’t believe any offense was taken. And I very much appreciate your historical and theological insights.

              • Jane Rachel says

                I think that you, Father John, sometime entertain the idea that your Antiochian Archdiocese is not as bad as the OCA. Sorry, Father John, but that’s the impression I get from your posts, and also sometimes from Fr. Patrick’s posts. I can tell you for sure that we are all in the same boat, and that all that glitters is not gold.

                • Jane
                  Ask them about open audit or financial transparency and you’ll see a big difference in the OCA an dthe Antiochian archdiocese. Sarah Hodges was pilloried in Palm Desert when she brought the subject up.

                  • Archpriest John W. Morris says

                    Every year every parish receives a detailed financial statement from the Archdiocese that tells where every penny comes from and how every penny is spent. I am not an accountant or a businessman, but I have people on my parish council who know about finances. They are quite satisfied by the financial statements they receive. When all the problem was going on, I asked them what they thought. They all agreed that it would be a colossal waste of money to spend $100,000 to pay for a professional audit.
                    I was at Palm Desert and was shocked at the behavior of some of the critics of our Metropolitan. An Orthodox Christian treats a Metropolitan with the respect due his office. The Metropolitan had a meeting with the clergy and everyone had an opportunity to ask any question they wanted to ask. I remember one priest, who is no longer with us, who treated His Eminence with total disrespect. Any Orthodox priest who shows that much disrespect for an Orthodox Bishop should be suspended. I have no doubt that if he were OCA and treated an OCA bishop with that much disrespect that he would be disciplined.
                    Yes, I am loyal to my Metropolitan and the Bishop under whom I serve. An Orthodox priest is under obedience to his Bishop. I have great respect for Metropolitan Philip and for all that has been accomplished under his leadership in the Antiochian Archdiocese. I have found Bishop Antoun to be a loving and caring Bishop since I have been under his authority. I respect all our Antiochian Bishops and am proud that we have such good episcopal leadership.

                    Archpriest John W. Morris

                    • Michael Bauman says

                      Fr. John, the debacle in the desert was of Met. Philip’s making. From the recordings I heard and the reports from friends who were there, the disrespect went both ways. It was not Met. Philp’s finest hour.

                      The upshot of the whole thing is that he will be left alone until he decides to die. I hope then, things will be put on a much better footing because we do have fine bishops and, as much as it pains me to say, one of the reasons we have such fine bishops is Met. Philip. He has done many good things, but also many not-so-good things.

                      The accounting needs to be done. The ethnic thugs need to be put in their place (like the one who publically threatened the safety of a bishop) Was he disciplined in any way? You are right to call for respect for our bishops, but that respect should be given to all bishops, and bishops should in turn respect their clergy and the laity.

                      Still and all I would rather have his more or less benign dictatorship than the chaos of the OCA.

                • Jane Rachel says:
                  “I can tell you for sure that we are all in the same boat”

                  I’m afraid this is really too glib. The Antiochian Archdiocese certainly has its problems, but to my knowledge the clergy and hierarchy stand firm and united on the polarizing modernist issues of homosexuality, ecumenism, and women’s ordination. This is a significant difference with the OCA, and I don’t see how it is helpful to gloss it over. There are clear strengths of the OCA and the GOA, but on this at least (and I am sure someone will turn up an outlier or two) the AOC is keeping the ancient faith. It may be useful to ask how and why, rather than assuming we are all “in the same boat.” Nor does it seem legitimate to suggest, as does StephenD, a moral equivalence between problems concerning financial accountability in the AOC (which are by no means trivial) and heterodox views on moral and theological issues in the OCA.

                  • I think that Jane Rachel was “spot on” insofar as she said the OCA and the Antiochenes being in the same boat, particularly as concerns Seraphim’s “the polarizing modernist issue(s) of homosexuality.”

                    • Archpriest John W. Morris says

                      Your Grace:

                      We are not all in the same boat. One does not hear of tolerance for homosexuality by Antiochian Bishops. Our Metropolitan and his Bishops are very solid when it comes to sexual morality. There is zero tolerance for sexual immorality of any kind by the clergy under Metropolitan Philip. There is not even a hint of weakness when it comes to homosexuality in the Antiochian Archdiocese. Sometimes a priest commits a sexual sin and after an investigation shows that it is true that priest is suspended. If any of what I read on this blog or have heard about the “Lavender Mafia” in the OCA are true, the OCA has very serious problems. At the very least, the OCA has a major PR problem that has created the appearance that the OCA leadership is weak when it comes to defending the Orthodox teaching on homosexuality. I hope and pray that it is merely a PR problem and not a real one. If it is more than a PR problem, the OCA needs to clean it up immediately if not sooner. We must not allow the pro-gay movement to subvert any part of the Orthodox Church in this country.

                      Archpreist John W. Morris

                    • Archpriest John Morris, how well did you know the Chancellor before Charles Ajalat, an Archpriest Corey, was it not George Corey/ Just askin’.
                      Did you ever meet Father Anthony Beauchamp (sp?) of Montreal? Do you travel a lot, giving you the ability to assess the proclivities of all the Antiochian clergy, high and low?
                      Perhaps you’d rather say that while the Antiochenes are as tolerant of homosexual clergy as any other group, they are not known to further homosexual concerns?

                    • “Knows the Score!” If you intend to defend Father Vasile Susan, why don’t you tell us your name? He’s not THAT important, you answer? I thought so: not important enough to stick your neck out for, right? As far as whether I said anything to defend Fr. Vasile Susan, goes, yes, i did. Oh, I forgot, YOU don’t defend ANYONE. All your anonymously cowardly posts are accusatory. That’s your life. OF COURSE the OCA and “Greeks” (I think he or she means GOA) have hidden homosexuals!. Surely that’s not meant to be a REVELATION? Here?

                  • Archpriest John W. Morris says

                    Reply to Michael Bauman
                    Have you ever had the opportunity to deal with Metropolitan Philip one on one? I have many times.
                    I have never been treated with anything other than respect by Metropolitan Philip. I have had many dealing with him over the last 35 years. He has the ability to listen to someone and treat them as if he thinks that you are the most important person in the world. He invites and respects the opinion of anyone who has an opportunity to deal with him on a personal level. When you are alone with him, he is a warm and caring person. It is more difficult to get to know him when 2,000 people are trying to talk with him. I remember when I was a young priest and he visited my parish. He sensed how nervous I was and did everything possible to make me feel at ease. Our Archdiocese has grown so much under his leadership that many young priests do not really know their Metropolitan. He is a decisive leader. But it is because of his decisiveness that our Archdiocese has grown and prospered under his leadership. The Metropolitan does not favor Arabs over non-Arabs, but has appointed many converts to positions of leadership in the Archdiocese.
                    I know some of the members of the Board of Trustees of our archdiocese and trust them to look after the financial affairs of the Archdiocese. They are mostly businessmen who know what they are doing. They all have the best interest of the Church at heart.
                    I was with every priest of the Archdiocese a few weeks ago. I was also visibly ill with some blood sugar and knee problems. I felt nothing but love and concern from every one of my brother priests and our Bishops, Arab and non Arab. No one treated me as an inferior because I am not Syrian or Lebanese. They all treated me as a brother in Christ.

                    Archpriest John W. Morris

                    • Michael Bauman says

                      I’ve never dealt closely with Met. Philip, I am not one of the favored. However, I have been around him as he talked with folks the couple of times he visited by parish. My impressions were not particularly favorable. I’ll lay part of that on the great multitude of times I heard upon coming into the Church (25 years ago) words to this effect: “Don’t pay too much attention to Met. Philip, he’ll be dead soon”

                      He is a leader with a fine appreciation of power and the ability to charm folks when he wants to/needs to. He is quite skilled, usually, at reading a room and speaking to the bias in the room as long as it is not too far from where he wants to go–and always the sense of withheld intimidation lingered around him. His eyes never stopped moving as he talked, he was always checking to see the effect of his words Children did not want to be around him it seemed.

                      He is also quite capable of using his authority (which is not just power) in ways that seem quite caprcious while not feeling the need to explain anything to anyone and willing to openly intimidate or attempt to intimidate. None of these attributes is necessarily bad but my over all impression of him is that he’s not really a nice guy. He is always calculating.

                      There is a long list of decisons that I don’t particularly like (not that it matters), but I’m quite willing to live with them for now knowing, as I do, that he is a true bishop and if we live in obedience to the teachings of the Church and strive to live the life of the Church, God will take care of the rest. There will be all kinds of dyspepsia, pain and sorrow along the way, but the victory has already been won. We just have to follow the victor, don’t we?

                      And for course, as we all know, the Greeks are crazy, the Russians are morose, and the Antiochians are just sooooooo worldly. The OCA? Well, it appears no one knows what they are any more. Everybody disrespects everybody else, that is historically so Orthodox its amazing especially when the truth pops out in the middle of it all.

                      BTW, I no longer take his statement that he will die when he decides to be one of arrogance or hubris, but just a statement of fact and maybe in cooperation with God about it. Some folks are like that, plus he has been near death for at least 25 years in many people’s minds. I had a great aunt who still had all of her faculties about her but was in a lot of pain and lonely. She got up one morning (so I’m told) said “I’m tired of living” went back to bed and was dead within the week.

                      I appreciate Met. Philip for who he is and don’t expect him to be someone he is not. I can honor him to a point, but I’ll never like him and mostly, he has no immediate impact on my life in the Church unless I allow him to by opposing him. Mostly I try to ignore him and concentrate on the people who do make a difference in my life.

                      We are no more self-ruled than a good dog team, but then none of should be self-ruled and the term autocephalas is beginning to sound a bit blasphemous to me. Do we not have one head, Jesus Christ? Even He is not self-ruling but wholly obedient to the Father.

                      For the most part I think that the bishops given us by God and under the direction of Met. Philip are good, faithful men. By God’s grace they, together, will far surpass all the good that Met Philip has accomplished. That is when I will know for sure that we are a “God Protected Archdiocease”. Complete, third party audits would be a good start.

                  • Archpriest John W. Morris says

                    i have discussed ecumenism with Metropolitan Philip. Believe me he is no ecumenist. He does not pray with non-Orthodox or allow his clergy to pray with non-Orthodox. When the department on Interfaith relations recommended that we withdraw from the National Council of Churches, he did not hesitate to agree. He stood firm although both the Greeks and the OCA remained members of this useless organization.

                    Archpriest John W. Morris

                  • Michael:

                    “The upshot of the whole thing is that he will be left alone until he decides to die.”

                    I had no idea we decide when we will die but Met.Phillip did say such a thing.Its on the tapes from Palm Desert. Such arrogance. Such hubris.

                    The Palm Desert Debacle was a horrible thing to witness. Sara Hodges was either the bravest or the stupidist person in the room to bring up financial transparency in the Antiochian “Self Ruled by Met.Phillip” Archdiocese of North America. Listen to the tapes of when she is speaking. Its really sad and scary. The Bishop whose life was threatened was Bishop Mark who I really admired then. I lived in Chicago then and thought he was wonderful.Sad that he took a wrong turn.

                • Archpriest John W. Morris says

                  Let me be honest with you. I and many of my brother Antiochian priests have had many encounters with people from the OCA who treat us Antiochians as second rate Orthodox. So you might see the hurt feelings from being treated as second class Orthodox by some people in the OCA coming through my posts.
                  I do know this; we Antiochians have not filled the internet with gleeful attacks on the OCA during its current problems. The same cannot be said of some people in the OCA when we have some disagreements a few years ago. I still read attacks on Metropolitan Philip on this and other OCA websites. You cannot find an Antiochian web site that attacks either side in the OCA dispute. We went through some growing pains going from one Bishop to now 8. Had certain people in the OCA like Stokoe not interfered the whole thing could have been resolved quietly among our Bishops and the Patriarchate. Stokoe and others used the internet to blow the whole thing way out of proportion. Frankly, after seeing what the OCA is going through, I believe that Metropolitan Philip was right. We need a strong primate who has some authority, not a powerless figure head. The Metropolitan like any other leader should choose his own staff and be able to dismiss those who will not work with him. The Metropolitan should not work for the staff of the headquarters. They should work for him.
                  I do not want to believe the stuff that I read on the internet, but if any of it is true the OCA needs to clean up its act and get rid of homosexual clergy as well as clergy who are weak on moral issues. You will not find stories about an Antiochian deacon going to California and marrying another man and then coming back to Florida and being allowed to serve in our Cathedral or any other Antiochian parish. Nor would an Antiochian deacon be persecuted for refusing communion to an openly practicing lesbian. If these stories are true it is a scandal for all Orthodox. In our Archdiocese if a priest is found to be an active homosexual, he is suspended. I would hope that would be the same in the OCA and all other Orthodox jurisdictions.
                  I am not happy to see the OCA self-destructing. I am sad to see this happen to any Orthodox Church. I know no one in the Antiochian Archdiocese who does not feel pain at watching the public fighting in the OCA.

                  Archpriest John W. Morris

                  • Archpriest John Morris. Add up your total lines referring to OCA troubles and then add up the lines by ALL non-Antiochian instances referring negatively to the Antiochian Archdiocese OR to Metropolitan Philip, and I’m pretty sure you win the prize, and I believe that almost all the negativity relative to your Archdiocese and its Archbishop comes from within your Archdiocese, not from OCA types.
                    I wish you’d give us a couple examples of when and just how you were treated as “second-class Orthodox.” Do you FEAR being treated as second-class perhaps? I wouldn’t know how to treat you as second-class anything. What do such positions mean? Is the Russian Church a “Fifth-Class Church” because of its place in the diptychs? What are the distinctive features of class in the Orthodox Church? And where does Christianity stand amongst some of the other religions?

                    • Archpriest John W. Morris says

                      Your Grace:

                      First of all it is not my place to judge the OCA or any other canonical Orthodox jurisdiction. I made it very clear that I find it hard to believe that all the horrible things reported on this blog are true. However, at the very least it is not good that the accusations that there is some sort of problem with weakness towards homosexuality in the OCA is reported on the internet for all to see. This creates a PR problem not just for the OCA but for all Orthodox. What is someone considering converting to Orthodoxy going to think about our Church if he or she reads the accusation that a deacon is allowed to serve after he went to California and married another man, or that a deacon was driven out of the Cathedral in Washington because he refused communion to an openly proclaimed practicing lesbian. People outside of the Orthodox Church can read accusations that there are practicing gay bishops in the OCA and that some bishops and priests in the OCA support same sex marriage. Public debates over your Metropolitan’s resignation do not make any of us look good. I am not hallucinating anyone including those outside the Church can read all these things. When the OCA looks bad it makes all of us look bad. If these are merely PR problems they need to be resolved. If some of the accusations are true any Bishop or Priest who does not live by and uphold the moral teachings of the Orthodox Church should be suspended.
                      Now as to the other issue. I wrote honestly, I have on more than one occasion been treated as if we Antiochians are not really Orthodox or American enough by some people in the OCA. I have read and heard criticisms of our Antiochian liturgical practices from OCA clergy. I find all the criticism of “foreign bishops” offensive because I am under a Metropolitan who is under the Patriarch of Antioch. I am tired at reading attacks on Metropolitan Philip from OCA sources. He is my spiritual father and I owe him loyalty. A superior attitude towards other Orthodox has no place in our Church because we should all focus on our own sins and not judge others. We should understand that liturgical or administrative differences are not really important. We should not be rivals, but act as brothers in Christ. There has always been liturgical variation according to several traditions within the Church and different ways to observe the Typikon. I edited the translation of the Typikon ( and know that no parish can follow all the directions in the Typikon. It would even be difficult for a monastery to follow all of them. In a parish we all leave out some of the things mandated by the Typikon. I want to emphasize that I have also had good relations with OCA clergy. I work with an OCA priest in ministry at a federal prison. I have excellent relations with the OCA clergy in Clinton, Mississippi.

                      Archpriest John W. Morris

                    • George Michalopulos says

                      Very well said Fr. Personally, I find Ortho-triumphalism not only in the OCA but in the other jurisdictions as well. It’s off-putting and we bring judgment upon ourselves when we engage in it.

          • Michael Bauman says


        • To M.Vasiliou:
          I have no wish to either defend or denounce HOCNA, and I am in general quite sympathetic to your comments on this page, but you should do a bit more research into the so-called “name-worshipping heresy” in pre-revolutionary Russia. There has been a good deal of solid scholarship on this controversy, both in Russia and in the U.S., where both a Masters Thesis and a Doctoral Dissertation have concluded that it was not a heresy at all. Nor is “name-worshpping” an accurate translation of “Imiaslavie.” The Athonite practices were, in fact, supported by both St John of Kronstadt and Fr Pavel Florensky, and an impartial examination will show that most of what was deemed questionable was nothing more than the practice of the Jesus Prayer, which invokes the Name of God, but which had (sadly) itself become largely ignored in Russia due to the predominance of a Scholastic mindset and a Synod hostile to monasticism and monks. (Sound familiar?) Metroplitatn Hilariion has recently given an insightful appraisal, which is not without relevance to certain issues recently discussed on this blog:

          “Even though the movement of the “Name-worshippers” was crushed at the beginning of the century on the orders of the Holy Synod, discussion of the matter regained impetus in the years preceding the Moscow Council (1917-18), which was supposed to come to a decision about this but did not succeed in doing so. Thus the Church’s final assessment of Name-worshipping remains an open question to this day.

          “I would emphasise that this is by no means simply an issue of local concern, nor of merely historic interest, but a matter of no less theological significance than the argument between “Palamites” and “Barlaamites” in the middle of the fourteenth century. Name-worshipping was an expression of the centuries-old Athonite tradition of the activity (prayer) of the mind, while the “synodal” theologians were backed by the traditions of Russian academic scholarship. Study of the conflict on the worship of the Name could illuminate the mutual relations between the monastic theology of the experience and the “academic” theology of educational institutions.” (

  10. Heracleides says

    Just posted a new image, entitled “Jokers” for lack of a better name. Highly irreverent – you’ve been warned – so refrain from viewing if you’re easily offended.

    P.S. Given Bp. Tikhon’s recent spate of postings, I nearly substituted his name for the Syosset Clowns.

    • Nothing “clownish” about Heracleides’ cartoons, right?

      • Archpriest John W. Morris says

        Your Grace:

        In answer to your comments above, I do know Fr. George Corey. He was extremely helpful to my wife and me while I was in seminary, especially when we were told that she had had rubella when she was pregnant. He went to the hospital with us to give us support when she had an ultrasound. He apparently had a personal problem, but despite that God used his ministry help us when we needed help. Thus I can hold no ill will towards him and will always thank God for the way he touched our lives. When the Metropolitan discovered his problem according to his own words, “I suspended him on the spot.” I do not recall meeting Beauchamp, but remember being informed of his suspension. What is your point? His Eminence does not suspend a man because of rumors or gossip. That would be unjust. However, when there is conclusive proof, any priest involved in any sort of sexual immorality is suspended. I am confident that our Antiochian Bishops will not tolerate any deviation from the moral teachings of our Church. If every Orthodox Bishop in this country followed their example in defending Biblical morality we would have far fewer problems.

        Archpriest John W. Morris

        • Hi, Archpriest John Morris!i. I was born in Detroit and grew up in the nearest of suburbs. I also graduated from Wayne State University, and I believe that His Eminence may have been head of the Arabic student union there, maybe was its founder. I also drove a cab there, and worked on both the Ford Truck assembly line and the Dodge Main plant’s assembly line in Hamtramck. i’ve held various jobs around Detroit, working my way through college. I’ve seen and met all sorts of people. One might call me “street smart.” I also served as an enlisted man in the US Army Signal Corps and later as an Officer in the USAF; for four years at a classifed ordinance site under the Defense Atomic Support Agency (DASA) and on the Air Staff at HQs US Air Force in the Pentagon for like period. Without any so-called “gay-dar” at all, I am no beginner at spotting the homosexual. I’ve been called “QB” over the years. That means Queer Bait, because of the unfortunate number of times in my life until very very very recently when I’ve been approached. I believe I had the greatest number of approaches in the shortest period in my life when I matriculated at SVS, full school year 1965-66. I have to say, not knowing WHO ordained Beauchamp, that it must have been an extraordinarily naive Bishop who lived a sheltered life, if he had to “learn” about the man. Likewise, in accordance with my own life, and my understanding of the relative sophistication of both Metropolitan Philip and Bishop Antoon, I’d be more apt to opine that it was not discovery of someone’s nature, but discovery that others knew and could prove it that resulted in canonical measures being applied. Just sayin”. NOW, you may complain that SOMEONE said something less than positive about the Antiochian Archdiocese and you won’t be entirely mistaken, as you have been until now vis-a-vis the relative amount of ‘dissing’ undergone by AA and OCA.

          • Archpriest John W. Morris says

            Your Grace:

            You have just proven my point. you bring up something that happened over 20 years ago to criticize our Bishops. With all due respect to your status as an Orthodox Bishop, you should help take care of the apparent problems in your own jurisdiction before you criticize others.
            To my knowledge, I never met Beauchamp and have no idea who ordained him. I just remember being told by my Dean that if he should show up in my parish that he cannot serve.
            You do not know me. If you did or spoke with someone who does, you will find that I am a very street unwise and trusting person. I lack the ability to see the worst in a person, and certainly am unable to identify a homosexual. I was very close to an OCA priest who was suspended for being a homosexual a few years after I left the city to take another assignment. I had no idea that he was really gay. In every case that I know about, any Antiochian priest who is guilty of homosexual or any other kind of sexual immorality is suspended. There are postings on this web site that would lead one to believe that this is not the case in the OCA. I do not want to believe that. I merely pointed out that it is an embarrassment for all Orthodox for these kinds of accusations to be posted on the internet. I also responded to a posting that indicated that I had some sort of ill feeling towards the OCA. I tried as diplomatically as possible some of the unpleasant experiences that I have had with some people from the OCA.

            Archpriest John W. Morris

        • Or he moves them to another jurisdiction as he did to Gabriel Barrow who was accepted to the GOA from the Antiochian Archdiocese…the GOA subsequently suspended and then deposed him

          • Archpriest John W. Morris says

            I happened to know something about this. Barrow was suspended for well over 20 years. He approached the Greeks who approached our Metropolitan. He told them that he would give him to them if someone from their headquarters physically came to Englewood and read his file. They did and took him. They knew what they were getting. They took him and made him an archimandrite.

            Archpriest John W. Morris

            • George Michalopulos says

              Then the rot really is deep in the GOA as well. I wonder if anybody at 79th Street told Metropolitan Isaiah of Denver? My guess is “probably not.”

              • Metropolitan deposed him.Last year when Mr. Gabriel Barrow was listed in the parish that he belongs to newsletter as “Father” Gabriel Met.Isaiah hit the roof and telephoned the pastor and told him to stop such foolishness. He did. I am sad at how Met.Isaiah handled the Katsinas affair but that was also sent to him by Met.Iakovos of Chicago.One wonders what communication is pass along.

                • I have found Met.Isaiah to always do the right thing..he can be a
                  bit slow to do so but he is light years in front of Met.Alexios and Met.Iakovos.The two GOA Metropolitans I am most familiar with..

    • Dear Heraclides,

      Your cartoon did not show up here on the website. When one clicks on the word Joker, though, you should be aware, there is a series of acronymns, the first of which is laughing out loud about a very serious matter, the second taking the Lord’s name in vain and the third an obscenity in common parlance. Could you provide the URL to your cartoon?

    • Jane Rachel says

      Dear Lil Ole, I stopped looking at his cartoons some time ago. But yes, that is his work. I used to support him, but now I think he will do anything just to get a rise out of people. He will come on here now and say something nasty to me, and I know I don’t deserve it, but there you go.

  11. Michael Bauman says

    anonymous, Regarding your suggestion that there be a class action lawsuit: bad idea, IMO, it would just further the spirit of division and revenge and divert many people from following the path of salvation inside and outside the OCA.

  12. Michael Bauman says

    George, your interpretation of what I wrote is wildly inaccurate. I have not accepted anything in this mess other than it is a complete and utter mess and everybody seems intent on making it worse. That is why I capitalized and bolded IF

    IF anyone actuallly tried (tries) to cover-up predatory sexual behavior on the part of any person in the Church AND IT IS PROVEN, especially if the cover-up involved putting pressure on an actual victim to recant, the person attempting the cover-up ought to be shot at dawn or the next best equivalent: If clergy, they should be suspended immediately when it is proven and brought before a spiritual court and possibly deposed. For lay people they should be excommunicated for a period of time that their bishop deems appropriate. The same should apply to anyone who makes, supports or propagates false accusations with malicious intent.

    Nevertheless, I completly understand the principles that Mr. Stankovich is attempting to state and uphold and his anger here. Whether Met. Jonah actually did anything, only he knows. However, the evidence we have as to his general approach to such matters does not due him or the Church much credit.

    As usual in a community ruled by the scapegoating spirit, any attempt at even handedness is attacked. That is the tar pit and it takes an absolute dedication to not accuse anyone of anything at anytime before you know to even have a hope of getting out of the pit. The actual possibility of getting out is quite low I’m afraid.

    IMO, unless the OCA is put into some form of receivership, it will just get worse. There are times when a benign dictatorship works wonders. Even when it is not perfect, its a lot better than the nilhist eqalatarian nonesense that seems to have taken hold in the OCA.

    • George Michalopulos says

      Forgive me, Michael, I did not see the “if.”

    • George Michalopulos says

      Again, I apologize. I should have read your response more thoroughly.

    • Whether Met. Jonah actually did anything, only he knows. However, the evidence we have as to his general approach to such matters does not due him or the Church much credit.

      I’m not sure why you would say this at this point. Can you clarify? There has not even been a clear accusation against him from anyone (not even the synod as best I can tell). It is only innuendo and sloppy innuendo at that, and this a year after key parties have been implicated in a plot to remove him from office using precisely this kind of “hook” — after which the synod did nothing to address the conspiracy. So I’d like to know what you do know.

      • Michael Bauman says

        Met. Jonah’s inaction against the deacon in Florida for one, his refusal to support the deacon in St. Nicholas Cathedral for another. Maybe its all smoke raised by others and Met. Jonah is simply pawn who was not allowed to do anything once he made The Speech. That is possible too.

        • I’m sympathetic to your frustrations on those two points, but the synod has been dictating what he must and may not do both on the national scene as well as within his own diocese for some time now. That’s not just conjecture, it has been their official policy to control him in this way.

          But more importantly your back-to-back statements above imply that he may be guilty of obstruction of justice in a rape case, and that is completely unwarranted. The casual implication is wrong, and simply not justified by the two grievances you have specified. Your two issues are about moral discipline and have nothing at all to do with criminal behavior or exposure to lawsuits. Moreover it is pretty clear the synod has no intention of correcting these disciplinary problems. On the contrary, they are almost certainly an obstacle to appropriate church discipline on those kinds of moral issues.

          • Michael Bauman says

            Um, I made no such implication about Met. Jonah, my point, again, is that IF anyone were to obstruct justice or intentionally spread false claims those acts would be worthy, IMO of deposition and excommunication.

            As Bp Tikon pointed out, and you referenced in your post, it is quite unlikely that Met. Jonah has the wherewithal to do any such thing. He apparently does not have the personality to coerce anyone or even to stand his ground on what he believes if anyone objects nor certainly any actual authority in the OCA to do anything. That is the sad part.

            The sadder part is that people are still ravening about seeking the right person to blame for the whole thing.

            • Michael,

              The original statement as quoted above does imply some kind of serious guilt, so I am glad you have taken the time to clarify and reject the implication, as it was unkind and unwarranted even if unintended.

              There are several bones I wish to pick with you in your plea for the kind of church you would like. One is that you do not extend to Jonah the kind of grace that seems merited given the relentless pressure he was under from his detractors. If I was being constantly mocked and criticized by people with influence and authority around me (people with the capacity to hurt me) in a coordinated effort to coerce me emotionally to resign, I would in fact feel a great deal of stress in my daily life. If these efforts rose to the level of attempting to implicate me in illegal and immoral activity that could destroy my reputation and vocation, I would experience real and probably physical pain, and much of this would be in the form of painful anxiety. I would also be exhausted. I would not be functioning at my best, and for a while I would attempt to do the best I could do. After some time, I would begin to make some uncharacteristic mistakes, and this would begin to take a toll on me as well, eventually lowering my resolve to continue resisting the unjust efforts of those around me. Even if I was strong and did not usually need a lot of encouragement or emotional support from individuals around me, I would begin to look for it, and I would begin to question whether I was mentally stable and competent to do my job. The kind of emotional abuse, the kinds of threats that he faced for months if not years, would prevent any human being from functioning optimally in every area of one’s personal and professional life. But instead of complaining, he publicly humbled himself and apologized for anything he may have done that was short of perfection as he finally realized he lacked the physical and spiritual strength to fight this relentless battle, and he stepped aside. It is simply wrong to demand perfection from such a persecuted person. It is like beating a man relentlessly and then criticizing him for bleeding. It is simply wrong to publicly criticize him, unless and until you have hard evidence of some kind of illegal activity. At this point there is not even an allegation of illegal activity, not even from people who are in a position to know who also happen to hate this man and wish him ill. If a man’s greatest enemies cannot even accuse him of anything illegal, then it is safe to say he is clean. These people investigated him for over a year, they tried twisting every word and action every which way they could, and they came up with nothing. The man deserves nothing but your love, respect, gratitude, and respect. That’s all. Show him some grace, please. I’m not part of the OCA, but simple respect for human dignity calls for showing Jonah some grace at this time. It is not appropriate right now to criticize Jonah for not being as strong as you wish he was.

              It is beyond bizarre that you think knowing the truth about what happened is harmful. Given what happened, it is clear that several individuals have sinned against the OCA, against God’s Church, and against individual “brothers and sisters in Christ”. You might want to bury your head in the sand and pretend all is well, but it is not well. If you yourself are too weak to address the problems in the church, that’s fine; you may go about your business and ignore the problems. But this is a situation where anyone who can do something to address to wrongs in the OCA has a responsibility to do what they can. People have been hurt, the institution has been hurt, and if you choose to ignore that and let any aspect of that damage continue, then you must answer to your God for that. The Church is not just a spiritual entity that exists in some spiritual realm. Sins here in the temporal realm have real effects, and you have to deal with them.

              You can try to boil things down to a simple rule, like always follow your bishop and trust that God won’t let him make a mistake. But obviously God didn’t make that promise, and this is the kind of false faith that leads some well-meaning people into schismatic groups or cults. And cultures of this kind tend to promote abuses of power, including financial and sexual abuses. So then you can try to hedge your bets by saying you will trust the synod, or the synod when it votes unanimously, or whatever rule you think best, but the same problems can show up at that level. In the end, if God has given you the ability to discern and to act, then you are responsible for the choices you make. And the choices you make do not only affect you alone. In the end, we are all responsible for others too. I’m not saying there are only two legitimate sides in an argument and that you have to decide which one is the right side. I am saying there is only one truth any time someone or some group of people is being harmed. If you have any power to prevent that harm, then you have got to decide whether you will use that power and how you will use it.

              • Michael Bauman says

                I quite evidently wrote with a great deal of opacity considering what you deduced from what I wrote. I was merely taking one comment that Mr. Stankovich made about the situation regarding Met. Jonah and generalized it with, what I thought, was a great deal of qualification and doubt as to whether or not he did any of it. Obviously, I failed to adequtely express what I meant.

                If I actually believed anything that you ascribe to me in your ‘bone picking’ you would be perfectly correct in picking those bones. Simple fact is, I don’t believe any of it.

                Once again, obviosuly a gross failure on my part to commuicate adequately. Thanks for the input. I’ll try to do better.

  13. Michael Bauman says

    lexicaritas, Met Jonah is to blame because, he is the latest scapegoat who is to blame for everything, just like Herman, Theodosius, Kondratick, Stokoe, etc, etc, etc.

    As, I believe, Bp Tikon pointed out, Met. Jonah himself engaged in the same spirit to a degree in The Speech that got him elected. Few, if any, noticed it at the time becuase it seem so ‘right’. That is the poison of scapegoating that is so, so difficult to avoid.

    When stuff like this happens, it is systemic and always and everywhere a problem of everyone. Who is next, Chancellor and Dean of SVS? Another bishop on the synod or not quite on the synod?

    Believe me, there is a next. There is always a next. Sooner or later the next one is you.

    Uncle Wormwood is having quite a feast.

  14. Michael Bauman says

    Mr. Stankovich, I understand your outrage, and you may be the only one on this blog who has provided clincially recognized therapy for sexual abuse victims, but not the only one who has provided care. I have also provided care for my friends when flashbacks occured, held hands, offered solace when the suicidal depression hit, prayed and gave money, stood against those who would continue the rape by denying its existance and giving the example of a more Godly man for them to see, made sure that the prepetrator was known for what he did when I found he was an environment that offered him access to children. Faced the evil of the man face to face so that he would know he was known. I have also rendered similar care for others later in life who were still burdened by the assults they had experienced–trying to bear their burdens with them to the extent I was able.

    That is why I understand your outrage but please don’t arrogate the professional theraputic care of mental health professionals to the only care. It is significant and important, but it does not stand alone nor is it above the care of the Church and her people. Also, one thing I have learned is that as long as the assualted person thinks of themselves as a ‘victim’ they will contiune as a ‘victim’ cutting of significant opportunities of healing. It is the contiuned rememberance as victim and the contiuned feeling of guilt that is the worst trauma in the lives of the people for whom I have cared and still care.

    I have also seen the disruption that false allegations of sexual abuse have created including the suicide of a young man whose mother was obsessed by lies that some ‘mental health professionals’ had implanted in her mind.

    Perhaps others here who you so blythely write off as incompetent, inadequate idiots have done similar types of care. It would not surprise me.

    • Thank you Mr. Bauman.

    • Indeed. Thank you Mr. Bauman!

    • Mr. Stankovich — have you ever helped anybody who has been falsely accused of rape or sex abuse?

    • M. Stankovich says

      I’ll take take “Missed the Forest for the Tress” for $800, Alex.

      Mr. Bauman, I believe I clearly stated I agree with you. Beyond that – if you are “counsel of record” for those who seem to believe you are dogging me – I don’t know what; file a motion or something. You would like to school me in the “manners” of outrage?

      George P & colette, silly geese white people who would “pile on” the back of Mr. Bauman without moral standing. You are thanking him for what, exactly? You had better back up and read all his posts regarding this matter of the “pwning of rape” (no, that’s not misspelled), because they sure read like your indictment. And George P, the internet is serious business. Who needs your IP collected from someone else? It p-a-s-s-e-s from there to… Those screen names give such an illusion of “anonymity,” so #playnicewithmrdreher or you could star – word to your moms, I came to drop bombs, I got more rhymes than the ot’s got psalms – on a “guest page.” Just curious? Expect us.

      IB, would you be playing me with logic? Is that the story? If you are asking me if I have ever tended to anyone who, upon sobering up in the morning, found himself with a massive headache and a charge of sexual abuse, unfortunately, too many. In all honesty, not one identified as a hieromonk, but to a man, they all claimed to be falsely accused. How funny is that?

      It is most certainly not my business to assume/usurp the role of loving friend and family, and I begrudge no one this essential responsibility. That simply is not the role of a mental health professional, nor is the role of a mental health professional a superior role. Attempting to ascribe this cheap dichotomy to me is silly. But it gets old fast, trying to convince victims things like those who would suggest they are liars, “saved in their silence,” mistaken, or responsible for “bringing down this monastery of cards” are loathsome jackasses. They can sense it without ever hearing the words. And somehow, the innocent hate themselves. Shame.

  15. M. Stankovich says

    Mr. Bauman,

    I would hope for as many times as we have “tangled,” you would presume by now that I would be respectful enough to engage you directly, rather than “blythely write you off.”

    • That’s true, Mr. Stankovich, you do try to directly engage with comments that are addressed to you. For what it is worth, I appreciate that.

      I want to second (or fourth after George P. and colette) what Mr. Bauman has said: I have provided care to victims of sexual assault and rape, I just haven’t been paid money for that care. In fact, almost all of us will provide such care during our lives. As you will recall, sexual assault is a huge problem in the US, and we all know people close to us who have been assaulted.

      I also want to make a related point: As valuable as your professional experience is in this case, I would find it even more valuable if you have had similar experiences providing clinical care to individuals who have been falsely accused of sexual assault or rape. Do you have such experiences?

      For what it is worth, I have provided care to victims of false accusations of sexual assault, but then again I was not paid for it. How do I know the accusations were false? This varies from case to case, but in one case there was actually video evidence that proved the accusations were false (this irrefutable evidence was not available immediately, so there was a time of less certainty and all the stresses that come with that, but this evidence did come forward in the end). When I comment I draw on my unpaid experiences providing care to both kinds of victims, both assault victims and those falsely accused of assault. I’m not trying to say I’m better than you, but I think these experiences do explain why I am acutely aware of the harms done to both kinds of victims. God has endowed each of us with tremendous abilities to empathize with others and to imagine scenarios we have not directly experienced, so I do not believe direct experience with victims is necessary to have insights into these matters but familiarity does make it easier to think about some possibilities vs. others. So in summary, there is definite value in the experiences you have had, just please don’t discount the experiences us non-clinicians have had, thank you!

      • Michael Bauman says

        Mr. Stankovich, your blithe (excuse my earlier archaic spelling) dismissal is often directly given. Which, as I read many of your coments, goes something like this: you are not a mental health professional, therefore your insight and opinion on these matters are of no worth.

        If you do not intend to convey that attitude, you need to more carefully consider what you write.

           [blahyth, blahyth]
        adjective, blith·er, blith·est.
        joyous, merry, or gay in disposition; glad; cheerful: Everyone loved her for her blithe spirit.

        without thought or regard; carefree; heedless: a blithe indifference to anyone’s feelings.

        In case you are in doubt I am using the word in accord with its second definition.

  16. George,

    The most absurd demonstration of “Ortho-triumphalism” these days is the absolute insistance by the OCA synod that “Orthodox unity in this land can only be come through the OCA.” In other words, if we want one Orthodox Church in North America all other Orthodox jurisdictions must join the OCA.

    Of course at one time this may have been possible, very unlikely, but possible, however today the OCA is not a jurisdiction that any other church could follow. The sinking credibility of the OCA can been seen in today’s post on Pravmir concerning Met. Hiliarion’s visit to Fort Ross. You will notice not one mention of the OCA.

  17. Dear Dr. Stankovich,

    I’m new to this forum. I take it that you are a clinician of some experience. I have been sifting through the many comments and do not know what to make from them. In light of the most recent information released by the monastery in Maryland, some comments look like they may be accurate, but I am not certain. I would like your unofficial opinion on the information that is currently available, particularly and

    best wishes,


    • M. Stankovich says


      Obviously, I have taken great exception to individuals who are unqualified to do so, arrogantly ascribing or dismissing characteristics I know by training and experience to be associated with both victims and perpetrators of sexual abuse/violence/intimidation – in this case, specifically rape – and reaching conclusions that in my opinion are unsustainable and foolish. And lest you or anyone else misconstrue anything I have said, I am absolutely open to the possibility that I could be entirely wrong in my interpretation, based on limited data. Read that again if need be.

      The information that is now being made available – in my unofficial opinion – emphasizes that those entrusted to protect this woman before God and men compromised her, sabotaged the possibility of a contemporaneous investigation, secured her “salvation by silence,” and enlisted voices to disparage the victim – “maybe she was paid?” Dispicable? Yes. Unusual? No. Fortunately, the OCA’s Synod of Bishops and ROCOR refused the outrageousness of such claims.

      As to your last statement, “some comments look like they may be accurate,” I am not exactly sure as to your selection of the two letters in specific, neither individual of whom I have met. They strike me as earnest “character rererences” of the hieromonk at the center of this conflict. If you are asking me, could they be correct in their assessment, certainly. If you are asking me, could they be incorrect in their assessment, certainly. I work in correctional facilities, and have frequently met individuals, men and women, who never had as much as a parking ticket in their entire lives, yet in a moment took another human life in a viciousness that, by description, took my breath away. You could tell me anything.

      • Alright, Mr. Stankovich, this is a little bit like work, but this is one of those times where we have to focus on the facts and clear communication. I’m going to try to address these points in order of importance:

        1. You just cannot get away with paragraph #2 without an explanation: Precisely what “information … emphasizes that those entrusted to protect this woman before God and men compromised her, sabotaged the possibility of a contemporaneous investigation, secured her ‘salvation by silence,’ and enlisted voices to disparage the victim” and “maybe .. paid” her off? Let me separate out these conclusions so that you can address them in turn:
        a. compromised her
        b. sabotaged investigation
        c. secured salvation
        d. enlisted voices to disparage
        e. paid off

        You simply cannot draw this many specific conclusions without equally specific information leading you to each conclusion. With all due respect, no amount of training or experience gives you mystical insights of this type. We are talking about the psychological profession here, not the psychic profession, correct? You listed all the specific conclusions, now you owe the world an explanation of the specific facts, the specific information, that leads you to each of these conclusions. Fair enough?

        2. Also in paragraph #2, information cannot “emphasize” something that has not been established, even if it sounds more authoritative to state it that way. Do you mean the information “establishes” some facts? Or do you mean the information “points the imagination” to some possibilities? It is hard for me to suggest more appropriate alternatives, since the information in question has not been identified yet.

        3. Also in paragraph #2, what do you mean by “Fortunately, the OCA’s Synod of Bishops and ROCOR refused the outrageousness of such claims”? Which claims specifically are we talking about here, how was their outrageousness “refused,” and is your use of the word “fortunately” here intended to be sarcastic?

        4. When you say “this woman” and “the victim” do you have a specific person in mind? Is it the woman who wrote the second email? If not, then how do you get any information from these emails relevant to any conclusions whatsoever about “this woman”? Similarly, when you say “those entrusted to protect this woman,” do you have specific people in mind and what does that mean? We are talking about a grown adult woman with no mental handicaps and no physical disabilities as far as we know, right? I ask, because your word choice seems to suggest that this woman is a minor of some kind requiring special protection. I’m wondering if that is just a rhetorical ploy or whether there is some information that leads you to believe she is or was a minority at some relevant point.

        5. Where do you see specific evidence of a rape, “specifically rape” in either of these two emails?

        6. It is very nice of you in paragraph #1 to admit that you “could be entirely wrong” and that it is just your “opinion” that alternative perspectives are “unsustainable and foolish.” But if you really “could be entirely wrong” this means your conclusions are not sustained by facts. And if your conclusions are not sustained by facts, holding them might very well be foolish, correct?

        7. The only rationale you give us for choosing your conclusions over the alternatives that you deem “foolish” is your “training and experience”. That’s it. Given your appeal to the authority of your “training and experience,” it would be appropriate for you to list the specifics of your training and experience as it pertains to these specific conclusions. What degrees to do you have again, and from where? What state licenses or certifications do you currently hold, and which ones have you held in the past? If you have lost any of these, why? Also how many clients have you treated who were victims of both rape and religious intimidation, and what specifically was your involvement in their treatment (if the number is over 10 a round number estimate would do)?

        8. Your claim in paragraph #3 that violent offenders “frequently” have no history of behavioral or legal problems calls into question the usefulness of the behavioral sciences (and your own clinical professional experience) in dealing with or understanding the kinds of violent crimes we are discussing. Either human behavior is predictable and you can help us to understand it, or it is not and that is the sum total of what you have to teach us. I’m not trying to be mean, and I’m sorry if it feels that way; but you are trying to both eat your cake and keep your cake to suit your rhetorical purposes here. This inconsistency is profoundly unjust to the individuals involved in a very serious situation.

        For what it is worth, to be fair, I’m going to put my own cards on the table here. I do not believe any expert deserving of a fee would have a conclusion about these alleged crimes given the limited evidence available to the general public. I believe your final sentence is the most honest at this stage and the most appropriate response to a sexual assault claim that one cannot verify.

        I’m hoping you can address my points one at a time, possibly in separate posts. But before you do that, I want to let you know that I have worked with TBI patients. I know how individuals who courageously face rehabilitation can show remarkable cognitive strengths in the face of very subtle ongoing challenges. These subtle ongoing challenges often escape the attention of the patient, and can really destroy personal relationships and careers if they are not brought to the attention of the patient and addressed. Because of this, it is usually very helpful to have an ongoing relationship with a professional who can act as a coach, someone to check in with from time to time and talk about how things are going and to get honest feedback. Actually, everyone can benefit from this kind of relationship, and the idea is becoming more popular among non-clinical populations. If you do not have such a coach, you really owe it to yourself and your family to consider this option. It could be any member of a rehab team, but probably a psychologist, speech-language pathologist, social worker, or cognitive rehab specialist. I just cannot recommend the idea highly enough. If and when you do have such a coach, I know it would be helpful to include your adventures in blogging in your regular conversations. But most importantly, right now, if you are not fully and permanently retired, please check with an adviser like this before revealing more detailed personal information in the course of a very public non-professional conversation about professional topics. I’m sure you will take appropriate steps to protect yourself, but it is worth being reminded that these conversations are searchable on Google from anywhere in the world and will likely stay online for quite some time. Obviously not everyone in the world is predisposed to be kind and friendly, so please do check with an adviser if you can, and please know that I would rather you put your own health and well-being ahead of this conversation. These things are important, but you are more important. Since I do not know details of your situation and cannot pretend to give you advice, it would make me feel a lot better to know that you have consulted with a trusted adviser before answering all of my questions in detail. Thanks!

        • M. Stankovich says


          Dude, are you actually maddoggin’ me? Throwing signs and such in front of everyone? It certainly looks like it to me. “Who is this that darkens counsel by words without knowledge? Gird up now your loins like a man; for I will demand of you, and you will answer me.” (Job 38:2-3)

          Everything you suggest I “cannot” do, I have done, and done well. I am not your research assistant. If you have nothing better to do with your time, click “View all comments” and the read the history of my argument(s) over the past year; they are consistent, derivative, and documented. I do not pull science from my derrière, and have been scrupulous in providing citations from legitimate, contemporaneous literature. Exactly how many times can I make the same statement that I am not gifted as an original thinker to develop and fashion these insights on my own. I have simply had the good fortune to be trained and supervized by true experts. In that sense, I have provided you a guide and instructive system to undertake a constructive pursuit of your own. Free of charge, no buttons to push (sorry, that was Jimmy Hendrix, Live at Monterey).

          Several comments regarding your experience with TBI patients: admirable, you. It takes considerable dedication and sustained patience to work with TBI patients. So, I would ask you, do I appear to have deficits in processing – executive functioning for example? Need a moment to consult Google? Go ahead while I get a cold beverage. Back? OK. Actually, I was first struck in the back of the head – by far the worst of the two injuries – in the (class? “occipital lobes” thank you!) occipital area (peristrate, if you like), so, you can appreciate my previous comments regarding already present dyslexia. And vision. How do you like that!

          I raise this issue for one simple reason: there is no neurological “processing deficit” that would prevent me from addressing your every point, should I so wish. And I do not wish. My training and experience is the evidence-based standard of the field, and certainly nothing contradictory to the Scripture, Patristical Writings of the Fathers, Canonical Writings, or Tradition of the Church. The literature is at your disposal, and if you would take it upon yourself to correct me, have at it, son. The truth is certainly more vital than me.

          In some hideous strength, I must admire your ability to posture, be verbose, demanding, and patronizing, all in a single long wind… Avez-vous envisagé une carrière dans l’opéra?

          • Mr. Stankovich,

            This discussion is not about you. This may be the thing that you have the greatest difficulty remembering.

            You have never before addressed the contents of the letters cited by Kirsten. Therefore, you have never answered the questions I asked. Therefore, it is pointless to read through the entire history of every comment you have made on this blog. The answers to my questions are not there, and you know it. You would send me down a rabbit trail to divert attention from the fact that you have no good answers. That, my friend, is a manipulative rhetorical tactic, and extremely inconsiderate to me and other readers of this blog.

            If you “do not wish” to address my points which are 100% on topic, then you need to be silent.

            If you wish to condemn others of horrendous crimes that you “could be entirely wrong” about, then you need to engage the conversation or be silent.

            If you refuse to engage the discussion, but gratuitously find the time and energy to compose paragraph after paragraph about things that are off topic, then sadly it would be best for the moderator to block your comments. I’m willing to try again in 3-6 months, but I do not have the time or energy to continue to respond respectfully to your posts every time you imply that your clinical intuition has convicted others of sexual crimes. It is up to George to decide whether he is willing to take responsibility for the things that you post. I wash my hands.

            I do not wish to shame you in public, and I am deeply sorry if I have. I do not expect you to understand my motivation, though I wish that you could. Since you asked me specifically, I do see evidence of your continued recovery from the trauma you have endured. I do wish that you could work with someone on your end to help us bridge the gap. I cannot imagine all that you have been through. I care about you. I would love to hear your whole story some day. I would love to be your friend. I’m afraid this venue and the written word are not conducive to that right now. Get a coach, let us know when you have, and I will redouble my efforts on this end. Or how is this for a fair deal: You find a friend to walk with you through this blogging experience (meaning they will read everything you post here and talk with you about it), and I will promise to do the same on my end. Deal?

            • Um,

              What can I say, wow.

              I know you weren’t writing to me but I am humbled and inspired by your love.

              Thank you.

              I regret another post that is waiting moderation…it is less kind then it should be.
              In truth, a reflection of my pain not only for people who I obviously love and admire as Rod Dreher correctly observed, but who persecute the people I love without cause and return evil for good.

            • M. Stankovich says


              As I have previously noted, you love to argue, and as near as I can tell, protagonist and topic are relatively insignificant. Not knowing you or your “station,” my perception of your success at influencing others could be wildly inaccurate, but are you actually sternly issuing me directives… over the internet? C’est tout bon.

              My problem here is that you would have me address you as a sort of colleague, when we are not. I do not find it necessary to instruct my colleagues – which is what, in fact, makes us colleagues to being. You possess little knowledge or appreciation for the actual process of a clinician in the matters under discussion – my position in specific – and I will clarify and then leave you and Pilate to your hand washing.

              We define morbid, pathological processes by their symptoms; defining and predictable. In and of themselves diagnostic? Not necessarily. Example: Someone (check the record, I don’t recall) stated they witnessed the accused perpetrator & victim together at a time after the supposed rape; their did not appear “tense” in the company of one another, and she did not seem “traumatized or afraid.” Their conclusion: composure and lack of distress in the presence of one’s supposed rapist is “evidence” that the report is false. Clinician’s conclusion: It is equally possibly the response was a common paradoxical symptom easily explained within the context of trauma. We could go on and on, and I have: View all comments.

              Now, you somehow imagine I intend to act as your research assistant, scouring the journals as to how I know of “paradoxical symptoms in victims of sexual trauma,” family and institutional influence on recanting of charges of sexual victimization and rape, and repression of the details and emotions associated with sexual trauma because you say “[if I] “do not wish” to address my points which are 100% on topic, then you need to be silent?” Seriously? I was trying to help the cops hold down a drunken guy Saturday night, screaming about “I know my rights!” He kicked me so hard in the left-side of my butt I went flying. I read this, “you need to keep silent” and I laughed so hard my butt hurts again. Aye!

              I repeat myself: my training and experience are classic in the sense that it is typical of the evidence-base of the field. You would know that if we were colleagues. We are not. All of your huffing & puffing is likened to sending every jury before which we intend to present DNA evidence to two semesters of Intro to Human Genetics prior to their service. Rather, we choose to rely upon persons with specific training & experience to instruct. Nevertheless, I invite your correction of fact. It most certainly is not about me, but about being correct.

              • He kicked me so hard in the left-side of my butt I went flying. I read this, “you need to keep silent” and I laughed so hard my butt hurts again. Aye!

                Thanx for the laugh! I hope your butt feels better soon dude!!

          • Yep. Sad really.

        • Um,

          Even though you specifically address Mr. Stankovich in your opening paragraph, it is appropriate if I respond also since:

          a) Mr. Stankovich and Mr. Dreher have convinced themselves and others that I am
          – a sockpuppet
          – Abbess Aemiliane
          – a monk of Archimandrite Dionysios

          – an agent hired by Abbess Aemiliane to speak on behalf of the Abbess and the Sisters.
          -tries to intimidate me into silence and imply that I am guilty of something
          – and when they are confronted with plain and simple facts such as that the Abbess is in the states and I am on the other side of the planet, Mr. Stankovich whispers (vpn) The sisters in MD may have VPN, I do not know. I myself do not. I do know that he has made assertions he has not verified which he presents as gospel truth…see the postings above, and then he says he respects my right to privacy after Rod Dreher’s comment that my “wimple is showing.” Right….
          -and all of this in an attempt to shut me up in my support of Abbess Aemiliane and the sisters with her in XC who I know for many years who have been and continue to support Metropolitan Jonah ( points 10 and 11 specifically)and seek to expose those who have conspired against him, and now are threatening to do the same thing to +Hilarion (according to the letter of Abbess Aemiliane).
          I myself am unclear as to the facts concerning the conspiracy, but I find no reason to doubt her. I am highly skeptical that she would open herself and her monastic sisterhood to legal and spiritual liability through the irresponsible publishing of false and libelous information.

          b)I had an idea who might be making accusations of rape against Fr. X but I wasn’t certain.
          My clues: i)godmother’s letter: mentions goddaughter and husband living in another part of the country.
          ii)other posters on the forum mentioned that the godmother is well known within the St. Nicholas community.
          iii) The sic report blots out a name leaving the initials MS.
          a)it wasn’t difficult to do a google search of the St.Nicholas web page for females with the initials MS.
          b)it wasn’t difficult to find records of sacraments in the archives.
          Mr. Stankovich is right. The internet is serious business!! Still, MS has other godchildren too.
          c) When abbess Aemiliane came out with more information, about the motives and part of the timeline, I realized that possibly part of my reasoning maybe incorrect specifically where I write “I think we need to consider the possibility that the “victim” might have been paid off to say that something happened. Who could disprove it.”

          However, why would a married couple desire to take up permanent residence at a monastery? Which brings me to my next point. How do I know them:

          I met them while I was visiting the monasteries in the summer of 2011. They were in residence at the monasteries of Archimandrite Dionysios in Greece for the great majority of 2011. They were unemployed, living off of the sisters who joyfully took care of their every need, as they take care of every pilgrim. While I was visiting, the husband and wife also regailed me with great affection how they met Fr. X and Abbess Aemiliane and how the heart’s desire of the husband was to serve as Fr. X’s deacon.

          One place where the SIC is actually accurate is that it VERIFIES THE HUSBAND AND WIFE’S EMAILS!!!

          i)Fr. Symeon did indeed seek blessing to perform their marriage which was denied (it was expressed in the wife’s email, she was disapointed).
          ii)Fr. Symeon and the sisters were apparently undergoing some slander at the time this email of the wife’s were written in November, (according to the information reported by Abbess Aemiliane the rape occurred April 4th 2010) and the goddaughter and her husband are not only still buddy-buddy with Fr. Symeon and Abbess Aemiliane but are looking to stand by them and defend them against her godmother and the rest of the St. Nicholas community.

          This is the from the SIC:

          POKROV released the *AHEM* highly confidential reports. The emails of the husband and the wife show how they can be contacted directly. Anybody who is interested in the truth who wishes as Dr. Stankovich said to bring down “the monastery of cards” can contact the husband via facebook or the wife via her e-mail, and inquire of them directly or choose to help them directly as Mr. Stankovich suggests “bring down the monastery of cards.” Mr. Stankovich I say “it be your world dawg!!!!” Everything has been placed at your disposal. This is your chance to shine, to be the knight in shining armor, to go rescue the damsel in distress….go! Your quest awaits you brave sir knight!!!

          The internet is verily a most ernest venture.

  18. Dear Dr. Stankovich,

    I apologize. I should have included this paragraph and link in my previous post:

    XI. Who, despite my insistent recommendations to the “Friends of our Sacred Monastery”, was in the end refused residence with her family shortly before we came here; whereupon she, imitating Potiphar’s wife (Gen. 39:19) and Jezabel (I Kings 19:2), cast down from the precipice the priestly and high-priestly cooperation, invoking against the Hieromonk in question her supposed rape, which was alleged to have occurred on April 4, 2010!, more than two years ago, for the “doom” of our Sacred Monastery;

    the date in bold face is mine. The two letters are the couple that are referenced by Abbess Aemiliane. It is my understanding the woman in this couple is the goddaughter.

    Specifically Dr. Stankovich, based on this information and other information that has come to light, what is the possibility, unofficially, that in this particular case, that this is indeed a false accusation or that the possibility of truth of an actual rape actually occurred in your opinion?

    Best wishes,


  19. How’s ’bout it rude boy? It be ur world dawg!!!! Dem crazy nun’s dun giv u wat u ask fer…sounds like an invitasun 2 me….since u be da 1 what b volunteerin’. U be man enuff 2 b my man?


  20. M. Stankovich says


    Generally speaking, I am not the impertinent type – that would be generally speaking – so please accept my response in the good-natured spirit in which it is intended:

    1) You say you are new here so I find it only fair to advize you that my opinion(s) are rarely, if ever, of more consequence here than what can be found on Google. In fact, some have posited a Google medical education superior to my own, to which I respond “and why not?” This, then, begs the question, why am I suddenly afforded the respect of “Dr.” rather than a 4-5 letter variant of my last name? A new found sense of respect? TRANSLATION: Kirsten, if you honestly are searching to resolve “possibilities’ in your process of discernment, your “addendum” does not change my initial response.

    2) By nature I am naive, even embarrassingly so. So when I started working in prisons, I had to work at being skeptical because I was such a dumbass. Seriously, it is just comical the stories I could tell you of the manner by which “professional” manipulators conned me. Thankfully I was never actually harmed – some people as dumb as me were actually assaulted – and I learned quickly. I point this out for the simple reason that I sense in the air the less than subtle aroma that begins in Luke 10:25, where you appear to be making a statement in the form of a question. As I write you have 2 “thumbs up.” There. Now you have 3 with my best wishes. In a CA correctional facility, I have the authority to issue you a violation for disrespect – generally speaking, it would cost you an additional 30 days. I hope I am wrong.

  21. Dr. Stankovich-

    Now you have 3 with my best wishes.

    Thank you for your thumbs up and best wishes.

    To what disrespect are you referring sir? I can assure you we are not in a CA correctional facility. There is no teflon vest for you here.

    You either have the experience and training to answer the questions or you do not. I have read your posts to others on this forum, full of bravado. I saw you dance when the piper played, now pay him you tight wad.

    • M. Stankovich says

      A malicious man disguises himself with his lips,
      but in his heart he harbors deceit.
      Though his speech is charming, do not believe him,
      for seven abominations fill his heart.
      His malice may be concealed by deception,
      but his wickedness will be exposed in the assembly.
      If a man digs a pit, he will fall into it;
      if a man rolls a stone, it will roll back on him.
      A lying tongue hates those it hurts,
      and a flattering mouth works ruin.

      Proverbs 26:24-28

      And for heaven’s sake, it’s Kevlar, 16 layers of kevlar fiber that are guaranteed to stop knives, shivs, needles, instruments, and even withstand a blow from an axe; the difference between walking out and being carried out. And you certainly didn’t see me dancing to no piper, sista! My left knee is now titanium and plastic because I couldn’t stand back and let an innocent officer be beat down. I’ll take anti-siezure meds for the rest of my life, have migraines, vision problems, reading problems, etc. I’m paid in full. And only a deceiver would mistake “I can do all things through Christ which strengthens me” (Phil. 4:13) for “bravado,” and be dumb enough to say it out loud.

      I’m one perceptive cookie, no?

  22. I just heard from a reliable source that Bishop Mark is going to be the Sex Czar. He will work at the Chancery in Syosset and live in Met.Jonah’s old apartment. Good grief! Could things get any worse? It will be announced at the AAC in Parma ,Ohio in November.

    • George Michalopulos says

      If true, then that gets him out of the South and off our dole. On the positive side, if you’re going to have this kind of office, it’s better that it should be a bishop rather than one of the Revered Protopresbyterians.

    • Actually that makes sense. Where else would they put him?

      • Monk James says

        Actually, he might best join a monastic brotherhood, and learn repentance there as he ‘works out his salvation in fear and trembling’ like the rest of us.

        His betrayal of Fr Joseph Fester to Mark Stokoe should have resulted in his deposition from the priesthood, but it didn’t. I swear, sometimes our OCA’s Holy Synod is painfully blind to the obvious, but I suspect that this is an aspect of (my copyrighted phrase — [[;-D33 — ) ‘the culture of mutual embarrassment. Met. Jonah wouldn’t — couldn’t — participate in that, and so the other bishops forced him out. He was too good for them.

        Not to mention that a ‘sex czar’ is undesirable and unnecessary, it’s a very bad move for our OCA to entrust Bp Mark Maymon with any serious responsibilities now. He’s a ‘tar baby’!

        I mean — how obvious is this? — if no one wants him as a local bishop or even as an assistant bishop, how can it be thought that he could credibly now fulfill any sort of serious responsibility in The Church?!

        Bp Mark Maymon has many good qualities for which people admire him and even love him, but he failed miserably when he had the opportunity to do the right thing as an OCA bishop, and did the opposite instead.

        Forgive him? Absolutely. Put him in charge of anything again? Absolutely not.

    • Stephen, do dispense with the charade. It is very easy to see through it. I’m sure the recent developments in the OCA could scarcely have made you happier.

    • George Michalopulos says

      Such a triad would of course hasten the end of the OCA.

    • Just Guessing says

      Could someone send this development to the new Sex Czar? Very useful!

      BERKELEY, Calif. (CBS Seattle) – It sounds like something out of the movie “Johnny Mnemonic,” but scientists have successfully been able to “hack” a brain with a device that’s easily available on the open market.

      Researchers from the University of California and University of Oxford in Geneva figured out a way to pluck sensitive information from a person’s head, such as PIN numbers and bank information.

      The scientists took an off-the-shelf Emotiv brain-computer interface, a device that costs around $299, which allows users to interact with their computers by thought.

      The scientists then sat their subjects in front of a computer screen and showed them images of banks, people, and PIN numbers. They then tracked the readings coming off of the brain, specifically the P300 signal.

      The P300 signal is typically given off when a person recognizes something meaningful, such as someone or something they interact with on a regular basis.

      Scientists that conducted the experiment found they could reduce the randomness of the images by 15 to 40 percent, giving them a better chance of guessing the correct answer.

      Another interesting facet about the experiments is how the P300 signal could be read for lie detection.

      In the paper that the scientists released, they state that “the P300 can be used as a discriminative feature in detecting whether or not the relevant information is stored in the subject’s memory.

      “For this reason, a GKT based on the P300 has a promising use within interrogation protocols that enable detection of potential criminal details held by the suspect,” the researchers said.

      However, scientists say this way of lie detection is “vulnerable to specific countermeasures,” but not as many compared to a traditional lie detector.

      This could only be the beginning of a new form of fraud. Scientists say that a person with their guard lowered could be “easily engaged into ‘mind games’ that camouflage the interrogation of the user and make them more cooperative.”

      Also, much like other household electronics, “the ever increasing quality of devices, success rates of attacks will likely improve.”

  23. If not the Sex Czar he will get the F.O.S directorship but he will be at Syosset…