Finally, a real election?

The OCA has had some real ups and downs over the past four years –mostly downs.

A symptom of its troubles has been the process used for the election of new bishops for its many vacant dioceses. (There were five at one point.) Some of these dioceses had been vacant for several years and in order to fill them, Syosset trotted out a rather curious nomination process in which only one name was submitted. People in the respective dioceses were told that there was only one “vetted” candidate.

Essentially, the people were told “take him or leave him, but you’re going to get him regardless of whether you like him or not.” This made a mockery of the autocephaly of the OCA and hurt our legitimacy among the other jurisdictions to a great extent.

This peculiar process has now (hopefully) come to an end. The Diocese of the South is in the process of nominating a new bishop, to replace the Venerable Dmitri Royster of thrice-blessed memory. It’s been almost five years now, an interminably long time.

Archbishop Nikon, the locum tenens of our Diocese. announced that at the upcoming Diocesan Assembly, the assembled delegates will have the chance to nominate a bishop from a roster of four candidates. This indicates to me that things may be turning around for the OCA. Let’s hope so.

Attached are the names and bios of the candidates.

Archmandrite Alexander Pihach

The following was taken from the posting on the OCA website about the appointment of Fr. Alexander. It is not a formal biography.

In a letter dated November 30, 2012, His Beatitude, Metropolitan Tikhon informed His Holiness, Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia that the Holy Synod of Bishops of the Orthodox Church in America had appointed Archimandrite Alexander [Pihach] as Dean of the Church of Saint Catherine the Great Martyr, Moscow, and Representative of the Orthodox Church in America to the Moscow Patriarchate. The decision to appoint Archimandrite Alexander to the position was made by the members of the Holy Synod on November 14.

Born Dennis Alexander Pihach in Saskatoon, SK, Canada on June 27, 1952 and raised in an Orthodox Christian family with his two brothers, Archimandrite Alexander graduated from Saint Andrew’s College, Winnipeg, MB, in 1973. He continued studies in Sociology and Slavic Studies and graduated from the University of Saskatchewan, after which he was employed with Social Services. In 1986, he was ordained to the priesthood in the OCA’s Archdiocese of Canada and assigned to plant a mission in Yorkton, SK—now Saint Mark’s Church—while continuing his employment with Youth Addictions Services.

He was elected Dean of the Manitoba-Saskatchewan Deanery and appointed Chancellor of the Archdiocese of Canada in 1996. Two years later, he was assigned Rector of Saint Herman of Alaska Sobor, Edmonton, AB. On July 11, 2009, he was tonsured to monastic orders and elevated to the dignity of Igumen of Saint Elias Skete, Dickie Bush, AB. On September 1 of the same year, he was appointed Interim Dean of Annunciation Cathedral, Ottawa, ON. He was elevated to the dignity of Archimandrite and returned to Saint Herman Sobor on a full time basis in May 2011.

Archimandrite Gerasim (Eliel)

Dean of St Seraphim Cathedral in Dallas

Archimandrite Gerasim [Eliel] was born in 1961 to Lambert F. and Suzanne Eliel, and grew up in Rancho Palos Verdes, CA. He was baptized in, attended, and confirmed in the Episcopal Church. In his early teens he regularly attended a Presbyterian Church with his mother and two brothers. He moved to Irvine, CA in 1978 where he finished high school and concurrently studied at University of California, Irvine (UCI). He entered the University of California at Santa Cruz (UCSC) in 1979, focusing on both Physics and Spanish Literature.

In a Protestant fellowship group at UCSC he met James Paffhausen, the future Metropolitan Jonah, and through him encountered the Orthodox Church. He began attending St Nicholas Church in Saratoga, CA with monthly visits to St Nicholas Cathedral, San Francisco (Moscow Patriarchate). He was received into the Orthodox Church by Bishop Mark (Schaviakin) of Ladoga in April, 1980 at St Nicholas Cathedral. He spent that summer under the direction of his parish priest from St Nicholas, Hieromonk Anastasy [Newcombe], living then at the Holy Assumption Monastery in Calistoga, CA at which time he began to take a serious interest in the monastic life.

At the end of the Spring quarter, his interest in the monastic life culminated in his decision to enter the St Herman of Alaska Monastery (ROCOR) in Platina, CA in July,1981. He was tonsured as a Riassaphore-monk in September,1982 by Archbishop Anthony of San Francisco [Medvedev] at the funeral of Hieromonk Seraphim [Rose]. In 1983 he accompanied a group of monks to Spruce Island, Alaska to live the monastic life at Monks’ Lagoon. He returned to the St Herman of Alaska Monastery in 1986 and gradually assumed responsibilities in overseeing the everyday operation of the monastery, including the daily cycle of services, the shipping department of the St Herman Press and its journal The Orthodox Word, as well as the monastery finances.

At the time of the celebration of the Millennium of Christianity in Rus’, the work and mission of the St Herman Brotherhood rapidly expanded. Having begun his study of Russian in college, he participated in the work of the St Herman Brotherhood in relation to Russia and Russian-language publications, eventually traveling on a number of occasions to Europe and Russia, during which he spent time in a number of monasteries in Russia, and to the south in Georgia. This interaction helped to reshape his understanding of both the monastic life and the Orthodox Church. The personal contacts established at that time, proved vital to his monastic life over the next two decades.

Because his abbot had led the monastery into schism from the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia in the 1980’s, he deferred monastic tonsure until May, 1992, when the future of the monastery seemed more certain. In the 1990’s he oversaw the everyday affairs of the St Herman Monastery. Due to the need for a priest to serve regularly at the monastery, his abbot asked Metropolitan John [Snychev] of Petersburg to ordain two monks to the priesthood. On January 5, 1995 he was ordained to the Priesthood by Metropolitan John at the Church of Sts Symeon and Anna in Petersburg, Russia.

Returning to California, he served continually at the monastery. But in January, 1996 he moved to Spruce Island, Alaska, serving at Monks’ Lagoon and St Michael’s Skete on Spruce Island, overseeing the life of the monastic community there until 1998. In response to the erratic leadership of the late Abbot Herman and his failure to decisively bring the monastic community back into canonical unity with the Orthodox Church, Hieromonk Gerasim, together with the support of the entire monastic community, asked the late Abbot Herman to step down as abbot and accept a life of penance. With the support of clergy and monastics outside the monastery, in November, 2000 the entire monastery brotherhood was received into the Serbian Orthodox Diocese of Western America by His Grace Bishop Jovan [Mladenovic]. At the request of the monastic brotherhood, Bishop Jovan elevated Hieromonk Gerasim as Abbot of the St Herman Monastery. During this time of renewal in which the monastic brotherhood was being steeped anew in the liturgical and canonical life of the Orthodox Church, Bishop Jovan showed regular archpastoral attention to and guidance for the community, clarifying the relationship of priests and monastics to the Diocesan Bishop and the Diocese.

During the next decade Abbot Gerasim directed his attention to strengthening the spiritual life and order of the monastic brotherhood and the nearby St Xenia Skete in Wildwood, St Michael’s Skete on Spruce Island, and the St Nilus Skete on St Nilus Island in Alaska.

With the blessing of His Grace, Bishop Longin Abbot Gerasim began traveling periodically to Guayaquil, Ecuador to minister to the [Spanish language] mission community in Guayaquil.

At the request of Metropolitan Jonah in 2009, Abbot Gerasim petitioned His Grace Maxim, Serbian Orthodox Bishop of Western America, to be released from his position as abbot and to enter St Vladimir’s Seminary for theological education. He finished St. Vladimir’s Seminary in 2012 with a Masters of Divinity degree. In September, 2012 he was assigned as assistant priest at Holy Virgin Mary Cathedral in Los Angeles. He was elevated as Archimandrite on Palm Sunday, 2013 by His Eminence Archbishop Benjamin. In September, 2013 he was transferred to St Seraphim Cathedral in Dallas, TX.

The Right Reverend Daniel (Brum)

Bishop of Santa Rosa, CA

Igumen Daniel [Brum] was born the oldest of three children born to Orville Antonio and Marjory Brum. He was raised in Riverdale, CA—a community predominantly comprised of Portuguese-American families—where he graduated from high school in 1973.

Raised in the Roman Catholic tradition, he enrolled at Saint Patrick’s College Seminary, Mountain View, CA, where, during his freshman year, he first encountered the history of the Orthodox Church and frequently attended services at Saint Nicholas Church, Saratoga, CA, at that time under the rectorate of Mitered Archpriest George Benigsen, who welcomed him and encouraged him to explore Orthodox Christianity further. In the early 1970s, he began reading the Church Fathers and tried to integrate what he was learning of Orthodoxy into his regular courses of study.

He received a BA in Humanities, with specialization in history, philosophy and English literature, from Saint Patrick’s College Seminary in 1977, after which he entered Saint Patrick’s Seminary, Menlo Park, CA, where he continued the study of Church history. In 1981, he received his Masters of Divinity degree and was ordained to the Roman Catholic priesthood. After ordination, he served in a variety of capacities and was especially involved in the Portuguese-American community. He also served as diocesan Director of Vocations and as editor of the Portuguese-language page of the diocesan newspaper.

In 1992, he was asked by his bishop to pursue further studies and, in 1995, he completed the academic work and received a degree in canon law (JCL) from the Catholic University of America, Washington, DC. His relationship with Orthodoxy continued as he continued research within the context of the Orthodox Church councils. During this time, he seriously contemplated conversion to Orthodox Christianity—a difficult decision given his background and ties. Ultimately, it was his study of canon law that impelled him to respond to the call to embrace Orthodox Christianity.

After completing his course of studies in canon law, he returned to his diocese and was assigned to the Diocesan Tribunal, as well as to a small mission parish in a rural setting. During this period, his feelings and perceptions about Catholicism, based upon years of personal experience and reinforced through informal and formal study, were confirmed, while his growing love and appreciation for the Orthodox Church were increasingly confirmed and strengthened.

He petitioned to be received into the Orthodox Church in America in 1997 and was vested as an Orthodox priest by His Grace, Bishop Tikhon of San Francisco and the West at the Monastery of Saint John of Shanghai and San Francisco on the Saturday of the Praises of the Theotokos the same year, after which he served briefly at Saint Nicholas Church, Saratoga, CA before his assignment to Saint Paul the Apostle Church, Las Vegas, NV. In August 1998, he was transferred to the omophorion of His Eminence, Archbishop Peter and the Diocese of New York and New Jersey and assigned Rector of Saint Gregory Palamas Mission, Flemington, NJ, where he gained a new appreciation for the hard work and special challenges faced by mission priests. In 2000, he was appointed Secretary to His Beatitude, Metropolitan Theodosius and, later, to His Beatitude, Metropolitan Herman. He also served on several Church committees and commissions, including the Canons and Statute Commission, the Legal Advisory Board, and the Canonization Commission, and in numerous other capacities.

In December 2005, he expressed his desire to return to parish ministry and, in July of the following year, he was transferred to the Diocese of San Francisco and the West and appointed Rector of Saints Peter and Paul Church, Phoenix, AZ, which he continues to serve. In October 2006, he was elected as a member of the Diocesan Council. On October 21, 2014 the Holy Synod elected him to serve as Auxiliary to His Eminence, Archbishop Benjamin of San Francisco and the West as Bishop of Santa Rosa, CA.

The Right Reverend Irineu (Duvlea)

Bishop of Dearborn Heights

Archimandrite Irineu [Duvlea] was born in 1962 to John and Aurelia Duvlea. In 1981, he entered the Theological Seminary in Cluj Napoca. After graduating from the seminary in 1987, he continued his studies at the Andrei Saguna Theologizcal Institute in Sibiu, from which he graduated in 1991.

In 1980, he entered the Brancoveanu Monastery at Sambata de Sus, Brasov County, Romania, where he was ordained to the Holy Diaconate by His Eminence, Archbishop John of Helsinki, Finland on behalf of His Eminence, Metropolitan Antonie [Plamadeala] of Transylvania on May 3, 1983. Three weeks later he was tonsured to monastic rank by His Grace, Bishop Lucian of Fagaras. He was ordained to the Holy Priesthood by Metropolitan Antonie in the Metropolitan Cathedral of Sibiu on November 17,1984.

On August 15, 1988, he was named Protosyngelos by Metropolitan Antonie. On January 1, 1993, he was appointed Hegumen of the Brancoveanu Monastery and was charged with overseeing the life of 15 neighboring monasteries and 10 sketes. In this capacity, he tonsured 30 monks and 15 nuns and installed most of the abbots and abbesses of the monasteries in the Sibiu Diocese. On August 15,1993, he was named Archimandrite of the monastery on the occasion of its consecration by His All-Holiness, Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew and His Holiness, Patriarch Teoctist of Romania, and was presented with a patriarchal cross by the Ecumenical Patriarch. On September 24, 2000, the Holy Synod of Romania awarded him the right to wear a mitre.

Archimandrite Irineu made two pilgrimages to Mount Athos and, in 1998, he visited monasteries in Bulgaria and Greece and made a pilgrimage to the tomb of Saint Nicholas in Bari, Italy.

As head of the Brancoveanu Monastery, Father Irineu hosted several patriarchs, including His All-Holiness, Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew; His Holiness, Patriarch Parthenius of Alexandria; His Holiness, Patriarch Ignatius of Antioch; His Holiness, Patriarch Pavle of Serbia; and His Holiness, Patriarch Maxim of Bulgaria. Among the other ranking Church dignitaries he hosted there were Archbishop Nathaniel of Detroit; His Eminence, Metropolitan Antonios [Schedrawui] of Mexico; and Archbishop John of Finland. Among the civic leaders whom he received at the monastery were His Majesty, King Michael; the presidents of Romania; and numerous prime ministers.

When Archbishop Nathaniel established the Center for Orthodox Christian Studies at Saint Andrew’s House in Detroit in the late 1990s, it was his dream to provide a monastic presence. On February 23, 2001, Archimandrite Irineu and a group of monks from Romania were granted a canonical release from the Patriarchate of Romania in order to establish a monastic community at the Center, named in honor of the Holy Ascension. Archimandrite Irineu was appointed Abbot of the new community, where he has labored tirelessly to offer hospitality and comfort not only to the Romanian community, but to the entire Orthodox population of Greater Detroit and the Midwest.

His Beatitude, Metropolitan Herman, Primate of the Orthodox Church in America, presided at the consecration of Archimandrite Irineu [Duvlea] to the episcopacy at Saint George Cathedral on November 1-2, 2002. Concelebrating with His Beatitude were His Eminence, Kyrill Archbishop of Pittsburgh and Western Pennsylvania and the Bulgarian Diocese, His Eminence, Nathaniel, Archbishop of Detroit and the Romanian Episcopate, His Eminence, Christopher, Metropolitan of the Serbian Orthodox Church of Midwestern America, His Eminence, Nicolae, Archbishop of the Romanian Orthodox Archdiocese in America and Canada, His Grace, Seraphim, Bishop of Ottawa and Canada, His Grace, Demetri, Bishop of Jableh of the Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese, and His Grace, Nikon, Bishop of Baltimore, Auxiliary to His Beatitude, Metropolitan HERMAN.


  1. Anonymus per Scorilo says

    Hip Hip Hurrah for Bishop Irineu !!!

  2. Carl Kraeff says

    Here are the nominations and elections to various dioceses in the past four years.

    Midwest Diocese, 2011: Three candidates were submitted: Archpriest Paul Gassios, Archpriest David Mahaffey, Hieromonk Matthias [Moriak]. The Holy Synod elected Hieromonk Matthias.

    Alaska Diocese, 2012. One candidate was nominated by Diocesan Assembly; Archpriest David Mahaffey. The Holy Synod concurred.

    Bulgarian Diocese, 2014. One candidate was nominated by Diocesan Assembly: Archimandrite Alexander (Golitzin). The Holy Synod concurred.

    Midwest Diocese, 2014: One candidate was nominated by Diocesan Assembly: Archpriest Paul Gassios. The Holy Synod concurred.

    Eastern Pennsylvania, 2014. One candidate was nominated by Diocesan Assembly: Bishop Mark of Baltimore. The Holy Synod concurred.

    • I thought His Grace, Bp. Matthais was elected by those at the Assembly, not by the Synod?

    • The list is incorrect in the Bulgarian Archdiocese in that individual churches within the Bulgarian Archdiocese of the OCA were given a choice basically of Father Paul Gassos, then at the cathedral, and Professor Alexander Golitzin. Father Paul had not encouraged use of Bulgarian language, especially by the choir, so even though a nice person, Professor Golitzen got the nod since he at least knew Slavonic which is pretty close to Bulgarian language. People also liked the idea he had teaching ability.. So, basically, the laity had input into the nominee.

  3. Here's the Answer says

    There are many ways to throw an election, not just by disallowing other candidates. Another method that Syosset uses to get their way is by increasing the number of “vetted” candidates. By increasing the number of candidates (some of them very strong, such as Archpriest Calinic Berger, a surprise candidate), you potentially pull votes away from the diocesan favorite, in this case, Archimandrite Gerasim, who is clearly not Syosset’s choice. At the initial vote, the candidate who receives over 50% of the votes automatically goes to the Synod for approval. If there is none, a second vote is taken from the top two candidates. I think they threw DOS a curve ball on this one, hoping that they’ll simply be grateful that they’re allowed to vote at all…

    • Anonymus per Scorilo says

      some of them very strong, such as Archpriest Calinic Berger, a surprise candidate

      Are you sure of this ? He does not appears on George’s list but appears on the one at 02varvara…

      He is indeed an excellent candidate – I think Abp. Nathaniel would have pushed him as auxiliary bishop to the Romanian Episcopate many years ago were it not for the pro-Bucharest mafia that derailed the previous election of Fr. Joseph Morris for being “too American”.

      I’m surprised to see Abp. Nathaniel is ok with him running, as many were hoping he would be Abp. Nathaniel’s successor. It would be quite a loss for the Romanian Episcopate if he gets elected to the South . . . all the more reason to cheer for Bp. Irineu 🙂

      • I would not take ANYTHING that Stan Drezlo writes seriously. He is a pro-Soviet, pro-Stalin, Putin apologist who wants the death of the Ukraine.

        He has no good sources in the South and is truly a joke and a freak.

    • Carl Kraeff says

      I think that the reported slate of candidates is very strong, with or without Father Berger. Let us keep in mind a few things before we go into the wild blue sky of contrails and such.

      1. The Special Diocesan Assembly will nominate one or more candidates and the election will take place afterwards. The Diocesan nominating process is advisory in nature; only the Holy Synod has the right, as it should be, of electing our next bishop in the South.

      2. There are two segments of the laos who are most affected by a diocesan bishop. The first and most obvious segment is the Holy Synod members. What is not often considered is the fact that any bishop must also work closely and productively with his priests, who are ipso facto Deputy Bishops. Just like a new football coach, the new bishop of DOS will inherit the existing “deputies’ and will not be able to form his own “team” for a long, long time (forgive the analogies here; I hope that they will make my meaning clearer). There is another consideration here: the laity is primarily and most directly affected by their pastor–the parish parish priest, and not by their arch-pastor, the diocesan bishop. It is most important that there be an existing relationship between the candidates and the DOS priests, particularly the Deans. All other things being equal, I should think that the Holy Synod would seriously consider the desires of the DOS clergy when voting for our new bishop.

      3. The overarching point that I had made above was that the Holy Synod concurred with the Diocesan Assembly recommendations in the past four years, without exception. It would be odd for the Holy Synod to elect somebody other than the candidate recommended by the Diocesan Assembly.

      4. When the Bulgarian Diocese nominated Fr Alexander, that was the last phase of a long process, very similar to the one that DOS undertook: “At the close of the first phase of the search, the diocesan Episcopal Search Committee reviewed the names of 22 possible candidates. After thorough review and discussion, the list was reduced to six names. All six men were contacted and their suitability as candidates was further reviewed. Through this process, the Search Committee arrived at the two candidates presented to the Fifth Congress-Sobor — Father Golitzin and Archpriest Paul Gassios.”

  4. The episcopal nominating process is NOT taking place at the Diocesan Assembly, which will be held in conjunction with the 18th All American Council in Atlanta GA in July. It IS taking place this coming Monday, February 15th, at 1:00 PM in Miami FL, in conjunction with the Diocesan Clergy Conference.

  5. Fr Calinic Berger is the heir apparent to Archbishop Nathaniel. Berger is an outstanding person. Bishop Irineu is a man of integrity and has called out immoral situations in the ROEA, which almost got him deported. However his command of the English language is weak. Bishop Brum has no Orthodox theological education, just a papal one. Fr. Gerasim had no formal Orthodox education but submitted himself to the will of the Synod to go to seminary, which he did and graduated with honors and distinguished himself as an important member of the SVS community. Fr. Pihach is currently in Moscow and should stay there to do the job he was selected to do or go back to the Canadian diocese when his time in Moscow is completed.

    There is only one candidate that knows the Diocese of the South, Fr. Gerasim. None of the other, so-called “candidates” has any familiarity with the DOS. Fr Gerasim has proven himself to be a good leader in the South in a difficult position as diocesan administrator, but not bishop, thus he has led by example and not by title or office. He has proved his leadership in the very diocese that needs a bishop.

    If the Synod tries to “carpetbag” the South with anyone other than Fr. Gerasim it would be a mistake. The Holy Spirit has been at work in the DOS while Fr. Gerasim has been in the diocese. If the Synod now invokes that the “Holy Spirit” led them to electing a candidate other than the vetted and best tested candidate, they would bring offense to the vast majority of clergy and laity in the South who have been more than patient for the best candidate to be nominated and elected. There is no doubt that Fr. Gerasim will be the majority nominee and that the Holy Spirit will be at work at their special nominating Assembly.

    Let’s pray the Synod finally does the right thing for the South.

    • Amen!!! May God bless this process and Fr. Gerasim! He is a blessing to our parish and Diocese. We need a bishop who is fluent in Spanish as well as Slavonic and Russian.

    • Congratulations to the Search and Nomination Committee for a wonderful dmcnoeut. It portrays our strengths and our weaknesses and our hopes for the future. Any potential candidates will come in with their eyes open. Thank you for all your hard work.

  6. Father Gerasim or bust.

  7. Bruce W. Trakas says

    I’ve been wondering, how is Bishop Daniel (Brum) of Santa Rosa viewed generally by the clergy and faithful of the Orthodox Church in America?

    How does he or do his supporters explain his knowledge and understanding of Orthodox theology, having not attended an Orthodox theological school?

    How is it defended that despite having worked as the Secretary of the OCA, within the Chancery-the Central Church Administration, during the “misfeasance and malfeasance” of the Kontratick era, did he have nothing to offer the Special Investigative Committee (SIC) in 2008 and earlier?

    Certainly my question implies doubt about his background, but because I have never read anything about a reaction to his elevation to the episcopacy at the time and haven’t seen anything addressing these issues in recent years, I wonder how he is viewed by the clergy and faithful.

    • I trust him about as far as I can trust him…he was right in the middle of all of the money games and the immoral foolishness of the Met. Herman and Met,. Theodosius reigns.

    • Bishop Tikhon Fitzgerald says

      Bruce, Why ask people here, few of whom have ever met Bishop Daniel and know only what they have learned at the educational centers of Mark Stokoe and our George. Why don’t you visit Phoenix, where he’s been the well-loved pastor for several years? Or why not ask the delegates to Diocesan Assemblies of the Diocese of the West? Why not ask members of the Diocesan Council? Why not ask the clergy of all the deaneries in the Diocese?
      …do you think you know more about ORTHODOX canon law or theology than Bishop Daniel? Why? Do you know anyone MORE QUALIFIED as an Orthodox canonical expert than Bishop Daniel? How do you IMAGINE Bishop Daniel measures up as a man of prayer compared to you or ANYONE ELSE?
      Archbishop Peter pf blessed memory held a doctorate in Orthodox Canon Law from the Leningrad Theologicl Academy, and he personally selected then Father David to be member of the Canonical Commisssion.And you know, Bruce, that the Holy Spirit did not entirely abandon the OCA EVER. Next you’ll be dissing Father Hopko for being Dean of the Seminary in the Evil Times, and actively participating in the counseling and operation of the OCA in those same “evil times.”
      I personally thought it was a miracle that the Holy Synod elected and consecrated Bishop Daniel.. I didn’t think they “had it in them,” frankly speaking. Too quiet, too modest, too INTELLIGENT!

      • Bruce W. Trakas says

        You’ve given me some information I did not have, Your Grace, and that’s why I asked. Thank you. Surely someone on a forum such as this would have some information about him, and where I am resident, OCA faithful don’t know him.

        It’s certainly logical to ask of an cleric’s Orthodox theological credentials when he never attended an Orthodox school of theology. My inquiry was a question, not a statement.

        Although I do have my own opinion about his failure to offer information to the “Special Investigation Committee” on the activities of the Chancellor and Primate while working directly under them, but I wonder what his apologists advocate regarding his behavior in this regard.

        • Bishop Tikhon Fitzgerald says

          Bruce. Jaroslav Pelikan never matriculated at an Orthodox institution of higher learning, yet no one questioned his theological “credentials.” By the way, you might like to Google “credentialism.”

          I’m not aware that failure to OFFER information is evil, sinful, or in any way morally questionable. Bishop Daniel certainly owes noone any apologies for his silence on any topic.

          • It would have been good, though, if Bp Daniel Brum had followed Abp Peter L’Huiller’s advice and earned at least an MDiv at St Vladimir Seminary. As it is, his election to the episcopate violates the OCA’s Statutes in that he has had no formal orthodox theological education.

            Studying roman catholic canon law in Rome doesn’t qualify anybody for the orthodox christian episcopate.

            And ‘receiving by vesting’ a heterodox priest is a quirk of russian practice related to their various uniat movements, and generally not accepted among the other fourteen churches.

            • George Michalopulos says

              Agreed. Although I have heard positive things about Bp Brum, the facts remain as they are: according to the OCA statutes, a man can be elected to the episcopate only after having received an Orthodox degree.

              I have no problem with this statute being stricken but until it’s done so, we should abide by the Statutes.

              • Bishop Tikhon Fitzgerald says

                “Bishop Brum”, George?Does that mean that “Metropolitan Paffhausen” is OK?

                Of course Brum (actually Da Silva Brum) is a Portuguese noble family

            • Bishop Tikhon Fitzgerald says

              Monk, please tell us where ‘Archbishop Nathaniel Popp, graduate of the Pontifical Institute in Rome and a Romanian Greek Catholic Priest until being made ever-memorable Archbishop Valerian’s vicar received “at least an MDiv” at SVS. What about the election of Fr. Dmitri Royster to the episcopate after only one school year’s auditing courses at SVS? You are right that just studying ANYTHING “doesn’t quallify anyone for the orthodox Christian episcopate; however, a thorough knowledge and understanding of Orthodox canon law may be obtained without ever sitting in any classroom at all, and where did you get the idea that Bishop Daniel studied only in Rome?

              As for receiving a Roman Catholic Priest via Confession of Faith and Penance, which is how Roman Catholic heretics of all stations are to be received, is fully consistent with the growth of the Russian Missionary Archdiocese of North America. The Roman Catholic Priest, David Brum, was received EXACTLY as the Holy and Righteous Alexis of Minneapolis and Wilkes Barre was received by Archbishop Vladimir (Sokolov). I’m sure you don’t wish to insinuate that all those Carpatho-Russians should have been received by re-baptism, do you? Were all those primates of the Metropolia (and of ROCOR and the MP) deficient canonically according to your learned standards in receiving Roman Catholics of all stations according to the Service Books of their Church? Before receiving the then Father David Brum, I presented a proposal and plan to do so to the Holy Synod which included the liturgical rubrics which I had copied from Bulgakov. Archbishop Dmitri said ‘My goodness, I hadn’t realized they had published a regular service for that!” And, Monk, the OCA does not have ANYONE as knowledgeable as Bishop Daniel in Orthodox Canon Law, Ask the Faithful of SS Peter and Paul Church, Phoenix, if their long time pastor is qualified to be such. Envy is a terrible thing for those with a high opinion of their own spiritual prominence.

              • Bishop Tikhon Fitzgerald says

                The Statute of the OCA states, contrary to statements here by some who should know it: “The candidate for the office of Diocesan Bishop must satisfy all the requirements of the Holy Canons pertaining to this highest of all ecclesiastical offices. In addition,. IT IS PREFERABLE that he have completed A COURSE OF STUDY in a Graduate School of Orthodox theology….”

                Where I went to school, Monk James and others, ‘=”preferable” is not a synonym for “mandatory” at all—-in fact it is the OPPOSITE of mandatory.

          • Tim R. Mortiss says

            Jaroslav Pelikan, as I recall, became Orthodox quite late in life, as a layman.

            When I first picked up one of his books, 30 years ago or so, I figured at first he must be Orthodox, with that moniker!

  8. Back when I was Jehovah’s Witness, 81′-96′, the leadership from the local Kingdom Halls (churches) on up to the Governing Body in New York, were (they believe) chosen by the Holy Spirit… (SI)
    No, really!

    Also, one thing I can state about that Watchtower “body of elders”, they keep a far closer tight reign on those who wander away from their church doctrine and from clear statements of scripture.
    Any sort of malfeasance by an elder or anyone is given the boot quite readily. You’ll never, ever hear of their hard line doctrine (backed up by scripture) against homosexual marriage being even tepidly accepted by anyone whatsoever in their congregations.
    If there were a person like Arida even hinting at such things, they’d be kicked out on their ear as an apostate.
    The Watchtower is flat out wrong on the essence of God and Christ (trinity) , but OCA could take a few lessons in managing their org from the Watchtower.

    • Michael:

      Back when I was Jehovah’s Witness, 81′-96′, the leadership from the local Kingdom Halls (churches) on up to the Governing Body in New York, were (they believe) chosen by the Holy Spirit… (SI)
      No, really!

      The leadership in the Orthodox churches, on up to the synods, were (they believe) chosen by the Holy Spirit… (SI) No, really!


      If there were a person like Arida even hinting at such things, they’d be kicked out on their ear as an apostate.:

      Did Michael read the thread about Fr. Robert? How many calls for “defrocking,” “censure,” and the like, beginning with Fr. Jacobse’s call for Fr. Robert to become an Episcopalian, did Michael see?


      • Michael Kim says

        I guess I do not understand your response.
        What part of my statement was trying to emphasize was that the Watchtower does Not dawdle on such things as un-scriptural practices by their clergy.
        In contrast, it does appear that OCA is far more tolerant of their clergy wandering away from clear statements of scripture, by preaching and practicing a different gospel.
        Like I had stated… An Arida type in the Watchtower would have been excommunicated quite swiftly, yet here in OCA, he is still “allowed to do his thing? (Apparently)
        The scriptures are not ambiguous about those who practice sin, such as thievery, fraud, homosexuality, the marrying thereof, adultery, etc.

        • Michael:

          Like I had stated… An Arida type in the Watchtower would have been excommunicated quite swiftly, yet here in OCA, he is still “allowed to do his thing? (Apparently)
          The scriptures are not ambiguous about those who practice sin, such as thievery, fraud, homosexuality, the marrying thereof, adultery, etc.

          Michael, you’ll FIT RIGHT IN!

          • Tim R. Mortiss says

            Businessmen, they drink my wine; plowmen dig my earth.

            There must be some way out of here!

            • Fr. George Washburn says

              But instead we’re stuck right here on the internet with the Memphis blues again.

            • M. Stankovich says

              Mr. Mortiss,

              While it is true that Bob Dylan’s exact lyric is, “plowmen dig my earth,” I have read on several occasions that Dylan (I imagine jokingly) has been quoted as saying, “Did I write that song or did Jimi Hendrix?” (And at the MusicCares salute honoring him a few weeks ago, he thanked many musicians – including Hendrix – for taking otherwise “obscure” songs from his catalog and making them hits). I twice as a kid had the opportunity to hear Hendrix live, and he distinctly sang, “plowmen dig my herb.” Likewise, I have heard Bob Dylan play the same song twice, and I swear he too sang “plowmen dig my herb.” In the former case, I know what I heard Hendrix sing, my mind was already made up and, as Dylan noted in his MusicCares speech, people have been telling him he “mumbles and sings like a goat.” So there you have it…

              Nevertheless, not to nitpick, but the opening line actually is, “There must be some kind of way out of here.” But, of course, “No reason to get excited. “

              • Tim R. Mortiss says

                The Dylan line is “there must be some way out of here.” The “kind of” comes from Hendrix.

              • Ladder of Divine Ascent says

                Bob Dylan:


                Jimi Hendrix:


                Rainbow Bridge concert:


                Rainbow Bridge is a 1972 film directed by Chuck Wein that features footage from a Jimi Hendrix concert, and a short piece of conversation between Pat Hartley, Wein and Hendrix. It was mainly financed by Hendrix manager Mike Jeffery, hence his appearance. The film is about Pat Hartley’s “spiritual awakening” via a visit to the ‘Rainbow Bridge’ planetary meditation cult on Maui, where, as part of the proceedings Jimi Hendrix visits to play a concert during a ‘Rainbow Bridge’ mass meditation/colour/sound “experiment”.

                The director Chuck Wein introduced Hendrix’ performance (no mention of a group name) as the driving force of this ‘Rainbow Bridge’ “experiment” , (this title is often mistaken as being the name of the site of this concert rather than the name of this “Planetary meditation” cult, an extension of the Gaia hypothesis into spiritual realms).

                The ‘Rainbow Bridge’ concert was the penultimate performance by Hendrix in the United States, his last was two days later on August 1, 1970, in Honolulu, Hawaii. Hendrix died less than two months later on September 18, 1970 in London, England.

  9. With 81 votes out of 105 cast, Hieromonk Gerasim (Eliel) has been nominated to become the next bishop of the Diocese of the South.


  10. Tom Jeffrey says

    I just got the call that Archimandrite Gerasim received 81% of the votes on the first ballot at the Special Assembly.There will be no subsequent balloting taking place. Therefore, Archimandrite Gerasim is now the official DOS nominee to be elevated to serve as our next Bishop.

  11. Well it was Father Geasim by 82%. How long will it take the Holy Synod to concurr? It has been too long of a process.

  12. Ya Rabo Irham!

  13. Michael Bauman says

    …and the knives are already drawn against him because he is not pure enough and associated with impure people and even loved them.

    Lord forgive us.

  14. Michael James Kinsey 1380805 says

    God forbid, if the cleric’s decide to elect the Mytraia a bishop or join the Catholic Church. Lay people have no say in the matter. They cannot do this in God’s Righteousness. Let the congregations choose. not the great whore cleric’s, who prove their in the great whore, by the utter disregard of the congregations will and the traditions of the authentic Church of Jesus Christ. What’s wrong with these cleric’s don’t they know Divine Justice will not allow them to get away with this. They will pay on Judgement Day. Divine Justice Rules.