Kishkovsky Starts the Spin

Before the blood is even dry, Fr Leonid “Lefty” Kishkovsky is spinning the foreign press to justify his part in the uncanonical coup against the Metropolitan. Please note all you xenophobes out there that he’s toadying up to the Phanar. Good work guys! Hope you get your Turkish passports ready.

This is a Google translation of an interview in Russian. It’s choppy but the general thrust of his comments are clear.


July 6 Primate of the Orthodox Church in America, Metropolitan Jonah issued a statement in which he said about his own retirement .

As will be elected the new head of the Church in the United States and what he has to solve the problem of priority, in an interview with our portal, explained the head of the department for external relations and inter-church of the Orthodox Church in America and editor of “The Orthodox Church”, Archpriest Leonid Kishkovsky.

– Fr. Leonid, as will soon be elected as the new Primate of the Orthodox Church in America and how the procedure will be elected?

– Now under the Charter of duties of the primate, we performed locum tenens – the oldest on the consecration of the hierarch. Under the Charter of the Orthodox Church in America, within three months of Council to be convened. However, if necessary, this period should be extended.

– The Church is similar to the Local Council of the Russian Church?

– Yes, and the cathedrals of 1917-18. Since our church is small, it is not presented by representatives of dioceses, and in principle all the parishes. If the parish is a priest at the Cathedral of it sent a delegate, if the two priests – two of them, and so on.

– What do you think, what tasks need to be addressed to the newly elected Primate in the first place?

– Unfortunately, we have a lot of both internal and external problems. In the Church there is now a surprise, as we came to the conclusion that the primate had resigned on his own volition. Under Metropolitan Jonah in the Church there is some destabilization, so it seems to me that the new primate, and before his election – the Holy Synod, should see their task is to create an atmosphere as possible balance and mutual trust in the Church.

– Will the new Metropolitan at the same time to correct any specific errors made by the lord of Jonah?

– These errors, unfortunately, was too much. For example, shortly after his election, Bishop Jonah preached in Dallas, where the open and subjected to public criticism of Patriarch Bartholomew of Constantinople. I do not know how you are targeting in our situation, but the fact that we granted autocephaly recognized in the Orthodox world, roughly one third of the churches, beginning with Moscow. About a third stand neutral, not recognizing, but not denying it. The remaining third of the same, namely the Greek world, especially Constantinople, an active say they are not going to recognize our autocephaly.

We live in such a situation, for forty years. Of course, there is a certain tension, but nevertheless we do not even recognize the Ecumenical Patriarch received the delegation, and when it was once in America, was present at a ceremony at St. Vladimir’s Seminary. In short, a balance was maintained.

When Bishop Jonah was the Metropolitan, it is absolutely reasonable to say about visiting Russia, and then Constantinople. Schedule a visit to Russia was not difficult, but some thought to arrange a visit to Constantinople to be difficult. Nevertheless, I managed a few days to prepare, and has been appointed date of the visit. And then there is the speech in Dallas, which resulted in the immediate denial of a meeting.

Bishop Jonah wishes have always been very good, but his actions, unfortunately, disagreed with them. For example, criticism of Patriarch Bartholomew, in the context sounded bright to protect the right to his Orthodoxy in America. It was bright and strong, and it could be said, only in slightly different form. But Metropolitan Jonah’s emphasis on the fact that Patriarch Bartholomew is controlled by the Muslims in Turkey. Then I tried to explain to the lord that existed when the Soviet regime and were persecuted by the Russian Orthodox Church, we have never criticized the victims of these persecutions, and the only persecutors. It also happened that the victim has been criticized.

And this is just one illustration of the collapse of the existing relations. Of course, not only led to the crisis, but there were other facts that have been accumulating during the period of 2008. So first of all we have to build relationships with other churches.

– You talked about the canonical deadlock in which the Orthodox Church in the U.S.?

– The trouble is that the Orthodox Church in general stuck. Our local deadlock lies in the fact that we were in a tense relationship with the churches with whom we need to communicate, because we are near.

A total dead end that there is a canonical division is unacceptable because it is actually against our faith. Yes, maybe in our autocephaly is an anomaly, but the overall position of all the Orthodox Churches in America abnormally. Abnormally existence in the same area of ​​different jurisdictions, when there should be one church.

The same situation, for example, in Estonia. Is normal that there are three jurisdictions, including Constantinople and Moscow? In America, there Constantinople, Antioch, patriarchates Russian, Romanian, Bulgarian church and so on. Thus, some disorganization now apply to all.

Interview by Ksenia Kirillova,

“Orthodoxy and the World,” July 11, 2012

Original Russian

6 июля предстоятель Православной Церкви в Америке митрополит Иона опубликовал заявление, в котором сообщил о собственном уходе в отставку. Как будет избираться новый глава Церкви в Соединённых Штатах и какие задачи ему придётся решать первоочерёдно, в интервью нашему порталу пояснил руководитель Отдела внешних и межцерковных связей Православной Церкви в Америке и редактор журнала “The Orthodox Church” протоиерей Леонид Кишковский.

— Отец Леонид, как скоро будет избран новый предстоятель Православной Церкви в Америке и как будет проходить процедура избрания?

— Сейчас по Уставу обязанности предстоятеля у нас исполняет местоблюститель — старейший по хиротонии иерарх. По Уставу Православной Церкви в Америке, в течение трёх месяцев должен быть созван Собор. Правда, в случае необходимости этот срок должен быть продлён.

— Собор аналогичен Поместному собору в Русской Церкви?

— Да, и соборам 1917-18 годов. Поскольку наша Церковь достаточно мала, на нём представлены не представители епархий, а в принципе все приходы. Если на приходе служит один священник, от него на Собор направляется один делегат, если два священника — двое, и так далее.

— Как вам кажется, какие задачи нужно будет решать вновь избранному предстоятелю в первую очередь?

— К великому сожалению, у нас накопилось много и внутренних, и внешних проблем. В Церкви сейчас существует недоумение, как мы пришли к тому, что предстоятель ушёл в отставку по своей собственной воле. При митрополите Ионе в Церкви наступила некоторая дестабилизация, поэтому мне кажется, что новый предстоятель, а до его избрания — Священный Синод, должны видеть свою задачу в том, чтобы по возможности создать атмосферу равновесия и взаимного доверия в Церкви.

— Придётся ли новому митрополиту при этом исправлять какие-то конкретные ошибки, допущенные владыкой Ионой?

— Этих ошибок, к великому сожалению, было очень много. Например, вскоре после своего избрания владыка Иона выступил с проповедью в Далласе, в которой подверг открытой и публичной критике патриарха Константинопольского Варфоломея. Не знаю, насколько вы ориентируетесь в нашей ситуации, но дело в том, что дарованная нам автокефалия признаётся в православном мире примерно одной третью церквей, начиная с Москвы. Примерно треть выдерживает нейтралитет, не признавая, но и не отрицая её. Оставшаяся же треть, а именно греческий мир, в первую очередь Константинополь, активно говорят, что не собираются признавать нашу автокефалию.

Мы живём в такой ситуации уже сорок лет. Конечно, есть определённое напряжение, но тем не менее даже не признающий нас Вселенский Патриарх принимал делегации, а когда однажды был в Америке, присутствовал на одной из церемоний в Свято-Владимирской семинарии. Словом, выдерживалось некое равновесие.

Когда же владыка Иона стал митрополитом, он абсолютно разумно говорил о посещении России и затем Константинополя. Запланировать посещение России было не трудно, но некоторым казалось, что организовать визит в Константинополь будет сложнее. Тем не менее мне за несколько дней удалось его подготовить, и уже была назначена дата визита. А потом происходит эта речь в Далласе, немедленным результатом которой стал отказ в проведении встречи.

Пожелания владыки Ионы всегда были очень хорошими, но его действия, к сожалению, расходились с ними. Например, критика патриарха Варфоломея звучала в контексте яркой защиты права на своё Православие в Америке. Это было ярко и сильно, и вполне могло быть сказано, только в немного другой форме. Но митрополит Иона делал акцент на том, что патриарх Варфоломей находится под контролем мусульман Турции. Я пытался потом объяснить владыке, что, когда существовала советская власть и были гонения на Русскую Православную Церковь, мы никогда не критиковали жертв этих гонений, а только гонителей. Здесь же получилось, что подвергается критике жертва.

И это только одна из иллюстраций сложившегося развала отношений. Конечно, не только это привело к кризису, но были и другие факты, которые копились в течение всего периода с 2008-го года. Так что в первую очередь нам придётся налаживать отношения с другими Церквями.

— Вы говорили о каноническом тупике, в котором находится Православная Церковь в США?

— Беда в том, что Православие в целом в тупике. Наш местный тупик заключается в том, что мы оказались в напряжённых отношениях с церквями, с которыми нам нужно взаимодействовать, поскольку мы находимся рядом.

А общий тупик в том, что существующее каноническое деление неприемлемо, потому что оно идёт, собственно, против нашей веры. Да, может быть, в нашей автокефалии есть аномалия, но в целом положение всех Православных Церквей в Америке аномально. Аномально само существование на одной территории разных юрисдикций, когда должна быть одна Церковь.

Такая же ситуация, например, в Эстонии. Разве нормально, что там есть три юрисдикции, в том числе Константинопольская и Московская? В Америке существуют Константинопольский, Антиохийский, Русский патриархаты, Румынская, Болгарская церкви и так далее. Таким образом, определённые нестроения сейчас касаются всех.

Беседовала Ксения Кириллова,

“ПРАВОСЛАВИЕ И МИР”, 11 июля 2012 г.


  1. Not content to destroy the man’s metropolitanate, now Kishkovsky has to kick Metropolitan JONAH while he’s down?

    The question remains: Why has our Metropolitan been forced to resign? If deservedly so, so be it –but what are the reasons?

    Other, related questions could be raised:
    His Beatitude has engaged the Navigators, the Anglicans, the Catholics, the evangelicals, and many others. Is this not what we want to do, as uncomfortable as it may be?
    When the cause was Orthodox, he joined with Christians of all backgrounds as well as Muslims and Jews to speak to our society on the sanctity of life, religious freedom, the personal and cultural harm of sodomy, etc. What do we want to do and say to help our nation avoid the destruction of sin?

    …and the questions keep on coming.
    But no answers are offered.
    Just “The work of the Church continues as the Lord continues to guide us,” implying the uncanonical, forced resignation of Metropolitan JONAH was by the leadership of the Holy Spirit.
    Jesus said that to attribute wrongdoing to the Holy Spirit is blasphemy. When the Lord was accused of casting out demons by the power of the Devil, He replied, “Blasphemy against the Spirit will not be forgiven. Whoever says a word against the Son of Man will be forgiven; but whoever speaks against the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven, either in this age or in the age to come.” And again, “‘Whoever blasphemes against the Holy Spirit never has forgiveness, but is guilty of an eternal sin’ (for they had said, “He has an unclean spirit.)”

    And the abuse of holy Scripture concludes piously, “If God is with us, who can be against us?”
    The good, and I’m sure well-intentioned bishop may have missed the fact that that Scripture is conditional.

    This yet latest scandal reminds me of the words of the holy Prophet Jeremiah:
    To whom can I speak and give warning, that they may hear? Behold, their ears are closed, they cannot listen; behold, the word of the LORD is to them an object of scorn, they take no pleasure in it. Therefore I am full of the wrath of the LORD; I am weary of holding it in… “For from the least to the greatest of them, every one is greedy for unjust gain; and from prophet to priest, every one deals falsely. They have healed the wound of my people lightly, saying, ‘Peace, peace’ (read: “the bishops are working diligently in making decisions for the protection and love of the Holy Church”), when there is no peace. Were they ashamed when they committed abomination? (Were the archbishop and the abbot ashamed when he chrismated transgenders?) No, they were not at all ashamed; they did not know how to blush. Therefore they shall fall among those who fall; at the time that I punish them, they shall be overthrown,” says the LORD.

    • George Michalopulos says

      Of course, that’s how we can know that this is demonic.

    • Dekabristy says

      Ha ha! This keeps getting better. It reminds me of Soviet coup that gets rid of Gorbachov. They threw him over but did not know what to do next. They did not know that nobody follows them. Gorbachov was tragic because he did not realise the system could not be reformed, it was too rotten. Maybe Metropolitan JONAH must learn this too.

    • Jesse Cone says

      Another story in Russian: Metropolitan Jonah: A Good Man in Syosset.

      And, at the very beginning it mentions the conspicuous fact that a strange number of OCA Metropolitans are living and retired. It MUST just be the South that finds that fishy!

      Story below (Google translation):

      + + + + + + + + + + +

      Last Friday, at his residence in Washington, in the presence of Chancellor Archpriest John Dzhillionsa Archbishop of Washington Metropolitan of All America and Canada Jonah, signed his resignation , and the next day during a telephone meeting of the members of the Synod released his statement. Thus, the fifth was the third of the primate alive today hierarchs of the Orthodox Church in America, followed by Metropolitan Theodosius (Lazorom) and Herman (fid), sent in his resignation.

      See also:  Metropolitan Jonah (Paffhauzen) – full text of the resignation

      Metropolitan Jonah

      Metropolitan Jonah

      James Paffhauzen, this is the secular name of Metropolitan Jonah was born in the Episcopal family in Chicago. While in college in San Diego, met with the Orthodox and the same place in 1978, is a university student, was baptized in the church of Our Lady of Kazan, which is under the omophorion of the Moscow Patriarchate.

      Many years later, already in the metropolitan, in an interview with The Tribune, he acknowledges that “converted to Orthodoxy intuitively, at the call of the heart.” Learning of this, the family was horrified.

      Working in Russia on his doctoral dissertation and in the magazine “Russian pilgrim,” James meets monasticism and decides to dedicate himself to monastic life. Most likely, a decision of the people that “the call of the heart.”

      Having tasted the Valaam monastic life and finding a spiritual father in the face of the abbot archimandrite Pancratius, Hieromonk Jonah on his return to America, will the device monasteries and missions, little known to the American Orthodox Church actually places the feat – from Northern California to Hawaii.

      Perhaps to this period belong such thoughts a monk, “I realized that I was not important cash position and power. I grew up a sort of manager, as my father and grandfather. But once I realized that all this – a void. “

      In the spring of 2008, Hieromonk Jonah was elevated to the rank of Archimandrite and in obedience to the left the monastery. First, for the responsibilities entrusted to him auxiliary bishop and chancellor of the Diocese of the South, and then the Primate of the Orthodox 400000th U.S. jurisdiction.

      At a young Metropolitan pinned its hopes of the orthodox conservative Americans vystupayushih to preserve family values, anti-abortion and sexual abuse.

      Under Metropolitan Jonah, on the feast of the Kursk-Root Icon of the Mother of God Cathedral of the Sign in the Synod of Bishops of the Russian Orthodox Church held its first in decades, a joint ministry of the Primates, bishops and clergy of the OCA, ROCOR and the Moscow Patriarchate. Total served was more than 50 people. A half a year before their joint service was held at St. Nicholas Cathedral in New York.

      But there were failures in management, administrative problems, friction with the Synod and the office in which all had a hard time. All of this, Metropolitan fit in two lines of computer letters of resignation: “I have long realized that neither my personality nor my character is not fit to hold the post of primate, of the office to which I aspired, and which was not looking for” .

      “Care” of metropolitan long and cruel. Lent last year, the Metropolitan was sent to the clinic for examination, and then – in the forty-day vacation – “for thought.” A few days ago his “accused” in the softness. “Imagine this: the Metropolitan said that if he did not immediately write a letter of resignation, he will not sign a check for wages. And imagine the Metropolitan, who signs the letter! “

      This is an entry in one of the U.S. index has appeared in these same two days time – from Friday evening until Sunday, when the OCA website has posted the official information on the resignation of the primate. They accused the Metropolitan and loyalty to Moscow.

      The latest arrival, who visited the Metropolitan Jonah shortly before his retirement, was the arrival of Antioch Holy Cross in the town of Linthicum, Maryland. As a gift to the church, he brought the holy relics of St. Tikhon and the Great Elizabeth, was in a good mood and talked for a long time for a meal with the pastor, congregation, youth.


      Under the heading … “Metropolitan Jonah kicked ‘ well-known journalist Rod Drier writes that American sinodaly “do not realize that it is likely that his act, they signed the death warrant of the Church.”

      The Orthodox Church in America originated in 1970 when the Russian Orthodox Greek Catholic Church in America, the Moscow Patriarchate has been granted a Tomos of autocephaly. Granted on a wave of activity of such standing in the forefront of its charismatic personalities as Archpriest Alexander Schmemann and John Meyendorff. They and their like-minded American Autocephalous Church was seen as the basis for a future All-American Local Church, a stronghold of Orthodoxy in American Protestant-Catholic world.

      Autocephaly of the new church did not initially recognize the Patriarchate of Constantinople (say, however, the reluctance of Constantinople to give their influence in America). But many in the U.S. today are convinced that the American autocephaly premature and controversial that the American Church is still so young, that “she needs to care,” and, among the weakest of its sides is called: the lack of due obedience to the hierarchy, the lack of tradition of monasticism, and such an important component, as a Christian martyr, not to mention the fact that after her talent autocephaly, the OCA had lost many of the traditions of the Russian Church.

      Further undermined its credibility crisis associated with the publication of evidence of financial abuse, which resulted in the resignation of the head first OCA Metropolitan Theodosius in 2002, and later his successor, Metropolitan Herman – in 2008.

      Metropolitan Jonah in the financial scandals and abuses has not been noticed. In his letter he apologized for his mistakes and blunders, and appealed to members of the Synod of the request, “given its financial situation” and the need to financially support their elderly parents and sister, to give him the opportunity to take one of the episcopal office.

      At the end of a telephone meeting of the members of the Synod of the OCA, which took place on July 9, issued a statement on temporary duty under the former primate: the senior hierarch of the consecration, Archbishop Nathaniel of Detroit (Popp) was temporary administrator of the Orthodox Church in America, whose name was prior to the appointment of a new primate will be exalted in the Liturgy ; temporary administrator was appointed bishop of the OCA in New York and New Jersey, Michael (Dahulich), the youngest of his consecration Bishop Alexander (Golitsyn), temporarily headed by the Washington Department.

      Metropolitan Jonah will retain the title of metropolitan and “the former Archbishop of Washington Metropolitan of All America and Canada.”

      Tatiana Veselkin, New York, specifically to the portal “Orthodoxy and the World.”

      Photo by Anatoly Danilov

    • Cal Oren says

      Forced, you hit the nail ON THE HEAD! We are forced to speculate because there are no facts available. Pointing to +HB’s overzealous (but totally appropriate) sermon re: Istanbul, years after he apologized for it, is beyond the pale. But, OK, at least that’s something more than we have gotten!

      Fr. Kishkovsky has unknowingly done us a favor. He has STARTED to make a list! I haven’t seen any list anywhere else from official sources. So let’s encourage our friends overseas to keep asking him – is that the extent of Metropolitan Jonah’s high crimes? Is this the entire indictment? `

      • Arnoldus Magnus says

        Thank you, Cal Oren.

        What if this were a secular situation. What if the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the Supreme Court, and the Congressional leadership of both parties went to President Obama and said, “We think you should resign,” and he did. What if the people said, “Why did you do that to the president?”

        “We didn’t make him resign,” they said. “He did it on his own.”

        “Tell us what he did wrong!” said the people.

        “There were problems with his administration,” said those who overthrew him.

        “But what? This is crazy, overthrowing the president. We demand an explanation!” the people said.

        “We can’t tell you. Trust us, it was in the best interest of the country,” the plotters said.

        “You have done a terrible violence to the country and to our system of government!” the people said.

        “We can’t tell you why we did what we did,” the plotters said. “Just trust us. God bless America! GOD BLESS AMERICA!”

    • Carl Kraeff says

      Forced said “implying the uncanonical, forced resignation of Metropolitan JONAH.” The resignation may have been forced but it was hardly uncanonical. Yet different folks keep saying it, as if repeating it often enough will make it so. I hope that someone, any one, would make the case for it. After all, it is a serious charge to make against the Holy Synod that is the “supreme canonical authority” in the OCA. (OCA Statute, Article II, Section 1).

      • A canonical turd is still a turd.

      • lexcaritas says

        Supreme . . . authority is never a license to be lawless, arbitrary and unjust. The model of such authroity is non other than Christ Himself.


      • One would hope the “supreme canonical authority” would be the whole church, but hey, what do I know?

      • Carl,
        The forced resignation of Metropolitan JONAH was uncanonical, because it was not done by the Holy Synod, but rather was secretly manipulated by the few men in the Lesser Synod. THEN, with the blackmailed Metropolitan’s forced “voluntary” resignation in hand, the Kishkovsky boys called up the entire Holy Synod, to rubber stamp what they had already ensured was a done deal.

        The very fact that the Lesser Synod demanded the resignation “unanimously” indicates that they previously consulted one another and agreed among themselves to do this. The fact that they did it at a Lesser Synod meeting indicates that they wanted a fait accompli: a resignation in hand before gathering the entire Synod to “approve.” It is this way of doing things that is uncanonical.

        It is the prerogative of the Holy Synod to select its leader, and it is the prerogative of the Holy Synod to change its leader. (According to our Statute, the Synod should do this in consultation with the entire Body, as represented in an All-American Council; this is for the “unity and good order of the Church,” but as I understand it, the bottom line is, it is the Holy Synod’s choice as to who will be Metropolitan.)

        The ultimate prerogative of the Holy Synod to change Metropolitans is not in dispute. (This is what many were concerned might be attempted last November at the AAC, but apparently they couldn’t get away with it in front of the people then.) The “WHY” is very much in dispute, because the bishops have given no explanation. But what is uncanonical is the way this was done, outside the good order of the Church: to sidestep the Holy Synod (not to mention the entire Body of the faithful) and coordinate a forced resignation apart from their brother bishops, then present it to them after they could do or say nothing about it.

        The Lesser Synod does not have the canonical authority to make such a momentous change and disrupt the good order of the Church, without the Holy Synod. It is the entire Holy Synod, and not the Lesser Synod, which is the ultimate earthly authority over the Church. The Lesser Synod is a smaller committee of bishops who are simply given the task of implementing and expediting the decisions of the larger, Holy Synod. The Lesser Synod has not been given the authority to make sweeping decisions in isolation. Therefore, their forcing our Metropolitan to resign before the Holy Synod could even discuss such a change was uncanonical. (Not to mention their financial blackmail, and creating a scandal by doing such a controversial thing against the will of many, perhaps most of the rank-and-file faithful.) The Monday telephone call was an after-the-fact “affirmation” of already concluded business. The Monday phone call was itself a forced compliance on the part of the Lesser Synod against the remaining, younger bishops of the Synod.

        The Lesser Synod which did this was +NIKON, +TIKHON, and +BENJAMIN. Also at the meeting were (not surprisingly) Frs Kishkovsky, Jillions, and Tosi. Their action was clearly coercive toward Metropolitan JONAH, and was manipulative toward the entire Synod and the faithful. This, Carl, is why many are calling it uncanonical.

        • Carl Kraeff says

          So, you say one thing, and +Jonah says another regarding the unanimity of the Holy Synod. You say it anonymously with no evidence, and +Jonah signs a letter attesting to that fact. If you don’t mind, I will believe +Jonah.

          BTW, +Jonah must be aware of the tumult that his resignation has caused. Why has he not spoken out to reaffirm his resignation? If he hasn’t changed his mind (as he infamously did after Santa Fe), surely he should want to assuage his grieving and angry followers. Doesn’t he care about them?

          Regarding the propriety of one or of his fellow bishops asking him to resign, there is nothing uncanonical about it. The canonicity of a unanimous request is unquestionable. Discussions leading up to that decision are just that– discussions. To characterize these deliberations as a conspiracy is simply outrageous, not to say incendiary. WE are talking about an entity that in the OCA is above all others; higher than the Metropolitan and the individual members. To read some posters here rage against the treatment that +Jonah received as the Metropolitan makes me think of Roman Catholic papal advocates at Trent. What is even more revolting is that the argument is couched in terms of Holy Tradition and true Orthodoxy.

          • Alfred Kentigern Siewers says

            Glory to Jesus Christ! Glory forever!

            But Mr. K., we are told by the Protopresbyter-Secretary to wait for information from and address questions to its email–would you ask the former Metropolitan (and by extension us) to violate the corporate protocol by having conversations outside official channels? Please, better to spend your time reading today’s Chancellor’s Diary rather than stirring the pot here. It advises us that ecclesiastical life continues normally, after all!

      • Wanderer says

        You’re right Carl. I wish people would quit inciting the Letter of the Law, rather the Spirit of the Law. Since what happened to His Beatitude was much worse within the Spirit of the Law

  2. The pic in front of the World Council of Churches graphic is a nice touch. That’s a winner with the OCA laity, as well.

  3. Abercius says

    I was wondering whether they would follow the statute, to call an assembly and elect a new Metropolitan within 90 days. Based on what Fr. Kishkovsky has said, (“However, if necessary, this period should be extended.”) you can be sure they’ll be trotting out excuses for delaying that election for a long time to come.

    He says, ” so it seems to me that the new primate, and before his election – the Holy Synod, should see their task is to create an atmosphere as possible balance and mutual trust in the Church.” They are rapidly getting to the point where only their public penitence or resignations will have any chance of creating “balance” and “mutual trust.”

  4. Disgusted With It says

    “…should see their task is to create an atmosphere as possible balance and mutual trust in the Church.”

    In other words, figure out which bishop has the best chance to cover up all the scandals and indiscretions, and then make him Metropolitan. That’s what they tried with +Herman (because he already knew what the scandals were) and he got caught and hung out to dry as the scapegoat along with Kondratick. Then they thought they could control +Jonah, but he turned out to be very vocal against the scandalous behavior, especially when it comes to a sexual agenda that too many of the bishops protect and subversively promote. So then they had to get rid of him. Now they need someone who will protect the status quo. Someone who will not dare speak out against homosexuality. And someone who definitely will be the puppet of the Synod. Any guesses as to who that may be?

    • I’m putting my bets on Archbishop Benjadict Arnold.

      • Geo Michalopulos says

        Could be Mel.

      • Rostislav says

        You do know he is reported to be a not so closeted homosexual?

        For me, if it isn’t Metropolitan Jonah, then it should be my Bishop, Matthias.

        • Geo Michalopulos says

          Matthias is definately a good man. So is Michael of NY. The problem however is not that they’re not good men on the Synod –with 2-3 exceptions, man for man, it’s a superior synod to previous ones–but that the whole Syossett/MC Apparat is corrupt. At the very least wedded to an archdiocesan form of government.

          Having said that, ironies abound. Just because there are more MDivs on this Synod, and less morally compromised men (and this means drunkards as well as sodomists), doesn’t mean that they’re better overall. For all the faults of the bad old days of Theodosius and Herman, they never pulled a massive boner like what they just perpetrated last Thursday. An analogy would be the Wehrmacht during WWII which was probably the greatest war machine in the history of mankind. It had everything going for it, from the Prussian military tradition to the warrior-spirit of the German volk. The Russians in comparison were brutes. Yet it was Germany which was destroyed in 1945, not the USSR.

          As Forrest Gump said, “stupid is as stupid does.”

          • Rostislav says

            There comes a time when the money dries up and the left of center gay rights rent a mobs are the only ones left to turn out the lights.

            One of the most poignant things Metropolitan Jonah did was apply sensitivity to those who had been alienated and left out of the last thirty years while pragmatically making an attempt to graft them into today. If the OCA does not build on this approach and seek to rebuild its core and reach out to immigrants, within 25 years there will be nothing left.

            We have no time for flirting with gay rights, neo Protestant denominationalism and milking a corrupt status quo. We need immediate remediation for the past sins, a house cleaned and a generational, energetic, traditional reign ala Metropolitan Leonty II to set this right.

            Gay West Coast Bishops or Herman IIs in the person of +Michael will not cut it.

            As an aside, maybe Metropolitan Jonah should consider ROCOR Australia or Sourozh? Although I still think something can be done here.

            • Geo Michalopuls says

              Rostislav, the issue of the next metropolitan (unless it is a resurgent Jonah) is meaningless at this point. I suppose a new metropolitan can be chosen but all the OCA would be doing is rearranging deck chairs on the Titanic. True, a good man like Matthias or Michael would probably stave off extinction for a few years whereas men like Benjamin or Melchisedec would hurry and push it off the cliff, but the fundamental problem is that the OCA has lost all moral authority by what it has done. Leaving aside the moral vacuum, their administrative ineptitude is now glaring. The idea that the OCA can be a vehicle for unity in America is forever gone.

              If nothing else, what this has done is expose the intrinsic rot of the Syosset/MC Apparat — that of a decrepit self-idolizing church which is immune to reason and introspection.

              Great work, guys.

              • Rostislav says

                I am not so pessimistic. We have weathered a Revolution, the EP breaking off and splitting Orthodoxy in America. The Antiochians splintering off and then creating jurisdictional havok with Ofiesh. Scandals and shortsightedness in the past. But GOD has helped us just when we thought there would be only darkness. There can be new Metropolitan Leontys and the day can be brighter.

                In all actuality, the OCA is really the only body that can get the job done structurally for uniting Orthodoxy in America and having it flourish. All the others offer is ethnic or post ethnic (assimilate) paradigms of either koolaid drinking or rebellion to their Mother Churches laced with Renovationism or Supercorrectness, screaming “our nation is the most Orthodox!”

                The OCA can only be the alternative then. I won’t abandon it or whatever is going on today in Syosset, because really these corrupt men and their work are very mortal. So it becomes a matter of seizing the conversation, projecting a dialogue, defining the center and holding it no matter what generationally. If we commit to that in a life of prayer and Sacramental witness, we will find GOD’s blessing. That is all we need to succeed. Without it, no matter what we do or whom we follow we can never succeed.

              • Ronda Wintheiser says

                Sounds an awful lot like our imminent presidential election — rearranging chairs on the deck of the Titanic…

                • Rostislav says

                  Yeah, I will be voting Libertarian straight ticket as a protest vote in this contest of pick your favorite face of the same politics.

          • Dan Fall says

            Matthias will not be the guy at this time. The prior attempt (your man Jonah) failed to inexperience and poor wisdom. Bishop Matthias has little experience and his wisdom has been less than great at least once. That gay letter was freakin wierd stuff to be read aloud in church; completely unneeded. Why wasn’t it gluttony? Gluttony kills people; a far worse sin I say. (this will get my neg votes up :))

            Someday, after experiencing being a bishop for awhile; he might be okay. I don’t see that as today.

            It’d be sort of a hoot to go the green route again. Welll, not really.

            • Michael Bauman says

              Well, Daniel, who is the Fall-guy?

            • Disgusted With It says

              Too bad Harvey Milk isn’t still around Dan, then you’d have your ideal guy for Metropolitan. I guess you’ll have the settle for the next best thing in +Benjamin. OR, how about Fr Meletios? They both seem to be right down your alley.

            • Rostislav says

              The “gay letter” MATCHED THE NATIONAL CONVERSATION or is that somehow not relevent to you and YOUR PERSONAL IMMORAL POLITICS?! The OCA was BROUGHT DOWN by homosexual Bishops and bankrupted and their still is a very active homosexual mob in the OCA.

              If that is not relevent, then the model you espouse has the world crashing down, homosexual Bishops ruling the OCA with their “special experience” and “skills” at bankrupting, stealing and corruption.

              You do know Orthodoxy and being a cleric in the Orthodox Church while being a homosexual are mutually exclusive? That if you are a practicing SODOMITE, you are forbidden from taking Communion FOR A VERY LONG TIME?!

              Really, get a clue.

              Do tell us when the spiritual court was held, which witnesses were called and what canons Metropolitan Jonah violated or admit your Renovationist crowd UNCANONICALLY UNSEATED A CONSECRATED METROPOLITAN AND CREATED AN UNLAWFUL ASSEMBLY WHICH CONSTITUTES A VAGANTE SYNOD IN REBELLION according to the Holy Fathers and the Holy Canons.

              What experience does a, say, Nathaniel have who loses 90% of all Romanians who come to this country? A Nikon have who blesses a FB which argues that “acceptance of homosexuality constitutes a blessing of the HOLY SPIRIT”?!

              Really, we know the “experience” your Renovationist ilk are talking about. It got us here today, bankrupt, losing parishes and having people who lack Orthodox formations like yourself. Such “experience” Metropolitan Jonah was all too aware of. His experience was to right that ship.

              Lastly, for all this “experience” talk. Do you even KNOW what “experience” the Holy Fathers and the Holy Canons call for? They call for a Bishop TO BE A MONASTIC LEADING AN ASCETIC LIFE HAVING APPROACHED OR APPROACHING ILLUMINATION TO LEAD THE PEOPLE OF GOD TO IT.

              Show us where your RENOVATIONIST HOLY SYNOD fits that CANONICAL STANDARD of “experience” or GIVE IT UP! At least Metropolitan Jonah and Bishop Matthias UNDERSTAND what is expected of a hierarch and TRY TO LIVE UP TO IT. Your people can’t even stay out of a gay bar.

            • Pravoslavnie says

              What is this controversial “Gay Letter” from Bp. Matthias? Is the text available online somewhere?

                • Pravoslavnie says

                  Thanks for the link, but I don’t see what all the fuss is about. The “Gay Letter” from Bp. Matthias simply reinforces traditional Orthodox teaching about marriage and homosexuality, and is similar in tone and content to what we’ve heard from Met. Jonah on this subject. I view it as providing some necessary episcopal guidance, and an Orthodox reality check.

          • I wonder, did these good men request the resignation of Metropolitan Jonah along with the others?

  5. When Bishop Jonah was the Metropolitan, it is absolutely reasonable to say about visiting Russia, and then Constantinople. Schedule a visit to Russia was not difficult, but some thought to arrange a visit to Constantinople to be difficult. Nevertheless, I managed a few days to prepare, and has been appointed date of the visit. And then there is the speech in Dallas, which resulted in the immediate denial of a meeting.

    Here we go again. More confirmation that +Jonah didn’t listen to Kishkovsky, that +Jonah made his job more difficult. That HE KISHKOVSKY had a trip to Constantinople all set (not true) and then +Jonah made that Dallas speech (sermon) on the Sunday of Orthodoxy. This has been the consistent mantra from Kishkovsky since.

    Well, here is the truth that really sent “Lefty” over the edge in the past month. Constantinople wasn’t that much anti-Jonah as they were anti-Lefty and the OCA.

    If Jonah was so persona-non-grata with Constantinople, how come His All-Holiness Bartholomew blessed Jonah to go to England a couple of weeks ago and to the Monastery in Essex under the EP? How come the EP blessed Met. Kallistos Ware to serve with Jonah at St. Nicholas in DC a couple of weeks ago?

    “Lefty’s” story has more holes in it than a good swiss cheese. What is true is that “Lefty” was as angry as a wet-hen with Jonah didn’t follow PROPER PROCEDURES (remember that mantra from Stokoe to the Chicago Tribune) and from others. In fact, Jonah went directly to the EP and got the blessing to go to England, leaving “Lefty” out of the loop. He hit the ceiling when he found out that Jonah didn’t go through him. And why? Because “Lefty” would have made it impossible for Jonah to go. That would further isolate Jonah.

    Folks, the EP was not worried about Jonah, nor upset, nor reeling from the Dallas speech. Jonah apologized for his comments (don’t forget that) and the EP accepted the apology. But “Lefty” never forgot .

    This is the take-away………….the EP blessed Jonah as late as 2 weeks ago to go to England and for an EP hierarch to serve with Jonah in HIS CATHEDRAL IN DC. Bad relations between the OCA and EP exist, but not bad relations between Jonah and the EP. Attempts to project that onto Jonah are just plain wrong.

    • lexcaritas says

      So fire Mr. Kishkovsky.


    • Rostislav says

      I would be glad to be considered “persona non grata” by the Uniate sleeper agent EP which has sold its soul to Rome in unholy Unia for 30 red lentils! Better the situation prior to 1970 than the rule of Istanbul! NEVER TO UNIA AND ITS AGENTS!

      Besides, when a body is more latinized with its organs and “abbreviated liturgics” moreso than the Uniates, how should one truthfully appraise it?!

      • I would be glad to be considered “persona non grata” by the Uniate sleeper agent EP which has sold its soul to Rome in unholy Unia for 30 red lentils!

        Oh for heaven’s sake, please just stop it. This is crazy.

        • Rostislav says

          Actually, YOU STOP IT and just do a google photo search on Patriarch Bartholomew. Really. Learn to respect ORTHODOX opinions. Really.

          • Peter A. Papoutsis says

            The OCA ship is sinking faster than the Titanic and its STILL the Phanar’s fault! The Phanar has many sins to answer for but this is not one of them. Rostislav get a grip you are losing your hold on reality.


            • Rostislav says

              No one said the Phanar was responsible. I simply inserted my variance with it and distance from it and substantiated that by illustrating how wantonly Uniate it is and how its innovationist observances like organs and praying with heretics are not Orthodox and nothing Orthodox people want any part of.

              So, dear sir, that is the grip I have and what I said. At least learn to appreciate this context in your getting a grip.

              I will go one further and say I want nothing to do with the EP and do not want my church to have anything except pro forma expressions of fraternal well wishes (for now) to do with it. As far as I am concerned, the creation of the GOA on the missionary territory of the Russian American diocese constituted an uncanonical intrusion on the missionary territory of that body and that regularization of that situation is return of the GOA to the administration of that diocese and its formal and real observance of Right Faith and Piety. That diocesan administration is the OCA.

              • Carl Kraeff says

                What, you are calling the EP much worse than renovationist, you are calling him a Uniate???!!!??? I am amazed at your grasp of, and adherence to, true Orthodox dogma, ecclesiology and praxis. I think that you would make a decent Pope.

                • Rostislav says

                  Google Patriarch Bartholomew and look at the pictures. Uniate is a fitting word. Two lungs ecclesiology is neo Uniate and, yes, with their recent discussions on “papal primacy” they are Unia bound. The shoe fits quite well.

                  But for you to talk about “true Orthodox dogma” is akin to an alcholic to claim that he is an “alchohol abuse counselor” because he “councils people on how to abuse alcohol.” Total joke.

              • Peter A. Papoutsis says

                But here is the tricky problem you have to talk with the Catholics you cannot ignore them. The Church was one for a 1,000 years. We are now Uniates for talking with RC? We are heretics if we recognize the common Christian heritage that both Churches have?

                This is the crazy talk I get from the anti-ecumenists in the HOCNA. Praying and talking with Catholics but not having a formal liturgical worship service that involves a common communion cup is proper and not in violation of the Canons.

                I am just a anti-ecumenical movement as you, but to call the EP Unia!? That is completely absured. The rest of your rant is just old fashioned OCA rhetoric and it has gotten the OCA nowhere fast. You are bringing a so-called knife to a gun-fight with that argument. The GOA never allowed it and never will. Moscow (ie.e Communists) had their own agenda in granting the OCA autocephaly and it had nothing to do with proper order and the canons. Look at what OCA autocephaly has brought us. The Communists knew this would happen and we played right into their hands and we still are playing into their hands.

                Instead of beatting a dead horse Metropolitan Jonah saw a way out of this stalemate and for that, along with his true Orthodox Piety, he was forced to resign. You can keep drinking the OCA Kool-Aid or you can realize that the big money and big power will not allow it so you have two choices:

                1.) Go at it along with OCA autocephaly intact while it continues to commit institutional suicide, or
                2.) Get maximum autonomy while uniting with the ROCOR and NOT the MP which is still infected IMHO with Communism. That’s just me I know others disagree.

                I would pick 2 for the OCA at least for the moment until the EA works out the future of our jurisdictions here in America and Moscow and Constantionople workout the jurisdictional problems in the Ukraine and elsewhere. That’s the reality. Buck it all you want but people in higher places than us (and I don’t mean Jesus) have other plans for us.

                So far I have seen all of this coming as others have. Its all going according to plan, its just not your plan but theirs. Further, the remaining influance of KGB/FSB agents in the Russian Church is still a source of great concern and one in which we should listen to the ROCOR old timers on this issue.


                • Rostislav says

                  I don’t think you are serious in writing what you write, because if you are then you are seriously uninformed. Your Bishops teach that the papal church and Orthodoxy are “two lungs of the same church”. They pray and concelebrate. The pope has been commemorated in YOUR churches, in Constantinople. If that is not Uniate, you don’t understand what Uniate is. This is not about “talking” with the Latins, as I see a value in social common cause. This is about apostasy from Orthodoxy.

                  Groups who fall into heresy may share a “common Christian foundation” but there is a point why they are not in Communion with the Orthodox Church – THEY FELL AWAY INTO HERESY. Thus, any type of theological dialogue from an Orthodox perspective has value only in overcoming the heresy, not glossing it over and then concocting some crazy “two lungs” ecclesiology.

                  As far as what the OCA has as its mission, I will say that we will get farther HAVING NOTHING TO DO WITH YOU than any type of unity with the EP, for your paradigm of ethnic maintenance has no lifespan. You are living on borrowed time and you all know it. You are trying to shore that up by becoming an “accepted American denomination” so that the wolves won’t rip you apart, but honestly, 3rd, 4th, 5th, etc. generations have no real affinity to your “Greekness” at the expense of Orthodoxy. If we right our ship, your descendents will be returning to Orthodoxy in the OCA while your churches either are managed by the local RC bishops or sold on the auction block. Hellenism in America is the stupidest paradigm ever thought up. It only divided the Orthodox. In Greece, we see what it has created, taking a PAGAN identity to deprive the Romiosini of 3/4 of their territory to not enough resources to survive as a nation. You think that arrogance will outlive even a stable OCA?! You are dreaming. Your hellenism will even lose its national center in a generation, and there is a good chance turkokrateia witll return.

  6. Disgusted With It says

    I suggest that everyone who is displeased with the actions of the Synod recently should call and voice their displeasure. These guys love to make decisions and not face the consequences or be held accountable for them. Call not only the OCA Chancery, but also the “Locum Tenens” Archbishop Nathaniel directly. BE HEARD!

    OCA CHANCERY: (516) 922-0550

    ARCHBISHOP NATHANIEL: (517) 522-4800, (517) 522-3598, (517) 522-3656

    • Rostislav says

      I called the numbers in question, asking what Canons were followed in installing Archbishop Nathaniel as locums tenens and inquiring into just exactly what spiritual court deposed Metropolitan Jonah, what Canons were transgressed and who were the witnesses. Fr. Tossi tried to rush me off the phone but heard me out and said that “he was not involved in the process and would pass my concerns on.”

      Archbishop Nathaniel’s office was combatative, saying it “was none of business, didn’t like the tone of my questions,” refused to answer them, saying they wouldn’t or that it wasn’t the concern of the Romanian Archdiocese AFTER taking my personal information with the implication that they would. Followed by a click when further explanation was requested. That is how this being run with Metropolitan Nathaniel and the Vatra crowd — THEIR or the HIGHWAY.

      Yet this is FAR WORSE than what they accused Metropolitan Jonah of.

      Demand what spiritual court deposed Metropolitan Jonah, what the charges were and who were the witnesses and what canons allowed this hierarch to be appointed locum tenens. Don’t let this go. Canonically, they don’t have a ground to stand on.

      If they say, “he resigned.” Tell them “resignations under duress and coercion are not valid.” Demand transparency. Call these numbers. Tell the Romanians that only if they answer these questions will you provide your personal information. Richard and Fr. Mark, I believe. They will not run roughshod over us.

      • M. Stankovich says

        As long as you’re on the phone, chief, would you mind also asking what St. Luke’s recommended after a week of assessment with the Metropolitan? And if the Metropolitan rejected or ignored the recommendations, why? And if it was the Metropolitan who failed to fulfill his responsibilities, then maybe he could tell us. And If it was the Synod who rejected the recommendation, why? And if it was the Synod that did not fulfill their responsibilities as the ones who directed him to assistance, than maybe they could tell us.

        My thought is that Harry Coin is the smartest man in the room: why are you phoning anyone but Metropolitan Jonah himself? With a word he could settle this whole melodramatic crank of “coercion,” “duress,” and “suffering servant.” With a word. And an honest, forthright, even “wronged” man would have ended this shameful display days ago, because the stability of the Church is more important than him. Or, he would have chastized those who would make him a liar twice over when he said, “I have neither the personality nor the temperament.”

        You would fashion yourself a defender of the “wronged,” when in actuality you are making a dramatic argument that he is impotent to defend himself, and his words are empty and meaningless.

        • Rostislav says

          Or I am simply indicating that they have taken away his voice, and it is time for us to speak up so that he could speak for himself.

          If you find it so easy to justify such behavior, you deserve what you get, pal. But in all honesty, the only thing you are doing is defending the “business as usual” which got us into this mess over the last 30 years.

          You can’t avoid the FACTS that there WAS NO SPIRITUAL COURT, NO CHARGES OF CANONICAL INFRACTIONS, NO WITNESSES BROUGHT and that THEY used duress to force out a duly consecrated Metropolitan and Primate. That canonically, dear friend, IS REBELLION AND USURPATION OF EPISCOPAL AUTHORITY which was done during the era of the Seven Ecumenical Councils by schismatics and heretics and ANSWERED with depositons and excommunications of the REBELS, the people you are obliquely supporting.

          IS that the side you want to be on?

          • Rostislav,
            I understand your anger, and your defense of Metropolitan JONAH. I’m upset, too. This was certainly underhanded and scandalous.

            But, at least according to Metropolitan JONAH’s letter, this was not a deposition, which would require a spiritual court, charges, etc., all that you are saying. This was a request that +JONAH step down as Metropolitan (not from his episcopacy). Therefore, it did not require a court, or charges.

            What was uncanonical about this, was the way three men manipulated it outside the Holy Synod, not to mention the faithful. (See my post above. )

            Again, I agree with you in many ways, and this sadly seems to confirm that corruption still reigns in the OCA among the senior bishops, Fr Kishkovsky, and Syosset. But your demanding a spiritual court comes from a misunderstanding what happened, at least as I understand it.

            Now, if the Synod takes Metropolitan JONAH’s letter as resigning the episcopacy and does not give him another bishopric, THAT would be an additional scandal, and your demands for a listing of charges would be appropriate.

            • Rostislav says

              It is nearly UNHEARD OF for a CONSECRATED Metropolitan to step down without a CANONICAL REASON. It is understood as “orphaning ones see” in the language of the Holy Fathers. Metropoltian Jonah was given an ultimatum by a SYNOD ACTING IN REBELLION, and he was forced under duress to resign. He normally would not have AND STROVE TO FIND SOME WAY TO REMAIN AS METROPOLITAN. This is not canonical. This is an uncanonical deposition and lawlessness.

              When Arians and Montanists did this to sitting hierarchs THEY WERE CONDEMNED, DEPOSED and EXCOMMUNICATED. Their actions were considered REBELLION and INVALID. The synods they formed were termed “self consecrated assemblies” canonically, and those forced “to resign” (abandon their sees) under such duress were RESTORED.

              The only way to REMOVE a Metropolitan is to have a spiritual court either CANONICALLY convict him of an infraction or declare him incapable of presiding over his see. That is Orthodoxy. A coup of rebellious Bishops IS NOT.

              Thus, either they produce some charges with witnesses and hold a spiritual court or THEY RESTORE HIM or else they are acting in defiance of the Holy Canons, constitute a body of Bishops advancing REBELLION and are considered a “self consecrated assembly” whose actions are invalid.

              The Orthodox Church is ruled by a Canonical structure, not the arbitrary decisions of rebellious Bishops following a Renovationist, Protestant model of ecclesiastical government. Their actions are no different than those of the Soviet run Living Church which stated it had “removed and deposed” St. Tikhon.

              The only way to remove a Bishop is to hold a spiritual court or for him to resign of his own free will. The very hint of duress is condemned canonically. Archbishop Nathaniel and the current administration are acting as ecclesiastical usurpers and subject to the judgement of a spiritual court unless they regularize this mess.

              • Carl Kraeff says

                You sir do not know what you are talking about. And, as long as you are yelling “UNCANONICAL” this and that, would you please cite some. Otherwise, your words are nothing but the ravings of an anonymous blogger.

                • Carl,

                  Duress voids any resignation. Are you willing to swear before the Lord that you believe without reservation that His Beatitude gave up his office without duress? Because I am willing before the Lord to say that he did not.

                  Where are the words from His Beatitude since his resignation on paper that he did so freely and without reservation or under any duress? Would it not be a good thing for him to post a video reassuring us that he left office freely? It seems quite reasonable that if he did so, Syosset would ask him to do so and he would do it to ease our minds.

                  All we have is the shaken signature of His Beatitude. All we have are words very similar to those he “freely” said in Seattle.

                  May I suggest that you stop trying to defend the indefensible and step aside while the full story is revealed?

                • Rostislav says

                  You, Sir, are clearly not interested in any Canons, and are yelling “Shut up!” to defend an uncanonical REBELLION against a lawfully consecrated hierarch. I don’t think we need your koolaid here, but I will gladly provide some Canons for interested parties who are serious.

                  In the Orthodox Church, when a Bishop is consecrated to a see, HE IS CONSECRATED FOR LIFE and can only be removed from that See through either a 1). A spiritual court deposing him or finding him incompetent OR 2). He willfullly, without duress, retires or assumes the great schema.

                  Since your Orthodox acumen here amounts to invective attached to an epithet and you clearly believe that Bishops can depose a primate of their synod without a spiritual court, place him under duress and make him accede to an uncanonical ultimatum that they dictate to him, it is clear you aren’t interested in what the Orthodox Church teaches and only want to drink Renovationist koolaid. Spare us that neo Protestant defense of canonically condemned Rebellion against LEGITIMATE ECCLESIASTICAL AUTHORITY.

                  Call up your Bishop and ask him what the penalty is for that since you think that my reading of the Canons is erroneous. I doubt you will, because you know I am right and you and those Renovationists you support are wrong.

                • Carl! Carl! Carl!!!

                  I cannot tolerate your impishness any longer, given the gravity of the situation. I am not God nor Orthodox and do not have the grace or patience to tolerate the perverseness of what you are working to do. I am so upset by you personally that I am preparing to go silent again so that I am no longer tempted to think about your hard-heartedness and the chaos you are working so diligently to perpetuate in your own church.

                  Is the Holy Synod permitted to meet without its head, without its president, without its metropolitan? Is it permitted to vote (even unanimously) to request the resignation of one of its members without a trial of some kind, without all of the members present at the deliberation? How can this not be doing SOMETHING OF SIGNIFICANCE WITHOUT THE CONSENT OF THE HEAD. Just because the head goes along with them later doesn’t mean he isn’t blindsided and swayed by the uncanonical meeting, by the collusion, by the conspiracy against him. This man has been attacked from all angles for doing what he was called to do, and now by his brother bishops too.

                  It is just asinine that you continue to prattle as if you do not know better. You yourself know the text inside and out better than anyone here. Canon 34: “The bishops of every nation must acknowledge him who is first among them and account him as their head, and do nothing of consequence without his consent; but, instead, each of them should do only whatever is necessitated by his own diocese. But neither let him (who is head) do anything without the consent of all.”

                  Or if you prefer a full translation from an Orthodox source (, the meaning is the same:
                  “It is the duty of every nation to know the one among them who is the first, and to recognize him as their head, and to refrain from doing anything unnecessary without his advice and approval; instead, each of them should do only whatever is necessitated by his own district and by the territories under him. But let not even such a one do anything without the advice and consent and approval of all. For only thus will there be concord, and will God be glorified through the Lord in Holy Spirit, the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit.”

                  There is no provision in here for ignoring Jonah’s headship. It is not good enough that they tire of recognizing him as the head. It is not good enough that they disagree with him on any issue or multiple issues. It is not good enough that they are too proud to work under the leadership of a younger man. It is not good enough that they decide the “Holy Spirit was confused”. It is not good enough that they are unanimous in the decision to meet and discuss behind his back how best to remove him. Get a grip. Seriously Carl, these things are so simple, even a very young child could understand them.

                  If that is not enough, there are other canons that are relevant. One of these has already been discussed (again as translated by the same Orthodox source):

                  Canon 18: “The crime of conspiracy or banding together is utterly prohibited even by the secular law, and much more ought it be forbidden in the Church of God. Therefore, if any, whether clergymen or monks, should be detected in conspiring or banding together or hatching plots against their bishop or fellow clergy, they shall by all means be deposed from their own rank.”

                  Are the members of the Holy Synod not clergymen? Is Jonah not a fellow clergy? Then even by your legalistic sophistry, they’re actions against Jonah condemn them.

                  Let’s be very, very clear here: They did not ask for Jonah to step down as head, they asked for him to resign from his see. He gave up his diocese. He is now entirely at their mercy for even the right to clean the toilets in a church office somewhere. He is now entirely reliant on their mercy for a job, for permission to speak, for food, water, and shelter! The only way he continues on in any ordained ministry is if this “band of brothers” decides to appoint him to some lesser work that seems right to them. That is not what Canon 34 calls for, and you know it.

                  This is not a cult of personality. This is about justice and canonical discipline in your national church. Unfortunately, according to your own legalism, I see no way to resolve this uncanonical situation until the “unanimous band of brothers” are deposed and the one who has been wronged is restored. If that is not possible, then you must decide to leave or stay within a Church that flaunts its own canons and its own Tradition.

                  In the spirit of Orthodoxy: Pray for me, a hard-hearted fool who cannot help but recognize a hard-hearted fool when he sees one.

                  • Rostislav says

                    Cudoes. But I somehow doubt it will reach the mark.

                    • Rostislav says:
                      July 13, 2012 at 1:18 am
                      Cudoes. But I somehow doubt it will reach the mark.

                      Not the mark, the nikon, the tikhon, the nathaniel, the benjamin, the melchizedek, the alejo,the matthias, the michael, or the alexander because they have already missed the mark, aka sinned.

                  • Jesse Cone says


                    Your narrative suggests how it is a meeting of the Lessor Synod would result in the entire Synod’s “unanimous request” for retirement.

            • ForcedAnon, respectfully, I have to disagree. I think the argument can be made that this was, in essence, a deposition in all but name, due to the coercion factor.

              • It fits the standard English definition of deposition: “removal from office suddenly and forcefully”

                Perhaps it does not fit a very specific usage within church jurisprudence … who cares.

                “Forced resignation, deposition … potato, potato”

        • Rostislav says

          Having known him personally, I can say Metropolitan Jonah has a natural inclination to be a person of strong convictions who acts on them forcefully when he has “the wind at his back,” ie support. But when he does not, he tends to “go with the flow.” So his return would be a function of the discontent of the grassroots which elected him. Yes, that is something he and surrogates would have to orchestrate, but that could be done, and once it were done, with what he knows about the “inner workings” of the Synod and his “opposition,” he could carry the day and reforge the Synod into a more affable of his vision. Whoever becomes Metropolitan will have to do this.

          If Metropolitan Jonah is given a diocese, he will be back. He has been counted out several times in his life and has always bounced back and got the better of adversity. This is a storm he will weather. Why, the forces of entropy which he was fighting and the approaching demographic collapse are on his side. Company men running the show for the sake of “their” company have no real longevity in a crisis. The OCA still is in that crisis. Metropolitan Jonah has answers.

          Nathaniel, Dahulich, Golitsyn, Constantinople do not.

        • Rostislav says

          Iconoclasm is taking the Icon of the Church and dashing it at your feet on a whim because it doesn’t conform to what you believe things “should be” in your cafeteria religion, “denomination”.

          That indeed is the problem with Renovationism and why it was condemned as heresy in Russia during the Soviet persecutions.

          Thus, when such a person screams, “Obedience!” It isn’t obedience to CHRIST or HIS Church, but that person’s idol or cafeteria. That isn’t Orthodoxy.

          • M. Stankovich says

            If you knew him “personally” you would know his personality and temperament to be exactly as he described himself. And I say this in no pejorative sense whatsoever. I have known him to be a knowledgeable, personable, thoughtful, gentle, sober, and spiritual man; undoubtedly a capable guide of monastics, a spiritual council, and a confessor. But I never saw him to be a decisive man, even in regard to his own personal direction. He was and is socially awkward, uncomfortable, and struggles with interactions. Perhaps he will be a remarkable diocesan bishop – truthfully, he never had the opportunity – but he was not “coerced” nor did he “lie” as to his personality. While he certainly has “vision” to offer, he has been mistaken to be the “future.”

            • Rostislav says

              Actually, I have found him to be quite personable and capable of lighting up a room. He was always jovial, tried to be sympathetic and listen to people and their concerns. He always tried to present an ear for those who spoke with him. Metropolitan Jonah NEVER had a problem communicating and interacting with people, be they Anglicans, Ethiopians, Greeks, Antiochians, etc. Why, he was known for his affability almost to a fault!

              So your characterization is just a product of someone not having known the man.

              Social skills are not grounds for the deposition of a Metropolitan. The Holy Canons provide the means of doing so with witnesses and a spiritual court. Provide that or admit your advocacy for rebellion against a duly consecrated Metropolitan and its uncanonical character.

              • Carl Kraeff says

                +Jonah was not deposed. So, about whom are you talking?

                • Rostislav says

                  When a man is given a forced ultimatum to resign that is de facto deposition, artless sophistries and defense of ecclesiastical rebellion aside.

                  Canonically, the actions taken against Metropolitan Jonah AMOUNT TO UNLAWFUL DEPOSITION, DELEGITIMIZE the SYNOD WHICH UNDERTOOK THEM AS AN “UNLAWFUL ASSEMBLY,” CALL FOR HIS REINSTATEMENT AND THEIR DEPOSITION AND EXCOMMUNICATION, as well as the excommunication of those who are following them in rebellion against lawful ecclesiastical authority like yourself.

            • Carl Kraeff says

              I do not think that he is bishop material. Period. If sent to Dallas, it will be to the detriment of our beloved DOS.

              • Rostislav says

                Yes, we know your idea of a Bishop. He frequents gay bars, has surrogates funnel money into shell corporations to support drug habits, pay blackmail to jilted male hustlers and buy sportscars. We have seen what you consider “suited to the episcopacy” over the last thirty years. You all seem to recruit your type of Bishop in halfway houses and at gay bars.

                You do know that canonically homosexual behavior on the part of the clergy is severely treated? Of course, you don’t care.

                And we all know how that worked out. Go to the Episcopalian Church. They have your idea of what your type of Bishop is in spades. Any number of Protestant Carney televangelists fit the bill as well.

                Orthodoxy is not about the religious counterfeit you worship in your cafeteria religion of the idol of yourself, but about being the TRUE CHURCH. Live by its standards and spare us the Renovationist nonsense which has only produced ruin.

                Your day is over. Ours is now and the future.

                • What a troll. Jeezy pete. I’m actually generally on your side, Rostislav, but you come off as a total hothead. Dial it back.

                  • Rostislav says

                    I think you should respect Orthodox opinions and save your less than edifying personal attacks for your personal journal.

                  • Rostislav says

                    I think the pro gay, anti Orthodox nonsense reveals to us who is the TRUE TROLL. Here is something for you to ponder in YOUR GAY RIGHTS ADVOCACY:

                    Orthodox Statement on Homosexuality
                    The position of the Orthodox Church toward homosexuality has been expressed by synodical canons and Patristic pronouncements beginning with the very first centuries of Orthodox ecclesiastical life.

                    Thus, the Orthodox Church condemns unreservedly all expressions of personal sexual experience which prove contrary to the definite and unalterable function ascribed to sex by God’s ordinance and expressed in man’s experience as a law of nature.

                    Thus the function of the sexual organs of a man and a woman and their bio-chemical generating forces in glands and glandular secretions are ordained by nature to serve one particular purpose, the procreation of the human kind.

                    However, the human sexual apparatus appears to have been designed not only as the medium by which the necessary physical contact for the purpose of sex is affected, but as the generator as well and the center of a highly complex system of feelings which all together are known by the name eros, love between husband and wife.

                    Therefore, any and all uses of the human sex organs for purposes other than those ordained by creation, runs contrary to the nature of things as decreed by God and produces the following wrongs:

                    a. They violate God’s ordinance regarding both the procreation of man and his emotional life generated by his instinctive attraction to the opposite sex not only for procreating but for advancing the personalities of a man and a woman to a state of completion within the association of the Sacrament of Marriage. For all this, homosexuality is an insult to God, and since it attempts to alter the laws regulating creation it is a blasphemy.

                    b. Homosexuality interferes with the normal development of societal patterns and as such it proves detrimental to all. These endangered patterns include personal values regarding sex which people normally take to be a vital part of their existence and a valuable asset to their living a normal life, esteemed by others.

                    c. The homosexual degrades his own sex and thus denies to himself the self-respect that is generated from the feeling that one is in line with God’s creation.

                    Homosexuality appears to be of two kinds: physico-genetic and habitual. Physico-genetic homosexuality is of physical origin due to secretory abnormalities that may produce organic changes. This type of homosexuality is rather rare and is treated as any other medical disorder.

                    Habitual homosexuality may have more than one cause. All, however, point out to a moral failure at some stage of the individual’s development, or to the animate environment from which the homosexual originated.

                    Thus, although homosexuality followed as a way of life by the sufferer, may be subject to psychopathological investigation and treatment, the origin of it, in all but the few physico-genetic cases mentioned above, brings with it a moral failure. It is because of the realization of this that homosexuality has been described from ancient times as a moral stigma.

                    Thus, the Orthodox Church cannot subscribe to the demand that homosexuals be recognized by society and its agencies as legal spouses and as deserving the same respect as men and women enjoy in the state of wedlock.

                    Society and its values, religious and societal, have legitimate claims over the behavior of its members, especially in so vital a function as the sexual one on which not only the survival but its quality as well depend. No one has the right to do whatever he wishes with his body and still claim recognition and respect on the part of society.

                    The Orthodox Church believes that homosexuality should be treated by society as an immoral and dangerous perversion and by religion as a sinful failure. In both cases, correction is called for. Homosexuals should be accorded the confidential medical and psychiatric facilities by which they can be helped to restore themselves to a self-respecting sexual identity that belongs to them by God’s ordinance.

                    In full confidentiality, the Orthodox Church cares and provides pastorally for homosexuals in the belief that no sinner who has failed himself and God should be allowed to deteriorate morally and spiritually.

                    Psychiatric restoration, without religious direction and reconciliation with God, is bound to prove short lived.

                    A healthy society and various religions do not recognize perversions. Rather, they work to restore the homosexual to the status of a self-esteemed individual and thus to a valued instrument of their own survival and wellbeing under God.


                  • Rostislav says

                    Somehow you seem to keep missing the DOCUMENTED EVIDENCE of homosexual impropriety going on in the OCA at the highest levels, DOCUMENTED ON THIS VERY BLOG, which Y-O-U are trolling. Somehow you missed the scandals of the last thirty years with Theodosius and Herman, scandals very much a result of homosexual affectations of higher clergy LEFT UNADRESSED. Even Stokoe as much as said that. Really, get over yourself!

                    SODOMY and being a member of the Orthodox clergy or faithful is mutually exclusive and canonically condemned. What you advocate is maintaining an immoral status quo which keeps this cess pool poisoning the waters of our Church. YOU AND YOUR KIND NEED TO STOP. We will give homosexuality and the gay agenda no quarter.

                    • You are a lunatic. Why is it so hard for you to understand that I don’t necessarily disagree with your basic points, I just wish you would realize that you’re coming off as a crazy screaming person. You do realize that TYPING IN ALL CAPS is the online equivalent of yelling, don’t you?

                      If you insist on acting like a jerk in this forum, at least have the self-awareness not to use the “we.” Nobody else around here, whatever their opinion, conducts themselves with your bad manners.

                    • It is strange you felt the need to call him a “lunatic” for using caps for emphasis. To him, documented evidence of gay activists calling the shots in his church is a big enough deal to start yelling; not time to start using philosophical sounding distancing mechanisms like “don’t necessarily disagree with x” and certainly not the time to focus on personal style or any personal coolness factor. He is willing to come out and just say “x” and sometimes he puts it in caps (to sometimes yell X). I’m not Orthodox but from what I’ve observed here, too many in the OCA and the broader Orthodox world are concerned with looking suave or intelligent while Constantinople burns (the equivalent). You guys are so similar to the Episcopal Church in the 70’s it is amazing, with gay bishops (it was married bisexual bishops in TEC) setting the course and the traditionals powerless to depose them or change the course (most unwilling to believe God would let their proud, suave church reach its destination). Only difference is the world around you is much more progressive than it was in the 70’s and this will almost certainly accelerate the “progress” within your church. Can relations with Moscow slow the train? Personally I do not think so anymore. The depth of hatred against Jonah was so extreme that it is pretty clear the war is over to me. But perhaps if the laity face this threat head on, with clarity about what the threat is, just maybe you can do something with the help of the wider Orthodox world.

                      I guess my own advice to those who feel like they can stay without doing spiritual damage to themselves or their children is to stay, but to cut off all funds to the bishops and to the national church immediately (the more dramatic the change, the harder it is to obfuscate). These people care about money more than souls anyway (after all you can fabricate attendance numbers, but you can’t fabricate a bank account with money in it). The question is, what change are you requiring? What change would be good enough to start sending money again? It almost goes without saying that you will set the bar too low, that people will disagree about where to set the bar, and that the personalities in charge will manipulate you to try to get you to accept the smallest political victory possible (and this not real, permanent change). My own reading of the situation (and the canons) would call for a full public airing of Jonah’s supposed “sins” against the church (however substantive or procedural they might be), then assuming the accusations and the remedy are as unjust as they appear to be, justice would require deposing all bishops who voted to pressure him to resign. I believe that would be all the bishops. So if the only just outcome is a complete restart for the synod, I guess as a practical matter it is not clear whether an autonomous church can even do that on its own. Maybe you have to either convert to Carl’s OCA Synod fundamentalism or put the existing parishes under some other jurisdiction until autonomy is logistically feasible if not in fact spiritually beneficial again.

                      Anyway, I offer these thoughts as a sounding board, just reflecting back on what I’m seeing and hearing for what it is worth. It appears there is an awful lot of intellectual work needed to see your way through this. Maybe it is just not possible anymore without help from an another jurisdiction. Even a non-religious person would have to see this story as a sad one right now. You all have my sympathies and best wishes.

                    • Rostislav says

                      Thank you, UM. Another thing we will have to start doing besides pursuing a financial boycott is putting lawyers on retainer and publishing compromising photos and financial statements. Whatever makes it more costly for them to keep up their game, whatever clearly shows the world that they are immoral and corrupt, makes them vulnerable, very mortal and insures them no longevity.

                • Carl Kraeff says

                  Just for the record as there are new posters here. I am a cradle Orthodox and a descendant of Orthodox priests. I belong to a conservative DOS parish, which in the past ten years has produced 13 clergy. I am a conservative politically and have signed the Manhattan Declaration.

                  • Rostislav says

                    The only lunatic yelling is the one supporting SODOMY which WE ORTHODOX CONDEMN. You Renovationists don’t. If you don’t like it and refuse to obey OUR CHURCH, get out. We will NOT ABIDE SODOMY.

                    Yeah, it is appropriate to speak forthrightly when your degenerate worldviews are so morally incompatible with Orthodoxy, you moral reprobate LACKING AN ORTHODOX FORMATION.

                    Get an Orthodox formation before writing again.

                  • Rostislav says

                    For the record, I am a cradle Orthodox whose ancestors where involved in both the Kiev and Ostrogh brotherhoods. Some were clergy. Some were soldiers. Many died defending the Orthodox Faith. My great uncle died in a Soviet concentration camp helping to build the White Sea Canal because he was denounced by Renovationists like yourself, he being a Deacon loyal to St. Tikhon.

                    My Orthodoxy dates back to St. Vladimir literally.

                    I know and speak Russian, have studied in seminary, know the people in question, and hail from a very “old school” Orthodox formation.

                    So, when you all act in defiance of the Holy Canons, supporting a gay mafia which has not only bankrupted the OCA, but in many cases is coddling Constantinople’s not so quiet Unia and/or betraying Orthodoxy and bastardizing it with your heretical Renovationism, you disgrace whatever ancestors you had and delegitimize yourself as an Orthodox voice.

                    ENOUGH IS ENOUGH!

                    You don’t establish your bona fides in Orthodoxy by betraying it or arguing to keep a very poorly misnmanaged, morally bankrupt and corrupt GAY administration which has uncanonically unseated a consecrated Metropolitan.

                    • lexcaritas says

                      My brother, Rostislav, while I lack your admirable Orthodox pedigree, I want to thank you for, and second, your sentiment–and also yours, dear Um.

                      Some of us do, indeed, care about the wounded condition of the Body of Christ and this part of Her which is the OCA; we care depply about Her holiness and continued faithfulness to Christ, Who, while He promised the Gate of Hades would not prevail against the Church, also asked whether the Son of Man, when He returns, will find faith on the earth. Straight is the gate, and narrow the way that leads to Life–and few there be that find it, nor is it everyone who says to Him “Lord, Lord”, who will enter the Kingdom of Heaven, but they who do the will of the Father Who is in Heaven.

                      Christ and His Apostles likewise warned us a false shepherds and wolves-in-sheep’s-clothing and those whose belly is their god and who creep in to spoil our agapes and Eucharists and despoil poor widows houses for money and tickle itching ears . . . They warned us so we could anticipate it and be ready to defend against them and beat them back.

                      May our Lord help, save and deliver us by His grace, and may the glory and honour be His, now and forever.


                      P.S. Monomakhos, Not sure why some posts have no reply button (while most do). Likewise, not sure why some threads have the thumbs up/down feature, but this one hasn’t.

                    • Rostislav says

                      Thank you for your kind words and sentiment. I have to say that it was not my intent to speak of “pedigrees” and whatnot, but that this was inserted into this discussion to somehow try to diminish others. For me what matters is what a person believes and how he practices his beliefs, and that includes me.

                      Honestly, most people who come from Western backgrounds as converts will find what Metropolitan Hierotheos (Vlachos) termed “Orthodox DNA” in their lineage as the West was thoroughly Orthodox and reflected a strong fidelity to Right Faith and Piety. Holy Britain, Holy Gaul, Observant Italy, Pious Spain, etc. were counterparts to Holy Russia and Orthodox Byzantium.

                      Nearly all of us have some sort of “pedigree” and that is why Orthodoxy is so relevent to the West today.

                    • Carl Kraeff says

                      Rostislav–Do you really think that people will be impressed by your pedigree that lasts back to St. Vladimir, a relative newcomer to Orthodoxy. Do you really think that people will believe that you attended an Orthodox Seminary, when you are making wild accusations of uncanonicity at the same time that you have not cited even one canon to back you up. Do you think that people will not think you may be delusional in believing that others will believe your ravings just because it comes from “Rostislav”? BTW, when you took on the name “Rostislav,” did you know that it means usurper of glory? Fits to a tee.

              • Mark from the DOS says

                Not bishop material? What a shame that he is already a bishop. It is unusual for you Carl to show such disrespect both to the man and the office. I am surprised. You are usually much more even keeled.

                • Carl Kraeff says

                  Sadly, I have come to that conclusion. I say “sadly” because I used to be one his greatest backers and fans. I am sorry that this is interpreted as showing disrespect. Nonetheless, if +Jonah comes up as a candidate for the Dallas vacancy and anyone asks for my opinion, I will not support him. Now, if he is nominated by the Special Assembly and/or the Holy Synod elects him, I am not going to go to another jurisdiction. I am also not going to disrespect him or the office by skipping church when he visits, or by cutting back on my contributions to my parish.

                  • There goes Carl again, attacking the messenger. This time Rostislav. When you attack someone, Carl, put it in the first person, like “do you think that I (not people)……….. You are not speaking for me.

                    Well, the DOS has a real incentive now to try and get Jonah. Carl will leave the OCA and I might come back. Good trade.


        • Jesse Cone says


          I’m convinced, along with several others, that you have psychological problems. I demand you go to St. Luke’s for a week long evaluation. 9 months later I will expect all your decisions will be grounded in your response to that evaluation. If you break up with your significant other, clearly you didn’t obey.

          And since you’ll be the ONLY one who can LEGALLY prove this theory wrong I expect you to volunteer to make the results of your evaluation public to whoever asks.


          • M. Stankovich says

            Mr. Cone,

            This is a form of distraction that is beneath you, if only because you fully understand the ramifications. Please, don’t play me. You are fostering this unfounded foolishness now of “soviet-style coercion” and analogies with the New Martryrs when you know they are completely without substance.

            I am accused of “fanning flames” when you know the answers to my questions will do more to accomplish exactly the opposite. Good-faith efforts are of “good-faith,” regardless of which “camp” makes the offer.

            • Jesse Cone says

              Distraction? From what exactly?

              From demanding the Metropolitan come out and agree with you?

              The bottom line is that you assume this is where the answers are buried, and I disagree with you because there is no evidence for that belief.

              • M. Stankovich says

                Mr. Cone,

                Did I miss something here? Did we wager on the outcome? I will drop the issue immediately if you tell me it is in the best interest of integrity and honesty, or somehow in the best interest of your good name or well being. There is nothing to be “gained” personally here.

                I see the Synod of Bishops spoken of in derogatory terms that are shocking to me, yet I find it absolutely incongruous with a good-faith offer to engage an objective third-party in evaluating a systemic failure, and offering an alternative to what has transpired this week. You cannot seem to appreciate how unprecedented and courageous this action was organizationally, let alone in the Orthodox Church. And yet, a know and demonstratively effective intervention, exercised specifically to prevent this outcome, failed. And you believe it is unreasonable to ask why?

                Factually, Mr. Cone, there is no evidence for your belief or mine, because there is no evidence, period. And apparently for the foreseeable future. We are left with “conspiracy,” “traitors,” and “cabals.” I will lose no sleep.

                • Jesse Cone says


                  Not many people other than you seem to believe that the outcome of St. Luke’s was likely to fix the problem. My understanding of the week-long program is that two other people engage in limited sessions. It seems doubtful to expect that a couple of hours of work of three of our bishops (if you count HB), with discussion centered around only one of them is likely to fix the systemic problems of the Synod and Syosset.

                  Not to mention the dubious origins of the evaluation anyway.

                  You seem to be the only one to think so strongly: the program FAILED because institutional and interpersonal harmony wasn’t reached. But you may assume so if you want. We’ve heard it, no need to keep repeating.

                  As to evidence: there’s evidence. It may not be conclusive, but it sure is suggestive of what people are saying. And that, dear Stanko, is what I believe you are missing.

                  • Alfred Kentigern Siewers says

                    Glory to Jesus Christ! Glory forever!

                    Dear M. Stankovich,

                    Are you still going on here, after you said we should be quiet over on the other thread? I had gone to get a meal and do some work and take a trip and say some prayers, and here you still are! I was just in a discussion about the chapter in The Brothers Karamazov where Aloysha and Gruschenka discover one another to be real persons.

                    Maybe we could try that here? You could start by introducing yourself more fully and opening up a little. You talk about all your interactions with the Metropolitan, but you don’t talk about those with your friend the Chancellor who was also implicated in all this uproar. You won’t tell us whether you are in an OCA parish or in communion in any other canonical parish. You don’t even use a first name here.

                    If you try to open up and be less secretive of yourself, you may find yourself being less objectifying of others–whether the Metropolitan or those with whom you converse so persistently online so stridently. In fact, that would be a good lesson to pass along to your friend–since objectifying the Metropolitan rather than treating him as a person seems to lie at the heart of all the problems that you describe so abstractly.

                    Please pray for me a sinner!

                    • Jesse Cone says

                      if, perchance, M. Stankovich is not part of a canonical Orthodox Church one wonders what professional psychological program failed, and who didn’t listen and obey the professional directives that would have brought about peace and harmony to systemic failure!

                    • M. Stankovich says

                      Mr. Siewers,

                      The silence I spoke of was in relation to you. I will, however, make an exception for you because it was an exceptionally difficult afternoon. You can read about it here. I went to take the dog out and get the mail, only to find my neighbor had hanged himself right in his front window. “Who is my neighbor,” Mr. Siewers? Some overblown sarcastic forum stalker? I’ll pray for you, Mr. Siewers. You say a prayer for John who lost his way in this world.

                    • I can only reply here to Mr. Stankovich as there is no reply button . . . Mr. S. if your neighbor hung himself why on earth would you even be on a blog at all? Then why be so manipulative as to throw that at Alf? This is the kind of underhanded manipulative exchange that happens with a certain crowd that I have only encountered in Orthodox circles, sorry to say. Go mourn your neighbor and the OCA.

                    • M. Stankovich says


                      I’m sorry the point went over your head. If there is “mourning” to be done – and I believe that was the point – it is not for my neighbor. If I did not trust in the mercy of God, it would be a different matter completely. The “mourning” has to do with me: Who is my neighbor? That a mere two-hundred feet from my door, a man is in such despair that destruction seems “reasonable,” and I was totally and completely oblivious: “I just saw him yesterday walking his dogs.” Me, the Orthodox Christian! Ironic, no?

                      As to “throwing it at Alf,” how well would you say you “know” me, collette? Just a few weeks ago, anyone who wanted to know was instructed where to find my “vital statistics,” home address, phone, educational background, training, and work experience. Does it seem at all reasonable to you that I would care if you knew which parish I attend? I have been open and honest as to who are my friends and why. Does it seem reasonable to imagine that if I were communicating with the Chancellor every hour on the half-hour I would deny it?

                      Alf mocked me: “If you try to open up and be less secretive of yourself, you may find yourself being less objectifying of others.” So be it. Share with me exactly how badly I feel about my indifference. Empathize with me, if you wish. But neither of you challenge my integrity

        • Alfred Kentigern Siewers says

          Hey, bumping into you here once again, M. S., after I thought you had advised silence as wisdom! But I think you’re advising people now to disobey the word from the Protopresbyter-Secretary to seek info from and its email–certainly no ok there to be talking with the Metropolitan! If you were reading the Protopresbyter-Chancellor’s Diary today you would know that all is normal and it’s time to stand down! Meanwhile, have you checked with him yet to see if he knows whether you are in communion in a canonical Orthodox parish or not, and whether you’re in the OCA? If neither of you know, it might be a good time for you both in “We are their legacy” to consider a quick check-up at St. Luke’s, to also make sure that you are remembering the right legacy!

  7. Seraphim says

    Just as in English-speaking folklore, the ancient Greeks too believed that the third wave was the one that the swimmer had to look out for, lest he go under, never again to re-surface. Several days ago, when only the first wave had washed in (the suspension of the voting for DOS Bishop) many suggested plausibly that the upcoming meeting in Miami should be boycotted. But after two more waves (each more threatening than the last) this no longer seems like sound counsel. Before, it was as if there had been a discovery that the house had faulty wiring and needed inspection as soon as possible. Now (after the removal of +Jonah and the scandal at Manton) it seems clear that the house is on fire and in immanent danger of being consumed. All the institutions of the OCA seem profoundly compromised, while the Synod remains in a state of delusion They really do seem to think things are fine and that they are rolling on down the highway. When, as Paul Simon puts it, they are in fact “slip-sliding away,” the future of the OCA (and Orthodoxy in America) in tow. The Diocese of the South now seems like the last hope for the OCA before mass defections to ROCOR begin—perhaps not a bad thing, but it should be a last resort. So attendance in Miami now seems not only like something that could have a positive effect, but like a last stand. I would urge those who are able to attend this meeting and raise hell. Or rather, fight hell. At the risk of being over-dramatic, the Continent has fallen and the Battle of Britain is underway. From this perspective, a boycott now seems like a nicety that would have made sense only in peacetime. Go to Miami, and let them know how you feel, in hopes this will snap the Synodal-MC-Syosett Axis out of its trance and wake them up to what will surely happen if they don’t work hard and fast to rectify the situation. Otherwise, I see no way at present that the OCA can survive in anything like its present form.

    • How about 50 Ways to Leave Your Lover.

      “Hop on the bus, Gus. Make a new plan Stan.”

      • Thanks, Nikos! You brought back memories for me of the good old days in the Army!
        Here’s another good one:
        “You tell them, h.s., you been on the road!”
        followed by:
        “You tell them, wheel, you been through it!”

      • lexcaritas says

        Yes, Nikos, the Synod has shown us an example of the current culture’s approval of no-fault divorce. Four years ago the ACC nominated ++JONAH and the Synod acccpted and he was installed and vested as Metropolitan. Then, the other bishops (or enough of them) decide the is irreconcilable incompatablity and so what’s the answer? It’s equivalent to divorce–and stinks every bit as much. Shameful. All who pushed for this result should be asked–ah, yes, forced–to resign.

    • Arnoldus Magnus says

      Mr. Seraphim, I think I agree with you, but I am trying to come up with what the Synod/Syosset could do at this point that would reverse the tide. Do you have any suggestions?

      Dekabristy, did you see this rehearsal of the Synod’s upcoming press conference?

      • Seraphim says

        The installation of +Jonah as Bishop of Dallas would be a nice start.

        • You really think they even want him near the Synod? Or will they continue to meet and not invite the Bishop of Dallas? Do you think poor +Jonah should have to suffer the ship of fools further? No, I would not wish my worst enemy to be on the hotseat of an episcopal throne in the OCA.

          I doubt they let him continue as an active bishop, either, lest some rabble rousing website like this one start a grassroots campaign to have him reelected as Metropolitan. No, no he’ll have to be retired off somewhere.

        • The installation of +Jonah as Bishop of Dallas would be a nice start.

          No. Anything less than complete restoration as Metropolitan of the OCA is a compromise and an acceptance of Syosset business-as-usual. If they will not restore him, we need to state very clearly what the consequences are: the money dries up and we leave.

          Dear laity of the OCA, it is time to stand up for ourselves.

        • Don’t think it’s going to happen – check the OCA website: Jonah is already listed among the “former and retired bishops”.

          • Doesn’t matter, Basil. As long as Met. Jonah is alive and well, he can be restored to office.

            In fact, the longer they take electing a putative successor, the more it helps the possibility of restoring him. It would show a cognizance of their error.

            I would not want to be the OCA bishop who presumes to be the next to step under the white klobuk, and into a diocese that rightly belongs to another bishop.

            • As a first step, Metropolitan Jonah would have to negate his resignation in writing.
              Does anyone know if Metropolitan Jonah WANTS to do that?

              • I think you ought to leave him alone about that right now. He’s been chewed up and spat out by the gaping hellmouth that is Syosset, so give him some time to wash the saliva off.

                The fact remains that a resignation under duress is as phony as a three-dollar bill.

                • Harry Coin says

                  What steamy little anonymous echo chamber this is! So many seem so frosted about it all — except Met. Jonah! Perhaps the reason nobody calls and hears what it is he thinks about it all is because he’s not in favor of the destruction folk here all appear to want!

                  • If Metropolitan Jonah likes being forced out of office under duress, hey, he can be a masochist. And frankly, I couldn’t blame him for not wanting to go back to the snake pit yet. But I refuse to live in, or pay for, an OCA that resorts to such treachery against its primate.

                    Like I said to Emperor Stankovich, the solution is very simple, have Metropolitan Jonah swear on the Gospel that there’s no conspiracy, everything is above board, and that he’s totally fine with being colluded against by the Holy Synod and chancery staff, and most especially, that nobody forced his resignation by threatening his family. Let you try to force him to lie to God. I wager he fears God more than all the Syosset goons you can throw at him.

                  • Rostislav says

                    Seems YOU MISSED he spent the weekend in phone calls “trying to find an accomodation” and finally had to succumb to duress?! Why, the official accounts even alluded to this. Yet, somehow, in some warped way you argue Metropolitan Jonah agreed with an uncanonical deposition without a spiritual court, without witnesses, without a canonical infraction?

                    By that reasoning CHRIST was duly condemned by the Sanhedrin and Pilate and it was HIS fault HE was crucified?!

                    Such despicable revisionism is worthy of nothing but contempt. But it says everything about the people on the other side.

              • lexcaritas says

                In that case, he should negated it IMMEDIATELY. It was improvident, ill-advised, too sudden and poorly stated.

          • Seraphim says

            I don’t think it’s “going” to happen either. But it “might” happen, especially if so much of a fuss is made that it seems clear that this is the only way to keep the Diocese of the South on the reservation. If it seems to the Synod that this is the only way to prevent secession, something about which the South knows a thing or two already, I think the odds go way up. As has been argued well on this blog already, the DOS is where the numbers are, where the spiritual energy is, where the growth is centered, and not least, where the money is. Without the DOS, the OCA is toast (which it may be already). And if this effort fails, then the DOS can go its way with good conscience, knowing it has exhausted every measure of good will.

    • Geo Michalopulos says

      Seraphim, a very sober analysis. And wise counsel. If things go badly in Miami, then it will truly be over. To borrow Seraphim’s analogy, it would be as if the Luftwaffe had won the Battle of Britain.

      Keep your eyes on Bp Benjamin. Not only is he an architect of the coup, he will usher in a very brand new day for the OCA should he get the white klobuk. (Assuming that there’s going to be an AAC in 2014.)

      • There’s really no way to rectify this situation, without the collective resignation and public repentance, followed by the rest of their lives in private repentance, for everyone involved in the OCA’s hierarchy. They have exposed themselves; we’ve seen behind the curtain, and know what kind of men these are. The Orthodox in America have been praying for unity; God is showing us how disunited we are internally; there can be no unity of jurisdictions until there is unity of Faith (and that means more than saying the Nicene Creed…it means accepting the moral, canonical, and scriptural traditions of the Church as normal and authoritative). I never thought I’d say this, but thanks be to God that there are multiple jurisdictions in America, and that at least some of them are not as morally bankrupt as the OCA.

        But the problem of the mass resignations remains; will it happen? Well, God did once soften the heart of Pharaoh, but, history also seems to show that people with power rarely choose to freely give it up. And the tone coming from the bishops and the bureaucracy does not look promising.

        • Arnoldus Magnus says

          Unless the Synod can come up with a good story to explain itself, I am betting that disgusted people will be headed for the exits of other jurisdictions. Where do George’s readers think those bailing on the OCA will go?

          I hope someone who is going to the Diocese of the South meeting in Miami will blog from there. If I was +Nikon I would rather have a root canal than go down to that. Five root canals.

          I have to disagree with you, Seraphim, about Jonah getting Dallas. What about those in the OCA who don’t live in the DOS? How would Jonah being in Dallas solve the wider problems in the OCA? It might be good for Jonah and the people at the cathedral in Dallas, but it will do nothing for the faithful suffering under Benjamin, or trying to get by in dying dioceses like Pennsylvania’s.

          • No matter how good the story is, I doubt that I could ever make myself believe whatever they came out with. Could you believe them? Could you ever not suspect that there were lies, and more lies? That there wasn’t some selfish motive behind whatever they said about +Jonah. Here’s the crux of the problem: we don’t trust them. How can you have a relationship with an archpastor that you cannot trust?

            And unlike virtually every bishop on the Synod, people–even non Orothodox people–could trust +Jonah.

            That’s why the reaction is as bad as it is. The guy we all felt was honest has been ousted by the guys all of us–at least a little bit–distrust.

            • Harry Coin says

              Right. Met. Jonah should offer a statement to ease the hearts of his supporters.

              • Will Harrington says

                This implies that there is a reason for hearts to be easy.

                • Harry Coin says

                  Well then if not then he should say that. At least the 30 people reading here would not have to guess and spin theories all week.

          • We are at the point where the institutions of the OCA must collapse. Syosset, the MC, esp. Frankly, if there were 10 righteous men on the synod it would not last. The loss of Orthodox ethos is now laid bare because the Kishkovskyite/Stokovite rot is so entrenched. It’s like a gangrenous leg, it ain’t gonna get any better.

            • We are at the point where the institutions of the OCA must collapse.

              Yes indeed George. And the sooner, the better, so we can all get on with the mission of the Church in this country.

        • JB says: “There’s really no way to rectify this situation, without the [sic] collective resignation and public repentance, followed by the rest of their lives in private repentance”
          Matthew says: “Anything less than complete restoration as Metropolitan of the OCA is a compromise and an acceptance of Syosset business-as-usual”
          Yes, in some parallel universe, where justice is meted out swiftly and proportionately. But these are fantasies, not real possibilities. They will not happen. Going to Miami to fight for what is possible rather than fantasizing about what is ideal and impossible is the better course of action. The only other plausible alternatives I can imagine are to begin considering other jurisdictions (which makes sense, but only as a last resort) or else continue venting and dealing in fantasies, which is in fact an indirect way of accepting the status quo.

    • Alfred Kentigern Siewers says

      A wise call, Seraphim, for visible expression of Sobornost on the part of both clergy and laity in Miami. And for those in the OCA who like to think in terms of an American-style of Orthodoxy, well, call it a minute-man muster for Sobornost in Miami; get there any way you can, in love but keep a copy of Unseen Warfare in your backpack. We’ll see many exercises of Sobornost large and small in coming weeks, God willing, most of which we’ll never hear about. Whether they succeed or not, in the right spirit they won’t be in vain in contributing to a larger rebirth of Orthodox Christianity in America, God willing. But the turmoil at Manton, amid the Fourth of July purge, and the treatment of Fr. Gerasim and the DOS, are signs not to be ignored. For those of us in the laity, here’s a helpful reminder from Orthodox wiki on our responsibilities:

      “The laity comprises all lay persons collectively. This means any person who is not a member of the clergy or of any monastic order. In the Orthodox Church, the laity are the people of God and are responsible for preserving the integrity of the faith as much as the bishops. The example for this that is often given is that of bishops being refused entrance to their cities after the Council of Florence until they recanted of their signatures. The laity refused to accept that the Council’s decisions were in accord with the Orthodox faith. The laity are called to live by the same Christian moral standards as the clergy. They both are expected to participate in all the worship services and keep the various days and seasons of fasting and feasting. The clergy are the sacred priesthood, where the laity are among the royal priesthood. The clergy cannot conduct formal worship services without the participation of the laity, and the laity can not perform the same services without the clergy to lead them. Each play a very important role in the liturgical and administrative life of the Church.”


      • “But the turmoil at Manton, amid the Fourth of July purge…”

        Mr. Siewers, would you please speak more on this? I received a mass email from one of the (now former) Manton monks stating six of them left. What happened there?

        • Search “Fr Martin” within the earlier “INEPTOCRACY” comments and you will find far more than you ever wanted to hear.

          • That is beyond shocking. I figured this was an extension of the political issues in the greater OCA. I had assumed that Fr. Martin and the others were refusing to follow some anti +Jonah party line, nothing like this. I bet +Jonah is livid at what has been done to the monastery he founded. I also lament for Fr. Martin, who was also there from the beginning, losing his home like that. This is a strange twist.

            • Not just livid, I expect he’s heartbroken. It probably feels like something like giving up one’s children for adoption, trusting and praying you have found them a good family, then later finding out the adoptive parents have molested them.

              I would suspect that Metropolitan Jonah needs a lot of prayer.

              • You’re right I’m sure. I have no doubt that when +Jonah left to go to the DOS it was heart rending for all of them. I would think that +Jonah was taking solace in the thought that his community was being left in good hands. Also, the Monastery of St. John has to be (or I supposed now that should read “has to have been”) the strongest monastic community in the OCA. I stayed there for a little while a few years ago, right around the time Fr. Mel was first elected abbot, and everything seemed great. I am utterly shocked at this news.

      • Bishops, Priests, Deacons and all other members of the Church comprise The Laos, or the “People of God.” You cannot exclude the clergy from the Laos. You can’t exclude the clergy from the People of God any more than you can exclude the Twelve or the rest of the Holy Apostles and the Holy Fathers from the People of God.
        It’s a western and mainly protestant idea. I am ordained member of the People of God. One cannot be excluded from the Laos by one’s vocation within the Church.
        Bad, but oh, SO pervasive thinking!

    • Seraphim,
      I appreciate and agree with your concern, but our house is not in immanent danger of being consumed, if the money keeps coming in from the parishes. I agree with you that the OCA seems profoundly compromised, but they are right: things are going to go along just fine as long as the money keeps coming in from the parishes.

      As we learned from the last, Kondratick embezzlement scandal, only a coordinated, mass withholding of money will influence Syosset and the Synod. It took a senior bishop, Archbishop +JOB, standing up to the corruption, for the entire scandal not to simply “go away.” The problem is, we have no one to lead the “loyal opposition,” demanding answers and justice. Who do we have to lead a national financial statement of “No Confidence”?

  8. Just Guessing says

    Did anyone note the last line of the always self-serving “Chancellor’s Diary” today (July 11)?

    As a former Archbishop of Canterbury once said, “You sometimes have to risk being misunderstood.”

    I find the quote to be possibly ironic? Instead of quoting a desert father or even a modern Orthodox Saint, he quotes the Archbishop of Canterbury, who has recently not only condoned all manner of perversity as honorable in the Anglican communion, but fomented a schism within the American body (along with their female ‘primate’). Met Jonah was unequivocal in his support of that breakaway body, having addressed them several times as well as holding high level meetings with them supporting their reasons for schism.

    The Anglican communion is certainly ecumenical par excellence and has embraced every possible perverse act as ‘holy.’ Could it be that the OCA has acknowledged a similar path, unwittingly? That in rejecting Met Jonah, they actually understand the idea that both sides of such crucial issues cannot exist in one healthy body of Christ?

    • I call today’s post “You Can’t Handle the Truth, Part II”.

      • Alfred Kentigern Siewers says

        You know, some people spend a lot of time professionally analyzing web sites for their expression of organizational priorities and power. Note that the OCA designs its website so that the Chancellor’s Diary is two levels higher in hierarchy than the lives of the day’s saints. It actually takes only one click to get into its organizational meanderings and spiritual bromides. But three clicks to get to the holy saints’ lives. If the protopresbyterianocracy would like everyone to be quiet, here’s a suggestion: Lead by example. Close down the Chancellor’s Diary. Let us find the day’s saints’ lives nearer the top level of our webpage instead. It’s symbolic. But looking for Chancellor’s Diaries on other jurisdictional websites–Greek, Antiochian, ROCOR–I don’t find a featured column by a protopresbyter in sight :).

      • Jesse Cone says

        Speaking of handling the truth: I would like to see our Chancellor acknowledge that there are far more people claiming the resignation is the fruit of viciousness, pettiness, and poorly-thought out strategy than an over-arching conspiracy.

        There’s a difference between believing people conspire maliciously and being a crack-pot conspiracy theorist.

        • M. Stankovich says

          And I believe you need to likewise acknowledge that it was clearly stated that there are legal issues related to confidentiality that prevents some information from being released. Expecting members of, for example, the Metropolitan Council to assume personal liability to satisfy your misgivings is ridiculous. Eight out of ten people posting here refuse to reveal their own name, and you would have these individuals violate the law? Very courageous.

          • Alfred Kentigern Siewers says

            M. Stankovich, I thought we had just resolved to be silent on the other thread! Certainly I will praise you here as a model of carefulness, following the legalistic motives you ascribe (though hopefully unfairly) to the Metropolitan Council. I think the Council can speak for itself without you accusing any of its members of cowardly legalism. Yet in terms of cloaking one’s identity, you yourself modestly won’t even clearly state whether you are in communion as a member of any canonical Orthodox parish, let alone a member of the OCA, with standing other than your friendship with the Chancellor!

            • Carl Kraeff says

              Alfred-Please cease your crusade to silence Stankovich as it diminishes you. What he said was true and wise. And, your answer is “shut up!”

          • Tell you what, Mr. Stankovich. Call up your old friend Fr. Jillions, and have him ask the Holy Synod to convene and allow Metropolitan Jonah to enter and serve in St. Nicholas one last time. Have them tell Metropolitan Jonah to celebrate the Divine Liturgy, and to have his parents and sister there, and someone to record it on video for the web. After the Divine Liturgy, Metropolitan Jonah is to place his hands on the Holy Gospel on the altar, and he will swear on it before the St. Nicholas community and his family:

            – that he was not coerced into resigning but did so of his own free will,

            – that neither Fr. Jillions, nor anyone else working for the Central Administration, ever threatened his family by depriving him of his salary,

            – that the resignation occurred because there is some secret issue that if brought before a spiritual court, would have resulted in his deposition

            – that the Synod committed no offense by meeting without his presence, consent, or knowledge while he was Primate of the OCA for the purposes of conspiring to remove him from office,

            – that anyone who has said otherwise is a liar.

            Then post the video online for all to see.

            If he follows these instructions, he will receive a stipend equal to his salary as Metropolitan until a paying position can be found or created for him. If he does not, he will be immediately and permanently retired with no hope of ever receiving a church position with any kind of stipend or salary.

            I suggest those terms for the arrangement to make it as easy as possible for Metropolitan Jonah to parrot the Syosset party line, and as hard as possible for him to affirm Nikos’ story by refusing to do so, and to completely step around the “confidentiality” issues put forth by Syosset. Obviously, if all of those declarations are true, Metropolitan Jonah would have no trouble complying with such a directive and would be happy with the arrangement. But if he’s the man I think he is, he’d rather starve than betray God.

          • Jesse Cone says


            Is that supposed to be a reply to my point? Because if so it seems non sequitur.

    • Boy, he is taking big risks, there, ‘being misunderstood.’ Tough job if that’s the worst he faces. Consider what others have risked (and lost).

      • “I’m just a soul whose intentions are good, O Lord, please don’t let me be misunderstood!”

  9. Lola J. Lee Beno says

    Say what you will about ROC, but they’re not going down without a fight when it comes to Christianity in the public:

    The Russian Orthodox Church is going to challenge in court a ban on wearing crucifixes, which was recently introduced in the UK. Russian priests, together with Russian lawyers, intend to help two UK women who were recently fired from work for wearing crucifixes and refusing to take them off.

    • Carl Kraeff says

      So, are you a new incarnation of Nikos? A new megaphone for Fr. Fester?

      • Wait a minute, I thought I was supposed to be Fr. Joseph Fester! That guy pops up more often than Elvis.

      • Jesse Cone says

        I love how everything gets pinned on Fr. Fester. I’m sure he’s behind every dissenting voice, both in the OCA and out.

        Cuz that’s likely.

        The “find the Fester” fixation is just an unconvincing and sad attempt at creating an obviously ad hominem argument. The main reason we don’t do the same with Stokoe is because it’s a waste of time and a distraction from a topic that people (obviously) are passionate about.

        But then again, if you’re passionate about Fr. Fester I suppose that wouldn’t seem like a distraction.

  10. ProPravoslavie says

    And what is Kishkovsky doing, giving an interview to Portal-Credo, a site controlled by splinter ‘True Orthodox’ Russian sectarians and given to giving the worst possible spin to events in the Moscow Patriarchate?

    What is Kishkovsky doing giving an interview to an outlet that is very anti-Patriarchal?

    Does he think that this will escape the attention of Patriarch Kirill?

    • Geo Michalopulos says

      That’s a very good point, Pro. I was noth aware of the intricacies involved in this. Makes sense though: I always understood that the ROC doesn’t hold Lefty in all that high regard.

    • Rostislav says

      He is trying to deter the “Right” and the “Russians” from jumping in and saying something about the uncanonical usurpation of power in the OCA. This is damage control and disinformation on his part. He is playing a not so convincing spin doctor.

  11. sub-deacon gregory varney says

    How long do you think it will take the oca to make hopkos toady kishkovsky make kishkovsky toady metropolitan. its in the works folks. oh yeah the fix is in. then kishkovsky can retire in grand style. never did a thing just worked for the best for the church…all those almost 40 years there. metropolitans archbishops come and go but he keeps right on ticking….

    • Carl Kraeff says

      Wash your mouth with soap (figuratively speaking)! A sub-deacon who does not have the basic decency to attach titles to clerics, senior priests no less. What an idea!

      • sub-deacon gregory varney says

        carl it is because of that cleric. that man. I have known that man for many years. He does not deserve the title. it is because of that mans deeds that many young sub-deacons like myself were subjected to molestation by his successor in the parish he was at. he knew his successor had issues with boys and he still let him come to san francisco no less. he did nothing to lessen our pain or help but ran. so carl you do not know what u are talking about. I do not want to bring up these matters but i will they are old news and I have grown up. so take ur soap and ur judgements somewhere else

        • Disgusted With It says

          Sub-deacon Gregory,

          That is exactly part of the problem today. This synod is actively hiding similar clergy abuse cases today in New England and elsewhere. +Jonah is a threat to them because he does not accept the company policy of silence against sexual immorality. These guys at the top need to go now!

          • sub-deacon gregory varney says

            so nothing has changed from 1973. sad. what makes it sad to me kishkovsky was my hero in high school . he ran the english parish in san francisco. he got me tonsured reader. he was a guest in my parnets home. I gave blood literally for that family. If it was not for the love and you might think this strange of Archbishop Kiprian of Phila. and Archbishop Anthony of San francisco I would have not have stayed in the faith. This is very hard for me to talk but we really have to. Recently i moved to Alaska and this truly is a blessed prayerful land. I am one of those awful converts who just celebrated 45 years in the faith.

          • Harry Coin says

            Really? He’s a threat to them for that reason? Look at what was going on published elsewhere here and so on. How do you get past that? Was it all a fraud and was Fr. Webber framed by a bunch of catamites / sodomites looking for greener pastures wanting to zing the abbott that said ‘no’ on their way out the door? Is that what you’re saying?

            • Disgusted With It says


              I find it hard to believe that you would be so naive to believe the “official” stories that are broadcast by the Central Committee. You and I both know the bishops want a Metropolitan they can control. One who speaks only according to the company talking points and not thinking for himself without clearing with them first. The last thing they want is someone daring to go against their “control of the situation”, whatever the situation may be at the time. Sexual impropriety is still a huge problem in the OCA, and the synod has been covering things up for years. I don’t expect you to take my word for it, but I can tell you that members of the SMPAC have been greatly disturbed by what they’ve found, and yet we still see very little action being done in terms of removal of clergy. Why? In part the “good ol’ boy” system, and partially the desire not to expose scandal. It’s still business as usual in Syosset. And rest assured that they will very easily use yet another Metropolitan as the scapegoat for the synod’s collective failure.

              I’m reminded of the line from the Matrix movie: “You are here because Zion is about to be destroyed…..But, rest assured, this will be the sixth time we have destroyed it, and we have become exceedingly efficient at it.”

        • Elizabeth says

          My prayers will be with you and the others that were molested and/or raped in our Church. Thank you for speaking out. Please continue to speak out. Don’t let us forget that demonic pedophiles can become ordained and their demonic spineless leaders may not remove them from having access to our children.

          • sub-deacon gregory varney says

            don’t forget that when the victums speak out they are subjected to intense harassment. I was told once by a orthodox priest that if i had shut my mouth and not said a word i would probably become a archimandrite by the time i was 30. this was actually said to me.

            • Elizabeth says

              That is nauseating information. Thank you again for speaking out to protect our youth.

  12. John Herter says

    The Russian Church needs to rescind the tomos. That probably has never been done before, but the OCA has betrayed their own lack of spiritual maturity and shown the autocephaly was premature and a mistake. Plus, it would be comical to see Syosset’s response to a much needed parental chastisement. The one danger might be the reaction of the pro-gay contingency. Maybe they could petition the Anglican communion to join their ranks, as a sort of Episcopalian Byzantine Rite.

    • Harry Coin says

      If it were rescindable, it woudln’t be a tomos. Anyhow, who will stay in the USA with the dual burden of foreign decision making and been seen as an integrated part of the Russian civil authority, along with, well, ‘the missing watch’ mentality.

      • We’ve got a lot more going on here than a ‘missing watch mentality’. Perhaps a fatal case of missing consciences.

      • Harry, if things are so wonderful in this autocephalous church, if the synod acted in a responsible, WASPy manner, if you’re so disgusted with the Phanariote domination of the GOA, yada, yada, yada, then why don’t you join the OCA?

        • Harry Coin says

          George, as I understand what communion is, everyone here in the USA is a member of the same Orthodox church in the USA. The bishops ought to get together, send a very nice thank you letter to their overseas brothers, decline politely to pay them extensively for that which none over there paid to build, and lets move ahead while we still have folk enough here to make a go of it.

          • Geo Michalopuls says

            That would assume that these American bishops knew what they were doing and behaved in Christian manner. So far, neither proposition is evident.

            And remember, if meeting in secret without the knowledge of the primate is ok, then so is secession.

          • That’s mealy-mouthed weasel-wordism Harry. I’m in communion with an Orthodox chuch in East Bugtussle, Idaho, but I’m not responsible for funding their building program.

    • John, I’ve done everything but get on my knees and beg these people to join ECUSA. I mean think about it: you got gorgeous churches with huge endowments, chic country-clubbers as vestrymen, fabulous vestments, what’s not to like? And you wouldn’t have to put up with uncouth rednecks like me. Please, Please, PLEASE join ECUSA!

      • Archpriest John W. Morris says

        American Orthodoxy has suffered from an inferiority complex ever since the first immigrants came here. That is why acceptance by the religious establishment represented by the NCC is so important to some Orthodox. Some Orthodox still feel that way, although it is obvious that they are trying to gain recognition by a sinking ship that no longer speaks to most American Christians. I am proud that the Antiochian Archdiocese had the courage to stand up to the ecumenical establishment that dominates the ecumenical policies of some Orthodox jurisdictions and withdrew from the dying and increasingly irrelevant National Council of Churches. Metropolitan Jonah and Metropolitan Hilarion of the Moscow Patriarchate have the right idea. The time has come to let the old ecumenism die and embrace a new ecumenism, which recognizes that unity is not a realistic goal, but that we can forge alliances with traditional Christians like the Catholics, Evangelicals and even Pentecostals to speak in a unified voice against the moral rot that is overwhelming our society. We should break off all relations with such groups like the Episcopal Church which voted this week to allow the blessing of same sex relations, or the Evangelical Lutheran Church of America or the Presbyterian Church in the USA which have also embraced the pro-gay agenda. Further talks with them not only gives them a degree of legitimacy, but compromises the witness of Orthodoxy in America.

        Archpriest John W. Morris

        • Fr. Hans Jacobse says

          The OCA should have left the NCC years ago.

          Here’s an article I wrote years back for Touchstone describing the AOA departure from the NCC.

          NCC Exit Poll

          Here’s an article I wrote outlining some of the NCC’s accommodation with evil-doers.

          United Churches of Castro

          I always thought that out of all the Orthodox jurisdictions, the OCA would have the most trouble with the NCC given the NCC’s embrace of Marxism and Liberation theology. Their history was closer to materialist brutality than either the Greeks or Arabs. I never really understood why they ignored this.

          The Catholics, to their credit, saw this from the beginning and refused to join the NCC.

          • Defend The Faith says

            Fr Hans,

            You make the appropriate point about the RCC not participating in such ecumenical organizations.

            I wonder who, besides Met. Jonah could even begin to approach the speech delivered by Cardinal Dolan of NY recently speaking on the RCC and Public Policy. It was an excellent presentation of which I have provided the link below. His address begins at the 35:16 point of the video.

            It is well worth watching and well worth remembering that the Orthodox witness in the country has lost a man who deliver such a similar speech. The loss of Met. Jonah is a victory for the un-Christian voices against the compromised bodies of the NCC and WCC.


        • Harry Coin says

          Fr. John, it’s that same complex that some exploit here, suggesting that because of this or that bump the oca ought to crumple, go away, give up, join some bigger bully overseas (using language like ‘seek protection of’ or ‘come under’). Piffle. Walk the talk, and ah, well, ‘Illegitimi non carborundum’ !!! ( It never was Latin, kindly nobody ‘correct’ it. It’s American, we know what it means, and we like it that way. Nuts!).

        • Well said Fr. John. The Orthodox Church cannot continue to compromise its status and squander its moral authority with ecumenism with other groups who embrace heretical teachings and no longer preach Scriptural truth.

          The time has come to let the old ecumenism die and embrace a new ecumenism, which recognizes that unity is not a realistic goal, but that we can forge alliances with traditional Christians like the Catholics, Evangelicals and even Pentecostals to speak in a unified voice against the moral rot that is overwhelming our society.

          We should break off all relations with such groups like the Episcopal Church which voted this week to allow the blessing of same sex relations, or the Evangelical Lutheran Church of America or the Presbyterian Church in the USA which have also embraced the pro-gay agenda. Further talks with them not only gives them a degree of legitimacy, but compromises the witness of Orthodoxy in America.

          Amen, amen, amen!

          • Well, Chris, then we had better start, by breaking with the OCA DOW. The rot is firmly in place.
            I my opinion the most important time for our church is what happens at the DOS next week.
            Only, their outrage and insistence on a Canonical and non heretical leadership, will determine the future of the OCA.
            If they don’t like what they hear — I hope they leave. Others will follow.

          • Chris,

            You are on target with the OCA ecumenism stance. Previous AAC’s have tried their best to get us out of the NCC and the WCC, but as long as Kishkovsky is there to block those moves, we will be influenced and compromised by these un-Christian organizations.

            Do note that recently, Bp. Benjamin lauded to the Lesser Synod his attendance at the White House, meeting with the President about the Pebble Mines initiative, all organized under the auspices of the NCC and orchestrated by “Lefty” Leonid.

            • It’s troubling that Fr. Kishkovsky can exert so much influence and support relationships with radical leftist and heretical groups that undermine the Orthodox Church. Worse still, if the OCA membership really understood what nonsense the NCC and WCC leadership believes and promotes, a vast majority would be outraged and demand our exit immediately.

              It’s astounding that a priest in the Holy Orthodox Church would have anything to do with pseudo-Christian organizations like the NCC and WCC, let alone encourage the OCA to collaborate with them. Aren’t there plenty of other faithful and true Christian churches and organizations that support Scriptural teachings and stand behind the Moral Tradition of Christendom to commune and collaborate with instead of the radical NCC and WCC? All leaders in the OCA who support this insanity must explain themselves and stop this betrayal. Don’t we have enough problems already?

              • Defend The Faith says

                Indeed there are such groups and Metropolitan Jonah tried to build those bridges, but he was ridiculed and subverted in developing those links because of the constant undermining of people like Kishkovsky and others who”s agendas were more focused on personal reputation and influence than on the the teachings of the Holy Orthodox Faith.

                The historic record of the OCA with such groups with Kishkovsky the intersecting point are undeniable. This is the legacy of the OCA with such groups and in my estimation have blunted the Orthodox message in the country. +Jonah tried to work against that but the forces to the contrary were and are too strong.

              • Patrick Henry Reardon says

                Chris Banescu writes, “It’s astounding that a priest in the Holy Orthodox Church would have anything to do with pseudo-Christian organizations like the NCC and WCC, let alone encourage the OCA to collaborate with them.”


                It is a manifest source of embarrassment to the Orthodox participants in the NCCC that so many of us former Protestants have found our way into the Orthodox Church. They have complained about “the Evangelical converts” on numerous occasions.

    • Carl Kraeff says

      The historical myopia is astonishing. Given their early record, do you think that the city-churches of the earliest Christianity ‘deserved” their autocephaly?

  13. Catherine says

    I don’t disagree with anyone that Fr. Kishkovsky is trying to put spin on Metropolitan Jonah’s resignation however I wonder why so many people who post on this site don’t use a bit more common sense when it comes to dissecting what, exactly, brought about this decision. Let’s look at some of the arguments that have been posited:

    1. Metropolitan Jonah was too conservative. The last time I checked, the metropolitan serves in concert with his other bishops. I know and have met some of them and the synod has several very conservative bishops. Wouldn’t they logically stand up in support of a conservative metropolitan? However, it is now argued that these conservative bishops turned and went against their own principles just to get rid of Metropolitan Jonah. Huh? That doesn’t make any sense.

    2. Metropolitan Jonah was thrown out by a cabal of people. The last time I checked, the holy synod is made up of bishops elected by each diocese. Are you really saying that the good people in New York elected a monster? How about Pennsylvania? How about Chicago? And the last time I checked parishes in each diocese elect representatives to the metropolitan council. Are these evil people as well? And then there is the chancery. Are Frs. Jillions and Tosi, the same people who help administer the affairs of the OCA and All-American Council, evil-minded when it comes to the Metropolitan Jonah? When you start putting names to this, the arguments of an evil cabal become absurd. In fact, I would love to see every person who feels that Metropolitan Jonah was slighted in any way would attach a name to their comments. Who, exactly, do you think is against Metropolitan Jonah?

    3. Metropolitan Jonah wouldn’t “play ball” with the other members of the Holy Synod. I think you can say with relative certainty that not every decision in the holy synod meetings is unanimous. This is probably the one area that has some merit. The critical point, though, is how you define “play ball.” From my perspective it appears that despite the fact the Metropolitan Jonah had disagreements with the holy synod, he just turned right around after the meetings and did whatever the heck he felt like. Can you imagine if the president of the United States did that? How long would he last if he had a cabinet meeting, came to a consensus with his staff, and then turned right around did the exact opposite on national tv? Someone posted about “sobornost.” The last time I checked one of the definitions is “conciliarity.” Isn’t that how the mind of the church is supposed to work? i grant you that metropolitan Jonah put himself out in the public eye on various issues but he also positioned himself, and here I think is the critical distinction, with various political factions. Like the president of the United States, you don’t exactly have a personal view anymore. As metropolitan his role is to speak for the entire OCA, including the positions of the holy synod and the metropolitan council. That’s sobornost. It is not to go walking down the halls of congress and expressing views or signing onto political documents because they things he personally believes in. Think just about the world council of churches. It continues to be brought up at All American Councils whether or not the OCA should participate? Why? Because the church as a whole wishes to decide the matter. We don’t have one diocese participating and another opting out.

    4. The “administration” is just mean-spirited and wanted to get rid of Metropolitan Jonah. Part of this is covered in point two above, however I believe it should be thought through as well. Metropolitan Jonah took it upon himself to terminate Fr. Garklavs, the former Chancellor. He was clearly involved with the hiring of the new Chancellor. Metropolitan Jonah was involved with the election of at least three new bishops and presumably got to know most everyone on the metropolitan council. You mean to tell me that all of these people have it in for Metropolitan Jonah or could the real reason be that they are the only real living people who have actually had to work with him? How many of you fine people in cyberworld ever worked with him? Do you really know what it’s like to work with him on a daily basis or are you just a pundit? The act speaks for itself: the people who worked with him the longest are the people who suggested that he was not the right person for the position, i.e. the good people who you elected as your representatives. I would suggest instead of tieing up the phone lines to Syosset, try calling your metropolitan council members or your local bishop and ask them why he was asked to resign.

    • Catherine,

      You’re right, again. The basic reason why he is gone is that he acted unilaterally acting as if he alone spoke for the entire OCA Synod. He was warned about this previously. It has nothing to do with his views, conservative or not. + Jonah could not understand that “HE” was not the OCA. Lack of tact and pushing his own agendas, whatever they may be without conciliarity. This is exactly what the Greeks were doing with SCOBA and now the Episcopal Assembly.

      • Clare Voyant says

        So he was removed for “lack of tact?”

      • George Michalopulos says

        Diiogenes, if Met Jonah had “unilaterally” spoken in favor of Obamacare, gay marriage, repeal of DADT, you’d be singing his praises. Stop peeing on our legs and telling us it’s raining.

    • Catherine,

      The synod and the mc and the syosset brass are on a lock-down to tell us the real story. They go into executive session to do their “real” work beyond the eyes of us. It is a quite cozy set-up. All we are being asked to do is trust them, believe them, take their word for it.

      You may be satisfied with that, but like Mark Stokoe in the past, we are not going to just take their word for it. We will continue to press for the unadulterated truth. Sooner or later it will come out. It always does.

      And yes, many people are saying that they were all in it to get +Jonah. I know such a scenario is difficult for you to see now but your straw arguments in their defense still begs the question: What really happened and why?

      Until the come clean, we just can’t trust them. It is up to them to tell the real story. Until then, folks will dig, question, and be unrelenting in getting to the bottom of this terrible take down. That you can count on.

      • Nioks is right on this one. “It is up to them to tell the real story. Until then, folks will dig, question, and be unrelenting in getting to the bottom of this terrible take down. That you can count on.

        I would go a step further and say that it’s their DUTY to speak the truth and explain what happened and why. We don’t need all the gory details or to needlessly embarrass anyone, but we need to understand what is going on.

        Our leaders have to earn our trust and respect. The authority they claim will only be recognized by the rational sheep if their words and actions mirror reality and truth. Just demanding submission and loyalty to an office is misguided, especially given the multiple spiritual and financial crisis the OCA has endured.

      • George Michalopulos says

        I for one, am offended that we have a MC in which all deliberations are in secret. That’s what I mean when I say that the MC is a “superior organism” to the Synod. It sets the budget too. We have no input into their deliberations.

      • Catherine says


        I would suggest that you speak with Mark Stokoe directly and I’m sure he will say the same things that I am saying. Yes, officially the members of the metropolitan council will probably not voice an opinion; however, in all seriousness just call up a few of them and ask them. I don’t think you will find any that feel that Metropolitan Jonah was doing anything close to an acceptable job as metropolitan.

        As I have said in the past, Metropolitan Jonah is a nice man and it looks like he was a pretty good abbot of a small monastery. Perhaps he should return to something like this. He has professed a desire to see monasticism grow in America. Well now’s his chance to shine. Which, by the way, is why I am so critical of his resignation. Okay, call it as it is, he was forced to resign. Come on, for God’s sake he was the head of an autocephalous church. Did he have to muddy the waters with references to his family? How about a few more references to God? It looks like it was extremely hurried and I for one wish that he had given it a great deal of thought. Clearly the tension level with the Holy Synod was rising. If only he had seen that he could do more good by working with the people he now thinks are his enemies than ignoring them or completely dismissing them. Oh well. In a few year’s time, no one is going to give Metropolitan Jonah another thought. I could be wrong, but I’d put his chances at being Archbishop of Dallas and the South at slim and none. He’s “retired” according to the official website.

        Let us at least agree to pray for the guidance of the Holy Spirit in the election of the next metropolitan.

        • sub-deacon gregory varney says

          The next election. are you serious? at the next all-american council. they are going to have to have the riot squad. I have never heard people so mad and passionate. we should pray for some bishops in the mold of the old oca. I would like to see these peole talk that way to the old synod of 1970. Their graces kept this kind of stupid behavior at bay.

        • Yes, officially the members of the metropolitan council will probably not voice an opinion; however, in all seriousness just call up a few of them and ask them. I don’t think you will find any that feel that Metropolitan Jonah was doing anything close to an acceptable job as metropolitan.

          You are dead wrong. I know this for a fact.

    • Rostislav says

      I think trying to cast Metropolitan Jonah as a “mini pope” is utterly ridiculous. A primate is not a whipping boy for a Synod, but one who sets its agenda and puts it to work and tries to iron things out for the general good of the local church which he ***rules***. That makes him not a pope, but a CEO. In that regard, Metropolitan Jonah pursued a unilateral course quietly attempting to work within the structure so that an organizational polity forged during 30 years of corruption and decline would not have its feathers in disarray.

      What brought the Metropolitan into their sights is heat from NY Times, Huffington Post, Washington Post and the liberal media assisted by gay activists and those with ties to certain political entities to have him removed. That was the driving force behind his fall and not his “Muscovite sympathies” or “nepotism” or whatever else, which heretofore was never mentioned is now being brought up.

      • What brought the Metropolitan into their sights is heat from NY Times, Huffington Post, Washington Post and the liberal media assisted by gay activists and those with ties to certain political entities to have him removed. That was the driving force behind his fall and not his “Muscovite sympathies” or “nepotism” or whatever else, which heretofore was never mentioned is now being brought up.

        I side with Jonah in this whole controversy, but I have to say this is nuts. The New York Times hasn’t paid a bit of attention to Jonah or the OCA, as far as I know. Has HuffPo? The Washington Post did, but it was largely favorable. It doesn’t help the cause for Jonah’s supporters to go around slinging wild and groundless accusations. Let’s keep cool heads. The facts are on our side. We don’t have to make stuff up.

        • Anorak, I think you’re right in principle. There are people trying to make us look like Illuminati-fearing wackadoodles because of those who are blaming it all on the “gay mafia”. While there is obviously a gay liberal element at work here, it is FAR from the only factor.

          The bottom line is really that Met. Jonah really pissed off certain people. Some people didn’t like him because he did his job well (the aforementioned gay liberals). Some people didn’t like him because he occasionally screwed up (Fr. Kishkovsky and some of the OCA Synod). Some people didn’t like him because they thought things should be done their own way, and Met. Jonah kind of had this crazy idea that because he was primate he should have the last word. And some people didn’t like him because he’s not Russian and he smiles when he’s photographed (seriously!).

          They did not all need to have the same reasons to be working together. They only needed something to gain by bringing on Metropolitan Jonah’s downfall. Combine all that with a poisonous administrative culture that sees bishops, particularly primates, as disposable, and you have the ingredients for poopy-doo stew.

          • Thank you, Helga. That is my opinion too. People who SCREAM IN ALL CAPS about lunatic conspiracies confirm the stereotype that the Mark Stokoe crowd has about everyone who supports Metropolitan Jonah. If I want berserk ranting, I’ll go visit Drezhlo’s site.

            • Rostislav says

              That is just a person’s head in the sand, unwilling to deal with reality.

              This blog that you are writing DOCUMENTED this “conspiracy” with facts WITH and without all caps.

              Thank you for showing you haven’t bothered to read about the deleterious effects of the gay mafia and are providing them cover to continue their work.

              For some, the gay issue is simply something they prefer to ignore, even when it is principally a reason for the decline of the OCA. Metropolitan Theodosius embezzled the money to spend on sportscars, his drug habit and male hustlers. The audit committee found that +Herman shared the guilt. Stokoe was part of the cover up of Theodosius and a goto man until he fell out of favor.

              Yet this is a “crazy conspiracy” shouted in ALL CAPS. Open your eyes and see the elephant in the room.

              Then read this blog or visit Huffpo or Leonova’s FB page. Seriously.

            • Rostislav says

              And I didn’t notice all caps in my initial post except in use of the acronym CEO.

          • Rostislav says

            Why is it, pray tell, that the only thing that got press heretofore was the Metropolitan’s PRO LIFE, ANTI GAY AGENDA advocacy then? You have read this blog over the last two years, right?

        • Rostislav says

          Actually, the Times, the Post and HuffPo set out reporting about Metropoltian Jonah’s stridency on the abortion and gay rights “fronts” and HuffPo has even tried to set about to launch a campaign to justify “gay marriage and whatnot” from an “Eastern Orthodox perspective”. Google it.

          That indeed was taken up by certain LIBERAL “Orthodox” in this country as a cause celebre, people who populate the GOA in large numbers and have very interesting patronage up in Boston in the OCA who gravitated to the cause of Stokoe and Leonova. Friend, just search the archives of this blog on that score.

          Ridiculous? Hardly. FACT.

    • George Michalopulos says

      Catherine, interesting assertions. Can you back them up?

  14. Former AOC parishioner says

    I recently had an email exchange with my cradle ROCOR Orthodox and long-term OCA Priest to thank him for what I have experienced as his true pastoral care and wisdom, including his complete lack of manipulation and total openness and transparency coupled with his refusal to demonize anyone in these fracas. I asked him how he managed not to become jaded by these church politics hijinks. His wisdom is something I think we should all consider as we work through disappointments like this. He has made it clear to our parish all long that he understands Met. Jonah to be a true and faithful Bishop (i.e. everything a Bishop of the Church ought to be), and that he understands the wider frame of reference of this struggle to be the need (and this, not at all unique to the Orthodox Church, of course) of some modern Christians to impose the model of business/corporate administration, goal-planning, etc., on the Body of Christ.

    His response, I think is a perspective we should all keep in mind, and I hope he won’t mind my quoting him verbatim here:

    “The key in all of this is to remember that, if Christ really meant it when He said that the gates of hell themselves cannot prevail against the Church, then nothing will — neither controversy, “administrative change,” heresy, communists, Ottoman Turks, secularism, etc. The Church has certainly endured far worse, and throughout its history has not always overcome its difficulties as rapidly as today. [Remember — it took 100 years to clear up the problem of iconoclasm!!] . . .

    ” . . . Those of us who have been around forever have seen such things come and go. When we were kids, the Church had far greater and more difficult problems to face, and yet we’ve survived. The important thing for those who embraced the faith in adulthood is to always remember that the Church has been around long before any individual’s conversion. The collective memory of what the Church went through in times past, whether they be in the 9th century or the 1950s and 1960s, is crucial in understanding why us “long-timers” roll with the punches. Been there, done that, seen that again, and yet we’re still here, plugging away as “broken vessels,” to borrow from St. Paul, in our imperfect ways to proclaim that which is Perfection Itself. Ultimately, the Church’s strength is precisely found in the weakness of its members, all of us “broken vessels” in one way or another.”

    Finally, I offer a couple of links to remind us of what is at the very innermost heart of our Orthodox faith and on which (and only which) it depends. This is what I understand to be perennially pertinent to our everyday working out of our salvation in our various parishes. It is only on the basis of these foundational principles of our faith that we will see any change for the better in our own hearts, our families, parishes, clergy and jurisdictions. I feel fully confident His Beatitude himself would back me up completely. If you truly believe that true monastics, such as HB, are the backbone and living wells of Christ’s wisdom and life for the entire Church, then this is for you:

    I pray I may not be just throwing out pearls before swine here. I’m confident that there will be a few sheep out there who will hear and profit from our faithful Fathers (and Mothers) in the Faith.

    Grace and peace to you all!

    • Lola J. Lee Beno says

      I should point out that the article at the first referenced link was written by Fr. Meletios Webber.

      • yeah, caught that . . . .

        Great, just great . . . . as in not great.

        • Rdr. Benjamin says

          May I also point out that the word that you use “Trinity” was coined by Tertulian. Just because something is written by someone who seems to be or is compromised doesn’t mean that it is wrong. We need to be more careful not to reject something on a gut reaction just because we don’t like the person who wrote it but to read and discern by the Holy Spirit whether it is indeed true or not.

          • Uh, yeah, I still read Origen and Evagrius . . I get it. But this guy does not offer wisdom . . . .

    • This is a wonderful – and by wonderful, I mean: it resonates as Orthodox in spirit – perspective. Thank you for sharing. How encouraging.

    • Dear Former AOC parishioner:
      I, too, am a cradle, old timer Orthodox Christian, and am in large agreement with the wise old priest you quote. But what we are faced with here now is certainly not the survival of the Orthodox Church, but the survival of the Orthodoxy and Holy Tradition of the OCA itself.

      • Former AOC parishioner says

        Quite possibly, PdnNJ. Only God really knows for sure. But if that is indeed the case, then I think it is even more true that we each need to take the long view and keep first things first in our own spiritual lives. Ultimately, that is what God will hold us responsible for. It’s not wrong, perhaps, to discuss these things and try to encourage one another in how to have a positive practical impact on what is happening, but as the excerpt from Elder Prophyrios underscores, I believe, the spirit in which we do that is absolutely critical.

        All battles are won or lost (if we believe the Scriptures), not on the level of the merely moral or political, but on the level of the spiritual. Too often what we have on these Internet sites, in our coffee hours, perhaps, and in our parish or other level church council meetings I suspect is the very clash of vapid egos Fr. Meletios describes (colette’s little jab, notwithstanding–perhaps just a case in point, eh?). I’m reminded of the Scripture, “Man’s anger does not accomplish the righteous purposes of God.” All I care about is that God’s will be done, and I share what has been helpful to me for those who can, or will, profit from it.

        With prayers that God may fulfill the desires of our hearts for good spiritual health in all our jurisdictions.

        • Michael Bauman says

          Former, the individualistic apporach to salvation as “…keep first things first in our own spiritual lives. Ultimately, theat is what God will hold us responsible for” is not how I understand salvation in the Church. We are responsible for loving and embracing the Truth and maintaining ourselves in communion with our Lord and one another. Without the Church, we have no spiritual life and if, for instance, the OCA goes so far out of whack the rest of the Orthodox severs commuion with them….Well?

          Further, the Eucharist is dependent on the authority of the Bishops. Is there real aposotlic authority in the OCA? We are either at one with Christ AND our bishop together, or we’ve got real problems.

          The Church is not some disembodied, impersonal organization. It is the people gathered ’round their bishop.

          Not to say that if the bishops go off the rails that they take everyone with them, but there is a lot more to it than just private piety. As my bishop said in a sermon once “There is no such thing as a personal relationship with Jesus Christ”

          • Former AOC parishioner says

            Michael, I should think that my reference to Elder Porphyrios’ writing would put my comment in some perspective. I don’t believe our faith is “individualistic.” I am not advocating Quietism. I’m trying to call attention to the utter importance of attending to our own attitudes and spirits as we attempt to engage with others. I’ve seen so many get on “crusades” to fight the good fight in a mode (judging by its effects) was obviously the flesh, pure and simple–driven by fear and anger and a resultant need to manipulate others–a kind of running ahead of the Holy Spirit–and not primarily the careful reflections and actions of faith. I’m just as guilty as the next person. A common daily prayer of our faith asks God for grace “to act firmly and wisely, without embittering and embarrassing others.” I think that is the balance I am looking for, and don’t often find enough of in these kind of Internet quasi-vigilante efforts. In the battle Gideon fought, all he did was obey the Lord with a very few others (they were hopelessly outnumbered in human terms)–he listened to the Lord and the battle was won without all the obvious kind of weaponry because “the battle is the Lord’s.” I’m calling for us to put more emphasis on the fervency of our prayer than the fervency of our political agitations in circumstances like this. Those who are in positions to speak or act and be heard where it counts–go ahead. Appeal to your Priests and Bishops. Tell your Priest or Bishop you will support him if he acts on his conscience in these things and then do it. Tell what you know first-hand. Try to do it in a spirit of love and prayer so you don’t frustrate your own efforts and wound your own soul. That’s all I’m saying.

        • Former AOC parishioner says

          Heartfelt apologies to Colette for what was manifestly NOT a jab! Forgive me! I had NO idea of the revelations of Fr. Martin on the other thread. If this turns out to be true (and I don’t disbelieve Fr. Martin), another supposed “under-shepherd” has been revealed as a wolf in sheep’s clothing. Lord, have mercy!

          What I am asking (and I’m sure most of you have been praying way more fervently than me) is for special prayers and fasting for all the “Esthers,” (our godly Priests and lay leaders) out there who must “go before the king” about the plot that has been hatched.

          • Defend The Faith says

            You can rest assured that the circumstances surrounding the departure of Fr. Martin and the other monks from Manton are true because Mr Drezlo is defending the actions of Fr. Mel in embracing a transgender person (female to male) now a monk at the Manton monastery.

            We all must be crazy because we have a problem with such economia. That’s Babs take on it as a transgender (male to female) person who hates those don’t agree with him/her.

            Sometimes you just have to defend the faith and do the right thing, a virtue sorely lacking in the OCA these days. Not one of those monks wanted to leave Manton, but like so many faced with such a difficult action, one comes to the conclusion that the Church or Monastery you were a member of no longer is a spiritually orthodox reality. It is no longer a place you recognize because it has departed from the narrow path that leads to the Kingdom.

            • Former AOC parishioner says

              For what it’s worth, I was reminded through communication with one I have more cause to trust than anyone who posts here, and who knows Fr. Meletios personally that there are definitely two sides to every story (including this one, and we don’t have both). Stan is NO reliable source for ANY information–and especially in his editorializing. Surely, you can do better than that.

              I withhold judgment on Fr. Meletios for lack of any actual (non-Internet, reality-based) first-hand information of any of the parties. God knows what really transpired. I leave all judgment with Him. But, my sincere apology to Colette still stands (and I also include Lola), and I pray for all involved.

    • lexcaritas says

      Former AOC, your words do not fall on deaf ears. I also am a great admirer of Fr. Stephen’s and have appreciated the two books by Fr. Meletios that I have read. However, while the words quoted should give us great encouragement and confidence in the face of struggle and the fight we face for the Gospel, they must not be taken as excuses for complacency and inaction.

      The fight against iconoclasm mentioned did not just play itself out as time went by–it required the work, words, zeal, sacrifice and martyrdom of many through whom our God chose to work this felicitous outcome. We should do no less. By the way, did St. Paul actually say we are “broken vessels”? I think it was Christ who called certain Pharisees “broken cisterns”; St. Paul said we bear this Treasure (the perfume of Christ and the Gospel) “in earthen vessels.”


      • Former AOC parishioner says

        Regarding “broken vessels.” To the extent that we all at times participate in the spirit of the Pharisee, this is quite true, nonetheless, Lexicaritas. But you are quite right–I believe my good Priest likely conflated the texts, and was thinking primarily of the truth of St. Paul’s passage in 2 Corinthians 12 of how Christ’s strength is made perfect in our weakness, i.e., our many human limitations (and I think it would be safe to say this includes our sin) because these can lead us to the place of utter dependence upon Christ.

        Your arguments about the dangers of “inaction and complacency” sound perfectly logical to my human ways of thinking; however, I can’t help remembering that just a short time ago in my Orthodox journey that the ones making this argument most loudly at my last parish (AOC) were the very ones who had very little real “presence” in Fr. Meletios’ sense, and seemed almost completely and utterly carried away by their passions (in the midst of what was, admittedly, a most painful and confusing situation). I’m also reminded that those used to lead in the way you describe in those historic conflicts were the holiest of the monks/nuns and Bishops/Priests of the Church! So, I’ll wait to see what our contemporary holy Elders, our holy monastics, and the wisest and most genuinely spiritually mature (as best I can discern) of our Bishops and Priests here say and do, and I will follow their example as God gives me grace to do so.

    • Sub-Deacon David says

      While I appreciate the comments from a “wise old priest”, I think the “we’ve seen worse” and the “Church will survive” miss the point entirely. The issue isn’t about the Church as a whole, nor whether this is the worse thing ever seen in the Church, but that this is destructive of the OCA, here and now, and that the Synod appears to be entrenched in a “we run the Church, we know best, you keep quiet and keep giving and be good little subservients” posturing. What of the spiritual lives of the people in the OCA here and now? What of NOT wanting to see the OCA be the fiefdom of spiritual (and perhaps more) abusers who use their positions for their own personal greed? What of the continued giving of OUR money to support THEIR greed? These are not issues to be scorned, or swept under the rug with platitudes about the Church and the gates of hell. These are critical for US today. And while it took 100 years to overthrow iconoclasm, what was the cost in the lives of Saints and Martyrs? They didn’t sit around twiddling their thumbs and saying “well, the gates of hell will not prevail so let us do nothing save wait”. No, they protested by their lives, and gave up their lives, for the Orthodox faith and they triumphed. But they would NOT have triumphed without that witness. How can we not do SOMETHING, demand SOME accountability, when this corner of Orthodoxy is threatened? Perhaps if “long timers” didn’t simply “roll with the punches” but did something about those DOING the punching, there wouldn’t be so much punching still going on. This isn’t “saintly wisdom” but simply “going along to get along” at the cost of the souls of many.

      • AMEN ! Silence and inaction are also sins. “Not only for every idle word must man give an account, but for every idle silence,” warned St. Ambrose.

      • Bravo, Sub-Deacon David.

      • Former AOC parishioner says

        If you think these are issues being “scorned,” you missed my point (and I think my Priest’s as well). There comes a point, though, where at least *I* (as a simple lay person with many other responsibilities also) have to realize that my agitation and hand-wringing is accomplishing nothing of value (because my influence and first-hand knowledge is very small). Then I must get back to doing what is primary and committing my concerns to the Lord in prayer.

        I do appreciate much of what has been brought to light over the Internet. A lot of that has needed to be brought to light. What I distrust is the spirit in which so much of it is brought to light and then discussed and how frequently what is being discussed are speculations, pure and simple, that say far more about the speculator’s fears or prejudices than reality. Best to wait until we have first-hand knowledge and keep to that and to say only what is truly necessary. My Priest openly and transparently speaks truth to our congregation about what he knows and believes. He does take action (and I’m sure a lot I don’t see and will never know), but he is one man and he has a large flock with many and diverse needs and his main calling, to which I believe he is faithful, is obedience to Christ and as pastor to our flock. Any one who knows my Priest, would likely chuckle at the descriptor “idle silence.”

  15. Rostislav says

    I think it proper to take to pause and reflect on where many of us agree with Metropolitan Jonah and his vision for the OCA.

    1). We agree on vigorous mission to North America which reflects a Centrist – Traditional presentation of Orthodoxy.

    2). We agree on cultivating traditional Orthodox monasticism and piety to see the day of an American Orthodox spirituality and local tradition.

    3). We agree on outreach to the communities where our faltering legacy parishes find themselves, rooted in witness to the Orthodox immigrations, traditional Christians and Americans interested in a Faith with a sound, consistent moral core.

    4). We agree that North American Orthodoxy is to be formed not at the direction or by the “intentional neglect” of “mother churches” but that the time has come to recognize that we are in a different chapter in America where various ethnic “jurisdictions” are called to unity for survival and joint effort. In the OCA, we presume to structure this unity beginning with absorption of bodies which reflect our original Russian and Romanian heritages, but then to branch out to Bulgarians, Serbs and Antiochians.

    5). We recognize that assimilate Orthodoxy is not local Orthodoxy, but a denaturing of ethnic Orthodoxy. It is our intent using the paradigms set by the local churches to oversee an American Orthodoxy which cares for the souls of cradle, convert, revert and assimilate in a Centrist – Traditional coalition.

    6). The financial soundness and stability of the OCA is a matter of transparency which calls for not only righting the ship of the OCA, but preventing further abuses and projecting a model for growth.

    7). We endeavor to produce a 20 to 25% presence in North America and Latin America within a century. We foresee an incremental process commensurate with growth or multiple metropolias structured around a Katholikosate, then a handful of Katholikosates structured around a Patriarchate which will become the exclusively canonically presence in North America and be recognized by other local Orthodox churches with whom we will share Communion.

    8). We endeavor to save our legacy parishes, rebuild them and populate them while creating an infrastructure of new missions, parishes, monasteries, seminaries, charities and religious institutions for America.

    9). We endeavor to engage America and her culture for the propagation of Traditional morality and moral order. This will include political activity.

    10). We endeavor to foster an Orthodox formation which is founded upon prayer, Sacramental witness, immersion in Scripture and the LIFE of CHRIST as well as regular church life to consecrate America to Orthodoxy and to work out our personal and corporate salvation. Unus Christianus, nullus Christianus. We are not saved alone, but in community with CHRIST in the HOLY EUCHARIST constituting the Church.

    11). We endeavor through dialogue to better understand religious and irreligious institutions and movements here to witness to all and convert some. It is our goal to first unite liturgical and likeminded Christians to Holy Orthodoxy in North America while making common cause with other Christians and those of good will toward the betterment of society. This is not ecumenism inasmuch as it is witness and mission.

    12). We will foster an evangelical community which welcomes our country in to share in the transfiguration of our Orthodoxy, upholding the Truth and piety handed to us and sharing it and its blessings on all who are sincerely interested in upholding it without adulteration.

    This was and is what Metropolitan Jonah stood for. This is what we are “clamoring about.” This is what we are working for. This is what we envision for our OCA as our American local church. This is what we call ourselves, our clergy and our hierarchy to uphold.

    • Lola J. Lee Beno says

      For all that to happen, we need S.T.A.B.I.L.I.T.Y and T.R.U.S.T. In spades.

      • Rostislav says

        The only way we get it is working for it and making it happen. “Can’t” never accomplished anything. Without a vision, there is only blindness.

  16. Here is another interview with Kishkovsky. Like him or not, what he says may well point to what the conflict was really about:

    In particular, this sentence (my trans): “Metrpolitan Jonah began to publicly say that our solution was to become part of the Moscow Patriarchate. He considered that it was necessary to give up our autocephaly, that is our complete independence, and [enter] the Moscow Patriarchate as an autonomous church. And this in the Church, beginning with the episcopate, was not positively received.”

    +Jonah did say such things: the point of the autocephaly was to unite Orthodoxy in America, but it had failed to do so and had become just another “jurisdiction,” so the autocephaly itself no longer has meaning. Another way to move forward has to be found. Whether you agree with him or not, that evidently was the position he had come to–and naturally the old guard in the OCA absolutely opposed this.

    • Jesse Cone says

      Here’s an interview from 2006 with Abp. Job where he says the OCA “fumbled the ball” with their autocephaly.

      I’d love to hear from Bp. Tikhon as to how this was received at the time.

    • Sub-Deacon David says

      Which means what it is about is good old boy power brokering and better to be a big fish in a small pond then a small fish in a big pond. If true, this demonstrates that the Synod is concerned with institutional preservation and privilege rather than the Church. May the OCA fall into dust and ashes for the sake of having a TRUE American Orthodox Church.

      Which would also make sense of the disdain for converts. Converts don’t have the institutional loyalty that the “long timers” do to the OCA. Many of us already left churches and institutions we grew up with or devoted significant loyalty to and we are loyal to the Orthodox Church far more than to a local institution that is just a part of it.

    • I think +Jonah may have came to that conclusion after he found out just what a jungle every thing had become in the higher echelons of the OCA, and what it would take to get that jungle all cleared out in preparation for what our Mother Churches finally decide to do with Orthodoxy in America. Of course, those higher echelons could never see, admit, or agree with that, because their livelihood and self-esteem were gravely threatened by it.

    • Rostislav says

      Is that a canonical grounds to remove a Metropolitan? That he advocated a “reassment of the Tomos” and aid from Moscow to “right a ship” Kishkovsky and CO had mismanaged over 30 years?! Besides, open dialogue would mean that the matter would be discussed and an appropriate course of action followed, which would NOT MEAN that the primate had to resign, but could hold a VARIANT OPINION. Metropolitan Jonah never tried to impose Moscow on anyone, and THIS SEEMS TO BE THE FIRST it is heard of IN MOSCOW?! In other words, this is obfuscation of an uncanonical deposition of a sitting hierarch.

      Following Fr. Kishkovsky’s Phanariot sympathies to the end of this nonsense, he becomes tasked with admitting that since the EP DOES NOT RECOGNIZE the Tomos and HAS NOT entered the name of the Metropolitan into its diptyches, that for all practical purposes the EP either considers the OCA as a “schismatic, self instituted synod” ie VAGANTE or an eparchy of the Moscow Patriarchate.

      Thus his lie and slander is exposed by his Phanariot sympathy. If he argues against Metropolitan Jonah because of Moscow supporting the EP, HE IS FORCED TO RETURN to a premise not unlike the one he said Metropolitan Jonah offered.

      That is some of the most poorly thought sophistry and deception one has ever read.

      • George Michalopulos says

        There you go, thinking logically. We can’t have that. “Verdict first, trial later.”

    • Michael Bauman says

      The stuff really started flying however when Met. Jonah proposed downgrading the power of the MC and the CA in one fell swope by going to a truly diocesan form of government. He hit three sacred cows bing, bang, boom:

      1. The ‘autocephaly’
      2. The power of the MC
      3. The power of the central administration

      Not to mention his moral stances against the forces of modernity. He never stood a chance really.

      • Yes, Michael is probably right on the mark. Those three, maybe a few others that aren’t so clear to us; plus possibly curtailing the power of the laity, ex. in the All-American Councils. These kinds of measures (& the fear of going back under Moscow) would rouse opposition among many dedicated OCA clergy & laity, even if they agreed with him completely on the moral issues (which many do).

      • Michael Bauman’s right there.
        However, the only factor of the three that is of truly “religious” i.e., Sacred Calf import, is the Metropolitan Council. The “A” team really prides itself on that one.
        It should go back to being what it originally was (note, I said “originally”, NOT as recorded in the earliest edition of the Statute). It was originally ‘the Metropolitan’s council,” the Metropolitan being Metropolitan Platon (Rozhdestvensky), former Exarch of Georgia. It was his “Mitropolichii Soviet”
        I suppose all the GOA metropolitans could call their diocesan councils “The Metropolitan’s Council”, as well.

        It could be changed; after all, Bishops can promote themselves these days, no?

    • The trouble is that HB committed the “crime” of speaking honestly about a sacred cow in the OCA — the autocephaly. It isn’t something to be spoken of lightly, but it’s also quite obvious that it’s become an idol among some in the OCA. That isn’t to say that the answer is seeking to form an autonomous church under Moscow, but at the same time it has to be said that as a vector for American Orthodox unity, it frankly *has* failed, and it has failed because it has not been received by Orthodox as a whole, and in part the reason for that is that OCA itself is quite clearly now a keystone cops routine in terms of how it is run — insiders, nepotism, corruption, intrigue, secrecy, superciliousness, condescension and factionalism — these were present also in the Metropolia, but the autocephaly didn’t change that culture and has now become a sacred cow in the higher echelon set. He poked at the cow, being the newcomer, and found himself, and not the cow, getting barbecued. It reflects how sick the institutional culture of the OCA is currently, and I don’t say that with any degree of satisfaction at all — it’s a very sad state of affairs.

  17. rjklancko says

    I beleive that Patriarch Krill is scheduled to be in the USA in the fall, and I have heard that unity is on his mind – the moscow patriarchial parishes, rocor and the oca joining together – they may even pick up a few acrod parishes along the way. the first step is a leadership change at the top – jonah out – iliarion in. justinian as the rector of the 97th cathedral as the representative church in the usa, the baker mansion goes and the historic 2nd st cathedral is the nyc cathedral – rocor loses a cathedral and the oca loses a metropolitan – now why did the oca all of a sudden create a plethora of archbishops – posturing – all posturing – the question becomes what is next – there have already been a slue of concelebrations and invitations – almost as though it is get your acts together before i get there or i will ensure that you do — bottomline stop focusing on jonah – he made some mistakes and got caught – the question to focus on is what is next – perhaps an autonomous russian jurisdiction of the usa, of canada, and of south and central america – 3 autonomous church groups of similiar nationalistic character – consistent policies, consistent liturgies – each parish gets to choose their calendar – for the time being atleast.

    the milk is spilled, stop crying over it – the question is what the furture will bring and we must consider all three groups in this

    • Rdr. Benjamin says

      Where do you get this stuff? Though I wish it were true (minus the heavy dose of anti-Jonah) it sounds to me more like conjecture and speculation mixed with a little bit of delusion. Unless things get much worse, the visit will be nothing more than a conspicuous visit where perhaps ROCOR and MP parishes will come under 1 jurisdiction but he’ll probably only do a meet and greet with the OCA bishops if he does at all. It seems every foreign church who has visited here since Theodosius doesn’t want to touch us lepers with a ten foot pole.

    • Youre Silly! ACROD parishes would not go to the MP! They enjoy Orthodoxy without the scandal or politics.

      • We in ACROD are busy voting on an episcopal candidate this weekend. Pleae pray for us. We are praying for our brothers and sisters in the OCA.

      • George Michalopulos says

        If that’s true, then how come the next bishop you “elect” will not be of your ethnicity?

        • Forgive me. But, why should they care if the next Bishop is of “their ethnicity”? Isn’t phyletism decried here as a heresy? The OCA just picked two bishops out of ACROD. On that note, why does the OCA have ethnic diocese at all? Either it is THE Orthodox Church in America, or it is not. Until the OCA can figure out who and what it really is, it will never thrive as it will have no ability to be conciliar. The OCA has no vision, only competing visions.

          Again, forgive my presumption as an outsider looking in. No ship sails with fair winds and following seas with more than one captain.

          • All the dioceses of the OCA are ethnic. Americans are ethnic.
            Put another way, America is multi-ethnic: a Church, therefore, that is multi-ethnic would be more American than one consisting only of the homogenized Americans!

        • Rostislav says

          I think talking about panaceas with ACROD, ROCOR, the MP-USA, the GOA or with whomever is self delusion. They aren’t going to pay the bills. Are just as corrupt if not worse and aren’t concerned with an American church as much as an ethnic organism unwilling to face the demographic reality of their certain extinctions. That’s jumping out of the frying pan into the fire. These bodies are called to become part of the OCA and not the other way around.

          • Fr Jonathan says

            There is no such call.

            • Rostislav says

              Yes, there is. It is written all into the literature and press releases involved with the Tomos itself and part of the OCA’s mission statement.

              • Peter A. Papoutsis says

                There is no call if the Tomos are not recognized. That’s been the whole argument since 1970. Besides you really believed that wealthy and powerful Greeks, Serbs and Arbs were just going to join the OCA? Leadership 100 answered that with a very loud HELL NO!

                Come on that’s just self-delusion. Power does not give up control. The GOA is the biggest, wealthiest and most powerful of the Orthodox Jurisdictions and the Antiochians are also as powerful and wealthy in their own right. Did the OCA actually believe the Tomos was some magical instrument to make the GOA and AOA become part of the OCA? Really?

                Also, do you think the OCA really wanted this? Let me see? Powerful and wealthy Greek Business Men coming into a small little Orthodox Jurisdiction. Hmmm? Who do you think would have seized control of the OCA within a few years?

                Let me let you in on something that you may not understand, or maybe you do not want to understand: Greeks play smashmouth football NOT chess! We crush whoever and whatever is out there. Ask George and everybody else associated with the OCL what the GOA Power Elite did to them. Not pretty I’ll tell you that. The Greeks do not and will not play by the rules. You sit here and talk about this or that canon and this or that Tomos. The Greeks just know one thing: Greeks First all others second even Moscow! That’s why Moscow and the Phanar have been fighting this entire time. I truly wish this was not so and a spirit of compromise existed between all of us, but that’s not reality.

                Don’t look at the small little Phanar district and think because its small and lives in a muslim country it has no power. Its NOT small and ITs NOT week, but very, very, VERY powerful. Leadership 100 and the Archons have consolidated power and wealth into the hands of a few and growing number of Greek professionals who’s combined wealth can easily equal that of a small country. Heck they are a small country! The EP is beholden to them and them ALONE! And you wanted them to just “Join” the OCA and then play nice. Really? That force is a Juggernaught that you never want in front of you just an FYI. I think you should be thanking the Phanar for NOT recognizing your Tomos because if it did and the Greeks came in we would have owned the OCA by now, and that is NOT a fantasy that’s reality. I guess “Greek” Omogenia is actually good for the OCA in that sense.


                • Rostislav says

                  The GOA exists uncanonically on the missionary North American territory of the Russian church, which the Russian church has appointed the OCA to rule. It exists then in schism, promoting schism. And as far as “wealth” or “size” are concerned when that is floated on the timebomb of “Greekness” it has about as much of a future as the VHS tape.

                • Peter also wrote; “Greeks play smashmouth football NOT chess!”
                  Not so. They play backgammon. I know. Back in college days when I was taking modern Greek and dating a Greek girl, I spent a lot of time in Detroit’s Greektown (of the 1950s). You could at any time of the day or night, it seemed, go into any of the many Kafeneia and find tables of men drinking the Turkish coffee they call Greek coffee and playing backgammon. Turkish coffee and Persian games. What is smashmouth football? Is it an app?

        • George,
          What difference does his ethnicity make? He is pious and well- spoken and theologically Orthodox.We are aware of our need to express our Orthodoxy in America-a melting pot of many ethnicities. Yes, George, he is Greek- is that what you are getting at?. Please, can’t we pray for each other’s jurisdictions?. Surely, you know we share familial ties with the OCA, and several of your priests and bishops came from our seminary as several of ours came from yours. My prayers are with you all-I admire Meteopolitan Jonah and know how hard this is for you all. Please pray for us as well.

          • Rostislav says

            I guess when you all start acting Orthodox and get rid of your organs and stop praying with heretics then we will be less reticent to eschew our associations with you. These days you look more Vatican II than even the Uniates you all embrace as “separated coreligionists”. So forgive us if we prefer to want to have nothing to do with that.

            • Never mind “love your neighbor,” how about “despise your fellow Orthodox believer.” Rostislav does not speak for other members of the OCA, even if he uses the “we” form to imply he does.

              • The Lord commands us to love one another. He never commanded us to like one another or condone bad behavior. What people are talking about here, Scott is not accepting as normal and Christian the abnormal and unChristian behavior of those who are called our leaders but are not leading by their example. This situation was not of our doing. It was of the synod. They took the action. It is not unreasonable for us to expect more of an answer than we have been given up to this point.

              • Rostislav says

                Actually, when I express an Orthodox opinion, I do not speak for those who condone the use of organs or prayer with heretics. These types of people offer not love but license to heresy and apostasy in condoning what is canonically condemned and heterodox, unconcerned with the plight of their Orthodox brothers and their falling away from Right Faith and Piety. But those in the OCA who uphold Orthodox Faith, Piety and discipline have one outlook and our “love for our fellow Orthodox” is based in their restoration to faithful Orthodox observance and away from their apostasy, which those of your mentalite seem to find appropriate, even flrting with it. We Orthodox in the OCA support Orthodox practice and Canonical observance.

                • Dear Rostislav, please read Cassiane’s last comment from Dreher’s site, also to you. She put it much nicer and more thoughtfully than I will. The point is that you & I may not disagree on the issues, but the way you lash out at people, whether it is poor Ann just because her church uses organs & isn’t fully ‘Orthodox’ according to your standards, and most of your other posts, whether you are attacking homosexuals, or other clergy in the OCA, or whoever–are hateful, not full of love. If that is “true” Orthodoxy, then you can have it, because I sure don’t see Christ there. As far as I know, no Ecumenical Council ever condemned organs as heresy. Yes, they go against the canons (I have a copy of the Rudder too), but the canons are norms of behavior, not what is or is not heretical, and the Orthodox Church in its history has always been full of diversity and not adhered to the canons in one way or another. This kind of beating people over the head with canons and rules and formalism is exactly the kind of Pharisaism that Christ condemned. I’m not talking ‘condoning’ anything–I’m talking about the spirit in which you discuss issues and respond to people. If even Dreher has to edit your comments, maybe it’s time to step back and reflect a bit… otherwise you are giving the wider world that may read these posts the worst impression about Orthodoxy.

                  • As for myself, I don’t expect posts here or on any blog to be full of Christian love. I just expect them to be civil. Rostislav makes reading this blog a chore, because he says things I more or less agree with, but says them in such a hot-headed, insulting way that it is a real turn-off. Rosty, you are acting like the drunken loudmouth at a party that nobody wants to hear. If you are making people like me who sympathize with your positions want to turn away, you are doing something wrong.

                    • Rostislav says

                      I think you need to stop stalking me and grow up a bit and learn what it means to be Orthodox. If you don’t like my presentations, don’t read them, and allow people who wish to read them to do so.

                      It is clear that that is your issue, that they are reading them, agreeing with me, AND NOT WITH YOU and YOUR TONE and your ADVOCACY FOR SODOMY, and you want to keep them from doing so by trying to cast aspersions on my approach of TOTAL Orthodoxy without adulteration as a standard.

                      In other words, you aren’t fooling anyone. Your tone is your own rebuttal. Your agenda is clear: trying to silence opinions you disagree with by attacking people personally and then trying to slander them while acting as some trolling “trojan horse” for those you think are too atavized to realize that your “nuanced” approach and feigned “reasonableness” constitutes nothing more than surrender to the other side and assumption of its paradigms to found a “compromise” on its terms. Only the feeble minded would follow you out the door of the Church in your religion of sodomy and Renovationism.

                      Spare us the nonsense. Get a life. Nobody cares what you think and no one is stupid enough to follow your lead. We have all witnessed the last 30 years and the catastrophe your not so artful ruse leads to.

                  • Rostislav says

                    Where the Church doesn’t see CHRIST is in CANONICALLY CONDEMNED INNOVATIONS like organs and in turning a blind eye to sodomy. I am not talking about “my” standard AS YOU AND ANN and your confederates do, but the ORTHODOX standard, which is NOT RELATIVE, not SUBJECT TO REVISION.

                    I answered Ann on that site and I did so well enough. Perhaps you missed it.

                    It is not LOVE, but LICENSE to advance moral degradation and innovation in the place of Orthodoxy.

                    You seem to want to find CHRIST in sodomy and Orthodoxy in Renovationism.

                    He isn’t there, and THAT IS NOT ORTHODOXY.

                    That is an idol of yourself which you worship while assaulting Orthodoxy, the True Faith.

                    Find an Orhodox formation, before you dare to assault its necessity.

                    The Orthodox Church condemns ALL innovations. Renovationism is also condemned as heresy.

                    What you don’t like is not so much “my tone” but the fact that I am clear in establishing boundaries which don’t waver. I do so in fidelity to the Holy Fathers, the Holy Canons, expressing the Mind of CHRIST. You and Ann don’t even know that that is the standard and the WAY THE LOVE OF CHRIST IS EXPRESSED IN THE ORTHODOX CHURCH!

                    You don’t love a person by allowing them to remain ignorant and outside of Orthodoxy either in Faith or practice or moral life.

                    You and Ann can’t seem to say the same thing, not on Dreher’s blog, where she and YOU have been answered, not anywhere. The fact that you don’t says you aren’t interested in livign Orthodoxy but recasting it in your image. Let me fill you in, friend. NO ONE IS GOING TO BURN INCENSE IN FRONT OF A RENOVATIONIST IDOL OF YOURSELF OR OF ANN.

                    So, I say again, GET RID OF THE ORGANS, STOP PRAYING WITH HERETICS, STOP VANDALIZING THE SERVICES AND LITURGICS AND BE ORTHODOX if you want to be considered to be ORTHODOX. It is a relatively simple process of OBEYING THE HOLY CANONS AND THE HOLY FATHERS and not going off the reservation to “do your own thing” and then claiming CHRIST loves you for putting the religion of YOURSELF in place of love of HIM. That seems to be the Renovationist mentality these days.

                    I love CHRIST and HIS Church and even the gays and people like yourself and Ann, but that love is taught to me by the Church to be expressed as concern for myself, for you, for the good order of the Church which can never be transformed into some hippie ashram. It isn’t love to bless falsehood, immorality and heterodox faith and practice, but LICENSE, and a license which amounts to a quiet apostasy and REJECTION of CHRIST, which in all actuality constitutes hate. That’s what you all seem to want to define as Orthodoxy, and that is what we will have NONE of!!!

                    • Patrick Henry Reardon says

                      Rostislav says: “Where the Church doesn’t see CHRIST is in CANONICALLY CONDEMNED INNOVATIONS like organs and in turning a blind eye to sodomy.”


                      Unless the reference is anatomical, I don’t think “organs” should should be lumped with sodomy.

                    • Rostislav says

                      You wouldn’t. Neither does Frank Schaeffer.

                      Since you chose to ignore the context which WAS RENOVATIONISM and its mindset which is all too prevalent where you hail from, of course you missed that the same heterodox mindset which condones sodomy for clerics and doesn’t see it as barring Communion and clerical office in the Orthodox Church IS THE SAME RENOVATIONIST ATTITUDE which condones the innovation of using organs in the Orthodox Church. After all, you all depose Priests and Deacons for wearing cassocks, but are perfectly fine with them arriving late to church in shorts and dirty tee shirts to rush into the altar and serve. Pathetic.

                      Did you ever read the Synodikon of Orthodoxy which anathemizes Innovators. In both cases of Sodomy and of organs, Orthodox canonical discipline is foregone for Renovationist license.

                      But then again where you hail from there seems to be much aplumb about the Pan Orthodox Congress of 1923, even a book being published, these days and for clerics who divorced their dying wives and were given hierarchical blessing to marry women they spiritually directed to divorce their husbands and abandon their families.

                      So of course it is easy for you to miss these connections.

                      GET RID OF YOUR ORGANS. OBSERVE ORTHODOXY AND GAIN AN ORTHODOX FORMATION! STOP PRAYING WITH HERETICS! Don’t bother teaching something you refuse to live and you haven’t accepted ON ITS TERMS. ORTHODOXY IS THE TRUE CHURCH and not a “denomination” in your ecumenical PANTHEON OF ERRORS! BE ORTHODOX IF YOU WISH TO BE CONSIDERED ORTHODOX. Enough Renovationism.

                    • George Michalopulos says

                      Rostislav, while I despise organs (or more specifically, harmonia) as much as you, this problem is much greater than instruments. I for one would be loathe to lump organs and pews in with normalization of sodomy. The latter is far worse. While I appreciate your insights, please restrain your comments towards good men like Fr Patrick and try to avoid all caps.

                      This site pleases me because many people in the intellectual vanguard of American Orthodoxy clearly see the big picture and agree on the big things. A purist approach to secondary things is futile and self-defeating.

                      I meant no offense. Please forgive me if I did.

                    • Rostislav says

                      It isn’t purist to simply say do as the Orthodox world practices and in the way the Holy Canons demand. Sorry, for all caps, but I really need that to sink in.

                      Pews are not canonically condemned and are a matter of how a community dictates its necessities in light of its Orthodox piety.

                      In terms of the presence of these things, I will be forthright. If we wish to be considered maturing in our Orthodoxy, we must observe it and try to live it to the best of our abilities. The mindset which allows for sodomy stems from a mindset which has no problems with innovations like organs, for in reality this mindset really is nothing but iconoclasm and stems from “knowing better than the Church and disrespecting its heirloom superstitions”.

                      I have no problem with GOA and Antiochians who are observant and pious and their parishes which honor Right Faith and Piety. I stand with them and we are coreligionists.

                      I have little regard for what the AFR crowd does, because they have little regard for traditional Orthodoxy and wantonly silence it promoting a less than Orthodox formation which only has converts being harmed not helped by being programmed with Renovationist disinformation. There are quite a few gifted and Traditional leaders in both the GOA and the Antiochian Archdiocese and I make common cause with them.

                    • Anonymous says

                      … erm … Hagia Sophia had an organ…

        • Fr Jonathan says

          Enough of this. ACROD hurts no one in its smallness. Where is the courtesy here? So what if the next bishop of ACROD is Greek? He considers himself Orthodox first, then American. He is committed to continuing the ancient Rusyn traditions, which are not confined to language. Your, complaints about the reality-TV show that is the throwing-Jonah-from-the-boat episode has nothing at all to with the ethnicity of ACROD’s new bishop.

          • Rostislav says

            Because ACROD is the “Carpatho Russian” diocese that the EP organized as an ethnic eparchy and not an extension of its Magna Graecia delusions of grandeur maybe?!

            This appointment of a Greek is designed to secure ACROD as loyal “just in case” things go awry after the EP’s Uniate agenda is made official. This is nothing more than the beginning of the end of ACROD.

            • Peter A. Papoutsis says

              Are you sure your not part of the HOCNA because you sound like them buddy. The last time I checked the OCA was still part of the NCC which would make you and ecuminist heretic just like us in the GOA.

              Also, the OCA has organs in many of its churches so you are, by association, a heretic as well. The OCA just uncanonically, by your standards, deposed its ruling hierarch. So again you, by association, are non-canonical.

              So only the Orthodox that fit your demeted version of “Purist” Orthodox Piety and canonical understanding are “Good” Orthodox. Kinda like the “World” Orthodox are bad and the “Traditional” Orthodox of the Old Calendar are good. OK, good to know.

              So the minute an Orthodox Christian prays with a Catholic, according to the Canons, we become heretics and have excommunicated outselves from the church right?

              Canon LXV Of the Holy Apostles:

              “If any clergymen, or laymen, enter a synagogue of Jews, or of heretics, to pray, let him be both deposed and excommunicated.”

              Canon IX of Laodicia (Also approved by the Ecumenical Synods)

              “Concerning the fact that those belonging to the Church must not be allowed to go visiting the cemeteries or the so called martyria of any heretics, for the purpose of prayer or of cure, but, on the contrary, those who do so, if they be among the faithful, shall be excluded from communion for a time until they repent and confess their having made a mistake, when they may be readmitted to communion.”

              Canon XXXIII of Laodicia

              “One must not join in prayer with heretics or schismatics.”

              I think you as a faithful Orthodox Christian have to leave like right now the OCA to save your Orthodox Soul. I mean the OCA part of the NCC/WCC and all makes you an ecumenist schismatic heretic in volations of the canons. Run, Rostislav, RUN!!!


              • Rostislav says

                Actually, there are almost NO OCA parishes with organs. So I do not where you get that idea.

                I wasn’t indicting you all for heretical activity, but calling you to Orthodox observance. Ecumenism is increasingly a very unwelcome phenomenon in the OCA, and the OCA does not have the “concelebrations” and prayers with heretics that you all do in the GOA.

                Calling your body Renovationist indicates its course. The purpose is for you to CHANGE and observe RIGHT FAITH and PIETY, not to condemn you as a heretic. I think you confuse your methodology of assault against the Holy Tradition with us who are Orthodox, who simply seek your restoration with us in that Right Faith and Piety.

                Yes, I will say it plain, all these “issues” are caused by people who introduce some innovation or refuse to obey what the Church teaches and sets as its discipline. These people, and not the ones standing up for the Holy Tradition, are those who are AT FAULT. Their answer tends to be to try and label some as “fundamentalists” or “schismatics”. Our approach is simply to say we stand with the Holy Fathers and the Holy Canons expressing the Mind of CHRIST and invite you to do the same if you wish to be considered Orthodox. If you don’t, don’t be upset if the Orthodox are reticent to regard you as such when you do not respect yourselves enough to live up to Orthodoxy.

                As far as HOCNA is concerned, that comment is written out of a vapid ignorance and desperation that defies all logic. Never was HOCNA any champion of the OCA. Never have I had anything to do with it. HOCNA doesn’t even bother calling you all to restore Right Faith and Piety, because they believe you all are too gone to bother.

                So, really, spare us your desperate clutchings for a strawman to obfuscate the fact, and with outright lies, that your UNIATE EP is an organism on the precipice of apostasy. While the OCA, despite our many failings, thankfully remains unchallenged by the course of apostasy your body has sadly taken. It is not HOCNA’s or anyone else’s fault YOU are departing from Orthodoxy and spitting on the Holy Fathers and the Holy Canons. IT IS YOURS AND THAT OF YOUR SORRY PAPOPHILE, BOUGHT OFF BISHOPS.

                • Peter A. Papoutsis says

                  almost NO OCA parishes with organs.

                  So that means some do. Even if one OCA parish has an “EVIL Organ in it and it is part of the OCA you are in trouble dude.

                  PS. Nice talking to you. Bye.

              • Rostislav says

                I find your mockery of the Holy Canons says everything about you and your approach. No sober Orthodox Christian does that. I would bet you probably produced those Canons quoting an OCA article. You tell us with your behavior THAT YOU HAVE NO INTENTION OF OBEYING THE ORTHODOX CHURCH. So why should you and yours feel slighted then when we have doubts about whether or not we should regard you as Orthodox, as you yourself scream you hold Orthodoxy in contempt?!

                We don’t do that in the OCA.

                You see in the OCA we BELIEVE the ORTHODOX CHURCH is still the SOLE TRUE CHURCH and not one OF ITS “branches.” Even Professor Buteneff maintains that our ecumenism differs from yours in that when we do engage in it IT IS TO WITNESS ORTHODOXY, while with your EP it is to “compromise” and “refound the Church” to “find a common truth.”

                It seems you haven’t noticed so many voices have risen in the OCA for Orthodoxy while so many are silent in your GOA. The fact that is the case shows that WE ARE ADDRESSING abuses and calling for Orthodox Faith and Piety while you are compromising it. You are making my point and admitting your guilt in apostasy.

                So we aren’t at all as spiritually depraved and lost as you are.

                I am running FROM YOUR EP and its Unia.

              • Peter A. Papoutsis is wrong when he writes: “Also, the OCA has organs in many of its churches.
                The OCA does not have organs in many of its churches. While I have not been in by any means all OCA churches, I have been in a lot of them, and I’ve never seen or heard of an OCA church that has one, and I am alert to this matter. I know that in the St. Alexander Nevsky Cathedral in Paris, there is or was, in the choir loft, a small organ or organum, placed there, I believe, specially to accommodate a couple compositions by the Russian Orthodox church composer Gretchaninoff.
                I realize that there could be ONE somewhere; after all, I once confronted Archbishop Dmitri of blessed memory (when someone reported “they are making icons of Schmeman”) about an icon of ever-memorable Father Alexander Schmeman hanging on the wall in one of his churches (Florida, again!)(that would have been in Father Zaparyniuk’s parish), and His Eminence firmly denied it…
                But to claim that organs exist in MANY OCA Churches….Not so.
                In early editions of “The Orthodox Church” by Timothy Ware, he wrote that in general Orthodox Churches do not allow any musical instruments, but that “the Greeks in North America have developed a penchant for the organum” (or was it “the electrotone”). Back then, when “The Orthodox Church” by Ware was new, Archbishop Iakovos was quoted as saying “Beware of Ware.”

                • Peter A. Papoutsis says

                  I don’t care. Its an Organ and OCA churches do have them. maybe not all, but I would suspect a good number. But hey, I could be wrong so lets open this up just out of curiosity: TO ALL OCA PEOPLE – Count Off how many of you have Organs playing in the Choir. Inquiring minds want to know.


                  PS Personally I do not like them. I just want the Cantor/Psalti. That is the better practice.

                  • Monk James says

                    None of the many OCA parishes and monasteries I’ve visited has an organ. Not one. And I’ve never heard of one with an organ, either.

                    ALSO: Like all but two (Minneapolis, and Boston of the Albanians, I think) the OCA’s cathedrals and many of our parishes have no pews, just portable seating as needed.

                  • Just Guessing says

                    Peter could not be more wrong on this point. None of the OCA geographical diocesan churches have organs, not even one. I highly doubt that any of the Bulgarian or Romanian churches have them, but there could be one or two. But absolutely NO diocesan churches have organs. Peter needs to do his homework on this issue.

                    And for a man with a Greek name to make this charge, it’s kind of odd, since numerous Greek churches DO have organs. In Russian churches (which the OCA churches essentially are), this is completely anathema and would NEVER be found.

                    • Peter A. Papoutsis says

                      Oh My your really hate organs! Guess what I don’t like them either, but if you find an OCA church with an Organ in it are you going to stone the poor people to death? Plus, I don’t need to do homework as I don’t care about this at all.

                      I grew up over this BS. Between the Organ, New Calendar, Pews in our Temples, etc., Orthodox in this country really loose sight of the forest for the trees.

                      As for Greek Churches having Organs yeah they do so What? I don’t like them and have even complained we should not have them. I agree with you, but to say its some kind of evil that should not come into the church or destroys Orthodoxy is just pushing it. Now you, Monk James and BT did not say this, but boy that was one viseral reaction against having Organs. Good to know.

                      By the way if the OCA does not have Organs, like I stated before, I’ll stand corrected, but if some do its OK, take a deep breath, the world did not end. That’s the main point. God forbid that the OCA should do something so bad as to have an Organ in its churches. Relax.


                  • I know of two OCA parishes that use small electric organs to give the notes to the choir, but they do not use the organs to play the hymn being sung. 🙂

                    • Geo Michalopulos says

                      OK everybody: drop it with the organs. I despise them. End of story. I don’t want to get sidetracked on a side issue. I will take off any comments which mention them. Sorry. I’ve already added Rosty to the moderated list, don’t make me go back to moderating everybody. We got bigger fish to fry, namely the coming collapse of the OCA, the call for more “tolerance,” and more Soviet-style “openness,” etc. This is far worse than the side issues.


                    • Peter A. Papoutsis says

                      Wow, too close, too close Phillipa. Ok George I’m done. I’ll play nice.

    • Alexandr says

      This has gone on long enough. The OCA is not only a laughingstock amongst the Orthodox in America, it has now become a public embarrassment for Orthodox people worldwide. Moscow needs to step in, revoke this pretense of autocephaly, and bring the whole synod and MC before a spiritual court. Bring in Russian or ROCOR bishops to oversee whats left of the OCA, and ship the current bishops off to Jordanville. I’m sure the good monastics at Jordanville could use some help picking potatoes. The Russians will clean up the rot. The Lavender Cabal will hold no truck with Moscow, as the Russian attitude towards limp wristedness is well known. The Stokoeites, the Pokrov babes and the OCA Congregationalist Party all need to be put under epitemia. Scour the OCA monasteries and appoint Orthodox Abbots over them all INCLUDING New Skete! A united Church under the joint auspices of the MP and ROCOR is the only way to save the sinking Metropolia. Then, and only then can the irregular canonical condition in America be addressed, with the goal of bringing the Greeks, Antiochians and others under the only Church that canonically has any right to even be here!

      • Rostislav says

        The only thing missed here is that by the second generation Russian ethnicity is lost, and in the OCA in most cases we are dealing with third, fourth, fifth generation and converts. How does Holy Mother Russia save the day when the people it is trying to save as “its own” neither understand nor share more than a passing affinity to her?! All bravado aside, it is only in honoring the American mission and helping it reach its potential that Orthodoxy is firmly planted here and flourishes. We are long past the days of Russia rushing in to save us from ourselves, even in ROCOR and in the MP – USA.

        Yes, house cleaning needs to be done. The autocephaly needs to be realized with a self governing implementation and active mission, not forgotten as a principle with Mother Church set as overseer. Mother Church is now as foreign and as irrelevent to our circumstances as the Phanar or any other body from across the ocean.

        • Pravoslavnie says

          Aleksandr you are dreaming. Rostislav I generally agree with you. However, at the risk of being flamed here, I dare to suggest that the OCA and the Metropolia before it have only the slimmest ties to Russia and there is no going home to a home that never existed for many. Sure, the ROC planted a mission in Alaska and the Metropolia had administrative and episcopal roots in the ROC, but this country never saw a huge wave of “Great Russians” emmigrate to it.

          A number of years ago I took my newly landed ex-Soviet wife on a drive south of Wilkes-Barre, PA where we came across a huge Orthodox cross planted in the middle of a cemetery on a rural country highway. We stopped, got out, and began looking at headstones. I said something like “look at all the Russian names!” She responded a bit increduously with “where?” The vast majority of the names planted there she recognized as being from the farthest western corner of the Russian Empire, the Ukraine, the Carpathians, and Slovakia. In that demographic snapshot, we realized we were looking at people from the imperial borderlands who could just as easily be desribed as Austrian as at least one cradle OCA parishioner I knew proudly described herself. Therein lies the reason why “the core” of the OCA will never rejoin with the MP, and will even have problems considering the ROCOR. They are different people, with different traditions, and longstanding grudges. Converts may be a different story as they don’t drag along the ethnic baggage of subject peoples that the Carpatho-Russian core of the OCA was born with.

          • Rostislav says

            I can sympathize with your outlook, because I understand that modernity has distorted what one hundred years ago was considered Russian without dispute.

            As far as where there are more Great Russians in significant numbers in the OCA, why the Diocese of the West, of course, and on Long Island, in New England, etc.

            The Soviet era used everything at its disposal to weaken the idea of Rus’ for fear of this idea eventually rising to overthrow Bolshevism. This is why the ideas of certain “nationalities” came to the fore.

            But let us go one further and look at history. Let me mention many of the groups involved in the founding of the OCA, Galicians – Historically, their territory was referred to as “Chervonaja Rus'”, Red Russia, and their people called themselves “Rusiny, Russkije, even Rossijanje” at the the Brotherhood in Lvov. Then It is not uncommmon to find Galician names end in -ov or -in like Great Russian names (albeit today the Ukrainian nationalists transliterate those names as -iw or -iv and -yn). There are not a few native Galician “Romanovs”. Then there are Vohlynians – Historically, their territory was referred to as “Chornaja Rus,'” ie Black Russia, and these people referred to themselves as “Rusiny, Russkije or Malorossijanje” in the lexicon of the Ostrogh Brotherhood. Then there are Byelorussians who refer to themselves as “Byelorusy.” Then of course there are the Carpatho and Ugro Rusins (the Slovak and Hungarian Rusins) hailing from Prjashev, the Lemkos, the Boikos, the Hutzuls. All these people historically refer to themselves, when they are being honest, as “Rusins.” Then there are the Bukovinans who also referred to themselves as “Rusins.”

            One hundred years ago and ten centuries prior to that all these groups believed they shared a common history and nationality with the Great Russians. None of these peoples is actually “Ukrainian” and truly, significant “Ukrainian” or historically “Little Russian” immigration occurs principally after the Russian Civil War and World War II. It is anachronistic to use the word “Ukrainian in regard even to the Little Russians”, not to mention the other Ruthenians.

            In Kiev prior to the reunion with it with the North, the Kievan Brotherhood referred to their territory as “Malaja Rossija”, ie Little Russia, adopting the Greek “Mikra Rosija” to define their Russian territory. The ethnonym “Rossijanin” and “Rossija” is born here, in Kiev, and indeed becomes widely used even in Ruthenian territories not reunited with the North, viz. Getman Vygovsky establishes his principality in the Polish Lithuanian Commonwealth as the “Principality of Russia” and refers to all the Ruthenian and White Russian inhabitants of the Commonwealth as “Russians”. This follows the Treaty of Hadiach which created the “Principality of Russia” within the Polish Lithuanian Commonwealth and incidentally ABOLISHED the Unia of Brest within its borders.

            Moreover, the prior to Great Russians assuming the title “Rossijanje,” they termed themselves “Russkije” or “Rusichi”. And the title “Rossijanje” was imported from the Kievan Brotherhood after the Perejaslavl’ pact which reunited North and South and chiefly implemented based on that Brotherhood’s useage of that identity in reference to itself to project an All Russian idea for an All Russian empire. Indeed, even the Russian language shares a common root with all these branches, as the Middle Ruthenian of Kiev was a constitutive part in the construction of what came to be known as modern Literary Russian. All the Russian branches have this language as a parent. This was intentional, for a common All Russian language, culture and nationality were the point Tsar’ Alexis Mikhailovich and his successors sought to create in their import of Kievan and other Southern Russians to the North and their control of the Church, Bureaucracy and culture of St. Petersburg into the nineteenth century. The All Russian identity was created to replace the Great Russian identity as much as it was to unite the disparate Ruthenians and the White Russians.

            Thus, it is totally proper to refer to all these people as “Russians,” because the term implies the Russian peoples who are descended from Rus’.

            One will find -a, -sky, -ko, -uk, -ich, -ak, -yk surnames from Briansk to Vladivostok. Likewise, one will find -ov, -ikh and -in surnames from Poltava to Prjashev. Because the Russian people stretch from Central Europe to the Pacific as one many people of many branches. There is no historical foundation for separate nationalities, only separate regions.

            Soviet times tried to erase this and impose quack nationalities upon Russians to divide the Russian people, but all these people are descended from a common ancestry, Rus’.

            The reason why these people are ecclesiastically united is because they all had their Orthodoxy established by the Kievan Metropolia which came to become the Moscow Patriarchate. The Holy Synod which acted in its stead established the Russian American mission and is the Mother Church of the OCA.

            Russian Orthodoxy, at its outset, involved multiple ethnic groups and then languages and cultures around its center. It wasn’t and never intended to be a “national Orthodoxy,” but was a Eurasian Orthodoxy comprised of Slavs, Finns, Scandinavians, Avars, Aleuts, etc. Thus, it is perfectly legitimately even today for some, people like myself, to continue to term ourselves “Russian Orthodox.” That is our heritage. That is the heritage of the OCA.

            No, I don’t believe in the reality of the “autocephaly,” and I do believe in “guidance” for our SELF RULE for us to achieve the reality of our autocephaly, but the days of Holy Mother Russia “guiding her chicks” are even anachronistic to talk about.

            • Peter A. Papoutsis says

              Wow and I though Greeks, Serbians, Bulgarians and Macedonians had history and ethnicity problems. I stand corrected.


              • Rostislav says

                If only you all would correct yourselves and return to Orthodoxy…

                I find it almost tragic, in a pathetic way, how people who have no knowledge of history or of Orthodoxy feel the need to insult it. Its callousness defies all decorum and logic and says everything about an organism which allows such “spokespeople” to flourish.

                Yes, people who have a rough time distinguishing between books of the Old and New Testaments, even who were Prophets and Apostles, presume to say that their approaches to Orthodoxy are legitimate in your bizarro world, and I am sorry to see how Renovationists of your crude sort are perfectly brazen in attacking those who are serious about their Faith and observe Right Faith and Piety. Instead of learning, they presume to teach, to correct, not only out of ignorance, but even out of pride in their states of spiritual darkness. What hubris. This is what the GOA seems to be putting forward as “official” these days as its “orthodoxy”.

                • Peter A. Papoutsis says

                  The only legitimate statement I can take from your entire diatribe of idiotic ramblings is:

                  …in your bizarro world

                  Which I would definitely apply to you. How dare you call other Orthodox Christians incorrect in their Orthodoxy. Just because they donot agree with you? You may disagree with them, as I have with people here on this blog, but I have never questioned one’s Orthodoxy in which your people are working out their own salvation in fear and trembling.

                  You actually think having an Organ or using the New Calendar is going to destroy one’s Orthodoxy? I have said it before and I will say it again – GET A GRIP and A REALITY CHECK (See I can use capital letters too).

                  I am under no delussion as to the failings in my Church, the GOA, I am quite disturbed that you are not away of the failing of your Church in the OCA. If you don’t get away from OCA Triumphalism, just like the Greeks need to get away from their, you will go off the deep end and you will go off all by yourself. So my friend correct yourself before you hurt yourself, but as to your salvation and practice of Orthodoxy I will leave that up to you, God and our Holy Church that is just fine in Ortho-Praxy even with an Organ and the New Calendar.

                  As far as its involvement in the ecumenical movement it keeps its ties with the heretics that I do not like, but I have never seen, nor will I see an Orthodox Priest or Bishop communing a RC or Anglican or what not. Why? Because its never happened and never will. Priest on this blog who are in the ecumenical movement have told us as such so as much as I do not like our involvement and want us to get out it does not destroy our Orthodoxy by simply talking to these people or even praying with them. That just goes too far.

                  Stop the witch hunt McCarthy!


                  • Rostislav says

                    Because, my standard, my ignorant Renovationist, is the HOLY FATHERS, THE HOLY SCRIPTURE, THE HOLY CANON EXPRESSING THE MIND OF CHRIST which your Renovationist body does not uphold and brazenly violates. In that you yourselves say that you aren’t Orthodox, have no clue what Orthodoxy constitutes and constitute a body which is best taken as sick and dying by serious Orthodox Christians.

                    You don’t know how to be Orthodox, what that consists of, what Right Faith and Piety are. You aren’t even sure what it is not. By your own admission you are lost.

                    Thus your claim to Orthodoxy WHICH IS THE TRUE WAY is denied by you yourselves with your UNCANONICAL ORGANS, your prayers with heretics and your quiet Unia. RIGHT YOUR SHIP or take no umbrage at being considered unserious and heterodox.

                    YOUR WAY IS NOT ORTHODOX. YOUR CHURCH IS SLIPPING INTO APOSTASY, HERESY. YOUR ATTITUDE IS MAKING THAT HAPPEN. We want no part of it. The only thing we seek is to STAY AWAY from you while you self destruct. No, WE WILL NOT CALL YOU ORTHODOX because we know what Orthodoxy is and we love and respect it far too much to insult to that low a degree.


                    • Dr. Strangelove says

                      “We” = Rostislav and his two cats. His third cat disagrees, and is probably a HOMOSEXUAL and a CLOSET UNIATE.

                    • Archpriest John W. Morris says

                      Dear Rostislav
                      Who made you the judge of the Orthodoxy of anyone? I don’t like organs and do not use one in my parish, but using an organ is hardly heretical. As far as pews are concerned, there are ancient liturgical texts that refer to sitting at times during services. What do we call the division of the Psalms? The Kathismata, which means sitting. During Lent, we celebrate the Akathist Hymn which means not sitting. If there are ancient liturgical texts that refer to sitting, sitting is not heretical today just because we now have the technology and resources to give people something to sit on. There are pews in the Patriarchial Cathedral in Damascus.
                      If you would take the time to read the many documents presented by Orthodox in ecumenical relations, you would realize that our purpose is to witness the truth of Orthodoxy to non-Orthodox. I agree that it is often a waste of time, but if a non-Orthodox group is willing to listen, we should take advantage of every opportunity to explain the truth of Orthodoxy to non-Orthodox. Learn the truth about Orthodox ecumenism and stop reading the false information being spread by people who know nothing about what really happens during Orthodox ecumenical activities. Indeed some of the stories are so false, that I sometimes believe that some people are deliberately spreading lies against the canonical Orthodox authorities.
                      You must be living in a fantasy world if you believe that any other Orthodox in America would want to become part of the OCA with all its problems. Even a canonically recognized autocephalous Orthodox Church is still answerable to the rest of the Church. In this case the rest of Orthodoxy has rejected the claims of the OCA to be the autocephalous American Orthodox Church. Your OCA trimphalism only puts a barrier in the way of real Orthodox unity in America. The Russian Church gave up its claim to exclusive authority in America after 1917. For example, Moscow, the Metropolia, and the group that eventually became ROCOR blessed the organization of the Antiochian Archciocese and the transfer of Arab originating parishes from Russian bishops to the Patriarchate of Antioch. I do not know what is going on in the OCA. It is really not my business to take sides, but until you get your own house in order, do not criticize other Orthodox jurisdictions in America. Your public fighting and is only making a laughing stock of Orthodoxy in this country, especially when it is reported in the secular press. If you people have problems, solve them in a way that does not make Orthodoxy look bad to the American people.
                      I personally hope and pray that the Assembly of Bishops will be an instrument to actually achieve a degree of Orthodox unity in America. As an American who is Orthodox first and American second, I have no problem accepting the authority of the more mature and historic Patriarchate of Antioch or any other of the mother Churches abroad. When we are ready for a real united American autocephalous Orthodox Church, God will give us one. Until then, let us try to work together and stop tearing apart Orthodoxy by silly fights and claims of one jurisdiction to superiority over other Orthodox in this country.

                      Archpriest John W. Morris

      • Geo Michalopulos says

        Unfortunately Alexander, I believe you may be right. Our autocephaly is morally bankrupt. When the OCA implodes then it will be a dead letter.

        • Peter A. Papoutsis says

          So george what’s the end game in all of this for the OCA? In fact, what the end game for the GOA, AOA and the ROCOR and the Serbian Orthodox? I cannot envision our church turning into the ECUSA. I know that some want it to turn into the ECUSA. The great majority I think are like Um previously stated they are “Enablers.” But, are we Orthodox in our various jurisidctions “Enablers” or Just “Apathetic” when it comes to the moral decay of our Country and world around us?

          How many Orthodox in this Country and abroad actually care about this stuff? If not many how do we get our fellow Orthodox to care so as to stand up and make a difference?

          Finally, do you think its our disunity that is stopping us as “AN ORTHODOX CHURCH” from having a stronger moral/prohetic voice in America and the world at large? Metropolitan Jonah was trying to get that voice out there, but now he’s effectively gone, at least for the moment, what the future holds is unclear.

          So many of us in the GOA, AOA, SOC, and from what I can see in the OCA as well just want to live AND proclaim the Gospel of Jesus Christ as understood and known by the One True Church – The Orthodox Church, but why, even in modern day 2012 is it so hard for our hierarches to just get involved and engage this culture both here in America and Globally. Why? I kind of know the answer (Moral failings and sexual misbehavior), but is there more? Is there a lack of basic Christian belief at the so-called top?

          For Example, Fr. Malachi Martin, prior to his death in 1999, in his fictiononalized book on the Vatican, Keys of His Blood, although based on his supposed real-life experiences and dealings with the Vatican, argued that the Vaticuan is filled with Corrupt Bishops and Cardinals that don’t even believe in God anymore, that they are Atheists just running a Global Institution as Glorified Administrators. Could this be also the case with the various hierarchs of the various Orthodox Jurisdictions? At least, the GOA and OCA? I just get this feeling in my gut that, at least with the GOA guys, that this is the case. Not all, definitely not all, but most.

          This is all speculation at this point and I could definitely be wrong. Let me know what you guys (Carl, Chris, Bishop Tikhon, George, Michael, Helga, Rod, think from a purely sober perspective. What do we make of all of this and should we truly be worried? I am, but should I be or should I just calm down and see what happens next? I don’t know.


          PS. I do not endorse nor support the views of Fr. Martin, especially in regards to his comments about Fatima and the conversion of Russia to the RCC. I hate that part just to be clear.

          • Geo Michalopulos says

            Short answer to first question: if no repentence and true transparency, extinction. It’ll go out with a whimper, not a bang.

          • Peter A. Papoutsis says:
            July 14, 2012 at 1:38 pm

            Let me know what you guys (Carl, Chris, Bishop Tikhon, George, Michael, Helga, Rod, think from a purely sober perspective.

            Not knowing if I personally fall under the category of “,” I’ll be so bold to give my opinion anyway, sincerely and as best I can from a purely sober perspective, as follows.
            Because of what has transpired in the OCA, my gut feeling strongly tells me that the future structure of Orthodoxy in america will and can only be, once and for all, decided by all our Mother Churches in the coming Great and Holy Synod, and I will personally take and accept that as the voice of the Holy Spirit speaking to and within our Church.

            • Geo Michalopulos says

              Protodeacon, that used to sadden me, for several reasons. First, I’m not sure that there’s not going to be a G&H Synod; second, I’m fearful of apostasy arising from it (pace St Justin Popovich); third, even if apostasy is avoided, they’ll impose more of the same on us –not anything better than what we have now and with no autocephaly. I freely concede that I may be mostly wrong.

              Having said that, we deserve ashes in our mouth.

              On the other hand, the OCA will completely be a non-entity if and when this synod takes place. Even if it exists as a corporation it will not have any moral standing thanks to the defenestration of Jonah by these incompetent and inept men.

              • George, I highly respect your opinions and analysis.
                My personal opinion, for whatever it may be worth, is that the OCA has put itself now into a position of being a “non-entinty,” or at least a “non-factor,” in eyes of the Mother Churches with regard to the unification of the Orthodox churches here in the US.
                If the Mother Churches put the canonicity of the G&HS and the welfare of Orthodoxy in america first, we will be able hear the voice of the Holy Spirit in their decisions loud and clear. If not, nothing better can be hoped for in the foreseeable future but the purification our Churches from immoral complicity.

          • Archpriest John W. Morris says

            I may be incredibly naive, but I do not really believe that any significant number of Orthodox laity or clergy in the OCA or any other American Orthodox jurisdiction want to turn us into Eastern Rite Episcopalians. I realize that I went to Holy Cross 34 years ago, but we were presented the teachings of the Orthodox Church as truth with the not very well hidden implication that if one does not accept the entire doctrine and moral teachings of the Church that they do not belong in the Orthodox priesthood. I honestly do not know how it works in other jurisdictions, but in the Antiochian Archdiocese it is still that way. In every case of which I know, a priest who is guilty of a moral transgression is suspended. Our bishops do not mince words of try to speak delicately on moral issues. They speak directly and clearly. I may be too trusting, but I cannot believe that it is not the same way in the rest of the American Orthodox Church. There may be a few liberals, but I find it hard to believe that the OCA is infected by enough liberals to make a difference. If the OCA or any other Orthodox jurisdiction systematically begins to question the moral or doctrinal teachings of the Orthodox Church, they will be excluded from American and world Orthodoxy.

            Archpriest John W. Morris

            • Michael Bauman says

              Father John, you are not naive, just sheltered. We are blessed to have such bishops.

              • Archpriest John W. Morris says

                I watched the Episcopal Church self-destruct through the influence of radical feminism and gay and lesbian activism. I will fight to prevent the same thing happening to the Orthodox Church. If someone does not accept the traditional moral teachings of the Orthodox Church they should go someplace else and leave us in peace because we will not change or compromise our moral principles. If, as some on this blog say, there is a lavender mafia in the OCA or any other Orthodox jurisdiction, they should have the decently to leave and form their own “church” or just join the Episcopalians. I am sure that after last week, they will be glad to take anyone except for someone who believes in traditional Christian morality.

                • Geo Michalopulos says

                  Fr John, there is no guarantee because we are Orthodox that this same destruction won’t be visited upon us. I echo Michael’s statement that you in AOCNA are “sheltered.” That may be a very good reason to drop out of the ACOB and pursue no further efforts at unification.

                  Parenthetically, I’m hearing from my contacts in the GOA that they are spitting mad at the OCA for what they did, so much so that there was serious talk of breaking communion with the OCA. The main reason is because this essentially derails the ACOB process according to these sources. I’m not sure I follow the logic on this but I was told that the reasoning goes something like this: even if Jonah was guilty of something, no patriarchate will ever recognize the ouster of a primate in such a manner. This may force the foreign patriarchate’s hands by telling their eparchies to not attend any future meetings. For this reason alone, the OCA bishops will be treated as Banquo’s ghost at best.

                  • Archpriest John W. Morris says

                    There is a guarantee that the same thing will not happen to us that happened to the Episcopal Church. God has protected His Church for heresy since Pentecost. He will not forsake us now, that is if we are faithful to Him. I have no doubt that there are enough faithful Orthodox Christians in the OCA, the Greek, Antiochian and all other Orthodox jurisdictions to prevent the ultimate victory of the Lavender Mafia, which I being the naive and trusting person that I am doubt really has much power, if it really exists. I know that our Antiochian Bisops have no tolerance for any form of sexual immortality among our clergy. I also know that they do not mince any words when condemning homosexuality. Besides, if I came out in support of same sex marriage, the people of my parish would throw me out before the Bishop had time to do it himself. Remember, the Orthodox Church is not a loose confederation like the Anglican Communion where every national church can do its own thing. We are a united Church. If one branch of Orthodoxy goes in the wrong direction, the rest of the Church will step in and bring them back to their senses, or will cast them out of the Church if they persist in any form of heresy, moral or otherwise. Thus, I trust in God to protect His Church from the moral heresies that have taken over mainline American Protestantism.

                    Archpriest John W. Morris

                    • Carl Kraeff says

                      What you are saying is axiomatic. However, it does not fit the purposes of our esteemed host and others on this blog. I had initially thought that the culture wars hype was nothing but a smokescreen to cover +Jonah’s mistakes (to use a term that will not drive these people bonkers). After a while, I had started to think that these folks were really concerned about Culture wars–gay-marriage, abortion, the assault by the Obama administration on religious freedom. However, their reaction to the letter from the Holy Synod has brought me back to my initial position and to conclude that this is nothing but a conspiracy (their terminology, not mine) against the Holy Synod, plotting to overturn the disciplinary actions that were taken against Mr. Kondratick, retired Metropolitan Herman and Bishop Nikolia, and now +Jonah. These people are nascent schismatics and poisonous to the Body of Christ. I am done with them and this blog.

  18. Rostislav says

    Does anyone believe that Fr. Kishkovsky will have anything more than the same type of tainted legacy of a Grabbe or Kondratick. The man is corrupt, an odious sycophant, a marginal persona of limited intelligence and poorly read, a sectarian, a betrayer of Orthodoxy. The only reason he was kept around is because he placates the aristocrats on Long Island who see something nostalgic about obsequious lackeys serving them. An ecclesiastical serf.

  19. M. Stankovich says

    Now emerges the first fruit of the conspiracy theorists, the bête noir of “coercive soviet tricksters,” the validictorian of the Google School of Canon Law, and the Glock-toting “call up the hommies, it’s about to go down” champion: Rostislav the Anonymous, meek and seated upon a (I can never remember – whichever one cannot reproduce – burro/donkey) burro.

    Somehow, one would expect the prophet, “Comfort, comfort my people, says your God. Speak gently to Jerusalem, and cry unto her, that her warfare is accomplished, that her iniquity is pardoned: for she has received of the Lord’s hand double for all her sins.” (Isa. 40:1-2) Alas, there is nothing of the sort. In fact, in only a few short hours, Rostislav the Anonymous has managed what the pride of anonymity’s “usual suspects” could not muster in weeks: vindicate no one, and chastize everyone, except himself and whomever he refers to as we. And not only does he demand you look, he instructs that this is the future of the church. Oh, and that they will be waiting outside the gay bar to snap a picture when your drunken, lying ass tries to sneak out. “Kiss of peace,” hah! And thanks to God he doesn’t know HTML, limiting his damage to “caps lock” only.

    It is certainly good to know this is not over. Take the weekend off and have at it again anon refreshed. Much has been sown, and apparently each new day brings a heartbreaking surprise to reap. And please, don’t say this guy is Fr. Fester feigning a bad accent…

    • Rostislav says

      Yes, we know the Renovationist is not above ad hominem vitriole. You all would love to create a straw man to assault to verbally shout down.

      But for us, the Orthodox, WE base our standard on fidelity to the Holy Scripture, the Holy Fathers, the Holy Canons expressing the Mind of CHRIST in the Holy Tradition.

      The fact you resort to such puerile invective is a poor mask which acts to reinforce that you Renovationists do not and treat this standard with contempt, thereby illustrating your distance from Orthodoxy.

      • M. Stankovich says

        It seems quite obvious to me that you possess everything necessary to pursue a life of holiness and sanctity, in full fidelity to the Scripture, Fathers, Canons, and Traditions. What is your point, after post, after page? You have nothing to learn here, nothing to be told, nothing to discuss, and nothing to be corrected. Rejoice, chief. I would have expected a far happier, peaceful man. You are pounding the “caps lock” to what end: “Do not be bound together with unbelievers; for what partnership have righteousness and lawlessness, or what fellowship has light with darkness?” (2 Cor 6:14) For many, these discussions have carried on for years, and this crisis for months; and you would presume to solve it by a flood of manic posts in 12 hours? And indiscriminately refer to people you don’t even know as “heretics” and outside the Tradition of the Church? Perhaps some aspire to your elevated level of intellect and acquisition of the Patristic “mind,” but aren’t quite there yet, chief? Don’t be so quick to pull up the ladder behind you.

        • Rostislav says

          I think my point is clear, and it is succinctly: ARE YOU UPHOLDING THESE THINGS, WHY AREN’T YOU?! DON’T YOU KNOW THAT YOUR COURSE IS RUINOUS, HETERODOX?! The fact you won’t listen, won’t care, won’t correct yourself and your worldview display your contempt not of me, but of yourself and of Orthodoxy. You spit on CHRIST with your crass Renovationism and you display your total alienation from Orthodoxy.

          My illustrating that is to RIGHT THE SHIP. My advocacy for Metropolitan Jonah is to end the semiliterate, heterodox formations which produce such pathetic worldviews as yours and estrange people from CHRIST in utterly dark, yet hubritically smug, self loathings of the Holy Scripture, the Holy Fathers, the Mind of CHRIST, the Holy Tradition.

          You offer people a cafeteria to create idols of themselves and sanction them calling that satanic nonsense “Orthodoxy”. We offer Orthodoxy to you and everyone and simply say OBEY CHRIST and LIVE RIGHTLY IN HIS CHURCH!

          How hard is that to get?!

          • Peter A. Papoutsis says

            Rostislav are you “Durga Mata?”


            • M. Stankovich says

              Mr. Papoutsis,

              Purchase yourself a cold beverage. in fact, pursuant to Aristotle, purchase the number a moderate man would purchase. Send me the bill.


              • Peter A. Papoutsis says

                Good night Michael. Have a good laugh with the video and enjoy the weekend.

              • Rostislav says

                I think you all should finally leave the gay bars for a change. Haven’t you all drunk enough at the expense of Orthodoxy in the last thirty years? Or is Metropolitan Theodosius buying with our pilfered money again?

                This almost reads like a bad joke. An OCA and a GOA renovationist walk into a bar. The GOA sectarian asks the OCA sectarian, “What’s good on tap?” He hears, “A Harvey Milk”. The GOA renovationist responds, “Stop insulting my Bishop!”

                • Monk James says

                  Rostislav says (July 13, 2012 at 6:12 pm):

                  ‘I think you all should finally leave the gay bars for a change. Haven’t you all drunk enough at the expense of Orthodoxy in the last thirty years? Or is Metropolitan Theodosius buying with our pilfered money again?

                  This almost reads like a bad joke. An OCA and a GOA renovationist walk into a bar. The GOA sectarian asks the OCA sectarian, “What’s good on tap?” He hears, “A Harvey Milk”. The GOA renovationist responds, “Stop insulting my Bishop!”’

                  While I get the sarcasm, this odd post was completely unnecessary, and it might be good for ‘Rostislav’ to offer an apology for it.

                  He and all of us in the OCA are well enough aware of the sexual misconduct and improprieties — both heterosexual and homosexual — of our bishops and other clergy in the recent past.

                  But telling ALL of us to ‘finally leave the gay bars for a change’ is painting with far too broad a brush.

                  While some of our bishops, some still living and some still in office, are guilty of sexual embarrassments constitute an astonishing and shamefully large proportion of our episcopate, there are far fewer priests and deacons and laity who are guilty of the same.

                  We need to clean house.

                  I’ve been wondering about recent OCA intentions to have every candidate for admission to seminary and for ordination to go through some sort of psychological screening.

                  The mark of true leaders is that they would not ask their subordinates to do anything they themselves wouldn’t do

                  So my thought is that the very bishops who insist on such testing ought to be tested themselves to see if they are gay or crazy, and that our OCA ought to relieve of their office those bishops who fail the tests.

                  • Rostislav says

                    First off, it was not addressed to ALL, as I am a member of the OCA and opposed to the gay mafia.

                    Secondly, I owe NO ONE an apology for the post was the result of an exchange with others who decided to engage in this type of invective, something you choose to ignore.

                    Thirdly, I will apologize when Leonova’s FB page is disavowed by Bishop Nikon, Theodosius, Herman are deposed and Stokoe is denied Communion.

                    Fourthly, no one argued that homosexuality characterizes ALL of the hierarchy but, rather, that homosexuality HAS NO PLACE IN THE CLERGY AT ALL and that practicing homosexuals should not be communing in the Orthodox Church.

                    Fifthly, for a monk to grandstand and “demand apologies” on the part of Orthodox Christians to support homosexual behavior and Renovationism reveals how illegitimate and disingenuous his intent is. Physician, heal thyself. If anything, the decorum offered by the Renovationists was answered with Orthodox correction until those people simply sunk to the gutter.

                    Sixthly, I think the MOST OFFENSIVE JOKE is the one Renovationists have made of the administration of the OCA over the last 30 years with their gay mafia, AT THE EXPENSE OF BELIEVERS IN DEFIANCE OF THE HOLY SCRIPTURES, THE HOLY CANONS, EXPRESSING THE MIND OF CHRIST OF RIGHT FAITH, PIETY, Orthodox monasticism.

                    • Rostislav says

                      I do personally believe that standards and testing should be enforced on all levels and in this regard, I and monk James agree. Yes, everyone should be held to the same standard.

                    • quote: “Stokoe is denied Communion”

                      Are you a member of his Parish? If not, then how would you know if this had occurred?

                  • Rostislav says

                    Again, you don’t have to read what I write if you don’t like it. And I will never stop preaching Orthodoxy. Got it?!

                    If you have an issue with WHAT is said, discuss it. If you don’t like what is said and can’t respond to it, change your opinion or ignore it.

                    This discussion is not about you and it isn’t about me. Stop the ad hominem. That is what we are all tired of, people coming here who wish to engage on that level and avoid substance when they can’t or when their heterodox sacred cows are insulted. Enough.

                    The blog has intentionally allowed a free exchange of ideas for all to be heard, for a contest to take place, and for clearer views of these issues to be understood in an Orthodox context. Advocating the silencing of Orthodox opinions or “their preaching” shows that the other side has nothing more to offer and wants to shut down the discussion.

                    So you have no clothes? OK, that is not mine, nor George’s, nor the OCA’s, nor Orthodoxy’s problem. Either you gain some gravitas and get some or take a moment to learn and further your understanding of Orthodoxy or ignore the discussion or go elsewhere.

                    But you don’t evidence anything positive and contribute nothing with personal attacks.

                    • Dr. Strangelove says

                      And I will never stop preaching Orthodoxy

                      He will never stop preaching, that’s for sure.

                      Please, George, mercy!

                    • Rostislav says

                      Then don’t read it if you don’t like it and can’t answer it. Allow those people who want to read what I write to read it and those who don’t to not.

                    • Hey George, I thought there was something familiar about this guy’s voice. “Rostislav” is Michael Zachary, a fanatical Russophile you clashed with on another forum a couple of years ago. Check it out here. He was posting under the name “Jason Bently.” Same obsession with organs in church. Same screaming in ALL CAPS.

                      He is ruining your blog here, George. He’s not going to shut up until he’s run everyone off.

                    • George Michalopulos says

                      anorak, he has been put on moderation.

            • Rostislav says

              Family movies of yours?

    • Jim of Olym says

      Michael, its the mule who can’t mostly reproduce, although there have been a few documented instances.
      Donkeys and burros are a separate species. They mate with mares to produce mules, who although generally infertile, are stronger and usually smarter than both parents. I’m wondering how this is analogous to some of the stuff going on in the Orthodox world!

  20. Announcement: Metropolitan Jonah will be serving this Sunday at St. Mark’s in Bethesda. Starts at 10.

    • Rostislav says

      Eis polla ti despota!

    • Geo Michalopulos says

      This is good news indeed!

    • That’s the best news I’ve heard all week!

    • Pravoslavnie says

      Glory to God for all things! I’m glad the troika didn’t ban Met. Jonah from serving elsewhere in the diocese of Washington, and granted him a “work release”. Perhaps some truth will come out now.

      • Could it be that the synod realizes that they just might have a “tiger by the tail” and are running scared?

    • Thank you for this bit of news. Looks like I’ll be attending St. Mark’s this week …

  21. This is to demonstrate the FACTS of the OCA’s missionary efforts. I HAVE to reveal this, depressing and shameful as it is. I’ve mentioned more than once how Father Nicholas Soraich came into the Diocese of the West, under my omophorion in order to begin an entirely English language parish. At that time, the local Antiochene Priest, a Father Eiler, was vigorously against the idea, and he even wrote to me personally informing me that the Serbs had their Church and the Greeks had theirs, while anyone who wanted English/American services could and should attend his well-established parish, rather than “duplicate’ his efforts!
    I then wrote a letter to Metropolitan Philip and to Bishop Anthony of the; COA’s San Francisco diocese/district. Bishop Anthony informed me by telephone that he already knew of my plans and had nothing against them. Metroplitan Philip, however, wrote me a most enthusiastic letter saying that he thought that one more English mission in Las Vegas was “not enough”. “We need several more such missions!”
    This was and is typical of Metropolitan Philip’s generousity not only of pockets, but of heart and spirit.
    I’m mentioning this in order to highlight how drastically (and even shamefully in my estimation) the OCA has changed. Within the past couple weeks, His Eminence, Kyril, Archbishop of San Francisco and Western States (ROCOR) received a telephone call from an ARCHPRIEST in the OCA, asking him to NOT start a parish to serve Russians in Las Vegas!!!!!!!!!!!! He was told that there are not many Russians in Las Vegas “anyhow”!!!!!
    I don’t think there’s anyone participating in Monomakhos who doesn’t see why the OCA contacted Archbishop Kyril. They are deathly afraid that ROCOR might bless Bishop Nikolai to start a small mission for the Russians, especially the circus people,;who live in Las Vegas, and, in my opinion, are afraid that many AMERICANS in Las Vegas would begin to support ANY mission of Bishop Nikolai’s there.
    I feel that some in today’s OCA leadership are DETERMINED to harm Bishop Nikolai any way they can, not just refuse him any helping hand, even in his sickness just overcome without their help!
    And someone on another thread here falsely and egregiously asserted that Bishop Nikolai had caused spiritual harm!!!
    It’s my conviction, through my acquaintance with and experience of almost all the principals in the campaign that was successfully waged against Vladyka Nikolai, that the engine that moves all those that attacked him is jealousy, simple and virulent, RESENTFUL jealousy. The jealousy of Archbishops and Bishops, of Archpriests is a terrible thing to contemplate.
    I believe it was the architect of “the spin” (the title of this thread) that contacted Archbishop Kyril. That’s why I’m placing this message here.

    • Your Grace,

      That is exactly what the synod is doing to Bp. Nikolai. They have blocked his every move to leave the OCA. And why? What motivation could they have to keep him from serving as an active bishop in another jurisdiction? You mentioned several.

      Some other dark motivations are they would have to admit that he wasn’t good enough for the OCA but he might be just fine for another jurisdiction. In fact, a real “sucess” thus making the poor OCA look even worse. Then there is the fact that the synod has sent letters filled with the same old stuff that was proffered by OCAN to “warn” other Churches about +Nikolai. Now they attempt to poison the well with ROCOR.

      All this does is reveal the underbelly of the synod again and is a clear warning to all those, Jonah included, who think that he will ever get another episcopal assignment inside or outside the OCA. The record of the OCA synod is clear. Retire them and ignore them. Keep them under house arrest until they die. The list is quite long and they lived out their days in obscurity and sometimes in poverty.

      As the credibility of the OCA sinks under the ecclesiastical waves it may be good for other Churches to take another look at these able bishops who have been cast aside They should look at them through another prism, “If they were kicked aside by the OCA synod, they may be very good men.”

    • Fr. Justin Frederick says

      Your Grace,
      Las Vegas is a city of nearly 600,000, with a metropolitan area population of nearly 2,000,000. Correct me if I’m wrong: there currently is an OCA parish (St. Paul’s), a Greek parish (St. John’s), an Antiochian parish (St. Michael’s), and one or two Romanian parishes, a Serbian, and a Bulgarian. If we figure an Orthodox population of one half of one percent, that would be 3,000 in the city proper, and 10,000 in the metropolitan area. If we allow that one priest in a parish can take care of 250 people, the city would require 12 parishes, the metropolitan area 40. There are only 6 or 7 Chalcedonian Orthodox parishes for the region, at least half of which would appear predominantly ethnic in orientation. How could any ordained man justify before Christ his Master the sending of a letter or the making of a phone call asking someone NOT to start another parish in such a place? Do we fulfill Christ’s command to ‘make disciples’ by discouraging the formation of new parishes? Is this how our central church office envisions obedience to Christ? I certainly hope not. It is stuff like this that tempts those of us who are laboring to build up the church, opening missions, bringing new people to Christ, to think poorly of the central church administration. (And how much of their budget is currently directed towards growing the Church?)

      If we care about obeying Christ, should we not welcome every possible new parish start? If nothing else, the establishment of a Russian parish would make more room at St. Paul’s to reach more English-speakers. I hope St. Paul’s has plans to establish a daughter parish too. We’ve got a lot of work to do if we are to carry out Christ’s command–in Las Vegas, and in most parts of our nation.

      • Thanks, Father Justin.
        I’m sorry to add that it was an Archpriest who called Vladyka Kyril trying to prevent a mission in Las Vegas.

      • M. Stankovich says

        It seems to me that while these socio-demographics are accurate, Bp. Nikolai apparently has completely recovered from his recent illness (according to Bp. Tikhon), and he is “available,” they have absolutely no bearing whatsoever on any decision the Holy Synod would make in his regard.

        Because of the dramatic nature of the “history” of his episcopacy, its every detail and angle was captured for all posterity by every major independent news organization in Alaska (and obviously beyond). When this was not sufficient, he determined it “wise” to harass and wrongfully dismiss his accusers (the “whistleblowers”), which led to a public humiliation of the OCA, forced to admit responsibility for his harassment, by the EEOC who validated the claims of accusers. When the Synod, inundated with accusations by clergy and laity alike, asked him to take a leave of absence in order to calm the situation and allow a proper investigation, he was defiant and disobedient, citing the “canons” which forbid their request. In the end, he went so far as to order the diocesan clergy to disobey and defy the Holy Synod, while the press reported “more than 90% of the clergy actively boycotted their bishop and asked for his removal.” And to have the last defiant laugh, Bp. Nikolai summed it all up with a superlative, All-American law suit, claiming “unlawful termination and emotional distress.” And so, again we come full circle:

        “Let all things be done decently and in order,” (1Cor 14:40) because “God is not the author of confusion, but of peace.”(14:33)

        With forethought, with prudence, with insight, with actuarial calculation, and with simple common sense, not one person here can reasonably draw a conclusion other than “conspiracy” and ill-will for suggesting Bp. Nikolai remain retired?

  22. At an All-American Council (AAC), which is a kind of concelebrating assembly of representatives of all the parishes in the dioceses comprising the Local Orthodox Church in America, after Liturgies and other prayers, and during the repetitive singing of prayers to the Holy Spirit, the members of the Holy Synod (a council of all the diocesan bishops) cast private ballots electing a Bishop Jonah (Paffhausen) to be “the first among them (the bishops)”, who holds the title of Metropolitan of All America and Canada and presides over the same Holy Synod in all its deliberations.

    A couple years later, on a Friday evening, an official of the chancery offices of the New York State corporation, The Orthodox Church in America, an Archpriest (one with, thank God, MUCH less power than previous Archpriests in his position;-) ), obtained a signed letter of resignation from the same Metropolitan Jonah (Paffhausen) who had been elected by the Holy Synod at the aforementioned concelebrating assembly.

    There was no subsequent council or concelebrating assembly, and no Liturgies, and no meeting together of even any bishops at all, and no repetitive or even one-time singing of a prayer to the Holy Spirit; however, on telephones (possibly some of them cell phones) the diocesan bishops reached a decision to accept Metropolitan Jonah’s resignation, and they called their phone calls “a meeting of the Holy Synod.”

    I’m mentioning this because I don’t think there’s an app called “Holy Synod Meeting” available from the makers of the iPhone or the Droid, or the Blackberry, whatever. If they are going to continue to meet on smart phones while shopping, or doing the laundry, or having a martini, or munching on buttered popcorn, or angling for bass or muskelunge or watching a game or talent show, there obviously should be such an app!

    Perhaps the app will provide all the necessities of a conference call on wi-fi, so that at least a Molieben could be sung, as well as opening remarks by someone (volunteering?)to preside, a means of conveying secret votes to ONE smart phone at the site of which votes could be tallied, then the singing of the hymn to the Theotokos, and a dismissal by the volunteer. I’m a little stuck on how to make the Book of the Holy Gospels present “in the midst of the session,” since it is Christ Who really presides over ******meetings***** of the Holy Synod

    And perhaps the Statute of the OCA should be adjusted to define meetings as Telecons. Thus, the Holy Synod of The Orthodox Church in America could even become a true permanently sitting synod, ‘meeting’ once or twice or more each day!

    Now that the Synod, with or without the app, can ‘meet’ on cellphones, there should be no delays at all in the acts of the Holy Synod!

    The troparion in tone six could be edited, as well, ‘The Grace of the Holy Spirit; has assembled us today; on our telephones!; Having taken up Thy Cross we cry: Hosanna in the Highest, blessed is He that cometh in the name of the Lord.”