Fr. Peter Preble: Clerical Celibacy

preble-2With the resignation of Pope Benedict earlier this month, traditional media and social media have been a buzz with thoughts about a reformer Pope who will change the Church.  Well, I don’t think the change people want will happen regardless of who is elected the next Pope of Rome.  However, as with the media, they seem continually to grasp the idea of clerical celibacy wrong.

Let’s start with some definitions:

Celibacy is defined as the state of being unmarried and sexually abstinent.

Chastity has to do with our concept of sexual relations.  All of humanity is called to chastity.  If we live in an unmarried state, then we are to remain chaste, i.e. not having sexual relations, and if we are married we are to remain chaste i.e. only having sexual relationships with the one we are married to.  Any deviation from this, the Church would say, is sinful behavior.

With that said I need to further clarify another misconception, the Orthodox Church does not allow priests to marry.  Yes, the Orthodox Church has optional celibacy for her clergy, but a man needs to be married prior to his ordination to deacon.  Once a man is ordained deacon he cannot marry.  If a deacon or a priest who is married finds himself a widower, he cannot remarry.

It is critical of us to use the correct terms when speaking of this issue so as not to confuse people about the issue.

There also seems to be a misconception amongst the clergy, and those who want to change the way the Church operates, that celibacy is related to sexual abuse.  From a clinical standpoint, sexual abuse has very little to do with sex and a lot to do with control.  Let me state right up front that I believe any deacon, priest, or bishop who is found guilty by either civil or canonical court of any sexual misconduct, be it sexual relations or sexual harassment should never be allowed to serve in public ministry again.  They should be stripped of their clerical state and returned to that of a layman.  They have abused their trust placed on them at their ordination, and although we need to forgive them, they should never again serve or be allowed to call themselves, deacon, priest, or bishop.

Just a word about those who would try and cover up such actions.  I believe that anyone who has knowledge of such behavior, unless heard in sacramental confession, has a duty to report such actions to appropriate authorities.  If anyone in the clerical state, deacon, priest, or bishop tries to cover up such actions they too should be removed from the clerical state permanently!  In my mind,  the cover up victimizes people all over again and victimizes the whole church.  They have lost their moral authority and therefore should never serve in public ministry again.  This may sound harsh, but we clergy are held to a high standard.

There is very little evidence that a celibate man or woman is more likely to abuse.  The majority of reported cases of sexual abuse usually involve a parent or another family member who may or may not be married.  So let’s just stop talking about that.

Clerical celibacy is a sacred gift, given to the man or woman called to this type of ministry, and it is not easy.  We have to rededicate ourselves to this calling each and every day.  The problem is not with those of us who have chosen to live this way; the problem is with society’s overactive libido.  Our society is obsessed with sex!  You cannot turn on television and watch a program or a movie without some aspect of sex being thrown in your face.  I wrote about this after the super bowl and the sexualization of America and the degrading of women who are reduced to objects by these actions.  Although I did not watch the Academy Awards, I understand the same type of behavior was witnessed there on the part of the host.  Society wants to put their lack of morality on to the church, and that is not the way it works.

When a man or a woman, chooses to live the celibate life they are not just vowing to give up sex they vow to give up the possibility of a family.  We will grow old without having our own children and to see them grow.  However, we freely do this so we can take on the Church as our family.  I have children, I have wonderful children, they are my parishioners, and I get the joy of watching them grow into mature Christians.  I celebrate their joys, and I celebrate their hardships.  I baptize them, and I bury them.  I consider myself extremely fortunate to have been called to this ministry that I now serve in.

Is it difficult, sure it is, but so is the life of a Christian.  Is it countercultural, sure it is, but so is being a Christian.  We, all of us are called to live lives vastly different from what the world wants us to.  We are all of us, called to a certain level of asceticism in our lives and to live lives that Christ wants us to live in conformity with His church and His Commandments.

In a 2007 interview, then Abbot Jonah of the St. John of Shanghai Monastery in California had this to say about our lives as Christians.  He is speaking about how we are to be different and live our lives transformed as Christians:

It’s this renunciation of the world which is actually the fundamental key to being a Christian that every Christian has to embrace in one form or another. There’s no Christianity without asceticism. There is no Christianity without self-denial and taking up the cross. Otherwise, you have just a parody of Christianity.

We must rededicate ourselves daily to live lives that rise above the muck and mire of this world.  We need to turn toward the Son and away from the darkness that inhabits this world we live in and make the promise to live as Christ wants us to live.


  1. George Michalopulos says

    Thank you all for your patience.

    Now let’s get back to business. Fr Peter’s essay is wonderful in its moral clarity. Quick! Somebody make this man a bishop!

    • I fear he’s too good a man to subject to the OCA HS. Shame on anyone who would do that to him. And therein lies the rub.

    • Nice, no BS. When was the last time we saw any of that!

    • lexcaritas says

      Well said, Fr. Peter. Thank you and may your priesthood continue to be blessed.

      lex caritas

    • Daniel E. Fall says

      I didn’t write the essay or ask for it; I just find it a little odd that Fr. Preble is defending something noone asked him to defend; something that is at least partially indefensible. This is a classic conservative notion to maintain the status quo bar none, so as long as he brings it up, I’ll render my opinion developed over the last 30 years of abuse stories.

      The church, by failing to recognize the lethal cocktail of required celibacy and the power position of the priest in the church; failed.

      I don’t mean the Orthodox Church per se, mainly the Catholic church-the essay twists both as well.

      So far, the purported solution is the church will finally enforce secular law. Let me show the score here.

      Secular society 1
      St. Paul 0

      Unfortunately, Fr. Preble’s essay, while full of cogent points, does not provide one single solution to the lethal cocktail for unmarried priests. And the problem doesn’t go away with an essay! The Catholic Church has been a horrible testimony to good social behavior, and here is a quote from the essay.

      “Society wants to put their lack of morality on to the church, and that is not the way it works.” That is a real head shaker in another context.

      This statement, when applied to the Catholic abuse scandals, is completely false. Here is the statement revised to reflect reality.

      Society put moral code and tort law on to the church, and the church finally, after billions in tort losses, submitted.

      Sorry, Fr. Preble, I think your microscopic view which might be very special to you, misses the bigger picture. I do wish you well, but I truly struggled to understand your points and to agree with the general content. And I did a head shake when I read the line holding the church in high regard versus society; at least on this subject…


  2. George,

    I agree. Fr Peter has much to offer the Church. It is very interesting how the OCA is not interested in him. His name has been floated for the DOS, he has been contacted by their search committee but his outspoken defense of rights of the unborn, traditional values regarding same-sex “marriage” the scourge of gay clergy in the Church and his less than enthusiastic stance on ecumenism are not positions the OCA Synod are interested in having in one of its club. Of course the OCA’s stance and his on the unborn are consistent.

    However, the fact that he is outspoken and would not be a “go along to get alone” bishop I think will keep him safe from ever being an OCA bishop. The Romanian Patriarchate would be wise to hold on to him for themselves. I could envision him being an able and competent bishop working with Archbishop Nicolae of the Rom. Pat. here in the USA.

    I thank you for picking up some of his opinions and posting them here. His type of voice is needed here to counter the ” Laodicean OCA.”

  3. Can someone remind me again why we need religion when spirituality is right at our fingertips? I’m very spiritual and have no need to go to church, to tithe, to kiss rings, to worry if my priest is molesting anyone, or have a man come between me and God.

    Religion is made by man, and thus always subject to the abuses of men. Tikhon Fitzgerald is one good example, among so many.

    I really do not know why Church is so necessary.

    • Clawdia Chauchat says

      Karen C.

      The Angels are all spiritual. There are two kinds: heavenly and fallen. The fallen embrace evil. God created man and woman also with a soul. It is the soul that requires the attention and discipline to help us move towards the good. It is the soul that suffers when we do the wrong thing or fall short of ihe mark. It is the Church that providesthe tools to help us not just spirituality. It is through the Church that we find the support . Sure one can go directly to God, but it takes the church, its clergy, and faithful to give us the understanding.


      • Bishop Tikhon Fitzgerald says

        Clawdia Chauchat! Please don’t slam the door!

        • Bishop Tikhon Fitzgerald says

          At least four people turning their thumbs down here are patently ignorant of Thomas Mann’s great novel, “Der Zauberberg,” in which Clawdia Chauchat is a human leit motif of Mann’s, playing the part of Russia as an Asiatic mystery, vandalizing the order and custom of the German middle class, which she does most often and annoyingly by flamboyantly slamming the doors to and from any public rooms at Davos. Hans Castorp is repelled and attracted by her, as an irrational and even Dionysian attack on the Will.
          I repeat, the anonymous and pseudonymous instances here on Monomakhos tell a lie: they claim they do not use their names because of their fear of and the danger of retaliation. A total Whopper! They are afraid of……..EMBARRASSMENT!

          • Daniel E Fall says

            yup-embarassed to speak in such vile manner publicly and then go to church on Sunday

          • Carl Kraeff says

            Imagine the reaction of their flock and fellow priests is their true identity were known!

    • Michael Bauman says

      Why we need religion and it depends on what you think religion is:

      You are not God, nor is any other person God. Neither is God an amorphous gas.

      Jesus Christ is God Incarnate. He is not just ‘spiritual’ whatever that means. He has a human body and human nature no longer subject to corruption and He calls us to share in that Body, in and through the Church. That is how we acquire His Life through the Holy Spirit and become reconciled to our Father.

      Spiritual can mean anything at all or nothing–usually nothing. At the very best such ‘spirituality’ is subject to the wandering viscisitudes of our fallen and diseased imaginations. At worst it is nothing more than narrcisistic nihlism. Hilter was very ‘spiritual’. So was Jim Jones.

      The Orthodox Church is about communion with God which necessarily entails community. All communities need organization. All organization is hierarchical or it is anarchy (no organization). Even in a community ruled entirely by love, there is a hiearchy of wisdom, skill and capacity and a hierarchy of values concerning what is virtuous behavior and what is not.

      Human beings are relational beings — we need stable, ordered relationships with one another in order to understand ourselves and God. The standard of belief and practice is what a healthy church articulates and passes down to its members both pedagogically and experentially just as the Apostles did. Such things are absolutely essential for spiritual formation and healing. Accountability is required. Otherwise most people remain nothing but jello.

      God calls us to community as a people just as He did Abram (Gen 15). The references to such community in the Bible and the Fathers of the Church is legion. God even calls us to worship Him in a particular manner as shown in Isaiah 6 and Rev 5 & 6. Thus our name Orthodox (right worship, right praise).

      If you wish for more complete and more sophisticated explanations and explorations of the topic please see the blog “Glory To God for All Things”

      Now, if you consider religion as just a conglomeration of made up rules capriciously applied in order to exercise power and control, well, I’ll agree with you there. The temptation to power is everywhere even amongst anarchists. While such stuff certainly does occur in the Church and will always occur in the Church, it is not the Church.

      The job of the Church (to quote Fr. Steven Freeman) is not to make bad men good, but to make dead men alive.

    • Patrick Henry Reardon says

      Karen asks, “Can someone remind me again why we need religion when spirituality is right at our fingertips?”

      Well, Karen, who’s “we”?

      Maybe, dear, just speak for yourself.

      I don’t give a fig about “spirituality,” but I would not spiritually survive 5 minutes outside the Church.

      • That’s the first thing you’ve written in quite a while that I’ve agreed with, Fr Pat.

    • M. Stankovich says

      Fr. Ioannes,

      Fr. Alexander Schmemann often told stories of his “journey” through American “religion” to help formulate his Two “Nos” and One “Yes”. In one particular story, I believe he specifically demonstrated how frequently the life of the believer and the life of the Church are blurred to the point of farce: he described sitting on the bus in midtown Manhattan in 1955, reading the NY Times, casually looking up to “be confronted with the the arrival of Admiral Perry.” As it turned out, he witnessed a “vested” Knight of Columbus en route to one ceremony or another. While there is no suggestion of anything “untoward” or wrong with what can only be described as “affectations” of the Christian life (“traditions”), his “no” to religion was to about the misinterpretation of the “aroma” for the “fullness.” And it seems to me quite obvious that the immediate satisfaction derived from the “affectation” (e.g. assembling the contents of the basket to be blessed on Pascha) is significantly less challenging than enduring the podvig (enduring the “course of the Fast”).

      Continuing on, as Karen’s court-appointed attorney, I would like to offer the final words of the Proto-Martyr Stephen, and have highlighted a phrase for your consideration:

      Our fathers had the tabernacle of witness in the wilderness, as he had appointed, speaking to Moses, that he should make it according to the fashion that he had seen. Which also our fathers that came after brought in with Jesus into the possession of the Gentiles, whom God drove out before the face of our fathers, to the days of David; Who found favor before God, and desired to find a tabernacle for the God of Jacob. But Solomon built him an house.

      However, the most High dwells not in temples made with hands

      as said the prophet, “Heaven is my throne, and earth is my footstool: what house will you build me? said the Lord: or what is the place of my rest? Has not my hand made all these things?” Acts 7:44-49

      I would seem that Stephen is saying, “I don’t need no Temple,” or something like that… Seems to support the argument, no?

      A note to Mr. Bauman’s comment: “Neither is God an amorphous gas,” I laugh to this day at the kooky folks from NYC who diligently made their way to SVS when Frs. Schmemann & Meyendorff taught an evening course. One woman was lecturing Fr. John regarding his “inclusive language” in referencing the Theotokos as “mother,” “the glory of mothers,” describing her body as a “throne,” and her “womb more spacious than the heavens.” After a bit of monologue – and he was not one for more than “much” – Fr. John ironically, but politely asked, “So how would you have me reference her? As an ‘elliptical sphere?'”

      • Michael Bauman says

        Michael S: Certainly it is easy to go overboard on the externals, but it seemed that Karen was going to the next level and questioning the need for an ordered community of worship which the Apostles did institute.

        What is the Greek word for dwell in this passage? Does it have conotations of staying, being enclosed by, or one place as being ‘it’ such as the Temple in Jerusalem?

        • M. Stankovich says

          Mr. Bauman,

          The verb used in this case is κατοικέω which strongly implies a “permanence,” “intransience.” and “predictability” of presence cf. Mt. 23:21 “And whosoever shall swear by the temple, swear by it, and by Him that dwells in it [τῷ κατοικοῦντι αὐτόν].

          • Michael Bauman says

            Thank you. That is what I inferred. God is not limited to one place. That doesn’t mean He doesn’t visit.

      • Nothing like a paradoxical Einsteinian notion to bring the discussion to a rapid close.



        One woman was lecturing Fr. John re: the Theotokos as “mother,” “the glory of mothers,” describing her body as a “throne,” and her “womb more spacious than the heavens.” After a bit of monologue… Fr. John politely asked, “So how would you have me reference her? As an ‘elliptical sphere?’”

    • Ladder of Divine Ascent says

      “Can someone remind me again why we need religion when spirituality is right at our fingertips? I’m very spiritual”

      Yes, everyone has spirituality at their finfertips, and I notice even the atheists spiritualize their atheism and pursuits. So for some being spiritual means fighting for the right of women to slice open and vacuum out the brains of their unborn babies, for others it is the fight to protect the babies from being murdered. Obviously, someone has to be right, and someone has to be wrong, very wrong, in fact not just wrong but evil (either denying control of a person’s own body, or by defending and/or engaging in legalized murder). There is only one Truth and all the other “truths” are just lies, and the Church is shared experience and transmission of Truth (capital T) through the ages. But, just as there is just one Truth, there is just one undivided Church with grace in its mysteries, and that is “Eastern” Orthodoxy (not Rome, not the Copts, etc), and any who claim otherwise (be they even Patriarch of Constantinople) show they have fallen from “Truth” to a mere relativistic “truth.”

      • You have a point.

        “Spirituality” is no guarantee of anything. There is of course, the Holy Spirit in Whom there is no darkness or shadow of turning. There are virtuous & powerful angelic spirits. There is created the human spirit. And there are the fallen & dark spirits who held an allegiance to Lucifer, perhaps the highest of all created spirits.

        What is needed in these days of all-encompassing “spirituality”, I think, is discernment of which spirits are actively trying to influence us.


      • Michael Bauman says

        Ladder: there is only one Truth, Jesus Christ and Him crucified. He pours out that truth to all of creation to be sure, just as He poured out his blood on the Cross.

        The Church is the Body/Chalice that receives that blood through the Holy Spirit for the beneift of all creation. I do not think it possible for any chalice to contain all that is given–it overflows if we don’t take it to others.

        While no one else has the fullness of what we have, neither are they all totally bereft (some are).

        To deny the existence of truth/Truth in others is a triumphalism that is quite dangerous, IMO.

        Certainly we should be discerning, but when truth meets truth ought we not to embrace it?

        If we can embrace the truth as a means to create a stronger witness to evil, is that not a good thing?

        Might not such work together help to create an environment where, by God’s grace and mercy, recognition of the truth is expanded and a dedication in more hearts to live truthfully created?

    • Religion is to spirituality as coffee is to cup.

      If you sense a conflict between religion and spirituality, you may not be in the right Church.

  4. Ivan Vasiliev says

    Kudos, Father Peter, for giving us a very basic refresher course of Orthodox Morality 101!
    The only exception I would make is your contention that we should depose any priest found guilty by a civil court. In a time of increasing social and political hostility against the churches and against the clergy in particular, I think it would be remiss to rely on their judgments alone. We had far too many bitter experiences of secular “justice” in Russia during the Soviet period. Any civil court judgment against a priest MUST be confirmed by an ecclesiastical court judgment. On the other hand, even if a civil court were to find a man innocent or acquit him and an ecclesiastical court were to find him guilty he MUST be deposed. We are not under Caesar’s jurisdiction. Aside from this, it is good to have the most basic church teaching confirmed in such a clear, simple, and straightforward manner.

    As for your “axios”, George, as worthy as Father Peter may be of an episcopal miter, it is a bit sad that our Church has come to the state where we are ready to bestow it for so little. And Perhaps Father Peter lives in absolute dread of such a thing! Look at what happened to the poor man he quoted at the end of his article. Father Peter may do far better to tend his small (or large, I’m not sure of the size of his congregation never having had the pleasure of visiting the town where he serves) New England flock than to be thrown into the lion’s den of the episcopacy.

  5. OnceAThief... says

    DEJA VU:
    Bob Kondratick, the “parish administrator” of the OCA parish in Venice FL, is accused of embezzling more than $50,000 –intended to help struggling parishioners, the Sarasota County Sheriff’s Office reported.

    Robert Kondratick, 67, of the 11700 block of Tempest Harbor Loop in Venice, was arrested Wednesday, accused of embezzling church funds intended to help people who have fallen on hard times.

    In January, church council members contacted the sheriff’s office after discovering funds had been misused over a six-month period from June to December 2012. Kondratick, then employed as administrator of the Holy Spirit Orthodox Church, 700 Shamrock Blvd., was fired by church officials.

    Church leaders told the sheriff’s office that Kondratick requested signed blank checks to pay what he claimed were “church expenses.” But an investigation revealed he cashed 28 checks made out to “cash” or to himself — totaling $53,950.

    When questioned about the checks, “Kondratick would rarely have an explanation” and provided no receipts, the police report said. Confronted by the church council about the missing funds, Kondratick reportedly responded, “What do you want to do? Work it off?”

    The report added that Kondratick was paid a salary of $3,673 monthly and also given $811.41 per month for medical insurance and automobile reimbursement.

    Detectives obtained an arrest warrant for Kondratick, who turned himself in to face one felony count of grand theft.

    Barbara Demis, church council warden, learned of the arrest Wednesday afternoon.

    “We have a church with a lot of faith; we’ll get through this,” she said. “As time goes by, there might be more to say, but not today. I will say that this warns people that things like this can happen and that when they do, transparency is a good thing.”

    It appears that this is not the first time Kondratick has been accused of stealing from a church, the police report.

    In 2007, the Orthodox Church of America in Syosset, N.Y.,relieved Kondratick of his duties as priest following an investigation into financial misconduct. No criminal charges were filed, but the police report said Kondratick was tried by church leaders in a “Spiritual Court,” after which he was removed as a priest.

    The Holy Spirit Orthodox Church of Venice was formed in 1984. The church moved into its parish at 700 Shamrock Blvd. in 1991.

    The church funds were “intended to help people who have fallen on hard times.”

    Kondratick’s son was charged with a similar crime in 2011.

    • Judge Not........ says

      1 Judge not, that ye be not judged.
      2 For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again.
      3 And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother’s eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye?
      4 Or how wilt thou say to thy brother, Let me pull out the mote out of thine eye; and, behold, a beam is in thine own eye?
      5 Thou hypocrite, first cast out the beam out of thine own eye; and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brother’s eye.
      6 ¶ Give not that which is holy unto the dogs, neither cast ye your pearls before swine, lest they trample them under their feet, and turn again and rend you.

      • Judge Not........ says

        A man has been accused, my plea is don’t fall into the trap of others who jump to the conclusion that the accused is there guilty. And if we were looking into our own hearts FIRST, like the Publican we would be less like the Pharisee. The words of our Lord are true and most wise. And yes, there are those who are judging and condemning and worse enjoying it. I pray you are not one of those as I pray I am not quick to judge and slow to forgive.

        • Daniel E Fall says

          How about we jump into the trap of he should have never been allowed to work for an OCA church?

          Or the trap of the gay guys were out to get him?

          At some point; reality hits us in the face.

          But your anonymity preserves your foolishness.

          • Jane Rachel says


            I have been over this again and again in my mind. Bear with me as I first bring up, one more time, my former bishop and your former bishop in a train of thought that eventually applies to your comment. I am still reeling from all this:

            1) Question One: Was the former, now-reposed bishop of the diocese of the Midwest gay and an alcoholic? True or false?

            Certainly, we have reason to wonder if this is true, if not believe it, if not know it. I don’t know it, I don’t want it to be true, but I do believe it could be true. Another thing that really got to me was when Fr. Martin said that he was talking to Bishop Job about why Metropolitan Herman “had to go” and Bishop Job answered, “Because he was in the wrong place at the wrong time,” or something to that effect. Also, that he said the same thing to his priests in the meeting in Chicago, when they signed the letter fully supporting him? What kind of moral leader says something like that? Not one I can think of.

            2) Mark Stokoe, also gay? True. He was a major leader in the OCA. I remember reading from him that Bishop Job did not “bless” the ocanews web site, and I thought, “Are you kidding me? He did not give his blessing? Why not? How can he be so involved and not give his blessing?” I thought that was really strange.

            3) Now I come to find out that many of the priests of the Midwest knew for years that their bishop (the one who is now reposed, NOT Bishop Matthias) was gay and an alcoholic, and leading two lives, and I believe this could very well be true. True or false?

            4) Those same priests told their parishioners that their bishop was wonderful in every way.

            5) Allegations have been made about that bishop concerning children.

            6) The bishop went every year to children’s camp.

            7) The money given by ADM was put into a discretionary fund. You may not like it that there was not public accounting for what happened to it, but it was discretionary.

            8) The first SIC report was headed by Bishop Job.

            9) The second SIC report was headed by Bishop Benjamin, who let a man die in his basement in an alcoholic stupor, and I’m tired of mentioning all the other things about that bishop. He may or may not be gay. Is he? Why is he still a bishop?

            10) The former Chancellor, Father Kondratick, may NOT be guilty of the charges both in New York and in Florida. We have read there were civil proceedings in New York, that all the documents and evidence given in the SIC report were re-examined, and that some of the SIC witnesses, under deposition in civil court, admitted they were lying in the SIC report and changed their testimony. Fr. Kondratick was cleared. The only money he ever got was in repayment for a loan. I believe it’s possible there can be alternative explanations and answers to all the questions about what happened to all the money he is accused of stealing or misappropriating or “squandering.” As long as there is doubt, I don’t see how condemning is wise.

            11) His defrocking was not canonical or done in order.

            12) So much of this saga makes no sense. It doesn’t work out logically. You live in Minnesota and you must know who Tom Petters is, right? He was found guilty of embezzling and sentenced to prison. Now, I’m only bringing up that fraud and fake because that story and saga makes sense when you look at it in part or in the whole. There are just too many pieces out of place for me to pass judgment against Father Kondratick. I have to use “Father” because I know his defrocking was not done in a proper way.

            13) I wish we knew the truth for certain. But there are some things we do know for certain, and those things are enough to keep me from passing judgment one way or the other.

            • Daniel Fall says

              Oh, for goodness sakes. Truth? You need the truth? You can’t handle the truth. I don’t know if I have ever been more annoyed at another human in a blogpost. I’ll do my best to be kind.

              Let me paint a picture for you. Let’s say this picture cost a half million to paint by oh, I don’t know an artist with a pen name of PrimRose, but just to protect my hiney; the story is hypothetical. As a caveat, the work by the artist, by the way, does not focus on chastity.

              A person who is supposed to be chaste; we’ll call him MT, is discovered as not by his employee; we’ll call him Lucy. MT might even be gay. Lucy takes advantage of the situation by what we’ll call loose accounting. Then, MT retires and a new employer takes over; we’ll call him MH, and he too, may not be chaste or even gay, so Lucy continues to take advantage and eventually it gets out of control. And other members of the employer; we’ll call them HS, might also be not chaste or gay, so they as well are subjected to outing by Lucy, so Lucy believes he can do whatever he pleases and he does, even terminating people that are trying to be honest; we’ll call him I don’t know, Eric.

              Eventually, a gay guy, we’ll call him, I dunno, how about Mikey, who has a tiny axe to grind finds out about this power struggle of the man taking advantage of the potentially sordid details of the personal lives of the bishops (let’s say gay guys for fun) and Mikey says enough and starts writing publicly about it; leaving out the details about the gay guys because two wrongs don’t make a right !!!!! I mean loose accounting is wrong and it isn’t right just because the bishops might be wrong, too. It is actually far worse to believe you are right to do something wrong because you know something damaging about someone else.

              And for some reason, some folks in Timbuktu are too stupid to realize realities and instead they blame the gay guys, or don’t get the picture at all and hire Lucy to handle money. And lo and behold, Lucy jumps on opportunity again!

              Now, this is a hypothetical story because I’d hate for Lucy to take advantage of my story and be opportunistic and suggest it has a reflection on him.

              You can pass judgement on me if you need to, but the guy you refer to in your essay ain’t a Father if I need to worry about opportunism. And if you believe my painting doesn’t make sense; well, believe what you need to…

              As for ADM, who cares? The 911 fund wasn’t discretionary and it was gone without a receipt to show for, but it was just one of a few funds missing Jane.

              A lot of people liked Lucy, but failed to recognize the leverage problem.



              • George Michalopulos says

                Interesting sequence of events there Dan. According to your scenario, what kept it going afloat was the continued homosexuality of the various characters involved. Does this not give further evidence that St Paul was right regarding the disqualification of sodomites from the priesthood?

                • Not so fast…If homosexuality isn’t present in Timbuktu, you tell me George what kept “it” going.

              • Bishop Tikhon Fitzgerald says

                I’m not sure what “BT?” means at the end of Daniel Fall’s message. I did not comprehend that message, no, not in toto, and not in its obscure and complicated analogy about a painter of a masterpiece. I suspect that Daniel Fall wanted to compare ever-MEMORABLE Archbishop Job’s term of office in the Midwest diocese of the OCA to a masterpiece? Past that, Daniel’s message is way too obscure for my addled old brains.
                Daniel informs us that “Jane Rachel’s” candid statement enrages him. OK. Daniel is the expert on his own feelings and there’s no reason to challenge him on that. But I was unable to deduce from the rest of his message what his justification for his rage is or what it was that set him off in “JaneRachel’s’ message.
                But then, I’m often dense. I still can’t figure out any honorable or good reason why the United States of America invaded two countries on the other side of the world, Iraq and Afghanistan. Neither country harmed us or threatened our security or even trade. If we follow AIPAC’s chosen course for us and invade Iran (which, may dear God forbid), I wouldn’t know any honorable or good reason for that. ‘JaneRachel’s” message, impertect as it may be, I DO understand. The flaws in her message seem to ME to be piddling compared to some other messages, even truly signed ones, that are anti-Christian.

                • Yes, okay Bishop Tikhon, I wanted to get your two cents worth and I egged you on a bit. I suppose it could have been done more politely.

                  As for the rage, consider a church that removes a priest for what is essentially embezzlement, but then allows him an administrative role.


                  • Jane Rachel says


                    You would have thought the ADM money was a big deal back in the day.Now, it’s “Who cares?”? It was used as ammunition lobbed into the enemy camp and it did a lot of damage. People were beside themselves with rage over that.

                    I have another question: Why do you want to get Bishop Tikhon’s two cents’ worth? He says Fr. Kondratick is innocent, etc….. So, is he lying? Is he lying about Archbishop Job, too? Why would you want to talk to a liar? I’m not trying to trap you. Just asking.

                    Your Grace, I was born with the name “Jane” so if you use that without the Rachel, there’s no need to put quotation marks around “Jane Rachel.” I’m still too chicken to use my complete real name.

                  • Lola J. Lee Beno says

                    This is what I just don’t get . . . why put a guy who was in the midst of a financial scandal in another position where money passed through his hands on a regular basis? That’s like putting someone who may or may not be an alcoholic in charge as the manager of a liquor store.

            • nit picking says


              Thanks for putting it in perspective.

            • Dear Jane,

              1) False. Please do not lump Archbishop JOB in with the Kondratick embezzlement scandal. He was never a homosexual. He was the only bishop who stood up to Bob, and demanded an answer to the question, “Are the allegations true or false?”

              You make serious charges, and against a man who is no longer able to defend himself. What evidence do you have for ruining his character?

              You assume the worst of a third-hand comment His Eminence made about Metropolitan HERMAN, out of context, outside of other things he said about +Herman, and again, when he cannot explain himself. This is not just unfair; it is slander.

              Mark Stokoe considers himself “gay.” This was known by many (including myself, and hence my criticism of his site ignoring the homosexual aspect of the Kondratick scandal), but his “orientation” became public knowledge when he listed his lover as his mother’s son-in-law. But again, you assume the negative about Archbishop JOB: Yes, +Job maintained autonomy from the site (he technically didn’t bless the site, and he didn’t have anything to do with its reporting). And, he criticized the site’s unbridled comments –especially in the blog section. But he also strongly and publicly (in clergy convocations) commended the site for doing a good service for the Church in a key time of turmoil. I agree, as did most of his clergy at the time. I may have criticisms of ocanews, particularly after Mark began attacking Metropolitan JONAH, but it is true, I think, to say that without Archbishop JOB, and without ocanews, the Kondratick embezzlement scandal would never have been even investigated.

              3) False.

              4) I don’t know of any priest who tells their parishioners that his bishop is “wonderful in every way,” but Archbishop JOB was loved, and rightly so, as a good and honest bishop. He was straightforward and open with his clergy, and allowed us to speak our minds openly, especially in our clegy convocations. We appreciated that, as well as the fact that generally speaking, he was a reasonable man, and his primary desire was the good of the Church.

              5) Again, you bring up unspecified “allegations,” rather shamelessly –either explain yourself or repent of slander.

              6) see #5.

              7) Read the SIC report. Bob Kondratick misused millions, is on tape explaining his illegal diversion of major funds for orphans and even admitted to taking hundreds of thousands for his own personal use (and that was only what could be found of receipts after he shreaded nearly everything). He was rightly charged, rightly investigated, rightly given a spiritual court, and rightly deposed. I like Bob, too, but these are investigated and established facts by both documents and the testimony of eyewitnesses –in some cases (including Bob’s embezzlement), the testimony of the accused themselves (such as +Herman and +Theodosius misbehavior and Bob’s use of it against them). His subsequent behavior in Venice only shows the result of willful ignorance like yours, which the members of the Venice parish fell into. To assume the best of someone is a good thing, but when there is clear and overwhelming evidence to the contrary –millions of dollars worth–, I call it intentional negligence.

              8) see #7.

              9) I, too, was very disappointed (and concerned!) when it was announced that Bishop Benjamin would head the second phase of the SIC report. However, I know others on the investigation, and so at the time I waited (and waited and waited, like we all were!) for the results before prejudging. And the results were not whitewashed at all –again, read the report. The results were well documented and convincing. The only sense of cover up I got was the fact that aspects of the investigation were not followed up (such as the Manhattan Marriot parties). In my opinion, the SIC report itself was a success (and a very necessary one at the time of our greatest upheaval); what was unsuccessful was the lack of following the recommendations of the SIC report, and the lack of disciplinary follow up for those found guilty of harming the Church. But again: read the SIC report!

              The rest seems to me to be answered above. Really, I hold nothing against you (nor against Bob), but when he answers his parish council with, “What do you want to do about it (my embezzling tens of thousands of dollars in checks made out to myself and “cash”) — work it off?” When he says that, how do you figure he’s innocent?

              • Number 7 is the part that gets me angry.

                • Bishop Tikhon Fitzgerald says

                  Part 7 is mostly untrue, Daniel. Obviously, if “DearJane” believed it, he or she would identify himself or herself. Have you, Daniel, seen and read the letter of Dwayne Andreas, chairman emeritus of Archer Daniel Midlands, on ADM stationery, to Metropolitan Theodosius, June 28, 1999, informing him he is to use the funds he gave him at his own discretion entirely and without reference to any other OCA entity? I have a copy of it, since Metropolitan Theodosius distributed it to all the members of the Holy Synod back then, and I kept my copy. I asked a Priest why the SIC had not considered or entered into evidence that letter. I was told: The Committee considered it was invalid because it was “ex post facto”!!!! (it’s my understanding that all DEPOSITIONS, whether oral or written, are ‘ex post facto.” Perhaps one of the attorney’s posting here will be kind enough to comment on that, since I don’t have legal credentials.
                  “You should be able to help whomever you wish without the encumbrances of any bureaucracy.” “We understand that portions of these donated funds are needed to defray the cost of various and sundry expenses.”
                  “The ADM Foundation and the Andreas Foundation do not require Your Beatitude to keep an accounting of the use of the proceeds of these donations for two reasons; primarily to eliminate any limitations on your personal discretion; and secondly to maintain confidentiality and secure anonymity for those persons or entities you deem worthy of your gracious assistance.”
                  Those are but a couple highlights of a two-page, single-spaced letter upon which the Holy Synod based its determination the these funds were discretionary AND NOT DESIGNATED.
                  Since the person throwing mud at Protopresbyter Rodion S. Kondratick from concealment and disguise, and swallowing whole the extremely problematic and flawed SIC report complains about shredded documents not being identified…. What about the documents (and documentation) that were shredded as soon as Metropolitan Herman got the Protopresbyter rushed out of the Chancery?

              • Jane Rachel says

                Whoever you are:

                Do you say for certain that these things you wrote are true, without having any doubt in your mind whatsoever? Can you say that you are one hundred percent right about everything you wrote? Of course you do. Of course you are.

                Strange things, shall we say, rather than saying “allegations”, have been said about this bishop’s lifestyle. while he was alive. Things were said publicly by more than one person, and I can think of at least four of them right now, all clergy, none anonymous, and two of them bishops. That’s a fact. They weren’t made by me. I’m concerned about it and that’s a fact. The hair raises up on the back of my neck as high as it can go, even to this day. I don’t want to know one more thing about it. I don’t want to know names, or see evidence, or anything. I simply believe these four men are not lying. What’s important at this point, is the damage that was done. You, however, say that what these men have said is false. You must believe they are lying. Liars, all of them? Really?

                By the way, I can’t read the SIC report, again. It’s not available on any more.

                Why do you use quotes around “gay” and “orientation”? What does it mean that Mark Stokoe “considers himself” “gay”? He IS gay. If I had asked, “Is Mark Stokoe a homosexual?” would you have answered, Mark Stokoe “considers himself” “homosexual”? “Oh and by the way,” said Fr. X to his parishioners, “Mark Stokoe, who runs the ocanews web site, is a practicing homosexual living with his male husband” You could put quotes around “wife,” though. Mark Stokoe “considers himself” Steve Brown’s WIFE! You said it yourself. How is that okay? I suppose that is not supposed to matter because he did such a wonderful job taking down all those bad guys, eh? Until Metropolitan Jonah, that is, you say. Listen. A leopard doesn’t change his spots.

                I don’t “like” “Bob” or not like him. I don’t know him. But I do know this, from personal experience. I know that when a person has been falsely accused of crimes he or she did not commit, the accusers always have a motive, and they will do anything to stir up the crowd in their favor, to get rid of the person they consider a threat to their power, or money, or sex, or whatever god they have. Everything and anything can be twisted around to fit their agenda and make the innocent “guilty!” “Guilty,” cried the crowd… Facts are changed, circumstances are twisted, documents are couched in manipulative wording until the brain reels with it and can’t discern truth from fiction any more. This is one of the reasons I don’t trust the SIC report. I never swallowed it hook, line and sinker, because I don’t trust the people who put it together.

                And you yourself do what you accuse me of doing by adding words to words that Fr. Kondratick allegedly said, and we don’t even know they were actually said, or whether he was misquoted, or whether the words were taken out of context to make it more convincing to the mob. I don’t know what he meant by that statement, and I’m not even sure it was worded correctly. I can certainly see it being taken out of context by someone with an agenda, as you accuse me of doing. And you have the nerve to add your own interpretation and pass judgment, crying out “HE IS GUILTY!” before you even know. I don’t know if he was admitting guilt, do you? Were you there? Did you talk to him?

                I don’t know what happened at the Manhattan Marriot. Do you?

                About what Bishop Job said. Let me get the direct quote from Fr. Martin, if I can find it. Ah, here it is. Read this. This is an excerpt from a comment by Father Martin Paluch, written November 2, 2012 at 11:53 pm. Link.

                Martin Paluch says:
                November 2, 2012 at 11:53 pm

                “Now I ask you to ponder on this fact! On September 21, 2009 Archbishop Job came to visit Metropolitan Herman. I was on my way out approaching what used to be the Orphanage Building, I stopped and thought it is Archbishop Tikhon walking toward me, however to my surprise it was Archbishop Job. I stopped asked for his blessing and greeted him, he was shaking like a leaf. I asked, what is the matter? He said I have to see Metropolitan Herman. I first tried calling Metropolitan Herman and could not get an answer so I walked with Archbishop Job to see Metropolitan Herman. He asked how I was doing, I told him I am sickened by these false accusations against Metropolitan Herman. He stated; it was not supposed to go this far and it must end now! Upon entering Metropolitan Herman’s house, Archbishop Job begged him for forgiveness and asked if he could stay and talk for a while. They spoke for some time about the deterioration that has now engulfed the OCA.

                I later asked Metropolitan Herman if he had forgiven him in which he replied; Archbishop Job has asked me for forgiveness many times and I do not know but hope he has repented of all the sin that was tormenting him. I later asked Archbishop Tikhon if he knew that Archbishop Job visited with Metropolitan Herman, he replied yes.

                In your article you claim that “Until that happens, however, change can only come from the outside. Lawsuits are the only mechanism to hold the leadership accountable from the outside.”

                We have had several lawsuits hosted by the legal team of the OCA. Please name one wherein the OCA has successfully won? I am sorrowfully announcing that there is sure to come several more from those whose reputations have been assassinated and defamed by individuals bearing false witness. The authorities in the OCA will have to learn how to question the accuser in a most demanding way because this evil protected by free speech cannot supersede the requirements that Christ demands of each of its members as written in the Bible, testified by the Apostles and guarded by the past and must be protected by the present hierarchy in the Church or yes things will get worse.

                During the 90th Anniversary celebration of St. Nicholas Church in Mogadore, Ohio, I asked Archbishop Job what sin has Metropolitan Herman committed, what has he done wrong that has made you work against him. His reply was that “Metropolitan Herman had committed no sin but was in the wrong place at the wrong time” I asked him what he meant by that and he repeated the same thing. I received information that this same question was asked of Archbishop Job in the Midwest Diocese and they too received the same answer.

                I am challenging your interpretation and ask you to show us the original unedited signed testimony by Archbishop Job without the additions of your fallacious comments that in time will have to be defended by you. In that way, those of us who knew Archbishop Job better than most will be able write and speak about the real Archbishop Job.”

                • Bishop Tikhon Fitzgerald says

                  As well, Jane Rachel, “DearJane” came out with this astonishing testimony:
                  “Please do not lump Archbishop JOB in with the Kondratick embezzlement scandal. He was never a homosexual.”
                  He was never a homosexual? “DearJane” knows this HOW? Was he or she Archbishop Job’s psychiatrist? Or is “DearJane” a Priest who heard ARchbishop Job’s life confession during which Archbishop Job claimed that he had never been a homosexual?
                  Is that all it takes to determine that a man was never homosexual?
                  Did he have a machine made by the likes of Dr. Who that constantly monitored Archbishop Job’s dreams, sleep dreams and daydreams as well as his fantasies.
                  Does “DearJane” say “He was never a homosexual” and then add, mentally, “no matter how many homosexual DEEDS he perpetrated?”

                • M. Stankovich says

                  Jane Rachel,

                  Perhaps if I could grasp what the point of this muti-year rant might be, I would be less inclined to imagine you of the the cohort of Mr. Coin, just itching to string somebody up, and subtly pouring drinks – “Let me try phrasing it another way…” – and all the while pouring those “gentlemen” shots. An intoxicated army is an easily angered army, uninterested in “the facts,” guided by the emotion of unrequited victims, real or imagined.

                  My entire lifetime interaction with Archbishop Job consisted of seven (7) words: “Bless, Master, the reader of the epistle” as he stood in the congregation of a dozen or so of us celebrating the Feast of the Bodiless Powers of Heaven, somewhere in the mid-1980’s. I know nothing personally about him. But for this discussion, Jane Rachel, I will accept as truth, every salacious, two-faced, wicked rumor & description of him as true and uncontested. And further, because of his deception, as you have noted many times, people were deceived and injured; priests were misled and by virtue of deception supported him; and to this day people are foolishly and persistently maintaining a false “record” and misrepresentation of who he really was, and it is shameful. You can have Mr. Michalopulos conduct a survey as to “correcting” the fraud that is the “blessed memory” of Job Osacky and request he publish the result as an exclusive; and heaven knows, like with Tolstoy, we must not continue to pray for such a character. And there you have it, justice is ours. As I have been chastized for offering a “pass” to the dead, I concede history has been corrected and there is no prurience in the discovery, simply “illumination.”

                  You may take this as you wish, but I give thanks to almighty God for utter, rank humiliation; the kind that is the fruit of what, at the time, seemed like the endless, mind-numbing repetition of “phrases” running through my head: “If You, O Lord, were to keep a record of sins, who could stand before You?” (Ps. 129:3) Or when I am brought to my knees because of judgement.

                  Archbishop Job rests with the Just Judge, and no one know will ever know the extent of his struggle, the extent of his failings, nor the extent of his repentance but the Just Judge. There is nothing edifying in pursuing a man’s failings, only to wave them in the faces of those who loved him, mocking their loss. It is a hollow and bitter reward, and for what?

                  • Jane Rachel says


                    I thought about responding with a quote from a Charles Williams’ novel called “All Hallow’s Eve” but felt I couldn’t do it justice with a short excerpt, and I’m not eloquent enough to explain what is relevant about the book to this situation, but it is relevant, and if you have read it, you’ll know why.

                    Then, I thought about using the Old Testament examples where the prophets had no qualms about exposing the sins of Israel’s leaders because they were leading the people astray. Again, not my style.

                    Then, I thought of a true story my friend told me about his father, that might help answer your question. (Probably not, but it answered it for me, and I thought long and hard about it.)

                    Say a man has a job as an administrator and spiritual leader at a Christian college. He is well-known, respected, very well-liked. He is charismatic, a great speaker, and thousands of people look up to him him. He goes to church every Sunday, showing up on time and smiling, with his lovely wife and five children. This man beats his children and no one but the family knows it, ever.

                    At the age of seventy, the man dies. A few weeks later, the men who worked with him, themselves spiritual leaders and administrators at the college and within the community, decide to hold a dinner that will honor the man who died. They invite one of his sons to the dinner. After dinner, several people get up to praise the man. Then, one of the men goes to the microphone and asks the man’s son to say a few words about his father. The son goes to the microphone and says, “I can’t tell you what you want to hear. If I were to write a biography about my father, I would call it, ‘Daddy Dearest.’ You didn’t know the man.”

                    The people who heard the public testimony of his son as to the real nature of his father now had a choice. They could continue to believe the false image they had formed about him, or they could believe the son. Later, the son, who is my friend, told me, “They didn’t want much to do with me after that.”

                    Really, it’s about the people who followed him. If I were a religious leader, who was well-loved by tens of thousands of people, and if I led two lives, and if I had a desire at the end of my life to repent of my sins, I would want to come clean publicly, because so many people looked up to me, and it would torture me inside. I would want to for the sake of the people, and for my own salvation. If I died before I had a chance to repent publicly, I would want them to know the truth about me after I died, so that they would not continue to have a false image of me in their minds. I can’t speak for what Bishop Job wanted, but I can say that as a person who also followed and looked up to him, and as one of his sheep, I would rather know than not know. It helps put things into perspective. But, that’s just me.

                  • M. Stankovich says

                    The only appropriate response to you is to say you could not have possibly given this thought and reached this conclusion. Seriously? You had considered schooling me in the “fearless,” righteous indignation of the prophets when you and the other accusers cloak yourselves with internet anonymity? Where was your collective shock, revulsion, and your “altruistic outrage” at the blind sheep who mindlessly loved him when he was alive and actually capable of defending himself? Where was your relentless detective work and pursuit of the “truth” when the courageous “way of the Prophets” is to stand before even the King: “and Nathan said to to David, ‘You are the man!” (2 Sam 12:7), facing the consequence of the accusation? Or where was your motivation & instruction by the truly astonishing confrontation of the Lord with the young rich man?: “Then Jesus beholding him loved him.” (Mk. 10:21) Imagine! He confronted him and let him leave in great sadness out of love! No. This campaign does not contain a single element of righteousness. This is a self-righteous cowardice wrapped in a cheap veneer of “moral authority” by picking at the remains of a carcass of a lion (Judges 14:8), too intimidating when alive and pushing air. So much for indignation.

                    And the telling aspect of your whole “fable” is that, like whomever it was that was “instructing” me regarding history and “illumination.” the only truth, perspective, and illumination as to his demons, his struggles, his failures, and his repentance – in fact the very nature and character of his heart – went to the grave with him. In my estimation, you all squandered an opportunity to resolve matters as you saw fit, in the way of the Prophets and in the love of the Master. And I would direct your attention to the verse from Psalm 129 I quoted previously: ““If You, O Lord, were to keep a record of sins, who could stand before You? But there is forgiveness with you.” (Ps. 129:3-4) Instead, you are left to anonymously snipe and exchange filth and murderous gossip over the internet in an endless stream of bitterness. Fortunately, you seem to wear it well.

                  • Archpriest Andrei Alexiev says

                    Here,I’m inclined to agree with Mr.Stankovich.I knew the late Archbishop Job.I can’t claim to know his personnal shortcomings,since between my sister-in-laws funeral in 1977 and Vladyka Jobs repose in 2009,I saw His Eminence only twice.We know that Fr.Seraphim Rose was supposedly gay when he was in the world.I never knew him at all,but his writings have touched me,because I percieve that he wasn’t pushing his own agenda,but transmitting that which the Holy Fathers have given us.
                    Both men have left this world.I don’t see how harping on their misdeeds will help our salvation.But that’s just the opinion of one simple priest.

                  • Bishop Tikhon Fitzgerald says

                    Sudden death intervened in ever-memorable Archbishop Job’s case; this alters the dynamic of Monsieur Stankovich’s retort to Jane Rachel
                    I wonder….is anyone here who lived and/or served in the NEW ENGLAND diocese when said hierarch was the Bishop there? i mean in the period before Metropolitan Theodosius graciously allowed a simple majority vote of the Holy Synod to provide him an escape through a transfer of dubious canonicity?
                    We know what they say, don’t we. “Lend a dollar: lose a friend!” I think we might keep in mind that the saintly Father Seraphim Rose does seem to have successfully battled homosexuality throughout his life in the Church. There’s really no resemblance between the saintly Father Seraphim Rose of Blessed Memory and ever-memorable Archbishop Job, except that they were both men.
                    Father Seraphim had no record at all of alcoholism, let alone of perennial alcoholic blackouts and there are no anecdotes at all of blatant paederasty in his known life,such as have been heard from members of the New England diocese. By the way, I don’t know of anyone in the New England diocese who was not affectionate towards ever-memorable Archbishop Job….tales of his repeated alcoholic blackouts and pederasty were always related with sorrow, love and a sense of tragedy. These were reports told as among family members. He was, indeed, as Father Andrei describes him and Father Andrei’s feelings are the usual. I don’t really understand all this denial by others, and i agree with Jane Rachel that such denial is not necessarily auspicious relative to his ultimate fate.

                  • Jane Rachel says

                    Michael, people did speak out, not anonymously, and were silenced in a hurry. People have paid a huge price for speaking out. Seriously. You have no idea.

                    I hope the young people I’m thinking about, who overly adored their leader, find out that he led a double life while he was alive, and I hope they learn from that painful knowledge, not to put their trust in “princes and sons of men.”

                  • M. Stankovich says

                    So, the crowd parts to allow the exit of the celebrated “dinner guest,” Bishop Tikhon, as they avert their eyes. “Благословите!” they shout, and receive a hand obviously having dined at the honey in the carcass of the lion (Judges 14:8), and that honey, after all, is what everyone clamors for: “I don’t really understand all this denial by others,” and, he implies, it alters the dynamic of my response. Well, there you have it. Finally, someone is willing to step forward and validate… but wait.

                    Bishop Tikhon, like everyone else, presents the babyshambles of internet truth, “anecdote.” By this threshold, it pretty much all comes down to whether he heard it or not: Job Osacky was a two-faced, despicable human being & pervert – and certainly no Seraphim Rose, mind you – but Bishop Tikhon would have you know that “never was heard a discouraging word.” Good to know. “Anecdote?” he’ll cry, citing the letter of the “septuagint” of priests, the naked boys, the drinking, the “blackouts” (which he mistakenly associates with “severity,” when “loss of memory for events occurring while intoxicated” are neither dose dependent, nor characteristic of any “stage” of alcoholism), blah, blah, blah. And again I digress to acknowledge the raised hand of Fr. Schmemann. You have a comment, Fr. Alexander? “Pardon me, but who cares.” Exactly!

                    As near as I can tell, we are not a step further than my original contention that not a single person has been edified by this “illumination,” by this salacious and disingenuous resolution of “perspective.” And I strongly suspect the angels weep at the contention that it is a righteous endeavor to pridefully & lustfully crush the blessed memory held by those who rightfully loved him, even in consideration of his failings. “Look, fools! Behold the man!” Is a man to be defined entirely by his failures? Any fool can see that this is not a campaign of altruism, but a salacious seduction and love of the “telling,” in reality worse than murder. But for safety reasons, it all had to wait until he was stone cold dead.

                    Thank you Fr. Andrei Alexiev for noting that absolutely nothing about “harping on their misdeeds will help our salvation,” and I, for one, am nauseated by the underlying cowardice that drives this shameful discussion.

                  • Jane Rachel says

                    I got so entangled in the barbed wire (having been accused of being a monstrously immoral person) that it has taken three days to untangle myself and get back to where I started when I brought up the subject of The Bishop About Whom We Must Not Ask Questions (TBAWMNAQ).

                    I remember now that I brought up the questions I had about TBAWMNAQ’s double life (DL) when Daniel accused Fr. Kondratick (FrRSK) of being guilty. The two men’s lives – TBAWMNAQ and FrRSK’s – were tied together. TBAWMNAQ asked whether the allegations against FrRsk were true or false, then proceeded to head up a Special Investigative Committee, which “proved” that the allegations were true. But others stated they were false. No one has satisfactorily addressed that conundrum.

                    My lack of trust in TBAWMNAQ and others led to me to wondering, as leader after leader tumbled under Mark Stokoe’s deft management, whether most of what was happening wasn’t a sham. Whether the Emperor had no clothes.

                    TBAWMNAQ and others in his camp may have had reasons other than what we have been told for wanting FrRSK to be removed from office. It’s not an impossible scenario, especially if we know that he and those with him were not the spiritual pillars they presented themselves to be. Maybe they were worried. Maybe they wanted more control themselves. Maybe they found an opening, a crack in the armor, and pounced. This is why I asked whether TBAWMNAQ led a double life. This would cast doubt on the absolute veracity of both of the two SIC reports.

                    These men are leaders, not my next door neighbor. If the men who were brought down were brought down unjustly, then it still matters because they are still living under that shadow. TBAWMNAQ admitted that he did it to Metropolitan Herman! Everything these leaders do, or did, affects the people they lead, or led. Whether they are alive or dead, their past actions still have an effect on the present.

                  • M. Stankovich says

                    Savour your extrication. You are a hero to a new generations of would-be fools. Does the “vindication” feel satisfying? I’m thinking, no. Why? Where I’m from it’s frequently referred to as rationalization. Perhaps “getting even,” but usually with the wrong protagonist. I, however, am “entangled” in the gaze of the glass to repeat: “If You, O Lord, were to keep a record of sins, who could stand before You? But there is forgiveness with you.” (Ps. 129:3-4).

                    Memory eternal, Vladyka Job. May God always remember you.

                  • nit picking says

                    Jane Rachel you wrote:

                    The son goes to the microphone and says, “I can’t tell you what you want to hear. If I were to write a biography about my father, I would call it, ‘Daddy Dearest.’ You didn’t know the man.”

                    The people who heard the public testimony of his son as to the real nature of his father now had a choice. They could continue to believe the false image they had formed about him, or they could believe the son. Later, the son, who is my friend, told me, “They didn’t want much to do with me after that.”

                    In your concluding paragraph:

                    I would want them to know the truth about me after I died, so that they would not continue to have a false image of me in their minds

                    Yet in your example, the son (your friend) is ostracized by his dad’s co-workers. I’m not sure how you feel this story illustrates or validates your stand in contemplating TBAWMNAQ.

                    There are enough reasonable arguments provided by Dr. Joel K. and Christine F. which cast reasonable doubt (at least, no one -to date- has provided a repudiation of their arguments imo) on the SIC reports. Anything else is unnecessary, mean spirited and unfair.

                    When Noah became so drunk that he lay naked in his tent, one of his sons ridiculed his father’s nakedness, while the other two walked backwards with a covering to cover their father’s nakedness. The two son’s who honored their father were blessed. The one that did not was cursed. This did not pardon Noah from his sin, yet Noah is still considered righteous. Go figure.

                    Everyone is created by God. Only God has the right to judge, and us discussing them, doesn’t prove or resolve a single thing, no matter how we try to justify it.

                    Have a good lent. 🙂

                  • Jane Rachel says

                    Hang on there, nit-picking, YOU are discussing NOAH’s sins!

                    The son, who spoke honestly about his father because he wanted them to know the truth so they would not believe a lie, was ostracized by the hypocrites who chose to stick their head in the sand and believe the false image because the false image furthered their agenda. Worse than that, some may have known he was telling the truth. Some probably said to their cronies behind their palms, “How dare he talk about the dead like that! I’m SHOCKED! SHOCKED!” and the other one said, “Wink, wink, nudge, nudge, eh?”

                    I never, ever judged anyone, but only asked. I believe with all my heart that it’s important to know it so that it’s not repeated by the appearance of other, like-minded bishops with similar stories who are similarly followed by blind mice over a cliff. Now, it’s been told to the Church as far as possible. I hope he has repented and found peace. This has been said by more than one who knew him far better than I did.

                  • nit picking says


                    “Hang on there, nit-picking, YOU are discussing NOAH’s sins!”

                    couldn’t respond directly to your message JR so I’m responding to you here…

                    Congrats…you get the silly person award. Enjoy it, with my compliments.

                  • M. Stankovich says

                    How can I impress on you that you are no hero? You are an anonymous coward. The ways do not justify the means. We do not define a man by his sins, nor “negate” or mock the love and respect for him, his accomplishments, or his achievements as “blind mice over a cliff.” Your childish adoption of “TBAWMNAQ” is a rationalization – an acknowledgement of the immaturity – of sandbagging a dead man who cannot defend himself. “So it will not be repeated?” Seriously, Jane Rachel? You, highhandedly, have averted sinfulness in high places yet to come? Quite a champion you have become – the smartest woman in the room.

                    And imagine all those poor, ignorant, blind mice, who “say” they loved loved him, are better people because of him, have grown in the Faith because of him, whose lives were enriched and strengthened on his account. And those clergy & their families who were supported and trusted him, were nurtured by him, and survived & perhaps flourished because of him. Then, search the Scripture, the Fathers, and our Holy Tradition and explain to me exactly where we have ever depended upon the personal “piety” or – I don’t know what, as we don’t have the language – “spiritual life” of the clergy as a criterion for the action and saving Grace of our God. Where do find it? Nowhere. In fact, the priest and the bishop continually pray that God not “withhold the Grace of Your All-Holy Spirit because of my sinfulness.”

                    Please, you’ve made your point. What more do you have to defend & explain? The more you “explain,” the more shallow your contention becomes. He is stone cold dead and will not answer you. Let him rest already.

                    • George Michalopulos says

                      I mean this as no disrespect, but your incessant carping on Deacon Mitchell’s action (which was based on conscience) leads me to think that you are desperate to impugn the character of others in order to justify the continuing homosexualization of the OCA. All I ask is that you examine your presuppositions.

                  • M. Stankovich says

                    Mr. Michalopulos,

                    “Justify the continuing homosexualization of the OCA,” you say? Um, buddy, have you got another pair of shorts you could consume? I hate to gloat, but it appears you owe again.

                    Mr. Michalopulos, I don’t know you & you don’t know me, but have you ever made a real decision of conscience? A decision where you knew if you opened your mouth all hell would break loose, and the consequence – and not just for you, but for your family – could jeopardize your standing, your reputation, and the respect of your peers? And despite the possible consequence, the agony & upheaval of your conscience was so overbearing & oppressive that you could not live with it? I was in such a situation and chose to face it rather than back down, and the consequences were worse than I had imagined. In fact, I live with the consequences to this day. I lost the opportunity to do things in my field that were precious to me – and more importantly may have been a real contribution – “based on conscience.” Was this heroic? I don’t think so. It was the right thing. Period. But it breaks my heart.

                    So, in examining my “presuppositions,” I have nothing but respect for anyone whose conscience dictates an action for which they will openly accept the consequence. For those who would manipulate, deceive, disobey. and then claim conscience, you are cowards and mock anyone who has the guts (or stupidity) to actually take a stand. I do not need to “explain” nor defend my choice, I pay the price, and I move on. Deacon Mitchell will always need to need to explain & defend his integrity, and that, likened to Sisyphus, is his price.

                  • nit picking says

                    Geo Michalopulos,

                    You write:

                    Yes, Brother Michael, I have been placed in precisely such a predicament.

                    Please do not imagine I am ungrateful for all the time and energy you expand managing and mediating this site. I certainly would not have been able to keep up with it. However the reality is, you were not “placed,” none of us were. All of us choose to participate here, but especially you sir.

                    • George Michalopulos says

                      Thank you for understanding. Just so you know, I have voluntarily placed myself in such a predicament for a variety of reasons. Some of them having to do with Christian charity and the humility that comes from age, that is to say, knowing my own sins which would place me in the lowest rings of hell. Believe it or not, I don’t view myself as an avenging angel. Because I know my own limitations, I have always been a man who was and is willing to work with others for the greater good. I’m not an idealist but a pragmatist.

      • Bishop Tikhon Fitzgerald says

        “Judge Not…….. says” wrote:
        “Judge not that ye be not judged,” and then proceeded to write a thoroughly judgmental message.
        In fact, quoting that command of the Saviour’s is ALWAYS self-condemnatory.

  6. Shadow Priest says

    My only concern is with one point he makes about stripping clergy found guilty of “sexual harassment.” This term is not found in the canons and its definition has changed over time. According to one jurisdiction’s guidelines it may include non sexual “emotional” entanglements. It’s not precise enough of a term to justify the nuclear option of deposition.

  7. M. Stankovich says

    Fr. Peter,

    I believe it is important to clarify the meaning of the word “chastity,” because to limit its definition to matters purely related to sexuality or purely to sexual activity is to miss entirely the depth and power of its intent. And without this power and depth, there is no manner by which to understand, for example, the Fathers description of the monastic life as the “angelic life.”

    The word σωφροσύνη or Целомудрие literally refers to a “single-mind” or a “soundness of mind.” The KJV translates the word as “sobriety” (cf. 1 Tim. 2:9, 1 Tim. 2:15, Acts 26:25) because “conceptually” its focus is “inward,” to the wholeness and integrity of the inner person, as well as to incorporate external bodily purity. Likewise, the Fathers speak of the distinction of “blamelessness,” (e.g. “It is truly right to bless you, O Theotokos, ever blessed, most pure [τὴν ἀειμακάριστον καὶ παναμώμητον – пренепорочную, or, “Blessed are the undefiled [οἱ ἄμωμοι] in the way, who walk in the law of the Lord.” (Ps. 118:1) Neither the Psalmist nor the Fathers are speaking of “sexual purity” exclusively.

    And finally, I would add what Fr. Florovsky referred to as the “Theology of Work” which completed for him – with celibacy and chastity – the great calling of the “angelic life” of virtues, which in the words of St. Theophan, makes a “permanent mood which defines the nature and character of man.” So when Festus cried out, “Paul, too much learning has made you insane!” Paul could respond, “I am not insane, most noble Festus; but speak forth the words of truth and soberness [ἀλλὰ ἀληθείας καὶ σωφροσύνης ῥήματα].” (Acts 26:25)

    Yours is a very necessary call to rededication, Fr. Peter!

    • lexcaritas says

      Thank you for these enlighting comments, Michael. I do see that what the KJV and the Latin vulgate render as purity and castias, respectively, corresponde to the Greek agneia, rather than sophrosune. It is good, perahps, to consider, as you have caused me to do, the (perhaps deep and implicit) relationship between these terms.

      This makes for fruitful diaglogue.

      lex caritas

  8. Bishop Tikhon Fitzgerald says

    I believe that a lie must also result in unqualified deposition.

  9. Anfisa Bludlivaya says

    Ordain this man!

  10. BOO HOO BABS says

    Me thinks that Babs who use to be Stan has been hitting the jug again……..

    I wonder what Bobby had on Royster… I’m not the only one to be thinking that right now. Let’s not be coy. There was money missing from the treasury. There was improper use of OCA corporate plastic. If this was a lie, then, Bobby had recourse to the civil courts. However, he ran off to Florida (as I said, a crank rightwing “paradise” with lax business and extradition laws) and he’s stayed there. Methinks that the law has finally caught up with Bobby. Remember, his son is facing fed charges for scamming on the Island. The tree isn’t far from the apple it drops…

    Poor Babs, all those hormones to make him think he’s a she must be shriving the grey matter. I guess it still thinks that the Feds are investigating Bobby Jr. They dropped their case against him over a year ago finding no reason to pursue him. EARTH CALLING BABS…………….Stop lying about Bobby Jr, or go ahead and keep doing it, you only look like a bigger dope.

    It’s funny, Babs wants us to believe all this stuff about Bobby Sr. but it can’t get the most simple fact about Bobby Jr. correct.

    Yes, folks, Poor Babs, it thinks Stalin was a good guy and the USSR was a paradise and hates Bobby Sr. forever because the OCA would not approve of its sex change operation.

    • Guy Westover says

      I find the repeated personal attacks on Ms Drezhlo in very poor taste.
      Her gender identity issues are hers and hers alone. Just as her salvation is hers and hers alone to work out in fear and trembling just like each and every one of us.
      I find her writing style a bit abrasive at times. If you don’t like it don’t read it. Obviously several folks here read her blog regularly and take great pains to respond to it.
      Fine. Respond to the issues and errors in her posts. Call her out on matters of fact!
      I would say the same to her. Personal attacks on people detract from the real message you are trying to convey.

      Mr. Michalopulos, when a commenter makes a personal attack against a cleric you rightly edit that attack usually. The personal comments attacking Barbara Drezhlo and her gender identity have no bearing on the topics do they? Why do you tolerate this?

      Guy Westover

      • Heracleides says

        Her? You appear confused. Stan Drezhlo is a man. He always has been a man, he always will be a man. That’s the way God made him, so he (and apparently you) need to deal with that bit of reality.

        • Daniel E. Fall says

          Me and the anonymous fellow agree; the only difference is I’m not afraid to say my name. Stan is a man; will always be a man. The fact that someone’s mind has them twisted away from their body is a problem that ought not be solved with surgery.

        • Guy Westover says

          As a result of being born in a fallen world there are many birth defects, not all of which we are able to understand. I personally cannot understand how a man can be physically attracted to another man. Yet one of my best friends from elementary school has always been attracted to other guys. As far as I know he had a normal home live with two loving parents. Much more healthy and functional than my own with an alcoholic father (addiction, yet another sin due to our fallen nature) yet he is the one with the orientation struggle. Glory be to God, he is working out his salvation in fear and trembling, and chastity, under the guidance of a wonderful parish priest.

          Having a transgendered cousin who took her own life (both of us grandchildren of a Ukrainian priest) when she could no long bear the torments of her faith family, most of her biological family and society in general, took her own life by hanging in the parish cemetery. In my own therapeutic practice I have counseled several orthodox individuals with orientation and gender issues, always in consultation with a priest, I have come to an understanding of what these our brothers and sisters, go through.

          Unless you have attained theosis, I am comfortable in saying you really don’t know the mind of God when He made Ms Drezhlo.

          Rather than add to the scorn and ridicule have you thought to pray for her? Failing that, maybe just ignore her?

          I ask your prayers.

          Guy Westover

          • Heracleides says

            “Unless you have attained theosis, I am comfortable in saying you really don’t know the mind of God when He made Ms Drezhlo.”

            How careless of God – “Male and Female He Created Them” – except of course when He routinely screws up and traps a female inside a male body and vice versa. Please, Guy, query God with your concerns about the apparently botched creation of Mr. Drezhlo (not your idiotic “Ms.”) and get back too us once you’ve finished picking His mind.

            P.S. I’d love to know the name of the purported priest you claim to consult on this issue.

          • Daniel Fall says

            Hey Guy,

            I mean no disrespect. I’m not well liked here for my liberal views. I don’t understand homosexuality and I have decided I will not view it as wrong, although it is extremely strange to me.

            I do not believe, however, that surgery or hormone therapy is an appropriate solution to gender confusion or self hatred. This is my opinion and I’m entitled to it.

            The unfortunate thing about this entire spin is it turned into something about Drezhlo and not the true subject matter.

            • Archpriest Andrei Alexiev says

              I must ask you,and I mean no disrespect,do you believe that the books of the Old Testament are just a bunch of myths?That Moses didn’t see God face to face?Or perhaps Moses was just an old homophobe,who pretended to have spoken with God?I know some gays claim that evil men inserted homophobic statements into scripture as Martin Luther is supposed to have mistranslated scripture from Hebrew into German.

              • Bishop Tikhon Fitzgerald says

                Some of our opponents, Father Andrei, make no mention of homophobia, but claim that Moses saw God face-to-face when under the influence of Egyptian medicament he had borrrowed from pharaonic priests before skipping town…They also claim that we are selective in our horror at O.T. “abominations.” But, o of thiur teachings are based on Holy Tradition and HolyTraditions that do not all rest on proof texts from Old or New Testaments. It pains me a little to observe Orthodox public figures, teachers, who should know better, placing all their eggs into the Proof Text Basket and being ashamed to refer to Holy Tradition. Graduates of SOME American Orthodox seminaries have an almost ‘knee-jerk” reaction to the word Tradition unless they first “explain” that it really refers to our ‘ad hoc”and advanced understanding.of things.

      • George Michalopulos says

        Mr Westover, I see your point. However Mdme DeFarge has brought this obloquy down on his own head. I can honestly say that I’ve never seen anything so hateful in my life as his blog. I mean, leaving aside all the contradictions and general potty-mouthedness, there’s nothing edifying about it at all.

        • Guy Westover says

          Sir, my only objection is to the personal attacks, especially those to against her gender identity.
          Refute ideas, correct and admonish her outright nastiness! By all means.
          Correct wrong information.
          When you allow people to stoop to the level of personal attacks, the actual content of the message gets lost.
          Perhaps I am overly sensitive to the gender identity issue having had a very close cousin struggle with the that particular battle, and after years of being taunted and persecuted, took his own life.
          I’ve voiced my concerns in all possible charity.
          Obviously many disagree and believe that it is okay to make ad hominem attacks on certain types of people. I understand.

          Guy Westover

      • Ladder of Divine Ascent says

        “The personal comments attacking Barbara Drezhlo and her gender identity have no bearing on the topics do they? Why do you tolerate this?”

        His identity issues, not her, saying “her” means we’re the ones with sexual identity issues. As for why, I’m guessing because Drezhlo attacks so many people and so many things from such crazy angles (fanatic Russian nationalist Orthodox Bolshevik) that people want to constantly remind others (or inform those who never knew) that these attacks are coming from a unbalanced transexual.

      • Bishop Tikhon Fitzgerald says

        You’ve got a point here, Guido. However the producer of Voices from Russia is a eunuch, and appears to embody the stereotypical traits of such. Indeed, the eunuch needs compassion as much as any of us. The situation for the Drezhlo person is beyond tragic and the most tragic part of it is the belief that he has effected a sex or gender change. Nothing of the sort. I’m afraid some people have misled Drezhlo to believe that after death, when the flesh has rotted from his skeleton, a physical anthropologist will not identify his skeleton as male. No, neither his skull nor his pelvis will be that of female. He is a eunuch who has undergone surgical and chemical cosmetics which permit him to imagine he is a female, a woman. No, he is not a woman. He is a eunuch. Unfortunately, he is not such for the sake of the kingdom of heaven. Further, and I do not blame him for it, but I blame those who led him to his awful choices, he is a terrible temptation and trial. He has thrown himself into something which he probably senses would come closer to being authentic: his ethnic heritage. However this may be as problematic as his illlusion of female sexuality. I do not pretend to the scientific and lofty intellect to which Ron/Leo/Lazarus Haler/Buehler/Puhalo regularly pretends in a kind of lofty, Ethyl Barrymore way, and he has titillated the world, especially SVS, apparently, with his readiness to “discover” something he calls “the sexual brain.”
        Guido, the eunuch’s dreadful concentration on OCA persons’ crimes and misdemeanors and foibles, is harming, damning, even, for him. What will put him on a salvific course in his life? Ignoring him? I think he’s baptized.

        • To me, it is precisely because Drezhlo’s situation is so tragic that schoolyard insults (unscientific and unloving names and descriptors) genuinely turn my stomach. Imagine if you pumped your face full of Botox and then woke up to realize you would never have a normal facial expression again? It is just not ok for others to bring this up in public in mocking ways. Dezhlo’s blog is unfortunate but easy to ignore if you have anything at all meaningful to live for … Seriously, anything. The one sensible thing Drezhlo said (the one time I did look at his blog) is that the Monomakhos blog is not focused enough, that its readers are not organized or strategic enough to save either Jonah or the OCA. He was right about that at the time, and he deserves some credit for that insight. Incidentally, Drezhlo’s mockery of others (including some very disgusting name calling) also turns my stomach.

          • George Michalopulos says

            Um, your points are well-taken. Where Madame DeFarge is mistaken however is that this blog was never about “All Jonah All the Time.” My biggest pieces so far have been about Trayvon Martin and have socio-political topics.

            True, I and a great majority of our readers have been pro-Jonah but this blog was never “the point of the spear” in the attack against the great injustice of July 2012. The OCA is too far gone to mount an effective anything –even a modernist/ecumenist agenda. It’s not up the task of anything for that matter, even to “be the servant of autocephaly.”

            Jonah’s mistake (and other traditionalists for that matter) was that the internal corruption was so far gone that it could not have been righted. When you add the fact that the OCA is a shrinking jurisdiction and its intellectual heft has become extinct (think Schmemann, Meyendorff, Pelikan [for a short time], and now Webster [who left for another jurisdiction]), then there’s no way it can stand up and provide a credible alternative to the pseudo-universalism/non-ethnicism of the Phanar.

            I include myself in the list of traditionalists. If I had to do it over again, I would absolutely do the same thing, not because the Jonah/traditionalist forces would have had a better chance to “win,” but because upholding Orthopraxy is the right thing to do.

  11. BOO HOO BABS says

    Daniel, Guy,

    The thing about VfR is that Stan is just so ignorant of even basic church practice. Today’s goof alert is his insistence that a suspended priest can’t represent himself as a priest. Now where does he get that one from. Fr Valencia is suspended from serving. Period. He is still a priest, he can walk around in a Roman collar or cassock. He just can’t do anything sacramental. Now if Stan thinks wearing clothes makes the man, I could say something here but I won’t, then he has a point, but that is not the case.

    We all know that Stan is hacked off (again, won’t go there) because Fr. Ray had enough of Stan’s lewd and stupid comments and all those personal attacks. Brave Stan has tried every trick in the book not to be served with papers, hiding out, refusing to answer the door, refusing deliveries, and of course ol’ brave Stan won’t take any comments on his blog because people would show him up for the silly person he is.

    So Stan rants and raves as if he is the only one who knows what’s really up. Again, Stan, since you refuse comments on your blog, get it right for once, a suspended priest is still a priest but he can’t do anything sacramental. Ergo, he can talk to people, have his picture taken, even give a lecture if he wants. Stan thinks “this is a disgusting abomination of the worst sort…..” me thinks that Stan has personally engaged in a much bigger disgusting abomination of the worst sort. But it shows a little how sad a person we are dealing with.

    Stan, be a man. That is how God created you.

  12. Sorry, Boo, but you are the one who needs schooling in this instance: suspended clergy may not perform any liturgical, sacramental, or pastoral functions, including giving pastoral lectures.

    • Yes but Boo is saying that he can however wear priestly garb and is still a priest.

    • BooHoo Babs says

      Sorry Maddy you are mistaken. A suspended priest indeed is barred from any sacramental functions. Talking in a non-sacramental setting is not prohibited, especially if he has a blessing. Babs has it in for Fr Ray because he got no satisfaction from his bishop or jurisdiction when Babs continued to defame him with lies. A priest has a right even under canon law. So let us not let Babs confuse you any longer. His track record of confusion of the most basic church order is berift of knowledge. Besides anyone who thinks that all will be well if we just go back under Moscow is just plain daft.