Grasping at straws

Thanks to the fine people at OCATruth and others (modesty forbids me from identifying another person), the question of OCANews’ credibility as a news source is pretty much in tatters. I won’t rehash all the glaring mistakes or highlight the biases that have come to the fore in the past four weeks, because I don’t have the time and energy to do so at present. (You can read them for yourself here and here.)

Instead, I would like to comment on the growing hysteria coming from the anti-+Jonah forces. As I was typing this up last night, I was going to concentrate only on the most recent release from OCANews, about the now “defiant” Metropolitan. This was easy to knock out of the ball-park and Muzhik did so with his usual aplomb and wit.

If there was any reason at this point to doubt Stokoe’s sanity, this is it. At this point, I wouldn’t be surprised if his next headline is: “+Jonah and His Rebels Fire on Ft Sumter! Strike the Rebel Colors!” Quite frankly, I’m at a loss. For the life of me I can’t understand why he would sink to this Bill Maheresque level, where he has to look up to see the sewer he descended from (HT: Micky Kaus of Kausfiles.)

I can’t add anything newsworthy to Muzhik’s reportage but the spiritual counsel once given to me by a monk. He said that repentance engenders two opposite responses: one is more repentance, the other is anger. Both are based on the heart of the observer.

Clearly, OCANews is doubling down on the anger part.

Unfortunately, he has been joined by an angrier Bishop +Benjamin, who in his rage has decided to pass resolutions governing the the minutiae of +Jonah’s daily existence. But worry not! Reinforcements have joined Stokoe: a certain colorful transexual has thrown in his/her lot with the anti-+Jonah partisans! The day is saved!

Muzhik likens this to a Clair Boothe Luce play. I was thinking more Fellini. At this point, it’s going to be real easy for the Russian Orthodox Church to “unrecognize” the canonicity of +Benjamin and any who join him. (Note to +Benjamin: don’t make any travel plans for the next Episcopal Assembly.)

About GShep


  1. Heracleides says

    I was present at a get-together late last summer where +Benjamin was a guest. As he discoursed on present church happenings in the OCA, +Benjamin’s disdain and thinly veiled hostility towards +Jonah became quite apparent. I was left quite puzzled as to the reason(s) for such negativity. Towards the end of his conversation, +Benjamin intimated that +Jonah would be ‘dealt with in the near future’ (paraphrasing here as I don’t recall his exact words clearly enough for a direct quote). I passed this last off as mere bravado, but events are now proving otherwise. At the time I was unsure of what to make of it and I still am. All I can say with some certainty is that anger appears to rule the day while humility is in full retreat.

  2. Dear Diocesan Council of the Diocese of the West,

    Please be aware that the occupant of the office of Metropolitan does not work on commission. Attempting to have his salary continually renegotiated, on the basis of whether his decisions are popular or not, can be construed as attempts at blackmail and/or bribery.

    Please also check the most recent treasurer’s report before attempting to weigh in on the Metropolitan’s travel expenses. If you check the 2010 report, the Metropolitan’s travel went only slightly over the budgeted amount. As part of this was in His Beatitude’s maintenance of good relationships with the Moscow Patriarchate, which has been at the forefront of defending the OCA’s canonical standing and dignity before the rest of the Orthodox world, it would seem that the Metropolitan’s travel expenditures, while excessive in only the slightest degree, were a seemly investment in securing the OCA’s future. Also, returning to the report, when one compares the Metropolitan’s total expenses against the Metropolitan Council’s expenses in 2010, the Metropolitan Council went over their budget by twice as much as the Metropolitan himself. If you are truly concerned for the proper stewardship of OCA funds, where is your criticism of budgetary excess wherever it may be found?

    Also, if it’s true that the Metropolitan suffers from a chemical addiction, and your bishop and his fellow bishops tried to send him to rehab, please inform your bishop that in his approval of the council’s decisions, he is, frankly, acting pretty uppity for someone who’s a fellow traveler in that circle of addiction. One would think he of all people would know how destructive and painful it is to have your personal illness dragged out before all.

    I have my doubts that the Metropolitan is genuinely suffering from an addiction of some kind; to me it seems more likely that his only illness is suffering from the effects of being betrayed by the self-serving functionaries that have surrounded him for two years. However, if His Beatitude truly does suffer from an addiction, his treatment at yours and others’ hands appears to be a hideous and cruel attempt to exploit the effects of his illness.

    May God grant our Metropolitan many years in good health and his rightful primatial dignity.


  3. Ian James says

    +Benjamin might be courting schism here. It is wrong for +Benjamin to marshal his local MC and get them to pass resolutions in the heat of this conflict. He should have brought his complaint to the Synod of Bishops instead. Do the other Bishops not want to play +Benjamin’s game? Why else marshal the locals?

    Someone needs to tell Vladyka he is out of line.

    Was +Benjamin on the list of Mark Stokoe’s leaked email? Stokoe should release who he sent the email to. Then we would know if Stokoe and +Benjamin are in bed together.

  4. Carl Kraeff says

    I appreciate your opinion, as I do most others’ except may be the despicable he/she. Now since you purport to be fair and balanced in your approach, let me say a few things about the latest tempest in a tea pot: the nun situation. The pro +Jonah forces are making a big noise about the supposed insensitivity of the critics of +Jonah in this matter. It may be a good thing to see what Stokoe reported and then to talk about it, without the histeria exhibited on OCATuth and here.

    Here is Stokoe’s report.

    “Washington DC. Meanwhile, in another act of defiance, Metropolitan Jonah tonsured a nun to the Great Schema this past week for what its literature describes as “….the newly established Orthodox Community in Washington DC, The Entrance of the Holy Theotokos into the Temple.” +Jonah’s continuing involvement with the nuns is sure to be a topic at the next Synod meeting, as is his continuing support. (The “community” is presently housed in buildings belonging to Jonah’s Washington Cathedral.) Based on a recent investigation and report by Bishop Michael of New York in a related matter, the Synod had already agreed not to accept the nuns into the OCA. ( They are presently canonically dependent on a monastery in Greece, from which their local Bishop has refused to release them .) Moreover, the Synod had already explicitly refused to bless the establishment of a new convent in DC for them.”

    Mark says that the Holy Synod had forbidden the Metropolitan from doing a number of things related to this nun and her companions. This is a serious charge and, if true, the Metropolitan may well have violated the OCA Statute and some canons. I have not seen one poster anywhere dispute Mark’s report that the Holy Synod told him not to do anything with these nuns. What I have seen is bunch of accusations that the critics, starting with Stokoe, are mean and insensitive; how dare anyone criticize the +Metropolitan who was merely trying to fulfill a dying nun’s last wish? There have also been a few who offered the opinion that +Jonah had the right to act within his prerogatives as a diocesan bishop. What nobody except Stoke is talking about is the issue of whether +Jonah committed yet “another act of defiance.” Those who would dispute Stokoe should bring facts and witnesses to the table and not be content in merely opining. I think that the onus is on the detractors of Stokoe because of all the folks engaged in this debate, he is the only one with a proven track record of integrity and solid reporting. Bottom line: Prove him wrong or just shut up.

    • I don’t think Stokoe successfully proved that this nun is actually part of the “DC nuns” from Greece. Metropolitan Jonah has had a DC monastic community in the works for a long time. The group from Greece is something he hopes to eventually incorporate into that. I got the impression that this particular nun was a DC-area laywoman who happened to have a particularly urgent monastic calling, and he tonsured her as part of the community. She is in hospice – she couldn’t wait for this crisis to settle down. To me it looks like Metropolitan Jonah thought her welfare was more important than his own well-being in the current church political climate.

    • George Michalopulos says

      Carl, using Stokoe’s report as an objective source about the notorious “DC nuns” is futile at this point. As to the Holy Synod acting in such a pharisaical manner re what +Jonah can do in his diocese, especially when he ministers to dying people –I’m sorry, but that’s beyond the pale.

  5. Harry Coin says

    George, who are “the fine people at OCATruth” you mention? Those who go there to read on your recommendation see nobody taking responsibility at all for the words posted.

    • Harry, you’re a good guy. I dare say a better man than me. But what the heck does the anonymity of the people at OCAT have to do with anything? So far, everything they’ve said has panned out, whereas a lot of what Stokoe has said has been debatable at best.

      On the AOI, you’ve been a stalwart against clericalism and the dreaded “ordained young/never married” coterie that rise to the top. This is the time for all of us to man up and say what we really mean. Clearly, Stokoe has admitted that he has used the threat of blackmail against the Holy Synod and we both can make reasonable guesses as to what the nature of the information is.

      Now is the time for us to clean our Church (and not just the OCA, but all of American Orthodoxy) of this blight which has crippled us. Or would you rather we wait until it gets as big as it is in the Roman Church? It’s not going to go away no matter how much we may want to hide behind the shibboleths of Stokoe’s dysfunctional views of “conciliarity,” etc. Indeed, we would be using good to hide evil.

  6. Carl Kraeff says

    It is amazing to me how much damage the supporters of Metropolitan Jonah are wreaking on the Church and on +Jonah himself. The retired +Bishop Tikhon has once again published an email on the Indiana List. OCA Truth has immediately picked it up and is trumpeting it as yet another piece of evidence of a cabal. It is nothing of the sort as this pre-Santa Fe email shows the concern of another member of the Metropolitan Council, concerns that he is sharing with fellow members. It does add one more specific charge against the Metropolitan and it is a rather serious one, if true. Here is the problem; in their zeal to defend the Metropolitan, his supporters are continuing to rush straight ahead and over the proverbial cliff, but also dragging +Jonah with them. I wish this should cease; it is getting horribly divisive and damaging to our leaders, both clergy and laity.

    • Carl did you read that e-mail? It doesn’t show “concern” it shows a flat out “plan of action” for how they intend to get rid of the Metropolitan. Step by step how they intended to proceed.

    • Heracleides says

      Carl, what you disingenuously call “concern” I call plotting a course of action (since Mark has called this fiasco a “war” and “fight” by his own partisans, the contents of this email might better be described as a tentative battle plan) to overthrow the Metropolitan (by whatever means it would appear) to be carried out by those (and doubtless others) who received the email.

      The concluding item on the email’s agenda struck me as utterly hypocritical (sometimes you just have to love…er, “pray” for our clergy):

      “* i introduce a motion of no confidence in the met
      we pray. yes?”

      Slapping lipstick – I mean “prayer” – on this pig doesn’t make it any less diabolical. Lord have mercy!

    • What specific charge are you talking about?

      If you’re talking about the whistleblower violation, that’s been out for awhile. If it’s true that the SMPAC report is a smear job, and Fr. Garklavs participated in that, the whole “whistleblower” thing is revealed as a farce. In fact, it would mean that Metropolitan Jonah was set up.

    • Carl, you’ve got to be kidding.

  7. skeptical says

    I have disputed Stokoe’s account, but he refused to post my comments. Sure he posted my initial comments, but not my follow up. I’m sure there are others in the same boat. Last time I visited his site, there was no mention of the new nun’s situation and no mention of outrage at his lack of understanding.

    The issue here is that Stokoe has asserted the HS has clearly given instructions to their primate (and where’s the corroboration?) and that +Jonah, while acting in accordance with the canons somehow has disobeyed them. As far as the canons, it seems that the HS cannot in fact stop a diocesan bishop from tonsuring a nun. So what’s the problem (with +Jonah that is)?

    If this had been any other bishop, there would be no issue here. It just reveals Stokoe’s prejudice.

    • Skeptical, I imagine that if +Jonah had “married” a gay couple in his diocese, that that would be OK with Stokoe. In fact, +Jonah would be called “courageous” and “compassionate.” Forgive my sarcasm.

  8. Is this the same retired +Bishop Tikhon of the West (Fitzgerald) who has almost no credibility and is known to make delusional, outlandish, vile, malicious, false, and downright insane comments on a regular basis? How can anyone trust the “discernment” and comments of a hierarch who has made these kinds of observations in the past:

    * Bishop Tikhon – Ok with Gay Marriage Outside the Church
    Sun Nov 14, 2004 3:20 pm – posted in Yahoo Forums

    After all, we are striving for a kingdom NOT of this world. Marriage does not exist outside the Church? Then why single out gay marriage for banning? Why not ban heterosexual marriage outside the Church as well? it does not, or should not, mean anything to those of us living ‘”our lives according to the life of the Church, not of this world.”

    Sun Nov 14, 2004 12:36 am – posted in Yahoo Forums

    How long have you lived on this planet? Have you never heard of this great invention of the Republic under God, used by such as Mister Limbaugh, etc., called serial polygamy? It means you can marry (that is heterosexuals may undergo a totally non-Orthodox ceremony, completing one of ****their*** marriages, in order to gain this or that person as a spouse, and then, when they wish to turn to another one, they, like a Turkish Sultan turning to a new member of the harem, go through something called “no-fault divorce” (it’s a lot like the Islamic “I divorce you” said three times), and then take another spouse, acquiring, one after the other as many spouses as you want.

    As far as I know, in those matters applying to non-Orthodox marriage, there is no limit to the number of spouses one may marry. Many on this list feel that there is no marriage outside the Orthodox Church at all. So why this fuss about something that does not exist? Why should a homosexual not be allowed to go through one of these ceremonies in a “non-Church” completing a non-existent marriage?


    * Bishop Tikhon – Abortion and Politics
    Mon, 2 Oct 2000 – Orthodox Listserv Indiana

    I believe that Patrick was saying, and if he is not saying it I will, that voting for Algore and Doobie, either one, is “a vote for the continuing murder of the innocent unborn and one will have to answer for their decisions.” He may be also saying that Algore is being a truthful murderer, while Dooby is an untruthful murderer?

    In other words, it seems ridiculous to imagine that the election of Bush would be one iota less favorable to abortion than the election of Gore. One may choose or not, of course, to vote for Bush, because “he at least pretends to be against abortion ‘rights”.


    * Bishop Tikhon – America Greatest Terrorist Nation
    Tue Jul 13, 2004 8:49 pm – posted in Yahoo Forums

    America holds the all-time record for terrorism. America ********terrorized********* Japan into surrender. War is one or more nations terrorizing each other. This is so elementary. Saudi Arabian suicidal fanatics could crash planes into a skyscraper in New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, etc., etc., every year and still not match the ferocity of Nagasaki and Hiroshima, of Tokyo and Dresden. No this was not war of soldiers on the field where both sides risked everything, No. No. This was outright war against civilians, conducted from out of reach of all those civilians.

    I sometimes can’t stand the proclivity of some of my fellow Americans from sanctifying war if waged by America. We may be “on the right side”, but our acts of war are just as egregious and despicable as the acts of war of our enemies: maybe more so, because we blindly and like automatons proclaim “Gott mit uns,” that we are a Christian nation and, moreover, unlike Japan or Andorra or Liechtenstein, apparently, a “nation under God.”

    +Bishop Tikhon

    * Bishop Tikhon – On Homosexuality and Gender
    Sat Feb 14, 2004 6:23 pm – posted in Yahoo Forums

    I believe that the division of men and women into heterosexual and homosexual is wrong-headed and a modern idea that the Church should not adopt without great reservation. The Scriptures refer and categorically condemn acts or qualities, but do not refer to either category per se. The Scriptures, I feel, indicate the truth: that men (and women) have strong sexual urges and these may appear whether or not an appropriate and salvific object for those urges is available. Men, when deprived of the company of women, and if not constrained by religious or Christian restraints,will resort to various alternatives.” Such alternatives might be animals, melons, or “beardless youths” (such as are forbidden in monasteries). In our culture especially, the Macho Man is believed to be Macho in direct proportion to the irresistableness of his “sex drive.” The weak, impotent (telling word) man, the “Milquetoast”, if you were, has little or no such “sex drive.” The Scriptural prohibitions against homosexual acts are directed at all men and women: they clearly point out which urges experienced by all men and women are lawful and which are not.

    No one at all would doubt that men in forced conditions of isolation from the “opposite sex” will be tempted resort to those outlets forbidden in Scripture, during the time they are in such isolation, whether this be on board a ship or in prison, and it is sometimes only Grace that prevents resorting to them. In other times, when men were forced into monasteries, either as orphans or even criminals, the same conditions obtained.


    * Bishop Tikhon regarding Fr. Thomas Hopko Comments on the OCA Crisis*
    Posted 4/4/2006, 3:34 pm – on OCANews

    “I am perplexed by the role of faculty members, clergy members of the faculty of Saint Vladimir’s in advising Your Beatitude and/or fomenting greater disorder and chaos. I’m especially perplexed by the *irrational advice gratuitously afforded me and others by Protopresbyter Thomas Hopko*, who may be having some kind of stress incident. He first wrote us that the ONLY solution was his advice. No sooner had he done that, than, after the *sensational and scandalous and arbitrary discharge of the Chancellor, he generously afforded us copies of the wisdom he has dispensed* to the Metropolitan Council!

    I have my own diocesan council, and a Presbyterium second to none. What do I need with a dogmatic theologian’s, (I should say, ‘popularizer of theology for the educationally challenged’) kibbitzing advice? *Any matushka and many other ladies in all my parishes have as good a grip, as advanced piety, and as many brains as Father Thomas Hopko*. His letter to the Metropolitan Council is an *unconscionable and mob-inciting RANT. What arrogance and self-delusion!* He and that Protodeacon Danilchick, former Exxon or Enron accountant are, I understand, among Your Beatitude’s most favored advisors, though why anyone would curry their favor is way beyond my ken.”

    * Bishop Tikhon – Muslim Terrorism vs. Christian Abuses Moral Equivalency
    Sat May 15, 2004 7:02 pm – posted in Yahoo Forums

    Our American standard is to judge ourselves by our best traditions, not compare them to others’ worst deeds. If Moslems decapitate, eventually, as many Christians as were drawn and quartered in Christian countries, or stretched on the rack in Christian countries, or firebombed as many non-combatant civilians as were firebombed in Dresden or Tokyo, that does not get us off the hook for what WE do today. America is supposedly opposed to torture, no? Did we say in WWII, for example, “Well, they incinerated Jews and Gypsies and so on,” so we get to torture German prisoners?”

    Showing the beheading of an American on video does not make up for a blundering invasion of a country which was armed by us, because they are armed. And, it turns out, all that stuff about WMDs, called imaginary by the “liberal press”, has yet to be verified by anyone at all! Who was right there? Hannity? Limbaugh? They are not dirtbags. What an idea! Just mediocre men filled up with a lot of noisome wind.

    No, Al, you clearly stated the Moslems are dirtbags. I repeat, Moslems, all of them, Mohammed Ali, Malcom X, Ayatollah Khomeini, Saladin, etc., etc., are all created in the image of God. And you and I, Al, are as deserving of the death sentence and anything else that might be meted out to us, including being beheaded over and over eternally in Hell, slowly and with lots of screams, as any of what you so righteously call dirtbags.


    * Bishop Tikhon – 9/11 Terrorist Attacks Justified
    Sun Jul 11, 2004 5:01 am – posted in Yahoo Forums

    What does Al mean by “unprovoked”, I wonder? Were those suicide attacks done just out of auto-eroticism then, without any provocation by commerce, business, or money or aid to Israel? I think there’s one line of “thought” (there’s a laugh) that says it’s all because they are evil people and they hate us for being good. Comforting.

    Patrick’s right, just because those suicide attackers killed as many as were bombed in Panama to get Noriega does not give them the right to imitate us.

    I don’t see any comparison with Pearl Harbor. That was not an act of desperation, but the implementation of calculated military strategy. The suicide attacks, like all suicides, are the result of desperation. No one commits suicide because he feels powerful. It’s a last resort in every sense of the word “last.” I would say that the suicide crack-ups into the Trade Towers were more like the Kamikaze attacks of desperation of the Japanese in the days when countless civilians and non-combatants were to be softened up by mass fire-bombings and then simply annihilated with atom bombs, one of which was just “not enough.”

    I suppose a Japanese, observing Al’s getting all upset about not enough coverage of the beheadings, would wonder why they had not thought of posting a picture of every incinerated Japanese corpse, to show what a Christian nation (one nation “under God”) could do, from high and safe in the air, compared to a few….what was it again? Moslem scumbags. after combat operations were over?

    I never did catch on to that “combat operations are over.” I thought the war (combat) against terrorism had just got under way? No? He’s always way over my head.


    • The e-mail he posted speaks for itself. I don’t need the commentary of a crazy guy to interpret those e-mails.

      If the e-mails were forged then those addressed or those the e-mails are purported to be from would probably speak out about that right? Stokoe himself has referenced the first e-mail Tikhon posted and said nothing about it being falsified or anything of that nature.

      • Carl Kraeff says

        Elijah–It is a fairly substantial list of serious concerns with the Metropolitan. The author, Dr. Dmitri Solodow is a member of the Metropolitan Council and is allowed/required to share such concerns with fellow Council members. He is also wise in coordinating such concerns and the MC agenda ahead of the next meeting. This is strictly SOP but y’all have elevated it to a conspiracy just because the target of criticism is +Jonah. Would you rather everybody, including the MC, administration and the Holy Synod start discussing everything in public? Let’s quit being fixated on personalities and think about the good of the Church.

        Heracleides–See my reply to Elijah above. In addition, I should point out that Dr. Solodow has been involved in OCA governance for many years and was a member of the Special Investigative Committee (SIC). His opinion is worth listening to, but I should point out that he did not publicly air his concerns out of concern for the well being of the Church, to include +Jonah.

        Helga–Your argument rests on the allegation that Dr. Faith Skordinski’s leaked email proves that Father Garklavs was manipulating the report to hurt +Jonah. My reading of the email, by yet another outstanding servant of the Church, shows otherwise. I have posted my analysis elsewhere on this blog but I will say one more thing. The revelation that the report indicates a violation of the policy is indeed new, certainly if one reads OCA News.

        Skeptikal–Apostolic Canon 34 forbids a metropolitan from doing anything of consequence beyond the boundaries of his own diocese with obtaining the consensus of the Holy Synod. At issue then is if this was an issue of consequence or if the Holy Synod forbade him from doing anything with these nuns. First, he is on a Leave of Absence, with an Administrator to do his primatial duties. So, right from the start we see that he is disobedient to the Holy Synod, something required by both his oath at ordination and Canon 34. Second, if this nun was not released by her Bishop in Greece, it would be a matter affecting the entire OCA and thus both an issue of consequence and one that affects the entire Church. Third, if the Holy Synod instructed the Metropolitan not to do anything with these nuns, his action would still be an act of defiance, of disobedience.

    • Heracleides says

      Let’s deal with the actual email, shall we? You know – the whole “it’s the message, not the messenger” that Stokoe and his groupies are always harping on about. Like Elijah said – the MC representative’s email speaks for itself.

      • Heracleides, re:

        “Let’s deal with the actual email, shall we?”

        Really? I thought this site and put a great deal of emphasis on the “gay cabal”, the “conspiring liberals”, “status and supposed orientations of the messengers” etc. Could have fooled me!

        FYI, That is why I posted a sampling of the liberal/leftists views and delusional comments of +Bishop Tikhon of the West (Fitzgerald) who is as extreme a political liberal and anti-conservative mouthpiece as they come. This was the narrative that we were/are being fed by so many who claim that’s at the core of the “culture war” in the OCA.

        • Dn Brian Patrick Mitchell says

          Chris, both this website and OCATruth have very reasonably maintained that people can be right at times and wrong at other times. They’ve said as much about both the Metropolitan and Mark Stokoe. But you have yet to admit that Stokoe has ever been wrong, and you are now arguing that since retired Bishop Tikhon held wrong opinions in the past he is utterly without credibility now. Where’s the reason in that?

          • Oh really, then these comments from in the last few days ago represent what, a “balanced and reasonable” analysis according to you?

            As far as the Synod is concerned, at least according to this document from an insider writing to other insiders who are part of the conspiracy, the idea of +Jonah going on a leave to rest was a complete sham. It has all been a masquerade. If you thought you understood what was going on based on reading OCANews and simply observing events, you were wrong.

            Anybody who thinks that a Lavender Mafia will act to ensure the integrity of the Church is deluded. Such conspiratorial actions are part and parcel of all gay cabals. The internal level of distrust that exists within them invariably leads to leaking, backbiting, backstabbing, and so forth. Gay cabals always implode. The question is how much damage can they do on their way down?

            The impetus to move up the timetable was a reaction to the disturbing actions of the Holy Synod, the loss of HB as our locum tenens and a need to provide for our own protection. I can be certain that nobody in the DOS intends to be cowed by the Holy Synod into nominating a puppet to do their bidding.

            Call me cynical, but I interpret the renewed interest in these two unnamed bishops in getting someone named to the DOS episcopate, especially while HB is sidelined on his retreat, as an attempt to close off the possibility that +Jonah might establish a Southern stronghold. These two bishops — who do you think they are? — are trying hard to outflank +Jonah. Under these suspicious conditions, the episcopate of the South could be a poisoned chalice. If you want this job, though, you’d be wise to keep your pro-Jonah opinions to yourself … though do realize that having failed to stand up for His Beatitude in his time of need will not exactly endear you to the people you will have to lead.

            • Dn Brian Patrick Mitchell says

              Did I say that everything on these two websites was “balanced and reasonable”? No, I did not. Did I say that everything on them is accurate? No, Chris, I did not and I will not.

              Nevertheless, all things considered, they have shown more balance, more fairness, and more common sense than you have in your comments. You are grasping at straws, Chris, but these straws won’t save you.

  9. I am not a canonist, but there are instances of precedence for this all the time. Even if this toes the line or goes over (which I doubt) I have a hard time thinking that the HS would be so childish and short sighted to see this tonsuring as an act of defiance. Bishops are pastors, not legalistic wrist-slappers. It would be a negligence of their own pastoral duties to micromanage each other to that extent.

    What release for which nun are you speaking about? Not the nun he tonsured, who was by all accounts I’ve seen, a member of HB’s diocese.

    If you want to be technical: be technical. HB is on a voluntary leave of absence. There is a temporary chancellor. There are new Locum Tenens for now to look over what he had been Locum Tenes of. There’s an Administrator of the South. He was not releived of his pastoral duties, and hence of his diocesan authority. There has been much confusion as to what the “leave” means, and I think its a safe bet to say that there is nothing clearly stated out there. If that’s the case, how can we say that THIS action of HB is clear defiance and disobediance?

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