Scandal in Chicago: the Initial Story is No Longer “Operative”

In regards to the affair regarding the recent unpleasantness in the Diocese of Chicago, I decided to contact Syosset again. The reason is because I distinctly remember being told that Bp Matthias was not the subject of the investigation but his handling of a subordinate who was implicated in some sexual misconduct.

As noted, I commented that this was strikingly similar to the reason that His Beatitude was illegally ousted. Be that as it may, the official story changed within 24 hours. In the words of the Nixon White House, that story was no longer “operative.”

Below is my email to the Frs Eric Tosi and John Jillions.

from: via
sender-time: Sent at 10:23 PM (GMT-04:00). Current time there: 11:59 PM. ✆
date: Tue, Sep 4, 2012 at 10:23 PM
subject: Bp Matthias

Fr Eric, bless!

Christ is in our midst!

Per our conversation last Thursday, I wanted to confirm what we had discussed, and equally important, what I had heard when the story about His Grace first broke.

What my correspondents in the Midwest first told me Wednesday night was that His Grace was placed on “administrative leave” and/or “leave of absence.” The reason that this action was taken pending was that he had not properly investigated allegations of a sexual nature against one of the priests in his diocese. If I remember correctly, you confirmed this. In fact, I’m sure of it as I then questioned you why the same consideration was not shown His Beatitude who was unceremoniously removed for being accused of doing the same thing (i.e., not properly investigating a rape allegation against a priest under his omorphor*). You responded immediately that I “was wrong” and “that I did not have all the facts.”

The implication of all this was that His Grace was being investigated for the same lack of pastoral oversight that caused His Beatitude’s illegal and uncanonical ouster. Since that initial conversation (around 12:30 CST) and even before I posted the essay “Here We Go Again” later that night, other priests in the DOMW told me the same thing; i.e., that His Grace was not guilty of any personal moral transgression but was guilty of executing proper episcopal overisght. In fact, they told me that they got it directly from you and that you told them that if anybody had any questions they were to contact you directly (as had I). Therefore the story I initially heard the night before, then from you, and then from other interested parties was the same –that His Grace was not personally guilty of any moral transgression. Though regrettable, this did not reflect on his own personal morality as any supervisor can make a similar error in judgment regarding a subordinate. A perpetrator is ultimately responsible for his own actions and no one else.

The next day however, the Diosese of the Midwest put out something more disturbing –that it was the bishop himself who was being implicated and that it was an act which could be deemed a moral transgression on his part. Indeed, the official statement was written by His Grace using words to that effect.

Clearly, both stories cannot be true as they are diammetrically opposed to one another.

As I have waited to find out more before I post another essay, I am asking you or Fr Jillions to correct the record: am I wrong in believing that you told me that the bishop was not personally implicated and that he was being put on administrative leave because of lack of proper oversight, or were you more vague about the nature of the incident? I very much remember the former being the case. Ordinarily I would be willing to give you the benefit of the doubt however as other priests had told me the earlier iteration (before the official story came out), I am at a loss as to what to think.

Please advise,

In Christ,

Geo Michalopulos

*We now know that the bill of particulars against His Beatitude were false on many levels: 1) he did not receive this priest into the OCA, 2) he did not stand in the way of any investigation, and 3) the allegation against the priest did not rise to the level of physical contact as the SIC Report itself stated. If you would like to point out where I may be mistaken, please feel free to do so.

Well, I never received an answer but it looks like Syosset tried to contain the damage anyway. Yesterday, they posted a brief message concerning this incident. It’s very business-like and neutral. My sources tell me that they’re going after the woman to try and make her back down. If anybody has any direct knowledge of the situation, please feel free to comment.


  1. Isn’t there a Commandment about playing loose with the facts? I believe it’s toward the bottom of the list, but it’s still on there.

    In the case of +Jonah, the lack of pastoral oversight charge was fabricated to oust him. In the case of +Matthias, it was employed for the opposite purpose. The OCA is simply too small to hide stuff in.

  2. ThankYouGirl says

    I was told the same thing, that His Grace was not the subject of the allegations, but rather a priest in the Midwest Diocese. A lie is a lie is a lie…

    But what concerns me even more is the double standard between how the allegations against His Grace were handled (a paid leave of absence, and not even an acknowledgement of the leave from Syosset, plus false information told to those who asked regarding who was the subject of misconduct allegations, not even a word until concerns were so prevalent that he was forced to explain), and how Father Zacchaeus’ allegations were handled/publicized instantly on our national website, defaming his good character, and how Fr Zacchaeus was removed from St Catherine’s and his salary taken away before even a trial (before he even heard specified what the charges were against him), and how the initial charges were not even persued, yet additional charges of “disobedience” were raised because he was in the hospital and didn’t use Kishkovsky’s plane ticket immediately back to NYC, false letters were sent, unsigned, in Metropolitan JONAH’s name, etc., etc., etc., as well as the way Metropolitan JONAH was criminally slandered and financially blackmailed to resign.

    Where’s the consistency? Where’s the honesty, transparency?

    • George Michalopulos says

      good questions all. I forgot about the Fr Zacchaeus Wood thing. BTW, whatever happened to him?

      • The Pastoral Changes from June showed Fr. Z’s suspension had been extended for three years. Yes, he’s supposed to stay in limbo for THREE YEARS.

        • Lola J. Lee Beno says

          And whats he supposed to do for the three years he is in limbo? Without a salary?

          • get a job.Bishop Nikolai’s got a part-time job and is looking for more. A lot of clergy, though (Harry! Are you paying attention), may never have had to make a payroll, but have nevertheless, even if celbates or monastics, done a lot of work that some married priests have never stooped to do, in fact, many of them have never even had a paper route. I’ve had a couple paper routes, been a bus-boy in a restaurant, been a stock-boy in a Department store (Hudson’s), worked on two assembly lines, Dodge and Ford Truck, been a clerk typist, been an administrative assistant, driven a taxicab, and so on. Archimandrite Zaccheus is a very very resourceful person: i don’t think he’ll ever be hard up.

            • Bishop Tikhon (Fitzgerald) says:
              September 6, 2012 at 12:04 pm

              I’ve had a couple paper routes, been a bus-boy in a restaurant, been a stock-boy in a Department store (Hudson’s), worked on two assembly lines, Dodge and Ford Truck, been a clerk typist, been an administrative assistant, driven a taxicab, and so on.

              Fairly typical for our generation who grew up in the ’30s, ’40s, and early ’50s.

              • Oh, PdnNJ, fairly typical indeed, for our class in those years. I should have mentioned three years soldiering and ten years officering in the Air Force. But I enlisted. it was being DRAFTED that was fairly typical for our generation and class. In which branch of the armed forces did you serve, PdnNJ? And you worked your way through school as well? That wasn’t typical of my high school graduating class. Most who went to college in my class had everything paid by their parents. What factories did you work in?

                • Vladyka, since my original reply to the your above post was moderated out, I’ll try to answer your questions (insinuations?) in a way that may be more acceptable to George, as follows:
                  Bishop Tikhon (Fitzgerald) says:
                  September 6, 2012 at 4:21 pm

                  Oh, PdnNJ, fairly typical indeed, for our class in those years.

                  Yes indeed, Your Grace.

                  I should have mentioned three years soldiering and ten years officering in the Air Force.

                  I should mention 2 yrs. active duty, 2 yrs. active reserves, and 4 yrs. standby inactive reserves, totaling 8 yrs.

                  But I enlisted. it was being DRAFTED that was fairly typical for our generation and class.

                  Agreed, because I was drafted in Dec. ’52.

                  In which branch of the armed forces did you serve, PdnNJ?

                  U.S. Army

                  And you worked your way through school as well?

                  Yes, beginning with my high school years, and continuing thru my college years.

                  That wasn’t typical of my high school graduating class.

                  It was with quite typical for mine.

                  Most who went to college in my class had everything paid by their parents.

                  There a few like that in my class, also. But only a few.
                  (I attended college under the Korean War G.I. Bill, which paid for college tuition and books only (not very expensive in those days).

                  What factories did you work in?

                  Electric motor, aircraft armament, aircraft production, steel castings, and beverage can production factories.

                  Does that answer your questions (interrogation?), Your Grace?

                  PS: Dear commenters and readers here, I’m sure that many of you had to go through more challenging times to get to where you are now then either Vladyka or I, and I highly compliment you for that.

                  • Philippa (former USN wife-deceased) says

                    Your Grace and Pdn NJ, thank you for your military service.

                    • Thank you, Philippa, for your “thank you.”

                    • Oh, Philippa, thank YOU.
                      I often look back from my plough, especially since retiring, and contemplate how much happier my life might have been if I’d not gotten out of the Army at the conclusion of the my enlistment in 1957 to finish college (I was at Camp Zama Japan, at the time, at AFFE-8th Army (Rear) Headquarters, in the Japan Signal Battalion). I met General Lyman Lemnitzer while in Japan, during a visit to Pershing Heights, HQS of Far East Command/United Nations Command, and, coincidentally, I met him again years later when I was serving as Company Operations Officer in the 454 Combat Defense Squadron (SAC) at Goose Bay Labrador. General Lemnitzer, then Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, came through with Robert kennedy on a way to a fishing expedtion up north of Goose Bay, and he remembered me! That was 1961 . Another look back from the plough relates to just before I enlisted. When I told one of my German professors, Doctor Valentini, at Wayne State that I was going to take a break and enlist in the Army, he tried mightily to talk me out of it, offering me a sure-thing Woodrow Wilson. So I fully sympathize with Metropolitan Jonah in his indecision relative to having personally signed his resignation notice.

                  • Only BIG difference I see is that PdnNJ was drafted, that is, involuntarily inducted into the U.S. Army and that he went to college on the Korean GI Bill.
                    I enlisted for three years, after working my way through three years of college, and went to college only one year, my senior year, on the Korean GI Bill.
                    Then there’s my ten year active service in the U.S.A.F.
                    Another difference is that I was born in 1932, the very lowest point of the Depression into which Herbert Hoover (“a car in every garage and a chicken in every pot”) plunged us, from which it was steadily uphill all the way under FDR’s strong and enlightened leadership.

                    • George Michalopulos says

                      That’s not fair, Your Grace. Hoover did not “plunge” the nation into the Great Depression although he did manage to make it worse.

                    • Bishop Tikhon (Fitzgerald) says:
                      September 7, 2012 at 7:48 pm

                      Only BIG difference I see is that PdnNJ was drafted, that is, involuntarily inducted

                      I “see” many other BIG differences.
                      Also, “involuntary inducted”??? From the earliest years of our country thru the 1970s, when our name came up, we Draftees did not feel like we were being abducted, bound hand and foot, and dragged into basic training and the war zones. Those few who did went AWOL. We didn’t “enlist” beforehand because we knew that, sooner or later, “our turn” was coming anyway.

                    • George Michalopulos says

                      I see your point there. the last time Americans were press-ganged into military service was in the 1810s when the Royal Navy would dragoon young American men to serve on their ships. That was one of the precipitate cuases of the War of 1812 btw.

                    • Bishop Tikhon (Fitzgerald) says:
                      September 7, 2012 at 7:48 pm

                      Another difference is that I was born in 1932,

                      Well, Your Grace, I was born in 1932 also.
                      You must have been some sort of a “child prodigy” to be able to discern that about President Hoover and the Great Depression in your infant years.
                      (The many inaccuracies and questionable things that show up in your posts here make me wonder just how dependable what you write really is.)

                  • Please forgive me, but this is all rather childish playground stuff. Who cares what work and military experience any of you have had? Better to stick to the subjects at hand.

                    • Fr. Ambrose: I was just responding to the questions Bishop Tikhon asked me in an insinuating way in his post of September 6, 2012 at 4:21 pm above. He asked them here, publicly, and so I felt I had to answer them here, to the same public. Should I ask forgiveness for boring others here with that? If so, then I ask for forgiveness.
                      Please allow me to ask you this question: Do you think that a persons life experiences have a formative bearing on his/her spirituality and world view, and, because of that, may be interest to others?

                    • That’s all right, Father Ambrose! We all moralize from time to time.
                      Sometimes the views of people like PdnNJ and I and many others are attacked on the basis of our experience, education, family background, ethnicity and so on. Where were you when this happened? I am perhaps overly quick to react to untrue or unfair characterizations of those factors.
                      As for your revealing, so revesling, “who cares what work or military experience any of you have had,” I think it’s obvious that you do not. However, you are obviously a paragon of virtuous focus. You sound like a former PECUSA convert to me, but, “who cares”, right?

          • He’s been commanded to stay at the OCA’s monastery in California (under Fr Melitios) for three years. Hope for justice is gone; all we can hope for is that the OCA releases him to the Ukrainians, who have requested him.

            • Misery!

              “hope that the OCA releases him to the ukrainians, who have requested him?”
              Don’t they know anything about him?
              Has he dried out? I think three years would make that more of a relatively sure thing.

              • Disgusted With It says

                Your Grace,

                Three years? This is the OCA — we put bishops back out on the job after just a few weeks. Then we promote them just a few years later. Why not the same for other clergy?

        • He is wanted back:

          They are even plotting, in Russian, how to maybe get him back and the only message on the English forum at that website pertains to the same. Just ran into this by accident and then kinda looked around the website. Does anyone recall hearing on the OCA website that the priest of our OCA representation Church was supplied by Patriarch Kiril?

          The deacon, also lent by Patriarch Kiril, older than the priest by three years, son of a priest, has great credentials in voice and theology, has two children, but only has a bio in Russian:

      • About Archimandrite Zacchaeus (Wood) I have some knowledge, none of it current. Before I retired, at a Holy Synod meeting where Metropolitan Herman was in the chair, I asked Metropolitan Herman directly, “Your Beatitude! What about Zacchaeus’s notorious alcoholism? It seems to me that leaving an alcoholic in Russia of all places, and in Moscow, is like assigning a pot smoker to an opium den!” Metropolitan Herman looked around and said, ‘But, but his doctor said that’s all under control, isn’t it?” and he looked at Archbishop Job who said, “Yes, it’s all under control.” I have to say that I totally deserve my reputation. I can’t let such nonsense stay out there without comment. I said, “But he’s been more than once returned to St. Catherines by the Moscow police who found him passed out here or there or on a park bench or the like!” Nathaniel or someone said, “No, His Beatitude’s right; it’s all under control.
        Monomakhos contributors!!! Have you ever heard anything so insane? I had heard then, and I’ve heard several times since then, from OCA clergy and laity, MP Clergy, and ROCOR clergy that “Father Zacchaeus can drink anybody under the table!” One Priest said, ‘I thought I could hold my liquor. I’m a Cossack after all, and we all can take our vodka, but Zacchaeus beat me, hands down!” It’s a completely open secret. Thank GOD he’s been removed from the vodka capital of the world and the obligation to entertain every Tom, Dick, and Harry who comes visiting from the States, as well as every Russian Protodeacon, Archpriest or Bishop who wants to see what things are like at “The American Church!”
        I’m just sorry that instead of bringing him back and sending him to be dried out, “Syosset’ decided to leave him there, in danger, until something serious enough happened that it became not only a regular embarrassment, but threatened to become a very public one, and he had to be forced to come back, even though he escaped having to return by going into a hospital for a while. His friends in this case were, as so often happens, his worst enemies. One of them’s himself a lawyer and he even sent a letter to the Chancellor of the OCA at the time, Protopresbyter Rodion S. Kondratick telling him, ‘If you touch Zacchaeus, you’re finished.” Who knows why he may be at the notorious Manton now? Archbishop Seraphim was dispatched there at the first sign of his troubles. Does hypnotherapy work on, say, alcoholics and/or sex addicts? We should all thank God that, apparently, Fr.Zacchaeus’s problems, some of them, are being addressed and he’s probably out of immediate danger. Three years sounds like either a sentence or a therapeutic period. I think if a court had been convened, we’d have heard of it, although we didn’t hear anything about a court before Archpriest Michael Roshak was deposed from the Priesthood.

        • It’s expecting a lot more than people can deliver, I suppose, to hope that anything like canonical due process take place in our OCA. This is a problem seriously in need of fixing.

          We have the wherewithall to do the right thing, but the Holy Synod keeps not doing it, not in the case of Fr Michael Roshak, not in the case of Fr Zacchaeus Wood — both of whom deserve to be laicized — not in the cases of Fr Robert Kondratick and Metropolitan Jonah Paffhausen — both of whom deserve to be exonerated and reinstated.

          FrZW and his predecessor, Fr Nicholas Iuhos, left such a predatory, financial, homosexual stink in Moscow that our OCA is a laughingstock there even now. FrNI’s diabetes precluded any embarrassment with alcohol, but little else; he has since left The Church.

          FrZW’s weaknesses with both of these liabilities made an awful mess, up to and including his attempt to accuse Fr Robert Kondratick of embezzlement at the same time as FrRK — with the full knowledge of OCA Central — was trying to catch FrZW in flagrante delicto re: the Beslan money.

          An american priest of the MP told me that, while he was visiting the Sretenskiy Monastery in Moscow, one of the monks advised him not to spend any time with or even be seen with FrZW, since that would seriously damage his reputation. That’s bad. Irreparably bad.

          I hope and pray that both of these monastic priests repent their sins and return to full communion with the orthodox, even if they must (and I think should) relinquish their priesthood.

          • Anna(GoToHim) says

            Monk James, you are quite wrong and your slander against Fr Zacchaeus’ ministry at St Catherine’s is a lie.

            Where is your proof when you accuse Father Zacchaeus of leaving a “predatory stink” in Moscow? This is a blatant lie, and before God and this forum you must recant.

            As far as any “financial stink,” there was a serious problem, not with Father Z, but with a money handler who stole from St Catherine’s and built himself a mansion with the money. The records prove this. When Fr Z began to suspect his ongoing crime (for instance, he would overcharge rent on St Catherine-owned properties, report the lesser amount and steal the difference, as well as other theivery), THAT is when Fr Z was accused and recalled by Kishkovsky/Syosset.

            As far as a “homosexual stink,” again, Father, this untrue. Again, what do you base this on?

            As far as Fr Zacchaeus blowing the whistle on Bob Kondratick’s embezzlement, this is documented clearly on videotape, and all Fr Z did was give a copy of the videotape to then-Bishop +JOB. You are in delusion when you try to twist Bob Kondratick’s calls to Fr Z about redirecting the Beslan money illegally away from those orphans it was raised to help and who Fr Z gave it to, into Bob K “trying to catch” Fr Z. This is proven false by Bob’s own voice and words on videotape! As a brother I warn you with fear: this blatant, slanderous lie you will either answer for here on this forum or eternally in punishment.

            Letters from St Catherine’s faithful show Father Zacchaeus’ ministry was blameless, positive, healthy, and one of continued spiritual growth and vitality for members and the surrounding community. He served the OCA faithfully as a good representative. The letter from his superiors at the California monastery not only verify that Father Zacchaeus was not an alcoholic and did not currently drink to excess, but spoke of him as not deserving the injustice handed to him by Bishop Melchisedek, Fr Garklavs and Tosi, and others on the court headed by Bishop Matthias.

            Whether an American priest advised you not to spend time with Fr Zacchaeus is irrelevant; the good Fr Zacchaeus, like Metropolitan JONAH and so many other good servants of Christ’s Church, has been bad-mouthed behind his back many times. I’d note whoever told you this as someone in cohorts with Syosset in slandering good men.

            I hope and pray that you stop this slander and admit you have no proof because your accusations are lies.

            • Anna(GoToHim) says (September 7, 2012 at 8:26 am — after many other misstatements):

              ‘….I hope and pray that you stop this slander and admit you have no proof because your accusations are lies.’


              I am NOT going to get on that merry-go-round again here, but I’ll make a couple of remarks.

              I don’t doubt the sincerity of ‘Anna(GoToHim)’, but it’s transparently obvious that this correspondent has been led to believe a great many things which are simply not true.

              And as for that infamous ‘Moscow tape’, I still have a copy of it, entrusted to me in the effort to defend Fr Robert Kondratick in the mockery of a Spiritual Court which was illegally constituted, yet irregularly and in contravention of the canons proceeded to try him in absentia and unjustly declared him guilty of sins and crimes later determined by the State of New York never to have happened — incuding Fr Zacchaeus Wood’s false accusations. The tape is worthless as evidence because FrZW and his goons doctored it so clumsily.

              Yet, after all this, our OCA has done NOTHING to repair the terrible damage that Abp Nathaniel, Met. Herman, Fr Paul Kucynda and FrZW did to FrRk and to all of us and to our OCA altogether, except to pay a court-advised omnibus settlement.

              Let’s remember this emphatic point: The OCA paid FrRK, barely covering his legal expenses; FrRK did NOT pay the OCA because the State found that that the OCA had no case against him once the attorneys had ferreted out the liars and perjurers.

              So I’ll say it again: Our OCA will not even begin to be healed unless and until FrRK is reinstated as a priest in good standing of the OCA

            • Anna(GoToHim) Your attacking Monk James is seriously wrong. You make claims about Father Zacchaeus’s tape. Yes, he apparently had the equipment and the ability to surreptitiously film and tape visitors to his church office, unbeknownst to anyone who visited. He also saw to it that a retired KGB general, somehow transfigured into a devout Orthodox Christian (but never recognized as such i the Russian Church), was awarded the Order of St Innocent by Metropolitan Herman.
              I doubt that a Russian archimandrite with no connection to “the organs” would be permitted electronic surveillance equipment in his church office. In America, I believe you can do such filming, but, any Christian would never do so without warning his subject of it. That’s for starters.
              Now, horrid accusations were made at the Holy Synod, supported by Metropolitan Herman and Archbiishop Job, based on their having watched Father Zacchaeus’s secret tapes. Those tapes were never shown to the Holy Synod, so I’ve never seen them, although their very existence is to me nauseating. I doubt if even the most egregious Jesuit “spy” or secret agent of the Pope would stoop to such a sleazy tactic. I ask myself, who in the world would want to have anything to do with an Archimandrite and a Church which deployed electronic equipment to surreptitiously spy on its members? Who knows what other tapes the clever Archimandrite may have up his sleeve?
              Nevertheless, Monk James says he has not only seen the tapes, he has a copy! I disagree rather often with Monk James on unrelated matters, but i would never suspect him of lying or misrepresenting the truth.
              I fully support Monk James in his final sentence as well. To restore Metropolitan Jonah will change nothing unless and until the injustices perpetrated by men and women of ill-will against Protopresbyter and Mrs. Rodion S. Kondratick are rectified. All the rest of this: Bishop Matthias’s “case,” Father Symeon’s “case’, the nun’s “case”, Father Joseph Fester’s case, PLUS Metropoltian Jonah’s case is just wheels spinning, spinning, spinning on a train trying to avoid crashing tnto an avalanche. All American Council? The election of a First Hierarch by the Holy Synod there addresses the least of the OCA’s problems in my opinion, one of many such.
              Protesting? Picketing? Walking out? Not paying the CAA? When I see pickets demanding justice for Protopresbyter and Mrs. Rodion S. Kondratick, I’ll line up behind them.
              When Metropolitan Jonah suggested reopening the Kondratick case or giving a canonical release to Bishop Nikolai, he was answered by two of those controlling “the mind of the Holy Synod” with this spiritual counsel: “Over my dead body.”
              Why are you lying about Father Zacchaeus’s notorious and far-famed behavior in Moscow? Surely, you’re not his mother, Nadine, are you? Only a totally irrational (for one reason or another) mother would be the sort to deny the obvious, no matter how abused by her son she might have been!!

        • Bishop Tikhon says,

          Three years sounds like either a sentence or a therapeutic period.

          I suppose that’s possible. However, from what I have heard but not confirmed, the Synod’s discipline of Fr. Zacchaeus had nothing to do with alcohol or sex. It was, I have heard, an issue of “obedience”.

          As in, they didn’t like how he handled their investigation into him.

          I don’t think St. Luke’s usually handles that.

        • OccidentalGuido says

          Vladyko Bless!

          Your Grace, you sat on the Synod for many years. You speak plainly and to the point. I can appreciate that.
          As a layman I frequently sit back and think WHAT THE FUDGE is going on in their minds?
          Perhaps Vladyko, you might consider explaining to those of us who would like to know through an article, The Mind of the Synod.

          Asking your blessing and kissing your right hand.


          • George Michalopulos says

            Agreed. We’ll never know how we got to this present mess unless all the facts are brought forward.

            • George and OccidentalGuido, I like to write, just for my own enjoyment, and i have written a lot out of a sense of duty, in the form of ‘Letters of Instruction” that I sent out over the years of my active episcopacy. I’ve thought a little, just now, about OccidentalGuido’s suggestion. Yes, something should be written, but “The Mind of the Synod” is a fictitious concept, and I’m not good at fiction at All!
              I reflected, ‘Perhaps the Synod had a mind up until Metropolitan Herman became the First Hierarch and then the Synod proceeded to lose its mind, and its lunacy has increased to new, previously unheard-of extremes in the world of Orthodox Synodal mental hygiene.
              Von Ranke’s famous summary of the meaning of history, “What really went on,” would have to guide anyone who tried to compose a rational narrative about absolutely irrational persons and events.
              On one of my trips back to SVS when I was back on duty in the service, i was in Father Alexander Schmeman’s office and we were discussing the ugly cover that Connie Tarasar had allowed to be put on Vladimir Morosan’s translation of Gardner’s work on church singing. We continued to gossip in that sort of non-intellectual, non-spiritual vein. He asked if I had read “The Fourth Man”, which had been published that year. I had, indeed, and was pleased that he had. He said, ‘I’ve always been fascinated by that sort of thing, i’m not sure why.”‘” For some reason at one point I made a jocular reference to “Sergeant Swayko” (i think we might have mentioned Sergeant Bilko (sp?) before that. Father Alexander burst out laughing. i said, “Do you think he would have imagined when he was the company clerk that he’d become a Bishop?” Father Alexander didn’t answer, but added, “Can’t you just SEE him sitting there at his desk furiously typing out those travel orders and so forth?” So somehow the idea “I’m in charge now!” or maybe “At last I”M the one in charge” somehow might have informed the polity of Metropolitan Herman’s primacy, and not just the typical sense of being a Galician or Rusyn peasant who has been at last appointed to be the village policeman for the Austro-Hungarian masters. I’m not sure, in other words, that my experience, if related, would edify anyone or ameliorate the sand-box polity of the administration, in which Mark Stokoe, Protodeacon Eric Wheeler and a Protopresbyter are very, very active but, cleverly, no longer vocalizing.

        • Dear Vladika,

          What happened with Father Michael? I did not even know he was deposed. Last I heard, he was at the Church in Ansonia, Connecticut.

          What an astounding voice he has!

  3. Lola J. Lee Beno says

    Once again . . . more sandbox play.

  4. So they lie. They flat-out lie. This is not exactly a surprise, but it’s useful to be reminded of it.

    I hope that the accuser will release the e-mails and texts that Matthias sent her and let the rest of us judge for ourselves.

    • George Michalopulos says

      I think she needs to do it to protect herself. Word on the street is that they’re going to go after her.

      • Mark from the DOS says

        As I noted below, it is quite possible that Bp. Matthias needs to release to texts for his own protection!

      • They’re “going after her” to persuade her to withdraw her accusation? Like “the certain persons” who, according to the Synod’s letter of July 16, 2012, tried (implicitly at the behest of ++JONAH), to dissuade E.R., the young woman accusing Hieromonk S of rape (or attempted rape), from filing charges?

        It appears that the accusaton against +Matthias is rather less serious than the one that was threatened against Fr. S, but the alleged cover-ups would be similar–except that it’s ok for those supporting +Matthias to do it; but if for ++JONAH it was another charge against him.


    • OK, what am I missing? says

      “And let the rest of us judge for ourselves”??

      OK, I don’t get it. Are you saying that the question is whether the woman’s interpretation of the bishop’s behavior is correct?

      I work for a huge corporation, which drills us regularly via e-learning modules re legal / ethics issues. Several of those modules have been about sexual harassment — both WRT the law of the land and WRT company policy.

      This is what we’ve been told, again and again: If the victim perceives the unwanted behavior as harassment, then it’s harassment. If the unwanted behavior makes the “harassee” feel uncomfortable, then it’s harassment. Period, over and out. Nobody gets to “interpret” it as non-harassment. Nobody gets to say, “Well, the accuser’s just taking it the wrong way” or “The accuser should lighten up” or “Sure, it was a little off, but it doesn’t rise to the level of harassment.” Nobody gets to dismiss it, minimize it, laugh it off, wish it away, insist that it’s been exaggerated, or claim that it’s all in the victim’s mind. Again: If it makes the person on the receiving end feel uncomfortable, then it’s harassment.

      It seems there is hard evidence in this case: emails. If these emails made the recipient feel uncomfortable, then it’s harassment, plain and simple. I’m no legal beagle, but, from what I’ve been told, that’s how it works. Your or my or anyone else’s “interpretation” is irrelevant.

      Perhaps some lawyers or HR folks who frequent this site can enlighten us here: Is this not how it works?

      • George Michalopulos says

        OK, you bring up a good point vis a vis the secular world. The mixing of the sexes in the corporate world is not a good idea because of the problem you point out. However we are stuck with it and can’t turn back the clock. It’s an unfortunate double-standard.

        In the Church however, as long as we have a male priesthood, there is a good bulwark against this insidious double-standard. I call the “Billy Graham Gambit.” Whenever Rev Graham was slone on an elevator and a woman walked on, he IMMEDIATELY got off.

        • “mixing of the races”…you surely mean mixing of the sexes, George (?)

          I’m not in HR, OK, but the corporation I work for has the same policy – if an action is interpreted by someone as harassment, it is harassment and is actionable within the rules of the corporation (but possibly not in a court of law where the definition of harassment will vary from jurisdiction to jurisdiction and require higher standards of proof). That’s indeed how it works. It may be grossly unfair, unreasonable and even absurd, but that’s how it works. Obviously corporations find it prudent to promote a “zero tolerance” approach on this issue.

          • What Am I Missing? II says

            Basil, I agree that it can be unfair, unreasonable, and absurd. But it is soooo much better now than in the bad old days.

            When I was young, fresh out of college, I once applied for a job as a sales rep with then-independent publishing house Addison-Wesley. The guy who interviewed me apparently felt that “tolerance of ribald humor” was one of the job qualifications. He regaled me with raunchy stories about his (supposed) friend and neighbor, the novelist John Updike, who, he said, had managed to “get into the pants of every housewife in Ipswich.” Apparently I was supposed to laugh heartily at all of this in order to prove that I could handle all the after-hours schmoozing that went along with traveling sales work.

            I left the interview feeling faintly sick.

            I don’t want to bring back those days. I don’t want to bring back the days when you couldn’t go on a press check without noticing that the press-room walls were plastered with crude pinup calendars. I don’t want to bring back the days when bosses and colleagues made cracks about their female employees’ anatomy. I don’t want to bring back the days when an influential client could get a secretary fired because she had the temerity to object to his crude sexual comments (“I love the smell of sweet [Name] ovulating” — this is a true story!). I don’t want to bring back the days when a friend of mine, a lowly library assistant at Harvard’s Widener Library, was almost raped by her supervisor in Widener’s dungeon-like D level — and Harvard did absolutely nothing about it.

            Maybe corporations now go overboard in the other direction, but, in my opinion, that’s mostly a Good Thing. I get the impression that you agree. 🙂

            I really don’t see why churches should not follow suit. As you say, zero tolerance is today’s reality, whether we like it or not.

            And BTW, sexual harassment is not just a guy-vs-girl thing. As you know, it works the other way, too. The cases may be less common, but they’re out there.

            • The commitment to due process is what’s missing in today’s culture.

              I have observed a rather dramatic shift in the past 2-3 decades. I suspect the rise of the internet and 24-hour cable news and the resulting collapse of journalism as a profession (traditionally funded by the sale of newspapers) explains much of this shift. There is less and less credible information and less and less accountability at all levels of society. When pillars of a culture break down, “strong men” and mobs rush in to fill the void. Cultural values and eventually the health of individual minds suffer. The only viable alternative currently is that we all have to work harder in our free time as non-professionals, we have to play our little part however we can. This is what many on this blog are doing.

      • justagoodoleboy says

        OK, what am I missing?:

        I think the basic point with oca’s handling of almost anything is that you can’t fix stupid.

        We assume that the oca administration is rational and professional.

        Yet we see the press releases that make no heart sense, that defy logic and compassion.

        Why? I think because of sin. Sin makes one stupid, it has to ignore the real truth.

        So, don’t expect to comforted by sinful statements.

        Ours hearts raise the red flags when we see the stupidity.

        My prayers and admiration go out to the one who had the courage to stand up for herself. Don’t let them involve you in their sin. Stand your ground in truth.

      • Priest Justin Frederick says

        So in the corporate world, if someone says that just my very presence, without word, look, or directed action, makes her feel uncomfortable and harassed, I’m guilty of harassment? Have we come to this now?

        • Mark from the DOS says

          Fr. Justin –

          Within corporate policy, in many cases yes. There are a plethora of stories out there that basically say what the original poster said. It is not content, but perception that matters; and the perception of the recipient of the “harassment” is paramount in many corporate cultures. There is the story of the policy that prohibited “meaningful glances” and the like. Now at law, the standard is a bit higher, but in the private sector, it can be land mines all around!

          This of course is very different than the DOM situation which I do not understand to be employment related. I am not sure there is any real legal exposure here. Sounds like some bad judgment and, if some of the statements published here are true, some really inappropriate communications. But unless the messages are actually released, all we will ever have to go on is somebody’s word.

        • Sadly, yes.

    • Rod,

      What’s allegedly “inoperative” is that the allegations involved another priest and not the Bishop himself.

      The Bishop himself said that the allegations were against him, personally, back on 8/31.

      How is that a lie?

    • Rod, Mark, and George,

      I have just finished reading many of the post listed in “Scandal in Chicago,” as well as “Here We Go Again.” I am wondering if anyone can answer a few questions for me.

      First: During August, Bishop Matthias’ addressed a letter to the Clergy & Faithful. In this letter he mentioned an allegation of unwelcomed written and spoken comments to a woman, which she believed were an inappropriate crossing of personal boundaries. The Bishop also stated that he denied all allegations and planed to respond in due course. In the mean time, he is on paid administrative leave. Mark, on September 6th you commented that the Bishop should release the text for his own protection. I am in full agreement with your post. My question is, do you really believe that in due course he will also release all written comments? After all, he denies the allegations, so there should be nothing to hide. Transparency is the best when one wants to be honest and protect oneself.

      Second: Rod, on September 6th you made a good point when you said that the accuser should release all emails and text. My second question is; what if George is right and accuser feels the need to protect herself? Even George said “the word on the street is that they’re going after her.” This young woman must depend on the OCAs investigation to be properly and honestly conducted.

      Third: I also read a statement issued by the OCA Chancery on August 24th stated that the allegation centers on how certain telephone and text communications directed by His Grace to an adult woman member of the OCA were understood to have been intended. The OCA should also be transparent and release all text communications so that Clergy and Faithful Orthodox can read the comments. Only then could Orthodox Christians make a decision as to if the young woman read the comments correctly, or if Bishop Matthias was correct in denying such allegations. How easy/hard could that be? Why isn’t Bishop Matthias or the OCA releasing the emails and the text to prove the Bishops innocence?

      Fourth: The OCA said an adult woman; some people have posted that this is a young woman. I want to know how old this woman is in comparison to Bishop Matthias. As Christians we are suppose to be able to see a Bishop as someone that is trustworthy and whom we all should respect. If the allegations are true, did Bishop Matthias use his power as Bishop to abuse his pastoral authority? Young woman most likely have limited funds to fight an organization that may try to hide the truth. The leaders of the OCA will most likely emotionally and financially support Bishop Matthias. According to Bishop Matthias’ August 24th letter, he receives paid leave. Who is there to support this young woman? This puts the accuser at a huge disadvantage. Does anyone really believe that the lawyer being sent by the OCA will benefit the young woman or will the lawyer benefit Bishop Matthias?

      George, Rod, and Mark, don’t let this story disappear. Both Bishop Matthias and the OCA have come forward in written letters and said these allegations include written comments. If the Faithful remain silent, the allegations brought forward by this young Orthodox woman will most likely disappear. This female most likely filed the allegation against Bishop Matthias so that other woman would not have to deal with abuse of pastoral authority and have their personal boundaries crossed. Wake this story up again, speak-out and keep requesting transparency from the OCA. If these allegations are true, we all can show our support for this young woman by being vocal and put pressure on the OCA to do what is right by releasing all written communications associated with this allegation. During this investigation the OCA should ignore a buddy system and do what God expects of church leaders.

      • Lola J. Lee Beno says

        I agree with you. I’m still in the dark as to exactly what happened and I think someone has to get to the bottom of this – whether it was a misunderstanding, if somebody is lying, or if there really is a problem.

  5. George Michalopulos says

    For the sake of my own integrity, I’ll say that I don’t know what the real story is, all I do know is that we were told one thing one day and a totally different thing the next day. If His Grace is innocent then the facts should be allowed to speak for themselves, unfortunately, his handlers are not helping his side of the story.

    It reminds me of the Lewinsky Affair. First it was “there was no semen-stained blue dress,” now the blue dress is housed in the Smithsonian.

    • Patrick Henry Reardon says

      It reminds me of the Lewinsky Affair.

      Did you notice, George?

      The Rabbi who gave the invocation last night after President Clinton’s speech is Monica Lewinsky’s pastor.

      We Democrats have a real feel for history, don’t you think?!

      • George Michalopulos says

        I didn’t! But thank you for bringing it to my attention. It would take an absurdist of Swiftian proportions to make this stuff up.

  6. Mark from the DOS says

    “My sources tell me that they’re going after the woman to try and make her back down.”

    If she truly has the written evidence and the sending is admitted, this will be their tact (as they have no others left).
    Compare this to the allegation that Met. Jonah was in contact with someone who was urging recantation of the rape allegation. Honestly, the hypocrisy of the situation is mind boggling.

    But it is not the most disturbing part of this situation. If the investigators get her to say “I took it the wrong way” “It was harmless” etc, then it all goes away, the texts never get revealed and Bp. Matthias can be restored (but now controlled by whoever at Syosset has the texts in a nice little file, ready for anonymous release if Bp. Matthias gets out of line).

    If Bp. Matthias is brought back from leave, for his own integrity and his own future independence, he MUST release the texts himself. This removes any future leverage that Syosset and the other bishops have over him. He must release them, beg forgiveness for a lapse in judgment, and then move forward. While he is at it, he might want to repent of his part in +Jonah’s ouster. On that issue, it is true he was the first to put out a letter. The willingness to communicate is admirable; the content of what he said was demonstrably false. I wonder whether he had been misled by +Benjamin and the other conspirators of the lesser Synod and CA, and this “event” is the move to keep him from revealing their misdeeds.

    • “woman”–SHES BARELY LEGAL! (from what i heard)

      • OccidentalGuido says

        If that is how this shakes out, His Grace is gonna have a lotta ‘splainin’ to do.

        I really hope this is not true.
        It’s one thing to hit on a woman ones own age.
        I can understand a man being lonely and seeking female companionship, but it SEEMS he may have been attempting to take advantage of a women in a delicate pastoral situation,
        Any other profession, if the allegations prove true, would cost him his job and possibly his professional license.

  7. Lord, have mercy! I am praying for God to drag the deeds of the evil one into the light so that his plans come to naught in the OCA. May the Lord grant our hierarchs and all our Priests the grace of true repentance wherever it is required. The time has come (from my human vantage point). This scandalous deceit and hypocrisy MUST STOP!

  8. George, there needs to be one correction to your footnote. The “J” case covered in the SIC report, and the rape allegation made by “K.” that Met. Jonah was falsely accused of covering up, are two different things.

    What the “J” case and the SIC report show us is the following:

    – The Synod’s statement flat-out lied where it claimed Met. Jonah handled “previous allegations” against Fr. X in a manner “at complete variance” with required procedures. The SIC took no issue with how Met. Jonah handled the allegation. The fact that Met. Jonah recused himself from the investigation shows he was willing to accept the possibility that he had handled things incorrectly and to back away from the case to allow that to be investigated. As it turns out, the only problem the SIC had with Met. Jonah’s handling of Fr. X was his incorrect handling of the incomplete transfer.

    – It proves there were rumors of Fr. X being a rapist before the “K.” allegation came to light, rumors that the SIC condemned as undoubtedly false. NONE of the rumors pertained to “K.” in any way, they accused Fr. X of raping one of the nuns, a total lie, or were a gross exaggeration of what happened to J. “K.” did not report her allegation to ANYONE until 2012.

    – The SIC report proclaims Fr. X was never an OCA priest on what turns out to be an incorrect basis, that his Greek bishop (Metropolitan Cyril) did not approve the transfer. We now know that is not true, Metropolitan Cyril did approve the transfer. However, the still-missing element from the transfer is any letter of acceptance from Met. Jonah to Fr. X. Without it, Fr. X is and always was a priest of the Church of Greece.

    Whether or not any such letter ever comes to light, however, the SIC report proves that Met. Jonah attempted to discipline Fr. X as if he were an OCA priest, and was then actively prevented from doing so. Keep in mind the SIC took no issue with how Met. Jonah handled the misconduct, only with his mishandling of the transfer process! That makes the Synod’s charge about Met. Jonah’s handling of Fr. X egregiously unfair and short-sighted.

    There may be more, but I want to get this out there quickly, and I am in dire need of caffeine.

    • George Michalopulos says

      Thank you Helga for making those distinctions. What I wanted to convey in my letter to Syosset was that the initial allegation against Matthias was equivalent to the false allegation made against Jonah. At the time of the false allegations against Jonah (which, ironically was put out by Matthias), there was no mention on the existence of two different rape allegations.

    • Helga,

      This is so concise and important. Have you written the Chancellor, the Metropolitan Council members and the members of the Holy Synod pointing these errors out? Has anyone? Should a number of us have done–or do–so?


      • yes! We all need to write. The more letters the better!

      • Lex, there is something I need to come off of, I was working from memory on the SIC report and should have noted that the SIC did have a problem with Met. Jonah not telling others about Fr. X’s alcohol problem. That was a big oversight on my part, I admit it and apologize. I should have just left the top line in that comment, and written the rest later to avoid this oversight.

        The SIC did, however, make a point of saying Met. Jonah handled the situation correctly once he was made aware of the incident with J. To my knowledge that happened once Met. Jonah became aware of things the SIC report acknowledges were initially concealed from Met. Jonah. The report’s final recommendations for Met. Jonah basically only told him to work with the chancery in operating by proper procedure in interjurisdictional transfers and assignments. They thought his pastoral judgment was “questionable” (I guess for not informing the chancery of Fr. X’s alcohol problem), but we do know Met. Jonah did not bless Fr. X to serve in the OCA after that.

        I hope this clarifies things and again I apologize for my mistake.

  9. Defend the Faith says


    Thank you again for presenting the facts behind the “Syosset Story” of the events that took place with +Matthias. My sources tell me the following:

    1. Emails exist that clearly prove that +Matthias was way out of bounds pastorally with the woman in question.
    2. That +Matthias wrote to the woman in question and referred to her as “cute” and that he wanted to come over to her house, bring his sleeping bag, and take care of her.
    3. The woman in question rebuffed his advances but that he, the bishop, continued to press her in his desire to spend the night with her and minister to her.
    4. The woman in question was offended and alarmed that a bishop would act in such a manner and that she brought this transgression to the OCA officials in Syosset.
    5. Syosset dispatched their “Response Team” to investigate the allegations and as a result +Matthias was place on administrative leave, with pay.
    6. Now Syosset is forced to come clean with the real story and again it makes them look incompetent to even follow their own rules.

    Are the allegations true? There is little doubt that the woman in question was correct to alert the OCA. It is also true that their late and rather poor press release is trying to place the blame not on +Matthias but on the woman in question in suggesting that her interpretation of the bishop’s actions were wrong.

    If Syosset is trying to pressure the woman into recanting it only proves again that we have people in charge who do not have the best interests of the faithful at the center. Rather to punish those who they don’t like (+Jonah) and protect those who they do like (+Matthias.)

    It is clear that +Matthias acted in a totally inappropriate manner. One can only pray that this is an isolated incident and that there are no other “sleepover” events in his past.

    What is so distasteful about this is that it once again demonstrates to the faithful in the OCA and around the world that this Church’s leaders have no moral authority to stand in judgement of +Jonah and yet, we are being asked to gather in a special AAC to nominate one of them? I don’t have a crystal ball that will forecast the future nor who will be the next to lead this crippled Church, but I do know this, whoever that person will be if he does not clean house in Syosset and bring in his own team, he will be surrounded by a group of neophytes who have bungled another situation and further devalued the credibility of this jurisdiction.

    I suppose we should not be surprised that the +Matthias affair will be tied off and cleaned up before Parma, that he will take his seat on the dais with the other bishops and that any attempt to call them to accountability for their actions against +Jonah will be silenced. It will be a “penitential” Council but not for the reasons they have suggested but because we have been abandoned by our leaders and the leader we had, +Jonah, who was cast aside for purely partisan reasons further revealing the lack of charity, shared responsibility and shared suffering that any bishop must assume when he is called to such an awesome before God office.

    While other Orthodox jurisdictions in this land are faithfully spreading the Gospel of our Lord, we in the OCA are saddled by a leadership that continues to disappoint us. The Diocese of the South has been prohibited to even consider Metropolitan Jonah as a possible successor to Archbishop Dmitri. The South has been jerked around by the powers that be in not even being able to present the name of Abbot Gerasim as a nominee for her vacant see. Rather, a bishop who destroyed the peace of this God-protected diocese is now given a job in Syosset as the director of the Fellowship of Orthodox Stewards. I ask you, what good stewardship did this man, Bishop Mark Maymon, demonstrate while in the South?

    When will this madness stop? God only knows but if we don’t speak up and demand better of our leaders then we truly deserve what we get. There is little doubt that clergy in the OCA are scared and are being intimidated into silence. The way Fr. Joseph Fester was treated is a weapon being brandished to keep the clergy in line. +Matthias himself suspended a deacon in his diocese because he dared to have an opinion that was contrary to his. We have bishops who are so insecure in their decisions and leadership that they banish their former brothers into exile. +Jonah not permitted to serve in any OCA parish but one. +Herman not permitted to serve in any OCA parish but one. +Theodosius not permitted to serve in any OCA parish but one. And +Nikolai not permitted to serve in ANY OCA parish. Is this charity? Is this leadership? Is this what being a a cleric in the OCA means? Tow the party line or suffer the consequences?

    We can do better. We must do better but we must hold our leaders to account and if they do not repent, then we must take action to rid ourselves of such men. The laity can leave, and they are, but the clergy must speak up. We all must demand that as a first-step the OCA Synod ask His Beatitude, Metropolitan Jonah for forgiveness. Once they have done that, once WE have done that, then and only then can we begin the long and hard work to salvage what is left of the OCA.

    We must pray for the next Metropolitan but we must not allow our current leaders to get away with immoral actions which diminish us as a Church and the witness we have been called to give our lives for here in the USA.

    • justagoodoleboy says

      In response to Defend the Faith:

      There Syosset, Counter That!

      Unfortunately, since the ocanews days, the “unconfirmed” statements are much more reliable and seem to prompt the official statements.

      Maybe this time the noisy internet will be proven false……

      Someone once said, “Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”, but I guess you have to be one of his followers to believe it.

    • Unless your “source” is the woman herself, then your statements hold no credibility. George and others can’t get their information correct, even when they speak to people first hand.

      It continues to seem to me that everyone is speculating left, right and center which accomplishes nothing. You all are putting out inaccurate information which harms innocent people, including this woman and her family.

      God will take care of what needs to be taken care of. Since you don’t trust the OCA leadership, at least trust Him! Geesh!

    • Is there anyone in the OCA out there who is willing to say they would nominate their bishop to be our next Metropolitan and what is your experience with him that convinces you that he has the qualities necessary to lead us out of this mess?

      • Just Guessing says

        Think about this predicament: Under normal circumstances, priests and people would, with hearts full of gratitude, offer a beloved bishop to be the Metropolitan.

        But in the current crisis that is the OCA, priests and people who truly love their bishop will NOT want to let go of him, since he is a safe harbor in this storm. And priests and people who do not feel love for their bishop will be all too happy to vote him OUT of their diocese by becoming Metropolitan.

        What an incredible mess this will be.

        I am of the opinion that there are only be two logical choices. Votes should be cast either for Metropolitan Jonah or “No Confidence.” Nothing else really makes sense.

      • Daria P,

        I know of plenty of OCA clergy that would like to nominate their own bishop just to get them out of their diocese. Does that count?

      • phil r. upp says


        The OCA isn’t in a mess. If you listen to the naysayers here, like the Republicans describing Obama’s Presidency, you’d think the OCA was just about dead. What a crock. I would nominate Bishop Alexander Golitzin. He’s brilliant; has lots of experience in the Church; extremely wise and can deal with naysayers very well. Besides him, + Nathaniel would also be great. I wouldn’t nominate + Michael. A good fellow, but if he let + Herman get away with everything he did at STOTS without saying a word, ya’ gotta wonder. He says he didn’t know. Equally bad; why not? The OCA isn’t in a mess; misdirected leaders need to be replaced. I believe in 4 year terms for Met. and only if they are re-elected can they continue to lead.

        • George Michalopulos says

          Phil, there are limits to pollyannism. The unjust ouster of Jonah will not be whitewashed away anytime soon.

        • Lola J. Lee Beno says

          And I’ve got a bridge in Brooklyn to sell to you. With all due respect, there really is a mess in the OCA.

        • justagoodoleboy says


          Your ongoing commentary reminds me of Tarik Aziz of Iraq.

          I don’t think your fooling anybody, except yourself.

          • Sadly, Phil is also fooling himself. He really believes what he writes, which is not only sad but scary. Anyone who still thinks the OCA is the blueprint for Orthodox unity here in the USA is out of touch with the barometric pressure at ground level.

            Phil might be the ghost writer for +Nathaniel who wrote the most bizarre introductory letter to the OCA Delegate Handbook (available at your favorite spin cycle site, which also brings you the daily all is good Jillions report). Read it carefully and you will see that the Phil’s out there are also on the OCA Synod.

            Hey, maybe Phil is +Nathaniel or his “swell” secretary?

        • Disgusted With It says

          Ha ha ha ha ha ha…. Thanks for a good laugh!

    • When was the DoS forbidden to seek Met. Jonah as her bishop or to consider the name of Fr. Gerasim. Given recent events and the feelings that attend to them I can see that either consideration may have been unlikely…but unlikely is not the same as prohibited. Of course I’m way out of most information loops, which is why I read posts here. Are there any documents, communications, etc. that indicate that this is the case or is this essentially a reading of the mood and deeds of the powers that currently be within the administration of the OCA? Thank you.

      • According to a close friend of a current bishop, the DOS can still choose Metropolitan Jonah as
        their bishop. This friend is a well respected OCA professor and told me that I could share this

      • Priest Justin Frederick says

        We are not forbidden to seek Met. Jonah as our bishop.

        Months ago, when the search committee discussed having the Metropolitan becoming DOS bishop again by combining the Diocese of Washington with the South, then-Bishop Nikon told us that the only way that could happen would be if the Metropolitan resigned from being Metropolitan without any guarantees of becoming bishop of the DOS and then being nominated and elected like anyone else would be.

        That scenario is now entirely possible.

        The other wrinkle was given at the DOS Assembly in Miami by Archbishop Nikon. When asked whether the Metropolitan could become our bishop, he answered that there were legal and other (I don’t remember the list of three or four adjectives, possibly medical was among them) issues that would have to be cleared up and worked through first. Archbishop Nikon then said that would “take some time” without being concrete as to how much, the plain implication being that he would not be able to work through or clear up those other issues soon enough to be a serious candidate.

        That does not constitute a prohibition, and one might even question whether there are really substantial issues here. They certainly were not enumerated for us.

        It would be most natural for him to return to the DOS; he was ours to begin with. Now that the Synod has discarded him as Metropolitan, many of us would like to consider having him back as our bishop and a natural successor to Archbishop Dmitri of blessed memory. Is there any canonical reason why we cannot have him? I’ve yet to hear one.

        • Defend the Faith says

          Fr. Justin,

          You present the case very well concerning Metropolitan Jonah and the DOS. The spoken and unspoken words by +Nikon at the DOS assembly however set up barriers, barriers only by the Synod, to at least delay and distract the South from the consideration of +Jonah. Some of those barriers include him freely admitting himself into a mental health facility for at least 6 months, hence the “not being able to work through or clean up” his issues. These are not +Jonah’s issues but the issues that the Synod has determined are “issues.”

          I agree with you that if the South nominates +Jonah it will then be up to the Synod to accept the will of the DOS or reject it and if they reject it with cause. I can only expect that the “cause” will be the original foundation that they used to remove +Jonah as Metropolitan.

          • Lance Hogben says

            I know a DOSOCA priest who tells me that he and other clergy in the diocese would not want Metr. Jonah as a diocesan bishop. While it saddens me to hear this, I have to take it seriously as an indicator that he would not be a shoo-in. From a previous report of the same priest, the unilateral and autocratic imposition of Bp. Mark in Dallas and his assistant, a rather green but very self-assured priest recently from the same jurisdiction, made a very negative impression of our former Metropolitan’s judgement, on at least that one DOSOCA clergyman. And I get the impression that he is not alone in his judgement. I had entertained a rather sanguine (pollyannish?) notion of Metr. Jonah’s homecoming to the South after the debacle of Syosset, but my friend’s pessimism was a buzz-kill.

            As to Abbot Gerasim, I know for a fact that he has been spending time recently in the DOSOCA, touring parishes and making friends, which comes natural to the dear-hearted man. I could hardly imagine this would not indicate that he was in the offing for diocesan bishop there.

            • George Michalopulos says

              Lance, the DOS was never a monolith on anything, excepting Evangelism IMHO. The fact that some priests don’t want Metropolitan Jonah back is true enough. I think the overwhelming majority do (at least from my info).

              I myself am torn: yes, Jonah would be a great bishop for the South but on the other hand, he is still legally and canonically the Primate. As much as I love the DOS, I see very clearly that unless there is a repudiation of what happened, unless Jonah is restored to the Primacy unhindered, and unless there is genuine repentance upon the part of his adversaries, the OCA will have no future.

              I know I’m a born rebel and would love to see a Southern Orthodox Church divided into 4 episcopates with absolutely no interference from the buffoons in Syosset but I also know that that is not realistic nor Christian. I also know on a pragmatic level that this is bigger than the OCA, what happened to Jonah was about the future of American Orthodoxy. Unless the OCA gets its act together, then we will lose yet another generation to the insipid leadership of a re-ghettofied, secularized, GOA.

            • Lance, what perplexes me about your comment is how your priest friend got the impression that Metropolitan Jonah was in any way responsible for the attempt to shove Bishop Mark down the diocese’s throat.

              All Met. Jonah did was give Bishop Mark and Fr. David Moretti work to do to see if Bishop Mark would be a good fit for the DOS. Nobody knew then, least of all Met. Jonah, what kind of person Bishop Mark would turn out to be. Bear in mind Met. Jonah was a victim of Bishop Mark, too. By the time the world did know, Met. Jonah was in no position to remove Bishop Mark or do anything with him.

              It also wasn’t Metropolitan Jonah’s fault that Bishop Mark was being paid a salary out of DOS funds, that was Archbishiop Nikon’s (and Milos Konjevich’s) doing.

              It was only because of Metropolitan Jonah that the DOS even had an alternative candidate available at all in the form of Fr. Gerasim Eliel.

              • George Michalopulos says

                Very good point Helga. We were all taken in by Bp Mark, myself included. Somewhere in his files and at the DOS chancery in Dallas, is letter I wrote asking what I could personally do to help him get elected as Bishop of Dallas.

                To say that Met Jonah had anything to do with “shoving” Mark down our throats is a gross mischaracterization. If we’re going to blame anybody, blame Englewood. They knew what a pig in the poke Bp Mark was.

              • I do beg to differ, Helga. The monitoring of of Fr. Fester’s gmail account for a number of weeks and the release of his private emails to another for publication via the Internet was inexcusable. ++JONAH should have immediately yanked +MARK back to Baltimore as his suffragan at whatever menial salary the Diocese of DC could afford. Furthermore, such notorious conduct doing public damage to another’s reputation require public repentance, without which, should disqualify from further episcopal or priestly service.

                Brethern, when we sin the opporuntiy of repentance suited to the offense offers the way of healing. But without repentance and restituation, the conscience is seared, scarred and hardened and paves the way for deeper ;disfunction beckoning for further repentance. This cycle inveitablly continues until salvation or destruction ensues. This is the way Christ has made the universe and there is no escape from it. It is why in Corinth there were many ill and who had died among them not discerning the Body. One always reaps what one sows, and it is the measure one uses that one gets. But men who are carnel ever believe that they can manipulate the scales of Divine Justice because they do not understand that while His mercy is always abudnatly offered, its refusal can never be anything but sickness and death. Sadly, we have scores and more of Christians and men in order who think they are somehow immune.

                Let us weep for them and for each other for when we live like this we profane His name, Who is worthy of all praise, thanksgiving and honour.


            • Lola J. Lee Beno says

              If your friend has objections, then he needs to step forward publicly, and spell it out, A, B, C as to why Met. Jonah should not be bishop of DOS. Likewise, if other priests want him as bishops of DOW, they should then step forward.

              To everyone: seriously, it’s time to stop putting your head in the sand.

            • Priest Justin Frederick says

              I am one DOS priest who does want Met. Jonah as our bishop. He is a good fit for the diocese. Always was. I know plenty of others who want him or would be happy to have him back. With his resignation as Metropolitan, the way is open. The Synod doesn’t want him as their primate. Fine. He didn’t ask for it in the first place, and he is mortally tired from the lack of effective support and from all the flack he received over the past four years in that position. He has not requested retirement. He has explicitly requested another assignment. Why not show some good faith and give it to him? How many dioceses do we have open now? How many good candidates do we have for those posts? Once a new metropolitan is elected, that will open another diocese, most likely, while closing another (Washington DC). Our Synod is young and inexperienced. Better to have someone with some experience and standing serve than another rookie–if a candidate can be found. There is no moral or canonical impediment to my knowledge that would hinder him from serving. I know him and others who know him well too well to believe he needs six months of therapy. To allow him to serve will give the Synod a chance to regain some lost credibility. To run him off to another jurisdiction or allow him to hang in limbo without an assignment (whether in forced retirement or not) will not help the OCA. If either of those two things happens, I would not be surprised to see a growing stream of clergy and faithful departing, in some cases taking their parishes/missions with them. And that ebbing tide won’t float anyone’s boat.

              • Fr. Justin, I appreciate your vote of confidence in Metropolitan Jonah’s leadership.

                I understand where you are coming from. However, you have to remember that even if Met. Jonah is elected, he would still have to deal with pretty much the same things that troubled him as Primate of the OCA. The DOS could ask any number of men to be the next bishop, but there is only one Met. Jonah.

                As an OCA member who loves Met. Jonah very much, I feel we have to put Met. Jonah’s needs first, and the best thing might be to let him make a fresh start somewhere else.

              • Defend the Faith. says

                Fr. Justin,


                I agree with your comments 100% and yet it will be most important that if the Synod allows +Jonah to be the rightful successor to the Ever-memorable Archbishop Dmitri, he will need to surround himself with people who will support him and allow him to direct his considerable talents to bring the Gospel to the millions of people in the South and elsewhere who are searching for the truth that is unchanged in the Orthodox Church.

                He was hamstrung in his efforts by those in, shall I say, the wishy-washy northeast who saw him as a threat to their compromising presentation of the Good News of Jesus Christ. There would be nothing better than the DOS to thrive and grow to show the rest of the dying OCA that the South understands what is necessary to convert as many people as God presents to the Orthodox Church. He needs people around him who will not be nipping at his heels but promoting his strengths.

                There is nothing stopping the South from, dare I say, demanding that he be the next bishop in the spirit and wisdom of Archbishop Dmitri. Look, +Nathaniel quoted His Eminence twice in his letter to the delegates of the upcoming Parma Council. Let God’s will be done. Nominate +Jonah for the vacant See of Dallas and let the work in the South continue.

                May God bless you and all those in the South who should give +Jonah the chance to be who he was called to be in the first place.

              • Priest Justin,

                Met. Jonah should have been + Dimitri’s successor. If this would have happened, maybe he would still be OK. He really can’t continue as a bishop of the OCA now. He will, being pushed by other converts, try and take as many OCA DOS parishes to the MP. He will be a serious divisive force in the OCA. So, as he said publicly more than once, “I don’t have to do this, I can just go back to my monastery and be happy.” So be it!

                • George Michalopulos says

                  Phil, you should have stoppped after “…Dmitri’s successor.” Everything that came afterwards might as well have been written by The Eunuch.

                  • Does anyone know or can anyone tell me what Metropolitan Jonah id doing in Rome at this time?

                    • Disgusted With It says

                      Is it for the same reason Bishop Mel is in Rome?

                    • Most likely for the ecumenical shindig: Twentieth International Ecumenical Congress of Orthodox Spirituality, sponsored (and paid for?) by the Romans, I think.

                • Phil, letting Met. Jonah go to Moscow is the best thing for you. You will be free to run the OCA how you like, and the noisiest converts will be glad to let you!

                • Priest Justin Frederick says

                  Dear Mr. Upp,

                  What canonical or moral grounds prohibit Met. Jonah from continuing as a bishop in the OCA?

                  I think the unity of the OCA will be jeopardized far more by his leaving the OCA than by his staying–if he can stay as a ruling diocesan bishop.

                  I think any door of return to his monastery has been shut in his face. If only he could go back.

              • If the compromised bishops of the OCA who play the cynical game of ‘mutual embarrassment’ among each other don’t want Met. Jonah as first hierarch, whyEVER would they want him installed as the bishop of any local eparchy? His very presence in the Holy Synod would be a reproach to them even if he never said a word among those traitors whose very faith in God is questionable, given their many misdeeds.

                The laity are not unaware of the alcoholism and homosexuality and pedophilia and other disqualifiers of many of our OCA bishops, for which they wouldn’t have been ordained in the first place, had we the spleen to do the right thing even then. These evil, sick, afflicted men ought to resign before 13 November, and retire to repent in some monastery if they still believe in God and fear His judgement.

                After 13 November — depending on the outcome of the primatial election — it’s likely that a great many secrets about our bishops will be revealed. Our people are frustrated and spiritually exhausted, and our suffering will be expressed in this election.

                My personal opinion is that delegates to the AAC should overwhelmingly nominate Met. Jonah as our primate, and generally stick it to the bishops and others who so embarrassingly, ignobly, forced his resignation.

                • “After 13 November — depending on the outcome of the primatial election — it’s likely that a great many secrets about our bishops will be revealed. ”

                  That sounds rather ominous. Revealed by whom? Why not NOW? After the election, it will be too late. Which of our bishops do not have any of these disqualifiers? If you know, please speak up.

                • Monk James,

                  What monastery are you in? Anyway, quit trying to scare people as if all the OCA bishops are misfits. Not true. In fact, the Greeks and Russians have by far, more dysfunctional bishops. It’s clear, you wish to spread rumor and innuendo like many here that only results in spreading lies.

                • OccidentalGuido says

                  Why wait?
                  These are all things that should have come out in the vetting process.
                  I would not be surprised with accusations like this concerning the “old guard” but the Synod is almost entirely new.

                  • I agree…why wait? No time like the present. If you’ve got proof and the lawyers and funds to protect you from libel law suits….spill it.

        • I believe Abp. Nikon or Fr. Jillions said that Met. Jonah would have to undergo treatment for at least six months before he would be allowed to function as a Bishop again, at least in the OCA. Again, it’s the idea that the way Met. Jonah interacts with the Synod is indicative of a serious mental problem that needs treatment. Why specifically they refuse to say, except he acts ” alone.”

          • Priest Justin Frederick says

            The six-month treatment was said explicitly, as I recall, only in regard to his continuing to serve as Metropolitan.

            • Fr. Justin, I don’t understand how that makes any sense. If Metropolitan Jonah really had some serious problem that requires six months of in-patient psychiatric treatment, why would having him be a diocesan bishop instead of Metropolitan make any difference at all?

            • I recall the same, Fr. Justin. It was: be admitted for 6-mos treatment under a leave of absence or resign.

              It was also said by the Chancellor that he stood there while ++JONAH prepared the resignation letter at his own laptop (or pc) and asked several times whether the content and presentation were ok. This would, presumably, include the request for another episcopal assignment and one may well assume that ++JONAH was led to believe that this was not unreasonable or out of the question–whereas, the Chancellor must have known–or been virtually certain–that it was not.


              • M. Stankovich says

                Let’s state the obvious here: not one of you is vaguely qualified to even speculate as to why and under what circumstances experienced, licensed, clinicians made the recommendation(s) they did. While I am qualified to speculate, I am not stupid enough to do so. Secondly, I look at photos of a relatively young, morbidly obese man who is at an extraordinarily potentiated risk for a cardiac event – literally “red-faced” and breathing through his mouth merely from vesting for the liturgy – adult-onset Type-II Diabetes, and a briefcase of other co-morbid conditions related to stress and morbid obesity. And you have determined that the best course of action is to collectively dog a recommendation that someone intervene here, thereby proving that many heads gathered over the internet still equals dumb. They have offered him help twice, for heaven’s sake. At least he’ll be alive to fight again.Your “timeline analysis” and buckets of blame stand to win you a vigil at the CCU at Georgetown. And I’m the only giraffe in the room. I got it. But we’ll all mourn together.

                • George Michalopulos says

                  Do you know his body mass index? How do you know if he’s “morbidly obese”? What is his height? His weight? To make this diagnosis based on know medical tests is tantamount to malpractice? Is he overweight? Sure, so am I. But if we are really concerned about the health of our people, how about warning grown men from engaging in anal coition? Hepatitis B, HIV, etc.

                  • I’ll tell you right now, I am a big man, 6′ 0″ and I am morbidly obese according to my BMI (I weigh 275, which gives me a BMI of 37). Met. Jonah is considerably bigger than I am (I know this because I have met him a few dozen times, and have eyes). I also think he may even be a tad shorter than I am. I don’t think anyone would need to look at data to see that he is morbidly obese, and really should get help. It really can kill you, and I commiserate with him, cause I know how hard it is.

          • Lola J. Lee Beno says

            Which, of course, is not a good cause for diagnosing a mental illness.

      • The DOS, as far as I know, has never been forbidden to consider ANYONE as a candidate to replace Archbishop Dmitri. However, that genius strategist, Archbishop Nikon, simply cancelled an elective assembly because, he claimed, Father Gerasim had not been “vetted” and neither he nor the Synod knew him. This means that they have other plans for Father Gerasim and hope to have him elected an in another see after the musical chairs that will ensue after they elect Metropolitan Jonah’s replacement. Possibly, they’d like him to go to Alaska where Father Oleksa can keep an eye on him: then Bishop Alexander could at last “get” San Francisco, perhaps Nikon could move to Chicago (as Job did) from New England, and meanwhile people could start getting used to the idea of either Father Jillions’s brother in law or Steve Brown’s spouse as a candidate for New England or the South. Not a hint of negativity relative to either of those instances has ever been heard from the lips of the original backers of, from Protopresbyters to Ex-Orthodox lawyers.

        • Lance Hogben says

          Sorry, Your Grace, I find all of that preposterous.

          Sometimes ordinary people who simply listen without preconceived agendas can learn more of what goes on than very smart people who make up stuff.

        • +NIkon told the DOS assembly that Fr. Gerasim had “a number of deficiencies” that it would “take some tiem to clear up.”


    • When Metropolitan Jonah came back from California last week, his email was stolen. Someone broke into his email account and stole his mail.

      • Where is Mark Maymon?

      • They STOLE it? Did they take his emails and delete them from his account? Hijack the account and lock him out? What is going on here?

      • My own email was hacked to pieces as well. All kinds of spam and other stuff was sent to people on my address list from my email address and I got a lot of strange stuff myself. I’m thinking of going ot and getting one of the new Ipads’ with 4G wifi Verizon and setting up a totally new email set up with a different moniker, and fantastically complicated Aramaic password of about 15 letters. When I talked to Metropolitan Jonah he had just been at his parents’ residence in NW DC and he seemed very upbeat as he always was. I’d forgotten I’d met his mother long ago. He was calling me from his car.

      • Dear Veronica,

        This is incredible and horrible news. Yes, call the police. I also heard that the cathedral server was /is? down which may be related?

  10. Patrick Henry Reardon says

    George says, “My sources tell me that they’re going after the woman to try and make her back down. ”

    Be plain, George. Is this, or is it not, water-boarding?

    • George Michalopulos says

      Literally or figuratively speaking? My sense is that they may not be going after her now because I’m hearing that they want to drag out Matthias’ “investigation,” so that he’s not one of the Penitents at Parma. The reason being that he was a sure vote for Michael. It makes sense because Michael’s the Anybody But Benjamin candidate.

      It makes sense but anything’s possible with Syosset. They may very well be hounding this young lady. If she or her lawyers want to give their side of the story, I’d be more than willing to publish it. Same goes for Matthias as well.

  11. Disgusted With It says

    Having not seen any of the proposed evidence in the allegation, we have no basis to say one way or another if the allegations are true or false. Is it possible that the bishop is guilty of being inappropriate? Yes. Is it possible there’s more to the situation and the bishop is innocent? Yes. We need to trust someone credible to conduct an honest and thorough investigation.

    However, the biggest problem and most clear thing in all this is that NOBODY TRUSTS THE OCA ADMINISTRATION. If they say he’s guilty, people will have reasons from things they’ve done in recent history to challenge their claim. If they say he’s innocent, people will have other reasons from other things they’ve done in recent history to challenge their claim. No matter what they say or do, there is no trust — regardless of how many times they say “trust us”. I fear this will continue to always be the case until there is clearly new leadership. God help us.

    • Disgusted With It, I am so very sorry to say you are exactly right. Trust has been completely broken. The way Syosset/Kishkovsky/some of the Bishops treated Fr Zacchaeus, Metropolitan JONAH, and others –and then ALL of the bishops putting their name to false and misleading slander against His Beatitude– has destroyed trust, beyond any quick repair. The national administration, which exists to SUPPORT the Metropolitan and implement HIS agenda, has so blatantly sought to betray him and publicly sought to humiliate him over the past two years, that any OCA member would naturally doubt their integrity. Sadly, you are right: in this case, whether Syosset stamps “GUILTY” or “INNOCENT,” folks are bound –on the basis of consistent Syosset misbehavior– to question Syosset’s conclusions.

      I’m afraid the texts really must come out, or at least be verified by enough trusted leaders that OCA members have some assurance in Syosset’s verdict, no matter what that ultimate verdict may be. Otherwise, how can His Grace exercise shepherding authority in his diocese, without being questioned at every turn? It’s a terrible shame, but the complete breakdown of trust brings us to this.

      But I’m not holding my breath for Syosset to do the right thing…

    • There is NO OCA ADMINISTRATION. There is the OCA Synod of Bishops and several employees in Syosset.

      • Disgusted With It says

        Phil, all I can say is get a dictionary.

      • Then why couldn’t Jonah move the “several employees” to his see in Washington, D.C. where they could actually fulfill their job descriptions as “employees”?

        No one has been able to confirm this for me, but it appears the Metropolitan Council is the Board of Trustees of a legal entity (a legal person under the law) that is an international church known as the OCA. The OCA is associated with a federation of diocese that are also legal entities with their own Boards, which are in turn associated with a larger number of parishes and other legal entities with their own Boards. As a matter of LAW, I believe the MC is in charge of the international entity, and their duly hired/appointed officers are LEGALLY the administration of the OCA. Does anyone have information to contradict this? I’ve asked before, and I’m asking again, because this to me is one of many critical elements in the mind-numbing chaos that is Orthodox church governance (at least in the US).

  12. I wonder why this Bp. Matthias matter is taking so long. It seems like it should be a pretty easy thing to investigate, just read the emails. If he said something inappropriate shouldn’t that be fairly obvious? And if he did, isn’t also fairly obvious that it is completely inappropriate from an Orthodox Christian bishop? It would amusing to have countdown board that listed things like:

    How many days until the investigation into Archbishop Seraphim is complete?
    How many days until the investigation of Abbot Mel and the St. John’s monastery is complete?
    How many days until the investigation of Bp. Matthias is complete?
    How many days until the investigation of Fr. Wood is complete?
    How many days until the investigation of the Fr. Valencia matter is complete?
    And of course, how many days until the reinvestigation of Metropolitan Jonah and the retraction of the defamatory comments that he covered up an alleged rape?

    I just read Fr. Jillions latest diary post and it strikes me as a bunch of dribble. Yes, things in the church will take longer to investigate than in the corporate world. But it is frankly insulting when matters are swept under the rug. That is exactly what happened with the Archbishop Seraphim matter. The synod of bishops, including Metropolitan Jonah, were more concerned with moving on then they were with doing an investigation and looking out for Archbishop Seraphim or for the alleged victims. Imagine if someone had actually put such a tote board together. So Fr. Jillions, no it is not alright to sleep on the job. Glad you enjoyed your holiday but is this all that you could say about the Bp. Matthias matter? First the spin doctors give out information that is completely false and then back it up with a cryptic note that a bishop has been placed on leave. When, exactly is this and every other scandal going to be investigated? Or are we going to bury this story like the OCA buried the Archbishop Seraphim story, the Abbott Mel story, the Fr. Wood story, the Fr. Valencia story, and the Metropolitan Jonah story?

    Sadly, my cynical side says that Met. Jonah should just sue the OCA for defamation and put it out of its misery.

    • ISawHerStandingThere says

      I am heartbroken to agree with you, Catherine, EXCEPT on your cynical conclusion that Metropolitan JONAH should sue. This is against holy Scripture:

      First Corinthians 6
      If ANY of you has a grievance with a brother, do you dare to take it before the world for judgment instead of before the saints? …If you have disputes, why do you present them before those who are least esteemed by the Church? I say this to your shame… Brother goes to civil court against brother —before unbelievers! To have lawsuits at all with one another is defeat for you. Why not rather suffer wrong? Why not rather be defrauded?

      The way of Christ, which His Beatitude has consistently exemplified before all, is to rather suffer wrong in this world –even be misjudged within the brotherhood– than display our “dirty laundry” before the world.

      The OCA does not practice this, but this is nevertheless the clear Christian way.

      • Fr. Raymond Valencia is suing that right?

        • StephenD,

          Fr Valencia is suing the priest who is the moderator of the Orthodox Forum, a forum that routinely slanders people, a forum full of hate and venom. Why didn’t Bp. Benjamin tell his priest, Fr. Michael Regan to “cool it” and reduce the level of hate speech on the OF?

          What a sad state of affairs that a priest feels he has no other alternative then to seek relief in the courts? To me it is another indication of how off the rails the OCA has gone and not so much a reflection on a priest suing a priest. It should have never gotten to that.

      • Patrick Henry Reardon says

        I am heartbroken to agree with you, Catherine, EXCEPT on your cynical conclusion that Metropolitan JONAH should sue.

        Respectfully, I think Catherine was kidding. We have never seen cynicism in Catherine.

    • Priest Justin Frederick says

      From Fr. Jillions’ blog:

      “It’s good news because many people are involved in making decisions on how to face public crises. Sometimes I admit that this is cumbersome and unwieldy, but I prefer it to the other extreme of heavy-handed autocracy.”

      Should this be taken to mean that, from the “extreme of heavy-handed autocracy”, we have swung to the extreme of having [too] “many people involved in making decisions on how to face public crises”? Perhaps this is not what he meant, but it is the literal meaning of what he wrote.

      In the Church, do we not seek to avoid extremes, but seek, rather, the middle way?

      Maybe it is good; but the cost of decision-making grows with the size of the group of decision makers. There is a reason that juries are limited to six or twelve members.

      • Just Guessing says

        What I want to know is, why should I care what Fr Jillion’s prefers? Shouldn’t I care rather about upholding the Traditional governance of the Church?

        • Just Guessing,

          Surely you jest, “Traditional governance of the Church”? The OCA is the governance of the Church in North America. Read what +Nathaniel said to the delegates of the upcoming special AAC. All Orthodox Churches are duty bound to disappear and join the OCA. Forget about the ACOB. It means nothing.

          Our governance is to be everyone’s Orthodox governance. Why does not everyone see this. Why don’t all the bishops recognize this?

          The OCA is setting the example of how a Church should be run. +Nathaniel believes this, the Synod believes this. They know best, follow us and we will lead you to the Promise Land of Orthodox unity in North America.

          Really? Follow our example? Pray tell why? Just because you say so and expect the delegates in Parma to believe it? I think deeds speak much louder than words and the deeds of the OCA Synod and Syosset leave an abyss between words and deeds.

          • Archpriest John W. Morris says

            Do you really believe that? You need a strong dose of realism. American Orthodoxy is a lot more than the OCA. The other Orthodox have a say on the future of our Church in this country. The other Orthodox jurisdictions are not about to disappear and join the OCA. We cannot go back to 1900 and just pretend that the last 112 years did not happen.
            You wrote, “The OCA is setting the example of how a Church should be run.” Have you read what other people from the OCA are writing about what is going on in the OCA? These accounts of one scandal after another are not coming from Antiochians or Greeks or people from ROOR looking for a way to slander the OCA. These stories of scandals are being posted by people within the OCA.
            Even Moscow does not act as if the OCA were the autocephalous Orthdoox Church here. If it did, Moscow would have told ROCOR to join the OCA. One group of Orthodox cannot impose its will on the rest of us. Any solution to the problem of Orthodox unity in this country must be reached through talks involving all canonical Orthodox jurisdictions here as well as the mother Churches such as Moscow, Constantinople, and Antioch. Right now the Assembly of Bishops is the best chance we have for Orthodox unity in this country. If we first start working together and try to follow the same policies, it will be a major step towards Orthodox unity.

            Fr. John W. Morris

            • Fr. John, the sticky bit with the manner of unity that would occur under the ‘(softly spoken) ‘foriegn controlled (loudly spoken) UNITED EPISCOPAL ASSEMBLY IN AMERICA — is that is has the character of requiring to make work an ersatz Vaticanism. I see no future in that, and find the risk hard to recognize as worth the hard work it would take to make it happen. That, given all the thousands of hours and contributions of my forebears to find themselves owned by Turkey. So there is this “Lucy pulling the football back at the last moment before Charley Brown Kicks It Again” feeling.

              If there was something real, something without the smirky legalism weasel stuff where one word as interpreted overseas 15 years later means ‘we own you’ like in the AOA, then I can see really working to support it.

              • George Michalopulos says

                Harry, re the foreign thing: I hear you. That’s why I’m so distressed by the recent travesty. We good ole’ Americans just handed our church over to these darned fur’ners. This is worse than criminal, it’s stupid.

                • Peter A. Papoutsis says

                  George and Harry:

                  I mean no disrespect with this but: “What exactly is the beef with so-called “Foreign control” or better yet being overseen by a “Foreign Bishop/Patriarch?”

                  I have heared this, but do not understand it one bit. Is it a money issue? Is it so-called picking our own bishops (which in reality I see no difference between that and a home grown decision), is it both?

                  When you get down to it what really is the problem? Is it the charter issue? I do not get it. Further, let me explain why I don’t get it – It Does Not Impact me or my spiritual life as a practicing Orthodox Christian. I have lived by entire life in the GOA and I have been under the Ecumenical Patriarch my entire life. What Foreign control by the EP has ruined or savaged my life? I’m not being snarky about this, just honest.

                  As a quick example or counter-example, I directly contacted the EP several years ago to review my translation of the Septuagint. I sent him my translation and wanted his imput. I quickly received a response stating that I should go to my local Bishop and submit everything also to Archbishop Demetrios with a very clear statement in the letter that Archbishop Demetrios and my Local Bishop are my heirarches in America and that they must be the one’s contacted first as they are basiclly the local guys.

                  So with truly all due respect what does this beef about foreign rule as oppsed to local rule come from? Is it canonical because we have jurisdictions and NOT one unified Church? Well the EA is taking care of that and independence will follow after unity. So just help me understand because I just don’t see the problem. In fact, its probably this “hang up” that has given me somewhat of a negative outlook on an otherwise fine organization – THE OCL.

                  Please let me know your thoughts.

                  Thank you.


                  • Peter A. Papoutsis says

                    Further, neither my or any Catholic, GOA or AOA has every been controlled overseas in the sense of being owned by Turkey, Antioch or Rome. I just don’t get that. I know what it means to be a loyal American and a Devout Orthodox Christian. I hope I am misreading this underlying negative sentiments.


                    • George Michalopulos says

                      Peter, I’m definately in the position of softening my own suspicions against the Phanar, especially in light of the gross mishandling of Jonah by the lupine shepherds of Syosset.

                      I’d feel more comfortable about the GOA/Serbs/etc. if the bishops were not only American-born but American-nominated. The patriarchates could generate much good will with the Americans if they did that. And also if they really pressured their American synods to be very serious about the EA process.

                    • Peter A. Papoutsis says

                      Hi George,

                      Ok I understand that and agree with that sentiment. American born in the sense that they know how America runs, thinks, act, etc., as opposed to Greece or Russia,or Serbia, etc.
                      They definitely need that.

                      Also, you need someone that knows how the hierarchical game is played. Neither Spyridon nor Jonah had that going for them. Yet, what is that fine line a cleric must walk between the wisdom and cunning of the world and the fulfillment of the Gospel? That’s a tight rope if ever I’ve heard of one.


                    • Lance Hogben says

                      What I see is a GOA progressively re-Hellenizing, closing ranks of foreign-raised and -vetted administration with fewer converts and American-born clergy in leadership positions. The GOA was much more American-run 40 years ago than it is today. And with influx of Greek clergy and lay people fleeing an economy imploding even more rapidly than our own (remember the middle class?) the process will intensify in the coming years.

                      The snarky commencement address given by “Hope Bearer” (brilliantly ironic name) at Holy Cross at the beginning of Metr. Jonah’s rule comes to mind – his kvetching about non-Hellenes flooding the ranks of GOA clergy as a pernicious tide which must be stanched was not a misfire but a policy statement.

                    • George Michalopulos says

                      Indeed it was. And now that the OCA is imploding, who will stand in the way?

                    • Peter A. Papoutsis says

                      Hi Lance Hogben:

                      I agree with you that the GOA has and continues to close ranks, but as for re-Hellenization I just do not see that at least among the laity. When I went a few years back to our Clergy-Laity Conference in Washington D.C. every workshop was filled in regards to Church Administration, Stewardship, the structure of Catercism, how to run a better parish Council, Philoptochos meetings, etc. When it came to Greek School structure, funding and education only four people attended, myself included, and I left after 10 minutes because I got borded and one of the guys was in the back sleeping and snoring pretty loudly.

                      So the GOA may have it as a policy, but its translation to the individual parishes is very lacking. Heck I just sent my little girl to Greek school this past Saturday. The best that I can hope for is that she at least learns how to speak it well enough in the next few years so my dad can talk to her and she to him. As far a understanding the Divine Liturgy that just won’t happen. Not for me or for my daughter or anybody in the GOA.

                      Through the very shear force of weight the liturgy will be put into English, which by the way, the Official English version of the Paschal Hymn was just released last Pascha and the Divine Liturgy will now receive its own Official English translation by the GOA in the next year to six months. Keep a look out for that. There have been various posting for that on the GOA’s main website over the last 1 1/2 years.


                    • Bruce W. Trakas says

                      The majority of the members of the GOAA’s Holy Eparchial (Provincial) Synod is composed of a majority of American born hierarchs, since the elevation of Metropolitan Savas of Pittsburgh last December, for the frst time in the GOAA’s history; and all of the Greek born hierarchs were raised and educate in the U.S.A.

                      American born: 1. Metropolitan Methdois of Boston, 2. Metropolitan Nicholas of Detroit, 3.Metropolitan Savas of Pittsburgh, 4. Metropolitan Isaiah of Denver,
                      5. Metropolitan Evangelos of New Jersey.

                      Greek born: 1. Archbishop Demetrios of America, 2. Metropolitan Iakovos of Chicago, 3. Metropolitan Gerasimos of San Francisco, 4. Metropolitan Alexios of Atlanta,

                  • Bruce W. Trakas says

                    While I respect the intent of this post, and support the Ecumenical Patriarchate as the “First Throne” of the Holy Orthodox Church during its time of need given the massive decline of its immediate flock because of the oppression of the Turkish government, the EP’s oversight of the Holy Archdiocese of America during the past 21 years has caused more problems than it has solved.

                    Frankly, its only due to the humility and loyalty of its American flock that the GOAA has not stood up to the aggressive management that has been exercised during Patriarch Bartholomew’s tenure, fear of the probable sanctions he would impose has also probably kept America in line. Even during Patriarch Athenagoras’ tenure, he would not approve the resolution of the most open Clergy-Laity Congress ever, 1970’s limited use of the vernacular language in the Church’s Divine Services.

                    But, Patriarch Bartholomew has been an aggressive micro manager of the American Archdiocese, embarrassing Archbishop Iakovos and members of the Synod of Bishops for their agreement with the 1994 Ligonier deliberations, treating them like children when he publicly demanded that they retract their names which they had signed to the resolutions. If he disagreed with the language of the resolutions, he could have written a letter explaining himself, he didn’t have to treat hierarchs like subordinates, which they were not, canonically.

                    Then, he inappropriately forced +Iakovos to retire. He also exercised canonical authority, but authority reserved for the Archdiocesan Council by the 1979 Charter the Patriarchate had approved, by unilaterally severing the boundaries of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of N. & S. America, which it had approved 74 years earlier.

                    He then sends Archbishop Spyridon to shepard the American Archdiocese, whose ego and temperament limited his ability to rationally and effectively administer the vast Archdiocese. Thankfully, he finally supported the request of Archdiocesan leadership to elect Metropolitan Demetrios of Vresthina, the auxiliary bishop of Athens–who had served American parishes and who had taught at Holy Cross Seminary for a decade, while also teaching at Harvard University for a time, to the Throne of America.

                    However, even after the failed Archepiscopacy of +Spyridon, he rejected the charter revision deliberated upon and written by a representative American committee, personally submitted by Archbishop Demetrios and the Holy Synod of Bishops, which was characterized as a charter of a “semi-autonomous” church, an overdue and necessary progressive step. In fact, I was told he advised the metropolitans, “You’ll get what you want eventually, maybe in 10 years.”

                    Well, it’s been nearly 10 years, what do you think, is +Bartholomew ready to give the GOAA a semi-autonomous charter? Probably not. He wouldn’t accept a provision for election of the metropolitans from the nomination of the Eparchial (Provincial) Synod, neither would he agree to chose from the nominees of the Eparchial Synod for the position of Archbishop. The charter granted in 1922 was for an essentially autonomously governed church, but today, he keeps us directly under his thumb.

                    This doesn’t mean that I wouldn’t support an appropriately worded autonomous charter for an administratively unified Eastern Orthodox Christian Church of North America, a matter for another discussion.

                    • George Michalopulos says

                      A lot to chew on there. Largely you are correct. Where we may disagree (and thus finding myself agreeing with the thrust of Peter’s critique) is in the increasing secularization of the GOA. Even more worrisome is it’s retrenchment into an East Coast, quasi-Greekist synagogue.

                      Your historical analysis is spot on. Where it should have led was to a Church which saw itself as American (with Greek roots) and as such wanted to engage the native culture. In other words, evangelize, whether by word or deed (preferably both). Unfortunately, the stalwarts in the GOA who clearly see the enforced ghettoization based on the Bartholomew’s abrasive micro-management have only traded foreign ghettoization for a local one.

                      Ironically, this is the same thing that happened to the OCA. Although it started out as a Missionary archdiocese of the ROC, massive immigration and evangelization of the Uniates caused it to retrench into an ethnic church, some one hundred years ago. That’s OK but when it received the gift of autocephaly, it started to take seriously its charter that it was now an evangelistic church for all Americans native-born, not just the Slavic core. That was the official story. It realized this mission largely in the South and West but these were outliers, not the rule, which was still that of ethnic ghetto concentrated in the Northeast.

                      And so the OCA plodded along, rather dismally for forty years. Until 2008 when in a rare fit of good sense, it elected Jonah as Metropolitan. Then the idea of the OCA actually packed a punch for the first time. Unfortunately, the dim bulbs which constitute the dysfunctional Apparat of Syosset/MC/uninspiring bishops took him down.

                      And this brings us to a confluence of where we are now: the retrenchment of the GOA into a Greekist ghetto with a moribund OCA unable to take the Gospel to America.

                      It’s the devil’s work, I tell you.

                    • Peter A. Papoutsis says

                      Bruce I agree somewhat with your analysis because I, like you, lived through that time (our own time of troubles). from the debacle of 1994 to the present there were two forces in the GOA that attempted to “force” there vision of the GOA on the rest of us. One was the failed attempt at semi or full independence via the OCL and its supporters. The other was the EP’s vision of the GOA that yes conflicted with that of Archbishop Iakovos. As can readily be seen there was no “Two-Way” communication between Iakovos and the EP.

                      Now maybe you know something that I do not, which is quite possible, but it would seem that Archbishop Iakovos and the EP were NOT on the same page going into Legionner. If NOT on the same page then I understood then as I understand now that the EP’s hand was not going to be forced. Why would you think it would be forced? the EP, through Leadership 100, controls the GOA adminstratively and financially. If the you do not get these “Whales” on board its going to be a non-starter.

                      Everythiong else: the charter, resolutions, past decrees, etc are meaningless unless one get the EP and Leadership 100 and now the Archons on their side. Why would the EP and Leadership 100 relinquish control of the American Church? Why would they relinquish control to the OCL that would force its hand?

                      Bruce its NOT that I am disagreeing with you except to say that the reality of the situation, at least for me, boiled down to who was going to control the GOAA? The OCL or the EP and L100 (and now Archons)?

                      The EP throughout those years made it clear that it, not any lay organization was going to control the GOA, and in the end the EP won and NOW has enacted even more controls BECAUSE IT NEVER WANTS A REPEAT OF WHAT HAPPEND. So what happened?

                      1.) Leadership 100 stepped in an took control, even more than it had in the past. The EP, via Archbishop Spyridon, whated to even get control from Leadership 100, but that failed, thus the ouster of Archbishop Spyridon occured (He was already unpopular with the OCL and its supporters so his ouster was easy once decided upon – sacrificial lamb where everybody thought things were going to be better, but the EP worked behind the scenes to consolidate his hold on the GOA).
                      2.) The expansion of the Archons that now has an even more overlap with Leadership 100 and the Archons themselves have brought in even more moneyed people than before. In the GOA Money equals control.
                      3.) The Elevation of all of our prior Bishiops to Metropolitans as overseaers that are not only directly beholdden to the EP, but to the moneyed people in the GOA as well.
                      4.) New Charter that re-defined and diluted our self-rule and the complete shutting out of the OCL.

                      So now the Unification of the entire American Orthodox Church is occuring, but the Episcopal Assembly will do it now on the EP’s, Moscow’s and Antioch’s terms with lay consideration even barely mentioned.

                      In the end Archbishop Iakovos’s ego, not that of Archbishop Spyridon, got us into this mess. Legionner could have led the way, but it embittered the EP, and I would suspect it also embittered Metropolitan Phillip, but I will leave that to the Antiocheans to answer as that is speculation on my part.

                      So this is the piece that is missing for me: “What did Iakovos say to the EP BEFORE legionner?” Did he tell him it was about American Orthodox Unification or not? Because the very viseral reaction of the EP towards Archbishop Iakovos and all things Autocephalists because persona non grata 100% after Legionner for the EP. Just that tells me that Iakovos was going to force the EP’s hand and the EP said no and forced Archbishop Iakovos hand and after that whatever and who ever the EP sent us Archbishop Iakovos and his supportes after such a Public Dressing Down were going to go against the EP and his new cleric Archbishop Iakovos no matter what.

                      Old fridnships were destroyed, people stopped talking to each other and the GOA during Archbishop Iakovos’ tenuer was brought to the edge of formal Schisim, even though a real and growing schism eventually occurred and is now breaking along Modernists and Fundamentalist lines.

                      So going back to my original question: Was it worth it? For all the talk of semi or full independence, use of the vernacular, the new charter, etc., did this fight need to occur and was it worth it? Because the GOA is now even MORE entrenched in its Greek Cultural Parishes, NO outreach is occurring to the wider culture, and the GOA, although unified on the outside, is at war with itself on the inside with Modernists, Ephramites, Old Calendarists, Ecumanists all jockying for a position of power and the Bishops and Metropolitans I believe did not see this coming and are doing everything they can to “Maintain and even Strain” so that the various forces in the GOA don’t explode and shatter and scatter our Church and Greeks once again head down the road of schisim.

                      So Brice maybe you see this and maybe you don’t, but I can assure you its happening and this so-called fight did not need to happen, at least not in the way it transpired.

                      Our only hope now as the GOA, and even the OCA and AOA and ROCOR is the Episcopal Assembly and a United American Orthodox Church. As for its govermental/ecclesiastical structure, well we are definitely NOT going to be independent, at least not for the forseeable future.

                      Take care Bruce, and contact me if you want through George.


                    • Peter A. Papoutsis says

                      Oh by the way Bruce because of your last name do you have any roots around Tripoli or even the Village of Tegea? Just wondering because the few Trakkas I have met have had some kind of relation to my wife’s side of the family. Just wondering.


                    • Bruce W. Trakas says


                      There was no reply button to your reply to my post.

                      I don’t take issue with your post, but +Bartholomew’s micro management does not equal Greek ethnic ghetto parishes. In my experience, and I’m on the older side at this point, the ghetto parish is a thing of the past. The English language in the Divine Services is largely dominant, ethnic holidays receive a token mention. This isn’t exclusive to all parishes, I imagine New York and Chicago have much more of a cultural emphasis. Archbishop Demetrios has been realistic in his understanding of the needs of the parishes, just look at the themes of the past Clergy-Laity Congress’. Look at the work of the Department of Outreach & Evangelism. The Greek ghetto mentality is largely gone from today’s GOAA parishes. A Greek flavor remains for the time being, but the work of most of today’s GOAA parishes, is that of the enhancement of the spirituality of the faithful. There’s a way to go in this regard, but the ethnic ghetto is the exception these days, and even in those parishes, the message of the gospels dominates the parish’s work.

                    • Bruce W. Trakas says

                      Peter, I find your comment about the power struggles interesting, but I don’t see them as controlling as you do; I don’t think most of the members of the Eparchial Synod are necessarily on the same page as the laity, but I do think that all forces you mention are supportive of the Episcopal Assembly process, and they intend it to bring an administratively unified Eastern Orthodox Church for North America, but with a strong autonomous charter under the EP for the foreseeable future.

                      I’ll tell you what I know about Ligonier. The Synod of Bishops were at The Phanar for the synaxis of the eparchies Outside of Turkey during the Indiction. +Bartholomew asked them, “What are you planning for Ligionier?” They claim to have calmed him down by telling him they were intent only upon coordinating Eastern Orthodox affairs in North America. However, after Logionier, one of the Ukrainian hierarchs told His All Holiness that +Iakovos intended to establish a unified autocephalous church in North America, and he would be elected its first Patriarch. There is some merit to that comment. I know some of the L-100 types were talking up autocephaly because +Iakovos was failing in his efforts to name his successor. One of the GOAA bishops publicly slammed the Ukrainian bishop who had leaked to The Phanar. The Ukrainian bishop’s comments, and Metropolitan Phillip’s comments publicly stated at a subsequent news conference, convinced +Bartholomew that an autocephalist movement was being fostered by +Iakovos. There was some back stabbing involved behind the scenes too, and not too well publicised was that the Patriarchate of Antioch let The Phanar know they were not pleased with the goings on at Ligionier.

                      +Bartholomew’s unfortunate response to all these goings on is a matter of record at this point.

                      P.S. My paternal grandparents, Vasilios and Eleni Trakas immigrated in the early 1920’s from Rhoino, a village near Tripolis, Arcadia. From what I’ve been able to find out, I’m not related to the Trakas’ who reside in one of the Carolina’s, the family of Bishop Demetri of Xanthos’ mother, who were Arcadian’s, but had moved to Sparta before emigrating to the U.S. My paternal grandmother’s maiden name was Kotarinos. One of my Dad’s paternal uncle lived in the D.C./Maryland area, and ran a noted restaurant there for some time. Otherwise, we’ve never found any immediate relatives in the U.S. (One of my Dad’s older sisters moved to Nashville, Tennessee and raised a family there.)

                  • I agree. This obsession with being completely independent of patriarchs and Old World Orthodoxy has resulted in some of the mess we see in certain American Orthodox jurisdictions today…

                    • Peter A. Papoutsis says

                      Correction I should have written “During Spyridon’s Tenure” in my response to Bruce Trakkas. Sorry for the mistake.


                  • Bruce / Peter: The problem with ‘foreign control’ is that it is athwart Orthodox history, the very authenticity which is what draws the non-ethnic folk.

                    Those not interested in the content of the faith could possibly overlook that for the institutional big giving possibilities: ‘Foreign control’ is in the manner of a Vaticanistic model, no matter the ‘American episcopal assembly’ title. We’ve seen what titles really mean years later once the fund raising has run its course– owing to precedent such will be looked upon like ‘fool me once, shame on you, fool me twice, shame on me’.

                    The GOA becomes controlled by Turkey thinking it had a charter whose words meant their spirit, and gave generously they did. Later it’s oops, here’s a new charter — while Greek folk fog about in leadership personality issues (Iakovos had an ego! Spyridon was hard done by! The OCL will eat us and probably are behind the Pussy Riot Storm Troopers devastating all motherhood with their aggressive colorful scarfs — covering their faces no less!! Fooey). Maybe Iakovos wanted the faith to survive and grow while the distant authorities can’t face that, can’t talk about that, because it doesn’t ‘help them’. So, it had to be ‘about them’ or ‘about the leader’s pride’. A grave error. It was about a hope for growth. How much growth and inspiration have the folk overseas had among the Islamic folk they live among, for so many years? Perhaps being tied to ethnic dimensions isn’t what the Great Commission calls for. And look how much of the job we do for the Imam– he points to our leadership, smirks and says to any thinking about joining: “no wife, no kids, and the priests are under him! wink wink.”

                    The EP goes so far to prove his deep understanding for our future in the USA by making a trip to— embrace Fidel Castro and complaining about the folk who live along the Mississippi river (where it has been safe to eat the fish for some years no thanks whatever to the Green Patriarch).

                    The AOA learns, after raising lots of cashing thinking itself self-ruled, that the term really means ‘we own you in Damascus, Syria’.

                    Or perhaps under the guidance of the Russian Patriarch who plainly is the Public Relations dept for their civil authority’s present leader, jailing unarmed loudmouths for years on the basis they didn’t hit anyone, didn’t break anything and didn’t disrupt a service, but had very poor manners and vocabulary.

                    Now the invitation is to ask folk to fund the (soft voice) foriegn controlled (LOUD VOICE) AMERICAN EPISCOPAL ASSEMBLY?

                    Maybe the hope is we’ll just become a branch of Rome, which plainly if anyone wanted to do they could have done these many years already and with less fuss. Also note the problems making such a choice for a convert about as likely as married (to a woman, in a church, prior to ordination, not a special male aid or friend) clergy.

                    The way it’s going it appears likely to follow the pattern of Gen Kolokotronis– one who got released from a tiny cell of a Greek prison and put in charge shortly before the invaders stormed the hill– so that the failure wouldn’t ‘be seen’ to be ‘the fault’ of the distance geniuses ‘in control’ who navigated to the brink of failure then abandoned the ship (but not before taking what value they might).

                    • George Michalopulos says

                      Harry, you had me going “RIGHT ON!!!” until you started your diatribe about Moscow. For whatever it’s failings, Moscow has always been serious (if a little ashamed at times) about the OCA’s autocephaly. They have always believed in the missionary endeavor from 1797 on.

                      Take that part back, and you’ll be right about the whole situation.

                    • Are all Greek bachelors assumed to be homosexual, or only if they are clergy?
                      Reason I ask is I’ve confessed a couple Greek married men with families over the years who came to me to confession of a Saturday night in each case because they didn’t want to tell their Greek American parish priest about their life-long problems with their double life—in parks and restrooms and, in one case, with a nephew.
                      I should have told them to apply for ordination: many people would assume they could not possibly be anything but “normal’ guys. One of the wives, who also came to Confession, knew all about her husband’s problem and I was able to get her to let him know that, rather than suffering in silence.
                      Oh, and what in the world does “athwart” history mean?

                    • Peter A. Papoutsis says

                      Harry thank you for your thoughts. It’s hard, to a degree, to disagree, but I do not see control as much as I see it as oversight. Whatever leadership structure we get it will be demanding and protective of it so called turf. I’m willing to acknowledge that. I do not necessarily like it, but all hierarchical organization are like this. Even if we were governed by an all American synod problems would still arise hence the problems with the OCA synod.

                      Yet, I agree with you, and with Bruce and with George that a Unified American Orthodox Church is needed and necessary, and the Pharar, Moscow and Antioch see this as eventually happening. However, they want it, IMHO, to shape and direct its course.

                      Further, semi or full independence will also eventually happen as its only natural, now will we be truly independent like the other national churches or will we be like the Church of Crete semi-autonomous? That only time will tell.

                      That’s also to Bruce. I tend to agree also and a bit more with your analysis as well, and thank you for filling in the missing pieces for me in regards to Legionner.

                      Well guys at least we are talking and that gives me more hope than anything else. Thank you for the great and informative exchange. I’ll see all of you in the morning.

                      Good night, sleep tight.


                    • George Michalopulos says

                      Peter, one thing that you, Harry, me, and everybody else are leaving out from this discussion is the Laos. Do the people of God here in America want a unified, autocephalous Orthodox Church with actual, territorial dioceses? I’ve seen nothing to suggest that. And now that the OCA is proven to be run by vagrants who have decamped in Syosset, I honestly can’t blame anybody from the other jurisdictions from wanting it to be so.

                    • Peter A. Papoutsis says

                      George Michalopulos writes:

                      Peter, one thing that you, Harry, me, and everybody else are leaving out from this discussion is the Laos. Do the people of God here in America want a unified, autocephalous Orthodox Church with actual, territorial dioceses? I’ve seen nothing to suggest that. And now that the OCA is proven to be run by vagrants who have decamped in Syosset, I honestly can’t blame anybody from the other jurisdictions from wanting it to be so.

                      George do you think that is because of apathy/non-involvement. The reason I say this is because the average parishioner is so overwhelmed with taking care of kids, work, running dalily errands, doing homework with kids and maybe if your lucky you get 1 to 2 hours to yourself at night. So it may be apathy. On this I really do not know, unless there is an active push back from the model that you suggested that I am not aware of.


                    • Peter, the folk who really got behind the 1970-something GOA charter thought too there was to be a balance, with the clergy-laity congress being a legislative body and so on. On the strength of that they dedicated much of their lives to building all this, as did the arrangements with even more local building control dating from the 1930’s. With every successive charter it has been ever plainer that ‘oversight’ meant ‘pay us more to get the decisions you want’. Those overseas love the legalisms and wake up every day thinking about how to artfully connect a word here to a phrase there leading to more control for there. The folk here generally thought to trust spiritual men.

                      We see in the case of the AOA— ‘self ruled’ raised big money and numbers and then pull the rug out— Syria owns you.

                      We see in the case of the GOA — here’s a new charter, your congress is now advisory and the metropolitans are scurrying to become Turkish citizens.

                      If folk over there were deserving of your thought they were and are in a better position to oversee than those here– how does it come to pass they’ve inspired zippo among the local population and for so long? Tell me why it is you deem oversight from there such a better course than the oversight here that built all of this. The Fidel visit inspire you? Indeed as the decades have passed by over the 1900’s and the foreign oversight as grown the pace of our growth has slacked, lessened, slowed. The major Greek executives who have contacts in the State Dept and are aware of the inner dynamics look on from outside, their cars are not in the parking lots when meetings speaking of growth occur.

                      I certainly don’t want the Christian presence in Turkey to end, nor do I see any hope that a church identified as branch of the Russian civil authority’s state department would attract folk here if seen to be calling our shots. Maybe that manner of church is what Russia needs right now, that’s for them to say, they’re there, I’m not. And for those same reasons, we see what we need here. We won’t grow until our relationship is as Cousins, brothers, not looked to provide what they cannot: oversight / control whatever.

                      It is a grave error to speak of those who’ve been Orthodox for generations now living here as ‘immature’, let those using such phrases show us their success among their own people first.

                    • Peter A. Papoutsis says

                      Harry says:

                      With every successive charter it has been ever plainer that ‘oversight’ meant ‘pay us more to get the decisions you want’.

                      Harry the problem I am having with this is that is every organization wether based in Turkey or in Washington D.C. I mean, the U.S. Congress is filled with filled with “Our People” and yet, people complain that Washington keeps raising our taxes and finding more and more creative (i.e. legalistic) ways to do it. Heck, that the U.S. Internal Revenue Code. So would it be OK if the exact same thing were happening to us as long as the Bishops were American?

                      I think we would still bitch and moan, but hey that’s just me. I could be wrong.


              • Archpriest John W. Morris says

                Whatever program for Orthodox unity here will first have to be approved by our Bishops here and then by the rest of Orthodoxy including Moscow and Antioch. I trust them to look out for our interests. What we have now is not good. No offense meant, but the OCA is in no condition to lead American Orthodoxy just based on what members of the OCA post on this and other web sites. I think that we should trust in God and led the Bishop’s Assembly have some time to come up with a plan for Orthodox cooperation in North America. Remember that the Bishop’s Assembly operated on the consensus model of decision making. That means that a majority cannot force its will on a minority. The Bishops all have to agree on any decision. I know that Metropolitan Philip and our Antiochian Bishops are not going to agree to anything that is against our interests.

                Fr. John W. Morris

            • Fr Morris,

              I think you missed my tongue in cheek reply to Just Guessing.

            • Fr. John,

              The “Episcopal Ass.” is going on now. Please understand this, no matter what the Episcopal Ass. in the U.S. decides, it MUST be approved by Istanbul. What the Greeks are doing, is setting up + Bart as an Eastern Pope. Met. Philip goes along with this because the Antiochians will be 2nd in charge after the Greeks and the OCA marginalized. Both Frs. Schmemann & Meyendorff are rolling in the graves with the NON-CANONICAL bull that the Episcopal Ass. is pulling. Personally, I have lost any respect for + Basil who is pushing this initiative. There is nothing that foreign bishops have to offer the Orthodox in N.Am. Foreign bishops have no authority in N. Am. according to Orthodox Canon Law. Why do so many Americans want to put themselves under foreigners rather than run their own church? How stupid.

              • Archpriest John W. Morris says

                We are not a bunch of Protestants who do whatever we want without considering the rest of the Orthodox Church. Nothing could be worse for American Orthodoxy than to go into schism in an uncanonical and unrecognized American Orthodox Church. Whatever happens to Orthodoxy in America must be recognized and accepted by the rest of the Church. If it is not we will cease to be Orthodox and will be Eastern Rite Protestants.

                Fr. John W. Morris

              • Phil r up,

                Please get your facts straight. The Episcopal Assembly process here in North America and in other parts of the world where there are abnormal overlapping Orthodox jurisdictions in a region was approved as a process to deal with these anomalies not by Constantinople only but by all Orthodox Churches in the world. To say it is otherwise is simply wrong and disingenuous.

                Already the ACOB process here has accomplished more than all the decades of SCOBA. Will this lead to one Orthodox Church in North America I don’t know but if you would recall the entire effort is for local regions with parallel jurisdictions to present their plan for unity to either a Great and Holy Council or at least to all the heads of Churches meeting in some gathering to accept the plans and then to decide what is best.

                North America does not have a local Church, albeit the OCA would like us to believe they are that local Church but facts on the ground do not bolster their claim even if they “dis” the ACOB and claim that their AAC is the manifestation of a local Church.

                So before you continue to sputter know this, the ACOB is the better way on the path to Orthodox jurisdictional unity here. If you can offer an alternative, please share it, but don’t pretend that the OCA is that better way. We are now living out the reality of what the better way of the OCA has become.

                • George Michalopulos says

                  As much as I hate to say it, I agree with Phil here, Amos. The ACOB is a joke, at least in North America. There was never any intent to promote actual unity except as forced under the Phanar. That is still the operating paradigm.

                  Unfortunately, the vagrants who have lodged themselves in Syosset –like the vagrant suitors who invaded Odysseus’ home while he was away and tried to woo the faithful Penelope–are tearing down what little moral authority the OCA had to show the way to unity. Syosset, the MC, and the Synod have nothing to say that is credible to the American Orthodox enterprise. Only with sincere repentance including the restitution for past wrongs can they heal the self- inflicted wounds which they have imposed on us.

                  It is a sad day indeed when the Lighthouse on the Bosporus with its uninspired, second-rate attendants looks to be a safer harbor than the Potemkin Village on Long Island.

                • Amos, with the OCA now showing itself to be an “empty promise” for the future of Orthodoxy in America, I now find myself more and more coming around to your line of reasoning. – Just my 2 cents worth.

                  • This was just posted on Facebook by one of my friends there:

                    Wonderful quote from the statement issued at the recent Assembly of Orthodox Bishops in North America in Chicago:
                    (Speaking to both the “Left” and the “Right…”)

                    “We recognize the tremendous social pressures to conform to secular standards, but we exhort you to stand firm and hold fast to the traditions that you were taught (2 Thess. 2.15) so that your light is not hidden under a bushel but placed on a stand (Matt. 5.15) in order for all to see. Let our Orthopraxy attend our Orthodoxy. In this respect:

                    We must safeguard the sacrament of marriage in accordance with God’s will for the sacred union between man and woman and the sanctity of family as the fundamental nucleus of a healthy society. In this regard, we emphasize regular family worship, particularly at Sunday liturgy.
                    We must strive to eliminate the violence proliferated against innocents of every kind, particularly of women and the unborn. We call for responsibility by individuals, institutions and governments to ensure the welfare of every citizen.

                    We must resist the wastefulness and greed that dominate our consumer society, confessing that our spiritual citizenship is in heaven (Phil. 3.20) in order that our witness be characterized by the compassion and mercy as well as the generosity and philanthropy that distinguishes our God who loves humankind.”

              • Disgusted With It says

                I’m sorry, but I feel that those few bishops and anyone else who attack the Assembly of Bishops simply do so because they are just not intelligent enough to handle working within it. If they don’t like it they are free to leave.

              • Bruce W. Trakas says

                You’re ignoring the fact that the Russian Orthodox Greek Catholic Metropolia fell apart with the commencement in late 1917 of the Bolshevik Revolution. It even encouraged its parishes to administratively, but not spiritually, separate from it due to the Kedrovsky law suites; recall the Metropolia lost its St. Nicholas Cathedral to Kedrovsky’s non-canonical “Living Church,” into which Kedrovsky entered with his wife!

                So the Holy Orthodox Churches established eparchies, canonically anomalously, to foster church communities among the ethnic fraternal societies that were engaging priests as part of their service to their immigrant faithful, fraternal societies that would not affiliate with the Metropolia due in part to their perception that the Metropolia would enforce the Russian Church’s Pan-Slavism upon their communities. The essentially former Carpatho-Rusyn Roman Catholic Eastern Rite parishes of the Metropolia being examples of such Russification; see Metropolitan Orestes (Chornok) of Agathonika’s, ACROD’s first hierarch, description in this regard.

                Those foreign bishops you mention are canonical Eastern Orthodox hierarchs of the Holy Orthodox Churches. Their unanimous agreement to establish the Episcopal Assembly process is the canonical route to an administratively united Eastern Orthodox Church for North & Central America.

                The unilateral imposition of The Orthodox Church in America, with its declining membership, its 32,000 national mailing list, (compared with the GOAA’s 165,0000), 19 years of corrupt Central Administration (See the 2008 SIC Report), and its less than $2 million annual budget, compared with the GOAA’s $25+ million recently approved annual budget, demonstrate that the Church of Russia’s Tomos of Autocephaly, which isn’t even respected by the Moscow Patriarchate’s so called “Patriarchal Representation,” composed of 50 parishes (+/-), 42 years after the Tomos was issued, hasn’t worked. The OCA remains a canonically holy church, self-governed, but has not served the purpose of “The Orthodox Church in America,” let alone “of America,” as Fr. Alexander had hoped.

                • Peter A. Papoutsis says

                  Agreed. However, as you pointed out, its still a canonical Orthodox Church that’s going through “troubles” that needs our love and support as fellow Orthodox Christians and brothers and sisters in the faith.


      • Mark from the DOS says

        The Good News for All post just takes the cake for me. I am beyond words, but I never let that stop me. Fr. Jillions is apparently the orchestra on the deck of the Titanic. Play on, Father. Play on.

        • Yes, that was galling. “Maybe it could have been put out sooner”… uh, it was after both the allegation had been addressed by the accused, and made it to the media, but we still don’t get to hear it from Syosset until over a week after it broke. Also, they have plenty of human interest stories ready to go live in order to knock it down the front page quickly.

          As for the OCA not being pushed into “conducting a trial over the internet”, please, Archbishop Nathaniel, I am already sore from laughing. OCANews, anybody?

    • M. Stankovich says


      The “Metropolitan Jonah Story” would begin and end in approximately three minutes, consisting entirely of the playing of the excerpt from his address to the All American Council where he describes his four years as an “administrative disaster,” how he had broken relationships with his brother bishops, accepted full responsibility, and promised to do “whatever necessary” to remedy the problem out of his love for his brothers and the church. The Yale Law review, should they even notice, would rightfully refer to it as the “most cynical three minutes in modern legal history,” but it was his “day in court.” The screaming in the background? A voice yelling, “He was coerced to read that statement!” Followed immediately by the clear voice of the judge ordering, “Bailiff, arrest that man/woman/Nikos/Fr. Fester/whoever for contempt. He thinks this is the internet?”

      • George Michalopulos says

        Dr S, you know better than this. If you don’t think His Beatitude was coerced, or that he is not a loving man willing to admit to sins in order to cover for his brothers, then you don’t know Jonah. Nor do you know true monasticism.

        And while I’m at it, is anybody else wondering why Bp Benjamin refused Metropolitan Jonah permission to go to his old monastery these past two years? Do you think that if Jonah were still at Manton as abbott that the recent events would have taken place? Or even if he had been allowed to visit every now and then? Is it possible that in addition to the cathedral in SF, Manton is a hub for the “tolerance” agenda? What could we as a Church could look forward to if Bp Benjamin is elected in the vagante council of Parma?

        • M. Stankovich says

          Mr. Michalopulos,

          What you propose is a most fascinating dynamic. Not lying, but not telling the truth. Is this a riff off, “La Donna e Mobile?”

          From the days of OrthodoxNews you have beaten the drum that this former Metropolitan Jonah is a visionary, the way of the “new” OCA, a “prophet” you called him. Even the most mediocre speeches became Lincoln at Gettysburg. The Russians love him, ROCOR respects him, the Dreher & Cone Flying Circus circulates, Acton celebrates, the Anglicans contemplate, the Conservatives blah, blah, blah. Mr. Michalopulos WHY didn’t this man stand up at the Council and tell everyone outright “I took an oath at my Election not to be coerced and I will not read these lies! This Synod is a pack of vipers and I will not join them in destroying the OCA!” He would have been seen as a defender of the Faith – a Mark of Ephesus. Who would have abandoned him? “Judge for yourselves!” he could have cried. It is the Synod of Bishop who would have been humiliated & forced to resign! But as Al Pacino said “There’s something really wrong goin’ on here.”

          Your explanation attempts to “sanctify” helplessness and timidity; for all of your scathing commentaries regarding the thankless “mean brothers” of the Holy Synod, you choose to make the former Metropolitan a monastic Cinderella. I somehow had imagined someone would come forward to say “I was his classmate at SVS, and I knew from the minute I met him, he was destined to be a leader.” But wait, the bus has yet to leave for Parma…

          • George Michalopulos says

            Good question. I honestly don’t know.

            But may I ask these questions?

            Why did the Patriarch Jacob deceive his brother Esau? Why did his sons, the Ten Patriarchs sell their brother Joseph into slavery? Why did the Patriarch Abram “sell” his wife Sarai to Pharoah?

            Why did Moses not discipline his brother Aaron the priest when he led Israel in idolatry? Why did Moses take credit of the miracle of the water from the rock when he knew by rights that the Lord worked that miracle (indeed, all miracles?)

            Why did the Prophet Jonah refuse God’s request that he go to Nineveh and instead took off 180 degrees in the other direction? Why did he then sink into a funk when the Ninevites took heed of his call to repentence?

            Why did the King and Prophet Solomon disobey God and “multiply horses”?

            Why did the Priest and Prophet Samuel “repent” for having chosen Saul as King over Israel?

            Why did Patriarch John IV the Faster repent upon appending the word “Ecumenical” to his title?

            Why were Bishops (now Saints) Tikhon Bellavin and Raphael Hawaweeny beguiled by certain Episcopalians into believing that there was no difference between us and them? And why did Bp Raphael tell Lebanese immigrants to go to ECUSA churches if there were no Orthodox churches around?

            I honestly don’t know the answers to these questions except to say that we are fallen men and even in our fallen state the Lord can make something good come out of that which was worked for evil.

            Since however you have set a new standard –one that calls for utmost perfection in our Primates–then I trust you will pray that the vagante Metropolitan that is elected by the upcoming Robber Council in Parma to be above reproach.

            • Fr Joseph Huneycutt says

              George, for what it’s worth, a bit of an explanation and a corrective from St Raphael regarding relations with the Anglicans:


            • M. Stankovich says

              Mr. Michapulos,

              As I’ve so often said, I am hardly an original thinker – though I believe the second best thing is a memory for original thought – so I had to wait to come home to be precise.

              I, in fact set no standard, and yours is an unfair characterization. It seems fair to refer you to the Orthodox Service for the Election of a Bishop – and I shall not scold you, but you are obviously unfamiliar with what a candidate actually confesses. It’s what’s referred to as a “big deal,” Mr. Michalopulos.

              Secondly, you really were a bit “loose” in your response to me – “heated,” I suspect – to miss: “Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect,” (Matt. 5:48). Hey, let’s state the obvious: “For we are glad, when we are weak, and you are strong: and this also we wish, even your perfection.” (2 Cor 13:9). And as long as we’re focus on Athanasius’ On the Incarnation, we all remember why God became man…

              Not knowing exactly in what order this will appear, let me also say to Knows the Score below: No, dude, I actually am not also a lawyer. But if you can’t make bail again, I’m sure between Mr. Michalopulos and myself, we can get you out. Cheers! Well, maybe not cheers

              • George Michalopulos says

                Dr S, pulling out some weighty canonical tome at this point is an exercize in futility. No Orthodox jurisdiction on this continent has operated anything approaching a scrupulous manner. I guess we could all ask: why start now? But that would be snarky, wouldn’t it?

            • Archpriest John W. Morris says

              The Anglicans were either self-deceived, or they were not honest with the Orthodox. They gave the Orthodox the impression that Anglicans were not Protestants and that they believed the same doctrine as the Orthodox. When I was an Episcopalian, I was taught that Anglicanism is the Orthodox Church of the West. Only when I really began to understand Orthodoxy did I realize that I had been deceived. It has been very difficult for Orthodox to understand Anglicanism because we would not say something in a worship service that we did not believe. Anglicans have no such principles. Anglicans can put on a good show that looks Orthodox, but be completely Protestant or even hardly Christian in what they actually believe. They can say something that sounds Orthodox but interpret it in ways that are very un-Orthodox. That is why so many Orthodox were fooled by the Anglicans. Orthodox are so honest about what they believe that it is difficult for us to understand a religion like Anglicanism that has no real core beliefs. You can be an Anglo-Catholic, almost Orthodox, or a Calvinist and be a faithful Anglican. Now it seems that the Episcopal Church has been taken over by a group that can hardly be called Christian. At the same time continuing Anglicanism has been taken over by Evangelicals many of which are outright Calvinists. There do not seem to be many Anglicans left whose beliefs are very close to Orthodoxy. Even the so-called Anglican Catholic Church has several clergy who condemn Orthodoxy and embrace Calvinism. Go to this web site to see what I mean

              Fr. John W. Morris

              • Peter A. Papoutsis says

                WOW! That’s one disgruntled dude. I cannot begin to tell you all the falacies in his argument, but you, Fr. Morris, gave such a beautiful and hard-hitting response that I believe says it all:

                Your post shows a great deal of ignorance about Orthodoxy. We do not teach that we can save ourselves. We can only be saved through Christ. I suggest that you read the correspondence between Jeremiah II and the Tubingen theologians. It contains a complete discussion of the issues that concern you. You are right about one thing Orthodox Christians do think differently than Protestants and Roman Catholics. We do not place much faith in human reason because humans cannot understand the mysteries of God. Augustine went too far and relied on his reason too much. Besides, why do you so emphasize one Father that you neglect the others? St. John of Damascus or St. John Chrysostom are more important than Augustine.
                Your problem is that you are so tied to your own Western prejudices that you fail to recognize the Eastern character of Christianity. The New Testament was written in Greek, The Ecumenical Councils were held in the East.
                When I realized that the Episcopal Church was becoming too liberal, I looked at continuing Anglicanism. I soon learned that there is no such thing as continuing Anglicanism. There are continuing Anglicanisms who are divided among themselves about what they believe. It seems that once Anglicans decide that doctrine is important they soon learn that they do not agree on what Anglicans should believe.
                As far as all that garbage of Orthodox ethnicity there is no group more ethnic than the Anglicans. They are as English as one can get. My Orthodox parish is much more multi ethnic than any Episcopal parish that I have ever seen. I remember once attending a rather high class Episcopal Church while I was in graduate school. My wife and I felt very unwelcome as if we were dirty and might get their minks dirty.
                Obviously you are afraid of us because we are growing so quickly. I have believed for years that Episcopalians love Orthodox as long as were are some sort of foreign ethnicity but are threatened when we begin to speak English and attract converts.
                I do not know where you are getting your ideas about liberalism in Orthodoxy, but you are grossly misinformed. The Assembly of Canonical Orthodox Bishops in North America just reissued the old SCOBA statement condemning same sex marriages and remindind the faithful that homosexual behavior is sinful. That is one issue that we will not compromise. Marriage is only between one man and one woman. Orthodox are not like American Protestants we do not change our Faith to fit every fad of the secular world.
                Speaking for myself, I do not accept Augustine. I find his ideas about total depravity and inherited guilt not to mention his warped view of sex frightening. The man could not read Greek and based many of his ideas on in correct translations of the original Greek text of the New Testament. God gave us free will to use to cooperate with His grace for our salvation. The doctrine of predestination makes God into a sadistic monster not the loving God of the Bible.

                Archpriest John W. Morris

                To add. I grew up in the GOA. My mom was a constant go to person for our local church and did whatever she could for our Church and our faith. Because of her involvement I saw things, many things, that were not only against Orthodoxy, but against the very teachings of the Christian Faith and the Gospel of Our Lord and Savior, and yet it was because of my mom that I not only stayed in the Church, but grew in my faith.

                She always told me “Its God we worship, not Priests.” It made sense. It made sense then and it still makes sense today. I saw the take down of two GOA Archbishops, an entire GOA Parish here in Chicago torn apart over fiancial and sexual scandals, I have seen “Kick-Backs” by vendors at parish councils since I was a Kids that went into the pockets of certain parish council memebers pockets and NOT to the Church. I have read the actual deposition statements of certain Greek and GOA members who had to testify under Oath that GOA Priests “counldn’t keep their peckers in their pants” in regards to a well-known GOA sex scandal here in Olympia Fields and then later down in Texas. Currently I am seeing the fratricide in the OCA as well as its slow meltdown, which pretty soon may speed up.

                The Orthodox Church is beholden to all of its brothers and sisters and if any Church goes off the tracks and starts teaching something wacko our fellow Orthodox inform us about it and inform us very quickly and strongly about it. I think the author was making excuses and trying to justify his leaving.

                With all that have seen in my short 41 years of life I should be like that guy from F. Morris’ internet link, and yet I am not. Why? Because I don’t get caught up in this scandal or that scandal, whether this is that Rite or this Rite, and finally its because “Its God I worship, not Priests.” If a Greek peasent woman from Kalamata could figure this out why couldn’t he? Thanks mom I still pray for you every night and remember you every morning when my little Maria comes bouncing into bed every morning.

                That’s our faith guys. make it any more than what Christ taught us and you’re going to get yourself all tied up into knots.


                • George Michalopulos says

                  Your mother sounds like a saint, Peter. I take the fervent faith of any peasant over the sophistry of bishops who are wined and dined by the NCC.

                • Archpriest John W. Morris says

                  You are right about Embryo Parson. I tried to enter into dialogue with him to help him understand how incorrect his views of Orthodoxy are. He cut me off and replied with more insults. Another poster named Laurence K. Wells, who is a member of the so-called Anglican Catholic Church, is just as hateful towards Orthodoxy. I actually think they are the same person using two different names so they can make more posts, Both are also fanatical Calvinists. If anything the fact that people who claim to represent traditional Anglicanism have turned to Calvin instead of an Anglican theologian shows the theological bankruptcy of Anglicanism. Their to be both Anglo-Catholic and Calvinists shows that they do not understand either Anglo-Catholicism or Calvinism.

                  The level of hostility that I find among continuing Anglicans towards Orthodoxy tells me that they are really afraid of us. Not only are many Anglicans becoming Orthodox, our existence shows that their claim to be Catholic or Orthodox if false and that they are really Protestants. They may use outward forms that look Orthodox, but they still think like Protestants.

                  The difference between the Episcopal Church and the Orthodox Church is that if we discover that a priest is an openly practicing homosexual, he is suspended. In the Episcopal Church he becomes a candidate for the episcopacy.

                  Every Church has problems with immoral clergy and corrupt laity. I have two cousins who are Methodist ministers who tell me that they have encountered the same sorts of problems that I find in Orthodoxy.

                  Fr. John W. Morris

          • M. Stankovich says:
            September 7, 2012 at 3:32 am

            Even the most mediocre speeches became Lincoln at Gettysburg.

            In content?, length?, wording?, effect?, spelling?, hand writing?, or what?

          • I would say from that that Stankovich has no empathy at all for Met. Jonah.
            (Maybe empathy is a quality that people in his profession have to destroy within themselves so that they don’t absorb their clients problems and make those problems their own.)

          • M. Stankovich. He only attacked the unpopular. And he got cheered for it and elected.
            Nevertheless, he did not deserve to be treated like a dog by those who were really almost homicidally angry with themselves and took it out on him..
            Just sayin’ .

        • So if Archbishop Benjamin is elected Metropolitan in November will Abbot Melitios become Bishop of the West?

  13. Dorothy Allen says

    For reflection …
    “Asking why it is we cannot see the light … we attempt to conform the world to our own will … what you know, that is your intellectual wisdom, will never make you a good priest but it can easily make you a bad one… however, the intellect is not the foundation of priestly service. It is love not learning that gives the priesthood its power.”
    Pastoral lecture from ROCOR — “The Orthodox Priest and the Love of God”

  14. With a court order the church lawyer investigating should be able to get phone/text records from the Bishop’s phone and the woman’s phone and copies of emails from computers. This seems like it should be much more clear cut than a he said she said. I do not think any of us has a right to see what they say but we do need to be able to trust that the investigation is thorough. Too often people’s indignation regarding their need to know details seems to be nothing but voyeurism.

  15. When I first heard about this the allegation was that Bishop Matthias had been accused of inappropriate communications with a woman in his diocese, which she reported those to the OCA Chancery, whereupon the Bishop was placed on leave pending an investigation of the charges.

    Then I read the Bishop’s own statement on 8/31, it confirmed what I’d heard.

    Then I read about it in the Chicago Tribune, same thing.

    One week later the OCA’s press release is the same, only clarifying that there was no physical contact between the two.

    When I first read George’s post from 8/28 I noted this: “Fr Eric forcefully informed me that I was “mistaken” in coming to this conclusion as I “did not know all the facts.”

    Obviously the statement that is “no longer operative” originated from George, not Bishop Matthias, not the Chicago Tribune, and not “Syosset,” and was posted even though George was told he “did not know all the facts.”

    All sin is like this: When we set out to feast on the reputations of others we find ourselves the main course.

    • George Michalopulos says

      CQ, thank you for allowing me to clear something up. (I thought I was clear but perhaps I wasn’t.) When you repeat my claim regarding Fr Eric telling me “that I didn’t have all the facts,” neither he nor I were referring to the present unpleasentness in Chicago. We were talking specifically about Syosset’s unjust treatment of Jonah. That’s all.

      • You’ve avoided the issue, which is that there is no statement to be “inoperative” save yours, George.

        • Mark from the DOS says

          Nonsense – George related a statement made to him by Fr. Eric. during his initial inquiries to Syosset – that the allegations did not involve the bishop himself, but rather a failure to investigate misconduct by a priest. This statement was apparently in error or deliberately made to mislead. I know not which.

          George is not avoiding the issue; you are being willfully obtuse.

          • Not at all, Mark.

            The timeline speaks for itself.

            The official version has been consistent from the beginning, and it is impossible to find a single source that has rendered any part of that “inoperative.”

            The only thing that is “inoperative” is the insistence that this unfortunate situation is “just like what happened to Metropolitan Jonah.” And that narrative drove George’s account to a place that was officially contradicted back on 8/31.

            • George Michalopulos says

              OK CQ, please call Fr Eric for yourself and ask him if my question regarding the “double standard” was raised because Bp Matthias was being accused of doing the same thing that Johan was being (falsely as it turns out) accused. I was there, I spoke to him. I’ll testify to it if I have to. Then where will your “precious timeline” be?

              • Metropolitan Jonah was not accused of “doing the same thing” that Bishop Matthias has been accused of. And vice-versa. You cannot point me to a single source that says that Metropolitan Jonah was accused of inappropriate communications with a young woman. Not. One.

                You wanted Bishop Matthias to have been accused of the same thing as Metropolitan Jonah so that you could cry “foul” (as you did) and point to the difference in treatment between the two, (as you did,) and thus reinforce your narrative of personal animus against the Metropolitan by the Synod, (as you did.)

                But as with the “snub” that wasn’t at Fort Ross, the facts here simply don’t align with your narrative.

                I realize that you’re not going to stop promoting your narrative. But I do wish that when you sharpen your fork and knife you’d at least get the facts straight. Because every time you post something that is factually incorrect you show yourself to be less interested in the truth than your partisan political position, a spirit that is very much what is wrong with the OCA today.

                • George Michalopulos says

                  CQ, please go back and re-read my essay. If after doing so you still persist in accusing me of saying something I didn’t say, and doing so after I have clarified what I wrote, then I will know for sure that you are being mendacious. At that point, I will continue to allow you to post, but only so we can see what the Tolerance Mafia has in store for us.

                  • I have not accused you of writing a single thing you did not write, George.

                    Isn’t this yours: “Bp Matthias was being accused of doing the same thing that Johan was being (falsely as it turns out) accused ”

                    Now if this is true, then the converse is true as well, but we all know that it is not true and that the cases are dissimilar.

                    And this: “…why the same consideration was not shown His Beatitude who was unceremoniously removed for being accused of doing the same thing”

                    This is the narrative I cited. Am I in error that you find the Synod’s treatment of Metropolitan Jonah shameful, or that you have animus towards the Synod for their action?

                    And this: “Be that as it may, the official story changed within 24 hours. In the words of the Nixon White House, that story was no longer “operative.””

                    There was no “official story” until that first release from Bishop Matthias. Everything prior to that was rumor.

                    But here’s the crux of things: In your own words you told Fr. Eric what you thought was really going on and “If I remember correctly, you confirmed this. In fact, I’m sure of it …”

                    Where have I accused you of writing anything you did not write?

                    • George Michalopulos says

                      OK CQ, I gave you the canonically allotted three chances. You lose, we all know that you’re a shill. I’d sell you the Brooklyn Bridge but I know you don’t believe what you wrote so I can’t say you’re gullible.

                    • Metropolitan Jonah has been very good to my family and we love him more than you know. I’m inclined to agree that he got the short end of the stick from the Holy Synod in many ways, and I’m not a particular fan of any of Archbishop Benjamin or any of the rest of the Holy Synod. To say “not a particular fan” is putting things mildly.

                      The Holy Synod lost credibility when it was found to be spinning in an attempt to get people to think the way they wanted people to think about Metropolitan Jonah.

                      I sometimes see you doing from this side what the Synod has done from theirs. And, not surprisingly, you take as much exception to being called on your spin job as they appear to.

                      I’m off for the weekend. See ya.

                • CQ,

                  You seem far more obsessed with this hypocrisy narrative than George. George seems to be mostly concerned with the abuse of Jonah (which remains uncorrected and therefore continues, even in the national media) and the idea that he may have been lied to by a church officer (he is afterall trying to get to the bottom of this to understand what happened).

                  We dont’t know what Matthias has done or not done, but it appears he will at least get due process if not something even more favorable to him than due process. There is undoubtedly hypocrisy here for those concerned about hypocrisy. Since you obviously do care about the hypocrisy narrative, why don’t you spell out the particulars of the hypocrisy for the benefit of all and let George focus on the things that matter to him. That kind of teamwork would be beneficial to the church and would be more respectful to George and his primary concerns.

                • Michael Bauman says

                  CQ, the original accusation against Bishop Matthias was the he did not properly discipline a priest for sexual irregularities, that was also what Met. Jonah was accused of.

                  That story changed to it be a direct violation by Bp Matthias (that is different)

                  Then there were accusations against Met. Jonah (false ones ) that he or people at his direction attempted to get the accuser to recant.

                  Now there is a possiblility that those who support Bp Matthias may be attempting to get the women in his situation to drop the charges. (that would be a similar allegation as what was used against Met. Jonah).

                  If the latter is true (no one has confirmed it yet, I don’t believe) then ought not those who are attempting to quash the accusations against Bp Matthias (if they are) be treated to the same oppobrium as Met. Jonah was (falsely)?

                  • Just now, I learned that sexual harassment is a crime under the laws of Illinois.

                    Now we must wonder: Did the woman accusing Bp Matthias of sexual harassment report her accusations to the police?

                    And what did the police do witn that?

                    Or maybe she didn’t bring in the police. Having made such serious accusations against Bp Matthias, I hope to God that she did.

                    Since sexual harassment is a crime in Illinois, our OCA officers (incompetent as they are to do anything about it if civil authorities find such accusations inactionable) must await the judgement of the local civil court, and then deal with Bp Matthias in accordance with canonic penalties.

                    Sending our OCA ‘sex police’ to investigate this is an exercise in futility, a waste of time, of manpower, and money. They’re incompetent and unlikely to be of help. We have to do better in our efforts to encourage discipline in The Church.

                    In the meantime, anything people say about this here or elsewhere is just noise.

                    Let’s hear what the Chicago PD have to say about this, and then go on.

                  • Michael,

                    That “original accusation” exists only here. I heard what turned out to be the correct story on the day that George posted the incorrect one, but not in a way that could be confirmed.

                    Saying “they changed their story” when they never changed their story seems wrong.

    • CQ, thank YOU for outlining things in a clear and concise manner. You have given credence to the fact that the blog owner is giving out false information (aka lies). I don’t believe George for one New York minute!

      • George Michalopulos says

        OK, where was I wrong? Did you not read my response to CQ? I have an idea, why don’t you call Fr Eric and ask for the whole story?

        • Philippa (former USN wife-deceased) says

          George, please accept my apology. I did not see your response at first but upon second read, did see/read it. As for speaking to Fr. Eric, you assume I have not…and assume I have not spoken to other sources as well.

      • Philippa,

        If you were an honest person, you would stop reading and commenting on George’s blog. You obviously don’t believe what you are saying. Who in their right mind likes to fill their mind with lies and then submit their comments to the moderation of a liar? I’ll help you out here: No one!

        So grow up and go build your own sandbox to play your games in. Stop filling the lives of others with your own lies and dysfunctionality. Not only do you trust George, you don’t even care whether you do or not — you are simply trying to hijack the conversation any way you can. I hope George finds the strength to block your comments, unless you come back with a response from Fr. Eric and apologize (both, not just one or the other).

      • Michael Bauman says

        Phillippa, there is a vast difference between false information and lies. The biggest is intent to deceive.

        If you believe George is intentionaly attempting to deceive we who visit here, I’d like to know why you think that and what reason George has to intentionally deceive us.

        Clearly Mr. Stokoe did both deceive and intend to deceive and did great harm. If you have specifics, it would be helpful to voice them.

    • Just Guessing says

      It seems the Ministry of Truth at Syosset is revising history again. The timeline tells the story, and it begins on 8/28. One need only ask any Dean in DOM about the initial communication which was intentionally vague. But the back story was that Bp Matthias was on leave for not handling a complaint of misconduct NOT involving him (ask anyone in the Cleveland area what and who it involves, it’s fairly common knowledge). George posted this only after he talked to Fr Eric, which is what Fr Eric confirmed. The revelation of the allegations of misconduct against Bp Matthias personally was a much later story. George misled no one – that’s Syosset’s job. Don’t shoot the messenger.

  16. I’d love to know, George, what is so offensive about my post that you’re refusing to put it up. You’ve got my e-mail address, which is more than I have for you. Feel free to let me know.

  17. George Michalopulos:
    It looks like you have moderated out my direct answers to the questions Bishop Tikhon (Fitzgerald) asked of me in his comment of September 6, 2012 at 4:21 pm under the “Scandal in Chicago: the Initial Story is No Longer “Operative”” thread. That’s too bad, because you did not allow me to “defend myself” against his insinuations. That makes me believe that, because his is a retired Bishop and you don’t want to take the chance that he may be offended to the point of loosing his participation here, you are allowing him (and, as a matter of fact, all the other “liberals”) to “get away with things” that you won’t allow of others. If that continues to happen with my posts, including this one, then “I’m outta here” because your credibility is lost as far as I am concerned. (But then, who would miss a decrepit old Protodeacon anyway.)

    • I have to agree Protodeacon. If this blog were and George were Mark Stokoe, I could then understand him not wanting to risk losing access to Bp. Tikhon’s towering manure-pile of salacious innuendo. Since this blog and its moderator ostensibly are not seeking to emulate OCANews and its “editor,” one does indeed wonder why the Bishop has received a free pass on so many occasions as of late.

      • …Do you really think that George Michalopolos has not moderated out any messages I’ve tried to post? What makes you think that? Do you think George is an arbitrary, capricious person who plays favorites and so on? Why, then, do you even bother posting here?
        Did I understand that…[you]..are of the opinion that George somehow shelters liberals?
        If…any one else thinks that, I declare those of that opinion to be absolutely bonkers…
        Yes, by the way, I’m a liberal, as both my mother and father were. But I’m also a member of the American Legion and tne NRA and the Association of the U.S. Army and the Retired Officers’ Association.

        • “…Do you really think that George Michalopolos has not moderated out any messages I’ve tried to post? What makes you think that? Do you think George is an arbitrary, capricious person who plays favorites and so on?”

          Actually, yes – what moderator does not behave in such a manner to one extent or another? In fact, George has admitted to doing so when he stated the following: ” And to be totally honest, I’m going to cut a priest ir bishop incredibly more slack than I would a layman.” Such a policy seems ass-backwards to me, but hey, it’s George’s blog. Knock yourself out, Bishop, in taking advantage of his biased dispensation.

          As for your rambling blather about being a liberal… my first thought is “duh” – like we didn’t know that is the case. Catching a whiff of 1960’s hippie is never difficult. My second thought is that you need to get your eyesight checked – I’ve never spoken of you in the context of your political leanings and certainly not in my post above.

      • OccidentalGuido says

        Sometimes it’s just Bishop Tikhon being Bishop Tikhon.

        Retired or not, snarky or not, he is a bishop and as such, worthy of our respect.
        Agree with His Grace or not, at least you know exactly where he stands. Were current members of the Synod able to be as direct and as honest perhaps we could understand just what goes on in their minds.

    • George Michalopulos says

      PdnNJ, for what it’s worth, I’ve been moderating a lot of people lately, His Grace included. I find a lot of the give-and-take to be getting a little too personal. Sometimes I slip up and allow an overly-personal comment to go though, to which the respondent could take rightful umbrage. However I ask all here to please observe some decorum if possible and if they do take offense, please note that several hateful and wrong things have been said about me as well. And yet I allow them to go on uncensored. Even when I do reply I try not to sink their level.

      And to be totally honest, I’m going to cut a priest ir bishop incredibly more slack than I would a layman.

    • Patrick Henry Reardon says

      PdnNJ asks, “But then, who would miss a decrepit old Protodeacon anyway?”

      I, for one.

      Let me also comment that George has “censured out’ some of my own comments to Bishop Tikhon.

      Thank God he did! I had let myself get carried away; George spared me unnecessary embarrassment.

      You, and Bishop Tikhon, and I are nearly the same age. We come from an era where boys slugged it out on the playground and the street corners.

      George and other correspondents on this blog site—to say nothing of the females among us—grew up in a gentler age.

      I suspect, Father Deacon, that you and Bishop Tikhon and I are the only men on this blog site who have ever thrown a fist in anger. The three of us come from a very different world. On certain days it shows.

      • So true!, Fr. Pat, so true!, and thanks much!
        (For some reason or other, it kinda “warmed my heart.”)
        On top of what you say, I also have the “problem” of the “cryptic humor” of Greek old men which I absorbed from my father and grandfather. Only other Greek old men comprehend it, especially as humor. And it always brought strange looks on my bosses and fellow workers faces when it surfaced “by accident” from within.
        PS: I listen faithfully to your podcasts on Ancientfaith radio.
        Thanks for those, too.

        • George Michalopulos says

          For what it’s worth, even though I’m younger than you, Fr Pat and Bp Tikhon, I do remember robust “debates” breaking out in the schoolyard every now and then.

          My own metric for robustness is Oxford Union or even British Parliament. I hope to never have to descend to the infamous one back in 1968 between the late Gore Vidal and Bill Buckley in which Buckley actually called him a “goddam queer” on broadcast TV.

    • PdnNJ, I would miss you, too! Your comments really pick me up from discouragement.

      I’m younger than you, but not young. I’ve been known to take a swing or two in my youth at my singularly pesky younger brother even though I’m of the “fairer” sex (we’re great friends now), and to be honest I was a bit of a “tomboy” in my preadolescent school girl days and used to like to try my strength and speed against the kids in the neighborhood. Generally, I dislike and avoid conflict, but if I believe something strongly enough, I’ll go the the mat for it like a dog worrying a bone, and I’ll wear my interlocutors out with my words–as you can see from a few of my posts!

      • Karen, you sound alot like my older (by 3 yrs.) sister.
        She was a jewel, and I can see from your post above that you are, too.
        May our Lord grant you and all your loved his eternal blessings.

      • Karen, I agree with PdnNJ that you sound like a gem, someone I’d like to know. Actually I may know you since I believe we belong to the same parish.


    I heard Fr Thomas Hopko once say that Christians today in North America “will suffer not from the spear but from the sneer.” I’m sure he’s right. But where God is concerned little miracles happen all the time to confirm our faith. And maybe the ridicule keeps us from using God’s works to boost our own egos.

    That is all well and good but one wonders how the “sneers” of Fr. Hopko calling +Jonah mentally ill squares with the point that Jillions is trying to make? Was it not Hopko who uttered the infamous words that “the Holy Spirit was not present in Pittsburgh when +Jonah was elected.”? Was it not Hopko who swore his allegience to Mark Stokoe in Hopko’s “sneering” rebuke of Fr. Fester? Was it not Hopko who “apologized” for his attack against Fr. Fester by saying “I am not sorry for what I said but the way I said it.”?

    Yes, our Lord talks about the sin of ridicule but to invoke the name of Fr Hopko to make your point is not the best example.

    Nice try Fr. Jillions but as Rev. Al would say……….”we gotcha.”

    • Amos, I was just thinking of how strange it was for Fr. Hopko to say such a thing. I guess he and Met. Jonah don’t really have a “Tuesdays with Morrie” kind of relationship now, but it was still very unkind of Fr. Hopko to blast that “gravely troubled” stuff on OCAN. I would be so humiliated if someone who had mentored me later turned around and did what Fr. Hopko did to Met. Jonah. There is no excuse for that no matter what kind of person Met. Jonah is, and Met. Jonah certainly did not deserve that.

      My point on the other thread with Stankovich was that Met. Jonah was a young kid and very new to the Church when he went to seminary. He should be cut a break if he was immature and/or ignorant. In spite of his flaws, he stuck it out and earned his degrees, and he has certainly matured into a kind, wonderful man.

      One thing I have noticed is that people who start out as the biggest twerps when they are young, often turn out to be very patient and caring, because they want to be like the people who cared about them and loved them in spite of their flaws. Imagine that…

  19. Helga,

    Sorry to say, but the hacking (and breaking into vehicles) is all around us. My Facebook account was hacked, as well. Honestly don’t know what they think they’re gonna find. So, have a heyday! The hacker of my Facebook account was out of Colorado — gosh, whose diocese is that?

    • George Michalopulos says

      Isn’t that illegal?

    • Madam, it is not impossible to disguise one’s IP address, but I doubt your hackers were clever enough to do that.

      Be careful. If your brother needs to keep certain communications private, I think he would be best off using voice calling only, no text. They may have put a keylogger on his phone and/or computer to catch his text messages, emails, and passwords, even things he types in the word processor. Some keyloggers also take screenshots.

      Vive la résistance!

    • M. Stankovich says


      Sorry about your problems. Your best “defense” on public sites – or in general – is a strong password. Most “attacks” are anonymous “bots” (hijacked computers that scan millions of address at once looking for vulnerabilities). Intruders don’t know who you are, nor care – they “do it for the lulz” (i.e. cheap fun).

      My ISP suspended my email capability for sending out “spam” emails. As I rarely used the account, I complained and was told I was responsible for “securing” my website. Looking around, I found a group from Indonesia had used a vulnerabily in WordPress, set up an Islamic hate site on my site, turned off “notifications” (i.e. telling me that people had signed up), and were sending emails. I have since learned a lot about the “dark side of the internet,” but it all starts with passwords.

      My recommendation: once hacked on one site, change passwords on every account, no duplicates! Police report? ahahah! You’ll never regret a strong password.

      • That’s a good site, Stankovich. Thanks for posting it.

        Madam’s problem, though, is that even with a password that would take centuries to crack, someone could have easily put a stealth keylogger on the computer and phone that would render the strength of any password null. No matter how many times they changed passwords, whomever controls the keylogger would be able to get it and peruse their accounts, not to mention anything they type on the computer, at leisure.

        Antivirus programs can catch keyloggers that are malware used by hackers to steal personal information, but it’s harder to catch and kill keyloggers that are sold as legitimate programs for spying on family members and employees.

        • Lola J. Lee Beno says

          They would then need to take their commuters to trusted technicians to clean up the computer, or get new computers and secure these before setting these up.

  20. Helga, George,

    I know, trust me! And, the hits just keep on comin’…

    • Sorry to hear that, Madam. Stay strong, and I definitely second the suggestion to call the police. Is the vehicle break-in related to the OCA or is it just a random thing?

      My first thought was to say this is unbelievable, but truthfully, nothing really surprises me about OCA-related wackiness these days. They did give Met. Jonah his stuff from Syosset back, right?

  21. Helga, yes, however he/we were not there to supervise. So, I’m hoping that all his things, gifts, inherited items, etc., were properly returned, but I don’t know that for a fact. I do know Maymon is in the apartment, so it wouldn’t surprise me in the least if some thing(s) went awry.

    Nothing has been random as far as I’m concerned. Too many lies, too much conspiracy, false information/allegations.

    Strong — I should own stock in Kleenex…

    • Madam, that wouldn’t surprise me, either. I know this is hard, and I am so, so sorry about it.

      I lit candles for your whole family at Liturgy this morning, and I pray for all of you by name every day. Is there anything else I/we can do for you and your family?

  22. An Open Letter to The Orthodox Church in America

  23. Helga,

    Sorry it took me so long. Your thoughts and prayers are so wonderful and appreciated. Another thought, email George and get in touch.

    Write/email Syosset/the synod with all your distaste and disgust. I have no concept if this will help. I can only pray for a quick resolution to this mess, however “speedy” and “quick” do not seem to be in their collective vocabularies.

  24. I’m remembering the EP “blessing” the GOAA with the “gift” of new a Charter.
    That makes me wonder if the HS of the OCA is planning, in the same fashion, to “bless” us with the “gift” of a new Metropolitan at the Nov. assembly in Parma?

  25. George Michalopulos says

    Someone sent this to me for posting.

    Archdiocese of Washington, D.C.
    The RightReverend Alexander
    Bishop of of Toledo and the Bulgarian Diocese
    Locum Tenens of the Archdiocese of Washington
    7124 River Rd
    Bethesda, MD 20817

    Albanian Archdiocese
    The Most Reverend Nikon
    Archbishop of Boston, New England, and the Albanian Archdiocese
    Locum Tenens of the Diocese of the South
    523 E. Broadway
    South Boston, MA 02127-4415

    Archdiocese of Canada
    The Right Reverend Irénée
    Bishop of Québec City
    Administrator of the Archdiocese of Canada
    31 LeBreton Street North
    Ottawa, ON K1R 7H1 CANADA

    Archdiocese of Western Pennsylvania
    The Right Reverend Melchisedek
    Bishop of Pittsburgh and Western Pennsylvania
    PO Box 1769
    Cranberry Township, PA 16066-1769

    Bulgarian Diocese
    The Right Reverend Alexander
    Bishop of of Toledo and the Bulgarian Diocese
    Locum Tenens of the Archdiocese of Washington
    286 E Woodsdale Ave.
    Akron, OH 44301

    Diocese of Alaska
    The Most Reverend Benjamin
    Archbishop of San Francisco and the West
    Locum tenens of the Diocese of Alaska
    PO Box 210569
    Anchorage, AK 99521-0569

    Diocese of Eastern Pennsylvania
    The Most Reverend Tikhon
    Archbishop of Philadelphia and Eastern Pennsylvania
    144 St. Tikhon’s Rd.
    Waymart, PA 18472

    Diocese of Mexico
    The Most Reverend Alejo
    Archbishop of Mexico City and Mexico Río
    Consulado e Irapuato
    Col. Peñón de los Baños
    15520 México D.F

    Diocese of New England
    The Most Reverend Nikon
    Archbishop of Boston, New England,
    and the Albanian Archdiocese
    Locum Tenens of the Diocese of the South PO
    Box 149
    Southbridge, MA 01550

    Diocese of New York and New Jersey
    The Right Reverend Michael
    Bishop of New York
    and New York and New Jersey
    Administrator of the Orthodox Church in America
    33 Hewitt Avenue
    Bronxville, NY 10708

    Diocese of the Midwest
    [The Right Reverend Matthias Bishop of Chicago and the Midwest on Leave of Absence]
    V.Rev. John Zdinak
    927-933 N LaSalle Blvd
    Chicago, IL 60610

    Diocese of the South
    The Most Reverend Nikon
    Archbishop of Boston, New England, and the Albanian Archdiocese
    Locum Tenens of the Diocese of the South
    PO Box 191109
    Dallas, TX 75219-1109

    Diocese of the West
    The Most Reverend Benjamin
    Archbishop of San Francisco and the West
    Locum Tenens of the Diocese of Alaska
    1520 Green St
    San Francisco, CA 94123

    Romanian Episcopate
    The Most Reverend Nathaniel
    Archbishop of Detroit and the Romanian Episcopate
    Locum Tenens of the Metropolitan See
    PO Box 309
    Grass Lake, MI 49240-0309

    Address the letter to, “Your Grace,”