Here We Go Again?

Last night, as I was driving home from work (I guess that makes me one of the “1%” anymore), I got a call from one of my contacts in one of our territorial dioceses. What I was told was shocking to say the least.

My source told me that his bishop was being placed on immediate administrative leave pending the investigation of a sexual allegation. “OK,” I thought, “here we go again.”

I didn’t want to go with it until I had confirmation. Well, today, I got it. Already I had had some of my correspondents comment on it. (The title for this post came from one of them.) Rather than release their comments, I decided to first call the OCA directly to see if I could get a confirmation.

I called around 12:30 CST and spoke to a pleasant young lady, explaining who I was and the purpose of my call. She put me through immediately to Fr Eric Tosi. He graciously took my call, I explained who I was and the relationship I have to this blog. His voice perked up and was very kind. Long story short, I repeated what I’d heard and wanted to know if it was true. He replied that he wasn’t at liberty to confirm or deny the allegations but that His Grace had taken a “leave of absence” pending the resolution of the matter.

I replied that I was pleased with their tact in this matter but was perplexed as to why His Beatitude was not shown similar consideration. Fr Eric forcefully informed me that I was “mistaken” in coming to this conclusion as I “did not know all the facts.” Because he was unfailingly courteous, I did not want to press the point but I left it with these words: “that may be the case Father, but to a layman such as myself, I can’t see the difference.” (Nor did I ask him how we could know the facts if there was not going to be a press release.)

I told him that I would not publish anything about this story for the time being but that I would not constrain my correspondents from doing so. He seemed perfectly fine with that.

Because my phone lines were burning up for the rest of the day, I felt that I couldn’t continue to sit on this story forever. I informed Syosset via email that I felt enough time had passed and I was going to go ahead and publish this story but that I would not publish the name of the bishop. There are three main reasons why I am doing so.

  1. The appearance of a double-standard is so blatant that it cannot be brushed away. His Beatitude was thrown overboard based on charges that have now been proven to be false –and were known to be false. His Grace on the other hand is extended the courtesy of a leave of absence coupled with a concommitant clamp down on open discussion of the matter.
  2. As such, the appearance of favoritism is impossible to overcome. If one has friends in high places, every effort is spent in order to assure that due process is not violated. This same latitude was not extended to the Metropolitan. Besides His Beatitude, others have received this same treatment. (Curiously, those who have received this treatment have been supporters of His Beatitude.)
  3. Where does this place the OCA in relation to the upcoming AAC in Parma? Right now there are three bishops who stand accused of credible allegations of some type of impropriety, whether moral, criminal, or pastoral. If the investigation against this bishop is not adjudicated in time for Parma, then three dioceses of the OCA will be vacant and the two other bishops who have allegations against them (which by the way are in the public record) will still be able to vote.

Ultimately, I hope this matter is resolved and that the bishop in question is exonerated. Indeed, I think discretion is called for but not secrecy working in tandem with a preemptive “death penalty.” Such a protocol can lead to much mischief. (Assuming of course that the allegations are not criminal in nature, which if they are, they should be immediately turned over to the police and the bishop or priest placed on immediate suspension.) I say this because even if this bishop is cleared, the allegation will continue to hang over his head for years to come. More importantly, the new, hyper-secretive rules that are in play during such an investigation will only further continue to erode the already scant credibility of the OCA.

If these are the new rules, then we have arrived at the reductio ad adsurdam of the Sex Czar Mania which has now gripped the OCA. For instance, what will happen if there are credible allegations of misconduct against every bishop? Are we to have no more Holy Synod? Or just allegations against a majority? Would there be a quorum? And let’s be honest, do we really trust the present episcopate to honestly investigate each and every allegation brought before it? I’m sorry but I must be blunt here: they have neither the qualifications nor the competence to do so. (It is an open question as to whether they have the moral authority needed but I leave that for others to decide for themselves.)

Certainly we seem to have lost all perspective. And of course we don’t have anything approaching consistent standards of accountability and transparency. This bears repeating: Metropolitan Jonah was thrown overboard on the flimsiest of charges and under the most uncanonical of circumstances (and in the loudest way possible). Others however are to be accorded every courtesy and discretion.

I’m sorry, but this isn’t fair and there’s no way that anybody can tell me otherwise. As Fr Eric told me, I may “not know all the facts.” Fair enough. But how are we to know all the facts if such capriciousness continues to be evident?

In “The Sex Czar” series, I commented that the worst possible outcome would be the arbitrariness that would inevitably attend this office. Like a Frankenstein Monster, it would outlive its scientific usefulness and go on to terrorize the villages. Let’s be honest: some priests would be investigated while others would be allowed to skate (as we are presently seeing). Ironically, my prediction has come true, even though a Sex Czar has not even been named!

In the meantime, since we’re not going to get straight story from Syosset, I would advise everybody to give them a call. The phone number is 516-922-0550. And I afford Fr Eric or anybody else from Syosset the ability to get their side of the story out. Should they choose to reply to Monomakhos, I will publish it unedited.

P.S. I have received additional confirmation about this matter from yet another person in this particular diocese. The letter detailing the allegations against the bishop was sent only to the deans in his diocese. Rather than calm the situation, it has only created more grist for the rumor mill. Regardless, my other source contacted both his dean and chancellor and then finally, Fr Eric. According to Fr Eric, the allegation is not against the bishop per se but against a priest in his diocese. The priest was involved in a sexual impropriety and the bishop for whatever reason allegedly chose not to investigate it. (When considering the nature of the allegation against His Beatitude, the irony is palpable. Regardless, the bill of particulars against the Metropolitan were not only false, but were know to be false. More to come.)

About GShep


  1. Philippa Alan says

    I’m confused. Fr. Eric Tosi confirmed that the allegation is against a priest and not a bishop? If that is the case, then shouldn’t you retract and remove the original statement that the bishop is on leave? As I wrote, it is confusing.

    And the letter you mention, was that sent from Syosset or the diocesan office? It seems odd tome that the details of the allegation were detailed in that letter, yet Fr. Tosi didn’t give you details. Do you plan to share those details?

    • George Michalopulos says

      Yes. It was a priest but the bishop supposedly didn’t investigate it. Another way to look at it is that the bishop didn’t think that the allegation was credible.

      • Rod Dreher says

        George, why not name this bishop? You know his name. I know his name. This is your blog, so I’m going to follow your protocol, but good grief, a bishop of the OCA has been suspended from office over his role in a case of alleged sexual misconduct. The Church has a right to know who this is, and that the allegations are against him. I can’t believe Syosset hasn’t learned from the way they crapped up the handling of the Jonah case that transparency is the standard today. You get the news out there to the people. Give them the facts. Who, exactly, benefits by Syosset admitting that Bishop X. has been placed on administrative leave, but not saying who the bishop is?

        Like you, I hope Bishop X. is cleared in this matter, but if he’s guilty, then he needs to pay the penalty, whatever it is. But at this point, who has faith that he will get a fair hearing? A couple of people who have been following this story have told me that they have anticipated charges like this would be leveled at this particular bishop in an effort to sideline him because he disciplined a powerful and well-connected member of the Metropolitan Council. That may or may not be true, but the Church (and the church is more than the clergy) is entitled to the facts — perhaps not all the facts, not yet, but enough to know what, precisely, the allegations are, and why the Synod believed they were serious enough to merit placing a bishop on administrative leave.

        • George Michalopulos says

          Rod, you and anybody else may name the bishop. I’m still waiting for the official document that was only given to the deans of his diocese but has now been leaked out.

          • Rod Dreher says

            Thanks George. I can’t believe I’m able to write you here — the hurricane is upon us here in south Louisiana, but we haven’t lost power yet. I’ll be brief, because we’ll probably go dark any second.

            The bishop is Matthias Moriak of the Midwest. As I indicated in my comment last night, if he is guilty of wrongdoing, then by all means let’s punish him. But this should be done with as much openness as possible. Syosset might be acting prudently in this case, but how do we know? We don’t even officially know the name of the bishop, even though he is no longer administrating his own diocese!

            I don’t trust Syosset or the Synod on this. We know Matthias forced Stokoe off the Metropolitan Council. Is this payback? I think it’s possible that Matthias could be guilty of whatever they’re accusing him of, but is being “prosecuted” in a selective way because he is seen as politically unreliable by the powers within the Synod. Somebody should ask Fr. Vasile Susan about how aggressive our locum tenens, Abp Nathaniel, has been about looking into reports of clerical sexual misconduct.

            As I’ve said on your site before, I think it’s entirely possible — even at this point, very likely — that Jonah mishandled the DC case involving the nuns and Father X. If he did, then he needed to face consequences for that. But is the Synod going to hold its own members to the same standards that they held Jonah, and that they seem to be holding Matthias?

            Again and again, I see no reason to have confidence in the senior leadership class of our church. Don’t get me wrong: I absolutely believe in the episcopacy, and recognize that they all hold legitimate authority (I am not a Donatist). I just don’t believe in the credibility of this hapless bench of bishops. And I am finding it hard to imagine what could restore their credibility.

            • Rod, please do stay safe. I can’t believe you’re getting hit by hurricanes two years in a row, last year in Philly and this year in Louisiana. Bless yer heart!

              I get most of what you’re saying. However, at this point, I don’t think there is any reason to believe Bishop Matthias or Metropolitan Jonah would have ignored credible allegations. Is it possible both of them heard vague rumors and innuendo, but neither felt comfortable initiating an investigation on those bases?

              In Metropolitan Jonah’s case, we know the accused had been previously slandered along those lines. Fr. X is not an angel, but you have to admit he was falsely and baselessly accused of rape back in 2010. If Met. Jonah heard anything between February 2012 and May 2012 (and we don’t know that he even heard anything at all) prior to receiving the official complaint, I can imagine he would have, and quite understandably, thought it was more of the same until that real, live official complaint landed on his desk.

              Could we call that a misstep? Even if it were, was it worth ruining Met. Jonah’s life? Was it worth all of the pain and suffering they have inflicted on Met. Jonah, his innocent family, and the faithful of the OCA? I have to think that it was not.

              I think what actually matters is that when Met. Jonah DID receive the actual complaint, he handled it within his competence. Everyone who needed to know, knew. The only people left out of the loop (at the accuser’s request) were in the OCA administration.

              Maybe what needs to happen here is that the sexual misconduct guidelines need to be clarified, where our bishops and priests will know exactly when they need to initiate an investigation.

              But I find it galling that, if the allegations are true, Bishop Matthias would participate in the assassination of Metropolitan Jonah, either having just done the same thing Met. Jonah was accused of, or turning around to do the same thing himself. Still, that would only be the latest of many hypocrisies among Metropolitan Jonah’s accusers.

            • lexcaritas says

              Smells indeed like payback from the MS cabal, doesn’t it? How much different were the Salem witch trials–only now the overt allegations are not sorcery but sexual misconduct or its hishandling. What though are the hidden agendas of the accusers and the inquisitors?

              This is why we have due process, which includes the right to face one’s accusers and mount a proper defense. Biblically, it also would mean that a false accuser should make restitution to the falsely accused and/or face the punishment that the accused would have incurred had he been guilty.

              But this is not the society we live in, where due process is appreciated and the truth and one’s reputaton matters, is it?


              • Priest Justin Frederick says

                Concerning “due process”, (also with implications for the so-called ‘sex czar’), from the OCA guidelines for Sexual Misconduct (2003). It might be wise for everyone to revisit this document.

                3.03. Justice and Pastoral Concern: The Church will strive to see that justice is done. The innocent must be protected while those responsible for sexual misconduct must be held accountable. Just as the rights of victims must be respected and secured by the Church, the work and ministries of clergy and laypersons must not be impaired by unfounded accusations.

                7.01. Authority of Bishops:

                (a) Diocesan Bishops have full hierarchical authority for all Church activities within the diocese, including all matters concerning allegations of sexual misconduct. Bishops may fully exercise that authority in accordance with these Policies, Standards, and Procedures, and may impose any clergy discipline not requiring action of a Church court.

                (b) Bishops also may refer all or any part of a review or investigation of allegations of sexual misconduct to the Office for Review of Sexual Misconduct Allegations, which is created in paragraph 7.02 below, or may request assistance from such office in connection with the matter.

                7.02. Creation and Management of Central Office: The Office for Review of Sexual Misconduct Allegations is hereby created within the Chancery of the Orthodox Church in America to assist with matters concerning allegations of sexual misconduct. The Office shall be under the authority of the Primate of the Church, shall be responsible to the Holy Synod of Bishops, and shall be supervised on a day-to-day basis by the Chancellor of the Church.

                10.02. Burden of Proof: (a) As the Response Team, or investigators if applicable, consider the evidence adduced during the investigation, and reasonable inferences that can be drawn therefrom, they shall be guided by the following procedures in evaluating the evidence and in making their recommendation:

                (1) The complainant has the burden of proof to establish that the Respondent engaged in acts of sexual misconduct;

                (2) As a first step, there must be enough evidence from the complainant to cause the Response Team or investigators to believe that one or more of the allegations are substantiated at that point. This generally must be more than the complainant’s uncorroborated testimony standing alone. If the complainant meets this test, the so-called scales of justice temporarily would tip in favor of the complainant;

                (3) If the preceding step happens, then the responsibility shifts to the respondent to show sufficient evidence to cause the scales of justice to tip back in his favor. This process can continue as witnesses are interviewed and evidence is produced. The scales could tip back and forth several times;

                (4) When the investigation is concluded, the Response Team, or investigators, must look at all of the evidence and reasonable inferences that can be drawn, and decide whether the complainant has persuaded them of the allegations; and

                (5) The standards of subparagraph (a) are subjective, and depend upon the judgments of the Response Team or investigators about the credibility of witnesses, the extent to which important elements are explained or unexplained, and similar matters.

                (b) The Bishop, when acting on the recommendation of the Response Team or investigators, as applicable, may undertake a similar analysis, and shall conduct his own independent review and analysis of the evidence to make his decision.

                • Just Guessing says

                  Fr Justin quotes several paragraphs from the policy without actually making a point, so I’m unsure what he’s saying here.

                  However, what I’m hoping his point is, is that there has been widespread misinterpretation of this policy and assumptions about “the” policy, apparently without many people actually reading the policy. Clearly, the policy makes two very important assertions, based on the traditional understanding of the role of the bishop: First, that the bishop is the sole authority for all matters of misconduct – no committee or authority supercedes this, and second, that using the Office for Review is absolutely not mandatory, but is only called in when the bishop deems it necessary. It goes without saying that in cases of criminal action, the police should be called and it should be deemed a police matter.

                  • Just Guessing,

                    Part of the apparent confusion and the rush for Tosi and Jillions (now in Chicago as part of the “response team”) is that the working assumption now appears to be that if an incident takes places the de-facto step is for the bishop to turn it over to them.

                    We are also dealing a situation in which there are multiple stories flying around: the bishop not dealing with a supposed misconduct case of one of his clergy. On this point, the bishop would have full authority and if he feels that the incident does not rise to the level of the OCA “response team” to be contacted then he is within his rights not to do so. Was the bishop overruled by Syosset?

                    Another could be that the incident involves the bishop himself. Again, he has the right to deal with it himself, however in the hyper-sensitive OCA, one could imagine that Syosset injected itself or scared the bishop into doing so handing over his authority.

                    The stories out there now are legion and there is confusion within the Midwest Diocese as to what actually took place. Folks at the FOCA convention now meeting are speculating “did this incident take place when the bishop was at the diocesan youth camp?” “Does it involve a minor?” Without someone firmly at the wheel of the OCA it is no wonder that people are speculating on the issue and in the end the bishop’s reputation takes a hit and the OCA again looks like a jurisdiction out of control. Both are simply unacceptable given the current fragile condition of the OCA and it being on the verge of another AAC.

                    It looks again as if those who are suppose to be at the wheel are again mucking things up and are demonstrating again their inept and klutzy ability. The next Metropolitan should clean house and bring in his own team. I have no confidence in officers of the OCA.

                    Let’s not be fooled, there have always been “incidents” in the OCA involving clergy gone astray but in the “bad old days” of the previous administration (Kondratick) these matters were handled to protect the victim and sanction clergy, except when their bishop refused to cooperate and allowed compromised clergy to continue in the pulpit, some of whom are still standing before the Altar of the Lord shielded by their compromised bishops.

                    What we now have with all these policies and procedures is I am afraid more to do with settling scores, going on witch hunts and the abrogation of bishops to lawyers. To be a true bishop in the OCA these days means that you can’t really lead your diocese and if that is the case then the OCA should simply tear off the facade of it being an autocephlous church and return to the status of a Metropolia with Syosset in total control and its bishops acting as auxiliaries because that is the direction it is headed towards.

                    I don’t think things will get better until a real chancellor with real experience working with his staff to promote the good order of the Church, working for the Metropolitan and the synod and not beholden to a Metropolitan Council, lawyers, response teams, crisis management teams put back into their proper statutory place or eliminated. Yes, we need to be vigilant and call people to account, but the OCA is shrinking and all we seem to get are more layers of apparatchiks and more confusion.

                    • Just Guessing says

                      I would only disagree with one point, Nikos. If a situation involves a bishop, clearly that bishop cannot in any way handle the situation himself. At that point the Holy Synod (or another bishop appointed by them) must lead the investigation into the matter. No person involved in an accusation can be involved in the investigation.

                  • lexcaritas says

                    Notice that under 7.01 (a) and (b) the authority lies with the Bishop and he “may” investigate. He has discretion not to. But such discretion apparently did not apply to JONAH and does not apply to MATTHIAS.

                    According to 7.02 the ORSMA is to “assist” in the [bishop’s] investigation not take charge of and control it.

                    Further the shifting of the burden of proof set forth in 10.02(3), while appropriate in a purely civil proceeding is not, in my opinion, adequate due proces in a proceeding which is either criminal or closely akin to criminal and where the burden on the prosecution is and ought to be either beyond a reasonable doubt or by clear and convincing evidence, respectively.

                    Sadly enough in certain areas of our law (e.g. alleged child abuse, deprivation or sexual misconduct) those accused are no longer afforded due process and the presumption of innocence, let alone the right to face their accuser–who’s identity often remains forever undisclosed in administrative actions) and, as a result, the risk of injustice and harm is great.

                    I shudder to see the same mentality seeping into the Body of Christ.


                • Monk James says

                  Much of this is just ‘pious piffle’, as my high school guidance counselor (Brother George, FSC) was wont say when describing all the religious-sounding blather issued by people so delusional as to think they’re making sense.

                  For our OCA to establish an office/officers to work — full time — on nothing but matters of sexual abuse suggests that our 600 or so clergymen are far more likely to be involved in such sordid affairs than they really are.

                  There are two simple rules by which this whole area of concern can be regulated.

                  First, if someone accuses a cleric of criminal behavior (rape, sexual abuse of a minor) with ether men or women, the accuser should be directed to make a police report and let the police conduct an investigation if they deem it appropriate. After all, this is what they are trained and paid to do. This also applies to all other crimes such as violence, embezzlement or theft of any kind.

                  Second, if a cleric is accused of sexual betrayal of his wife or sacred vows, but commits this sin — not a crime in civil law except in certain well defined situations — THEN a spiritual court is to be convened by the local bishop and proper procedures (due process) followed.

                  Finally, whatever the results of the civil or ecclesial process, the bishop acts appropriately in response to the just verdict of a properly constituted body.

                  While under investigation, accused clerics should be suspended from all ministry but not deprived of their living. The model here is that of police who are involved in a fatality, and are assigned desk duty until their cases are resolved.

                  We do not need and cannot afford a full-time ‘sex-czar’, not to mention what having such a position suggests about our clergy.

                  All of us Christians, the clergy and especially the bishops, DO need to (re)dedicate ourselves and our resources to preaching the Gospel, and let other segments of church and society do what God gives THEM to do.

            • “My! People come and go so quickly here!” -Dorothy

              Dysfunctionality on a level we have not seen before.

              • Follow the yellow brick road.

              • Isaac Crabtree says

                It’s clear you cannot build a house on sand. The Platonites, Paris School sympathizers that made up at least some of the OCA after splitting from the Russian Synod canonically assembled by St. Tikhon’s Ukaz, first in Constantinople and then in Karlovtsy, has shown us its fruit– bad ecumenism, lukewarmth, no real monasticism to speak of, a completely discredited and secretive hierarchy, an all-time record for living former metropolitans, a penchant in many places for just making stuff up in the Divine Liturgy, no vigils to speak of, and ignorance of the teachings and admonitions of St. Alexis of Wilkes-Barre.

                ROCOR– sure it’s got its problems, perhaps in some corners too ethno-centered, but SAINTS, real monasticism, traditional Orthodoxy, the fullness of the divine services, spiritual guides, people who really suffered for their faith. ROCOR never got “autocephaly” but easily it has much more in common with the life and ethos of healthy Orthodoxy world-wide, in Russia, Greece, Romania, etc.

                Poor Met. Jonah was a celebrity– and that’s what the OCA has thrived on, sadly. It was a bunch of former Uniates who got invaded by modernists after the Revolution, and then given a Soviet-inspired autocephaly that not even the Mother Church ever even respected, let alone the rest of the Church.

                • Isaac Crabtree says

                  I spent three years in an OCA parish, and made many close and dear friends. But there was profound spiritual ignorance that none in the roles of Shepherd really addressed, even things as fundamental as preparing for communion, etc. Plus I really got tired of never hearing the matins hymns for the feast days.

                  • DOS member says


                    While your analysis may have some merit, your 10:36 post does not reflect my experience in the South. Y’all come down if you’d like to hear the matins hymns! 😉

                    • Isaac Crabtree says

                      That is really encouraging to hear, DOS Member. And I have heard good things about Abp. Dmitri. He was traditional, right? I get the feeling sometimes that there are teachers in the Church who really don’t teach people to seek salvation, or who have a very protestant ethos regarding how it is appropriated.

                    • V.Rev.Andrei Alexiev says

                      If you come to Holy Ascension Serbian Orthodox church in Ecorse,MI where I serve,you will hear the Matins service chanted every Sunday and major feast day.I would like to think that any Orthodox Christian would want to hear “Christ is born,give ye glory” during the Nativity Fast or the Paschal Canon chanted during the 40 days from Pascha to Ascension.
                      BTW,our Matins are mostly in English,we switch to some Slavonic or Serbian when the older folks come in towards the end just before Liturgy starts.

        • Philippa Alan says

          “Disciplined” more likely to sideline him from the next AAC as a potential candidate.

          And I remain steadfast in my thoughts that those who ‘leak’ confidential correspondence, obviously one of the deans of the diocese or the source of the letter to them, are part and parcel of the devil’s team to discredit and tarnish an obviously good bishop and take another whack at the Church.

          • lexcaritas says

            Philippa Alan,

            To sideline +Mathias from the upcoming AAC? Maybe . . . I hadn’t thought of that. Could the investigation be concluded and His Grace cured before then? We’ll see.


        • Mark from the DOS says

          I’ll withhold judgment until more facts come out, but I will confess that when I first heard this, the first thought I was was this is payback for running Stokoe out and a clear message to other bishops not to rock the boat. You’ll remember that, despite the dubious content, this bishop was the first to publicly post information about the forced resignation of Met. Jonah. Given the differing texts and the unsigned letter posted quickly thereafter on, I am guessing that this action ruffled a few feathers in Syosset as well.

        • Jesse Cone says

          Rod says,

          The Church has a right to know who this is, and that the allegations are against him.

          True. Compare this to +Jonah’s infamous Leave of Absence last year. They appointed +Nikon locum tenens in the South and +Jonah was not commemorated. (I don’t remember what they did with DC. Colette, help?)

          If a bishop is suspended, who’s minding things? Without them telling the faithful, the diocese will have major functioning problems. Unless, that is, that the current line of thinking is that bishops are rather dispensable in the functioning of the diocese — what with committees, Tsars, and a bench of Synod “untouchables” ready to step in. Perhaps we really have “progressed” in our understanding of a bishop since the time of St. Ignatius?

          What’s to be gained from not being open about it? It’s not like anyone would find suspending a bishop right before an AAC — esp. when it’s happening within their diocese — suspicious!

          • We were given the new bishop in DC. +Alexander I believe.

            • Jesse Cone says

              Sorry, I meant during HB’s “Leave” last year. Whom did ya’all commemorate?

              • V.Rev.Andrei Alexiev says

                Wait a sec,Jesse.Are you telling me +Jonah was not commeroted in the Southeren diocese even when he was still primate?

                • I believe he was still commemorated as Metropolitan but not as our locum tenens because they took that from him and gave it to +Nikon.

                • Jesse Cone says

                  Sorry for the confusion. The point I was trying to make was regarding what has to happen liturgically when a diocesan bishop goes on leave. In the case of +Jonah last year, the DOS — which has commemorated him as our locum tenens — had to commemorate the bishop who was at that moment responsible for us (+Nikon).

                  (+Jonah was still commemorated as primate, but that is not analogous to what’s happening now in the Midwest.)

                  Since (apparently) bishops can be secretly suspended, I’m wondering whether or not the secrecy will extend the public commemoration of the bishop in the liturgy. If not, it ain’t much of a secret, and it’s a pretty rotten way to let the faithful know their bishop ain’t their bishop; if so, that seems inconsistent in a deep liturgical manner — one I am very uncomfortable with.

              • Oh gosh . . sorry. I think we still commemorated+Jonah . . . .

      • Geo Michalopulos:

        I also became confused while reading your essay. You might want to consider revising it to help make the comparison a little clearer especially to individuals who have just recently joined the conversation and are not aware of the false allegations and mechanisms used by the NY Syosset apparatchik to railroad +Jonah. Otherwise, I agree with you 100%…reminds me of that Beatles song….”I get by with a little help from my friends…”

    • Rod Dreher says

      Well, here’s some news. As we know, Fr. Eric Tos told George Michalopulos that +Matthias has taken a “leave of absence” pending the outcome of an investigation. George later published something attributed to an unnamed priest who said he was told by Fr. Tosi that the case is about +Matthias failing to investigate a charge of sexual impropriety against another priest.

      This is not true, according to two sources close to the investigation with whom I spoke today. According to my sources, both of whom have direct knowledge of the situation, the allegation involves Bishop Matthias directly, and has to do with sexually aggressive letters and texts he sent to a young Orthodox woman, including one in which he said he had a “crush” on her. My sources say that these are not mere he-said/she-said allegations, but that there is written evidence.

      One of my sources alleges that Syosset is pulling out all the stops to keep this thing quiet, and to keep Matthias in power in Chicago.

      One of my two sources alleges that the three-person team tasked by the last All American Council to investigate these things is expected to rule that nothing about this controversy rises to the level of disciplinary action against Matthias — this, even though the young woman who allegedly received the unwanted letters and texts has not been interviewed by them.

      N., one of the two sources, said he has come to believe that the Synod of Bishops is so personally corrupt that it’s covering for the sexual sins (and other sins) of each other — and that what you need to be part of that OCA Bishop’s Club is some grave failing that can be used to control you. There is, he alleged, more to drop on other bishops.

      “This is a group of men who cannot cast any light on themselves, and who are defining the episcopacy downward,” he said. “Not one of them has ever repented.”

      He talked about other cases known to us both (and to many others), and some other cases that we might soon be hearing about. “Did you see that Seraphim [Storheim] has disappeared very quietly off the OCA website?” he said. “When you have a 50 percent failure rate in the episcopacy, maybe at some point you have to say maybe our vetting process is contaminated. But I think it might be working just like they want it to.”

      N. told me his faith in the Orthodox Church “has never been stronger;” his faith in the integrity of the OCA bishops? Gone.

      “They’ve made the episcopacy into something that is no longer in the likeness of Christ,” he said. “I know people who have left Orthodoxy over the actions of bishops. The episcopacy is constantly driving people away from the OCA. Can you imagine? Have we seen any hierarch repent of anything? The whole corruption of the episcopacy is that if we have something on you, if we can control you, you’re the perfect man to be a bishop. They had nothing on Jonah. He had problems as an administrator, but he wasn’t corrupt, and they couldn’t control him. He was doomed from the start. The only reason they made him Metropolitan was because they were scared of the crowd in Pittsburgh.”

      Those are the allegations I heard from two well-informed source — sources I trust — this afternoon. Personally, if there is any attempt at a Syosset cover-up, I look for these documents to be publicly released, and I certainly hope they will be. It’s time for Syosset to stop spinning. If these are the allegations against Matthias, then that should be made public. Get it all out, let’s talk about this transparently, with facts, not spin. We don’t know if he’s guilty or not, but this is very serious stuff, a hierarch having to take a leave of absence because he has allegedly sexually harassed someone, especially someone under his spiritual authority.

      • George Michalopulos says

        Rod, there’s more coming down the pike. Thanks for your contributions to getting the story straight.

        Everybody: buckle up. More to come.

        • Hmm…looks like the evil doers are falling into their own traps. Meanwhile, +Jonah seems to have escaped captivity.

      • “N., one of the two sources, said he has come to believe that the Synod of Bishops is so personally corrupt that it’s covering for the sexual sins (and other sins) of each other — and that what you need to be part of that OCA Bishop’s Club is some grave failing that can be used to control you. There is, he alleged, more to drop on other bishops. ”

        This corrupt culture was set in place by the éminence grise of autocephaly, Protopresbyter Alexander Schmemann, at the very inception of the OCA. It’s how he controlled the bishops, particularly the Metropolitan of the day. Since then it would seem to have snowballed to the point where the OCA bishops manipulate each other with “dirt files”. One really has to ask whether this situation can ever be fixed? In retrospect, the idea of installing the Russian Metropolitan Ilarion as OCA primate was not such a crazy idea -it would need an outsider familiar with Western/North American culture, one gifted for leadership and with a strong personality, albeit a personality re-formed in the traditions of the church, to rectify the whole thing. A mirror-image (i.e. in reverse!) of Fr Schmemann, if you will. Of course, the old guard would fight tooth and nail against this as it would bring an end to their privilege and influence, and such a candidate would be hard to find, but…you have a sobor coming up in Ohio and I suspect it will be the last opportunity to save the OCA from itself.

        • Basil says:
          August 30, 2012 at 8:53 pm

          This corrupt culture was set in place by the éminence grise of autocephaly, Protopresbyter Alexander Schmemann, at the very inception of the OCA.

          Can that be proven?

          • Well, Father, that is what was said in churchly Russian emigre circles a generation ago.
            Upon reflection, as that was hearsay, I’ll withdraw my comment and request George to delete it.

          • Bruce W. Trakas says

            The corruption started, developed and was cultivated by the 2nd last chancellor,the one who was later unfrocked, who looked to recruit potential hierarchs who were compromised by something of which the 2nd last former chancellor had knowledge. This is the opinion of one of the more noteworthy priests in the OCA and was a finding in the ’08 SIC Report.

        • phil r. upp says

          Basil et al,

          Fr. Schmemann had nothing to do with what you mention. Each candidate for bishop brings what they have. Their character isn’t created. When you are dealing with celibates, this is what you get. Widowers are better, but a girlfriend on the side isn’t unusual. Going back to the Orthodox tradition of married bishops is a better way to go. As for the current OCA Synod, overall, a pretty good group of guys. I think you’ll find more issues with the other Orthodox Synods of ethnic origin.

          • I’ve withdrawn my comment re Fr Schmemann, Phil.
            However, I was not suggesting he created or was responsible for the malfeasance, but only that he knew how to make it serve his own purposes. I don’t disagree with you in principle on married bishops – it would be preferable to the hypocrisy of bishops with girlfriends or even worse, boyfriends – but culturally it’s probably a bridge too far at present, even in the OCA.

          • Isaac Crabtree says

            Orthodoxy abandoned this long long ago, and when it was permitted, the Bishop and his wife lived as brother and sister.

            I think the blaming of Fr. A. Schmemann is unfair, since he was not the sole carrier of the Parisian contagion, by far. The problem is not what celibacy can do, but what celibacy can do in the absence of traditional Orthodoxy. I fear “liberal” monasteries of any Church as probably big-time sodomite enclaves, because real ascetical life is only undertaken by those who believe it is for their salvation, not for some hippy-dippy “mystical experience.”

            My friend had the poor Archimandrite of Manton pegged long ago, as his Wheat, Water, Wine, Oil book literally had NOTHING about the salvation of the soul in it. When you give up authentic Orthodoxy, it’s common to descend into aesthetics.

          • Tradition is what is transmitted, passed on, handed over. Our Holy Tradition contains the rule that bishops must not have wives. Shall we say, “Circumcision was the Original Tradition, until St. Paul came along..?.”

        • Basil, you are assuming that the MP bishops are different than the OCA bishops and their culture, which may not be the case. The EP hierarchy certainly isn’t any different. It’s just that the synods of these older churches are somewhat better at covering and containing their shenanigans. I believe in my heart of hearts that Orthodox hierarchy throughout the world is by definition compromised and self-serving. A good bishop is exceeding rare, mostly because so few bishops are good men to begin with. The never-married state is a red flag most of the time–certainly not the only red flag–but one we Orthodox have stubbornly insisted on for our bishops to our continual shame. The grass ain’t greener folks; it’s brown everywhere. That’s why such tiny percentages of the population in “Orthodox” nations go to church. Few things stink as much as hypocrisy.

          • James,

            No, I’m assuming a good primate can be found from outside.

          • Isaac Crabtree says

            Uhuh. The reason no one goes to Church in former Soviet “republics” is because of the corruption of the hierarchies– not the militant atheist persecutions and the propaganda campaigns. *Eyes glaze over.*

            I would trade MP corrupt for OCA corrupt any day. At least MP corrupt still does the full services.

          • JamesP. What you write is very close to blasphemy and sinning against the Holy Spirit. An ENORMOUS proportion of the Saints of the Orthodox Church were hierarchs; hierarchs, moreover, who did not have wives, and you surely know that. You actually wrote this: “The never-married state is a red flag most of the time–certainly not the only red flag–but one we Orthodox have stubbornly insisted on for our bishops to our continual shame.” St. Tikhon of Moscow, St. Tikhon of Zadonsk, St. Philaret of Moscow, St. Gregory of Nyssa, St. Basil the Great, HUNDREDS of Holy Martyrs in former times and in our own times were celibate Hierarchs. St. Peter had a mother-in-law. Did NONE of the Apostles have children or families to look after? Did St. AThanasius’s missus tag along after him in exile? How about St. Nikolai (Veliimirovich)? St. Justin Popovich? St. Raphael of Brooklyn?
            Are you ashamed that we insist on bishops without wives? There’s a simple remedy. Follow the Anglican pattern, it’s so obvious that THEIR hierarchs don’t have that awful red flag.

            • OccidentalGuido says

              I find it unbelievable, Your Grace BT, that you of all people would dare scold someone for calling out the elephant in the room of “life long celibacy” as a red flag. As a former insider on the Synod, you know full well that the now defrocked former chancellor kept the metropolitans and most members of the synod in line based on his thorough, exact and intimate knowledge of their personal moral failings. This “management practice” has continued to be used by the synod members to cajole and manipulate one another as well. (No need to fix what works eh?)
              Just what was it that lead to YOUR own retirement Your Grace? I don’t think that was ever really made clear.

              • OccidentalGuido (are there any oriental guidos? I don’t think so.):

                What’s this about the former chancellor? Are you accusing him of covering up ever-memorable Bishop Boris’s shenanigans or just what, exactly? Why was Father Michael Roshak deposed within the past year or so, and who is covering up the answer to that one, Guido?

                What led (not “lead”) to my retirement? Well, it’s a long story. I was born in my parents’ bedroom on Belle near the corner of Carson on the west side of Detroit at 6:30 pm on November 14th, 1932. My mother remembers that my birth was more difficult for her than the birth of my older sister. Right across the street from where we lived was an A&P where a couple guys, friends of my mother and father, worked. She wanted to scream her head off, as she had been able to do at the Salvation Army hospital where my sister had been born, but at home, she couldn’t BEAR the thought of the razzzing she would get from the guys at the A&P, so she had to smother her screams. There’s a lot more, OccidentalGuido, but you’ll have to wait and read it all in my memoirs.
                I keep a lot of these messages on Monomakhos, and they’ll be in a late chapter. if you can hold out until i die…you’ll find out the vital rest of the story of “what it was that led (not lead) to MY own retirement. Until then, I’ll regretfully have to leave it up to your, no doubt fertile, imagination to come up with SOMETHING that will provide a smokescreen for your not being able to reply rationally!

                • OccidentalGuido says

                  Venerable Vladyko Tikhon:

                  My sincere apologies for the “lead” “led” confusion. My arthritis has become so severe that I am no longer able to type, thus I must use a voice recognition program. I try to review and spell check my comments prior to posting, but occasionally these small errors slip through.

                  While I am sure that there are many that are “holding out” until you die, I am not one of them. I think the Church and the blogoshere are much more interesting with Your Grace alive and kicking. I like the idea of a hierarch with the cojones to speak (or type) what is on his mind no matter how snarky it might be!

                  Vladyka Boris was a bishop when I was just a boy. I was not aware that Chancellor Hubiak needed to cover up any shenanigans perpetrated by Bishop Boris. There were whispers of a girl friend as I recall in his Chicago days. But his closeness to Met Theodosius II prior to Chicago makes me think this was not that case and the he and the former Frankie shared the same predilection for young clean cut military men. My cousin being one of them.

                  Now Sylvester is quite another story. No need to sully the name of the dead with lurid details.

                  As I am sure you know, the former chancellor I am referring to is the now deposed Robert Rodion […] Kondratick who covered up the drunken and homosexual activities of two OCA Metropolitans. […] He was given an assignment to protect the Church and he executed his duties […]

                  He has handled his role as scapegoat with remarkable restraint. Certainly he did not shred all of the files.

                  I do await your memoirs Vladyko, with eager anticipation. I only hope you are as direct in your book as you are online. If I were a betting man, I would wager a good amount that MANY people will be quite surprised at what has really transpired. If you release the full truth of the information of what the” dirt” is that certain members of the synod have on you I am sure many will be surprised that it is not of a sexual nature.

                  Perhaps when I next travel west, I might contact you through your office to arrange to have the honor of taking you to lunch.

                  Asking your blessing and kissing your right hand,

                  (after Saint Guidon, the Poor Man of Anderlecht)

        • Mark from the DOS says

          Let’s understand clearly, the half day AAC is designed to make next to impossible the consideration of any bishop not already in the OCA.

          • But it’s not impossible to circumvent that intention, Mark.
            I’m not au fait with the OCA statutes, but I’m sure it is not impossible.
            It will require smart operating on the floor though.

            • Mark from the DOS says

              Yes, hence my use of “next to”

              I could think of nothing more fitting than if a stealth grass roots campaign derailed or at least slowed down and shone the light on their planned coronation meeting.

              • A “No Confidence” vote instead of voting for any OCA synod member might be a way to get the point across that the current synod does not deserve to be considered for the vacant see of Washington. Why should any of them be “rewarded” with wearing the white hat? They do not.

                Vote “No Confidence.” It is the right of any delegate to do so. Then let the synod members and the OCA clergy and faithful search for candidates from around the world. The Carpatho-Russian Diocese went outside her ranks to elect her new bishop.

                Vote “NO CONFIDENCE.”


                  I am not happy to fight like a wounded animal, but I will. I lost my faith in the Holy Synod of the Orthodox Church in America. For me and for my brothers and sisters in Christ, who think in the same way, the day in Parma is the”to be or not to be” of the OCA. I spent 21 years on my musical education, and now, because of the acts of the Holy Synod, I am about to lose my favorite job. Why? Because I would rather die of hunger on the street, than sing AXIOS and IS POLLA ETI DESPOTA to Bishop Benjamin. I don’t know about Carpatho-Russian Diocese, but I don’t think people will vote for someone they don’t know. I am concerned, that if you split the number of votes who want to defend Metropolitan Jonah, by giving other possibilities, we will not get any positive result. We must stay together for truth, because;

                  1.+Jonah’s resignation was uncanonical. It was done by conspiracy and according to false allegations.

                  2. It was not a unanimous request. Metropolitan Jonah resigned, because he thought that was unanimous, but this was a lie.

                  These two undeniable facts may help to unite people in one powerful force, which can fight against the Holy Synod.

                  I think we need the Coordination Committee for people who support Metropolitan Jonah.
                  We need someone’s help, preferably one with previous experience to begin such a committee.
                  BTW, there are 253 members on Facebook site “We Want Metropolitan Jonah Back”.
                  Not all of them are from the OCA though, but a significant number of them.
                  These people might like to participate.

                  We need to talk to Bishop Michael of New York.
                  According to Helga, he had no clue of +MJ resignation.
                  Maybe Bishop Michael would like to support the group.

      • “They couldn’t control Metropolitan Jonah.” That really puts all those accusations of “unilateral” actions in a different light, doesn’t it?

        By the way, Archbishop Seraphim disappeared from almost two years ago, from the time he was suspended pending the legal resolution of the accusations against him. This is not news. I don’t know why your source would have only just noticed this.

      • Harry Coin says

        The grass is not greener elsewhere. During the peak of the years the Roman church was covering up ongoing horrific serial abuse of teen / young men by clergy, how did things seem? Pretty good to most folk.

        What’s going on now is: we are being given to know about things that money used to be able to make go away before it got out in the past..

        Parish life has its own respiration. If you think it must be better elsewhere where there is more money and more power and more more more… just think of how much ‘more’ the RCC had going on when it had all that awful stuff going on.

        The grass is not greener elsewhere. Make it work where you are.

      • It’s time all this kind of behavior stopped. It’s a bad witness to the world. Bad behavior can be read about throughout our history, but it’s never been “ok”.

      • One on the Synod showed repentance, Met. Jonah. He asked forgiveness in his so-called resignation letter. Not to mention at other times.

        Being a not-so-good administrator is not a barrier to being a hierarch,
        immorality, particularly sexual, is. Talk about “pot calling the kettle black.” If the immorality within the Synod is truly pervasive and truly unreconcilable, with even economia, those Bishops should resign and the faithful should demand a new Synod. Lack of candidates is not a sufficient reason to remain with a corrupt hierarchy. We all know that the church is hierachical, but we seem to forget our wonderful paradox: that the church is at the same time concilliar. God will provide if we obey the Holy Spirit. If we act contrary to the Holy Spirit (like not going with the “flow of the Holy Spirit” with Met. Jonah,) we will be severely chastised by the Lord, and are beginning to see that chastisement. May God have mercy!

        • Mark from the DOS says

          Lack of candidates and small pool is only an excuse of the unimaginative. Last time I checked, there was no canonical requirement that a bishop be a priest at the time of his election. I would imagine that many widowed or celibate deacons, subdeacons, readers or laymen could do a better job of shepherding the flock than this group of bishops.

      • Before we all start jumping to conclusions about this please remember that text messages and emails are quite easy to fake. . . all you need is an IP scrambling software or a disposable cell phone. Before we jump to the conclusion that it was Bp. Matthias that did this let’s just wait to see whether it was actually him making these texts/emails.

        It is also possible that he is guilty. Only God knows, but we should hold off on judgement before there is a final verdict on this. Though, knowing past OCA “Investigations” I would feel much better if there were an independent investigation. Who knows, perhaps Syosset has been reading this blog and will know that the people will revolt against a bad investigation and will finally dot their Ts and cross their Is on this one. Who knows. . . Only God.

        • I noticed that there is now an icon crying in Columbus, OH (DOMW). It began happening on Tuesday August, 28th. I notice the formal complaint was lodged against His Grace on Friday, August 24th. The Lord must be calling us all to repentance for the mockery we are making of his Holy Church (and I’m not speaking of this website per sae when I say we, but the whole of the Church in America).

          • Maybe the icon is crying because:
            +Matthias is denying the charges and the Lord knows what was in +Matthias’ heart when he wrote the texts;
            +Metropolitan Jonah has not been returned to his See or given another diocese ; and/or
            The lies in the Synods letter regarding +Jonah.

            Who Knows….Only God

          • Thank you, Benjamin, for putting the miracle of a weeping icon in what can only be described as a proper perspective. Some seem to see the miracle and think nothing other than, “Oh my! This must be the true Faith!” True enough, but weeping is rarely anything other than a sign of grief over the state of those we dearly love.

            If the weeping of our Mother or our God or any of the Saints doesn’t give us pause, nothing will.

        • Mark from the DOS says

          In some ways, it would be even worse if it were a set up! Unwelcome texts or suggestive emails can be repented from, if that is as far as it went and they were not too extreme. The idea that someone would want to set up a bishop and then actually follow through with it to this point is mind boggling, because if that happened, there was probably someone behind it. Who is that someone and what is their agenda???

        • P.S.ILoveYou says

          The fact that Bishop +Matthias made the texts in question is not disputed. How they were taken was not how they were intended, according to His Grace.

          • Rod Dreher says

            I was given quotes by someone who claims to have seen them. If the quotes are accurate, then there is no ambiguity in these things. None. I suspect the accuser will end up having to produce the documents in public to prove the claim, if the bishop insists that she has misinterpreted his words. I hope she will do so.

      • Disgusted With It says

        Stinks like a set-up to me. There are just too many people out to get +Matthias lately, including OCA “insiders”. I hope there’s a completely honest and fair investigation.

        • PleasePleaseMe says

          No set-up. The evidence is accepted by all. Just appropriateness and interpretation is in question.

          • Lola J. Lee Beno says

            Have you seen the evidence? Can you point me to the evidence so I may examine these for myself?

      • What do you expect from a Priest/Monk/Bishop who spent a lot of time during his widowhood “offering his services as a priest” at women’s monasteries?

        And, by the way, has anyone thought to ask him what he knew and when he knew it re: the child abuse trial in PA that involved the young children from the Hogar in which he was a witness?

      • So who wants to meet up in Ohio? We could make some anaxios signs and bring popcorn.

        • I think a Parma meetup is totally doable, Jamey. We still have almost two months, which is plenty of time to plan. I think we are keeping the details under wraps though so maybe George can set you up.

        • I especially like the idea of popcorn….I was so-so at first but you won me over with the popcorn. Ok, I’m in. I’ll even bring a cooler with ice cold diet coke.

  2. Heracleides says

    A new image expressing my take on this latest event – “Caution” – may be viewed, along with all my other images, here.

    I must say though that I am having difficulty mustering much sympathy for this bishop. You know: “What goes around…” You play with the big boys…” “Read ’em & weep…” and my favorite “You should’a saw it comming…”.

    • lexcaritas says

      Indeed, he and other new bishops should not have joined the bandwagon of “unaninimity” in requesting ++JONAH’s resignation and, accepting it. The process is dysfunctional adn foolish. Consider, if there is credible evidence that a priest or bishop has been personally involved in sexual misconduct and represents an ongoing danger to others, he should be suspended pending investigation and either his acquittal or conviction.

      But if he is not accused personally and does not present a danger to others why would he be subject to suspension during the investigation for who knows how long?

      The world is mad–the Church should not be like it.

      On top of that we need twice or three times as many bishops (and dioceses) as we have–not half as many with all the sees tended by locum tenentes hardly known to their people and they knowing nary a one of them.


  3. Gailina Sheppard says

    Frankly, I’m not sure why they need a Holy Synod since the Sexual Misconduct Committee seems to be running things.

    • Excuse me, I don’t understand. It has been a while since the Monastery of St. John confessed the spiritual harm, which was done to the brotherhood from Father Meletius Webber, under ignorance of Archbishop Benjamin. It was a new teaching about homosexuality and masturbation for monks(!), but it’s the same sexual misconduct topic. Why the harm to the whole monastery, which brought the monastery to its end, is not punished at least on the same level, as the guilt of cover-up of this bishop, whatever his name is? Why Bishop Benjamin is not on a “leave of absence” at least? I think it’s a sign of favoritism, which is beyond measure and understanding.

      • Thank you Veronica, There was also that business at the monastery of tonsuring a transsexual female monk
        That action, forced the brotherhood to live with that sham. Additionally, there was the communing at the monastery of the transsexual couple that were chrismated at Holy Trinity. What a horror for those guys, and NOTHING DONE about it. Nothing but PR . releases. None of these transsexuals had returned to the natural state God gave them and had embraced repentance. What a travesty and tragedy for all.

      • lexcaritas says

        Indeed, Veronica! Where is the suspension here–and the investigation. The outrage is growing daily. Is this the Body of Christ?


      • Lil Ole Housewife says

        Dear Veronica,

        You wrote: on August 29, 2012 at 8:06 am,

        Excuse me, I don’t understand. It has been a while since the Monastery of St. John confessed the spiritual harm, which was done to the brotherhood from Father Meletius Webber, under ignorance of Archbishop Benjamin. It was a new teaching about homosexuality and masturbation for monks(!), but it’s the same sexual misconduct topic.

        Unfortunately, from what has been posted here, it is not clear that the Abbot has confessed any of this. The only statement is from a young man who attended the monastery’s Novice Camp. We also have no knowledge whether or not an investigation of the Abbot’s behavior is being investigated. Therefore, we do not know anything of the knowledge or ignorance of Archbishop Benjamin in this matter as yet.

        Simple allegations should never result in suspensions until investigated. Even then, the investigation may be untrue and the decision to suspend reversed on the outcome of full investigation.

        • Dear Lil Ole Housewife,
          The letter from the summer novice was the second witness on the same story. The first revelation came from Father Martin Gardener, who posted his letters on July 10-11 after the article “Ineptocracy”. I don’t know Stepan Hatting, but I know Father Martin, and trust him.
          It was a question to Father Martin from one of the Monomakhos readers:

          All in the Family says:July 10, 2012 at 10:15 pm
          Fr. Martin,
          If you are able to answer, I am not looking for gossip or speculation, but since you are a first hand witness to these shocking revelations, what other clergy or bishops knew about this? Was this activity brought to their attention? Was it ignored or worse, being covered up by others outside the community?
          Fr. Martin says: “I spoke with AB Benjamin on the phone before I confronted Fr. Mel with it all. I was getting nowhere real fast with the Archbishop. Naturally. We have made a full report to our new bishop after the exodus. May God strengthen him. Fr. Mel is already “negotiating” for “reconciliation.” You can’t really negotiate with darkness. For once we can breathe easy, and do the work of monks: we can work on repentance. For the record, AB Benjamin was told all about Larissa, after the fact. No particular actions were taken.”

          From Stepan Hatting’s letter: “22.Archbishop Benjamin told me on July 2, 2012, that he also had no idea why the monks had left and that they had never contacted him to tell him why. This grieves me and deeply troubles me because this was a direct lie. It was discussed with him in detail the Wednesday before the departure had occurred. It appears that he had lied directly to me in an effort to cover up what was happening.”

          About investigation. Since Sexual Misconduct Committee became a political tool to expel disobedient bishops, I doubt that any investigation against AB Benjamin will be taken. Therefore, if you deny testimonies, which made on this blog by Fr. Martin and Stepan Hatting, you may want to discharge the whole story of the Monastery of St. John from +BB and Fr. Mel’s accounts, since we have no investigation. I also doubt that the Abbot would confess any of this by his own will.

          • Lil Ole Housewife says

            Dear Veronica,

            Thank you for the references to the other stories in July. They are saddening. I hope and pray the brothers have found a safe new monastery home.

  4. One question I would have from a canonical perspective is if the bishop is on a leave on absence, who has been appointed the locum tenens of the Diocese? If he is in fact on a leave of absence then there has to be a bishop assigned. A diocese cannot be left without a bishop.

    • Lola J. Lee Beno says

      And, can a bishop be effective being the locum tenens of at least 2 dioceses, in addition to his own? This is simply preposterous in administrative terms.

  5. If it is the one I am thinking it is, then divine justice is being served for his slander of Metropolitan Jonah.

    • Divine justice is just. If Bp. Matthias erred, then he is facing the consequences of his actions in this regard. If the charges are a railroad job, then there is no justice in this, regardless of any role that His Grace played in the treatment of +Jonah. Unless and until the facts come out, it’s far better not to speculate about guilt or God’s justice.

      • V.Rev.Andrei Alexiev says

        It”s best if we don’t speculate on Divine justice.St.John of San Francisco had his own brother bishops turn against him.One later ended up being used by schismatics to start a breakaway group because he already had lost control of his mental facilities.Another apparent opponent,who was a married priest at the time,but later became a bishop,lived to see his own son disgraced,and finally died,allegedly out of communion with the church.However,I’m not bold enough to assert that it was Divine justice in either case.

        • Isaac Crabtree says

          Fr. Andrei, do you know my dear friend and elder brother in Christ, Esteban (Stefan) Julio Vazquez? He’s up in Michigan, which is why I ask. For some reason, despite being practically an honorary Serb and a good traditional Orthodox Christian, as well as a biblical, historical, linguistic scholar, he has nevertheless decided to go with the Bulgars under the capable and traditional omophor of His Grace Alexander (Golitzin).

          The Serbs are such good people, and their monasteries even in this nation are brilliant schools of holiness. I really loved meeting the abbess and holy mothers of Monastery New Marcha in Ohio, and Hieromonk Damascene of Platina has given me good spiritual counsel in the past– a friend heard that “Platinsky” was now used to mean “super-ascetic” or “very strict” or something like that, on Mt. ATHOS of all places!

          Perhaps the Old World patriarchs will do the sensible thing and have Moscow rescind its tomos, rule canonically that autocephaly can only be given by consent of the primatial Church (however numerically small), or by ecumenical consent, and the healthy parts of the Russian Church will clean up the former OCA, or will hand its administration over to ROCOR, or something like that.

          • V.Rev.Andrei Alexiev says

            Dear Isaac,
            No,I don’t know Esteban.He does sound like someone I would like to meet.Does he attend St.Paul’s church here in Dearborn Heights?That parish is a spilt-off from St.Clements church,my deacons home parish.
            I’ve been to New Marcha Monastery,though not recently.I’ve never been to Platina.Since I began my priestly service in ROCOR and now service a Serbian parish,it’s nice to think that the Monastery of which Fr.Seraphim Rose was a co-founder is now in the Serbian church.
            Please pm me if you like,its my first and last name all lower case at you could ask Esteban to make a detour from his parish and visit us at Holy Ascension in Ecorse.

  6. I read in other comments that the bishop on a leave of absence is Bishop Matthias. Is this true? He is my bishop and only one of two in the OCA I actually expect to do what is right most of the time. As a new convert, I am finding all this turmoil unsettling. Most days, I wonder what the hell I have got myself into. Then I go to Liturgy and I remember the *why*. But all these shenanigans are making it harder and harder.

    • Kelly,

      I can appreciate how difficult this whole situation seems, particularly as a new convert. I would ask you to keep a few things on mind though.

      You weren’t chrismated into the OCA but into the Body of Christ, that is the canonical Eastern Orthodox Church. While the local church might be doing very poorly, the Church is much bigger than the OCA.

      Further, the Church has, historically, dealt with much worse and survived. From the long view of history these problems are quite small.

      While it is incumbent upon us to struggle furiously to uphold the Church against those who would destroy her, we must also remember that our particular skirmish is taking place in the context of a larger war that Christ has already won.

    • To Kelly:
      I too am a convert, and after visiting with the Antiochian and Greek parishes in my town, I decided a number of weeks ago that the OCA parish would be best (my wife is converting as well, and her feeling drawn to this OCA parish is what ultimately helped me make what I believe was the best decision for us with regard to entering the Church. That said, we both feel strongly about moving away from the town we’re in (we’ve logged 41 years here), as my original desire was to find a ROCOR parish in another city (there isn’t one here). We were Roman Catholics for the last 25 years, and Protestants before that, so we’re not at all unfamiliar with the ‘territory” (sexual misconduct and failure to correct and execute justice swiftly, and hierarchical politics) that the OCA faithful are now experiencing. But, imagine how we feel at this juncture after all we’ve already had to endure…!
      I have been a serious inquirer for about 7+ months, have done quite a lot of reading and self-preparation, have talked or emailed back and forth with several Orthodox folks, have gone consistently to Liturgy through Great Lent and Pascha, have met with the Greek priest here for about 5 weeks of ‘catechumenate’ prep, and still am being told that I must be patient as I am given an indeterminate timeline regarding our entry to the Church. I have asked for baptism as a matter of conscience, and been told by each of the 3 priest of the 3 jurisdictions here that I will be received by Chrismation, or perhaps (by one priest) even confession/Holy Communion. It’s been a long, painful and arduous journey thus far, and Our Lord keeps me intrepid despite it all.
      I was once told by one of the priests that I had “jumped around”, suggesting that “we” would leave my entry into the Church in a rather vague timeframe. . I simply wanted to visit each of the 3 different parishes here (while praying for my wife to join me) before deciding, hoping I was finding God’s will for us. If I were coming from a non-christian or non-liturgical tradition with no concept of veneration of the Mother of God, or Church polity, or communion of the Saints, or Sacred Tradition and Scripture as the complimentary streams of Divine Revelation in the Church, or confession and Holy Eucharist, I would certainly expect a somewhat lengthy catechesis… but… :>( Still, I must guard against a prideful feeling of entitlement as well.
      So, this said, I am more resolved now than ever to take my wife and, beseeching God’ mercy, finding a safe haven in a ROCOR parish elsewhere… though, if it were within my power, I would move us overseas to learn and grow and work out my salvation in Christ among the native Russian faithful. I am finding it harder and harder to trust converts from the American protestant ethos as spiritual fathers.
      And, yes, I have no illusions about the nature of the Church, i.e., the human frailty that is part of the Christian experience as we grow in love and the unity of the Faith. I am a sinner, and claiming to be a Christian makes me a hypocrite as well. And this, nonetheless, is what qualifies me as one whom Jesus The Savior came to save… I am one of the “base and the weak” that the Apostle speaks of… and I will enter that Ancient Church and find the healing and graces that speed saints-to-be on their way, if Our Lord will grant me and my dear wife such a mercy. Having known His great Love, I have no doubts in this regard.

      God bless and keep you, Kelly!


      • Archpriest John W. Morris says

        You must come to the Church on the Church’s terms. A potential convert must accept the teaching authority of the Church without reservation. That means that you accept the authority of the local priest to teach you even if he is a convert.
        It is totally inappropriate for a potential convert to tell the priest how he or she should be received into the Church. There is a long history of receiving Roman Catholics through Chrismation. I have learned form bitter experience that a potential convert must attend for at least a year before being Chrismated into the Church. Becoming Orthodox requires a commitment that cannot be learned in a few months. It takes some people years before they are ready to become Orthodox.

        Fr. John W. Morris

        • In general, Archpriest John W. Morris is right, here. However, a caveat is indicated. It was very difficult for me to listen to a Roman Catholic and an Anglican complain that their convert PhD Archpriest insisted that they be received into the Orthodox Church by BAPTISM and that his Bishop had actually instructed him thus saying, “these days” you might as well baptize them ALL: you never know whether they were really baptized or not.” The Roman Catholic woman, like the Anglican one, was a person who had read widely in church literature and history. She KNEW what the requirements were according to the local canons and universal canons of the Church relative to the reception of heretics.
          What I mean to say is this: it is not always so easy to accept that a priest (convert or not) is “the teaching authority of the Church without reservation.”
          They both were ostentatiously baptized on Great, Good, and Holy Saturday. The Priest was careful to rehearse them beforehand, so they would be sure and actually hawk up a gob of sputum when they spat on the Devil, while at the same time baptizing them Fully Clothed, and then waiting while they ran next door to the parish hall to dry off and put on dry clothes before returning to the Church and having special long white nighties with a red cross emblazoned on the back put on over those clothes which they had to wear (except in bed at at night!) for several days.
          I’ve never known a “cradle” Orthodox Priest to even imagine such goings-on. There IS some justification for being sceptical about dogmatic instructions from converts.
          This teaching authority also wrote in the parish bulletin that Communism was invented in Russia and that it was Vladimir Lenin who concocted it. He’s on the faculty of the new St. Katherine’s (note the ethno-cultish “K”) College now. But, you know, MDiv and PhD…what’re you going to do?

        • Fr. John, he “asked” as a “matter of conscience.” Such a request would seem at least worthy of consideration. My spouse converted under similar circumstances, having been Roman Catholic and Protestant (Methodist.) After deliberation, her request for baptism was granted.

  7. George,

    Thank you very much for bringing this forward. Apparently the folks in Syosset are incapable of making any kind of informative statement about this. Once again the OCA finds itself mired in another sexual misconduct matter. Let’s see there is: Archbishop Seraphim, the scandal at St. John’s monastery (which still hasn’t been fully investigated I might add), the now recently suspended bishop, three retired ex-metropolitans, one forcibly retired bishop from Alaska, and one openly gay retired bishop from Boston.

    Before the All American Council where Metropolitan Jonah was elected, there was some discussion that all of the bishops should resign. I am now of the same opinion. There is unfortunately a point where buildings become uninhabitable if they have been so neglected that the roof is falling in or it is rotten with mold or vermin. It’s hard not to see that the OCA seems to have reached the point of uninhabitability.

    I believe that those who really care about the OCA need to rebuild it from the ground up. Just like the monks who left Manton, I would suggest that every parish simply withdraw from the OCA. If there is enough support, bring Metropolitan Jonah out of retirement and make him the head of new jurisdiction in Dallas. The money to Syosset would just stop. All of the money going to pay for legal fees, communications directors who don’t do anything, a money pit of an estate in Long Island, etal. would just stop. Imagine the possibilities. The OCA has no power over any church. It doesn’t own the property. I’m not saying that it will be easy, but this is ridiculous and frankly heretical. The OCA has supported openly gay bishops, completely refused to investigate the alleged sexual misconduct of an archbishop, railroaded its metropolitan into retirement, allowed the abbott of a monastery to teach extremely questionable things and apparently openly promoted a former child molester to a postion of importance in a monastery that actively recruits young men. Lord have mercy!!!

    • Catherine, I like the way you think.

    • Patrick Henry Reardon says

      Dear Catherine

      Although I feel a great sympathy for the current pain in the OCA and I appreciate the merit of your suggestion to remedy it, I truly wonder if the creation of yet another American jurisdiction is the better path forward.

      Just a word of solicitude and caution, dear.

      • lexcaritas says

        I agree with you, Fr. Patrick, but I also share Catherine’s anguish.

        Suggestion: let the MP or ROCOR receive ++JONAH–sans release from the OCA, which has lost its already tenuous claim to canonicity–and create a diocese for ++JONAH in the “South” and let the OCA parishes who desire to come with him do so by creating new non-profit corps/ MP-ROCOR parishes into which their assets and properties may be transferreded and which would thereafter function as MP or ROCOR parishes while the previous OCA corps would remain as empty shells.


        • Fr. Patrick and lexcaritas,

          I agree with your suggestions. Those who are sick and tired of all of these scandals should contact the local bishop of another jurisdiction such as ROCOR or the MP and ask to go directly under their omophorion.

          • +Met Jonah has always led by example, with his patience, forgiveness, prayer life, witness to true Orthodox Christianity. Whatever his limitations might be, I believe, in the pictures we saw of S.F you SEE where is leading the flock. You don’t have to ask questions and he doesn’t have to talk. It’s all there right in front of us. You can wait until after the election or you can decide now. Which path for you?. Real Orthodox Christianity or the NEW version.

          • phil r. upp says

            Going under ROCOR, the MP or the Bishop of Istanbul is sure death. Foreign bishops suck churches dry while their bishops engage in many nefarious activities. Wake up.

      • Perhaps Fr. Patrick is correct. No need to reinvent the wheel when we can just get off the broken wagon for one that’s running smoothly already.

    • Catherine,
      I like the idea of cleaning house. Have all the bishops retire, put +Jonah back in his rightful place, let him pick his bishop, chancellor!! and clean up the OCA. Do away with the MC, sell property we can’t afford-all over the country, hold court, start catechetical schools in every main city around monastery’s and . . . ok I’m getting carried away . . .

      • Lola J. Lee Beno says

        And meanwhile, where are the new bishops going to come from? We don’t exactly have a wide pool to chose from, you know . . .

      • Well, I think there might be a Bishop or 2 that might be salvageable . . . we might need to steal a few and make a few . . .

    • Lil Ole Housewife says

      Dear Catherine,

      Before considering starting a new OCA, why not join one of the many existing jurisdictions? The Antiochians and the ROCOR come to mind, since they, too, have a full complement of English services and clergy and represent more than one single nationality or heritage. In the Washington area, there is even one fully English ROCOR parish:

      A number of years ago, and this is hearsay on my part so I cannot vouch for this, Anglicans who wished to convert to Orthodoxy first approached the Ecumenical Patriarch in Constantinople before ending up with the Antiochians. Perhaps Father John Morris or one of the other Antiochians can provide the history?

      We do not need to foster jurisdictionalism. We need to foster unity. We need to get the OCA back to its origins as an autocephalous church and, God willing, with the Grace of the Holy Spirit, this can happen.

      • Archpriest John W. Morris says

        You could be talking about one of two things. First the Evangelical Orthodox who over 25 years ago organized a group and sent their leaders all the way to Istanbul. The Ecumenical Patriarch refused to meet with them. They came back to the U.S. very discouraged. The Patriarch of Antioch was visiting the U.S. at that time. They met with him in Los Angeles. Then after a period of further discussions and nstruction they were ordained, their people Chrismated and they became Orthodox in the Antiochian Archdiocese. This began a period of major missionary expansion by the Antiochian Archdiocese.
        Another group of Anglicans in England wanted to convert to Orthodoxy. At that time we only had one parish in London. They approached the Orthodox in England, but they were afraid to offend the Anglican establishment by taking in so many former Anglicans. Then they heard about the American Antiochians and contacted our Archdiocese. Metropolitan Philip sent a couple of priests over to England. Then they contacted our Patriarch who decided to receive them and put them under the Antiochian Bishop in Paris. Now we have about 21 parishes and missions in Great Britain.

        Fr. John W. Morris

        • Archpriest John W. Morris says:
          August 30, 2012 at 8:50 am

          First the Evangelical Orthodox… .
          Now we have about 21 parishes and missions in Great Britain.

          What is it with those Antiochians?
          Glory to God!!!

        • Lil Ole Housewife says

          Thank you, Fathers John and Patrick, for the wonderful history lesson.

          It seems that the Holy Spirit was moving souls to Orthodoxy in several groups. I didn’t realize that some of the evangelical Orthodox became OCA and the history of Antiochians in Great Britain. What religions were the Evangelical Orthodox before their movement, if anything?

          There was some sort of difficulty in the Antiochian Orthodox Church with pre-schism western liturgies. Has that been resolved? I notice that these days, the ROCOR has its own western liturgies.

          It is so beautiful that so many people have found Orthodoxy.

          • Patrick Henry Reardon says

            There was some sort of difficulty in the Antiochian Orthodox Church with pre-schism western liturgies. Has that been resolved?

            Not to everyone’s satisfaction, perhaps.

          • another one says


            If you’ve not read it, you might consider perusing “Becoming Orthodox” by Peter Gilquist of blessed memory. Funny thing , I think both Archbishop Dmitri and Father Fester are mentioned in the later part of that book, trying, but not succeeding in assisting them in their journey to Orthodoxy! I believe that Abp Dmitri was Aux Bishop in Berkley CA, while all this was going on.

          • OccidentalGuido says

            The ROCOR Western Rite liturgies are much closer to pre-schism usage. The AWRV essentially use the Tridentine Catholic Mass in English (though a few use Latin as well) or the 1928 Book of Common Prayer of the Episcopal Church as used in a “high church” parish.

            Having been raised in an OCA parish in New England, and having attended both Antiochian and ROCOR Western Rite liturgies on multiple occasions, my impression is that the ROCOR missions have a fuller expression of the ancient faith that the AWRV parishes do. To me it seems many AWRV parishes just changed the name on the sign and the picture of the bishop on the wall to become Orthodox. One parish was still using their multi-media projection screen in the sanctuary in place of prayer books and hymnals.

            Now, for pure geographical convenience I attend a ROCOR Western Rite mission most Sundays less than half a mile from my home. Though once per month and on most major Feasts, I drive the hour to the OCA parish in the Diocese of the South. Truth be told, the ROCOR Western Rite Liturgy takes longer (including the Hours) than at the OCA parish.

            • Archpriest John W. Morris says

              When he was Metropolitan in the U.S. before he went back to Russia, St. Tikhon sent a copy of the Episcopal Book of Common Prayer to the Holy Synod of Russia. They did a detailed study and recommended some changes to make the text of the Liturgy Orthodox. The Antiochian Archdiocese followed those recommendations when it prepared the services for the Western Rite. There is a real Epiklesis in the Anaphora and other changes made to conform to Orthodox theology The Western Rite has obviously also been approved by the Patriarchate of Antioch which asked that the prayer from the Byzantine Liturgy, “I believe and I confess…” be added before Communion to make it clear that we believe that the bread and wine have been transformed into the real Body and Blood of Christ. Thnus the Western Rite as used in the Antiochian Archdiocese has been approved by Moscow and Antioch. I do not know enough about the Western Rite of ROCOR to comment. I do know that there is cooperation between the Antiochian and the ROCOR Western Rite. I believe that they met together last year.

              Fr. John W. Morris

              • OccidentalGuido says

                Saint Tikhon submitted the1892 Book of Common Prayer to the Russian Holy Synod. AWRV use the 1928. There are a few minor differences.
                However, having read the recommendations of the Russian Holy Synod which outlined the minimum changes needed, and having attended more that one AWRV parish using the “corrected” rite, it is my opinion that Saint Tikhon is not honored by having that liturgical rite bear his name. Much more could and should be done to fully express the liturgical richness of the Western Traditions so that their Orthodoxy would be unquestioned by nearly all the Faithful.

                BUT, I am only a layman with opinions. The only thing that truly matters is that the competent church authority for the Antiochian Patriarchate has approved said rite for use in churches under its jurisdiction.

        • fr. ambrose says

          I was one of the priests sent by Met. Philip to help mentor the former Anglicans and their clergy into Orthodox at that time. I worked with three parishes. It was a very exciting and happy time. It has puzzled me that more Anglicans haven’t come to Orthodoxy and that so many have instead gone to the Catholic Church. –Fr. Ambrose

          • Lil Ole Housewife says

            Dear Father Ambrose,

            The Roman Catholics in the DC area actually advertise for Anglicans and Episcopalians in the Washington, DC area, probably elsewhere as well. They have a program dedicated to this. Do we have such a program where inquiring Anglicans can know where to call to learn how to join us or even know we exist? We seem to have a variable and sometimes discouraging program for receiving converts

            • Archpriest John W. Morris says

              We have Western Rite parishes that use Anglican forms revised to make them Orthodox, but we do not have the resources that the Catholics do. Besides, my impression is that Anglo-Catholics really want to be Roman Catholics. The rest of continuing Anglicanism is very Protestant and even Calvinistic. There is a great deal of anti-Orthodox propaganda being spread in continuing Anglican circles claiming that we are too foreign and ethnic for Americans. Look at this web site It contains all sorts of false accusations against the Orthodox Church and is filled with pure hatred for Orthodoxy. I tried to dialogue with the embryo parson, but he refused to consider the fact that his accusations against the Orthodox Church might not be not fair.
              For some reason Anglicans have been more afraid of us than Rome. In Fort Worth, the Episcopal Bishop let a parish join Rome and take its building with them. When a group wanted to join the Western Rite of the Antiochian Archdiocese, they had to leave their building behind. However, they are dedicated people and have prospered and have built a beautiful Temple for Western Rite Orthodox worship in Fort Worth. In Elkhart, Indiana the Episcopalians actually tried to get the sheriff to issue a warrent forbidding a priest who left them and became Orthodox from talking with his former parishioners.

              Fr. John W. Morris

              • George Michalopulos says

                This is all so sad, Fr John. I wonder now if their attitudes will harden even more when they see the fratricide going on in American Orthodoxy.

                • Archpriest John W. Morris says

                  The fratricide needs to stop. I do not know who is right. It is really none of my business but the continuing fighting in the OCA makes all Orthodoxy look bad. You are right people like embryo parson will use this against us. He is a Calvinist and there is no one more self-righteous than a Calvinist. After all they are part of the elect. There is a very alarming growth of Calvinism among American Evangelicals including continuing Anglicans. I believe that there is no form of Christianity that is less Orthodox than Calvinism. I cannot think of any heretic who has done more harm to the Christian religion than Calvinism.

                  Fr. John W. Morris

      • Patrick Henry Reardon says

        A number of years ago, and this is hearsay on my part so I cannot vouch for this, Anglicans who wished to convert to Orthodoxy first approached the Ecumenical Patriarch in Constantinople before ending up with the Antiochians.

        This account is a conflation of several episodes:

        The planned meeting with the Ecumenical Patriarch did not involve us Anglicans, but the group that called itself the Evangelical Orthodox Church (EOC). They were a separate body, received into the Antiochian Archdiocese in 1987.

        Our Anglican group, formed by several clergy—including Father William Olnhausen and me—was called the Anglican/Orthodox Pilgrimage. Three of us met in Philadelphia and formed the group in 1987, taking our inspiration from the efforts of the EOC. Olnhausen was our leader, and I became the treasurer (though I do not recall that we ever had any money!).

        We began our pilgrimage by publishing a newsletter of theological essays. Many of these were later published as full book by Conciliar Press.

        With expanded numbers, we directly approached the OCA through the mediation of Bishop Boris of Chicago and Bishop Kyrill of Pittsburgh. Our efforts in that direction ultimately came to nothing, though our petition for membership was discussed—-favorably, Bishop Kyrill told me—by the OCA Synod in (if memory serves) 1988.

        Our corporate Anglican movement toward Orthodoxy in this country failed, but many of us found our way, individually and then by whole parishes, into the Orthodox Church over the next several years, some of us into the OCA and others into the Antioichian Archdiocese.

        Most of us adopted the liturgical rules and rites of the East, but others were permitted to retain Western rites. At present, roughly 20% of the clergy of the Antiochian Archdiocese are adult converts from some branch of Anglicanism.

        Some of the best among us have gone to their eternal reward, such as Charles David Lynch and Lynn Patrick McCauley.

        In England and Ireland other groups of Anglicans, encouraged by Metropolitan PHILIP, Father Peter Gilquist, and Father William Olnhausen, put themselves under the Patriarchate of Antioch. From all reports, they are thriving.

  8. Disgusted With It says

    Earlier, on another thread, Bishop Tikhon was talking about a married OCA priest who allegedly took a mentally disabled boy on a gay nude cruise and that nothing was mentioned of this publicly. I’ve heard similar things in private about a certain priest but with no public confirmation. Where is this priest now? Was there an investigation done? What was the result? Is he still a priest? How long has this been going on?

    I would hate to think that he is still among us and among children! Pokrov seems to be pretty thorough, but why drop the ball on this one? Is it their fault, or is someone in the OCA just that good at covering it up?

    • phil r. upp says

      BT’s report was a lie. A priest went on a normal cruise with an adult member of his congregation. There was a spa on board this ship and although nothing unusual happened, some took offense that a priest went to a spa on a ship with a parishoner.

      • Mark from the DOS says

        How old was the priest? How old was the “adult” member? Did they share a room? Was the “adult” member of full mental capacity?

        • And if nothing unusual happened, how is it that the priest was deposed for this incident.

          • I belonged to the parish pastored by Fr. Michael Roshak. I can only say that Phil R is the closest to the truth on this incident. It was not a gay cruise. The young man was in his twenties and had emotional issues. Father asked all of the altar servers if they wanted to attend the cruise with him, since family members for various reasons could not go with him. All altar servers had excuses except this one young man, who was driven to the location of departure by his mother. An allegation of sexual misconduct was made. but no one in our parish was told the details. To my knowledge, Fr. Roshak has steadfastly stood by his innocence for 3 years. I also know that he may have been looked upon unfavorably by area OCA clergy and Bishop Nikon, who did not take kindly to our community’s decision to withhold dues until the fiasco in Syosett was resolved. I do not know whether he has been deposed, but know he was censored and not allowed to serve. He remains a dear friend to many, who feel he was unjustly treated by the system. According to the limitations imposed upon him, he was not communicate with any of his former parishioners and vice versa. Pokrov has been very careful not to report rumors, which is most of what has been going around. I agree with and applaud their position.

            • So, then, there was no nude soiree at the onboard swimming pool attended mostly by gay men? Seems a little bizarre to deposed someone for nothing at all. An allegation of sexual misconduct you KNOW was made. By whom and when? It did not involve gay men swimming in the nude on board the cruise? Where may one contact the cruise people and find out what kind of social/entertainment calendar they had for that cruise?
              I didn’t know that Pokrov was careful not to report rumors.

              • M. Stankovich says

                Gone are the days when a man could discreet away the newest issue of Playboy Magazine “just for the interview” underneath his socks and underwear without the news going viral.

                “Grandma, did you tell someone I bought a Playboy Magazine?”

                “Oh, honey, just this very nice man who said he was calling from Homeland Security & promised no one would ever find out.”

                “That wasn’t Homeland Security calling! That was Bishop Tikhon!”

            • Jane Rachel says

              An Orthodox priest took one emotionally disturbed male on a cruise with him. RED FLAG! Hair stands up on back of neck. Totally inappropriate.

              • Disgusted With It says

                And looking at the OCA website archives, it seems that he was suspended a couple years ago but then absolutely no mention of his case since then (although his photo and information was at some point removed from the clergy listing). Is he still a priest? Is he still considered in the OCA? Is he not? Did he get banished to a monastery like Fr. Z? Absolutely no mention of the situation. Great transparency as usual guys!

      • My report, contrary to what phil r. upp writes, was not a lie. A lie is a falsehood that is told with intent to deceive.
        To repeat a falsehood, believing it to be true, is not a lie. I am searching for the truth here. I would never ask for the truth or claim to have found it, from someone who uses a pseudonym to deceive us about his identity. The pseudonym itself is direct evidence of a willingness to steadily obscure the truth.
        Actually, the accusations of financial wrongdoings in that Priest’s parish made by his parishioners was discussed at length on’s site, with Monsieur Stokoe generally defending the priest. It was only about three months ago when I asked a friend, “Whatever happened to Misha Roshak?” that i was told, ‘he was deposed.” I said, “For all that financial crap?” Answer, “No, he took a young man who’s mentally handicapped on a nudist cruise.” I suppose it MAY have been wrong to assume this was a Gay cruise, but the thought of the plump, middle-aged Archpriest going on an excursion with a man many years his junior (and one who, although in his twenties, we have just learned was delivered by his mother to the cruise ship), and sporting around naked with him in a shipboard pool or jacuzzi, just made me assume (which is wrong, but surely not illogical) that the nudist cruise was a gay one.
        I would also assume that those who disciplined the archpriest would have available the exact date of the cruise, the name of the cruise ship, and would have inquired of the cruise ship company as to the advertised featuresrr of that cruise.
        To claim, as phil r. upp does, that my report was a “lie”, is typical of him. He can say anything and never be held accountable for his words, hiding his own nuame from those who kindly allow him their ear…

  9. The dearth of information coming from Syosset, those who have prided themselves on “transparency” and “accountability” seem to now feel that it is only important to be open and honest when it suits them, like when they ran Jonah out of town.

    It is also clear that lawyers and low-level apparatchiks injecting themselves into the life of the dioceses are running the OCA. Sex Czars and lawyers are setting the direction for the OCA. And then you call Syosset and you get a bunch of mumbo jumbo from Tosi, who, frankly, is not the sharpest tool in the shed.

    So here we go again and which bishop will be next? Nathaniel? Ask Bp. Ireniu. Golitzen? Ask those bishops now retired who put him on the “never to be consecrated a bishop list.” Benjamin? Well, we all know about him. Tikhon? What about that $800K in restricted funds you authorized to be used for other purposes? Dahulich? Do we have to go back to his seminary days? Maymon? Just remember his time in the South. Alejo? Don’t forget Job refused to attend his consecration. Retired Bp. Mark and his pal deacon? Yuk. Do these guys think that they can skate by and that people are not going to step forward and eventually expose them? Now Matthias? It seems like Nikon is the only bishop without dirt on him except he won’t do anything about Archdeacon Gregory Burke, Bp. Mark’s pal.

    And what did Jonah do wrong? He didn’t follow procedures? Well if the fruit of following procedures is the bunch of bishops we now have, then good for you Jonah not following procedures. These guys stood in judgement of Jonah? Are you kidding me? And we are suppose to trust these guys?

    • I do not trust them, not even so far as I could throw them collectively. They aren’t even as good as hirelings that flee when the wolf comes; they are wolves dressed up as shepherds. It cannot be borne.

    • It seems like Nikon is the only bishop without dirt on him except he won’t do anything about Archdeacon Gregory Burke, Bp. Mark’s pal.

      And except he was one of the three that allegedly met without the Metropolitan’s knowledge (conspired) and requested his resignation, thus violating three of the Holy Canons.

    • As a Canadian, thank you for not mentioning Bishop Irenee. Now, please forget I mentioned him.

    • Nikos. You wrote of my use of 800 thousand dollars of restricted funds for ‘other purposes.” Please tell us, Nikos, to what “restricted funds” you referred. And who was it that restricted those funds, and how much discretionary authority does the board of directors of a not-for-profit corporation have relative to restricted funds? And what body previously voted to restrict those funds? I feel you have accused me of something like embezzlement or worse, in short, of criminal financial transactions.
      And, please, tell us just what you define as and refer to as misuse, specifically. As soon as possible, please.
      All diocesan financial transactions are a matter of record and recorded in the council minutes and the financial reports, always audited, of the diocesan treasurer.
      I ask for a detailed explanation of this accusation of my having misused restricted funds, Nikos.

      • Your Grace, Master Bless!

        I believe the Tikhon to which Nikos is referring is +Tikhon of Philadelphia, not you. He seems to be listing active synod members who would be candidates for Metropolitan. I am interested in the explanation of why +Job did not attend +Alejo’s consecration. I had heard about that , but I have never known the reason.

        • Thanks, TN! Others have also corrected my mistaken perception. Nevertheless, I still challenge Nikos to answer the questions i put to him, but relative to his accusation of Bishop Tikhon (Mollard), not to me.

          As for the matter of Bishop Alejo’s consecration and Archbishop Job’s hiding out from it. This is what i know. A priest formerly of the Mexican Exarchate and one ambitious to replace ever-memorable Bishop Jose, actively campaigned on his own behalf and against the candidacy of Alejo. That Priest was assigned, I believe, to the SS Peter & Paul Church in Detroit, Michigan,and Fr. Michael Simerick was the Rector there. This was the most powerful and inlluential of the Midwest’s parishes in Michigan, and the quality of Archbishop Job’s relationship with Father Simerick was important to Archbishop Job and to many parishioners at SS Peter & Paul. Father Simerick’s assistant made all kinds of totally unsupported claims against Alejo which Father Michael Simerick automtically supported. So far, so “good”.
          Father Alego was elected by the Holy Synod to be the ruling bishop or exarch of the Mexican exarchate/diocese, and every member of the Holy Synod, including Archbishop Job, signed the official statement of election while in the Chapel of St. Sergius at the Syosset Chancery. At Great Vespers on the eve of the consecration of Alejo, the Bishops of the Holy Synod were all present, vested in their episcopal mantiyas, including Archbishop Job, as then Archimandrite Alejo served the Vespers. The next morning when Divine Liturgy began, Archbishop Job was ABSENT. I asked as couple bishops where he was. Some opned that he had been taken ill. The consecration took place. At the time of the Anaphora, however, into the Altar came BISHOP MARK FORSBERG AND ARCHBISHOP JOB. They stood in the south side of the Holy Altar throughout the rest of the Liturgy, whispering and even giggling at times, and remained for all the following events. I was, as one says in German, “empoert.” I asked Archbishop Job if he was sick. He said, “No.” I then went to Archbishop Dmitri and to Bishop Nikolai and said that I wanted to ask Metropolitan Herman to hold a special synod meeting as soon as possible to discuss Archbishop Job’s absence from the consecration of Bishop Alejo. (By the way, Job enthusiastically and “warmly’, along sith Bishop Mark, embraced and kissed Bishop Alejo.)
          The meeting was held in a seminary classroom. Metropolitan Herman turned to me and said, ‘Tikhon, you requested this meeting. Please tell us why. I told everybody why. Metropolitan Herman listened to me and then turned to Job and asked for his response. Then Archbishop Job said that he had previously obtained Metropolitan Herman’s blessing (!!!) to be absent from the consecration proper because it would cause him untold troubles with Archpriest Michael Simerick in Detroit when he went back to his diocese. I asked Metropolitan Herman if that were true. He answered, smiling, ‘yes.”
          I was a fool to have called that meeting.
          I declare this narrative to be the Gospel truth. Uncharacteristically, I’m not going to detail all that was shameful ini that whole proceeding. That Metropolitan Herman allowed the special meeting when he knew the answers himself should have tipped me off to his later shenanigans against, first,the Chancellor and his predecessor.and then others before being hoisted on his own petard.
          Being an alcoholic is a terrible thing. it is worse to be an enabler of an alcoholic, ETC.
          He fulfilled totally the character “Lewis” in the tv series, “Suits.”

          • Your Grace, thank you for the info both about +Alejo and +Job and for authenticating that from +Nikolai to +Benjamin. As you pointed out Dezhlo is not the most reliable source. Forgive me for saying, but I do not think you were a fool to have called that meeting. That story just shows more of how +Herman was a fruit loop. Thank you again!

            • George Michalopulos says

              I agree with TN Your Grace. If more dignified men called for more concise meetings, then it would at least put the Synod on the spot. Even if nothing good came of it, at least you could look yourself in the mirror and say “I tried.” That’s the physical equivalent of a “memorandum for the record.”

              • I agree with TN & George. You shouldn’t feel a fool for requesting that meeting, Your Grace. The episode reflects poorly on the other characters in it, but not yourself.

          • Peter A. Papoutsis says

            (By the way, Job enthusiastically and “warmly’, along sith Bishop Mark, embraced and kissed Bishop Alejo.)

            Did his Grace Bishop Tikon call Bishop Mark Forsberg a Sith Lord? Its just a joke, I know its a mis-type, but I got a nice giggle out of it anyway.


            (Darth Vader music playing in the background)

  10. The OCA’s next Metropolitan will be Benjamin. The fix is in..I have no proof of that mind you, just an opinion, one I think many of my fellow readers share.

    • Philippa Alan says

      Yup. I agree 100%.

    • That is a possibility, Gregory, but even some members of the SVS protective society might be uncomfortable with the idea of a “Primate’ with an arrest record. But his other qualities may very well outweigh that stuff IN HIS CASE.
      I realize I may be assassinating Bishop Michael (Dahulich) as a candidate by saying this, but he is the only one (followed by Bishop Matthias) who could both take charge of the Chancery and LEAD the Holy Synod, which is the primary and essential calling of a First Hierarch. A First Hierarch, contrary to alley wisdom, is not elected or installed to fulfill the wishes of the Holy Synod. He is elected to lead the Holy Synod.

      Archbishop Benjamin is a long-time Pal of many: Fr.Paul Lazor, Fr. John Shimchick, Fr. Gregory Safchuk, Fr. Paul Jannakos, Protodeacon Eric Wheeler, Mark Stokoe and many, many others. To have one’s Pal (and a most amusing one at that!) be “primate” might very well make some curl up their toes with delight. It’s important, nowadays, as the case of Metropolitan Jonah, who had few if any ‘pals, shows.
      But Bishop Michael (Dahulich) is hampered mightily by TWO associations: St. Tikhon’s and Christ the Saviour of Johnstown, both almost anathema to the SVS protective society.

      • Monk James says

        Abp Benjamin Peterson has too many skeletons in his closet to be a viable candidate for our next first hierarch. In fact, he ought to be brought before a spiritual court even now. The only possible reason for the other bishops’ thinking about electing him is that (in my ‘copyrighted’ phrase) the Holy Synod’s ‘culture of mutual embarrassment’ will allow Abp Nathaniel and his cronies to control him. They couldn’t control Met. Jonah, so he’s out, God help us.

        There are few among our current OCA bishops who don’t participate in that ‘culture of mutual embarrassment’, Matthias Moriak and Michael Dahulich foremost of all. Now that BpMM has somehow been compromised, that leaves only BpMD. I would support him sincerely as our next metropolitan, although the people and clergy of the NY/NJ eparchy would miss him deeply.

        At the same time, I wonder (and hope for such a miracle) if this entire experience of unseating Met. Jonah might be undone with his reinstatement. For that, I recommend that the 13.xi.2012 AAC re-elect MetJ, and #%$! the begrudgers, as we say in Irish.

        Lord, awaken us from this delusion, this dream, this foretaste of death for us individually and for our OCA. Lead us to life, Lord, and never abandon us who hope in You.

        • Monk James,

          I support you wholeheartedly in your suggestion that Metropolitan Jonah be reinstated!!!!

      • Bishop Tikhon (Fitzgerald) says:
        August 29, 2012 at 4:54 pm

        Archbishop Benjamin is a long-time Pal of many: Fr.Paul Lazor, Fr. John Shimchick, Fr. Gregory Safchuk, Fr. Paul Jannakos, Protodeacon Eric Wheeler, Mark Stokoe and many, many others. To have one’s Pal (and a most amusing one at that!) be “primate” might very well make some curl up their toes with delight.

        Some might interpret that as possibly implying “guilt by association.”

        • Michael Ryan says

          these people mentioned have absolutely nothing to do with today’s SVS. Lazor won’t even step foot on that campus.

        • I must compliment PdnNJ for his skill in circuitous language. Instead of saying, “I think you’re using guilt by association,’ he unleashes his mighty: “some” “might” “possibly” and “implying.”
          I don’t see where he sees that. My question to him is “Guilty of WHAT, exactly?”

          • Bishop Tikhon (Fitzgerald) says:
            August 30, 2012 at 11:41 am

            I must compliment PdnNJ for his skill in circuitous language.

            I meant exactly what I wrote.

            My question to him is “Guilty of WHAT, exactly?”

            “Guilt by association.”

            • Association is not guilt. When we say, “Guilty by association” we are saying someone is being blamed for the crime of those with whom he associates. If I were to run around with pimps/procurers, people who called me a pimp/procurer would be accusing me of guilt by association, of being guilty of procuring.

              I ask again, “Guilty of WHAT, exactly?”

              You know what, forget it. I hope you are not a Protodeacon, from New Jersey or any place else. May God be with you and may you find peace in the Lord.
              Here’s a good saying by the Persian poet, Sa’di.
              “Nothing is better for an ignorant person than silence, and if he knew that was the best thing for him, he wouldn’t be ignorant.”

              • i stand corrected, which happens often.
                (Sidenote: Being given the honorific Protodeacon, and even being ordained Deacon, both of which I never actively sought, were both a big surprise to me, and I’ve never been able to shake the feeling that I’m really still a layman at heart.)

      • Fr Jonathan says

        Your Grace, I consider the association of Bishop Michael (Dahulich) with Christ the Saviour Seminary a clarion commendation. On this I think we might agree. One hopes.

      • When I support Metropolitan Jonah and argue with such people as Gregory and Philippa Alan, I am fighting for my ability to live in Christ within His Church, my ability to believe in the Church and its bishops. I work in one of the OCA parishes, so for me it’s also the ability to continue my work, because I would rather die of hunger on the street, then to sing “IS POLLA ETI DESPOTA” to Archbishop Benjamin, if he is the next Metropolitan.

        Today is a day of relief after almost two months of nightmare after +Jonah’s resignation. It was truly encouraging when His Beatitude served both Vigil and Liturgy as the Metropolitan at Holy Virgin Cathedral, S-F, CA. And yet, look how easily we can be distracted. Once Gregory and Philippa Alan stated their personal belief in +Archbishop Benjamin, the conversation lost its connection with the subject, and we were carried away. We should learn from our opponents how to trust our leader. How to be sure in our future, even if the leader was found worth to be expelled from the ranks of bishops. “Yup. I agree 100%” and absolutely no questions asked. You could state a thousand times, that Barabbas is a robber, he started a fight which cause the death of innocent people. Nope. “Barabbas.”

        • Veronica, I didn’t get the impression what Gregory or Philippa Alan expect to happen is what they want to happen, just a negative that it is what they are learning to expect from those with the greatest influence on this Synod. They can correct me if I’m wrong in my interpretation of their comments.

      • phil r. upp says

        No, get it right. Bp. Michael was at St. Tikhon’s for many years. During that time, Abp. Herman mortgaged the properties illegally again and again and used monies very loosely. Bp. Michael claims he knew nothing of what was going on. One must ask, if he didn’t know, why not? If he did know, why didn’t he say something. With either scenario, Bp. Michael is not the right person to lead the OCA. Let’s not make another mistake.

        • Go read the investigation of St. Tikhon’s. The problems were with the monastery, not the seminary that Bp. Michael was in charge of. The only mention of the seminary involved a mortgage from 1990 – three years before Bp.Michael was even a teacher there, much less in charge.

          • phil r. upp says

            Oh, I see, STOTS monastery did not know what STOTS seminary was doing and vice-versa. Pleeeessssse. + Michael was there in an executive capacity. + Herman interfaced with both the seminary & monastery. If the Dean of STOTS seminary had no clue of what + Herman was doing, he must have been blind. If he ignored it, that is worse.

            • You cite no evidence because you have none. I believe slander is a sin.

              • George,

                I think a major TROLL ALERT APB should be sent out on phil r up. His posting are about as useful as someone scribbling on a bathroom stall. Time for this one to go away, IMHO.

                • Nikos, we know for sure that if phil r upp is actually Archbishop Benjamin or someone of that ilk, he will NEVER go away. Or, maybe when pig fly.

                  • Jane Rachel says:
                    September 10, 2012 at 4:57 pm

                    if phil r upp is actually Archbishop Benjamin

                    I don’t know if I would go so far as to say that any of the HS are that repugnant.

    • sub-deacon gregory varney says

      While I agree that the fix is in. There’s Rev. Leonid Kishkovsky and I believe his choice is Alexander. He they just got rid of the guy who got rid of his boy stokoe. Do not forget the real movers at syossett. He is no dummy. If Archbishop Benjamin is elected. How long do you think his skeletons are going to stay locked in the closet? However it turns out it is quyite a show.

      • What I don’t get is that I can find no mention on the Midwest diocese’s website about this matter regarding Bishop Matthias. And there is still the question of comparing whatever he failed to do with Bishop Benjamin possibly having done nothing about the Manton situation. And although we don’t know if Bishop Benjamin has done nothing, it’s hard to avoid the conclusion that the action against Bishop Mattias is retribution and/or trying to avoid his being Met. Jonah’s successor.

      • Bruce Wm. Trakas says

        Why not elevate Bishop Melchizedek of Pittsburgh to the primacy?

        • Lola J. Lee Beno says

          He has baggage. Serious baggage.

        • Bishop Melchizedek, who is here from Greece un-canonically, and ‘completely under the protection’ (read ‘stool pigeon’) of the EC in Constantinople? You mean that Bishop Mel?

          Thanks. I hadn’t had my really good belly laugh for the day.

          • Bruce W. Trakas says

            How can you say His Grace has returned to America “uncanonically?” I had seen a written release from the Church of Greece of his release for the purpose of being elected a bishop of the Orthodox Church of America.

            • Yes Bruce, those documents do exist, but they are un-canonical and fraudulent. That paper says His Grace was released from the monastery – Petrillo – which he has never so much as put his foot into – not his actual monastery, Petra – which he fled from without any blessing, taking two other monks with him. If you go to you will find the paper trail which verifies my statements fully. (+Mel was informed that he could never be accepted as a Bishop if he remained under his Abbot, so he fled.) It is un-canonical because in Greece you may only be released by your Abbot – not your Bishop. This is the law.

              In Greece there is no separation of church and state, so His Grace was danger of being hauled into court there, including possible jail time, however, his Abbot signed a release for him from his actual monastery, which His Grace has never just simply accepted. The Bishop in Greece is also in danger of legal action for his fraudulent signature. His Grace has been given a letter from +JONAH (for over a year now) demanding +Mel rectify this. He has not.

              This had been stated many times, and you can look back through this blog and others to see it.

              • Anon,

                You neglected to mention that representatives of the EP (Dn. John Chrysavgis and Fr. Mark Arey) got involved on the American side in the internal affairs of Churches not under their jurisdictions. In addition, the Church of Greece is also not under the jurisdiction of the EP, only Mt. Athos is. There is absolutely no reason for the EP to be concerned with any aspect of this situation at all. The end result of the EP’s involvement was ultimately facilitating the implosion of the OCA. Whether this was intentional or not – God knows. God help us all if it was intentional.

              • Thomas Mathes says

                Anon, I can no longer access the link you gave. However, before its access became limited, I downloaded the documents from there about Bishop Melchisedek. I don’t find them substantiating what you write. Metropolitan Jonah consecrated Bishop Mel in June of 2009. According to the documents supplied by the Entrance of the Theotokos Monastery, Fr. Mel sent an email to Abbot Dionysios describing the GOA worry that as bishop he would invite Abbot Dionysios to establish monasteries in the USA. But Fr. Mel goes on to explain how he was able to get the Pittsburgh Diocesan Council to dismiss GOA worries as “an unwarranted intrusion of the Ecumenical Patriarch.” Fr. Mel doesn’t seem “terrified” as you describe him. The end of the email also suggests that he and the Abbot have been corresponding as a spiritual father to son. I don’t see any estrangement suggested in Fr. Mel’s email.
                Furthermore, contrary to your assertion, Fr. Mel is released from the Petra Monastery to the OCA in a letter dated and signed on 13 December 2008 by Abbot Dionysios. This seems to be in response to Metropolitan Jonah’s letter dated 8 December 2008. If Metropolitan Jonah refused to accept this, why did he consecrate Fr. Mel a bishop six months later.

      • phil r. upp says

        There is no Syosset organization that runs the OCA. Syosset is a house with a handful of employees who help run the OCA. All the real decisions are made by the OCA Synod in a conciliar manner. Not by Fr. Kishkovsky or anyone else.

    • If he becomes the next metropolitan, then the OCA will be in even worse shape, but maybe this is what the OCA needs. As it is now, the OCA seems to be less and less salvageable. Lord have mercy.

  11. This so-called “administrative leave” is simply a way to prevent His Grace from becoming the new Metropolitan, which would have most certainly happened in October if this “event” had not arisen. The cavalier nature of the Synod is proving to be the ruination of the OCA and a catalyst for a laity movement to other jurisdictions, particularly ROCOR.

    • Elizabeth, now, that thought has real traction with me. It occurs to me that His Grace, +Matthias, despite whatever faults he may have, has shown real leadership in his diocese–and leadership in the right direction. Perhaps others have as well (e.g., +Michael), but His Grace is my Bishop so the case with which I’m most familiar. Lord, have mercy!

      • Philippa Alan says

        I happen to agree with Karen, here. +Matthias seems to have made some hard calls and unpopular decisions in his Diocese. This is one reason I find it particularly difficult to swallow this malarky about his not dealing with one of his priests who allegedly did something wrong of this nature.

        Obviously, at least one of his Deans and one of his priests dislike him so much, they are willing to act in such a manner to subvert him by sharing information ( the alleged letter sent to the Deans, per George) that probably was supposed to be confidential. What does that have to say about them?! By doing this they have contributed to slandering the bishop.

        In my mind there are only two good candidates for the next Metropolitan; +Michael and +Matthias. Neither would allow themselves to be controlled and would have the strength to put their foot down. The issue they would need to address immediately was to find trustworthy aides.

        • Then why did Michael and Matthias actively participate in the slander and forced resignation of Jonah (an act of fraud against Jonah and all stakeholders in the OCA since he was widely viewed as some kind of symbolic leader in the church)? Are they really just that ignorant, could they not see the injustice and address it? Are they being blackmailed with their own dirt? Or are they basically sympathetic to a privately held consensus agenda within the OCA synod and MC? None of these possibilities bode well.

          • Um, naivete? The “Synodal” decision, after all, was a “majority” decision arrived at via a telecon.

          • Did they both participate? The famous slanderous letter appeared first with bishop Matthias’s signature on his diocese’s web site, before it was published on the OCA web site without individual signatures, just signed by “The Holy Synod.” Did bishop Michael do something similar?

            • Mitrich, the infamous Stinkbomb, as His Grace would call it, was proffered by four bishops to their dioceses with their own individual signatures: Bishop Matthias, Bishop Michael, Archbishop Benjamin, and Archbishop Tikhon. There may be more, I haven’t looked at every diocesan website lately.

          • That is a good question, Um. Also, with the newest update from Rod, it’s looking like +Matthias may not be so innocent in this latest situation, after all. If what Rod has shared is true, it is a another real blow for those of us in the OCA.

        • What unpopular decisions are we thinking about here? Removing Stokoe from the MC? Why would that be unpopular? He was not qualified to be receiving communion in the church, how could he possibly be viewed as qualified to lead the church on its Board of Trustees? Matthias did not shut down ocanews either; he couldn’t have, didn’t have that authority. That was Stokoe’s decision and was done for political reasons. If marching orders went out on this, they came from Stokovite entities and not from Matthias per se.

          I want to emphasize that I do not know Matthias at all. He may in fact be the only orthodox bishop left in the OCA, and he might be a very loving man at that. All I know is the story that has emerged online, and I would not trust my children or my spiritual health to any bishop of the OCA synod after what they have done, including Matthias and Michael.

          The removal of Stokoe from the MC would have been done by Benjamin if he had the power to do it, given the context (Stokoe had become a political liability to those desiring Jonah’s removal and had nothing left to offer after he was publicly outed as a homosexual activist conspiring against Jonah). So it is impossible to know what Matthias’ motives were in taking that action. It might have been a courageous act. Perhaps time will tell, but we might never know.

          • I’m guessing that the unpopular decisions referred to might include rules regarding who may hold communion cloths, requiring baptisms to be separate from Divine Liturgy ,vesperal liturgies on the eve of feast days, and some other things that some people think are good and others aren’t pleased about. Here’s the link to a letter that was posted on the diocesan website:

            • Anne,

              Thanks so much for the link. It seems to me that Bishop Mathias is a wise bishop. The Midwest Diocese is my home.

            • What a wonderful and pastoral letter. Firm and unflinching in his adherence to Holy Tradition, yet loving and sensitive to the feelings of his sheep at the same time. I am proud to call him my Bishop and I hope that these allegations are indeed untrue as he writes. I will say that I have never known him to lie.

          • Although they have taken great flack for it, Rod and Jesse did the OCA a great service by exposing the man who made a name for himself by exposing the sins of others. In case they haven’t heard it said, I’ll say it: Thank you, gentlemen.

            • Agreed! Thank you.

            • Indeed! I raise a glass to them both.

            • Defend the Faith says


              Kudos also to Rod and Jesse for standing up for the truth and to Fr. Fester for his couragous stand against Bp. Mark Maymon. + Met. Jonah looks better with each passing day.

              The OCA Synod had no right to judge one of their brothers when they are so compromised.

  12. Daniel E Fall says

    Much ado…

    • Well Mr. Fall,

      Much ado…..? So much for mark Stokoe’s vetting of +Matthais and the vaulted Midwest episcopal search committe! looks like St. Luke’s.

      It is time for Bp. Ireniu to once again bring formal charges against Ap. Nathaniel

      • I meant to say, looks like St. Luke’s will be getting another OCA bishop as a patient. Someone hear asked who is next? Ab. Nathaniel. His lavender life is about to be finally exposed and he should be sent packing asap. They who were “without sin” cast judgement on Jonah? Hypocrites, all of them.

        God WILL NOT be mocked.

        • anonymus per Scorilo says

          Can anybody give more details on these charges against Abp. Nathaniel ?
          Given the high moral quality of the accuser (just ask anybody from the Sambata
          monastery) they are a bit hard to believe.

          • Rev Fr Vasile Susan says

            The charges against His Eminence Archbishop Nathaniel Popp … (as sent to the OCA Synod of Bishops by Rev Fr Vasile Susan (as complainant) on June 23, 2005) … still in the Syosset’s file … but not resolved …

            His Eminence during the last 15 years has consistently and deliberately violated the following provisions … listed below under letters … a, b, c, d, e, f, g, h:

            a – the Holy Scripture provisions,

            Created to know God’s divinity and power through creation, human beings have refused to acknowledge God, to honor and thank Him, and to obey his divine teachings. Through their rebellion “they became futile in their thinking and their senseless hearts were darkened” (Romans 1: 21). Therefore, as the apostle Paul continues to teach, “God gave them up in the lusts of their hearts to impurity, to the dishonoring of their bodies among themselves…their women exchanged natural relations for unnatural, and the men likewise gave up natural relations with women and were consumed with passion for one another, men committing shameless acts with men and receiving in their own persons the due penalty for their error” (Romans 1: 26 – 27).

            Homosexual acts, like adulterous and incestuous behavior, are condemned in the Law of Moses. Those who do these things, both men and women, are, according to God’s law of the old covenant, to be put to death (Leviticus 18 :6 – 23; 20: 10 – 21).

            According to the apostle Paul, those engaging in homosexual acts, with fornicators, adulterers, idolaters, thieves, the greedy, drunkards, revilers and robbers, will not inherit the kingdom of heaven. Christians come from all these categories of evil doers who have, voluntarily and involuntarily, been caught up in the sin of the world. They are those who through their personal repentance and faith in Christ, their Baptism and Chrismation, and their participation in Holy Communion, have been “washed…sanctified…and made righteous in the name of the Lord Jesus and in the Spirit of our God” (1 Corinthians 6: 9 – 11;


            b – The Canons of the Holy Orthodox Church provisions,

            Adultery is sanction by the following Canons: canon 5, 26 and canon 51 of the Holy Apostles; canon 14 of the 4th Ecumenical Council; canons 3, 6, 13, 21, 30 of the Quinisext Council; canon 20 of Ancyra; 1st canon, of the 2nd Local Council of Neo Caesarea; canon 16 of Carthage; canons 32 and 69 of St Basil the Great; canon 4 of St Gregory of Nyssa; canon 3 & 9 of St Theophilus of Alexandria; canon 18 of St John of Constantinople; canon 36 of St Nichephor the Confessor; etc…

            Sodomy is sanctioned by the following Canons: canon 7 & 62 of St Basil the Great; canon 29 of St John of Constantinople; and all canons from Adultery, and many more canons’ provisions.


            c – the basic dogma of the Orthodox Church provisions, by allowing Rev Fr Xxxxxxy Xxxxxr enter into illicit and deceptive relationships with so many men over a period of time longer than 12 years, probably up to nowadays. He violated his priesthood and marriage commitments by committing not only adultery, but sodomy, not demonstrating any remorse or repentance for any of his actions towards his presbytera, his family, and Your Eminence as his hierarch.


            d – the ROEA Constitution and By – Laws provisions, ART. XV


            e – the OCA Statute provisions,

            ART. I – The OCA’s doctrine, discipline, and worship are those of the One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church as taught by the Holy Scriptures, Holy Tradition, the Ecumenical and Provincial Councils, and the Holy Fathers. The Orthodox Church in America is referred to in this Statute as “the Church.”
            ART VI – The Diocese
            Section 4 The Diocesan Bishop

            a) Shall expound Orthodox Faith and morals and guide his flock in accordance with the teachings of the Church, and will issue pastoral letters to the clergy and laity;

            ART X – The Parish
            Section 5 Parishioners

            a) No one can be a member of the parish if he openly betrays the teaching of the Orthodox Church, or if he leads a life or acts in a manner condemned by the Holy Canons as incompatible with the name of Orthodox Christian.


            f) – the OCA Holy Synod of Bishops 1994 Guidelines for responding to sexual misconduct allegations, provisions, enclosed herewith (see the TEXT below).


            Holy Synod reaffirms 1994 Guidelines for responding to sexual misconduct allegations

            SYOSSET, NY During their spring session April 1 – 4, 2003, members of the Holy Synod of Bishops of the Orthodox Church in America reaffirmed guidelines for initial response to allegations or charges of sexual misconduct they initially had issued in 1994.

            “In light of current media reports involving sexual abuse, the hierarchs felt the need and duty to reaffirm their position, as initially stated in 1994,” according to the Very Rev. John Matusiak, OCA Communications Director. “The hierarchs also stated that they will not tolerate ‘the horrible sin of sexual abuse at any age by any person.”

            The 1994 guidelines offer detailed procedures for making an initial response to allegations and charges of sexual misconduct. The full text of the 1994 guidelines appears below.

            Take seriously all allegations or charges of sexual misconduct. The Office of the Metropolitan will designate one or more persons as trained investigators to deal with cases of alleged sexual misconduct, and the services of Legal Counsel will be made available as circumstances may require.

            The recipient of a complaint lodged against a clergyman, Church worker, or Church member must immediately notify the diocesan bishop. The diocesan bishop will immediately inform the Office of the Metropolitan that such an allegation or charge has been made. It is important that the Church administration be involved in this process since in the case of litigation the Church as a whole, rather than any specific person, parish, or diocese, is exposed to liability.

            At this point, if deemed necessary the Metropolitan will appoint a trained investigator to the case. The investigator will be skilled in issues surrounding sexual misconduct, and particularly sexual addiction. The investigator’s duties will be to:

            a.] conduct a thorough investigation of the case resulting in a comprehensive written report addressed to the Metropolitan and the diocesan bishop; and

            b.] serve as advisor to the Metropolitan and the diocesan bishop in regard to issues surrounding the matter.

            The investigator will obtain a written, signed and dated report as soon as possible from the allegations or charges. This should include permission to approach the accused, if the accused is not yet aware of the allegations or charges being made.

            After reviewing the written allegations with legal counsel, the Office of the Metropolitan and the diocesan bishop shall determine whether to proceed with steps 6, 7, 8, and 9, and whether the relevant insurance carrier should be notified. If the complaint involves specifically criminal activities, then the police must be notified. Particularly strict regulations exist concerning the reporting of incidents involving children and other vulnerable people.

            Reducing the risk of child sexual abuse: Guidelines for Parishes

            If so instructed, the investigator will then approach the accused person, and make that person which has been made. The diocesan bishop will relieve the accused person of their duties, without suspending pay, pending investigation of the matter. (This is a particularly controversial step, however it is better to err on the side of discretion.) At this time, the diocesan bishop will recommend that the accused seek private legal counsel (i.e., counsel not associated with the parish, diocese, or territorial church). He will also make pastoral resources available to the accused and his/her family through people not involved in the investigation.

            The diocesan bishop will then contact the alleged victim[s] and their family [ies]. He will make pastoral resources available to them through people not involved in the investigation. This step is a pastoral, rather than investigative, initiative.

            If an arrest or formal charge has been made, the diocesan bishop will, in consultation with the Office of the Metropolitan, the investigator, and legal counsel, promptly prepare and have read to the parish family a written statement informing them that this arrest or charge has occurred and that the person charged has been relieved of their duties until the investigation has been completed. Keep a copy of this written statement. Say no more about the alleged incident at that time. The parish will need to be led through a process of healing, but only once the outcome of the investigation is known.

            Once the above steps have been completed the investigator will proceed with his/her formal investigation into the matter in the manner in which he/she has been trained. The investigator’s report will be reviewed by the Office of the Metropolitan, the diocesan bishop, and legal counsel to determine what additional action (if any) should be taken.

            Note: Do not be tempted to do more than what is specified above, such as take sides or extend financial assistance to one or another of the parties, even if at the time pastoral concerns seem to indicate otherwise. The above guidelines are designed to keep the Church involved, but not entangled or enmeshed, in situations involving sexual misconduct. Such an approach will allow for a fair investigation, meet the immediate pastoral needs of those involved, and prepare the ground for long term healing and eventual closure.



            g – the OCA Holy Synod of Bishops statement on sexual abuse provisions, issued … during its Spring session of April 1- 4, 2003, … in the OCA newspaper April issue, 2003 … enclosed herewith (see the TEXT below).

            April 4, 2003
            OCA Chancery Syosset, New York

            In recent weeks the news media have daily reported the sexual abuse of children, especially misconduct by certain clergy and others in positions of authority and trust. The Holy Synod of Bishops of the Orthodox Church in America once again affirms the policy of the Orthodox Church in America relating to the appropriate response to allegations of sexual misconduct as outlined in the Guidelines for Initial Response to Allegations or Charges of Sexual Misconduct promulgated by the Holy Synod of the Orthodox Church in America on March 28, 1994. We lament the horrible sin of sexual abuse at any age by any person and will not tolerate it.

            In addition to restating and reaffirming these guidelines, we also acknowledge that the Orthodox Church in America, its dioceses, institutions, and parishes are directed to respond promptly and in accordance with these Guidelines to any allegations of sexual abuse when a reasonable credibility of the allegations may be assumed. Further, the Orthodox Church in America will comply with the civil laws of the jurisdiction in which any allegation is made in regard to reporting any incident and cooperate in any subsequent investigation. The Orthodox Church in America, as the Holy Church of Christ, will also reach out to the victims and their families to provide for their spiritual well being and healing, according to these guidelines and pastoral concern.


            h – the Policies, Standards, and Procedures of the Orthodox Church in America on Sexual Misconduct provisions,

            3.01. Page 8; 3.02. Page 8; 3.03. Page 9; 3.04. Page 9;

            4.02. (a) & (b) Page 10;

            5.01. Page 10; 5.02. Page 10; 5.03. Page 10; 5.04. Page 11; 5.05. Page 11; 5.06. Page 11;

            7.01. (a) & (b) Page 12; 7.03. (a) & (b) Page 13;

            8.01. (a), (b) & © Page 15; 8.03. (a), (b) & (c) Page 15, 16; 8.05. (b), (c), (d), (e) Page 17;

            8.06. Page 18;

            9.01. (a) Page 18; 9.02. (a), (c) Page 19; 9.03. (a) Page 20; 9.04. (a) Page 21; 9.05. (a), (b) Page 21;

            9.06. (a) Page 22;

            10.01. (a) 2 – 9 Page 23, 24; 10.01. (b) Page 24; 10.02. (a) 1 – 4 Page 24; 10.03. (a) 1 – 3, 5 – 6 Page 25;

            10.03. (b) Page 26; 10.06. (a), (b) and (c) 1, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, Page 26, 27;

            These charges, which can be fully substantiated, are sufficient in scope and magnitude to warrant the dismissal of Archbishop Nathaniel as head of the ROEA. It is in the interest of the Orthodox Church as a whole, and in the interest of the OCA and in the interest of the ROEA that these allegations of abuse by a hierarch are addressed in a timely and transparent manner.

            Note at the present time:

            The charges against His Eminence Archbishop Nathaniel Popp … as sent to the OCA Synod of Bishops by Rev Fr Vasile Susan (complainant) June 23, 2005, are printed above. The ROEA homosexual priest disappeared from the OCA clergy list, due to the ROEA Archbishop’s maneuvers. The ROEA Archbishop (OCA Locum Tenens of Metropolitan See) … believes … he is intelligent playing such a game. He is sneaky. His months in office are numbered.

            But, please pay attention to the materials sent out / posted by the Rev Fr Adrian Fetea on the Internet and dated June 1, 2012, and August 9, 2012, and follow the documentation presented at that time.

            Just wait for the upcoming materials that will be posted on the Internet in the near future on, by the complainant mentioned above. That materials will bring a lot of waives into the OCA’s field.
            Respectfully sent for posting by Rev Fr Vasile Susan (from Rasinari – Sibiu, not from Sambata – Brasov),

            September 03, 2012.

            • anonymus per Scorilo says

              There are three different things here.

              1. The accusations against Abp. Nathaniel’s personal lifestyle that Nikos mentioned. Given that no shred of evidence has been provided (while Nikos keeps on mentioning them over and over) I am forced to conclude that this is pure intoxication, repeated many times with the hope that people will start accepting it as true.

              2. The seven-year old accusations against Abp. Nathaniel’s pastoral handling of clergy sexual abuse – essentially point c. of Fr. Vasile Susan’s list. Menaces that this will be exposed on pokrov have been circulating for about the same length of time, but everything so far has been content-free. Seven years is a lot of time…

              Abp. Nathaniel’s energetic handling of Fr. Susan (when he knew that Fr. Susan had been in the ROEA discipline committee and knew about this issue and could always spill the beans) demonstrates in my opinion the fact that Abp. Nathaniel does not consider himself guilty or blackmailable by this, and is not behaving in any way according to the “OCA synod conspiracy theory” espoused by some.

              3. Cui prodest? Many people have an interest in preventing Abp. Nathaniel’s election to Metropolitan, the Phanar included. Besides his staunch pro-Ligonier and pro Orthodox unity opinions, there were rumors in Bucharest more than 10 years ago about discussions with the Church of Romania to recognize the OCA’s autocephaly if something like this happened; given the current strained Phanar-Romanian relations it is not hard to see some in Bucharest contemplating this again.

              • They’ve been threatening to “expose” Bishop Nathaniel for seven years, and still nothing is floating out there on the web, not even on Sounds like a goose chase to me…if you can’t find the weakest link on someplace like Pokrov, you can’t find…period.

                • George P! You wrote: “if you can’t find the weakest link on someplace like Pokrov, you can’t find…period.” That’s not true. As far as I know Pokrov has not TOUCHED the case of the deposed Michael Roshak formerly an Archpriest and Parish Rector in the OCA until deposed.
                  It you feel he was not deposed, or if you feel he was deposed without being guilty of ssexual misconduct of any kind, we’d like to know your reasons. Were you an associate and/or co-worker of Michael Roshak?
                  Of course, if there is a “weak” link on Pokrov today…

                  • Bishop Tikhon,

                    Master Bless.

                    Pardon me. My poor communication skills (yet again). It wasn’t obvious I was being sarcastic and thinking of how likes to “weave” intricate webs. Geo M. had made reference to their method in a previous post.

                    I should of done something like text to make it more clear that I was making a tongue in cheek statement..

                    Pokrov is not the only source to find information about someone or an event, and I choose not to rely on them entirely for information since I feel that the information they provide is incomplete. If there is something I am interested in finding out, I try to search it out.

              • anonymus per Scorilo,

                IF you are truly interested in the truth about Nathaniel then talk to Bp. Irienu about him bringing charges against Nathaniel on moral grounds. Of course you would have to be someone who is not a shill for Nathaniel. Those who know in the Episcopate also know that I am speaking the truth.

                You also overplay your hand by invoking the Phanar in an attempt to raise the stock of Nathaniel. Constantinople could care less who or if there is a next Metropolitan of the OCA. The last time I checked the Phanar does not set their clock to the life of the OCA.

                • anonymus per Scorilo says

                  I am not trying to raise anybody’s stock, I just get tired of hearing the same hollow-sounding accusations against Abp. Nathaniel over and over again, first from the Romanian secret police when he would not get under Bucharest before 1989, then from the anticommunist immigration in the US when he did not play their game after 1989, then from a bunch of coherence-challenged priests whom he mildly disciplined (the Antiochians would have defrocked Fr. Susan 100 times over for all the insults he has been hurling at his bishop), then from Bp. Irineu and the Romanian nationalist clique when he refused to move towards the Romanian Patriarchate at the speed they wanted, etc. To me it all just sounds like baloney.

                  And by the way, I would not set much weight on accusations coming from Bp. Irineu. There are good reasons why the Church of Romania did not elect him a bishop and the stories from the Sambata monastery are not that glowing on the moral perfection side either. The biggest mistake was to bring him over the ocean and push for his election without a serious investigation in Romania, and I think a large portion of the blame falls on Abp. Nathaniel; he is now paying the price for that.

                  • Disgusted With It says


                    While it seems true that Fr. Susan goes over the top with his insults, the fundamental issue of importance is this — Are his accusations about the handling of homosexual clergy, etc., true or false? This is curiously ignored and a very telling sign of how things are handled in the Romanian episcopate.

                    As for the rest of your comments, you seem to be doing your best to attack Bp. Irineu when we don’t even know for sure if he even made any kind of “complaint” as one person alleges on this informal forum. This is so typical of Romanians, trying to kick the other guy first. Perhaps you’re the one with an ax to grind.

                    It’s just like in politics when you cannot honestly say anything positive about your guy, when defending him becomes too difficult, so you change the topic of discussion by throwing mud at other people.

                    This is the Church. Let’s be better than that.

                    • anonymus per Scorilo says

                      This is so typical of Romanians, trying to kick the other guy first.

                      Sorry, I just could not suppress the Romanian in me 🙂

                  • Wait a Minute says

                    I agree with you, “Anonymous per Scorillo” about the questionable trustworthiness of those being invoked as witnesses against Archbishop Nathaniel. That’s why I place no great confidence your statement, Nikos, that “those who know in the Episcopate also know that I am speaking the truth.” I’m in the Romanian Episcopate, and I don’t know it. I do know some however who ARE in a position to know and am pretty confident they wouldn’t be quick to second your confidence that you know the truth here. They’re pretty upright guys who trust His Eminence a lot more than the traducers who have been identified in these prior posts.

                    it’s also true as prior posts seem to recognize that any accusations against His Eminence may also be connected to the struggle in our Episcopate between those elements that would like to go under the Bucharest patriarchate in a kind of “autonomous” arrangement like that of the Antiochians and those who are very wary of this. Our skepticism about this also extends to those who are the authors of allegations against his Eminence no matter what office they hold.

                • Nikos, are you saying that Bp. Irineu has brought charges against Abp. Nathaniel on moral grounds? If so, when and what came of them? I don’t quite follow.

              • Disgusted With It says

                anonymus per Scorilo,

                I don’t think ANYBODY is worried about Ab. Nathaniel becoming Metropolitan.
                1) It won’t happen,
                2) It would be a joke if it did happen, and
                3) It won’t happen.

                As for his personal lifestyle, of course nobody is going to have secret hidden-camera evidence if that’s what you’re referring to. But people aren’t stupid and they know what they see. To us I think his personal lifestyle is secondary anyway to his horrendous lack of leadership abilities as a bishop. He can’t even unite his own people, how will he unite all Orthodox?! (Maybe he should give a few more empty “the mother churches are evil, let’s have a revolution” speeches.) And as senior member of the synod, he owns this mess in what they are doing to Metropolitan Jonah.

  13. This is just a sidenote, and maybe even a nonsensical one (you be the judge), but I’ll say it anyway:
    Having been taught that, in the true meaning of the Office, a Bishop, surrounded by his Presbyters, is a “President of a Eucharistic Assembly” (with all other authority and responsibilities being secondary, subordinate, and emanating from that), the question that has entered my mind, for whatever reason, is:
    Can there really be such a thing as a “retired Bishop,” or even one “on leave of absence,” i.e., one without a Eucharistic Assembly and council of Presbyters to preside over, and the authority and responsibilities emanating from that?
    If not, then just what in really is a “retired Bishop” or one “on a leave of absence”?

    • Oh, that’s easy. PdNJ! I am a retired Bishop,and you can poke me in the ribs or the eye to prove that it is I. Metropolitan Anastassy (Gribanovsky) who retired and was succeeded by Metropolitan Philaret was still a Bishop, though retired. There are several such instances in the history of our Orthodox Church if you ever have the time to look into it! A Bishop need not have a surrounding of Presbyters at all. After all, in the early Church, presbyters (before the time when they were assigned sacramental duties that we call “priestly”) were the leading laymen. The Bishop had one or more Deacons to assist hm in everything, including the Eucharist, but the presbyters were just influential “lay” support. In the RomanChurch the presbyters originally were cemetery owners. A Bishop, retired or on active duty, needs no presbyters at all to serve/offer the Divine Liturgy. I’ve served the Eucharist several times since retiring: I didn’t retire from serving Divine Liturgy, but, like, for example, St. Tikhon of Zadonsk, I retired from diocesan administrative functions (although St. Tikhon retired much earlier in his episcopate than I did). I know that you are in the grips of a functional definition of the Church (and the world), and your questions show rather dramatically the ideological devotion to pragmatism which is almost generically American.
      Maybe I can say it more simply. No Bishop can be presiding at the Eucharist in Christ’s place every day and all day. Every Bishop is retired on the days when Liturgy is not or not to be served. It is the laying-on-of-hands by successors to the Apostles, NOT presiding at the Eucharist, that makes a Bishop.
      It is, of course, shamefully careless and even ignorant of bureaucrats and others to refer to a retired bishop as a “former” bishop. He is a retired bishop ‘formerly OF” this or that, but he is not a former bishop.
      As a rule though, those in today’s OCA administration are not capable of being good stewards of the English language. I feel Monk James might agree with me in that,aside from the unrelated topic of translations.

      • Your Grace, thank you for your reply.
        But it’s still a little “fuzzy” in my mind.
        Maybe that’s because of my engineering education and professional experience where everything had to be worked out precisely in every detail in accordance with unarguable scientific principles.
        But I don’t feel the need to pursue the question any further.

      • phil r. upp says

        A priest is only a priest of a certain parish; a bishop is only a bishop of a certain diocese. Orthodox ecclesiology does not have bishops, priests or deacons “at large.” If you are a retired cleric, you have no authority. If you serve, it is only at the leisure of the current local bishop.

        • George Michalopulos says

          Interesting that you should say that, now that His Beatitude and all of us were recently informed that he had “retired.” If there is any doubt that Syosset is the Gang that Couldn’t Shoot Straight, it was finally laid to rest yesterday.

          • I don’t think that “they” can/could retire him without his specific request to them to do so.
            If they did anyway, they have just heaped more “burning coals” upon their own heads.

            • Kyle Hunter says

              Let’s get our terminology straight, it does indeed count for something.

              By the OCA’s own official record of pastoral transactions, the “Pastoral Changes” Metropolitan Jonah was not retired. The Episcopal Changes of the July 2012 Pastoral Changes reads,

              “(PAFFHAUSEN), Metropolitan Jonah, at his request, was released from his duties as Archbishop of Washington, Metropolitan of All America and Canada by the Holy Synod of Bishops, effective July 7, 2012.”

              Further, there is no mention of Metropolitan Jonah in the “retired” section of those pastoral changes.

              Compare that with the “Pastoral Changes” as printed in the Winter 2009 edition of the “The Orthodox Church” where is states under “Episcopal Changes” ,

              “[SWAIKO], Metropolitan Herman was granted retirement by the Holy Synod of Bishops/ September 4, 2008.”

              Further in those same “Pastoral Changes” under the “Retired” category it states,

              “[SWAIKO], Metropolitan Herman is granted retirement by the Holy Synod of Bishops/ September 4, 2008.”

        • phil r. upp.You’ve obviously read a little. But you are not acquainted with the Reality that is the Orthodox Church. You’ve been associating with like-minded people only in a cocoon with very rarefied air in it.
          You know very well that many hierarchs in the EP do not have dioceses at all, but only the titles to sometimes non-existent or only formerly existent dioceses.
          Until very recently, no Hierarch could be a member of the Sacred Synod of Constantinople if he had a real diocese!
          Father Alexander Schmeman, as you surely must know or have heard him say himself, had almost no parochial experience at all, save for a short period of time in Paris when he was the rector of a parish so small that all its members were his relatives! Father John Jilliions, very well known to you indeed, has been a “priest-at-large” more than once. Bishop Alexander was a Priest teaching at Marquette. It’s true that Archbishop Job assigned him a place to serve, but he didn’t have to.
          It seems strange to me that you seem to diminish a retired priest by sying “if you serve, it is only at the leisure (pleasure?) of the current local bishop. Phil r. upp! That is true of every Orthodox Priest, retired or not! How could you not know that?
          If a retired bishop ordains a Priest at the respectful request of a ruling bishop, it is not the ruling bishop who does the ordaining and only a true bishop, retired or not, may ordain.
          I consider my heavenly protector, our Father among the Saints, Tikhon, Bishop of Voronezh, Wonderworker of Zadonsk to be a good model for a Bishop; yet, he retired rather early in his episcopate because he couldn’t bear diocesan admnistration and he had a troubled diocese. He’s a good example for Bishops–so is St. Theophan the Recluse and many who have withdrawn from administration of dioceses, from diocesan government, and they remain Bishops in the Apostolic Succession, fully endowed by the Holy Spirit for all Priestly and Highpriestly functions, especially for ordaining and for offering the Holy Mysteries of the Body and Blood of Christ.
          Your statement… “you have no authority” applles only to the external appurtenances of bureacracy.
          If one feels that God wills him to turn back from the plough, e.g., retire, there’s nothing reprehensible in doing so. If, however, one resigns in the face of the threats of men, that is “a horse of a different color.”

        • Here, for once, I find myself in agreement with Phil r. upp, execept for one thing; it would have been more explicate for him to have said “with the permision of” rather than “at the leisure of.”

  14. A baffled convert says

    The OCA facebook changed their cover photo today.

    I was going to suggest that they change it to a bunch of bishops stabbing each other in the back.

  15. If what Rod has shared is true about +Matthias it may be time for the OCA to think about going on a “leave of absence” and seek protection under Moscow or Constantinople. With each passing day with every new revelation, and there will be more, the ability of the OCA to even be considered legitimate is slipping away.

    I can’t imagine electing another Metropolitan will do anything but be a momentary distraction and a feeble last-ditch attempt to stave off the inevitable demise of the OCA.

    Is it time for parishes to start looking at how they can transition to other jurisdictions or for dioceses to leave en mass? Faithful are leaving, that’s for sure.

    • Not Holding My Breath says

      So, is Rod going to publish a blistering public editorial blasting Bishop Mathias, like the one he just published blasting the elderly Father Groeschel merely because the latter said, foolishly, what so many pious Orthodox have also said — viz., that, in some cases of clerical sexual malfeasance, the teen has seduced the cleric. (And yes, I agree that this was a stupid thing to say…but, as I noted, pious Orthodox have certainly said the same thing, on more than one occasion.)

      Father Reardon rapped one James’ knuckles for calling Rod to account for his glaring double standard. But James was NOT in fact engaging in ad hominem: He was pointing out a double standard, which countless other people, both Catholic and Orthodox, have noted many times in the past. Double standards destroy credibility.

    • Nikos, that is exactly why Syosset is trying to keep this quiet, and why you guys need to blow the lid off.

      Even if Bishop Matthias is innocent, the way they are handling this compared to Metropolitan Jonah is wildly unfair.

    • Dean Calvert says

      Dear Nikos, are absolutely right. I’d much rather be abused by those openly gay Greek metropolitans, with their unvarnished “legitimacy”, derived straight from that See with no people, than these terrible OCA hierarchs.

      Give me a break. On their WORST DAY, I’ll still take the OCA, with all it’s warts, over those bozos.

      Ten Years ago I was told by one of your “top lay leaders” at a Clergy Laity Congress, “Look up at that dais and tell me, which one of those CLOWNS would you like to have as your next archbishop.” Those were his exact words used to describe your bishops…CLOWNS.

      The OCA has no monopoly on bad bishops. I’ll bet if we go back into the history books, we could even find a few (dozen) crooked Ecumenical Patriarchs.

      What the OCA HAS (and the GOA and AOCA do NOT have) is the ability to fix the situation.

      As far as “time for parishes to start looking at how they can transition to other jurisdictions” – in your dreams.

      Best Regards,
      Dean Calvert

      • George Michalopulos says

        Dean, I fervently hope that you are right. But right now, the OCA Synod (sans Jonah, who is still on it) is complicit in perpetrating a fraud. Because of this, these guys are not in any way “better” than the GOA Synod, who in the persons of Demetrios and Isaiah (at least) has two righteous men on it.

        I agree with your general assessment that the GOA which is controlled from oversees is not in any better shakes but there is nothing that we in the OCA can do anything about it. The fault lies not in the “leaders” but in the laity because they put up with it. Why? Because they don’t know any better and because of phyletism. The fault is theirs’.

        As for the OCA, because of the corruption in Syosset (and more than a few bishops), they are actively destroying the OCA.

        • DC Indexman says

          To George Michalopulos: I am not sure where is the best place to ask this, but here goes. You had said some time back you would say more on Orthodox Christian Laity or OCL. OCL has been active in the last few months highlighting 25 years of their organization. The have produced videos and other items talking about their members and how great they are and how they are fighting for Unity and an American Orthodox Church. After 25 years what are the results? All I have seen from their artifacts are primarily self promotions about themselves.

          Can you answer what they have achieved on our behalf and how effective are they, what is their long term strategy and plan to bring an American Orthodox Church into existence?

          Also what is their relationship to the Assembly of Bishops and are they working together to bring us Unity and this Church?

      • Peter A. Papoutsis says

        Oh dean you actually though the grass was greener in the OCA. Well, guess what it’s not. Not in the OCA not in the GOA, Not in the AOA, etc. you put your faith in men, and canons, and charters, etc., when your faith should have been solely on the Gospel.

        I actually agree with you about the corruption in the GOA, at least to a point as Archbishop Demetrios actually stood up to the EP on behalf of Met. Jonah, but I cannot believe you actually thought there was no corruption in the OCA?

        Fight against the injustice that you see, but don’t be naive. What Church are you going to go to that dosen’t have problems?


      • Mr. Calvert,

        If the OCA has the ability to fix its situation, my only question is why are they not fixing their situation? Why are things only getting worse? You used the word “clowns” talking about the GOA, I ask you, who sitting on the dais of the OCA can lead the OCA? Which one of them does not have blood on their hands in the takedown of +Jonah? Which one of them did not sign on to the “crazy Jonah” card as the knife in his back?

        You used the GOA as a comparison, how about the bishops of ROCOR as comparison? How do the clowns of the OCA stack up against them?

        With all due respect, the OCA can’t fix its problems. The leadership of the OCA is the problem and short of them all retiring, the institutional corruption is too deep, starting with Ab. Nathaniel, the current locum tenens of the OCA.

      • Disgusted With It says

        Dear Dean Calvert,

        Why all this hate toward the GOA? You act as though you were removed from parish membership or something like that. Even in criticism it is possible to show some basic respect. Remember, there are many more crooked businessmen than crooked bishops.

        • George Michalopulos says

          DWI, in defesne of Dean, he has no hatred towards the GOA. If he’s anything like me (and I was in the GOA) it’s more disappointment than anger.

          Dean of course can answer for himself.

          • Disgusted With It says


            I think we’re all disappointed in one way or another with many of our bishops. But his comments were very disrespectful right out of the gate. “…those openly gay Greek Metropolitans…”? The Greek Metropolitans are openly gay? What, do they have rainbow stickers all over their matched luggage or something? It sure does come across to an outsider as more than just “they could do better”, especially when it kind of came out of nowhere in regard the comment it was supposed to be in reply to. But that’s just my 2 cents.

          • Peter A. Papoutsis says

            I don’t know Dean either, but I know of Parishes in the GOA here in Chicago where many Greeks have uttered the same kind of words and I have had my confrontations with them and with them its NOT diappointment is pure anger.

            Anger with the GOA not becoming an Independent American Orthodox Church. Anger over the Charter that the GOA received from the EP or “Forced” on us by the EP, and Eparchal Council in New York that through many lay delegates and the support of leadership 100 pushed out and basically locked out the OCL from all future Clergy-Laity Conferences, etc.

            All, I might say, are legitimate grievences, but when it reaches the level of hate and Greeks start turning on Greeks and old scores come up from the days of Archbishop Spyridon, the Charter issue, and the so-called Gay Cabal in the GOA Eparchal Council (Sound Familiar), etc., I only ask one thing?

            WHO CARES? If this hatred builds and builds, and let me tell you Greeks hold a grudge, then we splinted and fragment as a church, and then the real corrupt elements take hold of the Church, and guys like me who are faithful to Jesus Christ and his Gospel have nobody to turn to.

            Who do I turn to? The Modernists on the Left? NO THANKS. The Fundamentaists on the right, that to my utter disappointment are growing under the influence of the Ephramites? NO THANKS AS WELL.

            So because of these attitudes of hate the two extremes and Heresies I might add, are tearing my church apart. First was the Calendar issue, then the Ecumenism issue, then Archbishop Spyridon debachle, then the OCL/Autocephalist broohaha, now a complete and utter rupture between the Modernisist and the Fundamentalists and I and others like me are stuck in the middle.

            So disappointment over what? Hatred over what? Was it worth it? instead of fighting the good fight, living good Orthodox Christian lives and yes, opening our doors to converts as hard as it might be for the so-called “Omogenia” staying and talking with each other would have been much better than the tatters going on in the GOA right now.

            The OCA has it bad as we speak, but the OCA is still ten times better than the mess that was left after all the fighting, yelling and shouting ended in the GOA. You good people have no idea the infighting that is occuring between the Modernists and Ephramites in the GOA especially here in Chicago. As George put it once “Chicago is the belly of the beast” when it comes to this stuff. No even our Bishops can tame the in fighting going on in the GOA.

            What I care about now is leaving a church for my chuildren to grow up in with, at least, the majority of the in-fighting and hatred stopping in the GOA. I do not know, nor do I care to know what if any involvement Dean had in this stupid war in the GOA, but IF he and others had any hand in it and I again emphasize IF – Thanks alot,NOT!

            You didn’t stick around. You left. I and others like me that didn’t create this mess stayed and I and others have to pick up the pieces and move on with life. I just wanted to go to Church, received Holy Communion and share my faith as best as I can with people. NOw I have to be careful who I talk to because if I have opinions that are taken as either Moderistic or Fundamentalist I am immediately cut off or blackballed from certain areas and people IN MY OWN CHURCH!

            Just in case you didn’t pick up on it that’s me being not only disappointed but mad as well. I apologize if Dean thinks its an Attack on him – ITS NOT. I don’t know the man and I bid him peace. However, its not all sun and roses in the GOA these days. Nobody cared to ask me and others like we if we wanted this mess because we did not.

            Sorry for the rant, and please forgive me if I hurt anybody’s feelings that was not my intent. Please forgive me. Its been pent up for a while.


            • George Michalopulos says

              Peter, for whatever it’s worth, I think the OCA right now is in far worse shape than the GOA. All of this however is the devil’s work. Maybe the Lord will be merciful to us for a season and allow all of us (bishops, priest, laymen) to turn our faces from the past and become Christian again.

              • Peter A. Papoutsis says

                One can only hope and pray, and I do mean pray. As orthodox Christians we not only should we must develop a deep and sustained prayer life. I cannot begin to tell you how much I love and have fallen back onto my prayer life in the most turbulent times in my life, and how uplifting my prayer life makes me during the good times. Just my devotions and prayers to the Panayia have given me such solace that if one does not have a developed prayer life start developing it, nurture it and dive deep into those waters that lead directly to the “living water” of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. One will naturally be refreshed and will want to swin in those waters continuously.

                God bless

                Peter A. Papoutsis

  16. Mark from the DOS says

    Now on the DOM Website:

    His Grace, Bp. Matthias’ Letter to the Clergy & Faithful

    Dear Clergy and Faithful of the Diocese of the Midwest,

    Christ is in our midst!

    It is with regret that I inform you that a formal complaint was made against me last Friday, August 24, 2012. The allegations are that I made unwelcome written and spoken comments to a young woman that she regarded as an inappropriate crossing of personal boundaries and an abuse of my pastoral authority. I deny these allegations and I plan to respond in due course.

    According to the OCA’s policies, I am on paid administrative leave until the investigation is completed. Fr. John Zdinak, the Chancellor of the Diocese, will be the temporary administrator in my absence.

    Please pray for all of us who are involved in this matter.

    Your Shepherd in Christ,

    Bishop of Chicago and the Midwest

    • Wow, clear, honest communicating . . . how weird. Well I don’t know if he’s guilty or not but he is the most straight forward and communicative of the Bishops.

    • I will give Bishop Matthias credit for addressing the allegations openly while asserting his innocence.

      I hope that he receives every consideration that he failed to give to Metropolitan Jonah.

      We should pray for him, and not only him but the accuser, along with the whole Moriak family. Bishop Matthias, unlike most of our bishops, is a father and grandfather.

    • WOW–this is shocking news! No wonder this came out–it was between a man and a woman–this never would have happened if it was between two men.

  17. I don’t know if there can be a positive outcome of this latest episode.
    If +Matthias is “found innocent,” his opponents will accuse the Holy Synod,, of coverup.
    If he is “found guilty.” his supporters will proclaim that he was “blackballed.”
    Either way it seems to me that the credibility of the Holy Synod,, will sink further and further into the quick sand of the problems of its own making.
    O Lord, have pity on us, poor sinners!

  18. Wow, our bishops are dropping like flies. Who’s next??

    • Just Guessing says

      They wanted transparency, now they got it.

    • Great. It’s in the Chicago Trib now. What’s next?

    • Once again, the Synod’s accusations against Metropolitan Jonah have been exaggerated by or for the media.

      Metropolitan Jonah was never actually accused of urging the accuser to stay quiet (although it is easy to misread the statement that way). The actual rape allegation was not even MADE until well after the priest was outside Met. Jonah’s control.

      But that’s not how the media tells it, oh, no!

      • Helga, my question is- from whom did the Chicago Tribune get their information?

      • from the Chicago tribune:

        A week after his resignation, the bishops disclosed that he failed to remove a priest accused of rape in 2010 and urged the accuser and her family to stay quiet. They blamed Metropolitan Jonah for exposing the church to legal liability.

        Helga et al:
        1- we all know that NOBODY knew of the allegations until 2012.
        2- We were all made aware that there is even a motive put forward by Abbess Aemiliane that casts doubt on the accusation made against Fr. X.
        3- We know from a previous posting by Amos on this same forum that Bishop Melchisedek, Fr. Eric Tosi and Faith Skordinski tried to peg ANOTHER rape claim on Fr. X when the SIC report itself asserted that there was absolutely no PHYSICAL CONTACT BETWEEN FR. X and J.( the neighbor from upstairs not the goddaughter who reported the alleged incident from 2010 which only became known in 2012)
        4- There is absolutely NO physical evidence against Fr. X, no police record for rape, no trial or conviction for rape.
        5 – Above all else, Fr. X was never received under Met. Jonah’s Omophor, so there was nothing that Met. Jonah could do to him in terms of disciplining him.


        I guess that doesn’t apply to people like Fr. X and Abbess A does it now?

        Whoever gave that STUPID information to the Chicago Tribune wanted to make sure Metropolitan Jonah was good n’digested in the belly of the whale without any hope of being spit up on the shores of Nineveh. I think it’s time to write the lady that wrote the article and set the record straight. We should also demand to know who her source was and demand they be disciplined (FIRED)

        • The official documents are quite clear that Met. Jonah indeed did within a couple months of the explosion remove the priest who previously he asked be released to him from Greece. While there is talk of a rape, was any complaint filed, ever? Not I that I know about.

          When is my previous ‘grass is not greener’ comment going to be posted?

          • George Michalopulos says

            Harry, I’m not understanding what you wrote.

            • Well, I had made a post days ago, you left it moderated until enough time had passed so that it didn’t appear on the list of new posts, so many came later. Censorship, of a sort.

              In reply to the above matter, George P was partly correct, partly not. Plainly the priest in question would have never come had Jonah not asked for his release from the Greeks. The document trail is clear about that looking at what the Greek Metropolitan and abbot put in their books. However, it really is wrong to say Met. Jonah was accused of covering up a rape as to my knowledge no complaint was ever filed with the civil authority. Folk can talk about it all day, but unless a complaint was filed (even if not investigated by police), it’s all air and not deserving of being called ‘covering up a rape’. It struggles to be termed an ‘alleged rape’ absent a sworn complaint filed with, or by, the police.

              • Thank you Harry!

                Essentially what you are distinguishing is what could be called a matter of semantics, but it is not an invalid point.

                I am not going to rehash other points which I have already argued repeatedly. I believe it is very obvious that there are individuals within the MP and synod that fabricated lies and innuendo to destroy the reputation of His Beatitude. The treatment of Metropolitan Jonah and others in this entire situation has been disgusting.

              • Harry! Why would George Michalopolos EVER delay posting this totally mundane and tiresome bit ot insubstantial dithering ?
                If you felt you had to write Something, Anything, it would have required a lot less worry and effort if you had just written: ‘Things are not always what they seem to be.”
                Here it is again. Maybe this’ll make up for its being too late, allowing some kind of delayed gratification on your part:

                The grass is not greener elsewhere. During the peak of the years the Roman church was covering up ongoing horrific serial abuse of teen / young men by clergy, how did things seem? Pretty good to most folk. What’s going on now is: we are being given to know about things that money used to be able to make go away before it got out in the past..Parish life has its own respiration. If you think it must be better elsewhere where there is more money and more power and more more more… just think of how much ‘more’ the RCC had going on when it had all that awful stuff going on.
                The grass is not greener elsewhere. Make it work where you are.

          • George Michalopulos says
            • Earth calling Harry? Earth calling Harry? Over.

            • DC Indexman says

              George — Can you answer what OCL has achieved on behalf of the cause of American Orthodoxy and how effective are they, what is their long term strategy and plan to bring an American Orthodox Church into existence? Is the OCL worth giving ones time and resources to in order to help the cause of the American Orthodox Church?

              • George Michalopulos says

                DC, I’ve been thinking long and hard about the OCL and my own pleasant (for me at least) involvement within it. Things in other areas are too turbulent now for me to comment about the OCL and its ministry. I will do so in the near future. (And Peter, I haven’t forgotten about my take on the take-down of Arb Spyridon.)

  19. Wonder how many of you will be as quick to write when the allegations are proven false? Everyone is so quick to jump to guilt before proven innocent rather than innocent until proven guilty, as well as being so quick to assume that the Synod did not give +JONAH the same consideration.

    I appreciate Helga’s comments for prayer for the whole family and the accuser.

    Lord have mercy on us all, each and every one, myself included.

    • If Bishop Matthias is exonerated, maybe the sting of being falsely accused will awaken his conscience with respect to Metropolitan Jonah.

  20. Fr Jonathan says

    All of this makes me wonder about the perils of hubris.

    Like the hubris of self-wrought autonomy. The history of a premature, self-effected self-rule seems, by now, fraught with danger. The passion of hubris begets other passions like disorder, anger, despondency and even those of the flesh.

    And just as perilous is the bitter hubris of schadenfreude. The squalid pleasure in the pain of others, no matter how deserved that pain might be thought to be.

    When this horrendous tribulation began with Metropolitan Theodosius how many years back, going on almost incessantly since then, one highly-placed priest suggested a time of repentance and prayer, located at a monastery instead of the usual convention-site at a hotel.

    That was a fine suggestion, and it should have been followed.

    But now I wonder if the suggestion went far enough.

    • premature … self-rule

      Indeed, I frequently think of OCA as suffering from a syndrome of a newely independent state. What do we usually see in a country that just got its independence? Nationalism, corruption, infighting…

    • P.S.I Love You, Please Please Me, and Love Me Do, all seem to be the same person. One wonders why?

  21. Philippa Alan says

    Why should Rod’s “information” from sources close to the investigation be believed about the content of the communcations when Geogre M. spoke to Fr. Tosi and STILL didn’t get information correct?!

    I maintain should remain silent about this if for no other reason than to protect the woman! Has anyone thought about her protection?

    Let the investigation proceed with our prayers for a peaceful and righteous conclusion.

    Lord have mercy!

    • You are under no obligation to believe it, and it won’t bother me one bit if you disbelieve me. Skepticism is a virtue in these matters! I will say, however, that I am not going to put my name on a statement I don’t believe to be true, though. I acquired this information from people in a position to know directly what’s going on, and whom I trust.

      • O the Irony! says

        Skepticism is a virtue in these matters!

        Unless, of course, you’re talkin’ ’bout an elderly Catholic priest who has survived several strokes and a traumatic car accident, who is clearly losing it, and who made a couple of foolish comments after a lifetime of giving his all to help the poorest and neediest. In that case, damn the torpedoes, full speed ahead — rip the poor guy to shreds; shoot first, ask questions afterward.

        Skepticism is apparently ONLY a virtue when the alleged perp is Orthodox. Or at least non-Catholic.

        The irony is killing me. Maria Monk, call your office.

    • do we have 2 do this says

      ….a lot of energy being used on this topic of bishops and their short comings. Has anyone noticed that on August 28th in Columbus, Ohio an icon often referred to as the Icon Not Made With Hands began to weep? I have only an intuition of what weeping icons mean, but often it is not about the Lord being infatuated with our deeds. What else happened on August 28th? Lots of stuff happened that day and it is not possible for me to separate the wheat from the chaff, but on August 28th this web site published “Here We Go Again?” Coincidence? I don’t have a clue, but the tears might be telling us it is time to spend more of our energy in prayer to the Lord for His Church.

      • Do we . . . ,

        I believe your recommendation to put more energy into our prayer is a good one, but I suspect for a lot of folks the two are not inversely, but rather more directly, corollated. After all, if you think all’s fine and dandy in the neighborhood, you tend to forget the need for prayer and repentance–at least it loses a lot of its urgency. At least, that is frequently my experience. When a blog is the bearer of bad news, it’s tempting to want to shoot the messenger, but shouldn’t we rather lay that burden of responsibility on the persons or events that occasion the news reported on blogs like this? I think it more likely the Icon would be weeping in response to what occasioned this recent suspension of one of our Bishops than the reporting of it.

  22. Instead of “this isn’t fair”, a better term would have been “this isn’t just”…. fairness most of the time really means
    envy and as such is a doctrine promoted by the Enemy.

    • James it occurs to me that most people have no concept of what “just” or “justice” or “righteous” or “righteousness” means. To really comprehend these terms correctly requires that ones has a correct understanding of humanity’s relationship with and to the Holy Trinity and with and within creation. Truthfully, most people don’t even comprehend what it means to be a person, let alone being a person in relationship, and certainly not being a person in relationship with the Holy Trinity.

      If God were to judge humans according to our sin, how many of us could say that we would enter the Kingdom of Heaven, that we are worthy of Him? It was the thief on the cross that confessed his unworthiness that entered paradise first. This is righteousness. Knowing our sinfulness, our brokenness, that we are dust before God. I’ve not seen any acknowledgement to date of the injustice done against Met. Jonah. There has not been one word of confession. Not one change of direction, even the word from the Chicago Tribune is an attempt to break His legs and pierce His side to make sure that He is good and n’ dead. Now I wait to see what God’s will in all of this is…will He resurrect His beloved or no? I hope He will.

      • Matthew 27 :24.

        “So when Pilate saw that he was gaining nothing, but rather that a riot was beginning, he took water and washed his hands before the crowd, saying, ” I am innocent of this man’s blood; see to it yourselves” And all people answered, “his blood be on us and our children!”

        • I wash my hands of it also. God is the witness of my conscience.

          “So long…and thanks for all the fish.”

  23. FromMeToYou says
  24. Michael Kinsey says

    If any allegations leveled against the bishop are true, there is no Holy Synod, by there works and fruits ,ye shall know them. You have an unholy synod, which needs be overturned by honest bishops. Seek those who oppose the homosexual agenda, and their tonsure and ordination, oppose the encouragement of Christians fighting wars of aggression of the he=goat, which is the American Military, honest financial dealers, are fervently pro-life, including activism,. These are professing the Truth in the Christianity of Jesus Christ, Victorious Lord of All, and Author of Eternal Salvation.