How do you put lipstick on this pig?

Well, well, well. It looks like the Muckraker-in-Chief is knee-deep in his own muck. OCATruth just published another email leaked to retired Bp. Tikhon. Muzhik writes:

+Tikhon (ret.), is at it again. The former Archbishop is claiming to have an e-mail allegedly from Robert (Dmitri) Solodow, a subdeacon of Holy Trinity Cathedral in San Francisco, outlining the script Metropolitan Jonah’s opponents intended to follow. Notice the date on this alleged e-mail — it’s pre-Santa Fe. As far as the Synod is concerned, at least according to this document from an insider writing to other insiders who are part of the conspiracy, the idea of +Jonah going on a leave to rest was a complete sham. It has all been a masquerade. If you thought you understood what was going on based on reading OCANews and simply observing events, you were wrong. (Read the entire post here.)

Moscow is not going to like this.

Bp. Benjamin might want to recall the resolutions he published yesterday. The signers might want to withdraw their signatures. They got hoodwinked. (If the email is accurate, it is time for +Benjamin to retire.)

It’s also time for Stokoe to come clean. He is named on the email. If the email is accurate, everything he wrote was propaganda. He was in on it from beginning.

Mark, all we want to know is are the allegations true?


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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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

    +Bishop Tikhon

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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


    • Michael Livosky says


      And that has to do with what????? Looks to me like he cut and pasted an email. Those aren’t his words…..they are the words of a recipient of an email, that by the way, has Mark Stokoe’s name on it.

    • Brian Jackson says

      Hmm. First, this is a distraction from the contents of the email and certainly not relevant to the real concerns raised by the email, which concerns should be addressed with simple questions: Genuine or not? Evidence of malice or not? Neither question requires one to accept wholeheartedly, nor disparage, past statements of His Grace, the Retired Bishop Tikhon.

      But since the question was raised regarding His Grace, I guess I’m in the minority in noting that I see nothing delusional nor insane in these excerpts, excerpts which, I’ll grant, are separated from any context. Outlandish? Perhaps. His Grace seems to engage in somewhat extreme rhetoric in order to make what seem to me cogent points. I really don’t have the desire to go through His Grace’s statements point by point, and, presuming I understand him, I don’t agree with all of them either. But I will take one example, the excerpts which supposedly prove His Grace is “Ok with Gay Marriage Outside the Church.” I don’t get the impression that this was the point. Again reminding myself that I lack context to understand fully what His Grace may have been arguing, it seems rather that he is engaged in conversation with , or presumes his discussion is observed by, individuals who are Orthodox and who deny that there is any marriage outside the Church. It seems that His Grace is rather pointing out the logical absurdity of a strong stance against “gay marriage” in a context in which one doesn’t acknowledge marriage even existing. I believe this is a thoughtful and interesting point which should lead us to clarify what we mean by “marriage” which is not conducted within the Orthodox Church, and additionally whether we have adequate theological and rational reason to oppose gay marriage in non-Orthodox contexts. While I wouldn’t go this far with certainty, lacking context, His Grace’s comments could be consistent with questioning the truth of entirely denying the reality of marriage outside the Orthodox context. His Grace may be pointing out that when Orthodox oppose gay marriage in non-Orthodox contexts they are in fact implicitly presuming a reality to non-Orthodox unions which they explicitly assert they deny. In other words, I don’t see an affirmation of gay marriage in the excerpts cited.

      I’ve been humbled realizing that I believed many disparaging things I heard about His Grace prior to seeing much of what he has written. As I have read more and more, I realize that I enjoy his posts, not simply because they’re outlandish, but because they frequently are more cogent than I was led to believe I would find, and they are expressed in ways which are bracing and unexpected.

      Forgive me!

    • Chris, like you I take great umbrage at a lot of what Bishop +Tikhon wrote. Especially that America being the greatest terrorist nation. Worse than the USSR? Red China? Nazi Germany? I can’t stand such moral equivalence.

      Regardless, his exposure of the leaked e-mails stands on its own merits. We can’t kill the messenger because we don’t like the message. And believe me, I don’t like this message one bit –that being that there was an ill-conceived plot to remove +Jonah.

  2. George Michalopulos says

    Chris, I don’t know anything about retired Bishop +Tikhon and I certainly don’t agree with his political stances. My only concern is: are the leaked e-mails coming from him true? Is Stokoe the instigator of a plot. It looks like it is.

  3. Having read the Indiana List fairly regularly for around ten years, I can say that retired Bishop Tikhon is highly prone to using sarcasm and hyperbole, often in ways calculated to shock people. I can also say that many people who do not read him carefully often entirely miss the point he is trying to make. And that taking passages of his emails out of context often makes it impossible to understand the point he was trying to make.

    But no, Chris Banescu, I do not think the Bishop is delusional or insane. A little too pleased with his own cleverness perhaps, but he strikes me as very sane and honest. I see no reason to doubt that an email he forwards to the list is genuine.

    • lexcaritas says

      I have never read the Indiana list, but having read the excerpts from +Tikhon put up by our brother Chris, I have no trouble believing what our brother R. Howell says: +Tikhon’s statements look and sound a lot like hyperbole, irony and sarcasm to me and in some cases his barbs seem to be well-taken when read in that light. Doesn’t look delusional or insane, just intense and radical. Besides, as also pointed out by Mr. Howell and our brother George M. what is at issue here are the emails from Mr. Stokoe and Subdcn. Dimitri Solodow. I wonder if there are any similar smoking guns that pre-date the confrontation at Syosset on 2-9 and -10 when HB tried to sack Fr. Alexander? Any such items, would be particularly damning. The two emails leaked so far were written and sent after that, of course, and so are reactions to that incident. Whether the reactions and the strategy they unleashed were appropriate, let the reader judge for himself. They do appear to evince a definite plan to silence ++Jonah and take him “out of the game.”


  4. Thank you for posting these, Chris. If you (could) read them carefully, you would see that he is right on so many levels, in so many ways, so much of the time. I don’t want to explain what he is saying. People need to think for themselves. Just take it easy and don’t get worked up. I’ve read what you and others have written about him over the years. I have read a lot, probably most, of what he’s written online. I have looked at your web site and read the things you’ve said he did to your parish. I read what he wrote about Fr. Robert Kondratick, too, and Archbishop Job, and Bishop Nikolai, and Father Thom Hopko. I read everything on ocanews over the past five years, and I wept because I knew that I could not stand with my parish or my priest as they followed happily along, praising Mark Stokoe and Bishop Job and going along with it all, like sheep. And so they continue to do it… and I believe, or at least I hope, that the truth will one day be known. All I am saying is that I have read each of these posts through very carefully, and I read them, I believe, as he intends for them to be read. I will listen to what he has to say, and I will read the “leaked emails” he puts out into the public eye, and listen., think, weigh, and hope, and pray for the truth to come out.

    • lexcaritas says

      God bless you, Rachel. I weep, too, as I see the Body of Christ torn and treated like a political institution of the basest kind with narry a mention in the heat of battle of Jesus Christ, His lover for us and we for him– and for each other. And with never a call for prayer, fasting or charity from the instigators who are so full of themselves. Without agreeing with every word of his, I read + Tikhon’s statements as you do and appreciate your wise response based on careful observation through the years. I am new to all of this and quite scandalized. What the LORD said to Israel through the prophets is so sadly true of us who bear His name today: “Because of you, my Name is profaned among the Gentiles.” Lord, have mercy on us, and forgive me, a sinner.


  5. Ivan Vasiliev says

    I may be lost here, but Chris Banescu’s emails from Bishop Tikhon seem to take us in the opposite direction from that which he intended. As others have said, they may be sarcastic and hyperbolic in places, but they indicate a person who is eminently sane. The good bishop in no way, shape, or form seems to indicate any questions about Church teachings and even the attempts to make it look like he was supporting “gay marriage” outside the Church don’t add up to a close reading of the text (even one detached from what seems to have been a larger conversation.).

  6. Chris, I’d like to consider what I believe to be the ultimate issue at stake here. I’m talking about the moral collapse that we are in. Clearly, you take +Tikhon (ret.) to task for his obfuscation on the subject of things like gay “marriage” and abortion. That means that you’re on the side of the angels. I’d like to stand with you in that regard.

    Having said that, and in light of the recent letter to the WaPo by Bishop +Tikhon (Mollard) that the OCA is, was, and always shall be against homosexuality and abortion on demand, then why didn’t he sign The Manhattan Declaration when he had the chance? And the other bishops on the present Holy Synod who are (I assume) on the same side of the issue?

    Is it because one of the most famous newspapers in the world did a laudatory story on +Jonah? I’m sorry, but I can’t get away from the fact that the letter was a petulant attempt to inject some relevance into the Holy Synod’s inert body.

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