+Jonah’s Release Requested More Than a Month Ago

met-jonah-2Dear Fellow Orthodox Christian,

The Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia (ROCOR) requested Metropolitan Jonah be released to ROCOR from the OCA more than a month ago. The OCA Synod has yet to release +Jonah, even after the Synod’s letter accused +Jonah of being unfit for the OCA. In addition, the OCA has stopped providing a salary to +Jonah.

I am asking you to do two things TODAY to assist +Jonah, as the OCA Synod meets in 7 days.

1. Write a letter to the OCA Synod and Metropolitan Tikhon kindly asking that the OCA Synod release Metropolitan Jonah to ROCOR. The address is:

Metropolitan Tikhon and the OCA Synod
c/o St. Nicholas Cathedral
3500 Massachusetts Ave NW
Washington DC 20007

2. Write a letter to Archbishop Justinian of the Moscow Patriarchate asking that:

a) He speaks to the OCA Synod and asks them to release +Jonah to ROCOR, and
b) if the OCA does not release +Jonah, that +Justinian asks Patriarch Kirill to mercifully accept +Jonah into the Moscow Patriarchate. The address is:

Archbishop Justinian
c/o St. Nicholas Cathedral
15 East 97th St.
New York, NY 10029

Finally, if you are interested in supporting Metropolitan Jonah’s ministries, a charitable organization has been established. You can send a check to:

Holy Archangels Orthodox Foundation
3027 Foxhall Rd NW
Washington DC, 20016

If you have any questions about the foundation, you can email mpswezey@comcast.net to find out more information.

Let us NEVER forget what was unjustly done to Metropolitan Jonah and let us all work to come to a Christian resolution to this sad chapter in the OCA.

In Christ,

George Evanisko


  1. Archbishop +Justinian oversees the MP parishes in the USA; it would be more appropriate to direct the second course of action to Metropolitan Hilarion, the First Hierarch of ROCOR.

    • Ilya Zhitomirskiy says

      Yes, I totally think that the enthronement should be postponed, at least until Jonah is released. It would make more sense to write to the MP, to both +Justinian and to +Kyrill.

    • Jamey W. Bennett says

      The assumption is that Met. Hilarion is well aware of his church’s request to the OCA synod, and that he has already asked. Addressing Archbishop Justinian is helpful because he could potentially yield the influence of the OCA’s #1 international supporter.

      And as a member of the Patriarchal parishes, what a friend +Jonah has in +Justinian…

    • Michael James Kinsey says

      I posted 3 blogs yesterday and can;t find them.Nobody censors me, who I would ever consider to be in the Body of the Christ. Leave them alone, they are blind leaders of the blind. I never had any trouble with the leaders in prolife activism and was asked to join their leadership.Joan Andrews, Randy Terry, Joe Foerman, Tom Herilhy, Andrew Burnette, Down Stover, Mike Mcgonagal, Randy White Susan Odom who respected me as a sincere pro-life adovocate. I know what reals friends are.I have no need of disfunctional churches.You sports just can’t take a joke.

    • Why were the Greek Orthodox Bishops and clergy not at the Vesper Service or the Enthronement? Is there a message in this or just boredom?
      The Antiochian Bishop was there…..

  2. Jane Rachel says


  3. Tumorous Baktos says

    Well, this is malarky! Real monks don’t need salaries. Real monks don’t look for security in this world. Real monks live as monastics. + Jonah has said many times, “I really don’t need all of this; I’ll just retire to my little monastery in CA and live out my life.” So be it! He won’t be released to ROCOR because schismatics will use this to create more divisions within the OCA. ROCOR is good at this type of strategy since the 1930’s. Won’t happen.

    • Jesse Cone says


      What is it, exactly, that is malarky? That hiermonks and bishops receive a salary? Feel free to pass on that opinion to Met. Philip, since that seems more germane to his interview than to this attempt of those in the Church to provide for the needs of a monastic.

      It’s interesting that your mind goes to money here, since that is not nearly the issue or impediment here. More to the issue is work–that “episcopal assignment” that was mentioned in the “resignation” letter. Common sense and a couple little birdies testify that this was something the Lesser Synod promised to +Jonah, only to reneg on once the resignation went public.

      While this may be believed by some and violently denied by others the bottom line comes down to what TMatt and others have been driving at: is there some good, magnanimous reason to refuse the MP/ROCOR’s request for this bishop who has currently no ministerial or financial obligations in the OCA?

      I won’t belabor the previous objections to your “answer” of schism. But c’mon now, do you really think torturously holding +Jonah in limbo is going to stop these “schismatics” from “causing division in the OCA”?

      This is the same line of thinking we saw from Syosset during the “Leave of Absence” fiasco: “We can’t do [some good thing] to make things better because it will lead to [some bad thing] that is already happening.”

    • Araminta Andrews says

      Mr. Tumorous, I am very very certain that you are misquoting +Met Jonah. He would have never used the phrase “my monastery” . Nor would he have referred to the one he founded as “little” This sounds like what it is ,,just another attempt to insult his intelligence and put him in his place. You sir are clearly not knowledgable at all on how he does express himself. Neither would anyone with any brains at all expect him to return to a state with a corrupt Bishop out “to bury him” who wants transsexual couples drinking from the monasteries cup. Give it up, take a rest from your insanity.

    • Fr. Hans Jacobse says

      Monks have expenses just as monasteries do. Why do you think monasteries sell goods and accept donations? How else are they going to pay for the gas to drive the tractor or build the new church?

      The only difference between you and a monk is that in a monastic setting the monks share all things in common. So yes, the monks don’t draw a salary or separate paycheck, but they work for a living just like everyone else does.

      A monk in a non-monastic setting draws a paycheck. That is because the economic infrastructure outside a monastery is different than inside one.

    • Dear Mr. Tumorous,

      You said,

      He won’t be released to ROCOR because schismatics will use this to create more divisions within the OCA.

      Thank you for saying so clearly and unequivocally…though I might dispute your label of schismatics. That said, this is a reasonable assertion given the evidence before us. The powers that be in the OCA fear to release Jonah precisely because they fear many others will choose to follow him out of the OCA.

      But…assuming you have reliable contacts within the OCA administration, what do they suppose will happen once it become clear that they do not intend to release him if they can at all avoid it? Do you think the faithful who support Met. Jonah will stay in the OCA where they have other Orthodox options just because the OCA leadership refuses to do the charitable Christian thing by Met. Jonah? Once it is clear they don’t intend to release him…if indeed that is their plan, and they don’t intend to return him to being a full diocesan bishop on the OCA Holy Synod…then it makes no sense for them to remain as part of so corrupt and cruel and institution does it not?

      So…if a number of people and parishes are willing to leave the OCA anyway, then where is their gain to keep Met. Jonah as a matter of spite towards him and towards those who believe he was greatly wronged?

      Keep your eyes open, if the powers that be don’t wise up fairly soon…with or without Metropolitan Jonah, there’s going to be several new missions over the next few years aligned with ROCOR, Antioch or others….and a big portion of their members are going to be from the dead and dying OCA parishes that refused to petition to leave the OCA. The OCA leadership’s refusal to apologize, to repent, to make things right all but guarantees it.

    • Patrick Henry Reardon says

      “Real monks don’t need salaries.”

      We have not yet reached the end of January, and already Tumorous Baktos is swinging for the walls in the stupidity competition.

      • Tumorous Baktos says

        Well Patrick, where do REAL monastics appeal for salaries? Where do they demand for housing? Medical? Retirement? REAL MONASTICS belong in monasteries and pray for the world. Monies come from those who voluntarily contribute.

        • Monk James says

          Tumorous Baktos says (January 23, 2013 at 6:48 pm):

          Well Patrick, where do REAL monastics appeal for salaries? Where do they demand for housing? Medical? Retirement? REAL MONASTICS belong in monasteries and pray for the world. Monies come from those who voluntarily contribute.

          I’m often amazed by the ignorance of laity who express opinions about monastic life, opinions to which they’re clearly not entitled. But this aggressively ignorant zinger takes the cake.

          We orthodox monks and nuns are obligated to support ourselves and we do our best to earn our keep, humble as that might be. We’re not like RC mendicants: ‘I’m trying to be holy, give me money.’

          If people want to help us monastics financially or in other ways, they do well and may God bless them for their kindness, but it’s our tradition to support ourselves and help other people not only from our surplus, but even from our own sustenance if need be.

          ‘Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven.’

          • Patrick Henry Reardon says

            Father James writes, “I’m often amazed by the ignorance of laity who express opinions about monastic life, opinions to which they’re clearly not entitled. But this aggressively ignorant zinger takes the cake.”

            Yes, it does. I have no idea who this Tumorous Baktos is, but he seems to fancy that our monks are Buddhists of some sort.

            This much is clear in all the Christian monastic sources with which I am familiar: As far as possible, monks are to be supported by their own labor.

            A relevant text in this respect is the Rule of Saint Benedict, chapter 48.

            Consequently, to deprive a monk of the opportunity to earn his living is to starve him to death. If that monk is also a bishop of Holy Church, there is an added and unthinkable malice in such a deprivation.

            Since I am not directly familiar with the circumstances of Metropolitan as JONAH, my comments must be somewhat hypothetical. But if it is true that the OCA is deliberately depriving him of the means of support, somebody is going to go to hell for it.

        • Michael Bauman says

          That’s Father Patrick. You know one of those set apart to consecrate the Eucharist for you

          • Michael James Kinsey says

            An ugly reality, which the wise will address with diligence, is empty ritual performed in the sacraments. As a young kid, I had to watch a Catholic priests 6 times a week go through the motions of performing Holy Sacraments that were empty ritual. It made an enduring impression on me, mainly boredom.Yet, two adults clerics’, a nun and a priest in this same church showed me thier genuine fruits of the Holy Spirit, mainly, they loved children.Children are keenly aware of when they are being loved, being of the kingdom of Heaven, an all.
            I heard Fr Matthew Tate give a sermon which concerned his being ” Above” his congregation, it was required of all priests according to him. I envision, a true priest who stands facing his congregation with humility and a sense of responsibily to the Only Holy One with a fervent desire to serve God. Plus,the heartfelt desire to take good care of his parishioners in every manner, as thier servant, is truely being “Above”
            Any third string quarterback of the last place team in all college conferences is intellectually capable of mastering the mechanic’s of doing a Communion service. My experience is that many priests have a different concept of what it means to be “Above” Lovers of high seats, long winded prayers, faring sumptiously every day, not sparing the flock, judging and dividing over the flock are scriptures describing such individuals.They are “Above” and are superior to the laity in status and stature, who are only content when they are the center of attention, lording it over the flock, calling all the shots. Abbot Herman of Platina is poster child for this kind of priest, who performed empty rituals, day after day.
            I have seen both kinds of priests. One kind is worthy of great respect, the other kind is not. By thier works and their fruits, ye shall know them. The Christ is speaking to personal diligence in His Church of all individuals. We need not, nor will the faithful follow another kind of ” Above”

            • Interested Bystander says

              I know Father Matthew Tate very well – he is worthy of respect, and I’m sure his homily was worthy also. He has deftly shepherded his growing and energized flock through some very turbulent waters at times, and followed Christ throughout. An intelligent and capable priest, truly deserving of respect.

              A priest IS held to a much higher standard than the flock as he holds Christ’s cup, and we don’t.

              • Michael James Kinsey says

                Our experiences of this man are as disimilar as the brother of the richman, concerning the richman, as Lazarus’s opinions of the richman were disimilar from the brother of the richman. Neither experience in invalid, as they were treated quite differently. Nor do I consider your experiences invalid. To make my point, It is a fact, that he baptized his whole congreation with a baptism done by the authority of an ordination done by a defrocked, convicted child molester, Met Pangratious. I rankle to this day being led to kiss that perverts hands by Fr. Tate. I have written enough, as it is a shame to even speak of this. I need not go on. In fairness, Fr. Tate is not devoid of virtue, based on my own experience, nor is he devoid of sin.

                • Interested Bystander says

                  I believe God has forgiven me for the sins I have committed and confessed in my youth. Fr. Tate did not knowingly follow P.’s in this sin, and the whole flock was deceived.

                  If they had not renounced and moved away from this there would be a case, but they did! May God forgive you for holding this when He has left it.

            • Michael Bauman says

              Mr. Kinsey, priests are human but they are still set apart and, in a sense, above us. Not because they are intrinsically better but because they have the grace that we do not.

              Until they prove otherwise, respect to their position and office in the Church should be shown, at least by fellow Orthodox. Father Patrick has proven to be a fine and capable priest in many ways. He deserves the respect. He has earned it.

              Also, all ritual is empty. It is supposed to be empty so that the Holy Spirit (or whatever diety) can fill it. The priest calls down the Holy Spirit in the Orthodox Liturgy and the congegation and each memeber participates in that invocation (“Send down thy Holy Spirit upon us and upon these gifts here spread forth….”). The epiclisis has been removed from the RCC Mass (or so I am told). If that is true, what else is left but emptiness?

              Ritual remains empty when the people involved no longer invoke the Holy Trinity or invoke false gods.

              “This is the day the Lord has made, let us rejoice and be glad in it.”

              • Michael James Kinsey says

                Give me a break. The spiritual authority of Met Pangratious from the heavenly did not exist. He had nothing of the Holy Spirit’s Authority ,which could have been transfered to Fr. Tate or anybody else.The services and sacraments conducted by the new vigante orthodox parishes were empty rituals. This is not the fault of the people, who trusted Fr. Tate, who were woefully misled. Being trusted, and then violating that trust woefully can only happen once. Fool me once, shame on you, fool me twice, shame on me.I consider your above statement nonsense.The Holy Spirit goes where it wills, and to the pure, all things are pure, but does this reality outweigh sins against the Holy Spirit which would hinder( cut off). Heaven knows, I don’t know, and neither do you.

              • Fr. Philip says

                Dear Michael,

                Just for the sake of accuracy: while the historic Roman Canon (whose final form pre-dates ours by a couple of centuries) does not contain an explicit epiclesis, St. Nicholas Cabasilas insists in his commentary on the Divine Liturgy that the “Supplices te rogamus” is a real epiclesis and that therefore “in the Latin Church the consecration is performed in the same way as by us” (section 30). The newer Eucharistic Prayers each have an explicit epiclesis.

                The fundamental question is whether or not the Latins have any real priesthood by which to effect the consecration. Greek practice is always to ordain R.C. priest converts. More recent (i.e., the last couple of centuries or so) Russian practice in some places has been to receive such converts into the Orthodox priesthood by vesting as an act of ekonomia by which the Church supplies the grace missing from the original “ordination.” So ‘twould seem the Orthodox Church’s answer is “No, they have no real priesthood.”

                Fr. Philip

                • Michael Bauman says

                  Mr. Kinsey, and all suffered from that woeful experience. Some, like you apparently, remained in their suffering, some went on chastened and forever saddend but with greater humility seeking the healing and forgivness of the Church.

                  Personally, I think the bishops who received Fr. Matthew and others could have exercised more due diligence than seems to have been done. However, the people I know most closely had to go through a period of repentance and extensive confession then had to be ordained for real in the Church. I don’t know that the OCA did that, but the other jurisdictions did. So once again I ask you, when is the grace of the Holy Spirit and the forgiveness of the Church suffcient for you?

                  I would suggest that you approach Fr. Matthew, if you have not done so, and see what happens. I’ve done that with some of the folks who I had issues with from the old days and was quite surprised by the responses I received. It is a difficult thing to do when one’s heart cries out for satisfaction for the wrongs done you in you soul.

                  I leave you with Portia’s plea to Shylock to put aside his quest for a pound of flesh. They are words all of us should heed:

                  The quality of mercy is not strain’d,
                  It droppeth as the gentle rain from heaven
                  Upon the place beneath: it is twice blest;
                  It blesseth him that gives and him that takes:
                  ‘Tis mightiest in the mightiest: it becomes
                  The throned monarch better than his crown;
                  His sceptre shows the force of temporal power,
                  The attribute to awe and majesty,
                  Wherein doth sit the dread and fear of kings;
                  But mercy is above this sceptred sway;
                  It is enthroned in the hearts of kings,
                  It is an attribute to God himself;
                  And earthly power doth then show likest God’s When mercy seasons justice.
                  Therefore, Jew, Though justice be thy plea, consider this,
                  That, in the course of justice, none of us Should see salvation: we do pray for mercy;
                  And that same prayer doth teach us all to render The deeds of mercy.
                  I have spoke thus much To mitigate the justice of thy plea;
                  Which if thou follow, this strict court of Venice Must needs give sentence ‘gainst the merchant there.
                  William Shakespeare, The Merchant of Venice, Act IV, Scene 1

                  • Michael James Kinsey says

                    I am not seekings a pound of flesh from Fr Tate, as I am not in the OCA, your history as far as I am concerned.I was responding to the fluff piece about him in these blogsl which obviously was not whole the whole truth He is no friend of mine, nor are you.My interest here is my honest expression of my Christianity. If there is anything for me to get over, I;ll do it on Judgement Day, many that are first shall be last, and the last shall be first, I think I might have a shot at this swithchero. I want to see your blog on Judgement Day. On that day , we will all discover nobody actually got away with anything that was evil doing. In my patience I posses my soul.I don’t consider you ” ABove” me in any manner.

                    • Michael Bauman says

                      Nor am I above you in any way , but we bear one another’s burdens whether we want to or not. May God forgive us both.

                • Michael Bauman says

                  Fr. Philip, thank you for the clarification. Would you agree that the modern mass is further removed from the source of fullness or is that too a result of the lack of a genuine priesthood?

                  If that is the crux of the matter, then we and the RCC are further apart than I’ve ever imagined.

                  Yet, Met. Hiliaron of the MP has stated that the RCC has maintained apostolic succession which would seem to indicate a real priesthood.


                  • Fr. Philip says

                    Dear Michael,

                    It is true that externally the Latins have maintained an unbroken succession of bishops from the time of the apostles; the problem lies in the fact that in Orthodox terms, “validity” of ordination (and that’s us yet again thinking in Latin terms: UGH!) depends, not only upon that unbroken succession, but also upon adherence to the Orthodox Faith. This is why in the 1920s the EP could, on the one hand, term Anglican Orders “valid” (in that they maintained a proper form and, again externally, an unbroken succession of bishops), and on the other hand in the early ’30s term them invalid (because without Orthodox Faith there is no validity). Hence, Anglican clergy converting to Orthodoxy are always and uniformly ordained, as if their Anglican ordination had never happened.

                    As for the contemporary Roman liturgy, I suspect the new translations of the Latin texts are a vast improvement over the old, in terms of accuracy. (In the previous translation of the Symbol of Faith, the Son was “one in being with the Father,” which is sheer modalism). And Eucharistic Prayer IV isn’t all that bad, I suppose, especially since it’s an extremely abbreviated form of St. Basil’s anaphora. But suffice it to say that nothing external can make up for what;s missing internally.

                    Fr. Philip

      • Artakhshassa the Great says

        Anyone who wants to be released, MUST REQUEST TO BE RELEASED.
        The Holy Synod of the Orthodox Church in America would be acting canonically and correctly if it failed to answer a request for a release coming from the Ecumenical Patriarch or any other ecclesiastical entity outside the OCA at all. The Synod could waste time by replying to such an odd request by writing back, “We have no request from N. to be released under your omophorion and are therefore unable to reply.”

        • Interested Bystander says

          Why are you beating that dead dog? These intelligent people don’t need to be instructed by YOU.

          Listen up and take notes this time: +Jonah provided a request for release to the OCA and another request for ROCOR/+Kyrill to accept him; +Hilirian communicated with +Kyrill; +Kyrill sent a letter to Hilarian requesting +Jonah go to ROCOR; +Hilarian (ROCOR) requested the OCA Synod to release +Jonah to him…then nothing!!! NOTHING!!! This was months ago!!!

          This was ALL done by letters with traceable numbers on them. How do I know? I was in the office of +Hilarian when the deal was set!!! He and I spoke of the letters – the actual letters – that exist.

          Get off it!!! No one owes YOU any proof or explanation, and by your obtuse refusal to accept facts, you probably wouldn’t believe if you had copies in your hands.

          Go find another dog and beat it.

          • Carl Kraeff says

            You were right there and yet you do not know how to spell the First Hierarch’s name. FYI, it is not Hilirian or Hilarian but Hilarion. Also, the name of HH is spelled as Kirill and not Kyrill. Most unimpressive. Signed as “Interested Bystander,” a fake name to go along with a fake report. Produce the letters or keep your peace.

            • Carl,

              Maybe “Bystander” does not possess English as his first language. Maybe it is Russian and his typos are a logical reflection of this? The MP and EP read Monomahkos on a regular basis and it is certainly possible that “Bystander” has the first-hand knowledge of these events that you so quickly dismiss because he writes under a pseudonym.

              Truth can be told under pseudonyms as well as prevarications under one’s real name!

              Have a good day!

              • We have heard the insistent drum beat from Team Jonah that ROCOR has requested +Jonah’s release. Late last week I was told by an unimpeachable source that no jurisdiction had requested +Jonah’s release. Period. However, instead of insinuating that Team Jonah was prevaricating as Nikos has done, I acknowledge that this could be a case of verbal vs. written communications. Nonetheless, the real issue may be the abuse heaped upon the Holy Synod for being heartless towards +Jonah by denying him his fervently requested release to ROCOR/MP. I think we now have the grounds for asking Team Jonah to produce not only +Jonah’s letter asking for his release to ROCOR but also ROCOR’s letter that asks for +Jonah’s transfer.

          • Can you provide any evidence of this, Interested? I don’t think any of those documents have been made public, IF they even exist.

            • Nothing can be released until all is settled. If you notice a Church was just released -finally, and they are just now talking about it. That’s just how it goes. That’s how it is with +Jonah and probably another reason why they wouldn’t want to release him. However, +Jonah is not the talking type. He hasn’t talked this whole time, but rather tried to work out privately his differences with certain brother bishops-how one should–but of course those interactions were blasted on the internet out of his control to make a mockery of the OCA.

              • My above post should have ended with . . . . blasted on the internet by Mark Stokoe and his ilk.

      • Geo Michalopulos says

        Fr Patrick,

        I apologize for not yanking (or editing) Tubercular Barnacle’s disrespectful method of address term for you. My initial inclination was to show how utterly disrespectful (and not a little insane) people who hold Syossetolatric beliefs function in the real world.

        Unfortunately, in order to prove a point, I violated one of Aquinas’ dicta, namely that those who give a mad man a sword bear some culpability for his actions.

        I seek your forgiveness.

        • I know this likely was not the case for Tumorous, but it would be helpful if ordained clergy would put “Priest”/”Archpriest” or whatever appropriate title in front of their name.

          Fr. Patrick is a fairly well-known priest, but I can see how someone unfamiliar with him might not realize he is a priest.

          • Patrick Henry Reardon says

            Helga suggests, “it would be helpful if ordained clergy would put “Priest”/”Archpriest” or whatever appropriate title in front of their name.

            A priest normally does this in a formal setting.

            It seems a bit much to ask, however, on a site where most of the correspondents are anonymous.

  4. The parishes of the ROCOR are under the Moscow Patriarchate. Any request by His Beatitude will be approved by Moscow. The ROCOR can certainly give their approval, as they have to Moscow that they would be willing to accept +Jonah, but in the end it is up to Patriarch Kirill.

    The OCA synod will meet next Monday after the installation of +Tikhon as their latest Metropolitan. I am not holding my breath that these men will finally do the right thing by releasing him from his current internal exile after their humiliating behavior toward him, but we must not stop praying that like Pharaoh of Egypt they will finally relent and let +Jonah go.

    We must appeal to their better angels. Life is too short for such men to begrudge a brother from living out his life as a bishop in as productive a way as he can.

  5. Bruce Wm. Trakas says

    Does anyone know what is the nature of the assignment ROCOR has in mind for Metropolitan Jonah? That information might help the OCA Synod as it deliberates the matter.

    • Interested Bystander says

      What in the world is the difference? Why is it that they must know what assignment is in mind for someone not wanted in their organization. You fire someone – you let them go. There is no non-disclosure business here!!!

      Could he be released if he’s to be a janitor? If he’s to be the next Ecumenical Patriarch? That changes the answer they give? This concept is amazing, and smells like ego-centric game playing!!!

      Christian, you understand that God alone knows just what is in store for each of us.

      Let him go!

    • Ilya Zhitomirskiy says

      They can make a special diocese for him: Washington. the Mid-Atlantic, and the Southern United States.

  6. Why not post the letter from Metropolitan Hilarion of ROCOR which shows that he requested Metropolitan Jonah? Writing to Archbishop Justinian, as another poster said, is not correct. ROCOR is still in charge of its own administration.

    The only thing that makes logical sense is that ROCOR never formally requested Metropolitan Jonah’s transfer — or for that matter the Russian Orthodox Church in Russia. If they had, wouldn’t Metropolitan Jonah have a copy of such a request? I have never seen the OCA not transfer someone who a) made a request to be transferred, and b) had a letter in hand from the requesting jurisdiction.

    I’m all for helping Metropolitan Jonah but something doesn’t smell right here. Let’s see the letters.

    • George Michalopulos says

      Go ask your buddies on the Holy Politburo. Maybe the smell is coming from there.

      • George,

        Your response was rather insulting. I was quite serious about the letters. I will be happy to write to Metropolitan Jonah and ask him for a copy of his letter requesting transfer and I will also be happy to contact Metropolitan Tikhon and ask him if ROCOR or the MP has actually formally requested his transfer.

        I will agree with you, however, that the Russian Church often works like the Politburo, in that they say one thing and do another. I know first hand that a letter has to be received from the clergyman and the receiving jurisidiction because it happened to my father when he wished to transfer out of the OCA. He was not allowed a release until the other jurisdiction sent a formal letter. And that took many months to secure.

        So instead of beating me up, why don’t we all actually find the official letters (sorry, little paragraphs from the patriarch about “taking care of” Metropolitan Jonah aren’t the same).

    • Interested Bystander says

      Nick: Have you seen Metropolitan Jonah post anything??? Anything at all??? *Has he said anything at all??? All the posts you have seen are from people who are appalled at the unchristian and arrogant behavior they have seen directed at the Metropolitan. You demand to see letters from Metropolitan Jonah? Who are you to demand? We all have a responsibility to discern situations and decide on OUR actions, but who are you to judge?

      Another thing that “makes logical sense” is that the Synod, Syossot, and the Metropolitan Council all know Metropolitan Jonah has in his possession a great deal of documents and letters (from over a course of four years!!!) which would make his case clear and unquestionable, and cause them a great deal of difficulty on many fronts, and they cannot understand why he hasn’t published these documents. Living in great fear they are doing nothing.

      *Ah yes, +JONAH has actually said much. See the Bible Study sessions and homilies he has given over the past 8 months – where he consistently tells us to turn the other cheek, and be submissive to evil, not resisting, but turning to prayer and fasting, and to trust God for our deliverance.

      So sleep well Nick, ET AL, you aren’t responsible, right?

      • This is true. +Jonah refuses to return evil for evil. It’s not that he is unable to, it’s that he won’t.

      • Michael James Kinsey says

        Perhaps, a more accurate term, such as enduring evil, submitting to God’s providence, remaining in patience, and turning the other cheek are more spiritually accurate terms. I object, strongly to the phrase, being submissive to evil. We are not even called to be submissive to the Only Holy One.The Holy Lord want free will obedience, which is a act of self asscertion. STAND UP! ENDURE!

    • Jesse Cone says

      …except if you’re coming from Elder Dionysius, in which case you are the topic of public discussion, critique, and ridicule. And then, when you are not transferred, and no record of your transfer exists, people pretend that you are and want to discipline you.

      Let’s not pretend there’s a “usual” that should dictate our expectations when it comes to the OCA.

  7. Required Attendance? says

    from oca.org the following on the enthronement. Is it required that clergy in the Washington, D.C. OCA attend? Outside that Diocese? Anyone know how many people will attend from other jurisdictions? As far as I know, there are only two people forbidden attendance in the nave, Metropolitan Jonah, not yet released, and SisterX, newly accepted in the ROCOR.

    “Hierarchs and Visitors” pickup list:

    Hierarchs and visitors will be coming from all parts of the world. The following are the schedules of arrivals and departures:

    Thursday, January 24 Friday, January 25: Monday, January 28:
    Reagan Natl. 1:57 PM Reagan Ntl. 3:11 PM Reagan for 11:15 AM flight
    Reagan Natl. 3:00 PM Reagan Ntl. 2:33 PM Reagan for 2:50 PM flight
    Amtrak at 12:40 PM Dulles: 9:08 PM Amtrak for 4:05 train
    Reagan Ntl. 10:58 PM Dulles for 5:35 flight
    Reagan Ntl 8:39 AM Reagan for7:00 PM flight
    Reagan for 7:30 PM flight

    Here follows the article.

    As previously announced, His Beatitude, Metropolitan Tikhon, will be enthroned as the Primate of the Orthodox Church in America at Saint Nicholas Cathedral, Washington, DC, on the weekend of January 26-27, 2013.

    On Saturday, January 26, the Vigil will be celebrated at 5:00 p.m. The following morning, January 27, the Divine Liturgy, followed by the Rite of Enthronement, will begin at 9:00 a.m. Members of the OCA Holy Synod of Bishops will be joined at the Divine Liturgy by guest hierarchs.

    Prof. David Drillock, chair of the OCA Department of Liturgical Music and Translations, will direct a combined choir that will include members of the cathedral choir and singers from other parishes throughout the region. A rehearsal will be held at the cathedral on Saturday, January 26, at 2:30 p.m. All singers are warmly invited to participate.

    All Orthodox Christian clergy are invited to serve at the enthronement Liturgy on Sunday, January 27. Clergy are asked to bring gold vestments and assemble in the cathedral annex at 8:00 a.m. Those clergy who plan to be present are asked to contact Archpriest Eric G. Tosi, OCA Secretary, at egtosi@oca.org in advance so that appropriate plans may be made.

    Detailed information on the enthronement, banquet and lodging may be found here.

    • All clergy in the OCA must attend? So are their churches closed? Is that their way to get all their parishoners to St Nick’s?? That’s kind of controlling . . . .

      • I checked a few parish lists and it seems they are having their own Sunday liturgies. But there were multiples messages on how to participate at St. Nick’s

        My question is how they are going to fill the Shoreham Hotel’s largest banquet room of 17,000 + square feet. Maybe giving away freebie banquet tickets?This is the site of Bill Clinton’s famous sax solo. Some kinda star value? Plus twenty foot ceilings

        We’ll have to wait for the videos. Can’t find any for Metropolitan Jonah’s enthronement however not from the cathedral nor from the banquet

  8. V. Rev. James Bernstein, Dean says

    Kirill Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia in a public letter congratulating the new Metropolitan Tikhon charged the new OCA Metropolitan to “make comfortable the future life of your predecessor at the Metropolitan See of Washington.” That is, provide for a secure and comfortable future for Metropolitan Jonah. This has not happened. Hopefully if the Holy Synod of Bishops do not provide that “comfortable life” they will permit someone else to. Lord have mercy upon Metropolitan Jonah and provide the Holy Synod of Bishops with wisdom, love and mercy.

  9. From Father VIctor says

    Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

    Last week’s talk by Met. Jonah:

    Friday evening’s talk will be held at 7:30 pm in the church. Members of the Sisterhood will hold their annual meeting in the Parish Library the same day at 7 pm.

    An unscheduled Liturgy will be served this Friday at 9:00 am, followed by the 34th annual march against abortion will take place in Washington. Participants in the march will gather at 12:00 Noon at the Washington Monument, and then will all go up Constitution Avenue to the Supreme Court Building. At the conclusion of the march, Orthodox clergy will serve a prayer service for Orthodox participants.

    In XC,

    Fr. Victor
    Address for Liturgy for Life at 9AM, January 25 at St. John the Baptist Orthodox Church:

    4001 17th St. Northwest, Washington, D.C., 20011
    (202) 726-3000
    directions: http://www.stjohndc.org/Russian/english.htm

    • Has anyone heard the announcement of which bishops will represent the OCA in the Right To Life march this year?

      What happens if Met JONAH, as would be his desire, elected to attend? I assume some ROCOR faithful will march with the Orthodox For Life flock.

      • tmatt, we always have.

      • I would hope that the Metropolitan would attend and march. What will the OCA do–defrock him for marching for life? I’d like to see them try.

      • Right to Life March says

        Dear tmatt,

        You didn’t read the post above. The Metropolitan is giving a Santity of Life Liturgy at St. John the Baptist cathedral and then everyone there who is physically able is proceeding to the March . Those driving from the ROCOR/OCA group with Metropolitan Jonah are meeting at the ellipse. It’s also possible to arrange transport from St. John’s if notice is given pretty quick. I think a buncha folks are going by public transportation. http://www.wmata.com/bus/timetables/dc/s1-2-4.pdf?n

        That line services 16th St., one short block from St. John’s and goes near the Ellipse

        • From St. John’s to St. John’s (at Lafayette Square)

          • Great Observation!

            I hope everyone dresses warmly who is marching tomorrow. There is about an inch on the ground of snow right now and it will get down to 17 degrees tonight. Tomorrow it will snow for several hours in the afternoon and will reach 27 degrees by that time according to several forecasts. 90% chance of snow tomorrow afternoon around end of march time.

            Here is where the Metropolitan will be tomorrow


          • Why on earth would someone “thumbs down” that comment? Bizarre — simply bizarre. Bus routes (at least the S lines) are now causes for consternation.

            By the way, I once wrote about that little trek from St. John’s to St. John’s in “Seusscharist” (second part). Anglicans . . .

  10. Artakhshassa the Great says

    What happened to Heracleides’s cartoons? Kitchen get too hot?

    • Heracleides says

      What happened to your declaration of departing and never returning? Word of an OCA ‘bishop’ worthless?

      • Carl Kraeff says

        Herc-You are a mean little man. Quit compensating!

      • Artakhshassa the Great says

        I’ll bite, heracleides! Where IS Bishop Tikhon’s declaration of “never returning” ? I missed it, and I think he did, too.
        Pants are on fire and nose is as long as a telephone wire? Why not draw that as a self-portrait cartoon? What DID happen to your cartoons, Heracleides? How are you going to amuse yourself now, i wonder?

        • Heracleides says

          Memory going? At this rate you’ll never finish that sordid little memoir you claim to be writing. To reacquaint you with your previous prattle:

          “I feel I must regretfully take a truly FINAL departure from this forum…”

          So much for a truthful statement from you… but then as I’ve stated previously, you are an OCA bishop – nuff said.

          Source of quotation: https://www.monomakhos.com/the-apostolic-mission-of-bishops-a-short-reflection/

          • Artakhshassa the Great says

            Hey, Heracleides! Bishop Tikhon STILL feels he must regretfully take a truly FINAL departure from this forum! And, no doubt, one day he will follow his feeligs! And that’s the truth! Get it? Go ahead, let’s see a cartoon, ok? A cartoon is easier than logic.
            His feelings are as strong as ever. he MUST! He simply MUST!
            It’s like me…..I feel I just MUST regretfully quit eating Fazer’s Milk Chocolate and/or hot English Muffins smothered in fresh creamery butter, or scotch shortbreads liberally spread with butter. I just MUST, Heracleides… Look at it this way: it’s like the way you simplyb must get your hair and nails done, regretfully.
            Still waiting to hear where those cartoons all went. Were they too much for Photobucket? Ruler on the knuckles, perhaps? Nasty phone cal from some overly sensitive target of sandbox fun?

  11. George Evanisko says

    I really didn’t expect this to be on Monomakhos. Really. I just sent out an email asking for assistance in helping +Jonah.

    Since the email is published, and since I asked people to write in, I might as well showed I followed my own request–this is the letter I wrote and mailed yesterday to Metropolitan Tikhon.

    “Your Eminence Tikhon,
    Master Bless!

    “Change your heart”.

    That was the theme of your first sermon to the parishioners at your cathedral the first time you visited St. Nicholas after your election to Metropolitan. My children and I were there and listened. We all came to kiss the cross (http://images.oca.org/photos/8161/2012-1118-met-tikhon-dc39__large.jpg ), and I congratulated you and asked if you would take care of Metropolitan Jonah. Your answer was “We will”.

    It has been over two months since you answered and seven months since +Jonah resigned, and yet, nothing has been done with Metropolitan Jonah.

    “Change your heart”.

    Patriarch Kirill has asked that you “make comfortable” Metropolitan Jonah (http://oca.org/news/headline-news/metropolitan-tikhon-receives-greetings-from-patriarch-kirill-of-moscow-bulg). Yet, the OCA Synod no longer provides +Jonah with a salary or even makes him a diocesan bishop in an open OCA diocese.

    “Change your heart”.

    ROCOR requested over a month ago that +Jonah be released from the OCA to ROCOR, yet the Synod does not release +Jonah. The OCA Synod stated in their Synodal letter of July, 2012 that +Jonah has poor judgment in critical matters, caused litigation, and is a liability. If he is a liability, why not release him? http://oca.org/news/headline-news/statement-from-the-holy-synod-regarding-the-resignation-of-metropolitan-jon

    “Change your heart”.

    Do you and the Synod wish to punish or torture +Jonah? Do you wish +Jonah to grovel and beg? Is this how one Christian treats another? Do I teach my children to change their hearts or follow an example of “Do as I say, not as I do”?

    “Change your heart”.

    In Christ,
    George Evanisko

    • Jesse Cone says

      Well said George. (The “thumbs up” did not suffice.)

    • Artakhshassa the Great says

      Who says Metropolitan Jonah is not comfortable, George? Have you heard from Metropolitan Jonah or has he (!) asked for a release? (2) Has he said or written that he is not comfortable
      Just asking.

  12. orthodox priest says

    I could easily see ROCOR – with the support of the MP – accept Met. Jonah without OCA release in the future, if OCA keeps playing games. The implications of such an action would be huge.

    • It Is Time To Act says

      It is time that Moscow does what is right and with or without a “canonical release” from the OCA accept +Jonah and any other bishop or cleric in good standing from the OCA. Enough of the pretense that the OCA is legit.

    • Carl Kraeff says

      That would be a huge mistake on the part of ROCOR and ROC. A small matter of a canon that forbides meddling.

      • Geo Michalopulos says

        Yes, meddling would be a terrible thing. Just like conspiracy.

      • orthodox priest says

        If the MP were to make such a move it would be because the OCA itself was not following the cannons. Given their position of non recognition of the OCA’s Autocephaly, the Ecumenical Patriarchate would support Moscow’s decision.

      • Disgusted With It says

        But here’s an interesting question. If Moscow did accept Metropolitan Jonah without a “release” from the OCA, to whom would the OCA appeal? If they were to go to Constantinople, surely Constantinople would say Moscow has the right to do it because OCA is under Moscow (as they’ve maintained all along). Just sayin.

      • Mark from the DOS says

        Except that outside the MP daughter churches, the OCA is not viewed as autocephalous. It wouldn’t be viewed as meddling at all. It would be viewed as the parent exercising appropriate supervision over the child. Not an eyebrow would be raised from the EP side because their position is that the OCA is just a component of the MP anyway. For the MP daughters the action would clearly indicate that the OCA’s autocephaly is a dead letter.

        • Disgusted With It says

          Yes, then it would give rise to the “revolution” nuts and wackos in the OCA. Then the OCA will really be floating in the water at that point.

        • Artakhshassa the Great says

          Mark from the DOS is wrong when he writes: “Except that outside the MP daughter churches, the OCA is not viewed as autocephalous”
          Do you consider the Bulgarian and Serbian Churches to be daughters of the MP? i’m sure they’d be surprised at the idea. NO Churches, daughter or not, are as subservient to the will of the EP as those of Jerusalem and Alexandria, nor are any of them as subservient to any secular Greek foreign office as are the EP, the Patriarchates of Alexandria and Jerusalem and the Churches of Greece and Albania.
          The Greek Foreign Office as a matter of Greek nationalism to which it is entirely devoted, would never permit the EP or anyone else to act in any way to even HINT that the Greek Patriarchate of Constantinople, one of the “Glories of Greece” is anything less than it was before Constantinople was finally conquered by the Turks.

          • Bruce Wm. Trakas says

            I’ve never seen anything that indicates that the Church of Serbia recognizes the Orthodox Church in America as a sister “autocephalous” church, one of the Holy Orthodox Churches. It does maintain communal relations with it as a canonical “self-governing” church, as does the Ecumenical Patriarchate. Upon the Church of Russia’s issuance of the “Tomos of Autocephaly” in 1970, the Serbian Patriarchate officially announced a “wait and see attitude” toward the OCA.

        • Mark from the DOS says:

          …parent exercising appropriate supervision over the child.

          Yes. And I would say that a good spanking is needed.

        • Carl Kraeff says

          Please tell us which of the following local churches are “MP daughter churches”:

          The autocephalous Orthodox churches that recognize the OCA as autocephalous are the Church of Russia, which granted the tomos of autocephaly, the Church of Georgia, the Church of Bulgaria, the Church of Poland and the Church of the Czech Lands and Slovakia.

          Those autocephalous churches that have not recognized the autocephaly but which have not opposed it are the Church of Antioch, the Church of Serbia, the Church of Romania, and the Church of Albania.


          • Mark from the DOS says

            What do you notice about those that recognize it Carl?

            All were either under Soviet domination or as in the case of Gergia, part of the USSR.

            • Carl Kraeff says

              They were not under Moscow when they were under Soviet domination. Indeed, as Artakhshassa the Great pointed out, some were never daughter churches of Moscow. History lesson Mark, sit up and pay attention: the Bulgarian Church’s autocephaly was first granted by Constantinople, THE mother church, in 927. “The Bulgarian Patriarchate was the first autocephalous Slavic Orthodox Church, preceding the autocephaly of the Serbian Orthodox Church (1219) by 300 years and of the Russian Orthodox Church (1596) by some 600 years. It was the sixth Patriarchate after Rome, Constantinople, Jerusalem, Alexandria and Antioch.” http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bulgarian_Orthodox_Church#Autocephaly_.28Patriarchate.29

              Another history lesson Mark, may be this can put the relationships into a better perspective:

              “Church Slavonic is the primary liturgical language of the Orthodox Church in Russia, Ukraine and Belarus. It is also used in the Orthodox churches of Bosnia, Bulgaria, Serbia, Montenegro, and Poland, and it occasionally appears in the services of the American and the Czech and Slovak Orthodox Church. It is the most widely used liturgical language in the Orthodox Church. It is also used by churches not in communion with the Eastern Orthodox Church, such as the Macedonian Orthodox Church, the Russian True Orthodox Church, and others. Historically, this language is derived from Old Church Slavonic by adapting pronunciation and orthography and replacing some old and obscure words and expressions with their vernacular counterparts (for example from the Old East Slavic language).”

              And, what was the Old Church Slavonic? Pay attention now, it gets more interesting):

              “The language was standardized for the mission of the two apostles to Great Moravia in 863 (see Glagolitic alphabet for details). For that purpose, Cyril and his brother Methodius started to translate religious literature to Old Church Slavonic, allegedly based on Slavic dialects spoken in the hinterland of their home-town, Thessaloniki, in the region of Macedonia.”

              “(Having been first used in Moravia), in 885, the use of Old Church Slavonic in Great Moravia was prohibited by the Pope in favour of Latin. Students of the two apostles, who were expelled from Great Moravia in 886, brought the Glagolitic alphabet and the Old Church Slavonic language to the then-First Bulgarian Empire. There it was taught at two literary schools: the Preslav Literary School and the Ohrid Literary School.[13][14][15] The Glagolitic script was originally used at both schools, though the Cyrillic script was developed early on at the Preslav Literary School where it superseded Glagolitic. The texts written during this era exhibit certain linguistic features of the vernaculars of the First Bulgarian Empire (see Basis and local influences below). Old Church Slavonic spread to other South-Eastern and Eastern European Slavic territories, most notably to Croatia, Serbia, Bohemia, Lesser Poland, and principalities of the Kievan Rus’ while retaining characteristically South Slavic linguistic features.”

              So, one can say that in one sense, the Bulgarian Church and nation is the Mother Church and nation of the Russian Church and nation, indeed civilization. Not the other way around.

              • Mark from the DOS says

                Carl you are not so dense as to seriously suggest that the Soviet Union was not able to exercise influence over those countries in its sphere of influence. You call yourself a Cold Warrior, yet you are going to trot out here and claim that in no way could those churches have felt the reach of Moscow. Give me a break.

                Reality for the ROC under Soviet rule was acquiesence for survival’s sake. Surely you remember the joys and sorrows of the Soviet are the joys and sorrows of the church! Surely you remember the patriarchate abandoning the martyrs in prison and conceding their imprisonment was just punishment for “counterrevolutionary” conduct. You old cold warrior Carl, how could you leave this out?

                I am sure you are right. It is mere coincidence that the only churches that recognize the autocephaly of the OCA are churches in nations that were under Soviet subjugation. Since, of course, we can’t establish an apostolic tree to show they were canonically bound to follow MP directives, it must not have happened. How silly of me to mention what is surely just a big ole coincidence.

                I know my family in the Czech Republic never felt any obligation to do as Moscow indicated would be wise. Prague Spring be damned, the CSSR was its own nation with a constitution to prove it! Just coincidence here folks; nothing to see; move along now.

          • orthodox priest says

            ROCOR itself does not accept OCA autocepaly. The MP and ROCOR Act of Cannonical Communion is actually an contradiction to OCA Tomos. Met. Jonah will end up in ROCOR.

            • Carl Kraeff says

              ROCOR cannot accept OCA’s autocephaly for historical and existential reasons. The bottom line is that there is no reason for ROCOR’s continued autonomous existence in the territory of the OCA if she were to recognize OCA’s autocephaly, in which case, ROCOR parishes would become ROC representation churches. Now, where +Jonah may indeed ed up in ROCOR but that must be done with finesse, lest Moscow and ROCOR is embarrassed by being accused of (a) having made a mistake in granting autocephaly in the first place, and (b) meddling in another local church’s affairs. In fact, I strongly suspect that the campaign on this site is counterproductive as it has all of the characteristics of a battle ax and none of a surgical scalpel (i.e, finesse).

          • Disgusted With It says


            It seems you’re trying to quote the 1/3-1/3-1/3 argument that some of the OCA autocephaly zealots tried, unsuccessfully, to use beginning a couple years ago. In it they say that 1/3 of the world’s Orthodox Churches recognize the OCA’s autocephaly, 1/3 do not recognize it, and 1/3 do not “not” recognize it (in reality, they don’t say yes or no). They then conclude that since only 1/3 actively say they do not recognize it, then the other 2/3 do recognize it. Can you see the flaw???

            The fact is that 2/3 DO NOT recognize the autocephaly of the OCA (because if you’re not saying anything, that means you’re still not saying “yes”). Those who do recognize it are a handful of Slavic Churches — Russia, Poland, Czech Lands & Slovakia, and Bulgaria. And of those 4 Churches, 2 do not respect the autocephaly in action because they have their own jurisdictions here.

            It’s time for a new rationalization. I’m sure the synod, with their newly found unanimity, will be more than competent to come up with a new fairy tale. Maybe they should have one bishop write it, and then email it around to all the other bishops for their revisions, and then put it in front of the metropolitan and demand he read it. After all, that’s how they do it these days isn’t it?

            • Bishop Tikhon Fitzgerald says

              One might think about ascribing some credence to ‘Disgusted With It’s” theories about the OCA’s autocephaly if he or she cared to support his or her ideas by identifying herself or himself. It is, however, the reluctance to stand up and be counted relative to such theorizing that tends to militate against taking it seriously. Why agree to something its creator disowns?

      • Lola J. Lee Beno says

        I’m sorry, but if OCA is not viewed as legitimate outside of MP and ROCOR by the other Orthodox churches, then how can this be viewed as meddling if ROCOR and/or MP decides to step in on their own?

        Lets face it . . . if OCA’s autocephaly is not being properly respected by the other Orthodox churches, then, does one really expect them to speak up if something is done that directly affects OCA alone?

        • Lola,

          There seems to be no real rule granting releases. For example, did the OCA grant releases to the monks from Manton that went to St. Herman’s? It is really hard to look up releases on the OCA website You would think that a release would be a simple courtesy. But a few years ago there was some difficulty over Bp. Nik9olaj Soraich’s release which finally got granted but I don’t know if he was actually received by the Serbian Archdiocese in Australia / New Zealand, can’t remember whic, that he went to or how he ended up back here in the OCA

          • Bruce Wm. Trakas says

            +Nicolai was permitted to visit a Serbian Orthodox monastery in Australia (by Bishop Irene, the diocesan bishop–an American, by the way). He never was transferred into the Serbian Patriarchate’s diocese of Australia. There was some commotion about him attempting to transfer into the Serbian Patriarchate in Serbia, but nothing came of that, I can’t recall why.

          • Bishop Tikhon Fitzgerald says

            Metropolitan Jonah stated that Archbishop Nathaniel and Archbishop Benjamin, when queried about granting Bishop Nikolai’s written request to be released, each stated, “Over my dead body.”
            Bishop Nikolai has never been cited or accused of any canonical or legal crimes. He has served honorably and well in Serbian Churches around Australia and around Serbia over the past few years even while going difficult, long-term therapy for cancer, and the Serbian Church has requested he be released to It in accordance with his own request and after receiving Metropolitan Jonah’s assurance that there is no canonical impediment to his release.
            Bishop Nikolai has been told he may NOT enter and pray at the St. Paul the Apostle Orthodox Church in Las Vegas, which he created after entering the OCA, starting with services in a funeral home out in the desert and resulting in a beautiful large, classical Orthodox edifice….all done while he held down full-time outside employment, supporting the mission/church. Imagine, a Bishop suffering from cancer, may not enter or attend services at a Church within a few blocks of his residence!!!!! This is the result of episcopal vengeance, nothing more, nothing less. Over about the past year, with the gracious and CHRISTIAN forbearance and charity of ROCOR’s Archbishop Cyril (Secretary of ROCOR’s Holy Synod) of San Francisco, Bishop Nikolai has travelled from his residence in Las Vegas to the Holy Transfiguraton Church in Los Angeles to preside at Vigils and Divine Liturgies on the important Feasts and even to simply substitute for the Dean, Archpriest Alexander Lebedeff.
            it seems very clear to me that, amid (and even in spite of some of) the various jurisdictional jousts and rivalries and even mean-mindedness produced by some of us here, it is ROCOR who has shown most accurately the spirit of the Good Samaritan….of the NEIGHBOR…before the whole Orthodox world, and the OCA has seemed to have not done so at all, confining itself to protecting “its own”, exclusively. We have seen this flouting of the spirit of the Good Samaritan by the OCA rather often, most brazenly by its Holy Synod and Metropolitan Soviet (or “Council”), in the cases of Metropolitan Jonah and Protopresbyter and MRS. Rodion S. Kondratick.
            God forbid that the Holy Synod of the OCA would catch itself exercising one jot or tittle of the ethic of the Good Samaritan!!! But they protect ONLY “their own,” and there’s no need to list them—they are the usual suspects.
            They not only passed by Bishop Nikolai, Father Bob and his wife, and Metropolitan Jonah: they are the one’s who robbed them and cast them into the ditch!!!! Not content with casting Metropolitan Jonah in the ditch, they vilified (and continue to vilify) him. Perhaps when they say “over my dead body” they mean, “We can never ever admit we made mistakes with these human beings, that we were wrong: death would be easier for us!”

      • Canons are guidelines not absolute law and it seems to me that Christian charity should supersede canons in this case and it would be well within the economy of the Church for ROCOR just to accept +Jonah and if the OCA does not like it they can appeal to the Ecumenical Patriarch. (I know who is not recognized)

      • Besides the “canons” are not “laws” but guides that only the synod of an autocephalous local church can interpret. Who are we to suggest how they might interpret the written word?

  13. Ilya Zhitomirskiy says

    If you want to contact Metropolitan Hilarion RE: Metropolitan Jonah, here is his mailing address
    The Most Rev. Metropolitan Hilarion
    75 E. 93rd Str.,
    New York, NY 10128

  14. If Met Jonah is release by the OCA to ROCOR, I’m sure many in the OCA will follow him. Perhaps the OCA Synod is reluctant to release him because of this fear, but if any do depart it will be because of the OCA Synod and their mishandling of his situation.

    Those who criticize Met Jonah for having financial needs are ignorant of his current situation. He is not a simple monk in a monastery, but rather a bishop who has been placed involuntarily in ecclesiastical limbo. He agreed to resign as Metropolitan, but his fate in the OCA beyond that has not been made clear. He has not been assigned to another diocese, he has not been called to spiritual court, he has not been removed from the episcopacy, etc. Surely the OCA can at least support him until his fate is decided, whether that fate involves assignment to another diocese of the OCA, transfer to ROCOR, or reducing him to the rank of priest. As a bishop, he cannot simply return to the monastery he founded without the blessing of the bishop of that diocese.

    I think it would be a great blessing if he could be transferred to ROCOR, regardless of what that would mean for the OCA. The OCA has been digging its own grave since it went into schism from ROCOR in the 1920s.

    • Also Anonymous says

      A bishop cannot be reduced to the rank of priest. Bishops and priests and either be defrocked (returned to the laity) or not. They cannot go back down the ladder.

  15. I do not find anything surprising or disturbing that the Synod of the OCA would wait to act on Met. Jonah’s request to be released until after the enthronement of Met Tikhon. Since it is only the Synod that can release him, then it seems logical that their next meeting after Met Tikhon’s enthronement would be the earliest that they would act on it. I guess we will know in about a week? For myself, I will continue to pray. I hope they will be moved to do the right thing by our prayers and the Holy Spirit.

    • Then it also seems logical that they would have continued his salary through said official meeting. Perhaps just a lack of foresight?

      I find the positive attitude attractive, but which is the bigger deal: requesting a primate’s resignation or agreeing to release a bishop with no assignment to another jurisdiction?

      If the former did not require a physical meeting, why should the latter?

      In any event, I’m sure God will hear your prayers. That is reason enough to stay positive.

    • Interested Bystander says

      “I do not find anything surprising or disturbing that the Synod of the OCA would wait to act on Met. Jonah’s request to be released until after the enthronement of Met Tikhon. Since it is only the Synod that can release him…” I find these ‘rules’ you guys come up with to support your personal agendas hilarious.

      Uh, Dianna, WHERE EXACTLY did you get this timely and astute information??? Really??? The Synod needs to meet together – in one location – to release Jonah after 8 months??? Is that the same rule that says at least two of them must stand on their heads in the corner and stack B-B’s during the meeting??? -Thought so!!!

  16. An Enthronement says

    Dear parishioners and friends,

    Glory to Jesus Christ!

    At this twelfth hour of the historic enthronement of His Eminence Archbishop Antony is here.
    As you know this event is hosted by our cathedral parish and while it is a great honor and privilege with that comes abundance of responsibility. As you know everything we do we tend to do it well with attention to details. Whether feast day celebration of festivals we focus on qualitative aspect of the event. More so is with the enthronement of new primate of our Ukrainian Orthodox Church in USA.
    The hall looks like never before however additional wine glasses, silverware and and other details have to be addressed.

    On Sunday many folks have stayed after church and covered fully about thirty tables. There will be about 360 at the banquet and many things are in need of our attention.

    Therefore we need volunteers who can come any day and any time for as long as they can.
    Our two hierarchs will arrive tonight. In total there will be 24 bishops few ambassadors and and even a cardinal representing Pope Benedict the XVI.

    Wednesday (today) 7:30pm – Choir Rehearsal Those that can may come earlier.
    Thursday – Preparations Day
    Friday, Jan. 25th – Vigil service in church followed by reception in the parish rectory. All are invited!
    SATURDAY, Jan. 26th – 9:30 Divine Liturgy followed by short reception for everyone and banquet. No tickets left available for banquet
    Sunday Jan. 27th – Divine Liturgy at 11:00am. Our Bishops will be present. After liturgy the sisterhood will sponsor a lunch.

    Once again if you have some time it will be of great benefit to us.

    Yours in Christ,

    Fr. Volodymyr

    † † † † † † † † † † † † † † † † † † † † † † † †
    “The LORD bless you and keep you;
    the LORD make his face shine upon you
    and be gracious to you;
    the LORD turn his face toward you
    and give you peace.” Numbers 6:24-26
    † † † † † † † † † † † † † † † † †
    V. Rev. Fr. Vladimir Steliac
    Rectory: 301.384.9192
    Fax: 301.761.1774
    St. Andrew Ukrainian Orthodox Cathedral
    Metropolitan Washington DC
    driving ;directions: http://www.standrewuoc.org/directions.html

    • I recently spoke to a friend who told me that he was going to attend. He rationalized it by asking how often does one get the opportunity to participate in the enthronement of a primate. Then, considering recent history, he added that it was probably far more frequent than it should be!

    • Hey it’s the same day as . . . hmmm.

      • Same Day, Different Bishop says

        Dear Colette’

        Archbishop Antony was elected head of the Ukrainian Orthodox on October 6, 2012. The enthronement has been planned since that date. Bishop Tikhon was elected November 13, 2012. So it seems that the planning has been longer for the UOC enthronement by a month and a half. He follows Metropolitan Constantine http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Constantine_of_Irinoupolis, who held the office a short time. Before that was a sweet Metropolitan named Volodymyr who passed away.

        His Eminence Metropolitan Antony

        His Eminence Metropolitan Antony – secular John Scharba – was born on 30 January 1947 to John and Dorothy Scharba, the eldest of five siblings. He was baptized on 23 March 1947 in St. John the Baptist Ukrainian Orthodox Parish, Sharon, PA. He received his elementary and secondary education in the Sharpsville, PA school system and his religious education in St. John Parish. Young John began receiving a call to the holy priesthood at a very young age and was involved in the youth and young adult groups in his parish, but upon his graduation from high school, he decided to test his “call” by enrolling in Pennsylvania’s Edinboro State University to prepare for a worldly career as a foreign journalist. After two years our Lord made it abundantly clear to him that he was on the wrong path and led him to St. Andrew College-Seminary in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada – the only Ukrainian Orthodox Seminary existing in the free world at the time. He simultaneously enrolled at the University of Manitoba, the campus of which is the location of St. Andrew Seminary. He graduated from the University of Manitoba in 1970 with a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology and then in 1971 completed his studies at St. Andrew Seminary receiving a Bachelor of Divinity – the equivalent of today’s Master of Divinity in most seminaries. He remained in Winnipeg, having accepted an offer to become the Dean of Residence for St. Andrew College – a residence for both theology students and Orthodox and some non-Orthodox students of the University of Manitoba.

        John was ordained to the Holy Deaconate on 1 October 1972 by then Bishop Constantine at St. Vladimir Ukrainian Orthodox Cathedral, Parma, OH and then to the Holy Priesthood on 26 November 1972, again by Bishop Constantine, in his home parish of St. John the Baptist Ukrainian Orthodox Church, Sharon, PA. He was assigned to his first parish – St. Vladimir UOC, Ambridge, PA in December of 1972 and remained there for four years. Fr. John was then transferred to St. Michael Ukrainian Orthodox Parish, Hammond, IN where he served for the next nine years. He was very much involved with the youth of his parishes and within the Ukrainian Orthodox Metropolia. He served as Spiritual Advisor for the Ukrainian Orthodox camping program at Camp Kon-O-Kwee in Western, PA. He also served for ten years as the Spiritual Advisor of the Jr. Ukrainian Orthodox League of the USA and for ten years as Chairman of the Sr. Ukrainian Orthodox League’s Clergy Candidate Commission, which administered the Metropolitan John Theodorovich Scholarship Fund in support of the Church’s seminarians.

        During his pastorate at St. Michael Parish, Hammond, Fr. John continued his education in the Graduate School of Theology at Loyola University, Chicago and at Purdue University in Indiana in the Graduate School of Educational Counseling, both of which enhance his pastoral ministry in very particular ways, providing insight into comparative theology and the very secular educational system of our nation, which has served him well in his parish and seminary education responsibilities.

        At the regular Church Sobor of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the USA in 1981, Fr. John was elected as a bishop of the Church. In 1982 he was tonsured as a monastic and in 1985 with the monastic name Antony – after St. Anthony the Great, whose feast day falls exactly on the Bishop’s birthday and he was then elevated to the rank of Archimandrite in May of 1983. He remained serving as pastor of his parish until 6 October 1985, when he was consecrated as Bishop at St. Andrew Memorial Church at the Ukrainian Orthodox Church’s Metropolia Center in South Bound Brook, NJ. He was immediately assigned as Rector and Administrator of St. Sophia Seminary where he served through 1989. In addition to this he assumed the Editorship of the English edition of the Ukrainian Orthodox Word, the official publication of the Church and later accepted the editorship of the finally combined Ukrainian/English publication, which exists today.

        Bishop Antony was asked and agreed to fill a void in the life of the Ukrainian Orthodox Eparchy of Australia and New Zealand in 1989 and served as Bishop there in addition to his responsibilities to his Church in the USA. He served in this capacity through 1997 when another hierarch from Europe was assigned to relieve him of this enormous responsibility. During his service in Australia, he was able to diligently progress toward and accomplish the unification of the two Ukrainian Orthodox dioceses that existed for decades into a single church. During these difficult years of constant travel, Bishop Antony was elevated to the rank of Archbishop by the Council of Bishops of the UOC of USA.

        Once Ukraine became an independent nation following the collapse of the Soviet Union and the Ukrainian Orthodox Church was reborn, Archbishop Antony has accompanied his brother bishops on many journeys to the faithful of the nation. The majority of these trips included the delivery of millions of dollars’ worth of aide of all kinds to the faithful and the need y of the nation – including religious educational materials, prayer books, medical supplies, opening of soup kitchens, aid for the rebuilding of Churches in both urban and rural village settings. The Archbishop continually reminds the faithful of his Church that their Christian responsibility means so much more than simply attending Church on a Sunday morning and making a small donation. He invites them to reach out with their physical beings to help heal those who need healing with a willingness to deny themselves for the sake of others.

        From 1994 to the present day Archbishop Antony has served as Vice-Chair of the Board of Trustees of St. Sophia Seminary and in 1995 he was elected by the Regular Sobor of the UOC of USA as President of the Consistory – Chief Administrative Officer for the Metropolia. He continues to serve in this capacity today. He accompanied Metropolitan Constantine when invited by the Ecumenical Patriarchate in 1994 to discussions about the renewal of the ancient relationship between the Ukrainian Orthodox Church and the Patriarchate, which dates back to the year 988, when Ukraine accepted the Holy Orthodox Faith as its own under then Prince Volodymyr the Great. These discussions led to the acceptance, on the Sunday of Orthodoxy 1995, under the omophorion of Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew I of the Ukrainian Orthodox Churches in the Diaspora and their hierarchs taking their rightful place at the Altar of our Lord, alongside their brother Orthodox Hierarchs throughout the Orthodox world. His All-Holiness and the Great and Holy Synod of Constantinople formally elected and ritually included Archbishop Antony in the Diptychs of Holy Orthodoxy as titular Archbishop of the ancient See of Hierapolis.

        One of the greatest accomplishments during this period through the combined efforts of Archbishop Antony, representing the Council of Bishops of the UOC of USA, and Bishop Vsevolod of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church in America, the two existing Ukrainian Orthodox Jurisdictions in the USA were finally and irrevocably united after decades of failed attempts. This is seen by the faithful of both churches as an accomplishment that united brothers and sisters once again – and even those of specific birth families who were separated from one another.

        If one would ask Archbishop Antony what he felt his best efforts accomplished, he would respond immediately that it is the division of the UOC ministry into various Consistory Offices of Ministry, led by competent individuals and volunteers. He is most emotional about his establishment in 2003 of the Orycia Federwicz and Natalie Dedeluk Orphanage Adoption Program in Ukraine, named after the two California sisters who contributed the initial grant to make the program possible. The church adopted three of the most remote and underdeveloped orphanages – with the most severely mentally and physically handicapped children who were placed there by the Soviets out of sight – and unfortunately out of mind. Each year college student missionary teams travel to visit these orphanages to renovate buildings, purchase necessary items and most importantly to interact with and love the more than 300 children living in them. The Archbishop and the Consistory he leads are now in the process of establishing a new mission effort – right here in the USA – to the people of Appalachia.

        The 1998 Sobor of the UOC of USA initiated the development of a new History and Education Complex at the Metropolia Center. Archbishop Antony leads this continuing project, which will include an Archive and Research Center in memory of Metropolitan Andrew Kuschak, the Seminary/Church Library in Memory of Metropolitan John Theodorovich and the Ukrainian Museum of New Jersey in Memory of Metropolitan/Patriarch Mstyslay. At the first meeting of the Assembly of Canonical Orthodox Bishops of North and Central America in 2010, Archbishop Antony was elected as Treasurer of the Assembly and heads the Committee for Financial Affairs. Archbishop Antony celebrated the 25th anniversary of his Episcopal Consecration in 2010 and will celebrate the 40th anniversary of Priesthood in 2012.

        Following the repose of Metropolitan Constantine of blessed memory (21 May, 2012), the Archbishop assumed the responsibilities of the Locum Tenens of the Metropolia See of the UOC of the USA.

        During the Extraordinary Sobor of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the USA (October 6, 2012), His Eminence Archbishop Antony was nominated and elected as Metropolitan of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the USA. The official enthronement date will be posted as it become available.

        lost URL rpobably the UOC website.

        • Archpriest Andrei Alexiev says

          A few corrections here,I don’t know who the “sweet Metropolitan Volodymyr” was.The first Metropolitan of the Ukrainian Church was John Theodorovych.He was followed by Metropolitan Mstyslav,who became “Patriarch of Ukraine” AFTER Ukraine became independent in August,1991.At this point,Metropolitan Constantine became primate of the Ukrainian Church in the USA.Up to this point,the Ukrainian Church was uncanonical,I;m not going to rehash the whole “Lypkivsky” thing here;let those interested do their own research.
          In the 90’s,Metropolitan Constantine brought his church into canonical unity with the Orthodox world by merging his church with the smaller Canonical Ukrainian diocese already existing here under Constantinople,then headed by Archbishop Vsevolod,now reposed,Perhaps Vladyka Vsevolod is the “sweet old hierarch” you had in mind.
          As a personal aside,since both ROCOR and the Ukrainan Church are now serving with everybody,I was able to concelebrate with the local Ukrainian rector.Once,I even presided in Ukrainian for the first time in 35 years of being a priest.I hope I remembered to pronounce the Ukrainian “h” correctly,rather than giving it the “g” pronounciation found in Russian and Serbian.

          • U are RIGHT! says

            It was Archbishop Vsevolod! Very sweet Ukrainian bishop under Constantinople. Forgive me and thank you for noticing the error. I had Vladimir on the brain. Here is the Archbishop


            I can’t begin to understand Ukrainian church history, and even find switching from Slavonic into Ukrainian hard to sing and chant because there seem to be several versions out there in the translations. The g to h pronunciation is no big deal until you are in the middle of something, pronounce as in Slavonic and your neighbor singer glares at you for your glaring rusification. I prefer the lesser palatalization than Russian as it is closer to one sound one letter

          • Bishop Tikhon Fitzgerald says

            Father, there was a rather kindly-seeming Ukrainian (Teodorovich-Lipkiwsky) Bishop in Detroit named Volodymyr, back in the 50s. As for Vsevolod, whom U are Right describes, amazingly, as ‘very sweet”, I recall him as a rather soured man. I believe he’s the only Orthodox Bishop to have EITHER graduated from Yeshiva in Manhattan, and become a licensed (Adlerian) Psychiatrist-Psychoanalys; in fact, he did BOTH! Without having a dog in the fight at all, although the first really Orthodox Christians and really Christian Orthodox I met in my ;poor life were Ukrainians from East Ukraine, I still feel that Russian and Ukrainian are the same language, but the Ukrainian version has many more foreign, especially, West-Slavic/Polish borrowings or loans than the Russian version. There is no division in Greek named Great Greek and Little Greek, but if there were, the Greeks of today’s Greece would be considered ‘Little Greeks”, while the Greeks of Anatolia (Ionia, etc) and Sicily and Southern Italy would be the “Great Greeks.” Ukrainians feel insulted if someone speaks of them as “Little Russian” It actually designates the small CORE of Russia, the littlle CORE of “Rus”. And “Great Russian” designates the same thing as Graecia Magna, Great Greece, or Sicily! I’m afraid that it is neither group that is responsible for the bitter and rather final division of Russians from Ukrainian, but German and Austrian Imperialism, which seized on the resentments of economically downtrodden “subject peoples” in their Empires which were perceived as potential enemies, the more they realized their Russianness. They were supported by Rome as well. Rome did its part by identifying still another group with particularist tendencies and made up a nationality ouf of the Latin word for Russian, namely, Ruthenian, that is “Our Russians.”
            Vsevolod. Eternal memory to the crabby old curmudgeon and know-it-all!

            • V.Rev.Andrei Alexiev says

              Your Grace,
              Master,Bless!Talk about a small world.I had a parishoner in Cleveland who was a classmate of the future Bishop Vsevolod in Prague during WW II.
              Also,my choirmaster in Cleveland was a cousin of Fr.Alexander Novitsky of the Ukrainian church here in Detroit.Fr.Novitsky later was made a bishop of the UOC(Theodorovich-Mstyslav).

  17. “I really didn’t expect this to be on Monomakhos. Really. I just sent out an email asking for assistance in helping +Jonah. ”

    Here we have a concrete example of news being published on the internet without permission of the author! George does that which he criticizes others for doing.

    • Jesse Cone says

      Philippa, this is not fair. If George (E) had a significant problem with George (M) I’m sure George would phrased things differently and George would have apologized.

      Moreover, this is nothing like the case of Bp. Mark (Maymon) who monitored a priest’s private emails for months– unbeknownst to the priest or his correspondents–and then had them published for all to see. I also received George’s mass email, and George was one of the many intended recipients.

    • Oh don’t be so silly. He doesn’t care if George M published it–he even sent his own private letter to the bishops here to be published. . .

    • While I read George E’s comment more as explanation than rebuke, I do think it is appropriate for George M to explain the origin/source of 3rd party materials right up front. In the absence of an explanation, it is reasonable to assume the post was intended as a guest editorial/entry specifically for this blog.

      So maybe George M can learn from this.

      At the same time, one cannot fault George M for any lack of openness, as he allows anyone here to correct and rebuke him openly without censorship.

    • George Evanisko says

      I didn’t put on my email “please do not post” or “confidential”, plus I sent it to over a 100 people, so I really didn’t think it was a private email. I just didn’t ask for it to be posted by George M or expected it to be posted and was a little surprised that it was, that’s all.

  18. All in the Family says


    Our friend Stan the Tran got it right……..

    In a related vein, Eric Tosi is running about accusing people of feeding me intel. Of course, people are doing so, but Eric’s so dense and clueless that he never gets it right. Remember, he claimed, when Piggy Iggy Burdikoff was accusing of nicking church funds, “The records simply don’t exist”. Also, recall that he tried to stab Lyonyo in the back by supporting Vinnie Peterson for the white hat, and, then, he switched horses and backed Michael Dahulich (again, another backstab attempt at Lyonyo). Tosi’s an incompetent wanker and he’s disloyal, to boot. There’s no need to get hot n’ bothered over him, for he’ll destroy himself due to his chowderheadedness. In his stupidity, he’ll step full-force into a steaming cow pat, and no one will cry over it. All of Hunchak’s horses and all of Johnny Hopko’s men won’t be able to put Eric together again…

    Now what Stan didn’t tell you is that the +Tikhon DC Installation event this coming Sunday is turing into a real Eric Tosi bust. So far 140 folks said they will go to the installation dinner. The room holds 150. Sounds pretty good except when you find out that the OCA downsized the whole shindig from a banquet room holding 500! And what Syosset won’t tell you either is that of the 140 folks going only 60 are paying and the rest 80 are complimentary tickets. Yep, they are going into the highways, byways and hedges to fill the room.

    Why Tosi who is running this mess thought that holding the installation on a Sunday when clergy can’t make it and over the same weekend as the March for Life which means the OCA had to pay top dollar for rooms would work is only known to Tosi. I won’t call him the nasty names that Stan the Tran did, but his/her conclusions are spot on. Some members of the OCA synod are wondering why this guy is such a flub up?

    How did he ever get the job? He got it from his old pal Fr. Paul Kucynda who was his parish priest. That was when Kucynda was putting in all his cronies into Syosset, Tosi, Kornafeld, Whetmore, the last three the architects of the current administrative structure which continues to be a mess for the OCA.

    Sources close to Syosset are already reporting that +Tikhon feels like he is being left out in the decision making dark by Jillions and Tosi. Sound familiar? Poor Tosi, he will be dumped on and blamed for the bad turnout. Jillions is already trying to cover himself by saying it is Tosi’s fault. Isn’t that the OCA way to find a scapegoat?

    Here we go again!

    • Disgusted With It says

      I heard Fr. Tosi was the ONLY one who applied for the Secretary job, so they ended up being stuck with him.

      • Tumorous Baktos says

        “I heard Fr. Tosi was the ONLY one who applied for the Secretary job, so they ended up being stuck with him.”

        Not at all true. There were a number of candidates. He was truly the best candidate and his outstanding work proves this.

        • All in the Family says

          Well that is a really depressing post Tumorous Nick. Depressing that he was the best choice and that you think his work is so good. But at least it is consistent with all your other post. :/

        • Interested Bystander says

          At the first meeting of the new Metropolitan Jonah with the whole Synod, (as I was there) Tosi said to me, “This is for His Ineptitude, oh, I mean Beatitude, heh, heh,heh.”

          That level of incivility and outright slander for the one he was working FOR is unconscionable and clearly shows Tosi’s work was NOT – NEVER WAS – outstanding in any good way – as I can personally attest in the many encounters I have had with him. The defamation was due to the announcement by Metropolitan Jonah that he intended to move the Chancery from Oyster Bay to DC and Tosi stated he would stop this in all ways possible…well, he succeeded.

          How would you be able to work with a secretary who was slandering you and working against you behind your back from your first week on the job?

          Oh yes, and for those of you who always need to know: Tosi makes $140,000 each year, (mainly because he lives in such a ‘high rent’ district)!!!

          • Calling him names like an 8 year old . . . what is with some people? Is that the level of maturity we have in the OCA?
            I know the answer.

          • I’ve been around Fr. Eric Tosi at least a few times and he has done the same thing. Had that grin on his face while name calling and making jokes at others expense- sometimes during services. Great example…

            • Jane Rachel says

              Father Eric Tosi helped me out in a big way when I really, like really really, needed it. Thank you, Father Eric. I’ve never forgotten your kindness.

        • Disgusted With It says


          I don’t know from where you form your opinions on the matter, but my information came directly from someone involved in the search process. I tend to trust their word over yours.

          • Interested Bystander says

            DWI: If you were responding to me….. Your second hand information does not trump my first hand witness. Nice try. I clearly enumerated my opinions and where I formed them. Trust whomever you wish – my witness is true.

            • Disgusted With It says

              Interested Bystander,

              My comment was in reply to “Tumorous Baktos” (TB). I certainly don’t doubt your information. Thanks for helping to keep us informed with truth.

    • http://www.omnihotels.com/FindAHotel/WashingtonDCShoreham/MeetingFacilities/SpecificationsAndFloorPlans.aspx?p=1

      According to the above, the ballroom that was rented can comfortably fit 1,500 diners under its 22 foot ceilings and in its separate classroom, another 600 can sit on chairs and nosh out of their laps. Did I mention that there is another classroom that can fit 1,200? Did I mention that it is a 3,500 person reception space? Did I mention that it can fit 100 large exhibit booths?

      Who planned this? We have priests that hold part time jobs outside the Church and have no salaries. There are two local OCA churches that can fit and feed 150 folks easy.

  19. It is quit confusing how Clergy can transfer from one jurisdiction to another.

    Prior to the signing of the “Tomos” between ROCOR and the MP there were at least two Clergy who just left ROCOR without a Blessing from their Bishop or Holy Synod, plus those monastics were suspended from ROCOR prior to being the MP. However the MP overlooked this suspension and none agreement for transfer and granted them acceptance.

    Is this a Cononical oversight or can we justify this type of behavior as Oeconomia?

    Give me a breaak! Metropolitan Jonah and ROCOR should just come together and let the OCA throw a temper tantrum, What else could the do? Nada.

    • Pragmatically this is probably true. But more is involved than mere pragmatics. If I am not mistaken there is a story from the time of the Desert Fathers of a monk who ran away from his spiritual father whom he found difficult to deal with. In time this man became very holy, a living saint, and when he reposed his body was placed in the church. Yet it was noticed that at a certain point in the liturgy, when catechumens and penitents were excused, his bier would rise up and float out of the temple and not return until afterwards. An inquiry was made and it was determined that angels removed his body each service because he had left his elder without permission. So a delegation was sent to his now very elderly elder and the situation explained to him. He then forgave his former disciple and gave his blessing. From that time forth the body of the elder’s disciple remained in the temple throughout the Divine Liturgy.

      So long as the OCA is counted among the Orthodox bucking the canons regarding release has spiritual consequences that follow, even if the reason for doing so is otherwise entirely justified, which in the case of Metropolitan Jonah, it is, in my opinion.

      There is no question that Met. Jonah has been treated badly by his brothers and the administrative organs of the OCA. There is no Christian reason that I can see to prevent or hinder his release from the OCA to ROCOR if that is what ROCOR and Met. Jonah want. Given all that has transpired, this is the charitable thing to do. But until those that have such power exercise it in Christian charity to those ends, to ignore them and just leave without permission…and to accept that leaving absent that permission could entail a season of unpleasant spiritual consequences….even if all seems well on the surface in the short term.

      I don’t think it is right that the OCA refuses, or long delays in releasing Met. Jonah as has been requested, and if they don’t do right, they have a Judge who will in His own time require an accounting…but for to ignore the canons and just leave…even if pragmatically and humanly justifiable, strikes me as fraught with the very sort of dangers that Met. Jonah has scrupulously tried to avoid.

      Possibly though, I am wrong and those with a better knowledge of the canons and their application can correct me.

      • Seraphim, it doesn’t seem like the elder in your story was an abusive elder, just that he and his spiritual child did not see eye to eye. Your caution against abandoning an obedient relationship is well-taken nearly all the time, but I don’t think it is applicable here.

  20. Sigmund Freud says

    Is that a Sanity of Life Liturgy? Heh

  21. Bruce Wm. Trakas says

    What type of an assignment has anyone thought of for Metropolitan Jonah if he remains in the OCA? I don’t think it’s reasonable to consider him for a diocesan see, such as Dallas, if his administrative skills were too weak to be Metropolitan, they would be too week for a diocesan see likewise, plus, how reasonably could he serve in the Synod along side all the hierarchs who voted to force his resignation. At the same time, I thought the Synod’s plans to make him an axillary bishop in San Francisco under Archbishop Benjamin, his chief detractor, while restricted to one parish, is too demeaning and unworkable. I was thinking of having him serve as a “bishop in residence” at either St. Tikhon Seminary and Monastery or St. Vladimir Seminary, where he could teach, write, celebrate the Divine Services, preach and lead retreats in local parishes, and serve as a spiritual father to seminarians.

    I’m sure the Holy Synod has been reluctant to release him to ROCOR because they’re concerned that his loyal followers would leave the OCA to be with him in ROCOR wherever he becomes situated; active membership is a massive problem to the OCA without this incentive, in any event, although, if his transfer is either ROCOR’s or the Patriarchate of Moscow’s preference, that is what will happen.

    • Many of “his followers” have already left the OCA or have reduced their donations significantly. What the OCA is afraid of is that he will succeed in another diocese. Showing he has fine administrative skills, intellectual skills and that he can get along well with his brother bishops. Although it may be true that if he is released in time he will “take away” many people from the OCA and build up ROCOR. People like what he has to say and he naturally draws a crowd. The OCA was dumb dumb dumb to attack this man and run him out. But ya know not all people can see what is in front of their face . . . God bless ’em!
      No,he should be released from the OCA, that’s what he requested, that’s what the powers that be want, that’s what should happen.

    • But don’t you think, if it becomes clear the OCA is refusing to release him because they fear those loyal to him will follow him out will at some point just leave anyway wherever they have a choice? They might as well bite the bullet. They’ve messed up in their handling of this whole thing hugely….at the very least at the PR level. The milk has spilled, the pee is in the pool, the shark has been jumped. There is nothing for them to be gained in retaining him. Those they have alienated because of their treatment of him will remain alienated. Their continued ill treatment of him will alienate even more. At some point, with our without him, the exodus will begin if it has not begun already. The best they can do now, is own up to their mistakes, release him to ROCOR, and try to do some substantial housecleaning and put the OCA back on an even keel….it may even recover to a degree, though the promise of what it could have been has now been all but irrevocably squandered.

    • Before the STINKBOMB, they could have:
      1. Left him in Washington, moved the seat of the primacy to Chicago, St. Louis, Toronoto, Montreal, Mexico City, Los Angelos, Syosset, or Kansas City, among thousands of other options that would be consistent with OCA Statute and their powers.
      2. Returned him to the Diocese of the South, as they led the gullible (probably including Jonah) to believe they would.
      3. Given him any vacant diocese.
      4. Created any new diocese they wanted.

      After the STINKBOMB, there are no viable options for him in the OCA. Why? Because he will have to be under the supervision and spiritual authority of a man who told vicious lies about him in public, simply to hurt him. He would have to be under someone who libeled him in horrible ways, because all of the diocesan bishops in the OCA allowed that letter to be published as from THE HOLY SYNOD OF THE OCA.

      I have no insider info. I’m not in your church, nor do I personally know anyone in your church. But this is just common sense: No employee will continue to work for a boss who falsely accuses him of covering up rape just to damage the employee’s reputation and career. Likewise, no religious lay person or healthy monk will continue to stay under the spiritual authority of a holy man who accuses him of covering up a rape just to destroy his reputation and “show him who’s boss”. In Jonah’s case, he would have to live on a daily basis with both of these completely unacceptable realities. Clearly his time in the OCA is over.

    • Metropolitan Jonah, when he was Archimandrite Jonah, was the administrator in the DOS, prior to being elevated to auxiliary bishop of Ft Worth. I had spoken with a number of parish council members at SSOC who indicated that he gave fine direction in the handling of sensitive personnel issues, and in fact laid out a vision for the cathedral that was exemplary.

      So you might consider that the reports of his terrible administration skills might be as credible as the reports that he shielded a rapist – that is, it is more libel.

      • Jesse Cone says

        I can attest to first and second hand witnessing Met. Jonah’s exhibiting fine administrative skills, especially during his tenure as locum tenens of the DOS. I can also attest to some of his faults– the most egregious of which was his trust that people would take their responsibilities as seriously as he did his own. Far from a micro-manager, he would sometimes offer support while offering little direction. I mean this criticism seriously; it is a fault and it had consequences.

        While I can see the merit of both some of the praises and criticisms of the man, I can also say that he was certainly a more able administrator that some other bishops I’ve seen first hand. They, however, have not been subject to the same treatment as +Jonah.

      • M. Stankovich says

        From the mouth of the Big Fish hissef on October 31, 2011 at the 16th All-American Council – Plenary Session One:

        “I admit that I have very little experience of administration and it was a risk for the 2008 Council to elect me, the newest and most inexperienced of bishops. I have worked very hard to fulfill your expectations. But this is not an excuse. ”

        “These three years have been an administrative disaster. And I need to accept full responsibility for that and for my part in it.”

        WAT? Out of the mouths of babes (minnows?), as they say… Now, you gonna’ believe me, or your lying ears? Listen to him establish his own credibility, courtesy of a live internet broadcast from the Ancient Faith Network. Did I just hear him libel hissef? Now how does that work?

        Let it go…… kids.

        • Alfred Kentigern Siewers says

          Glory to Jesus Christ! Glory forever!

          Dear M. Stankovich,

          The Phanar recently said that it is “speechless” at the mistreatment of Metropolitan Jonah by the OCA and had told its bishops not to attend the Enthronement of Metropolitan Tikhon as a result.

          Now, because of the ecclesiastical anarchy unleashed online by disrespect for the OCA Primate, and uncertainty over Metropolitan Jonah’s release, are we in effect in the Avignon Captivity of an Online Church in America, which can claim two Metropolitans?

          And whom should we follow here in the cyber-wilderness as our Orthodox guide to proper Church governance and respect for hierarchs?

          Virtually there is you, the indeed eloquent and intelligent psychologist, and Mr. Kraeff the opinionated constitutional commentator and web moderator, and, in the new official OCANews of the Chancellor’s Diary and in the old back-room OCANews’ back archives, certain undoubtedly well-meaning protopresbyters, whose expertise in Orthodox ecclesiology however stems from experience in a small and short-lived local Church with a governance structure found nowhere else in the world (arguably embedded in a parochial and less-than-successful US political culture of excess), which has gone through three Metropolitans in the past decade amid much public uproar.

          And in the real world beyond cyberspace there is the Ecumenical Patriarchate–and the Patriarchate of Moscow and ROCOR, which support the release of Metropolitan Jonah, with obvious sympathy and support for him as evidenced in numerous ways in the past year.

          While crafting a reply, please refrain from making charges against the Patriarchs of Constantinople, Moscow, and Antioch for being un-Orthodox in their “authoritarian” administration as Primates, if you will be using our unfortunate model of open season on hierarchical authority online as a guide. Speechlessness indeed is a better model.

          And please pray for me a sinner,


          IC XC NIKA

          • Alfred Kentigern Siewers says

            p.s. On another note regarding the Online Church, see this new webpage: http://ocaconversations.org/
            This will be the first of ongoing conversations, to be posted also online, stemming from our innovative corporate Strategic Planning culture.

          • M. Stankovich says

            Professor Siewers,

            There is a point of saturation where, sitting alone, sleep-deprived, among the snoring, whining, drunken, and complaining that I read these endless bits of détritus on a monitor and imagine to myself that this cannot, by any stretch of the reasonable imagination, be serious. It simply cannot. Reasonable people could not reach these conclusions. And apart from these remarkable nightly digressions, I frequent reasonable people who pass through life without ever entertaining the sort of logic I read here. Seriously. You, Prof. Siewers, are a reasonable man, and I will not put you to the test of proving half of your statements by evidence out of simple respect.

            I believe in the matter of logic there is a fundamental distinction between “convinced” and “convinced enough.” In the former, there is a completed analytical process – and if you want a laugh, you might be surprised to find the ability to be analytical is an ego function! – while the latter is a conclusion based on subjective “satisfaction.” Personally, I would not have believed the latter to be contagious, let alone predominant. I live and learn.

            The Phanar, you say. Four square blocks of rundown buildings in a rundown suburb of Istanbul they insist is “Constantinople.” They have never recognized nor acknowledged the legitimacy of the OCA, preempting the discussion entirely by denying the preeminence of anyone to declare autocephaly. And apparently less silent and more vindictive at some comments the former Metropolitan made contra-Synod, cancelling invitations and such. And now you say they are “speechless” at his mistreatment?

            Prof. Siewers, I need to go to bed because this strikes me as madness. You recommend speechlessness as the wiser course? My friend, this is Crazy Town. How do I get on that strategic planning committee? I am now informed there are vacancies? Don’t break my heart.

          • Carl Kraeff says

            You really hate disagreements with your POV don’t you? You cannot dismiss me as you are trying to do, covered up with unctuous and pompous phrasing.

            You know about Beef Wellington, don’t you? It really looks great from the outside, but the quality of the dish is really about the filet that is enclosed by the puff pastry. Forget about preparing the fillet correctly, the problem with you is that your meat may be beef but it is no filet, nor any kind of steak. Perhaps you can tell us if your meat is small or large intestines.

            Now, I will tell you that I would be delighted to submit myself to ecclesiastical review when both of the following happens;

            – The folks who post under their real names, also produce letters from the Holy Synod (that includes you),


            – The folks who post anonymously start posting under their real names and also produce their own seals of approval from their Holy Synod.

            In both cases, I want to see a signed and printed nihil obstat.

            Fair enough?

            • Alfred Kentigern Siewers says

              Glory to Jesus Christ! Glory forever!

              Dear brother in Christ Carl (or whatever is your baptismal name in the Church),

              Please forgive me if I have angered you.

              I suppose that if my argument is Beef Wellington, then yours must be a Napoleon pastry, since it is in retreat from Moscow. And we know how that turned out.

              On the serious side of all this, though, it is not surprising that advancing innovation in Church government (as you have done) should lead you to promote a verbal food fight instead of meaningful discussion. We’ve seen this movie before, so to speak, at the quadrille party fight in Dostoevsky’s Demons and the banquet fight in C.S. Lewis’ That Hideous Strength, and now here in the Online Church of America. It is a short distance between teaching that leads toward schism and a Babel of nihilism, even if unintended.

              You have sought to silence other points of view by labeling them schismatic while you contradictorily have sought to justify disrespect for a First Hierarch and taught a model of ecclesiology at odds with canonical tradition.

              When called on this, you will not allow your innovative teaching to be tested for correctness by submitting it to the Holy Synod.

              Instead, you in effect claim to speak for the Holy Synod, by arguing that the Synod is not fully in compliance with the Apostolic Canon, because the OCA has evolved beyond that, to be in contradiction with the views and practice of local Churches around the world and the ancient Patriarchates that a strong Primate and a conciliar Synod together are integral to our tradition of sobornost.

              It is a free country in terms of offering different points of view, but you go to a different league by claiming to teach an “evolved” model of ecclesiology as if with authority.

              Please, to avoid evoking more contention and risking leading others astray on this, cease for a time from teaching on your own as if an authority on church governance, and submit your views for review to our fathers in the Church the Holy Synod.

              Meanwhile we all must take our model for conduct as Christians from the Sermon on the Mount and not the blogosphere.

              The best thing that we can do for our Church now is both to pray for our new Metropolitan Tikhon and also for a just release for our former Metropolitan Jonah, to restore harmony within our Church and between her our sister Churches, and to show the respect due to a former Primate.

              Please pray for me a sinner,


              IC XC NIKA

              • Dr. Siewers, thank you.

                I might add that I love Napoleon, both emperor and pastry, but the interpretation of the canons offered by Carl is exactly why most laypeople are advised about the risks of reading or attempting to apply the canons on their own.

                • Carl Kraeff says

                  Helga–Are you implying that Professor S., George, and even yourself are NOT laypersons?

                  • Oh you so wanna know . . . .

                    • Carl Kraeff says

                      I could not care less, except for one thing: I find the possibility of a clergyman posting anonymously to be absolutely revolting.

                    • Carl finds the possibility of a clergyman posting anonymously revolting. How about clergymen conpiring to remove their Primate? Is that OK? Not revolting?

                  • Carl, what I’m saying is that your abuse of the canons is precisely the reason laypersons are generally not advised to consult them directly. It leads precisely to the pitfalls you have fallen into, to wit:

                    You have appointed yourself judge, jury, and executioner against Metropolitan Jonah and his supporters, accusing us as if you had the right, authority, or expertise necessary to do so. You have none of those things. You are a layman with no sufficient education to even allow for an attempt to interpret the canons, nor any mandate from the Church to interpret the canons or accuse others of violating them. You are in way over your head, and you are doing nothing but sinning by continuing to press your half-baked accusations.

                    Also, you are an admitted troll. While that is not a pitfall of ill-advised attempts to interpret the canons, I just want to point out that fact for the so-called audience you write for.

                    • Carl Kraeff says

                      Helga–I write because I am offended by the lies told on this blog and I write for two audiences.

                      The first one is the drive-by readers who may get the impression that the pro-Jonah/anti-Holy Synod crowd here is somehow an important voice in the church. I want to have them think twice before accepting the lies and insinuations propagated on this blog.

                      The second audience is you and your ilk. I do want to make you guilty for doing what you are doing. I admit that that I am using sarcasm, as well as reasoned arguments, in fighting fire with fire.

                      BTW, if I am not qualified to interpret the Holy Canons, the possibility of you being able to do so is exponentially diminished for I am a real person and you are just a fictitious Internet voice. Where does it say in the Holy Scriptures or Canons that such a disembodied person can judge a real person? Also, if I am not qualified, how come Professor AKS is? Indeed, is anybody really qualified unless one is a bishop or a certified canonist?

                    • Carl, you are falling out of the frying pan and into the fire.

                      Eventually, you are just going to have to square with what you are doing here, which is not supporting “the Church” against “schismatics”, you are either knowingly or unknowingly supporting the persecution of an innocent man.

                      We are also certainly not as few as you think or would like us to be. You mock our petition, but it contains no direct accusations such as you have made against Metropolitan Jonah, it only highlights instances where further investigation is warranted due to apparent inconsistencies with the canons. You’ll notice that the petition is not in support of Metropolitan Jonah, only an independent investigation so we can find out the truth. Almost four hundred people signed it because they also want to know the truth.

                      You call me a “fictitious internet voice”, but I am still a person. Dr. Siewers has the advantage of not only using his real name but also being far more educated than you, yet you still find a way to discount his opinions in favor of your own. That tells me you are not interested in finding out the truth, you’re only interested in promoting a certain movement which you may or may not realize is tearing people away from Christ.

                    • Carl Kraeff says

                      Helga tells me: “Dr. Siewers has the advantage of not only using his real name but also being far more educated than you, yet you still find a way to discount his opinions in favor of your own. That tells me you are not interested in finding out the truth…”

                      Two mistakes in logic here. The obvious one is the logical fallacy of appealing to authority. Can anybody tell us what the second mistake is?

                    • Carl, this is neither an argument from authority, nor a non-sequitur, because I have only pointed out that you are engaging in an ad hominem attack against me.

                      Your treatment of Dr. Siewers, taken alongside your treatment of me, is what tells me that you don’t care about the truth, because you won’t listen to anyone who defends Metropolitan Jonah. It has nothing to do with identities and credentials, and everything to do with your personal bias. Your harping about anonymity is an excuse to avoid and distract from the real issues. Incidentally, that is also what makes you a troll.

                    • Carl Kraeff says

                      Helga–You (a) did commit the logical fallacy of appealing to authority and (b) your conclusion was not based on a stated premise. Both are brazen infractions of rhetoric and deductive logic.

                      It is true that I have not treated you or Professor Siewers as experts in Canon 34. In your case, you could be anyone. In his case, he holds a Ph.D. in English and has been nationally recognized. But, not one iota of this recognition has been in the area of Orthodox Canons. In my opinion, both of you are simply wrong and furthermore quite arrogant in thinking that just repeating a mantra will somehow prove me wrong.

                      It is because I care for the truth that I perservere on this forum and butt heads with you and the good Professor. That said, there are only two posters that I disrespect: Heracliedes because he has no redeeming quality and Father Joseph Fester, whom I suspect has posted on this forum under an assumed name.

                    • George Michalopulos says

                      Carl, I reread Helga’s post and she most certainly did not commit any logical fallacy.

                    • Bishop Tikhon Fitzgerald says

                      In that Helga wrote this: “Dr. Siewers has the advantage of not only using his real name but also being far more educated than you, yet you still find a way to discount his opinions in favor of your own.” she most definitely argued fallaciously in a most categorical way. All the classical Argumenta are examples of “non sequitur,” Helga’s statement would appear to be a clear example of the Agumentum ad Vericundiam”. In more contemporary terms, Helga is afflicted with the dread Credentialism, which is the very incarnation of logical fallacy!
                      Disallowing anonymous witness, though, has to do with rules of evidence, rather than argumentation. Admittedly, the arguments of the anonymous may be logical or illogical, but their witness is always just plain INcredible. If Dr. Siewers honestly identifies himself, this has no bearing on the validity of invalidity of his reasoning. It indicates he has “the courage of his convictions,” too.

                    • George Michalopulos says

                      Then if true, nobody’s opinions as stated on this or other blogs are worth a fig.

                      To all: Let’s be honest: some critics have gone to town with the anonymity of OCATruth and others, then when a stalward, credentialed man comes forth in an open manner, those who appeal to him are again slapped down? This makes no sense other than in this way: there are those who are vested in a false narrative that anything from a parking ticket to being a wachtman at Auschwitz will be used to justify what they have done.

                      Leaving aside the “success” of such a stratagem, the future does not look bright for any ecclesial institution that engages in such schemes. This is why I said that the Syosset/Synod Axis may have “no moral agency.” It’s like a collective herd that once it sets in motion, can’t correct itself. Think of the Ancien Regime during the time of Louis XVI, or the Byzantine Empire during its last days.

                    • Bishop Tikhon Fitzgerald says

                      George wrote “Then if true, nobody’s opinions as stated on this or other blogs are worth a fig.’ Why no, George, not at all. What an idea! “Nobody’s?” That’s a little over the top, is it not? It does not follow at all. Those who argue (and we ALL are arguing this or that premise) according to the established rules of argumentation, i..e, logic, are worth more than a fig whether or not they are anonymous or not. However, when we leave the realm of arguing or reasoning and enter the world of dogmatic statements of WITNESSED fact, the testimony of the anonymous or pseudonymous cannot be considered to be defensible, as no named person is willing to vouch for it.

              • Carl Kraeff says

                Dear Professor–I do forgive you and, in turn, ask for your forgiveness.

                Regarding my baptismal name, I suspect that you already know it. But, I will tell you why I use Carl because it is a humorous story. I was named Kyrill (no middle name) after my paternal grand-father as is my family’s custom. In any case, Kyrill was not used much when I was growing up as it is also an ethnic custom to use diminutives for children. When we emigrated to the United States in the Summer of 1962, I was enrolled in a Summer School French class so that I could learn English (by reverse engineering). The Principal there said “no one will be able to pronounce Kyrill, so we should call you Karl instead.” At least that was how it was translated to me. I used Karl until I enlisted in the USAF four years later (when I formally chose it to be my middle name). However, on the third day of basic training, the personnel sergeant told me that I should change my name because “Kyrill Karl Kraeff” would not do. I readily agreed to change it to Kyrill Carl Kraeff after he explained the significance of KKK. For many years I insisted on using Kyrill C. Kraeff, but as I got older, I just found it easier to use “Carl Kraeff” in most settings.

                • Bishop Tikhon Fitzgerald says

                  Carl, thanks very much for your interesting information relative to your name.
                  I’ve always been interested in naming: one of the first tasks God apparently gave to Adam. I often deplored the failure of so many of today’s Orthodox priests to observe and serve the Office of Bestowing a Name on a newborn. Many SVS graduates don’t apparently even know there is such a rite, and they take what looks like the ‘easy way out by simply waiting until the Baptism to bestow a name ‘along the way,” as it were. I also like the idea of masking Kyril with ‘Carl” snd vice versa.

                  • Carl Kraeff says

                    Regarding SVS graduates, that may be so because of the diocese and/or parish that they found themselves in. I believe that my DOS priest, who is an SVS graduate, uses the Office of Bestowing a Name and urges the parents to take advantage of this beautiful service. Bishops and their legacy do make a difference!

              • Bishop Tikhon Fitzgerald says

                Alfred Kentigern Siewers provided us with a nugget and prime example of the NeoWestern Orthodoxy of the day; “in contradiction with the views and practice of local Churches around the world and the ancient Patriarchates that a strong Primate and a conciliar Synod together are integral to our tradition of sobornost.”
                For those who may be discouraged by such a “trendy” and problematic announcement about integrity of some alleged “tradition of sobornost”, which seems to refer to something Khomiakovian/ Solovievian, rather than tradition, I would recommend an outstanding essay by the Sainted Dr. Justin Popovich, a rather solid modern Serbian theologian who writes, in part:
                “…the Orthodox Church, in its nature and its dogmatically unchanging constitution is episcopal and centered in the bishops. For the bishop and the faithful gathered around him are the expression and manifestation of the Church as the Body of Christ, especially in the Holy Liturgy; the Church is Apostolic and Catholic only by virtue of its bishops, insofar as they are the heads of true ecclesiastical units, the dioceses. At the same time, the other, historically later and variable forms of church organization of the Orthodox Church: the metropolias, archdioceses, patriarchates, pentarchies, autocephalies, autonomies, etc., however many there may be or shall be, cannot have and do not have a determining and decisive significance in the conciliar system of the Orthodox Church. Furthermore, they may constitute an obstacle in the correct functioning of the conciliar principle if they obstruct and reject the episcopal character and structure of the Church and of the Churches. Here, undoubtedly, is to be found the primary difference between Orthodox and papal ecclesiology.””

                • Alfred Kentigern Siewers says

                  Glory to Jesus Christ! Glory forever!

                  Your Grace, your blessing!

                  Calling the tradition of a strong Primate with a conciliar Synod “Neo-Western” is a problem, given that the examples in Orthodoxy that we have of this are Eastern. I think you are saying, quoting St. Justin Popovich, that this has flipped from the West, to the East, and perhaps is affecting the West again?

                  I unworthily would agree with the distinction between papal and concililar traditions in the quotation. However, Canon 34 is an Apostolic canon beyond the particular time period of the modern era. It clearly gives particular respect to the Primate in the need for hierarchs to seek his blessing individually for major projects, while also requiring that the Primate must act with their joint consent.

                  This precedes any of the later developments mentioned by the saint, who does not address it. (And Canon 34 has been made a centerpiece of discussions on OCA governance here, not by myself, but by others who in selectively interpreting it have justified disrespect online of former Metropolitan Jonah.)

                  What would be neo-Western in my mind would be to dissect Canon 34, and say that half of it is superseded by a modern made-in-America statute.

                  This has been used to justify public disrespect of a First Primate by laity and clergy online.

                  It also has shaped a governance structure unique among local Orthodox churches, which itself appears to have grown out of Solovievian notions of sobornost.

                  (I had meant to use the latter term generically for the sense of conciliarity indicated by the Apostolic canon, not for the type of philosophy underlying the peculiarities of the OCA’s current governance structure, which has yielded very problematic results in its short history).

                  The Apostolic canon taken as a whole offers an apostolic sense of what may seem to us moderns the impossible–a spiritual father or authority, embedded in conciliarity, which nonetheless reflects the tradition of the Church in communion as apophatic in background, rather than Lockean as in the workings of the UN General Assembly or the US Congress as types of councils.

                  The Moscow Patriarchate and the Ecumenical Patriarchate uphold the integrity of the tradition of conciliarity including and emerging from the Apostolic canon, in terms of dismay at the treatment of former Metropolitan Jonah.

                  Those Eastern (and ancient) patriarchates apparently haven’t bought into the argument that apostolic tradition should be superseded by a modern Solovievian notion of sobornost, leading to what George has called a protopresbyterianocracy. And they do represent what currently are the two largest historic families of Orthodox churches in the world.

                  Please forgive any errors here and pray for me a sinner,


                  IC XC NIKA

                  • Carl Kraeff says

                    Your Grace–Do you an idea of what the esteemed Professor is saying below, especially the bolded section?

                    “The Apostolic canon taken as a whole offers an apostolic sense of what may seem to us moderns the impossible–a spiritual father or authority, embedded in conciliarity, which nonetheless reflects the tradition of the Church in communion as apophatic in background, rather than Lockean as in the workings of the UN General Assembly or the US Congress as types of councils.”

                    I cannot see why/how the apophatic approach is brought into this. As an adjective, it means ” of or relating to the belief that God can be known to humans only in terms of what He is not (such as `God is unknowable’).” However, we are not talking about God here but about the idea that Orthodoxy calls for a ” strong Primate,” as was claimed by the esteemed Professor earlier. It does not matter, IMHO, that he is now using “spiritual father,” he seems enamored by the idea that the primate is a super bishop of sorts. This comes into sharp relief when he condemns the criticism of the Metropolitan but not of ordinary bishops.

                    • Bishop Tikhon Fitzgerald says

                      Carl! No, I don’t know what he’s saying. It looks like some kind of ‘filler’. It reminds me of a devout Protestant Episcopal laywoman holding forth on something like, oh, “The Basic Christianity of Sufi poets singing around the nous, embedded in a traditional phronema of Byzantino-Sino-Kenyan Sobornost.” it’s just a kind of dithering, resembling the antics of an alarmed squid defensively secreting clouds of ink to blind other aquatic hunters and fishers.

                    • Alfred Kentigern Siewers says

                      Glory to Jesus Christ! Glory forever!

                      Dear Mr. Kraeff,

                      The apophatic involves obedience to an authority of fatherhood, amid conciliarity, signifying a context beyond our American sense of individualism.

                      This is opposed to the anarchy that your selective view of Canon 34 leads to, by which the relation of the Church to the Primate would become parallel to that of the Congress to the President, thus opening the doors for the kind of public online disrespect of the Primate that your position justifies.

                      This has shocked much of the Orthodox world in the case of the public disrespect shown to former Metropolitan Jonah in the Online Church in America.

                      Please pray for me a sinner,


                      IC XC NIKA

                    • Carl Kraeff says

                      Dear Professor–I read up on you and your page is most interesting and impressive. You list your areas of interest as “My work focuses on the intersection of ecopoetics, ethics, ecosemiotics, phenomenology, aesthetics and post-structuralism, through the lens of non-modern traditions and practices of nature and cosmology, as well as Susquehanna regional studies. Specific areas of research and teaching interests include Christian apophaticism; Eriugena’s Periphyseon; desert asceticism; iconographic visual theory; early Northeastern Atlantic texts such as the Ulster Cycle, Mabinogi, Beowulf, Icelandic sagas, Middle English poetry and Arthurian romances; Spenser, Coleridge and James Fenimore and Susan Cooper, as well as “the sublime,” modern nature writing, fantasy literature, and American Indian literature. Current projects include an edited collection on ecosemiotics and a study of ecopoetics in the Susquehanna Valley.”

                      It does appear to a yahoo like me that you like to be in the vanguard of things: “the intersection of ecopoetics, ethics, ecosemiotics, phenomenology, aesthetics and post-structuralism, through the lens of non-modern traditions and practices of nature and cosmology.” Combine that with some of my favorite authors (I do think that Susan Cooper is one of best writers in English bar none) and such diverse interests, and we are clearly dealing with a superior mind. However, I do wonder if you have taken St. Gregory’s words a bit too much to heart. You quote him as saying “Concepts create idols; only wonder grasps anything.”

                      When you write sentences like “The apophatic involves obedience to an authority of fatherhood, amid conciliarity, signifying a context beyond our American sense of individualism,” I wonder if your wondering has wandered so far afield that you are mangling the very concept that you are trying to use. Allow me to explain: “Apophatic” is an established term that has no discernible relationship to “obedience to an authority of fatherhood.” Come to think of it, it is also strange to see in one sentence “obedience to an authority of fatherhood,” “amid conciliarity,” and “a context beyond our American sense of individualism.” Like I said before, as a yahoo, I am not capable of understanding your wonderings but they sure sound impressive!

                      I wonder which area of interest led you to then proclaim “This is opposed to the anarchy that your selective view of Canon 34 leads to, by which the relation of the Church to the Primate would become parallel to that of the Congress to the President, thus opening the doors for the kind of public online disrespect of the Primate that your position justifies.” Very Spenserian of you, but I did not say it and I do not see how an ordinary person could infer that I did. Of course, I suppose that someone with your superior intellect and vast scholarship could.

                    • Alfred Kentigern Siewers says

                      Glory to Jesus Christ! Glory forever!

                      Dear brother in Christ Kyrill,

                      If you do not accuse the Moscow Patriarch and Ecumenical Patriarch of non-canonical administration, and do accept their governance as canonical, then you necessarily accept both the possibility and actuality of integrating the leadership of a strong Primate with a conciliar Synod in our tradition.

                      If, on the other hand, you teach against that, and implicitly suggest that the Eastern Pariarchates are non-canonical, you either should submit your teaching to our Holy Synod before teaching it further in public worldwide on the internet, or have the courage to make that accusation openly and through proper channels.

                      (You did, in an earlier posting here in a discussion on Canon 34, suggest that while an accusation of non-canonical governance could be made against the Moscow Patriarch, that would be politically difficult, comparable in that sense to an impeachment effort against a President. You can clarify or correct the impression left by this by simply stating that the Moscow Patriarch is governing canonically under Canon 34 as a strong Primate, if that is what you believe and teach.)

                      In any case, if you do accept the administration of the Eastern Patriarchs (including also Antioch) as canonical, then why do you argue so heatedly against my point about the example of the tradition that they provide to us in our young American church, of the integrity of a strong Primate with a conciliar Synod?

                      Meanwhile, in your concern with pointing out what you see as the falsity of appeals to authority in logic on this thread, you seem in the case of Dr. Kalvesmaki and myself to resort to another kind of faulty logic disguised in satire, ad hominem argument, to which I unworthily provide an all too large of a target. Being a medievalist by training does not make me at all an expert on canon law. It does mean, however, that I work professionally with patristic texts, and have training in dong so. But you, not I, reinterpret the canons, while criticizing others who disagree. This makes it a legitimate question to ask, what is your training in the canons and in scholarship?

                      The selectivity of your interpretation of the Apostolic Canon involves again your saying that the “half” of it that regulates the Primate is fully in effect, while the “half” of it that regulates hierarchs as a whole is superseded by a local church statute c. 1970, which indeed is unique in the world and which has not had an exemplary record of governance, but which makes no statement claiming to offer a new and improved version of Canon 34. You have said that former Metropolitan Jonah’s lack of following your interpretation of Canon 34 justified disrespect for him online. Meanwhile you continue to be unwilling to submit this re-interpretation of the Apostolic canons to the OCA Holy Synod for review. I surmise that this is because you consider (rightly I think) that it would not be blessed.

                      Regarding fatherhood and its importance in our faith tradition, fatherhood is in part a symbol of the unknown. Obedience to the authority of fatherhood provides real symbolism for the apophatic essence of life, which ultimately finds its root in God. Without this element, conciliarity easily devolves into a public culture openly disrespectful of authority, as has been seen in the online disrespect for a Primate that you have sought to justify with your teaching on the canons. The fruits of this alone are a sign of the danger of your approach, and do a disservice also to the future tenure of our new Metropolitan Tikhon, to whom be many years.

                      As for your making fun of me, you can do so as much as you like, as it is needed!

                      But as for reduction of St. Gregory of Nyssa’s words for use in satire, that is a shame.

                      Please pray for me a sinner,


                      IC XC NIKA

                    • Carl Kraeff says

                      Dear Professor–I am older than you so I need some help in remembering the views that you attribute to me so that I can better respond to you. Would you please come up with citations for the following? Thanks.

                      “You have said that former Metropolitan Jonah’s lack of following your interpretation of Canon 34 justified disrespect for him online.”

                      “The selectivity of your interpretation of the Apostolic Canon involves again your saying that the “half” of it that regulates the Primate is fully in effect, while the “half” of it that regulates hierarchs as a whole is superseded by a local church statute c. 1970…”

                      “You did, in an earlier posting here in a discussion on Canon 34, suggest that while an accusation of non-canonical governance could be made against the Moscow Patriarch, that would be politically difficult, comparable in that sense to an impeachment effort against a President.”

                    • George Michalopulos says

                      For myself, I believe that you probably did say these things. Even if you didn’t, your tortuous interpretation of Canon 34 as well as your many diatribes against the person of His Beatitude inevitably lead reasonable people to the same conclusions as Dr Siewers.

                    • Alfred Kentigern Siewers says

                      Glory to Jesus Christ! Glory forever!

                      Dear brother Kyrill,

                      Here, as a start as your unworthy research assistant :), is your comment regarding the Patriarch of Moscow, from the “How far is St. Nick’s from the National Cathedral” thread:

                      ‘Carl Kraeff says:
                      January 15, 2013 at 7:35 am
                      As I pointed out above, the Moscow Patriarch’s relationship with the ROC Holy Synod is also governed by Canon 34. You bring up an interesting point though; this canon has not been cited officially to this date. I suspect that is so because it is such an important canon that its breach would call for a spiritual court. The secular counterpart would be a Presidential impeachment and trial. Thus, I do not blame anyone for treading very carefully indeed, especially if they are church officials. That said, just because a President has not been impeached by the House does not mean that he has not committed impeachable offenses.’

                      Now, if you don’t see a canonical problem with the way the Patriarch of Moscow governs as a strong Primate with a conciliar Synod, then why do you see a problem with that application of Apostolic Canon 34 as a whole?

                      But if you do have a problem with the Patriarch of Moscow’s governance as non-canonical, please just say so, and/or take appropriate steps to lodge a complaint. We are in territorially overlapping jurisdictions, and they are Primates in our land as well. Or better yet, seek a blessing or correction for your teaching on Canon 34 from the OCA Holy Synod, since you seem to try to put our Synod in the position of following your revision of the Canon. I doubt that you will receive a blessing from the Synod on teaching your view, which is not in the OCA Statue nor taught I think by our hierarchs, but it is better to give them the opportunity to correct it quietly, rather than for you to continue to claim in effect to speak for them publicly as you do.

                      Re former Metropolitan Jonah having (in your view) violated Canon 34 as you intrepret it, you wrote on that same thread, “the problem was not the substance but the manner by which these actions were undertaken [by him], that is in violation of Canon 34 of the Holy Apostles.”

                      And then you wrote on the same thread: “Our differences are centered on the exact role of the Metropolitan and of the members of the Holy Synod. We do not have to imagine what those relations are in the OCA for they are spelled out in the OCA Statutes. In my opinion, the relationship of the diocesan bishops and the Metropolitan are slightly different under the Holy Synod model. As I pointed out, the Metropolitan is no longer the hub of the wheel because membership in the Holy Synod frees the member bishops from having to ask the Metropolitan first before formulating, coordinating and proposing a policy or action that affects the local church.”

                      And you also wrote on this thread here on “Jonah’s release”: “That said, I also do not think that the Metropolitan should be afforded some extra protection from criticism or disrespect as you imply.”

                      Taken together, I think these comments are consistent with your views generally in the past couple years as you have promoted your revisionist teaching on Canon 34:

                      1. Essentially, you argue for a “slightly different” Canon 34, by which the Primate is no longer “the hub” (which actually involves a large difference), and you claim that the OCA Statute effects such a change, if I follow you rightly.

                      2. Thus too you argue (and it seems hard to draw other conclusions, but correct me if I’m wrong) that the Primate should be held strictly to Canon 34, but the hierarchs as a whole should not be so restricted (thus half of the Canon should be followed and not the other half, in effect).

                      3. You state that former Metropolitan Jonah violated Canon 34 in acting as the hub, and that the type of disrespect accorded him on OCANews and the Orthodox Forum online thus doesn’t violate any respect owed to the Primate.

                      4. And then you imply in the first quote above that violation of the canon by the Patriarch of Moscow could be looked into and possibly pursued, but that it wouldn’t be worth doing so politically. (Presumably this is because the Patriarch of Moscow, like the other Eastern Patriarchs, acts as a hub with a conciliar Synod).

                      Now, if you think the Patriarchs of Moscow and Constantinople and Antioch govern in accord with Canon 34, you can just say so, and this was all a misunderstanding.

                      But if not, your comments to date remind me of the famous line by Francis Urquhart in the original British version of “House of Cards”: “You might very well think that; I couldn’t possibly comment.” 🙂

                      Please forgive me a sinner,


                      IC XC NIKA

                    • Dear Professor–Thank you very much for finding one of the citations. I had a feeling that it was that one but wanted to make sure. It appears that you have taken my post out of context. Here are the preceding three posts that clearly show that my comment, which has so exercised you, was about the OCA and not the MP.

                      Carl Kraeff says:
                      January 14, 2013 at 5:36 pm
                      Some folks has criticized him for signing the Manhattan Declaration or giving the Holy Friday counterattack on Constantinople because they did not agree with these actions. However, these actions did not break any canons by themselves. As has been explained numerous times so that even the densest of skulls can finally get it, the problem was not the substance but the manner by which these actions were undertaken, that is in violation of Canon 34 of the Holy Apostles. The canon by the way does not talk about majority votes, it plainly states “let him (the primate) not do anything without the consent of all (members of the Holy Synod).”

                      Now, George brought up the point that if there was a violation of the canon, why wasn’t there a spiritual court and formal disposition, instead of the route that the Holy Synod chose. I will submit to you that the absence of a spiritual court does not prove that +Jonah is not guilty of such a violation. As the supreme canonical authority, the Holy Synod can choose its own route in this sort of situation, based on economia or akribia. The fact that they gave +Jonah a break by not dragging him to a spiritual court should be regarded as an act of mercy and care for a fellow bishop, or perhaps because they felt that they elected him, they were obliged to give him all possible consideration. It is therefore ironic that there those who condemn the Holy Synod for exercising economia. I found this development the most tragic aspect of this sordid affair.

                      Geo Michalopulos says:
                      January 14, 2013 at 10:11 pm
                      Carl, let’s cut to the chase. I know that you are enamored of canon 34 but let’s be honest: The canons mean nothing in America. They haven’t since about 1918. Or put another way: why start now?

                      Alfred Kentigern Siewers says:
                      January 15, 2013 at 5:48 am
                      Glory to Jesus Christ! Glory forever!
                      Canon 34 isn’t usually quoted or discussed in full by those who cited it against Metropolitan Jonah. It also requires that the Primate be held in honor as such, and also that other hierarchs not engage in any important projects without his specific approval. Hopefully those provisions will be followed during Metropolitan Tikhon’s tenure now in the OCA if they haven’t been in the past. Meanwhile, do those who emphasize this Canon in part accuse the Moscow Patriarchate of being non-canonical because of her strong primate structure, as opposed to us in our multiple-Synods-in-the-same-land situation?
                      Please pray for me a sinner,

                      Carl Kraeff says:
                      January 15, 2013 at 7:35 am
                      As I pointed out above, the Moscow Patriarch’s relationship with the ROC Holy Synod is also governed by Canon 34. You bring up an interesting point though; this canon has not been cited officially to this date. I suspect that is so because it is such an important canon that its breach would call for a spiritual court. The secular counterpart would be a Presidential impeachment and trial. Thus, I do not blame anyone for treading very carefully indeed, especially if they are church officials. That said, just because a President has not been impeached by the House does not mean that he has not committed impeachable offenses.

                      The bolded parts above are related. I was talking about +Jonah and the OCA Holy Synod. I doubt that I would have mentioned that our mother church incorporates Canon 34 into her statute if George had downplayed the canons.

                • Carl Kraeff says

                  Your Grace–Thank you for the citation. I had been looking for a basic refutation of the idea of a “strong primate” and this is perfect!

                  • Alfred Kentigern Siewers says

                    Glory to Jesus Christ! Glory forever!

                    Dear Carl,

                    As much as I respect His Grace’s insight, a quote from a saint, out of context and not related specifically to the issue at hand (Canon 34, which you raised), does not justify your ongoing selective interpretation of an Apostolic Canon.

                    You have made your unique reading of that Apostolic Canon (arguing that in effect half of it is erased by a local church’s unique modern statute) a justification of public disrespect of a Primate, and the quotation from St. Justin does not justify any of that.

                    Do we take a brief selectively picked quote as justification for the unworthiness or non-canonicity of St. Photios, whom we honor today on the new calendar, in his role as Patriarch of Constantinople? Or of St. John Chrysostom, the Patriarch of Constantinople, or of St. Tikhon the Patriarch of Moscow, in their roles as Primates following the Apostolic Canon read as a whole rather than selectively? I would hope not.

                    If you and His Grace argue that the Moscow Patriach and Ecumenical Patriarch are operating in a non-canonical manner, based on the same misreading of Canon 34 that you use to justify public disrespect to a Primate by OCA laity and clergy, it would be well to say so honestly and with courage, rather than continuing to seem to imply this. Or it would be even better, again, to submit your view to the proper ecclesiastical authorities for review or correction.

                    At the moment I can’t see the truth in accusing the Eastern Patriarchates of non-canonical government, implicit in your arguments and in your earlier suggestion that the Patriarch of Moscow today could be accused of canonical violation.

                    Your argument is not only bold but departs from the phronema of the Church, with the kind of unfortunate results in the Online Church in America that brought dismay to both Moscow and Constantinople.

                    Ridicule and selective quotes can’t obscure your unwillingness to submit this revisionist teaching on church government to the Holy Synod for review. At this point an ongoing recalcitrance to do so suggests a concern that it would not meet with approval.

                    Please pray for me a sinner,


                    IC XC NIKA

                    • Carl Kraeff says

                      In the words of one of the greatest US Presidents, there you go again!

                      It is your twisted and biased interpretation of the canon that leads you to accuse me to have maintained that Canon 34 allows “public disrespect to a Primate by OCA laity and clergy.” You also make a logical hyper-jump in saying that my interpretation of the Canon represents an attack on the Patriarchates of Moscow and Constantinople. Finally, you are plainly misrepresenting me when you say that I suggested that “the Patriarch of Moscow today could be accused of canonical violation.” I have told you repeatedly that is not the case.

                      Please quit misrepresenting my views. Or, if you truly value honesty and courage, I will ask you to please quit lying.

          • Bishop Tikhon Fitzgerald says

            Professor Siewers!
            Bishops do not resign their sees. Metropolitan Jonah is certainly literate and well-read enough to realize that, but he resigned anyway. What Bishops (and Priests and Deacons) MAY and do do, is request to be deposed (or “laicized’) Bishops often retire due to age and infirmity, but they do not resign.
            Recently Bishop Basil (Osborne), once a hierarch of the Church of Russia, vicar of ever-memorable Metropolitan Anthony (Bloom), who upon seeing the see vacated by the falling asleep of Metropolitan Anthony given to another hierarch and not himself, ran with some of his faithful to the jurisdiction of the Ecumenical Patriarch’s Russian division in France and then, just last year, requested to be deposed in order to marry his lady love. When I was in active service we considered once or twice the request of this or that deacon to be “laicized” and we kindly acquisced by granting canonical deposition.
            But resigning without being deposed? Unheard of. Its a mystery to me how Metropolitan Jonah with both Divinity and Theology degrees, as well as hierarchs having Divinity degrees, members of the Holy Synod of the OCA, could just accept a resignatiion without canonical RESULTS!
            1. On what basis did they elect a novice and untested bishop as their Primate?
            2. How were they then bewildered by his performance after they chose him?
            3. On what CANONICAL BASIS did Metropolitan Jonah resign?
            4. On what CANONICAL BASIS did the Holy Synod accept his resignation without consequent canonical deposition for looking back from the plough?
            it seems the Holy Synod has fallen apart and fell apart even before Vladyka Dmitri fell asleep (witness the unseemly debacle around the Archdeacon Gregory Burke, which, even if the bungling criminal meting out kangaroo court justice to Protopresbyter R.S. Kondratick had not already opened the barn doors, still undermines the moral authority of the OCA episcopate).
            For any Hellenophiles out there, there’s a good poem by the great demotic Greek poet, Constantine Cavafy, which refers to the case of one historic hierarchical resignation, that of Pope Celestine: Dante places him Way, Way, Way down in The Inferno

            Bishop OCA retired

            • George Michalopulos says

              Actually, Your Grace, he did not resign his see. He resigned the primacy, signing his letter “Metropolitan Jonah, Archbishop of Washington, DC.”

              • Bishop Tikhon Fitzgerald says

                Metropolitan Jonah (Paffhausen) had been elected to and installed in the “Primatial” See of Washington: All America and Canada. Prior to that he was a vicar bishop of some titular see. The only thing he DID resign from was his see. Yes, he HAD to sign his letter ‘Metropolitan Jonah, archbishop Jonah of Washington, DC, “because that’s who was resigning, and the only person who COULD resign. He was elected and instlalled as Archbishop of Washington, Metropolitan of All America and Canada, in other words, the “Primatial See of The Orthodox Church in Ameriica>’ When the Holy Synod accepted his resignation, he was now OFFICIALLY no longer the incumbent of the Primatial See of Washington, All America and Canada. From that instant he became, on the books, “Metropolitan Jonah, formerly Archbishop of Washington, Metropolitan of All America and Canada.” It’s my conviction that the moment he resigned, he deposed himelf from the Orthodox Episcopate and his name should have been stricken from the rolls of the clergy of The Orthodox Church in America. I say this confidently, because, although no hierarch has ever resigned, except for illness or age (and that’s more of a retirement than a resignation), any other clergy who have resigned have been automatically deposed.
                Dante placed Pope Celestine in the lower depths of the Inferno, since he resigned from being Bishop of Rome.

                • George Michalopulos says

                  These are hard words to digest Your Grace. Does that mean that Arb Spyridon, formerly of the GOA, is likewise deposed? What of Arb Athenagoras Spyrou who resigned from the GOA to become Patriarch of Constantinople? How many Sees did Meletius Metaxakis resign from? What about all those Patriarchs of Constantinople who resigned during the Ottomon occupation? Their average tenure was less than 2 years.

                  Anyway, the Gang that Couldn’t Shoot Straight in Syosset still hasn’t come to grips with what they did. On the one hand they say he resigned on the other that he retired.

                  • Bishop Tikhon Fitzgerald says

                    George, promotions are not resignations. By your reasoning, all .
                    Priests resigned their diaconates, in order to become Priests, no? RESIGN, George, RESIGN.
                    Transfers are not resignations, George, get it? Archbishop Spyridon was offered a transfer if he would ask for it, and he asked for it. None of the entities you cited, George,
                    Transfers are not resignations, but are promotions or demotions.
                    And to compare the removal of Patriarchs under the Sultan with Metropolitan Jonah’s resignation slightly dishonors those Patriarchs. DEATH threatened the Patriarchs. Their resignations were no more resignations ala Metropolitan Jonah’s, than Archdeacon Gregory Burke’s elopement to San Francisco.
                    Metropolitan Jonah didn’t have to resign. But he did. He’s neither a martyr nor a confessor.
                    He wasn’t in danger of being hung upside-down, as was Patriarch Gregorios.
                    Metropolitan Jonah’s resignation was unprecedented.
                    He didn’t have to resign.
                    He didn’t claim that he resigned for the good of the Church, did he? What reason did/does he give for resigning? ‘The devil made me do it?”

                    • George Michalopulos says

                      Doesn’t “death” = martyrdom? Are you saying that those patriarchs were cowards, not willing to accept martyrdom for the sake of Christ?

                    • Bishop Tikhon Fitzgerald says

                      George. It is correct to say that those who were murdered/executed because they refused to deny Jesus Christ when that was demanded of them, are called Holy Martyrs, while those who were murdered/;executed because they refused to deny Jesus Christ when that was demanded of them; further after great sufferings and tortures etc., are called
                      Great Martyrs.
                      No one who is forced to change his occupation, place of residence diet, etc., against his will is a martyr. No resignation is martyrdom: on the contrary. If Metropolitan Jonah had REFUSED to resign and had been punished for that, THEN he would be martyr-like, but, still, not a martyr.
                      Those who are imprisoned for refusing to deny Jesus Christ when that was demanded of them are called “Confessors.” Veterans of Lyubyanka and Dachau, for example, are called (after their deaths) Confessors.
                      Metropolitan Jonah was treated like a dog by those who created him a bishop and then a First Hierarch—that doesn’t make him a martry or martyric, or even a Confessor. To compare his living conditions with those of confessors or martyrs is almost sacrilegious.
                      Even in his present state (and in that of his family) he has a standard of living, with access to pure drinking water in which to bathe and empty his excrement while unaborted children around the world have never seen purified water, but drink from puddles in ditches and cow pastures, IF they have any ready access to water. Don’t compare him with St. Nicholas Velimirovich, who suffered in Dachau, PLEASE. Even without a see, without a salary or wages (earned how?) from the OCA, his standard of living exceeds that of members of the Byzantine Court at its height! He’s a well-fed American boy. Even if he would move to St. Tikhon’s Monastery he’d have comforts beyond the wildest dreams of the Egyptian ascetics, as well as the populations of Indian cities and some South American cities. At St. Tikhon’s he’d have three squares a day and wall-to-wall carpeting as well as color TV and access to a PC or MAC. And he’d be “set for life, not needing even a pension… At St. Tikhon’s he could study as much as he wanted and probably be asked to teach seminarians. Wpuldn’t that be fulfilling and GOOD?

                    • Geo Michalopulos says

                      Well, Your Grace, why stop there? Why not have all our bishops be penurious? And the highly-paid priest-functionaries in Syosset? Why should they get paid more than the bishops or the parish priests, some of whom have families on food stamps?

            • Alfred Kentigern Siewers says

              Glory to Jesus Christ! Glory forever!

              Your Grace, your blessing!

              Just to clarify in following your argument logically (rather than apophatically :)):

              Do you then accuse the Moscow Patriarch and the Ecumenical Patriarch of governing in a non-canonical manner, since their Churches follow the Apostolic canon’s inclusion of both a strong Primate model and a Synod in conciliarity, which you seem to feel is non-canonical?

              If so, could you explain such an accusation against the Patriarchs further? And if you are making this accusation publicly, have you first communicated it privately to them, or to the Assembly of Bishops of the overlapping jurisdictions of our land?

              Given that today on the new calendar we celebrate St. Photios, Patriarch of Constantinople, just as we celebrated recently St. John Chrysostom, likewise Patriarch, I don’t think that St. Justin’s quote should be taken as the equivalent of an Apostolic Canon in denying the worthiness of the canonical leadership of Patriarchs and Primates, which involves the sense of spiritual fatherhood (and respect for it) advanced by Canon 34, to which Mr. Kraeff refers again and again selectively.

              That is what I meant by the sense of the apophatic context of life and faith involved in obedience and authority, as part of our practice of conciliarity. Without that, church governance would devolve into the individualistic conciliarity of the U.S. Congress and the disrespect publicly accorded to it.

              Please pray for me a sinner,


              IC XC NIKA

              • Bishop Tikhon Fitzgerald says

                Professor Siewers, on what basis do you hypothesize that I am accusing anyone of governing in a “non-canonical” (you introduce this concept, not I) manner?
                Do your academic peers let you get away with inventing a concept such as “”a Synod in (sic) conciliarity?” How do you define YOUR concept of “a strong Primate model?” Are you talking about the Papal model? About a monarchical model? I don’t see either of those models in Apostolic Canon 34, so where have you found them? In fact, the Apostolic Canon is a better brake on a too-strong primate model than it is an endorsement of it!
                As for your “If so,” etc., it’s not so: you concocted it out of thin air.
                We don’t “celebrate” St. Photios today: that’s Vatican II and WCC/PECUSA talk. Today, the Orthodox Church commemorates St. Photios of Constantinople.
                Saint Justin’s informed and pious ecclesiological opinion (NOTE: it does NOT deny “the worthiness of the canonical leadership of Patriarchs and Primates”, whom Saint Justin does not even MENTION.
                I feel your last paragraph is the gobbledy-gook, the industrial strength gobbledy-gook of the professional popularizer..
                I have to thank you for your original and hilarious concept “individualistic conciliarity!” If they ever do the Orthodox Church on Saturday Night Live, they could never surpass your stuff!
                I do pray for the servant of God, Kentigern. It’s urgent, indeed!

                • Bishop Tikhon Fitzgerald says

                  Try to express our Orthodox English word “conciliarity” in Greek without using the word “Synod.”
                  That’s why “synod in conciliarity” (viz. A.K. Siewers) is so tautologically funny.

                  • Alfred Kentigern Siewers says

                    Glory to Jesus Christ! Glory forever!

                    Your blessing, your Grace!

                    I do indeed need urgent prayer, thank you!

                    I assume then from your response that you regard the Patriarchs of Moscow and Constantinople and Antioch as governing canonically in accord with Apostolic Canon 34?

                    Then we are not debating anything, as we agree that a strong Primate in our tradition governs canonically with a Synod in sobornost.

                    For can we express the Orthodox English word conciliarity in Russian without using sobornost? Or is the latter term necessarily evidence of Neo-Western Solovyevan heresy, as you seemed to advance earlier in this thread?

                    Re “individualistic conciliarity,” that was a poor attempt at humor, sorry. As for Synod in conciliarity, it is possible to imagine a Synod that acts not in a conciliar way, unless we assume infallibility for all Synods, or would deny the term Synod to such a group. But perhaps I should have used a comma after Synod. Please correct me on the issue of Synodal infallibility, or on anything else!

                    Kyrill on this thread argues that Canon 34’s requirement that (in his terms) the Primate is “the hub” is abrogated by the OCA Statute. Is his view neo-Western? Or are the Patriarchs of Moscow and Constantinople governing non-canonically, in your view?

                    Please still pray for me,


                    IC XC NIKA

                    • Carl Kraeff says

                      Dear Professor–I am indeed leaving in three hours. It is a good thing that I packed last night; otherwise I would be unable to respond before the thread became stale.

                      In any case, I am glad that we do agree on the Metropolitan being the hub back in the days. In modern Synodal churches, such as the OCA and the ROC, the roles and functions of the primate are defined by their statutes, which I am sure are in accord with Canon 34. It is not up to us to gainsay these statutes and declare that any given statute is not in accord with Canon 34; that is the job of those authorities that are specified by the statutes themselves.

                      Nonetheless, I continue to think that the principles imbedded in the Canon are crucial, even though there may be slight variances in the way that they are operationalized in the several statutes. I continue to believe that no Orthodox Church would ever come even close to the Popish idea of the Primate as a super bishop, for all bishops are the heirs to Saint Peter. Similarly, no Orthodox Church that I know of has done away with Canon 34’s principle of unanimity in actions that affect the local church.

                      There is of course no question that the Primate of a given church functions as the leader of that church; at issue is the extent of his authority, or, in the light of Canon 34, whether he can disregard the canon’s requirement that he obtain the consent of his fellow bishops in actions that affect the entire local church. While there are differences between the OCA and ROC statutes, I do not believe that either one allows her primate to be a “strong” leader who can transgress against the Canon.

                      As I have argued before, a primate has both formal and personal authority. A strong primate, IMO, is one who has such a high level of personal authority that his fellow bishops trust him to undertake new initiatives without having obtained their consent. That is because, a strong primate knows his brother bishops’ mind well enough that he can extent those areas of agreement into related new areas with a great amount of probability that such consent will be achieved after the fact. Of course, a primate may miscalculate but the important thing is that he takes steps to rectify his mistake and earn his brothers’ confidence again. To sum up, I think that it is possible to talk about certain primates as strong leaders, but that is not because of their position but because they have earned that adjective.

                    • Alfred Kentigern Siewers says

                      Glory to Jesus Christ! Glory forever!

                      Dear brother Kyrill,

                      You seem to continue to believe and teach that the OCA Statute supersedes and in effect corrects Apostolic Canon 34, indicating that the Apostolic Canon’s provision that the Primate be “the hub” of hierarchs applied only “back in the day.”

                      But at the same time you express agreement, if I follow you, that the Metropolitan of the OCA should have the same role as “the hub” within our Church as does the Patriarch of Moscow, the Patriarch of Constantinople, and the Patriarch of Antioch, under Canon 34.

                      This is puzzling, because you also have seemed to indicate that the OCA Statute would not support the Primate as “the hub.”

                      If you do continue to argue that the OCA Statute is not following Canon 34 with regard to the Primate as “the hub,” then it is you who implicitly accuse it of being non-canonical, it would seem.

                      But what is your evidence for that?

                      You say that of the requirements of Canon 34 that there may be “slight variances in the way that they are operationalized in the several statutes.” Where does the OCA Statute state or “operationalize” that the Primate is no longer “the hub”?

                      More troubling, (and please correct me if I am wrong) you seem to continue in the view that the OCA Statute thus somehow justified the kind of public disrespect for former Metropolitan Jonah online on OCANews and the Yahoo Orthodox Forum and other venues, which since has also spilled over into other types of online criticism of hierarchs that you do decry.

                      The issue as we have discussed before is following the whole Canon, not just picking or choosing. Thus under Canon 34 the Primate should seek the blessing of his fellow hierarchs for his actions as Primate, while the individual hierarchs should seek the particular advance blessing of the Patriarch for any effort of jurisdictional significance. Where in the OCA Statute is there provision for over-riding the Canon?

                      Meanwhile your discussion of the private vs. public authority of the Patriarch sounds a lot like Western Catholic notions of the two bodies of the king, which was a basis for the Catholic model of the papacy, and the notion of ex-cathedra infallibility.

                      This is at odds with the Orthodox consideration of the integrated iconography of the role of the Primate, in what St. Maximus the Confessor, following the traditions attributed to St. Dionysius the Areopagite, called the mystagogy of Church hierarchy.

                      Please pray for me a sinner,


                      IC XC NIKA

                  • Bishop Tikhon Fitzgerald says

                    Nothing in Canon 34 requires that a First Hierarch be a strong First Hierarch.
                    INSOFAR as any patriarchs act like absolute monarchs they are transgressing the boundaries of Canon 34.
                    Your question, “Or are the Patriarchs of Moscow and Constantinople governing non-canonically, in your view” is tactical and unbecoming logical discourse. The normal comment on it would be, “what a non sequitur!”
                    Sobornost is an accurate translation of Catholicity, not of “conciliarity.”
                    You wrote: “can we express the Orthodox English word conciliarity in Russian without using sobornost?”
                    I’m surprised that Alfred Kentiger Siewers, who has some credentials in English, calls “conciliarity” a word!!! It’s not in my OED, it’s not in my Oxford American English Dictionary and not in any of my Merrriam Webster dictionaries. We CAN, however, express the Orthodox Engish word CATHOLICITY in Russian as “sobornost'”.
                    “Conciliarity” COULD be considered a kind of specialist word, used mainly (or only) in the parlance of a certain kind of Eastern Orthodox ideologue, or political advocate/activist, confusing sociology with ecclesiology!

                    • Carl Kraeff says

                      Your Grace–Aside for Canon 34, do you know of any that requires a “strong primate”? I have read the ROC Statute in English (provided https://mospat.ru/en/documents/ustav/) and I cannot find that term there either. I do not think that it is a canonical or Scriptural term but one that Professor Siewers may be using it to gain supporters for his drive to revise the OCA statute more along the lines of what he thinks our governance should be.

                    • Alfred Kentigern Siewers says

                      Glory to Jesus Christ Glory forever!

                      Your Grace, your blessing!

                      Since you are consulting Merriam-Webster, pasted below are definitions from the unabridged Merriam-Webster (linked online), for both conciliarity and sobornost.

                      The literal translation of sobornost that is given is conciliarity.

                      It would seem that conciliarity thus could stand (in your term) for catholicity, or a quality of spiritual harmony, following the definition of sobornost that is given. Thus the state of being conciliar is not necessarily a synonym for Synod as you had suggested earlier. A Synod hopefully would be conciliar in this sense of spiritual harmony, but once could imagine a Synod not being in that state of spiritual harmony, unless one assumes that any Synod is always by definition spiritually harmonious.

                      In any case, conciliarity is in the dictionary, and sobornost is not defined in terms of Neo-Western Solvovyeanism either :).

                      Definition of CONCILIARITY: the principle of government found in Eastern Orthodox churches that places final authority in representative councils — compare sobornost

                      Definition of SOBORNOST: spiritual harmony based on freedom and unity in love : ecumenicity; specif : the principle of spiritual unity and religious community based on free commitment to a tradition of catholicity interpreted through ecumenical councils of the Eastern Orthodox Church — compare conciliarity
                      Origin of SOBORNOST
                      Russ, lit., conciliarity, fr. sobornyĭ conciliar, fr. sobor council

                      As for brother Kyrill (who thankfully appears to have returned here very quickly from his earlier announced week of travel and vacation from Monomakhos), his amendment of Canon 34 so that the First Hierarch is (in his words) no longer “the hub” would accept (as he has written here before) only the rules for the Primate in that Apostolic Canon, rather than also accepting the rules given for the other hierarch as well.

                      Accepting the whole Canon involves what I have called a “strong Primate” in a “conciliar Synod,” or in Kyrill’s perhaps better words the Primate as “the hub.”

                      In any case, we all now seem to agree that the Patriarchs of Moscow, Constantinople, and Antioch govern in accord with Apostolic Canon 34. Therefore they all must then function as “the hub” following Canon 34. In which case we are in agreement, regardless of whether we call a canonical sense of a Primate as “strong” or probably better (thanks to Kyrill) “the hub.”

                      Please pray for me a sinner,


                      IC XC NIKA

  22. Tumorous Baktos says
    • This story is NOT about Fr. Alexander Lebedev of ROCOR in Los Angeles. Is that the association you are trying to make?

    • Ilya Zhitomirskiy says

      How is this relevant? The discussion is about Metropolitan Jonah, not some random man who could be in the KGB. Anyway, I’m wondering how the OCA still survives in such a situation.

    • Anfisa Bludlivaya says

      What’s the point of this link, Tumorous? Are you trying to seduce readers into believing that this is one or ROCOR’s senior archpriests? You are ill.

      • Carl Kraeff says

        As I said before, this guy has made so many outrageous statements that I think he is not an OCA member or supporter but an agent provocateur and an enemy of the OCA and her Holy Synod. This is the sort of maneuver that Father Fester, éminence grise to +Jonah and formerly of the OCA, excelled in.

        • George Michalopulos says

          Keep dreaming Carl. Was it Hegel who said that “some people cannot bear truth”? I can’t say that I blame you as you stand around and watch the continued destruction of the OCA’s legitimacy in America at least.

          • Carl Kraeff says

            At least I am not throwing more wood or gasoline on the fire.

            On a serious note, yesterday’s homily at Holy Apostles (my parish) included an observation that just as our Lord was a missionary so should His followers be. Indeed, to be a Christian is to be a missionary. It is so with my little parish that happens to be in the Diocese of the South of the Orthodox Church in America. We have and are doing our part in establishing missions and producing clergymen. I am sure that we are not unique in the OCA or in Orthodoxy in general. I always like to brag on St Elias of Austin, Texas, a parish of the Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese, as she has had the same sort of history and missionary effort as my current parish. May the Lord multiply our numbers! The reason why I am saying this is because churches like St. Elias and Holy Apostles are going to determine the future of the Church in the New World.

    • Disinterested Observer says

      I became interested in this blog a few weeks ago because of what was being said about “Orthodox in Dixie.” It has since drawn me into the OCA-issues you have discussed, and the multiple ways in which y’all relate to each other in this forum.

      What I don’t understand is why you continually allow a monkey into your conversations.

      When you engage this “Tumorous” person (or what seem to be his other pesonae) with either politeness or reason, you seem to be affording respect to someone peeing in your house and throwing his crap on your walls. I imagine a wide-toothed chimpanzee jumping and screeching every time I read the politely indignant responses made to any of his comments.

  23. Dear All,

    I think it would be good for the OCA synod to hear from us who post here how we would feel if the synod refused to let +Jonah be released to the MP/ROCOR? What would be our reaction?

    I offer this because it looks like Metropolitan TIkhon’s promise to release him is going to be scuttled by +Benjamin, and +Nathaniel who are leading the charge to continue the abuse of +Jonah and his internal exile.

    Will this action finally be the breaking point in the relations between the ROC and the OCA? What should be our reactions as members of the OCA?

    • Disgusted With It says

      And again it all comes down to -Benjamin the Bully and -Nathaniel the Puppetmaster who works behind the scenes. For someone who works so independently of the OCA, I’m surprised to learn how much -Nathaniel meddles in our business. It’s time for him to take a seat and stay there.

      But time will tell if +Tikhon and the others be men, or mice?

      • Interested Bystander says

        Do you really want to understand who the OCA puppet master is – really?

        OK, then take a look at the images from the dinner following the enthronement of Tikhon recently. At the head table was a gaggle of Bishops and at each end were Tosi and Jillions. (BTW: There were other OCA bishops sitting in the general floor area to make room for Tosi and Jillions! This should be a scandal.)

        After his speech, standing directly at the head table, Kishkovsky, (who had his seat in the general floor area) walked along the head table and stood behind each speaker in succession – hovering over all of the proceedings and each speech. Under the constraint of his micro-managing how did this poor fellow eat?

        Still wondering…???

        • Disgusted With It says

          Definitely, the things you point out are problems and demonstrate the sad reality of today’s OCA administration. My point about the bishops was in regard to who are the ones on the synod misguiding the other bishops. But in regard to the bishops and Fr. Kishkovsky, that seems to be an unhealthy situation a long-time in the making. It looks like Fr. K has the power but no authority, and the bishops have the authority (which a few of them love to flaunt) but no real power, especially over the Fr. K faction. So when things happen, it’s all dependent on who’s using or manipulating whom at the moment. What a mess!

          • Interested Observer says

            No, sadly, between the Bishops and old-timers it’s all about who knows what about ‘who’, and how much the last ‘who’ doesn’t want this information made public…usually a case of mutual deterrence and co-dependency on keeping secrets. Sad and sickening really.

            BTW: It’s Thursday, and not one word to +Jonah!!! (From the ‘promised’ Monday meeting following enthronement where +Justinian was told +Jonah was immediately going to be “well taken care of”!!!)

    • I don’t know if it will break them, but it will not help them, that is for certain.

      But that said, the final curtain has yet to fall on this little drama. Granted, there are those on the Holy Synod who oppose his release….but it remains to be seen if the majority of them think this way, if remains to be seen if Met. elect Tikhon may yet manage to find a way to keep his word. It remains to be seen if God might at the last minute stir the conscience of a bishop or two…or perhaps sideline one or more of those leading Met. Jonah’s defamation and abuse…so as to restore the fear of God to the rest.

      Then again…it may be God has a purpose for Met. Jonah’s present suffering. Look at the lives of St. Nectarios or St. John Chrysostom. They endured a great deal of hardship and suffering, much more than Met. Jonah has at present.

      Granted, I could be mistaken, but I get the feeling God permitted Met. Jonah to become the primate of the OCA as a test of the faith and integrity of his brother bishops. How they treated him with his great good will and evangelistic zeal, but limited administrative experience was to reveal the type of men and bishops they really were. To date the only one I’m aware of to have met the challenge with grace and Christian love was our late Archbishop Dimitri. May his memory be eternal. Maybe in time there will be others.

      Years ago I read of an old monk and spiritual father who treated his disciple with overbearing cruelty, yet the disciple met the challenge with good will and humility. Eventually though he died from his spiritual father’s cruelties. It so happened though that shortly after his funeral, it was observed that his relics had begun to stream myrrh. When his spiritual father saw that he was deeply smitten in his conscience and began to weep, lamenting that he had murdered a saint. From that time forth he lived in the tombs near the grave of his former disciple, and by the end of his days had become holy and a living saint himself.

      It might be that the heart of some of his detractors is so hardened against grace that it will taken Met. Jonah’s very human suffering to break it and render it capable of good again. It may be he has to suffer unjustly so that in the end one or more of his brother bishops who were headed for perdition may be stricken in their conscience, repent, and in the end be saved. God knows.

    • Sure. I’ll start. I could no longer associate myself with such a synod of bishops. Persistent and deliberate viciousness toward the metropolitan is a deal-breaker, regardless of his administrative issues. It would be time to enact Plan B, which is to start a mission away from the OCA–a frequent topic of conversation for this very reason. Who knows, it might even be a (cathedral) parish from the get-go since I know I’m far from alone.

      Is common decency too much to expect?

      • Carl Kraeff says

        I love it: schismatics united for love and common decency!

        • Alfred Kentigern Siewers says

          Glory to Jesus Christ! Glory forever!

          Dear Mr. Kraeff,

          Discussions unfortunately often get over-heated online (another reason that we need in my view specific standards for online activities from our bishops in North America), as I am very aware in terms of my own sins, for which I have asked forgiveness.

          But your theory of Canon 34, propounded here and elsewhere over and over again online in the past two years, potentially itself has encouraged (I am sure unintentionally) the disrespect that you now decry as schismatic.

          Have you considered as a peacemaker submitting your individual teaching on Canon 34 first to the Holy Synod for review and blessing or correction before continuing to propound it online to the faithful at large?

          That customized interpretation seems to combine a strict construction of Canon 34’s restrictions on the Primate with a “living document” view of it when applied to the Holy Synod, implicitly asserting that the OCA Synod is not in accord with the whole explicit meaning of Canon 34, despite your past advocacy of a strict-construction reading of texts and the canons.

          On the one hand that interpretation advanced by you as an individual encourages the impression that the OCA Synod is not in accord with the Apostolic Canon and that the OCA Statute likewise is out of sync with it, a view that encourages disrespect of the hierarchy. At the same time the interpretation of Orthodox ecclesiology you advance would encourage a particularly restricted view of the Primate’s authority, at odds with other local Orthodox churches around the world, and potentially encouraging disrespect of our new Metropolitan in assuming his full leadership role as Primate now. This seems to lead, by impression or misimpression, to the worst of all possible effects, in terms of how the faithful receive this interpretation when continually circulated in public.

          The idea of differentiating the Orthodox tradition of the Holy Synod from the Orthodox tradition of a strong Primate, in effect creating an either/or view of Canon 34’s full implementation and the full implementation of the OCA Statute, would seem to dismember conciliarity and sobornost as foundational to our ecclesiology, especially in a context of individual advocacy positions regarding ecclesiastical politics.

          While I do think the particulars of the OCA governance structure deserve review, given its uniqueness in world Orthodoxy and our past revolving door of Metropolitans and scandals, I also don’t see the basic contradiction between the Holy Synod and the strong Primate models that you seem to advance in adapting rather than embracing fully Canon 34. That canon, as you note, is a particularly crucial canon, and one that is highlighted in the governing documents of our mother church, the Moscow Patriarchate. You have said that you do not have a problem with the Moscow Patriarchate’s model of engaging the full meaning of both Synodal conciliarity and a strong Primate model within Canon 34. If that is so, it would not seem to pose a problem in the OCA’s situation either, but that in any case would be for the Holy Synod to determine, and not an individual putting forth an interpretation of canon law online.

          I would assume that you share my unworthy prayers on this weekend of Metropolitan Tikhon’s enthronement that His Beatitude be supported in fulfilling the leadership role of the Primate under the Apostolic Canon. One small way in which we can do this is with both charity and clarity of expression online, rather than reacting and participating in heated argument. Again, I would encourage you to submit your teaching on Canon 34 to the Synod for review before pursuing your individual canonical teachings further online. Meanwhile, to avoid potential misunderstanding among your readers, I would suggest that it would be meet also for you to join with me here in affirming our support of Metropolitan Tikhon’s successful tenure as a strong primate, without asserting any contradiction between that and conciliarity.

          Yours unworthily in Christ,


          IC XC NIKA

          • M. Stankovich says

            Prof. Siewers,

            It frequently crosses my mind of late that when you speak of this model of “strong primate,” you do so with concession; as if to say “we have it, let’s accommodate ourselves [in spite of it].” Please correct me if I’m wrong. Whereas mine is certainly no mission of “online canonical teaching” – and, demonstrably, who listens to me anyway – it seems difficult, if not impossible, to defend this model.

            When you speak of “sobornost,” “conciliarity,” and “leadership,” I do not think of the Canons – I fail to see the significance in this matter – but rather a Primate who first and foremost exercises his “charisma” in leadership & conciliarity among his brother bishops, and they in turn, united, bring this vision to the Church.The notion of “strong primate,” speaking not to the magnanimity of character and piety, but measured in homiletics and warm affect is quite disturbing; on the one hand the devil himself apparently was gifted “orator” (Matt. 4:1-11), and the ustav is precise in questioning the Bishop-elect as to his beliefs, rather than offering an “audition.” “Are all apostles? Are all prophets? Are all teachers? Do all work miracles?” (1 Cor. 12:29) Certainly not. But have we lost any sense of criteria because we succumbed to the fallacy of the West that you are not “heard” if you are not “in the media.” Beloved Professor SS Verhovskoy scolded us frequently that we Orthodox will be accountable for missing precious opportunities to deliver the Faith every day because “you ignore your neighbor and hope for a stadium.”

            Again, if I have misinterpreted your position, then my apologies, and we differ in opinion. If I am correct, then we agree, and what does this mean on a practical level?

            • Alfred Kentigern Siewers says

              Glory to Jesus Christ! Glory forever!

              Dear Mr. Stankovich,

              We clearly have the combined tradition and mystery of the authority of a Primate and the synergy of conciliarity/sobornost in our Orthodox tradition, as exemplified by local Orthodox churches around the world and the coexistence usually in our tradition of the Apostolic Canons (notably 34) with the model of the Holy Synod. It may in part be a balance and synergy unattained at times, but it also embodies iconographically what a friend of mine calls “relative incommensurability” in apophaticism. Having to work with and embody the authority of a strong spiritual father in the Church amid sobornost, obedience with consensus reflects a higher mystery, larger context, and reality of incommensurability in our faith. This is in a sense an ascetic discipline for all of us, and in this both the traditional models of strong Primate and conciliar Synod involve affective “charisma” that is the heart of a spiritual discipline involved in theosis, the source of a strength that is love. This emerges in iconographic, fractal form from the whole text of Apostolic Canon 34, as well as from the rest of our tradition. Not either a Primate or sobornost, but both together, exemplify what the Blessed Martyr Pavel Florensky called the mystery of the higher law of identity (and love), A=not-A. Thus we celebrate today the enthronement of a new Primate, Metropolitan Tikhon, paradoxically to the world to lead us in our conciliarity, and we pray for his successful tenure. Axios!

              Please pray for me a sinner,


              IC XC NIKA

              • M. Stankovich says

                Prof. Siewers,

                Axios, indeed!

                I must confess that much of your response is over my head – thereby explaining why you are a professor, and I am not. Pardon me, I accept responsibility for that insufficiency.

                My thought was simply that the new Metropolitan arrives to face many expectations, some borne of hope and good will, some not. Likewise, in a time of technology that disseminates information near instantaneously – some accurately & some not – he faces an unprecedented scrutiny. I pray that, according to to the instruction of St. Chrysostom, he is able to bear up to the confrontations endemic to the office, is successful in providing leadership and unity to the Synod, and together they can again restore confidence, vitality, and moral leadership to the the OCA so much in need.

                • Alfred Kentigern Siewers says

                  Glory to Jesus Christ! Glory forever!

                  Indeed. Being clear on the need for supporting a Primate as a type of spiritual father of our Church, and not seeing this as a contradiction of Synodal sobornost, is key in what we can do in our statements, thoughts, prayers, and actions to this end.

                  For example, Canon 34 as a whole requires a particular blessing from the Primate for any project or planning by any hierarch of jurisdictional significance, as well as that the Primate obtain agreement from the hierarchs for action. My problem with Mr. Kraeff’s longstanding singling out of this Canon as a “symbol of our ecclesiology” is that his teaching on it in my view differentiates between those two aspects, emphasizing the full implementation of the second but not of the first, but they are really combined as one within it.

                  Sobornost does not require an either/or choice between a Holy Synod and a strong First Hierarch leading it, or some kind of mechanical organizational-administrative tinkering to achieve that, but rather integrates the two spiritually in grace, requiring and evoking both obedience and synergetic love.

                  The type of disrespect unleashed against the Primate publicly on OCANews and then elsewhere online for the past few years does not leave the Synodal model alone, but rather both are dragged down together in effect by it, and yet both together are our tradition.

                  Whatever excuses or reasons were raised for disrespect of former Metropolitan Jonah, they need to be laid aside in humble repentance, before merely assuming “business as usual” and decrying any general climate of criticism and disrespect in the Church that has stemmed from it.

                  Respectfully supporting the release of His Eminence Jonah, in at least tacit recognition of both the considerable talents that he offers to American Orthodoxy and of the sinful disrespect accorded him online by many in our Church (regardless of any self-justification for such disrespect), is one step we faithful can take in a process of what in Native American terms could be termed spiritual medicine (actually that terminology from an Orthodox standpoint can be found in Metropolitan Hierotheos Vlachas’ writings and elsewhere).

                  In this we can help to ensure that both the new Metropolitan’s tenure and healing in the OCA proceed well, as we hope and pray they will.

                  Yours unworthily in Christ,


                  IC XC NIKA

                  • Carl Kraeff says

                    Professor–Respectfully, one cannot “support a Primate as a type of spiritual father of our Church, and not see this as a contradiction of Synodal sobornost,” It is my clear understanding that the arch-pastors in an Orthodox church are the ruling bishops. I do not believe that we have ever identified the primate as the ruling bishop over the local church. Canon 34 and our statute (or the ROC one) clearly defines what the competencies of the Metropolitan/patriarch are. These competencies do not lead one to believe that the primate is a ruling bishop. May be I am being too precise here. May be I am imagining powers and competencies attached to your words that I should should not have.

                    Let’s start all over again: I have no problem with the primate being the First Hierarch, the First among Equals, the Presiding Officer of the Holy Synod, the voice and face of the local church. I have no problem if his personal charisma is such that he is considered by the faithful, clergy and fellow bishops as the “spiritual father” of the Church. I simply do not think that his formal, canonical position in itself mandates that he should acknowledged as the spiritual father to his fellow bishops or the faithful. Indeed, each priest is bound tightly to his own arch-pastor and the only time that the metropolitan is the arch-pastor is when he is the diocesan bishop.

                    That said, I also do not think that the Metropolitan should be afforded some extra protection from criticism or disrespect as you imply. From his consecration on, each bishop (to include the primate) has a reservoir of presumed esteem and respect. This respect is positional at first as the new bishop may need time to build up personal authority. A problem occurs when personal authority is lost, usually because of bad judgments or conduct. However, just the opposite may also happen and the personal charisma, if not his authority, may grow beyond his diocese or even his local church. We saw that with Metropolitan Maximos of Pittsburgh (retired), Bishop Basil of Wichita, and Archbishop Dmitri of blessed memory.

                    • George Michalopulos says

                      Carl, your chimerical understanding of Canon 34 leads me to believe that you believe in unicorns. There is no way that the Synod acted in accordance with Canon 34 anyway as they engaged in a conspiracy and fabricated the nature of his supposed crimes.

                      Until you come to grips with the monstrousness of the crime committed here, you and the conspirators will continue to strain on gnats while swallowing camels.

                    • Alfred Kentigern Siewers says

                      Glory to Jesus Christ! Glory forever!

                      Dear Mr. Kraeff,

                      The individual teaching you have developed for Canon 34 is the basis for anarchy in our Church rather than a support to our hierarchical ecclesiology. I do not know why you will not submit it for review to the Holy Synod before propounding it further, especially given that you are neither a bishop nor a scholar of canon law, other than that perhaps that you are aware that it would not be so blessed. Certainly it is not recognized by other local churches around the world. The disrespect accorded to the former Metropolitan in online invectives and insults and epithets and subversion by laity and clergy, you seem to support without repentance, based on a unilateral reading of the Canons that also expresses no spirit of filial love for hierarchs and humble obedience. The Ecumenical Patriarchate did not support sending Greek hierarchs to the Enthronement of Metropolitan Tikhon because of the public ethos of disrespect to hierarchy evident in the Online Church in America. Public anarchy by church members online certainly is not permissible to the Patriarchate of Moscow in the governance of the Russian Orthodox Church and ROCOR, which you implicitly seemed to recognize when in following your “new ecclesiology” you earlier commented on options and odds of success for bringing canonical charges against the Patriarch. Clearly your interpretation is at odds with the understanding of our Church around the world on the full compatibility of the models of a strong Primate as an ecclesiastical spiritual father and a conciliar Synod. Yet you continue to teach it here without seeking episcopal review, in what can only be interpreted now as an ideology leading to schism. While there is a time and place in our tradition for the laity and monastics to rise up to defend the faith, your apparent defense of a unilateral interpretation of a local statute as superseding apostolic canons and universal tradition, as justification for online rebellion in the Church by laity and clergy, is neither meet nor right. For the sake of our Church, please in wisdom seek the Synod’s guidance and correction before continuing to teach new ecclesiology publicly, in which you risk not only justifying continued public disrespect to our hierarchs in future but also misleading the faithful.

                      Yours unworthily in Christ,


                      IC XC NIKA

                • Carl Kraeff says


      • Mark from the DOS says

        How exactly is it schismatic to start a mission with another jurisdiction? Until the canonical anomalies in the US are resolved, it cannot be schismatic, unless you are affiliating your mission with the Autonomous Ukrainian Anglican Catholic Autocephalous Orthodox church or one of those such “jurisdictions.”

        It may be schismatic in a dictionary definition kind of way, but not as we would commonly use the word. But I guess name calling feels good.

  24. Sean Richardson says

    Simply stated, I do not believe that anyone should be forced to belong to any organization where they are neither welcomed nor are they allowed to be useful. If the Metropolitan wishes to go, and ROCOR wishes to welcome him and allow him a ministry which is beneficial to the Kingdom of God, then he should be allowed to go. I don’t see why this is difficult.

  25. Artakhshassa the Great says

    Has metropolitan Jonah ****ever*** requested a release to ROCOR from Metropolitan Tikhon or from the Holy Synod? If he has not, why should Metropolitan Tikhon or the Holy Synod release him to anybody who asks?
    Yes, Metropolitan Tikhon or someone else lets the dog go outside when he has to and announces it in his customary way. But has Metropolitan Jonah requested ******anything*****?

  26. Bishop Tikhon Fitzgerald says

    If Metropolitan Jonah has not sent a request to Metropolitan Tikhon, nor to the Holy Synod, why should they release him to anyone, and why should anyone write to Metropolitan Hilarion or Archbishop Justinian?
    Is requesting a release harder than resigning?
    How about the possibility that Metropolitan Jonah doesn’t WANT to commit himself to ROCOR? Anybody ask him? Perhaps he just wants to have a proof of canonical release so he can shop around without committing himself?
    Just sayin’.

    • These questions have already been answered.

    • I’m usually pretty good at reading between the lines with you. I thought at first you just were pushing for witnesses to come forward. Two of these have come forward, and you know their legal names, one complete with middle initial. Jonah has sent the request for release, as everyone pro and con has assumed he would. This is not something that even makes for good controversy. So your focus on this is puzzling.

      Now what? You have Jonah’s cell phone number, do you not? Obviously, you could call him yourself and tell us what he says. We would all be very surprised if he contradicted what other witnesses with legal names have already testified to.

      Do you know something you won’t say? How are we going to draw this out of you?

      I was trying somehow to connect this to other cases of injustice that you might care about. But I’m just completely at a loss.

      What do you know that you aren’t saying, and how is it relevant?

      I know you have specific criteria you would need (egregious heresy preached within the context of the Divine Liturgy by a bishop) before you would request a transfer of your own. Do you wish to condemn the man for following a standard that is not your own?

      As an aside, why can’t one spiritual authority pass him off to another without his request, if it is not a free market system and he is under authority, would he not be required to go even if it was against his wishes. This is what so many people who hate the man would have us believe, that he is disobedient for not accepting Benjamin’s generous offer to be his personal fetish till death do them part.

      If you know that he never sent a letter and this is the hold up, then say so, please. If you don’t know, then call the man and ask him. If you know that he has sent the letter, then why are you harping on this point as if you don’t know and have no way of finding out?

      I don’t even know what to conclude from your focus on this. It is baffling. You are implying that you know something secret that you refuse to share for reasons that are secret. You are simply going to have to tell us.

  27. Bishop Tikhon Fitzgerald says

    I feel that this regretfully must be my last posting here, and when I translate that feeling into action, THEN, I’ll make a post that says, “This not only must be but IS my last post on Monomakhos.”
    BTW, why, when one clicks on “Heracleides” above, is one taken to Photobucket with nary a cartoon in sight?
    I know Heracleides is alive because he keeps track of me and says so here.
    in Christ
    +Bishop Tikhon
    OCA retired

    • Heracleides says

      You really do have a rather pointless existence in your twilight years, don’t you? I can think of a hell of a lot better things to do than worry about my photobucket account… or play word games as to whether you are really departing this blog or not. But, hey – it’s your life swiftly spinning towards the bottom of the bowl – so knock yourself out.

    • Rdr. Benjamin says

      Bishop +Tikhon,

      May God Grant you many years and may the Lord accept your soul into the mansions of the righteous upon your passing from this world, which is not your home into the next. Please pray for me the sinner.


      This will also be my last posting. I have discovered that this is simply not good for my soul and have decided to seek shelter outside of the OCA when I move on Saturday. May God have mercy on us all in the coming darkness as our world slides further and further into apostasy. May at least some remember God and be faithful to Him and may the Lord have mercy on our souls.

      Yours unworthily,

  28. Tumorous Baktos says
    • Exactly ! There are SO MANY examples like this that could be pulled up as evidence.

      I am shocked at the low level of serious political awareness here. As though people

      are so immersed in
      1. [tiresome] OCA politics
      2. American domestic politics

      that they don’t even think of the bigger international picture. Nor do they want to learn anything of serious impact.

      Most all the younger clergy think naively. If the clergy think that way, then how do they lead their parishioners into a shrewd observation of the longstanding realities of how the KGB works -?

      How many readers even read the John Barron classic study, “KGB:
      The Secret Work of Soviet Agents”, written way back ?

      Or the stunning compendium, The Sword and The Shield – ?
      That latter has some messages specifically about Soviet machinations INSIDE Orthodox jurisdictions, especially in Canada.

      Those who wish to turn a blind eye to what is more important that all the little frivolities being discussed are welcome to do so. AT THEIR OWN RISK.

      Why not READ and educate yourselves first, before lazily flinging out jeers ??

      Why not also take a second to wonder WHY Metropolitan Philaret of New York, the staunch ANTI-Communist, was such an incredible bulwark of strength against the same MP and KGB which everyone here seems to yawn away about !

      Why were his relics incorrupt ? See pics on the internet if you have any doubt.

      Proponents of the MP and the MP-Rocor ‘union’ get embarrassed and
      sweep any mention of Met Philaret under the carpet. He’s not convenient for “the new thought”.

      I don’t know about the rest of this guy TB’s posts; at least on this topic, he is sharp as a tack.
      My advice : stop mocking, start reading and learning.

      • Carl Kraeff says

        Catherine–The original article was published by The Telegraph, a newspaper that is quite respectable. However, the poster Tumerous Baktos made two mistakes: one was to source it to “warnewsupdates,” a source that does not have the reputation of The Telegraph. Secondly, he is deliberately provocative and misleading when he wrote: “ROC Spy on the French” as an introduction to the link. The gist of the Telegraph article is that “The French secret service has reportedly expressed alarm over plans for a Russian Orthodox cathedral in Paris, fearing it will be used by Moscow as a front for spies.” The article then explains why the French secret service is alarmed about this possibility. Please note that the building is not built yet, but Mr. Tumerous Bakas is already claiming that it is being used to spy on the French.

        Here is my problem: because of his posting history, intemperate and provocative language, and plain misrepresentation, I cannot credit this guy with anything. It has come to a knee-jerk reaction on my part and I would not have read the link had you not written your post.

        I have read most every book written on the Soviet Union, and those two on the KGB that you mentioned. I am an inveterate Cold Warrior. But, I have grown weary over the years in pointing out that Gunner Joe was essentially right. However, he ruined his crusade by his intemperate and outrageous behavior. Tumorous Bakos may be in the same category, but I doubt it. I think that he is an anti-OCA agent provocateur.

        • That’s important that the artcle came from The Telegraph

          I don’t know why Mr T B. chose to post this particular version, but even the name seems
          Cold War Update News …. !

          It is NOT preposterous that agents are used by the MP inside foreign Orthodox circles.
          Or, agents of influence. There are many gradations : I am not claiming that every priest in
          a Russian jurisdiction has a secret KGB uniform with appropriate insignia under clerical vestments.
          There are so many ways one can be a “useful idiot” for the wrong parties.

          Look, Carl, even Rocor’s Fr Andrew Philips of the UK points out in his discussion of Orthodox Church politics in Europe that an MP clergyman in BERLIN was forced to work as a spy for the KGB.

          If this most enthusiastic proponent of the MP-Rocor ‘union’ admits THAT, then we can safely assume that there ARE a galaxy of others through the 20th century when the US was Russia’s “MAIN ENEMY”.
          Don’t forget that ! Every KGB officer and agent and even floorwasher had that drummed into his or her head !
          Little has changed, just superficial points have.
          You have to understand the Soviet mentality. Once they have some system set up, the whole thing keeps grinding away. They don’t suddenly say “This is ‘glasnost’ ! Let’s go have a picnic and forget all that
          animosity”. AMERICANS, optimistic and often terribly naive and ignorant about how other countries think and operate, WOULD have that attitude.
          So, Americans PROJECT their own child-like glee at the supposed burying of the axe [or of the hammer & sickle!] ONTO THEIR OPPONENTS.

          Americans don’t even bother to STUDY history or learn even a thing about Russian culture, history, religion, anything.

          So the glib pronouncements by American officials and others do not reflect reality.
          They are for U.S. domestic consumption – at BEST.

          Few Americans recognize that the sober, determined Russians [ no picnics need apply ] with a powerful Okhrana way back before the Cheka – NKVD – etc KGB – FSB – continue the same general structure and principles. Only the Soviet models were aimed at : THE WEST ! Whereas the Okhrana was focused on suppressing internal dissent against the Monarchy.

          So we see the same naivete coloring the posts here.

          I am not saying to NOT look at good in today’s Russia. If they ban gays from the entire country and exile them to another planet, that would be ideal. Look at the contrast in America, now a bastion of homosexual power. If KGB agents want to infiltrate, blackmail, discredit the gays here, I would welcome them to these shores.

          I doubt that is what the FSB is after….

          The actual goals in acquisition of intelligence can surely be updated as the decades go by, but military,
          technological and economic intelligence remain I am sure the backbone of the KGB’s efforts here.

          However, the METHODS put in place long ago do NOT change. Hence, the agents in cassocks
          or helpful members of Parish Councils who suddenly appear out of the blue in a parish established
          for 50 or 100 years in America and vote to send the deed for the valuable Church buildings and real estate over to Yasenevo.

          Anyone tell me this has NOT happened ? It has. And it will MORE as the initial jitters felt by the Rocor flock are ridiculed and eventually calmed down by confidence-building measures. Such as Icons being sent from Russia to tour America and such supposedly ‘brotherly gestures’ to allay the justifiable fears of Rocor members.

          Carl, if you read The Mitrokhin Archive, then that book says it all and provides the actual evidence.

          Thanks for the warning about Mr Tb. I was assuming he was someone pro-OCA.

          • George Michalopulos says

            Catherine, a lot of these newspaper stories are propagated by Neocons and other anti-Russian elements in the West. Be very careful about taking them at face value. Remember how the Congress and President were assured by no less than George Tenet, the Director of the CIA that it was a “slam dunk” that Saddam Hussein had WMD? Remember how Judith Miller of The New York Times was on Hardball and other news shows throughout the late 90s early 00s talking about the existential threat that Hussein continued to pose?

            The expenditure of American blood and treasure is not something to be undertaken on the mere say-so of people who hate Putin mainly because he shut off the gravy-train in 2000.

      • Met. Philaret is not being “swept away” by the “new thought” in ROCOR-MP: …many in ROCOR have been calling for his glorification and submitting account of miracles that happened through his prayers. During the last session of the Diocesan Council on November 14, with the blessing of Metropolitan Hilarion, a local diocesan glorification committee was organized to gather information and raise awareness of the righteous life of Metropolitan Philaret, as well as Brother Jose Muñoz-Cortes. Archpriest Victor Potapov was assigned chairman of the committee. More information will be published in the near future.

        This info was obtained from the website of of ROCOR’s Eastern Diocese.


        • Met. Philaret’s vestments were also accepted by Pat. Alexey and displayed in Moscow:

          With the blessing of His Holiness, four of Metropolitan Philaret’s vestments are included in a new exhibition devoted to the history of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia being held at the Ecclesio-Archeological Cabinet of Moscow Theological Academy at Holy Trinity-St Sergius Lavra; and one set will be given to Diveevo Convent.


        • Regarding the FIRST post :

          That is good to hear. I was wondering what was taking Rocor so long. Many other places have already
          glorified Metropolitan Philaret.

          It is QUITE embarrassing to Rocor that there has been almost no movement in this area all these years.

          If you notice, his sermons are published only rarely [almost never on the main Rocor site] and other hierarchs who were supposedly pro-MP or more liberal, are much oftener featured in glossy accounts of their
          lives or writings. Bp Mitrophan of Boston, for example…a MUCH lesser figure than the towering Metropolitan Philaret of Blessed Memory.

          I have been pleased that the EAD site does mention him with a degree of respect. Probably because many of the clergy in the East would have known him or known those who remember him.

          The truth is, though, that the previous Metropolitan Laurus seemed to be infuriated when Met Philaret’s relics were opened and revealed to be incorrupt. An ear-witness clergyman heard Met Laurus, in charge of the ceremony, rage :

          “Put him BACK in the ground and let him rot like everyone else”

          With that sort of attitude, along with a refusal to let anyone present venerate the relics before hastily sealing up the coffin, one can see the official attitude of the top ranked Rocor clergyman was quite hostile toward the virtuous saint, known for his courageous stance against all that was being promoted in The New Rocor…

          I am glad if there will be prompt action taken in the case of Rocor’s
          “Great Third” First Hierarch.

          I don’t believe that Brother Jose should be glorified.

          Regarding the second post, let me choke !

          • Catherine,

            As you likely know, Met. Philaret reposed in 1985. It hasn’t even been thirty years and you consider this outrageously delayed? Even St. John Maximovitch was glorified 28 years after his repose. These things take time. If the ROCOR immediately glorified her righteous ones, then people would likely have something to say about that as well. The synods who’ve glorified him are not in communion with any of the Local Churches.

            • In the case of Metropolitan Philaret – all rules are irrelevant !
              For any other holy figure, of course, 3 decades at minimum seems prudent to wait.

              But not for Metropolitan Philaret, who is so OBVIOUSLY a Saint
              that it’s just like St John Maximovitch.

              Everyone is twiddling their thumbs waiting for the Synod to move on it
              so that they can pray to SAINT Philaret [Vosnesensky] !

              If Rocor-MP Synod is STILL hesitating, the reluctant members may
              think what a boost it would be for Jordanville to have pilgrims coming there
              and much written about Met Philaret and Holy Trinity Monastery…
              new pupils would want to enter the seminary there…
              good for EVERYBODY all the way around !

              Even I would consider to attend the glorification. What I mean is, I didn’t plan to
              travel ever again to New York, plus I hate the TSA business.
              But I would think about attending. IF, of course, the decision is not procrastinated — especially not out of a servile fear of angering some wings of the Moscow Patriarchate….

              It is an obvious and resounding : YES !
              [There are even some UNKNOWN miracles attached to Met Philaret’s extremely faithful
              Protodeacon Nikita Chakirov. Not everyone was fond of the latter. But that may show
              how very holy the Metropolitan was, that his closest attendant received some special grace
              at his repose.]

              Anyway, Maximus, 2013 IS the 28 th year after the repose of Met Philaret – notably
              on the Feast of Archangel Michael !!! – surely a huge divine sign right there !

              ALL factors point to the fact that it is HIGH TIME for the glorification to be approved
              and implemented.

              What about St Jonah of Manchuria ? He was glorified on the basis of ONE miracle.
              There are volumes of evidence for the sanctity of Met Philaret of New York.

              Think, too, how wonderful that would be to have a bona fide Saint on both coasts of the country ! Balanced and symmetrical, plus a boost for Rocor.

              • I agree, Catherine, I wholeheartedly agree with your pious sentiments. However, glorifications occasionally take time. Even St. Seraphim of Sarov was glorified 70 years after his repose.

                • It’s my understanding that St Seraphim would not have even been glorified then
                  had it not been for Tsar Nicholas and perhaps the Tsarina Alexandra pushing for that.

                  There are so many quirks involved in the very differing paths to glorification, yes,
                  that is for sure. No story is identical to another.

                  Even so, Met Philaret deserves ‘the fastest track’ possible, in my little opinion.
                  Think how wonderful it would be for those of his spiritual children who are still alive
                  to be either present or hear of the event.

                  Whereas if Rocor waits too long, these will have departed to the Lord.
                  Why gyp them ?!!

          • Lola J. Lee Beno says

            Umm . . . may I ask why you don’t think Brother Jose should be glorified?

          • ROCOR website says


            In recent days the Soviet Government in Moscow and various parts of the world celebrated a new anniversary of the October Revolution of 1917 which brought it to power.

            We, on the other hand, call to mind in these days the beginning of the way of the cross for the Russian Orthodox Church, upon which from that time, as it were, all the powers of hell have fallen.

            Meeting resistance on the part of Archpastors, pastors, and laymen strong in spirit, the Communist power, in its fight with religion, began from the very first days the attempt to weaken the Church not only by killing those of her leaders who were strongest in spirit, but also by means of the artificial creation of schisms.

            Thus arose the so-called ”Living Church” and the renovation movement, which had the character of a Church tied to a Protestant-Communist reformation. Notwithstanding the support of the Government, this schism was crushed by the inner power of the Church. It was too clear to believers that the “Renovated Church” was uncanonical and altered Orthodoxy. For this reason people did not follow it.

            The second attempt, after the death of Patriarch Tikhon and the rest of the locum tenens of the patriarchal throne, Metropolitan Peter, had greater success. The Soviet power succeeded in 1927 in sundering in part the inner unity of the Church. By confinement in prison, torture, and special methods it broke the will of the vicar of the patriarchal locum tenens, Metropolitan Sergy, and secured from him the proclamation of a declaration of the complete loyalty of the Church to the Soviet power, even to the point where the joys and successes of the Soviet Union were declared by the Metropolitan to the joys and successes of the Church, and its failures to be her failures. What can be more blasphemous than such an idea, which was justly appraised by many at that time as an attempt to unite light with darkness, and Christ with Belial. Both Patriarch Tikhon and Metropolitan Peter, as well as others who served as locum tenens of the Patriarchal throne, had earlier refused to sign a similar declaration, for which they were subjected to arrest, imprisonment, and banishment.

            Protesting against this declaration—which was proclaimed by Metr. Sergy by himself alone, without the agreement of the suppressed majority of the episcopate of the Russian Church, violating thus the 34th Apostolic Rule [1]—many bishops who were then in the death camp at Solovki [2] wrote to the Metropolitan: “Any government can sometimes make decisions that are foolish, unjust, cruel, to which the Church is forced to submit, but which she cannot rejoice over or approve. One of the aims of the Soviet Government is the extirpation of religion, but the Church cannot acknowledge its successes in this direction as her own successes” (Open Letter from Solovki, Sept. 27, 1927).

            The courageous majority of the sons of the Russian Church did not accept the declaration of Metr. Sergy, considering that a union of the Church with the godless Soviet State, which had set itself the goal of annihilating Christianity in general, could not exist on principle.

            But a schism nonetheless occurred. The minority, accepting the declaration, formed a central administration, the so-called “Moscow Patriarchate,” which, while being supposedly officially recognized by the authorities, in actual fact received no legal rights whatever from them; for they continued, now without hindrance, a most cruel persecution of the Church. In the words of Joseph, Metropolitan of Petrograd, Metr. Sergy, having proclaimed the declaration, entered upon the path of “monstrous arbitrariness, flattery, and betrayal of the Church to the interests of atheism and the destruction of the Church.”

            The majority, renouncing the declaration, began an illegal ecclesiastical existence. Almost all the bishops were tortured and killed in death camps, among them the locum tenens Metr. Peter, Metr. Cyril of Kazan, who was respected by all, and Metr. Joseph of Petrograd, who was shot to death at the end of 1938, as well as many other bishops and thousands of priests, monks, nuns, and courageous laymen. Those bishops and clergy who miraculously remained alive began to live illegally and to serve Divine services secretly, hiding themselves from the authorities and originating in this fashion the ../resistance/cat_1974.htmCatacomb Church in the Soviet Union.

            Little news of this Church has come to the free world. The Soviet press long kept silent about her, wishing to give the impression that all believers in the USSR stood behind the Moscow Patriarchate. They even attempted to deny entirely the existence of the Catacomb Church.

            But then, after the death of Stalin and the exposure of his activity, and especially after the fall of Khrushchev, the Soviet press has begun to write more and more often on the secret Church in the USSR, calling it the “sect” of True-Orthodox Christians. It was apparently impossible to keep silence about it any longer; its numbers are too great and it causes the authorities too much alarm.

            Unexpectedly in the “Atheist Dictionary” (State Political Literature Publishers, Moscow, 1964), on pp 123 and 124 the Catacomb Church is openly discussed. ”True-Orthodox Christians,” we read in the “Dictionary,” “an Orthodox sect, originating in the years 1922-24. It was organized in 1927, when Metr. Sergy proclaimed the principle of loyalty to the Soviet power.” “Monarchist” (we would say ecclesiastical) “elements, having united around Metr. Joseph (Petrovykh) of Leningrad” (Petrograd) ‘—Josephites,” or, as the same Dictionary says, Tikhonites, formed in 1928 a guiding center, the True-Orthodox Church, and united all groups and elements which came out against the Soviet order” (we may add from ourselves, “atheist” order). “The True-Orthodox Church directed unto the villages a multitude of monks and nuns,” for the most part of course priests, we add again from ourselves, who celebrated Divine services and rites secretly and “conducted propaganda against the leadership of the Orthodox Church,” i.e, against the Moscow Patriarchate which had given in to the Soviet power, “appealing to people not to submit to Soviet laws,” which are directed, quite apparently, against the Church of Christ and faith.

            By the testimony of the “Atheist Dictionary,” the True-Orthodox Christians organized and continue to organize house, ‘ i.e., secret, catacomb churches and monasteries… preserving in full the doctrine and rites of Orthodoxy.” They “do not acknowledge the authority of the Orthodox Patriarch,” i.e., the successor of Metr. Sergy, Patriarch Alexy.

            “Striving to fence off” the True-Orthodox Christians “from the influence of Soviet reality,” chiefly of course from atheist propaganda, “their leaders… make use of the myth of Antichrist, who has supposedly been ruling in the world since 1917.” The anti-Christian nature of the Soviet power is undoubted for any sound-thinking person, and all the more for a Christian.

            True Orthodox Christians “usually refuse to participate in elections,” which in the Soviet Union, a country deprived of freedom, are simply a comedy, “and other public functions; they do not accept pensions, do not allow their children to go to school beyond the fourth class…” Here is an unexpected Soviet testimony of the truth, to which nothing need be added.

            Honor and praise to the True-Orthodox Christians, heroes of the spirit and confessors, who have not bowed before the terrible power, which can stand only by terror and force and has become accustomed to the abject flattery of its subjects. The Soviet rulers fall into a rage over the fact that there exist people who fear God more than men. They are powerless before the millions of True-Orthodox Christians.

            However, besides the True Orthodox Church in the Soviet Union and the Moscow Patriarchate, which have communion neither of prayer nor of any other kind with each other, there exists yet a third part of the Russian Church—free from oppression and persecution by the atheists the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia. She has never broken the spiritual and prayerful bonds with the ../resistance/cat_1974.htmCatacomb Church in the home land. After the last war many members of this Church appeared abroad and entered into the Russian Church Outside Russia, and thus the bond between these two Churches was strengthened yet more—a bond which has been sustained illegally up to the present time. As time goes on, it becomes all the stronger and better established.
            The part of the Russian Church that is abroad and free is called upon to speak in the free world in the name of the persecuted Catacomb Church in the Soviet Union; she reveals to all the truly tragic condition of believers in the USSR, which the atheist power so carefully hushes up, with the aid of the Moscow Patriarchate, she calls on those who have not lost shame and conscience to help the persecuted.

            This is why it is our sacred duty to watch over the existence of the Russian Church Outside of Russia. The Lord, the searcher of hearts, having permitted His Church to be subjected to oppression, persecution, and deprivation of all rights in the godless Soviet State, has given us, Russian exiles, in the free world the talent of freedom, and He expects from us the increase of this talent and a skillful use of it. And we have not the right to hide it in the earth. Let no one dare to say to us that we should do this, let no one push us to a mortal sin.

            For the fate of our Russian Church we, Russian bishops, are responsible before God, and no one in the world can free us from this sacred obligation. No one can understand better than we what is happening in our homeland, of which no one can have any doubt. Many times foreigners, even Orthodox people and those vested with high ecclesiastical rank, have made gross errors in connection with the Russian Church and false conclusions concerning her present condition. May God forgive them this, since they do not know what they are doing.
            This is why, whether it pleases anyone or not, the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia will continue to exist and will raise her voice in the defense of the faith.

            She will not be silent:

            1. As long as the Soviet power shall conduct a merciless battle against the Church and believers, about which the whole Soviet press also testifies, except for the Journal of the Moscow Patriarchate.

            2. As long as, by the testimony of the same press, there exists in the USSR a secret, Catacomb True-Orthodox Church, by its very existence testifying to persecutions against the faith and to complete absence of freedom of religion.

            3. As long as the Soviet power shall force the hierarchs of the Moscow Patriarchate manifestly to lie and affirm that there are no persecutions against the Church in the USSR and that the Church there supposedly enjoys complete freedom in accordance with the Soviet constitution (Metropolitans Pimen, Nikodim, John of New York, Archbp. Alexy, and others).

            4. As long as the Journal of the Moscow Patriarchate, at the demand of the authorities, does not mention even a single church that has been closed and destroyed, while at the same time Soviet newspapers speak of hundreds and thousands.

            5. As long as churches in the USSR shall be defiled by atheists, being converted into movie-houses, storehouses, museums, clubs, apartments, etc., of which fact there are living witnesses in the persons of tourists who have been to Soviet Union.

            6. Until the thousands of destroyed and defiled churches shall be restored as churches of God.

            7. Until the representatives of the Moscow Patriarchate in clerical robes shall cease agitating in the free world in the interest of the godless Soviet power, in this way dressing the wolf in sheep’s clothing.

            8. Until the hierarchs of the Moscow Patriarchate end their evil denial of the terrible and dreadful devastation of the Pochaev Lavra and other monasteries, and stop the almost complete liquidation of monks there and the terrible persecutions of her pilgrims, even to killing and murder (letters from the USSR).

            9. Until priests accused by Soviet courts shall receive the right to defend themselves freely though the Soviet press.

            10. Until there shall cease calumny and ridicule of faith, the Church, priests, monks, and believing Christians in the Soviet press.

            11. Until freedom shall be given to every believer in the USSR openly to confess his faith and defend it.

            12. Until it shall be officially permitted children and young people to know the foundations of their faith, to visit the churches of God, to participate in Divine services and receive communion of the Holy Mysteries.

            13. Until it shall be permitted parents who are believers to baptize their children without hindrance and without sad consequences for their official careers and personal happiness.

            14. Until parents who raise their children religiously shall cease from being accused of crippling them, parents and children both being deprived of freedom for this and shut up in mental institutions or prison.

            15. Until freedom of thought, speech, action, and voting shall be given not only to every believer, but also to every citizen of the Soviet Union, first of all to writers and creative thinkers, against whom the godless power is now waging an especially bitter battle using intolerable means.

            16. Until the Church and religious societies in general in the USSR shall receive the most elementary rights, if only the right to be a legal person before Soviet laws, the right to own property, to direct one’s own affairs in actual fact, to designate and transfer rectors of parishes and priests, to open and dedicate new churches, to preach Christianity openly not only in churches, but outside them also, especially among young people, etc. In other words, until the condition of all religious societies shall cease from being, one and the same, without rights.

            Until all this shall come about, we shall not cease to accuse the godless persecutors of faith and those who evilly cooperate with them under the exterior of supposed representatives of the Church. In this the Russian Church Outside of Russia has always seen one of her important tasks. Knowing this, the Soviet power through its agents wages with her a stubborn battle, not hesitating to use any means: lies, bribes, gifts, and intimidation. We, however, shall not suspend our accusation.

            Declaring this before the face of the whole world, I appeal to all our brothers in Christ—Orthodox bishops—and to all people who hold dear the fate of the persecuted Russian Church as a part of the Universal Church of Christ, for understanding, support, and their holy prayers. As for our spiritual children, we call on them to hold firmly to the truth of Orthodoxy, witnessing of her both by one’s word and especially by a prayerful, devout Christian life.

            + Metropolitan Philaret
            19/14 XI 1965
            archived in English at http://www.russianorthodoxchurch.ws/01newstucture/pagesen/english/pages/heritage/philaret1965.html

            • Thank you SO much for posting this so we can see the great nobility of soul
              of the First Hierarch who was actually selected by the clairvoyant —[understatement of the year !] —
              St John Maximovitch.

              This anecdote is well known but the full significance is not often realized.
              That wasn’t JUST that St John was being humble in turning aside the nomination for Rocor’s
              third First Hierarch position. St John and Archbishop Nikon were running neck and neck in the voting.

              So St John resolved the impasse by going to then-Bp Philaret of Brisbane’s cell that evening
              and speaking with him privately. In the morning, St John proposed to the venerable hierarchs gathered from all over the world that the youngest Bp, Philaret, be the next Metropolitan. [Youngest in terms of consecration, of course].

              The suggestion was accepted. St John’s wisdom was borne out by the extraordinary 21 years or so of Met Philaret’s reign, the apogee of Rocor’s
              years as an independent Church.

              This document, by the way, was posted originally, I think, on the early Rocor Synod website, well before the event of 2007. I remember seeing this document along with a few other marvelous pieces of material by or about Met Philaret. Such as Archbishop Nathaniel of Vienna’s
              incomparable reminiscences of their youthful days as monastics and hieromonks in Harbin and surrounding region in Manchuria before emigrating to Europe and Australia.

              I’m going to reread this document.
              Thanks again for posting it, Rocor Website !

  29. Ivan Vasiliev says

    I’ve been ill and away from this site for awhile. Its scary when both sides of an argument seem crazy! I suppose I’ll have to “wade in” slowly, sort of like stepping into Lake Superior in the summer (or, maybe, winter). I do hope Metropolitan Jonah is received by the MP/ROCOR if that is what he wants, so that he and others will find peace.

    It is awfully amusing to read the paranoia about foreign spies (read, bad, nasty Russian spies) in the ROCOR/MP. If that’s the best the Russians can do to infiltrate this nation’s security, then we have little to fear. For the conspiracy theorists who hate all things Russian ( at last, the union of the left-wing liberals and right-wing conservatives is accomplished!) perhaps a new demon should be introduced. Burundi, Monaco, Lichtenstein, anyone?

  30. Ivan Vasiliev says

    Anyone who has spent much time in an Orthodox parish of any genre knows why spies of any kind would be disinclined to troll for agents in one. Our nastiest battles are waged things like the purchase of new chairs for the parish hall and whose kinsman gets the contract to fix the roof. Russian spies? Really? Not since Dzhugashvili made his katabasis–and I doubt very much that even the Red Tsar would have put much stock into using ROCOR or the MP as his nest of spies. When was the last time that anyone in the west looked to any version of the Orthodox Church as a major source of intelligence on anything? We simply do not exist as even the tiniest blip on the radar. And that, perhaps, is the saddest thing of all.

    • Ladder of Divine Ascent says

      “We simply do not exist as even the tiniest blip on the radar. And that, perhaps, is the saddest thing of all”

      The Church/Israel has always been such, from a Noah and his immediate family on a boat to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, one little family among the “great” pagan civilizations of Egypt and Sumeria, to Christ Our Lord and 12 apostles in some backwater troublesome part of the Roman empire.

  31. Last Minute Plans says

    Note: If you all want to make last minute plans, hotel rooms at the banquet site are still available in abundance. Rate of $139 available for a couple other nights if you want to tack them on and do some sight seeing

    From the Pennsylvania Diocese –

    Enthronement plans finalized; banquet tickets still available
    Plans have been finalized for the enthronement of His Beatitude, Metropolitan Tikhon as Primate of the Orthodox Church in America at Saint Nicholas Cathedral, Washington, DC, on the weekend of January 26-27, 2013.

    On Saturday, January 26, the Vigil will be celebrated at 5:00 p.m. The following morning, January 27, the Divine Liturgy, followed by the Rite of Enthronement, will begin at 9:00 a.m. Members of the OCA Holy Synod of Bishops will be joined at the Divine Liturgy by guest hierarchs, including His Eminence, Archbishop Justinian of Naro-Fominsk, Administrator of the Patriarchal Parishes in the USA; His Grace, Bishop George of Mayfield, Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia; His Grace, Bishop Nicholas, Auxiliary and resident Assistant to His Eminence, Metropolitan Philip of the Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese of North America; and others.

    Tickets are still available for the enthronement banquet, to be held at the Omni Shoreham, 2500 Calvert Street NW (at Connecticut Ave.), Washington, DC after the Liturgy. A reception will held at 2:00 p.m., followed by dinner in the Regency Ballroom at 3:00 p.m. All banquet proceeds will be earmarked for the benefit of the Orthodox Christian Fellowship, according to Metropolitan Tikhon’s wishes. Tickets are now $75.00 per person, or $600.00 for a table of eight guests. Reservations and menu selection (meat/fish) should be sent to enthronement@oca.org. Deadline for banquet reservations is January 14. Checks payable to the Orthodox Church in America, with “ATTN: Banquet” in the memo, may be sent to the OCA Chancery, PO Box 675, Syosset, NY 11791. Credit card payments can be made by calling Andrew Boyd at the Chancery at 516-922-0550, ext 133.

    Archpriest John Perich, Temporary Administrator of Saint Nicholas Cathedral and Curator of the Metropolitan Museum of the Orthodox Church in America, South Canaan, PA, is organizing an exhibit of historical items associated with Saint Tikhon of Moscow that will be on display at the cathedral throughout the weekend. After a decade of ministry as bishop and archbishop of North America, Saint Tikhon returned to Russia in 1907. Ten years later, he was elected to the restored patriarchal see, to which he was enthroned on November 18, 1917 — exactly 95 years before Metropolitan Tikhon served his first Divine Liturgy at Saint Tikhon’s Monastery after his election as OCA Primate. Among the items that will be on display are the mantiya Saint Tikhon wore at his enthronement, his family icon that had remained in the US after his return to Russia, and numerous other rarely seen artifacts and mementos related to the saint.

    Hotel rooms have been set aside at the Omni Shoreham for those desiring lodging. A rate of $139.00 per night is available. Reservations for the group may be made by calling Omni Hotels & Resorts Reservations at 1-800-THE OMNI and referencing the “Orthodox Church in America” room block. Alternately, individual guest room reservations may be made on-line at http://www.omnihotels.com and entering the group code number 12400612070 in the reservations tab.

  32. WOW–St. Nicholas is pulling out all the stops to get people to come to Metropolitan Tikhons enthronement!

    From St. Nicholas email

    “Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

    The Miraculous Myrrh-Streaming Icon of St Anna will be brought by Igumen Sergius of St Tikhon Monastery to St Nicholas Cathedral. The Icon of St Anna will be present in the Cathedral during Vigil this Saturday and during Divine Liturgy on Sunday… Many miracles have been attributed to the intercessory prayers before this holy icon, and it is especially known for healing infertility in women…..the following morning, January 27, the Divine Liturgy, followed by the Rite of Enthronement of Metropolitan Tikhon, will begin at 9:00 a.m. Members of the OCA Holy Synod of Bishops will be joined at the Divine Liturgy by guest hierarchs.”

    They know anytime they bring a Myrrh streaming icon, St. Nicholas is packed.

    • Jim of Olym says

      Especially this time, they hope by infertile women! We need more people, folks!
      Since I’m male, 77 years old, and on the other coast, I’m not making plans, of course, I didn’t since it all happened this morning. Oops, a senior moment here.

  33. I keep looking at all the pictures from this weekend and wonder as in he children’s book Where is Waldo but in a more gown up version Where is Metropolitan Jonah or maybe the better question would be Where is MJ allowed to be?

  34. I see all sorts of pictures on the OCA website…can anyone identify the Bishops to see who really showed up. Seems that not many of the laity could get into the Cathedral the way that all the clerics were crowded in there.

    • Russian TASS on the enthronement of Metropolitan Tikhon says

      Dear Stuart,

      I looked through the pictures for the Sunday enthronement. From the ROCOR is Father Victor Potopov and from the MP is Archbishop Justinian?

      On the Saturday Vigil, there seems to have been more local clergy and wives, but that makes sense.. Most of the Holy Synod seems present but I do not know what all them look like

      • Thanks for your reply. There seemed to be some absences among the local clergy. I did not see Father Constantine, formerly Dean at Saint Nicholas Cathedral. Nor did I see Father Dennis Bradley currently at the Cathedral.

        Of course one wonders what will happen today (Monday). I would like to think positive things but at the most I suspect nothing will happen!

      • Carl Kraeff says

        Looks like Bishop George (ROCOR) also attended. I also saw some non-OCA bishops, perhaps Bishop Nicholas (Antioch) and Bishop Gregory (ACROD) attended?

        • Archpriest John Morris says

          His Grace Bishop Nicholas of the Antiochian Archdiocese did attend the enthronement.

          • Carl Kraeff says

            “Among the guest hierarchs and clergy representing sister Orthodox Churches were His Eminence, Archbishop Justinian of Naro-Fominsk, who represented His Holiness, Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia; His Eminence, Archbishop Dimitri, Metropolitan of Batumi and Lazeti, North America and Canada, who represented His Holiness and Beatitude, Catholicos Patriarch Ilia of All Georgia; His Grace, Bishop Nicholas of Brooklyn, who represented His Eminence, Metropolitan Philip of the Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese of North America; His Grace, Bishop George of Mayfield, who represented His Eminence, Metropolitan Hilarion, First Hierarch of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia; and Archpriest Aleksa Michich, who represented His Holiness, Patriarch Irinej of Serbia and His Eminence, Archbishop Mitrophan.”

            • Disgusted With It says

              These are all excellent men from anything I’ve heard about them, but let me get this straight:

              There was one archbishop delivering a message from “mama”, a heavily-courted archbishop who’s new to the scene, one of the the lowest ranking Antiochian auxiliary bishops, one of the lowest ranking ROCOR bishops, and a Serbian priest. That’s it??? This is a strong message by the other Churches. Quite sad really.

    • no, it was a low turn out. At +Jonah’s Enthronement people were stuffed in there, excited and happy. Not so this round.

      • Low numbers says

        There was a low turnout at the Vigil, for sure. Someone talked about Fathers Constantine and Dennis in a comment above – I saw Matushka Nina and Father Dennis at the Vigil, did not see Father Constantine. I heard Father George’s voice during the service. Not all of the local clergy were there on Saturday who normally serve Vigils. The choir had a number of visitors including minor clergy but was still not at all crowded. The Syosset crowd was there. A few seminarians were there.

        I felt on Saturday that so far, nothing had really happened, even though it had. That Metropolitan Jonah could still be acclaimed in front of the royal doors with an eis polla. I felt as if Metropolitan Tikhon was still a bishop not in Washington, and had this lovely OCA moment in which I was glad that we had an Albanian Archdiocese, a Romanian Archdiocese and a Bulgarian, that there was a safety for people who had endured communism having become Americans and being able to trust their confessions. That it was great to be in an American Orthodox Church. David Drillock was there, being his sweet encouraging self, and Alex Liberovsky, shyly talking about his archives job, making me remember when he came to the cathedral and gave talks on the same. There were so many relics in the nave that I felt like I was at Vigil in the ROCOR as when I do there, often come early and kiss all of them and contemplate the lives of all the saints.

        There was a surfeit of clergy, for sure, for the event, but it occurred to me that the ordinary service at the cathedral during the hopeful first two years of Metropolitan Jonah, was twice as stuffed with souls. I didn’t want to see the reality of this enthronement. I can only look at the photos online like everyone else who did not attend and it looks like the turnout was even less. Coming out of the Vigil, I tried to see Metropolitan Jonah, but the only light on was his dining room light, I did not see him through the window, so did not knock.

  35. Tom Jeffrey says

    Any word on whether the new Metropolitan / Synod has decided to release +Jonah?

  36. If I read the OCA web site the Synod met but left Metropolitan Jonah to just swing in the breeze! Please correct me if I am wrong. Was hoping they would have done something but fully expected that they would not! I seem to be right.

  37. George I wish you had a section for miracles-because I don’t know where to post this, but felt it should be shared.

    This last week has been a doozie for me . . . they say bad things strike in 3’s, or maybe 4’s-in my case. Anyway I get migraines that usually only last for a day, but for some reason this one lingered on for a couple of days. Somewhere in there I lost my wedding ring, but had memory lapse so I had trouble retracing my steps in order to find it. I was directed to pray to St. Phanourios, “he will help you find it and then bake him a cake”. So I researched all this-I have the cake recipie, have been praying for days but really gave up because I knew I went out with my ring on and came back without it at some point so it could be anywhere and it’s been well over a week. Well as I was sending my kids off to school this morning my daughter asked to borrow my gloves . . . .she came in with the ring on her hand. She had found it in my glove! Thank you St. Phanourios! Glory to God! I’m bakin’ a cake!

    • St. Phanarios loved his mom says

      Hmm…Part of that tradition is to share your Phanarios cake with the poor. How about bringing any leftovers to the Metropolitan’s bible study tonight over at St. John’s? He is out of work and on the dole.

      I think I will make a couple contributions meself.

  38. Henry Chinaski says

    Any fallen structure in the Church is a product of the misdirected animosity of the people. A not so good part of this animosity is directed at God Himself. It’s of no wonder why we have a such a hard time expressing the True Faith, continue to persecute the Truth and sin against the Holy Spirit, especially with the globalization of Western ideals of Individualism, Consumerism and Scholasticism. The offspring of which is hatred of our brother and anger towards God.

    See Fr. Philotheos Faros’ “Functional and Dysfunctional Christianity”


    From the editorial for the book…
    Using his keen analytic eye and with deep
    knowledge of the Greek Fathers, especially St.
    John Chrysostom, Fr. Philotheos Faros offers his
    diagnosis of the condition of contemporary
    Christianity in the East and in the West. His
    diagnosis is that the true nature of Christianity
    has been dangerously distorted, leading to an
    unhealthy dysfunction. His diagnosis focuses on
    the dysfunction within Orthodox Christianity in
    the West, but he also believes traditionally
    Orthodox lands that have been influenced by the
    extreme individualism and consumerism of
    western society also suffer from the same
    maladies. Some of the symptoms of the
    dysfunction and pathology of Christianity are
    scholasticism in theological studies, the distortion
    of the true nature of the Ekklesia through
    disunity, inequality, and selfishness, and a
    misunderstanding of human life, sexuality, and
    illness. Fr. Faros’ diagnosis is, at times, blunt and
    painful, but his intent is to rouse Christians from
    their slumber and to begin the process of healing
    and growth.

  39. I do not even know how I ended up here, but I thought this post was great.
    I don’t know who you are but definitely you’re going to a famous blogger if you aren’t already 😉 Cheers!

  40. Mark from the DOS says

    I note Fr. Jillions Feb. 8 diary entry opens with: “For judgment is without mercy to the one who has shown no mercy.” Would that he shares that sentiment with the Holy Synod.

    • Yes, it is so interesting to be lectured on “mercy, kindness, goodness, and forgiveness” by someone like Fr. John Jillions. Apparently, Fr. Jillions has no concept that he is expected to dispense those things on people other than himself, his pet liberals, and those so-called “sexual minorities”.

      Of course, Metropolitan Jonah never actually did anything that would require “mercy, kindness, goodness, and forgiveness” from Fr. Jillions.

      But it certainly astounds me that Fr. Jillions and the OCA would hold to their myths and slander that Metropolitan Jonah wronged them, yet not even pretend to show Metropolitan Jonah any of that old “mercy, kindness, goodness, or forgiveness” because of it.

      • Wow, okay. Sorry about that incoherent comment. Let me rewrite it.

        It’s not okay for Fr. Jillions to wax poetic on mercy and forgiveness when he has abused the concepts to justify compromising Christian sexual ethics, while not caring to apply the concepts in other contexts.

        That’s not to say Metropolitan Jonah was actually in need of mercy or forgiveness from Fr. Jillions, because Metropolitan Jonah didn’t do anything wrong.

        The OCA’s failure to show kindness or mercy for Metropolitan Jonah would be bad enough for them even if he were guilty, but it’s even worse because the slanderous false accusations are what caused his troubles to begin with.