Lessons from the Enthronement of Metroplitan [sic] Tikhon

tikhob-entrhonementLet’s see how Syosset spins this one. Michael S: grab your megaphone! Carl: you, Diogenes, Phil R Up and Tom Paine grab your pompoms! “All together now: On Syosset! On Syosset! The Restoration is complete! / Now we throw Jonah out onto the street!” (Sung to “On Wisconsin!)


We have all seen the pictures of the enthronement (or installation) of the OCA latest First Hierarch, Metropolitan [sic] Tikhon. A bevy of pictures were posted on the OCA website trying to portray the event as a success and although the Syosset spin machine tried its best to list almost every person who was there, not that many showed up. The enthronement Liturgy was not much better than average Sunday Liturgy just a couple of years ago at St. Nicholas Cathedral and it was not nearly the attendance at Metropolitan Herman or Metropolitan Jonah’s respective enthronement Liturgies.

Here is the list of Orthodox bishops and who they represented as reported by the OCA website on January 27, 2013:

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. [Editor’s note: nobody from the GOA was there.]

A Brief History of the Last Two OCA Enthronements

By way of comparison, the OCA reported this about the enthronement of Metropolitan Jonah on December 28,2008:

Among the guest hierarchs and clergy that were able to attend the Enthronement were His Grace, Bishop Mercurius, Administrator of the Patriarchal Parishes in the USA, who represented His Eminence, Metropolitan Kirill of Smolensk and Kaliningrad, Patriarchal Locum tenens of the Church of Russia, His Grace, Bishop Ilia of Philomelion, representing His Beatitude, Archbishop Anastasios of Tirana, Durres, and All Albania, and His Eminence, Archbishop Abel of Ljublin and Kholm representing His Beatitude, Metropolitan Sawa of Warsaw and All Poland.

Hierarchs from North American jurisdictions taking part in the Enthronement included His Eminence, Metropolitan Christopher of the Serbian Orthodox Mid-western Diocese, His Eminence, Archbishop Nicolae of the Romanian Orthodox Archdiocese in America and Canada, His Grace, Bishop Thomas of the Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese of North America and His Grace, Bishop Jerome of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia.

In addition to visiting hierarchs, we welcomed Fr. Mark Arey, the ecumenical officer of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America, who represented the Patriarchate of Constantinople, Archpriest Jan Polansky, representing the Church of the Czech Lands and Slovakia and Archimandrite Kirill Hovorun who represented the Church of Ukraine.


We were also honored to have with us the Russian Ambassador to the United States, His Excellency, Mr. Sergei Kislyak…

And to draw a circle on the last three enthronements of OCA Primates, here is who came to Metropolitan Herman’s enthronement as reported by the OCA website on September 7, 2002:

Among the concelebrating hierarchs representing the sister Orthodox Churches were His Grace, Bishop Savas, Chancellor of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America, Patriarchate of Constantinople; His Grace, Bishop Georgios, Patriarchate of Alexandria; His Grace, Bishop Demetri of Jableh, Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese of North America, Patriarchate of Antioch; His Eminence, Archbishop Damaskinos of Jaffa, Patriarchate of Jerusalem; His Eminence, Metropolitan Filaret of Minsk and His Grace, Bishop Mercurius of Zaraisk, Patriarchate of Moscow; His Eminence, Archbishop Nicolae, Romanian Orthodox Church in America and Canada,Patriarchate of Romania; His Beatitude, Metropolitan Sawa of Warsaw and All Poland and His Eminence, Archbishop Abel of Lublin, Orthodox Church of Poland; His Grace, Bishop Simeon, Orthodox Church of the Czech Lands and Slovakia; His Eminence, Metropolitan Daniel of Tokyo, Autonomous Orthodox Church of Japan; and His Eminence, Archbishop Avgustin of Lviv and Galicia, Autonomous Ukrainian Orthodox Church – Moscow Patriarchate. Other Churches were represented by clergy.

Every Orthodox Church in the world was represented at Metropolitan Herman’s enthronement.

Success or Failure?

It is clear that the latest enthronement was not a success – and success being defined as a show of support by other Orthodox Churches for the OCA. Another way to look at it is,

Orthodox Churches represented at Metropolitan Tikhon’s enthronement:

  • The Orthodox Church of Russia
  • The Orthodox Church of Serbia
  • The Orthodox Church of Georgia
  • The Antiochian Archdiocese in North America
  • The Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia
  • and of course all the hierarchs of the OCA.

The Orthodox Churches not represented at the enthronement:

  • The Orthodox Church of Constantinople
  • The Orthodox Church of Alexandria
  • The Orthodox Church of Antioch
  • The Orthodox Church of Romania
  • The Orthodox Church of Cyprus
  • The Orthodox Church of Greece
  • The Orthodox Church of Albania
  • The Orthodox Church of Poland
  • The Orthodox Church of the Czech Lands and Slovakia

The declining representation displayed at the Tikhon usurpation enthronment is unmistakable. Even the response to Saturday’s enthronement banquet was poor. The banquet room was downsized from a room for 500 guests to a room for 150 guests and that number was not reached. Even more embarrassing is that of the 140 +/- that did show up, only 60 bought tickets, the rest got free tickets to fill the room!

Even More Bad News

But maybe the biggest blow to the OCA was that 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 and His Grace, Bishop George of Mayfield, who represented His Eminence, Metropolitan Hilarion, First Hierarch of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia, at the conclusion of the enthronement Liturgy left the Cathedral, walked next door and offered their personal greetings to Metropolitan Jonah. Observers noted that Lefty Kishkovsky was livid at this affront. (What a capstone to a miserable career in ecumenism.)

After their meeting with Jonah, they left DC and did not attend the Enthronement Banquet.

So this is the very tenuous starting point for the new and improved post-Jonah OCA. The OCA Synod met on Monday to deal with their new reality and their increased isolation here in North America and around the world. The ironic thing is that although Tikhon has been placed in a gilded cage of Kishkovskyite manufacture, he really has the ability to break free from his chains. After all, what is Syosset going to do? Replace yet another Metropolitan?

About GShep


  1. Actually, Bishop George of Mayfield was at the banquet, as the photos reveal: http://oca.org/media/photos/banquet-follows-enthronement-divine-liturgy

  2. “After all, what is Syosset going to do? Replace yet another Metropolitan?”

    If he says anything stronger than milk toast concerning the hot button issues, then yes, they will. I can think of some others who would love to have that white cap.

  3. Comparisons says

    A couple strange things include no video so far:

    1. of the Vigil before the Enthronement which included a short sermon by Metropolitan Tikhon
    2. of the Enthronement
    3. of the Enthronement banquet

    The only video so far is of the sermon at the Enthronement itself. What happened to the services?

    Was there a video of the Sanctity March, btw? Did Metropolitan Jonah and Metropolitan Tikhon at least march together? Were Metropolitans Theodosius or Herman at the enthronement? Is there a complete list of OCA clergy attending? At present, I can find
    nothing online.

    Meanwhile, enjoy the Enthronement Vespers of an Ukrainian bishop at the cathedral in Winnipeg a couple years ago.


  4. Comparisons says
  5. Jonathan Johnston says

    As I’ve been reading here, apparently you have a big axe to grind. Nothing mentioned in this article means anything. You are trying to make nothing into something that doesn’t exist. What happened to your claims of a mass exodus of peoples out of the OCA because your boy was dismissed? What happened to your claims of mass demonstrations in Parma? And in Washington, a wonderful celebration of a very humble, TRUE monastic who will lead the OCA with wisdom; no protests and great representation from many churches. So you see George, again, you are using this bully pulpit to spread rumors, disinformation, doubt and division. The work of the devil, of course.

    • Sorry JJ., but many have left, many are trying to leave and many are waiting to leave to see IF things change. Some have no other church near by and feel they can’t leave. Sad. Any protests that may have happened on Sunday were canceled due to the good will of people upon hearing the news that Monday the Synod would meet and release +Jonah. Did they? Why wouldn’t they? Wouldn’t it be good will and Christian to do so?

      If I were you I would worry not only about people leaving, but relations with the rest of the Orthodox world. Notice-no Greeks and yes it was a protest from the top. Do you really think if there ever is a Great Ecumenical Council that the OCA will ever have a seat at the table? They will not, they are not recognised. So George is allowed to not get EVERYTHING right, but if he is right about even half of what he says, you should worry.

    • Ronda Wintheiser says

      Why, Mr. Johnston, would you refer to Metropolitan Jonah as “your boy”?

      And was he “dismissed” then, after all? He did not willingly resign???

      And are you implying that he is not a “TRUE ” monastic, and somehow Metropolitan Tikhon is?

      Apparently, Mr. Johnston, it is you who have an axe to grind.

    • “Bully pulpit”? Come on.

      It’s not required reading for anyone and no one is trapped.

      I’d hazard a guess that absolutely no one agrees with George 100% of the time. Who knows, he may have the approval rating of the current Congress. However, when he makes a mistake, George is the first to acknowledge it. Differences of opinion about what he and others write are debated, sometimes less than charitably. And, moronic musings of some posters are usually ignored. Sometimes there’s a high quality debate, sometimes its not even worth the dead electrons.

      This very well may be an echo-chamber visited by exceedingly disgruntled OCA faithful. It can also be a forum for people who otherwise don’t have an audience or a place where they can speak their piece — however controversial, insightful, erroneous, or just plain stupid.

      But, this is no “bully pulpit.” if you do not like the tone, tenor, substance or approach of George’s website, just don’t visit. We used to say, “change the channel.” In any event, you’re likely not to be missed.

      Many have come and gone.

    • Carl Kraeff says

      I agree with you Jonathan. Many folks here, starting with George, are obsessed. I do not meant to say that they are obsessed by the devil; that sort of judgment is way above my pay grade. Nonetheless, it is amazing, isn’t it, that well meaning and God-fearing folks do end up doing devil’s work by sowing “spread rumors, disinformation, doubt and division.”

    • Yours Truly says

      JJ: “…rumors, disinformation, doubt and division…” The work of the Devil is half truths. Ask the Synod how many priests and whole congregations have applied to leave that jurisdiction since Metropolitan Jonah was removed before you make your silly pontifications.

      As to the demonstrations: Just before Parma there was a flurry of activity from the Synod communicating with Metropolitan Jonah and saying, ‘Don’t worry, we will meet the day after and take care of you, if there are no disruptions at Parma.’ The result: No demonstrations, (of note) no disruptions, and no taking care of Metropolitan Jonah following. Nothing!!! His pay ran out at the end of December.

      Just before the installation of Tikhon there was a flurry of activity from the Synod with Tikhon communicating directly with Metropolitan Jonah that if there were no demonstrations and no disruptions the Synod would meet the next day and ‘take care’ of +Jonah. There were no demonstrations, no disruptions. Following the installation, the Synod did meet, and yet has done nothing! Nothing!!!

      Archbishop Justinian met with Tikhon on Saturday before the installation on Sunday, and he said he would not attend if +Jonah was not well cared for. He was assured that on Monday following the installation the whole Synod was meeting and +Jonah was going to be well cared for immediately. Abp. Justinian attended. It’s Wednesday and +Jonah has not even been approached, let alone cared for, at all! How do you suppose the Patriarch of Russia will respond to this latest affront???

      In a private meeting with the Ecumenical Patriarch in Constantinople last week, one person was told directly that the EP is shocked and saddened at the behavior of the OCA Synod, and no delegation from the Greeks would attend the installation – and they didn’t!!!

      • Carl Kraeff says

        Yours Truly–Sounds like you are privy to very high level and personal discussions. I am not saying that you are lying here, but you have got to admit that even world-class reporters would have a hard time to report, in just one story: +Justinian-+Tikhon conversation; the sentiments of the EP himself; Holy Synod assurances to +Jonah before Parma; and +Tikhon-+Jonah private conversation before the enthronement…

        Breath-taking reportage from…..”Yours Truly”….who….is?…. The Masked Anonymous Reporter, fighting for Truth and Justice!!!!! Stan Lee material, don’t you think?

        • Yours Truly says

          Those weren’t completely private, and yes, I do have this first hand information. My report is true. You don’t like that? Tough. I’m not reporting for you, (usually when I see your name I ignore and do not read anything written) but I write WHAT I CAN for those who need to know what’s going on.

          You aren’t just exhibiting cankerous behavior Carl, you are actually acting mean in your posts that I have read. You also are verbally exhibiting jealousy here. You weren’t there, and you don’t know first hand, someone else was and does, so just get over it!

          • M. Stankovich says

            Yours Truly,

            You enter here, totally anonymous, proffering “facts” with absolutely no corroboration or evidence other than, what? Your integrity? Your good name? You have given absolutely no justification by which a reasonable, logical person could evaluate the veracity of your information. And it certainly does not help that you respond to Mr. Kraeff with a “smackdown,” for, essentially, questioning your standing. “Verbally exhibiting jealousy?” Are you serious? Those who “need to know” get their information from legitimate sources. You have made serious allegations anonymously, and without corroboration, and well… shame on brotha’ what try to run game on a brotha’.

          • Carl Kraeff says

            I am impressed. You do know, don’t you, that “first hand information” means information that you got from the original source? I wonder who that could be? The conversations that you related were:

            EP and somebody in a private meeting; I do not think that the original source was the EP (unless you are +Jonah himself), so it was the person who had the private conversation with the EP who talked to you directly.

            Holy Synod and +Jonah: I do not think that it was the Holy Synod, so it was +Jonah who talked to you

            +Tikhon and +Jonah/+Justinian and +Tikhon:I do not think that it was +Tikhon, so it was +Justinian and +Jonah who talked to you

            So, the two possibilities are (a) you are +Jonah or (b) you are somebody who is speaking for him. What we do not know is if +Jonah has asked you to talk for him, either tacitly or implicitly. BTW, your parting shot (“You weren’t there, and you don’t know first hand, someone else was and does, so just get over it!), sounds juvenile and emotional. I wonder just who you might be?

            • Yours Truly says

              Yes, first hand. No, I’m not Metropolitan Jonah. Yes I did speak with those you mentioned. And, by the way, I believe your immediate supporter is likewise verbally abusive on this blog. I said my witness is true. I don’t need to write on here or tell anyone anything, and since I see more negative than positive responses on this I will not. Duke it out amongst yourselves with your conjectures and hypotheses.

              • Carl Kraeff says

                If that is the case, the conversations that you related are not first hand but second-hand or perhaps third-hand information. Add to that the fact that we do not know your name and we find ourselves facing improbabilities rather than truths. I am sure that the choir is readily accepting your report but you are also preaching to non-choir members.

                • Disgusted With It says


                  You have to admit that the “attack anonymous” approach isn’t a very sound strategy. We hear all the time in the news about leaks from “unnamed sources” in the White House or Pentagon. If they revealed their names, they’d most likely be fired immediately. But guess what — those reports from “unnamed sources” are almost always 100% accurate.

                  I find it very easy to believe it works the same way in a church too.

                  • Carl Kraeff says

                    But, there rae critical differences. First, the name of the reporter is always published. Second, most news outlets have rules regarding using unnamed sources. Third, they also have the requirement to have at least two sources. Fourth, there are codes that are used to indicate the level of the source, such as \White House official, Senior Official, on background, etc…Fifth, it is the job of editors to make sure that the rules are followed Now, it is also true that these rules are often not followed by news outlet with ideological bent or those who practice yellow journalism.

                    • Disgusted With It says

                      Carl, I’m not talking about “news outlets”. I’m talking about the anonymous sources themselves. They remain anonymous to the general public, but that fact should not automatically disqualify what they tell. We all have the choice to accept what they say or not. When I read your comments I usually agree with some of it and disagree with some of it, not because of who you are but because of what you say — I don’t have a clue who you are beyond an internet blog screen name. There are commentators on this site who I almost always disagree with, and if they posted as “anonymous” it wouldn’t make one difference to me because I have no idea who they are and I don’t really care. I look at their message. Now I’m sure there are those kind of people who like to pull the “don’t you know who I am” thing and like to lead discussions into a battle of personalities [I’m not saying you are one], but that’s a distraction from the real topic. Shucks, when you think about it, someone could use a pseudonym John Smith telling us it’s their real name, and we would never, ever know the difference. Maybe someone is posting using someone else’s name.

                      Although not a “news outlet”, a blog site in some ways eliminates the “middle-man” while at the same time still serves certain verification functions. For example, George sees the addresses of people posting. If someone on here is abusing this forum, he can call them out on it. [In fact I think he has in regard to one person posting using multiple aliases.] I don’t believe Monomakhos is a site of yellow journalism as you seem to infer, but rather a site that stimulates discussion on current events. But you’re free to disagree.

                    • Carl Kraeff says

                      Dear Disgusted with It–If I infer anything, it is that there is certain partisanship/ideology that drives many posters here, not yellow journalism.

                      You are making a good point about the substance of the post being important, even when posted anonymously. However, there is also a lot to be said about the poster, whose identity can shed light on the substance. To take an extreme example hypothetical example, we have seen many anonymous posts that allege that +Jonah has asked for a transfer to ROCOR. Don’t you think that such a post would be so much more believable if it came from +Jonah himself, his lawyer, or someone who is authorized to speak for him? Take another example, I am embroiled in a debate on Canon 34 and of the accusations against me is that I should not be attempting to interpret Canons as a lay person, an amateur. Helga has made this accusation and may well be right, but she is a phantom to me. Now, if Helga was in reality a canonist like Father Rentzel or a Bishop, you must agree that the accusation would then acquire certain cachet that would make it much more serious.

                    • Disgusted With It says

                      Dear Carl,

                      For all we know, “Helga” could very well be Father Rentzel [sic] or a Bishop. Or someone could use a screen name indicating they’re on of the two when they’re really not. That’s my point. If we debate the merits of the message rather than the person, then it will be evident who does and doesn’t know what they are talking about regardless of who they claim to be when posting.

                      As for information coming from sources identified as being Metropolitan Jonah or someone close to him, sure it would be nice to have an official statement, but we all know that’s not going to happen in the middle of negotiations. It’s just not done. And if he were to release such a statement, I can guarantee there would be at least a couple commentators on this sit who would attack him for doing so, claiming it’s unprofessional or some such thing.

            • or +Jonah’s lawyer, or priests who spoke with the EP . . . . Your missing a few possibilities Carl.

      • ProPravoslavie says

        Barely 3 days after the enthronement of Met. Tikhon, the Synod of the Moscow Patriarchate met. One of the topics of discussion was…. the OCA.


        Quick Google translate of “Magazine No. 4” of the Synod documents:

        Magazine № 4


        Report by Metropolitan Hilarion of Volokolamsk, Chairman of the Department for External Church Relations on the enthronement of a new Primate of the Orthodox Church in America.


        January 27, 2013 in St. Nicholas Cathedral in Washington was enthroned His Beatitude Archbishop of Washington, Metropolitan of All America and Canada, Tikhon, who was elected November 13, 2012 at the XVII All-American Council of the Orthodox Church in America. The Russian Orthodox Church was represented at the celebrations by the Administrator of the Patriarchal Parishes in the USA, Archbishop of Naro-Fominsk, who conveyed greetings to His Beatitude Metropolitan Tikhon Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia Kirill.


        To take note of the report.

      • Carl Kraeff says

        Yours Truly–Since you are in the know, would you please tell us the details of +Jonah’s letter that requested his release to ROC/ROCOR. When was it sent and to whom was it addressed? The the letter specify a particular jurisdiction (ROC or ROCOR)? Thanks.

        • Disgusted With It says

          And what color ink he used to sign it, too. Thanks.

        • Bishop Tikhon Fitzgerald says

          sarcasm is no substitute for something as simple as the date of a letter.
          Jonah did not send a letter to the OCA Holy Synod requesting he be released to ROCOR. Anyone who claims otherwise is free to produce ANY evidence. Failing to produce such evidence, such as a date, is in fact evidence of the non-existence of such letter.
          Carl Kraeff’s request was polite and intelligent. “Disgusted With It” and “Also Disgusted” would like to think that asking for the date and addressee is a technicality, like color of ink and type of cancellation.
          No, just simply date and addressee…Carl is up front about his identity and willing to defend himself, while “Disgusted With It” and “Also Disgusted” are not.

          • Disgusted With It says

            Your Grace,

            The reason for my sarcasm was not over a date. It was over the developing laundry list of details that people are demanding. When?…..To whom?…..To what jurisdiction?….. A date and addressee should be enough for verification, shouldn’t it? I, too, would be interested to know that there was a letter sent on a specific date, but I don’t think the peanut gallery (me included) is entitled to every little detail at this stage of the process.

            And Mr. Kraeff is quite adept at sarcasm himself, so I’m sure he can take a little of it too.

            • Carl Kraeff says

              I dish it and I can take it. Whether +Jonah’s request was provided in written form is important, something that his lawyer has surely told him. Since he is not Orthodox, however, I wonder if he knows that +Jonah cannot ask for a blanket release. What His Grace and I are doing is to provide a counterpoint to the cacophony of special pleadings for +Jonah, to help restore some resemblance to normalcy.

              To review: +Jonah has a lawyer, he has been negotiating with the Holy Synod his future, and his supporters seem to be waging a PR battle for him. I don’t think that there is anything wrong with +Jonah trying to get the best deal possible. I had felt differently in the past based on the fact that +Jonah is a monk, but Helga, Colette and others changed my mind as they brought forth other considerations, such as taking care of his parents and the fact that he is also a bishop. And, I am aware not it is not a requirement that all bishops must emulate Saint John of Shanghai and San Francisco or Patriarch Pavle of blessed memory. So, whatever he can get, more power to him. I just wish that this issue was a private matter between him and the Holy Synod. I can understand folks liking him, loving him and wanting to help. I am not one of those people, but for those who are, may I ask if you can be a bit more balanced in your support. Is it really necessary to use every technique in the book?

              • Also Anonymous says

                Carl, you speak out against not giving sources, but what is your source of information that Met. Jonah has a lawyer who is negotiating with the Holy Synod?

        • Carl Kraeff says

          No thank you, Disgusted with It and Also Disgusted. I do not want to overcomplicate the task of Yours Truly.

        • I am so sick and tired of reading this nonsense about Metropolitan Jonah not really requesting a release to ROCOR: he has, he wants to go, ROCOR wants him, and the ball is in the OCA’s court to grant him a release. END OF STORY.

          • Bishop Tikhon Fitzgerald says

            Helga! I’m not sure why what is to me a reasonable request has NEVER been answered, and I don’t think it’s nonsense for me to keep making my request. You rather often intimate that you are au courant in the workings of the OCA’s core bureaucracy. It should be easy then, to bring and end to your sickness and tiredness by simply providing the date of any letter signed by Metropollitan Jonah requesting to be released TO ROCOR. It also oeuld violate no confidences and even provide a canonical model for how such a letter should be written if you provide a small quotation of the sentence requesting release TO ROCOR, and not just “from the OCA.” Thank you so much in advance and in anticipation of a your condescension to an old nonsense-riddled hierarch.

            • Your Grace, please address your question to Metropolitan Jonah directly. I am not authorized to answer questions on his behalf.

              • Carl Kraeff says

                Authorization or not, you seem to try nonetheless. So, to use an old Japanese military analogy, you are not a samurai but a ronin? But, as the tale of the 47 Ronin shows us, please take care that your zeal defense of your non-master does not end up hurting you.

              • Bishop Tikhon Fitzgerald says

                Helga now has reported that Metropolitan Jonah has TOLD her/him that his letter to the OCA Holy Synod included a specific request to be released to ROCOR by name.
                This is progress and a real answer. Thank you. This, finally, is an acceptable reason to believe the previously unsupported claims of such a letter.
                And, by the way, I would never ever have any desire to speak with Metropolitan Jonah: just because he’s been treated evilly and like a dog, doesn’t convince me that making him first a Bishop and then the Primate weren’t just the kind of stupid actions that the OCA Holy Synod began to perform when they received the deposed deacon, Ron Haler, alias Ron Buehler, alias Lev Puhalo, as a retired bishop: opening all sorts of doors to his nonsense, such as his theories about the gender of the human brain and the neuro-science of transgenderism. They suck up to such, while giving the bum’s rush to Abbot Gerasim.

                • It is time for Abbot Gerasim to be given real responsibility !

                  As I mentioned earlier, bp benjamin should be totally ejected. The indecisiveness
                  with regard to the latter is appalling. The OCA Synod needs to just defrock him
                  and get it over with !

                  Fr Gerasim would be a splendid Bishop of the West to replace this true sociopath
                  who rules it now, bp benjamin.

                  Sociopaths are clever at hiding their REAL characters and putting on a big show to
                  ingratiate themselves with others when they need to.

                  When they feel comfortable enough in their new power, they feel able to let their “mask”
                  slide. Hence the real person finally shows.

                  That person is an empty shell, with no heart and no soul either.

                  How can the OCA stand having someone like that on their Synod ?
                  Probably everyone hates him but is too afraid to stand up.

                  Time to remove him and consder an authentic monastic, Abbot Gerasim.

                • Vladyko, I told you to refer your inquiry to someone who could answer it. Metropolitan Jonah has the information you are asking for. I am not his secretary, and don’t handle communications for him. Since you don’t want to get in touch with Metropolitan Jonah for more information, I have helped you all I can.

            • Disgusted With It says

              Perhaps they could release Metropolitan Jonah as they have other clergy. I remember reading in what I believe were the Fr. Vasil Susan materials posted online that OCA clergy were simply “released” and told they are no longer clergy of the OCA. And then when asked for details such as when and to whom, they refused to give those details. I’ve noticed myself that certain priests with “issues” disappear from the OCA website listing, but are not reported in the clergy updates. If that is how this current administration does things, then why not now in this case? While I agree that proper procedures must be followed, it seems very two-faced of them to hold some clergy to certain standards of procedure and not others.

              So I guess the question that leaves me puzzled is — what exactly is the OCA procedure for transfer, and why are there times when they seem to not follow it?

          • Heracleides says

            Perhaps daft bishops – when spouting salacious innuendo and similar such drivel – should be held to the same idiotic standards they demand of others? Sauce, goose, gander…

            • Carl Kraeff says

              You do not cease to disappoint funny man and furnish disgusting examples of disrespect towards clergy that vie in their ugliness as any produced by the most ardent Jacobin.

              • Heracleides says

                Oh blah, blah, blah Carl. I ceased to take anything you have to say seriously a long time ago – especially once I learned that you are a poor excuse for a priests brat. Get over yourself.

            • Bishop Tikhon Fitzgerald says

              NOW who’s posting here under the pseudonym “Heracleides?” The former guy or gal has vanished, especially from this site: Just click (uselessly) on the name Heracleides at the top of the Monomakhos page and you’ll find it’s a total fake. Or maybe he/she has transferred to Drezhlo? They share similar intellectual values.

              But I, for one, GET to be daft—I’m 80, and although I’m not going to complain about elder abuse, I no longer try to hide how daft, deluded, and dotty I’ve become!!!
              Anyhow, if the blessings of heretics are de facto curses, this tells us a lot about the misfires of cartoonists!
              Daffily, dottily, and absolutely bonkers,
              Bishop OCA retired

              • Daft
                Silly; foolish.
                Crazy; “have you gone daft?”.
                crazy – mad – foolish – loony – cracked

              • Heracleides says

                Bishop, I’ve long pondered (not) your apparent fixation with Stan Drezhlo… and now I think I’ve hit on it, and it’s just plain Daffy! (Or envy as the case may be…)

      • Jane Rachel says

        What Yours Truly presents makes sense, if you think about it. It stands to reason because it’s the right thing to do, that Metropolitan Jonah would not be abandoned by his brothers, especially after having been pressured to step down by them. And they are very public, high-ranking religious leaders of an Orthodox Church – THE CHURCH. After all, it would be the right thing to do. We know that the high-ranking ROCOR leaders stated publicly that they hoped Metropolitan Jonah would be treated fairly. If the Synod releases him, he can start working again. If they don’t release him, he can’t. If they want to pressure him into staying in the OCA, that’s unethical. So, no matter which way you slice it, we can see from the facts we know, even without told by people who say they were there, that the Holy Synod is not being fair to Metropolitan Jonah. If you are wondering about a person, it’s sometimes helpful to see whether they have a track record in that area. They do. We also have testimony from a retired OCA bishop that Archbishop Benjamin stated Bishop Nikolai would be released “Over my dead body.” Anybody see how unChristian that is? It’s a control pattern. Stop condemning the messengers and start looking at the facts. Sheesh!

        We know that Metropolitan Jonah has not been released from the OCA. Leaders who were doing the right thing by their brother would release him. You can cut away at “Yours Truly” but can you justify the actions of the Holy Synod? It stands to reason that the ROCOR bishops would ask Metropolitan Tikhon to take care of Metropolitan Jonah. It stands to reason that the Holy Synod would tell those ROCOR leaders they would treat him fairly. Yet nothing has happened.

        Metropolitan Jonah doesn’t have a paycheck.

        • Carl Kraeff says

          Here are some questions that occur to me:

          Are the negotiations still going on? Did his lawyer desert him? What sort of lawyer is he to let his client end up destitute?

          Although according to you he does not have a paycheck, does he have any other source of income, such as donations from those who love him? If not, why aren’t those who love him put their money where their mouth/heart is? What sort of supporters are they to let him end up destitute?

          Any answers?

          • George Michalopulos says

            Many answers Carl! Not that answering them would make any difference to those who are obstinate.

          • Jane Rachel says

            Wait a sec.

            Why should he have to live on donations?

            I would like to know what the standard procedure is for releasing an Orthodox bishop when a request for release has been submitted. As far as I know, no one has answered that question here. I would also like to know the circumstances under which a bishop would not be released after he requests a release. Who decides and on what basis do they make their decisions?

          • Why? Who needs to know?

          • pelagiaeast says

            Carl Kraeff,
            Who says we aren’t supporting him? Check with the Holy Archangels Orthodox Foundation to find out! Then report something responsible.

          • Whether the Synod and OCA administrators decide to repent and do the right thing, or they compel us to step in and care for him, it’s less of a difference in some respects, because Metropolitan Jonah won’t be abandoned in either case.

            But what a difference it will make to the souls of those running the OCA!

            • George Michalopulos says

              Helga, I’m increasingly of the opinion that the Syosset/Synod axis may not possess any moral agency in this matter. A more charitable way of putting it is that their devotion to the instititionalism of a dying ecclesial body may very well blind them to God’s grace.

    • Dear Jonathan says

      Please get a clue, Jonathan. If you are referring to Metropolitan Jonah, he is no one’s “boy”. He is a leader who gives great sermons where every word is worth considering, acted as a great force and instantly respected Orthodox primate with Roman Catholics and other heterodox, and accelerated and cemented relationships between the OCA and the ROCOR hierarchy and, in a more active collaborative way, with the MP. This was a move from the past in that under communism, the OCA necessarily was grateful to continue the Church in America outside the direct participation of the MP whereas now, after communism, we can now act with many jurisdictions in congress on social and other important issues, magnifying our effectiveness worldwide for good. All that, and he is great with young adults, inspiring them for work in the Church, desired for OCF and other of their gatherings, while being humble, honest and accessible to all.

      I get the impression, and I had this impression to an extent from Theodosius onwards in the photo collections on the OCA website (outside of Pascha being celebrated in multiple parishes) consisted almost all of hierarchy and few laity. I think I am not alone in saying I care more about how Orthodoxy includes my family, even unto future generations, and maximizes and encourages their participation, than about watching a Metropolitan or a bishop get robed with the requisite hymns in a kind of dog and pony show. In such an emphasis, I am interested in how good, how succinct, how inspiring the sermon, keyed to the short attention spans of today, and less interested in such things as the monetary value of a Panagia hanging over somebody’s tummy, although I do want that Metropolitan or Archbishop and I do want that Panagia in general and decry the lack of general respect for our hierarchy in the past decade and a half, even if some of it is deserved. I want bishops that last for life. I want respect for the office of bishop. I want respect for our elders in general and do not want our elders sequestered out and silenced, something that seems to have been enacted as a norm by our OCA Synod.

      Many of us have been committed to the OCA for decades, grown up in the same and consider the idea of losing the OCA with profound sadness and alarm. I literally feel sick to my stomach when I think of how the OCA has been misused by hierarchy and laity alike in the past couple of decades. I, along with many of my friends, considered such websites as ocanews and ocatruth as places where we should not properly participate, although one of our clergy might dare to tread in such a secular place. I personally know at least five people who write on this blog who have never written on other blogs. We are here on this blog, for however long I am not sure, because at least George Michalopulos seems to care about both the OCA and our Metropolitan Jonah, who we would not like to lose. However, his protests have been limited. And my own words have been less protest than an attempt to clarify facts, when available, and to state opinion as opinion, otherwise.

      You cannot gauge the importance of a single soul to Orthodoxy by the willingness of people to buck the consensus of their hierarchy and engage in radical hippy style protests. Right is never gauged by popularity, anyway. For example, St. Nicholas was accounted a stern individual, but he helped preserve our Faith. His keeping to the Faith, by God’s grace created of him a myrrhgusher whose healing continues to this day. The foundation of holiness in our Church is founded on the continuance of individuals believing rightly and acting rightly. That is what the name of our religion means, after all, Ortho doxos / pravo slavni / right praising. Praising is an active process, I will remind you, and does not equate with complacency. It is the job of every single one or two of us ready to gather together in His Name to be actively Orthodox and not complacent about Orthodoxy, as Orthodoxy is fragile in a secular world with evil present.

      As for Metropolitan Tikhon, he is a very sweet monk and the only thing with which he can be faulted is not speaking up in defense of the Metropolitan every time as such was necessary and overall compacency. I personally like him and probably others do as well. Moreover, in many of the important actions of Metropolitan Jonah, you will see him also present. But, in an Orthodox Metropolitan, we need some bravery for otherwise conciliatory becomes a fearful version of lowest common denominator consensus.

      For those of us who are fortunate to have enough a ROCOR mission or to join an existing parish in the ROCOR, that choice will be good. For the rest of us who are distant or infirm or for some other reason unable to participate in the ROCOR on a regular basis, the choice may include only OCA or other jurisdiction choices. Should similar irregularities happen in the ROCOR in the future, we will have to see where we can commune. Since all of us, thanks partly to the efforts of both Metropolitan Herman and Metropolitan Jonah in healing jurisdictional divisions, can celebrate as laity in any other jurisdiction, it is easy for us to shop around whichever churches we can get to, although this stymies parish building and development to an extent.

      I and other people are heartbroken, for we love the OCA and its future promise as the single American jurisdiction in America, Canada and Central and South America. But we have witnessed things happening in our church that sadden us greatly. We have waited for our clergy and hierarchy to act on these irregularities as they have occurred. We have reluctantly formed our own conclusions in the face of inaction, for in many cases we would rather trust our local pastors and hierarchy to act. Sometimes we have been brave enough to speak, for these are hard matters to even bring up, and become saddened at how few around us can act and have acted. In many cases, there has been silence and inaction, or, even worse, prevarication and attempts at self justification.

      Personally, a lot of what I have discovered even about the recent past in the OCA is saddening and sickening. What is particularly sad, in the case of Metropolitan Jonah, is what he was able to accomplish in such a short period of time, what he was even able to accomplish under incredible duress, and how sane and capable he is despite incredible maltreatment. Silence within the Church about things that matter during the period of duress is saddening in itself. And that is before we hear the dismissive tones of some toward him who have patronizingly sought to limit his Orthodox voice.

      May I also say that another sad element of late is the confusion of the office of Metropolitan with any secular political stance or party whatsoever? This is one fault of this blog. That it is also sad that some laity or clergy would affect to define the office of Metropolitan with their own political biases? The confusion between God and Caesar is confounding, especially when applied to anything connected with war or killing, whether fetus or full term. Then there are the armchair canonists, some of them well-meaning, some of them venally attempting to skew history and/or truth.

      Rulers and people have forever attempted to condemn Christ to their political agendas, starting with the people who proclaimed Barabbas.

      So, too, are any laity who would attempt to reduce our numbers as Orthodox Christians, or to reduce Orthodoxy.

      Btw, who are you to define anything as the work of the devil?

      • Dear Jonathan says:

        As for Metropolitan Tikhon, he is a very sweet monk and the only thing with which he can be faulted is not speaking up in defense of the Metropolitan every time as such was necessary and overall compacency.

        Except for the fact that he was one of the troika who conspired on July 5th, 2012, in violation of the Holy Canons, to demand the resignation of Metropolitan Jonah. The other two are +Benjamin and +Nikon.

        • Dear Mitrich says

          Frist, please forgive me from misspelling complacency. You say that

          Except for the fact that he was one of the troika who conspired on July 5th, 2012, in violation of the Holy Canons, to demand the resignation of Metropolitan Jonah. The other two are +Benjamin and +Nikon.

          How do you know for sure that these three bishops conspired?

          • They constituted the Lesser Synod of that date, which Fr. Jillions admitted at the DOS assembly in July was the body, sans Metropolitan Jonah, that met to demand the resignation.

            • Thank you, Helga, says

              So now we can document complicity of more than Father J. Jillions in the conspiracy! Where are the meeting minutes online, do you know? I admit to wanting to document the actions as well as the complicity in what has transpired. It is not enough to wait until the Day of Judgement to find out how and by whom our dear Metropolitan Jonah has been persecuted and robbed from our OCA spiritual lives.

              As a personal question, how do you feel watching some people in the OCA go about their regular OCA lives as if nothing had happened?

              • You’re welcome, “Thank You Helga”.

                For the record, that information was pulled from accounts of the DOS assembly published here. It’s one of the items on the investigation petition.

                As for how I feel about OCA people going on as if things were normal, it does hurt. I cannot fault people for trusting those who they think are trustworthy. But I want them to know the truth someday.

                • Me too.

                  • I found the place on the DOS website that talks about when Fr. Jillions gave his talk


                    The way the DOS talks about it is kind of horrifying if what Fr. Jillions related is true

                    The day concluded with Fr John Jillions, Chancellor of the Orthodox Church in America, sharing his experience in the events surrounding the resignation of Metropolitan Jonah, encouraging us in how a small organization can move forward in a difficult situation, much like Gideon in days of old.

                    Still looking for the transcript or the video. Could be damning

                • Carl Kraeff says

                  The Petition asks:

                  “Whether three bishops of the OCA, +Benjamin, +Nikon, and +Tikhon, met privately, banding together, on or about July 5th of 2012, without participation or knowledge of their Primate, Metropolitan Jonah, in violation of three of the Holy Canons[2],3],[4] and agreed (conspired) to request his resignation as the Primate of the OCA.[5]”

                  The canons they cite are (Listed below with my comments)

                  Apostolic Canon 34: The bishops of every nation must acknowledge him who is first among them and account him as their head, and do nothing of consequence without his consent; but each may do those things only which concern his own parish, and the country places which belong to it. But neither let him (who is the first) do anything without the consent of all; for so there will be unanimity, and God will be glorified through the Lord in the Holy Spirit. (bolded in the Petition)

                  Carl: They indeed asked for his consent and he assented by resigning. Furthermore, consultations before action do not constitute doing things of consequence; if +JOnah had refused to assent, no action of consequence would have taken place. Most importantly, however is the fact that these bishops are more than diocesans, they are also members of the Holy Synod, the supreme canonical authority of the church. It is positively stupid to think that they must inform the Metropolitan of their intent to talk to each other about the Metroplitan’s health or misconduct. Such a stupidity is not called for in the OCA Statute or in Apostolic Canon 34.

                  “Canon 18 of the Council of Chalcedon: The crime of conspiracy or banding together is utterly prohibited even by the secular law, and much more ought it to be forbidden in the Church of God. Therefore, if any, whether clergymen or monks, should be detected conspiring or banding together, or hatching plots against their bishops or fellow-clergy, they shall by all means be deposed from their own rank.” and “Canon 34 of the Council in Trullo: In view of the fact that the sacerdotal Canon clearly states that as the crime of conspiracy or of faction is utterly forbidden even by civil laws, it is much more fitting still that this be prohibited from occurring in the Church of God, we too are sedulous to insist that if any Clergymen or Monks be found either conspiring together or engaging in factional intrigues or hatching plots against Bishops or fellow Clergymen, they shall forfeit their own rank altogether.”

                  Carl: These canons clearly talks about clergy and monks conspiring against their bishops, and are not applicable in this case. As I showed above, there was no conspiracy in the first place. The members of the Holy Synod did their job in perfect accord with the OCA Statute and the Holy Canons.

                  • George Michalopulos says

                    Carl, the torture you have inflicted on Canon 34 these last few years eclipses anything done at the CIA “Black Sites” that I saw in Zero Dark Thirty. Your inability to see that a secret conspiracy was hatched against the legitimate Primate makes me wonder if you understand basic criminality. (If I see a man breaking into my house I for one am going to assume that he’s not there to repair the plumbing.) In addition, the perjurious letter put out by the Synod removes all doubt that they may have been misinformed. In other words, they actually lied.

                    • Carl Kraeff says

                      George–I am afraid that we hold diametrically opposed views on this. However, I remember a time in the past when you would have agreed with me. Now, you have cast your lot with proponents of a strong primate, such as +Jonah, Professor AKS and others. It is the Brum Doctrine Redux (see http://ocanews.org/news/ThePRimateoftheOCA-Brum12.02.06.html).

                      May be there is another difference between you and I; I have not given up hope on you.

                    • George Michalopulos says

                      Carl, I very much appreciate your kindnesses to me (public as well as private) and I see that you are truly a brother in Christ. As such, you are truly “Dear-to-Christ Carl” to me. Please accept my apologies for any wrong I may have committed. Please also be aware that in my many voluminous writings on ecclesiology, there is no fundamental contradiction between what I have written about sobornost nor the concept of patriarchy. I very much believe in Apostolic Canon 34. There is no “but” here but an “and”: all bishops are equal. Jonah was treated very much unequally.

                      I hate to invoke the words of President Clinton during the Lewinsky imbroglio (and I know I’m going to regret comparing what happened to Jonah to Clinton’s clear criminality) but he was right in this particular sentiment: “The President is not above the law but neither is he beneath it.”

                      Jonah was not given due process. Jonah was conspired against in secretive fashion. Jonah was accused of crimes and misdeamenors which were known to be false from the outset.

                      None of the above is good, Carl, and it bespeaks ill for the future of the OCA. I can’t make it any simpler.

                  • The Canons according to Carl . . . . What fathers and historical reference are you using to interpret these?

                    • Carl Kraeff says

                      I am reading the canons and interpreting them on the basis of their plain English meaning. Does anybody dispute the plain English meaning of them? Am I using a bad translation? Doe the various commentators hint at anything other than the plain English meaning? Does anybody have case law precedents?

                      I have indicated that my approach to interpreting them is based on “The Canonical Tradition of the Orthodox Church” by Dr. Lewis J. Patsavos, Ph.D., Professor Emeritus of Canon Law and former Director of Field Education at Holy Cross Greek Orthodox School of Theology in Brookline, MA. What is the basis of the interpretations made by yourself, George, Helga, Professor AKS and others who have condemned my interpretation?

                    • Since the reply button isn’t working-I’ll reply here

                      I would understand Canons by how I see them historically acted out. I’m in the process of reading up on this canon now. You need to know Greek and you need to know scholars disagree. Currently I do not see your interpretation of this canon played out with the Greeks, Antiochian, or Russians. Where do you see this order besides the OCA?

                    • Carl, are you aware that the canons you’re trying to interpret were not originally written in English?

                    • Carl Kraeff says

                      Helga–I guess you read my post very fast and missed “Am I using a bad translation?” So, the answer to you is, yes I am aware that Apostolic Canon 34 was not written in English. modern or otherwise.Since it is highly improbable for you to think that I am not aware of that fact, I will take your comment as a petty and nasty retort. Now, are you aware that resorting to such petty and nasty retorts is a sign of weakness, of losing the argument? Are you aware that your comment was the rhetorical equivalent of a belch or a fart?

                    • Carl Kraeff says

                      Colette–You said “Currently I do not see your interpretation of this canon played out with the Greeks, Antiochian, or Russians.” Let me ask you in turn: How do the Greeks, Antiochians or Russians interpret Canon 34?

                    • Carl, I asked because you referred to the “plain English” reading of the canons. You are referring to translations, and I am sure if you had the ability, you would have cited the original instead. It’s not really advisable to try to parse their meaning when translations are all you have to work with.

                      You may find it insulting, but considering how many Hollywood casting directors seem to think Jesus spoke early Modern English with a British accent, I didn’t think I should be too careful. And therefore never send to know for whom the belch tolls; it tolls for thee.

                    • Carl Kraeff says

                      George, Helga, Colette, et al–You all have disputed my methodology and interpretation. Surely you must have had a reason for it. Would it be fair to ask you to justify your criticism of my interpretation? IAW, is there some substance to your objection other than your personal opinion? If your objection is based on the text, which text have you used? If it is based on the interpretation of others, who are they?

                  • Carl says:

                    As I showed above, there was no conspiracy in the first place.

                    I am yet to see how and where you “showed” it. If you say that banding together and meeting in secret to decide on an action against their primate is not conspiracy, I am afraid, you should try to apply these your own words to yourself: “It is positively stupid to think that …”

                    Carl says:

                    Carl: These canons clearly talks about clergy and monks conspiring against their bishops, and are not applicable in this case.

                    These canons speak off all clergymen, including bishops. Bishops are “fellow clergymen” to each other. The prohibition of conspiracy clearly applies.

                    Oh, the efforts the people would exert to deny the obvious!

                    • Carl Kraeff says

                      You were certainly correct when you said “Oh, the efforts the people would exert to deny the obvious!” See, a broken clock is right at least once a day.

                    • Dear Carl and Mitrich and others of the same ilk

                      You all seem to throw around epitomes of canons, without even knowing what an epitome of a canon means, without discussing the rest of the historically recorded canonical discussion and commentary. This all seems to me like going to volume 14 of Post Nicene Fathers and doing the Protestant things with whatever you are seeing in English without benefit of the centuries of commentary and variants on the same. This amounts to creating your own pseudo Christian Protestant sect out of a misinterpretation of some Revised Less Than Standard version of the Good Book. I hope you catch the analogy.

                      Those seminarians and scholars on the blog are therefore continuously gagging at your personal takes on the translated word. Literally, two individuals with Masters of Theology keep telling you the same obvious thing, but actually not trying to insult you in the process. Will you get a clue? They suggest you cite the Greek and the commentary and you don’t know how and you ignore any need to do such a thing before your Protestant mantra. You just aren’t qualified! But even so, all these helpful folks are being polite and suggesting you can go ut and get a clue from the scholarly record. Meanwhile, with your hardheaded attitude toward the translated text, they aren’t about to provide you with the online course from Latin and Greek, despite your pleas.

                      All that and you don’t even understand the concept that canon is a kind of explication that eventually stand or fails the test of the Faith.

                      oh well

                  • Jesse Cone says

                    Carl shocks me by saying:

                    As I showed above, there was no conspiracy in the first place.

                    Guess I missed that part.

                    Leaving aside the several leaked emails that detail the formation and adoption of a plan of action against +Jonah using the fear of Sexual Misconduct suits, the idiosyncratic adoption of Synodal policies that attempt to circumvent the Statute, the insistence that every error possible be publicly tied to +Jonah, and the complete inconsistency towards other clergy and bishops you are still left with a libelous STINKBOMB of a letter and that fact that the fears of the many as imperfectly expressed through OCATruth has been realized.

                    Either I’m a prophet and OCATruth a prophecy, or you fail to see the obvious.

                    • It seems not to matter what one shows Carl, he is in denial. He will believe whatever is comfortable to him. I worry that he has made the OCA an idol. Christ is in the Truth. If the Truth is too scary people will fight viciously to keep what they know. . . .

            • Bishop Tikhon Fitzgerald says

              We do not really have standing synods in our Church, although the Constantinopolitan Church did, innovatively, make its Sacred Synod a permanently sitting body some time ago.
              Nevertheless. No meeting or conclave or association is a Synod without its president; the presence of the president/First Hierarch is absolutely necessary for such a meeting to be called a Synod, whether Holy or Lesser. If Benjamin, Tikhon, and Nikon met together without the presence of Metropoiitan Jonah, they were NOT the Lesser Synod, they were a conventicle. If Benjamin presided at the meeting and claimed it was a Lesser Synod meeting, he usurped the prerogatives of the canonical First Hierarch.
              Carl, this should be obvious to you, based on the canons to which you refer.
              It would appear to me that, going on the given history, Chancellor Jillions, Archbishop Benjamiin, Archbishop Nikon, and Archbishop Tikhon and Metropolitan Jonah acted in a way best and most accurately termed “canonically illiterate.”

              • Carl Kraeff says

                Your Grace–If you mean a continuously meeting Holy Synod, no we do not. That does not mean, however, that they cannot read reports, propose actions and coordinate proposals amongst themselves between formal meetings. That said, I would think that Fr Jillions would not have told +Jonah that he had a choice between resigning and rehab without at least having the absolute conviction that +Jonah’s fellow bishops on the Synod had agreed on this course of action. One can quibble whether this came from the entire Synod membership, the Lesser Synod or a “conventicle.” The point is that in a matter of such significance there had to be unanimity. Even if +Jonah believed that all of his other bishops wanted him to resign or go to rehab, he could have simply refused to do one or the other (Indeed, his letter of resignation indicates that he believed that the rest of the Holy Synod wanted this). It was with his assent that unanimity was achieved and this significant action was taken.

                It may be that somebody usurped the prerogatives of the Metropolitan related to meetings of the Lesser Synod. Please note that I am not the one who claimed that it was the Lesser Synod sent the “resign or go-to-rehab” demand to +Jonah (We need to ask the Team Jonah member who made that allegation). In any case, if this was a conspiracy by three bishops (who happened to be members of the Lesser Synod along with +Jonah), +Jonah has not claimed that it was a conspiracy nor has he fought it. His letter starts with ““As per your unanimous request, as conveyed to me by Chancellor Fr. John Jillions…” As the Presiding Bishop of both the Holy Synod and the Lesser Synod, +Jonah was uniquely positioned to know if this demand truly represented the views of his fellow bishops. That he accepted Fr. Jillions’ presentation at face value is telling. The fact is that he resigned and the Holy Synod accepted his resignation. I just do not see where there were any canonical screw up that would annul his resignation and acceptance.

                • George Michalopulos says

                  Now you’re stretching Carl. His Grace is correct. No synod has met anywhere without it’s primate throughout history of the Church. Even the Councils which condemned Nestorianism had the decency to have Nestorius present to hear the charges and defend himself.

                  • Carl Kraeff says

                    “On Saturday, July 7, the letter was presented to the Holy Synod in the course of a conference call in which all of the hierarchs participated, except His Eminence, Archbishop Alejo of Mexico City.”

                    Here is an instance of an extraordinary meeting of the Holy Synod. i am one of those who thinks that a Synod can meet telephonically, particularly in extraordinary circumstances. Now, we do know from the OCA Statute and the Canons that a Synod must meet twice a year at a minimum. Obviously, the conference call here is an extraordinary meeting, extraordinary for two reasons. First, it is not a regularly scheduled one, and second, it cannot be presided by the statutory chairman (the Metropolitan) since the meeting is about him. On the latter point, I did not research the OCA Statute but I was curious how the ROD handled it. See Article V. Section 21 of the ROC Statute at http://orthodoxeurope.org/page/3/15.aspx,

                    • George Michalopulos says

                      So then, it really wasn’t “unanimous” as stated in the Stinkbomb?

                    • George Michalopulos says

                      Therefore not only were the contents of the Stinkbomb fallacious, but the conveyence to His Beatitude that all bishops were “unanimous” was false as well. Not only does this rise to the level of outright “lie” but it indicates coercion and duress.

      • Fr. George Washburn says

        Well DJ, who are any of us to make pronouncement about the devil’s work, although there’s a strong voting bloc here that doesn’t mind seeing the diagnosis made and repeated so long at is the right people’s work that is so characterized. Perhaps Jonathan was referring the the Devil’s New Testament Greek name, diabolos, the accuser and caster of aspersions, and suggesting that he has some well-intentioned, unwitting aspersion-casting allies here more often that the general readership thinks …..or wants to think.

      • I am a new inquirer into Orthodoxy trying to figure out what is happening in the OCA. It looks to me that Met Jonah was a conservative voice and the only Bishop I can see not tainted by an earlier monetary scandel which was involved in pay offs to silence people who were aware in an illicit gay union (s) in the OCA. It looks to me that there are members of the Gay Othodox Christians group who are into redefining gay union as a natural as opposed to unnatural union and want legitamacy thru your church as it has such a large gay population from Boston thru DC and west coast support.in its Bishops and Priests. The priest in Boston – I believe his sons are gay? The resignation of Jonah signals to me that you propose to be the new Orthodox Gay Church in America. Is this the case?

        • I think you got it, Janet. That’s exactly what they are trying to turn the OCA into. But in order to be the “Gay Church”, it will have to drop the “Orthodox”.

        • Antiochian Friend says

          What a millstone about our neck that someone seeking the Pearl of Great Price instead finds this scandalous spectacle! May the Lord lead you, Janet, into His Heavenly Kingdom in spite of our unworthiness. As you continue your inquiry, I pray that you will take note of the near-certainty that the Mother Churches will not abandon their daughters.

    • lexcaritas says

      Could be Jonathan, but the July 16, 2012 Stinkbomb of a letter continues to purvey its vile perfume unretracted or corrected, and kind and hopeful hearts wait to know what is to be done by unrepetant men, and proud, bearing the name of Christ but not so much ressembling Him who would indefinitely let one who was a chief shepherd amongst them and who inspired countless numbers of his own flock–and beyond–dangle, unfree to serve again as and when our Lord Christ will have him do.

      This is the reproach that will not go away until lovingkindess prevails, and grace and righteousness are let to respire freely again and bring forth the good fruit of mercy, humility, love, joy and magnanimity.

      It is this that we await with bated breath.


  6. I am so glad to hear that some went over to see Metropolitan Jonah after the enthronement. I am certain that it pleased him but am also certain that in his true humble spirit that he was overwhelmed by his gesture of care. Am thankful that Metropolitan Jonah is still across the street and that did not have to search for him.

    Of course there was no real news from the Synod meeting the next day…bet that none of them went across the street to ask his forgiveness!

    • The Metropolitan is not across the street says

      Next door to St. Nicholas cathedral on Edmunds St. is where the Metropolitan lives. Next door on the Massachusetts Avenue side is the office building for the cathedral next to which is the other side of the Metropolitan’s house.

      I am grateful to Yours Truly for providing us with more information on the progress of the Holy Synod regarding our Metropolitan Jonah and the visit of the Patriarchal representative Justinian, a visit he made also when the Sretensky Monastery choir was visiting the cathedral. This visit is something I saw others do at the OCL conference.

      Across the street from St. Nicholas cathedral is a Buddhist temple. A for sale sign for the property upon which the temple rests stayed up in view of the cathedral for a long time, finally selling to the heathens. Now, instead of the use of that property for, say, primatial offices for the OCA in our nation’s capital, a no brainer, we can watch the pull of heathen religions. During that period of time in which the property across the street from St. Nicholas was available, an Orthodox cathedral a short block away financed and finished an impressive expansion program despite a large percentage drop in ethnic participation.Google Frosene Center.

      • So if this property was so important to you why didn’t you buy it and donate it to the church?

        The real answer is that it is much easier to complain than to do something.

        If anyone is really concerned about Metropolitan Jonah’s welfare, just send him a check. You don’t need a foundation or some other kind of not for profit institution. The last time I checked it is still legal to send checks to friends in need.

        • “So if this property was so important to you why didn’t you buy it and donate it to the church?

          The real answer is that it is much easier to complain than to do something.”

          Oh Nicky Nicky Nicky-you just hit upon a can of wasps. . . . That was a naive comment . . .

          • If you were asking why the individual person didn’t buy the land across the street from St. Nick’s that might be because your average person doesn’t have millions of dollars to drop.

          • Good point, Colette says

            I’m not sure if Nick deserves an answer , given his apparent his uncharitable attitude, but :

            1. The reason why people were uninterested in acquiring the 2 million dollar property across the street was they supposedly that they wanted to focus on a building expansion program to which a third of a million dollars had already been spent on design development documents alone.

            2. The reason people do not support the Metropolitan on their own is that the responsibility for his compensation for a job normally held for life for a person who has committed no wrong is the responsibility of the OCA who has maligned him and deprived him of a job, a bishopric he is more than capable of holding, That the OCA has several empty bishoprics makes this even more egregious. We are not forming a new little Protestant religion with him at its head. He is a part of our one, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church.

            What do I suggest? Appropriately compensating him as an Archbishop at Large, free to travel and serve in any OCA parish or any Orthodox parish outside the OCA that invites him. He could then fulfill any one of the locum tenans positions.

  7. George,

    I pray for you often…although my prayer likely avails very little. I appresiate your work to help us see what is transpiring in the OCA. I will pray for the latest Metropolitan. I shall pray also for +Metopolitan Jonah.

  8. Carl Kraeff says

    Deleted by Carl Kraeff.

  9. Sean Richardson says

    As they say, “refugees vote with their feet”. I sense the lack of representatives from other jurisdiction speaks louder than any words or explanations can. I always seek peace and harmony in God’s Kingdom, but regardless of how I, or others feel, there is a feeling that peace and harmony are absent. I pray it is restored soon … for the sake of Christ’s Holy Church.

    • Of course one wants peace and harmony, but not at the price of accepting wrong practice and teaching and not when one is mistreated. We should be vigilant in making sure we do not fall pray to ignorance and apathy-which seems to be very American right now.

  10. macedonianreader says

    At first glance, if not attendance of the enthronement of Tikhon+ equaled protest, then I would have expected the Greeks to have shown up and not the Russians.

    • Greeks Observed says

      I recognized two local Greeks from the photos at Met. Tikhon ceremnonies – Michael Zachariadis (member of the OCA) and Manolis (last name not known, a student, member of the GOARCH), both serving at the altar. There are Greek parishioners as well.

      I expect that if any local Greek priests attended an enthronement, it would have been the Ukrainian enthronement over at St. Andrews as the Ukrainian church is under the EP..I’ll have to see if anyone posted photos.

      • One less Greek says

        I don’t know Manolis, but Subdeacon Michael Z definitely wasn’t at the enthronement, serving or otherwise.

        • DCOrthodox says

          As a friend of Manolis, I saw him at the enthronement, but he most definitely did not serve at the Altar. He did, however, enter the Altar after the service to greet his old friend, Fr. George Kokhno. I did not see Subdeacon Michael, but he was definitely not serving.

          Thought there were at least three GOA priests at the Ukrainian enthronement (and probably a few more), in addition to Archbishop +Demetrios, Archdeacon Panteleimon, a few other hierarchs, a number of Archons and many local Greek Orthodox faithful, there were no GOA priests at St. Nicholas, nor was there any official delegation from the EP or the GOA. The presence of a few Greek parishioners does not change that fact, especially when they most likely attended for reasons other than any making any type of “statement” about the enthronement.

          • Ukrainian Enthronement says

            Hi, DC Orthodox,

            I was not at the Enthronement of Metropolitan Tikhon, but saw Manolis at the Vigil of the Enthronement on Saturday night. That Saturday morning, clearly in the video that was posted on this blog, he was at the Enthronement of Metropolitan Anthony of the Ukrainian Archdiocese, standing next to the priest form Hagia Sophia in D.C., Father Stephen Zorzos.

            The most important Greek visitor to the Enthronement of Metropolitan Anthony was Archbishop Demetrios, head of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese in America. He was occupying the bishop’s chair on the right side of the royal doors in the video at St. Andrew’s cathedral. He gave his own statement on the enthronement and also read aloud the greeting from the Ecumenical Patriarch, Bartholomew of Constantinople and New Rome. An incredible amount of clergy were at the Ukrainian enthronement. If you are patient, and you know lots of these folks, you can see them coming in one by one at the video http://youtu.be/JNBfw1izZkE . Manolis is front center. He is a busy Orthodox bee. He put together the service tonight under MetropolitanPanteleimon’s direction for the St. Theodore service at St. Theodore in Lanham so presumably we will even see him there. Great Vespers at 6- 7:30


            website: http://www.sttheodores.org/

            If you understand some of these folks, who is the person in the purple klobok sitting across from the OCA bishops in the video? One of ours or a Uniate?

            May young Manolis continue to grow in the faith until he illumines us with his wisdom.

  11. Banquet Attendee says

    Bishop George was definitely at the Sunday banquet. So was Bishop Nicholas Ozone (Antiochian). However, I did not see Archbishop Justinian or Metropolitan Dmitri of Georgia at the banquet at all.

    I believe there was some sort of luncheon on Saturday (the day before the enthronement), which was reportedly skipped out on by some bishops in order to pay their respects to Metropolitan Jonah.

  12. Metropolitan Tikhon hosts Metropolitan Hilarion, Archbishop Justinian at Chancery

    His Beatitude, Metropolitan Tikhon, hosted His Eminence, Metropolitan Hilarion, First Hierarch of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia, and His Eminence, Archbishop Justinian, Administrator of the [Moscow] Patriarchal Parishes in the USA, at the Chancery of the Orthodox Church in America here on Tuesday, January 29, 2013.

    ROCOR Metropolitan Hilarion presents Metropolitan Tikhon with panagia of the Kursk Icon of the Mother of God.

    According to Archpriest Eric G. Tosi, OCA Secretary, Metropolitan Hilarion, who had just returned from a visit to Australia, officially greeted Metropolitan Tikhon on the occasion of his election and recent enthronement, presenting him with a panagia of the Kursk-Root Icon of the Mother of God. Metropolitan Hilarion was represented at Metropolitan Tikhon’s enthronement on Sunday, January 27, by His Grace, Bishop George of Mayfield. [Archbishop Justinian concelebrated at the Enthronement Liturgy as the representative of His Holiness, Patriarch Kirill of Moscow.

    Metropolitan Hilarion was accompanied by Archpriest Seraphim Gan.

    Also in attendance were His Grace, Bishop Michael of New York and New York and New Jersey, newly appointed Secretary of the OCA Holy Synod, and Archpriests John Jillions and Eric G. Tosi, OCA Chancellor and Secretary respectively.


  13. Given that Metropolitan Hilarion and Archbishop Justinian have now formally met with Metropolitan Tikhon, I am rather surprised that there has not been a statement regarding Metropolitan Jonah. Besides the obvious greeting, exchanging of gifts and a cup of tea, one would think that the subject of Metropolitan Jonah came up. I’m not quite as cynical as others here to believe that the Holy Synod of the OCA has it in for Metropolitan Jonah. They may have acted very harshly regarding his forced resignation but Metropolitan Jonah was also partially responsible for this.

    That being said, I have to conclude that if a statement does not come soon regarding Metropolitan Jonah transferring to the ROCOR or the MP, that neither jurisdiction had a place for him or didn’t really want him. Despite what many others might want to admit, taking Metropolitan Jonah into their jurisdiction comes with a great deal of risk. He has an unfortunate track record of leaving. He was very frequently absent from St. John’s monastery, he left the monastery where he was tonsured after less than two years, and he left Syosset after one year and forced a move to Washington. Keep in mind that neither ROCOR nor the MP are quite flush with cash these days. Do they really want another bishop who has serious salary demands?

    For all of his charisma, boldness in the face of opposition, and sincere desire to put a new face to Orthodoxy in America, he has a few issues. I’m just saying that it’s not quite as simplistic as others are making it out to be. Again, some people have commented here that the OCA should just “let him go.” Sorry, but it doesn’t work that way in the Orthodox Church. No priest or bishop is to be a “priest (or bishop) without portfolio.” The Orthodox church has a clear history of making sure that priests and bishop have assignments and that they are not roving clergy. This is why so many clergymen are listed as “attached.” If ROCOR or the MP don’t feel that they have a place where Metropolitan Jonah can be attached, it is unlikely that they will accept him.

    I do not wish Metropolitan Jonah ill. In fact I hope and pray that God will provide a new home for him.

  14. tim johnson says

    :Hey all: I just ran across this website…I got no dog in this fight….. but for what it’s worth… .. I can’t believe you people…. I assume you all are members of the same church, I guess,… yet you all see demons in each other.

    and you say all this crazy stuff…. about who is who and who is where, and who walked out on who, and Russians, vs. Greeks, vs. Romanians, versus OCA……

    whatever you all are up to, it’s not Christianity… it’s not following Jesus… it sounds, if I may say so, like a bunch of Texas cheerleaders’ mothers……you are some sick folk……

    It makes James and John tugging Jesus’ shirt sleeve look like statesmen….

    again, it’s none of my biz, except in the big picture… but you people are weird and rather ill… not peculiar in the Lord’s way.. just carried away, far far away, from the church, the Lord’s boat, the vessel, and you are all arguing over how threw the oars overboard and who is captain and first mate and who kissed who and who is in charge.

    you know what you resemble?? The Lord of the Flies…. you nasty little boys all need to be rescued, spanked and set to work…..

    here’s a little sampling from above: : Notice it’s all about enrollment and enthronement and titles and who is who… and… well … sounds like Screwtape….. really…
    good Lord, people…

    here , in your own words:

    “Barely 3 days after the enthronement of Met. Tikhon, the Synod of the Moscow Patriarchate met. One of the topics of discussion was…. the OCA.


    Quick Google translate of “Magazine No. 4″ of the Synod documents:

    Magazine № 4


    Report by Metropolitan Hilarion of Volokolamsk, Chairman of the Department for External Church Relations on the enthronement of a new Primate of the Orthodox Church in America.


    January 27, 2013 in St. Nicholas Cathedral in Washington was enthroned His Beatitude Archbishop of Washington, Metropolitan of All America and Canada, Tikhon, who was elected November 13, 2012 at the XVII All-American Council of the Orthodox Church in America. The Russian Orthodox Church was represented at the celebrations by the Administrator of the Patriarchal Parishes in the USA, Archbishop of Naro-Fominsk, who conveyed greetings to His Beatitude Metropolitan Tikhon Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia Kirill.


    Well DJ, who are any of us to make pronouncement about the devil’s work, although there’s a strong voting bloc here that doesn’t mind seeing the diagnosis made and repeated so long at is the right people’s work that is so characterized. Perhaps Jonathan was referring the the Devil’s New Testament Greek name, diabolos, the accuser and caster of aspersions, and suggesting that he has some well-intentioned, unwitting aspersion-casting allies here more often t

    Given that Metropolitan Hilarion and Archbishop Justinian have now formally met with Metropolitan Tikhon, I am rather surprised that there has not been a statement regarding Metropolitan Jonah. Besides the obvious greeting, exchanging of gifts and a cup of tea, one would think that the subject of Metropolitan Jonah came up. I’m not quite as cynical as others here to believe that the Holy Synod of the OCA has it in for Metropolitan Jonah. They may have acted very harshly regarding his forced resignation but Metropolitan Jonah was also partially responsible for this.

    That being said, I have to conclude that if a statement does not come soon regarding Metropolitan Jonah transferring to the ROCOR or the MP, that neither jurisdiction had a place for him or didn’t really want him. Despite what many others might

    At first glance, if not attendance of the enthronement of Tikhon+ equaled protest, then I would have expected the Greeks to have shown up and not the Russians.

    • Hi Tim!

      A common metaphor for the Church is a boat (you used it yourself). I heard someone say once that the Orthodox Church is like Noah’s Ark (a typology embraced by the Fathers). But imagine being on the ark! It’s noisy, it stinks, you are probably tired of seeing the people around you….but ultimately you have to be there because that’s what will save you.

      Don’t conflate the fallen human beings in the Ark with The Ark itself.

      In Christ,

    • Michael Bauman says

      tim johnson, I’d be interested in how you would address the issues from a “Christian” standpoint:

      Possible moral corruption in high leadership
      The evident slander of the chief hierach of the Church
      The lack of repentance for same

      My bishop instructed me to “hold on to my peace” if I was to speak on these things. I have tried to abide by his direction.

      That being said, we Orthodox tend to be a rowdy bunch–always have been starting with the disputes between St. Paul and Banabus and St. Paul and St. Peter to name a few.

      The rowdiness is not the best expression of our faith, to be sure, but it is in part because we care and we are not just going to go off and start another denomination somewhere else.

      If you want a better expression of the profound, holy and sublime nature of the Church try http://glory2godforallthings.com/

      • Carl Kraeff says

        Michael–I expected you to choose your words more carefully. You wrote “The evident slander of the chief hierach of the Church.” If you are talking about +Jonah, the slander, if any, is by no means evident. You know of course that truth is an absolute defense against the charge of slander. You should also know that in this instance, the charge is made in connection with the alleged rape by a priest that was invited to the United States by +Jonah. Although Team Jonah keeps on saying that slander occurred because rape was never proven, you will notice that the “stinkbomb” letter never said anything of the sort; +Jonah’s malfeasance was related to his mishandling of the allegation. Some folks, like our esteemed Bishop Tikhon, thinks that the letter was a stinkbomb because it was unwise. Other folks have criticized the letter because it resulted in newspapers misrepresenting it. None of these accusations rise to the level of slander.

        Let’s look over the record, if you don’t mind. It comes in the form of a Synodal letter in pdf format at http://oca.org/PDF/NEWS/2012/2012-0716-holy-synod-statement.pdf. I am reproducing only those parts of the letter that have been contested by Team and used to base their accusation of slander.

        “At some point after his enthronement as our Primate, Metropolitan Jonah unilaterally accepted into the OCA a priest known to him and to others to be actively and severely abusing alcohol, which more than once was coupled with episodes of violence and threats toward women. One of these episodes involved the brandishing of a knife, and the other the discharge of a firearm, the former resulting in the man’s arrest. The man was also incarcerated for three days in yet another incident, shortly after he was accepted into the OCA by Metropolitan Jonah. While under Metropolitan Jonah’s omophorion, this priest is alleged to have committed a rape against a woman in 2010.

        Metropolitan Jonah was later told of this allegation in February 2012, yet he neither investigated, nor told his brother bishops, nor notified the Church’s lawyers, nor reported the matter to the police, nor in any other way followed the mandatory, non-discretionary PSPs of the OCA. The alleged victim, however, did report the rape to the police. We know, too, that the alleged victim and a relative were encouraged by certain others not to mention the incident, and were told by them that their salvation depended on their silence. As recently as last week Metropolitan Jonah was regularly communicating with one of those who tried to discourage the reporting of this crime by the alleged victim and her relative. In addition, the Metropolitan counseled the priest to pursue a military chaplaincy, without informing the military recruiter of any of the priest’s problems. Finally, the Metropolitan attempted to transfer the priest to other Orthodox jurisdictions, and ultimately did permit him to transfer to another jurisdiction, in each case telling those jurisdictions there were no canonical impediments to a transfer.

        We have started an investigation into the rape allegation, and cannot assume whether the allegation is true or not. We only know that earlier allegations of misconduct by this priest were handled by Metropolitan Jonah in a manner at a complete variance with the required standards of our Church.”

        I invite you to tell me which word, phrase or sentence is not true and the proof that it is not so.

        • George Michalopulos says

          Quite incorrect Carl. The slander was evident. Please re-read the Stinkbomb letter. It was clearly libelous and thus actionable. I don’t know where in Syosset you’re getting your talking points from (I believe Fr Tosi) but let’s start at the top:

          1. The letter clearly stated that Jonah “recieved the priest into the OCA under his omorphor unilaterally.” The lies begin there. Jonah never received this priest “into the OCA” unilaterally or multilaterally.

          2. There was “no malfeasance” on Jonah’s part. As soon as credible allegations came to the fore, Jonah turned them over to the Synod and recused himself from any involvement whatsoever. (More importantly, there was no hubbub at St Nick’s among the laity during the time that Fr X was there. Talk about the dog that didn’t bark.)

          3. Be that as it may, the Synod in its investigation (and I use the term loosely) found no evidence of impropriety against the priest. The fault (if there is one) therefore lies with them.

          4. The timeline of the Stinkbomb, that Jonah “…was later told of this allegation in February 2012” has been proven to be a lie. True, he did not tell “his brother bishops, nor notified the Church’s lawyers, nor reported the matter to the police, [in Feb]” because he had no knowledge until three months later. Jonah also didn’t tell “his brother bishops” that the Ravens would win SuperBowl XLVII in 2013 either.

          5. What does it mean that “as recently as last week Metropolitan Jonah was regularly communicating with one of those who tried to discourage the reporting of this crime…”? Metropolitan Jonah was regularly communicating with scores of people at St Nicholas Cathedral during this time as he was the presiding hierarch there. Whether one of those parishioners was trying to “discourage the reporting of this alleged crime,” is immaterial. Why? Because even the Stinkbomb doesn’t actually accuse Jonah of telling the parishioner{s) in question whether they should go forward with the charges or not. For all we know he could have been talking about the weather. And anyway, the charges did not come to light until May 2012.

          6. This lie is a doozy: “Metropolitan Jonah counseled the priest to pursue a military chaplaincy without informing the military recruiter of the priest’s problems.” Really? Is there proof of that? (Please note the conjunctive.)

          7. The other bold-faced lie is the last one, in which the OCA’s legal counsel (where’d he get his degree? I’d ask for a refund) wrote that “Metropolitan Jonah attempted to transfer the priest to other Orthodox jurisdiction…in each case telling those jurisdictions that there were no canonical impediments to a transfer.” If you go back to my archives, you will find a letter from Fr Constantine Nasr requesting Fr X’s release to Antioch. In his reply, Jonah clearly states that there are troubling aspects about Fr X. Whether they rise to the level of “canonical impediments” or not is an issue for canonical lawyers to discuss.

          8. The last paragraph is a complete howler: “We only know that earlier allegations of misconduct by this priest were handled by Metropolitan Jonah in a manner at a complete variance with the required standards of our Church.” Are you serious? What OCA are we talking about? On which planet? The arrest record of one of our Eminences clearly prove this statement to be not only a lie but a confabulation of the first magnitude.

          • Carl Kraeff says

            George–If you do not mind, I will address your reply a piece at a time. First, I want to be clear about the terms that we are using.

            Slander: Defamation—also called calumny, vilification, traducement, slander (for transitory statements), and libel (for written, broadcast, or otherwise published words)—is the communication of a statement that makes a claim, expressly stated or implied to be factual, that may give an individual, business, product, group, government, religion, or nation a negative or inferior image. This can be also any disparaging statement made by one person about another, which is communicated or published, whether true or false, depending on legal state. In common law it is usually a requirement that this claim be false and that the publication is communicated to someone other than the person defamed (the claimant).

            1. a false statement made with deliberate intent to deceive; an intentional untruth; a falsehood. Synonyms: prevarication, falsification. Antonyms: truth.
            2. something intended or serving to convey a false impression; imposture: His flashy car was a lie that deceived no one.
            3. an inaccurate or false statement; a falsehood.
            4. the charge or accusation of telling a lie: He flung the lie back at his accusers.
            A general comment: You offer conclusions with nothing to justify them. However, since I know that you have published detailed analyses (especially from Professor Joel Kalvesmaki), I will consider your conclusions to have derived from Kalvesmaki’s analysis at http://www.kalvesmaki.com/OCA/2012-11-07-disbelieve-2.html. I hope that is OK with you. Otherwise, I am afraid that I cannot proceed as you yourself are not giving me anything to respond to except personal opinion.
            First point of contention.

            You wrote “1. The letter clearly stated that Jonah “recieved the priest into the OCA under his omorphor unilaterally.” The lies begin there. Jonah never received this priest “into the OCA” unilaterally or multilaterally.”

            First, I hope you realize that your allegation is slanderous per se (see definition above). The only defense that you have is to prove that the writer made “a false statement made with deliberate intent to deceive” in this case. If your conclusion was that the statement is untrue, then that is what you should have said. There is another complication here, you have slandered the Holy Synod of the OCA. I am not going to research what canons you might have violated by slandering hierarchs, but suffice it to say that you have made a grave charge and you should produce evidence (no opinions please) that the Holy Synod knew the above statement to be false and made it anyway.

            Second, if you go to the Kalvesmaki article, you find the following recitation of what happened:

            “First, a bit of background. On 8 April 2009, Metropolitan Jonah requested from the Monastery of Petra the release of a Fr. Seraphim (Starkhof) and with him other monks for the establishment of a monastic community in the Dallas or Oklahoma area (source II). The only one released with Fr. Seraphim was Fr. Symeon Kharon (sources III–V).” Please note that (a) Fr Kharon is the priest that is alluded to in the Synodal letter according to Kalveskami and others (most famously Abbess Aemiliane).

            Kalveskami then analyzes publicly available documents (my emphasis) and makes the following claim: “Claim B (and part of E): +Jonah unilaterally accepted the AP into the OCA.
            This is contradicted by the same report (source VIII), which states that Fr. Symeon “is not now, nor has ever been a cleric of the Orthodox Church in America” [p. 1] and “Fr. Simeon was never formally received into the OCA” [p. 8]. An email from +Jonah to a bishop from the Antiochian Archdiocese (source IXa) concurs: “He applied to the OCA, but we have declined to accept him.” A search of the pastoral changes posted on the OCA’s website from January 2010 to the present shows no record of Fr. Symeon entering or leaving the OCA.”

            My problem with his analysis is that it is incomplete. He has not interviewed anybody that I can see, let alone the principal protoganists in this drama. That is why he does not say that the Synodal statement is a lie; he merely says that “…more than 40% of the claims made by the bishops about this affair contradict key, publicly available sources.” Again, what we have here is at best an initial assessment and nothing conclusive, let alone an analysis which would support charges of lying and slander.

            However, Kalvesmaki’s analysis is not terribly rigorous in any case. To say that this claim is contradicted by publicly available document x and y, is hardly determinative, especially because Kalvesmaki himself gives us evidence that Fr. Kharon was released to +Jonah to serve in the OCA. The minutes of the Monastery of Petra even specify that the requested monks would serve in the Diocese of the South, as +Jonah is (was) the locum tenens at the time. This did not happen as Fr. Kharon served in the Diocese of Washington at St Nicholas Cathedral. Interestingly, the reason for +Jonah’s request was for them “to found Sacred Monasteries” in the DOS. More interesting is that these monks were followers of not an ordinary abbot but of Elder Dionysios who is said to be in disfavor with the Patriarchate of Constantinople. I would have thought that Kalvesmaki would have considered this when he gave such a great weight to official statements that do contradict the letter. For one thing, the Constantinople complication elevates this request for transfer to the competency of the Holy Synod: “OCA Statute, Article II, Section 7i. Solution of problems arising in the administration of individual dioceses and requiring the judgment of the entire episcopate.” Surely, this is an indication of unilateral action by +Jonah, but Kalvesmaki is silent. The question then becomes whether he has been following his academic standards of research (and he is a very good one indeed in his day job) or Whether he is picking and choosing to make a point. I think that you should ask him for clarification.

            I suspect what happened is that +Jonah did unilaterally receive Fr Kharon to serve under him and placed him under his supervision at the St Nicholas Cathedral. The Holy Synod resisted and prevented Fr Kharon from being formally recognized as a cleric of the OCA. They did their job and short-circuited yet another blunder by +Jonah. That is my analysis and I made it in good faith. I am not lying to you.

            Now, let’s get to the “lie” part. Kalvesmaki never says that the Holy Synod lied regarding this charge. You may disagree with the Holy Synod’s conclusion that +Jonah received this priest unilaterally, but you have no grounds for calling it a lie. I am not in the Holy Synod, and I believe and say that +Jonah received Fr Kharon unilaterally based on the public record. Am I a liar too?

            Common George, it is time to start acting as adults and address these issues soberly and with respect for each other and the truth. I will address your other slanderous allegations at a later time.

            • George Michalopulos says

              Carl, thank you for wanting to deal with these seriatim. It will make it easier for me to demolish them.

              Clearly, by Tosi’s (or whoever is giving you these talking points) own standards Syosset stands condemned. They wrote that Jonah “unilaterally accepted Fr [X] into the OCA.” This was proven to be a complete misstatement of fact. Does it rise to the level of “lie”? Only if they knew it to be false. We learned subsequently that not only did Jonah not accept him into the OCA but that Syosset knew this was not the case.

              Then you go on to castigate Dr Kalvesmaki for addressing the documents which are “publicly available.” Well, what documents did you want Dr Kalvesmaki to address? The Super-secret Minutes of the Bilderburger Meeting of Feb 22, 2010? Or the Protocols of the Learned Elders of Zion: re: 2008 Banking Collapse and TARP? If there were legitimate documents that could shed light on Jonah’s (mis)handling of this priest’s supposed release/acceptance, then why weren’t they made public? More curiously, why are you now in possession of such documents? Am I wrong in alleging that you are in collusion with Syosset in this matter? A simple “yes” or “no” would suffice.

              You “believe” that Jonah received Fr X “unilaterally based on the public record.” OK, that record is clearly false. Been proven several times —by the words of the Synod no less. If you choose to continue to believe this lie then that’s your problem. (That doesn’t make you a liar however.)

              I have been acting like an adult. I’ve taken this very seriously. Adults who have jobs who provide for their families take very seriously allegations of impropriety made against other adults who have similar responsibities. Here’s the reason: if a man can be removed because of a falsehood then nobody is immune. That’s why we have this curious concept known as “due process.”

              If His Beatitude has been a miscreant, heretic, knave, or a fool I would want him removed from his office. If however he has been innocent then reasonable men (does this include you, Carl?) would agree that a travesty has been perpetrated by men who claim to bear the name of Christ.

              • Carl Kraeff says

                George–Nobody has given me talking points. I have no idea why you are saying that except perhaps you cannot believe that I can use my little ole head all by myself. That is very careless of you. So, let’s get back to your answer.

                You say “Does it rise to the level of “lie”? Only if they knew it to be false. We learned subsequently that not only did Jonah not accept him into the OCA but that Syosset knew this was not the case.”

                What you are saying is not true. +Jonah asked for him as well as the DC nuns; brought them in and put them under his omophor. +Jonah tried to have them formally accepted into the OCA but was thwarted. +Jonah thus accepted him and the nuns unilaterally. Thank God that the Holy Synod did not let him have his way. I remember that you, among others, were making the argument that +Jonah could have brought in anybody, both as a diocesan bishop and as a Metropolitan, without the agreement of the Holy Synod (that means unilaterally, no?). Thus, I find your sudden objection puzzling. I suppose a better statement could have been: “Metropolitan Jonah tried to bring the priest into the OCA, having obtained canonical release from his elder, and, in spite of objections from the Holy Synod, unilaterally kept him under his omophorion until we forced him to behave.” Happy now?

                As for my critique of Kalvesmaki’s approach, I merely pointed out that it was very limited and implied that it could not justify the conclusions that you derived from his essays. I could have gone and talked about the letter from the four savants to the Holy Synod that muddied the waters, wherein they claimed that the Synodal letter “…led national news media to report that our then-First Hierarch, Metropolitan Jonah, knowingly shielded a rapist priest.” They went on to claim “Those statements have gone unsupported for months, while the news reports, uncorrected, have become part of His Eminence Jonah’s public reputation, and have divided members of our Church as a result.” This was turned around in your forum, without correction from you, to the calumny that the Holy Synod and not the national media had accused +Jonah of knowingly shielding a rapist priest. This slander is also on your head George.

                I think that Kalvesmaki is guilty not only of shoddy research but also arrogance approaching hubris; he seems to assume that the Holy Synod owes him an explanation for the contradictions that he has found and published. Did he ever try to get input other than official documents? I know that he is a researcher in Byzantine studies and he is used to dealing with old manuscripts. However, in this instance, all of the protagonists are alive and could have contributed on- or off-record comments that would have filled the picture for him. He could have sent his essays directly to the Holy Synod before he published them and asked for further clarification. I do not see where he did that. Instead, he used his scholarly credentials to produce a document that provides part of the picture to support his man and to damn his opponents. You do remember his first essay that he splashed on the OCL site: “Did the OCA bishops lie about Metropolitan Jonah?” Disinformation/propaganda/misinformation are most effective when they contain some element of truth in them. And, that is exactly what he did by publishing his badly researched accusations. And, that was his contribution to the Big Lie perpetrated by you and other members of Team Jonah.

                I have to say that the Holy Synod erred on the side of liberality when choosing the words that went into this particular charge. The letter bent over backwards to spare +Jonah more embarrassment and the thanks they got was slander. But, I think that they could have laid it all on the table, the whole ugly truth, and you would still scream “lies!”

                • George Michalopulos says

                  “Jonah asked for him.” Yes, he asked for another priest as well. (That priest’s name was Melchisedek Pleska btw.) Do you not see that there is a gaping abyss between “asked for” and “received unilaterally“? That’s like me “wanting” to run a marathon and actually doing it. While you need to prove mens rea to show that a crime was committed, one can think (mens rea) without committing the crime. (Not that wanting a priest or two from Greece is a crime.)

                  You then compound your error by alleging things that are not in evidence. That Jonah “unilaterally received” him “under his omorphor” (which never happened) and that he wanted to receive him but was “thwarted” by the Synod. How do you know this? Are you a member of the Synod or is somebody from the Synod feeding you this information?

                  Dr Kalvesmaki’s excellent essay was based on the only documentary evidence available whereas your assertions regarding this whole affair are based on –what, exactly?

                  • Carl Kraeff says

                    George–There is no gap, Fr Kharon was received by +Jonah. Per Christine Fevronia’s account published on Monomakhos:

                    The asking: “Our Abbot and Elder Archimandrite Dionysios was present at the enthronement of Metropolitan Jonah of OCA. Metropolitan asked him to send some monks and nuns from our monasteries in order to develop monastic life in USA.” Later, Ms Fevronia writes “As to “unilaterally accepted”, Metropolitan Jonah entered into an inter-jurisdictional agreement with Greek Elder Dionysios. It had already been pointed out to His Beatitude that the SIC did not agree that the transfer was canonical, but there was no deceit involved with the release documents. Metropolitan Jonah was informed that the transfer was not acceptable to the OCA, and Fr. Simeon was released from the OCA.”
                    Carl: Is it usual for a release to be made into thin air? I would think that there must be a receiving bishop.

                    The releasing: “We release the beloved to us great schema brother, the all-venerable Archimandrite Lord Seraphim, theologian, in the world George Starkof, son of Leonid and Aria, who has the Greek visa/passport number [] for the establishment of Sacred Monasteries in Dallas, TX, USA; and also his colleague, our most-venerable Hieromonk John Kharon, theologian and iconographer, son of Alexander and Ludmilla, who has an American passport number [], to the jurisdiction of His Beatitude, also the locum tenens of Dallas, with the blessing of His Eminence, our Metropolitan of Thessaliotida and Phanariophersalon, Kirillos II.”
                    Carl: The release is specifically to +Jonah. The transfer is complete when the cleric is received.

                    The bodily reception: ” Fr. Simeon arrived in America in December 2009. He initially stayed at the Chancery. Several nuns (headed by Abbess Aemiliane) came from Elder Dionysios’ monasteries, and settled in Washington, D.C. at the St. Nicholas Cathedral Rectory.” “In March 2010, Metropolitan Jonah welcomed Fr. Simeon to live in the basement of the house next to St. Nicholas Cathedral in Washington, D.C., and he stayed there briefly.”
                    Carl: Here Fr. Kharon is received at least physically.

                    The suspending: (+Jonah to Fr. Kharon): “Until that matter is legally resolved, you are suspended from all priestly functions.” Ms. Fevronia reports that +Jonah later “lifted the suspension’ though the exact nature of what Fr. Simeon was blessed to do is unclear.”
                    Carl; SMPAC report does state that +Jonah blessed Fr. Kharon to hear confessions. Can a bishop do that unless the father confessor is under his omophorion?

                    The SMPAC conclusions: “The possibility of the OCA canonically receiving Fr. Simeon is out of the question, until such time as long-term sobriety is manifested and after a thorough psychological examination. In this case His Beatitude Metropolitan Jonah’s pastoral judgment was questionable; the Holy Synod should encourage His Beatitude to regularly consult and brief his Chancellor and Chancery staff about pastoral issues (receptions, assignments, inter-jurisdictional transfers, etc.). Abbess Ameliane’s conduct has compromised her desire to found a monastic community within the Orthodox Church in America. There is also the issue of her unusual and nonsensical allegiance: simultaneously to the Primate of the Orthodox Church in America and to Elder Dionysios, who lives in Greece. The Holy Synod should not endorse any monastic community that is associated with the Elder Dionysios.”
                    Carl: It is clear to my feeble mind that +Jonah wanted to receive this hieromonk and that because of problems he was not canonically accepted into the OCA. This is thanks to the courageous work SMPAC members, particularly Chancellor Garklavs, who persevered to protect the Church from +Jonah’s misconduct. It is equally clear that +Jonah did not consult with folks who are charged with such matters. The word “unilateral” comes to mind.

                    Transfer of the nuns: “Metropolitan Jonah, at the request of the Synod who agreed with the SIC members that the OCA should not be associated with “any monastic community that is associated with the Elder Dionysios”, transferred the Elevation of the Theotokos Monastery into the hands of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia (ROCOR) in early 2011.”
                    Carl: This is another instance of transfers out without formal reception in. It is clear however that these nuns, along with Fr Kharon, were under the omophor of Metropolitan Jonah who had unilaterally received them

                    Postscript: There is a telling communication from Bishop Gorge (ROCOR) to Abbess Aemiliane that asks for a copy of their formal release from their bishop in Greece. I would have thought that when +Jonah made the deal with +Hilarion to transfer the nuns to ROCOR, poor +Hilarion thought that the papers were in order and that +Jonah would provide him with a copy. May be +Jonah lost the Greek bishop’s letter of release or may be he never got one? Or may be the whole thing followed a now familiar pattern of lax, unruly and capricious behavior by HE?

                    • George Michalopulos says

                      You’re not a lawyer, are you Carl? “Interjurisdictional agreements” are weasel-words. What may be released on one end does not mean that there is acceptance on the other. That’s a legal distinction that one could drive Panzer tank through. It’s really that simple. Moreover, the Elder Dionysius is an hieromonk, not a diocesan ordinary (i.e. bishop) who is the only one who has the ability to “release.” Indeed, only the Archbishop of Athens (i.e. a Primate) has the authority to release a clergyman to another Primate. Tell your handlers in Syosset that’s one reason why there was such a hubbub regarding the canonical order about Hieromonk Melchizedek Pleska’s “release” from –which monastery was it? I forget.

                      As for the SMPAC report, well, that’s been proven to have been heavily biased, at least the parts that were surreptitiously leaked in violation of all accepted procedures.

                      Since we now come to the actual bill of particulars against His Beatitude as exemplified in this leaked report, I must ask you again, why are you all of a sudden privy to certain reports that nobody else has seen? Remember: the SMPAC report was supposed to be confidential. The fact that bits and pieces of it (all of which were negative to Jonah) came out on the late, great OCANews, is yet another nail in the coffin of the Innocence of the Conspirators.

                      I see that Apostolic Canon 34 is not the only object of your tortuous intentions, now you take ChristineFevronia’s detailed report and distort it beyond all bounds of decency.

                      Bottom line: I’m beginning to suspect that your overlords in Syosset really don’t like monks or want any monasteries established in the US. Or some monks but not others. Fr X may not have been ideal but there is nothing on the other monk mentioned. All things being equal, if I were the Primate I’d want a couple of monks in America who were multilingual and had good relations with the Church of Greece. After all, that’s why Archimandrite Melchisedek Pleska was asked by His Beatitude to come to America. (Curiously, he came from the same monastery.)

                      Just sayin’.

                    • Carl Kraeff says

                      Regarding legalese, please contact Christine Fevronia. Those words are hers.

                      Regarding the SMPAC report, I do not have a copy, i have only cited the report by Christine Fevronia that you published on this blog. See https://www.monomakhos.com/an-open-letter-to-the-orthodox-church-of-america/

                    • George Michalopulos says

                      …which let’s not forget was unethically leaked to OCANews.

                      Regarding ChristineFevronia’s detailed and magisterial report, I continue to be in awe. However, let’s not forget that it’s ultimately a timeline and has no probity in a court of law. Therefore for you to rely on it to bolster the illegal and uncanonical action against Jonah is hurtful to this cause.

                    • Carl Kraeff says

                      George–You are trying to eat your cake and eat it too:

                      Good: George uses Christine’s timeline that reveals parts of the confidential SMPAC report.
                      Bad: Carl uses Christine’s timeline that reveals parts of the confidential SMPAC report.

                      Good: George uses Christine’s timeline, a detailed and magisterial report to attack the Holy Synod, even though it “has no probity in a court of law.”
                      Bad: George uses Christine’s timeline, a detailed and magisterial report to defend the Holy Synod, even though it “has no probity in a court of law.”

                      Good: George uses the Kalvesmaki Essays that contain the confidential SMPAC Report.
                      Bad: Carl will cite the Kalvesmaki Essays that contain the confidential SMPAC Report.

                    • This is a spot where I feel ChristineFevronia made a good-faith error. I don’t believe Fr. X was ever received into the OCA. He was indeed released at Metropolitan Jonah’s request, but the transfer was never completed and he returned to Greece, having never been more than a guest in the OCA and ROCOR.

                      That said, I think arguing with Carl about this is a monumental waste of time. He has also made it abundantly clear that he doesn’t care about the truth, only smearing Metropolitan Jonah’s name and those of his supporters as much as possible.

                      Carl doesn’t have any help or sources from Syosset. He just genuinely thinks he’s “defending the church” with this malarkey. NOTHING we say will help him, until the Synod and administration’s lies and malfeasance smack him in the face enough times. Until then, he’ll keep twisting the truth and trying to fix our voting like it means anything. Yeah, I noticed a lot of posts that argue with Carl get a pile of negative votes at once, while Carl’s get the same number of positives. Really mature behavior!

                    • George Michalopulos says

                      Carl, as usual, you’re being too clever by half. ChristineFevronia’s report is “magesterial” as I said as well as well-written, carefully-worded, and factual. She clearly put a lot of work into it and we should be forever grateful to her. However no document is 100% without error. As Helga pointed out, Fr X was never received into the OCA by Jonah. Even if, for the sake of argument, Jonah wanted to receive him and moved heaven and earth to get him in, he failed. All it took is a little digging on mine (and other correspondents’ parts) to figure that one out. After all, the Synod admitted it later on in their Stinkbomb letter –which, we should never forget was never signed.

                      However, let us examine your contention –that Jonah wanted to receive him but was forbidden by the Synod in doing so. If true, then the lie foisted upon the people to oust Jonah is magnified ten-fold because they knew from the outset that Fr X was in no way ever going to be received into the OCA because of their efforts, not Jonah’s.

                      This reminds me of the trial of Cornelius in The Planet of the Apes in which the verdict of heresy is fore-ordained not because of the Apes’ religion demands it but because Dr Zaius –the Defender of the Faith–knew that Cornelius was right. The Lawgiver told them that Man was inferior even though he knew full well that Man was vastly superior. Dr Cornelius knew that as well but he played along with the charade in order to preserve Simian society.

                  • “Dr Kalvesmaki’s excellent essay was based on the only documentary evidence available whereas your assertions regarding this whole affair are based on –what, exactly?”


                • DO you know how many times he (Dr. Kalvesmaki) has written the Synod? DO you know how may Orthodox Scholars have jointly written the Synod? Carl, I’m starting to believe you have lost it.

                  Furthermore, Dr. Kalvesmaki edits the writings of Byzantine Scholars from all over the world-they are very much alive.
                  In all your ranting you still can not offer a good arguement against what he wrote other than he must be a shoddy researcher because why? Because Carl doesn’t want to believe what he’s showed us.
                  Name calling, character assasinations, that is what you stoop to Carl because that’s all ya got.

                  • Carl Kraeff says

                    Take a deep breath Colette. I know that he is your husband and I do admire your obvious love and esteem for him. If I am wrong in saying that his research was limited to publicly available official documents, i will take you and him both to Raku next time I am in DC.

                    • George Michalopulos says

                      The gentleman in me demands that I come to Colette’s defense. You very cleverly fail to answer her questions. It’s a good side-step but it ultimately fails in its mission.

                    • See you there . . .

                  • Carl Kraeff says

                    Now you want me to answer rhetorical questions… You know that I cannot refuse you George; here they are:

                    Dear Collette–I do not know how many times your husband wrote to the Holy Synod. Would you care to tell us how many times? Also, I believe that the letter from the Orthodox scholars was signed by the following scholars. (I added some information on Professors Bradshaw and Kenworthy to make sure that I have the right person). Were there others?:

                    David Bradshaw, Ph.D., University of Kentucky (St. Athanasius Orthodox Church, Nicholasville, KY)–Chair of the Department of Philosophy, focuses on the history of philosophy, specifically looking at science, technology, and society. His research incorporates a variety of disciplines to address the social, ethical, and technological significance of scientific advances.)

                    Joel Kalvesmaki, Ph.D., Dumbarton Oaks (St. Nicholas Cathedral, Washington, DC).

                    Scott Kenworthy, Ph.D., Miami University (Christ the Savior-Holy Spirit Church, Cincinnati, OH)–Associate Professor, Miami University (Oxford, OH), 2010- , Department of Comparative Religion, Associate of the Russia, East European and Eurasian Studies, and Affiliate of the History Department

                    Alfred Kentigern Siewers, Ph.D., Bucknell University (Chapel of the Holy Spirit, Beavertown, PA)

                    • George Michalopulos says

                      Carl, you continue to misunderstand the import of Dr Kalvesmaki’s (and others’) critiques.

                      The Synod put out a libelous, defamatory, and unsigned letter detailing why they felt it necessary to remove their Primate. The urgency of their narrative made it imperative that they had to use any means necessary to do so. That letter (the so-called STINKBOMB) was the only piece of documentary evidence that needed to be addresssed by its many critics because it was that letter (and only that letter) that had any juridical authority (such as it is). The private writings, epistolary musings, diary entries, doodles, and assorted text messages of any of the bishops were and continue to be immaterial.

                      The ultimate question is: does the STINKBOMB stand on its own merits? Clearly it does not.

                    • Alfred Kentigern Siewers says

                      Glory to Jesus Christ! Glory forever!

                      Dear Kyrill,

                      I think that your summary of David Bradshaw’s work is off-target. He may not want me advertising it, but he is a great scholar, and also a great scholarly resource for Orthodoxy. So you might try looking that up again, focusing especially on his publications list. His areas of interest as listed on his webpage: Ancient and medieval philosophy, philosophy of religion, patristic and early medieval theology. Not the ones that you gave.

                      As far as numbers of scholars, there is one additional (like Dr. Bradshaw with impeccable scholarship) on the second letter that was sent, which has not been circulated publicly. That letter was addressed in January only to Metropolitan Tikhon, who had not been elected when the earlier letter was sent. We hope in His Beatitude’s good graces (and that of the Holy Synod) for a release for former Metropolitan Jonah soon.

                      Finally, Mrs. Kalvesmaki is a very thoughtful and dedicated Orthodox Christian (as is her husband). She doesn’t need me saying this, but I’m with George in encouraging you to be respectful, as you often can be, more than yours truly.

                      Please pray for me a sinner,


                      IC XC NIKA

                    • George–Surely you do not suggest that folks have the right to disrespect the Holy Synod in the ugliest of terms and to be the judge, jury and executioner in the matter of +Jonah and that letter. Have you submitted your interpretations of the Holy Canons and the OCA Statute to the Holy Synod?

                      Anyway, enough of my feeble attempt to channel Professor Siewers. The answer to your question is simple: I believe that the Synodal letter is not a stinkbomb and that it does stand on its own merits. I do not believe that neither Christine’s timeline nor Professor Kalveskami’s essays prove that it does otherwise. I will continue to show how your appreciation of that letter is wrong. But, I will have to beg off for a week or so due to work and travel.

  15. Bishop Tikhon Fitzgerald says

    When the ever-memorable Father Sergius Bulgakov visited America in the 1920s, he recorded in his diary that he was appalled at the low intellectual and spiritual life of the Orthodox believers and clergy in America.
    I asked Father John Meyendorff when he visited LA in the 80s what he imagined Father Sergius would have to say NOW if he visited. Father John stared at me for a minute or two and nodded,”I believe you are right: he’d say it’s worse!” i took this very seriously, because there was no SVS in the U.S. in the 1920s and almost nothing printed in English for the Orthodox, let alone services and education and because Father John was one of those who many imagined was a champion of what one SVS Quarterly called “The Cause.”
    One must note that the Installation of Metropolitan Tikhon was not a model of orthodox ritual splendor in any way. That”s no sin. One may also note that the attendance of representation by other Local Orthodox Churches was amazingly sparse. That’s no sin. Metropolitan Tikhon’s address was neither polished nor memorable. That’s no sin.
    Metropolitan Jonah was persuaded on behalf of his family to turn back from the plough.
    He has been treated like a dog. One may not so confidently say that those are not sins, but must be left to God’s judgment. It is always advisable to repent in face of such judgment. Fasting should be done in secret: repentance, especially of clergy, is best done in public.

    • Ladder of Divine Ascent says

      “When the ever-memorable Father Sergius Bulgakov visited America in the 1920s, he recorded in his diary that he was appalled at the low intellectual and spiritual life of the Orthodox believers and clergy in America.”

      I much rather be on a “lower intellectual and spiritual level” without the Trinitarian heresy, universalism, name worship, etc.

      “I asked Father John Meyendorff when he visited LA in the 80s what he imagined Father Sergius would have to say NOW if he visited. Father John stared at me for a minute or two and nodded, ‘I believe you are right: he’d say it’s worse!’ ”

      Given the context, may God grant it to get “worse” still, so much “worse” that we, the OCA, leave the Bulgakov/Schmemann/Meyendorff/Hopko teachings behind, return to ROCOR/ROC, the Old Calendar (rather than letting each parish choose Old or New), and real Orthodox church governance by bishops.

      • Dear Ladder says

        People may not unde3rstand the connection. I am not sure I would tar Father Alexander and Father John with anythingk but proximinity to Bulgakov. As for Bulgakov, many people in America are unfamiliar with his particular theology:


      • Jesse Cone says


        There’s much more to Frs. Meyendorff and Schmemann than the OCA. Their influence is seen, in some ways clearer, in other jurisdictions. The Antiochian Patriarch Ignatius IV of blessed memory studied with both of them while in Paris.

        There are reasons aplenty to leave the OCA. Frs.Meyendorff and Schmemann are not among them.

      • M. Stankovich says

        Ladder of Divine Ascent,

        As apparently you are so emphatic and studied in these matters, perhaps you might enlighten as to which specific “Bulgakov/Schmemann/Meyendorff/Hopko teachings” we should leave behind. And I certainly would agree that the connection to Fr. Bulgakov is peripheral, at best.

        Having actually spent years in the presence of three of these individuals – and sadly you do not acknowledge their colleagues, beloved SS Verhovskoy, George Barrois, Nicholas Arseniev, Alexander Bogolepov, Nicholas Lossky, George Fedotov, Veselin Kesich, and Archbishop John (Shahovskoy) – as near as I could tell, they were men, albeit extraordinary and fathers of our generation, but nevertheless men. Importantly, they were not “fabricators” or “builders,” but architects, and they understood this role. They did not create new Tradition or author expanded or amended theology. They merely re-articulated the Truth – elegantly, passionately, and convincingly – for their, and our, generation. If a specific jurisdiction, and a specific calendar, or a specific ordo might have saved us from the chaos to come, they would have pursued such a path. It should be so simple.

        Re-examining the thoughts and writings of these Orthodox scholars and fathers – Fr. Alexander’s series on the problems of Orthodoxy in America, as one small example – is an introduction into such a wealth of innocent hope and encouragement, that I am always taken aback at their outright “dismissal” as “renovationists,” “Parisian” as a pejorative, and “modernists.” I would appreciate you taking the time to delineate what it in their “teachings” we must discard.

  16. New ROCOR Parish in Virginia says

    31 January 2013 (N.S.), S. Athanasios & Cyril of Alexandria

    Christ is in our midst!

    Glory Hallelujah! In the words of Mitred Archpriest Victor Potapov, Dean of the Southern District, Eastern American Diocese, Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia, “The former Christ the Savior Orthodox
    Mission in Stafford has now been fully accepted by the Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia as St. Herman of Alaska Orthodox Church in Stafford, Virginia.”

    It has been a long and winding road that we have traveled together since last July, and the Holy Spirit has delivered us as a parish community into the safe haven of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia. We have a new beginning now as St. Herman of Alaska Orthodox Church, but our primary mission is the same: to witness on behalf of our venerable Orthodox faith to the unchurched residents in Stafford Country and environs and to reach out to the needy among us in fulfillment of the Gospel of love and service. Please see our new parish website for regular updates:


    May God the Holy Trinity, through the intercessions of St. Herman of Alaska, Wonderworker of All America, continue to shower His blessings upon us, both now and ever and unto ages of ages. Amen.

    Yours in Christ the Savior,

    Archpriest Alexander F. C. Webster, PhD

    Tom Connally (Colonel, USMC)
    Parish Council President

  17. Found the Greeks says

    Metropolitan Anthony’s enthronement last weekend, the videos

    Ukrainian television: http://podrobnosti.ua/podrobnosti/2013/01/28/884272.html

    Note that Bishop Mechisidek of the OCA is there on the video along with all those missing Greeks

    See especially the Holos Ameriki / Voice of America video (second one on the page) at http://www.uocofusa.org/news_130128_1.html

    In that video, you can clearly see Bshop Melchizidek, Bishop Irenei, Bishop Michael Golitzen and Archbishop Nathanial of the OCA, Archbishop Dimitrios, head of the GOARCH and many, many others from jurisdictions under the Ecumenical Patriarchate.

    From the list on the Ukrainian church website, we have the following (from http://www.uocofusa.org/news_130127_1.html )

    On Saturday morning, the procession of hierarchs took place from the parish residence to the cathedral. In attendance, representing the Orthodox faithful of the North America were His Eminence Archbishop Demetrios – Exharch of the Ecumenical Patriarch and Archbishop of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America; Metropolitan Yuriy of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of Canada; His Grace Bishop Daniel – President of Consistory and Ruling Hierarch of the Western Eparchy of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the USA; His Grace Bishop Andriy of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of Canada; His Grace Bishop Pankratiy of Greek Orthodox Metropolis of Mexico; His Grace Bishop Nicholas of Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese; His Eminence Archbishop Nathaniel of Romanian Episcopate of the Orthodox Church in America; His Grace Bishop Melchizidek, His Grace Bishop Michael, His Grace Bishop Irenee of the Orthodox Church in America. Bishops from the Roman Catholic, Byzantine Catholic and Ukrainian Catholic churches also were in attendance (Most Rev. Metropolitan Stefan Soroka of Ukrainian Catholic Archdiocese of Philadelphia; Most Rev. Bishop Paul Chomnycky of Ukrainian Catholic Diocese of Stamford, CT; Most Rev. Bishop Basil Losten – bishop-emeritus of Ukrainian Catholic Diocese of Stamford, CT; Rev. Monsignor Jean-Francois Lantheaume – assistant to the Papal Nuncio; Rev. Avelino Gonzales – Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Washington, DC).

    There are a number of dignitaries including at least one ambassador.

    Sermon of new primate of Ukrainian Orthodox Church of America and Canada:

    Your Eminence, Archbishop Demetrios, Your Eminence Metropolitan Yurij, Your Grace Bishop Daniel, all my brother hierarchs here sharing in this momentous moment in the life of our Holy Church, my dear brother clergy – priests, deacons, subdeacons, our pani-dobrodiyky, seminarians and all of you, the loving faithful who have come to participate – not just witness – but to participate in this historical day in the life of the Church – not my own life – but the life of the Church.

    I thank you for that participation and your proclamation of “Axios”, which translated is “Worthy”. As I was at the moment of my ordination into all the ranks of clergy – the deaconate, the priesthood and the episcopacy – at hearing this proclamation, today I am humbled. Humbled to not just intellectually absorb…but to feel the trust and the hope embodied in that proclamation and I pray to God Almighty that I may – however insignificantly – live up to that trust and that hope. Axios – it is a term filled with meaning (as I once heard or read and I apologize for not remembering where or when). Axios – it is both an affirmation by the clergy and the faithful gathered together at any ordination, but more importantly it is a goal to be achieved! “Worthiness” is not something automatically “given” by those proclaiming it at any given moment, it is a process – a lifelong struggle that is only fully realized in the Kingdom of God. It is a goal and a directive from God. I ask that you be of assistance to me in remembering this – that the “Axios” you proclaimed today is a goal and a directive from God – expressed through you and inspired, hopefully, by the Holy Spirit. I extend my most sincere and heartfelt gratitude to all of you here gathered for the natural completion of our Church’s ancient process of episcopal election – the enthronement of a new Prime Hierarch – Metropolitan.

    Since the day of my election during our Special Sobor on 6 October at our Metropolia Center in New Jersey and the official announcement on 31 October at the Patriarchal Seminary in Halki by His All-Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew in behalf of the Holy Synod of Constantinople of my election, most of you have already expressed you’re your warm personal greetings and more importantly, have not forgotten me in your prayers as I prepared for this day. I have felt the consequences of those prayers in the form of a peace and comfort – in more than a common way – as the initial trepidation and horror of the prospects of entering into this office have melted away into the certain knowledge that you possess such a desire to walk this path at my side.

    I would ask that your powerful prayers continue for the salvation of my soul because I need them more than you can possibly imagine. As I said at my election: in my human weakness, I have often been self-assured that I am offering myself as a gift to God in all that I attempt to do as His priest or His Bishop, while in reality, it is GOD, Who gifts Himself to me……and so frequently…..and without hesitation or limitation. When I, a simple human being offer myself to God, there always seem to be limits or contingencies to the offer – but He offers Himself without such. I feel myself at this moment encompassed in His Grace – and I cannot begin to express to you the joy of that feeling. I pray that your joy is as all-encompassing as is mine and that it will abound throughout all the years that I have left to serve Him and you. May we together work in His Name and for His Glory so that, in the words of His All-Holiness, we may experience “growth and strength, from grace to grace”.

    From http://www.uocofusa.org/news_130127_1.html where you can click on lotsa pics or see it as a slideshow

    The slideshow shows the banquet after the enthronement

    According to the website:

    Silver Spring, MD – His Eminence Metropolitan Antony was enthroned on January 26, 2013, as the fourth Metropolitan of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the USA during a magnificent and traditional ceremony at St. Andrew the First Called Ukrainian Orthodox Cathedral in Silver Spring, MD. The Enthronement services were attended by more than 500 faithful and about 70 clergymen of the Metropolia and many visitors from across the country from various Orthodox and Catholic jurisdictions.

    All in all, a most blessed event. Glad the OCA participated. I just found another video that has, surprisingly, Reader Patrick Jacobson (spelling?) of the OCA chanting hours. Has his own chanting style from his former Roman Catholic life, not to mention his own personal take on Slavonic:


    Warning, the above is a three hour plus video that includes everyone showing up one by one by one

    There are even more videos, the complete Enthronement Vespers, for example, but I won’t bore y’all with redundancy unless I get requests.

    • Skip to 27 Minute Mark says

      Skip to 27 minute mark to see the beginning of the enthronement and the OCA marching in at Archbishop Antony’s enthronement on January 26. For the balance of the three and a half hours, members of the OCA Holy Synod stand and cross themselves when appropriate. I tried to count the clergy but some were sitting back in the pews so I had to give up at seventy. Also, many of the minor clergy such as readers were not even vested.


      Anyone have the link to the video of Met. Tikhon’s enthronement the next day? All I could find was the one on the OCA website that had the sermon from it. Meanwhile, the Orthodoxy in the District blog has an article on the OCA banquet


  18. tim johnson says

    Rdr. Thomas, M. Baumann, et. al:
    I take your points.. . .
    I may have happened into the middle of something I didn’t ken……
    For any mis-judgments, I apologize…..

    However, the argument that “we’ve always been like this,” …isn’t quite a great argument for justifying some behavior…..same could be said about bestiality……not to be too crude, but to make the point in a startling way……..

    And my “read” of this discussion at least might serve as an example of how it appears to the general public….or to such as me, at least,,, maybe not so general, not so public….but it does sound like a bunch of people set on making sure they have top seats at the front table, and counting everyone, including the number of medals on anyone’s chest, to make sure nobody has something they don’t have….
    just sayin…..

  19. Daniel E. Fall says

    misplaced sic says it all; no reason to read

  20. A friend informed me today that ROCOR declined to accept Metropolitan Jonah into their jurisdiction. His only chance of moving now is with the MP

  21. Al-Jazeera English just did a piece on the Russian Orthodox Church:

  22. Enthronement Dinner says

    Here is a blog post from a young person on the Thronement dinner of Metropolitan Tikhon


    • Bishop Tikhon Fitzgerald says

      What does”Enthronement Dinner” mean by “a young person?” I’ve known Father Leonid Kiskhkovsky since 1965 and his now late mother and stepfather since 1973, but I never knew the date of his birth or that he was born in
      Warsaw. I knew that his mother had been a member of the Russian Church (St. Mary Magdelene, I think) in Warsaw, but I didn’t know she had married and given birth there in 1943. Somehow I thought Father Leonid had been born after the war, in emigration to Germany. Live and learn.
      I would be interested to know (maybe Anna Rowe knows?) just how many banquet guests there were.
      I wasn’t surprised to learn of Frs. Jillions and Tosi sitting on the dais above hierarchs down below, but i’ll bet that was not their initiative. After all, some of today’s Holy Synod members are more given to the creed of the English Church’s “Levellers” than were even the Roundheads! They are real “People’s Bishops,” in the late Soviet sense of the term “People’s”.