Max the Dog and Jonah

terrierFollowing the OCA website these days has been an interesting pursuit. We read and see that Archbishop Tikhon’s dog, Max, has been made comfortable in his new surroundings: a special window perch, a run of the chancery building and a sincere effort to offer him a nice new home, a place to rest his head, a place to call home, and all the special treatment of the Primate’s favorite pet.

But what about Jonah?

While Max has found a new home, Metropolitan Jonah has no place to go. As of the end of December he has been cut off from the OCA. No money, no status besides the limbo he now lives and the uncertainty of where he can lay his head.

While Max has the run of the Cathedral grounds, Jonah continues to be a “non-person” in the OCA. While we are told about Max’s special treatment we still wait to see if Jonah’s successor (as it were) will be a man of his word and release Jonah to the MP/ROCOR.

While Syosset is incapable of simple decency, we see that Jonah has been taken in by Protopresbyter Victor Potopov and the loving community at St John the Baptist Cathedral in Washington, DC. Because of their vision and Christian solicitude, His Beatitude is teaching a Bible study that we can follow on Youtube, even though he is in some type of internal exile. We also see that he is celebrating the Divine services there.

It would be good thing if Metropolitan Jonah was treated with the same respect that Max the dog has been given by his new neighbors. Isn’t it time to at least treat the former Primate with at least the same respect as Tikhon’s dog?

The longer the OCA dallies concerning the status of Metropolitan Jonah the more folks will question the basic decency of the OCA leadership. Hasn’t enough time passed to make a decision to let Jonah go so that he can fully minister to a Church and flock anxious to be fed by the crumbs that fall from the Master’s table? I submit it is long past time.

Max the Dog in his New Home


Orthodox Studies with Metropolitan Jonah (Paffhausen)


  1. Cherubimic Hymn says
    • Met.Jonah was not released…

      Holy Synod meets, establishes Department of Continuing Education for clergy

      The Holy Synod of Bishops of the Orthodox Church in America met in conjunction with the Enthronement of His Beatitude, Metropolitan Tikhon at Saint Nicholas Cathedral here January 26-28, 2013.

      •elected His Grace, Bishop Michael of New York and New York and New Jersey to serve as Secretary of the Holy Synod.
      •established the composition of the Lesser Synod of Bishops, which will include Metropolitan Tikhon; Bishop Michael, Secretary; His Eminence, Archbishop Nathaniel of Detroit and the Romanian Episcopate; and His Eminence, Archbishop Benjamin of San Francisco and the West.
      •heard the report of Archimandrite Alexander [Pihach] on the life of the OCA’s Representation Church of the Great Martyr Catherine, Moscow, and his work as the OCA’s recently appointed Representative to the Patriarch of Moscow.
      •heard the report of Archpriest Leonid Kishkovsky, OCA Director of External Affairs and Interchurch Relations, on external affairs matters.
      •reviewed various clergy matters and actions of mutual concern.
      Of major importance, said Father Eric, was the establishment of the new Department of Continuing Education as according to the recommendations of the Strategic Plan passed at the 16th All-American Council.

      “The department will be responsible for coordinating continuing education programs for OCA clergy in the dioceses and establishing guidelines and requirments for all OCA clergy,” Father Eric said. “Department members will work in conjunction with the OCA’s dioceses, seminaries and other institutions in fulfilling the Holy Synod’s mandate that every priest and deacon pursue 20 hours of continuing education each year—five hours of which will focus on professional and ethical issues, including sexual misconduct.

      “Funds for this effort will be raised through various means in order to provide a self-funded program,” Father Eric added. “Special emphasis will be given to developing and delivering programs in legal and ethical issues for clergy—especially with regard to clergy sexual misconduct—and leadership and management training for clergy and lay leaders.”

      Additional details and information in this regard will be released in the near future.

      Before adjourning, the members of the Holy Synod began establishing plans for their Spring Session, slated to convene in March 2013.

      • Disgusted With It says

        In regard to this Department for Continuing Education, who is the head of it? One of the seminary deans or retired deans? If so, which one? It sounds like an interesting venture under the right guidance and supervision.

  2. Fr. Yousuf Rassam says

    I see.

    “I’ll get you Syosset! Metropolitan Tikhon!

    And your little dog, too!!!”

    • George Michalopulos says

      That’s pretty clever actually. Made me chuckle. And then I got back to reality. This poor man has been humiliated, calumniated, and all but tossed onto the street. And yet they still can’t do the right thing. I hope that never happens to you, Father.

    • “Get them?”

      George is asking them to stop abusing someone. How does that qualify as “getting” anyone?

      George doesn’t dislike your precious little first Fido. More Kibbles ‘n Bits to him!

      The point is, gay activists or not, you need to get your noses and other body parts out of your own arses and treat your recently elected-and-rejected leader with at least as much care as you give to a dog.

      All of the gay activists I know are humans. As humans, you are capable of not abusing another human. I know it might feel like the rage and hatred and pent up sexual frustration inside you is so great you cannot help yourself. It might feel like there is no point in considering what the right thing to do is. But even the Sodomites found it within them to turn their lust from angels to Lot’s daughters. I don’t think you have reached their level of depravity yet. Let Jonah go. Imagine that Jonah is in fact a dog, if that helps. Then just treat him as well as you would treat a dog. Release him to another master if he is happier in another home.

      If you find you still have anger and blood lust issues after letting Jonah go, you could try directing your passions toward a dog instead of a human. Maybe get a stray and name him Jonah. You could bring him home with his sister dog, give him love and free access to the whole house for as long as you can stand it. Then crate him for months at a time, kill his sister in front of him and deny him food. Then let him out of the crate for short periods, but don’t let him go where he wants. Take him on a walk once a day, but shock him with a cattle prod if he tries to interact with any other humans or dogs or explores any grassy areas off the side of the road. If he whimpers or cowers in fear after the cattle prod hits him, hit him again and again until he gets up to walk back to his crate on his own four legs. If that doesn’t feel good enough, you can put posters up around town declaring that he is a rabid dog, that dogs and young children in his neighborhood have been acting like the were raped by a rabid dog, and that he should be shot on site. Then, once word has gotten around, you can decide, either release him or kill him yourself. I know it sounds like a poor substitute for finishing off the human Jonah to your liking. But think about it. If you actually name the dog Jonah, then take Prozac and drink some good rum, this could be a solution.

      And then there is also the fanciful notion that maybe God is real. If so, maybe God can bring healing to your heart and mind. Maybe you can let Jonah go without having to abuse and kill an animal in his place. That would be the best outcome to hope for. Although we are now at a very late stage in this debauchery, who knows, maybe God is real. You might want to look into it. Keep us posted if you experience any miraculous healing in your own heart or observe any in the hearts of your leaders. And definitely let us know when Jonah has been released. Thanks! Seems like it shouldn’t take more than another week to compose and sign a letter, right? So we expect to hear good news from you very soon!

      • Jim of Olym says

        We just got a little blond terrier mix named Dexter. He is spayed. I think I’ll rename him ‘Jonah’ and take real good care of him. He had a tendency to jump the fence, but we raised the fence so he wouldn’t get out and hurt himself (or worse) on our busy street.
        Our two big dogs are getting used to him and treat him nicer than they did at first.

        I don’t know if there is a parable in there somewhere….

    • Fr. Yousuf, that’s really not fair. I don’t think George or anyone wants to “get” Max. Max looks like a very nice dog, and I’m glad that he has a comfy place to sit and look out the window.

      The problem is, and George’s point was, that they are giving more care and consideration to the puppy dog than to Metropolitan Jonah.

      Why don’t the bishops release Metropolitan Jonah? Didn’t they want to get rid of him anyway? Why does the OCA want to keep him if they only want to make him miserable? Hasn’t he been through enough?

      • Artakhshassa the Great says

        Helga! Has Metropolitan Jonah requested that the Holy Synod release him from the OCA? If so, where may this be verified for Monomakhos contributors?
        If he has not sent them a request to be released, why not?
        Perhaps Metropolitan Jonah is happy to sit in DC and look out his window? Is Metropolitan Jonah less comfortable than Metropolitan Tikhon’s dog? How so?

        • Lola J. Lee Beno says

          Yes, I have heard from him, in presence of others as well, that he has requested that the Holy Synod release him from OCA. I’m still waiting for them to make up their mind about the release request.

        • Yes-He has requested the synod release him from the OCA!!! The ball is in the OCA synod court.

  3. Artakhshassa the Great says

    Where does ANYONE get the idea that Metropolitan Jonah is unhappy with his present situation: a guest of ROCOR?
    julius Caesar once said that it is better to first in Spain than second in Rome. I think Metropolitan Jonah, in resigning, expressed the opposite feeling: “Better to be second any place than first in the OCA,” no?
    When is anyone going to provide one scrap of evidence, one solitary word from Metropolitan Jonah? I’m not saying he’s not enjoying his bouquets from this site as well as the rotten tomatoes tossed at his detractors. But on what basis does anyone claim he wants a responsible position in the OCA?
    Just asking, AGAIN.

    • George Michalopulos says

      Well, the fact that he’s not getting paid is probably not a good thing…

      • Artakhshassa the Great says

        I know that it was once reported that Metropolitan Jonah’s compensation as First Hierarch had a termination goal. Has the goal been met? Who can verify that Metropoltan Jonah “is not getting paid,” as George writes?
        Has Metropolitan Jonah applied for any specific position anywhere? If not, does he expect the OCA should keep paying him, contributing to his retirement fund, his health insurance, housing allowance and dependent support? If they are doing that, isn’t there a danger others will want to resign?

      • Heracleides says

        Indeed. I imagine that if Bp. Tikhon/Artakhshassa the Great had the funds he receives in retirement from the OCA terminated he might sing a far different tune.

    • Weird. I don’t know, did you want a document of him saying , “I m not happy in the OCA”?
      The fact that he is trying to get out is not enough of a statement for ya?

  4. Tumorous Baktos says

    As + Jonah has said many times publicly, “I don’t need all this; I’ll just go back to my little monastery and be happy!” – So be it!

    • Tumorous, he IS trying to get to a monastery. However, I think he is hoping to go to a monastery that isn’t under bishops who hate him. So how about that canonical release, huh?

    • Lola J. Lee Beno says

      Except that he probably doesn’t want to go back to a monastery under a group of people who pushed him out of his position. Who is to say that they won’t do it again to him – push him out from THAT monastery onto the streets?

  5. Jane Rachel says

    He has food, shelter, clothing, etc. Able to teach. Serving at the ROCOR altar as their guest. Right? He’s okay, right? Things are hard, people were mean to him, but he’s okay. Not exiled to another country, not thrown in jail,not physically harmed, not defrocked, or stoned, or threatened, not hated by all the people, time is passing, he will be all right, things will work out. I am most sorry for him and his family and what they’ve been through because of the recent death of his beloved sister. I am sorry for their loss and I know how hard it must be.

    As long as he’s serving and teaching, has support from friends, is not alone, and not on the streets penniless, and hasn’t lost his faith, then he’s probably thanking God every day for all the blessings (and even the hardships?) God has given him.

    But if he isn’t being released to ROCOR (and therefore doesn’t have any way of earning a living) because the Synod/Syosset/People In Control are being stubborn or unwise, then of course, they need to get unstubborn and wise up. It certainly isn’t helping their reputation.

    • Monk James says


      View all comments

      Jane Rachel says (January 20, 2013 at 3:15 pm, after other things):

      But if he isn’t being released to ROCOR (and therefore doesn’t have any way of earning a living) because the Synod/Syosset/People In Control are being stubborn or unwise, then of course, they need to get unstubborn and wise up. It certainly isn’t helping their reputation.
      For various reasons, ROCOR clergy — even bishops — are notoriously underpaid, if they’re paid at all.

      God bless all those good men and their longsuffering wives and families.

      If Met. Jonah is finally able to be received into the ROCOR or even the MP, I’m sure that he won’t have been attracted by the salaries available there.

      This is a question of ethics and honesty and reality, not of money.

      Lord, have mercy on us and forgive us our poor treatment of the laborers You send into Your vineyard.

  6. Obvious, Oblivious says

    The longer the OCA dallies concerning the status of Metropolitan Jonah the more folks will question the basic decency of the OCA leadership.

    For me, that question was answered a long time ago, and nothing I’ve seen since has changed the obvious conclusion.

    Anaxios, the whole sorry bunch of them. For their own good, they’d better hope the new Metropolitan has more success bringing spirited evangelism to his new post than he had in the miserable and dying Eastern PA diocese.

    • Fr. George Washburn says

      More bad reasoning by George and the “amen chorus.” Apples and oranges. Sure, it makes the eager, intended salivators salivate when the bell of Syosset-bashing is rung by this or any means. But it is a false comparison. In fact canine and Met Jonah is a comparison that George would bristle at if it were His Beatitude’s detractors making it, but because the comparison suits the party line, then wow, let’s hasten to make it. Right?

      Wrong. It is easy to set things up for a dog when his master is the boss and it costs little if anything in money or politics to meet his (the dog’s) needs. It is hard to set things up for an able and still viable Metropolitan whose administration ended awkwardly, perhaps especially if the prospective setters-up know that no matter what they do or when they do it they’ll take a beating here.

      And make no mistake about it, folks: the key decision-makers in the Synod in my opinion have extremely valid reasons to feel that this site has been unfair and tendentious in its alleged “reporting” of some important issues involving them – the Fr. Vasile Susan issue, the Fr. Alexander Atty non-renewal, Manton, to name a few.

      It would hold just as much water for George & Co. to argue that the louder they drum and criticize the harder they are making it to come up with a quality resolution of Met. Jonah’s status, which I hope and even pray for. But that is not an argument …or should I say confession … we are liable to read here.


      Fr. George

      • Fr. George Washburn says

        Friends, let’s get one thing straight. It isn’t a game. It is Christians trying to figure out how to do the work of God in their time and place, and making *LOTS* of mistakes along the way.

        In the time and place of the Galatians, for example, the Church was trying to figure out how much the fledgling Church was supposed to “borrow” from the version of OT Judaism being practiced at the time. The more energetic participants got so mean with each other that the apostles had to call a council at Jerusalem and St. Paul had to write a stiff epistle full of warnings like “if you bite and devour one another, look out lest you get gobbled up.”

        Folks like “Knows” flatter themselves sufficiently Anointed by the Divine that they are entitled to insult the Mr. Stankovichs who disagree in a way that overstate their case and wounds. And vice versa. Both further wound themselves and the Church by imagining that the other guy’s inflammatory language justifies their own unpleasantness. And thus the old perpetual motion machine of push and shove, shove and push never gets rusty (I am visiting my little grandchildren in Michigan just now and we referee these little exchanges between the 6 and 4 year olds several times a day) with the pride and fear of one’s own egotism so very well disguised as Religious Zeal.


        Fr. George

        And by the way, “Knows,” the people who I understand to have been Met. Jonah’s main detractors largely either ignore or resent or patronize the likes of me, and your guess that I am on their “side” must make them chuckle.

        • Defend the Faith says

          If Bishop Mark Maymon was so good in the AOC, why was he disobedient to Met. Philip in refusing a new episcopal assignment? If he was so good, why did Met. Philip revamp the entire Archdiocese to help ensure that such disobedience by a bishop never temps others in the AOC?

          If Bishop Mark Maymon was so good, why did he feel he had the right to spy on another’s emails without the knowledge or permission of the users email? If he was so good why is he persona non gratis in the DOS? And if he is so good why is it that Bp. Melchesidek pronounced to the 50 people at the Diocese of Eastern PA. Assembly on Saturday that the OCA Synod will appoint a bishop (Maymon) to their diocese after his attempts to convince them by his plants in the Assembly to merge the dioceses of WPA and EPA failed?

          If Maymon is so good why is he again trying to seize an OCA diocese by yhe back door? To the clergy and faithful on the Diocese of EPA, you can do better than Maymon. You have better choices than having a Carpetbagging disobedient bishop lead your spiritual life.

          He stole emails and defamed an Archpriest and a Metropolitan. Is this a worthy candidate for you? Do you want this man as a model for seminarians? You can do so much better. Study this man’s background. If necessary, George Michalopols, repost the evidence of this man’s actions in the AOC and the OCA..

          Vet your own candidates, like other dioceses, you have the right to do it. Don’t settle for an expedient path. Let the Spirit lead you to your best candidate, an honorable candidate, a candidate who truly knows your history, your people, your dreams for the future. Not someone who has appeared at your doorstep because others have put him there.

        • Jane Rachel says

          Fr. George wrote:

          Friends, let’s get one thing straight. It isn’t a game. It is Christians trying to figure out how to do the work of God in their time and place, and making *LOTS* of mistakes along the way.

          In the time and place of the Galatians, for example, the Church was trying to figure out how much the fledgling Church was supposed to “borrow” from the version of OT Judaism being practiced at the time. The more energetic participants got so mean with each other that the apostles had to call a council at Jerusalem and St. Paul had to write a stiff epistle full of warnings like “if you bite and devour one another, look out lest you get gobbled up.”

          Is not the same. Sure, some comments here are mean. Welcome to humanity. Sure, leaders make mistakes. These are not just “mistakes.” These bishops are KNOWN (not gossip knowing, but real knowing) to be doing, and to have done, far more damage to the Church and Holy Tradition than simply making mistakes. How many times do we have to read all about it? Should we link yet again to the facts?

          Do you think St. Paul or St. Peter or any of the early Church Saints would want these men to continue leading as if nothing is wrong and nothing needs to be made right before the Church can heal?.”Abstain from all appearance of evil,” says St. Paul.

          Anyone who has been reading about the OCA or experiencing it personally for the past seven years knows, or should know, that the early Church problems are not the same as what is going on here; that there is no way to compare the likes of the bishops on the OCA Holy Synod with the leaders of the early Church. Saints don’t steal, lie, cover-up, have illicit sexual relationships, look at porn, have to have their stomachs stapled, write provocative emails to young women, write letters in the guise of “wise leadership” that make no sense but are intended only to destroy, abandon their abbots, have shadows and skeletons in their closets, support and allow clergy to live in homosexual or any other kind of unbiblical relationships, look the other way when their fellow bishops are caught in criminal (yep, it looks like “criminal” fits some of those shoes) acts.

        • Fr. George Washburn says

          For someone who purports to know, “Knows” seems to be a bad guesser on everything where I have enough knowledge to be sure that he doesn’t know. Latest example: his claim that I “argue” for moving Met. Jonah to another jurisdiction, and do so as an alternative to the repentance of others. (“Knows'” own repentance has somehow been omitted from our discussion.) Actually I’d love to see a cooperatively agreed, real “fit” for him in or outside the OCA, but humanly speaking the odds aren’t very good, are they?

          We generalize about a relationship as having failed or succeeded based on the evidence of satisfaction on the part of the noisiest (or sometimes the skillful, unseen manipulations of the most clandestine) parties thereto. The Metropolitanate relationship is a hugely complex one with many, many parties (in and outside the OCA) and of vastly differing expectations, skills and willingnesses (or lack thereof) for making the relationship turn out well. It is sort of dumb and sad that people lionize or vilify the most obvious party to the relationship, the guy with the stick and the hat, when there are SO many other people and factors making “his” “success” or “failiure” in office almost impossible to define, let alone achieve in the case of “success.”

          All the pushing and shoving here that is focused on the person(ality) of the last occupant of the office, and the real or imagined factors behind his resignation, the simplistic and ceaseless anonymous raking of the coals and ashes thereof, doesn’t really contribute that much in my opinion to what is really in the best interests of the Church: surfacing and discussing the REAL problems that make it virtually impossible for anyone short of storybook sainthood to “succeed” in that office. Because I am not OCA or sufficiently familiar with its particularities, I tend to focus on the inherent shortcomings and blatant misuses of this form of reactive, internet discourse, and there are SO many other issues for the real players to sort out: the OCA statute, the legacy (both good and bad) of the Russian and the American past, the tides of social change, the unseen influences of secular politics and habits of discourse,etc., etc.

          But it is so much easier to imagine, react, vent, emote, or, in the case of “knows-ers” who don’t know as much as they claim, mischaracterize for the sake of convenience. If he really needs to miscast me – like some spaghetti western script writer – as a “black hat” advocate of Met. Jonah’s departure to another jurisdiction, I guess he can help himself. But it doesn’t contribute to a mature reflection on any of this, including but not limited to the possibility that, given sheer human frailty, a move to another jurisdiction and role might be the best move under the circumstances.

          But not in some hastily conceived way that just sets Met. Jonah or others up for more disappointments. Nobody needs that. Once somebody rises to the episcopal heights of modern North American Orthodoxy, the inflexible bed of roles and expectations is such a rigid one, and the knives of the myriad of volunteer Procrustes are so sharp and readily wielded, that it ain’t gonna be an easy match to make.

          Rail on if you will that it hasn’t happened simply, quickly or “happily ever after” enough to conform to the facile Hollywood endings that the supposedly wise and mature here seem to expect and demand, but they’re selling themselves and all of us a bill of goods when they do, dog photos and all.


          Fr. George

          • Jane Rachel says

            We’re too immature to get it like he does, don’tcha know.

          • Fr. George Washburn says

            Well friends:

            Para 1 – “Knows'” vote for promoting the repentance and cooperation of bishops by means of repetitious public vilification is noted. One hopes that while keeping the score he will reflect on how many times he has seen *that* work in his own life and in others….of any rank.

            Para 2 – Yes, it was more disjointed than I like to post. Sorry. No sarcasm intended by me either. But if you’d try, you’d still get the message.

            Para. 3 – Tolerated! Quite! Seldom does a single word reveal so much!

            Grandchildren & museum trip ahead today. Now that’ll really disjoint me!


            Fr. George

  7. M. Stankovich says

    It is my understanding that there is a room available for him at St. Luke’s Institute in Silver Springs, MD. I would be honoured to negotiate admission.

    • Heracleides says

      You plan on sharing your bedroom? How generous of you Mr. Stankovich.

      P.S. How’s treatment of your “traumatic brain injury” progressing?

      • M. Stankovich says

        Room with a view. And gladly. “Your heart is made of a good matter, and you will tell of your deeds unto the King, always now and ever, and unto ages of ages. Amen.”

        I’m gonna go out out on a limb here, Hercules: I do have more to offer than beginner’s luck at Photoshop. Having observed your “art,” I could teach you. But not for free. Likewise, kindly point me to me to your “positive” writings” so that, brain-injured as I am, I may be edified. As my /b/ bros are sayin’ (whisper) “Watch yourself! I got my eyes on you!” Well, maybe that was Buddy Guy, but who’s counting… (hee-hee)

    • You go first!

    • George Michalopulos says

      I’m sure you would.

  8. Q. What do Max and Metropolitan Jonah have in common? says

    A. Neither is allowed in the nave at St. Nicholas Cathedral.

    And to Jane, who says of our dogged Metropolitan that

    He has food, shelter, clothing, etc.

    , the truth is he has no food, he has no shelter and still owns his used vestments and ecclesiastical headgear but must move these used articles somewhere. Thank God his mind and spirit are intact.


    • Jane Rachel says


      Q. What do Max and Metropolitan Jonah have in common? says:

      “, the truth is he has no food, he has no shelter and still owns his used vestments and ecclesiastical headgear but must move these used articles somewhere.”

      That is TERRIBLE!

  9. Collective Stupidity says

    January 27, 2013 – Anaxios, Anaxios, Anaxios!!!

    And also to all you who are so collectively stupid with your ignorant questions: ‘Well how do we know he wants out…How do we know he needs money…How do we know know he’s not as happy as a pig in slop right now….?’ and worse, ‘Lets lock him in a looney bin.’

    Shame on you!!! Shame on you for your unkindness at least and poison spewing words. SHAME!!! ANAXIOS!!!

    • Jane Rachel says

      It is TERRIBLE that he has no food or money and nowhere to live. Your anger is justified and I’m sorry to have contributed to it.

  10. M. Stankovich says

    And I am standing here observing, REAL TIME, cages and emergency bays, and San Diego police officers, transporting for-real homeless and mentally ill from the streets, floridly psychotic and oblivious to their surroundings, screaming, moaning, and crying out for help. They are perseverating, weeping like children, and cursing like sailors, and all we can do is restrain, order injections of medications to calm hallucinations and emotions, and quietly offer soothing words of calming conciliation until the medication kick in. Here are your “dogs” of humanity that break my heart day after day, you simpleton, jackasses of “Orthodoxy,” the real “least of my brethren” (Matt. 25:45); not the morbidly obese, not the matching vestments & accessoires, not the privileged of La Jolla and DC.

    Shame on you, Mr. Michalopulos, for even proposing such an analogy, when human beings, created in the very image and likeness of our God, through no fault of their own, are relegated to despair & rejection, while Jonah lives in health & relative prosperity, regardless of what the OCA does or does not afford him. Shame on you.

    • George Michalopulos says

      The only thing I can get from your diatribe is that you don’t believe that Metropolitan Jonah is a human being “created in the very image and likeness of our God.”

      • M. Stankovich says

        And let me immediately return to the physical observations required by our dear friends quoted previously, Kaplan & Sadock: I most certainly believe he is created “καὶ ἐποίησεν ὁ θεὸς τὸν ἄνθρωπον κατ’ εἰκόνα θεοῦ ἐποίησεν αὐτόν ἄρσεν καὶ θῆλυ ἐποίησεν αὐτούς” (help him, Mr. Papoutsis), “he appears a well-nourished human being, adequately clothed & groomed.” Do not play me with cheap theatrics, Mr. Michalopulos. You know exactly my point. Unfortunately, you are far removed from the “least of your brethren” if you would compare the life of Jonah to what what I see every day. “Lord, when did we see you?” (Matt 25:44) seems to have categorically excluded the morbidly obese (St. Basil the Great is said to have stated in his remarks on fasting, “I have never seen a fat man saved”), those with vestments with “colors-for-all-seasons,” and those with property in La Jolla. The day the former Metropolitan is relegated to living under the 4th Avenue Bridge, as my patients, dear Hercules, is the day I gladly & with humility offer my bedroom, gratis, regardless of the pending settlement. On that day, perhaps he can assist with my student loans. How do you pronounce “Wacovia (which is now Wells Fargo)?”

        • George Michalopulos says

          No, I don’t know “exactly” your point. BTW, poorer, more malnourished people tend to be fatter these days.

        • George Michalopulos says

          I very much agree. Mr Stankovich, your allies in the modernist/ecumenist wing of the OCA won. In time, the Stokovite/Kishkovskyite ethos will prevail in American Orthodoxy in general. This is a huge victory for your side and you should emulate Winston Churchhill who said “in victory, magnanimity.” It would also be in accord with normal Christian principles. Besides, kicking a man when he is down is never good form.

          If Syosset were smart (admittedly, a debatable point), they’d let the poor man go. And anyway, since, he’s such an incompetent, he’d only muck things up in any jurisdiction that took him in. And then you could say “see! I told you so!”

          What do you have to lose?

        • Shame on you for presenting his physical affliction (weight) as a sin.

        • Ilya Zhitomirskiy says

          “Those who rendered me evil for good slandered me, for I pursued goodness.”
          Read up on the six psalms. +Jonah is trying to live up to these words of King David.
          If you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all. I and other decent people are sick of seeing a person wo has done nothing amiss attacked.
          Remember the wise thief telling his companion : We are punished justly, but this man hath done nothing amiss?
          The thief’s next words were: Remember me o Lord in thy kingdom.
          Y’all know the story from there.

    • Stankovich, how is it that you diagnose Metropolitan Jonah’s “health and relative prosperity”? Just a few months ago, you were trying to convince Laura that he was in danger of having a heart attack, and that he required “intervention” to save his life.

      Maybe your diag-nonsense of Metropolitan Jonah makes less sense to you in light of Laura’s untimely death. Or maybe it’s just less fun for you to push that hateful nonsense, now that she is no longer around for you to torment.

      Besides, having him in good health makes more sense for your thesis that Metropolitan Jonah is just a spoiled rich kid. He took a vow of poverty, which means the Church is responsible for his well-being. Neither Metropolitan Jonah’s background, nor his monastic vows, give ANYONE a license to force him to resign, slander him, or try to starve him into submission.

      You are not qualified to evaluate Metropolitan Jonah’s mental or physical health any more than you are qualified to evaluate his bank account. If anything, you’re the one who needs an intervention.

      • Amen to that last sentence . . . .

      • Artakhshassa the Great says

        Just a small correction, Helga. Taking an oath of poverty does NOT mean “the Church is responsible for his well-being!” The monastic in taking his vows, takes responsibility for his life ENTIRELY on himself. That is the “mono” part of “monastic.” It is true that monastic coenobia DO take responsibility for every member of the coenobium, in return for FIRST OF ALL, absolute obedience to the vow of stability: i.e. never ever to leave the monastery until death. Those who choose the solitary life of the ancient Egyptian originators of monasticism likewise are ENTIRELY responsible for themselves. I’m afraid that not only the “idiorrhthmic” monasteries (mostly history now), but the majority of our American monastics DO expect to be taken care of as you wrongly claim is right. It is true that Metropolitan Jonah always has expected the church to take care of him….from the time he was tonsured; and It did! It gave him a habitation and a community of lay people in the Bay Area who did all the heavy lifting, while Father Jonah did his thing….public speaking and writing.
        it IS a good thing indeed, to help out Metropolitan Jonah and his family, just out of ordinary charity, but the MONK, Helga, renounces that kind of interference: it’s not what he’s about. Apparently Metropolitan Jonah’s family is needy, and they are living in a high-rent district in an area with one of the highest standards of living in the country and in the world. As far as I remember, the Paffhausens were not ever close to being wealthy: Mr.Paffhausen was a realtor that even went broke a couple times, I believe. I frankly don’t know HOW they survived when Father Jonah was travelling around and finally settling in the monastery occupied previously i.e. most recently, by the nuns of the Sisterhood of the HolyCross whose abbess just fell asleep recently. I would assume that the family owned their own property in California, but they must have sold it in order to follow Metropolitan Jonah to his new digs in DC. Someone should not only be helping them now, but it would be good if someone somewhere found a reasonably priced place for them in a less demanding environment; a retirement community or the like. Can’t Mr. Paffhausen get a place at the SS Cosmas and Damian home? it was good enough for Metropolitan Ireney, and would lessen the burden on Metropolitan Jonah and also his mother. I’m sure that if people knew their plight, there’s be found very good help: perhaps there’s a prosperous Orthodox widow or other prosperous retiree who’d love to share her residence with a Metropolitan’s mother!
        What income does Metropolitan Jonah receive? It’ll be income tax time soon.
        Many people not retired don’t realize that they’ll have to pay taxes on their Social Security pension!
        Thank God for the well-meaning people that helped Bishop Nikolai out from time to time, especially during his long and difficult course of cancer therapies. He did, during the past year, accept a couple good job offers from people who knew of his vast administrative capabilities and competence, but only for a day or two a week. He NEVER depended on the Church to support him: on the contrary, until he became a Bishop he supported the Church with his outside jobs, while building a couple good parishes.
        Has Metropolitan Jonah asked to be released? When? And to what Church?

        • George Michalopulos says

          Didn’t Bp Mel leave the monastery of his repentance?

        • Well, here comes the god-king of Persia to try to set us all straight!

          O god-king, has it ever occurred to you that the way things are set up for the Paffhausens IS actually optimal for the circumstances? That Metropolitan Jonah has accommodated his family according to their needs and his means to provide for them, and does not require your advice?

          As for the Church’s responsibility in the matter, 18 years ago, Metropolitan Jonah offered his whole life to God and the Church. By the time Metropolitan Jonah was called upon to support his family, he had already been called to serve as a bishop and then as a metropolitan, which meant his ecclesiastical calling and its attendant salary was sufficient to take care of his family. Metropolitan Jonah also had every reason to expect to continue in this line of work, so long as he did not warrant removal from office. Yet Metropolitan Jonah found himself out of a job, not because he had done anything to justify being removed, but because a group of people conspired with the intent of unfairly and uncanonically depriving him of his office.

          It is the Church’s responsibility to account for the harm inflicted on Metropolitan Jonah. If the administration cannot bring itself to punish the guilty, the least they can do is minimize the impact of their transgressions by providing a suitable financial accommodation.

    • Mr Stankovich:

      You have absolutely no real knowledge of our life in La Jolla or DC, our business successes/failures, health disasters of his father’s cancers and dementia. Your talk of a spoiled rich kid – you should know the real truth and I would hope you would be ashamed to have assumed what you have. It is bad enough that the synod has tried to destroy him as well as the Syossett gang adding to the destruction.

      Watching the OCA try to destroy our son, losing our daughter is more than we should bear, or anyone for that matter. Do not judge about what you do not know. Please.


      • Geo Michalopulos says

        Madame, thank you for putting the miscreants of Syosset in their place. After what your family has suffered, I simply don’t know how they can sleep at night.

      • Please just don’t read Stankovich, he is not “ok” in the brain pan and not worth troubling yourself over. . . .

        • M. Stankovich says


          Let me be simple, yet succinct, because yours is the 3rd comment in a single day regarding my “competency.” One rodent of a coward even goes so far as to suggest I support “killing Jonah,” and to this one I say: “Come out here into the light, you little Turner Diaries reading coward, and Ill provide you with what you missed during your formative years: formation. And when I ask you to repeat your charge to my face and you comply, I’ll slap the taste right out of your mouth. “Licenza letteraria! Licenza letteraria!” you’ll cry, but all you’ll hear is me, lighting the thin cigar like Clint Eastwood, the High Plains Drifter. “Licenza letteraria,” indeed. This, of course, is all figuratively speaking.

          Pardon me colette, business… If you had a family member or loved one in crisis with an issue in my realm of work, you would want my help, and rightfully so. I am well educated & trained, have a long history of phenomenal teaching supervisors, years of direct experience, and a love of learning. More importantly, colette, if you asked for my help, I would give it without hesitation, and with question or qualification. “Freely you have received, freely give.” (Matt. 10:8)

          You might ask Madam if she still has my phone number.

      • Madam, my thoughts and prayers are with you and your family. You’ve had a lot of tragedy in the last couple of years. No family should have to go through what has happened to your children.

      • M. Stankovich says


        First, let me say that this site is renowned for its endless stream of poseurs and anonymous illusionists, and that I am skeptical of your “identity” is with reasonable cause. Secondly, to be quite honest, the truth of your identity is, in the end, insignificant because my comments had absolutely nothing to do with justice, wealth, or health; these are from our God alone, like “dew upon the fleece,” (Jg. 6:37) which we either believe in our hearts, or we do not. I would respond in kind, trust that you probably do not want to battle life calamity stories with me. “The Lord gives. The Lord takes away. Blessed be the Name of the Lord.” (Job 1:20)

        I am not the one who established this moronic dichotomy of dog and Jonah – frankly, I am more clever – it was Mr. Michalopulos. I read it as I stood looking at a room with the grossest, stinkiest, most unclean dregs of this city. There certainly was no Jonah(s) here, and I thought, “”Foxes have holes and birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has no place to lay his head.” (Lk. 9:58). It’s 4, maybe 5 miles at most from Rosecrans St. to La Jolla, but you may as well have the Mojave Desert between them. The issue is the continuous loss of perspective. “Miscreants of Syosset?” Seriously? What a memorably stupid thing to say.

        If you truly are the mother of the former Metropolitan, I am sorry for your losses. I would ask you, however, and with all due respect, why in heaven’s name are you on a site like this posting responses to me? If my comments are not significant enough for the former Metropolitan to respond himself, than they are insignificant.

        • George Michalopulos says

          MS, hasn’t the Syosset Axis done enough damage to the Metropolitan and his family? Isn’t it enough that they nearly destroyed these fine people? Why are you carrying water for these miscreants? We know they have no shame, but you?

          • George, Stankovich may pretend he doesn’t know for certain this is Mrs. Paffhausen, but he knows it is really her.

            I really do not understand how a man can counsel drug addicts and child molesters, but feels he must constantly put down Metropolitan Jonah for having once lived in La Jolla.

            Unfortunately, George, deleting comments on this blog has a way of permanently messing up the way comments are threaded for a whole page, which is very exasperating. But I hope you will publish Stankovich’s future comments only with the hateful and hurtful parts taken out. (That may mean publishing them with the entire text of the comments replaced with a few dashes.)

          • Michael Bauman says

            George (sarcasm on). You are so far behind the times 18th century. Shame? We don’t needno stinkin’ shame. Surely our psychology overlords have long ago determined that shame is not good for you. You just need to realize and except free expression. It is all just fine. Just like homosexuality. Its people like you that force our fine hierarchs to hide and lie. Without bigots like you everything would be fine. You and those like you deserve punishment.

        • Disgusted With It says

          “I would ask you, however, and with all due respect, why in heaven’s name are you on a site like this posting responses to me?”

          M. Stankovich,

          So then why in heaven’s name are you on a site like this posting responses to us?

  11. Does anyone know how funds can be sent to Metropolitan Jonah to help him at this time?

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

    • pelagiaeast says

      Interesting email today. The Fund that collected money to help pay for Laurie’s funeral and hospital expenses has set up a donation avenue for Metropolitan Jonah. Holy Archangels Orthodox Foundation. 3027 Foxhall Rd NW Washington, DC 20016.
      contact person: for more information.

      • No it’s not! Look at the above address or I’ll just re-post it. That’s where you send it.

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

        I think you are mixing up another letter request . . . .

      • Geo Michalopulos says

        I believe that’s wrong. Foxhall Road is a seperate address. At least I hope so.

        Can anyone shed any light on this?

        • Very seperate.

        • These are two separate locations, definitely. Please send Holy Archangels donations to 3027 Foxhall Road in DC, not the cathedral. The foundation predates Metropolitan Jonah’s situation. It did at one time use the St Nicholas Cathedral address, but does not anymore.

  12. Patrick Henry Reardon says

    My modest contribution to the discussion:

    Why can’t a cat be more like a dog?
    Dogs are so honest, so thoroughly square;
    Eternally noble, historically fair.
    Who, when he’s good, will look for a pat.
    Why can’t a cat be more like that?

    Why can’t a cat take after a dog?
    Dogs are so pleasant, so easy to please.
    Whenever you’re with them, you’re always at ease.

    Dogs are so decent, such regular chaps;
    Ready to help you through any mishaps;
    Ready to buck you up when you’re glum.
    Why can’t a cat be more of a chum?

    Why does reason fill cats with contempt?
    And why is logic so rarely tried?
    Scratching their heads is all they attempt.
    Why not clean up the mess inside?

    One dog in a million may bark a bit,
    While cats are constantly raising a fit.
    Dogs are so friendly, good-natured and kind.
    A better companion you never will find.

    • M. Stankovich says

      I distinctly recall the day when, in the midst of a droning, boring case presentation of a patient brought in by the police because she was hoarding (only) black cats in a tiny one bedroom co-op apartment in NYC, and living in altogether filthy conditions, feeding them & not herself, a colleague leaned over and whispered, “It’s always cats.” I couldn’t stop laughing and had to excuse myself. Maybe half a dozen times I accompanied the police on these “wellness checks,” and it was always cats. Go figure. I’ve never seen a study or found a reasonable explanation. I just told the story to my dog. She heard the whole story out – including the laughter – cocked her head as they do, and walked off. Not a clue…

      • Geo Michalopulos says

        You’re right there. It’s always cats.

        • Monk James says

          Geo Michalopulos says:

          January 21, 2013 at 6:03 pm

          You’re right there. It’s always cats.

          Myself, I like dogs but they’re more work than I’m willing to do. So I’ve always preferred cats. I had three cats at the monastery.

          These last fifteen years or so I’ve been without cats, and I’m unhappy about that; it’s just a reality of my present situation, which I’ve reluctantly accepted.

          All my cats were reliably responsive to training and always very grateful and affectionate. This might be because I learned the language of their sounds and signals, and responded in kind.

          Not so different from people, eh?

          • Jane Rachel says

            Here is a delightful ninth-century cat poem by an Irish monk/scribe:

            Pangur Bán
            (translated by Robin Flowers)

            I and Pangur Ban my cat,
            ‘Tis a like task we are at:
            Hunting mice is his delight,
            Hunting words I sit all night.

            Better far than praise of men
            ‘Tis to sit with book and pen;
            Pangur bears me no ill-will,
            He too plies his simple skill.

            ‘Tis a merry task to see
            At our tasks how glad are we,
            When at home we sit and find
            Entertainment to our mind.

            Oftentimes a mouse will stray
            In the hero Pangur’s way;
            Oftentimes my keen thought set
            Takes a meaning in its net.

            ‘Gainst the wall he sets his eye
            Full and fierce and sharp and sly;
            ‘Gainst the wall of knowledge I
            All my little wisdom try.

            When a mouse darts from its den,
            O how glad is Pangur then!
            O what gladness do I prove
            When I solve the doubts I love!

            So in peace our task we ply,
            Pangur Ban, my cat, and I;
            In our arts we find our bliss,
            I have mine and he has his.

            Practice every day has made
            Pangur perfect in his trade;
            I get wisdom day and night
            Turning darkness into light.

          • Patrick Henry Reardon says

            Monks James declares, “I’ve always preferred cats.”

            And Father Alexander Webster shares that preference.

            In Chicago one does not really have a decent choice in the matter. In a big city like this, dogs are simply too labor-intensive.

            So we have three cats.

            These cats are especially useful for scaring away rogue elephants.

            So in our 15 years in Chicago, we have never been attacked by rogue elephants.

            • Fr. Hans Jacobse says

              Definitely cats. Low maintenance.

              • “Fr. Nektary [St. Nektary of Optina] had a cat with which he played. He tied a piece of paper with a string for it. The cat obeyed him like a human being. The Elder said, ‘Gerasimos was a great elder, and he had a great lion; but we’re small so we have a cat.’ And he would tell a story how a cat saved Noah’s ark. When an unclean spirit entered into a mouse and tried to gnaw through the bottom of the ark, the cat caught that pernicious mouse and ate it. And for this all cats go to heaven.”

              • M. Stankovich says

                This, Abouna, is measured in the eye of the beholder. First, you have to accommodate their taking care of business in the house. Aye. Then – and I speak as a sufferer – a new study indicates “The global multivariate odds ratios for children with complete covariate [allergy] data were 1.17 (95% confidence interval = 1.08-1.29) for current symptoms of asthma, 1.13 (1.05-1.23) for rhinoconjunctivitis, and 1.38 (1.26-1.52) for eczema. Smaller odds ratios were found for exposure to only dogs. Exposure to only cats was associated with eczema.” And you explain to me how they know who is allergic and always make it a point to visit?

                And can anyone forget the unlimited, but futile industry of old Mr. Johnson for about a hundred verses?

                Old Mister Johnson had troubles of his own
                He had a yellow cat which wouldn’t leave its home;
                He tried and he tried to give the cat away,
                He gave it to a man goin’ far, far away.

                But the cat came back the very next day,
                The cat came back, we thought he was a goner
                But the cat came back; it just couldn’t stay away.
                Away, away, yea, yea, yea

    • Archpriest Alexander F. C. Webster, PhD says

      Kudos, Father Patrick, for a brilliant parody of the “My Fair Lady” classic! (I must confess, however, that I actually prefer cats for their fierce independence and lower maintenance.)

      Back to the main point: neither a dog nor a cat ought to suffer the mistreatment that Metropolitan Jonah has endured during the last two years.

    • Fr. Patrick,

      Give old Tiglath-Pileser a gentle pet from me if he’s still with this world. Will you please?

      • Patrick Henry Reardon says

        Brian requests, “Give old Tiglath-Pileser a gentle pet from me if he’s still with this world.’

        I will, Brian, and he is always appreciative.

        He now has two sisters living with us, as well.

        In recent days, Tig prefers to be referenced as El Gato Supremo.

  13. In simple English, will someone on both sides here — the OCA establishment and the conservatives who back JONAH — please offer three reasons, from their perspectives on both sides, that JONAH is not being released to ROCOR?

    Three points from each side please. On the record.

    • Seraphim98 says

      I can only think of two:

      Vindictiveness on the part of certain high placed persons in the OCA who hate him and take pleasure in his humiliation and destruction.

      Fear because enough of the high placed persons in the OCA are not utter dolts or completely blinded by their dislike of Met. Jonah…or their fear of other high placed persons, know that a large portion of the OCA faithful, perhaps a majority know they have treated him very shabbily, and a somewhat smaller though very significant subset of the above not only think he was treated shabbily but still have strong positive feelings for him and support him.

      These latter are largely concentrated in the Diocese of the South…which until recently under the reposed Archbishop Dimitri has been the largest, most vibrant, and most evangelically active of the OCA Dioceses. The fear is that Metropolitan Jonah is released to another jurisdiction — and the current mindset and polity of Syossett prevail in the OCA especially if someone of their ilk is “forced” upon the Diocese of the South, then it is certain that there will be a great number of persons and parishes — maybe even the bulk of the DoS will petition ROCOR or some other Orthodox body to be received by them.

      In short many of the most active and most faithful of the OCA, especial in the DoS (given a choice) will follow Jonah. That loss of income and further loss of members and face will all but doom the OCA to wither to a tiny rump of its already tiny size, if not fade away entirely in a generation or two (if not less).

      They are between a rock and a hard place — to keep Met. Jonah is to act like devils or at least leave that impression with a great many of the faithful whether it is actually accurate or not, or to let him go which is the charitable Christian thing to do knowing they risk a rapid and massive loss of members to whoever takes him. They stand to lose big chunks of their largest and most giving diocese and sizable bits of several of the others — like in the DoW, and DoMW and maybe even Alaska and parts of Canada.

      They don’t know if it will happen, or just how big or small such a pilgrimage out of the OCA might be, but it has serious potential to very great. They just know they’ve messed up in ways there’s no good way to fix things. It may not be fixable, because most, if not all, do not see the need to repent of what they’ve done, or else lack the courage to do what should be done, they most likely face two prospects: slow death and long. Let him go and die quick. Keep him and die slow.

      The path that restores the OCA to some measure of dignity, that binds up the wounds of the faithful, that brings renewed hope for growth and evangelization doesn’t include them. It would be a miracle for them to take that path.

      So, frankly, speaking as a member of a DoS parish, unless we get a really good Bishop like our last one I would not be surprised to learn of a number of parishes seeking to join ROCOR. Many of the most active members of my own parish are sympathetic to such a move. We are waiting to see two things…what becomes of Met. Jonah and the type of Bishop that comes to the DoS. That will tell us all we need to know about Holy Synod’s heart towards us…we already know what Syosset’s is.

      And even more frankly, if we do, by God’s grace, get a good bishop who loves us and will protect us, if Syosset and the Holy Synod do not change their ways. If they continue as they have, then I would not be surprised, and would be supportive of a general petition asking our new bishop to take every willing priest and parish in the DoS to ROCOR.

      • Geo Michalopulos says

        I agree with you. Syosset is between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea on this one. Had they acted in a less deranged manner back in August, they would have released Jonah and this whole thing would be over with by now.

        Instead they acted in an unChristian manner, and compounded their wickedness almost daily. Since Jonah’s unjust ouster, Syosset has experienced a scandal a week seemingly.

    • M. Stankovich says


      Tell me you’re some throwback to Sartre & De Beauvoir having coffee and a cigarette, pulling the collective “existential leg,” so to speak. In simple English, you’d be better off playing Eric Clapton’s Journeyman record for the song “Lead Me On” than to pose this question with a – presumably – straight face! You’re knee-deep in a Star Trek Convention, pal, and if you had actually become a dues payin’ member of this site like the rest of us, Mr. Michalopulos would have sent you a decoder ring and you wouldn’t need simple English: neocon, aparatchik, STINKBOMB, soviet-psychiatry, and the real meaning of “Syosset.” Personally, I’m still waiting for somebody to explain to me how them magnets work…

      • George Michalopulos says

        I disagree, TMatt brings up an excellent point.

      • Reasons the OCA does not want to release Jonah to ROCOR:

        1. To maximize Jonah’s suffering (for sadistic pleasure and as a show of power).
        2. To prevent Jonah from telling his story publicly (it is a PR nightmare for his abusers and their enablers).
        3. To discourage Jonah from taking those who libeled him to court (religious authority would be their only leverage in a slam-dunk case against them, should he be inclined to pursue it).
        4. To ensure Jonah is never successful as a bishop (it would discredit the narrative and character of his abusers).
        5. ROCOR is increasingly viewed as a direct competitor and existential threat to the OCA (Orthodox or not, humans are naturally sore losers).

        These appear to be the reasons given by both the anti-abuse and pro-abuse crowds. I can’t think of any others.

    • Tumorous Baktos says


      Simple. + Jonah would go to ROCOR and cause schism in the OCA. Unnecessary. Let him go back to his little monastery as he wanted.

      • All in the Family says


        +Jonah going to ROCOR would cause a schism? Why? Because many people would follow him? Interesting reasoning on your part. So you have judged that it is wrong for people to follow him, yet it is therefore correct for people to stay in the OCA even though they have concluded that how he was treated was wrong? Why else would they leave?

        Apparently it is now better for members of the OCA to stay there against their better judgement. What a way to grow the Church! Out of fear of losing more members the Synod keeps the manacles on +Jonah? Can’t you see how empty such a move would be, how spiritually corrosive such a fearful mean-spirited example that sends to the faithful?

        If these bishops are so afraid of the backlash of their ill-concieved action in removing +Jonah, does that not call into question what they did in the first place? Two wrongs don’t make a right. And the slow slide into mediocrity and ineptness of the OCA continues.

        • The Old, Old Story says

          The next day, that is, after the day of Preparation, the chief priests and the Pharisees gathered before Pilate and said, “Sir, we remember what that impostor said while he was still alive, ‘After three days I will rise again.’ Therefore command the tomb to be made secure until the third day; otherwise his disciples may go and steal him away, and tell the people, ‘He has been raised from the dead,’ and the last deception would be worse than the first.” Pilate said to them, “You have a guard of soldiers; go, make it as secure as you can.” So they went with the guard and made the tomb secure by sealing the stone. (Matthew 27:62-66)

          • “And the LORD hardened the heart of Pharaoh, and he hearkened not unto them; as the LORD had spoken unto Moses.” Ex. 9:12

      • Geo Michalopulos says

        Why would that be a schism? ACOB now recognizes ROCOR as canonical, as does the rest of Orthodoxy. If Orthodox people go from a GOA parish to an AOCNA parish because of proximity, it’s not a schism. Likewise if OCA people are scandalized by the fact that ecumenists/modernists have taken over Syosset and can dictate terms to Jonah’s successor, leaving for a ROCOR (or GOA/etc.) parish is not a schism.

      • Gee, Tumorous, why would Metropolitan Jonah leaving the OCA cause people to leave? Could it be that we are sick and tired of morally and ethically-compromised leadership? Could it be that adhering to our Lord Jesus Christ and His Church is more important than adherence to Syosset’s self-absorbed agenda?

        Because the longer you torment Metropolitan Jonah and us by extension, the harder we are going to fight to withhold tithes and assessments from the Central Administration. Those who have intended to leave their estates to the OCA might find it in their hearts to do otherwise. Money is apparently the only language that speaks to you people, so you are going to hear our displeasure loud and clear.

        Best to cut your losses and let Metropolitan Jonah go.

        • George Michalopulos says

          It’s already happening, Helga. St Nick’s in DC has effectively been reduced to mission status. That’s what happens when a church can’t meet its obligations and can’t abide by its own statutes. Things like regular elections, an annual budget, etc. I wonder how many other cathedrals and churches are playing kick the can?

          • Tumorous Baktos says

            George & Helga,

            You both live in very small microcosms. You’re views are those of a very few. The majority of those in the OCA are very happy with the new Met to be. + Jonah just couldn’t get along with his brother hierarchs. If ROCOR needs another bishop, let them go make one.

            • If we are so few, Tumorous, then why are you so afraid of all of us leaving with Metropolitan Jonah?

            • If “Jonah just couldn’t get along with his brother hierarchs,” as you claim, then everyone will be happy when he is released to ROCOR.

              On the other hand, if the hierarchs of the OCA are morally corrupt men intent on doing personal harm to Jonah, then they will respond as you have in your last sentence and refuse to let him go.

    • pelagiaeast says

      I have given this considerable thought, and this occurs to me. If the OCA let Metropolitan Jonah go, it might hurt them several ways. One: should he succeed somewhere else, the powers that be in the OCA will look even more foolish than they do now. Two: there is a good chance that should they let him go, a significant number of OCA members will follow him, because many of us love him and value him very much. Three: there is similarly a chance that some parishes and priests may follow him, and BOY, that will hurt financially, as well as make the powers that be look even more foolish, if that is possible.
      Just some thoughts, as you requested. On the record?

    • Dear Tmatt,

      If I understand it correctly, you ask folks to provide three reasons why Metropolitan Jonah has not been released to the ROCOR. However, you only seem to want “conservatives” and “libruls”, if I’ve got that part right, to provide the opinions. I would suggest that maybe even the majority of the people who care about the Metropolitan being a continuing part of their spiritual lives fit neither secular category. I would suggest that I, for example, probably fit some people’s concept of being not only a librul, but maybe even a radical, except when it comes to certain specific moral issues, but then I would probably fault most so-called conservatives on some of their sorry tudes as being fundamentally un-Christian.

      I would also suggest that it would be pretty difficult to even configure that group you call OCA establishment. Who and what would they be exactly? The Metropolitan Council? The Synod of Bishops? All the complacent minions who failed to speak up and do the right things for the Metropolitan in the past six months? Who have continued to allow innuendos about rape and drunkenness and suchlike to stand? Who continue to play the game of daring the Metropolitan to sue them?

      I cannot conceive, personally, of anyone disliking the Metropolitan and I find it likewise hard to conceive of why anyone would want to lose such a spiritual treasure to the OCA or to mar what had become a wonderful relationship with the ROCOR. For where we essentially had one jurisdiction, with individuals concelebrating at all levels and feeling comfortable and confident at the idea of jurisdictions not really mattering at all, now we have anyone ordained either plotting or already on a list asking to transfer to the ROCOR, and those not ordained simply voting with their feet. At least one whole parish will move, and its esteemed priest one in the OCA for decades.

      A lot of folks are hedging their bets, not really doing anything too much on the radar and/or still being the financial backbone of some parishes. They don’t want to give up the past and yet they feel pretty queasy. Some folks are attending quite a large number of local parish options and still haven’t found the church to which they can trust their time and dedication not to mention their confessions. No one enjoys jurisdiction hopping. We would all rather do jurisdiction including.

      It is really hard to understand hatred for hatred is so really unnecessary. And yet it apparently exists. And when a church has a treasure, and Metropolitan Jonah is one in many ways, it is hard to conceive of how anyone would want to deprive themselves of a great asset.

      • I requested responses from those loyal to the OCA administration, however they might describe their theological stances.

        I described the other side as conservatives because I have not met any OCA liberals, moderates or whatever who support Met JONAH.

        • Interested Bystander says

          I completely support His Beatitude Metropolitan Jonah. I believe he was unjustly removed from his throne through lies and slander and because of the jealousy and power-seeking of OCA bishops and others in positions of power.

          I believe that B. Tikhon who is currently sitting on the OCA Metropolitan’s throne is an imposter and one of those who slandered Metropolitan Jonah, therefore unworthy of the seat. I wouldn’t walk across the street to attend his enthronement if I were paid to do so, and I do not refer to him as the Metropolitan.

          I believe that B. Tikhon, B. Benj., B. Mark, B. Mathias, B. Mel, and B. Nathaniel all need to be unseated, and some even defrocked. I believe that Fr.s Kishkovsky, Jillions and Tosi need to be fired. I pray for them all.

          I believe the expensive and crumbling mansion in Syossot needs to be sold and the Chancery moved to an office building in a location easier to reach and affording lower costs.

          I am Orthodox, liberal, and a Democrat – in that order.

          • Jane Rachel says

            Dear Interested Bystander,

            I’m quite sure you are telling things as you see it, and the fact that you are close to the situation so you can report what you saw makes a big difference. There’s no reason to believe you are fabricating stories. What you have written makes far more sense to me than to dismiss and discredit you just because you won’t use your real name. I have been struggling for seven years now over the past corruption in high places in the OCA leadership. A change happened within myself when I read your comments. I think now that it’s too late for them. They have had years and years to do what’s right, and they are only getting worse. They know the truth. That is so sad. After all, King David repented publicly, (and I’ll bet THAT was embarrassing!), but he was a man after God’s own heart.

            Based on what I’ve been able to gather online from the man himself and those who know him, Metropolitan Jonah has integrity and prays constantly. He’s not vindictive. Even though they are afraid because he has the “goods” on them, he’s not going to use THEIR tactics to try to destroy and smear them the way they tried to destroy him. I believe he will do his best to do the right thing, not for his own sake, but for their sake, and for the sake of the Church.

            Looking forward, all I can say to them now is, “Let Metropolitan Jonah go and get on with your business.”

    • Artakhshassa the Great says

      Just let us know, for verification purposes, the date on Metropolitan Jonah’s request to be released from the OCA, and to what other church. Thanks.
      Without that information, there is no case whatsoever.

      • Interested Bystander says

        Who are YOU to judge this??? YOU deserve information – to what end – your judgment?

        Give your opinion, your discernment, but please, keep your pseudo arbitration to yourself…you hold no keys.

        Just for giggles: how long would it take the average person to look for a new job when fired? Would they look everywhere? If there was a position, or possible position somewhere would they apply for it, or would they wait…say, 7 or 8 months? Now, this isn’t a hard question…think about it. And apply a little grace while you’re at it, OK?

      • Disgusted With It says

        This constant request from AtG for letters and dates leads me to believe that perhaps there is some kind of little technicality in the letters that the synod may be using to ignore or deny the release. (He reminds me of someone else who usually gives such hints.) Just a thought.

        • Bishop Tikhon Fitzgerald says

          Artakhshassa the Great has only requested information about one letter, that is, one date.
          He has not requested any information about any correspondence from or to ROCOR, or any requests to or from ROCOR.
          He only asks to be provided the date of ONE request in writing (this would be much easier than a “forced” resignation by a feeble hierarch cowed and intimidated by a mediocre chancellor) by Metropolitan Jonah to ++++++any++++++ OCA agency to be released from the OCA. All “disgusted with it” has produced is smoke and mirrors: correspondence from Metropolitan Jonah to ROCOR, correspondence from ROCOR to the OCA, but ++++++not one request from Metropolitan Jonah+++++ to Metropolitan Tikhon, Archbishop Nathaniel, the Holy Synod or the Secretary of the Holy Synod.
          Now I should think that if such a letter existed, IT would a reason to inveigh against the Holy Synod for not replying or for cruelty. Why not, Disgusted with it,” just let us all know when and how Metropolitan Jonah requested a release from the Holy Synod and be done with it?
          This is not “some kind of little technicality,’ but a simple request for one basic document or proof ot its existence. I’m not going to take some person’s word for it without identifying data, especially when the person won’t even prove his or her existence, claims to be au courant, but is too embarrassed to identify himself or herself.

          • George Michalopulos says

            I’m not sure what you’re getting at here, Your Grace. There’s been a formal request on His Beatitude’s part which is in writing and is at Syosset. I suppose the question could better be asked of some functionary in Syosset who handles the mail.

          • Bishop Tikhon,

            Do you think Jonah could give you a copy for publication without causing problems for ongoing negotiations? If so, pick up your phone and call him or his lawyer. George could also try this. You best call the paramedics before posting though. They’ll want to personally escort Benjamin to the computer screen, as he will no doubt need to replace several fuses, maybe even a blown gasket or two.

            As for Syosset, they published the resignation letter online almost immediately, as you would expect when the figure head of an organization decides to stop posing for the camera. Now that Jonah is no longer figure head, I can’t see them posting anything except a letter from THE HOLY SYNOD OF THE OCA saying all’s well that ends well, can you?

            A much easier document to secure might be a statement from Syosset clarifying that Jonah HAS NOT requested a transfer. So why don’t you call them requesting this document and tell us what they say?

            For the record, I believe you are a retired bishop of the OCA, because you say so and it is a very reasonable claim based on what you have written. In addition, no one has ever claimed otherwise or given a rationale to believe otherwise. So I will not require documentation or harass you with skeptical demands. However, if someone does come forward with a legitimate reason to question your claim and your title, then it might make sense for you to produce the goods. We’ll deal with that when the time comes, if that is ok with you. Again, you are the only person in the entire world who thinks Jonah wants to stay in the OCA. Why you think that, heaven alone knows. I do wish you would share.

            p.s. Glad to have you back. Art had me worried that something very bad had happened to you. Oh, and don’t tell Art this, but I will never accept his claim to be The Great without official documentation. But again, let’s just keep my cynicism about that between you and me. Surely he has more beneficial things to do with his time than faxing me a photocopy of the official certificate of greatness.

            • Bishop Tikhon Fitzgerald says

              The blessing of the Lord be upon you.
              My answer to your question is, I don’t want Metropolitan Jonah to provide me anything, let alone a non-existent letter.

              I ask only for the date of any request by Metropolitan Jonah to anyone in the OCA, asking to be released to ROCOR, because I don’t believe Metropolitan JOnah has ever written a request to the Holy Synod, to Metropolitan Tikhon or to any other entity of the OCA to be released to ROCOR. If you aver that I am mistaken, all I ask is that you provide us the date of such a request. Just give me the date. I ask you because you and George both assert (on what basis I can’t imagine) that Metropolitan Jonah has provided a request to the Holy Synod that they release him to ROCOR.
              If you give me the date, i don’t mind calling any hierarch of the OCA, including the Metropolitan, or any Chancery official, and asking them if a request from Metropolitan Jonah to be released to ROCOR has been received. Surely that could not “cause any problems with ongoing negotiations.”
              And if there are “ongoing negotiations,” then that would mean that the OCA has not turned a cold shoulder to Metropolitan Jonah in the manner the heading of this topic reads at all!
              So, question two is: What ‘ongoing negotiations?”
              In Christ,
              Bishop OCA retired
              January 26, 2013

              • George Michalopulos says

                Your Grace, you’re putting His Beatitude in the impossible position of having to prove a negative (i.e. producing a “non-existent letter”). That’s impossible. If you believe His Beatitude is lying then you can go a long way to proving it by asking the Synod to produce it. At that point they can say “he never asked us or wrote a letter asking for a release.” At that point we can either take them at their word or accuse them of lying.

                • Bishop Tikhon Fitzgerald says

                  Wrong, George. I am not putting Metropolitan Jonah in any position at all, and I am not asking him for anything.
                  I’m asking you (or anyone else here claiming to be in the know in the matter) for proof that Metropolitan Jonah requested anyone or any entity in the OCA to be *********released to ROCOR.*********
                  Are YOU putting Metropolitan Jonah in an impossible position by claiming he SAID that he requested Metropolitan Tikhon or the Holy Synod to release him ******to ROCOR******?
                  Please remember, George, “to ROCOR”. I have no doubt that Metropolitan Jonah asked for a release but did not specify to whom. If he did not ask for a release to ROCOR, he did not ask for a release to ROCOR.
                  If, as I am convinced is true, Metropolitan Jonah requested a release without specifying to whom, whether ROCOR or the MP, that means he’s just leaving it up to them to pick a place for him somewhere, anywhere, outside the OCA.
                  Instead of “Where’s the beef?” one should then ask “Where’s the cruelty/”

                  • George Michalopulos says

                    Thank you for responding Your Grace. To answer your question, I have not seen any letter from His Beatitude to the Synod on this or any matter. I can’t (and shouldn’t) be privy to such an exchange among hierarchs. I see we are in agreement that HB did ask for a release. It is my understanding that a bishop/priest/cleric cannot ask for a release unless there is another Church which has asked for his release. As such, most of us believe that ROCOR or the MP has indeed informed Syosset that it wants Jonah.

                    Perhaps many of us (myself included) have jumped the gun, it’s possible that another jurisdiction may have asked for the release (i.e. GOA, Serb, AOCNA, etc.) but it seems likely that this would not be the case.

                    • Bishop Tikhon Fitzgerald says

                      George, you are half-right and half wrong. You wrote this; ” It is my understanding that a bishop/priest/cleric cannot ask for a release unless there is another Church which has asked for his release.”
                      That’s right, and his request must state that he requests a release to ****that**** specific Church which has requested his release or will do so.
                      This is sensible. it prevents a hierarch from “politicking,’ and obtaining a release into the wind like a blank check so he could shop around. There is no provision in the canons for such a tactic: getting a release to be used like a general pass to all Churches.
                      IF Metropolitan Jonah had written a request; “Request i be given a canonical release to the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia,” then the Holy Synod could reply to him honorably and correctly, “We release you to the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia upon receiving a request from them.”
                      I suspect, however, that Metropoiltan Jonah may have been shopping as it were. ROCOR, apparently, decided to go more than half-way with him and has requested the OCA release him on the assumption that Metropolitan had requested or would request to be released to ROCOR.
                      it’s my conviction, George, that Metropolitan Jonah has NOT requested a release to ROCOR, but only one that requests he be released from the OCA.
                      In this, at least, Metropolitan Tikhon is being punctilious in his dealings with Metropolitan Jonah. If he were a vindictive or malevolent sort, he might just get together with other malevolent and vindictive sorts and find a way to release him like this, “The Holy Synod, with thanks to Almighty God for everything, hereby releases Metropolitan Jonah (Paffhausen) to any other Church that will take him, effective immediately; and at the same time he is removed from the list of clergy of the Orthodox Church in America.”
                      But Metropolitan Tikhon has not done that. I believe we should all, not just yours truly, ask ourselves why Metropolitan Jonah has not requested to be canonically released, upon their request, to the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia.
                      Only the GOA, the Antiochenes, and the OCA are members of the OCA (Orthodos ChurchES in America Health Plan, and only they have a pension plan. ROCOR has neither a health insurance plan nor a pension plan. Perhaps this is ONE reason Metropolitan Jonah may have failed to specify ROCOR in his request to be released?

                  • Call his lawyer.

              • Jane Rachel says

                I want to know the answer to this question: “WHAT IS GOING ON?”

                If Metropolitan Jonah did not ask the OCA for a release at all, then several someones are lying (including, according to the honorable Lola J. Lee Beno, Metropolitan Jonah himself). If he did not ask the OCA for a release to ROCOR (or anywhere at all), then somebody, or more than one somebody, is missing something. If we reread all the comments made here regarding the release request made by Met. Jonah from those who say they know, we do see them stating that he did request a release from the OCA. However, I don’t see anywhere in those comments the idea that Metropolitan Jonah requested from the OCA that he be released to ROCOR. We read only that he requested he be released from the OCA:

                Lola J. Lee Beno says:
                January 20, 2013 at 8:03 pm
                Yes, I have heard from him, in presence of others as well, that he has requested that the Holy Synod release him from OCA. I’m still waiting for them to make up their mind about the release request.

                colette says:
                January 20, 2013 at 8:17 pm
                Yes-He has requested the synod release him from the OCA!!! The ball is in the OCA synod court.


                Dear All,

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

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

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

                » Posted By Nikos On January 24, 2013 @ 8:28 am

                “Interested Bystander:

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

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

                Questions I have: I do believe Metropolitan Jonah asked to be released, because I believe (especially her) that Lola J. Lee Beno is not lying when she says she heard it from Met. Jonah himself. But does is matter if he asked to be released specifically to ROCOR? Even though it seems ROCOR asked the OCA that he be released to ROCOR, did Met. Jonah specifically request release to ROCOR? It seems he did request from ROCOR that ROCOR receive him. Then I think, well, maybe the OCA Holy Synod does want or need to hear from Metropolitan Jonah where he will be released before they will release him? On the other hand, they are … well… not exactly getting Blue Ribbons in the sterling reputation department.

                Finally, I would like to ask Bishop Tikhon whether Bishop Nikolai has been granted a release by the Holy Synod from the OCA to the Serbian Orthodox Church, as you state below that he has requested, and if not, can anything be done about that? Do they have the canonical right to deny his request?

                “Metropolitan Jonah stated that Archbishop Nathaniel and Archbishop Benjamin, when queried about granting Bishop Nikolai’s written request to be released, each stated, “Over my dead body.”
                Bishop Nikolai has never been cited or accused of any canonical or legal crimes. He has served honorably and well in Serbian Churches around Australia and around Serbia over the past few years even while going difficult, long-term therapy for cancer, and the Serbian Church has requested he be released to It in accordance with his own request and after receiving Metropolitan Jonah’s assurance that there is no canonical impediment to his release.”

                • Defend the Faith says

                  Jane Rachel,

                  The request by Metropolitan has been made. It has been received by the MP/ROCOR. It now sits on the desk of Metropolitan Tikhon and it will be a major topic at the Monday OCA synod meeting in DC.

                  Why some here, Bishop Tikhon of the West is doubtful is because he got some bad intel from a ROCOR source. That is not His Grace’s fault and given the intel he was given it is understandable that he is questioning the request of Metropolitan Jonah.

                  It is up to the OCA synod now. I don’t hold out much hope that they will do the right thing by +Jonah by releasing him. But, I hope they do, I really do. There is no point in their continued ill treatment, it makes little sense.

                  Fervent prayers for the synod that they will free themselves of any hard heartedness toward +Jonah is required. May they hear our prayers and may the Lord of love and mercy direct them.

                  • Jane Rachel says

                    If Metropolitan Jonah’s paychecks stopped at the end of 2012, then he has had 28 days without a paycheck. Perhaps one of the items on the agenda of the Holy Synod meeting today is to decide where he is to go when they release him. It doesn’t make the whole situation better, and it doesn’t justify their treatment of HB, but it’s possible they have been waiting until the enthronement and the meeting today to grant the release. The most important thing is that he needs to start working and getting paid again so he can make a living. You can’t survive without money.

              • Bishop Tikhon,

                Sincere gratitude for your blessing, and for your thoughtful response.

                It would of course be nice if someone could give you the date you request, but I don’t see how it would shed any light on what is happening.

                You ask, “What ongoing negotiations?” Your question is rhetorical and suggests that it is difficult to imagine what the synod might be trying to negotiate with Jonah. I have no insider information, but again I don’t see why it is necessary to understand what is going on.

                Correct me if any of this is controversial, but a person in Jonah’s position would almost certainly want the following:
                1. To leave the OCA for a less abusive jurisdiction.
                2. To be free to speak or write about anything that has happened to him in his life, the way most people are and the way God created us to be.
                3. To retain all legal rights and privileges enjoyed by citizens of this country.
                4. To correct all public slander and libel against him. To the extent possible to “clear his name”.
                5. To not forfeit any property or economic rights to which he or his parents may be entitled.
                6. Most people, though probably not Jonah, would want some form of compensation for the harm that has been done to him. Most people, though again perhaps not Jonah, would want some meaningful form of “justice.”

                The synod for its part would almost certainly want the following:
                1. To keep Jonah under their authority and not allow him to move to a less abusive jurisdiction.
                2. To have legal and religious gag orders in place, so that Jonah cannot tell his story.
                3. To have Jonah forfeit various legal rights and privileges related to his own freedom of expression, freedom of religious practice, the right to pursue redress of grievances through the civil courts of this nation, etc. In addition, the synod would want similar limitations placed on Jonah’s family, given that real crimes were committed (fraud at the very least) which have negatively effected their lives.
                4. To not have to correct their slander/libel of Jonah, to not have to correct the fraud within their nonprofit organization, to not have to pay for this correction, to not have to publicly admit to any wrong doing, and to actually not have Jonah’s name cleared.
                5. To pay Jonah and his parents as little as possible, and to receive assurances that they will never have to pay more.
                6. To have any payments for wrongdoing kept from the public eye.

                There is much here that the synod would like to negotiate with Jonah and they have very little leverage in any of these negotiations. They have broken laws, and he has suffered real harm (as have his parents), while he has not broken laws and has caused no harm to anyone. While it would be inappropriate to use spiritual authority in a legal negotiation like this, and it might ultimately invalidate any contract between them, I’m sure this will not stop them from trying. After all, they have successfully used this form of coercion to get what they wanted from him in the past.

                This is what rational observers assume is going on. If this is not in fact what is happening, the OCA must still be aware this is how things appear. It is incumbent upon the leaders of the OCA to communicate what is actually happening. This is a situation entirely of their own making, and the public perception is their problem to deal with. They have staff members who are paid real money to handle exactly this kind of thing. There is no reason to feel sorry for them or to justify their failure to act.

          • Disgusted With It says

            Your Grace,

            I meant that those who contradict Artakhshassa the Great shouldn’t be so quick to dismiss his comments and should look closer at the letters they say were sent. I’m on the outside as to whether a letter was sent or not, but it seems that if there was, Artakhshassa the Great may have been trying to make a point about if it was done properly or not. (It would certainly be a rare instance when this synod would follow correct procedure, but I’m sure they would try their best where spite is involved.)

            P.S. I exist. And if I have any shame, it’s for how my Orthodox bishops are acting these days in how they treat other bishops, clergy and lay people.

            • Bishop Tikhon Fitzgerald says

              “Disgusted With It”. There is a dispute:
              I say, like Artakhshassa the Great, “Metropolitan Jonah has not requested a release to ROCOR.” Others oppose that with “Metropolitan Jonah has requested a release.”
              If NOW, as ‘Defend the Faith”, might be saying, Metropolitan Jonah has NOW, i.e., just in the last day or so, sent a request to be released to ROCOR, perhaps my representations here have been justified.
              I was not aware that the Holy Synod, however, as “Defend the Faith” now writes, is meeting on Monday, February 4th, to consider such a request newly submitted by Metropolitan Jonah.
              Perhaps they will go the “Good riddance to bad rubbish” route”. This does not sound like Metropolitan Tikhon to me, but many posting here feel that the Holy Synod has been unconscionably cruel in NOT going the “good riddance to bad rubbish” route!

  14. Peter A. Papoutsis says

    This is a very illuminating article from the ORTHDOX ENGLAND website. I attempted to find the author or at least speaker was for this posting, but is anonymous. However, I am still posting it was it makes very good observations about Russia, Putin, the OCA experiment and the future spread of Orthodoxy. Enjoy:
    Q: What are your thoughts as we enter 2013?

    A: My thoughts turn both ahead and also back to 1914, the centenary of the great European suicide. This was the disaster of 1914, from which Europe has not only not recovered, but from which it has fallen and falls ever further. The consequences of that War and its disastrous Treaty of Versailles were numerous, not least the guarantee of a Second War, but also:

    If in the First World War Russia had defeated Germany and Austro-Hungary, as it was about to in 1917, the whole of world history would have been different. The Jews, who had already suffered terrible pogroms in Vienna and Berlin before that War (much worse than those in Poland, the western Ukraine and Bessarabia), would have been protected. In turn, there would have been no holocaust and no reason to establish Israel. The whole Middle East quagmire that exists today and the results of the manipulative Western divisions of the Ottoman Empire would not have come into existence.

    There would have been the promised independence for Poland, Finland and the Baltic States, but with protection for their Orthodox minorities, autonomy for the Ukraine, Belarus, Georgia, Armenia and other peoples. There would never have been the disastrous centralism of the Soviet period. There would have been freedom at last for Carpatho-Russia, protection for the Orthodox Balkans, freedom for Constantinople and liturgies in the Church of the Holy Wisdom, and protection for Orthodox Asia Minor. Both the Armenians and Greeks in what later became Turkey would have been protected from genocide. No masonic Greeks and Romanians would have catholicised the Church calendar and split the Diaspora. There would have been no Turkish invasion and occupation of Cyprus and the Orthodox of the former Ottoman Empire, as in Syria, would have been protected.

    Q: That brings us to today’s situation in the Middle East?

    A: Precisely. After the recent wars lost in Iraq and Afghanistan and staring bankruptcy in the face, the West now faces the disastrous consequences of its meddling in Yugoslavia, Tunisia, Libya, Egypt and perhaps in Bahrain. The ‘blowback’ is enormous, as we see in Mali. Now come the consequences of meddling in the rest of the Ottoman Empire – in Turkey and Syria, not forgetting the Kurds, so mistreated by European colonialism in the carve-up of the Ottoman Empire after the First World War.

    It is said that members of the French and British special services have already been killed in Syria, though this has been hushed up by the governments involved. There are 1500 members of US Sp3ecial Forces in the Jordan alone. Who knows? The 65,000 terrorist mercenaries in Syria belong to 29 different nationalities, according to the UN. Recently many Tunisians, another 5,000, have been flown into Syria and armed by the CIA, financed by the oil monarchies, especially by anti-Iranian Qatar and Saudi Arabia. Saudi Arabia has made space in some of its prisons and sent criminals to fight in Syria. It is curious that the only well-known European politician who has spoken out against the allying of the West with Muslim terrorists in Syria is the French Marine Le Pen. She has had the courage to say that the Western-encouraged ‘Arab spring has been followed by the Islamist winter’. Interestingly also, no-one in the West has dared to speak against support for the Syrian people by China, only for the support offered by Russia.

    Q: Why has the West spoken against Russian support and not against Chinese support?

    A: China is due to become the world’s greatest economic power within the next ten years. It may also by then have become the world’s largest Christian country. The anti-Christian West is frightened of this. It is less frightened of Russia, which it still associates with the decadence of the 1990s. This is a mistake. Today’s Russia has been rising since 2000. In 2000 Russia had its revelation, since when it has been on the road from Damascus; the West is still on the road to Damascus, it has still not had its revelation, which it is purposely avoiding. Russia and the West have already passed each other by on that road, heading in opposite directions, Russia heading towards Jerusalem, the West heading towards Babylon.

    Q: From a spiritual viewpoint, why are the events in Syria so important?

    A: Because Syria is very close to Jerusalem and, spiritually, Jerusalem is the centre of the world, the beginning – and the end.

    Q: If we can come back to what you said originally about Russia’s potential victory in the First World War, why did it not win?

    A: The Western aims in that War were twofold – the defeat of Germany and then of Russia. The Western elites knew perfectly well that Russia, unimpeded, would become the World’s greatest power by 1950 and its Orthodox Christian culture would then stand at the centre of Europe and of the world. The Russian Empire was already in advance of much of the West by 1914, and not only in terms of agricultural and industrial production. For example, 85% of its inhabitants were literate by 1917, thanks largely to the stupendous achievements of the last Tsar.

    But Russia had to be destroyed before it destroyed Germany and then freed the Slav peoples from Austro-Hungarian oppression and the Orthodox peoples of the Near and Middle East from Ottoman oppression. So Rasputin, the symbol of the Russian Orthodox people, was murdered by the British (as we now know from Andrew Cook’s book, ‘To Kill Rasputin’) and the Revolution was organised by the British ambassador to St Petersburg, Sir George Buchanan, with the open support of Lord Milner, Balfour and Lloyd George. Russia could be brought down, because it was no longer necessary to the Allies – they knew that the USA would enter the War on their side, as soon as Russia was destroyed.

    Q: Is there any chance that today’s Russian Federation could re-establish a sort of Orthodox Empire, as it could have done, had it been victorious in 1917?

    A: Every Empire has problems. European models of Empire were too centralised, which provoked rejection on their fringes. In turn, the Soviet Union was a far more extreme and oppressive form of European Empire. In the territories of the pre-1917 Russian Empire, we should be hoping to see the emergence of a looser and voluntary Eurasian Confederation, not a Union or an Empire. However, at present only Belarus and Kazakhstan are taking part in this organisation. There is far to go.

    Q: Eastern Europeans – though not necessarily their governments – have become disenchanted with the EU and have been rejecting the European Union since the Euro disaster. There is even talk of the UK leaving the European Union. Do you think any of these countries would want to join a Eurasian Confederation?

    A: EU Eastern Europe is more or less bankrupt. Estonia will soon have no money to pay for any services, because so many of its tax-paying younger people have had to emigrate, mainly to Finland and Sweden. Half of Latvia and Lithuania seem to be in the UK or Germany. Whole villages and towns in the Baltic States are now populated almost entirely by pensioners and almost worthless blocks of flats are locked up, their owners abroad. There is no work.

    Even ethnic Estonians and Latvians are cursing Gorbachov and would like the Soviet Union back. Then they had an excellent education system and free, quality health care – far better than the rationed, emergency only health system in the UK today. Eastern European politicians, as in Poland, say that their unemployment is relatively low, but that is only because millions of their young people have emigrated. The situation is similar in Hungary, Bulgaria and Romania, where real youth unemployment is over 50%. However, at present there is no real alternative to the EU for EU Eastern Europe. That is the challenge facing the Russian Federation, to set up a viable alternative to the EU.

    And I think that this also concerns the UK. The internal realignment necessary for the UK elite to follow the people and quit the EU is unlikely at present, but perhaps largely because there is no realistic alternative. To go from being a US / German colony, as is clear from recently-expressed negative US and German attitudes to UK desires for freedom from the EU straitjacket, to being an independent country in association with a loose Eurasian Confederation is a very big step. But who knows?

    Q: What are your thoughts regarding President Putin?

    A: He is a phenomenon of the post-Soviet period, so inevitably there is light and also some dark with him. However, he does have one great leading idea, that of rebuilding national unity, retaining the best of the old Soviet Union and restoring the best from the old Imperial Russia. This is why he had the remains of the great Russian Orthodox philosopher Ivan Ilyin and also White émigré leaders brought back to Russia. Now he is restoring pre-Revolutionary regiments and honouring the Russian victims of the First World War. This is the future, not the Communist past.

    Currently, for example, the Russian Communist Party asserts that it made only one mistake during its tyranny – the persecution of the Church under Stalin. This is an outrageous lie. Its evils began in 1917 under the mass murderer, Lenin. There was civil war and artificial famine, causing cannibalism. Communist persecution continued right up until the 1980s. Stalinism continued long after Stalin; the Khrushchov period was especially awful. It is a lie to call the genocide of tens of millions a ‘mistake’. That genocide also includes Stalin’s crass mismanagement of the Soviet armed forces before and after the German invasion. Millions of Russians and others died then because of his incompetence. The Soviet period was quite possibly the worst crime in world history – not a mere ‘mistake’.

    Q: What will happen after Putin?

    A: Who knows? He could be succeeded by another politician, with or without Soviet tendencies, more or less positive. That is not what we want. What we want is the restoration of the Orthodox Monarchy. However, it is unclear whether Russia will be ready, spiritually mature, for that by the time that Putin has disappeared from the scene.

    Q: Patriarch Kyrill has been criticised by some in the Diaspora as a liberal. What would you answer?

    A: I can remember that the then Metropolitan Kyrill was criticised publicly at the 2006 All-Diaspora Council in San Francisco for his ecumenistic and liberal reputation. At that time no-one challenged that thought – we all felt much the same. However, people change – that is the nature of the Church, at the centre of which stands repentance, though the modernists will not admit that, because in their pride they do not have the repentant spirit, thinking like Protestants that they are ‘already saved’.

    Today we are looking at Patriarch Kyrill. Given the overview of the international Russian Orthodox Church that only a Patriarch can have and the responsibilities that he bears, he has changed. I think the concerted series of attacks on the Russian Church of 2012, orchestrated by the pro-Western media inside and outside Russia, and not without foreign finance, have changed him even more. He now knows exactly where his friends are and where his enemies are.

    The ecumenists and renovationists, left-overs from the Soviet period inside and outside Russia, have lost the remaining support they had. It is now clearly understood that these are only the frontmen of Western Protestantism, ultimately Eastern-rite Protestants, Neo-Uniats, financed or at least encouraged by the Western Secret Services and the Western media which those Secret Services control. In April 2012 Patriarch Kyrill publicly condemned this ‘fifth column’ of ‘traitors in cassocks’.

    Their only purpose is to divide the Church, as they have done especially in the Ukraine, where they have been financed by dollars. All divisions of the Church merely play into the hands of anti-Orthodox and weaken the Church. Hitler knew this and so do the CIA and its embassies in Kiev and Moscow. Some of those who have taken part in these divisions are ambitious and unscrupulous careerists. Tragically, some of those who have followed them in their divisions are truly pious but very naïve, not seeing that the cause that the support is gravely spiritually tarnished.

    Q: Many of us have been disturbed by some events inside Russia, for example the continued activities of Fr George Kochetkov’s neo-renovationist group, or the strange opinions of Deacon Andrei Kuryayev. What do you say?

    A: These are all adolescent distractions inside Russia, examples of spiritual immaturity. For instance, Fr George Kochetkov’s group is tiny. All these problems concern a small minority who were baptised and ordained in the 1990s and never fully integrated the Church. For example, the concept of merging Christmas and the New Year is fantasy and betrays the still Soviet mentality of its author. This shows ignorance of the age-old liturgical cycles of the Church. But nobody takes such fantasies seriously and they will die out. They are convert froth. Our interest is in the vast and immortal ocean of Orthodoxy, not in the passing froth on the seashore, which is here today, gone tomorrow.

    Q: There has been controversy recently as to whether Tsar Nicholas is not a martyr, but a passion-bearer. Do you have any views?

    A: Technically speaking, a martyr is one who had been killed for the Faith by Non-Orthodox; a passion-bearer is one who has been killed for the Faith by lapsed Orthodox in a state of apostasy. However, in reality, the word ‘martyr’ is used for all those killed for the Faith, which is why we talk about the ‘New Martyrs and Confessors’, not the ‘New Passion-Bearers and Confessors’.

    In the Soviet context, we know that many of the Red murderers, Stalin for instance, were baptised Orthodox. Most of these were Slavs, but among the murderers there were also Latvians, Hungarians, Jews and others who were not Orthodox. So technically speaking, many of the ‘New Martyrs’ were at the same time ‘New Passion-Bearers’. And, in this sense, the Tsar was both a martyr and a passion-bearer. In general, none of the Soviet obscenities could have occurred without the co-operation of lapsed Orthodox, without apostasy. On the other hand, the whole Soviet ideology came, like the Revolution itself, from the West, which organised and financed it.

    But what a pedantic question this is! All the more so when we know that only the Russian Church makes such a distinction. The Greek Church calls them all martyrs, that is, ‘witnesses’ for the Faith. In England St Edward the Martyr will always be called so and not a ‘passion-bearer’, which technically he was. In everyday life the Tsar Martyr will always be called universally, both inside and outside Russia, the ‘Tsar-Martyr’. This is an argument about words.

    Q: Do you think that the little dissident groups, all split among themselves, who did not accept the reuniting of the Russian Orthodox Church six years ago, will ever return to unity?

    A: I do not know. I would answer them with the prophetic words of Metropolitan Philaret on 10/23 September, 1974 in his Reply to Alexander Solzhenitsyn:

    ‘If the liberation of Russia were to take place and unity with a restored Orthodoxy and canonical hierarchy were to take place, then we would consider ourselves part of the Russian hierarchy’.

    I would add that, historically speaking, such dissidence is in any case increasingly irrelevant when we put it into the context of the spiritual meaning of the huge new emigration from Russia and Eastern Europe, which has transformed our situation in the Diaspora over the last six years.

    Q: What do you mean by ‘the spiritual meaning of the new emigration’?

    A: The first emigration of post-1917 numbered between one and two million. It was very mixed. Some in it were Church-minded, but a large part of it and of the White Movement in general was not Church-minded, only politically-minded. Let us be clear: among the ‘Whites’ were those very people who had brought about the collapse of the Monarchy. They were not ‘White’ at all. This is absolutely clear from documents and Church Councils of the time, from politically-coloured splits of the period in France and the North America and the famous report of St John of Shanghai on the spiritual state of the Russian immigration at the Second All-Diaspora Council. Some of these people I met in their old age. I repeat: They were not White at all.

    Today’s post-Soviet economic emigration is far greater than the post-1917 one. It has a huge task of witnessing to Orthodoxy before an atheistic Western world, of saving what is best in dying Western culture. Russians and Eastern European Orthodox have seen atheism, they have lived through it – they already know that the naïve West, with its persecution of Christianity, political correctness, abortion holocaust, single-sex marriage and pedophilia, has set out on a false path. We have advance knowledge of the folly that the West is creating for itself. This means that we could still save the West from itself. That is what our whole task and calling is, and has been, for the last forty and more years. This is our spiritual meaning, the spiritual meaning of ROCOR, as we set out the uncompromised, but also multinational and multilingual, Orthodox Tradition before the Western world and its aberrations.

    Q: What were the results last October of the London Conference of all the Russian Orthodox bishops in the Diaspora?

    A: Just as there were deviations in the old emigration, so there are also deviations in the new emigration. Some of its elements manifest a certain nationalism, often, strangely enough, a Soviet one, a sympathy with atheism! Such nationalism will only turn into a ghetto and die out. Other elements, like a few individuals at the new seminary in Paris or among some older elements, manifest a pro-ecumenical attitude, again a hangover from the Soviet period.

    Clearly, these extremes have to be ironed out before the parishes which are still for the moment under the Patriarchate of Moscow, even though they are outside Russia, can join ROCOR. Their existence is canonical disorder and it is preparatory work towards their merging with ROCOR that was the real purpose of the October Conference. Through it, the vestiges of the Soviet period, when the Centre in Moscow was paralysed by persecution, are being transformed.

    Fortunately, most in the new emigration share in neither of the above extremes and certainly such extremes are unknown in the best of ROCOR. We understand that Russian Orthodox means not only those who are by blood Russian and Orthodox, but all those who in spirit, world view, culture and state of soul, confess Russian Orthodoxy. There have been many examples of this in Russian history – Pushkin, who was part Ethiopian, Barclay de Tolly and Lermontov, who were Scottish, General Bagration, who was Georgian, or Levitan the painter. Yet they were all Orthodox in their cultural reflexes.

    Q: What is happening with the new Russian Cathedral in Paris?

    A: There has been a planning dispute about the appearance of the new Cathedral, aspects of whose design displeased some, including in ROCOR. This problem should be sorted out fairly quickly. Our prayer is that the new Cathedral will be dedicated to Tsar Nicholas and all the New Martyrs and Confessors and that it will become the centre of the future Western European Metropolia. That would be justice and an act of repentance before and by the whole Orthodox Diaspora. May God grant this and may our prayers be heard.

    Q: Could a Western European Metropolia be constructed by another of the Local Orthodox Churches, and not the Russian?

    A: Let us be realistic. Apart from the Russian Church, the other Local Churches are too small and simply cannot provide the necessary infrastructure, finance and know-how. But size is not the only important thing. Apart from quantity, there is also quality. Such a Metropolia will be constructed on the Tradition, not on decadence of practice, not on communion without confession, not on an abbreviated Liturgy, not on the Catholic calendar, not on intercommunion etc.

    In other words, a Metropolia will be built neither on the conservative extreme of ethnic exclusivism, nor on the liberal extreme of compromises with the heterodox world. It will be built on the maximum, not on the minimum. This house will be built on rock, not on sand. Such a Metropolia must have in part a monastic background, not a background of compromises with the Orthodox Tradition – and there is only One Orthodox Tradition above all nationalities. We have seen the failure of the OCA experiment, which was built on an ‘All-American’ phyletism, on an imitation of the heterodox world and renovationist compromise. Such a minimalist ‘sand’ experiment does not work – and it will not work in Western Europe either.

    Q: And do you think that this Metropolia will actually come into being in the near future?

    A: I think it is highly likely. It is Patriarch Kyrill’s desire.

    Q: How do you know that?

    A: Apart from others who have told me, he told us that, face to face, in Moscow, last May.

    Q: And what about a ‘Western Orthodox Church? Will that ever exist?

    A: This seems to me to be less likely – and for lack of time. Western Europe has recently become the scene of persecution of the Faith. The Depardieu incident, when the French actor was given Russian nationality as a result of the persecution of all initiative, may be the start of something much bigger. It may be that many other Western cultural workers of talent may yet flee to Russia because of the persecution of Christian-based Western culture by political correctness. This was after all prophesied by St Seraphim of Vyritsa. The best of European culture may yet be saved by Russia, an Empire of the Spirit.

    Sadly, this Western persecution of Christianity is not a matter of if, rather of when. So there simply may not be time to see a Local Church evolve in Western Europe. Let us be honest, the number of native Western Orthodox is tiny; we are far outnumbered by Eastern European Orthodox. Why? Because only very few Western people are interested in Christ and His Church. I am constantly contacted by Russians who want to know about Western saints and Western traditions and who want services for these saints, but, sadly, not by Western people. This is a sobering fact and all should know it. The Church is always built on the sober truth, not on fantasies.

    1/14 January 2013

    Peter A. Papoutsis

    • Carl Kraeff says

      Interesting article. The odd combination of exceptionalism, paranoia, and overreach seems to be coming back among some Russians.

  15. Well, this has certainly been an interesting topic of discussion. I’m inclined to side with Fr. George Washburn on this one though. A number of people have reduced this down to Metropolitan wants to be reduced but those bad guys on the Holy Synod of the OCA won’t release him. As I understand it, the other jurisdiction has to request him. And where, exactly do you think Metropolitan Jonah would/could/should go? Jordanville? Sorry, as much as he likes to play Russian bishop, his Russian isn’t that good and I would bet that he would be out of there in less than a year. Holy Cross in West Virginia? It already has a very capable bishop. Why would he wish to take someone who is not really known for taking a back seat? He could go to Europe or Australia however he would probably find that he is also a fish out to water. He has absolutely no ties to any of these communities.

    Several people have mentioned to me that he was offered the rector position in Los Angeles. Of all the options, this sounds like the best fit for him and I’m surprised that he hasn’t taken it. The parish has both an English speaking and Russian speaking community. He would be on the west coast which he is quite familiar with. The only reason I can see why he wouldn’t accept it is ego. As long as he is in Washington and Fr. Potapov keeps extending an olive branch for him to serve, he can remain there as the big Metropolitan.

    Honestly, I’m not trying to bash Metropolitan Jonah. I think he is a very likeable and charismatic individual. I think that he made some very serious mistakes during his tenure and the Holy Synod did not handle the situation very well. But considering that he voluntarily resigned without a backup plan does not entitle him to a life time salary and benefits. If anyone here truly feels that he is destitute, by all means send him a check. Somehow, though, I doubt that many of the pundits and supporters have written very many checks over the past year.

    • George Michalopulos says

      Please, “rector” in LA? What difference does it make to anyone where MP/ROCOR places him?

    • pelagiaeast says


      Have you ever heard of Bishop Benjamin?
      And as for checks, speak for yourself.

    • macedonianreader says

      If this is true LA is ripe for an outspoken Orthodox like Jonah+ Someone needs to take on the counter culture of Hollywood and the false teachings of John MacArthur. 😉

    • Nick, you say you have nothing against Metropolitan Jonah. Yet you would have him be the “rector” of a parish in Los Angeles, and say he must not have taken the offer on account of ego?

      Did you perhaps stop to consider that Metropolitan Jonah didn’t take it because he didn’t want to force his parents to move across the country again? That his sister is buried in DC? That he has a supportive community in DC that he does not want to abandon? That putting him in Los Angeles would put him under a bishop who vocally hates him? There’s a multitude of issues with this so-called offer from the OCA, all of which are easily identified by anyone with more than a passing familiarity with the situation.

      Also, I’ve heard actual Russians say Met. Jonah’s Russian language skills are quite good.

      • Carl Kraeff says

        Not as a monastic, but simply as a member of the United States Air Force, I left my mother and father and only had occasional visits with them and my extended family for 26 years. Alas I did not have a Helga to advocate for assignments closer to home. I did my duty.

        • George Michalopulos says

          Carl, why are you so consumed with hatred for the man? Give it up, you and the secularists won. Enjoy the fruits of your victory (if you can).

          • M. Stankovich says

            I strongly suggest, Mr. Michalopulos, that before you continue to hand out the labels of “secularist,” “non-traditionalists,” “water-carriers” and the like to anyone, you proceed to the class of a disiplined, obedient, silent theological education, heeding the words of St. Paul: “I gave you milk, not solid food, for you were not yet ready for it. Indeed, you are still not ready.” Do not confuse hits on the internet and “popularity” of a website with the earned respect of those who sat at the feet of the Fathers and the fathers of our generation,:

            The woman Folly is loud;
            she is undisciplined and without knowledge.
            She sits at the door of her house,
            on a seat at the highest point of the city,
            calling out to those who pass by,
            who go straight on their way.
            “Let all who are simple come in here!”
            she says to those who lack judgment.
            Stolen water is sweet;
            food eaten in secret is delicious!”

            Proverbs 9:13-17

            What, exactly, would it have taken to simply ignore the innocent picture of the Metropolitan-elect – regardless of your opinion – mere days before the celebration of his enthronement? Precious little. I am telling you directly: this is arrogance, pride, ignorance, and a fundamental lack of discipline. These are not, by any shape or form of imagination, defensible characteristics of “defenders of the Orthodox Faith,” nor its prophets, nor it teachers. I have heard great teachers; I have submitted in obedience and confession to great teachers; and most importantly, I have learned & taken to heart the words of great teachers. You are no great teacher. “Blessed rather are those who hear the word of God and obey it.” (Lk. 11:28)

            Fr. Schmemann once said the voice of this world is a constant argument, debate, “dialog,” and the incessant exchange of opposing “facts.” But the voice of the Kingdom of God will be blessed silence. I pray this is the truth, because bitterness seems to have no end.

            • Geo Michalopulos says

              You know, I’m reconsidering a lot of things. I’m beginning to think that you would really like to diagnose and treat His Beatitude because of your professional inclinations and also because you are genuinely concerned.

              Before I give you completely the benefit of the doubt, what exactly are your qualifications? Do you have a license number?

              • Michael Bauman says

                George, don’t be so beguiled.

              • M. Stankovich says

                Don’t allow your arrogance to embarrass you. You are truly out of your league.

                By the wisdom of men and the Grace of the Holy Spirit the OCA has chosen to move on. It is not immobilized and it celebrates the enthronement of its new Metropolitan and the direction set by the highest form of consensus: by Council. And in fact, this course of direction was so markedly emphatic, that to insinuate it was a “win” or a “concession” for one group or another, one “side” of issues or another, is quite lamentable. In fact, it is pitiful. Many years to the new First-Hierarch

                • Stankovich,

                  Exactly what was the vote of the Council in Parma for the Metropolitan? Consensus? The synod elected the man they wanted regardless of the vote of the clergy and laity. The only thing markedly emphatic was the synod’s desire to elect a weak new First Hierarch.

                  First Ballot
                  Bishop Michael 205
                  Archbishop Tikhon 118

                  Second Ballot
                  Bishop Michael 355
                  Archbishop Tikhon 317

                  Nice try trying to rewrite history.

                • Disgusted With It says

                  “By the wisdom of men…”

                  God is laughing. And so am I.

          • Carl Kraeff says

            I do not hate the man; I simply do not respect him. Neither can I respect those who have been using the dogs of schism in support of this one man. There are quite a few Marc Anthony wannabees on this site. However, Metropolitan Jonah was never a Julius Caesar.

            • If you don’t respect him, you can let him go.

              There is a different motivation that wants to punish him. Aside from the gay male sex drive, what is it?

              • Carl Kraeff says

                You are hung up on this gay thing, aren’t you? If the adage is true that what’s good for the goose is good for the gander, I hope you don’t mind if I wonder whether you are overcompensating or projecting.

                • Disgusted With It says

                  But what about in the OCA when it’s 2 ganders?

                • Carl, I’m not saying you are gay. But there is no question several prominent activists and bishops in the OCA are. These individuals hate Jonah and want him punished for opposing their “lifestyle” and the agenda of their “community.” For whatever reason, you work tirelessly for their agenda in the OCA. You’ve even admitted that you are not a true dialogue partner here, that you simply want to thwart real discussion on this website. Why do you want him punished? Why can’t you let him go?

                  Stankovich has gone so far as to suggest Jonah himself is gay and that’s why he opposes gay activism. It is ridiculous, just another brick in the wall of hatred. But if true, I would prefer to call it “sublimation” … It’s a positive thing to turn sexual impulses into acts of high social value. Society and a healthy culture depend on this.

                  But you can think whatever negative thoughts about me that you want. I would just encourage you to put those thoughts aside and really ask what is best for Jonah and his family right now. After all, that is what we are talking about. I don’t even care if you are stronger, holier, more competent, or more manly than Jonah. It just is not relevant.

                  I wish that I could trust you, because you are close enough geographically, we could easily meet in person. But I do not trust you. Your support of the abuse of Jonah so far is illogical. Even though I am nobody, I have been abused by gay activists already. It is not right for me to expose myself or my family to more abuse at this time.

                  Gay activism is not a niche issue today, Carl. Did you listen to Obama’s inauguration speech the other day? It is our North Star as a nation. In New Jersey, and eventually most states, what I post here could be used against me in a court of law to put me in jail for years. All it would take is a single gay activist wishing me ill, claiming they felt threatened by me, and pointing to this website as proof. It is not right. It is not just. But it is the reality of the world we are in. If there are washed up gay and lesbian young people who will chase after the HIV virus so that they can feel connected to something meaningful and feel like their life has purpose, do you think anyone who actually opposes the gay activist agenda is safe? It might seem ok now, but I would not be surprised to hear these very words read back to me in a court of law 10 or more years from now. My guess is that even if you are a registered member of PFLAG, you simply do not understand what is happening outside SC. You don’t see the shift in values and philosophy that is right now at a tipping point.

                  This is a dangerous time to oppose gay activism. Just ask Jonah about it.

                  It is an advantageous time to sign on to the movement. Just ask Obama, who just got re-elected on a gay rights platform, during a time of financial crisis and when most citizens do not believe he is able to help us address our most urgent priorities. Like it or not Carl, gay activism is in. And you are doing your part.

                  You may have other reasons for wanting to punish Jonah. Why don’t you personally want him to go to ROCOR?

                  • M. Stankovich says


                    For the record, as I have not neither read nor heard, what is the sexual orientation of the former Metropolitan Jonah? You in particular have cast him as the greatest scourge of homosexuality and defender of Christian marriage of the decade. Others blame this outspoken stance as the reason for his resignation ouster as First Hierarch by the Lavendar Mafia. Good lord man, wouldn’t you be the Judas Goat if you were wrong!

                    Contrary to Mr. Michalopulos’ profound declaration that “homophobia” is a meaningless “neologism,” (because he also doesn’t know the first thing about psychiatry) it is a classic psychiatric concept of internal self-loathing unconsciously “projected” outward, frequently directed at the proxy object (get it, Mr. Michalopulos, object relation) of the conflict. Translation: self-loathing, unacknowledged homosexuals lash out at homosexuals & homosexuality believing it “righteous indignation,” when in fact, it is fear. It is an effective “deflection” from their own conflict. A true “champion of virtue” is characterized by respect, compassion, and love, but holds to the truth because they are unconflicted & unafraid. Perhaps your “champion” is no champion at all?

                    “Have you not put a hedge around him and his household and everything he has,” Um? (Job 1:10) Have you not sheltered him from the same scrutiny of his “oppressors?” For heaven’s sake, the Metropolitan-Elect innocently shows a dog in his office and it is turned into a foolish analogy of a verse from Muddy Waters, “You make me walk alone, you treat me like I’m a dog,” yet a mention here once of Jonah’s “cell attendant” cum “cabana-boy” (seriously, a cell attendant?) was shut down faster than any examination of any OCA bishop.

                    You enjoying this little tangent, Um? Good for the Big Fish, is it? My thought is that you have offered absolutely nothing by way of fact that supports your moronic comments regarding gay activists or the role of homosexuality in any of these matters. Gossip, conjecture, and storytelling is the extent of it. Wouldn’t you be humiliated to discover that he is same-sex attracted, living a life of purity, chastity, and wholemindedness to which we are all called, in the very House of the Physician? Give it a rest.

                    • George Michalopulos says

                      I knew you would eventually accuse me of “projecting” my “self-loathing” because I sublimate my alleged homoerotic tendencies. Good Lord man, the 97% of men who disdain homoerotic relations do so simply because of an “ick” factor. Can’t you get that?

                      And you’d be surprised what I know about psychiatry. One thing, they have the highest suicide rates among medical professionals.

                    • I’m sure you “have neither read nor heard.” This does not stop you from suggesting.

                      I’m really not sure how to interpret your suggestion now that I am God, and that I am frustrating your attempts to get at his servant Jonah. You do realize you are quoting Satan, don’t you?

                      It would not humiliate me at all to find out that George M. or Jonah struggled with same sex attraction. I would be sad, and I would empathize with them (as best I can over the miles). It is clearly a disability, and not something I would wish on anyone. I have at least a couple dozen homogenitally active friends, and I love them. I only have a couple friends who struggle with these attractions and who remain chaste in celibacy or marriage. But it sure does make it a lot harder to live out a fulfilling life-long partnership with the mother (or father, if a woman) of your children, wouldn’t you agree?

                    • M. Stankovich says

                      Mr. Michalopulos,

                      The only thing I accused you of was inaccuracy. I don’t know you. Secondly, the inappropriate application of the term “homophobia” is another matter entirely, and one for which I take great exception. Another time…

                      As a former consultant to the New York State Medical Society for intervention with impaired physicians, I can reasonably recall that Anesthesiologist were, by far, more likely to be impaired (one reason being easy, continuous access to potent drugs of abuse), and where there is chemical dependency, there is significantly more completed suicide. Among allied medical professionals, I believe dentists were comparable. Is this a test?

                    • George Michalopulos says

                      I know about dentists having the highest rate of suicide among the “allied” medical professions. That’s why I did not use the qualifier “allied,” but instead said among “medical specialties” (or should have. If you are correct regarding anesthesiologists having edged out psychiatrists, then I defer to your superior knowledge in this regard. In a way, it certainly makes more sense because of their proximity to drugs –greater proximity I might add than all other specialties put together. (Which of course leads one to ask: why then among non-anesthesiologists are psychiatrists most prone to suicide and suicidal ideation?)

                    • Good grief Michael Stankovich! Even the authors of that study admitted projected self-loathing only accounted for some cases of “homophobia”. And what they certainly didn’t account for, being psychologists and not philosophers or theologians, and hence only myopically interested in “natural causes” for the pathology of “homophobia” (that’s called petitio principii or begging the question in logic, btw), was that there are substantive reasons to oppose the normalisation of SSA on natural law, moral and religious grounds. To insinuate what you do is reprehensible. I’m frankly surprised George lets you continue to post here.

                    • George Michalopulos says

                      That’s a very good question KnTS. I’m wondering if the incessant argumentation of Mr Stankovich arguing in favor of the Soviet/Psychiatric model is because he may have had a dog in this hunt. A diagnosis by Mr Stankovich would have been the capstone to his career, one that is usually spent on convicts. Perhaps a write-up in the local paper or “Deranged Primate Who Sheltered Rapists Forced to Resign Thanks to Local Clinical Worker. Wives and Kiddies Are now Safe!”

                      (We all have our delusions of grandeur, like the times many years ago when I filled Rxs for a famous Hollywood actress and very famous tennis player –both of whom are now deceased. It certainly far less drearier than the Rxs I filled for the County Jail.)

                      Seriously, Mr Stankovich, it is becoming increasingly clear that you were part of the plot to ouster His Beatitude, at least after the fact. Were you corralled into this in order to provide a diagnosis (as it were) by the conspirators when the whole project went south? Being that you are located in California, were you approached by Arch Benjamin to do so? Who else who was part of this conspiracy lives in your state?

                    • Michael Bauman says

                      Wow, talk about pschyo-babble. Using it you can negate absolutely anything by saying, “Hey man, that’s your problem, not mine” , which happens to be a classic 60’s rationalization for all sorts of immoral, licentious, illegal and corrsive behavior. Exactly why I do not trust pschycology on a mass level although recognizing its limited usefulness on an personal level. Even when I’m in general agreement with a general pronoucement, I am still quite skeptical of its efficacy.

                      To me, most of modern pschycology of the type MS pushes is nothing more that a whole series of projections that twist even the simplist thing into a rationaizing morass of meaninglessness. MS admits that his work is ultimately fruitless, he doesn’t enjoy it and suffers physical and mental anguish over it. So he sets out to make the rest of us feel the same way Projection if I ever saw it.

                      MS, my advice, quit and take up gardening. You’ll restore your soul.

                    • Fr. George Washburn says

                      Would you kids please stop provoking each other?

                    • M. Stankovich says

                      Mr. Michalopulos,

                      Unlike so many cowards here who will not even reveal their own name (and thereby take responsibility for their words), more is know about me personally – whether I wished it or not – than even the former Metropolitan himself. From the outset, I have openly stated the nature of my relationship with the “protagonists” of your story. My relationship with Archbishop Benjamin, Fr. Chancellor Jillions, and ProtoDeacon Wheeler is now nearly forty years and I love them as my brothers. Again repeating myself, I have never discussed “insider” information related to the former Metropolitan with any one of them. Never. Period. He participated in an evaluation conducted by a respected, fully licensed, fully accredited medical facility which provided a diagnosis. Unless you are prepared to prove me a deceiver & a liar with evidence, and you will not because you cannot, enough of your shameful accusations.

                    • M. Stankovich says


                      Let me clarify for you that I am a research scientist, currently assisting in two investigations related to behavioural genetics, in additional to clinical practice. Secondly, I teach two sections of psychology at a local college – Intro & Abnormal. I say this to suggest to you that I do not pull concepts or references casually out of my derrière. Perhaps you could be so kind as to provide the “study” you believe to which I was referring, but I was generalizing the Freuds (Pere & daughter), George Vailant, & Michael Bond in their discussion of “projective” ego-protective mechanisms of defense. Specifically, I was referring to internalized “ego dystonic homosexuality” (dystonic referring to ego conflict) which, in fact, RL Spitzer used as the basis for removing homosexuality from the list of mental disorders in 1972.

                      Likewise, having met Dr. Bond at McGill University and having received his permission to use his early, experimental Defensive Style Questionnaire, I was able to gather and contribute data from volunteers at the Gay Men’s Health Crisis in NYC in the late 1980’s (until some clinicians “objected” to the premise) that were consistent with the concept.

                      It is classic projection and projective identification, Basil, and perhaps you could have afforded me the simple respect to ask a question before relying on your ignorance to declare reprehension.

                    • Bishop Tikhon Fitzgerald says

                      Someone, anyone, please explain this to me;
                      George M. wrote to M. Stankovich: “Seriously, Mr Stankovich, it is becoming increasingly clear that you were part of the plot to ouster His Beatitude, at least after the fact.”
                      How does one join a plot after the fact? How c ould such a thing be “clear?”
                      Just how long ‘after the fact” may join a plot. May one still join the plot against Caesar? Against Presidents Lincoln and Kennedy? Against an Austrian Archduke or Gauleiter Heydrich? Against Hitler? Part of the plot?

                    • Stankovich,

                      You contradict yourself. Please explain the contradiction!

                      Again repeating myself, I have never discussed “insider” information related to the former Metropolitan with any one of them. Never. Period. He participated in an evaluation conducted by a respected, fully licensed, fully accredited medical facility which provided a diagnosis.

                      How do you know he “participated in an evaluation,” that this was in a “respected, fully licensed, fully accredited facility,” and most importantly: Who told you that they “provided a diagnosis”?!

                      While you are at it, go ahead and tell us what the diagnosis was. Claiming that someone has a mental health diagnosis in public is slanderous/libelous. If you cannot or will not back up this claim by revealing the source of this information and what the diagnosis was, then it is way, way past time for George to permanently block you from this blog. You are clearly violating the no-libel policy George put in place and has enforced with others. And this is not your first violation. Traumatic brain injury is no excuse for this kind of vile and illegal behavior on your part. Even if you are a social worker (as opposed to psychiatrist or psychologist or licensed counselor), I guarantee you, this is malpractice and you could receive censure or suspension of your license for this unprofessional behavior.

                      At this point, I would also encourage everyone who knows your true identity and the nature of your profession to file a formal complain with the relevant licensing board in the state of California and the national professional organization governing your profession (a Google search should provide the contact information and procedures for filing a formal complaint). It would be best to comb through your posts and cite the specific ethical breaches, but better to file a brief complaint than no complaint at all. Your own patients deserve to be under the care of a professional with a clearer sense of ethics and the law and with the self-control to abide by the standards agreed upon for your profession.

                    • Mr Stankovich, calling somebody who speaks truthfully a “coward” because he or she chooses to remain anonymous or pseudonomous does not make them so. You are engaging in ad hominem when doing so. That you would love detractors, conspirators, slanderers, etc., as “brothers” makes me realize how horrendously wrong I have been. That is wrong to believe that the Syosset Apparat may have had the best intentions of the OCA in illegally getting rid of Jonah but couldn’t say what the “real” reasons were.

                      I am convinced now that there were no real reasons. Just envy, spite, and malice.

                      I would ask one thing, since you listed several of the OCA’s eminences as being men you love “as brothers,” may I ask if it is true that you are no longer a member of the OCA?

                    • M. Stankovich says

                      Mr. Michalopulos,

                      Let’s move on, shall we? I have, again, allowed you to focus on me, and have provided an amicable distraction from the original points: 1) the only person who can end these seemingly interminable and pointless arguments is Jonah himself, and he will never, ever do that. More importantly, 2) they are of absolutely no consequence, as the Church has chosen a new path, a new direction, and a new First-Hierarch. There will be no re-visiting of these issues, tout est complété.

                      It saddens me tremendously to see your bitterness & hostility increasing, your essays more angry and blaming with each addition. You continually side with the most negative, defend the most demeaning and aggressive, and totally ignore someone like Prof. Siewers who speaks conciliation, strategy, and planning for the future of the OCA. I fully believe your intention was to be a counter-balance to Mark Stokoe, but you are allowing your site to become a trailer park a half-mile down the road, when you could so easily be a positive force for resolution and order.

                    • George Michalopulos says

                      Actually, I’m not bitter at all. The actions of your confreres have been most sobering for my own spirituality. You see, once I was an OCA triumphalist but now nobody in their right mind looks to Syosset for the future of American Orthodoxy. That’s a good thing because few of us knew the rot that was there.

                      We know many things now. One of them being that the ends justify the means. Another that the concept of sobornost is a dead letter as we can tell that the revered protosbyterians really run the show. We also know that some of the bishops are kept in control because their case files are just easily retrieved should they go off the reservation. Let’s see, what else do we know? The the secularist/modernist paradigm is alive and well, that the OCA will always be apart of the NCC, that priests who speak out will get a call from the Sex Czar, and so on.

                      Therefore your advice that we should “move on” is apt. History will move on as well, leaving the OCA on its ash-heap.

                      For those who think I’m bitter, pessimistic, or both. I will ask that revisit the state of the OCA in one year. A few markers will need to be looked at:

                      1. will there be a rise in vocations at the seminaries?
                      2. will there be more missions planted?
                      3. will there be more members on the rolls of Syosset?
                      4. will there be more delegates at the various Diocesan Assemblies?
                      5. will there be more delegates at the next All-American Council?
                      6. will there be more dioceses formed or will they be consolidated?
                      7. will the dioceses of Alaska, Dallas, Chicago, and Canada still be vacant?

                      Can you all think of others?

                  • Carl Kraeff says

                    Um–Let me be frank with you. I continue to support the Manhattan Declaration and the only pro-gay thought in my being is akin to the popular saying “love the sinner but hate the sin;” that is, I extend to them the same consideration that I extend to everybody else. As a sinner, I cannot do anything less.

                    Um, George, et al.–That does not mean that I am going to stand aside and let y’all tar and feather +Jonah’s opponents and critics with a sinister pro-gay agenda. Nothing that has been said so far has changed my mind that this issue is simply a red herring to distract from the real problem, which was acknowledged by the man himself in Seattle and his resignation letter. I would not be posting any criticism of +Jonah if y’all had not continued the scorched earth policy against his critics. Y’all are the ones responsible for this sorry episode’s dragging on and on. Y’all and +Jonah himself who has not said anything to shut y’all up.

                    That said, I will be manning the barricades if I believe that the Church is in danger of falling into the heresies that had afflicted ECUSA and others. This is not the time.

                    • George Michalopulos says

                      Too bad, you’ve played into their hands. It’s called “useful idiocy.”

                    • Carl, the only “earth” that has been “scorched” is the OCA and its standing as an autocephalous Church. All we did on this blog was point out the several inconsistencies, defamations, false allegations, and misstatements of facts that the Synod (or its puppeteers) put out in order to justify their maltreatment of a brother bishop.

                      That you and others can’t see that causes me to truly despair for the future of the OCA.

                  • I was referring, Michael Stankovich, to the most recent published study that argues the case you base your insult on. Surely I don’t need to point it out for you if you are indeed a “research scientist”? Freud has long been debunked on these things, btw, but of course that doesn’t stop those with an agenda from invoking his name among those not professionally acquainted with psychology. You’re indulging in the argumentum ad verecundiam (“appeal to authority”) fallacy by doing so. Stock in trade for those who make ad hominem arguments, I often find.

                    • M. Stankovich says

                      I often find “stock in trade” the fact those who blow smoke appeal to the authority of no one and cite nothing. I am scrupulous in citations because it is more important to be correct than it is to appear knowledgeable.You would never get away with these theatrics in a real academic department, and you would certainly be laughed out of mine. If there is a “most recent (sic) published study” that contradicts what I have presented, it would be epic, a veritable landmark in psychiatry. Freud has “long been debunked on these things,” you say? Положить вверх или замолчите.

                    • Haven’t found the article yet, eh Michael?

                    • M. Stankovich says

                      Oh, sorry, Basil, you asked what? I guess you missed the lecture where it was explained that if you intend to challenge someone, you do so on substance by providing evidence.

                      You would mock me by claiming my ignorance of a single article, so profound, so influential, so, in fact, paradigm-changing it PROVES once and for all that I am a poseur “not professionally acquainted with psychology.” Here, have your Zola moment: J’ACCUSSE! Didn’t that feel empowering? When I began writing, your “Rating was “0 (from 6 votes).” There. One “thumbs-up” from me.

                      I haven’t slept in two days and you woke me up for this crap? You are out of your league, son.

                    • Calm down, Michael; there’s no need to bring Zola into it!
                      I simply pointed out your fallacious reasoning.
                      A person committed to the disinterested pursuit of truth – as opposed to someone who uses half-baked scientific theories to discredit his opponents in debate – would appreciate that.

                      Anyway, here is the reference (for what it’s worth):

                      Weinstein, N., Ryan, W. S., DeHaan, C. R., Przybylski, A. K., Legate, N., & Ryan, R. M. (2012). Parental autonomy support and discrepancies between implicit and explicit sexual identities: Dynamics of self-acceptance and defense. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 815-832.

                      More evidence that Psychology is the junkiest of junk science.

                      Au revoir!

                      Oh, and Michael, I wouldn’t derive too much comfort from the thumbs up/down feature here; after all, you can even vote for your self! On a more serious note: in these perverse times we can draw much comfort from the Danish philosopher Kierkegaard’s maxim – “truth seldom resides with a majority”.

                    • M. Stankovich says

                      My friend Basil,

                      I am very tired after a long night, and (if you can imagine) it is 44 degrees F in San Diego, CA as I sit here. I cannot access the full text of this document from here, but let me post the abstract for others to read as well:

                      When individuals grow up with autonomy-thwarting parents, they may be prevented from exploring internally endorsed values [i.e. acknowledging their sexual orientation] and identities and as a result shut out aspects of the self perceived to be unacceptable [sublimating, Mr. Michalopulos]. Given the stigmatization of homosexuality, individuals perceiving low autonomy support from parents may be especially motivated to conceal same-sex sexual attraction, leading to defensive processes such as reaction formation [For those not familiar, reaction formation is a classic of psycho-analytic theory] . Four studies tested a model wherein perceived parental autonomy support is associated with lower discrepancies between self-reported sexual orientation and implicit sexual orientation (assessed with a reaction time task). These indices interacted to predict anti-gay responding indicative of reaction formation. Studies 2-4 showed that an implicit/explicit discrepancy was particularly pronounced in participants who experienced their fathers as both low in autonomy support and homophobic, though results were inconsistent for mothers. Findings of Study 3 suggested contingent self-esteem as a link between parenting styles and discrepancies in sexual orientation measures.

                      Basil, I would have used this study to refute you. And with that, we are done.

            • Geo Michalopulos says

              I’m genuinely curious, what don’t you “respect” about this human being named Jonah? The fact that he healed the relations between the OCA and ROCOR? The fact that he was genuinely loved and respected by HH the Patriarch of Russia? The fact that he stood up for the OCA when Lambrianides effluviated all over the OCA at Holy Cross? The fact that there was genuine rapprochment between HB and HH Bartholomew? The fact that he stabilized the situation at Ss Tikhons and Vladimir, thereby forestalling the close of one? The fact that the assembled Christians at the March for Life asked him last year to lead the prayer? The fact that he travelled the world meeting with foreign ecclesiarchs and being accorded every respect? The fact that he was speaking at dozens of venues all over the US?

              Yes, I see, there’s a lot not to respect there.

              If however you come up with any specifics, please list them. And no, “not having the respect of Mark Stokoe/his brothers on the Synod/etc., does not qualify. Save the airy nothings for another time.

              • Carl Kraeff says

                I will tell you why I do not respect +Jonah the man.

                I agree with +Jonah himself that he is not suited for being a bishop/metropolitan. It is OK for someone to come to such a realization after the fact, but I cannot respect a man who wants to have his cake and eat it too. He is not good enough to be metropolitan but he still wants a hierarchical assignment? No respect.

                I cannot figure out how he could so readily agree with his brethren at Santa Fe and then almost immediately change his mind and break his word, his agreement. No respect.

                I cannot figure out how a man can proclaim a policy and then ignore it a break it. No respect.

                I cannot figure out how a man can take a solemn oath at his consecration and then break it. No respect.

                I cannot respect a man who will not stand on his own two feet and say “no, I will not say this” at Seattle, or “no, I will not write a letter of resignation.” I do not know that either was forced on him. The point is that you and others have said that he was forced; if that was the case, this is not only indicative of a man with no spine, no character, but also another violation of his consecration oaths. No respect.

                I cannot respect a man who dos not take action to quiet his followers as they attack his fellow bishops and leave the OCA.

                Lots of reasons, at least for me, not to respect +Jonah the man. As for +Jonah the former Metropolitan, he has a mixed record: a stew of good things and bad. Nothing to cause one to fall on one’s sword and schism.

                • George Michalopulos says

                  It’s as a I feared: you have nothing substantive. Fret not, you have done me a singular service. I am sure now that there was nothing on Jonah the man or his activities as Primate that caused all this tumult. As for “schism,” that’s a strong word. The exodus of Orthodox Christians from one canonical (albeit floundering) jurisdiction to another canonical (more robust) jurisdiction is in no way a schism.

                  • Carl Kraeff says

                    George–What can I say; you asked, I answered. You apparently do not think that breaking oaths and one’s agreements is not a substantive defect. I am surprised that this is coming from a self-proclaimed conservative. I have read your list of substantive accomplishments above and also St. Paul’s letter to St Timothy. I did not find anything in the latter that approximated your citations, such as giving inspiring speeches, pushing back against Constantinople, being genuinely loved by the Patriarch of Moscow, giving the principal prayer at last year’s March for Life, etc…

                    • George Michalopulos says

                      So oath-breaking is a horrendous sin? Would that be above violating the Ninth Commandment or less than it?

        • a delegate says

          So Carl, did doing your duty include abandoning your parents in their declining years when they needed your help?

          Thought so.

          • Carl Kraeff says

            I must admit that my father who passed on first never asked me to resign from the Air Force and take care of him. He always believed in God’s will, before and after he was ordained. My mother was killed in a traffic accident while she was healthy, so she never had a chance to consider asking me for help. However, I believe that she would not have asked me to break any commitment. As a member of the armed forces, my duties required me to “abandon” my family on occasions: one year in Vietnam, several deployments of 30 days or more–nothing like the current tempo, but we all keenly felt the agony of separation and tried not to think the unthinkable. I am not special; you do what you must do, as many public safety and health professionals do every day. Does this answer your question?

            • Did your Air Force supervisors falsely accuse you of crimes to humiliate you in public? Would you have kept doing your “duty” if they did? Would your “duty” change in any way?

              Did they lead you to believe you had a lifelong position, a specific house included, let your dad move in with you and as a senile person get used to the layout of the house, where the bathroom was, etc. I’m just going off what we all have been given as public info here. I don’t know specifics of the care needed for Jonah’s parents. But I do know what is required to care for a dying person with Alzheimer’s. It is hard not to be aware of this in today’s society. Shipping his dad off to an institution would shorten his life, there is no question. Besides, have you ever had to clean up after a senile parent who poops in a closet or urinates on the carpet because they could not find the bathroom in an unfamiliar setting? Disrupting the home for a person dealing with this disease is devastating for both patient and caregiver. The stress is unlike anything you faced in the Air Force, I’m confident of that.

              So as someone who “does what he must do,” what is your duty now to Jonah and his parents?

              • Carl Kraeff says

                I am going to answer only the first part. If the USAF had publicly criticized me, I would have immediately resigned or retired. If I was wronged without cause, I would have tried to clear my name. If there were plausible reasons behind the criticism, I would have changed careers, that is, I would not have attempted to stay in another branch of service or even try to get employment in the federal government.

                • George Michalopulos says

                  And how exactly would you have gone about trying to clear your name? And how could you have changed careers? Who would have hired you if the USAF gave you a Less-than-Honorable Discharge?

          • Going to intervene, finally. First off, I do not agree with very much of what Carl posts, so I’m not defending his views. Nonetheless, he is someone whom I knew personally and that makes a difference in how I post, at the rare times that I address him directly. I intensely dislike that people post without remembering that a flesh-and-blood image of Christ is on the other end. Remembering that is incumbent on me, Carl, and everyone else here.

    • Lola J. Lee Beno says

      Two problems:

      1. Bishop Benjamin

      2. His parents. Especially now that his sister is no longer living. Do you really want him to abandon his elderly parents after all that they’ve gone through?

      • Carl Kraeff says

        I am surprised that you are bringing up worldly considerations to this issue. Has the Metropolitan lost all of God’s graces that was conferred on him through multiple Holy Mysteries?

        • Good grief, Carl, you argue as if Lola is Jonah himself! You always talk this way, as if anyone who stands for truth, love, and fair treatment must be Jonah himself. The reality is, some of us just have a functioning central nervous system and half a heart.

          Lola is a Black woman for crying out loud. And I seriously doubt she has a long beard either.

          It is just so petty and so neurotic. If Jonah could not “organize his way out of a paper bag” as you and your holy men like to claim, how could he be responsible for coordinating everything on this blog just to fool you and Stankovich? As you have pointed out many, many times before, the All Holy Synod is infallible and despotic. Jonah will deal with them and move on with his life. But if a monk is not permitted to beg for his own food, as you claim, then someone else has to make the arrangements for him to eat. It’s a pretty sad state when you criticize people in the church for trying to care for a monk.

          Did it ever occur to you that Lola IS God’s grace for this monk?

          I’ll save my critique of your Gnostic views on the human body (and parents) for another time.

          • Carl Kraeff says

            You seem to have a comprehension issue. First of all, I did not criticise Lola; I disagreed with her argument. Secondly, my point is clearly that one who has gone through several mysteries (monk, priest, abbot, bishop and metropolitan) should be fortified by the Holy Spirit to be able to withstand a vindictive bishop and to “abandon” his parents. I had thought that one of the distinctive characteristics of being a monk was to be dead to the world. I was also raised to believe that a real man does not complain and seek special privileges–one just carries on.

            You said: “…if a monk is not permitted to beg for his food…” perhaps to indicate that the Holy Synod was bent on starving him to death. Is that true? Or, is it more a matter of eating what he is accustomed to eating year around?

            • Disgusted With It says

              Last I checked, The Sacrament of Ordination is one mystery. Which of the other 6 mysteries of the Church did +Jonah experience becoming “monk, priest, abbot, bishop and metropolitan”?

              • Carl Kraeff says

                Disgusted–I do not know where you were catechized, but I was taught that the West (Roman Catholics and many Protestants) call them Sacraments and officially number them. I was taught that the True Church calls them Holy Mysteries and do not number them, nor limit their number. Thus, the blessing of the water, homes, crops, etc… are all Holy Mysteries, so are tonsuring, ordination, and consecration. Here is a good differentiation in OrthodoxWiki:

                “The seven sacraments are also accepted by Eastern Orthodoxy and Oriental Orthodoxy, but the Eastern Orthodox tradition does not limit the number of sacraments to seven, holding that anything the Church does as Church is in some sense sacramental. However it recognizes these seven as “the major sacraments”, which are completed by many other blessings and special services. Some lists of the sacraments taken from the Church Fathers include the Consecration of a Church, Monastic Tonsure, and the Burial of the Dead. More specifically, for the Eastern Orthodox and Oriental Orthodox Christian the term sacrament is a term which seeks to classify something that may, according to Orthodox thought, be impossible to classify. The Orthodox communion’s preferred term is Sacred Mystery. While the Catholic Church has attempted to dogmatically define the sacraments, and discover the precise moment when the act results in the manifestation of the grace of God, the Orthodox communion has refrained from attempting to determine absolutely the exact form, number and effect of the sacraments, accepting simply that these elements are unknowable to all except God. According to Orthodox thinking God touches mankind through material means such as water, wine, bread, oil, incense, candles, altars, icons, etc. How God does this is a mystery. On a broad level, the mysteries are an affirmation of the goodness of created matter, and are an emphatic declaration of what that matter was originally created to be.”

                • Disgusted With It says

                  It seems I misunderstood you. My apologies. It was the stretch to include “abbot” and “metropolitan” that must have thrown me since both are more honorific titles than actual actions such as tonsure or ordination. But now I have a better idea of what you had in mind.

            • Lola J. Lee Beno says

              Carl, has it ever occurred to you that, maybe, just maybe, it is podvig for Met. Jonah to make sure his parents, who are likely still very much grieved over the past several year’s events and having lost one of their offspring (lets face it . . . parents expect to die BEFORE their children die) are properly cared for in their last years, and if that means reming in the local area, so be it.

              • Carl Kraeff says

                Of course, Lola; wanting to take care of one’s family, particularly very old and ailing parents, is commendable. At times, that means moving them if your responsibilities forces you to relocate. Sometimes, however, it is not possible unless one changes jobs. Are the Metropolitan’s parents so infirm that they must stay where they are now due to medical and other care not available elsewhere?

                • George Michalopulos says

                  Why do you even care, Carl? It’s clear that you hold His Beatitude in contempt. Just let it go. You and the secularists won. Now let’s get on the important things like making sure the DOS has a weak bishop and our numbers continue to attrit. Then the rot can spread to the rest of American Orthodoxy.

                  An Open Question to all: do you think that this whole stink isn’t going away and that the endless justifications for it are to hide a guilty conscience?

                  • Carl Kraeff says

                    I will let it go George, the instant that you quit attacking the OCA, the Holy Synod, our bishops and clergy, and common sense and decency.

                    • George Michalopulos says

                      DECENCY? Are you kidding me? Like it’s decent to accuse a bishop of sheltering a rapist –in print no less–when you know the allegations are untrue? Have you lost all sense of discernment?

                    • Carl Kraeff says

                      I agree with you that it is not decent to “decent to accuse a bishop of sheltering a rapist –in print no less–when you know the allegations are untrue.” I just do not agree that this is the case in this sorry saga. And no, I will not get into another argument about the “stink bomb.” I have had my fill of y’all’s misrepresentations to last me several lifetimes.

                    • George Michalopulos says

                      Just because you don’t want to “agree that this was the case” is immaterial. If it wasn’t, then what was? You think it’s better to destroy a man’s reputation on hearsay and innuendo then?

                      The STINKBOMB letter was what was present to the world as justification.

        • Gee whiz, Carl, just because Metropolitan Jonah might have refused an untenable assignment for the sake of his family, you think he must not trust in God’s grace and mercy?

          I am sure Metropolitan Jonah would be willing to scrub toilets to make sure his parents were cared for, but he ought not have to do such a thing, when his abilities should be put to better use and he should be compensated for his talents accordingly.

          The OCA bishops know this. They don’t care. They are just giving him suggestions for assignments he cannot possibly take for the sake of making him appear intransigent, while dangling his parents’ well-being over his head. I find that appalling.

          What sort of god do you serve there on Planet Carl? One who expects the elderly to fend for themselves? If I remember correctly, you’re in your mid-sixties. I hope you remember that principle of yours in five to fifteen years.

  16. cynthia curran says

    Tiglath-Pileser your cat is an Assyrian ruler.

  17. cynthia curran says

    Well, its good that Jonah was not a Julius Caesar. I’ve studied Gaius or Caius Julius Caesar’s life since I have an interest in the late Roman Republic. Caesar was a womanizer, and also might had several affairs with men this is debated, it depends if you take Plutarch or Suetonius more seriously. Caesar was pretty ruthless in his conquest of Gaul maybe a million killed or about a 1/2 million enslaved. Caesar was a demogogue. Caesar did do some great things like a Calendar reform and a good bankrupty law and the expansion of the forum after his death by his Nephrew who was a better ruler Octivian. Caesar was partially to blame for a Roman Civil War with Pompey and his followers. Caesar however did proposed colonies on Rman Public land for some of the urban underclass which would put them to farming instead of living on the dole which is one of his better ideas..

    • Carl Kraeff says

      Great history lesson but you miss the point. Julius Caesar was a great man. Marc Anthony was a great man. Shakespeare was a great man.

      • Michael Bauman says

        Shakespeare was a great poet. As for the rest: Thomas Carlyle notwithstanding, God save us from great men and from the temptation of wanting to be great men.

        • Carl Kraeff says

          True enough. May be that was a reason for the slave holding the laurel over the victorious general to whisper memento mori. I have the sneaking suspicion that very few of the victorious generals, the great men of the moment, paid much mind. Similarly, I suspect that most of us, particularly men, are afflicted with pride and perhaps touched with narcissism. I have wondered whether folks in authority have a touch more pride and narcissism than others, and whether the intensity increases with increase in authority.

  18. cynthia curran says

    Most of Shakespeare’s Roman Plays are based on Plutrach’s lives. Julius Caesar, and Antony and Cleopatria and Coriolanus a figure in early Republican Times. In Shakespere day Plutarch was translated from the Greek to English, so Shakespeare probably read Plutarch first in grade school as he studied Roman History.