Maybe Stokoe really believes his own spin

This was posted on Stokoe’s comments page (comment #20):

I’ve read a bunch of stuff here, at OCA Truth, on my diocesan website, talked to my priest (he is on the diocesan council) written to my bishop and my firends on the diocesan and metropolitan council and still have no idea what the Metropolitan is supposed to have done. Is he engaged in public immorality? Is he preaching heresy? Is he abusing the lords flock? I have no idea. I know the people on my diocesan council and it is hard for me to believe they voted the way they did without cause. But I still have no idea what evil thing the Metropolitan is doing. I wish someone would state it explicitly. Until then, I feel like I have to support him.

(Editor’s note: Let’s not make this personal, Matt, and choose sides. Only one side says there are sides to choose., anyway. Let’s say, rather, we support the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.)

This is what we know so far. Stokoe wants +Jonah gone, he’s worked feverishly for months dishing out the worst sorts of vituperation against the man, leaked emails reveal he is in collusion with others, yet he cannot give one canonical or moral reason why +Jonah should be removed.

Stokoe’s correspondent above understands that. He says as much although in gentler terms than I have here.

What is Stokoe’s reply? That his critics are at fault. Only Stokoe supports “truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.”

I think Stokoe might really believe his own spin. How else to explain this Orwellian (Soviet?) logic? Is this why he thinks he can explain away emails that caught him red-handed? Does this reveal why he is blind to his glaring shortcoming that he has never offered a canonical or moral reason to justify his call for +Jonah’s removal?

About GShep


  1. Many people have put that question directly to Stokoe, but he always, always, always dodges it. *If* he publishes the comment, he always draws out something irrelevant to whine about, or claims he didn’t want Met. Jonah gone to begin with. Even though he already admitted that that’s what he wanted in his response to people asking questions about his original email. “Isn’t it obvious? I’ve been publishing against him since a month ago!”

    What could possibly be so horrible that would cause so many people to want Metropolitan Jonah gone, but not so horrible that the Synod wouldn’t immediately suspend or depose him?

  2. A. Rymlianin says

    Is he engaged in public immorality? Has he committed heresy? Has he been abusing the Lord’s flock? NO, NO and NO! THAT is why they want to get rid of him.

    To quote St. Anthony the Great “The day will come when people will be insane, and when they see someone who is not insane, they will attack that person saying: you are insane because you are not like us.

  3. Heracleides says

    What I have found interesting is Mark’s willingness to use expediency when it suits his agenda. For example, this from a recent comment posting:

    It wasn’t too long ago that I recall Mr. Stokoe being exceedingly critical of Fr. Garklavs. What has occasioned the metanoia of opinion to “long suffering”? I hope it is more than expediency on the part of Mr. Stokoe.
    #48 max percy on 2011-03-04 10:11 (Reply)

    ( )

    This weekend, if I have the time, I intend to search through the OCA News archives and pinpoint Mark’s exact words wherein his previous criticism of Fr. Garklavs is expressed. Lots of material to wade through (potentially several years worth), but if Mr. Percy’s assertion is correct (and Mark did not contradict it when it was made) it would be interesting to ask Mark exactly what has turned his image of the priest from sinner to martyred saint. No doubt the response, if any, will be as clear as mud.

    • Lola J. Lee Beno says

      If you do that, can you also see if there were any posts/comments by Stokoe explicitly supporting +Jonah immediately after he was elected Metropolitan? Something has to have happened to cause him to do a turnabout like this.

      • Harry Coin says

        Lola, that’s right. It’s all there, what happened — and it isn’t just him, it’s a whole synod’s worth except those disgraced in previous administrations who see their chance of getting jobs back slipping away, if the leader will be a team player and won’t be a lone-ranger.

        • “11. The ‘Inner Circle.’ Fathers David Brum and Joseph Fester served as confidants to Kondratick. They were regarded by others at the Chancery as part of an ‘inner circle,’ responsible for day-to-day operations at the Chancery. As such, one would expect them to be aware of at least some of Kondratick’s financial dealings. Both denied such knowledge to the SIC. However, they never questioned Kondratick’s largesse in extending favors (meals, gifts, and travel) believing them to be an expression of an exaggerated generosity. Questionable dealings and misdeeds brought to their attention in interviews were excused as having been ‘blessed‘ by one Metropolitan or the other, or because of “the incompetence of Strikis,” or because Wheeler or Kozey had an axe to grind.”

          Fr. David Brum just voted for that DOW resolution.

        • BTW, the above quotation is taken from the SIC final report issued on November 8, 2008. Forgot to mention that. What a difference two years makes!

        • Harry, I just can’t help shake the feeling that Mark’s selective in his outrage. Believe me, there’s more than enough muck for OCANews to rake and as I’ve said repeatedly, he’s done yeoman’s work in the past (for the betterment of the OCA). It’s just that for the life of me, why didn’t he pick up on Astoria? Or the recent battering of a deacon by a GOA “metropolitan” that people are whispering about on the East Coast? There’s so much to go around. Why only pick on +Philip and +Jonah these past two years?

          • Harry Coin says

            George, Being he’s a one-man-show blogger I can’t see any more basis to complain about his selectivity in outrage than I can yours. At least you and Mark Stokoe have this heads-and-shoulders above the gossipers at OCATruth– you take responsibility for what you write.

            • George Michalopulos says

              Harry, that’s totally unfair. If it wasn’t for the bloggers at OCAT, we wouldn’t know 1/10th of the stuff we know. If I had to guess, I’d say they’re honorable men. I see know reason why not to take them at their word that their jobs could be in jeopardy. Trust me, my own company takes a dim view of my blogging. I may have to shut it down or go anonymous myself. But it won’t quell the feelings of outrage I have at what some bishops and MC members are doing to an innocent man.

              If we see a beggar, we are to give him food, not announce our names for recognition in the marketplace. Both OCAT and I see an innocent victim. To stand by would be unconscionable. As for myself, I want no recogniztion or to be awarded some vain honor like Megas Skyvophylax. OCAT and I will stand before the real Judge and He will deal with us according to our merits, such as they are.

              • Harry Coin says

                But, like Mark Twain would have said, since the bloggers there are anonymous how much of the 10/10th’s of the facts you know are so?

                Honorable men do not hide behind anonymous websites if they actually believe the points they’re writing about are true enough that honest people who check will confirm them. If they fear for their church careers then let them find someone credible willing to check what facts their friendly sources (not friendly to Mark Stokoe or his point of view I gather) would like to see published and then put their own name on the line as the website author.

                Oh, wait, they say they are already laymen and so have no basis to fear for their church careers. So, why the anonymity then? Why not accept and answer comments? Are their points so shaky they want to dish it out if they take it they’ll fall?

                It’s all different when someone puts their name on the line out there, if they decide to write what a only one source says. I know personally what the difference is. Suddenly it’s not so much fun to be all chums with the friends in black when it’s you hanging out in the breeze long after. Then you start to wonder even though they’re totally convinced and convincing — isn’t there that little eensy thing they didn’t mention that changes everything? That little eensy thing that you feel you better check before you put your name on it, because you know other people will if you don’t? So you do your homework and then, once you know what’s what, you write and people have a reason to believe you because it shows.

                And then, of course, the OCATruth types don’t permit direct questions and answers like the more credible website they object to does. Why not? Another credibility hit.

                • Harry Coin says

                  P.S. For what little it’s worth– I’m not an OCA Truth or OCA news editor, never met the people involved in person. Just think it’s time to elevate this debate to the level of maturity you’d expect among adults caring for their church. Otherwise it’s little more than a ‘chat room’ that just brings participants down to the lowest levels.

              • Fr. Yousuf Rassam says

                Dear George,

                Comparing blogging to almsgiving is patently absurd. I can think hundreds of Biblical and other Orthodox texts that encourage almsgiving, and very few to encourage (even with a stretch) what any of us are doing here.

                • I’m not talking about blogging per se Fr. Just honest men seeing an innocent man being victimized and using the only tools at hand to defend him.

                  I may not have $10 in my pocket to give a beggar, but if I take him to the 7-11 and buy him a sandwich and coke with my credit card that’s no different than almsgiving.

  4. Newsflash…..A stunning revelation……

    The Orthodox Church in America temporarily appoints Mr. M.S. Al Shafa to handle media relations during this time of crisis. Mr. Al Shafa has an extensive background in government public relations and was a central figure media figure during a recent international crisis. It is hoped that Mr. Al Shafa will help restore the Church’s relationship with the media and serve as a spokesman for important events until such time as this crisis is resolved.

    Mr. Al Shafa’s video resume may be viewed HERE

  5. A. Rymlianin says

    Has anyone noticed how quiet it has gotten on the side of the Synodal mutineers since Moscow spoke up? It’s almost eerie. Nothing since March 30th from either Syosset or Stokoe.

    • A: if it were simply up the bishops, this whole escapade would end in a whimper. They’d bite their tongues and pretend all is right with the world and take out their agression by sticking pins in voodoo dolls of +Jonah in the privacy of their chanceries.

      But the problem is that Stokoe won’t let it go. He’s got too much dirt and if they cut him loose, he’ll start spilling the beans.

      • Lola J. Lee Beno says

        Then cut him loose and let the beans spill where these may. It’ll be better in the long run. And perhaps prevent the same thing from happening to the next Metropolitan down the road (may it be many many years ahead).

        • George Michalopulos says

          I agree with you Lola. It’s better to take the hit now and let the chips fall where they may. It’s probably going to happen when the Vasile Susan case comes forward at the end of this year. Bishops and bureaucrats are going to have to place their hands on bibles and repeat after the bailiff: “I Bishop John Smith, do hereby swear to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, so help me God.”