Metropolitan Jonah at the IRD: Secularism and Depersonalization [AUDIO]

met-jonah-2Source: Juicy Ecumenicism HT: AOI

From the Monomakhos backlog of stuff (courtesy of Fr Hans Jacobse of the American Orthodox Institute): Metropolitan Jonah recently spoke at the Institute on Religion and Democracy. His speech entitled “Secularism and Depersonalization” and its impact on society and the church.

Important words that need to be spoken to our debased consumerist culture.

You may listen to it here:



  1. Drat. The introduction was edited off the front of this. It would have been nice to have heard his current ecclesiastical title.

    • Patrick Henry Reardon says

      “It would have been nice to have heard his current ecclesiastical title.”

      This is the response to the Metropolitan’s speech?

      • Actually, Father, it’s my sarcastic response to the massive, wandering, at times depressing thread of comments after the recent post about Metropolitan JONAH being released to ROCOR.

        I guess the joke was a bit on the dry side.

        • Bishop Tikhon Fitzgerald says

          Thanks, tmatt! As most know, I really appreciate sarcasm. My Gospel model for it is the man born blind. He really got those religious leaders to squirm with frustration! ‘Do you want perhaps to become His disciples?” Fantastic!

  2. His title is “Metropolitan.”

    From the page:

    Metropolitan Jonah recently spoke at the Institute on Religion and Democracy. He served as the head of the Orthodox Church in America (OCA) from November 2008 until July 2012. He spoke about “Secularism and Depersonalization” and its impact on society and the church.

    The former head of the Orthodox Church in America spoke about “Secularism and Depersonalization” and its impact on society and the church during a recent visit to the IRD.

    • Marriage redefinition is iconoclasm most graphically and in its profundity. The breaking up of natural marriage, by imposing a divorce on man from the harmony of nature, is the new iconoclastic heresy and should be vigorously opposed by the bishops as shepherds of the Church, not in the form of a paper to be filed away. Marriage redefinition is the breaking of the icon of man within the created order.

      Metropolitan Jonah in his talk quotes a saying of Elder Sophrony, “If the West could only grasp the Orthodox concept of personhood, everything would change.”

      The corollary of this statement is that since the West is abandoning a mystical and moral understanding of personhood, then everything as we know it must change.

      Now, our Orthodoxy in the West has also become materialistic due to secular, protestantizing influences on our perceptions of reality, so that we tend to see events by their political surface, which seems not so important, instead of in terms of symbols and types and correspondences. To us moderns symbolism is acceptable in the confines of religion and our personal knowledge and sensitivities about Christianity, but it does not extend out of this compartment. So it follows that “Thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven” does not have the same force for us as it did for the saints, martyrs and generations of Christians past.

  3. Michael Bauman says

    Just a little piece by Anthony Esolen that is worth the read:

  4. Was the United States originally envisioned as a secular society where the morality of its people was not a concern of the state?

    Absolutely not, seen below in John Adams’ understanding of the religious and moral implications of the Constitution and the oath of office, which also has sadly been lost.

    John Adams, founder of our country and our second President, envisioned our Constitution as a net, but a net not strong enough to hold us together if Americans lost their religious and moral substance.

    In a speech to Congress he also underscored the importance of the religious nature of the oath of office:

    Because we have no government, armed with power, capable of contending with human passions, unbridled by morality and religion. Avarice, ambition, revenge and licentiousness would break the strongest cords of our Constitution, as a whale goes through a net. Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other. Oaths in this country are as yet universally considered as sacred obligations. That which you have taken, and so solemnly repeated on that venerable ground, is an ample pledge of your sincerity and devotion to your country and its government.

    –John Adams (in his first presidential address to Congress on Nov. 23, 1797)

    The original post of this article:

    • Tim R. Mortiss says

      An excellent quote, and one I have already deployed to good effect!

    • Jim of Olym says

      Well, Trudge, take a good look at current members of Congress, the Executive branch, and the Federal courts, and name all those who subscribe to the oath of office (and carry it out) in the manner you state here. Good luck!

  5. Origin of the terms for “Left” and “Right” in politics relating to the theme of secularism and depersonalization:

    The terms “left” and “right” appeared during the French Revolution of 1789 when members of the National Assembly divided into supporters of the king to the president’s right and supporters of the revolution to his left.

    One deputy, the Baron de Gauville explained, “We began to recognize each other: those who were loyal to religion and the king took up positions to the right of the chair so as to avoid the shouts, oaths, and indecencies that enjoyed free rein in the opposing camp.”

    (Trudge note: How these qualities still persist in the Left’s method of using foul language and noise to depersonalize opponents and emotionalize the matters at hand.)

    When the National Assembly was replaced in 1791 by a Legislative Assembly composed of entirely new members, the divisions continued. “Innovators” sat on the left, “moderates” gathered in the centre, while the “conscientious defenders of the constitution” found themselves sitting on the right, where the defenders of the Ancien Régime had previously gathered.


  6. Father Mark Hodges says

    I was deeply concerned with the injustices delineated by this article:

    And now (finally), their “Part Two” puts us up to date:

    Fr Zacchaeus’ date to be deposed was postponed (from February) until this coming month (May — I don’t know when).

    It seems to me these articles raise valid concerns. Furthermore, I find it only proving the point of the articles that the leaders I communicated with regarding “Part One” excuse all injustices and even defend Fr Zacchaeus’ deposition, not on the basis of any charge standing against him, but on the basis of unrelated rumors. In effect, I’ve been told that Fr Zacchaeus’ deposition shouldn’t bother me because, whether he is guilty of the allegation against him or not, he nevertheless “deserves” it for some other thing –which, interestingly, the leaders all say to me *they* never saw, but “heard about.” Again, this only seems to me to prove the point of these two articles.

    I encourage concerned members of The Orthodox Church in America to read the articles and decide for yourself.

    Fr Mark

    • M. Stankovich says

      Fr. Mark,

      Christ is Risen!

      It is with all respect that I ask you: by what authority should any of the laity – or the ordained clergy in obedience to their own diocesan Bishops, for that matter – be speculating and drawing conclusions from sources that 1) are obviously bias and self-serving; 2) are promoting “facts” that are unverifiable as to veracity but to a very limited number of participants; and are calling for responses clearly in opposition to the ecclesiological order of the Church and more reminiscent of telephone voting for “Dancing with the Stars?”

      This is the scourge of the internet: “truth-bearers” replete with iconography, WordPress technology and state-of-the-art layout and graphics, yet lacking the fundamental integrity to identify themselves. Ruthless, hi-tech cowardice that appeals to the lowest element of information cascades; individuals with nothing better to do than align themselves with other anonymous cowards; and, of course, another cause célèbre, without which the entire process replenishes itself.

      Seriously, Fr. Mark, “Today all things are filled with light! Heaven and earth, and all the regions under the earth! Let all creation celebrate the Resurrection of Christ, in which we are established!” The righteous need not fear injustice! Our God is a Just Judge and will not suffer injustice to the righteous, for “Our God is a jealous God” (Josh. 24:19) and “He who brings me justice draws near; who will stand against me?” (Isa. 50:8) Justice comes from the Lord, not anonymous websites, one-sided arguments, popularity telephone calls, intimidation, and the “tactics and manipulations” of this world, Fr. Mark. We believe this or we seek the empty justice of this world.

      • I am shocked that Stankovich would come to defend his buddies.

        But then again, look at the names of Fr. Zacchaeus’ accusers:

        Bp. Melchisedek, Fr. Leonid Kishkovsky, Fr. Alexander Garklavs, and Fr. Eric Tosi. And lest we forget Archbishop Benjamin, the protector of an accused child pornographer, Stanley (Isidore) Brittain and John Jillions the oft ghost writer of emails of then Met. Jonah. All “friends” of Stankovich.

        Every one of these men acted to protect their status and salaries in Syosset and to punish Fr. Zacchaeus for his attempt to protect his bishop when these same men were trying their best to strip him of his Primacy.

        The original accusation against Fr. Zacchaeus morphed into disobedience which morphed into insubordination. None of them can stick, but when the rules are changed to harm the rights of the accused, what do you expect in the OCA? That is how they operate.

        Another typical OCA screw up but it does serve well to expose the depth of their stupidity and just another example to the world that the OCA is a sinking ship of little consequence.

        • Bishop Tikhon Fitzgerald says

          Alcoholism can be a terrible curse and even slavemaster, and denial of it has ended for many in utter destruction—even sudden death!

        • That explains it all.

    • In my one instance of questioning my priest about Met. Jonah, I was given the party line that “he resigned,” End of discussion. I suppose that having seen what happens when one bucks the Syossett gang, the fear of God is takes second place to the fear of Syossett.

      • Bishop Tikhon Fitzgerald says

        So…Lina…..your priest confined himself to documented fact? And is the documented fact still the party line?

        As for your declaration: ” the fear of God is takes second place to the fear of Syossett,” that’s what all these pseudonyms are about, no?

  7. Would anyone like to discuss the sermon of Metropolitan Jonah that began this thread at the Monomakhos? I wonder if parts of the Church of Christ have become secularized and depersonalized? Do we only discuss scandals and/or how the Church of Christ can be bent to our individual political wills?

    As for Archimandrite Zachaeus, it seems his parishioners want him back ministering to him and so we should pray that this great asset to the Church not be lost through politics.

    Let everything that has breath praise the Lord! And let us glory in His Holy Resurrection for Christ is Risen!

    • Bishop Tikhon Fitzgerald says

      Who are you, “Yo?’

      • Dear to the Lord Vladika,

        I have never met you but you often make a lot of sense. I am no one with credentials to interest anyone, just another Orthodox Christian child of God working out salvation in regular need of confession. And I agree with your statement on alcoholism. May everyone who is cursed with such a cross be relieved of its weight!

        Christ is Risen!

  8. M. Stankovich says

    And I never would have imagined that the “protosingelos” and champion of all cowards, James the whiner, would be the first to respond. I greet you in the Feast of Feasts as well, James.

    Again, we have a situation where the “truth” is known to an especially small group of people – surprise, surprise – that we are to believe pits the Synod of Bishops against against a blameless priest. Again, while it is contrary to the ecclesiological order (“Let all things be done decently and in order,” (1 Cor. 14:40) “for God is not the author of confusion, but of peace, as in all churches of the saints.” (1 Cor. 14:33)), to attempt to coerce and manipulate the Synod by “votes” and “opinions” drawn on unsubstantiated information, ultimately, we return to one man who could resolve this with a simple clarification: Met. Jonah Paufhausen. If Fr. Zacchaeus was, indeed, acting in obedience to instruction he was receiving from Met. Jonah, attempting to “protect his bishop when these same men were trying their best to strip him of his Primacy,” why is Met. Jonah not stepping forward to defend and/or exonerating Fr. Zacchaeus? Will he actually stand by and say nothing if what Fr. Zacchaeus reports is true? Allow Zaccheus to be laicized? Or is “silence consent?” In any case, it is just another seemingly unending consequence of the “disaster” that was the Primacy of Met. Jonah Paufhausen. I will bet money the Synod begged Met. Jonah to manage and resolve this matter with Fr. Zacchaeus, and he placated and promised to do so, only to do nothing. And I agree, James, it speaks to the “depth of their stupidity” and points to the one who is the origin of these endless machinations. They should have employed Julie Dreher full-time.

    The new official photo of the Synod of Bishops should have them holding not their staffs, but mops.

    • George Michalopulos says

      And wearing dunce caps.

      Seriously, Dr Stankovich, do you think any of this was done “with good order”? If anything, Syosset has taken the Phanar’s claim that America is not mature enough for autocephaly and quadrupled it.

      • Bishop Tikhon Fitzgerald says

        George, why have comments been stopped on

        “Metropolitan Jonah Celebrates Historic Liturgy?”

        There were only 24 responses!

        • colette says

          Well I was hoping to comment on the letter Melanie S. had posted, but by the time I had time there was no reply buttons. . . . so I’m with +BTF on this.
          I’ll just say that the only “case” I was close to was the fr. Simeon case and in that letter things were so twisted it made me wonder about the accuracy of the other cases. They may be spot on I don’t know, but the story I know was mixed up there. The people whose names were at the bottom of that letter were not around, so how they could write like that I don’t know-all hear say.
          Another thing, I have found people are mad about things that never happened. One person was relaying to me that someone in a leadership position was angry at +Jonah because he had the nuns living with him. Well they were never living with him. There are several houses involved around St. Nicholas, so people just mixed up the story, but they continue to spread mis-information. I want to know why people don’t go to the source of the problem and talk? People would rather believe in fairytales then get to the truth of the matter. That still boggles me.

        • Bishop Tikhon Fitzgerald says

          It seems to me that the Bundy brouhaha has been kept alive much longer.. Far from 22 posts, it has 89 and is still growing. You’re hiding something. Some of these topics seem to never end, compared to the Metropolitan Jonah serves historic liturgy topic,and are much more afflicted with “spamming.’ I guess you hate to shut down the political, right vs left, topics….no matter how many posts they accrue.
          The Bill Maher thread,for example,with 135 contributions, is STILL going, while the Jonah Historic Liturgy thread was cut off practically at birth (33 contributions).
          “Vladyka, comments shut down after a period of weeks to prevent a flood of comment spam.” Hard to credit that, George.

          • Your Grace, comments shut down here automatically after four weeks since the post was published. It has nothing to do with the number of comments.

            • Bishop Tikhon Fitzgerald says

              Oh, and NOT to avoid a flood of comment spam?

              Helga’s breaking of long silence indicates to me that there is more to this shut-down than appears. It must have something to do with protecting Metropolitan Jonah, i deduce.

              • Bishop Tikhon Fitzgerald says

                This is a test to see if a mention of Metropolitan Jonah can be made without being put on moderation….

              • Your Grace, I hadn’t realized it, but I guess it has been a while since I posted a comment here.

                All comments here are moderated. George put that in place almost two years ago. It has nothing to do with you or Metropolitan Jonah.

                • Bishop Tikhon Fitzgerald says

                  Yes, Father Helga, but being moderated and being put on moderation are not the same thing at all.

            • Bishop Tikhon Fitzgerald says

              Thank you. I hadn’t even guessed at 30 days as a limit. Now I know.
              I understand Archimandrite Zacchaeus’s spiritual trial is scheduled for the middle of this month, and Archbishop Seraphim’s spiritual trial is scheduled for the middle of next month. I doubt if V. Berezansky will let them get away with a trial of Archimandrite Zacchaeus (Wood) without minutes as was done in the lamentable, farcical, and ludicrous affair of Protopresbyter Rodion S. Kondratick’s “trial” before a Bishop who was not even his diocesan bishop. I wonder who the twelve hierarchs are that will try Archbishop Seraphim. No doubt, Archpriest Helga knows…
              Interesting to note the presumption of guilt in the Protopresbyter’s case, resulting in remarkably few public complaints about the uncanonical irregularity of his trial, while in the case of Metropolitan Jonah’s decision to resign, there has been a whole multitude of indignant charges of injustice and calls for his elevation to Sainthood! Well, he’s got it made, in his own estimation, if not that of his volunteer-disciples.

              • Matthew says

                Jealousy is as ugly as it is obvious “Your Grace”.

                • Bishop Tikhon Fitzgerald says

                  Oh, thanks, Matthew, for the hint! So there IS someone to be jealous of out there some place? Please, let me know WHO it is or they are! I think I NEED (and have needed for decades) someone to be jealous of. I’ve never given up hope… At 81+ years, there’s still so much to learn….
                  Please, tell me of whom I may be jealous! I’ve spent so much energy trying always to be thankful, but I’ve never considered the possibility of being able to experience jealousy.
                  Oh, and who are you, Matthew? Have you ever thought you might consider becoming Orthodox to find Peace? .
                  Oh, and, “Matthew’, I forgot to thank you for what you previously wrote here; “Who are you to judge anyone? I know Bishop Tikhon can be a curmudgeon and down right mean, but you are obviously mentally ill and have a serious case of prelest. Who are you to talk to a Bishop of the Church that way? You’re out of your mind.”

  9. Stankovich,

    Joyous Pascha to you!

    I “admire” your ability to justify the OCA “lowering of the bar” as the “Peter Principle” that is the OCA leadership fumbles yet another situation. It again shows how incompetent the Syosset staff and its bishops are when they have to keep retreating on charges against Fr. Zacchaeus to find one that they hope sticks. And, what a wonderful “due process” when +Tikhon already has judged him guilty even before any moving target Spiritual Court is called. I mean, come on, they can’t even get their act together to call a court; but they order him to appear, which he does, only to discover that no one is at home in Syosset! Amazing. How much are we paying these guys again?

    As for +Jonah, he must keep silent, maybe even turn “state’s evidence” against Fr. Zacchaeus since, as you well know, his release to ROCOR is at this very moment sitting on +Tikhon’s desk. Sounds like intimidation all over again, but, we all know that is the OCA style. +Jonah is “nuts” so he has to go, but the OCA will gladly accept his testimony against Fr. Zacchaeus. Brilliant!

    Whether our good Dr. Stankovich can accept it or not, the clergy are demoralised. The laity are leaving. Funds to the dioceses and to Syosset are drying up so what does our good Dr. do? Blames it on +Jonah. Well I guess that makes sense because before +Jonah, they blamed +Herman, and before +Herman they blamed Kondratick.

    What an amazing jurisdiction. Makes you just want to give it your all, doesn’t it? To Christ and His Body the Church, yes. To the so-called OCA. Nope.

  10. The running joke continues. Secularly-trained, ecclesiastical eggheads trying to run the Church as they would a modern, politically-correct corporation. Hey, just have the Google guys send in some advisors and get this show on the road. It keeps feeling like the next chapter of the Keystone Cops. And the next chapter and the next…

    If this exchange of an excess of freedom of information, coupled with gossip, axes-to-grind, hidden agendas, clandestine distributions of institutional propaganda, etc is too much to bear perhaps an appeal to the US Govt would be in order. Shut it all down! It’s getting too messy!

    Now back to our regularly scheduled programing.

  11. colette says

    another clever and true article out of Touchstone