Midwest Clergy Wives to Synod: Keep Matthias Out

Please take the time to read this very well-reasoned Open Letter from a growing number of clergy wives from the Diocese of the Midwest. It raises many valid points and expresses deep concerns.

Af for your humble correspondent, I am becoming more convinced with each passing day that the provisional reinstatement/rehabilitation of Bp Matthias Moriak was nothing but an ill-conceived oblique attempt by the Holy Politburo to justify their unjust, uncanonical, and immoral actions against His Beatitude. Because of the criminal nature of Jonah’s ouster and the inept handling of every effort to contain its explosive damage, the unAmerican Robber’s Council of Parma may prove to be very interesting indeed.

Friday, November 9, 2012

To the OCA Synod of Bishops:

We, the wives of clergy serving in the Midwest, are writing to express our concern with your recent decision to possibly bring Bishop Matthias back to pastor the Midwest.

We were saddened and disappointed by +Matthias’ clearly predatory behavior toward one of our young converts. You have correctly acknowledged the secrecy, coercion and emotional manipulation of his words and actions as sexual misconduct. We clergy wives are often the ones pastorally dealing with the debilitating effect of sexual harassment on so many of our women. We take such pastoral abuse very, very seriously – for us, our children, and our young adults.

Therefore, we are scandalized by your response to this admitted sexual misconduct. We consider this decision unwise, a violation of scripture and ecclesial order, unhelpful for +Matthias, and a betrayal of the Midwest and our children.

This is not about forgiveness. We “forgive all by the Resurrection,” but that does not mean reinstatement to holy orders. It is negligent to entrust leadership to an abuser. To place a scandalizer over the diocese he scandalized destroys the peace of the Church. It perpetuates the abuse against this young woman to restore her offender to authority over her, and for her predator to apologize for her confusion while maintaining the “purity” of his “conscience motives.” In fact, His Eminence Nathaniel’s letter, which holds “forgiveness” as a “wedge” over us and equates it with restoration to the episcopacy, is itself a furtherance of pastoral abuse by attempting to manipulate us.

This is not about rehabilitation. We continue to pray for +Matthias, and wish him well. Since the accusations surfaced, we were hoping he would voluntarily step down. This would show greater love for Christ’s Body than oneself, and would uphold the scriptural standard of “blamelessness” by “avoiding even the appearance of evil.” Then, +Matthias could truly “complete the remaining time of life in peace and repentance.”

This is not about “second chances.” The integrity of the episcopacy of the Orthodox Church in America has been destroyed —not just by one man’s failings, but by your misapprehension of their seriousness and permanent effect.

This is not about “mercy,” as if the episcopacy was a concession given out of pity. Rather, true mercy helps the sinner accept the consequences of his words and actions. Being a bishop is not necessary for anyone’s salvation; it is a position of service, and those who have disqualified themselves are not condemned but are obliged to serve in other ways.

This is not about repentance, either. A bishop’s duty is not to sin and then “demonstrate” repentance, but to be the icon of Christ in our midst. +Matthias’ behavior has prohibited that. The Apostle Paul says a bishop must be above reproach, and have a good reputation in the sight of all. This does not mean he is mistake-free or perfect, but it does mean he cannot have ever preyed upon his spiritual child.

This is not a matter of +Matthias never committing the same sin again. Counseling may help him personally, but it will not restore +Matthias’ lost moral authority. A “peer bishop” review won’t fix what has been broken, either. The tragic fact is —and we are deeply sorry to say this, +Matthias simply has lost the authority he had to lead.*

We cannot sing “Many Years, Master!,” when we feel the need to explain the master’s sins to our youth. What would we teach our young people about trusting the episcopacy? —about feeling comfortable around their bishop? Indeed, this action impugns all clergy. To ask us as mothers to answer inevitable questions from our children after every archpastoral visit perpetuates +Matthias’ abuse against us all. We will not enable sexual misconduct. We cannot, truthfully, say “axios.”


Concerned Midwest Clergy Wives

+ + + + + + + + + +

*+Matthias’ letter only confirms our conclusions. His non-apology demonstrates a complete lack of understanding his sin, just as his letters to the young woman and to the Midwest explaining his leave. He asks forgiveness for “poor judgment,” and “careless words”; he says he is sorry that he “offended,” “confused,” and “caused hurt.” Such lines are indicative of those avoiding personal responsibility for sexual harassment. Nowhere does he apologize for preying upon this young woman which includes:

  • A married grandfather driving four hours to a college girl’s private apartment,
  • Taking her out to dinner alone,
  • The two of them in his private apartment for hours until after midnight,
  • Telling her that she is his “favorite” and that he has a “crush” on her,
  • Telling her to keep their relationship secret,
  • Denigrating her confessor/priest,
  • Suggesting a boating date,
  • Telling her his attraction to her is stronger than her boyfriend’s,
  • Agreeing to spend the night with her,
  • Manipulating her under the guise of “trust” and his lack of friends, etc.

Then, +Matthias proclaims his innocence: “Conscious motives behind my interaction with this woman were not impure.” This is another self-justification. “Conscious intent” is irrelevant to words and actions of sexual harassment. We women have experienced this and are deeply offended by this letter and its whole approach!

Excerpt from a September 2011 letter of Fr Thomas Hopko, “Discipline of Clergy Accused of Serious Crime: Applying Church Canons Today.”

A clergyman guilty of a transgression and/or crime who genuinely repents may be allowed to continue in Communion. He may, with true repentance, be blessed to partake of the Holy Mysteries under the conditions required of all faithful communicants. However, every effort must be made to see that the guilty man’s repentance is genuine and long-lasting. Thus there will always have to be a time during which the guilty clergyman refrains from partaking of the Holy Mysteries as a normal part of his process of repenting. How long this time is, and what is required of the guilty clergyman during this time to prove the genuineness of his repentance, is decided by the responsible bishop (with the knowledge and approval of the Synod), or the Synod as a whole.

Under no circumstances whatsoever, however, may a guilty clergyman whose sin and/or crime would preclude him from being ordained in the first place, or to remain among the active clergy if he is already ordained, be allowed ever again to serve at the Holy Altar or to perform any episcopal, presbyteral or diaconal duties. Clergy sin and crime is a serious matter, and it must be treated seriously. The integrity of the Church, the success of the Church’s mission and witness, and the respectful treatment of the Church by its own members and those outside it demands this, for nothing so undermines the Church’s image in the world and trivializes its divine message than clergymen convicted of transgressions and crimes being allowed to continue in their ministries.

An essential element in the guilty clergyman’s genuine repentance is his voluntary cessation of all clerical functions. He may perhaps be permitted to “stand among the clergy” when partaking of the Holy Mysteries, but under no circumstances whatsoever may he lead, celebrate, serve or assist in Divine Services according to the office to which he was ordained. Although it may be argued that “oikonomia” in this matter under very exceptional circumstances may be applied for the salvation of souls (other people’s souls, not the soul of the guilty clergyman), it is virtually impossible to imagine what these circumstances could possibly be.

The application of such a rule, never to be violated or dispensed with for any reason, is not excessive punishment. In fact, it is not “punishment” at all. It is rather the appropriate procedure to protect the Church and all its faithful members from confusion, offense, accusation and scandal. The repenting clergyman himself should insist upon this action, and accept it as an unambiguous sign of his genuine repentance, and of his gratitude for the “oikonomic” blessing to continue as a Communicant of the Holy Mysteries because of his repentance, and of his unqualified love for the Church. His failure to do so proves that he does not truly repent for his sin and cares nothing for the well-being of the Church, the success of its mission and the salvation of the souls for whom the Church exists. Indeed, no clergyman – bishop, presbyter or deacon – is so necessary to the Church’s life and work that he has to keep functioning in office after having been proven guilty of an act, or many acts, that would preclude his ordination in the first place. The repentant clergyman’s contribution to the Church’s well-being and the salvation of souls, beginning with his own, is exactly his cessation, not continuation, of ordained service.

A repentant clergyman may, perhaps, be blessed to continue wearing clerical dress, especially at church services, after being reinstated to Communion in the Holy Mysteries. But under no circumstances may he be permitted to wear the sacred vestments of his office since he is no longer an active servant. He is, on the contrary, a penitent clergyman. Once again, this is not a punishment. It is an appropriate action for the sake of the Church’s integrity, well-being and peace.

I don’t believe that quibbling over the nuances of various terms for cessation of service — suspension, deposition, unfrocking, etc. – is helpful. Indeed, I believe that it should be avoided because it obfuscates rather than clarifies. It seems to me that basically only two actions are in order. One is that the transgressing clergyman is excommunicated for failure to repent. The other is that he may be blessed to receive Holy Communion after properly repenting, but never again to function in office because of his genuine repentance and sincere love for Christ and the Church.

The argument that a clergyman who has sinned in a way that precludes his serving may be reinstated in office by “pastoral oikonomia” as an expression of God’s mercy to sinners is unacceptable. Indeed, it is simply wrong and foolish. God’s forgiveness, mercy and compassion have to do with Church membership and Communion in the Holy Mysteries. They have nothing to do with ordination and ordained ministry. A man is not ordained, or allowed to continue in active ordained ministry, as a sign of God’s forgiveness of sins, or His mercy and compassion toward sinners. Nor is the guilty man’s repentance demonstrated by his continuing to serve in his ordained ministry. In fact, as we emphasized, just the opposite is true.

To repeat this point another way, mercy and compassion are certainly in order in all circumstances. In the case of a “fallen clergyman”, mercy and compassion are demonstrated in two ways. In regard to the guilty clergyman they are demonstrated by permitting him, after deep and serious repentance, to participate in the Holy Mysteries. In regard to the whole body of the faithful, they are demonstrated by not subjecting the Church’s members to confusion, scandal and a necessity to explain why a clergyman guilty of egregious transgression and/or crime is still serving at the Holy Altar and exercising clerical duties.

Protopresbyter Thomas Hopko

Church New Year 2011


  1. The clergy wives comment about waiting/wishing he would step down voluntarily reminded me of the recent news of General Petraeus’ resignation. Assuming you don’t ascribe to the various conspiracy theories surrounding it, you see a man who made a terrible mistake, acknowledges that mistake, and realizing the scandal it brings to his office has voluntarily removed himself from that office. If only +Matthias had the same courage to step down because of the scandal it brought to the church.

    • George Michalopulos says

      Regarding Petraeus, several of you took me justifiably to task for my supposed belief that he did not have an extra-marital affair. I should have been clearer, the evidence seems to indicate that he did perform this immoral act.

      My insinuation was the timing. The affair took place over a year ago and was followed closely by the FBI. Hence my suspicitions that this was kept under wraps until after the election is probably correct. Indeed, knowledge of this affair probably kept Petraeus on a short leash, preventing him from talking to the press before the election.

      Now he’s not going to testify at all. Game, set, match. Obama wins re-election. Question now is: how do they buy off Hillary? Here’s my guess: Joe Biden’s aneurysm pops back up, he “regrettably” resigns as VEEP, and Hillary is put in his place.

  2. Are there names of clergy wives attached? Are there two, three? Five and a cat makes 6? or 100?

    Don’t get me wrong, I’m digusted by the poor choices there. But we’re talking about text messages, not physical abuse. The ‘clergy wives’ anonymously write above in the same manner you’d expect to read about a serial rapist. Seems to me this fellow is being unconsciously blamed for all the heaped up feelings of impotence and rage held against so many other bishops for doing much worse as alleged on this website — without account at all.

    I mean, you know 25 years in the clergy to be dumped for the rest of his career on the basis of nothing more than trash talking text messages? Nobody claiming more than electrons passing over the radio waves? How is contrition not enough, why is ‘stomp-ho forever’ when the crime is ‘potty mouth text messages’ decent and fair? What would you do in the case of actual misconduct– a firing squad? His apology just not good enough by the standards of people who measure apologies, somehow? Seen any other bishops apologize for major screwups? Anywhere?

    I’d thing a great many ought apologize for not being able to pick out who in a crowd are ‘their priest’s’ family members and make their diocese of such size they can actually be a positive factor in the lives of parishes they can visit for more than a cookie – coffee — see ya next year.

    This isn’t the fellow whose overlooked gross actual misdoing, been arrested for boozing it up, etc. etc. as the allegations go others have who dubiously remain bishops. Mention that fact and you apparently can’t even be an alternate elected by your parish to OCA national functions (Dr Joel’s case written of here).

    After 25 years in the clergy, even though the fellow appears something of a rough not too popular character, full of attentions to various sacramental detail– text messages are just not the same ‘abuse’ as, well, abuse of the sort that happens when people actually come into ‘carnal contact’ as it were. Might that happen in the future? Well these bishops overlooked worse that did happen in the future and it’s all still good with them. When the victims involved are male, or we don’t know their names or they are ‘gay’ and not in the church anyway and somehow we just know ‘they consented’ — that appears to make it all a big nothing, somehow.

    And don’t try to tell me the bishop in SF didn’t know the score prior in Manton. Please.

    And others suggest a divorced priest who doesn’t like this bishop, his bishop, be made bishop. Double please. What of all the clergy who’ve managed to not be divorced? They’re “OUT” unless one of their wives give him the heave-ho?

    I guess what I’m really trying to say is given all the other allegations laid at the doors of so many other bishops– this one’s transgressions seem trivial by comparison. Are you sure somehow fairness is served by shooting him? I mean the woman ‘caught in adultery’ didn’t just pass trash talk written on papyrus scrolls and she got off.

    If the fellow wasn’t sorry it would be another matter. These rules, they seem really seriously aimed at ‘people we don’t like’ and have no meaning if perfectly applicable to ‘people we do like’.

    I hope every student who was offered ‘a massage’ by ‘a priest’ writes to the sexual misconduct committee. Seems they’re taking a little nappy.

    • In the immediate response, there have been twenty clergy wives sign, two anonymously (their husbands have been threatened by His Grace). Responses are still coming in.

      This is a letter we never wanted to write, and never thought we’d ever have to write. Every one of us is deeply, deeply sad, and very angry, all at the same time. Please pray for us (and for +Matthias)!

    • OneOfTheWives says

      Please pray for +Matthias, too.

      Several of our “Concerned Wives” wrote their own comments, and they are quite upset with both Bishop Matthias and with the Holy Synod.

      But we have also received as many or more endorsements from a lot of MIdwest priests.

      One priest wrote:
      BRAVO! for an exceptionally thoughtful, courageous, and well-written letter.

      Another priest wrote:
      Amen. Thank you for writing this…

      Yet another:
      Dear Clergy Wives,
      Thank you for your thoughtful and pertinent letter…
      Again, thank you for the letter. It’s a sad time when our bishops need to be instructed in the basics.

      And another:
      Dear Sisters:
      I applaud this effort…

      It summarizes the feelings of many. We’ll have to see what happens @ the assembly–what is said, what is allowed for consideration on the agenda, what comes from the floor, etc.

      Another priest wrote:
      Thank you so very much for your wonderfully written letter expressing concerns about recent events involving Bishop Matthias and possible reinstatement. You have my prayers and support.

      And yet another priest wrote:
      Dear Sisterhood,
      Glory to Jesus Christ!
      I think the great majority of us have concerns, serious ones, and I include myself in that.
      May God continue to so guide and direct your thoughts at this time!

      More keep coming in…

      • The problem is the whole thing could be made up, responses as well, kit and kaboodle by a couple folks over coffee at Starbucks posting their own congrats to their own letter. Without names, who knows how real any of it is.

        It was like this in the early going with Abp. Spyridon as well. Anonymous folk saying what they think. Nothing happened worth mentioning until clergy put their names to a common statement.

        I’m still really troubled that those other bishops written of here full of stories about being ruthless in clergy oppression and masterful at denial and manipulation, who alleged to have traded ‘special favors’ with ‘special friends’ with impunity, who by allegations here have done much worse than ‘suspicions and electronic messages’ have a totally free pass and this fellow, among the newest in the batch, is the scapegoat for other misdoers. You can almost hear the comments ‘well we have to overlook that, we can’t get rid of folk for just any little offense.’

        The lesson you all are teaching is that public apologies in cases that involve words only, repentance is not to be respected, not to be trusted, not to be believed. Who will replace this one who has learnt contrition the very hard way? Are you so sure it will be better?

        As matters stand I think you’ve found the possibility of a bishop who has learned humility. Who knows, perhaps this fellow has done worse and you’re protecting your own family members by all piling on this ‘not so expensive legally’ ‘not so bad’ ‘but bad enough’ example. I’ve seen it, it could be. But there’s no hint of it. Do you really want text messages to be career enders? If so, why isn’t one DUI a career ender– that’s actually specified in the Gospel. We still do care about that, right?

        We have actual arrest records for boozy bishops and you folk somehow accepted that apology — no problems, all good. This one sent text messages and you want him buried so deep any light capable of penetrating his confinement’s walls would have to be uncreated.

        Had there been physical misdoing, had the other person been a teenager or less, I too probably couldn’t have stomached it. Here we have only suspicions and text messages. If a massive ‘urbi-et-orbi’ public act of contrition isn’t good enough for this type of ‘zero contact’ ‘potty mouth only’ offense how can we say we practice what we preach? I get many think the bishop is a rough character full of obsession as to detail and other unwelcome changes.

        Ah well, what do I know. It just seems to me you folk who live in the same part of the country as I are treating the misdemeanor offender as the wort sort of felon and the worst sort of felons as if they got a ticket for parking five minutes past when the meter expired.

        I hope whatever you folks are really up to, it will lead to more people in the church over time and not less. This has the feeling of factions choosing sides as to the day’s events to further other objectives, not on the merits and issues immediately in view. All the anonymity is suggestive of just that.

        A church where what’s in the teaching ‘everyone knows’ isn’t to be lived when ‘what we prefer’ is ‘not in accord’ with ‘outdated rules’ will not survive. Be really careful what you wish for, because what we see happens to churches like that is: folk look at it and ask themselves why bother with it, it’s just doing what ‘good people’ do and they’re already ‘good people’ enough– so that sort of ‘no standards that matter’ church just shrinks. And that’s just fine with folk who don’t like to be challenged by comparing their own act against what manner of living leads to longer life and an elevated spirit.

        • In far fewer words, anonymity is generally never taken seriously.

          Of course,we understand the implications if clergy leave names when talking publicly about bishops..

      • Do you think any of those reverend husbands were pressured by their wives to be supportive?

    • You seem to be out of touch with reality, Harry. If the clergy wives put their names on the letter, their husbands would quickly be out of an occupation; kind of like the Romanian Father Susan and his sojourn in limbo land. Bishops are to be mature, trusted individuals, not like the modern youth who trash talk. This one’s actions may seem to be trivial, but apparently, not so trivial if his sleeping over at the young woman’s apartment had gone beyond a sleeping bag on the floor. Your post is ridiculous, the man got himself into this conundrum and never should be returned to active duty as a bishop. Regarding the others, their situations are their situations and should not be confused with the obvious case against Bishop Matthias, all should be treated on an individual basis. You mentioned that the seemingly not-repentant bishop is sorry, sorry doesn’t make the grade, it appears that he is only sorry that he got caught; the man has placed himself in a situation where he cannot be trusted and “to be trusted” is an important part of a bishop’s job description.

      • You’re only correct so long as the ‘IF’ you had the decency to mention was not ‘IF’ but ‘IS’. If one-time text messages are to be career enders, why not DUI’s? Why not clergy trolling hallways offering massages to students? Why not repeatedly enabling victim creation under color of church authority by retaining as clergy repeatedly failing in re: gay conduct? People all about not accepting aplogies for trash talk only? How can that be? I know I run a real risk two years from now having these posts thrown in my face should it turn out this fellow is a womanizer I can already hear the I told you so’s. But you have to speak as you find, this matter is about text messages, repented of it would appear.

        • another one says

          Oh Harry, Harry, Harry,

          Your view of this appears quite myopic.

          Many of those who have issues with +Matthias resumption of the episcopate are not looking a part of this tableau, but all of it. Trash talking is what you minimize, but what about manipulating this young woman after she confronted him with her discomfort? He claims that she abused his trust. The give and take of this dialogue is flatly guilt inducing, even abusive, and the apology continues along that vein. The age difference, the secrecy, even the comments about her parish priest raise real questions about the state of the man’s spiritual formation. Really, trash talking, as you put it, is the least of the concerns at issue here.

          So you want to wait til this gets physical? Have you ever heard of emotional affairs? This young woman was young in years and in Orthodoxy, and, I would surmise, vulnerable. Is the emotional damage to her OK? Just when, Harry, is it OK for a bishop to get his emotional needs met at the expense of one of his flock?

          But I do agree that we have bishops who have larger problems. (What a terrible concession to have make about our church! Lord have mercy on us!)

          I wholeheartedly agree with your points about DUIs and the like. While there are many people recovering from alcoholism, for example, who make quantum leaps as spiritual beings, there are also those who merely stop drinking, and allow the underlying pathology to fester and consume them. It is telling that, after a second chance and helping hand was extended to one such sufferer in leadership in the OCA, that same individual was central in orchestrating the destruction of all who extended a second chance to him. That is not recovery as understood by AA; they would characterize such behavior as being dry, in contrast to being sober.

          So this is a much too long way to say that, while the +Matthias case does not rise to the level of some of our other scandals, the behavior is not that which is expected of our bishops and shepherds, not in the Scripture, or the Canons, or the individual churches, as evidenced by the letter from the clergy wives.

          And thank you, Midwest clergy wives for having the courage to speak out – even anonymously!

          And it is quite sad for me, as I heartily supported much of Bishop Matthias’ pastoral direction. But the argument that this bishop’s problem isn’t nearly as bad as these other bishops’ problems makes me weep for our church.

    • Son of Job #2 says

      Got to start cleaning house somewhere. Why keep Matthias just because some other Bishops like porn or are homosexual? I guess it’s a point in Matthias’ favor that he likes women and so far only emotionally manipulated the 22 year old but it’s favorable only because the moral bar is so low. Would you want this man around your daughters? Let God forgive him but keep this 64 year old creep away from mine.

      Reinstating Matthias is a deep offense to the Church. Moral turpitude leads to bad judgment. Matthias is Exhibit A but putting him back in authority makes the Synod Exhibit B. The Synod had no idea they would get this reaction because most are morally compromised men. Clergy, clergy wives, and clear thinking laity smell the moral corruption and are sick of it.

      The old timer “We are the Legacy” types hate this kind of talk. They want us to follow their example and pretend no corruption exists like they did when they hid Theodosius’ homosexuality for over two decades. But those are the same years when the OCA started its steep decline. A man who has sex with other men cannot lead the Church. He is not walking with Christ. A man who emotionally manipulates young women cannot lead the Church. He is not walking with Christ. A man who is porn addicted or a drunk cannot lead the Church. He is not walking with Christ.

      We Orthodox dig into our rituals and traditions to hide our disobedience to Christ. What did Christ call it? Oh yes, white washed sepulchers.

      Don’t the declining numbers tell us anything? The two Orthodox Churches in greatest numerical decline (OCA and GOA) also have the most morally corrupt leadership. Listen closely to them. They never teach you about Christ. Instead they teach you about “Orthodoxy” as if the Church can live in disobedience to Him who gives it life.

      • I suppose I”m on the wrong side here. I just think a public apology for ‘words only’ offenses ought to be accepted at least the first time. You want to stomp him, you who have to live with him then do me at least the honor of explaining what manner of mistake an apology is good enough for? Do we only accept apologies from people we like, or is the nature of the offense itself of importance at all? Serial sexual misdoing, DUI, text messages, the same and apology accepted if we like the fellow and not if not?

        • Fr. Hans Jacobse says

          Yes Harry, you are on the wrong side of this. If my bishop did that, I would demand his resignation too. (I have a bishop who would not do something like Matthias did fortunately. And he would not stand for it with his priests either.)

          Every time something like this happens, all priests are affected. It makes us all look bad and raises doubts among the faithful about our own faithfulness.

          Words really matter. Language shapes relationships. Bp. Matthias was constructing a relationship wholly inappropriate for a priest and parishioner.

          What I find most offensive is that he used the authority of his office to manipulate the woman. In my eyes that is a very grave infraction, perhaps even a deep sin. Priests do indeed have an authority, and it is given to us by God to bring people into the concrete and tangible presence of our Risen Savior Jesus Christ. That’s what priests do, the good ones anyway. And when you do that, the encounter with Christ that the person experiences becomes a well spring of healing and strength for him. Lives really are transformed.

          I’m embarrassed, even angry, that a man of his authority and standing in the Church would do that especially to a young person seeking out Christ. The world is descending into the deepest moral confusion and we see a young person turning to Christ in the midst of it. Then a man who ostensibly represents Christ takes that trust and turns it toward himself instead. That is something I just cannot reconcile because it is flat out wrong.

          When you see someone misusing his priestly authority for private gain he needs immediate reproof and correction. When you see a Bishop using his authority for private gain, he needs to be removed. Yes, I know it sounds harsh but bishops are the ones who are supposed to be teaching this and not the ones who are still in need of being taught. If he doesn’t know this or can’t extend the discipline or self-control necessary to walk in the Spirit of God as St. Paul says, then he never should have been made a bishop in the first place.

          I don’t wish the man ill and every man is more than his sin. But I am more concerned with protecting the integrity of the priesthood which has taken a lot of hits over the last few years. My hunch is that a lot of the good OCA priests would agree with me.

        • Son of Job #2 says

          No apology is needed except to the woman. And the Metropolitan (or Locum Tenens) should give it, not Matthias.

          He’s unfit for office. Bishops who abuse their authority in this way need to be removed. No need to stomp him. Just get him out. Be thankful he got caught before he did even more damage.

          The DUI, dead guys in the basement types? If those things happened today the outcry would be just as great. Now we are stuck with them until they get caught again. They will get caught. It’s part of their pathology. But greater corruption is no reason to tolerate a lesser kind.

          Anyone wonder why our Church is in such precipitous decline? Think it has something to with leaders with no vision? We had one but they got him. And on what? False charges of moral corruption! You can’t make this stuff up.

    • “I mean, you know 25 years in the clergy to be dumped for the rest of his career on the basis of nothing more than trash talking text messages? ”

      Please, he can go back to school. I had a 72 year old woman for a classmate while earning my bachelor’s degree.

      He can go back to school and become a medical assistant, home health aide, or something useful like that.

      His career is not over. He just needs to find a new career.


    • Lola J. Lee Beno says

      If it walks, talks and quacks like a duck, then its a duck. What part of that don’t you understand?

      • So these text messages are bad, he has to go, because we just know more happened even if there’s zippo evidence or anyone saying so. And, even if having apologized. But DUI’s, with evidence, convictions are ok if the person says sorry. Really? Are you saying that? Up is down, black is white?

        • Two wrongs don’t make a right, Harry.
          Didn’t mom ever teach you that? Don’t mean to be sarcastic, but really, NO ONE is saying the DUI is OK and this isn’t. They are both beyond obscene and you are just trying to cloud one man’s issue. He is a dirty old man not a spiritual leader.
          He needs to do something else for a living. Go help clean up Long island or something.

          • Will nobody answer whether a Christian is or is not to accept an apology for “trash talking” without anyone alleging physical misconduct?

            One writes they know who is a ‘dirty old man’ with nobody alleging more than words, and throw him under the bus though he apologized in public!! This, while a proven convicted drunk gets to decide whom to ordain without outcry, on the basis he says he’ll really work to improve. Though nobody really watches closely, right? This is what you are giving people to see when they think about joining, think about staying.

            I’m not having a good week.

            • Okay, Harry.

              Read Bp Matthias’ letter again. He isn’t apologizing to me, as one of his flock. He is asking forgiveness “to all parties involved” for “my poor judgment and careless words spoken to the complainant.” I’m not one of the “all parties involved”, per se, so this isn’t to me, exactly.

              Should he be apologizing for telling me and the rest of his flock, back in August, “I deny these allegations and I plan to respond in due course” now that the allegations have been substantiated? Because he isn’t. He is “pledging…that [he] will undergo the spiritual and emotional counseling and guidance recommended…by the Holy Synod…”.

              Would this be akin to someone agreeing to something “without admitting or denying any wrongdoing”? Because that’s how I’m reading it.

              My Spouse reposed several years ago. I get the grief, the loneliness, the disorder one’s life takes on; especially when the repose is a result of terminal illness and you’ve been the primary caregiver. Perhaps, we do our widower priests a terrible disservice when we demand of them the sort of self-less service required when we make them bishops. And I see “red flags” in Bp Matthias’ actions after his Wife reposed. In his interview, he comments that he spent a fair amount of time visiting women’s monasteries in order to serve them as well as gain some measure of succour there. Sounds good. Everyone’s grief is different, but I think engaging the company of women in service and to ease the grief is tricky, at best; especially if, perhaps, one has had a good and fulfilling marriage.

              After his election, there were portions of Bp Matthias’ interview that have gone missing. There’s a “Part I” but no longer can one find the “Part 2” that I and others distinctly remember. Why? I remember he mentions his emotional fragility after his Wife reposed; how he had to take a leave of absence from his studies. I also remember from his interview how his Wife’s illness reminded him of his Mother’s illness and repose. And that this was difficult for him. Are there latent grief issues from that time of his life that have made him emotionally fragile?

              My concern for Bp Matthias is because he is my Bishop. His behavior towards this young woman is not just inappropriate for a Bishop, it is inappropriate for any 60-something year old widower towards a 22-year old woman who is in a relationship of her own. It’s not just predatory, but selfish, inwardly focused, and self-serving. And it’s not something that one suddenly “picks up” or does in a vacuum. I would think after forty years in the Priesthood, his “dating skills” would be, well, rusty! Grooming is a learned, manipulative behavior. Have there been other times he has done this, has practised this and successfully? It certainly isn’t what I would expect from a mature Christian man who has lived within the Church his entire life. To say I am disappointed does not even begin to describe how I feel. I am shamed for him; embarrassed for his Family, that this has all become so incredibly public.

              Of course, I forgive him. There but for the grace of God go I or any of us. When faced with the dull ache of loss, despite our best intentions of our faith, we will sin in one way or another. I forgive Bp Matthias. I pray for him.

              But I do not want him to be my Bishop. Or my Children’s or Grandchildren’s. He has brought scandal to the Name of Christ and The Church. Increasingly, I am finding it difficult to invite others to the OCA because of him. Here, in the Midwest, the stories of the Catholic abuses and the Penn State abuses and the Boy Scout abuses (with the attendant coverups) are too raw, and too fresh. Most folk aren’t nuanced enough to see this as anything else than more of the same.

              Lord, have mercy on me a sinner.
              Lord, have mercy on us all.

          • “He is a dirty old man not a spiritual leader.”

            Cause you know Bishop Matthias’ heart. You know him oh so well.

            Is it not possible that Bishop Matthias is simply a lonely widower who let his emotions get the better of him? Must he automatically be a “dirty old man” because he’s a fallen person?

            The rather spiteful attitude against a fellow Christian (Bishop Matthias is a fellow Christian, right?) tells some of us more about the Bishop’s enemies than it does about anything else.

            • George Michalopulos says

              I agree with you Nicholas. I just wish that you would bring the same level of defense to the cause of His Beatitude, who is widely hated by Syosset and the likes of “Tom Paine.”

              • My perspective is that Metropolitan Jonah will get a reward for all of this suffering where it really matters, when he comes face to face with Christ at the awesome judgement. Perhaps the constant fighting on his behalf isn’t really helping him in the grand scheme.

              • George, all we’ve really been given to know about why Met. Jonah was asked to leave is that he covered for a boozy priest, and mysteriousness as to psychological issues at a treatment center.

                The OCA has bishops with DUI’s on their records, and others who’ve enabled time and again gay clergy misconduct even among the nominally married.

                Protesting about mishandling one boozy priest by comparison seems awfully selective.

                So, it has to be about ‘that which we are not given to know’. Also it appears sending text messages is a very bad idea. You can drink and drive, but don’t text if you want to ordain people as a bishop in the future. Make a note. Also don’t stay married if you want the whole bishop gig. An obstacle, that sacrament. ‘Sacrament’, such a flexible word these days.

            • This matter is simple, no matter what is the cause he can no longer be a ruling bishop. Confine him for life to a monastery with no contact with women. Now that is justice. But I suspect the bloated peddlers of filth in NY will never have the moral courage to be just, just vengeful to the righteous and “pastoral” to perverts and homosexuals.

              • The matter isn’t that simple. He committed no actual physical transgression against this woman. He is not a predator. You’re judgement of Bishop Matthias far exceeds his crime. Should he remain a Bishop, probably not, because St. Paul says to even avoid the appearance of scandal. But If this man were not a Bishop, would his sins be this great in your eyes? Would he need to be “confined to a monastery for the rest of his life with no contact to women” if he just happened to be a parishioner in your parish who made a similar mistake. Would he be considered a pervert then?

    • You need to re-read the letter and what he did again. He spent several hours alone with this young person – it was more than just text messages.

    • M. Stankovich says

      I believe Mr. Coin is absolutely correct to verbalize his thoughts as to perspective and the “reality” of threat. Reading this “discussion” without knowing to what behaviour it actually addresses, you would imagine that our situation is so phenomenally unique and unimaginable that we are forced to rely upon whoever, again, chooses to anonymously present the “facts.” If I am not mistaken, the anonymous accusers in the OCA now outnumber those contained in the federal witness protection program. How ironic that last week I stood in the doorway observing the madness of a resuscitation code for a true jackass who, as a “new fish,” days into prison, committed to scamming his real name with a “similar” name before he could be fingerprinted, and took medication that his “real name” was highly allergic, sending him into anaphylactic shock. My hat is off to the nurses – always my heroes – who figured it out in a flash, and referred to him, to his face, in terms I cannot share. My thought: everybody has a good reason.

      I am weary of providing factual data as it is routinely ignored, so if you wish to “debate” the research, invest the time in proving me wrong: it is fundamentally inappropriate to utilize the language and criteria applied to child sexual perpetration. Period. There are some common dynamics, but fundamentally, a child is never presumed capable of consent. There is simply no factual basis for suggesting this man poses a “risk” to anyone, by history – and I am the first to presume that perpetrators have an undiscovered, undisclosed history – by research, or by “actuarial” calculation. Quite obviously, no calculation is ever an absolute, but criteria does exist by which we release paroled felons back to the community with a reasonable amount of safety. And having said that, I believe that making such an unfounded, unsubstantiated accusation serves no useful purpose other than to trivialize sexual perpetration and inflame. I believe that Fr. Hopko ‘s argument is more than sufficient, in and of itself, and I stand by my original opinion that forgiveness has no bearing on fitness to serve, and Bp. Mathias should be immediately retired.

      • The ‘child’ here was 22…. and to my knowledge claims nothing untoward beyond the messages. And by the bye the parish did vote for Dr. Joel, that’s how he deserves a voice. Just sayin’. Better cool it off before you burn it out.

        • Right on both counts, Harry. it was a 22 year old woman. Dr. Joel fulfilled ALL the requirements of the OCA
          Statute to be a delegate, and NONE of those requirements mentions sentiments, leanings, utterances, or thoughts. Perhaps there’s a question in regard to professional jealousy. Does the professor from Marquette covet the postion at Dunbarton Oaks that Dr.Joel has?

      • M. Stankovich says

        Vladyka Tikhon & Mr. Coin,

        You seem to miss my point: I am well aware of the fact the “woman” affected in this matter is an adult. The argument of the “Merry Wives of Windsor” inappropriately relies on criteria that presumes an inability – developmentally, psychologically, and under the law – to consent. I am not saying it is any less offensive morally or ethically, but it is essential in determining future threat.

        You would note that an “industry” of books & instructive “mixed media” exist, online and in your local bookstore for purchase, that promote, claiming equal degrees of success, “techniques” for even the most “challenged” geek male to procure as much “no-strings-attached” sex with only the most desirable women of his dreams. Universally, the “techniques” rely upon, in another context, the dynamic of child sexual perpetration, nothing more, nothing less. So, male-as-rodent gets lucky at the bar post-instructional video with a 22-year-old he met in a bar. I am repulsed. His friends refer to him as a “hero.” No one, I dare say, would perceive him as a threat.

        The introduction of this matter served absolutely no purpose other than to trivialize sexual perpetration and to inflame. This was polemic,

        • Mr. Stankovich: If an apology for first-time, words-only misdoing isn’t acceptable in a matter among adults then the word ‘apology’ now has no meaning of importance in church understanding. Is that okay with you all? Really?

      • P.S. To Mr. Stankovich: I don’t think I would last doing your job as long as you’ve managed it. I had occasion to visit a mental health facility as part of a college course many decades ago, though the sufferers there were not violent the one thing that stuck with me from that day was it takes a special gift to be in the presence of such suffering and misapprehension of reality as a career, anyone with the stuff to do that well has my appreciation.

        • I agree with Stankovich and you, Harry. I’m in disagreement with all who assume the woman in this case was either naive, innocent,or a child. We know nothing of her except what she herself may have uttered. I don’t think she every said, ‘Bishop Matthias had no reason whatsoever to think I was flirting with him, that i was one of those 22 year olds who drives a big gas-guzzling SUV and parks in the Handicapped zone at Safeway and texts while shopping and driving.” Has she sworn she never “tested” her attractiveness with male adults? It seems to me, then, that even you, Mr. Stankovich do not have enough information, as a professional, to make a considered judgment in this case relative to either party. Sure, any theorizing you do must be better informed, but let’s not lose sight of the fact that it IS theorizing.

  3. Fr. Timothy Cremeens says

    I think that the letter of the Clergy Wives of the Midwest Diocese is the height of wisdom and the Holy Synod of the OCA would be “wise” to heed their counsel. Fr. Hopko’s letter of 2011 reinterates the wisdom of the Canons and if this counsel were followed with compassion would go a long way to restore the confidence of the laity in the leadership of the OCA and the integrity of the episcopacy in the Orthodox Church in general.

    • George Michalopulos says

      I wonder if Fr Hopko would use the same words to describe Bp Matthias that he used for Met Jonah when he slandered him last year.

      • I really cannot figure out how you can declare that Fr Hopko slandered +Jonah last year. You do not have any sources to back you up. Have you deposed Fr Hopko, interviewed Metropolitan Jonah, and read St Luke’s report? The most that you have is the various opinions offered by mostly anonymous sources. Again, it is one thing to say that you think Fr Hopko was wrong; it is another thing to accuse him of slander. I do not think that you are being a good Orthodox Christian George. Do something about it please.

        • Alfred Kentigern Siewers says

          Glory to Jesus Christ! Glory forever!
          Perhaps Mr. Kraeff would like to distinguish between his apparent lack of concern with his own references online to people here as schismastics, and his concern about the characterization of Fr. Hopko’s remark as slander?

          • Carl Kraeff says

            The difference, dear professor, is that there are plenty of folks on this site accusing the entire Holy Synod of slander, talking about leaving the OCA, urging others to leave the OCA, hoping that the OCA burn down, etc. The only thing that Father Hopko said was that +Jonah is gravely troubled. Since we heard from Jonah’s own lips that he is indeed gravely troubled, how does that make Father Tom’s observation slanderous? Besides, I had decided to dial back my rhetoric and, instead of meeting fire by fire, to take a gentler, kinder approach. I even quit using a pseudonym on Internet blogs and fora because of you. I may be wrong but I may have expressed regret for my previous harsh language. Apparently not enough for you.

            • George Michalopulos says

              Carl, the Synodal letter of July 16 is clearly libelous. It’s not a matter of interpretation: either Jonah did that which they accused him of or he didn’t. He didn’t. They knew he didn’t, ergo: libel.

              • Carl Kraeff says

                George–Unless the Metropolitan has been whispering in your ear, there is no way that you can say that +Jonah didn’t do what the Holy Synod accused him of doing. Similarly, unless you knew the mind of the members of the Holy Synod, there is no way that you can say that “they knew he didn’t.” I very much doubt that either occurred.

            • Carl Kraeff says: “Since we heard from Jonah’s own lips that he is indeed gravely troubled.”

              Please cite your source for this alleged admission.

              • My wife and I spoke to our Spiritual Father, Jonah about the time he used this “troubled” word. He was speaking about his CONCERN for the OCA. He was and is troubled about the state of affairs for the church that he has been a part of from his youth and rightly so. The events since his elevation to “Metropolitan”, the primate of the OCA, have been troubling indeed. He had a very difficult time with all of the filthy residue of problems left over from the previous Metropolitans, he had a chancellor who spent his time trying to undermine him and cast him in a negative light, an administrative task force (Syosset) who were supposed to work for him and provide him with administrative support and who, instead, spent their time trying to undermine him and cast him in a negative light, a synod of brothers (lol) who were supposed to help him in making major decisions affecting the whole OCA; yet most of these so-called brothers busily plotted to rid themselves of a Godly hierarch who made standard statements against homosexuality, abortion, and other sins that are normally basic Christian positions, but those statements seemed to point the finger of morality right at some of them and at previous/past leadership. Perhaps Metropolitan Jonah should have used a weaker word such as ‘concerned’ to articulate his concerns (troubles) about his beloved OCA. He is gone, the OCA does not have to be concerned any more about basic morality in the leadership any more and our beloved Jonah, as far as I know, has not shaken the dust off his shoes as a testimony against the OCA because he loves his church, he loves the people in his church, he forgives everyone on a constant basis, he follows his own teaching of “Do Not Resent, Do Not React, Keep Inner Stillness.” Love covers a multitude of sins, love forgives.

              • DM–Let’s start with Father Hopko’s statement:

                “Asking your forgiveness on this first day of Great Lent, I beg you to trust, honor and support the Synod of Bishops of our Orthodox Church in America, together with the Metropolitan Council and Chancery staff, in their unanimous efforts to fulfill their duties responsibly, which now most sadly include insisting upon and providing for proper counsel and care for our gravely troubled Metropolitan Jonah…” (my emphasis).

                Father Hopko did not come out of the blue; he was responding to +Jonah’s effort to fight back against the decision made at the Santa Fe Retreat of the Holy Synod. Please note that at this retreat, the Holy Synod asked +Jonah to agree to the following:

                “2. The Holy Synod expressed concern for the Metropolitan’s health. Once again they affirmed their love and concern for him and their earnest desire to see him succeed.   After further discussion, the Holy Synod determined that a sixty day Leave of Absence for His Beatitude would be beneficial.  Metropolitan Jonah accepted to do so.”

                At this point, it is useless to speculate whether +Jonah’s troubles were related to physical and/or mental health issues. The point was (and is) that +Jonah agreed to go on a leave of absence to take care of his problems. However, almost as soon as he left New Mexico, he welched on his word and his henchmen, such as Father Fester, started to attack the Holy Synod, the Metropolitan Council and the Chancery staff. At this point, he went from being a merely troubled Metropolitan to one who was gravely troubled in my opinion and obviously in the opinion of Father Hopko.

                Later on, at the Seattle AAC, the Metropolitan confirmed the gist of his critics:

                ““….These last three years have been the three most difficult years of my life. I have been under a relentless barrage of criticism for most of this time for every forum I am meant to oversee: the chancery officers and staff, the Metropolitan Council and most troubling to me, the Holy Synod of Bishops.

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

                These three years have been an administrative disaster. And I need to accept full responsibility for that and for my part in it. I did not understand the depths of the breakdown with the bishops. I thought we had a good working relationship but obviously there is something very broken. I need to regain the confidence of my brother bishops and of many others in leadership positions in our Church. I tell you all here and now that I am deeply sorry for that and I ask your forgiveness.

                How to get to the root of this breakdown in trust and repair it, if possible, is the real challenge for me and I am willing to do whatever is necessary, working in close collaboration with the Holy Synod. As a first step I have agreed to begin a process of discernment that will include a complete evaluation in a program that specializes in assisting clergy, starting the week of November 14th. I have chosen to do this out love for you, the people of the Church, and for my brother bishops.”

                Please note that just months earlier he was ranting and raving against the Chancery staff and the Metropolitan Council:

                “…a small group of people in and around the MC are determined to undermine the Metropolitan; and the very nature of the episcopal authority. There is a conspiracy of several people who believes the MC should control the Church, and the bishops: that brags that they unseated two metropolitans, and they plan to get a third. They believe the officers of the Church work for them, and in this case, it is true. In the canon law of the Church, conspiracy against a bishop is a deposable offence (4th ecumenical council, canon 18). Some of these people were involved in the SIC report, others in various committees of the MC. They are bullies, asserting their own will , motivated by their passions, and tearing down and destroying everyone who opposes them. They have to be stopped dead in their tracks, and removed from any position of influence in the OCA.

                First among them is the Chancellor, Alexander Garklavs. For a year and a half he has been working to undermine my episcopacy, through deceit, slander, bullying employees, lies and misrepresentations. He has used the committees of the MC as his sounding board to undermine me with the members of the MC, telling the Strategic Planning Committee that I am “destroying the OCA”, slandering me at the Board of Trustees Meeting of St. Vladimir’s Seminary, among a very few cases; and to top it all off, is this SMPAC Memorandum. This document is not about how I handled cases of sexual misconduct, but rather, about him, and his power. It is about how I did or did not consult him,. And where I did, he takes it and twists it, making me sound incompetent. I am not in any way incompetent.” (my emphasis)

                The Metropolitan Council had a different impression:

                “The Metropolitan Council has concluded its two day meeting in Syosset. You can read the OCA’s summary here. While fully accurate, the OCA’s version omitted the substance of the meeting. The majority of time was spent in what was described to OCANews.org as a “brutal”, “ugly” and “frustrating” recounting of the Metropolitan’s purposeful actions over the past six months that have undermined all the OCA has been attempting to accomplish. As in Syosset a year ago September, and in Chicago last May, the business of the Council was dominated by report after report of how the Metropolitan, in word and deed, has been working against his synod, staff and council. As in earlier meetings the hope was that the Metropolitan would change his destructive behaviors and actions when confronted with them. Alas, this “intervention” was as unsuccessful as the all the earlier ones.

                As in the previous two meetings the Metropolitan responded to every charge of misbehavior and subversion with denials. When presented with concrete evidence (such as emails indicating he was revealing OCA legal strategies to opposing counsel) the Metropolitan would respond that such evidence was taken “out of context”. When the full email or context was presented, the Metropolitan would attempt to excuse himself by stating “That was not what I intended.” When shown by action after action that was indeed what he intended, the Metropolitan would finally admit the truth of the charge.

                The Metropolitan would offer no apologies for his repeated misconduct but would simply stare blankly and silently into space. Interlocutor after interlocutor would rise to confront him, only to sit down in frustration at the Metropolitan’s inability to respond honestly. Nor was it just MC members who complained of the Metropolitan’s actions and dysfunctional leadership. Lesser Synod members also confronted the Metropolitan on issue after issue, including the ailing Bishop Nikon of Boston, who shouted at the Metropolitan in one tense session — despite his recent and painful throat surgery.

                In short, the overwhelming problem with the OCA is its Metropolitan and all his works and all his ways. The OCA, as the Metropolitan Council reviewed, cannot get ahead of events because the Metropolitan himself is constantly creating new ones. Worse, he is unwilling, or unable, to stop doing so. He will not be shamed, nor resign, nor does the Synod seem willing to remove him, ostensibly because whatever his pathology (for +Jonah refuses diagnosis) it is not a traditional “canonical” offence. It is only an offence against common sense and the natural instinct for self-preservation, both of which virtues seem to be sorely lacking among our enabling higher clergy.”

                Please note that I am citing the above account to illustrate the truth of the Metropolitan’s Seattle statement: “I have been under a relentless barrage of criticism for most of this time for every forum I am meant to oversee: the chancery officers and staff, the Metropolitan Council and most troubling to me, the Holy Synod of Bishops.” The picture is of one person against all others. Of course, it is always possible that the one was in the right and all of the others were in the wrong. +Jonah put that to rest at Seattle and also in his resignation letter: “I had come to the realization long ago that that I have neither the personality nor the temperament for the position of Primate.”

                So, yes I indeed think that the record shows a gravely troubled person. The record also contains statements from this troubled person that confirms this truth, either directly or indirectly. Seattle statement confirms it directly, The Santa Fe minutes, +Jonah’s Santa Fe speech, and his resignation letter all confirm it indirectly.

                • Thank you, Carl. That must have taken a long time to put together. I asked for your source because I thought there was something new out there in which Met. Jonah clearly admitted to being “gravely troubled,” some statement that did not require framing such as you have done here. Had there been, you would have been able to post a single link rather than a lengthy argument. IOW, nothing new.

                  In Met. Jonah’s Seattle statement, he said that he had “been under a relentless barrage of criticism for most of this time for every forum I am meant to oversee: the chancery officers and staff, the Metropolitan Council and most troubling (i.e disappointing, concerning, etc. -DM) to me, the Holy Synod of Bishops.” What I remember afterward, listening to the podcast, is that no one, not a single person, contested that Met. Jonah truly had been a “under a relentless barrage of criticism” from subordinates and peers. On the contrary, the Synod, to a man, applauded his statement. What an awful environment! They all wanted Piggy’s glasses.

                  • Carl Kraeff says

                    Dear DM–Folks rarely summarize their position is clear and concise statements, particularly when they are talking about their failings or shortcomings. One reason, of course, the temptation to minimize and rationalize–an all together human response. That does not mean, however, that everybody else must be a hostage to their predicament.

                    Regarding the applause, I do not think that anyone would have contested +Jonah’s admission of fault for what he said was the truth. The folks applauded because they were relieved to hear that their Metropolitan was at last admitting his failings. They applauded because +Jonah did the right thing. They applauded to encourage their leader to stay on the right path. What is so awful about that?

            • Being troubled is not a synonym for any pathology whatsoever. Being troubled is a healthy reaction to anomalies, sins, and injustice or even just the incomprehensible.
              As Matthew writes, “And when the disciples saw him walking on the sea they were troubled.”
              I’m NOT saying that those who called Metropolitan Jonah weren’t to insinuate, without making themselves liable, that he was in need of therapy. MANY of us are troubled in our hearts that members of a Holy Synod CHOSE to elect Metropolitan Jonah without pressure from anyone, and now complain that he has BEWILDERED” them! If that is true, i;e;,if they are truthful men, how do they explain their choice, their election? Answer; they do no such thing.
              The only thing that would restore their credibility would be for them to do so, and apologize to everyone, especially Metropolitan Jonah, publicly.
              Instead, we’ll get a long address from the Dalai Lama of Protopresbyters, who refuses to retire, but still feels he, like Solomon, is required to make judgments and dispense wisdom. When he makes a particularly problematic statement, he’ll conclude it with either, “You see…’ or ‘You know.”
              He is one hundred per cent objective about the Orthodox Church and Tradition. He sees that as his strength. The Saints were never objective. He writes not “WE believe and teach” but amongst the various beliefs and teachings of the others, the Orthodox Church teaches that…
              I repeat, being troubled is NOT a pathology, but one of several normal, healthy and balanced reactions to various occurrences.
              Having said that, there is no question whatsoever that Metropolitan Jonah has resigned and has publicly stated his justification for doing so. Instead of opposing his action in resigning, all this time could have been spent battling for a just outcome for him. I feel he doesn’t really want it, but he’d be flattered by unsuccessful efforts to put him back. Who wouldn’t be?
              Who has been blessed by Metropolitan Jonah to seek his reinstatement?

        • Pace Mr. Kraeff, what Thomas Hopko wrote in regard to ++JONAH, that he was deeply troubled, was and remains slander per se. It was also unchristian and the kind of idle words for which our Lord warns will stand in judgment. The slander was made the worse by the speaker unqualified endorsement of OCA News and its infamous publisher. As is often the case with such words, they tell more of the speaker and his own conceit than of the one against whom they are directed.

          Perhaps we should just tack it up to age and the acerbic spirit that sometime afflicts the best of us in our dotage–especially those gifted with a brilliant mind and for whom the temptation to play the smart aleck is, alas, sometimes too great.


    • George Michalopulos says

      This question is addressed to any who may know the answer. How much does St Luke’s cost? (That’s where His Grace is going to be incarcerated.)

      • Lola J. Lee Beno says

        I don’t know. But here’s the website: http://www.sli.org/

        • Jim of Olym says

          I just looked at the site, and queried ‘fees’ and ‘costs’ but got nothing. I suspect they are rather ‘expensive’.

          Rdr. James Morgan

          • Basil Takach says

            I don’t know about you folks, but most employer provided health insurance have riders (in some states purchased as an extra coverage level and in others – like New York – mandated by law) providing for a fixed maximum period of inpatient treatment for certain psychological disorders or conditions coupled with an extended period of time for continuing out-patient follow-up. I don’t know about Illinois or if the Bishop is covered under a group plan issued through New York. Be charitable to the man and pray for him. Having known him for many, many years and having observed him following the death of his beloved wife, it would not surprise me in the least were he to be suffering from some form of depression or PTSD. Men in this country, be they Bishops, Generals or simple laborers have a difficult time in coming to grips with their own shortcomings and untreated clinical depression is a common malady – especially the higher up one rises within one’s own career. Priests and bishops put their pants on one leg at a time like the rest of you and the lack of charity about the man – I am not commenting on the proposed ultimate remedy of returning him to Chicago – is appalling. I also know that it has not been an uncommon thing for our clergy to refer folks, and other clergy, to Catholic orientated psychologists or treatment centers in order to avoid the common secular anti-faith approach of many pure Freudian practitioners. Pray for his health and spiritual well-being – his soul is worth your efforts.

    • The height of wisdom…What next. Well, we still don’t KNOW who wrote it. I still vote for Protopriests and maybe one clergy wife.

  4. Nobody will listen to Midwest clergy wives. The Synod ignores all of us, ALL the OCA!!!

  5. Singing “IS POLLA ETI DESPOTA” became a big problem for me too. In the beginning of October, we had +Melchizedek, I didn’t come to liturgy. On October 25th we had + Nathanael, who served at St. Nicholas without choir and choir conductor (one deacon served as a deacon, another one as a choir). They managed somehow.
    Therefore, I had to resign from St. Nicholas Cathedral. I planned to resign after Parma, but since I told them ahead of time, at the end of September, they accepted my resignation on November 1st.

    In my opinion, NOBODY will pay attention to the wonderful letter of Midwest Clergy Wives. The Synod ignores us. Should we also ignore the decisions of the Synod? Just asking…

    • When we sing “Eis Polla…” for our Bishops, we aren’t doing so because we want them to live under their rule forever (or that we even like it), it’s because, as Bishops who has much responsibility over souls, they need as much time as they can get for repentance for the sins they commit against their flock.

      • George Michalopulos says

        well, that’s reassuring.

        • We’re all sinners in need of repentance, including (perhaps especially?) Bishops. Their decisions often effect far more people than yours and mine do. They need a bit more time for repentance for their mistakes than you or I.

          • Patrick Henry Reardon says

            Nicholas says: “We’re all sinners in need of repentance, including (perhaps especially?) Bishops. Their decisions often effect far more people than yours and mine do. They need a bit more time for repentance for their mistakes than you or I.”

            Probably true.

            Also irrelevant.

            Any mention of repentance is—regarding the case in question— irrelevant.

            Repentance is not the issue here.

            The only issue here is a man’s qualifications to serve as a bishop of the Church.

            Everything else in this matter is a distraction.

      • Nicholas, you don’t get it either. It is not long life for the bishop we express with “eis polla eti, despota”, it’s Kyrie ‘phylatte(sp?) for many years. Lord, Protect for several years or for a while.

    • M. Stankovich says


      Interesting response. Seems like “punishment,” but it is not quite clear to me who is paying. The Lord uses the example of a man who bestows talent(s) on his servants, then leaves on an extended trip (Mat. 25:20ff). When he returns, he requires an accounting. One servant has squandered the talent… Just asking.

  6. Michael James Kinsey says

    Take care that ye be not decieved, is the first thing the Christ instructed HIs diciples to do. This command needs to be applied to the concerns of all authentic Christianity. Abortion, eithanasia, homosexual agenda, the neglect of the Synod to address the accusation of misconduct directed at most of them, the outragious manner and arrogance of deposing +Jonah. And a requirement which touches the lives of many Orthodox Christians, the 911 war on terror. Is it meet to send Christians into battle, like they were pagan Roman legions, to kill and be killed furthering the imperial ambitions of the US Government to gain control over the world;s oil resourses? Any person who is willing to be intellectually honest, will have no problem coming to the conclusion, that element of our own governemnt attacked the World Trade Center buildings. There are over a hundred videos that offer a preponderance of scientific proof, that the government version is a total fabrication. This is a deception that could prove fatal, eternally and temporally for any professiing Christian who is decieved by it. Our military is killing millions of innocent people, Orthodox Christian are NOT called to do this by Jesus Christ. What is the Synod’s position on this. The US governmnet has a stake here, and rest asured they are already involved.

    • Catherine 9 says

      This guy is RIGHT about the political agenda of that event. I refuse to call it even by the typical name – why give power to a HUGE LIE ?? Some day the truth will be so obvious. It already is, to those with eyes to see and ears to hear.

      In more traditional jurisdictions, most people don’t go for this nonsense. In fact, they don’t believe the US media AT ALL. Nor should they. It’s completely controlled and aimed to DECEIVE reasonable Americans who have no time to research carefully and gulp down whatever they are told by “authorities”.

      Some atheist-minded Americans argue that it’s because Americans are religious, hence obedient because they are trained to be by the Churches. Hence they do not have the faculty of critical questioning open.

      It’s sad if atheists are smarter at seeing SOME things about political realities than Orthodox or Catholics !

      I hope people reading this site are willing to investigate much more deeply into all recent events of the past decades by reading reliable sources who HAVE gone through the evidence available.

      In fact it was neo-con types who worked in concert with Israel’s Mossad.

      Every foreigner one asks never would believe that a group of Arabs living in a cave could have planned such a thing ! It’s preposterous to almost any citizen of any OTHER country than this one.

      A group of students at a premier Russian political science institute were questioned about whether they believed the American government’s repeated assertions about the perpetrators of that 2001 event.

      These students, the best and brightest of Russia, were truly sharp. None of them believed the version peddled to the world. Simple peasants could also see through the glaring lie !

      Better to work on developing spiritual as well as political discernment.

      Then I think we will see that Bp Matthias is a case of a fairly good person tripped up over a BIG GOOF. That is so different from EVIL by nature or an outright SOCIOPATH like a certain West Coast OCA prelate.

      I agree with Harry on his statement to this effect.

    • Michael Bauman says

      What bunk.

  7. Mr. Pappas,

    Let the people refuse the fallen bishop any entry into any cathedral or parish. The people do not need to leave. The people need to turn the man around, and send him back to his car.

    Pray for him, but do not vest and receive him for hierarchical services.

    Instead of “Eis polla”, shout “Good Repentance!”, turn him around, and send him home to grieve, weep, and cry for forgivness. Then send him to the monastery to live out the rest of his days.


  8. Hopko’s letter is not worth much more than the paper it was written on given that he continues to be selective in his application of what he so boldly asserts in the 2011 statement.

    Where is Hopko’s outrage against +Benjamin? Where is his outrage against +Nathaniel? Where is his outrage archdeacon Burke and Bishop Mark? Where is his outrage against +Mark (Maymon) or Denis Bradley or John Perich or a list of other clergy that could be posted?

    The fact is, Hopko turns a blind eye to all of this. He focused all his judgement at +Jonah. His words are correct but his ability to actually stand up as a prophetic voice is muted by his capitulation to the Syosset powers in charge. I doubt that he will ever stand up to anyone he considers a friend. Rather he will punish those he considers not in line with his thinking.

    Personally, Fr Hopko lost credibility with me a couple of years ago when he blessed the life of Mark Stokoe. That was enough for me.

  9. Thomas Paine says

    You people don’t get it. Of course the Synod of the OCA issued a statement of reconciliation. This was the best course from a legal perspective. The Synod has good legal representatives. However, does anyone here really believe that the bishop in question would be reinstated to his former post? Of course not. In fact, this letter and public outrage is exactly what the Synod counted on. Now, the Synod can say, “The people in the Midwest don’t want you.” End of story. You people are such takers.

    • George Michalopulos says

      Deacon Eric, if this is correct then our contention that the Synod has not worked in good faith for many years now is the correct one. Of course you could be blowing smoke: I for one don’t believe that the Synod is that clever. In other words, you’re being too clever by half.

      BTW, it costs $90,000 a year to “treat” somebody at SLI. At two years that’s $180,000. Given that His Grace is still on Admin Leave at full salary, that must mean that Syosset really likes him.

      • Right…. And don’t forget to compare this figure with what will be given to +JONAH as severance in his unjust removal as Metropolitan. No forgiveness. No assistance. No re-reinstatement. No severance. Not even an ATTEMPT at parity.

        • Thomas Paine says

          Gee, I didn’t know REAL monks needed severance. He came from a small monastery, let him return.

          • George Michalopulos says

            Thank you Dc Eric for continuing to show us how utterly graceless the Syosset Apparat is, was, and will continue to be.

            • George. No clergy wives from the Midwest wrote that letter. A priest or two, maybe. Unless you’ve got a list of signatures, I’d say it’s an outright fraud. It frankly sounds like a bunch of warmed-over Bobosh, especially here: ” We clergy wives are often the ones pastorally dealing with the debilitating effect of sexual harassment on so many of our women.” What a load! Often? How often? Pastorally? Why not maternally or, ‘as often as anybody else kindly following the Scriptures?” It’s just ideological puffery composed by a few instances bitter because Matthias is not Archbishop Job and does not worship, fall down and adore Archbishop Job’s programs and memory.
              I think Matthias should probably go, too, but it appears someone has put the fear of God into the Chancery/MC crowd and they’ve convinced the Synod to tread lightly.
              Perhaps they realize their suspension of even Archbishop Seraphim is an outright offense against the canons. The Dalai Lama of Protopresbyters not withstanding, allegations are not offenses.

              • Further, according to the OCA website, i.e., the Chancery and the Holy Synod: Metropolitan Jonah is, in fact, outside “the Church!” They generously and condescendingly announce that “the CHURCH” is having a dialogue with Metropolitan Jonah! One may tritely ask, “What’s Metropolitan Jonah, chopped liver? “

                • Basil Takach says

                  Couple of things here, having known Bp. Mathias since his younger days when he was young man from Parma, Ohio (how’s that for irony) I would highly doubt he would have been consulting attorneys and meeting with the Synod through or with his legal representative – unlike another Bishop in the news recently so I do not think that the decision to have him seek ‘treatment’ was motivated by the lawyers – at least by any of the Bishop’s choosing. Secondly, you are not adding to your credibility with the rest of the Orthodox church by conflating your internal issues with your Synod with conspiracy 9/11 wingnuts. The most pathetic thing I saw this year was when we visited the memorial to Flight 93 at Shanksville – otherwise a moving, understated monument to the courage of the passengers that fateful day – only to be accosted by a conspiracy theorist who was allowed to set up adjacent to the parking lot and harass visitors with his obscene claims that our government shot the plane down.

                • “Chopped liver” is about right. It is astounding to me that all members of the OCA Episcopate were not even invited to the Parma gathering. To me this was not only a slap in the face of +Jonah but to every OCA bishop not on the synod.

                  And so, those who will go to Parma will be part of a closed gathering, more easily controllable with the outcome a mere formality. What a waste of time and money. But, this is the new OCA!

    • Fails the Occam’s Razor test, I’d say. That doesn’t necessarily make your assertion erroneous, just unlikely.

      • Yes it does fail Occam’s.

        That is, there was no reason to get that fancy. If it was sexual misconduct; termination is certainly legally possible, or rather, preferred methinks.

        This is the Synod trying to show Christian love to the bishop, but we don’t know what the young woman wanted. Perhaps this was her wish, too?

        Very unlikely the Synod wanted a rebuke from clergy wives or lousy Orthodox like me.

        • Mark from the DOS says

          I always enjoy when people cite Occam’s Razor on this site. In citing it, they oversimplify its meaning and overstate its application.

          You do realize Occam’s Razor is frequently cited by atheists in support of the non-existence of God, right? Maybe we Orthodox Christians should be a little more circumspect in pulling this tool out of our toolbox just to “win” an internet argument.

          (And I say this without reference to the argument at hand. As far as I am concerned, Matthias should resign and repair to a monastery.)

          • Right you are, fellow DOS member! I still think the simpler explanation is more likely true, though. I also think it’s a far simpler explanation that God created the heavens and the earth rather than them springing into existence of their own accord and for no reason and to no end and that life has no purpose or meaning.

    • Michael Bauman says

      Whenever a post begins with those infamous words: “You people don’t get it…” what follows is almost always a bunch of closed minded rhetoric. A fact which I try to remind myself of each time I am tempted to write or even think those words.

  10. The obvious answer to all of this is for Mathias to resign HIMSELF. Not because he is asked to or forced to but because it is the right thing to do. Sometimes I don’t believe there is a Christian among them.

  11. I wish Matthias knew what he had done wrong. The real problem is that he dost not acknowledge what he has done wrong. On top of that, he is the kind of person that retaliates.He BULLIES clergy. He BULLIES laity. Everyone in the diocese of the Midwest knows that, and therefore, they have been quiet. He has a serious psychological problem. We have witnessed and experienced his actions and words. Matthias has no competency to be a bishop. In fact, he is very simple and cannot think broadly. That’s just how he is. His brain doesn’t operate as a leader of 70 some churches. Again, I’m telling you all, he has no quality to be a leader. The diocese is wasting time and money on this guy. Clergy wives have every right to vocalize their opinions against this unbelievably incompetent bishop.

    • Then I suggest a fully transparents process with significant involvment by clergy and laity, interviews of multiple candidates, visits to parishes, etc. in the search for a new… oh wait, that’s what was done and everyone was happy until their bishop decided against their wishes.

      It’s so obvious there are too many cooks in the kitchen and too many who are too willing to politick to get their way in the little pond that is the OCA – that was true of ‘modernists’ in the past and of ‘traditionalists’ today.

    • “Sonya,” named for wisdom, you are bald-facedly lying. I can’t believe an Orthodox Christian can write such a complete and total lie. 38 years of peaceful priestly service plus a year in which he made no changes whatsoever within the diocese, followed by his issuing of guidelines normative in most other Orthodox dioceses around the world, and suddenly he’s a bully? God forgive you!

      • Thanks Marc. I don’t think you know the reality and what the bishop is really like. I don’t lie. People just don’t know what the bishop is like. You just don’t know.

    • May I assume that Fr. Ted Bobosh was one of the voices who exclaimed that Bishop Matthias was unfit to return as the Archpastor of the Diocese of the Midwest?

      To me, this is a litmus test for the DOMW if they are going to go the way of the OCA synod and punish people or open their hearts to forgive and permit their bishop to prove to them that he is more than the content of those stupid email as his own son said or the naysayers who wish him to be crucified.

      A very interesting test for that diocese. May God’s will be done.

      • Nikos, you are usually a lot sharper than this. The Bishop is to be blameless. Why foist a crippled Bishop on people who already have their hands full?

        A very interesting test for that diocese. May God’s will be done.

        Seriously? You guys are so quick to accept mediocrity and spiritualize it as virtue. No wonder this ship has so many leaks.

      • Forgiveness does not preclude punishment. Or natural consequences. Forgiveness and Punishment isn’t an either/or proposition. That is a false dichotomy.

        I can sincerely and wholeheartedly forgive the drunk driver that killed my child. But that doesn’t mean I don’t think that they shouldn’t be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the Law; or they should be given a pass; or that they shouldn’t get themselves into an AA program immediately, if not sooner.

        • And to extend your analogy, a drunk driver who kills a child normally loses his driving privileges, (not to mention spending time in prison) usually permanently.

  12. Tymofiy Hawrysh says

    Affirm Courage: Heal the Abused & Abusers

    Glory to Jesus Christ!
    Dear Presbyter Anonyma,

    We thank God and I praise your letter which states the silent ministry of each presbytera, protonica, dobrodijka, preoteasa, khorea, mother, and matushka for centuries. It is painful and saddening to realize that such messages still need to be shared in an anonymous fashion. It requires courage to declare anaxios at any time, even when facts make it blatantly obvious. God bless you for taking courage to do so in a detailed, discerned fashion.

    What creates deep consternation is the observable silence on this issue from men – clergy and male laity. The lack of response leads one to perceive some type of hidden complicity, false guilt or fear of being criticized or other reason. These are God’s children that are to be protected by men who bear the fullness of ensuring the safety of God’s women and children.

    Healthy patriarchy protects, prevents, heals, nurtures, educates and saves as coworkers with our Lord. Healthy patriarchy deals with the issues discretely, tenderly but completely with courage defusing the fears, despite the squeamish nature of sexual abuse and our own sexuality. Many healthy fathers: we thank God for what you are in fact doing. The rest of us are to rise to embrace this yoke and cross with grace and love.

    Authority and truth come from within the Church, the Body of Christ, not from an office perceived to be above the body. “The Holy Spirit – The Church,” reigns in truth not as the authority of an office or the officer alone. Bishops preserve, protect and proclaim the fullness of the faith from within the fullness, the circle of the Church. Bishops testify and correct while they bear the honor of character to do so.

    The Orthodox Church in America struggles with transparency, truth and graceful discipline. The Synod of Bishops flounder about as they are being taught in our time, how to function by grace and truth in the context of abuse cases, with the added maddening exposure the internet provides. However, God’s grace is at work to freely unveil all darkness to the light. We are all coworkers of grace with God in this regard. His light is within us.

    Truth is like oil (on water), it always rises to the top.
    Правда як олива, завжди випливає на верха.
    Ukrainian saying

    For this reason we need to pray incessantly to Mother Olga of Alaska for her protection and healing of all of the faithful – especially the abused and the abusers. Remember – most often only the abused abuse. These include the manipulative and power hungry. As the Lord embraces each and every one, so must we for the upbuilding, repentance and healing of each person concerned.

    Our common efforts to ask God’s mercy by praying the Akathist to Matushka Olga is a first step. Her prayers and ours can increase an awareness for healing the abused girls, women, and boys but also for the prevention of abuse and protection of these children of God. This needs to be affirmed and entrenched in all parishes and families. Much much education is needed, affirmed, repeated, in “Good measure, pressed down, shaken together, running over, will be put into…” the lives of youth and young adults.

    “Good measure, pressed down, shaken together, running over, will be put into…” the lives of youth and young adults.

    Lovingly with gentle firmness and truth, the educating of boys and men on how to treat girls and women is needed. Affirming girls and boys and ourselves as temples of the Holy Spirit – filled to the brim with amazing humanity creates God’s grace for sobriety and wholeness. When these qualities will be fostered in all times and places, abuse can and will be prevented. “The Light of Christ illumines all.”

    Matushka Olga of Alaska shines today for us – a light of gentleness, tenderness, meekness and insight for healing and guarding the wholeness of children and adults. St. Herman of Alaska, our Ever Blessed Theotokos and Joseph the Betrothed all guide us and teach us in our ministry to children and adults. Let us turn to them with open hearts and minds, to let the balm of grace pour out through them and us to all.

    Akathist to Matushka Olga of Alaska

    An article on the Life of Matushka Olga of Alaska by now Deacon Kevin Wigglesworth.

    Matushka Olga teaches “God can create great beauty from complete desolation.”

    You are all God’s co workers in spreading the gospel of Christ.
    When we spend more time praying and loving than criticizing, we see real fruit from our efforts.

    And I urge you also, true companion, help these women who labored with me in the gospel, with Clement also, and the rest of my fellow workers, whose names are in the Book of Life. Rejoice in the Lord always. Again I will say, rejoice!

    Phil. 4:2-4

    What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things?
    Romans 8:31-32

    “May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope.” Romans 15:13

    Rejoice in your perseverance and dedication to the truth with grace.

    In Jesus Christ,

    Tymofiy Hawrysh, Reader
    Edmonton, Alberta, Canada

  13. Michael James Kinsey says

    In 2004, I heard of the remarks of Rosey O’Donnel( pro-chioce, homosexual talk show host) dissing W Bush concerning building #7 at the WTC on 911. I though she was just flicking crap at him, because of his pro-life poltic’s. This angered me, and I set out to prove her wrong. It only took 2 viewings of the videos to prove to me she was telling the truth. When a pro-lifer, ant-homosexual agenda proponent, and a pro-chioce, homosexual proponet honestly agree on something, it is because both on this issue were willing to be honest. I am honest for virtues sake, she for convience sake, but we are in this instance honestly telling the truth. One immutable fact is a falling object cannot fall through a strong undamaged structure as fast as it can fall through the air. The videos prove all the buildings fell within a split second of freefall speed. The evidence is conclusive, you must chose between calling Newton’s 3rd law of motion, lying bogus science or reguard the governments story an impossible fabrication.

  14. Michael James Kinsey says

    Gravity does not lie, but governments, have historically, been proven liars.

    • Catherine 9 says

      Furthermore, the most gigantic lie of them all is the MYTH of bin L’s “killing” at the
      hands of US military.
      There are so many disproofs of this that it would make one’s head spin.
      Yet i bet most of you are sold on the veracity of this FALSE “news”.

      Here is one article by someone’s who set out to disprove the lies told about
      911. He is an expert in the language involved, Arabic, and thus much better qualified
      to EXPOSE the gigantic FRAUD that the entire “War on Terror” spawned by
      911. His name is Dr. Kevin Barrett and he makes more sense than mountains of
      officials, journalists, all paid to reinforce the Big Lie in the American public’s imagination.

      Here are a few choices to browse through, I can find plenty of others.
      Just go to even this first site and look around for articles on 911.
      It is as patriotic American as one can find, but the writers tell the truth
      as best they have uncovered so far, using many sources inside the US government
      who quietly tip them off as to the truth of this 911- binLaden death – Al-Qaeda
      and almost every foreign affairs situation.

      The US public is considered by Europeans and others to be the most naive and
      easily manipulable on earth. It surely must be, to take in so unquestioningly



      Finally, as Dr Barrett said, it’s quite strange how Al-Qaeda NEVER kills

      Israelis :

      “The idea of an al-Qaeda affiliate which claims to be fighting for Islam, to be destabilizing an Islamic country [Syria] on behalf of the Zionists and the American empire is kind of laughable.

      If you look at who al-Qaeda has actually killed over the years, they’ve killed almost entirely their fellow Muslims. In these embassy bombings in Africa that they claimed credit for, they killed almost entirely Muslim Africans. In the fighting that they’ve done against the Russian empire, they ended up killing a lot of fellow Muslims there.

      They’ve killed very, very few Americans and Israelis.

      Al-Qaeda, of course, did not have anything to do with the 9/11 attacks. That was an inside job run by people in the US and Israeli intelligence apparatus.

      Al-Qaeda is really a manipulated group that serves to smear Islam. It’s created a negative brand name that only about seven percent of Muslims like, and the other 90 percent-plus don’t like. It’s destabilizing the Middle East on behalf of Zionism and the US empire.”

  15. Michael James Kinsey says

    I am also, very much interested in what Met Jonah considered to be the truth concerning the 911 attack.