Some thoughts on the latest OCANews…

Metropolitan Jonah

Metropolitan Jonah

As you may or may not know, I’m a huge fan of Mark Stokoe, the blogmeister of He’s one of the true heroes of American Orthodoxy. Thanks to his indefatigable muckracking he was able to expose the corruption in Syosset, the epicenter of the Orthodox Church in America. It is because of his efforts that the two previous metropolitan administrations were brought down and the people and clergy elected Bishop +Jonah Paffhausen, the newly-elected Bishop of Ft Worth as the new Metropolitan.

His last posting was before Christmas so this latest one is long overdue in my estimation (go to It’s basically a catalogue of the most recent events in American Orthodoxy, some good, some regrettable, and some questionable. Largely, I agree with his analyses. Where I must part company with him however is in the unfortunate view he has of Metropolitan +Jonah’s refusal to live in Syosset. For the life of me, I can’t understand why anybody would take His Beatitude to task for wanting to live in his diocese. Lest we forget, +Jonah is the diocesan bishop of Washington, DC and environs. He cannot serve effectively as archpastor of his diocese if he’s five hundred miles away, living within the boundaries of another bishop all the while pretending that he’s the pope of America. We should be applauding him instead for doing the right thing. At the very least, +Jonah is putting into practice what he’s been preaching and writing about lo these many years –that the primate of a local church is first and foremost a diocesan ordinary, equal in rank to his brother bishops and –more importantly–one who is unable to encroach upon their territory.

Now I realize that many on the Metropolitan Council (Stokoe included) are alarmed at these change of events, some of which includes the devolution of the Metropolitan Council into something less national. But they should keep their eyes on the bigger picture. At the risk of offending some very fine people, I can’t understand why some in the OCA are so beholden to Syosset. To someone who has only been in the American Church for only eight years, it looks to me that Syosset is viewed by many of the natives as an American Vatican City. This is unhealthy. In Orthodoxy there is no Vatican City. Period. There is no pope. (BTW, I’m a huge fan of Pope +Benedict XIV, so don’t be accusing me of anti-Catholic bias, I’m not. But I am Orthodox and I think we should adhere as strictly as possible to Orthodox ecclesiology, hence my own disdain for the neo-papalism that seems to be emanating from Istanbul.)

I mean no disrespect to the many fine people who work there, both past and present, but in my humble estimation, the culture of corruption that existed was in many ways enabled by the idea that American Orthodoxy had a “capital” and the dioceses were mere provinces, headed by CEOs who served at the pleasure the Metropolitan. To be blunt, many religious and secular institutions suffer tremendously from an East Coast myopia. This is after all the culture that is found in the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese and the Antiochian one as well. And you see the dysfunction that exists in those two eparchies. There is no way that the Gospel can be preached locally if the local bishops are beholden to an ethnic or cultural mindset that is unexceptional east of the Hudson River but completely alien to people living anywhere else.

+Jonah understand this.

As for his many trips to Russia, I say: Bravo! Russia is today the epicenter of Orthodox Christianity. Istanbul has been reduced to a dying ghetto and is desperately trying to revive its fortunes by hitching its wagon to some questionable efforts. Some of its ideas for making a big splash are laughable (i.e. global warming as a sin). It’s inattention to grave moral concerns such as abortion are nothing less than abominable. To my mind the bishops who reside in Istanbul display a desperation exacerbated by the increasingly tenuous position of the Patriarchate of Constantinople. The recent acquisition of Turkish citizenship by several Greek-American bishops is particularly galling to me, a proud Hellene both of whose grandfathers fought in the Greek Army during the Balkan Wars. A Greek Army by the way which was within sight of the outer walls of Constantinople.

I would ask those in the OCA who are concerned by +Jonah’s visits to Russia to consider the alternative –unification/subjugation to an Orthodox jurisdiction which will never be allowed and (truth be told) does not want to cut its apron strings from a dying mother church. For all the faults of the OCA, it could never be accused of being a Romanov Nostalgia Cult in the same way that the GOA is most definitely a glory-seeking Byzantine Nostalgia Cult.

I also know many in the OCA are taken aback by +Jonah’s supposed “questioning” of our church’s autocephaly. I personally have discussed this with him. He knows how I (and perhaps thousands of others) feel. But if I may come to his defense, I believe what he is trying to say is that our church’s autocephaly can and must be “reinvisioned” to include something greater. This may be too clever by half. But I for one can’t imagine that “reinvisioning” would be something less than what we already have, which is autocephaly. I can imagine that it could be something greater, a united American Church that cuts across ethnic lines and which has locally elected bishops occupying distinct episcopal thrones that conform to real political (not ethnic) boundaries.

Perhaps I’m being naive. Perhaps His Beatitude sees our autocephaly as being the price paid for unity. I hope not. If so, then we should reprove him. As stated, it would not be a true unity because it would be one based on subjugation. The standard of the Church however is different. Our Lord said that true unity could not be imposed but would reflect the love that its members had for each other. Otherwise, it could be said that the people of the Soviet Union experienced unity. Thankfully, the Holy Synod put out a statement in mid-November stating in no uncertain terms that our autocephaly is not negotiable and that we are not going to be brought under any foreign patriarchate. Bravo for them. If this was what needed to be said to bring additional clarity into the picture, then we need more clarity. Having said that, +Jonah’s recent essay seems to me to comport to this bold attitude.

In conclusion, it is obvious from Mark’s catalogue that if the glass is half-full, then the majority of the good news comes from the local, territorial Orthodox Church (i.e. the OCA). It could not be any other way in a properly ordered canonical church. And it could never be so in any archdiocese which is ruled from overseas and which has no local control.


  1. Nick Katich says

    George: I agree 1000% with what you said. And no, the extra zero was intentional. The one thing you do not point out is that Herman was Archbishop of New York and Wahsington. Mark’s criticism, and other people’s criticism, was that he refused to live at Syosset and lived outside his diocese in Pennsylvania. Now that the Metropolitan wants to live in his diocese — to criticize it is the epitome of hypocracy. And, I too love Mark and acknowledge his great contribution to the “cause”. But, sometimes even “heroes” get lost in polemics.

  2. Ashley Nevins says

    Watch the OCA, GOA and Antiochians over the next 3 years. They are the leaders of the Orthodox in America and all three are corrupt, failed, irrelevant and dying. They are without solution. Like the layers of an onion being pealed all three are going to reveal how they fail by the same theological systemic cause. In fact, they already have. More corruption is going to be exposed. What you see on the surface is nothing compared to what the Orthodox do not see below the surface. What is below the surface will more and more be revealed as the foundation of the church cracks and the rotten structure collapses in upon itself revealing all that was hidden.

    The three ring circus of the three jurisdictions is on and I got a front row seat.

    Watch the sense of shame, discouragement, powerlessness and hopelessness exponentially increase in the church over the next three years as the realization that there is no solution becomes more and more undeniable. The laity will no longer be able to ignore the problems by isolating and closing off in the denial of their parishes where they live to ignore the demise of their dead church. The issues are going to come into the parishes now like never before in your American history. Rational modernity, the rule of law, freedom in individual inalienable rights and freedom of religion competition are lifting the lid on the reeking closed toilet for all to see in. Mock God, Orthodox, and He will flush the toilet and you will flush into sewer farm oblivion. I promise. The next three years tell the story of the future of the OCA, GOA and AOCA.

    Here are three of the more obvious failed attempts to stop the serious demise of the EOC in America:

    1. The Mother of God sends Elder Ephraim to the GOA to save it from itself.
    2. The Holy Spirit sends Jonah and his vision for a new American Orthodoxy to the OCA to save it.
    3. The recent American bishop conference led by the bishops who lead the failure of the EOC in America gathered to set the Orthodox on a new path in America – The GOA Archbishop led the conference.

    Watch the Orthodox church become more insecure as it declines and watch it become more grandiose and super ego about itself to compensate for its shame in failure. The self centered church is going to become even more self centered self conscious about itself. The insecurity is going to spiral out of control as the church spirals down the toilet bowl to its corrupt death. NY is a big dump in bowl circling down to the sewer farm end. The death spiral will make the Orthodox even more self protective and therefore more closed paranoid and subjective delusional by the insecurity. As the church retracks it will retrack into desperate acts to save itself and they will fail making the church look the fool and the fool will feel even more shame.

    The danger is that ultra fundamentalism can take hold to try to legalistically stop the church death. Yes, GOA, let the elder be your salvation solution and see what kind of a solution he provides by believing in what he believes in as your salvation solution. Believe all of his monasteries are helping you and not enabling the cause of your failure. Yes, OCA let Jonah lead you into his monastic vision for all of you too. He is the pedophile protecting abbot that now has a Met vision for all of you. I read what Mark said in the last two paragraphs of his most recent post on what has been going on while he was away. He is warning the church that it might go dead. It is already dead. I know he is too late in his warning because the Orthodox are ALWAYS too little too late. I told him two years ago this would be the outcome. I’m troubling to the Orthodox, you think? I tell you of the worst nightmare coming and you never believe me until too late. The OCA is dead by not recognizing what is circular killing it. Nothing has really changed in the OCA other than the new window dressings. This jurisdiction has gone from dead to dead.

    Watch the depression of the church grow as the church becomes ever more circular without solution with each new failure as solution is applied and then watch the apathy and indifference grow with each passing failure until the irrelevant insignificance is the tolerated and accepted norm by the apathetic and indifferent. The Orthodox don’t think this has already happened, do they??? How could they? They are too apathetic and indifferent to notice. The Orthodox are a GIANT got themselves moment.

    As the church becomes more and more powerless by top down power and control the church will become more and more corrupt and that will cause more and more shame in failure that will cause more depression, hopelessness, discouragement and frustration. The more the church demises the more that top down power and control will be looked too to hold the church together. The more the church tries to hold itself together by top down power and control what do you think will happen?

    Do the Orthodox have assurance of salvation or are they insecure in their salvation by works and performance as salvation? Are the Orthodox just sacramentalized and not really evangelized? Yes, Orthodox keep preaching ORTHODOXY! ORTHODOXY! ORTHODOXY! and not Christ. Be obsessed with self definition that negates Christ as the message. Let Orthodox jhad be your message. That is religious addiction if you did not know that. Religious addiction is works and performance salvation that will lead a church into becoming a corrupt, failed, irrelevant and dying church without solution by its works and performance salvation. Works and performance puts itself FIRST in salvation definition over Christ as its definition in salvation. So go be ORTHODOX! Go be Gods only alone right and one true ORTHODOXY! Yes, Orthodox, I know exactly why your church is circular without solution and not a one of you can tell me why that it is without being circular in explanation. Has Ashley opened a can of Orthodox worms this time or what? I see right through your salvation.

    The end result of the failure of Orthodox salvation is a church that will take on a BEATEN DOWN mind set and/or a cowering mindset. That is Satan robbing the joy of salvation. That KILLS evangelism in the church by KILLING Christ as salvation in the church. Something else becomes salvation and the church dies. To corrupt your church Satan has to corrupt your salvation FIRST and when he has your salvation corrupted he will put the works and performance of your self definition by those work up FIRST as salvation to destroy Christ as salvation. Preach ORTHODOXY Orthodox and put that up as your indentity in salvation FIRST. Put yourselves FIRST in front of Christ and DIE by yourselves being your salvation put FIRST. Be your own salvation by being your own power in your own salvation and see if that solves the problem of a corrupt, failed, irrelevant and dying church. Yes, try to solve these problems in the power of your own power salvation and see if that does not lead you into more corruption, failure, irrelevancy and church death.

    When salvation is corrupted the joy of the Lord in salvation is lost and apathy and indifference set in. An apathetic and indifferent salvation is the salvation of a dead church BEATEN DOWN by its salvation. It is the salvation of the pathetic and powerless religious codependent. Yes, I know, the pathetic apathetic and indifferent religious codependents disagree with me. They are offended at my critical thinking and graphic discription of them that does not mince words. I expose the religious works and religious performance salvation of the religious codependent and the religious codependent does not like being exposed by truth in the salvation of Christ that exposes the false salvation of the religious codependent.



    Orthodox, anymore questions? Oh, you question my salvation and want to know if I want to have Orthodox salvation like all of you have and to make sure I go to heaven like all of you have the assurance of salvation that you will go to heaven? Do I have to live in Orthodox hell on earth as my Orthodox salvation before I go to Orthodox heaven? How you answer is your witness of Orthodox truth in salvation to me and anyone else who can think for themselves in their true Christ centered salvation.

    Ashley Nevins

    • George Michalopulos says

      Ashley, if you don’t mind, I will point out that only the first two of your three points are valid. Yes, I do believe that the Holy Spirit sent Elder Ephraim to the US to help revive the GOA and put it on a more spiritual path. As for Metropolitan +Jonah, I agree as well. (That does not mean that I think both men are incapable of error.)

      Your third point however is fatuous. I don’t know anybody (and I mean anybody) who honestly believed that the winged jackalope that the Chambesy confreres came up with was anything but a stop-gap measure made up by bishops who have no vision and have lost the centrality of the Gospel. The lack of enthusiasm that have been displayed by all parties involved (including the bishops who make it up) is stunning. Lethargy springs instantly to mind.

      This is not why it will ultimately fail. It will fail because the protocols devised are conciliar up to a point, but most definately not logical, rational, or workable. As such, I cannot let stand the inclusion of it with the other two points you have posited.

      • Ashley Nevins says


        I have worked with many churches and church leaders in failure. This is not about a leader making a mistake. They all do. That is expected. This is about the theological collapse of the structure and system of the EOC. The EOC is corrupt, failed, irrelevant and dying in a circular without solution state. No solution applied works to solve this problem. That is an entire leadership structure systemic failure and not a leaders mistake.

        Here are two facts I know to be true in this church failure:

        1. The rational objective fact is that the elder after a generation among the Greeks has not changed anything of significance in that jurisdiction other than bring it division.

        2. The rational objective fact is that OCA is a dead church that is circular without solution and Jonah cannot lead it out of this state of failure.

        The EOC in America basically exists in a survival existence state of dead church failure and no bishop or elder can help it by applying what is causing the failure as the solution to the failure. That is circular without solution by the circular solution applied.

        Where is the Elders promised revival? The elders vision for GOA monasticism is going to make the GOA an open system of Christ salvation relevancy through evangelism to our generation?

        Where is Jonah’s vision for a new American Orthodoxy today? The man with the most profound respect for the corrupt bishops is going to lead this jurisdiction out of corruption?

        These are just a couple of examples of what I speak too and the whole church as an example of church failure is what I speak into. These two leaders are a fraction of the larger structural and systemic failure of the EOC. Each toxic, sick and dying part plays a role in the larger death of the EOC as a whole. They are ALL systemically connected in the failure by the CAUSE of the failure.

        Frankly, the Orthodox are in complete DENIAL as to what the CAUSE of this corrupt church failure is and I know what the cause is and why they are in denial of it. That is very difficult for any Orthodox to hear and I know why it is difficult for them to hear it. My knowing why it is difficult for the Orthodox to hear is difficult for the Orthodox to hear. Just my being here is difficult for many Orthodox. The Orthodox are not radicals revolutionaries for the Lordship of Christ as the center of authority in the church that holds the entire church transparent and accountable. I know this by the corrupt and failed state of the EOC and by its failure with the Gospel in mission and evangelism.

        Oh, so, the elder is come to America as mission and evangelism to the GOA that will then result in the GOA becoming a mission and evangelism machine for the salvation of those outside of their church??? Between his role model and example of mission and evangelism and the bishops role model of mission and evangelism the GOA future is assured. I promise. Yes, George, tell me how what I speak too is just a leaders faults or mistakes and how called by God they are to raise up the church to Christ centered character and spiritual maturity. Have you ever met a hard core follower of the elder often refered to as an Ephraimite? That is the end result product of the elder in the GOA and just like Jonah is the end result product of the OCA bishop development. All are puzzle pieces that fit right into the larger puzzel picture of the EOC failure from the cause of the failure.

        Here is a little insight into the visionary leader of the OCA. A male food addict has an 80% chance of being a sex addict. And, of course, anyone with spiritual discerning eyes can see that in Orthodoxy there is no sexual sin tolerated by its leaders or by its laity. In fact, Seraphim is getting a lot of public laity and clergy support up in Canada and that was exposed for what it was and it was not Jonah who exposed it. +Puhalo is one of his cheif defenders. Were either Seraphim or Puhalo sexually abused by anyone in the EOC leadership? It might be important to find out and because it might reveal a organizational pathology pattern that solution can be brought too? The OCA might want to look into the potential of an abbot protecting a known pedophile in a monastery as being a part of a sexual corruption pathology in the church? Denial is the Orthodox end. Denial is a dead end, Orthodox.

        All the different pieces to the puzzle of the collapse are the symptoms that point to the cause. The elder and Jonah are two pieces to the puzzle. The entire picture puzzle reveals what I speak too as the cause of the problem. Unless this changes in the near future by relevant reform this will be your continual and never ending state of church no matter what any of you disagree with me over. The Orthodox are not being recognized for their Christ centered relevancy in America. They are being recognized for their CORRUPTION. Your church relevancy is your church CORRUPTION and not Jesus Christ as salvation.

        Yes, diagree, George. And, yes provide solution when you do. The Orthodox love to talk about their unresolvable issues and rarely talk solution other than superficial symptom solution. Disagreeing with me on solution is good for the Orthodox. It makes you think for yourselves and see perspective outside of yourselves in rational fashion. There is not a defense, excuse, rationalization, explanation or justification the Orthodox can make about the fractional parts of the failure and the whole of the fractured failure that I cannot see right through by Christ in the Gospels. I am SOLA CHRIST. I am Christ alone is salvation right and the only right salvation solution to what is quite literally killing the EOC wrong dead. Obviously, by any thinking for yourself objective measure Orthodox salvation is not and cannot provide solution to its corrupt failure state of church.

        Like Mark stated, the more things change… Like you stated, the keystone cops… Like I stated, circular without solution. We are saying like or similar things and they all point to the SAME systemic cause of the corrupt church failure denied by the Orthodox. The Orthodox like Mark and George do not deny the symptoms. They deny the cause of the symptoms. The depth, width and degree of this corrupt church failure is not a leader failure or leader weakness or blind spot. No, it is theology that creates the structure and system of leadership authority that is the cause of this structure and system of authority corrupt failure. The Orthodox can change bishops and elders until Jesus comes and it will not stop the systemic corruption of the EOC from the cause of that systemic corruption.

        The spiritually superficial church sees solution as the superficial change of leaders. It is about addressing symptoms and not cause. The spiritually deep church sees solution as the change away from the cause of the failure. It is about addressing cause that addresses the symptoms.

        The Orthodox believe they are the cause of the failure by not right practicing alone right Orthodoxy. They shame blame themselves. That is not the cause of the failure. The Orthodox that I know practice their Orthodoxy and that is failure in practice. They practice the cause of their failure and they fail. If they practiced solution they would not fail. The Orthodox practice Orthodoxy Orthodox correct and it does not correct their church. So, in my thinking for myself mind I think the Orthodox are just practicing what causes their failure and they are not the cause of the failure themselves. Give the Orthodox solution to practice and the failure will go away in one generation. I sincerely believe the Orthodox can find solution by practicing solution over practicing what causes their failure. Yes, I know, saying that is not going to win me any Orthodox popularity contests. It will be subjectively misunderstood and not objectively understood.

        The discussion between those in the closed box and with me outside of the closed box opens the closed box. Does opening the closed box help the closed box see itself differently than the way it sees itself? Does it reveal things about the closed box that it is not aware of? Does a Christian not in the Orthodox closed box bring perspective that challenges the closed box to think outside of itself?

        BTW, I love it when Orthodox disagree and because I know why they disagree before they disagree.

        Thinking for myself without the GOA or OCA thinking for me,

        Ashley Nevins

        • George Michalopulos says

          Ashley, as usual, you lose me by the third paragraph. By what right do you go about making dogmatic statements about the “failure” of the Orthodox Church? We’ve been here for two thousand years, and yeah, some of our bishops are real idiots. But to blame Elder Ephraim for not being able to heal things within the GOA even though he’s been here for less than twenty years strikes me as arrogance on stilts.

          As for the OCA being a “dying church,” I can state that this is very far from the case. Yes, things were bad under Methodius and Herman, but they’re on the mend now. Yeah, some of the other bishops don’t lilke what +Jonah’s doing, but I’m glad, because we in the OCA have real bishops over real dioceses and they can’t be ordered around.

          I like you and I welcome your critique on this blog. I hope you keep on contributing. But I can’t help but think that some of your invective is based on personal experiences which appear to have been negative. You seem to be knowledgable about Christianity. I ask you now: among the 23,000 Protestant denominations, which is the one, true church? The one that our Lord said would last until “the end of time.”

          • Ashley Nevins says

            George, please allow me to explain it in three paragrahs and since three or more paragrahs seem to lose you.

            The Orthodox are not facing one issue. The issue is what CAUSE the symptoms of the failure are pointing too. Talking about obvious symptoms of the church failure is not facing the cause of the church failure. You do not face the cause of the church failure because you are in denial of what the cause of the church failure is. You are in denial of the cause because the cause is the theology and its resulting structure and system. In the Orthodox Mind the cause of the church failure is anything other than what the true cause of the church failure is and you remain failed because of that. The EOC is circular without solution by applying the cause of the church failure to the church failure as its solution to the church failure. It will not work.

            Every EOC jurisdiction will remain a corrupt, failed, irrelevant and dying failure from the same systemic cause of that failure until the Orthodox face the cause of their church failure. The EOC is not Gods alone right and only true church. God is not in that closed, isolated and subjective box of sure failure. The EOC is not Gods objective standard of what a safe, healthy, dynamic and growing church of what His salvation is. Any church that follows the EOC role model and example will end a corrupt failure of a church. God operates outside of the corrupt, failed, irrelevant and dying church failure closed box of Orthodoxy and not through it. The degree that you are corrupted from cause is the degree that God can work through the EOC and obviously God is not able to work through the EOC in RELEVANCY to our generation.

            The Orthodox can disagree. They disagree from a position of failure by their theology and its resulting structure and system that believes it is Gods only alone right and one truth that does not lead to corrupt church failure. They believe their church is salvation and that salvation is not saving the EOC from its corrupt church failure by the theology of that salvation and its resulting structure and system of church failure. This is obvious to anyone who understands how to take symptoms back to cause without denying the cause when you take the symptom back to the cause. Your salvation is either your solution or your self destruction. That is Jesus confronting the Sanhedrin in the Gospels. He is confronting the EOC over the same issue and like the Sanhedrin who believed they were Gods only alone right and one true truth in salvation they did not listen to the Christ outside of their corrupt failure. They were found by Christ to be in a corrupt, failed, irrelevant and dying state by their salvation.

            Ashley Nevins

            • Michael Bauman says

              Ashely, you do not perceive correctly:

              The Church is not salvation, only Jesus Christ is. That is true Orthdox theology.

              The Church is the Body by which He acts on earth and therefore the fullness of the revelation of the Truth can only be expereince in and through the Church., but the truth is the truth no matter where it is found. Just as sin is sin.

              Without the theology of the Orthodox there is no Chrisitan theology. If you reject her theology in toto, you are rejecting Chrisitanity.

              The Holy Spirit draws all men to Jesus Christ and the Father and love of God covers a multitude of sins. Salvation is granted to those who love Christ, but which Christ. The theology of the the Church has always articulated as precisely as possible who the saving Christ is and who/what He is not.

              You are allowing your own pain and lack of forgivenss to blind you to the truth.

              • Ashley Nevins says


                I forgive you. I just do not religiously codependently forgive you. My forgiveness, that you do not understand, confronts you to your face over the failure of your church by its salvation and you do not like it one bit. You can talk about how right and true your salvation is, but don’t forget to tell me how it is providing you with a solution to the corrupt, failed, irrelevant and dying state of church.

                You are being adhominem. I predicted that. All of my predictions of the Orthodox come true and like all of my promises made to the Orthodox come true.

                The Orthodox are not facing the cause of their corrupt church failure. Your salvation is either your holy solution or your corrupt church failure. What does the state of your church tell you what the state of its salvation is to provide solution to that state of church? Please answer the question and please no adhominem that does not go to cause and find solution. This is about finding solution and not about adhominem reaction that cannot provide solution. Yes, outline for us all how what you tell me is the only salvation if not for the Orthodox and how that is working out as your salvation for a corrupt church without solution. I can’t wait.

                Yes, make me the problem somehow for pointing out the problem. I see right through it and know what your religious codependency denial is not facing as the cause of the corrupt, failed, irrelevant and dying state of church. Make the messenger the problem so you do not have to face the cause of your corrupt church failure. Now tell me all about my unresolved issues to aviod facing the unresolved issue of your corrupt church failure.

                Without Christ in the Gospels their would be no Christianity. I see right through Orthodox Christianity to the cause of its corrupt church failure that it calls Gods only alone right and one true Christianity. Christ is solution. Your church is without Christ as solution. It exists, at best, in a dying survival existence state as it salvation. It is irrelevant to our generation and because it is really only relevant to its self centered self that is it own salvation in its own power by its totalism theological power that renders the entire church powerless to stop its corrupt failure state.

                You are very religiously codependent forgiving of the your church structure and system for pain it brings all in your church. That is why NY was going on the whole while Katinas was going on and that is the BLIND who cannot SEE by what I speak into your corrupt church about.

                You think I have a problem. Wait until those problem victims in NY take the GOC into court. Then we will see who has the real problem and why he does. Yes, those sex abuse victims are just pained and lacking of forgiveness too, right? They are in your face over your religious codependent DENIAL of who is the true problem. You know, like group sex with children in a Holy Greek Orthodox monastery with the EP’s name on it. Boy, Michael, I just cannot understand why the pained and lacking of forgiveness would want to sue the GOC into ruin. Please enlighten me with adhominem.

                Ashley Nevins

          • Ashley Nevins says


            You ask which one is the one true church because there has to be only one true church in your closed, isolated, subjective church of top down theological power and control Orthodox Mind. The church is those who have the salvation of Christ. Those who do not have it are not of Christ or His church. There is only a true church and not a one true church.

            Yes, I know, we disagree. We see it diameterically differently. I see Christ’s salvation as a bottom up and open system and you see it as a top down and closed system. We are upside down to each other. Oh, by the way, the Protestants are not Gods one true church. They left the church that also claimed that. Of course, it is obvious radical Martin is not in my DNA and just like it is obvious Orthodox totalism is not in your DNA.

            The bottom up and open system church has problems and some of them are serious ones. Have you ever tried to watch Binny Hinn the dictator master of his own universe and where there is no transparency or accountability? However, the bottom up and open system church are not in a failed state of corrupt church that is without solution. They fail forward to success and they don’t look all Orthodox pretty and shinny church when they do. They are messy and ugly and look fractured to the Orthodox who do not look messy and ugly and fractured to themselves, right? In 500 years they are now larger or at least as large as the EOC after how many centuries? Look at China to see how bottom up and open system Christianity works or you can just look at the 5,000 member church across the street from the 78 member parish.

            Orthodoxy = Christ and Christ = Orthodoxy. Orthodoxy = Salvation. That is the one true church mind and it is the mind set of a church in failure by its failed salvation. At the very least that salvation hold my salvations suspect or believe I do not have salvation at all. Yes, it is if you live in a closed, isolated and subjective theological box world all by yourselves as your own salvation. In the Orthodox Mind I am blind and cannot hear its message. In my mind the Orthodox are blind and cannot hear the message God is sending them about the state of their salvation that is the state of their church.

            I sincerely hope, George, you don’t think I believe the Orthodox need to become Reformation Christianity to find solution. No, in reality all I am advocating is that Christ be put into the center of EOC authority in rule over all in the church and where He can then hold the entire church transparent and accountable. If the Orthodox allow that they will allow Christ to lead them to any changes Christs sees the church needs to find relevancy and continuing solution as Christ as salvation authority at the center of all church authority. I really want God as the authority in the center of the EOC to reform you how He wants too and He can’t as long as man in the traditions of men in authoritarian top power and control rule are. Simple.

            George, all I really know is that Christ alone is my only salvation and that salvation is not a corrupt, failed, irrelevant and dying church circular without solution by its salvation. Christ alone as my salvation is my only one true church and He is not a corrupt, failed, irrelevant and dying salvation as a church that claims to be my only salvation. I am IN CHRIST by being IN CHRISTS salvation and so I am in Christs true church. Some of those inside the true church believe they are more true than others and to the point they believe they are Gods special one true church and salvation as being that only one true church. I simply do not believe that is my salvation nor do I believe that kind of salvation will lead a church out of a corrupt, failed, irrelevant and dying state. I believe it will lead such a church into a corrupt, failed, irrelevant and dying state.

            George, I even have the proof to back that up. It’s the state of corrupt failure of the EOC that is circular without salvation solution. I do not expect you to believe that truth for being inside the church that is my proof. I expect you to defend it or take exception with my analysis. I know whose salvation leads a church into a corrupt, failed, irrelevant dying that is circular without solution. I have met him in spiritual warfare on the cutting edge of spiritual warfare relevancy church battlefield that has solution over him.

            I have made my points. The message has been sent and as the messenger I am not really here to win an argument. I see how the Orthodox have already lost the argument by the state of their church that cannot find solution. I know how controversial that I am among the Orthodox. I know how to push all the Orthodox buttons.

            The conversation is becoming circular. I am being asked questions already answered and the message in the most important of ways is not accepted. The cause of the problem is being denied and I am not here to go circular with denial. I am not here to win when the EOC has already lost.

            This is not Ashley vs. The EOC. This is the Lordship of Jesus Christ as our authority in our salvation as our only solution. Either a church has that or it does not. In other words, a church finds solution by the degree the Lordship Christ authority is at the center of the church. I don’t believe the EOC has that nor do I believe it is going to find solution as long as it stays in denial to the cause of its corrupt failure. The Orthodox can disgree. It’s their church in the state that it is in and I spoke into that state with solution from God. It’s the Orthodox decision to believe that or not.

            God sends victims to confront the victimizers and that is one of the signs of His last resort warning before more self destruction comes. It is the severe mercy of God in your faces and it is denied. I came out of no where and as least expected. I am not the Orthodox spiritually correct messenger and my imperfection in confrontation is who that I am in grace still in transformation process by my only salvation. That is not an apology. I have NOTHING to apologize for. Period.

            I just love it when God sends imperfection to confront perfection. I think for myself think that is in the NT, right? The weak expose the strong or something like that, right? The victims are used by God to expose the victimizers, or something like that, right? The broken confront the proud, etc. The verse just escapes me. Can any of you look it to make sure I got the context right and then report that back to the forum?

            I wish the Orthodox the best in their desire for the perfect messenger they need with the Orthodox correct perfect message they can hear. I make one last promise. The message of your solution to the corrupt failure of church will come to you from outside of you and not from inside of you. The Orthodox will not hear the message and because the Orthodox believe they are the message sent to them from God as their own solution by being Gods only alone right and one true church solution to itself.

            That is the most scary promise I have ever made to the Orthodox. Guess who told me to tell you that??? Yes, I know, the messenger and the message are wrong somehow and so not to be really heard. The message about the CAUSE is wrong and because the Orthodox by being alone right know what that cause of corrupt church failure is. The messenger and the message could not be sent to you by God out of no where and through a radical for Christ and His Lordship authority in the center of the church. How could God do something like that when the messenger is a victim of the cause and who can argue for the victims and their cause like no one any Orthodox has ever met.

            God is never righteously angry in confrontation and uncompromising in confrontation about sin that destroys Christians. He’s an Orthodox with the Orthodox solution and so He really only uses Orthodox to speak into the Orthodox. Someone like Ashley who is not Orthodox and who is only pained and unforgiving could never understand how God the Orthodox thinks to solution, and so why would God ever use anyone outside of the Orthodox to speak into the Orthodox? That would be heresy confronting the truth of God and heresy mocks God.

            You are a fair minded Christian and I do not want to take advantage of that. That is not why God sent me here and yes He did send me here. If I sense Him to want me to come back I will be back. Simple.

            I have given fair warning to the Orthodox and like all my fair warnings given they all come true. The Orthodox are not hearing this warning. The warning is the warning of the CAUSE and anything else brought up in regards to that being the main theme is really very secondary to the theme of the problem being the CAUSE of the unresolvable Orthodox problem.

            The elder question is a rabbit trail that leads off the path to the cause. All you need to know about him is staring all of you in your denying faces. My gosh, what do you need, the Feds to convince you? Will a TV expose’ help convince you? Are divided parishes not enough evidence? What about the three leading Christian anti cult websites, what do they say about him? Does the Rick Ross Hall of Flames not tell you what an ephraimite is? You have not read David Smith, the whistle blower, website? Pokrov does not have any evidence? There is not now an organized lay effort to expose him in the GOA? Delusional conspiracy theories told me at St. Anthony’s is not proof? That is a Christian cult on stilts. It will not provide the GOA with solution in any generation it exists in.

            Yes, George, embrace him as the solution and see what kind of solution he provides. Completely miss the point with all the evidence right in front of you. My point about the elder not being solution was SECONDARY to the main point of the EOC has no solution it can apply that will work. It was only an one example out of how many? I have many more if that one does not work for you. Tell me what is the SOLUTION to the corrupt, failed, irrelevant and dying state of church and tell me how many recent solutions applied have worked?

            The surrounding issues I bring up are surrounding symptoms denied pointing to the cause denied. The elder is simply a symptom pointing to the cause and that is my only answer I can give you. If you deny the symptoms pointing directly at the cause you will deny the solution to your corrut church failure that is circular without solution. Denial of the cause has made this conversation as circular without solution as the EOC is.

            The OCA is not on the mend. Mark pointed that out clearly. ‘The more things change’. There is more going on below the new shinny surface that you realize or can see. Two years ago he didn’t believe me either. Seems he is starting to change his mind, do you think for yourself think so too? Yes, George, these are all just passing problems and the mend you believe you see does not point to the cause I point too. It was just bad bishops and not the cause Ashley talks too. Denial is this.

            I will check back in with you in three years to see if you have changed your mind about Jonah and the mend and those real bishops who hold Jonah transparent and accountable with consequences that have real TEETH. Just remember this one thing, denial is circular without solution.

            Take good care, George, and thank you for the grace you extended me in this confrontation. I by no means am an easy person to handle. The negative of the failure and those it victimizes is the negative I speak too that sounds negative. The solution which is the theme is positive. I guess you missed the positive solution in the midst of exposing the horrific negatives killing the EOC? Yes, George, I agree, it sounds more negative than positive if you do not go to cause that will lead you to POSITIVE solution. If you don’t go to positive solution by exposing the true cause then of course I seem harsh, graphic, negative and discouraging.

            This is not avoidance denial that overlooks horrific sin that kills salvation that is your churches’ only solution. Its the ugly truth of the salvation situation in the EOC. It’s not a pretty and nice religious codependent avoidance that believes its a wonderful day in the Orthodox corrupt ethnocentric ghetto neighborhood. It’s not a food addict in denial of his addictive personality disorder and that flies to Russia and gets DRUNK with corrupt ROC bishops. It is right in the face of that avoidance that denies the cause of the corrupt failure of a church.

            I have not heard you talk cause of the corrupt church failure that brings solution. No one has. Its sacred cow elephant in the living room denied. It’s the emperor who is wearing no cloths and who believes he is Gods only alone right and one true church and salvation and his naked body is the proof of how his salvation and truth are the solution.

            Will those not Orthodox churches exist until Jesus comes? Yes. Do you need another 500 years of proof before you believe me? Come on George, you can make a better argument than that. I know exactly how to argue against my own position. Can you argue against yours??? That is objectivity. Radical, isn’t it. Its how you find solution. Radical, isn’t it. This bottom up and open system church that has been in existence for centuries is radical about exposing itself to itself. That is how it will be alive and relevant when Jesus comes. Did you ever conduct that research on shame based churches, religious addiction, Barna and the Christian anit cult websites? What you got Orthodox? You got the OCA on the mend and the GOA going where?

            (Where are the SERBS these days. Do any of you know of the corruption inside that jurisdiction? Yes, lets open that can of negative Orthodox worms up too to see if I cannot point it to a positive solution.)

            The Orthodox church will continue to exist until Christ returns. What will it continue to exist as? Jesus is going to be really pleased with its corrupt failed state when He returns. Oh, but, the OCA is on the mend with Jonah who Mark is warning he is going to lead the OCA into a dead church. Too late, Mark. It already is that state. It never left it. It just changed window dressing. I told him that two years ago. You listen like he listens. The church that tells me it is going to last until the end of time is as dead as it is out of time. Lasting until the end of time means being a dead church when time ends. Seems to me that they are pretty close to the same thing. They both end. One just ends before the other. Keep’em coming George and maybe the circular of this will lead you to the cause of the corrupt church failure you deny.

            I agree to disagree with you George. Any changes on the mend in the OCA are only superficial symptom addressing solutions that are band aides. They do not go to the cause of the failure and do the healing surgery there.

            The written argument is my God given gift and I know every Orthodox subjectively closed apologetic defense and the mind set behind them. I read John 8:31-59. Your solution is Jesus in the Gospels and you are without solution to the degree you do not have Jesus in the Gospels. You have Him enough to exist in a survival existence state of circular failure, but that is as far as it really goes.

            I have spent my adult Christian life understanding the cause of church failure and the cause of church relevancy. Of course, God would never confront the Orthodox with a person like that and since the Orthodox already know what CAUSES church failure and what CAUSES church relevancy. You can tell they do by every jurisdiction in America.

            I may or may not be back. I don’t really know. God only knows. This is an excellent Orthodox website for an Orthodox website. I hope it can find and provide solution one day. The Orthodox will soon forget this confrontation and many will be glad that I am not here any longer. Go back to sleep now Orthodox. The loud banging on your door has stopped. Sleep the sleep of the dead.

            Ashley Nevins

          • Michael Bauman says

            George, as I’m sure you know the Protestant mythos perceives the Church to be everywhere full of all of those who profess Christ, except for the X, XX, XXX and the XYZ folks who really don’t profess Christ because they don’t beleive ABC–like us and the RC’s

            For some time I’ve held that such a belief denies the Incarnation of Jesus Christ, the words of the Holy Scripture and the belief of the first 1500 years of Christian witness that the Church has a concrete physical existence.

            Americans in general, particularly in this age of apostasy, hedonism and nihilism have a great difficulty accepting anything that even smells of an argument for a one, true anything. We’d much rather make it up as it suits us so we are not faced with the prospect of change. Thus we temper the exclusivity of the Bible and of Jesus own words–reducing the idea of the one true Church to “the fullness of truth”. We do this because our own lack of faith always seems to give the lie to such an exclusive arrangement, but that is nothing new. The Nation of Israel had the same problem before the Nativty.

            Paradoxically enough, the same attitude gives us the freedom to allow the bishops free rein/reign because they are ‘just doin’ their thing man’ and it really doesn’t have anything to do with us–not really: until our money is threatened.

            The idea of a hierarchical, integrated (by the presence of the Holy Trinity) community of believers, holding to the beliefs of their fathers, in love and humility, back to Aposoltes simply does not compute. Everything is new and improved so God must be too.

            The fracturing of community, the inability/unwillingness of parents to tradition the faith to their children (often actively encouraged by professionals in the power structure), and the acquiesence to both the modern mind and the tribal mind have left us in quite a pickle.

            The Church is the presence in earth of the person of Jesus Christ Incarnate, fully human and fully divine. It therefore has a real physical presence. If I’m not mistaken, until the Protestants came along and had to make up some other explanation because they had been excluded from partaking in the Church, that was the universal Chrisitan understanding. They’ve been trying to horn their way back in ever since. God still extends His mercy and grace to them, but that does not mean they are in the Church.

            Of course schims between east and west had a great deal to do with the rise of the Protestant revolution, but that does not change its essential character–it is iconoclastic–heavily influence by Arian theology. It seeks to destroy any physical connection between God and His creation, especially between God and human beings. It has to posit a universal, invisible Church made up of all believers, except those who don’t really believe. Howver, its iconoclasm also removes from life any standard of belief other than self-will and reduces the Bible (no matter what they say) from a transmitter of salvific grace and the vibrant word of God to an idol, a created thing that takes its power from the legal structures of those who worship it. Instead of a living, dynamic commuion, we are left with a dry, impotent moralism.

            Iconoclasm is still in the Church courtesy of our own unbelief, the kind mercies of the Islamic dhimmitude and the crushing force of the modern mind. Iconoclasm always becomes idol worship whether the idol is our own mind and will; clericalism; legalism; egalitarianism or some other …ism.

            That is why we engage is various forms of bishop worship; the RCC idolizes the Pope and the Protestants have 23,000 sects and counting. We can’t stand being in the presence of the living God; the presence that a real, iconic and sacramental life brings.

            As the image and likeness of our God, we either make icons or we make idols. Mostly, we make idols.

            God forgive us.

            • George Michalopulos says

              Michael, profound words indeed. Our own willingness to fall into the trap of “iconoclasm” is perhaps what best describes the disease of multiple jurisdictions in North America. We’ve demolished our own belief in the Incarnation by maintaining an uncanonical situation. Is it possible that we’ve even performed a greater sin? That in demolishing effective beliefe in the Incarnation and being wedded to our own comfortable heterodoxies, in contradistinction to what the Lord wants for us, we have judged the Divine Judge Himself?

              • Michael Bauman says

                Well, George, I think your judgement is a little harsh because we still have icons (lots of them), miracles and saints at work in the Church. I believe that the current rumpus in the Church is the Holy Spirit shaking things up (all things will be revealed), cleansing and testing us.

                The Church herself is an icon.

                All icons point to, reveal and allow us to experience God with us. That is the human task too as we are the lone icon made by God Himself. Such experience can be devastating and can only be entered into with deep humility and repentance.

                Idols distance us from God, allow us to control god for our own ends and feel safe and self-justified (a big problem with justification by faith alone) and a bigger problem, IMO, the the old RCC soteriology (at least I hope its old) of buying grace and clearing the slate every week by ‘confession’ (complete with new iPhone app BTW). But at least their’s, however deficient, is realatively clear and concise.

                Ethnocentrism (including the American version) is idolatry. Orthodox triumphalism is an idol. Romans 1 is the perfect description of how and why we make idols rather than icons: we love the created thing more than the creator. The number of ways we can do so is almost infinite. Guarding our hearts against such temptations is a life-long task at which I frequently fail.

                Life in the Church is messy, it has always been messy, it will always be messy until our Lord returns. Sin cannot be healed at arms length. It is healed existentially by submitting to the love of God through Jesus Christ in the community of the Holy Spirit.
                The Church is a MASH unit.

        • Dn. Nicholas Jannakos says

          “We shall not care what people think of us, or how they treat us. We shall cease to be afraid of falling out of favour. We shall love our fellow men without thought of whether they love us. Christ gave us the commandment to love others but did not make it a condition of salvation that they should love us. Indeed, we may positively be disliked for independence of spirit. It is essential in these days to be able to protect ourselves from the influence of those with whom we come in contact. Otherwise we risk losing both faith and prayer. Let the whole world dismiss us as unworthy of attention, trust or respect – it will not matter provided that the Lord accept us. And vice versa: it will profit us nothing if the whole world thinks well of us and sings our praises, if the Lord declines to abide with us. This is only a fragment of the freedom Christ meant when He said, ‘Ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free’ (John 8.32). Our sole care will be to continue in the word of Christ, to become His disciples and cease to be servants of sin.”

          From “His Life is Mine,” by
          Archimandrite Sophrony Sakharov

  3. Michael Bauman says

    A wandering reflection so please forgive the disjointedness:

    1. In reading some of the comments on ocanews related to the Russian trips there was concerned expressed that Russian spiritual practice might be emphasized within the OCA and a number of folks didn’t like that. Russian spiritual practice is rather somber at times in a way that traditional Syrian and Greek practice are not.

    2. We have an opportunity to blend the various strains of orthopraxis here in the US to our greater strength while jettisoning the ethno-centric triumphalism.

    3. At least in the short term I think the spiritual focus of American Orthodoxy will be a householder rather than a monastic focus. While some hyper traditionalist will balk, it does not have to mean a lessening of spiritual discipline or holiness–a major reason why I think the cannonization of Matusha Olga is so important.

    4. The householder approach could act as an antidote to clericalism and the aloof, abusive episcopate that goes with clericalism, especially dhimmi clericalism.

    5. Vocation needs to be emphasized, i.e, not just one’s calling to the priesthood or the monastic life, but to family, work and service from the foundation of genuine Chrisitan community in the world, not of it. This need not be a ‘social gospel’, do-gooder, approach at all as that is of the world more often than not.

    6. Such an approach will help us retain our young people for other than sentimental reasons as well as a greater per centage of converts.

    7. As folks begin to recognize and engage their vocation, the love for one another will blossom and the intercine warfare will lessen as we begin to become the leaven we are supposed to be.

    8. The great thing is that we already have a bit of this going on. Remaining tethered to the dhimmi dominated partriarches or the middle east (going to get even worse BTW) or the Russian chuch still too closely intwined with the state for a good fit with us, will only retard the process.

    9. The laity in this country needs to work hard to foster a healthy, deeper appreciation of hierarchy and how it is supposed to work in the Church as well as the intestinal fortitude to take action when it is not. However, we should never enterain the notion that we don’t need the bishops. The Apostolic succession is vital to the life of the Church. What we need is a renewal of the understanding the the Apostolic succession is primarily pastoral, not administrative or political.

    • George Michalopulos says

      Michael, excellent points! I like your idea about “householder.”

      • Michael Bauman says

        George, thanks. In the interest of clarity I must point out that what I have in mind is really nothing like the Protestant ‘home church’ approach although there are probably similarities. The Orthodox householder is one who participates fully in the local parish, in the cycle of services–especially Vespers, Confession and the Divine Liturgy, celebrates the saints and has a rule of prayer in the home centered on prayer for the Church and anyone who is hurting. Tithing is an important part of the spiritual discipline. However work for worldly acclaim or profit, in and of themsevles, is not.

        The schooling of one’s children whether at home or in the local Orthodox school (not ethno-centric) is a priority (again not just so the children can ‘have a good career’ but to form them in Orthodox truth and wisdom and allow them to discover their own vocation while being integrated into the adult life of the parish as much as possible.

        The Orthodox faith is a traditional faith in the fullness of what that means as were, for instance, the native American faiths. They are hierarchical; lived in community; passed down from one generation to another rather than learned out of books; and maintain a knowledge of the sacred within all of creation. Matusha Olga represents the confluence of the aboriginal tradition of this land and the greater tradition of Jesus Christ and His Church.

        If we want better bishops, priests and monastics, we have to work to develop the nurturing communities founded in genuine Orthodox piety. How else are we to actually be the leaven this country needs?

        • George Michalopulos says

          I totally agree Michael. Your ideas need broader dissemination and should be part of every sincere bishop’s message for people in his diocese.

        • Ashley Nevins says


          What is the demographic retention trend of the Orthodox youth?

          Are the youth of the EOC its future?

          Is the EOC truly relevant to the spiritual needs of its youth?

          Talking solution is easy. Being the solution is hard work. The Orthodox love to talk about what they need to do. They do not love doing what they need to do. They are made powerless to do what they need to do by their totalism hierarchy structure and system that makes them religous codependents dependent upon the hierarchy to DO what the laity will not DO by being made powerless to really DO anything about the problem. When the Orthodox says, we need to do this or that, what they really mean is, somebody else do it for me or us. That is circular religious codependency that depends on someone or something else to solve a problem and as the religious codependent enables the very problem that needs to be resolved by doing nothing really to solve the problem that is not resolved.

          Totalism top down power and control renders the church powerless by that totalism power and control and the church then only talks about what it needs to DO and does not DO what it needs to do. Those made powerless will disagree that they are powerless. They will talk about how they are not powerless and then do nothing in Gods power to solve the hemoraging of Orthodox youth out of the church.

          For instance, in the GOA what role model and example does the hierarchy set for the youth of the church? I can see how concerned the spiritually mature adult laity is concerned about that.

          For instance, in the OCA what has been the history of the role model and example of the hierarchy set for the youth of the church? I can see how concerned the spiritually mature adult laity is concerned about that.

          These are the two largest jurisdictions in the USA. On a your own subjective scale of 1 to 10. With 10 being the most safe, healthy, dynamic and growing church and with 1 as the scariest, sickest, corrupt and dying church, please make your measure. Where does your particular jurisdiction land? Where do the GOA and OCA each land?

          I see the GOA as a 10 and the OCA as a 10. They are after all, Gods only alone right and one true churches making them the most safe, healthy, dynamic and growing churches on the planet. They are the ultimate standard of Gods objective measure of the spiritually correct church. There can be no argument they are not at least a 10 each. The alone right are always right and you are found lacking in comparison to them and that makes you wrong. I might give a little edge to the GOA since it is the first among equals, what ever that means in the practical reality of the real world.

          The bishops are not reproducing children, are they? The laity does that. The laity are the parents of Orthodox youth. I see exactly why the hierarchies are soooo very concerned about the Orthodox youth in the church. They are the spiritual parents over the whole church. And, the whole church as their spiritual children are in what spiritual condition? Are they in the same condition as are all the jurisdictions are? Are the bishops in the same spiritual condition as the adult laity or is it the adult laity is in the same spiritual condition as the bishops? Where do the youth land in that?

          Your youth are your future. How is that future looking by OBJECTIVE real world honesty that does not deny your future?

          Passed down from one Orthodox generation to the next, you say? Would that pass down be the generational transmission of a corrupt, failed, irrelevant and dying church seen for what it really is in the objectivity of freedom of religion in rational modernity?

          This is a good website. For the sake of the youth I hope it can find solution. The adult laity who are the Christian parents of Orthodox youth are so very concerned about the youth future of their church. I can clearly see that by the demographic trend of the EOC and the 2010 Orthodox census. The adult parent laity concern for its youth in the GOA is the first among equals of all youth concern. I see that clearly in Katinas and Astoria NY. Homosexual and pedophyle protecting bishops send the right Christ message of salvation to the Greek church youth. It is not a Satanic warped and sick sexualized message of lust, power and corruption as Orthodox salvation. No, its the salvation message of HOLY Christ in the Gospels. All of the children need to line up and get the bishops blessing when he shows up at parish. The spiritually mature parent laity of Orthodox youth support the bishops in their salvation message to their childern.

          Funny how no one could bust Katinas in alive body in hiding and how then his dead body out of hiding was buried in America. The conciliar Greek EP is all about the youth future of the GOC and the conciliar loving adult laity parents of the GOA youth want him to lead the youth into that conciliar future.

          Conciliar is circular without youth solution and YOUTH is the EOC future.

          Ashley Nevins

  4. Wesley J. Smith says

    I seem to recall + Jonah talking about selling Syosett. That could bring a pretty penny to the church for good uses. I’m for it. I also think he can not only better administer his diocese from DC, but becoming a continual presence in the nation’s capital will raise his visibility as a national religious leader specifically, and the awareness of the OCA and American Orthodoxy, generally.

    • George Michalopulos says

      That’d be fine by me. Ever since the ouster of +Iakovos, +Jonah is presently the standout in American Orthodoxy.

    • Ashley Nevins says

      Wes, be careful what you wish for as far national recognition through Jonah. OCA recognition is its state of church that is it witness of Christ. Recognition based upon power and not witness is not who Christ came to us as in the Gospels. He came as humility that confronted power. Orthodoxy is based upon power and not witness and that is why its power renders it powerless to stop the corrupt, failed, irrelevant and dying witness that it is. That is its spiritual recognition and in Christ centered maturity that is the only real recognition that matters. The witness is the RECOGNITION of Christ as our salvation WITNESS and not the power of a church. That is, unless you believe the power of a church is its salvation. That is a sick church with corrupt salvation going in circles with itself without solution by its power as its salvation. You are capable of thinking for yourself and thinking this through for yourself. You might want to consider reading Philippians chapter two for starters.

      Ashley Nevins

  5. Michael Bauman says

    From Fr. Stephen Freeman’s blog: Glory to God for All Things

    Love and True Faith

    In the life and teaching of St. Silouan of Mt. Athos, it is interesting to note that what he considered to be “true faith” was the manifestation of the love of God in us towards all the world. It would have certainly been the case that as an Orthodox monk, St. Silouan would have believed all of the Church’s teaching without question. And yet when he spoke of the true faith it was the state of the heart that he considered rather than running a doctrine check on somebody.

    True doctrine is of great importance because it reveals the nature and truth of God and the world to us. But such knowledge is not the final goal of the Christian life. Our final goal is indeed the true faith – that is – the love of God towards all the world dwelling within our hearts. From Father Sophrony’s book on St. Silouan:

    The Staretz [St. Silouan] interpreted both the incarnation of God-the-Word and Christ’s whole earthly life as love towards the whole world, though the world is totally hostile to God. Similarly, he knew the Holy Spirit in the love which with its advent drives away all hatred, like light cancelling darkness; in the love which likens man to Christ in the inmost impulses of his soul. And this, according to the Staretz’ teaching, is true faith.

    There is no opposition to rationality in any of this and certainly no opposition to true doctrine. But there is a recognition that the very simplist of all things – available to children and the weak minded (perhaps more truly available to them than the rest of us) – is the love of God dwelling in our hearts. Without this there is no true faith, no true salvation, no theosis, no true conformity to the image of God.

    It is for this reason (at least) that the Church sets aside entire seasons of the year (such as Great Lent) so that we may pray and fast and give ourselves over to God in such a way as to acquire His love for the world in our hearts. And though true doctrine is found in every service, and there are feast days on the calendar to celebrate the great Ecumenical Councils – there is not anything like a season of the year set aside for the people of God to acquire “true doctrine.” It is simply the case that if we do not know the love of God for the whole world in our heart – then we would never be able to know true doctrine. The words spoken by the Deacon at every liturgy when he summons us to repeat the Nicene Creed say everything: “Let us love one another that with one mind we may confess: Father, Son and Holy Spirit, the Trinity one in essence and undivided.” We may say the words for the rest of eternity – but unless and until we love one another we will not truly know or believe a word of it.

    And thus we are called to love.

  6. Christopher says

    here is no way that the Gospel can be preached locally if the local bishops are beholden to an ethnic or cultural mindset that is unexceptional east of the Hudson River but completely alien to people living anywhere else.

    I think this is the most important thing you said. It is also something I can’t imagine happening in the OCA or any other jurisdiction for a generation, probably two. It takes time and forces (of God, hopefully) larger than “leadership” to change a culture. This is why nothing has substantially changed in the OCA, as the financial, clerical, and parish level problems are symptomatic of the much larger issue of culture.