Sons of Job: The Canons Prohibit the Bishops from Voting at Parma

The Synod of Bishops of the Orthodox Church in America (OCA) has squandered the trust of those they are charged to lead. A simple rereading of the analysis of the letter that the Synod released justifying their removal of Metropolitan Jonah shows that character assassination, contrived facts, and other tools of obfuscation have become a stock in trade. The Synod alleged that Met. Jonah covered up a rape. Then they stood idly by while their allegation was broadcast world-wide. We have yet to hear a peep of contrition for the brutal attack on the man’s reputation and character.

One does not have to be a supporter of Met. Jonah to conclude that the letter attacking him was unjust and cruel. Further, reasonable people understand that actions this extreme don’t develop overnight. They indicate a pattern of behavior — a way of thinking — that takes years, sometimes decades, to develop.

A Church can’t run on rumors and the Church leadership, priests and bishops especially, are often the target of those who seek to weaken it. Undermine confidence in the leadership and you undermine confidence in the Church. It does not follow however that any complaint of corruption is de facto illegitimate or that anyone who makes a complaint seeks to weaken the Church. Not everyone who names corruption is an enemy. Oftentimes they are troublesome friends.

So how do we locate and name the corruption that harms the Church without doing even greater harm? We go to the canons. The canons outline how allegations against church leadership are to be handled.

The canons state that anytime an allegation of malfeasance is made against a bishop, he is required to withdraw from active service until the veracity of the allegation is determined. If the allegation has merit, then an investigation must take place. If the bishop is exonerated, he returns to active service. If he is guilty of an infraction, a decision must be made about his continuing service.

This is not the way the OCA practices internal discipline. Most often when a complaint has been lodged against a sitting bishop, the other bishops refuse to hear it. Some allegations are transparently false and can be dismissed in short order. Others however, are substantive and require a hearing. In some cases, the allegations have been made by other bishops.

This raises a serious canonical issue for the upcoming All American Council (AAC) in Parma, Ohio. Since the canons require the suspension of a bishop when a serious allegation is made against him, then most of our bishops cannot legitimately vote for the new metropolitan. Most bishops have unresolved allegations — some of them serious. In other words, most bishops in the OCA Synod are canonically ineligible to vote for a new metropolitan.

We will examine some of those allegations below. Please note that all of these accusations are in the public record and some have been discussed openly in diocesan assemblies.

The Allegations

Bishop Benjamin

The allegations against Bp. Benjamin are well known: internet pornography, the death of a troubled young man after a party in his home, and a citation for drunk driving. Have any been investigated? Not to our knowledge. If they were, what are the findings? (The findings should be made public in order to restore confidence in Bp. Benjamin’s leadership.)

Moreover, the allegation of internet pornography was made by another sitting hierarch at the time, Bp. Nikolai of Alaska. This allegation was never adjudicated. Why is he still on the Synod of Bishops? What do the other Bishops say about the allegation?

Until these allegations are examined in detail, Bp. Benjamin is canonically required to remove himself from service. He should not be voting for the new metropolitan.

Bp. Nathaniel

Bp. Nathaniel exiled Fr. Vasili Susan, a priest under his jurisdiction, when Fr. Susan reported on an active homosexual priest in his diocese. Rather than discipline the offending priest, Bp. Nathaniel forced Fr. Susan out of his parish. Fr. Susan has been working as a night watchman for the last eight years at near minimum wage to support his family. He has implored the Synod to hear his case for reinstatement but the Synod refuses to listen. Meanwhile, the homosexual priest was removed only after his wife divorced him for his infidelity.

Why is the Synod ignoring Fr. Susan’s appeal and letting him twist in the wind? Why hasn’t Bp. Nathaniel’s treatment of Fr. Susan been investigated?

Bp. Nathaniel is canonically required to remove himself from service. He should not be voting for the new metropolitan.

Bishop Alejo

The Very Rev. Fr. Michael Simerick, formerly the rector of Sts. Peter and Paul Cathedral in Detroit, Michigan reported at the Midwest Diocesan Assembly five years ago that then Fr. Antonio Pacheco y Vera (now Bp. Alejo of Mexico) had pursued Fr Emmanuel Rodrigruez, a married seminary student. The allegation against Fr. Antonio was made and openly discussed at that same Diocesan Assembly.

Fr. Simerick reported that a highly-placed Syosset official told him that the complaint would never move beyond a “he said — she said” and quashed the investigation. The late Archbishop Job objected to Syosset’s burying of the complaint because he found the allegations credible. He refused to attend Bp. Alejo’s consecration in protest.

Until this allegation us examined in detail, Bp. Alejo is canonically required to remove himself from service. He should not be voting for the new metropolitan.

Bishop Tikhon

On October 24, 2012, Bp. Tikhon removed Fr. Theodore Heckman from parish ministry at St. Marks Orthodox Church (OCA) in Wright Town, PA on extremely short notice. According to our sources at St. Tikhon’s Seminary, Heckman had been suspended and reinstated numerous times by then Metropolitan Herman after student complaints about homosexual predation.

It is unclear why Bp. Tikhon suspended Heckman just a few days after a report was posted on the Monomakhos blog that a predator was still in active service in the Church. We want to know when Bp. Tikhon had the facts about Heckman’s history and why he waited to remove him until the threat of Heckman’s exposure was made.

Moreover, did Bp. Tikhon observe due process in the case of Fr. Theodore or was he thrown under the bus in order to grease the skids for Bp. Tikhon’s elevation to the Metropolitan throne?

The problem of predation st St. Tikhon’s is more far-ranging than the allegations against the above-named priest. Our sources in Syosset report that their file of complaints about St. Tikhon’s is over two inches thick. What is the substance of those complaints? Do the complaints name Heckman? Are there other predators named? Why was Heckman repeatedly reinstated? Why didn’t the Synod launch an investigation?

Until such a time that these serious allegations against Bp. Tikhon and St. Tikhon’s have been investigated, there is no canonical justification for Bp. Tikhon to be able to vote for the new metropolitan.

Bishop Michael

Bishop Michael is named in a Federal lawsuit involving St Tikon’s Seminary that challenges his handling of the contract of the present dean of the seminary. Until the matter is cleared up and it has been determined that no illegal or unethical decisions were made, Bp. Michael should not vote for the new metropolitan.

Bp. Melchisedek

Bp. Melchisedek was received into the OCA from the Church of Greece even though a canonical cloud hangs over his head. Bp. Melchisedek received the Great Schema from the Elder Dioysios at his former monastery but left it without receiving the Elder’s blessing. Reports are that he got a local bishop in Greece to grant him a canonical release in order to hide this disobedience. His action alerted the secular authorities in Greece who are investigating whether civil laws were broken.

Bp. Melchisedek is canonically required to remove himself from service. He should not be voting for the new metropolitan.

Bishop Alexander

According to Bp. Tikhon (Fitzgerald), retired OCA Bishop of the West, then Fr. Alexander Golitzyn (now Bp. Alexander) had a “canonical impediment” that barred him from elevation to the episcopate that was brought to the attention of the Synod when Met. Theodosius was still Primate. For years his name was never brought forward as an episcopal candidate because of it.

What changed? Why was then Fr. Golitzyn not qualified for elevation to the episcopacy but now is? What was the canonical impediment and why was it lifted?

The priests and laity need to be assured that Bp. Alexander was fully vetted and that there is no activity in his past that can bring shame or disrepute to the Church.

Archbishop Nikon

As locum tenens of the South, Arb. Nikon has turned a blind eye to the former Bishop of Boston Mark Forsberg and his “roommate” Archdeacon Gregory Burke. Their behavior is a continuing scandal to the Church and yet Abp. Nikon does nothing. Met. Jonah lodged a formal complaint against these two men in order to remove them from office but after the Synod ousted Met. Jonah the investigation froze in its tracks.

Until Abp. Nikon proves he is can deal with scandals in his own diocese, we would prefer he would not have a voice in choosing the next metropolitan.

Bishop Matthias

The texts that Bp. Matthias sent to a 22 year old female catechumen have already been published. The Synod acted properly in suspending Bp. Matthias when the allegations of improper conduct first surfaced which reveals that they know what the canons require. Their decision concerning Bp. Matthias’ continued service has not been announced but he should be retired. If Bp. Matthias attends Parma, under no circumstances should he be allowed to vote for the new metropolitan.

By our count, eight bishops (nine if Bp. Matthias is included) have notable canonical problems, and a majority have outstanding allegations that warrant an investigation. According to the canons, most of our sitting bishops should not administer the Church or elect a new metropolitan until the allegations have been properly adjudicated.

The Canonical Crisis in the OCA is a Moral Crisis

No one likes airing dirty laundry but if you keep stuffing the laundry into the closet it begins to putrify. After a few years, the stench fills the house and no matter how often the furniture in the front room is rearranged the house still smells. The Synod opened that closet door with their cruel and inept treatment of Met. Jonah. Much of the laundry that spilled out was their own.

Where did the crisis start? There probably are several answers but let’s consider one. For over thirty years we had active homosexuals as Metropolitans — yes, active homosexuals. Where they fit to lead? Absolutely not according to the canons.

The laity heard the whispering and rumors, but the entire administrative structure of the OCA colluded to hide the sins. Sin begets sin (often of its own kind) and when no repentance or correction is forthcoming, then corruption takes hold. Today the corruption reaches so deep that the house is tottering.

Think, really think, about these allegations and what they say about the disorder in our Church.

How many of us have had a young man die in our basement after a party? Did any of our relatives? How about our friends? Acquaintances? Anyone?

What do we say about the unjust treatment of Fr. Vasili Susan? How many other priests have been unjustly accused? Do we really believe that good priests can serve the Church freely if they secretly fear the kind of treatment that Fr. Vasili received? Why hasn’t the Synod restored him? Why hasn’t Bp. Nathaniel been reprimanded?

What about the men who were hurt by the homosexual predation at St. Tikhon’s Seminary? What does it say about the character of men who compel the victims to remain silent but hide the predator? These victims are young men. Some can handle the violations but others are more vulnerable. Who speaks for them? Who heals the damage?

Does the Synod and their Syosset enablers think that the door to the closet is still shut? Have they no awareness that their collusion has swept the OCA into a moral crisis of the first order? Don’t they understand that the canons exist to prevent just such a catastrophe and that their continued disobedience to canonical order compounds the destruction?

The canons guide but also judge the order of the Church. Uncovering the years of collusion and deconstructing the false logic that justified it is not a pleasant task. Repentance never is. It begins with a complete and unvarnished accounting of the sins as they really are.

Moreover, the discomfort and shame that invariably results from such an accounting does not absolve us from facing the truth that is uncovered. If we love Christ and if we love his Church, then we must confront the sin in ourselves and in the Church and start cleaning things up.

What Happens if the Synod Chooses a New Metropolitan?

The canons are clear: the bishops are prohibited from electing a new metropolitan because of the serious disorder in their own house. The Bishops have no buisiness meeting in Parma until the allegations against them are resolved.

But what happens if they plow forward and pick a new Metropolitan anyway?

The Sons of Job believe that the Synod’s war against Met. Jonah and the unresolved allegations has crippled its moral authority. Some of the allegations are so serious that the canons may require the removal of some bishops.

The Synod’s refusal to hear any allegation against a brother bishop reveals that they have established a policy of self-protection where one covers the sins of the next. We must ask ourselves: How is the OCA leadership constituted? Is it a band of brothers called by God for the good governance of the Church? Or does it function like racket that exists for its own protection?

Moreover, in most organizations financial corruption is usually preceded by a breakdown in moral structure. This begs the question if the moral turpitude in the OCA leadership over the last three decades has led to financial malfeasance. We plan to examine this question in a later essay. If we discover financial self-dealing, then we will know that the Synod and their Syosset enablers has operated more as a racket rather than a Church.

If no answers to the allegations are forthcoming before Parma, then the Sons of Job — clergy and laity alike — will hold the authority of the Synod in abeyance. We want the corruption cleaned up. And if the Synod and Syosset prove incapable of cleaning their own houses, then perhaps we need new leadership.

Any call to obedience from our Bishops that hides these questions — these violations of canonical order — is merely a call to restore the old collusion and revive the old lies. We do not accept that a call to proper order in the Church requires us to embrace lies. Instead we will expose them and the corruption they have fostered.

Once a lie is exposed, a person cannot go back to it. If he adopts it again as truth, then the corruption and the destruction that results will be seven times worse. It turns the Church into a place of the devil. We love Christ and we love the Church too much to let that happen.

The Sons of Job

This Essay is written by the Sons of Job and does not necessarily reflect the opinions of Monomakhos. Regardless, the allegations made are serious and should be investigated.


  1. George,

    If this info is true doesn’t it void Met. Jonah’s election as well? Doesn’t it void every significant thing that the OCA has done in the last few years? If this is true then the whole Synod is (and has been) corrupt by deed or association. Lord have mercy!

    • George Michalopulos says

      Not necessarily. Right off the top of my head, Arb Nikon was not guilty of dereliction of duty in the case of Archdeacon Burke in 2008 as he was not locum tenens of the South then. There was no action against Fr Alexander Atty by Bp Michael as Fr Alexander was not Dean of St Tikhon’s nor had the by-laws been amended to his disfavor in 2008. Bp. Matthias had likewise not written incriminating emails in 2008 as well. (Admittedly neither man was on the Synod at the time.) I’m sure that there may have been extenuating circumstances in the case of the then-sitting bishops.

      The bottom line is that had the OCA followed the Canons, whenever credible allegations were raised, they could have been dealt with forthwith. To all, please remember this: I am not saying (nor are the Sons of Job saying) that the bishops named are in fact guilty of anything. We are merely saying that serious, and in some cases credible, accusations have been raised in the public arena by bishops in some instances, and that whatever juridical authority exists within the OCA, they need to follow the Canons in order to find out the truth. If any of the bishops are thereby exonerated, Praise the Lord!

      • Geo Michalopulos says

        Also, Bps Melchisedek and Alexander were not yet on the Synod.

        Remember: The Sons of Job are talking about serious complaints made by named complainants. That’s a far cry from whispers and insinuations. Though such hearsay existed against bishops in previous days (e.g. Peter, Theodosius) there were no publicly stated allegations, credible or not. In other words, allegations which were made by people willing to sign their name to them or claimants who have documentary evidence implicating a bishop (as does the young lady in the case of Bp Matthias).

      • And since according to this letter none of the bishops on the synod are eligible to exercise their office at present, who exactly would investigate the allegations and possibly try these men? The Sons of Job’s have said in effect that the OCA has no synod, pending further investigation. Now, we know that in reality in every “Orthodox” nation, this kind of thing and worse has at some time been the norm and in most places still is. The episcopate is hopelessly compromised and has been for centuries. Sure, there are individual bishops who behave honorably, but they are rare exceptions. Don’t expect anything different from this crew going forward. Few decent men would ever want to associate with them on such a level, so we will only get much more of the same. And so it goes, yet by the Grace of God, people have found salvation surrounded by this perpetual squalid mess.

        • DOW Newsflash says

          THANK YOU, SONS OF JOB! Excellent work. If someone made an allegation about me–whether true or false–of a manner such as you’ve written, I would address the allegations immediately. I would state my case for whether the allegations were either true or false. It is that simple, Holy Fathers! ARE THE ALLEGATIONS TRUE? ARE THE ALLEGATIONS FALSE?

          Regarding Abp Benjamin… Check out his assessment of the situation at St. John’s Monastery in Manton, included in the minutes of the DOW assembly.

          His Eminence reported that Fr. Meletios Webber has resigned as Abott of the Monastery of St. John. This is not a resignation that Archbishop Benjamin desires but the stress and internet publicity over the recent turmoil involving monks leaving the monastery led Fr. Meletios to conclude that he can no longer serve in the capacity of Abbot at this monastery. Fr. Meletios will be returning to Europe.

          Fr. Meletios put a lot of energy into building the monastery, including very generous financial contributions to help build residential quarters. This is a sad situation all the way around. The monks who left without a blessing will not be allowed to return without a face to face meeting with His Eminence…

          Also in digging around on the DOW minutes pages, check this one out, Stanky!!!! Proof that Met. JONAH cooperated fully. Smack dab on page two of the DOW December 15, 2011 Minutes:

          E. The Metropolitan and the Holy Synod
          His Grace reported that Metropolitan Jonah has undergone the evaluation requested by the Holy Synod. The Holy Synod is encouraged that progress is being made.

          • George Michalopulos says

            Good points all. While we’re on the subject of Manton, by what right was Abbott Meletios Weber released and why was he sent to Greece? This is no different from what HH Bartholomew did with the two bishops who were accused of child molestation and sex trafficking in Astoria.

            • DOW Newsflash says

              Funny you should ask, George. You might also ask how Archimandrite Meletios arrived in the OCA in the first place in 2008. Check out the minutes of the DOW Council, June 26, 2008:

              His Grace [Benjamin] has requested the release of Archimandrite Miletios Weber from the Greek Archdiocese. His Grace, Bishop BENJAMIN will appoint Archimandrite Miletios temporary Superior of the monastery and expressed his belief that Archimandrite Miletios will be a positive influence on the life of the monastic community.

              Is it hypocritical for the Metropolitan of the OCA to be roundly scolded for accepting the written blessing and consent of the Metropolitan of the Greek Church (through the Elder Dionysios) to bring Greek monastics and clergy into the OCA, but a bishop of a diocese can move folks around?

              And my brother M. Stankovich, I apologize with a full prostration before you. I am very sorry. There is something about this forum that has brought out an inner schoolyard bully within me today, and I deeply regret calling you by a rude nickname in my earlier comment. Please forgive me, and pray for me, a sinner.

    • Michael James Kinsey says

      What is interesting is that they elevated Met. Jonah in the first place. The Met’s tolerance of the deviant priests in Manton caused half his monks to jump to Platina, which could prove a jump from the frying pan into the fire.. The bishops must have figured , the Met would continue in his bestowing his Christian fruits toward the homosexual swine and their agenda, so they could continue turning and rending the innocent flock. I figure the Met, is gaining discernment which is equal to his rank, and viewing the ugly reality which harms the souls of natural people, moved him away from any tolerance he once had for the homosexual agenda. Then the bishops acted in concert to CYOA and ULA.. Uncover. You all ought to join the Serbian church, these bishops cannot save you.

      • George Michalopulos says

        That’s quite unfair. There was no talk at all of a homosexualist agenda at Manton when His Beatitude was Abbott there. This all took place only when he was replaced by Abbott Meletios Weber. Nor should we forget that His Beatitude was forbidden by Arb Benjamin from returning to Manton these last two years. Is it possible that had he gone there he would have found out about its corruption?

        • Archpriest John Morris says

          How can a Bishop forbid his Metropolitan from visiting any parish or monastery in his Diocese? That does not make sense. The Metropolitan the the Primate and should be able to visit any parish, monastery or other institution under his omophor. Does it work that way in Russia? Does the Patriarch of Moscow have to receive permission to visit a parish or monastery in his Patriarchate?

          • Where there are real diocesan ruling bishops, and not quasi-vicarial suffragans, vicars and so forth, the First Hierarch, whose episcopal omophorion does not extend one centimeter over his own diocesan boundary, may visit a diocese IF the diocesan bishop chooses to invite him: otherwise, it would take a decision of the entire Synod to permit a First Hierarch to invade a diocese not his own. The fact that the OCA Statute was amended to allow the Metropolitan to intervene for “pastoral reasons” is a canonical anomaly, which Archbishop Peter and I agreed to ONLY after the previously missing words “in accordance with the canons” were inserted, thus, in fact nullifying such uncanonical intervention, NOT in accord with the Canons.

      • Michael J,
        You’ve mixed this story up. No one knew that the Abbott had such practices or beliefs-no one.

        • Michael James Kinsey says

          Lacking discernment is not really an excuse. Gaydar, works like radar. and there are people who can detect , all over America, accurately those who champion the homosexual agenda. I do not propose a witch hunt, but when it rears it’s ugly countenance in your face. The people who have Christian virtue act. The bishop who forbid the Met to examine his old monastery, might well have forbid it to protect the obviously egregious anti-christian leadership from being discovered. Blanco, Tex , got over,( convict slang) for quite AWHILE. They were OCA, I believe, you will correct me if I am wrong. The conclusion I have arrived at is that some of the bishops actually favor the gay agenda, being gay themselves. I don’t intend to attempt to prove this. It is not needful. I am out of their range, you are the people who have to deal with it. I do wish all God’s graces in living authentic Christianity, this is sincere.

          • Micahel J K,

            I’m not sure what you are actually saying unless you are saying +J is gay and has this ajenda . . .?? but here in this post it sounds like you are saying +B forbid +J to go to his old monestary because of what he would find and that he -+J- would not like it . . . which that I would agree with. Because +J is NOT gay-he was asked- and yeah he would have been and is heartbroken over what happened at the monastery. He absolutely does not support the gay agenda, he has stated this over and over. So . . .??

            • Michael James Kinsey says

              God forbid, I have not leveled what I would consider false accusation concerning Met Jonah. I see him as a worthy Met. I address his very extreme consideration of a child molester he was guiding to repentance. He tonsured this man, granting him an honor above the laity. I suggest that he should have been instucted to humble himselff to never being able to rise above the laity. This offers the repentant no protection for the concerning it’s reputation, or rise above any other Christian in influence or rank.. With the rabid merchantizing of the gay agenda in the secular culture and the express intent to gain control over Christian churches by homosexuals adovocates , it is reasonable and necessary to take functional precautions to prevent this. Met Jonah, it appears to me, was doing exactly that, but not to the degree which would stop them cold. We must never tonsure or ordain, repentant gays. The recidivism rate is too drastic. To protect the innocent of the church from their backsliding is more important to my mind. U am fervently advocating the reinstatement of Met Jonah,. I would like to see what he can do with a free hand.

              • Michael,

                Are you certain that Met Jonah tonsured Fr. K? While I believe that he provided some stern pastoral guidance, I don’t believe 1) that Fr. K was ever actually under his authority or 2) that he tonsured him. How do you know this?

                • George Michalopulos says

                  Fr K was already ordained as a priest. Yet another misstatement of fact intended to blacken Met Jonah by any means necessary.

              • Monks are laity, unless or until they are ordained. Michael should not look at them as being higher than laity.
                And who is this “Father K.” And who is “Father J.”

          • The “monastery” at Blanco started out as a non-Orthodox group of men pretending to be Orthodox. They eventually fooled ROCOR to grant them entry. ROCOR eventually rejected them. I was living in central Texas when Blanco became known. They buffoonishly marketed a fake “weeping icon” all over the state, perhaps out-of-state as well. Later, my family personally knew a(n innocent) young woman who came from abroad to provide daily care for a wholly innocent elderly and quite ill nun living on the Blanco property. The OCA never oversaw this mercifully defunct community.

          • michael james kinsey, you wrote of “gaydar”. That is a faculty attributed to gay people only, the faculty to detect a fellow gay person. Get it?

      • Fr Patrick B. O'Grady says

        This is out of line.
        When HB Jonah was the abbot at Manton, I visited regularly (he was my father-confessor since the Point Reyes days). I have known him over the years to be an intensely honest and compassionate confessor and a friend. His Christian ethics, including his views regarding sexual (and other kinds of) deviancy, have always been in the center of our holy Tradition.
        I pray you in the OCA may weather your current storm, and find your way with the Un-vesperal Light guiding you!

      • Michael, it is horrific to speak of any of your fellow Christians- indeed, anyone created in the image of God- as “swine”. We are all sinners. It is reprehensible and the antithesis of basic Christian love to call anyone, no matter if they are living a sinful life or not, “swine”.

    • Q: Where is “Wright Town” in PA? I’ve never heard of Wright Town PA. I have, however, heard of Wrightstown PA. Please get your information straight before posting. It just shows that the “poster” is sloppy in providing accurate information. Jeez…well… if ya can’t get the name of the town right then I have to seriously question the info that is posted!~

  2. Seraphimist says

    Lord have mercy!

  3. M. Stankovich says



    And herewith I promise also to do nothing through constraint, whether coerced by powerful persons, or by a multitude of the people, even though they should command me, under pain of death, to do something contrary to divine and holy laws.


    “These three years have been an administrative disaster. And I need to accept full responsibility for that and for my part in it.”

    “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. ”

    “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 of love for you, the people of the Church, and for my brother bishops.”

    “To the Holy Synod of the Orthodox Church in America,


    “As per your unanimous request, as conveyed to me by Chancellor Fr. John Jillions, I hereby tender my resignation as Primate of the Orthodox Church in America, and humbly request another Episcopal assignment.

    I had come to the realization long ago that that I have neither the personality nor the temperament for the position of Primate, a position I never sought nor desired.

    “It is my hope that due consideration will be made for my financial situation, both in any interim and in consideration for any future position. I am the main financial support for both my parents and my sister, beyond my own needs.

    “I will appreciate your consideration in this, and beg forgiveness for however I have offended you, and for whatever difficulties have arisen from my own inadequacies and mistakes in judgment.

    “Asking your prayers, I remain faithfully yours,

    “Metropolitan Jonah, Archbishop of Washington”

    “You “will hold the authority of the Synod in abeyance,” but you pack of cowards are ANONYMOUS! I needed a good laugh – a man I examined 3.5 weeks ago jumed off the 3rd tier last night and broke himself into a million pieces, and you hold the “Synod in abeyance!” Seriously, there is no appeal – you have reached the end. There is no higher court. Your abeyance is just that, yours, you silly white geese. The Church will elect a new Metropolitan with or without, “by the wisdom of men and the Grace of the Holy Spirit,” and renew itself in spite of your shameful arrogance. You will submit yourself in loving obedience, or you must leave.

    And Almighty God have mercy, you dare threaten to expose sin? If you, LORD, should mark iniquities, O Lord, who shall stand? (Ps. 103:3) You will grieve the day you begin witch-hunting and spreading murderous gossip, mark my word – Pastebin will be your new homepage, with the hope that you love pizza, you cowards.

    • George Michalopulos says

      It’s rather comforting to know that you continue to cling to the various letters of the law rather than its spirit. It keeps me balanced.

    • M. Stankovich, Sorry for the suicide of your patient. That must weigh heavily on your heart, so I can overlook your over-the-top reactions to rational posts here on Monomakhos.

      First. Thank you for reminding us again of our Metropolitan Jonah’s humble and contrite spirit! These letters truly are the “primary source” for us to examine his behavior–which is Christ-like and humble–versus what you have recently described as psychotic. These letters were also written in the exact spirit of obedience that you have also recently described as not being present in Met. Jonah’s attitude towards his brothers. So thank you again for providing us primary documentation to refute your own claims.

      Second. Which is more cowardly? An archbishop or bishop threatening clergy and their families if they ask questions? Or clergy members posting those questions anonymously so their families will be protected from retaliation?

      Third. God is Judge and Jury. He is the Court of High Appeal, not the synod. While the synod might have temporary earthly authority, God Himself will ultimately judge the courage brought to this situation.

      Fourth. I personally am trying to follow the example of Met. Jonah in “submitting in loving obedience, or leaving” as you demand. You seem to be able to easily overlook the grievous issues outlined above. You even call the outline of these allegations “murderous gossip”, without even addressing the allegations themselves. (And I believe the only suspicious death we’re talking about here is Fr. Greg, who was found dead in Fr. Vincent’s [Bp Benjamin’s] rectory in Alaska.) If the synod takes direct action to conduct spiritual courts to investigate these claims and be done with them, posts like this would not be necessary.

      Let me offer you another quote from our Holy Book: “And what does the Lord require of you? To act justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God.” (Micah 6:8) The day the synod: 1) acts justly, 2) shows mercy, and 3) walks humbly, is the day I will step foot back into an OCA church.

      • Clarification: I mis-wrote that Gregory was a priest, which he wasn’t. He was a talented musician of the church, who died a very sad death in Alaska.

        • Can you explain what happened to this person for those of us who don’t know anything about him? Who was he? When did his so-called mysterious death occur? Why was it considered mysterious? What was his position in Alaska? It seems we have lost a talented choral conductor. When is the anniversary of his death so we can remember him?

      • Excellent Nate!

      • M. Stankovich says


        I keep forgetting to thank you for your comment regarding the man who jumped from the tier. I only saw him once, briefly, and as always, questioned him about thoughts of harming or killing himself -and I ‘m not “cursory” about it. While I didn’t feel “responsible,” I found myself trying to recall details of the interview, wondering what I may have missed. Who can explain such despair in a man?

        Thank you for your comment.

    • Seraphim98 says

      Silly white geese?

      Most people, I suppose, hope to be found on the side of the angels, but in troubled times it can be hard to be sure in the moment which side is which, especially when passions are burning hot. So at a minimum I would think that one would at least acknowledge the seriousness of the concerns which have led the posters to this site to be so adamant in their support for Metropolitan Jonah. Likewise, those of us who are his supporters acknowledge the Holy Synod has the authority to determine it’s own constitution and the freedom to exercise all the powers that relate to their office as bishops, both individually and collectively…even if we question the wisdom of their use of that power and wish to ascertain how that use squares with canonical norms.

      You may well be right that a new Metropolitan for the OCA will be chosen at Parma. Whether the Church as the Body of Christ affirms that choice…or vomits it forth as toxic remains to be seen. If a new Metropolitan is chosen and enthroned…you are right, that being good and faithful Orthodox we will submit ourselves in obedience. We will kiss his ring even if his “axios” never passed our lips. We are not schismatics. People can rise to the occasion. A new Metropolitan should have that chance.

      However, you and those like you should realize the days of business as usual under Metropolitan Herman or his predecessor are dead. If our putative new Metropolitan turns out to be cut from the same cloth…or worse has his cloth sown into the likeness of a faithful sock puppet do not imagine that you have won. That would prove to be the most phyric of phyric victories in recent memory. Your house will be left to you a desolation…and it is you who will have splashed the kerosene and lit the match.

      You say that the election of the new Metropolitan will be by the Grace of the Holy Spirit….wasn’t the last one also by the grace of the Holy Spirit? If not, why such a positive expectation for this one? If so, why are we looking for a new Metropolitan? Is it because in your view, that grace was squandered? If so, might not that grace be squandered again and more recklessly. Might not the election of a new Metropolitan also be a provocation to the Spirit if Metropolitan Jonah was unjustly asked to step down and unjustly treated thereafter? Since the Metropolitan the Spirit gave you the last time round wasn’t suitable, might He now give you the Metropolitan you want? Thy will be done, as it were. What a judgment that be.

      You see Mr. Stankovich, there are worse things than being silly white geese…one may have the misfortune to be found a silly green frog unhappy with the king God has given…see Aesop for fuller reference. But you have named us silly white geese and silly white geese we are. We are foolish and silly creatures, though our God loves us and cares for us. We have been washed white in waters of Baptism, our feather sealed with oil so that we buoyant and rise…and that the deep waters of death cannot hold us. We have wings so that we may fly. Perhaps you forgot…or didn’t know the goose is also a symbol of the life in the Spirit….the Wild Gander an image of the Holy Spirit blowing whither He will. And though our voice is sharp and at times discordant, it is the only voice we have to cry out to him, or to raise the alarm that a stranger is coming over the wall (it this very virtue that recommended them to the Romans as living alarms upon the walls of the city).Tis a pity little green frogs don’t have wings Mr. Stankovich…it may well be the king the frogs have prayed for even now spreads his wings to join them at Parma…and they may soon enough have cause to wish for wings. Then again, the Lord is merciful. His mercy endureth forever. Even in His judgments there is an opportunity for redemption…But for all that, the Lord is not mocked.

      Doubtless, His grace will be present at Parma…but how that grace is perceived and experienced will depend a lot on the hearts of those present and of those to whom governance has been entrusted. Both paper and gold can receive fire…but one endures the contact a bit better than the other. Either way Mr. Stankovich, the fire purges or purifies. So, looking forward to the sobor I commend you and all with you to the care of God in the words of Elder Cleopas, of blessed memory, “May Paradise consume you.”

      • … even if his “axios” never passed our lips.

        This brings to mind the following thought. Will they have to control the attendance at the enthronement coming in January as tightly as they do at Parma? Will some people be forbidden to come to the enthronement, like some elected representatives are forbidden to come to the AAC? After all, it may happen that someone will scream “Anaxios!”

        • Mitrich! Only members of a lavender mob would “scream.” But if you’d like to, it’s a free country. And the place for axios or anaxios is after the enthronement, not before, so your screams could have no effect on the enthronement, even if they gave you a momentary enjoyment. Impotent screaming is not for everyone!

          • Seraphim98 says

            Your Grace,

            Bless. If you don’t mind helping out someone not deeply versed in such rubrics, what is the point of the laity having an “axios” if pragmatically speaking it means nothing with respect to the choice of or enthronement of a bishop? And if the “axios” is effectively a formality…what then of an outcry of “anaxios?” Has such a rejection by the laity ever stopped or forced the reversal of an enthronement of a deeply unpopular candidate? If not then what does it accomplish besides informing the new heirarch to tread carefully until he can identify and neutralize his more powerful detractors?

            What is the canonical role of the laity with respect to the selection of new bishops/metropolitans when there is a question of the suitability/desirability of a given candidate for the throne?

            I found this in a discussion elsewhere on line, but this appears to be in reference to the ordination of a new bishop. I’m not sure if choosing a metropolitan follows a similar liturgical track “Let’s start from the beginning… When the candidate is brought out, the clergymen who are escorting him say “Kelevson, Kelevsate, Kelevson Despota Agie, to nin prosferomenon soi,” or, “Command (singular), Command (plural), Command (singular) Master Holy, the one brought before you.” This is the point in the service where commentary on the candidate’s worthiness or unworthiness is to be made. The first “Command” is to God, the second “Command” is to the people, and the third is to the hierarch. If any one of the three has an objection, then the time when “command” is said is when it should take place – before the candidate has actually been ordained.

            Now, if an objection has been brought up, it is the duty of the hierarch to investigate whatever claims are made. If the claim is spurrious to begin with, he can continue with the ordination. If there is credence to the claim, then it is his responsibility to investigate it. The Liturgy should continue without the ordination in it.”

            • Why, Seraphim98!!! Of course I’d like to enlighten you on “Axios” and “Command” (keleuse, or poveli)!!!!
              First, “axios.” In the Orthodox Church, that word has never been a vote nor part of an election. Never.
              In fact, if one has only the rudiments of liturgical theology to refer to, one may discover that the word “axios” is never ever pronounced by anyone before the laying on of hands and the consequetn action of the HOLY SPIRIT. ALL candidates for ordination, Seraphim98, i now inform you, are unworthy men. However, with the laying on of hands and the declartation that the Divine
              Spirit It is That heals the infirm and supplies what is lacking, elevates the always-anaxios one to become a Deacon, Priest, or Bishop. Immediately and first of all, the ordaining Bishop cries out “Axios” in recogniton of the miracle. Then the clergy in the Altar cry “Axios” for the same reason, then all the People ACKNOWLEDGE the miracle-working Grace of the Holy Spirit and also cry, “Axios!”
              It would really be, let me say, dumb to declare someone axios before or without that operation of the Holy Spirit. Get it Seraphim98?
              Now, the matter of “Command.” This, in brief, is the Persian word for “If you please.” That’s what one Persian says to another before handing him a cup of coffee or opening a door for him. Here’s what I previously posted here, but which you probably missed, explaining how all that garbage about “command” indicating the participation of anybody in anything. I realize, Seraphim98, you may have heard this sort of thing from liturgically unsophisticated teachers, perhaps even in a seminary, but the following is the real thing:
              Much of the Byzantine court ceremonial, including parts now incorporated into our services, originated in Sassanid Persian courts. Even today, in modern Persian, where we would say “If you please,” the Persian says “Command!” (Befahrmaid). And so, when Byzantine royal hostages were taking notes of the marvellous rites of the Sassanid Persian Court, they noticed this habit of an Official pounding his staff and proclaiming ‘Command” before the Most Important people were to move from room to another, or go before the Emperor. So, too, our Deacons, cry, “Command” (“If you please”) to signal he Priest to go to the High Place before the Trisagion. And they say it at the beginning of the All-Night Vigil just before the Priest begins his censing tour of the Altar. And we ALL know how it’s said to the candidate for ordination, twice, before the Bishop himself is addressed (in the polite plural) to take his seat for the ordination.
              Yes, that’s where it “comes from,’ but that doesn’t stop would be western liturgical (and even some Orthodox!) experts and connoisseurs from building a whole segment of Conciliarity Doctrine around the word, imagining the use of the word is SHOWIING that the people ‘participate” by their command!!!!!!!!!!!
              The use of “Command” in the services of the Byzantine Court is found in the Byzantine Book of Ceremonies. When the Basileus and his retinue were to move from, say, a golden room to a porphyry room, the Master of Ceremonies would signal with his staff and say ‘Keleuse” or Keleusate’ (Command), just as magnificently as a Persian sub-Vizier might say ‘”If you please” to the Monarch or Monarchs or “Eryan Shah” (King of the Aryans)..
              Patriarch Pavle of Serbia told me that he had done his thesis on this very topic of “Poveli” “Command,” and he nodded when i both cited the Book of Ceremonies and commented on what distorted things were being bruited about the word!

              • Seraphim98 says

                Thank you, your grace. That was very informative…several things I had never come across before.

                If I understand you correctly, the “axios” of the laity is in acknowledgment of an act of the Holy Spirit, not an act of affirmation/approval/agreement. I would suppose then any cry of “anaxios” would be meaningless at worst, and at best, an expression of belief something was amiss… that there was no miracle in the ordination.

                So, then what are the provisions if any with respect to the laity should someone be enthroned who really should not be enthroned and whom the laity is positive shouldn’t be enthroned (granted it is possible they may be wrong)? We, of course, have the histories of this or that erring bishop being driven out by an angry mob, but surely that cannot be a normative solution…then there’s the whole God dropping them dead in the outhouse thing, but I would hope there is some other less extraordinary measure that gets the job done when needed. Or is this a matter that lies strictly with the bishops of a synod to determine as it seems best and does not involve the concerns or desires of the laity one way or the other?

              • Fr Patrick B. O'Grady says

                Juan Mateos, in his very informative historical investigation of the Liturgy of the Word, says the same thing: κέλευσον = s’il vous plait (circunflex over the last i!)

                • That would be either “kelevse” (singular) or “kelevsate” (plural), I believe.

                  Some grad student or other would find the influences of Persian court ceremony on Byzantine court ceremony, and thence on church rites a rewarding area for research and publication. Probably SOME influences go way back to the time of Alexander the Great, with his inferiority complex that led him to level Persepolis, but were most powerful in the times of the Sassanids, who gave the Romans such a rough time.

    • It offends me and causes me emotional distress when you call M. Stankovich, Stank or Stanky. Please stop. Please call him Michael (his baptismal name) as he has requested that he not be called Mike. His handle is long and it is difficult to remember if you’ve spelled it correctly (I know, I had to correct it twice while writing this), but knicknames so close to “stink” and “stinky” are only appropriate if used in private between the very best of friends, if ever. So please, if not for Michael, then for the rest of us, just call him M., Michael, Stankovich, M. Stankovich, or Mr. Stankovich. I believe his given name is Marcus, and with his permission that might also be appropriate.

      Another reason to comply with this request is that you are detracting from your own message.

      • George Michalopulos says

        I agree with you.

        • M. Stankovich says


          Thanks for the props. My birth certificate reads “Michael [NMN] Stankovich.” That would be “No Middle Name.” This was true of my draft card as well. My father was Milomir, making my patronymic “Milomirovich.” Marcus is news to me. And my mother.

      • ChristineFevronia says

        Perhaps the nicknames “The Circumcised Troll” and “Stan the Tran” might also be set aside when referring to Barbara-Marie Drezhlo.

        • I agree Christina…Name calling is uncalled for..When we do it, and I have been guilty of it, it diminishes whatever good one can do or is trying to point out to others..
          You were very brave to bring this up…..

          • George Michalopulos says

            Agreed. I have repeatedly asked people to be civil. Once or twice I took people to task for abreviating and/or mocking Mr Stankovich’s name. From here on in, I will simply hit the “delete” button.

            • It is your Blog and you have no reason to answer me but why is it acceptable to make fun of other people..”Over circumcised troll” or “Stan the Tran” for instance…it isn’t any of my business and you don’t owe me an answer but shouldn’t we be better than that? I realize I am just as guilty as everybody else but why dont we all try to do/be better.

          • ChristineFevronia says

            StephenD–Hi! Um actually mentioned it, not me… And yes, I am guilty, too. But M. Stankovich stretches my heart, and I am grateful for that.

          • StephenD: for what it’s worth, I made the same point here:


            I agree with your comment to Christine.

        • Ivan Vasililev says

          Absolutely! It does no one any good to use ugly nicknames

        • Ms Drezhlo prefers to be referred to as Varvara. I agree with you that we should honor individuals by how they prefer to be addressed.

          • George Michalopulos says

            Well, I used to tell my wife to call me “sir” but that never really worked out. Then there was Prince who called himself “squiggly-line/androgynous symbol.”

  4. Interested Observer says

    Metropolitan JONAH was accused of covering up a rape – and that “story” was picked up and widely disseminated by national news.

    There were three accusations of rape by the monk, Fr. S: 1 – He raped nuns. 2 – He raped a woman in his apartment building. 3 – He raped his own Spiritual Daughter.

    1 & 2 – The SIC and SMPAC reports to the OCA Synod state that no credible evidence of rape exists and called this an “exaggerated report” and “unfounded rumors”.
    1 – The “DC Nun” states that there was no rape and that this was “unfounded gossip”. There was no rape!
    2 – The investigation of the case of the apartment encounter resulted in the information that no physical contact took place in any way. There was no rape!
    3 – The accusation by the Synod is that a cover up of a rape (the cover up by Metropolitan JONAH) occurred in February of 2012. The accusation of rape by the Priest’s Spiritual daughter was first reported by her in May of 2012 when a repressed memory came to her. Her memory was of a rape that occurred in Pascha of 2011.

    In February of 2012, could Metropolitan JONAH have covered up a rape that was not even suspected by anyone evolved – not even the victim? How is this possible? Yet this is what the news reported and if you ‘google’ Metropolitan Jonah you will see the word, “rape” associated with his name, and the words, “cover up”. How would you like this to happen to you?

    The Synod stated on July 16, 2012 that “things written and said by Metropolitan JONAH since his resignation” (which occurred on July 8, 2012) justify their actions to remove him. Does this make any sense? FOR THE RECORD (ARE YOU READING SYNOD?) Metropolitan JONAH has not made any public or private statements or writings about the Synod or his removal, and it is now October of 2012! Look for them – you will not find them – and believe me, if they existed we would have printed them!!! WE (the people) have – HE has not!

    There is NO RESOLUTION for +JONAH, the Synod continues to this day to have him hanging out to dry without any means of support after December of this year. This is scandalous!!! They will not re-assign him. They will not compensate him. They will not release him.

    Does all this information bother anyone else…?

    • lexcaritas says

      Indeed it does bother us and, arguably, renders everything these men do until there is a public retraction, repentance and restitution utterly illegitimate. In Hamlet’s language such infamy It out Herods Herod; in our Lord’s idiom it makes Pharisees look like saints and hypocrites holy.


    • Deborah Valentine says


    • Tit for tat might be to take this story of “Sons of Job” to the same papers that +Jonah’s story was taken to. These are allegations, just like +Jonah’s and not proved or visited by a Church court. They are equal. And all things being equal . . .

      Personally I would rather see them all go through a Church court, judged by all the America’s Bishops. We are one territory after all. . . .

  5. Disgusted With It says

    And who’s going to actually stand up and do something about this in Parma? Will people stand up for what’s right, or will it be another OCA ho-hum moment?

    And don’t be naive — the synod is already planning for every procedural maneuver in the book. So if you want to make an impact, be sure you are prepared to do so by the letter of the law (i.e., Roberts Rules of Order). Remember, from the very beginning, if the majority vote down the agenda then there is no meeting and an election will not happen.

    • Speaking my mind says

      ” Remember, from the very beginning, if the majority vote down the agenda then there is no meeting and an election will not happen.”

      God grant!!!

  6. Light reveals the truth says

    This is a well-thought out article, basing its charges on known allegations and citing the canons of the Church as the means by which the allegations must be investigated. What should be a Holy Synod has become an unholy brotherhood of men agreeing together to protect their unsavory behaviors by whatever means they deem necessary. It’s time, and past time, for OCA faithful to speak out and INSIST that the canons of the Church are applied, and that the AAC charade in Parma is declared a Non-Event while investigations are properly carried out. The bishops on the synod have flouted the canons and followed rules of their own making, rules that are now drawn out from the dark recesses of conspiratorial silence and exposed to the light as the sham that they were–and now they may find themselves falling “by their own counsels”.

  7. How have our DC, NY, and Northeast friends fared through Sandy? Is everyone okay?

  8. Carl Kraeff says

    This latest from the Sons of Job almost tipped me back into the old, confrontational Carl. I am afraid that I am weak and cannot refrain for long from criticizing this article and this site in most extreme terms. So, once again I remove myself from the arena. Please pray for me a weak sinner. Carl

    • Catherine 9 says

      I am not familiar with your style, past or present, but what you said piqued
      my interest.
      Why don’t you unveil a few hints of what your reactions are ?
      One can see from your remarks here that they would probably HELP some readers.
      People come to the site to LEARN.

      What about reconsidering – and returning to ‘The [Spiritual] Arena ‘
      for another round -? !

      • Carl Kraeff says

        Dear Catherine 9–I have a hot temper and a tongue that is difficult to control. For my physical and spiritual health, I need to keep on an even keel. It is difficult to do so on this site, where I find so many posts that I object to, some vehemently. For the readers of this forum, I will merely say the following:

        a. The Holy Synod rectified its mistake in electing +Jonah by asking him to resign.

        b. This site and posters herein do not have to engage in character assassinations to support +Jonah.

        c. I have no way in proving this but I think +Jonah is complicit in this. So is the former buddy of his, Fr Joseph Fester.

        d. Finally, it is simply wrong to divide, to call for schism, as many on this site have done..

    • Milos Konjevich says


      It is wise to “refrain from criticizing this article”. Better to search your own mind to find the ground where you’ll make a stand, and considering the views of respected elders is part of that process. All this talk about bishops and the Holy Synod brought to mind something written by Fr. Alexander Schmemman. What he said makes sense to me and it may be helpful to you:

      “I ask myself (I do it after each Synod): What constitutes the impossibility of the replacing the bishops, the necessity to have bishops; why are they needed, useful, yet on a special, much deeper level which alone is important and makes the Church to be the Church? I know, I always knew that it is so, but how to express it, how to explain it?

      “When I was thinking about this, while walking home from the station, I suddenly heard these words in my mind: ‘on an immovable rock….’ The bishops are ‘an immovable rock’ in two meanings of the word. In the negative, a ‘rock,’ blind authority, fear, self-affirmation, etc., and hence comes the difficulty for them to deal with the living Church. In the positive: yesterday, for example, they refused the candidacy of a priest because he was an innovator. At first I became quite incensed: we ‘innovators’ are trying to go back to genuine tradition, etc. Then, having cooled off, I realized that if they are slow in accepting a good ‘innovator’ they will not allow a bad one! Whatever is good, if it is genuine, true, the Church will sooner or later let it grow and bloom, while what is bad will be kept back. They—the bishops—are needed as ‘rocks”. The bishops’ function is to be the bearers of ‘conservatism’ in the Church in the deepest sense of the word, the belief that at its depth the Church does not change because the Church is an ‘immovable rock.’ Since in the Church, more than anywhere else, the Spirit is breathing—but also ‘spirits’—this conservatism is absolutely necessary. To work with bishops is almost always difficult, but, in our better moments, we know that in the Church, ‘difficult’ is good. Having spent my life with this difficulty, I believe in bishops with the same faith that I believe in the Church.”

  9. I would like to point out some of the glaring errors in the “Sons of Job’s” recent complaint:I, Bishop Tikhon Fitzgerald, never EVER stated or alleged that Bishop Alexander “had a “canonical impediment” that barred him from elevation to the episcopate that was brought to the attention of the Synod when Met. Theodosius was still Primate.”

    I stated, nothing more, nothing less, that on the certificate executed prior to ordination, Golitzin’s Father Confessor, Archpriest Thaddeus Wojcik make this entry; “I have heard Alexander Golitzin’s life confession and he has repented of all canonical impediments.”

    That is what I reported. Upon reading that certificate, first Metropolitan Theodosius, then primate, disqualified Golitzin from candidacy for the episcopate. Upon reading that certificate Metropolian Herman, when primate, did likewise, adding that the disqualification was to be permanent.

    Please note: I made NO assumptions, nor did I affirm any such. I asked only that the matter be looked into. I’ve never EVER heard that any canonical impediment was actually found. Perhaps there were and are no canonical impediments whatsoever, and the remark is just a stupid, careless, foolish one by Thaddeus Wojcik. Who is to say? Certainly NOT ‘Sons of Job!”

    The “Sons of Job” also and typically smoothed over the actions of their idol, the ever MEMORABLE Job, an Archbishop in the matter of the consecration of Bishop Alejo. Job NEVER EVER reported deviant sexual misconduct of any kind by Bishop Alejo when he was a candidate, and certainly NOT AT ALL when his name was discussed prior to his approval at the Holy Synod meeting which approved his consecration. In fact, you may look up the records at Syosset and see that Job signed his own name to the ACT of electing Alejo, without objection or murmur. Job prayed with all the Synod at the Vespers on the Eve. He and Bishop Mark Forsberg, perhaps his closest friend in the Synod after Bishop Seraphim Storheim, arrived late to the Divine Liturgy of the consecration of Bishop Alejo at St. Tikhon’s. I objected and demanded (with the agreement and approval of Archbishop Dmitri and Bishop Nikolai) that the Holy Synod meet after the consecration. We did so in a seminary classroom. There, when questioned by ME, why he had come to the Liturgy only after the Anaphora, he informed us that he had received “Vladyka Herman’s” blessing to be absent SINCE if he had attended, a priest in his diocese, Fr. Michael Simerick would have “made things impossible for me, because he’s very close to a “Rodriguez.”. Archbishop Dmitri opined there was a long-standing and bitter rivalry to take over the Mexican Exarchate and this Rodriguez would say anything to disqualify Alejo.

    I want to repeat that Archbishop Job, never ever objected to the candidacy, nomination and election of Alejo and that he affixed his own signature without any pressure for anyone, along with that of all the other members of the document ****offfiically’ and canonically electing Alejo.

    Finally, in the matter of the death of Gregory Solak in the basement of the Anchorage rectory, he was not a “young man,” any more: he was Archimandrite Benjamin’s age. They were schoolmates at SVS together. Gregory, Benjamin had informed me some years previously, was an acute alcoholic and Benjamin (then Vincent) did not recommend him as a candidate for the LA Cathedral because of that. What was totally and almost criminally egregious of Peterson was to arrange for Solak ot move to Alaska to be together with himi. Alaska is not recommended for alcoholics, just as Las Vegas is not recommended for gambling addicts. However, he provided companionship, especially with the bottle, for Benjamin. I personally beleived and believe (as does the ruling Bishop at the time, that Gregory Solak would probably be alive today, if it were not for Benjamin. The use of the term “young mam” by Sons of Job is misleading, extremely msleading. Elsewhere, here, I learned that Benjamin had been asked about his relationship with Solak and that he had asserted, oh, that was all over by then. I’ve deduced that Solak had married and fathered a family before moving to Alaska, since his daughter has posted here. Gregory was the son of the famous Father Nicholas Solak, who was a pioneer in publishing musical settings to our services in English, contemporary with and possible preceding those of Father Soroka. When the SVS Octet visited Los Angeles with seminarian Gregory Solak directing, it was the first and only time an octet stayed on pitch from the beginning to the end.

    The conduct of our bishops is problematic enough without these sloppy allegations. Why, Mark Stokoe and Eric Wheeler’s exaggerations never reached this level!!!!! If Archbishop Job were still with us, then his “Sons of” would really have available a “store”house full of material to point to, personal AND official!

    • George Michalopulos says

      Your Grace, thank you for your clarifications. I will pass them on to The Sons of Job. I must say however that some of your clarifications raise more uncomfortable questions and perhaps inadvertently confirm much of their narrative.

    • Dear Vladika Tikhon,

      First hit on the internet indicated that one Father Thaddeus Woijchik is alove, well, and capable of mentioning why he referred, in an elliptical way, to a previous impediment of Bp. Alexander Golitzin prior to his confessing the same:

      Perhaps that person emailing or calling him could be you? Or one of the people associated with the Sons of Job?

      Thank you for being brave and helping keep the Orthodox Church holy an transparent

      • Why, loh!! When I read that certificate, Fr. Thaddeus, whom I knew quite well when he was in the Diocese of the West, was already under the omophorion of Archbishop Job of Chicago. So was Father Alexander Golitzin. It was not for ME to interfere in Archbishop Job’s diocese or interrogate anyof his priests, especially since we had a Metropolitan, made fully cognizant of the matter, whose responsibility it was to investigate the details of that bizarre and, may I say, it STUPID statement. How does anyone repent of impediments? Stupid. I feel I did my duty in reporting that bizarre matter to Metropolitan Theodosius, and, later on, to Metropolitan Herman.
        Get it? Do you get the part of my not dealing with priests under someone else’s omophorion? Imagine informing the Holy Synod, with Archbishop Job sitting there, getting ready to say, self pityingly, “it’s all my fault”, as he was wont to do (as if to say, “nothing’s my fault, but no one will ever believe me”), and explaining what I was doing, looking into a matter involving TWO Priests of his: Wojcik in Minneapolis, and Golitzin in Marquette!!!!
        LOH, why don’t YOU contact Father Thaddeus, now? i’ve never ever emailed either priest, and I have no idea to what emails you are so archly referring!
        And, you’re most welcome, my son, or daughter, or your venerable archpriestliness, etc, or madam.

        • Dear Vladika,

          As a lil ole southern housewife nobody, howbeit opinionated individual, I don’t think it would be my place to bring up whether or not there was any worrisome substance behind a confession as a bar to elevation as a bishop. But, since you are a bishop, moreover a bishop who wrote an extensive series of articles on Orthodox practice, and a person who brought the possibility or irregularity or possible substance or whatever was your reason for passing the info from Father Thaddeus Woijchik along to both Metropolitans Theodosius and Herman from Father Thaddeus Woijchik when you did have jurisdiction in the matter enough to pass said information along, it would seem that since an elevation has occurred, you could follow up on your original informational initiative to see if there was, indeed, any substance, etc. explicit as well as implicit in Father Thaddeus Woijchik’s original missive to you lo those many years ago. Otherwise, why did you mention the information from Father Thaddeus Woijchik at all?

          • Dear Li’l ol’ southern housewife,
            You’re commenting on something that does not exist, namely some “missive” by Wojcik to me. I don’t have any missives or letters or emails from him at all. Where did you get that idea?

            I reported that after I became a Bishop, I went through the diocesan personnel files, both to fully acquaint myself with the information they contained about what had become “my” clergy, and to make sure each clergyman’s file was complete. There is a form little, old housewife, which I mentioned in my original reference to this matter which you could have found if you’d actually looked up and read what it was I really said, and not this half-baked rumor you’ve been entertaining, a form which has to be filled out by three people prior to and after an ordination to the Diaconate and to the Priesthood. The form contains an oath, which the candidate must sign that he promises to keep. Then there is a section to be completed by the Confessor of the prospective Deacon or Pirest, in which the Confessor states that he has heard the life’s confession of the candidate, and must enter ANY canonical impediment he has heard in that confession or else enter that the confession revealed no canonical impediments. Little old housewife, the form in every Deacon’s and Priest’s file stated almost word for word the following, “I, N. Priest of N. Church, heard the life’s confession of X. There are no impediments to ordination.”
            After that form is all filled out, usually on the eve of the ordination, the Bishop completes it after the Liturgy the next day, stating, “I, Bishop N. of X., ordained Q. to the Holy Priesthood (or Diaconate” at St. Y. Cathedral at 00:00 am on Febtember 3333.”
            Bishop Gregory (Afonsky) I believe it was, who ordained Golitzin, even though Wojcik had made that incredibly stupid, “Polish” statement…. Bishop Gregory must not have read it. I actually laughed out loud when I read it, years after the ordination! It should have been in the inactive section of the personnel files, the files of clergy who had died or transferred from my diocese, since Golitzin was by then under the Holy Omophorion of ever-MEMORABLE Archbishop Job, as was Wojcik (Please use the correct spelling, Wojcik, without making up something no doubt meant to be phonetic but turns out to be nonsense. In Polish, “Woj” is pronounced VOY, and “cik” is pronounced “chick.”) Soon after that, possibly the very next meeting of the Holy Synod, the names of candidates were brought up and Archbishop Job “nominated” Golitzin to be a candidate. When we broke for coffee, I asked Metropolitan Theodosius to look at Golitzin’s Syosset file and see what was written on his ordination form. He did that, told me he did that, and then, after the coffee break, told the members of the Synod that Golitzin’s name was removed from the list of candidates. He did not charge anybody with anything. I have no idea whether or not he referred the matter to Archbishop Job to resolve or investigate, but one would assume he would have done that, since the matter was Archbishop Job’s to address. A couple years later, Metropolitan Herman was in the first place. Someone (I don’t remember who—-was it Seraphim? Nikon? Kirill?) suggested Golitzin for bishop again! At the coffee break, I did exactly the same thing as I had done previously. But this time, I went WITH Metropolitan Herman and watched him get out the certificate from the file and read it. He looked stunned and said, “This can’t BE!” After the coffee break, he announced that Golitzin’s name had been permanently removed from consideration for elevation to the episcopacy. I am willing to state all the preceding under oath, any time, anywhere.
            Get it? I’ve already explained (but it must have gone”whoosh”, right over your head) that it was for , Archbishop Job to address these mattters affecting the clergy of his diocese and it was the given Metropolitan’s responsibility to refer it to him. Go ahead, little, old housewife, whatever your Christian given name that you are ashamed of may be, and ask THEM your questions. You certainly did not succeed in coming up with the “gotcha” you’re looking for, obviously.

            • George Michalopulos says

              Your Grace, with all due respect (and I’m NOT being sarcastic), your narrative –which I believe completely since you’re willing to state so under oath–raises yet more questions about the unsuitability of Fr Golitzyn being elevated to the episcopate. I don’t know whether LOH was trying to play “gotcha!” or not but ipsimma verbi which you write in no way disaubses the notion that there was in fact something in his file which prohibited any further career in the Church.

            • Dear Vladika,

              I found Bishop Tikhon a very soft spoken, sweet and learned individual once I actually saw him out here in the east. Still, a few of his actions are a tad troublesome, but I’ll keep that local business to myself. On the local business, I am assuming he is not getting much more administrative support than Metropolitan Jonah.

              So I was kind of shocked at your impediment business and, to the contrary of a gotcha, was hoping there be no substance in that.

              Thank you for explaining and sharing the process by which you discovered this detail in his file with all us folks and letting us know what happened to the information.

              Vigil beckons

              • Monk James says

                loh says (November 3, 2012 at 3:49 pm):

                I found Bishop Tikhon a very soft spoken, sweet and learned individual once I actually saw him out here in the east. Still, a few of his actions are a tad troublesome, but I’ll keep that local business to myself. On the local business, I am assuming he is not getting much more administrative support than Metropolitan Jonah.

                So I was kind of shocked at your impediment business and, to the contrary of a gotcha, was hoping there be no substance in that.

                Thank you for explaining and sharing the process by which you discovered this detail in his file with all us folks and letting us know what happened to the information.


                Abp Tikhon is a good man and a serious monk.

                Still, knowing what he did about Fr Theodore Heckman, a notorious homosexual predator at St Tikhon Seminary and elsewhere, he allowed FrTH to assume pastoral responsibilities in his eparchy. This is a kind of enabling, as they say in the language of addiction.

                For that alone, AbpT ought to resign his episcopate.

                Recently relieving FrTH of his parish is too little, too late, and will NOT make AbpT look any better as a candidate for the white hood.

          • Jane Rachel says

            Seems like you could google “Wojcik” and spell his name correctly.

  10. That priest in Eastern PA diocese is still on the OCA website clergy list as rector of St Mark’s, Wrightstown. No mention on DOEPA website that I can see either. How long does it take to do the paperwork & update a web entry? This is a matter for public record.

  11. Your Eminences and Graces of the OCA, you should know that because of the things detailed in the statement by the Sons of Job and your brutal treatment of Metropolitan Jonah, you have little credibility and are fast losing the respect of people of good will who labor to think the best and not rush to judgment. The Sons of Job speak for more of us than you probably realize.

    Even if you try to ride out this storm by keeping brazen silence, not addressing credible charges or answering reasonable questions, even if you try to go ahead with ‘business as usual’ pretending that nothing unusual has happened, you have lost our confidence and our trust, and have wounded us with your highhanded dealings, offending not just one but many of “these little ones”–and it is better to be tossed into the sea with a millstone about your neck than to do what you have done to Christ’s flock. Having the chancellor blog on your behalf when he should be attending to more serious administrative matters won’t win us back. Does not one of you have any courage to speak up with humility and honesty, or will you try cover your nakedness with lies and blaming others? Is none of you able to call his brethren to account, to break ranks with this unholy code of silence? Unless you find a way to humble yourselves, to admit your own sins and mistakes as your canonical Primate has done, and to repent, you will have no moral authority to lead, though you may occupy the position of leadership–and the ranks of followers will thin.

    Can you lead as Christ showed, by making himself servant of all, or will you insist on lording it over us as the gentiles do? Can you show us an example of faith, of love, of humility, of honesty? I’ve seen none of it since Santa Fe at least. Can you show that you care more about the Church of Christ and Christ’s little flock than about your egos and agendas? Will you stop delegating oversight of Christ’s Church to the lawyers, to crisis management teams, to bullies whoever they may be, and to the Metropolitan Council? You are the overseers, after all. Your cowardice in Pittsburgh four years ago is not forgotten–pushing a fledgling bishop out in front of an angry council because none of you had courage enough to speak. Can you be godly men? We are waiting and watching and listening. Without public repentance on your part naming the specific sins of which you are repenting, I fear your Council in Parma will be nothing but a robber council and will do nothing to heal the Church. You’ve lost your scapegoat and whipping boy now. It’s all on your shoulders–which so far don’t appear manly enough to bear the load. May God have mercy on your souls to help you find a godly way forward.

    • Harry Coin says

      In the text above we read of ‘student complaints of homosexual predation’. What of the ‘sexual misconduct committee?’ Engaged, asleep, don’t care, what?

      • George Michalopulos says

        gooooood question, Harry. I guess they were too busy fabricating allegations against Jonah and his activities covering up a rape.

      • They read to “Student complains of homosexual…” and quit because if “Student” is complaining about homosexuality, he must therefore be a bigot who is out to get gay people.

  12. Just Guessing says

    As much as I am not a fan of the current OCA, can someone explain to me how this hit-and-run article, replete with salacious details of the alleged sins of bishops and priests helps the situation at all? What good will come of it? Do we drag others, kicking and screaming, to repentance? Is this how it’s done now in the 21st century?

    Unfortunately, the Sons of Job have shown themselves to be virtual Orthodox Jihadists, full of their smug self-righteousness. This article is neither Orthodox nor Christian. But it is, in fact, a testament to the logical end of the sick culture that the OCA has become, born from the keyboard of Mark Stokoe. When you believe that exposing the sins of others is the “light” that Christ speaks about (cf Stokoe’s “interview” to Svetlana Vais), then you’ve created a gospel of your own imagination, and you’ve fashioned a savior in your own image.

    He who lives by the sword, dies by the sword (Mt 26:52). “Put your sword back in its place.”

    • George Michalopulos says

      The difference between what the Sons of Job did and what the late, great Mark Stokoe did is that they want to cleanse the Church, whereas OCAN was very much part of the problem. It went after bishops and priests it didn’t like but hushed up the peccadilloes of others. Huge difference.

      • Just Guessing says

        Stokoe thought the same thing – he just wanted to “cleanse the Church.” What a sickness self-righteousness is!

      • Just Guessing makes an excellent and necessary point about what the “light” truly is, and what Stokoe mistakes it to be.

        However, I see the difference between Stokoe and the Sons of Job being that Stokoe hypocritically exposed the sins of some (and exaggerated a few), while hiding the sins of others. The Sons of Job appear to be trying to bring hypocrisy to light, not simply exploiting others’ sins for the sake of creating scandal or advancing an anti-Christian worldview.

        Still, when you look into the abyss, the abyss also looks into you.

    • In my understanding, this is not about exposing the sins of other but rather about certain men not being fit for the offices they occupy and about their being not fit to elect the new Metropolitan. It is for a reason that the canons put more stringent requirements on clergy than on laity. This makes the question of a person’s suitability for an office or clergy rank public, not private, as in the case of layman. It is also for a good reason that the Holy Canons prescribe deposition from rank as the remedy in case clergy members do what some of the bishop appear to have done: conspire against their Primate.

  13. simplygermain says

    It is not always clear which canons express essential marks of Christian life and which do not. There are often periods of controversy over certain canons as to their applicability in given times and conditions. These factors, however, should not lead the members of the Church to dismay or to the temptation either to enforce all canons blindly with identical force and value or to dismiss all the canons as meaningless and insignificant.

    In the first place, the canons are “of the Church” and therefore cannot possibly be understood as “positive laws” in a juridical sense; secondly, the canons are certainly not exhaustive, and do not cover every possible aspect of Church faith and life; thirdly, the canons were produced for the most part in response to some particular dogmatic or moral question or deviation in the Church life and so usually bear the marks of some particular controversy in history which has conditioned not merely their particular formulation, but indeed their very existence.

    Taken by themselves, the canon laws of the Church can be misleading and frustrating, and therefore superficial people will say “either enforce them all or discard them completely.” But taken as a whole within the wholeness of Orthodox life—theological, historical, canonical, and spiritual —- these canons do assume their proper place and purpose and show themselves to be a rich source for discovering the living Truth of God in the Church. In viewing the canons of the Church, the key factors are Christian knowledge and wisdom which are borne from technical study and spiritual depth. There is no other “key” to their usage; and any other way would be according to the Orthodox faith both unorthodox and unchristian. – from the OCA website, Sources of Doctrine

  14. M. Stankovich says

    Coward #2,

    If you would clear the air of the “branding of him as unstable,” a workhorse of your arsenal, then better clear the air. Have him release the evaluation from St. Luke’s Institute and allow it to be seen; allow it to be know who, in fact, has endured the fruit of recklessness, unilateral decision making, distrust, scheming, and instability. Surely you have no fears? And for heaven’s sake, the faithful paid in full for the finest professionals to gather their objective opinion and assemble a recommendation:

    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 of love for you, the people of the Church, and for my brother bishops.”

    You have a fancy for digging around in the in the closet of “sexual secrets” and behaviours of others, but like Satan to God in Job 1:9-10, “You have set a hedge about your servant” the BigFish, “Does he fear God for nothing?” making him an “untouchable” image of peity, And maybe the picture is not as clear as your story.

    The truth is always in context, and you are cowards, revealed in your manipulation of “tales” and stories, fraud and cheap threats of an “influence” customary of bullies and punks; certainly not the faithful who meekly and humbly would like you to just go back to the heresy from which you arose. You assume an arrogance you have neither earned through silent obedience to those who brought you this Faith, respect for the Tradition you somehow absurdly believe you “possess,” and, again, you will pay the same price of OCATRUTH; you will be revealed, you will be humbled, and like the Psalmist, there will be no where to run (Ps. 139).

    • MS,

      You stated, concerning St. Luke’s in Maryland, run by the Roman Catholic Church and founded by a heretical homosexual who died of AIDS:

      “for heaven’s sake, the faithful paid in full for the finest professionals to gather their objective opinion [of Metropolitan Jonah] and assemble a recommendation”

      The following criticism of St. Luke’s comes from the Wikipedia article on the same at . One might suggest that the Institute has a bias toward the homosexual lifestyle. Whyever would the Synod of Bishops send our dear heterosexual and celibate Metropolitan to an institution like this?:

      Criticism and Controversy

      Criticism of Saint Luke Institute has generally revolved around the issue of child sexual abuse in the Catholic Church and the issue of homosexuality. Though most of the clients at Saint Luke are treated for other issues, some are treated for child sexual abuse. Homosexuality has also surfaced in recent years as a subject of considerable controversy in the Church and in society at large. Thus, the criticism occurs in the broader context of controversies within the mental health community, the Catholic Church, and society.

      The treatment of perpetrators of child sexual abuse has been a source of conflict around the U.S. and the institute. Media reports often quote individuals who argue that pedophilia (a sexual attraction to pre-pubescent minors) cannot be “cured” and they object to any claims it can be. Clinicians who treat offenders often agree that these individuals cannot be “cured” but argue that relapse studies suggest that some offenders do respond well to treatment and, although they are not “cured,” they are less likely to re-offend. Thus, these clinicians argue not for a “cure” but for “successful treatment.” Several clinical studies [12] indicate that treatment outcomes vary greatly depending upon discernable characteristics among pedophiles and ephebophiles (a sexual attraction to post-pubescent minors).

      In 2006 at the annual Association for the Treatment of Sexual Abusers conference, Gary Thompson, Ph.D. et al. presented a paper entitled “Differences in Relapse Risk Among Priest Child Molesters.” [13] They presented data from the institute which said that the institute had, from 1985 to 2005, treated 375 priests and male religious who had sexually molested minors and 22 were known to have relapsed (5.9%). They gathered this relapse data using not only re-arrest rates (typically used in relapse statistics), but also information from media reports, supervisors and peer reports, self-reports, and information provided by their dioceses/religious orders. The institute relapse rates are low, which likely are the result of its extended treatment and follow-up plus the nature of its clients who they claim “tend to be higher functioning than typical incarcerated populations” that typically yield much higher relapse rates.

      In 1997, the Institute began a policy of explicitly recommending to dioceses and religious orders that any priest, no matter how well he had done in treatment, if he had a confirmed history of the sexual abuse of minors, never be returned to unsupervised contact with minors, a ministry with minors or any one-to-one contact with minors. The recommendations of the Institute are simply recommendations since the Institute has no ecclesiastical control over its former clients. Ministry decisions are made by the sponsoring diocese or religious order.

      In 2002, with the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People, this restriction was expanded by the U.S. Bishops to include any form of public ministry (allegations also are to be reported to civil authorities). Thus, any kind of future ministry was denied these offending priests. This “zero tolerance” clause remains a source of controversy for the Church. In effect, when the Church dismisses these men from the priesthood, the Church loses control over such priests and thus these offenders go unsupervised and unaccounted for. It is argued whether or not these offending priests are then less or more of a risk to minors than the previous policy of putting them in a supervised ministry not with minors.

      The issue of homosexuality has also led to criticism of Saint Luke Institute from both the Left and the Right. The “Right” tends to believe that Saint Luke Institute and its founder encouraged homosexuality. They believe the Institute should be using conversion therapy to change the sexual orientation of homosexual priests. On the other hand, the “Left” argues that the Church’s official position of homosexuality as “disordered” inherently invalidates the essential nature of a significant percentage of Catholic priests, religious and laypeople. The Institute maintains that it follows the Catholic Church’s teaching on human sexuality, which maintains that any sexual activity outside marriage is a sin, including homosexuality. The Institute indicates that its goal in treatment is to help priests and religious manage their sexuality in a healthy way so that they can live a chaste, celibate life with integrity.[14]

      • M. Stankovich says


        I did not train in psychiatry or clinical social work on Wikipedia.

        I have worked many difficult years in forensic settings, and in the last eight years, I have conducted more than 400 clinical examinations of felony child sexual predators in prisons – alone, face-to-face, in every shape and form you might imagine, like a children’s garden of horror, all arranged in rows on CA’s Megan’s Law website. I am eminently familiar with the contemporaneous research. St. Luke’s Institute is absolutely correct in their opinion, in that there is no evidence to suggest that any form of treatment available to date – measured simply by re-offense and returns to incarceration – is the least bit helpful. The only “treatment” to prevent serial child sexual predators from re-offending is incarceration.

        To your second point, I devoted many hours to addressing the point of “reparative therapies” for homosexuality here, and I even took your suggestion to heart and changed the entire color scheme to make it “easy on the eyes.” Again, I find no controversy in the position of St. Luke’s Institute – and I certainly do not believe they “promote homosexual lifestyle” by challenging reparative therapies.

        Your dear former Metropolitan would do well reconsider the offer to a reputable form of assistance, at the hands of skilled caregivers, who do not care a bit about the venomous ragings around him. So few have the opportunity.

        • Dear Michael,

          Thank you very much for making your website easy to read. The typeset is clear against the white and so now I can read it simply by adjusting type size. You use a lot of medical and psychiatric terms which are probably meant for your audience, but that’s a lot more manageable these days with internet dictionaries and such for ordinary folks like me.

          Again, I don’t pretend to any medical knowledge and my only intersection with your field has been as a citizen advocate during IEPs and such for individuals who needed some caring advocate when dealing with bureaucracy and professionals who are overworked and often haven’t the time to use plain English while expecting people to sign contracts with jargon of various sorts that can both positively and deleteriously affect their lives.

          I applaud your taking the time to make your clinical and personal views known and will try to carefully read your website.

      • Lord have mercy. Is it any wonder that the Metropolitan didn’t want to go to St. Luke’s – an institution known for treating perverts?

        The real question is why – OF ALL THE MENTAL INSTITUTIONS IN THE U.S – did the synod pick the one that would make him look the worst by association and innuendo. This is just like the rape allegation, isn’t it?

        Do other readers see this?

        • Dear Jmical,

          I hope that someone besides our dear Lord can see what incredible humility was involved in our sane Metropolitan enduring that voluntary imprisonment for the sake of brotherhood.

          • So, loh, you think he should have refused to go there, rather than agreeing to go there? Have you told him your opinion of his wrongheadedness in going there ‘for the sake of brotherhood” Why would he think it was for the sake of brotherhood, anyhow? And where did you get “incredible humility?” How about other possibilities—-oh….expediency? passivity? conflict avoidance? Incredible timidity? How do YOU know WHAT the Lord saw? Do YOU have insight into men’s souls? Maybe Metropolitan Jonahjust thought, at the time, “what the heck, what’s the big deal?”

            • Dear Vladika Tikhon,

              I do not know all the reasoning that went into the act of humility of Metropolitan Jonah, nor would I ever presume to ask. I would rather selfishly listen to his last words I might be able to hear on 1st Corinthians.

              • What ‘act of humility?” Do you mean putting in his resignation? Where I grew up we did not say giving up or “crying Uncle” was an act of humility. It was just caving in, giving up, throwing in the towel. Who has the spiritual discernment to look into Metropolitan Jonah’s soul from a remote location and see humility there? What did they hold over his head? A pay cut? Pay is established in the annual budget considered by the Metropolitan Soviet and then the Holy Synod annually. What? The Holy Synod of the Orthodox Church in America was going to reduce his compensation privately? Yeah. right. Metropolitan Jonah is a wonderful spokesman for the Orthodox
                Church. period. Fulton Sheen was a wonderful spokesman for Rome and converted a few very famous people. He didn’t have to have some conciliar or synodical title to do it.
                Face it: they treated him like a dog and he didn’t deserve it. What has anyone heard from Metropolitan Jonah publicly since his resignation—sermons, right? Are the parishioners of St. NIcholas or St. John’s rushing out to the suburbs to hear him? Can St. Mark’s parish handle all the crowds? This must have improved their financial condition immensely! How much money is in the “Metropolitan Jonah Defense Fund?” IS there one? Does no one here believe that “money talks?” People are quick to urge OTHERS to go to Parma and protest and carry placards and whatever. WHO is helping him? HOW? Oh, right! You express your feelings ******anonymously******* on internet blogs…. Great.

                • Oh, yes, we will support him with money, when he will need it.
                  Yes, we are rushing out to the suburbs to hear him, and from week to week our crowd is growing in number.
                  Yes, there are people who will lay down their lives for his sake.
                  When His Grace Bishop Tikhon speaks about other people, he is reasonable, but when His Grace bishop Tikhon speaks about Metropolitan Jonah he is not the same. His style of writing is different, his words are full of hatred and unfair. Your Grace, would you, please, stop hurting innocent Metropolitan Jonah and people who love him.

                • Your Grace,

                  Metropolitan Jonah was not faced with a partial pay cut if he did not resign, he was told directly by Jillions that if he did not resign he would be not be paid ANYTHING. Full Stop. NOTHING.

                  What a despicable act. And now, he has to beg for some measure of charity, crumbs that fall from their table. They bullied him out of office and they are trying to squeeze him to take a token amount with no release or insisting on the same insane stance that if he wants a chance at anything he has to go to St. Luke’s.

                  Well let us see how the St. Luke option plays out with +Matthias. He will go to their preferred facility, he will undergo their preferred rehabilitation and he will be deemed unfit to serve. The drumbeat from the likes of the divorced priest Ted Bobosh is already plowing the ground in the Midwest Diocese to make sure he never returns.

                  And all the while they live in their own bubble of reality believing that everything is just fine. Jillions listens to those who tell him all is well. Nothing to see here. Just move along. Well the longer they believe their own press clippings it will only make the demise of the OCA that much more painful.

                  Nice work Eric Wheeler, Mark Stokoe, Ted Bobosh, Denis Bradley, Gregg Nescott, Alexander Garklavs, +Benjamin, +Nathaniel, +Melchizedek, +Mark, +Tikhon, and all those who will never be satisfied until all their enemies are crushed. This is the leadership of the new OCA. Yes, your actions have been noted. They have been noted and you have been found lacking. And all the while they give us empty words, pious platitudes urging us to obey them, without discussion.

                  Next stop Potemkin Parma. And the march to obscurity goes on. How stupid do they think we are? I guess pretty damn stupid that we will just march in lockstep and bless their unholy decisions.

          • Jane Rachel says

            Dear loh,

            At least it wasn’t a concentration camp they threw him into, know what I mean? A week or two of just about anything short of something truly unbearable is endurable for anyone, no matter how sane. I doubt Metropolitan Jonah would want you to make more of it than it actually was.

            Every single veteran of war I’ve ever known (and I’ve known many and been married to one), didn’t make a big deal out of their experiences. I think this was because they didn’t think what they did was much compared to the ones who died or were badly injured or were prisoners of war. Just sayin’.

  15. Dearest Bishop Tikhon,

    About the Sons of Job: We are more about the prophet JOB who is sitting on the dunghill of episcopal excrement, learning forbearance and trying to keep our faith alive. Not so much the ever memorable arch-bishop Job Although He did utter that great quote “are the allegations true or false”. So we could certainly be his son’s also. You would think by some of the posts that we had said something no one had heard. We have only gathered together that which is already been alleged. Some of these posts are like the dysfunctional family who is every night acting out in drunkenness and co-dependence until someone says we must be alcoholic and then they treated like the black sheep. These allegations are elephants in the living room. There are a lot of black sheep in the Sons of Job. It seems that most of the OCA leadership these days demonstrate signs of abuse in their childhood. They consider the things mentioned in the article above as normal. We do not. It seems important to you for us to know that the ever memorable arch-bishop Job is implicated also. How sad for you. I wonder why that is important. Yes we know about those things to which you are alluding. The difference is repentance and that he unlike the others did not continue in those things that hurt and harm his soul or of those around him. I haven’t heard you express concern for the victims of these who are in the stead of Christ. We don’t know if any of these things are true we do know that these things are alleged. Many of the allegations I think you would agree have credibility. The matter of B. Alexander came to us in a peculiar way. We were told that he had canonical impediments going back before Herman and that you had made them. This opens up a whole new investigation as to why B. Alexander was on a “no fly list” by both Theodosius and Herman. We are sorry your name was mentioned. Some primary sources mentioned it. Why would they hang that on you?

    I am so glad that you helped prove our point about the need to investigate Benjamin. To long the bishops believed that they were above the law, canon , and scripture. They are not! Stanky is rightly concerned about his suicide victim. Yet, poor Stanky who prides himself in every post of being the consummate professional cannot see that this synod has also created suicides in their sexual predation. Ask about the young man from Chicago who killed himself who was preyed upon at Vlads The others we can’t mention by name. They just died in their souls being preyed upon and tried to come back to life in confession. Some of them think about suicide every day.. Raised in abuse one becomes incapable of discernment. I think Stanky was abused and cannot discern good and evil in authority figures in the Church.

    So pastor Tikhon will you be a Son of Job (the prophet) and help defend the spiritual children committed to our care? Come sit on the manure pile with us and the prophet. The people committed to our care are our primary concern. You know a lot of abusive details of these guys. We are not concerned about control or getting a piece of the financial rewards or a special cross. We care about the people and the Gospel. We are just trying to learn to Love God and this people. If we are wrong about a particular fact tell us and we will fix it. What we will not do is keep quiet. This is just the beginning. The Sons of Job are growing every day. We are working with council and the Feds. They are helping us with,several retaliations and whistle-blower complaints. Both the EEOC and Labor dept are proving very helpful. There is even a possible RICO case we are preparing. Wanna help? It would be good for your soul. The hierarchs don’t get to abuse the spiritual children any more! The synod has had a rough week with Moscow reading them the riot act, now this article, and the Feds getting ready to act, and Parma becoming a matter of jurisdictional recognition. We should pray for them.

    • Sons of Job,

      I personally commend your efforts at addressing the stench that has festered for many years in the OCA. Yes, perhaps some of the allegations you have presented are not entirely accurate; however, as you said, you have only reported what many others have stated for years. It’s interesting to note the comments from others who want to point to the accuracy of the statements and not address the underlying problems.

      Let’s look at just a few of the allegations in more detail. It has now come out that the priest who offered free back rubs/massages at St. Tikhon’s is Fr. Heckman. He was suspended at least once as far as I know. Come on, how stupid do you have to be? Suspension? Why wasn’t he defrocked? Did his bishop, I believe Tikhon, actually believe that this was going to go away or that it would resolve itself by moving him to another parish? What prompted a bishop to allow such a man to continue in the priesthood?

      How about the entire Synod, including Metropolitan Jonah, sitting by and blindly doing nothing regarding an investigation of Archbishop Seraphim? His name was withdrawn as a candidate for the last election of a metropolitan. Isn’t that “something?” Why on earth wasn’t he suspended according to the rules of the sexual misconduct committee back then and an investigation begun? Why did it take him being arrested before this Synod took any real notice?

      I have also enjoyed reading Bishop Tikhon Fitzgerald’s recent posts because they are quite revealing. Fr. Golitzin was ruled out as a bishop with impediments yet his name was put forward. Allegations against Bishop Benjamin were put forward but nothing was done. Bishop Nikolai sits in some sort of suspended animation status because the Synod has refused to address it. There seems to be an inordinate amount of doing little to nothing as a holy synod.

      Regarding Bishop Alejo, exactly what kind of investigation was actually made into his background? The OCA barely has money to keep the lights on and it chose to expand into another country. This is insanity. It can barely administer the parishes it has in the United States, let alone Canada.

      When Fr. Atty leaves St. Tikhons, the seminary will most likely lose its accreditation — unless someone has a candidate for the position that they are hiding in the wings. The monastery of St. John is deep doo doo financially in case anyone missed it. As an aside, can anyone tell me how it makes good business sense to rack up $70,000 in credit card charges, ever? The Diocese of the West coughed up $100,000 to help them. Unless the monks return that is probably money down a rat hole.

      I personally concur with the Sons of Job that a lot of the problems have to do with the hidden issues of homosexuality. You dont tell on me and I won’t tell on you. This culture existed all throughout Theodosius’ reign and Herman’s. Herman mortgaged the life out of St. Tikhon’s to help his “special friend” Archdeacon Klimitchev and no one said a word. What a mess.

      God be with you, Sons of Job, as you try to bring forward some assemblance of the truth. And thank you George for keeping this forum going.

      • Martin Paluch says


        How about revealing your last name?

        I am holding you accountable for your comment that:

        ” I personally concur with the Sons of Job that a lot of the problems have to do with the hidden issues of homosexuality.You dont tell on me and I won’t tell on you. This culture existed all throughout Theodosius’ reign and Herman’s. Herman mortgaged the life out of St. Tikhon’s to help his “special friend” Archdeacon Klimitchev and no one said a word. What a mess.”

        You have made an accusation and I ask where is your proof? In reference to St. Tikhon’s wherein was a three-year investigation and the STIC report concluded; “NO CRIMINAL ACTIVITY FOUND!” I again ask, where is your proof?

        Where were you as these things happened? Have you ever worked with and for Metropolitan Herman? Surely, you are not foolish enough to make such an egregious accusation without proof! So please provide us with names, dates and documents to prove that you are not bearing false witness against innocent individuals who in this case are your very brothers in the Lord.

        Be assured that the false accusations noted on this and other websites have properly been logged and in due time those responsible will be held accountable.

        With love in Christ,
        Martin Paluch

        • Heracleides says

          Yes, yes Martin. Now toddle off to your “special duties” of, er, driving Herman around the block. Such a busy man with such a hectic travel schedule that he needs a driver quartered next door and ready to jump at his every beck and call. Do the two of you honestly think you’re fooling anyone but the willfully blind?

          • Heracleides, I understand that Metropolitan Herman is in failing health. After all, both he and Metropolitan Theodosius are my age, becoming 80 years old this year. Do you really think it’s inappropriate for Martin Paluch to act as his chauffeur or coachman at that age? I don’t think it’s appropriate to mock anyone for his work, in fact, I resent it.
            After all, Heracleides, you seem to be defending someone who has done more pointing out of the sins of others than I’ve ever dreamed of doing; yet, you lampooned me with one of your crude cartoon concoctions, done in the style and spirit of Stanley Barbara Drezhlo. Now when Martin Paluch complains of that sort of thing, you defend it!!!!

            • Heracleides says

              “…you lampooned me with one of your crude cartoon concoctions…”

              There are three that feature you in all your glory; which one are you referencing?

              • Three? Oh, gosh! Thanks! I’ve been even more effective than I’d hoped! I lit Heracleides’s candles THREE times, not just once! I should cut one of each out and hang them out on my front porch on a string, next to my wind-chimes, like Tibetan Buddhist Prayer Flags! What fun! I’ve got a little supply of cigars, which I smoke only on very, very special occasions. I smoked one when Metropolitan Herman, who gave us the first push down today’s slippery slope, retired. With the cigar I also made and drank a great Bombay martini, with the traditional tail-lights. I’ll be sure and smoke one of the cigars and have a martinin out on that porch when Protopresbyter Rodion is re-instated and serves his first Divine Liturgy, when Bishop Nikolai is able to grace the episcopate of a different Local Church, and on a couple other possible festive occasions. But to add those GAY, crude, and tasteless cartoons ala Drezhlo up there to blow in the breezes will really improve my modest little feasts! Thanks again!

                • Jane Rachel says

                  Your Grace, “when Father Robert Kondratick is re-instated and serves his first Divine Liturgy, and when Bishop Nikolai is able to grace the episcopate of a different Local Church”….yes, that will be a fine day, indeed, and about time! I can’t handle Martinis, but definitely, I’ll enjoy a glass of homemade apple wine or oatmeal stout in their honor.

                  • Pauline Costianes says

                    you both have got to be kidding! Kondratick, along with Nikolai and Herman and Theodosius should have all been excommunicated, as well as laicized.

        • Martin
          True to colors, more predictable than the sun coming up in the morning the use of intimidation by you and your master. “If you utter a word about this I’ll ruin your life!” We will see about that…”Herman’s chickens comin home to roost” Me thinks it won’t work this time!

          • Martin Paluch says


            Please use your last name so that I might know the identity of my accuser.

            You write in quotes in reference to me: “If you utter a word about this I’ll ruin your life!”

            I do not use intimidation but speak the truth and I have spoken the truth but you will not accept or believe it. That is your problem and sin. I now ask you too; to show me just an inkling of truth to your claim of knowledge and you can not, so I now say that you have shown yourself to be a liar.

            Yours in Christ,
            Martin Paluch

        • Oh good, accountability!! Can we please have these and all accusations looked at, can we please have Church courts and then communicate to the faithful the truth off all these allegations-that would be great! When?

        • Dorothy Allen says

          Martin said, “Where were you as these things happened? Have you ever worked with and for Metropolitan Herman? Surely, you are not foolish enough to make such an egregious accusation without proof! So please provide us with names, dates and documents to prove that you are not bearing false witness against innocent individuals who in this case are your very brothers in the Lord.”

          Thank you, Martin. Please give my greetings to Met. Herman.

    • Just Guessing says

      The difference is repentance and that he unlike the others did not continue in those things that hurt and harm his soul or of those around him.

      Indeed, the difference is repentance. So you give a pass to Archbishop Job becuase “you know” he repented, and yet you hurl accusations above knowing that they didn’t?

      Herein lies the problem with your approach: George defends you because Stokoe was selective. But this is not about being selective, this is about the gospel, about harming others with your words. Not one “victim” will be helped by what you’ve written – not one. If we use an Internet forum as a weapon, then we are no better than Stokoe. This is what you have done. You’re willing to take the chance that God is blessing these reckless actions and accusations you’re making. Good luck with that.

      Stokoe was discredited becuase of what he did, and now you’re using the same tactic. There are better ways, but this approach will not be blessed by God, nor will it bring peace and order to the OCA.

      • lexcaritas says

        The true victim of sin is the sinner himself who falling prey engages in it and who, failing contrition and repentance, will see his sin become vice and ever hardening bondage.

        The cure for public sin with a high hand is humble, open and public repentance and generous restitution with the hope of complete forgiveness and reconciliation in love. This is the Gospel. There is no other way to true healing–indiviudally or for the Body ecclesial as a whole.


    • Just Guessing says

      Ask about the young man from Chicago who killed himself who was preyed upon at Vlads

      This one quote clearly shows that you truly don’t have any credible or reliable information. You’re making assumptions based on what you heard “out there.” You have no idea about the reality of the players involved in that situation or their histories prior to that tragic suicide. If you did, you’d not make such a sloppy statement.

      Your “feds getting ready to act” statement is reminiscent of Stokoe and Wheeler who bragged about being key witnesses in a huge FBI and IRS investigation that promised to lead the perpetrators away in handcuffs. Poof.

      If this is “just the beginning,” I hope your future work is more reliable.

      • “This one quote clearly shows that you truly don’t have any credible or reliable information. You’re making assumptions based on what you heard “out there.” You have no idea about the reality of the players involved in that situation or their histories prior to that tragic suicide. If you did, you’d not make such a sloppy statement.”

        Hm. Just curious, why would you write off “the sons of Job” because of his reference to this situation? He didn’t go into detail on it, so what makes him uncredible?

    • Job. YOU said i was the source of information that Bishop Alexander had a canonical impediment to ordination. That is not true.Please acknowledge this. Excuse the brevity of this note, but already completely repeated every word I’ve ever said or wrote about Bishop Alexander. Stop reporting your lie about me, if you please. I allege that you are lying about me and the allegation is true.
      By the way, are there no daughters among you? I thought I scented a Pokrovian note in this latest bit of nastiness of yours.

      • Daughters of Job sounds so Masonic but yes there are women also.

        • Is there a Steve Holt in your group? Steve Holt!

        • Isn’t the group called “Jobs Daughters”?

        • Jane Rachel says

          Wasn’t Archbishop Job associated with the Masons? I know he received some kind of award from them at one time, in Chicago. It’s probably not googleable now. Does anyone know why? At the time, I wondered, but then I supposed he was just being polite.

    • This self-description of the “Sons of Job” brings to mind a secret society. Do you have special hats? Any Orthodox clergy involved might want to look to their oath at ordination.


      • Yeah, and I bet they all wear crosses around their necks . . .

        • Yes. All Orthodox Christians wear a cross attached to a chain around their necks. Orthodox Priests also add their wedding rings to that chain.

          • Archpriest John W. Morris says

            Your Grace:

            Why would an Orthodox Priest not wear his wedding ring on his ring finger? I wear my wedding ring and do not know a single married Antiochian Priest who does not wear his wedding ring on his ring finger like any other married man. I am an Orthodox Priest, but I am also a married man.

            • Archpriest John, I was not referring to Antiochene clergy. Perhaps what I said is no longer true of even Russian clergy. Formerly, upon ordination of a Priest the ordaining Bishop would tell the Priest to remove any personal jewelry before vesting. It was the habit and custom of Russian clergy to avoid constantly putting on and taking off those golden or silver rings in order to liturgize by simply attaching them to the chain of their baptismal crosses.
              As I say, such things are now often forgotten and if they are mentioned a reply might “We’re not Russians: we’re Americans” or something else of a high intellectual-spiritual nature. Why, in former times, even into the 20th century, Russian clergy never ever tied up their hair into horse-tails because they didn’t think any kind of coiffure or hair arrangement was appropriate in the Altar. It was only in the fields or other similar manual labor that even the Russian monk was allowed to tie up his hair. Now, we see even Bishops with horse-tails serving. Patriarch Alexi was old-fashioned: he followed the Russian custom whereby the hair was tucked into the collar of the podriassnik for liturgizing. Archbishop Benjamin famously prefers the pig-tail to the horse-tail. Greek clergy had the same rules once, but the erosion set in when they began to allow arranging hair into a complicated bun (that was in the years BR (before rubber). And, anyhow, far from avoiding hair arrangements, many clergy nowadays steward their money by spending an extraordinary amount of cash at the barbers (and in Walgreens or Safeway on shaving preparations and instruments, not to mention perfumes (called “men’s cologne”). Not only must Laity sit down whenever possible in order to glorify God, the clergy must follow American Holy Canons of appearance; “Looking Clean-Cut” is equivalent, in a way, to Circumcision. A good haircut at any price, shaving cream, a razor, and then the actual shaving, then perfumes…..either ‘After-Shave” perfume, or “Men’s Cologne” perfume. It has been shown that the average American man spends more on such grooming preparations, implements and processes than women do.d Almost all the perfumes in any American supermarket are men’s colognes and after-shaves. If ROCOR Bishops have lower salaries than, say, Grecian or Antiochene hierarchs, this is not necessarily unjust: they don’t have to have any cosmetic and perfumery items in their weekly budgets!!!
              Look at old group photos of Orthodox clergy where they are sitting with their hands on their legs and you won’t see any wedding rings on the hands of the married clergy.
              And ****of course****** you’d never heard of this. Many OCA clergy likewise have not and would get their noses out of joint if told. It’s an easy way to get the standard American/Englsh Orthodox lecture going, on “Big-T” versus “Little-t” tradition… what Lutherans customarily call “essential” and “adiaphora”, respectively. Details! Details! Right? Forget the little things.

              • Archpriest John W. Morris says

                Your Grace
                Your message referred to “Orthodox clergy,” which could easily be interpreted to mean all Orthodox clergy. Antiochian clergy are Orthodox clergy.
                You are right that sort of thing is t tradition not T Tradition.
                I asked Bishop Antoun who is now visiting my parish. He had never heard that a Priest should not wear his wedding ring either. He comes from Syria and is old enough to know of it if it were a common custom in the Middle East in the past. I could not take off my wedding ring even if I wanted to I have been wearing it for over 40 years. Thus, I serve wearing my wedding ring.
                I agree that Orthodox clergy should not be overly concerned about their looks. We should be humble, clean and not vain about our appearance.
                As far as hair is concerned, Metropolitan Hilarion of the Moscow Patriarchate trims his beard and cuts his hair as does His Beatitude Patriarch Ignatius IV and all our American Orthodox Bishops. I spend about $10 a month getting a hair cut and about 10 minutes trimming my own beard. I also take a shower every day and use deodorant.
                Grooming standards have changed through the centuries and are different in different countries. I remember when I was a student in Germany in 1971, I was doing my laundry and a friend asked me why I had so much underwear. I told him that I wanted to have a week’s supply so that I only had to do laundry once a week. He was really surprised that I changed my underwear every day. Back then Germans did not shower or take a bath daily and most did not use deodorant. I still remember the smell being shut up in a warm elevator with my fellow students at Goethe University in Frankfurt. Even in America, in my grandmother’s time the custom was a Saturday night bath. In the 16 century people bathed once or twice a year. Voltarie used to hold an orange with cloves stuck in it when in public because people stunk during his time, despite their elaborate clothing during the 18th century. Therefore, adhering to normal American grooming practices is cultural and has nothing to do with being Orthodox.
                I have two liturgical questions for you. Why is the Litany of Fervent Supplication moved to the end of Daily Vespers?
                Yesterday, I served Vespers in my parish with another Antiochian Priest and an OCA Priest with Bishop Antoun on the throne. He commented that he was surprised that the Bishop stayed in the throne and did not enter the Altar during the service. Does and OCA Bishop enter the Altar during Vespers? In the Greek and Antiochian traditions the Bishop stays on the throne during the entire service, gives all blessings from the throne and then comes to the center of the Solea to give the Dismissal. What is the Russian practice?

                • Archpriest John W. Morris asked about the actions of an OCA Hierarch at Vespers.
                  I’m glad to be able to reply; however, since the Archpriest was non-specific, it’ll take a little while to outline the practices for the following examples of Vespers when an Hierarch is SERVING Vespers:
                  Vespers at the All-Night Vigil; Vespers on Sunday evenings, beginning with Cheesefare Sunday evening; Vespers at the beginning of the Liturgy of the Presanctified Gifts; Vespers at the beginning of the Liturgy of the Presanctified Gifts on Great, Good, and Holy Monday, Tuesday , and Wednesday; Vespers that precede the Liturgy of St. Basil on Great, Good, and Holy Thursday; Vespers of Great, Good, and Holy Friday (with Bringing forth of the Epitaphion); Vespers at the beginning of the Liturgy on Great, Good, and Holy Saturday; Paschal Vespers Sunday Evening; Vespers on Pentecost Sunday.
                  As for what a Hierarch does when he Is NOT serving; there are no prescriptions, instructions or rubrics; however, very often a Non-Serving Hierarch merely praying AT Vespers sits or stands in the Altar, to the southwest of the Altar Table (Throne), next to the Holy Doors, facing, of course, East, as is the custom of the Orthodox at prayer since the earliest times.
                  Metropolitan Evlogy (Georgievsky) of Paris, when he was a Bishop in Volhynia, made it his practice to stand outside the Altar, in the south of the nave, on a small platform with an eagle rug on it, so that the Faithful could observe how and when one ought to cross oneself and/or make reverences, and how to stand facing East, no matter where the serving Clergy were standing or moving or censing at any time or where the Gospel book was.
                  A much-abbreviated version of the LItany Archpriest John asked about does indeed come just before the Dismissal at a Little Vespers (the Vespers that is served only when the All-Night Vigil is prescribed): it is served with the 9th Hour, earlier in the day than the Vigil. which it precedes. That abbreviated version of the Liturgy of Fervent Supplication, with its three petitions and no ‘Let us all say…’ really should NOT have that title; however it is the distinguishing characteristic OF ‘Little Vespers.”

                  • Archprie st John W. Morris says

                    Your Grace:

                    As you know Antiochians and Greeks serve Great Vespers on Saturday evening with Matins on Sunday morning followed by the Divine Liturgy. In both Greek and Antiochian practice the Bishop does not enter the Altar during Great Vespers. He blessed the clergy and their vestment who come to him at his throne before the beginning, gives all the blessings and the Dismissal, but does not enter the Altar. Censing a Bishop is quite elaborate. We cense around the Altar, go out ask for his blessing, cense him three times, cense the iconostasis, cense the West then cense the Bishop 9 times, cense the Temple and cense the Bishop again 9 times when we return to the Solea. Our Bishops do not enter the Altar until the Little Entrance of an Hierarchial Divine Liturgy. Of course, a Bishop may also serve the Divine Liturgy as a Priest wearing his omaphorion over his philionion. He can also preside over the Divine Liturgy from the throne with the senior Priest and other clergy doing everything but giving the blessings and the final Dismissal.
                    I have never seen an Antiochian Bishop including the Patriarch vest on the solea. He takes Kairon and goes behind the iconostasis and vests as the deacon or a priest says the vesting prayers.

                  • Archprie st John W. Morris says

                    I just noticed your comment about Little Vespers. We have a form for week days that is not served as part of a Vigil. In that form the Litany of Fervent Supplication is not abbreviated, but is shifted to the end of the service from its place in Great Vespers after the Prokemeinon. Serving with an OCA chanter, I noticed that during Daily Vespers we not only do not do an Entrance, but do not say “Wisdom, Let us attend” before Gladsome Light is read, not sung. On Sunday evenings of Great Lent, Vespers begins as Great Vespers, but then shifts to Lenten Daily Vespers after the Prokemeinon.

                    • Fr. John, Little Vespers is actually a different office from the Daily Vespers you are describing. Little Vespers is a short version of Vespers that gets served in the early evening when an all-night vigil (Great Vespers + Matins + Liturgy) will be served overnight: one will have Little Vespers, a break, Compline, a break, then the vigil starts with Great Vespers leading directly into the other services.

                    • Archpriest John W. Morris says

                      To Helga

                      Yes. I know that the Menaion does contain texts for Small or Little Vespers for some major feasts. I am referring to ordinary Daily Vespers which is usually celebrated when there will not be a Divine Liturgy the next morning. The texts in the Menaion for Daily Vespers and Great Vespers are the same except that on major feasts there is a Litia. In Daily Vespers there is no Entrance, the Priest does not wear a phelonion the Royal Doors are closed, and most of the service is done from the Solea. In Daily Vespers the Litany that usually follows the Prokemeinon is shifted to the end of the service and Gladsome Light is read, not sung.

                    • For your information, Archpriest John, all Vespers services fall under three headings.
                      The first is “Little Vespers”, which is just as Father Helga describes it
                      The second is “Daily Vespers”. Daily Vespers aervices fall into two categories:
                      A. Throughout the year except the Great Fast.
                      B. In the Great Fast, and of two types: Sunday evening; On Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays.
                      The third is “Great Vespers” ‘There are two categories of Great Vespers: joined to Vigil; and separate from Vigil.

                      Note: The Entrance at Vespers MAY occur at Daily and at Great Vespers.
                      NOTE: Great Vespers is distinguished from all the other Vespers by the Litany that begins with ‘Let us all say” “Ipomen pantes”, whixh, because of that beginning and the two petitions that follow it, is called “Fervent”. At all other Vespers, i.e., at Daily and at Little Vespers a Litany that does NOT begin with “Let us all say”, but with “Have mercy on us O God, according to Thy great mercy….” is intoned.
                      MANY clergy novices (and even some old-timers in parishes that mostly do Sunday liturgy, like ordinary non-Orthodox (but “normal”) Americans, think that any Vespers not labeled “Great” must be a Little Vespers! What an idea!

                    • Archpriest John W. Morris says

                      To Bishop Tikhon Below

                      Your Grace.

                      I am fully aware that the Typikon and the Liturgikon call for different versions of Vespers. Each of the forms of Vespers are given with full rubrics in the Antiochian Liturgikon. Except for during Great Lent, and other special circumstances there are two basic forms of Vespers, Great Vespers and Daily Vespers sometimes called Small or Little Vespers. As you correctly point out it is better to reserve the title Small or Little to a form of Vespers provided in the Menaion for certain feast days in addition to the Vespers for the Feast. Great Lent has form for Vespers on Sunday evening that begins as Great Vespers and then switches to Lenten Daily Vespers. Naturally there is also a form for Lenten Vespers on weekdays. The Triodion also calls for Vesperal Liturgies on Holy Thursday and Holy Saturday. The Presanctified Divine Liturgy is really a form of Vespers with Holy Communion. Then there is a special form of Vespers for Pentecost, the Kneeling Vespers. You are correct there are a few feasts that call for an Entrance during Daily Vespers, but these are the exception rather than the rule. That I asked a simple question, still not answered, concerning Daily Vespers, which is the most common form of Vespers not does not mean that I do not know about the other forms of Vespers.
                      I am currently reading a very interesting book recently published by St. Vladimir’s Press, “The Typikon Decoded,” by Archimandrite Job Getcha. It should dispel once and for all the myth that the Typikon never changes. The Typikon we have today is the result of a long and very complex series of changes as the Church adapts the Typikon to its contemporary needs.

                    • Archpriest John Morris, I thought you’d appreciate a couple corrections, since you may be in a position to have to teach these things, and I’m sure you’d want to be accurate…
                      You mistakenly wrote this; ” In Daily Vespers there is no Entrance, the Priest does not wear a phelonion the Royal Doors are closed, and most of the service is done from the Solea. In Daily Vespers the Litany that usually follows the Prokemeinon is shifted to the end of the service and Gladsome Light is read, not sung.”
                      Poor Antiochian Patriarch Theodore Balsomon! He, writing in the 11th century premised his thought on the ever-lastingness of the Constantinopolitan Empire, in which he grew up. Little did he foresee the decline of enlightenment and education that would accompany the history of the former imperial territories under the Islamic Empire, or the influence of the Crusades, of the rise of the Mamelukes, of the commercial domination of Europeans, and the influence of their missionaries in the Holy Land and nearby regions, and so on! Probably if he had been born a hundred years later than he was, he would not have dreamed of setting up the practices of the EP as any kind of example to follow! It’s a good think his directives are not received as canons!

                      Daily [In Russian and Church Slavonic, “Everyday” (vsednevnyj)] Vespers has an Entrance on these occasions: Cheesefare Sunday evening and on the eve of the Prefeast of the Meeting of our Lord, 1 Feb, if that , falls on Cheesefare Saturday; on the Sundays of the 1,2 3,4,5, and 6 weeks of the 40-day Fast, as likewise on Tuesday, Thursday Friday, and Saturday of the 2, 3, 4, 5, and 6 weeks of that Fast (if on those days there is commemorated a Saint with Polyeleos .
                      Next, you also wrote this: ” In Daily Vespers the Litany that usually follows the Prokemeinon is shifted to the end of the service.”
                      It is not shifted at all during Daily Vespers in the Great Fast, but is entirely omitted, being replaced by “Lord, have mercy” 40 times, etc., while at Little Vespers, it always consists of only three petitions.
                      As for another note which you made, if you think the myth about the Typikon never changing will be demolished by a new book by ANYBODY, you’re mistaken. Yes, it has, indeed, developed, although the Russian Church, by and large has been the most loathe to change what it received from Constantinople originally. Father George Florovsky used to teach at Holy Cross Seminary (until Archbishop Iakovos got wind of it) in his church history lectures, “The Russians did, indeed, receive EVERYTHING from the Byzantine Church—it’s unfortunate that you Greeks did not keep more of it!” (So Princeton ended up getting him on their faculty!)
                      No doubt Archimandrite Gotcha wil have referred to Michael Skaballanovich’s mammoth magnum opus, ‘The Typikon Explained”.
                      Besides lengthy discussion of Typika from the 4th century onwards, Skaballanovich brings us right up to date with the radical changes Constantinople imposed on itself around the turn of the 20th century. Skaballanovich explains, for example, how and why the Greek Patirarch Gregorios decided to abolish “Kyrio-Pascha” the coincidence of Pascha and Annunciation which could occur. For centuries, the two feasts were combined and the combination was called “Kyrio-Pascha.” But Patriarch Gregory, when he saw it coming, decided “Our Greek priests will never be able to figure this out: instead, if they occur together, TRANSFER the celebration of the Annunciation to Bright Monday.” And we all know how he changed HIS typikon (and obviously that of all those subordinate to him, but not that of the Church of Greece) by abolishing the rubric to serve the Typical Antiphons, rather than the Daily Antiphons, on Sundays, resulting in today’s peculiar practice in parishes of the EP and those subservient to the Ecumenical Patriarchate, of not singing ANY antiphons, but only a couple refrains in place of each of them! (I’m told,, though, that in the villages in Lebanon and Syria, they still utter the Typical Antiphons on Sundays.)
                      Reminder: Three kinds of Vespers: Little, Daily, and

                    • Archpriest John W. Morris says

                      To BishopTikon Below

                      I cannot write complete answer to you because i am in the hospital after having a complete knee replacement, but I must inform you that you are misinformed about the Greek Typikon at least as used within the Patriarchate of Antioch.

                    • Archprest John W. Morrris says

                      To Bishop Yikhon Below

                      I asked a simple question about something that has always puzzled me concerning the celebraion of Vespers on a weekday when the Divine Liturgy is not going to be served the next day. I did not ask for a spitting match about who knew the most about the various ways that one can serve Vespers. I do not know all the minute points of the variations of Vespers found in the Typikon. .I know the most important thing. I know where to look to find them.

                    • Oh,for heaven’s sake! Get better!

                  • Archpriest John W. Morris says

                    To Bishop Tikhon

                    I made a relatively minor mistake by referring to Daily Vespers as Small Vespers. The version of the Typikon followed by the Patriarchate of Antioch does have rubrics for Small Vespers followed by the Vigil. Our Typikon also has rubrics for when the Feast of the Annunciation falls on Pascha. However, since we use the New Calendar, I doubt that that happens now.
                    My original question was why is the Ektena moved to the end of the service during Daily Vespers?
                    The Typikon does call for the Typica and Beatitudes with its verses on a normal Sunday.

                    To those who want to know, I am home from the hospital. However, I am in a lot of pain.

                    • Archpriest John W. Morris says

                      To Bishop Tikihon

                      Your Grace:

                      You know that the Typikon has changed through the centuries. At one time there were radical differences between the monastic Typikon and the Typikon of the Great Church of Constantinople, which was used by parishes. At the great Studite Monastery they merged the two differnent traditions creating the Byzantine synthesis, which was further refined at Mar Sabbas Monastery new Jerusalem. Actual uniformity became possible only after the invention of printing which led to a standardization of the liturgial texts of the Church. The first Typikon was published in Venice in 1545. In 1888 George Violakis published the Typkon now used by the Greek Church. This is the Typikon used by the Antiochians, except that we do not follow some of his revisions. Violakis put the Matins Gospel after the 8th Ode of the Canon. We still chant it in its original place before the Canon.
                      Just because i recognize that there have been changed in the Typikon does not mean that I favor any radical revisions of Orthodox worship. However, I recognize that it is not possible to follow every direction of the Typikon outside of a monastery.
                      Although our Typikon contains the directions for the Vigil we usually celebrate Great Vespers on the eve of the Feast followed by Matins and The Divine Liturgy the day of the Feast. That is why I forgot the distinction between Small or Little Vespers and Daily Vespers. A few yeas ago, Metropolitan Philip authorized the Evening Divine Liturgies which is built on the pattern from the Divine Liturgies on Holy Thursday and Holy Saturday mornings in an effort to make it possible for those who have to work or go to school to celebrate the fest on the fest day and abolishing the abuse of transferring a major feast to Sunday. I already know that you and most people in the OCA do not approve of our Evening Divine Liturgies, so, lets not get into a spitting match over it.

          • ooook, That was my point . I was being sarcastic.
            I can think of no married priest who wears his ring on his chain.

            • Colette, you don’t have to think.After all, I wrote (if you read it) ” Perhaps what I said is no longer true of even Russian clergy.”
              And, remember, Colette, I spoke of the chain of the BAPTISMAL Cross, not the Pectoral Cross. No one would expect YOU to have seen ANY Priests without a shirt or other outer garment over their upper chest!
              In other words, “HTHCWYT?”

  16. Fr. George Washburn says

    Dear friends:

    There is so much junk in the “Sons of” guest piece and the reactions to it that one hardly knows where to begin.

    I think “Just Guessing” has come pretty close to the mark (or the Mark) in his comments on the legacy of ocanews and Mark Stokoe being worked out here on this blog. Sure the “Sons of” and Mark have vastly different preferences for what kinds of oxen …and whose …should be gored by internet innuendo, BUT FOLKS IT IS ALL THE SAME EVIL, DOOMED METHODOLOGY and if we let it get more of a foothold it will devour those who employ it while they foolishly cackle that it is only their enemies who will be ruined. Wrong! We will all lose, not just our opponents.

    The scriptures say that “death and life are in the power of the tongue, and they who love it will eat the fruit thereof.” Mark Stokoe loved it for a while, and in the end I do not think he liked the “fruit thereof.” I predict that those of you following Mark’s methods, which I pretty steadily criticized back in those days, will live to eat the fruit and not like the taste of what you are doing here either. Why?

    It is the method of what I like to call “Spiritual McCarthyism,” the smear tactics of Sen. Joseph McCarthy of the Cold War, early TV era adapted for a new era of communication and for religious friction. It isn’t really spiritual, of course, but I use the word anyway because the people doing it pretend, and in some cases no doubt believe, that they have been given a spiritual task by God to do it! But it is a two-edged sword; smear tactics can only be expected to beget more of the same from others.

    Smear tactics consist of making unproved allegations in sensationalized ways with the calculated intention of causing harm to others by the mere making of the claims ….whether or not later they prove to be strictly true. Sort of like the old communist show trials, whose internal logic went something like this: communism is right, and its enemies wish to undermine it, since I am a communist I am right, therefore X, who opposes me must also oppose communist truth, and he is therefore so completely wrong that he deserves whatever he gets in this trial even if he is not really guilty of the particular charge being made now.

    Where to begin, where to begin? So many who read and comment here are like an internet lynch mob, taking up a hue and cry and treating difficult to prove allegations as if their very assertion were the stuff of timeless truth!! People, people!

    Let’s start with this GLARING problem. The “Sons of” essay makes the **bald assertion** that the canons forbid a bishop against whom a serious allegation has been made from exercising his office. Whoa, Nellie, whoa!

    First of all there is NO attempt by the “Sons of” to cite the relevant canons. ( I will be shocked if there is one that so states on its face. ) One of the first things we learned as law students was that if you do not cite all the authority that supports your view, or especially, as here, if you fail to cite even a SINGLE authority, the court will automatically conclude that you’re blowing smoke at them and will rule against you if there is any support for the other guy’s position.

    And even if someone can blow the dust of the ages off some verbiage from a far off time or place, as our pseudonymous interlocutor simplygermain correctly points out, the mind of the Church is necessary to the task of interpreting and applying said canon in our time and place. The Church has never treated these old canons as self-executing, timeless pieces of eternal divine law as if they had been handed down on Sinai. We have enough trouble understanding and applying the actual Sinai 10 in all the sad situations sin presents us; let’s not compound the problem by casting the many hundreds of canons of the early councils in stone tablets too, and then proof-texting them down other people’s throats.

    And then, after we have 1) cited authority and 2) gotten the mind of the Church as to the proper contemporary interpretation of that authority, we ought to 3) have accusers state their names. American justice gives the accused the right to confront his accusers. We do so because we know that the temptation to lie and fabricate is strong when dealing with big issues and opponents, and forcing people to stand up by name strains out a lot of crap. Sure it exposes them to the dangers of reprisal, but there is no such thing as doing right risk-free, and for better or worse our system of justice is predicated on the belief that less harm will result in the long run from the risks of reprisals than would otherwise accrue from the risk of allowing anonymous accusations and unnamed, star-chamber witnesses. Should the Church protect accused bishops with less than the safeguards secular “justice” extends to the worst accused felons no matter how many prior convictions!?!?

    I could go on with several others, like the right to confront and cross-examine. Or having experienced triers of fact operating by careful standards, which is certainly not the case on the internet.

    And what about having separation of powers? Our system of government is based on the idea that giving all the power to one or two branches of government leaves the citizenry vulnerable to abuses, and so there are sharp divisions between those who make the laws, investigate and bring charges, or try and convict. Here on the internet lynching circuit there’s a concentration of powers, and all our electronic posting, anonymous legislator/cop/judge/juror/executioners are leading us into their rush to judgment stampede.

    And what about disqualifying biased judges? Whenever a government judge has a personal, financial or political interest in the outcome of a case, s/he must be recused. Here anonymous judges with obvious axes to grind, like the “Sons of,” do little more than fire from ambush while shouting that they have already tried and convicted those in their gunsights!

    Take it all together folks, and you have a recipe for serious injustices, doomed relationships, ceaseless strife, and an ungovernable Church.

    The proponents of this round of Spiritual McCarthyism will doubtless reply that the years of financial and sexual impropriety under the Metropolitans prior to Jonah justify these tactics. A new set of wrongs won’t right what those people did, and will only make the doers of the current set of wrongs 1) guilty before God and man of further spoiling the Church and its witness, now and 2) the perpetuators of that seemingly ceaseless cycle of internecine bloodletting within the Church. They will know us by our love for one another? Hardly.

    I know little about most of the charges bandied about here, although I think I can see some pretty likely holes in several of them. The one I think I do know something about – the alleged “federal lawsuit” involving STS and Dean Atty just seems like such a smear. I know and like both Bishop Michael and Dean Atty. They are strong men of character who no doubt see eye to eye on many things. The reasons why they do not see eye to eye on extended tenure for Dean Atty are well outside my ken.

    What I refuse to do in the absence of trial or an admission of wrong is let the anonymous howling voices from the back – or even the middle – of the “Sons of” lynch mob stampede the readers of this site into believing an unproved smear just because some functionary in an EEOC office somewhere may have filled out a pro forma right to sue letter on a word processor based on preliminary claim of some regulatory violation.

    Play along with this Spiritual McCarthyism here folks, and we are only validating and promoting a “shoot first and ask questions later” mindset in the Church which, given the instantaneous effect of electronic communications, is guaranteed to make the Church ungovernable.

    Might as well just scrap those lovely litany prayers for the peace and stability of the holy churches of God, because by responding with anything but condemnation to Spiritual McCarthyism YOU, yes you there with the computer terminal, will be causing the opposite.


    Fr. George

    • George Michalopulos says

      Fr George, the difference between the Sons of Job and OCAN is as light and day. That they may share certain points of information and perhaps contact is beside the point. Please go back to our archives and read what I wrote about Mark Stokoe almost two years ago: how I was a “big fan” and that previous to his Ahab-like jihad against Jonah he was source of information for Orthodoxy (if tainted as we later exposed). People like Mark performed a valuable service for the OCA and had he remained a journalist instead of an executive (wherein he helped manufacture the news as well as pursue personal vendettas), he would be remembered as a hero today.

      As for Sen Joe McCarthy, the Venona Decrypts released by the defunct Soviet Union in the 1990s proved that Joe McCarthy was correct in all his charges. In all the particulars he was right about Communist infiltration in the highest reaches of the Federal government and nobody who was named was not a Soviet agent. This is not to say that he wasn’t a drunkard or coarse, he certainly wasn’t as refined as Alger Hiss, but no less a man than John F Kennedy considered McCarthy to be a patriot and admired him greatly.

    • Fr. George,

      Sorry, but I can’t agree with your assessment of the situation. Yes, some of information in the last missive by Son’s of Job could stand some editing; however, it is the culture of mistrust, backroom deals, incompetence, sheer stupidity and arrogance that I believe they are trying to address.

      On it surface, do you think it was a wise idea to slander Metropolitan Jonah with allegations that he “covered up a rape?” Any simple google search now of Metropolitan Jonah comes up with the words “rape.” How would you like that if you googled your own name? And yet the synod has never retracted even one remark.

      Do you think it was a wise move to cover up MetropolitanTheodosius’ gay lifestyle? Would you really want a picture of your metropolitan on the front of the Village Voice enjoying a few cocktails with his buddies down in Greenwich Village after a fine Sunday liturgy? Is that how the church should be represented? We could just as easily replace Theodosius’ name with Mark Forsberg. Personally that is not how I want my church to be represented.

      How about Fr. Heckman? Do you think a suspension is an appropriate punishment for someone walking around the halls of St. Tikhon’s seminary asking seminarians if they’d like a massage?

      For the record, I don’t think Metropolitan Jonah did a spectacular job as metropolitan but he had a number of people working against him. Had he had even some legitimate support the result might have been different.

      In any event, the point I would make is that I believe you are shooting the messenger. I don’t know who the folks are who are calling themselves the Sons of Job, but they are just the messengers. Sure, they are delivering an incredibly foul smelling pile of poop to the doorsteps of the OCA, but they are the messengers. They didn’t make the pile. I think they would just like everyone to be aware that it exists and someone might want to clean it up before it gets any bigger.

      • Fr. George Washburn says

        Good morning, friends:

        Thanks for dialoguing, George and Nick.

        An interesting misuse of words in George’s introductory line “the difference between the Sons of Job and OCAN is as *light* and day.” I think it would be more apt to say “the similarity in *methods* is as night and darkness.”

        It is very tempting to let serious differences about the *merits* of hotly contested issues blind us to the fact that all sides can be carried away by demagoguery, trial by slogan, and all the other errors that Spiritual McCarthyists – whether of the left or the right – make. I tried to show a little balance by condemning both the communist show trials of the extreme left and the smear tactics of the Cold War American right because i was addressing not the merits of the underlying political positions, but rather the flawed methods employed in the supposed best interests of “truth, justice and the American way.” We saw them employed on OCAN from one standpoint, and now behold the basic equivalent here from the other.

        My comments were not about which set of combatants is more right on the issues of policy, like financial and sexual misconduct. To the extent that Met. Jonah’s opponents used such methods to undermine him, they too were wrong, wrong, wrong.

        This is not like a winner take all political or sporting contest, however, where only one side can **lose**. Here we ALL lose when self-righteous people of whatever ilk – stung by the smear-tactic wrongs of their opponents during last season’s elections or playoffs or whatevers – think nothing of employing the very same sort of machinery this time out (but in aid of the opposite side ideologically), loaded with innuendo, non-sequitor, assuming facts not in evidence, ad hominem, rush to judgment, guilt by association, suspicion, name-calling, hysteria, fear-mongering, sloganeering, half-truths, shibboleths, red herrings, sound-bite politics and all the other bad methods and flawed reasoning that both a) obscure truth and b) make civil discourse impossible.

        “Above all do no harm” the medical motto warns. in an emergency, when people are suffering and bleeding, we feel compelled to take strong, immediate action …. as so many here do now in light of the OCA’s woes of recent decades. Under the influence of that adrenaline rush, and our self-written, Jim Dandy to the Rescue scripts (starring ourselves of course as the hero/heroine!) it is very tempting to act and speak in ways we imagine will help short term…as I believe Stokoe and Co. often did …only to discover much later that, totally apart from the question of who was right and wrong on the merits, we also have been doing much harm by contributing to an atmosphere in which the need for the Body of Christ to prayerfully, patiently, deliberately heal itself has been overwhelmed by the gut-logic and methods of good-guys v. bad guys, “winning,” catharsis and getting even.


        Fr. George

    • Thank you, Fr. George. OCANews and this website are mirror images of each other. Same tactics, differing opinions. Each website contained/contains bits of truth, and buckets of innuendo and insult. It is impossible to ascertain what is true and what is false. I, too, pay scant heed to nameless news reporters. Their style, though, is strongly reminiscent of similar nameless crusader websites we have seen come-and-go. I don’t doubt that the OCA is rank with horrific sins, some of which have been reported at this website. The sin, though, extends to all of us here, including myself.

      • George Michalopulos says

        Please tell me where I have been wrong. I will correct it. As for where OCAN was proved to be wrong (or misleading) you can access my archives.

        • M. Stankovich says

          Mr. Michalopulos,

          Exactly how many times have I asked to substantiate a claim that you are correct? How many times have you chosen to ignore me? I said on this site November 11, 2011:

          This letter proves my notion of the internet process of gossip begets innuendo, innuendo begets conjecture, and conjecture begets “internet truth.” And “internet truth” unashamedly reeks of the absence of fact, where extant “contra-opinion” is “conspiracy.” You say, “we are no longer under any obligation to prove it was a lie,” without ever establishing “truth.” You are no more privy to the private “intranet” conversations, discussions, confidences, meditations, or decisions of the Holy Synod than me, but I say “presumption (or was that pretension?) killed the cat.”

          What, may I ask, is different a full year later? Nothing. In fact it is compounded at your hand by allowing cowards to publish venom, even in the face of Vladyka Tikhon’s denial of foisting him as their “authority” in their shameful arrogance. As if somehow those who laid the foundation of the Orthodox Church in America will be bullied and forced to submit to a “whoring nation” of internet signatures and anonymous cowards. Yours was a noble, righteous, scrupulous, and well-intended endeavor, George, but it has gone too far. You are not one of these, but you will be scorned as one of them.

          • George Michalopulos says

            Michael, at your liesure, please feel free to stroll the Monomakhian Canon (read: archives) and read what has been written. I and others have proven beyond a shadow of a doubt that there was a conspiracy to eject His Beatitude which is now a little over two years old. As for Bp Tikhon, he certainly corrected a few details (which I will ask the Sons of Job to correct in their narrative) but even in his corrections, the details they detailed became clearer, indeed stronger.

            • Carl Kraeff says

              George-You debase the English language and the legal concept of conspiracy by saying that folks who are discussing issues in the course of their duties as being the same as conspiring. I will make it simple for you: the members of the Holy Synod, Central Administration and the Metropolitan Council all had problems with the Metropolitan (verified in a general way by +Jonah himself) and they discussed these problems and the way forward amongst themselves. No conspiracy. Period.

              • Right, Carl, because by definition a conspiracy is not possible within an infallible church. I gotcha.

                You give me your “English” definition of conspiracy, and describe a scenario in the OCA that would constitute a conspiracy of the synod against its primate, and then we can talk about your concerns for the sacredness of the English language and the rule of law.

      • Disgusted With It says

        So then Antonia, would you condemn Pokrov for the “Public Allegations” section of their website in which they warn the public about clergy who have faced allegations of misconduct but not been convicted of it?

        We may all sleep better at night thinking all our bishops are just so holy, but if someone has credible reason to believe they’re acting like creeps I would want to know about it and know that it’s being/been appropriately investigated. Unfortunately, the OCA synod over the years has failed miserably when it comes to investigating complaints against its bishops or other “favored” clergy.

        • Dear “Disgusted with It”,

          P.S. (placing this paragraph first, as it is an afterthought) As I look back, I guess you thought I was referring to Pokrov as a “crusader website”. I specified websites no longer operating; however, that was overlooked.

          I would need an airplane to traverse the gap between the content of what I wrote and the content of what you replied.

          The Pokrov website — which you introduce out of left field — sometimes serves a useful public purpose, in spite of the relentless vindictiveness evidently motivating its primary owners. Perhaps even often serves a useful purpose.

          Meanwhile, I don’t know of anybody who considers any bishop anywhere these days to be holy.

          • Antonia,

            Much of the information on this site comes from Pokrov, so it is not out in left field for “disgusted with it” to mention it. That is where I read about Fr. Susan.

            • Pokrov was not in my mind during writing of original post. It could not even have been because — (last try here!) — I specified websites “that come-and-go”. Pokrov has not gone out-of-business. Other websites have. Hence I was surprised by what actually was an “out of left field” reference to something not related to what I wrote.

    • Fr. George,

      In your case against “SOJ,” your arguments miss the larger point.

      There is a real loss of trust in the leadership of the Church.

      Now whatever one may think of +Jonah, he did not create this problem. The church he was handed was in terrible disarray at Pittsburg, a fact that is conveniently ignored by all his critics. The Synod shoved their most inexperienced member out in front of the crowd, because they were afraid to face them, and were unwilling to bring any humility or repentance to the proceedings.

      Almost all the issues raised by the SOJ existed then, and were ignored then. And more besides.

      Then this most inexperienced bishop was undermined at every turn by his chancellor, his external affairs director, his chancery staff and eventually his Synod and Met. council.

      Even a very salted and experienced Primate would find it heavy going in such roiled waters.

      Then, as the emails revealed, a conspiracy to remove him was undertaken by some MC members and a few bishops. And you, dear Father, define how it was done:

      Smear tactics consist of making unproved allegations in sensationalized ways with the calculated intention of causing harm to others by the mere making of the claims ….whether or not later they prove to be strictly true.

      Watching this unfold, it seems clear that the faithful, and some clergy are attempting to stop the injustice and the sin that is swamping the OCA at the top. These faithful ones may not be very adroit. They may be causing some collateral damage. There have been a number of false starts, and missteps.

      But the motive is to salvage the parishes that can no longer be insulated from this profound dysfunction.

      The other alternative is to say and do nothing.

      The result of that will be that slowly and quietly, the faithful will gather their families and take them somewhere else. And the OCA will die a lingering and painful death. And the stench will, indeed has, poison the message of other jurisdictions for a decade or more.

      The real question is not canons, or McCarthyism.

      The real question is: Is it already too late?

      • Fr. George Washburn says

        Hello friends:

        Back in the not so good old days on ocanews I made it a matter of principle not to enter into dialogue with people using pseudonyms. Nomore’s comments are worth looking at more carefully, though.

        He seems to think that I do not get the cresting tide of mistrust for bishops in the OCA. If so, he is wrong. The toll of bishops sidelined for credible moral, financial and self control lapses is far too high to ignore.

        The question is what, if anything, to do. Nomorre sets up a completely false dilemma consisting of two and only two choices: either a) nothing or b) the tactics I have been criticizing. There are other choices that avoid these pitfalls, but they are by no means as easy to see or follow as these two false extremes.

        Nomore seems to think that what happened to Met. Jonah merits, if not outright requires, the hysterical charges and bogus canon waving I have opposed. Most of what he says I can agree with to a very large degree – Met. Jonah did not create the mess, he was handed it. He was the least experienced. He met with sneaky and obvious opposition from within the Church, and he was smeared and conspired against by some. All substantially true as far as I know.

        What isn’t true about his position? That the unfairness and lack of virtue ….such as love, for example …on the part of Met. Jonah’s critics can and should be redressed by employing counter smears. Declaring war on this or that vice or group of vices and practitioners thereof tends not to work, and tends to make the ones employing such bad methods turn into a fair semblance of what they claim to detest and oppose others!


        Fr. George

        • Ok Fr. George-

          First, thank you for your response, I don’t think anyone likes or needs the smearing or name calling. Forgive the occasional weakness and let’s all stop.
          Secondly you say, ” There are other choices that avoid these pitfalls, but they are by no means as easy to see or follow as these two false extremes.”

          What are they? I have tried prayer-always and to confront the deterioration in my Church and in the larger OCA by speaking out here and elsewhere, joining National OCA committee’s, stepping down from positions in protest, written letters to all the Bishops, worked on Resolutions for the AAC directly addressing problems in the church, tried to speak directly to individuals in “charge” in order of rank. My husband has done like wise as well as participated in our parish council, written challenging but respectful open letters to discuss and look at the situations at hand as well as going directly to our Bishops, priests, deans to discuss local and national issues-I want to know what other things can we do? I will do them.

        • You shoot down the tactics and then offer no solution forward. Two oversights you rather consistently make. The issues raised are not just about Jonah. Jonah was just a tipping point. It is rather a pattern (do you see it at all?) of many incidences of failings that are moral, financial, fornicative, and inappropriate disciplinary actions that we tried to handle in the agreed upon channels and by the agreed upon standards. These agreed upon standards time and time again failed.

          The only ones vested in these channels were the victims who were victimized again. Jonah is just the latest victim of those who are operating outside the norms and with self-centered meaness.

          Second tell us how we are to break through the stone-walling that exist as norm within the Episcopacy, Syosset, the Met. Council, and the first families who are all vested in the status quo. Stoke sued for peace so that he could enter into power. How sad for him. He and others never wanted to deal with this a a moral matter. I wonder why? This balance of power is utterly unorthodox and heretofore impregnable.

          So Father, can we agree the status quo is unacceptable?

          Show us the way forward. Offer a solution, one that the first families, Syosset, and the bishops all will agree to. Offer a solution that diminishes the ongoing balance power war that already exist as the very make up of the OCA. Offer a solution that allows each of the clergy a day in court. That allows the Bishops to not be above the law. Tell us how you would fix it. Tell us how you would protect the children we would send to the Seminary? Tell us, we are listening. You are refined in making criticism.

          All we have repeated is what is in the public record and saying the Bishops have limits to what they can inflict and that they are accountable. You so far are utterly lacking in solution. You’re the guy that is all about process and we are all ears. So far you have many words of criticism about this mess but zero solutions.

    • Sean Richardson says

      Fr. George: Thank you very much for your thoughtful critique of the Sons of Job article. When I read it, two thoughts came to my mind: One, what canon are they quoting? There are many canons from many councils, some have local importance while others are of ecumenical significance. It then crossed my mind, who are the Sons of Job? I’ve seen them make comments here before, but I must confess my ignorance as to who he, she or they are. I am very troubled by the accusations and their significance to the Church, but I would also like to see appropriate due process be followed. Thank you.

    • I agree with the substance of Father George Washburn’s rant, but I feel he should not have thrown in reference to “McCarthyism”. This is bound to touch an enormous open wound and tender nerve in the political sensibilities of many political partisans here, of the left and the right. The piece by “Sons of Job” is rather illogical venting and self-defeating in its lack of preparation, logic of discourse, and canonical accuracy. Truly, a LITTLE knowledge is a dangerous thing, and I can think of no more classic example of the demonstration of little knowledge than those parts of that article which ignorantly brandish canons.. Reminds me of the old days as a child with an admiral’s hat made out of folded newspaper, a wooden rubber-band gun, and dirty underwear. That they lied about me is but the maraschino cherry on their gourmet salad of a browning lettuce wedge with a dollop of mayonnaise on it. Canons “prohibit from voting!” Shouldn’t “due process” precede any such prohibition? If not, why complain about lack of due process by bishops?

  17. anonymus per Scorilo says

    Why do people keep bringing up this stuff about the evil Abp. Nathaniel persecuting Fr. Vasile Susan?

    Given the stuff Fr. Vasile writes in Romanian newspapers, calling +Nathaniel “devil, masked and incarned as a wolf in sheep’s clothing and in hierarchical vestments” (diavolul, mascat și întruchipat de “lupi îmbrăcați în piei de oaie și veșminte arhierești” cf. ), and other similar things (google translate ), I believe Abp. Nathaniel and the OCA synod are extremely gracious not to defrock the guy.

    If the accusations against the other bishops have the same amount of substance, this all appears to be nothing but dirty pre-election disinformation.

    • George Michalopulos says

      Since I don’t know Romanian I can’t speak to the substance of your accusations against Fr Vasile and his tirades against His Eminence. If true, that’s unfortunate. That’s not the point however. The point is that Fr. Vasile made a credible, serious allegation against a fellow priest (which later turned out to be true). Instead of investigating the allegations he simply suspended Fr Vasile without so much as giving him an ecclesiastical court. If due process had been honored this is what would have happened. If Fr Vasile was found guilty of something he would have been –should have been–defrocked. Instead he is hanging in limbo, still a priest but unable to celebrate the divine services or support his family.

      • The way Nathaniel (and others) have treated Fr. Vasile Susan is pure unmitigated evil.

        When a priest asks for an investigation following the rules of the church, and instead of giving him an investigation and trial, you cut him off from the priesthood and destroy his life, that is evil of the darkest and most perverse kind. There is no sugar coating it, the uncanonical, un-Christian, and un-Orthodox treatment of Susan is of great service to the devil, who loves destruction of persons and families, especially those devoted to God and the Church. Is there any alternative interpretation?

        Why don’t you guys just start following your own rules?! It’s like not doing what you say you are going to do when you don’t abide by the rules you agree to, especially when taking actions to destroy a person’s career and vocation.

        • anonymus per Scorilo says

          As far as I understand this priest was in the investigation committee of the Romanian Episcopate and knew about the offending priest from there – he was one of his investigators. The only thing he did was to blow up the issue in public after the investigation happened. I do not know whether he did this because he disagreed with the result of the investigation, or because he knew he was being moved away from his parish in Chicago and was trying to keep his place by using this to blackmail Abp. Nathaniel.

          You can make your own fancy tales of “persecution” and “unmitigated evil,” and use grandiloquent words (like Fr. Vasile does in his Romanian articles), but the truth is that by doing what he did Fr. Vasile trampled the oath he made when he was received into the Romanian Episcopate, and lost his parish as a result. I have seen priests losing their parish for much less than that.

          So Abp. Nathaniel did not cut Fr. Vasile off from the priesthood (he still serves) but from the ability to live out of the priesthood. Given that 90% of the Romanian priests outside Romania cannot make a living out of the priesthood and need to have extra day and night jobs, you have to realize how privileged Fr. Vasile’s previous position was.

          ( I agree that losing a parish can mess up one’s life, and I agree that the way it is done in our church (essentially the bishop has full power and can do it whenever he wants) is a bit harsh, but this is what people sign into when becoming a priest. We can have an educated discussion on the side whether this is correct or fair and whether this system can be improved somehow, but this is another issue. )

          • As far as an educated discussion, you have not made a convincing one. Um and George’s arguments prevail. If a person is properly dealt with and respected you don’t have retaliation. And people should not be silent when a final bad decision has been made. One should continue to fight it. Maybe he lost his cool once or twice, it’s understandable. Has he ever apologized for this?? If so, good. Continue the fight.

            • anonymus per Scorilo says

              Maybe he lost his cool once or twice

              more like a hundred times …

              The trouble is that for most of the bishops it is enough for a priest to “lose his cool” just once and the priest is out. Just ask the Ben Lomond guys. Abp. Nathaniel was, if anything, too soft for keeping Fr. Susan in his assignment for a long time after he began “losing his cool”.

              • George Michalopulos says

                Another diversion intended to make Nathanael look magnanimous. If anything, Susan’s actions (in your telling) cry out for canonical discipline. The reason he’s left to twist in the wind has led many to question what it is that the ROAE has to hide. Remember, the cover up is almost always worse than the crime.

                • anonymus per Scorilo says

                  Abp. Nathaniel was not magnanimous, he was soft, and he probably tried to avoid the blackmail/scandal with the stolen files from the church tribunal that Fr. Vasile is currently doing.
                  He furthermore informed Abp. Nicolae of the Romanians under Bucharest of Fr. Vasile’s release; however, after having him around for a while as a guest priest at their church in Chicago those guys kicked him out presto (I heard he is suing them too). I guess Fr. Vasile’s habits of recording conversations without informing his interlocutors (like the one with Fr. Tosi or the one with the late Abp. Job), and filing complaints to the INS against people he did not like did not endear him too much to them either.

              • From what I’ve seen so far, the examples of him “losing his cool” came some 6-7 years after he brought charges against another priest, was denied an investigation, and then had his career ended “without explanation”. He waited many years before trying the civil courts as a way to get a hearing. Remember an Archbishop of the OCA suggested this was necessary. Did you even read Archbishop Job’s comments on this matter? If not, do so now. Then whenever you speak on this matter again, keep in mind that physical dimension we like to call time. Without a timeline, everything you say is meaningless.

                • I don’t think those comments are Job’s. I think they are a kind of pastiche in something like “Broken” and those comments were never seen by Archbishop Job. Such pastiches and paste-up jobs long pre-date Photoshop. Ask anyone who was close to Archbishop Job if they can imagine him using that language and making the stupid, ignorant declaration that the metropolitan of the OCA is not a diocesan bishop (!!!!!) As you know, I am not known as an enthusiastic supporter of Archbishop Job’s career or morality, but i would never dream of attributing such incoherent ramblings to him! That sort of thing blackens Archbishop Job’s memory in the Church. And he certainly would NEVER attest to the Romanian Archdiocese’s policies!

                • Those are not Archbishop Job’s comments or language. They are clearly written in someone’s “Broken”, probably Father Susan’s. Archbishop Job would never utter that howler “The Metropolitan of the OCA is not a diocesan bishop!” What an idea! The Metropolitan of the OCA is ALWAYS himself a diocesan bishop. Archbishop Job would have laughed at that assertion attributed to him.. He knew the statute and the OCA and neither would he EVER make categorical assertions of what is proper in the Romanian Archdiocese or Episcopate! No, that letter is such a pastiche and so cooked up that you, um, should not encourage anyone to read it unless you want to introduce someone to creative writing and editing!n Who ever cooked up that letter shot Father Susan right in the foot! It’s too bad, because he did have a case! That letter spoiled it.

              • Jane Rachel says

                “Just ask the Ben Lomond guys.”

                Don’t worry, Ben Lomond wasn’t the first time, or the last, that “they” closed ranks on anyone who threatened their scene. Groovy.

          • The OCA synod just released a statement on the immorality of slavery. I think we all agree that it is immoral. I don’t think a discussion on that point is warranted.

            • lexcaritas says

              Not only that but it purports to be issued on the occasion of the upcoming in two months sesquicentennial of the issuance of the Emancipation Proclamation. Why two months early? Get it out ahead of the Nativity Fast and the Parma Council and make it look like the Synod is actually doing something useful.

            • Dear Um,

              Father Vasile Susan is enslaved to only serve on the Gold Coast of Long Island in the Syosset chapel. His domicile is Chicago.


      • anonymus per Scorilo says

        I did not accuse anybody, I just pointed out to public statements and articles written by Fr. Vasile Susan in well-known Romanian journals, which can be translated by anybody into English using google translate.

        There is a large number of priests looking for a parish in the Romanian Episcopate, and moving priests and assigning parishes can be done by a bishop without convening an ecclesiastical court. This is all Abp. Nathaniel did. If you think this is wrong, please point to me an example of an Orthodox bishop who would keep as a pastor at one of the largest parishes somebody who calls him a dictator and calls all the OCA bishops: “unmerciful, false, abusive, dishonest, unorthodox, un-romanian, unfaithful” (nemiloșii, falșii, abuzivii, necinstiții, neortodocșii, neromânii, necredincioșii episcopi din Biserica Ortodoxă Americană (OCA), împreună cu Dictatorul Arhiepiscop de la ROEA, ).

        I do not know the reason why he has not been defrocked, I can only guess that Abp. Nathaniel was leaving open the possibility that a jurisdiction whose bishops are “merciful, true, compassionate, honest, orthodox, romanian and faithful” may accept him and give him a parish one day.

        • Ivan Vasililev says

          I would be cautious about trusting Google translate. It can be OK for simple language but it can be wildly out of line (and hugely funny) when it comes to dealing with anything complex–at least in Russian.

    • I think he is so frustrated he wants to pull his hair out-I would. They let him go for what exactly?? He was not informed and how long ago-8 years and with no reassignment. Do you not see how crazy and disrespectful that is?? Anonymous you persecuting the persecuted.

      • anonymus per Scorilo says

        Having a parish assignment in the Romanian Diocese is not a right but a privilege, especially when it comes to a parish that can fully support a priest. Abp. Nathaniel simply removed this privilege from a priest, something a bishop can do without any justification. There are at least 50 Romanian priests in the US and perhaps 1000 in Romania who have lousy assignments or are unassigned and cannot support their families by their priestly work, and who would jump on the plane tomorrow if Abp. Nathaniel had offered them the parish where Fr. Vasile Susan was.

        It is a bit of a stretch to call this “persecution” – by these standards every priest that has been moved and removed by his bishop against his will can be called persecuted.

        • Ken Miller says

          Nonsense! Due process is not a privilege, it is required by the canons. Your claim that due process is at the discretion of the bishop is absurd. If a faithful priest who has never had any charges is barred from serving, it is a violation of the canons to put him in limbo, with no charges, no transfer to a jurisdiction where he can serve, only blocking him from any possibility of serving according to his calling. If you were a medical doctor, I would like to see you say that it is not persecution if the AMA takes away your ability to practice medicine without explanation, charges, hearing, or due process. If a lawyer is disbarred, the ABA has to bring charges and give due process. Somehow, you think that in the church, we are supposed to live by sleazy practices and not even to live up to the minimum standards of decency that the world lives by.

          • anonymus per Scorilo says

            He was not defrocked, but was taken away from his parish assignment. The analogy with doctors and lawyers is not with losing the license, but with losing the job.

            I believe there are quite a few lawyers and doctors who have been fired, whose licenses are still valid, but who cannot practice medicine or law for a salary because they are not hired by any other hospital or law firm. Ex-employers also give letters of recommendation, and if those are bad the re-hiring chances can get quite slim. This situation is much more similar to what happened here.

            Now you may disagree with hospital managers and make an argument that in a compassionate society doctors should never be fired, and that unless they lose their license they should always be allowed to make their living by practicing medicine, and should never have to do something below their rank (like being night-guards) to support their families. This happens indeed in countries like France, but not too much in the US, unless you are in a place where there is a shortage of doctors. This may also be the situation with priests in some compassionate OCA dioceses, or in the short-of-priests GOA, but not in the Romanian Episcopate.

            • Wrong, wrong, wrong! The anology is not like a doctor losing his job. A priest can only “practice for money” elsewhere if his current bishop releases him to “practice for money” elsewhere (hence the slavery analogy). He can “donate his services” with the permission of another bishop in said bishop’s diocese, but said bishop cannot hire him. The situation is in fact closer to a doctor losing his license: He can still save a person’s life in an emergency, he still has the knowledge and skills and the government won’t stop him from donating his skills in a pinch, but he can never again charge money for his services or hang a shingle and invite people needing help to come to him for services. That’s much closer to the “limbo” faced by Susan for a decade now.

              Are you even Orthodox?! You don’t seem to have a clue how these things work.

              I recommend you read a lot more before you speak again.

              • anonymus per Scorilo says

                That’s much closer to the “limbo” faced by Susan for a decade now.

                What limbo ? Can you point to any Orthodox jurisdiction on this planet that has requested the release of Fr. Susan to them and was refused ?

                If you can do, then I will agree with you that this is more complicated than the situation of a lawyer or a doctor being fired and who cannot find a new job.

                It may help in the discussion to point out that all releases from the Romanian Episcopate are done through the Metropolitan, who then releases priests to other jurisdictions. As you can see from the letter on pokrov, Abp. Nathaniel informed Abp. Nicolae of the Romanians under Bucharest of the release, and those guys even accepted him to serve at their church in Chicago for a while, until they realized whom they are dealing with, at which point they gave up on accepting him.

        • justagoodoleboy says

          So, you should be quiet if you are well paid?
          Sounds like it’s all about MONEY to you. Money = Loyalty!!!
          I thank God we have some true priest among us who value truth above money.
          You can’t serve two masters…….
          Get a clue!

          • anonymus per Scorilo says

            So, you should be quiet if you are well paid?

            He was. And I think he only became vocal when he was about to lose the source of pay.

            • justagoodoleboy says

              That still doesn’t explain why it took so long for the Abp to act. How long did it take to correct the problem? A decade or longer?

              I think the real question is about the Abp’s “actions”, not about Fr’s motives.

        • Can you put yourself in his shoes for 5 seconds. Your boss fires you and never gives you a reason . . . and pretty much ends your career! That does not fly here.

          Economic and psychological persecution.It is no stretch to call this persecution-this is exactly the kind of persecution that happened in the Soviet Union–to people I know!

          • anonymus per Scorilo says

            Your boss fires you and never gives you a reason

            I think the reason was the trampling the oath of allegiance that every priest makes when he is ordained in or transferred to the Romanian Episcopate.

            • George Michalopulos says

              yet another diversion. Fr Vasile may not have handled it well but his charges were valid (and ultimately proven) and as such deserved a fair hearing. I’m sure that if you went from parish to parish, you would find many chauvinistic statements and/or diatribes made by many priests in almost every jurisdiction. I was raised in the GOA and can’t tell you the utter Greekist nonsense of the lowest order I heard from the pulpit. Rather than a homily explaining the Gospel, ethnic purity was the order of the day.

    • Furthermore,” why do ‘you people’ (how nice) keep bringing this stuff up?”

      Because it has NEVER been dealt with.

    • I agree. I think the real issue is not that Fr. Vasili was a whistle-blower, but that he was/is an extremist and refuses to tone it down. There is such a thing as civility.

      • I think extremists are made.

      • I have seen no evidence of extremism, unless calling someone un-Romanian means something other than “he claims to be Romanian but does not honor Romanian values”.

        It is probably fair to call an abuser in a Romanian church un-Romanian. Even if not, in this context, it would seem like an honest mistake, not “extremism”. Assassinating the abuser or spray painting his house would be extreme measures. I just haven’t seen anything like that. Following established channels for dealing with disciplinary issues, being upset when someone abuses you and facilitates homosexuality in your church, trying to provide for your family, and honoring your vocation and profession, those are all things we expect any sane person to do.

  18. Ivan Vasililev says

    Has then what is good become death to me? Certainly not! But sin, that it might appear sin, was producing death in me through what is good, so that sin through the commandment might become exceedingly sinful. For we know that the law is spiritual, but I am carnal, sold under sin. For what I am doing, I do not understand. For what I will to do, that I do not practice; but what I hate, that I do. If, then, I do what I will not to do, I agree with the law that it is good. But now, it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells in me. For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh) nothing good dwells; for to will is present with me, but how to perform what is good I do not find. For the good that I will to do, I do not do; but the evil I will not to do, that I practice. Now if I do what I will not to do, it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells in me.
    I find then a law, that evil is present with me, the one who wills to do good. For I delight in the law of God according to the inward man. But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members. O wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death? I thank God—through Jesus Christ our Lord! (Romans 7:13-25 NKJV)

    This sums it all up. The OCA (but not the Orthodox Church in her essence) has become a “body of death”–at least on its top institutional levels. Our parishes, though, are still filled with deeply Christian people. And, I believe, among our bishops are men who are striving mightily against the death that wages war against us. I’ve been very clear that I think our best shot right now is to return to some sort of autonomous status under the MP (our mother) or, perhaps, to join with the ROCOR in order to allow some healing and cleansing to be done. The hubris of playing as if we can do it on our own is devastating our whole polity. But, all that being said, we (as Church, if not as jurisdiction) will be delivered.
    It just makes me want to cry rivers to see and hear what havoc the enemy has wreacked among us.

  19. To the Bishops and those around them Job says,

    With the Triune God are wisdom and strength, He has counsel and understanding. If He breaks a thing down, it cannot be rebuilt; If He imprisons a man, there can be no release. If He withholds the waters, they dry up; If He sends them out, they overwhelm the earth. With Him are strength and prudence. The deceived and the deceiver are His. He leads counselors away plundered, And makes fools of the judges. He loosens the bonds of kings, And binds their waist with a belt. He leads princes away plundered, And overthrows the mighty. He deprives the trusted ones of speech, And takes away the discernment of the elders. He pours contempt on princes, And disarms the mighty. He uncovers deep things out of darkness, And brings the shadow of death to light. He makes nations great, and destroys them; He enlarges nations, and guides them. He takes away the understanding of the chiefs of the people of the earth, And makes them wander in a pathless wilderness. They grope in the dark without light, And He makes them stagger like a drunken man.

    Listen carefully to my speech, And to my declaration with your ears. See now, I have prepared my case, I know that I shall be vindicated. “Behold, my eye has seen all this, My ear has heard and understood it. What you know, I also know; I am not inferior to you. But I would speak to the Almighty, And I desire to reason with God. But you forgers of lies, You are all worthless physicians. Oh, that you would be silent, And it would be your wisdom! Now hear my reasoning, And heed the pleadings of my lips. Will you speak wickedly for God, And talk deceitfully for Him? Will you show partiality for Him? Will you contend for God? Will it be well when He searches you out? Or can you mock Him as one mocks a man? He will surely rebuke you If you secretly show partiality. Will not His excellence make you afraid, And the dread of Him fall upon you? Your platitudes are proverbs of ashes, Your defenses are defenses of clay. “Hold your peace with me, and let me speak, Then let come on me what may! Why do I take my flesh in my teeth, And put my life in my hands? Though He slay me, yet will I trust Him. Even so, I will defend my own ways before Him. He also shall be my salvation, For a hypocrite could not come before Him. Listen carefully to my speech, And to my declaration with your ears. See now, I have prepared my case, I know that I shall be vindicated.

    The servants of Christ,

    Sons of Job

    • Also Anonymous says

      The self righteousness of this is very hard to stomach and very foreign to the Orthodox tradition. Reading this, it honestly reads as if you all think that you are comparable to St. Job in terms of righteousness or the justice of your cause. That scares me to no end.

      • I can hardly type for fear of speaking. This is my first time putting something on line so I hope I am doing it right. I am afraid that I will offend so i will try to just quote the Bible. I am using an Orthodox Study Bible so I hope that is alright. God forgive me.

        Do not receive an accusation against (Bishop or priest) except from two or three witnesses. Those (bishops or priests) who are sinning rebuke in the presence of all, that the rest may fear. I charge you before God and the Lord Jesus Christ and the elect angels that you observe these things without prejudice, doing nothing without partiality. Do not lay hands on anyone hastily, nor share i other people’s sin; keep your self pure. 1 Tim 5:19ff.

        Are there two or three witness to these sins?

        Is there any favoritism in the application of discipline or punishment in the enforcement of moral expectations amongst the various clergy?

        Have past sins been dwelt with publically and before the Church so that all the clergy may have the proper fear of God and be saved?

        Have the Bishops shared in each other’s sin? It seems helping each other towards public repentance is different than covering it up or not dealing with it at all. I could be wrong.

        The Bishop is to be temperate, sober-minded, of good behavior, hospital, able to teach, not given to wine, not violent, not greedy for money,gentle,not quarrelsome, not covetous…More over he must have a good testimony among those who are outside the (Church)1Tim 3:1ff.

        Are any of the accusations about sobriety and too much wine?

        Are any of the accusations made against the Bishops about the love of money or the power money gives?

        Are any of the actions of the Bishops lacking gentleness?

        Do any of these matters damage the Holy Church’s reputation with the outsiders?

        Paul warns the clergy (Bishops and priests) in the last days will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy,unloving, unforgiving, slanders, without self-control, brutal, despisers of good, traitors, headstrong, haughty, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having a form of godliness but deny its power. And from such people turn away 2Tim 3ff.

        I pray that we are not in the last days and that our Pastors all of them will clearly show all of us and the world what our Savior looks like. We need to see Jesus only He can help us. I worry about my Children and I want them to look at the Bishop as I did when I was a little girl. I thought He was Jesus and that should not be wrong for child of God.

        Please forgive this unworthy nobody

        • Catherine 9 says

          Very beautiful post, “a nobody”.

          I think we all thought Bishops were God when we were little !

          Really good points brought up.

          KEEP POSTING, please ! We llike to hear your thoughts,
          which ring
          CLEAR AS A BELL, cutting through a lot of the garbage
          and verbiage, like a Diamond Tile Saw blade…{ i was just
          sorting through mine, so that’s why this particular image came to mind – !!}

  20. Dorothy Allen says

    Saint Basil the Great said, “If you see your neighbor in sin, don’t look only at this, but also think about what he has done or does that is good, and trying this in general, while not partialy judging, you will find that he is better than you.”

    If all of us were judged “unworthy” because of our sins, there would be no one left to do anything for the church. I honestly do not feel that it is right to judge one another in this way, especially in a public forum. How many of us could stand up to that kind of attempt at public “shaming” if our sins were displayed and discussed this way? I am sure that they are aware of the negativity toward them and it is amazing how well they take it.

    Ones may say that since these are bishops their behavior “should be” above that of the common lay person. However, I also remember a certain concept that I learned in “Russian school” (which is what catechism class was called way back then while I was a youth) — The priest/bishop has two aspects (which is symbolic of the two natures of Christ). The one aspect is the human and the other is the divine. His ordination enables him (blesses him) to serve as a representative of Christ on earth and thus his official service is beyond reproach (e.g. the performing of the sacraments and other priestly duties). The other aspect is the priest’s (or monk/bishop’s) human aspect. That aspect of any human being is not, cannot be, and never will be, the same perfect nature as Christ’s nature, because no human being can achieve that level of spiritual development. Therefore (so the teaching goes), we are to have ultimate respect for the priest/monk/bishop in regard to his worthiness to perform the sacraments and all the official work of the Church, regardless of what we think of him as a sinful human being.

    I know this post will get total “thumbs down.” That’s fine, but consider the account of St. Makarios (Sayings of the Desert Fathers). St. Makarios refused to judge others. His compassion and benevolence was so great, that they said about him: “Just as God covereth the world, so also doth Abba Makarios cover offenses which he, having seen, is as though he had not seen, and having heard, as though he had not heard.”

    That is not to say that anyone’s sins should be condoned. But none of us know what repentance any of these persons has expressed to Christ our God, nor what tears any of them may have shed for their sins. What we do know is that (1) it is not our job to judge the actions or sins of others; only God can judge because only God knows the full story of anyone’s sin and repentance; and (2) Christ forgives.

    I have read posts on this blog since July of this year. Although I feel that Metropolitan Jonah should not have been asked to resign, I am on the other hand saddened by the attitudes of some persons here who advocate what appears to be something like vigilante justice (revenge) on the one hand, and the very protestant concepts of “sinners in the hands of an angry God” (as preached by the colonial American Puritan minister Jonathan Edwards), and actions that come close to the concept of “shunning” as is practiced by sects such as the Amish. Orthodox praxis is different than that, or it is supposed to be.

    Lord have mercy!

    • lexcaritas says

      Dear sister in Christ Dorothy, remorse and contrition may be to Christ in private, so also repentance for private sins. But public sins require public repentance and true repentance always entails an attempt at restitution and fixing the damage done insofar as possible. A tree is known by its fruitss. I doubt that any posting here seek revenge, as you fear, or antying like it–simply repentance, restoration and reconciliation that Christ may in all things be glorified and His Bride presented to Him without spot or blemish or any such thing.


      • It seems with some of the modern twists on Orthodox Teaching and Practice that what is Public and what is Private is being blurred. We are loosing what that means and it is confusing and changing how we address sin. . . .

  21. “How about Fr. Heckman? Do you think a suspension is an appropriate punishment for someone walking around the halls of St. Tikhon’s seminary asking seminarians if they’d like a massage?”

    Having met Fr. Heckman on a number of occasions years ago when he substituted for our priest when our priest was away, I am surprised to learn that he has been suspended and of the allegations made against him. Are “massage offerings” the only thing he has been suspended for and accused of, or is there a lot more to the story?

  22. Catherine 9 says

    Way better to unite with ROCOR-MP and have a degree of respectability.

    The 2 together could lobby a little stronger against the MP’s heavy handed behavior.

    It’s the ONLY CHANCE for BOTH of them !

  23. M. Stankovich says

    Then Job replied to the Lord:

    I know that you can do all things;
    no plan of yours can be thwarted.

    You asked: ‘Who is this that obscures my counsel without knowledge?’

    Surely I spoke of things I did not understand,
    things too wonderful for me to know.

    “You said: ‘Listen now, and I will speak;
    I will question you,
    and you shall answer me.’

    My ears had heard of you
    but now my eyes have seen you.

    Therefore I despise myself
    and repent in dust and ashes.”

    Job 42:1-6

    Even self-righteous, cowardly jackasses as yourselves should at least invest the time in finishing your read of the book. You know, the part where Job suffers, but everything is restored to you… Maybe they didn’t teach you that in whichever heresy you so ungratefully converted from.

    • lexcaritas says

      Michael, name calling does nothing to hurt the person insulted but demeans the one who stoops to it. It is not what enters into a man that defiles him, but what proceeds out of his mouth.

      Peace be unto thee.

      • “Sticks and stones” eh, lxc? I’m not sure it’s that simple.
        Name calling demeans the abuser, but it can also hurt the one on the receiving end.
        It’s all very well to say people should be psychically strong enough to resist being hurt, utilise CBT, “it happened in my day and I survived” etc, but the fact is that not everyone is that tough. I’m sure Mr Stankovich is (after all, he makes the odd ad hominem attack himself here and so should really be able to suck it up himself), but I imagine that it may bring up unpleasant childhood memories for him. But really, such behaviour has no place in the body of Christ.

    • “Lovely.”
      Indeed, SOJ2.
      Mr Stankovich likes to dish it (the ad hominem stuff) out, but he can’t seem to take it himself.

    • Ivan Vasililev says


      I understand your references (and those of the collective which goes by the name “Sons of Job”) to the actual prophet. But why do you excoriate them as members of the Democratic Party? The jack-ass is the party’s symbol and to associate it with cowardliness is unkind. Stubbornness, perhaps, but cowardliness, no.

    • If MS feels himself free to call others here “cowardly jackasses,” then I feel free to call him “Stanky,” or maybe even the more mature “Stanko,” which are mere nicknames while “cowardly jackasses” is more on the order of cursing.

      • In a world where we would live by “an eye for an eye” we would all be blind. You are better than that PdNJ.

        • So we should give Stankovich a pass on calling others here “jackasses”?

          • We should all stop with the name calling. . . . and not respond to Stankovich. I repent of recently reading one of his posts. I’m going back to not reading him again. There is something out of balance there–the man can’t help himself.

    • M. Stankovich says

      I dodge nothing. I will not engage in “debate” with an individual whose “truth” is rooted in cowardice. Man up, all of you, if you would take the name of Job the Blessed:

      Brace yourself like a man;
      I will question you,
      and you shall answer me.

      Job 40:7

      You don’t have it in you. You are cowards with a self-assumed “authority,” big words, weighty phrases, and an internet list of signatures – half of them anonymous cowards like yourselves – and suppose you will bully with threats the Orthodox Church in America. Hold the council and its election “in abeyance!” You need to submit yourselves in humility and obedience and learn – as we all did – or you need to leave. We all have a right to demand change, to demand accountability, but it will not be accomplished by a “whoring nation” that has not earned it, does not respect it, nor deserves it. You will be swept aside and scorned.

  24. I am not sure I agree with everything that this article from the Sons of Job states. I do believe some of its ideas have merit, however.

    First, as some have already mentioned, I also found the lack of citation while appealing to the Canons a red flag. I fear that “the Canons” are often used to brandish support for one’s personal ideas much as “the Fathers” often are. When one familiarizes himself with the size of the corpus of the Fathers, and, I presume, the Canons, one realizes how few of us are knowledgeable enough (let alone sufficiently wise) to speak comprehensively and authoritatively on this vast collection of Holy Writings. However, I believe that beneficial discussions can be had from appealing to such of these writings with which one is somewhat familiar – as long as citations are made so that others in the discussion can easily analyze the selection to which one has appealed and offer their own opinion regarding its relevance to the issue at hand.

    In the spirit of the above, below, I will make claims and quote several canons I see as somewhat relevant to the claims. I am quoting from the 14th volume of the Second set of Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers Edited by Phillip Schaff. I must also emphasize that I am not formally trained theologically; I am not a member of the clergy; and I have not even been Orthodox all my life. I am surely among the more ignorant on these matters on which I presume to speak. Please feel free to correct me on any matters I get wrong and please do not take my arguments as authoritative unless they can be confirmed by people more expert than I in these matters.

    1. My first claim is that the clergy must be free of any public and major sin. Moreover, if such a sin is discovered and sufficiently confirmed, the clergyman must be removed from his office. I cite Canon IX of the First Ecumenical Council in Nicea.

    “If any presbyters have been advanced without examination, or if upon examination they
    have made confession of crime, and men acting in violation of the canon have laid hands
    upon them, notwithstanding their confession, such the canon does not admit; for the
    Catholic Church requires that [only] which is blameless. “

    This canon specifically addresses presbyters, but it seems to me that its directions would be even more important in the case of the higher order of bishop. Unless I am reading this wrong, it seems to indicate that once a crime has been confessed (may I substitute, “sufficiently established”, if not confessed) that the presbyter (bishop) shall be removed from his office.

    2. One must not believe all allegations made against bishops and other members of the clergy.

    The 21st Canon of the 4th Ecumenical Council states: “Clergymen and laymen bringing charges against bishops or clergymen are not to be received loosely and without examination, as accusers, but their own character shall first be investigated.”

    3. Claim 2 above notwithstanding, it is allowable – even to be encouraged in certain cases – for clergy and laity to rightly accuse the bishops, and there are procedures to be followed to help prevent abuse of this privilege.

    6th canon of the Second Ecumenical Council:
    “Forasmuch as many wishing to confuse and overturn ecclesiastical order, do contentiously
    and slanderously fabricate charges against the orthodox bishops who have the administration
    of the Churches, intending nothing else than to stain the reputation of the
    priests and raise up disturbances amongst the peaceful laity; therefore it seemed right to the
    Holy Synod of Bishops assembled together in Constantinople, not to admit accusers without
    examination; and neither to allow all persons whatsoever to bring accusations against the
    rulers of the Church, nor, on the other hand, to exclude all. If then, any one shall bring a
    private complaint against the Bishop, that is, one relating to his own affairs, as, for example,
    that he has been defrauded, or otherwise unjustly treated by him, in such accusations no
    examination shall be made, either of the person or of the religion of the accuser; for it is by
    all means necessary that the conscience of the Bishop should be free, and that he who says
    he has been wronged should meet with righteous judgment, of whatever religion he may
    be. But if the charge alleged against the Bishop be that of some ecclesiastical offence, then
    it is necessary to examine carefully the persons of the accusers, so that, in the first place,
    heretics may not be suffered to bring accusations touching ecclesiastical matters against
    orthodox bishops. And by heretics we mean both those who were aforetime cast out and
    those whom we ourselves have since anathematized, and also those professing to hold the
    true faith who have separated from our canonical bishops, and set up conventicles in opposition
    [to them]. Moreover, if there be any who have been condemned for faults and cast
    out of the Church, or excommunicated, whether of the clergy or the laity, neither shall it be
    lawful for these to bring an accusation against the bishop, until they have cleared away the
    charge against themselves. In like manner, persons who are under previous accusations are
    not to be permitted to bring charges against a bishop or any other clergyman, until they
    shall have proved their own innocence of the accusation brought against them. But if any,
    being neither heretics, nor excommunicate, nor condemned, nor under previous accusation
    for alleged faults, should declare that they have any ecclesiastical charge against the bishop,
    the Holy Synod bids them first lay their charges before all the Bishops of the Province, and
    before them prove the accusations, whatsoever they may be, which they have brought against
    the bishop. And if the comprovincials should be unable rightly to settle the charges brought
    against the bishop, then the parties must betake themselves to a greater synod of the bishops
    of that diocese called together for this purpose; and they shall not produce their allegations
    before they have promised in writing to undergo an equal penalty to be exacted from
    themselves, if, in the course of the examination, they shall be proved to have slandered the
    accused bishop. And if anyone, despising what has been decreed concerning these things, shall presume to annoy the ears of the Emperor, or the courts of temporal judges, or, to the
    dishonour of all the Bishops of his Province, shall trouble an Ecumenical Synod, such an
    one shall by no means be admitted as an accuser; forasmuch as he has cast contempt upon
    the Canons, and brought reproach upon the order of the Church.”

    Note that it is “by all means necessary that the conscience of the Bishop should be free”. In other words, in certain cases, right accusations are to be encouraged. This reminds me of the statement by the Sons of Job that if the bishops were innocent of these accusations it seems they would welcome investigations into these matters so that they can be publicly shown to be false accusations. Note also that a sufficiently tested accuser is granted the audience of all the bishops of the province, and sometimes to even more authoritative bodies.

    9th Canon of the 4th Ecumenical Council:
    “If any Clergyman have a matter against another clergyman, he shall not forsake his
    bishop and run to secular courts; but let him first lay open the matter before his own Bishop,
    or let the matter be submitted to any person whom each of the parties may, with the Bishop’s
    consent, select. And if any one shall contravene these decrees, let him be subjected to canonical
    penalties. And if a clergyman have a complaint against his own or any other bishop,
    let it be decided by the synod of the province. And if a bishop or clergyman should have a
    difference with the metropolitan of the province, let him have recourse to the Exarch of the
    Diocese, or to the throne of the Imperial City of Constantinople, and there let it be tried.”

    Again, there is a procedure specified for clergy making accusations against a bishop or Metropolitan, and appeal is granted to even very high levels of authority.

    Next I cite the 25th Canon from the Synod of Antioch in Encaeniis:

    “Let the bishop have power over the funds of the Church, so as to dispense them with all piety and in the fear of God to all who need. And if there be occasion, let him take what he requires for his own necessary uses and those of his brethren sojourning with him, so that they may in no way lack, according to the divine Apostle, who says, “Having food and raiment, let us therewith be content.” And if he shall not be content with these, but shall apply the funds to his own private uses, and not manage the revenues of the Church, or the rent of the farms, with the consent of the presbyters and deacons, but shall give the authority to his own domestics and kinsmen, or brothers, or sons, so that the accounts of the Church are secretly injured, he himself shall submit to an investigation by the synod of the province. But if, on the other hand, the bishop or his presbyters shall be defamed as appropriating to themselves what belongs to the Church, (whether from lands or any other ecclesiastical resources), so that the poor are oppressed, and accusation and infamy are brought upon the account and on those who so administer it, let them also be subject to correction, the holy synod determining what is right.” (Note: I realize this is not from one of the seven ecumenical councils. I will point out, however, that the first canon of the 4th Ecumenical Council states that: “We have judged it right that the canons of the Holy Fathers made in every synod even until now, should remain in force.” Can someone more educated in this matter than I, illumine whether the 4th Ecumenical Council is thereby ratifying this previously written synodal canon?)

    I would like to point out, in particular, that there is a procedure specified for addressing a bishop’s misuse of finances and that that procedure does not include hiding it, covering it up, or ignoring it. I’m sorry; I’m thinking of the last scandal not so many years ago.

    Canons XIV and XV from the Synod of Antioch in Encaeniis:
    “If a bishop shall be tried on any accusations, and it should then happen that the bishops of the province disagree concerning him, some pronouncing the accused innocent, and others guilty; for the settlement of all disputes, the holy Synod decrees that the metropolitan call on some others belonging to the neighbouring province, who shall add their judgment and resolve the dispute, and thus, with those of the province, confirm what is determined.”
    “If any bishop, lying under any accusation, shall be judged by all the bishops in the province, and all shall unanimously deliver the same verdict concerning him, he shall not be again judged by others, but the unanimous sentence of the bishops of the province shall stand firm.”

    I would like to highlight that, in cases of dispute, help is to be requested from among bishops outside the province. In our day, would this mean bishops from other authocephalous churches? Can an expert comment on this conjecture?

    Since I and most of my readers, I suspect, are not experts on the Canons or the Fathers, it seems dangerous to quote them and insist on all the details being applied without wise judgment and reference to the way the Church has historically applied them or how they relate to canons I have not listed here. I suspect that such an anlysis is beyond the current capacity of most of us here reading or writing. However, I think it is worth speaking about some of the canons that are apparently relevant to this discussion with specificity – that is with citation and quotation. Moreover, if I/we cannot be trusted to distinguish what details are important in the application of these canons referenced, I do believe we can sense some of the spirit of these canons. Some of the implications I gather from reading these is that it is not always inappropriate for lower orders, and even laity, to accuse the bishops of wrongdoing. Very early in our Church, procedures were proscribed to guide these unpleasant occurrences. This also implies two things. First, that the Church recognizes that not all accusations are true and that bishops are at special risk for abusive allegations being made against them. Therefore guidelines are established to protect them from these. Secondly, however, this implies that the Church recognizes that there will be bishops that need to be removed from office because of improprieties they have performed. Properly vetted clergy and laity are granted access to even the highest levels of appeal (eventually) in pursuing these removals when the accusations show signs of truth or particular difficulty. I am not sure that the Sons of Job should be unconditionally condemned for pursuing removals of certain bishops they believe to have gravely sinned – at least not on the grounds that Christians should not judge, or that it is the epitome of pride to make these pursuits, or that they are trying to stir up controversy. The Church has anticipated the need for trying bishops. I don’t see how it is unilaterally wrong to ask for a trial.

    I will make one final observation. Similar claims against the bishops as are now being made were being passed around internet sites during Herman’s tenure. Many discounted them as being manufactured, and not trustworthy. Many of the accusations of scandal and impropriety have now been shown to have been true. Once again (after so few years) we find ourselves in a tumultuous period with accusations being made at every corner, it seems. The Sons of Job (among other things, perhaps, which I will not address here) are simply asking for investigations. Are the bishops ready to participate so that they can publicly clear their names? If not, why not? Can this synod be trusted to investigate each other when accusations have been made against so many of them (if not of a material nature, at least of a complicit nature, in not speaking up about the material accusations against other bishops)? Do we need the help of other Orthodox Churches?

    • Martin Paluch says

      I find it very interesting that JoseCuervo says:

      “I will make one final observation. Similar claims against the bishops as are now being made were being passed around internet sites during Herman’s tenure. Many discounted them as being manufactured, and not trustworthy. Many of the accusations of scandal and impropriety have now been shown to have been true.”

      Those are wonderful Canons that you have cited which state very clearly the burden of proof continues to be in the hands of the accusers. In fact, the false accusers are to suffer the same punishment as those they falsely accused and in this way the church will cleanse itself of this terrible evil. (See Deuteronomy 19:15-20).

      My question to you is this: Which of the many accusations of scandal and impropriety have now been shown to be true? Which ones have never been proven to be true? Which investigators have purged themselves in their attempt for a conviction (as can be proven by tape recordings) and have yet to suffer the punishment of a false accuser as cited by the canons? Please cite names, dates and official documents that have no disclaimers attached to them.

      You do well in citing those Canons and poorly in what I, with all respect to you, feel is a false accusation leveled against a member of the past Holy Synod.

      Yours in Christ,
      Martin Paluch

    • JoseC,

      Most excellent work! Yes I think we do need those who specialise in Canon Law to add to your observations, but I think this is sufficient. It shows also that although the” Sons of Job” did not do the footwork in quotations, they are very aware of the canons-as we all should be. Thank you!!

    • M. Stankovich says

      What you are doing is examining a codification – a gathering and organization, a Codex – of the Canonical Writings of the Fathers that have taken on the analogy of “law” as we view it in the west: jurisprudence, the science of law. I spent considerable time explaining this entire concept here.

      We do not “think” in terms of “regulatory” values or “penalties & reparations.” The most significant word amidst everything you wrote – guide – is missed for the forest – law. Jesus Christ, very God from very God, did not sacrifice Himself in order to enslave us to Volume XIV of the Nicene & Post-Nicene Fathers! As Fr. Meyendorff states, of course the Fathers were aware that some of the canons reflected eternal realities, but it never entered their thought that anyone would sit down and “scour & consult” a compilation of the canons like it was the California Penal Code. This is simply foolish, foreign, and misguided.

      The issue is not “canon law,” but “management” of the Church: οἰκονομία – “economia.” The Fathers literally derived this truth directly from the words of St. Paul: “Hav­ing made known to us the mys­tery of His will, accord­ing to His good plea­sure which He has pur­posed in Him­self: That in the [εἰς οἰκονομίαν] man­age­ment of the full­ness of times, He might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven, and which are on earth.” (Eph. 1:9–10) “How the Master would manage the Church,” is interpreted within the context of what is in the best interest of the Church, and what is in the best interest of the individual and his or her salvation.

      Pitifully, in our warped mentality – at every level – economy has become the “prey” of the mindless, and the “gift” of the lawless: some are shielded by the “gold curtain of silence,” and others feel it their “right” to know every detail of the intimate relationship of confessor & penitent. Both are equally shameful. Nevertheless, for two-thousand years, “by the wisdom of men and the Grace of the Holy Spirit,” the Church has governed itself; and where, as men, it has erred, God Himself, the only Just Judge, will rectify the wrongs.

      Those who cry out for “justice” according to Canon Law, or would justify action or nullification pursuant to Canon Law, or “proof text” actions and remedies by virtue of Canon Law, or worse, threaten action civilly by an authority they would attempt to derive from Canon Law should put Volume XIV down and walk away. You are not of the mind of the Fathers, and the Canonical Writings only feed your false pride and arrogance, and in fact, serve as an intoxicant. Better to read the Psalms.

  25. Dear M Stankovich,

    One of the Sons has known you his whole life. One of us is a convert. but should that matter. Two have been victimized and when they tried to stand up were made victims again. There are several priests and monastics who were all their life in the Holy Church. What heresy is it when people of power are exposed misusing that power? Name the heresy. We are sad that some have ignored the abusive pattern of our leadership. If you have to be mad at those who refuse to allow it any longer so be it. We are sleeping fine. Yesterday three additional people came forward to be Sons of Job. People are sending us new accusations and information every day. We haven’t printed most only the ones that were already part of the public record. The information we are receiving every day has been kept in silent fear by some for decades. I am sorry for my previous brashness. Our circle of friends have shared our fears of retaliation and being thrown out of the rectory for just saying that something is wrong, evil, or soul-destroying. No more. The bishops picked a fight and we have enjoined it. It is a fight we will have as if the devil himself is against us. Again you are not our issue and not the problem, forgive us. We believe that we are sinners. We have wives, families and parishes that help keep us on the narrow way. The bishops have only each other and are no longer accountable to scripture, canon, Ceasar, or human decency. They are not ruling as Christ and are revealed as wolves in sheep clothing. We wonder what horrible thing a bishop would have to do or allow before you would discern a wolf? That is someone who would make prey of you and your loved ones.

    • M. Stankovich says

      You will NOT justify cowardice and underhandedness to me.

      This is neither the time nor the place to deal with your statement, but I will say this to you: if, in fact, any “sons” have journeyed with me, you would certainly know that when I refused to compromise my ethics, I paid the price, dearly, in full, and alone. And it does not end. But that is the price for being “faithful over a few things,” for listening and taking to heart my fathers and teachers, and showing gratitude to God for the richness of mercy poured out, undeservedly, on me. “I can do all things through Christ which strengthens me.” (Phil. 4:13)

      I ask you: who would wish a “victory” won of anonymity, divisiveness, the revelation of murderous gossip & men’s sins, and shameful threat and arrogance? This is foundation of the cleansed OCA you offer? You are loathsome and to be pitied for posting such a sad message to me.

      • Let’s not forget that Stankovich considers himself to be “Stylite”!

      • What heresy are we guilty of? Name it. You seem to have knowledge above all. Your knowledge can already judge. We have not judged only discerned. The former is destruction the latter is part of Theosis. We only said that their must be investigation(s)…then discipline…repentance…and salvation. So what heresy is it that we are guilty? Heretic is a stronger charge than any we have made. These Gnostic tendencies of yours going way back boarder on delusion. Me thinks you’ve always been self treating in your profession even while ignoring your soul’s ailment.

        • M. Stankovich says

          Pardon me, I did not say you are guilty of heresy. I said you slithered here from heresy and are cowardly and ignorant. St. Paul tells you to “continue in the things which you have learned and have been assured of, knowing from whom you have learned them,” (2 Tim. 3:14) but in your arrogance, you believed you had nothing to learn and nothing to be taught, and have become for us exactly what St. Peter warned us as “false teachers among you, who will secretly put forward wrong teachings,” (2 Peter 2:1) Who told you discernment is a part of “Theosis?” You made it up. Discernment is the gift of obedience, of submission, of the desire and the insight of the need to be taught:

          For, when by reason of time you ought to be teachers, you have need again that some one teach you the rudiments of the first principles of the words of God; and are become such as have need of milk, and not of solid food.

          (Heb. 5:12)

          And I do not slight you for your ignorance! What I “charge” you with is the arrogant, cowardly, unearned, and undeserved fantasy that you speak for anyone other than a handful likened to OCATruth (swear to me there is no affiliation) – “Surely you also are one of them; for your speech betrays you.” (Matt. 26:73)

          If, in fact, I do have “knowledge above all,” it is because I submitted myself in obedience. I gladly sat at the feet of the anointed of God, and the extraordinary of God. You are not in my league. It is time for you to slither back.

  26. Fr. George Washburn says

    Hello friends:

    Fair comments have been made about my failure…perhaps it is sheer inability…to suggest solutions. I know the OCA from the position of a reasonably close and favorably inclined bystander, but not a present or former or aspiring insider. As with any perspective it has its advantages and disadvantages. And with it the perspective of having filed, settled, arbitrated and/or tried hundreds of small and medium-sized lawsuits.

    Some general observations about what is necessary to begin to resolve most disputes:

    1. an extended period of bleeding, until one or more sides notice that something they value is slipping away, whether it be money, hope, status or ….

    2. the willingness to consider re-examining the entrenched and antagonistic positions from which the bloodletting has been conducted by one’s **own** “side,”

    3. the wisdom and humility to entertain involving an experienced third party (who knows what he or she is doing) to help open a dialogue between the camps.

    I realize that these brief suggestions, and there could be others, are not in and of themselves solutions. I do not have a magic formula, and would be wise not to admit it if I thought I did. Solutions, if any, will arise from a change of hearts and minds, cooperation, and an outpouring of grace, not from excuses, coercion, insults, revenge, raking over the (cold or hot) embers of past fires, doing the same old thing over and over, or any of the stuff the devil or our own weakness tempt us to keep trying so unsuccessfully.

    It is so hard to do just these three things – see the damage, consider re-examining the stuck positions and our own part in creating or perpetuating them, and humbling ones’ self (if in power) or taking the risk (if out of power) to gradually attempt a new, third-party-facilitated dialogue. These three little (or are they big?) steps are plenty to suggest. Having taken some graduate training recently in church dispute resolution to add to previous courses from the Bar and the American Arbitration Association, I have a couple of tentative ideas as to how that could actually be explored in this context if someone decides to try.

    But I am confident that anonymously shouting nasty things at one another over the internet between now and the meetings is not a recipe for success in Parma. Maybe it wold be enough just to stop some bleeding and think about calling a different doctor.


    Fr. George

    • Carl Kraeff says

      Amen. But, you advice is like casting pearls; beware, lest they turn and tear you in pieces.

    • Son of Job #2 says

      Parma can’t work, not without a retraction of the letter smearing +Jonah. It’s window dressing and everybody knows it.

      Your middle of the road position might be the safest. It doesn’t deal with any real stuff but at least no new leader will be able to say you ruffled them.

      It’s full of good OCA speak too, especially ignoring systemic sins/dysfunction/crimes (predation in the seminary? destroying the reputation of the former primate?) because after all everyone is a sinner!

    • Thank you, Father, for your thoughtful dialog. You have elevated the level of discussion here, and I am grateful.

      I even agree with your three suggestions. In fact, a 3rd party intervention into the dysfunctional morass of Synod/MC/CA was suggested at the last AAC in Seattle, and I have heard it was suggested yet again at the last Metropolitan Council meeting. (The minutes of that MC meeting will probably come out after Parma.)

      The problem is, who bells the cat? Those driving this OCA bus think 1) there is no bleeding 2) all is peaceful (just check the chancellor’s blog if you don’t believe me.) 3) that THEY ARE RIGHT!!! So you are watching the manifestation of frustration felt by so many faithful and other interested onlookers who see real problems and want them to be addressed. Ignoring the problems seem to encourage their growth, and the OCA, as well as other jurisdictions, have a long history of doing that.

      In an ideal world, this discussion would happen efficiently, tactfully, and one would hope, privately. Your commentary critiques the efforts put forth in a less-than-ideal world.

      Those efforts thus far have not resulted in any real change, stipulated. At some point, the cries of the faithful will cease. The corruption will be met with a shrug, downcast eyes and a mumbled “Whatever…” But for every Son of Job, there are dozens of people who simply read without commenting, and with a heavy heart, wonder and pray about the future of their church. These are the people who will “vote with their feet,” and simply leave the OCA, and perhaps Orthodoxy altogether. For I agree, none of this offers an icon of “see how they love one another.” Or rather, it does, and the picture is nothing that, as a Christian, I should want to emulate. Moreover, I imagine that other jurisdictions aren’t looking at the structure of the OCA and saying “Gee, we need to look more like that! Look at the results that gets!”

      In a time honored strategy, the Administration will run out the clock, and will throw +Jonah under the bus with a flourish when the time is up. It seems, to this point at least, that he will not fight with these people despite their libel of him. And so you see in the comments here (and in the article for that matter,) those who have been silent and see no good end resulting from their silence, and so have voiced their concerns and outrage about the corruption that is consuming the OCA.

      Your three suggestions actually are a tried and tested solution employed by those people who recover from alcoholism and other addictions. In twelve step language, the first would describe “hitting bottom,” the second, “taking responsibility for one’s own actions,” and the third, “getting help from a Power greater than yourself.”

      Let’s torture this analogy a little. Look at “hitting one’s bottom.” That occurs when enough pain or damage is experienced that one cannot continue. Well, some of the discussion you see here comes from those who have had enough, akin to those family, friends, and employers that gather to confront the alcoholic about his drinking, because they have had enough of it.

      But if the alcoholic remains in denial, it is difficult to do much about bringing about change, because the addiction is by this time a systemic problem, permeating every part of their lives. And besides, they do not see the alcohol as a problem, they see it as the solution. And despite divorces, job loss, DWIs, and the destruction of all that is valuable to them, the alcoholic can persist in blaming those around them for the terrible situation in which the family finds itself.

      So it is in the OCA.

      Despite THREE “failed” metropolitans, and a number of assorted bishops, shrinking population, financial problems, and hot-and-cold-running scandals, we are told “everything is fine!” “THIS time we’ll elect a GOOD Metropolitan!”

      I had not responded earlier because others had asked the question that came to me when reading your comments. How do we do this? It seems that a least of portion of this faith community has shaken their denial and want change. But can these people get the Synod/MC/CA, who remains in denial, to the table?

      Much of your analysis of the collateral damage is spot on. So the discussion on this blog and others is one way to try and effect change. You, dear Father, have pointed out that the cost is too high to have this discussion. This is the only, or at least the lowest risk, communication channel that we have. The levers are painfully few.

      What method would you recommend to get our reluctant leaders to give up denial in favor of repentance and reconciliation?

      People are voting with their feet, even now. The only way out of this mess is through repentance, and clinging to that Higher Power greater than us all: the Trinity.

  27. M. Stankovich, Michael, (Not Mike, a bartender from Jersey City), whose last name is, unfortunately for him, hilariously funny, has recently said:
    “you are cowards”
    “self-righteous, cowardly jackasses as yourselves”
    “you cowards”
    “you are a cowardly, disrespectful little man, seated at the computer wearing Hanes Spiderman Underalls, men’s size small”

    “I no longer believe you are a Haynes Spiderman Underalls men’s size small, but rather a boy’s size large”

    “Dear self-serving jackasses”

    “That is a dumb choice”

    “You are sneaky, or perhaps as Mr. Coin is fond of saying, “snarky.””

    “please, save your dramatic and gut wrenching prose for something you actually understand.”

    “So here’s my number, he’ll call me maybe (and I know it’s cra-a-a-a-z-e-e-e)”

    “You will impress only the casual listener.”

    …and in too many places to recount, “stupid”, and “fools”

    – Really, ‘Michael’, ‘racca’ you say of others? Woe to you.

    But, no I will not make fun of your name – I will offer the respect you request.

    • FYI! Feel better after repeating all that? Looks like M. Stankovich really lit up all your candles!
      I liked the conclusion, where you say “I will not make fun of your name.” It would indeed be loathsome of you to make fun of ANYONE’s name here, since you do not reveal your own, which appears to be more sacred than God’s!!! Cannot be uttered at all, let alone in vain!

  28. M. Stankovich says

    But if you were baptized FYI, I would ask before calling you [deleted].

  29. I have a few quibbles with the Sons of Job but they are more right than wrong. I’d like to add something about the Arcdeacon Burke case. Arb Nikon has told the Deans and priests in the DOS that because he’s only the locum tenens, he can’t deal with the situation in Miami regarding Archdeacon Burke. That this would have to be left to the next bishop when he’s elected. That’s hogwash. He suspended Fr David Moretti in Houston because of a canonical issue very quickly when it came to his attention. He was right to do so given the facts in the case. The reason he won’t do anything in Miami is because Arb Nathanael is very close to Bp Mark Forsberg and Archdeacon Burke.

    • I agree with Nikos’s assessment of Archbishop Nikon at al’s relationship to the unnatural relationships of Archdeacon Gregory Burke and friends, It’s spot on.
      I also tend to agree that Sons of Job are ‘more right than wrong,”…….They are probably 51 percent right, and the other 49 percent is very very problematic dithering and weakening of their cause because of that.

      Archbishop Job is extensively quoted. It’s pure hearsay and should play no part in Susan’s case unless he’s got it on tape. Frankly, it doesn’t sound like Job at all.

  30. Gonna be late for choir practice….again

  31. JoseCuervo says

    Martin Paluch,

    Thank you for reading and commenting on my recent post. The first official document that comes to mind pointing out several grave failings Herman made during his tenure is the report of the Special Investigations Committee Chaired by His Grace Bishop Benjamin and submitted before the Holy Synod and the Metropolitan Council on September 3, 2008. Moreover official actions were taken around that time in the removal of Herman from his position. Surely you are aware of this document? Are you indicating that you find this official document to be a manufactured falsehood by the highest levels of our Church government? Honestly, I would not be surprised if that were the case (although I am by no means claiming it IS the case). If you indicate this is the case, though, this incriminates certain members of the current Synod and reinforces the claims of foul play that the Sons of Job are making. Have I misunderstood you? Again, thanks for reading and commenting. I think good-natured debate can be helpful and benefit both parties thereof.

    • WHAT!!!! Jose! Are you indicating that you find “this official document to be a manufactured falsehood by the highest levels of our Church government?” Bishop Benjamin, the widow Azrael, Fr John Tkachuk, Faith Skordinski, Bernie Wilson…..” the highest level of our Church government? That would not be the OCA. What an idea! Jose! Give us a link to that S.I. C. report and I’ll point out its deficiencies to you. There are several other persons, some of them posting here, like, for example, Monk James (Silver) who would also be able to point out the deficiencies of that highly problematic report! THEN we could have a good-natured and intelligent debate.

      • He said he would not be surprised if it was the case-

      • ChristineFevronia says

        Riddle me this…

        Faith Skordinski is the “accuser” who brings a spiritual court against R. Kondratick in 2007. One year later in 2008, she is sitting on the SIC to investigate him and Met. Herman. That has never, ever made sense to me.

        • Nothing about the “case and spiritual court” against Fr. Kondratick makes any sense, not then and not now. We see case after case of abuse of power b y OCA bishops and what is the result, they keep their positions. Benjamin, Nathaniel, Matthias, Tikhon, Golitzen. The whole house is corrupt and electing another Metropolitan will not change things.

          It is time for the OCA to lift the discipline on Fr. Kondratick. Nazis guilty of crimes against humanity in WWII served less time than Kondratick. Enough is enough.

        • Speaking my mind says

          By the way, I understand from the nuns that Faith Skordinski is the originator of the emails saying the nuns were raped, which was shown to be a complete fabrication.

          • While Mme. Skordinski was from an Orthodox family and was baptized in the Orthodox Church, isn’t she a member of a Lutheran congregation? Dual Churchmanship?

            • Your Grace,

              Your questions beg still others.

              Was she a member of an Lutheran congregation when she was on the Metropolitan Council? When she was the prosecutor in the trial in absentia for R. Kondradick?

              Can non-Orthodox bring charges in Orthodox spiritual court?

    • Martin Paluch says


      Thank you for asking!

      In reading the SIC report, you will find a report based on insufficient evidence and one redacted by the committee. I have spoken with many of the Priests whose names are contained therein and they have emphatically claimed that this document is not accurate. I wanted to quote from the SIC report but can no longer find or retrieve it from the OCA website and must rely mostly on my memory. This document had no credible information in order to convict, if it had enough proof behind it the Federal Prosecutors would have taken the case and surely prosecuted the perpetrators. My understanding is that the Federal Investigators denied the credibility on the grounds of insufficient evidence. This is what Metropolitan Herman told his brother bishops and also the Metropolitan Council a few years prior. Metropolitan Herman followed the Gospel and acted in the proper way. Does not the Gospel teach us that where there is no proof to refrain from condemning and where there is doubt to let charity prevail? It is quite sad that it took the Feds to teach us this concept.

      The actions were forced by the heavy demands leveled by the Metropolitan Council in spite of the fact that many on the council were equally responsible for the financial crisis, and that is also stated in the SIC report as I recall.

      Do I find this official document to be tainted? Absolutely! One only needs to look at the unity that existed in the Church a few years back and the disunity that prevails today. This may incriminate some on the Holy Synod but much worse, it exposes the inappropriate actions and the threats made by the Metropolitan Council in their quest to become equals with the Hierarchy. This notion that the Church administers itself by the irreducible principle of hiearch/conciliarity rooted in the Holy Trinity is not true and worse is an insult to the Holy Trinity. Where is this written in the Fathers of the Church? By the way, the Strategic Plan Committee, endorsed by the Metropolitan Council on May 23, 2011, introduced this new concept. It gives more power to the people.

      We keep on pounding the Holy Synod and what we should be concerned with is giving that God given right of forgiving sins back to the Holy Synod where it belongs. Finally, Metropolitan Herman was not removed from his position. Yes, he was pressured, not because he had broken any Canons or was an immoral person, but felt he had lost the support from his brother bishops. He was about to undergo back surgery and requested a leave of absence from the Holy Synod at first. I have asked him since then if he would have made the same decision today, he said no!

      Yours in Christ,
      Martin Paluch

  32. Thomas Mathes says

    The Sons of Job contend that most of the OCA bishops are canonically ineligible to vote for a new metropolitan, but they fail to make their case. First, they cite no canons to establish that bishops have to step down as ruling bishops anytime an allegation comes forward from any party. The Sons of Job simply make that assertion. If such a canon existed, it would cause chaos in the church: Anyone could unseat a ruling bishop simply by an allegation. Second, ruling bishops remain ruling bishops until an authoritative body examines the charge of violating the canons, judges the bishop guilty, and imposes the appropriate penalty. For example, Patriarch Theophilos of Alexandria and his Synod of bishops examined the charge of heresy against St. John Chrysostom, judged him guilty and deposed him from his episcopal throne. But if an authoritative body fails to act, the bishop remains a ruling bishop. George M. has charged the GOA Synod with violating the canons by conspiring against Archbishop S., but they are still ruling bishops because the Ecumenical Patriarch and his Synod did not charge them with this canonical violation even though he probably had more information about their “conspiracy” than George M. Their priests still must obey them, and they still have their vote in the GOA Synod. Though the Sons of Job may question the character of the individual bishops on the OCA Synod, they remain ruling bishops of the OCA, full members of the OCA Synod, and electors of the next OCA Metropolitan.

  33. Is there some REAL reason that this has to be done now. I know there are many wearing multiple miters but can these miter wearers make decisions that would divest some of the multiple hats from their heads. Maybe if they did not have so many miters on their heads the air could get through and they would think far more clearly.

  34. anonymus per Scorilo says

    Without a timeline, everything you say is meaningless.

    Indeed, here is a timeline, and a very clear one

    1999 Fr. Susan serves in the ROEA tribunal, and makes illegal copies of files investigating a gay priest.

    2001 Abp. Nathaniel removes the gay priest from his parish

    2002 Fr. Susan makes incredibly slanderous statements against Abp. Nathaniel and Bp. Irineu, both from the pulpit and via articles in newspapers

    2002 – 2004 Abp. Nathaniel urges him to stop doing this and repent; Fr. Susan continues.

    2004 Abp. Nathaniel removes him from his parish and releases him to the Metropolitan, as usual with all releases from the ROEA

    2005 Fr. Susan files a complaint against the gay priest

    What is meaningless is claiming that Fr. Susan was removed because he complained against the gay priest. He did this one year after he was removed – there is no evidence he did anything before that.

    • George Michalopulos says

      Then why not bring him up on charges if it’s so cut-and-dried?

    • Disgusted With It says

      Wasn’t there some talk that Fr. Susan filed a complaint against Archbishop Nathaniel to the OCA but it was ignored? Perhaps back in the time when Fr. Kondratick was still chancellor? Just curious.

  35. Bishop Alexander’s action of barring Joel Kalvesmaki from attending the AAC may not be a canonical impediment, but in my book it certainly is questionable. This act of silencing dissent is so reminiscent of the “bad old days” of the OCA’s recent history. The letter is now available:

    • “I cannot allow one who carries such sentiments with regard to the Holy Synod to serve in any official capacity representing the cathedral.” What an extraordinary statement! I’m unacquainted with any idiom “carrying sentiments.” Can anyone explain that one to me? Seems to me it would be appropriate to tell us what “such sentiments” are, no? After all, one might not know the parameters of propriety for one’s sentiments “with regard to” the Holy Synod. If Bishop Alexander would have informed the Faithful just what “such sentiments with regard to the Holy Synod” ARE, then the Faithful would not, through ignorance, be perhaps vulnerable to committing a similar crime in the area of “carrying” sentiments!

  36. I have not seen a picture of the Iconostais at Holy Trinity. Hope it is a solid wall from floor to ceiling and from side to side. The Hierarchs will surely be hiding behind it and will only peek out when absolutely neccessary. Since we know that Bishops from other jurisdictions are not welcome we know that it will be one that is hiding behind the wall who will be pushed forward.

  37. Archpriest Morris’s liturgics are way off:
    He wrote, for example: ” Each of the forms of Vespers are given with full rubrics in the Antiochian Liturgikon.”
    Each of the forms of Vespers IS not given with full rubrics in the “Antiochian Liturgikon” by Bishop Basil
    There is not mention of Little Vespers in that fine work at all, lt alone “full rubrics” for it.
    As a convert-tourist might do, he confuses Little Vespers with Daily Vespers, while they are not the same at all!
    I’m hopeful, however, that if he’ll go back and study what not only I, but also “Helga” wrote, he’ll learn what he has so far resisted learning: the definition of Little Vespers. Among other things, Little Vespers is only to be served prior to an All-Night Vigil (which consists of Great Vespers, Matins, and First Hour).
    PS Vespers, Complines, and Matins are not plurals.

    • Archpriest John W. Morris says

      I do not have a copy of the Liturgikon here at home, but I do know that it contains the rubrics for a Vigil. Bishop Basil knows his liturgics.

  38. Parma Protestors!!

    It’s almost time . . . May I suggest meeting in the lobby at the Double Tree after the Monday evening service? Various people are copying literature to pass out and extra signs should you want one or wish to help.

    The weather might not permit protesting outside for long, especially for those who are older than myself. A good time to meet for such an occassion would be a half hour or so before the service Tuesday morning at the sidewalk in front of the entry of the Church. Once the Morning service has started we all may wish to go where it’s warm.

    Another suggestion is to get involved volunteering in the choir or elsewhere in the days program.

    Just as people have signed the petition for a variety of reasons, there may be many reasons to come to protest. Maybe you are appalled by the unjust treatment of Metropolitan Jonah, maybe you want +Jonah back, maybe you don’t but you want the Synod to be transparent and accountable, or maybe you have had it with corruption and latest decisions and you want an investigation or are simply fed up. Please allow everyone their differences and honor them as individuals uniting on the fact that we want a voice.

    Remember, we are gathering for a protest immersed in prayer. We need to be on our best behavior. No getting in the way of anyone or blocking anything. Calm conversations. Bring smart phones, chairs (might a well be comfy), cameras, coffee and notebooks and record what you see and hear. Look forward to meeting everyone. You never know what may come of things and you never know if +Jonah will show . . .

  39. Mariko Hishamunda says

    1) This stuff is pretty funny – is this the new Onion Dome? 🙂
    2) You should be ashamed to call yourselves the “Sons of Job” – Vladyka Job would never have supported the sort of filth you spew.