Director of St Luke’s Resigns

Source: Catholic News Agency

Baltimore, Md., May 9, 2013

Monsignor Edward J. Arsenault

Monsignor Edward J. Arsenault

Amid allegations of financial indiscretion and an “inappropriate adult relationship,” Monsignor Edward J. Arsenault has resigned as head of a Maryland treatment center for Catholic priests and religious.

“This is very difficult news, and we are keeping this situation in prayer,” Sheila Harron, Ph.D., chief operation officer and interim CEO of the St. Luke Institute, said May 6.

“We are committed to continuing to move forward, to providing high quality care for priests and religious, and to supporting a culture of healthy ministry in the Church.”

The New Hampshire attorney general is investigating Msgr. Arsenault after the Diocese of Manchester discovered evidence of improper transactions of diocese funds. The diocese reported the discovery to authorities out of concern illegal acts may have been committed. The diocese discovered the evidence while reviewing a claim that he had an inappropriate relationship with  an adult.

The priest will refrain from all public ministry during the state and diocesan investigations.

Msgr. Arsenault chaired the board of the National Catholic Risk Retention Group formed to combat the sexual abuse of minors by clergy. In that position, he helped supervise the development of the VIRTUS program and the “Protecting God’s Children” safe environment program in use in dioceses across the U.S., an archived webpage of his biography at the St. Luke Institute’s website says.

In October 2009, he became president and CEO of St. Luke Institute in Silver Spring, Maryland. It treats Catholic priests and religious with emotional health problems, addictions, and sexual issues.

St. Luke’s Institute said the allegations against Msgr. Arsenault do not involve the institute.

Bishop Peter A. Libasci pledged the Diocese of Manchester’s full cooperation with the state’s investigation.

He said he is committed to reviewing the diocese’s operations to see if there are any issues that need correction. The bishop also asked for prayers for all those involved.

Msgr. Arsenault held senior positions in the Diocese of Manchester from January 1999 to February 2009. He served as chancellor and moderator of the curia for the diocese and worked in parish and diocesan administration. He reviewed allegations of clergy sex abuse in the Diocese of Manchester in 2002.

He also chaired the board of governors of the Catholic Medical Center Healthcare System in New Hampshire.

Msgr. Stephen J. Rosetti, Ph.D., a priest and clinical psychologist who served as the president of the St. Luke Institute from 1996-2009, will serve as the institute’s interim president. Dr. Harron, the interim CEO, has served on the institute’s staff for 18 years as a psychologist, director of outpatient services and as chief operating officer.

The St. Luke Institute has hired an outside firm to conduct a forensic audit of the organization to ensure there are no irregularities, the Manchester Union Leader reports.

Well, what can I say? “Physician, heal thyself”? or perhaps “I told you so”?

Permit me the opportunity to gloat a little bit. I know it’s not gentlmanly but we never were dealing with gentlemen when we were discussing the conspiracy against the legitimately elected Primate of the OCA, were we? Instead we were dealing with a pack of braying jackals, who armed with the standards of Accountability and Transparency, thought that they could pull the wool over the eyes of the peasantry.

Then there was the calm, measured tones of some on this blog and others who assured us that “if only you knew the whole truth,” or “St Luke’s is a place renowned for it clinical expertise,” and “His Beatitude could only be helped if he went there,” etc.

It was all nonsense. Worse, it was all a pack of lies.

Think of it. This news story only raises more questions than it answers. What is an “inappropriate adult relationship”? Are we to be reassured that at least the Director wasn’t forcing himself on 10-year-old boys? Or are there “appropriate adult relationships” available to priests as opposed to “inappropriate” relationships? What are they? And if they do exist, what are their boundaries? Do we see the morass that we have descended to?

At the very least we can begin to see the vague therapeutic model described by St Luke’s. It’s not a “cure” that was being given by the clinicians to pedophile priests but something along the lines of “making them comfortable in their sexuality” so they “can express it in a more healthful manner.”

This is what happens when a church decides to abandon canon law which forbids the ordination of men who have no normal feelings for women. This is what happens when a people decides that high moral standards for the clergy are an unecessary bar which will exacerbate the shortage in priests (read: force us to pay higher salaries).

But this is a fight for another day. What is at stake here is something more immediate. And that is an operational paradigm based on modernism and American corporatist standards rather than the centuries-old Orthodox tradition of ascesis. Forget concepts like repentance. Syosset shows us instead neat graphics and pie charts, it creates compliance officers and Sex Czars, it assures us that We Know How to Get Things Done. If a priest or bishop steps out of bounds, we’ll do what the Big Boys do and send our miscreants to St Luke’s. Who needs quaint, old-fashioned things like dioceses and monasteries; authentic spiritual mentorship with an elder? That’s too Old World.

And how much does a month at St Luke’s cost? $15,000. A priest in the OCA is lucky if he makes one-quarter that amount.

Sometime after Seattle, I wrote that sending His Beatitude to St Luke’s would be a scandal for all concerned. I warned all of us that nothing good would be gained by Jonah submitting to the evil desires of his detractors. Obedience only goes so far and Jonah was wrong to be obedient. Why? because the obedience they demanded of him was never the issue; the issue was to force him into a scenario in which he would be psychologically be branded for life thereby making it easier to defrock him. Syosset never exhibited good faith. We now know this to be the truth.

I could be charitable and state that our Betters in Syosset may never have known the degree of quackery that existed there. They may have been beguiled by questionable men in the Stokovite camp (Fr Denis Bradley springs instantly to mind) who assured them otherwise. And I felt a pit in my stomach when two good, traditionalist-minded bishops with old World influence –Matthias and Michael–escorted him there for his “evaluation.” It was not so much His Beatitude I worried about but the repercussions that would befall those who did the bidding of others too cowardly to do this evil work themselves. Already we have seen one of the escort-bishops suffer, how many more will fall? St Luke’s is a mistake waiting to happen. In the end though that it is a problem for the Roman Catholic Church –it didn’t need to be ours.

At any rate, the Lord wins in the end. The truth always outs.

Is it too late for the miscreants in Syosset to rectify the situation? It’s never too late but I’m not holding my breath. All I can say is that if they don’t, this will only solidify the perception that the upper reaches of the OCA are unrepentant. And whatever else happens to His Beatitude, unrepentance is not a good place to be if you’re a Church.

Oh, one more thing: I’ll gladly accept any apologies.


  1. Gail Sheppard says

    I seriously want to “wake-up” from this very bad dream.

  2. It continues to amaze me that the OCA embraces such institutions as St. Luke’s to do their selective dirty work while they do nothing about the following:

    Why doesn’t the OCA which you are not a member of yet you defend with all the strength you can muster not deal with a homosexual bishop living in retirement in Florida with his long-time partner, a certain archdeacon who ran off and married another man in California, only to return to his long time partner bishop in FL.? Why is it so hard for the OCA to deal with one of the most obvious cases of homosexuality in high places?

    Or, why does the OCA not deal with a retired priest in the Diocese of New York and New Jersey who divorced his wife so that he could live with his homosexual lover, a man who is held up as one of the mentors of the current OCA Chancellor?

    What is stopping the OCA from dealing with a retired and attached priest at the DC Cathedral who has been in a homosexual relationship for decades with his partner, the same man who played a pivotal role in the “resignation” of +Jonah? Why does this man continue to serve at the altar, and now with the current Metropolitan?

    What is stopping the OCA from dealing with a homosexual priest in Florida, who divorced his wife while he was a priest in the Midwest diocese proclaiming as the reason he is leaving her because he is a homosexual?

    Why did the bishop of the ROEA protect a homosexual priest in his diocese for years after this priest was caught living a homosexual lifestyle, who left his wife because he would rather live his life than be faithful to his wife and family and his calling as a priest?

    Why was a homosexual allowed to serve on the Metropolitan Council and be at the center of the take down of Metropolitan Jonah and not objected to by Syosset, even after email evidence of his conspiracy to get +Jonah?

    Why is a sitting Archbishop in an OCA diocese permitted to continue to serve after being arrested for a DUI, after hundreds of hours of gay porn found on his computer, who also continues his relentless persecution of Metropolitan Jonah yet he somehow is above the Holy Writ and Tradition?

    Why is a homosexual allowed to carry the Gospel, as has been reported here, at Pascha at the altar of the Primate in the Syosset chapel?

    As long as Accountability and Transparency is not a two-way street in the highest offices of the OCA, all this talk about it is sheer hypocrisy and it unduly weakens the good clergy and faithful of the OCA who have to carry these burdens on their shoulders.

    Until the OCA actually does something about these and other outstanding sexual misconduct cases, all the fluff with Sex Czars and Offices of Misconduct is a smoke-screen and a waste of money.

    • Stan Poulos says

      You seem to be fascinated with rumors of sexual misdeeds within the OCA. What a hobby! Interestingly enough, do you have proof for much of what you post? You seem to be “Mr. Know-It-All” on this subject. Are you an investigator with pics and videos? Have you interviewed the paramours? What in reality your “hobby” and posting are, is the work of the devil. Lies, innuendo, rumors, misinformation, etc.; James you have done this for years. So, give us all your biography. Are you in reality BT’s flunky?

      • Stan,

        I am fascinated with the truth and holding those who claim to be transparent and accountable to their own standards. I have not spoken one lie, innuendo, rumor, nor misinformation in what I have presented. Those in Syosset know what I have written is the truth. I have no reason to lie but for some reason they have reason to not do anything about it. You are shooting the wrong messenger.

    • Carl Kraeff says

      Dear James–Please tell me if that is your baptismal name so that I can add it to my prayer list.

      • Dear Carl,

        Thank you for your desire to pray for me. It is not easy speaking truth to power, and your prayers are welcome.


        • Carl Kraeff says

          Dear James–Lest you are speaking in all seriousness, you are far from speaking truth to power or having difficulty for doing so. I will be praying for your wicked heart to be healed and this prelest to go away.

          • Dear Carl,

            I am speaking in all truth. That is only what I speak. I took you at your word that you wished to pray for me, and I will not discount that with your further qualifications as if I had a wicked heart or in prelest. Truth is truth and you may certainly call me a fool for Christ, but God will not be mocked. I continue to keep you in my prayers as a brother in Christ.

            • Carl Kraeff says

              You are not a fool for Christ. You speak with a forked tongue. Come out from behind the rock that you are hiding and tell us why I should believe you.

              • Heracleides says

                Carl, Carl… Obviously Great Lent is over for you. I offer the following image to commemorate your (unfortunate) return to posting pure bile.

              • Heracleides says

                Carl, Carl… Obviously Great Lent is over for you. I offer the following image to commemorate your (unfortunate) return to posting pure bile.

    • And Why? says

      Dear James,

      You may or may not raise valid points. Name names. Add the word alleged if you want. Document. Provide links. Or, are you expecting us to web search whatever scandal?

      • And Why?

        All of the names and the situations I listed are well known, especially in Syosset, which is the point, isn’t it?

        • Gregg Gerasimon says


          Christ is risen!

          “All of the names and the situations I listed are well known, especially in Syosset, which is the point, isn’t it?” — well, no, this isn’t the point at all.

          If the goal is simply to complain and reprint anonymous allegations for the hundredth time, then yes, simply list what you’ve listed, and nothing will change. One of the definitions of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. If these allegations are true, and Syosset has known about them for a long time and has done nothing about them (ever), then to expect a different result by only listing these allegations again (with no documentation, names, or backup) makes absolutely no sense.

          On the other hand, if you want different results (and if these allegations are true, rest assured that ALL of us want something done about these many problems), then name names, document, give proof, and get the word out.

          Take your first allegation, the situation in Florida, for example. A quick search of shows that you’re probably talking about the retired Bishop Mark, as none of the other retired bishops live in Florida. If Bishop Nikon (the locum tenens of the DoS) were hammered with names, documentation, and proof about this issue day in and day out, and if the deanery in Florida were hammered day in and day out with specifics and with complaints of how ridiculous and non-Christian this situation is, how it sets a bad example for Orthodoxy, how it inhibits church growth and evangelism, etc., then something would have to happen and things would change.

          But as it is now, most of us have read these allegations a hundred times, have no idea of their veracity because no specifics or documentation have been put forth, we have no idea what to think, and nothing ever changes.

          Arguing that one should “take my word for it because I simply know” never works. I’m not saying that I or other people don’t believe you (given what’s gone on in the OCA over the past 10 years, I have a hunch that much of what you write has a good chance of being true). But nothing will ever change unless names, documentation, and proof are given.

          • George Michalopulos says

            Gregg, that would be the case if we weren’t talking about an institution that is stubborn in its unrepentence. The 318 Fathers of the first Ecumenical Council could descend from heaven and pronounce Jonah clean as a whistle and it wouldn’t make a tinker’s damn to those who have their entire Weltanschauung based on Syosset’s production of St Luke’s Amazing Salvation Show (with apologies to Neil Diamond).

            Seriously, when people in the DOS complained to Arb Nathanael some two years ago in Dallas, we were assured that there was nothing untoward about the situation in Miami.

            • 1

              • Gregg,

                Christ is Risen!

                You make some excellent points and I agree that more light must be shed on these and many other coverups taking place in the OCA, but when bishops themselves have a vested interested in keeping the lid on situations you run into a brick coverup wall.

                However, the situation in Miami with the retired bishop of the Albanian diocese and his lover archdeacon is well documented in Syosset. The reason why Bishop Mark Forsberg was “retired” after only a couple of years as the bishop of the Albanian diocese is directly tied to his choice to give up his See rather than his deacon. The escapades of the same archdeacon are well documented in Syosset, I believe a full and complete report was submitted to the OCA Synod by then Chancellor Garklavs, but as we know nothing was done. Why? Again, it was stonewalled by +Mark’s close friends on the Synod, +Nathaniel and +Nikon. There is no more an open and shut case as the one involving the Archdeacon Burke. But, the OCA does nothing because it would implicate others in high places.

                The case of the OCA priest who was in the Midwest, divorced his wife saying he was gay, then quietly pawned off to the South and an unsuspecting Archbishop Dmitri by the late Archbishop Job is also well documented in the Midwest files. This man wanted to divorce his wife because he said he was gay, and yet he is allowed to still be a priest? Certainly there are cases of divorced Orthodox priests who because of the circumstances are blessed to continue to serve as priests, but this case is not one of them in my reading of the Canons.

                Bishop Michael in the OCA diocese of NY/NJ has his hands full with clergy prancing around while living secret lives. And don’t forget, Jillions went to Johnstown to look not only into +Matthias files but also +Michael’s when they were both clergy of the Carpatho-Russian diocese. Why?

                The question remains is Syosset going to do anything about it or are they going to be selective in their prosecution of clergy misdeeds? Up to this point it appears that they are using their Office of Sexual Misconduct as a means to prosecute and create a Nixonian “enemies list” while ignoring and protecting their friends. Remember it was Syosset that raised the flag that they were going to “clean things up” that there would be “zero tolerance” in clergy misconduct. Yet, the evidence points to them trumping up charges against Metropolitan Jonah “shielding a rapist” when in fact His Beatitude did just the opposite and sent this miscreant packing. Yet the clear case of Burke continues to be ignored? Other cases right under their noses are passed over?

                The same is true with Bradley in DC. +Theodosius covered for Bradley and so did others and the result was a man advising openly gay men and women that their lifestyle was compatible with being Orthodox, and why not give such advise when his own lifestyle was given the good ol “wink, wink, nudge, nudge. The result? The DC Cathedral has lost scores of good people to other Orthodox communities in the DC area. These were not people who left the Faith, rather they left a community that was not living the Faith or worse perverting it for their own ends. People are not stupid nor blind and in DC the good people had enough and left.

                The lifestyle of the retired priest in NJ, who is also a mentor to the current Chancellor (as he himself shared) was an open secret in that diocese and in the parish. Nothing was ever done. Why? Well the priest in question was doing a “good job” in the parish. No problems, all was calm and no need to cause trouble, better to let someone else deal with it later, if at all.

                But now we have an Office of Sexual Misconduct right? But exactly who is pushing which cases and for what reasons? Fr. Jillions would not accept the verdict of the spiritual court in NY/NJ when the case he brought against a priest of the diocese ruled that the priest was not guilty of the charges brought against him by Jillions. The diocese made its decision but that was not good enough for Syosset. Yet, again, Syosset does nothing about cases that are not in the least ambiguous.

                I hope that Syosset can get its act together when it comes to clergy and episcopal misconduct, but up to now all I have seen are attempts to placate “friends’ and punish “enemies.” There is no need to say too much, for much has already been said in the manner of how Bishop Matthias’ case was disposed of by Syosset, yet the irony of having Bishop Alexander as one of the people who gave Matthias the gun to shoot himself into retirement is sheer hypocrisy and now +Alexander is being prepared to take over the Midwest? Here is a man who should have never been ordained because of serious impediments let alone made a bishop, but having the goods on a guy makes him an amenable tool. It is just corrupt, wrong, and in the end tragic that the once hopeful example of the OCA has become a joke. But maybe it was a Potemkin Village all along?

                It does bring tears to my eyes but unless we speak up and demand a real housecleaning the OCA will die from within as it seems to be doing right now. There is not one bit of joy in writing this, not one bit. Why, because good priest and laity are suffering. They are wounded and have been forced to make compromising decisions to ignore what is obvious in the hope? that maybe things will get better?

                I weep but maybe, just maybe, a new generation of OCA leaders, not the ones we have now who have built their careers on the bones of others, can be raised up and can begin the long and difficult job of setting a true and honest new direction for the OCA into the future.

                A good first step would be to admit that +Jonah got screwed and was treated badly and that he continues to be treated badly by not being even considered for one of the many vacant Sees in the OCA. But that would mean that Syosset and the Synod would have to admit they at least over-reacted, and at worse conspired to remove a man they elected and despite his many administrative flaws, (as if the current members of the Synod are examples of bold and inspiring leadership) was someone who inspired people and who with people around him to shore up his weaknesses and not exploit them, could have concentrated on his strengths and maybe given enough time, might have been a good Metropolitan?

                Sadly, all water of the dam now. But I still have faith enough to hope for better days for Orthodoxy and the wounded OCA.

                • Regarding your paragraph 6:

                  There never was a rapist priest, as far as I know from witnesses. There was no rape, nor attempted rape. What there was was a drunken priest, never accepted into the OCA, who was counseled by the Metropolitan concerning his alcoholism and who chose not to heed the Metropolitan’s words.

                  It is incredibly sad that the Holy Synod has allowed this, its allegation concerning the Metropolitan to stand without public retraction.

                  • Paul Ford says

                    There never was a rapist priest, as far as I know from witnesses.

                    That is also the account that I received from witnesses.

                    Their is also a question about his drunkenness. There where two drunken episodes. Admittedly they were big ones. That does not constitute a drinking problem. There are many reasons one can have bleeding ulcers. The main reason being the long term use of NSAIDs. Alchohol consumption is not even listed as a cause of a perforated ulcer (Metropolitan Jonah assumes this is the case and writes it in his letter to the so-called AP). Other than these two particular episodes there were no other incidents reported or behavior observed. A little strange considering that he was living in a fish bowl.

                • Rdr. James says

                  Perhaps, other James, you could say just exactly what impediments militated against Bp. Alexander Golitzin? You seem to have information but why are you so reluctant to be specific?
                  If you don’t give it up, you are simply a ‘gossiper’, and we know what the scriptures says about such.

                  Rdr James Morgan


          • If you read through this web site of the last 2 years you can find their names and locations at least once.

            James is correct to squeek the wheel. If the OCA wants to be trusted and stop speculation, then it needs a Church court to address these (and other) concerns.

            The reason these keep coming up again and again is because the OCA does nothing which implies complicity. . .

          • Philippa says

            On the other hand, if you want different results…..then name names, document, give proof, and get the word out.

            Take your first allegation,…..If Bishop Nikon (the locum tenens of the DoS) were hammered with names, documentation, and proof about this issue day in and day out, and if the deanery in Florida were hammered day in and day out with specifics and with complaints of how ridiculous and non-Christian this situation is, how it sets a bad example for Orthodoxy, how it inhibits church growth and evangelism, etc., then something would have to happen and things would change

            Dear Gregg,

            You have no idea how much I wish and have prayed that this would be true. It isn’t. What you cite was done with regard to His Grace, Bp. Matthias, as well as for years with regard to other situations in the OCA. It was ignored. Plain and simple. I’ve been one of those voices doing the hammering….both public and private. What I wrote to them is coming to fruition. Not because I said it, but because it is the natural consequences.

            Now His Beatitude Met. Tikhon has been invited to Moscow the end of July to celebrated the 1025th Baptism of Rus’. You can bet that His Holiness is gonna kick His Beatitude’s booty around the block due to the shambles of the OCA.

            Sad, isn’t it?

    • Joseph I. says

      Cockroaches, under every rock…

      Thank you James for pointing at them, again…

    • So many accusations. No names. Live in the light!

  3. Did I not tell y’all lo half a year ago that there were significant problems with this place, run by Roman Catholics with questionable sexual histories and that this amounted to subjecting our dear Metropolitan Jonah to an awful kind of incarceration?

    Who suggested St Luke’s as an appropriate place for our very sane Metropolitan in the first place?

    Underscoring that sanity, be blessed by listening to Metropolitan Jonah’s sermon last Sunday, whi8ch follows and adds to Father John Johnson’s reading in English of Patriarch Kiril’s sermon:

    05.12.13. Paschal message of His Holiness Patriarch Kirill (in English) and Sermon of Metropolitan Jonah on St Thomas Sunday:

    • Yes you or someone did.

      Who suggested it?-We all know who, that’s been talked about here too . . . .

      • Transparency says

        I actually don’t know. How much research should people do on a 2/3 political blog in order to attempt to document the need for Orthodox behavior in our Church? Both Christina Fevronia, an anonymous individual, and your husband, a well known individual, tried to document what they had to say as part of the church scandal concerning the Metropolitan, for example. How many people are going to support change in the hierarchy when they have to spend considerable time researching why they should mistrust their hierarchy on a majority political website.

        We must be transparent even as we expect transparency.

  4. M. Stankovich says

    Mr. Michalopulos,

    Let me see if I understand the logic here: St. Luke’s Institute is an Institute held in the highest regard among it is peers (objectively evaluated, for example, by its H-Index) for its continuous contribution to the body of scientific evidence and its seminal & pioneering work among impaired clergy. Nevertheless, because its CEO – an administrative position as opposed to a clinical position – is accused of financial impropriety and an improper relationship with an adult (for a celibate priest), this is sufficient to “nullify” SLI’s clinical expertise & judgment. More specific to your purpose, however, is that if this respected and renowned Institute had concluded that Jonah Pauffhausen, for example, was the proud father of an Axis II, Cluster B, Personality Disorder, this would be “grave error” in light of the new “revelation.”

    You are aware that Lt. Col. Jeff Krusinski, head of the Sexual Assault Prevention and Response Office for the US Air Force, was arrested last week when, while intoxicated, he “allegedly approached a woman in a parking lot in Arlington, Va., and grabbed her breasts and buttocks.” Wow, what an unlikely event. So much for our air defense.

    I am sure there is not a single healthcare professional at SLI who questions their own education, training, capability, competency, clinical judgment, or simple common sense based on the actions of Monsignor Edward J. Arsenault. Whatever they concluded regarding Jonah Pauffhausen was measured, sound, evidence-based, and accurate. You insult them without cause.

    • Carl Kraeff says

      Dear Mr. Stankovich,

      You are asking our esteemed host to post with logic, restraint and common sense… Enough said.

      It is so interesting how folks make associations. If we were to take the same approach, we would doom many local churches to perdition, just like folks are doing here to the OCA. I am thinking of Astoria (Constantinople),Toledo (Antioch), and locations in Serbia and Russia.

      Who would have thought that an Orthodox Inquisition is born in this free country? I am sick of it.

      • George Michalopulos says

        I’m glad to hear that you are sick of the “Orthodox Inquisition.” I’m sure that His Beatitude will be happy to hear of it, as well as The DC Nuns.

        • Carl Kraeff says

          The DC nuns were lawless monastics who did not wish to have nobody over them except their elder in Greece. Even ROCOR had to set them loose. Why Georgia took them in is a mystery but they will also learn that you cannot make wine out of corn.Why +Jonah invited them is clearer now; he was driven by his narcissistic personality disorder.

          • George Michalopulos says

            If The DC Nuns were “lawless monastics” then why did they nurse their then-chaplain back to health? Would he agree with your assessment. Good Lord, man, do you have no fear of God?

          • Heracleides says

            “…he was driven by his narcissistic personality disorder.”

            Splinter, eye, plank. Physician, heal thyself.

          • Seraphim98 says

            Narcissistic personality disorder?

            For shame…..for shame… how vicious, disgusting and manifestly untrue….just lies and defamation. There is not a word in the English language that can significantly express my amazement and revulsion at such calumny to lay against Metropolitan Jonah. Miracle grow has nothing on that shovel of steaming fresh free range post processed bull fodder.

      • I remember reading a couple of articles about St Luke’s Institute that horrified me, back around the time of the Seattle AAC. So I did a few searches.

        I am sure that there are many fine people employed by St. Luke’s Institute. However, it has also been a subject of considerable controversy, based upon a Google search. The founder of the Institute, a Reverend Michael Peterson MD, was a priest who died from AIDS complications in 1987.

        There were safety issues around 2009 regarding lack of supervision for suicide risks.

        There was a satellite facility closed over some homosexual scandal.

        And the head of the institute prior to Monsignor Edward J. Arsenault, the one who just resigned, was a Father Rossetti. If the material on the Internet is to be believed (always a big ‘if’) Father Rossetti had some really “progressive” opinions on homosexuality and celibacy in general. For example:

        In an article entitled “Salt for their Wounds” Leslie Payne provided this appalling information: (Salt for Their Wounds)

        In the introductory essay that opens his book, “The Myth of the Child Molester” (which was written before he came to St. Luke’s), Father Rossetti suggests that most people have pedophiliac urges, but are able to repress them. He believes that most instances of pedophilia are never discovered, and this is especially true of the pedophiliac acts committed by women. Rossetti is particularly suspicious of mothers, explaining that it is “easier for a mother in our society to disguise inappropriate contact with youngsters as maternal acts of cleaning, grooming, and dressing.”

        Father Rossetti also stresses his belief that there is no connection between homosexuality and pedophilia. In his concluding essay, “Challenge to the People of God,” he reiterates his theory that most people have some degree of sexual attraction to children. He quotes a 1976 study by the late psychologist Robert Stoller, which concluded that it is not possible to find “a line on the continuum of sexual behavior that could separate normal from perverse.” He faults the Church for cultivating “a climate of repression and/or obsession,” which he says leads to deviant sexual behavior.

        Another article indicated that Rossetti finds age appropriate sex an answer to the problem of pedophile priests.

        He [Fr. John Harvey] takes issue with Stephen Rossetti’s A Tragic Grace: The Catholic Church and Child Sexual Abuse (see last article on page)

        Rossetti, for example, says that acts with post-pubescent children by the “majority of perpetrators” are “more amenable to treatment”. One of the treatment goals “is to develop satisfying relationships with age-appropriate peers.” But what does Rossetti mean? According to Grisez, Rossetti holds that no change in sexual orientation is necessary for the “perpetrators” – actively homosexual men; consequently, “with treatment, they can stop committing crimes with underage men and enjoy ‘satisfying relationships with age-appropriate peers’ [Rossetti’s expression]….”

        Incidentally, it is this Fr. Rossetti that is being requested to return to the Institute while Monsignor Arsenault sorts out his financial and sexual scandals.

        Here are some of the links, posted previously on Monomakhos, which caused me to look further into the reputation of St Luke’s Institute. Skip the first one if you’ve got a weak constitution; it describes a diagnostic modality which really is humiliating and disgusting. Think “A Clockwork Orange” maybe.

        Fr. Bachand and the Saint Luke Institute

        More on the St. Luke Institute

        Sex Expert Is Bad Choice for Priests Convocation

        The point of all of this?

        The Institute has a pretty “modernist” slant on priestly sexual activity, and appears to affirm homosexuality rather than call it out as sin. Despite the fact that Met. Jonah had gotten prior evaluations with nationally respected experts at the Synod’s request,(twice, I think) there was no let up on the insistence that he be evaluated at St. Luke’s Institute. Given that SLI appears to have a very checkered past, and has a political/philosophical agenda they are pushing, and given that Fr. Denis Bradley seems tightly connected there, one might conclude that the evaluation of Met. Jonah at SLI might be more politically than therapeutically driven. Met. Jonah would have been well served to get another opinion had they diagnosed a hang nail. (And Michael, I saw what you did there. Really reprehensible.)

        In any event, the resignation of which George writes is not an isolated incident with respect to SLI. They, like the OCA, have had a long “time of troubles.”

        • George Michalopulos says

          Sue, thank you for this research. SLI is a sick, modernist institution that is at odds with Christianity. As you have discovered for us, it’s previous (and now present) director is not only deluded –in that he believes that all people have a propensity towards paedophilia–but one who sees nothing wrong with priests engaging in homoerotic activity provided they do not involve children. (But just wait, the definition of “children” is just as elastic as everything else Rosetti teaches.)

        • Oh boy. “Mother’s and inappropriate contact with children” . . . “most people have pedophaliac urges” . . . what in the Sam Hill!?

          This place scores high for you does it, Stancovich? Why would I not be surprised . . . .

        • M. Stankovich says


          The problem with your “research” is that it is one-dimensional, leaving the impression that it is St. Luke’s Institute for “Sexual Deviancy & Paedophailia.” This is a false impression in that it places “our dear sane Jonah” among a band of sexual deviants with clinicians set on “discovering” deviancy. SLI is a licensed & accredited psychiatric facility which happens to provide a specialized research & treatment program for sexually-offending clergy.

          Secondly, in my estimation, the only reason you could be “horrified” by anything you have presented is because you are completely ignorant of the reality of the theories of etiology, assessment & diagnosis, treatment, actuarial prediction of recidivism (which in many cases includes prediction of safety & dangerousness), and community placement & monitoring of sex offenders. And while your “horror” sources from Google, I quickly approach 500 face-to-face diagnostic assessments with felony sexual perpetrators – 80% of which are child sexual perpetrators, and the remaining 20% are rapists, sexual torturers, “users of foreign objects” and the like. I will save you time by saying there is no unifying theory for the cause of paedophilia; there is no correlation with homosexuality; measured with the single criterion of recidivism (re-offense), there is no treatment modality or program in this country that provides even a moderate amount of success; St. Luke’s Institute has consistently provided the best means of assessing & predicting clergy who will re-offend and who will be a danger to the community; and no one has demonstrated any form of treatment that better protects the safety of the community than incarceration.

          My point is that yours is an amateurish “witch hunt” through Google because you do not have any reasonable criteria by which to measure “inadequacy.” I suggest you search for SLI and the prediction of dangerous & recidivism among Catholic priests who are paedophiles. You will find a respected and valued research contributor. I would suggest that before you undertake “research” again, you at least establish some form of honest comparison.

          • Seraphim98 says

            What criteria does he need beyond establishing that the prevailing professional opinion there approves of certain things as “normal” and healthy that are manifestly condemned as deviant and perverse in the Church? It’s the kind a place a Christian who is faithful to traditional Christian morality would be labeled as deviant or troubled in some way for not approving what SLC approves of. Its moral center does not appear to be Christian. Once that is sufficiently established, its “professional” credentials and opinions are moot with respect to Orthodoxy and Orthodox Christian norms. It is a liberal “progressive” institution wearing a “Christian” fig leaf…and from all appearances, even that minimalist Christian label is starting to itch.

            It’s professional reputation is small dust in the balance if its take on human normalcy is anathematized by 2000 years of Christian tradition.

            • M. Stankovich says


              What don’t you get about this being a contrived & fabricated issue? What evidence do you have of a “prevailing professional opinion there?” Obviously, they accept health insurance as payment, so they are accredited by the Joint Commission. Are you aware of the voluntary scrutiny necessary for accreditation? They are a state licensed facility. Are you aware of the criteria for licensing?If they accept Medicare & Medicaid that is another significant layer of qualification. Each clinician is trained, licensed, and re-certified individually according to statute, including the necessity to meet all ethical qualifications.

              What is my point? SLI is not a “Christian,” or a Roman Catholic, or even a “religious,” facility. It is a Roman Catholic sponsored psychiatric hospital. The only thing that matters is its professional credentials. I was a resident in a Roman Catholic medical center in lower Manhattan sponsored by an order of nuns; the CEO was a priest, many nurses & staff were nuns; religious art decorated the corridors, every patient room had a large crucifix on the wall; there were numerous chapels and mass every morning, & priests came to every room every morning to offer communion, etc. I was never asked if I believed in God, my religious affiliation, my opinion as to homosexuality, abortion, nothing. A friend, the Chairman of the Dept. of Cardiology, was a Jew, and another friend, Chairman of the Dept. of Anesthesiology, was a Muslim. I ask you of what clinical consequence to me would it have been to if the CEO – whom I saw once from a seat in a large auditorium – was upstairs in his office making sacrifice to Molock? Do you figure it would be reduced to “small dust?” Seraphim, you do not have vaguest notion of what you speak and you are simply adding another “tangent” to this already foolish discussion.

              I have personally witnessed hundreds of times that when one is faced with the dire circumstance of an emergency related to the life of a parent, a spouse, or a child. one will beg for the best clinician and their God-given, God-guided talent to save their loved one. And the last thing on their mind is this clinician’s “opinions” of 2000 years of Christian tradition. They can return to anathematizing later.

              • Serpahim98 says

                “And the last thing on their mind is this clinician’s “opinions” of 2000 years of Christian tradition. ”

                So do I understand your implication to be that where the opinions the modern psychiatric profession differ from the received wisdom of the Orthodox Christian Tradition that the modern psychiatric opinion is to be preferred as more correct in it’s understanding?

                My essential point stands…modern psychiatry finds certain aspects of Christian morality and practice as disordered and mistaken to greater or lesser degree. Anyone who holds to traditional Christian mores would be labeled as defective in some way by modern psychiatric lights.

                That being so, it is irrational for Mt. Jonah to have been or to further be subjected to their tender mercies…especially when anti traditionalist agendas are being pursued by those who hate and betrayed Metropolitan Jonah.

                I do not doubt that great clinicians there have proven helpful in certain desperate situations that you have witnessed…God is good. That doesn’t translate into their general worldview being right or compatible with the Orthodox faith…the faith upon which the universe was founded…at least according our liturgical texts.

                “They are a state licensed facility. Are you aware of the criteria for licensing?”

                Not relavant. It’s institutional and therapeutic culture are relevant. Another poster raised serious questions about the integrity of that culture with respect to the teaching of the Church on sex, sexuality, sexual relations with minors, etc. If that institutional culture affirms such things as the “normalcy”/rightness of being gay and living a gay lifestyle, of sexual promiscuity regardless of orientation and its attempt to delink pedophaelic interests from homosexual inclination…as if it had no place on that spectrum, and on and on in that vein. I don’t need a professional license to have an informed opinion on that.

                • M. Stankovich says


                  Your essential point will “stand” when you demonstrate is it is accurate. And you will not because you cannot. I attempted to make this point several weeks ago: I collected sixty random articles I found in the National Library of Medicine between 2009-2013, searching for a correlation between “religion” and psychopathology” – the premise being, as you say, “modern psychiatry finds certain aspects of Christian morality and practice as disordered and mistaken to greater or lesser degree.”

                  I have only had the time to read a third of the full articles, but I have read the abstracts, methodologies, and discussions of all sixty studies. With the single noted exception of the frequency of “seasonal” mania in Bipolar Disorder I & II (periods of florid mania are often characterized by grandiosity, creativity, and “religious” thoughts & expressions), spiritual & religious beliefs & practices are seen as protective factors and something to be actively encouraged and supported; patients with spiritual/religious beliefs and who practice according to their beliefs generally have better outcomes in treatment. In fact, several of most current studies caution clinicians that a change in spiritual/religious practice must be carefully pursued as a possible symptom of relapse in mood-disordered patients. I have no idea what you mean by “certain aspects of Christian morality and practice as disordered and mistaken,” but the suggestion that any ethical clinician would even question the “morality” of a patient’s church is ridiculous. I challenge you to find this acceptable in any state’s ethical guidlines for mental health professionals.

                  And what, exactly, is a “therapeutic culture?” I worked in a county-contracted inner-city psychiatry clinic servicing the homeless and the chronically & persistently mentally ill. There were 3 psychiatrist, and 5 clinicians. The program director was a militant atheist, vulgar, spoke about female patients (particularly uninsured young women from the community college, referred because they had no health insurance) in vulgar terms, was insulting to clinical staff in case review, insulted support staff, and never responded to a code when there was violence in the building and someone was in trouble. Our clinical staff was one of the most respected in the county. Our charts were audited by the state and the federal Medicare/Medicaid systems and were near perfect. We had one of the best records for responding to emergency and crisis notifications. We had more homeless patients enrolled in pharmaceutical company’s “patient in need” programs saving nearly $500,000 from our budget in the first year alone. We had more therapeutic groups and more patients enrolled (e.g. psychosis, mood-disorder, chemical dependency, dual-diagnosis, women, men, young women, seniors) then programs 2-3x larger. And ultimately, when I closed my door, no one told me how to provide individual psychotherapy with any given patient. No one. Never. Anywhere. The director was a despicable human being and perhaps set the “mood” of the clinic, but the culture is set by the integrity, the training, and the ethics of the clinicians.

                  I do not know what you do for for a living, but you are not qualified to speak to this issue, and you refuse to learn. Your “opinion” is not informed, it’s foolish; filled with trite, unsupportable & unsubstantiated claims. I truly mean no disrespect, but if you truly would like to “debate,” start by supporting some of your claims with research.

                  • Seraphim98 says

                    Mr. Stankovich,

                    Let me make this simple enough so that even a highly educated person can understand it.

                    You wrote:

                    I have no idea what you mean by “certain aspects of Christian morality and practice as disordered and mistaken,”

                    Do the standards and practices of modern psychiatry in whatever volume of diagnostic reference they may be contained treat the subject of homosexuality as a minority but normal human state that requires no “fixing” or “struggle against” or is it classed as some species of mental or personality disorder? Does it rather treat it as a condition that should be embraced and accepted?

                    If it does not consider it a disordered state of some sort…one that is neither normal nor desirable…though it may be exceedingly difficult if not impossible in most cases to “fix”…then you do know what I mean.

                    If any other areas of the traditional moral stances held by Christianity are diminished, dismissed, or reviled…say chastity, virginity, or others condemned by the Christian faith are lauded, say…auto erotocism, viewing pornography, etc. then you know what I mean.

                    If things forbidden to Christians as immoral, soul destroying are seen as “not so bad” or approved of by the diagnostic wisdom of modern Psychology/Psychiatry, then you have a good sense of what I mean by a questionable therapeutic culture.

                    You say I’m not expert enough to have an opinion…and I’ll grant you I agree there are some things people don’t have a right to an opinion upon (me included) unless they have some substantial background in that thing….but then on the other hand I don’t need a degree in meteorology to know the difference between rain and the “claim” of rain by a joker trying to pee on my leg.

                    • Michael Bauman says


                    • M. Stankovich says


                      And let me make this simple enough that even you can grasp it: never, ever, not once – read it again – not one single time since entering this field in 1983 was I ever asked directly if I believed in God, was I a Christian, what are my moral beliefs, my opinion as to homosexuality, abortion, same-sex marriage, any resolution of the American Psychiatric/Psychological Association or the National Association of Social Workers with the exception of matters related to child abuse, elderly abuse, suicide, or the intention of harming others. Are you hearing me? Never. I have never ever heard the Christian values of chastity, virginity, prayer, fasting, or monasticism disparaged or referred to as “abnormal.” Never I have worked in the “therapeutic culture” of the United States military & the Veterans Administration; a private not-for-profit medical center sponsored by the Roman Catholic Church; local, state, and federal courts, probation & parole, and county and state prisons; a state university & medical school; in-patient & out-patient, and voluntary & involuntary services. My supervision has been observation by a team behind a one-way mirror, video-taped and critiqued, and live-observation by a “live” supervisior(s). Never once has anyone told me I must follow any opinion, philosophy, or “teaching” that is contrary to my own. Do you honestly believe I am alone?

                      Secondly, in accepting any new patient into practice, I carefully explain to them a process whereby we will interview each other to determine whether I believe I may be of help to this patient, and the patient determines if they believe I may be of help to them. For my part, having conducted a diagnostic assessment I am honest as to my ability and appropriateness. Two examples: one patient sought the necessary counseling under CA law for gender reassignment, and the other sought support in seeking a “therapeutic” abortion. In both cases I indicated that morally I could not assist them and offered to refer them, which they both declined. Presumably there is a vague licensing risk with the state, but my agency never questioned me. Do you honestly believe I am alone?

                      There is no question in my mind that there are an abundance of Orthodox nurses, physicians, psychologist, social workers, marital & family therapist, counselors, and allied healthcare professionals whose experience is identical to mine, regardless of what a professional organization to which the belong – probably just for inexpensive malpractice insurance – or union, or “therapeutic culture” as expressed by a department head or administrator, neither obligates them or requires them to compromise their faith or their ethical practice.

                      Seriously, my friend, I am not trying to be disrespectful, but you speak of a body, modern psychiatry, “it,” as a singular entity that expresses itself singularly and commonly. This is hardly the case. I wrote a series on the history of “diagnosis” and “un-diagnosis” of homosexuality beginning here and I wish it were as straightforward as you would suggest. But then again, you would think the weather would the easiest thing in the world to predict in America’s Finest City, San Diego. But it’s exactly why we wear the short pants…

                    • canihaveawitness? says

                      Nothing says “”Christ is Risen!” like an exchange of gratuitous insults by Orthodox Christians.

      • Michael Kinsey says

        I am a whole lot sicker of the homosexual, wolves in sheeps clothing, and the seeing innocent children damaged with impunity and then being required to kiss the rings of the perps. I considered abortion murder, and acted like it, blockading abortion clinic’s all over the country. Stand up to them and do something effect!!!! The inqusition is by far the lesser of the evils. Take your pick..

    • Michael Stankovich, I don’t suppose it’s worth my time to mention, once again, the evidence-based, qualified evaluators who found Metropolitan Jonah both sane and sober.

      The only reason the supposed SLI diagnosis carries any traction at all is because it’s the only place where it has ever been claimed to have found anything wrong with Metropolitan Jonah at all. You don’t even know if they actually even diagnosed him with anything.

      For what it’s worth, I could have sworn the “blunted affect” was a feature of Axis II, Cluster A personality disorders, not Cluster B. Don’t you remember insinuating that?

      • Carl Kraeff says

        Dear Helga–Who are those “evidence-based, qualified evaluators, wo that we can compared them to the qualifications of the evaluators at St. Luke’s?

        • Kentigern Siewers says

          Christ is Risen! Truly He is Risen!
          Cyril, certainly neither group included yourself. Yet you sit in diagnosis of a hierarch disrespectfully. Is it then only appropriate to be respectful of hierarchs when you like them? Is this what you have learned from your studies of the canons on which you have lectured so much here and elsewhere online?
          In Christ,

        • Kentigern Siewers says

          Christ is Risen! Truly He is Risen!
          I was going to add a few words on marriage from Elder Aimilianos of Simonopetra to the earlier thread on “sexual minorities,” but it seems now to be turned off, so I thought I’d add them here, as they are worth thinking about on any thread I think. He does not speak of “sexual minorities.” But he does note that, “It is not permissible for anyone to avoid the bonds of marriage, whether he concludes a mystical marriage by devoting himself to God, or whether he concludes a sacramental one with a spouse.” Of the latter he said, “In marriage, it seems that two people come together. however it’s not two but three. The man marries the woman, and the woman marries the man, but the two together also marry Christ. So three take part in the mystery, and three remain together in life….this is the meaning that marriage has in the Orthodox Church, which brought you into being: ‘I am married’ means I am the slave of Christ.”
          Yours unworthily in Christ,

      • M. Stankovich says

        Knows the Score,

        M. Stankovich says:
        January 8, 2013 at 7:41 pm

        As for the letter [STINKBOMB] that seems to be driving you to the brink of sanity, I have not been shown evidence that it is a lie beyond conjecture, speculation, and assumption. The only person who will change my mind is Jonah himself. When he confirms it to be founded on misinformation or fabrication, I will change my opinion. Until that time, silence is consent. In every case, it is moot, a footnote to Jonah the footnote.

        What is up with you anonymous characters? You can’t seem to read or remember? See your doctor.

    • Gail Sheppard says

      RE: “I am sure there is not a single healthcare professional at SLI who questions their own education, training, capability, competency, clinical judgment, or simple common sense. . . ”

      Your statement is completely true and this is precisely the problem. That which was formerly under the Providence of God is now subject to (subordinate to) a clinician’s education, training, capability, etc., without question.

    • Carl Kraeff says

      If it is true that +Jonah suffers from a personality disorder, especially Cluster B, then that may be the reason for nobody wanting him. Here are the range of possibilities:

      Cluster B (dramatic, emotional or erratic disorders)
      Not to be confused with Type B personality.

      Antisocial personality disorder: a pervasive disregard for the rights of others, lack of empathy, and (generally) a pattern of regular criminal activity.

      Borderline personality disorder: extreme “black and white” thinking, instability in relationships, self-image, identity and behavior often leading to self-harm and impulsivity.

      Histrionic personality disorder: pervasive attention-seeking behavior including inappropriately seductive behavior and shallow or exaggerated emotions.

      Narcissistic personality disorder: a pervasive pattern of grandiosity, need for admiration, and a lack of empathy. Characterized by self-importance, preoccupations with fantasies, belief that they are special, including a sense of entitlement and a need for excessive admiration, and extreme levels of jealousy and arrogance.”

      If +Jonah suffers from one of these, no wonder that some of his buddies are attacking St Luke’s, psychiatry and psychiatrists. If +Jonah suffers one of these dreaded Cluster B disorders, I would think that the first three do not apply, not only leaving the fourth as a default but the most likely based on his behavior that we know of.

      • Oh come on! How absurd! Stankovich suffers from most of those! So do you Carl. Why don’t you ask people who are around +Jonah ALL THE TIME what we see-and for that matter why don’t ask the other health professionals that examined him?!

        Talk about attacking someone’s character, having it affect them economically and socially– you guys take the cake. And you were going on about how +Jonah’s supporters fought so terribly, you are a hypocrite. I have never in my life come across such ugliness until this mess in the OCA and worse those who try to defend their embarrassing actions by acting worse. Where is your moral gage? Shame on you!

        • Carl Kraeff says

          Colette–Think about it. It makes sense. Take Santa Fe; the man agrees, not once but three times that he will check into some facility. As soon as he leaves town, he changes his mind. What kind of a grown person would do that? Children do: Yes, Mommy I will not hit my sister ever again. Mommy goes to the next room and whack! I will tell you what kind of person: somebody narcissistic like +Jonah. Unless, you think that he suffers from arrested development and is living in perpetual brat-hood. It also makes sense that the one and only report of his diagnosis came from one of his buddies who told us that it was “OCD.” What a load! It was a way to distract us from the real diagnosis, wasn’t it? You see, you can control OCD with medications but a personality disorder–that is another thing all together.

          You can take what I say above as attacks on the man’s character. He deserves it; nobody forced him to promise and turn back on his word, over and over again. I am just surprised that y’all still support a “gravely troubled” man to the point of waging scorched earth warfare on any and all who would dare to oppose this tragic figure. Y’all are a bunch of sadists who would crucify the boy who pointed out the obvious. No, shame on you!

          • Seraphim98 says

            “As soon as he leaves town, he changes his mind. What kind of a grown person would do that?”

            A kind and gentle man provoked almost past endurance by those seemingly faithless brothers, who when he had a chance to step back from the heat of the moment and reflect with greater clarity on what was being done realized a party of them were trying to manipulate him in order to discredit and ruin him since it was clear he was going to stand for a robust Orthodox witness in this land and not be a sock puppet for progressivist hidden agendas on the Holy Synod.

            I was never so proud of our Metropolitan as when he faced down the mendacity of certain of his “brother” bishops at Santa Fe.

            Metropolitan Jonah was not and is not gravely troubled….thought he has been grievously and sorely wounded without cause by those who should been his brothers in deed more than in just word.

            Those who hated him won…at least for the time being, why they want to persist of persecuting him and defaming him is mind boggling. It is not compatible with any sort of Orthodoxy or Christianity I’ve ever encountered. It all reminds me of the Sanhedren members not content that through their instigation Christ was crucified they felt they needed to further desecrate His remains some way…just to get the message home to His followers.

            Though perhaps I should be more circumspect in my expression of disgust and dismay at the words and actions of Metropolitan Jonah’s detractors. The more they disrespect and rail against him, the purer and brighter the silence of Metropolitan Jonah shines. Maybe we are witness to God making a saint…painful as that is to see. If he’s faithful till the end…maybe. Saint in the making or not very vicious thing they say and do concerning him adds crowns to his head. May God have mercy on those who hate him and on those who are troubled at heart for his sake. Axios Metropolitan Jonah. Axios Axios.

            • Archpriest Andrei Alexiev says

              Yes,Seraphim,if we want to hold Metropolitan Jonah to his word about everything,we have to do the same for everyone else.We excuse Metropolitan Sergius for his Declaration of 1927,I’m sure in his heart of hearts,he regretted committing the sin of lying to prevent further Soviet actions against the church(of course,the persecutions continued unabated).I wouldn’t consider Metropolitan Sergius worthy to be canonised a saint,but I won’t undertake to condemn him,either.In his place,I might have done just as badly,or even worse.
              Ironicly enough,the bully tactics used against Metropolitan Jonah remind me of the worst tactics some Russian parishoners used against me in the past.It appears that SOME Russians equate kindness for weakness,and humility for stupidity,though in my case,I may have indeed been guilty of the latter,much more so than Metropolitan Jonah.
              Some people would hold the priest to the standards of the Gospel,while allowing themselves to operate an illegal bingo(“all for the good of the church,of course”).Then there were those who would write out a check to the church for,say,$50.00 and then take $30.00 “change”.One man claimed he spent his “change” at the coffee hour,so it really all did go to the church,but I doubt if that was true for everyone who wrote such checks.At annual meetings,such types would push me to the point where I lose it and then they could say,”Aha,what kind of a priest are you?” I suspect that in Metropolitan Jonah’s place,I would have done worse,but I don’t feel worthy enough to be a priest,let alone a hierarch or head of an Autocephalous Church,
              I am happy to report that there does seem to be a new breed of Russian in many ROCOR parishes today.There seem to be sincere,pious people,who take church seriously and who welcome non-Russians as well.This has led me to look more favorably on the ROCOR submission to the MP than I did a few years back.I applaud Fr.Victor Potapov for welcoming Metropolitan Jonah to St.John’s Cathedral in Washington.My esteem for him has soared.

              • M. Stankovich says

                Fr. Andrei,

                I don’t know if you are interested, but I just finished the second of two recent and fascinating books dealing with the history of the City of Detroit: Detroit: An American Autopsy, which is the personal family story of Pulitzer Prize winner Charlie LeDuff (2013), and the second is Detroit: A Biography by Scott Martelle (2012). As I have mentioned here previously, my maternal grandparents were Serbian and Russian immigrants respectively who owned a small restaurant catering to auto workers in Detroit; my father was a Chetnick officer liberated from Dachau and allowed to immigrate through Italy to Detroit; and I was baptized in the original Ravanica cathedral. They are, obviously, not “happy” readings, but they are fascinating.

                • Archpriest Andrei Alexiev says

                  Christ is Risen!


                  Thank you for the recommedations.I know Charlie LeDuff from Fox 2 News here;I did check out the book at Barnes and Noble last Sunday.I haven’t had a chance to check out the other book.Is there by chance some mention of Ravanica or the Serbian Orthodox Church in general in it?
                  If your father was in Dachau,there’s a good chance he encountered St.Nicholai of Zica there.My late wife used to recall him from his days as Rector of St.Tikhon’s,where he reposed in 1956,my wife was ten at the time.
                  My late wife’s father,Andrew,was baptised by St.Alexis Toth in Wilkes-Barre in 1904.What I didn’t realise at the time was that my wife reposed in the very day when St.Alexis is celebrated,May 7th!
                  I myself was born in Irvington,NY,but grew up in Vermont from age four.My mother was of Scottish descent,Dad came here at the outbreak of the Russian Revolution.

                  • M. Stankovich says

                    Fr. Andrei,

                    Indeed He is Risen!

                    I was not ignoring you, but I am reluctant to share personal information with you here lest it be trivialized into so much Forest Gump. Nevertheless, I will confirm for you the fact that Serbian officers felt it their duty to protect St. Nicholai and to secure for him the privacy – most often for himself alone – to serve the Liturgy (e.g. horse stalls or dilapidated equipment sheds) and either “casually” lead the faithful to him to receive the Eucharist, or “nonchalantly” accompany him as he went to the faithful, all without drawing any attention. One officer I knew personally told the story of being “caught” with another officer, though the authorities knew nothing more than they were “up to something.” They were dumped into a dry well and horse harnesses were dumped on them. I suspect we can only imagine such harshness.

                    When I was a child, Bishop Nicholai was buried next to the monastery church in Libertyville, IL, with simple white cross and candles people placed in the ground. My father cried like it was the end of the world.

              • George Michalopulos says

                And I thought we Greeks had the monopoly on this type of behavior!

                Anyway, is it any wonder that our priests are burned out in this country? It’s bad enough they have to deal with this type of behavior on a daily basis but the real tragedy is that the bishops don’t have their backs.

                Is it any wonder there is no Orthodox creativity in America?

                • Archpriest Andrei Alexiev says

                  Christ is Risen!

                  My current spiritual father,Fr.Stavros,is a Greek American,who began his priestly service in the OCA.After the OCA forced the new-style on his predominantly Russian parish,he and the parish left for ROCOR.He later served in the Greek Archdiocese,including a Byelorussian parish under Constantinople.He noe is back in ROCOR.My late spiritual father,Hieromonk Kallistos,began his service as a married priest in the Serbian Orthodox Church.His Serbian wife was a casualty of parish life;she left him;after being recieved into ROCOR,he took the monastic tonsure.I recall some horror stories about some Greek parishes.
                  I will say that my own bishop,Bishop Peter,does seem to be very supportive of his priests.His Grace has revitalised the ROCOR Chicago-Midwest Diocese.Every inch a Russian,Bishop Peter has fostered English speaking missions from the tip of Northern Michigan to Texas.I would say Bishop Peter is a “hands-on” bishop.

          • Michael Bauman says

            Carl, none of this makes any sense at all. Even considered in the best light I can imagine, the OCA has proven itself a total mess. One has to question where the belief of the leaders actually is.

      • Kentigern Siewers says

        Christ is Risen! Truly He is Risen!
        Cyril, you’re engaging in destructive speculation about a hierarch, as a layperson. This is exactly everything that you’ve always criticized about threads online by others being disrespectful of hierarchs, and more. Is not online diagnosing of others’ supposed mental health, particularly a lay person doing this publicly to a hierarch as an Orthodox Christian, itself narcissistic?
        You’re not just disagreeing with ideas or teachings, or even engaging in satire, you’re passing judgment on another’s total condition in a speculative yet pseudo-scientific way, objectifying a brother in Christ publicly who as a bishop is our shepherd.
        Wishing you and all nonetheless a joyous Radonitsa, and asking your prayers for me the worst of sinners,

        • Carl Kraeff says

          It has been building up for the longest of time. I pray that I will be able to back off. What I am saying, however, although imprudent, is the truth as I see it and I am very angry.

          • Michael Bauman says

            Speaking from long and sorry experience Carl: words spoken in anger are the fruit of one’s own will. Not of the truth.

          • nit picker says

            Mr. Kraeff-

            Christ is Risen! Truly He is Risen!

            The truth as you see it?

            So you are aware on some level that there can be only one version of reality?

            You are keenly aware that you are choosing to ignore it?

            How about choosing to embrace reality and stop towing the party line and your fantasies?

            You write:

            “take Santa Fe; the man agrees, not once but three times that he will check into some facility. As soon as he leaves town, he changes his mind”

            The conclusion you draw using your armchair wikipedia psychiatrist’s manual ( M. Stankovich was kind enough to provide all of us with an internet diagnosis *sarcasm alert* – something he NEVER does, which is incredibly unprofessional, and if he were actually licensed by the APA could get him into big trouble – MS what where you thinking dude?!! Don’t you have enough problems in your life!!? Dang! *sarcasm alert over*) “It fits! It all fits!”. If MS hadn’t pointed it out for you, I don’t think you would have known where to even begin looking.

            I’ve got another possibility for you and it is just as plausible, in fact, more plausible than the one you propose. +Jonah had been blindsided in Santa Fe. He did what he needed to do to get out of there alive with his head and soul in one piece because they were demanding answers from him IMMEDIATELY. When he had a chance to check out the legality, or rather illegality of what his synod had done according to the canons and Fathers of the Church (you should like that MS – you are always throwing them around) Met. Jonah said “um…no, thank you,” and continued on with more important and significant things.

            My scenario is more feasible than yours and is not nearly as angry. Try it on for size.

            • Carl Kraeff says

              You need to check your facts. +Jonah knew what he was getting into at Santa Fe. The chronology is straightforward;

              1/25/10: Stokoe fires first public salvo in article titled “the more things stay the same.”

              1/31/10: OCAN reports disagreement between +Jonah and +Nathaniel over the former’s proposal to move he CA to DC. OCAN also announces that the Winter Retreat of the HS will be held in Santa Fe in late February and this nugget “Among the proposals to be discussed is one by Metropolitan Jonah suggesting a reconfiguration of the diocesan boundaries, which would include dividing the Diocese of South, and attaching the parishes in the Atlantic South (Virginia, North & South Carolina,Georgia) to an enlarged Diocese of Washington under +Jonah. A previous attempt to simply reduce the number of dioceses was brought forward by the former regime at the 1999 AAC in Pittsburgh.”

              2/24/10: First OCAN report on the retreat includes this: “In an unusual move, Fr. Garklavs, the OCA Chancellor, was asked to address the Synod on Wednesday, February 23rd, to explain recent turmoil in Syosset. The Metropolitan had attempted to dismiss Fr. Garklavs on February 11th in a confrontation in Syosset, but Fr. Garklavs refused to accept the action as the appointment of the OCA Chancellor, as with all the officers, is a Synodal decision (upon recommendation of the Metropolitan Council) – not the sole prerogative of the Metropolitan. The Metropolitan had accused Fr. Garklavs of “disloyalty” in light of a recent report to the Synod from the Sexual Misconduct Policy Advisory Committee – a Committee formed by the Metropolitan of which Fr. Garklavs was a member – which was highly critical of the Metropolitan’s actions, and inactions, in this field over the past 2 years.”

              So, +Jonah knew or should have known of the problems that were going to be addressed at Santa Fe. It may be true that he miscalculated the extent of unity against him, but that hardly constitutes being “blindsided.” Come to think of it, if he truly felt that way, and in this I do believe you, than that is another indication of something being not quite right with his mind, character, mental health–take your pick. An amateur sleuth like me could even be emboldened to speculate that he did not see it coming because he suffers from narcissism.

              • Fr. Hans Jacobse says

                Carl, as a part-time writer, I can scan essays and see the time and effort it took to create them. This ability develops as a writer hones his skill.

                Here is what I noted after the first press release about the confrontation at Sante Fe published on OCAN and republished on my blog (before I shut down all debate on Met. Jonah):

                This report is from and recently posted. Obviously there is a significant degree of tension between Syosset (OCA headquarters) and Met. Jonah. I don’t know the ins and outs of the OCA, but it appears that this report, given the extensive detail, was probably prepared for publication before the suspension (the part beginning with “How Did This Happen?” reads as if it was carefully constructed and edited; it would have taken considerably more than a few hours to write).

                I never trusted OCAN after that. Nobody spits out a comprehensive press release of the kind OCAN did in just a few hours. If you look closely you can see it.

                • Carl Kraeff says

                  DEar Father Hans–I agree. My impression was that most of that article was prepared ahead of time; most of it was certainly a repeat of previously known/reported facts, but there was a bit of contingency planning going on. There is no question that Mark coordinated proposals on how to get rid of +Jonah, who by that time was clearly a huge liability (see the email leaked by Bishop Tikhon (Fitzgerald). The only question was the extent of the corrective actions. I do not think that it took too long for Mark to finish that prepared piece. The big question is not the veracity of the information that Mark reported or the propriety of the actions by the Holy Synod. The big question is whether Mark should have continued his reporting as an insider, a member of the MC.

                  • Fr. Hans Jacobse says

                    Carl, you have the chronology wrong. The leaked emails came later. They confirmed the observation I made about a doctored press release and justified my decision not to trust OCAN when it first proffered the story.

                    In any case, I am not interested in a discussion about OCAN and the OCA. My only point is that relying on OCAN for the chronology of the recent OCA troubles undermines your argument since the editor of OCAN was exposed as a driver of the events he wrote about.

                    OCAN in other words was an advocacy site, not a news site.

                    • Yep,

                      Poor Carl gets it wrong again. But I am not sure anyone will ever convince him that OCAN was an advocacy site and not a news site. OH, no, no, no. That would mean he would have to question his premise on so many other people and things. Best Carl sue for peace and take some time to get his facts straight and his head screwed on tight! 😉

                    • Carl Kraeff says

                      Dear Father Hans–I was talking about when the email was sent (Pre-Santa Fe) rather than when it came to light. Regarding OCAN as an advocacy site, I always thought it was so, way before +Jonah came into the scene. I rely on OCAN because there precious few other sources. The proof of the pudding is not who wrote those articles but whether official news sources backed up the OCAN narrative. At the end, you have the OCAN narrative backed up by official OCA and the whole sordid story boils down to one man against all others. There are sub-themes such as the homosexual takeover of the OCA, but ultimately it is all of the Holy Synod against +Jonah.

                • George Michalopulos says

                  Carl, your dancing skills amaze me. When you are caught in yet another misguided obeisance to one of the Stokovite’s contrivances, you search for yet another meaning, another nuance to justify your initial obeisance.

                  The facts are the facts: there was a conspiracy against Jonah from the first 100 days of his tenure. Before the “alcoholic, gun-toting Archimandrite,” entered the US, before his speeches in 2010 challenging the EP on the one hand and “reimagining autocephaly” on the other, before Manton started going off the rails, etc.

                  It’s just that you don’t want to see it. Hence your devotion to tainted sources and anachronistic timelines. It reminds me of something Woody Allen wrote in Side Effects: Don’t trust a Dead Sea Scroll if you see the word “Oldsmobile” in it.

              • George Michalopulos says

                Well, Carl, that settles it! Stokoe wrote it in OCAN: it must be true.

              • nit picker says

                Mr. Kraeff-

                Congrats! You amaze me. I have never met any other person in all my travels through out the globe who has enjoyed shooting themselves in the foot as often as you do and can be so oblivious to the injury they inflict on themselves. You must have an incredible tolerance for pain.


            • M. Stankovich says

              nit picker,

              I apparently missed your response here and, dude, you have seriously mischaracterized my statement. I have NEVER and I will NEVER provide you with a diagnosis. I provided an example of a diagnosis that would be nullified IF… I could have easily said Adjustment Disorder with Disturbance of Mood & Conduct to the same effect. Who cares?

              The point is this: I am not defending SLI the instution, nor am I concerned with disparaging or disrespecting the former Metropolitan Jonah. Seriously, why would I care or concern myself with his diagnosis? Someone sits with him for one or two hours, claims competency equal to mine, and declares “equality to the saints.” Who am I to say? It’s all good. This whole business has been drawn & quartered endlessly to no purpose other than to bore the living hell out of me. And to what end? Blah, blah, blather. It’s none of my business.

              It is the principle, however, that is essential here, and I fear that those in a position of influence and assistance will take from this foolish, foolish discussion that you cannot trust mental health professionals because they all will diagnose you as “abnormal” if you believe in chastity, virginity, the sanctity of life, the sanctity of marriage, the disorder of homosexuality, prayer, fasting, hesychia, theosis, the Eucharist, confession, monasticism , and so on. AND, you are able to overcome all forms of mental illness without further intervention; and if you are unable, it is a consequence of your inability to commend yourself to the podvig. Needless self-loathing, needless suffering, and needless self-incrimination. This is not the “saving examination of the conscience” that leads to life, but the confusing self-abasement that leads to despair. And it is inexcusable that it is promoted here.

              • nit picker says

                M. Stankovich,

                Thank you for taking the time to respond to my comments.

                I looked again at the original post:

                Ok, I see what you mean…I’ll acquiesce on the accusation of armchair diagnosis and apologize for getting on your back, but I’m not backing off of Mr. Kraeff on this one. I am sorry with you on one point though. Even though you did word it very carefully so as to make it clear that you weren’t making a diagnosis, Mr. Kraeff took that information and promulgated it as gospel truth. I don’t believe that he has the same degree of competency that you do to have found that information on his own and in that regard, you do share some responsibility.

                I agree with some of your points, in particular:

                It is the principle, however, that is essential here, and I fear that those in a position of influence and assistance will take from this foolish, foolish discussion that you cannot trust mental health professionals because they all will diagnose you as “abnormal” if you believe in chastity, virginity, the sanctity of life,…

                There are moments when we need to humble ourselves and admit… “yup, I got a problem.” However it would be just as foolish to deny that there are flaws in every system. It would be foolish to deny that people use their professional knowledge, their authority (and authority is not given as a weapon but to serve our brothers and sisters..a concept which you illustrate beautifully in your reflection here Seated at the Right Hand of Power I)to dominate, abuse, and manipulate. It goes without saying I do not view all mental health professionals in this light, but if there are enough clergy who are voicing views that are unpopular with a particular political agenda that are being targeted as being mentally unstable and they are all being sent to a particular place to be “fixed,” eventually a reasonable person needs to start noticing a trend.

                On your blog you give examples of other encounters you have had with your clients. Not that my opinion matters, but I see what you go through and I am amazed at your patience and endurance. I do not have a problem with your profession, I have a problem with how your profession is manipulated wrongly by people who are NOT QUALIFIED (you reading this Mr. Kraeff?) This is my problem with how Mr. Kraeff took the suggestion that you proffered and wielded it around like a weapon over someone that he has no authority or responsibility (Met. Jonah). If you had actually interviewed Met. Jonah and done the required testing, emotional inventories, so forth and so on and had been authorized by all relevant parties to make public your professional findings based on your direct observation as a licensed professional, who am I that I should take issue?

                However let’s say that I am a orthopedic surgeon. In a previous post some time ago you mentioned that you can not dance. That your butt hurts because of an injury…some sort of scuffle with an inmate. Even though you and I never meet in real life, I never see you walk, I never even see an x-ray, I pronounce on a public forum (without your consent) that based on what you stated you most likely suffer from a type of osteomyelitis in your lower vertebrae and require surgery.
                No one would dare take that kind of speculation seriously. Yet, Mr. Kraeff takes it and runs with it, insists on it and this in the end is the type of abuse that makes your profession look bad and keeps people who need assistance from seeking assistance. He hollers from the roof tops “It all makes sense!!” and starts changing around the sequence of events to fit his “reality.” Why? Because he has high GRE scores. Big frikin’ deal. This Dr. Stankovich is the frightening reality of sharing our thoughts with others. It can become their reality. We need to do so responsibly.

                • Wow. This is really carefully and respectfully written. You hit the complicated point we all observed but couldn’t write out on the head.

                  Thank you.

          • Kentigern Siewers says

            Christ is Risen! Truly He is Risen!
            I think from this, and knowing a bit of your heart from other posts, that you have some regret nonetheless. “The truth as I see it” is the problem for all of us. It’s not, as I know you know, how we see it, but the truth of the Church, in which we need to live, and that is always a stumbling block most of all for me as an American who likes to see my own truth.
            There’s a lot of spiritually unhealthy talk on all sides here and elsewhere online, and we need more guidance on this I feel.
            But kicking a man when he’s down, from the world’s perspective, and a hierarch to boot, and not in terms of a specific action or teaching, or even in jest, but in such a totalizing way, is the problem here.
            That it comes with such a vehement self-defense, and undoubtedly with the support of many, in the vocabulary of what C.S. Lewis called the secular “technocracy” that threatens the Church on so many levels, is the chilling thing. This one exchange makes me worry more for the future of the OCA, and entrusting our family to it, than much that I have seen online to date, Cyril, when it comes from someone such as yourself, who should be a pillar and hope of our church in so many ways.
            Apart from a five-minute talk a few years ago at a coffee hour, I had never spoken with Metropolitan Jonah until a month or so ago, when at a conference in DC I had a chance to talk with him for about an hour. He is what Colette has said, and not what you are saying, and that is apparent too from the witness of those who know him well. If you feel so angry about what you see as his sins or problems, then you should first meet and talk with him personally, too.
            The argument that everyone is doing this and so shall I, because I am angry and this is the truth as I see it, kicking the can farther to a lower level, is like saying the Sexual Revolution is going on, and I’m going to join it, as someone who knows better.
            And that in so many ways and so many levels is the kind of thinking that is sweeping all of us in American Orthodoxy into dark places at a time when our young people need us the most to be lights of the world in very dark times.
            Please pray for me, the worst of sinners,

            • George Michalopulos says

              I think you hit the nail on the head: kicking a man when he’s down and continuing to do so. A horrible witness. Why would anybody in his right mind join the Christian Church, much less the OCA?

      • Carl,

        Because it is true (not “if” it is true) that gay activists in the OCA set out to destroy Jonah and his reputation, specifically planning to use a sexual misconduct report and the proceedings around it as the “hook” to get rid of him a full year before they did what they said they would do, no one needs to concoct the kind of smut you waste your time and talents on.

        Wake up. Stop supporting evil.

        As for me, I cannot respect Jonah right now because he continues to submit his own time and talents to evil men. His submission and the response of the OCA to his gift makes it painfully clear for all the world to see that the OCA is not the Church, that it is not the Body of Christ. This organization is not what it claims to be. No other parts of the Body are stepping in to heal and correct the illness of the OCA. There is less international intervention to address the evil in this American church than what the Episcopal Church enjoyed when it accelerated its own suicide. It is not enough to claim formal authority when you have no moral authority. Any cult can do this, and every cult does do this. Jonah’s implicit belief that God will redeem the OCA and its current leaders is misplaced and naive. He has cast his pearls before swine, and the pigs have trampled his pearls into their own excrement and turned on him to devour him.

        • Carl Kraeff says

          +Jonah destroyed himself by going around the Holy Synod, scheming with the ROC to negate the tomos, and making questionable personnel decisions (that have backfired over and over again), acting like a brat and indeed suffering from some kind of mental disorder. If the gay lobby had a hand on this, they did not have to do much of anything but simply to point out that the emperor has no clothes.

          • George Michalopulos says

            First rule of holes, Carl: when you’re in one, stop digging.

            Your vituperative and ungentlemanly remarks against a legitimately elected Primate with no known moral defects have been called out by decent people such as Collette, Fr Alexander Webster, and others. You would be wise to take heed of the counsel of people of sterling character. Even if you cannot find yourself able to agree with them, you should stop and ask yourself why it is that such people have taken you to task.

            • Michael Bauman says

              George, if Carl is that out of line, don’t publish his posts.

            • Carl Kraeff says

              Quo vadis, George?

              You sure have attracted some sterling Orthodox Christians around you;

              Um, an Anglican, who says “the OCA is not the Church, that it is not the Body of Christ.”

              Colette, who has schismed and went over to ROCOR

              Fr. Webster, who also schismed and went over to ROCOR

              Ladder, a certified nut job.

              The execrable funny guy.

              A bunch of decent folks indeed who are lead by you to protect +Jonah by destroying the OCA.

              • Kentigern Siewers says

                Christ is Risen! Truly He is Risen!
                Cyril, we’ve been around this block 100 times. American Orthodoxy is non-canonical because of our having multiple hierarchs governing the same territories. It is not schismatic to go from one jurisdiction to another, and in fact ROCOR through the Moscow Patriarchate arguably is more canonical now than the OCA. The latter sought autocephaly without the blessing of the historical patriarchies as a whole, having negotiated that deal with a Russian Church leadership that at the time was deeply compromised by the Soviet regime persecuting Orthodoxy, and adopted a governance structure that is arguably non-canonical and without apparent precedent or parallel among other local Orthodox churches elsewhere in the world, not to mention it having eaten through three Metropolitans in a decade of scandal and controversy. Meanwhile your ally here defends the eminence of his friend the Chancellor (who occupies one of those innovative OCA governance features) while mocking a high-profile project of the Holy Synod, and thus an important aspect of our hierarchy’s public approach to moral issues, even though the Synod clearly is the canonical locus of governance of the OCA and not the Chancellor. All this while he himself apparently has left the OCA. And all this with your apparent support, while you engage in extremely disrespectful comments about an OCA hierarch and de facto encourage others to do the same, criticizing those with whom you disagree (members of Orthodox churches in good standing) as schismatics. The Ecumenical Patriarchate, which you profess for reasons of your own to favor over the Moscow Patriarchate, has expressed concern and displeasure over the treatment of Metropolitan Jonah, to which you have contributed online. So who is the real schismatic here?
                As always, please pray for me a sinner,

              • Michael Bauman says

                Carl, your logic eludes me. How is transfering from one jurisdiction to another “going into schism” .
                Are Fr. Webster and collete now no longer in communion with the OCA, the GOA, or Antioch?

                Would you say the same about the folks who left Antioch a few years ago for the OCA, or the Greeks who have come into the OCA. Is Bp Maymon a schismatic for instance?

                Now there are genuine schismatics in this country but they generally title themselves something like: “The One True Enduring and Genuine Cosmic Orthodox Church”, and refuse to commune in or with any of the other ‘apostate’ churches. Unfortunately your attitude is much more akin to that of schismatics than ROCOR, Fr. Webster or collete.

                ROCOR was never in schism. The always maintained they would reunite with Moscow when the Soviets were no longer in control. They did just that.

                We have enough problems of organization and leadership in the Orthodox Church already. No need to create ‘schism’ where there simply isn’t any.

                • Carl Kraeff says

                  As the good professor has said, we have inded covered this to exhaustion.I have made a distinction (based on dictionary definitions) between a person going into schism and a person who is a schismatic. The former is simply a person who leaves one body and joins another, while the latter is one who urges others to do so as well. Believe me I would have called Colette and Father Webster schismatics if they merited that adjetive. They did not in my opinion.

                  • Tim R. Mortiss says

                    I know little of the significance in this country of moving between ‘jurisdictions’, but your ‘distinction’ is clearly after-the-fact casuistic hairsplitting!

                    • Carl Kraeff says

                      A bit of history Mr. Mortiss: I was baptized by a proudly schismatic church–the Bulgarian Exarchate–in St Stephen’s Cathedral, just a couple of blocks from the St George, the cathedral of the Patriarch of Constantinople. I think that the Greeks in the city would not have hesitated to label me not only in schism but a schismatic, and they would have been correct. Same thing happened when my father became a priest of the Macedono-Bulgarian Diocese of North America under ROCOR. He carefully weighed his options for becoming a priest: Constantinople and Sofia were out, so he ended up being ordained by a ROCOR bishop in France.

                      I see folks switching jurisdictions in the United States all the time, most often for practical reasons, such as the non-availability of a parish of one’s normal jurisdiction. According to Wikipedia, a schism is simply a division between people–even if the word is usually applied to parishes or jurisdictions. OTOH, “A schismatic is a person who creates or incites schism in an organization or who is a member of a splinter group. Schismatic as an adjective means pertaining to a schism or schisms, or to those ideas, policies, etc. that are thought to lead towards or promote schism.”

                      One could say that I am indeed splitting hairs in emphasizing the less appealing connotation of “schismatic” which could also be a descriptive term. I choose not to do so for two reasons: (a) most folks look at both “schism” and “schismatic” in a bad light, as pejorative terms, and (b) sometimes to schism and indeed to be a schismatic is justified by unbearable wrongs that one has suffered. In my folks’ case, the wrong they suffered was the cultural genocide waged against them by both the Patriarchate of Constantinople and the nation of Greece.

                  • Michael Bauman says

                    Carl, you do violence to the meaning of the word schism. They did not leave one body and go to another. They left one part of the Body and went to another part of the same Body. At least that is always what I have taken being in communion with one another means.

                    Going into schism is a serious charge within the Orthodox world. You should not use it in such a cavilier manner.

                    • Tim R. Mortiss says

                      I can see, though, that the unusual situation of Orthodox overlapping jurisdictions in America complicates the terminology.

                      Is there a good word for non-schismatic jurisdiction swapping?

                    • Tim R. Mortiss says

                      What if you join Orthodoxy in the local Greek church, because they are nice folks and because you read this blog you have the impression that their episcopacy is more sound and solid, perhaps, but then you go to the OCA church because you really like those folks, have known some from of old, and you once saw and heard +Basil Radzianko himself there and was forever marked by the experience?

                      Both of their priests are very fine and pious men.

                      (Get thee behind me, Satan!)

                  • Well that’s not what I learned at Seminary. This is your own understanding Carl.

              • Carl,

                As much as I like George, he is not leading me. I have my own eyeballs and saw much too much myself.

          • George Michalopulos says

            And yet, isn’t it ironic Carl that that which you did not want –the surrender of the OCA’s autocephaly–is now the inevitable consequence of the treachery of Syosset?

            • Carl Kraeff says

              Nobody will surrender the autocephaly except to an administratively united and autocephalous church in North America. However, if Moscow rescinds the Tomos, I will advocate for an autonomous status under any other local church other than the Russians. Even Constantinople.

              • nit picker says

                Carl Kraeff

                You write:

                “I will advocate for an autonomous status under any other local church other than the Russians. Even Constantinople.”

                1. Since when do you have the authority to advocate for anything like the autonomous status of a church and how do I go about getting such authority? Just curious.

                2. I’m sure Constantinople would simply LOVE that!! I wonder if that is part of the deal that Bishop Melchizedek struck up with them to help normalize his status.

                • Carl Kraeff says

                  Dear Nit,

                  1. As a member of good standing of the Orthodox Church in America and under the Constitution of the United States, I believe I have that right.

                  2. Constantinople would of course love it. And, no Bishop M’s visit to the GOAA had more top do with Constantinople’s displeasure over the DC Nuns than anything else.

                  Let me ask a question: Why do you continue to repeat the libelous charges made by George against Bishop M?

                  • nit picker says

                    Mr. Kraeff

                    You write:

                    Let me ask a question: Why do you continue to repeat the libelous charges made by George against Bishop M?

                    libelous: Involving or constituting a libel; defamatory.

                    libel:defamation by written or printed words, pictures, or in any form other than by spoken words or gestures, purposeful lie about someone, often malicious….for example calling someone lawless, without cause, the way you did the other day in your post concerning the DC Nuns.

                    lawless: not regulated by or based on law

                    You, Mr. Kraeff have slandered the so-called DC Nuns by calling them lawless. Tyrannical bullying Mr. Kraeff, like that of Stalin, Hitler and dare I say it…yes…satan, that demands answers and asserts authority where it does not have authority…that is lawlessness.

                    For pity’s sake Mr. Kraeff! For shame Mr. Kraeff! Your fig leaf suit has a gaping tear, your nakedness shows and you aren’t even slightly embarrassed to spew poison from your keyboard at a bunch of nuns who don’t even know you exist? Really. I’m ashamed for you, even if you aren’t ashamed for yourself.

                    You have failed to demonstrate that Bishop Melchizedek’s release and acceptance was anything but irregular. Why you imagine I owe YOU an answer for anything is beyond me unless of course you failed to accurately self-diagnose, and “physician heal-thyself” of your own Axis II, Cluster B, plank in the eye, personality disorder.

                    BTW, you shot yourself in the foot and proved George Michalopulos’ theory as written in “Stinkbomb II.” If you aren’t being coached by someone “higher up” how is it that you are privy to what was discussed by bishop Melchisedek in his visit to 79th st? After all, the rest of us were always just voicing conjecture. Oh, how I would have loved to have been a fly on that wall! But wait…Carl knows…he just knows (yet, it’s a miracle! he’s not being fed information…the Holy Spirit has enlightened him because his heart is pure) but you state it with such certainty! Oh the wonder of it all! I’m not asking you to give me an answer btw…although I know you can’t resist…you need to have the last word.

                    And, no Bishop M’s visit to the GOAA had more top do with Constantinople’s displeasure over the DC Nuns than anything else.

                    Yes, Carl, you poor maligned thing you…George Michalopulos and his gaggle of “crazy” hangers on treat you very poorly…tsk, tsk. Goodness knows, it’s not your fault at all.

                    • Carl Kraeff says

                      Read the following directive and then we can talk some more;

                    • nit picker says

                      Mr. Kraeff,

                      I have read, and re-read that lovely pastoral letter from Met. Hilarion to Abbess Aemiliane multiple times.

                      Where do you see the words “lawless.” Where do you see that the Metropolitan makes reference to Bishop Melchisedek’s visit to 79th street which you insist has to do with the DC Nuns? Now, you dare to draw in Metropolitan Hilarion? You dare to put words into the mouth of Metropolitan Hilarion which he himself NEVER uttered concerning the nuns? Does your malice know NO limits? Your interpretation of the Metropolitan’s letter is precisely that…an interpretation, and a wrong one at that. Yet again Mr. Kraeff, I am ashamed for you.

                      Keep on insisting on your alternate reality Mr. Kraeff and while you’re at it remember to wear your Mickey Mouse ears. It is only in the world of Walt Disney Productions or drug induced hallucinations that dreams really do come true.

                      See. I was right. You always have to have the last word, even if it slings more mud in your own face. Do yourself a favor already. *face palm*

              • Ivan Vasiliev says


                What’s so wrong with the Russians that you wouldn’t prefer them to a group of elderly men held captive by an increasingly hostile Turkish polity in what wouldn’t pass in size for a small Greek village? I have no problem with xenophobia, if you wish to add that to some of the issues you struggle with. I struggle mightily with some very real diagnoses from the weighty mass of the DSM (though none of those you cited above). I’m simply curious about your Russophobia. I’m indifferent to the various loves and hatreds on this board re: Metropolitan Jonah. Those seem to be unfortunate affectations on the part of all involved and probably don’t have much to say about the real man.

                • Carl Kraeff says

                  Dear Ivan–My statement was conditional; it was predicated on “if Moscow rescinds the Tomos.” In such a case, Moscow would have lost all credibility. However, I could have said that I would advocate becoming an autonomous entity under the Antiochian Patriarchate (much closer to my heart than Constantinople). I said what I did to show the depth of my feelings; coming from an old Bulgarian Exarchist, it was a somewht shocking statement.

                  • ““if Moscow rescinds the Tomos.” In such a case, Moscow would have lost all credibility. ”

                    Are you serious?
                    If Moscow rescinds the Tomos the OCA finally loses whatever credibility it still has, even if only on the basis of ecclesial ‘realpolitik’. There are parishes in Moscow with more members than the whole OCA! Do you really think anyone in world Orthodoxy would lose sleep over the OCA’s status in such an event? The only matter that would exercise their attention is who gets what.

          • Serpahim98 says

            It puzzles me why people think the OCA surrendering it’s tomos voluntarily as part of an effort to heal the jurisdictional irregularities in North America is such a bad thing. If it is done carefully, prayerfully, what’s so bad about going back under Moscow and pushing the reset button. All Metropolitan Jonah did was exhibit a willingness to talk about it…to explore it’s possibility if it led to the unity of the Orthodox faith in North America?

            I do understand it may not have been the most politically expedient thing to say off the cuff, and I can see where the Holy Synod might have been better pleased to know this idea had been percolating in his mind beforehand…still it is a good idea and Met. Jonah’s eagerness to put everything on the table that impedes our unity without compromising the faith is completely commendable. His indiscretion, if it may even be called that, is pretty small beans. The ‘backlash’ on this point from some quarters just strikes me as irrational. I can’t speak for everyone, but in my parish I never encountered anything but praise for his visionary leadership on that point.

            • Stan Poulos says


              …Because “foreign bishops have no authority outside their own territory” (Orthodox Canon Law) “Local churches are under the authority of local bishops” (Orthodox Canon Law) Without any supervision from foreign bishops. The OCA’s autocephaly is what SCOBA prescribed in 1961 and if + Iakovos and + Philip would not have reneged their promise, today we would be a united Orthodox Church in America. + Jonah’s “OWN” idea (also pushed by nuts like BT) to go back under Moscow is non-canonical. + Jonah thought this was the best way to unite ROCOR and the OCA, but clearly, he was brain-washed. I seriously believe + Jonah was psychlogically brain-washed while in Russia. This is why people wanted psych tests. Moscow working hand-in-hand with the KGB (FSB) and the ROC is trying to re-claim all of it’s claims prior to 1917. Using the Church is their prime tactic. Being under ANY foreign bishop is a National Security risk, esp. Russia.

              • George Michalopulos says

                First, I do agree with you about foreign bishops controlling American territory in the ham-fisted fashion that many of the patriarchates manage their eparchies. That doesn’t mean that autonomy isn’t possible even under the present regime. The Antiochian jurisdiction is a standout in this regard. So is ROCOR. Granted these are the exceptions that prove the rule but there you have two.

                What can I say about your bold assertion that Jonah was “brainwashed” while in Russia? Well, I’m gonna at least thank you for putting your finger on something at least. At this point, I’ll gladly accept a conspiracy theory. If this was the case, or if it was widely believed to be the case, then why didn’t the Synod convene a spiritual court and try him as a foreign agent? Why didn’t they get a real psychiatric evaluation rather than insist on a bogus institution like SLI?

                Lemme ask this though: if you think that Jonah was “clearly…brain-washed” while in Russia, are we allowed to assume that many of our American Orthodox priests and bishops who have completely bought into the secularist mindset have been “brainwashed” by the CIA? I’m thinking of Left/Liberals who laud Obama and who are strangely silent when it comes to gay marriage, abortion-on-demand, etc. (Just so you know, even though I don’t agree with these hierarchs, I do believe that they came by their political beliefs honestly.)

                Getting back to reality, Jonah “re-imagining autocephaly” may have been tactically unwise but it was not without precedent in the OCA. Metropolitan Theodosius Lazor said the same thing almost 20 years ago and it’s known that Fr Leonid Kishkovsky has long recommended that the OCA surrender its autocephaly to Constantinople.

              • Archpriest Alexander F. C. Webster, PhD says

                Re the idiotic comment: “I seriously believe + Jonah was psychlogically brain-washed while in Russia.”

                Good grief: another armchair psychiatrist conducting a diagnosis from a distance on the Internet! With mean-spirited detractors like Carl Kraeff and Stan Poulos spewing such nonsense, Metropolitan Jonah’s honor and integrity will remain above reproach among those of us who do, indeed, know him.

                • Stan Poulos says

                  George & Fr. Webster,

                  Autonomy means nothing. With + Philip, he has been operating autonomously since his election in 1968. Why…because the Syrian Archdiocese in America had uber $$$ and + Philip used this to control overseas bishops. They needed him more that he needed them. However, you can take the boy out of the Mideast, but not the Mideast out of the boy. + Philip has done lots of very good things for the church & peoples in the Mideast and now, all for nought. Remember, + Philip not only supports Assad who is a mass murderer of his own people, but he also supported Ghadafi & Saddam. + Philip always wanted to be a hero among his people as a king-like figure doing good. American church unity interfered with his “Sultan-type” vision of his own legacy; it’s all ethnic-ego.

                  RE: + Jonah who many of you seem to be pre-occupied with here. Again, most of the OCA doesn’t care. Met. Tikhon is a far better choice as a humble, monastic figure-head. What you people don’t get is that a myriad of people recognized + Jonah’s issues. His fellow brother bishops, priests, his educators, professional lay people, fellow workers in the church, etc. Psych issues or no psych issues, it doesn’t matter. + Jonah was acting under his own agenda unilaterally without the total agreement of his brother bishops in the OCA Synod. + Jonah’s penchant for Russia as a Russophile is questionable as to “why” for a California Anglican convert. A “Super-Orthodox” type of mentality of “fringe Orthodoxy” contrary to normal American Orthodoxy. A mind-set that emulates 18th century Russia, Greece, Mideast, etc. The American Church is NOT the Russian, Greek or Arab Church; why can’t converts get this?

                  • George Michalopulos says

                    Stan, I very much appreciate your critique and am in agreement with parts of it. But how can you say that “autonomy means nothing”? I agree that Philip has functioned as a tribal sheikh but you can’t disparage what he has accomplished with his archdiocese. He did all that before AOCNA became autonomous. You don’t need autocephaly to preach the Gospel. The OCA is living proof of that. (And yes, I do believe in autocephaly, but I believe in the Gospel more.) Going from 65 to 250 parishes in no time flat is not something to sneeze at. True, as a sheikh he could have kept the AOCNA in the ethnic doldrums (a la the GOA, Serbs, etc.) but he didn’t. That’s key.

                    Second, Assad is a murderer, no doubt about that. But Assad is all that stands between the indigenous Christians and genocide. Sometimes you have to pick your poison. When Tsar Alexander II brutally put down a Polish rebellion in 1863 Honest Abe uttered nary a peep. Why? Because Alexander was on his side in the War Between the States. (To be fair to Lincoln, he did rescind General Orders 11 –an expulsion of the Jews of Nashville–which Gen Grant issued when he took control there.)

                    I don’t know Tikhon. He seems like a likeable fellow, “a humble, monastic figure-head.” Leave aside the fact that Jonah is humble as well and a real monk, it’s your insistence on “figure-head” that bothers me. Perhaps this sheds some light on your biases. The Church does not need figure-heads but real bishops who are able to stand up to Caesar.

                    Curiously, I see that you’ve backed away from your astounding claim that Jonah was “brainwashed” while in Russia and have instead fallen back to the default position that Jonah acted “unilaterally” and was emblematic of a “Super-Orthodox type…of fringe Orthodoxy,” one which is contrary to “normal American Orthodoxy.”

                    That’s a loaded statement with some scabrous gratuities which I’ll leave for others to pick apart. What I’m more concerned is with you consider to be “normal American Orthodoxy.” From where I sit, there is NO “normal American Orthodoxy,” just a hodge-podge of do-it-yourself, whatever-floats-your-boat ecclesial embarrassments that pass themselves off as “Orthodoxy.” Seven bishops in Chicago, six in New York, three in LA, two in Detroit, none in Kansas City, St Louis, Houston, New Orleans, Seattle, Portland, etc. Parishes with truncated liturgics, differing fasting observances, Orthodox laypeople who will never darken the door of a parish because the people there are not “our kind,” no hospitals, orphanages or soup-kitchens. Precious few parochial schools and so on.

                    How long have we been here? 200 years. But that’s not us, that was those Eskimos and don’t they all live on reservations? Everybody knows that Orthodoxy came to America when the New Smyrna colony was set up, or the first Bulgarian parish was erected, or the Albanians first heard the liturgy chanted in their language. This is normal American Orthodoxy?

                    Give me Moscow any day.

                    • Stan Poulos says


                      You can have Moscow. The ROC is probably the most corrupt Orthodox Church in the world. This is due to it’s massive size and opportunities for fallen human nature to operate excessively.

                      Autonomy means nothing because a “local” church is still under the authority of foreign bishops. This status is OK for mission churches converting to an autocephalous church, but not an established church. Canon law dictates that once an autocephalous church is established in a territory, ALL Orthodox Churches are to unite under it. Both the Greeks & Antiochians have ignored this. ROCOR is an anomaly and it will take years for them to get anywhere close to what an American church should be.

                      Understand, that when the AOCNA wanted to come into Orthodoxy via Frs. Schmemann & Meyendorff’s consultation, the OCA put too many stipulations on them for entry. + Philip stepped in without demanding many stipulations. Their parishes virtually doubled the Antiochian Arch. yet, many of the churches were home churches. More people, more assessments, more churches and a claim of an American off-shoot. Not without issues.

                      The New Smyrna colony was nothing more than working Greeks WITH NO CHURCH OR PRIESTS, who arrived in America for jobs.

                      Pan Orthodox Churches are the natural outcome of the American Church. ROCOR nor the Greeks really offer this. The Antiochians on a limited scale. However, the canonical solution is what the OCA offers since 1970. Again, if + Philip & + Iakovos hadn’t reneged on joining the OCA, now 43 years later, we would have had a united Orthodox Church in America that worked out its issues and not under the thumb of ANY foreign bishop as canon law dictates.

                    • George Michalopulos says

                      Stan, if I hear one more time how the ROC is the “most corrupt” Orthodox Church, I’m gonna throw up on my keyboard. Over the past two years, I’ve filched numerous postings from all over the world detailing heartwarming stories about how ordinary Russian priests are performing feats of philanthropy and charity that border on the miraculous. Of churches being built from the ground up with not a penny in debt. Of men and women entering the religious life and ROC missionaries going to Africa and Indonesia to preach the Gospel.

                      Be very careful of castigating the ROC, it has more God-pleasing saints than all other Orthodox Churches combined. (Quick, can you name any of saints in the See of Constantinople in the past two hundred years?)

                      If this is “corruption” give me more of it.

                      As for your criticism of Philip and the nature of some of the Evangelical Orthodox Churches he took in –some of them being “home churches”–so what? All of the ancient churches were home churches, and then catacomb churches, and then temples. I don’t know how many of the AOCNA parishes were in fact home churches and how many still are and how many went on to become permanent.

                      Does anybody have an idea?

                      As for the New Smyrna colony, I was being sarcastic.

                    • Tim R. Mortiss says

                      I suddenly wondered: do one’s views of Muskovy have any relation to what side of the Mason-Dixon line one is on?

                      Just an unworthy thought….. ; – )

                  • Stan,

                    Your editorial merely indicts the Synod that elected Met. Jonah. While I do not agree with your assessment, if it is true, what does it say about the men who elected him? There certainly was much precedent for electing someone else despite any AAC nomination, including your (now) Met Tikhon.

                    But, for the sake of argument, let’s assume that your analysis actually has some validity.

                    If the Synod did not vet for these issues, this argues their lack of competence. If they knew all this, and if it was indeed a reason for not electing +MJ, then it calls into question their ethics. This trashing of Metropolitan Jonah cannot occur without splashing offal onto the Synod who elected him, then did not support him.

                    Your position makes Moscow look better all the time.

                    • Stan Poulos says


                      Now you reveal your true colors. You too are a Russophile and mimic + Jonah himself. The ROC is INDEED a very corrupt church. Of course they put out a good propaganda spread and there are good things happening within the ROC. However, if you speak to those inside at higher levels you will find their dismay with theft, sexual issues, criminal activity, etc. rampant within the the ROC. Understand, only returning to faith since 1991, 22 years ago, the ROC cannot recover from 75 years of atheism overnight. The ROC has taken their model from the 1800’s Czarist Russia and all the corruption the church offered. The ROC’s “joined-at-the-hip” affiliation with the KGB (FSB – Putin) has hurt it’s mission. Although a convenient union emulating Czarist Russia, the corruption within is rampant. Again, Moscow IS NOT the answer to the American Church. Neither is Istanbul or Damascus. The real hope for Orthodoxy in America is under it’s own autocephalous “local” church facing and solving it’s own issues and problems.

                    • George Michalopulos says

                      Stan, I see that you continue to evade my very simple questions. Specifically, how many God-pleasing martyrs have there been in the EP-dominated patriarchates over the past 100 years? A handful? How does this compare with the millions of martyrs from behind the Iron Curtain? Just asking.

                      As for my “true colors,” they are plain for all to see: I am an American of Greek descent, one who believes in Southron regionalism, and one who is committed to Evangelism. I am not “Russophobic” and anyway, my feelings one way or the other are immaterial to what is important to me.

                      I must take umbrage with your assertion that the ROC did not “only return to faith since 1991.” That is simply beyond the pale given what the Church suffered during the theomachist regime of the Bolshevists.

                      Again, I kindly ask: what corruption? Simply repeating assertions doesn’t make it so.

                  • Archpriest John W. Morris says

                    I have stopped making many comments on this blog because I am tired of reading about all the fights in the OCA. However, I must respond to the comments of Mr. Poulous about Met. Philip. Mr. Poulous have you ever actually had any personal interactions with Met. Philip. I mean real interaction, not trying to speak with him during a convention when 1,000 other people are trying to speak with him? if not you are totally unqualified to make an assessment of what he is really like. Every time that I read a series of criticisms like the ones written by Stan Polous, I know that he has never ever had a real personal interaction with His Eminence. I have never met anyone who had the gift that he has of making you feel that he really cares what you think about something that Met. Philip has. When you talk with him one on one, he makes you feel like he thinks that you are the most important person in the world. He is not an autocrat or a dictator. He is a strong leader with a vision and the Antiochian Archdiocese has benefited from his talents and decisive actions, but he does respect the opinion of others and does not want to be surrounded by yes men. Do not judge someone you have never really met. He will go down in history as one of the most important leaders of American Orthodoxy.

                    • Stan Poulos says

                      Fr. John,

                      I appreciate your love for + Philip. He has done much good and has done a nice job of reaching out to converts. I will allow God to judge. You can ponder his obsession for Joe Allen and Joe’s retribution on all who opposed him with + Philip’s support. The transfer of uber $$$ from Detroit to Englewood and no REAL retirement security for ALL Antiochian priests (objectively). When we talk about his role in Orthodox unity in America, he has stymied this effort from the get-go. Although he had great respect for Fr. Schmemann and Fr. Meyendorff encouraged + Philip time and time again to join the OCA, + Philip decided to play “Byzantine Church Politics.” He shifted between OCA and GOA playing both against each other. He knew that staying in between he could be the “Golden Vessel” they both wanted. The Pat. of Damascus sided with Istanbul and although + Philip knew he could be instrumental in Orthodox Church unity in America, all he offered was double-talk. So, he tried to restart unity talks in 1997 at Ligonier with himself & + Iakovos, but only ended in disaster. The Ukrainian bishop squealed to Istanbul and + Iakovos was forcefully retired and all the GOA bishops were emasculated. At that point, + Iakovos should have joined the OCA upsetting Istanbul’s apple cart and + Philip should have followed suit. But no, another missed opportunity. Now, the Episcopal Assembly (nothing more than a Greek power-play) offers everyone to go under Istanbul. RIDICULOUS! No real autocephaly, just an Eastern Pope sitting in Istanbul (maybe 1,000 Orthodox there) ruling over all Orthodox. Anti-Apostolic and Non-Canonical. Moscow also offers nothing except Russian domination along with KGB operatives. The ONLY real answer for Orthodoxy in America is under the OCA solving it’s own issues; whatever they may be.

                    • Michael Bauman says

                      Fr. John, I totally agree with your last statement that Met. Philip will go down in history as one of the most important leaders in the Orthodox Church in America. No doubt at all. I also know that your testimony of dealing with him one on one is quite common. I accept that as true.

                      I have learned through this whole thing that my personal opinions, likes and dislikes about him are simply irrelevant. He is our Metropolitan, I’m not. He acts to perserve the integrity and life of the Church as he is charged with the gifts he has. He is human and makes mistakes, but so what?

                      I have come to the place, despite my personal discomfort with his personality, that I can truly say: “God grant him many, many years.” I am confident that when he does repose that he will have done everything he could have to leave behind a vibrant, healthy archdiocese that will continue to grow in grace and truth. I am truly blessed to be part of the Antiochian Archdiocese and to have Met. Philip as my Metropolitan and his Grace Bishop Basil as my bishop.

                      God is glorified in the Antiochian Archdiocese, we are connected to the Apostolic faith in a manner that is unlike either the Greeks or the Russians (they have their own unique connections) but Americans as Americans have zero connection to the Apostolic faith. Our philosphy, literature and politics are dominated by eqalitarian nihlism and Protestant heresy. That is alot to over come. Still, the Church has the reposibility to digest and find the truth in the things that dominate our culture and present them refined and transformed as the Patristic Fathers did with Greek thought.

                      The proposals for an “American Church” that I have heard over the years would attempt to sever that connection and replace it with what? IMO, something that would no longer be the Church. The proposals want to deny the hard work of true assimilation and refinement of the dominant culture and just go with the flow and have our own way.

                    • Archpriest John W. Morris says

                      To Stan Poulous.

                      I could not disagree with you more. When the Greeks broke Communion with the OCA after the declaration of autocephaly, it was Met. Philip who worked to bring them back together and restore Communion between them. . The idea that he could have left Antioch and joined the OCA in 1970 with his Archdiocese following him is absurd. In 1970, the Antiochians were still divided between Toledo and New York. Even he could not have pulled off a break with Antioch to join the OCA back then.
                      Do not be so quick to judge the Bishop’s Assembly. I was in Los Angeles two weeks ago for a meeting of the Pastoral Committee. Every jurisdiction was there and we were all worked together to try to bring about uniform practices on a great number of issues. It was definitely not controlled by Constantinople. It was a free, honest and loving exchange of ideas..I left more optimistic about Orthodox unity than any time in my 33 years in the Priesthood. True Orthodox unity will take place in God’s time according to God’s plan and in such a way that there is a real unity not a take over by one group over the rest of us.
                      I want good prayerful and devout Bishops. I do not care where they were born or what ties, if any, they have to Orthodox authorities abroad, because nationalism should not matter in the Church. I have never been asked to give my my American heritage to be Orthodox and do not expect those with a sense of their non-Anglo Saxon heritage to give up theirs. The Orthodox Church is here to save us, not to Americanize or more correctly Anglo-Saxonize us.

                  • Michael Bauman says

                    Stan on one hand you claim we Antiochians are under the thumb of “foreign” bishops and on the other that Met controls the Holy Synod. Can’t have both ways. Sounds like a bunch of xenophobic, ethnocentric babble to me.

        • Stan Poulos says


          Ummmmm, you are seriously delusional. Met. Jonah was booted out by his brother bishops; no “gay activists” had anything to do with it. Your assessment of the OCA is also quite delusional. Apparently you haven’t visited the many growing OCA parishes throughout the U.S. Who’s been feeding you this misinformation?

          • George Michalopulos says

            Yes, and the patriarch Joseph was sold into slavery by his ten brothers. Your point?

      • Archpriest Alexander F. C. Webster, PhD says

        Mr. Kraeff, it is dishonorable and indecent to speculate about a psychiatric “diagnosis” that Metropolitan Jonah may or may not have received during his voluntary stay at the St. Luke Institute. For the love of God, please stand down.

        • Carl Kraeff says

          Is it honorable and decent to speculate about the sexual and other proclivities of anyone? Why is this one man so special, so different than all of his brothers on this forum, where all sorts of lies, vile accusations and indeed speculations have been let loose against his critics? I note that you have not adopted the same pastoral tone with our esteemed host, that execrable funny man, and many others here whose bile enough to drown even the Devil.

        • Archpriest Andrei Alexiev says

          Christ is Risen! Dear Fr.Alexander,
          Didn’t you get a canonical release from Metropolitan Tikhon to join ROCOR?And didn’t His Beatitude allow you to concelebrate with him even after this?Doesn’t sound like you’re a schismatic to me.

          • Archpriest Alexander F. C. Webster, PhD says

            Truly He is risen!

            Right you are, Fr. Andrei. On December 17, 2012, both my deacon and I received a canonical release from Metropolitan Tikhon and the OCA to Metropolitan Hilarion and ROCOR. At his own request the following Sunday, His Beatitude celebrated the Divine Liturgy at Christ the Savior Orthodox Mission in Stafford, VA, with yours truly and Archpriest Gregory Safchuk (chancellor of the OCA’s Archdiocese of Washington) concelebrating and Deacon Alexander assisting. Forty days later, as it happens, Christ the Savior OCA Mission, having met the conditions that Metropolitan Tikhon stipulated to the congregation in a candid but respectful meeting on December 23, was “dissolved” by His Beatitude and received into ROCOR as a parish under the heavenly patronage of St. Herman of Alaska.

            That’s the rather unspectacular and very regular process that Mr. Kraeff chooses, for unfounded reasons of his own, to disparage on this message board as “schism,” even violating the English language (besides my honor) by trying to turn that noun into an awkward verb!

            Thanks for helping to set the record straight and, perhaps indirectly, to encourage Mr. Kraeff to calm down and desist from his recent defamatory outbursts on this message board.

      • nit picker says

        Mr. Kraeff-

        Christ is Risen! Truly He is Risen!

        I couldn’t help laughing and thinking to myself as I read your post “goodness! I can think of any number of people who might fit those criteria to some degree on a bad day.” You came to my mind first. I’ve never even met you! I only know you from your postings on the internet which judge you, just as my own postings judge me. Lord, have mercy on me the sinner.

        • Crl Kraeff says

          You are late to the party. The first time that I brought up the passibility of narcissism, I basically said the same thing. To go you an analogy with which I am somewhat familiar; many people drink alcohol, some abuse and yet others are dependent.

          • nit picker says

            To go you an analogy with which I am somewhat familiar; many people drink alcohol, some abuse and yet others are dependent.

            ….and still others abstain entirely, struggling moment to moment with their compulsion to drink themselves into oblivion and begging God for mercy and salvation to make it through to the next moment…but every single one of them is an alcoholic.

            My GRE’s were also through the roof. I have several advanced degrees (all Summa Cum Laude). You know what this means? It means I studied hard and did well on standardized exams. Big deal. I also am an Orthodox Christian in “good standing.” I have a spiritual father that I regularly confess to. I suppose that makes me just as qualified as you to also make a psychological analysis of Metropolitan Jonah….

            Ahem…my diagnosis…

            Practically perfect in every way. If you don’t like it…tough :p

      • Carl Kraeff says

        Ad hominem becomes you.

        • nit picker says

          Mr. Kraeff

          You are the one saying that one Metropolitan has a Narcissistic personality disorder, slandering a bunch of nuns calling them “lawless” and then implying that was implied in a letter by yet another Metropolitan when he does not mention or even imply the words “lawless” at all! You misuse the word schism against people over whom you have no authority, then you have the audacity to pretend that YOU are being attacked? Lord have mercy!!

    • Michael Bauman says

      Michael S. regarding your comment above: I have several times apologized for my excessive comments that you mention and you accepted at least one of those apologies at the time, or so I thought. I’ll say it again, I was wrong to characterized you that way. Forgive me. If you think I was characterizing Fr. Jillions in the same manner, I was not. Forgive me for my sloppy writing.

      I do strongly disagree with any attempt to undermine the teaching of the Church on the issue of sin and repentance and the proper interrelationship between men, women and God. I see such undermining in what you and Fr. Jillions write. In addition, I object to the tenditioius, obsfucating and ad hominum style in which you tend to write.

      You once said and repeated at least once, that you thought I was more qualified than you to comment on the sociological consequences of things. I think you are correct.

      Such terms as ‘sexual minorities’ inevitably blurr the boundaries of what is acceptable and what is not acceptable in society at large and within the community of the Church. It is jargon that is essentially meaningless in and of itself, but serves the purpose of creating an egalitarian mindset in people where more and more clearly sinful behavior (according to the teaching of the Church) is deemed morally and socially equivalent to the standard of Christian behavior. Once that occurs in a enough people’s minds, the Christian standard is deemed excessive and judgemental and worse.

      Egalitarianism is a form of the several heresies that deny the divinity of Christ and a hierarchical creation into which our Lord Incarnated. I sincerely doubt that either you or Fr. Jillions believes any of them. However, egalitarianism is the belief that fuels the ‘equality of marriage’ approach of many homosexual, pedophlic and other sexual deviants to have their behavior recognized as normal. Eqalitarianism is the problem we as a Church must face.

      I have found that egalitarianism is rampant in the academic world and is deemed a virtue that allows the ‘free exchange of ideas’. Well, it is quite possible to have a mind so open that everything falls out of it and the world of fantasy and delusion takes over. It is impossible to maintain a rational, logical and coherent view of our society and culture and laws without fundamental assumptions of what is right and wrong.

      Egalitarianism calls into question all such assumptions. It is nilhistic in force and destrucitve of all norms of behavior and law. Paradoxically, it leads to the type of society which George Orwell decribed in Animal Farm: everyone is equal, but some are more equal than others. Hierarchy of being, values and behavior can only be denied for so long. They are an inescapable part of the creation and our own being.

      The fact that lusts of the flesh, whether acted upon or not, are clearly not to be engaged but to be repented of is part of the corpus of the Patristic witness. I have encountered it in many many places. It is so common and pervasive that I see no reason to single out one father to support that statement. It is a common understanding of we Orthodox.

      When terms like ‘sexual minorities’ are used seriously they weaken the moral witness of the Church, IMO. We have already sacrificed too much of that by our rather easy silence on adultery, fornication, divorce, re-marriage and abortion. Such terms used uncritically weaken the desire to repent that is the core of the spiritual life of we Orthodox. That is the social/spiritual consequence of engaging and using such terms without critique–accepting them at face value and thinking them neutral.

  5. Hi friends:

    That was a refreshing break!

    Let’s centrifuge off the self-congratulation from George’s piece and see if there is any precipitate, or at least any of value, in the bottom of the test tube when all the whirling stops. I don’t think so.

    Accepting for the sake of argument that the allegations against the unfortunate monsignor have some truth, and we should not be in a hurry to so assume except for the very tentative purposes of argument, do they prove anything at all about a) the validity of the treatment offered by St. Luke’s (this man was the business head as I read it, not a therapist, let alone Met. Jonah’s), b) the character of Met. Jonah or any other patient (of course not!) or c) the character of Met. Jonah’s critics or their criticisms (an even greater stretch)? Of course not!!!

    That murky substance at the bottom of the test tube is suitable only for smearing, which to both his credit ….and discredit …. is exactly what George does with it. But logic and argument it ain’t: “The Director did something wrong with money and in his personal life, which means that the whole St. Luke institution is corrupt, and their diagnosis and treatment never had any value, nobody was ever helped, and even if there had been any shortcoming in Met. Jonah’s leadership they couldn’t have helped him, and his critics were all false accusers, and their complaints had no basis, and it was all a communist plot, and even Dennis Rodman wouldn’t try to make friends with any of those critics or St. Luke’s staff, and the Big Bad Wolf huffed and puffed and …..etc., etc.”

    This sad news has only the slightest and most strained relevance to any of the issues George wants to raise, and none in my opinion to the conclusions that he (or his opponents, for that matter) would like us to draw from actual evidence.. But as an excuse for a confused broadside reiterating his positions without adding any new facts or persuasive force to the same, I suppose it will do on a slow Monday. And elicit the pro forma round of applause from the regulars.


    Fr. George

    • Tim R. Mortiss says

      I dunno. Maybe George just figures that if the psychologists, including the ones with clerical collars, got ahold of Paul of Tarsus, they’d come up with any number of “personality disorders”, to say nothing of “neuroses”.

      Don’t even want to think what they’d make of Jesus of Nazareth……

      Some are better than others, to be sure.

      I myself would be very wary of their ministrations, unless I were there solely of my own accord in every respect.

      • George Michalopulos says

        Tim, you really got to get with it. Jesus and Paul were products of their times. We moderns know better.

    • George Michalopulos says

      Fr George, it would be terrible of me or anybody for that matter to assume that the Monsignor in question is guilty of anything. That would be absolutely scandalous. It’s a good thing that nobody in Syosset has ever done anything like that.

      (Crickets chirping.)

    • Keep reading . . Sue for example.

    • One of the West says

      thanks, Fr. George Washburn!
      My thoughts exactly!

  6. They concluded he is a good man and that the gay activists in his church had abused him. They also concluded that the abuse was bad for his health.

    But we didn’t need decades of higher education to understand that, did we? Didn’t need our license in anything other than humanity.

  7. This Friday- May 17th at 7:30
    St. John Russian Orthodox Church

    Metropolitan Jonah’s talks resume.

    Topic: Orthodox 101- will continue until the end of June.

    Hope all can come . . .even Carl. . . .

    • George Michalopulos says

      Especially Carl. Just to see Metropolitan Jonah as a human being and not a slobbering, mustache-twirling evildoer.

      • Carl Kraeff says

        No George, I have never looked upon +Jonah as a slobbering, mustache-twirling evildoer. I have felt sorry for him as he is morbidly obese, just as I became after 6 years on Prednisone, but I have been able to resist the urge so far to eat ribeye during Great Lent. As I admitted elsewhere, I have also resented his lack of backbone, a feeling that changed to resenting his childish behavior (not cute childish but brat childish). I have lost respect for him as a man of character when he kept on reneging on his word. However, there is one person whom I see as a mustache-twirling evil-doer: Father Joseph Fester. I wonder if he is still whispering in +Jonah’s ear? As for you George, I used to think that you were a sophisticated Sancho Panza but now I think you fancy yourself to be The Don. Ride on George…

        • I had the pleasure of meeting Father Joseph and his matushka once. His welcome message upon becoming dean in D.C. is still online. I was looking forward to getting to know them but a couple weeks after shaking his hand for the first time, he was gone, lost in that round of scheming against the Church. He is in the Carpathorussian Archdiocese under the Greek Archdiocese now where he seems well loved.

          Prednisone in large doses can have unwelcome side effects so I am sad to hear that you had to endure this drug. Might some of your anger management issues and negative attitudes concerning ecclesiastical hierarchy stem from long-term use of this drug? The following snippet is from

 states that prednisone can produce dramatic alterations in a patient’s emotional or psychological health and behavior. Specifically, and DermNet NZ provide examples of potential short-term effects: a sense of euphoria or mania with manic behavior and sleep disturbance; changes in emotional state such as major depression or increased aggression; personality changes; and psychotic behavior. specifically states that preexisting emotional instability may be enhanced by this drug therapy. Therefore, it is imperative that patients be proactive if any such changes are experienced; a physician should be contacted as soon as possible.

          Message from Fr. Joseph Fester

          Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ of St. Nicholas Cathedral,

          With the blessing of His Beatitude, Metropolitan Jonah, I am writing to thank you for your kind emails and calls welcoming me to St. Nicholas. You are in my prayers, especially during this Nativity season!

          Both Matushka Kathy and I are very excited about being part of your Cathedral life and to be of service to His Beatitude and to all of you. I am coming from a Cathedral here in Dallas that is full of love and I know that in time, as we learn from one another, our bond of love for Christ and each other will be evident to all who come to St. Nicholas Cathedral. The words of the Apostle Paul come to mind, “For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Romans 8:38-39)

          I also wish to thank Father Constantine and Matushka Nina (a classmate of mine from our SVS days) for their love. We will work closely during this period to ensure a smooth transition.

          Please remember Matushka and me in your prayers as we prepare for the Birth of the Incarnate Son of God.

          With love in Christ,

          Archpriest Joseph Fester

          • Carl Kraeff says

            Dear ?: Thank you for your concern. Along with Prednisone, other anti-rejection medicatyions also caused some changes. For example, in the first couple of months after my tranplant, I would look at the sky, a bird, flower, whatever and start tearing up, overwhemed as I was by their beauty.

            Regarding Fr Joseph Fester, he did lose in that “round of scheming,” but I imagine you do not know that he was one of the most active schemers and committed some violations that may well have resulted in a Spiritual Court. His patron was +Jonah who hastily arranged for his transfer out of the OCA; a Spiritual Court would not only have resulted in negative consequences for Father Joseph, but also may have shown +Jonah’s culpability in that “round of scheming.”

            • Maymon Kool-Aid says

              Mr. Carl

              It appears you have have drunk deeply from the bitter cup of Maymon. Talk about a schemer!

            • Carl,

              Do you personally know Fr. Fester? Have you worked with him in some capacity? If so, where and when? I would ask the same questions with respect to Met. Jonah.

              I’m just curious about your basis for judgment of these two men. How much of your data was collected first hand?

        • Wait you criticize +Jonah for not having a backbone and call Fr. Fester evil because he has one??

          You need to just stop Carl. You have no more credibility.

          • Carl Kraeff says

            Colette–+Jonah schemes because of his personality disorder–he cannot help himself. Fr. Fester schemes because he loves power, maneuvering behind the scenes, playing Wormtongue to Theoden.

            • Carl – it is obvious that you have never met nor worked with Fr. Fester. If you would have you would know that he is not a lover of power. Yes he has been in positions of responsibility, but he has always proven himself dedicated to the task at hand and the work to be accomplished.

              Saint Tikhon of Zadonsk said, “Do not think about the sins of your brother but about what in him is better than in yourself.”

            • I can’t stop laughing . . . +Jonah a schemer? Oh my Gooooooooshhhhhhhh. Carl you don’t know what you are saying on sooo many levels . . . . .
              Fr. Fester is a good person. He was fighting against what he saw as vicious attacks on a pious person. He is not anything you say here. His big sin- he made one mistake-he left access to his emails . . . .

              You can not seriously accuse him of scheming and not Fr. Garklav’s, Mark Stokoe, Kishkovsky, Wheeler, +Benjamin and a few others. Seriously . . . . .

  8. Sean Richardson says

    I’m sorry, but this entire thing is just painful. Dostoevsky’s said in his classic quote “Everyone loves the downfall of a righteous man”. For me, I find the downfall of anyone painful. Yes, I know I am naive and at times a bit Polly Ann-ish, but I want to see the good in everyone and I want to see good being done. So, this just makes me hurt.

  9. Because it is true (not “if” it is true) that gay activists in the OCA set out to destroy Jonah and his reputation, specifically planning to use a sexual misconduct report and the proceedings around it as the “hook” to get rid of him a full year before they did what they said they would do, no one needs to engage in the kind of smut you waste your time and talents concocting, Carl.

    Wake up. Stop supporting evil.

    As for me, I cannot respect Jonah right now because he continues to submit his own time and talents to evil men. His submission and the response of the OCA to his gift makes it painfully clear for all the world to see that the OCA is not the Church, that it is not the Body of Christ. This organization is not what it claims to be. No other parts of the Body are stepping in to heal and correct the illness of the OCA. There is less international intervention to address the evil in this American church than what the Episcopal Church enjoyed when it accelerated its own suicide. It is not enough to claim formal authority when you have no moral authority. Any cult can do this, and every cult does do this. Jonah’s implicit belief that God will redeem the OCA and its current leaders is misplaced and naive. He has cast his pearls before swine, and the pigs have trampled his pearls into their own excrement and turned on him to devour him.

  10. M. Stankovich says

    Mr. Michalopulos,

    I must confess to a certain awe at your mastery of the ability to repeatedly create something from nothing, then “stir the pot” of your own creation, “shocked” at the indignation of anyone who would disagree with your obsessions and inability to move on. You are not angry & bitter? Would not you be equally wise to “take heed of the counsel of people of sterling character. Even if you cannot find yourself able to agree with them, you should stop and ask yourself why it is that such people have taken you to task?”

    I deplore, regardless of qualification, any speculation, assumption, ascription, application, conjecture, unfounded accusation, undocumented & unsupported hearsay, and worse, murderous gossip. If I have said this once, I have said this a hundred times. But that is the “standard” and threshold for truth you have established here, and it seems to me it is too late to complain of the outcome. It strikes as quite blatantly disingenuous to be “outraged” at speculation regarding the former Metropolitan while allowing the comment, “Stankovich suffers from most of those!” I tolerate such foolishness from convicted felons all day long – c’est la vie – because it’s my job. But I have asked the question at least three times previously that I recall: “Have you not put a hedge around him?” (Job 1:9) You apparently would wish to have it both ways and continue to claim integrity. I say you are fooling yourself.

    This thread is another dead-end memorial to grandstanding, self-pity, re-hashing old hash, and again gnawing at the carcass. The facts are plain: the misconduct of an administrator has no bearing on the clinical integrity of a respected treatment & research institution; it has absolutely no bearing on assessment & conclusions reached regarding one former Metropolitan of the OCA; it reveals nothing new or insightful since Mr. Michalopulos’ previous incursion into the land of speculative innuendo; silence continues to imply consent; and the OCA continues it’s march to destiny, God is our Father & the Holy Spirit goes where He wishes. What did we learn here? Nothing. Was anyone edified? Hahaha.

    • Kentigern Siewers says

      Christ is Risen! Truly He is Risen!
      The great advocate of silence again speaks, the friend and defender of the eminence and role of the Chancellor, who holds an office that is one of the features of the configuration of OCA governance that is not featured in canons or in other local Orthodox churches worldwide, so far as I know, and whose current occupant opines about “sexual minorities,” a phrase not known to the Fathers.
      At the same time, our silent speaker mocks the Holy Synod’s public moral project of the March for Life, although it is the role of that same Holy Synod, and not that of his friend the Chancellor, which is the canonical locus of the governance of the OCA, a church that he himself apparently has left.
      He thus only adds as an outside critic to the tension between the parties of Chancellor and the Holy Synod, which has been part of the governance stresses bedeviling the OCA for years.
      And his ally here engages in vituperative attacks on an OCA hierarch, seeming to fit this pattern of pitting an OCA administration of doubtful traditional pedigree against our hierarchs. Indeed, as that writer might put it, schismatics depart, all schismatics depart!
      Please pray for me a sinner,

  11. Michael Kinsey says

    So, there is an well educated and well paid, mindset of profession phyciatrists who have found a way to make furthering the gay agenda a way to make a living. This is done with a focus on Christian clerics. These cleric they sympathize with have some rule in Christian Churches. This is madness, it is not respectable, or intelligent to permit this to continue. Refuse to ordain or tonsure, any repentant gay , and remove permantly any who have been proven to have the spititual affliction.Met Jonah might have agreed with this, and the laity would have rejoiced. A spiritual leader who effectively protects his flock. There was no powerful gay agenda in 1940, but lying nut jobs are abounding everywhere.Dr.Al Kinsey( no relation), in the 50’s, and continuing to the present, hiding behind the robes of graduation and ordination. Kindness, joy, peace ,patience, ect are the tools of Faith, not onion skins, or even semenary training. Use your commonsense, for the Christ’s sake. Stop them cold.

  12. Michael Kinsey says

    Defrock all genuinely guilty of homosexual activity, don’t tonsure or ordain any ” said ” repentant gays. Then if they want this expensive special treatment, they ,as member of the laity, can pay for it themselves. I am sure the churches could find better things to do than throw good money after bad. If doing this saves one kid from a preditor, it’s worth it. You might take a look a percription drugs for mental disorders, I am certain that they can’t match the feeling you get from just being honest all the time.