The Narrative Continues to Fail

Deadline Extended!
Act Now and Get this Delightful Mug!

My sources in Syosset told me last weekend to be on the lookout for the October 15th deadline to be extended. As of last Saturday, only 70 priests and 130 lay delegates had sent in their registration for the Robber Council of Parma. Looks like he was right.

Source: OCA News

According to Archpriest Eric G. Tosi, Secretary of the Orthodox Church in America, the deadline for registration for the 17th All-American Council has been extended to November 5, 2012.

The Council will be convened at Holy Trinity Church, Parma, OH, on Tuesday, November 13, 2012, for the purpose of electing a new Primate of the OCA.

Registrants are alerted to complete both pages to the registration form. There is no registration or meal fees for clergy and lay delegates. There is a $50.00 registration fee for retired clergy and observers; the fee includes the cost of meals.

Delegates, retired clergy and observers also are reminded to send in their dinner choice to by November 5.

Hotel space is limited at this point, so it is crucial that reservations be made as soon as possible. To make reservations at the Holiday Inn, visit The group code is “ORT.” To make reservations at the Double Tree, visit The group code is “OCA.

With regard to travel, Friends Over Seas Travel is offering a 5% discount off the lowest available fares with a $15.00 ticket fee. They may be contacted at 800-367-3450; 516-937-7757, or Also, American Airlines is offering a 5% meeting discount for attendees booking AA flights from anywhere in the US to Cleveland. The discount is available for an eight-day window – November 9 through 17. To take advantage of this offer, visit and enter the authorization number “77N2BZ.”


  1. clare voyant says

    What if you held an AAC and nobody came?

  2. ChristineFevronia says

    I am confused by the language in the OCA Statute (Article III) with what “quorum” means for the election of the new Metropolitan. Can someone please help me figure it out? Here is the language:

    Article III: The All-American Council
    Section 1: Authority
    The highest legislative and administrative authority within the Church is the All-American Council.
    Section 2: Composition
    a.The Metropolitan and all bishops of the Church;
    b.The priests of each parish and an equal number of lay delegates;
    c.Priests not having parishes if accredited by the Metropolitan Council;
    d.One lay delegate from each parish not having a priest;
    e.The members and the alternate members of the Metropolitan Council, and the members of the Auditing Committee of the Church;
    f.Two delegates from each theological seminary;
    g.Members of the Pre-Conciliar Commission;
    h.One representative of each Church organization officially accredited by the Holy Synod;
    i.Additional persons may be invited by the Pre-Conciliar Commission with the approval of the Metropolitan to attend one or more sessions of the All-American Council, without the right to vote. Members of preparatory committees may be invited to attend and participate in the discussions of the subject upon which their committees report to the All-American Council;
    j.All lay members of the All-American Council shall have the same qualifications for membership as the parish delegates

    Section 4: Requirements for Representation at the All-American Council
    Every parish which has remitted all established assessments determined by previous All- American Councils for the support of the Church is entitled to elect delegates.
    Section 13: Quorum
    At least a majority of the council members who have been accredited and are present at a given session shall constitute a quorum at any session.

    Does “quorum” refer to: a) a “majority” of all those listed in Section 2, above, or, b) a majority of whoever shows up–in this case 70 priests (out of 700?) and 130 laity (out of 80,000?), which would be 101 people?

    • Priest Justin Frederick says

      Sorry. Pushed thumbs down by accident. The language is strange: ‘accredited’ means those properly registered and approved by the bishop. What if many registered and didn’t show up at all? Could that prevent a quorum? But it seems not: it is a majority of those accredited AND present at a given session. Session of what? The Sobor as a whole (accredited delegates who showed up and checked in)? or a majority of those who show up at a particular session of the Sobor? If the latter, that seems to ensure a quorum in every case. What would be necessary not to have a quorum, one wonders?

    • Christine,

      The quorum will be reached based on how many clergy and lay delegates finally register. Let’s say that is 300 total including all of the subcategories listed above. At least 151 would need to be present at a plenary session for a quorum to be declared.

      • Priest Justin Frederick says

        So, if lots of people register (say 500) and then don’t show up (say only 200 come to Parma), a quorum would not be possible?

      • ChristineFevronia says

        Thank you, Fr. Justin and Amos. So what would happen if accredited delegates arrive at Parma and attend all of the scheduled plenary sessions except for the one scheduled for the election of a new Metropolitan? Do you happen to know what then would happen if that “quorum” wasn’t reached?

    • ChristineFevronia says

      In trying to wrap my head around Parma 2012, I’ve been reviewing the minutes of the former All American Councils in which OCA Metropolitans were elected, and comparing attendance and voting numbers …

      5th AAC, 1977:
      A synopsis of the 5th All American Council, October 25-28, 1977, states that votes by the clergy and laity gave the clear lead to Bishop Dmitri during both the first and second rounds of voting. OCA archivist Alexis Liberovsky, describes the voting process as follows: “In the first vote, Bishop Dmitri (Royster) of New England received 278 votes, a mere 30 votes shy of two-thirds… In the second round of voting, Bishop Dmitri received 348 votes and Bishop Theodosius (Lazor) of Pittsburgh had 179. The hierarchs deliberated briefly then elected Bishop Theodosius to be the new Metropolitan of All America and Canada.” (source:

      13th AAC, 2002:
      Minutes from the 13th AAC, July 21 – 26, 2002, outline attendance numbers for Plenary Session II (the Metropolitan electoral session). Attendance was 1,282 total (Hierarchs: 10; Clergy Delegates: 307; Lay Delegates: 322; Observers: 643; Total accredited to vote: 639). The first round of voting put Bishop Seraphim, Archbishop Herman, and Bishop Job in the top three, but there was no majority vote. Second round of voting results gave the overwhelming lead to Bishop Seraphim, with Archbishop Herman and Bishop Job following. The Synod elected Archbishop Herman. (source:

      15th AAC, 2008:
      Minutes from the 15th AAC, November 10-13, 2008, outline attendance at Plenary Session V (the Metropolitan electoral session). Attendance was 793 (Hierarchs: 10; Clergy Delegates: 310; Lay Delegates: 325; Retired Clergy 7; Observers 119; Guests 22; Total accredited to vote: 645). When the first round of votes were counted, Bishop Jonah and Archbishop Job were the top two, but neither had the majority. The second round of voting continued. According to the minutes, “His Eminence Archbishop Job and His Grace Bishop Jonah received the top two votes. Their names were submitted to the Holy Synod of Bishops for approval…”: Bishop Jonah was elected as Primate. (source:

    • Christine,

      I think the membership of the OCA is closer to 26 000 or 27 000.
      I believe that figure is on record, conceded by Syosett somewhere in the recent past when the finances were reviewed as a result of the scandals. I think it was also worked out that there has been a 50% drop in membership since 1970, mainly through “attrition”, although the loss of whole parishes like Mayfield certainly has had an impact on such a small church. The growth of the Diocese of the South, which has mainly been growth in small parishes rather than overall numbers (even the Dallas cathedral parish has only, what, 300 members?) has in no way “off-set” the loss of the first and second generation immigrants in the North Eastern states. I certainly don’t think the OCA/Metropolia ever had the 1 000 000 membership one still hears even from official sources. The first generation of Rusyn immigrants to the US is estimated as 225 000, and almost half of them remained Byzantine Catholics or formed ACROD or were lost to the church completely. Even the influx of Great Russians and others after the Revolution who joined the OCA wouldn’t have boosted it up to those figures.

  3. Only 200 people have signed up to spend hundreds of dollars to submit a name into a hat that may or may not get approved by the Holy Synod. Let’s see, my math says that comes out to about one percent of the faithful in the OCA. Welcome to the All-Apathetic Council!

    It amazes me that the hierarchy of the OCA seem to be hanging on to the old press clippings of their importance. Sorry guys, you’re not really relevant anymore. We can only hope that when the hierarchy look out from the altar in Parma, OH they will see the empty seats since they represent the fruits of their labors.

    It’s just my opinion, but maybe it really is time now to turn the lights out in Syosset, NY and start over.

    • Geo Michalopulos says

      You know, if they’re really hard up for warm bodies to show up they might want to call Dr Kalevsmaki and tell him “on second thought…”

      • Speaking of Dr. Kalvesmaki, I went on OCL the other day and while you can no longer read any Kalvesmaki statement on Jonah there, the esteemed opinion of Mark Stokoe in an interview that reads like a prepared essay with Svetlana Vais, member of the parish at Syosset, is there making statements about the Metropolitan that are actionable. Since when did Mark Stokoe get re-elected to the Metropolitan Council or presume to speak for the OCA? Isn’t he under sanctions?

  4. Disgusted With It says

    Speaking of attendees to the AAC, I wonder if there will be guest hierarchs from other jurisdictions as usual. The OCA always liked to play up the whole pan-Orthodox atmosphere at past AAC’s, but this a particularly embarrassing situation so I wonder how they’ll handle it.

    • Just Guessing says

      It would be particularly awkward if they had observers from other jurisdictions since the “Letter of Welcome” from the Locum Tenens clearly threw down the gauntlet to the Episcopal Assembly and to all other jurisdictions, touting that they (the others) are “not the highest legislative authority within the Church.” According to Abp Nathaniel, only the OCA gathered in council is that(!). And in the case of Parma, it would even be a minority of so-called 700 parishes and institutions of the OCA we keep hearing about, since they’ll be lucky to have 150 priests there.

      The OCA is an ever-diminishing sliver of Orthodox Christians in America – big words for a small church.

    • Geo Michalopulos says

      Hierarchs? You’re right! Hierarchs are able to attend.

    • There will be no guest hierarchs from other jurisdictions. None are being invited. As for who the next Metropolitan is going to be, you can go to the bank on this one. No matter who the delegates vote for, the next Primate of the OCA will be Archbishop Tikhon of Eastern PA.

      Bishop Michael does not have the votes on the Synod. It will be +Tikhon. He is perfect for the OCA. He will do nothing, say nothing. He will be dressed up sent out and keep up all the appearances that the Synod, Syosset and the MC are looking for in a Metropolitan. In other words, do what we say, smile and kiss babies. We will think for you, write for you and tell you what to say. No fuss. No muss, and also no inspiration from the Primate of the OCA.

      Once Archbishop TIkhon and Fr. Garretson meet with +Jonah tomorrow morning in DC and tell him to sit down and shut up that sound you will hear is the breath of the Holy Spirit leaving the OCA once and for all.

      For all of you who are still considering going to Parma, don’t waste your time and money, the Synod has made up its mind already. The rest is just ecclesial window-dressing.

      • Nikos,

        I think you are on the right track but given that Archbishop Tikhon bowed out at the seminary because he was too busy, I wonder how he would feel about being the next metropolitan. My guess is that it will Bishop Michael Dahulich. He is well liked by many and is close enough to Syosset to continue the same old pattern of driving from Bronxville to Syoset. Seriously, Frs. Jillions and Tosi don’t have any interest in moving from the area. They have a very biased opinion about keeping Syosset open. That goes also for the archivist, the bookkeeper, the housekeeper, the gardener, the maintenance people and every other person who makes a buck off of the old estate. And it is also convenient for Fr. Kishkovsky who lives right down the road. This isn’t about the guidance of the Holy Spirit, it’s about who is not going to upset the apple cart.

        Someone else asked recently how much it costs to keep Syosset open. The answer is many thousands of dollars. At last check the housekeeper was earning a very nice salary and benefits. It was only under Metropolitan Jonah that anyone dared to seriously consider closing the place down and selling it.

        My suggestion is simple: go back to what they did in 2007, stop paying assessments. Whether anyone cares to remember or not, it brought Syosset to its knees. Without the monthly welfare check from the Diocese of the Midwest, the folks in Syosset were ready to play ball with anything. Yes, starving them financially will work again. Now it’s time to say “goodbye” to all our company …

      • You, Nikos, said:

        Please tell us more. Why are they going to be there? What’s the agenda? Are we getting our Metropolitan back? Somebody making the huge apology?

        • Nikos said –

          Once Archbishop TIkhon and Fr. Garretson meet with +Jonah tomorrow morning in DC and tell him to sit down and shut up that sound you will hear is the breath of the Holy Spirit leaving the OCA once and for all.

      • Oh, Nikos, we can still go to Parma. You don’t want all that hired security to be for nothing, do you?

        Just because this is all a setup, doesn’t mean we have to roll over and play dead. As far as I know, this will be the first AAC to actually attract protesters, and they will know why. They have raped the Church. They should never be allowed to forget that.

        If it is “Metropolitan Tikhon”, just remember “MT” = “empty”

        • Helga,

          The problem is that the OCA Synod Of Bishops believes in “legitimate rape!”

          • George Michalopulos says

            Is that like Whoopi Goldberg’s “rape-rape”?

          • Been walking sideways all week. Went to the doctor, he removed a shaft that said “made in syosset”

            Is this really true what I read on Varvara’s blog this morning? Archbishop Tikhon and Garretson visiting His Beatitude?

            Your Beatitude:

            Lock your door, don’t let the vile bums in! Who are they that they should instruct the only legitimate heard of the Orthodox Church in America. We want you back.

            We love you and support you!

            P. F.

      • Are we sure Archbishop Tikhon is so clean? Wasn’t he the rector of STS? What did he know about the sexual misconduct going on there?

        • Oh there you go Helga with the thinking again . . . . 😉

          • Helga and Colette,

            Methinks someone wants us uppity women to just bake a tray of baklava, stuff a couple hundred cabbage leaves, pay our dues, and shut up. Well, actually, I don’t mind the first three. Question is for whom?

            • You got a chuckle out of me LOH.

              • I’m glad to see Helga, who has obviously exhausted her/his rational faculty, has resorted to word games with the name “Tikhon.” Others, likewise stumped, have tried to jump up towards the bandwagon. I’m not afraid to really get down there with you guys, too, but I warn you, don’t tikh me off!

                • Your Grace, forgive me, but in the Spirit of brotherhood I must reply that it is beneath you to use such words to a child of God. I see it from others, but it is especially hurtful to come from your Grace. I can only assume that these others who are saying unconscionable things here inured you to such. I have looked up to you, I look up to you, I will always look up to you as a leader in Spirituality.

                  PS: I know that the one called Helga here is a woman.

                  • Hurting, et. al.,

                    Let us not lose sight of the underlying fact that comments back and forth on this website and at coffee hours all across the OCA have their foundation in the horrible, selfish and self-serving attitude of the leadership of the OCA. We are left out of the cold to be dictated to by those who wish to cover their own sins at the expense of the good and faithful people, clergy and laity of the OCA.

                    His Grace, Bishop Tikhon, retired of the Diocese of the West, has seen it all as a former member of the OCA synod. He has seen good men and women, faithful men and women, who have given their lives for the sake of Christ and His Church, disposed of as little more than yesterday’s refuse. He has seen men who have been raised to the dignity of Bishop, only to stab those in the back who loved them, protected them and gave them second chance. Understand this Bishop Benjamin.

                    I find it utterly amazing that +Nathaniel can send a letter to be read to the parishes of the OCA Midwest Diocese asking of them to give a second chance to their Bishop while all the while he holds his hand firmly on the shaft of the knife of Protopresbyter Rodion Kondratick. +Nathaniel speaks of second chances yet he has been part of a synod that has blocked every attempt to restore Bishop Nikolai. +Nathaniel speaks of second chances yet he was front and center in the blocking at every attempt and every move to do what is respectful and proper to Metropolitan Jonah.

                    The double standard of this synod to be revolting. +Nathaniel protects the so-called archdeacon Gregory and his long-time partner +Mark (Forsberg) and allowed Gregory Becker to continue as a priest in his diocese while at the same time punishing those who stood up for the truth.

                    And what shall we say about his own Auxiliary bishop bringing to the attention of then Met. Herman the immoral decisions and actions that +Nathaniel perpetrated on the Bride of Christ. To be frank, the OCA is so far from anything legitimate that it would serve Orthodoxy in the land for those Churches already here to say enough to this band of self-serving robbers and begin the painful yet necessary process to dismantle what is known as the OCA.

                    Second chances? Really? It is time for these leaders to come clean and beg our forgiveness for what they have done to the OCA. Until then, whatever they do will not be blessed by God. Until then whatever actions they take should be ignored by world Orthodoxy. Until then, it is time for us to move to safe harbors where we can live our lives free of the impious actions of an empty synod.

                    Indeed, we will go to Parma as we should, but not to be passive players in the illegitimate actions of the OCA leadership but to tell them, face to face, that we do not accept their leadership until they do what is necessary to beg us and the world of their insular and arrogant leadership. Only then when we can come together and try, by God’s Grace to rebuilt what has been fractured and now lies as broken before the Throne of God. Anything less is an affront to God and us.

                • 1. Helga is obviously a woman. She is not arrogant enough to be an Orthodox man. She is also too loving, too consistent, and too functional. I’ll leave the evidence at that, out of respect for the Creator of all the Orthodox men in the world. But I can tell you with 100% certainty that Helga is a woman just from her posts on this website. I have never met her and don’t need to. I’m 100% certain. I also believe that you are sure of this fact and are calling her sex and gender into question in order to be hurtful. You owe her an apology.

                  2. Tikhon is part of the same synod that put out the STINKBOMB, the sole purpose being to destroy the national reputation of the elected leader of the church via a combination of lies and false suggestions. When the national media repeated these false claims and extended these false suggestions, Tikhon was one of those who did what again?

                  • Um! Helga is NOT a woman.

                    • I previously posted a much more thorough reply, a reasoned rationale for my answer to the question of the gender of the anonymous instance writing with the pseudonym “Helga,” but it has disappeared down the rabbit hole, I guess. I’m too old to go into all that again. Too old and not a little disgusted. There is absolutely not the slightest doubt in my conviction that “Helga” is not only a man but probably a member of the OCA clergy. I don’t find it ungallant or unkind to refer to that instance as “him/her”. That does not refer to a person of abnormal sexuality, as some have indignantly assumed, but it recognizes that the instance using the pseudonym “Helga” refuses to come out from hiding, especially about personal gender.
                      I repeat, Helga is a man.

                    • Jane Rachel says

                      “Helga” is a man? That is creepy. Well, I am a woman, for sure and my middle name is Jane… But I don’t contribute the way Helga does. I am reading through her/his posts with a different perspective right now. Helga, tell us the truth… are you really a man?

                    • Jane Rachel says

                      My apologies to the person called “Helga” here for that unnecessary remark. Forgive me, Helga, I was being a noo-noo head.

                    • Carl Kraeff says

                      Your Grace–It looks like “Um” is also a member of the clergy, perhaps even a member of the OCA once upon a time.

  5. LOL

  6. In other news, please take time to read this by Mark Stokoe. It’s just PHENOMENAL! I.E. A crock of . . .

    • Carl Kraeff says

      I thought it was an excellent interview.

    • Phenomenal indeed!!! I wonder, was Ms. Weiss provided her questions by the person she interviewed, identified as Mark Stokoe? It seems to me that if ‘”Mark Sttokoe” had been looking for a dream interviewer, Svetlana Weiss would certainly fill the bill!

    • a little casual plagiarism anyone?

      Reposted from “sons of job” thread
      October 18, 2012 at 6:58 pm

      I followed the link to read the interview in English. Such prose from MS! Look at the answer to question 16 from Mark Stokoe’s interview.

      16. Why is everyone so afraid of you?

      They aren’t afraid of me – they are afraid of secrets. But as we are liberated from our own fears, we liberate others. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. That was the goal of – and it worked.
      So in my heart, I would say that the deepest fear in the OCA is not that we are inadequate: it is the light, not our darkness, that most frightens us. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It’s not just in some of us; it’s in every one of us. As Orthodox Christians we are meant to shine, to be that city on a hill. And that is what we are building in the OCA – not another Kremlin, not another Phanar, not another museum of Christian antiquities, but a city on a hill – one that reveals not our light, but “The Light of the World”


      That looked really familiar to me. So I looked it up. Look at this quote; boldface is mine.

      Marianne Williamson quotes

      “Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, ‘Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous?’ Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.”
      ― Marianne Williamson, Return to Love: Reflections on the Principles of “A Course in Miracles”

      I guess it is not plagiarism if you translate it into Russian.

      Personally I liked the original better.

    • Well, it still seems very odd and inconsistent to me that OCL would publish that interview with Stokoe, “OCA. We are a city on a hill”[!!!] very soon after removing from their website the article by Joel Kalevsmaki “Did the OCA Bishops Lie about Metropolitan Jonah?”.
      (May Stokoe be promoting himself to lead their Accountability Task Force based on his “success” with OCANews?)

  7. Carl Kraeff says

    Some perspective: The number of voters at the 15th AAC was 645.

    • Some more perspectiv: there are more people signed up on the OCAPetition for Investigation than are signed up for the AAC in Parma.

      • Carl Kraeff says

        Dear Colette–That is apples to oranges, no? The folks going to Parma represent OCA parishes, while the ones signing the petiton represent just themselves and some seem to belong to jurisdictions other than the OCA.

  8. Sean Richardson says

    Sounds like if someone wanted to prevent a quorum, they should register, and then not attend. But, perhaps this is not dealing with the root cause of the dissatisfaction concerning this Council. Also, one must be aware, that in history, there have been times only a small percentage of those who should have attended, who actually, attended, and something good came of it. It is all most problematic: Participate in what might be a sham, but then have to deal with the result, or refuse to deal with the sham, and then still have to deal with the result. There are wheels within wheels and fires within fires here …

  9. Esther Smith Holmes says

    Readers of Monomakos: Did you know Saturday is Metropolitan Jonah’s Birthday? It would be
    appropriate to wish him many years!

    • Your Beatitude,

      Wishing you a day free of stress, filled with love and knowing that we are all with you. Happy Birthday and many more!

      Photius F.

  10. OccidentalGuido (Guy Westover) says

    If you wish to be calm do not read rebellious books or pamphlets that mention Church matters, since you are not responsible for such serious affairs. You have need of books that will assist you in YOUR repentance. If you want to help the Church, correct YOURSELF and immediately amendment is made to a small part of the Church. Naturally, if everyone did this, then the Church would be put in order.

    ~ Elder Paisios the Athonite

    • The Elder Paisios never came up against Syosset and the OCA ‘s synodal hoods.

    • Sure, move on. Nothing to see here. Leave the Lavender Mafia and its sycophants to be “responsible for such serious affairs.”

      My own repentence is a collossal train wreck, no question. But I respectfully dissent from the four corners of what this quote suggests in this context.

    • From St. Paul’s letter to the Ephesians, chapter 6:10-15:

      Be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might. Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places. Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day–and having done all–to stand firm. Stand therefore, having fastened on the belt of truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and, as shoes for your feet, having put on the readiness given by the gospel of peace.


      • Amen Amen Amen!!

        • How about collecting a number of appropriate readings and hymnography? For the Theotokion, Ti Iperhaho / Champion Leader, etc… In fact, street busking the Psalter? How bout that. We will collect in a hat for a new monastery in the D.C. area…

  11. OccidentalGuido (Guy Westover) says

    My wife and I have concluded it is time to take action. We will no longer be attending OCA parishes nor supporting OCA causes.

    Will the last person to leave the OCA, please blow out the candles.

    • OccidentalGuido (Guy Westover) Leaving the OCA you say? Well join the wagon train – you aren’t alone. It doesn’t matter what is said on this or other sites. It doesn’t matter if you email and call them personally. The Synod of Bishops running the OCA with the metropolitan council and the employees of Syossot are simply not listening/reading. They are so very out of touch I wonder which of them have said, ‘Let them eat cake.’? Too bad they cannot see that hand writing on the wall, too bad they cannot understand: They are the ones in schism. The church IS the people!

      The revolution is here, and we’re marching away from the sinfulness and blasphemy of those now running the OCA.

      I have, thankfully, been accepted into ROCOR.

      • OccidentalGuido (Guy Westover) says

        FYI– Glory be to God for all things!
        It’s sad for me on many levels. I don’t like change. My family helped to build with their money and their hands– I have a picture of a great uncle on scaffolding roofing our home parish.

        We are two hours from several ROCOR parishes or missions.
        We prayer the preparatory prayers for Holy Communion in the car in the way this morning. It was really a wonderful trip. We ended up at a parish that has services in Slavonic. Knowing only a few prayers in Slavonic, was a challenge, but, we because we know the liturgy it was really more prayerful for us. Very nice.
        People were wonderful and we remained for two hours afterwards.
        The ride home was peaceful.

        There is a Antiochian Mission one town over, twenty minutes away that we can attend in a pinch, but I prefer the Russian or ROCOR Western Rite.

        I will most likely eventually vanish from this site as I leave the OCA and its drama behind.
        But I would be glad to hear from you or anyone else that is making the transition from OCA to elsewhere.

        Guy Westover

        • George Michalopulos says

          Guy, this site is more than about the OCA. Although the last ten stories have been OCA-centric, that’s only because things are heating up. Once the OCA is settled (whatever that may entail), I intend to keep the other jurisdictions honest –as well as speak about the culture and our political situation.

    • Lots are leaving the OCA, actually, quietly moving to other parishes to get away from the chaos if not downright obstinate refusal to manage the church in anything approaching a canonical and Orthodox way.

  12. Thomas Paine says

    Many of you folks here are so silly. Actually, + Tikhon from St. Tikhon’s would be a great choice. He’s very smart, very pastoral, level-headed and would be far from a “do-nothing” leader. He would offer stability and most importantly, he believes in the OCA. Oh, did a mention his mother is an Episcopalian cleric? How about his public admittance of going through counseling? Yet, a good man and a good leader. + Michael can continue administering to the NY Diocese and St. Tikhon’s.

    • Mmmm… Tikhilicious.

      • Tikhon Masala, anyone?

      • I’ll bite, Helga! You ask if we are SURE Archbishop Tikhon is cleen, right? How about you tell YOUR answers to that question and this one: “What did he know about the sexual misconduct going on there?”
        Oh, you mean it isn’t a test? You actually are asking us? If you know something, please, tell us. I can answer one of your questions. Yes, Archbishop Tikhon was the Rector of STS. Now, if the ground rules have shifted, I believe one may now ask, ‘Helga! Are we SURE Metropolitan Jonah is clean?” Are you SURE you want to go there?

        • George Michalopulos says

          Your Grace, from what we know of Jonah, it appears he’s one of the few bishops that are clean in the OCA.

          • M. Stankovich says

            Mr. Michalopulos,

            And here you have hit upon the most significant truth to date: from what we know, it appears. Where is the former Metropolitan? Why is he not answering these questions himself? What kind of man allows a woman to mount his “timeline” defense? What type of “leader” travels from event to event, seemingly without a care in the world, while anonymous cowards shamelessly and lustfully “scour closets” and threaten “law suits” in his name? An entire BigFish industry has arisen to “set a hedge about him ,” making certain he not face the same scrutiny, that he not answer questions that only he can answer.

            I don’t want to hear a woman tell me that a timeline “proves” he did not shelter a drunken rapist against the expressed wishes of the Holy Synod; I want to hear it from his mouth. I don’t don’t want to hear from “propagandist contortionists” that he was handed a speech and coerced to read it before the AAC; I want to hear it from his mouth. I don’t want to hear from anyone but the two individals present in the room that the former Metropolitan was threatened & coerced to resign, and we have already hear from one. And I certainly don’t want to hear from the unqualified and the ignorant that he is not “gravely troubled”; I want to hear from him what he was recommended to undertake “out of his love for the church and the faithful,” and why he chose not to follow that recommendation. If you say to me, “He need not answer to anyone,” or “He is too humble/monastic/Christ-like to defend himself,” then I say, he mocks St. Chrysostom himself:

            The truly excellent Bishop ought neither to think lightly of [accusations], but to clear himself with all men of the charges which they bring against him, with great forbearance and meekness, pardoning their unreasonable fault-finding… to remove evil suspicions, even if they happen to be false, and most unreasonable, and very foreign to our thought.

            We must we use far greater zeal, to uproot and prevent floating reports which are not good, but to see beforehand from afar whence they come, and to remove beforehand the causes from which they are produced, not to wait till they are established and are the common topics in every one’s mouth. For then it is not easy in the future to destroy them, but very difficult, perhaps impossible, and not without mischief, because this is done after many have been injured.

            On the Priesthood, Book VI, 9

            Keep this in moderation as long as you see fit, Mr. Michalopulos, but the truth is simple: there is only one man who can answer these questions. My message to those who are traveling to Parma – clergy and delegates – who are not involved in this discussion, but will gather together to set forth the course of the future of the OCA: neither Monomakhos, the “sons of job,” ChristinaFevrone, OrthodoxTruth, OrthodoxNews, and anyone similar cannot answer these questions beyond speculation. If the former Metropolitan attends the AAC, demand he answer them.

            • George Michalopulos says

              Maybe because he’s obedient to the unHoly Synod which asked him to not speak on things? Maybe because he’s a man of his word? I dunno, what do you think?

              • Carl Kraeff says

                I am so happy that he has kept his word. Hint: If he had kept his word after Santa Fe, we would still be calling him His Beatitude.

            • Son of Job #2 says

              The most significant truth to date? Really?

              Google “Met. Jonah rape.” It will reveal the damage that your friends have done and that you implicitly defend. And no, proof-texting Chrysostom doesn’t make your case. He had experience with false accusers and their fellow-travelers.

              I’ll make it easy:


              • M. Stankovich says

                “Surely you also are one of them; for your speech betrays you.” (Matt. 26:73)

                No, dude! Just like before; you can’t make your point and shut up. No. “Hold the Synod in abeyance,” and shut up. No. Back at it, back it. If I had know it was you, you conman deceiver, I wouldn’t have given you the time of day. Take your five years of Orthodoxy and rattle the jimmies of some other jurisdiction. You are truly an empty vessel. And please, Google “Met. Jonah defended by orthodox washouts.” And you are a “proof-text” in the flesh of his poor judgement: a wise man would have put a ton of miles between you and him. Slither off, pal, ROCOR waits to be pillaged.

                • George Michalopulos says

                  Michael, there’s no reason to let your hatred for Jonah and the traditionalism he stands for cloud your judgment.

                  • M. Stankovich says

                    Mr. Michalopulos,

                    You have on a number of occasions ascribed to me “hatred” for the former Metropolitan. It is untrue, it is ridiculous, it is unfounded, and I resent your repeated implication.

                    • Michael,
                      Then why not condemn the libel and slander against him? Demand repentence from those who have him branded in the national press as one who covers up rape. Demand that they correct their false claims and suggestions. Demand that they clear his name and repent for their role in smearing it.

                      If someone did to you what the synod has done to Jonah, I would insist that they make things right. I would not support them in any way until they cleared your name. Why can you not do the same for Jonah?

                      If you do not hate him, then stop mocking his physical appearance publicly. Even if you had self-inflicted lessions on your face, I would not bring it up in public. Why do you insist on condemning Jonah publicly for his weight, complexion, and other things that you have no direct knowledge of? These things are irrelevant to the crisis in the OCA. The synod put out a letter explaining why they demanded his resignation, and these were not reasons. Stop pretending they were, stop talking about your imagined reasons in public, if you do not hate him. Moreover, stop inventing reasons to denigrate him, if you do not hate him.

                      You do hate Jonah, there is ample evidence that you do. Until you stop enabling and furthering his abuse, this is a fact, not an implication. It is a matter of public record, and you yourself bear responsibility for publicly correcting your very public wrongs against this man.

                      Repent, Michael. Renounce the evil actions taken against this man. Your mistreatment of Jonah offends me and your Creator. Repent and seek reconciliation with your God and fellow man. There is nothing stopping you except blind, irrational hatred.

                    • M. Stankovich says


                      My thought, Um, is that you do not appreciate the power of the story of the rich man who approaches Jesus (Mk. 10:17ff). Unlike other descriptions of the fairly obvious messages associated with interactions with the “rich,” this one is unique. Obviously, Jesus discerned something different about this man, because St. Mark notes “having [ἐμβλέψας αὐτῷ] looked at him, [ἠγάπησεν αὐτὸν] he loved him” (v.21) And of course, He told him sell all that he had, and the man leaves “grieved, because he had many possessions.” So what is so unique? The narrative ends as all similar narratives, no? I believe that what is distinguishing here is what Jesus saw, and that was his heart; and knowing his heart, “he loved him.” And because He loved him, He stated the obvious – and some of us would have been moved to say, “Wait! Let’s negotiate. Give away one-twelfth per month…” – and his confrontation was harsh. But St. Mark purposely points out to us, “he loved him.” In my own opinion, this rich man went away grieved, but ultimately it led to his salvation.

                      Let me state to you AGAIN: I did not determine that the former Metropolitan is in need of treatment. He voluntarily submitted himself to five days of assessment with licensed clinical experts, and they reached this conclusion. This fact is everywhere on the internet, including this site. I have only said that appearance is a significant diagnostic factor of one’s general health state, and morbid obesity is a life threatening condition. STATE THE OBVIOUS. This is not mocking. This not joking. This in not hatred. it is the obvious.

                      By day and by night, I am around the most loathsome assemblage of humanity’s cast-offs; at times threatened; frequently verbally abused; occasionally “gassed” or spit on; twice even whooped. I have every rational, logical reason to hate any or many. I do not. I do not have any – read it again – I do not have any feelings of hatred for the former Metropolitan. You can believe me, or you can believe your lying psychodynamic hoohah.

                      Your flair for the melodramatic is a bit nauseating, seriously, and unless you are running for County Prophet tomorrow and need endorsements, dude, you are beginning to sound like Timmy from reruns of “Lassie, Come Home!” on Nik at Night.

                    • Michael, you ignored what I said. You are not listening.

                      Also you have repeatedly said you do not know the results of any professional evaluation of Jonah, so why claim otherwise here? The only reason is to avoid dealing with your own guilt in enabling the abuse of Jonah by your church.

                    • Michael James Kinsey says

                      The rich man and his brothers taught and practiced the Royal Law, as the young ruler saiid he practiced this his whole young life. The Christ loved him for this.The Christ guides the young ruler to now apply the Royal Law to the poor,(Lazarius).The young man considered himself good and his famiily, but the poor were not so considered, which is why the Lord Jesus Christ said, Why doth thou call me good, there is none good, but the father. He went away sorrowful. But, I belief the story does not end here. The Royal Law was written in his heart, and eventually he obeyeded his heart. He reappears in the scripture as the young man wearing just a towel, who was following the Christ during HIs Passion. He have given everything away to the poor as guided, and the last thing he had was the towel, which the Roman soldiers ripped away, and he ran away naked..In that moment it must have appeared all was lost to him as his Teacher was being murdered.But, it only appears that way. He ,indeed, has riches in Heaven beyond our experience. Does this sound like a rerun from Lassie come home. Pardom me if I am not the Michael you address.

                    • Michael James Kinsey says

                      Father, the Only Holy One. typo

      • Heracleides says

        That’s just re-Tikhilous!

    • Thomas Paine sounds like Syosset. Eric is that you?

      Oh yes Bishop Tikhon he’s our man. We have arrived at a place that the least terrible choice is the right one. We certainly saw his leadership during all the recent crisis. Remember how he stood up and offered all that public support to Archbishop Job, or sided with Jonah as he tried to investigate Benjamin’s stuff. Remember how he spoke out against the lies of the letter against Jonah, and how he spoke out as Bishop Michael sought to grab power from Dean Atty. Remember how he has gone on record over and over about the predation of St Tikhon students and has sought them out to help them. No I don’t remember that either.

      Sadly, Bishop Tikhon will not be able to define this Synod towards Christ. They have repeatedly avoided repentance and have shown themselves quick to silence those who would speak out. The Tikhon you speak of is your last desperate hope of a hopeless gang of men who are great lovers of self. Keep trying Thomas maybe one of them will be the man. The surprise to all is that according to canon, statute, and discussions in Moscow we may already have a Metropolitan named Jonah. If we do then what is the canonical condition of the rest of the Synod?

      Imagine,…Metropolitan Jonah showing up at Parma, a representative of the Moscow patriarchate on one side of him, and ROCOR on the other. Do the armed guards prevent Jonah, and the MP, and ROCOR from entering? Jonah walks up front , takes the first seat in front of all, leads the AAC in praying a Moleben for the Church in times of controversy, and at its conclusion gavels the AAC closed. Now the synod will be dealt with and we will get to see how bad a leader he really is. Those visitors to Jonah better sue for peace while they can. Repentance is the only way forward!

      • “Imagine,…Metropolitan Jonah showing up at Parma, a representative of the Moscow patriarchate on one side of him, and ROCOR on the other. Do the armed guards prevent Jonah, and the MP, and ROCOR from entering? Jonah walks up front , takes the first seat in front of all, leads the AAC in praying a Moleben for the Church in times of controversy, and at its conclusion gavels the AAC closed. Now the synod will be dealt with and we will get to see how bad a leader he really is.”

        Hmmm. Not a bad plan . . . . Let’s see if they are busy.

        • Charles Demetrios says

          Especially if said reps are Abp Justinian and Met Hilarion (Kapral). Would love to see the looks on the faces of the synod and their parrots if that were to happen.

    • Gregg Gerasimon says

      “Oh, did [I] mention his mother is an Episcopalian cleric?”

      It seems that you write this as if this is a good thing? Hopefully, I am mistaken and I’m simply misunderstanding your point. Most of us think that a female “priesthood” is not a good thing and is inconsistent with historical Christianity. Most certainly having a mother who is a female priest does not bolster anyone’s qualifications to be a First Hierarch of a church. If anything, it could be a detriment I would think.

  13. Thank you Christine and Fr Justin for your questions. Not knowing how all this is to work, I didn’t know the questions even, to ask my priest. So far though I don’t think I’ve seen any answers. It appears that Syosset just does whatever they want? I thought there was something about “by all the people” somewhere.
    Thomas, it seems you think that ArchbshopTikhon having a mother who is a Episcopalian cleric is a good thing? How? Why?

    • Lola J. Lee Beno says

      I think you should still ask your priest, nonetheless.

      • Lola,

        If we were to be judged by our forebears, we would either fall short or be confused with somebody else. It is we ourselves who will be judged. I am not looking forward to that encounter with great confidence….

        I don’t know anything about Bp. Tikhon. May he be someone who adorns the Church with his wisdom!

        I do know about the Metropolitan, having been in his diocese for the past four years. Metropolitan Jonah has THE VISION THING. Does Bp. Tikhon have the Vision Thing?

        • George Michalopulos says

          I’ve heard he’s a good man but somewhat of a non-entity. The sad thing is that some of the men who have vision have tremendous flaws (e.g. the late Iakovos, Met Philip).

          What’s sad is that the last thing the OCA needs now is a non-entity. Even though Arb Demetrios of the GOA is an upright man of great sanctity, the GOA has achieved stasis at best since the removal of Iakovos. The OCA doesn’t have the reserves of the GOA to go on indefinately in an entropic fashion. Tikhon would not be controversial but he wouldn’t be anything.

  14. Jim of Olym says

    If the synod already know who will be ‘elected’ Metropolitan, why bother al those plebs with a council?
    They could just do it with a conference phone call.

    but the ‘niceties’ have to be preserved, eh?

    • George Michalopulos says

      Yes they do. Word on the street is that Arb Tikhon has it in the bag. A nice guy overall but a non-entity. And the fact that his mother is an Episcopalian priestess puts the kybosh on any further Orthodox evangelism.

      • That doesn’t follow, George.
        Tikhon himself converted.
        If he had any qualms about respecting his mother’s religious sensitivities, he surely wouldn’t have converted in the first place.
        What will be interesting if he is elected, though, is whether his mother shows up to the enthronement liturgy in Western clericals…although it has happened numerous times, I still have an experience of cognitive dissonance veering towards apoplexy whenever I see a woman in a clerical collar.

        • George Michalopulos says

          Indeed, in both my trips to Great Britain, the sight of priestesses wearing full clerical garb in Westminster, Canterbury, or Bath Abbey, frankly destroyed the sense of aesthetic wonder I felt going in. It’s like walking into Gallagher’s Steakhouse and seeing a man eat a Big Mac.

          Seriously though, we cannot know what is in Metropolitan-to-be Tikhon’s heart but I am very confident that all serious traditional-Anglican/OCA dialogue will come to a screeching halt. Instead, what I fear is for more of the ecumenist/modernist variety. And of course, because homosexuality is the rotting corse in the middle of both ECUSA’s and the OCA’s rooms, this sin will continue to be studiously overlooked.

          • A wise priest and good friend (sadly, now reposed) would reassure Anglican/Episcopal converts to the Orthodox faith that they no longer needed to suffer anxiety about the priestesses. His accurate message was that, since the Episcopal church is outside of, and is not part of, the True Church, we are to leave that organization and its errors/sins/problems/etc. to whatever will be God’s mercy and judgment.

            He was right. We need not obsess about the Episcopalians any more so than we need obsess about the Catholics, Mormons, Jehovah’s Witnesses, Scientologists, Presbyterians, or any other religious group. We can pray for their repentance, but they are not part of the Church. They are for God to take care of in His own ways.

          • Archpriest John W. Morris says

            Any serious dialogue between traditional Anglicans and Orthodoxy should be done on a Pan-Orthodox level the way that we do other dialogues. It should be done through the Committee on Ecumenism of the Assembly of Bishops just as other dialogues in the past were done through SCOBA. In that way, the mother of the Metropolian of the OCA or of any other Orthodox Bishop will have no impact on the dialogue.
            One of the problems with our dialogues with other groups is that we send people who know Orthodoxy, the Fathers, and our Faith, but do not know a whole lot about the others. I have studied other Christian groups a great deal. When I was on the Lutheran dialogue, I studied Lutheranism in detail and kept up with current developments in the Lutheran Churches. I have kept up with Anglicanism. Continuing Anglicans are are very ethnocentric want to preserve their English heritage. They see us as foreign and Eastern. The continuing Anglicans are mostly evangelicals who want to go back to Reformation Anglicanism, which was most definitely Protestant and was highly influenced by Calvinism. Some of them are full fledged TULIP Synod of Dort Calvinists which is just about as far from Orthodoxy that you can get. Metropolitan Jonah really upset them when he told them that we consider Calvin an heretic. They were also not happy with opposition to women’s ordination.

            • Fr John,
              The “Continuing Anglicans” are mostly moderately conservative (or moderately liberal; take your pick!) high church and anglo-catholic types, not evangelicals. The evangelicals are largely still within the official Anglican Communion, albeit in “impaired fellowship” with Canterbury because of Rowan Williams’s inaction on the ECUSA and homosexual matters. However, they still hope to turn the world-wide communion around. Much depends, they tell me, on who the next ABC will be.

              • Basil, I’m going to agree with Fr. John on this one. We have a friend — no longer a close friend, but he and his wife used to be very close and dear friends for us — who now is a priest within the group approached by Met. Jonah. This priest sturdily rejects the Orthodox Church because of its stance as the true Church, among other things. His wife spent years belittling our beliefs and practice until I no longer could bear it. Both of these people are well-liked and highly respected among their Anglican group. I expect that they are representative of “the type”. Yes, Evangelical.

                • Antonia,
                  An Anglican Evangelical clergyman will not refer to himself as a priest. The group approached by Met Jonah were not Evangelical in the Anglican sense. Of the church bodies of the Continuing Anglican movement, the only one I can think of that would be in any way officially Evangelical or Calvinistic would be the Church of England (Continuing), which is very small. The majority of church bodies within the Continuing Anglican movement come out of the high-church or anglo-catholic stream of Anglicanism.

                  Fr John, as one who was educated in Church of England schools and has long observed Anglicanism as an “outsider within”, I can anecdotally confirm what you say about the high incidence and toleration of homosexuality among Anglo-Catholics. If I had to associate with any sort of Anglican, I would much rather it be the earnest and simple Evangelical than the mincing and duplicitous Anglo-Catholic.

                  • Archprie st John W. Morris says

                    I know that it is hard to believe, but there is a growing and very vocal Calvinist movement among continuing Anglicans.Anglicanism has no set doctrine. It is whatever you want it to be. A person can wear traditional vestments, chant use incense and sound almost Orthodox, but think and believe in a completely Protestant manner. We have to be very careful when dealing with Anglicans. There is a whole history that tells of how many times Orthodox have been fooled by Anglicans. Here in America the Episcopal Church told the Orthodox that they believed the same thing that we do and went around to small Orthodox communities and told them that they did not need to organize an Orthodox Church, but could be Orthodox and join the Episcopal Church. As a result, there are places all over the U.S. where we should have had Orthodox Churches, but do not because the Episcopalians fooled our people into believing that they could be Orthodox and Episcopalian at the same time.

                    • Fr John,
                      No Anglican Calvinist I know would wear a chasuble, chant and use incense; but I guess anything is possible in America!
                      Having said that, some Anglo-Catholics were always evasive on the real presence, but I’m not sure that alone is enough to declare them crypto-Calvinists.

                    • Basil Takach says

                      Quite true about the Episcopalians evangelizing among Orthodox immigrants decades ago. A sizable number of Arab immigrants in one community I recall had their children baptized initially at a Slavic parish, but joined the Episcopalians ‘en masse’ when they were unable to form their own parish. Some later joined the Greek parish when it was founded in the 1920’s, but most remained Protestant.

                    • Archpriest John W. Morris says

                      To Basil

                      I know that it seems contradictory, but there are indeed Anglican Calvinists who chant, wear chasubles and use incense. In Jackson, Mississippi the parish of the Reformed Episcopal Church, which definitely has a strong Calvinist influence, advertises Solemn High Mass at Christmas. Anglicans treat religion like a salad bar. They pick and choose what they want. A little Calvinism, a little Catholicism, etc. Many continuing Anglicans call themselves Reformed Catholics, which means that they can use Catholic ceremony but believe in Calvinist especially when it comes to the question of free will.

                  • You amplify your background a bit, so I can understand better where you are coming from. The words “Evangelical in the Anglican sense” thrusts me into the middle of 19th century British literature, where this usage is clearly delineated! I used the term in the U.S. sense (not exclusively for Episcopalians), which does describe my friends. A priest’s wife who ridicules what she derisively terms “smells and bells”, icons, confession, and other basics of our Orthodox life, is on another planet from traditional Anglo-Catholicism. As I wrote before, both he and she are prominent and respected within that particular group (the group known to Met. Jonah). How others within their organization view the world, I don’t know. I won’t spend any more time on the issue, though. Thanks for your thoughts!

                    • Antonia,
                      Yes, it’s probable there are cultural differences between Anglicanism as I know it from the British side and the varied world of American Episcopalianism that account for our different “takes” on this. Think the “Barchester Chronicles” of Trollope to get an idea of the background to English Evangelical-High Church identities and rivalries.

                    • Dear Basil,

                      Exactly! I’m well-soaked in Trollope, Gaskell, Eliot, Austen, Hardy and Dickens. Many differences between British and American versions of this, as well as so much else.

                    • Archprie st John W. Morris says

                      There is a difference between the more Catholic minded Anglicans who left after the ordination of women and those who left over the acceptance of homosexuality and lesbianism by the Episcopal Church. My impression is that many of the new former Episcopalians are heavily influenced by the Charismatic Movement. Because of their disenchantment with the Episcopal Church many of them have searched for their Anglcian roots by remphasizing the Articles of Religion and the pre-Laud version of Calvinism, which was highly influenced by Calvinism.
                      There is a growing Calvinist movement through the entire American Evangelical community. They are gaining a great deal of influence within the Southern Baptist Convention, for example. The only ones that are immune to Calvinism are those from the Wesleyan tradition. Wesley was a fervent Arminian.

                    • To Fr John,
                      I remembered something which may explain the penchant of Episcopalian Calvinists for high forms of worship: the American revisions of the Prayer Book (1785 & 1928) have always retained more catholic elements than the English editions. I note the REC rejects the nomenclature of “priests” – how that tallies with having Solemn High Mass I’ll leave to them to work out. As more than one Anglican has said to me “consistency is the hobgoblin of small minds”!

                      To Antonia
                      “Barchester Chronicles” should, of course, be “Barsetshire Chronicles”.

              • Archpriest John W. Morris says

                If you ask two Anglicans what Anglicans believe on any specific issue, you will get three conflicting answers. One of the characteristics of Anglicanism is its lack of doctrinal conformity. However, my impression of the continuing Anglican movement is that the prevailing ethos is Anglican Evangelicalism with a heavy Augustinian and Calvinist influence. I used to think that there were Anglicans who were very close to Orthodoxy, but my honest opinion is that pro-Orthodox Anglicans left the Anglican Church after the ordination of women. The new group of continuing Anglicans left over the gay issue and have a very different orientation than those Anglicans like myself who left over women’s ordination. I have also learned that many of the old fashioned Anglo-Catholics were really ritualists who did not have a strong commitment to theology as long as they could ape Roman Catholicism in their services. Indeed, there is strong evidence that there was a strong homosexual element in Anglo-Catholicism.

                • One of the characteristics of Anglicanism is its lack of doctrinal conformity.

                  That was the core of my decision to leave so long ago. Flatly opposing viewpoints regarding just about any theological point both were correct. Being only 21 at the time, I felt I was immersed in religious insanity (aka Episcopal church), and desperately had to escape.

          • Archpriest John W. Morris says

            I do not think that you have to worry much about further dialogue of the type that you describe as of the ecumenist/modernist variety. Decisions in the Bishop’s Assembly are made by consensus. I know without a doubt that our Antiochian Bishops will oppose any dialogue that would compromise our Orthodox Faith. Actually most of the fear of ecumenism is over blown. There is no chance whatsoever that the Orthodox Church will enter into union with and Protestant group unless they convert to Orthodoxy. I also am quite sure that the Orthodox Church will not compromise its Faith by submitting to Roman domination.

            • George Michalopulos says

              I agree with you Fr. I don’t fear an actual syncretism. Remember what Mark Stokoe said a long time ago: I would never be so stupid as to change the Church’s view on homosexuality, abortion, etc” (paraphrase). That’s not the fear. The fear is that the OCA –and by extension the rest of American Orthodoxy–would be dragged into silence on orthopractic issues, thereby being complicit. Like the ultra-liberals who were never members of the Communist Party per se but were enthusiastic fellow-travellers.

              Indeed, the entire impetus of the NCC and its agent-in-place has been to neutralize American Orthodoxy in just such a way. That’s why Kishkovsky and his ennablers in the past have been able to table and/or derail any discussion on the OCA’s membership in the OCA for a good twenty years now. Not only is it a sweet gig for Kishkovsky, the OCA provides needed theological cover for this demonic organization.

              • Archpriest John W. Morris says

                I honestly do not see any trends in that direction in our Archdiocese. We may have a few closet liberals, but the overwhelming majority of our clergy and all our Bishops are very vocal in their belief that homosexual actions are sinful.

            • Fr. John, I agree with you but my rationale is different. Orthodoxy and particularly the OCA needn’t worry about evangelizing to Anglicans, as they have observed the treatment of Met Jonah, and that alone was enough to run off anyone interested in coming to Orthodoxy.

              Besides, Fr. K is not interested in swelling the ranks of the church with conservative faithful – it doesn’t suit the agenda.

              • Archpriest John W. Morris says

                The conflict over Metropolitan Jonah does not really have any effect on the rest of Orthodoxy. The Antiochian Western Rite would appeal to former Anglcians. ROCOR seems quite dedicated to the growth of their Western Rite, but I am not sure how well they are venting candidates for their Western Rite. I know of two men who were rejected by our Archdiocese who got ordained by ROCOR in their Western Rite.

                • Perhaps the conflict does not, but the uncorrected mistreatment does. It demeans all of humanity, is an offense against the Creator, and gives all of Christianity (not just Orthodoxy) a bad name. It also encourages gay activists to move forward with their take down or immobilization of more faith-based institutions both Christian and non-Christian.

          • George, Archbishop Job can’t do anything about his mother, you know. That’s not in the natural order of things.
            But i understand your reaction to England. I first had a reaction like that when, back in the 1950s, I first saw the movie, “Mondo Cane.” It’s a potpourri of bizarre stuff from around the world: It showed geese with tin funnels down their throats being force fed in order to produce pate; it showed Kobe cattle being massaged and fed beer from bottles, and it showed a Norwegian woman Lutheran minister in her little chapel. It all made for a wonderful collection of exotica, but that woman really looked weird!

          • Let us hope and pray, George, that good things are in his heart, as I’m sure there are.

        • Lola J. Lee Beno says

          I likely won’t be there to witness this, should this happen, so you’ll have to ask someone else. Plus, the National Cathedral is just about 5 minutes up the street, literally within walking distance.

      • So, what is it that ‘non-entity’ means, if anything?

        • George Michalopulos says

          Basically a non-descript company man. One who won’t rock the boat and one who is unknown and will remain uknowable. The opposite of a Philip, Iakovos, or Jonah.

          • You can see how he’d be passable as a poor-man’s +Jonah, though. Archbishop Tikhon is an Episcopalian convert, mighty long beard, relatively young. So he has the externals. He has no heart like +Jonah’s heart, but he’ll go along to get along. Metropolitan Tikhon = MT = EMPTY. Fine with me if EMPTY wants to be captain of the OCA Titanic as it slides towards its watery grave.

            And Stan thinks it’ll be Bishop Melchisedek? Well, Bishop Melchisedek is already 70 years old. And if SLI was freaked out by Met. Jonah’s appearance, let them get a load of +Melchisedek. Please, I would buy tickets to see that.

            • Helga, Archbishop Tikhon is not a poor man’s Jonah, by any stretch of the imagination. He’s much more modest, and much more monastic in habits than Jonah. The important Orthodox monastic vow of stability is fulfilled in the life of someone like Archbishop Tikhon. YOu’re really scraping the bottom of the barrel here, in order not to entertain the idea that anyone could be an improvement on Metropolitan Jonah in any way. Archbishop Tikhon is at home in his own skin. I’m amazed that you could be so knee-jerk defensive about Metropolitan’s patent and dangerously unhealthy obesity, and then make that kind of remark about Bishop Melchizedek’s LOOKS!
              In my opinion, the Holy Synod sinned in their treatment of Metropolitan Jonah, but if they had elected Tikhon (Mollard) in the first place it would have been a better choice.
              In the Russian Church (and I’m not afraid to hold that Church up as an example) no hierarch who has not been a hierarch for at least five years may even be considered for First Hierarch/Patriarch. The most egregious behavior is that of the Holy Synod which CHOSE to elect him and in a short span of time allowed his resignation to be demanded of him, and complaining that he bewildered them! They’ve never repented of it: in fact, they blamed him and made him suffer for a choice they are unwilling to take responsibility for!
              I”ve never heard the slightest hint of immorality made relative to Archbishop Tikhon. To call him “the poor man’s Jonah is really straining, straining. What do you know, Helga, about EITHER Jonah’s or Tikhon’s *****heart***** that makes you think you may compare them?
              Tikhon is NOT gregarious, and can actually live with himself without having to be surrounded by an audience. He’s at home in his own skin. No, there’s really no comparison, especially like the one you made, Helga! Not being Jonah is not a fault except, perhaps to Jonah’s mother… that’s what mothers are for. And one mother should be enough.

              • Bruce Wm. Trakas says

                Hum, based on what I’m reading, seems to me Archbishop Tikhon of Philadelphia is just what the OCA needs at this time, an example of monastic humility, a man of God. We had two dynamic types in the GOAA, Archbishop Iakovos and Archbishop Spyridon; +Iakovos knew how to use the organs of the church to put forward his dynamic initiatives, Archbishop Spyridon, not so much. Archbishop Demetrios came along and by his witness fostered healing and spiritual focus.

                Likewise, with due respect to him never-the-less George, you can’t put Metropolitan Jonah into the same sphere as +Iakovos and +Phillip by any means because he accomplished little if anything. I’ve had to rely on you and other commentators to even understand what he was trying to accomplish and still don’t really know what he was trying to do. He may have been a man of God, but he was entirely inept in regard to advancing his agenda, whatever it may have been, and influencing church initiatives.

                • George Michalopulos says

                  I couldn’t disagree with you more Bruce. Just take a look at Jonah’s itinerary during his tenure. He was everywhere almost at once. And he wasn’t imposing himself on venues but was enthusiastically invited by all sorts of people. The stock of the OCA had never been higher. There had even been a rapprochment with Constantinople. Now this is all thrown away.

              • Is this the way ya’ll are kissing off Metropolitan Jonah?

                As for Bishop Tikon, why are people judging him by his mother? Did he not leave mother and father to choose Christ?

                listen to no. 17, “My bitter world” at

              • Your Grace, before you whip out a ruler to try to prove to me which of the two is more modest and monastic, please remember that Archbishop Tikhon, as much as he has qualities you admire, was still a member of the Lesser Synod bearing primary responsibility for the current crisis. Archbishop Tikhon put his signature on the Stinkbomb and foisted it on his diocese. In your words, Archbishop Tikhon “blamed [Met. Jonah] and made him suffer for a choice [Abp. Tikhon is] unwilling to take responsibility for!”

                So, Your Grace, if you please, I am not really interested in any of the Archbishop’s other monastic-appearing habits until he issues a full apology and repents for all of those things.

                What I was saying is that Abp. Tikhon bears some superficial similarity to Met. Jonah. Obviously, there is no real comparing the two, although we disagree on exactly how. But if he’s who they have in mind, they will probably try to pass him as someone with Met. Jonah’s good points. The reality is not so simple, of course.

                As for my comments about Bp. Melchisedek, I frankly don’t care how Bp. Melchisedek manages his appearance. But it’s a fact that Met. Jonah has neither the most severe weight problem, nor even the most unusual appearance, even among the small group of men who make up the current OCA synod. So why does Met. Jonah get all the grief?

                Do I think Metropolitan Jonah is a perfect bishop? No. I certainly won’t say that there is no one in or eligible for the Orthodox episcopacy who could improve on his work. However, I will say that no current OCA diocesan bishop could possibly be an improvement on him, not by a long shot.

            • Archpriest John W. Morris says

              I was in a meeting with Bishop Melchisedek and gave him a ride back to his hotel. I did not notice anything particularity strange about his appearance or manner.

              • Fr. John, I realize unusualness may be in the eye of the beholder, but I cannot recall ever seeing Bishop Melchisedek without half his hair hanging out of a tiny ponytail. It’s not really about him, but how it is strange that certain people don’t find anything unusual about how Bp. Melchisedek looks, but feel free to pick on Met. Jonah.

      • I feel that if Archbishop Tikhon is elected, he will be a kind, non-competitive, non-confrontational leader very much like Metropolitan Theophilus (Fashkovsky) was. In Metropolitan Evlogy’s memoirse, “Put’ moiei Zhizni” (My Life’s Path), he writes of how disappointed he was in the presence of Metropolitan Theophilus at the meeting of the Synod in Yugoslavia. Evlogy thought him to be too passive and that he was most like a “typical Russian country batiushka.” But we all know that Metropolitan Theophilus’s incumbency was FAR from non-;productive: not only the “Temporary Agreement” with ROCOR, but the opening of St. Tikhon’s and St. Vladimir’s and a period of great growth in the Metropolia. Then, too, there were always disconcerting and discouraging anecdotes, true and false, about the tyranny of this or that Chancellor, about Alexander Bezsmertnyj’s strangle hold on everything financial, known only to him and so on and so on. Moral scandals were, sorrowfully, not unheard-of….one way of “handling” them was to release a culprit to the Moscow Exarchate which would, they said, “Take ANYBODY.”
        The main difference between the moral “level” of ALL the Orthodox Churches then and now, is the instantaneous access of information to anyone and everyone. Some of the events involving Antiochian, ROCOR, Metropolia, GOA, Romanians, Bulgarians, Serbs, etc., of the past would truly curl the hair of many persons participating in this blog today!!!

        • OccidentalGuido (Guy Westover) says

          Master bless!

          No one on this forum has the knowledge to speak about the characteristics of the individual bishops from the same perspective as you do. I always appreciate your candor, and usually your humor.

          When it come to Archbishop Tikhon I think the one thing we have a tendency to overlook is his more genuine monastic life of stability and prayer. With a man of humility and prayer, God’s grace can overcome just about any other personality quirk. Perhaps, through God’s grace, the “go with the flow” bishop of Eastern PA will become the Metropolitan that the OCA needs.

          I do not know. But any hope of H.B. Jonah rising from the ashes like a phoenix in the blue mandias and white klobuk, which so many here seem to hope for, is just not going to happen outside of a pipe dream.

          Its still all so very sad.

        • Catherine 9 says

          We are waiting to hear any of those events you care to disclose – !!!

        • Basil Takach says

          His Grace raises a valid point regarding the instantaneous nature of the spreading of opinion,news, and along with it gossip and propaganda, in our modern world. He, like me, is old enough to remember how in the ‘old days’ those seeking to spread either truth or gossip within the church would go to such extremes as typing broadsheets, using carbon paper to copy them and going to a rural post office to mail them across this or that diocese in the hope (usually futile) that the poster’s anonymity might be preserved. Others had access to the fraternal or even church sponsored newsletters and bi-weekly publications for such purposes and parish meetings? – Ask anyone over sixty or so who has been around the block what they used to be like – not just in the old Metropolia but among all of the jurisdictions His Grace mentioned. AS to waiting to disclose the same – much can be found among the various papers indexed and published by Orthodox History on their website, others are best relegated to the dust bins of history. Let God be the judge.

      • Archpriest John W. Morris says

        Why? If the mother of the Metropolitan on one jurisdiction is a Protestant minister, it has no bearing on the evangelism of the other Orthodox jurisdictions in this country. It certainly will have no effect on the Antiochian Archdiocese, which has a very active evangelism and missions program. Besides, I doubt that it will have any negative effect on OCA evangelism.