Breaking News: Another Lawsuit?

Woe to Those Who Call Evil Good and Good Evil

By a priest in the OCA who wishes to remain anonymous

These are the words of the Prophet Isaiah. They were the only ones that came to me in order to make sense of what has happened to our Church these last few years. One of the reasons we have come to this point is because we have lost sense of right and wrong.

Clearly, we are failing in America. Part of this failure is because of our bishops. In case anybody was wondering, St Paul laid the parameters for the episcopate in his Epistle to Timothy:

If a man desires the position of bishop, he desires a good work.

A bishop must be blameless, the husband of one wife, temperate, sober-minded of good behavior, hospitable, able to teach;

Not given to wine, nor violent, not greedy for money, but gentle, not quarrelsome, not covetous.

Many of us have come to the clear recognition that some of the bishops in the OCA has shown very little of these traits recently. There has been documented evidence of public graft, theft, false testimony, slander, retaliation, fornication, drunkenness, and the unfair removal of deacons and priests based on spite. And now a Metropolitan has been removed based on nothing more than envy and false testimony.

With the Episcopate failing for many years now, one would think that there would be in place today a realization that repentance is called for. Sadly, this is not the case. With the new petitions that the Synod put out, it is clear that there is no concern on their part for repentance. If anything they are doubling down on their viciousness.

What we are dealing with are double standards. Our Metropolitan was thrown off the Synod because of false allegations which were justified by his critics in various ways. We are told for instance that he wasn’t properly “vetted,” that he’d only been a bishop for eleven days, and so on. We know that the bishops are entrusted by the Church to uphold the Pauline principles stated above. Of course it is their duty to exercise due diligence when it comes to consecrating new bishops.

Unfortunately, this is where double standards come into play. Why? Because due diligence has been overlooked on at least two occasions. I have been told that in order to fill two vacancies, the files of certain episcopal candidates from other jurisdictions were ignored. We are now paying the price for this with one of these bishops being placed on administrative leave for allegedly sending suggestive emails and texts to a young woman. Hopefully this matter will be put to rest in a just manner. We should pray for all concerned.

In the second instance, one of our new bishops was given administrative control over one of our seminaries. My source on the board of directors of the seminary told me that changes were made in the bylaws in order to remove the present dean (who was recuperating from surgery). These changes were posted on the website but were taken down. One reason for the removal of the dean was because of conflicts of interest that he pointed out regarding one of the members of the board of directors. As a result, the Equal Employment Occupation Commission (EEOC) is filing a wrongful termination suit.

More to follow…*

*Editor’s Note: Monomakhos has decided to exercize editorial discretion, hence the redaction of the bishops’ names and their dioceses. We do this because the nature of the allegations are serious and we want to verify them independently.


  1. Fr Jonathan Tobias says

    This is the curse of self-wrought, pre-mature autocephaly. Again and again,

    • Monk James says

      This sad situation has nothing to do with the OCA’s autocephaly, which was emphatically NOT self-wrought. That sort of self-declared ecclesial independence has happened in christian history — the churches of Russia, Greece, and Bulgaria are good examples — but the autocephaly of the OCA was a gift of the russian church, not a pre-emption by its american metropolia.

      Rather, this painful episode is the result of our people’s not behaving as Christians.

      And, when the bishops won’t adjudicate such disputes justly, the canons make it clear that an aggrieved clergyman may seek redress in civil law. Our OCA bishops themselves have set an example of wrongly going to civil law these last six years or so. We should not now be too surprised if the clergy go to civil law when their causes are right and just and the hierarchs and institutions of their churches are misguided, unjust and wrong.

      But it’s still so sad.

      We — and especially our bishops — must be better than this.

      Lord, have mercy on us, for we are weak.

      • fr. ambrose says

        The autocephaly of the OCA was obtained by dealing with a then-puppet patriarchate of Moscow. In that sense one must wonder if it was freely granted by the Russian Church. Certainly it could not have been granted, in those days, without the full approval of the Soviet government. No matter how one evaluates it, there is a “shadow” here, a shadow that has really never been dispelled. It was an ethically, historically and morally questionable action that has not yet been acknowledged and faced up to (although I have met some OCA clergy over the years who’ve said that dealing with the puppet patriarchate in order to obtain autocephaly was in fact a terrible spiritual mistake). Could such a “beginning” have something to do with how things seem now to be “ending”? One cannot help but wonder. –Fr. Ambrose

        • George Michalopulos says

          Fr Ambrose, you bring a good point, one made by the Phanar. Unfortunately (and I mean no disrespect in saying this) but the Phanar itself is a hostage of the Turkish government and has been for half a millennium. It has never acted on its own free will nor can it.

          A case in point would be the civil war going on between Assad and the Muslim rebels in Syria. Despite the fact that Assad is a tyrant, he is all that is standing between the extinction of the Patriarchate of Damascus and the Christian population. We have heard nothing at all from the Ecumenical throne in this crucial matter. Is it because Turkey is one of Assad’s antagonists and has designs on the Syrian state?

          Another example would be the necessity (if such is the word) for Anglo, Australian and American bishops to have to take Turkish citizenship. (American law forbids such a happenstance.)

          The point is that the ROC was a puppet of the Soviet state but the Phanar is a puppet of the Turkish state. If the decisions and the graces of the ROC are somewhat lacking because of this, then what of the decisions and graces of the See of Constantinople?

          • Peter A. Papoutsis says

            George is correct about the Phanar being held hostage by the Turkish State and being hampered by this in all of its future dealings. However, the question is still valid about the proper granting of autocephaly to the OCA to distabalize the Russian Church and its mission in Communist Russia. I still believe this is a valid concern and Fr. Ambrose is correct about this.

            The OCA may not want to deal with this, but the Communists had no love for our Church and definitely IMHO did more harm than good in this situation.


          • fr. ambrose says

            George and others: the Phanar is definitely existing today physically in a persecuted and restricted state, but unlike the state Church under the Soviets it is still free to administer itself and its members world wide without these decisions being first approved or even dictated (as under the Soviets) by the anti-Christian state. In that sense the Phanar is not a puppet Church, though it lives under oppression. So I don’t think we can really compare these two. In any case the point remains that the then Metropolia, having the same information about the Church in the Soviet Union that everyone else had (including the American State Department), chose to deal with a puppet Church whose strings were being pulled by God-hating devils. This was a compromise with the truth, with integrity, and, I believe, a betrayal of the witness of the countless martyrs of the Soviet Yoke. There seems to be a serene indifference to this very real and factual history in the OCA today. –Fr. Ambrose

            • George Michalopulos says

              That’s arguable, Fr.

            • Lance Hogben says

              Accusation of the MP being run by ‘God-hating devils’ smacks of immature purism lacking in historical perspective. Not recognizing the common fallenness of all persons here below and the compromised state of all our institutions, such talk comes across as sectarian and fringe-y, not at all katholic. Even the majority of ROCOR clergy, invested as much as they have been in a multigenerational struggle to impugn the MP have dropped such extremist cant.

              • fr. ambrose says

                Lance: This is not “extremist cant.” The fact that ROCOR clergy today do not speak of the MP this way, now, is because the MP has been free since the collapse of the Soviet Empire. Go back and read the histories of the church and government under the Soviets. It’s all there, and it’s documented and quite real. And the American State Department also documented everything from defectors. In addition, when the archives and files of the Soviets became accessible upon the collapse of the Soviet gov’t many Russian Orthodox in Russia began to publish confirmation of all this, including the fact that the KGB vetted all bishops. Denying what the Soviets did to the Church does not do either history or the Church any favors. Who said, “those who do not know history are condemned to repeat it”? –Fr. Ambrose

                • Archpriest John W. Morris says

                  ROCOR was right. Anyone who has studied the history of Orthodoxy under Soviet domination knows that the KGB infiltrated the leadership of the Russian Orthodox Church and used the Church as a tool of Soviet foreign policy. The Russian Church has been controlled by the state ever since the deposition of Patriarch Nikon by a a Pan Orthodox Council in 1660 because among other things he claimed superior power than the Tsar and the abolition of the Patriarchate by Peter I. Even today the Russian Church is too close to Putin.

                  • fr. ambrose says

                    However, Fr. John, let us not overlook the fact that the relationship of the Russian Church to the state (i.e. the Throne) in pre-Soviet days was generally rather benevolent by comparison with the outright oppression and persecution of the Church under the Soviets.

                    You write: “Even today the Russian Church is too close to Putin.” There are others who share your view. But the leaders of the Church in Russia themselves–a Church which is, i remind you, now demonstrably free of state influence or control–disagree with you, and this is reported regularly on Russian Church news sites. I think we ought to take their own feelings and experiences into account here and not look at them through the prism of the American state department. What the Church does in Russia now is normal and healthy: to try an influence government to protect and nurture more traditional values and practices (such as pro-life, no gay venues, etc.). This is what Orthodoxy does. And in return the Russian state has by and large resurrected a benevolent relationship, if not indifferent, to the Church. Let us remember that a majority of Russians are not yet Christians.

                    The other factor we must not overlook is that in Russia the Church has NEVER known a time when it did not have some kind of serious relationship with the state–whether positive, negative, or neutral. And the same was true in Byzantium and is true in Constantinople today. In its own uniquely “Greek” way, the same is still true in Greece today. The rigid American idea of separation of Church and state is, by and large, completely unknown and un-experienced in most if not all of the old world Orthodox countries and cultures, who find our own American view to be an historical anomaly, however much we, here. happen to cherish and tout it. Out of respect we should keep this in mind.

                    Finally I would like to mention that although the persecution of the Church in Russia was savage under the Soviets–the worst persecution the Church has ever endured in all of its history, in fact–the state-controlled Church never compromised on any matter of doctrine or dogma, unlike some Orthodox writers and clergy and so-called “theologians” in the “free” West, who play footsies constantly and causally with all kinds of heretics. –Fr. Ambrose

                    • Archpriest John W. Morris says

                      You are correct. Orthodoxy never allowed the state to control its doctrine. Despite state control over some aspects of the life of the Church, the Orthodox Church has never compromised its doctrine or moral teachings. The same cannot be said of the state churches of England and Scandinavia where the state has forced the church to conform to the values of secular society. Even in America where we have separation of church and state the mainline Protestant churches have allowed the secular society to determine its doctrine. Thus women’s ordination and the blessing of same sex unions.

                    • Father Ambrose, bless!

                      Finally I would like to mention that although the persecution of the Church in Russia was savage under the Soviets–the worst persecution the Church has ever endured in all of its history, in fact–the state-controlled Church never compromised on any matter of doctrine or dogma, unlike some Orthodox writers and clergy and so-called “theologians” in the “free” West, who play footsies constantly and causally with all kinds of heretics.

                      Well put! This is why you say, and I agree, that the Tomos of Autocephaly was so spiritually negative for the Metropolia: it was sought after by a Church in freedom from a Church enslaved. As Fr Seraphim wrote at the time, “Spiritual betrayal and compromise!” (paraphrase) … just as the modern day ecumenists who would have us believe that ‘Orthodox’ ecumenism is not often a betrayal of the Faith.

                  • Michael Bauman says

                    Fr. John, et. al. There is no such thing as the ‘separation of church and state’. In practice, the state will either attempt to co-opt us by embracing us thereby making us an arm of the state or attempt to destroy us by persecution, oppression or isolation/secularization.

                    There is no separation of church and state in the U.S. Constitution. What is in the Constitution is that relgion should be free of any and all federal governement interference or control of any type (The Congress shall make no law…). The 14th Amendment extended that prohibition to the state level. {The genesis of the no federal law was because pretty much everyone of the 13 colonies had an established church of some sort and the govenors of those colonies did not want the federal governement disrupting that.) In today’s world such a hands off attutude strikes most folks and approaching anarchy, yet Constitutionally, there should be no laws that restict the free exercise of any religion.

                    However, they did not envision sects like Mormanism, Santeria or Islam et. al. whose practice in one way or another violates(ed) existing Christian-based law. In the case of Islam, they have an entire system of law that is integral to the practice of the faith which requires its supremacy over all other law systems (Sharia). IMO that means that any Muslim who does not specifically renounce Sharia law (and therefore their faith) can legally or Constitutionally hold public office in the U.S. That is a genuine conflict with the Constitution and its prohibition of any religious test for public office however.

                    What the authors of the Constitution meant when they spoke of religion was mostly Protestant Christianity. What they wanted to achieve was for Christians, agnostics and others to be free of the state to think and act freely in acord with their conscience, but there is a defacto Christain bias within the founding documents of this country and our entire legal system. (English common-law was heavily influenced by the Justinian Code)

                    So, as the number of ‘religions’ (real, imaginary and fraudulent) has proliferated, the response from the state unwilling to enforce the Christian bias has opted for an increasingly authoritarian/secular orientation that uses the tax law, grants, the heresy of egalitarianism and the oxymoronic ideas of ‘fairness’ and ‘diversity’ to bring bodies of faith and people of faith under greater government control which is then called ‘separation’. The exact opposite of what the authors of the Constituion intended. Most have bought into that lie.

                    There are a number of possible responses: acquiese and allow the isolation and secularization of the Church either through quietism or active promotion of secular ideas that are at odds with the faith; resist politically by attempting to align with one or another political party or ideology; or deepen our fatih in a way that leads to a true evangelical and prophetic flowering here in this land that will demonstrate the unique truth that the Church alone holds in its fullness and probably our martyrdom. (correct me if I have missed any general responses).

                    Mostly what I am seeing is one of the first two choices each of which leads to a denial of the faith both indiviudally and corporately in which we “suppose ourselves to be caddis flies who live but one day, yet we argue about the un-hygenic conditions of our worm cases.” My apologies to Christopher Frye.

                    Or to quote George Obama: “We fight each other over nothing.”

                    Until we each decide to honor the commitment we each made in Baptism/Christmation to union with Christ; obedience to the teachings of the Chruch; rejecting all heresies ancient and modern; Satan and all his works; we will have no foundation.

                    If we would honestly and consitently practice the Orthodox faith in repentance/forgiveness, prayer, worship, almsgiving (all forms of good works of kindness and mercy) and fasting (from our passions more than from certain foods) then we would come together in Christ and in submission to His love in community subject to the loving correction of the community (including priests and bishops).

                    There is so much in the quasi-Protestant/secular American culture that is at odds with an authentic Christian life that we cannot be normal, yet we have to love the goodness of the poeple and this land at the same time and cannot be ever completlely separate from it. To me this is what being in the world, but not of it entails. Excruciatingly hard. So much easier to divert ourselves into more satisfying activities, eh?

                    (Anyone voting thumbs down–please explain, I’d really like to know why)

        • Just because Fr. Schmemann (and others) was able to convince the MP to grant autocephally during questionable times, and under unusual circumstances doesn’t mean that it wasn’t given. I may have been coerced out of Moscow with underhanded dealing, but that doesn’t mean that it wasn’t given. One would hope that if this were the case, we could have the spiritual maturity within ourselves to know that God will work it for good. We may not know “how” he will do so but, we know He works all for good for those who love God. Surely, we can believe that there are some in the OCA who at least love God.

          Whether it was given wrongly, rightly, it was given. Whether it can be “revoked” is obviously not an option, otherwise we surely would have seen something demonstrative to that effect by now. Whether it was/is acknowledged by others in the Orthodox world is a serious issue. Of course, that issue is one that has huge ramifications. In other words, the extent of the authority of the Pat. of Constantinople over the rest of the Orthodox world is an issue that needs to come to a head. The Russian grant of autocephally to the OCA is a perfect event to press the issue into discussion. But not anymore. Now the actions of the OCA make the Moscow look like idiots. I mean how could one give autocephally to such an organization, apparently corrupted from the inception? At least, the mindset, and vision of the OCA was set up in such a way that it has produced the fruit we see today, or rather, the lack thereof.

          • “I(t) [autocephaly] may have been coerced out of Moscow with underhanded dealing, but that doesn’t mean that it wasn’t given.”


            “It [+Jonah’s resignation] may have coerced out of him with underhanded dealing, but that doesn’t mean that is wasn’t given.”

            • Disgusted With It says


              Except, unlike the unusual OCA autocephaly situation, there actually are rules dealing directly with issues of coercion and conspiracy among bishops.

          • fr. ambrose says

            Yes, the autocephaly was given. No one can dispute that, not even the free Church of Russia today. That is not what I said; it is not my point. Rather, my point was something more simple and also more serious: leaders in the then-Metropolia, knowing what they were dealing with, chose to go the route they did, a route that was, at best, compromised from the beginning. And compromised in more ways than one.

            We now know that the Patriarch at that time, the late much-suffering Pimen, was already lost in dementia and so the “negotiations” were conducted by others (this, according to an OCA historian, by the way!)–others who were more compromised even than he in terms of the freedom and integrity of the Church.

            One has only to ask oneself: would the MP have granted this autocephaly today? I rather think not. But unless they withdraw it (which, canonically, they can certainly do if they wish, contrary to what someone else has posted), they are more likely to simply continue to quietly stand aside, watch and wait for the OCA to continue its implosion and crumbling, leaving ROCOR and the exarchate as it’s branches in the New World, branches will will ultimately be united.

            I want to mention that back in the 70’s, before I was a priest, my late wife and I met one of the priests who had been instrumental as a translator in the negotiations between the Metropolia and the OCA. I doubt that even now most in the OCA know that this priest was initially a Jesuit Uniate priest in S.F, well known to the ROCOR clergy in the area (and perhaps to the Metropolia clergy, too? I don’t know.) During the process of negotiations he was, he told me, privately received into the Russian Church by the late lamented Met. Nikodim of Petersburg, who was identified by a KGB defector as a KGB officer and agent, and who later died in the arms of Pope John Paul I, as was reported in the international media at the time. This former Uniate priest spent his last years in a one-man skete in Oregon, where I visited him and saw, on his iconostasis, large icons of Roman Catholic saints (like Therese of Lisieux). And when I asked him about him about this he angrily informed me that he didn’t believe Catholics are any different from the Orthodox. One wonders what else was part of his “agenda” as a former Jesuit Uniate “helping” the Metropolia to gain its autocephaly from the puppet patriarchate of Moscow?

            This, you see, is only the tip of the iceberg in term of the miasma and fog (to mix metaphors) surrounding the OCA autocephaly. Contrast all of this, if you will, with the completely open, above board, and rather rigorous several years of negotiations between ROCOR and MP which, after enormous and energetic–often highly stressed–debate and even argument on both sides, ultimately resolved that schism. Nothing hidden here, and ROCOR most especially wanted to determine that the Church in Russia is now free…something the future OCA evidently cared nothing about back in 1970.

            Really, the ignorance of many in the OCA about their actual history is astonishing.

            Btw, I write not as a ROCOR clergyman, but as an Orthodox priest monk who is very interested in Orthodox history in general and, particularly, in this country. –Fr. Ambrose.

            • Fr. Ambrose, a correction, please! You write the following false information:: “We now know that the Patriarch at that time, the late much-suffering Pimen, was already lost in dementia and so the “negotiations” were conducted by others (this, according to an OCA historian, by the way!)–others who were more compromised even than he in terms of the freedom and integrity of the Church. ”

              I don’t know why you refer to ever-memorable Patriarch Pimen as “long-suffering.’ Be that as it may, it was not Patriarch Pimen, but Patriarch Alexii (Simansky) who signed the Tomos of Autocephaly, and all the negotiations between the Metropolia and the Russian Church were conducted under his omophorion and with his blessings. The main ******negotiator***** of the autocephaly was the incredibly brilliant Metropolitan Nikodim of Leningrad. Patriarch Pimen succeeded Patriarch Alexii as Patriarch, AFTER the autocephaly had been fully effected.

              Further, you attempted to underline the false information by saying it came from an OCA historian. This is not recommended. If I were now to write that a ROCOR priest and would-be historian tried to poison the wells of autocephaly by blaming it on someone who had no role in it whatsoever and, further, labelling him “demented,” that would not be very ethical, either.

              Adding insult to injury, you added this “Really, the ignorance of many in the OCA about their actual history is astonishing.”

              • fr. ambrose says

                Vladika: This is a bit of an over-reaction, I think. Calm down, dear Bishop.

                But you are right: it was Patriarch Alexei–my mistake and glad to correct it. The information did, however, come from an OCA writer. And Alexei was not mentally competent at that time. (I had him mixed up with Pimen because the same thing happened to Pimen in his very last years.)

                And btw, I am NOT in ROCOR. And the Jesuit Uniate I spoke was indeed involved in the negotiations as translator. I didn’t say the Nikodim of lamented memory was a negotiator; I simply said that this Jesuit was received into Orthodoxy by him…who later died in the Pope’s office. I was describing a general “miasma” that others seem to want to overlook.

                So step back and take a deep breath and read more carefully and don’t jump to conclusions. –Fr. Ambrose

                • fr. ambrose says

                  P.S. And, yes, in my experience, talking to OCA clergy and laity, the ignorance of their own history is astonishing, almost invincibly so. –Fr. A

                • Dear Father Ambrose,

                  What is your jurisdiction? Just so we know where you’re coming from

                  • Good luck with your question, loh. And, you know, at first I was perplexed by FatherAmbrose’s counsel that I should “calm down.” Just about everything he wrote, to which I responded, was untrue! But now that I think it over, I was overcome by mirth and even now it’s hard to control that mirth, to calm down as it were. He reminded me of that old Roman Catholic teaching of “invincible ignorance’which applied to those who were members of the Catholic Church through their Baptisms, but could not recognize it!
                    He should have writtten his message over, after I corrected it for him, if he has any viable assertions he can support! The days are just too SHORT!!!

                    • Fr. Ambrose Young says

                      Dear Vladika: I told you the evidence for my conclusion about ignorance among some in your jurisdiction; I repeat it here: conversations with many OCA lay people and clergy over the years. It was in those many conversations–with otherwise very fine folk, by the way–that I learned that the younger ones know virtually nothing about their history or how they got their autocephaly, the surrounding circumstances, etc. I also heard from some OCA clergy who sincerely regretted that their jurisdiction got its autocephaly in that way. They felt quite embarrassed and not at all triumphalistic, the some others have been. I’m sorry that you are so unable to receive any new information about this or any data that doesn’t already confirm your own prejudices. A closed mind means there can be no real discussion of the issues.

                      Also I’m really not interested in entering into any kind of a duel with you, a retired bishop who likes to bully and sneer at those who don’t automatically agree with him. Most unfortunate. Not edifying. So I won’t be posting here any more. Wish you all well. –Fr. Ambrose

                  • Fr. Ambrose Young says

                    I am a priestmonk of the Greek Archdiocese, a member of the brotherhood of St. Gregory Palamas in Ohio. –Fr. Ambrose

                    • Fr. Ambrose, please don’t leave off posting on this site on Bp. Tikhon’s account. I, for one, have appreciated the perspective you bring, and I’m sure I speak for many others here.

                    • Fr Ambrose, bless!

                      Please don’t leave the site, or fail to post. Your posts are always edifying and encouraging. Many of us have read your books over the years.

                      Please stay! You are a quality presence!

                    • Fr. Ambrose, I wish you would stick around.

    • Lance Hogben says

      Clergy impugning the validity of the OCA’s Tomos of Autocephaly nearly always have an ulterior motive, and as George pointed out above, they are the pot calling the kettle black in suggesting any lack of freedom on the part of the MP.

      A typical charge against the Tomos is that is was ‘purchased’. But in 1970, the MP was flush with cash it had few places to spend and the Metropolia was broke. Charge dismissed.

      The EP’s pipe dream of ruling the world’s Orthodox churches from the seraglio of the Phanar was punctured by the MP’s granting of the Tomos. If the OCA is autocephalous, then wither the jurisdiction the EP set up willy-nilly in North America? The logic is easy to ken.

      Face it: the EP functions in a geopolitics distorted by NATO’s alignment with their Turkish overlords. The EP has no ability to ‘rule’ much less pastor churches even in its own native city Istanbul. I know of few historical ecclesiastical situations comparable to the present lameness of the EP.

      Meanwhile, the MP has functioned fairly well despite all accusations of KGB infiltration. Sure, they have too cozy a relationship with secular power (nothing new there) but they are inside the circle, not outside as victims.

      So when I hear a “Greek” priest make the charges like those above, I put them in this context.

      The jealous ethnarchs of the rum millet can’t even properly recognize the ancient autocephaly of the Georgian Patriarchate and use this canard to disrupt all progress toward convening their promised Great Council, in defiance of all the non-Greek-run autocephalies.

      As Metr. Jonah said in his salad days, the EP ought to ‘back off’ from confrontation with the rest of the Orthodox world. If the Phanar craves respect and influence, it might do better to show respectability and love in a Christian manner.

  2. The problem in the OCA is summarized in a word, and the sooner we embrace the fact the better: elitism.

    [ i l tìzzəm ]

    1. belief in concept of superiority: the belief that some people or things are inherently superior to others and deserve preeminence, preferential treatment, or higher rewards because of their superiority
    2. belief in control by a small group: the belief that government or control should be in the hands of a small group of privileged, wealthy, or intelligent people, or the active promotion of such a system
    3. control by small group: government or control by a small, specially qualified, or privileged group

    This should be in the by-laws of the OCA.

    Of course, add to this, that in the OCA those who become loyal, even if not born into the elite, can be adopted into the elite’s club. Thus, converts can even be adopted into the club, as long as they do as they are told, and exist to further the elite’s vision of the church.

    The unfortunate thing is, if you haven’t noticed, is the OCA’s not so subtle scorn of converts. If you think about it you can find the elite. All of the clergy or laity who are in positions of power, prestige, or money, are usually part of this elitism. Of course, elitists, scorn converts, even if educated, as not quite getting it. If you haven’t heard Fr. Hopko’s podcasts, there seems to be a constant undercurrent of scorn for those not born Orthodox or at least educated to his standards.

    Those who do not become loyal to the elite and to their vision for the organization, are black-listed, rejected, ignored, minimized, or destroyed. Met. Jonah was one the elite thought would come on board completely. It was a risk for the elite to adopt one without being vetted, without “training” to be loyal to the cause and to the elite. Thus, he was ousted and almost destroyed. We have yet to see what the OCA elite will ultimately do to Met. Jonah and those of his ilk.

    • Umm yeah…the OCA is elitist. If you think the OCA is elitist you are seriously mistaken but You are entitled to your opinion. Now the Greeks, on the other hand have it down to a science.

      • Archpriest John Morris says

        The OCA certainly has some elitist clergy and laity who look down on other traditions of Orthodoxy as not being as Orthodox as the Russian expression of Orthodoxy. You can read on this blog and find all sorts of attacks on us and our Metropolitan.

    • Lance Hogben says

      The charge of elitism could also be leveled at the EP and pretty much all the autocephalies running jurisdictions in America. The stench of (ethnophyletistic) snobbery is so thick in places you have to keep all the windows open to let in fresh air.
      But there is a grain of truth to the charge that the OCA despises the johnny-come-latelys it pretends to want to gather to its bosom. There is a pattern of toxic neglect and palpable lack of support for the little pups of the church.

      • Maybe the OCA could learn from the NY diocese of the Russian Church Abroad:

        This new administration was organized in accordance with the by-laws of ROCOR and the traditions of our Diocese. Unlike other jurisdictions, Council and administration members do not possess any authority unless it is given to them expressly by the ruling bishop. This is the tradition of the Orthodox Church, and it is precisely why we have been able to maintain peace in our Diocese. Living in the 21st century, we may be tempted to think that the Church and Her canons must evolve, similar to the way that technology evolves. But this is a temptation that must be avoided at all costs. I am eternally grateful to the dedicated clergy and staff of our administration for preserving peace and harmony in our Diocese, by always being mindful of the directives of the hierarchy.

      • Archpriest John W. Morris says

        As an Antiochian Priest for over 32 years, I can honestly say that I do not believe that our Bishops mistreat converts. They have placed converts in too many positions of leadership to justify a charge of ethnocentrism in our Archdiocese. There are some parishes that require an Arabic speaking priest that a convert cannot serve. However, there are also parishes of converts or third generation Americanized descendents of immigrants where an Arab ethnic priest would be a disaster. In the study that was done on American Orthodoxy “Five Interesting Facts…” the Antiochians scored as the least ethnic of all Orthodox jurisdictions in this country.

  3. Oh, how I wish all of our bishops in America (SCOBA) could simply emulate the late, great Archbishop +DMITRI of Dallas and the South. What he did was nothing short of remarkable. And he did it with extreme love and humility. May his memory be eternal.

  4. “One reason for the removal of the dean was because of conflicts of interest that he pointed out regarding one of the members of the board of directors.”

    What dean? What member of the board? What conflict?

    • The conflict of interest in question is over Michael Herzog’s writing insurance and not recusing himself from voting and approving the same insurance when he was a member of the board of trustees at St. Tikhon’s seminary. The current dean, Fr. Alexander Atty brought it to the attention of the board and others and most of the people blew it off. What this has to do with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commision I don’t know.

      • Archpriest John Morris says

        How many scandals is the OCA going to have? It seems that every few days there is a new one. I have known Fr. Alexander for 32 years and greatly respect him. He is a dedicated and honest Priest. If he was removed from his position at St. Tikhon’s it is a great injustice.

      • Archpriest John W. Morris says

        I have known Archpriest Alexander Atty for 32 years. He is an outstanding Priest who does not deserve this sort of ill treatment. St. Tikhon’s was very fortunate to have him as its Dean. I sincerely hope that this is just a rumor and that it is not true, because it will be just one more thing to make the OCA look bad if Fr. Atty is removed for doing his job, which is looking out for the welfare of the seminary.

        • I attended a Parish Council Symposium that Dr Alexander presented at my Church here in So Cal not 4 weeks ago. It was excellent and inspiring. As of then, he gave no hint of any problems at St Tikhons and was introduced as the Dean there.

          So, if it happened in the last 4 weeks, well …

        • Archpriest John W. Morris says

          As a former college professor, I learned very quickly that church related institutions of higher education are plagued with all sorts of politics. Professors who become rivals to other professors, and who are afraid of younger more popular professors who out publish them, and try to sabotage their careers. Professors and administrators who are ministers of the controlling denomination who receive favorable treatment from the controlling denomination which sometimes places men who are failures as pastors in its colleges to put them somewhere. Interference by the controlling denomination. State run school are much less political, although they too have their faculty politics.

        • OccidentalGuido (Guy Westover) says

          Amen Father John!, Father Atty is a good priest and honorable man.

  5. Archpriest John W. Morris says

    Which seminary was it? Since a law suit has been filed it is a matter of public record.

    • sub-deacon gregory varney says

      The great revivalist of Bolshevik Russia VOR says its St.Tikhon’s Seminary. I can find nothing about it.

      • Dorothy Allen says

        When was the removal of the Dean of the not named Seminary said to have been removed? Unless this occurred yesterday (October 8), it does not seem possible that the Seminary in question could be St. Tikhon’s Seminary. As of this past weekend, V. Rev. Dr. Alexander Atty was still the Dean there. Prior to his election as Dean in 2010, the Dean was Fr. (now Archbishop) Tikhon of the Diocese of Eastern PA, who stepped down in order to devote more of his time to his work in the Diocese. To my knowledge, he now serves as Rector of the Seminary (not the same position as Dean). Could the writer of the article be referring to that position (Rector) rather than the position of Dean? Or could the reference be to an Associate Dean? Unfortunately, the article does not provide enough details for anyone to determine who and what specific position is referred to. I am in the Diocese of Eastern PA and live close to St. Tikhon’s Seminary and Monastery and support them. No one I know here has any information relative to this. I would appreciate learning more details as to which Seminary the article actually pertains. Thanks everyone.

        • Lola J. Lee Beno says

          I was wondering whether it was St. Vladimir’s Seminary. I vaguely recall a change in the deanery there recently, but I could be wrong. Other than St. Tikhon and St. Vlaimir’s Seminary, the only other seminary I can think of is St. Herman in Alaska, but it can’t be this one . . .

  6. DontBotherMe says

    …and there will be yet another lawsuit brought by the young woman whom a bishop became inappropriately familiar with, if Syosset tries to bring that bishop back to the Midwest.

  7. first of all, I am tired of the great bishop dimitry being so holy – i saw him in action in his younger years and he was no shing star – delusion, pure delusion – which is the down fall of the oca

    as i said before when frankie and joey were finally out of then picture dimitry, nathanael, and nikon should have followed because according to the record they along with job were knowing about what
    was going on and they did not take up the cause as did job job stood up and took the heat – they just about did the st peter bit when the cocks were crowing

    this illness is perpetuated by the anonymous writer – hide behind subtrafuge and see what the result is – the oca will not get out of its doldrums until it has – if it is worth saying then stand up and do it – otherwise whjy should we consider a word that is uttered?

    1) a cadre of widowed bishops of then ilk of platon, theophilus, leonty,and ireney

    2) becomes transparent

    3) clergy and laity are free to express their opionions with out reprisals

    4) everyone has a christian focus – not not orthodox – for in many ways true othodoxy has been corrupted by all of us- and this is tragic

    5) the baggage and ways of the past are completely shed ( especially those of the last 40 years)

    this little galician – russian boy just cannot believe what he has seen happen over the past 60 years – nashe ludi built the church and ne nashe ludi tore it to pieces – yes joey and frankie were not nashe ludi – they were moi ludi – into them selves

    my heart is heavy, my soul is tormented and the unfortunate thing is that i see no logical end in sight

    i feel like we all are like job in the wilderness

    to quote that great christian theologian – tiny tim – God Bless Us, Everyone – Amen

    • George Michalopulos says

      RJ, I can’t say that I knew the Venerable Dmitri in his younger days. Maybe he wasn’t a “shining star.” Most saints aren’t. After all, we pray for a Christian ending to our lives.

      As for whether he was a “success” or not, I can only state the obvious:

      1. He started a mission in Dallas that was English-language in the 1950s which he and his sister supported.

      2. Said mission had only 6 people for liturgy on a typical Sunday.

      3. Said mission grew into a cathedral and became the evangelical and financial base of a small diocese of only a handful of parishes and missions.

      4. Said diocese grew to over 70 parishes, missions and monastic communities at the time of his repose.

      5. Dmitri was lauded by all at his funeral and the outpouring of grief was tangible and manifest.

      6. The Diocese he founded is the most vibrant one in the OCA.

      Maybe I’m naive, but to me that all sounds like a success. If he didn’t hear the words “well done thou good and faithful servant” upon his repose then the rest of us are in real trouble.

    • o Hamartolos says

      Man, you have completely convinced me of your position. Your well reasoned arguments, your compelling evidence, and implacability of your logic have made me a believer.

  8. OccidentalGuido (Guy Westover) says

    Breaking News? Want some REAL breaking news? Here you go.

    All-American Council registration deadline is October 15; dinner arrangements announced

    A bishop is on leave due to accusations of inappropriate behavior.
    The Metropolitan resigned under strange circumstances, and approximately half of the Church is in an up roar about it. (Perhaps rightly so)

    What does OCA website want to convey to everyone?

    Registration deadline is looming and if you want to attend as an observer, you can buy into the dinner of rubber chicken or a tasteless vegetarian casserole for fifty bucks a pop.

    The OCA Chancery Office: “when news breaks, we FIX it.”

    Thanks folks.

    P.S. Please DO consider contributing to assist delegates from Alaska and Mexico.

  9. Michael James Kinsey says

    Governments, of necessity, have to employ a value system in order to arrive at their concepts of justice. The judeo-christian and the secular humanist value system are diametericly opposed. The humanist values system is imposing a scam, by declaring every law enacted based on the Christian value system a violation of Church and state. This insures that only laws based on the humanist value system become law. The people have the right to enact justice based upon the judeo-christian value system, that does not violate the Constitution. The seperation of church and state is not even in the Constitution. It was a guidance given by Jeffferson ,only once.