Yet Another Hole in the Official Story

This email was sent to me yesterday from a man who personally contacted people in Syosset. Looks like the hole has turned into a “cavity” if you will pardon the pun.

From: Russell Jones DDS

“Seeking to Reflect God’s Glory in all that I do, and only speaking to others as if I were speaking to Jesus Christ.”

From: Russell Jones
To: Monomakhos
Sent: Sat, Jul 21, 2012 11:42 pm
Subject: [Monomakhos] Is the priest in the OCA?

I think that what I am about to write might shed some more light. I am telling the truth. I have placed a gold crown in Metropolitan Jonah (now you know my occupation).

From my office in California, I called OCA headquarters in New York on 7/19/2012 . I believe that it was around 8:00 (Pacific Coast) am but I am not exactly sure of the time. The call was made when I was between patients. I asked the operator for Fr. Tosi. I was transferred to his phone and to his voice mail.

I am not a fan of voice mail. An option was presented to press “0” which I did. This was to page him somewhere in the office. The phone rang and rang with no response. I called a second time. This time the operator said that a Bishop (I don’t know the name for sure but it started with the letter “M”) had just come in and was going to have a meeting with Fr. Tosi. My response was, “Fine with me, I still would like to speak with Fr. Tosi. I have given of “X” amount of money to this organization…I would like to speak with him now.”

Next thing I knew the phone rang one or two times and there was Fr. Tosi on the other end of the line. I told him who I was and asked this question. “Was the priest in the OCA?” His response was, “We are trying to determine that.” I was amazed with the answer!! We had further conversation which I could relate (I suggested transparency and trust is missing in his organization) to you but I want to stay on the point of my question.

Then he stated, (I believe that this was the purpose of his meeting with the Bishop) that they were going to set up a committee to investigate (what?). I believe that the “what” had to do with the recent events concerning Metropolitan Jonah because that was the nature of our conversation.

My two points:

  1. It would seem appropriate to “determine” BEFORE actions are taken. You might shoot the wrong target.
  2. It would seem appropriate to “investigate” BEFORE actions are taken. Again, you might shoot the wrong target.

So how about it Fr. Tosi? Were you determining if the priest was in the OCA after the letter was released?


  1. Events are unfolding in a manner that brings to mind some variation of that old saying about trying to herd cats.

  2. Rod Dreher says

    Astonishing! Not one more thin dime to the OCA until we have a full and independent investigation. If they railroaded Jonah, no bishop or metropolitan is safe. We cannot take their word for it.

    What do Bp Michael and Bp Matthias say? Were they misled by Syosset? Does Bp Benjamin the Bully run the OCA now?

    • Agree. No more money to the OCA until a full and independent investigation.

    • Rod Dreher says

      On second thought, I love my parish and my priest, and don’t want to leave them in a financial lurch. Is there any way we can keep our money locally, and make sure nothing goes to Syosset? Ideas, anyone?

      I have no hope, expectation, or even, at this point, desire to see +Jonah restored to the primate’s chair. I only want the full truth about the process that led to his forced resignation to come out. The full, and credible, truth. What we have now is very far from that.

      Bishop Michael, Bishop Matthias, I hope you are watching this, and understand the crowd you have fallen in with. If the Synod can oust a metropolitan on trumped-up reasons, uneasy rests the head that wears the white klobuk.

      Incidentally, I’ve been told that at least some of the DOS priests were informed at the Miami meeting that Jonah has no chance at all of being given the DOS, because he has no relationship with the Synod. It appears that the DOS is going to be given responsibility for his salary, but he will not be allowed to live in the DOS until the new bishop, whoever that is, has been there for some time. This is the message that has been sent to the Dallas cathedral parishioners.

      I am so sorry Jonah went without protest, and that he didn’t demand the calling of a spiritual court.

      • Heracleides says

        “As for your local giving, an easy way to choke the life out of Syosset and their clowns on the Synod is to simply give your priest a gift card for groceries, clothing, fuel, etc. and offer to pay directly his (and the parish) utilities, etc. No cash = no assessment payment (or a greatly reduced one at any rate). Do it folks – this is the only message that will cause these jokers to really sit up and pay attention in any meaningful way.”

      • Bruce Wm. Trakas says

        As to Withholding the National Ministries assessment (I don’t know what it is officially called in the OCA),

        Here’s how we did it in the GOAA in ’98, ’99, George may recall, when we were dealing with a problem primate. By the way, the word got out, afterwards, that the parishes that were withholding funds, and there were only a few, is what got the Patriarch activated to addressing the call of the diocesan bishops, at least 100 priests who signed a petition, the clergy and lay leadership of the church, and numerous faithful.

        First, have a small committee of your parish’s Parish Council officers, legal counsel, and more than one CPA, or respected accountant, meet to discuss the matter and its possible ramifications. Review the OCA statutes to ensure that you are aware of the risks involved in this action. Have the legal counsel prepare a proposed enabling resolution, with the concurrence of the financial officers, and the committee’s CPA’s. (The priest should be made aware of this process and agree with it, but should not be officially associated with this activity. Present it to the Parish Council, assuming it passes—a near unanimous vote is desirable, present it to the Parish (General) Assembly. The resolution should call for the establishment of an escrow account that the assessment would be paid into in the increments required, like monthly as in the GOAA, but the resolution would have a contingency as to how, what actions would trigger release from the escrow account and disbursement the funds to the OCA’s Central Administration (or wherever the OCA parishes pay to). A letter notice of the action, once formalized, should be sent to he diocesan bishop and to the Hierarchal Temporary Administrator.

        A neighboring parish of mine, paid all funds that had been paid into the account, upon the election of the Titular Metropolitan Demetrios, as Archbishop of America.

        Be aware of the ramifications. Your bishop may impose a partial suspension, prohibition from celebrating the Divine Services, and related type of activities, upon the priest and or parish. There’s no guessing how aggressive a bishop may get with your parish and your priest, baring key laymen from the Mystery of Holy Communion, is quite possible too,. But, look over the OCA Statute to see what possible sanctions could be imposed upon the parish, its priest, or its laity..

      • Cal Oren says

        It would be easy to set up a charitable non-profit that could receive tax-deductible donations and then make distributions to local parishes directly, i.e., to the parish priest for salary, to the bank to cover mortgage payments, etc., so that the funds never show on the parish’s books. It’s called a “donor directed” or “donor advised” fund. Parish leaders could do this on a local basis, or someone could do it on a regional or national basis, provided they had a credible Board of Directors and issued frequent financial reports.

      • Give your tithe to your church in gift cards. That way it can’t leave the parish.

        • To both JB and Cal Oren.
          Check with your parish council before doing this. I know many parishes still pay tithe even on non-monetary donations. If somebody donated labor for a new______ or donated a new_______ (whatever you want in those blanks), the church still paid a tithe to the diocese of 10% of what that would have cost them. Same thing if you donate to a specific “fund” or line item, the parish sill will have to tithe 10% of that from their general fund.

    • Roboacolyte says

      Have compassion on Bishop Benjamin.He was bullied in school because of his figure and now he uses his position
      to:first disarm people by making jokes and then either insulting them in a sophomoric fashion and then bullying them or just abusing his authority to put them down.I have first hand experience with this behavior.

    • Roboacolyte says

      I am not tithing because:My Bishop lives in the Rectory which is huge,he is hardly ever there,therefore it sits there
      empty.He pays his tithe infrequently ,and according to the treasurer,less than is expected.He also gets a huge salary,not only from our Diocese but from Alaska.Our priest gets a substantial salary,a free house and the parish pays a whopping health insurance bill.He does artwork for the Diocese is hardly ever at his office and gives terrible

  3. Thank you for taking the time to look into that and share it with us Russell.

    My rather sad question is, what can we actually DO?

    The vast majority of the parishoners don’t have any idea what’s going on.

    From what I can glean locally, the vast majority of the priests believe their bishops. If the priests support the bishops, what then?

    • lexcaritas says

      Most of the priests, as godly as many are in manyrespects, are basically “company men” who work for and under their bishop and would rather not suspect that he is either malicious or grossly negligent. Their livelihood and their sense of loyaty and paradigm of obedience to hierarchical authority and the Synod under virutally all circumstances is at risk and they would rather naively and dociley turn a blind eye to inustice than openly question or object. Most make it a point to avoid reading this blog and discourage their parishionners from doing so. The game plan is to keep people calm and hope this will go away in time since there is no organized opposition.

      The Chancellor is said to have wished that things could be different in the Church from the way they are in the corporate world and then sighed that he supposed it may not be possible. Of course it is to those who accept responsiblity for their actions and in whose hands the possilbity of Chrisitan behavior freely lies. No one is compelled to act the way the powers that be have chosen to act on the advice not of Christ but of legal counsel.



    • What can we do, Rosa?

      We can financially strangle this serpent. We can cut off the money. How? Instead of putting your money in the basket, help pay your Priest’s mortgage directly. Same for his and the teple’s utility bill. Buy him a tank full of gass and a sack of groceries. Take his wife shopping. Bring a can of beans or peaches to church. Syosset want’s their tithe? Send them the empty can, postage due, of course.

  4. Oh this is getting so interesting! What shall this belated investigation reveal? What shall this committee conclude?

    If they are unable to make a solid case that this Priest in DC was formally accepted, then they have to confess that a major part of their reason for demanding +JONAHA’s resignation was based on false information. They are then, by error or by intent, by stupidity or by malice, guilty of bearring false witness.

    If so, what then?

    Will they crawl back to +JONAH and plead with him to come out of retirement and resume his position as Metropolitan of the OCA? If they do, they lose all hope of “controlling” him for the rest of his tenure. They would surrenter all moral authority to judge his future actions. Their incompetence, false judgment, and malice would forever hang over their heads.

    If they refuse to apologize, they expose themselves as unrighteous judges.

    If not +JONAH, then to whom do they offer the Metropolitan’s klobok?

    What “outsider” would want it? What sane man would let this pit of vipers draw their target on his back?

    If they elect one of their own, how could they hope to hold the respect and support of the OCA faithful?

    • Because, right now, it looks like the “faithful” don’t know what is going on and trust their priests, who trust their bishops for information.

    • Katherine says

      The HS would never have the guts to admit that they were wrong. The very fact that they let +Met. JONAH take the full blame for the situation at the AAC says it all. In very few cases is one person totally to blame for a bad situation. Usually, both sides have contributed to the situation. I still have hope that +Bishop MICHAEL and +Bishop MATTHIAS will come around to the truth.

  5. According to documentation I’ve so far run across, I believe the matter will shake out as follows. It will become apparent that the priest was never officially accepted into the OCA. What actually happened, it seems to me, is that +Jonah intended for the priest to be officially received, and he took certain steps in that direction (obtaining a canonical release letter from the priest’s bishop, allowing the priest to serve in his diocese/cathedral). But for some reason–perhaps because +Jonah became aware of the priest’s personal issues, perhaps because other OCA bishops got wind of what +Jonah was doing and objected to it, perhaps both–+Jonah did not follow through on the reception. So it will come out that the official letter explaining +Jonah’s resignation was wrong in this respect, perhaps because it was hastily written, perhaps because the author was not a careful thinker and writer. If some legitimacy is to be assigned to the official letter of explanation on this score, it is that it may hint at the fact that +Jonah did not follow through with the reception of the priest owing to objections raised by other OCA bishops: that may, in turn, be an indication of +Jonah’s tendency to act unilaterally. So the official letter of explanation may have obscured legitimate points (+Jonah’s tendency to act unilaterally, his possible lapse in judgment in intending to receive this priest) by leveling what may well be a false or trumped-up charge (that +Jonah actually received the priest). Poor administration is not the OCA’s only fault: they obviously need to hire someone with a bit more analytical and communication skill to write these sorts of letters.

    • Rod Dreher says

      That well may be — and if it is true, then the Synod should say so. I believe Jonah really is a man who acts on impulse, often unwisely. It could well be that someone at the Synod stopped him on this problem priest. If so, then for heaven’s sake, just tell us. The only official word we have about why Jonah was sacked has been shot full of holes.

      Then again, if most people in the OCA don’t care, and the mainstream media is uninterested in following up on this story, the Synod will get away without answering. I wouldn’t bet against them on this.

      • Catherine P. says


        As a new reader of this blog, my comments should probably be weighed accordingly.

        That said, while on the one hand I have greatly appreciated the effort to be objective apparent in many of your posts, on the other hand I have been a bit unsettled by the almost casual manner in which you repeatedly refer to Met. Jonah’s personal failings as you perceive them.

        I have gathered that you worked closely with the metropolitan in some capacity and that therefore you believe, perhaps rightly, that you have some sense of his strengths and weaknesses. While that may be true, something about statements such as, “I believe Jonah really is a man who acts on impulse, often unwisely,” strikes me the wrong way. Implicit in such a statement seems to be your belief that you, a comparatively young lay person in the Church, have often had more discernment than the first hierarch of the OCA–that you have been able to discern impulsiveness and a lack of wisdom in his actions where he did not. This is just one example of this type of reflection on the metropolitan that I have noticed in several of your comments.

        While it is certainly possible that the metropolitan, and any other hierarch, has a number of faults of personality, to speak of these faults repeatedly and with self-assurance feels off to me–particularly in the public forum of the internet.

        If the metropolitan’s behavior or that of any other hierarch has been immoral, then that is one thing and bears being brought out into the open if necessary for the health of the Church and the preservation of the flock that is under such a hierarch.

        But if the metropolitan, or any other hierarch, seems simply to be poorly equipped in this or that regard with respect to shepherding the Church, I think we should be hesitant to speak overly much of our perceptions of such failings and rather trust in Christ to help them fulfill their callings. God has often worked great wonders through tremendous faults of personality, perfecting His strength in our weakness.

        And finally, our perceptions of people can be greatly mistaken. After twelve years of marriage, I am still frequently amazed by how little I have understood my husband in this or that regard, or how little I have been understood by him, and we are very close. So much have I become aware of this, that I now hesitate to present my husband’s personality to other persons and prefer to let them come to know him for themselves. Your descriptions of Met. Jonah have been presenting him to a great many people who may never have the opportunity, this side of Heaven, to get to know him for themselves, and with that in mind, I think you should be particularly circumspect in your comments.

        I hope I have not offended with any of the above.

        • Rod Dreher says

          Disagree. I point this out to keep in front of us that Jonah is not blameless in all this. He has humbly and publicly in the past admitted as much. Because this blog is frequented by Jonah supporters, it must be understood that Jonah really has some meaningful deficits in these areas. I believe it’s possible that the Synod distorted these to take him out; that’s why I keep banging on about an independent investigation. But if we deny them for the sake of propriety, or out of some sense of piety, we will not have a clear and accurate picture of the situation, and we will not understand why the Synod may have had — may have had — grounds for acting as they did.

          • Rod, just remember that when you talk about “the Synod”, you’re talking about a group of people who have absolutely no problem with certain others who were willing to risk ruining you professionally in order to score a few points against Metropolitan Jonah.

          • Catherine P. says


            If you or anyone else has quotations from Met. Jonah himself in which he articulates his own understanding of his strengths and weaknesses, then I would find those helpful, and I would not ask that such things go unshared for the “sake of propriety.” Likewise, if you have such quotations from persons in the Church whom Met. Jonah has recognized as able to speak accurately regarding his character, then I would find those helpful.

            What I object to is the sense I get from your comments that you believe that your own personal grasp of Met. Jonah’s character is authoritative. Met. Jonah in his own resignation letter requested another Episcopal assignment, which indicates to me that he believes that he has the skills needed to serve the Church well in that way. Yet your recent comments regarding Met. Jonah suggest that he could be unfit for any role of leadership in the Church. The following are your words from posts of the last several days:

            Jonah would be no threat to them [the Synod] in the South, because he has been so beat up and traumatized that he’s never going to say boo against anything they choose to do.

            Whether or not someone with Jonah’s admitted (by him) deficits in temperament and leadership skills, including his inability to stand up for himself and for those who stand with him, is what the South needs — well, that’s another question.

            He is a defeated man.

            Jonah believes the right things, but was, and is, weak on the enforcement side. I see him as an “uncertain trumpet,” and that colors my reticence to go to the barricades, so to speak, to defend Jonah in his current situation.

            It is dangerous to stick your neck out for Metropolitan Jonah, because he will cave, and fall back on that Orthodox humility business, never mind the wreckage he leaves behind.

            The man’s reputation and clerical career have been all but destroyed by his time as Metropolitan. I think he is owed something. Not a bishopric, but something.

            In my view, Jonah is a squish on these matters [“sexually dodgy priests”—your words], and I have been party to a personal dressing-down of him on his wishy-washiness.

            That said, when I hear accusations that Jonah bungled this thing, or failed to do that thing, it rings true to me, because I know all too well how quick he is to act on impulse, and how inconstant he is in his own decision-making. I know very well, from several instances, how people will go out on a limb trying to help him, and he will ignore them or otherwise cut them off — not from malice, but from … well, I don’t know what, but it’s a very serious problem.

            I think Jonah is a good man, a very good man, but it is impossible for me to deny that he was in way over his head in this role.

            • Sub-Deacon David says

              Unfortunately he was in “way over his head” because he does not have a confrontational personality and was invested in Traditional Orthodoxy that was not supported by the Synod. Had +HB just a modicum of support among the Synod, especially a few strong personality types, he would not have been in “way over his head”. To me this demonstrates the dysfunction of our Synod and leaves me with little hope for the eventual survival of the OCA. Seriously folks, 80,000 members making up a dysfunctional institution is not a lot to withstand the self-destructiveness of its leadership. I love my local parish and my priest, but I am only OCA because the parish is, I did not seek out the parish because it is OCA. My guess is that there are an awful lot of people in the OCA just like me in that regard.

    • It’s not as simple as that, none. A critical part of the charges was that this priest was allegedly under Met. Jonah’s omophorion and Met. Jonah’s alleged failure to act on those terms.

      It also calls into question the Synod’s credibility, since they got such an obvious and easy-to-verify fact completely wrong, and this alleged failure was one of the sharp spear-points on their list of his high crimes and misdemeanors.

  6. Mark from the DOS says

    Fr. Paul Yerger recently circulated a report on the DOS Assembly. This little nugget was included:

    Bishop Mark (Maymon), who visited here in February 2012, lives in Miami. He did not attend the Assembly but did attend the closing banquet and was seated at the head table. We were told that he will be given a job at the OCA headquarters in Syosset, NY.

    • Oh, good. I guess once they observed his act in Dallas, they knew he’d be perfect for Syosset.

    • Sub-Deacon David says

      Just exactly how many “jobs” does a church with 85,000 members need in its central headquarters? Seriously, this is ridiculous. The North Georgia Conference of the UMC has over 350,000 members now. When I was still a pastor in it 25 years ago it had more than that. Conferences (sort of like diocese) were broken up into districts (deaneries). The one I was in had more members than the whole OCA combined and had a staff of 6 people. Now, granted, a whole church structure might need more than that no matter the size, but there sure does seem to be a lot of money wasted on “central administration”.

      • Syosset is slowly but surely adding staff at larger salaries so that when it comes to lowering the assessment they will declare it is impossible without crippling their work.

        85,000? Really, 85,000? What a crock. There are 20,000 financially supporting members of the OCA. Even if you add in the “ethnic” dioceses you are adding no more than 10,000 to that 20,000 figure. Tosi is at best extrapolating figures. He also says the OCA has 800 parishes, missions and institutions. Really? 800? More inflation. Do the math. 85,000 x $105 = $8,925,000. What is sad is that folks like Tosi really believe their own misinformation. They are not fooling us and they are certainly not fooling any other Orthodox Church in the world. The demise of the OCA is clear. At the upcoming anniversary of Fort Ross in California, the OCA will not be in the first position. The ROC will be. And, when the head of the Orthodox Church in the Czech lands goes to Alaska, the OCA will be in a secondary position. It is a sign of the times.

        But, again, Syosset is not listening. The Seattle Council gave the clear direction that a smaller Syosset is what is needed and more effective dioceses is what is needed. Yet since Seattle we have seen an unrelenting effort to expand the reach of Syosset.

        Syosset doesn’t need the number of people they already have employed because we don’t need to be sending millions of dollars there. The future, if the OCA survives, is building up parishes and dioceses, not a Syosset.

        The decisions the OCA makes today will determine its future. Based on recent decisions, I don’t think its future is at all secure.

    • Yes, Mark Maymon is going to work in Syosset and +Nikon was telling others at the DOS Assembly that +Mark will be “totally exonerated.” It seems that the way the synod thinks and acts is not the way the rest of us think or act.

      Can’t these men see how stupid a move this is? But then again, someone in the OCA administration is leaking +Jonah’s emails to the Orthodox Forum.

      Is this Godly leadership?

      • PelagiaMB says

        Not even in the same zip code!

      • “Is this Godly leadership?”

        No. It’s polishing a turd.

      • lexcaritas says

        Assuming this is a direct quote: “totally exonerated”, I would be disappointed with +Nikon. He seems like a compassionate, caring, Christian man. However, total exoneration is impossible if Iwhat I have been told of teh facts of this case is accurate: The former DOS chancellor’s gmail password and information stored in the “cloud” were recovered from his sim card and his private email monitored for several months. The information was not maintained in confience for purposes of private correction of either the chancellor or the Metropolitan; rather the “incriminating” contents were released to an internet blog for publication. The misdeed was admitted by the wrong-doer, who never showed contrition or repentance and has made no restitution for this public act of wrong-doing. That the HS has had no problem with this has been disappointing. That anyone would think to speak in terms of “total exonteration” is utterly amazing. The longer I live, the more I seem to be living in a land where everything is upside down. Is this what Isaiah spoke of when prophesying to and of the Lord’ vineyard and a time when men would call good evil and evil good?


        • For the sake of truth and accuracy, Maymon monitered the hacked e-mail account for a bit less than one month. But a thief is still a thief.

      • Mark from the DOS says

        Just as Fr. Tosi apparently concluded the priest was in the OCA before investigating that matter, Bishop Nikon has determined that Bishop Mark will be fully exonerated in advance of that conclusion having been reached as well. The way things work is quite clear. The phrase Outcome Determinative comes to mind.

      • Rod Dreher says

        +Nikon was telling others at the DOS Assembly that +Mark will be “totally exonerated.”

        Either Nikon is lying to himself, or he lied to the DOS Assembly. I consulted a lawyer about whether or not I’d have a valid civil claim against Mark for what he did, as my e-mails were also stolen. After researching the civil statutes, my lawyer’s verdict was that I would probably win, but it would cost tens of thousands of dollars to bring the suit to court. If I won, the money would come out of the Diocese of the South, and possibly even St. Seraphim’s Cathedral. I didn’t have the money to file suit, and I wouldn’t want to punish the DOS or St. Seraphim’s, both of which were victimized by this creep.

        Exonerated? Don’t you believe it for one second.

        • Mark from the DOS says


          Your lawyer is spot on. The story, apparently admitted to, is a clear violation of federal law, and the lame excuses people proffer in defense have pretty much been tried unsuccessfully in every court. To be clear, no case has ever upheld an employer’s (or strangers) access to cloud based e-mail of a third party based on “finding” or recording the password on company computers. Having the password is one thing, USING IT is another, and this is not a hard distinction to comprehend, no matter how dumb some people play.

          Bishop Nikon’s statement is mind boggling. And let’s be clear, declining to prosecute is completely different than being exonerated!

          • I agree, and every time you underwrite a paycheck to one of these Bishops(as they call themselves) you enable them to:
            Smear their brother’s name and remove him using an illegal process and forcing him out by threats.)
            Ignore the goals of the AAC
            Hide the truth of almost anything (it’s addictive)
            Use their imagination to cover their tracks (lies)
            Use their position to silence priests, and the flocks by intimidation or shaming them by and using the word of GOD to do it.
            I am mystified by why anyone would write that check or allow themselves to be shamed into silence.

        • Interesting. Your unnamed lawyer claims you would “probably” win yet the case would cost you tens of thousands. And why would it take tens of thousands to bring the case? After all, Mark had admitted to accessing the emails and also had told everyone how it was done. Not much dispute on the facts. And you claim the law is so clear so the only thing to argue over would be damages. Interesting that he wasn’t willing to take your case on contingency if you were so likely to win. Perhaps the law isn’t so clear as you make it out to be.

          In any event, don’t you think your constant whining about the emails (while ignoring your own reprehensible behavior during that time and the possibly illegal acts committed, if not by you, by persons acting in concert with you) has gone a bit far?

          • George Michalopulos says

            Obviously, you don’t know anything about the American legal system, do you, James?

            • Oh George, I know a lot about the American legal system. But notice the hedging Rod uses. “Probably” win the case- what does this mean? Well, clearly that the whole issue isn’t the open and shut case that Rod claims. Legally, of course, the issue is who owns the Emails- Fester or the OCA. Now Rod is admitting that even his lawyer wouldn’t give him a firm answer.

              Nor would it cost tens of thousands to litigate if his case is as strong as Rod would have us believe. The facts of the case aren’t even in dispute- Bishop Mark accessed the emails using a password left on the DOS computer. He doesn’t deny it. In fact, he openly admits it. Vastly speeds things up.

              And if the law was as clear as Rod would have us believe, there wouldn’t even be questions of law to deal with.

              Sorry, George, but the claims of tens of thousands is laughable. What would really have happened is:

              The lawyer would have said to himself “look this case is gravy. All I’m going to have to do is write a nasty letter to the DOS and get a fat paycheck because they’ll settle so fast it isn’t even funny. All I’ll have to do is get Rod to sign off on it”

              Actually, he would have said that to himself even if the case was weak- After all, he knew that the OCA would probably settle in a flash and avoid themselves the expense

              That’s the way our legal system works. Rod is admitting that he doesn’t have much of a case. The only part of his argument that’s true is that Bishop Mark would never be held personally liable.

              Really, learn to read between the lines George.

              • Alexander says

                James S,

                Sorry my friend, but George, Rod and the others have this right.

                Here’s the 100,000 ft. view: A matter like this cannot be handled pro se in some “cattle call,” small claims court. And no credible lawyer will — should — ever tell a prospective or existing client that any case is a “slam dunk” that can be resolved with a telephone call. Nasty-grams spawn nastier grams.

                Set aside the merits of the case. Assume a lawyer charges $200 per hour — a nearly impossible to find dirt cheap rate these days. She’ll go through $10,000 in one week. As much as the costs of litigating are attorneys’ fees, there is a sizeable chunk of change associated with filing fees, court costs, statutory witness expenses, and court reporter costs. Filing fees and service of summons can run $500. Deposition transcripts for five depositions can run you $10,000 without blinking an eyelash. And in the USA, generally speaking, each party bears its own fees, costs and expenses.

                Want to mediate early? A middle of the road mediator’s going to cost you at least $2000 for a day’s exercise that usually ends in futility. Assuming the two sides can identify and agree upon a mediator. Putzing around with settlement documentation in and of itself is a cost.

                • Oh please: Plaintiff’s attorney’s in America always work on a contingency basis, so Rod wouldn’t have to come up with the tens of thousands. Defense lawyers work on the hour. Hence the tendency of defendants to settle even the weakest of cases and to do so early.

                  Second, the ground needed to cover in a deposition isn’t really all that much- the facts are openly admitted to by Mark. That leaves it only a question of law as to who legally owned the emails. Now that would be covered pretty much by Fester’s employment contract. (The one written by the OCA’s lawyers in such a way to make it almost impossible to sue)

                  No there wouldn’t be a need for a mediator. The plaintiff’s lawyer would simply shoot off a threatening letter, the OCA’s lawyers wishing to avoid any unnecessary expenses would respond with an offer to settle. The whole thing wouldn’t even take two hours of an attorney’s time. At most a few motions to speed things up here and there- which are really just fill in the blanks for a person with a law license.

                  You really seem ignorant of the US Civil Justice system and especially Texas’.

                  • Rod, I don’t think you need to name the OCA as a defendant, the stealer and the publisher should suffice. The crimes were certainly not consistent with the job description of either party. I don’t see how the OCA could even justify paying for their misdeeds. Surely the OCA doesn’t hire lawyers to defend every employee or volunteer who commits a crime, does it? It should come out of their own paychecks. You could settle for the cost of your legal fees (and specify that the monies cannot be from the church), destruction of all copies of all stolen emails by all parties given a copy (both digital and hard copies), redaction of all web postings containing stolen material, and a public apology to you and all parties harmed, if they agree to an immediate settlement. If they persist all the way to court, you could insist on a more complete righting of wrongs. That would be a very charitable way to begin to return the church to some healthier boundaries. And for those who will try to guilt trip you about appealing to secular authorities, remember everyone has long ago agreed that this is appropriate in criminal cases (embezzlement and sexually assault just for example). I guess I also think you should talk to the police or a district attorney or someone with legal jurisdiction now that two people have lost their jobs. Maybe a real lawyer can advise as to what reports should be filed and where. You need to hurry though, in fact the statute of limitations may have already passed for filing a civil case and this may explain the confidence of those who approve of the criminal acts.

              • Mark from the DOS says

                JamesS –

                You don’t get it and you certainly don’t understand nearly as much as you think.

                The main reason no lawyer would take the case on contingency is simple: DAMAGES.

                I am certain Rod’s lawyer could tell him who owned the e-mails. I am also certain he could tell them that the OCA does not. This really is a simple case. But Rod did not suffer any pecuniary damages. He wasn’t fired. He wasn’t disciplined in his employment. People didn’t stop buying a product he sold. He hasn’t lost his house. He hasn’t had to get psychological treatment (although we probably shouldn’t mention that to the Synod – they might prescribe it).

                So what would even a 40% contingency fee yield? 40% of a few hundred dollars in nominal damages wouldn’t even pay for drafting the first page of the complaint. Yes the law is clear. That doesn’t mean a defense lawyer won’t make the same arguments that have been roundly rejected by other courts. That means responding to motions. To get the facts in admissible form means written discovery and depositions.

                And what of trial? Even a two day trial would run up enormous bills. And don’t kid yourself. The first day is just pretrial activity and picking a jury. Even if you try the entire case in a day and get a verdict, that’s real money. Plus trial prep – no good lawyer goes to trial without thorough legal and factual prep.

                Rod is certainly not going to spend $50,000 MINIMUM to try a case that might yield a verdict of $500 – $1000. There is no fee shifting statute to force the church or Bishop Mark to pay. Rod has a good case. He just doesn’t have damages. And the fact that anyone would claim full exoneration based on these admitted facts seems woefully uniformed, willfully ignorant, or incredibly naive.

                • Well I’m well aware of the issue of damages (I noted that the only part of Rod’s original statement that made sense was that Bishop Mark would never be held personally liable) The rest of the statement doesn’t follow.

                  Rod says his lawyer said “probably” win. Not a slam dunk now is that? Nor did he say “The lawyer told me it would cost more than the damages we could win” Indeed, if your estimate of the damages is correct- the OCA would just have written the check rather than defend the case at all. It would have been much cheaper from the Church’s position. File the papers, cash your check. Nothing is easier for the plaintiff’s bar. Why on earth would they spend even a hundred bucks defending a claim that you claim is so strong but is worth only a thousand at most?

                  Civil cases are almost always settled even when the plaintiff has a horrible case just because of the costs of defending against them. Lawyers pursue them in their down time. Easy money from an attorney’s point of view.

                  Now who owns the emails isn’t such a cut and dry matter- which is why the attorney said “probably”. He knew that would be the defense. He also knew it might work. If the emails were Fr Fester’s work product, they could easily be OCA property. Not certainly but quite possibly. Given the statements from Rod and his cohorts (remember when they claimed they were “sealed by the confessional”) could be an admission that the letters were work product and therefore OCA property.

                  Its for reasons like that the Archbishop Nikon said that “Mark will be exonerated”

                  To sum up your errors are:

                  Rod’s says his attorney said probably win, not that they would (That’s Rod statement and we’re taking his statement of the attorney’s views at face value)

                  Rod wouldn’t have had to come up with tens of thousands. Any lawyer would have said “Let’s just send them a nasty letter and they’ll settle” We don’t have to actually spend any money. If they don’t we won’t pursue it much because the costs will eat you alive.

                  IF the damages were so small (not the reason that Rod gave for not pursuing the matter) the OCA wouldn’t have been inclined to bother defending the complaint. Just not answer the complaint, allow the judge to enter a summary judgment and write the little check. Much cheaper than paying an attorney to defend the matter. As I said, the defense is looking at paying 200 bucks an hour to defend a case so they’ll be happy to settle even if the claim is dubious.

                  You simply can’t get around the fact that the attorney said “probably win” not “you’ll win”. That means that Rod’s attorney knew there were defenses against the claim and he didn’t know for sure how a judge would rule.

                  Sorry, Mark, the only logical conclusion from Rod’s original statement is that the case is a bit murky. Bishop Mark would have defenses, how good they were isn’t apparent from the simple statement Rod gave us.

                  Now, Rod’s statement that Bishop Mark couldn’t be sued (because he was acting as an employee) is true. The OCA or the DOS or the Cathedral would have been stuck with the tab. The rest of it just doesn’t make logical sense to me.

                  • Rod Dreher says

                    The rest of it just doesn’t make logical sense to me.

                    That’s why I consulted an actual lawyer instead of an anonymous crank on the Internet, such as you are.

                    The law is pretty clear, my lawyer said, but no lawyer is going to guarantee a client a victory. Based on the facts I presented him, he said I would likely win on the merits of the case. But the victory could also be Pyrrhic, based on the record of damages federal courts have awarded in similar cases. And if I did win, the money would be taken out of the backsides of people and institutions I care about, not the actual malefactor. As I said before.

                    But see, I’m an idiot, because I find myself actually typing out a response to an anonymous Internet oddity who thinks he knows the law better than a professional, experienced lawyer.

                    • Rod, don’t you know anonymous Internet cranks give the best legal advice? Sheesh.

                    • Now your trying to change your statement Rod. You never claimed in your original post that the lawyer told you that the damages you’d win would be

                      Again and again you keep proving the point. Your lawyer (whom you won’t name) says you might win based on the facts that you had given him. Leaving aside the possibility that you omitted a potentially important fact, you still admit that your lawyer said you might lose. So maybe Nikon knows something your not telling us when he said Mark would be exonerated

                      Your claim that the expenses would be to high is simply implausible. The record of our civil justice system, as anyone who has actual knowledge of it will tell you, is that defendants are willing to settle even the weakest of claims to avoid the expense of defending it.

                      Now as I said, of course the damages wouldn’t come out of Mark’s pocket as he was acting as an employee. That part of your claim does make sense as I said before but your claim of trying to avoid expenses is weak.

                      Again, the point is that even your lawyer told you that you might lose/ Time to admit that your case isn’t as solid as you’ve claimed the past year.

                      Basically Rod, what does Archbishop Nikon know that your leaving out? He has access to some pretty good lawyers himself you know Given the track records of the two of you, I would take Archbishop Nikon’s word any day of the week That your resort to pathetic name calling simply shows the weakness of your argument.

                      And anonymous? Seriously Rod, your really showing hypocrisy here aren’t you? Funniest thing I’ve heard since the Metropolitan resigned

                    • Alexander says

                      My vote: no sense in killing any more electrons or wasting any more time over JamesS’ commentary.

                  • Mark from the DOS says

                    JamesS –

                    No lawyer with any sense ever tells a client they will definitely win. Because if they don’t, for whatever reason, the lawyer can end up on the bad end of a malpractice or even breach of warranty suit. So give that up. It seems plenty of lawyers post here. Ask them how many of them guarantee their client’s results in litigation.

                    And the civil justice system “especially in Texas” you write? Are you serious? Do you live here? Tort reform my friend. Go ask you local plaintiff lawyers what they think of the justice system for little personal offense claims. It’s not the 80s anymore here, my friend. This is a defense state, Dallas County trial judges not withstanding.

                    • See, this is what you and your cohorts are failing to accept- Rod is claiming that his lawyer said based on the facts Rod gave him that he would “probably” win. Now its true that in the law, there are few certain things. There are some- like if someone were to sue a Texas resident, who owned no property in Nebraska, in a Nebraska court about something the Texas resident did in Texas. Now simply put, that case is without merit in the law and everyone knows the outcome.

                      So yes, there are certain things which are established. Rod is admitting that his case has holes in it. Archbishop Nikon probably knows what holes they are and the OCA lawyers know they could drive a truck through it. Hence Vladyka Nikon’s statement “Mark will be exonerated” Its not Nikon who is lying to himself but Rod.

                      Now, doesn’t anyone else see the amusing irony of someone with Rod’s track record whining about anonymous posts? I’m still laughing from that one.

                      And yep, I live in Texas and yes the laws here about civil procedures are vastly better than you would find in Georgia. But they work both ways and aren’t all that merciful to a frivolous defense either.

                      What your saying is you think that Rod’s case is so weak he couldn’t even extort a settlement. Now that’s weak.

                    • Mark from the DOS says

                      Your entire premise is based on the idea that threatening lawsuits leads to offers to settle. My statement is simple: not so much. This isn’t the 1980s and people don’t write checks in Texas every time they get a demand letter. If the damage amount is small, it is just as likely, if not more so, that the response will be silence or a polite letter denying liability, and the putative defendant will wait to see if someone with a $1000 case will actually spend $232 to file a lawsuit. Moreover, most contingency fee lawyers would decline to even write a demand letter on a case that small. It simply isn’t profitable to the plaintiff bar. So, I certainly say nothing of the sort. I dispute your basic premise which makes everything else you say irrelevant.

                    • His premise is also based on the assumption, that one would go to court to get , a settlement.
                      It just could be that some people want actual justice, not just a check.

          • Does Drezlo look like the kind of guy who could afford to pay a judgement of tens of thousands of dollars?
            My guess would be no. So if you are a lawyer, you wouldn’t want to take this on contingency because the odds of your client getting paid seem low. I would want my money up front.
            I mean, lawsuits aren’t some kind of magic way to get money, if the other guy doesn’t have the money you don’t get any money.

        • Rod, a small correction…We have to distinguish between falsehoods and lies. One cannot really (although idiom exists) lie to oneself. What makes a falsehood into a lie is the intent to deceive by uttering it. I’m pretty sure the Archbishop Nikon, who was never considered leader in thinking, just doesn’t understand a LOT of what’s going on. It’s a double whammy for him: he’s hearing impaired and very slow of thought. He misses a lot. He probably believes that Bishop Mark M. HAS TO BE exonerated, and he may be right insofar as the Holy Synod MAY exonerate him according to their own (dim) lights. Heracleides made a try at characterizing the Holy Synod and administration with his ‘sit down, pray and pay!” But it will never be that. At most they’ll come up with a better rationalization, and then, smiling, say inaudibly, to themselves, like Lyndon Johnson, “O, you suckers!”

    • Son of Spartacus says

      Will Bishop Mark now become the new Sex Czar?

      • lexcaritas says

        I presume that my brother attorneys are the ones advising the creation of such a position. Sounds like a bad idea to me. It will lead to witch hunts and the denial of due process. Measure like this (cf. the so-called Patriot Act) which are motivated by fear and the desire for security at all costs destroy freedom and human dignity and become tools fo oppression and harassment. They should be resisted. Once upon a time, we left our doors unlocked; now those who can afford it live in gated communities behind bolted doors with security systems armed. These kinds of measures do not, in the end increase, security; but they do imprison us. The solution is a more virtuous society in which those intitutions mediating faith and virtue are cultivated: the family, the local school, the Church . . .


      • No but he’s got a good shot at Metropolitan

        • Michael Bauman says

          James, +Mark for Metropolitan, seriously. That would really be a great move for the OCA being able to work with the Antiochians and even the Greeks on anything substantial wouldn’t it. They would be even further isolated, ignored and more quickly pass into irrelevancy.

          • Metropolitan!!! I thought he would be the IT man who would regularly hack into , first, the OCA computers in Syosset and then report to the Chancellor, Executive Person, or Secretary of the OCA. We ARE, after all a “hierarchical Church!” Later, he could have his own Department with Special Assistants to, and so on. He does have experience in all that, no?
            How does the OCA compare with, oh, let’s say, the Antiochenes in its “overhead’ positions? I know Metropolitan Philip has a Chancellor. And how about ROCOR? How many paid executive positions have they?
            If the idea is finding a Metropolitan who is ‘able to work with the Antiochians,” one might look around more. Is Mrs. Joseph Allen still alive? If not, her husband could be elected and be a good candidate who we know would be “able to work with the Antiochians.”

            • Michael Bauman says

              My point your Grace, is that it would automatically put an unecessary strain on the the brotherly relations between the OCA and Antiochians. If I am not mistaken, of what little support the OCA had to be part of the EA, most of it came from Met. Philip.

              Why go out of the way to create difficulties? On top of that, it would continue to disturb the DOS and seem to give the lie that the synod actually cares about the DOS.

              But of course, I’m rather sure you realize all that, you are an intelligent and astute person, you just like to raise fusses (not unlike Met. Philip BTW). Mrs. Joseph Allen has nothing to do with it–either one of them.

              You and Met. Philip actually seem quite a bit alike to me (though I tend to like you better):
              Neither of you suffers those whom you consider to be fools; both of you are deeply loyal (to a fault sometimes) to your friends; both of you have more than a bit of the crumdgeon about you; both of you care deeply for the Church; both of you are strong enough to take unpopular even quixotic stands when they are important to you without backing down becase of the flack (the key element that seems to be lacking in Met. Jonah).

              One thing you can be sure of is that whatever staff Met. Philip has at Englewood, they know who the boss is. You may not like that, but it is a lot better than the scapegoating, cannabilistic chaos that seems to rule in the OCA.

              Plus, Met Philip’s supporting cast of bishops seem to be a lot stronger than the norm in the OCA. The credit for that goes largely to Met. Philip as well. We’ll know better when he decides to repose, but I rather think that the challenges that come with that epoch change will be handled in a positive and Chrisitian way that will not include routine purges of the politburo.

              The heads of the various departments that the Archdiocese has (supported in part by each parishes 10% tithe) are mostly priests and lay folk that operate out of their home parishes. Oddly enough it seems that Met. Philip’s leadership has fostered a wide variety of ministries that are not all managed out of Englewood. That is the kind of approach that Met. Jonah was going for too, I think. Unfortunately the entrenced national bureaucrats didn’t like that.

              “By their fruits……” No, your Grace not all of Met. Philip’s fruits are good and sweet, but there are many which are. It would be a great mistake for the OCA to antagonize or make unecessarily difficult the relationship. Given the track record of the synod, Bp Mark is almost a shoo-in.

              • The thing is with Bp. Mark: too many people (not speaking of the Synod) in the Church just do not like him at all. It’s as bad to be known as a friend of mark stokoe, as it is to be a “Friend of Dorothy.”
                It’s kind of a rule….if you really set out to get anyone, even if you are right and you succeed, you’re finished. He went after Fr. Joseph Fester. Anyone who imagines how many people in the OCA OUTSIDE of the South were offended by that…. Some high ranking Archpriests were desperate to get rid of Metropolitan Vladimir, but they all knew better than to take out after him: so they put Fr. Benedict di Socio up to it by telling him was a hero over and over, until Metropoitan Vladimir was history and that was the end of Father Benedict in the OCA, and those who reallly were responsible for the judgment on and punishment of Metropolitan Vladimir simply skated along above it all.
                It’s really a most silly idea, Michael Bauman. You don’t get the OCA/Metropolia at all. A Metropolitan has to have a little bit of “nash”. It doesn’t have to be a lot, and it doesn’t have to be native-born, but Bishop Mark is the opposite of “nash.” He’s a guest, more or less welcome, but still a guest. At the best he’ll have a career that fits in like Bishop Kallistos Ware’s career fits into the Ecumenical Patriarchate…but he’s not the Greek equivalent of “nash” for the Greeks either.
                Benjamin, maybe; Tikhon of Philadelphia maybe. That’s about it. I don’t see any former Monsignors in the running.
                It’ll be a good idea to check the odds in Las Vegas.

          • Yes seriously. They have to pick someone and they have always picked an OCA Bishop. That means Mark really has a shot at being Metropolitan. Especially when you start throwing out obvious no gos (like Nikon because of health or Nathaniel because of age) Yes, a Metropolitan Mark might just be what the Holy Synod comes up with.

            • George Michalopulos says

              James, you really don’t get it, do you? It’s over for the oca. The next one will transfer power to 79th st. My money’s on Melchisedek.

              • Oh Melchisedek is certainly in the running. So would Mathias and Benjamin for that matter. I just wouldn’t be so quick to rule Mark out. After all, how many people “had their money” on Jonah last time? Not many I venture.

              • Michael Bauman says

                Well, George, if that’s really how you feel, why stay?

                However, given the flap over the supposed loss of authcephaly that Met. Jonah’s thoughts raised, how could that possibly happen?

                It is more likely that the OCA will become more and more isolated and defacto, if not officially, schismatic. That’s essentially what many in the Orthodox world consider you anyway.

                Of course if you want to go really bizarre: Met. Philip arranged all of this so that Bp Mark would be the Met. and expedite a merger with the AOC to help fight the Greeks.

                • Now that is the most sensible post on this site (mine excepted of course) since I’ve been here. Yep, the whole thing was a scheme of Met Phillip and now the Greeks are going to take it on the chin. Lot more logical then the “lavender mafia” hysteria

                  • Michael Bauman says

                    Unfortunately James, the there are those within the OCA who want to change Chrisitan moral tradition on sexality and Orthodox understanding of the Incarnation in the process. Another in the long list of reasons that the OCA is acting as if they are a schismatic cult instead of authentically Orthodox.

                    Too bad you mistake sarcasm for genuine comment.

                • Well, Michael, it may be just George’s opinion rather than a “feeling.”

    • Maymon at Syosset?

      They deserve each other.

    • Disgusted With It says

      Could an unwanted bishop perhaps be hired to be the head of External Affairs? Or maybe Chancellor, since it appears the current one has fulfilled his necessary duties? Either would be a nice cushy job as a reward for supplying stolen info.

  7. Gregg Gerasimon says

    Oh man. Not really sure what to say or to think.

    I do remember reading a few years ago, in 2008 or so I think, when he began serving as OCA Secretary, that Father Eric Tosi used to be an Armor officer with the U.S. Army in Germany, prior to seminary and ordination.

    Father Eric, I certainly hope that you ran your platoon or company different that things are being run over on Long Island. This is much worse than embarrassing. The recon must be done before you fire… that is, unless the target is already predetermined, thereby making any reconnaissance useless and a waste of time…

    Lord, have mercy!

    Gregg Gerasimon
    LTC, US Army

  8. It seems to me that the good dentist has set an example. Everyone should be calling Syosset and asking for an answer.

    • Disgusted With It says

      As posted in an earlier thread, we should call the OCA Chancery in Syosset and also Archbishop Nathaniel, the Locum Tenens:

      OCA Chancery, Syosset – (516) 922-0550
      Archbishop Nathaniel – (517) 522-4800, (517) 522-3598, (517) 522-3656

      And also call your diocesan bishop:

      Archbishop Nikon (Albanian Archdiocese, New England & DOS) – (508) 764-3222
      Archbishop Tikhon (Eastern Pennsylvania) – (570) 937-9331
      Archbishop Benjamin (West & Alaska) – (415) 567-9378
      Bishop Melchisedek (Western Pennsylvania) – (724) 776-5555
      Bishop Michael (New York & New Jersey) – (914) 779-6580
      Bishop Matthias (Midwest) – (312) 202-0420
      Bishop Alexander (Bulgarian Diocese & Washington) – (419) 693-7871
      Bishop Irinee (Administrator of Canada) – (613) 223-7780

      We need to let the bishops know that we are watching and that we expect all rules to be followed in a fair investigation and related processes.

  9. Why don’t the top 10 biggest donors to Syosset schedule a meeting / conference call with Fr Tosi, and simply let him know that their money is going elsewhere, starting immediately.

    My broker’s E.F. Hutton; and E.F. Hutton says …

    • This is a compelling idea. Do the top 10 donors (or whoever it is primarily supporting the OCA financially) know who eachother are? Do they argree that this situation was handled wrongly? I’m wondering if this is a viable option.

  10. While this may be true, can we look at it with a bit of healthy skepticism? I have a hard time believing Fr Tosi would say such a thing knowing the burgeoning controversy building on the internet..

  11. Gail Sheppard says

    Well, we’re officially back in “you can’t fix stupid” territory.

  12. Syosset Justice: Execute the defendant, then put him on trial.

  13. Wow, the hot air on this website is amazing! Let’s see, some schmuck of a dentist “demands” to speak to the church secretary who is about to go into a meeting with a bishop. He kindly gives a non-committal answer to the schmuck and everyone thinks it’s a conspiracy because he gives a lame answer.

    Facts, folks. Work with the facts. It’s a lot easier that way. Even from this website you can piece some information together. Did or did not Metropolitan Jonah let a person serve in his cathedral who he did not check out beforehand? The answer is emphatically yes. You may not know this, but this isn’t how it works in the real world of Orthodoxy Christianity. In the real world, a priest comes with papers, i.e. letters of introduction and letters with a blessing from their hierarch to serve and requesting that they be welcomed into another diocese. A priest doesn’t just show up on a doorstep and ask to be allowed to serve. And if he does, the logical thing to do would be to say “no.” That’s what a real bishop does.

    I can’t believe all the harping about whether or not the guy was or was not “officially” in the OCA. Duh, at this point it’s pretty clear he wasn’t a card carrying member of the OCgAy. What does it matter?

    Quite honestly though, it saddens me that Metropolitan Jonah turned out to be such a dud considering the many good things that he tried to accomplish. Make no mistake about it, despite Jonah’s horrible administrative skills, he was virtually the only member of the Holy Synod with any balls to confront the homosexuality issue in the OCA (sorry, perhaps the “proper” term is the Hopko title “Same Sex Attraction.” That makes it sound a little less hurtful doesn’t it — funny, as an aside it you ever read his book, it’s amazing that for such a learned professor, he completely omits any references to the book of Leviticus. Must be that’s the “new” theology they are teaching in Yonkers these days).

    May God bless the next metropolitan (probably Bishop Michael in my opinion) and may they get to it quick.

    • Archpriest John W. Morris says

      Several years ago my family and I were in Washington the week before the Antiochian Archdiocesan Convention. We decided to go to the Divine Liturgy at St. Nicholas Cathedral on the Sunday before the convention began. I planned to wear my cassock and simply worship during the Liturgy. We happened to drive up to the Cathedral just as the priest was arriving. I identified myself and he, I do not remember his name, invited me to serve and I just happened to have my vestments with me and served. So those things happen.

      Archpreist John W. Morris

  14. Michael Bauman says

    If anyone in the central administration wants things to be different than in corporate America (whatever that means), I would suggest that decentralization would be a good first step. Say, like a truly diocesan from of government with much less power in the hands of the CA and the MC. OH, I believe someone suggested that.

  15. And what is the OCA Chancellor doing this week?…….

    Chancellor’s Diary
    by Fr. John Jillions

    July 24, 2012
    I am on vacation this week and will resume “The Chancellor’s Diary” on Tuesday, July 31st.

    Best that he stay on vacation.

  16. Word is that ROCOR received the DC monastery with a good bill of health from +MJ. Perhaps someone could factor that into the timeline of who knew what and when?

    • That was May 2011, a full year before the rape, or the alleged urging of the victim not to report it, ever came to light.

  17. Lola J. Lee Beno says

    Is there a metropolitan already in place?

    Job Summary. Serves as the personal secretary to the Metropolitan with responsibility for all matters of correspondence to and from the Office of the Metropolitan including logging in of mail and preparing responses for review to both postal and electronic correspondence, drafting of letters, scheduling and calendar maintenance, and follow-up work to Primatial visits. Serves the Chancery office as an accounts receivable specialist and a general clerical/executive administrator.

  18. Disgusted With It says

    So does anyone else see this coming? —

    “Due to his unique qualifications, we’ve decided to hire Fr Jillions for the position of Executive Assistant, leaving the position of Chancellor open which the Holy Synod will appoint at their next meeting.” After next synod meeting: “Due to his unique qualifications, we’ve decided to appoint Bishop Mark for the position of Chancellor of the Orthodox Church in America.” All so very convenient.

  19. Phil R. Upp says

    All of this is just silly. Met. Jonah is gone because his brother bishops believed he was unfit to fulfill his duties. Now, this didn’t happen over-night, but apparently was going on for some time. It had nothing to do with the “evil people” in Syosset (several employees). It wasn’t because of the “old hardliners” pushing him out. It wasn’t the “lavender mafia” or anyone else. He’s gone because he was acting in a manner, for a long time, that his brother hierarchs could no longer support. So stop all of this foolishness. The OCA will recover nicely and move forward. All of you neysayers can go to ROCOR or wherever.

    • Michael Bauman says

      As a matter of fact, Mr Upp. It happend as soon as he challeged the CA, the MC and came out publically, if not in his own Cathedral in favor of traditional Orthodox moral teaching. Sure, correlation and co-incidence do not mean causationg, but when one looks at those who opposed him (almost immediately) guess what one finds?

      The staff at Syosset, the senior Archpriests and some MC members, and those who favor the normalization of homosexuality. Each of these constitencies felt threatened by Met. Jonah and his proposals to change the governance structure of the OCA and come out from the shadows.

      Of course, the other possibility is that the Synod didn’t do their job properly when they elected Met. Jonah. If that
      was the case, humility would be simply to go to the Church, say mea Culpa, properly meet to remove him and then go on. That didn’t happen did it.

      You have a choice: the Synod as ignorant, incompetent men without humility who can’t own up to their own mistakes or, even worse, those who collude against their hierach to whom they owe obedience.

      What is a quiet difficult conclusion to come to is that you have a Synod of humble, loving episcopal brothers who acted our of charity and in a mature awareness of their responsibility to the Church.

      Met. Jonah messed. No doubt. But it has been handled in a bumbling, hurtful and probably uncannonical manner. Maybe the Synod should move to Pennsylvannia and take on their apparent name: The Keystone (cops) Synod.

    • lexcaritas says

      Phil-r-upp, if your analysis is correct, why didn’t the Synod’s letter over +Matthias signature just say so and stick to that?


    • Sub-Deacon David says

      Anytime people include something like the following:

      All of you neysayers can go to ROCOR or wherever.

      You can safely ignore most, if not all, of any other points made in a post. Mr. Upp tells everyone it will all be okay, the Synod only acted in the best interest of the OCA, but if you don’t like it, leave; ignoring the fact that WE are part of the OCA whose best interest he’s supposed to be so concerned about. IF ROCOR is in the best interest of SOME of the OCA, perhaps the it is no longer the best interest of Orthodoxy in general for the OCA to continue to exist?

  20. Rod Dreher says

    George, a couple of people from Holy Cross (Antiochian) parish in suburban Maryland have sent me the following statement from their parish newsletter, which went out today:

    There is an investigation underway by the bishops of ROCOR (the jurisdiction which has canonical oversight) of a situation involving the Monastery of the Entrance of the Theotokos. We do not presently have more information other than that, but we have been told by His Grace, Bishop Thomas (under advisement of ROCOR) that we do not presently have a blessing to visit the Monastery, nor will we probably in the near future. Bishop Thomas instructs that all questions should be addressed to His Grace, Bishop George (ROCOR).

    These are the “DC Nuns” that Jonah welcomed, and who were such big supporters of Father He Who Shall Not Be Named. Keep an eye on this one.

    • Somebody said here that ROCOR runs a tight ship. What will happen if ROCOR finds something to be concerned about? How will it all be spun then?

      • George Michalopulos says

        Assuming that there is an anomaly, then they should exercise the appropriate discipline, nothing more, nothing less

      • Rod Dreher says

        If ROCOR finds something, then publicize it, with full transparency, and let the chips fall where they may. I’ve said for a couple of weeks now, since the Synodal statement was released, that we have to bear in mind that the OCA Synod, despite their past record and the problematic nature of their statement, may truly have something on Jonah. We who are skeptical of the Synod’s move and statement should be willing to accept what the ROCOR bishops have to say, if it applies to this situation.

        That is not to say that the way the Synod and Syosset have handled this thing is on the up and up. But that may be a separate issue. I’m telling you, Jonah is a good man, but not a good administrator. In a time of churches getting themselves sued to the foundations over sexual abuse, and senior clerics even going to jail for handling these things badly, a bishop who slacks is a big potential liability.

        Now, if Jonah is found guilty of what the Synod accuses him of, or there is reason to think he is guilty, then I want to see the same standards applied to the other bishops.

        • another one says


          Now, if Jonah is found guilty of what the Synod accuses him of, or there is reason to think he is guilty, then I want to see the same standards applied to the other bishops.


          Only if +Jonah is found guilty would you want to see the same standards applied to the other bishops? Only then?

        • Pravoslavnie says

          The ROCOR investigation is wrapping up. An individual close to the investigative committee indicated that the signed and sealed investigative report will be presented to Met. Hilarion later this week. There will probably be some information made public thereafter, but disciplinary measures have already been set in motion. That’s all I’ll say until the ROCOR chooses to release a statement.

    • lexcaritas says

      This is all very sad, since Mother Ameliane is admired and respected by many, and has an amazing personal testimony. Srs. Veronica and Ignatia (among others) are gracious, humble and holy women. Some had also hoped that the Monastery–which is a magnificent property fully-equipped and ready to bear much good fruit–might also be a haven and place of service for Sr. Ignatia’s father, our visually impaired but beloved teacher of Byzantine chant. Let us pray that the spiritual powers in heavenly places with whom we are at war do not use this situationi to destroy a good work. May it be blessed for our purification and repentance and turned for the glory of God.

      May we fear not, however, but be encouraged to redouble our prayers. The weapons of ou warfare are mighty to the pulling down of strongholds and of every hight thing that exats itself againt the knowledge of God, to Whom be all power and glory unto ages of ages.


    • Who is Bishop Thomas?

    • If the DC Nuns freely choose to back a certain priest over the objections of ROCOR then the nuns have made their choice. It is up to them. If they wish to remain in ROCOR they must not defend this person I think they are making a terrible mistake if they do.

      • It appears this is exactly what they are doing, defending not only the priest but their “Elder” as well. I was also told the Greek Bishops, knowing firsthand of the situation in Greece, wouldn’t touch them.

    • Brian in Baltimore says

      This is interesting, Rod. Thanks for the info. I’m in a Ukrainian Orthodox mission a bit north of Baltimore (with many friends and acquaintances at HC).

      I visited the monastery on April 7 of this year (and to be clear, I had no idea then of any scandal or concern about the place) and snapped a few pictures should anyone care to see:

      I was excited to hear of this monastery open in what is close enough to be called my “backyard”, but now I’m a little less heartened.

    • Maybe the ROCOR bishops believe that the Nuns need to left alone for a while so that they can now begin to solidify an authentic monastic life without so much traffic and noise from the outside.

      • George Michalopulos says

        I can honestly tell you that Abbess Aemeliane is a walking miracle. Someday her story will get out.

        • yes, but.. says

          Yes, but even good people, including nuns, can be manipulated if the manipulator is skillful enough. Including people who had a conversion to Orthodoxy after a near death experience in a horrific disaster. Don’t underestimate how cunning a skilled manipulator can be.

  21. Ludovicus says

    One stops paying the church …. how is this Orthodox? This seems very protestant to me. If one disagrees with the pastor or the church council, stop paying him. Orthodoxy is hierarchical church. How can you justify not paying hierarchs?

    Email seems strange. Is it from Orly Taitz?

  22. An independent investigation is needed into these “unrealistic” accusations that forced Jonah to resign and into the the Synod and its members; something is not above board here.. It appears to be very troubled. As parishoners in the OCA, should we not insist on exposing the truth….the light that shines in the darkness and overcomes it. This is our strenght as Orthodox Christians and we need to ensure that the OCA is transparent so that when the devil sneeks in, (as he is now) we could easily detect and remove him.

    Can we initiate an indepndent investigation? Is there another way?

    I agree that financial pressure would work. I am still praying on this but my feeling is to withdraw financial support until i know what and whom i am supporting, that it is still Christs’ Church in its completness. Perhaps it is the time to support our Met, Jonah for i truly feel it still is Gods will that he lead the OCA and lead us also toward our Salvation. Prayer is essential here. Lord Have Mercy!

  23. ChristineFevronia says

    I called the office of the Diocese of the West this morning. Here is the conversation:

    (ring, ring, ring…)
    Man: Diocese of the West
    Me: Good morning. I converted to the Orthodox Christian faith ten years ago and have been an active member of the OCA since then. I am calling today because I am confused about what is happening with Fr. Jonah. Is there anyone there who I can speak with about my concerns?
    Man: Listen to me, you don’t know the half of it. You don’t know what we have been dealing with on our end. The Holy Synod is going to, is working on writing a statement. They are working on it right now.
    Me: Is there any way that I can register a complaint with you about how Fr. Jonah has been treated by the Synod?
    Man: You don’t know the half of it! I’m sure you are listening to the gossip out there, and you just don’t even know the half of it.
    Me: I really don’t care about what Fr. Jonah has done or hasn’t done. What I am concerned about is how Fr. Jonah is being treated–his treatment has been atrocious. It’s like we are all playing a guessing game about “What Sins Has He Committed” because the Synod has shot first, then accused second.
    Man: The Holy Synod is releasing a statement.
    Me: What I am trying to get you to hear is that I don’t care what new tidbits or one-upping accusations they release as a statement. I want to register a complaint with you that I am not in agreement with how this is being handled. And don’t call the Synod “Holy” when their actions are anything but! Right now to me they are the Human Synod, not the Holy Synod.
    (The DOW man hung up on me right then and there. Wow. Could somebody please transfer some of my tithing money from paying off the OCA’s lawyers, auditors, and investigators, to getting that poor man a training in customer service? How could my Diocese not be set up and prepared to handle counseling requests, suggestions, and complaints during this time of public confusion and outcry?)

    Eight years ago almost to the day, I was with Fr. Jonah at a farm in northern California, where he was giving a spiritual retreat for members of our small mission church. His words and his actions led me to a very deep personal relationship with Jesus Christ. I asked him to be my spiritual father, my guide and my counselor, and I have held him in that regard even after he was whisked off to Syosset–a job he never wanted or asked for, as he has openly admitted.

    I have calmly listened as the Synod threw mud at Fr. Jonah, calling into question his mental capacities and his sanity. I prayed my way through the darkness of their unfounded (and now disproved) accusations that he has engaged in criminal activity. And now, this morning, I was told by a representative of the Diocese of the West, that I “don’t know the half of it.”

    Oh, but you see, I DO know the WHOLE story.

    I do know that Fr. Jonah has been carrying his cross into unfathomable darkness, tumult, and chaos. I do know that he will continue loving–truly loving!–his Savior. I do know that he will survive, with God’s help, the snares of the devil. I do know that no one–no one–is spotless or unblemished, and that we all fall short of the mark. I do know that he will continue on in his vocation–being one of today’s foremost evangelists for the Gospel. Most importanly, I know that he has asked us all, openly and without guile, to forgive him for his trespasses and his failures. And while I may not know “the half” story that the Synod will next hurl our way, I DO know the WHOLE story: God forgives, and I forgive.

    Christ came into this world to bring a Sword. Let us all take up that Sword of Truth, however we must. That does indeed involve calling Bishops and Diocesan offices to ask for information. That means sending emails (such as Dr. Jones has done). That means speaking Truth into the darkness of half-truths and botched investigations. Men are crying “Peace! Peace!” but there is no peace! And Nicholas (former comment poster from earlier), you call your fellow brother in Christ (Dr. Russ Jones) “some schmuck of a dentist”? Are we not all called for something higher than juvenile name calling? Dr. Jones did the right thing by trying to follow the facts and the money. He did not personalize or emotionalize his request for facts, nor did he resort to name calling. We are all obligated to seek the Truth and speak it.

    At this point, everyone is apparently just moving on, as the Synod has asked us all to do at the Assembly. There will probably be another “statement” released, with whatever “facts” are tossed around for the Synod to “one up” Fr. Jonah one last time. Let them say what they will. Nothing can ever take away the truth, which is that he actually showed up to do the job that the Holy Spirit elected him to do. He celebrated liturgies with hierarchs of other Orthodox churches. He reached out his arms to embrace all who are caught in ethnic divisions, and tried to bring them all together. He actually attended and spoke at Right to Life marches, bringing thousands of people together to chant “Glory to Jesus Christ!” He publicly stood for traditional marriage. He traveled and spoke on behalf of the people (you and me) of the OCA who want to be heard and recognized on the American scene and on the international scene. THAT was the job we expected him to do, and he did it. Whatever administrative gaffes he caused, I chalk up to “0 to 60 in less than a second” as well as a lack of enough administrative support.

    The Synod wants this chapter of history to be over, but my prayer is that Christ, who knows all things, continues to wield the Sword of Truth in this entire situation and bring the darkness into the Light!

    • Fr.Jonah? He is an Archbishop and was a Metropolitan. He is a Bishop and always will be a Bishop no matter what those toads do to him..

      • Stephen, I interpret it as a term of endearment, not an attempt to “de-bishop” him.

        • ChristineFevronia says

          Thank you kindly, Helga. I meant no offense. I have known him as my beloved Father Jonah for so long, and it has been a riddle to figure out what to call him now that he has been stripped of his status as “Primate” and “Metropolitan”. I have loved your posts, and appreciate your voice. Thank you again.

          • Christine, that is totally understandable. I am sure Met. Jonah would be fine with it, especially since you have had a spiritual father/daughter relationship with him.

            I hope you will consider printing out your comment and sending it to Met. Jonah. He would probably find it comforting to know how much you love him!

      • another one says

        Eight years ago, he was Fr. Jonah. I do not believe that Christine was being disparaging in any way, just relating his title at the time that she encountered +Jonah.

        But bless you for your defense, StephenD!

    • Gregg Gerasimon says


      Thanks for sharing your insights and experience. Your posts highlights a few things that I have been mulling over the past few days.

      (1) I think it’s fair to say that a lot of “insiders” who “really know what’s going on” and “know the truth about why Met. Jonah was forced to resign” don’t want that information to get out, and sadly, they seem to enjoy their status as “insiders.” They don’t view laity asking questions as helpful or useful — indeed, some probably view it as harmful and that we’re out our place to ask what is going on.

      This was well illustrated by a comment posted on Monomakhos on 7/25/2012 by “Catherine,” who is evidently knows what is going on, but who is offended by Orthodox faithful who point out the ridiculousness in the OCA central administration posting a job position for a “personal secretary to the Metropolitan” a couple of weeks after the Metropolitan is fired and when we haven’t even elected a new Metropolitan yet. “Catherine” (why not use your full name?) disdainfully writes to the Orthodox faithful as if we’re annoying fleas, since we clearly “don’t know what the chancery needs.”

      I’m well aware that the church is not a democracy — and none of us is asking for that. But when a much-loved Metropolitan is forced to resign, and a “letter” is put out a week after the fact and is filled with holes and not even signed by the Synod, what is a faithful supposed to do?

      Pray of course, and many times prayer is a call to action as well. In our American Church — which is not paid for by the State but is supported, rather, by the prayers, time, work, and monetary donations of the faithful — I would argue that it is our *duty* to ask questions when things seem off-kilter, to ask for a *clear* answer to what happened and why. To date, we have not received that.

      (2) Per report, Met. Jonah was asked to spend 6 months at a treatment facility for “severe psychological problems.” This just doesn’t add up to me. Six months of *inpatient* psychological treatment is a huge deal — even people with profound psychoses don’t typically don’t need that length of inpatient treatment. In viewing Met. Jonah’s sermon at St John the Baptist Cathedral in Mayfield, PA — from only 2 months ago, he just simply doesn’t strike one as so psychologically disturbed that he needs 6 months of inpatient treatment somewhere.

      He even states during the sermon (around 5:00 in the video) that he “recognizes that how often as a bishop, [my] own decisions can deeply affect the lives of other people, and how easy it is to make a decision that you have no concept of the consequences [of].” He offers even a public apology (around 1:30 in the video) for “the great pain that was caused by decisions made by my predecessors, and I ask your forgiveness” (here, he’s referring to the problems and pain from when the Mayfield cathedral left the OCA to join ROCOR).

      This type of reflective insight, the humility, and how he appears in public — only about 6 weeks before he was made to resign — just do not look like someone who needs 6 months of inpatient psychological treatment! Like a lot of things, it doesn’t pass the “smell” test! Indeed, in this sermon, it seems to me that Met. Jonah sets a Christ-like example like a bishop should!

      I’m still struggling myself with “how much” the faithful should or should not know, given that the church is not a democracy.

      But at a minimum:

      (1) The faithful should not be lied to.

      (2) We should be informed in a clear manner why a much-loved Metropolitan was asked to resign — at the time of his resignation, not a week later in a poorly-composed letter that’s not even signed.

      (3) We should be updated on the process of electing the new Metropolitan. Will we be having an All American Council meeting in 3 months? If not, why not, and if there is not a council in 3 months to elect a new Metropolitan, why are we not following the OCA statutes?

      (4) We should not be belittled or denigrated by “insiders” or those “in the know” when asking questions or pointing out blatant inconsistencies in the actions or missives from the central church administration. This represents a form of clericalism that is inconsistent with Orthodox ecclesiology. Specifically,

      –Why did the person from the Diocese of the West hang up on Christine above? What sort of guidance is being put out from the central church or from the dioceses on how to deal with faithful inquiring about Met. Jonah? (I sure hope that such guidance doesn’t include hanging up on faithful who call to ask questions.)

      –Why did “Catherine,” whose comment is linked above, feel the need to belittle (and to call “bloviating”) those asking what’s the point in advertising for a personal secretary to the Met. two weeks after he is fired? And if she knows so much about how the central administration functions, why not simply explain it to us? And (a crucial question) — why be anonymous, especially if you are from the central administration?

      (5) Most importantly, the faithful need to have confidence that the church is being administered competently, without fear of retribution. Clearly we’re not there yet. Wasn’t this the whole point when Deacon Eric Wheeler and Mark Stokoe started publicly asking questions in ’05 or ’06? Are we even worse off now than we were 7 years ago?

      In Christ,

    • Michael Bauman says

      ChristineF…Thank you for sharing your experience.

    • Well said Christine!

    • lexcaritas says

      It seems to me that +JONAH is doing the right thing by suffering in silence. This is the road to sainthood chosen by many, East and West, who have faced persecution from within the Church itself. The meek shall inherit the earth, their memory becomes eternal, and in the end it is the persecuted who are remembered and the petty persecutors who’s names are soon forgotten almost as if they never were.

      At the same time, it is right for others to defend the persecuted brother and serve as part of the means of their eventual vindication.

      I am grateful for what our sister Christine has written above. It bears witness to the similar testimony of our sister, Li’l Old Virginia Houswife, and matches with my own, more limited, experience from being with +JONAH, and that of Califronia and Dallas friends who have known him in a more extended and deeper pastoral relationship. I have no doubt that in the end justice and goodness and mercy will prevail. The Cross is a mighty weapon and through it our Lord has conquered and ever conquers–to Him be all might, power, honour and dominion, unto ages of ages.


      • Rdr. James says

        Dear Lex:]
        We all remember the work and the holiness of St. Nektarios of Aegina, but who remembers the names of the bishops who opposed him? Good point there!

    • The Synod is working on another statement? Hoo, boy…

      Thanks for reporting your experience, Christine. It’s nice to know we have such charming people working in service to the Church.

      • Rdr. James says

        A person answering the phone like that couldn’t get, much less keep, a job with Sears!

    • Ludovicus says

      If Jonah did not want job as Metropolitan, why did he become bishop and then accept election? He could refuse.

      • Michael Bauman says

        There is a big difference between being a diocesan bishop and the Metropolitan. But consider this, a monk’s chief virtue is supposed to be obedience. I’m sure that when the rest of the synod elected him, Met. Jonah took the job as an obedience from the Church.

  24. A Preparation for Confession

    by St. John of Kronstadt

    I, a sinful soul, confess to our Lord God and Savior Jesus Christ, all of my evil acts which I have done, said or thought from baptism even unto this present day.

    I have not kept the vows of my baptism, but have made myself unwanted before the face of God.

    I have sinned before the Lord by lack of faith and by doubts concerning the Orthodox Faith and the Holy Church; by ungratefulness for all of God’s great and unceasing gifts; His long-suffering and His providence for me, a sinner; by lack of love for the Lord, as well as fear, through not fulfilling the Holy Commandments of God and the canons and rules of the Church.

    I have not preserved a love for God and for my neighbor nor have I made enough efforts, because of laziness and lack of care, to learn the Commandments of God and the precepts of the Holy Fathers.

    I have sinned: by not praying in the morning and in the evening and in the course of the day; by not attending the services or by coming to Church only half-heartedly, lazily and carelessly; by conversing during the services, by not paying attention, letting my mind wander and by departure from the Church before the dismissal and blessing.

    I have sinned by judging members of the clergy.

    I have sinned by not respecting the Feasts, breaking the Fasts, and by immoderation in food and drink.

    I have sinned by self-importance, disobedience, willfulness, self-righteousness, and the seeking of approval and praise.

    I have sinned by unbelief, lack of faith, doubts, despair, despondency, abusive thoughts, blasphemy and swearing.

    I have sinned by pride, a high opinion of my self, narcissism, vanity, conceit, envy, love of praise, love of honors, and by putting on airs.

    I have sinned: by judging, malicious gossip, anger, remembering of offenses done to me, hatred and returning evil for evil; by slander, reproaches, lies, slyness, deception and hypocrisy; by prejudices, arguments, stubbornness, and an unwillingness to give way to my neighbor; by gloating, spitefulness, taunting, insults and mocking; by gossip, by speaking too much and by empty speech.

    I have sinned by unnecessary and excessive laughter, by reviling and dwelling upon my previous sins, by arrogant behavior, insolence and lack of respect.

    I have sinned by not keeping my physical and spiritual passions in check, by my enjoyment of impure thoughts, licentiousness and unchastity in thoughts, words and deeds.

    I have sinned by lack of endurance towards my illnesses and sorrows, a devotion to the comforts of life and by being too attached to my parents, children, relatives and friends.

    I have sinned by hardening my heart, having a weak will and by not forcing myself to do good.

    I have sinned by miserliness, a love of money, the acquisition of unnecessary things and immoderate attachment to things.

    I have sinned by self-justification, a disregard for the admonitions of my conscience and failing to confess my sins through negligence or false pride.

    I have sinned many times by my Confession: belittling, justifying and keeping silent about sins.

    I have sinned against the Most-holy and Life-creating Mysteries of the Body and Blood of our Lord by coming to Holy Communion without humility or the fear of God.

    I have sinned in deed, word and thought, knowingly and unknowingly, willingly and unwillingly, thoughtfully and thoughtlessly, and it is impossible to enumerate all of my sins because of their multitude. But I truly repent of these and all others not mentioned by me because of my forgetfulness and I ask that they be forgiven through the abundance of the Mercy of God.

  25. Esther Smith Holmes says

    Thank you, ChristineFevronia. May God have
    mercy on our beautiful Church.

  26. I just don’t understand why they don’t take the next step most consistent with their mystique and modus operandi; namely, contact Metropolitan Jonah and say, ‘You can take your resignation back if you’ll only say you took that priest under your omophorion!!! PLEASE!”