Has anyone heard anything about Met.Jonah resigning? / Met Jonah Resigns / Holy Synod Releases Official Statement about Met. Jonah's Resignation

Zenovia

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PeterTheAleut said:
Zenovia said:
trifecta said:
As an OCA member who occasionally followed the scandals, I am glad the Holy Synod put out this statement.  
I have met Metropolitan Jonah and have been supportive of him.   He is a man of not only wisdom, but an ability
to communicate the spiritual to those of us with a more secular mindset (not that that's a good thing).
I was thinking the Holy Synod were just some old fuddy-duddies who were resisting change.
(I know Orthodox don't think much of change).

But as a parishioner friend said to me, the actions of the Holy Synod have been unanimous.  Furthermore,
I read biographical excerpts on these people, and wow, many have lived difficult or at least thoughtful lives.
Could *all* of them been wrong?

There is no excuse for covering up a crime.  I believe that I had a run-in (nothing major, but nevertheless disturbing)
with the priest at the center of this scandal.  I reported the incident to my priest, because I felt it was my duty as a member
of the OCA.   I did not want to see the church's reputation tarnished by this priest and maybe more importantly, members
being harmed by his actions.

The apparent fact that the Metropolitan tried to sweep this under the rug and, worse yet, pawn him off on another
jurisdiction is to say the least disturbing.  If true, this is reason enough to request the Metropolitan's resignation.
Thus the Synod's letter.    I'm glad to hear their side of the story and feel bad for doubting them.


(This post is a reaction; upon hearing other evidence I reserve the right to change my mind.)
You said:  "Could all of them be wrong?"  My answer is YES.  Satan can be very deceptive, and if you don't believe me, then read the book on the life of Saint Nektarios. 

Now my suggestion to the OCA, find an Archbishop that excels in double speak, that is willing to hide in his cell, and will only come out to greet the rich and powerful.  Also one who's smart enough to respond to everything with that time old recipe of:  I will tend to it in two weeks, two months or two years. :D

I know I'm being sarcastic and I apologize for it.  Let's just say my cynicism comes from my years of experiences.  As for the Metropolitan, I have no knowledge of what's going on although someone did tell me yesterday that he was getting too close to the Russian Church.   It might be true, or it might not be true, if though it is true, then what would that entail and why would it cause friction?  Also if it is the case, wouldn't it be smarter to tell the congregants exactly what the problems are, as well as the pros and cons, instead of pacifying them with tales of having covered up sexual abuse, (something that doesn't seem to fit in with his character),  and by doing so, commiting  slander and calumny towards a hierarch?   

Again I say, if they are doing it with the belief that it's for the good of the Church, and that the end justifies the means, then I would ask them how anything can be good for a Church when the means are sinful?  The Holy Spirit cannot work through sinful means, and the Church is the Holy Spirit.

Anyway I've said enough and I apologize for it.  I'm not a member of the OCA so I really have no right to give my opinion...and that's exactly what it is, my opinion and nothing else. So take it as such.  ;)   
1. Why submit a post together with an apology for submitting the post, all within the same post? If you really meant to submit the post, then don't apologize for it. If you're sorry for posting this material as you type it, then don't post it.
2. You are engaging in slander and calumny against the Synod of Bishops of the OCA. You do so by accusing them of making false accusations against His Beatitude in some clandestine effort to cover up the real matter. You do so also be engaging in this idiotic, half-baked rumor mongering and speculation. Now you better stop before the condemnation you pronounce against the Synod comes back to fall on your own head.
I'm not engaging in slander and calumny, because I said it might be true and it might not be true, but there are rumors out there and I think they should be addressed.  It goes against my nature to accept the conclusion of a few bishops towards another bishop.  My conscience doesn't allow it.  I believe in openess.

Look, don't get me wrong.  I merely said that without sufficient proof I don't like to condemn anyone.  Anyway  I don't involve myself in matters that concern the Church, except for the spiritual matters since a Churches only purpose is in  facilitating people towards achieving unity with the Divine.  As for apologizing, I did so because I knew  many would be offended by my opinion...as you were.  Sorry 'bout that. :)
 

PeterTheAleut

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Zenovia said:
PeterTheAleut said:
Zenovia said:
trifecta said:
As an OCA member who occasionally followed the scandals, I am glad the Holy Synod put out this statement.  
I have met Metropolitan Jonah and have been supportive of him.   He is a man of not only wisdom, but an ability
to communicate the spiritual to those of us with a more secular mindset (not that that's a good thing).
I was thinking the Holy Synod were just some old fuddy-duddies who were resisting change.
(I know Orthodox don't think much of change).

But as a parishioner friend said to me, the actions of the Holy Synod have been unanimous.  Furthermore,
I read biographical excerpts on these people, and wow, many have lived difficult or at least thoughtful lives.
Could *all* of them been wrong?

There is no excuse for covering up a crime.  I believe that I had a run-in (nothing major, but nevertheless disturbing)
with the priest at the center of this scandal.  I reported the incident to my priest, because I felt it was my duty as a member
of the OCA.   I did not want to see the church's reputation tarnished by this priest and maybe more importantly, members
being harmed by his actions.

The apparent fact that the Metropolitan tried to sweep this under the rug and, worse yet, pawn him off on another
jurisdiction is to say the least disturbing.  If true, this is reason enough to request the Metropolitan's resignation.
Thus the Synod's letter.    I'm glad to hear their side of the story and feel bad for doubting them.


(This post is a reaction; upon hearing other evidence I reserve the right to change my mind.)
You said:  "Could all of them be wrong?"  My answer is YES.  Satan can be very deceptive, and if you don't believe me, then read the book on the life of Saint Nektarios. 

Now my suggestion to the OCA, find an Archbishop that excels in double speak, that is willing to hide in his cell, and will only come out to greet the rich and powerful.  Also one who's smart enough to respond to everything with that time old recipe of:  I will tend to it in two weeks, two months or two years. :D

I know I'm being sarcastic and I apologize for it.  Let's just say my cynicism comes from my years of experiences.  As for the Metropolitan, I have no knowledge of what's going on although someone did tell me yesterday that he was getting too close to the Russian Church.   It might be true, or it might not be true, if though it is true, then what would that entail and why would it cause friction?  Also if it is the case, wouldn't it be smarter to tell the congregants exactly what the problems are, as well as the pros and cons, instead of pacifying them with tales of having covered up sexual abuse, (something that doesn't seem to fit in with his character),  and by doing so, commiting  slander and calumny towards a hierarch?   

Again I say, if they are doing it with the belief that it's for the good of the Church, and that the end justifies the means, then I would ask them how anything can be good for a Church when the means are sinful?  The Holy Spirit cannot work through sinful means, and the Church is the Holy Spirit.

Anyway I've said enough and I apologize for it.  I'm not a member of the OCA so I really have no right to give my opinion...and that's exactly what it is, my opinion and nothing else. So take it as such.  ;)   
1. Why submit a post together with an apology for submitting the post, all within the same post? If you really meant to submit the post, then don't apologize for it. If you're sorry for posting this material as you type it, then don't post it.
2. You are engaging in slander and calumny against the Synod of Bishops of the OCA. You do so by accusing them of making false accusations against His Beatitude in some clandestine effort to cover up the real matter. You do so also be engaging in this idiotic, half-baked rumor mongering and speculation. Now you better stop before the condemnation you pronounce against the Synod comes back to fall on your own head.
I'm not engaging in slander and calumny, because I said it might be true and it might not be true, but there are rumors out there and I think they should be addressed.   It goes against my nature to accept the conclusion of a few bishops towards another bishop.  My conscience doesn't allow it.   I believe in openess.

Look, don't get me wrong.   I merely said that without sufficient proof I don't like to condemn anyone.  Anyway  I don't involve myself in matters that concern the Church, except for the spiritual matters since a Churches only purpose is in  facilitating people towards achieving unity with the Divine.   As for apologizing, I did so because I knew  many would be offended by my opinion...as you were.   Sorry 'bout that. :)
Until you recant what you said in the following post, I have no reason to take you seriously when you say you're not engaging in slander and calumny against the Holy Synod of the OCA:
Zenovia said:
I'm going to assume the 'rationale' behind the destruction of the Metropolitan's reputation is that they are doing it for the good of the Church and that  the end justifies the means.   It's the concept of 'economia' going haywire.   Well I have news for anyone who thinks this way, the Church is the Holy Spirit, and the Holy Spirit doesn't work through sin...so no matter how one looks at it, to slander and calumniate another person is  a sin. :mad:
 

PeterTheAleut

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^ I think it may be instructive for me to share where I'm coming from on this so you and everyone else here can understand why I bristle at such conduct as you have shown, Zenovia. On the one hand, I have a lot of love and respect for His Beatitude, the former Metropolitan Jonah, and I will fight just as hard as you to defend him against false witness. On the other hand, I have just as much love and respect for my own diocesan bishop, Archbishop Benjamin of San Francisco, and for the Synod on which he sits. As such, I will fight with equal diligence to protect his good name against false witness.

I don't know all the details of what's going on in Syosset between Metropolitan Jonah and the rest of the Synod. I'm not privileged to know. I don't need to know. I don't want to know. I simply don't see how knowledge of every lurid detail is good for my salvation, so I'm not even going to ask. In the end, I choose to trust that God will guide all parties involved and that the truth will win out and make itself heard as much as we the faithful can bear it. In the mean time, I see it as my duty to combat the rumor mongering, gossip, undue speculation, slander and libel flying around against both sides of this mess. Though I disagree with the one-sidedness of your rhetoric, you are right to say that slander and calumny against a bishop of the Church (or against a synod of bishops) is a sin. I just want to be fair and balanced in calling it out in both directions.
 

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PeterTheAleut said:
^ I think it may be instructive for me to share where I'm coming from on this so you and everyone else here can understand why I bristle at such conduct as you have shown, Zenovia. On the one hand, I have a lot of love and respect for His Beatitude, the former Metropolitan Jonah, and I will fight just as hard as you to defend him against false witness. On the other hand, I have just as much love and respect for my own diocesan bishop, Archbishop Benjamin of San Francisco, and for the Synod on which he sits. As such, I will fight with equal diligence to protect his good name against false witness.

I don't know all the details of what's going on in Syosset between Metropolitan Jonah and the rest of the Synod. I'm not privileged to know. I don't need to know. I don't want to know. I simply don't see how knowledge of every lurid detail is good for my salvation, so I'm not even going to ask. In the end, I choose to trust that God will guide all parties involved and that the truth will win out and make itself heard as much as we the faithful can bear it. In the mean time, I see it as my duty to combat the rumor mongering, gossip, undue speculation, slander and libel flying around against both sides of this mess. Though I disagree with the one-sidedness of your rhetoric, you are right to say that slander and calumny against a bishop of the Church (or against a synod of bishops) is a sin. I just want to be fair and balanced in calling it out in both directions.
Thanks for this. Like you, I have deep trust in our archpastor, HG Michael, of New York. I believe what he says and trust his judgment. I've never had any reason before now to doubt his words, not do I doubt him now. The other hierarchs are also men of deep integrity. They wouldn't take this step for any reason but the good of the church as it has been revealed to them.
 

katherineofdixie

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To those who are calling for "openness", it is not always appropriate, necessary or helpful to know all the details of what might be called a personnel matter. And if it involves confidential medical or personal information, or an alleged crime which is still being investigated or litigated, it may be actually illegal to share such information or details.

I have personally witnessed a Bishop being lambasted (in terms that I would not use to my worst enemy) for not sharing details about a priest - where he literally could not, morally or legally, give any information.

Conspiracy theories and rumors may be entertaining, but what real purpose do they serve and what do they have to do with the Faith?

 

FatherGiryus

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Katherine, I think you hit the nail on the head.

The OCA and its members have been pummelled with lawsuits and threats of lawsuits from within its own ranks: Bob Kondratick, Bp. Nikolai Soraich, Fr. Ray Velencia, etc.  These are just the cases initiated by clergy.

I would expect the Holy Synod to be a bit hesitant about how to deal with His Eminence's situation, even if one could guarantee that there was 0% possibility that he would sue for 'wrongful termination.'  Given the depravity of some of the internet dialog surrounding this, I'm sure many of the bishops deliberated with great seriousness over the right course of action.

We are dealing with a number of overlapping problems: medical privacy, the expectation of information regarding the fitness of clergy, employment laws, victim's rights, canonical interpretations, the expectation of Christian mercy...

I have been gravely disappointed with how dreadfully so many critics have behaved, especially people that I used to respect.  We must all realize that we cannot give license to our emotions no matter how horrid something appears to be.  There are now a great many vociferous supporters of His Beatitude that are eating crow or, more precisely, trying to wriggle out from under their tomes of indignation.

Very sad.


katherineofdixie said:
To those who are calling for "openness", it is not always appropriate, necessary or helpful to know all the details of what might be called a personnel matter. And if it involves confidential medical or personal information, or an alleged crime which is still being investigated or litigated, it may be actually illegal to share such information or details.

I have personally witnessed a Bishop being lambasted (in terms that I would not use to my worst enemy) for not sharing details about a priest - where he literally could not, morally or legally, give any information.

Conspiracy theories and rumors may be entertaining, but what real purpose do they serve and what do they have to do with the Faith?
 

BTRAKAS

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In light of this discussion, I do feel it is important to note that the statement the Holy Synod issued was necessary.  My reaction to His Eminence's resignation was shock because there was nothing in the public domain that I was aware of that could justify such action.  In the absence of canonical infractions, I was just aghast that a Synod would take such action just because they disagreed with "the first among them."  In fact, I was concerned that possibly the political issues that had been "out there" so to speak may have had merit. But after the statement was issued, the nature of the problems the Synod was having to face justified the manner in which the Synod dealt with them. I thought the statement was well worded too.  More explicit details are not necessary.
 

Maria

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I am not convinced.

The three page letter released by the OCA Synod was not done in charity.
There was no excuse for all the dirt they released without any proof.
The same type of character assassination was done on St. Nectarios of Aegina.
Do not forget the grief which our Saint John of San Francisco endured too.

I have lost respect for the OCA Synod.

If indeed an OCA priest had raped a girl, why was he not publicly defrocked?
Why this inactivity on the part of the OCA Synod.

Did not Archbishop Joseph of the Antiochians immediately defrock the Northern California man?
Was not this man's name published in the newspapers?

Why is the OCA Synod withholding the name of this so-called OCA priest if he is a danger to society?

I do not buy any details in that letter.

Again, LESS IS BEST. A one sentence statement would have sufficed.
 

podkarpatska

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It seems to me that far too many Orthodox lay persons cry of 'openness' and 'transparency' etc... and belittle our Bishops and priests with charges of 'liberalism', 'conspiracies', 'cover-ups' and so on. Many here are professed followers of the Fathers and of the Patristic Era. St. Ignatius of Antioch, one of the most important of our ante-Nicean Fathers said it best, and I would urge those who are 'throwing their Synod under the bus' to heed his words and consider restraining their passions based on what is now known. St. Ignatius advised the Christians of Smryma"Wherever the bishop appears, there let the people be; as wherever Jesus Christ is, there is the catholic church. (i.e. the Apostolic or what we now know as the Orthodox Church._It is not lawful to baptize or give communion without the consent of the bishop. On the other hand, whatever has his approval is pleasing to God. Thus, whatever is done will be safe and valid. "

Of course the Saintly Father did not mean that any and all actions of a bishop or bishops are always pleasing to God. We know that is not true as the history of Church is full of schisms and false teachers from her earliest days. HOWEVER, absent proof of heresy, we are charged with obedience and loyalty to our hierarchs.

Four centuries or so ago, a group of Orthodox Christians rejected changes made by their Patriarch, Nikon of Moscow and self-determined that no more 'O'rthodox bishops or priests existed. That small group of priestless Old-Believers still exists. Few, if any of us, would argue that they chose the proper path.  I would suggest to those so quick to condemn the Synod of the OCA not to indulge in self-determination as did the priestless ones, but to pray and be patient.
 

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A one sentence press release would have sufficed, such as this:

Metropolitan Jonah has been placed on Administrative Leave pending an investigation by Police and the OCA Synod for allegedly withholding information regarding the alleged rape committed by a priest.​

However, I really doubt that this so-called rapist priest was even with the OCA at all.
If he were, certainly the OCA synod would have immediately defrocked him.
Certainly, they would have published his name so that women could avoid him.

In this country, persons such as Metropolitan Jonah are assumed to be innocent until proven guilty.
What ever has happened to charity? Lord have mercy.


Lord have mercy.
Lord have mercy.
Lord have mercy.
 

katherineofdixie

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Maria said:
A one sentence press release would have sufficed, such as this:

Metropolitan Jonah has been placed on Administrative Leave pending an investigation by Police and the OCA Synod for allegedly withholding information regarding the alleged rape committed by a priest.​

However, I really doubt that this so-called rapist priest was even with the OCA at all.
If he were, certainly the OCA synod would have immediately defrocked him.
Certainly, they would have published his name so that women could avoid him.

In this country, persons such as Metropolitan Jonah are assumed to be innocent until proven guilty.
What ever has happened to charity? Lord have mercy.


Lord have mercy.
Lord have mercy.
Lord have mercy.
Yes, indeed. What happened to charity?

Remember that the Holy Synod did release a terse statement. Then the you-know-what hit the fan all over the Internet.
Which necessitated a longer explanation. Nothing satisfies conspiracy theorists.
 

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Maria said:
A one sentence press release would have sufficed, such as this:

Metropolitan Jonah has been placed on Administrative Leave pending an investigation by Police and the OCA Synod for allegedly withholding information regarding the alleged rape committed by a priest.​

However, I really doubt that this so-called rapist priest was even with the OCA at all.
If he were, certainly the OCA synod would have immediately defrocked him.
Certainly, they would have published his name so that women could avoid him.

In this country, persons such as Metropolitan Jonah are assumed to be innocent until proven guilty.
What ever has happened to charity? Lord have mercy.


Lord have mercy.
Lord have mercy.
Lord have mercy.
The Synod cannot defrock him if they were not made aware of the problem until just now.  I think that's part of their issue with Met. JONAH.  He withheld very important information from the Synod until this most recent meeting in early July. 

Also, don't say he raped a girl.  I have heard it was an adult female, but it was is hearsay so that it all I care to disclose on a public forum. 
 

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podkarpatska said:
It seems to me that far too many Orthodox lay persons cry of 'openness' and 'transparency' etc... and belittle our Bishops and priests with charges of 'liberalism', 'conspiracies', 'cover-ups' and so on. Many here are professed followers of the Fathers and of the Patristic Era. St. Ignatius of Antioch, one of the most important of our ante-Nicean Fathers said it best, and I would urge those who are 'throwing their Synod under the bus' to heed his words and consider restraining their passions based on what is now known. St. Ignatius advised the Christians of Smryma"Wherever the bishop appears, there let the people be; as wherever Jesus Christ is, there is the catholic church. (i.e. the Apostolic or what we now know as the Orthodox Church._It is not lawful to baptize or give communion without the consent of the bishop. On the other hand, whatever has his approval is pleasing to God. Thus, whatever is done will be safe and valid. "

Of course the Saintly Father did not mean that any and all actions of a bishop or bishops are always pleasing to God. We know that is not true as the history of Church is full of schisms and false teachers from her earliest days. HOWEVER, absent proof of heresy, we are charged with obedience and loyalty to our hierarchs.

Four centuries or so ago, a group of Orthodox Christians rejected changes made by their Patriarch, Nikon of Moscow and self-determined that no more 'O'rthodox bishops or priests existed. That small group of priestless Old-Believers still exists. Few, if any of us, would argue that they chose the proper path.  I would suggest to those so quick to condemn the Synod of the OCA not to indulge in self-determination as did the priestless ones, but to pray and be patient.


Very well stated.  A real voice of reason and common sense amongst all the Chicken Littles who are proclaiming that the Orthodox sky is falling.
 

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podkarpatska said:
Four centuries or so ago, a group of Orthodox Christians rejected changes made by their Patriarch, Nikon of Moscow and self-determined that no more 'O'rthodox bishops or priests existed. That small group of priestless Old-Believers still exists.
True. But nonetheless, I would say the reforms of Pat. Nikon were unnecessary and only caused confusion amongst the believers. The way they were forced on the people also wasn't very Orthodox.
 

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This is a letter from the godmother of the alleged rape victim, concerning this
case:

[size=11pt]Letter from the Godmother

http://www.monomakhos.com/another-hole-in-the-official-story/

On behalf of many parishioners both at St. Nicholas Cathedral and elsewhere in
the OCA, who have contacted me, we would like to express our shock and concern
about the letter of the Synod of Bishops regarding the resignation of
Metropolitan Jonah. We know him and seriously question the contents of this
letter. It seems to be a deliberate attempt to destroy a hierarch by creating a
public scandal on the basis of procedural issues related to many untruths which
cry out to be countered with the truth. We would like to set the record
straight.

The case of the hieromonk whose crime the Metropolitan is accused of covering
up, is well known to me.

1. Metropolitan Jonah did not know about this crime until mid-May 2012.

The victim of the crime is a God-daughter of mine who lives in another part of
the country. No one here knew what had happened to her in 2010 until she
contacted me in mid-May of 2012. At that time she and her husband had contacted
the police who said that nothing could be done without more evidence. They then
decided to turn to the church in order to initiate an ecclesiastical court to
defrock him. She wrote a testimony of her story later in May and sent it to a
ROCOR priest and to me, asking that I pass it on to Metropolitan Jonah, which I
did. She included a confidentiality statement that it pass no further.
Metropolitan Jonah had already in 2010 issued a letter forbidding this hieromonk
to serve in any OCA church. Since he was still in a Greek jurisdiction, nothing
more could be done by the OCA except to offer pastoral help to her and her
husband, which the Metropolitan did by phone.

2. This hieromonk was never received into the OCA so it was not possible for the
OCA to defrock him.

Metropolitan Jonah issued a "no blessing to serve" in any OCA church already in
2010 in response to reports of unpriestly behavior. I myself had made one of
these reports on the basis of alcohol abuse and an attempted assault of a
neighbor on property owned by my family which occurred in late May 2010. Based
on the information known at that time, this was the most that could be done.
This hieromonk then left the area.

Nothing more was known about him until he returned to the area early in 2012,
having sought from ROCOR a "blessing to serve" in its monastery outside of
Washington. Now, with the revelation of his crime in May 2012, ROCOR has also
rescinded its "blessing to serve". Shortly after Pascha, he returned to the
Church of Greece and the jurisdiction to which he has always belonged.

3. My testimony to ROCOR for it's investigation was ignored in the OCA.

I was recently requested to send a copy of the testimony that ROCOR asked me to
write for it's investigation of this hieromonk who had managed to receive a
"blessing to serve" within it's jurisdiction earlier this year before anything
was known to them of his criminal activity. With the revelation of his crime in
May 2012, that blessing has been rescinded and a case is being prepared for
presentation to the Greek jurisdiction and the heads of all Orthodox
jurisdictions. However, the description of this case cited in the letter of the
Synod of Bishops is completely at odds with the evidence presented in my
testimony and can be corroborated by others in Washington.

All of this and other accusations are simply unfounded. Was this letter
published to counter the outpouring of support for Metropolitan Jonah?

We prayerfully persevere in our belief that the Providence of God will bring
good out of this evil.

 

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primuspilus said:
^ pretty damning if 100% true.

PP
Posted as it was on monomakhos.com, though, I give the letter about as much credence as I give anything else posted on that blog: none.
 

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Interesting letter and quite disconcerting.  But making it available to a blog owner who is known to engage in conspiracy theories only leads me to wonder.... "who really wrote the letter?"  If George M. can say that the Synod fabricated information...can we not turn question back to him?

At this point I'd rather be slightly skeptical of all sides than to just jump into one boat or the other.
 

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Maria said:
A one sentence press release would have sufficed, such as this:

Metropolitan Jonah has been placed on Administrative Leave pending an investigation by Police and the OCA Synod for allegedly withholding information regarding the alleged rape committed by a priest.​

However, I really doubt that this so-called rapist priest was even with the OCA at all.
If he were, certainly the OCA synod would have immediately defrocked him.
Certainly, they would have published his name so that women could avoid him.

In this country, persons such as Metropolitan Jonah are assumed to be innocent until proven guilty.
What ever has happened to charity? Lord have mercy.
Yes, Maria, whatever happened to charity? I see you're not showing any.
 
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