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

tuesdayschild

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Can you imagine if he had hired a canonical Orthodox Christian to be his lawyer? How might it have further complicated relations between the jurisdictions if a lawyer from the GOA, for example, were to advise and represent him?
 

Shlomlokh

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I just saw Metropolitan Jonah at St. John the Baptist in DC on Sunday. He concelebrated with Met. Hilarion and was commemorated in the liturgy as "His Beatitude, Metropolitan Jonah of Washinton and New York" if I remember correctly. I don't know if that helps quell the rumor mongering or inflames it. :/

In Christ,
Andrew
 

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Shlomlokh said:
I just saw Metropolitan Jonah at St. John the Baptist in DC on Sunday. He concelebrated with Met. Hilarion and was commemorated in the liturgy as "His Beatitude, Metropolitan Jonah of Washinton and New York" if I remember correctly. I don't know if that helps quell the rumor mongering or inflames it. :/

In Christ,
Andrew
That is very interesting. My impression was that once a OCA Primate resigned, he would be called His Eminence and not His Beautitude (only when OCA Primate retired in office, would he would still be called His Beautitude). I would also note that +Jonah formally resigned as Primate and Metropolitan Bishop (Archbishop) as he asked for another episcopal assignment; ergo, he is no longer Metropolitan of All America and Archbishop of Washington. I wonder why he is allowing himself to be called by the wrong honorifics and titles? I also wonder why ROCOR folks, who are such sticklers for just about everything, are doing this?
 

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tuesdayschild said:
Can you imagine if he had hired a canonical Orthodox Christian to be his lawyer? How might it have further complicated relations between the jurisdictions if a lawyer from the GOA, for example, were to advise and represent him?
First, he should not have lawyered up. Second, it just looks and smells bad when he goes outside Orthodoxy. Does he not have any sense of ecclesiastical propriety?
 

tuesdayschild

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Carl Kraeff (Second Chance) said:
tuesdayschild said:
Can you imagine if he had hired a canonical Orthodox Christian to be his lawyer? How might it have further complicated relations between the jurisdictions if a lawyer from the GOA, for example, were to advise and represent him?
First, he should not have lawyered up. Second, it just looks and smells bad when he goes outside Orthodoxy. Does he not have any sense of ecclesiastical propriety?
Oh, has a lawsuit been filed? Will the case be judged by an unbeliever? I did not know. Otherwise, meh.

I pay an accountant to do my taxes and an electrician to do my wiring, and I'll pay a lawyer to sort through the fine print should I ever need one (God forbid!), even if it happened to concern a contractual issue between friends. It's just expertise.

As to what sort of sense he has, I can't guess, except to observe that he often spoke off-the-cuff and had to back-pedal, so having a lawyer speak for him is arguably an improvement.
 

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tuesdayschild said:
Carl Kraeff (Second Chance) said:
tuesdayschild said:
Can you imagine if he had hired a canonical Orthodox Christian to be his lawyer? How might it have further complicated relations between the jurisdictions if a lawyer from the GOA, for example, were to advise and represent him?
First, he should not have lawyered up. Second, it just looks and smells bad when he goes outside Orthodoxy. Does he not have any sense of ecclesiastical propriety?
Oh, has a lawsuit been filed? Will the case be judged by an unbeliever? I did not know. Otherwise, meh.

I pay an accountant to do my taxes and an electrician to do my wiring, and I'll pay a lawyer to sort through the fine print should I ever need one (God forbid!), even if it happened to concern a contractual issue between friends. It's just expertise.

As to what sort of sense he has, I can't guess, except to observe that he often spoke off-the-cuff and had to back-pedal, so having a lawyer speak for him is arguably an improvement.
About the lawyering, what you say makes sense to me. As you know, however, it is something that the Scriptures talk against.  Not a good place for a bishop to be--in contravention to the Holy Scriptures that he is supposed to be upholding. OTH, perhaps he is already thinking about quitting, becoming a regular guy?

The second point I made was to point out in the gentlest possible way that if you hold  yourself up to be an Orthodox bishop, you do not cavort with the heterodox.

 

podkarpatska

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Carl Kraeff (Second Chance) said:
tuesdayschild said:
Carl Kraeff (Second Chance) said:
tuesdayschild said:
Can you imagine if he had hired a canonical Orthodox Christian to be his lawyer? How might it have further complicated relations between the jurisdictions if a lawyer from the GOA, for example, were to advise and represent him?
First, he should not have lawyered up. Second, it just looks and smells bad when he goes outside Orthodoxy. Does he not have any sense of ecclesiastical propriety?
Oh, has a lawsuit been filed? Will the case be judged by an unbeliever? I did not know. Otherwise, meh.

I pay an accountant to do my taxes and an electrician to do my wiring, and I'll pay a lawyer to sort through the fine print should I ever need one (God forbid!), even if it happened to concern a contractual issue between friends. It's just expertise.

As to what sort of sense he has, I can't guess, except to observe that he often spoke off-the-cuff and had to back-pedal, so having a lawyer speak for him is arguably an improvement.
About the lawyering, what you say makes sense to me. As you know, however, it is something that the Scriptures talk against.  Not a good place for a bishop to be--in contravention to the Holy Scriptures that he is supposed to be upholding. OTH, perhaps he is already thinking about quitting, becoming a regular guy?

The second point I made was to point out in the gentlest possible way that if you hold  yourself up to be an Orthodox bishop, you do not cavort with the heterodox.
Sigh... the gentlest of phrasing will not convince those who would return Metropolitan Jonah to the 'helm' of the OCA that such a desire is not likely to come to fruition - at least not without a schism within the OCA resulting in the 'dispatching' of a majority of the current Synod and what would probably be a century's worth of ostracization from the rest of North American Orthodoxy of what would remain.

No matter how much self-loathing the primary mover of Monomakos has regarding his own  Greek heritage and no matter how much he and his followers wish it were so, administrative unity of North American Orthodoxy is just not going to happen on their terms and the OCA's synod knows and accepts that reality.(That is pretty clear from the communique signed last week by all Bishops present, including the four representing the OCA.)  I sense that is the real agenda behind the outward fight going publicly. Sadly, I really don't think that the Metropolitan himself is really part of this 'dream' but is just the man caught up in events.

Frankly, my legal mind has a tough time finding a way to fit the relationship between an Orthodox bishop and his Orthodox jurisdiction into any legally cognizable construction of American contract law. I would be shocked if an American civil court in any secular jurisdiction were to find a basis for a sustainable cause of action which could be maintained under current case law and which could result in an award of monetary damages.
 

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podkarpatska said:
Carl Kraeff (Second Chance) said:
tuesdayschild said:
Carl Kraeff (Second Chance) said:
tuesdayschild said:
Can you imagine if he had hired a canonical Orthodox Christian to be his lawyer? How might it have further complicated relations between the jurisdictions if a lawyer from the GOA, for example, were to advise and represent him?
First, he should not have lawyered up. Second, it just looks and smells bad when he goes outside Orthodoxy. Does he not have any sense of ecclesiastical propriety?
Oh, has a lawsuit been filed? Will the case be judged by an unbeliever? I did not know. Otherwise, meh.

I pay an accountant to do my taxes and an electrician to do my wiring, and I'll pay a lawyer to sort through the fine print should I ever need one (God forbid!), even if it happened to concern a contractual issue between friends. It's just expertise.

As to what sort of sense he has, I can't guess, except to observe that he often spoke off-the-cuff and had to back-pedal, so having a lawyer speak for him is arguably an improvement.
About the lawyering, what you say makes sense to me. As you know, however, it is something that the Scriptures talk against.  Not a good place for a bishop to be--in contravention to the Holy Scriptures that he is supposed to be upholding. OTH, perhaps he is already thinking about quitting, becoming a regular guy?

The second point I made was to point out in the gentlest possible way that if you hold  yourself up to be an Orthodox bishop, you do not cavort with the heterodox.
Sigh... the gentlest of phrasing will not convince those who would return Metropolitan Jonah to the 'helm' of the OCA that such a desire is not likely to come to fruition - at least not without a schism within the OCA resulting in the 'dispatching' of a majority of the current Synod and what would probably be a century's worth of ostracization from the rest of North American Orthodoxy of what would remain.

No matter how much self-loathing the primary mover of Monomakos has regarding his own  Greek heritage and no matter how much he and his followers wish it were so, administrative unity of North American Orthodoxy is just not going to happen on their terms and the OCA's synod knows and accepts that reality.(That is pretty clear from the communique signed last week by all Bishops present, including the four representing the OCA.)  I sense that is the real agenda behind the outward fight going publicly. Sadly, I really don't think that the Metropolitan himself is really part of this 'dream' but is just the man caught up in events.

Frankly, my legal mind has a tough time finding a way to fit the relationship between an Orthodox bishop and his Orthodox jurisdiction into any legally cognizable construction of American contract law. I would be shocked if an American civil court in any secular jurisdiction were to find a basis for a sustainable cause of action which could be maintained under current case law and which could result in an award of monetary damages.
Give that man a seee-gar!
 

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Carl Kraeff (Second Chance) said:
First, he should not have lawyered up. Second, it just looks and smells bad when he goes outside Orthodoxy. Does he not have any sense of ecclesiastical propriety?
Oh, has a lawsuit been filed? Will the case be judged by an unbeliever? I did not know. Otherwise, meh.

I pay an accountant to do my taxes and an electrician to do my wiring, and I'll pay a lawyer to sort through the fine print should I ever need one (God forbid!), even if it happened to concern a contractual issue between friends. It's just expertise.

As to what sort of sense he has, I can't guess, except to observe that he often spoke off-the-cuff and had to back-pedal, so having a lawyer speak for him is arguably an improvement.
[/quote]

About the lawyering, what you say makes sense to me. As you know, however, it is something that the Scriptures talk against.  [/quote]

Where? The Scripture speaks against taking your fellow believers to court. It says absolutely nothing against having a lawyer (as the OCA and every other autocephalous church as well as most dioceses do).

Not a good place for a bishop to be--in contravention to the Holy Scriptures that he is supposed to be upholding. OTH, perhaps he is already thinking about quitting, becoming a regular guy?
What Scripture is Metropolitan Jonah 'in contravention of'? i.e., can you substantiate that claim, particularly given how quick you are to demand such of others?
 

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Carl Kraeff (Second Chance) said:
tuesdayschild said:
Carl Kraeff (Second Chance) said:
tuesdayschild said:
Can you imagine if he had hired a canonical Orthodox Christian to be his lawyer? How might it have further complicated relations between the jurisdictions if a lawyer from the GOA, for example, were to advise and represent him?
First, he should not have lawyered up. Second, it just looks and smells bad when he goes outside Orthodoxy. Does he not have any sense of ecclesiastical propriety?
Oh, has a lawsuit been filed? Will the case be judged by an unbeliever? I did not know. Otherwise, meh.

I pay an accountant to do my taxes and an electrician to do my wiring, and I'll pay a lawyer to sort through the fine print should I ever need one (God forbid!), even if it happened to concern a contractual issue between friends. It's just expertise.

As to what sort of sense he has, I can't guess, except to observe that he often spoke off-the-cuff and had to back-pedal, so having a lawyer speak for him is arguably an improvement.
About the lawyering, what you say makes sense to me. As you know, however, it is something that the Scriptures talk against.  Not a good place for a bishop to be--in contravention to the Holy Scriptures that he is supposed to be upholding. OTH, perhaps he is already thinking about quitting, becoming a regular guy?

The second point I made was to point out in the gentlest possible way that if you hold  yourself up to be an Orthodox bishop, you do not cavort with the heterodox.
I'm not familiar with the verse that says, "If you have hired a lawyer, you have committed a lawsuit in your heart already." The Scriptures talk against bringing a case between Christians to be judged by an unbeliever, not against choosing another Christian to be your attorney. But we can agree that it is "not a good place for a bishop to be--in contravention to the Holy Scriptures that he is supposed to be upholding."

"CAVORT intransitive verb 1 to leap or dance about in a lively manner Cavort 2 to engage in extravagant behavior."  Somehow, Met. Jonah doesn't strike me as the cavorting type. But I get your point. Have you addressed your concerns with Met. Jonah privately?

podkarpatska said:
Sigh... the gentlest of phrasing will not convince those who would return Metropolitan Jonah to the 'helm'...
Actually, I prefer one of the archbishops to get the white hat next.

podkarpatska said:
Frankly, my legal mind has a tough time finding a way to fit the relationship between an Orthodox bishop and his Orthodox jurisdiction into any legally cognizable construction of American contract law. I would be shocked if an American civil court in any secular jurisdiction were to find a basis for a sustainable cause of action which could be maintained under current case law and which could result in an award of monetary damages.
Which makes it unlikely that Carl's scenario will ever manifest.
 

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I do agree, speaking as a lawyer, that the act of hiring a lawyer - particularly in light of much which has been published in the secular media and posted online - is a prudent move for the Metropolitan.

As I opined though, I suspect that this is not so much as to fashion a claim against the OCA but rather to be proactive in protecting his name and reputation and to stop newspapers from misstating the underlying canonical dispute among the OCA's hierarchs and +Jonah as to imply that he, +Jonah might have been an active player in some actual misconduct rather than, at best, someone who may have mishandled an administrative situation in some way or another regarding the allegations against a priest and/or the reception of a monastic community. I would not be surprised if this lawyer has written to the Chicago and Philadelphia daily papers advising them of his client's role in these matters and requesting in the strongest of terms that they cease and desist from any further implications that the bishop was an active actor in the underlying mess of the allegations. I also suspect that he would have written the Synod asking that they refrain from any further public comments at this time until the dust settles. (Those two steps are what I would have done 'ab initio'.) (I am deliberately being 'wordy' here because even using certain 'buzzwords' that have taken on a 'street' meaning or implication in America in light of the troubles within the Roman church so I hope my point is understood.)

I also wouldn't read too much into the fact this lawyer is a canon law specialist. His background is clearly in western canon history and practice (DePaul and Georgetown Universities and the Anglican Church) but with respect to matters of local church governance and non-papal organizational matters that background certainly would be relevant in dealing with an Orthodox body - with certain caveats.

All in all a non story in my estimation at this time.

 

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^^ Podkarpatska--Thank you for your usually excellent analysis. I certainly hope that +Jonah lawyered up for the reasons that you have enumerated.
 

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This clearly smacks of cover-up. If there was a longstanding conflict between the Synod and Metropolitan Jonah, then the Synod probably wanted some cover for removing +Jonah. Although there has been speculation of a "gay cabal" and a "lavender mafia" floating around in the internet, I do not believe those arguments, although there is a definite anti-Metropolitan Jonah faction. Whatever it is called, this group that removed +Jonah did a disservice to the OCA.
You are warned for seven days for not using a title for Metropolitan Jonah. I modified your post to make it compliant with the rules. If you wish to dispute this action, please send me a PM. Thanks, Carl Kraeff (Second Chance)
 

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ilyazhito said:
This clearly smacks of cover-up. If there was a longstanding conflict between the Synod and Metropolitan Jonah, then the Synod probably wanted some cover for removing +Jonah. Although there has been speculation of a "gay cabal" and a "lavender mafia" floating around in the internet, I do not believe those arguments, although there is a definite anti-Metropolitan Jonah faction. Whatever it is called, this group that removed +Jonah did a disservice to the OCA.
The "anti-Metropolitan Jonah faction" that asked for his resignation was the Holy Synod of the OCA. It is very true that there has been a "long-standing conflict" between +Jonah and the following folks in accordance with +Jonah's own admission at the Seattle AAC:

"These last three years have been the three most difficult years of my life. I have been under a relentless barrage of criticism for most of this time from every forum I am meant to oversee: the Chancery officers and staff, the Metropolitan Council, and — most troubling to me — the Holy Synod of Bishops."

So, it is hard for me to understand why anyone would say that +Jonah's resignation was a surprise, the result of a cabal or any such group, or a disservice to the OCA.  It just took the Holy Synod a few years to come up with the conclusion that Jonah himself reached in his resignation letter: "I had come to the realization long ago that that I have neither the personality nor the temperament for the position of Primate.."

The only question I would think that most folks would have would be "Your Eminence, what took you so long?"
 

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Metropolitan Jonah's resignation was a disservice, because it produced the third interregnum for the last 5 years.  The +Jonah/Synod war was a sign of internal problems that are not easily rectified. This has produced divisions, and divisions could lead to possible instability and/or schism, although it is not likely if the new metropolitan can unite the OCA. Although destruction of the OCA is likely, if the infighting continues, the "resignation" could become an incident similar to the assassination of Archduke Ferdinand, which was followed by WWI.This could lead to a mass exodus to ROCOR and other jurisdictions.
 

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ilyazhito said:
Metropolitan Jonah's resignation was a disservice, because it produced the third interregnum for the last 5 years.  The +Jonah/Synod war was a sign of internal problems that are not easily rectified. This has produced divisions, and divisions could lead to possible instability and/or schism, although it is not likely if the new metropolitan can unite the OCA. Although destruction of the OCA is likely, if the infighting continues, the "resignation" could become an incident similar to the assassination of Archduke Ferdinand, which was followed by WWI.This could lead to a mass exodus to ROCOR and other jurisdictions.
Only if the OCA is full of people who are cultists, who follow a guru. May be that is so, but in that case their departure would be to the gain of the OCA and the loss of any jurisdiction that receives them. The pre-Metropolitan Jonah internal problems were of the kind that exist in many churches; they just were brought into the open, unlike other instances where they are able to to swept under the rug. The "+Jonah vs everybody else" problems were caused in +Jonah own words by himself. It really is a problem that does not have long-term implications. In retrospect, the OCA Holy Synod made a big mistake in electing him and they have now corrected their error. However, the bigger problem is how Team +Jonah has waged the war against "the Holy Synod, Chancery Staff and the Metropolitan Council" (using +Jonah's Seattle speech). In effect, Team +Jonah, consisting of Father Fester and other supporters, have launched a scorched earth policy not merely to defend +Jonah but to eradicate his real and perceived enemies. The only real question that remains is what was/is the role of Metropolitan Jonah in Team +Jonah. By his continued silence in not supporting the decisions of the Holy Synod and indeed his own resignation, +Jonah looks more and more complicit. I appeal to him to think of the good of the Church he once headed and end the current madness.
 

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Some Developments:

People on "Monomakhos" are planning on voting for Metropolitan Jonah for the Primacy again; and voting to expand the 17th AAC agenda.

City of Parma Police have been asked to serve as security during the 17th AAC.

Bishop Alexander of Toledo who is the Locum Tenens of the Archdiocese of Washington, vetoed a duly elected AAC Alternate, a devout member of the St. Nicholas National Cathedral and War Memorial, who had written an essay questioning the Synod's forcing Metropolitan Jonah's resignation.  

The essay had been posted on the web site of Orthodox Christian Laity (OCL), but was recently deleted.  Archbishop Nathanial of Detroit, Locum Tenens of the OCA's Primatial Throne, is on the OCL's advisory board along with his Chancellor of the Romanian Episcopate, and is scheduled to celebrate the Hierarchal Divine Liturgy, which is planned to be held at St. Nicholas Cathedral, during the forthcoming OCL annual conference.  Bishop Michael of Baltimore is scheduled to concelebrate.

The OCA website identifies Metropolitan Jonah as "retired" apparently to keep him from being invited to the 3rd annual AOCB assembly.

The Holy Synod was scheduled to meet at the Chancery today, no report as yet on the OCA web site.  Topics to be addressed would be the matter of the investigation of the sexual harassment allegation against Bishop Matthias of Chicago, and an assignment for Metropolitan Jonah, in response to his request included in his letter of resignation, whose remuneration was scheduled to end at this time.  Last week, Bishop Michael was reported to have said  Bishop Matthias would be exonerated.
 

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Basil 320 said:
Some Developments:

People on "Monomakhos" are planning on voting for Metropolitan Jonah for the Primacy again; and voting to expand the 17th AAC agenda.

City of Parma Police have been asked to serve as security during the 17th AAC.

Bishop Alexander of Toledo who is the Locum Tenens of the Archdiocese of Washington, vetoed a duly elected AAC Alternate, a devout member of the St. Nicholas National Cathedral and War Memorial, who had written an essay questioning the Synod's forcing Metropolitan Jonah's resignation. 

The essay had been posted on the web site of Orthodox Christian Laity (OCL), but was recently deleted.  Archbishop Nathanial of Detroit, Locum Tenens of the OCA's Primatial Throne, is on the OCL's advisory board along with his Chancellor of the Romanian Episcopate, and is scheduled to celebrate the Hierarchal Divine Liturgy, which is planned to be held at St. Nicholas Cathedral, during the forthcoming OCL annual conference.  Bishop Michael of Baltimore is scheduled to concelebrate.

The OCA website identifies Metropolitan Jonah as "retired" apparently to keep him from being invited to the 3rd annual AOCB assembly.

The Holy Synod was scheduled to meet at the Chancery today, no report as yet on the OCA web site.  Topics to be addressed would be the matter of the investigation of the sexual harassment allegation against Bishop Matthias of Chicago, and an assignment for Metropolitan Jonah, in response to his request included in his letter of resignation, whose remuneration was scheduled to end at this time.  Last week, Bishop Michael was reported to have said  Bishop Matthias would be exonerated.
 

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Basil 320 said:
Some Developments:

People on "Monomakhos" are planning on voting for Metropolitan Jonah for the Primacy again; and voting to expand the 17th AAC agenda.

City of Parma Police have been asked to serve as security during the 17th AAC.

Bishop Alexander of Toledo who is the Locum Tenens of the Archdiocese of Washington, vetoed a duly elected AAC Alternate, a devout member of the St. Nicholas National Cathedral and War Memorial, who had written an essay questioning the Synod's forcing Metropolitan Jonah's resignation.  

The essay had been posted on the web site of Orthodox Christian Laity (OCL), but was recently deleted.  Archbishop Nathanial of Detroit, Locum Tenens of the OCA's Primatial Throne, is on the OCL's advisory board along with his Chancellor of the Romanian Episcopate, and is scheduled to celebrate the Hierarchal Divine Liturgy, which is planned to be held at St. Nicholas Cathedral, during the forthcoming OCL annual conference.  Bishop Michael of Baltimore is scheduled to concelebrate.

The OCA website identifies Metropolitan Jonah as "retired" apparently to keep him from being invited to the 3rd annual AOCB assembly.
Some additional developments.

Some of the folks at Monomakhos have been talking about schism.

Monomakhos has posted a request for support (signatures) for a letter to the OCA Holy Synod, the Assembly of Bishops and the autocephalous churches asking for an independent third party investigation of the circumstances that led up to +Jonah's resignation.

There are indications that +Jonah himself is encouraging folks to get himself reinstated. It is not clear why he is doing so.

The action by Bishop Alexander did take place. Although unfortunate IMO, the other side of the coin is that some folks at St Nicholas Cathedral, to include the Choir Director and former Church Council Vice-President (the Kalvesmakis), are some of the most vocal members of Team +Jonah. Also, the approach of Team +Jonah has been a scorched earth type policy, where all obstacles are overcome with vigor, to include character assassination, schismatic appeals, and utter disdain for the Holy Synod.

Regarding Metropolitan Jonah's status, he has resigned as Metropolitan of the OCA and Archbishop of Washington, and asked for another hierarchical assignment. He is in effect in hierarchical no-man's land, in that he is not an active diocesan bishop, nor an auxiliary--the closest that his status resembles is that of a "retired" bishop. In other words, he cannot be at Parma, except as an observer, and he cannot participate in the deliberations of the Holy Synod, except as an invited guest. I remain open to correction on this, of course, as I am in anything that I post. However, one of the current main points of Team +Jonah is that he had resigned only as  the Metropolitan of the OCA and not as Archbishop of Washington. I think that this is a ridiculous claim because of (a) the two positions are conjoined and (b) he did after all asked for another assignment. In any case, this is how it goes in our current maelstrom that is caused by one hierarch.
 

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Oh my, transcripts of Bishop Matthias' text messages to the 22 year old young lady who made the sexual harassment allegations are posted on Monomakhos.
 

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Carl Kraeff (Second Chance) said:
Basil 320 said:
Some Developments:

People on "Monomakhos" are planning on voting for Metropolitan Jonah for the Primacy again; and voting to expand the 17th AAC agenda.

City of Parma Police have been asked to serve as security during the 17th AAC.

Bishop Alexander of Toledo who is the Locum Tenens of the Archdiocese of Washington, vetoed a duly elected AAC Alternate, a devout member of the St. Nicholas National Cathedral and War Memorial, who had written an essay questioning the Synod's forcing Metropolitan Jonah's resignation.  

The essay had been posted on the web site of Orthodox Christian Laity (OCL), but was recently deleted.  Archbishop Nathanial of Detroit, Locum Tenens of the OCA's Primatial Throne, is on the OCL's advisory board along with his Chancellor of the Romanian Episcopate, and is scheduled to celebrate the Hierarchal Divine Liturgy, which is planned to be held at St. Nicholas Cathedral, during the forthcoming OCL annual conference.  Bishop Michael of Baltimore is scheduled to concelebrate.

The OCA website identifies Metropolitan Jonah as "retired" apparently to keep him from being invited to the 3rd annual AOCB assembly.
Some additional developments.

Some of the folks at Monomakhos have been talking about schism.

Monomakhos has posted a request for support (signatures) for a letter to the OCA Holy Synod, the Assembly of Bishops and the autocephalous churches asking for an independent third party investigation of the circumstances that led up to +Jonah's resignation.

There are indications that +Jonah himself is encouraging folks to get himself reinstated. It is not clear why he is doing so.

The action by Bishop Alexander did take place. Although unfortunate IMO, the other side of the coin is that some folks at St Nicholas Cathedral, to include the Choir Director and former Church Council Vice-President (the Kalvesmakis), are some of the most vocal members of Team +Jonah. Also, the approach of Team +Jonah has been a scorched earth type policy, where all obstacles are overcome with vigor, to include character assassination, schismatic appeals, and utter disdain for the Holy Synod.

Regarding Metropolitan Jonah's status, he has resigned as Metropolitan of the OCA and Archbishop of Washington, and asked for another hierarchical assignment. He is in effect in hierarchical no-man's land, in that he is not an active diocesan bishop, nor an auxiliary--the closest that his status resembles is that of a "retired" bishop. In other words, he cannot be at Parma, except as an observer, and he cannot participate in the deliberations of the Holy Synod, except as an invited guest. I remain open to correction on this, of course, as I am in anything that I post. However, one of the current main points of Team +Jonah is that he had resigned only as  the Metropolitan of the OCA and not as Archbishop of Washington. I think that this is a ridiculous claim because of (a) the two positions are conjoined and (b) he did after all asked for another assignment. In any case, this is how it goes in our current maelstrom that is caused by one hierarch.
I have many thoughts on this matter and while I am not a member of the OCA, my family and my diocese, the ACROD,  have been intertwined with the OCA and its predecessor, the Metropolia for most of the past century. I have not wanted to say much of anything on this subject over the past month or so as I believe that the hierarchy, clergy and faithful of the OCA have to sort this out as a family - sometimes at odds, sometimes disfunctional but always as a family. However, in the past few days it seems as if the old time strategy of circling the wagons and surrounding them with armed soldiers ready to fire at once towards the middle is about to rear its ugly head once again. Hence, a few thoughts.

I will start off by stating once again that both Bishop Michael of New York and Bishop Mathias have been and remain personal friends. However, I have no personal sources or information about what is going on other than what has been reported on various websites. Frankly I truly fear that the scorched earth tactics of the faction which seeks the restoration of the former Metropolitan can end in no way other than division, schism and failure. Not too many of you online are old enough, or frankly have been Orthodox long enough to remember when we had no unity of communion in the world of North American Orthodoxy. While it would vary from region to region one year the Greeks would boycott the Metropolia, the next year the Metropolia would boycott the Greeks, almost everyone would ignore the Antiochians amd the Serbians, absolutely everyone would boycott the Ukrainians and the rest of us were on the margins - sometimes invited in, sometimes not so much. This was the status quo of American Orthodoxy through the end of the 1970's and even into the 1980's. A restoration may cause a return to the 'bad old days' and set back any realistic hope of administrative unity beyond our lifetimes.

Notwithstanding the long simmering old world issues surrounding Constantinople and Moscow, we in the Americas were fortunate during the 1970's and 1980's to have strong Bishops like +Iakovos of thrice blessed memory, +Philip of a strong persuasive personality and others and strong and opinionated clergy like Frs. Harakas at Holy Cross and Hopko at St. Vladimirs just to name a few. These men essentially were able to look beyond the Byzantine politics of the old world and move to at least a form of communal unity among the jurisdictions of the Standing Conference. Since then there has been a period of ups and downs in most of our jurisdictions - new hierarchs coming and going, strains between long term members and converts - often possessed of an abundance of zeal which is not always appreciated or understood by the rest of us and so on. But as the work of the EA has shown, progress is being made and much has been accomplished.

I will just say what I have told a few of you in PM's what I fear will happen should the OCA Synod fall and +Jonah be restored. Some of you will dismiss my thoughts as needlessly provocative and pessimistic. Perhaps, but our Orthodox history on this continent leads me to fear for the worst.

1. Much, if not most,  of the Orthodox world would view a restoration of +Jonah which was either forced upon or not endorsed by the current Holy Synod as illegitimate and would deem what would remain of the current OCA after such an event as either non-canonical or un-canonical - if not vagrante.

2. Moscow will be coy and play their hand when it suits them - probably cutting a 'deal' with the remaining pro-Russian elements in the OCA, Rocor and the MP parishes.....

3. Inter-Orthodox relations on this continent will be set back to the worst of times in the Metropolia's history.

4. Many current OCA hierarchs, clergy and parishes will try to flee to a safer harbor, however they will be restrained by threats of  litigation - ironic as so many former Anglicans who lost their property abide with +Jonah....

5. What may remain could  be essentially a Protestant oriented, Congregationalist body dressed in eastern robes and run by poseurs.

6. The stupid issue of property rights, which we have tried to move beyond over the past seventy years or so throughout  the old Metropolia and ACROD and the UOC-USA will be reinvigorated on the parish level.

6.  The only winners will be the devil and his minions.

This is a horrible mess and one that seems to be unfolding in all of worst manners possible. It seems to me that if Metropolitan Jonah were sincere in his original letter of resignation that he would publicly disavow the restorationists. To date, this seems not to have happened.
 

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Basil 320 said:
Oh my, transcripts of Bishop Matthias' text messages to the 22 year old young lady who made the sexual harassment allegations are posted on Monomakhos.
So, Bishop Matthias now faces the jury of everybody, instead of his fellow bishops, and before the investigation into the allegation is complete. After this came out, +Matthias did say that he was innocent of sexual harassment. After reading the published documents, I agree with him.  I see the publication of the correspondence as a vengeful response by Team +Jonah to Bishop Matthias' publication of the explanation for +Jonah's resignation. This is just the sort of scorched earth tactics that Team +Jonah has pursued. It is past time that +Jonah put a stop to this kind of foolishness.

 

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Carl Kraeff (Second Chance) said:
Some additional developments.

Some of the folks at Monomakhos have been talking about schism.
There are indications that +Jonah himself is encouraging folks to get himself reinstated. It is not clear why he is doing so.
The action by Bishop Alexander did take place. Although unfortunate IMO, the other side of the coin is that some folks at St Nicholas Cathedral, to include the Choir Director and former Church Council Vice-President (the Kalvesmakis), are some of the most vocal members of Team +Jonah. Also, the approach of Team +Jonah has been a scorched earth type policy, where all obstacles are overcome with vigor, to include character assassination, schismatic appeals, and utter disdain for the Holy Synod.
I invite you to produce evidence of these accusations: 

1) That Monomakhos commenters are advocating or collectively appealing for schism.

2) That Metropolitan Jonah is encouraging others to work to get himself reinstated.
 

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Orual said:
Carl Kraeff (Second Chance) said:
Some additional developments.

Some of the folks at Monomakhos have been talking about schism.
There are indications that +Jonah himself is encouraging folks to get himself reinstated. It is not clear why he is doing so.
The action by Bishop Alexander did take place. Although unfortunate IMO, the other side of the coin is that some folks at St Nicholas Cathedral, to include the Choir Director and former Church Council Vice-President (the Kalvesmakis), are some of the most vocal members of Team +Jonah. Also, the approach of Team +Jonah has been a scorched earth type policy, where all obstacles are overcome with vigor, to include character assassination, schismatic appeals, and utter disdain for the Holy Synod.
I invite you to produce evidence of these accusations: 

1) That Monomakhos commenters are advocating or collectively appealing for schism.

2) That Metropolitan Jonah is encouraging others to work to get himself reinstated.
I will answer the second question first. I have two such indications. The first was a posting on Monomkahos (I will try to find it for you as I go there to get evidence for the first question). The second came from an unimpeachable source whom I cannot reveal. This person and I go back a long ways and he told me in confidence.

I will come back and answer the first question.
 

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Basil 320 said:
Some Developments:

People on "Monomakhos" are planning on voting for Metropolitan Jonah for the Primacy again; and voting to expand the 17th AAC agenda.

City of Parma Police have been asked to serve as security during the 17th AAC.

Bishop Alexander of Toledo who is the Locum Tenens of the Archdiocese of Washington, vetoed a duly elected AAC Alternate, a devout member of the St. Nicholas National Cathedral and War Memorial, who had written an essay questioning the Synod's forcing Metropolitan Jonah's resignation.  

The essay had been posted on the web site of Orthodox Christian Laity (OCL), but was recently deleted.  Archbishop Nathanial of Detroit, Locum Tenens of the OCA's Primatial Throne, is on the OCL's advisory board along with his Chancellor of the Romanian Episcopate, and is scheduled to celebrate the Hierarchal Divine Liturgy, which is planned to be held at St. Nicholas Cathedral, during the forthcoming OCL annual conference.  Bishop Michael of Baltimore is scheduled to concelebrate.

The OCA website identifies Metropolitan Jonah as "retired" apparently to keep him from being invited to the 3rd annual AOCB assembly.

The Holy Synod was scheduled to meet at the Chancery today, no report as yet on the OCA web site.  Topics to be addressed would be the matter of the investigation of the sexual harassment allegation against Bishop Matthias of Chicago, and an assignment for Metropolitan Jonah, in response to his request included in his letter of resignation, whose remuneration was scheduled to end at this time.  Last week, Bishop Michael was reported to have said  Bishop Matthias would be exonerated.
who is Bishop Michael of Baltimore?
 

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Carl Kraeff (Second Chance) said:
Orual said:
Carl Kraeff (Second Chance) said:
Some additional developments.

Some of the folks at Monomakhos have been talking about schism.
There are indications that +Jonah himself is encouraging folks to get himself reinstated. It is not clear why he is doing so.
The action by Bishop Alexander did take place. Although unfortunate IMO, the other side of the coin is that some folks at St Nicholas Cathedral, to include the Choir Director and former Church Council Vice-President (the Kalvesmakis), are some of the most vocal members of Team +Jonah. Also, the approach of Team +Jonah has been a scorched earth type policy, where all obstacles are overcome with vigor, to include character assassination, schismatic appeals, and utter disdain for the Holy Synod.
I invite you to produce evidence of these accusations:  

1) That Monomakhos commenters are advocating or collectively appealing for schism.

2) That Metropolitan Jonah is encouraging others to work to get himself reinstated.
I will answer the second question first. I have two such indications. The first was a posting on Monomkahos (I will try to find it for you as I go there to get evidence for the first question). The second came from an unimpeachable source whom I cannot reveal. This person and I go back a long ways and he told me in confidence.

I will come back and answer the first question.
To follow up, I went back to the first essay that coincided with the resignation of Metropolitan Jonah. The attention of Monomakhos had been on the upcoming Diocesan Special Assembly and the decision of by Archbishop Nikon to cancel the nomination for the new DOS bishop. It quickly shifted to the resignation.

From the thread “Ineptocracy” posted on July 7, 2012 394 Comments

Introduction by Carl Kraeff: Some of the earliest commenst are cited. This is the appetizer course. For the other courses, please read for yourself. Note: Aside from George Michalopulos, and Bishop Tikhon (Fotzgerald), ProPravoslavnie, Helga and Nikos are regulars.

ProPravoslavie says July 7, 2012 at 11:00 am: Time to prepare to go under Moscow

Geo Michalopulos says  July 7, 2012 at 12:06 pm: Hard to say. My feeling is that Traditionalists will go to the nearest ROCOR parish. If there’s no ROCOR parish nearby, a mission can be set up. The word on the street is that His Holiness Kirill is using ROCOR to get around the fact that the MP/American parishes are restricted in number. I do know for a fact that ROCOR now has a Western Rite Vicariate that has actually outrgown Antioch’s in number of parishes (or so I was told).

fatherpep@gmail.com says July 7, 2012 at 7:32 pm: The situation regarding OCA parishes leaving for another jurisdiction could be different than that experienced by conservative Episcopalians. The Episcopalians had money for lawyers, court costs and other expenses of litigation. If a large number of OCA parishes decided to leave for another jurisdiction simultaneously, it may not be possible for the headquarters to litigate the status of parish property. Also, if Moscow were to somehow determine that autocephaly was improvidently granted and act to revoke it, and assert jurisdiction over the “rebel” churches, it is possible that civil courts would decline to interfere in what would be viewed as an internal church dispute, not subject to resolution in courts. Or, as was noted above, the central OCA administration could find itself in temporary possession of many buildings, stripped of sacred vessels, removable icons, metric books and whatever else was not nailed down. And, with no clergy, congregants, or services, would the structure still qualify as a “church”, exempt from property taxes?.

StephenD says July 7, 2012 at 6:13 pm: It is being said here too and overtures are beng made to ROCOR…The delegation from here may not go ..

Helga says July 7, 2012 at 4:43 pm: Mamie, CB, George, I would suggest that there is a very important reason for DOS clergy and lay delegates to attend the forthcoming assembly: to introduce a motion of no confidence in Archbishop Nikon’s leadership. That would empower Metropolitan Jonah – who has the right, though the Synod has assumed this authority on occasion – to remove Archbishop Nikon as locum tenens.

• IRT Bishop Tikhon (Fitzgerald) says July 7, 2012 at 5:13 pm: Helga, you are assuming that Metropolitan Jonah has not signed a letter of resignation

• George Michalopulos says July 7, 2012 at 5:25 pm: Your Grace, if he did that, then there would be nothing left to discuss. Whatever moral authority the OCA had would be over and done with. At this rate, I’d just be happy for HH Kirill to derecognize our autocephaly.

• IRT Helga says July 7, 2012 at 5:50 pm: Just as happy? I would be actively petitioning for it. Let’s bring Met. Jonah, the Diocese of the South, and everyone else who wants to come along under Moscow, and declare the remainder vagante and break communion with them.

• IRT Nikos says July 8, 2012 at 11:38 am: The “resignation” of +Jonah is not just from the office of Primate of the OCA, but from the active episcopacy. You don’t think that this gang of hoodlums would relieve +Jonah from one job so they can put him in Dallas. That is not going to happen. This so called holy synod has finally got their man. The OCA is a joke.  It may be up to the DOS to draw a line in the sand and tell the synod enough is enough. And let them try and besmirch +Jonah’s name in public and in writing saying he is crazy, mentally ill. The dysfunction within the OCA synod is now fully exposed for all the world to see…

• IRT Helga says July 8, 2012 at 1:45 pm: Nikos, you’re still speaking as if the OCA Synod would still be legitimate if they forced Met. Jonah to resign. That would not be the case.

• IRT Nikos says July 8, 2012 at 3:01 pm: Helga, I think that clergy and laity are catching on. The synod is now scrambling to make sure that every diocesan bishop is in contact with their respective chancellors to explain the synod’s action against +Jonah. Message control is in full swing and +Nikon is hoping that the DOS will go quietly and meekly into the night…I have already heard talk of parishes wanting to leave the OCA. Well, that isn’t easy if you own your own property. The OCA can lay claim to it, but if a community is in rented facilities, there is no attachment of the OCA to that rented property. So it is possible under those circumstances that a priest and community could seek canonical protection under another jurisdiction. Let’s pray it never comes to that, but boy this synod is sure giving people more reasons everyday to question if the OCA is legit anymore.
 

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Just speaking for myself.

1. I would welcome the restoration of His Beatitude, Metropolitan Jonah to the primacy of the OCA. He has always had my axios.

2. Short of that I would welcome his presentation to the Diocese of the South as our Bishop.

3. I do not see Metropolitan Jonah's original election to the primacy as a mistake. A surprise, but not a mistake. Providence, but not a mistake.

4. I do not see the Monomakos crowd, so called, advocating either scorched earth or schism…rather I see a call for justice and accountability…sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander.

5. I find the actions of the Holy Synod and the Metropolitan Council in this matter difficult to understand and reconcile with what I was taught about the Orthodox faith, it's canons, it's standards for leadership and pastoral care. Granted there is a great deal in this world that I don't know and maybe the cure for my ignorance may be found somewhere therein.

6. I agree if Metropolitan Jonah is reelected there will be yet more troubles within the OCA, esp. with respect to the Holy Synod. I do not believe this would cause so much trouble outside with other jurisdictions, and indeed I suspect it may serve to help thaw some of the chilliness that has over frosted relations between the OCA and the MP who (I have been given to understand) did not like the way things were handled at all and still insists on referring to Metropolitan Jonah as His Beatitude and not His Eminence as Syosset apparently prefers. It would likely mean the anticipated resignation of most if not all of the sitting Holy Synod. That doesn't mean Metropolitan Jonah should accept them all, though perhaps he may feel inclined to accept one or two…maybe three.  That of course would be hard on the OCA as new bishops would have to be found and the OCA is in short supply of qualified and willing men.

7. If Metropolitan Jonah is not reelected or short of that given the Diocese of the South, it is in that context I would think the the survival of the OCA would be most jeopardized. If one of these two things doesn't happen at Parma, it is then I would suspect clergy and parishes would most feel the need to find safe harbor with the MP or elsewhere. If he is not reelected as Metropolitan but given to the Diocese of the South, there will still be choppy waters….and a lot of healing to do…but from that vantage point it seems doable, with the OCA able to survive, and maybe even prosper and grow again.  And I do not regard people talking now about a possible future need for safe harbor elsewhere to be reasonably construable as an advocacy of schism…just trying to figure out in advance what to do if the ship insists on sinking.

8. If Metropolitan Jonah is not reelected Metropolitan and not returned to the Diocese of the South but is given another Diocese instead then how things will go is harder to figure out. If Fr. Gerasim or someone like him then ends up on the throne of the DoS then Metropolitan Jonah will not have to stand alone on the synod as it is currently constituted and that in itself would be cause for hope of healing and a return to growth and vigor. If someone antithetical to the likes of Fr. Gerasim or Metropolitan Jonah is given the throne of the DoS…especially if they are of a sort antithetical to the labors and vision of the late Archbishop Dimitri which he implanted within his flock…then things in the OCA may go from bad to worse until either God intervenes or there is no more OCA.  

9. Then again, so long as the bishop elected does not fall into nor preach open heresy…everything may not fall apart in the OCA. It may trudge on…but it will be at least another 15 to 20 years before it will recover from the aftermath of the test it currently faces…until there is a new generation of priests and bishops who may it please God to be holy, devout and wise in the exercise of their office and ministry. The only way I see to the end of the current troubles once and for all is to restore Metropolitan Jonah to the primacy of the OCA's Holy Synod.  

10. I have no idea what to think about Metropolitan Jonah's silence in all this, though I do not think it to be without what he considers good reason, and though I do suspect he was lead to believe the whole synod had asked for his resignation when it was not, which explains his initial resignation. I do not know if he should recant his resignation, show up at Parma and be vested in the midst of the people and priests and see who stands with him, or just wait quietly to see what happens. Personally, in this situation, his silence has served him well…it certainly speaks volumes about his character and humility and his trust in God not man….and vindicates for me any support at Parma to restore him to the Primacy if he is willing.

As far as I am concerned his initial election was the mercy and grace of the Holy Spirit on the OCA. I look upon the rejection of Metropolitan Jonah's leadership for no canonical cause as an effective rejection of the providence of God. Had he fallen into heresy,  serious moral scandal, fiscal malfeasance…I could see it and accept it as a blown opportunity. But his resignation was not demanded for any of those reasons…and what reasons were provided proved to be damp tissue that fell apart the moment it was touched.

Yes, in his resignation letter he said he didn't have the temperament to be first primate of the Holy Synod…but in my book his letter is open to more than a surface reading.

At Parma, I think the Holy Synod has an opportunity to restore peace to Christ's Church. I hope they take it.  We will know by how that decision is received in Christ's body, whatever that decision may be. The right one, even if it is not popular will restore peace, and the wrong one even if it is popular will keep things stirred up until a Holy Synod is constituted who will do what is right…whatever that right may prove to be.

If what they did with respect to Metropolitan Jonah was right, God will vindicate them. If God does not vindicate them, and if they do not make corrections, then we may live to witness the final years of the OCA.
 

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Seraphim98 said:
Just speaking for myself.

1. I would welcome the restoration of His Beatitude, Metropolitan Jonah to the primacy of the OCA. He has always had my axios.

2. Short of that I would welcome his presentation to the Diocese of the South as our Bishop.

3. I do not see Metropolitan Jonah's original election to the primacy as a mistake. A surprise, but not a mistake. Providence, but not a mistake.

4. I do not see the Monomakos crowd, so called, advocating either scorched earth or schism…rather I see a call for justice and accountability…sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander.

5. I find the actions of the Holy Synod and the Metropolitan Council in this matter difficult to understand and reconcile with what I was taught about the Orthodox faith, it's canons, it's standards for leadership and pastoral care. Granted there is a great deal in this world that I don't know and maybe the cure for my ignorance may be found somewhere therein.

6. I agree if Metropolitan Jonah is reelected there will be yet more troubles within the OCA, esp. with respect to the Holy Synod. I do not believe this would cause so much trouble outside with other jurisdictions, and indeed I suspect it may serve to help thaw some of the chilliness that has over frosted relations between the OCA and the MP who (I have been given to understand) did not like the way things were handled at all and still insists on referring to Metropolitan Jonah as His Beatitude and not His Eminence as Syosset apparently prefers. It would likely mean the anticipated resignation of most if not all of the sitting Holy Synod. That doesn't mean Metropolitan Jonah should accept them all, though perhaps he may feel inclined to accept one or two…maybe three.  That of course would be hard on the OCA as new bishops would have to be found and the OCA is in short supply of qualified and willing men.

7. If Metropolitan Jonah is not reelected or short of that given the Diocese of the South, it is in that context I would think the the survival of the OCA would be most jeopardized. If one of these two things doesn't happen at Parma, it is then I would suspect clergy and parishes would most feel the need to find safe harbor with the MP or elsewhere. If he is not reelected as Metropolitan but given to the Diocese of the South, there will still be choppy waters….and a lot of healing to do…but from that vantage point it seems doable, with the OCA able to survive, and maybe even prosper and grow again.  And I do not regard people talking now about a possible future need for safe harbor elsewhere to be reasonably construable as an advocacy of schism…just trying to figure out in advance what to do if the ship insists on sinking.

8. If Metropolitan Jonah is not reelected Metropolitan and not returned to the Diocese of the South but is given another Diocese instead then how things will go is harder to figure out. If Fr. Gerasim or someone like him then ends up on the throne of the DoS then Metropolitan Jonah will not have to stand alone on the synod as it is currently constituted and that in itself would be cause for hope of healing and a return to growth and vigor. If someone antithetical to the likes of Fr. Gerasim or Metropolitan Jonah is given the throne of the DoS…especially if they are of a sort antithetical to the labors and vision of the late Archbishop Dimitri which he implanted within his flock…then things in the OCA may go from bad to worse until either God intervenes or there is no more OCA.  

9. Then again, so long as the bishop elected does not fall into nor preach open heresy…everything may not fall apart in the OCA. It may trudge on…but it will be at least another 15 to 20 years before it will recover from the aftermath of the test it currently faces…until there is a new generation of priests and bishops who may it please God to be holy, devout and wise in the exercise of their office and ministry. The only way I see to the end of the current troubles once and for all is to restore Metropolitan Jonah to the primacy of the OCA's Holy Synod.  

10. I have no idea what to think about Metropolitan Jonah's silence in all this, though I do not think it to be without what he considers good reason, and though I do suspect he was lead to believe the whole synod had asked for his resignation when it was not, which explains his initial resignation. I do not know if he should recant his resignation, show up at Parma and be vested in the midst of the people and priests and see who stands with him, or just wait quietly to see what happens. Personally, in this situation, his silence has served him well…it certainly speaks volumes about his character and humility and his trust in God not man….and vindicates for me any support at Parma to restore him to the Primacy if he is willing.

As far as I am concerned his initial election was the mercy and grace of the Holy Spirit on the OCA. I look upon the rejection of Metropolitan Jonah's leadership for no canonical cause as an effective rejection of the providence of God. Had he fallen into heresy,  serious moral scandal, fiscal malfeasance…I could see it and accept it as a blown opportunity. But his resignation was not demanded for any of those reasons…and what reasons were provided proved to be damp tissue that fell apart the moment it was touched.

Yes, in his resignation letter he said he didn't have the temperament to be first primate of the Holy Synod…but in my book his letter is open to more than a surface reading.

At Parma, I think the Holy Synod has an opportunity to restore peace to Christ's Church. I hope they take it.  We will know by how that decision is received in Christ's body, whatever that decision may be. The right one, even if it is not popular will restore peace, and the wrong one even if it is popular will keep things stirred up until a Holy Synod is constituted who will do what is right…whatever that right may prove to be.

If what they did with respect to Metropolitan Jonah was right, God will vindicate them. If God does not vindicate them, and if they do not make corrections, then we may live to witness the final years of the OCA.
How much do you really know about what happened between Metropolitan Jonah and the Holy Synod?
 

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Carl Kraeff (Second Chance) said:
Carl Kraeff (Second Chance) said:
Orual said:
Carl Kraeff (Second Chance) said:
Some additional developments.

Some of the folks at Monomakhos have been talking about schism.
There are indications that +Jonah himself is encouraging folks to get himself reinstated. It is not clear why he is doing so.
The action by Bishop Alexander did take place. Although unfortunate IMO, the other side of the coin is that some folks at St Nicholas Cathedral, to include the Choir Director and former Church Council Vice-President (the Kalvesmakis), are some of the most vocal members of Team +Jonah. Also, the approach of Team +Jonah has been a scorched earth type policy, where all obstacles are overcome with vigor, to include character assassination, schismatic appeals, and utter disdain for the Holy Synod.
I invite you to produce evidence of these accusations:  

1) That Monomakhos commenters are advocating or collectively appealing for schism.

2) That Metropolitan Jonah is encouraging others to work to get himself reinstated.
I will answer the second question first. I have two such indications. The first was a posting on Monomkahos (I will try to find it for you as I go there to get evidence for the first question). The second came from an unimpeachable source whom I cannot reveal. This person and I go back a long ways and he told me in confidence.

I will come back and answer the first question.
To follow up, I went back to the first essay that coincided with the resignation of Metropolitan Jonah. The attention of Monomakhos had been on the upcoming Diocesan Special Assembly and the decision of by Archbishop Nikon to cancel the nomination for the new DOS bishop. It quickly shifted to the resignation.

From the thread “Ineptocracy” posted on July 7, 2012 394 Comments

Introduction by Carl Kraeff: Some of the earliest commenst are cited. This is the appetizer course. For the other courses, please read for yourself. Note: Aside from George Michalopulos, and Bishop Tikhon (Fotzgerald), ProPravoslavnie, Helga and Nikos are regulars.

ProPravoslavie says July 7, 2012 at 11:00 am: Time to prepare to go under Moscow

Geo Michalopulos says  July 7, 2012 at 12:06 pm: Hard to say. My feeling is that Traditionalists will go to the nearest ROCOR parish. If there’s no ROCOR parish nearby, a mission can be set up. The word on the street is that His Holiness Kirill is using ROCOR to get around the fact that the MP/American parishes are restricted in number. I do know for a fact that ROCOR now has a Western Rite Vicariate that has actually outrgown Antioch’s in number of parishes (or so I was told).

fatherpep@gmail.com says July 7, 2012 at 7:32 pm: The situation regarding OCA parishes leaving for another jurisdiction could be different than that experienced by conservative Episcopalians. The Episcopalians had money for lawyers, court costs and other expenses of litigation. If a large number of OCA parishes decided to leave for another jurisdiction simultaneously, it may not be possible for the headquarters to litigate the status of parish property. Also, if Moscow were to somehow determine that autocephaly was improvidently granted and act to revoke it, and assert jurisdiction over the “rebel” churches, it is possible that civil courts would decline to interfere in what would be viewed as an internal church dispute, not subject to resolution in courts. Or, as was noted above, the central OCA administration could find itself in temporary possession of many buildings, stripped of sacred vessels, removable icons, metric books and whatever else was not nailed down. And, with no clergy, congregants, or services, would the structure still qualify as a “church”, exempt from property taxes?.

StephenD says July 7, 2012 at 6:13 pm: It is being said here too and overtures are beng made to ROCOR…The delegation from here may not go ..

Helga says July 7, 2012 at 4:43 pm: Mamie, CB, George, I would suggest that there is a very important reason for DOS clergy and lay delegates to attend the forthcoming assembly: to introduce a motion of no confidence in Archbishop Nikon’s leadership. That would empower Metropolitan Jonah – who has the right, though the Synod has assumed this authority on occasion – to remove Archbishop Nikon as locum tenens.

• IRT Bishop Tikhon (Fitzgerald) says July 7, 2012 at 5:13 pm: Helga, you are assuming that Metropolitan Jonah has not signed a letter of resignation

• George Michalopulos says July 7, 2012 at 5:25 pm: Your Grace, if he did that, then there would be nothing left to discuss. Whatever moral authority the OCA had would be over and done with. At this rate, I’d just be happy for HH Kirill to derecognize our autocephaly.

• IRT Helga says July 7, 2012 at 5:50 pm: Just as happy? I would be actively petitioning for it. Let’s bring Met. Jonah, the Diocese of the South, and everyone else who wants to come along under Moscow, and declare the remainder vagante and break communion with them.

• IRT Nikos says July 8, 2012 at 11:38 am: The “resignation” of +Jonah is not just from the office of Primate of the OCA, but from the active episcopacy. You don’t think that this gang of hoodlums would relieve +Jonah from one job so they can put him in Dallas. That is not going to happen. This so called holy synod has finally got their man. The OCA is a joke.  It may be up to the DOS to draw a line in the sand and tell the synod enough is enough. And let them try and besmirch +Jonah’s name in public and in writing saying he is crazy, mentally ill. The dysfunction within the OCA synod is now fully exposed for all the world to see…

• IRT Helga says July 8, 2012 at 1:45 pm: Nikos, you’re still speaking as if the OCA Synod would still be legitimate if they forced Met. Jonah to resign. That would not be the case.

• IRT Nikos says July 8, 2012 at 3:01 pm: Helga, I think that clergy and laity are catching on. The synod is now scrambling to make sure that every diocesan bishop is in contact with their respective chancellors to explain the synod’s action against +Jonah. Message control is in full swing and +Nikon is hoping that the DOS will go quietly and meekly into the night…I have already heard talk of parishes wanting to leave the OCA. Well, that isn’t easy if you own your own property. The OCA can lay claim to it, but if a community is in rented facilities, there is no attachment of the OCA to that rented property. So it is possible under those circumstances that a priest and community could seek canonical protection under another jurisdiction. Let’s pray it never comes to that, but boy this synod is sure giving people more reasons everyday to question if the OCA is legit anymore.
Is it now schismatic to switch jurisdictions?  That just says some of them want to go under Moscow.  Whoopdedoo.
 

Seraphim98

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How much do you really know about what happened between Metropolitan Jonah and the Holy Synod?
Personally, not a great deal.

I've read various sermons/articles by Metropolitan Jonah, and was there at his consecration. I know the confidence Archbishop Dimitri had in him.  

I have seen various of the public responses/reports of the Holy Synod with respect to Metropolitan Jonah.

I have taken cues both from what I've read, from those whom I know who have at times been closer to things than myself.

I know how what has been done has affected the mood and opinion of those in my parish. Some have no particular opinion. Some do, and of those who do…which is substantial, all of them think very highly of Metropolitan Jonah, liked him as our Metropolitan, and wishes if he is to no longer be Metropolitan that he be returned to us in the DoS.

I know the Holy Synod and Metropolitan Jonah have had difficulties working together, and it seems that the administrative structures at Syossett get along even less well.

I know the Holy Synod published untrue allegations concerning Metropolitan Jonah that are at the very least cruelly defamatory. Which reasons they gave for asking for his resignation. If they were mislead, they've not made apology.

I know that they hold Metropolitan Jonah and his family in a kind of economic limbo which strikes me as very uncharitable, even unChristian.

I know that they have refused so far to grant him canonical release to another jurisdiction if any wanted him…which makes no sense at all.

I know that they refuse to let him serve or commune in any OCA parish but for one, though he has done nothing wrong.

I know that if they have other reasons than the ones they presented which were proven to be false…even actively disavowed by the very woman who was supposedly raped or nearly raped…….they have yet to make them known.

I know they are actively censoring voices of those who question the wisdom of what they have done and/or who question the truthfulness and accuracy of their pronouncements with respect to Metropolitan Jonah. That alone tells me volumes.


So…no, I don't know a lot personally. Mostly what I read and hear…and I do take care to hear both sides, those who love Metropolitan Jonah, and those who hate him, those who approve of the Holy Synod's actions and those who do not. I even read those who advise staying far away from this hot mess of a situation as possible. That said, everything I hear and read leads me to the conclusion that an innocent man, a good man, an honorable and just man (insofar as any of us my rise to claim these virtues) has been sorely mistreated by his brothers in the episcopate, and mistreated without even the courtesy of an intact fig leaf.

It has been argued by those on both sides of this situation that Metropolitan was a poor administrator…or at least a naive one at the beginning. He himself admitting to having limited administrative skills…at least in the context of the service he found himself…in another context/synodal constitution he may have done better.  This may well be so, but it is not a sufficient reason, so far as I know, to remove an Orthodox bishop or to ask him to remove himself. That is the world's reasoning.

Everything I have learned leads me to believe he has not been treated right or honorably and I would like to see that corrected. I don't want to be silent while a good man is bullied and humiliated in public because others have the power to do so and do not refrain from doing so. If the Holy Synod and Syossett can justify what they have done, let them. I and others of their respective flocks are willing to listen. If not…then I remain of the opinion God's choice for our Metropolitan was hounded from his office for "real" reasons not make known…but regardless…unless real and substantive reasons are forthcoming I cannot in good conscience stand anywhere but with His Beatitude, Metropolitan Jonah. To me, this is to stand with Christ in the hour He was rejected by His own.
 

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Seraphim98 said:
How much do you really know about what happened between Metropolitan Jonah and the Holy Synod?
Personally, not a great deal.

I've read various sermons/articles by Metropolitan Jonah, and was there at his consecration. I know the confidence Archbishop Dimitri had in him.  

I have seen various of the public responses/reports of the Holy Synod with respect to Metropolitan Jonah.

I have taken cues both from what I've read, from those whom I know who have at times been closer to things than myself.

I know how what has been done has affected the mood and opinion of those in my parish. Some have no particular opinion. Some do, and of those who do…which is substantial, all of them think very highly of Metropolitan Jonah, liked him as our Metropolitan, and wishes if he is to no longer be Metropolitan that he be returned to us in the DoS.

I know the Holy Synod and Metropolitan Jonah have had difficulties working together, and it seems that the administrative structures at Syossett get along even less well.

I know the Holy Synod published untrue allegations concerning Metropolitan Jonah that are at the very least cruelly defamatory. Which reasons they gave for asking for his resignation. If they were mislead, they've not made apology.

I know that they hold Metropolitan Jonah and his family in a kind of economic limbo which strikes me as very uncharitable, even unChristian.

I know that they have refused so far to grant him canonical release to another jurisdiction if any wanted him…which makes no sense at all.

I know that they refuse to let him serve or commune in any OCA parish but for one, though he has done nothing wrong.

I know that if they have other reasons than the ones they presented which were proven to be false…even actively disavowed by the very woman who was supposedly raped or nearly raped…….they have yet to make them known.

I know they are actively censoring voices of those who question the wisdom of what they have done and/or who question the truthfulness and accuracy of their pronouncements with respect to Metropolitan Jonah. That alone tells me volumes.


So…no, I don't know a lot personally. Mostly what I read and hear…and I do take care to hear both sides, those who love Metropolitan Jonah, and those who hate him, those who approve of the Holy Synod's actions and those who do not. I even read those who advise staying far away from this hot mess of a situation as possible. That said, everything I hear and read leads me to the conclusion that an innocent man, a good man, an honorable and just man (insofar as any of us my rise to claim these virtues) has been sorely mistreated by his brothers in the episcopate, and mistreated without even the courtesy of an intact fig leaf.

It has been argued by those on both sides of this situation that Metropolitan was a poor administrator…or at least a naive one at the beginning. He himself admitting to having limited administrative skills…at least in the context of the service he found himself…in another context/synodal constitution he may have done better.  This may well be so, but it is not a sufficient reason, so far as I know, to remove an Orthodox bishop or to ask him to remove himself. That is the world's reasoning.

Everything I have learn leads me to believe he has not been treated right or honorably and I would like to see that corrected. I don't want to be silent while a good man is bullied and humiliated in public because others have the power to do so and do not refrain from doing so. If the Holy Synod and Syossett can justify what they have done, let them. I and others of their respective flocks are willing to listen. If not…then I remain of the opinion God's choice for our Metropolitan was hounded from his office for "real" reasons not make known…but regardless…unless real and substantive reasons are forthcoming I cannot in good conscience stand anywhere but with His Beatitude, Metropolitan Jonah. To me, this is to stand with Christ in the hour He was rejected by His own.
You admit you don't know much, yet you seem awfully confident in your judgment. I'm not sure that's a good thing.
 

Seraphim98

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You admit you don't know much, yet you seem awfully confident in your judgment. I'm not sure that's a good thing.
It may not be, but I work with what I've been given…and what's been given really points in one direction. If those in the know wish to provide something more that puts everything in a new and better light, it would be welcome.

But how much does any of us have to know to object to the mistreatment of someone?

Besides my judgments are pretty simple and in line with the Gospel so far as I know.

a. What evil has Metropolitan Jonah done that he should be so vilified by his own brother bishops? If nothing make it right. If something make it known.

b. If they don't want him, let him go to those who do, either to the DoS or to another Jurisdiction which may want him.

c. In any case deal honorably with him in accordance with Christian Charity and the canons of the Orthodox faith.

d. If they have done right, and are sure of it, then stand firm, be at peace and let God vindicate them (no censorship of the marginally washed masses necessary). And if they have come to see they have not done right, repent and make such amends as are appropriate.

Nothing outrageous or scandalous or defamatory that I can see.
 

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Seraphim98 said:
You admit you don't know much, yet you seem awfully confident in your judgment. I'm not sure that's a good thing.
It may not be, but I work with what I've been given…and what's been given really points in one direction. If those in the know wish to provide something more that puts everything in a new and better light, it would be welcome.
If you haven't been given much, then you probably shouldn't work at all. I suggest that the best path is to recognize that you don't know much and therefore refuse to render judgment based on what little you think you do know. One does well to not judge, knowing everything, than judge, knowing nothing.
 

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Schultz said:
Basil 320 said:
Some Developments:

People on "Monomakhos" are planning on voting for Metropolitan Jonah for the Primacy again; and voting to expand the 17th AAC agenda.

City of Parma Police have been asked to serve as security during the 17th AAC.

Bishop Alexander of Toledo who is the Locum Tenens of the Archdiocese of Washington, vetoed a duly elected AAC Alternate, a devout member of the St. Nicholas National Cathedral and War Memorial, who had written an essay questioning the Synod's forcing Metropolitan Jonah's resignation.  

The essay had been posted on the web site of Orthodox Christian Laity (OCL), but was recently deleted.  Archbishop Nathanial of Detroit, Locum Tenens of the OCA's Primatial Throne, is on the OCL's advisory board along with his Chancellor of the Romanian Episcopate, and is scheduled to celebrate the Hierarchal Divine Liturgy, which is planned to be held at St. Nicholas Cathedral, during the forthcoming OCL annual conference.  Bishop Michael of Baltimore is scheduled to concelebrate.

The OCA website identifies Metropolitan Jonah as "retired" apparently to keep him from being invited to the 3rd annual AOCB assembly.

The Holy Synod was scheduled to meet at the Chancery today, no report as yet on the OCA web site.  Topics to be addressed would be the matter of the investigation of the sexual harassment allegation against Bishop Matthias of Chicago, and an assignment for Metropolitan Jonah, in response to his request included in his letter of resignation, whose remuneration was scheduled to end at this time.  Last week, Bishop Michael was reported to have said  Bishop Matthias would be exonerated.
who is Bishop Michael of Baltimore?
My mistake.  I should have said Bishop Mark of Baltimore, the Metropolitan's auxiliary bishop responsible for Departments and Commissions of the OCA.  Bishop Mark was previously the Bishop of Toledo (I think) of the AOCANA, who attempted to impose a requirement for annual private auditing of parishes in his diocese and ran into conflicts with Metropolitan Phillip because he was butting heads with parish priests who were Metropolitan Phillip's buddies.  Met. Phillip was transferring him to the Northwest, whereupon, he negotiated with the OCA for transfer to it, which Met. Phillip approved.  He was initially appointed Administrator of the Diocese of the South, but ran into conflicts with many in the Diocesan Cathedral.  It was revealed that he was responsible for accessing the e-mail account of the previous Chancellor of the Diocese of the South and transmitting pertinent e-mail messages to OCANews for publication, the internet site of Orthodox Christians for Accountability.  His appointment to the Chancery is recent.

I apologize for the error in my previous post, Reply No. 459.
 

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As I read and attempt to follow the problems of the OCA over these troubled years I do so with a real sense of sadness, and concern for Orthodoxy in America. It recalls to me too much of the old Byzantine problems - intrigue, innuendo, accusations, speculations, forced depositions/resignations -  those in the ninth century along with other periods.
 

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Orual said:
Is it now schismatic to switch jurisdictions?  That just says some of them want to go under Moscow.  Whoopdedoo.
This is only one person, but the sentiment expressed here is not just "switching jurisdictions":
...everyone else who wants to come along under Moscow, and declare the remainder vagante and break communion with them.
 

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Αριστοκλής said:
As I read and attempt to follow the problems of the OCA over these troubled years I do so with a real sense of sadness, and concern for Orthodoxy in America. It recalls to me too much of the old Byzantine problems - intrigue, innuendo, accusations, speculations, forced depositions/resignations -  those in the ninth century along with other periods.
That is where I am coming from as well. Sobors full of fear, vitriol and schism are nothing new to us and typically, nothing good shall come of them. Given the historical, long-term,familial interrelationships among the BCC, ACROD and the OCA - the base of each come from the same counties, villages and parishes in Europe, our people  have had more than their share of turmoil and strife in the United States.

As to changing jurisdictions, that is not so easy for parishes or priests. People may come and go but priests and bishops must be released from a canonical bishop to the omophor of another canonical bishop. ROCOR is part of the EA and under the omophor of Moscow these days and the times when they would just take any dissident Slavic congregation or start a new parish to compete with an existing one under sanction with another canonical bishop are gone - there will be no more Clymer, PA  or Mayfield, PA situations coming out of this mess. The options are limited to the non-canonical jurisdictions and that is a difficult choice for many to make.

If one thinks that the deposition and discrediting of an entire Synod of Bishops by an unhappy group of laity (even if it is a loud and angry majority (which I do not think the restorationists actually are)) would be casually accepted by European and Mideast Synods, you know little or nothing about Church history or the political realities under which Synods and national Churches operate. Change, disruption and depostions fuel the paranoia  of those institutions and they will not simply accept the same from the OCA which is relatively insignificant from their point of view.

Pray for peace and pray that Metropolitan Jonah does the right thing under the circumstances which is to lay low, disavow his supporters and live out his career in quiet obedience to the collective will of his peers. Sorry, but that is the way it should go for a  priest or bishop - monastic or otherwise.
 

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gzt said:
Orual said:
Is it now schismatic to switch jurisdictions?  That just says some of them want to go under Moscow.  Whoopdedoo.
This is only one person, but the sentiment expressed here is not just "switching jurisdictions":
...everyone else who wants to come along under Moscow, and declare the remainder vagante and break communion with them.
I would also add that it is bad enough to revolt and jump ship over dogma or praxis; it is worse when it is done over personalities. As a veteran of 26 years in the USAF and as a son of a priest, this smacks to me to be treason, cultism and the work of the Evil One. However, as an ordinary Joe, I am limited to calling this schism, which is usually defined neutrally as a division between people.
 

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Seraphim98 said:
How much do you really know about what happened between Metropolitan Jonah and the Holy Synod?
Personally, not a great deal.

...I know the confidence Archbishop Dimitri had in him.  

I know the Holy Synod published untrue allegations concerning Metropolitan Jonah that are at the very least cruelly defamatory. Which reasons they gave for asking for his resignation. If they were mislead, they've not made apology.

I know that they hold Metropolitan Jonah and his family in a kind of economic limbo which strikes me as very uncharitable, even unChristian.

I know that they have refused so far to grant him canonical release to another jurisdiction if any wanted him…which makes no sense at all.

I know that they refuse to let him serve or commune in any OCA parish but for one, though he has done nothing wrong.

I know that if they have other reasons than the ones they presented which were proven to be false…even actively disavowed by the very woman who was supposedly raped or nearly raped…….they have yet to make them known.

I know they are actively censoring voices of those who question the wisdom of what they have done and/or who question the truthfulness and accuracy of their pronouncements with respect to Metropolitan Jonah. That alone tells me volumes.

So…no, I don't know a lot personally...
I have quoted only those statements of yours where it would near impossible for a regular person to know. I think that you must be a highly placed priest, influential lay person or Metroplitan Jonah himself to have this much intimate and detailed knowledge, and hold such  catergorical opinions based on the published record. You know Seraphim, your writing is quite irenic and you write exceedingly well. Its is also possible for a person to think that the Holy Synod's action was not based on a particular canon or that any acton against +Jonah should have been through a spiritual court. I do not think that the published record would support the statements that I quoted. Which leads me to suspect that you protest too much when you claim not to know much. What is the term for one who comes to the herd as a meek and mild sheep?
 

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OTOH, this is considered "common knowledge" on certain forums, whether or not they really "know" it in senses typically used by epistemology.
 
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