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

podkarpatska

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Seraphim98 said:
However, the Holy Synod definitely should discipline those who question its authority, integrity, sexuality, humanity etc. Maybe the Monomakhos blog is a surrogate maybe it isn't however any lay person calling the Holy Synod a Gay Cabal can and should be held acountable.
Who is questioning the authority of the Holy Synod?  Christ Himself lambasted the Sanhedrin for their corruptness…yet he defended their authority "for they sit in the seat of Moses."  Are you saying this or any synod is de facto possessing integrity, that it cannot err. Do not their deeds either commend or accuse them. And if they are reprovable are you saying the Body should not call them to account?  As for Gay Cabal, how many does it take to make a cabal gay or otherwise? As for Gay…how many of the Bishops of the OCA sitting or retired are known homosexuals. How many support at least tacitly the acceptance of gay lifestyles? How many of those who are homosexual have been known to possess copious amounts of gay porn? How many investigations into reported gay activity among the bishops and other clergy have quashed? How many priests or other clergy who brought these actives to light have been rewarded…and how many punished/left in limbo/sent beyond murphy's stump?  Don't know it all rises to the level of a Cabal…but there are enough of that persuasion with influence to create a problem for the OCA at it's highest levels of administration.

It is for the Holy Synod to determine the appropriate course of action. I merely let them know how this ongoing scandal is affecting the image and reputation of the OCA.
 No doubt that it does…but I don't think so much in the direction you mean.

Yes, kept quiet while his so called supporters have spread lies and falsehoods lionozing him and villifying the Holy Synod.
Just what lies about the Holy Synod have been told? I'll agree big chunks of the Holy Synod have been villianized…but from what I can see it's largely because they were acting in a villainous manner. It may be overheated…but not unsubstantiated or meritless.  One thing is for sure the Holy Synod has done a very poor job of defending and demonstrating the rightness of their decision. If nothing else they have a huge PR problem.

He was lied about? villified?
Yes…absolutely.  Your own posts that seem to border on hatred of him are a case in point. Why did the Holy Synod ask for his resignation. What specific cause did they give. Was that cause true or not true? If not true, they either lied or were lied to. If lied to, then they've had plenty of time to make apology and correction. They have not…so if the stated reason they gave or not true…then there is only one way to characterize their deed.

what about the Holy SYnod that went out of their way to try work with a man that said one thing and did another. Did you even read the SMPAC report on Pokrov. Please read page 7 which was more than enough to remove him from office for gross incompetence and negligence.
What about it? That wasn't why they asked him to resign. If those things were the reason, then that should have been stated explicitly as the reason. Beyond that…look at who wrote and signed that document. These people opposed and worked against His Beatitude from the very beginning…he was supposed to trust them, "work" with the very people trying to undermine him as Metropolitan?"  As far as I am concerned its all bad apples and bad trees. I don't trust the source of the document, so I don't know how far or in what way to trust the document itself. As I remember his days as our Metropolitan, it seems he as all the time being disrespected and hindered by those who should have been his support. I don't blame him for not working well with them. Who could?

If you are wondering where you have heard that line about keeping people quiet before you must have heard it from Abp Jonah and Fr Fester.
No…I think it was Jesus.

If you don't see conspiracy theories on that blog then it is because you gullibally believing them.
I see a lot of facts and unpacking of facts that strike me as reasonable. It doesn't make the Holy Synod look good…but if that's where the facts point, that's where they point. While I may take some exception to overly strident tones there on occasion…the general thrust of the information does not lead me to believe it to be the product of nutters and extremists.  I see the concern of people who love Christ and His Church who think the leadership of the OCA is in serious trouble and has done some seriously questionable things, things that need correcting now, if the OCA is to survive and grow as an Orthodox communion.

So let me get this straight it is your premise that the poor martyr Abp Jonah was brutally and seditiously attacked by every member of the Holy Synod, the Metropolitan Council, the officers of the church and many others in leadership roles with in the church?
It wasn't what I wanted to think…but what they did and what they've since has made it much more thinkable. First I don't know if it was the whole synod who asked him to resign. It may have been the Lesser synod which was improperly represented as the whole synod. Still, if that was the case the whole synod hasn't broken ranks on the matter and suggests they are in agreement with it or are not willing to challenge it. There is no serious question of the sedition. The facts and the way the Holy Synod has acted towards the Body and towards His Beatitude speak volumes.  Personally I'm not convinced that the whole synod to a man went after him or even necessarily wanted him gone…but those who did not for one reason or another have not spoken up or out. Some see them as too weak or old…some see them as cowards in the face of bullying episcopal brothers. I don't know their reasons. They've not shared them. Their collective wall of silence in the face of what is obviously great love and admiration for Metropolitan Jonah is puzzling to the point of creepy.  So something is going on. Something is seriously amiss with the Holy Synod.  What makes it even more troubling is that the MP seemed to take a dim view of their actions…and let them know it…and since they have rebuffed representatives of the MP, basically brushing them off as if they and what they thought didn't matter for us.  You don't just go poking our Mother Church, previously biggest ally and supporter in the eye with stick. As I said, something is very wrong at the highest levels of the leadership of the OCA.

As for Metropolitan Jonah…they would have to kill him to make a true martyr of him…but they seem to be working double time to enroll him among the ranks of the Confessors who were unjustly persecuted and suffered for Christ's sake.  

The whole world is wrong and he is innocent and right?
Hardly the whole world…basically just the present leadership of the OCA. The leader of the largest Orthodox confession in the world took Metropolitan Jonah's side, as do a great many of the clergy and faithful in the OCA.

Strange how many of these attacks from his supporters end the same way. "Just return him to the DOS" *wink *wink* Or else what? We will continue to try to destroy the Church until we get our way?
What is strange "wink wink" about wanting a good man as the bishop of the DoS. He was handpicked by our former and much beloved Archbishop, and we thought highly of his choice. If the OCA no longer wants him as Metropolitan, then give him back to us.

As for destroying the Church…it is not his supporter I see being destructive to the church but rather those who ousted him…they have compromised us seriously in face of the other Orthodox church in the world.  Who can take us seriously now and for a long time to come? As for the unwashed masses getting their way…were the masses wrong to keep agitating against and hounding the bishops who signed off on the Council of Florence until they either repented or were driven away?  Archbishop Dimitri said near the time of his death that if the faithful do not fight for what they have, they will lose everything. We may well be in one of those situations that requires the faithful to be very vocal and very "in the face" to preserve the faith from the deeds and desires of unfaithful shepherds.

ANd btw I have personally disproven many of the lies spread on that blog with actual facts. Also why is it that none of the pro Abp Jonah supporters there or here can provide evidence for their assertions? I provided my evidence to George and he had no rebuttal other than syosset is corrupt. I would more than happy to pm the post.
Too date I've not seen anything that would suggest the core assertions on "that blog" on this matter are mistaken. If you wish to PM me about it fine…but from what I've seen since July, the notion that Syosset is corrupt doesn't seem far from the mark.  Even if it weren't it is an improper administrative structure for an Orthodox church. It has far too much power over the Holy Synod when it should be the other way around. The Holy Synod should not be on track to be reduced to high ranking employees of a professional central administration composed of priests and laity. Person I give good bit of weight to the clash of cultures theory.  I think there are competing visions of what Orthodoxy in America is and how it should grow and Syosset stands on one side of that divide and Metropolitan Jonah and those who support him on the other. Then there are those on both sides who think things are so messed up now the best course is to surrender our autocephalacy and go back to the MP or elsewhere for the foreseeable future. More and more I think there is merit to that position.
I think you need to calm yourself. If you believe a quarter of what you post to be the truth about your Bishops and clerics, you are in the wrong jurisdiction and you should prayerfully consider what you need to do about this. Admiration and love for a monk is hardly the sign of Godliness - look to 20th century Russian history for confirmation of this. I am not equating anyone with Rasputin - of course not - but admiration is not what should guide the church of and by itself. If the anonymous sources were to be believed, such as the so-called Sons of Job - how hubristic of them by the way.....to equate themselves with the Biblical exemplar of suffering..... they should proudly post their names and titles and source their scurrilous allegations.

 

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Those are some mighty important "if"s you have there.
They are. While in this age of the internet I'm in as good a position as any to learn how both sides of this feel and why…I'm not in a position verify very much from either side. My trust blindly quotient is sorely depleted…though based on the preponderance of what I've learned I lean heavily towards Metropolitan Jonah. I think the best interests of the OCA faithful would be well served by having some outside Hierarchs unconnected to our squabble sort this out.

At present I'm convinced Metropolitan Jonah was wronged, his self stated deficiencies of OCA administrative mindset notwithstanding. The question for me is, how is it to be made right. I think an apology for slandering his name is in order at a minimum. And I think he should either be given a diocese in the OCA or permitted to go to another jurisdiction. While I personally think was and could be a good metropolitan, pragmatically it may not be the best thing for us for him to be given the white hat again…not long term at any rate…there's enough toxic feeling on that front from both sides to suggest peace in the Body would be better served without that. If it is given again, then just long enough to clean house and set things right…or right enough.
 

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I think you need to calm yourself. If you believe a quarter of what you post to be the truth about your Bishops and clerics, you are in the wrong jurisdiction and you should prayerfully consider what you need to do about this. Admiration and love for a monk is hardly the sign of Godliness - look to 20th century Russian history for confirmation of this. I am not equating anyone with Rasputin - of course not - but admiration is not what should guide the church of and by itself. If the anonymous sources were to be believed, such as the so-called Sons of Job - how hubristic of them by the way.....to equate themselves with the Biblical exemplar of suffering..... they should proudly post their names and titles and source their scurrilous allegations.
If I've left the impression I'n not calm, then forgive me my deficiencies in that regard. I assure you I am entirely calm.  I do believe what I said based on the evidence I've seen so far…better evidence could change my opinion, but so far it has not been forthcoming.  As for jurisdictions I am in precisely the right one. I've no doubt this is where God placed me…though it is conceivable where I start is not necessarily where I might end. Unless I move somewhere there is no reasonably accessible OCA parish or unless our hierarchs preach open heresy, I'm not inclined to go anywhere.  Jumping churches is a Protestant solution to troubles and disagreements.  Were we in Russia or Greece or some other ostensibly Orthodox country, if there were serious issues between the people and the Holy Synod there is no jumping to another jurisdiction. The trouble has to be resolved. As for the Holy Synod itself…or any Holy Synod in general…they are not above error in judgement, above playing politics and power-grabbing in God's house. It has happened, sad to say more than once…else there would be no such things a robber councils. How bad can it get with a given synod…ask St. Mark of Ephesus, ask St. Maximus the Confessor.  Jumping ship is not the right thing to do.

I do not take the stance I do because I simply admire Metropolitan Jonah as a person or a monastic. I take the stance I do because I think he was God's choice to be our Metropolitan, that he had the vision we needed to move forward and grow, that almost from the start he was opposed and undercut by Syosset and a significant subset of the Holy Synod, and now finally he was effectively driven from office unjustly, and has been further vilified since. It took the Holy Synod of Alexandria almost 100 years to admit they "may" have erred with respect to their treatment of their own Metropolitan, now St. Nectarios. It may turn out to be the same thing with Metropolitan Jonah and our Holy Synod. It doesn't mean they are not the Holy Synod and that they do not have the authority that they wielded. They do. But that does not mean such decisions get God's or the laity's automatic seal of approval, nor that they should not be held accountable for such decisions…first by their own laity who are most effected by those decisions, and secondly by brother heirarchs and synods throughout the Orthodox world who have among them the power to help correct a very difficult situation.

As for the sons of Job I don't think at this juncture it is hubris for them to keep anonymous or to style themselves as sons of Job…which to me brings to mind both the Job of the OT and the recently departed Bishop Job (maybe Abp…I forget) who seem to have been one of the few remaining heirarchs in the OCA to be generally trusted and respected. If the SoJ are priests and deacons…especially if they belong to certain dioceses with suspect bishops…the threat of retaliation from their bishop or from syosset is very real. They have a duty to speak the truth, but they also have a duty to safeguard the well being of their own families and parishes. It's a lesser of two evils type of situation.
 

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Bravo! After all, isn't that really the whole point?
I don't think so, though it matters. Most of us aren't a position to verify much of anything independently by ourselves…we have to trust great deal on the implicit authority of a variety of experts…from what's in our food, to our housing, to medicine, to well you name it. That does not mean we should not be as well informed as we can be so that we may make better informed, though not necessarily expert, choices.

There is a problem though when trust in the putative experts has been lost.  That's what we face in OCA. Our trust has been violated, not vindicated a number of times over the past several years. So it is natural to be more cautious to expect a higher standard in integrity and openness until events have proven trust has been earned again. The "just trust us" attitude of the current powers that be in the OCA does not carry any weight with me anymore, and not with many others priest and laity alike so far as I can tell.  

Initially I was troubled by but willing to give the benefit of the doubt to the Holy Synod when this news broke in July. Since then I have watched how the Holy Synod and Syosset has responded to the concerns of those who didn't buy their story and who believed the Metropolitan to have been wronged.  The more that came out on behalf of Metropolitan Jonah and wall of silence with barely a dribble of useful information from Syosset since has give the lie to what they did so far as I can tell.  I don't trust them or believe them anymore…not where it touches upon Metropolitan Jonah…and given the frosty reception of their deed by the MP makes me more not less sure that our synod did not do right by Metropolitan Jonah and need to fix things as well as they can be at this stage.
 

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I don't put as much stock in the "wall of silence" as evidence, as you do. I have personally witnessed bishops being raked over the coals for not being "transparent" about situations where they could not give details, for ethical and legal reasons, if nothing else.

As I've said before, I love Metropolitan Jonah, and have had the privilege of meeting and talking with him. I was certainly ready to hit the barricades in his defense, but oddly enough, the things that you cite as being most troubling (the Holy Synod letter, Metropolitan Jonah's resignation letter, the whole mess about the priest, and the Synod's silence) are the most convincing for me, not some anonymous internet or facebook poster. With my experience working for religious organizations, and as a human resource manager, this all seems fairly typical and not some vast conspiracy to bring down Metropolitan Jonah.
Could it have been handled better by everyone concerned? Probably. But that is a moot point now. Would reinstating Metropolitan Jonah solve his issues of temperament and lack of administrative skills? Probably not.
 

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Seraphim98 said:
Those are some mighty important "if"s you have there.
They are. While in this age of the internet I'm in as good a position as any to learn how both sides of this feel and why…I'm not in a position verify very much from either side. My trust blindly quotient is sorely depleted…though based on the preponderance of what I've learned I lean heavily towards Metropolitan Jonah. I think the best interests of the OCA faithful would be well served by having some outside Hierarchs unconnected to our squabble sort this out.

At present I'm convinced Metropolitan Jonah was wronged, his self stated deficiencies of OCA administrative mindset notwithstanding. The question for me is, how is it to be made right. I think an apology for slandering his name is in order at a minimum. And I think he should either be given a diocese in the OCA or permitted to go to another jurisdiction. While I personally think was and could be a good metropolitan, pragmatically it may not be the best thing for us for him to be given the white hat again…not long term at any rate…there's enough toxic feeling on that front from both sides to suggest peace in the Body would be better served without that. If it is given again, then just long enough to clean house and set things right…or right enough.
Seraphim--Do you even know what "slander" is? Do you know that to accuse anyone of slander, let alone a priest or hierarch, without incontrovertible evidence is a great wrong? I submit to you is that you have been reading opinions and not real evidence to allow you to reach the conclusion that you have reached.
 

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Would reinstating Metropolitan Jonah solve his issues of temperament and lack of administrative skills? Probably not.
Given the present state of division, probably not. That said I don't believe…not yet anyway…that he lacks the necessary temperament and skills to be a good Metropolitan…I think he didn't have the temperament and skills to deal with the situation he found where most who were supposed to be helping him undermined him.

As for situations of necessary confidentiality, I understand those cautions. They just don't strike me as the case here.  If it were they could simply say there are other reasons that for sake of confidentiality we are not free to go into at this time.

And as I've said…its what I've seen in the aftermath of the resignation that puts me more and more solidly on the side of those who believe he was wronged.  The way his name was slandered to the press…the barely concealed contempt from some of those connected to his ouster, the reaction of the MP, the financial hostage situation they have over him and his dependent family. The bizarre and even cruel restriction of his serving and reciving communion to a single parish…I would love to see an explanation for that. That's not nothing in my book. There is vindictive layer to all this I find very troubling. I would like to see some light shined in on this whole affair.
 

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Do you even know what "slander" is? Do you know that to accuse anyone of slander, let alone a priest or hierarch, without incontrovertible evidence is a great wrong? I submit to you is that you have been reading opinions and not real evidence to allow you to reach the conclusion that you have reached.
I think I do. It is serious, I agree. The evidence that is out there bears every fingerprint of slander so far as I can tell.  I am thinking specifically of couching his resignation in such a way as to make it look like he was somehow involved with the coverup/gross mismanagement of a sexual scandal.  Look at the headlines on the article released to the Chicago Tribune.  What impression does it make? How is it not slanderous?  Others in leadership linked his name with the crimes of Jerry Sandusky…come on. http://articles.chicagotribune.com/2012-07-19/news/chi-church-reveals-reason-behind-leaders-resignation-20120719_1_resignation-letter-bishops-handful-of-orthodox-clergy

Doesn't that article make Metropolitan Jonah sound pretty horrible. Yet, there was no rape. No attempted rape. Nor is it certain he mishandled the priest in question…more and more it looks like he didn't mishandle things with this priest at all. Even the context of his asking forgiveness for his deficits of leadership ability were intercut in such a way as to make it look like he was acceding to culpability in this accusation, when that, as you know was not the case. There's no doubt this article was constructed with the defamation of Jonah's character in mind. This is simply maliciousness directed against Metropolitan Jonah. That's what I mean by the slander of his name.  And if this article was a "mistake" made by some journalist…where is the Holy Synod's reply to correct the record. I know of none.
 

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Carl Kraeff (Second Chance) said:
Seraphim98 said:
Those are some mighty important "if"s you have there.
They are. While in this age of the internet I'm in as good a position as any to learn how both sides of this feel and why…I'm not in a position verify very much from either side. My trust blindly quotient is sorely depleted…though based on the preponderance of what I've learned I lean heavily towards Metropolitan Jonah. I think the best interests of the OCA faithful would be well served by having some outside Hierarchs unconnected to our squabble sort this out.

At present I'm convinced Metropolitan Jonah was wronged, his self stated deficiencies of OCA administrative mindset notwithstanding. The question for me is, how is it to be made right. I think an apology for slandering his name is in order at a minimum. And I think he should either be given a diocese in the OCA or permitted to go to another jurisdiction. While I personally think was and could be a good metropolitan, pragmatically it may not be the best thing for us for him to be given the white hat again…not long term at any rate…there's enough toxic feeling on that front from both sides to suggest peace in the Body would be better served without that. If it is given again, then just long enough to clean house and set things right…or right enough.
Seraphim--Do you even know what "slander" is? Do you know that to accuse anyone of slander, let alone a priest or hierarch, without incontrovertible evidence is a great wrong? I submit to you is that you have been reading opinions and not real evidence to allow you to reach the conclusion that you have reached.
I would even go so far as to say that to accuse the Synod of slandering Metropolitan Jonah without incontrovertible evidence that they have done so is in itself slander against the Synod, which I posit Seraphim98 may be guilty of doing. That's why I've counseled him, to no avail, to withhold judgment even after he does have all the facts.
 

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On the question of slander with respect to the Holy Synod, Here is what His Grace Bishop Tikhon has to say…and he is saying essentially what I've been saying…but he's a bishop. He has been a member of this same Holy Synod in years past. He's no choir boy for Metropolitan Jonah so I think his opinion on this situation matters. This is what he has to say over on Monomackhos. I delete personal references he makes because they are not relevant to this discussion. I would link to the specific comment rather than quote the whole thing but I don't know how…so if this is an improper length quote perhaps a moderator can do the kindness of fixing the link back.

When you write: “Obviously, I also disagree with your less than charitable characterization of the Holy Synod’s letter as “slanderous and deceitful.” You have in effect called our bishops (indeed the entire Holy Synod) as slanderers and liars.”

If you are referrring to that STINKBOMB of a “Statement”, that was NOT written by the bishops, but by Gregg Nescott and others. There is no copy of that Statement at Syosset or anywhere which has appended at the bottom the signatures of the members of the Holy Synod, as has been customary for Synodal “Statements.” So the slanderous and deceitful contents of that STINKBOMB do not besmirch the Holy Synod at all, except insofar as the Synod members allowed (if they knew of it) a a statement go out that they did not author. “Slanderous and deceitful” accurately characterize the assumption of that ‘Statement” that Father Sharon was a cleric of the OCA and had been received into the OCA. We are STILL waiting for an acknowledgement of that slander and deceit and an apology for them.

Another most egregious characteristic of that badly written, noxious statement was its claim that the hierarchs were “bewildered” by Metropolitan Jonah’s conduct!!!!! This is bona fide prima facie evidence that they had not done due diiligence before THEY elected the tyro-bishop Jonah to be the first among them!!! While previous Holy Synods had had the b.. I mean, courage, to overrule the popular vote when in their considered judgment it was a mistake, THIS Holy Synod went ahead and slavishly followed the popular vote, perhaps out of “fear of the people.’ And now they had the nerve to complain about being “bewildered” in their choice? Metropolitan Ireney was elected in spite of an overwhelming majority of popular votes for Bishop Vladimir (Nagossky). Metropolitan

Theodosius was elected by the Holy Synod in spite of an overwhelming majority of popular votes for Bishop Dmitri. Metropolitan Herman was elected by the Holy Synod in spite of an overwhelming majority of popular votes for Bishop Seraphim (Storheim). Who wants to say that those Synods were defective? Metropoliltan Vladimir Nagossky retired in disgrace, while Archbishop Seraphim is in an even more problematic situation.
When today’s Holy Synod allows an incredible barrage of negative information to be bruited (often by themselves, collectively and individually) about Metropolitan Jonah, they have NEVER owned up to their responsibility for him and his incumbency. They and they alone elected him and there were others they could have elected: not only the aqed Archbishop Dmitri but even an Archbishop with a long history of alcoholic blackouts in New England and the Midwest, but, NO, THEY elected Bishop Jonah. WHEN have they ever asked for forgiveness for that from the Clergy and Faithful of The Orthodox Church in America? Surely, if half of what they are saying about Metropolitan Jonah is true, such an apology and repentance is indicated, no? WHATEVER Metropolitan Jonah’s failings, he did not deserve the prideful and petty treatment meted out to him by his brother hierarchs, the ones who consecrated him Bishop and who CHOSE him as their own Primate.

To use a polite word to characterize someone, ... then qualify it as a ‘polite euphemism”, is a very sleazy sort of personal attack and backbiting.
His Grace's proposition is simple, though others within the administration of the OCA have issued statements that are indeed slanderous in their content with respect to Metropolitan Jonah, the members of the Holy Synod never signed any of these statements. They have not slandered him directly. Yet, they are the ultimate pastoral authority in the OCA…and so far they have made no move to disavow these uncharitable and misleading official statements nor to correct the record. At a minimum that suggests a certain degree of agreement with the content of those statements, and therefore it is not unreasonable to construe a share in the burden of the blame rightly attached to those statements.

With respect to the question of my characterization of the Holy Synod's behavior and responsibilities in this matter here is my moral dilemma. One one hand there is a good, decent, humble man who may not have been an able administrator of a large organization (just for the sake of argument) who by all appearances has been treated very poorly by his brother bishops and the administrative higher ups of the OCA. He has had his name smeared by untruths in the public press and our leaders have stood by silently or complicit in the deed. It is wrong to stand idly by while someone is abused by others who for the nonce have the power to do so. At the very least the injustice can protested, so those who have done the wrong cannot escape the light public accountability for their actions…or inactions…they don't get the privilege of secrecy.

On the other side we have a holy synod of bishops who by virtue of their office in the Church are due an extraordinary degree of deference by the laity in the exercise of their office. 

But in this situation the two are in conflict. To remain silent in the face of what has been done to Metropolitan Jonah is to leave an innocent man to the whim of those who do him wrong. If were just a question of the synod making a decision I didn't like or understood, I would not be so public with my questioning of their deeds and their intent. Being silent would be the right thing to do. But there is more here than just a decision of policy or vision…here they touch flesh and blood in the name of all of us. It is injustice to remain silent concerning Metropolitan Jonah and yet it is overbold perhaps to criticize and question the integrity of the Holy Synod as a whole. What is one to do? How is one to balance the two imperatives? All I can come up with is to ask which is the greater sin…to let Metropolitan be vilified in silence or to form no opinions and make no judgements concerning the decisions of the Holy Synod simply because they are the Holy Synod with no regard to how they exercise that authority.  I don't see how that balancing act can be sustained indefinitely. In the end I have come to the conclusion that the greater sin in this instance is to not defend the integrity of Metropolitan Jonah over that of the Holy Synod.

It is not by any stretch a good place to be…but I don't see any other place to stand that is faithful to Christ and His Church…not for me at any rate…not as things stand.
 

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Seraphim98 said:
On the question of slander with respect to the Holy Synod, Here is what His Grace Bishop Tikhon has to say…and he is saying essentially what I've been saying…but he's a bishop. He has been a member of this same Holy Synod in years past. He's no choir boy for Metropolitan Jonah so I think his opinion on this situation matters. This is what he has to say over on Monomackhos. I delete personal references he makes because they are not relevant to this discussion. I would link to the specific comment rather than quote the whole thing but I don't know how…so if this is an improper length quote perhaps a moderator can do the kindness of fixing the link back.

When you write: “Obviously, I also disagree with your less than charitable characterization of the Holy Synod’s letter as “slanderous and deceitful.” You have in effect called our bishops (indeed the entire Holy Synod) as slanderers and liars.”

If you are referrring to that STINKBOMB of a “Statement”, that was NOT written by the bishops, but by Gregg Nescott and others. There is no copy of that Statement at Syosset or anywhere which has appended at the bottom the signatures of the members of the Holy Synod, as has been customary for Synodal “Statements.” So the slanderous and deceitful contents of that STINKBOMB do not besmirch the Holy Synod at all, except insofar as the Synod members allowed (if they knew of it) a a statement go out that they did not author. “Slanderous and deceitful” accurately characterize the assumption of that ‘Statement” that Father Sharon was a cleric of the OCA and had been received into the OCA. We are STILL waiting for an acknowledgement of that slander and deceit and an apology for them.

Another most egregious characteristic of that badly written, noxious statement was its claim that the hierarchs were “bewildered” by Metropolitan Jonah’s conduct!!!!! This is bona fide prima facie evidence that they had not done due diiligence before THEY elected the tyro-bishop Jonah to be the first among them!!! While previous Holy Synods had had the b.. I mean, courage, to overrule the popular vote when in their considered judgment it was a mistake, THIS Holy Synod went ahead and slavishly followed the popular vote, perhaps out of “fear of the people.’ And now they had the nerve to complain about being “bewildered” in their choice? Metropolitan Ireney was elected in spite of an overwhelming majority of popular votes for Bishop Vladimir (Nagossky). Metropolitan

Theodosius was elected by the Holy Synod in spite of an overwhelming majority of popular votes for Bishop Dmitri. Metropolitan Herman was elected by the Holy Synod in spite of an overwhelming majority of popular votes for Bishop Seraphim (Storheim). Who wants to say that those Synods were defective? Metropoliltan Vladimir Nagossky retired in disgrace, while Archbishop Seraphim is in an even more problematic situation.
When today’s Holy Synod allows an incredible barrage of negative information to be bruited (often by themselves, collectively and individually) about Metropolitan Jonah, they have NEVER owned up to their responsibility for him and his incumbency. They and they alone elected him and there were others they could have elected: not only the aqed Archbishop Dmitri but even an Archbishop with a long history of alcoholic blackouts in New England and the Midwest, but, NO, THEY elected Bishop Jonah. WHEN have they ever asked for forgiveness for that from the Clergy and Faithful of The Orthodox Church in America? Surely, if half of what they are saying about Metropolitan Jonah is true, such an apology and repentance is indicated, no? WHATEVER Metropolitan Jonah’s failings, he did not deserve the prideful and petty treatment meted out to him by his brother hierarchs, the ones who consecrated him Bishop and who CHOSE him as their own Primate.

To use a polite word to characterize someone, ... then qualify it as a ‘polite euphemism”, is a very sleazy sort of personal attack and backbiting.
His Grace's proposition is simple, though others within the administration of the OCA have issued statements that are indeed slanderous in their content with respect to Metropolitan Jonah, the members of the Holy Synod never signed any of these statements. They have not slandered him directly. Yet, they are the ultimate pastoral authority in the OCA…and so far they have made no move to disavow these uncharitable and misleading official statements nor to correct the record. At a minimum that suggests a certain degree of agreement with the content of those statements, and therefore it is not unreasonable to construe a share in the burden of the blame rightly attached to those statements.

With respect to the question of my characterization of the Holy Synod's behavior and responsibilities in this matter here is my moral dilemma. One one hand there is a good, decent, humble man who may not have been an able administrator of a large organization (just for the sake of argument) who by all appearances has been treated very poorly by his brother bishops and the administrative higher ups of the OCA. He has had his name smeared by untruths in the public press and our leaders have stood by silently or complicit in the deed. It is wrong to stand idly by while someone is abused by others who for the nonce have the power to do so. At the very least the injustice can protested, so those who have done the wrong cannot escape the light public accountability for their actions…or inactions…they don't get the privilege of secrecy.

On the other side we have a holy synod of bishops who by virtue of their office in the Church are due an extraordinary degree of deference by the laity in the exercise of their office. 

But in this situation the two are in conflict. To remain silent in the face of what has been done to Metropolitan Jonah is to leave an innocent man to the whim of those who do him wrong. If were just a question of the synod making a decision I didn't like or understood, I would not be so public with my questioning of their deeds and their intent. Being silent would be the right thing to do. But there is more here than just a decision of policy or vision…here they touch flesh and blood in the name of all of us. It is injustice to remain silent concerning Metropolitan Jonah and yet it is overbold perhaps to criticize and question the integrity of the Holy Synod as a whole. What is one to do? How is one to balance the two imperatives? All I can come up with is to ask which is the greater sin…to let Metropolitan be vilified in silence or to form no opinions and make no judgements concerning the decisions of the Holy Synod simply because they are the Holy Synod with no regard to how they exercise that authority.  I don't see how that balancing act can be sustained indefinitely. In the end I have come to the conclusion that the greater sin in this instance is to not defend the integrity of Metropolitan Jonah over that of the Holy Synod.

It is not by any stretch a good place to be…but I don't see any other place to stand that is faithful to Christ and His Church…not for me at any rate…not as things stand.
But you don't know where things stand. You're too busy making snap judgments.
 

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Is there any real proof it's actually Bishop Tikhon? It's the Internet and people lie, a lot. If it is really him, I'd expect him to confirm it in real life, if not, no one should trust the poster.
 

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"Seraphim98"  In Reply No. 610, you pasted a quote from "Monomakhos" (written by Bishop Tikhon, former bishop of Los Angeles, I think) which in part indicates "Metropolitan Vladimir Nagossky resigned in disgrace."  Do you know why he resigned?  I never heard, I wasn't as involved in those days.  I'm interested in him because he is from my area and attended high school with my Dad.  (PM me if that is appropriate.)
 

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Sorry, I've never heard/seen his name before. He must have been around long before my time in the OCA as well. You might pop over to Monomakos and drop a message to Bishop Tikhon (or other places he posts) or to one of the older posters there. They might know.
 

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88Devin12 said:
Is there any real proof it's actually Bishop Tikhon? It's the Internet and people lie, a lot. If it is really him, I'd expect him to confirm it in real life, if not, no one should trust the poster.
Perhaps, but from my past exchanges with Bishop Tikhon elsewhere this surely is his style.
 

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88Devin12 said:
Is there any real proof it's actually Bishop Tikhon? It's the Internet and people lie, a lot. If it is really him, I'd expect him to confirm it in real life, if not, no one should trust the poster.
It is definitely the retired Bishop Tikhon.  He has been a fairly prolific contributor to a few different internet forums for many years.  If you want confirmation of his identity, I'm sure you could track down his phone number and give him a call. 
 

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Seraphim98 said:
The evidence that is out there bears every fingerprint of slander so far as I can tell.  I am thinking specifically of couching his resignation in such a way as to make it look like he was somehow involved with the coverup/gross mismanagement of a sexual scandal.
He was indeed charged with gross mismanagement of cases related to clergy sexual misconduct. He was charged with noncompliance with the policy that +Jonah himself had promulgated. Now, there can be differences of opinion on whether the charges of "gross mismanagement" were justified. To make these charges with no substantive reasons would indeed be slanderous. However, the Holy Synod said that there was a pattern of such misbehavior/mismanagement/malfeasance (you choose your term) and documented the latest such instance. No slander is even apparent in the letter. No slander unless one is predisposed to disbelief anything said against +Jonah--even if it is said by the highest canonical authority of the OCA.

 Look at the headlines on the article released to the Chicago Tribune.  What impression does it make? How is it not slanderous?  Others in leadership linked his name with the crimes of Jerry Sandusky…come on. http://articles.chicagotribune.com/2012-07-19/news/chi-church-reveals-reason-behind-leaders-resignation-20120719_1_resignation-letter-bishops-handful-of-orthodox-clergy
So, now the OCA is accused of writing the headlines for national and regional newspapers? Are you aware that not even writers of articles have final say so over the headlines? This whole notion that the OCA is somehow responsible for journalistic malpractice is frankly naive and/or malicious. I suggest that you ask Monomakhos regulars to write letters to editors to the relevant papers to protest the slant that they have taken. BTW, has +Jonah tried to clear this up on his own and through his lawyer? I think that the lawyer has. Case closed.

Doesn't that article make Metropolitan Jonah sound pretty horrible. Yet, there was no rape. No attempted rape. Nor is it certain he mishandled the priest in question…more and more it looks like he didn't mishandle things with this priest at all. Even the context of his asking forgiveness for his deficits of leadership ability were intercut in such a way as to make it look like he was acceding to culpability in this accusation, when that, as you know was not the case. There's no doubt this article was constructed with the defamation of Jonah's character in mind. This is simply maliciousness directed against Metropolitan Jonah. That's what I mean by the slander of his name.  And if this article was a "mistake" made by some journalist…where is the Holy Synod's reply to correct the record. I know of none.
For the fourth (or tenth time), it does not matter if the allegations were proven or not, The problem is how +Jonah handled the allegation; he mishandled it to such an extent that it was the straw that broke the camel's back. His brother bishops therefore asked him to resign. Nothing slanderous here either.

You do bring up an interesting angle, however, that with your veiled idea that +Jonah has agreed to different accusations, while in fact he did not believe they were valid. Be careful my friend, you are mighty close to depicting a man who caves in, not to physical torture or even psychological duress, but to any confrontation. I have read folks try to hint that this shows a person who is always willing to take the blame, to sacrifice himself for the good of the body. I do not see that because, if that were the case, he would not have gone back on his word (like he did after Santa Fe). Please be careful lest you inadvertently depict a man who cannot keep to his word and who has violated his consecration oath.
 

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Speaking as the Section Moderator, I am cautioning everyone that Forum participants are not allowed to make unsubstantiated charges of illegal or uncanonical behavior against people, particularly hierarchs. Usually, moderators will ask for evidence to back up such allegations withing 48-72 hours. I have not done so in this thread so far because I believe that most, if not all posters, have meant well and posted with some restraint. However, from this point on, if a poster makes accusations of serious civil, criminal or canonical crimes (including libel or slander), I will ask for the accuser to produce evidence within 72 hours. Thanks, Carl Kraeff
 

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While I can not say much, after speaking with someone who was very high ranking as both a friend and confidante of Met. Jonah, and way more in the know of the last year of Met. Jonah's leadership... Someone who was/is in the Met. Council, I feel as though I have come to terms with most if not all of this issue.
So why post here, or even bother reading this debate? Because I know that there are those who will read my post and their hearts will hopefully rest easier as well.
What is done, is done.

Nothing is as it seems regarding this issue. What I hope many understand (the Monomakhos bunch notwithstanding) is that there is no singular issue which on it's own stands alone as the cause for Met. Jonah's resignation, but a series of events spanning his placement on that throne.

Do I believe the Synod handled it well? No. It has a terrible grasp on PR. So what?! We are a young church and haven't learned how to handle that stuff yet. It's still the closest thing to THE North American Orthodox Church and by God's grace it will grow into that.  And as it does, this synod will.come and go.

I only pray that once Parma settles it, that people can actually get focused on building their church instead of tearing it apart due to the loyalty they have for a man.
 

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I do so hope, that a good metropolitan will be elected at Parma, and can lead the church to peace. Otherwise, schism or worse might happen. Many OCA parishioners and members have "defected" to area ROCOR churches and churches of other jurisdictions.
 

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Do I believe the Synod handled it well? No. It has a terrible grasp on PR. So what?! We are a young church and haven't learned how to handle that stuff yet. It's still the closest thing to THE North American Orthodox Church and by God's grace it will grow into that.  And as it does, this synod will.come and go
I understand your position. However I hope that all American Jurisdictions will be dissolved and one American Jurisdiction created. If the OCA were the chosen Church of America, I'd probably go ROCOR as well.

PP
 

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primuspilus said:
Do I believe the Synod handled it well? No. It has a terrible grasp on PR. So what?! We are a young church and haven't learned how to handle that stuff yet. It's still the closest thing to THE North American Orthodox Church and by God's grace it will grow into that.  And as it does, this synod will.come and go
I understand your position. However I hope that all American Jurisdictions will be dissolved and one American Jurisdiction created. If the OCA were the chosen Church of America, I'd probably go ROCOR as well.

PP
I've said it before and I'll say it again...the united American Orthodox church will not be the OCA as it is legally constituted today as a new legal entity - both from a canon law and secular law point of view. Of course, not everyone will be happy and not everyone will sign up - that's part of our 't'radition as well!
 

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simplygermain said:
While I can not say much, after speaking with someone who was very high ranking as both a friend and confidante of Met. Jonah, and way more in the know of the last year of Met. Jonah's leadership... Someone who was/is in the Met. Council, I feel as though I have come to terms with most if not all of this issue.
So why post here, or even bother reading this debate? Because I know that there are those who will read my post and their hearts will hopefully rest easier as well.
What is done, is done.

Nothing is as it seems regarding this issue. What I hope many understand (the Monomakhos bunch notwithstanding) is that there is no singular issue which on it's own stands alone as the cause for Met. Jonah's resignation, but a series of events spanning his placement on that throne.

Do I believe the Synod handled it well? No. It has a terrible grasp on PR. So what?! We are a young church and haven't learned how to handle that stuff yet. It's still the closest thing to THE North American Orthodox Church and by God's grace it will grow into that.  And as it does, this synod will.come and go.

I only pray that once Parma settles it, that people can actually get focused on building their church instead of tearing it apart due to the loyalty they have for a man.
Thank you for your informative post.  I always suspected something like what you wrote was actually the situation.

The OCA's next primate needs to be a humble man of prayer, a healer, a teacher of Holy Orthodox Christian practice, not a dynamic progressive.
 

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The new united church will be mandatory, if people choose not to join, they will become schismatics and won't be in the church anymore.

As a member of the OCA, I don't care who we are "under" as long as we are one church.

My only worry is with the EP and how close he is coming to the heresy of ecumenism, I'd rather not be under him if he pushes it too far.
 

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Basil 320 said:
simplygermain said:
While I can not say much, after speaking with someone who was very high ranking as both a friend and confidante of Met. Jonah, and way more in the know of the last year of Met. Jonah's leadership... Someone who was/is in the Met. Council, I feel as though I have come to terms with most if not all of this issue.
So why post here, or even bother reading this debate? Because I know that there are those who will read my post and their hearts will hopefully rest easier as well.
What is done, is done.

Nothing is as it seems regarding this issue. What I hope many understand (the Monomakhos bunch notwithstanding) is that there is no singular issue which on it's own stands alone as the cause for Met. Jonah's resignation, but a series of events spanning his placement on that throne.

Do I believe the Synod handled it well? No. It has a terrible grasp on PR. So what?! We are a young church and haven't learned how to handle that stuff yet. It's still the closest thing to THE North American Orthodox Church and by God's grace it will grow into that.  And as it does, this synod will.come and go.

I only pray that once Parma settles it, that people can actually get focused on building their church instead of tearing it apart due to the loyalty they have for a man.
Thank you for your informative post.  I always suspected something like what you wrote was actually the situation.

The OCA's next primate needs to be a humble man of prayer, a healer, a teacher of Holy Orthodox Christian practice, not a dynamic progressive.
They need their own version of Archbishop Demetrios, who came into troubled waters and gracefully, with a prayerful spirit, calmed the waters.
 

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88Devin12 said:
The new united church will be mandatory, if people choose not to join, they will become schismatics and won't be in the church anymore.

As a member of the OCA, I don't care who we are "under" as long as we are one church.

My only worry is with the EP and how close he is coming to the heresy of ecumenism, I'd rather not be under him if he pushes it too far.
The old canard about the Ecumenical throne, 'heresy' and 'ecumenism' will never go away. Some will only be satisfied if mandatory anathemas are 'added' to each of our liturgies and other services.

I am not suggesting that Devin holds to such an extreme position, but one needs to read the published papers of the international and national consultations, parse the sermons and patriarchal encyclicals (reading through the diplomatic Byzantine-speak of the old court is part of the problem - too much flowery mush....) and one will not find heresy or even the scent of the same therein. The divisions between Rome and the Orthodox are laid out plainly and without sugar coating. I can't help it if the western media, the Italians in particular, read what they want to read in those pronouncements - but they do not evince the grave accusation of heresy in the least as I see it.

To work towards a goal of overcoming our earthly divisions without compromising our faith is, to me, not a vain exercise - but in the face of an irreligious planet and an aggresisve Muslim world growing by tens of millions a decade - it is a necessity.
 

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i wonder if those two clowns, dreher and cone are the sons of job or part of it. judging by the fervor displayed ...
 

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Clowns?. I've no idea about Cone (not sure who that is) but it is not likely to include Mr. Dreher in my estimation. This is because I believe Mr. Dreher is leaving the OCA for ROCOR and thus no longer has a dog in this fight…not directly at any rate. That and I've noticed for the past several weeks he has made no comment on the current situation in the OCA with respect to Metropolitan Jonah that I'm aware of in the usual places. And third according to a post just a couple of hours ago he just got back from a month long vacation with his family….sort of doubt the lady of the house would take kindly to his poking the internet coals while they were supposed to be getting away from it all.
 

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primuspilus said:
Basil 320 said:
Re. Reply No. 625

Yes, "podkarpatska," my thoughts exactly.
I agree. That would be perfect.

PP
Perhaps the OCA delegates on the 13th  should consider looking outside of the box towards an older man.

After all when our Archbishop was appointed it was a surprise as he was of retirement age at that point in time. There surely are older, widowed priests within the OCA who would have the PASTORAL  temperament AND EXPERIENCE within the OCA to enter the arena and provide an iconic example of a mature, solid person with inner toughness and a kind heart. I don't really know their clergy, but I am sure that sure men exist and looking outside of their current Synod but from WITHIN the OCA might be a way to start to heal their divisions.
 

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One thing the delegates to the forthcoming All-American Council should consider, or perhaps that wouldn't be the most appropriate form, but in order to correcting the abuses of the all powerful former Chancellor, RSK, the OCA has its primary church officers reporting to the Metropolitan.  That should be changed, essentially they report to no one.  The Chancellor's supervisory authority of the Central Church personnel, should be restored, of course he should report to the Metropolitan, on behalf of the Synod in that regard.  Also, the Metropolitan must reside in some close proximity to the Central Church Administration in Oyster Bay Cove.  He cannot effectively work with the Central Church Administration without being in the office regularly.  The past two primates have resided outside of the immediate area of the Central Church Administration, which has worked to the detriment of effective church administration; (understandably, the auxiliary bishop who is an assistant to the Metropolitan should continue to report the Metropolitan).  While I think the Metropolitan should maintain an office and a residence in Washington D.C. in conjunction with his episcopal responsibilities to the Diocese of Washington, it's a small enough diocese to allow him the time to fulfill his primatial responsibilities.
 

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podkarpatska said:
Perhaps the OCA delegates on the 13th  should consider looking outside of the box towards an older man.

After all when our Archbishop was appointed it was a surprise as he was of retirement age at that point in time. There surely are older, widowed priests within the OCA who would have the PASTORAL  temperament AND EXPERIENCE within the OCA to enter the arena and provide an iconic example of a mature, solid person with inner toughness and a kind heart. I don't really know their clergy, but I am sure that sure men exist and looking outside of their current Synod but from WITHIN the OCA might be a way to start to heal their divisions.
This is what some are proposing. For instance, there is a group on Monomakhos.com that proposes to vote for Metropolitan Hilarion (Kapral), head of ROCOR, as the next OCA metropolitan. This may be ridiculous, but could be the best proposal, if Metropolitan Jonah cannot be restored. If so, then Metropolitan Hilarion will keep +Jonah as an auxiliary to supervise Washington,DC (Bishop of Tenleytown?). St. Nicholas Cathedral is in Tenleytown, so the designation will work.
 

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ilyazhito said:
podkarpatska said:
Perhaps the OCA delegates on the 13th  should consider looking outside of the box towards an older man.

After all when our Archbishop was appointed it was a surprise as he was of retirement age at that point in time. There surely are older, widowed priests within the OCA who would have the PASTORAL  temperament AND EXPERIENCE within the OCA to enter the arena and provide an iconic example of a mature, solid person with inner toughness and a kind heart. I don't really know their clergy, but I am sure that sure men exist and looking outside of their current Synod but from WITHIN the OCA might be a way to start to heal their divisions.
This is what some are proposing. For instance, there is a group on Monomakhos.com that proposes to vote for Metropolitan Hilarion (Kapral), head of ROCOR, as the next OCA metropolitan. This may be ridiculous, but could be the best proposal, if Metropolitan Jonah cannot be restored. If so, then Metropolitan Hilarion will keep +Jonah as an auxiliary to supervise Washington,DC (Bishop of Tenleytown?). St. Nicholas Cathedral is in Tenleytown, so the designation will work.
A point of quibble.

St. Nicholas Cathedral is in Glover Park.  As someone who used to live in both Tenleytown and Glover Park, the distinction is important.

thank you.

:police:
 

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Well, for the First Hierarch of ROCOR to leave his diocese and his position of First Hierarch and accept the nomination of the OCA would require a 'done deal' well in advance of any such scenario - one which church protocol (and I suspect canon law as well) would require the advance intervention of the Holy Synod of the OCA to initiate - and to also obtain the consent of the Church of Russia which has final authority over her self-ruling entities. The whole notion that this could happen presupposes that Metropolitan Hilarion (Kapral) would even want the position in the first place. And the idea that he would appoint Metropolitan Jonah as his 'auxiliary' and leave him and his supporters unsupervised in his backyard is hardly something which any new Metropolitan could unilaterally accomplish. After all, he is not supreme like the Pope in his domain. He would need the consensus of the other bishops to take such an action. Anyone laying odds on that happening? I think not.

Everyone who is posting here and on Monomakhos seems to ignore any non-monastic or non-episcopal candidates which I think is a mistake - if a man possessed of the proper pastoral credentials and a personality suited to calming chaos exists out there I would pray that he be given serious consideration. Look outside the box for goodness sake with proper vetting. While it is true that they looked outside of the OCA for  several of their last diocesan bishop  perhaps, those men, while good candidates in general or on paper, really didn't have a true understanding of the nature of the OCA.

 

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podkarpatska said:
Everyone who is posting here and on Monomakhos seems to ignore any non-monastic or non-episcopal candidates which I think is a mistake - if a man possessed of the proper pastoral credentials and a personality suited to calming chaos exists out there. They looked outside of the OCA for their last several diocesan bishops and perhaps, those men, while good candidates really didn't have a true understanding of the nature of the OCA.
Is this your round-a-bout manner of asking to be a candidate?
 

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orthonorm said:
podkarpatska said:
Everyone who is posting here and on Monomakhos seems to ignore any non-monastic or non-episcopal candidates which I think is a mistake - if a man possessed of the proper pastoral credentials and a personality suited to calming chaos exists out there. They looked outside of the OCA for their last several diocesan bishops and perhaps, those men, while good candidates really didn't have a true understanding of the nature of the OCA.
Is this your round-a-bout manner of asking to be a candidate?
No - I am lacking in any number of qualifications including marital status, being non-clerical and not being of the OCA. I am simply suggesting to those online that across the spectrum of American Orthodoxy there are other examples to look to in how Bishops come to be and many folks, myself included,  who have been active laity in those jurisdictions and who have some semblance of understanding of how the Church functions and how canon law and practicality work should work together - not at opposites.
 

ilyazhito

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I don't necessarily agree with Monomakhos, I am just saying that there are some strange opinions in the Orthodox net-sphere. The OCA's in a jam, but hopefully God will get us out of this jam.
 

88Devin12

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ilyazhito said:
I don't necessarily agree with Monomakhos, I am just saying that there are some strange opinions in the Orthodox net-sphere. The OCA's in a jam, but hopefully God will get us out of this jam.
I never look at it, but decided to the other day and saw that they are already calling this upcoming AAC a "Robber Council". We have some weird people in our church.
 
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