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

FormerReformer

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FatherGiryus said:
Dear Augustin,

If you carefully comb through the controversies surrounding Met. Jonah, you will see the 'culture war' was by far a small bump in His Beatitude's road as First Hierarch.

The main problems he encountered came from speeches in which he offended the Church of Constantinople in an unpolitical way, then later called the Tomos of Autocephaly of the OCA into question by essentially implying it could be given up in favor of an arrangement with the Episcopal Assembly. In both cases, the Holy Synod was caught off-guard, since these were major issues (inter-Orthodox relations and autocephaly itself) that the HS has a role in.

His Beatitude had a habit of musing in public, which is never something that someone of such consequence should do.  After all, when he speaks, he speaks not for himself but the entire OCA.  It appears that he never entirely grasped the idea that the OCA is a large ship and that you can't jerk the wheel this way or that before you end up breaking the rudder.

This was all the more magnified when he agreed to take a leave of absence, then 'un-agreed' after the meeting with his bishops.  His pattern of quick decisions that led him to even quicker changes of mind really made working with him difficult.  But, it was his ignoring of the other bishops that ultimately did him in.  They tried to explain to him why he could not simply move the whole operation of the OCA to Washington, DC, during a true financial crisis, and he never seemed to accept the advice.  He tried to jerk the wheel, and ended up in conflict with his own administration.

Then, there was his unfortunate involvement with Fr. Joseph Fester that was uncovered by the leaked emails posted on OCANews.  I'm sure you don't want to wade into that controversy here.

In the end, Met. Jonah is a good man, but very clearly not cut out for the job.  This is not an insult, not every monk is material for such an office.  It just did not work out.  The difficulty of the OCA is that it has had a string of bad choices, which is really painful when you are a young church.  Let's hope the next metropolitan is a better fit.



augustin717 said:
Gorazd said:
For those here who are members of OCA parishes: What do the faithful in your parish think about this issue? Is this all just something going on in the Synod, or were the laypeople and parish clergy also discontent with Met. Jonah's leadership? Would they prefer to keep him?
From my limited experience: there are those thatmourn him as if it's a presage of the world's ending, and there are those that are glad; he was really naive though thinking that he can just dive head in into the whole "culture-war" the way he did, when his church wasn't on the same page as him by and large. But with friends like Dreher, a metropolitan hardly needs enemies.
And now the Synod has shown why Metropolitan Jonah was right and that the Tomos is worth a roll of used toilet paper in the face of possible American unity. We really don't have a mature enough church in this nation for autocephaly, and won't until after a century or so of actually having a united American Church.
 

username!

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If part of the heat he did take was because he was interested in the Chambessey agreement than kudos to Met. Jonah.  If the church is to move forward in the Americas in accordance with the signed by all the leaders of autochephalous churches than one will have to comply with the wishes of the church versus going it alone and being left out.  I wouldn't want his job and I commend him for taking the reigns.  
 

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You need to realise that the chambessey agreement (signed by all of the leaders of autochephalous churches, oca being represented by the MP) from what I gather the church in the Americas will be one that is autonomous under the EP.  Don't kill the messenger.  I'm just saying what I've been told.  I wouldn't want to be a bishop let alone be a metropolitan.  Anyone that takes the job has more brass in them than I have.
 

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Sad news.  Just out of curiousity, how common is the deposition of a primate in history?  I've read a reasonalbe amount, and the impression I get is that it's extraordinary and often either the result of misconduct or (more often) political factors, e.g. the case of EP Arsenios and Emperor Michael Palaeologos. 

(I'm not accusing Metropolitan Jonah or the Synod of anything, just making a statement)
 

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username! said:
You need to realise that the chambessey agreement (signed by all of the leaders of autochephalous churches, oca being represented by the MP)
no, the MP did not represent the OCA.
username! said:
from what I gather the church in the Americas will be one that is autonomous under the EP.  Don't kill the messenger.  I'm just saying what I've been told.  I wouldn't want to be a bishop let alone be a metropolitan.  Anyone that takes the job has more brass in them than I have.
That was the Phanar's plan, but things have not gone according to plan.
 

ialmisry

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MarkosC said:
Sad news.  Just out of curiousity, how common is the deposition of a primate in history?  I've read a reasonalbe amount, and the impression I get is that it's extraordinary and often either the result of misconduct or (more often) political factors, e.g. the case of EP Arsenios and Emperor Michael Palaeologos.   

(I'm not accusing Metropolitan Jonah or the Synod of anything, just making a statement)
Quite common, unfortunately.  During the Turkokratia, for instance, the chair of St. Andrew at Constantinople was a musical chair.
 

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FormerReformer said:
FatherGiryus said:
Dear Augustin,

If you carefully comb through the controversies surrounding Met. Jonah, you will see the 'culture war' was by far a small bump in His Beatitude's road as First Hierarch.

The main problems he encountered came from speeches in which he offended the Church of Constantinople in an unpolitical way, then later called the Tomos of Autocephaly of the OCA into question by essentially implying it could be given up in favor of an arrangement with the Episcopal Assembly. In both cases, the Holy Synod was caught off-guard, since these were major issues (inter-Orthodox relations and autocephaly itself) that the HS has a role in.

His Beatitude had a habit of musing in public, which is never something that someone of such consequence should do.  After all, when he speaks, he speaks not for himself but the entire OCA.  It appears that he never entirely grasped the idea that the OCA is a large ship and that you can't jerk the wheel this way or that before you end up breaking the rudder.

This was all the more magnified when he agreed to take a leave of absence, then 'un-agreed' after the meeting with his bishops.  His pattern of quick decisions that led him to even quicker changes of mind really made working with him difficult.  But, it was his ignoring of the other bishops that ultimately did him in.  They tried to explain to him why he could not simply move the whole operation of the OCA to Washington, DC, during a true financial crisis, and he never seemed to accept the advice.  He tried to jerk the wheel, and ended up in conflict with his own administration.

Then, there was his unfortunate involvement with Fr. Joseph Fester that was uncovered by the leaked emails posted on OCANews.  I'm sure you don't want to wade into that controversy here.

In the end, Met. Jonah is a good man, but very clearly not cut out for the job.  This is not an insult, not every monk is material for such an office.  It just did not work out.  The difficulty of the OCA is that it has had a string of bad choices, which is really painful when you are a young church.  Let's hope the next metropolitan is a better fit.



augustin717 said:
Gorazd said:
For those here who are members of OCA parishes: What do the faithful in your parish think about this issue? Is this all just something going on in the Synod, or were the laypeople and parish clergy also discontent with Met. Jonah's leadership? Would they prefer to keep him?
From my limited experience: there are those thatmourn him as if it's a presage of the world's ending, and there are those that are glad; he was really naive though thinking that he can just dive head in into the whole "culture-war" the way he did, when his church wasn't on the same page as him by and large. But with friends like Dreher, a metropolitan hardly needs enemies.
And now the Synod has shown why Metropolitan Jonah was right and that the Tomos is worth a roll of used toilet paper in the face of possible American unity. We really don't have a mature enough church in this nation for autocephaly, and won't until after a century or so of actually having a united American Church.
LOL.  You should see all the "maturity" in the Mother Churches.
 

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ialmisry said:
MarkosC said:
Sad news.  Just out of curiousity, how common is the deposition of a primate in history?  I've read a reasonalbe amount, and the impression I get is that it's extraordinary and often either the result of misconduct or (more often) political factors, e.g. the case of EP Arsenios and Emperor Michael Palaeologos.   

(I'm not accusing Metropolitan Jonah or the Synod of anything, just making a statement)
Quite common, unfortunately.  During the Turkokratia, for instance, the chair of St. Andrew at Constantinople was a musical chair.
Oh, right. To say nothing of the Patriarchates under the EP at the time.......  :(
 

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In my parish I know of no one who does not hold His (former?) Beatitude in the highest regard.  We rejoiced when he was consecrated in Dallas, and though saddened by the loss we rejoiced when he was chosen as Metropolitan. We supported him in his course corrections within the OCA and his stance against ecclesial bullying from some quarters of the Orthodox world.  We knew he had a steep learning curve and we knew he might make the occasional impolitic stumble or gaff…it goes with the territory of what he was called to do.  In this situation I am reminded of St. Athanasius driven from his patriarch throne by detractors who were later proven enemies of the Church.

Had things not gone as they have these past few days, just speaking for myself, I had high hopes that Fr. Gerasim might be consecrated and sent to the Diocese of the South (I still hope he is consecrated and given a diocese in the OCA), but things being as they are…I and so far as I know…the rest of those in the OCA in MS…certainly the vast majority here would rejoice to see Met. Jonah given back to us in the Diocese of the South. I suspect that is the general feeling throughout the Diocese. 
 

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FatherGiryus said:
 They tried to explain to him why he could not simply move the whole operation of the OCA to Washington, DC, during a true financial crisis, and he never seemed to accept the advice.  
I don't doubt this, Father, but it had been a running joke in non-OCA circles that the autocephalous (usually said derisively) Orthodox Church of America was managed out of a P.O. Box in NY.  I can't blame the man for trying to improve the image and legitimacy of the organization.

That said, I get your broader point.

I hope it all sorts itself.
 

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Metropolitan Jonah is a good man, but St. Athanasius? The Great? Not so much :). I hope he finds a home in the South all the same...

Seraphim98 said:
In my parish I know of no one who does not hold His (former?) Beatitude in the highest regard.  We rejoiced when he was consecrated in Dallas, and though saddened by the loss we rejoiced when he was chosen as Metropolitan. We supported him in his course corrections within the OCA and his stance against ecclesial bullying from some quarters of the Orthodox world.  We knew he had a steep learning curve and we knew he might make the occasional impolitic stumble or gaff…it goes with the territory of what he was called to do.  In this situation I am reminded of St. Athanasius driven from his patriarch throne by detractors who were later proven enemies of the Church.

Had things not gone as they have these past few days, just speaking for myself, I had high hopes that Fr. Gerasim might be consecrated and sent to the Diocese of the South (I still hope he is consecrated and given a diocese in the OCA), but things being as they are…I and so far as I know…the rest of those in the OCA in MS…certainly the vast majority here would rejoice to see Met. Jonah given back to us in the Diocese of the South. I suspect that is the general feeling throughout the Diocese. 
 

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I think Met. Jonah was a massive failure for the OCA, and I definitely share Fr. Giyrus' sentiments.

TBH he was actually a reason why I did not consider being baptized in the OCA.
 

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Achronos said:
I think Met. Jonah was a massive failure for the OCA, and I definitely share Fr. Giyrus' sentiments.

TBH he was actually a reason why I did not consider being baptized in the OCA.
Bit much and a bit misguided [edit: misguided as a reason not to be baptized into the OCA, not your opinion] don't you think?  He's not our pope.

I have my own opinions about most of the bigshots (Met. Philip, for certain), but the effectiveness shouldn't strongly affect my decision to join a particular jurisdiction.
 

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Forgive me, yes it was a bit much, but honestly the state that the OCA is in I think represents the stewardship from Met. Jonah.
 

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MarkosC said:
Sad news.  Just out of curiousity, how common is the deposition of a primate in history?  I've read a reasonalbe amount, and the impression I get is that it's extraordinary and often either the result of misconduct or (more often) political factors, e.g. the case of EP Arsenios and Emperor Michael Palaeologos.   

(I'm not accusing Metropolitan Jonah or the Synod of anything, just making a statement)
Metropolitan Jonah was not deposed.
 

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Achronos said:
Forgive me, yes it was a bit much, but honestly the state that the OCA is in I think represents the stewardship from Met. Jonah.
I disagree.  Metropolitan Jonah may not have had the administrative skills needed to turn the OCA around administratively, (nor the talents even to serve effectively in the primacial see), but the problems of today are not attributable to him.  Don't forget the SIC Report which summarizes the decline in the Orthodox Church in America attributable to the "misfeasance, malfeasance, and nonfeasance" of the administrations of the Former Metropolitans, Theodosios and Herman, and even more so to their Chancellor, Robert Kondratick, who was a Protopresbyter, but was unfrocked due to the malfeasance attributable to his "stewardship" as Chancellor.  As I recall, the SIC Report determined that there were 19 years of financial abuse, mismanagement--to use a polite term.

Never-the-less, by and large, the failings of the OCA's Central Administration in that period did not detract from the holiness of most of the priests and the parishes. And let's not ignore the administrative integrity and spirituality of the Ever-Memorable, Archbishop Job of Chicago, or of Archbishop Seraphim of Dallas, of Blessed Memory.

I don't know the answer, but it's going to take a very special hierarch, in collaboration with the Holy Synod, the national church officers, and the Metropolitan Council, to reinvigorate church wide respect for the work of the national church.  Unfortunately, I could be wrong, but I don't see any of the current members of the OCA's Holy Synod, as being up to the extraordinary challenges of which the primate will be confronted.  I think back to the work and tenure of Archbishop Athenagoras of America, who was the primate and only ruling bishop of the GOAA, from 1931 to 1948, before his election to the Throne of the Ecumenical Patriarchate; his sacrificial tenure was characterized by a healing of divisions in most communities across North America, and development of national Archdiocesan institutions, like establishing a seminary during the Great Depression, the Holy Cross School of Theology.  (Although, the GOAA was in a far worse situation when +Athenagoras ascended the Throne of America, than is the OCA  today.)
 

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Yep, St. Athanasius…not because I think Metropolitan Jonah is at present of the same depth of theological accomplishment/spiritual life…though…who knows what things may come between this present breath and his last, God willing, many years hence.  I made the comparison because HB has faced hinky opposition almost from day one…the politics of the synod…or at least some substantial quarters of it do not strike me as altogether consistent with Orthodoxy. It has made his job much tougher than it need have been. Granted he is weary, and probably as he said not temperamentally (there's some code in that word) suited to be the Metropolitan….one wonders just what type of temperament it takes…but that doesn't mean that he should not have been our hierarch, or that he was doing the job badly…just perhaps out of step with ecclesial interests which he questioned…in short for all his learning, wisdom, pastoral insight, and vision he was alas insufficiently byzantine in his political machinations to get what he wanted…while others more cunning at that art arranged for the synod's unanimous request for his resignation…at least that how it seems from here. May it please God not to have been so cynical and political…In any event HB was forced to resign and I think not justly (time will tell on that point) and this is not dissimilar to when St. Athanasius was driven from his throne.  At least it's not quite as bad as what happened to St. John Chrysostom.  So, yep…St. Athanasius.
 

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Archbishop Seraphim?  Don't you mean Archbishop Dimitri? St. Seraphim is the Cathedral…not it's late bishop…if I'm not mistaken.
 
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