Author Topic: Metropolitan Jonah Speaks  (Read 2313 times)

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Offline Orthodoc

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Metropolitan Jonah Speaks
« on: December 03, 2008, 10:34:49 PM »

When an Orthodox bishop enters a sanctuary, he is traditionally greeted with the following words chanted in Greek -- "eis polla eti, despota."

In English this means, "Many years to you, Master." Witty bishops in the Orthodox Church in America have started using this sentiment as the punch line in a joke about the impact the episcopate can have on their egos.

"What happens to a guy?", said Bishop Jonah, during the church's All American Council in Pittsburgh. "You put him on a stand in the middle of the church, you dress him up like the Byzantine emperor and you tell him to live forever. You know?"

The audience of clergy and lay leaders laughed, but it was nervous laughter. The atmosphere in the recent gathering was so tense, Bishop Jonah said later, that some of the bishops were afraid that "everything was about to unravel."

Only 10 days earlier, the 49-year-old monk had been consecrated as assistant bishop of Dallas. Now, he was facing the clergy and lay leaders of a flock that was reeling after years of bitter scandal -- including the disappearance of $4 million -- that had forced the church's last two leaders out of office.

The new and, thus, unstained bishop volunteered to face the assembly and answer hard questions about reform. The bottom line, he said, was that investigators found a "fundamentally sick," corrupt culture inside the national headquarters that was rooted in fear and intimidation.

"Yes, we were betrayed. Yes, we were raped. It's over. It's over," said Bishop Jonah. In fact, whenever church members seek healing, "we have to confront the anger and the bitterness and the hurts and the pain and the resentment that we have born within us as reactions against the people who have hurt us.

"By forgiving, we're not excusing the actions. … We're not justifying anything. What we're saying is, 'My reaction is destroying me and I need to stop it. If I value Jesus Christ and the Gospel and communion with God, I need to stop it and move on.' "

The audience responded with a standing ovation.

Then, 11 days after he became a bishop, the assembly -- in a move that shocked young and old -- elected Jonah as the new Metropolitan of All America and Canada. Current plans call for his enthronement at on Dec. 28th at St. Nicholas Cathedral in Washington, D.C.

The new leader of the Orthodox Church in America, which has its roots in Russia, was born James Paffhausen in Chicago and raised as an Episcopalian. He converted to Orthodoxy during his college years in California, went to seminary and, while studying in Russia in 1993, became a novice at the famous Valaam Monastery. After returning to America, he was ordained and spent 12 years building several missions and the Monastery of St. John of San Francisco in northern California.

Becoming a bishop turned his once secluded life upside down, explained Jonah. Now it's hard to even discuss his stunning election as primate on Nov. 12.

"They talk about 'his beatitude' and I wonder who that is," he said. "Your beatitude? Who? Where?"

On his 12th day as a bishop, he found himself delivering an address on his "vision for the church." The new Metropolitan Jonah stressed college ministry, calling for Orthodox housing facilities and evangelistic ministries near as many campuses as possible, to help students living in "Animal House" conditions rooted in "sex, drugs, alcohol and despair."

It's also time for leaders in the church's many ethnic U.S. jurisdictions to work together on charitable projects whenever and wherever they can, grassroots projects that he said will eventually produce Orthodox unity at the national, hierarchical level. Where are the Orthodox hospitals, schools and nursing homes?

If nationwide change is going to happen, said Jonah, it will have to grow out of respect and cooperation at all levels of the church.

"Hierarchy is only about responsibility, it's not all of this imperial nonsense," he said. "Thank God that we're Americans and we have cast that off. We don't need foreign despots. We are the only non-state Orthodox church. In other words, we are the only Orthodox church that does not exist under the thumb of a state -- either friendly or hostile.

"So the church is our responsibility, personally and collectively, individually and corporately. What are you going to do with it?"

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Orthodoc

           
Oh Lord, Save thy people and bless thine inheritance.
Grant victory to the Orthodox Christians over their adversaries.
And by virtue of thy Cross preserve thy habitation.

Offline Fr. George

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Re: Metropolitan Jonah Speaks
« Reply #1 on: December 03, 2008, 11:44:14 PM »
Great article and quotes; where did you find this article?
"O Cross of Christ, all-holy, thrice-blessed, and life-giving, instrument of the mystical rites of Zion, the holy Altar for the service of our Great Archpriest, the blessing - the weapon - the strength of priests, our pride, our consolation, the light in our hearts, our mind, and our steps"
Met. Meletios of Nikopolis & Preveza, from his ordination.

Offline scamandrius

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Re: Metropolitan Jonah Speaks
« Reply #2 on: December 04, 2008, 12:53:27 AM »
God grant the hierarch many years!  I hope that the OCA is back on the right track with him at the helm.
I seek the truth by which no man was ever harmed--Marcus Aurelius

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Offline Tamara

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Re: Metropolitan Jonah Speaks
« Reply #3 on: December 04, 2008, 01:05:43 AM »
This speech is fantastic. Wow! Axios, Mustahek! He is worthy!

Its funny, at our retreat, I spoke to one of the monks who was under the then-abbot Jonah. He told me six months
ago, while the abbot and the monks were eating dinner one night, they were all discussing the future of Orthodoxy in America as a whole. The monk then shared with me,"And now, our former abbot is in the position to actually make decisions which will effect the future of our faith."

Offline orthodoxlurker

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Re: Metropolitan Jonah Speaks
« Reply #4 on: December 04, 2008, 01:19:25 AM »
Many years, Master!

 :angel: :angel: :angel:
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Offline ytterbiumanalyst

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Re: Metropolitan Jonah Speaks
« Reply #5 on: December 04, 2008, 11:05:44 AM »
At the risk of inflating his ego, "Eis polla eti Dhespota!"
"It is remarkable that what we call the world...in what professes to be true...will allow in one man no blemishes, and in another no virtue."--Charles Dickens

Offline EofK

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Re: Metropolitan Jonah Speaks
« Reply #6 on: December 04, 2008, 12:10:04 PM »
Many years indeed!  He sounds to be a down-to-earth man.
Human beings, who are almost unique in having the ability to learn from the experience of others, are also remarkable for their apparent disinclination to do so. -- Douglas Adams

Offline mike

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Re: Metropolitan Jonah Speaks
« Reply #7 on: December 04, 2008, 02:38:27 PM »
Wen I was reading this for a first time, I thought that it was copied from The Onion Dome :)

Offline Orthodoc

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Re: Metropolitan Jonah Speaks
« Reply #8 on: December 04, 2008, 02:42:27 PM »
Great article and quotes; where did you find this article?


From -

http://tmatt.gospelcom.net/

Terry Mattingly (www.tmatt.net) directs the Washington Journalism Center at the Council for Christian Colleges and Universities. He writes this weekly column for the Scripps Howard News Service.

   
=================

Orthodoc
Oh Lord, Save thy people and bless thine inheritance.
Grant victory to the Orthodox Christians over their adversaries.
And by virtue of thy Cross preserve thy habitation.

Offline Fr. George

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Re: Metropolitan Jonah Speaks
« Reply #9 on: December 04, 2008, 03:13:49 PM »
From -

http://tmatt.gospelcom.net/

Terry Mattingly (www.tmatt.net) directs the Washington Journalism Center at the Council for Christian Colleges and Universities. He writes this weekly column for the Scripps Howard News Service.

   
=================

Orthodoc

Thank you.  I had a dual purpose for asking - first being that I really wanted to know who wrote the article, second being that I didn't want you to be accused of plagiarizing.
"O Cross of Christ, all-holy, thrice-blessed, and life-giving, instrument of the mystical rites of Zion, the holy Altar for the service of our Great Archpriest, the blessing - the weapon - the strength of priests, our pride, our consolation, the light in our hearts, our mind, and our steps"
Met. Meletios of Nikopolis & Preveza, from his ordination.

Offline Fr. David

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Re: Metropolitan Jonah Speaks
« Reply #10 on: December 04, 2008, 04:27:47 PM »
Many years, master.
Priest in the Orthodox Church in America - ordained on March 18, 2012

Oh Taste and See (my defunct blog)

From Protestant to Orthodox (my conversion story)

Offline mike

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Re: Metropolitan Jonah Speaks
« Reply #11 on: December 27, 2008, 03:15:27 PM »
http://ancientfaith.com/specials/podup/oca15aac/bishop_jonah_addresses_questions

Has someone found a transcript of this? English is foreign to me and in some moments it's hard to understand.

TIA
« Last Edit: December 27, 2008, 03:17:11 PM by mike »

Offline ilyazhito

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Re: Metropolitan Jonah Speaks
« Reply #12 on: December 25, 2011, 05:08:32 PM »
Many Years!
Eis polla eti Dhespota!