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Author Topic: Met. Jonah to be put on leave  (Read 24291 times) Average Rating: 0
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Maria
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« Reply #135 on: February 27, 2011, 09:18:44 PM »

This is a transcription of Metropolitan Jonah's Lenten Sermon that a friend gave to me:

Quote
Dearly Beloved in Christ,

I greet you with the feast of the Last Judgment as we prepare ourselves for the Great and Holy Lenten Fast.

It is with sadness today that I address you, not because of the content of what I have to say, but because of the manner in which it needs to be said. As many of you know, in line with the longstanding tradition in the church of an intensified prayer life during Lent, I as a diocesan bishop, requested from my brothers on the Holy Synod to set aside a period of time for myself during the Great Fast to spend in personal reflection and renewal. Due to the complexity of my work and travel schedule since my becoming Metropolitan, this will be the first extended period of rest that I have taken in quite some time. I am extremely grateful to my brothers for granting me this request, and for taking on the burden of added responsibility to their already busy schedules: Bishop Tikhon is now the locum tenens of the Diocese of the Midwest, and Bishop Nikon is now the locum tenens of the Diocese of the South.

I had intended, and still plan on doing so, to rest as much as possible during the Great Fast, spending time with loved ones and celebrating and attending the Divine Services at my Primatial Cathedral of St Nicholas in Washington.

However, due to inaccurate reporting on the Internet stating that I had been deposed, that I had resigned, that I am on a leave of absence, rumors that have spread worldwide and have caused great concern among many. I owe you the faithful of this diocese clarification of the facts.

I am still your Metropolitan. I am still your diocesan bishop. I am still the active primate of the Orthodox Church in America. The reports are not true. I am merely taking a retreat, a time for reflection.

I have requested a time of rest. In line with the Holy Canons, the Statute of the Orthodox Church in America, and the good order of the church, no major decisions will be made without my knowledge and consent. His Eminence, Archbishop Nathaniel will be assisting the officers of the church in day-to-day operations. His Grace, Bishop Melchisadek has been kind enough to offer his support in the role of interim Chancellor of the OCA. In line with the statute of the OCA, I am postponing the official spring meetings of the Holy Synod and the Metropolitan Council until the period of time after Pascha. The members of the Holy Synod of Bishops of the Orthodox Church in America have been informed of this postponement.

As the Lord said in the midst of His disciples, “Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you… Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.” I love you, I thank you for your continued support and prayers, and look forward to celebrating the Great and Holy Fast with you as we make the journey to the Pascha of Our Lord. Now, let us forget about what lies behind and push forward to lies ahead.

Editing to add the link provided below: https://www.facebook.com/note.php?note_id=113623668714840&id=134925193236272

Thanks to TE for providing the link.
« Last Edit: February 27, 2011, 09:32:08 PM by Maria » Logged

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« Reply #136 on: February 27, 2011, 09:22:17 PM »

Somehow my download was corrupted. I tried to download it three times and at the same place it malfunctioned when it talked about preparing for Great Lent.

Could someone kindly give me a synopsis?

Thanks.

The below was posted on the public FB page of St. Nicholas Cathedral in DC (the Metropolitan's cathedral).

If you are on Facebook, the link to the page with this text is https://www.facebook.com/note.php?note_id=113623668714840&id=134925193236272

You have to have a Facebook account in order to view the transcript of the Metropolitan's talk, which is why I am providing the entire text, rather than just the link. It is not yet on the cathedral's website.

Edited to add: I had just posted the text of the Metropolitan's talk but then removed it when I saw the previous poster just above me had posted it. Leaving links to source in my post for verification of where it came from.
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« Reply #137 on: February 27, 2011, 09:31:13 PM »

Somehow my download was corrupted. I tried to download it three times and at the same place it malfunctioned when it talked about preparing for Great Lent.

Could someone kindly give me a synopsis?

Thanks.

The below was posted on the public FB page of St. Nicholas Cathedral in DC (the Metropolitan's cathedral).

If you are on Facebook, the link to the page with this text is https://www.facebook.com/note.php?note_id=113623668714840&id=134925193236272

You have to have a Facebook account in order to view the transcript of the Metropolitan's talk, which is why I am providing the entire text, rather than just the link. It is not yet on the cathedral's website.

Edited to add: I had just posted the text of the Metropolitan's talk but then removed it when I saw the previous poster just above me had posted it. Leaving links to source in my post for verification of where it came from.

Thank you so very much for posting that link.

My friend did not post the link or I would have included it.

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« Reply #138 on: February 28, 2011, 12:13:38 AM »

I find Voices from Russia to be pretty insightful when it comes to these affairs.

So do I.  Terms like 'autocephalous fanaticals' turn me off.  It's like the pot calling the kettle black.  After readinf 'voices from Russia' I was completely turned off by what was contained in the posts.

Orthodoc

Yes; pure venom and so much one-sided that you could take everything he/she says and turn it on its head to arrive at a good approximation of the true situation. Rather like the "good old days" when we did this with Pravda.

Have you ever read The Dark is Rising by Susan Cooper? Makes you wonder what side Mark Stokoe is on.

If gossip harms the Holy Church, then is it not of the Light.

Let us pray for Metropolitan Jonah and Mark Stokoe that they may be saved.

One of my favorite series of books!

Regarding gossip, I think it is bad no matter if it harms the Church or not (nothing good can come out of it anyway). However, we should distinguish between reported information that is incomplete or even wrong and information that is published maliciously. Voices from Russia seems to fall into the second category. OCA News, on the other hand, has been by and large a fairly decent news source that has been proven over time to be correct in the vast majority of times. It seems to me that blaming OCA News and Mark Stokoe is akin to shooting the messenger. Now, there may be a case for keeping most folks in the dark "for the good of the Church," but that never works out in the long run. As a fairly regular contributor, I was dismayed to encounter greatly negative feelings against the Metropolitan on OCA News and I posted in favor of the Metropolitan. However, I have slowly started to realize that Metropolitan Jonah has some chinks in his armor--more about leadership style than anything else.  I very much hope and pray that he will come out of his retreat refreshed and ready to assume his role as the Metropolitan of a conciliar OCA that functions in accordance with Canon 34 and her own statutes, policies and procedures.
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« Reply #139 on: February 28, 2011, 11:02:41 AM »

Just a small note on take a "time of rest". The Bishop's job is to lead the church and be the spiritual guide for all of us. You can't take a break from being the leader, you need to lead even when you are not leading. If that means canceling retreats or appearances or lectures or whatever, then that needs to be done. Did Christ take a time of rest? Did the Apostles? Did the Fathers? How about the multitude of Saints? Did John Chrysostom just stop writing for a couple months? I think the idea of the spiritual head of the OCA taking a time of rest really needs to be viewed in a critical light. Just my opinion of course.

-Nick
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« Reply #140 on: February 28, 2011, 11:26:19 AM »

Just a small note on take a "time of rest". The Bishop's job is to lead the church and be the spiritual guide for all of us. You can't take a break from being the leader, you need to lead even when you are not leading. If that means canceling retreats or appearances or lectures or whatever, then that needs to be done. Did Christ take a time of rest? Did the Apostles? Did the Fathers? How about the multitude of Saints? Did John Chrysostom just stop writing for a couple months? I think the idea of the spiritual head of the OCA taking a time of rest really needs to be viewed in a critical light. Just my opinion of course.

-Nick

Christ took time to go and pray by Himself multiple times in the Gospels, and let's not forget the 40 days and nights he spent in the desert preparing for His ministry.

IIRC, there are also rather well spelled out guidelines in the OCA statues, as well as other local churches, for these eventualities.

I hope the people who are whining and moaning about a man who needs a break and has taken the legal steps to see that the Church is in capable hands are as diligent and vigilant about their own spiritual and temporal well being as they are about man whose job is incredible.

Just my opinion, of course.
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« Reply #141 on: February 28, 2011, 12:17:45 PM »

Just a small note on take a "time of rest". The Bishop's job is to lead the church and be the spiritual guide for all of us. You can't take a break from being the leader, you need to lead even when you are not leading. If that means canceling retreats or appearances or lectures or whatever, then that needs to be done. Did Christ take a time of rest? Did the Apostles? Did the Fathers? How about the multitude of Saints? Did John Chrysostom just stop writing for a couple months? I think the idea of the spiritual head of the OCA taking a time of rest really needs to be viewed in a critical light. Just my opinion of course.

-Nick

Christ took time to go and pray by Himself multiple times in the Gospels, and let's not forget the 40 days and nights he spent in the desert preparing for His ministry.

IIRC, there are also rather well spelled out guidelines in the OCA statues, as well as other local churches, for these eventualities.

I hope the people who are whining and moaning about a man who needs a break and has taken the legal steps to see that the Church is in capable hands are as diligent and vigilant about their own spiritual and temporal well being as they are about man whose job is incredible.

Just my opinion, of course.


Okay, touche about Christ taking a leave. The 40 days does qualify as a leave. Taking time out to pray alone, however, does not qualify as a leave. Everyone takes time out alone to pray even if only for a couple of seconds. Sufficient length of time taken out performing no duties of the office, that's an entirely different story.

As far as your comment about people whining and moaning, whether or not others are dilligent and vigilant is none of your concern. Unless of course you intend to "gossip" on the internet.

-Nick
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« Reply #142 on: February 28, 2011, 12:26:20 PM »

Just a note in response to the OCA statutes. I looked over them just now there is nothing relating to taking a leave of absence of the Metropolitan.

-Nick
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« Reply #143 on: February 28, 2011, 12:31:10 PM »

Just a small note on take a "time of rest". The Bishop's job is to lead the church and be the spiritual guide for all of us. You can't take a break from being the leader, you need to lead even when you are not leading. If that means canceling retreats or appearances or lectures or whatever, then that needs to be done. Did Christ take a time of rest? Did the Apostles? Did the Fathers? How about the multitude of Saints? Did John Chrysostom just stop writing for a couple months? I think the idea of the spiritual head of the OCA taking a time of rest really needs to be viewed in a critical light. Just my opinion of course.

-Nick

Christ took time to go and pray by Himself multiple times in the Gospels, and let's not forget the 40 days and nights he spent in the desert preparing for His ministry.

IIRC, there are also rather well spelled out guidelines in the OCA statues, as well as other local churches, for these eventualities.

I hope the people who are whining and moaning about a man who needs a break and has taken the legal steps to see that the Church is in capable hands are as diligent and vigilant about their own spiritual and temporal well being as they are about man whose job is incredible.

Just my opinion, of course.


Schultz, what happened to that Obama-style portrait you had of Met. Jonah that said "AXIOS"?  I loved that.
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« Reply #144 on: February 28, 2011, 12:32:55 PM »

Just a note in response to the OCA statutes. I looked over them just now there is nothing relating to taking a leave of absence of the Metropolitan.

-Nick

That's because he's not on a leave of absence, he's on vacation.  Where in the OCA statute does it say "Metropolitans must be worked to death"?

Would you say Christ's passion is incomplete because he didn't carry his own cross the whole way to Golgotha?
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« Reply #145 on: February 28, 2011, 12:39:56 PM »

I think an exhausted and not terribly healthy bishop taking a break is better than an exhausted and not terribly healthy bishop not taking a break.  The Holy Synod has come to the conclusion that the situation wasn't working and they needed a new plan to get on course.  I know all too well how easy it is to get caught up in pride and conflict with people who are close to you.  I don't have any expectation that bishops and church leaders should never find themselves in those situations.  My expectation is that when they find themselves there that they would stop and step back and work to reconcile and redeem that situation.  I pray that is precisely what is being done.  
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« Reply #146 on: February 28, 2011, 12:53:48 PM »

Just a small note on take a "time of rest". The Bishop's job is to lead the church and be the spiritual guide for all of us. You can't take a break from being the leader, you need to lead even when you are not leading. If that means canceling retreats or appearances or lectures or whatever, then that needs to be done. Did Christ take a time of rest? Did the Apostles? Did the Fathers? How about the multitude of Saints? Did John Chrysostom just stop writing for a couple months? I think the idea of the spiritual head of the OCA taking a time of rest really needs to be viewed in a critical light. Just my opinion of course.

-Nick
Usually how this was handled was a coadjutor bishop was appointed (although the implication of heir apparent was banned by canons).  His Beatitude never struck me as particularly robust and healthy, and he went from being in one place to running all around his Church (his terriotory is far larger than any except Russia's, and all modern Patriarchs and primates of that Church have been bishops for some time before assuming the top spot) , not to mention across the globe.

In this case, I don't think it is just a matter of rest, and that is not just my opinion. There are a number of personality conflicts involved (not that anyone is to blame, sometimes it just works out that way), and now, with the Chambesy meeting collapsing in large part over disagreement over the OCA, a whole new series of nonsense to deal with.  A period of Met. Jonah not being in the center of it might be good.
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« Reply #147 on: February 28, 2011, 12:55:55 PM »

I think an exhausted and not terribly healthy bishop taking a break is better than an exhausted and not terribly healthy bishop not taking a break.  The Holy Synod has come to the conclusion that the situation wasn't working and they needed a new plan to get on course.  I know all too well how easy it is to get caught up in pride and conflict with people who are close to you.  I don't have any expectation that bishops and church leaders should never find themselves in those situations.  My expectation is that when they find themselves there that they would stop and step back and work to reconcile and redeem that situation.  I pray that is precisely what is being done.  

Better the good Metropolitan gets some rest, prayer and reflection rather than having a heart attack, nervous breakdown, a stroke or some other debilitating illness.  As for this crazy idea that hierarchs cannot take a break, throughout Church history, hierarchs have been known to go on short or long retreats and breaks.
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« Reply #148 on: February 28, 2011, 12:59:08 PM »

He works despite his leave: http://byztex.blogspot.com/2011/02/met-christopher-of-czech-lands-visits.html
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« Reply #149 on: February 28, 2011, 01:04:07 PM »

I think an exhausted and not terribly healthy bishop taking a break is better than an exhausted and not terribly healthy bishop not taking a break.  The Holy Synod has come to the conclusion that the situation wasn't working and they needed a new plan to get on course.  I know all too well how easy it is to get caught up in pride and conflict with people who are close to you.  I don't have any expectation that bishops and church leaders should never find themselves in those situations.  My expectation is that when they find themselves there that they would stop and step back and work to reconcile and redeem that situation.  I pray that is precisely what is being done.  

Better the good Metropolitan gets some rest, prayer and reflection rather than having a heart attack, nervous breakdown, a stroke or some other debilitating illness.  As for this crazy idea that hierarchs cannot take a break, throughout Church history, hierarchs have been known to go on short or long retreats and breaks.
or otherwise worked to death. I'll vote for the former option.  If he was fiddling while Rome burned, that would be one thing.  I don't think manning the front lines right now would be a good idea.
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« Reply #150 on: February 28, 2011, 01:05:45 PM »

Just a small note on take a "time of rest". The Bishop's job is to lead the church and be the spiritual guide for all of us. You can't take a break from being the leader, you need to lead even when you are not leading. If that means canceling retreats or appearances or lectures or whatever, then that needs to be done. Did Christ take a time of rest? Did the Apostles? Did the Fathers? How about the multitude of Saints? Did John Chrysostom just stop writing for a couple months? I think the idea of the spiritual head of the OCA taking a time of rest really needs to be viewed in a critical light. Just my opinion of course.

-Nick

In this case, I don't think it is just a matter of rest, and that is not just my opinion. There are a number of personality conflicts involved (not that anyone is to blame, sometimes it just works out that way), and now, with the Chambesy meeting collapsing in large part over disagreement over the OCA, a whole new series of nonsense to deal with.  A period of Met. Jonah not being in the center of it might be good.

I wonder how much of this was a result of the Metropolitan of the OCA acting as a diocesan outside the boundaries of his diocese, that is, in matters affecting the entire local church? I am referring to the bedrock of our ecclesiology, Canon 34, that allows diocesans a free hand except for matters of consequence/importance, but restricts the Metropolitan bishop from doing anything that would affect the church without the consent of all of his fellow diocesans. It may be that some diocesans are perfectly happy to cede their authority to the Metropolitan, or a Metropolitan forgets his assigned role and starts acting without consensus--nether situation is right or healthy.
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« Reply #151 on: February 28, 2011, 01:06:27 PM »

This was posted by the OCA this morning:

http://vimeo.com/20435460

Met. Jonah explains the nature of his retreat in order to quell rumors and innuendo.

Thanks for posting this!  Smiley

On a side note (for anyone to answer if you can);  What does the lectern say and why is it in Russian?  Is his Eminence +JONAH in Russia?  If he's in America, why isn't it in English?  
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« Reply #152 on: February 28, 2011, 01:09:27 PM »

This was posted by the OCA this morning:

http://vimeo.com/20435460

Met. Jonah explains the nature of his retreat in order to quell rumors and innuendo.

Thanks for posting this!  Smiley

On a side note (for anyone to answer if you can);  What does the lectern say and why is it in Russian?  Is his Eminence +JONAH in Russia?  If he's in America, why isn't it in English?  

It says "Let us attend" in Russian or Church Slavonic. More than likely it is there because some parishioner long time ago donated the lectern and the priest does not want to hurt anyone's feelings over a matter of little consequence.
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« Reply #153 on: February 28, 2011, 01:26:41 PM »


"...they were invited to the Archbishop’s private quarters for an informal tea where they had the possibility to share in conversation on a wide range of topics of mutual interest."

That's the most adorable sentence I've ever read in my whole life.   Cheesy  They had tea and a conversation!  It's like they are noting strikingly human-like behavior among cyborgs or chimpanzees.  The bishops are becoming more human-like all the time; soon they will be indistinguishable!
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« Reply #154 on: February 28, 2011, 01:28:13 PM »

This was posted by the OCA this morning:

http://vimeo.com/20435460

Met. Jonah explains the nature of his retreat in order to quell rumors and innuendo.

Thanks for posting this!  Smiley

On a side note (for anyone to answer if you can);  What does the lectern say and why is it in Russian?  Is his Eminence +JONAH in Russia?  If he's in America, why isn't it in English?  

It says "Let us attend" in Russian or Church Slavonic.

... a matter of little consequence.
I completely agree.  اذا الرعاية الخاصة التي يمكن للناس ان يفهموا ماذا يجري? وقال إن أيا من الاعمال التي يجب لمجرد الخوض في الاقتراحات دون محاولة فهم.  Smiley



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« Reply #155 on: February 28, 2011, 01:37:46 PM »

Just a note in response to the OCA statutes. I looked over them just now there is nothing relating to taking a leave of absence of the Metropolitan.

-Nick

That's because he's not on a leave of absence, he's on vacation.  Where in the OCA statute does it say "Metropolitans must be worked to death"?

Would you say Christ's passion is incomplete because he didn't carry his own cross the whole way to Golgotha?

The OCA statutes comment was in response to Schultz's IIRC about there being something written in the statutes for such eventualities. I was merely pointing out that no such language exists.

Linking the passion of Christ to a Metropolitan taking a break is a tough comparison even in a liberal sense.

-Nick
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« Reply #156 on: February 28, 2011, 01:41:55 PM »

Just a note in response to the OCA statutes. I looked over them just now there is nothing relating to taking a leave of absence of the Metropolitan.

-Nick

That's because he's not on a leave of absence, he's on vacation.  Where in the OCA statute does it say "Metropolitans must be worked to death"?

Would you say Christ's passion is incomplete because he didn't carry his own cross the whole way to Golgotha?

The OCA statutes comment was in response to Schultz's IIRC about there being something written in the statutes for such eventualities. I was merely pointing out that no such language exists.

Linking the passion of Christ to a Metropolitan taking a break is a tough comparison even in a liberal sense.

-Nick

Is it really a tough comparison?  Our place in life and our individual struggles are often referred to as our cross.  Metropolitan Jonah has been carrying his cross for two years.  How is his stumbling from exhaustion different from the Lord doing the same?
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« Reply #157 on: February 28, 2011, 01:43:50 PM »

Just a small note on take a "time of rest". The Bishop's job is to lead the church and be the spiritual guide for all of us. You can't take a break from being the leader, you need to lead even when you are not leading. If that means canceling retreats or appearances or lectures or whatever, then that needs to be done. Did Christ take a time of rest? Did the Apostles? Did the Fathers? How about the multitude of Saints? Did John Chrysostom just stop writing for a couple months? I think the idea of the spiritual head of the OCA taking a time of rest really needs to be viewed in a critical light. Just my opinion of course.

-Nick

I wonder if any of them had sleep apnia?  Smiley

I also like the image of the devoted servent of God working himself to death.. In reality, we need to make sure our Priests and Bishops take care of themselves.

Civil War Generals would get harshly reprimanded if they exposed themselves to enemy fire. They were  far more valuable alive.
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« Reply #158 on: February 28, 2011, 01:50:48 PM »

Just a note in response to the OCA statutes. I looked over them just now there is nothing relating to taking a leave of absence of the Metropolitan.

-Nick

That's because he's not on a leave of absence, he's on vacation.  Where in the OCA statute does it say "Metropolitans must be worked to death"?

Would you say Christ's passion is incomplete because he didn't carry his own cross the whole way to Golgotha?

The OCA statutes comment was in response to Schultz's IIRC about there being something written in the statutes for such eventualities. I was merely pointing out that no such language exists.

Linking the passion of Christ to a Metropolitan taking a break is a tough comparison even in a liberal sense.

-Nick

Is it really a tough comparison?  Our place in life and our individual struggles are often referred to as our cross.  Metropolitan Jonah has been carrying his cross for two years.  How is his stumbling from exhaustion different from the Lord doing the same?

Yes, it is a tough comparison. I don't remember Archbishop Job of thrice blessed memory taking a break and he has the largest diocese (number of churches) in the OCA. He was head of the Diocese of the Midwest for 17 years........


-Nick
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« Reply #159 on: February 28, 2011, 01:59:58 PM »

Just a note in response to the OCA statutes. I looked over them just now there is nothing relating to taking a leave of absence of the Metropolitan.

-Nick

That's because he's not on a leave of absence, he's on vacation.  Where in the OCA statute does it say "Metropolitans must be worked to death"?

Would you say Christ's passion is incomplete because he didn't carry his own cross the whole way to Golgotha?

The OCA statutes comment was in response to Schultz's IIRC about there being something written in the statutes for such eventualities. I was merely pointing out that no such language exists.

Linking the passion of Christ to a Metropolitan taking a break is a tough comparison even in a liberal sense.

-Nick

Is it really a tough comparison?  Our place in life and our individual struggles are often referred to as our cross.  Metropolitan Jonah has been carrying his cross for two years.  How is his stumbling from exhaustion different from the Lord doing the same?

Yes, it is a tough comparison. I don't remember Archbishop Job of thrice blessed memory taking a break and he has the largest diocese (number of churches) in the OCA. He was head of the Diocese of the Midwest for 17 years........


-Nick

It's funny that you mention that, because if Archbishop Job *had* been able to take a break for his health, he would almost certainly still be alive.

Archbishop Job gone to a diocesan meeting a few days before he ultimately died, and they begged him to see a doctor.  He put it off because he felt he had to keep working, that he couldn't take time off to recover from his pneumonia.  He spent his last night on earth gasping for breath in a recliner, hoping to make it back to Chicago so he could see a doctor at home.  Instead, Archbishop Job died alone and cold in a snowy parking lot.
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« Reply #160 on: February 28, 2011, 02:40:29 PM »

Just a small note on take a "time of rest". The Bishop's job is to lead the church and be the spiritual guide for all of us. You can't take a break from being the leader, you need to lead even when you are not leading. If that means canceling retreats or appearances or lectures or whatever, then that needs to be done. Did Christ take a time of rest? Did the Apostles? Did the Fathers? How about the multitude of Saints? Did John Chrysostom just stop writing for a couple months? I think the idea of the spiritual head of the OCA taking a time of rest really needs to be viewed in a critical light. Just my opinion of course.

-Nick



Christ took time to go and pray by Himself multiple times in the Gospels, and let's not forget the 40 days and nights he spent in the desert preparing for His ministry.

IIRC, there are also rather well spelled out guidelines in the OCA statues, as well as other local churches, for these eventualities.

I hope the people who are whining and moaning about a man who needs a break and has taken the legal steps to see that the Church is in capable hands are as diligent and vigilant about their own spiritual and temporal well being as they are about man whose job is incredible.

Just my opinion, of course.


Schultz, what happened to that Obama-style portrait you had of Met. Jonah that said "AXIOS"?  I loved that.


I have it somewhere on my computer at home.  I'll see if I can't locate it again. Smiley
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« Reply #161 on: February 28, 2011, 03:42:18 PM »

Just a note in response to the OCA statutes. I looked over them just now there is nothing relating to taking a leave of absence of the Metropolitan.

-Nick

That's because he's not on a leave of absence, he's on vacation.  Where in the OCA statute does it say "Metropolitans must be worked to death"?

Would you say Christ's passion is incomplete because he didn't carry his own cross the whole way to Golgotha?

The OCA statutes comment was in response to Schultz's IIRC about there being something written in the statutes for such eventualities. I was merely pointing out that no such language exists.

Linking the passion of Christ to a Metropolitan taking a break is a tough comparison even in a liberal sense.

-Nick

Is it really a tough comparison?  Our place in life and our individual struggles are often referred to as our cross.  Metropolitan Jonah has been carrying his cross for two years.  How is his stumbling from exhaustion different from the Lord doing the same?

Yes, it is a tough comparison. I don't remember Archbishop Job of thrice blessed memory taking a break and he has the largest diocese (number of churches) in the OCA. He was head of the Diocese of the Midwest for 17 years........


-Nick

It's funny that you mention that, because if Archbishop Job *had* been able to take a break for his health, he would almost certainly still be alive.

Archbishop Job gone to a diocesan meeting a few days before he ultimately died, and they begged him to see a doctor.  He put it off because he felt he had to keep working, that he couldn't take time off to recover from his pneumonia.  He spent his last night on earth gasping for breath in a recliner, hoping to make it back to Chicago so he could see a doctor at home.  Instead, Archbishop Job died alone and cold in a snowy parking lot.

When we had St. Alexis choir practice 2 weeks before he went to the Diocesan meeting we told him to go see a doctor and he didn't listen to us. But lets consider it was 17 years..... And it was only a diocesan bishop, not the Metropolitan of the OCA, different office, different standard.

-Nick
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« Reply #162 on: February 28, 2011, 03:46:28 PM »

Just a note in response to the OCA statutes. I looked over them just now there is nothing relating to taking a leave of absence of the Metropolitan.

-Nick

According to Article 2, Section 7 of the statutes of the OCA.  Note the bolded section:
Quote
The following matters are within the jurisdiction and competence of the Holy Synod:
All matters involving doctrine, canonical order, morals, and liturgical practice;
All canonical matters pertaining to the election and consecration of bishops as provided by Article VI;
The establishment of new dioceses, the definition of diocesan boundaries, and the acceptance of dioceses into the jurisdiction of the Orthodox Church in America;
Transfer of bishops and their retirement in accordance with Article VI, Section 7;
The acceptance of bishops from other jurisdictions;
Bishops' leaves of absence;
Bestowing honors upon bishops;
Examination of annual reports by the Metropolitan and the bishops on the fulfillment of their pastoral duties;
Solution of problems arising in the administration of individual dioceses and requiring the judgment of the entire episcopate;
Determination in all complaints involving bishops;
Acting as Supreme Church Court of Appeals for all matters involving bishops, clergy, and laity in accordance with Article XI, Section 6;
Establishment of general policies in relation to other Orthodox Churches and non-Orthodox religious bodies;
Appointment, upon recommendation by the Metropolitan Council, of the Chancellor, Secretary, Treasurer, and other officials whose competence or service extend beyond the boundaries of a single diocese;
Pastoral supervision over all Church organizations whose activity extends beyond the boundaries of a single diocese;
Appointment of committees on matters belonging to the competence of the Holy Synod;
General supervision over Armed Forces Chaplaincies, with the Metropolitan being particularly and immediately responsible in this field;
Decisions in cases involving non-Orthodox clergymen applying for admission into the Orthodox Church;
Supervision over theological schools;
Establishment of standards required for ordination;
Overseeing the missionary, educational, and social programs of the Church;
Supervision of ecclesiastical arts: architecture, iconography, choral music, and other applied arts.
(source: http://www.oca.org/DOCstatute.asp?SID=12&ID=2)

As His Beatitude noted in his remarks, he requested and obtained a leave of absence from the Holy Synod, as per the statutes.  He may be Metropolitan, but he's still a bishop and has acted accordingly.
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« Reply #163 on: February 28, 2011, 04:57:08 PM »

Don't forget that, in addition to his duties and responsibilities as Metropolitan, His Beatitude has also been Locum Tenens of the Diocese of the South at the same time.
Admittedly we are a saintly bunch ( angel) but these administrative duties no doubt added to his already heavy workload.
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« Reply #164 on: February 28, 2011, 05:12:03 PM »

As His Beatitude noted in his remarks, he requested and obtained a leave of absence from the Holy Synod, as per the statutes.  He may be Metropolitan, but he's still a bishop and has acted accordingly.

I think Metropolitan Jonah said that this wasn't even an official leave of absence, just a chance for him to step back from his regular onslaught of duties and travels, so that he could have a little more time to concentrate on his prayer life.  He met with Met. Christopher of the Czech Lands and Slovakia just yesterday.  It's also nice that he doesn't have to be locum tenens of half the vacant dioceses in the country anymore.
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« Reply #165 on: February 28, 2011, 05:12:53 PM »

Don't forget that, in addition to his duties and responsibilities as Metropolitan, His Beatitude has also been Locum Tenens of the Diocese of the South at the same time.
Admittedly we are a saintly bunch ( angel) but these administrative duties no doubt added to his already heavy workload.

Also the Diocese of the Midwest.
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« Reply #166 on: February 28, 2011, 06:15:33 PM »

Not to cause a stir, but in the light of recent scandals would it not be better for the OCA to accept the oversight of a much larger and more stable jurisdiction, like the MP (Or maybe even ROCOR acting as a representative of Moscow).

Things just don't seem to be getting any better in the OCA and it seems like their credibility is starting to lag amongst the faithful.  An act of bowing to some higher oversight may be the best thing to restore public confidence in this jurisdiction.
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« Reply #167 on: February 28, 2011, 07:12:32 PM »

Not to cause a stir, but...

Not to cause offense, but you are...
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« Reply #168 on: February 28, 2011, 07:13:26 PM »

it seems like their credibility is starting to lag amongst the faithful.

I think this is mostly the case among those who have already put little to no faith in God's ability to lead and guide the OCA.

Interestingly enough, the topic didn't even come up for discussion in my church yesterday. I do know for a fact that if this were a serious issue, or was even enough to catch anyone's attention in our church, our priest would have made it a point to discuss the situation with everyone.

I am thankful to everyone who is praying for the OCA and our hierarchs and especially HB.
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« Reply #169 on: February 28, 2011, 07:16:18 PM »


Great picture. Good to see Met. Jonah smiling.
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« Reply #170 on: February 28, 2011, 07:51:23 PM »

Just a small point...

For those who think Archbishop Job of blessed memory didn't get a break - he actually did. The summer before he died, he went to Slovakia for 16 days, a trip he had long wanted to make, as his grandmother had often spoken about it. He mentioned this in his address to the Midwest Diocesan Assembly, less than two months before he died.

It's mentioned on page 7-8 of the below file (from the diocesan website):

http://www.midwestdiocese.org/files/48th%20ASSEMBLY/221-ASSEMBLY-ADDRESS.pdf

Also, as has been related to me by multiple people who had known Archbishop Job for years, His Eminence severely disliked going to the doctor. Period.
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« Reply #171 on: February 28, 2011, 08:58:05 PM »

Not to cause a stir, but in the light of recent scandals would it not be better for the OCA to accept the oversight of a much larger and more stable jurisdiction, like the MP (Or maybe even ROCOR acting as a representative of Moscow).
Russia is a much larger Church, but as a jurisdiction here it is quite small. ROCOR as a whole may be larger, but again as a jurisdiction here, numch smaller than the OCA.

Stability is relative: how many would have said Russia was unstable in 1914?

And problems are never solved by going home to mother.

Quote
Things just don't seem to be getting any better in the OCA and it seems like their credibility is starting to lag amongst the faithful.  An act of bowing to some higher oversight may be the best thing to restore public confidence in this jurisdiction.
because of course the OCA is the only Church to know scandal Roll Eyes

The OCA would lose all its credibility with this Faithful if it went to depend on someone else to solve its problems.  If it "bowed," it will lose all credibilty with everyone, and no one will place their confidence in it again.
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« Reply #172 on: February 28, 2011, 09:17:41 PM »

I'll agree (shock!) with Isa that going under the MP won't necessarily lead to more respect, especially amongst its own people.  Some would go along, and some would go under a different bishop, and some would schism.

The OCA would lose all its credibility with this Faithful if it went to depend on someone else to solve its problems.

I wouldn't make this too big a blanket statement; Cyprus didn't lose credibility, and Jerusalem's wasn't dependent on the move (it either had it or didn't; there don't seem to be too many holding a "middle opinion").
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« Reply #173 on: February 28, 2011, 09:48:58 PM »

I'll agree (shock!) with Isa that going under the MP won't necessarily lead to more respect, especially amongst its own people.  Some would go along, and some would go under a different bishop, and some would schism.

The OCA would lose all its credibility with this Faithful if it went to depend on someone else to solve its problems.

I wouldn't make this too big a blanket statement; Cyprus didn't lose credibility, and Jerusalem's wasn't dependent on the move (it either had it or didn't; there don't seem to be too many holding a "middle opinion").
I'm not sure if I get specifically what you have in mind, Father, about Cyprus and Jerusalem.
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« Reply #174 on: February 28, 2011, 10:13:46 PM »

I wouldn't make this too big a blanket statement; Cyprus didn't lose credibility, and Jerusalem's wasn't dependent on the move (it either had it or didn't; there don't seem to be too many holding a "middle opinion").
I'm not sure if I get specifically what you have in mind, Father, about Cyprus and Jerusalem.

My point was only that there are indeed circumstances that can/have arisen where seeking help from outside to solve problems is appropriate and proper.  Cyprus and Jerusalem have found themselves in such situations in the past decade, albeit for drastically different circumstances than what we've seen in the OCA recently (well, Cyprus' was drastically different; maybe not Jerusalem).  There may be a situation in the future where the OCA would do well to seek outside help; I agree with you that this is not the time, and Robb's suggestion is not the way.
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« Reply #175 on: February 28, 2011, 11:34:49 PM »

I am slightly off topic here but I did not want to start yet another thread.

All this talk about the Metropolitan and not one word about Archpriest Alexander Garklavs, who is as much a man of God, a decent man, a steady and uncompromising leader of the OCA as any clergy man in the history of this Church.

May I remind folks that while the bishops may be the senior officers, the priests and deacons are the ones who make the Church work. The priests, as deputy bishops, and the rest of their congregations are where the true work of the Church happens. For every Hierarchical Divine Liturgy, Vespers, Matins, what have you, there are thousands upon thousands that are led by priests.

I am saddened that there was an apparent conflict of personality between the Metropolitan and the Chancellor. It was the moral and pastoral responsibility of the senior leader to approach the junior one and work things out, as much as it was the responsibility of the junior leader to accomodate the senior. It seems that Father Garklavs was much too honest and straight with the Metropolitan, and perhaps went by the book too much to suit the Metropolitan.

In any case, I am acutely aware that I have come very close to the boundary of gossip. Please consider the foregoing not as fact but strictly as my personal and perhaps wrong opinion. I am not writing this with any motive other than to eulogize the brilliant service of Father Garklavs and to put things in perspective that has been gravely skewed so far.
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« Reply #176 on: March 01, 2011, 01:39:16 AM »

I am slightly off topic here but I did not want to start yet another thread.

All this talk about the Metropolitan and not one word about Archpriest Alexander Garklavs, who is as much a man of God, a decent man, a steady and uncompromising leader of the OCA as any clergy man in the history of this Church.

In all honesty, I think most people here just don't know Fr. Alexander Garklavs and can't say one way or the other.  I know what they've written about him on OCA News.  I met him exactly once, and he seemed like a nice enough priest.  He didn't walk on cloven hooves.  But that's about all I can say, and if you'll forgive me, he could use better character witnesses than the Stokoe gang.

Metropolitan Jonah, on the other hand, is someone most people are familiar with, whether they love him or hate him, and the implications of the ... I almost said scandal but I don't think we're quite there, so I'll simply call it the Late Unpleasantness ... reflect more seriously on the metropolitan than anyone else.  I mean, Fr. Alexander Garklavs can find another job, it's not like he's been deposed.  On the other hand, Metropolitan Jonah's options are basically retaining his office or being shut up into a monastery for the rest of his life.
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« Reply #177 on: March 01, 2011, 01:44:59 AM »

I can only imagine how the communities of the Midwestern Diocese of the OCA would react with Bishop Peter of Cleveland as their administrator :-). (Given the scenario of the OCA being placed under the ROCOR.)
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« Reply #178 on: March 01, 2011, 01:48:17 AM »

I really enjoyed Metropolitan Jonah's articles while he was abbot of St. John's and I've heard only good about his time there, so should recent events result in his early retirement his return to the Manton Monastery wouldn't be such a dead end I think...
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« Reply #179 on: March 01, 2011, 03:15:52 AM »

I really enjoyed Metropolitan Jonah's articles while he was abbot of St. John's and I've heard only good about his time there, so should recent events result in his early retirement his return to the Manton Monastery wouldn't be such a dead end I think...

St. John's already has another abbot, so that wouldn't be appropriate. 

Anyway, if you believe what they write on the Indiana List, apparently some people hope to send Metropolitan Jonah on a one-way trip to New Mexico, and not to be an abbot.
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