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Author Topic: Met. Jonah to be put on leave  (Read 23995 times) Average Rating: 0
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kijabeboy03
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« Reply #180 on: March 01, 2011, 03:19:22 AM »

From my interactions with Fr. Meletius I would think that he'd be happy to be less in the spotlight (especially in a church always on the lookout for men who would make good bishops :-) ), but then again I haven't been in touch with him recently.

The monastery in New Mexico has certainly struggled to make a go of it for quite some time...
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« Reply #181 on: March 01, 2011, 03:39:02 AM »

From my interactions with Fr. Meletius I would think that he'd be happy to be less in the spotlight (especially in a church always on the lookout for men who would make good bishops :-) ), but then again I haven't been in touch with him recently.

The monastery in New Mexico has certainly struggled to make a go of it for quite some time...

Then maybe they should send Fr. Gerasim there.  That would solve their problem as well as the Alaska problem.  I just don't see how running Metropolitan Jonah out of office is going to do anything but create another leadership crisis that the OCA doesn't need.
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« Reply #182 on: March 01, 2011, 10:21:08 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.

IMHO,  Orthodoxy has the Indiana List because we needed something like Purgatory before we reach Heaven.   Shocked
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« Reply #183 on: March 01, 2011, 10:23:51 AM »

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.
I agree - good point.

Quote
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.
The only discussion that I have heard is on fora like this. Our priest did bring it up briefly after the announcements, asking us to pray for His Beatitude.

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I am thankful to everyone who is praying for the OCA and our hierarchs and especially HB.
As are we all!
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« Reply #184 on: March 01, 2011, 10:32:13 AM »

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.
And we don't know that didn't happen. It may or may not. We simply don't know and to assume that it didn't seems to me to be a bit unwarranted at this stage.

Quote
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.
See answer above. We really don't know anything about their interactions or conversations. In any case, someone can truly believe that they are right, honest and operating "by the book" and still be mistaken or misguided. Not saying that this was the case, but we don't know.

Sincere, talented, intelligent people who work together in a common enterprise can still disagree about how to go about accomplishing their goals. I've seen it happen often.
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« Reply #185 on: March 01, 2011, 10:37:03 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.

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.

I can only repeat what I've said
Also, it seems very wrong to dismiss Fr. Alexander, whose reputation is one of an exemplary clergyman and a proficient chancellor.
Indeed! A worthy (adopted) grandson of Abp. John of blessed memory.

On that last note:

That's why George converted.



It seems the Latvian archbishop sent a letter to Larry David to thank him for bringing their church to light. They never got so many inquiries as after that episode aired. LOL.

Btw, Fr. Alexander Garklavs, the OCA Chancellor, is the (adopted) grandson of the last Metropolitan of Latvia before the Soviet Occupation, Arb. John of Chicago of blessed memory.  His adopted son, Fr. Sergei, btw recalls with greatest fondness (I think he actually said it was his favorite memory of this life) being huddled with the other refugees in Czechoslovakia, one step ahead of communist and nazis, in a barn around the Tikhvin Mother of God, bombs bursting all around them.
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« Reply #186 on: March 01, 2011, 10:52:37 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.)
Why would he be bishop (not that the OCA is going under ROCOR)?  Isn't Abp. Alipy still in the Cathedral in Des Plaines, which is 16 miles from Holy Trinity OCA Cathedral (where Fr. Garklavs father served for decades, btw, and his adopted grandfather served as Arrchbishop), a half hour away?
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« Reply #187 on: March 01, 2011, 11:44:05 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.

IMHO,  Orthodoxy has the Indiana List because we needed something like Purgatory before we reach Heaven.   Shocked

I don't know, I think it's more comparable to a gateway to Dante's Inferno.  "Abandon All Hope, Ye Who Enter Here".

Anyway, Bishop Tikhon posted an email that sort of shed light on some of this.  I don't want to quote it, because it frankly made me want to douse my computer in holy water.  But it's on the Indiana List for anybody to see, under the timestamp "Fri, 25 Feb 2011 18:39:06".
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« Reply #188 on: March 01, 2011, 12:36:16 PM »

Archbishop Alypy was/is a wonderful bishop, but he's been wheelchair bound for a while now (years?) and is unable to lead services or the diocese, so Bishop Peter does both in his capacity as administrator. And Vladyka Peter's got a very direct style of leadership, one no doubt very standard in 19th century Russia ;-). From all I've heard he's a good bishop, but my experiences with him contrast markedly with my interactions with Archbishop Job of blessed memory.
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« Reply #189 on: March 01, 2011, 12:36:58 PM »

Fr. Gerasim's such a good man! Provided it works out I think he and Alaska will be a good fit (unlike the last two sent there under Metropolitans Theodosius and Herman).
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« Reply #190 on: March 01, 2011, 01:52:40 PM »

Fr. Gerasim's such a good man! Provided it works out I think he and Alaska will be a good fit (unlike the last two sent there under Metropolitans Theodosius and Herman).

I share your favorable opinion of Fr. Gerasim.  I hope he is able to be consecrated Bishop of Alaska.  However, if things don't work out thanks to the anti-Fr. Gerasim wheelings and dealings going on, my hope is to spare him further pain and harassment, and send him to a place where his talents would be put to good use.
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« Reply #191 on: March 01, 2011, 05:48:09 PM »

I know St. Herman's misses him - if he doesn't get elected Bishop of Sitka or of another diocese, then I doubt there'd be any issue with him returning to Platina.
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« Reply #192 on: March 01, 2011, 06:06:44 PM »

I know St. Herman's misses him - if he doesn't get elected Bishop of Sitka or of another diocese, then I doubt there'd be any issue with him returning to Platina.

They also have another abbot.  The only reason he went across the country to seminary was so people wouldn't use his lack of seminary education against him in considering him for bishop, even though he's been a priest longer than most of the faculty there.
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« Reply #193 on: March 01, 2011, 08:49:18 PM »

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.
And we don't know that didn't happen. It may or may not. We simply don't know and to assume that it didn't seems to me to be a bit unwarranted at this stage.

Quote
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.
See answer above. We really don't know anything about their interactions or conversations. In any case, someone can truly believe that they are right, honest and operating "by the book" and still be mistaken or misguided. Not saying that this was the case, but we don't know.

Sincere, talented, intelligent people who work together in a common enterprise can still disagree about how to go about accomplishing their goals. I've seen it happen often.

My fellow Katherine, I agree with you.  On another forum I post on, another poster said it is clear that the Holy Synod forced +Metropolitan JONAH to take a leave of absence.  I pointed out that it is not really clear that this is what happened.  I pointed out that both +Metropolitan JONAH and the OCA website say that he requested the time off and the Holy Synod granted his request.  I pointed out that none of the people that were present are commenting publicly on what happened--therefore, what is on Mark's site and other places on the internet are technically nothing but hearsay.  
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« Reply #194 on: March 01, 2011, 09:17:06 PM »

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« Reply #195 on: March 01, 2011, 11:40:33 PM »

Not sure why Met Jonah gave such speech in Washington, DC, but this was just posted on the oca website:

http://www.oca.org/news/2438

May be he really needs to see a doctor...
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« Reply #196 on: March 02, 2011, 12:59:15 AM »


SYOSSET, NY [OCA] -- Upon instruction of the Holy Synod of Bishops,
minutes from the pre-lenten retreat in which they participated
February 22-25, 2011 in Santa Fe, NM are now available in PDF format HERE:

http://www.oca.org/PDF/NEWS/2011/2011-0301-public-minutes-santafe.pdf

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« Reply #197 on: March 02, 2011, 01:43:20 AM »

I don't really see any damning revelations in those minutes, except that there are a lot of people trying to turn this silk purse into a sow's ear.  Maybe they should try alchemy instead, as it is fairly cool and has a higher success rate.
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« Reply #198 on: March 02, 2011, 03:13:15 AM »

Ok, so he asked for a leave of absence at the recommendation of the Synod...fair enough. Not sure why they had to make it look like he was requesting it, though. They could have just said, "we recommended it, he accepted" end of story.
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« Reply #199 on: March 02, 2011, 03:20:09 AM »

Ok, so he asked for a leave of absence at the recommendation of the Synod...fair enough. Not sure why they had to make it look like he was requesting it, though. They could have just said, "we recommended it, he accepted" end of story.

I think the point of having him request it, following their recommendation of it, was to make it absolutely clear in the minutes that the leave was voluntary, and was not being used as a euphemism for suspension.
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« Reply #200 on: March 02, 2011, 03:30:24 AM »

Perhaps, but I think it can give some the opposite impression unfortunately. Personally I think it would have been better if they said "we gave him the option to take leave if he wanted to." From the letter, I still have a difficult time determining whether this leave of absence was mandatory or not (if he would have not agreed, would they have still insisted?) Perhaps i'm nitpicking...
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« Reply #201 on: March 02, 2011, 03:36:25 AM »

Perhaps, but I think it can give some the opposite impression unfortunately. Personally I think it would have been better if they said "we gave him the option to take leave if he wanted to." From the letter, I still have a difficult time determining whether this leave of absence was mandatory or not (if he would have not agreed, would they have still insisted?) Perhaps i'm nitpicking...

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« Reply #202 on: March 02, 2011, 04:45:27 AM »

Perhaps, but I think it can give some the opposite impression unfortunately. Personally I think it would have been better if they said "we gave him the option to take leave if he wanted to." From the letter, I still have a difficult time determining whether this leave of absence was mandatory or not (if he would have not agreed, would they have still insisted?) Perhaps i'm nitpicking...

To me, it really doesn't imply that they presented it to Met. Jonah in a "Either take leave or we'll make you" kind of way.  It sounds like they said something like, "We don't think you are doing your job effectively because your health is in such bad shape, please take a break for a couple of months because we're really worried about you," and the Metropolitan agreed without disputing what they said. 

I did get the impression that they might have been more forceful about it if he had declined, like possibly putting him under some kind of disciplinary action until he sought medical attention, depending on the extent and nature of his illness.  But his lack of argument after the idea of leave was presented, makes it sound like he knows he has a problem and wants to do better.
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« Reply #203 on: March 02, 2011, 09:51:42 AM »

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.

Its says nothing about a bishop being allowed or not allowed to take a leave of absence. It merely says that the Synod has control over that issue. You're on very shaky legal ground there my friend.

-Nick
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« Reply #204 on: March 02, 2011, 10:00:30 AM »

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.

Yes, Archbishop Job went to Slovakia and yes he went to Russia too..... But that doesn't mean he dropped everything on a leave of absence. He was still in contact with Fr. John at the Cathedral and other various people involved in the diocese.

As far as your assertion of not liking going to the doctor you are correct. Archbishop Job had a great dislike for 2 things.... Doctors and Plane Rides..... That is why he drove every where he went rather than fly....

-Nick
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« Reply #205 on: March 02, 2011, 10:22:50 AM »

I don't really see any damning revelations in those minutes, except that there are a lot of people trying to turn this silk purse into a sow's ear.  Maybe they should try alchemy instead, as it is fairly cool and has a higher success rate.

Love it! Grin So true...
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« Reply #206 on: March 02, 2011, 10:58:22 AM »

Like idle hands, idle speculation is the Devil's playground. I'm for giving the OCA and the Metropolitan a break as well as our prayers.
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« Reply #207 on: March 02, 2011, 11:27:52 AM »


Quote

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.


Why did Met Jonah say there was "inaccurate reporting" about his leave of absence? It would have been much better to be truthful with his people. That was some "clarification of the facts". His own people are being deceived. I hope he plans to go confession.
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« Reply #208 on: March 02, 2011, 12:49:44 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.

Yes, Archbishop Job went to Slovakia and yes he went to Russia too..... But that doesn't mean he dropped everything on a leave of absence. He was still in contact with Fr. John at the Cathedral and other various people involved in the diocese.

As far as your assertion of not liking going to the doctor you are correct. Archbishop Job had a great dislike for 2 things.... Doctors and Plane Rides..... That is why he drove every where he went rather than fly....
LOL. I remember one time His Grace was giving a talk to the children on Lent, comparing it to a trip.  At one ponit he said "....and then you have to know how long the trip is going to take.  If it is going to take 5 hours....but then some people can make it in 4, [biting lip, gazing up] but we're not going to talk about that......"

Memory Eternal!
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« Reply #209 on: March 02, 2011, 01:22:03 PM »

Haha! He was so wonderful :-). I was so sure we in the Midwest would lose him to the metropolitanate and not to heaven :-/. Memory eternal!
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« Reply #210 on: March 02, 2011, 02:45:37 PM »

Like idle hands, idle speculation is the Devil's playground. I'm for giving the OCA and the Metropolitan a break as well as our prayers.

hmm i always heard it was 'an idle mind'...  angel
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« Reply #211 on: March 02, 2011, 03:14:27 PM »

Like idle hands, idle speculation is the Devil's playground. I'm for giving the OCA and the Metropolitan a break as well as our prayers.

hmm i always heard it was 'an idle mind'...  angel

Maybe, but my great-grandmother always said that "idle hands are the devil's workshop!" before handing me a broom, or a rag and a bucket of soap and water.
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« Reply #212 on: March 13, 2011, 01:00:25 AM »

Bishop Jonah is the best thing to happen to the OCA in 30 years.  He is a great man.  He has also been quite tough in dealing with the Russians and the Greeks in trying to dissolve the OCA and turn the US into, well, a bunch of ethnic churches with the converts going to the OCA and Antiochian churches, with the Greeks having all the money, the Russians not talking to anyone who doesn't speak Russian, and the Serbs doing about the same.

I live in San Diego, where the Metropolitan grew up.  We have 7 different churches from 7 different jurisdictions, Serb, Ukranian, Russian, Greek, OCA, Antiochian, ROCOR, and Moscow.  The Moscow church that I go to is under the only Mexican archpriest in the United States and is almost all converts.  The ROCOR church is highly reactionary refusing to have anything to do with anyone who is not Russian.  The Serb church is huge, beautiful, and has the character of an ethnic church, Catholic or Orthodox, where guests are tolerated, but then frankly advised to go to an Antiochian or OCA.

His Emminence grew up in this kind of atmosphere, and it shaped his outlook.  People driving 40 miles across San Diego valley to go to a church when there was a perfectly nice Orthodox church only 3 miles away.  He wants to unite the churches in the United States, more than anything.....seems to be a noble goal.
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« Reply #213 on: March 13, 2011, 12:03:53 PM »

Bishop Jonah is the best thing to happen to the OCA in 30 years.  He is a great man.  He has also been quite tough in dealing with the Russians and the Greeks in trying to dissolve the OCA and turn the US into, well, a bunch of ethnic churches with the converts going to the OCA and Antiochian churches, with the Greeks having all the money, the Russians not talking to anyone who doesn't speak Russian, and the Serbs doing about the same.

I live in San Diego, where the Metropolitan grew up.  We have 7 different churches from 7 different jurisdictions, Serb, Ukranian, Russian, Greek, OCA, Antiochian, ROCOR, and Moscow.  The Moscow church that I go to is under the only Mexican archpriest in the United States and is almost all converts.  The ROCOR church is highly reactionary refusing to have anything to do with anyone who is not Russian.  The Serb church is huge, beautiful, and has the character of an ethnic church, Catholic or Orthodox, where guests are tolerated, but then frankly advised to go to an Antiochian or OCA.

His Emminence grew up in this kind of atmosphere, and it shaped his outlook.  People driving 40 miles across San Diego valley to go to a church when there was a perfectly nice Orthodox church only 3 miles away.  He wants to unite the churches in the United States, more than anything.....seems to be a noble goal.

Thanks for those insights.  I heard His Beatitude's parents still live in San Diego and that he went to visit them this week.

I agree that ethnocentric/phyletist attitudes in churches are a big problem, and Metropolitan Jonah being metropolitan is America's best hope for resolving that at any point in the near future.  There isn't going to be an easy solution, but there's got to be a better option than simply creating American ethnic churches (which is basically what convert churches are) to go with all the others.   Voluntary segregation like this is much harder to overcome than de jure segregation, because it simply can't be abolished by authority's fiat.
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« Reply #214 on: March 13, 2011, 06:50:14 PM »

I think we need to remember that our church leaders are, well, sinners and human beings like the rest of us.  I met Met. Jonah when I spent Pasca at his monastery about 5 years ago.  I wonder if maybe he should have stayed being the abbot there, because it was clearly evident that his heart and soul had been poured into creating the monastery in Manton.  There is a talk by Met. Jonah available as a podcast to download online where he talks about his spiritual journey to building the monastery in Manton.  It is a wonderful monastery and maintains excellent relations not only with the Plantina monastery nearby.  Two monasteries that are completely filled with American (and a few Canadian!) monks.  Sure, it doesn't have the million dollar chapels and temples of St. Antony's or other Greek monasteries.

Met. Jonah wants to see Orthodoxy more accessible to genuine seekers, like he himself was as a young man.  I think he is tired of the "nave behind the plexiglass", as it is at St. Anthony's monastery, by the way literally, but exists quite metaphorically at the completely ethnic parishes.  He has a powerful and very genuine ideal of an American Orthodox Church.  I frankly see nothing wrong with that.  United we stand, divided we fall. 

There are some "melting pot" churches out there, where people are all united by being Orthodox and not about what country their grandparents or great-grandparents were born.  My former church in Salt Lake had a convert priest, a cradle Orthodox deacon, and a Russian reader who was still learning English.  About 70% of the liturgy being done in English, and then a decent representation of other languages.  But, that isn't the point.  The point is being united in Christ.  Didn't Paul warn about "divisions among you"?  "I belong to Serbian"  "I belong to Greece"  "I belong to Fr. Epariam of St. Antony's monastery"  etc, etc.

We need to be truly united in Christ.  And, so many Orthodox in the United States feel excluded, or, worse, only included when they are at their ethnic church.  The relations between the Orthodox Churches in any city are SO important.  How can we even attempt dialogging with heterodox when we won't engage in discussions among ourselves?  Why is Greek the exclusive language used liturgically at Holy Cross, where 95% of the student don't speak Greek?  What is up with Russian and Serbian language schools at churches?  It seems to me that at church, the focus should be on the Tradition of the Church, be it the Bible of Lives of the Saints or patristics or history or whatever.

I've gone off topic a bit:  but, I really think that Met. Jonah could be the first in a line of newly minded bishops that want genuine unity among the canonical churches.  The main point Fr. Jonah made in his wonderful podcast lecture is the problem of Orthodox Christians in big, culturally diverse cities exercising tribalism instead of worshiping Christ.  In Russia, people go to the church that is closest to their house.  That is just what they do.  Here in the States, our individualist nature (which is COMPLETELY at odds with Orthodoxy - but, that is another topic) has people who won't go to a certain church because the priest might have a short beard or the church has pews or other reasons it is not "Orthodox" enough. 

This is a very complex topic with no simple solution because Orthodoxy is and always has been a religion that tended to be along ethnic lines for its entire history.  The Byzantines were Greek, and when the Bulgarians became Orthodox, their was no question of Bulgarians going to a church where Greek was spoken.  Russians could count on Church Slavonic in all their churches, and that everyone spoke Russian!

I think that Met. Jonah is one of the first primates to really address in detail this problem in the United States, and to think about how to develop a genuine "American Orthodox Church."  But...it is going to be an uphill battle to say the least!
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« Reply #215 on: March 13, 2011, 08:19:28 PM »

I have several close friends who attend the Serbian Church in San Diego, including the choir director who has served for over twenty years.. Not one of them is of Serbian descent and no one has ever suggested that they don't belong, or should go to the Antiochans, etc.



I think we need to remember that our church leaders are, well, sinners and human beings like the rest of us.  I met Met. Jonah when I spent Pasca at his monastery about 5 years ago.  I wonder if maybe he should have stayed being the abbot there, because it was clearly evident that his heart and soul had been poured into creating the monastery in Manton.  There is a talk by Met. Jonah available as a podcast to download online where he talks about his spiritual journey to building the monastery in Manton.  It is a wonderful monastery and maintains excellent relations not only with the Plantina monastery nearby.  Two monasteries that are completely filled with American (and a few Canadian!) monks.  Sure, it doesn't have the million dollar chapels and temples of St. Antony's or other Greek monasteries.

Met. Jonah wants to see Orthodoxy more accessible to genuine seekers, like he himself was as a young man.  I think he is tired of the "nave behind the plexiglass", as it is at St. Anthony's monastery, by the way literally, but exists quite metaphorically at the completely ethnic parishes.  He has a powerful and very genuine ideal of an American Orthodox Church.  I frankly see nothing wrong with that.  United we stand, divided we fall. 

There are some "melting pot" churches out there, where people are all united by being Orthodox and not about what country their grandparents or great-grandparents were born.  My former church in Salt Lake had a convert priest, a cradle Orthodox deacon, and a Russian reader who was still learning English.  About 70% of the liturgy being done in English, and then a decent representation of other languages.  But, that isn't the point.  The point is being united in Christ.  Didn't Paul warn about "divisions among you"?  "I belong to Serbian"  "I belong to Greece"  "I belong to Fr. Epariam of St. Antony's monastery"  etc, etc.

We need to be truly united in Christ.  And, so many Orthodox in the United States feel excluded, or, worse, only included when they are at their ethnic church.  The relations between the Orthodox Churches in any city are SO important.  How can we even attempt dialogging with heterodox when we won't engage in discussions among ourselves?  Why is Greek the exclusive language used liturgically at Holy Cross, where 95% of the student don't speak Greek?  What is up with Russian and Serbian language schools at churches?  It seems to me that at church, the focus should be on the Tradition of the Church, be it the Bible of Lives of the Saints or patristics or history or whatever.

I've gone off topic a bit:  but, I really think that Met. Jonah could be the first in a line of newly minded bishops that want genuine unity among the canonical churches.  The main point Fr. Jonah made in his wonderful podcast lecture is the problem of Orthodox Christians in big, culturally diverse cities exercising tribalism instead of worshiping Christ.  In Russia, people go to the church that is closest to their house.  That is just what they do.  Here in the States, our individualist nature (which is COMPLETELY at odds with Orthodoxy - but, that is another topic) has people who won't go to a certain church because the priest might have a short beard or the church has pews or other reasons it is not "Orthodox" enough. 

This is a very complex topic with no simple solution because Orthodoxy is and always has been a religion that tended to be along ethnic lines for its entire history.  The Byzantines were Greek, and when the Bulgarians became Orthodox, their was no question of Bulgarians going to a church where Greek was spoken.  Russians could count on Church Slavonic in all their churches, and that everyone spoke Russian!

I think that Met. Jonah is one of the first primates to really address in detail this problem in the United States, and to think about how to develop a genuine "American Orthodox Church."  But...it is going to be an uphill battle to say the least!
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« Reply #216 on: April 03, 2011, 09:21:50 AM »

For those of you who may still be concerned about the "unrest" within the OCA concerning our beloved Metropolitan Jonah (I love our Metropolitan and hope God grants him many years), I stumbled upon this video clip from the Moscow Patriarchate.  It shows Patriarch Kyrill and Metropolitan Jonah together at St. Catherine Representation Church in Moscow.  The text is both in Russian and in English, with Metropolitan Hilarion translating.  It is good to see Kyrill and Jonah together, and, at least as presented here in this clip, they show an apparent love, appreciation and respect for one another.  It did me good to see this clip and I hope others here enjoy it.

Blessings during the Fast to all!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AH0dAkuO26g
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« Reply #217 on: April 03, 2011, 10:45:46 AM »

Memory Eternal for + Bishop Job. He was a kind person.

Bishop Jonah is the best thing to happen to the OCA in 30 years.  He is a great man.  He has also been quite tough in dealing with the Russians and the Greeks in trying to dissolve the OCA and turn the US into, well, a bunch of ethnic churches with the converts going to the OCA and Antiochian churches, with the Greeks having all the money, the Russians not talking to anyone who doesn't speak Russian, and the Serbs doing about the same.
Russians weren't trying to dissolve OCA.
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« Reply #218 on: April 29, 2011, 03:11:58 PM »

I happened to run across this today

http://www.ocanews.org/news/JonahComesOutSwinging4.27.11.html

What on earth is going on?  I read in the comments something about Bishop Mark as well.  Didn't he recently come from another church?
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« Reply #219 on: April 29, 2011, 03:20:09 PM »

Yes, but he's administrator of the Diocese of Dallas and possibly (likely?) its next ruling bishop. Some wingnut was upset that he had the diocesan locum tenens appointed by the Holy Synod commemorated in the services despite Metropolitan Jonah's attempt to have himself put back in as locum tenens...
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« Reply #220 on: April 29, 2011, 04:58:10 PM »

I happened to run across this today

http://www.ocanews.org/news/JonahComesOutSwinging4.27.11.html

What on earth is going on?  I read in the comments something about Bishop Mark as well.  Didn't he recently come from another church?

I'm not entirely sure, but I'm taking ocanews and it's opponent websites with a grain of salt these days.  It mostly seems like a bunch of hysterical mud-flinging (from both sides).  As far as I can figure out Metropolitan Jonah has done nothing wrong, but there seems to be some sort of pressing need to watch his every move under a microscope (and apparently the microscope hasn't had it's lens cleaned in 10 years).
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« Reply #221 on: April 30, 2011, 01:32:46 PM »

I happened to run across this today

http://www.ocanews.org/news/JonahComesOutSwinging4.27.11.html

What on earth is going on?  I read in the comments something about Bishop Mark as well.  Didn't he recently come from another church?

I'm not entirely sure, but I'm taking ocanews and it's opponent websites with a grain of salt these days.  It mostly seems like a bunch of hysterical mud-flinging (from both sides).  As far as I can figure out Metropolitan Jonah has done nothing wrong, but there seems to be some sort of pressing need to watch his every move under a microscope (and apparently the microscope hasn't had it's lens cleaned in 10 years).

Only one grain?  I'm using it by the bucketload when it comes to them.
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« Reply #222 on: May 01, 2011, 12:18:08 PM »

As far as I can figure out Metropolitan Jonah has done nothing wrong, but there seems to be some sort of pressing need to watch his every move under a microscope (and apparently the microscope hasn't had it's lens cleaned in 10 years).

That is by far the most succinct and accurate summary of the current crisis that I've read so far.
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« Reply #223 on: May 01, 2011, 12:25:33 PM »

Mr. Dreher was outed as the man behind "OCATruth". What a ridiculous character he is!
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« Reply #224 on: May 01, 2011, 12:36:41 PM »

Something tells me people just didn't wake up and and decided to start opposing the Metropolitan though for no reason, so I'm skeptical of the idea that he has "done nothing wrong".  That does not make sense to me.

I also do not understand the Bishop Mark situation, and why the vitriol there that I read.  The thing augustin717 mentions I just read as well.  Even more bizarre.

The one comment on that blog I found most puzzling was that the Diocese of the South was set up as an "Anti Syosset".
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