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Author Topic: Met. Jonah to be put on leave  (Read 24343 times) Average Rating: 0
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« Reply #270 on: May 06, 2011, 02:31:39 AM »


Thank you, and good moral to the story.

The second question is, do you have to disclose such IT policies to employees, that is through an employee handbook or even a quick blurb during orientation?  Would the OCA have such a broad approach to IT policy given the nature of a lot of priests' and bishops' e-mail correspondence might be confessional in nature or at the very least be related to "counseling"?  This might cause a lot of parishioners to rethink corresponding with priests by e-mail if so.

I wouldn't presume to speak as to the OCA's practice or that of any other Church or not-for profit. We were a 'union' shop with five collective bargaining units and management who have legal protections written in under state law, hence it made sense to promulgate IT regulations and present them to employees at orientation and at periodic continuing education forums.

The advice that is usually dispensed when questions about confidential matters comes up is that you should not commit anything to writing that you do not want to read in another setting. Since local governments are usually bound by state open records law, I always counseled employees to expect the release of any letters or correspondence.

There are of course exceptions to the admissibility of certain communications as evidence in court or administrative proceedings, privileged confidentiality being one of them.(Medical records are a common privilege.)  However, as I stated several posts earlier, I am only addressing the issue of privacy expectations. Communications which might be 'leaked' to the press for example, might very well be inadmissible as evidence and would be subject to the normal rules of evidence, including the rule against hearsay and various priveleges which may be asserted.

Sorry if this sounds 'legalistic', but the nature of the subject requires me to be more detailed than on other subjects.

In any event, if you use your company's computers and write stupid, private things that you would never say in public, well- tough for you if it gets out. Be more prudent.

The old saying, 'Loose lips sink ships' remains applicable regardless of the setting!

Legalistic terms are very apropos in the larger context, and I thank you for being so informative.

I suppose what really bugs me about this is that in this case (not of just the recent "leaks" or "hacking" whichever this turns out to be, but of a lot of the communications that have been put out by both the warring "news" sites) a lot of the material which is being brought to light is that of priests' and bishops' personal e-mail accounts.  Were this just common corporate officers and managers it wouldn't worry me so, but these are people who deal in a high volume of personal information that spans parishes and dioceses.  Though all the e-mails that have been posted so far pertain to the current "scandal" in the OCA someone had to sift through this correspondence, and that someone was certainly not the persons these e-mails were addressed to.  I've written e-mails to priests of parishes I was attending, and in these e-mails were details about my personal life that I wouldn't want just any member of the parish council (or even any priest or bishop that felt he had a right to snoop) to know about.  Suppose my priest were a "person of interest" in this scandal, I would suddenly develop an interest and sinful purpose in determining just who was going through his e-mail (the sinful purpose involving a baseball bat, some barbed wire, possibly a roll of duct-tape, and a predetermined alibi if things went too far) after seeing any of his e-mails linked to some keyboard jockey's blog.

To be fair, the Stokoe, Skordinski, and Solodow emails were all forwarded by legitimate recipients to Bishop Tikhon Fitzgerald; i.e. these were obtained legitimately and without rooting through anyone's personal correspondence.  I don't agree with OCATruth's decisions to post everything they've posted, but as far as I know those three are not problematic in that regard. 

Fr. Joseph Fester, on the other hand, posted proof that his emails were forwarded from someone who accessed his account.  As far as I know, Fr. Joseph has not suffered from a split personality or fugue state.

So, I share your concern about the lack of respect for pastoral privacy that has been going on on all sides, but I think this most recent example demands a better explanation than what has been offered.
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« Reply #271 on: May 06, 2011, 03:17:31 AM »

I'm pretty sure Stokoe refuted Fr. Joseph's claim his account was hacked...
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« Reply #272 on: May 06, 2011, 09:19:14 AM »

I'm pretty sure Stokoe refuted Fr. Joseph's claim his account was hacked...

I don't consider a claim of "No, the e-mail account wasn't hacked, the e-mails were leaked" to be a refutation of any worth.  It's like a five-year old caught with his hand in the cookie jar saying "I'm not stealing the cookie, Daddy said I could have one when I called him on the phone" while holding up his "Cars" branded toy cell phone.  I understand Stokoe wants to protect his sources and all, but my trust in "journalistic integrity" is absolutely nil, even on a Christian news site.

Like I've been saying, the war between the two sites has been ridiculous, even downright childish.  There has been no real debate going on, and nothing with any real substance, no serious claims and refutation.  Just a lot of "Yes, you did! No, I didn't! I'm telling my mom!  Your mom's a stinky pants!  Well, your dad's a doo-doo head!"
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« Reply #273 on: May 06, 2011, 10:21:33 AM »



Like I've been saying, the war between the two sites has been ridiculous, even downright childish.  There has been no real debate going on, and nothing with any real substance, no serious claims and refutation.  Just a lot of "Yes, you did! No, I didn't! I'm telling my mom!  Your mom's a stinky pants!  Well, your dad's a doo-doo head!"

OMG!  That is so funny!  And embarrassingly true too.
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« Reply #274 on: May 06, 2011, 10:36:30 AM »

This whole issue about e-mail, and for that matter the use of social media such as youtube or Facebook, does open a whole new area of concern for the privacy and confidentiality of what has historically been held to be privileged communication in terms of pastoral guidance.

I was thinking about this in personal terms. My brother, a priest and pastor, has his own computer which he paid for and which is linked online through Roadrunner. He pays his own cable bill at the rectory and I am sure that rightly so, he considers this computer his personal property and its contents to be his and subject to privacy rights. They are.

HOWEVER, in the Pastor's Office, located in an adjacent building, is another CPU and monitor which are the property of the parish, having been purchased by and maintained with Church funds.

They are linked between the rectory and the office.

He can access his e-mail account on both machines.

People send him e-mail on either his personal account and on the Church account which is not Roadrunner.

I suspect that like most priests he has never considered any of these issues regarding who has the legal right to access the information on the pastor's office computer or that there MAY be a problem with the machines being linked.

Things are fine in the parish. FOR NOW....

We all know personally or through second hand sources of parish situations where the relationship between the parish and its priest has soured and ended badly. Some of these have even ended in civil litigation. Discovery procedures and the production of evidence in civil legal proceedings is extremely broad in this country. We all are well aware of the congregationalist tendencies lurking within most American Orthodox parishes, regardless of jurisdiction. SO...the reality is that opportunities for misuse and mischief abound. So, the moral of the story remains, do not put anything or any comment in an email that you would not be embarrassed about should it be leaked or that you could not defend if called to in a church or civil court proceeding.

The same goes for Youtube. If you put up a  video, use the options to either block comments or require that they be screened.

As for Facebook, if you start a parish site and invite 'fans' or 'friends', BE CAREFUL in who you accept and be quick to delete poisonous comments or pictures or 'unfriend' people if things get out of hand. If you start it, it is your responsibility to monitor the site and keep it honest.

This is a new age and the rules are in flux, so caution should be your guide.

( BTW:  I am curious how physicians and other health care providers deal with these issues. Any first hand knowledge would be helpful to our discussions. Thanks!)
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« Reply #275 on: May 06, 2011, 03:01:14 PM »

So, the moral of the story remains, do not put anything or any comment in an email that you would not be embarrassed about should it be leaked or that you could not defend if called to in a church or civil court proceeding.


I think my issue still remains to a degree.  Nothing I've ever written to a priest would be "embarrassing" or damning in a church or court proceeding.  But at the same time I am a fairly private person.  When dealing with most of the world I have strict limits as to what information does or does not get revealed about me.  It has nothing to do with embarrassment or fear of reprisal, I just don't think everyone deserves to know every aspect of my personal life.  Relationships with close friends and priests are different stories, both deserve more information, a friend so they can get to know me and a priest so he knows best how to counsel and confess me.  Friends I can usually call at any time; priests tend to have busier schedules, so that it's easier to just fire off an e-mail, especially on the type of stuff that while important can also wait a day or two (as in, I'm not sick to the point of death and in dire need of Holy Unction).  It's not that I would be embarrassed at a parish council member reading my e-mail, I would be outraged and angry.  If I wanted them to know what's going on with my life I would have told them at coffee hour!

I also find it easy to empathize with others, so when I read an account such as that of Fr Joseph I find me placing myself in the shoes of one of his parishioners.  And let me tell you, were I there, I would be at the head of the torch-and-pitchfork squad demanding the head of whoever went through his e-mail, quite probably with a cauldron of boiling tar and sack of feathers in tow.  And I would be extremely displeased with Mr Stokoe for encouraging this sort of behavior, so much so that he would probably not want to run into me in a deserted alley.

Lord, have mercy on us all.
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« Reply #276 on: May 06, 2011, 04:07:31 PM »

What is happening in Chicago?
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« Reply #277 on: May 06, 2011, 09:57:24 PM »

The minutes from the Holy Synod have been posted on oca.org
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« Reply #278 on: May 07, 2011, 12:01:20 AM »

The minutes from the Holy Synod have been posted on oca.org

And I found the most interesting bit to be this, on page 5, under the SMPAC Report heading:

"The Holy Synod instituted a spiritual court to investigate the alleged distribution of confidential and sensitive documents to unauthorized recipients."
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« Reply #279 on: May 07, 2011, 12:49:15 AM »

decided it was best not to post what I'd written...
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« Reply #280 on: May 07, 2011, 03:49:05 AM »

The minutes from the Holy Synod have been posted on oca.org

And I found the most interesting bit to be this, on page 5, under the SMPAC Report heading:

"The Holy Synod instituted a spiritual court to investigate the alleged distribution of confidential and sensitive documents to unauthorized recipients."


Lord have mercy.

Some Orthodox Priests have stated that there is no real SEAL of confession.
For example, there are some priests whom I just do not trust based on what they have said about others.
Perhaps if there were a seal of confession, and if people involved in pastoral life/metropolitan councils were to observe professional/confessional secrecy to respect the right to privacy, then we would not have all these scandals.

I believe that what Mark Stokoe is doing is highly unprofessional and unethical.
It would be different if the Orthodox Church hired him to do his snooping and reporting, call it what you will.
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« Reply #281 on: May 07, 2011, 06:47:43 AM »

Though the minutes are not explicit, I think they represent a mature and amicable path toward resolution of the administrative disagreements that exist between the members of the Synod and the first among them, their primate.  It appears they defined the limits of their primate's unilateral authority, in addition to what the statutes describe.  They seem to have agreed to have Fr. Joseph dismissed from the primatial Cathedral, and to investigate the matter of the leaked e-mail messages.  They also clarified the responsibilities of the Lesser Synod.  If all can adhere to these understandings, the disputes should be minimized.

Never-the-less, I eagerly await the report of OCANews, which will probably explain details, perspectives, tone, and possibly contingencies related to these decisions.

However, I do think, despite all that's been written about political issues related to the disputes which were publically debated over the past few months, Metropolitan Jonah must distance himself from the entire Kondratick cabal, in an very obvious manner.  The advice he receives, some of his actions which end up being controversial, often are tied to Kondratick associates, his former (perhaps current) enablers. I think his opposition is saying, forgiveness, a Christian virtue is of course desireable, but continuing to allow those who were engaged in administrative positions during the financial malfeasance of the Metropolitan Theodosios and Metropolitan Herman administrations (per the SIC Report), to continue in prominent positions, must cease and a clear change must be evident.

The very unfortunate result of the disputes, is Fr. Alexander's removal as Chancellor, who by all accounts served very effectively with dedication and integrity, but for some reason, possibly due to his having allegedly edited the sexual abuse report, is not being reinstated, though his talents are being utilized as "consultant" for the time being, i.e. he gets the privilege of doing the work, but doesn't get the title.  These type of changes are not uncommon with changes of administration, regretfully.
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« Reply #282 on: May 07, 2011, 11:07:16 AM »

Though the minutes are not explicit, I think they represent a mature and amicable path toward resolution of the administrative disagreements that exist between the members of the Synod and the first among them, their primate.  It appears they defined the limits of their primate's unilateral authority, in addition to what the statutes describe.  They seem to have agreed to have Fr. Joseph dismissed from the primatial Cathedral, and to investigate the matter of the leaked e-mail messages.  They also clarified the responsibilities of the Lesser Synod.  If all can adhere to these understandings, the disputes should be minimized.

Never-the-less, I eagerly await the report of OCANews, which will probably explain details, perspectives, tone, and possibly contingencies related to these decisions.

However, I do think, despite all that's been written about political issues related to the disputes which were publically debated over the past few months, Metropolitan Jonah must distance himself from the entire Kondratick cabal, in an very obvious manner.  The advice he receives, some of his actions which end up being controversial, often are tied to Kondratick associates, his former (perhaps current) enablers. I think his opposition is saying, forgiveness, a Christian virtue is of course desireable, but continuing to allow those who were engaged in administrative positions during the financial malfeasance of the Metropolitan Theodosios and Metropolitan Herman administrations (per the SIC Report), to continue in prominent positions, must cease and a clear change must be evident.

The very unfortunate result of the disputes, is Fr. Alexander's removal as Chancellor, who by all accounts served very effectively with dedication and integrity, but for some reason, possibly due to his having allegedly edited the sexual abuse report, is not being reinstated, though his talents are being utilized as "consultant" for the time being, i.e. he gets the privilege of doing the work, but doesn't get the title.  These type of changes are not uncommon with changes of administration, regretfully.

This is a most astute analysis of the reporting from OCA.org. I am glad that the Holy Synod emphasized Apostolioc Canon 34 rather than the model of expanded powers of the head of a local church vis-a-vis his brother diocesans.
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« Reply #283 on: May 07, 2011, 11:12:56 AM »

So, the moral of the story remains, do not put anything or any comment in an email that you would not be embarrassed about should it be leaked or that you could not defend if called to in a church or civil court proceeding.


I think my issue still remains to a degree.  Nothing I've ever written to a priest would be "embarrassing" or damning in a church or court proceeding.  But at the same time I am a fairly private person.  When dealing with most of the world I have strict limits as to what information does or does not get revealed about me.  It has nothing to do with embarrassment or fear of reprisal, I just don't think everyone deserves to know every aspect of my personal life.  Relationships with close friends and priests are different stories, both deserve more information, a friend so they can get to know me and a priest so he knows best how to counsel and confess me.  Friends I can usually call at any time; priests tend to have busier schedules, so that it's easier to just fire off an e-mail, especially on the type of stuff that while important can also wait a day or two (as in, I'm not sick to the point of death and in dire need of Holy Unction).  It's not that I would be embarrassed at a parish council member reading my e-mail, I would be outraged and angry.  If I wanted them to know what's going on with my life I would have told them at coffee hour!

I also find it easy to empathize with others, so when I read an account such as that of Fr Joseph I find me placing myself in the shoes of one of his parishioners.  And let me tell you, were I there, I would be at the head of the torch-and-pitchfork squad demanding the head of whoever went through his e-mail, quite probably with a cauldron of boiling tar and sack of feathers in tow.  And I would be extremely displeased with Mr Stokoe for encouraging this sort of behavior, so much so that he would probably not want to run into me in a deserted alley.

Lord, have mercy on us all.

I want to make my position clear in non-lawyer terms. I think that what occurred with the e-mails stinks, to put it bluntly and that from a Christian moral perspective the publication of the same was morally wrong and reprehensible. The proper thing for one to have done in my opinion would have been to approach my hierarch, ask for a private meeting, share the material with him and ask that he bring the matter forward for the Synod to address.

Over the course of my life, given my involvement with the clergy and my involvement over the years in issues of church administration, I have been made aware of plenty of stupid and pig-headed things done and said by priests, lay administrators and yes, even Bishops. HOWEVER, there is a right way and a wrong way to deal with those problems and taking them to the public in any manner EXCEPT as a LAST RESORT strikes me as being inherently harmful to the Church as a whole.

I can speak from the heart on this as my father and his father and father-in-law were deeply involved in the schism within American Greek Catholicism in the 1930's. The leaders of the movement upset with Rome worked for YEARS within the proper channels of the Church to try to rectify the injustices that were occurring. Only when it became clear, as a matter of conscience did they take the final, public steps which led to the break with Rome and the return to Orthodoxy.

To quote the last word's of Sir Thomas More as he approached his fate on the scaffold of Henry VIII, "The King's good servant, but God's First."
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« Reply #284 on: May 07, 2011, 06:23:32 PM »

I pray that the Holy Synod's actions (as well as inactions) will be definitive and that calm will reign for the foreseable future. I am glad that +Jonah remains as our Metropolitan; the relationships between our bishops, the metropolitan and chancery officers have been clarified; and our leaders have acted wisely and prudently.
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« Reply #285 on: May 07, 2011, 10:56:57 PM »


[img width=300pt]http://www.oca.org/Images/News/2008/2008-1112-jonah.jpg[/img]

Isa, what on earth is this?  Bishop Tikhon say that Metropoliatn Jonah has been placed on mandatory leave of absence.  Is it just a joke?
https://listserv.indiana.edu/cgi-bin/wa-iub.exe?A2=ind1102D&L=ORTHODOX&T=0&F=&S=&P=13719

According a blog that's reporting the info (which was most likely sent by Bishop TIKHON using his pre-ordination name), after they received the message they called a friend, who "verified" the info with a "very senior priest" in the OCA.  There is as yet no info on oca.org or ocanews.org.  I'm a bit skeptical, but it's a bit early for April Fool's Day, too.

Here another location: http://02varvara.wordpress.com/
Voices from Russia, NY. The National Enquirer of Orthodoxy.  I just was looking at something he posted right after Bishop Jonah was consecrated.  None of the predictions he made then have come to pass.


Quote
Lee Fitzgerald isn't Bishop Tikhon's pre-ordination name. Not even close.
Ah. I see they mean the retired Bishop Tikhon. My bad.

Still, I'll find out, Lord willing.
By the way, the retired Bishop Tikhon's pre-monastic name is Stephen, not Lee. I give Metropolitan Jonah my vote of confidence.
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« Reply #286 on: May 08, 2011, 01:42:01 PM »


[img width=300pt]http://www.oca.org/Images/News/2008/2008-1112-jonah.jpg[/img]

Isa, what on earth is this?  Bishop Tikhon say that Metropoliatn Jonah has been placed on mandatory leave of absence.  Is it just a joke?
https://listserv.indiana.edu/cgi-bin/wa-iub.exe?A2=ind1102D&L=ORTHODOX&T=0&F=&S=&P=13719

According a blog that's reporting the info (which was most likely sent by Bishop TIKHON using his pre-ordination name), after they received the message they called a friend, who "verified" the info with a "very senior priest" in the OCA.  There is as yet no info on oca.org or ocanews.org.  I'm a bit skeptical, but it's a bit early for April Fool's Day, too.

Here another location: http://02varvara.wordpress.com/
Voices from Russia, NY. The National Enquirer of Orthodoxy.  I just was looking at something he posted right after Bishop Jonah was consecrated.  None of the predictions he made then have come to pass.


Quote
Lee Fitzgerald isn't Bishop Tikhon's pre-ordination name. Not even close.
Ah. I see they mean the retired Bishop Tikhon. My bad.

Still, I'll find out, Lord willing.
By the way, the retired Bishop Tikhon's pre-monastic name is Stephen, not Lee. I give Metropolitan Jonah my vote of confidence.

Yes, Lee is the retired bishop's birth name; Stephen I believe the name he took after he became ordained (as a celibate deacon/priest-an oddity I believe in Russian Orthodoxy), and Tikhon the name he took as his name upon consecration in the late 80s. I'm pretty sure if you search the Indiana List archives he's explained it all a bazillion times since the mid 90s (he does love to brag about his past).

As for me, I just love hard core converts getting their hands dirty in culture wars shenanigans, whilst half the OCAs current and retired bishops seem to be not so closeted homosexuals. Ah, the hypocrisy of traditional religion for ya.
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« Reply #287 on: May 08, 2011, 01:48:58 PM »

As for me, I just love hard core converts getting their hands dirty in culture wars shenanigans, whilst half the OCAs current and retired bishops seem to be not so closeted homosexuals. Ah, the hypocrisy of traditional religion for ya.

 Cheesy
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« Reply #288 on: May 08, 2011, 04:48:33 PM »

Is there any evidence to back up your assertion that "half the OCAs current and retired bishops seem to be not so closeted homosexuals"?
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« Reply #289 on: May 08, 2011, 05:09:27 PM »

As for me, I just love hard core converts getting their hands dirty in culture wars shenanigans, whilst half the OCAs current and retired bishops seem to be not so closeted homosexuals. Ah, the hypocrisy of traditional religion for ya.

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I am one convertski not wanting to at all buy into the very unfortunate politics of the OCA leadership. Through my ROCOR influenced lenses from Australia:
  • Metropolitan Jonah has been a courageous and visionary leader unwilling to be silent about issues such as abortion, which is a moral blight on all Orthodox Christians who tolerate it.
    Metropolitan Jonah had clear[reasons as a monk for starting a monastery and wanting the Old Calendar, and for successfully advocating to the then OCA leadership who blessed it.
    Clearly he is ethically motivated and I pray that the Lord will allow him to continue with his process of challenging the OCA with leadership and prayer and engagement./li]
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« Reply #290 on: May 08, 2011, 09:08:26 PM »

As for me, I just love hard core converts getting their hands dirty in culture wars shenanigans, whilst half the OCAs current and retired bishops seem to be not so closeted homosexuals.
"Seem to be not so closeted homosexuals..." What leads you to say this? Huh
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« Reply #291 on: May 08, 2011, 09:15:08 PM »

As for me, I just love hard core converts getting their hands dirty in culture wars shenanigans, whilst half the OCAs current and retired bishops seem to be not so closeted homosexuals. Ah, the hypocrisy of traditional religion for ya.

 Cheesy
I am one convertski not wanting to at all buy into the very unfortunate politics of the OCA leadership. Through my ROCOR influenced lenses from Australia:
  • Metropolitan Jonah has been a courageous and visionary leader unwilling to be silent about issues such as abortion, which is a moral blight on all Orthodox Christians who tolerate it.
    Metropolitan Jonah had clear[reasons as a monk for starting a monastery and wanting the Old Calendar, and for successfully advocating to the then OCA leadership who blessed it.
    Clearly he is ethically motivated and I pray that the Lord will allow him to continue with his process of challenging the OCA with leadership and prayer and engagement./li]

I was wondering when your mania would be put on the table.
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« Reply #292 on: May 08, 2011, 09:21:34 PM »


[img width=300pt]http://www.oca.org/Images/News/2008/2008-1112-jonah.jpg[/img]

Isa, what on earth is this?  Bishop Tikhon say that Metropoliatn Jonah has been placed on mandatory leave of absence.  Is it just a joke?
https://listserv.indiana.edu/cgi-bin/wa-iub.exe?A2=ind1102D&L=ORTHODOX&T=0&F=&S=&P=13719

According a blog that's reporting the info (which was most likely sent by Bishop TIKHON using his pre-ordination name), after they received the message they called a friend, who "verified" the info with a "very senior priest" in the OCA.  There is as yet no info on oca.org or ocanews.org.  I'm a bit skeptical, but it's a bit early for April Fool's Day, too.

Here another location: http://02varvara.wordpress.com/
Voices from Russia, NY. The National Enquirer of Orthodoxy.  I just was looking at something he posted right after Bishop Jonah was consecrated.  None of the predictions he made then have come to pass.


Quote
Lee Fitzgerald isn't Bishop Tikhon's pre-ordination name. Not even close.
Ah. I see they mean the retired Bishop Tikhon. My bad.

Still, I'll find out, Lord willing.
By the way, the retired Bishop Tikhon's pre-monastic name is Stephen, not Lee. I give Metropolitan Jonah my vote of confidence.

Yes, Lee is the retired bishop's birth name; Stephen I believe the name he took after he became ordained (as a celibate deacon/priest-an oddity I believe in Russian Orthodoxy), and Tikhon the name he took as his name upon consecration in the late 80s. I'm pretty sure if you search the Indiana List archives he's explained it all a bazillion times since the mid 90s (he does love to brag about his past).

As for me, I just love hard core converts getting their hands dirty in culture wars shenanigans, whilst half the OCAs current and retired bishops seem to be not so closeted homosexuals. Ah, the hypocrisy of traditional religion for ya.

Lotsd of assumptions here, one of which is that the issue is not the relationship between the metropolitan and his fellow bishops, but culture wars, centered on homosexuality. I don't believe that the latter is the case, but I am curious of one thing: Which direction do you think that the Church should go, toward ECUSA or the strong stance taken by the ROC?
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« Reply #293 on: May 08, 2011, 09:27:49 PM »

As for me, I just love hard core converts getting their hands dirty in culture wars shenanigans, whilst half the OCAs current and retired bishops seem to be not so closeted homosexuals. Ah, the hypocrisy of traditional religion for ya.

 Cheesy
I am one convertski not wanting to at all buy into the very unfortunate politics of the OCA leadership. Through my ROCOR influenced lenses from Australia:
  • Metropolitan Jonah has been a courageous and visionary leader unwilling to be silent about issues such as abortion, which is a moral blight on all Orthodox Christians who tolerate it.
    Metropolitan Jonah had clear[reasons as a monk for starting a monastery and wanting the Old Calendar, and for successfully advocating to the then OCA leadership who blessed it.
    Clearly he is ethically motivated and I pray that the Lord will allow him to continue with his process of challenging the OCA with leadership and prayer and engagement./li]

I was wondering when your mania would be put on the table.
Thanks for your charitable quip - a cheap snipe.  The point I was making was the Vladyka Jonah is clearly a man motivated by principle.  Principle in relation to the calendar issue in the case of his monastery - or do you call it mania that he wanted his monastery to observe the traditional Julian Calendar? Principle in relation to abortion and homosexuality.  Principle in the positive way he has related to the Russian Church Abroad and the Moscow Patriarchate.  The handing to ROCOR's jurisdiction of the OCA parishes in Australia post 2007 is testament to that. 

May God save Vladyka Jonah for the OCA's benefit.
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« Reply #294 on: May 08, 2011, 11:26:52 PM »

The Holy Synod has been fair. Hopefully, this will lead to stronger relations between all its members. However, I hope that the Holy Synod comes up with a policy to deal with the blogosphere and laypeople/clergy that make wild accusations yet offer no proof. This is unacceptable. We can have honest disagreements we can even report the news but it must be in an honest, respectful and dispassioned way. I find it very unfortunate that character assassination has been allowed to go on unchecked. Forgive me if my words offend any of you. Please pray for me and for all of our Bishops. Christ is Risen!
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« Reply #295 on: May 09, 2011, 01:39:18 PM »


Lord have mercy.

Some Orthodox Priests have stated that there is no real SEAL of confession.
For example, there are some priests whom I just do not trust based on what they have said about others.

For a priest to say that is a frightening thing.  I once asked a GOA priest what would happen if he revealed a confession without the penitent's permission.  His answer was, "automatic de-frocking and excommunication."   If other priests are saying there's no seal.... sound like some preists need some arse-kicking remedical training.
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« Reply #296 on: May 09, 2011, 02:17:39 PM »


Lord have mercy.

Some Orthodox Priests have stated that there is no real SEAL of confession.
For example, there are some priests whom I just do not trust based on what they have said about others.

For a priest to say that is a frightening thing.  I once asked a GOA priest what would happen if he revealed a confession without the penitent's permission.  His answer was, "automatic de-frocking and excommunication."   If other priests are saying there's no seal.... sound like some preists need some arse-kicking remedical training.

When talking about the "seal of confession", it is important to say precisely what is being talked about.

There's no "seal" in the sense that the Orthodox priest cannot act on information he has received in confession.  Actually, if someone comes to an Orthodox priest and says, "I molest my child and can't stop myself," the priest may go to child services and inform them that this child is in danger.  As I understand it, Roman Catholic priests may not do this because of their concept of the "seal of confession".

There is certainly a seal, though, in the sense that he cannot tell them "This man molests his daughter"; if he did so, he'd be defrocked.
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« Reply #297 on: May 09, 2011, 02:28:13 PM »


Lord have mercy.

Some Orthodox Priests have stated that there is no real SEAL of confession.
For example, there are some priests whom I just do not trust based on what they have said about others.

For a priest to say that is a frightening thing.  I once asked a GOA priest what would happen if he revealed a confession without the penitent's permission.  His answer was, "automatic de-frocking and excommunication."   If other priests are saying there's no seal.... sound like some preists need some arse-kicking remedical training.

When talking about the "seal of confession", it is important to say precisely what is being talked about.

There's no "seal" in the sense that the Orthodox priest cannot act on information he has received in confession.  Actually, if someone comes to an Orthodox priest and says, "I molest my child and can't stop myself," the priest may go to child services and inform them that this child is in danger.  As I understand it, Roman Catholic priests may not do this because of their concept of the "seal of confession".

There is certainly a seal, though, in the sense that he cannot tell them "This man molests his daughter"; if he did so, he'd be defrocked.

Actually, under the circumstances you described they are breaking the law if they do not report such "confessions" to the authorities. If they believe the threat to the child is real, sincere, and reasonably certain to happen, they must report it. Otherwise they are accessories after the fact, if the case ever finds its way to the light of day and the Priest is found to have had knowledge of the abuse. This is of course in the US.

The above applies to lawyers, physicians, mental health professionals, etc.

Past crimes of such a nature: murder and child abuse get a little murkier, but not much. Word to the wise, if you have committed such acts and are no longer doing so and you want to keep your Priest or therapist from a lot of soul searching, skip the details.

The seal ain't meant to provide catharsis for people who compulsively prey on others.

If a RC Priest uses the seal in this manner, Lord have mercy!
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« Reply #298 on: May 09, 2011, 02:39:36 PM »

A quote from the Orthodox priest, and admin of this board, Fr. Chris:

Nothing told to Christ in Confession and witnessed by me can be divulged. Full stop.

However, there is always the counseling after the confession. Yes, if/when criminal activity is confessed, I do my best to reinforce to the penitent the importance of being repentant, part of which is setting the record straight.

Yes, I've driven children to stores to apologize to the store owner for stealing something, but it's the child who does all the talking; I say nothing.

If a person confesses something criminal to me that would be such as murder, child molestation, etc I would do all I could to help the penitent go to the legal authorities and help the victim or family have peace of mind. Thank God nothing like that has occurred yet....I have enough trouble with 'incense getting in my eyes' when hearing the pain caused to my parishioners from "every day" sins, and nothing as demonic as violent crime.

But, nothing said in Confession can be divulged. Ever.

http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,12542.0.html
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« Reply #299 on: May 09, 2011, 06:24:53 PM »

The handing to ROCOR's jurisdiction of the OCA parishes in Australia post 2007 is testament to that. 

Just a small thing, Sdn: the three parishes that were the OCA Parishes in Australia actually went three different ways at different times.  The first went to the Antiochian Archdiocese around 2001, the second went to ROCOR in 2009 and the third went to the Serbian Diocese in 2011.

All three were priestless at the time that they change jurisdictions; and, as a fact of curiousity, the latter two became English-language parishes in their new jurisdictions.
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« Reply #300 on: May 14, 2011, 03:56:28 PM »

Mr. Dreher was outed as the man behind "OCATruth". What a ridiculous character he is!

I admit to missing reading Rod Dreher's old blog, but it seems like I've missed his juicy new one! The whole kerfuffle is positively bizarre and byzantine. I'm afraid I don't understand it at all, though after reading some of "Muzhak"'s posts, Dreher sticks right out like a sore thumb. I'm surprised he thought he could keep it on the down-low. He didn't even seem to try to disguise his writing.
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« Reply #301 on: May 14, 2011, 03:59:42 PM »

A quote from the Orthodox priest, and admin of this board, Fr. Chris:

Nothing told to Christ in Confession and witnessed by me can be divulged. Full stop.

However, there is always the counseling after the confession. Yes, if/when criminal activity is confessed, I do my best to reinforce to the penitent the importance of being repentant, part of which is setting the record straight.

Yes, I've driven children to stores to apologize to the store owner for stealing something, but it's the child who does all the talking; I say nothing.

If a person confesses something criminal to me that would be such as murder, child molestation, etc I would do all I could to help the penitent go to the legal authorities and help the victim or family have peace of mind. Thank God nothing like that has occurred yet....I have enough trouble with 'incense getting in my eyes' when hearing the pain caused to my parishioners from "every day" sins, and nothing as demonic as violent crime.

But, nothing said in Confession can be divulged. Ever.

http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,12542.0.html

Still doesn't mean Father wouldn't be breaking the law. I guess he would have to confess that . . . But then to set that right, he would have to . . .

Gotta love Catch-22s.
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« Reply #302 on: May 14, 2011, 06:05:35 PM »

Rod Dreher posted this last week:

And by the way, George, I do think it is obvious that the OCA is now run by people who think it’s okay to make management decisions based on information illegally gotten, as long as it benefits power-holders. I think it’s also clear that, as others have said, if the MC ends today with Stokoe still holding his seat (as I expect it will), that being openly gay is no impediment to serving on the Metropolitan Council.

It is useful to have gotten these clarifications about the situation we are in. People — and parishes, and perhaps even dioceses — will now have decisions to make.


http://www.monomakhos.com/2011/05/turd-blossoms-and-anonymity/

Shocked Could something like this really happen?

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« Reply #303 on: May 14, 2011, 06:17:34 PM »

Can't wait to see what his next "true church" will be. Tibetan buddhism, maybe? If they are gay-obsessed of course.
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« Reply #304 on: May 14, 2011, 06:37:52 PM »

Can't wait to see what his next "true church" will be. Tibetan buddhism, maybe? If they are gay-obsessed of course.

Haha, maybe you're right  Wink

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« Reply #305 on: May 14, 2011, 07:38:09 PM »

Can't wait to see what his next "true church" will be. Tibetan buddhism, maybe? If they are gay-obsessed of course.

I've been wondering the same thing.  He seems like a butterfly flitting from flower to flower.  Part of my problem is partly due to so many being quick to put him on some kind of Spiritual pedestal right after his conversion.  I know it's got to be difficult when your job is talking about religion and you keep changing your allegiances.
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« Reply #306 on: May 14, 2011, 08:27:28 PM »

so many being quick to put him on some kind of Spiritual pedestal right after his conversion.

Happens to athletes all the time. Pray for Troy P. (Lord, have mercy.)
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« Reply #307 on: May 15, 2011, 08:58:05 AM »

Rod Dreher posted this last week:

And by the way, George, I do think it is obvious that the OCA is now run by people who think it’s okay to make management decisions based on information illegally gotten, as long as it benefits power-holders. I think it’s also clear that, as others have said, if the MC ends today with Stokoe still holding his seat (as I expect it will), that being openly gay is no impediment to serving on the Metropolitan Council.

It is useful to have gotten these clarifications about the situation we are in. People — and parishes, and perhaps even dioceses — will now have decisions to make.


http://www.monomakhos.com/2011/05/turd-blossoms-and-anonymity/

Shocked Could something like this really happen?



Will Rod ever take respobsibility for what he contributed to the problem?  Aiding athe start of a web site to manipulate people's opinions and a web site using pseudunymns with postings by himself and an OCA priest.
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« Reply #308 on: May 15, 2011, 10:16:47 AM »


Will Rod ever take respobsibility for what he contributed to the problem?  Aiding athe start of a web site to manipulate people's opinions and a web site using pseudunymns with postings by himself and an OCA priest.
[/quote]

Yes, I hope he and his fellow OCA Truth bloggers takes responsibility for (1) bringing out into the clear light what is happening with the OCA, (2) for giving us an alternative to the malignant and hateful "news" from Mark Stokoe's site, (3) for shaking us out of our complacence, and (4) making us realize what we have to lose (and I fear what we have already lost).  Can any of us say we did anything more productive except make idle speculations, wring our hands or get off on rabbit trails about anonymity?  I am sick to death of the whole OCA mess and feel like these crooks and manipulators have taken something precious away from me.  20 years I've been in the OCA and truly supported it.  But now, if there were a ROCOR parish in my town I'd be sorely tempted to bail.   I'm not there yet.  Met. Jonah is still our leader and I am willing to keep going, and I hope OCA Truth keeps going as well.  
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« Reply #309 on: May 15, 2011, 11:03:38 AM »


Will Rod ever take respobsibility for what he contributed to the problem?  Aiding athe start of a web site to manipulate people's opinions and a web site using pseudunymns with postings by himself and an OCA priest.

Yes, I hope he and his fellow OCA Truth bloggers takes responsibility for (1) bringing out into the clear light what is happening with the OCA, (2) for giving us an alternative to the malignant and hateful "news" from Mark Stokoe's site, (3) for shaking us out of our complacence, and (4) making us realize what we have to lose (and I fear what we have already lost).  Can any of us say we did anything more productive except make idle speculations, wring our hands or get off on rabbit trails about anonymity?  I am sick to death of the whole OCA mess and feel like these crooks and manipulators have taken something precious away from me.  20 years I've been in the OCA and truly supported it.  But now, if there were a ROCOR parish in my town I'd be sorely tempted to bail.   I'm not there yet.  Met. Jonah is still our leader and I am willing to keep going, and I hope OCA Truth keeps going as well.  
[/quote]

I agree with you, Tina.  I believe that +Metropolitan JONAH's real crime to MS is that he dared to sign the Manhattan Declaration which is the Orthodox believe about same-sex relationships and marriage.  Considering the allegations about MS and his lifestyle, it might explain a lot.  Personally, I think MS and some of the others wanted +Metropolitan HERMAN out, but they didn't want things to change otherwise.  I think that when +Metropolitan JONAH came down so hard on same-sex relationships and marriage, he opened a can of worms because that has been going on in OCA leadership for a long time.  I think Syosset is afraid of true monastics being in charge.  You see, they actually believe in the teachings of the Orthodox Church and might actually try to put them in effect.

By the way, Tina, going to ROCOR or other jurisdictions wouldn't get you out of scandal.  I've only been Orthodox for 10 years, but in that time every single jurisdiction.  I am staying in the OCA and fighting for it.  If it takes the MP only recognizing +Metropolitan JONAH and the bishops that support him, then so be it.  From what I understand, the MP supports +Metropolitan JONAH all the way.  But then, they don't have the problem the OCA does--they won't tolerate it.
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« Reply #310 on: May 15, 2011, 01:14:51 PM »



I agree with you, Tina.  I believe that +Metropolitan JONAH's real crime to MS is that he dared to sign the Manhattan Declaration which is the Orthodox believe about same-sex relationships and marriage.  Considering the allegations about MS and his lifestyle, it might explain a lot.  Personally, I think MS and some of the others wanted +Metropolitan HERMAN out, but they didn't want things to change otherwise.  I think that when +Metropolitan JONAH came down so hard on same-sex relationships and marriage, he opened a can of worms because that has been going on in OCA leadership for a long time.  I think Syosset is afraid of true monastics being in charge.  You see, they actually believe in the teachings of the Orthodox Church and might actually try to put them in effect.

By the way, Tina, going to ROCOR or other jurisdictions wouldn't get you out of scandal.  I've only been Orthodox for 10 years, but in that time every single jurisdiction.  I am staying in the OCA and fighting for it.  If it takes the MP only recognizing +Metropolitan JONAH and the bishops that support him, then so be it.  From what I understand, the MP supports +Metropolitan JONAH all the way.  But then, they don't have the problem the OCA does--they won't tolerate it.

Even though I am not in the OCA I am close enough to have my own point of view, so, I have to reply.  

Simply stated, the dispute between Metropolitan Jonah and some of his fellow Bishops is NOT a simple conflict between the left and right sides of American politics - certainly at least as it applies to the so-called social issues. You can't believe propaganda from the side you 'like' in a dispute and accept everything you hear in terms of rumor and innuendoes about Bishops, priests and lifestyles etc...

Secondly, it is a stretch of great proportions to believe that signing the Manhattan Declaration, certainly as it related to the social issues such as abortion or gay marriage,  had a lasting, significant impact on anything or anyone within the Orthodox Church. (The truth of the matter is that many of the leaders of that movement have little but contempt for our Apostolic tradition and either Orthodox or Roman Christianity. Perhaps Metropolitan Jonah could communicate with them in a way the rest of the hierarchs could not in terms of his personal experiences in Protestantism or they view him in a different way because of his own journey into Orthodoxy. Either way, this is a non-issue. The fact that he signed it not in a personal manner, but as Primate certainly could give one the impression that the entirety of the politics expressed therein was somehow the policy position of the entire OCA.)   The hue and cry of the newly converted that somehow we pre-existing Orthodox are 'soft' on the political agenda of the 'religious right' as the the social issues component of that agenda borders on laughable. Sorry to disillusion many of you but Metropolitan Nicholas of ACROD and Metropolitan Herman of the OCA were on the front lines of the March for Life before most of the readers here were either born or converted.  Sorry, but the truth hurts. And as to the MP not 'tolerating' the 'problem' the OCA allegedly has? Don't idealize them, they have plenty of their own problems.

But  the comment that upset me on a personal level was the one that monastics somehow present a more perfect view of the church than to the rest of the clergy. Monks are no more the answer to the problems of the Church than excluding them would be an alternative answer. I would submit to you that your most recent Bishops of the OCA, Michael and Matthias, were never true monastic priestly vocations. Both are widowers and were ordained as married, parish priests where each served with distinction and honor for decades. Should they not have been chosen? I have been honored to be a friend of each of them for most of my life and I can assure you that each of them possess the proper 'duch' or 'spirit' to be excellent shepherds of their Dioceses.

My father, my uncle, my godfather and my brother dedicated their lives to the Orthodox Church as married parish priests and you and others will never ever diminish the value of their ministry or their priesthood with the type of snide comment about existing Church leadership being afraid of monastics for their 'actually believing in the teachings of the Orthodox Church.'

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« Reply #311 on: May 15, 2011, 01:38:50 PM »



I agree with you, Tina.  I believe that +Metropolitan JONAH's real crime to MS is that he dared to sign the Manhattan Declaration which is the Orthodox believe about same-sex relationships and marriage.  Considering the allegations about MS and his lifestyle, it might explain a lot.  Personally, I think MS and some of the others wanted +Metropolitan HERMAN out, but they didn't want things to change otherwise.  I think that when +Metropolitan JONAH came down so hard on same-sex relationships and marriage, he opened a can of worms because that has been going on in OCA leadership for a long time.  I think Syosset is afraid of true monastics being in charge.  You see, they actually believe in the teachings of the Orthodox Church and might actually try to put them in effect.

By the way, Tina, going to ROCOR or other jurisdictions wouldn't get you out of scandal.  I've only been Orthodox for 10 years, but in that time every single jurisdiction.  I am staying in the OCA and fighting for it.  If it takes the MP only recognizing +Metropolitan JONAH and the bishops that support him, then so be it.  From what I understand, the MP supports +Metropolitan JONAH all the way.  But then, they don't have the problem the OCA does--they won't tolerate it.

Even though I am not in the OCA I am close enough to have my own point of view, so, I have to reply.  

Simply stated, the dispute between Metropolitan Jonah and some of his fellow Bishops is NOT a simple conflict between the left and right sides of American politics - certainly at least as it applies to the so-called social issues. You can't believe propaganda from the side you 'like' in a dispute and accept everything you hear in terms of rumor and innuendoes about Bishops, priests and lifestyles etc...

Secondly, it is a stretch of great proportions to believe that signing the Manhattan Declaration, certainly as it related to the social issues such as abortion or gay marriage,  had a lasting, significant impact on anything or anyone within the Orthodox Church. (The truth of the matter is that many of the leaders of that movement have little but contempt for our Apostolic tradition and either Orthodox or Roman Christianity. Perhaps Metropolitan Jonah could communicate with them in a way the rest of the hierarchs could not in terms of his personal experiences in Protestantism or they view him in a different way because of his own journey into Orthodoxy. Either way, this is a non-issue. The fact that he signed it not in a personal manner, but as Primate certainly could give one the impression that the entirety of the politics expressed therein was somehow the policy position of the entire OCA.)   The hue and cry of the newly converted that somehow we pre-existing Orthodox are 'soft' on the political agenda of the 'religious right' as the the social issues component of that agenda borders on laughable. Sorry to disillusion many of you but Metropolitan Nicholas of ACROD and Metropolitan Herman of the OCA were on the front lines of the March for Life before most of the readers here were either born or converted.  Sorry, but the truth hurts. And as to the MP not 'tolerating' the 'problem' the OCA allegedly has? Don't idealize them, they have plenty of their own problems.

But  the comment that upset me on a personal level was the one that monastics somehow present a more perfect view of the church than to the rest of the clergy. Monks are no more the answer to the problems of the Church than excluding them would be an alternative answer. I would submit to you that your most recent Bishops of the OCA, Michael and Matthias, were never true monastic priestly vocations. Both are widowers and were ordained as married, parish priests where each served with distinction and honor for decades. Should they not have been chosen? I have been honored to be a friend of each of them for most of my life and I can assure you that each of them possess the proper 'duch' or 'spirit' to be excellent shepherds of their Dioceses.

My father, my uncle, my godfather and my brother dedicated their lives to the Orthodox Church as married parish priests and you and others will never ever diminish the value of their ministry or their priesthood with the type of snide comment about existing Church leadership being afraid of monastics for their 'actually believing in the teachings of the Orthodox Church.'



Excellent reply, except for one minor detail--

I don't think the above posters were being snide about widowed priests becoming bishops, rather I think the problem is a suspicion of non-widowed unmarried priests who have never been monastics.  From reading the various blogs surrounding the current curflupple the two new bishops are being lauded by the pro-+Jonah side as being exactly what the doctor ordered, but if you can't get widowed priests (the previous marriage being proof of their manliness) then by all means go to the monastery (because an unmarried priest is "suspect" in all the current connotations the word implies).

Of course, such opinions show that one has not been keeping up-to-date with all our monastery scandals....
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« Reply #312 on: May 15, 2011, 01:46:00 PM »



I agree with you, Tina.  I believe that +Metropolitan JONAH's real crime to MS is that he dared to sign the Manhattan Declaration which is the Orthodox believe about same-sex relationships and marriage.  Considering the allegations about MS and his lifestyle, it might explain a lot.  Personally, I think MS and some of the others wanted +Metropolitan HERMAN out, but they didn't want things to change otherwise.  I think that when +Metropolitan JONAH came down so hard on same-sex relationships and marriage, he opened a can of worms because that has been going on in OCA leadership for a long time.  I think Syosset is afraid of true monastics being in charge.  You see, they actually believe in the teachings of the Orthodox Church and might actually try to put them in effect.

By the way, Tina, going to ROCOR or other jurisdictions wouldn't get you out of scandal.  I've only been Orthodox for 10 years, but in that time every single jurisdiction.  I am staying in the OCA and fighting for it.  If it takes the MP only recognizing +Metropolitan JONAH and the bishops that support him, then so be it.  From what I understand, the MP supports +Metropolitan JONAH all the way.  But then, they don't have the problem the OCA does--they won't tolerate it.

Even though I am not in the OCA I am close enough to have my own point of view, so, I have to reply.  

Simply stated, the dispute between Metropolitan Jonah and some of his fellow Bishops is NOT a simple conflict between the left and right sides of American politics - certainly at least as it applies to the so-called social issues. You can't believe propaganda from the side you 'like' in a dispute and accept everything you hear in terms of rumor and innuendoes about Bishops, priests and lifestyles etc...

Secondly, it is a stretch of great proportions to believe that signing the Manhattan Declaration, certainly as it related to the social issues such as abortion or gay marriage,  had a lasting, significant impact on anything or anyone within the Orthodox Church. (The truth of the matter is that many of the leaders of that movement have little but contempt for our Apostolic tradition and either Orthodox or Roman Christianity. Perhaps Metropolitan Jonah could communicate with them in a way the rest of the hierarchs could not in terms of his personal experiences in Protestantism or they view him in a different way because of his own journey into Orthodoxy. Either way, this is a non-issue. The fact that he signed it not in a personal manner, but as Primate certainly could give one the impression that the entirety of the politics expressed therein was somehow the policy position of the entire OCA.)   The hue and cry of the newly converted that somehow we pre-existing Orthodox are 'soft' on the political agenda of the 'religious right' as the the social issues component of that agenda borders on laughable. Sorry to disillusion many of you but Metropolitan Nicholas of ACROD and Metropolitan Herman of the OCA were on the front lines of the March for Life before most of the readers here were either born or converted.  Sorry, but the truth hurts. And as to the MP not 'tolerating' the 'problem' the OCA allegedly has? Don't idealize them, they have plenty of their own problems.

But  the comment that upset me on a personal level was the one that monastics somehow present a more perfect view of the church than to the rest of the clergy. Monks are no more the answer to the problems of the Church than excluding them would be an alternative answer. I would submit to you that your most recent Bishops of the OCA, Michael and Matthias, were never true monastic priestly vocations. Both are widowers and were ordained as married, parish priests where each served with distinction and honor for decades. Should they not have been chosen? I have been honored to be a friend of each of them for most of my life and I can assure you that each of them possess the proper 'duch' or 'spirit' to be excellent shepherds of their Dioceses.

My father, my uncle, my godfather and my brother dedicated their lives to the Orthodox Church as married parish priests and you and others will never ever diminish the value of their ministry or their priesthood with the type of snide comment about existing Church leadership being afraid of monastics for their 'actually believing in the teachings of the Orthodox Church.'



Excellent reply, except for one minor detail--

I don't think the above posters were being snide about widowed priests becoming bishops, rather I think the problem is a suspicion of non-widowed unmarried priests who have never been monastics.  From reading the various blogs surrounding the current curflupple the two new bishops are being lauded by the pro-+Jonah side as being exactly what the doctor ordered, but if you can't get widowed priests (the previous marriage being proof of their manliness) then by all means go to the monastery (because an unmarried priest is "suspect" in all the current connotations the word implies).

Of course, such opinions show that one has not been keeping up-to-date with all our monastery scandals....

I have the highest respect for monasteries and monasticism. However, please don't think that monastery shortcomings or even scandals are unique to the OCA here in America. There are always bad apples in any batch. We just have to struggle to overcome them. (And, for what it is worth, I also knew the other OCA bishops who were products, or cast-offs if you will, from ACROD who were neither widowed priests nor true monastics and you will note my silence as to them in contrast to my oft-stated positive opinions concerning Bishops Michael and Matthias. As my mom always pounded into me, if you don't have anything nice to say....say nothing.)
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« Reply #313 on: May 15, 2011, 01:59:19 PM »


Of course, such opinions show that one has not been keeping up-to-date with all our monastery scandals....

I have the highest respect for monasteries and monasticism. However, please don't think that monastery shortcomings or even scandals are unique to the OCA here in America. There are always bad apples in any batch. We just have to struggle to overcome them. (And, for what it is worth, I also knew the other OCA bishops who were products, or cast-offs if you will, from ACROD who were neither widowed priests nor true monastics and you will note my silence as to them in contrast to my oft-stated positive opinions concerning Bishops Michael and Matthias. As my mom always pounded into me, if you don't have anything nice to say....say nothing.)

You are correct.  When I said "our monastery scandals" I was referring to the entirety of Orthodoxy (note my avatar under "jurisdiction".  I do currently attend an OCA parish, but I can be comfortable in Greek [who chrismated me] and Antiochian jurisdictions as well.  As a quick aside, when I first moved to Portsmouth I was looking forward to checking out an ACROD mission here, only to have them move into a permanent building across state lines the Sunday after I moved).

Also, thank you for heeding the wise advice of your mother.  Still tongues (or fingers) have been sadly lacking these days.
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« Reply #314 on: May 15, 2011, 08:05:39 PM »



I agree with you, Tina.  I believe that +Metropolitan JONAH's real crime to MS is that he dared to sign the Manhattan Declaration which is the Orthodox believe about same-sex relationships and marriage.  Considering the allegations about MS and his lifestyle, it might explain a lot.  Personally, I think MS and some of the others wanted +Metropolitan HERMAN out, but they didn't want things to change otherwise.  I think that when +Metropolitan JONAH came down so hard on same-sex relationships and marriage, he opened a can of worms because that has been going on in OCA leadership for a long time.  I think Syosset is afraid of true monastics being in charge.  You see, they actually believe in the teachings of the Orthodox Church and might actually try to put them in effect.

By the way, Tina, going to ROCOR or other jurisdictions wouldn't get you out of scandal.  I've only been Orthodox for 10 years, but in that time every single jurisdiction.  I am staying in the OCA and fighting for it.  If it takes the MP only recognizing +Metropolitan JONAH and the bishops that support him, then so be it.  From what I understand, the MP supports +Metropolitan JONAH all the way.  But then, they don't have the problem the OCA does--they won't tolerate it.

Even though I am not in the OCA I am close enough to have my own point of view, so, I have to reply.  

Simply stated, the dispute between Metropolitan Jonah and some of his fellow Bishops is NOT a simple conflict between the left and right sides of American politics - certainly at least as it applies to the so-called social issues. You can't believe propaganda from the side you 'like' in a dispute and accept everything you hear in terms of rumor and innuendoes about Bishops, priests and lifestyles etc...

Secondly, it is a stretch of great proportions to believe that signing the Manhattan Declaration, certainly as it related to the social issues such as abortion or gay marriage,  had a lasting, significant impact on anything or anyone within the Orthodox Church. (The truth of the matter is that many of the leaders of that movement have little but contempt for our Apostolic tradition and either Orthodox or Roman Christianity. Perhaps Metropolitan Jonah could communicate with them in a way the rest of the hierarchs could not in terms of his personal experiences in Protestantism or they view him in a different way because of his own journey into Orthodoxy. Either way, this is a non-issue. The fact that he signed it not in a personal manner, but as Primate certainly could give one the impression that the entirety of the politics expressed therein was somehow the policy position of the entire OCA.)   The hue and cry of the newly converted that somehow we pre-existing Orthodox are 'soft' on the political agenda of the 'religious right' as the the social issues component of that agenda borders on laughable. Sorry to disillusion many of you but Metropolitan Nicholas of ACROD and Metropolitan Herman of the OCA were on the front lines of the March for Life before most of the readers here were either born or converted.  Sorry, but the truth hurts. And as to the MP not 'tolerating' the 'problem' the OCA allegedly has? Don't idealize them, they have plenty of their own problems.

But  the comment that upset me on a personal level was the one that monastics somehow present a more perfect view of the church than to the rest of the clergy. Monks are no more the answer to the problems of the Church than excluding them would be an alternative answer. I would submit to you that your most recent Bishops of the OCA, Michael and Matthias, were never true monastic priestly vocations. Both are widowers and were ordained as married, parish priests where each served with distinction and honor for decades. Should they not have been chosen? I have been honored to be a friend of each of them for most of my life and I can assure you that each of them possess the proper 'duch' or 'spirit' to be excellent shepherds of their Dioceses.

My father, my uncle, my godfather and my brother dedicated their lives to the Orthodox Church as married parish priests and you and others will never ever diminish the value of their ministry or their priesthood with the type of snide comment about existing Church leadership being afraid of monastics for their 'actually believing in the teachings of the Orthodox Church.'



Excellent reply, except for one minor detail--

I don't think the above posters were being snide about widowed priests becoming bishops, rather I think the problem is a suspicion of non-widowed unmarried priests who have never been monastics.  From reading the various blogs surrounding the current curflupple the two new bishops are being lauded by the pro-+Jonah side as being exactly what the doctor ordered, but if you can't get widowed priests (the previous marriage being proof of their manliness) then by all means go to the monastery (because an unmarried priest is "suspect" in all the current connotations the word implies).

Of course, such opinions show that one has not been keeping up-to-date with all our monastery scandals....

I have the highest respect for monasteries and monasticism. However, please don't think that monastery shortcomings or even scandals are unique to the OCA here in America. There are always bad apples in any batch. We just have to struggle to overcome them. (And, for what it is worth, I also knew the other OCA bishops who were products, or cast-offs if you will, from ACROD who were neither widowed priests nor true monastics and you will note my silence as to them in contrast to my oft-stated positive opinions concerning Bishops Michael and Matthias. As my mom always pounded into me, if you don't have anything nice to say....say nothing.)

Lord have mercy.

I was in the OCA for 10 years. It was a nightmare.

The parish warden made the comment that if his daughters could not find a real man to marry that he would support them living in a gay relationship. If his statement sounds ambiguous, well that was part of the problem.
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