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Author Topic: Has anyone heard anything about Met.Jonah resigning? / Met Jonah Resigns / Holy Synod Releases Official Statement about Met. Jonah's Resignation  (Read 34162 times) Average Rating: 0
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« Reply #225 on: July 19, 2012, 10:39:12 AM »

Katherine, I think you hit the nail on the head.

The OCA and its members have been pummelled with lawsuits and threats of lawsuits from within its own ranks: Bob Kondratick, Bp. Nikolai Soraich, Fr. Ray Velencia, etc.  These are just the cases initiated by clergy.

I would expect the Holy Synod to be a bit hesitant about how to deal with His Eminence's situation, even if one could guarantee that there was 0% possibility that he would sue for 'wrongful termination.'  Given the depravity of some of the internet dialog surrounding this, I'm sure many of the bishops deliberated with great seriousness over the right course of action.

We are dealing with a number of overlapping problems: medical privacy, the expectation of information regarding the fitness of clergy, employment laws, victim's rights, canonical interpretations, the expectation of Christian mercy...

I have been gravely disappointed with how dreadfully so many critics have behaved, especially people that I used to respect.  We must all realize that we cannot give license to our emotions no matter how horrid something appears to be.  There are now a great many vociferous supporters of His Beatitude that are eating crow or, more precisely, trying to wriggle out from under their tomes of indignation.

Very sad.


To those who are calling for "openness", it is not always appropriate, necessary or helpful to know all the details of what might be called a personnel matter. And if it involves confidential medical or personal information, or an alleged crime which is still being investigated or litigated, it may be actually illegal to share such information or details.

I have personally witnessed a Bishop being lambasted (in terms that I would not use to my worst enemy) for not sharing details about a priest - where he literally could not, morally or legally, give any information.

Conspiracy theories and rumors may be entertaining, but what real purpose do they serve and what do they have to do with the Faith?


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« Reply #226 on: July 19, 2012, 01:08:05 PM »

In light of this discussion, I do feel it is important to note that the statement the Holy Synod issued was necessary.  My reaction to His Eminence's resignation was shock because there was nothing in the public domain that I was aware of that could justify such action.  In the absence of canonical infractions, I was just aghast that a Synod would take such action just because they disagreed with "the first among them."  In fact, I was concerned that possibly the political issues that had been "out there" so to speak may have had merit. But after the statement was issued, the nature of the problems the Synod was having to face justified the manner in which the Synod dealt with them. I thought the statement was well worded too.  More explicit details are not necessary.
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« Reply #227 on: July 19, 2012, 03:03:42 PM »

I am not convinced.

The three page letter released by the OCA Synod was not done in charity.
There was no excuse for all the dirt they released without any proof.
The same type of character assassination was done on St. Nectarios of Aegina.
Do not forget the grief which our Saint John of San Francisco endured too.

I have lost respect for the OCA Synod.

If indeed an OCA priest had raped a girl, why was he not publicly defrocked?
Why this inactivity on the part of the OCA Synod.

Did not Archbishop Joseph of the Antiochians immediately defrock the Northern California man?
Was not this man's name published in the newspapers?

Why is the OCA Synod withholding the name of this so-called OCA priest if he is a danger to society?

I do not buy any details in that letter.

Again, LESS IS BEST. A one sentence statement would have sufficed.
« Last Edit: July 19, 2012, 03:05:11 PM by Maria » Logged

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« Reply #228 on: July 19, 2012, 03:08:49 PM »

It seems to me that far too many Orthodox lay persons cry of 'openness' and 'transparency' etc... and belittle our Bishops and priests with charges of 'liberalism', 'conspiracies', 'cover-ups' and so on. Many here are professed followers of the Fathers and of the Patristic Era. St. Ignatius of Antioch, one of the most important of our ante-Nicean Fathers said it best, and I would urge those who are 'throwing their Synod under the bus' to heed his words and consider restraining their passions based on what is now known. St. Ignatius advised the Christians of Smryma"Wherever the bishop appears, there let the people be; as wherever Jesus Christ is, there is the catholic church. (i.e. the Apostolic or what we now know as the Orthodox Church._It is not lawful to baptize or give communion without the consent of the bishop. On the other hand, whatever has his approval is pleasing to God. Thus, whatever is done will be safe and valid. "

Of course the Saintly Father did not mean that any and all actions of a bishop or bishops are always pleasing to God. We know that is not true as the history of Church is full of schisms and false teachers from her earliest days. HOWEVER, absent proof of heresy, we are charged with obedience and loyalty to our hierarchs.

Four centuries or so ago, a group of Orthodox Christians rejected changes made by their Patriarch, Nikon of Moscow and self-determined that no more 'O'rthodox bishops or priests existed. That small group of priestless Old-Believers still exists. Few, if any of us, would argue that they chose the proper path.  I would suggest to those so quick to condemn the Synod of the OCA not to indulge in self-determination as did the priestless ones, but to pray and be patient.
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« Reply #229 on: July 19, 2012, 03:11:19 PM »

A one sentence press release would have sufficed, such as this:

[indent]Metropolitan Jonah has been placed on Administrative Leave pending an investigation by Police and the OCA Synod for allegedly withholding information regarding the alleged rape committed by a priest. [/indent]

However, I really doubt that this so-called rapist priest was even with the OCA at all.
If he were, certainly the OCA synod would have immediately defrocked him.
Certainly, they would have published his name so that women could avoid him.

In this country, persons such as Metropolitan Jonah are assumed to be innocent until proven guilty.
What ever has happened to charity? Lord have mercy.


Lord have mercy.
Lord have mercy.
Lord have mercy.
« Last Edit: July 19, 2012, 03:12:53 PM by Maria » Logged

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« Reply #230 on: July 19, 2012, 03:23:33 PM »

A one sentence press release would have sufficed, such as this:

[indent]Metropolitan Jonah has been placed on Administrative Leave pending an investigation by Police and the OCA Synod for allegedly withholding information regarding the alleged rape committed by a priest. [/indent]

However, I really doubt that this so-called rapist priest was even with the OCA at all.
If he were, certainly the OCA synod would have immediately defrocked him.
Certainly, they would have published his name so that women could avoid him.

In this country, persons such as Metropolitan Jonah are assumed to be innocent until proven guilty.
What ever has happened to charity? Lord have mercy.


Lord have mercy.
Lord have mercy.
Lord have mercy.

Yes, indeed. What happened to charity?

Remember that the Holy Synod did release a terse statement. Then the you-know-what hit the fan all over the Internet.
Which necessitated a longer explanation. Nothing satisfies conspiracy theorists.
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« Reply #231 on: July 19, 2012, 03:29:24 PM »

A one sentence press release would have sufficed, such as this:

[indent]Metropolitan Jonah has been placed on Administrative Leave pending an investigation by Police and the OCA Synod for allegedly withholding information regarding the alleged rape committed by a priest. [/indent]

However, I really doubt that this so-called rapist priest was even with the OCA at all.
If he were, certainly the OCA synod would have immediately defrocked him.
Certainly, they would have published his name so that women could avoid him.

In this country, persons such as Metropolitan Jonah are assumed to be innocent until proven guilty.
What ever has happened to charity? Lord have mercy.


Lord have mercy.
Lord have mercy.
Lord have mercy.

The Synod cannot defrock him if they were not made aware of the problem until just now.  I think that's part of their issue with Met. JONAH.  He withheld very important information from the Synod until this most recent meeting in early July. 

Also, don't say he raped a girl.  I have heard it was an adult female, but it was is hearsay so that it all I care to disclose on a public forum. 
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« Reply #232 on: July 19, 2012, 03:30:36 PM »

It seems to me that far too many Orthodox lay persons cry of 'openness' and 'transparency' etc... and belittle our Bishops and priests with charges of 'liberalism', 'conspiracies', 'cover-ups' and so on. Many here are professed followers of the Fathers and of the Patristic Era. St. Ignatius of Antioch, one of the most important of our ante-Nicean Fathers said it best, and I would urge those who are 'throwing their Synod under the bus' to heed his words and consider restraining their passions based on what is now known. St. Ignatius advised the Christians of Smryma"Wherever the bishop appears, there let the people be; as wherever Jesus Christ is, there is the catholic church. (i.e. the Apostolic or what we now know as the Orthodox Church._It is not lawful to baptize or give communion without the consent of the bishop. On the other hand, whatever has his approval is pleasing to God. Thus, whatever is done will be safe and valid. "

Of course the Saintly Father did not mean that any and all actions of a bishop or bishops are always pleasing to God. We know that is not true as the history of Church is full of schisms and false teachers from her earliest days. HOWEVER, absent proof of heresy, we are charged with obedience and loyalty to our hierarchs.

Four centuries or so ago, a group of Orthodox Christians rejected changes made by their Patriarch, Nikon of Moscow and self-determined that no more 'O'rthodox bishops or priests existed. That small group of priestless Old-Believers still exists. Few, if any of us, would argue that they chose the proper path.  I would suggest to those so quick to condemn the Synod of the OCA not to indulge in self-determination as did the priestless ones, but to pray and be patient.



Very well stated.  A real voice of reason and common sense amongst all the Chicken Littles who are proclaiming that the Orthodox sky is falling.
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« Reply #233 on: July 19, 2012, 03:50:43 PM »

Four centuries or so ago, a group of Orthodox Christians rejected changes made by their Patriarch, Nikon of Moscow and self-determined that no more 'O'rthodox bishops or priests existed. That small group of priestless Old-Believers still exists.

True. But nonetheless, I would say the reforms of Pat. Nikon were unnecessary and only caused confusion amongst the believers. The way they were forced on the people also wasn't very Orthodox.
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« Reply #234 on: July 19, 2012, 03:59:35 PM »

This is a letter from the godmother of the alleged rape victim, concerning this
case:

Quote
Letter from the Godmother

http://www.monomakhos.com/another-hole-in-the-official-story/

On behalf of many parishioners both at St. Nicholas Cathedral and elsewhere in
the OCA, who have contacted me, we would like to express our shock and concern
about the letter of the Synod of Bishops regarding the resignation of
Metropolitan Jonah. We know him and seriously question the contents of this
letter. It seems to be a deliberate attempt to destroy a hierarch by creating a
public scandal on the basis of procedural issues related to many untruths which
cry out to be countered with the truth. We would like to set the record
straight.

The case of the hieromonk whose crime the Metropolitan is accused of covering
up, is well known to me.

1. Metropolitan Jonah did not know about this crime until mid-May 2012.

The victim of the crime is a God-daughter of mine who lives in another part of
the country. No one here knew what had happened to her in 2010 until she
contacted me in mid-May of 2012. At that time she and her husband had contacted
the police who said that nothing could be done without more evidence. They then
decided to turn to the church in order to initiate an ecclesiastical court to
defrock him. She wrote a testimony of her story later in May and sent it to a
ROCOR priest and to me, asking that I pass it on to Metropolitan Jonah, which I
did. She included a confidentiality statement that it pass no further.
Metropolitan Jonah had already in 2010 issued a letter forbidding this hieromonk
to serve in any OCA church. Since he was still in a Greek jurisdiction, nothing
more could be done by the OCA except to offer pastoral help to her and her
husband, which the Metropolitan did by phone.

2. This hieromonk was never received into the OCA so it was not possible for the
OCA to defrock him.

Metropolitan Jonah issued a "no blessing to serve" in any OCA church already in
2010 in response to reports of unpriestly behavior. I myself had made one of
these reports on the basis of alcohol abuse and an attempted assault of a
neighbor on property owned by my family which occurred in late May 2010. Based
on the information known at that time, this was the most that could be done.
This hieromonk then left the area.

Nothing more was known about him until he returned to the area early in 2012,
having sought from ROCOR a "blessing to serve" in its monastery outside of
Washington. Now, with the revelation of his crime in May 2012, ROCOR has also
rescinded its "blessing to serve". Shortly after Pascha, he returned to the
Church of Greece and the jurisdiction to which he has always belonged.

3. My testimony to ROCOR for it's investigation was ignored in the OCA.

I was recently requested to send a copy of the testimony that ROCOR asked me to
write for it's investigation of this hieromonk who had managed to receive a
"blessing to serve" within it's jurisdiction earlier this year before anything
was known to them of his criminal activity. With the revelation of his crime in
May 2012, that blessing has been rescinded and a case is being prepared for
presentation to the Greek jurisdiction and the heads of all Orthodox
jurisdictions. However, the description of this case cited in the letter of the
Synod of Bishops is completely at odds with the evidence presented in my
testimony and can be corroborated by others in Washington.

All of this and other accusations are simply unfounded. Was this letter
published to counter the outpouring of support for Metropolitan Jonah?

We prayerfully persevere in our belief that the Providence of God will bring
good out of this evil.


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« Reply #235 on: July 19, 2012, 04:08:25 PM »

^ pretty damning if 100% true.

PP
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« Reply #236 on: July 19, 2012, 04:14:07 PM »

^ pretty damning if 100% true.

PP
Posted as it was on monomakhos.com, though, I give the letter about as much credence as I give anything else posted on that blog: none.
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« Reply #237 on: July 19, 2012, 04:14:48 PM »

Interesting letter and quite disconcerting.  But making it available to a blog owner who is known to engage in conspiracy theories only leads me to wonder.... "who really wrote the letter?"  If George M. can say that the Synod fabricated information...can we not turn question back to him?

At this point I'd rather be slightly skeptical of all sides than to just jump into one boat or the other.
« Last Edit: July 19, 2012, 04:15:17 PM by PrincessMommy » Logged
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« Reply #238 on: July 19, 2012, 04:16:03 PM »

A one sentence press release would have sufficed, such as this:

[indent]Metropolitan Jonah has been placed on Administrative Leave pending an investigation by Police and the OCA Synod for allegedly withholding information regarding the alleged rape committed by a priest. [/indent]

However, I really doubt that this so-called rapist priest was even with the OCA at all.
If he were, certainly the OCA synod would have immediately defrocked him.
Certainly, they would have published his name so that women could avoid him.

In this country, persons such as Metropolitan Jonah are assumed to be innocent until proven guilty.
What ever has happened to charity? Lord have mercy.
Yes, Maria, whatever happened to charity? I see you're not showing any.
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« Reply #239 on: July 19, 2012, 04:20:16 PM »

As I said, pretty damning IF its true. However with Monomakhos, it seemed that the Holy Synod was guilty of <insert here> before anything was known.
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« Reply #240 on: July 19, 2012, 04:52:55 PM »

I am not convinced.

The three page letter released by the OCA Synod was not done in charity.
There was no excuse for all the dirt they released without any proof.
The same type of character assassination was done on St. Nectarios of Aegina.
Do not forget the grief which our Saint John of San Francisco endured too.

I have lost respect for the OCA Synod.

If indeed an OCA priest had raped a girl, why was he not publicly defrocked?
Why this inactivity on the part of the OCA Synod.

Did not Archbishop Joseph of the Antiochians immediately defrock the Northern California man?
Was not this man's name published in the newspapers?

Why is the OCA Synod withholding the name of this so-called OCA priest if he is a danger to society?

I do not buy any details in that letter.

Again, LESS IS BEST. A one sentence statement would have sufficed.

The priest was most definitely on the OCA roster until he was shopped to another jurisdiction. Your paranoia aside, the difference between what ought to have happened and what happened instead seem to be exactly what the synod'setter deals with.
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« Reply #241 on: July 19, 2012, 05:02:35 PM »

A one sentence press release would have sufficed, such as this:

[indent]Metropolitan Jonah has been placed on Administrative Leave pending an investigation by Police and the OCA Synod for allegedly withholding information regarding the alleged rape committed by a priest. [/indent]

However, I really doubt that this so-called rapist priest was even with the OCA at all.
If he were, certainly the OCA synod would have immediately defrocked him.
Certainly, they would have published his name so that women could avoid him.

In this country, persons such as Metropolitan Jonah are assumed to be innocent until proven guilty.
What ever has happened to charity? Lord have mercy.
Yes, Maria, whatever happened to charity? I see you're not showing any.

How so?

I am truthfully saying that LESS is BEST.
Was that three page letter on July 16, 2012 posted by the OCA Synod dripping with charity? No.
Did they publish the truth in love? No, because their charges against Met. Jonah were unsubstantiated and vague.

Again, the so-called OCA priest should have been named in that letter and that priest should have been placed immediately on administrative leave to protect women and girls. Why wasn't this done?

The OCA Synod is seriously derelict by not naming this so-called OCA priest and removing him from public service.

St. Nectarios was treated similarly when he was serving in Alexandria as a Bishop.
He was also charged with vague sexual accusations which were never proven.
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« Reply #242 on: July 19, 2012, 05:06:26 PM »

I am not convinced.

The three page letter released by the OCA Synod was not done in charity.
There was no excuse for all the dirt they released without any proof.
The same type of character assassination was done on St. Nectarios of Aegina.
Do not forget the grief which our Saint John of San Francisco endured too.

I have lost respect for the OCA Synod.

If indeed an OCA priest had raped a girl, why was he not publicly defrocked?
Why this inactivity on the part of the OCA Synod.

Did not Archbishop Joseph of the Antiochians immediately defrock the Northern California man?
Was not this man's name published in the newspapers?

Why is the OCA Synod withholding the name of this so-called OCA priest if he is a danger to society?

I do not buy any details in that letter.

Again, LESS IS BEST. A one sentence statement would have sufficed.

The priest was most definitely on the OCA roster until he was shopped to another jurisdiction. Your paranoia aside, the difference between what ought to have happened and what happened instead seem to be exactly what the synod'setter deals with.

Smoke.

Either you know this priest or you blindly believe the OCA Synod letter.

Why has not the OCA released his name? He remains a threat to women and children.
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« Reply #243 on: July 19, 2012, 05:06:54 PM »

A one sentence press release would have sufficed, such as this:

[indent]Metropolitan Jonah has been placed on Administrative Leave pending an investigation by Police and the OCA Synod for allegedly withholding information regarding the alleged rape committed by a priest. [/indent]

However, I really doubt that this so-called rapist priest was even with the OCA at all.
If he were, certainly the OCA synod would have immediately defrocked him.
Certainly, they would have published his name so that women could avoid him.

In this country, persons such as Metropolitan Jonah are assumed to be innocent until proven guilty.
What ever has happened to charity? Lord have mercy.
Yes, Maria, whatever happened to charity? I see you're not showing any.

How so?

I am truthfully saying that LESS is BEST.
Was that three page letter on July 16, 2012 posted by the OCA Synod dripping with charity? No.
Did they publish the truth in love? No, because their charges against Met. Jonah were unsubstantiated and vague.

Again, the so-called OCA priest should have been named in that letter and that priest should have been placed immediately on administrative leave to protect women and girls. Why wasn't this done?

The OCA Synod is seriously derelict by not naming this so-called OCA priest and removing him from public service.

St. Nectarios was treated similarly when he was serving in Alexandria as a Bishop.
He was also charged with vague sexual accusations which were never proven.
Maria, do you know enough about what the Synod is dealing with, what they've done, and what they've not done, to be able to make such statements? I don't think so. If not, how are not making accusations against the Holy Synod that you cannot substantiate? How are you not slandering the Holy Synod of the OCA?
« Last Edit: July 19, 2012, 05:13:55 PM by PeterTheAleut » Logged
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« Reply #244 on: July 19, 2012, 05:12:32 PM »

A one sentence press release would have sufficed, such as this:

[indent]Metropolitan Jonah has been placed on Administrative Leave pending an investigation by Police and the OCA Synod for allegedly withholding information regarding the alleged rape committed by a priest. [/indent]

However, I really doubt that this so-called rapist priest was even with the OCA at all.
If he were, certainly the OCA synod would have immediately defrocked him.
Certainly, they would have published his name so that women could avoid him.

In this country, persons such as Metropolitan Jonah are assumed to be innocent until proven guilty.
What ever has happened to charity? Lord have mercy.


Lord have mercy.
Lord have mercy.
Lord have mercy.

The Synod cannot defrock him if they were not made aware of the problem until just now.  I think that's part of their issue with Met. JONAH.  He withheld very important information from the Synod until this most recent meeting in early July. 

Also, don't say he raped a girl.  I have heard it was an adult female, but it was is hearsay so that it all I care to disclose on a public forum. 

I never used the word "girl" or implied that the priest raped a girl.
I said:
Quote
Certainly, they would have published his name so that women could avoid him.
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« Reply #245 on: July 19, 2012, 05:17:18 PM »

A one sentence press release would have sufficed, such as this:

[indent]Metropolitan Jonah has been placed on Administrative Leave pending an investigation by Police and the OCA Synod for allegedly withholding information regarding the alleged rape committed by a priest. [/indent]

However, I really doubt that this so-called rapist priest was even with the OCA at all.
If he were, certainly the OCA synod would have immediately defrocked him.
Certainly, they would have published his name so that women could avoid him.

In this country, persons such as Metropolitan Jonah are assumed to be innocent until proven guilty.
What ever has happened to charity? Lord have mercy.
Yes, Maria, whatever happened to charity? I see you're not showing any.

How so?

I am truthfully saying that LESS is BEST.
Was that three page letter on July 16, 2012 posted by the OCA Synod dripping with charity? No.
Did they publish the truth in love? No, because their charges against Met. Jonah were unsubstantiated and vague.

Again, the so-called OCA priest should have been named in that letter and that priest should have been placed immediately on administrative leave to protect women and girls. Why wasn't this done?

The OCA Synod is seriously derelict by not naming this so-called OCA priest and removing him from public service.

St. Nectarios was treated similarly when he was serving in Alexandria as a Bishop.
He was also charged with vague sexual accusations which were never proven.
Maria, do you know enough about what the Synod is dealing with, what they've done, and what they've not done, to be able to make such statements? I don't think so. If not, how are not making accusations against the Holy Synod that you cannot substantiate? How are you not slandering the Holy Synod of the OCA?

Just re-read that letter.
Then ask yourself if that three page letter really needed to be published?
Did it settle anything? No.
Did it raise vague charges against Met. Jonah? Yes, and there is the lack of charity. In addition, that very letter raised serious questions like why the name of the so-called OCA Priest was not released by the OCA Synod when he obviously was considered to be a threat to women by his prior arrest for violence.

I am wondering if there is a cult mentality associated with the current OCA synod.
« Last Edit: July 19, 2012, 05:19:10 PM by Maria » Logged

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« Reply #246 on: July 19, 2012, 05:21:17 PM »

I do not believe in the infallibility of the OCA Synod.
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« Reply #247 on: July 19, 2012, 05:23:48 PM »

A one sentence press release would have sufficed, such as this:

[indent]Metropolitan Jonah has been placed on Administrative Leave pending an investigation by Police and the OCA Synod for allegedly withholding information regarding the alleged rape committed by a priest. [/indent]

However, I really doubt that this so-called rapist priest was even with the OCA at all.
If he were, certainly the OCA synod would have immediately defrocked him.
Certainly, they would have published his name so that women could avoid him.

In this country, persons such as Metropolitan Jonah are assumed to be innocent until proven guilty.
What ever has happened to charity? Lord have mercy.
Yes, Maria, whatever happened to charity? I see you're not showing any.

How so?

I am truthfully saying that LESS is BEST.
Was that three page letter on July 16, 2012 posted by the OCA Synod dripping with charity? No.
Did they publish the truth in love? No, because their charges against Met. Jonah were unsubstantiated and vague.

Again, the so-called OCA priest should have been named in that letter and that priest should have been placed immediately on administrative leave to protect women and girls. Why wasn't this done?

The OCA Synod is seriously derelict by not naming this so-called OCA priest and removing him from public service.

St. Nectarios was treated similarly when he was serving in Alexandria as a Bishop.
He was also charged with vague sexual accusations which were never proven.
Maria, do you know enough about what the Synod is dealing with, what they've done, and what they've not done, to be able to make such statements? I don't think so. If not, how are not making accusations against the Holy Synod that you cannot substantiate? How are you not slandering the Holy Synod of the OCA?

Just re-read that letter.
Then ask yourself if that three page letter really needed to be published?
Did it settle anything? No.
Did it raise vague charges against Met. Jonah? Yes, and there is the lack of charity. In addition, that very letter raised serious questions like why the name of the so-called OCA Priest was not released by the OCA Synod when he obviously was considered to be a threat to women by his prior arrest for violence.

I am wondering if there is a cult mentality associated with the current OCA synod.
Again, you do not know what is going on inside the Synod, so the best you can do right now is shut up, because all you're doing right now is setting yourself up to be a judge of matters you know nothing about.
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« Reply #248 on: July 19, 2012, 05:25:33 PM »

I do not believe in the infallibility of the OCA Synod.
No one here does, thus making this statement a straw man argument. Some here do wish to defend the Synod against slander just as much as they wish to defend Metropolitan Jonah against slander, though.
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« Reply #249 on: July 19, 2012, 05:31:56 PM »

A one sentence press release would have sufficed, such as this:

[indent]Metropolitan Jonah has been placed on Administrative Leave pending an investigation by Police and the OCA Synod for allegedly withholding information regarding the alleged rape committed by a priest. [/indent]

However, I really doubt that this so-called rapist priest was even with the OCA at all.
If he were, certainly the OCA synod would have immediately defrocked him.
Certainly, they would have published his name so that women could avoid him.

In this country, persons such as Metropolitan Jonah are assumed to be innocent until proven guilty.
What ever has happened to charity? Lord have mercy.
Yes, Maria, whatever happened to charity? I see you're not showing any.

How so?

I am truthfully saying that LESS is BEST.
Was that three page letter on July 16, 2012 posted by the OCA Synod dripping with charity? No.
Did they publish the truth in love? No, because their charges against Met. Jonah were unsubstantiated and vague.

Again, the so-called OCA priest should have been named in that letter and that priest should have been placed immediately on administrative leave to protect women and girls. Why wasn't this done?

The OCA Synod is seriously derelict by not naming this so-called OCA priest and removing him from public service.

St. Nectarios was treated similarly when he was serving in Alexandria as a Bishop.
He was also charged with vague sexual accusations which were never proven.
Maria, do you know enough about what the Synod is dealing with, what they've done, and what they've not done, to be able to make such statements? I don't think so. If not, how are not making accusations against the Holy Synod that you cannot substantiate? How are you not slandering the Holy Synod of the OCA?

Just re-read that letter.
Then ask yourself if that three page letter really needed to be published?
Did it settle anything? No.
Did it raise vague charges against Met. Jonah? Yes, and there is the lack of charity. In addition, that very letter raised serious questions like why the name of the so-called OCA Priest was not released by the OCA Synod when he obviously was considered to be a threat to women by his prior arrest for violence.

I am wondering if there is a cult mentality associated with the current OCA synod.
Again, you do not know what is going on inside the Synod, so the best you can do right now is shut up, because all you're doing right now is setting yourself up to be a judge of matters you know nothing about.

You did not answer my questions.

Why has the name of this priest not been released?
It is strange that the very outspoken Synod has its tongue tied.
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« Reply #250 on: July 19, 2012, 05:44:01 PM »

A one sentence press release would have sufficed, such as this:

[indent]Metropolitan Jonah has been placed on Administrative Leave pending an investigation by Police and the OCA Synod for allegedly withholding information regarding the alleged rape committed by a priest. [/indent]

However, I really doubt that this so-called rapist priest was even with the OCA at all.
If he were, certainly the OCA synod would have immediately defrocked him.
Certainly, they would have published his name so that women could avoid him.

In this country, persons such as Metropolitan Jonah are assumed to be innocent until proven guilty.
What ever has happened to charity? Lord have mercy.
Yes, Maria, whatever happened to charity? I see you're not showing any.

How so?

I am truthfully saying that LESS is BEST.
Was that three page letter on July 16, 2012 posted by the OCA Synod dripping with charity? No.
Did they publish the truth in love? No, because their charges against Met. Jonah were unsubstantiated and vague.

Again, the so-called OCA priest should have been named in that letter and that priest should have been placed immediately on administrative leave to protect women and girls. Why wasn't this done?

The OCA Synod is seriously derelict by not naming this so-called OCA priest and removing him from public service.

St. Nectarios was treated similarly when he was serving in Alexandria as a Bishop.
He was also charged with vague sexual accusations which were never proven.
Maria, do you know enough about what the Synod is dealing with, what they've done, and what they've not done, to be able to make such statements? I don't think so. If not, how are not making accusations against the Holy Synod that you cannot substantiate? How are you not slandering the Holy Synod of the OCA?

Just re-read that letter.
Then ask yourself if that three page letter really needed to be published?
Did it settle anything? No.
Did it raise vague charges against Met. Jonah? Yes, and there is the lack of charity. In addition, that very letter raised serious questions like why the name of the so-called OCA Priest was not released by the OCA Synod when he obviously was considered to be a threat to women by his prior arrest for violence.

I am wondering if there is a cult mentality associated with the current OCA synod.
Again, you do not know what is going on inside the Synod, so the best you can do right now is shut up, because all you're doing right now is setting yourself up to be a judge of matters you know nothing about.

You did not answer my questions.
I'm not going to.

Why has the name of this priest not been released?
Why do you need to know?
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« Reply #251 on: July 19, 2012, 06:02:16 PM »

I am not convinced.

The three page letter released by the OCA Synod was not done in charity.
There was no excuse for all the dirt they released without any proof.
The same type of character assassination was done on St. Nectarios of Aegina.
Do not forget the grief which our Saint John of San Francisco endured too.

I have lost respect for the OCA Synod.

If indeed an OCA priest had raped a girl, why was he not publicly defrocked?
Why this inactivity on the part of the OCA Synod.

Did not Archbishop Joseph of the Antiochians immediately defrock the Northern California man?
Was not this man's name published in the newspapers?

Why is the OCA Synod withholding the name of this so-called OCA priest if he is a danger to society?

I do not buy any details in that letter.

Again, LESS IS BEST. A one sentence statement would have sufficed.



I never used the word "girl" or implied that the priest raped a girl.
I said:
Quote
Certainly, they would have published his name so that women could avoid him.


oh, okay... whatever.

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« Reply #252 on: July 19, 2012, 06:50:35 PM »

I am not convinced.

The three page letter released by the OCA Synod was not done in charity.
There was no excuse for all the dirt they released without any proof.
The same type of character assassination was done on St. Nectarios of Aegina.
Do not forget the grief which our Saint John of San Francisco endured too.

I have lost respect for the OCA Synod.

If indeed an OCA priest had raped a girl, why was he not publicly defrocked?
Why this inactivity on the part of the OCA Synod.

Did not Archbishop Joseph of the Antiochians immediately defrock the Northern California man?
Was not this man's name published in the newspapers?

Why is the OCA Synod withholding the name of this so-called OCA priest if he is a danger to society?

I do not buy any details in that letter.

Again, LESS IS BEST. A one sentence statement would have sufficed.

The priest was most definitely on the OCA roster until he was shopped to another jurisdiction. Your paranoia aside, the difference between what ought to have happened and what happened instead seem to be exactly what the synod'setter deals with.

Smoke.

Either you know this priest or you blindly believe the OCA Synod letter.

Why has not the OCA released his name? He remains a threat to women and children.


As far as I know, the priest was never officially accepted into the OCA, which is actually part of the problem. Met Jonah invited him to come from Greece (the priest is a Ukrainian) along with some nuns as part of the monastery Met Jonah wanted to establish in his new monastic/cathedral/church headquarters. Since the Synod didn't like that idea (such mixed setups are actually uncanonical and foolish to boot), a period of chaos ensued. The nuns continue to protect the priest in question, sending him back to their network in Greece. He's a real piece of work.

P.S. But there's nothing normal or official about this situation. It's a mess. The man was invited to be a "religious worker" in the legal sense, receiving housing and other compensation, etc.
« Last Edit: July 19, 2012, 07:05:34 PM by pensateomnia » Logged

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« Reply #253 on: July 19, 2012, 07:13:37 PM »

I am not convinced.

The three page letter released by the OCA Synod was not done in charity.
There was no excuse for all the dirt they released without any proof.
The same type of character assassination was done on St. Nectarios of Aegina.
Do not forget the grief which our Saint John of San Francisco endured too.

I have lost respect for the OCA Synod.

If indeed an OCA priest had raped a girl, why was he not publicly defrocked?
Why this inactivity on the part of the OCA Synod.

Did not Archbishop Joseph of the Antiochians immediately defrock the Northern California man?
Was not this man's name published in the newspapers?

Why is the OCA Synod withholding the name of this so-called OCA priest if he is a danger to society?

I do not buy any details in that letter.

Again, LESS IS BEST. A one sentence statement would have sufficed.



I never used the word "girl" or implied that the priest raped a girl.
I said:
Quote
Certainly, they would have published his name so that women could avoid him.


oh, okay... whatever.



Let me help you:

Why has not the OCA released his name? He remains a threat to women and children.

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« Reply #254 on: July 19, 2012, 07:31:22 PM »

All of the controversy about whether this **** was ever in the OCA confuses me. If he was--as one commenter states--wouldn't he appear in one of the OCA official publications? Wouldn't he have appeared at some point on the clergy directory on the OCA website?
Has the Synod contacted his new bishop to let him know what they allege Met. Jonah failed to tell him?

It's very odd.



Name removed to protect the accused until permission has been granted for his name to be released to the public  -PtA
« Last Edit: July 20, 2012, 12:26:19 AM by PeterTheAleut » Logged
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« Reply #255 on: July 19, 2012, 07:59:47 PM »

All of the controversy about whether this **** was ever in the OCA confuses me. If he was--as one commenter states--wouldn't he appear in one of the OCA official publications? Wouldn't he have appeared at some point on the clergy directory on the OCA website?
Has the Synod contacted his new bishop to let him know what they allege Met. Jonah failed to tell him?

It's very odd.



Name removed to protect the accused until permission has been granted for his name to be released to the public  -PtA

It's only odd because everything about this priest is odd and the way the Metropolitan brought him over was odd as well. The absolute fact is, regardless of whether or not the Metropolitan had this unnamed priest entered in the OCA clergy directory (he may or may not have; I don't know), the Metropolitan invited this unnamed priest to come, set him up in DC, and, at least for time, had him performing priestly duties (e.g catechizing lay people, leading worship, performing sacraments, etc).



Name of priest removed to protect the accused until permission has been granted for his name to be released to the public  -PtA
« Last Edit: July 20, 2012, 12:45:33 AM by PeterTheAleut » Logged

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« Reply #256 on: July 19, 2012, 10:00:53 PM »

A one sentence press release would have sufficed, such as this:

[indent]Metropolitan Jonah has been placed on Administrative Leave pending an investigation by Police and the OCA Synod for allegedly withholding information regarding the alleged rape committed by a priest. [/indent]

However, I really doubt that this so-called rapist priest was even with the OCA at all.
If he were, certainly the OCA synod would have immediately defrocked him.
Certainly, they would have published his name so that women could avoid him.

In this country, persons such as Metropolitan Jonah are assumed to be innocent until proven guilty.
What ever has happened to charity? Lord have mercy.
Yes, Maria, whatever happened to charity? I see you're not showing any.

How so?

I am truthfully saying that LESS is BEST.
Was that three page letter on July 16, 2012 posted by the OCA Synod dripping with charity? No.
Did they publish the truth in love? No, because their charges against Met. Jonah were unsubstantiated and vague.

Again, the so-called OCA priest should have been named in that letter and that priest should have been placed immediately on administrative leave to protect women and girls. Why wasn't this done?

The OCA Synod is seriously derelict by not naming this so-called OCA priest and removing him from public service.

St. Nectarios was treated similarly when he was serving in Alexandria as a Bishop.
He was also charged with vague sexual accusations which were never proven.
Maria, do you know enough about what the Synod is dealing with, what they've done, and what they've not done, to be able to make such statements? I don't think so. If not, how are not making accusations against the Holy Synod that you cannot substantiate? How are you not slandering the Holy Synod of the OCA?

Just re-read that letter.
Then ask yourself if that three page letter really needed to be published?
Did it settle anything? No.
Did it raise vague charges against Met. Jonah? Yes, and there is the lack of charity. In addition, that very letter raised serious questions like why the name of the so-called OCA Priest was not released by the OCA Synod when he obviously was considered to be a threat to women by his prior arrest for violence.

I am wondering if there is a cult mentality associated with the current OCA synod.
Again, you do not know what is going on inside the Synod, so the best you can do right now is shut up, because all you're doing right now is setting yourself up to be a judge of matters you know nothing about.

You did not answer my questions.
I'm not going to.

Why has the name of this priest not been released?
Why do you need to know?

Enough of this nonsense already. No one is saying that anyone is 'infallible' or that this matter might have been handled in a different matter. However, given the crap that has been thrown against the wall by certain parties online, it is clear to me that the Synod had to take some action to let the faithful know something was amiss.

The names of victims and the alleged perpetrator were not released for common sense reasons and because I am certain that the OCA's quite competent legal counsel advised the Synod members not to do so for obvious reasons in anticipation of a multitude of potential litigants. That is certainly the type of advice that I or any other competent attorney would have given a client under similar circumstances involving serious personal or management indiscretion allegations. The same would occur in any school district or hospital or wherever if legal charges were either not let brought or if the proof necessary to sustain criminal charges were not there but the lower burdens of proof needed for civil liability were present. For the Synod to unanimously request the resignation of the Metropolitan tells me at least, that more than just smoke and mirrors were involved. There has to be some substance to what is behind the whole mess. If not, you would have to believe that each of the nine Bishops are corrupt and venial. That is simply absurd and sinful to hold such a belief.

Give it a rest and let things play out. But comparing Metropolitan Jonah with the trials and tribulations of Saints at this point in the discussion is just ridiculous.
« Last Edit: July 19, 2012, 10:04:33 PM by podkarpatska » Logged
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« Reply #257 on: July 19, 2012, 10:06:32 PM »

All of the controversy about whether this **** was ever in the OCA confuses me. If he was--as one commenter states--wouldn't he appear in one of the OCA official publications? Wouldn't he have appeared at some point on the clergy directory on the OCA website?
Has the Synod contacted his new bishop to let him know what they allege Met. Jonah failed to tell him?

It's very odd.



Name removed to protect the accused until permission has been granted for his name to be released to the public  -PtA

It's only odd because everything about this priest is odd and the way the Metropolitan brought him over was odd as well. The absolute fact is, regardless of whether or not the Metropolitan had this unnamed priest entered in the OCA clergy directory (he may or may not have; I don't know), the Metropolitan invited this unnamed priest to come, set him up in DC, and, at least for time, had him performing priestly duties (e.g catechizing lay people, leading worship, performing sacraments, etc).



Name of priest removed to protect the accused until permission has been granted for his name to be released to the public  -PtA


All several years before finding out about the rape allegations and at least two years after withdrawing his blessing to serve. That is if you believe the letter from the godmother. I don't know who's right or who's wrong; but I do know there are always more than one side to a story. I also know that until now we've only heard one version of the events. It will be interesting to see how all this plays out.
« Last Edit: July 20, 2012, 12:46:14 AM by PeterTheAleut » Logged

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« Reply #258 on: July 19, 2012, 11:50:31 PM »

Give it a rest and let things play out. But comparing Metropolitan Jonah with the trials and tribulations of Saints at this point in the discussion is just ridiculous.

I agree.  We shouldn't be jumping to any conclusions as we do not have half, let alone all, the facts.  Until such time, I would rather assume the best, avoid labeling anyone a saint, victim, or villain, and pray for all parties involved.
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« Reply #259 on: July 20, 2012, 08:31:29 AM »

A one sentence press release would have sufficed, such as this:

[indent]Metropolitan Jonah has been placed on Administrative Leave pending an investigation by Police and the OCA Synod for allegedly withholding information regarding the alleged rape committed by a priest. [/indent]

However, I really doubt that this so-called rapist priest was even with the OCA at all.
If he were, certainly the OCA synod would have immediately defrocked him.
Certainly, they would have published his name so that women could avoid him.

In this country, persons such as Metropolitan Jonah are assumed to be innocent until proven guilty.
What ever has happened to charity? Lord have mercy.
Yes, Maria, whatever happened to charity? I see you're not showing any.

How so?

I am truthfully saying that LESS is BEST.
Was that three page letter on July 16, 2012 posted by the OCA Synod dripping with charity? No.
Did they publish the truth in love? No, because their charges against Met. Jonah were unsubstantiated and vague.

Again, the so-called OCA priest should have been named in that letter and that priest should have been placed immediately on administrative leave to protect women and girls. Why wasn't this done?

The OCA Synod is seriously derelict by not naming this so-called OCA priest and removing him from public service.

St. Nectarios was treated similarly when he was serving in Alexandria as a Bishop.
He was also charged with vague sexual accusations which were never proven.
Maria, do you know enough about what the Synod is dealing with, what they've done, and what they've not done, to be able to make such statements? I don't think so. If not, how are not making accusations against the Holy Synod that you cannot substantiate? How are you not slandering the Holy Synod of the OCA?

Just re-read that letter.
Then ask yourself if that three page letter really needed to be published?
Did it settle anything? No.
Did it raise vague charges against Met. Jonah? Yes, and there is the lack of charity. In addition, that very letter raised serious questions like why the name of the so-called OCA Priest was not released by the OCA Synod when he obviously was considered to be a threat to women by his prior arrest for violence.

I am wondering if there is a cult mentality associated with the current OCA synod.
Again, you do not know what is going on inside the Synod, so the best you can do right now is shut up, because all you're doing right now is setting yourself up to be a judge of matters you know nothing about.

You did not answer my questions.
I'm not going to.

Why has the name of this priest not been released?
Why do you need to know?

Enough of this nonsense already. No one is saying that anyone is 'infallible' or that this matter might have been handled in a different matter. However, given the crap that has been thrown against the wall by certain parties online, it is clear to me that the Synod had to take some action to let the faithful know something was amiss.

The names of victims and the alleged perpetrator were not released for common sense reasons and because I am certain that the OCA's quite competent legal counsel advised the Synod members not to do so for obvious reasons in anticipation of a multitude of potential litigants. That is certainly the type of advice that I or any other competent attorney would have given a client under similar circumstances involving serious personal or management indiscretion allegations. The same would occur in any school district or hospital or wherever if legal charges were either not let brought or if the proof necessary to sustain criminal charges were not there but the lower burdens of proof needed for civil liability were present. For the Synod to unanimously request the resignation of the Metropolitan tells me at least, that more than just smoke and mirrors were involved. There has to be some substance to what is behind the whole mess. If not, you would have to believe that each of the nine Bishops are corrupt and venial. That is simply absurd and sinful to hold such a belief.

Give it a rest and let things play out. But comparing Metropolitan Jonah with the trials and tribulations of Saints at this point in the discussion is just ridiculous.
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« Reply #260 on: July 20, 2012, 09:58:00 AM »

^ Are you not going to say something yourself? Even just a "QFT" or something like that?
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« Reply #261 on: July 20, 2012, 10:12:32 AM »



Having read through the recent anonymous letter on Monomakhos, I think it requires closer analysis to see how many questions it really answers.  First, of course, is that it is anonymous.  We have no way of verifying who the author really is, whereas the letter of the Holy Synod is very clear: the bishop unanimously stand by it by name.

But, lets go through the letter (http://www.monomakhos.com/another-hole-in-the-official-story/):

1. Metropolitan Jonah did not know about this crime until mid-May 2012.
The victim of the crime is a God-daughter of mine who lives in another part of the country. No one here knew what had happened to her in 2010 until she contacted me in mid-May of 2012. At that time she and her husband had contacted the police who said that nothing could be done without more evidence. They then decided to turn to the church in order to initiate an ecclesiastical court to defrock him. She wrote a testimony of her story later in May and sent it to a ROCOR priest and to me, asking that I pass it on to Metropolitan Jonah, which I did. She included a confidentiality statement that it pass no further. Metropolitan Jonah had already in 2010 issued a letter forbidding this hieromonk to serve in any OCA church. Since he was still in a Greek jurisdiction, nothing more could be done by the OCA except to offer pastoral help to her and her husband, which the Metropolitan did by phone.


Problems:
a. The Godmother says that no one knew, but she also lives in another part of the country.  The information regarding the rape could have come out through the priest's own admission or the victim, despite what the Godmother says.
b. If ROCOR initiated an investigation, then ROCOR has jurisdiction over the priest, which means he was received along with the nuns.  Metropolitan Jonah had knowledge of the situation since he was intimately involved with the nuns.  Why would he then have no idea about the priest?  Did he warn ROCOR even if the assertion that he no jurisdiction is true?
c. It would appear the Metropolitan Jonah has some knowledge that this priest had problems, because he banned him from serving in the OCA.  Why, then, he he allow the nuns to harbor this man while they were under the metropolitan's omophorion?

2. This hieromonk was never received into the OCA so it was not possible for the OCA to defrock him.
Metropolitan Jonah issued a “no blessing to serve” in any OCA church already in 2010 in response to reports of unpriestly behavior. I myself had made one of these reports on the basis of alcohol abuse and an attempted assault of a neighbor on property owned by my family which occurred in late May 2010. Based on the information known at that time, this was the most that could be done. This hieromonk then left the area.
Nothing more was known about him until he returned to the area early in 2012, having sought from ROCOR a “blessing to serve” in its monastery outside of Washington. Now, with the revelation of his crime in May 2012, ROCOR has also rescinded its “blessing to serve”. Shortly after Pascha, he returned to the Church of Greece and the jurisdiction to which he has always belonged.


a. Since this priest was 'acting out' in a monastery that the metropolitan had received, why was this not reported to the OCA Central Administration so a proper review for liability could take place?  This seems exceedingly risky behavior from a legal standpoint, not to mention the pastoral dimension: would you want your local priest to recommend visiting a monastery where you knew an inappropriate priest active in his disease was 'hanging out'?
b.'The most that could be done' would be for the metropolitan to force the priest out of the monastery.  he certainly had that right.  Why didn't he exercise it?
c. If he was not received into ROCOR, why is there an investigation going on?  Metropolitan Jonah, by this letter, did not receive the priest, yet did not launch an investigation.  So, why should ROCOR?
d. Can the author prove that neither ROCOR nor Metropolitan Jonah received this priest?

3. My testimony to ROCOR for it’s investigation was ignored in the OCA.
I was recently requested to send a copy of the testimony that ROCOR asked me to write for it’s investigation of this hieromonk who had managed to receive a “blessing to serve” within it’s jurisdiction earlier this year before anything was known to them of his criminal activity. With the revelation of his crime in May 2012, that blessing has been rescinded and a case is being prepared for presentation to the Greek jurisdiction and the heads of all Orthodox jurisdictions. However, the description of this case cited in the letter of the Synod of Bishops is completely at odds with the evidence presented in my testimony and can be corroborated by others in Washington.


a. If the Godmother's testimony was ignored by the OCA, then we must ask how the metropolitan initiated an investigation and how procedures were followed.  Did the metropolitan follow the Sexual Misconduct policies of the OCA/  According to the letter, he did not.  This essentially explains why the testimony would be ignored: the investigation, if there is any at all, was not following procedure... which the metropolitan was duty-bound to oversee.
b. This letter cannot verify what Metopolitan Jonah knew and when he knew it.
c. This letter cannot verify exactly what communications occured between Metropolitan Jonah and ROCOR.
d. The author does not have access to official documents of the OCA to verify whether or not this priest had been merely allowed to serve or actually received.
e. If the priest was not properly received into the OCA, but then 'properly' (i.e. with letters of transfer) transferred to ROCOR, then ROCOR would be obligated to return the priest's case to the originating bishop in Greece.  This letter opens up this scenario as a distinct possibility if there is any truth in it.

After all of the threats of lawsuits in the OCA over the last few years (c.f. Bob Kondratick, Bp. Nikolai Soraich, Fr. Ray Velencia, Eric Iliff, etc.), it would seem that the Metopolitan would be extra careful about allowing an out-of-control priest to be in proximity to his flock.  I can see why the Holy Synod would also be astonished that Metropolitan Jonah kept this information from them.  A letter rescinding his blessing to serve raises more questions as to what the metropolitan knew and what he told his brethren in the Holy Synod.
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« Reply #262 on: July 20, 2012, 10:54:43 AM »

I think the situation that people might be misunderstanding here, is that we aren't dealing with a situation where the Metropolitan himself abused this girl (God forbid, he is a wonderful man) but it is the problem of how he dealt with the situation.

He apparently did not inform the synod about this Priest, which was fully within his rights and his duty to do. While the girl told the Metropolitan in confidence about the situation and he couldn't share it, he still had a duty to inform the Synod that this Priest had problems and has been accused by an anonymous source, of abuse.

Metropolitan Jonah is a good, wonderful man. He is very kind, caring and from what I've seen, humble. He is a good Orthodox Christian and a good monk. I think he would also be a good Priest and, if given time, I good diocesan Bishop. But he was just too "young" and inexperienced as a Bishop to appoint to the top position.

I don't think the statement by the Holy Synod defames him or somehow hurts his reputation. He is still a good man, he just could have dealt with this better, and it is probably best that the position of Metropolitan be given to someone who has a bit more experience as a hierarch.

I think Bishop Jonah did a fine job as Metropolitan, he could have done better and made some mistakes. Unfortunately some of those mistakes endangered faithful and endangered the church.
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« Reply #263 on: July 20, 2012, 11:22:26 AM »

I agree with Father and devin. First of all, the "godmother letter", whether true or not, indicates that proper procedure was not followed. As a former HR manager, and one who has had to deal with similar situations, I can tell you that according to most guidelines, once the incident/problem is reported to you, you really have no choice legally but to follow the procedure regarding informing those in charge and even the police. In fact, your only "defense" is that you have followed the guidelines and procedures of your company or organization. Now the clergy/parishioner relationship may complicate matters, but your obligation, both morally and legally, is to follow the procedures and guidelines. Not following them is what results in big problems and a greater mess.
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« Reply #264 on: July 20, 2012, 11:36:09 AM »

Devin, I agree that His Beatitude is a man of faith and a sincere Christian.

At this point, I'm not sure that he ever would have succeeded as a hierarch, in large part because he did not seem to get the institutional experience of the OCA and why such things as the Sexual Misconduct Policy were put in place.  If he had, as one cleric pointed out, really read the minutes of the previous ten eyars of Holy Synod sessions, he would have made better decisions.  At least, if he could have learned from them.

The difficulty here is, I think, the Metropolitan Jonah lived for many years under the thumb of Bishop Tikhon (Fitzgerald).  If you want to see Bp. Tikhon for all his glory, read his posts on Monomakhos and the Indiana List.  Basically, 'BT' is a rather bitter man, and not from being virtually compelled to retire.

His episcopacy was marked not only by his acidity, but also his neglect.  In his last years as bishop, though fully able to walk and care for himself, he made only around a dozen or so pastoral visits per year.  He rarely if ever came to the Monastery of St. John.  Instead, he made his chancellor, then Archimandrite Nikolai Soraich, the 'dea of monasteries' and sent him to the monastery to 'clean it up' on a fairly routine basis.  But, he never went himself.

Fr. Jonah, who was not made abbot until Bp. Benjamin received the diocese, learned to do what so many OCA DOW priests had learned: endure Bp. Tikhon's screeds without reacting, then go back to what you were doing before.  Fr. Jonah was popular and successful because he did not react to Bp. Tikhon, but simply ignored him and went about building up his community.

Of course, this breeds a kind of 'relational dysfunction': Metropolitan Jonah became schooled in ignoring bishops with great success, but that successful method in California did not work when he became primate.  People scratched their heads when he would 'wander off' doing his own thing without leading the Holy Synod, but that had worked for him before: his monks followed his instructions, and he never really had to heed bishops.

Opportunity does not cure dysfunction.  If a person is dysfunctional, they need to be cured first.  Otherwise, they will take their dysfunction and reassmeble it in their new circumstances.  This is, I think, the problem that Metropolitan Jonah faced.  

Bp. Tikhon made light of Archbishop Benjamin's alcohol usage and other slights, yet Bp. Tikhon recommended him for the episcopacy and laid hands on him anyway.  I think, deep down, Bp. Tikhon knew that years of being his Archdeacon had worn on Archbishop Benjamin.  However, the latter had his meltdown and sought help for his problem.  Metropolitan Jonah never did.

If there was ever a 'root cause' to the problem, it was the previous Synod's tendencies to ignore problems and act 'mercifully'.  For the OCA, mercy has never worked.  Bp. Nikolai sued the OCA and was never deposed, only to turn around and conspire with Fr. Joseph Fester (see the OCA News leaked emails).  Bp. Tikhon has never been prevented by the OCA Holy Synod from posting his horrors against them, and he has returned the favor by demanding their resignations.  Even now, an OCA priest compared the Holy Synod to Judas and cursed them, yet he will likely not be reprimanded.

If Metropolitan Jonah had only paid more attention to the institutional knowledge of the new Holy Synod, he might have been able to overcome his problems.  This is why they started with 'get help' rather than 'get lost.'  The Holy Synod was trying to help him.  Getting help works, and that's why we preach this to our people.

In the end, I think there were people who encouraged Metropolitan Jonah to continue in this dysfunction, and this led to his downfall.  My estimation is that there were a lot of people who hoped that he would carry out their wishes which were contrary to the direction of the Holy Synod.

The mere fact that the DC situation was handled outside of OCA administrative norms by the very man who was charged with supervising the administration of the OCA should tell us something.  At some point, he abandoned his self-understanding of being the supervisor of the administration.  I think this happened early on when he went to DC and left Syosset to 'run itself.'

Clearly, something was wrong.

I hope now he will get the help that he needs, for his own peace of mind.


I think the situation that people might be misunderstanding here, is that we aren't dealing with a situation where the Metropolitan himself abused this girl (God forbid, he is a wonderful man) but it is the problem of how he dealt with the situation.

He apparently did not inform the synod about this Priest, which was fully within his rights and his duty to do. While the girl told the Metropolitan in confidence about the situation and he couldn't share it, he still had a duty to inform the Synod that this Priest had problems and has been accused by an anonymous source, of abuse.

Metropolitan Jonah is a good, wonderful man. He is very kind, caring and from what I've seen, humble. He is a good Orthodox Christian and a good monk. I think he would also be a good Priest and, if given time, I good diocesan Bishop. But he was just too "young" and inexperienced as a Bishop to appoint to the top position.

I don't think the statement by the Holy Synod defames him or somehow hurts his reputation. He is still a good man, he just could have dealt with this better, and it is probably best that the position of Metropolitan be given to someone who has a bit more experience as a hierarch.

I think Bishop Jonah did a fine job as Metropolitan, he could have done better and made some mistakes. Unfortunately some of those mistakes endangered faithful and endangered the church.
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« Reply #265 on: July 20, 2012, 11:42:26 AM »

I am locking this thread for a couple of days to figure out how to address issues that have been brought up with the moderation team. Thanks, Second Chance
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« Reply #266 on: July 21, 2012, 10:56:47 AM »

After reviewing the case, I have determined the following.

A Forum member made the following point "(posts) that give specific identifying information (name, national origin, assignment, previous experience)--anything sufficient to determine his identity should be removed at once. I do not like the priest in question, but he is still entitled to a presumption of innocence and all other protections offered under US and canon law. I am amazed these posts weren't pulled. By the moderator and the posters warned."

The applicable rule is:

   * Criminal Accusations -- Original accusations of criminal conduct against individuals will not be made on the forum. By original, we mean accusations that are drawn from original research or from information collected from sources that are not peer-reviewed which contain original research. Examples would be a blog post without reference to legal proceedings or a news article that appears only on one or a few sites of undetermined accuracy (clarify this part up?). Determinations of appropriateness will be made by the section moderator.  If there is an ongoing, documented public criminal investigation about an individual already in process, and such a discussion is germane to the scope of this forum (for instance, an Orthodox individual is arrested for misconduct and there is a discussion about the facts of the case) then such discussion will be allowed within limit (at the discretion of the moderator of the section)."

As authorized by the rule, I have determined that:

1. Fellow moderator PeterTheAleut was correct in masking the name of the alleged priest in posts made by several Forum members. Furthermore, PetertheAleut's quick action in masking the name was an outstanding example of moderatorial responsiveness.

2. I do not accept the recommendation to mask "specific identifying information (name, national origin, assignment, previous experience)" in its totality. As indicated above, protecting the name of the individual is sufficient to be in compliance with the rule cited above. I also do not accept the recommendation to pull or delete the posts that have that information.

Since the moderators are doing their job as volunteers, it is possible that they will not be able to react quickly to the publication of the priest's name. Therefore, should such an infraction occur from now on, the offender will start in severe moderation status rather than the  usual warning status. The thread is now unlocked. Thanks, Second Chance





« Last Edit: July 21, 2012, 11:08:40 AM by Second Chance » Logged

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« Reply #267 on: July 21, 2012, 12:13:48 PM »

Thank you, Moderation Team, for your efforts to navigate this minefield.

To respect the terms set, I will try to avoid crossing the lines.

On another forum, a trascript of a letter was posted which I will only partly quote:

11th of April 2009

To
The Elders' Council
of the Holy Monastery of XXXXXX
at XXXXXXX

In answer to your document of April 11th, 2009, Reg. No. 19, we make known to you that we approve Section B of the Minutes/11 April 2009 concerning the issuance of a joint Letter of Canonical Release to the brothers of your Monastery, XXXXXXXXX and XXXXXXXXX (lay name XXXXXXXXX), following upon the Letter of His Beatitude Jonah, Archbishop of Washington and New York, for the foundation of Sacred Monasteries therein.

THE METROPOLITAN

(signature)
X X X X
of X X X X X X X X X X X X X
(seal)


(Note to Moderators: I reviewed the Rules and am not sure how to handle this, so I posted without an originating link.  If there is a question as to where I got this from, I can provide a source, but I do not want to violate Forum rules ragarding links.)

The second name in the letter is that of the priest in question that originated this controversy.  So, His Beatitude requested this priest and the originating metropolitan issued a release.

Now, some are saying that because Metropolitan Jonah did not enroll this priest in the usual manner, that he was not 'technically received' into the OCA.  This is a very hard position to hold, since the situation looks very much like a standard transfer.  Whether a form was filled out or a data entry made, the fact is that the priest in question was:

1. Requested by His Beatitude
2. Released with a formal letter by the originating bishop
3. Took up residency in the territory of His Beatitude
4. Served in the cathedral of His Beatitude

It passes the Duck Rule. It also passes the canonical test for a transfer.  Whether His Beatitude officially notified his own administration of the transfer has no bearing on the canons.

This punches a hole in the "Godmother's Letter" which claims no transfer occured, as well as the narrative that the Holy Synod's letter was inaccurate.  Now, we can make allowances for people who were unaware that the transfer had been completed because the priest in question was not enrolled in the clergy list of the OCA, but that does not erase the fact that this transfer was done according to the canons.

The larger question now is what ROCOR was told by His Beatitude.  If there is a variance between the facts of the transfer and the narrative it was given, ROCOR has every right to feel upset.

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« Reply #268 on: July 21, 2012, 02:38:56 PM »

Thank you Father Giryus for your scrupulous observance of the Forum rules.
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« Reply #269 on: July 21, 2012, 05:01:30 PM »

My thanks to the Moderator team for giving this situation due consideration!

Thank you Father Giryus for your scrupulous observance of the Forum rules.
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