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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 31144 times) Average Rating: 0
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podkarpatska
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« Reply #315 on: August 08, 2012, 06:01:45 PM »

The criticism I heard was that there was plenty of monastic foundation in the OCA already, and it was seen as unnecessary and confusing to add not only a new 'foreign' element, but one from the Byzantine tradition rather than Slavic or Romanian, which are already well-established in the US under the OCA.  However, I must emphasize that I am not sure the Metopolitan's vision regarding their role was ever completely explained in a public manner.  If I missed it, I would appreciate someone pointing out where such a vision was released for general review.

Possibly related to this, I never understood what was so wrong with the "D.C. Nuns," why were they so controversial?  I know that many believed that they had not been canonically released from their bishop in Greece, but I don't understand why so many opposed their admission to the OCA.  Is it this matter of them not being Athonite?  Does anyone know why they were so controversial while Metropolitan Jonah was trying to have them admitted?  

Another criticism was simply against the basic idea -- a co-mingling of cathedral/monastery/church headquarters under one inter-related complex -- as a recipe for confusion of (canonical) roles.

Even though it worked OK for more than a thousand years.


Certainly not. A monk involved in cathedral life or church administration is no monk at all. At least not in the Orthodox tradition.

That is against the teaching of various Church Fathers and Saints such as Saint Basil the Great, Saint John Chrysostom, Saint Gregory Palamas, and Saint Gregory the Dialogist to name a few.

Saint Basil taught that monks should not be delegated to the role of the ascetic only, but instead advocated that monks should also live in the cities of the time to help them with spiritual AND earthly needs (which certainly fits right into so called "cathedral life" and "church administration")

Saint John, Saint Gregory the Dialogist, and Saint Gregory Palamas support all Bishops being selected from the monastics, and also that priests should at times be selected from the monastics. (Certainly also fits into "cathedral life" and "church administration")

Saint Palamas also teaches that the monastic life is many times more fruitful compared to any kind of "seminary" education.





I would suggest that you rethink putting the word seminary in apostrophes as it implies a certain disregard or even disdain for the educational process (and through it the graduates of said schools) which produces most of our Orthodox priests across the world who faithfully serve us in the Vineyard of our parishes.

Only quoting Saint Palamas

He is not infallible and you took him out of context in making your 'point.' (And if you are quoting someone, you should provide a citation or reference to your assertion.)
« Last Edit: August 08, 2012, 06:03:15 PM by podkarpatska » Logged
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« Reply #316 on: August 08, 2012, 08:34:10 PM »

I am not aware that His Beatitude ever entirely explained his vision of integrating the "DC Nuns" into the administration of the OCA.

Certainly not. A monk involved in cathedral life or church administration is no monk at all. At least not in the Orthodox tradition.
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« Reply #317 on: September 08, 2012, 09:29:17 PM »

This was posted either today or yesterday.

An Open Letter to the Orthodox Church in America: by Christine Fevronia

http://www.christinefevronia.blogspot.com/  (sorry I don't know how to hyperlink)

Quote
This is the story as I have pieced it together, taken from various news sources and first-hand accounts from witnesses.  What I have learned in my research is contained within the following pages.

It is well documented and quite long... but also very helpful for those of us trying to sort through all this.
« Last Edit: September 08, 2012, 09:29:34 PM by PrincessMommy » Logged
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« Reply #318 on: September 08, 2012, 10:35:08 PM »

This was posted either today or yesterday.

An Open Letter to the Orthodox Church in America: by Christine Fevronia

http://www.christinefevronia.blogspot.com/  (sorry I don't know how to hyperlink)

Quote
This is the story as I have pieced it together, taken from various news sources and first-hand accounts from witnesses.  What I have learned in my research is contained within the following pages.

It is well documented and quite long... but also very helpful for those of us trying to sort through all this.
Why should we embrace the conclusions of one Christine Fevronia over all the other conclusions being floated around both on this forum and outside it?
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« Reply #319 on: September 08, 2012, 11:59:20 PM »

Whoever she is, she doesn't have a very tight grasp of the facts.  For example, she states:

Fr. Jonah was enthroned as Metropolitan of the Orthodox Church of America in November 2008, the third such Metropolitan of the autocephalous Orthodox Church of America (OCA), preceded by Metropolitan Theodosius Lazor (served 1977-2002), and Metropolitan Herman Swaiko (served 2002-2008).i

This is wrong: Metropolitan Ireney (Bekish) was the first primate of the OCA (c.f. http://oca.org/holy-synod/past-primates/ireney-bekish).

She also wrote:
Prior to his elevation as Metropolitan of the OCA, Metropolitan Jonah received two Master’s degrees (Master’s of Divinity, 1985; Master’s of Theology, 1988), joined Valaam Monastery in Russia, was tonsured a Hieromonk in 1994. He founded and served as Abbot of St. John’s Monastery for 12 years.

Whereas Metropolitan Jonah's official biography says:

He was ordained to the diaconate and priesthood in 1994 and in 1995 was tonsured to monastic rank at St. Tikhon’s Monastery, South Canaan, PA, having received the name Jonah.

Her letter has a number of other errors, which I don't have time to delve into in detail (weekends are busy).  Needless to say, having invoked her emotions, I doubt it would help much to try to correct it.


This was posted either today or yesterday.

An Open Letter to the Orthodox Church in America: by Christine Fevronia

http://www.christinefevronia.blogspot.com/  (sorry I don't know how to hyperlink)

Quote
This is the story as I have pieced it together, taken from various news sources and first-hand accounts from witnesses.  What I have learned in my research is contained within the following pages.

It is well documented and quite long... but also very helpful for those of us trying to sort through all this.
Why should we embrace the conclusions of one Christine Fevronia over all the other conclusions being floated around both on this forum and outside it?
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« Reply #320 on: September 09, 2012, 12:20:24 AM »

You have to wonder about the "fact" situations she sets forth throughout her discourse, if she failed to understand even the most basic of  facts about Metropolitan Jonah's career, which are quite available to the public.  She claims he served as "Bishop of the South for less than one year."  Wrong, he never was elected Bishop of Dallas, the diocesan seat, but was elected Bishop of Fort Worth, a titular title because he was the auxiliary to the ruling bishop, Archbishop Dimitri of Dallas and the Diocese of the South.  Yes, he served "less than a year," much less than a year, 8 days if I'm not mistaken, though he had been serving as the Chancellor for a few months prior, a position he was intended to serve in as the auxiliary bishop.

Who is this women?
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« Reply #321 on: September 09, 2012, 08:07:12 AM »

This was posted either today or yesterday.

An Open Letter to the Orthodox Church in America: by Christine Fevronia

http://www.christinefevronia.blogspot.com/  (sorry I don't know how to hyperlink)

Quote
This is the story as I have pieced it together, taken from various news sources and first-hand accounts from witnesses.  What I have learned in my research is contained within the following pages.

It is well documented and quite long... but also very helpful for those of us trying to sort through all this.
Why should we embrace the conclusions of one Christine Fevronia over all the other conclusions being floated around both on this forum and outside it?

I don't believe I said that.  Did I say that?  Don't put words in my mouth.   I put it out there because someone had taken all the pieces of the puzzle and tried to put them together in an organized manner.  If you don't like her conclusions you are certainly welcome to do the same and add your own commentary as she has.
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« Reply #322 on: September 09, 2012, 08:07:57 AM »

Whoever she is, she doesn't have a very tight grasp of the facts.  For example, she states:

Fr. Jonah was enthroned as Metropolitan of the Orthodox Church of America in November 2008, the third such Metropolitan of the autocephalous Orthodox Church of America (OCA), preceded by Metropolitan Theodosius Lazor (served 1977-2002), and Metropolitan Herman Swaiko (served 2002-2008).i

This is wrong: Metropolitan Ireney (Bekish) was the first primate of the OCA (c.f. http://oca.org/holy-synod/past-primates/ireney-bekish).

She also wrote:
Prior to his elevation as Metropolitan of the OCA, Metropolitan Jonah received two Master’s degrees (Master’s of Divinity, 1985; Master’s of Theology, 1988), joined Valaam Monastery in Russia, was tonsured a Hieromonk in 1994. He founded and served as Abbot of St. John’s Monastery for 12 years.

Whereas Metropolitan Jonah's official biography says:

He was ordained to the diaconate and priesthood in 1994 and in 1995 was tonsured to monastic rank at St. Tikhon’s Monastery, South Canaan, PA, having received the name Jonah.

Her letter has a number of other errors, which I don't have time to delve into in detail (weekends are busy).  Needless to say, having invoked her emotions, I doubt it would help much to try to correct it.


This was posted either today or yesterday.

An Open Letter to the Orthodox Church in America: by Christine Fevronia

http://www.christinefevronia.blogspot.com/  (sorry I don't know how to hyperlink)

Quote
This is the story as I have pieced it together, taken from various news sources and first-hand accounts from witnesses.  What I have learned in my research is contained within the following pages.

It is well documented and quite long... but also very helpful for those of us trying to sort through all this.
Why should we embrace the conclusions of one Christine Fevronia over all the other conclusions being floated around both on this forum and outside it?

You should email her with those corrections.  She's asked for feedback.
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« Reply #323 on: September 09, 2012, 10:29:29 AM »

People often ask for things they don't really want.  As in:

"Be honest... does this dress make me look fat?"

Her ends says that she has given herself emotional justification not to change her mind.  I'm not going to engage in a useless activity.  The introduction may say "I'm open," but the conclusion says, "Case closed."

I think the feedback she's really looking for is agreement.  Having read through it, I can't give her that.

You should email her with those corrections.  She's asked for feedback.

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« Reply #324 on: September 09, 2012, 10:56:33 AM »

This was posted either today or yesterday.

An Open Letter to the Orthodox Church in America: by Christine Fevronia

http://www.christinefevronia.blogspot.com/  (sorry I don't know how to hyperlink)

Quote
This is the story as I have pieced it together, taken from various news sources and first-hand accounts from witnesses.  What I have learned in my research is contained within the following pages.

It is well documented and quite long... but also very helpful for those of us trying to sort through all this.
Why should we embrace the conclusions of one Christine Fevronia over all the other conclusions being floated around both on this forum and outside it?

I don't believe I said that.  Did I say that?  Don't put words in my mouth.
I didn't say that you said that, so please calm down. Smiley
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« Reply #325 on: September 09, 2012, 12:38:09 PM »

People often ask for things they don't really want.  As in:

"Be honest... does this dress make me look fat?"

Her ends says that she has given herself emotional justification not to change her mind.  I'm not going to engage in a useless activity.  The introduction may say "I'm open," but the conclusion says, "Case closed."

I think the feedback she's really looking for is agreement.  Having read through it, I can't give her that.

You should email her with those corrections.  She's asked for feedback.


I suspect there are people on both sides who saying "case closed".   Wink  This is why I encourage EVERYONE to engage her (since she asked).  I've certainly seen enough of that attitude here.... move along folks, nothing to see here.

I know of two people who have emailed her to give her feedback and corrections (myself being one) and she's been quite open. 
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« Reply #326 on: September 09, 2012, 01:22:25 PM »

People often ask for things they don't really want.  As in:

"Be honest... does this dress make me look fat?"

Her ends says that she has given herself emotional justification not to change her mind.  I'm not going to engage in a useless activity.  The introduction may say "I'm open," but the conclusion says, "Case closed."

I think the feedback she's really looking for is agreement.  Having read through it, I can't give her that.

You should email her with those corrections.  She's asked for feedback.


I suspect there are people on both sides who saying "case closed".   Wink  This is why I encourage EVERYONE to engage her (since she asked).  I've certainly seen enough of that attitude here.... move along folks, nothing to see here.

I know of two people who have emailed her to give her feedback and corrections (myself being one) and she's been quite open.  

I am not going to engage with a person who says the following:

"The SMPAC wrote on the first page of their Memorandum:  “In order to generate a readable document in a timely manner, citations and footnotes are not included; however, all of the facts and observations contained herein are based on documentary evidence available in the OCA Chancery and/or on verifiable, trustworthy statements.” This is unacceptable for an official church document.  Assertions of the nature made within the Memorandum must be verifiable."

The highlighted sentences are evidence of a mindset that will not tolerate dissent. Just who is she to think that she is competent to determine the proper quality of an official church document? Even if she had the qualifications to make such a judgment, why does she not lay out her argument in a manner that befits discussion an official church document--that is, with canonical citations and historical arguments? Something is quite rotten here and I suspect that she may be yet another incarnation of Metropolitan Jonah's eminence grise, Father Joseph Fester.

I believe this letter is nothing but yet another attempt to reinstate Metropolitan Jonah as Primate. It is part of a campaign in which the main players are the Monomakhos Blog and regular, but shadowy characters, who have Internet names like Helga, Nikos, Um, etc. I also suspect that our own Princess Mommy is somehow associated with these characters. Why else would she so ever innocently put on the table such a propaganda document?
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« Reply #327 on: September 09, 2012, 03:27:47 PM »

People often ask for things they don't really want.  As in:

"Be honest... does this dress make me look fat?"

Her ends says that she has given herself emotional justification not to change her mind.  I'm not going to engage in a useless activity.  The introduction may say "I'm open," but the conclusion says, "Case closed."

I think the feedback she's really looking for is agreement.  Having read through it, I can't give her that.

You should email her with those corrections.  She's asked for feedback.


I suspect there are people on both sides who saying "case closed".   Wink  This is why I encourage EVERYONE to engage her (since she asked).  I've certainly seen enough of that attitude here.... move along folks, nothing to see here.

The Abbess, after taking her monastery's website private, appears to be the final action of "case closed" to the public except to her supporters and financiers.  The monastery posted documents that raised questions about the nuns and hieromonks canonical release from their Greek monastery.  Then in this public document, the writer suggests that anything noncanonical should be forgiven:

Quote
If there is anything that Metropolitan Jonah or Elder Dionysios did that was supposedly “noncanonical”, then it was unintentional and without deceit or guile, done for the betterment of relations between the OCA and the Elder Dionysios and his venerable monasteries, done in Christian love—not in deception—for the holy purpose of establishing monasteries in America.  I am willing to give our Metropolitan the benefit of the doubt that he and Elder Dionysios may not have followed, to the letter, protocol in matters of inter-jurisdictional transfers.  That is to be forgiven, is it not?
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« Reply #328 on: September 09, 2012, 04:49:35 PM »

People often ask for things they don't really want.  As in:

"Be honest... does this dress make me look fat?"

Her ends says that she has given herself emotional justification not to change her mind.  I'm not going to engage in a useless activity.  The introduction may say "I'm open," but the conclusion says, "Case closed."

I think the feedback she's really looking for is agreement.  Having read through it, I can't give her that.

You should email her with those corrections.  She's asked for feedback.


I suspect there are people on both sides who saying "case closed".   Wink  This is why I encourage EVERYONE to engage her (since she asked).  I've certainly seen enough of that attitude here.... move along folks, nothing to see here.

I know of two people who have emailed her to give her feedback and corrections (myself being one) and she's been quite open.  

I am not going to engage with a person who says the following:

"The SMPAC wrote on the first page of their Memorandum:  “In order to generate a readable document in a timely manner, citations and footnotes are not included; however, all of the facts and observations contained herein are based on documentary evidence available in the OCA Chancery and/or on verifiable, trustworthy statements.” This is unacceptable for an official church document.  Assertions of the nature made within the Memorandum must be verifiable."

The highlighted sentences are evidence of a mindset that will not tolerate dissent. Just who is she to think that she is competent to determine the proper quality of an official church document? Even if she had the qualifications to make such a judgment, why does she not lay out her argument in a manner that befits discussion an official church document--that is, with canonical citations and historical arguments? Something is quite rotten here and I suspect that she may be yet another incarnation of Metropolitan Jonah's eminence grise, Father Joseph Fester.

I believe this letter is nothing but yet another attempt to reinstate Metropolitan Jonah as Primate. It is part of a campaign in which the main players are the Monomakhos Blog and regular, but shadowy characters, who have Internet names like Helga, Nikos, Um, etc. I also suspect that our own Princess Mommy is somehow associated with these characters. Why else would she so ever innocently put on the table such a propaganda document?

sorry - I don't know those people.  At least I don't think I know them.   I actually found the document because a friend forwarded it to me and they found it on AIO.org.  I would rather see OCA clean its house more than I'd like to Met. JONAH reinstated.  Having him reinstated is a long-shot in the best of circumstances.  I would like to see him treated with some respect.  I think he'd make a great abbot of a monastery again.

I'm sorry if you guys don't like more information forwarded to you on this subject.  I was under the impression that this was a good place to look at all sides of an issue.  Apparently I'm wrong.

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« Reply #329 on: September 09, 2012, 04:52:27 PM »

People often ask for things they don't really want.  As in:

"Be honest... does this dress make me look fat?"

Her ends says that she has given herself emotional justification not to change her mind.  I'm not going to engage in a useless activity.  The introduction may say "I'm open," but the conclusion says, "Case closed."

I think the feedback she's really looking for is agreement.  Having read through it, I can't give her that.

You should email her with those corrections.  She's asked for feedback.


I suspect there are people on both sides who saying "case closed".   Wink  This is why I encourage EVERYONE to engage her (since she asked).  I've certainly seen enough of that attitude here.... move along folks, nothing to see here.

The Abbess, after taking her monastery's website private, appears to be the final action of "case closed" to the public except to her supporters and financiers.  The monastery posted documents that raised questions about the nuns and hieromonks canonical release from their Greek monastery.  Then in this public document, the writer suggests that anything noncanonical should be forgiven:

Quote
If there is anything that Metropolitan Jonah or Elder Dionysios did that was supposedly “noncanonical”, then it was unintentional and without deceit or guile, done for the betterment of relations between the OCA and the Elder Dionysios and his venerable monasteries, done in Christian love—not in deception—for the holy purpose of establishing monasteries in America.  I am willing to give our Metropolitan the benefit of the doubt that he and Elder Dionysios may not have followed, to the letter, protocol in matters of inter-jurisdictional transfers.  That is to be forgiven, is it not?

She seems to be okay with it... but apparently the nuns were not.  At least that is how I read Abbess A. posts before they went private.  I didn't know that... anyone know why she did it?
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« Reply #330 on: September 09, 2012, 04:57:03 PM »

I'm sorry if you guys don't like more information forwarded to you on this subject. 

Some people, particularly here, are only interested in 'more information' when it jibes with what they have already decided.
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« Reply #331 on: September 09, 2012, 05:08:10 PM »

I'm sorry if you guys don't like more information forwarded to you on this subject. 

Some people, particularly here, are only interested in 'more information' when it jibes with what they have already decided.

yes, and the same can be said about Monomokhos.   That's why I'm particularly disappointed that people here on OC.net, who caught some flaws in the document, are unwilling to contact her to tell her so. 
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« Reply #332 on: September 09, 2012, 05:35:45 PM »

I'm sorry if you guys don't like more information forwarded to you on this subject.

Some people, particularly here, are only interested in 'more information' when it jibes with what they have already decided.

yes, and the same can be said about Monomokhos.   That's why I'm particularly disappointed that people here on OC.net, who caught some flaws in the document, are unwilling to contact her to tell her so.  

The OCA needs to put its history with the Greek nuns and hieromonks in the past tense.  The monastics are on US soil; most of them are US citizens.  They wish to remain private as evident by their private web blog.  They have a lot of friends at St. Nicholas in Washington, DC and elsewhere.  Why does this individual need our help when she already has all the answers and her mind is made up that she supports Met. Jonah and the nuns and the hieromonks?

The OCA has a lot of issues with its Hierarchy and thought that Greek monastics would "save the day."  Now the Greek monastics have the last laugh with private web blogs.  The OCA couldn't handle one drunk hieromonk who received preferential (almost diplomatic-like) treatment by the Washington, DC police department and judicial system.
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« Reply #333 on: September 09, 2012, 05:47:31 PM »

I'm sorry if you guys don't like more information forwarded to you on this subject.

Some people, particularly here, are only interested in 'more information' when it jibes with what they have already decided.

yes, and the same can be said about Monomokhos.   That's why I'm particularly disappointed that people here on OC.net, who caught some flaws in the document, are unwilling to contact her to tell her so.  

The OCA needs to put its history with the Greek nuns and hieromonks in the past tense.  The monastics are on US soil; most of them are US citizens.  They wish to remain private as evident by their private web blog.  They have a lot of friends at St. Nicholas in Washington, DC and elsewhere.  Why does this individual need our help when she already has all the answers and her mind is made up that she supports Met. Jonah and the nuns and the hieromonks?

The OCA has a lot of issues with its Hierarchy and thought that Greek monastics would "save the day."  Now the Greek monastics have the last laugh with private web blogs.  The OCA couldn't handle one drunk hieromonk who received preferential (almost diplomatic-like) treatment by the Washington, DC police department and judicial system.

A monastery, like any Eastern Orthodox institution, such as a parish church, must be under a hierarch.  This monastery's move to a private website is not a productive indication that it is moving in the direction of securing canonical sanction.  What a waste.
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« Reply #334 on: September 09, 2012, 06:08:38 PM »

People often ask for things they don't really want.  As in:

"Be honest... does this dress make me look fat?"

Her ends says that she has given herself emotional justification not to change her mind.  I'm not going to engage in a useless activity.  The introduction may say "I'm open," but the conclusion says, "Case closed."

I think the feedback she's really looking for is agreement.  Having read through it, I can't give her that.

You should email her with those corrections.  She's asked for feedback.


I suspect there are people on both sides who saying "case closed".   Wink  This is why I encourage EVERYONE to engage her (since she asked).  I've certainly seen enough of that attitude here.... move along folks, nothing to see here.

I know of two people who have emailed her to give her feedback and corrections (myself being one) and she's been quite open.  

I am not going to engage with a person who says the following:

"The SMPAC wrote on the first page of their Memorandum:  “In order to generate a readable document in a timely manner, citations and footnotes are not included; however, all of the facts and observations contained herein are based on documentary evidence available in the OCA Chancery and/or on verifiable, trustworthy statements.” This is unacceptable for an official church document.  Assertions of the nature made within the Memorandum must be verifiable."

The highlighted sentences are evidence of a mindset that will not tolerate dissent. Just who is she to think that she is competent to determine the proper quality of an official church document? Even if she had the qualifications to make such a judgment, why does she not lay out her argument in a manner that befits discussion an official church document--that is, with canonical citations and historical arguments? Something is quite rotten here and I suspect that she may be yet another incarnation of Metropolitan Jonah's eminence grise, Father Joseph Fester.

I believe this letter is nothing but yet another attempt to reinstate Metropolitan Jonah as Primate. It is part of a campaign in which the main players are the Monomakhos Blog and regular, but shadowy characters, who have Internet names like Helga, Nikos, Um, etc. I also suspect that our own Princess Mommy is somehow associated with these characters. Why else would she so ever innocently put on the table such a propaganda document?

I agree with most of what is said in this post, but I disagree with the allegation of the intentions of posting the "Fevronia Letter."  It is information relative to the issue.  The fact that the entire Holy Synod unanimously acted to force the "First Among Them" to resign, indicates an apparently necessary action, however, documentation that has surfaced since, including the Holy Synod's explanation, do not support the forced resignation in my opinion.  Therefore, additional documentation assists in an understanding of what happened, if for no other reason than to possibly assist in avoiding the election of a failing primate, in any church, in the future.  I remain compelled to accept the Synod's action, but do not see the justification for it as yet.  In the end, the "Fevronia Letter" offers nothing to enable a better understanding, unfortunately.
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« Reply #335 on: September 09, 2012, 07:03:42 PM »

I'm sorry if you guys don't like more information forwarded to you on this subject. 

Some people, particularly here, are only interested in 'more information' when it jibes with what they have already decided.

yes, and the same can be said about Monomokhos.   That's why I'm particularly disappointed that people here on OC.net, who caught some flaws in the document, are unwilling to contact her to tell her so. 
Where do you get that idea?
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« Reply #336 on: September 09, 2012, 07:42:16 PM »

I'm sorry if you guys don't like more information forwarded to you on this subject.

Some people, particularly here, are only interested in 'more information' when it jibes with what they have already decided.

yes, and the same can be said about Monomokhos.   That's why I'm particularly disappointed that people here on OC.net, who caught some flaws in the document, are unwilling to contact her to tell her so.  
Where do you get that idea?
'

I assume you are referring to what I highlighted above, if not please correct me:

This is why (I've highlighted them too:)

People often ask for things they don't really want.  As in:

"Be honest... does this dress make me look fat?"

Her ends says that she has given herself emotional justification not to change her mind.  I'm not going to engage in a useless activity.  The introduction may say "I'm open," but the conclusion says, "Case closed."

I think the feedback she's really looking for is agreement.  Having read through it, I can't give her that.

You should email her with those corrections.  She's asked for feedback.


I suspect there are people on both sides who saying "case closed".   Wink  This is why I encourage EVERYONE to engage her (since she asked).  I've certainly seen enough of that attitude here.... move along folks, nothing to see here.

I know of two people who have emailed her to give her feedback and corrections (myself being one) and she's been quite open.  

I am not going to engage with a person who says the following:

"The SMPAC wrote on the first page of their Memorandum:  “In order to generate a readable document in a timely manner, citations and footnotes are not included; however, all of the facts and observations contained herein are based on documentary evidence available in the OCA Chancery and/or on verifiable, trustworthy statements.” This is unacceptable for an official church document.  Assertions of the nature made within the Memorandum must be verifiable."

The highlighted sentences are evidence of a mindset that will not tolerate dissent. Just who is she to think that she is competent to determine the proper quality of an official church document? Even if she had the qualifications to make such a judgment, why does she not lay out her argument in a manner that befits discussion an official church document--that is, with canonical citations and historical arguments? Something is quite rotten here and I suspect that she may be yet another incarnation of Metropolitan Jonah's eminence grise, Father Joseph Fester.

I believe this letter is nothing but yet another attempt to reinstate Metropolitan Jonah as Primate. It is part of a campaign in which the main players are the Monomakhos Blog and regular, but shadowy characters, who have Internet names like Helga, Nikos, Um, etc. I also suspect that our own Princess Mommy is somehow associated with these characters. Why else would she so ever innocently put on the table such a propaganda document?

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« Reply #337 on: September 09, 2012, 08:44:18 PM »

I'm sorry if you guys don't like more information forwarded to you on this subject.

Some people, particularly here, are only interested in 'more information' when it jibes with what they have already decided.

yes, and the same can be said about Monomokhos.   That's why I'm particularly disappointed that people here on OC.net, who caught some flaws in the document, are unwilling to contact her to tell her so.  
Where do you get that idea?
'

I assume you are referring to what I highlighted above, if not please correct me:

This is why (I've highlighted them too:)

People often ask for things they don't really want.  As in:

"Be honest... does this dress make me look fat?"

Her ends says that she has given herself emotional justification not to change her mind.  I'm not going to engage in a useless activity.  The introduction may say "I'm open," but the conclusion says, "Case closed."

I think the feedback she's really looking for is agreement.  Having read through it, I can't give her that.

You should email her with those corrections.  She's asked for feedback.


I suspect there are people on both sides who saying "case closed".   Wink  This is why I encourage EVERYONE to engage her (since she asked).  I've certainly seen enough of that attitude here.... move along folks, nothing to see here.

I know of two people who have emailed her to give her feedback and corrections (myself being one) and she's been quite open.  

I am not going to engage with a person who says the following:

"The SMPAC wrote on the first page of their Memorandum:  “In order to generate a readable document in a timely manner, citations and footnotes are not included; however, all of the facts and observations contained herein are based on documentary evidence available in the OCA Chancery and/or on verifiable, trustworthy statements.” This is unacceptable for an official church document.  Assertions of the nature made within the Memorandum must be verifiable."

The highlighted sentences are evidence of a mindset that will not tolerate dissent. Just who is she to think that she is competent to determine the proper quality of an official church document? Even if she had the qualifications to make such a judgment, why does she not lay out her argument in a manner that befits discussion an official church document--that is, with canonical citations and historical arguments? Something is quite rotten here and I suspect that she may be yet another incarnation of Metropolitan Jonah's eminence grise, Father Joseph Fester.

I believe this letter is nothing but yet another attempt to reinstate Metropolitan Jonah as Primate. It is part of a campaign in which the main players are the Monomakhos Blog and regular, but shadowy characters, who have Internet names like Helga, Nikos, Um, etc. I also suspect that our own Princess Mommy is somehow associated with these characters. Why else would she so ever innocently put on the table such a propaganda document?


You're disappointed that two people have expressed their lack of desire to correct Ms. Fevronia's factual errors? Huh On last count, there are well more than 200 people who post here regularly, and you're disappointed that less than 1% of them have stated their unwillingness to engage her?
« Last Edit: September 09, 2012, 08:45:50 PM by PeterTheAleut » Logged
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« Reply #338 on: September 10, 2012, 11:43:28 AM »

FWIW: Just on a hunch, I googled the word 'fevronia' and, lo and behold an 11th century Russian tale popped up: "The Tale of Peter and Fevronia of Murom"  on wikipedia

"Apanage prince Paul (Russian: Павел) is disturbed, as a guileful snake has gotten into the habit of visiting his wife disguising himself as the prince. His wife finds out that the only man who can defeat the snake with a magiс sword is Paul's brother, Peter (Russian: Пётр). Peter defeats the snake, but its blood spills on him and his body is covered with aching scabs. No doctors can help, but suddenly Peter hears of Fevronia (Russian: Феврония), a wise young peasant maiden, who promises to heal him. As a reward she wants to marry Peter. When healed, he does not keep his promise and instead sends rich gifts to Fevronia. However, soon Peter's body is again covered with scabs. Fevronia heals him again and this time they get married. Prince Paul soon dies and Peter and Fevronia come to reign in Murom. The boyars are unhappy to have a peasant woman for princess, and they ask Fevronia to leave the city taking with her whatever riches she wants. Fevronia agrees, asking them to let her choose just one thing. The boyars find out that the wise maiden's wish was to only take her husband, so Peter and Fevronia leave Murom together. The city remains without a prince. The boyars start strifes over the reign, Murom is in havoc, and finally Peter and Fevronia are asked to return. They reign wisely and happily until their last days, which they spend in monasteries. They know they will die on the same day and ask to be buried in the same grave."

Now this led me to a proper hagiography on pravmir: http://www.pravmir.com/life-of-the-saints-peter-and-fevronia-of-murom/

(I have to get a good-natured dig in here. If one of our Greek friends posted under a pen name derived from an 11th century Hellenistic teaching hagiography to make a point, SOME of our OCA friends would be in a lather about ethno-centrism and so on...But in the American Church it's OK to borrow from Russian sources of the middle ages without an explanation. Oh well.... )

On a serious note though, one has to beware in analogizing contemporary situations to the lives of the Saints where one really does not know all of the facts about the modern situation - you really have to tred carefully and draw out the proper distinctions rather than simply being coy. Not everyone plays the assigned role of villain or 'boyar' or the role of saint.....
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« Reply #339 on: September 10, 2012, 12:44:50 PM »

Good catch.  Again, operating with a pen name... even less incentive to enter into 'corrective exchange.'  I already have enough fictional characters in my life...

FWIW: Just on a hunch, I googled the word 'fevronia' and, lo and behold an 11th century Russian tale popped up: "The Tale of Peter and Fevronia of Murom"  on wikipedia

"Apanage prince Paul (Russian: Павел) is disturbed, as a guileful snake has gotten into the habit of visiting his wife disguising himself as the prince. His wife finds out that the only man who can defeat the snake with a magiс sword is Paul's brother, Peter (Russian: Пётр). Peter defeats the snake, but its blood spills on him and his body is covered with aching scabs. No doctors can help, but suddenly Peter hears of Fevronia (Russian: Феврония), a wise young peasant maiden, who promises to heal him. As a reward she wants to marry Peter. When healed, he does not keep his promise and instead sends rich gifts to Fevronia. However, soon Peter's body is again covered with scabs. Fevronia heals him again and this time they get married. Prince Paul soon dies and Peter and Fevronia come to reign in Murom. The boyars are unhappy to have a peasant woman for princess, and they ask Fevronia to leave the city taking with her whatever riches she wants. Fevronia agrees, asking them to let her choose just one thing. The boyars find out that the wise maiden's wish was to only take her husband, so Peter and Fevronia leave Murom together. The city remains without a prince. The boyars start strifes over the reign, Murom is in havoc, and finally Peter and Fevronia are asked to return. They reign wisely and happily until their last days, which they spend in monasteries. They know they will die on the same day and ask to be buried in the same grave."

Now this led me to a proper hagiography on pravmir: http://www.pravmir.com/life-of-the-saints-peter-and-fevronia-of-murom/

(I have to get a good-natured dig in here. If one of our Greek friends posted under a pen name derived from an 11th century Hellenistic teaching hagiography to make a point, SOME of our OCA friends would be in a lather about ethno-centrism and so on...But in the American Church it's OK to borrow from Russian sources of the middle ages without an explanation. Oh well.... )

On a serious note though, one has to beware in analogizing contemporary situations to the lives of the Saints where one really does not know all of the facts about the modern situation - you really have to tred carefully and draw out the proper distinctions rather than simply being coy. Not everyone plays the assigned role of villain or 'boyar' or the role of saint.....
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« Reply #340 on: September 10, 2012, 05:17:35 PM »

FWIW: Just on a hunch, I googled the word 'fevronia' and, lo and behold an 11th century Russian tale popped up: "The Tale of Peter and Fevronia of Murom"  on wikipedia

"Apanage prince Paul (Russian: Павел) is disturbed, as a guileful snake has gotten into the habit of visiting his wife disguising himself as the prince. His wife finds out that the only man who can defeat the snake with a magiс sword is Paul's brother, Peter (Russian: Пётр). Peter defeats the snake, but its blood spills on him and his body is covered with aching scabs. No doctors can help, but suddenly Peter hears of Fevronia (Russian: Феврония), a wise young peasant maiden, who promises to heal him. As a reward she wants to marry Peter. When healed, he does not keep his promise and instead sends rich gifts to Fevronia. However, soon Peter's body is again covered with scabs. Fevronia heals him again and this time they get married. Prince Paul soon dies and Peter and Fevronia come to reign in Murom. The boyars are unhappy to have a peasant woman for princess, and they ask Fevronia to leave the city taking with her whatever riches she wants. Fevronia agrees, asking them to let her choose just one thing. The boyars find out that the wise maiden's wish was to only take her husband, so Peter and Fevronia leave Murom together. The city remains without a prince. The boyars start strifes over the reign, Murom is in havoc, and finally Peter and Fevronia are asked to return. They reign wisely and happily until their last days, which they spend in monasteries. They know they will die on the same day and ask to be buried in the same grave."

Now this led me to a proper hagiography on pravmir: http://www.pravmir.com/life-of-the-saints-peter-and-fevronia-of-murom/

(I have to get a good-natured dig in here. If one of our Greek friends posted under a pen name derived from an 11th century Hellenistic teaching hagiography to make a point, SOME of our OCA friends would be in a lather about ethno-centrism and so on...But in the American Church it's OK to borrow from Russian sources of the middle ages without an explanation. Oh well.... )

On a serious note though, one has to beware in analogizing contemporary situations to the lives of the Saints where one really does not know all of the facts about the modern situation - you really have to tred carefully and draw out the proper distinctions rather than simply being coy. Not everyone plays the assigned role of villain or 'boyar' or the role of saint.....
I do feel constrained by a sense of fairness, however, to point out the fallacy in your logic. Just because a name is found in ancient folklore or hagiography does not mean that the name cannot be someone's real name today.
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« Reply #341 on: September 10, 2012, 07:56:04 PM »

I know women named Fevronia. Greeks, actually.
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« Reply #342 on: September 10, 2012, 11:47:32 PM »

FWIW: Just on a hunch, I googled the word 'fevronia' and, lo and behold an 11th century Russian tale popped up: "The Tale of Peter and Fevronia of Murom"  on wikipedia

"Apanage prince Paul (Russian: Павел) is disturbed, as a guileful snake has gotten into the habit of visiting his wife disguising himself as the prince. His wife finds out that the only man who can defeat the snake with a magiс sword is Paul's brother, Peter (Russian: Пётр). Peter defeats the snake, but its blood spills on him and his body is covered with aching scabs. No doctors can help, but suddenly Peter hears of Fevronia (Russian: Феврония), a wise young peasant maiden, who promises to heal him. As a reward she wants to marry Peter. When healed, he does not keep his promise and instead sends rich gifts to Fevronia. However, soon Peter's body is again covered with scabs. Fevronia heals him again and this time they get married. Prince Paul soon dies and Peter and Fevronia come to reign in Murom. The boyars are unhappy to have a peasant woman for princess, and they ask Fevronia to leave the city taking with her whatever riches she wants. Fevronia agrees, asking them to let her choose just one thing. The boyars find out that the wise maiden's wish was to only take her husband, so Peter and Fevronia leave Murom together. The city remains without a prince. The boyars start strifes over the reign, Murom is in havoc, and finally Peter and Fevronia are asked to return. They reign wisely and happily until their last days, which they spend in monasteries. They know they will die on the same day and ask to be buried in the same grave."

Now this led me to a proper hagiography on pravmir: http://www.pravmir.com/life-of-the-saints-peter-and-fevronia-of-murom/

(I have to get a good-natured dig in here. If one of our Greek friends posted under a pen name derived from an 11th century Hellenistic teaching hagiography to make a point, SOME of our OCA friends would be in a lather about ethno-centrism and so on...But in the American Church it's OK to borrow from Russian sources of the middle ages without an explanation. Oh well.... )

On a serious note though, one has to beware in analogizing contemporary situations to the lives of the Saints where one really does not know all of the facts about the modern situation - you really have to tred carefully and draw out the proper distinctions rather than simply being coy. Not everyone plays the assigned role of villain or 'boyar' or the role of saint.....
I do feel constrained by a sense of fairness, however, to point out the fallacy in your logic. Just because a name is found in ancient folklore or hagiography does not mean that the name cannot be someone's real name today.

My point was not whether Fevronia could or could not be a woman's given name or Saint's name. Of course it can be so. I don't doubt that one could certainly be named Fevronia - if my memory is correct SS. Peter and Fevronia of this hagiography are highly regarded in Russia as patrons of the family.

The name and the moral of the hagiography vis-a-vis the author's point of view regarding the current OCA situation is tough to ignore. If you believe that the Metropolitan was the victim of a cabal bent on unjustly removing him, the fable fits. The analogy of the boyars representing the Synod and Peter representing the Metropolitan and the DC nuns being the Fevronia of the story is just too obvious  - at least to me.

I don't really care if the origin is Greek, Slavic or whatever - my point remains - assigning the roles of saints to contemporary figures in an ongoing debate CAN be problematic and distinguishing the 'villains' from the 'heroes' is often tough to ferret out as a situation is unfolding. I am sure that one who takes a position opposed to the blogger in question could find a hagiography that matches their own perception of the events. It is neither here nor there, but I think it is worth noting, that's all.
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« Reply #343 on: September 10, 2012, 11:58:39 PM »

If you have the time, the life of SS. Peter and Fevronia is well worth the read. It is a wonderful meeting of hagiography and Russian fairy tale tradition.
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« Reply #344 on: September 11, 2012, 12:31:28 AM »

Quote
I believe this letter is nothing but yet another attempt to reinstate Metropolitan Jonah as Primate.

Just speaking for myself, I'm fine with that. I think his reinstatement would be a good thing…assuming he still wants the job. He's got my "axios" if it comes to that.
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« Reply #345 on: September 11, 2012, 09:10:54 AM »

Much as I hate to introduce reality into wistful musings, I suspect that were Met. Jonah to somehow 'resurface' as primate of the OCA, that the OCA would likely find itself truly isolated from the rest of the North American jurisdictions for a variety of reasons - not the least of which would be a real credibility gap and the reality that the hierarchical structure of the OCA would be suspect in that the diocesan Bishops would be weakened and the role of the primate (and the laity responsible for his restoration) elevated. It is difficult to express what I am getting at, but such a restoration would only come upon the collapse of the ability of the remaining Bishops to govern effectively, a lack of future collegiality and conciliarity, a purge of many, if not most, of the current diocesan  Bishops and a likely schism. I realize that from within the OCA, especially among those ardent supporters of the Metropolitan, such a scenario is difficult to envision - but from the outside looking in the restoration of Met. Jonah simply doesn't seem feasible.
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« Reply #346 on: September 11, 2012, 11:17:36 AM »

I agree with what's you've said here, and would like to add a further issue: the OCA, and to a lesser extent the other jurisdictions for the time being though they will catch up, is stuck between two conflicting paradigms of leadership: a 'democratic' expectation and a 'hierarchical' one.

On the one hand, the OCA has made a great deal about its 'All-American Councils,' Metropolitan Council, 'vetting' episcopal candidates, local (read single-parish) 'customs' etc.  There has been plenty of talk about conciliarity, transparency, accountability, and the like as American virtues and necessary ingredients to an American church.

Yet, our tradition outlines a very different: the canons describe a system where almost all the charisms and responsibilities fall with the hierarchy, who are self-selecting as a group and vested with total power without lay involvement. 

For its history, and the history of many jurisdictions here in the States and Canada, we have oscillated back and forth between these two models.  Bishops will talk conciliarity and sharing one moment, then, when it suits them, go back in the other direction and claim hierarchical privilege.  Then we read the fine print: such talk about committees and commissions is merely advisory in nature.  The ultimate decisions rest with the hierarchs, and they can take or leave your demands based on how far they think they can go in getting what they want before people get annoyed and either stop writing checks or stay home altogether.

This is not to say that all bishops act this way, and I am singling out no particular bishop, but we can see how this schizophrenia has played out over the years.

This makes turnovers in leadership particularly dangerous: when you think of the OCA's woes, recall as well Archbishop Spyridon's tenure.  Think also about the angstful whispers amongst Antiochians about who the next metropolitan will be after the passing of Metropolitan Phillip.  I know some clergy who have threatened to leave the Archdiocese if their 'candidate' doesn't get the nod.  My response has always been to go ahead and leave now... you just don't get how the Church operates.

Because of this conflicting set of expectations, the hierarch in America is at a disadvantage to his overseas brethren.  He must be adept at balancing these two modes of management, not appearing to tyrannical while maintaining his canonical duties.  It is pretty clear that not every man who would be a bishop can strike this equilibrium and maintain it.

Of course, if one falls to one side or the other, no matter if one has really been all that dictatorial or indicisive, there will be a whole chorus of people screaming for blood.  "Don't you know we are supposed to like him... why is he making us hate him by not fulfilling all our dreams about a perfect bishop?"  Unfortunately, there are enough examples of bishops who quite literally 'crash and burn' to make such demands seem quite reasonable.

In the end, a bishop might be a disappointment, but that's not enough for him to be removed.  He must violate the canons, because it is the canonical tradition that governs the Church.  Same is true of priests who cannot be deposed without canonical cause or their own cooperation.

I think people in the OCA, if they want the OCA to survive, need to lower their expectations of their hierarchs, and the rest of us would do well to follow suit.  We don't need a superhero in a sakkos, we need a moral man.  We don't need the best speechwriters and go-getters, we need men who earnestly seek God.  We don't even need a man who makes us look good or feel important, we need a man who will make reasonable decisions and take care of his assigned tasks.

In the conversations about Metropolitan Jonah, I have seen so many of these extreme tendencies.  As I've said, one can understand where they come from when you've had such 'winners' as Metropolitan Theodosius, Bishop Tikhon (Fitzgerald, of 'Love +BT' fame), and Bishop Nikolai (Soraich).  They've been as embarrassing as they were ineffective.  I know how much OCA folks want to feel better about their hierarchs.  Thus, they placed a lot of expectations on Metropolitan Jonah, who was the people's choice.  They look to his ecumenical presentations and suddenly they did not feel so backward and neglected.

The disappointment comes with the discovery that the things that he was really good at were not really the things he needed to do.  He needed to be an astute manager and interpreter of the canons, leading his Synod through the management of the community.  He was expectated to maintain good relations with the various hierarchs who have a stake in the country.  Those things did not happen.

We should all pray that the next Metropolitan of the OCA is not glamorous or wonderful or brilliant or even publicly empathetic, but that he is a God-fearing man who can manage the day-to-day affairs of a church that he loves and people that he cares for.


Much as I hate to introduce reality into wistful musings, I suspect that were Met. Jonah to somehow 'resurface' as primate of the OCA, that the OCA would likely find itself truly isolated from the rest of the North American jurisdictions for a variety of reasons - not the least of which would be a real credibility gap and the reality that the hierarchical structure of the OCA would be suspect in that the diocesan Bishops would be weakened and the role of the primate (and the laity responsible for his restoration) elevated. It is difficult to express what I am getting at, but such a restoration would only come upon the collapse of the ability of the remaining Bishops to govern effectively, a lack of future collegiality and conciliarity, a purge of many, if not most, of the current diocesan  Bishops and a likely schism. I realize that from within the OCA, especially among those ardent supporters of the Metropolitan, such a scenario is difficult to envision - but from the outside looking in the restoration of Met. Jonah simply doesn't seem feasible.
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« Reply #347 on: September 11, 2012, 12:38:43 PM »

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I suspect that were Met. Jonah to somehow 'resurface' as primate of the OCA, that the OCA would likely find itself truly isolated from the rest of the North American jurisdictions for a variety of reasons - not the least of which would be a real credibility gap and the reality that the hierarchical structure of the OCA would be suspect in that the diocesan Bishops would be weakened and the role of the primate (and the laity responsible for his restoration) elevated. It is difficult to express what I am getting at, but such a restoration would only come upon the collapse of the ability of the remaining Bishops to govern effectively, a lack of future collegiality and conciliarity, a purge of many, if not most, of the current diocesan  Bishops and a likely schism. I realize that from within the OCA, especially among those ardent supporters of the Metropolitan, such a scenario is difficult to envision - but from the outside looking in the restoration of Met. Jonah simply doesn't seem feasible.

I agree such a move would have its big ripples. It would reflect poorly on the credibility of the Holy Synod as currently constituted. But that, I think would be temporary. It would likely come at the expense of present bishops to govern effectively. It would probably require a purge in order to restore good order and to make conciliarity among the bishops real and effective. I'm not so sure it would lead to schism…it might, but that is the problem of those who would go into schism for reasons that fall short of those severing ties with persistent heresy.

It is also true that the repercussions of such a move might shortly result in the effective dissolution of the OCA as currently constituted.

All in all, none of these strike me as necessarily bad things in and of themselves. Difficult and perhaps painful organizationally speaking, but not necessarily bad. The way forward to Orthodox unity in North American may be without the current institution and hierarchy of the present OCA.   Where I would share a concern is the risk of precedent setting of the vox populi vox Dei sort…that way there be dragons.

However, if Met. Jonah is restored; if there is a purge of bad actors from the synod and from Syosset; if under Met. Jonah's leadership better bishops are found/consecrated and enthroned where needed and a more credible Holy Synod is constituted, then I think things will go better for us. In the end in order for healing, it still may prove best to surrender our tomos and take a couple of steps back in order to take more steps forward…and someone like Met. Jonah and likeminded bishops could oversee the process successfully if they think it wise to undertake.  Either way, I think his restoration is the right thing to do…though as noted it is an unlikely proposition at this point…as welcome as it would be should God grant it occur.

Short of that, I would agree with Fr. Giryus…lower our expectations and be satisfied with a godly man who is a capable administrator.

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« Reply #348 on: September 11, 2012, 12:42:49 PM »

I think the Holy Synod should approach the GOA, Antioch, or the Russians, join, and be one step closer to an American Orthodox Church and be done with it.

After all, by appointing another hierarch, they're simply delaying the inevitable anyways.

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« Reply #349 on: September 11, 2012, 12:46:01 PM »

If it comes to that I vote for the Russians, either ROCOR or the MP…though I think ROCOR is the more natural choice, being our birth sister on this continent.
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« Reply #350 on: September 11, 2012, 12:53:42 PM »

If it comes to that I vote for the Russians, either ROCOR or the MP…though I think ROCOR is the more natural choice, being our birth sister on this continent.
Any are preferable to me. Of course Im not OCA so my opinion doesn't really matter a whole lot.

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« Reply #351 on: September 11, 2012, 01:15:44 PM »

If it comes to that I vote for the Russians, either ROCOR or the MP…though I think ROCOR is the more natural choice, being our birth sister on this continent.

ROCOR is under the MP ever since the Act of Canonical Communion 5 years ago. We're semi-autonomous. It would be great if the OCA went back under the MP. We'd take a good step in the right direction of uniting under a single jurisdiction.
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« Reply #352 on: September 11, 2012, 01:25:03 PM »

Surrending the Tomos, whatever that would entail, would cause schism, plain and simple.  Take some time to talk to the people whose parents and/or grandparents fought for it.  They'll bolt.  Period.
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« Reply #353 on: September 11, 2012, 01:33:31 PM »

Surrending the Tomos, whatever that would entail, would cause schism, plain and simple.  Take some time to talk to the people whose parents and/or grandparents fought for it.  They'll bolt.  Period.

This is indeed a difficult situation and one without a clearly identifiable 'best option.' I do want to clarify one thing - while my immediate family has been a part of  ACROD since its establishment, many of my relatives were part of the old Metropolia,and were  included among the founders and initial followers of St. Alexis at St. Mary's in Minneapolis, SS. Peter and Paul on the east side of Buffalo, NY, Assumption of the Virgin, Frackville, PA and elsewhere in the old 'rust belt.' Their descendants remain part of the OCA. I can recall my great uncles and 'Tetas' who would no doubt be very frightened by the turmoil in their beloved Church but who would be resolute in telling their children and grandchildren to be patient, to pray and to accept God's will. They endured much, suffered greatly for their choices and survived.

I am not sure if 'surrendering the Tomos' would make them 'bolt', but coming under the EP or the Antiochians likely would. Hence, I truly believe that cooler heads will prevail and this too shall pass.
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« Reply #354 on: September 11, 2012, 01:43:01 PM »

I agree with what's you've said here, and would like to add a further issue: the OCA, and to a lesser extent the other jurisdictions for the time being though they will catch up, is stuck between two conflicting paradigms of leadership: a 'democratic' expectation and a 'hierarchical' one.

On the one hand, the OCA has made a great deal about its 'All-American Councils,' Metropolitan Council, 'vetting' episcopal candidates, local (read single-parish) 'customs' etc.  There has been plenty of talk about conciliarity, transparency, accountability, and the like as American virtues and necessary ingredients to an American church.

Yet, our tradition outlines a very different: the canons describe a system where almost all the charisms and responsibilities fall with the hierarchy, who are self-selecting as a group and vested with total power without lay involvement.  

For its history, and the history of many jurisdictions here in the States and Canada, we have oscillated back and forth between these two models.  Bishops will talk conciliarity and sharing one moment, then, when it suits them, go back in the other direction and claim hierarchical privilege.  Then we read the fine print: such talk about committees and commissions is merely advisory in nature.  The ultimate decisions rest with the hierarchs, and they can take or leave your demands based on how far they think they can go in getting what they want before people get annoyed and either stop writing checks or stay home altogether.

This is not to say that all bishops act this way, and I am singling out no particular bishop, but we can see how this schizophrenia has played out over the years.

This makes turnovers in leadership particularly dangerous: when you think of the OCA's woes, recall as well Archbishop Spyridon's tenure.  Think also about the angstful whispers amongst Antiochians about who the next metropolitan will be after the passing of Metropolitan Phillip.  I know some clergy who have threatened to leave the Archdiocese if their 'candidate' doesn't get the nod.  My response has always been to go ahead and leave now... you just don't get how the Church operates.

Because of this conflicting set of expectations, the hierarch in America is at a disadvantage to his overseas brethren.  He must be adept at balancing these two modes of management, not appearing to tyrannical while maintaining his canonical duties.  It is pretty clear that not every man who would be a bishop can strike this equilibrium and maintain it.

Of course, if one falls to one side or the other, no matter if one has really been all that dictatorial or indicisive, there will be a whole chorus of people screaming for blood.  "Don't you know we are supposed to like him... why is he making us hate him by not fulfilling all our dreams about a perfect bishop?"  Unfortunately, there are enough examples of bishops who quite literally 'crash and burn' to make such demands seem quite reasonable.

In the end, a bishop might be a disappointment, but that's not enough for him to be removed.  He must violate the canons, because it is the canonical tradition that governs the Church.  Same is true of priests who cannot be deposed without canonical cause or their own cooperation.

I think people in the OCA, if they want the OCA to survive, need to lower their expectations of their hierarchs, and the rest of us would do well to follow suit.  We don't need a superhero in a sakkos, we need a moral man.  We don't need the best speechwriters and go-getters, we need men who earnestly seek God.  We don't even need a man who makes us look good or feel important, we need a man who will make reasonable decisions and take care of his assigned tasks.

In the conversations about Metropolitan Jonah, I have seen so many of these extreme tendencies.  As I've said, one can understand where they come from when you've had such 'winners' as Metropolitan Theodosius, Bishop Tikhon (Fitzgerald, of 'Love +BT' fame), and Bishop Nikolai (Soraich).  They've been as embarrassing as they were ineffective.  I know how much OCA folks want to feel better about their hierarchs.  Thus, they placed a lot of expectations on Metropolitan Jonah, who was the people's choice.  They look to his ecumenical presentations and suddenly they did not feel so backward and neglected.

The disappointment comes with the discovery that the things that he was really good at were not really the things he needed to do.  He needed to be an astute manager and interpreter of the canons, leading his Synod through the management of the community.  He was expectated to maintain good relations with the various hierarchs who have a stake in the country.  Those things did not happen.

We should all pray that the next Metropolitan of the OCA is not glamorous or wonderful or brilliant or even publicly empathetic, but that he is a God-fearing man who can manage the day-to-day affairs of a church that he loves and people that he cares for.


Much as I hate to introduce reality into wistful musings, I suspect that were Met. Jonah to somehow 'resurface' as primate of the OCA, that the OCA would likely find itself truly isolated from the rest of the North American jurisdictions for a variety of reasons - not the least of which would be a real credibility gap and the reality that the hierarchical structure of the OCA would be suspect in that the diocesan Bishops would be weakened and the role of the primate (and the laity responsible for his restoration) elevated. It is difficult to express what I am getting at, but such a restoration would only come upon the collapse of the ability of the remaining Bishops to govern effectively, a lack of future collegiality and conciliarity, a purge of many, if not most, of the current diocesan  Bishops and a likely schism. I realize that from within the OCA, especially among those ardent supporters of the Metropolitan, such a scenario is difficult to envision - but from the outside looking in the restoration of Met. Jonah simply doesn't seem feasible.

What fascinates me is the fact that there are two outspoken Antiochian Priests who are going to bat for the OCA Synod. Yet few OCA priests are speaking out. Why do certain Antiochians feel the need to butt into matters not concerning them?

We who are/were in the OCA are facing/faced serious problems that the current batch in the OCA Synod have failed to address, especially Bishop Benjamin who is the heir apparent to be the next Metropolitan.

Here in Los Angeles, AB Benjamin's stronghold, communion is given to active unrepentant homosexuals, but heterosexuals who fail and who conceive out of wedlock are penanced for a year to three years because everyone could see the pregnant lady's swollen abdomen. Why the discrepancy?

Is sin in secret somehow less wrong? That is the impression given. I congratulated the woman for having the courage to bring that beautiful child to term as she did not give into pressure to abort, so that she could receive communion without anyone knowing about her problem. In addition, active unrepentant Jewish gays are allowed to sing at the OCA Cathedral in Los Angeles. I sang in that choir, so I know first hand about these matters.
« Last Edit: September 11, 2012, 01:59:20 PM by Maria » Logged

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« Reply #355 on: September 11, 2012, 01:59:15 PM »

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What fascinates me is the fact that there are two outspoken Antiochian Priests who are going to bat for the OCA Synod. Yet few OCA priests are speaking out. Why do certain Antiochians feel the need to butt into matters not concerning them?

But it does concern them just the way the troubles among the Antiochians a couple of years back with the troubles surrounding on again off again status of their bishops. That is to say we are all Orthodox, yet in the present reality of differing jurisdictions on the same continent there is cover to speak more freely without risk of reprisal. Back then OCA priests said things Antiochian priests did not feel safe saying. Perhaps something of a similar nature here.
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« Reply #356 on: September 11, 2012, 02:02:06 PM »

Surrending the Tomos, whatever that would entail, would cause schism, plain and simple.  Take some time to talk to the people whose parents and/or grandparents fought for it.  They'll bolt.  Period.

I agree with this.  Simply going back under the MP or to ROCOR is not an option in some people's minds.   I can't even imagine the distress this would cause at my own parish.  

I also think that podkarpatska brings up a good point, but I'm not sure how it will play out.  I can't imagine any of the Bishops wanting Schism and I know +JONAH does not either.  I don't think all his "ardent" supporters are looking to reinstate him.  Sure most would love to see it happen only under certain circumstances, but I think they're realists...knowing that his reinstatement would be a miracle.  I know many people who love and support +JONAH, they think he's been given a raw deal and been slandered, but they see that the real problem is the SYSTEM is broken and he's probably not the one to fix it.  People are concerned about what is at the core of the OCA and its governing structure (MC being problematic for many people - what other jurisdictions have such a thing?).  I seems that most people will agree that it is flawed.   How many people (on both sides of the argument) said or thought "3 "retired" Primates in less than 10yrs....there's something wrong."   There is concern for the next Metropolitan.  I think +JONAH did see the problems and had a big picture... but he was ham-strung and in the end he's the one who took the fall.  Will anyone be able to wrestle this behemoth and win?   Yes, yes, you nay sayers can tell me "+JONAH brought this all on himself - he's a bad admin... and he wasn't conciliatory enough with his brother-Bishops."  but the next Metropolitan will not be perfect either.  
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« Reply #357 on: September 11, 2012, 02:02:54 PM »

I sang in the choir for years, but I didn't notice that it gave me any special insight into the hearts and souls of my fellow choristers.
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« Reply #358 on: September 11, 2012, 02:03:05 PM »

I agree with what's you've said here, and would like to add a further issue: the OCA, and to a lesser extent the other jurisdictions for the time being though they will catch up, is stuck between two conflicting paradigms of leadership: a 'democratic' expectation and a 'hierarchical' one.

On the one hand, the OCA has made a great deal about its 'All-American Councils,' Metropolitan Council, 'vetting' episcopal candidates, local (read single-parish) 'customs' etc.  There has been plenty of talk about conciliarity, transparency, accountability, and the like as American virtues and necessary ingredients to an American church.

Yet, our tradition outlines a very different: the canons describe a system where almost all the charisms and responsibilities fall with the hierarchy, who are self-selecting as a group and vested with total power without lay involvement. 

For its history, and the history of many jurisdictions here in the States and Canada, we have oscillated back and forth between these two models.  Bishops will talk conciliarity and sharing one moment, then, when it suits them, go back in the other direction and claim hierarchical privilege.  Then we read the fine print: such talk about committees and commissions is merely advisory in nature.  The ultimate decisions rest with the hierarchs, and they can take or leave your demands based on how far they think they can go in getting what they want before people get annoyed and either stop writing checks or stay home altogether.

This is not to say that all bishops act this way, and I am singling out no particular bishop, but we can see how this schizophrenia has played out over the years.

This makes turnovers in leadership particularly dangerous: when you think of the OCA's woes, recall as well Archbishop Spyridon's tenure.  Think also about the angstful whispers amongst Antiochians about who the next metropolitan will be after the passing of Metropolitan Phillip.  I know some clergy who have threatened to leave the Archdiocese if their 'candidate' doesn't get the nod.  My response has always been to go ahead and leave now... you just don't get how the Church operates.

Because of this conflicting set of expectations, the hierarch in America is at a disadvantage to his overseas brethren.  He must be adept at balancing these two modes of management, not appearing to tyrannical while maintaining his canonical duties.  It is pretty clear that not every man who would be a bishop can strike this equilibrium and maintain it.

Of course, if one falls to one side or the other, no matter if one has really been all that dictatorial or indicisive, there will be a whole chorus of people screaming for blood.  "Don't you know we are supposed to like him... why is he making us hate him by not fulfilling all our dreams about a perfect bishop?"  Unfortunately, there are enough examples of bishops who quite literally 'crash and burn' to make such demands seem quite reasonable.

In the end, a bishop might be a disappointment, but that's not enough for him to be removed.  He must violate the canons, because it is the canonical tradition that governs the Church.  Same is true of priests who cannot be deposed without canonical cause or their own cooperation.

I think people in the OCA, if they want the OCA to survive, need to lower their expectations of their hierarchs, and the rest of us would do well to follow suit.  We don't need a superhero in a sakkos, we need a moral man.  We don't need the best speechwriters and go-getters, we need men who earnestly seek God.  We don't even need a man who makes us look good or feel important, we need a man who will make reasonable decisions and take care of his assigned tasks.

In the conversations about Metropolitan Jonah, I have seen so many of these extreme tendencies.  As I've said, one can understand where they come from when you've had such 'winners' as Metropolitan Theodosius, Bishop Tikhon (Fitzgerald, of 'Love +BT' fame), and Bishop Nikolai (Soraich).  They've been as embarrassing as they were ineffective.  I know how much OCA folks want to feel better about their hierarchs.  Thus, they placed a lot of expectations on Metropolitan Jonah, who was the people's choice.  They look to his ecumenical presentations and suddenly they did not feel so backward and neglected.

The disappointment comes with the discovery that the things that he was really good at were not really the things he needed to do.  He needed to be an astute manager and interpreter of the canons, leading his Synod through the management of the community.  He was expectated to maintain good relations with the various hierarchs who have a stake in the country.  Those things did not happen.

We should all pray that the next Metropolitan of the OCA is not glamorous or wonderful or brilliant or even publicly empathetic, but that he is a God-fearing man who can manage the day-to-day affairs of a church that he loves and people that he cares for.


Much as I hate to introduce reality into wistful musings, I suspect that were Met. Jonah to somehow 'resurface' as primate of the OCA, that the OCA would likely find itself truly isolated from the rest of the North American jurisdictions for a variety of reasons - not the least of which would be a real credibility gap and the reality that the hierarchical structure of the OCA would be suspect in that the diocesan Bishops would be weakened and the role of the primate (and the laity responsible for his restoration) elevated. It is difficult to express what I am getting at, but such a restoration would only come upon the collapse of the ability of the remaining Bishops to govern effectively, a lack of future collegiality and conciliarity, a purge of many, if not most, of the current diocesan  Bishops and a likely schism. I realize that from within the OCA, especially among those ardent supporters of the Metropolitan, such a scenario is difficult to envision - but from the outside looking in the restoration of Met. Jonah simply doesn't seem feasible.

What fascinates me is the fact that there are two outspoken Antiochian Priests who are going to bat for the OCA Synod. Yet few OCA priests are speaking out. Why do certain Antiochians feel the need to butt into matters not concerning them?

We who are/were in the OCA are facing/faced serious problems that the current batch in the OCA Synod have failed to address, especially Bishop Benjamin who is the heir apparent to be the next Metropolitan.

Here in Los Angeles, AB Benjamin's stronghold, communion is given to active unrepentant homosexuals, but heterosexuals who fail and who conceive out of wedlock are penanced for a year to three years because everyone could see the pregnant lady's swollen abdomen. Why the discrepancy? Is sin in secret somehow less wrong? That is the impression given. I congratulated the woman for having the courage to bring that beautiful child to term, as she not give into pressure to abort, so that she could receive communion without anyone knowing about her problem. In addition, active unrepentant Jewish gays are allowed to sing at the OCA Cathedral in Los Angeles. I sang in that choir, so I know first hand about these matters.

You miss the point - the non OCA  priests are arguing about canonical norms and the perceptions of the rest of North American Orthodoxy- not the particulars of administration within a Diocese. The attempts to redefine 'sobornost' and 'conciliarity' in terms of expanding the role of the laity in the OCA has much to do with an historical overreaction to the failure of the Greek Catholic bishops to protect the rights of their flock in the New World which led to the return to Orthodoxy led at first by St. Alexis which was shortly followed by the administrative chaos after the Russian Revolution. Coupled with a century's worth of congregationalism in terms of parish governance and misconceptions about the concept of 'ownership' of church temporal property and - voila - you have a fine mess of a stew. With few exceptions, disappointment has followed the robes of more than a few of the Bishops of the Metropolia and later the OCA. (Of course the same can be said of other jurisdictions as well but looking in from the outside, the problem seems more defined within the OCA. Perhaps there are just too many Diocesan sees for the real numbers of parishes and faithful - a problem across the board in North America.... I suspect that the problem may lie with the expectations of just what it is that a Bishop is expected to do which may lead to the disappointment as well. One thing that all priests and their families know is this - Bishops, like all men - put their pants on one leg at a time. A klobuk is not equivalent to Superman's mythical  cape....)

I will go out on a limb here and state what I think is the obvious - the OCA is relatively alone in the Orthodox World in terms of local expectations about how a Bishop is to be chosen. The whole concept of 'vetting', pre-election visitation and multiple candidates seems to be more the result of western political influences which crept into the vacuum of Church governance in the New World than it is something which has been 'restored' from ancient times. (My apologies to the late Frs. Meyendorff and Schmemman for oversimplifying their arguments in favor of the OCA's admin model, but can you honestly say that this process has served the OCA well in terms of episcopal selections? The list of failed Bishops would seem to indicate that it has not done so. Look at Alaska - vacant after the 'firing' of Bishop Nicholai who followed another failed Bishop - the late +George (Gula). Frankly, more careful vetting by the OCA's clergy before submitting many of these men - and honest answers from the jursidictions which gave them their releases  might have avoided some of these problems.)

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« Reply #359 on: September 11, 2012, 02:03:23 PM »

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What fascinates me is the fact that there are two outspoken Antiochian Priests who are going to bat for the OCA Synod. Yet few OCA priests are speaking out. Why do certain Antiochians feel the need to butt into matters not concerning them?

But it does concern them just the way the troubles among the Antiochians a couple of years back with the troubles surrounding on again off again status of their bishops. That is to say we are all Orthodox, yet in the present reality of differing jurisdictions on the same continent there is cover to speak more freely without risk of reprisal. Back then OCA priests said things Antiochian priests did not feel safe saying. Perhaps something of a similar nature here.

The outspoken Antiochian Priests are not in an OCA parish. They do not see the liturgical abuses going on with "Handmaidens" who serve along with the altar servers (cutting the Holy Bread and distributing the wine and antidoron). Neither do they see what the persons in the pews observe. Yes, those of us in the OCA have serious problems with dwindling numbers and few catechumens.
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