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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 37317 times) Average Rating: 0
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« Reply #720 on: November 14, 2012, 06:01:14 PM »

^ Devin's comments are quite insightful. Bishops are not pastors - they do need the ability to see things from a pastoral/micro level, but like any COO (not a CEO) they must manage things from a diocesan/Synodal/macro perspective. This is a very tough thing to do and it has surely humbled more than a few Bishops who don't get the 'macro' view and by more than a few priests who think it is their place to manage more than their charge!

The suicide issue is also a tough one for a Bishop to manage - I don't want to split the thread, but some Bishops will apply a greater dose of 'pastoring' through a generous economia while others appear heartless. Not knowing the specifics of the situation you referenced, I won't posit any opinion about your friend's issues or the circumstances of that decision other than to note that some Bishops, like some men, only view things in absolute terms.This is something the EA and a united Church will have to address. I have first hand knowledge of a tough situation in a non-OCA canonical parish where the diocesan bishop refused a dispensation for a Church divorce and remarriage of a couple previously married in the Church and whose ex-spouses remained in the parish community. The would be married couple moved to another state, joined an OCA parish and were granted a church divorce by that Diocesan OCA bishop. Needless to say, there was a lot of 'splaining to do when they moved home and reentered their original parish. Since they had been married by a canonical priest in a canonical Church with a canonical release they returned. The other families were unhappy and to the present day they can not accept how one Orthodox Bishop could take one point of view and another Orthodox Bishop could take an opposite point of view from the same set of facts. This continues to cause internal parish issues for the pastor. (By the way, the couple are wonderful people, have a great family and are very involved in the Church.)

Hence, I know how much these issues tear at the hearts of not only our laity, but also our pastors. I know how often my father would either agree with or dispute his bishop's determinations - but he would be bound by them either way. To the end of his long life he took to heart the ordination oath he made to the Diocesan bishop who ordained him and to his lawful successors over the decades. But that more of our priests, regardless of jurisdiction , took such things as seriously. Going from one jurisdiction to another, actively seeking releases from one diocese to another for purposes of advancement and so on dilute peoples' respect for the Church and her institutions.

Very wise words my friend. Thanks.
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« Reply #721 on: November 15, 2012, 12:02:01 AM »

Personally I would love to see Metropolitan Jonah restored to the DoS, but given the present situation, where not one of his brother bishops stood with him, sitting on that synod would a difficult thing indeed. So, if he does not get a new diocese, the ROCOR might make a good home, they've been more brothers to him so far than his own.  That would go a long way to remove much of the cloud out of Parma and the election of Metropolitan Tikhon in his place. It might make the new Metropolitan's reign less troubled by the unfinished business with regards to Metropolitan Jonah.

Of course it may have come with a very high price for Metropolitan Jonah and his family. It is my understanding that his sister is in the hospital, very ill, her already previously delicate condition exacerbated by a ton of stress linked to the sufferings of her brother. She may not make it.  If she passes it will take every ounce of his monastic training to deal with the grief and bitterness his own parents feel for his sake and that suffering pushed their daughter over the edge medically, as well as manage the temptations of bitterness himself. ROCOR might be best, the wounds suffered in the OCA might well be more than he ever anticipated.
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« Reply #722 on: November 15, 2012, 02:41:49 AM »

Personally I would love to see Metropolitan Jonah restored to the DoS, but given the present situation, where not one of his brother bishops stood with him, sitting on that synod would a difficult thing indeed. So, if he does not get a new diocese, the ROCOR might make a good home, they've been more brothers to him so far than his own.  That would go a long way to remove much of the cloud out of Parma and the election of Metropolitan Tikhon in his place. It might make the new Metropolitan's reign less troubled by the unfinished business with regards to Metropolitan Jonah.

Of course it may have come with a very high price for Metropolitan Jonah and his family. It is my understanding that his sister is in the hospital, very ill, her already previously delicate condition exacerbated by a ton of stress linked to the sufferings of her brother. She may not make it.  If she passes it will take every ounce of his monastic training to deal with the grief and bitterness his own parents feel for his sake and that suffering pushed their daughter over the edge medically, as well as manage the temptations of bitterness himself. ROCOR might be best, the wounds suffered in the OCA might well be more than he ever anticipated.
Are you trying to appeal to our baser emotions of pity in an attempt to provoke us into believing that the former Metropolitan Jonah was wronged? I don't deny the stress his family must have endured and continues to endure as a result of his rancorous relations with the Synod both before and after his resignation, but the question of whether his resignation was necessary is not at all contingent upon the effect his resignation had on himself and his family. If Metropolitan Jonah was not fit for the work of primate of the OCA, then he needed to resign for both his good and the good of the OCA. The effect his resignation has on his family, tragic though it is, is irrelevant.
« Last Edit: November 15, 2012, 02:42:38 AM by PeterTheAleut » Logged
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« Reply #723 on: November 15, 2012, 03:38:58 AM »

Truly, whatever has transpired, I highly doubt you have all the information correct Seraphim98. How can you blame an entire Synod for +Jonah's sister's worsening illness. Are you so close.to.the family that you can speak the way you do?
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« Reply #724 on: November 15, 2012, 04:34:43 AM »

I hardly consider pity a "base" emotion.

Metropolitan Jonah was wronged and continues to be wronged. As for provoking anyone, one is either convinced by the evidence that is out there that he was wronged or one is not.  If one is not…pity is not likely the emotion "provoked".

His resignation was hardly necessary.

It was not the resignation itself that had such a terrible effect on his family, though it had some no doubt, rather it is the heaped up calumnies that have followed.

As for "all" the information, whoever really has "all" of it. What I have is not all but is sufficient. My closeness to his family is irrelevant. I've seen the posts of his mother, the posts of those who do know him personally. They are pretty much set on "blame the synod" at least in part. Based on nothing more that how he has been treated by them since his resignation, I see nothing with which to dispute that sentiment. The silence, the proven untruths they have yet to acknowledge, let alone correct, the punitive restrictions, the fiscal hostage keeping, and delight so many of his detractors seem to have in gnawing at his bones, so to speak…all these speak volumes for him and against those who did it to him.

But share that sentiment or not I reflected on my own thoughts about the price paid at a personal level before something good was permitted to happen for him in relation to this whole mess…if indeed it will be permitted to happen.  So if you do not feel pity then do not feel pity. I for one do, and I think others who read these forums do too whether or not they say so.

So I note rather than an iota of sympathy for him or his family…anything said in his behalf is met with something I never imagined to be found among those who count themselves among the Orthodox faithful. It is sad and saddening. May it please God to grant him release to the company of bishops who are brothers in truth and not just in word.

Just sign me sad over this whole unseemly business…can't even be angry about it anymore…all that remains is the hope that the mercies of God will not fail him in the end. My best wishes and prayers for success go to the New Metropolitan Tikhon, but my axios remains were it was given the day I learned Jonah had been chosen by God to lead the OCA. The pity is too few in the OCA's leadership were willing to follow.
« Last Edit: November 15, 2012, 04:42:29 AM by Seraphim98 » Logged
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« Reply #725 on: November 15, 2012, 10:18:12 AM »

Again - read his letter of resignation. If the unrelenting angst coming from supporters of the former Primate were to have any merit, you have to believe that he was either a fool or a liar since he submitted that letter. Life moves on, for those in the OCA the time has come to support your Church and move on or give it up and move out. That sounds harsh, but it is the reality of the day.
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« Reply #726 on: November 15, 2012, 10:19:39 AM »

^ Devin's comments are quite insightful. Bishops are not pastors - they do need the ability to see things from a pastoral/micro level, but like any COO (not a CEO) they must manage things from a diocesan/Synodal/macro perspective. This is a very tough thing to do and it has surely humbled more than a few Bishops who don't get the 'macro' view and by more than a few priests who think it is their place to manage more than their charge!

The suicide issue is also a tough one for a Bishop to manage - I don't want to split the thread, but some Bishops will apply a greater dose of 'pastoring' through a generous economia while others appear heartless. Not knowing the specifics of the situation you referenced, I won't posit any opinion about your friend's issues or the circumstances of that decision other than to note that some Bishops, like some men, only view things in absolute terms.This is something the EA and a united Church will have to address. I have first hand knowledge of a tough situation in a non-OCA canonical parish where the diocesan bishop refused a dispensation for a Church divorce and remarriage of a couple previously married in the Church and whose ex-spouses remained in the parish community. The would be married couple moved to another state, joined an OCA parish and were granted a church divorce by that Diocesan OCA bishop. Needless to say, there was a lot of 'splaining to do when they moved home and reentered their original parish. Since they had been married by a canonical priest in a canonical Church with a canonical release they returned. The other families were unhappy and to the present day they can not accept how one Orthodox Bishop could take one point of view and another Orthodox Bishop could take an opposite point of view from the same set of facts. This continues to cause internal parish issues for the pastor. (By the way, the couple are wonderful people, have a great family and are very involved in the Church.)

Hence, I know how much these issues tear at the hearts of not only our laity, but also our pastors. I know how often my father would either agree with or dispute his bishop's determinations - but he would be bound by them either way. To the end of his long life he took to heart the ordination oath he made to the Diocesan bishop who ordained him and to his lawful successors over the decades. But that more of our priests, regardless of jurisdiction , took such things as seriously. Going from one jurisdiction to another, actively seeking releases from one diocese to another for purposes of advancement and so on dilute peoples' respect for the Church and her institutions.

Very wise words my friend. Thanks.

And why we need to see the EA framework succeed rather than trumpeting one jurisdiction or another. Pray for peace within God's church and for the unity of the faith. We need it here more than ever.
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« Reply #727 on: November 15, 2012, 12:15:31 PM »

I hardly consider pity a "base" emotion.
It is when you use it to try to sway us to believe something to be true when it's not.

Metropolitan Jonah was wronged and continues to be wronged. As for provoking anyone, one is either convinced by the evidence that is out there that he was wronged or one is not.  If one is not…pity is not likely the emotion "provoked".
But are you or are you not trying to use pity to persuade us when "evidence" is not enough?

His resignation was hardly necessary.

It was not the resignation itself that had such a terrible effect on his family, though it had some no doubt, rather it is the heaped up calumnies that have followed.

As for "all" the information, whoever really has "all" of it. What I have is not all but is sufficient.
What information do you have that it's enough to heap calumnies upon the Holy Synod? I ask because that's what you're doing.

My closeness to his family is irrelevant. I've seen the posts of his mother, the posts of those who do know him personally. They are pretty much set on "blame the synod" at least in part. Based on nothing more that how he has been treated by them since his resignation, I see nothing with which to dispute that sentiment. The silence, the proven untruths they have yet to acknowledge, let alone correct, the punitive restrictions, the fiscal hostage keeping, and delight so many of his detractors seem to have in gnawing at his bones, so to speak…all these speak volumes for him and against those who did it to him.
Can you post evidence of that here? Otherwise you come dangerously close to committing libel against the Synod.

But share that sentiment or not I reflected on my own thoughts about the price paid at a personal level before something good was permitted to happen for him in relation to this whole mess…if indeed it will be permitted to happen.  So if you do not feel pity then do not feel pity. I for one do, and I think others who read these forums do too whether or not they say so.
I feel pity for his family, but that does not change what I think of Metropolitan Jonah's fitness for the office of primate.

So I note rather than an iota of sympathy for him or his family…anything said in his behalf is met with something I never imagined to be found among those who count themselves among the Orthodox faithful. It is sad and saddening. May it please God to grant him release to the company of bishops who are brothers in truth and not just in word.

Just sign me sad over this whole unseemly business…can't even be angry about it anymore…all that remains is the hope that the mercies of God will not fail him in the end. My best wishes and prayers for success go to the New Metropolitan Tikhon, but my axios remains were it was given the day I learned Jonah had been chosen by God to lead the OCA. The pity is too few in the OCA's leadership were willing to follow.
So you justify heaping calumny upon calumny on top of the OCA Synod in your efforts to "clear" +Jonah's good name?
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« Reply #728 on: November 15, 2012, 12:27:51 PM »

Again - read his letter of resignation. If the unrelenting angst coming from supporters of the former Primate were to have any merit, you have to believe that he was either a fool or a liar since he submitted that letter.

I actually have a great deal of admiration and respect for Metropolitan Jonah. But this is the crux of the matter.

(However I am not privy to secret evidence, of course, nor do I hang out on other Orthodox boards, so I may have missed a lot, thank God. But I have not seen any calumny or anyone taking away Metropolitan Jonah's good name. )
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« Reply #729 on: November 15, 2012, 12:41:25 PM »

Seraphim98 said, " His resignation was hardly necessary"

According to whom? You? Are you as knowledgeable about the circumstances as the Synod and MC?

No.

There are those who have more info than you and are closer to +Jonah than the sycophants who wish to believe +Jonah was the great golden child of Orthodoxy in America. Those that are closer and have more info do not share these and other such sentiments. While they (and I) wish +Jonah no harm and only health, peace and a good resolution to all this, we also see that long ago, HB+ was not the man for the job any longer.

If +Jonah felt leaving was unnecessary, he would not have done it.

His closest friends don't even share the sentiments you do. And as for his family... Whether they believe he was wrongly judged or not, (and you don't even know if that poster on Monomakhos was his mother) that's what good family does. Besides an agreement hasn't even been reached yet.
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« Reply #730 on: November 16, 2012, 01:31:30 AM »

Quote
Again - read his letter of resignation. If the unrelenting angst coming from supporters of the former Primate were to have any merit, you have to believe that he was either a fool or a liar since he submitted that letter. Life moves on, for those in the OCA the time has come to support your Church and move on or give it up and move out. That sounds harsh, but it is the reality of the day.

I've read it more than once. There are other reasonable interpretations and conclusions than those you have delimited.  So far as I know, I am supporting the Church…I'm just not pretending there's not a beaten man in the ditch so I can go on about my important business. As for leaving, I go when God moves me, not before.

Evidence: here is a point by point analysis of the letter Bishop Tikhon calls a stink bomb. It is written by a well respected scholar of Byzantine Studies. It is dispassionate. It looks at what was said and what facts on the ground and in documentation either commend or call into question what was permitted to be said by the OCA administration about Metropolitan Jonah. Since the Holy Synod has not disavowed this letter/report, since it apparently stands by it's content even if it's members have judiciously withheld their signatures there are not many reasonable conclusions that can be drawn, and they are not favorable to the Holy Synod. The Holy Synod has done what it has done and will do what it will do. But these are the facts of what they permitted to be said as an official communication of the OCA's administration.

It doesn't get much clearer than this from a man of better credentials and character than this. Make of it what you will. http://kalvesmaki.com/OCA/2012-11-05-disbelieve-intro.html
« Last Edit: November 16, 2012, 01:33:04 AM by Seraphim98 » Logged
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« Reply #731 on: November 16, 2012, 01:38:08 AM »

Quote
Again - read his letter of resignation. If the unrelenting angst coming from supporters of the former Primate were to have any merit, you have to believe that he was either a fool or a liar since he submitted that letter. Life moves on, for those in the OCA the time has come to support your Church and move on or give it up and move out. That sounds harsh, but it is the reality of the day.

I've read it more than once. There are other reasonable interpretations and conclusions than those you have delimited.  So far as I know, I am supporting the Church…I'm just not pretending there's not a beaten man in the ditch so I can go on about my important business. As for leaving, I go when God moves me, not before.

Evidence: here is a point by point analysis of the letter Bishop Tikhon calls a stink bomb. It is written by a well respected scholar of Byzantine Studies. It is dispassionate. It looks at what was said and what facts on the ground and in documentation either commend or call into question what was permitted to be said by the OCA administration about Metropolitan Jonah. Since the Holy Synod has not disavowed this letter/report, since it apparently stands by it's content even if it's members have judiciously withheld their signatures there are not many reasonable conclusions that can be drawn, and they are not favorable to the Holy Synod. The Holy Synod has done what it has done and will do what it will do. But these are the facts of what they permitted to be said as an official communication of the OCA's administration.

It doesn't get much clearer than this from a man of better credentials and character than this. Make of it what you will. http://kalvesmaki.com/OCA/2012-11-05-disbelieve-intro.html

Is that the same random, unknown guy you referenced earlier as being "left out" of the AAC?

Lay off the Monomakhos, they're nothing but idiots over there.
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« Reply #732 on: November 16, 2012, 02:00:47 AM »

Quote
Again - read his letter of resignation. If the unrelenting angst coming from supporters of the former Primate were to have any merit, you have to believe that he was either a fool or a liar since he submitted that letter. Life moves on, for those in the OCA the time has come to support your Church and move on or give it up and move out. That sounds harsh, but it is the reality of the day.

I've read it more than once. There are other reasonable interpretations and conclusions than those you have delimited.  So far as I know, I am supporting the Church…I'm just not pretending there's not a beaten man in the ditch so I can go on about my important business. As for leaving, I go when God moves me, not before.

Evidence: here is a point by point analysis of the letter Bishop Tikhon calls a stink bomb. It is written by a well respected scholar of Byzantine Studies. It is dispassionate. It looks at what was said and what facts on the ground and in documentation either commend or call into question what was permitted to be said by the OCA administration about Metropolitan Jonah. Since the Holy Synod has not disavowed this letter/report, since it apparently stands by it's content even if it's members have judiciously withheld their signatures there are not many reasonable conclusions that can be drawn, and they are not favorable to the Holy Synod. The Holy Synod has done what it has done and will do what it will do. But these are the facts of what they permitted to be said as an official communication of the OCA's administration.

It doesn't get much clearer than this from a man of better credentials and character than this. Make of it what you will. http://kalvesmaki.com/OCA/2012-11-05-disbelieve-intro.html

Is that the same random, unknown guy you referenced earlier as being "left out" of the AAC?

Lay off the Monomakhos, they're nothing but idiots over there.

I don't know about "nothing but idiots".... There are several highly respected, intelligent individuals that post in the comment section (no, not me, I have never posted anything in a comment section [or guest posted a blog], there is no false modesty this time around)- our own Carl Kraeff (Second Chance) among them (and perhaps some other forum members), as well as a few priests from various jurisdictions. Now, the threads regarding Metropolitan Jonah and casting aspersions on the OCA bishops have drawn more of the conspiracy theorist types out of the woodwork, but this should hardly color the entirety of the Monomakhos comments.
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« Reply #733 on: November 16, 2012, 02:01:14 AM »

Quote
Again - read his letter of resignation. If the unrelenting angst coming from supporters of the former Primate were to have any merit, you have to believe that he was either a fool or a liar since he submitted that letter. Life moves on, for those in the OCA the time has come to support your Church and move on or give it up and move out. That sounds harsh, but it is the reality of the day.

I've read it more than once. There are other reasonable interpretations and conclusions than those you have delimited.  So far as I know, I am supporting the Church…I'm just not pretending there's not a beaten man in the ditch so I can go on about my important business. As for leaving, I go when God moves me, not before.

Evidence: here is a point by point analysis of the letter Bishop Tikhon calls a stink bomb. It is written by a well respected scholar of Byzantine Studies. It is dispassionate. It looks at what was said and what facts on the ground and in documentation either commend or call into question what was permitted to be said by the OCA administration about Metropolitan Jonah. Since the Holy Synod has not disavowed this letter/report, since it apparently stands by it's content even if it's members have judiciously withheld their signatures there are not many reasonable conclusions that can be drawn, and they are not favorable to the Holy Synod. The Holy Synod has done what it has done and will do what it will do. But these are the facts of what they permitted to be said as an official communication of the OCA's administration.

It doesn't get much clearer than this from a man of better credentials and character than this. Make of it what you will. http://kalvesmaki.com/OCA/2012-11-05-disbelieve-intro.html
It's one thing to be skeptical of the Synod's account of what happened between them and +Jonah yet trust that they have good reason to ask +Jonah to resign, since they were much closer to him than you or I ever could have been. That skepticism is the position I hold. It's another thing entirely for one to accuse the Synod of lying, which you have essentially done. The former is, IMO, a fair response from those who don't know the details of what happened. The latter is calumny. That is why I hold that you have calumniated the Synod and that you continue to calumniate the Synod. As such, I plead with you to stop.
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« Reply #734 on: November 16, 2012, 04:39:27 AM »

Dear Peter,

I appreciate your position, and your concerns. They are not without merit. Indeed I shared them briefly back in July when Metropolitan Jonah resigned. Given Metropolitan's Jonah's dressing down of Synod in Sante Fe I knew things were not good between them, and based on what he said, it was understandable why.

When Bishop Mattias released the OCA's explanation for asking for his resignation…I can't say I liked it but if those things were true, asking for his resignation was entirely reasonable. The problem was over the next few weeks every assertion of resignation worthy offenses and insinuation derived from that letter were shown to be false, most recently and most thoroughly and unimpeachably by Mr. Kalvemaki in his analysis which link I posted at your request. It is a falsehood and why the Holy Synod has let it stand without explanation, apology, or correction is incomprehensible given the scandals we have too recently been through.

You may yet have a reservoir of trust in the good will, and good reason of the Holy Synod. Mine is gone. I honor the office they hold with its attendant graces and will do so until or unless they get bogged down in and persist in teaching heresy. That doesn't mean I think they have done well or honorably with that high office.

Jesus said of the sanhedrin, obey them because they sit in the seat of Moses, do what they say, but not as they do.

Until we are presented some sufficient reason to think otherwise about the conduct and decisions of the Holy Synod…unless they give us something to demonstrate the rightness and honesty of that document and their decision which we are given to believe is based upon it's contents…then I must take Christ's stance with respect to the Sanhedrin with the Holy Synod. They sit in the seat of the Apostles, and that office and its attendant authority must be respected.  That doesn't magically translate into having used that authority well and in a Christlike apostolically consistent manner. I think Mr. Kalvemaki's presentation and analysis of the facts concerning the content of this document need no further commentary from me. The facts speak far louder and more eloquently than I ever could.  The damage the Holy Synod has done to its reputation with me and a goodly number of other Orthodox, they did themselves with support for an unquestionably false and arguably maliciously conceived document and with their silence and their further punitive humiliations (though he had done nothing blameworthy) of Metropolitan Jonah in the weeks following. They have my prayers, feeble things that they are, but they no longer have my trust.
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« Reply #735 on: November 16, 2012, 08:17:00 AM »

Quote
Again - read his letter of resignation. If the unrelenting angst coming from supporters of the former Primate were to have any merit, you have to believe that he was either a fool or a liar since he submitted that letter. Life moves on, for those in the OCA the time has come to support your Church and move on or give it up and move out. That sounds harsh, but it is the reality of the day.

I've read it more than once. There are other reasonable interpretations and conclusions than those you have delimited.  So far as I know, I am supporting the Church…I'm just not pretending there's not a beaten man in the ditch so I can go on about my important business. As for leaving, I go when God moves me, not before.

Evidence: here is a point by point analysis of the letter Bishop Tikhon calls a stink bomb. It is written by a well respected scholar of Byzantine Studies. It is dispassionate. It looks at what was said and what facts on the ground and in documentation either commend or call into question what was permitted to be said by the OCA administration about Metropolitan Jonah. Since the Holy Synod has not disavowed this letter/report, since it apparently stands by it's content even if it's members have judiciously withheld their signatures there are not many reasonable conclusions that can be drawn, and they are not favorable to the Holy Synod. The Holy Synod has done what it has done and will do what it will do. But these are the facts of what they permitted to be said as an official communication of the OCA's administration.

It doesn't get much clearer than this from a man of better credentials and character than this. Make of it what you will. http://kalvesmaki.com/OCA/2012-11-05-disbelieve-intro.html

Is that the same random, unknown guy you referenced earlier as being "left out" of the AAC?

Lay off the Monomakhos, they're nothing but idiots over there.

Really Peter, that is unbecoming of a fellow Christian.  First, Mr. Kalvesmaki is a human being.  He's not worthy to you because he's "random and unknown"?  Really? You dismiss him & his research out of hand, why?  because he didn't fit your narrative about Met. Jonah?  Yes, perhaps he is "unknown" in your circles:  http://www.doaks.org/about/staff-directory/joelk/.  He's also listed under the Acknowledgements section of the OSB for his work on the translation of the Book of Joel (oddly enough!).  

If you back up a bit from Seraphim's link you'll find that Mr. Kalvesmaki recent wrote another "OpenLetter" with 3 other scholars concerning the OCA

http://kalvesmaki.com/OCA/2012-10-19-letter-to-OCA-synod.html

But, I suspect we'll just be "talking to the hand" on this one since, as I suspect, their work doesn't seem to fit the proper narrative.

For the record, it was Devin and not Peter who made the statement that PrincessMommy is objecting to. Thanks, Carl Kraeff
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« Reply #736 on: November 16, 2012, 09:03:29 AM »

I am going to call a short recess to let passions cool off a bit.We will resume on Monday.  Thanks, Carl Kraeff
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« Reply #737 on: November 19, 2012, 10:36:21 AM »

Back in session.
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« Reply #738 on: November 19, 2012, 11:48:49 AM »

Dear Seraphim98,

I think your expectation of utter transparency in this regard is a bit excessive, and I speak from experience.

The Church balances public and private knowledge of sin.  We have Confession, which people have expectations of privacy, which extends both to the laity and the clergy (that would include hierarchs).  Yet, we also do not try to shame others by gossiping and trumpeting their sins.

If the law is violated, the Church cannot impede an investigation and criminal prosecution.  Rather, we are obligated to help justice be restored.  But, when the law is not broken, then it is up to the collective hierarchy to determine the correct course of action.  Sometimes, public revelations are made, particularly when there is an obvious change of status.

So, if a priest is defrocked (deposed, laicized, etc.), is it important for everyone to read the transcripts of the Spiritual Court?  Must we all carefully examine the potential victims and witnesses?  Most of us would say 'no'.  This would be especially true if the subject of the proceedings did not protest the findings.

In the case of Metropolitan Jonah, you will have to take his word for it: he resigned.  The Holy Synod published a minimalistic address of the circumstances, and His Beatitude has not contested it.

In fact, his only public action appears to be the retention of an attorney.  He has said nothing himself, and I'm afraid that relying on internet hearsay is no better than reading into the Holy Synod's letter any more than what it says.

The truth is that the situation could be far worse than what the letter, yet neither side is willing to admit more.

I have been in a very similar situation with a layperson who was involved in a great deal of sinful behavior which he would not repent of.  When he came for Communion, I turned him away.  He began to spread all kinds of rumors as to why I did what I did, and when parishioners came to me demanding the 'truth,' I could not say because a) it had to do with confidential information that I could not divulge and b) he had already served me with legal notice of his intention to sue me for divulging said information by 'publicly excommunicating' him.

This person then set about to alienate a number of parishioners, even going after major donors and contributors in order to get a settlement.  Some left the parish, others remained but are still distrustful.  The parish will never entirely recover in this generation, and the person who did this has moved on to a new parish where I hope this behavior will not be repeated.

I cannot defend my actions in public.  The Holy Synod may very well be in the same position.

You can think what you want, but do not confuse your opinions with the truth.  You will never entirely know the truth unless Metropolitan Jonah and the Holy Synod decide together to divulge everything.  Highly unlikely.  Now that there are 'negotiations' over compensation, I'd say you will not get satisfactory answers and will have to continue to use innuendo and gossip to guide your judgment.

That you have so little charity towards the Holy Synod to begin with means that you have already assured yourself that there is no changing your mind.  It is already made up. Otherwise, you would not have said, "unquestionably false and arguably maliciously conceived document" when you have not been given all the information behind the document.

If you love His Beatitude, you would do better to pray for him and the Holy Synod rather than stoke your anger.


Until we are presented some sufficient reason to think otherwise about the conduct and decisions of the Holy Synod…unless they give us something to demonstrate the rightness and honesty of that document and their decision which we are given to believe is based upon it's contents…then I must take Christ's stance with respect to the Sanhedrin with the Holy Synod. They sit in the seat of the Apostles, and that office and its attendant authority must be respected.  That doesn't magically translate into having used that authority well and in a Christlike apostolically consistent manner. I think Mr. Kalvemaki's presentation and analysis of the facts concerning the content of this document need no further commentary from me. The facts speak far louder and more eloquently than I ever could.  The damage the Holy Synod has done to its reputation with me and a goodly number of other Orthodox, they did themselves with support for an unquestionably false and arguably maliciously conceived document and with their silence and their further punitive humiliations (though he had done nothing blameworthy) of Metropolitan Jonah in the weeks following. They have my prayers, feeble things that they are, but they no longer have my trust.
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« Reply #739 on: November 19, 2012, 12:10:13 PM »

Amen, Father!

I have seen this kind of thing over and over. I have seen good bishops excoriated because they won't be "transparent" - that is, reveal all the details, when they are bound by moral, ethical and legal constraints not to reveal these things.

I have been an HR manager and now work for a church organization, and there seem to be two things that people have difficult grasping. One is that any allegation, whether justified or not, even whether true or false, of sexual misconduct triggers an investigation, according to law and to the particular organization's standards and practices. This is not something that can be or should be handled on a personal level. The only "defense" that you have is that your organization has policies and procedures governing such situations, and that those policies and procedures were followed. Any deviation from policies and procedures, however pastoral or well-meant, puts the organization at risk, morally, financially and legally.
The second is that not all the details can be divulged - also for moral, ethical and legal reasons. A bishop, priest or even HR manager cannot be transparent, in that sense.
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« Reply #740 on: November 19, 2012, 12:24:38 PM »

As most of you probably know, Met Jonah's sister Laura passed away yesterday.

Saint Laura, pray for the handmaiden of God your name sake Laura:





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« Reply #741 on: November 19, 2012, 12:27:18 PM »

Memory eternal!

As most of you probably know, Met Jonah's sister Laura passed away yesterday.

Saint Laura, pray for the handmaiden of God your name sake Laura:






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« Reply #742 on: November 19, 2012, 01:13:45 PM »

Dear Fr. Gyrus,
Bless.

A few points.

1. I don't expect complete transparency in every particular. I realize issues of privacy can preclude complete disclosure. However I do expect some transparency over a matter so important to so many, and I expect honesty in the Holy Synod's dealings.  The optics of the present situation strongly suggest something badly amiss on the Holy Synods part in this. This is evidence most recently by His Holiness the Patriarch of Moscow gently, diplomatically reminding our newly chosen Metropolitan and the Holy Synod to treat and provide for Metropolitan Jonah with dignity…an encouragement that would not have been needed if all that had been done was done decently and in order.  I also don't expect what seems to an imperious silence and stonewalling, rather I expect a more pastoral approach that lets us know our concerns are heard and that they are willing to address them.

2. With respect to Metropolitan Jonah not speaking up or giving his side of the story, right now we cannot know for sure in the present scarcity of information, but the presumption is that he has been bridled, warned on the QT that telling his side of it could endanger his already precarious fiscal and vocational situation.  This would explain the need to lawyer up. It was a defensive move, not offensive.

3. Having little charity towards the Holy Synod: My charitable feelings toward the Holy Synod are mixed, but little is as appropriate a term as any…of course that wasn't always so. I admit to having a long standing personal bias in favor of Metropolitan Jonah since the day he was tapped to be a bishop. When he unloaded on the Holy Synod in Santa Fe, I was very much on his side of the narrative. So news of his resignation came, I wondered what mischief the Synod was up to now. Yet, when they first published their minimalist account, they presented one big item that I had to agree was sufficient reason to ask for his resignation. I gave them the benefit of the doubt. It was that particular in that account that plastered Metropolitan Jonah's account in national newspapers in association with the cover up of a sexual scandal. It was very sad to see.  

But then over the next few weeks the narrative of this letter began to unravel, first it's timeline, then the question on where OCA statues stood at the time and what was the procedure, and it began to look as if he did do what the standards of that time called for, then it became know there was a dispute in the account of the "rape" that Metropolitan Jonah had allegedly mishandled.  Then the very woman, the nun, who was supposed to have been the one "raped/abused" went on record utterly repudiating the alleged event. There was no rape…nothing such as had been insinuated in that letter. And to my surprise, the Holy Synod did nothing. It let a report stand from the OCA that contained a malicious falsehood that had been closely associated with Metropolitan Jonah's name, even going to far as to draw parallels with the pedophilic predations of Sandusky.

Then noted scholars examined the letter and what it was based on, found a great deal questionable in it. It was riddled with problems that again did not put the Holy Synod in a good light.

They let their own brother bishop's named be smeared in the public eye over a proven falsehood, and said nothing, did not lift a finger to correct the public record, and have remained silent to this day on the matter.

So why my little charity, not because the Holy Synod found Metropolitan Jonah too difficult to work with, not because they were not as warm towards his vision of the OCA as I would have preferred, not because they asked for his resignation, but because they have permitted a brother bishop to be shamed and vilified in the public eye, associated his alleged failings with the coverup of a notorious serial pedophile, and have done so under the color of an alleged mishandling of a "situation" that as oxymoronic as it sounds, wasn't mishandled, and does not exist. In other words…a falsehood. They said he exposed the OCA to serious legal consequences. Tell me, Father, what are the legal consequences of not covering up a rape that did not happen?  Even if he did bumble the handling of this priest in some way, what is the legal consequence of "mishandling"/covering up a rape that did not happen?  

That is the foundation of my profound disappointment with the conduct of the Holy Synod in this matter. And unless some better information comes forward from somewhere trustworthy, based on everything known now, my mind is quite made up.

For all that, the world has spun. We have a new metropolitan now, and from all I have heard he is a good and decent man, and an able administrator, though he is much quieter in his manner, less demonstrative than our former, and in some quarters still beloved Metropolitan. His Holiness Patriarch Kirill has weighed in on the side of a dignified exit for Metropolitan Jonah, and if that much comes to pass, then it will have to be enough, though a Synodal explanation/apology together with Metropolitan's Jonah's side of the story would be well from my perspective. I'm not holding my breath on that last little bit though.

Having talked to our priests upon their return from Parma, I also am less worried at present about the future of the Diocese of the South. Several priests from the DoS, known to the Metropolitan from his time as an instructor and confessor at St. Tikhon's approached him and asked his help in securing a suitable candidate to which he seemed most amenable. Not quite a guarantee, but much better than the status quo of the past few years.

As for the Holy Synod, it's not a fixed body, those on it will change as the years go by. New men will be ordained. The Church will endure. I take this view on it. The Holy Synod and Patriarch that did so horribly by Metropolitan St. Nektarios did not cease to be an Orthodox synod for all their mistreatment of him, rather they enabled him to grow in grace and eventually so grow as to be reckoned among our most beloved of modern saints. Perhaps this is part of Metropolitan Jonah's journey of faith as well….an injustice to be endured for Christ's sake, just like St. Nectarios, just like his own patron saint. And maybe a hundred years hence a future synod of the OCA or whatever Orthodox governing body follows it will make apology just like St. Nektario's old synod eventually did roughly a hundred years after his humiliation and ouster.

But unless they are determined to make Metropolitan Jonah's life harder, the matter for all intents and purposes is closed. If they do by him as the MP asks, it will be well. We have a new metropolitan. It's time to move forward, perhaps the Holy Synod has learned from all this and is the better for it and will do better in the future because of it. We'll see. They've a lot of work to do to restore the trust and confidence of so many that they have lost. It will be a long task and hard one, but it's not impossible to repair the damage…even with the likes of a scoundrel like me.




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« Reply #743 on: November 19, 2012, 02:35:00 PM »


For all that, the world has spun...
As for the Holy Synod, it's not a fixed body, those on it will change as the years go by. New men will be ordained. The Church will endure. I take this view on it. The Holy Synod and Patriarch that did so horribly by Metropolitan St. Nektarios did not cease to be an Orthodox synod for all their mistreatment of him, rather they enabled him to grow in grace and eventually so grow as to be reckoned among our most beloved of modern saints. Perhaps this is part of Metropolitan Jonah's journey of faith as well….an injustice to be endured for Christ's sake, just like St. Nectarios, just like his own patron saint. And maybe a hundred years hence a future synod of the OCA or whatever Orthodox governing body follows it will make apology just like St. Nektario's old synod eventually did roughly a hundred years after his humiliation and ouster.

But unless they are determined to make Metropolitan Jonah's life harder, the matter for all intents and purposes is closed. If they do by him as the MP asks, it will be well. We have a new metropolitan. It's time to move forward, perhaps the Holy Synod has learned from all this and is the better for it and will do better in the future because of it. We'll see. They've a lot of work to do to restore the trust and confidence of so many that they have lost. It will be a long task and hard one, but it's not impossible to repair the damage…even with the likes of a scoundrel like me.


Well said.
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« Reply #744 on: November 19, 2012, 04:34:56 PM »

Personally I would love to see Metropolitan Jonah restored to the DoS, but given the present situation, where not one of his brother bishops stood with him, sitting on that synod would a difficult thing indeed. So, if he does not get a new diocese, the ROCOR might make a good home, they've been more brothers to him so far than his own.  That would go a long way to remove much of the cloud out of Parma and the election of Metropolitan Tikhon in his place. It might make the new Metropolitan's reign less troubled by the unfinished business with regards to Metropolitan Jonah.

Of course it may have come with a very high price for Metropolitan Jonah and his family. It is my understanding that his sister is in the hospital, very ill, her already previously delicate condition exacerbated by a ton of stress linked to the sufferings of her brother. She may not make it.  If she passes it will take every ounce of his monastic training to deal with the grief and bitterness his own parents feel for his sake and that suffering pushed their daughter over the edge medically, as well as manage the temptations of bitterness himself. ROCOR might be best, the wounds suffered in the OCA might well be more than he ever anticipated.
Amen! I actually was at St. John the Baptist Cathedral several times, and I observed how Metropolitan Jonah was treated by the clergy there. They  treated him as they would treat their own bishop, and Metropolitan Jonah warmed up to them. Maybe that is what God wants.

Added title per Board policy. I am not going to give a formal warning as I think it was an oversight on the part of this poster. Thanks, Carl Kraeff
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« Reply #745 on: November 19, 2012, 04:44:25 PM »

Dear Seraphim98,

God bless you!

While I certainly agree with your conclusions about the world moving on, I still think you are jumping to some conclusions that the facts do not bear out.

1) How does one secure "some transparency" in a fair way?  This is entirely subjective, and therefore subject to interpretation.  After all, when is 'some' going to be 'enough' rather than 'too much'?  Sorry, but this simply is not going to work as a fair measure of the Holy Synod's actions.

2) The timeline 'unravelling' has largely to do with the confusion over the public facts and those that might not have been made public, and also the assumptions at the time.  The questions of 'what did he know and when did he know it' are as much in play as anything.  The fact that His Beatitude could very well have tampered with an impartial investigation of the allegations is in and of itself a great jeopardy to the Church.  The fact that nothing came of the charges does not wash away any attempts to sway the investigation.  The fact is that there would have been a much more clear and accurate timeline for all parties if there had not been such an egregious handling of the affair.

3) Tampering with an investigation is a profound liability, not to mention shopping the transfer of a priest with serious problems.  The fact that nothing eventually came of the charges is akin to saying that playing Russian Roullette is perfectly safe because the first time you pulled the trigger there was an empty chamber.  The fact is that His Beatitude could not have known for certain that the charges were false at the time he was trying to pass the priest in question off to other jurisdictions, knowing that he had an UNTREATED alcoholism problem.

It his his treatment of this priest that gave me great pause in giving His Beatitude any sort of leeway on this.  He knew the priest had a problem, but took none of the accepted practices of the OCA to deal with the problem (i.e. get the priest into treatment for addiction rather than sending him a letter and then following it up with an 'opportunity transfer').  One must also look at the Zaccheus Wood situation, where His Beatitude was passing information to an attorney who was in the process of resisting the canonical responsibilities of the Holy Synod.

While we all hope to move on, I don't think that allowing such a twisted narrative of the Holy Synod's actions will be helpful to anyone.  I know some have even taking to hinting that His Beatitude is keeping silent in hopes of getting a larger 'settlement' out of the Holy Synod.  How mercinary!

If the Holy Synod lies, then His Beatitude must speak up.  Otherwise, he appears as one enslaved to mammon and more interested in cash than the good of the Church.  If the Holy Synod has lied and he allows the Holy Synod to get away with it, then he is a full particiant in the sin itself.

I'm sure that's not what you think, but if what you are saying is true, then His Beatitude is just as guilty of covering up the situation as the Holy Synod is.


Dear Fr. Gyrus,
Bless.

A few points.

1. I don't expect complete transparency in every particular. I realize issues of privacy can preclude complete disclosure. However I do expect some transparency over a matter so important to so many, and I expect honesty in the Holy Synod's dealings.  The optics of the present situation strongly suggest something badly amiss on the Holy Synods part in this. This is evidence most recently by His Holiness the Patriarch of Moscow gently, diplomatically reminding our newly chosen Metropolitan and the Holy Synod to treat and provide for Metropolitan Jonah with dignity…an encouragement that would not have been needed if all that had been done was done decently and in order.  I also don't expect what seems to an imperious silence and stonewalling, rather I expect a more pastoral approach that lets us know our concerns are heard and that they are willing to address them.

2. With respect to Metropolitan Jonah not speaking up or giving his side of the story, right now we cannot know for sure in the present scarcity of information, but the presumption is that he has been bridled, warned on the QT that telling his side of it could endanger his already precarious fiscal and vocational situation.  This would explain the need to lawyer up. It was a defensive move, not offensive.

3. Having little charity towards the Holy Synod: My charitable feelings toward the Holy Synod are mixed, but little is as appropriate a term as any…of course that wasn't always so. I admit to having a long standing personal bias in favor of Metropolitan Jonah since the day he was tapped to be a bishop. When he unloaded on the Holy Synod in Santa Fe, I was very much on his side of the narrative. So news of his resignation came, I wondered what mischief the Synod was up to now. Yet, when they first published their minimalist account, they presented one big item that I had to agree was sufficient reason to ask for his resignation. I gave them the benefit of the doubt. It was that particular in that account that plastered Metropolitan Jonah's account in national newspapers in association with the cover up of a sexual scandal. It was very sad to see.  

But then over the next few weeks the narrative of this letter began to unravel, first it's timeline, then the question on where OCA statues stood at the time and what was the procedure, and it began to look as if he did do what the standards of that time called for, then it became know there was a dispute in the account of the "rape" that Metropolitan Jonah had allegedly mishandled.  Then the very woman, the nun, who was supposed to have been the one "raped/abused" went on record utterly repudiating the alleged event. There was no rape…nothing such as had been insinuated in that letter. And to my surprise, the Holy Synod did nothing. It let a report stand from the OCA that contained a malicious falsehood that had been closely associated with Metropolitan Jonah's name, even going to far as to draw parallels with the pedophilic predations of Sandusky.

Then noted scholars examined the letter and what it was based on, found a great deal questionable in it. It was riddled with problems that again did not put the Holy Synod in a good light.

They let their own brother bishop's named be smeared in the public eye over a proven falsehood, and said nothing, did not lift a finger to correct the public record, and have remained silent to this day on the matter.

So why my little charity, not because the Holy Synod found Metropolitan Jonah too difficult to work with, not because they were not as warm towards his vision of the OCA as I would have preferred, not because they asked for his resignation, but because they have permitted a brother bishop to be shamed and vilified in the public eye, associated his alleged failings with the coverup of a notorious serial pedophile, and have done so under the color of an alleged mishandling of a "situation" that as oxymoronic as it sounds, wasn't mishandled, and does not exist. In other words…a falsehood. They said he exposed the OCA to serious legal consequences. Tell me, Father, what are the legal consequences of not covering up a rape that did not happen?  Even if he did bumble the handling of this priest in some way, what is the legal consequence of "mishandling"/covering up a rape that did not happen?  

That is the foundation of my profound disappointment with the conduct of the Holy Synod in this matter. And unless some better information comes forward from somewhere trustworthy, based on everything known now, my mind is quite made up.

For all that, the world has spun. We have a new metropolitan now, and from all I have heard he is a good and decent man, and an able administrator, though he is much quieter in his manner, less demonstrative than our former, and in some quarters still beloved Metropolitan. His Holiness Patriarch Kirill has weighed in on the side of a dignified exit for Metropolitan Jonah, and if that much comes to pass, then it will have to be enough, though a Synodal explanation/apology together with Metropolitan's Jonah's side of the story would be well from my perspective. I'm not holding my breath on that last little bit though.

Having talked to our priests upon their return from Parma, I also am less worried at present about the future of the Diocese of the South. Several priests from the DoS, known to the Metropolitan from his time as an instructor and confessor at St. Tikhon's approached him and asked his help in securing a suitable candidate to which he seemed most amenable. Not quite a guarantee, but much better than the status quo of the past few years.

As for the Holy Synod, it's not a fixed body, those on it will change as the years go by. New men will be ordained. The Church will endure. I take this view on it. The Holy Synod and Patriarch that did so horribly by Metropolitan St. Nektarios did not cease to be an Orthodox synod for all their mistreatment of him, rather they enabled him to grow in grace and eventually so grow as to be reckoned among our most beloved of modern saints. Perhaps this is part of Metropolitan Jonah's journey of faith as well….an injustice to be endured for Christ's sake, just like St. Nectarios, just like his own patron saint. And maybe a hundred years hence a future synod of the OCA or whatever Orthodox governing body follows it will make apology just like St. Nektario's old synod eventually did roughly a hundred years after his humiliation and ouster.

But unless they are determined to make Metropolitan Jonah's life harder, the matter for all intents and purposes is closed. If they do by him as the MP asks, it will be well. We have a new metropolitan. It's time to move forward, perhaps the Holy Synod has learned from all this and is the better for it and will do better in the future because of it. We'll see. They've a lot of work to do to restore the trust and confidence of so many that they have lost. It will be a long task and hard one, but it's not impossible to repair the damage…even with the likes of a scoundrel like me.





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« Reply #746 on: November 19, 2012, 08:56:18 PM »

Quote
If the Holy Synod lies, then His Beatitude must speak up.  Otherwise, he appears as one enslaved to mammon and more interested in cash than the good of the Church.  If the Holy Synod has lied and he allows the Holy Synod to get away with it, then he is a full particiant in the sin itself.

Don't forget he has two elderly parents to care for and until a few days ago a gravely ill sister.

Perhaps we will learn more once an settlement has been made. Maybe Metropolitan Jonah will feel inclined to share his version of events. Maybe he will be content to let sleeping dogs lie. We will see. Personally speaking, right now, with the death of his sister and the grief his family is experiencing it just doesn't seem to be the right time to dust off the war drums, and do the whole point counter point thing.

Regardless of how I understand and feel about the conditions under which he was asked to resign, I think the unity of the faith, and common bond of the Spirit is better served by a respectful peace at this time. Why should their sorrow be disturbed by updates on the latest twists in the mutual recriminations of those both for and against him? He didn't ask to be a "cause" or a poster boy. I would rather just give him and his family a rest from all this for a while.
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