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Author Topic: OCA Bishop Matthias of Chicago Takes Leave of Absence  (Read 7422 times) Average Rating: 0
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Basil 320
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« on: August 29, 2012, 04:08:41 PM »

"Monomakhos" is reporting today that His Grace Bishop Matthias of Chicago has taken a "leave of absence" pending an investigation that he did not investigate a sexual impropriety allegation about a priest in his diocese.  "Momomakhos" has not yet reported who is the "Locum Tenens," neither has the OCA officially reported this matter.  Monomakhos' sources are two priests in the Midwest Diocese and a conversation his initiated with Fr. Eric Tosi, OCA Communications Director, who would neither confirm or deny the matter of the "leave."

Holy Trinity Church in Parma, Ohio is in the Midwest Diocese and will be the site of the Special All American Council that is being called for the purpose of electing a new primate of the OCA, in November.  A neighboring parish, Archangel Michael, is to be the site of the Midwest diocesan assembly which is scheduled for the weekend before the All American Council.

If this investigation is not resolved in His Grace's favor, the Midwest will be the 4th vacant diocese of the OCA, presently.

Wasn't it Bishop Matthias who first wrote the Holy Synod's justification for forcing Metropolitan Jonah's resignation?
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« Reply #1 on: August 29, 2012, 04:17:46 PM »

OCA - the only one Church that has more retired bishops than the active ones.

edit:

despite accepting 4 bishops (or bishops in spe) in last 4 years from other jurisdictions

This is no more funny.
« Last Edit: August 29, 2012, 04:23:30 PM by Michał Kalina » Logged

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« Reply #2 on: August 29, 2012, 04:24:18 PM »

-CORRECTION- 

Monomakhos reported the facts of the incident as I noted in the original post, but did not name Bishop Matthias.  That this matter involves Bishop Matthias I got from a poster on "Orthodox-Forum @Yahoo Groups."
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« Reply #3 on: August 29, 2012, 04:25:02 PM »

OCA - the only one Church that has more retired bishops than the active ones.

edit:

despite accepting 4 bishops (or bishops in spe) in last 4 years from other jurisdictions

This is no more funny.

So that means you hate the OCA? lol

Yes, it has a good bit of issues, but it is still very young. Give it time. I consider the OCA a success.
« Last Edit: August 29, 2012, 04:27:07 PM by celticfan1888 » Logged

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« Reply #4 on: August 29, 2012, 05:02:23 PM »

OCA - the only one Church that has more retired bishops than the active ones.

edit:

despite accepting 4 bishops (or bishops in spe) in last 4 years from other jurisdictions

This is no more funny.

So that means you hate the OCA? lol

Yes, it has a good bit of issues, but it is still very young. Give it time. I consider the OCA a success.
Pointing out that the OCA is in a bad spot is not the same as hating it...
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« Reply #5 on: August 29, 2012, 05:06:20 PM »

OCA - the only one Church that has more retired bishops than the active ones.

edit:

despite accepting 4 bishops (or bishops in spe) in last 4 years from other jurisdictions

This is no more funny.

So that means you hate the OCA? lol

Yes, it has a good bit of issues, but it is still very young. Give it time. I consider the OCA a success.

Not that you were being serious about his comment, but I must point out that Michał Kalina is about the most sane "serious" Orthodox person around here from the OW and has always seemed to supportive of American Orthodoxy (even encouraged by it perhaps) while being able to jeer at bit at its excesses.

Quite a feat for someone with so few years.

In short, Michał is pretty awesome.

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« Reply #6 on: August 29, 2012, 05:48:51 PM »

In the original post, I wrongly computed the number of vacant dioceses in the OCA if Bishop Matthias is not exonerated.  Of the OCA's regional dioceses (not including the ethnic dioceses) there would be 5 vacant, 6 occupied.
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« Reply #7 on: August 29, 2012, 08:17:30 PM »

It's very sad indeed.  There goes a potential Metropolitan.  Will +Michael be next I wonder?

It's not lost on many of us that he is on a leave of absence pending an investigation.  Wish they had given Met. JONAH the same courtesy.  "Shoot first then aim" as they're been saying around here.

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« Reply #8 on: August 29, 2012, 08:48:27 PM »

Why in the world do people still read the trash on Monomakhos?

In reflection on the previous retirement, I don't think we should jump to conclusions. Monomakhos is simply a trash website that likes to stir up controversy and outrage.
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« Reply #9 on: August 29, 2012, 09:02:07 PM »

Why in the world do people still read the trash on Monomakhos?

In reflection on the previous retirement, I don't think we should jump to conclusions. Monomakhos is simply a trash website that likes to stir up controversy and outrage.

well... what does the OCA website say about it??  Crickets?? Do I hear crickets???

This is why people go to Monomokhos... he hasn't actually named the Bishop, but it's found other places (including in the comments there).  George M. called Fr. Tosi of the OCA and he said "he could neither confirm nor deny that a bishop had been put on admin. leave."  and that is what George wrote.  Everyone is welcome to their own opinion but I think you should read the article before you start calling it "trash".
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« Reply #10 on: August 29, 2012, 09:19:14 PM »

Why in the world do people still read the trash on Monomakhos?

In reflection on the previous retirement, I don't think we should jump to conclusions. Monomakhos is simply a trash website that likes to stir up controversy and outrage.

well... what does the OCA website say about it??  Crickets?? Do I hear crickets???

This is why people go to Monomokhos... he hasn't actually named the Bishop, but it's found other places (including in the comments there).  George M. called Fr. Tosi of the OCA and he said "he could neither confirm nor deny that a bishop had been put on admin. leave."  and that is what George wrote.  Everyone is welcome to their own opinion but I think you should read the article before you start calling it "trash".

Why should we care if the OCA website doesn't say anything about it? Shouldn't we exercise some patience?
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« Reply #11 on: August 29, 2012, 09:20:14 PM »

Are the allegations true or false? If they are true then the Holy Synod will be forced to act. I hope they are false but no bishop can ignore these types of matters. If they do they will be held accountable.
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« Reply #12 on: August 29, 2012, 09:23:48 PM »

It's very sad indeed.  There goes a potential Metropolitan.  Will +Michael be next I wonder?

It's not lost on many of us that he is on a leave of absence pending an investigation.  Wish they had given Met. JONAH the same courtesy.  "Shoot first then aim" as they're been saying around here.



Everybody is entitled to their opinion but not to their own facts. The fact is that Metropolitan Jonah was given numerous chances.
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« Reply #13 on: August 29, 2012, 09:25:51 PM »

It's very sad indeed.  There goes a potential Metropolitan.  Will +Michael be next I wonder?

It's not lost on many of us that he is on a leave of absence pending an investigation.  Wish they had given Met. JONAH the same courtesy.  "Shoot first then aim" as they're been saying around here.



Everybody is entitled to their opinion but not to their own facts. The fact is that Metropolitan Jonah was given numerous chances.

As much as I hate to say it, Metropolitan Jonah had several years. Bishop Matthias has only had barely over a year. We don't know the circumstances yet and patience needs to be exercised.
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« Reply #14 on: August 29, 2012, 09:28:35 PM »

Why in the world do people still read the trash on Monomakhos?

In reflection on the previous retirement, I don't think we should jump to conclusions. Monomakhos is simply a trash website that likes to stir up controversy and outrage.

well... what does the OCA website say about it??  Crickets?? Do I hear crickets???

This is why people go to Monomokhos... he hasn't actually named the Bishop, but it's found other places (including in the comments there).  George M. called Fr. Tosi of the OCA and he said "he could neither confirm nor deny that a bishop had been put on admin. leave."  and that is what George wrote.  Everyone is welcome to their own opinion but I think you should read the article before you start calling it "trash".

Why do people consider Monomakhos a trash site? Let me count the ways:

1. It is where schismatics gather, although not all posters are.

2. Where unsubtanstiated allegations are made.

3. Where gossip and innuendo reign.
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« Reply #15 on: August 29, 2012, 09:39:57 PM »

Chicago is the largest city in Illinois and the third most populous city in the United States. The city has approximately 2.7 million residents. Its metropolitan area, sometimes called 'Chicagoland', is the third-largest in the United States, after New York City and Los Angeles, with an estimated 9.8 million people. Chicago is the county seat of Cook County, though a small portion of the city limits also extend into DuPage County.

Chicago was incorporated as a city in 1837, near a portage between the Great Lakes and the Mississippi River watershed. Today, Chicago is listed as an alpha+ global city by the Globalization and World Cities Research Network, and ranks seventh in the world in the 2012 Global Cities Index. The city is an international hub for finance, commerce, industry, telecommunications, and transportation, with O'Hare International Airport being the second-busiest airport in the world in terms of traffic movements. In 2008, the city hosted 45.6 million domestic and overseas visitors. Among metropolitan areas, Chicago has the fourth-largest gross domestic product (GDP) in the world, just behind Tokyo, the New York City metropolitan area, and Greater Los Angeles, and ahead of London and Paris. Chicago is one of the most important Worldwide Centers of Commerce and trade.

Chicago's notability has found expression in numerous forms of popular culture, including novels, plays, movies, songs, various types of journals (for example, sports, entertainment, business, trade, and academic), and the news media. The city has many nicknames, which reflect the impressions and opinions about historical and contemporary Chicago. The best known include: "Chi-town", "Windy City," "Second City," "Hog Butcher for the World" and the "City of Big Shoulders."
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« Reply #16 on: August 29, 2012, 09:52:59 PM »

Why in the world do people still read the trash on Monomakhos?

In reflection on the previous retirement, I don't think we should jump to conclusions. Monomakhos is simply a trash website that likes to stir up controversy and outrage.

well... what does the OCA website say about it??  Crickets?? Do I hear crickets???

This is why people go to Monomokhos... he hasn't actually named the Bishop, but it's found other places (including in the comments there).  George M. called Fr. Tosi of the OCA and he said "he could neither confirm nor deny that a bishop had been put on admin. leave."  and that is what George wrote.  Everyone is welcome to their own opinion but I think you should read the article before you start calling it "trash".

Why do people consider Monomakhos a trash site? Let me count the ways:

1. It is where schismatics gather, although not all posters are.

2. Where unsubtanstiated allegations are made.

3. Where gossip and innuendo reign.

Indeed, a trash site.  Also a watering hole for clergy.   
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« Reply #17 on: August 29, 2012, 10:13:25 PM »

OCA - the only one Church that has more retired bishops than the active ones.

edit:

despite accepting 4 bishops (or bishops in spe) in last 4 years from other jurisdictions

This is no more funny.

So that means you hate the OCA? lol

Yes, it has a good bit of issues, but it is still very young. Give it time. I consider the OCA a success.

Not that you were being serious about his comment, but I must point out that Michał Kalina is about the most sane "serious" Orthodox person around here from the OW and has always seemed to supportive of American Orthodoxy (even encouraged by it perhaps) while being able to jeer at bit at its excesses.

Quite a feat for someone with so few years.

In short, Michał is pretty awesome.

I don't think he hates OCA, I was being sarcastic, although I do think Kalina is too sarcastic for me to handle (and tell when he's joking) sometimes, but hey I am really annoying too.
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« Reply #18 on: August 30, 2012, 12:23:00 AM »

After reading some of the comments on Monomakhos (something I regret doing), I have to say that it is extremely sad to see people behaving in such a disgusting manner. I feel bad for having participated in it during the Metropolitan Jonah scandal.

Do people just hate Bishops or want a conspiracy theory?

Of course I say this when I have the ability to easily switch jurisdictions where I live, some aren't that fortunate.
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« Reply #19 on: August 30, 2012, 12:42:35 AM »

After reading some of the comments on Monomakhos (something I regret doing), I have to say that it is extremely sad to see people behaving in such a disgusting manner. I feel bad for having participated in it during the Jonah scandal.

Do people just hate Bishops or want a conspiracy theory?

Of course I say this when I have the ability to easily switch jurisdictions where I live, some aren't that fortunate.

Unfortunately, the nature of our western society and its democratic ideology really creates a lot of problems in the hierarchical structure of the Church. Laymen believing they have every right to be involved and hold their leaders accountable to their own judgments and laws. This constant call for "transparency" is fundamentally detrimental to the Churches anatomy. Nothing is worse then having mobs inciting anger and suspicion, rumor and judging. It is really a sad state of affairs. It is not enjoyable to watch Orthodoxy in the United States become more protestant day by day. If one spends just 1/10th of the time praying for ones own sinfulness and for help of ones brother, instead of cruising the internet for ways to rail and gossip, imagine the healing that would take place.
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« Reply #20 on: August 30, 2012, 12:52:56 AM »

I find this report amusing since His Grace did serve liturgy today at Holy Trinity Cathedral in Chicago.....

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« Reply #21 on: August 30, 2012, 05:12:32 PM »

So that means you hate the OCA? lol

No, I don't hate the OCA. I only see that their experiment with ultimately transparent and conciliar management failed.
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« Reply #22 on: August 30, 2012, 05:30:55 PM »

So that means you hate the OCA? lol

No, I don't hate the OCA. I only see that their experiment with ultimately transparent and conciliar management failed.

I think it is premature to call transparency and conciliarity a failure. It is precisely because of this experiment that problems were identified and dealt with. There is no way to say this about any other church if there is no conciliarity and transparency--you just would not know of problems exist; it would be like having a disease but not knowing that you are sick, simply because you do not want to know or you are not doing regular check ups.
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« Reply #23 on: August 30, 2012, 05:39:58 PM »

After reading some of the comments on Monomakhos (something I regret doing), I have to say that it is extremely sad to see people behaving in such a disgusting manner. I feel bad for having participated in it during the Jonah scandal.

Do people just hate Bishops or want a conspiracy theory?

Of course I say this when I have the ability to easily switch jurisdictions where I live, some aren't that fortunate.

Unfortunately, the nature of our western society and its democratic ideology really creates a lot of problems in the hierarchical structure of the Church. Laymen believing they have every right to be involved and hold their leaders accountable to their own judgments and laws. This constant call for "transparency" is fundamentally detrimental to the Churches anatomy. Nothing is worse then having mobs inciting anger and suspicion, rumor and judging. It is really a sad state of affairs. It is not enjoyable to watch Orthodoxy in the United States become more protestant day by day. If one spends just 1/10th of the time praying for ones own sinfulness and for help of ones brother, instead of cruising the internet for ways to rail and gossip, imagine the healing that would take place.

Dear Father Deacon--In the days of old, lay folks were also involved in the affairs of the church; their numbers were perhaps fewer and also the means of communications were not as rapid as today. You are right about the mobs but that has nothing to do with transparency, accountability and conciliarity. Some folks, like those on Monomakhos, are simply abusing the means of communications to bypass good order and push their own agendas. However, instead of their circle being small, they are able to reach larger numbers. I think that we have to figure out how the laity will fulfill its duties and responsibilities in a proper manner. I do not think that we should revert back to a monarchical governance because of temporary discomfort and problems (not that you are suggesting such, but others may be tempted to do so).
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« Reply #24 on: August 30, 2012, 05:50:41 PM »

The comments on that site (Monomakhos) about the other Bishops "eliminating" Bishop Matthias as a potential candidate for the Metropolitan are so ridiculous. While I loved Metropolitan Jonah, I think one lesson we learned was not to take a new Bishop and elevate him to the highest position. The St. Ambrose model is a very rare exception.
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« Reply #25 on: August 30, 2012, 06:19:18 PM »

It's very sad indeed.  There goes a potential Metropolitan.  Will +Michael be next I wonder?

It's not lost on many of us that he is on a leave of absence pending an investigation.  Wish they had given Met. JONAH the same courtesy.  "Shoot first then aim" as they're been saying around here.



Everybody is entitled to their opinion but not to their own facts. The fact is that Metropolitan Jonah was given numerous chances.

I don't know all the circumstances involving Metropolitan Johah, but it seems he wasn't willing to lower his integrity and conform to the opinions of the other bishops.  Wouldn't his not doing so, be a reflection of his integrity and character, and wouldn't that be a reflection of the  State of Grace he is in...And  wouldn't this again be a reflection  on how enlightened he was by the Holy Spirit? 

Certainly an enlightened person would conform more to God's Will, than one that is not so enlightened, don't you think?  Huh
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« Reply #26 on: August 30, 2012, 06:32:30 PM »

I follow "Monmokhos" and do not find it to be as irresponsible as some has been noted herein.  There are voices for extreme lay authority to the extent that you get the impression that some may not respect the hierarchal authority that is inherent in our church's administrative affairs, but most of the posters are desirous of substantive lay input in the church's administrative affairs, while acknowledging the hierarchy's near absolute authority.  I don't find the publisher of Monomakhos irresponsible in his commentary.  We need these types of forums to ensure that relevant information about the church's affairs become known to the faithful.  There's no reason why the church should hide its issues, when it would benefit from broad spectrum exposure and input.  The church is the most public of entities, and has no right to conduct its affairs in private.  It's kind of strange, though, while the OCA touts its openness, it only publicizes part of the story, which is what invites more critical reaction, as the whole truth comes out.  This matter is another great example, is Bishop Matthias on leave or not?  Still no notice on the OCA website, while a letter has already been transmitted to the Deans within the diocese.  If they took the action, and had the time to draft and issue the letters, why can't they post a concise notice on there Home Page?

I don't care what anyone says, though, I miss OCANews; Mark Stokoe had the facts and stated them succinctly.  "Monomakhos" is more commentary than a source of information.
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« Reply #27 on: August 31, 2012, 02:56:00 AM »

I think it is premature to call transparency and conciliarity a failure. It is precisely because of this experiment that problems were identified and dealt with. There is no way to say this about any other church if there is no conciliarity and transparency--you just would not know of problems exist; it would be like having a disease but not knowing that you are sick, simply because you do not want to know or you are not doing regular check ups.

I don't see the OCA's problems are dealt with. I only see that potential solution for the problems transform into following problems. All these websites, forums, blogs, discussion groups create an atmosphere of uncertainty and confusion. I agree the OCA found a way to expose their problems but they still don't know how to take care of them and clean up the mess they create.
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« Reply #28 on: August 31, 2012, 08:20:02 AM »

It's very sad indeed.  There goes a potential Metropolitan.  Will +Michael be next I wonder?

It's not lost on many of us that he is on a leave of absence pending an investigation.  Wish they had given Met. JONAH the same courtesy.  "Shoot first then aim" as they're been saying around here.



Everybody is entitled to their opinion but not to their own facts. The fact is that Metropolitan Jonah was given numerous chances.

I don't know all the circumstances involving Metropolitan Johah, but it seems he wasn't willing to lower his integrity and conform to the opinions of the other bishops.  Wouldn't his not doing so, be a reflection of his integrity and character, and wouldn't that be a reflection of the  State of Grace he is in...And  wouldn't this again be a reflection  on how enlightened he was by the Holy Spirit? 

Certainly an enlightened person would conform more to God's Will, than one that is not so enlightened, don't you think?  Huh


You could just as easily say "the bishops of the Holy Synod were not willing to lower their integrity and approve the behavior of the Metropolitan." I like your apparent instinct to support the "underdog" but sometimes the underdog becomes so because he deserves it.
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« Reply #29 on: August 31, 2012, 08:24:52 AM »

Bishop MATTHIAS has put out a statement on the DOW website:

Quote
His Grace, Bp. Matthias' Letter to the Clergy & Faithful

Dear Clergy and Faithful of the Diocese of the Midwest,
 
Christ is in our midst!
 
It is with regret that I inform you that a formal complaint was made against me last Friday, August 24, 2012.  The allegations are that I made unwelcome written and spoken comments to a woman that she regarded as an inappropriate crossing of personal boundaries and an abuse of my pastoral authority.  I deny these allegations and I plan to respond in due course.

According to the OCA's policies, I am on paid administrative leave until the investigation is completed.  Fr. John Zdinak, the Chancellor of the Diocese, will be the temporary administrator in my absence.
 
Please pray for all of us who are involved in this matter.
 
Your Shepherd in Christ,
 
+MATTHIAS
Bishop of Chicago and the Midwest

http://domoca.org/
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« Reply #30 on: August 31, 2012, 10:05:40 AM »

Bishop MATTHIAS has put out a statement on the DOW website:

Quote
His Grace, Bp. Matthias' Letter to the Clergy & Faithful

Dear Clergy and Faithful of the Diocese of the Midwest,
 
Christ is in our midst!
 
It is with regret that I inform you that a formal complaint was made against me last Friday, August 24, 2012.  The allegations are that I made unwelcome written and spoken comments to a woman that she regarded as an inappropriate crossing of personal boundaries and an abuse of my pastoral authority.  I deny these allegations and I plan to respond in due course.

According to the OCA's policies, I am on paid administrative leave until the investigation is completed.  Fr. John Zdinak, the Chancellor of the Diocese, will be the temporary administrator in my absence.
 
Please pray for all of us who are involved in this matter.
 
Your Shepherd in Christ,
 
+MATTHIAS
Bishop of Chicago and the Midwest

http://domoca.org/


Yes, this is what I found today also. I should also note that in my prior post there was an error. His Grace did not actually serve liturgy Wednesday, but merely attended the service.

-Nick
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« Reply #31 on: August 31, 2012, 10:37:28 AM »

I agree with you, Carl, that the promises of conciliarity and transparency didn't fail... they were never tried to begin with. 

A good deal of the problems with implementing such grand changes would be that the canonical tradition of the Church places the hierarchy squarely at the top of the order and any attempt to change that would require either ignoring the canons or changing them, the latter not happening until the entire Church agrees.

However, I think the problem of the hierarchy of the Church is failing on an international level, if you look closely at the situations happening throughout the world.  The number of Church conflicts not being dealt with in an efficient manner is staggering.  Not only do we have overlapping jurisdictions and conflicting claims throughout the West, but in the East as well: Ukraine, Moldova, Abkhazia, Jerusalem, & the Baltic States.

Constantinople and Moscow are engaging in geostrategic chess while major social issues are tearing apart their communities.  Meanwhile, the bishops continue to stare unblinkingly at the chessboard.  Sad.  So, we have no Great Council to settle these matters.

The OCA or any other church cannot do much in the way of change.  They can let people vote, but functionally it is symbolic at best.  The bishops still elect and retain veto power lest the elections or decision be deligitimized and the local church find itself in conflict with the entire Church.

So, His Beatitude could promise transparency and conciliarity, then make a number of ill-fated decisions and fail to share information with not only his Synod by the administrators he supervised.  He could do so by turning back to that canonical tradition and could say, 'But, I am the Metropolitan, the chief hierarch!'  He would not be wrong, and the canons were on his side as far as having far more autocratic powers as a bishop than 'transparency and accountability' promise.

While some smaller autocephalous churches like Poland are relatively calm, and can look at the OCA situation with disdain or perhaps amusement, the people there ought to consider that whatever cultural conflicts they have are minor compared to what the US faces.  We are trying to keep Russians and Ukrainians and Carpathians and Greeks and Lebanese and Serbs and and Syrians and Romanians and Bulgarians and Albanians and Palestinians and Protestant converts and Georgians and Roman Converts in the same boat and get them to all row to the same rythm.  That's going on while overseas churchs are actively trying to use their proxies here to bludgeon one another.

We are sick, but half the illness is poison from politics that do not even originate here.

I think it is a miracle that things are not much worse.


So that means you hate the OCA? lol

No, I don't hate the OCA. I only see that their experiment with ultimately transparent and conciliar management failed.

I think it is premature to call transparency and conciliarity a failure. It is precisely because of this experiment that problems were identified and dealt with. There is no way to say this about any other church if there is no conciliarity and transparency--you just would not know of problems exist; it would be like having a disease but not knowing that you are sick, simply because you do not want to know or you are not doing regular check ups.
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« Reply #32 on: August 31, 2012, 11:11:50 AM »

It's very sad indeed.  There goes a potential Metropolitan.  Will +Michael be next I wonder?

It's not lost on many of us that he is on a leave of absence pending an investigation.  Wish they had given Met. JONAH the same courtesy.  "Shoot first then aim" as they're been saying around here.



Everybody is entitled to their opinion but not to their own facts. The fact is that Metropolitan Jonah was given numerous chances.

I don't know all the circumstances involving Metropolitan Johah,
So you feel free to sound off on things you know nothing about? Roll Eyes
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« Reply #33 on: August 31, 2012, 11:16:23 AM »

I agree with you, Carl, that the promises of conciliarity and transparency didn't fail... they were never tried to begin with. 

A good deal of the problems with implementing such grand changes would be that the canonical tradition of the Church places the hierarchy squarely at the top of the order and any attempt to change that would require either ignoring the canons or changing them, the latter not happening until the entire Church agrees.

However, I think the problem of the hierarchy of the Church is failing on an international level, if you look closely at the situations happening throughout the world.  The number of Church conflicts not being dealt with in an efficient manner is staggering.  Not only do we have overlapping jurisdictions and conflicting claims throughout the West, but in the East as well: Ukraine, Moldova, Abkhazia, Jerusalem, & the Baltic States.

Constantinople and Moscow are engaging in geostrategic chess while major social issues are tearing apart their communities.  Meanwhile, the bishops continue to stare unblinkingly at the chessboard.  Sad.  So, we have no Great Council to settle these matters.

The OCA or any other church cannot do much in the way of change.  They can let people vote, but functionally it is symbolic at best.  The bishops still elect and retain veto power lest the elections or decision be deligitimized and the local church find itself in conflict with the entire Church.

So, His Beatitude could promise transparency and conciliarity, then make a number of ill-fated decisions and fail to share information with not only his Synod by the administrators he supervised.  He could do so by turning back to that canonical tradition and could say, 'But, I am the Metropolitan, the chief hierarch!'  He would not be wrong, and the canons were on his side as far as having far more autocratic powers as a bishop than 'transparency and accountability' promise.

While some smaller autocephalous churches like Poland are relatively calm, and can look at the OCA situation with disdain or perhaps amusement, the people there ought to consider that whatever cultural conflicts they have are minor compared to what the US faces.  We are trying to keep Russians and Ukrainians and Carpathians and Greeks and Lebanese and Serbs and and Syrians and Romanians and Bulgarians and Albanians and Palestinians and Protestant converts and Georgians and Roman Converts in the same boat and get them to all row to the same rythm.  That's going on while overseas churchs are actively trying to use their proxies here to bludgeon one another.

We are sick, but half the illness is poison from politics that do not even originate here.

I think it is a miracle that things are not much worse.


So that means you hate the OCA? lol

No, I don't hate the OCA. I only see that their experiment with ultimately transparent and conciliar management failed.

I think it is premature to call transparency and conciliarity a failure. It is precisely because of this experiment that problems were identified and dealt with. There is no way to say this about any other church if there is no conciliarity and transparency--you just would not know of problems exist; it would be like having a disease but not knowing that you are sick, simply because you do not want to know or you are not doing regular check ups.
Kinda like someone once said about Noah's Ark, the ark of salvation with which the Church identifies herself. The one thing that makes the stench inside so bearable is that the stench outside is even worse.
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« Reply #34 on: August 31, 2012, 11:29:45 AM »

I think it is premature to call transparency and conciliarity a failure. It is precisely because of this experiment that problems were identified and dealt with. There is no way to say this about any other church if there is no conciliarity and transparency--you just would not know of problems exist; it would be like having a disease but not knowing that you are sick, simply because you do not want to know or you are not doing regular check ups.

I don't see the OCA's problems are dealt with. I only see that potential solution for the problems transform into following problems. All these websites, forums, blogs, discussion groups create an atmosphere of uncertainty and confusion. I agree the OCA found a way to expose their problems but they still don't know how to take care of them and clean up the mess they create.

Here is what has been accomplished:
  • Completely transparent finances
  • Malfeasance dealt with
  • Bishops who act in accordance with policy (note Bishop Matthias' statement that was just posted
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« Reply #35 on: August 31, 2012, 11:45:20 AM »

Bishop MATTHIAS has put out a statement on the DOW website:

Quote
His Grace, Bp. Matthias' Letter to the Clergy & Faithful

Dear Clergy and Faithful of the Diocese of the Midwest,
 
Christ is in our midst!
 
It is with regret that I inform you that a formal complaint was made against me last Friday, August 24, 2012.  The allegations are that I made unwelcome written and spoken comments to a woman that she regarded as an inappropriate crossing of personal boundaries and an abuse of my pastoral authority.  I deny these allegations and I plan to respond in due course.

According to the OCA's policies, I am on paid administrative leave until the investigation is completed.  Fr. John Zdinak, the Chancellor of the Diocese, will be the temporary administrator in my absence.
 
Please pray for all of us who are involved in this matter.
 
Your Shepherd in Christ,
 
+MATTHIAS
Bishop of Chicago and the Midwest

http://domoca.org/

I love this Bishop! It is exceedingly rare (at least in my limited knowledge) that a bishop has owned up to a problem with alacrity and acted in accordance with policy. Axios!
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« Reply #36 on: August 31, 2012, 11:52:58 AM »

I follow "Monmokhos" and do not find it to be as irresponsible as some has been noted herein.  There are voices for extreme lay authority to the extent that you get the impression that some may not respect the hierarchal authority that is inherent in our church's administrative affairs, but most of the posters are desirous of substantive lay input in the church's administrative affairs, while acknowledging the hierarchy's near absolute authority.  I don't find the publisher of Monomakhos irresponsible in his commentary.  We need these types of forums to ensure that relevant information about the church's affairs become known to the faithful.  There's no reason why the church should hide its issues, when it would benefit from broad spectrum exposure and input.  The church is the most public of entities, and has no right to conduct its affairs in private.  It's kind of strange, though, while the OCA touts its openness, it only publicizes part of the story, which is what invites more critical reaction, as the whole truth comes out.  This matter is another great example, is Bishop Matthias on leave or not?  Still no notice on the OCA website, while a letter has already been transmitted to the Deans within the diocese.  If they took the action, and had the time to draft and issue the letters, why can't they post a concise notice on there Home Page?

I don't care what anyone says, though, I miss OCANews; Mark Stokoe had the facts and stated them succinctly.  "Monomakhos" is more commentary than a source of information.

My issues with Monomakhos are:

- George's agenda which has been to support Metropolitan Jonah to such a degree that he will attack viciously his real and perceived enemies

- People like the disgraced priest Fester (now with ACROD) who I suspect is posting there under a pseudonym (or two)

- Folks openly advocating schism

I do not mind as much folks like Bishop Tikhon (Fitzgerald) and Monk James who are honestly convinced of the innocence of Bishop Nikolai and former priest Bob Kondratick.

I also respect people who are there simply to bring their own perspective and knowledge to the table and to mitigate the damage done by the agenda-driven folks above.
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« Reply #37 on: August 31, 2012, 12:10:21 PM »

I have mixed feelings about the level of transparency, and the authority of the episcopate.  As in this instance, I feel terrible for Bishop Matthias that he has to take a leave of absence due to a complaint.  If it were former Bishop Nikolai of Alaska, I'd say, "thank God."  With +Nikolai there was an exposed pattern of abusive behavior, while with +Matthias, he comes across as innocent to me---not that I have any knowledge of the circumstances.

Likewise, much as I seek lay input into episcopal elections, I am uncomfortable with the campaigning I see in the OCA, episcopal candidates visiting the parishes, submitting to a series of questions, and having their interviews posted on YouTube.  And with all that vetting, the Midwest ended up with a bishop who tells his clergy he wants to curtail or eliminate practices like the conduct of baptisms within the context of the Divine Liturgy, like that is such a bad thing.  All the vetting doesn't seem to be working.

These are just some thoughts about issues that perplex me, again, while conceptually opposing secret Byzantine decision making in the church, yet, I'm not comfortable with the campaigning for episcopal seats that I see in the OCA.  At my age I should have a firm opinion, but simply do not at this point.

I am thinking though, with an instance like this one with Bishop Matthias, perhaps in the absence of a pattern of complaints, an investigation could be conducted, promptly, but the bishop wouldn't have to take a leave of absence, a public leave, notifying his priests and faithful.
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« Reply #38 on: August 31, 2012, 12:19:13 PM »

Ok, "Carl," I can't disagree with any of the points you make in Reply No. 36.

I don't necessarily agree with George's opinions, but "Monomakhos" is a forum for discussion of relevant issues of the church which I find beneficial.
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« Reply #39 on: August 31, 2012, 12:43:18 PM »

Ok, "Carl," I can't disagree with any of the points you make in Reply No. 36.

I don't necessarily agree with George's opinions, but "Monomakhos" is a forum for discussion of relevant issues of the church which I find beneficial.

I agree. 

Just because a commentator openly advocates schism doesn't mean I'm willing to throw the baby out with the bathwater.  I don't think I've ever seen George M *advocate* schism.  I could be wrong, I don't watch the sight that closely.  I've seen him express concern that it could happen, but saying something might happen isn't the same as advocating it.  There are a few commentors that I personally know and trust.  Sure, they have their biases but we can all see that from what they've written. There are many things said over there that I don't agree with, but overall I think a good place to working through some of these issues..... not dissimilar to here I might add. Wink
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« Reply #40 on: August 31, 2012, 01:35:40 PM »

The fact tha Bishop Matthias has been placed on paid administrative leave is evidence that the system works, not that it is sick.

I've come to accept that the Church isn't a Democracy and doesn't function according modern standards of fairness and administration.

If he were forced to retire due to an accusation we could question the system. The people on Monomakhos who think he is being put on leave to disqualify him as a candidate for Metropolitan are naive, not to mention bordering on being foil- hat wearing conspiracy nuts.

Bishop Matthias has only been Bishop for a little over a year and we shouldn't elevate new Bishops to the highest position so soon after being made Bishop. It defies logic, St Ambrose is an exception to the rule, not the rule itself.

Bishop Matthias is a wonderful man and I don't doubt his innocence. At the same time, if nothing were done and business continued as usual, then I'd be suspicious about the system in place.

I've come to realize that although I'm a part of a rebellious and revolutionary generation, I cannot and should not apply that to the Churh or it's administration. The people can affect the episcopacy, but t should only be in extraordinary circumstances of abuse or heresy. We have neither of those anymore. We just have to be patient and put our ecclesiastical PTSD in check.
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« Reply #41 on: August 31, 2012, 01:45:07 PM »

The fact that Bishop Matthias has been placed on paid administrative leave is evidence that the system works, not that it is sick.

Before any official info is given, there are speculations  and gossips on dozens of blogs, foras and websites. Priests are afraid to have a beer in a pub because next they they would find their pictures on 20 blogs and be labelled as abusers and drunkards there.

The system works perfectly.
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« Reply #42 on: August 31, 2012, 01:53:46 PM »

The fact that Bishop Matthias has been placed on paid administrative leave is evidence that the system works, not that it is sick.

Before any official info is given, there are speculations  and gossips on dozens of blogs, foras and websites. Priests are afraid to have a beer in a pub because next they they would find their pictures on 20 blogs and be labelled as abusers and drunkards there.

The system works perfectly.

I'm referring to the administrative system. There have always been people trying to falsely accuse Priests and Bishops. Now people have the ability to photograph and other such things, but serious allegations have to be dealt with in the proper manner. The administration ignoring them isn't proper but addressing them is.

One is able to tell the difference between frivolous accusations and serious ones.

(I think a Priest at a bar is against the canons, i cant cite which one. Though I know one priest who had to eat at one in a restaurant because it was the only area left available)
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« Reply #43 on: August 31, 2012, 01:58:09 PM »

So all these Pokrov, AOI, Monomakhos, Voices from Russia, Monachos, OC.net, OCAnews etc websites aren't part of the system, are they?
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« Reply #44 on: August 31, 2012, 01:59:06 PM »

I think our Bishops are aware of blogs but I don't think they ascribe them any sort of merit or reliability (nor should they). If I were a Bishop, I certainly wouldn't care what Varvara or Monomakhos would have to say about anything.

The fact that he is on leave means there is more than just the word of blogs, and I doubt the blogs played any role in this. They need to shrink down their epeens and their real world pride and accept they are nothing more than lowly people with a keyboard (just as we all are).

You can't trust virtually anything on the Internet and without solid proof of who someone is, you can't guarantee they are who they say they are.
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