As of a few weeks ago, as I reported here, Met Jonah told me... in person...That the OCA has not yet released him. He said he had no idea why but Pat. Kyrill has made his displeasure known to the OCA Synod and has asked them to finish the process ASAP.
Yes that's true. +Jonah was saying before that they were releasing him because he thought the OCA would finalize the paperwork shortly. I know he was really hoping it was all over and done then, I hope for his sake it will be soon.
It is hard to make sense of various stories we are getting.
You know, over on Monomakhos, an poster who often claims "insider knowledge" of things, with definite slant both pro-Met Jonah and anti-OCA posted this:http://www.monomakhos.com/archbishop-joseph-elected-metropolitan-of-all-north-america/#comment-79230
July 12, 2014 at 11:17 am
Helga, dear Helga.
I think it is time to give the +Jonah thing a rest. The dust has all but settled for him and the OCA.
He is not going to ever be released to ROCOR not unless and until the OCA gives him a clean and total release without stipulations. Patriarch Kirill ruled on this last week and his ruling is final. For him, the very last straw was the attempt for the OCA, including the Metropolitan Council, to be part of some sort of bilateral negotiation about +Jonah’s release to ROCOR.
ROCOR submitted this ridiculous demand by the OCA to Moscow and the Patriarch said, “No. We don’t negotiate episcopal release with stipulations.”
So, in the end, this may have been the cynical game plan of the OCA all along, to drag their feet, to keep adding new stipulations to Jonah’s release, knowing full well that in the end, Moscow would say no, not because they don’t want him but because the OCA really wasn’t interested in releasing him.
To wit, again, the OCA has lost more credibility with Moscow, of which there is precious little left.
So it appears that +Jonah will continue to be in the OCA and for now, spend most of his time at ROCOR venues, of course and until the OCA again tries to tighten their leash on him and stop him from even doing that.
Time to close the chapter on this and move on to other matters."
he continued to elaborate his point:http://www.monomakhos.com/archbishop-joseph-elected-metropolitan-of-all-north-america/#comment-79429
July 16, 2014 at 7:50 am
Stipulations. Let’s see, how about, Jonah can’t be within 50 miles of DC nor can he start a monastery in Texas, you know Dan, very Christian stipulations like that. I don’t know where you have been Dan Fall, theses stipulations have been reported for many months. There are more stipulations that Jonah is expected to agree to before he would be released to the ROCOR by the OCA but those would require him to lie about his “retirement” thus he refused to accept those.
To wit, Pat. Kirill wrote in his own hand across the OCA stipulations communicated to him, NYET!!!
His Holiness is not mad at Jonah, rather he is totally fed up with the OCA. His Holiness has no problem with Jonah serving at St. John’s Cathedral in DC or accepting invitations from ROCOR.
So, again, the OCA has shot itself in the foot because of their vengeful stupidity and Moscow is even more determined to take full advantage of the ROCOR being their missionary arm in the USA. Bad news again for the OCA.
I hope this helps you to better understand the situation."
Collete Kalvesmaki, a noted DC supporter of Met. Jonah wrote this in response:http://www.monomakhos.com/archbishop-joseph-elected-metropolitan-of-all-north-america/#comment-79611
July 18, 2014 at 8:03 am
I agree with you Misha, but ROCOR wants Jonah, it’s Russia who is horn to horn with the OCA. It is an unbalanced chess game. I have no idea what the OCA is thinking. It seems like there are grudges and fears and that’s what they are running on. Wouldn’t it be pleasant and considerate, Christian and orderly if they just said “ok, you want him you can have him”. We have to see what the next card plays . . . . it’s not over."
Well for a long time on this thread we have been told that the Patriarch of Moscow will push this through, and that Met. Jonah is going to comply with all stipulations and the OCA is holding things up.
These things do not add up.
I suggest no one has more incentive to get this behind them than the OCA admin.
I see an implication that the Moscow Patriarchate would find stipulations to releases out of the ordinary. As has been pointed out on this thread, bishop releases themselves are out of the ordinary. Also, the stipulations about not living in DC or Texas have been known for some time. I do not believe that the Patriarch waited until this July to object. Especially since, as Fr Giryus pointed out the Patriarchate itself restricts where retired bishops may live. (Mospat published sometime in the past 3 years a Synodal decision blanket restricting all retired bishops to certain clearly listed larger dioceses. It seems that they want retired bishops in places like Moscow where there are several auxiliaries and other retired bishops so that a retired bishop does not - even unintentionally - compete with the ruling bishop).
It has also been suggested by supporters of Met Jonah that the OCA will no longer provide a stipend to Met Jonah if he leaves the OCA. I think this is correct, and also to be expected.
I do not think that the OCA admin wants to negotiate stipulations, certainly not with Moscow. They want Met Jonah to comply with them. (You can see that's true whether or not you think the stipulations are fair.) It is even more unlikely that the OCA Holy Synod would actually desire to have the Metropolitan Council negotiating with Moscow. What would the OCA get out of having to negotiate these stipulations with a much more powerful body?
How to make sense of "James" revelation, if it is true at all?
I think that Patriarch Kyrill is indeed willing to see Met Jonah go to ROCOR, and at this point may even regard that is a desirable outcome. I do not think that would be his first choice, however.
I do not think that ROCOR has a desire to negotiate stipulations with the OCA.
Even in James' telling it is Met Jonah that is refusing certain stipulations.
Perhaps this is where the Met Council comes in - the Met Council in Spring 2013 minutes when they agreed to budget a stipend for Met Jonah added this to the minutes "To recommend that the Holy Synod consider the impact on this package should Metropolitan Jonah leave the OCA and that general release and non-disparagement clauses be included in the agreement." See here, page 6:https://oca.org/cdn/PDFs/metropolitancouncil/2013/spring-metcouncil/spring13mcdraftminutes.pdf
So perhaps Met Jonah still wishes to collect an OCA stipend while in ROCOR; or he does not wish to agree to "non-disparagement clauses". Or both. I can't see any other reason for a hint of Metropolitan Council involvement. In addition, perhaps Met. Jonah is not yet ready or willing to leave DC.
If Met Jonah is rejecting stipulation(s), it is then in his interest to have Moscow go to bat for him. Who else has a motive to see the powerful Moscow Patriarchate negotiating stipulations with the OCA?
If Moscow wishes they can communicate quite clearly, and if they want an easier release I don't think "letting the dust settle" and have it be "all over" as "James" says would be their way to express support. It seems to me that if this whole story has anything to it all, it was Pat. Kyrill refusing to go to bat against the stipulations. That means that the OCA could
drop the stipulations and release Jonah or
that Met Jonah could comply with the stipulations and get his release. It could also mean that Met Jonah and the OCA will negotiate without ROCOR or Moscow. But the story as "James" posted it was so spun as to cease making sense.
and BTW for up to date Moscow OCA relations:https://mospat.ru/en/2014/07/18/news105706/https://mospat.ru/en/2014/07/19/news105759/http://mospatusa.com/news_140721_1.htmlhttp://www.russianorthodoxchurch.ws/synod/eng2014/20140721_enstsergiusnyc.html