Monday, February 28, 2011

Preaching Reaching Teaching

etiquette rules for the gentle spirit and tender hearted

actual murders, bombings, confiscations, imprisonments, closures and intimidation

Some readers which to imply that there is a moral equivalence between pointing out anomalies and discrepancies in protocol with the abandoning an oppressed Church. This is what we know today. There are actual murders, bombings, confiscations, imprisonments, closures and intimidation akin to the Gestapo. We wish to compartmentalize our feelings and concern about such matters to the point of a schizoid pathology. The churchmen in the United States wish to institute a gag order on freedom of expression and free press. They denigrate the character of activists who wish to ignite a sense of urgency amongst fellow Orthodox Christians in America who have become too comfortable in their affluence and freedom.

There are many well wishers for sure but of what value are all these well wishers who don't speak up and speak out. There is no shared sacrifice among Orthodox Christians here in the United States despite jurisdiction. The liberty of which we all enjoy is not afforded our fellow Orthodox Christians overseas. The reality of the circumstance as it stands currently is that an overwhelming number of Orthodox Christians resign their support to encouraging the Ecumenical See to move to Greece or Washington D.C. It is an interesting and demoralizing proposition.

Are these same individuals recommending that the Jews leave the Holy Land? Should we yield and forfeit all Christian footholds in all Arab or Islamic nations? Just how has the Ecumenical Throne oppressed anyone in the United States or anywhere for that matter? How is it that all the enlightenment or the only enlightenment 'worth saving' is on the American shore? The covert strong arm tactics of the OCA  like AOI can attempt to defame the character of the Mother Church but she has proven that she is not ready to lead. Their history is riddled with corruption, fiscal impropriety, sexual misconduct and now this inability to reconcile one Met.'s respit. These are the facts. It is unhealthy to presume that silence is a solution. A robust healthy discussion and public confession is the best way to brainstorm solutions.

Inter-Orthodox Preparatory Commission Completes Its Work

[Is it mean-spirited to point out that the OCA is not represented? No. It is a fact.]

"On 26 February 2011, the Inter-Orthodox Preparatory Commission for the Holy and Great Council of the Orthodox Church completed its work at the Orthodox Centre of the Patriarchate of Constantinople near Geneva.

Representatives of the fourteen Autocephalous Orthodox Churches took part in the meeting chaired by Metropolitan John of Pergamon, Patriarchate of Constantinople. The delegation of the Russian Orthodox Church, led by Metropolitan Hilarion of Volokolamsk, chairman of the Moscow Patriarchate’s Department for External Church Relations (DECR), included archbishop Mark of Berlin, Germany and Great Britain (Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia); archpriest Nikolai Balashov, DECR deputy chairman; and interpreter Anatoly Churiakov.

The Commission, which task was to elaborate questions for the agenda of the Pan-Orthodox Council, continued to consider the issue of signing the Tomos of autocephaly. As a long discussion has not led to the unanimous decision, the necessity of further studying of the issue of autocephaly was recognized.

The Commission discussed the issue of diptychs, considered canonical and ecclesiological aspects, described the current practice of the Orthodox Churches and the criteria of including the Churches into diptychs and the order of the Primates’ names in them and also noted the necessity of compiling the uniform diptychs of the Orthodox Church.

Also considered was a wish of the Polish and Albanian Orthodox Churches to reach uniformity in regard of the place of their Primates in diptychs of the Autocephalous Orthodox Churches. The Commission suggested to take these requests into account and to consider proper changes in diptychs.

The requests of the Georgian Orthodox Church concerning its sixth place in diptychs and of the Orthodox Church of Cyprus concerning a higher place of its Primate in holy diptychs were presented at the meeting. Consent has not been reached either on this issue, or on the differences in holy diptychs of some Churches due to the lack of Pan-Orthodox agreement on the number of the recognized autocephalous Churches.

Under Art. 16 of the Rules of the Pan-Orthodox Pre-Conciliar Conferences, documents on all issues on the agenda shall be approved unanimously".

The Silent Partnership OCA and AOI

I am called to speak out I have been given a spirit of boldness while others a greater aptitude for meekness. If  I serve as the lone voice and watchdog trying speak truth to power then so be it.  I do not summon the monk to the podium nor should anyone expect less then a blunt "call it as you see it" approach from me. Visitors of this blog and my facebook know what they will get. I take umbrage with those who opt to critisize my passion while doing nothing to expose religious oppression and what amounts to the abandonment and indifference to our Holy See. I do not see anyone else out there making the stance as bluntly as I do because each of us has our own calling. Perhaps many are silenced by there own personal interests. I have put my ministry before my personal interests.

The Archons fight the good fight in the European Union Courts. The officials of the Ecumenical Patriarchate write journals, encyclicals and give academic lectures on the topics. I run marathons and speak about civil rights violations. These topics are serious and intense. I embrace who God has made me and I fill a gap in the public square as much as I can. The OCA has become a focal point for me because the leadership refuses to disavow their supporters who engage in extremist tactics like character assassination. They refuse to discredit the Orthodox Internet Pentarchy which pushes the OCA's hidden agenda and cause: to cease control by the crippling and the ultimate vanishing of the Ecumenical See. Although they are certainly ambitious they are not adequatly adept as they are unable to manage a retreat and reflective time for their Metropolitan. The OCA with its subversive supporters have set their sights on an American Patriarchate and are willing to "recede" or "diminish" so long as the Ecumenical See abandons its post and "cut and runs" like Antioch.

As always true to form these uniquely American Churches with their distinct ethnos grab for funds, the infrastructure, and the clout of various of GOA NPO ministries.  For example SCOBA with its Ministries are essentially and undeniably the firstborn fruits of the GOA.  These other jurisdictions pathologically project contempt for their own ineptitude, failings, financial short falls and internal discord. While  former hierachs of the OCA were looting the treasury, the future custodians cleaned up the accounting and set the sights on power; shoring up their position and linguistically hijacking and controlling the rhetoric as their agenda moves forward. Meanwhile the GOA developed all the flourishing ministries of SCOBA while almost dismissing but certainly marginalizing the OCA; who seemed perpetually embroiled in scandal; or defending their irregular past to explain away their illegitimacy with new resolutions and sweeping statements. The OCA machine with their non-official media groups have started to reframe the debate and have doubled their propaganda efforts and revisionist history. Just read their Strategic Plan for the Orthodox Church in America.

Recap: These groups reflecting the cowardice demonstrated by the Patriarchate of Antioch which fled Turkey for Damascus; seeks to impose this model on on the Ecumenical Throne. They are completely deluded lamenting the collapse of SCOBA while getting into bed with Muslims by encouraging the exodus of Christians. Amazingly AOI  and OCA supporters suggest His All-Holiness the Ecumenical Patriarch become a U.S National that is ethnopheletism at its best.
Sorry to disappoint but the Orthodox Internet Pentarchy is akin to gnats and nothing more then a nuisance. The OCA leadership by not condemning such extremism is using these groups as an extension of their operation. They remain seeminlgy above the fray while covertly giving the green light. I will see that their plans foil and will expose then whenever and where ever I can. I am not intimidated by the propaganda and have the endurance, stamina, fortitude and inclination to do so. The civility that you seek in me if you reflect, you will find that it is exactly what disgusts all of us about politicians who speak lovely platitudes but fail to serve. I am direct and honest. Seek out the meaning the context and the implication of what is being said and less so about the format or stylistic differences.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Met. Jonah Reflect This I'm Not Biting

The homily Met. Jonah offered his flock and the greater Orthodox Church seemed thin veiled to me. The official talk speak seemed to be pushing the party line as it were. Are we really expected to believe that this was the best plan the Synod could come up with to find a way for Met. Jonah to find solace.   There was considerable shuffling of official responsibilities, overtures of public assurances  and the restating and affirming of the lines of authority. All this for simply managing the logistics of one vacation and respit.  This retreat and time of personal reflection comes as an imposition to the church at large as it has been mishandled to the point of a worldwide debocle and is a public relation nightmare. The Met. wished to blame internet sources for this confusion but it stems from his office and the Synod. It demonstrates a lapse in discernment and ability to manage responsibility. I believe that the initial Greek report was correct of which the OCA wasw not yet prepared to present or package for mass consumption. This would explain the lag from the OCA regarding the official public statement about what transpired.

If we are actually expected to accept there is nothing more to this then a desire for prayer and retreat why not simply clear his calender and dedicate himself privately. This is a lot of pomp and circumstance to manage andhas proven logistically extremely challenging just for the OCA to confirm nothing has changed. A sidenote to this leave of absensce Met. Jonah glossed over the termination of his chancellor.

For an institution that claimed itself competent and appointed in the most unique sense to lead the Church in America this akward circumstance doesn’t foster any confidence. When hierarchs are running off for down time and ‘retreat’ and are scrambling to assure their flock that there is no fire where the smoke billows is laughable. Unlike Met. Jonah, His All-Holiness has super fatigue resistance blessed by God to always be ready to attend to his flock and not entrust his flock to hired hands. I know that many will attack me for being unseemly by ‘judging’ or questioning the timing and the entire fiasco an obvious cover up as prayer has become the ‘sacred cow’ beyond any reproach. Of course I want hierarchs to pray and to meditate but I don’t expect them to disrupt the entire Church to do so. If this was planned I find that possibility (very remote) far more disconcerting then if there was a blow out and everyone is taking hiatus. Regardless I find the whole dilemma unfortunate, unnecessary, attention seeking and disorganized. I believe that they are in way above their heads. I can only suppose that Met. Jonah will return with some Damascus moment or prophetic word or his return will be completely unnoticed.

His Beatitude, Metropolitan JONAH Explains Away Alligations

His Beatitude, Metropolitan JONAH Addresses the Faithful of the Archdiocese of Washington from Archdiocese of Washington on Vimeo.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Speculation: Cause for Met. Jonah's "Leave of Absence" (suspension)

The extreme movement of the OCA leadership to solidify their autocephaly with the unspoken intent of an American Patriarchate from the American Fronteer has shown Metropolitan Jonah the door. It would appear that the Synod is frustrated with Met. Jonah's improved relations with Moscow and this continued statements which openly acknowldge the temporary or transitional status of the autocephaly of the OCA. Unfortunately for Met. Jonah personally his public statements that the OCA "can dissolve" is not shared by all the highest levels of the OCA. They do not wish to accept it is ONLY a transitional "medium" an anomoly which is acknowlsged in their organizational documents and sometimes as their"oral tradition" appears to indicate. In more recent history anyone who is even moderately versed in church protocol and organization understands that ROCOR is NOW the ONLY approved extension of the Russian Church; thus making ROCOR the obvious repository for all OCA parishes and institutions. During this time of transition to a united American Orthodoxy as yet to be defined the OCA as Met. Jonah acknowledges must decrease so that others can increase. And his Synod has decrease Met. Jonah's presence for sure.

My next point unfortunately will read as a side note but it is the core of the matter in actuality the uniformity of the expression of the Faith as discussed by His Eminence Archbishop Demetrios during his address at the Episcopal Assembly are essential to unity and to the Faith. 

(1) Some jurisdictions receive persons from roman Catholic and certain Protestant bodies into Holy Orthodoxy by baptism and chrismation, some by chrismation alone, and some merely by confession of faith.

(2) Some jurisdictions receive Roman Catholic clergy converting to Holy Orthodoxy merely by vesting, while others ordain.

(3) Some jurisdictions recognize all marriages performed outside Holy Orthodoxy as being real marriages (though certainly not sacramental) whether performed for an Orthodox or non-Orthodox, while others recognize no marriages performed outside Holy Orthodoxy whether performed for an Orthodox or a non-Orthodox.

(4) Some Orthodox jurisdictions bury suicides under certain circumstances, while others forbid the burial of suicides under all circumstances.

(5) Some jurisdictions bury a person who was cremated with all funeral rites in the church temple, others permit only Trisagion Prayers of Mercy in the funeral home, and some forbid any prayers anywhere for a person who was cremated.

(6) Some jurisdictions recognize civil divorce as complete and sufficient for ecclesiastical purposes, while others do not recognize civil divorce at all and insist on Ecclesiastical Courts.

(7) Some jurisdictions have in the past accepted clergy suspended or even deposed by other jurisdictions.

And this list is by no means exhaustive. This means there is serious work ahead, and this may not sound very appealing. Some of us may wish to avoid this difficult work and settle for easy pronouncements about unity, but the Gospel compels us otherwise.

The Hierarchs of this 'new world' demand their props their 'liberty' in the shadow of their rebellion disgrace the likes of Holy Tikon. We are bound by our moral code, honor and true church membership.To be sure, this Pharonite will not cut and run. This Greek-American is Greek Orthodox. The Ecumenical Throne cannot be distinguished and somehow removed from the Orthodox Church as Greek cannot be removed from the Orthodox faith. This is the true Church. Is it really too much to ask our clergy spent their tenure as a priest learning the language of the Bible and the church fathers? We expect immigrants to learn English but we accept ignorance and stagnation from our shepherds who would have us exchange excellence or mediocrity. Pitiful.



Vol. 155 Washington, Thursday, November 18, 2010 No. 19
Thursday, November 18, 2010

Mr. CARDIN. Mr. President, a year ago this month I was privileged to again meet with the Ecumenical Patriarch, Bartholomew I. His impassioned call for support for the reopening of the Theological School of Halki promoted me to introduce S. Res. 356, a bipartisan measure calling upon the Government of Turkey to facilitate the reopening of the Ecumenical Patriarchate's Theological School of Halki without condition or further delay. As we approach the 40th anniversary of the forced closure on that unique institution by the Turkish authorities, I renew my call for the Government of Turkey to allow the seminary to reopen.

Founded in 1844, the Theological School of Halki , located outside modern-day Istanbul, served as the principal seminary of the Ecumenical Patriarchate until its forcible closure by the Turkish authorities in 1971. Counted among alumni of this preeminent educational institution are numerous prominent Orthodox scholars, theologians, priests, and bishops as well as patriarchs, including Bartholomew I. Many of these scholars and theologians have served as faculty at other institutions serving Orthodox communities around the world.

Past indications by the Turkish authorities of pending action to reopen the seminary have, regrettably, failed to materialize. Turkey's Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdog 0an met with the Ecumenical Patriarch in August 2009. In an address to a wider gathering of minority religious leaders that day, Erdog 0an concluded by stating, ``We should not be of those who gather, talk and disperse. A result should come out of this.'' I could not agree more with the sentiment. But resolution of this longstanding matter requires resolve, not rhetoric.

In a positive development this August, the authorities in Ankara, for the first time since 1922, permitted a liturgical celebration to take place at the historic Sumela Monastery. The Ecumenical Patriarch presided at the service, attended by pilgrims and religious leaders from several countries, including Greece and Russia. Earlier this month, a Turkish court ordered the Buyukada orphanage to be returned to Ecumenical Patriarchate. If the transfer of the property occurs, this would be another welcome development, potentially paving the way for the return of scores of other church properties seized by the government. In 2005, the Helsinki Commission, which I chair, convened a briefing, ``The Greek Orthodox Church in Turkey: A Victim of Systematic Expropriation.'' The Commission has consistently raised the issue of the Theological School for well over a decade and will continue to closely monitor related developments.

Yesterday's release of the 2010 Report on International Religious Freedom is a reminder of the challenges faced by Orthodox and other minority religious communities in Turkey. I urge the Turkish Prime Minister to ensure respect for the rights of individuals from these groups to freely profess and practice their religion or beliefs, in keeping with Turkey's obligations as an OSCE participating state.

The 1989 OSCE Vienna Concluding Document affirmed the right of religious communities to provide ``training of religious personnel in appropriate institutions.'' The Theological School of Halki served that function for over a century until its forced closure nearly four decades ago. The time has come to allow the reopening of this unique institution without further delay.

OCA, Ecumenical Patriarchate, Hellenism, Orthodoxy, Racism

"Hellenism as the best expression of Orthodoxy will never be forgiven us."

I proudly will wear the badge of forthrightness in defense of the Mother Church and Orthodoxy, unworthy as I am. I will remain a watchdog against those who would gladly see the Ecumenical See vanish into the mist of the past. I have done and continue to do what is unpopular here in the comfort of the United States although I've been cautioned to "Agree quickly with your enemy while you are in the way, lest he take you before the magistrate and the magistrate turn you over to the jailer."

The only weaknesses of the Patriarchate is with those here in America who choose to do nothing, who choose to make nice with those too comfortable to really care. As an ardent supporter of the Ecumenical Patriarch, especially in his ministry of assisting the other Churches in witnessing to the unity of our faith to turn a blind eye, or a deaf ear, all in the name of civility is to be an infidel. I have never suggested that by simply the virtue of a bloodline someone is a faithful Orthodox Christian. In fact His All Holiness emphatically and repeatedly releases statements which condemns unequivocally any notion of phyletism.

Lastly it is a complete diversion and a waste of time to attribute all criticism to bigotry, racism or 'judgement'. This is simply a rhetorical tool meant to shut down discussion.  There is a patriarch for America; the church has already provided him. he need not change his zip code to lead.  The idea that a [separate] patriarchate is the inevitable end result for all countries is silly. All should be well aware that the GOA is hardly 'ethnic' for example Met. Isaiah, Met. Methodios, Met. Nikitas (to name just a few) etc. In fact many of the other Met. have been in the Americas for decades and are barraged for their Greek accents.

The difficulties in America stem from the false assertions of the OCA and its irregular and provisional autocephaly, the distorting of canon 28 to somehow not apply to the Americas or to Russian expansionism. There is more effort expended to discredit or religate the Phanar to the past then to encourage or build up relations. This tension and conflict is unique to the U.S why? Because of Greeks? No because of irregularities, illegitimacies and a proactive Internet pentarchy who fancy their own ramblings to church position. This propaganda machine has set course for destruction seeking their own ambition and their understanding of Orthodoxy for America before the Church Herself.

American Internet Pentarchy

Panheresy Is the Fathers of All Lies —
The Specious, Isolated, and Apathetic
American Internet Pentarchy

The following is a small selection from the Jn1034 blog:
"Readers visiting these five commonly-owned-or-operated, mutually-promoted, collectively-motivated, seemingly-traditional-and-accomplished Orthodox propaganda businesses are urged to do so with caution. Since none is an official Orthodox Church initiative, each business depends, in full measure, upon the good faith and belief of their readers to validate these websites' exclusive social opinions, heretical theologoumena, unorthodox theology, and hypervigilant personal intentions.

Orthodox Christian Laity       
American Orthodox Institute 
Orthodoxy Today                 
 Orthodox Net                       

If one scans each business' website, paying attention to Board Members and Staff, their fulltime careers and employers, a pattern of common names appears. Most interestingly, though distant from any impartial mission statement and not close to objective Orthodox ecclesiastic or theological interests, these five Internet businesses collaborate intimately with the following business partners (most are not Orthodox and do not share any semblance to or prerogative with our Holy Tradition)."

OCA Refashions Congregationalism

Using the body of Christ as its shield the OCA with its open-door format welcomes all to drink the cool aid elixir settings the tone for the loving embrace (choke hold) of the OCA's mass undertaking to hi-jack the discussion of Orthodoxy in America. It slanders all peoples of non-American culture. 

The OCA has refashioned the congregationalism of their former faiths.  "Within this Eucharistic context the OCA strives to be both hierarchical, with authority rooted in mutual love, and conciliar, with clergy and laity working together for the life of the world and its salvation." Why do I say former faiths because the OCA is overwhelmingly a church of converts.

While the OCA wishes to rant about jurisdictional anomalies and canonicity concerns they continue to intentionally plant mission outposts which satellite thriving Greek Orthodox parishes. Rather then seek out the unchurched or under-served they poach membership. They feed stereotypes and disgruntled visitors. More to the point they intentionally engage in overarching other jurisdictions and interweaving OCA parishes amongst GOA parishes. It would appear at least for the moment, a suspension within the OCA of conscience for canonical concerns. A leave of absence if you will.

Additionally members have misunderstood the zeal of the convert for wisdom; like youth who envision a world without hunger yet have never grown a single fruit or paid a single debt. Likewise too many if their clerics come from the ranks of converts who failed to pastor in their former sects. They are still infected with an anti-papal sentiment, anti-establishment and in a last ditched attempt to show the Pope and Catholicism, they have a 'religious' conversion outside the Papacy. They now unconsciously refuse foreign patriarchates fighting old battles which do not apply.

The OCA leadership and membership alike continue with the phronima of the Great Commission faulting 'the Greeks' for not proselytizing, in the way the OCA with their limited understanding has commanded. The OCA has distorted the sharing of the Gospel which demands the suspension of good sense and practice. What they do differently then their heretical counterparts is reject the Greek. They find it offensive and outlandish to their sensibilities to expect clerics to learn the language of the New Testament. God saw fit to bring His son at a time when linguistically the Lord's message could most widely be received, at a time when language had reached its zenith; and we reject it and marginalize it finding it an offense! Even heritics-hetrodox (protestants) reference the Greek!

In their rush to lead they have fore-gone the surety of a proper Orthodox catechism, seminary study or training!!! Thousands of people where assimilated into the orthodox faith without any appropriate pastoral direction. Are we succumbing to political pressure to make nice and include everyone?

If exceptions are being made then it is assumed they are done for the overall economia of the church. I don't know if caving to disorder or an ambush is well and good. What makes this more interesting is the OCA's consistent posture that the EP is somehow misguided and disconnected. Canon 34 is occasionally referenced, cherry picked, and without reference to future concern about addressing Canon 28 irregularities, the Golden Tomos, or the provisional status of the OCA's autocephalous status. The fact is that it is absent from diptychs.

While former hierachs of the OCA were looting the treasury, the future custodians cleaned up the accounting and set the sights on power; shoring up their position and linguistically hijacking and controlling the rhetoric as their agenda moves forward. Meanwhile the GOA developed all the flourishing ministries of SCOBA while almost dismissing but certainly marginalizing the OCA; who seemed perpetually embroiled in scandal; or defending their irregular past to explain away their illegitimacy with new resolutions and sweeping statements. The OCA machine with their non-official media groups have started to reframe the debate and have doubled their propaganda efforts and revisionist history. Hiding behind the pure cloak of service it seems only like the OCA is helping themselves to second helpings. Gross.

The notion that the OCA is the indigenous church in North America is ludicrous in fact sadly the only indigenous 'church' (to use the term loosely) is the Church of Mormon.

Given the choice between leaving my Mother Church and following a makeshift assembly of lesser hierarchs I'll have to pass. The Mother Church is the foundation for the faith, the keepers of the faith: time tested, esteemed and established by our Lord. The OCA leadership is but a hiccup in the history of our church and will either come to its senses and get on board with the whole of Orthodoxy or it will fail to even be a footnote 100 years from now. If that offends don't let the door hit you on the way out.

Friday, February 25, 2011

OCA Spin Doctors Account:Down One Chancellor with One Met. on Sabbatical

SHHHHHHH don't look behind the curtain. Of course there is no discord (hardly). One chancellor gone and one meditating Metropolitan. Clearly the OCA business as usual. Only they awoke to find ROCOR with the keys to the rectory.

Legitimacy is not begotten by rebellion as it leads to irrationality, chaos and madness. Perhaps Met. Jonah does truly require a respit from his post; time enough to consider that his church is reaping what it has sown. Is the OCA yet again with this sabatical creating new protocols of anomaly to forgo the hard work of a robust dialogue on issues of independence, territories and revisionist history.

The Ecumenical Patriarchate has withstood many trials, tribulations, heresy, war and oppression proclaiming with all vigor the One True Faith. It has continued throughout the millennium with an inner strength and resiliency. Orthodox Patristic Theology has never been lost or forsaken. The Ecumenical Throne has never forsaken the unchanging teachings and Theology of the Church. There is no innovation and therefore no room for error. Despite resent claims by splinter groups in the United States the Ecumenical Throne has maintained the Orthodox ethos completely and has embraced the variety of wonderful ethnic expressions of it. Some Orthodox groups in the U.S have failed to assimilate their own thinking into the Orthodox Traditions.

This most recent attempt by the OCA to begin anew without proper authority may find itself completely confounded and hopelessly lost. This attempt to start over by its own judgement is riddled with danger. Too many OCA church leaders and lay people from several jurisdictions discuss Orthodoxy and the course of the Orthodoxy with a nearsightedness. Their premise is convoluted due to their narrow and limited understanding of Orthodoxy. There are several Orthodox jurisdictions who are in fact experiencing an identity crisis and wish to drag the established Orthodox community into the mud. Their belief speaks more to their own uncertainty and far less to the state of the Mother Church. The recent comments and direction of the OCA is restricted to their own attempts to stop corruption within their own ranks and is indicative of their own division. There is a strong underground, a culture of people who are pushing this American patriarchate in theory and in practice that he must come from the American fronteer.

Discussion and discourse is part and parcel of the social square. We should not shy away from intellectual dialogue and scrutiny. The OCA with its official memorandum is the equivalent of a well crafted propaganda piece. My blog is an honest account of what is thought about the turbulent past and present anomalies that comprise the OCA. I shutter to think what Met. Jonah would do if he had a flock of like 350,000,000 and was persecuted for his faith. The OCA got the Met. they deserve and prayed for.

This is how retired bishop Tikon explains the muddle: "Those belonging to Local Churches which do not impose " leaves of absence" on hierarchs, as does the OCA , I should have explained that it is a de facto suspension without recourse to legality , i .e ., the canonical bases and requirements of such . It is a kind of would- be-pious ruse in order to circumvent such legalities , canonical bases and requirements. It has an unpleasant history in the OCA/Metropolia . In some cases the OCA Synod resorts to this kind of ad hoc suspension when "out of court settlement " or "plea- bargaining " fail to produce a "voluntary" retirement . I would like to prevent any irresponsible gossip about a coup undertaken to prevent the Metropolitan from putting his house in order."

P.S I wish to affirm that news is not gossip and a summary not speculation; just as official statements are not necessarily truthful.

Bishop Tikon Explained the Confusion OCA Gibberish

"Those belonging to Local Churches which do not impose " leaves of absence" on hierarchs, as does the OCA , I should have explained that it is a de facto suspension without recourse to legality , i .e ., the canonical bases and requirements of such . It is a kind of would- be-pious ruse in order to circumvent such legalities , canonical bases and requirements. It has an unpleasant history in the OCA/Metropolia . In some cases the OCA Synod resorts to this kind of ad hoc suspension when "out of court settlement "
or "plea- bargaining " fail to produce a "voluntary" retirement . I would like to prevent any irresponsible gossip about a coup undertaken to prevent the Metropolitan from putting his house in order."
+ Tikhon'
Bishop . OCA . retired

Update: Synod Places Met. On Leave

The details are slow coming and the speculation continues to mount as the  remains silent. Discord between Met.Jonah and his supports and staff has forced the hand of the Synod to place him on leave. Reports of the actual time frame has varied from 45-60 days. Such a sabbatical is unheard of and has been poorly planned as the laity are left to defend or accuse. Perhaps Met. Jonah will go as did Archbishop Spyridon of the GOA.
Currently  Archbishop Nathaniel serves as the senior hierarch is named Temporary Administrator. O.K. so he is the acting CEO of the corporation as it were.

The Greek website was the first to report this story and remains a reliable and trustworthy source. It is clear that the facts are still coming in and that this situation has been brewing for sometime. Interestingly even  retired Bishop Tikhon of Los Angeles chimed in on the Internet stating  “Metropolitan Jonah.... has been given the “Bishop Nikolai’ treatment------mandatory leave of absence".

What remains painfully clear is that Met. Jonah's flock and field hands are unhappy with his comments that 'they must lessen or others can increase'.

Met. Jonah OCA Resigns Possible Causes

Possible Realities for an Unexpected (Alleged)Resignation of Metropolitan Jonah.

Illness is always a possibility and all pray that it be furthest from the truth. I wish him health and many years. The reality is during bait and switch scenarios declining health is sited to appease and sequester the masses. Again I personally wish him good health.

Another possibility is that he was not forceful enough for his own base. That he may be perceived as placating the other Orthodox Jurisdictions too much. To those: Many will beat their breasts, stamp their feet and lament that Met. Jonah fell short of their subversive agenda. Former Met. Jonah supporters who deny the ecclesiastic reality on the ground, are either subversive forces against universal pan-Orthodox unity, or they're simply delusional. The facts are valid and given as an universal Pan-Orthodox decree held to be true by every Orthodox Church: “The primus inter pares, the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople, the Mother Church, holds the diaspora in its ancient hands with the most modern of touches”.

Leadership of all Orthodox Churches throughout the oikoumene have declared, and are in agreement reaffirming the seniority of the Greek Archdiocese, as the Exarchate of the Ecumenical Throne, over all jurisdictions in America. All Orthodox jurisdictions in the USA have not only accepted this pan-Orthodox ecclesiastic reality via participation in SCOBA and most recently in the Episcopal Assembly, but also they affirm its necessity. Even Met. Jonah by his attendance as a rank and file bishop at the Episcopal Assembly recognizes and acquiesces to the primacy of the Greek Archdiocese-Constantinople over the OCA. In June 2009 Met. Jonah explored the fate of his own jurisdiction: "Thus, the OCA’s charter and vocation is for it to disappear: it is kenotic" (

Another scenario is that Met. Jonah commences a schematic church which I pray for the welfare of Met. Jonah and perhaps he has reverted to his former mindset and plans to set up his own shop as it were. Transcripts for the "talk" offered by Metropolitan Jonah in Dallas at the Pan Orthodox vespers on April 5, 2009.
Key quotes referring to His All Holiness:
"There are those there, in the old world... Who are ignorant of our Saints"
"We surrender the freedom that we have embraced as American Orthodox Christians to a Patriarchate still under Islamic domination."
"I would submit if we wanted a Pope we’d be under the real one."
"the true indigenous Orthodox Christians of our land"
"I don’t think the holy fathers in the Phanar understand"
"not to some kind of alien ideology, not to some nationalist or imperialist ideology from some forgotten empire, not the imposition of foreign customs and the submission to foreign despots."
"There are those there that say that there was no canonical Orthodox Church in the North American until 1924 until the establishment of the Patriarchate of Constantinople and the Greek archdiocese. Excuse me."
"Seven months ago I was still an abbot in a monastery in northern California. Just a few months ago I was made Metropolitan and I had no idea, really, what the scope of Orthodoxy is in America. And, now I’m beginning to get an idea."
"is not about some kind of international organization where we look 8000 miles away for some source of canonicity."
“There is an American Orthodox Church. Leave it alone.”

Another possibility is that he was canned as it were. Perhaps they couldn't just get along. A final word there is a scandal brewing and the OCA laundry will no doubt flap in the wind.

Metropolitan Jonah Resigns Syosset Clueless

OCA headquarters in Syosset New York reacted initially with surprise and a complete unawareness of the alleged resignation. Further up the food chain however there was no official denial of the allegations of Met. resignation. There only seemed to be the lacking in an official handling of the matter.

The real question is the OCA moving.

Flash - resigned the Chief Metropolitan Jonah OCA

"Exclusive - According to exclusive information «», a few hours ago he resigned the Chief of OCA Metropolitan Jonah of America.
Give that same information indicates that the governor is Prince Archbishop Nathaniel of the Romanian Episcopate of the OCA.
Finally, noting that the new head of the OCA will be elected during the Inter-American Meeting of the OCA in the autumn".

A more reliable translation:

"According to proprietary information available to Romfea, Metropolitan Jonah resigned a few hours ago the head of the OCA.
The same source of information that gave the... news to Romfea indicates that Archbishop Nathanail of Romanian Diocese of OCA will preside over the OCA in the immediate interim.
Finally, it should be noted that the new leader of the OCA will be elected during the Synodal Meeting of the OCA next autumn [2011]."

Friday, February 4, 2011

Ronald McDonald House and St. John The Divine

St. John the Divine Greek Orthodox Church

Fr. Nicholas' inspirational bible verse for today is, “God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble….” – Psalms 46:1-3 Friends, if you are going through a difficult or challenging time right now, I want you to lean on our God. He will always give you the strength to go through the storms of life. Be encouraged knowing that the sun always shines after every storm. Have a great Friday and God bless.