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.