William (aka Bill the Godfather)

William (aka Bill the Godfather)

Friday, February 25, 2011

OCA: Metropolitan Jonah is placed on leave by the Holy Synod

According to a report from Geneva on the Greek website Romofea.org late last evening, citing “exclusive information” from unamed sources, Metropolitan Jonah has been removed as the Primate, and Archbishop Nathaniel has been named Temporary Administrator by the OCA Synod of Bishops. Earlier in the day the retired Bishop of Los Angeles, Tikhon posted a short note on the web saying “Metropolitan Jonah.... has been given the “Bishop Nikolai’ treatment------mandatory leave of absence. Archbishop Nathaniel Popp has been named to temporarily fill the spot of First Hierarch.Bishop Melchizedek has been named as Chancellor, replacing the Archpriest, Alexander Garklavs.” Neither story has been confirmed or denied by OCA.org.

OCANews.org has, however, confirmed with mulitple sources that Metropolitan Jonah has indeed been placed on a leave of absence, and that indeed +Nathaniel has been named as a temporary replacement. However, the fate of Fr. Garklavs is as yet unclear. According to sources close to Syosset, Bishop Michael (Dahulich) was to travel to Syosset this morning to discuss the Synod’s decisions with Fr. Garklavs. (Fr. Garklavs returned from Santa Fe yesterday before the Synodal retreat was concluded.) Bishop Melchizedek, named by +Tikhon as Garklav’s replacement, was unavailable for comment as he is currently on a train travelling back to Pittsburgh from Santa Fe.
Read the rest here.

Update: Via Byzantine Texas the Holy Synod has issued a statement which can be read here.

31 comments:

Anastasia Theodoridis said...

Met. Jonah asked for and was granted a couple of months' leave to reflect. The Holy Synod accepted Fr. Garklavs' resignation. Just read it on the OCA site.

http://www.oca.org/news/2430

Ingemar said...

For a second I was worried that the Metropolitan was involved in some shenanigans and was thus forced to "be on leave."

Anonymous said...

Ingemar, the OCA announcement is good PR.

I genuinely like his Beatitude Jonah. I think he's a good man at heart who really wanted to do the right thing for the Church. It saddens me that he has lost site of the conciliar nature of the Church so quickly and the fact that the people of God are a royal priesthood. The current climate of clericalism and authoritarianism in American Orthodoxy is poisonous. I hope that +Jonah can come to repentance and a sincere change of heart.

However, if he is incapable of understanding the importance of protecting children and others from abuse in the Church - his handling of these matters including but not limited to the Canadian case is not only an embarrassment, but a danger - he should not be allowed to have authority in the OCA at any level. I hope the Holy Synod knows has that in mind.

Keep the OCA in your prayers.

M

Anonymous said...

The begining of the OCA'S well overdue demise. Hopefully Moscow will pull back the reigns on this out of control Church and return it to an Orthodox Path. The first thing to due is reverse all of those "Schmemanite" heresies and secondly, return it to the proper Calendar. Thirdly, close that horrible excuse for a school in Syosset, sell it and use the massive monies collected from the sale of that overpriced realty and use it for fixing up all the problems created by their "Americanisation" policies. Then we can talk of having one Russian Orthodox Diocese on the American continent. The last 30 years of the shenanigans pulled by the "Konvertsy Americanisers" have proved one thing , that the Church in America is a long way away from being "Autocephalous" or even "United" for that matter.

Slava Isusu Christu ! Slava Na Viki !!!

Anonymous said...

Oh, brother.... I love Russia and spend time there several times a year, but the idea that what's her/his name floats that somehow pure Orthodoxy is to be found in Moscow is, well, diseased. The idea that Russian Orthodoxy is any kind of answer for N. America even more so. What we need is more of Christ. Period.

The calendar change may have been a mistake, but it is a mistake embraced by the GOA, which means the super-super majority of American Orthodox. No need to drive further divisions here - it is a fact of Orthodoxy on this continent.

Btw, you are confusing the Paris emigre culture with OCA converts, most of whom seem to be drawn strongly to traditional piety. Overall, I'd say the OCA is in pretty good shape, all things considered and seems to be slowly getting its act together.

M

Ingemar said...

Anon 7:55

Barbara! What are you doing here?

Anonymous said...

In, regards to the comment about the OCA's "long overdue demise", I find it deeply troubling to see someone so obsessed with the outer form (or perhaps ethnicity would be a more accurate observation?) of a church that it blinds them to the good and valid work it has done in this country of bringing the true Holy Catholic and Apostolic faith to those who might otherwise have never have been exposed to it. And so filled with antipathy and anger towards her and her people--who are their borthers and sisters in Christ-- that they would give a mouth to such terribly unchristian thoughts, much less a home in their heart to them.
Also if I am taking the meaning of "Konvertsky" correctly as "convert", without converts the Church would have never started at all. Were the Apostles "cradle Orthodox" or converts? Without converts would not Orthodoxy in the United States be nothing more than a collection of marginalized, ethno-centric parishes suffering from the same declining numbers as so many other so-called "mainstream" denominations have been suffering from here?
I am truly concerned for you as to the ammount of vitriol you exhibit it this post, how much more is hiding in your heart? It is not a good or healthy thing.

Anonymous said...

Well, Anon @ 755's theology, chartity and common sense may be on a par with the sense of geography displayed. Syosset, NY (on Long Island) -- the site of the OCA Chancery -- is not the site of any school affiliated with the OCA (if the author is referring to St. Vladimir's, that is on the other side of the NYC metropolitan area

Anonymous said...

Sadly there seems to be much administrative dysfunction to be found among the Orthodox in America. I find it to be a sad set of circumstances but the future belongs to Christ - always did, always will. As for the opinion that this is proof that Americans are not ready for a united, autocephalous Church, I think I would disagree. I think it is much like waiting until a couple is "ready" to have children. One is never, in fact ready. Perhaps, in a certain sense, the probelms are the result of foreign control, not solved by it.

I think the time is long, long past due for the Patriarchs, particularly, Bartholomew, Kirill, Ignatius and Ieronymous to sit down together, then with the American leadership and determine the course for autocephaly.

Nikolaus

LV said...

I wonder if people like the first Anon. have ANY idea of what it's like for an American Protestant to become Orthodox, what a challenge and what a change of one's life is involved. And to think that a brother or sister in the Faith would disparage us rather than reach out to help, in love. When Christ said, "go into all the world" that's exactly what He meant.

David said...

LV there is no tip toeing around it there is a segment in Orthodoxy that doesn't understand the faith to understand everyone is a convert. They have a guardian attitude that says "Undesirables (those not of a certain ethnic background, birth position, etc.) not welcome". The truth is that there are cradles who are brand Orthodox but have no faith and converts who convert for the wrong reasons and up being nominal yet ritualistic. It is the misunderstanding that Christ perfects His church not the other way around. I ignore the ignorance of the nominals and try to help them where I can, i.e. providing a good witness, sharing the gospel, etc. More over we, the faithful need to love those who would persecute us in our own church and be ever prayerfull for their sake.

Ruska Pravoslavna said...

There is also a segment of people who enter "convert" into Orthodoxy and bring their baggage from their previous faiths. This bunch complains of the "Old" Calendar, use of Slavonic in the Liturgy and the "Ethnicity" of the Church. I do not see why they come to Orthodoxy , only then wanting to change it. It has nothing to do with "birth positions" as the above post suggests. It has to do with the fact that I am a Russian Orthodox Christian. Not an American Orthodox Christian. We call these the "Konvertsy". Why do they come to the Church, then only to want to "Americanise" it? Then we that complain about wanting to keep it the "Old" way are then labled as bad and "do not understand" Orthodoxy as the above post suggests.

Anonymous said...

Well ,for years "SCOBA" was used as a battering ram against ROCOR and now it really shows the "Fruit" of the Oca's actions.
ROCOR had Father Michael Pomazhanski and the OCA had Father Alexander Schmemmann. Do the Math !!!

Anonymous said...

Stan, please retire from posting here. He goes on and on endlessly on his own site about using your real name, and does not allow comments on his site but then slithers over here to poison the well without identifying himself. However, the vocabulary and nature of his limited vocabulary expose him.

Anam Cara said...

I'm really confused about the above comments.

Wasn't ethnophylestism condemned as a modern ecclesiastical heresy in 1872 in Constantinople? Or do I have bad information? Shouldn't we have her OCA instead of Russian, Greek, Serbian, Romanian, etc?

Forgive me if I'm in error. Perhaps I'm just reading the wrong things. But I did think that was a heresy and looked to the OCA as a way to right that wrong.

David said...

Ruska thanks for making my point, I could not have made it better. Russians changed the church when they became Christians. Russian missionaries didn't make the aboriginal peoples of Alaska become Russian, they were truly Orthodox. You are so unaware of your faith, you are like American Baptist who think God loves America more than other countries.

Anonymous said...

There is certainly a danger presented by catechumens whose motives are not honestly confessed and who are not properly instructed in the Faith by their priests. This much is clear. But the establishment of parishes and dioceses on the basis of ethnicity and not principals of Orthodoxy and local geography was indeed condemned as noted above. One village – one priest (more or less), one city – one bishop, one nation – one patriarch.

In Russia or Greece the Orthodox are simply that: Orthodox. If you moved from Moscow to Athens, you would be able to find a Russian parish established to serve the embassy. But if you moved further afield you would not have that option and you would adopt the customs of the local church including worship in the local language. The Church exists to spread Christ’s Gospel, period. Any church that exists to bolster ethnic identity and only wishes to engage the wider community to sell its babka, piroshki and borscht is not serving Christ.

(Begin political rant)However, similar to the post above who does not understand why people come to Orthodoxy to change it, I also wonder why people come to America (presumably looking for a different life), then blog incessantly about how bad things are here and how much better they are back home. If the Motherland is so much better – go back. (end political rant)

Returning to matters of faith, Orthodoxy has been on this continent for over 300 years. As I noted in my previous post, the time is long past for the Ecumenical Patriarch to gather the Primates and set the church in America on the path to unity and autonomy. They delay to their own shame and at the expense of the Gospel.

Nikolaus

Anonymous said...

There is certainly a danger presented by catechumens whose motives are not honestly confessed and who are not properly instructed in the Faith by their priests. This much is clear. But the establishment of parishes and dioceses on the basis of ethnicity and not principals of Orthodoxy and local geography was indeed condemned as noted above. One village – one priest (more or less), one city – one bishop, one nation – one patriarch. Under the principals of Orthodoxy (which are based on the Gospel) there is no "ROCOR."

In Russia or Greece the Orthodox are simply that: Orthodox. If you moved from Moscow to Athens, you would be able to find a Russian parish established to serve the embassy. But if you moved further afield you would not have that option and you would adopt the customs of the local church including worship in the local language. The Church exists to spread Christ’s Gospel, period. Any church that exists to bolster ethnic identity and only wishes to engage the wider community to sell its babka, piroshki and borscht is not serving Christ.

(Political rant) However, similar to the post above who does not understand why people come to Orthodoxy to change it, I also wonder why people come to America (presumably looking for a different life), then blog incessantly about how bad things are here and how much better they are back home. If the Motherland is so much better – go back. (end political rant)

Returning to matters of faith, Orthodoxy has been on this continent for over 300 years. As I noted in my previous post, the time is long past for the Ecumenical Patriarch to gather the Primates and set the church in America on the path to unity and autonomy. They delay to their own shame and at the expense of the Gospel.

Nikolaus

L. said...

FTR, most of the people I've known who want to "modernize" the faith (do away with Slavonic, hate Old Calendar people) are cradle Orthodox, NOT converts. All of the advocates of women's ordination that I know are cradles.

Also, I don't think this is the original Stan posting, just one of his followers. Original Stan is well aware that St. Vlad's is not in Syosset. He had a posting a long time ago with the "revelation" that the school is technically in Yonkers, as if this was something shameful or that the school was trying to hide it by referring to itself as being in Crestwood.

Ruska Pravoslavna said...

In reply to David in the above post. I am well aware of my faith and it's history. I know all to well of Alaska's story. I also know that the Indians of Alaska did not change the church as the protestants are doing down here in the lower 48. Alaska is still on the Julian Calendar. There is nothing wrong at all with English Liturgy with a little Slavonic, what I am talking about is these Converts who come into the Church and expect me to want to throw out all of my Russian Traditions because they can't understand Slavonic. As for the above post saying that I am a fella named Stan , or one of His followers, well thats not true. Besides there are plenty of Orthodox including Clergy who feel the way I do and just like "Konvertsy" with the it's my way or the highway protestant western philosophy. I am a Reader in A Church Abroad parish. As for the post above saying that cradle Orthodox are in favor of ordaining women. I call Horse-baloney to that. I have never heard any Orthodox suggest that, only once I heard a former church of scientology convert mention it. I do not think that Russians are God's special people. I do however feel that the Russian Orthodox Church is the most conservative form of it including the Old Believers. I am against New Calendar as is most of the Orthodox World. Americanising the Church does not mean watering it down as the OCA has done. Take heed to the many new ROCOR parishes down South. Their piety is that of the Immigrant Church a century ago. Also they are not modernisers as the OCA Converts are. Bottom line , it is my oppinion that the OCA'S Autocephaly needs pulled and reverse the Schmemann changes and reel it back to Orthodoxy under ROCOR, Then let's talk of a united American Church.

Anonymous said...

R - just look at rocor - its a nearly dead Church precisely because it insists of putting Russian before Orthodox here in the US. How absurd.

My grandfather was a reader in Slavonic - like everyone else in the parish, he didn't understand the readings. Or most of the prayers. I have nothing against rocor but it has little to offer other than a generational stopping point for Russian immigrants on their way out of the Church forever.

M

L. said...

Ruska,

I don't know what to tell you, since this obviously violates your presuppositions about converts versus cradles, but it's true that the only advocates of women's ordination that I've ever met were cradles.

And when someone would point out that such a thing was not compatible with Orthodoxy, they would argue that since they were born Orthodox, they had a right to believe whatever they wanted and continue to call themselves Orthodox!

Ruska Pravoslavna said...

ROCOR is far from dead. It has parishes all over the world and new ones are thriving down South including Monasteries. The last time I checked , it is the OCA that is dying. If that were not the case, then why are all of The OCA Metropolitans ,since autocephaly, being removed ? Where are millions of dollars ? I am telling You, Moscow is acting to pull in the reigns of the OCA and it is not to soon neither. Calendars next too.

Anonymous said...

Please, I pray, may God grant us forgiveness.
I am just a Publican and a sinner, and not an exalted Pharisee such as I read here.
And I am unable to throw any stones, let alone the "1st" stone.

"Now let Us Depart In Peace, According To Thy Word".

Doxa Tou Patris.
Your Humble Servant
Thomas Chase Ells

Teena Blackburn said...

Well, I'm neither OCA nor ROCOR-and I'm a convert on top of it. However, I have good friends in both the OCA and ROCOR (my godmother and my son's godparents are ROCOR). My son's godparents are young, pious, traditionalist converts. The OCA parish I know best is vibrant, traditional and full of American converts who do not want a watered down faith. I wonder sometimes if people can talk about their own jurisdictions without making sweeping statements against others. ROCOR is anything but dead, and the OCA is not merely full of cafeteria Americans wanting Orthodoxy lite. What absurd generalizations about both jurisdictions.

Anonymous said...

Thank all of you; this is exactly the sort of thing that keeps me in (dissatisfied) communion with the Catholic Church, on the Orthodox end of the Byzantine Catholic spectrum...The Catholic Church may be a mess, but its ecclesiology makes sense, and one cannot even speak of "an" Orthodox Eccelesiology. Rather, there are many, and all of them yield this fruit of confusion and strife,

Sorry; I attend Orthodox vespers regularly, and the aesthetic appeal is undeniable, but Lord have mercy, I have seen so many of my friends hurt by this sort of strife...

John (Ad Orientem) said...

I have seen so many of my friends hurt by this sort of strife...

Why? The human failings of bishops, especially in matters that do not touch on doctrine, are just a distraction. People need to keep things in perspective. And yes, our ecclesiology is a mess. But it does actually work. The ethnocentrism one occasionally runs into is just another manifestation of the devil at work trying to distract people. And please don't try and pretend this sort of thing doesn't exist in the Catholic Church.

The OCA owes its existence in no small way to the ethno-centrism of the Roman bishops who did everything in their power to suppress the Uniate Catholics in the early part of the last century. Rome still enforces Latin discipline on the Eastern Rite churches here in N. America. And what about the constant fighting over church discipline or the lack thereof? Rome is no haven from any of the issues we face. They may take a slightly different form. But they are there.

In ICXC
John

L. said...

Anonymous 11:31, frankly, I would be suspicious if things never got like this. The Orthodox Church is the true faith because this is exactly like the early church. Hot anathemas a'flyin'!

Anam Cara said...

@L. What an amazing observation!

It's true, there has been no "golden" age for us to dram of. Problems were already starting in the book of Acts! And yet, the Church is still here, just as promised: the gates of hell will not prevail.

Anonymous said...

solution:1. join oca to rocor. 2. Defrock oca clergy who refuse to wear a beard. 3. Decapitate oca clergy who wear white collar. 4. Go back to mayan calender. 5. Sell all of oca assets to gazprom. 6. Ban english as a liturgical language. 7. Liquidate oca parishes in australia(yes, they exist). 8. Feed jonah to a whale

Anonymous said...

as a OCA priests-kid i want to make my opinion known as i do not attend church regularly. it is not because i don't love the orthodox faith. It is because of the people who go. I don't think in the american church there should be slavonic, that is an uneccessary ethnic thing that has no place in an english speaking country. But I notice that the strife in the orthodox churches is not strong at the top, only between the people. and it's because of the people who go to these churches in america that i do not. Church is not growing? Stop blaming the religion, it is all of you!

that is all.