Wednesday, August 26. 2009
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Nice reflection! The reality is that the Diocese of NY/NJ and Washington were combined to save money and the Met. was able to cover the territory. Recently, + Seraphim (Segrist) who lives in White Plains, NY, has pick up slack in the NY/NJ area. If a permanent bishop is necessary, why is he being over-looked? The NY/NJ area doesn't have extra funds for another bishop; why is it even necessary? Now, + Jonah wants to move to Wash., D.C. - WHY? All the canonical Orthodox bishops are in the NYC area; so why run and hide in Washington? NYC is where the center of Orthodoxy is in the US, not Wash. OK, sell Syosset. What about the archives? Where do they go?
I don't think serious "THINKING" has gone into what's being done. Is there anyone with common sense helping to make these decisions???
#1 Anonymous on 2009-08-26 09:57
I wish people would stop trying to bring Bp Seraphim (Sigrist) into this - he's said over and over that he really doesn't want to be an active diocesan bishop again.
I can't claim any special knowledge, but perhaps one reason Metropolitan Jonah would want to move to DC is because of the presence of other canonical bishops of New York. In a united American church, we would need to stop having redundant bishops in the same city. So that may be one reason Metropolitan Jonah would want to move.
#1.1 Cordelia on 2009-08-26 17:59
I believe Bishop Seraphim declined to be nominated.
As far as whether moving syosset to Washington is a good idea, I don't know. I believe that decision was made solely because Washington is a smaller , more manageable diocese for the metropolitan.
I guess the archives could be moved to one of the seminaries, into there extensive archives.
On the bright side of all this, in 2 years we are going to have a much larger, younger synod with less chance of 1 individual dominating.
#1.2 Anonymous on 2009-08-26 20:08
The archives of the OCA should go to a place that is secure, waterproof, and has professional conservation capability. I suggest St. Vlad's as a possibility. The basement at Syosset is not acceptable. I'm sure the present manager would like to get out of the catacomb if he were asked.
#1.3 Rdr. James Morgan on 2009-08-26 20:34
Thank You! One feels that our church is in confusion and chaos, with a lot of changes being made very quickly without informing anyone. And it appears that we are sort of headless and drifting without firm, wise leadership. It would be very helpful if the OCA website were more informative as to what is going on. It would also be helpful if it provided a forum such as this for comments from the rank and file - so that the leadership would know what the Body of the Church is feeling and thinking. Or do they really care?
#1.4 Anonymous on 2009-08-27 06:51
Headless? Everyone becomes headless with these bloggers who haver terrorized the OCA. They have chopped off many heads and cut out many hearts - actually took many out of the pews and off the rolls. I guess the OCA needed a good pruning. Who in their right mind would want to be scrutinized by those who have beaten down many christians on this website? It never ceases to amaze me why the likes of Stokoe, Wheeler and Garklavs do not care about those weak souls they have driven away. If we truly believe in the gospels, why continue to trample over good men like Fr. Brum, Fr. Dahulich or Fr. Mahaffey. They are human and certainly have made mistakes. Who has not?
(Editor's note: Piffle. It is not Wheeler,Garklavs or Stokoe who have terrorized the OCA, it is the likes of RSK and his minions who have - for 20 years. "They made mistakes". They did. I forgave them a long time ago. But I certainly will not sit back and let them take over the shop again, to resume the errors of their ways. Nor should anybody. Have you listened and not heard? Seen and refused to perceive? Go peddle your nonesense elsewhere, for having bought your garbage once, you will not fool us again. You are exposed.)
#1.4.1 MP on 2009-08-27 13:21
I'm like Thomas, I need to see the proof. Real documentation and facts - not he said, she said, I know, I saw.
I would like all of this to be shared, just as all of the criticism has been shared. Maybe we'll get a chance to see or not if this really goes to court. It will all become public and then Mr. Terrorist, you can have a field day!
#126.96.36.199 MP on 2009-08-27 14:30
'Twas ten (10) years ago we sold our grandparents home; proceeds to be given to Holy Resurrection Church (per their wishes) after their earthly departure. It was a fair sale, and we sent 1/2 to Syosset, and kept the other half for our church; a badly needed new roof, siding, painting, etc.etc. plus we put #30,000 in a CD for future use.
Now, comes +Theodosius, Fr. David Brum, and a third party I can't remember who. They came to take the 1/2 we kept for our church. Our five council members refused to hand it over, and they left without. At that time, there was rumblings of Syosset being in financial trouble, and as Pres. of Church Council, I advised the council members of this situation so they could vote according to their conscience.
The group of three went home empty handed. But Brum was a part of this plot to deprive the 'Mother Church' of her holdings.
We are still having many problems here in the so-called 'Mother Church', persons who are devotees of the past so-called bishop, Nikolai. When will this scourge ever end? There is so much scratching and clawing for money and riches, the puropse of the Holy Church has been forgotten. As up here, our poor church has become a 'for-profit' organization. We were never to be anything but a poor village church, having been founded by the original missionaries who brought Orthodoxy to Alaska. This purpose has totally been swept under the rugs. Thank God (!) we do not have a bishop up here at this time to muck up things any worse than they are right now. If we can be left alone, perhaps those who have left the church might come back, and a rebuilding of the faith can commence. Pray God!
PEWS????? In an OCA church????? Heavens to Betsy, you must be attending a Greek church and think that you are in an OCA church.
Listen closely next Sunday, if you hear an organ, you have made a mistake as to what type of church you are attending.
From what you have posted, no member of the church should question any decisions made by TPTB. If Fr. DB had not been very involved with the previous adminstration and their deeds, they he would not be in question regarding his possible elevation to the bishopric. That is why +Metropolitan Jonah is in his office now, clean hands and integrity.
#188.8.131.52 Yanni on 2009-08-27 17:14
Comments frrom the faithful on the OCA website? Heavens to betsy! That would make it just like the Forum and the OCANews!
and then someone would have to possibly, maybe, well sorta...answer questions, which they can ignore now.
It is an interesting concept, since no one wants to just walk up to a bishop holding the cross after Liturgy and ask him directly.
I sure don't.
#1.4.2 James Morgan on 2009-08-27 17:08
Good point, James. Thank God for OCANews, the truth does come out here and hopefully brings change in most if not all situations.
#184.108.40.206 Yanni on 2009-08-29 17:23
Maybe it makes sense to have the Primate of the OCA in DC because it is the capital of the country. That is standard practice in most/all other autocephalous Orthodox countries, isn't it?
(Editor's note: Yes - with a few exceptions. The head of the Church of Finland is not in Helsinki, but Kuopio. The head of the Church in the C&S lands may or may not live in Prague, but does not live in Bratislava. It depends who is head of the Church. The head of the Church of Jerusalem, whoever it may be, may or may not live in the capital, depending on who is determining it - or then, may live in the capital of two countries, depending on your politics. But I think the real point is that these are all state churches, de jure or de facto. We are not, and never will be. Therefore, is this really a good model to follow? Feel free to discuss....)
#1.5 Another Anon on 2009-08-27 10:13
Washington DC is the capital of only one of the three north american nations within the OCA, and locating the primate's throne there is at best a bit unconscious of that fact. In Canada and Mexico, it might be perceived as prejudiced.
NYC is a far better choice. It's a truly international city with a great many advantages. Were our primate to be responsible for an eparchy comprising only NYC and Long Island, that would be just as manageably small an entity as the current eparchy of DC and would , additionally, require many fewer dislocations and disruptions.
NJ, though, heavily populated in two dozen parishes, really deserves to be an independent eparchy altogether. Upstate NY and New England could well be combined into a single eparchy, given the OCA's rather thin presence on the ground in both areas, and it would still be geographically smaller than Canada .
Just some thoughts....
#1.5.1 Monk James on 2009-08-27 15:00
Given New Yorkers' view of the world - the one where they perceive NYC as the center of the universe - it doesn't strike me as a bad idea to move the Metropolitan to DC. If part of the goal is to become a more visible presence in American/US life, this would seem at least reasonable. If there is a better major city, what would it be?
(Editor's note: NY'ers may think they are the center universe, but it is my experience that DC'ers know they are. The issue is really as you put it - is the goal to become a more visible presence in American life? A church of 250,000 in a society of 350+ million? Is that a reasonable goal or even a worthy goal? Is having a Bishop and a secretary in an office the way to do accomplish that? These are all worthy questions that I hope the Strat Planning will take into consideration.)
#1.5.2 Another Anon on 2009-08-27 20:04
I have often thought the Metropolitan should live in or near either Crestwood, NY (SVOTS) or South Canaan, PA at the Monastery. If the former, retaining Syosset makes sense as it isn't that far away. Wachington and New York both are really part of the vision that saw the OCA as the basis for unity in the US. That vision seems to have gone away due to the EP's claims and greater work on the never united history of Orthodoxy in America - upon which pre-1917 unity the OCA/Metropolia's claims were based. The OCA as 'simply' a jurisdiction should have its leader in one of its spiritual centers rather than the center(s) of the nation.
In a united church, one could make the case for New York (and thus retain Syosset) or possibly even Brookline, MA where the GOA has wonderful facilities and a prime location.
(Personally, I've dreamed that a united church would establish a monastery and chancery on Governor's Island in New York harbor where the leader of the local church and the Synod could meet. They're taking proposals and bids...)
Yes, that is why the "president bishop" of the Synod was called the Metropolitan, because he resided at the capital city of the
country. And ours should too.
We should have never accepted Syosset from whoever willed it to the OCA, unless we could have sold it. A friend of mine, on a long-ago Metropolitan Council, told the Synod and the MC that.
He noted we could never keep the place up to the standards of
the rest of the neighbors, it would be a drain financially, and we should sell the darned thing and have our Metropolitan live in Washington DC.
And of course, they didn't listen. Theodosius had to have his
estate, (aren't these guys supposed to be monks first, not act as kings?) and we know what happened with that elitist attitude that
we now all pay for.
Too bad we didn't sell it when the real estate market was good.
And I totally disagree about staying in NYC. New Yorkers do think
the sun rises and sets on their city, but that kind of arrogance doesn't play well in Peoria, as they say.
Even St Vlad's should have sold their property before they built the library and new church and all. Why make seminarians come to one of the most expensive places in the US? For what they could have made on that property in Crestwood, they could have purchased one of the former Roman Catholic seminaries in the middle of the country (one was right here in Detroit) with fantastic facilities and buildings already there. More stupid decisions by higher-ups.
(editor's note: You are incorrect on two points. First, anyone who thinks that moving the Primate from a place we have in NY to a place we don't have in DC will save us money is mistaken. Living costs are no less in DC; and finding a smaller residence/office will take up most of what the property in NY would net. The thought of a major windfall coming from the sale of the Syosset property is illusory. There may be reasons to sell Syosset - or not - but "savings" is not a valid one when the alternative is DC. Secondly, at the time SVS moved to Crestwood (late1950's) there were no vacant catholic seminaries in Detroit or anywhere else - and Detroit itself was in its heyday. To argue conditions now as a way of criticizing conditions then is well, just plain unhelpful.)
#1.5.4 Pauline Costianes on 2009-09-08 14:49
Gee Deacon Eric, I guess your not a fan of Jonah's Speed Dating Service, Inc.
Thanks for sending reason back into the process.
Your the best!
#2 nonme on 2009-08-26 12:37
Personally, I wish Dn. Eric the best, but I found his editorial to be vague and assumptive and scattered. I can be scattered, so who am I to judge, eh?
I can't imagine how frustrating it would be to hear the person that had him fired for his honesty is now up for a promotion.
#3 Daniel E. Fall on 2009-08-26 22:35
NY/NJ never wanted to be part of the Washington diocese. THAT was a failed experiment. Returning NY/NJ to being its own diocese is not an experiment. NY/NJ wants their own bishop, and it deserves its own bishop.
A process in WPA in selecting a bishop worked for them. A process in NY/NJ worked for them in bring forward the names of three candidates. The Diocesan Assembly in NY/NJ will meet and offer up the name(s) of who THEY trust best to lead them as a diocese.
Congratulations to the search committee in NY/NJ for doing the job they were asked to do. Now it is up to the clergy and faithful of the diocese to meet and for the Holy Synod to elect. That is our conciliar process. What will be the result? Who will be nominated and who will be elected? God know, and He will let us know in due time.
(Editor's note: It was a process, I grant you; but it was not in no way conciliar. I will not let you denigrate the language in such a fashion.
#4 Anonymous on 2009-08-27 05:13
They (the Committee) made up their minds long ago and are only using this Assembly as a rubber stamp. They know that the majority here would NEVER vote in Brum -- this is just his first step to becoming the Bishop elect in the Diocese of the South. Part of a road to the episcopacy charted by MJonah for him.
No one really knows Mahafey. The the NJ clergy mostly favor Dahulich, especially Lickwar and Kedala who are anything but impartial. MJonah is also convinced that he is the man for the job. The fact that his *role model*, Bishop John Martin, D.D. was a mean spirited, bully of a despot, who most of his clergy feared rather than loved, who hated the OCA and SVS and all that they stood for should give everyone serious pause. What is the opinion of his former Bishop, Metropolitan Nicholas of his possible election? Does he have his support? If not, why not? Anyone remember the Bishop Innocent debacle? Are we going to repeat that mistake?
And really,not to seem mean-spirited or petty, but what is it with the toupees that two of these candidates sport? Will they disappear at their perfunctory, pro-form monastic tonsure? This is so silly and vain and obvious to anyone.
This Assembly could be the beginning of a conciliar process to lay the groundwork for the election of a new bishop, not a shot gun wedding. Let's discuss how this process will work, elect a new committee which includes none of the current members, and establish a time line during which deanery level "meet and greets" and "Church Hall Meetings" can ensue with all qualified candidates. How about looking within the Diocese for candidates? If anything more is forced on us, this election will be just be another coffin nail in the glorious future of MJonah's dream cum nightmare for the OCA - another disastrous mistake.
BTW the NY/NJ diocese is flush with cash, they willingly pay extra to Syosset for the CAA based on inflated census numbers.
....The dysfunction is truly epic, worse than anything we saw under Warnecke.
#5 Anonymous on 2009-08-27 08:43
Agreed! Use the Assembly to elect a new committee NOT a new bishop! If this election is allowed to occur on Monday, it will usher in a new era of pain and ill-will in this diocese. If Locum Tenens Jonah is a good pastor, he would seek to address and solve the concerns, not railroad them.
#5.1 Rdr. Nilus on 2009-08-27 15:42
Wait a minute - two of the three celibate priests being considered for elevation to the OCA episcopate wear toupees? What is THAT about? Surely you are making this stuff up - is that you, Mel Brooks?
#5.2 Michael Gregory on 2009-08-27 19:14
But seriously folks, nothing is lost but waiting, unless you all believe that this crucible of fury will forge a good bishop?
How do you spell fat chance? Wait and pray, God will deliver his people!
#5.3 no name on 2009-08-29 13:29
FYI: Archbishop Lazar's comments on our jurisdictional system here in America: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6htiZPwBbe0
Thank you for pointing out the interview with Archbishop Lazar. His comments concerning the the jurisdictinal system in North America certainly run counter to what I have perceived as prevailing thought over the past 25 years. His comments regarding the importance of the laity -- the Royal Priesthood -- and what the hierarchs should be doing, but aren't, seem to me to be as important. The 9 minutes qnd 40 seconds of that segment of his interview was time well spent.
#6.1 Mark C. Phinney on 2009-08-29 04:04
At first I held the opinion that if the rules were followed, then there should be no complaints about the way the nominees were chosen. Now, however, I am thinking there was something very weird about how they went about their duty. I've never met the men, I don't even know their names, but it seems truly bizarre that they nominated Fr. Brum, who should, in my opinion, be deposed along with Kondratick and Theodosius. How could they have doe this?
#7 Matt Karnes on 2009-08-28 21:03
Metropolitan Jonah was elected Vicar Bishop to Archbishop Dimitri of the South, who had been experiencing the loss of mental capacities as the result of old age. Archbishop Dimitri had previously taken Archpriest Joseph Fester, long time assistant to Robert Kondratic, into the DOS. Fr. Joseph immediately started taking on the role of chief advisor to Archbishop Dimitri and had started running the chancery. Archbishop Dimitri also allowed Robert Kondratic to take a salaried position with one of his parishes. When the newly elected Vicar Bishop,Jonah was elected Metropolitan, he also became the locum tenems of the South when Archbishop Dimitri retired. He appointed Fr. Joseph Fester as the Chancellor of the DOS. Fr. Joseph Fester tried to promote Fr. David Brum to the DOS as a candidate for Bishop of the South since the two had worked together in the past. The DOS would not accept the nomination for a number of reasons such as ; past associations with Syosset, in particular, Robert Kondratic, Fr. David Brum has never attended an Orthodox Seminary, he was a Catholic received by vesting by another of Robert Kondratic's long time supporters Bishop Tikhon of the West, and he had not met the requirements to be a candidate for the office of Bishop in the OCA. These were a few of the reasons mentioned to me for the rejection of the candidate by the DOS. Does it seem that Robert Kondratic and his former Syosset team is still weilding great influence in the OCA? Why is Fr. David Brum repeatedly proposed as a candidate for Bishop?
#7.1 anonymous on 2009-08-30 11:41
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