Tuesday, August 23. 2011
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You must be jealous of this.
#1 Anonymous on 2011-08-23 20:45
And please note, Metrp. Philip, age 80, who could not conduct the Thurs PM meetings of thye Antiochian Convention in Chicago. The Romans have it right AGE 75,
#2 Anonymous So West on 2011-08-23 21:15
With all respect as have the right to yield the chair to someone else as he have done for the past 3 Conventions.
#2.1 Anonymous on 2011-08-25 12:09
And let it be known that all the TRUTH SEEKERS were few in # at the Ant. Convention in Chicago. Metrropolitan Philip's address FRri PM very vindictive. "God will punish those ,,,,etc"
Same strange UNCOMPLETE Fin. reports with no transparency and NEVER an outside accounting. OCA comptroller would be in shock, to say the least.
NEVER a statement of ASSETS/LIABILITIES, an NO PLANS for a real clergy pension fund. True, my relative who attended states: "Not in any sense a CONVENTION but self adulating clergy/laity protecting their "space". All self satisfied, "Who cares!"
Not a gathering or Council but a gathering of the CLAN, as usual. So much for despotic ruled gatherings and not for many of us after the spectacle in Palm Desert.
#2.2 Anonymous - East Coast on 2011-09-07 21:47
Archbishop Iakovos had imposed a voluntary retirement age of 65 and a mandatory retirement age of 70, upon his bishops, who were his auxiliaries 19 of his 36 year archepiscipal tenure. Early in his tenure, which began in 1991, when +Iakovos had been Archbishop of America for 32 years, Patriarch Bartholomew advised that there would be no voluntary or mandatory retirement rules imposed upon hierarchs within the Ecumenical Patriarchate, as (I think) such rules were not founded in the canons. It should be noted that +Iakovos served 15 years beyond his 70th birthday At that time, the Patriarchate advised him to announce that he had no plans for retirement. (By the way, to his credit, at that time, +Iakovos enrolled in the Social Security system, and declined a salary.)
#3 Bruce Wm. Trakas on 2011-08-24 04:19
The opportunity for a bishop or priest to retire when they are no longer able to conduct their varied affairs is so logical it is almost laughable.
#3.1 Sean O'Dea on 2011-08-24 13:31
Agreed, but ultimately it is their choice to make that decission onot the layity through a website!
#3.1.1 Anonymous on 2011-08-26 07:28
P.S. Good to see OCANews posting more regularly again.
#4 Bruce Wm. Trakas on 2011-08-24 04:25
You should start your own gossip site, complete with your "objective" comments which could be syndicated throughout the Orthodox world. Ooops, you already have that site; it's called OCAnews.com
#5 anon on 2011-08-24 05:16
I would suggest a tender of resignation automatically at 75 of which the synod or metr. or patriarch can choose to accept. If they feel its time then the bishop retires as to "his request". However if he is physically/mentally/spiritually able to continue, I dont know why we should have good bishops leave at those ages...
I have met some bishops that ruled and had the attitude that they can be a bishop, actually metr, from a care home. Its possible, but usually it doesnt help out your diocese...
#6 Mike on 2011-08-24 06:19
The Moscow Patriarchate already has a rule that Bishops must submit a request for retirement when they reach the age of 75 (Statute X.26 - http://www.mospat.ru/en/documents/ustav/x/). From reports of Synod meetings of the Moscow Patriarchate there seem to be three possible responses to this:
(1) The retirement may be granted and a new Bishop elected.
(2) The Bishop may be mentally capable, but finding the work physically demanding and so an assistant Bishop may be elected to assist with some of the leg work.
(3) The Bishop may be physically and mentally competent and so the request is refused. In this case a further request may (and usually is) made at a later date.
(Editor's note: This seems remarkably reasonable and common sensical.Kudos to Moscow. Now if the OCA would only go and do likewise.... And for those who disagree, please remember that when the early church had bishops in sees for life, life meant until age 55; not 75; and certainly not 95. Of course there are always exceptions - hence the rule above. But, knowing several octogenarians & nonegenarians, there is not one who has not told that no matter intellectually astute they remain, physically the challenges of a full time job and its responsibilities would be beyond them. My father is retired now; do I honor or love him less because he is retired? No. In the same vein, did he want to stop driving though? No. That was a decision that after 72 years of doing so was just too hard for him to make; and I have no illusions the same is true about driving a diocese. Sometimes it is just better and easier if someone else ( like a rule) makes that determination, just as a doctor did for my father, thus saving me from a painful episode.
Its a point the Synod should consider now, before it applies to anyone, so that when it does, it does not become "personal". Feel free to disagree.)
#6.1 Archimandrite Kyril Jenner on 2011-08-24 14:46
This latest report regarding Zacchaeus & + Jonah AGAIN only shows why + Jonah must be replaced. The November Seattle meeting had better take the removal of + Jonah seriously. He is destroying the OCA and there is no need for his actions!
#7 Anonymous on 2011-08-24 06:20
.... I don't see how the OCA is capable of putting things right on its own. The ability is there, the people exist, but they are all on the shelf. These bishops are not men, they are mice.
#7.1 borscht breath on 2011-08-27 07:17
Dear Mr. Anonymous: read the Statute and the Canons. Nothing can be done by the laity or the presbytery in Seatlle or anywhere else (except pray I guess)
btw, Mark, a note about life expectancy. While the average life in the age of Byzantium may have been 55 (or less), once a person got beyond the age of ten he might have easily lived into his 70's (unless of course he served in the army). But the point about retirement is well taken. We have a bishop in Chicago that should have retired years ago.
#7.2 Michael Strelka on 2011-08-30 09:07
More bad decisions from + Jonah. Members of the OCA, where are we going with this guy? Look, Dallas is vacant; let him go there and preach to the other converts. Get him out of any top church authority roles. If not, expect more bad, unilateral actions destroying the OCA. It's time to accept that a bad mistake was made in Pittsburgh and move to a leader who really believes in the OCA and an American Church, who will act in a conciliar manner and quit taking advice from the fringe-fundamentalist Orthodox. Where is our American Church with sane leadership?
#8 Anonymous on 2011-08-24 07:28
Mr. Anonymous, you certainly have a lot of opinions, you show up in every conversation...
by the way, who DO you like??? you want +Jonah to go preach to the converts in Dallas, so I guess you scorn converts,,,,
you don't like fringe fundamentalists--I'm nost even sure what that means...you scorn them...
You scorn those who were conciliar in the decision to make +Jonah the metropolitan... Brother, there were hundreds of us there, that's a lot of people to scorn, I'm assuming you didn't really know 98% of us. Thanks for that judgment on us.
What IS the right kind of Orthodox person for you???
#8.1 Dianne Combs-- a free woman of the Midwest on 2011-08-29 07:27
For a monk presumably dedicated to the monastic discipline of "cutting off self-will," Metropolitan Jonah sure seems to act awfully willfully and without due consideration of others.
#9 Gregory on 2011-08-24 08:56
Frankly, the entire matter is a bit confusing - perhaps the Metropolitan is confused as well. I say cut him some slack this time.
#10 Daniel E. Fall on 2011-08-24 21:59
On a different note, how about some update on Archbishop Dmitir? We should all pray for him.
(Editor's note: The Archbishop has returned home from the hospital. According to some reports he is in his final days: others paint a less dire portrait. However, prayers would be appropriate as he ends his earthly ministry, whether that be soon, or if God Wills, later.)
#11 Anon. on 2011-08-25 06:18
What is not confusing but certainly curious is why it was so imperative for the OCA to post details about AZ when at that point only a report of an allegation of misconduct had been received by Syosset from Moscow?
A report is received. Its credibility is investigated, if proven credible, in this case, let Moscow investigate it. Let the Russian authorities investigate it. It is within the Russian jurisdiction both church and civil. Such an investigation takes time. I suppose the OCA can send an observer over there to be kept abreast of the matter, that is what a Chancellor should do, but given the recent support of AZ for Jonah, I understand why AZ would see this as a hostile posturing by the Syosset apparatchiks, especially AZ's "close friend" Leonid Kishkovsky.
Who was responsible for rushing such news into the public eye? Tosi? Garklavs? Kishkovsky? This website? And, why? It certainly is "news" but at such a preliminary point in the process, the less said the better and certainly no "judgements" like AZ forbidden to serve, was detrimental, and sorry to say, just plain dumb.
Another rush to judgement, it does appear to be and I am glad that Berazansky called the OCA on it, whether AZ is eventually proven innocent or guilty, there is a right way and a wrong way to do these things, and it appears that those in charge in Syosset blew this one, again.
This also appears to be the reason why the OCA is now confronted with another potential lawsuit and is quickly trying to cover its tracks. You don't "suspend" a person upon unspecified and unproven allegations and even if Jonah is now saying he was not suspended. If a cleric is told, as in the OCA press release, that he is forbidden to serve, that is a suspension, even if the word is not used.
Now, Jonah permitting him to serve is being "reported" as another unilateral decision on his part. In fact, Jonah needs no approval to deal with a cleric under his responsibility, as AZ is. So who is to blame, Jonah or the original mishandeling of the matter? One, the other, both? Maybe letting AZ serve is a signal that too much was done too fast and the OCA has been "reminded" of that by AZ's legal representative. That seems a given now.
Given how many previous times the OCA has had its ears pinned back by lawsuits, you would think the folks in charge would have learned something by now. Now that is curious.
(Editor's note: Wrong. Wrong. Wrong. The OCA has not "had its ears pinned back by lawsuits." That would be an overstatement by half.
Secondly, the Archimandrite is not a usual parish priest. He has, for all intents and purposes, his own website after all, has made himself a public figure, both here and abroad. Folllowing procedures, as the OCA did, and trying to "keep it quiet", is foolishness, doomed to failure. Thirdly, the OCA announced the minimum under the situation - and then was criticized for that. That information continues to leak out - mainly from Moscow, hmmm - only reinforces my second assertion. You are also incorrect in asserting that one does not suspend a priest without a guilty conviction: on the contrary, common sense tells you when someone is accused, justly or not, they be placed on "desk duty", or "leave" or "other duties" until the matter can be investigated. That is even more true with the accused, justly or not, is a parish priest. He should not be performing his priestly duties until the questions are removed from the table, especially, for example, if the questions arise from his performance of priestly duties. That is why priests are suspended - until mattters can be sorted out. Priests and deacons are suspended for a lot less egregious behaviour than misconduct allegations! Moreover, it is hard to conduct an investigation when the accused is not cooperating. That is not Syosset's fault - but rather the one still in Moscow. Moscow can investigate all it wants - no one is stopping either the American or Russian authorities. But that does relieve the OCA from its duties.
Finally, you are incorrect to assert that there is "only a report of an allegation from Moscow". That is simply disinformation, as is the assertion that Syosset has "appartachiks" ( what, both of them?) or that the OCA "mishandled" anything. If there is fault, it is that they have been too generous in trying to preserve someone's priesthood in the face of disobedience and obfuscation in the light of serious charges. One can only expect that generosity will reach an end someday, and ecclesastical reality will come crashing down, whether or not legal or civil penalities ever do.)
#12 Anonymous on 2011-08-25 07:29
Furthermore, Anonymous's statement "It is within the Russian jurisdiction both church and civil" is, I believe, only half correct. Certainly, Archimandrite Zacchaeus is subject to Russian civil law, but (and please correct me if I'm wrong) as a clergyman and representative of the Orthodox Church in America, he is still subject to the jurisdiction of the OCA. An analogous situation would be if Archbishop Justinian of the Moscow Patriarchate were accused of misconduct in his cathedral in NYC: he would be subject to the civil law of New York County, but any ecclesiastical discipline would be the responsibility of the Russian Orthodox Church, NOT the OCA.
(Please note that that this example is ONLY hypothetical -- I am NOT in any way accusing the Archbishop of ANYTHING AT ALL!)
#12.1 John Congdon on 2011-08-26 06:06
Dear Parenthetical Editorial Commenter -
It must be so easy to claim people are wrong and misstating facts without ever having to present any real facts yourself.
If you are going to call people out for being wrong wrong wrong, please enlighten us. What was the more than an allegation? What was the alleged misconduct? How did it arise out of priestly duties? What is the obfuscation? Why do you mention the possibility of legal penalties? By distinguishing between legal or civil penalties, do you suggest that the legal penalties are criminal in nature?
Let's have facts if we are going to call other people wrong? Otherwise, it's nothing more than the sound of one hand clapping.
#12.2 Editorial Commenter on 2011-08-26 17:02
From my perspective, based on nothing more than a guess; it appears as though our Metropolitan is trying to do things a little more quickly then he did in the past. Sure beats sleeping on it for 2 years...
Cut the guy some slack on this one.
#12.3 Daniel E. Fall on 2011-08-27 22:15
Mark, in Mischief in Moscow you state that Met Jonah is acting unilaterally in dealing with Fr Zacchaeus. Can you please explain why you think it is wrong for a Bishop act unilaterally in his own diocese and stavropigial parishes/monasteries? Does Fr Z report directly to His Beatitude? If I am not mistaken, it is wholly within his jurisdiction and therefore no other bishop has the right to interfere.
(Editor's note: Because, as the article posted today relates, the Metropolitan recused himself from action in the matter.
But you raise an interesting question - does a bishop have the "right" to ignore the policies adopted by his local Synod? I think not, canonically, even when it is about his own diocese. And if the Church is thereby sued because of those decisions, and loses, does the bishop absorb the loss? Or will he expect the whole church to pay for his decision to ignore the Church's policies designed to protect it? These are not questions answered in canon law; but they are in common sense. As my teacher used to say: "Now discuss".)
So if that is the case, then why have you sort in your article to criticize? Will you withdraw and publish an erratum statement, apologizing for misrepresenting the issue if I am correct?
#13 Anonymous on 2011-08-26 06:33
I highly doubt Mark, that you really care if the OCA is sued or not. What seems to be more important to you is that your political agenda is satisfied and you are seen to be justified in your muckraking. Nice to have all care but no responsibility, isn't it? No, Met Jonah acted correctely and canonically allowing Fr Z to serve again. It's within his episcopal jurisdication. Fr Z wasn't suspended, he was placed on Leave - there's no canonical reason that he shouldn't serve. The only thing Met Jonah did wrong was to allow someone else to write letters and sign them on his behalf.
(Editor's note: Boy, I can' win with you. When I am on the MC, I am irresponsible for being on; now that I am off I am irresponsible for not being on. Wow. Alas, I do care, and no, I don't have a political agenda. I have an ecclesiastical one that focuses on keeping the OCA transparent, accountable and independent ( that being the best way to keep it transparent and accountable.) Keeping singing the same tune friend. Once again, this is not a canonical issue, and attempting to hide behind selected canons won't work. That sound you are trying to drown out are the footsteps of reality behind you, catching up.)
#13.1 Anonymous on 2011-09-08 05:07
Not letting a man worship God as he has been trained....to be on the side of caution is foolish at best.
#14 Michael Lucak on 2011-08-26 14:02
First let me say I don't really know any facts!? So when I read the release from Russia about Zachaeus my first thought is that he is being disobedient. Nothing in the report leads me to see otherwise. I lean toward supporting our metropolitan because when I met him I could not see any insincerity in him. I could be wrong but I trust my first(and second) impressions. You began, Mark to put a spin on things when you wrote the word reality. You have often said that you are innocent of blame if you report what others have said and when people get upset you blow them off with, "we agree to disagree." Well I can't agree that when someone is blatently disobedient and serves in the church after he has been relieved that you should trust him and not expect him to lie. The onus is on him to verify that +Jonah gave him the go ahead not you. Your next sentence started with the words "If the Archimandrite’s claims prove to be true (and there is no reason to doubt his veracity on something that can be so easily ascertained)". Have you then ascertained that his words are true because if you have then you should state that right away instead of the way you did it. You can't say if and then make accusatory comments unless that is your goal, to be accusatory. Maybe your conclusions are accurate, or maybe they are not but leave out the attack. We can draw our own conclusions. This is an example of what people have been saying about your reporting and putting a spin on things. Your site is great for gathering information and presenting it but when you decide to present your own interpretation you lose creditability. By the way you did go on to say that the metropolitan made an "apparent about-face" so maybe you aren't quite sure what the true facts are as the previous sentences lead us to believe. I don't want to attack your reporting because I used to have a lot of respect for your views and your fairness but I mainly wanted to give an alternate perspective. Thank you. Glory to God for all things.
#15 Alaskan, looking for humility on 2011-08-27 22:42
I am Tired of seeing 'orthodox in name only ' people criticise the very foundation of our faith and all Bishops loyal to true traditional doctrine including His Beatitude Metropolitan Jonah .. 3 THINGS ACKNOWLEDGE THEY ARE NOT ORTHODOX..... 1 They do not properly address bishops. 2 They assume the doctrine of the faith can be changed to suit there quasi-political goals. 3 They assume the laity have control over the churches holy priesthood and heirarchy of our faith which they do not. These will be the marks the false orthodox in america will be known by... may they be anathema
#16 Dustan Eddington on 2011-09-01 13:22
Laity with quasi political goals in the church?
"Of course it was a political statement"
#16.1 Daniel E. Fall on 2011-09-06 16:45
Dustan: Rants like yours are usually from those who have no clue what Orthodoxy "really is." For instance, the LAITY is the CHURCH! The "People of God" are THE CHURCH! The bishops and priests come from the laity. However, when they abuse their positions, they are to be deposed and returned to the laity. The idea of the bishops & priests being of a separate, special, untouchable class is Roman Catholic.
#16.2 Anonymous on 2011-09-07 10:01
According to the OCA Statute:
Section 1 Definition and Authority
The Holy Synod is the supreme canonical authority in the Church.
Section 7 Competence
The following matters are within the jurisdiction and competence of the Holy Synod:
a. All matters involving doctrine, canonical order, morals, and liturgical practice;
b. • The establishment of new dioceses, the definition of diocesan boundaries, and the acceptance of dioceses into the jurisdiction of the Orthodox Church in America;
c. • Transfer of bishops and their retirement in accordance with Article VI, Section 7;
So can I ask you as how the Holy Synod can deal with the continuing problem of +Metropolitan Jonah? It seems according to the Statute that the Holy Synod has all the Authority they need to either forcibly retire him or circumscribe his diocese until it only includes the one parish in Washington, DC and either create another Diocese for the other Parishes or join them to other Dioceses already in existence. I would hope that no one gives in to the spiritual sickness of self-will and disobedience we have seen from him and offers a vibrant Diocese like the DOS to +Metropolitan Jonah. He must be kept as far away from as many parishes as possible.
#17 GH on 2011-09-06 20:39
Since when does reciting rules mean they have been broken?
And to which sets of rules is he bound?
#18 Daniel Fall on 2011-09-08 22:07
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