Tuesday, April 21. 2009
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It's incredibly refreshing to have a leader who we would want to follow, not only administratively but spiritually. Thank God.
There was no need for his apology. What + Jonah originally said was the Truth and we need more bishops who tell their people the Truth. Maybe the Phanar did not like the "bold Truth," but neither did the Jews nor Pilate. His apology was a proper gesture in humility, but when have we seen humility from the Phanar? Christ is the King of Humility and Truth.
Again, if North American Orthodox wanted to be under a Pope, it would chose the real one!
#2 Anonymous on 2009-04-21 06:47
Amen! There is an Orthodox Church in America. Please leave it alone. It is nice for once to hear the frustration felt by so many articulated by someone who might be able to make others listen.
#3 Anonymous on 2009-04-21 08:35
Your article, Mark, reminded me of Dostoyevsky's GRAND INQUISITOR. Though the inquisitor had all of the trappings of power and everyone was afraid of him and his kind of power, his is only one kind of expression of power, and it is worldly power at that. Christ represented a totally different kind of power - He has no guards, no imperial robes or outward signs of power. His is the power of divine Love - the power to give life to the world, including to the dead. Too much of American Orthodox jurisdictional disagreement is based in imperialistic and nationalistic old world power claims – in the power of the grand inquisitor. Too little of what has been discussed has been based in Jesus Christ – in divine love.
I also thought Fr. Herbel's history was well written and offers a chance for all jurisdictions in America to rethink their relationships and to embrace each other on a new level – sans the old world debates to do it. Nothing good came of the debates up to this point anyway. Herbel's comments seem to me to be an historical invitation to think outside of the box, to re-embrace our common Orthodox Faith, to work as brothers and sisters in Christ so that we can approach the old world patriarchates with ideas about why Orthodox unity in America is important, and what that unity needs to look like for us to carry out our mission to teach the Gospel to all the peoples of America.
#4 Fr. Ted Bobosh on 2009-04-21 09:27
I agree no apology needed. The Phanar and it's power filled leaders will NEVER allow a Church of "America" unless all fall under its agenda and plans. Read his 5 years from TODAY. No CHANGE whatsoever.
#5 Anonymous Clergyman on 2009-04-21 12:04
Did the Ecumenical Patriarchate or his officials apologize for their truly uncharitable and divisive comments? I don't seem to be able to find it. As a spiritual mother told me once about whether I should correct a brother, "Do it only if it is the truth, it needs to be said and you can say it with love." This is a hard standard that can only be met with prayer and faith. Oh how I wish our leaders would really read Paul's epistles, especially Galatians.
#6 Rick Wagner on 2009-04-21 18:36
I agree that there was no real need for an apology, but we should all be very thankful (and dare I say proud) to have a Met. that did. People talk about Orthodox unity in America, but for most of us its all just talk. This shows that Met. Jonah is serious about it. We can't just blow off the EP. The majority of Orthodox Christians in the US are under the Phanar, and any sort of unity can only be achieved with the EP's cooperation. To build walls with what we say, even if what we say is true, is only going to make matters worse.
#7 Anon. Seminarian on 2009-04-21 19:50
I have a different read and take to the comment "Uncharitable remarks". As a survivor of clergy sexual abuse. I find it still extremely disheartening to never have heard an apology for the sexual abuse, neither any help directed to how much the long term lies cost me or other survivors.
To me an open apology for something that justs goes round and round with heirarchs never addressing the harms they have done individually all makes for some type of silencing.
Pokrov.org. ran an article, "Abusers need to be named."
If Jonah feels he must repent of "uncharitable remarks" it smells too much like a rag in the mouth to shut up those who find the offense and the oppresion of the lies and lies and lies and more lies to cover up the agendas of sexual abuse.
Not making a statement to acknowledge the harms done at St. Tikhon's after an investigation has been made and finds the corruption, only seems to make it all the more needed to pull out of every place where those in gold robes think they rule the world.
Keep the spin going and make it more difficult to sue for the harms done. Just another tactic to defuse the liability instead of being accountable.
Sad very sad.
I am in agreement that no apology was necessary. Since when is an apology necesaary for telling the truth. We can be thankful to God for having a true Father in the person of Met. Jonah. Amen. It is about time somebody sent Bsrtholomew and the Phanar packing.
#9 Jacob on 2009-04-21 22:51
THERE IS UNITY IN THE ORTHODOX CHURCH--last time Orthodox Christians anywhere could receive the Blood & Body of Christ in ANY Orthodox Church--including any other Blessed Sacrament. Last time I checked the Creed was the same--and whether my "pneumaticos" is called as such or a "Staretz" is irrelevant provided I approach him and our Lord with a contrite and humble spirit.
Metropolitan Jonah--you in essence are treating the OCA and other American hierarchal Churches just as "ethnic" as you accuse Constantinople and the other "ancient" Churches of being--the only difference is the "ethnic" nature of the Church as you envision it is of an American Orthodox ilk--just what is that exactly--since we're already in SACRAMENTAL unity--what should we adopt of this great culture in which we live in today? A society of Adam & Steves vs. Adam & Eves...a world of Apple Pie, Chevrolet (GM is nearly bankrupt), and rampant idolotry, cults and so much "gray" in our lives that many of us are lost sheep.
With all humility and outmost respect Your Beatitude--shouldn't you concentrate on cleaning your own house first and stop trying to divert people's attention from your woes to focus on things that are in His Hands and have been so for two millenia.
You did hurt insult His All Holiness who unquestionably loves and sacrifices for the Holy Orthodox Church but also scandalized us--the members of the Holy Orthodox Church who now feel things we shouldn't feel--isn't there enough scandal everywhere?
The spirit of "openess" that you are trying to understandably foster must be tempered with watchfullness & "agape"His Love. As an Abbot of a Monastery you read, taught, counseled others to "cover-up" the faults of others, to pray and let His Will be done. The faith of mustard seed does indeed move mountains not our egos and loose tongues.
Delight in the unity that we do have your Beatitude--the unity of Christ our Savior! Bring us closer to Christ and help us remove our own blinders--I don't care about who's in charge and whether those in charge are old world, new world--I care about being in His World, not this world. That's the real "turf" war.
God Bless you and the Holy Orthodox Church which IS unified!
#10 Unity Exists on 2009-04-22 11:28
I agree with so many others that an apology was not necessary.Why apologize for saying something that needed to be said? And it makes no difference as to how it was said.It was something that simply had to be done and we have someone who finally did so. The Russians received the Faith from Greece and have preserved so much of what has been lost in the Greek Church. Its the EP thats been running to Rome and praying with the Heterodox which is against the Canons. Its the EP who thinks he should rule World Orthodoxy.Its the EP interfering with the attempt to have a united Orthodox Church in America. No,Metropolitan Jonah had no reason to apologize............
#11 Anon on 2009-04-22 13:33
How Truth or truth is spoken is very important. As Rick Wagner referenced in post #5 above, if the truth cannot be said in love, perhaps now is not the time to speak the truth. I think Metropolitan Jonah offered an apology because of the discomfort the truth of his comments caused within the Patriarchate of Constantinople, not because his comments were false.
#12 Mark C. Phinney on 2009-04-23 02:02
Christ Is Risen! Truly He Is Risen!
Your Metropolitan Jonah, has a very defiant and arrogant attitude, preaching "Americanism" instead of Orthodoxy!
Not only that he offended His All Holiness Our Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew I, but he offended all The Orthodox Christians in The North American Continent!
He did little by apologizing to His All Holiness, and nothing to apologize to other Orthodox Christians whom he offended!
His speech(not sermon, because a sermon talks in relation with The Gospel of Christ, which I didn't see there) created more damage, harm, turmoil and even confusion among Orthodox Christians in this country! More disunity than unity!
Sad, very sad!
#13 Rev.Fr.Catalin O. Mot on 2009-04-23 06:34
What does it mean that the administrator of the Patriarchal Parishes in America has returned to Russia and Metropolitan Jonah is now being commemorated during liturgy by the Patriarchal parishes? Does this indicate some impending unification of the Patriarchal parishes with the OCA?
(Editor's note: No. Bishop Mercurius received a promotion, and the liturgical commemoration is standard practice.)
#14 Reader Nicholas Bailey on 2009-04-23 08:03
Archons blast OCA Metropolitan for statements against Ecumenical Patriarchate - The National Herald
April 23, 2009
By Christopher Tripoulas
Special to The National Herald
Recent comments by Orthodox Church in America leader Metropolitan Jonah against the Ecumenical Patriarchate drew a sharp response from the Archons of St. Andrew the Apostle - an organization affiliated with the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America composed of laymen who have been honored for their outstanding service to the Church by having a Patriarchal title, or “offikion,” bestowed upon them by His All Holiness, Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew. Archons undertake to protect and advance the interest of the Church - especially its first see, the Ecumenical Patriarchate.
Metropolitan Jonah's comments are believed to be a response to a speech given by the Chief Secretary of the Holy Synod of the Ecumenical Patriarchate V. Rev. Elpidophoros Lambriniades, during a recent visit to the U.S. In his speech, Rev. Elpidophoros criticized some of the existing practices of Church polity in the U.S. and defended the role of the Ecumenical Patriarchate. This speech is available online at: http://www.thenationalherald.com/article.cfm?article_id=35600.
Below is the statement issued by the Archons on Holy Wednesday in response to Metropolitan Jonah's comments.
The Order of Saint Andrew, Archons of the Ecumenical Patriarchate, laymen who are deeply devoted to the Great Church of Christ and dedicated to the protection, defense and the mission of the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople, take this occasion to raise serious concerns and questions over the recent public remarks made by the Primate of the OCA during a Pan-Orthodox Vespers (April 5th) in Dallas, Texas. We do so sorrowfully, not only because the Church is now in the midst of Holy Week, but because the reason for our doing results from language that is unworthy of any ecclesiastical setting. Nevertheless, to be an Archon is to have a special concern and interest to protect and promote the Ecumenical Patriarchate, its mission, and the person of His All Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew. Therefore, we can not and must not refrain from speaking the truth in love, even though the moment is not the best.
For those who have seen the video that has been widely circulated on the Internet, or have read the transcript that is still on an OCA website, it is immediately apparent that inappropriate language, to say the least, is used against the Ecumenical Patriarchate. Consider this phrase:
There's one solution that's being proposed in which we all submit to Constantinople. We all submit to a foreign patriarchate where all decisions will be made there. Where we will have no say in the decisions that are made, we will have no say in our own destiny and we surrender the freedom that we have embraced as American Orthodox Christians to a patriarch that is still under Islamic domination.
Who has proposed any kind of subjugation to Constantinople? No one! The fact is that all of the Autocephalous Primates agreed in Constantinople on October 12, 2008 that there should be a swift healing of every canonical anomaly that has arisen from historical circumstances and pastoral requirements, such as in the so-called Orthodox Diaspora, with a view to overcoming every possible influence that is foreign to Orthodox ecclesiology (Article 13, ii). This statement was signed by all the recognized Autocephalous Primates or their Official Representatives. Metropolitan Jonah's statements demonstrate not only a lack of knowledge and of discretion; they demonstrate something which is plainly foreign to Orthodox ecclesiology.
To maintain that we, Americans, cannot ... be controlled by people who have never heard a word of English much less would allow a word of English to be spoken in the liturgy. We can't allow our church to be controlled by people who have no appreciation of our culture and have to bow to the Turkish Islamic authorities, is an erroneous, irresponsible statement in any public setting, much less a liturgical service. The fact is that Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew speaks six languages, and had a wonderful conversation with the President of the United States in English two days after this inflammatory remark! Furthermore, when the Heads of the Autocephalous Churches celebrated the Holy Liturgy together last October 12th in the Patriarchal Cathedral of St. George, there was an abundance of tongues used, recalling the Day of Pentecost.
Finally, we, Archons of the Great Church of Christ, must register our concern and pain over the general tone of the Metropolitan's remarks as insulting. When a statement is made, speaking personally about the Ecumenical Patriarch: if we wanted the Pope we'd be under the real one, it is not possible for the Order of Archons to be silent. This kind of disrespect is beneath any Christian. And we must also ask how a phrase like, Communists who now call themselves Democrats, does not cast aspersions on the very Nation whose martyred Church, the Patriarchate of Moscow, created the OCA in the first place?
As we are in the midst of Holy Days, when we all apply ourselves more vigorously to prayer and fasting, as we strive to follow Christ on His Way to the Cross and His Glorious Resurrection, we hope that Metropolitan Jonah will publicly retract his ill-considered remarks. While we rejoice that all things are forgiven in the Resurrection, as Orthodox Christians and as Archons of the Ecumenical Patriarchate, we will continue to be vigilant and express our grave concerns whenever such injustices as these are committed. May God grant to us all the strength and will to work for peaceable, reasonable relationships within His Holy Church, so that the Message of the Holy Gospel may shine forth.
Originally published April 16, 2009.
#15 Absolutely Ridiculous on 2009-04-23 10:05
Pleeeeeze! There was no need for + Jonah to apologize. + Bartholomew has no real canonical authority in North America. If the Greeks and some others wish to place themselves under him, that is their problem and even delusion. Local churches are under the omophor of local bishops - period. Foreign bishops have no say-so here.The Pat. of Istanbul has no authority here; the Pat. of Damascus has no authority here; the Pat. of Moscow has no authority here; etc. It is only in your twisting of Orthodox Canon Law that ANY foreign bishop has authority in North America.
+ Jonah was stating the Truth. I guess even for some Orthodox Christians, the Truth is hard to recognize and accept!
#16 Anonymous on 2009-04-23 10:13
Has the EP ever apologized for the discomfort he has caused for the Church of Russia with his meddling in the Baltic States?And Met.Jonah did not offend "all" Orthodox Christians America...American ilk? Thats offensive! Not what Met.Jonah said.
#17 Anon on 2009-04-23 12:20
I don't knowwwwwwww. I think that no matter who made such remarks it was a dumbass thing to do.
More and more, I agree with the EP, there is a total lack of maturity here. I'm not Greek and I'm not in the GOA, but simple politeness dictates that such remarks are uncalled for. As for some Archimandrite and his remarks, after centuries upon centuries on post in Constantinople, I think that Bart has all the right in the world to say what he wants.
When we as a Church are over 1000+ years old, I'll cut the OCA some slack.
#18 no name on 2009-04-23 16:06
When will the Patriarchate of Constantinople offer its apology?
#19 Marc Trolinger on 2009-04-23 22:33
The rudeness and smug arrogance of the Phanariots is palpable, and yet it is the Americans who are scorned. Typical, so typical. Frankly I don't care who Patriarch Bartholomew is, or thinks he is, or how old his episcopal see is. He's disrespectful, he's rude, he's uppity, and his flunkies are just as bad as he is (or possibly worse).
In Christ there is neither Jew nor Greek. But don't tell that to the Greeks...
#20 Mark Atkins on 2009-04-24 19:37
Christ Is Risen! Truly He Is Risen
You're completely "out of order!",your statement:"+ Bartholomew has no real canonical authority in North America. If the Greeks and some others wish to place themselves under him, that is their problem and even delusion." Where did you get that from?from the "tomos of autocephaly of the OCA"?
You make absolutely ridiculous statements...
But the bottom line is that His All Holiness Patriarch Bartholomew has jurisdiction in yhe US, more than you can imagine, he doesn't have only the Greeks, he has The Ukrainian Metropolitanate, has the Carpatho-Russian Diocese of America, and has jurisdiction over the Jerusalem Patriarchate Vicariate, and over all those who want to be legal from the Canonical point of view and true Orthodox Christians.All the other rebels, obviously the OCA, the schismatic rebels who don't want to submit to any Patriarchal Authority, because here is "America!" and they are "The American Church!"will have to suffer the consequences some day.
You, The American Church, are not capable of uniting in one Archdiocese with Moscow Patriarchal parishes, with The Carpatho-Russian Diocese and ROCOR, because none of the above mentioned jurisdictions want to be with you, for a good reason and yet you want to be the ones who tell the Historical Patriarchates, what to do? It's time to grow up guys, and to face the reality!
Christ Is Risen! Truly He Is Risen!
#21 Fr.Catalin O. Mot on 2009-04-26 17:26
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