Friday, March 18. 2011
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What a spin!
There is no obvious integrity in a muckraking electronic journalist serving in high office in the OCA.
Mark Stokoe should make up his mind which it's going to be.
For the past several weeks, this web site has lacked every last shred of integrity.
(Editor's note: I have raked little muck of late - there being enough thrown around by +Jonah and his surrogates to make the attempt unnecessary. And there has been little high office in which to serve - meetings being postponed ... but sorry to be such a disappointment. )
#1 Patrick Henry Reardon on 2011-03-18 10:06
This is more than pathetic. This man, +Jonah has zero, ZERO credibility.
#2 the whale on 2011-03-18 10:19
It's clear; + Jonah doesn't believe in the OCA. He should have never put his hat in the ring for bishop or Met. What was he thinking? Now, he'll never live all this down. He should step down and let someone who believes in the OCA lead. Isn't this clear?
#3 Anonymous on 2011-03-18 10:53
"Despite reports from +Jonah’s website" On what grounds do you accuse Metropolitan Jonah of being behind "OCATruth", Mark?
And while I don't endorse OCATruth personally, they have been admitting flaws in Met. Jonah's leadership since the beginning. You can check their archives. This is not a new concession on their part.
#4 Cordelia on 2011-03-18 11:27
I missed the part where we learned OCAtruth.com was Met. Jonah's "own" site?
(Editor's note: See my previous comment.)
#5 james on 2011-03-18 11:36
I give the Russian church credit for continuing to respect our autocephaly even when there are those among us who don't. +Jonah definitely needs to be removed if he doesn't fully support it and may yet still hang himself if continues with his hubris and lack of humility. Our leaders continue to disappoint me but despite everything I remain optimistic that at least, at least we are trying to live up to our calling as an indigenous church however small, broken and dysfunctional we may be. May the Lord help us always.
#6 Andrew A. Lukashonak on 2011-03-18 13:19
May God grant the our Metropolitan listen to the love and concern of his brother bishops and take some time for peace and reflection.
#7 Rebecca Matovic on 2011-03-18 14:07
Reardon: Why are you putting your 0.2$ in here? Don't you have enough issues to deal with in your own? And, on the contrary, Mark has reported accurately. + Jonah is like Don Quixote who is fighting wind mills. Now, after everyone has seen just how unstable he is, he can't recover. Let him go to Russia!
#8 Anonymous on 2011-03-18 14:47
Metropolitan Jonah's own action have rendered him unstable, and thus, susceptible to use.
Jonah may yet prove to be the greatest ally of his un-friend, the Patriarch of Constantinople. Neither one believes in autocephaly for the Metropolia.
Get a shovel! Someone dig up Ireney Bekish! Fast!
#9 deep mitre on 2011-03-18 17:24
>>"Why are you putting your 0.2$ in here?"
And you know what's going on? You know Met Jonah? You are competent to make a diagnosis? Why are you putting in your 2 cents in here?
(Editors' note: Everybody's 2 cents is/are (?) welcome. Whatever.)
#10 Anonymous on 2011-03-18 18:52
I believe that the criticism of Mark Stokoe is really off base. He has certainly tried to tell everyone in cyberworld what is going on in the OCA.
I know + Jonah, and folks, this is not some sort of conspiracy. I love +Jonah and have known him for a number of years, and his mode of operation hasn't changed for years. He speaks well when he wants, but he is often very unfocused, obstinate, and (sorry to say) a bit self-absorbed. My personal opinion is that he is not the right person to lead the OCA, but unfortunately the OCA may just be stuck with him for a while longer. But make no mistake, if he stays on the problems are not going to go away. He may play nice for a few months, but then it will be back to business as usual, i.e. flying to here, there and everywhere, inattention to the affairs of his diocese, obvious favoritism, lack of communication with the central administration, etc.
Again, I may be in the minority, but I sure hope and pray that +Jonah will see that he doesn't really want to be metropolitan of the OCA. He likes serving and wearing the white hat, but hasn't yet come to grips with all of the other responsibilities that come along with it.
Lord have mercy!
#11 Anonymous on 2011-03-18 21:22
RE: Met. Hilarion's "visit:"
I'm reminded of a scene from the film "13 Days," which depicted the 'behind the scenes' view of the Cuban Missile Crisis. As Soviet ships are clearing out of the Carribean, one straggles behind. The military wanted to blast the ship out of the water and almost succeeded in giving the order save for the efforts of one of Pres. Kennedy's representatives who said something to the effect of, "Don't you get it! These ships are diplomatic code through which the President speaks to Kruschev!"
By even allowing Met. Hilarion to come to our house and lecture us, we gave him all the diplomatic language the Russian Church needed. The Russian Church just showed the world that they own us–Met. Philip of the Antiochian Archdiocese would have never allowed Pat. Ignatius to come into his Archdiocese in such a fashion, nor would Archbishop Demetrios allow the E.P. We shouldn't have either, especially not as an autocephalous church. To use some ahem Texan diplomatic code, we should have met Met. Hilarion at the door of Syosset with a shotgun and said, "This ain't nunya business, friend. Get the heck off my lawn!" and left it at that.
If anybody wondered about the functionality of the autocephaly of the OCA, now we know. We just poured it down the drain.
(Editoral note: Well, thank God, we don't all live in Texas. Sometimes you get farther with a carrot than a shotgun. The Russians got an earful and when home, the OCA got a public affirmation of support, and +Jonah agreed again to do what he had already agreed to. Sure beat's trying to buckshot a bear, friend. )
#12 Glugglugglug down the draindraindrain on 2011-03-19 05:01
I assume you addressed it in a comment to Cordelia above which has accidentally disappeared.
ocatruth.com has recently declared:
"This site was initiated and is currently run by a group of laymen. Other than what has been sent to us after the site and email address were initially set up (i.e. letters, emails, suggestions, etc.), none of the content on this site has been blessed or commissioned by clergy.
Metropolitan Jonah has not been consulted or interviewed regarding anything on this site, nor has he offered the site any suggestions or information. Though this site supports him as the Primate of the OCA, it is in no way affiliated with Metropolitan Jonah."
(Editor's note: Well, that clears it up, doesn't it? An anonymous site proclaims it is not affiliated with anybody. Quack. Feel free to disagree.)
#13 james on 2011-03-19 08:38
My Dear Drain,
Be sure to see: MISSILES OF OCTOBER, the 1960's film, William Devane, Martin Sheen, and Howard DaSilva, brilliant as Khruschev.
A great film!
#14 40 thumbs up! on 2011-03-19 08:39
Please understand that I speak of a figurative shotgun, rather than a literal one. Whether the "Russians got an earful" or not, we let them come into our house and push us around. It doesn't matter what the "official documents" say; you and I both know that those are crafted to reflect the best possible reading, even in the least corrupt administrations. Actions speak louder than words.
In a situation like this one, it doesn't matter which side of the Met. +Jonah/Holy Synod divide you fall on–what matters if we acknowledge and proclaim the autocephaly of the OCA is that we're able to settle our matters in house, without recourse to a foreign bishop or synod (or "friendly observer" as Met. Hilarion is being spun into). Let the Russians deal with their own problems (like high alcoholism and abortion rates) and let us deal with our own fracas between our own hierarchs, unless of course, they're willing to let one of our bishops go take a look at and settle their affairs and issues. (They won't. If you think they would, I've got a bridge I want to sell you.)
If we want to be treated as an autocephalous church, we need to act like one.
(Editor's note: I understand your frustration, but I would argue we just did. We didn't huff and puff, we didn't whimper, we met like sisters, and explained our position. Isn't that what we are supposed to do? Why should we be afraid of that? If others want to speculate that being open, transparent and holding people accountable is a sign of weakness, fine. It is not. It is a sign of strength, in the sense that telling the truth is always the strongest position one can ever take, and sharing the truth is always the right thing to do in a controversy.
But I am glad to see that someone cares about autocephaly!)
#15 Glugglugglug down the draindraindrain on 2011-03-19 09:07
I believe I have alluded to similar comments in previous e-mails from my time as a parishoner in the MP Cathedral of the Dormition in London, when the now Met. Hilarion was resident there. Folks, while seemingly articulate, intelligent and wise, Hilarion is not who he appears to be. Trust me on this one
Met. Anthony sent him back to Moscow to try to prevent the MP from undoing 30 years work of Anthony in the UK. On the occasion of a very conflicted parish clergy meeting, my Priest had to be restrained from physically assaulting Hilarion.
At the end of the day the Russians won, there was a schism with much anger and broken hearts, but hey, all the rancour is now behind me now that I have returned to America and the OCA!!
#16 John Bennett on 2011-03-19 13:03
Mark, you're the one who made the initial claim that it was a front for the Metropolitan. You can claim they are nuts, you can claim they are hero-worshippers, but you cannot claim that Metropolitan Jonah is actually behind it without evidence. As you've said to a number of people here, you have a right to your own opinions, but not to your own facts.
If there's one single description of Metropolitan Jonah that I think everyone could agree on, it's that he's a big fat loudmouth who says what he thinks, even when it's not a good idea. Does this sound like the kind of guy who hides behind an anonymous website?!
There's no need to try to poke the OCA Truthers out of anonymity with accusations like this. If everything you've said stands on its own, you have nothing to worry about.
(Editor's note: Well, since the site has now formally disclaimed that it was, as you describe it, a front for +Jonah, and as I described it, run by +Jonah surrogates, the issue is moot. An anonymous site claims it is not affiliated with anybody whom it supports. Ok by me too - just ignore the quacking in the distance.")
#17 Cordelia on 2011-03-19 14:34
I sent the following comments to ocatruth.com, but knowing their policy of not publishing dissenting views, I doubt it will have any influence. It is fascinating to me (in a disturbing way) that "supporters" of ocatruth.com can be a part of the conversation and broadcast their views here at ocanews.org but the reverse is not true.
Here's my 2 cents:
If you persist in attacking Mark Stokoe by name from a position of anonymity, you will further prove to me that you are nothing more than bullies. I can't help but feel that you have been misled by someone and now you are misleading innocent people. Are you SO sure YOU are right? Tell us who you are so we can work together to discern the truth. If you are so resentful and angry towards Mark Stokoe and what he says, wouldn't it make sense to not use tactics that are worse than his? The following quote from St. Maximos the Confessor seems pertinent to the situation. You obviously feel that the "reports" from Mark Stokoe are misleading people, but as a fellow Christian I would encourage you to consider that "reports" that you have received that lead you to hate and condemn Mark Stokoe should be reexamined.
"Do not think that those who bring you reports which fill you with resentment and make you hate your brother are affectionately disposed towards you, even if they seem to speak the truth. On the contrary, turn away from them as if they were poisonous snakes, so that you may prevent them from uttering slanders and deliver your own soul from wickedness." (St. Maximos the Confessor, Fourth Century on Love, #31 - from Vol. 2 of The Philokalia, translated by Palmer, Sherrard, and Ware, p. 104)
I support Metropolitan Jonah AND Mark Stokoe AND the Holy Synod of Bishops AND you, please don't ask me to choose one or the other. There is one Truth, let's as a whole work together to discern it - that, to me, is the real reason for conciliarity. Conciliarity isn't about our "man" gets to represent our "viewpoint" like American politics, but rather that no man has the capacity to discern Truth for himself, save for our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ.
I pray that my boldness serves to quell some of the vitriolic rhetoric coming from any of us and not fire it up. Please forgive me for possibly offending you, but I feel compelled to make my viewpoint known. I truly seek peace not division. May I remind us all that we are Christians first, "Orthodox" second.
Love and affection in Christ, really,
Jodie (Joanna) Captein,
Diocese of the West
#18 Jodie Captein on 2011-03-19 15:30
I've read all the reports on this issue here as well as the opposition web sites' reports and I still can't see what +Jonah had done/is doing that warrants so much uproar. Looking at it from the outside, the Synod's position seems just a wee bit past its freshness date.
(Editor's note: One of the problems here is that +jonah's supporters know no boundaries in their smash and grab offense; the Synod is bound by ethical and pastoral concerns. Hence while +Jonah's supporters offer conspiracies and ad hominem attacks on everybody and everything, the Synod has done nothing but publish its Minutes, as usual, carefully redacted, out of concern for +Jonah. Hence the vague term "medical/spiritual evaluation". The Synod is trying not to fight, with somone fighting tooth and claw. It is an unequal struggle in terms of PR; and that by choice. I am sure as this story progresses the situation will be made more clear, if it is not clear already for those who have eyes to see, and ears to hear. Many do not; many will never. Such is life.)
#19 ODIrony on 2011-03-20 06:36
" The Russian Church just showed the world that they own us"
This has always been the case Kondratic and his cadre were toadys when it came to Moscow and what about all the $"s that made their way to Moscow for decades. Don't ever believe their consilitory words, they are the confident words of the those who one way or another have always pulled the strings. A Moscow who is now so in bed with it's government as to make the crazies of the former Synod look like prophets.
#20 Anon on 2011-03-20 10:33
You people missed your opportunity. The Orthodox in the UK should have and still should, announce that you are going to follow Canon Law and proclaim yourself AUTOCEPHALOUS! Kick out the Russian & Greek control and run your own churches. Foreign bishops have NO authority over territory not directly under them. Same as in the US, Australia, etc. Local churches are ruled by local bishops - period!
#21 Anonymous on 2011-03-20 16:38
To all whom it may (and Does) Concern:
I just read the "opinions" written at ocatruth.com, and I have several questions:
In the spirit of the ever memorable archbishop Job of Chicago, whose short and succinct question "Are the Allegations true"? lit the fuse of the bomb that eventually blew H.B. Herman, H.E. R.S.K, and others out of power, and ultimately righted the sinking ship that the O.C.A. had become,
Can ANYBODY EXPLAIN TO ME "*Precisely, exactly*, and *unequivocally*," (in other words, in totally *non politically charged language*), (1) what Canonical authority H.H. Kyrill can exercise over either H.B. Metropolitan Jonah and the O.C.A's Holy Synod Corporately; or (2) over either H.B, or individual Bishops, who make "INTERNAL DECISIONS" in the administration of the O.C.A.?
I always understood that Autocephaly means that NO Foreign Patriarch or Holy Synod can intervene in the Administrative Affairs of the O.C.A.
(3) Is this true or not?
(4) Is this a suggestion that H.H. Kyrill might rescind autocephaly, unless H.B. Jonah and our Holy Synod begin to comport themselves as H.B. Kyrill and the Holy Synod of the R.O.C. believes they should?
Yes, there is at least one case where a Mother Church rescinding Autocephaly.
I believe it was the Patriarch of Either Alexandria or Jerusalem, (And I may be wrong on both guesses), who rescinded the Autoctphaly of the church of Ravenna.
I don't know the details of that one, as it happened LONG BEFORE my TIME!!!
As I've stated in the past, I can see and appreciate the "POSSIBLE" logic of such an act, as it would allow H.H. Kyrill to grant a new Autocephaly to the combined jurisdiction that would result from the merger of the O.C.A., R.O.C.O.R., and the Patriarchal Parishes of North America.
And then, at that point, H.H. Kyrill could permanently absent himself from the debate over recognition of the (Future) O.C.A., as he would have granted it full "canonical" recognition, according to the second Tomos of Autocephaly.
However, since H.B. Jonah and Our Holy Synod released the letter last fall, emphatically stating that the O.C.A. is here to stay, and the Maximum Autonomy under Either Moscow or Bartholemew-ople isn't a consideration, that issue should be like the sleeping dog. Let it Lie. . . permanently asleep.
If anyone can answer the questions that I've asekd above PLEASE do so IMMEDIATELY.
I suspect that It will clarify the situation for all concerned.
Also, imagine the uncomfortable situation H.H. Kyrill would be in if after repeatedly recognizing and defending our Autocephaly, he suddenly revoked it?
(5) How well balanced would He appear to the rest of his brother Patriarchs and Primates if he signed the Tomos that revoked the present Autocephaly, only to grant another one to a newly united jurisdiction in north America?
Please answer these questions as quickly as possible, so that these issues might be permanently retired.
Many Years to H.B Metropolitan Jonah and the members of Our Holy Synod of Bishops!!
May they all "Rightly divide the word of the truth" for many more years.
P.S. O.k. So I have more than several questions. I guess I'll have to ask God's forgiveness for this before receiving Holy Communion again???
#22 Mark N. Sudia on 2011-03-22 07:22
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