August 30, 2014

Fr. Alexander Webster: Open Letter to the Ethics Committee of the Metropolitan Council, Orthodox Church in America

Archpriest Alexander F C Webster

Archpriest Alexander Webster Ph.D. of the Orthodox Church in America (OCA) recently filed an ethics complaint against Mark Stokoe, the editor of OCANews.org and member of the OCA Metropolitan Council, a governing body of the OCA. The complaint concerns the publication of private documents including stolen emails from former OCA priest Fr. Joseph Fester, the confidential correspondence of Met. Jonah, and the private correspondence of retired Bishop Nikolai (Soraich) by Mr. Stokoe on his blog. Fr. Webster argues that Mr. Stokoe's actions violate the OCA Best Practice Principles that require “the highest standards of honesty and integrity...in the conduct of their duties.” The Ethics Committee refused to act on his complaint. Fr. Webster responds below. The timeline of the complaint process with supporting documents: 1. May 15, 2011, First Letter to the Ethics Committee (pdf here). 2. May 23, 2011, Second Letter to the Ethics Committee (pdf here). 3. June 9, 2011, … [Read more...]

WAPO: Metropolitan Jonah goes to Washington

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Source: Washington Post | Julia Duin | Sunday, March 20, 11:13 AM They appeared at the edge of the crowd on the Mall, a group of men seemingly out of a distant century. Their heads were crowned with klobuks, the distinctive headgear of Orthodox clergy. Sporting black cassocks and untrimmed gray beards, with golden icons dangling from their necks on long chains, these visitors stood out among the crowd clad in jeans and winter coats. The man in their center carried a bejeweled walking stick. Metropolitan Jonah, 51, leads the Orthodox Church in America, the second-largest Eastern Orthodox body in the United States. He was there to rally the huddled masses waiting in the freezing air to begin the March for Life, the annual demonstration protesting the 1973 Supreme Court decision legalizing abortion nationwide. His aim was to boost Orthodox participation in political issues. But his efforts to change the OCA would spark a ferocious reaction from his own bishops one month later. At … [Read more...]

Met. Jonah calls for ‘internal reformation’

Ecumenical News Service interviewed Metropolitan Jonah, who called for better administration and more accountability in Church governance in light of the recent financial scandals in the Orthodox Church in America. The interview was republished by UK church news service Ekklesia. ... Jonah said, "There is a lot of 'internal reformation' that has to take place in the church." He noted that the church needs to put into place systems of administration and accountability that will put it on par with "a 21st century, U.S. non-profit" organization. Other goals include making the OCA a far more visible presence within the United States, though more vigorous missionary work. Jonah notes that already 60 percent of some one million OCA laity, 70 percent of its clergy and 90 percent of its bishops are, like Jonah, converts from other denominational traditions. Jonah also wants to promote Orthodoxy unity within the United States and for U.S. Orthodox churches to explore the creation … [Read more...]