April 19, 2014

Rod Dreher: It’s Time Bishops Man Up

Rod Dreher

Earlier this year, there was a battle-royal raging among the elites of my church, the Orthodox Church in America, over the leadership style of Metropolitan Jonah, the primate. A number of the bishops on the Synod were plotting against him, along with some key and vocal activists associated with the OCA old guard. I involved myself in the defense of Jonah, blogging under a pseudonym to prevent the chance that that controversy could bring negative publicity to my then-employer. I and the other bloggers were outed after a bishop accessed (probably illegally) the e-mail account of a friend and former pastor, and spent two months reading all the man's private e-mails, including correspondence from me. The fallout from all that made me decide that I need to stay the hell away from anything to do with bishops, because there is nothing but trouble there for me. I never should have gotten involved, because it was all, in the end, pointless. I say that not to "re-litigate" that whole … [Read more...]

Fr. Gerald Murray: Homily at the Funeral of Bernard N. Nathanson, M.D.

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I first heard Dr. Bernard Nathanson speak over 25 years ago. I was very young and had just read his book "Aborting America." There were probably not more than twenty people crowded into a room to hear this man who was one of the three founding members of the National Abortion Rights Action League (NARAL) describe the massive public relations campaign they undertook, successfully as it turned out, to overturn the cultural attitudes against abortion. All the shibboleths of the pro-choice cause, from the count of women who died from illegal abortions (the number was pulled out of thin air, Nathanson wrote), to the argument that the opposition to abortion is a "religious" issue came out of their early meetings. Nathason wrote that he had performed over 75,000 abortions when doubts began to surface about whether or not the fetus (Latin: little one) was indeed an inert clump of cells. Neo-natal medicine was advancing at the time and Nathanson, when taking a hard look at life in the womb, … [Read more...]

Met. Jonah addresses inter-Christian assembly in Tulsa, Oklahoma (Nov. 2010) [VIDEO]

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On November 5, 2010, His Beatitude Metropolitan Jonah traveled to Grace Lutheran Church, in Tulsa Oklahoma, where he had been invited to speak on Orthodox Christian Spirituality. His talk, entitled "Do Not React, Do Not Resent, Keep Inner Stillness." From the Holy Apostles Orthodox Church website: We were blessed to receive an archpastoral visit from His Beatitude Metropolitan Jonah this past weekend, November 5th - 7th. His Beatitude arrived on Friday, and went straight to Grace Lutheran Church, where he had been invited to speak on Orthodox Christian Spirituality. His talk, entitled "Do not react, do not resent, keep inner stillness" was well received by the audience of Lutheran, Roman Catholic, Orthodox, and other Christians. Watch the video: Source: Holy Apostle Orthodox Christian Church, 15710 S. Peoria Ave. Bixby, OK 74008. … [Read more...]

Looks like Met. Jonah is serious about correcting past errors

I don't know the details of the conflict mentioned in the release below and don't need to know. What is notable is the apology of a chief hierarch of the Church. Please, don't post the details of the conflict. They will be deleted. Instead, be encouraged by Metropolitan Jonah's frank apology. This is good leadership. ++++++++++++++++++++ SYOSSET, NY [OCA] – After discussions that took place at the joint session of the Lesser Synod of Bishops and Metropolitan Council of the Orthodox Church in America at the Chancery here during the first week of March 2010, His Beatitude, Metropolitan Jonah issued the following statement. … [Read more...]

Metropolitan Jonah to address 2010 Ancient Christianity Conference May 14-16

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ANNISTON, AL [OCA] — His Beatitude, Metropolitan Jonah will be the keynote speaker at this year’s Ancient Christianity Conference at Saint Luke Mission here May 14-16, 2010. The conference, the theme of which is “Jesus Christ, the Great Physician,” will be sponsored by the Brotherhood of Saint Moses the Black, a pan-Orthodox, non-profit ministry devoted to sharing the richness of the Orthodox Christian tradition and its African roots with Americans who have had little exposure to the faith. Other speakers include Abbot Gerasim; Fathers Moses Berry, Jerome Sanderson, and Paisius Altschul; Deacon Nathaniel Johnson; and Mother Katherine. The conference fee, which does not include housing, is $40.00. Special hotel rates are available through April 13 by calling the Victoria Inn at 256-235-0503. To register and/or obtain additional information on the Brotherhood and the conference, log on to www.mosestheblack.org. … [Read more...]

Metropolitan Jonah on Orthodox Christian unity

The Orthodox Church in America's communications department has published a summary of Metropolitan Jonah's remarks at Orthodox Christian Laity's recently concluded Road to Unity conference. Highlights: Central to the fabric of a united Church, Metropolitan Jonah added, is the need to "be missionary in every aspect of its existence, reaching out to bring the Gospel of Jesus Christ in all its patristic and Orthodox integrity to the peoples of North America, incarnating the Orthodox Church in North America, and enculturating North Americans into Orthodoxy. "Each [North American] church, jurisdiction, and community has done this to its own degree, individually," Metropolitan Jonah observed. "Now we must put it all together, keeping in mind the essential goal of the sanctification of our people, our communities, our nations. Each community has something of utmost value to offer to the whole. Each community has come into existence in America through tremendous struggle, hardship … [Read more...]

Road to Unity: The A-word

Ann Rodgers of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette picks up Day Two of OCL's Road to Unity Conference: Orthodox bishops in America are now free to use the A-word. That's autocephaly -- meaning a self-governing church that doesn't answer to an authority overseas. America is now divided into overlapping ethnic jurisdictions, most of which answer to a church in Eastern Europe or the Middle East. Many of those overseas churches had squelched talk of autocephaly for their mission dioceses in places such as the Americas and Australia. But in June they unanimously called for all bishops in each of those regions to assemble and make decisions about their own territories. "It is a transition that will lead us, as quickly as possible, to our goal of a united, autocephalous American Church," said Metropolitan Jonah, national leader of the Russian-rooted Orthodox Church in America. At the conference, the speakers and attendees examined how unity might actually take shape: Many … [Read more...]

Patriarch Kirill’s birthday greetings to Metropolitan Jonah

Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia congratulates the Primate of the Orthodox Church in America on his 50th birthday. Source: Moscow Patriarchate. Your Beatitude, Beloved Brother and Concelebrant in the Lord: I wholeheartedly greet and congratulate you on the your 50th birthday. On this day, I lift up an ardent prayer to God for you and remember with warmth the moments of our fraternal fellowship during your official visit to the Russian Orthodox Church, which enabled us to experience once again the spiritual and historical kindred of our two Churches. Your jubilee is a feast not only for the Orthodox Church in America but also for the Moscow Patriarchate tied with the life of the American Orthodox by historical bonds. May the Lord Who has place on you the heavy burden of primatial service of the Orthodox Church in America bless your primatial efforts and multiply and strengthen your God-loving flock. I prayerfully wish you good health and inexhaustible … [Read more...]

Report: Anglicans and OCA to work for unity

Update: (10/11) Ancient Faith Radio has the audio from, “In the Footsteps of Tikhon and Grafton - Anglican and Orthodox Identity, Ministry and Mission in the 21th Century,” the Anglican-Orthodox Conference featuring discussions and addresses by representatives of St. Vladimir's Seminary and Nashotah House. Listen here. The History of Anglican/Orthodox Relations Fr. Stephen Platt moderated and the speakers were Fr. Chad Hatfield and Fr. Arnold Klukas. Anglican/Orthodox Enculturation Mrs. Glynn Mackoul moderated and the speakers were Fr. William Olnhausen and Fr. Jack Gabig. Bishops and Mission Fr. Chad Hatfield moderated and the speakers were Bishop Melchizedek and Bishop Frank Lyons. Anglican/Orthodox Theological Training Fr. Arnold Klukas moderated and the speakers were Fr. Chad Hatfield and Dean Munday The Future of Anglican and Orthodox Relations Both Deans moderated and the speakers were Archbishop William Duncan and Metropolitan … [Read more...]

The One Thing Needful

Archpastoral Message of His Beatitude, Metropolitan Jonah at the Beginning of the Ecclesiastical Year. September 1, 2009 To the Venerable Hierarchs, Reverend Clergy, Monastics and Faithful of the Orthodox Church in America The Lord said: The Spirit of the LORD is upon Me, Because He has anointed Me To preach the gospel to the poor; He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted, To proclaim liberty to the captives And recovery of sight to the blind, To set at liberty those who are oppressed; To proclaim the acceptable year of the LORD." Luke 4:18f. Dearly Beloved in Christ: The Blessing of the Lord be upon you! As we celebrate the Church's New Year, we meditate on the Gospel for this day, where the Lord went to Nazareth and was handed the Scriptures, and read the above. He then said, "Today this Scripture is fulfilled in your hearing." The question we have to ask ourselves is, How is this fulfilled in my life? How have I entered into the Lord's ministry, … [Read more...]

A Word for Parents

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The Anti-Gnostic reports on a lecture given by Metropolitan Jonah of the Orthodox Church in America last night at Atlanta's Greek Orthodox Cathedral of the Annunciation. Asked what advice [Metropolitan Jonah] would give parish priests, he again quoted a Russian father who told parents to pray for their children ten times as much as they speak to them. This prayer will become contagious through the community. His former abbot has prescribed a rule of two hours daily private prayer for the brothers in addition to their four to six hours of public prayer and worship. He recommended all Orthodox study the Divine Liturgy of St. Basil, as in really read it, take notes, get a commentary and track down the Scripture references, etc. He called it the sum of all Orthodox dogma. … [Read more...]

Orthodoxy and Obama’s conscience clause

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A friend sent me an email earlier today. Search Google, he said, with the terms conscience rule obama catholic bishops and conscience rule obama orthodox bishops and then compare the two. Not very impressive. (Actually, the AOI blog article on Abp. Demetrios' awkward praise of Pres. Obama ranks first in Google, but that's beside the point.) It got me to thinking. If there is ever a need for Orthodox unity, the time is now. The authority of the Orthodox moral tradition far exceeds our numbers, but that authority has to be exercised. As long as we remain disunited our voice is muted and the culture does not receive the direction it needs. The Catholic Bishops understand this, just as they understand that the life issues are a matter of not only personal life and death, but cultural life and death. That is why they are ready to use their authority to clarify these issues and, if necessary, offer moral resistance. It is time for us to step up too. Apart from the GOA, the … [Read more...]