April 15, 2014

Catholic Online: Metropolitan Jonah of the Orthodox Church in America Suddenly Resigns His Office: Why?

catholic-online-logo-150x150

Unbeknownst to most Orthodox, Met. Jonah was the voice of Orthodoxy in the other Christian communions. His words reached into Baptist meetings, Episcopal assemblies, even the Vatican. He traveled these halls effortlessly because he held to the simple teaching of the Gospel but in the fullness of the Orthodox moral tradition. That enabled him to be heard by our non-Orthodox brethren and strengthen them at the same time for he was able to impart a depth and wisdom that many were looking for but had yet to discover. Met. Jonah's successes, as well as the genuine fondness and respect shown him by Christians of other communions, shows us that Orthodoxy can speak to the larger culture and that it has some very important things to say. It also shows, as his forced retirement this week makes clear, that the afflictions borne by other other communions afflict us as well. From the article: There is another element in this which is of immediate importance, and directly follows on … [Read more...]

Get Religion: Covering Warfare in a Byzantine Maze – Literally

jonah-596x321

Terry Mattingly’s advice for journalists about the coup in the OCA. A key quote: Of course, it is “politics” when an Orthodox leader defends the church’s doctrines in public. It is not “politics” when liberal activists inside the church work to silence the voice of the church, while quietly lobbying in seminaries and elsewhere to redefine those same doctrines. H/T FrJohnPeck.org Source: Get Religion | By Terry Mattingly It goes without saying that I have received quite a bit of email from GetReligion readers, and others, wanting to know my take on last Friday’s resignation, and now the ongoing humiliation, of Metropolitan JONAH of the Orthodox Church in America. In a way, this news was rather shocking, yet not all that shocking because the bitter infighting between the OCA’s old guard and its idealistic young leader has been building for more than a year. If you need a refresher course on the borders of this truly Byzantine scandal, then click here for the … [Read more...]

OCA Holy Synod of Bishops Expresses Solidarity with Coptic Church in Egypt

oca-logo-dec-11

Source: Orthodox Church in America The witness and mission of the Coptic Church in Egypt have their origin in apostolic times. Today, the Coptic Church of Egypt is the largest Christian Church in the Middle East. Under the leadership of His Holiness, Pope Shenouda, the Coptic Church is a dynamic and active Church, with significant and effective work in education, youth work, and social work. While the Coptic Church has experienced limitations to its work in the context of the Muslim majority of Egypt, the present time presents special challenges. In the midst of the changes in Egyptian political life during the last months, some of which are positive, there are aspects of current developments which make the Coptic Church vulnerable to discrimination and even violence. For this reason, the Lesser Synod of the Orthodox Church in America, under the chairmanship of His Beatitude Metropolitan Jonah, has issued a Statement of Support for the Coptic Church of Egypt. This … [Read more...]

OCANews.org: +Jonah Placed on Leave of Absence by Synod [CLOSED]

Metropolitan Jonah

This report is from OCANews.org and recently posted. Obviously there is a significant degree of tension between Syosset (OCA headquarters) and Met. Jonah. I don't know the ins and outs of the OCA, but it appears that this report, given the extensive detail, was probably prepared for publication before the suspension (the part beginning with "How Did This Happen?" reads as if it was carefully constructed and edited; it would have taken considerably more than a few hours to write). In any case, the story is taking shape. • Fate of Fr. Garklavs, Chancellor, as yet unconfirmed According to a report from Geneva on the Greek website Romofea.org late last evening, citing “exclusive information” from unamed sources, Metropolitan Jonah has been removed as the Primate, and Archbishop Nathaniel has been named Temporary Administrator by the OCA Synod of Bishops. Earlier in the day the retired Bishop of Los Angeles, Tikhon posted a … [Read more...]

Moscow granted authocephaly to the Czech and Slovak Orthodox Church, Constantinople later approved

An interesting fact just brought to my attention: Czech and Slovak Orthodox Church was first granted autocephaly by Moscow and only later was the autocephaly accepted by Constantinople. Constantinople's claim that Moscow had no authority to grant autocephaly is inconsistent with its own practice it appears. From the Wikipedia article on the Czech and Slovak Orthodox Church: After World War II the Orthodox Church in Czechoslovakia began its recovery without its beloved bishop. On December 9, 1951, the Patriarch of Moscow granted autocephaly to the Orthodox Church of Czechoslovakia, though this action was not recognized by Constantinople, which regarded the Czechoslovakian church as being autonomous under its authority. The Patriarch of Constantinople later granted a tomos of autocephaly on August 27, 1998. … [Read more...]

Rod Dreher: How to govern a Church: a case study

Rod Dreher

I want to contrast the way the institutional Catholic Church is struggling to deal with its problem bishops, versus the way the Orthodox Church in America (my church) has done it recently. It shouldn’t be necessary to say this, but I probably need to: this is not an argument for why Orthodoxy is more true than Catholicism. It is only a comment about administration. A church is both a human and a divine institution. Because of its human element, there will always be sin among its people, including its leadership. As the famous saying goes, if you find a perfect church, join it, but know that the minute you yourself walk in the door, it will cease to be perfect any longer. It is hopelessly unrealistic to expect that the clergy of any church will always be free from sin. What matters is how those in authority deal with that sin once they become aware of it. The Catholic scandal is not really over priests molesting children, but over bishops who became aware of it refusing to deal … [Read more...]

Fr. Steven Kostoff: Reflection on Archbishop Job – A witness to the truth

Fr. Steven Kostoff

Fr. Steven Kostoff asks, why wasn't Bp. Job's courageous stand for the truth during the OCA's recent time of trial acknowled at his funeral? His Eminence, Archbishop Job of Chicago and the Midwest fell asleep in the Lord on Friday, December 18.  His funeral services were held in Chicago on December 22 & 23, and he was buried in Black Lick, PA on Saturday, December 26.  Thus, we have lost an able archpastor who served us well in the Diocese of the Midwest. This was during a time of great distress throughout the entire Orthodox Church in America, when we were forced to come to terms with a "Church scandal" that exceeded the boundaries of the merely "financial."  I have no intention of rehearsing the facts of that story beyond what would be essential here, as I offer a personal assessment as to how I now understand the role of Archbishop Job in serving the Church throughout this "time of troubles."  I believe that his role was essential, decisive, and yet painful for him … [Read more...]

In Memoriam: His Eminence Archbishop Job, Archbishop of Chicago and the Midwest

Archbishop Job

Posted 12/18 SYOSSET, NY [OCA Communications] -- On Friday, December 18, 2009, His Eminence, Archbishop Job of Chicago and the Midwest unexpectedly fell asleep in the Lord. His Eminence, Archbishop Job was born Richard John Osacky in Chicago on March 18, 1946. He completed university studies at Northern Illinois University and, after graduating from Saint Tikhon Seminary, South Canaan, PA, in 1970, he served as cantor and youth director at Saint John the Baptist Church in Black Lick, Pennsylvania. He assumed responsibilities in leading Divine Services in the prescribed manner for readers, conducting religious education and youth work, and painting icons. It was his extraordinary affinity with Orthodox youth that gained him the recognition of the Church at large. In 1973 Reader John was ordained to the holy diaconate and consequently to the holy priesthood by Bishop Theodosius of Pittsburgh [later Metropolitan Theodosius of All American and Canada]. He was assigned to the … [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...]

SCOBA’s Fr. Arey on Chambesy

On the Orthodox Christian Network, Fr. Mark Arey, the General Secretary of the Standing Conference of the Canonical Orthodox Bishops in the Americas (SCOBA), discusses the Fourth Pre-Conciliar Pan-Orthodox Conference that met in Chambésy, Switzerland, in June, in an interview with Fr. Chris Metropulos. "If we're serious, really serious about Orthodox unity, well my friends, we have to do the hard work and put it together," says Fr. Arey. "You can't just snap your fingers and everybody says each bishop can have his own title and then we're done." Fr. Arey talks about SCOBA's future, in light of the move toward a new episcopal assembly, and how that would affect current governance of American Orthodoxy. "It's easy to talk about Orthodox unity when you don't have to actually do it," Fr. Arey says. Listen: From the Chambesy announcement on the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese Web site: Acting as formal representatives of the Autocephalous Churches, the members of the … [Read more...]

Antiochian monasticism speaks to the current crisis…

From the Ochlophobist (one who has an aversion to crowds) website: The following is very important. It was written by Archim. Touma, who is said to be the most influential monastic under Antioch. He is Athonite in spirituality, he leads the most traditional monastery under the Holy Synod of Antioch, and he does not normally comment on ecclesio-political matters. Highlight: And what is to be said about the canonical disorders that we’re up to our ears in over there? The situation of all the Orthodox eparchies dependent on mother churches in North America is uncanonical. There is one Orthodox church in those lands whose situation is sound and canonical: the American Orthodox Church (OCA). This alone is independent and autocephalous and this is de-facto recognized by the other Orthodox eparchies. Its recognition, formal or implicit, by the eparchies depending on mother churches is clear and frank confirmation that the status of these eparchies is uncanonical and unsound. If … [Read more...]

OCA Holy Synod reestablishes Diocese of Washington and Diocese of New York-New Jersey – Orthodox Church in America

July 2, 2009 SYOSSET, NY [OCA Communications] -- On July 1, 2009, the Holy Synod of Bishops of the Orthodox Church in America met via teleconference, during which they reestablished, as separate dioceses, the Diocese of Washington and the Diocese of New York-New Jersey. Declaring the Diocese of New York-New Jersey vacant, the hierarchs appointed His Beatitude, Metropolitan Jonah, to serve as Locum Tenens. The Holy Synod of Bishops also decided that His Beatitude's title, effective immediately, is "Archbishop of Washington, Metropolitan of All America and Canada." An official notification of these changes will be issued by the Holy Synod of Bishops shortly. … [Read more...]