July 28, 2014

It Is Time To Be Direct

An interview published in the Russian language Blagovest-Info on April 28, 2009. Highlight: Blagovest-Info: During the six months you have occupied the chair of the Archbishop of Washington, you had to prove yourself a leader unafraid of expressing your stance, even if, to some, it may seem not to be politically correct. Suffice it to recall your recent speech in Dallas. To what extent, in your opinion, should directness and diplomacy be combined among hierarchs? +Jonah: I think it is time to be direct. We can be politically correct, but we will be buried. Can we afford to play Byzantine political games, in which they simply do not take us into account? And I want my voice to be heard in the upcoming discussions concerning the problem of the Orthodox Diaspora. I do not want to offend anyone - especially the Ecumenical Patriarch, - but I want my Church’s position to be heard and acknowledged. It is essential that we participate in decisions regarding our fate." HT: Orthodox … [Read more...]

Patriarch Kirill welcomes Metropolitan Jonah in Moscow

Metropolitan Jonah (left) and Patriarch Kirill in Moscow

Official statement from the Moscow Patriarchate (HT: Byzantine, TX, and Rocor United): On the 26th of April 2009, Metropolitan Jonah of the Orthodox Church in America served liturgy with Patriarch Kirill at Christ the Savior Cathedral. The Patriarch then addressed Metropolitan Jonah with the following words: Your Eminence Jonah, Archbishop of Washington and New York, Metropolitan of all America and Canada, beloved in Christ brother and co-celebrant! Wise bishops and priests! Dear brothers and sisters! Christ is Risen! It brings me great joy to greet the delegation of the Orthodox Church in America headed by His Eminence Vladyka Jonah during these bright Paschal days. In your first official visit as a newly-chosen primate, which you are making to the Moscow Patriarchate, you have emphasized the special interrelation of American Orthodoxy with its Mother Church. This relation, filled with a spirit of love and unity, truly can be characterized by the words of the apostle, “One … [Read more...]

Met. Gerasimos blasts Met. Jonah for “persecuting” the Church of Constantinople

Metropolitan Gerasimos of San Francisco (GOA)

In what can only be described as a radical restructuring of an increasingly public discussion, Met. Gerasimos (GOA, San Francisco) blasts Met. Jonah (OCA) for his recent criticism of the address by Fr. Elpidophoros Lambriniadis at Holy Cross Seminary last month. In the address, Fr. Elpidophoros laid out the rationale for submission of all American Orthodox Christians to Constantinople in what can be generously described as exclusively ethnic terms. Met. Gerasimos addresses none of Met. Jonah's criticisms or Fr. Elpidophoros' rationale. Instead, Met. Gerasimos frames the discussion in terms of the "persecution" of the Constantinopolitan Church, which, he contends, "...has shown us that the Ecumenical Patriarchate must now concern itself not only with attacks by those outside the Church, but also from within the Church, as well." No mention is made of the historical and canonical claims made by Fr. Elpidophoros. Neither does Met. Gerasimos address the worldwide resistance to … [Read more...]

Metropolitan Jonah apologizes for ‘uncharitable’ remarks directed at Ecumenical Patriarch

From the Orthodox Church in America Web site. Posted April 17: Metropolitan Jonah issues statement on recent sermon SYOSSET, NY [OCA Communications] -- On Great, Holy and Good Friday, April 17, 2009, His Beatitude, Metropolitan Jonah, Primate of the Orthodox Church in America, issued the following statement in response to recent commentary on his April 5, 2009 sermon, delivered at Saint Seraphim Cathedral, Dallas, TX. "I greet you in a spirit of repentance and forgiveness as we celebrate the Passion of our Lord Jesus Christ. Certain comments that were made in the course of my sermon have provoked a reaction from my Orthodox brothers that I did not intend or foresee. I regret making those comments. In particular, I realize that some characterizations regarding the Ecumenical Patriarch and the Patriarchate of Constantinople were insensitive. As the Primate of the Orthodox Church in America, I am motivated only by the desire to underscore our fervent hope that future discussion … [Read more...]

Metropolitan Jonah: on the occasion of the great feast of the Lord’s Pascha, 2009

Archpastoral Message of His Beatitude, Metropolitan Jonah, on the occasion of the great feast of the Lord's Pascha, 2009 Posted 04/13 Christ is Risen! Indeed He is Risen! To the Very Reverend and Reverend Clergy, Monastics, and Faithful of The Orthodox Church in America Dearly Beloved in Christ, Beloved, let us greet one another with Paschal Joy, and exchange the kiss of peace. Let us feast soberly, that our joy may be full. Let us not stuff ourselves to satiety with feasting, nor indulge our passions to insensibility. Most of all, let us not give ourselves over to the darkness of the fallen world from which we have sought to purify ourselves, lack of forgiveness, anger and judgment, bitterness and hatred. … [Read more...]

Transcription of Met. Jonah’s Speech on Orthodoxy Unity in America

Metropolitan Jonah

Sermon delivered at St. Seraphim Orthodox Cathedral in Dallas, Texas on April 5, 2009. It is a great joy to see everybody here this evening from so many different communities, from different traditions. Orthodoxy is a celebration of diversity in unity, and unity in diversity. Our unity is in our one Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, and our one Orthodox faith and our one commitment to living the truth, to living as Christians. Not to live according the spirit of the world, not to live according to our passions, not to live according to the desires that flit by through our minds and lead us into all sorts of trouble, but to live the truth, to live Orthodox. And, our diversity is something we celebrate, not a diversity of lifestyles, but a diversity that reflects the whole spectrum of our community, people of all races, people of all colors, people from a multitude of different ethnic backgrounds. … [Read more...]

Met. Jonah to Old World bishops: Hands Off the American Church!

In a stinging rebuke to the Ecumenical Patriarchate, Metropolitan Jonah of the Orthodox Church in America issued a call for a unified American Church and rejected any path to unity that would mean "we surrender the freedom we have embraced as American Orthodox Christians to a patriarchate still under Islamic domination." The video here records his sermon on April 5 at Pan-Orthodox vespers at St. Seraphim Cathedral in Dallas. Although he did not mention him by name, the Metropolitan was responding to a speech given March 16 at Holy Cross School of Theology by the Very Reverend Archimandrite Dr. Elpidophoros Lambriniadis, chief secretary of the Holy Synod of the Ecumenical Patriarchate. In the speech, Fr. Lambriniadis was critical of calls for unity by both the Antiochian Orthodox Archdiocese and OCA and asserted that "submission to the First Throne of the Church, that is, to the Ecumenical Patriarchate" is the proper mode of unity for American Orthodox Christians. To such a … [Read more...]

Achieving Orthodox Unity

pentecost

Fr. Gleb McFatter, who pastors St. Demetrius Orthodox Church in Naples, Florida offered the following homily at the Sunday of Orthodoxy Vespers. Highlight: Orthodox unity will only be achieved when the laity, parish priests and monastics lovingly unify themselves and exhibit that unity to the hierarchs. One thing those of us in the Orthodox Church in America (OCA) have learned from our recent "times of trouble" is that only when the discontent among the laity, parish priests and monastics rose to a fever pitch — only then were the hierachs moved to action. Imagine what could be accomplished if that same level of energy was focused on achieving unity among those at the parish and monastic level! … [Read more...]

Met. Jonah’s 2009 Lenten message

On Feb. 28, Metropolitan Jonah, the head of the Orthodox Church in America, posted the following message: Repent, for the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand! To the Very Reverend and Reverend Clergy, Monastics and Faithful of the Orthodox Church in America Dearly Beloved in the Lord: Christ is in our midst! Our Church has gone through a tragic and bitter episode in her history. Many souls suffered shipwreck, demoralized by the sins of a few. That is over. But the lingering bitterness and mistrust, resentment and desire for retribution, hang over us. We must heal this, both on an individual as well as corporate level. The only way to do this is repentance, using this season of repentance to make changes in our lives, cleanse our hearts and minds, and embrace the hope that can only be grasped by forgiveness. Unless we forgive others from our hearts, we cannot accept God's forgiveness for our own sins. Every time we criticize, judge, condemn or despise another person, no … [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...]

Theophany of Our Lord

The Theophany

From the OCA site: Troparion - Tone 1 When You, O Lord were baptized in the Jordan The worship of the Trinity was made manifest For the voice of the Father bore witness to You And called You His beloved Son. And the Spirit, in the form of a dove, Confirmed the truthfulness of His word. O Christ, our God, You have revealed Yourself And have enlightened the world, glory to You! Kontakion - Tone 4 Today You have shown forth to the world, O Lord, and the light of Your countenance has been marked on us. Knowing You, we sing Your praises. You have come and revealed Yourself, O unapproachable Light. Christmas Message of the Locum Tenens of the Patriarchal Throne Metropolitan Kirill of Smolensk and Kaliningrad to the Archpastors, Pastors, Monastics and All Faithful Children of the Russian Orthodox Church: Beloved in the Lord my brethren archpastors, honourable presbyters, pious deacons, God-loving monks and nuns and all faithful children of the Russian Orthodox Church. … [Read more...]

Mattingly on Met. Jonah

In "Orthodox bishop on hot spot," Terry Mattingly looks at the improbable rise of Metropolitan Jonah -- in the span of about 10 days -- from newly consecrated assistant bishop of Dallas to head of the Orthodox Church in America. Snip: If nationwide change is going to happen, said Jonah, it will have to grow out of respect and cooperation at all levels of the church. "Hierarchy is only about responsibility, it's not all of this imperial nonsense," he said. "Thank God that we're Americans and we have cast that off. We don't need foreign despots. We are the only non-state Orthodox church. In other words, we are the only Orthodox church that does not exist under the thumb of a state -- either friendly or hostile. "So the church is our responsibility, personally and collectively, individually and corporately. What are you going to do with it?" … [Read more...]