Metropolitan of OCA resigns!


#1

:eek:

chicagotribune.com/news/local/breaking/chi-american-orthodox-church-leader-resigns-unexpectedly-20120709,0,6075497.story


#2

What a great humility.


#3

I’ve contemplated on this and even though I was shocked at first, I realize this is how the hierarchy in the Orthodox Church works. If this was the Catholic Church, it would have been the Pope who would have moved the bishop. In this case the Metropolitan, in consultation with the Synod of the OCA, came to a decision to resign.


#4

Yeah. I agree. After initial shock I have come to view this as a great display of humility.
God bless him!


#5

From what we can gather from the outside, it was a little more complicated than a simple resignation. The OCA has had its woes over the last few years, including a financial scandal, and this doesn’t necessarily help the healing process.

There are mixed emotions across the OCA and general Orthodox communities about this development. We hope to hear from some of our regular and reliable Orthodox contributors on CAF on this subject.

In the meantime, we pray for the Orthodox Church in America and hope that the Holy Spirit guides those responsible for the welfare of this Church.


#6

I listened to him at the Pro-Life rally in DC, along with addressing other Christian issues also. I liked him, prayers are with him.


#7

I have nothing to add, except my prayers are with him.


#8

Same here.


#9

Just as he was about to come do some ordinations for us (thankfully we still have Bishop Irene coming).

I always liked Metropolitan Jonah, but I also always got the sense that he was unhappy. He was basically thrust into the position in order to be a clean break from the corruption that had dogged the upper reaches of the church.

My prayers are with him.


#10

What corruption was going on? If you don’t mind me asking. Thanks.


#11

The whole financial scandal. It didn`t involve the bulk of the bishops, but they nonetheless elected Metropolitan Jonah largely because he was an outsider.


#12

There were some big dollars received as one or more donations (I don’t know) which was not properly recorded, and became a (sort of) expense account. So it was financial malfeasance, I would say.

I don’t know how complicated an issue it was, but it took a long time to get at the truth, then the synod forced the Metropolitan to resign.

I never paid attention to the details, so if the answer sounds vague, it is only because I never delved into it with any interest.


#13

Prayers for him, the rest of the OCA bishops, and the OCA.

I was lucky to be at a service he was presiding at. Unfortunately, though, I didn’t get to personally meet him. I hope his new assignment will be somewhere close to me so I can meet him at some point.


#14

The financial scandal from 05 to 08 (really the time frame in which it came to light and was dealt with) had to do with misappropriation of funds for personal use as well as shortfalls in areas where the money was needed but wasn’t supposed to go. The main bad guy was the church’s chancellor, Protopresbyter Robert S. Kondratick, but the real scandal was how he got away with it. He basically blackmailed a couple of guys that he would have otherwise been accountable to, and what he held over them was information pertaining to substance abuse and sexual impropriety. Most notably against Metr. Herman (gone in 08 and replaced by the subject of the OP) and Metr. Theodosius.

Metr. Jonah took the place of Herman just eleven days after becoming a bishop. In this speech, he addresses the problems that the OCA faced in recent years ancientfaith.com/specials/podup/oca15aac/bishop_jonah_addresses_questions and while he did not intend for it to be a reason for him to advance more quickly than is practical, that is what wound up happening. He actually did all right for awhile, but he ultimately wasn’t ready (nor had he ever planned to be ready) for everything that the position would throw at him.

This is the 32-page report of the internal investigation on the finance scandal. orthodoxleader.paradosis.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/05/sic_20110519_final.html It’s quite sad, and only time can tell if the problems are really fixed. Given the nature of the scandal, however, the OCA is hurting for leaders it can really trust and depend on long-term at the highest level.

Edit- I don’t know if this is even possible, but the US is a country in which the OCA is uniquely positioned to seek help from other Orthodox churches. In my mind, it would make sense for them to reach out to the Russian Orthodox in America (given their shared history and recent efforts at getting closer to each other) and maybe the Greek Orthodox just because it’s a strong church with the strongest Orthodox presence in America. I don’t know how much of it could actually happen or exactly what they could do, but I’d like to see them reach out to each other and use the scandal as an opportunity to work with each other.


#15

I don’t know if this is even possible, but the US is a country in which the OCA is uniquely positioned to seek help from other Orthodox churches. In my mind, it would make sense for them to reach out to the Russian Orthodox in America (given their shared history and recent efforts at getting closer to each other) and maybe the Greek Orthodox just because it’s a strong church with the strongest Orthodox presence in America. I don’t know how much of it could actually happen or exactly what they could do, but I’d like to see them reach out to each other and use the scandal as an opportunity to work with each other.

I’m not sure if the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America recognizes the ‘autocephaly’ of the OCA. The Patriarch of Constantinople doesn’t. Maybe some of our Orthodox brethren on the forums will shed some light on this. I’ve been reading up recently on which Orthodox churches recognize each other, and it seems a bit convoluted.

Makes me glad we have a Pope. :thumbsup:


#16

They are all in communion with one another. There may be some smaller splinter groups like the SSPX but generally not so bad.

The issue has to do with the Russian church unilaterally deciding to grant the American church autocephaly. The EP apparently thinks the act was irregular, but it is in fact accomplished. A minor squabble.

It does not affect day to day operations and members go from one jurisdiction to another easily.

All sacraments are valid, there is no problem accepting one another’s people at the table, and both churches are on board with the Chambésy initiative.

Why? :confused:


#17

They are all in communion with one another. There may be some smaller splinter groups like the SSPX but generally not so bad.
The issue has to do with the Russian church unilaterally deciding to grant the American church autocephaly. The EP apparently thinks the act was irregular, but it is in fact accomplished. A minor squabble.
It does not affect day to day operations and members go from one jurisdiction to another easily.
All sacraments are valid, there is no problem accepting one another’s people at the table, and both churches are on board with the Chambésy initiative.

Thank you for the clarification!

I’m glad that the Catholic Church has the Holy Father because he is the successor of Peter and there is a centralized living authority to resolve disputes, as opposed to a decentralized group of ‘equals.’


#18

They still recognize us as fully Orthodox. They have valid points and concerns regarding our autocephaly. Though it is a contradiction of terms, I’d say we have partial autocephaly.


#19

I don’t know why we have to get into polemics like this. We don’t have to deep dive into history to find many quarrels within the Catholic hierarchy despite the presence of the Pope. The SSPX is a very present example. And if we are to believe in the VatiLeaks, it seems there is also a power struggle in the Vatican today.

I spoke to an Eastern Catholic priest and told him I am wondering if should be Orthodox. He told me the grass is not greener on the other side, it just has different weeds. And the Orthodox priest I spoke to told me that no Church on earth is free from sickness. Let us avoid comments such as these because there is plenty of mud to sling at both sides.


#20

Something important to remember.

The answer should be based on where the truth lies, and not who has the least scandal.


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