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OCANews: News from Across the OCA

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  • Nina Tkachuk Dimas
    http://www.ocanews.org/news/NewsFromAcrosstheOCA1.4.10.html   1.4.10 News From Across The OCA   Chicago, IL • OCA.org has posted under the Metropolitan s
    Message 1 of 2 , Jan 4, 2010

      News From Across The OCA
      Chicago, IL
      • OCA.org has posted under the Metropolitan's titles, but not officially announced as yet, that the Metropolitan has assumed the title of  "Locum Tenens of the Diocese of the Midwest". This is in addition to his duties as Metropolitan, Archbishop of  the Diocese of Washington DC, and three other Sees he is currently tending as Locum Tenens (New York and New Jersey, South and the Bulgarian Diocese).

      Syosset, NY
      The Chancery has undergone several personnel changes for the new year.
      • In light of the departure of Fr. Andrew Jarmus, former Director of Communication and Ministries, Fr. John Matusiak has assumed the title of Media Coordinator, in addition to his duties as the Managing Editor of  The Orthodox Church. 
      • Fr Dennis Swencki will no longer be the Comptroller of the OCA, but will function as an Assistant to the Treasurer.  He will work at the Chancery 2 days a week, assisting the treasurer with financial reporting in addition to coordinating FOS, appeals, and financial development.
      • Following the departure of Archdeacon Kyrill Sokolov for a new position in California, Protodeacon Joseph Matusiak has become the Metropolitan’s Deacon. He will also temporarily assist in coordinating some department work for the Chancery. He will continue to reside in Chicago.

       • Mr. Frank Tkacz is no longer the manager of OCPC, as this position has been discontinued due to the recently announced reorganization of OCPC with SVS Press.
      In other news from Syosset:
      • The Metropolitan has offered a video explanation of why he signed the Manhattan Declaration on a private website. You can see it here.
      Anchorage, AK
      Following liturgy at St. Innocent Cathedral on December 20, 2009, a benefit luncheon was held to assist former diocesan Bishop Nikolai (Soraich) with his medical expenses. The Bishop has publicly stated that he suffers from an aggressive prostrate cancer. Informed sources have told OCANews.org that the Bishop has agreed to drop all legal actions against the OCA (past, present and future). It is expected that should the Serbian Church request his release to their jurisdiction, the OCA will agree to the release.
      •South Canaan, PA
      Applications are now being accepted until February 15th for the office of Dean of St. Tikhon's Seminary, which will become vacant June 1, 2010, following the consecration of the current Dean, Fr. Michael Dahulich, as the Bishop of New York in May, 2010.
      The Dean is described as "the chief operating officer of the seminary and manages and supervises the seminary's spiritual, educational, communal, financial, and legal activities on a daily basis. He also represents the seminary before all agencies -- ecclesiastical, educational and civil -- to which it is accountable."
      Members of the Search Committee include Bishop Tikhon of Philadelphia and Eastern Pennsylvania, Chairman; Mr. Michael Herzak, Vice-Chairman; Frs. Yaroslav Sudick, Joseph Martin, Theodore Boback, and Daniel Kovalak; Dr. Christopher Veniamin; Subdeacon Nicholas Blick; Ms. Leda Dzwonczyk and Mr. Kory Warr.
      -Mark Stokoe

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    • Nina Tkachuk Dimas
      http://www.ocanews.org/news/News3.28.11.html News From Across the OCA • Syosset, NY   Archpriest Eric G. Tosi, OCA Secretary, was quoted in an OCA press
      Message 2 of 2 , Mar 29, 2011

        News From Across the OCA
        • Syosset, NY
        Archpriest Eric G. Tosi, OCA Secretary, was quoted in an OCA press release on
        Friday, March 25, 2011,“that the work of the Church, especially with regard to
        the Holy Synod of Bishops, continues uninterrupted. There is no doubt that we
        are facing challenging times, countless rumors, and less-than-accurate accounts
        of Church life at this time.” The OCA announced that the Synod of Bishops will
        meet May 2-4, 2011, while the Metropolitan Council will gather May 4-6. Both
        meetings will take place at the Diocese of the Midwest’s Center in Chicago. The
        OCA describes the agenda as concerning “ongoing internal issues”.

        • Dallas, Texas
        The “countless rumurs, and less-than-accurate accounts of Church life” center on
        the conspiracy theories at the anonymous website, OCATruth.com, which continues
        to promulgate the idea that Metropolitan Jonah is not being held accountable for
        his actions (or inactions) by the Synod, but rather is the “victim” of a massive
        “conspiracy” by the Synod, the Metropolitan Council, unidentified leftists, gays
        and feminists on the East and West Coast, etc., all determined to prevent the
        Metropolitan from speaking out “in the public square” so as to facilitate the
        changing of the teachings of the Orthodox Church regarding social issues of the
        day, most notably, abortion and homosexuality. +Jonah’s supporters at
        OCATruth.com offer no evidence for these assertions, just ad hominem attacks,
        amid continuing cries for clergy and laity to “Rise Up” against the “plot”. In
        three weeks some 100 lay men and women have signed the “I support +Jonah” tab on
        the site, mainly from +Jonah’s present and former Cathedrals in DC and Dallas;
        while less than 20 OCA clergy, almost all from the Diocese of the South, have
        put their names to a parallel clergy tab.
        The “conspiracy” theory, like a Mexican Telenovella, with its scores of villans
        and beleagured “hero”, has now taken yet another turn. According to OCATruth,
        which published, and then took down the following article this past week, +Jonah
        is now in danger of being “outflanked”.

        The latest "conspiracy" by unnamed Bishops reads:
        “Outflanking +Jonah
        via OCA Truth by Muzhik on 3/24/11
        The following e-mail went out to priests of the Southwest Deanery of the Diocese
        of the South:
        To: SW Deanery List
        Sent: Thu, Mar 24, 2011 10:18 am
        Subject: [Swdeanery] Nominations for Bishop
        Brother Concelebrants of the Southwest Deanery,
        The nomination committee of the Diocese of the South is being strongly urged by
        two bishops on the Holy Synod to move ahead on nominating candidates to fill the
        vacant post of bishop for the DOS.
        The committee, which is the Diocesan Council, will have a conference call this
        coming Monday to discuss the matter.
        I trust that we all have been praying for God’s provision of a faithful bishop
        to shepherd His flock in the DOS.
        If any of you wish to discuss this matter with one another on this list, put
        forward names for consideration by the committee, and so for, now is the time.
        May God grant us his wisdom to discern the man He has called for this ministry.
        Love in Christ,
        Priest Justin Frederick, Dean
        This is interesting. While the DOS really needs a bishop, it is striking to me
        that two bishops on the Synod have a strange new interest in the urgency of
        filling that post. Wonder why? There has been some wishful speculation lately
        among the faithful of the DOS that His Beatitude might be willing to leave the
        primatial role and return to Dallas, where he is loved, to serve as the DOS
        bishop. Don’t get me wrong, I have heard nothing from my sources indicating that
        this might even be a possibility. It’s just the thinking of laity who love His
        Beatitude and want him to live and to work where he is loved and valued.
        I told someone just last night that the Synod would never let that happen,
        because they would see +Jonah in the South as a threat to them. Call me cynical,
        but I interpret the renewed interest in these two unnamed bishops in getting
        someone named to the DOS episcopate, especially while HB is sidelined on his
        retreat, as an attempt to close off the possibility that +Jonah might establish
        a Southern stronghold. These two bishops — who do you think they are? — are
        trying hard to outflank +Jonah. Under these suspicious conditions, the
        episcopate of the South could be a poisoned chalice.”
        In fact, the Diocese of the South has been vacant for almost two years: in that
        same time the vacant Diocese of the Midwest has searched, nominated and elected
        a bishop; the Bulgarian Diocese has searched, selected candidates, and scheduled
        a nominating assembly; and the Diocese of Alaska, which has yet to officially
        announce its candidates, has scheduled a nominating assembly and even a
        consecration date for its new hierarch following the Seattle AAC in November
        2011. The question, it would appear, is not why the Synod has a sudden“new
        interest in the urgency of filling that post”; but why has +Jonah, the
        Metropolitan and locum tenens of the South for the past two years felt none?
        Meanwhile, the anonymously-authored site has posted a disclaimer that it has
        nothing to do with Metropolitan Jonah, even as it calls for people to “defend”
        him, in this “moment of crisis”. The disclaimer reads:

        “This site was initiated and is currently run by a group of laymen. Other than
        what has been sent to us after the site and email address were initially set up
        (i.e. letters, emails, suggestions, etc.), none of the content on this site has
        been blessed or commissioned by clergy. Metropolitan Jonah has not been
        consulted or interviewed regarding anything on this site, nor has he offered the
        site any suggestions or information. Though this site supports him as the
        Primate of the OCA, it is in no way affiliated with Metropolitan Jonah.”
        In short, rebellious clergy have anything to do with the site - except for the
        suggestions and emails they send.
        • Washington DC
        Meanwhile, in another act of defiance, Metropolitan Jonah tonsured a nun to the
        Great Schema this past week for what its literature describes as “....the newly
        established Orthodox Community in Washington DC, The Entrance of the Holy
        Theotokos into the Temple.” +Jonah’s continuing involvement with the nuns is
        sure to be a topic at the next Synod meeting, as is his continuing support. (The
        “community” is presently housed in buildings belonging to Jonah’s Washington
        Cathedral.)  Based on a recent investigation and report by Bishop Michael of New
        York in a related matter, the Synod had already agreed not to accept the nuns
        into the OCA. ( They are presently canonically dependent on a monastery in
        Greece, from which their local Bishop has refused to release them .) Moreover,
        the Synod had already explicitly refused to bless the establishment of a new
        convent in DC for them.
        • Ottawa, Canada
        Fr. Mirone Klysh has resigned from the Synodal Investigative Commission charged
        with the internal OCA investigation of allegations against Archbishop Seraphim.
        In a strongly worded letter to Metropolitan Jonah, Fr. Klysh, an OCA Romanian
        priest and instructor at the St. Arseny Orthodox Christian Theological Institute
        in Winnipeg objected to the Metropolitan’s recent dismissal of Fr. Garklavs. Fr.
        Klysh, it is reported, questioned the purpose of any priest serving on a
        commission if so doing only results in one’s dismissal.
        The Synodal Investigative Commission was formed by the OCA’s Synod of Bishops on
        October 13, 2010, in accordance with the Policies, Standards, and Procedure of
        the Orthodox Church of America on Sexual Misconduct, adopted by the Synod of
        Bishops in 2003. The remaining members of the Commission include four other
        Canadians: Archpriest Richard Hawrish, a practicing attorney, Dr. Lila Amirali,
        MD, Dr. Thomas Kolivakis MD and Mr. David Grier, a former member of the
        Metropolitan Council.

        The Archbishop, currently on a Leave of Absence, is awaiting trial in Winnepeg
        on two counts of Sexual Assault. No firm trial date has been announced.

        • Toledo, OH
        As mentioned earlier, and almost unnoticed amid the recent turmoil surrounding
        +Jonah, the Bulgarian Diocese announced on March 5th the names of two candidates
        to replace the late Archbishop Kyrill. In August 2010, 22 possible episcopal
        candidates, nominated from the Diocese and the Synod, were reviewed and a short
        list of eight names created by the Diocesan Search Committee. After a second
        review, the Committee, composed of 5 priests, a deacon, and two laymen, reduced
        the list to six names, all of whom were contacted. The Committee’s final two
        choices will be presented for nomination at a Diocesan Congress-Sobor to be held
        in July 2011 at Saint Nicholas Church, Fort Wayne, IN. The candidates are:
        • Archpriest Paul Gassios. A 1994 graduate of Saint Vladimir’s Seminary, Father
        Paul served as a priest in the OCA Diocese of the Midwest for almost 12 years in
        Kokomo, IN and St. Louis, MO. During this time, Fr. Paul, a celibate priest,
        developed an ongoing relationship with Saint Gregory Palamas Monastery,
        Perrysville, OH. In 2007, he was transferred into the Bulgarian Diocese and was
        assigned to Saint George Cathedral, Toledo, OH, where he serves today. Fr. Paul
        was recently one of the finalists in the search process for the Midwest Diocese.
        • Archimandrite Alexander Golitzin. A graduate of St. Vladimir’s, Fr. Alexander,
        received his D. Phil.at Oxford University in England under His Eminence,
        Metropolitan Kallistos [Ware]. During this time, he also spent two years in
        Greece, including one year at Simonos Petras Monastery on Mount Athos. He was
        ordained to the diaconate in January 1982 and to the priesthood in 1984. In
        1986, he was tonsured to monastic orders.. In 1989, he took a full time teaching
        position in the Theology Department of Marquette University, a position which he
        continues to hold.

        - Mark Stokoe

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