Friday, March 29, 2013

Met. Tikhon, OCA Council provide update on Met. Jonah

I receive almost weekly emails asking after the status of Met. Jonah. Here is the most recent information from the minutes of the Spring Metropolitan Council meeting available here (PDF).

(OCA) - Metropolitan Tikhon delivered his attached report (vide infra) regarding all aspects of his ministry since his election at the 17th All-American Council in November 2012. He also provided an update on ongoing discussions with Metropolitan Jonah towards a final resolution of his status and future ministry within the OCA. Specifics of the financial settlement package for Metropolitan Jonah will be presented to the Council for approval later during this meeting. Extensive discussion concerning Metropolitan Jonah’s situation and other matters took place. The hierarchs stressed the Holy Synod’s pastoral concern for Metropolitan Jonah. In response to questions, the chancellor and hierarchs provided explanation on the development of policies on the transfer of unordained monastics as well as the vetting, nomination and election of episcopal candidates.

A financial package being offered to Metropolitan Jonah was presented and extensively discussed. It was suggested that eventually revenue from the cell tower could fund this package.

To approve a financial package for Metropolitan Jonah, including $1000 per month until age 65, full medical coverage for three years, assumption by the OCA of amounts owed by Metropolitan Jonah to the Diocese of the South, and moving expenses not to exceed $25,000. To recommend that the Holy Synod consider the impact on this package should Metropolitan Jonah leave the OCA and that general release and non-disparagement clauses be included in the agreement. CARRIED with 6 opposed (Tosi, Shimchick, Jury, Mikhalevsky, Ringa, Van Duyn).

Metropolitan Tikhon Notes: I need to spend some time in this report to address the situation of my predecessor, Metropolitan Jonah, with particular emphasis on developments since the last Metropolitan Council meeting in September of last year. At the Fall Session of the Holy Synod (October 9-11, 2012), the Holy Synod appointed me to enter into a process of negotiation with Metropolitan Jonah. The purpose of this negotiation was to arrive at a mutually acceptable resolution to his situation following his resignation as Primate of the OCA in July.

I was assisted in this process by a member of the Metropolitan Council who is an experienced mediator and both of us were assisted by the valuable and competent advice of our legal team. Beginning on October 19, 2012, we entered into a process of negotiation that would continue until November 12, on the eve of the All American Council in Parma. On that initial date, we met together with Metropolitan Jonah and his legal counsel in a neutral location for a full day of discussion.

The basic presupposition of the negotiation was contained in the phrasing of our opening question to Metropolitan Jonah: “Where would you like to be in five years and how can the Orthodox Church in America and its Holy Synod help you to get there?” This presupposition continues to be the basis for approaching this issue and it is the basis for the final proposal that has been offered to Metropolitan Jonah and which I would like to request formal approval from the Metropolitan Council for the financial component. This will take place later in this meeting.

Many options for Metropolitan Jonah were discussed, including various pastoral options and locations throughout the United States. We were unable to come to a resolution on that initial date or at any time in the following month. After my election, the Holy Synod presented a package to Metropolitan Jonah, where he would have a pastoral assignment in another diocese, complete with financial support and health insurance for a period of two years. This also was rejected by Metropolitan Jonah.

During this time, I was in conversation with members of the Russian Orthodox Church, including correspondence with Patriarch Kirill, and personal discussions with Metropolitan Hilarion (Alfeyev), Archbishop Justinian and Metropolitan Hilarion of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia. I mention this because one of the options under discussion was the possibility of a release of Metropolitan Jonah to another jurisdiction. This was his request at several points of our negotiation, but at this moment there has not been a request for his release from any jurisdiction.

In dialogue with the above mentioned members of the Russian Orthodox Church, we have come to a final proposal which would offer him an honorable situation and appropriate financial support. I believe that our Holy Synod has been very patient and very generous within the limits of what we can do as the Orthodox Church in America. The Holy Synod is asking the Metropolitan Council to give your approval to the specific financial package, which will be provided later.

I will end here and offer an opportunity for questions. But ultimately, the goal that each of us has is to strive for the love and grace of Christ and this is our common work for the glory of God.


  1. Choose wisely.............and well!

    I truly respect and appreciate all that Met. Jonah has done and tried to do for the OCA. Unfortunately the odds seem to have been against him. I hope he find a home of his choosing and the role he wants to play in the Orthodox Church whether OCA, ROCOR, Ukrainian or Russian Churches.

    My prayers are with you Brother Jonah!

  2. I think the OCA has been very patient with Metr. Jonah. He ws not suitable for the role of metropolitan. I like the way the OCA has been so open about reporting and I think it is treating Metr. Jonah fairly. Also I like seeing the truth in print: "at this moment there has not been a request for his release from any jurisdiction". I hope this puts to rest all the rumors that the ROCOR wanted him. I hope this is the end: he got a fair monthly stipend and a lot $25,000 for moving costs.

  3. As reported recently:

    Metropolitan Jonah (Paffhausen), former Primate of the Orthodox Church in
    America, is deliberated as potential candidate to succeed Archbishop Gabriel (de
    Vylder) as a Primate of the of the Patriarchal Exarchate for Orthodox Parishes
    of Russian Tradition in Western Europe our source at Rue Daru claims.

    His irrefutable advantages are experience in heading an Orthodox jurisdiction
    and acquaintance with Russian liturgical tradition. Being a convert is not a
    problem since two former Primates of the Exarchate were converts themselves. His
    reluctance against the Ecumenical Patriarchate seems to be the only one
    obstacle, however they were being successively over at trilateral consultations
    between Metropolitan Jonah, Metropolitan Emmanuel (Adamakis) - current locum
    tenens of the Exarchate, and Patriarch Bartholomew that were taking place at
    Chambesy last month. There are also no objections from Metropolitan Tikhon
    (Mollard), the current Primate of the Orthodox Church in America.

    The Patriarchal Exarchate for Orthodox Parishes of Russian Tradition in Western
    Europe is an exarchate of the Ecumenical Patriatchate of Russian Orthodox
    tradition, based in Paris, and having parishes throughout Europe, mainly
    centered in France. The Exarchate is sometimes known as Rue Daru from the street
    in Paris where its cathedral is located."

  4. You forgot to leave the source for the above story:'_Day

  5. This is the one from lsast year by the same practical joker.

    Press service of the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople has stated that the Ecumenical Patriarchate will temporarily acknowledge the autocephaly of the Orthodox Church in America. That decision will make the unification of Orthodoxy in the USA much faster.

    All existing structures of the Ecumenical Patriarchate in the USA and Canada (Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America, Ukrainian Orthodox Church in the USA, American Carpatho-Russian Orthodox Diocese, Albanian Orthodox Diocese of America, Vicariate for Palestinian/Jordanian Communities in the USA, Belarusian Council of Orthodox Churches in North America, Ukrainian Orthodox Church of Canada, Greek Orthodox Metropolis of Toronto and stauropigial institutions) will receive a metochia status and since Pascha 2012 Priests there start to commemorate Metropolitan JONAH during the services alongside their respective diocesan Hierarchs.

    The situation will be unique, because the metochias will outnumber the OCA's Parishes more than 8 times. However this will be a temporarily solution, to create a united American Orthodox Church.

    Other Churches that do not recognise OCA's autocephaly have not reacted yet.

  6. The comments about Rue Daru are an April Fools joke. Unfortunately, the OCA's $1000 per month offer is no prank. Metropolitan Jonah certainly deserves more money than that. I do not think the OCA is being generous at all.

  7. Thundercat,

    I am very surprised that Met. Jonah and his handful of supporters feel he is entitled to anything. In fact he should be paying back his salary since he did not provide any services to begin with. 120,000 over ten years for sitting on his monastic rump and 25K in moving expenses, where is he moving? To the Intl space station? plus the oca assumes his loans from the DOS. Who approved these loans and why are we bailing out and how much so they total? I also hope he returned the 13k worth of panagias that were bought for the Office of the Metropolitan. Every priest that gets removed from a parish because they couldn't cut the mustard will now equally be entitled to this exorbitant severance package. I 35 years old but I have 200k in payments owed to me plus 25k in moving expenses plus the parish will have to assume x amount of my bad debts. Metropolitan Jonah will go down in infamy.

  8. Bobby, thank you for exemplifying exactly the treatment Metropolitan Jonah received from people he was expected to work with. He worked very hard to serve the Church as Metropolitan. He still works hard to build up the Church despite all the heartache he and his family have suffered. I am proud to support such a man as Metropolitan Jonah.

  9. Why can't he go back to a monastery? Didn't Met. Herman retire (under pressure) to St. Tikhon's?

  10. What hope my son and I had in Metropolitan Jonah leading a part of the Church, small and very broken, out of the clouds of modernism and a jurisdiction strongly infested with Freemasonry. My son and I met with him for at least an hour when he came to bless a local church. I was very ill and medicated. He surprised me when I asked for my prayers. I have kept his request, with lapses as I got completely well.

    The medicine shut down my nous. When I was awakened last November, I was jolted to understand the changes that had happened during my seven years asleep. ROCOR has gone under the Patriarchate! I found myself in a place where the Patriarchate clergy served and it was horrible. The GOARCH was under a mason hierarch. I know these will be considered libelous. I will not identify who, but I know from my husband's experience with working as a carpenter in a GOARCH hierarch's office.

    So OCA , which doesn't need to be scratched much under the surface to see the Freemason influence there, the good priests elected an abbot, an Orthodox in the Patristic tradition.

    I saw his Youtube sermon from Dallas, I believe, where he says no to the Patriarch of Constantinople to this unified American Orthodox church. (The video I can not find anymore.) YEAH!

    Boom. He was gone. Some cooked up scandal. The unified Orthodox movement would go on.

    I believe the Pope will rejoin the college of bishops, the Orthodox people will rejoice, but I know the Masons from my time as a Catholic. The Vatican is full of masons! A mason Jesuit started the World Counsel of Churches to control the non-catholic churches. See Malachi Martin's WINDSWEPT HOUSE to read about the Black Masses going on there and this pope has just proclaimed himself a Universalist--

    So I've joined the only jurisdiction that has withdrawn fro the WCC and the pan Orthodox American fiasco. Argue about the philoque with Kalistos Ware all you want! You all have been had!

    Beware of the Georgian Orthodox Monasteries in US and Greece. Investigate the elder thoroughly! Pray for the DC nuns!