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Met. Jonah’s Words

Author: Alex. Nemoianu
January 7, 2011

A lot of attention was given to some remarks delivered, last Fall 2010, by His Beatitude Metropolitan Jonah, the leader of the autocephalous Orthodox Church of America. In my opinion, some of those interpretations were way off the mark. However, a few things should be said in the first place.

Thank God we live in a normal society and in a free society. Among other things that means that we do not take the words of a person in authority as decisions. They are his opinions and as such, subject to debate. More bluntly said, thank God, we do not have a “dear leader” whose whims are to be obeyed unconditionally. We are free people and free to express our feelings and our opinions, in good faith but very clearly. What was said is true in the case of our Hierarchs as well. In fact the decisions in the Orthodox Church are synodal and conciliar, the conclusion of debates.  In Orthodoxy there is no place for infallibility. With this short introduction let us talk about Metropolitan Jonah remarks.

In those remarks His Beatitude said that the autocephaly of the Orthodox Church of America is neither a threat to any other Orthodox jurisdiction in the New World, nor an attempt to control them.  More than that, in his humbleness, almost singular among the today Orthodox Hierarchs, Metropolitan Jonah said that the autocephaly of the OCA should be considered but a step toward  an independent Orthodox New World; independent canonically and equal among equals with all Orthodox jurisdictions. His Beatitude extended an olive branch to all those who, in effect, ganged against the very idea of an independent Orthodox jurisdiction in the New World.  He tried to accommodate all opinions and ideas, even those circulated by the fanatic Chambesy group. But it would be absolutely wrong to interpret those wise words as a “capitulation” of the OCA, as a direct or indirect renunciation to autocephaly or, even less so, as a “victory” of the Old World.

His Beatitude Jonah was, in my opinion, very clear about one issue: the canonical independence of the New World is and will be not negotiable. What is negotiable are the ways to achieve this goal.  More than that.

The fact that in December 2010 the Holy Synod of the OCA issued a declaration to all its faithful, a declaration signed solemnly by all the members of the Holy Synod, in which autocephaly is declared as irreversible, is a clear affirmation that the way to canonical independence of the New World has reached the point of no return.  It is regrettable that  His Beatitude’s remarks were misinterpreted as  a sort of renunciation to the OCA’s autocephaly. It is regrettable because, in fact, it is not even in the Metropolitan’s  authority to rescind the tomos of autocephaly.  It is also a fact that the Metropolitan didn’t suggested such a thing. In addition, a tomos of autocephaly cannot be rescinded.

It is up to the New World Orthodox faithful to support the OCA and the movement for complete canonical independence of this continent. These Orthodox faithful should express their will for canonical independence with unflinching determination.

4 Comments to “Met. Jonah’s Words”

  1. Un Prieten Says:

    Este adevarat, cei pentru subjugarea noastra sub BOR s-au folosit de cuvintele a lui Mit. Jonah din toamna 2010 ca sa ne convinga ca nici el nu tine la autocefalia OCA-ului. Multumesc pentru clarificarea facuta si acum sa intelegem toti ca Mit. Jonah va renunta la autocefalia OCA-ului NUMAI daca se creiaza aici o alta biserica ortodoxa autocefala care ar cuprinde TOATE regruparile etnice ortodoxe canonice din America de Nord.

  2. Matt Says:

    Thanks for putting Metropolitan Jonah’s words into perspective.

  3. ion Says:

    Daca vreti biserica voastra de sine statatoare de limba engleza, ce rost mai are denumirea de romaneasca? Ramaneti cu rusii vostri si numiti-va cum vreti. Romanii isi doresc o BISERICA ROMANEASCA, un loc in care sa se intalnesca si sa vorbeasca ROMANESTE, copiii lor sa se joace in ROMANA! Daca nu ati fost in stare sa va invatati copiii limba romana - este vina voastra si atunci nu mai aveti de ce sa va numiti romani !

    Fiti americani sau canadieni sau ce vreti voi dar nu mai pangariti numele de ROMAN cu biserica voasta americana, care nu este altceva decat un SRL de facut bani pentru voi, pe spinarea enoriasilor !

  4. Administrator Says:

    Daca va mai fi o Biserica Ortodoxa pe acest continent in 50 de ani, atunci ea va trebui sa fie la diapazonul enoriasilor. Imigratie masiva din Europa de Est nu are sa mai fie, fiindca astazi romanii imigranti prefera Europa Occidentala. Si atunci, enoriasii viitori ai acestor biserici vor fi nepotii si stranepotii acestei generatii, si stra-stra-stra-nepotii primelor doua valuri de imigranti in America din anii circa 1900 si cei veniti imediat dupa al doilea razboi mondial. La acestia se adauga si convertitii care déjà reprezinta o voce aproape majoritara in America Ortodoxa. Din aceasta cauza, problema de astazi nu mai este unirea sau nu sub o Biserica din Lumea Veche, ci maniera de a garanta o Biserica Ortodoxa Americana Autocefala de maine cu baze multi-etnice, asa cum se discuta la Chambesy si asa cum se discuta intre toti ierarhii ortodocsi de pe acest continent (prima lor intalnire mai recenta fiind la New York in luna mai, 2010). OCA-ul este un foarte bun inceput si cand Grecii si Antiohienii sa alipesc unei astfel de Biserici aici, atunci vom avea Biserica Ortodoxa multi-etnica Autocefala Americana care este esential pentru supravietuirei noastre ortodoxe de pe acest continent. Deci, Biserica Romana exista in Romania, cum exista si o Biserica Greceasca in Grecia, s.a.m.d. Aici, este nevoie sa construim o Biserica Americana pentru urmasii nostri ortodocsi unde este loc pentru toate regruparile etnice ortodoxe de pe acest continent. Numai asa vom avea o Biserica ortodoxa aici in viitor.

    Te rog, putin respect pentru cei care au cladit aceste biserici pe care le-ati gasit aici, si putina recunostinta pentru copiii lor care au dat din banul si timpul lor pentru a pastra si a creste numarul parohiilor noastre in America. Acesti enoriasi stiu sa se sacrifice pentru Biserica – asa fac de o viata, din Tata in Fiu…

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