From the Belly of the Beast?

OCA Metropolitan Jonah (Paffhausen) gave a sermon this week in which he specifically denounced recent efforts by the Phanar to establish canonical unity of the Orthodox Churches in America under the omophorion of the Ecumenical Patriarchate. Here is the link to the Metropolitan's April 8th sermon:

I read the text of this sermon, and found it somewhat troubling, without understanding all of the political nuances. Jonah clearly denounces the Ecumenical Patriarchate, and calls for the establishment of an "Orthodox Church of North America," administratively independent of "foreign" hierarchs who, presumably, do not properly understand American culture, and our American tradition of freedom from foreign influences, and "self-determination." He correctly points out that the early Orthodox Churches of North America had achieved significant canonical unity under the omophorion of St. Tikhon and the Russian Orthodox Church prior to the establishment of an independent Greek Orthodox administration in 1924, but he does not elaborate on the role of the Metropolia in undermining Church unity subsequent to the creation of the Sergianist hierarchy in the Soviet Union.

Metropolitan Jonah apparently converted from Anglicanism to Orthodoxy in a Moscow Patriarchate parish in San Diego in the 1980s, and lived in the Soviet Union while working for the Moscow Patriarchate some years ago. He then returned to America, and served recently as the Abbot of a small monastic mission in Point Reyes, California before his rapid promotion to the auxiliary "Bishopric" of Fort Worth, and First Hierarch of the OCA last year.


Joanna Higginbotham said...

That was no sermon - that was straight propaganda manipulation from Moscow who has always resisted the EP.

He gives me the creeps. Notice how many times he sounds like a heterodox? He calls for a "new organization of Orthodoxy in North America that brings us all together as one Church." I scratch my head since they already have SCOBA. I sure am glad not to be part of that "us." But most bazaar is when he says, "if we wanted a Pope we'd be under the real one." Was that a slip of the tongue?

Unprofitable Servant said...

Yes, there was certainly a demamgogic quality to this sermon-- several appeals to our glorious American nationalistic pride, freedom, self-determination, and the always popular denunciation of anything remotely Popish... It was a bit like the Monroe Doctrine applied to Orthodox ecclesiology.

Joanna Higginbotham said...

Excellent (related) discussion on the Euphrosynos Cafe:

World Orthodoxy Forum
"Mysterious OCA Metropolitan Enthroned"
by Pravoslavnik on Sun 28 December 2008

I suggest a cut&paste onto a new window, because this one might not expand properly.

(Mara's and my favorite poster on the Cafe - Pravoslavnik)