- Holy Synod of OCA, ACOB, Primates of all autocephalous Orthodox Churches.
- United States of America
We, Orthodox Christians of North America, appeal to the Holy Synod of the Orthodox Church in America (OCA) and to the Seventeenth All American Council of the OCA with a request to investigate events that appear to be improper and to have occurred in relation to the removal of Metropolitan Jonah as Primate of the Orthodox Church in America.
1. Whether it is against the OCA Statute for the bishops to request and/or accept a resignation of their Primate since resignation is different from retirement mentioned in the Statute of the OCA.
2. Whether three bishops of the OCA, +Benjamin, +Nikon, and +Tikhon, met privately, banding together, on or about July 5th of 2012, without participation or knowledge of their Primate, Metropolitan Jonah, in violation of three of the Holy Canons and agreed (conspired) to request his resignation as the Primate of the OCA.
3. Whether this meeting was followed by telephone calls to some of the other bishops of the OCA to secure their acquiescence to the conspiracy.
4. Whether the Chancellor of the OCA, Fr. John Jillions, misinformed Metropolitan Jonah on July 6th of 2012 about the above mentioned event, telling him that ALL BISHOPS of the Holy Synod of the OCA unanimously request his resignation.
5. Whether, following the resignation (through obedience and conciliation) of Metropolitan Jonah, the bishops of the Holy Synod failed to meet to discuss the situation and take appropriate measures but, instead, communicated via a teleconference, without physically coming together for prayer and free deliberation.
6. Whether the Holy Synod unlawfully appointed a locum tenens of the Archdiocese of Washington despite the fact that Metropolitan Jonah did not resign or retire as the bishop of that archdiocese.
7. Whether on or about July 16th of 2012 Bishops Matthias, Michael, Alexander, and Tikhon published letters with untruthful and incorrect information, which was meant to damage the reputation of Metropolitan Jonah. These four substantially identical letters purportedly explained the reasons for asking the Metropolitan to resign.
8. Whether other OCA bishops and/or OCA officials or employees participated in publishing a substantially identical letter on the OCA web site, under the typed signature “The Holy Synod of the Orthodox Church in America,” which was widely publicized in national and international media.
9. Whether other OCA bishops, priests, and employees consistently conspired to remove Metropolitan Jonah as the Primate of the OCA.
We further request that the detailed results of the investigation be made known to the Orthodox Faithful and that appropriate measures in accordance with the Holy Canons be executed based on the results of this investigation. These suspected events may involve several bishops and priests of the OCA; therefore, we ask that help from other autocephalous Orthodox churches be employed to assist in the investigation. This may involve appointing an independent investigative group or committee composed of or including members of canonical Orthodox churches other than the OCA.
We further appeal for assistance to all the heads of all autocephalous Orthodox Churches, and to the bishops of the Assembly of Canonical Orthodox Bishops of North and Central America, to provide such help in both the investigative process and that of remediation. We ask for appropriate conclusions to be derived on the basis of the results of the investigation. Should the current OCA leadership refuse to undertake an independent investigation or make the results public, we ask you to help the Orthodox Christians of North America by initiating an independent investigation on your own.
We emphasize that this petition does not constitute an accusation of any church body or any individual(s) but presents a request for investigation and remediation through proper canonical procedures.
Note: Please visit our website "OCA Petition" for more information. A list of 55 original signatures can be seen there as well.