Delegates to the All American Council gave Bishop Jonah, the newly consecrated vicar bishop of the Diocese of the South, the greatest number of votes on both the first and second ballots for nomination as metropolitan and the Synod of Bishops elected him to be the new Metropolitan of the OCA.
In what was a surprising turn of events, delegates voted for change in the OCA in electing Metropolitan Jonah who was consecrated as a bishop but 11 days ago and has never served as a ruling bishop. His first day as a ruling bishop also is as the metropolitan of the OCA.
Archbishop Job of Chicago who got the second most votes on both the first and second ballots had made it clear that he did not want to be metropolitan nor did he believe it would happen. He was correct in his prediction. It was a testimony to his role in helping expose and overturn the scandal and failures of the OCA leadership which earned him the respect of delegates in receiving the runner up vote in the nomination process.
The reaction of AAC delegates seems to be quite positive and even exuberant to the news of the election. It indicates a real turning away from the past scandal and a desire to move in an entirely new direction with new leadership. Metropolitan Jonah’s election appears to have been a repudiation of the rest of the member of the Synod of Bishops due to their own failure to either expose or resolve the scandal.
The report of Treasurer Fr. Michael Tassos was also well received indicating many believe the financial scandal is now behind us and really belongs to a former central church administration and to the group of bishops who received little show of support in the nominating process.
May God bless and grant many years to the newly elected Metropolitan Jonah, and may He bless and guide the OCA as it faces afresh the missionary and ministry challenge of proclaiming the Gospel in North America.