Metropolitan Jonah Paffhausen

  • James Paffhausen

Metropolitan Jonah Paffhausen is a clergyman in the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia (ROCOR). He was released to ROCOR from the Orthodox Church in America (OCA) in June of 2015.

Prior to his acceptance into ROCOR, Paffhausen was a retired OCA metropolitan. He resigned from his position as the head of the OCA in 2012 at the request of the synod of bishops. The metropolitan’s leadership was called into question over the handling of allegations of sexual abuse and misconduct. A copy of the report containing the specific allegations against Paffhausen is linked here.

Paffhausen had been elected metropolitan of the OCA in November, 2008. He was the first convert to head the OCA.

Shortly prior to his selection as OCA metropolitan, Paffhausen was elected to head the OCA’s Diocese of the South.

Before Paffhausen’s elevation to bishop he was the abbot of the OCA’s Saint John of Shanghai Monastery in Manton, California.

During his tenure as abbot, a priest defrocked from the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese in America (GOA) for sexual misconduct, Michael Rymer, was received by the monastery as a monk. However, court documents disclosed that the GOA received a request from the monastery asking for Rymer to be reinstated as a priest. A copy of the document is linked here.

In the early 1990s Paffhausen, as a layman was the editor of “The Orthodox West,” the official publication of the OCA’s Diocese of the West. However, he relinquished this position to go to Russia to work on Russky Palomnik (Russian Pilgrim), a magazine produced by the Saint Herman of Alaska Brotherhood. At the time the brotherhood was part of a vagante jurisdiction, the Archdiocese of Vasiloupolis.