Reflections On The Scandal
An All-American Council
Fr. John Nehrebecki: Paramus, New Jersey
In a recent interview conducted by Protodeacon Peter Danilchick, Metropolitan Herman stated that he would recommend to the Synod of Bishops that the next All American Council be convened in 2008. He further stated the need for the next Council, and hopefully all subsequent Councils, to be conducted in a simpler venue enabling participants to be more focused on issues and business to be discussed and acted upon.
For me, the fact that His Beatitude recognizes the need to convoke an All- American Council sooner than later is a sign that he recognizes the gravity of our crisis and is committed to resolving it.This recognition is certainly a light in the darkness.But recognition of our crisis and a willingness to resolve it is only the beginning.
If the next All-American Council is to be an event signaling a new beginning for our Church there will have to be the recognition of the almost universal suspicionÊthat virtually every institution and department of the OCA has been violated by dishonesty and duplicity. In every institution and department of the OCA those entrusted to positions of authority, responsibility and accountability have fostered dishonesty and duplicity.
Moral weakness, love for power and open deception are not new to the Church. However, we have allowed moral weakness, love for power and open deception to become qualifications for assuming ministries to save lives and promote the Gospel.
The top heavy bureaucracy of the OCA will need to be pared down. The purpose and need of our many departments will require evaluation to determine whether they should continue to exist. The same persons now in office, with their predictable 'church talk', will have to be replaced by new names and talent gleaned from a humbled and repentant Church.
How sad it is that the sober spirit of conciliarity was usurped by the noisy spirit of a corporate convention. Our next All-American Council will need to set an agenda that enables a renewed spirit - the Holy Spirit - to preside over the life of the Church. And if we dare to present any resolutions may there be at least two or three people bold enough to resolve that we commit to being the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church.
The next All-American Council should be convoked as soon as possible.
Archpriest John Nehrebecki