Reflections On The Scandal
On Meaningful Change
by Alexis Troubetzkoy, Toronto, Ontario
The stormy seas through which our church is sailing may in fact be, as Fr. John Hopko points out, a God-sent call for repentance and renewal. Given its lamentable state of affairs, a reorganization of OCA’s administrative and financial operations is justifiably under way. But is this the sum total of the renewal so many of us long for – the lay people at the base of the pyramidal structure who support the whole?
Thirst for regeneration concerns as much the outward and visible measures being instituted at Syosset as it does of the attitudes and modus operandi of much of our episcopacy. Hopko’s reflections on the bishops are dead on – the impression generated by many of our bishops is that they seek not so much to serve as to be served. Pedestaled, stroked, wined and dined these good, well-intentioned men fly in and out of our parishes, preaching the worthy message, saying the right thing, glad-handing one and all, but encountering few and frequently avoiding rocking the boat? How in touch are they with the grass-roots?
I was brought up to believe that a bishop is “set apart”… our episcopacy seems just that.
(A pity that our bishops are required by Orthodox tradition to take monastic vows. It’s a drain on the pool of potential candidates. Will that ever change?)
One might hope that at some future synodal meeting – better yet, a dedicated retreat/think tank -- their eminences and graces might reflect critically on the sort of questions that Hopko raises - for clearly they are at the core of any meaningful renewal.
(Alexis Troubetzkoy is the International Liaison Officer of IOCC, a former IOCC representative in Moscow and Canadian Treasurer of the most recent All-American Council held in Toronto. He is the son of the late Serge Troubetzkoy, former archivist of the OCA. )