As the book of Ecclesiastes famously observed: “There is a time for every thing, and an appointed time for every event under the sun.” With this posting OCANews.org reaches its appointed time and suspends publication.
In October 2005 Protodeacon Eric Wheeler, a former OCA Treasurer, addressed a letter to the OCA Synod of Bishops outlining a web of financial irregularities and ecclesiastical misconduct at the highest levels of the OCA's adminstration. The first article (from what would become OCANews.org,) in Novmber 2005 placed those allegations in the context of a previous 1999 scandal that had been successfully hushed up. By the end of that month Archbishop Job asked his famous question - “Are the allegations true or false?” effectively hindering a second cover-up.
OCANews.org officially began publishing on January 7, 2006, primarily as a means of encouraging the faithful of the OCA to seek answers to that question by focusing on issues of transparency and accountability in the Church. Since then more than 1,000 articles, reflections and open letters have been published. These in turn led to more than 33,300+ posted comments. Nor were topics limited to the OCA: for more than a year the site was used by Antiochian brethren to ask hard questions of the Antiochian Archdiocese as well.
Shortly before his untimely death in 2009, Archbishop Job was able to answer his question: “Yes, the allegations were true.” This did not end the need for transparency or accountability in the Church, however, as the Archbishop himself affirmed that we are indeed “free men”, with a duty to listen, learn, question and discuss so as to build up our common life.
Last year, in November 2010, I had to inform co-workers that I would be unable to continue OCANews.org for very much longer. Best laid plans, however, had to be repeatedly postponed - given the arrest of Archbishop Seraphim, the release of Bishop Mark from Antioch, Santa Fe, the events surrounding +Jonah’s first Leave, the tumultuous MC meeting in Chicago, the continuing dyspepsia in Syosset, the Mess in Moscow, and then the 16th AAC. Publication, by necessity though, became more infrequent and irregular.
There can be no more postponements.
I want to thank all who have contributed to OCANews.org over the past six years:
• Thank you to all whose love of the OCA established this site, but, more importantly, whose faith, prayers and work enabled it to fulfill its mission. You have not only my gratitude for your years of unsung and unseen efforts, but my deepest respect and abiding friendship.
• Thank you to all, identified sources and unidentified sources, who contributed information often at personal and/or professional risk, so that the truth might be fully known.
• Thank you to all who contributed articles, reflections, letters and/or comments. Whether you agreed or disagreed with what was posted, such contributions consistently challenged us all to think and act concerning our Church in unaccustomed ways. The OCA is better for that often painful effort.
• Thank you to all who contributed by reading OCANews.org. Every reader had to choose to do so - there was never any syndication nor RSS feed - despite constant pleas that such be instituted. That tens of thousands choose to open these pages night after night, year after year, despite approbation, both official and unofficial, testifies to a deep wellspring of Faith, love of the Church, and a commitment to the truth by all who profess the Truth. Such bodes well for our future -- whatever our past or current woes.
• Finally, thank you, Lord, for this most wonderful, and unique opportunity to serve.
Wishing you all the best,
As we have suspended publication, the comments page has been disabled as has the email address. If you appreciated OCANews.org light a candle and offer thanks to God at your parish next Sunday. If you disliked OCANews.org, light two.)