"to the question of whether the OCA crisis was over, said that the Church was always in crisis by virtue of its existence in the fallen world."
This is exactly the kind of thinking that keeps our churches prisons of faithful, following a shepherd that promotes non engagement with everyone from street people to the next door neighbor. After all, THEY are not Orthodox...... like us.
Until we get outside our walls, and away from this culture of death, forget salvation folks! Liturgy does not save alone.
What in the world are you talking about? I read Metropolitan Jonah's address to the AAC, and it sure seemed to me that, far from discouraging engagement with the non-Orthodox, he was calling for more of it. "Culture of death"? Have you thought about giving up hyperbole for Lent?
The idea that the Church is in crisis by virtue of its being in a fallen world is valid. What is not valid is that the Church would use this argument to hide, to deny, and to isolate itself in liturgical services. Rather, the statement should be amended to reflect faith: i.e. *the Church is in crisis by virtue of its being in a fallen world, but Fear not for Christ has overcome the world*. If this were the statement, the Church would indeed come alive beyond church walls.
This is a good summary by Mr. Nescott. Certainly the process to move forward with Archimandrite Melchisedek (Father Thomas Pleska) seemed one of both spirit and the spirit of the law. Rules and the conciliar process I suggest the next steps be ones whereby this same process continue.
If people are disengaged, if rules are broken, if flip flopping and erratic and sometimes known illegal behaviors dominate to be controlling factors, then all this imbalance can be nothing but a front of an organization which has an agenda separate from the stated one, and the one in which the various letters of the Bishops declare themselves.
I pray the good people of the Western Pennsylvania Diocese hold fast on the candidate for bishop that was determined by a transparent and ordered process, Archmanindrite Melchisedek. By putting down into their roots, working to keep in order in their own house, and enriching their diocese by a new wave of faithfulness, they will grow and grow and flourish in a manner which will be a blessing for all.
"Syosset also houses the precious archives of the OCA, our entire history"
Almost our entire history! I am sure there are only partial records for significant portions of the "Kondratic Years".
But, I do believe that Ms Leonova is correct in much of what she writes. But the spirit of Met Leonty and the OCA lives on in its people, clergy, and yes-- even in it's hierarchs, dim as the bulb might seem at times. But this is the wonder of a chandelier! When one bulb dims, the light of the others continues to shine and compensate for the dim.
The more transparency that our Synod (they are OURS and we are THEIRS in a symbiotic relationship) demonstrates, the more they should be trusted. The onus is them, as they have been covering and obfuscating all these years.
If I do, I am truly sorry. However, what I really object to is using the cloak of anonymity over the daggers (and stones, and spitballs). I have no illusions that we are not yet in "the brave new world" (I tried to make it clear in my opening statement...).
I am loath to ever take issue with Inga Leonova, for whom I have the highest regard. And she is undoubtedly correct that there is too much anonymity, anger, hateful rhetoric, cynicism and distrust on display on this and other websites. We have all been infected to some degree, myself included.
I happen to like metaphorical references to Lord of the Rings, which I believe are as appropriate as they are telling. But my main point of departure with Inga is in assigning the primary responsibility for our current state of affairs--namely the disintegration of Orthodoxy in North America.
If we want people, as we should, to behave in a loving and Christian manner to all those around them, we had better have such an example from on high. Manifestly, we haven't--at least not from most bishops and their clerical enablers. Nothing has disgusted me more than the treatment meted out by much of our leadership to those with whom they work and lead. I will not belabor this point, since I think it is self-evident to anyone who has followed this website over the years.
We were promised a new beginning in November, but while the tone and style may have improved, I, at least, have failed to see the beef. Rather, just more attempts at power grabbing and expanding hierarchical prerogatives at the expense of true conciliarity. Some of these attempts may have been aborted, but the over all trend is clear--all power to the hierarchy!
This type of governance will never work in North America, and is generally failing throughout the Christian world (just look at Europe). That some converts to Orthodoxy, especially when they become members of the clergy, fall prey to the temptations of authoritarianism is all that more depressing.
It is not the role of the laity, or to use that hateful term--lower clergy, to meekly submit to the dictates and whims of a power hungry hierarchy. Though this may be the tradition many are used to and come from, its days are numbered. A revitalized Church will only happen when the tools and methods of the Evil One are laid aside forever.
Can I congratulate you on “finding” (if that is the right word) your correspondent “KRT”. He is indeed a breath of fresh air in an increasingly musty cabinet. While I don’t always agree with him, this time he has hit several home runs in one.
Where I think that this debate is heading is this:
An ecclesiology where the bishops are mere servants and no more, iis where this is trending in North America (and for that matter, the rest of the English-speaking world).
An ecclesiology where if they (the bishops) defy their synods (composed equally of “clergy” (priests, deacons and monastics), and “normal” laity), can be deposed by that synod, and deprived of all capacity to function as a bishop – especially sacramentally.
An ecclesiology where they retain their titles (often gloriously overdone), and even more glorious vestments, but are utterly emptied of all trace of Byzantine auctoritas.
An ecclesiology where they are merely “constitutional monarchs” – and no more! Where they “reign” but can never rule (ask the Canadians as to how much Queen Elizabeth II can exercise real auctoritas power in Canada).
The mere arrival of Orthodoxy in the English-speaking world was an “Erasmus” moment – whether they realised it or not, it planted the seeds for a return to the first-century ecclesiology (as in 30CE-135CE).
Where the reflections by Archpriest Lawrence Farley – superb as they are, are taken further back than merely Cyprian, to the Johannine-Arimathean orbit – where Episcopal servanthood was the norm. It was only the “Pauline” orbit (which first appeared as a faction at the Acts 15 council in 49CE) that trended to first Cyprian, and thence on to Byzantinism.
The moving-over to Johannine-Arimathean ecclesiology may be the only viable “escape-route” for Orthodoxy to discover its real, 1st Century “Apostolicity”.