When then Archimandrite Jonah withdrew his name from the episcopal ballot some ten days prior to election in WPA, the Archdiocese withstood the pressure of its locum tenens, Metropolitan Herman, to hold the election anyway. Postponement was sought to revisit the nomination process and present a new slate to the Archdiocese. (Fr Mahaffey's name was chosen each time but as the result of a second search in the latter case.)
Did the assembled delegates in NY-NJ not envision the possibility, indeed the necessity, of a new search and a new search committee? Why else did debate postponement? Instead, they settled for the results of a selection process which disenfranchised most of the men and all of the women of the diocese.
The unfortunate legacy which either nominee would inherit, should the Holy Synod not recommit the issue to the diocese, will always be the appearance of a manipulated process and election. Does either nominee actually wish this hanging over his head for the duration of his episcopate?
Why do another search process? The Assembly nominated anyone without One Wife they could think of! When will we realize that there are no mythical wonderful candidates just waiting around to be tapped?
I can't speak for the process in general, but I know that Fr. Mahaffey's decision to withdraw his name, if the process was postponed, had nothing to do with manipulation, and he had no idea that Fr. Brum's name would be withdrawn. His life is somewhat up in the air at the moment- he is also being asked to replace the priest at the OCA church in Bethlehem, PA. Moving to Bethlehem brings him close to his family; being bishop brings him even further away.
Thank you, Ryan for your very asute observation. Like in worldly politics, the conspiracy-minded among us have other ideas and scenerios.
At this time, Fr. Mahaffey needs to fulfill his calling either as bishop or pastor of a local church. He doesn't need to be in a state of limbo or confusion, but be given the opportunity to charter a new course for his own salvation and those entrusted into his care in stability.
Either way, Fr. he remains a servant to and for God's people.
I support the basic aims of this website but I'm a little dismayed that there is a habit of assuming the worst of everyone involved, without bothering to acknowledge other possibilities. We read, "was all this calculated? I am forcing myself not to surmise," which, of course, is already a surmisal. Now that the editors know a little about Fr. Mahaffey's particular circumstances, I would hope they might have the integrity to append a note of some sort to the article acknowledging them. Otherwise, we are left with a sketch of Fr. David's actions and motives which is as misleading and unfair as it is cynical.
(Editor's note: We mentioned nothing of Fr. Mahaffey's motives. The reference of the reporter, as we understood it here, was not to Fr. Mahaffey's actions, but to the search committee's reading the letter before the vote was taken, and then, according to reports we have just recieved, perhaps not reading the whole letter? )
No. the NY/NJ assembly, despite its inability to give either candidate the two-thirds majority required to submit a single name to the Holy Synod, clearly demonstrated its collective preference for Fr. Michael Dahulich as its father in Christ.
Dahulich's mentality is clearly of parochial PA. His theology is dominated by what he has preached to STOTS students: "Always obey the bishop!" Well, yes, but not "blind obedience." His own "obedience" to + Herman allowed + Herman to operate STOTS without question and without checks & balances. The result has been serious financial improprieties ...
Dahulich's credentials for bishop are questionable. Dallas is better place for him where others can still formulate his episcopacy.
Within Orthodoxy, every priest vows obedience to his bishop. Every bishop vows obedience to the Patriarch/Metropolitan. Converts promise "true obedience" to the diocesan bishop. Obedience is part of the monastic relationship of monk and elder. What don't you understand about obedience? Should Father Michael not be "obedient" to his bishop?
Yes, obedience is not "blind obedience." If your bishop or priest is asking you to do something immoral, should you do it? Of course not. So unless you have some "insider" information about how Father Michael was asked to do something immoral, I would not be so quick as to question his character.
Did not the financial responsibilities for Saint Tikhon's belong to Metropolitan Herman and not Father Dahulich? The question is then, "to whom was Metropolitan Herman responsible?"
You state that Father Dahulich's credentials for a bishop are questionable. Can you please enlighten us as to the proper credentials?
His own "obedience" to + Herman allowed + Herman to operate STOTS without question and without checks & balances. The result has been serious financial improprieties...
If I am not mistaken, St. Tikhon's Seminary is in very good financial shape as this was not run solely by the previous Metropolitan; it was not run solely by Abp/Met Herman but also very transparently by Fr. Michael Dahulich and the Board of Trustees under a transparent and stringent, multi-year accreditation process through the non-aligned Association of Theological Schools (ATS; they also accredited SVOTS, HC in Brookline and Harvard Divinity, among many others).
St. Tikhon's Monastery had no such oversight by Fr. Michael Dahulich, a Board of Trustees or a third party agency and it is the Monastery and related legal entities that are in serious financial trouble allegedly due to the actions of its Abbot.
A strict delineation must be made between the two organizations.
Simply, + Herman ran both the seminary & monastery and their resources as his own piggy-bank. How could + Herman mortgage and re-mortgage properties without Dahulich or + Tikhon suspecting something? Yet, they didn't say a word. You will tell us all that the banks didn't contact Dahulich about this illegal misappropriation of assets? Get real! And Dahulich had no knowledge of the funny business going on with money laundering in STOTS Bookstore? And if he didn't know, what does this say for his administrative skills?
You don't know what you are talking about. The Seminary doesn't have a bookstore. The monastery does. Fr. Michael does not and never has had anything to do with the monastery or the bookstore. This is what people don't get. Despite the fact that they are across the road from each other, the monastery and the seminary are only connected by the fact that we go to services there and some of the monks teach classes (well, only one now). Other than that they are completely seperate entities. This is one reason why Herman and his deacon were allowed to get away with so much, but this is also the reason why the Seminary is not in trouble the way the monastery is.
Unless you are from the South, you might want to keep your suggestions to yourself. We can discern God's will for who our next bishop will be, thank you very much!!!!
Tend To Your Own Knitting
I have often thought of something along the same lines, but the other way around. Father Michael's personality is better suited to the people of ny/nj. I think either of them might have trouble relating to Southern people, but Fr. David would fit in better overall. Either way, I love both of these men and believe that both of them would make great bishops. It would not be settling for less to choose either of them.