An unworthy Deacon, named for the brother of God: James, striving to "work out his salvation with fear and trembling" within the Tradition (paradosis) of the Eastern Orthodox Faith. It is a strange and marvelous journey, and I am accompanied by the fourfold fruit of my fecundity. My wife, the Matushka or Diaconissa Sophia, is my beloved partner in the pursuit of Theosis, and she ranks me in every way.
The behavior of the leadership at the AOCNA convention was nothing short of embarrassing and shameful. Forgive me for my being blatant, but the talks and pre-planned strategies (e.g. for avoiding a perfectly reasonable external audit) It ought to mark the beginning of some fundamental changes akin to what we experienced here in the OCA.
Many of us would like to think the best of our hierarchs and sometimes we do so to a fault...bordering on cult-like adoration. I recall back to when I wrote a blog post critical of Metropolitan Phillip's political views and I received more than one: "How dare you" response. No doubt this compounds the problem here.
And there are cultural issues as well. I thought a comment left by Kevin Allen HERE was probably quite accurate and really speaks to why the AOCNA may have a tougher sea to sail than the OCA did. It is my opinion that they must in fact sail that sea, by the way, if they wish to see real healing. Until then this is really going to fester. A friend wondered why I, as an OCA guy, should be concerned about all this. Well, put simply: I entered Orthodoxy through the AOCNA and thus I do not feel compelled to simply shrug...I care about it and, of course, the people there. And secondly, I care about Orthodox unity in America and if this is the style and mindset of leadership we will see being unified...well...NO THANKS!
Prayers. Prayers. Prayers.
Everyone especially needs to listen to the convention at AFR. In particular I suggest +Phillip's message in which he reminds everyone of all the good he has done and how clergy owe him allegiance and ought not to ever be critical of him because he paid for their education, the FINANCIAL session in which the anti-audit ambush is put poorly (yet succesfully) into play. And then the LEGAL AFFAIRS presentation in which a laywoman is virtually shouted down for asking why the Archdiocese continues to finance a Bishop who failed to be beyond reproach rather seriously.
I too came in through AOCNA and am now OCA (jumped ship to help start a Mission parish). It grieves me. I concur, the OCA's issues might be similar but only in that it involved money. The culture of the AOCNA is a whole different animal. I concur: Unity? No thank you, the culture war has just begun and the OCA would have no clue what to do with it. Let us heal our house before we bring in more strife that will last for another century or more.