Discourage publicity-seeker convert nerds, who just want an argument anyway, because they have no life. The more you argue with them, the more they get aggressive, because it’s their psychology that’s warped. If an article can’t make them see it, let life do it for them!
An Ornery Country Batushka
One of my priest-friends sent that to me in an e-mail. By God… I’ve never seen it put so well or so concisely. It dovetails exactly with what I’ve heard from friends and well-wishers, lately. However, no one else has put it so clearly and to the point. I just HAD to share it with all of you.
Father’s contention is excellent. There are those who only wish to stir up strife… don’t accommodate them, I say. There is a difference between speaking frankly on “touchy” topics and inciting friction. The first is looking clearly at the record left by public figures in their official actions. The second is, all too often, only mud-slinging at powerless common folk… it is why I do not give names of private individuals… you can censure a particular action, but, there are, indeed, limits. No doubt, some angry sort shall assert that I transgress such restrictions with some frequency… I beg to differ… there is a different standard for authority-figures in positions of influence and ordinary sorts with no such power. The latter, I argue, have a right to FAR greater privacy than the former. Those who have taken public office (both religious and secular) do so with “malice aforethought”… that is, most are “willing volunteers”… few (if any) are “reluctant conscripts”. In short, examination of the known doings of public figures is not only acceptable, it’s NECESSARY. Otherwise… you get the picture, no doubt (and if we do NOT do so, we deserve everything that comes to us).
For instance, Jonas Paffhausen made a public statement in Moscow earlier this year that he had replaced all the previous administration, save for a house-cleaner and some secretaries. If I point up that this statement was a lie because Lyonyo Kishkovsky (who accompanied JP on this junket) was an influential member of the previous junta (there are others as well, but, you need only one to contradict JP’s assertion conclusively)… indeed, LK holds the same high-ranking title that he has held since the time of Feodosy Lazor. To expose THAT statement as a lie is acceptable behaviour. If I were to say, “Wladyslaw Prune is beating his wife and he is a deadbeat, so, don’t believe anything you see on his website”, that is wrong. Mr Prune doesn’t have any power… he’s an ordinary sort. JP calls himself “Metropolitan of all America and Canada”… I do believe that is a public title for a public office… therefore, his public utterances are open to critical inquiry. That is true for all other “public figures”, as well.
Again, I don’t doubt that there are those who consider any critical study of the past actions of the Church and its hierarchs inherently disrespectful and slanderous. One has to ask here, “Why do they oppose such studies? Why do they oppose probing questions?” I think that the answer is obvious. Such sorts, when they say such, especially if they were placeholders who had a direct influence on the events concerned, signal that there is something amiss… there is, probably, something irregular that person had a hand in shaping or influencing (yes, Virginia, there are Slim Shadies amongst the clergy). Some who say such, unfortunately, are priests who are either afraid of their superiors or those forced to speak against their wills (that is all too common in some quarters, I fear).
Therefore, one sees that it is not as simple as some would have it. I would say that one should notice how a poster treats ordinary and powerless sorts. It is why I do my best to follow the advice given me by good friends and advisors. We can name public figures, but, we should cover over the sins of those who cannot influence affairs. That is, we can speak of Bartholomew Archontonis, Hilarion Kapral, Jonas Paffhausen, and Kirill Gundyaev and their sayings and doings… these are all known and influential gentlemen. If it is something from another common person… one can name the action, but, the person’s identity is sacrosanct… at least, that is the advice that some gave me… and I find it VERY good… VERY good, indeed.
Anyone who does not respect the privacy and confidentiality of private people is a gossip… and I say so openly. Bear that in mind that gossips have driven more good people out of the Church than any other cause save for the ruinous OCA-ROCOR feuds of the past.
Can we afford such pig rasslin’? I would say not.
Monday 2 November 2009