I fear that certain quarters of Orthodoxy in this country have been taken over, hijacked by Johnny-come-lately hacks, who are trying to fill a spiritual void in themselves and in their lives that is the result of 200+ years of destroying other people’s lives and beliefs. I feel that they are reaping what they have sown, their arrogance, and sense of entitlement aside… it’s a mask for how insecure they really are. Their words are empty and meaningless; don’t let them get you down…
Please read this first… keep in mind that it is pure spin. http://www.oca.org/news/2027
Read it? I checked with friends in Moscow, and they tell me that this is not the whole story. First, reflect on the fact that JP was incommunicado for five days. There was more than just a festal liturgy and “vestment buying”. The next Holy Synod session concerns the diaspora. It needs information… so, the “fifteenth anniversary” was a fig-leaf, nothing more. There was nothing regarding this visit in the Russian secular press that I could see and I can assure you that even minor figures get a press release on RIA-Novosti or Interfax, at least. I also have my e-mail set to give me alerts on “Russian Orthodox Church” or “Patriarch Kirill”. There has been NOTHING about this trip in the secular press. THAT raises alarm bells (JP’s last trip to Moscow did get a few minor mentions, by the way). I know that what I have said already is controversial. It is nothing compared to what I am about to say.
That is, if Herman Swaiko had done the same thing, that is, go incommunicado for five days, and give no indication of his whereabouts on oca.org, there would have been an uproar and voices screaming in protest. Mark Stokoe and his whole crew would have bleated “transparency”, they would have demanded an accounting. However, when their hero JP is even more secretive than Herman ever was, they not only applaud him… they expect the rest of us to do likewise. In short, if Herman Swaiko was secretive about finances, that was culpable. When JP is secretive about finances and refuses to live within his budget, that is praiseworthy. I find this repulsive in the extreme.
When JP lies outright, he is praised. When Herman lied to protect his cronies, he was vilified. I do not know what I am going to do personally. It is going to require some prayer, thought, and reflection. However, I do know this. The OCA central apparat is evil beyond repair. Indeed, even to spend time on it appears to be a lost cause. Why? The lies of JP are so brazen that they are easily refuted… but, the Mark Stokoes of this world give him a pass. I realise now that they are impervious.
I shall now say something that shall truly get me disliked in konvertsy circles. We did WRONG in the way that we replaced Herman Swaiko. He was arrogant, he was a hayseed, but, he was Orthodox, as Matushka Nina Stroyen pointed up. If what he did was wrong, we should have appealed it to the Mother Church in Moscow and accepted whatever decision that came down. Instead, we revolted (there is no other term for it) and JP is our punishment for having done so.
Since the beginning of this year, two major salaried positions in Syosset (each with a salary of $134G per year) have been axed. The periodical of the OCA is no longer going to be issued in print format (what about the folks who don’t have internet access… don’t they count?) due to lack of funds. Matushka Nina tells me that JP is putting the screws to St Tikhon’s… it’s so bad that Michael Dahulich is staying there, not moving to NY (that makes his promotion to bishop rather empty, doesn’t it?). The 9/11 funds have not been totally disbursed and some items in the budget are overspent, and that’s not mentioning the legal bills incurred in the defence of Raymond Velencia. When you add in the present economic malaise that’s hit all non-profits, this is a situation bleaker than last year.
As a priest friend of mine put it so well… “If Jonas wants to cut his throat, Moscow will let him do it”. Don’t be fooled by the present commotion in Moscow… HA arranged this so that so his friend would have a “face-saving” gesture. If you wish to see how badly-run the OCA has become, go to “monasteries” under “Diocese of NY and Washington” and look at “Holy Cross Monastery”. A partial listing is still given for this establishment… although it left for HOCNA some time ago. Who wants to bet that it’ll be removed within 48 hours at the most? I seem to recall that one of JP’s HOOMie buddies got upset when I mentioned that Herman’s name was still up on the St Tikhon’s signage. Friends in PA tell me that it “disappeared” soon afterwards. So… get on the net now, go to oca.org, look for Holy Cross Monastery, Niagara Falls NY… it’s still there as of 2200 10 December 2009. I’ve saved a copy of the page. Just watch… JP will have it go down the “memory hole”.
There’s more to come… but, I have to decide whether being involved in this is worth it. You can’t talk to the incorrigible and the latest spin makes it clear that JP and Co are in it until the end.
J’accuse! That’s all one can say for the Mark Stokoes of this world. You wanted Herman gone at any cost. That IS what you got. Oh, yes… and Bobby K is STILL on the OCA payroll. I’d rather confab with Herman than with any of his detractors. Poor fellow… he went down for the sins of others because he was loyal to his friends.
One year on… I don’t even want to know what the next year is going to bring. I close in sadness…