Looks like they’re heading for the exit… and JP can’t do a thing about it… he’s a deer caught in the headlights, no?
Some of my correspondents sent me some commentary on the Bulgarian situation. You see, I was out for some time, Nicky and I took what we thought would be a lovely little motor… the traffic was horrendous. Of course, it’s the “official beginning” of the Labour Day weekend… everybody and their younger sister seemed to be heading for the Adirondacks, and every other car seemed to have out-of-state plates. Of course, I knew that when I got back, there’d be interesting stuff in my e-mail box, and I WASN’T disappointed.
Let me give you a précis of it all. Even though my interlocutors are separated by some distance (and different continents in some cases), they tended to tell the same story using almost the same words (no lie… it was scary, in its small way). There’s something percolating in that diocese, even though most of the parishes are completely Americanised, serving everything in English. The consensus is that there is no movement away from the OCA in many communities (especially those served by ex-HOOMie cult gurus). On the other hand, there are some parishes of “New Bulgarians”, two of them are particularly full of hotheads. These two are in JP’s own backyard in DC (!); most believe that the movement began there. Another Bulgarian-language parish exists in Chicago, but since the BPTs (unjustly) deposed the priest there in communist days, they might not leave. Most believe the two DC-area parishes will leave for the BPTs, and since Metropolitan Joseph (of the BPTs diocese) loves to stir up strife amongst the OCA Bulgarians, he’ll take them. However, once the deeply ethnic parishes are gone, it might cause a crisis vis-à-vis the continued existence of the diocese. They don’t want to relinquish their independent status, they don’t want to be Russified, but how can they justify not joining the OCA’s regular dioceses, especially if all the clergy are converts, they do everything in English, and there are so few of them? DO keep an eye on them… they have a Sobor in November to amend their statute.
One of my correspondents sent me a quote from an Orthodox Forum post:
With all due respect, in my experience, Met Jonah is not approachable and does not give direct answers to direct questions. As I mentioned in another post, I asked direct questions of Met Jonah and received no response whatsoever. In fact, it is the experience of many who deal with him that he often says what you want to hear in the moment, and then says something completely different when speaking to another. Additionally, it is well known now that he avoids conflict and administrative tasks that he finds unpleasant, not the best qualities in a leader. Perhaps, that is why he prefers staying in DC to Syosset. How he can lead the OCA when he is rarely in Syosset is a mystery to me. Someone on the forum talked about Met Jonah’s deeply principled position on forgiveness. In my opinion, it’s more a mechanism of avoidance. Again, a problematic quality in a leader.
None of my conclusions in the earlier post are upset by these amplifications… they strengthen them, in fact. One of my interlocutors told me regarding my conclusions about JP that he was indeed incapable, dim-witted, and ineffectual, but I had missed a common thread running through them all. Paffhausen is all that because he’s WEAK. Not meek, which is a Christian virtue, but patently weak. I now see that. Jonas Paffhausen has lied from the top… I remember translating an interview he gave for a Russian newspaper, and no OCA source has posted it on an easily accessible website. WHY? There’s nothing wrong in it.
Now, I see why JP has lasted as long as he has. He tells you what he thinks you wish to hear, if he views you as “important”. If he views you as “unimportant” or “troublesome”, he avoids you and says nothing. I handed his deacon a letter in May 2009… I have yet to receive a reply. Note the lack of bitterness or anger in my post. I knew that I wasn’t alone. That’s sad… that’s damned WRONG… but we’re stuck with this limpet until the Centre decides that the OCA isn’t worth the candle anymore. There’s another scenario… one that scares me (and should scare you too). JP may be another Alexander Nemulovsky. If you have any access to records, do check to see if he and Bobby have mortgaged St Tikhon’s, SVS, or the Syosset property. Especially in such tight economic times, one can’t be too careful.
It’s not boring, is it?
Friday 3 September 2010
A correspondent (who’s doesn’t belong to, communicate in, or attend an OCA Bulgarian Diocese parish (this is so internet hotheads don’t blame the wrong people)) acquaintance offered me a slight correction… all of the former HOOMie cult gurus are in the BPTs diocese, whilst the OCA diocese is a dumping ground for former apparatchiki such as Jannakos and Jarmus… in my mind, what’s the diff? However, one does cite facts…
Friends are telling me that some are calling my writing “trash”… hmm… Alfeyev arrived in the USA on a “working trip” on a Saturday? That’s rather odd, to say the least. If JP is living in DC, why didn’t the Wonder meet him in DC? In short, there’s much that’s not adding up… in my view, when the smoke clears, only the Centre and the EP will be left standing. The “Russians” will all be under the Centre, all others will end under the EP. The Greeks won’t abide being under the Centre… no Russian will ever accept being under Bart. It’s quite that simple.