Patrick Henry Reardon: “Not so long ago, the OCA appeared to be in dire shape. Now, on the other hand, there is a general impression that the situation is much better”. It’s amazing what human beings can believe, isn’t it?
It’s time to put down a scurrilous little tale circulating in some circles. Supposedly, there’s rumoured to be a great and stupendous “Pan-Orthodox Council” set for 2013. Let’s use the good sense that the Good Lord gave us all… if there was going to be such a great event, it stands to reason that preparations would begin long before the first session. Indeed, the preparations for the 2014 Winter Olympics have gone on since 2006, and they’ve been very public. Well… there’s no talk, even speculative, in the usual Russian media sources on any notional “Grand Council”. It wasn’t part of the communiqué issued by His Nibs and Bart in Peredelkino. There’s no proposed location, there’s no proposed agenda, there’s no proposed budget, and there’s no list of proposed participants. There’s been no organised PR campaign in either Russia or Greece, nor are there any preparations to house, feed, and entertain the not inconsiderable number of participants, observers, and journalists (let alone provide the extensive technical support needed). To further cement this chain of logic, the EP Centre at Chambésy in Switzerland is now shut down, the Greek government cut off its funding.
I’m supposed to believe Fathausen’s claim of a “Grand Council” in ’13. Sure… pigs will fly, first. Let’s get real… the detail planning for such a massive Dixie Fry takes at least five years, no less. It took six years to negotiate the terms of the Reconciliation of the MP and ROCOR, and that only involved two very closely related bodies. Chambésy has been nothing but a massive wind generator over its existence, there’s no concrete and specific planning in place for any “Council”. That is to say, any preparations for such an event would generate not only official press releases, but also a great deal of speculation and rumour, and I’ve seen none of that in reputable Russian press sources. If for no other reason, the different factions within the participants would leak this or that in the usual game of one-upmanship.
Besides this, some sources are more veracious than others are… Archbishop Mark Golovkov is the gold standard, Fr Vsevolod Chaplin is almost as good, Archdeacon Andrei Kuraev can get hot-headed and shoot off his mouth (but usually fairly accurate), whilst “Metropolitan” Hilarion Alfeyev (actually, only a Vicar of the Patriarch) is an ambitious little weasel with a penchant of issuing his own personal opinions as official statements (which has led to more than one trip to the woodshed for a personal consultation with Big Daddy KMG), and Vanya Behr and JP are drooling idiots without any cred whatsoever.
In short, there’s going to be no Grandiloquent and Definitive Pan-Orthodox Council in 2013… where is it going to be held, anyway? On an ice floe in Antarctica alongside the penguins? In a yurt in the midst of the Gobi Desert? In August 2013 in a Motel Six with busted-down AC in Albuquerque NM? Get real, all of you… the OCA is trying to deflect attention from its payola to Bobby and the investigation of Storheim. It has as much reality as an unhinged statement issued recently by Patrick Reardon, to wit, “Not so long ago, the OCA appeared to be in dire shape. Now, on the other hand, there is a general impression that the situation is much better”. Yes, Mr Reardon, it’s “much better”… after paying 250 Gs to Bobby, covering up the Iliff affair, trying to cover up Storheim, refusing to discipline Ray Velencia, signing a crank agreement with a TEC seminary, “losing” the financial records of the Diocese of NY & Washington, and kissing Rowan Williams’ bum for all to see… if that’s “much better” in your book, sir, I’d hate to see what you mean by “dire”.
Oh, excuse me, sir, your neighbours are at the door… why, it’s the Jabberwocky and Alice! How nice to see you, again! How’s Pat doin’?
Friday 22 October 2010