Wyomissing PA has about 10,000 people, an above-average income level, and it’s considered chi-chi by Money magazine… that is, Mollard didn’t have any “bumps in the road” in his early years…
A Wyomissing High School graduate was elected leader of the OCA during a meeting Tuesday of more than 600 clergy members and delegates in Ohio. Metropolitan Tikhon (born Marc Mollard) replaces Metropolitan Jonah Paffhausen, who submitted his resignation in July. Metropolitan Tikhon, 46, formerly served as Archbishop of Philadelphia and Eastern Pennsylvania. Metropolitan Tikhon said in a telephone interview Friday, “I pray I can fulfil my responsibilities with the help of the bishops, clergy, and the faithful”.
The Rev John Onofrey, pastor of St. Herman of Alaska Church in Shillington PA, was among the priests who cast votes Tuesday during the 17th All-American Council of the OCA at Holy Trinity Orthodox Church in Parma OH. Onofrey, who knows Metropolitan Tikhon through his visits to the church in Shillington and considers him an excellent person, said, “It’s a new chapter” for the Orthodox Church. However, Onofrey said he was surprised by the outcome because another candidate, Bishop Michael Dahulich of New York and New Jersey, received more votes in the second round of voting. In the second round, Bishop Michael received 355 votes and Archbishop Tikhon got 317. Onofrey said he cast one vote for Bishop Michael and one vote for Archbishop Tikhon in the two rounds of voting. However, since a two-thirds vote is required and neither candidate received that, a group of bishops who are members of the Holy Synod retired behind the altar and elected Metropolitan Tikhon. When asked why he thinks Metropolitan Tikhon was chosen, Onofrey speculated it was because he’s a very spiritual man, saying, “He’s well-liked”.
The OCA’s been in a state of transition since the July resignation of Metropolitan Jonah, who had been elected in 2008 under a banner of reform after his predecessor, Archbishop Herman Swaiko, retired amid allegations that leaders of the denomination used money from church coffers to cover personal expenses. In July, Metropolitan Jonah said he was leaving the post in response to the unanimous request of the bishops. Metropolitan Tikhon said he hopes his election helps put an end to uncertainty in the church, saying on Friday, “My prayer is that we’ll come smoothly out of this transition and come together for the work of the church”. The metropolitan will move from his home near St Tikhon’s Seminary in South Caanan PA, Wayne County, to Long Island NY, where the OCA has its headquarters.
The OCA has approximately 700 parishes, communities, and monasteries throughout the USA, Canada, and Mexico. Estimates vary, but there are about 85,000 members in the USA, according to the Standing Conference of the Canonical Orthodox Bishops in the Americas. On 27 January 2013, there’ll be a formal enthronement for the new metropolitan at St Nicholas Cathedral in Washington DC. Many ecumenical guests and dignitaries will be invited. Amongst the guests will be the Rev Elizabeth Mollard of Elizabethtown PA, Lancaster County, a retired Episcopal priest, and the mother of Metropolitan Tikhon.
Mollard wasn’t present at the meeting on Tuesday and had no idea her son would be elected, saying on Friday, “We’re very proud of our son. We know it’s a big responsibility”. She last saw her son in August, when he was in the area while visiting some OCA congregations in the Harrisburg area. She expressed concern about the major changes he’ll undergo in a position of such responsibility, but said she’s hopeful it will be a good experience for him. She said of her son, “He has wonderful pastoral skills”.
When asked if his friends from Wyomissing High School’s Class of 1984 would’ve considered him a spiritual person, Metropolitan Tikhon said they probably didn’t have that impression. He said, “I was more of a questioner, I wasn’t overtly religious, although I did go to church regularly”.
17 November 2012
Reading (PA) Eagle
This is why it’s going to take at least two years for the OCA to crash and burn. As one of the Cabinet put it:
With someone as weak as that, a puppet of Kishkovsky, the end of the OCA is even nearer.
Mollard has a “nice” exterior. I say, look at what a person does… Mollard’s not getting rid of Tosi or Lyonyo or Jillions… he’s not abolishing the Diocese of Washington (a rotten borough if there ever was such). Also, look at history… Herman Swaiko pushed Mollard forward, far too quickly for Mollard’s good. Like all too many konvertsy, Mollard went to seminary too early, and Herman made him a “professor” far too quickly… long before he was truly ready for such responsibility. In many ways, he’s like Tikhon Shevkunov… he’s never had any “bumps in the road”, which means that he’s immature and unready as a leader. Tikhon Mollard lacks grit, good-sense, and fortitude… that’s why the OCA’s going to crash and burn.
One reason that Mollard fools many is that he’s from Berks County, which is near Schuykill County and Lehigh County, which means that he’s “fluent” in the Valley‘s folkways. That is, he’s not as “threatening” as JP was… who was an unrepentant godless California New Age nutter. He’s a “local boy”… maybe not po-nashemu, but from the nabe. This unarmed many people, I’m sure. Like the Blunder, he has “gee shucks” mannerisms, but since he’s from the sticks, it doesn’t seem so phony in his case. I’d say this… “Mollard would’ve been disqualified from standing as a candidate for First Hierarch in any legit Local Church due to his immaturity (he’s below 50)”… we should note that Paffhausen was equally unqualified… the OCA has chosen a crank candidate two times in a row.
There’s much more to leadership than having a pleasant and unctuous exterior… we’ll find that out in the coming months to our detriment. However, he’s going to have a honeymoon until he serves with his sugar-daddy Herman at the next Pilgrimage… after that, it’s anyone’s guess…