Voices from Russia

Saturday, 17 October 2009

One Week On…

episcopal priestess

Marjorie Everlof (Nashotah House, Class of 2000, TEC clergy attached to the TEC Diocese of Alaska). She is a graduate of Nashotah House. Ergo, Nashotah House favours the concept of female ordination. JP signed an agreement with such. For shame, sir!

It has been one week since an abomination of an agreement was signed between Saint Vladimir Theological Seminary (an institution of the OCA) and Nashotah House Seminary (an institution of the Episcopal Church (TEC)). If a seminary of the OCA and one of the TEC sign an official document agreeing to cooperate, it means, logically enough, that the OCA and the TEC have signed an accord. That is, an establishment in communion with Jonas Paffhausen and one in communion with Katharine Jefferts-Schori have openly and freely affirmed their oneness (after all, no one coerced SVS to sign and no one compelled JP to attend the signing ceremony). Why else would they make a contract and publicly covenant to join their forces?

Orthodox people should know what kind of institution Nashotah House is. Please, go to their website: http://www.nashotah.edu/index.htm. Then, click on “Admissions”. Look at the photograph on the right-hand of the page. Well, well, well… it is a snap of one of the female “clergy” of the TEC, a priestess… a graduate of Nashotah House (it is the illustration at the head of this post). THAT is the kind of association that SVS chose freely! By witnessing the agreement between the two schools, THAT is what JP winks at! I have absolutely no hatred or anger towards the TEC pseudo-priestess pictured (she is, probably, a very nice lady, well-mannered and civil, and we would get on well together, I am sure). She is only following what the TEC teaches. This is no secret. Nashotah House does not conceal the fact that it is not opposed to female ordination. What does this tell us about those who made an agreement with such an institution? Without a doubt, they made this pact knowing full-well that Moscow has dropped “dialogue” with the TEC. No amount of bloviating by “John” at Ad Orientem can change this fact. To be sure, I am surprised that a former sedevacantist papist (the SSPX claims it is loyal to Ratzinger… fine, why do they refuse his jurisdiction? Hence, they ARE sedevacantists!) is defending the squiffiest (and most Renovationist) Orthodox seminary in its agreement with one of the most virulently modernist heterodox bodies, the TEC.

However, a friend of mine pointed up something about sedevacantists. For all their protestations, she said that they are the most Protestant of papists… in their way, they are more similar to Anglicans than anything else. Trust me; that discussion spanned more than several e-mails. External differences mean nothing, truly. Benedict Ratzinger is reaching out to these folks, but, most of them are going to remain outside the official papal confession. In their way, they are very similar to the so-called Old Calendarist movement in Orthodoxy. Fr Andrew Phillips has written an incisive article on the topic at: http://orthodoxengland.org.uk/ocalend.htm. For our purposes, only the following is applicable directly to this current submission:

Old Calendarists justified their actions with talk of a conspiracy and the apostasy of their hierarchies uniting all religions into one. This was fed by a blind fundamentalism and pseudo-theological debates, self-justifying talk of the end of the world, together with suspicion and mistrust of Church authorities, who bred ill-will towards themselves.

…Old Calendarist leaders on the fringes of the Church preached asceticism without love, the application of akrivia (the strict and literal interpretation of the canons) and never oikonomia (pastoral dispensations). This deprived the faithful of spiritual vision and dried up and hardened hearts. Without the Holy Spirit, ironically therefore under the influence of hypocritical Western moralism and the Protestant-style quoting of canons, instead of chapter and verse, the schismatic groups were often marked by pride and hatred, ill-will, and a sense of exclusive possession of the truth. The author also associates with Old Calendarism theological ignorance, a lack of sense of the Tradition, and its replacement by mere worldly conservatism made into dogma. For the Church Fathers, the calendar question has never been an issue of dogma, as it is for Old Calendarism.

The above, word-for-word, could be applied to no only to sedevacantists, but, also to the sort of “conservative” Anglican who, all too often, formally-converts to Orthodoxy. This is especially telling, “The author also associates with Old Calendarism theological ignorance, a lack of sense of the Tradition, and its replacement by mere worldly conservatism made into dogma”. Replace “Old Calendarism” with either “Sedevacantism” or “Conservative Anglicanism”… it still makes good-sense, does it not? Now, replace “Old Calendarism” with “the TEC”, and replace the word “conservatism” with “liberalism”… it makes even greater sense, doesn’t it? One can see why Fr Andrew is not only one of my faves, but, of many others as well (he is particularly popular in Alaska, interestingly enough).

An agreement signed with Nashotah House is an agreement signed with Katherine Jefferts-Schori (1954- )… after all, she is the head of the TEC… and they DO belong to the TEC! Congrats, JP! How are you going to explain THIS to KMG? I’d love to be a fly on the wall for that one…

You see, “John” relies overly much on official statements and other such piffle. THAT is unimportant. I say, “What did they do, and with whom did they do it with?” An agreement was signed. No amount of wind issued by JP can change that reality. A covenant was signed between SVS and Nashotah House. Full stop. The first-named school is part of the OCA; the second is part of the TEC. Full stop. The TEC is headed by Katharine Jefferts-Schori, and Nashotah House, as an integral part of the TEC, is in full communion with her. Full stop. This leads to only one conclusion… the OCA has, barefacedly and shamelessly, before the eyes of both God and mankind, signed an agreement with the TEC. FULL STOP.

Do note well that the OCA did not issue a press release for four days… Nashotah House, to its credit, issued one immediately. A friend of mine said that Syosset only issued its release because of the furore stirred up by the event (my small effort was only a mite in that, I am sure… I have no illusions). The OCA has not issued a retraction of the pact signed… so, one has to assume that the worst has happened. The OCA has publicly climbed into bed with the TEC… for what remuneration? One wonders… On top of all the rest of the unresolved scandal that is still plaguing Syosset, they did not need this… or, did they? They ARE in financial straits (the merging of the SVS and Syosset treasurer slots is mute testimony to that)…

If anyone thinks that I am happy concerning this, please, do think again. However, I shall not be silent. Ordinary lay-folk did not keep their silence at the time of the Iconoclasts. They did not keep their silence at the time of the imposition of the Unia. They did not keep their silence at the time of the Living Church dispute. They did not keep their silence in ’99, at the time of the troubles in the Diocese of Yekaterinburg (which led, in the end, to the estimable Archbishop Vikenty Morar becoming its archpastor). The people got riled first, then, the clergy got involved, and, finally, the bishops got energised! Apparently, that is the way of it in the Church… we are not heterodox, who are organised from the top down. In the Church, it is NOT from the bottom up, rather, it radiates out from the Centre, Who is Christ. It is why the heterodox always misjudge us… they look at the Tables of Organisation and Equipment when they should be looking at the baba lighting her candle on Sunday. Silly rabbit… Christ is for babas and dedes… not professors!

One week on… it looks worse, does it not? Shall we walk together? There’s a bit longer on this dicey path… we shouldn’t get separated.

img_0001Barbara-Marie Drezhlo

Saturday 17 October 2009

Albany NY

Bob Czech was Right!

Don’t mess with an adult, child… I can smell your soiled and full nappies all the way over here! We’ve got another toddler to catch! You don’t gotta see ’em… just follow your nose!

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When you receive a comment that begins, “If you weren’t such an obnoxious bigotted cnt…”, it’s obvious that not much else is going to make sense. As a matter of fact, I’ve received two kinds of comments and e-mails concerning me and my posts. One sort is civil and polite… we stick to the issues involved; we act like the adults we are. No… there isn’t always agreement… that’s the way of it. These come from grounded Orthodox, both ethnic and converts. There’s a second sort. The pathology revealed in them is interesting and frightening.

Firstly, they have a heterodox institutional view of the Church… this is because most of them are recent arrivals with no experience of real Church life. This was illustrated by the statement, “If you were so important Vara then why arent you in church administrator straightening out the messes you love to bitch about”. Only immature children speak so. Grounded adults know that many institutions have an ideological bias, that anyone who doesn’t share the preconceived notions of those in charge isn’t admitted. Indeed, one can’t serve in the OCA administration unless one shares the autocephalist mindset of the SVS/Syosset cabal. Anyone who doesn’t is thrown aside… regardless of ability.

Furthermore, they have met none of the dramatis personae, as many grounded people have. For instance, having met both Andrei Dmitirievich and ADS, I can say that both were very different men. They may have been identical-twins, yet, their attitudes were antipodes apart. It WAS disconcerting…. here were two men who looked ABSOLUTELY THE SAME… but their views were absolutely at odds! No… I was friend or acquaintance to neither… that requires more than a visit or two. Yet… one can get impressions… this opposition of these two brothers is one of the most fascinating things that I’ve ever seen.

My charming interlocutor demanded to know the identity of my staritsa. YOUCH! That is a clear sign that they were a newbie, and an indication that they are probably an ex-Proddie. Orthodox don’t pry into the lives of others as a matter of principle (of course, some Orthodox do so, but such is a personal failing, not a corporate teaching)… it’s why confession is private. This is one of the worst Proddie traits (most grounded Protestants don’t act like that… unfortunately for us, grounded Protestants don’t tend to convert…)… one is expected to live one’s life in a fishbowl… all of one’s actions are open to criticism by any other member of the group. Rather odd, no? I had an interesting conversation yesterday with a friend who is a lawyer… “You Orthodox are lucky… you believe in privacy”. I decided not to press it… SOMETHING had hurt her… if she had wanted me to know it, she would have told me (she didn’t, by the way). However, many of the konvertsy are recent enough arrivals that they are hitting the computer keyboard without any lived Orthodox experience… their vitriol is amazing, isn’t it?

Here is an example… “You are sheer evil. May all your evils come back on you and yours. John get you. Everyone just visits your blog to see how insane you really are. Go Ad Orientiem!” What my interlocutor does not realise is that “John” is an internet persona, a will o’ of the wisp of the cyberworld, not a real person at all. I post with my actual name and snap… that’s me! Warts n’ all! I’m a living and breathing denizen of the real world… with a credit card, apartment, etc. By the way, I realise that this person that does NOT speak for “John” (or whatever his name actually is) or “Ad Orientem”. Indeed, I’d warn “John” that there are many oddballs afoot in the cyberworld… be careful, the cow-pies are plentiful… there is more than one crankish nutter out there. “John” is an ex-sedevacantist papist and bears all the stigmata of such… I fear that he (like Christopher Orr) is another newbie with no ties to any grounded Orthodox.

I wish that I could take people like “John” to Mayfield PA… he could sit down in the diner over coffee and talk with the folks from Russian Hill. He wouldn’t be so enthusiastic for the OCA after that experience, I’d warrant! That is… if he were an honest and decent human-being… it wouldn’t affect an ideologue, I am afraid. Don’t talk to me of this statement or that statement… that’s mere wind. The parish in Mayfield had to defend its property from the grasping autocephalists… I believe the entire process took over five years. I would ask “John”… did you ever know Fr Basil Stroyen? His sage advice was contemptuously shoved aside by ADS and the SVS/Syosset gang.

People such as the person who sent me the incoherent comment are not indicative of most who convert to the Church… however, they’re the “public face” of the konvertsy. The presumptuousness is breathtaking, is it not? I’d say to “John”… you started your website far too early… you are still learning… please, refrain from commenting on the Church until you have worked through replacing your sedevacantist notions and habits with Orthodox ones. THAT is a work of patience… it takes years. Regrettably, most converts leave before that can happen. They’re here for three to five years, more or less… then, they gutter out or crash and burn. I’ve seen it more than once, sadly enough. In short, they leave before they actually convert! No matter what you say, life ISN’T boring.

Bob Czech was right! They DO “holler loudly when the harpoon strikes home”. Bob… do hand me the jug… I need a HEALTHY snort! Take one for yourself, if you would. It DOES take all kinds, doesn’t it?

img_0001Barbara-Marie Drezhlo

Saturday 17 October 2009

Albany NY

 

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