Click here… it’s more evidence that St Demetrios Greek Orthodox Church is spitting on the OCA Holy Synod by allowing Ray Velencia to act as a clergyman there. This is highly irregular and more than slightly wacky. Firstly, the parish didn’t get permission from Archbishop Demetrios Trakatellis to defy the OCA Holy Synod. No way, no how… no matter how much ‘rasslin’ may go on between the Russians and the Greeks, both sides respect the other’s Synodal decisions. That is, to invite Ray Velencia to act as a clergyman on GOAA property was inappropriate and it was an idiosyncratic action of the parish, which dragged in the whole GOAA. You see, if this parish has RV act as a clergyman, they say, in effect, “We reject the disciplinary action of the OCA Holy Synod and we hold it in contempt”. No matter which way you slice this rotten hunk of bologna, it stinks to high heaven.
That is, Ray Velencia holds the OCA Holy Synod in contempt, for his acting as a clergyman in a GOAA venue is contrary to his suspension. St Demetrios parish holds the OCA Holy Synod in contempt, for refusing to comply with a legit decision. Velencia is a clergyman incardinated in the OCA, NOT the GOAA. Indeed, the only way that Ray could serve in a GOAA parish is with the permission of his ruling bishop, which he doesn’t have. Conversely, the only legit way for St Demetrios to have Ray serve there is with the permission of their ruling bishop, which they don’t have either. In short, this rebellious OCA priest and this rebellious GOAA parish have committed their respective archdioceses to a pointless and bootless wrangle. Frankly, it’s easy to solve. Vladyki Demetrios should say, “I’m sorry that this untoward event happened. I didn’t know about it, but I’m responsible for this mess”. Tikhon Mollard should say, “You don’t need to apologise… YOU didn’t do anything. I know that you’ll keep this suspended cleric from ever serving in any of your parishes ever again”. Actually, Demetrios Trakatellis would be the “lawnmower”, and the St Demetrios clergy would be the “grass” (as in, “Your ass is grass and I’m the lawnmower”).
Howard Needle claims that RV’s case is “highly meritorious”… I wonder what any judge would say after finding out that Sir Ray represented himself as a clergyman after his public, merited, and quite-in-order suspension from the clergy (he’s not supposed to dress as or represent himself as a cleric). That would blow RV’s cred all to hell. After all, a “suspension” in canonical terms is the equivalent of being found guilty of a misdemeanour in legal terms (defrocking is the equivalent of a felony, I’d say). That is, Ray is a convicted criminal in Church terms… and the OCA Holy Synod handed out an appropriate punishment… which he refuses to respect (and the jerks at St Demetrios back him up… as their repeated invites to RV to speak there prove).
Here’s how a reasonable and decent person would solve it. Demetrios would give a pro forma apology to Tikhon, who’d graciously refuse it. Demetrios would “bad dog” St Demetrios for making him step in a cow pat unnecessarily (and in public, no less). Tikhon would convene the OCA Holy Synod, which would then defrock Ray for representing himself as a clergyman whilst under suspension. The two bishs “win” and the bad boys “lose”… what’s not to like?
Quo vadis? This IS a defining moment, after all…