Voices from Russia

Sunday, 21 October 2018

21 October 2018. Quo Vadis OCA? To the Centre or to the Phanar?

Mollard has the white hat now… but what about the future?

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Everyone here in the American diaspora is wondering how the OCA will fall on the Ukrainian Crisis. Of course, not all bishops are created equal. Mollard, although nominally the First Hierarch, is a cypher chosen for the fact that he wouldn’t rock the boat nor utter any controversial statements. The issue will pivot on how Michael Dahulich stands. A senior archpriest told me:

Dahulich is the most ambitious cleric in the USA, not only in the OCA. Look at how he disrupted the Sobor where Mollard was elected. I’ll lay you any money that both sides are politicking him hard. Wherever he falls, he’ll carry most of his students from STS with him. My view is that he’s a “Paris is worth a mass” man. He’s going to follow whoever gives him the most. No one knows. Watch him. He’s the only bishop who can influence the whole shooting match.

I agree with the above assessment. Mollard is a marshmallow, chosen precisely for that reason. The Church had enough of Paffhausen and his libertarian antics. BTW… I think that Paffhausen is trying to position himself to take over the white hat in the OCA again. I doubt that very highly. Firstly, the Centre knows how much of a pain in the ass he was the last time, and, secondly, it’d want a figure that could unite all wings of the OCA. Paffhausen isn’t that. Dahulich could do that… he’s ethnic, but he has a following amongst convert clergy (mostly, amongst his students at STS). Nevertheless, no one knows what’s going to come out of the OCA meeting, least of all, me. It could very well be that the Synod would deadlock in the short term. Therefore, we may see a whole lot of nothing. However, both of the contending sides will get an idea about where the bishops stand. Don’t expect much… I’ll bet that they’d issue a worthless piece of fluff, GIGO from top to bottom. However… eppur si muove… events will simmer beneath the surface.

Watch Dahulich… you don’t have to like someone to realise their importance…

BMD

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