Voices from Russia

Sunday, 22 March 2015

OCA SOBs Kick the Can Down the Road… Delay Naming Bishop for DOS… Is This a Divided House? Is This Another Dahulich Manoeuvre?

01 Scaredy Cat


Here is a letter sent out by the OCA:

Dear Faithful Clergy of the Diocese of the South:

All the blessings of the fast!

Please carefully read the attached letter from His Beatitude, Metropolitan Tikhon. I also encourage you to send this out to your parish mailing list if you so desire. Following this past week’s Holy Synod meeting, Fr Gerasim has been appointed Administrator of the Diocese of the South, and Metropolitan Tikhon is now the locum tenens.  As Administrator, Fr Gerasim has been given full responsibility for the life of the diocese, save for those things specifically reserved for a bishop. Practically speaking, this means that your dean continues to be the point of first contact when pastoral need arises, but that Fr Gerasim will be integrally involved in all the decisions that affect the life of our diocese.

From today forward in liturgical services you should no longer commemorate Archbishop Nikon, but only the Metropolitan as “His Beatitude, Metropolitan Tikhon, Archbishop of Washington, Metropolitan of All America and Canada, Locum Tenens of the Diocese of the South”. Be assured, too, that Fr Gerasim is in complete agreement with this decision, and as soon as he is back in Dallas, he will send out a letter explaining things from his perspective. This decision in no way nullifies our Special Assembly, and the Holy Synod hasn’t rejected Fr Gerasim, nor has any other candidate been put forth for our Diocese. I, therefore, ask everyone to temper his disappointment that there wasn’t an election and recognise that this is the next step in a process that will lead to the election of a new bishop for the Diocese of the South. I counsel patience, and I also beg for restraint, especially as regards to any clergy who might be tempted to “vent” on social media or in the “blogosphere”.  As one wise member of our diocese has stated, “this is a process, not an event”.

Please let me know if I can serve you in any way. In the meantime, I pray that you all have a profitable remainder of these Great and Holy Days.

I remain faithfully yours in Christ Jesus,

Archpriest Marcus


It looks as though the SOBs are divided… divided to the point of inaction. I smell Dahulich, Peterson, and the SVS gang (with Tikhon Fitz cheering from the sidelines). Remember Parma… do you recall how Dahulich tried to hijack the proceedings? At Parma, a majority of levelheaded parish leaders overrode Dahulich’s naked power grab. Dahulich has a devoted and zealous coterie of young priests… whom he uses as stormtroopers. In the SOBs, the bishops don’t have their archpriestly allies immediately present. Ergo, Dahulich and Peterson obviously tried an end-run to put Eliel in as bishop. They failed. However, Mollard’s a weak reed, a coward in all respects. This was a situation that cried for leadership… Mollard gave none. Yet, it wasn’t the worst outcome. Nikon Liolin is ill… ergo, if Mollard takes over as locum, it means that the sede vacante period might be longer than most expect (it’ll depend on who wins the power tussle in the SOBs). It’s clear that Eliel isn’t favoured in the ROCOR or at the Centre. Let’s be frank… the OCA is a dependency of the MP in all but name. That’s why Dahulich is so dangerous… he’s an EP man, with ties to the Phanar. Also, if Nikon is ill enough not to be able to act as locum, is his health bad enough to keep him from active duty or shall it take a worse turn, presenting the OCA will another empty seat?

We don’t have much to go on… however, it’s clear that something untoward occurred and Mollard is too scared to deal with it. Yes, that’s bad… but Dahulich would’ve been worse… reflect on that. Mollard WAS the Sobor’s choice… FOR GOOD REASON. Keep that in mind.


Friday, 9 January 2015

9 January 2015. No Real News Out of the OCA Since Mollard’s Trip to the Phanar

00 Sleepy bear. cartoon. 01.04.13


I’ve monitored oca.org, and there’s been no real news since they announced Mollard’s trip to the Phanar on 18 December. NOTHING OF SUBSTANCE. In fact, there’s been little enough news in general out of the OCA since Mollard’s enthronement. Actually, most people that I know WELCOME this situation. As one wrote me:

We had “seven lean years” from 2005 to 2012. Trust me, I’ve had enough “excitement” to last me for my life. I LIKE the lack of upset, and I hope that it lasts.

This person isn’t alone. Truthfully, most people are happy with Mollard. His bovine passivity actually COMFORTS people. The parishes are left alone… in an almost Zen-like Old School Metropolia way. Let’s keep it focused… the parish, not the diocese, is the basic building block of the Russian Orthodox diaspora in the USA and Canada. However, do note that no comment has issued forth from OCA official sources on either the Russian or Phanar gallivants, so, most people wonder why they even happened at all. I can’t help… I’m as nonplussed as all the rest are. There’s much speculation… you pays your money and you takes your choice.

What this covers over is a four-way split:

  1. The Syosset Mafia… centred at the Chancery. The “First Families” set and their hangers-on.
  2. The SVS set centred about Hatfield & Co.
  3. The po-nashemu ethnics and Alaska Natives… no fans of the Syosset set… they supported Bobby over Lyonyo (as one said, “Bobby’s a thief, but Kish is nuts… some choice”).
  4. The convert nutters (“konvertsy“)… Monomoron trash and those like them.

This will be in abeyance for some time yet, as the OCA atomises slowly and without fanfare, as the individual parishes follow their own goals. Will the 2016 all-Orthodox Sobor cause enharmonic dissonances that will topple this finely-balanced organism? We’ll have to see… I anticipate more than one “surprise”…


Friday, 19 December 2014

Mollard Goes to Halki with SVS Delegation… NO BUZZ AS TO WHY

00 Chalki EP Seminary. Istanbul TURKEY. 06.10.13


Read this. Mollard went to the Phanar without any advance warning. This is unusual. Where did he get the money? The OCA doesn’t have it… Fatso wasted it all. No one knows what was said in private. Was Mollard a courier between HH and Bart? Was Mollard sticking a knife in HH’s back? NO ONE KNOWS. The fact that this happened less than a week after Mollard’s return from the Centre is interesting. Such a thing has never happened before. On top of that, Bart doesn’t recognise the OCA. Note well that oca.org is silent on THAT.

Make no conclusions… there’s not enough data yet. Pass the jug… it’ll take a while for things to gel. Patience, kids…


Thursday, 11 December 2014

11 December 2014. Cabinet Reactions to Mollard’s Ad Limina… Sans Commentary

00 Tikhon Mollard and Ilarion Alfeyev. Moscow. 03.12.14


I have it on very good authority that His Holiness the all-Russian patriarch laid down the Law on the OCA regarding Renovationism and lax morals (especially, the brewing homosexuality issue). His Beatitude agrees with HH… HH promised him every support. However, this means that they’re throwing down the gauntlet and it’s going to get ugly.


I wonder why about this whole silly trip. Still can’t find anyone who has a clue. Was this a favour to Antioch so that their Patriarch wouldn’t have to receive Mollard in any official capacity?


[Mollard] looks very angry… surely, the Patriarch isn’t on JP’s side! In other matters, just wait until the Arabs in the Antiochian Archdiocese start their backlash against the converts… Philip kept them in line with an iron fist…


NO ONE KNOWS what went down in private. I’ll only say that I don’t know… but we’ll find out in due course, and it’ll be sooner, rather than later. Patience, kiddies… pass me the jug…


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