Voices from Russia

Friday, 22 July 2011

22 July 2011. “Tithing”… It’s NOT Gonna Happen Any Time Soon… or, Any Time Later, For that Matter…

Some of the konvertsy are gaga over tithing… perhaps, because their former confession/sect preached it. I said, “Preached it”, because even those who “preach” the tithe don’t receive it, unless they back it with draconian penalties (as the Mormons and Baptists do). Look at the following, I saw it on the ‘net:

The entire OCA should be on a tithing system. Individuals should tithe to the parish, the parishes to their Diocese, and the Dioceses to the CCA. Any other system is problematic from all points of view, the most important being doing it in accordance with the most basic source that we have… the Holy Scriptures. It also makes great financial sense if you think about it… the tithing approach functions as a self-regulator. If the revenues are increasing, you can spend more on the needful things, and if they’re declining, you can tighten the belt in accordance with spending priorities. This haggling over a dollar or 50 cents per head is a shot in the dark from a financial planning perspective, based on zero-sum thinking, and thus is unworthy of a church body.

(Name withheld to spare the author shame for writing such dreck)

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This is unhinged and divorced from reality. NO Orthodox Local Church has EVER “preached” tithing… it’s not part of the Church’s Deposit of Tradition. Holy Scripture is NOT “the most basic source that we have”… that’s Sectarian thinking at its most nasty and insidious. The CHURCH is the bedrock of Truth. The Church defines and interprets Scripture; Scripture does NOT define and interpret the Church. The Church preceded Scripture; ergo, the Church trumps Scripture, every time. Usually, though, the Church does NOT go “against” Scripture, but there are times when it extends its pastoral oikonomia over this-or-that individual (as in the case of Mark Stokoe)… when it does so, it doesn’t negate Scripture; it makes a salutary exception for the salvation of a given person, that’s all.

In any case, how would we “enforce” tithing? Would we verify what everyone donated, and, then, post the figures publicly? That was done in some old-time Metropolia parishes (thank God, it’s mostly dead, now). Would we bar non-tithers from communion? Would we prohibit non-tithers from attending family marriages, as the Mormons do? Would we have two “levels” of “membership”… one for tithers, and another, lower one, for those who didn’t tithe? As you see, it opens up far more problems than it “solves”. There’s another thing that’s worrisome in the above quotation… it assumes that all parishioners have an equal level of commitment and that all parishioners have an equal ability to give at a stated level of giving. That’s foolish. Some people only show up for the main holidays… hell, some come only on Easter, let’s keep it simple. Others are regular in attendance, but not every week (that’d be Nicky and me)… it’s best not to conjecture as to why a given person isn’t at services, that’s an open invitation for Ol’ Scratch to come in and set up shop. Then, there are the “church hobbyists”… they’re different from the “faithful attendees” (you know ‘em… they’re always there, but they don’t make a fuss over it). The “hobbyists” know better… their influence increases if there’s a “hobbyist priest” (a badly-formed convert with a 40-hour-a-week job who moonlights as a priest on the weekends) in the parish. Becoming a “hobbyist” is a danger to all of us… hell, I even had such a period, but I grew out of it… reality has its ways of asserting itself, kids.

Nevertheless, what’s happened is that we’ve ordained far too many converts, especially in the OCA and in the AOCANA. No organisation can have over a certain level of newbies in its leadership ranks… and it becomes positively dangerous if they were “clergy” in their previous confession/sect, which means that we have too many clergy lacking a basic Orthodox formation, who, in it’s place, have a heterodox formation instead. Thus, the “hobbyists”, far from being restrained, become “empowered”… look at Chad Hatfield, and you’ll know what I mean. He’s brought in his Anglican formation with him, and he’s refused to jettison his baggage (one can see that he believes wholeheartedly in the Branch Theory after the Nashotah House débâcle), to the point where he accepted an “honorary degree” from his Anglican alma mater. I’ve never heard of the like in my life. That’s why konvertsy fools are jawing about “tithing”. What I dread is that a group’s going to split off from us, call itself “Orthodox”, and muddy our reputation in the larger society (yes… any grounded person can see that happening). It may even call itself the “Orthodox Church in America”… it’ll have clergy exclusively recruited from the ranks of rebellious Anglicans and disgrunt Sectarians… it’ll teach all kinds of oddball stuff… including “tithing”. As for the Church… it’s NEVER taught tithing… it does NOT do so now… and it NEVER shall. I know, this’ll disappoint the “hobbyists”… but that’s the way it is. Ergo, they’re going to leave us. Don’t EVER argue with them… they’re impervious. If they won’t listen to Christ and His Church, they’re not going to listen to sinners like you or me.

We live in “interesting” times… may we acquit ourselves well…

Barbara-Marie Drezhlo

Friday 22 July 2011

Albany NY

Saturday, 29 May 2010

Are There Contrition and a Firm Resolve for Amendment?

As a dog returneth to his vomit…

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But if the wicked will turn from all his sins that he hath committed, and keep all my statutes, and do that which is lawful and right, he shall surely live, he shall not die.

Ezekiel 18.21

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As a dog returneth to his vomit, so a fool returneth to his folly.

Proverbs 26.11

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Editor’s Foreword:

I apologise for the fact that I must rehash some “old news” at the beginning. If I don’t, it’ll be easier for autocephalist apologists such as Harry Coin, Nina Dimas, “Hank Leaf”, “KAren Jermyn”, and “John” from Ad Oriente to distort my point. As it stands, the Orthodox Forum crowd will kick it about like a football… remember, despite all their pretensions, they’re a group of less than a thousand members… however, that being said, don’t forget 25 October 1917… small minorities CAN seize power and the consequences are always disastrous.

BMD

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Firstly, read this, isn’t long:

http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_8038/is_20100329/ai_n52957725/

What triggered this was oca.org’s recent announcement of the commencement at SVS. Thirty graduates! For a group of only about 100,000 all told, that’s rather excessive. Indeed, Holy Cross in Brookline, which serves an archdiocese over three times the size, had only about the same number (or a few less, according to photographic evidence). We’ll return to this later… it’s important… but for the moment, it’s only à propos to notice that this was the precipitating incident for my thoughts that follow. The question that many of us have had since November of ’08 is whether the OCA would, indeed, turn from its sins and live, or, instead, return to its old ways. No one was expecting Nirvana… in fact, I am NOT arguing from the standpoint that since the solution taken in 11/08 wasn’t perfect, we must reject it. THAT’S juvenile and immature, only fit for sophomoric minds or for konvertsy. However, it’s been eighteen months since that date, so, no one can accuse me (or anyone else, for that matter) of being unduly hasty and/or not taking all proper arguments into account. Our first question is, “Has Jonas Paffhausen made the clean sweep that he claimed at PSTGU in 2009?”

No. John Behr remains at the head of SVS. No major personnel shake-ups took place at SVS, actually. It remains the same dodgy and second-rate trade school for priests that it was prior to JP (with the same pseudo-intellectual pretensions and conceits)… with the same emphasis on Renovationism… “If Aleksandr Dmitrievich Schmemann’s God, John Nikolaevich Behr’s his prophet…” So, we see that there were no changes for the good at SVS. Yes, Virginia, there were “changes”… but not for the better. SVS has become openly and rabidly ecumenistic. Such trends were muted somewhat during Herman’s time, because Herman insisted (rightly) that the institution focus on pastorality and leave airy-fairy speculation alone. As of today, it has penned a concordat of cooperation with an openly heretical Anglican institution, Nashotah House. One should note that not only did Behr praise this, so did the dean of SVS, one Chad Hatfield, and JP also praised it. Not only does Behr remain, so do Paul Meyendorff, Bradley Nassif, Chad Hatfield, and all the rest of the pre-JP crew. SVS invited Rowan Williams to come to speak on the Philokalia… that, I think, illustrates, even for the slow learners, their contempt for grounded Orthodoxy. They also invited a Jesuit, Robert Taft, to come to their campus… he mocked the Mountain, and the SVS lot tittered along with him! THIS is what Vassa Larina and Andrei Psaryov wish to ally themselves (and all of the ROCOR with them)… birds of a feather flock together.

Lyonyo Kishkovsky remains the head of the OCA DECR-equivalent. If one remembers the 2005 OCA Sobor in Toronto, one remembers how a motion was raised from the floor to take the OCA out of the National Council of Churches. It was ruled out of order… on the objection of Lyonyo. There’s only one problem with that… Lyonyo was (and probably still is) receiving a salary from the NCC. That is, if the OCA left the NCC, Lyonyo would lose money! Oh, the humanity! Lyonyo wouldn’t have the cash to live on the Island in the style that he had become accustomed to… that means that he had a “material interest” in the question, no? Usually, if one follows the rules of parliamentary order, that disqualifies anyone from raising an objection to a motion (one should note that the SVS Solons not only didn’t oppose this, they supported Lyonyo). In short, we have a thoroughly murky figure. Don’t forget his chequered history in Sea Cliff; do remember that he was very nasty during the property dispute there. JP not only kept him on, one often sees Lyonyo in photos near to JP. By the way, am I being catty if I were to point up that Lyonyo was with JP in Moscow when JP claimed that he had made a clean sweep? I do daresay that more than one person in Moscow also noticed that (Lyonyo is a well-known figure in higher Church circles, after all)…

Therefore, this proposition is false… JP didn’t make a clean sweep of higher Church officials.

JP claimed, “Everything’s changed, it’s all over”. Indeed, he sent one of his minions to our parish in Lent 2009 to say, “Everything’s changed in Syosset. You can send your money now”. I kid you not! However, that was a telling episode. The rector’s one of the inner circle, Igor Stepanovich Burdikov (Burdikoff). In addition, Iggy’s the Dean of Upstate New York State and was the Treasurer of the Diocese of NY and Washington (past tense because four years of diocesan financial records are “missing”). If JP had to send someone to a “safe” parish to shore up the situation… that means that people were (and are) sitting on their hands. One of the ways to see if “everything had changed” is to see if JP cleaned out corruption with an iron broom or if he cooperated with it. I believe that any objective observer would conclude the latter. One of JP’s first actions was to go down to Florida to see Robert Kondratick. The OCA Holy Synod defrocked Bobby for malfeasance. It was a matter of destroyed records, missing funds, and suspected credit card fraud (all of which are secular felonies, by the way). Let’s see… was Bobby in a Florida prison cell for his misdeeds? No! He was a paid employee of a parish of the OCA Diocese of the South. Way to go, guys! Did JP remove Bobby from his sinecure? Did JP apologise to the faithful for this travesty? No… Bobby K remains a paid staff member of an OCA parish… and JP says nothing (and “John” of Ad Oriente PRAISED JP for this monstrous action… it does make one wonder about the konvertsy, does it not?).

“That’s a good boy! We know what’s good for you! Now, just be quiet and let Uncle Bobby get past you…” (four years of “missing records”… is that it, Bobby?… you WERE defrocked… so this ISN’T defamation) (this is my take on the Orthodox Forum and all those who defend the autocephalist cabal)

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We could go on… but this proves that JP didn’t change anything for the better. Those who were part of the corruption under the old régime remain at large. NOTHING has changed beyond a slightly different cast of characters. Now, we come to the question of thirty graduates at SVS. If the GOA has three times the number of faithful that the OCA has, yet, it graduated the same number of students (or a few less) at its seminary, it tells one that standards at SVS are abysmally low. That is, someone whom Holy Cross would reject is accepted by SVS. On top of this, I believe that most of these students are recent konvertsy, and that all too many of them are former heterodox clergy. There’s only a certain percentage of such people that a group can accept before distortion sets in. I believe, in the case of the OCA and AOCANA, that number’s been exceeded. The Catholics are going to absorb the Anglican malcontents who go to them easily as the number involved shall be under one percent of the accepting body. In terms of faithful, the number involved in the OCA and AOCANA of Anglican disgrunts is less than a tenth… that’s not bad. However, the percentage of Anglican clerical disgrunts is higher, and the OCA and AOCANA made a cardinal error in ordaining them. There are two major reasons for this assertion.

Firstly, such people have a heterodox formation that one cannot efface. To put it bluntly, a Proddie or Papist formation doesn’t fit one to be an Orthodox priest. Our urgrund is that different… the ontological postulates of Orthodoxy are that distinct from those of the Proddies and Papists. We don’t believe in the “development of doctrine” as do the Papists and Proddies. It’s here where we see that Khomiakov was right… “The Papists were the first Protestants”. There’s an intellectual and spiritual weltanschauung that one picks up in the course of heterodox clerical formation that I’d say is hard to discard. This is especially true for Anglicans, as one can see with their so-called “Branch Theory”… a heresy that was refuted recently by Patriarch Kirill when he was still a metropolitan… it’s a bracing read with no BS in it. If one looks at the Nashotah House concordat with unbiased eyes, one can see that it signalled the adaptation by SVS of the Branch Theory as its guiding principle. One of the reasons for this development, besides ADS’ obvious Proddie sympathies (which set the tone of the institution), is that too many Anglican disgrunts have been ordained by the OCA and AOCANA, many after cursory “re-education” at SVS. Is it any wonder that Anglican notions have entered the OCA and AOCANA? This isn’t to mention the cult gurus from the EOC and HOOM/CSB… they were ordained without any preliminary studies or screening at all!

Secondly, it means that many, if not most, convert clergy don’t have “institutional memory”. This is important, for it’s hard to lie to someone who has lived through a given situation; it’s relatively easy to lie to someone who’s only read about it. For instance, all the konvertsy seem to have overblown opinions of ADS and his teachings. I have to bear in mind that if I talk to a recent konvert who is of the same age that I am, that they never saw Schmemann with their own eyes, or heard him speak, or asked him a question only to be angrily rebuffed and insulted. They don’t know that the current crop of apparatchiki in the OCA were mainly the sycophantic disciples of ADS. Therefore, they attack all of us who don’t bow down in front of their idols. When you add to this the fact that they lack facility in Russian or Greek, they’re people who start out not only with one hand tied behind their backs, but with their legs shackled as well (most have never even heard of Fr Daniil Sysoev’s brilliant exposé of Schmemann’s Proddie Eucharistic theology, let alone read it). In short, most of them know nothing about the past and care even less about it… it’s a telling indictment of the Anglo-Saxon American character, is it not?

Let’s put it all together. Firstly, JP has refused to clean out the nest of vipers in the upper reaches of the OCA. Secondly, nothing has changed save the labels. Thirdly, the konvertsy are in a hurry to take over the Church. Many of them are former Anglicans who lost the fight for PECUSA… these sorts are the worst… they intend to take over the OCA and AOCANA, and since the ascent of JP, they haven’t been silent about that intent. I wonder where Patrick Reardon truly stands in all of this… is he really as Renovationist as he makes himself out to be? Anyone who venerates “’St’ Pavel Florensky” (Moscow hasn’t and won’t canonise this bald-faced heretic) is indeed questionable… one also notes that he didn’t do anything after his complaint to JP about Rowan Williams. Well, Mr Reardon, where do you stand? I’d say that JP lacks contrition for the actions of the cabal and has no intent of reforming or amending them… save to introduce HOOMie elements into the heart of the Church. Where do you stand, now, sir? If there is no contrition or intent of amendment, doesn’t that mean that it’s not only “business as usual” but “let them eat cake” as well? It’s why I hold the konvertsy in contempt, sir. You refuse not only to see what is obviously in front of you, you refuse to listen to those who tell you the truth about your idols (do remember the First and Second Commandments, Mr Reardon).

I believe that this overly large graduation class at SVS is a warning for us… the konvertsy intend to run us out of the Church… we’re not “perfect” enough for them. Thankfully, I think that it won’t come to that in the end… but it shall be a painful and nasty road before we’re through. Look… they ignore the fact that “contrition” and “amendment” are not in the vocabulary of their guru, JP. THIS is the fruit of Anglo-Saxon American Phyletism in the Church… they’ll excuse everything, just so long as their notion of an “American Church free of foreign domination” is realised. I still think that contrition and amendment are called for. Bobby K belongs in gaol (I can’t fathom why people fear him so)… Iggy has to retire… the Iliff family is owed a public apology and restitution from SVS… Tosi has to produce the “missing” financial records or he belongs in the slam too. Most of all, the OCA has to be disestablished and the Tomos ripped up. If we don’t… the end of the OCA will be neither pretty or edifying… and don’t blame me for saying so… I’m only a messenger.

Barbara-Marie Drezhlo

Saturday 29 May 2010

Albany NY

Saturday, 8 May 2010

Who’s NOT There is as Important as Who IS There

Here’s a member of the “Orthodox” delegation to the Orientale Lumen conference… there’s no one from the grounded Church who is going, save for a fairly-low-level Moscow archimandrite, who, no doubt, is KMG’s spy. We shouldn’t be going to such trumpery…

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Before we deal with the question posed by the title, one of the things that I’ve dealt with, not only in the last few days, but over the long haul as well, is the accusation that I’m being unfair to the person and ideas of Jonas Paffhausen. Am I being such? Firstly, didn’t Mr Paffhausen say at his election, “It’s all over?” Apparently, he meant that the secrecy and high-handedness of the Swaiko administration were over. Were they? Certainly, there was a change in the attitude towards the faithful… the administration became twice as secretive and twice as evasive. For instance, no information was released on the recent Holy Synod meeting in Colorado on oca.org (beyond a bare mention of its meeting); there wasn’t even a mention of the topics under discussion. In short, nothing was told to the faithful and Mark Stokoe just smiled an idiot’s smile. Would he have done so if Herman had been half as secretive? Recently, Terrence Mattingly (another self-appointed konvertsy “expert”) gushed all over Stokoe, and attacked all the rest of us, saying that we did no original work. Mr Mattingly… I challenge you. I translate from the Russian press weekly, therefore, are you saying that I am an “uninformed commentator?” I’d argue that I’ve access to Orthodox material that you don’t even know about because of your lack of facility in Russian. Interesting, no? Well… let’s move on to the nub of the submission…

However, I was looking at the items on oca.org, and one did catch my eye. This is disturbing in the extreme. Indeed, when one combines this with Paffhausen’s syncretistic pact with the TEC via Nashotah House and Behr’s embrace of the heretical “hierarch” Rowan Williams, it can mean only one thing. The OCA‘s signalling to the entire world that the boundaries of the Church mean nothing to it. We’ll return to this, but first, let’s look at an error in fact in the above post. One of the speakers, according to the OCA handout, is “Archimandrite Cyril Hovorun, Director of Religious Education, Moscow”. Does it surprise you that they didn’t get it right? Kirill Nikolaevich Govorun (no Russian source uses the incorrect dialectical “Hovorun”) holds a rather more modest office in Moscow… he’s First Deputy Chairman of the Education Committee of the MP. MUCH less than what the OCA handout implies… let’s not be too harsh, of course, it’s probably just a consequence of the utter incompetence of Belonick and Matusiak. Oh, another little wrinkle that’s not in the article due to the boobishness of Matusiak and Belonick… Kirill Nikolaevich IS the head of the DECR for the UOC/MP… I believe that he’s a lower-horsepower stand-in for the Boy Wonder, who’s sitting this one out (after the der Spiegel débâcle, he’s laying low, no doubt). Indeed, no MP bishop is on the agenda. THAT is interesting in the extreme. Bart is strutting his stuff and NO MP bishop is involved. Note well that Fr Kirill’s the highest-ranking MP figure in this ecumaniac love feast. In fact, he’s the ONLY MP figure named, save for Vassa Larina, who is from the ROCOR, which is a constituent part of the MP.

Also, note that the only ROCOR personality involved is Vassa Larin. Her academic and personal ties to Bob Taft are well known, and I don’t need to attack them… all of the Church knows of them, and very few (save for a few pseudo-academic poseurs) support her dalliance with this Uniate Jesuit charlatan (I believe that she’s doing so to “further her academic career”). So, look at who’s there, and who isn’t there. The Boy Wonder isn’t there. He’s not moving from Moscow, thank you very much (or he’s sticking close to KMG). That means that his errors over the past year have caught up with him, and he’s repairing his fences. No major figure from the MDA or SPDA or PSTGU is there. There’s no one from Jordanville, either from the monastery or the seminary. None of the major MP department heads is there, not even the layman Vladimir Legoida. NO MP bishop is there. Now, if Fr Vsevolod Chaplin or Prof Natalia Narochnitskaya were there, I’d sit up and take NOTICE. I’d truly take a second (and long) look if the name of Archimandrite Tikhon Shevkunov cropped up. Truly, none of the real big-name players in the MP is involved in this EP/papal farce.

All too many newcomers in the Church are unaware of the factional fight that is going on right now for the soul of the Russian Orthodox Church. It’s why the decent people in the MP wanted the ROCOR back into the fold so badly… they’d be valuable allies against such dangerous and mendacious poseurs as SVS, New Skete, and St Sergius (Paris). As I said, note who isn’t there… Patriarch Kirill Gundyaev isn’t there… Metropolitan Hilarion Kapral isn’t there… no MP or ROCOR bishop is there… no one from any major MP or ROCOR seminary or higher institution is there. The only MP figure named is a low-octane substitute for the Boy Wonder… who’s not going to be there either! The only ROCOR figure named has unwisely (and publicly) kissed the bum of a Jesuit Uniate phony (I hasten to add that every ROCOR voice I’ve heard on this (save for the pseudo-academic poseur Psaryov) condemns her actions in re Taft unreservedly). It’s not wise for ANY OCA figure to be there, under such circumstances, as Moscow is their sole canonical lifeline.

What is this, after all? It’s a papist meeting called to further a papist agenda in a papist venue. Excuse me whilst I hurl. To my Catholic friends I’d say, “It’s one thing to be polite to one’s neighbour and to show kindness to the people about one. That’s only right and proper. However, I draw the line at actions that transgress the boundaries of the Church… for that’s spitting on Our Lord Christ Himself”. Somehow, I don’t think that I’d get an argument from the Mark Sheas of this world… we’d agree to disagree, and we’d move on to things that we could share. We wouldn’t hold such a conference, though… it’s demeaning to both parties. Jonas Paffhausen and SVS have told all of us what they think of Christ by this action. If the Church is Christ’s Body, then, anything that we do concerning the Church concerns Christ. If one follows my chain of logic by starting with the stipulation, “JP and SVS are disregarding the boundaries of the Church”, I think that it’s obvious where that syllogism leads. Yes… JP, you were right. “Everything has changed”… yes, it most certainly has… not for the better.

Barbara-Marie Drezhlo

Saturday 8 May 2010

Albany NY

Friday, 23 April 2010

Don’t Drink the Kool Aid… Or Eat the Yellow Snow

 

Remember… what were the very first words in the OCA announcement of the Sidebottom “confidential settlement?” “We have done no wrong”… if you had “done no wrong”, then, why was there a need for a “confidential  settlement” in the first place? Perspiring minds want to know…

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There’s been quite a brouhaha over the so-called “confidential settlement” in the Koumentakos case. Firstly, if you’re interested in what appeared on Mark Stokoe’s website concerning this, here’s the URL:

http://www.ocanews.org/news/news4.19.10.html

Get a load of this quote:

“The records from the two-year old case have been sealed and the terms of the settlement won’t be made public”.

Here’s an example of what happened to an analogous corporate body, the Boy Scouts of America. Here’s a quote from Paul Mones, the lawyer for the defendant in a civil suit against the BSA, where the scouts had to cough up 18.5 mill.

“They’ve always settled. And they’re silent. No one hears because it does not see the light of day”, Mones said. “What we saw here in Portland really pulled back the covers on the Boy Scouts of America, and what it did to cover up”.

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20100424/ap_on_re_us/us_boy_scouts_abuse

This is what the OCA does. It did this in the Koumentakos case recently. It did this in the Sidebottom case right after the installation of Paffhausen. The Iliff case disappeared after Eric’s rather murky suicide (do ask, “Cui bono?” and follow the trail… SVS DID benefit from the dropping of Eric’s lawsuit after his death, didn’t it?). The Syosset apparatchiki cleaned up after the sodomite Feodosy Lazor and the equally murky Pierre l’Huillier with a raftload of “confidential settlements”. Again, heed what Mr Mones said, “They’ve always settled. And they’re silent. No one hears because it does not see the light of day”. Note well that Stokoe is covering up for his pal Paffhausen, yet again. He’s shilling for the apparatchiki… he once called for justice, now, he openly kisses up to the powers-that-be. After all, they made him a member of their “Metropolitan Council”. I’m making a fuss over this because Paffhausen claimed that he was going to be open and “transparent”. I observe that he never keeps his word (remember the pact with Nashotah House after his loud announcement of “no contact with the TEC?”), that he defends the old guard (remember his statement at PSTGU in Moscow that “no one was left from the old administration except for a housekeeper and two clerks”… whilst Kishkovsky smiled wickedly at his side?), and his juvenile disregard of the structures and statutes of the body he heads (remember how the Metropolitan Council voted down his proposal to move his residence to Washington DC, so JP just moved there anyway?).

This isn’t something that started yesterday. One of the things that JP refuses to address is the nature of his relationship with the sodomite Gleb Podmoshensky. The only reason that the ROCOR Holy Synod defrocked Podmoshensky for serving whilst under suspension was that certain clerics believed that if the truth about Podmoshensky’s sodomy were to emerge, it’d threaten their interests. It was “easier”, they believed. It was for “the good of the Church”. You see, if they’d addressed it frankly (just as Archbishop Innokenty Vasiliev was to do later in England in re the crisis caused by the schismatical Basil Osborne), it would’ve exposed the full extent of the rot; it would’ve enabled the Church to cut out the cancer and kill it. It would’ve revealed the extent of the sodomite cabal in the Church. It would’ve exposed the nature of James Paffhausen’s relationship with Podmoshensky, for one thing. Note well that Paffhausen kept up his relationship with Podmoshensky even after GP’s very public defrocking and deposition by the ROCOR Holy Synod. Reflect further that Paffhausen kept this relationship going until the early nineties, at the least; for JP went to Russia under GP’s auspices, Russky Palomnik was an unofficial rag put out by GP, it wasn’t an official MP publication. This is neither minor nor inconsequential… it shows that JP has always held the official Church in contempt and he does what he pleases… look at his actions last year, such as his rant in Dallas against “foreign hierarchs” and his lunatic remarks to the anti-clericalist OCL at Antiochian Village (I wonder what Demetrios Trakatellis thought of that antic?). They reveal his true mindset to all but the wilfully deaf and blind.

Secondly, if this isn’t bad enough, essentially, Paffhausen has allied the OCA with the official Anglican Communion; it only lacks communio in sacris to be a new form of Unia. Of course, last year, JP loudly and sanctimoniously proclaimed that he was dropping relations with the TEC. Then, in October, he signed a concordat with one of the seminaries of the TEC, Nashotah House. Nashotah House is nothing but a typical bunch of No-Church Proddies… they believe in female ordination, the 39 Articles, and the Branch Theory. What concord hath Christ with Belial? No matter which way one tries to spin this, it’s an agreement signed by SVS with an openly unrepentant heretic institution; it’s an agreement with an institution of the TEC just two months after JP trumpeted that he was dropping relations with the TEC. When one adds to this the fawning reception given by SVS to Rowan Williams (can you believe that they had this heretic write an introduction to one of their Popular Patristics series?) and the ecumaniac lovefeast in Texas two weeks ago between JP and the Anglicans, it looks for all the world that JP is preparing for a Unia between the TEC and the OCA. Why is a former Episcopalian sucking up to his erstwhile confession? By the way, oca.org still doesn’t have a news item up on its site concerning this meeting… and Mark Stokoe smiles blandly and defends JP. If you want to see a photo of JP with his Anglican confrères, here it is (the Anglicans had it on their site, why is JP being secretive?):

https://02varvara.wordpress.com/2010/04/13/its-still-not-up-on-oca-org/

In short, a great deal doesn’t add up. I’ll say this… Herman was secretive, but no one believed him in the end. Paffhausen is twice as secretive, but all the konvertsy slobber in glee over his every statement and defend his every action. I do believe that there’s now an obvious, but not open, schism in the Church. On one side are grounded Orthodox (ethnics and converts who realise that one cannot have Orthodoxy without the Orthodox), on the other are mostly newbie half-bakes, in the main, they are disgruntled former Episcopalians. A priest friend of mine in the MP said in an e-mail, “I quite agree. The point is that Humpty Dumpty did a lot of fence-sitting. Now, the result of fence-sitting is that eventually you fall off… from having a pain in the… No one, not even all the King’s (= Patriarch’s) horses and men, is going to be able to put you back together again… or even want to… but we in the Russian Church will be around to pick up pieces… but only the pieces that want to be picked up. So, all we have to do, like the whole Russian Church, is just wait for him to fall off. No pushing required, just patience”.

They take the long view in Moscow… so should we. JP is much less than he appears to be. He’ll fade into insignificance… Matushka Nina told me that many parishes are simply not paying their “assessments”. In short, JP’s a “dead man walking”. The only question is how long the OCA has for this world. The longest that I’ve heard is five years…

Oh, yes… don’t drink the Kool Aid. It’s bad for your health. Watch out where the huskies go!

Barbara-Marie Drezhlo

Friday 23 April 2010

Albany NY

Editor’s Postscript:

Someone asked me why the upcoming OCA Holy Synod meeting is taking place in Denver CO, of all places. That’s simple… as there’s no concentration of Orthodox in the region, it’s easier to hide things. They’re going to spend too much money to fly out to an area with a very small Orthodox population… when the OCA’s still in financial trouble, why is this being done? I guess it’s a case of “them whom the gods would destroy…”

BMD

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