As we come into Holy Week the recent decision to return the Diocesan Bishops of our Archdiocese to auxiliary status is still front and center. Of course it has to be. This is a dramatic thing and many people remain puzzled about why its has happened. Right now there are more questions then answers.

I've tried to go on websites like Orthodox Christians for Accountability to find out information and make sense of all this. I have an obligation to do this so I can help the people I serve make sense of what is happening and how this will affect their lives. I hate to have to go to such sources but the truth is that the official word right now is largely silence. Sadly, I think that silence has made things worse.

The problem is that something has to fill the vacuum created when an action is taken without an explanation to follow. In this case that vacuum has been filled with a lot of name calling, speculation, and people taking anonymous pot shots at each other. To get to the valuable information you have to wade through a swamp of conspiracy and speculation and that makes finding and seeking out the truth difficult. And all I want to know is the truth.

I've written ad nauseum about how we need, even in our disagreements, to at least be Christian with each other but I feel like my words are falling to the ground. Not only are people still not understanding what has happened but they have also added a mountain of harsh words that, even when this is all over, will still be open wounds for many years.

I don't know why our Metropolitan did what he did. I find it difficult to comprehend but isn't there a way to say that without calling him names and implying all kinds of dark nuances? I don't know why certain Priests in our diocese don't like Bp. MARK, the person they describe in their letters isn't even close to the Bishop I know, but why does this struggle have to become a matter of open letters and taking sides? It seems like we had a small fire started and then the rumors began raining down on it like gasoline.

The truth is that whatever happens to our Bishops may be less drastic then the damage we're doing to each other by the way we're discussing their status. We're in the process of creating caricatures out of each other and that may be harder to undo then anything else. But who cares about that? This is war and the object is to win even if we've forgotten about what we're fighting for.

Sigh. I just feel sad about it all. I'm sad that we can't talk about this like adults, like Christians. I'm sad that valuable time and energy will be dissipated not in seeking out the truth and that which is good for the Church but rather in flailing about in senseless and unncessary combat. We have to talk about this. We have to work this out. But first everyone has got to take a deep breath and count to ten.

And I'm still waiting.


s-p said...

In "Orthodox time" we may need to count to 100. As the Kathismas of Presanctified say: it is a beautiful thing for brethren to dwell together in unity. A Godly goal, but you have to go through hell to get there.

Fr John said...

Well I'm grateful that some more voices have come forward asking for civility. That helps.

I hope that what comes out of this is a top to bottom review of the state of things that addresses not just our future and how we plan to shape it but also some issues from the past that need to be handled so we can get there.