Questions & Answers
What Can You Do?

Reflections On The Scandal

As We Wait

by Jay Holman

It would be a pleasant surprise if any information were to make its way out of any of the Special Commission's investigation. It would be shocking, to me at least, if anything from  the Metropolitan Council meetings that is inimical to the continued presence of Metropolitan Herman and the existing power structure in the OCA is released either.   Statements approved by the Metropolitan contain nothing of substance – and no other information is forthcoming. We've been at this a year and a quarter and the playing field is still largely the same.  Even when people with strength of character exercise their wills in the proper direction, the outcomes don't seem to change.  The question is: Will the Special Commission and the Council be allowed to see the whole picture? And, if they are, will they have the  backbone to defy the Synod and the Metropolitan and get the word out?
Even if that happens, however, the deeper problems, half-hinted at, will remain unrevealed and unaddressed.  Nobody is going to touch those issues.  
Seven thousand people a day read - yet nothing I can identify as substantive is happening. The allegations of a sub-culture of gay former metropolitans, and others, is an open field of discussion on the

Orthodox Forum and other internet sites, yet the money still flows to Syosset.  It's pretty obvious lawyers are being paid (from what funds?) to control  access to information.  Can we believe that suddenly, even when we are presented with investigative results, they will be complete ?
The development of trust between the bishops and their flocks becomes less and less likely - except in the Mid-west.  Whatever we are allowed to know, or learn, about the past and present skullduggery, the real threat to the OCA is the increasing rift created by this lack of trust being created by our leaders - not the crimes themselves.   How will we ever develop a meaningful ecclesiastical structure if the rank and file are so skeptical that they can't trust their bishops? Sadly, it appears they have good reason not to....
I'm leery of "secret" investigations, where nothing can be said. Given the current climate, I don't trust anyone to come forward with the whole truth.  My guess is I'm not alone in this.  Unless what comes out is totally devastating to an entire range of players, everyone will know the results went through someone's filter.  A someone who thinks they know best which tidbits we are capable of handling.  All I can foresee, what I fear, is that regardless of the good people involved, is more manipulation.
When it is all said and done, only one man among the Synod of Bishops has had the courage to try and do the right thing. And he had to beg forgiveness for his past participation in the problems.  If the other bishops were not direct participants in the immoral behavior and criminal activity of the former adminsitration, they were certainly complicit in covering the tracks of those who were.  Can we really expect them to suddenly admit that complicity?
For the first time I'm seriously wondering about the survival of the OCA as a meaningful Orthodox jurisdiction, not because of the bad things that have happened – but because of the secrecy that continues to hide what went wrong.
I really hope I'm wrong.

- Jay Holman

(Jay Holman is an OCA layman from upstate New York.)




Other Reflections:

Fr. Michael Simerick
SS. Peter & Paul Detroit MI,
(reposted with permission)

Fr. Paul Harrilchak
Holy Trinity, Reston VA

(reposted with permission)

Gregg Nescott, PA
(Reprinted with permission)

Fr. Jason Kappanadze
Holy Trinity, Elmira Hghts. NY
(Reprinted with permission.)

Fr. Ted Bobosh
St. Paul, Dayton OH

Otche M 
Special to

Fr. Alexy Karlgut
Special to

Fr. Robert Arida
Special to OCANews

Alexander Brody
Special to OCANews

Mark Warns, WA
Special to OCANews

Elena Andrusezko, NY
Special to OCANews

Fr. Robert Arida
Holy Trinity, Boston

Harry Coin
Special to OCA News

Inga Leonova, MA
Special to OCA News

Fr. Michael Plekon, NY
On Being The Church

Gregg Nescott, PA
Reprinted with Permission

Fr. Robert Arida, MA
Special to OCA News

Fr. Alexander Schmemann
On What Is Important (1949)