Archbishop Dmitri: "Do Not Ignore
The Reality Which Confronts Us"
Less than two months ago, the Archbishop of Dallas and the South dismissed the crisis in the OCA as “idle chatter” that “did little or nothing to build up the Church.” (Read that story here). Now, in an archpastoral letter for the beginning of the Nativity Fast, Archbishop Dmitri suggests that the OCA is
“in a state of major reorganization”. More significantly, he now openly encourages his priests and faithful “..not to ignore the reality of that which confronts us.” The Archbishop writes:
“From the general reference to our history one can surmise that growth, and consequently change, are not new experiences for members of the Diocese. Furthermore, these thoughts are shared at what appears to be a time of significant changes for the OCA and Churches in the South. As is known the Orthodox Church in America, administratively, is in a state of major reorganization. This has presented challenges to clergy and laity in recent months. In the face of this specific situation I do not counsel others to ignore the reality of that which confronts us. I do, however, continue to advise the faithful to pray and to keep their gaze upon Christ without Whom even the best of intentions and efforts can quickly degenerate into something other than a holy work. We must use wisely the days given us to discern God’s will and presence revealed in present circumstances. While “getting our house in order” we must not lose sight of the sacred work of teaching and baptizing to which we have been called.” (Read the whole letter here)
With this permission for the Diocese of the South to now fully engage in ongoing national efforts of “getting our house in order”, almost every diocese in the OCA has now spoken publicly on the crisis before us. The Archbishop’s words words on the topic in his letter are thus made even more topical. “A turning point has been reached not only by the OCA’s national administration,” the Archbishop writes, “ but by the Diocese as well, in light of which we should begin to expect more from ourselves and our respective parishes.” It is not clear to what “turning point” the Archbishop is referring - but his admonition that we should begin to “expect more” from ourselves and the Church is certainly a growing sentiment throughout the OCA .
- Mark Stokoe