On the Episcopal Selection Process in the Diocese of New York- New Jersey
The only way we are going to get out of the mess the OCA is in is to stop living lies. To label the episcopal selection process now being undertaken by the administration of the re-established Diocese of New York and New Jersey as “conciliar” is just a lie.
It is a big old fat lie that stinks - and it doesn’t just stink, it stains everybody who has anything to do with it.
There is nothing “conciliar” about four appointed men, all clergy, all of whom were intimate in the previous dysfunctional diocesan administration under Metropolitan Herman, privately reviewing candidates in a closed, “non-competetive” process (their words, not mine) and coming up with only two nominees after only three weeks, neither of whose names can be released. Rather, delegates will be allowed to know their names only two weeks before the election, but not given any opportunity to discuss them together before the election. Nor will they be allowed to do as at the Extraordinary Assembly.
If this is “as conciliar a process as we are capable of achieving, with God’s help”, I would suggest God had little to do with this. This reeks of men and their plans - most of which have involved cover-up these past four years in the OCA . (For that matter, how is the audit of NY-NJ proceeding? Sadly, Metropolitan Herman was right - it seems the Diocese will never learn where their money went.)
This is not conciliarity. This is worse than just imposing a bishop and forgetting the “show” - for this has the form of conciliarity but none of the substance thereof. Can’t we at least try to be an conciliar, honest, open, and transparent Church? If not, what then is the point of this autocephaly? So someone can wear a white hat and tour foreign Patriarchates?
Shame on Metropolitan Jonah, locum tenens, and the Diocesan Search Committee for making a mockery of conciliarity;
Shame on them for making a mockery of people’s hopes for change in the OCA;
Shame on them for asking the Faithful to assist and participate in this mockery of their own hopes;
And shame on the Faithful who do so, accepting the lie and pretending it is not.
In 21st century America, how you do something is as important as what you do, for it speaks to integrity. Even the right man, chosen the wrong way, becomes the wrong man.
So most of all, shame on any man who participates in this by accepting election through such sham “conciliarity”. For if he was going to be the real father and pastor that the Diocese of New York- New Jersey needs after 35 years of admitted pastoral neglect and financial abuse, he should condemn the process for the travesty it is, rather than profit from it. That would be leader the Diocese needs!
And finding that man in an real, open, honest, transparent and conciliar process would be worth another two, three or even six months. Unless, of course, that is precisely what one fears.
- Mark Stokoe