On Reading the NY/NJ Search Committee Report
by an OCA Layman
I just read the August 17 posting of the Search Committee report which ---inter alia--- dealt with a recommendation of three candidates as Bishop of the New York/New Jersey diocese. Comparing what the Search Committee had to say in an August 3rd posting - that it would be offering two candidates only---the Committee seems to have put its foot in its mouth.
On August 3 the Search Committee went to great lengths to explain the reason why only two names would be submitted. The Committee cites its difficult task to identify two candidates for presentation to vote. How then, has finding three candidates made this task easier? Who was responsible for adding a third candidate to the list just two weeks before the August 31 election?
The Committee said that by recommending only two names, it was trying to prevent and avert the dilution of votes scattered among a multitude of candidates, thus denying any candidate from receiving the required two/thirds for nomination or the 40% required for two names to be given to the Synod. Did the Committee not realize that by adding a third candidate it makes it even more difficult for one to receive more than the 40% of the accredited votes? Isn’t this what it said it wanted to avoid?
In ordinary circumstances if none of the three attains the 40%, ( which is now fully possible) the Locum Tenens shall declare the ballet as non-conclusive and the Assembly will have failed to nominate a candidate. In this case the Assembly---by motion---may request the Synod of Bishops to transfer one of the Ruling Bishops to New York. If the Synod refuses to tranfer a Bishop, it will direct the Diocesan Assembly to reconvene for election of a candidate.
As Yogi Berra said, ”It’s Deja Vu all over again!”
We are told that the decision regarding the members of the Search Committee was made by Met. Jonah as Locum Tenens. The Committee says it is “grateful to be bestowed with gifts of confidence and trust”that were essential in “bringing its labors to completion”. Should not that “confidence and trust” have been expressed, for example, by providing us an explanation for adding a third person to the nomination process?
Honesty, integrity, transparency---where have you gone?