In a one-day council meeting at an Ohio church, the Orthodox Church in America elected a new metropolitan (senior leader), Tikhon of Eastern Pennsylvania, after having forced the resignation of Metropolitan Jonah earlier this year. This means now that the OCA has three living ex-metropolitans — surely a record in world Orthodoxy, given that metropolitans typically serve until they die. The first two retired in disgrace, and Jonah, the reformer, was retired in large part because he stepped on too many toes of the old guard.
I’m not trying to be cagey when I say I don’t have an opinion on Tikhon. He is not a lightning rod of controversy. So that’s something. My only opinion on the matter — and I would have said this no matter who was elected, given the membership of the Synod — is that Tikhon is likely to be the last Metropolitan of the OCA. There is so much anger and depression and radical loss of confidence in the leadership of the fast-shrinking OCA, especially the alienation of so many in the Diocese of the South, the only one of the church’s dioceses showing significant growth (and that’s not enough to make up for the losses elsewhere). Good luck to Met. Tikhon. He’s certainly going to need it.
The priest and his family arrive for our Orthodox (ROCOR) mission in Starhill, Louisiana, in a couple of weeks, and we will begin having regular liturgies after the first of the year. Our community here is happy, confident, and at peace. You are all welcome to worship with us if you’re passing through West Feliciana Parish.
UPDATE: Oh dear. Tikhon has failed to win the confidence of an impaired Russian nationalist upstate New York Bolshevik transsexual Orthodox bag lady estrogen hobbyist with a blog. I guess he’s toast now.