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The New (And Last?) OCA Metropolitan

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 [1], 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 [2] of an impaired Russian nationalist upstate New York Bolshevik [3] transsexual Orthodox bag lady estrogen hobbyist with a blog. I guess he’s toast now.

32 Comments (Open | Close)

32 Comments To "The New (And Last?) OCA Metropolitan"

#1 Comment By Joshua On November 13, 2012 @ 7:22 pm

Rod,

I’m going to need something of a flow chart to make sense of all this. What exactly does it mean for your relationship with the OCA that you are going to be worshiping at a ROCOR mission? I realize that the liturgies are the same (yes? maybe?), but will your new priest be responsible to a different set of bishops? Are these overlapping jurisdictions?

I hope that question isn’t in some way offensive, but I am a bit lost as to what the difference means relative to church organization.

#2 Comment By Rod Dreher On November 13, 2012 @ 7:39 pm

What exactly does it mean for your relationship with the OCA that you are going to be worshiping at a ROCOR mission? I realize that the liturgies are the same (yes? maybe?), but will your new priest be responsible to a different set of bishops? Are these overlapping jurisdictions?

I don’t really know what it means for my relationship to the OCA. Our new priest is responsible to a ROCOR bishop. I’m more interested in my relationship to Jesus Christ than I am in jurisdictional details. Maybe I should care more about that stuff than I do. Our group — all of us OCA — didn’t start the mission as a protest against the OCA. We were, and are, happy with the OCA parish we all attend in Baton Rouge. We have a very fine priest there, and a nice community. We just all got tired of church being 45 minutes away, and it being so hard to get down to vespers and holy days. We raised the money, and ROCOR agreed to send us a priest, and we met the priest and his wife and they liked us and we liked them, so… .

#3 Comment By Joshua On November 13, 2012 @ 8:02 pm

Rod,

Thank you for your quick reply! I agree entirely that jurisdictional details are not the real reason to go to church, and I hesitated to comment precisely because I didn’t want to give offense or the mistaken impression that I was some sort of Pharisee!

Be that as it may, your own conversion to Orthodoxy some years back put it on the map for me, and so I’ve been trying to correct my (relative) ignorance of it ever since. The relations of the different churches of Orthodoxy in America to each other continue to confuse me, and this seemed like a good an opportunity as any to ask a communicant what those differences meant ‘on the ground,’ if anything.

#4 Comment By Charles Curtis On November 13, 2012 @ 8:19 pm

I probably shouldn’t interject here, because I’m not trying to be insulting, but this meltdown here reveals *the* fundamental flaw in Orthodox ecclesiology.

The Catholic model is and should be one city, one region, one bishop. If the OCA (or some other universally agreed upon analogue) does fail (and by fail I mean does not eventually – and soon – become the preeminent North American Orthodox jurisdiction) then I cannot see how Orthodox claims to Catholicity can be in any way taken seriously.

North America is world Orthodoxy’s only significant (in terms of numbers) mission territory. In no other place do the Orthodox currently have tens of thousands of native converts, without any essential loyalty to old world jurisdictions. If you cannot sort yourselves out jurisdictionally here, then can it be done at all, anywhere?

This division is a scandal, one of the main reasons my own conversion to Orthodoxy was abortive. That, uh, woman you link to is his own deconstruction and parody. But Orthodoxy in general becomes somehow similarly tetchy when you get deep enough into it all.. It becomes a mind melt, finally, all of it.

The Roman Church has its problems, and many gnarly issues to confront. But at least Rome more or less governs the household, the occasional rape of innocence aside.

That last sentence is meant only quasi-ironically..

#5 Comment By Roger H. On November 13, 2012 @ 8:27 pm

I’m a recent convert to Orthodoxy myself, at a very nice OCA mission in the Phoenix area. (With a retired Greek Orthodox priest serving us.) I can’t speak much to the relations of different jurisdictions and whatnot, but Ancient Faith Today had a show on the matter a few weeks back: [4]

I would imagine that that would give ample explanation of where the situation is and where many people would like to head.

#6 Comment By Rod Dreher On November 13, 2012 @ 8:29 pm

Charles, you’re right, it really is a scandal. Met. Jonah was our best hope for overcoming these divisions, which are the historical legacy of our immigrant, non-Orthodox nation’s birth.

But I’m not sure that this jurisdictional problem obviates Orthodoxy any more than the Catholic bishops’ failure to govern their church when it came to dealing with child molesting priests obviates Catholicism’s claims.

#7 Comment By JonF On November 13, 2012 @ 8:43 pm

Rod,
Thanks for the news- I heard it here first.
Bishop Mark (finally) visited his titular see Sunday, en route to Parma, and we played host to him at my church, which meant a very long Liturgy with all the hoopla, including prayers for all three living ex-metropolitans, which, yes, sounded odd. Otherwise the whole business went without a hitch, other than some bossiness from a punctilious deacon who was traveling with the bishop and ordered everyone around a bit. Well, at least the banquet held in Mark’s honor (and for our 72nd anniversary) was sumptuous and enjoyable. We do that sort of thing well, and if anyone comes to Baltimore I would be happy to have you come to St Andrews (though most Sundays it’s really just donuts and bagels afterward)

I am glad to hear that your mission church project is going well, and I will bear that in mind should I come to Louisiana some day (and I really would love to see Cajun country not just the fleshpots of New Orleans!)

Charles, in the Orthodox Church too there’s only supposed to be one bishop per region. That’s how it is in the homeland countries. Sadly, various historical accidents (the Russian Revolution prominent among them) gave us the current ecclesial mess– which haughtiness among the hierarchs, scheming by foreign patriarchs and general lack of charity have kept from resolution. The Roman Church is not entirely immune to such conundrums either– see: the Great Schism.

Joshua,
The mainstream jurisdictions (among which ROCOR now counts after its detente with Moscow) have complete intercommunion. They are more like different franchises, not different businesses. Some people have strong ethnic loyalties, but those of us without such can visit any jurisdiction and feel as at home as we are made welcome to be. In the course of my moves I’ve belonged to a Bulgarian church, three OCA churches and two Antiochians. It really is one faith, with some different accents, music styles, and cuisines.

#8 Comment By Chris On November 13, 2012 @ 9:12 pm

The only way that Metropolitan Tikhon will be “the last” is if Orthodoxy in America unites.

The essence of Orthodoxy is not found in its Bishops, but Jesus Christ. Stay focused on Christ and you’ll be fine. The deeper you get into church politics, the further from Christ you’ll wander.

#9 Comment By Charles Curtis On November 13, 2012 @ 9:43 pm

It’s been a couple years since I last read Vavara (is that correct? I’m uncertain how she styles himself). I just read some of her latest stuff. One of the interesting things about her is that he is such a tribalist, and a dogmatist. I find him endearing on that level. Very pro-Russian, absolutely opposed to any convert upstarts. She’s usually “Orthodox” in theology, too, until he needs to defend her own sex change operation. “She” amuses me, I find myself liking him, like you like Bozo the Clown.

That’s the main problem I have with the Orthodox, convert or not. There’s almost always this type of pride involved, a certain ritual compulsion to separate oneself from the incorrect, the un-Orthodox.

Thikon+ (I put the cross after hsi name, because I love the affectation, and how that affectation pisses Vavara off) is just another Episcopalian Orthodox, OCA means Eastern Rite Episcopalians..

It’s totally insane, really. I tried to fit into all that for four or five years, two as a communicant, and it was just too much to handle. My spiritual life ended up in a ditch.

“We are Orthodox, all you papists are corrupted by the Latinate thought of Blessed Augustine, and so we will have no part with you. Your liturgy is deficient, and your aesthetics are corrupted. The filioque distorts Latin ecclesiology, giving the Godhead two, not one head, and the Church two not one head..”

Okay. Sure.

When you start to parse stuff like that, you realize that the truth isn’t really what is of concern. It’s about being egotistically right, and more proper than the other.

There’s no desire to seek obedience. If there were, they would want to engage the West, and assert their authority.

If you have the authority, assert it. Point final. if you don’t then just shut up, and admit that this is all about Russian Imperialism or something, not Christ.

Because now that I am back to being what I am (a poor sinful Catholic, which means this side the veil, a papist) I am more or less again at peace.

I do not understand the Pope, nor the episcopate. I do burn (on my best days) for Christ, though. I’m down with the pope for that reason. He’s asserting a spiritual imperium in the name of Jesus Christ.

That’s what I expect the Church to do. His kingdom is not of this world. He’s calling us out of it.

I say that the pope is the chamberlain of that kingdom, serving in the master’s absence (cf. Isaiah 22:22) and that like Moses he is leading us there.

The Schism should end, is what I say. I pray it does.

May God bless his own. May God bless you all.

#10 Comment By Brad Day On November 13, 2012 @ 10:14 pm

The Newly Elected Metropolitan Tikhon is a surprising and not so surprising choice. I got to personally know him at St. Tikhon’s Monastery, during my twelve years of monastic formation there, when he was known as Fr. Mark. He is a quiet and humble person, who doesn’t say much until he actually has something to say. He was known and continues to be known as a peacemaker. Peacemakers are easy targets in public life. Especially now, when it has become a common past time for some people to publicly trash bishops over the internet. Some people will not like or trust Metropolitan Tikhon because he is not a charismatic public speaker and that he is quiet spoken and reserved. Some of those same people will no doubt begin to fabricate and spread conspiracy theories about him. Such will be his cross. May God grant him many, many years of service to our beloved Church. – Riasaphor Monk Barnabas (Day), St. Tikhon’s Seminary Class of 1999.

#11 Comment By gzt On November 13, 2012 @ 10:32 pm

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).

This canard again? The regions where the OCA has had decline are regions that have undergone general demographic decline. Coincidentally, over a period where the South did not. I mean, just thinking about what you know about demographics over the last 3 decades, what would you expect to happen to OCA population in West Pennsylvania? The Midwest’s growth in some places is offset by demographic declines in other parts of the Midwest. etc. Sure, the Diocese of the South is growing, its children are better-looking than average, it’s clergy are more pious, and gosh-darn it, people like them. But, okay, whatever, you can tell yourself that everybody else is declining while the South rises, that Metropolitan Jonah was ousted for “stepping on toes”, etc.

#12 Comment By Roland de Chanson On November 14, 2012 @ 9:11 am

Isn’t it amusingly ironic that that Stan Drezhlo (“Va-va-varvara”) character is so enviously scholastic that he has elected to play the rôle of Héloïse to his own Abélard?

Or maybe just a eunuch for the kingdom. Naah.

He is some kind of Subcarpathian Ruthenian quasi-Ukrainian pseudo-Polish crypto-Czech, not a Russian. His nationality is as ambiguous as his … well, you know — oh yes — his pretentious faux-Brit diction.

Rod, do you actually want to publicize his scurrility on your blog? He not only trashed Jonah (which is when I last read him), he excoriates you and the “konvertsy”.

[Note from Rod: Oh, I know, Roland. He only has two or three themes, which he repeats endlessly, without variation. He’s foul-mouthed and lies shamelessly. He is a complete loon. But you know me: I have a perverse fascination with loons like Stan. Ignatius Reilly is my hero. I am fascinated by the very existence of a fanatical Russian nationalist transsexual Bolshevik Orthodox. How could you not be? I look in on that blog like a rubbernecker. It is fascinating, in an anthropological way. — RD]

#13 Comment By Clare Krishan On November 14, 2012 @ 10:09 am

Rod: “these divisions, which are the historical legacy of our immigrant, non-Orthodox nation’s birth.”
JonF: “It really is one faith, with some different accents, music styles, and cuisines.”
Chris: “The deeper you get into church politics, the further from Christ you’ll wander.”

Gentlemen, what sobor-ity does the pronoun “our” refer to under OCA author-ity?
[see [5]
“We” Catholics have your same historical legacy of diversity of accents, music and cuisine —
Maronites and Chaldeans with their Syriac Rite and middle-eastern chant, and deliciously spiced foods, the millions of North American Syro-Malabareans with their colorful vestments, bells and parasols, and even more spicy foods, the Coptic Catholics from Egypt and those from Ethipia and Eritrea with their metropolitan see in Addis Ababa and their diet based on nutricious teff flour and ancient Amharic Rite, the Armenians with their equally ancient alphabet and Rite, the Ukrainian Glagolithic Rite and their pierogies, and Byzantine remnant of Italo-Albanians in Sicily, the Melkite Greeks, and Krizevci Greeks of the former Yugoslavia, the Ruthenians (my hubby’s granpa’s cherished patrimony) all have overlapping metropolites, yet however deep you cut us we’re still united canonically as the Mystical Body of Christ through the perichoresis of the Holy Spirit, see
[6]

Our common term metropolitan has Roman imperial origins: aligning the religious province with the temporal province. What intellectual content governs the relative coherence (or incoherence) in the use of the word in your ecclesiastical practice? What other intellectual content has to be exluded to permit you to entertain the idea that such a term can mean two opposing things in the one Church Christ founded? Is this really not a self-inflicted wound to the body of Christ along the lines of aesop’s Belly and its members fable?
[see [7] ]
One that deserves to be healed promptly, by engaging one head breathing with two lungs? Let’s pray Psalm 132 (or 133 liturgically speaking see [8] even we Catholics can’t agree on ordinary things like counting with the Greeks or the Hebrews) together for our penance!

#14 Comment By Anon On November 14, 2012 @ 1:02 pm

Something that irritates me, Rod, is that every time you post on Orthodoxy, the Catholics who read your blog use it as a chance to stand on their soapbox and preach about ending the Schism and that Orthodox ecclesiology is clearly very totally utterly wrong and that wouldn’t we all be happy and great and diverse if we all went under the pope. Catholics must think us dull or ignorant about the Church. I honestly wish they would worry about the logs in their eyes before preaching to us about the specks in ours.

BTW, all this defeatist language about the “OCA IS DECLINING!” and the example of the DOS as a paragon of Orthodoxy is getting very old. Christianity in America is declining, and whether +Jonah could do anything to stem that tide is extremely debatable. The growth of the DOS he constantly crowed about is more the result of the rapid growth of the Sunbelt than anything else — a growth, btw, that was dependent on cheap gas, affordable air conditioning, and extensive suburban buildout financed by cheap credit. How “Crunchy Con”.

As it is, +Jonah accomplished really nothing but some fruitless ecumenical conversation with a group of disaffected Anglicans. Politicians like +Jonah in high places don’t convert cultures, nor do they create good Christians (as evidenced by the atrocious online behavior of his most ardent supporters over the past months). And as far as I can tell (especially after recent events) much of the DOS (well, the Texan/Oklahoman contingent) suffers from a severe case of arrogance and pride that borders the spiritually delusional.

As a former Anglican, all the recent rancor and bitter argument on blogs (including this one) remind me very much of the Anglican culture war blogs I used to read — reading which did much spiritual harm to me. I’m sure many other Anglicans were harmed as well. Reading all those Anglicans viciously and hatefully spewing their arguments convinced me that I had to find a new church, because those people clearly did not behave like Christians. And now look at you — convinced that you needed to leave Catholicism to become Orthodox, and now convinced that you have to shake the dust from your feet in the general direction of the OCA and join ROCOR. When ROCOR displeases or disappoints you somehow, what’s next? Patriarchate of Georgia?

[Note from Rod: Yet another person who comments without paying attention what I actually wrote, instead of what he thinks I have written. I very plainly said above that our community isn’t founding this mission as a protest against the OCA, but because we want to have a church in our community, not 45 minutes to an hour away. I’ll wait for you to correct yourself. — RD]

#15 Comment By Phil On November 14, 2012 @ 1:50 pm

Charles Curtis,

Come on, already. I’m Orthodox and go to church every week and have yet to hear “ritual compulsion[s] to separate oneself from the incorrect, the un-Orthodox,” or talk about papists, Latinate thought and the like. Get over yourself. We pretty much focus on doing our own things and tending to our own problems, which are many, not worrying about what the Catholics are doing down the street. Frankly, I don’t get the sense anybody much cares.

Sure, if you spend your time on the internet, you can get a different impression. Then again, it’s not hard at all to find traditionalist Catholics on the web who spend a lot of time with, I don’t know, almost a sort of pride, a compulsion even, letting everybody know that they want nothing to do with those incorrect, un-Catholic, Vatican II-types – being egotistically right, and more proper than the other. Thank God they’re not like other men.

But, sure enough, when I’ve been to my wife’s traditionally-minded RC parish, I’ve heard none of that talk. Funny that; real life versus the internet.

Number two, on “Eastern Rite Episcopalians,” grow up. If you knew anything about Episcopalians – and I was one for most of my life – you would know what a nonsensical description that is.

Finally, the jurisdictional thing is a mess, but any institution claiming to be the Church has to be evaluated across time, not just the last 50 years. That is to say, it was just as much a scandal when the Catholic Church had three popes (I know, I know; not in the corrected record books, just like Penn State never won, or even played, any games in the last ten years). As with that situation, I expect this one to be corrected in the broad sweep of time and to mean precisely nothing when it’s all said and done.

But, look, if anything other than the “Catholic model” represents a “fundamental flaw” in ecclesiology, you may want to pull up roots again, because, near as I can tell, there are Eastern Catholic bishops who overlap Roman-rite bishops. It’s almost like a concession to tribalism, or something. But let’s dispense with the Easterners if you wish. For most of the last century, even Roman-rite parishes were divided into Polish, Italian, Slovenian, you name it. Just because a lot of those went away doesn’t mean they never existed.

Things are tough all over.

#16 Comment By Anon On November 14, 2012 @ 3:24 pm

You either chose not to start an OCA mission, or the OCA decided it wanted nothing to do with you starting a mission. Either way, jurisdiction hopping is still jurisdiction hopping.

#17 Comment By Tony D. On November 14, 2012 @ 4:14 pm

All but Anon’s last paragraph – I don’t think Rod and his mission are “jurisdiction-hopping” – are spot on. I think +Jonah is a man of deep Christian conviction and piety. I also think that seeking to become a footnote at the bottom of the Religious Right’s paragraph in the Republican Party platform is not what the OCA should be focused on.
Bessed Advent, y’all.

#18 Comment By Tony D. On November 14, 2012 @ 4:14 pm

“Blessed.” Duh.

#19 Comment By Chris Jones On November 14, 2012 @ 4:43 pm

Anon

If ROCOR is willing to start a mission and the OCA isn’t, then the OCA is in no position to complain about “jurisdiction hopping” (and neither are you). What would you have Rod do? Refuse to support the new ROCOR mission out of jurisdictional loyalty? Is jurisdictional loyalty more important than proclaiming the Gospel in its fulness in a new place?

If you put loyalty to a jurisdiction at such a high level, I think you are unclear on exactly what the mission of the Church is.

#20 Comment By JonF On November 14, 2012 @ 7:07 pm

Anon,

Rod’s closest Orthodox church was c. 40 miles away. I expressed some concern for him and his family that this distance might defeat the best of pious intentions, and I know from personal experience a distant church (and now with gasoline at exorbitant prices) creates a huge temptation for staying home Sundays. If he is to have a church much close to home that is not “jurisdiction hopping”; that is tending to his and his family’s spiritual health.
Ideally we Orthodox ought be attending the Orthodox church closest to home. I do now, with maybe some debate as to whether Holy Trinity is a few yards closer to me than St Andrews. I did so when I lived in Florida as well. Apart from ethnic and linguistic preferences (which are not remotely a factor in holiness) I cannot conceive of a reason one should care about the jurisdiction of the church.
On the other hand sometimes the closest church is not a welcoming church and if you meet a stone-cold welcome you are better off going elsewhere. You do your spiritual life no benefit worshiping with people who do not want you. That’s advise for all Christians by the way.

#21 Comment By JonF On November 14, 2012 @ 7:15 pm

Also, Anon, referring to Jonah as a “politician” gave me my laugh of the day. If the guy was any kind of politician he would not have been railroaded out the door.
I’ve heard many debates as to his defects and virtues. The one time I met him I liked him, though I can allow for the fact that he was in a role that he was not a good fit for.
By the way does anyone know what has become of him? I hope the Synod has not left him entirely bereft and destitute, though it would hardly surprise me if they had.

#22 Comment By Lazarus On November 14, 2012 @ 9:12 pm

I’m not a huge fan of Rod, but criticizing him as a jurisdiction-hopper is just silly. When my OCA priest is out if town, we usually have either an Antiochian or ROCOR priest as a fill-in. We all get along, mostly, and it just isn’t that important.

And yes, if the OCA doesn’t want to support a mission but ROCOR does, then God bless ’em. Starting a mission is hard. You gotta take whatever support you can get.

#23 Comment By Rod Dreher On November 14, 2012 @ 9:52 pm

To be perfectly clear, there has officially been an OCA mission in our town for something like five years. It never really got off the ground, for reasons I’m not entirely sure about, because I wasn’t living here at the time. For reasons having to do with the unhappy experience of the Orthodox folks living here with the OCA (DOS) and the failed mission, and for reasons having to do with the instability at the top of the OCA today, there was a unanimous sentiment that we would not make another bid to revive the OCA mission here, but would instead approach other jurisdictions about the possibility of starting a mission. ROCOR was very generous, and sent a priest down to meet with the local Orthodox community. We loved him, and he and his wife must have liked us and seen potential here, because they’re on their way. If ROCOR or any other jurisdiction hadn’t been willing to work with us, we would have all continued making the long drive into Baton Rouge and being part of the wonderful OCA parish there, with whom we expect to have good fraternal relations.

#24 Comment By Isaac Crabtree On November 14, 2012 @ 9:55 pm

Dear Brother Benedict,

Thanks for the update! Many years to His Beatitude, and I hope you’re right about his being “last” in the sense that the OCA’s autocephaly really was a canonical anomaly and source of scandal because the Church Catholic was not behind it.

Good and healthy Orthodoxy is everywhere, along with the crackpot modernist version, and the Victorian rules-based-judge-everyone-except-the-rich-families version. A hospital will have sick people, most definitely.

“Vara’s” blog is interesting and I used to really think it occasionally had something worthwhile, but it’s total garbage, and the poor soul is just totally bonkers. What I never could get is how the “konvertsy” like you and Frederica M-G and Fr. Patrick Reardon AND Platina all got lumped in together as some sort of cabal of evangelicals distorting Orthodoxy. I hate to admit that “Fathausen” was about the funniest epithet I’ve ever heard, though. For my own spiritual health, I’m now sticking to your blog, Rod.

#25 Comment By Rod Dreher On November 14, 2012 @ 11:03 pm

For my own spiritual health, I’m now sticking to your blog, Rod.

Well, I love having readers, but I can’t say that this blog is going to do much for your spiritual health. Better on that front than the Bolshevik trannie’s joint, though.

What I never could get is how the “konvertsy” like you and Frederica M-G and Fr. Patrick Reardon AND Platina all got lumped in together as some sort of cabal of evangelicals distorting Orthodoxy.

That’s what I mean by how she/he shamelessly lies. I don’t know about Fr. Pat, but neither Frederica nor I have been evangelicals. Moreover, she/he keeps saying that Frederica and I are disciples of Gleb Podmoshensky. I had to look up who that person was when I first read that accusation. I’m pretty sure Frederica had to as well. Then the Bolshevik trannie wrote a few months back that one of her sources had recently seen Frederica and me in a car speeding away from Platina. I have never been to that monastery and wouldn’t even know how to find it on a map. Because Drezhlo makes up stuff about me, I don’t believe anything she says about anybody else, even though I am pretty sure she’s right about some things. But how could you possibly know what she’s correct about, and what she’s lying about?

#26 Comment By Arimathean On November 20, 2012 @ 2:55 am

But how could you possibly know what she’s correct about, and what she’s lying about?

This reminds me of why I enjoy reading the Weekly World News every once in a while. It contains some stories that are obviously made up, along with other stories that are strange but clearly true because I’ve already heard them from more mainstream media. But then there are the stories that leave me wondering . . .

#27 Comment By Rev. Deacon John Protopapas On November 21, 2012 @ 8:02 am

My wife and I met Barbara Drezhlo before the sex change operation at the March for Life in DC a good number of years ago. We later found out that he/she was an unusual case of a woman trapped in a man’s body. Since then we lost contact with he/she, but when “she” resurface on the internet, a different personality surfaced. I would suggest that “her” ravings be ignored. Chris and Brad Day are correct.

There are more important things that we should be concerning ourselves with: the devastating results of the election – a possible future liberal/progressive makeup of SCOTUS and president who has no problem with partial birth abortions and is clueless on economics. The documentary “2016: Obama’s America” goes a long way in explaining his agenda. Its all about the environment he was raised up in . . . anti-colonialism.

#28 Comment By Luke On January 29, 2013 @ 9:05 pm

I think going to the ROCOR is a good alternative to the amazingly dysfunctional OCA, of which I have been affiliated with after helping found a new parish under Abp. Dmitri of blessed memory, in Oklahoma. I’m considering that move myself. May the Lord be merciful to us all.

#29 Comment By 1389AD On February 10, 2013 @ 3:15 pm

There should be Orthodox parishes within reachable distance of everybody who wants to attend. The further away the parish church, the more gas and car maintenance it costs, and the less likely the parishoners are to be able to get to any services on weekdays without having to take off from work.

If the OCA didn’t have the resources to provide a priest at that time, and ROCOR did, then what’s the problem?

Jurisdiction hopping? Who is this person to be judging another man’s (i.e., Jesus’) servant?

#30 Comment By Guy On February 26, 2013 @ 2:04 am

Does it really reflect well on you or our Orthodox Faith to refer to another person as a Bolshevik trannie?

Mr. Dreher, you are a professional, and a man with a reputation for integrity. When I read such epithets and name calling, it really detracts from what you are saying.

When you attack ideas I have respect for you. When you attack individual people, however broken they may be, you come across as a bully, which I know you are not.

#31 Comment By Charles D. Smith On January 19, 2014 @ 7:13 am

I am in the process of becoming Orthodox at St. John the Theologion ROCOR mission at Starhill, LA. I was a member of and pastor in the Cunberland Presbyterian Church, and have a Bachelor’s degree in Philosophy, a Master of Divinity, and a Doctor of Ministry degree.
I have had an interest in the Orthodox Church that goes back to my youth, and often attended Orthodox Churches while I was working on my doctorate in Memphis, TN.
I did not know of the obviously speckled bacground in the OCA mission in St. Francisville/Star Hill, and am frankly somewhat pained by it. But, I must admit, the thought of having to commute to Baton Rouge, LA to an OCA congregation bothered me, and so here I am and here I plan to stay. Our priest and his wife and family have become most dear to me. Orthodox Churches are not a dime a dozen, and while I might have preferred some connection to the OCA, I am pleased with what I have found, or more correctly, what I feel that to which God has led me. Thank you, Rod; now I know the rest of the story…

#32 Comment By Charles D. Smith On January 19, 2014 @ 7:13 am

I am in the process of becoming Orthodox at St. John the Theologion ROCOR mission at Starhill, LA. I was a member of and pastor in the Cunberland Presbyterian Church, and have a Bachelor’s degree in Philosophy, a Master of Divinity, and a Doctor of Ministry degree.
I have had an interest in the Orthodox Church that goes back to my youth, and often attended Orthodox Churches while I was working on my doctorate in Memphis, TN.
I did not know of the obviously speckled bacground in the OCA mission in St. Francisville/Star Hill, and am frankly somewhat pained by it. But, I must admit, the thought of having to commute to Baton Rouge, LA to an OCA congregation bothered me, and so here I am and here I plan to stay. Our priest and his wife and family have become most dear to me. Orthodox Churches are not a dime a dozen, and while I might have preferred some connection to the OCA, I am pleased with what I have found, or more correctly, what I feel that to which God has led me. Thank you, Rod; now I know the rest of the story…