Thursday, March 3, 2011

'OCA Truth' website launched

A site named "OCA Truth" has been launched as a counterweight to the OCANews website. Below is their blog's introduction.

My name is Muzhik. Welcome to our blog. We hope it will not last long.

What do I mean by that? The purpose of this blog is to provide an alternative source of information and analysis about the current crisis in the Orthodox Church in America. An alternative, that is, to The contributors to this blog are communicants of the OCA who are committed to reform, but who have realized in recent days that OCANews has its own agenda, given that editor Mark Stokoe is a member of the Metropolitan Council, and has been revealed in recent days to have been part of a small group of OCA insiders seemingly plotting to remove Metropolitan Jonah. Therefore, in our view, he cannot be counted on to be a fair and accurate source in this time of crisis. We realized as we were talking with each other that some of us knew as a matter of fact (not speculation) that Stokoe has selectively presented facts in cases we knew about to suit his own agenda. All of us here supported Metropolitan Jonah from the beginning, and still do. We were bothered by the absence of a website on the web to counter the OCA News spin on the current crisis — a website, that is, run by laypeople who have experience in the OCA, and sources throughout the Church who have been sharing insights and inside information with us that paints a very different picture of the situation than what readers of OCANews have been seeing.

I will let my co-bloggers speak for themselves, but as for me, I wish I weren’t here. I wish there was no need for this site. I am sick of all the turmoil in the OCA, and really thought we had turned a corner when His Beatitude was elected. Having seen and heard him speak on several occasions, and talking with those who know him well, I believe that +Jonah is the future of our church. He is a good and holy man. We all saw that at the AAC that elected him as Metropolitan. We have continued to see that, even as he has walked into the lion’s den at Syosset.

Has he been perfect in his administration? No, but I think he would admit that. It’s hard for me to imagine a steeper learning curve than going from being abbot of a small monastery to being the primate of a national church in only a month. That would have been an amazing challenge in the best of times. Jonah took charge of the OCA in the worst of times.

I don’t want to make excuses for any mistakes he might have made, but at the same time, I look at the rest of the Holy Synod, and I think: if not Jonah, who? He has spoken of the need for evangelical revival in our church. Where is this happening? In the Diocese of the South, at least. I am not a member of the DOS, but when I have been in its parishes, there is a very different feeling in those parishes than in the ones in my part of the OCA. I deeply believe that Jonah has what we all desperately need. Seeing him lead us at the March for Life made me so proud to be OCA — and that’s not a feeling I’m accustomed to. The drawn-out mess with Met. Herman, and the weakness of the Synod in dealing with it, cured me forever of any illusions I might have had about the hierarchy. “Put not your trust in men” — aye! Yet I have concluded that Jonah is currently under attack by members of the OCA old guard who are afraid that he is going to make the OCA into a living, vibrant church, instead of the timid, fearful, withering-on-the-vine enclave that it has been.

So, I declare my bias. But I have no interest in publishing propaganda. I will not publish anything here that I don’t believe to be 100 percent true — and if I can’t say that with certainty, I will let you know when I post that I haven’t been able to confirm it. I will raise questions that need to be asked, even if I don’t have the answer. My comrades and I have decided that we want to pool our knowledge and sources to fill an urgent need in the OCA: for an independent source of real inside information and analysis in this critical time in the life of the OCA.

We are just getting going here, and have not yet establish an e-mail contact address for our group. We decided not to have comments on this blog. We don’t want the sorry spectacle of viciousness, accusation, and innuendo that you see in the comments boxes at OCANews to be part of this site. In the near future, we hope to establish an e-mail contact for us, and we will consider publishing e-mails, or excerpts of e-mails, sent by readers.

Finally, I will apologize for being anonymous, but we all have to be here to protect the sources who have been telling us the real behind-the-scenes story.

God willing, the truth will out, and justice will prevail in the OCA. We want to do what we can to be part of that. Please bookmark this site, and check back often, because we’re going to be posting information as it comes to us, and we can confirm it.

1 comment:

  1. As a former OCA member who left a number of years ago due to the ridiculous response to the OCA financial crises by then Dimitri of the South (and the non-response of my parish):

    When will the OCA learn that they have a cultural crises at all levels, one of apathy, pacifism, and old world understandings of polity that will not go away with a simple change in "leadership". Even a complete turnover of all the bishops would not do. It will take a generation at least for this Church (and for the rest of Orthodox jurisdictions as well - though some are better than others) to in any way be "American".

    In the mean time, adults suffer through and the children are ill educated and leave. For my childrens sake I have thought seriously about returning to my roots by way of one of the traditional "continuing" Anglican parishes. Lord have Mercy...