April 23, 2014

How the self governance of the OCA has benefitted Orthodox Christians on this continent

fr-michael-oleska

Fr. Michael Oleska, dean of St. Innocent Orthodox Cathedral in Anchorage, Alaska, writes that self-governance of the church also has an important practical dimension: corrupt bishops can be removed through the combined action of priests and laity. Self-governance in other words provides an essential check and balance that is lacking in the monarchical model of the episcopacy that emerged under submission to the Ottomans on the Byzantine side, and under submission and dependency on the state on the Russian side. The past leadership of the OCA invoked this putative authority to intimidate priests and laity who refused to accept the rampant corruption that afflicted the OCA. In the GOA, the monarchical model has been imposed in greater measure ever since the Bishops were elevated to Metropolitans and the dioceses began to function as fiefdoms of Constantinople. This late development has its committed defenders as well (see: GOA Deacon responds to Dn. Eric Wheeler) although the … [Read more...]