Well, it looks like the fix is in for the Diocese of Philadelphia. Syosset, not knowing what to do with Bp. Mark Maymon, The Bishop Without a Diocese, seems to have decided that among the four or five vacant dioceses, the most docile one is Eastern PA. Our guess is that they’ve taken a bead on the people and decided that they wouldn’t raise a ruckus like we did here in the South. And boy did we let out a Rebel Yell!
It’s also possible that they’re not thinking straight given the shrieking that was directed at the diocesan Chancellors and Treasurers who were in Syosset the previous two days. Monies are drying up, partly because of the various dioceses implementing the New York Plan (which decreases the amount in “head tax” they pay to Syosset), partly because the economy is still struggling, and partly because the OCA membership base is drying up. Anyway, Bp. Mark has been on their payroll since he left the South. Might as well have Philadelphia pay his freight.
Perhaps a little history is in order. The South moved heaven and earth to derail the candidacy of Bp. Mark Maymon as Arb. Dmitri’s successor. We succeeded and I for one wanted to call it a day. As far as I was concerned, he was no longer our problem. That would be too flippant and uncaring however. Some very good people from Eastern PA have contacted many of us here in the South (myself included) expressing deep concerns. After about the fourth contact, I’ve had to rethink my apathy. This meant dredging up old memories that were best forgotten — things like hacked computers, betrayed confidences, and generalized ill-will. (Full disclosure: Yours’ Truly was originally a staunch supporter of Bp. Mark and wrote a letter to that effect. It was only later when I found out the extent of the damage to the Cathedral in Dallas that I had to eat crow and admit my mistake.)
Lest we forget, Maymon was a key player in the illegal coup against Jonah; it was he who gave Mark Stokoe the pilfered emails of the former Chancellor of the South and it was Stokoe who dumped them on the Synod’s lap at the very last minute in order to ensure maximum damage to Jonah. From that point, Jonah’s effective primacy was over and done with. For that matter, so was the OCA’s moral legitimacy. Our floundering and flailing about has beclowned us all in the eyes of American and international Orthodoxy. The missteps and unforced errors since Jonah’s departure have multiplied out of proportion to our shriveling numbers. It’s like a horrific roller-coaster ride with no end in sight.
Because of the very real pain in this person’s voice, I promised the last petitioner that I’d give it my best shot.
So here goes:
The people of Eastern PA deserve a choice. Enough of these soviet-style one-candidate elections. If Bp. Mark wins in an open and honest election in which there are at least two other candidates, then he should be presented to the Holy Synod for election as bishop. Otherwise, this entire process is a sham, a put-up job to reward a conspirator for helping the Apparat get rid of Jonah. And don’t tell me that there aren’t any other “qualified” men out there. That’s nonsense on stilts.
Otherwise, file the directive below from the Chancellor of Philadelphia one under “Same old, same old.”