Christ is in our midst!
I pray this day finds you well. First of all, thank you for your leadership at the recent All-American Council. What many feared would be a contentious conclave turned out peacefully all things considered. Your opening speech was a bravura performance which outlined a compelling and achievable vision for American Orthodoxy that was fostered in a spirit of true Christian conciliarity.
Rather than catalog the details, please permit me to concentrate on one area and one area alone, particularly when you manfully took responsibility for the “administrative failures” of the past three years and agreed to get an “evaluation.”
When I first heard you say those words I was taken aback, as it seems many other people were, especially those who have your best interests at heart. I thought that you had conceded too much. I understood, along with many others, that your goal is to bring peace to the OCA so that it may resume its mission of making disciples of Christ in this nation. Nevertheless, another evaluation is completely unnecessary as those who know you will attest.
Let me explain why I believe this is so and why I am writing you openly.
- First, you are under no moral obligation to accede to an intrusive request because some people may not like you or your way of doing things. This is preposterous and smacks of Soviet psychiatry.
- Second, there are no credible allegations of moral turpitude, financial misdealing, or administrative ineptness against you. Differences of opinion or contrasting visions do not constitute a psychological problem.
- Third, there was no precipitating event that mandated this extreme measure.
- Fourth, no one who requested this action is qualified to assess whether or not you need an evaluation.
This latter point cannot be stressed enough. The purpose of any evaluation is therapeutic, not punitive. Unfortunately, as has been demonstrated time and again, your critics are not interested in your well-being but in merely punishing you. As should be known to all reasonable people, insurance companies do not reimburse health-care institutions which have been used for political purposes. The entire cost of your evaluation would be borne by the OCA.
This bears repeating: it is extremely doubtful that the Church’s insurance company will pay for a treatment protocol submitted by the institution in question if the real diagnosis is that some bishops don’t like you or your way of doing things.
Privacy regulations necessitate that your evaluation must remain private according to Federal regulations as mandated by HIPAA. Your diagnosis cannot be exposed to either your friends or critics. To what end would this “evaluation” be salutary if you are not able to act on it one way or the other? The Church would then be caught in a classic “Catch-22,” unable to remove you because the Holy Synod has no access to your diagnosis while a cloud remains hanging over your head. This is unconscionable. No one should be subjected to this type of innuendo.
Furthermore, as Metropolitan, you are under no obligation to be confined to a place when your time is better served elsewhere. The OCA has no time for such nonsense. Two Dioceses at present are vacant, ordinations have been put on hold, missions have been waylaid, and inter-jurisdictional business needs to be addressed as well. At the very least your Diocese needs your attention.
The narrative that has been propagated against you (that you are unstable, too lenient, or too oblivious) has been exposed as the lie that it is. We see the lie. Most people do. OCANews was the locus of this narrative and will soon be completely discredited. Its sources — the same people that have pushed you to take this action — have fled in disarray in order to safeguard themselves from a lawsuit filed against its editor Mark Stokoe by another party he defamed.
The entire OCA was held hostage by this narrative that was calculated to destroy. We are no longer under any obligation to prove it was a lie. Therefore, your agreement to accede to their egregious demand is likewise null and void.
I ask you therefore, for the good of the Church as well as your own well-being, to reverse your decision for another evaluation. The lie has been exposed. Your first evaluation already accomplished that end. To proceed any further along this path is unprofitable, and lends credence to assertions that have already been discredited.