Yesterday, the venerable Thomas Hopko gave a 20 minute speech to the Holy Synod and Metropolitan Council, asking them to “not give up the dream of the OCA.” Once my side stopped hurting from all the laughter (thank you Fr Tom, laughter really is the best medicine), I felt that it needed some sober reflection on my part. Clearly, it was a clear swipe against His Beatitude and his traditionalist view of Orthopraxy. My guess is that Fr Hopko still believes that the OCA was planted here to become a kind low-Church, semi-spiritual, quasi-hierarchical, congregationalist hybrid that has never existed in Orthodoxy. A kind of “hip” and “relevant” church that knows better than the Holy Fathers because We are Americans and Don’t You Know, We’re Special. Who needs John Chrysostom when you have Dr Phil?
Since we all think so highly of Fr Tom, we must give his “Dream of the OCA” serious consideration. In order to do that however, I’d like to know if he always felt that way. In fairness to the good reverend, and in the interest of historical accuracy, I’d like to publish this essay of his back from 2006, two years before +Jonah was elected Metropolitan. (My guess is that’s when the Golden Age existed before the Fall supposedly wrought by +Jonah.)
Pretty harsh stuff if you ask me. Unlike his speech from the other day, when he talked about unicorns and rainbows and flowers busting out all over, I’ve got to wonder why he thought things were so bleak back then in the pre-+Jonah days. The words he wrote are sobering to say the least. (And lest we forget, he was always one of the leading lights in the OCA.) “Dream of the OCA”? Sounds more like nightmare. The fact that he views the ministry of +Jonah in such a harsh way shows to me that the other leading lights of the OCA are as equally dim. In this most recent speech we see the confluence of the Dumping Ground, Toxic Culture, and Deep Institutional Mediocrity forming a Perfect Storm of Continued Decline.
If that ain’t Stuck on Stupid, nothing is.