In the interest of fairness, Monomokhos has decided to publish Fr Michael Oleksa’s letter to the Alaska Dispatch explaining his reasons for oppositing the Pebble Project mining controversy. As our readers know, the story as related in the most recent edition of the AD did not show Fr Oleksa in the best light.
As we have told our readers back in June when this story first broke, and reminded them again on Friday, Monomakhos has taken no editorial position one or the other regarding the rightness of the project or Oleksa’s opposition to it.
However his rebuttal unwittingly raises new questions about the status of the OCA and its autocephaly. Please direct your attention to the last paragraph in which he praises the Ecumenical Patriarch and his novel doctrines about “sins against the earth.”
The Pebble problem is just one practical, clear situation in which the Church has been called upon to†apply Her vision, her theology, her experience, Her Wisdom and most of all Her Holiness to a particular context. If we are blamed for this, I would maintain that we are only doing what the Church must alwaydo: proclaim the Kingdom in this place, for these people at this time.
If His All Holiness Bartholomew I is known in Europe as the Green Patriarch, we, I think, in North†America, should be known as the Green Church.
And the Ecumenical Patriarch clearly believes there are sins against the earth. Here our Alaska Native People could not agree more.
In addition, he christens +Bartholomew “The Green Patriarch” and thinks that the North American Orthodox Church should be a “Green Church.” To what end? Could not Oleksa have found a patristic citation for preserving the environment, or perhaps the Alaska church’s own acculturation in the lives and traditions of the natives, going on over two hundred years now?
Why this sudden need to look to the present Patriarch of Constantinople for doctrinal support for something that is already innate in the Orthodox Church of Alaksa?
A reasonable assumption could be made that Oleksa’s appeal to Constinopolitan authority will be viewed as a plea to place the OCA (or a united, trans-jurisdictional church) under the omorphor of Istanbul. It certainly will be viewed that way within the precincts of the Phanar, adding as it does yet another rationale for the Phanariote triumphalists in their never-ending quest for universal jurisdiction.