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Oh dear, oh dear. Caught by the dratted ABC's.

I plum forgot about the alphabet. It didn't occur to me that alphabetical order would trump lesser things, say, like ecclesial order.

An Orthodox hierarch is registered by his last name, inserted between Packer and Perkins. That's the way of it. I understand. We live in the West now. Last names, even for our hierarchs, put you in line. How could I forget.

You're right. This critique is shallow.

I should have taken on other issues, such as the morality of association with extra-ecclesial bodies for select political and moral agenda, especially an association coordinated by a demonstrably political PR firm. 

I should have delved more deeply into the implicit association of Manhattan with the truly noble Barmen Confession, when there were real Nazis sending 700 real confessional pastors to jail, as opposed to our present age when we worry about losing our tax exempt status. I should have corrected some of the ill-founded notions of some of the organizers who claimed that Barmen was their inspiration, despite the embarrassing rift between Barmen's depth and the shallowness of our ilk. Karl Barth wrote Barmen in hard speech: this one was written by a committee and it shows (I don't think Esolen would like the idiom).

I should have taken on our au courant penchant for making external declarations at a time when the Church should be making declarations for internal use, like, say, more dogma, less conferences; more ascesis, less gnomic churchmanship.

I should have, but I didn't. I kept it shallow like a Philistine and too entertaining and snarky. 

You're right. I didn't bite, mainly out of my concern for Orthodox signers who do valuable work in writing and speaking and need to be kept online.

There is a single sentence, I believe, that sums up my disappointment with Father Jonathan's shallow critique of the Manhattan Declaration:

"The Roman Catholic Diocese of Pittsburgh is listed six entries down from something called "Performance Matters Associates." Metropolitan Jonah is sandwiched between Dr. J. I. Packer and Tony Perkins."

It's called alphabetical order, Father Jonathan.

Well said once again, Fr. Jonathan. All I could think of with respect to this document was that my "inner Hauerwassian" was stirring. There are ways to live out the assertions of this document, and yet the "thing to do" is make a public pronouncement. There are other, more concrete things that can (and should) be done.

Fr G.

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