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You know, I'm not sure what's happening in the OCA is all that different than what always happens. That is, there is the hierarchy and the tradition, and there are those with money and power. The MC, et al are simply acting the same way the Archons do (and the Voivodes did, the Emperors and Tsars did, the Phanariotes did, the Boyars did, etc.), just more publicly. the differences lie in the fact that the 'powerful laity' in the OCA are not simply those with the deepest pockets and troops at hand. They are also attempting, it seems, to define standard policy for how things are done. "Policy" understood as little more than a stated rather than understood tradition of how decision making happens - and this already happens differently in each of the local churches, cf, the way in which the Patriarch of Serbia has very little executive power over or apart from his Synod vs. the way in which the Patriarch of Moscow and the EP have a great deal of executive power themselves, personally. In many places, the diocesan hierarch is essentially neutered on a wide range of subjects, whether his Metropolitan/Patriarch is commemorated along with him in the litanies or not.

Of course, things run differently when everyone's basically the same, from the same place, from (or married into) the same background, and assume all the same assumptions. Outside a given milet this is not the case, and the OCA has from the days of Sts. Alexis, Tikhon and Raphael (not to mention Fr. Sebastian Dabovich and the Alaskan Natives) a mixture of milets. For all of its drawbacks, an apartheid of milets allows each group to simply go on as if there is but one way to skin a cat in Orthodoxy. Breaking down that 'apartness' has its own drawbacks, especially when the unwashed heterodox are allowed in in numbers (with ordinations prior to ten lay years in Orthodoxy), without marrying in.

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