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Reminder that Holy Tradition protects the faithful from fashionable inclinations of the wayward men at the top? But fairly, who among us hasn't followed a course that seemed to make sense and even seem good at the time, and though even when it proferred well, doesn't retrospection lead to a more muddled view?

Looking through the internet over the years you can find a sense of "anticipation" for what the Orthodox will prophetically offer to America (as only Orthodox can?) - one day. As if. Really? Maybe we can at last dispense with some measure of this inflated self-importance? or at least concede our message isn't what we (or so many others) seem to think it is?

The Good News remains... humbling. And in that sense, a recovery of some measure humility for our own errors as a church might be good if a touch might come out of this. St. Silhouan's line seems to apply: "Keep your mind in Hell and despair not." And even if that sounds a bit pretentious in its Shakespearean cadence, perhaps it is nevertheless excellent counsel.

One wonders whether a good indicator of our prospects may lie in ultimately how and with what sense of charity towards the past and the persons involved this is resolved, together with what care for avoiding the passions of the moment (like last time?) is addressed for going forward. Don't they say that all those old CEO's ultimately come to regret their putting away their first wives for the younger, "Trophy" social xrays? Sure... but what then?

Such behavior should not happen in the Body of Christ indeed! For many of our fellow Orthodox who have reveled in the self-inflicted misery some of the Roman hierarchs have imposed upon their majestic body, this should be a wake up call that while the Church is a Divinely instituted entity - it is entrusted to the hand of mankind - and all of the weaknesses, temptations, sins AND the glory, the wisdom, the humanity, the highest of aspirations which our species is capable of reaching. Such is not unique to the Church of Rome...

So it cuts both ways...and frankly when teachers, cops, lawyers, doctors etc circle up the wagons and cover up - what will we say? The same thing - they owe us more, they are blessed with great gifts and they should be better. We all need to be better - and that includes Bishops as well as the simplest of the faithful. Regards!

By the way, thank you Marqos, for being a lot less prolix than I, and for suggesting a word that so effectively describes the degeneracy from true ecclesiology.

Thanks David for this reminder about the optimism that should mark our thoughts on current events. I guess that I am guilty of, if not schadenfreude, then of old memories of our diocese being on the receiving end of no small calumny.

I know what you mean about the ubiquity of political machination. It may be that our own brand of politics is, by comparison, jejune, even naive.

I am glad about this relative callowness. It has spared us from the grievous sins of greater adepts.

In light of this, I confess my own naivete when I came over from an anabaptist/revivalist community: at least on the surface of that community, we never saw such heavy-handed dealings under the roof of the church. I must say that it was shocking to even hear the sort of stalinesque language and revisionism that I heard. We cloistered bible-school-and-billy-graham types were like the usual homeschooled child who turns 18 and shows up for college at Berkeley. Breathtaking is one word for the first reaction. Disorientating and depressing are words for the rest of the response.

So with all respect, I stipulate your point about the sort of realpolitik shared by some ecclesial jurisdictions with the machiavellian goings-on at Wall Street and DC.

Gorblimey, to support your point, we now have our own talking heads that do the PR-thing, declaiming official views about anything and everything, from the Higgs Boson to this very abdication.

But, David, I will keep my right to despair. This sort of thing should not happen in the Body of Christ.

And it's a worse thing that it happens here than that it happens out there.

I suspect that for all of the 'sturm und drang' spewing from certain websites whose names shall not be mentioned, this is more of a case of buying a pair of neat sneakers without first trying them on. I buy the same model number,year in and year out, and I am never disappointed. Sometimes I will buy blue instead of black trim, but.... Seriously, my decades as a PK, PB (no jelly please) and would be PF have taught me one thing - the Church is as political an institution as any man-operated one on the face of the planet. But that observation is a morally neutral one, it is merely an acknowledgment of reality on the ground. There are plenty of good men and women involved in Church and the one in question and I suspect they will prevail and endure. After all, we are promised that the gates of hell shall not prevail against the rock which is the Church. Good essay, Father J!

What drivel.

I know that line more from Bertie Wooster than from Alexander Pope. Don't want anyone to mistake me for a literati.

I hadn't heard that line about the 'feast of reason and flow of soul'. Unfortunately, I read what Pope I read at a time when I was not receptive to him.

I don't know what they're running away from. It seems like they're trying to impart a sense of professional gravitas to what they're doing by inventing and using a distinctive jargon. Sitting around and coming up with ideas, however banal, sounds a lot more serious when you call it 'brainstorming'.

I forgot about that term: "best practices."

My old protestant seminary is very fond of "vision-casting."

"Brainstorming" is probably the oldest of these terms. It has not, however, displaced the "feast of reason and flow of soul" that can actually produce good ideas that are edited through the give and take of friendly talk.

None of these terms are solid enough to replace the older, simpler terms. Yet they are used to deflect language away from consciousness and the present -- all the time.

And I have to ask -- what are they running away from, they who use these deflective, degenerate terms?

Excellent thoughts, Father. I have been observing and loathing the growth of management-speak for some time now. 'Brainstorming', 'downtime', 'visions for the future' and the 'vision-casting' they require just leave me cold. Unfortunately, my own boss, who is really a great guy and hates management culture as well, unconsciously picked up a lot of this while working for several years as a manager for Starbucks. He's always talking about 'best practices', an expression I had never heard until two years ago.

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