Friday, March 4, 2011

Mark Stokoe, the OCA, and American Orthodoxy

An interesting article about Mark Stokoe, the author of OCA News, can be found on the new OCA Truth website. I personally find some of the culture war comments unnecessary - Christians standing up to call homosexuals evil and destroyers of the family is pretty ripe given the rather tragically average divorce and abortion rates in Christian circles - but the article does give people not belonging to the 'establishment' or what have you of the American Orthodox Church (OCA) some food for thought about the ongoing events involving Metropolitan Jonah (Paffhausen) and the state of the OCA, especially given the strong growth in recent years of more traditionally Orthodox Churches in North America (particularly the Serbian Orthodox Church).

The above aside, I'm reluctant to fall behind the perspective of the OCA Truth website wholeheartedly as we still don't know what's going on with Metropolitan Jonah and the OCA. It could be that he has committed serious errors that require investigation and his removal. I would, however, be sad to see the first primate of the OCA in decades who is grounded in the Tradition and Apostolic Faith of the Church removed simply because he doesn't fit a narrow Syosset and Paris-based vision of Orthodoxy that has little in common with historic Orthodoxy in North America, much less Orthodoxy as it is lived in Ethiopia, Greece, Russia, and virtually every other Orthodox Christian land.

God guard and guide us all during this new time of troubles! Thank God Lent is upon us and we will all have time to fast and pray for the healing and strengthening of our Church.

Update (6/3/11): Mark Stokoe's response to OCA Truth's allegations can be found here.


  1. Reading that site has only caused me to fall into the sin of comparing my own sin of gossip to that of others, and conclude that I'm doing okay. ;-)

  2. Haha! Unfortunately it just makes me want to follow in Matt Brown's footsteps and go to seminary so I can be closer to the eye of the storm ;-).

  3. Yeah, the problem here is a lack of -- I was going to say "transparency," but I think "basic honesty" will take me where I'm trying to go.

  4. Indeed :-/. And, especially in more recent events, an appalling lack of pastoral wisdom on Metropolitan Jonah's part...