Firstly, a hearty thank you to those who have said kind words in this thread about my moderation. It is very much appreciated.
Now, I am not obligated to justify myself nor the actions of the moderation staff. Participation in this sub-forum and all the forums on OC.net are voluntary. If you can't handle the personality clashes and sniping that invariably arise from participation in any forum, even the most dry, academic ones, you are free to leave and not participate in the discussions at any time. I myself left this forum once when, as an Eastern Catholic, I felt slighted one too many times and stayed away for a number of years. In time, I realized that this site, of all the Orthodox fora on the internet, is the place most conducive to actual, provocative discussions but also the most welcoming of all such websites on the internet for heterodox Christians and even non-Christians. My experience as a moderator for the past year has only reinforced that belief.
I was nominated for this position because I was a former communicant of the Roman Catholic Church and I have demonstrably no ill will towards my old co-religionists or the church that birthed and fed me for over 30 years. I simply came to the realization a few years ago that I no longer considered the universal jurisdiction of the papacy and papal infallibility to be a dogmatic necessity for the Christian life and, as such, found myself holding on to the tenets of the Orthodox Church more than that of the Roman Catholics. There was no one moment when I rejected the teaching of Vatican I out of anger, spite or resentment; it was a gradual realization that came to full fruition on (Gregorian Pentecost) 2008. I like to think that my posts as an Orthodox Christian and as a moderator bear out the fact that I have no ill will towards the Roman Catholic Church and those in communion with her to the point where I dare anyone to find such a post. If anything, since my chrismation, I have taken pains to correct gross errors and bald lies about her.
Now we get to my moderation style. This topic began with a comparison between this sub-fora and EO-OO subfora, moderated by Salpy. What Salpy does over there is her business, as far as I'm concerned. The history between the EO and OO on OC.net is far more incendiary than that of the Catholics and the Orthodox (quick note: I use and will continue to use those terms in their generally accepted meanings; you will not hear nor win any semantic games with me) and Salpy feels the need to police that forum with vigilance and swift action to keep the proverbial fire smoldering as opposed to raging.
You will not find such heavy handedness in the Orthodox-Catholic discussion forum, at least while I'm moderating it. You are all adults (with a few exceptions who tend to act more mature than most of the "adults" around here). I am not your mother who is going to smack you on the mouth and send you into the corner to think about some ridiculous, disrespectful comment you said to the kid down the street. I expect these things from posters in my forum:
1) Stay on topic. The most egregious offense you can commit here is to go off on a tangent worthy of its own thread. You all are obviously capable of using this forum and starting a new thread. If you find a side comment of yours engenders its own conversation, either use the Report to Moderator function and ask a mod to split the topic or, better yet, start a new thread yourself. It's not that hard. In fact, the time and effort necessary to do so may just be the time you need to not shoot from the hip, so to speak, and end up typing a ridiculous, disrespectful post that you'll later regret, either in a few days on here or on Judgment Day in front of the Lord God Almighty.
2) No name calling. You all know what this means. I should not have to elaborate any further.
3) Don't feed the trolls. Every forum has its drive-by posters (and even resident ones) whose posts are obviously inflammatory for the sake of being inflammatory. Don't encourage them. I don't care how much your fingers want to dash off yet another inflammatory post to combat the first one; it's counter-productive. So the next time some delusional fool with a vendetta against the Roman Catholic Church posts yet another article about Cardinal Stepanic, don't feed the troll.
That's it. It's really that simple. If you feel like someone's acting out of line, USE THE REPORT TO MODERATOR FUNCTION. Yes, we are sometimes slow or even unresponsive. I know I rarely take action without consensus from at least two other moderators unless something is obviously against the rules (posting pornography, for instance). The moderation staff will get to your report and get back to you personally. Remember, we are all volunteers, especially the clergy we are blessed to have as administrators and final-says, as it were.
In short, behave yourselves. I'm not here as a moderator to corral or cajole you into good behavior. You're all adults who have to answer to the Almighty for everything you post here on OC.net, be you Catholic, Orthodox, Jew, Hindu, Buddhist, atheist, etc. I'm here to make sure that the letter of the law is followed in hopes that you all will be able to discern the spirit of our policies. I cannot make you do so; you have to make the choice to do it yourself.
If you do not like the way we run things, perhaps you would find edification elsewhere. This is not a democracy and further agitation for a "Catholic section with a Catholic moderator" will be met with an increase in warning status.
This is the end of this thread.
Orthodox-Catholic Discussion moderator