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Author Topic: Interesting development in the OCA  (Read 10504 times) Average Rating: 0
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orthonorm
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« Reply #90 on: August 13, 2011, 02:31:58 PM »

One can expound the truth w/o being a jerk about it.

Is this some sorta Zen koan or something, cause my brain is killing me here.
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« Reply #91 on: August 13, 2011, 02:47:46 PM »

The problem with OCANews is that Mr. Stokoe was at once an 'insider' within the OCA's structure, yet running a news web site reporting from the 'outside.'  It is tantamount to someone working for the White House while also being a reporter for the Wall Street Journal.

Those who wish to fulfill the role of reporter need to have some distance from what or who they report on.  Having two roles is just undoable over the long haul.

This became a real problem when Mark decided to start 'reporting' on the topic of the Manhattan Declaration and homosexuality.

The danger with mark running OCANews by himself is that it ego boundaries tend to get a bit blurry.  He has no one to check his work before it goes out, and people tend to perceive OCANews as an extension of Mark.  I'm not sure that is all that inaccurate in either case.  So, when the topic swung towards a matter having to do with a condition of Mark's personal life, he lost the ability to deal with the matter with even the appearance of impartiality and he opened himself up to inquiry as to how much he was 'guiding' the discussion on OCANews in favor of his own preferences.

Bishop Matthias had the canonical right remove Mark, and did so on substantive grounds: you can't sit in a room with Bishops and laity that you will then report on with a less-than-friendly light and expect confidential conversations to be kept confidential.  We all know that meetings change once the tape recorder is turned on.  Mark is a walking (and posting) transcription machine.  That's why his site was effective, but it also becomes a liability when you are supposed to work together with the people you publicly criticize.

In this last case, the matter of homosexuality and gay marriage is a hot-button topic.  Mark did not, in all fairness, treat the matter in a balanced way, but posted a number of extreme (by Orthodox standards!) essays without a counter-balanced approach.  He also opened up a can of worms for the clergy who posted (for example, Fr. Vinogradov wrote something which was refuted by his own Bishop), which ran the risk of opening up another wound in the OCA.

If Mark is going to criticize the moral standards of the OCA, then he has pushed the boundaries of his own role as a 'trustee' of the OCA.  He is expected to uphold and protect the morality of the Church, not to lobby for change.  He was expected to represent the people of the Midwest in advising the Holy Synod rather than directing the latter's pastoral activity.

He went a step too far.  Whereas before he was holding the bishops accountable for upholding morality, he started to get into the topic of changing morality.  These are very different concepts.

I think everyone is grateful that Mark was instrumental in exposing the corruption of the Ancien Régime, but I think that being on the MC while trying to run OCANews is simply not workable.  Furthermore, mark would do well to have other people involved to make sure that OCANews runs as a less-than-personal-crusade.  One must always be careful in  reporting on a topic tangential to one's personal life.


There are those in the OCA who think he's been running a personal campaign from the very beginning and that there's been as much distortion as so-called exposure.

As an outsider watching I believe that OCAnews is such a virulent near occasion and occasion for sin, for so many Orthodox who are active on the Internet,  that should it continue, Mr. Stokoe is in grave spiritual danger knowing what his site promotes...and he'd have to be a mental cripple not to know.

M.
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« Reply #92 on: August 13, 2011, 09:54:45 PM »

I am starting to think the same myself.  I'm starting to think that while some things may have been true (and maybe enough to lose them their jobs), but I do wonder if it was as bad as he painted it.  Mark has not always been honest about what his motives are.  For instance, Mark didn't bother to let people know that Fr. Bob Kondratick had fired him from his position at Syosset (I believe he worked in the Youth Dept).  Of course, Mr. Stokoe didn't bother to inform people as to why he was so upset about +Metropolitan JONAH signing the Manhattan Declaration.  He talks so much about transparency, but he isn't being transparent about his own life.  In both cases, he was not transparent about his own motives.  He passes himself off as an objective reporter, but can you truly be objective in either of these cases?  Could he have wanted to get Fr. Kondratick back for having fired him?  Did Mark feel threatened by +Metropolitan JONAH's signing of the Manhattan Declaration that he felt that he had to try and get him removed?  I think it is a little dishonest to pass yourself off as being an objective reporter when you might very well have motives for wanting those people out of there. 
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FatherGiryus
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« Reply #93 on: August 13, 2011, 11:54:45 PM »

It almost goes without saying that doing anything on one's own is spiritually dangerous.  Of course, saying that is something like the effect on a smoker's psyche while, in a moment of utter boredom, he actually reads the Surgeon General's label on his packet of cigs.

There has been a whole range of opinions about Mark Stokoe and OCANews.  I know people who hated him and the site who are now ardent supporters, and just the opposite trend as well.

What cannot be denied is that he did uncover several scandals which otherwise might never have been dealt with in a thorough manner.  The question becomes that of a mill devoted to a kind of grain which is no longer grown.

Will the mill continue to turn?  If so, what will it grind?


There are those in the OCA who think he's been running a personal campaign from the very beginning and that there's been as much distortion as so-called exposure.

As an outsider watching I believe that OCAnews is such a virulent near occasion and occasion for sin, for so many Orthodox who are active on the Internet,  that should it continue, Mr. Stokoe is in grave spiritual danger knowing what his site promotes...and he'd have to be a mental cripple not to know.

M.
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« Reply #94 on: August 14, 2011, 12:35:50 AM »

It almost goes without saying that doing anything on one's own is spiritually dangerous.  Of course, saying that is something like the effect on a smoker's psyche while, in a moment of utter boredom, he actually reads the Surgeon General's label on his packet of cigs.

There has been a whole range of opinions about Mark Stokoe and OCANews.  I know people who hated him and the site who are now ardent supporters, and just the opposite trend as well.

What cannot be denied is that he did uncover several scandals which otherwise might never have been dealt with in a thorough manner.  The question becomes that of a mill devoted to a kind of grain which is no longer grown.

Will the mill continue to turn?  If so, what will it grind?

I don't believe in muckraking, but even so, who's to say there will be no more scandals?
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elijahmaria
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« Reply #95 on: August 14, 2011, 01:31:21 PM »


What cannot be denied is that he did uncover several scandals which otherwise might never have been dealt with in a thorough manner.  The question becomes that of a mill devoted to a kind of grain which is no longer grown.


I think I have heard it said that he uncovered quite selectively and that what was uncovered would ultimately have been resolved without the selectivity and perhaps faster without all the noise and confusion:  and most likely would have included a much earlier demise of Mr. Stokoe's influence and exercise.

The thing that cannot be taken back is the rumor mongering that his work encouraged and continues to encourage and the ill will, I would say virulent ill will and calumny, that was expressed for months on end and based almost entirely on his site that stirred the pot and encouraged such excess in behaviors that were at very least objectively and exceptionally sinful. 

One must ask: In the Body of Christ was that necessary?...was it useful?...was it avoidable?

I think Mr. Stokoe's bishop asked those questions and we have the answer.

I say, praise God...and the bishop.

M.
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Carl Kraeff (Second Chance)
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« Reply #96 on: August 16, 2011, 03:18:34 PM »

I am going to say one more thing and then I will heed Father Giryus' word and cease to comment. Here it is:

If anyone is interested in researching this episode in the life of the OCA, in addition to oca.org, ocanews.org, ocatruthcom, and monomakhos.com, the following blog might be also helpful: http://spartiongeometrias.blogspot.com/2011_05_01_archive.html
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« Reply #97 on: August 16, 2011, 04:59:12 PM »

I am going to say one more thing and then I will heed Father Giryus' word and cease to comment. Here it is:

If anyone is interested in researching this episode in the life of the OCA, in addition to oca.org, ocanews.org, ocatruthcom, and monomakhos.com, the following blog might be also helpful: http://spartiongeometrias.blogspot.com/2011_05_01_archive.html

I agree out of all the blogs/discussions groups that the above blog is the best.
As for Mary's post:  yes, I really believe that Mark Stokoe's web site was for the good of the OCA and thw whole Orthodox Church.

Mark was elected to his post on the Metropolitan Council not appointed by a bishop.  He could be elected again but I believe he has said that he will stand stand for election this time.
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« Reply #98 on: August 22, 2011, 02:02:00 PM »

I think I have heard it said that he uncovered quite selectively and that what was uncovered would ultimately have been resolved without the selectivity and perhaps faster without all the noise and confusion:  and most likely would have included a much earlier demise of Mr. Stokoe's influence and exercise.

The thing that cannot be taken back is the rumor mongering that his work encouraged and continues to encourage and the ill will, I would say virulent ill will and calumny, that was expressed for months on end and based almost entirely on his site that stirred the pot and encouraged such excess in behaviors that were at very least objectively and exceptionally sinful. 

One must ask: In the Body of Christ was that necessary?...was it useful?...was it avoidable?

I think Mr. Stokoe's bishop asked those questions and we have the answer.

I say, praise God...and the bishop.

M.

Agreed.
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