In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.
Grant, O Lord, that I write from a place of inner peace.
I learned many years ago that I have no control over what people say and think about me. Like a man standing at the edge of a field consumed by wildfire, I watched in despair and powerlessness to do anything to stop it. The field that was destroyed was my life and reputation.
The inferno sprang up from a highly combustible mixture of lies, half-truths, whispered innuendos, wordless sniffles and raised eyebrows, outright fabrications.
Now, it’s magnified all the more by advances in social media unimaginable a short generation ago.
Then and now, those who conspired to pour the kerosene, light the match, fan the flames, are my own brothers and sisters in the Orthodox Church. Never outside of the Church have I been treated as I am inside the Church. The most peaceful period of my adult life covered the four years recently—from 2008 to 2012—when my faith had collapsed so completely that I called myself an atheist.
Today is the 30th anniversary of my ordination to the holy priesthood. On May 21, 1988—the Feast of SS. Constantine and Helen—I was almost 33 years old. I set out that morning for the short stroll across St. Vladimir’s Seminary campus from my family’s apartment to the chapel. In the cool morning air my lips whispered of their own accord, “Thirty-three. The age of the crucifixion. I go to be crucified with Christ.” Yet little could I guess the agony that my unworthy share in His priesthood would eventually bring down upon my head. Thirty years later, and sixteen years after my deposal for reasons entirely unclear, it never leaves me. Read More