The once globally revered St. Vladimir’s Orthodox Theological Seminary has lost all credibility as a serious institution of Orthodox theological learning. The nauseating poster displayed above must have Father Alexander Schmemann of thrice-blessed memory rolling in his grave. It does not bode well for the future of the episcopate, priesthood, diaconate, and lay workers for generations to come in the Orthodox Church in America and beyond.
That one of the greatest embarrassments to Orthodoxy in America should be invited not only to write the foreword to a book of Father Schmemann’s talks, but to deliver the annual lecture named for him at what used to be one of the world’s foremost Orthodox theological schools, is emblematic of the cesspits that the OCA’s two main seminaries—St. Vladimir’s and St. Tikhon’s—have gradually become under Metropolitan Tikhon (Mollard)’s primatial watch.
Recall that Father John Parker, American Orthodoxy’s second most famous homophobe priest, was appointed dean of St. Tikhon’s in July 2018 just after he had traveled to an international Orthodox conference in Crete to call for the drowning and feeding to sharks of Orthodoxy in Dialogue’s, Public Orthodoxy’s, and The Wheel‘s editors.
Recall that Father Chad Hatfield, president and professor of pastoral theology (!) at St. Vladimir’s, in his letter to Orthodoxy in Dialogue of May 29, 2020, declared Father Josiah Trenham—American Orthodoxy’s most famous homophobe priest (profiled by the Southern Poverty Law Center’s Hatewatch Staff), credibly accused abuser of his own children, and a danger to the lives of his flock and family since the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic—to be “certainly qualified” to teach at St. Vladimir’s. [For more on Trenham see the Josiah Trenham: The Scandal section in our Archives 2020-21.] (Incidentally, in July 1017 under Hatfield’s watch, sexuality and gender were declared essentially forbidden areas of research at St. Vladimir’s.)
And now Rod Dreher.
Have Mollard, Hatfield, and the seminary board of trustees not read the infantile, anti-Christian drivel that Dreher spews at The American Conservative, both in his articles and the comments following? Have they not read his repeated displays of naked racism, and his unapologetic endangerment of an African-American professor’s life by falsely accusing him of incitement to violence against white people? Have they not read his nonsensical The Benedict Option, publicly repudiated by Archbishop Elpidophoros of America?
Or is this indeed the direction in which they choose to drive the OCA and its seminaries? For all the OCA’s vaunted “autocephaly,” it has mostly succeeded in driving itself into the ground.
We have six and a half weeks in which to halt this travesty. Send your expressions of protest to the following (you need not be Orthodox to write):