Here are some words from the business world that will help those of us who use the Internet to understand the core problem of the OCA today.
Robert Scoble and Shel Israel (who are both recognized leaders in promoting the use of the Internet and blogging) in their book NAKED CONVERSATIONS write:
“Blogs are driving corporate transparency. … “Trust is the only capital you have in the blogosphere and to build trust, companies need to become transparent in their practices.”
Why does the OCA struggle to move beyond the corruption scandal which so devastated it? The answer is trust. While most of the central church has attempted to rebuild trust by embracing transparency – hiring new personnel and by adopting best practices and other policy reforms (which have indeed corrected most of the problems which enabled the scandal in the first place), Metropolitan Herman himself has not been transparent. He has accepted change all around him, but he himself has not embraced transparency and so continues to be the dark hole at the center of the OCA. OCAnews.org and the Orthodox Forum have opened doors and blinds into the OCA just like Scoble and Israel say blogging will. And the Metropolitan Council awakened by the light streaming in (which was spotlighting its own sleepiness) responded by becoming more transparent and demanding more transparency. This resulted in the transformation of the personnel and policies of the central church as individuals involved in administration accepted and pushed for this change. Even the Synod of Bishops has shown glimmers of seeing the change and its import on the daily life of the OCA (though they also have at times demanded that the shades be lowered again, especially when the light reveals their own inactivity). But Metropolitan Herman himself has not personally embraced the notion of transparency – he has not been in the vanguard offering a full explanation of what happened or is happening in the central church but rather has personally said and done things which have inhibited transparency and thus have prevented trust from becoming the OCA membership’s attitude toward the central church. That remains the gangrenous core of why the scandal does not simply go away. What is needed is not simply transparency exposing his role in the church. When complete transparency shines forth from the office of the metropolitan then the membership of the OCA will trust the central church administration and the metropolitan to rightly define/divide the word of truth.
3 thoughts on “Tradition with a capital “T”: Trust and Transparency”
Transparency is capital in business in general these days. People may not realize the wool has been pulled over their eyes immediately, but they don’t forget once they know. It takes four times as much work to re-earn the trust of the people as it does to be honest in the first place.
Big “T” Transparency is a borrowed little “t” tradition from the world of politics and business.
Transparency does little to address the real deficit of the OCA that does not involve monies.
Truth is big “T” Tradition. Transparency and Trust are not the invention of capitalism but are the very milieu for proclaiming the Gospel. Christ made it clear we are to be his witnesses, and that we cannot do if we are not Trustworthy which requires Transparency. Jesus said in court that he had nothing to hide and kept nothing in secret. Transparency would help address all the problems of the OCA in as much as it enabled people to be truthful. But you are speak rightly, it alone cannot correct all deficits. And as John said it is 4 times harder to re-earn trust than to simply be honest in the first place.