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Sunday, November 20, 2011

OCA & Addiction

I have checked around the OCA’s web site, and was able to find through outside searches a few helpful pages on addiction from their own literature (dated 1989):
I find the OCA’s website is difficult to navigate, and it took some work for me to find these.  Overall, they are solid and Archpriest Bogdan Djurdjulov is to be commended for an excellent presentation on the topic.
The OCA has had the most public discussions on the topic of alcoholism, due in some part to its political upheavals over the last 15 years.  Without really saying it, the OCA has seemed to have come down on the right side of the matter: addiction, if honestly addressed and treated, is no bar to participation in the Church or even ministry.
Average people might not realize it, but this is very hopeful as far as establishing the Church’s credibility in speaking to this topic.  By not overreacting, but rather allowing even clergy and hierarchs to receive treatment, the OCA has progressed light-years over other churches that would instantly anathematize a clerical addict.
Fr. Bogdan, in addition to Bishop Michael (Dahulich, former dean of St. Tikhon’s Seminary), Protopresbyter Thomas Hopko, and Archpriest John Dunlop have helped provide clergy with an introductory understanding of addictions as they have passed through the OCA’s three seminaries.  The larger impediment to clerical development on the topic usually stems from a lack of continuing education or the priest’s unwillingness to acknowledge that this own brilliance alone may not be sufficient to solve all the problems he encounters.

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