Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Clergy Meeting with the Metropolitan

Today I was impressed by Metropolitan Philip. I watch him answer questions from the clergy, some of whom were aggressive in their questioning, with openness and willingness to accept suggestions. Metropolitan Philip's answers were clear (although sometimes off point) and for the most part satisfactory. I do not agree with all he has done or is doing, but to my satisfaction he has explained why he has done what he has, and the canonical authority—or interpretation—by which various actions have taken place. You have to respect a guy who will allow two hours of open microphone to answer questions from a hundred and fifty often grumpy old men. Do I think everything is now out in the open? Certainly not. I do, however, think that enough is out in the open to trust the rest—right now. The most important thing I have learned through this whole six months of misunderstanding is that misunderstandings are resolved by listening. Certainly human beings will disagree. That’s why we have leadership: if we all had to agree first, nothing would get done. But if we are open about what we are doing and why, and if we listen to the concerns of those who disagree with (or perhaps only don’t understand) us, then we can go a long way toward functioning together peacefully as churches and as an archdiocese.

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