Dear Father Raphael,
In your usual/characteristic manner, I think you move to the 'heart of the matter' much like a guided missile does to its target when you wrote of moderation that is faithful to:
. . . the spirit of the Fathers . . .
As we see in the thread from which this one spun-off from, this is the Question of questions. Actually, in the other thread when I asked Herman what he thought any sub-plots might be, I was hoping he would return the favor and ask me if I had any thoughts about this.
I think this is the sub-plot of that thread and just about every other thread, of substance, here on Monachos.
And, what I'm am driving at here is that what you have suggested as being the motivation/guiding factor for 'how'
the moderators on Monachos moderate, this is a part of what is seen as being problematic, at times, by some about Monachos.
I think there are about 5 moderators here now, and I'm not sure how many regular active posters there are, let's be generous and say there are about 25-30 people who write on a regular basis here. And, let's be even more generous and say all of these people have been taught the same way and all understand the spirit of the Fathers and come together as 'birds of a feather' around the "life of Christ that lies right at the heart of Orthodoxy," as Father Matthew wrote in his last post today.
In this situation, it has been pointed out to me that there is a very fine line here between what we all hope for in terms of an operation of the Spirit of Life of the Church and a rank groupthink
And, I can see what is being said most of the time when some unsuspecting chap wanders in and does not think like the group here does. Regardless of the reason, if there is not a subscribing to what the predominate group thinks here, about the spirit of the Fathers and what lies right at the heart of Orthodoxy, there will be various forms of correction offered. Usually, in the beginning, it is a tame thing for the most part, but; if the one who is on the outside does not recant or acquiesce there will be an escalation of attempts to correct this person . . . and I'm running out of time now . . . but, we know what has usually happened in the past in such situations.
The reason I am sharing this in more detail is because after reading some of the above posts, I'm not sure that what has been said initially has been fully grasped by some. The admonitions I have received about Monachos have not been by either frustrated folks or people who do not know what the purpose of this forum is (in fact all but one of these folks have never been a member of Monachos); however, FWIW there it is.
I am very much encouraged though by the last two posts in the thread from which this one spun-off from. I am speaking of the last two posts from Fr. Matthew and Fr. Dcn. Patrick. You see, if all threads with that kind of dynamic ended in the Spirit in which we see these last two posts, then it would be impossible for Monachos to have the reputation that it does with some of these who have made the above claims. Hat's-off to these two fathers all the way round!
I am going to make a metal note of these last two posts in terms of a model of the way it outta be!
Rick the more-or-less idealistic pooh
PS Herman notice I am using the lower case 'p' there.