Reflections On The Scandal
Elena Andrusezko, New York
What is your vision of the Church?
Have you found yourself asking questions lately, in light of the charges brought against certain members of the Church hierarchy?
Have you found yourself unconvinced by their rebuttals (or lack thereof)?
Do you feel that perhaps the administration doesn’t
have the cleanest hands?
That perhaps it is a “whited sepulcher full of dead men’s bones”?
It is a terrible thing when we can no longer trust and
believe in the one institution that has always been there, from the time
of our grandparents, even our great-grandparents, and still remains there
for us. A place where we can share our joys and sorrows, a place where we
can ask forgiveness for our sins and receive the sanctification of God’s
We have learned from the New Testament that Christ Himself
became incensed by the presence of the moneychangers in the Temple. He went
in Himself and overturned the tables, and he taught: "My house shall be called a house of prayer for all the nations. But you have made it a den of robbers." (Mark
I searched the passage. There is no point at which Christ wrestles with the ideas:
If I do this, how will it look?
Am I just disgruntled because they did not ask My permission to do this?
How will it look to the people worshipping in the Temple?
Do I just have a grievance against one of the high priests?
I could go on, but I trust you have gotten the point.
Having worked for and attended
school at St. Vladimir’s Seminary, and then having a husband who worked
for the Chancery for approximately ten years,
I have experienced the pain of knowing things about the Church as institution. Sometimes I believed it was better to be one of those people who go to Church on Sundays, go to confession and communion at Easter, and think no more about it. Obviously, that was not an option for me.
I believe it should not be an option for anyone.
We can no longer pretend that corruption does not exist
in our Church. Each one of us is called upon to defend the Church. But one
must separate “the Church” from the administration on Route 25A
on Long Island.
I weep; because I wish this were not the case. I wanted
it to be genuine, to be true. I wanted a real community, and learned long
ago that it was a mere façade, a Potemkin village. I know many of
the secrets hidden there, and I prayed that it would not be so. But it was,
I take comfort in one thing I did learn at Seminary. Fr. Paul Lazor once told me that there are parishes, organizations that become so rotten on the inside; there is no way to save them. They collapse onto themselves, or end in a conflagration, ending up as nothing more than a pile of ashes.
But it is from these ashes that a new and better thing arises. I have never had any reason to doubt Fr. Paul.
(Ed. Note: Elena Andrusezko is the wife of former OCA Secretary, Paul Hunchak. )