Letters From Parishes/Deaneries
The four resolutions below were passed unanimously by the Parish Council of Holy Trinity Church, Clayton, WI, at the meeting of August 20, 2006, and are being submitted for consideration by the Assembly of the Diocese of the Midwest which will meet Oct. 10-12, 2006.
Declaration of Support for Archbishop Job
Be it resolved that the Diocese of the Midwest declares its complete and unyielding support and thanks to Archbishop Job for the stand he has taken in the face of the financial and moral scandal plaguing the Orthodox Church in America. We further declare our thanks for his honesty, openness, and integrity, and call on the other OCA hierarchs to follow the example set by our beloved Archpastor.
Call for Financial Disclosure
Be it resolved that the Diocese of the Midwest calls for the immediate, full, and Church-wide disclosure of all financial records and all completed audits of the central administration of the Orthodox Church in America for the past ten years.
Call for the Withholding of Assessments
Be it resolved that the Diocese of the Midwest will, effective immediately, withhold its assessments to the Orthodox Church in America until such a time that both financial transparency is being fully practiced and the credibility of the central administration is restored.
If the above resolution fails to pass, the Parish Council amends its resolution to read as follows:
Be it resolved that the Diocese of the Midwest will, effective immediately, respect the decisions of parishes that choose to withhold assessments from the Orthodox Church in America until such a time that both financial transparency is being fully practiced and the credibility of the central administration is restored. This respect will be demonstrated in this way: the Diocese will reduce the amount of assessment funds sent to the Orthodox Church in America by the amount being withheld by these parishes.
Call for the Resignation of the Metropolitan
Be it resolved that, in order to promote reconciliation, the rebuilding of trust, and expectation for the future of the Orthodox Church in America, and recognizing that the credibility of the current administration has been marred beyond all hope of correction, the Diocese of the Midwest calls for the immediate resignation of Metropolitan Herman for the good of the Church. Furthermore, the Diocese of the Midwest calls for an All-American Council to be convened in order to elect a successor, in accordance with the Statute of the Orthodox Church in America.
Letters from Deaneries
3. Resolution on Church Order and Accountability:
We the undersigned priests of the Columbus Deanery of the Midwest Diocese are deeply troubled by the ongoing scandal in the OCA In fulfillment of our duties as presbyters of the Church, and in support of and in solidarity with His Eminence, Archbishop Job, we put forward the following Resolution to be adopted by the Diocese at its Diocesan Assembly.
Whereas it is the particular duty of the Metropolitan, the Synod of Bishops, and the Metropolitan Council to work for the unity of the entire OCA, by addressing the concerns of all members and working toward having a common mind on issues which are territorial rather than merely diocesan,
Be it resolved that the Diocese of the Midwest calls upon the Metropolitan, the Synod of Bishops, the Metropolitan Council, and the OCA Chancery to set all of the affairs of the church aright by:
1) Fully adhering to the administrative policies as defined in the Statutes of the OCA, and recognizing the competencies of all individuals and groups defined in that document;Ê and
2) Having the Synod of Bishops and Metropolitan Council assert their competencies as defined by the Statute and thus recognizing a clear ecclesiology for the OCA; and
3) Having the Metropolitan Council or those appointed by them to draw up clear job descriptions and competencies for every employed position of the Chancery, clear hiring guidelines, qualifications for each position and clear guidelines for reporting, investigation of, and clear procedures for dismissal of employees; and
4) Beginning all necessary plans now for an All American Council in 2008; and
5)Revealing to the entire Church all investigative reports and audits from 1995 to the present, including the first six months of 2006; and
6) Establishing a three bishop investigative panel to look into and deal with through appropriate channels all allegations of Protodeacon Eric Wheeler until each is either proven false, or, if true, dealt with according to the canons of the Orthodox Church; and
7) Recognizing the legitimate role of the Metropolitan Council by allowing them to oversee the legal and financial affairs of the Church as outlined in the Statutes.
These steps are to be taken by the Metropolitan, Synod of Bishops and the Metropolitan Council by January 1, 2007, or the Diocese of the Midwest will begin withholding payment of the Assessment to the national church, beginning in January of 2007 and continuing until such a time as these concerns are addressed to the satisfaction of our Diocesan Bishop and the Diocesan Council. We offer this resolution as a call to good stewardship at every level of the OCA.
Fr. Ted Bobosh
Fr. Stephen Frase
Fr. Joseph Gibson
Fr. Mark Hodges
Fr. Steven Kostoff
Fr. Philip Lashbrook
Fr. David Maroney
Fr. Miroljub Ruzic
Fr. Zachariah Trent
(Editor's Note: Nine of the 12 clergy of the Columbus Deanery signed this resolution.)