Letters from Organizations
August 27, 2006
His Eminence, Archbishop Kyrill
Diocese of Pittsburgh
P. O. Box 1769
Cranberry Township, Pennsylvania 16066-1769
We ask for your blessing.
The Pittsburgh District of the Fellowship of Orthodox Christians in America (FOCA) held its summer district meeting today, with some of the serious problems facing the Orthodox Church in America being discussed.
Recognizing that all the facts have not yet been publicly disclosed, the FOCA members today unanimously agreed to communicate the following concerns to you. We do so even though the scope of the financial problems has not yet been fully disclosed, because at least some irregularities have been acknowledged by the Church - such as the
disappearance of records and the diversion of certain special appeals funds - meaning that some misconduct has occurred, be it negligent, or criminal, or something in between. We agree that:
1. The scandal enveloping the Church has seriously affected the members of this Diocese and her parishes, as it has the whole Church. Our trust in each other has been shaken, and can only be restored through a complete, public explanation of everything that led us to where we are today. This must include, among other things, answers to t he questions of how and why we accumulated a $1.7 million debt, and why funds for widows and orphans (9/11, Beslan) did not reach their intended beneficiaries.
2. The reports that our Metropolitan has promised will be publicly distributed 'in good order' need to tell us what exactly went wrong, and how, and what steps are being taken to assure that such problems will never occur again. To fully achieve this, it is essential that the Proskauer Rose report and all audits, including any management
summaries and recommendations delivered to the Church and accompanying the report and audits, be distributed to, and discussed with the Church as a whole. If indeed there has been wrongdoing of any sort, those responsible must offer repentance, for the people of the OCA are
anxious to properly resolve these matters and move on to building up the Church.
3. We encourage His Beatitude, the Holy Synod, and the Metropolitan Council to immediately begin planning for an extraordinary All-American Council in 2007, or by 2008 at the latest. (Delaying the next AAC to 2010 is now not an option.) This All-American Council could be stripped of the comforts and attendant length and expense of recent Councils, reduced to a two-day council held at a location such
as South Canaan. The agenda should be limited to a frank and open discussion of the most urgent problems facing our OCA.
4. Lastly, we implore you to call on the Metropolitan to act without further delay to make his reports to the whole Church. We all have been told that the Proskauer Rose report should be completed this week. The much-delayed audits should be finished by now. Your Eminence, our people want these matters to be properly resolved. Every
day that full reports are delayed is a day that further damages trust, that keeps us from our missionary work and building up the Church.
We pray for you as our Diocesan Bishop, for our Primate, a native son of our Diocese, and for the Holy Synod and Metropolitan Council. May God guide you in your efforts.
The Pittsburgh District FOCA
Serge Daniels, District Governor
cc: His Beatitude, Metropolitan Herman
Dr. John Schultz, FOCA President
Priests of the Diocese of Western Pennsylvania
FOCA Pittsburgh District Chapter Presidents