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+Dmitri Calls Deposition of Kondratick “Unthinkable”

The Diocese of the South website at quoted Archbishop Dmitri yesterday rendering what appeared to be his verdict concerning Fr. Kondratick, former Chancellor of the OCA, who is suspended and awaiting a decision from the Church Court concerning multiple allegations of financial wrongdoing from 1995-2006. The website reported:

“With the clergy and laity gathered in worship for daily Vespers around their Archpastor, His Eminence, Archbishop Dmitri, the senior Hierarch on the Holy Synod of Bishops of the Orthodox Church in America opened the 30th DOS Assembly at Christ the Saviour Cathedral, the site of the 1st DOS Assembly in 1978.....

While the laity met with Fr (Daniel) Kovalak, His Eminence gathered with 46 of his clergy in the Cathedral exhorting them in their missionary zeal. He also urged all of the clergy in the Diocese to understand their vocation as Priests and Deacons as a precious gift to be cherished and never given up. He asked for the clergy to pray for one of are (sic) own who is facing calls that his Priesthood be taken away a priesthood he does not wish to abandon. His Eminence considers such calls as ‘unthinkable.’”

The Archbishop made these comments before he had even heard the decision or recommendations of the four-judge panel currently deciding the case, who are expected to make their report later this week.

Fr. Kondratick, who was present at the Assembly where the Archbishop made his remarks, also received a glowing tribute in the printed materials offered by the Diocese, specifically in the South Florida deanery report. Commenting on Fr. Kondratick’s short pastorate at Holy Spirit Church in Venice it states:

“This parish is the northern most parish of the deanery’s west coast. Through the recent efforts of Fr. Bob Kondratick, it has experienced in a short time a renaissance of activity, new members, and enthusiasm....

The faithful have confirmed the vision and direction set by Archbishop Dmitri by the placement of a full time pastor who has expended much time, labor and love for its rejuvenation."

Others, however, were less happy. Withholding has spread to the Diocese of the South as well. The report on St. Nicholas Church in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida, (in the same deanery as the parish in Venice) included the following notice:

“A parish since 1961, it is located a few miles north of Downtown Ft. Lauderdale. Fr. Kirrill Gvosdev is rector. ...

The current OCA scandal has been of particular concern to the parish and its leadership. It has chosen to hold in escrow all assessments until the time that “the whole truth has been told, restitution has been made, and our diocesan as well as national church authorities speak out shepherding the faithful in the ways of the Gospel and not in keeping silent for their own protection, gain, or because of fear.”

In short, the parish is withholding its monies from the Diocese as well as Syosset, as under the new Fair Share system, it is the Diocese which is responsible for paying the assessments, not individual parishes. The parish is awaiting, therefore, some positive action from the Diocese of the South before sending any more monies into the Diocese either.

(Read the full South Florida Deanery report here.)

According to sources close to Syosset, the Church Court called to hear Fr. Kondratick’s case is required to offer their conclusions and recommendations to Metropolitan Herman this week, for final determination to be made at the forthcoming Synod of Bishops, meeting July 31-August 1st.

- Mark Stokoe


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