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12.19.09 From The Chicago Tribune

Orthodox Archbishop Job of Chicago dies

Archbishop Job, the head of the Orthodox Church of America in Chicago and the Midwest, died unexpectedly Friday morning, according to a church official. He was 63.

The archbishop rose to national prominence in recent years as he took a stance against alleged financial mismanagement and corruption among the church's national leaders. One church leader called for his discipline simply because he asked for an investigation into wrongdoing.

A probe was conducted that led to the resignations of several church officials from the national governing board.

"He truly believed what he preached. He believed in honesty and integrity," said Fr. John Adamcio, rector at Holy Trinity, the seat of the Chicago diocese. "These things he did were indeed noble and honorable."

Still, those efforts took a great toll on Archbishop Job, and he planned to retire next year to southwestern Pennsylvania, Adamcio said, "in his own words, to look after the salvation of his own soul."

He was found unconscious behind the wheel of his car in the parking lot of a hotel in Maumee, Ohio, at about 10:30 a.m. Friday. Archbishop Job was in the area speaking with clergy members about what to expect when he retired, Adamcio said. His car was packed up and he was about to head back to Chicago.

The archbishop had been suffering a bad cough and shortness of breath in the weeks before his death, and was scheduled to see a doctor this morning, Adamcio said.
Archbishop Job was born Richard John Osacky in Chicago and studied at Northern Illinois University and St. Tikhon Seminary in South Canaan, Penn., according to a statement on the church's Web site. He was ordained in 1973.

About 10 years later he was elected bishop of Hartford and New England, and a decade after that he became the bishop of Chicago.

According to the Web site, several memorial services have been scheduled for next week.

-- Manya A. Brachear and Andrew L. Wang



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