Briefly Around the OCA..
• Citing "..Ongoing Confusion, Division, Disillusionment and Moral Failings..."
Withholding Gets Tacit Nod From Archbishop
A recent letter from Archbishop Job to St. Paul the Apostle Orthodox Church in Dayton OH dated April 17th, 2007 clarifies the Archbishop's position on the growing number of parishes considering withholding assessments in protest throughout his Diocese to the lack of transparency and accountability in Syosset. The Archbishop writes:
"Reverend and dear Fr. Ted and Parish Council members:
Christ is Risen!
I greet you with those words of victory and hope as we continue to be strengthened by the Resurrection of Our Lord Jesus Christ, amidst the ongoing confusion, division, disillusionment and moral failings which afflict our Orthodox Church in America.
I am in receipt of your letter of 28 March 2007 which reveals the heartfelt concern of your parish but also its frustration and demoralization. This brings me great sadness, but, at the same time, a greater sense of urgency to take any and all measures necessary to bring this tragic episode in the history of our Church to an honorable and righteous conclusion, which will result in a complete disclosure and revelation of the truth, correction of all problems and failings and a restoration of trust and confidence in the leadership of the Church.
You have informed me that you have made the decision to withhold the monthly payment of the assessment to the Central Church Administration of the OCA, while continuing to support our Diocesan Church. I respect this decision and will not ask you to violate the collective conscience of the parish. Nor will I compromise your decision by having the Diocese 'cover' your assessment to the Central Church Administration (although now the Diocese is not in a financial position to do so) as had been the case with other parishes in the past. I ask only that these funds be placed formally in an escrow account.
I also take very seriously your request concerning the 'Palatine resolution' which will be considered at the Diocesan Council meeting scheduled for next month.
I must, confess, however, that I am uncomfortable with parishes taking such actions unilaterally, and the possible misconceptions that could result. I would have preferred that the Diocese would act in a united manner. But we have never faced such a crisis before, and it is difficult to judge precisely on the 'best' way to proceed.
With profound gratitude for your staunch support and continued prayers for my unworthiness, and in hope of a brighter future for our beloved Orthodox Church in American,
Faithfully yours in the Our Risen Lord,
Archbishop of Chicago and the Midwest. "
• Continuing Silence Regarding Kondratick Trial
According to Article 11, Section 4E of the Statute of the OCA: "The accused has the right to trial in court within 30 days of the day when the penalty is pronounced by the bishop." As Fr. Kondratick was suspended on April 20, 2007 this means the trial should take place within the next two weeks - if Fr. Kondratick responded to the letter of suspension. As of today, May 4th, the OCA has still not made any official announcements regarding the date, time, location of the trial, nor who will serve as presiding judge or accuser. For his part, Fr. Kondratick has not spoken publicly regarding his suspension, nor whether he plans to appear at a trial.
- Mark Stokoe