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News From Around the OCA

• New OCA Secretary Candidate Announced

In a posting today, the OCA announced that Mr. Paul Bodnar has been nominated by the Metropolitan Council as the new Secretary of the OCA and his name has been forwarded to the Synod of Bishops for confirmation. Mr. Bodnar is described by the release as having "extensive experience in non-profit management activities and possesses in extraordinary quantity and quality the skills required of the position." Mr. Bodnar's brother, Fr. Peter Bodnar, is an OCA priest in Gary, Indiana.

The announcement of Bodnar's nomination, by agreement of the Council, was to have remained a secret until the Holy Synod had approved the hiring. This was because the announcement of the previous nominations of the Fr. Alexander Garklavs and the former treasurer candidate on the OCA website last March, while the Council meeting was still underway caused such turmoil. Those premature announcements led to headaches - for Fr. Alexander, whose parishioners had to read about it on before he could break the news to them; for the former candidate for Treasurer who was announced as being hired before he could discuss it with his current employer; and for the Synod of Bishops who never had the chance to review either nomination before they were announced.

Unless, of course, this announcement was not unintended, nor premature. The announcement does state: "His Beatitude, Metropolitan Herman, has met with him, as have members of the Task Force and the Very Rev. Paul Kucynda."  Does the Synod have no say?

(Read the Press Release in full here)

• Liturgical Texts for "Day of Prayer and Fasting" Posted by Midwest

His Eminence JOB, Archbishop of Chicago and the Midwest has asked all parishes in the Diocese of the Midwest to observe a day of prayer and fasting on June 25. The text entitled "A MOLIEBEN FOR THE SALVATION OF OUR CHURCH AND THE APPEASING IN IT OF DISCORD AND STRIFE" is now available on the diocesan website. (Download it here) This Molieben has been adapted from one printed by St Tikhon's Seminary Press, which was itself adapted from one printed at the time of the All-Russian Council of 1917, calling for the salvation of the 'Russian Dominion'.

• Monk James Silver Reveals Details Of Kondratick Trial, Accuses former Metropolitan Theodosius, Archimandrite Zaccheus (Woods) of "Thievery"

In a posting on Yahoo's Orthodox Forum today, Monk James Silver of New Jersery, who was present at the June 11 session of the trial of Fr. Robert Kondratick as one of his advisors, makes the following charged comments:

"....The fourteen accusations which MetH (formally Dr Faith Skordinski) brought against FrRK *mostly* reference actual events, but they're almost completely falsified.

As an example, FrRK is accused of "creating secret discretionary accounts"; this is just a lie. Those accounts -- including the ADM millions -- properly, belonged to the OCA, as Protodeacon Eric Wheeler rightly noted when he first raised objections to the way they were handled, and they should have been handled better in spite of Dwayne Andreas's letter giving Met. Theodosius complete and unaccountable authority to use that money as he pleased. Only MetT used that money; FrRK had absolutely no access to that money, and spent none of it.

Then there's that videotape of FrRK's conversation with Archimandrite Zacchaeus in Moscow, discussing the disbursal of funds to survivors of the Beslan masacre. I have a copy of that tape, and it's worthless as evidence since it's been tampered with: AZ edited out a great deal of material. Only an integral version of that tape would be worth considering, but it seems there isn't one anymore.

AZ made that tape to make it look like FrRK was on the take, but in reality it was just his clumsy attempt to create a sort of insurance policy: AZ would use the edited tape to blame FrRK for his own thievery in an attempt to cover his tracks, but it was well known among us *in advance* that FrRK's visit to AZ was intended to draw AZ into admitting that he'd pocketed at least some of the Beslan money. During their meeting, FrRK had no idea that a recording was being made, but it won't take much more time before AZ's sleaziness (it's worse than just theft) is exposed for all the world to see."

Silver's defense of Fr. Kondratick is remarkable, in that he simultaneously claims Fr. Kondratick met with Archimandrite Zaccheus "to draw (Zaccheus) into admitting that he'd pocketed at least some of the Beslan money", but that he, Kondratick, had "no idea the recording was being made". Why would one travel across the world to extract a confession without arranging to bring back any evidence it was given? On the other hand, why would the other arrange to record a conversation, incriminate himself, and then distribute it? One can not judge the veracity of Silver's claims about the trial (Syosset remaining silent on the issue) but one can begin to see, though, why the Synod of Bishops found the explanations provided by Fr. Kondratick at their March session "were neither credible nor persuasive."

- Mark Stokoe


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