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In Advance of SIC Report,

Synod Asks Forgiveness

• "We were not alone in being deceived"

• "Systemic problems made it possible for us all to


• "Will do what is necessary to correct what is


A pastoral letter addressed to the "Clergy and Faithful" of the OCA, signed by all the diocesan bishops and posted on the OCA website last evening, acknowledges the "..Synod did not act as quickly as it should have" in regards to the scandal that has plagued the OCA, and admits the "..Synod has to, and does, take responsibility for the failure".

"Recognizing our weakness and our failures" the Synod continues: "the Holy Synod of Bishops bows low before the clergy and faithful of the Church, and we ask forgiveness from you all. We are truly sorry this could come to pass in the Church, and that this has happened under our supervision."

You can read the full text of the Archpastoral Letter here.

The Archpastoral Letter has been the subject of much debate and discussion among the hierarchs since the Special Investigative Committee completed its Report last week  - and a summary of that Report and its conclusions were shared with key figures in the administration.  If the subsequent Archpastoral Letter sounds strangely familiar, it is because we have read it before. The latest epistle from the Bishops parallels an earlier acknowledgement and request for forgiveness issued by Metropolitan Herman in April 2006.

(You can read the earlier letter here.)

The major difference between the two letters, separated by two and a half years, is that in the earlier letter the Metropolitan assumed full personal responsibility for failures in the administration. In this latest letter, the entire Synod suggests that responsibility for administrative failure lies not only with all of them, but with the Metropolitan Council as well.

The Report of the Special Investigative Committee is scheduled for distribution to the Council and Synod at their joint meeting on September 3rd.

- Mark Stokoe





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