7.17.06 Latest News
Text of Promissory Note
Released by +Tikhon
In a post to OCANews on Saturday July 15, Bishop Tikhon made public the text of the controversial promissory note for $250,000 given to Fr. Kondratick in April 2002. The text, as released by the Bishop reads:
"... Here, by the way, is the exact text of the Promissory Note which the present Administration has cunningly managed to squirrel away from public site. It also includes the date....
'This is to confirm the agreement between the Orthodox Church in America and V. Rev. Robert S. Kondratick and Elizabeth Kondratick concerning reimbursement by the Orthodox Church in America for improvements they have made on behalf of the Orthodox Church in America to the church-owned property located at 216 Martin Drive, Syosset, New York from the time of its purchase until the present.
All bills and contracts for these improvements are on file in the Treasurer's Office located at the Chancery Office.
Per this agreement, the Orthodox Church in America will reimburse V. Rev. Robert S. Kondratick and Elizabeth Kondratick the sum of two hundred and fifty thousand dollars ($250,000.00) in full settlement of all costs for the improvements they were directed to make on this property and which were paid for from their personal funds. This reimbursement will be made in the form of payments to be made in three annual equal installments, the first week of September 2002, 2003, and 2004. Further, per the agreement, no interest is to be paid on this amount.
Archbishop of Washington
Metropolitan of All America and Canada Primate of the Orthodox Church in America
Signed and delivered in the presence of the Church Administrative Committee:
V. Rev. Dimitri Oselinsky, Treasurer
(V. Rev. Paul. Kucynda, Secretary
V. Rev. Eugene Vansuch
V. Rev. Gregory Safchuk
V. Rev. Robert S. Kondratick
I affirm that the above was executed before me on the 19TH day of April 2002:
V. Rev. Paul Kucynda, Secretary Orthodox Church in America
COUNTY OF PASSAIC
My Commission Expires on May 26, 2004' "
The text confirms that the note was signed in the waning days of Theodosius' reign, indeed just two weeks after the Metropolitan's desire to retire was announced by Fr. Kondratick in a message to the whole Church.(Read that message here). It differs, however, from what Bishop Tikhon reported earlier to OCANews on May 24th. Earlier the Bishop had said: "The promissory note was signed by all members of the Administrative Committee, Metropolitan Theodosius, Father Dimitri Oselinsky, Father Paul Kucynda, Alice Woog, JUDGE Harold Kalina, and Father Paul Kucynda a second time, and the signatures were notarized ." (Emphasis in original). In the text he now has provided Judge Kalina was not one of the signers.
The discrepancy does not alter the controversy concerning the note, though. It is the Metropolitan Council, not the Administrative Committee which has the statutory authority to indebt the OCA. (Read the OCA Statute here.) Thus, the very legality of the note, whoever signed it, remains in question.
In question as well is the total amount owed Fr. Kondratick. Prior to the telephone conference call of the Metropolitan Council at the end of May, the OCA acknowledged that it owes Fr. Kondtratick $111,500 for repairs to the church-owned residence on Martin Drive. The OCA has never publicly acknowledged the $250,000 debt stemming from the note - unless, of course, it is the major portion of the "outstanding invoices - $287,800" Fr. Kucynda listed in his recent Report to the Metropolitan Council on June 13th. (Read that Report here) Since the outstanding vendor bill of $140,000 owed from the last All American Council in Toronto is listed as a separate entry, one has to wonder what other vendors the $287,000 is needed to pay, if not Fr. Kondratick?
Is the OCA going to honor the Administrative Committee's "sweetheart" deal to Fr. Kondratick openly – or dismiss it? Or, is the OCA going to simply try to pay it off as quietly as possible as an "outstanding invoice", as part of the $1.7 million loan package, and hope no one asks the question of where more than 15% of the monies borrowed are going? The question is not mentioned in the Metropolitan's Report, nor the Acting Treasurer's Report, nor the Minutes of the Council, nor in the bogus "Member's Statement", nor even in the recent "Update on the Loan" posted on the OCA website. It is a question that if it has not been asked by the Council should be; and if asked, the answer shared with those footing the bill. Only in this way can the OCA's new "Glasnost" keep pace with the its promised "Perestroika".
The Bishop's Post
The text of the promissory note came in the midst of a long comment by Bishop Tikhon in which he defended Dr. Alice Woog, challenged Fr. Paul Kucynda's "scurrilous insinuations" made against her, denounced the "present Chancellor-less administration" of the OCA as Stalinesque, and once again decried the dismissal of Fr. Kondratick as unjust. As is often the case in the Bishop's postings, the Bishop attacked a number of people personally, this time Fr. Gregory Safchuk and Fr. Paul Kucynda; as well as OCANews and Orthodox Christian Laity (OCL) in general.
Regarding the OCA the Bishop writes:
"I have never in all my life observed outside the movies the degree of obfuscation, shilly-shallying, covering up, lack of accountability and lack of transparency and outright AMATEURISH Recklessness that I've observed in our OCA. The ugly and petty, vengeful dismissal of the Chancellor is not the cause of it all, but it would never have reached this level of lawlessness and disorder if he were still the Chancellor, and that "bum's rush" that (was given) the Protopresbyter was the typical "burn the bridges behind us" tactic of absolutely helpless, panicked people, and it was like that moment on a Roller Coaster when you go over the top of the first hill. It's nothing but screams and nausea from then on!"
In a later section the Bishop makes a clear reference to the title of the Syosset mansion which was purchased from the Griswold estate for one dollar in 1957:
"Often those 'one dollar' gifts to a non-profit have the stipulation that if the gift is no longer used according to the intent of the gift, for non-profit purposes, then it must be sold to another non-profit for a dollar."
The OCA has claimed it has title to the Syosset estate "free and clear". OCANews cannot verify the Bishop's speculation that this might be otherwise.
The Bishop Justifies His Actions
In his conclusion to his post, the Bishop justifies his actions. He writes:
"No need to thank me, and no need for apologizing for trying to attribute something suspicious to my failure to produce the date of that document. However, I hope that Orthodox Christians for Accountability and Anonymity realize that the day will come (I announced my intent to retire, remember?) when I will no longer be providing FREE all the documentation that the Chancellor-less administration is unable to produce...the only REAL and relevant documents so far produced. (How about an American Express statement to prove or disprove all the slime alleged relevant to it that is thrown at the former Chancellor?)
I get nothing out of this, by the way. I'm just concerned that there be SOME basis out there to prevent people from later saying, 'Oh, I didn't know THAT!' "
You can read the Bishop's comments, undedited and in full, in our Comments section, here. His comments may be found under the heading "The Loan".
- Mark Stokoe