Wednesday, March 14. 2007
The Commission Continues.... Your thoughts and comments welcome.
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AXIOS Archbishop JOB!
You just gotta love an honest bishop.
Fr. Bartholomew Wojcik
#1 Rev. Bartholomew Wojcik on 2007-03-14 20:01
Right on Fr. Bart!!
AXIOS!!! AXIOS!!! AXIOS!!!
Many thanks and continued prayers for Archbishop JOB and all those who chose to stand beside him!
With love in Christ,
(Holy Resurrection Church - Palatine, IL)
#1.1 Helen O'Sullivan on 2007-03-15 09:49
Wow! As I read that report, brief as it was, I was sitting on the edge of my chair, crying out for Archbishop Job. And when I read of his saying "I don't know if my conscience will allow me to stay in such a church" and then walking out, I could only say "I will follow you!".
Thankfully, the Council voted in his favor, opposing the Metropolitan. Of course, the drama is FAR from over. We shall see what develops from this.
Priest of the Midwest
#2 Name withheld on 2007-03-14 20:06
Fr. Kondratick has become the "scape goat" in this entire mess. To even think that Met. Theodosius and then Abp. Herman knew nothing about the diversion of funds is ridiculous. And what about others at Syosset and in the Holy Synod? We need a lot of people to "confess their sins!"
#2.1 Anonymous on 2007-03-16 07:01
Of course many people besides Fr. Bob knew and went along. They liked spend the money also. Fr. Bob threw the money around quite liberally. He bought their silence. The ADM playground funded a lot of mischief. Why do you think so many "higher ups" in all our institutions are silent now?
#2.1.1 Name withheld on 2007-03-18 13:57
LET THE HEAVENS REJOICE--LET THE EARTH BE GLAD!
One of the hallmarks of Western Civilization ( or if you prefer, Greco-Roman Civilization, of which we are the heirs) is the importance it gives to individuals and their actions. Never was this better illustrated than when yesterday, Archbishop Job threw down the gauntlet to the MC and demanded that the TRUTH come out so that the OCA can heal and survive. His intervention literally saved the day and the honor of the OCA.
Of course, kudos to everyone involved in this outcome, but for those who have been heretofore critical of Archbishop Job for past inaction, this, and his initial call for the TRUTH, certainly more than makes up for any past deficiencies.
However, a note of caution is in order. The Synod must still act next week on these "recommendations." Under the circumstances of a virtually unanimous action by the MC, any attempt to block or sidetrack the MC's actions will be a receipt for disaster and an invitation to schism.
#3 Kenneth R. Tobin on 2007-03-14 21:02
LOL--"receipt" should of course be "recipe!" So much for late at night posts.
#3.1 Kenneth R. Tobin on 2007-03-15 04:47
Glory to Jesus Christ our God! The Metropolitan Council has asserted their rights, what a blessing. This bodes well for our Church.
#4 Subdeacon Robert Aaron on 2007-03-14 21:15
With respect, the Metropolitan Council has not asserted its rights at all. We have accepted our responsiblity to do due diligence and to act faithfully. In short, we are only seeking to do our duty. (Cf Luke 17:10)
#4.1 Fr John M. Reeves on 2007-03-15 15:42
I stand corrected! I'm still happy though. You are to be commended for accepting your responsibility and doing your duty.
#4.1.1 Subdeacon Robert Aaron on 2007-03-15 17:58
Thanks be to God for Archbishop JOB and the members of the Special Commission! Their courageous and loving dedication to the Truth and the Holy Orthodox Faith are a bright light in the darkness and an inspiration to us all. There's hope now for a restoration of trust and a return to the true and narrow path of Orthodoxy in the OCA!
Many Years Bishop Job! Many Years Fr. John! Many Years to the Commission and the Council!
Can someone give a hypothetical example of how releasing the complete report, if it is simply a report based on facts, would leave the church open to civil litigation?
#6 Rachel Andreyev on 2007-03-15 00:27
Because the report is not complete nor is it lawful. Those who controlled the investigation NEVER spoke with Kondratick. The Special Commission NEVER spoke with Kondratick. PR spoke with him for 34 minutes and then refused to allow their client, Herman, to release the content of their findings. Why? Because the one person who could answer all the questions has not been asked.
Would any of us wish to be treated this way? To be sacrificed on the altar of expediency?
Please do not accept the report of the special commission as fact. It is not. Even Attorney Perry, is puzzled that Kondratick was never asked to answer any questions. And please do not forget that ALL OF THIS could have been averted if the Herman did not UNINVITE Kondratick at the March 2006 Holy Synod meeting. The HS invited him to answer questions. Kondratick was ready and willing to do so, but was UNINVITED -i.e. silenced and never given a chance to help all of us understand how and why things were done.
A Former Member of the Midwest Diocese who is fed up with the facade of Job.
#6.1 Anonymous on 2007-03-15 17:08
With all due respect, I fail to see why Fr. Kondratick is somehow unable to tell his side of the story and release all these important facts just because the Commission or PR haven't talked to him. If he wants to clear himself and explain everything, he could issue a letter. He could write the Commission and PR. Why, he could post to this very site. I am sure Mark would make space available for a fact-filled Reflection "to help us all understand how and why things were done."
Is Fr. Kondratick represented by a lawyer? If the answer is "yes," is it possible that his lawyer has advised him not to talk? The old "Just wait until Fr. Kondtratick tells his side of the story, then won't all you all look silly" is just sad now, especially from a defender who will not even associate his or her real name with the defense. Perhaps Fr. Kondtratick's silence has more to do with heeding excellent legal advice than merely not having been asked questions by someone.
To say that this report (which you have not seen) is not "lawful" or should not be accepted as fact just because Fr. Kondratick has not been questioned is nonsense. There is apparently plenty of other evidence that independently confirms the allegations of misconduct.
#6.1.1 Tim Capps on 2007-03-16 00:14
Dear Mark (Stokoe): Firstly, Axios, Vladyka Job! .........we may have at last found a way to allow Fr. Bob's disposition without outside intervention, as an ecclesiastical court is convened to consider all facts, both good and ill, in its fact-finding activities and deliberations, and weigh them in the balance..........in which case we may possibly ascertain that the good far outweigns the ill...........putting these events in proper hands may do much to dispel the aura of criminality and find the blessings of God's forgiveness for human frailties
#6.1.2 Anonymous on 2007-03-16 09:07
Dear Mr/Ms/Fr Anonymous: Perhaps you could explain what prevents Fr Kondratick from coming forward and telling his side of the story?
#6.1.3 Michael Strelka on 2007-03-16 09:26
First, the disclaimer that I'm not a lawyer, and I will defer to others for any mistakes I may make.
Let's say the report used the term "embezzlement". We all know what that means, but proving it in a court of law, using the legal definition, is another matter. There is truth, then there is truth which can be proven by evidence in a court of law.
Because the report will be, at some point, made public, the fear is that there will be a liable or slander suit against the Church by people named in the report.
That is one example. I believe any risks of releasing the information are minimal. By suing, the named individuals open themselves up for questioning by the attorneys for the OCA.
The commission has no subpoena power - it cannot compel individuals to speak or answer questions. Thus, they may have to make their report without certain evidence. Every individual should be offered the opportunity to tell their side of the story, and proffer evidence on their behalf. If they choose not to, then the hierarchy/council will act with that decision in mind. Silence may or may not be interpreted with positive motives. In a court of law, in the US, silence may not be interpreted as either guilt or innocence. Canonical courts, and private investigative reports, may not be bound by such a rule.
Those indicating the commission report is somehow illegal are quite frankly wrong. It may open the Church to civil litigation, but anyone can sue anyone for any reason now days. It is by no means illegal to do so. If the report is false, there are remedies at law for the injured parties, should they choose to partake of them. I for one doubt they will, for the reasons mentioned above.
I hope this hasn't clouded the picture further for you! It isn't easy with all the verbage being tossed around.
Sdn. John Martin
Martin D. Watt, CPA (Inactive)
#6.2 Marty Watt on 2007-03-16 22:09
Sorry to rain on everybody's parade, but one of the Metropolitan Council's recommendations to the Holy Synod violates the canons and The Statute of the Orthodox Church in America. The Holy Synod does NOT have the statutory authority to suspend a priest or a deacon (cf. Article II,7); rather, that authority lies squarely in the hands of the cleric's ruling Bishop alone (cf. Article XI,4,e).
There is absolutely nothing to prevent individual members of the Holy Synod or, indeed, any other member of the Church, from bringing charges against the former Chancellor, as long as ALL the provisions of Article XI of The Statute are followed exactly. (But given that the Holy Synod collectively acts as the Court of Appeal in the case of clerics, we have some interesting conflict-of-interest issues involved already.)
Whether one loves or loathes Fr. Kondratick is quite beside the point. The bottom line is that, if for no reason other than that of enlightened self-interest, we have a duty to see to it that the Holy Synod, the Metropolitan Council, the Diocesan Spiritual Court follow strictly the provision of Article XI,1: "Every member of the Church is entitled to due canonical procedure in the courts of the Church." Like it or lump it, the law is the law is the law.
Igumen Philip (Speranza)
#7 Igumen Philip (Speranza) on 2007-03-15 05:31
I do not think that anyone has faith in the Church Courts at this juncture. As this scandal has played itself out, it has become obvious that too many people in positions of control are too partisan. There has been too much disregard for the truth, too much personal loyalty to the personalities at the center of the controversy. I think that this is an extraordinary case that affects the national church as a whole, and I do not believe that Article 11 of the Statute is appropriate.
Section 11.3 of the Statute states the competence of the Diocesan Court: "It shall be competent to judge cases involving allegations of unorthodox belief, breaches of canonical or moral discipline, marital problems, disputes involving clergy and parish officers, disputes over parish institutions, and any other matter involving the good order of the Church."
Even if the Diocesan Court is the appropriate forum to determine whether Fr. Kondratick should be suspended or defrocked, this case goes beyond "canonical or moral discipline" or "other matters" involving the "good order" of the Church. The case is about possible criminal activity and whether Fr. Kondratick has a legal obligation to account for (and provide restitution for) funds that were within his control.
The civil courts are the only forum where those questions can be decided objectively -- the only forum that key figures in the church cannot manipulate or control. Given the history of this saga, it is hard to imagine that a Church Court could give a fair resolution to this case -- unless the OCA asked for help from outside, from one or more bishops in another jurisdiction.
#7.1 Robert Vasilios Wachter on 2007-03-15 18:34
Dear Fr. Philip,
Pardon my ignorance and/or confusion with the Statute and canons regarding suspension. Having no personal experience with ecclesiastical suspension, I'd never given it much attention. But, everyone that I'd heard of being suspended was suspended by their own bishop, which one would expect.
I looked up the Statute portion that you referenced and it says that the diocesan bishop has authority to suspend. That much I knew.
However, the Holy Synod has competence in "all matter involving doctrine, canonical order, morals, and liturgical practice" (Article II, Sec. 7:a). Fr. Robert's situation seems to fall within this category.
I'm not the lawyer of the family and I'd appreciate a clarification. Is there an overlap in competency here?
Thanks for the help.
Fr. Bartholomew Wojcik
#7.2 Rev. Bartholomew Wojcik on 2007-03-15 20:07
The section of The Statute you cite deals with the teaching office and authority of the Holy Synod. It is the Holy Synod's responsibility to set liturgical practice, authorise liturgical texts for newly-glorified saints, etc. It is the Holy Synod's responsibility to give doctrinal and moral teaching and guidance (as in the various encyclicals already issued), and to determine and enforce proper canonical order in the Church as a whole.
That is quite distinct from the disciplinary authority of the Holy Synod, which is contained in Article II,7,j and k. For the Holy Synod to supercede and thereby overthrow the disciplinary authority of a ruling hierarch would be utterly uncanonical, a violation of the promises each hierarch made at his consecration, and a grave sin against the God-ordained order of the Church.
And FYI, let's get something really clear: I will NOT shut up about what the proper and lawful order of things is, not now, not ever. For the first 20 years of my life, someone in my past used his authority and power to torque, distort, and arbitrarily change rules and directives so as to have an excuse to rip me to shreds verbally and emotionally, and to beat the living hell out of me physically. And if you or anybody else think I will stand by silently and allow anybody----Metropolitan, Hierarch, Metropolitan Council, or baba in the back row---to play those kinds of viscious, destructive, abusive games, guess again. Anyone within the Church is quite free to submit in writing charges against Fr. Kondratick to the Spiritual Court for the Diocese of the South and thereby begin the disciplinary process as prescribed in the canons and The Statute (Article XI). But the laws and rules are what they are; the canons and The Statute say what they say; and they had better be followed carefully and exactly.
Not that we have received much encouragment or leadership in that regard. The Metropolitan himself violated the clear meaning of Article IV,2,i, when he took it upon himself to dismiss the Chancellor, rather than refering the matter to the actual appointing (and therefore dismissing) authority, the Holy Synod (cf. Article II,7,m). In so doing he not only acted lawlessly but also set a sinful example for the whole Church. He will have to answer for it at the dread Judgment Seat of Christ, and I can only hope and pray that for the sake of the good order of the Church he will still have to answer for it to the Holy Synod. (I also hope and pray that someone will explain to him the caveat attached to that section, viz., that he must act always and only "within the framework of the holy canons.") Lawlessness only begets more lawlessness.
Again and again, it matters not one whit whether one is Fr. Kondratick's bosom buddy or mortal enemy. What matters is that justice both be done and be seen to be done by observance of the clearly-prescribed order of things. Anything else, anything less, is anarchic, blatant and utterly demonic disobedience to the apostolic injunction that everything be done "decently and in order" (1 Cor.14:40) and inevitably ends up perpetrating gross injustice.
Verbum sapientibus sat.
Igumen Philip (Speranza)
#7.2.1 Igumen Philip (Speranza) on 2007-03-16 07:40
God forbid that anyone suggest that you should "shut up!" Your words of wisdom are one of the delights of this site.
As you know, I am no fan of Father Kondratick, although I have strongly criticised efforts to make him the sole scapegoat for the scandal. Furthermore, I agree with you that proper canonical procedures must be followed lest the critics become guilty of the lawlessness they are decrying.
That said, where there's a will there's a way, albeit the "right way." The MC's "recommendation" to the Synod can in turn become the Synod's recommendation to the appropriate bishop. But who is that if the actions in question occurred when Fr. Kondratick was Chancellor? So the plot thickens and one is led to wonder if Fr. Kondratick was sent to Florida to protect him and the Metropolitan/Synod from having to take action.
Agatha Christie would have loved it!
#22.214.171.124 Kenneth R. Tobin on 2007-03-17 11:37
The one and only provision in The Statute for the bringing of charges is Article XI,4. Part "a" of that section states that "accusers shall present their accusations in writing to the Bishop of the Diocese of the accused." Thus, it does not matter when, where, or in whose diocese the alleged offence took place; the judicial process can be initiated only in the Spiritual Court of the Diocese to which the accused currently belongs.
Note also, in Article XI,3, that the Diocesan Court is the court of FIRST instance for everyone other than hierarchs. Note further the specific competence of the Spiritual Court: "...allegations of unorthodox belief, breaches of canonical or moral discipline, marital problems, disputes involving clergy and parish officers, disputes over parish institutions, and ANY OTHER MATTER INVOLVING THE GOOD ORDER OF THE CHURCH" (emphasis added). Again, the law is the law is the law. So if the former chancellor is to be tried, the court of first instance is and is allowed to be only the Spiritual Court of the Diocese of the South.
My question is, therefore, why, when everything regarding judicial procedures is spelled out so clearly in black and white in The Statute, and when the Metropolitan Council has been reclaiming its authority spelled out in black and white in the same document, the Metropolitan Council would be daft enough to make a recommendation to the Holy Synod which the Synod has no lawful competence to implement.
It's enough to make a grown man weep.
#126.96.36.199.1 Igumen Philip (Speranza) on 2007-03-18 14:34
For a very long time, now, the Statute has been essentially ignored by everyone, including the Metropolitan Council. It probably never even occurred to anyone to check what it said.
#188.8.131.52.1.1 Name withheld on 2007-03-18 18:03
Since there is some talk about trying to change some of the statutes at the next AAC, maybe this one can be changed as well. I'm suggesting that the Holy Synod, and by extension the church at large, be able to deal with anything and anyone working at the national level of the OCA. This would mean that even if someone had been moved to another diocese, the Holy Synod would still be able to deal with them for matters pertaining to that person's time working at Syosset. Of course, for non-Syosset matters, the Holy Synod would not be able to get involved, but I do think that the Church should be able to deal with national level issues and those involved at that level instead of having to wait for the appropriate bishop to first take action. But until the statutes are changed, then yes, let us follow them as they now stand.
#184.108.40.206 Stephen Ullstrom on 2007-03-19 16:02
Be very wary of talk of changing the Statute anytime soon. The purpose, in the past, for such talk was to eliminate the Metropolitan Council, centralizing all power in the Metropolitan and Holy Synod. It should be obvious to all, now, that this would be totally disastrous.
#220.127.116.11.1 Name withheld on 2007-03-19 17:24
Archbishop Job is much in need of our prayers, with the meeting of the Synod of Bishops coming up. Bishop Nicholai and his minions will be really out to get him, after this report--we can only pray that the bishops who are truly interested in the truth and the Church, and not for themselves, will stand up for and with Archbishop Job--there are at least two or three of them.
For those who continue to support Fr. Kondratick: yes, he has undoubtedly done good and kind things for you and others. One would expect that of him, as a Christian and a priest. But there is so much that he has done wrong, and for which he seems unrepentant. Any other priest would have long ago been suspended, deposed. Why is he the exception?
Maybe it is time for some more of the victims of his wrongdoings to come forward. I've heard directly from one, but, since it would be considered "hearsay", I do not feel that I can say anything publicly.
Congratulations to the members of the Metropolitan Coucil, for having the backbone to stand up for what is right and true!
#8 Mark on 2007-03-15 05:39
Remember, only Bishop Dmitri could suspend Fr. Bob. He is in his diocese. I'm 100 percent right on that. Once again MH lost control of a meeting. To prove, who is running our church? When will Fr. Bob speak and get everything in the open? I believe soon. Then everyone will get what they want MH and his crew gone for good.
#9 Josh Vargo on 2007-03-15 05:46
What I so treasure about this moment is the return to focus on Christianity over ecclesiastical intrigue and Byzantine politics. The call from Abp. JOB, to the clergy, and from the laity is clear: Hear the message of Christ, and if you claim to be his follower, then follow!
Christ did not withhold information from his followers. He even said we wouldn't understand what he told us -- but the Holy Spirit would provide the meaning.
The Church is so much more than administration. It is why the Apostles disavowed themselves of the responsibility and formed Deacons. The inheritors of the Apostles, our Holy Synod, should follow their lead and recognize the Holy Spirit permeating the discussion.
It appears there is now an overwhelming consensus. It seems good to the Holy Spirit and to us ...
Thank you, Vladika JOB, for standing up for me and all the members of your God-protected Archdiocese, and for the Orthodox Church in America. Many, many years!!
Sdn. John Martin
Martin D. Watt, CPA (Inactive)
#10 Marty Watt on 2007-03-15 06:32
I too am encouraged by this news. What is discouraging, however, is that we are praising a bishop for doing, well, for doing exactly what a bishop is supposed to be doing. It is a sad thing when someone advocating for openness, for truth and for the cross is an exception.
St. Paul, MN
#11 Benjamin on 2007-03-15 09:27
I don't want to come off too cynical, but I just can't get this out of my mind...
"In the land of the blind, the one-eyed man is king."
#11.1 Wayne Matthew Syvinski on 2007-03-16 19:26
Given that the Holy Orthodox Church of Christ is the way to truth and life, a bishop or priest who would suppress the truth obstructs the way to life. They have betrayed their ordination to Holy Orders and are no longer fit to serve the Church. They should be deposed and defrocked as soon as possible to preserve the integrity of those who are in Holy Orders as humble and righteous servants of God's Church. These wolves must be banished from the flock if the flock is to survive. May the Lord guide the Holy Synod next week to do what needs to be done.
#12 Marc Trolinger on 2007-03-15 11:02
The "good ole boys" club that was the MC was not there yesterday for the Metropolitan. The council has truly been changed and seems to have found it's voice and it's reason for existence not in the support of a Metropolitan but rather in the truth.
What now will the Holy Synod do? The Holy Synod, which has heretofore existed for the sole reason of maintaining the status quo, is now the only hope of Herman who is forced into a fall back position.
If Fr. Bob were to ever face a church court then members of Holy Synod past and present, including Metropolitans, are likely to be implicated with Him. This is another seminal moment. Will the majority of the Holy Synod stand with Archbishop Job? That in my opinion is unlikely, especially if it is self implicating to some of those who would be voting. So we have a showdown of sorts between the Holy Synod and the recently assertive MC. The Metropolitan is likely to act quickly to make sure he has the proxy vote(s) of the geriatric wing of the Holy Synod. Those Heirarchs that cannot get out of bed and have not for some time been able to shepherd their people except on paper, will still vote and he will need those votes. On the other front Metropolitan Herman will be working to get certain members of the MC back into their places, playing their appointed parts, rehearsing their scripted lines.
Bishop Job is the Heirarch who is now leading the people of the OCA. It is no longer the Metropolitan. The Metropolitan has lost the confidence of most of those few thousand people left who care and are still giving their free will assessments. Bishop Job arrived at a place yesterday that many a priest and not a few of the laity have been at for some time. Conscience may not allow us to stay in such a church
Bishop Job has many options as this plays out. Not all the options force him to continue to work within the OCA. That is an option that cannot be imagined by most of the Holy Synod. If the Holy Synod of Bishops maintain the status quo, and Bishop Job cannot stay in such a Church, there are in America jurisdictional options. Exercising those options does not a schism make. There are still many of us who desire to see this jurisdictional heresy overcome (the real dream of the OCA). Maybe this will serve as a means to that end. Bishop Job's reputation amongst almost all other Orthodox jurisdictions is impeccable. His diocese for instance could easily be merged with Antioch's Bishop Mark on the East and Basil to the West with Job in the middle in Chicago. Would his clergy follow? Would the people follow? Would they choose to stay in the disfunction of the OCA? Would other parishes in other diocese of the OCA follow Job out of the OCA? Would Philip who welcomed large groups who were becoming Orthodox dare to welcome an entire already Orthodox archdiocese into Antioch? Would Bishops laugh at such a suggestion? They didn't when I asked. All these answers seem clear to me. The clergy and the people trust ArchBishop Job and do not trust what is happening in the national Church. Any support that the Synod of Bishops gives to the status quo and away from the direction of the current MC forces some kind of resolution to this untenable situation.
The Diocese of the Midwest could just stop their giving to Syosset. There is precedent in the fact that already the ethnic dioceses, Canada, and Alaska are already pay no assessments. That they contribute minimally or not at all to the funding of NY's work. Would it be such a big leap for a Diocese of lets say the Midwest to do the same? What recourse would there be when other Dioceses already do the same?
As my good friend Fr John Peck said, "maybe this is the end of the Orthodox Church in America and the beginning of the Orthodox Church Of America.
The best solution is for the direction of the MC to be fully embraced by the Holy Synod. Additionally, Metropolitan Herman should announce His immediate retirement as he no longer has the confidence even of long term supporters on the MC as evidenced by the voting yesterday.
May God bring order to this mess quickly. May He bring to repentance all who have dishonored the Church in positions of authority. May He heal those who are innocent who have been hurt by those entrusted with their care. May God give Wisdom to the Holy Synod and continued courage to the MC. May God forgive us all.
#13 fr andrew on 2007-03-15 12:36
I thought Canada was already paying to the max what it legally can?
#13.1 Mike on 2007-03-15 17:27
For the record, it is contrary to Canadian law for a registered charity (such as our Archdiocese) to send money across the border except for specific goods received and/or specific services rendered, and provable by invoice. The law was passed some 20 years ago or so to stop the depradations of American televangelists, but it impacted us too.
HOWEVER, that does not mean that the Canadian Archdiocese contributes nothing to the work of the OCA. The monies that would otherwise have been sent to Syosset are spent by us on OCA projects &c. (e.g., the 2005 All-American Council. which used up those reserved funds; Bishop SERAPHIM's travels, etc., as chair of external relations and his other OCA-related tasks).
And FYI, from time to time those non-Canadian expenditures raise as much ire on our side of the border as assessments do on your side. Perhaps the Prots are right: "The last part of a man to get saved is his wallet."
#13.1.1 Igumen Philip (Speranza) on 2007-03-16 08:54
Thanks. I thought that Canada did contribute significantly. To the best of it s abilities. Is there a trust fund or something on the Canadian side of the border. How are these funds measured and kept in check? Not suggesting +BS of anything of course!
We have so many loud voices on each side. Many people would give so much to know what these people are thinking. But what interests me is the quiet people on the synod/MC etc. What are they thinking, are they the quiet saints, hands of God, praying and working behind the scenes, or are they afraid, cowering or covering up past wrongs? (or somewhere in the middle) I doubt the latter so what is going behind with these people would really show us the strength of the OCA. (how much glow is left in the coal!)
#18.104.22.168 Mike on 2007-03-17 16:51
I find it interesting that there was an unaminous vote on recommending suspension. This means that representatives such as the Alaskans which no doubt take their marching orders from their bishop, voted to recommend suspending and putting to court Fr. Bob. But then again, Nikolai does appear to like those processes...
One of the things that caught my eye in Mark's write up of the meeting was that after day one it appeared that Herman had it locked up that the Commission and its report would be scuttled. What changed between that night and the next day. Was it the impassioned speech by Archbishop Job? Could it have been two activities in the interim which scared the participants on two levels? First they participated in the Presanctified Liturgy and after that they were spoken to about their civil liabilities. The fear of God and the fear of civil liabilities might have gotten to them that its their responsibility on two levels and they sat at a moment in time in which they could make a difference. They had it in their hands to defend the Church and they made the right choice. I respect that tremendously.
I would think that there's only one thing at this point that would hinder the Synod from acting on the MC's recommendation. That is a fear that Fr. Bob will become a scoundrel and practice a scorched earth mentality and try to take down as many others as he can. Can he basically scare the Synod into non action? Its another moment in time for the Synod. They can do what's right based on the report they will hear and its recommendations and show that there is unity between the Synod and the laity in that we've had enough and its time to show character and act and take what may come or are they going to shirk and pass on the defining moment of the OCA and give in to their earthly fear of what Fr. Bob will bring? If they act and Fr. Bob does a scorched earth there is one real loser and we know who that is. If they fail to act out of cowardice at what Fr. Bob may do then we all lose.
In any event, I think that after the Synod we will be without a Metropolitan. If anything, this week showed that he's completely ineffectual, has lost the respect of the laity, has no control not influence, and is adamant in his obstructionist ways. By trying to scuttle the Commission and its results he has shown that there is no desire in this man to correct the ship and just for that he must go. Let's pray that he has a last thread of decency and common sense and love for the Church and gives his retirement to the Synod and if not then they might have to act against him. However it goes down, the fact is that Herman cannot stay. His damn everything attitude in keeping that office only shows his own vanity and lack of integrity and concern for the institution he's dedicated a half century to. History will not look kindly upon him.
Archbishop Job is the real leader here and deserves the unswerving committment and support of those who want to salvage the OCA and move on. He's a real defender of faith against ones we shouldn't have to defend it against. If the Synod doesn't act and do what's right then they might inadvertently help towards creating a larger universal American Church and they won't be a part of that in a constructive manner.
Let us pray that they will find the strength and love of God and His Church and do what is needed to finally move us on a path towards doing what we should be concerned with as a Church.
#13.2 Bob Czech on 2007-03-15 19:54
"That is a fear that Fr. Bob will become a scoundrel and practice a scorched earth mentality and try to take down as many others as he can."
After all this time and all the various snippets, rumors, leaks and innuendos from the likes of +BT and Monk James (et al. anon.), can anything more shock us at this point? There's no more trust left in us to betrayed and broken! No, that piece of dynamite has gotten quite wet at this point and, though it might yet produce a spark or a flash, it certainly will not explode.
To Vladyka Job: Axios! Axios! Axios!
Many years to you, Master!
Like so many of the other posts, I commend Vladyka and all of those who stood with him. I'm sure it wasn't easy. We have waited so long for someone to actually stand up and tell the truth and it has finally happened.
I guess this is going to kind of put a damper on the old birthday party bash for +MH.
#14 Priest Michael on 2007-03-15 18:49
It seems foolish that a recommendation cannot be made to a body and I doubt any law would proclude it. I can recommend anything to anyone.. ...if they listen.
The Council can recommend the Synod take an action and the Synod, knowing the law, can react by bringing the relevant Bishop to task. I don't care about the outcome, but I find it unusual that a priest can be held responsible for so much without consequence. I find it more unusual that a recommendation cannot be made under canon law and I doubt the intent of the canons was violated in making a recommendation.
The reflection the other day was the first time I've seen that which is unedifying, yet rumored, mentioned by anyone. I encourage all to read it. What is even more curious than anything is how much did that cost and was it cash or check?
For everyone holding Abp. Job in such high regard, I ask all of you, what would you do if he was forced to resign tomorrow?
I think he is taking an enormous risk in doing the right thing, which is sad. I'm curious how we would support him if the rest of the Synod didn't. I believe the only alternative would be to stop contributing Fair Share. Let's hope it doesn't ever go there.
honesty is the best policy, even if it gets you fired
#15 Daniel E. Fall on 2007-03-15 19:15
Thank God for you Bishop Job. I very much admire what you have done. I shall pray for you.
#16 withheld on 2007-03-15 19:45
There have been several times when I have been proud of my bishop, and many times when I have thanked God that Archbishop JOB was our hierarch in the Midwest, but never more so than today. After nearly despairing that our only remaining possibility of revealing the truth (remember, "Are the allegations true, or false?"?) could be snuffed (once again), I could not contain myself when I read of His Eminence's bold plea to the Metropolitan Council. I was equally gratified when reading the recommendations of the Commission to make their report public (a necessity!) and to suspend Fr Bob and call for a Spiritual Court. Forgiveness is absolute, and I am the first to need it and to call for it for Fr Bob or anyone, but there must first be admittance of sin, and second, there are still consequences to our sin. Church discipline is for both the health of the penitent and for the health of the Church. It is essential for our salvation, both the individual and the Body.
It is significant that Fr John Reeves quoted from Amos. I don't know what he quoted, but the Prophet's stern warning to Israel sure seems apropos to me: "Thus says the LORD: 'For three transgressions of Israel, and for four, I will not revoke the punishment; because they sell the righteous for silver, and the needy for a pair of shoes-- they that trample the head of the poor into the dust of the earth, and turn aside the way of the afflicted... You made the Nazirites drink wine, and commanded the prophets, saying, 'You shall not prophesy.'" Does any one of us really need me to point out the parallels to the O.C.A. scandal?
God bless Archbishop JOB for his courage! Many years!
That being said, there is one statement, so bandied about in the past year, which must be relegated to polemical overstatement. Namely, the idea of breaking into schism. Such is not an option for any Orthodox Christian --lay or cleric, especially over money. Think of the many unjust exiles of St John Chrysostom, and how many (including deaconesses!) suggested leaving the Church, yet St John firmly corrected such an erroneous idea. Better to suffer than to divide Christ's Body. Think of the church of Corinth: full of
strife, spiritual disorder and gross immorality. If we were there, with the above mindset, we would leave! But the holy Apostle Paul never says, “I'm quitting you, and starting another church.” St. Paul still says they are Christ’s Body; he calls them to repentance, but he does not abandon them; he recognizes serious problems, but still calls them “the Church.” Even St. John the Beloved, in Revelation, writing to a church that had “lost their first love” --if ever there was evidence that the Spirit of God had left the church it would be that they had lost their Love of God-- gives us another example. The holy Apostle still calls them “the Church”; He doesn't set up another church.
The only legitimate reason for schism is doctrinal heresy. Not
immorality, and not financial mismanagement, no matter how gross, and no matter how mad one may be at it. (For that matter, it is against the Holy Scriptures to take a brother to court --"going to law before the unrighteous": "To have lawsuits at all with one another is defeat for you. Why not rather suffer wrong? Why not rather be defrauded?") Corrections and disputes must be taken care of internally, or not at all. Better to suffer than to display our "dirty laundry" before the world. As St Paul's correction to the Corinthians says, "I say this to your shame."
However, today, we live in a heretical situation in the Church in America already. I speak, of course, about the heresy of jurisdictionalism, a demonic conspiracy dividing the Body of Christ and silencing the Gospel in our nation. As one former chancellor (not Fr Bob) once said, America will not, and should not, listen to the Orthodox Church, as long as we remain divided into jurisdictions. This Bible-defying situation we have inherited may be considered by some to allow leaving the O.C.A. for another jurisdiction, without creating schism. I don't favor this, but I admit it as a possibility. After all, the OCA is not Holy Tradition. Our structure is not the Church, but is a tool of the Church. An administrative organization is a servant of the Body, not vice versa. I feel certain that it is only in this sense that good leaders have discussed the possibility that this scandal "may be the end of the Orthodox Church in America and the beginning of the Orthodox Church Of America." Again, I do not favor this at all, and would speak strongly against it. I do favor, however, the withholding of assessments to Syosset --keeping them temporarily in escrow-- until the fullest possible investigation is revealed, all relevant facts are disclosed, all answers given, and either all involved in wrongdoing resign or are deposed. Why is this renounced as unthinkable, by the very people who speak of breaking into schism?
After declaring the punishments God will render to Israel, Amos concludes his chilling prophecy with, "Fallen, no more to rise, is the virgin Israel; forsaken on her land, with none to raise her up." I'm not a doomsdayer, but at the very least the O.C.A. had lost our credibility, and the integrity of our message. Today, Archbishop JOB took the stand to raise the O.C.A. up from our ash heap. Others on our Metropolitan Council also deserve credit --as do some who post here (and who started this website, though I still believe it should have been kept "in house" via a homepage gateway). But I don't think it is overstating to say that today, the flicker of hope in restoring The Orthodox Church In America was kept burning by His Eminence. May God remember his courageous and sacrificially bold leadership eternally in His Kingdom.
Fr Mark Hodges
St Stephen the First Martyr Mission
Kudos to you and Father Andrews for your outstanding posts, even if you come to somewhat different conclusions. Having used the "s" word myself, I certainly hope and pray that it does not come to that, and in the end, miraculously, reason and goodwill prevail.
I do believe, however, that as future events unfold, any opportunity for jurisdictional consolidation and unity should be seized, and that the "heretical situation" you so accurately described be brought to an end. We have already waited far too long, to the detriment and retardation of Orthodoxy in the Americas!
#17.1 Kenneth R. Tobin on 2007-03-16 04:49
Dearest to Christ (Fr.) Mark,
You are my friend and you always speak passionately for the truth. I believe you begin with a possible false assumption. That is that the leaving of the OCA would be the creation-of schism. Are the Greeks, Serbians, Antiochian any less the Holy Church in America than we are? Of course not! You have known priests for years that have left the OCA to go to another jurisdiction to serve and never suggested that they were leaving the Church in doing that. Nobody even suggested starting a new church. The Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church exists in America even outside of the OCA .
I will again say that leaving the OCA as Bishop or priest is not schism if it allows one to better make manifest who we are really in fellowship with and combats the present heresy of juridictionalism. If for instance, Bishop Job had an opportunity to show the world, and the OCA, that we are already in full and complete unity with Antioch, how can that be a schismatic act? It is rather an overcoming of a heresy!
Sure it would be nice if the OCA was unified in that endeavor. Sadly, that has not for these last several years been their (Holy Synod's) chief concern. Many of the actions of our OCA's Holy Synod has not had in mind the unity of the American Orthodox communities. For instance, Bishop Basil asked us (for years) to work on liturgical resources so that Antioch and the OCA would be using the same. The OCA ignored him!
It seems that we have in mind to be defined away from the "other orthodox". Maybe because some of the heirarchs had in mind first a continuation of their position and privilege. Our narcissistic myopathy has made us much less relevant to the saving of America than we were at the granting of Autocephely. With much of Holy Synod put off by Bishop Job and Nicholi looking longingly at the white hat, we may be on the verge of defining ourselves in to virtual obscurity. Trying to make that which is becoming more American be more Russian (the apparent direction of Nicholi).
In the last twenty years many of our actions look denominational (that is wishing to maintain a false distinction between us and the other Orthodox). Many times I have heard how the "Other Orthodox" do not measure up to our higher and better Slavic standards. This is insane! If Bishop Job in this mess has any opportunity to more fully press the truth that we are to be one even as the Father and Son are One, I hope He will take it. That can hardly be schism but rather the righting of a heresy that we are growing comfortable living in and with.
Someday we may wake up and find that the biggest obstacle to Orthodox unity in America these last twenty years had become the OCA. No one on this forum was writing about dividing Orthodoxy. That after-all is what we now have. We must look for creative ways to unify this Church divided in jurisdictions and not start a new one as you contend someone was advocating.
We do not even have a united OCA. What we have increasingly is a loose confederation of otherwise independent ethnic and territorial interests with one man trying to concentrate power in his person in a rather Roman and popish manner. That ends up not being unity but tyranny. Wouldn't it be nice to be One Church in liturgy and in administration? I know that this is your hope and prayer also.
The dream of autochely has been twisted it an organization existing for the largess and benefit of a few. If Holy Synod returns to the reasons of our autocephaly then staying in the OCA is by far the best for Job and us. If the OCA continues on its present course as charted by the former and present Metropolitans then it would be wise to flee to that which is manifestly the Holy Church as it already exists in America!
#17.2 fr andrew on 2007-03-16 07:11
So well said, I have nothing to add.
#17.2.1 Kenneth R. Tobin on 2007-03-17 10:20
Eis pola eti despota!!!
We are moving from Potemkin Village to the Battleship Potemkin.
#18 Matushka Carol Klipa Bacha on 2007-03-15 23:47
None of us know what will happen next week -- whether the Synod will find the courage to END this by agreeing to release the report and acting to hold those responsible accountable, or whether this is going to drag on and on poisoning the life of the church.
But just for this moment, we can truly rejoice.
Thank you to those who have had the courage to face the truth and to advocate for the truth and to prevail against the calls to act for 'the good of the church' [that are actually advocating a course of silence and avoidance that will destroy the church].
#19 Rebecca Matovic on 2007-03-16 04:31
The legal issue then is libel? When I said "based on facts" it was because the report was said to have been full of "devastating and incontrovertible detail, listing dates and amounts". I just don't see how publishing a statement of findings could leave us open to civil liabilities and am wondering how "didacted" the report we'd finally be allowed to see would be.
You are right that none of us would want to find ourselves sacrificed as the scapegoat, and many people have posted that they are concerned that Fr Bob is being scapegoated. It is hard for me, anyway, to believe that he could have done what he is alleged to have done completely solo. He needs our prayers too right now. That said, why hasn't he spoken up himself, as Dn Wheeler did, against the wishes of the Metropolitan? Does he need the legal framework of a plea bargain and the civil right of non self-incrimination? I say that without sarcasm. Given the points made by Robert Vachter about the politics of the Synod, maybe the whole thing really will have to be heard in civil court to provide him that security. I wonder why the Commission didn't try to speak with him? Mark, have you ever invited him for an interview (someone else suggested that in the last thread)?
#20 Rachel Andreyev on 2007-03-16 06:27
EIS POLLA ETI DESPOTA!
Thank you, Vladyka JOB--you have kept the flame of hope alive.
Thank you, thank you, thank you!
You continue in our prayers.
Subdeacon Henry Shirley
Orthodox Mission (OCA)
West Bend, WI
#21 Subdeacon Henry Shirley on 2007-03-16 07:22
Without getting carried away, ready between the lines of Father Hopko's Reflection and his intimate knowledge of St. Vlad's, I think it would be safe to say that the Seminaries "financial practices" are sketchy at best!!!
With Herman running the show at St.Tikhon's for all these years, one could only imagine what's going on!!!
#22 Thomas Langley on 2007-03-16 08:27
I was wondering--and praying that we could--at least all agree to the following:
1. We need to correct any problems that have occured in our Church administration.
2. We need to act so that the problems--to the best that we are able--not occur again.
3. We need to act in ways that, without compromising our corrections of problems, avoid hurting or injuring others.
4. We need to keep paramount in our minds our Church's teachings on forgiveness and love and caring, which are based on our Lord's words that we read in the Bible.
5. We need to treat each other with respect even when we disagree, and not intentionally seek to insult others, or be sarcastic toward those who may have different opinions.
6. We need to reaffirm our love for our Church and for those of us who are its members our OCA, and pray for healing and unity as One family in Christ.
Is this asking or praying for too much?
#23 Archpriest William DuBovik on 2007-03-16 10:58
Bah ! Humbug !
#23.1 Metropolitan Shredders Co., Inc. on 2007-03-17 15:32
A very expensive law firm with an "international reputation" is not needed to conduct an internal investigation to find out who stole money, when and how much. If you are trying to avoid the consequences of institutional and personal failures, however, you want the best lawyers you can afford. If money is no object, you go for the biggest firm with the best reputation.
This is the end game. We will know very soon whether the OCA as an institution may yet be -- is worth being -- salvaged. Did I read the phrase "gay subculture" in a reflection recently? Lord have mercy. Were church funds used to pay blackmail? Are we dealing with multiple layers of cover-ups? Just how bad does this get? Let's just get it over with. Pull the rotten teeth, endure the brief pain, no matter how severe, and try to get healthy.
I take comfort in this fact: I don't have to worry about it. Archbishop Job is my pastor. He has earned my trust. I believe he knows what is best and has the courage to do it, whatever that may be. So in answer to the questions about "what would you do?" I can breathe a sigh of relief and say "follow my pastor." This is the only element of comfort and clarity that has come out of this fiasco.
The handwriting is on the wall. The curtains are about to be opened so all may read it, but we've already read it, in the Bible: "mene, mene, tekel upharsin."
#24 Tim Capps on 2007-03-16 12:28
Thank you Fr. Tom,
Yuor reflection was very important! I hope your remedy of wisdom and discretion is followed! It certainly gives continued support for the Special Commission to do its work and that is welcome and needed. It is good that important voices are putting some spine into this new boldness that Bishop Job has fostered to a greater degree.
#25 Patty Schellbach on 2007-03-16 14:13
God bless Archbishop Job, Father John Reeves & all the others who are standing up for truth amidst all the lies & deceit. We need to pray that God's will be done and that the truth will win in the end; it always does eventually.
#26 Anonymous on 2007-03-16 15:34
We clearly have a modern day St. Mark Eugenicus among us in Abp Job. Just as St. Mark walked out of the unionist Council of Florence, the only one refusing to sign the document - so did Abp. Job "put it on the line" at this meeting.
AXIOS...Thank you God for giving us bishops and clergy of courage.
What a welcome and refreshing sight.
As for Kondratick's silence......ask Herman why last March, after he was invited to speak to the Holy Synod, Herman uninvited him. As for Kondratick's silence, why did the MC and the Special commission never ask him ONE question directly?
Take this to the bank......Kondratick will not be silent much longer, and when he does speak, the allegations which he has NEVER been able to answer will be exposed.
There is only one body that Kondratick needs to speak to now, that is the Holy Synod. I wonder if he will ever be invited to speak to them and tell them the whole story? He is willing, is Herman willing to invite him?
#28 Anonymous on 2007-03-17 10:12
Dear Mr/Ms/Fr Anonymous: Archbishop Job's phone number is listed on the OCA's web site. All Fr Kondratick need do is pick up the phone and call. Just how dumb do you think all of us are?
#28.1 Michael Strelka on 2007-03-18 06:28
Doesn't it seem more appropriate for the Special Commission to contact Fr. Kondratick to be interviewed? Shouldn't the man have an opportunity to answer his accusers? Has an attempt been made? Did he refuse? Isn't this basic stuff? How can a recommendation be made to have him suspended if he hasn't even been interviewed?
#28.1.1 Thomas Langley on 2007-03-18 16:38
The recommendation for suspension is based on facts of financial improprieties. Having Fr. Kondratick speak now will NOT change these facts.
I will assume though that the Holy Synod will request his appearance before them before they take action through his Diocesan Heirarch.
#22.214.171.124 Michael Geeza on 2007-03-19 10:41
Aha! The point!
Fr. Hopko's reflection gets to the point of this whole matter. The problems that we see indicate to us the need to find the correct theological understanding of Christ's Holy Church and to learn to employ wise practical policies in its operation.
In Jay Holman's article, he reflects on the frustration of just waiting for some improvement. Fr. Hopko's reflection suggests what we can do rather than just wait: to study and pray for that theological understanding and for wisdom to act wisely for the benefit of the Church, whether we be leader or follower.
If I may suggest it to the people who will be organizing the 2008 AAC, the nature and wise operation of Christ's Holy Church would be a good theme for the gathering. If there is the election of a new metropolitan at that time, any candidate for that office would do well to speak to the convention before the ballots are cast and demonstrate that he understands the nature of our Lord's Church, and that he is committed to wise policies that conform to that nature.
If we have done our homework ahead of time, we will know if he has it right.
Member of SS Peter and Paul Church, Syracuse
#29 Peter McElvein on 2007-03-17 11:02
Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
Forgive me for even thinking this, but surely Fr. Bob is not the only one 'who should be suspended'. Two (one current, one former) bearers of white klobuks need suspension, and possible deposing for their participation in this filth. Same goes for bearers of black ones, if they kept silent when they could have spoken up for those under their 'safekeeping, and/or accused others (Protodeacon Eric Wheeler, Mark Stokoe) of rumor-mongering, s--- disturbing, and being out for personal vendettas or gain.
So, all you canon law experts out there, how would this be accomplished?
I believe that it was a man of courage under one of those black klobuks that said, on the occasion of the AAC in Florida (paraphrasing a Russian expression): "The rot always begins at the head of the fish". Guess he was and is (proven) right. His perception and courage to seek and speak the truth is God-given. I pray that the other bishops may be granted, finally, the same courage to seek and know and speak the truth, no matter how costly it may be for themselves personally, or for their dioceses. I would rather live with a truly repentant and humble monk bishop as the 'master' of my church home, than never be able to truly trust him again because he's too busy keeping the delusional facade in place by secrets-keeping, people-squashing, and money-manouvering.
Being "truly repentant and humble"--isn't that what 'confessing our sins' means? Don't we all, as Orthodox Christians, strive to empty ourselves of grunge so that we may be filled with LIGHT? We seek the Truth, we rid ourselves of anything and everything that stands in His way, in order to become who we are MEANT to be. Anything short of that, and we will NOT succeed in our God-given mandate to 'put on Christ'.
When all who have participated in the mismanagement of funds and the concealment of the same (plus other heinous actions) publically confess (it's too late for any private confession, I'm afraid) these things, it will be up to us to forgive them. At that point we will remember the words of Christ: "Be wise as a serpent, and innocent as a dove"--we will forgive, but this doesn't mean trust or respect or go back to former relationships right away--if ever.
Let us all be extremely careful as we approach the Feast of the Annunciation (keeping in mind "Be it done to me according to Your will"--the no-strings-attached cry of Mary, Theotokos). Let us think only of ourselves and how to make her cry our cry, without anything but joy and openness to God within us.
Let us all be extraordinarily vigilant as we enter into Holy Week, lest we be proven weaker than the temptations we allow into our lives. In fact, Mark, I wonder if you have thought about holding off on articles, reflections, and comments during Holy Week and Bright Week, that both you, hard worker that you are, and us, proud supporters of you, Protodeacon Eric, and this site, may give our fullest attention to Christ in his Passion, Death, and Resurrection. Let us put aside all earthly cares (sadly, the cares of our Church are extremely 'earthly'), that we may all greet each other with full conviction, knowledge, joy, and awe: Christ is Risen!
Pray for me, a sinner.
An OCA parishoner
#30 withheld by request -husband is priest, do not want repercussions! on 2007-03-17 17:23
Fr. Kondratick will not be speaking out about things. He held everything too close and the power was too centralized around him. I'm convinced of this through dialogue with key players and non-players.
A prime example, for you naysayers, is the recent/in process changing of the guard of primary roles of responsibility at the OCA. This is getting done without a centralized decision maker deciding who gets the job.
I truly believe the entire Synod, MC, and administration, as well as the attendees of the 2005 14th AAC share responsibility for the churches financial failures. The attendees were not given complete financial information from what I understand. Fr. Kondratick chaired the event. How quickly could Fr. Kondratick turn the tables if he weren't the perpetrator? Yet, he doesn't cooperate with auditors and he doesn't speak publicly. Attendees didn't know the church was underwater financially because he didn't tell them. If he was following MH request, that'd be foolish.
Anyone that has worked in accounting knows that if someone authorized your misuse of funds, you'd be singing like a canary.
Fr. Kondratick missed his curtain call a long time ago.
Let's all begin to pray for him.
Truly, this is what Christ would want from us.
#31 Daniel E. Fall on 2007-03-17 21:12
Dumb question: Where is Archbishop Dmitri in all of this? Why won't he let Father Bob speak? Why doesn't he order Father Bob to speak? Why hasn't he taken any disciplinary action WRT Father Bob?
#32 anonymous on 2007-03-18 11:37
Dear Synod of Bishops, now is the irretrievable time to show us that you truly love Christ and us the Orthodox Faithful in America, more than you love your positions, your powers, your honors that have been entrusted to you only through the virtue of the expectations that you would always seek to be worthy of them. Please use your GIVEN authority (by God and we, the Faithful) to seek to right and help purify our church at this time of the corruption that is destroying our faith in you and our administrative offices. So many have come forward bravely, progress is being made to this very point in time, but it is up to you now. Will you sacrifice the OCA, or will we truly be able to shout in a short while "Christ is Risen, Truly He is Risen", among ourselves and you as our leaders. Let us now live only by the Truth, our faith and our hearts are hanging in the balance. And thank you, all who are working so diligently to set right and preserve and continue the ineffable beauty of Orthodoxy in our land brought to us by St. Herman and others. Signed by a necessarily anonymous Diocese of Alaska parishioner.
#33 Anonymous please on 2007-03-20 02:58
It is so very sad that so many of us sign our messages with "Anonymous" as I have been doing.
#34 withheld on 2007-03-20 19:27
I agree wholeheartedly--very sad! It is a commentary, in and of itself, on the tyrannical atmosphere that exists in the OCA.
While I relunctantly give a pass to the clergy, especially in jusrisdictions where they have been silenced and threatened, I find it hard to excuse anonymity on the part of the laity.
Please everyone, at this critical juncture, have the courage of your convictions even if there is a price to be paid!
#34.1 Kenneth R. Tobin on 2007-03-21 06:37
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