Wednesday, March 21. 2007
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Mark is correct in saying that" Good Order cannot be restored to the OCA until the scandal is fully disclosed." This "full disclosure" cannot then be limited to or controled to be a discussion of fianancial matters alone. This scandal is said to include serious moral failings and their coverup. Some of these failings may have been the general knowledge of those that benefited from the financial resources of the OCA. All the misdeeds must come into the light and not just those that are about money. Dealing with the matters of finance without dealing with the moral rot under it will have the effect of a band aid on gangrene. In the end it will still keep rotting. In the end it will still kill the OCA. What is whispered must be spoken out loud. What is rumoured must be put to rest. Full disclosure no matter how high it goes in the Church must be the continued goal of the Special Commision.
#1 Name witheld by request on 2007-03-21 11:31
Did father b testify?Hopefully, meaning he was sworn to tell the truth and nothing but the truth. Furthermore, it would be constructive to similarly have his family members that are on the OCA payroll testify. Its obvious that conflicts of potential civil liabilities enter here. Will there be testimony from met h as to what evidence, paper trail, etc. is there against father b?
I can't believe the smoke and mirror tactics that have gone for decades. Furthermore, someone in an earlier posts mentioned fr kishovsky as an OCA insider who worked with met h as well as met t. One would expect those parties either to defend their good name or at least help clarify, cleanup, and/or correct the current situation by testifying to the holy synod.
I am not interested in punishment, only to somehow contribute in saving the OCA.
Please fellow concerned christains pray for the OCA.
#2 another concerned orthodox christain on 2007-03-21 12:09
If, God forbid, this private meeting and interview with Fr. Kondratick is an attempt to circumvent or somehow undermine the decisions and recommendations of the MC and the Special Commission then it's really over for the OCA. It will finally lead to the complete loss of any trust, respect, and hope that thousands of us still have that sanity, truth, ethics, and accountability could be restored . It would really be the final nail in the coffin. And maybe this is how it should be since this is not how true and faithful Orthodox Christian shepherds should be acting. They would show themselves to be ravenous wolves in sheep's cloting working to satisfy their egos and destroy the Holy Orthodox Church; not worthy of the sacramental offices they hold. I pray this is not the case and truth and wisdom will prevail in the end. The OCA's future is hanging by a thread....
As has been pointed out, MH has always worked to manipulate and control, divide and conquer. That is who he is. Why should anyone expect him to suddenly change?
From all indications, he appointed the Special Commission in order to neutralize Abp. Job and to try to control the Met Council. That didn't work out as he had hoped. So, now it appears that he is still trying to do an end run around the Special Commission/Council's recommendations.
Further, I suspect that most of this is being done in order to keep the focus off the questions of moral issues of Met. T. As long as he can keep everyone going in circles in the dark, he can hide the graver issue.
#3.1 Name withheld on 2007-03-22 06:19
The purpose is obvious: they are each trying to figure out whether they will be "outed" individually and collectively by a singing Kondratick. They were surely all benefactors of the private ADM largess. He is too clever not have covered those tracks. Ethics walk when money talks.
#4 Name withheld on 2007-03-21 13:16
In this particular case, I am a bit baffled by our editor's apparent stance. I infer, perhaps incorrectly, from his article that he believes that the prime suspect is offered unfairly advantageous treatment, and it stands out all the more in the face of the church at large being told next to nothing. Assuming for the moment that my inference is correct, I'll offer another possibility:
I asked my mother, who is an attorney, to read the article and give her thought on the matter. Of course, this is somewhat superficial. However, I believe that the article was sufficient that she might be able to see a point of principle. The actual facts of the case, in their greater detail, could theoretically lead her or another attorney to a different perspective, but reflecting only on Mark Stokoe's words, she said, "In a criminal trial the prosecution has to disclose evidence to the defendant’s counsel prior to trial to give the defendant a fair chance to answer at trial." Furthermore, the standard of Scripture calls upon us to take up an issue with the person directly, then in front of a few witnesses, then before the Church. Perhaps, by analogy, one might have expected 'counsel' to appear to represent Fr Kondratick, but I do not see how his appearance was in itself inappropriate. On the contrary, it seems like 'due process' both legally and Scripturally.
This does not mean that I am blind to the possibility that certain people might seek to use this opportunity to get the whole case summarily,and very prematurely dismissed. That cannot be allowed to happen. Suppressing the truth is an ill-fated game that makes a mockery of the very concept of orthodoxy. Due process must be observed, but it must not be allowed to be manipulated. Certainly to that extent I'll lend my "Amen" to our editor's expressed hope that the Synod as a whole will act wisely.
#5 Sine Nomine on 2007-03-21 14:15
According to what one hears on the grapevine, Fr. Kondratick appeared before the Holy Synod unaccompanied by legal counsel. In any case, this was most certainly not "due process" according to The Statute of the Orthodox Church in America. As a matter of fact, it has made that "due process" quite impossible. Why? because the Holy Synod has allowed itself to become trapped in a blatant conflict of interest.
According to Article II,7,k of The Statute, it is the Holy Synod which acts "...as Supreme Church Court of Appeals for all matters involving bishops, clergy, and laity in accordance with Article XI, Section 6..." That latter section includes (subsection "e") the express provision that "the Holy Synod shall never act as a court of first instance in cases which are within the competence of Diocesan Courts." And, as I grow tired of ceaselessly pointing out to readers, according to Article XI,3, the Diocesan Court and the Diocesan Court ALONE "shall act as a court of first instance in cases where the accused is a priest, a deacon, or a member of the laity."
Bottom line (and run this one by your mom, please...as long as she has a strong heart and an even stronger stomach): what the Holy Synod has done here is exactly like the Supreme Court of the United States acting as District Attorney and Grand Jury in a case that it will later have to hear on appeal. Trying to restore the credibility of the Episcopate by destroying the integrity of the Church's judicial process is just plain stupid and utterly self-defeating.
And it's still enough to make a grown man weep.
#5.1 Igumen Philip (Speranza) on 2007-03-22 03:53
An excellent point, Fr. Philip. I honestly had not thought of that angle, and my mother doesn't know how the system works, so she wouldn't see that problem either. I am sure that she would revise her opinion, knowing what you have pointed out. Thank you!
#5.1.1 Sine Nomine on 2007-03-22 15:55
As usual, you are making a good point. However, I suspect that, as he has done in the past, Mark is pointing out possibilities that when expressed publicly may forestall their actualization. This is a clever preventive approach. Of course, this tactic would be dangerous in the employ of unscrupulous persons. I firmly believe that Mark, if he is indeed using this tactic, is doing it for the good of the Church.
In any case, OCA News has been and continues to be the principal tool for helping the Orthodox in this country overcome a major scandal. We need to have all views expressed; Mark is doing a great job in making sure that it happens. Mark, all contributors to this debate, and all of the actors in this saga deserve our thanks and prayers.
#5.2 Carl on 2007-03-22 10:39
If Father Robert is innocent of any wrongdoing, then God have mercy on him and forgive anyone who has judged him. We need to know the truth, so that we, the faithful of God's Church, can know how we can put this awful scandal behind us and fulfill our Lord's directive to bring the fullness of His Gospel to those who are yearning to hear the truth.
If Father Robert has become an instrument of Satan and his demons, let us ask for Fr. Robert's confession so that we may forgive him, and move forward in full knowledge of what has happened.
May God have mercy on us all as we seek to do His will.
#6 Marc Trolinger on 2007-03-21 15:16
I can't believe I am writing this.
I would think, given not only the solemnity of the Great Fast, but the week of St. John of the Ladder, not to mention the Great Canon tomorrow, that one might hold his metaphorical tongue (read 'keyboard') and not write a long-winded damned-if-he-does-damned-if-he-doesn't 'report' on a meeting from which not a single detail is available.
I hope, gravely and greatly hope, that no further 'reporting' would occur without details to report on, especially tomorrow, when we would all do well to be on our faces in the Church begging God for mercy and thanking Him for the witness of St. Mary of Egypt through the hymnography of St. Andrew of Crete.
It would do us equally well to have been at the Presanctified this evening, not only singing, but actually meaning for me "Save me before I utterly perish O Lord." We did sing it 24 times this evening.
As best I understand it, "idle talk", which we have asked God not to give us dozens and dozens of time since forgiveness Sunday, would include an inflammatory 'report' on an event the details of which have not been made public.
Have mercy on me, O Lord, have mercy on me.
If we really want full disclosure, and comments are going to be thrown around as they have been in this forum (not just on this thread, but throughout), please be the first to sign your name and be recognized. Perfect love casts out fear. If we are truly speaking the truth in love, we have no fear of signing our names.
Thank you, Father John.
#7.1 Yousuf Rassam on 2007-03-22 15:08
Your rant is just more sanctimonious claptrap that, heeded and unchallenged, would allow the pernicious evil of silence, and its poisoned fruit, to thrive and continue!
As for anonymity--preach to your own choir first.
#7.2 Kenneth R. Tobin on 2007-03-22 17:21
If your donkey falls into a pit on the Sabbath do you work to get it out? Or, in your case, if your Honda falls into a sink hole during the Lord’s Day do you call a tow truck and then work to get it out? Maybe we should be like the Orthodox Jews on their Sabbath and hire a Gentile (or a run of the mill Methodist!) to follow us around and open doors and push elevator buttons for us so that we don’t break any of the Laws, real or perceived, involved with Great Lent! Then again, how many molecules of butter can dance on the head of a pin?
Somehow the Lord does not want sacrifice but a “contrite heart.” And how can any of us have a contrite heart if we allow injustice to go on with complete abandon and we do nothing to stop it? And, furthermore, how can we say we love those who offend justice (in the person of widows, orphans, the ignorant and the oppressed) and we do nothing to bring the culprits out of their delusion and into the freedom of justice and repentance?
There is a hierarchy of imminent necessity here: our Orthodox Great Lent is useless and an offense to God if justice is a sham during Great Lent (or even during HOLY WEEK! Oh, my!) and we hide behind saccharin piety. Good humble Christian men and women donated monies to the Holy Church so as to do such things as to give relief to widows and orphans in Russia. It is becoming eminently clear, these good people donated hard earned monies in good faith and they were defrauded so as to pay for such things as ecclesiastical junkets and worldly luxuries all the while dismissing earthly miseries with an effeminate ecclesiastical wave of the right hand.
It would be interesting to find out if blatant theft and misappropriation of Church funds and pay-offs went on during Great Lent or did such obscene things go on during non-Great Lenten times only? Is one time more propitious to steal over and above another? Was their ecclesiastical theft during the Dormition Fast? So, if it was OK to steal any amount at any time from any donated fund why is it wrong for the Holy Church to bring what was “done in darkness out into the light” during Great Lent?
Fr. John, you are missing the point . . . again! Maybe you would feel more comfortable in Syosset and enjoy a job in the administration there.
Possibly, dear ones, if someone somewhere would have fasted from sin, instead of meat, during Great Lent from 1998 to the present and learned humility we would have no need for Orthodox Christians for Accountability – this goes for those in hats and those in tiaras. It is my humble opinion that we, as an Orthodox Church, need to learn a powerful lesson about Great Lent and the “contrite heart” we should have if we would only go deeper into the REAL lesson that we are being taught through Orthodox Christians for Accountability.
And all the while I hear no loud lamenting during Great Lent arising from Venice or from Canonsburg or from Dallas or from Mt. Pleasant. In a perverted sort of way it sounds like things are returning to "normal." However, in all of this never tell me that the status quo of sin is "for the good of the Church."
#7.3 Al Goldberg-Rogovich on 2007-03-22 20:22
I've never seen anyone bring down the church then you.You should not be in any religion.Any issues are manily from you.Every church or company have internal issues,but you thrive on making things worse.You should be ashamed Mark Stokoe.
#8 Anonymous on 2007-03-22 05:21
Dear Fellow Anon.
What are you talking about?! The facts are now out. How can you possibly make these statements in good faith? Have you not made yourself aware of the facts? To the contrary, we must THANK MARK and pray for his continued perseverance. In this scandal, admitedly, the truth hurts, to be sure, but that is preferred to the diseases that have and are still afflicting us and the silent suffering of innocent people that has gone on for decades under the yoke of the current crew of crooks, theives and decievers.
#8.1 Anon. on 2007-03-22 12:12
I really don't know what to make of Fr. Kondratick's appearence before the Synod yesterday, and suggest that we all "keep our powder dry" until more information is forthcoming.
#9 Kenneth R. Tobin on 2007-03-22 05:42
I commend Fr.Bob and the synod upon getting one step closer to end this dark cloud.
#10 Anonymous on 2007-03-22 07:56
Given that the Holy Synod hears appeals from diocesan courts, it seems unwise for them to have Protopresbyter Rodion (Fr. Bob) appear before them. Perhaps Archbishop Job has secured a majority in the Synod for some sort of extraordinary intervention, but that Archbishop Dimitri persuaded them to hear from Fr. Bob first before any final action is taken. All this is speculation on my part.
The post I made on Yahoo groups still stands ... there is a reason Fr. Bob became a priest, perhaps he will realize what drew him into the clergy in the first place. Bob Czech said something along those lines about Metropolitan Herman --- in both of their cases, perhaps rehabilitation is possible and that their years of experience can still be of use.
#11 Ed Unneland on 2007-03-22 08:29
A historic note:
The excuse given in past times was the Diocese of the South had no Church Court to deal with matters. This meant that matters could only be handled by the Diocesan Bishop and/or the Metropolitan.
This meant in the past Met. Theodosius and Father Robert Kondratick, Chancellor.
This issue of no responsibility went round and round.
Does the Diocese of the South, OCA now have their own Church Court and if so when did they make it functional?
I believe these issues will play a part as to the status of Father Kondratick now.
#12 Matushka Carol on 2007-03-22 12:04
Too early for any commentary. Good to know what's happening though....
As for others upset by commentary and publication, well, that's nothing so new, the Catholic church hid its sexual predators for years until the shadows began talking to each other.
What is new is an effort to be truthful and to do with God's gifts what was promised.
Pray for Father Kondratick this Lent.
#13 Daniel E. Fall on 2007-03-22 15:32
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