Monday, July 9. 2007
Your comments, questions, responses to part two of the Metropolitan's recent address to the Metropolitan Council are welcome.
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Whether "they" go or stay does not prevent us from feeding the hungry, clothing the naked, attending to the sick and visiting those held captive.
Yes, there is a huge problem with the OCA as an institution, but these problems are not powerful enough to prevent us from doing what Jesus told us to do.
"He has shown you, O man, what is good;
And what does the LORD require of you
But to do justly,
To love mercy,
And to walk humbly with your God?" --Micah 6:8
(Written in gratitude to the priest that reminded me of these priorities this evening.)
(Editor's Note: With all respect, Alexander, if you think you are feeding the hungry, clothing the sick, etc., when the money is really going to feed the overfed and for more clothing for the overdressed, and you do nothing about the trickery, it is hard to know who his being conned more: the sinners who in their sin are conning you, or you fooling yourself. Accept responsibility for your actions, donations and the deeds done - or not done - in your name now, for you will have to later.)
#1 Rdr. Alexander Langley on 2007-07-09 19:45
Whether "they" go or stay does not prevent us from feeding the hungry, clothing the naked, attending to the sick and visiting those held captive.
This is true. However, how are we to do this? By sending more money to Syosset? How will it be distributed, or spent?
We can do this on a local parish level, but only in addition to the assessments (taxes) from Syosset. Even Abp. Job has directed that his parishes must submit their assessments.
Perhaps the best answer is to do as much as possible on a personal level.
#1.1 Name withheld on 2007-07-10 03:23
Perhaps the best answer is to do as much as possible on a personal level.
Exactly. Isn't that how the Lord and His disciples did it? Did they have a Syosset? Did they need a Syosset?
Syosset has no power to keep you or others in your parish from going to the local supermarket, buying bread, peanut butter and jelly, making sandwiches, and handing them out to hungry people. Syosset has no power to keep you from donating your used clothing to people that need them. Et cetera.
#1.1.1 Rdr. Alexander Langley on 2007-07-10 09:26
When you receive the solicitation from the OCA for the Charity Appeal, do exactly what you say. You can be sure that it will be used 100% for what it was intended and you can sleep at night knowing you did well with your money. Unless you feel that giving your money to well fed, clothed, and funded lawyers is charity!
#22.214.171.124 Anonymous on 2007-07-11 19:10
I think Alexander's point is that we can do these good works in our own communities, without reference to the central church. It is a good point.
It doesn't negate the need to pursue the wrong-doing and straighten things out at the national level. it's all a matter of balance.
It can't be either/or, we have to do both. We ignore either one at our peril.
#1.2 Rebecca Matovic on 2007-07-10 04:45
What I mean is: as Orthodox Christians, if posting at this website or similar ones, and fretting about Syosset prevents one from literally walking out your door with some food to feed the homeless, for example, then that is an huge problem, and it makes that one a hypocrite.
Put it all in perspective. There is the Central Administration that is of concern, yet people, many of whom know nothing about the OCA or have even heard of the Orthodox Church, are waiting to be served by "God's people". It's not only important what Syosset is doing about the poor and hungry whom we always have with us, but what the rest of us individuals are doing, despite the Scandal, to preach the Gospel and meet the real needs of people around us.
(Editor's note: Thanks for the clarification. I totally agree.)
#1.3 Rdr. Alexander Langley on 2007-07-10 04:47
I don't know what priest reminded you of the above, he should go back to SOME other seminary.
I read somewhere even the Lord, walked into the TEMPLE and cleaned it out.
It's time to go to SYOSSET and clean it out.
+HERMAN YOU MUST GO, YOU ARE NOT TRUSTWORTHY!!!
St. James---Brother of the Lord
Dear Editor, you do a disservice to Alexander by adding your commentary on top of his. Please do him the favor of responding using your comments software so that your thoughts may be addressed separately from his.
In any event, Alexander's comments cannot be interpreted, as you have done, to mean that one should blindly send funds when they are being misused knowingly. Nor can they be interpreted as meaning that we should just forget about this whole matter.
His more central point, as we should all remember, is that the Church will survive this (Matthew 16:18), and that the work of the Church (go, teach, make disciples, baptize; Matthew 28) must still be done. If we neglect those things in favor of fixating on this scandal, we become the unfaithful ones. (It is as though we stopped feeding our children in order to deal with behavior problems at school.)
Don't forget this scandal, but don't forget the work of the Kingdom, either. God will judge those who have participated in the evil that has gone on. May he not find us guilty as well.
#1.5 Fr Basil Biberdorf on 2007-07-10 05:46
Just imagine if the Honesdale Bank loan was not taken out and your money was not pilfered by the MH regeime. How mush more clothing and feeding could 1.7MM do?
With all due respect Rdr. Alexander, keep your eye on the ball here.
#1.6 K.K. on 2007-07-10 06:08
I know how to fly a plane and "step on the ball".
What does "the ball" mean to you?
#1.6.1 Rdr. Alexander Langley on 2007-07-10 07:47
K.K.: I don't need $1.7M to love my neighbor. Do you?
#1.6.2 Rdr. Alexander Langley on 2007-07-10 09:27
If they all went away....Wheeler, already gone, Kondratick, already gone, Herman, Kucynda, all the newly employed by Kucynda in Syosset, if they all went away where they would be no further harm to the Church, would that be enough? If the Bishops called for Herman to retire on July 31, would that be enough? If he relented and let us rebuild the Church, would that be enough?
If we could start anew, as you state, would that be enough? Or do we still wish for more? To me, that is the question. Enough is enough but what is enough? Or is it? Really. If we agree, then we are all on the same page, finally.
#2 Anonymous on 2007-07-09 20:33
Are the allegations true or false? Such a simple question, now so long ago.
Take a quick scroll back through the archive topics; Denial of responsibility, Whither the OCA, Sad anniversary, Three Lawyers, Three Questions for the Metropolitan, More Trouble From Alaska, Loan Delayed, Silencing opposition, Suspends Commission, Nescott Dismissal,... and on and on.
When any Truth is found at the end of this will the last parishioner please turn out the lights. This run-around has taken too long, no one cares or believes what Herman says. The trial or Kangaroo Court is still more smoke and mirrors, to both parties advantage, no?
The Truth and judgement of this mess isn't happening down the road somewhere. Surprise! It is happening every day as if in some time warp in astro-physics... Truth actually moving farther away than getting closer. It's too late, I was at the Bethesda meeting - too late and too sad even then.
Consider this; About a year ago I scrolled completely through counting the alphabetical list of OCA clergy. Quick -- guess how many? 300? 400?
Nine Hundred. Unite as nine hundred fishers of men as Christ calls you, not the silence that Herman tells you. There are vows, and Trappist's vows of silence, are you all ordered to be silent? Too few are willing to step up in my opinion. Perhaps I'm influenced by the Fourth of July but your Freedom of Speech is a responsibility for the good of this American church and it's American parishioners. This will be the grassroots downfall of the OCA, not skeptical distrust of the higher-ups ( the money is long gone)... but personal loss of trust in the individual parish priests. Only one website for OCA official financial information in Baltimore and it ain't this one!
Prayers to save the OCA? By all means pray, God always answers our prayers ... but sometimes the answer is "No". This is all too late, Truth is moving away as I hit the "Submit Comment" key.
#3 J Murray on 2007-07-09 21:35
It sees that it is possible that "the lights go out" in Syosset... The Imperial home of Tsar Herman... but they will burn brightly in our home parishes and teh Disocesan center...
#3.1 Alex Kreicbergs on 2007-07-10 06:25
Who will be next after RSK ? MH is in control and has all the money , will blaming RSK satisfy him. With all the so called evidence , why haven't this been a public story. It just makes you wonder how personal this is for MH to try to clear his name. Thanks for your story Mark it has been different and you have tried to get to the bottom of the blame. MH has to much power and money. With cash involved , it can buy you anything. (look at OJ )
#4 Anonymous on 2007-07-10 05:35
You know what? Whether +HERMAN was physically present or handcuffed and gagged in a back room somewhere while all the shenanigans were (and are) going on, as Primate he is responsible.
He is a poor leader. More so, a poor example of what our Holy Church teaches us about humility, which is to get on our knees, touch our head to the floor and beg forgiveness of all, especially our Holy God.
All the rest is garbage.
Period. End of discussion.
#5 Philippa Alan on 2007-07-10 06:13
The denial of reality has been relentless, painful, hurtful, but the righteous suffering has been felt not by You Your Beatitude, but by Your clergy and faithful. Do You really know how this has hurt us? Do You really know how it has divided Your flock? Do You really know how many have been driven away because of this?
When will it end? Do You know?
Who knows what will be enough to solve this. But, do You really think that You are part of the solution?
Mark is right please go! Please go now!
#6 fledgling priest on 2007-07-10 06:39
There seems to be a conflation of righteous suffering with innocent suffering in the Metropolitan's address. There is only one who suffered innocently and that was the Lord Jesus Christ! We suffer righteously when we suffer for the Truth which is that none of us is righteous, and when we are still willing to get up there on the cross with the Lord in sacrificial love for the unrighteous. Until that happens none of our suffering is righteous and this includes the whole Body of Christ from hierarchs down to the laity. I agree with fledgling priest that the bulk of the suffering is being born by those who have not actively participated in the sin, but are at last being enlightened to the gaping wounds in the Body.
As St. Paul said When one part of the Body suffers, all suffer The grace of God for confession and repentance has not left us. Above all, let us not DENY
that truth, starting from hierachy on down.
#6.1 Karen Jermyn on 2007-07-10 08:22
Based upon the words of his own speech, and his continuing actions (or inaction, more like it), Metropolitan Herman and his supporters continue to demonstrate that they are not fit to lead an organization such as the OCA. I personally still suspect that there is a lot of guilt behind this cover-up ... and it IS a cover-up; but, I have no way of proving it. But, even if I am wrong, the mean-spiritedness and sheer incompetence demonstrated by +MH and his lieutenants demonstrate one thing to me as an individual: He and they are not fit to serve as leaders in a church environment. All trust has been destroyed over the months and months and months of obfuscation and double-speak. And, frankly, the books have still not passed an audit, despite release of "preliminary results." The OCA Central Administration budget is not that large, it does not take as long as it is taking to pin-point the problems, unless there has been deliberate hiding of funds, theft, and so forth. I've been through this many, many times in nearly 20 years of management in my own professional life to know that, a delayed audit means that something is seriously, seriously wrong; especially with an organization as small (i.e., with as little money) as the OCA.
Against this backdrop, I received in the mail yesterday the annual OCA Seminary Appeal (i.e., the "June appeal"). I am going to send it back to Syosset (that's where it says the OCA is headquartered on the enclosed, self-addressed return envelope), with a note stating that: (a) I will not contribute one cent to anything through the Syosset organization; I can write a check (or checks) directly to the Seminaries if I so choose; (b) I will not support any of the OCA organizations as long as +MH remains at the head of this organization, or any of it's affiliates, such as the seminaries, where he is usually the chairman of the seminary's board. I don't know if they really care about such things, but I'll invest the postage, and send the appeal letter back with my own scrawl on it, explaining why no money is enclosed.
I'm just one layman, relatively new to the Church. But, I take the work of the Almighty very seriously, and the very few men who are currently running the OCA are not fit to run a church, and they are thieves or the accomplises of theives. The "best case scenario" is that they are simply in over their heads, and are not fit to oversee an organization such as the OCA, and given that it is The Church, they should have the humility and good sense to step aside in favor of those who are - literally - for God's sake! My perception is, however, that they're too deep into the cover-up, and stepping aside will only reveal the crimes that have been committed, and they know that.
If that is the case, the only hope that we have is that the Holy Synod will act and remove +MH from his position, not "allow him to retire," but REMOVE him, and maybe even wait a few months before announcing/selecting a replacement - let some of the facts come out and the passions cool, and reconsider the OCA's place in the world, and were we should go, with God's help and guidance. +MH & Co. cannot lead the OCA to any type of reconciliation or reinvigoration. That's my personal opinion. Per poster J Murray above, I'm not sure that it's too late for the OCA, but it almost is - and it is most certainly "too late" for +MH & Co. Way too late. If the Holy Synod cannot act on behalf of the OCA, for the good of the organization - i.e., Christ's Church - in the face of this scandal, then indeed, of what use is the OCA? To preach the *T*ruth to America? If we can't even get the *t*ruth within our own organization?? I'd be skeptical ...
#7 C.C. on 2007-07-10 07:11
I have a better idea. Instead of sending back your empty Appeal letter to Syosset, send it directly to Metropolitan Herman's home in South Canaan, PA so he can read your comments himself!!!
Unfortunately, the staff members in Syosset do not share with Metropolitan Herman your letters that come back in an empty Appeal letter! They discard them (and this is a FACT).
METROPOLITAN HERMAN NEEDS TO KNOW THAT HIS LEADERSHIP IS POOR AND NOT APPRECIATED AND MUST LEAVE OFFICE!!! Send your Appeal letters back "empty" with a note "why" to:
St Tikhon's Seminary
PO Box 130
South Canaan, PA 18459
#7.1 Anonymous on 2007-07-10 11:20
We've hit a brick wall here, people. The results of the trial should be hidden from us all sometime next week. The Synod will meet, have tea, and go home. The midwest will blink again and send in their checks. We're nowhere.
Either people start acting - cut off the life blood of Herman's lawyers, the money - or go your ways and accept that you had your say but couldn't bring yourselves to any meaningful action. Leave Mark hanging alone. If you do want to do something then finally act. Alert the press of the ongoing scandal - tell your bishop you're going to go to the press. Take out a page in a major newspaper, like in New York, requesting his retirement. Do not attend anywhere where Herman and/or your bisho will be. Sign up on savetheoca.org . Just do something. We're mad, we're disgusted, but the only people doing something is Herman/Kucynda one side and Mark on the other side.
Do something that shames the Synod. It is openly known that they do nothing for us, but they don't want the world to know - they have a facade to keep up. Stop treating them like they walk on water until they show they can stand up for what's right and against what's wrong.
#7.1.1 Anonymous on 2007-07-11 19:42
I received a seminary appeal envelope. I sent it back empty. How unfortunate that it was addressed to the OCA. If I so chose, I will send something to Fr. Dahulich for the seminary directly but only if the men in charge are not from Syosset. Meanwhile I will donate to the poor by giving to the local Protestant church that is very instrumental in helping locals who are unable to help themselves. Their program is very well received and has been honorably controlled for many years. I will donate to the Roman Catholic Church nearby that has a soup kitchen for hungry people in their city and they have been doing this for many, many years. I will donate to the IOCC where only 7 or 8% of the donations go to administrative purposes. But I will NOT donate one penny to buy another set of royal robes for Met. Herman. He can wear the ones on display at the museum at St. Tikhon’s. Those robes alone express to me where his (Met. Herman) heart is! Three sets for his birthday???????? Go away! Met. Herman for sins that only you and God knows! Go away! Father Kucinda for continuing this farce so long when you know you are part of the problem. And a real disappointment for others and me! Go away! Father Kondratick. We all loved you while you picked our pockets. Enough already!!!
#8 Lizzie on 2007-07-10 09:31
Dear Fr. With my whole heart I to believe in your words, Herman you must go- Please got Now!
When my mother was sick and dying while I watched her suffer and take her last breaths I wished it were me suffering her pains, Thats how much I loved her!
When my husband is in bed with his illness, and for a year and a half of watching him being bed ridden for 3 full days and me tending to our children I wished it was me instead of him being in bed with his pain! Thats how much I love him! When my friends husband suffered and died at 42 years old leaving 4 small children I wished I could of taken away the pain! Thats what love means!
You see when you truely love unconditional and unselfish and fully are willing to place others ahead of yourself you love so deeply that you want to feel the pain or at the very least fix it so that the ones you love don't feel it anymore! This has failed! Herman its your time to go! please go Our church has suffered to long and if you truely love the church ahead of yourself You Would Go! Please Go!
#9 #6 Fledging priest from Irene on 2007-07-10 12:47
I liked the colorful terms our good editor pulled from history, and I'd add the adjective "poignant" to describe those words. Good choices, indeed!
I have never served in the military myself, but it seems to me that if the captain of a naval vessel were to make the same kind of claims that our metropolitan is making, that captain would find himself coming out very sad at the end of his guaranteed court martial, no?
I do have a question, however: Did I miss reading anything about testimony (in person) by Protodeacon Eric Wheeler or Mr. Paul Hunchak? In all honesty, I may have forgotten if it was mentioned after the first hearing, or it was stated that they would only submit depositions.
#10 Mark Harrison on 2007-07-10 15:03
Dear Met Herman (and Fr Kucynda and crew)
Stop. Look. Listen. Smell. Feel. Taste. Intuit. The tide is rising. The current is getting stronger. Your fellow Mitered Princes are getting bored of you, tired of the mire and muck they're sucked into by affiliation; one or two, perhaps, are even sickened with sadness and indignation. There is a wave of sentiment that is headed your way, and you haven't the legs to stand steady when it hits.
You have the chance now to go on your own terms. It seems that the admonishment is in your own best interests: go now, voluntarily. The swell is rising, and with it you will likely be washed away on terms other than those you might establish today. So, think about this: if you go on your own now, you might even be able to avoid the embarassment of a forced resignation, or worse. Go now: play golf, learn hula dancing, take up fishing, make pisanky for the rest of your days. Whatever. We don't care much (except to the extent you want to change, then we care a great deal; otherwise, do whatever. It doesn't seem to matter much).
But, be smart in your self dealing: leave voluntarily while you can.
Sense the impending storm, sir. It is looming in your future.
#11 Anonymous on 2007-07-10 20:17
Thank you Mark. It is abundantly clear that we are dealing with dishonorable men and women who have lost sight of the Kingdom of God and their salvation's journey. They are simply living a charade of religiosity and straining desperately to call it Christianity. The sooner they leave (or are booted out) the better.
#12 Anon. on 2007-07-10 21:35
Brothers and Sisters,
We need to recall that a new Chancellor is installed, a new Secretary and Director of Communications will begin soon, and the various committees of the Metropolitan Council are interviewing for Treasurer. Fr. Paul Kucynda has one foot out the door at Syosset already, and that accounts for a complete management turnover.
The future we must consider only involves Metropolitan Herman at this point. My best guess is that if he will release the PR report, the report of the Special Commission, and visibly refrain from involvement in the day-to-day administration activities, he will remain as Metropolitan. What role he has as Metropolitan will be based on the Synod's decisions.
What do I mean by "day-to-day" administration? Well, he will (and should) be involved in setting direction for the Church, representing the Church both domestically and abroad, and securing unity within the Holy Synod.
He will (and should) be limited however in the amount of money he has to accomplish these tasks. I hope the Metropolitan Council develops guidelines for travel, limiting those whom the Church pays for, directing any "honorariums" received outside his own diocese be given directly to the Church for a special fund (like seminarian scholarships or priestly retirement).
His spiritual authority will (and should) be checked only by the Holy Synod. In my view, his primary goal for the remainder of his ministry in the OCA should be to seek visible recognition of our Church by the other ancient patriarchates, especially Constantinople, to check the activity of the Patriarchate of Jerusalem in the Americas, and to promote and work for jurisdictional unity with our brothers and sisters in the Americas.
*That*, dear friends, would be a legacy.
Do we believe Metropolitan Herman is up to the task? I have an opinion, but will keep it close at this point. Suffice it to say I believe he can survive as Metropolitan, but it will require metanoia.
Sdn. John Martin Watt
Martin D. Watt, CPA (Inactive)
#13 Marty Watt on 2007-07-11 08:03
How about directing those honarariums to paying the HONESDALE BANK LOAN!!!
Herman...we're over you sir.
#13.1 K.K. on 2007-07-12 05:58
He's gotta go.
#13.2 Anonymous on 2007-07-12 06:30
There is one advantage to riding a wild bull, which is that you are not underneath it.
Metropolitan HERMAN is in an untenable situation. His credibility is largely destroyed, along with that of the central Church administration as a whole. However, as long as he is Metropolitan he has some degree of control. Disasters, such as intervention by the civil authorities and lawsuits, loom. The OCA is fracturing, crumbling, around him.
One is forced to assume that there is no constructive path which (preserves his own position) for him to take -- if there were, he would have taken it already. That which he has done all falls under the "If I do this maybe this (e.g. fire Fr. Kondratick, try Fr. Kondratick, set up a commission) maybe it will all go away." category or the "I need to reassert my authority (e.g. dump Nescott, suspend the commission)" category. Riding the wild bull is no fun.
If he let's go (e.g. retires) everything will stay the same, except that he will no longer have any control over it.
Richard Nixon resigned, and then was pardoned; he was able to simply walk away. He would not have resigned otherwise.
For Metropolitan HERMAN, and perhaps some of those around him, there is no such option. From their point of view the current situation is bad, but not nearly so bad as the truth. So they tell him, "Hang in there, it will be OK", and he believes it because he wants to believe it, and because he has little other choice.
I would suspect that we cannot even offer amnesty in exchange for retirement; some of the offenses may not be in our power to excuse.
How does that old legal maxim go?
If you have the facts, argue the facts.
If you don't have the facts, argue the law.
If you don't have the facts or the law...
#14 Fr Andrew on 2007-07-11 10:36
#14.1 Timothy Capps, Esq. on 2007-07-11 21:26
Well, actually... attack the credibility of the witnesses
#14.1.1 Fr Andrew on 2007-07-12 12:33
Recently one of the members of the Holy Synod made the comment "What could Metropolitan Herman possibly say to us at the next All-American Council?" The comment was stunning but the mental picture even more stark. I too believe that Herman must step down, but there is a part of me that would like to see this less than articulate man try and explain his actions to the assembled Church. Try to convince us that he knew nothing, that he was a “Treasurer in name only” and another innocent victim of the "Kondratick Kaptivity" of the Church.
What a scene it might be. A fumbling mumbling Herman trying to speak above the murmurs of the crowd. A flustered Kucynda being challenged on every point by a Church that has had enough. A Holy Synod seeing first-hand that its Metropolitan no longer enjoys the confidence of the faithful. It would be an historic scene. And we can all experience it, but it would be best if the next AAC assembled to close the door on the past and open the windows to the future.
For this to happen, the Holy Synod needs to act now for the best of the Church. They need to accept that the current crisis we are enduring is but the latest step in the battle to define the vision and structure of The Orthodox Church in America which was born to be missionary but was hijacked by missionary Luddites and bureaucrats who saw their position in administration as a personal career path and not a ministry on behalf of others.
The days of a strong central Church are over. The days of manipulating the members of the Holy Synod are over. We are the sum of our parts and each diocese must step up and become stronger. The faithful must unite around their clergy and their respective bishops and not expect "big brother in Syosset" to run the Church or be blamed for local decay. We have dioceses that are weak and strong, growing and declining. If we are weak, Syosset cannot help up. If we are strong, Syosset cannot hurt us.
The next Metropolitan and his office should confine itself to its statutory duties and not try and be a "Super-bishop." The role of the Metropolitan is to represent the Church to other Churches and bodies; to call the Holy Synod into session and preside; to call the Metropolitan Council into session and preside; to call into session the All American Council and preside. But presiding does not mean dictating and manipulating. We are tired of the “Northeast Knows Best” approach to church life.
The latest attempt by Herman to sidetrack the Church is to turn the upcoming special session of the Holy Synod into a “business as usual meeting” by adding things to the agenda like the next All American Council and other “busy work” agenda items so that the real reason for meeting is not discussed. The special session of July 31 is being called for ONE REASON ONLY, to deal with our Church in crisis and why Herman has done nothing to foster a greater sense of unity and purpose for the Church. In fact, just the opposite is taking place and it worsens every day.
Herman and his shrinking circle of supporters, not unlike President Bush and his failed Iraq policy which can no longer be justified even by members of his own party, sits in South Canaan and is told he is doing great. His denial of reality, his isolation from what is really happening reminds me of that scene from Dr. Zhivago where the Moscow elite are upstairs in the fancy red-walled banquet room, eating, drinking and dancing until they hear the sounds of the peasants marching in the street. The elite pause and listen, and as real concern begins to cross their faces, Viktor Komarovsky stands up and says “maybe they will sing on key after the revolution!” The silence is broken with laughter and the elite ignore the gathering storm that will engulf them all.
Our bishops must realize that the storm clouds have gathered and the peasants are marching. We want our Church back. We want to work with all our hearts to restore it to the vision we had in the early days of the OCA. There are many of us who still believe in what The Orthodox Church in America can offer to Orthodox and non-Orthodox here in North America. But we will not be able to break free of our current direction unless we are free from the Northeast Pennsylvanian mentality of the Church that has firmly held us hostage for over two decades. We must have a new direction, we must break the chains and have leaders who know how to inspire the people and challenge them to grow the Church, not depend on leaders who are part of dying dioceses that have not grown in years. Let the dead bury the dead.
If we don't take back our Church now and put it into the hands of men worthy of the the office of Metropolitan and Bishops, then we deserve to fade away and be judged by history as the failed experiment once known as The Orthodox Church in America.
Metropolitan Herman, what could you possibly say to us now that would inspire us to have confidence in you? Nothing you have said or done so far has – what will you now say? “Kondratick is deposed and all is right in the OCA?” Bunk. “My new team in Syosset will set things straight?” Baloney. “I knew nothing about using OCA Appeal funds for other purposes” Liar! You were the one who authorized them. We don't need a Syosset to be the Church and we certainly don't need people who call themselves leaders to still play us for fools.
The peasants are learning to sing on key. We will take back our Church, we have no other choice. We have lived with the alternative and we don't like it anymore.
#15 Anonymous on 2007-07-11 12:57
Bravo!!! Standing Ovation!! Amen!
#16 #15 reply on 2007-07-11 22:31
Am I the only one who is watching this from the sidelines and being reminded, day by day, of the scene--simultaneously sad, riduclous, and inspiring--when Nicolae Ceausescu was shouted off the balcony in Bucharest? As Wikipedia says, "The image of Ceauescu's uncomprehending expression as the crowd began to boo him remains one of the defining moments of the collapse of Communism in Eastern Europe." Has His Beatitude Met. Ceausescu no sense of historical irony?
#17 Anon. on 2007-07-12 07:57
And so have you put before us a frightful analogy of what night well transpire when the Metropolitan gets up to address the faithful at the next All-American Council.
He'd better hire his thugs now to quell the uprising...
there is a excellent expression used in the sub-continent that well describes +H's present predicament........which we call "Riding The Tiger".......envisioning the consequences, were one to attempt to get off.........
#18 Metropolitan Hindu Charter school on 2007-07-12 17:07
I guess we faithful won't be hearing too much about our current situation until after the Holy Synod meets at the end of July.
One can only hope and pray that the faithful's concerns will be addressed.
#19 Patty Schellbach on 2007-07-13 13:26
It seems that Herman is going to hold onto his Primacy after all. Herman has called a Lesser Synod meeting for July 23rd, to be held at St. Tikhon's. Word has it that Herman is calling in all his markers with his fellow bishops to save his rear end. Funny how there is not an announcement on oca.org, the meeting is being held at St. Tikhon's as opposed to Syosset, and it is being held the week before the Holy Synod meeting! Keep in mind, the Lesser Synod is composed bishops that are hand picked by Herman himself! The plot thickens!
#20 Peter Pappas on 2007-07-14 10:24
Which bishops compose the Lesser Synod?
(Editor's Note: According to the OCA website the Lesser Synod includes Metropolitan Herman, Archbishops Job and Seraphim, and Bishop Tikhon. This is the list for 2006, and no updated list for 2007 is posted. It should be noted that the 5th member, Archbishop Kyrill, passed last month.)
#20.1 Rachel Andreyev on 2007-07-14 20:32
Hmmm. +Kyrill (memory eternal!), +Tikhon of the East, +Seraphim, and +Job comprise the lesser synod. Not exactly a +MH cheering section, in my view.
Sdn. John Martin Watt
Martin D. Watt, CPA (Inactive)
#20.2 Marty Watt on 2007-07-14 20:50
You have bad information. There is no such meeting of the Lesser Synod Scheduled. Lesser Synod meetings take place before scheduled Holy Synod meetings.
Do better fact checking before posting erroneous information.
#20.3 OCA the Church for me on 2007-07-15 20:13
reading all these posts gave me pause. I wonder how many people who step up to the microphone to speak at the next AAC will start by saying "I'm Mr./Ms. Anonymous."
#21 Michael Strelka on 2007-07-14 10:46
Mike, you make an excellent point. It seems to me that some people want this to go away gracefully. It isn't going to go away that way.
STOP THE FLOW OF MONEY. FORCE HIM TO QUIT!!!!
HERMAN HAS TO GO !!!
St. James--Brother of the Lord
Kansas City, MO
What exactly is the point?
#21.1.1 Anonymous on 2007-07-15 16:46
The point is this: there has been a marked increase in the number of people who won't sign their name. What's your excuse? (if you are a member of the clergy who fears retribution, that's another story)
#126.96.36.199 Michael Strelka on 2007-07-17 10:27
Regarding annonymous posts: I've read many postings here that decry annonymous postings, and also that say, "We don't need Syosset, just stick with your bishop and go your own way." Well, it's not that easy for some. Some of us have +MH as our bishop; to whom are we to turn?
I post annonymously for the simple fact that, if +MH reads, or has read for him, a posting of mine that he doesn't like, he can reassign my priest, and there will be no one to stop him. Why should I put my parish at risk over my own personal views, which some may not agree with? Yes, I believe that +MH is that vindictive!
However, if it came to an AAC meeting, obviously, I would be willing to step up to the microphone without a facemask on, and call for massive change.
Furthermore, some of you who dissavow any need for Syosset say, "Just have our Met represent us to other churches," etc. Stop navel-gazing! With respect to evangelization, that means reaching out to non-Orthodox "outsiders," and they're going to expect someone annoited as "the Metropolitan" to speak for the entire church -- they're not going to get into the canons. By giving the Met a white hat, while everyone else wears a black hat, you set him apart, and he's going to be perceived as "The Leader," and frankly he should be. We don't need to remove the Metropolitan - we need to remove Met. Herman!
I read a ridiculous book some years ago, by a learned, reverend educator at Harvard University (who just happens to be a homosexual himself) entitled, "Why Christianity Must Change or Die." In this book, the author said essentially that, "Christianity must change to embrace the all-inclusivism of the 20th century, or people will stop coming to church."
Well, I call such talk and practice (which does exist in some 'Christian' churches) "The Church of Why Bother." I mean, Chrisitianity is based upon the teachings of Christ and the Apostles - the latter presumably who knew and understood, through the Holy Spirit, what Christ's message was/is. If it's anything other than that, then I submit that it's not Christianity. In fact, before converting to Orthodoxy, I looked deeply into some of these other churches, and between the "Churches of Whatever," and the "Churches of Why Bother," I finally found the Church which seemed to teach the unchanging word of Christ/God, and was serious about it. The offices of Met/Bishop/Priest/Deacon and Patriarch seem perfectly understandable to me - and that's why I became Orthodox, instead of Protestant - the latter being the "Church of Who Says That's What It Means, and How Do They Know?"
Why some people want to strip the church of strong leadership, rightfully empowered, because we've unsuspectingly put into position two or three or even a dozen lying theives - instead of merely kicking-out the theiving liars - well, it's beyond me!
To me, it's a bit like baseball. Sure the players (the clergy) aren't supposed to argue with the officials (the bishops), esp. the chief umpire (the Met.). But, if the officials are incompetent or worse yet, crooked, the players can refuse to play - and the spectators (the laity) can quit attending games (i.e., cut off the money). And yes, we can write letters to the League Offices (i.e., the Holy Synod). Once the stadiums are quite and no funds are coming in, they'll get the message! But that doesn't mean you have to "get rid of umpires" or change the rules of baseball. It just means you have to FIRE THE CROOKED OFFICIALS! And then, get on with the game!
I, for one, am sick to death of seeing the spectators wring their hands over "self-guilt," and try to have the rules of the game changed! Further, I don't want the rules changed - I want the crooks to be thrown out so the rest of us can get on with it!
To the Holy Synod: Please, courage! Met. Herman & Cronies MUST GO, AND THIS MONTH! Anything short of that, esp. on the 23rd of July and 31st of July means that the League Offices have lost touch with the fans, or you've joined the side of the crooked officials. If so, you can count on me not being at the games any further. There are other Leagues on this planet, even within Orthodoxy. In fact, there is an Antiochian parish even closer to my house than my current OCA parish.
I don't mean to make light of our situation by using a baseball analogy. I'm just trying to put this into some everyday terms. If I thought that posting with my actual name would make a difference, I would do it. At this point, it could only do harm to others who may or may not share my views. But, I am a real person, and I'm really, really serious about this.
I don't know if the Met. or the Holy Synod cares about my opinion or not, but this is America, and I am not compelled to attend or support the OCA Church if it continues to be administered by crooks, or if we as a body are not willing to throw-out the crooks, and eviserate our central church bodies in order to avoid a confrontation! Is it really too much to ask for a strong central church organization that isn't run by thieves and liars?!
#21.2 C.C. on 2007-07-15 09:23
I agree! Let's play ball, but by the rules, fair and square.
#21.2.1 Subdeacon Robert Aaron on 2007-07-15 13:58
Bless you, C.C.--right on the mark!
We don't need new positions and new rules, we need new players who know the rules and will play by them (in fact, they should be written on their hearts!). I'll add my own question to the one you pose at the end of your post: Is it too much to ask for a central church that has a passing familiarity with--and submission to--the Ten Commandments? Aren't we in the OCA supposed to be at least PART of The Church--the living body in which Christ (the Truth) rules on earth? He would spit us out of His mouth--and perhaps He will finally do just that!
I am very tired of the argument that the problems we face in the OCA are, after all, only about the petty issue of money and therefore should never cause division among us. The problems we face are about integrity and truthfulness--just as was the case with Ananias and Sapphira, as recorded in Acts 5. And if we think God reduced these issues to the "petty" question of money and thus dismissed their importance, we need to re-read this chapter.
In fact, I believe that Peter's question to Ananias is the same one we should be asking some in our central church: "Why has Satan filled your heart to lie to the Holy Spirit...?" If you know the end of the story, you know that God himself did not take this matter lightly--nor should we.
#21.2.2 Cathryn Tatusko on 2007-07-15 16:19
I just read through a little over half the comments on this page and could not go on I was so ashamed of the tone of so many of them.
If the Metropolitan has sinned, then he has sinned and needs to repent. We should not disgust God by defiling ourselves through our insults of a bishop of Christ's Church. God already knows he's not perfect.
If our Metropolitan is removed from the position of great responsibility he was entrusted with, then so be it. That is not for us to decide - the Spirit will speak through our bishops and they will act as He directs. If we continue to gather up sin in our Church through writings such as can be found above and by shamelessly judging everyone placed in authority over us, then surely the Lord will abandon us and let us wander in this desert for a longer time than we want.
Fast and pray! Look at the monks and nuns of our Church - in humility they realize their own sinfulness and pray for us all. We should be ashamed of the conduct on all sides of this scandal and learn to pray through all those services we pretend to celebrate in our churches...
As for this thing in Syosset, let our bishops handle it. I'm sure they know how concerned everyone is by now (all the bitching on this page should be loud enough to have been heard by them) and they are in a much better position than we are to decide how to resolve all this.
#22 Jon Marc on 2007-07-16 21:43
"As for this thing in Syosset, let our bishops handle it"
Sure, Jon, they've done a great job solving it so far.
#22.1 Michael Strelka on 2007-07-18 15:44
Cicero in 63 B.C. in his First Oration Against Catiline, said: "When, O Catiline, do you mean to cease abusing our patiience? How long is that madness of yours still to mock us? When is there to be an end of that unbridled audacity of yours, swaggering about as it does now?" Despite the passage of time, somethings never change!
#23 R. Madsen on 2007-07-17 13:58
Cathy (Tatusko), your post hits the mark. It concisely summarizes the problem we face. I am not sure our Synod (as a group) is being guided by the Holy Spirit. Our Bishops have free wills and each one could choose to accept or disregard this guidance. As a group they could accept decisions and support actions some of them if acting alone would never even consider for a second. Let us pray that the guidance of the Holy Spirit is taken to heart by all members of the OCA.
#24 Samuel Osman on 2007-07-18 06:13
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