Monday, August 6. 2007
Your comments, questions, reflections welcome on the decisions taken.
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It is amazing that the hierarchs of the OCA just don't get it. The OCA is a disasterous mess; the laity have no confidence in the leaders of the church; + Herman continues to hide investigative reports; + Nicolai continues to destroy Alaska; everyone wants to make RSK the scapegoat; + Theodosius has escaped the chopping block yet is TOTALLY responsible for the current OCA mess; etc. How will the OCA recover? Only by + Herman stepping down and lets get video taped interviews with + Theodosius, RSK and + Herman and put this scandal to bed. It really is time to move on and yet, everyone is trying to hide something. What happened to the glorious vision of what the OCA was in 1970? What happened to the wonderful plans for a united Orthodox church in North America? Is all lost? It really is time to clean house and start over!
#1 Anonymous on 2007-08-06 07:46
I was hoping you might clarify the facts behind your statement "...Theodosius is TOTALLY responsible for the current OCA mess".
Though I would say that it would seem that our former Metropolitan is one of the many guilty parties in this mess I hardly think you can lay blame only on him. If you spent any amount of time around Syosset during the Theodosius/RSK reign you might have seen that there was one person who really ran the show: RSK. This is not to say that that all blame should be placed on our former chancellor. But, it was very apparent to me (and to many others) that he was the one orchestrating much of this...
I have had the opportunity to know most involved in this "mess" since birth and hope that you are all keeping them in your prayers. Its quite easy to point a finger and say, "They did this. What horrible human beings". Im hoping that those who do that on this site and other blogs and forums are able to turn the finger around and realize their own sins and shortcomings just as quickly as they can others...
Again, Im hoping we all put as much time into our prayers for the OCA, RSK, Theodosius, Herman, and all those forced to deal with such difficult things as we do voicing our "opinions".
#1.1 Anonymous on 2007-08-06 16:23
No anonymous here......how many years was Theodosius Primate? How many years was/is Herman Primate? You mean to tell me that neither, knew what RSK was doing? Last time I checked a bishop is responsible for his priest! Both of these "men" should be ashamed of themselves! RSK is getting lambasted and neither of these "men" could step up and tell the truth? Outrageous!
#1.1.1 Peter Pappas on 2007-08-06 18:41
I cant say if Theodosius knew what was going on. If not, he was just one of MANY that were blissfully unaware of these things. On the other hand, Im assuming RSK was let go because Metropolitan Herman DID know of it. So, I would think that was a good first step.
As for Theodosius, he ran things much differently. He made visits and appearances but left most administrative duties to RSK. Theodosius obviously put alot of trust into his chancellor.
So, maybe he put TOO much trust into RSK and is at fault for that. But, laying the blame totally on him? I think not....
#188.8.131.52 AW on 2007-08-07 20:52
As a clarification you requested, from the Russian, "When a fish begins to smell, it begins with the head." And from Truman, "The Buck stops here!"
For anyone to think that RSK acted alone in the misappropriation of funds is just naive. There had to be complicity between + Theodosius, RSK and + Herman could not have been ignorant to what was going on. After all, RSK was + Herman's hand-picked man from STOTS to run the OCA.
Can ANYONE understand why Kucynda is still there? He was at Syosset in finance functions from the 1980's. Where's the house cleaning?
#1.1.2 Original Anonymous on 2007-08-07 08:07
Fr. Paul is keeping the seat warm for his successor. It is extremely difficult to find a CPA and Orthodox Christian to leave a job and move to Syosset, where they will be paid half of what they were earning (in real terms) and have to put up with the mess that is Syosset. We've already had one appointee withdraw, and the search had to be reopened.
Besides, most of us don't see the Treasurer's position as being a full-time job into perpetuity. In fact, I'd be surprised if the position were still full time three or four years from now. Obviously Syosset is downsizing, and I'm not convinced the role of the Treasurer will remain for very long, at least not as a full-time staff position.
Part of the reason clergy have been significant players in the finance function is because they could supplement their wages via parish responsibilities, housing allowances, etc. By moving to a "professional", that possibility isn't as likely.
Not many people want to take on a job that likely won't exist (as a full time paid poisition) in five years.
Martin D. Watt, CPA (Inactive)
#184.108.40.206 Marty Watt on 2007-08-07 16:25
I agree with you completely. I am tired of hearing only about RSK and +Theo.....+Herman was fully on the scene at that time and was the acting Treasurer, as I understand, and now he claims ignorance. When will our people get it......these Holy Synod leaders want us to all be God fearing people but yet they are not. NOt a one of them speaks the truth and all have forked tongues. If one is gulity all are guilty. They should be afraid to go to sleep at night!!
#1.1.3 Anonymous on 2007-08-08 05:06
Why is Herman Swaiko allowed to continue this reign of terror?
He continues to destroy not to build up.
I feel everyone should be back to the faith of your fathers.
If you came from the Russian Church, go back.
If you came from the Greek Church, go back.
If you are a convert, go to the Orthodox Church closest to home.
We need to get back to the basics of prayer, fasting, but most of all Love your neighbor as youself. Do unto others as you would have done unto you. Swaiko has buried the American Orthodox Church in his lies, firewall investigations and lack of any integrity.
Flee and go back to your roots - your salvation is more important!
#1.2 Anonymous on 2007-08-10 08:08
Well, it just gets deeper and messier. It's pretty bad when the pro bono attorney bows out - he must have good reason to do so.
Are we going to hear anything from Abp. Job?
#2 Name withheld on 2007-08-06 08:06
No, what's pretty bad AND sad is that people like you will now bash Mr. Perry from bailing out.
Do you have any idea how many man hours he has already put into this case free of charge? He has a full time job just in case you weren't aware of it.
On another note, will any of you care to admit just how kind the Church has actually been to RSK throughoput all of this? Have any of you seen or read anything from the Metropolitan or Fr. Kucynda saying a bad word about him in a public forum? Was he not given an opportunity to speak before the Holy Synod months ago? Was he not given an extension of several weeks before the church court convened? Was he not allowed to stay in the Martin Drive property for approxiamtely 4-5 months after he had beed dismissed? Was it not kind to delay whatever verdict is forthcoming until after his mother's funeral? Is it not kind for the church to say nothing until after he has an opportunity to receive whatever package was most recently sent to him?
I for one am sick and tired of all the bashing and complaining already. Yea, I want to know just as bad as everyone else what the facts are, but I don't dwell on this like some do. However, no matter what either the Metropolitan or Fr. Kucynda do or don't do, their are those who want them crucified.
Let's remember folks, neither of them have been accused of any wrongdoing whatsoever by either the Church or PR. Have they been guilty of not telling us everything? Of course. But they must have a reason for it.
Don't any of you think that had they been guilty of wrong doing it would have come forth already?
Many of you keep asking for the Metropolitan to resign.
I'd like you to ponder this last question. Did Metropolitan Herman cause this problem or did he inherit it?
Think about it long and hard.
The mess was so far out of control before he took office
that it's taking years to clean up. We didn't get into this mess overnight and we won't get out of it overnight folks.
And as far as the post of Dr. Schneider goes, for once, someone has offered a chronological list of what positive things have taken place over the last 18 months or so. Is it perfect? Is it enough? At least it's something. It's much, much more than what we had when the last Metropolitan and Chancellor were in office by leaps and bounds.
That my friends was nothing but a farce using smoke and mirrors.
#2.1 Michael Geeza on 2007-08-06 16:48
No, what's pretty bad AND sad is that people like you will now bash Mr. Perry from bailing out.
I didn't bash Mr. Perry. In fact, I said he probably had a good reason for backing out.
Why must you read things that aren't there?
#2.1.1 Name withheld on 2007-08-06 18:23
I think you misinterpreted that person's point about pro bono attorney work. Maybe not. But it seems like it was not a jab at Jim but at Syosett and implicitly a bow to Jim. (And, adding to that levity, ther real "wow" will be when the paid lawyer get sickened!)
But in any case, I think the bigger mistake (perhaps it was inadvertant though) was identifying Herman and Kycynda and the Synod with the Church: whether you meant to do that or not, it is still just that sort of identification that creates the soil without which the weeds we now have cannot grow.
#2.1.2 Anonymous on 2007-08-06 18:50
There really is a difference between wanting someone to resign and wanting to crucify someone. Even in the secular world men of integrity resign postions of responsibility when it becomes well known that on their watch wrongdoing took place. Even if the person is not guilty of anything, integrity tells them to resign their position so that the organization has a chance to start afresh. If nothing more than from good will and concern for the OCA, the resignations of Metropolitan Herman and Fr. Kucynda would be appropriate at this point. They may want to blame Fr. Kondratick for everything, but they were intimately and knowingly involved in the OCA while the scandal was on going. There is even some truth to the notion that both of them were in their positions because of Fr. Bob. Their resignations would be acknowledgement that the entire scandal and all those in position of responsibility through the scandal are now part of the OCA's past. Their holding on to their postions at this point smacks of self interest and of preventing the whole truth from being revealed. You have been a loyal defender of Fr. Kucynda. Perhaps you can suggest to him that his immediate resignation is most appropriate at this point so that the OCA can move on without the continued taint of the past. If he truly has nothing to cover up, he should have no fear of stepping aside so that others can look at what happened and move us in a new direction.
#2.1.3 Fr. Ted Bobosh on 2007-08-06 21:20
What amazes me Fr. Ted is that everbody has the answers but yet nobody offers solutions or a helping hand. (Aside from the reorganizational task force and more recently the various committees within the MC)
And where have the 70 senior clergy been during all of this Fr. Ted? Is the fact that they wrote a joint letter supposed to impress us? Have any of them offered of their time and talent to try and offer help? Have any of them even bothered to offer a word of encouragement or defense of what has been done?
I'll also go so far as saying, where in the world would our Church be right now if it wasn't for the good, tireless, thankless and honest work of Fr. Kucynda and Mr. James Perry?
We would be up a creek without a paddle.
Our problem right now Fr. Ted is not who the Metropolitan is, or who the treasurer is, but rather, way too many people complaing and moaning about every single thing being done and not enough people recognizing that good things are indeed happening. It takes time to correct such horrible deficiencies.
It just can't happen overnight.
(Editor's reply: Yes, Mike, it can.
Tonight, Metropolitan Herman could release the preliminary report of the Commission, allow it to begin its work tommorrow, (fully reconstituted as it was intended) with instructions to issue a complete report on the full scandal to the Metropolitan Council and Synod of Bishops by Dec. 2007, announce the retirement of Fr. Kucynda (with the thanks of the Church for his many years of service) hire a temp service to run the financial affairs of the church until a Treasurer is hired, and announce his own retirement effective the day after the final Commission Report is given.
Voila, the financial scandal that has plagued our Church for almost two years is over, overnight.
But something tells me that won't happen. That is why people, such as myself, remain skeptical; and why so many refuse to openly assist in what appears to be largely self-serving endeavor on the part of Fr. Paul and Metropolitan Herman. Only they can remove the stigma of cover-up and self-protection their continuing presence - and actions in preventing the full Commission from going about its business as unanimously endorsed by the Metropolitan Council - engenders.
Truth be told, they indeed could end it all overnight.)
#220.127.116.11 Michael Geeza on 2007-08-07 11:01
And I'm sure if they did what you suggest, the very next day there would be those who would still find fault.
I'll ask you a question Mark. How come the special commission had a certain amount of time to prepare what they were instructed to do and they couldn't complete their work in due time?
The fact is, they were bickering amongst themselves for weeks and couldn't seem to accomplish much of anything. They were obviously headed in way too many different directions, so let's not make them out to be martyr's here. What was their episcopal advisor doing to keep them focused during that time frame?
If you want to lay blame, fine. But let's tell it like it is Mark.
They weren't very effective at all in their work.
(editor's note: Once again, Mike you are incorrect. It is true you can't please everyone - but this would come as close as anything I imagine, save the two people it affects and their entourages.
And I will answer your question: It is no secret there were difficulties in the Commission. I have written about them. As I understand it the agreement was reached in the scope, nature and plan of investigation at their first meeting in Parma. This was prevented by the Metropolitan on the advice of his lawyer on the Commission , who then determined a different scope, nature and plan of investigation, and subsequently wrote the Commission's preliminary report as well. And you wonder why the rest protested?
I do not say what the lawyer wrote was wrong - but I do say it was not a full investigation,for it was controlled by the Metropolitan and Proskauer Rose, as Fr. Berzonsky and Mr. Nescott and Archbishop Job have all indicated in various forums.
As for your criticism of Archbishop Job, this is a surprise in what way? Anybody who has sat with the Archbishop on any committee, council, or commission knows he has a "loose" style of leadership, to put it charitiably. He listens, which is good; but does not come with an agenda, which is often frustrating to many. In the end, it was the Metropolitan who appointed him, so I am not sure how criticizing +Job defends the man who choose him....
Finally, the question of the Commission is moot.
It is "temporarily suspended", and will remain that way for the foreseeable future. That in itself says it all, Mike. )
#18.104.22.168.1 Michael Geeza on 2007-08-07 13:24
Herman is at the root of the problem. The cover up of what Theodosius, RSK, Herman and Kucynda, Bishops,(FORMER BISHOPS) priest have done to this,once beautiful church is a disgrace to CHRISTIANITY. Herman has been a (heirarch) in this CHURCH,for thirty (30) plus years. A great number of those years working with Soyosset. He didn't know what was going on. I'm sure he didn't have blinders on. Herman feels everyone is from the old school, he can keep BS-ing his way thru life. He has found out the hard way, we don't wither when he says any thing.
Legally, there has to be a way to remove him from being the head of OUR CHURCH. We have many people that practice law, collectively the should investigate an avenue to REMOVE him, as our metropolitan.
St. James--Brother of the Lord
Kasas City, MO
Some things will NEVER change. Herman and Kucynda honestly thought by deposing RSK, the heat would no longer be on them. How could they expect us to believe that for the almost 20 years that RSK was on the job, that he kept everything secret and no one picked up on or knew anything that was going on, Metropolitan Councils, Holy Synods, Accountants, Auditors, Treasurers, Comptrollers, etc., etc....the list goes on and on. Herman and Kucynda are trying to play us all for fools!!!! They knew and particapted in everything, to think anything else is madness!!!
#3 Peter Pappas on 2007-08-06 09:05
I imagine that there is little time spent in our seminaries or by our hierarchs studying fairy tales. I am sure they have much more deeply theological things to ponder. Yet, fairy tales have a great deal to offer. They were told as cautionary tales. They hold powerful truths wrapped in a child’s tale.
One in particular comes to mind. There once was a king. In his desire to elevate himself above all other men – perhaps even to a saintly level – he ordered a new set or robes made. Special weavers were hired to do his bidding. They spun cloth for the vestments – rather – robes from invisible thread. They also spun a tale for the king. They proclaimed that only those most loyal to the king would be able to see the new clothes.
The king could hardly wait to wear his new clothes so that he would know who was loyal and who was not. He first wore the new vestments before his priestly – princely - court. They quickly saw that the king was naked. But the members of the king’s court feared his power. They desired his money and favor. And so his most valued and wise advisors told the king what he wanted to hear. His new robes were splendid with none that could compare.
The king was most pleased with the weavers of deception and his wise council who knelt in worship at his feet.
The next day he wore his robes out into the streets to awe the great unwashed. The peasants could not believe their eyes. Was the king really so deluded that he did not know they could all see that he was naked? Only a young boy had the courage to stand up and shout out to the king – “We see your nakedness – and your delusions!”
And with that, the people left the king – no longer did they pay their tithes. No longer did he have their respect. He walked with only his paid advisors to give him praise and worship. The advisors convinced him that the people would soon forget that he was naked and would fall at his feet once more. They failed to notice that the people no longer even glanced his way. They had turned to the Great King.
Such cautionary takes are the stuff of children – surely they are not meant for the church and its leaders? Or are they?
Oh, yes, Melissa, they are. Very well done!
#4.1 Mark Harrison on 2007-08-08 04:02
Basic STALL and DELAY tactics! Same old garbage we have come to expect from +Herman and many others in the OCA "leadership". Shameful!
Leopards don't change their spots, and incompetent and spiritually bankrupt hierarchs will not act ethically and courageously, no matter what the consequences are to themselves, their office, the Church, and their flocks. Sadly, the ZERO confidence I expressed in this latest Holy Synod charade turns out to be 100% correct. The darkness spreads and the likelihood of OCA's return to the narrow path diminishes by the day.
These latest developments just confirm what we already knew--the Synod is totally dysfunctional and paralyzed as the OCA disintegrates before its very eyes. Clearly, in this chaotic state the Metropolitan wins by default and secures his hold on power, which after all is the "prime directive."
In the leadership void that now exists (except of course from MH), there is little hope that any meaningful change can happen or the true depth and circumstances of the scandal be revealed--both of which are prerequisites to restoring health and morality to the OCA. Instead, the "Dark Lord" will continue to extend his control and attempt to remake the OCA in his image, just as his forerunner, Fr. Kondratick, did in so many instances, including Alaska.
So where, may we ask, is the leadership willing to lead us out of this morass? It pains me to say that both Archbishop Job and the Metropolitan Council have shown little willingness to lead so far. Undoubtedly, they have their reasons, which probably spring from perceived lack of support for a more confrontational approach, but really at this point there are no good excuses.
Accordingly, the time has now come to ask if one should stay in the OCA. Pinning one's hopes on future action by the AAC seems to me to be futile. Even if change was advanced at such a meeting, our exalted leaders would merely veto it. No, in this case, only withholding money and all other support would get any attention. Unfortunately, there is no indication that enough of the ever dwindling membership of the OCA is prepared to take such action. "Head in the sand" seems to be the watchword of the day.
#6 Kenneth R. Tobin on 2007-08-06 10:25
Its too bad. I think this was the last chance for the OCA. I just hope that people will not allow the professional delaying tactics to put them on hold until the AAC in 2008. Those events are so scripted that NOTHING useful can happen there. It is clear that they have decided to "wait this out" and need to delay. It is time to pull the money and start looking for a new home.
#7 Fed up on 2007-08-06 10:49
There really is not any way to fully express how far too long this whole excruciating saga has continued. It appears to be shaping up to continue for the forseeable future, perhaps forever? Can one imagine a bridge failure in painfully slow motion?
After reading this latest from Mark, my husband suggests that if Met. Herman refuses to go to Syosset, why not just get rid of Syosset, and take the OCA administration to +Herman? He further opines that he is sending cash to Syosset, via his assessment, along with everybody else, and all he gets for it is a lousy Punch and Judy show, with piquant dialogue, and bigger bats dragged onstage for every new round.
Now, before anybody criticizes the tenor and quality of his comments, it occurs to me that there is really nothing else left to say. Reams of eloquent and earnest words have been wasted. And on, and on, and on, and on.... Cate
#8 Cate on 2007-08-06 11:34
Another chance to take some decisive action - indeed ANY action - passes the Synod by. And so, they now become willing participants in the on-going cover-up of whatever went on in Syosset with respect to the "scandal." I say, "whatever" went on, because without transparency and being forthcoming, it's all really just speculation now; only a few people know the truth and it's hard to tell who they are. It's really sad to me, personally, as I don't know that I'll fit-in with the Greek or the Antiochian jurisdictions; may have to give the Byzantine Catholics another hard look. Maybe it's possible to just be a Lone Orthodox Believer - like the "Old Believers" in Russia, maybe we disaffected OCA types can become "Lone Believers" in search of a jurisdiction that isn't hopelessly wedded to some ethnic group's heritage that isn't our own?! I just want to believe in Orthodoxy, and worship in my own language of English, without having to justify my presence in a Greek church (I'm not Greek) or an antiochian Arab church (I'm not an Arab), or whatever. Maybe I can take a cut-rate fare over to England, and become a member of Bishop Kalistos Ware's presumably English-speaking church, and go to him annually for confession? Has not our entire Synod just collectively stuck their heads into the sand with respect to the condition of the OCA? If we're missing something here, I wish that one of Their Graces would enlighten us as to how we're supposed to react to their lack of action, and the apparent lack of any determination to restore trust in the OCA's leadership. And please, spare me the lectures about "congregationalism" and so forth. I'm okay with "the Bishops are in charge," but I'd love to hear their side of the story, and not through a Syosett employed spin-doctored press release! What, are we all just supposed to continue to "keep silent" until October - again? And at that time, then what? Another do-nothing session? I understand the sensitivities of the outcome of the Kondratick trial with respect to his late mother, but apparently, he's already been informed in any case - what about the rest of us? And what about the Commission Report? And everything else! I think that this will be my last post on this Website. It's become a huge waste of time and effort to try to get to the bottom of what's happened in the OCA. I gave up on the Olympics when the let the professional athletes in; I gave up on baseball when they kept looking the other way over drugs in the game; I've got no voice and no standing in the OCA as a member of the laity - frankly, if anyone in this organization has ANY standing, I'd love to hear from them - and now it's a matter of trying to spend my time finding a reasonable substitute for an American branch of Orthodoxy, since the OCA doesn't seem to be interested in serving that purpose. If our leadership on the Synod or the MC don't care about what's happened, and the outpouring of distress aired here over the past couple of years, and elsewhere, then we the masses have no chance to change them. All we can do is to drift away, let the money dry-up, and when they're all unemployed, maybe then they will "retire" or resign or whatever it is they call it when you're a bishop and your church simply goes away. Maybe it's not "defrocking," it's "deflocking!" And maybe then we can start over again in this country, under whose auspices I don't know.
#9 C.C. on 2007-08-06 11:54
Now what? I’m quite healthy right now but I’m not young so I’ll probably die before this is settled. (Of course that would lower the assessment payment from my almost empty church.) Now we have to wait a couple of more months and then.........what? NOTHING!!!! The Holy Spirit has been working in our church because many of our parishioners are now going elsewhere (not all oca) and are happy. I don’t know God’s plan, but it is frightening. This constant fluctuation in emotions is damaging to morale. Please God help us before we self-destruct!!!! Please all you priests, and Bishops read Psalm 26 from the Orthodox Study Bible, the Prayer of the Priest! Does that mean anything? Or is it all a fake!
#10 Sad in New Jersey on 2007-08-06 15:20
We all know that the Holy Synod is dysfunctional. They know they are too but they do not know how to be functional. They truly dislike each other and Herman has driven as many wedges as he can between them to keep his control over all of them.
None of them are fighters and Herman knows it and takes advantage of this
I guess the old saying is true. You get the leaders you deserve. Kondratick knew they were weak and dysfunctional and tried to prop them up. MISTAKE. They should have been exposed as a group long ago. They may have their individual gifts, but as a working group, leading the Church, they are empty suits.
Unless we expect more from our episcopal leaders in the future, we will get the same leaders we have now. The sea change for the OCA will not take place in the short-term, it will continue to be a long painful slog. The question is, do we have the stomach for it? Do we believe that there is a future for the OCA? Is the original vision still worth fighting for?
I would enjoy thoughtful replies to what we should want from our future leaders. What qualities, what skills? I would be happy if we had a Metropolitan and Archdeacon we could understand when they serve. That would be a good first step. Sorry for that last jab, but I think you all know what I mean.
#11 Anonymous on 2007-08-06 15:56
One might wonder why people stay in the OCA?
The Holy Synod does not even know their own statutes.
MH gave this report of the spiritual court to the Holy Synod. This is in violation of the Statutes.
He first should have given the report to the Accused and the Accuser. The Holy Synod is the Supreme Court of Appeal. Now since he comprimsed this process, there is no way to appeal. These men could never hear this in an unbiased frame of mind.
Or, Herman deliberately bypassed protocol to put the kibosh on any chance RSK had to appeal the outcome! Hmmmmm.....
I ask you once again, why do we stay here?
#12 Peter Pappas on 2007-08-06 16:41
Why do we stay here?
We stay here because the OCA is our spiritual family (established by the will of God in America) and you don't abandon family when times get tough. I agree that we have a few destructive brothers that are wrecking havoc on our family, but the family sticks together. We will by God's good grace get through this mess.
This reminds me of a quote from the Disney’s movie “The Lion King” when Zazu the bird says to King Mufassa about his power hungry brother lion, “There’s one in every family…(pause)…there’s two in mine.”
#12.1 Juliana on 2007-08-07 09:03
Why is Bishop Job playing patsy for the guys in Syosset? He should get some backbone and take a more aggressive stand against the "thugs in New York." The Midwest should withhold ALL funding to Syosset until they dry up and go away.
So much for the Palatine Resolution.
Perplexed in Ohio
#13 Anonymous on 2007-08-06 16:43
Dear Brothers and Sisters,
We are and ought to be above politics! We are Christians!
This is it! On the evening of the Transfiguration, the Orthodox Church in America receives notice that they are again lied to by their leaders! Where are we to go! What are we to do as Christ’s flock and children of the faith that are suffering! I am so sad and disappointed. I wanted my children to be raised in this glorious church of America. I have two young altar boys and I must tell them that the church is being lead astray by the wrong leaders, ones who have sinned and do not know how to repent, and ones who are users of Christ’s Holy name.
Oh heavenly king the comforter, the spirit of truth who art everywhere and fillest all things, treasury of blessings and giver of life, come and abide in us and cleanse us from every impurity and save our souls O good one...
#14 Anonymous on 2007-08-06 16:48
My heart is heavy and sad. There is a saying in Latin - "Magna est Veritas et Praevalebit" - Great is Truth and it Shall Prevail. My question is when will it prevail in the OCA. When will Truth and Transparency become the watchwords of our national Church? When will the Special Investigative Commission be allowed to continue their needed work as ordered by the Metropolitan Council? When will our national leaders take bold and decisive action to save the Church I joined with eagerness and much anticipation over 5 years ago?
The light of Truth shall, it must, prevail but again the question is, how long must we wait?
#15 Subdeacon Robert Aaron on 2007-08-06 17:27
No, today is not the day for the reasons of our moral crisis to be revealed. Today is the day of the Transfiguration. It was a day of true Revelation for Peter, James, and John as Jesus shone so brightly that they had to turn their eyes. That same revelation of God is with us today, and with that, it is not to be marred with the immoral revelations of our leaders. No, save this day for the Revelation from God, we will turn our eyes in the future, but it will not be from brightness.
Be patient friends, the day will come, but remember, we are facing an organization not unlike the mob. We see defensive claims that the folks in power are not those who were in charge 5-10 years ago and that it is not their fault, but the facts speak differently. We see calls that Dn. Wheeler is as much to blame as the thieves, but we know better. We see constant calls for the laity to remain silent, yet we know that honesty and openness are necessary for resolution. Members of the clergy and episcopacy held our faith and trust for lifetimes. They garnered practically unconditional support from the laity, for they represented our Lord. But the tide has rightfully turned; it will not take as long to unravel this mess, but it will take time. Woe to all of us!
Be patient! Keep watch!
A small group has indeed held control. I stated previously that the money got us here, but that is not correct. The 10+ years of money laundering finally provided us with the revelation that something was amiss. The true problem is the immorality that helped to fuel the financial malfeasance. It will take time to uncover the deep rooted, underlying problems. The obstacle here is the very tight knit group that is doing everything they can to keep the silence. Just like in the mafia, where members claim allegiance to “the family”, we have folks who will protect their “families” at all costs. Unfortunately, “the family” is even ahead of the Church. How one can justify putting “the family” ahead of the Church, I do not know, but God will not allow it to stand. It is the Church that gave the family, not the family that provided us with the Church.
Don’t be disillusioned. Yes, CC you could change jurisdictions and keep the faith, you could also change faiths with the Anglicans and probably have small “t” truth (no offense to the Anglicans - I’m not looking for a theological debate here), but your input is vital. You represent a strong and growing group of caring, vibrant members of the OCA. Just reflect for a moment on what has occurred over the past 18 months. Bishop Job wanted answers to financial question at the last AAC in 2004, but was not allowed to ask. Three years later, and after 18 months of investigation, we see some of the financial answers. More reason to stay the course Peter Pappas, KRT, Cate and all others, if the laity had not cried out with this website, I think Archbishop Job would still be given the runaround. 16,000 hits a night on the website (and I don’t think Mark is embellishing with the 40x factor of the OCA leadership)! Yes, there has been progress, it is just a painfully slow process for those of us who want action today.
No, unfortunately our Hierarchs appear divided and thus, our hope for answers to the moral crisis appears to lie with the Special Commission. The Special Commission is feared, but why? What is there to hide in a church of Orthodox faithful, especially among our leaders? Why was the Special Commission so controlled in their investigation? Why couldn’t they ask questions dating back to the 1990’s? What we have discovered in the financial malaise only highlights the need for quick action by this commission. Get this House cleaned up and we can not only rest, but also begin to grow.
#16 Ken Kozak on 2007-08-06 19:39
At the last AAC in Toronto, as we were observing the leadership circling the wagons over criticism of their spending habits, a brother priest leaned over to me and said, "This is a church run by adult children of alcoholics." To which I replied, "Well, duh!"
So, to bring everyone up to speed (and without comment) here are the 13 characteristics of adult children of alcoholics formulated by Dr. Janet G. Woititz in her book Adult Children of Alcoholics. See if you can find any similarities with the behavior of our leaders... Bet you can!
1. Adult children of alcoholics guess at what normal behavior is.
2. Adult children of alcoholics have difficulty following a project through from beginning to end.
3. Adult children of alcoholics lie when it would be just as easy to tell the truth.
4. Adult children of alcoholics judge themselves without mercy.
5. Adult children of alcoholics have difficulty having fun.
6. Adult children of alcoholics take themselves very seriously.
7. Adult children of alcoholics have difficulty with intimate relationships.
8. Adult children of alcoholics overreact to changes over which they have no control.
9. Adult children of alcoholics constantly seek approval and affirmation.
10. Adult children of alcoholics usually feel that they are different from other people.
11. Adult children of alcoholics are super responsible or super irresponsible.
12. Adult children of alcoholics are extremely loyal, even in the face of evidence that the loyalty is undeserved.
13. Adult children of alcoholics are impulsive. They tend to lock themselves into a course of action without giving serious consideration to alternative behaviors or possible consequences. This impulsively leads to confusion, self-loathing and loss of control over their environment. In addition, they spend an excessive amount of energy cleaning up the mess.
There you have it.
Tiresome news. Tiresome responses. Too much Sturm und Drang hand wringing. For some perspective of our current woes, may I suggest reading two epistles: I Clement (ca. 95-96 A.D.) and Polycarp’s first to the Philippians (ca. 98-117 A.D.). In the first we learn of the chaos in the church of Corinth when many presbyters are dismissed and another faction takes over; the Church of Rome tries to encourage order in the church. In the latter, Polycarp addresses the issue of embezzlement by a presbyter who is excommunicated. I am not encouraging anyone to become disinterested, but asking for some perspective and moderation in our language.
“The more things change, the more they remain the same.” As for me, I shall revel in the feasts of the Transfiguration and Dormition and their meaning for my salvation, skip the Beheading of John the Baptist and go straight to the beginning (Sept. 23) of the Weeks of Luke and pray for a year of favor from the Lord.
#18 Terry C. Peet on 2007-08-06 20:42
A cartoon in yesterday's issue of the Pittsburgh Tribune sums it all up:
I wouldn't say the ship is "sinking" ------ but the mast is broken, we're out of food and water, the sharks are circling, and the captain is insane.
As Mark has said more than once........." The long defeat continues."
#19 Anonymous on 2007-08-07 04:00
How difficult would it be to setup a survey on this website?
I think it would be good to hear from the 16,000+ readers. I believe that most people that read this site probably want to respond or give their 2 cents worth but may feel intimidated or inadequate compared to the many current knowledgeable and eloquent contributors. A survey would allow everyone’s (anonymous or not) voice to be heard.
I’m sure you can come up with a whole series of questions, but some examples might be:
-- “Do you have confidence in the current OCA Administration?”
-- “If you could have a say on whether or not to withhold assessment payments to the Central church, would you vote to withhold?”
-- “Are you satisfied with how your parish priest’s openness and willingness to discuss the current scandal?”
-- “Have you seriously thought about leaving the OCA?”
-- “Do you want Metropolitan Herman to step down or retire from his current position in the OCA?"
You might provide a summary page with responses. Personally, I think this would be valuable information for our hierarchs and all those in decision making positions.
Just a suggestion…and my own 2 cents.
(Holy Resurrection Church – Palatine, IL)
#20 Helen O'Sullivan on 2007-08-07 14:27
How bad is the truth? We can only imagine the answer is extremely painful and dreadful. By withholding the truth, no greater damage can be done then what is being done by the responsible people not being honest and not asking for our forgiveness. Before we begin to heal, our heirarchy must come forth otherwise, the OCA will continue to ebb away.
#21 ANON on 2007-08-07 19:47
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