Tuesday, August 21. 2007
There have been so many stories in the past 5 days, this is the place to comment on them.
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I am amazed at the level of detail being developed by the unnamed priest who wrote to the unnamed archbishop. How nice it would have been if such detail, right down to who should be interviewed and the level of expertise of people on the investigating committee with a just concluded high profile case in the OCA had been used. I can only muse as to how the Kondratick case might have been handled differently if such expectations and expertise were also sought and applied.
#1 Anonymous on 2007-08-21 07:26
How nice it would be if this unnamed bishop would step forward and initiate the process to get the church back on the road to recovery. The tools are there. There are many who have offered both professional and expert advice but unfortunately all has fallen on deaf ears. I would ask the question, why are the bishops so dysfunctional? Do they not have eyes to see and ears to hear? Look at the mess that lays before them. It is time to start cleaning up this mess. Why is it that we have heard only from one or two bishops on this mess? There are seventeen according to reports and only one, really, has opted to challenge the system. The lies that come from their mouths and they stand before the holy altar and prepare the sacraments? How can they say one thing and do just the opposite? The recent reflection by Matushka Gvorsek says it all. The red flags have been raised many times but when it comes to cleaning "their" own house they fail to do so. The expertise is there. The faithful are willing to help and offer sound professional advice but when it comes to dealing with one of their own, they fail miserably. They may wear the mitre but they are no better than you or I when it comes to issues such as these. Follow the rules and take your medicine if you are guilty of these sins.
May God have mercy on us all, but especially those who have failed Our Saviour.
#1.1 Harold Pukita on 2007-08-22 09:25
The saga goes on and on. Jesus knows all of the problems. He knew when He said this quote below that it would be applicable at any age.
Matt. 27 "Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for you are like whitewashed tombs, which outwardly appear beautiful, but within they are full of dead men's bones and all uncleanness. 28 So you also outwardly appear righteous to men, but within you are full of hypocrisy and iniquity.
God is over all. He allows the devil to work deeds so be aware of which side you take. In all of this mess, God is watching all of us. He will not overlook the deeds done by anyone especially done by clergy who have the common men souls entrusted to them. Fear God because you can’t escape Him.
I sometimes feel that certain clergy in every rank have forgotten what the church is all about. This isn’t a secular business. The government isn’t the final word here! Where is the fear of God that should make everyone repent? Help me understand where I am wrong!
#2 Lizzie on 2007-08-21 09:28
I will accept Mr. Stokoe's suggestion and use this thread to post my comments for now.
I note with what I think is wry amusement the pseudonym chosen by one recent commentator on the "Part 2" portion of this discussion - Ann Animus - who suggests that I am a player of word games. The following may lead to my conviction on this charge. I will hope for a light sentence. My Random House desk dictionary's first of three definitions for the word "animus" is "strong dislike or enmity; animosity." Hmmm. I think "Annie's" slip (Freudian or otherwise) may be showing!
2. Part 3 of the report suggests that the investigators of the allegations must be free from conflicts of interest. Correct. I think it would be nice to know, or at least ask ourselves, if the authors or posters of anonymous "secret reports" are too.
3. I note in the suggestions for the makeup of the investigative committee a complete absence of any sense that at least one tough-minded, experienced trial attorney go along for this ride. The heavy emphasis on senior clergy seems to me to be very dubious. After all, who was not minding the store or casting a truly analytical eye on the years of bad financial stewardship? It is nice to think as the ordination ceremony tells us that God makes up for what is lacking in those who are set apart for high office, but that is hardly to say that they are somehow magically endowed with professional skills like analyzing the nuances of conflicting testimony in a highly charged atmosphere. I can promise you that the interview process will be a whole lot more focused and productive if there is an experienced cross examiner with a lot of trial experience on board instead of just clergy and mental health pros.
4. And no, I am not angling for that job either. Even if I met some of the other qualifications, Bishop Nikolai would be entitled to an inquisitor quite a bit more neutral towards him than I think I am. I just think he deserves fair play. The OCA will not distinguish itself or create the new atmosphere ihoped for if its members, leaders, or investigators are guilty of "piling on" or trying him in the 21st century equivalent of the newspapers.
5. I think the editor of this site's slip is showing when, in the concluding remarks on this subject he seems to criticize Syosset for being silent at this stage and not conducting the investigation in the public eye. Since when do the police of any time or place give daily pres conferences about just what is happening in unsolved cases? Never. And especially not when the "police" (the investigative team) is supposed to consist in part of some of the judges (the Synod). Syosset should be silent on the investigation itself other than giving out the committee's names and the procedures that they will follow. When and if Mr. Stokoe or any of the rest of us are investigated we will deserve the same.
6. Perhaps the "secret report's" author's slip or bias is showing when he advocates for transcription of every word of the investigation, release of everything including a full report as to all allegations and findins, etc. I disagree strongly.
The law of most states, Alaska too, presumably, recognizes a tort called invasion of privacy. (I think Christian decency recognizes the concept if not the exact term too.) The bigger the person's public image, the less privacy he or she is entitled to. The less, the more.
The bishop has a big presence in the public eye and therefore, in secular law at least, comparatively little expectation of privacy as to his conduct or fitness to hold office. Respect for his office will be hard to balance with the concept of conducting, and demonstrating to the public the fullness and fiarness of, the inquiry. I do not envy the inquisitors.
Archimandrite Isidore should be seen as a different case entirely, although that may be very hard to implement in practical terms to the extent that there are any claims or incidents involving both men. In my opinion at a bare minimum I should think that Arch. Isidore has a clear right not to have his psychological profile or any analysis thereof bruited about in this forum or any other public place, and decency on that issue ought to guide what the investigators record about him (since it is clearly very liable to be leaked to the internet) let alone publish. Sophistication about our media culture does not equate with the abandonment of Christian charity when it comes to public speculatiion or tale-telling about people. It may be tough to balance, because if he is found guilty of an offense and punished that of course must be disclosed, but public rummaging around in the details of his life really ought to be well beneath Christians.
7. I do not apologize for seeing both young clergymen through the eyes of love and respect. In fact we new calendarists will be reminded of that idea in this coming Sunday's epistle: "let all that you do be done in love." I Cor. 16:14. I think that among other things love means fair but tough-minded investigation. I also believe that love should prompt us to deal quite circumspectly with this young man, even if he should have been overtaken in a fault, looking to ourselves lest we too be tempted. (Galatians 6) Bishops are subjected to more rigorous scrutiny. ( I Tim. 3:2 for example)
I apologize for having (I trust) annoyed the warmest partisans in both camps, albeit hopefully for opposite reasons.
#3 Fr. George Washburn on 2007-08-21 12:02
Since I was unsure of the possible definitions of "animus" I referred to my wife's copy of Webster's New World Dictionary of the American Language, College Edition, copyright 1957, and to my copy of the Random House Dictionary of the English Language, Unabridged Edition, copyright 1971. In Webster's Dictionary, "animus" has the definitions: (1) an animating force; (2) an intention to do something; (3) a grudge; animosity. In the Random House Dictionary, "animus" includes the definitions: (1) a hostile feeling or attitude; anatagonsim; animosity. (2) purpose; intention; animating spirit. So, the pseudonym "Ann Animus" may not refer to someone with enmity or animosity towards the Holy Synod, the Central Church Administration, or the administration of St. Herman's Seminary, but possibly someone with a purpose or an intention to do something to reform the OCA. As one who used to "play word games," perhaps you should consider giving them up something more spiritually profitable ... for yourself and those whom you've engaged in them.
While it is an assumption, I think Mark Stokoe has shown that he would publish the name of the author of the "secret report" as soon as he received permission from the author and from the person who provided the copy of the report. To do otherwise would potentially place the author or the source of the copy of the report in jeopardy from the powers that be.
On second thought, your suggestion to include an experienced trial lawyer as part of the investigation team sounds reasonable, but my initial repulsion at the thought of having the legal profession once more leading the response of the church to a scandal continues strong. If there is another Greg Nescott out there somewhere, an experienced trial lawyer whose Orthodox beliefs are more than a thin veneer, willing to be part of the investigative team, then add that lawyer immediately.
The continued criticism of the silent response of the Central Church Administration to another major scandal is indeed appropriate. The proper response to the allegations involving Bishop +NIKOLAI, Archimadrite Isidore, and Paul Sidebottom, given the track record of the the Holy Synod and Syosset, requires an especially open and public investigation. This doesn't mean detailed, daily progress reports published in the press or on the Internet, but it does mean that the Synod and Syosset should follow both the spirit and the letter of the OCA's policies and procedures.
Since the Synod and Syosset have a penchant for secrecy that I believe is detrimental to the good health of the OCA and contrary to New Testament Scriptures, and the allegations of the "Alaska scandal" covers so wide a set of concerns, the findings of the investigative committee and the complete "testimony" it receives must be made available to the clergy and laity of the OCA in a timely manner. To fail to do so imperils the salvation of all concerned ... and that should trump every other concern. What else involved in these scandals is eternal but our souls?
Mark C. Phinney
#3.1 Mark C. Phinney on 2007-08-22 04:25
Dearest Fr.George, Brothers and Sisters in Faith,
Please be aware of the work of Satan with the troubles that he creates in havoc and confussion after all he is the source of hostile feelings.
Don't render to his ways. All of us, including myself have fallen victim to his schemes of words towards oneanother, just be aware that we all are very vulnerable towards getting upset with oneanother in words, deeds and thoughts this is an emotional time indeed. Remember We are Human.... Forgive and move on to the real issues at hand....
Are the Allegations True or False? When will the Special Commission Regain Communication with the Faithful? And Also of Importance. Please refer back to A Spectre From the Past dated 7-28-06. This is Connected to the Alaskan Scandal and we need to pay special attention to the details this does concern us...... I Pray for all of you to have a Blessed Day.... With Much Love...
#3.1.1 Anonymous on 2007-08-22 08:18
I am just a bit confused and am just seeking a clarification: The person who is writing this analysis and recommendation letter for a hierarch is, or is not, Fr. Alexis Karlgut? These are two separate individuals. Correct?
Editor's Reply: It has been confirmed to OCANews.org that Fr. Karlgut is not the author of the Secret Report.
#4 Patty Schellbach on 2007-08-21 14:41
I have been speaking to the press and developing relationships with them and I encourage you all to do so. They need to know who the Orthodox Christian people are. They are going to report on us so we need to give them best impression possible. Some of them find this website interesting. They find it helpful for the Orthodox people to contact them and are interested in our ideas. I shall be writing a letter to the editor of the ADN. I will let you know if it gets published.
"They (the press) are going to report on us so we need to give them the best impression possible." No, we do not. This concern about impressions seems to me to be a manifestation of the mindset that got us into this mess in the first place. We need to be honest, and leave impressions up to God.
#5.1 Scott Walker on 2007-08-22 07:54
A Note to the naysayers and modern day martyrs of the faith
Take a few breaths, standby and wait, watch and let the story and the truth unfold;
There is a story of that brings together all of this madness.
Nearly everyone here only knows very little... including myself.
I do however know a bit of the "Alaskan issues" and their relation to the national/Syosset scandal, so will you all, in time.
We all wish and had hoped that our church; its clergy and leaders would not ever fall prey to the Evil One...
We all wanted to believe that our Synod was ever watchful and vigilant, above reproach.
We all trusted that God's Work would be done and sanctioned by Him - no matter what happened.
What a multitude of us - me... forgot was the human factor, the mortal weakness, the original sin.
So devastated are we that we wander about awash in pain and suffering, blindly searching for answers in places where there are none..
Our church, its leadership; awash in conrtroversy and scandal is reeling and writhing in shame and denial.
We lash out at the messenger, question each others integrity and honesty; our core values...
Back to what Alaska has to do with this whole issue;
much of the monies that the OCA has received over the years - outside of tithing, donations and membership has come from Alaskan lands...
Previous to +Innocent and +Nikolai little was ever done to defy this.
For those who do not know... much of the coastal area of the Gulf Of Alaska (cummunities) is land that has been laid claim to by the "Church"
Some may know that coastal Alaska is very lucrative commericail property - in some areas the church owns these lands and has leased their use to canneries etc for decades.
There has always been squabbles over who owns these lands and how that money should make it way to what coffers and how it should be carried out...
I only hope that all of this information will be exposed for what it is... and has been...
This is not chump change - why else do you think the penniless Alaskan Diocese is of interst to anyone... especially in the lower 48?
I have heard many things in my life... and no I cannot prove them... but I challenge anyone to disprove them! The evidence is there... just waiting to be uncovered... this is the big issue yet to be exposed!
#6 Ted P on 2007-08-21 20:29
Yes, there are definite connections between the Alaska lands issues and the financial issues in Syosset. We are only seeing the tips of the icebergs.
There are also connections with the sexual misconduct issues and the alleged misconduct in Prdn. Eric's original letters. These issues are greatly feared and every effort has been and presumably will continue to be made to cover them up.
But, I believe the underlying issue is a spiritual bankruptcy that has held sway in the leadership of the OCA for decades. True men of God would make every effort to right the wrongs and be truthful, leading the Church in holiness. This has been woefully lacking for a long time.
As the good doctor closed her Reflection, today, where do we go from here?
#6.1 Name withheld on 2007-08-22 11:33
Ted P said:
Back to what Alaska has to do with this whole issue;
much of the monies that the OCA has received over the years - outside of tithing, donations and membership has come from Alaskan lands...
Previous to +Innocent and +Nikolai little was ever done to defy this.
Is this particular flow of monies publically documented somewhere that we could read for ourselves?
#6.2 Rdr. Alexander Langley on 2007-08-22 11:35
I do not know if the monies are documented publicly...
my guess is that there is a paper trail somewhere...
I understood that the local Diocese was collecting the "bills" then this money would be "donated" to Syosset... exactly how or if this was done is not known to me, I do know of at least one organization who pays its annual lease of land from the OCA to the Diocese of Alaska - I sit on its Board of Directors. This payment set-up was created by Sbdcn Eric Wheeler in the +Theodosius administration and is still in use today.
#6.2.1 Ted P on 2007-08-22 16:05
I thought readers might find this letter to the editor printed in the Kodiak Daily Mirror yesterday, worthy.
Church holds healing despite scandal
Article published on Tuesday, Aug 21st, 2007
By BEA DUNLOP
Letter to the editor
It is with deep grief that I see all the events
leading up to the publication of accusations
against members and of the Orthodox Church in
Thursday’s paper. A cashier in town asked me
about it before I had read the article, and
reflecting on her questions, I believe that her
questions were motivated not by the excitement
that some people derive from scandal, but a deep
concern that I feel I must address.
Is there still healing within the church? I will
stand firmly by my answer, not as some glib
fantasy Camelot-like ideal. Yes, God heals within
the church. There is no other reason for me to
still be standing in prayer in church other than
my deep conviction that despite human sin,
despite all our sins — missing of the mark — that
there is healing to be found in the church.
The other day at brunch I heard a parishioner
describe a troubled growing up she had gone
through in village Alaska, and I thought this was
not so different from my own youth. It is only
through God’s work in my life that it is possible
for me to have the miracle of two children and a good man for a husband.
If Thursday’s print was bad news, I want to
affirm that there is good news also, not based on
a false optimism, but on experience and Christian
hope. The church can and has been a place of
healing where the God who loves every person
meets us and can heal us from all the devastation wrought by human sin.
#7 Editor on 2007-08-22 08:32
I was wondering if you could just pass on a request to Matushka Yelena Gvozdev?
As church school director of my OCA parish, I would like very much to see a copy of Matushka Yelena's writings regarding sexual misconduct. My parish is implementing the OCA guidelines--making background checks of people volunteering to work with youth, giving some training about abuse to teachers, etc,--but we can and should do as much as possible to prevent problems. I think the best way to get things done in the OCA now is to work at the parish level, and I am sure that other church school directors and teachers in other parishes would like to see Matushka Gvozdev's reports. Thank you.
#8 Bonnie Prescop on 2007-08-22 08:44
Slava Isusu Christu!
I am an Orthodox Christian convert who came into the Alaskan Church during the reign of Bishop Innocent. I thought after the contraversies surrounding him--our wounded diocese would finally be able to move on.
When Vladyka Nikolai was installed he seemed like a great bishop who was going to change the heart of Orthodoxy in North America for good. There seems to be a curse on our diocese--that we shall always have such problems. The Alaskan saints must be grieving right now over the absolutely heartrending public scandal of our Church. With all of these Apostolic Church both Catholic and Orthodox having these great scandals--it must tell the world we have nothing to offer them. I think the whole diocese needs to fast and pray in sackloth and ashes until this is over. We are a sinful diocese--plagued by alocoholism and sexual deviancy--this is also reflective of the state of life in Alaska. We need to pray and work--expose the rot so that it can be cleansed.
I am praying for Vladyka--knowing that he cannot escape this public scandal and for all involved.
In Our Lord God and Savior Jesus Christ,
#9 Alexis on 2007-08-22 12:38
"There seems to be a curse on our diocese--that we shall always have such problems."
Alexis, it's called THE KONDRATICK CURSE. He's the one who vetted these last two bizarre men.
When the OCA is cleansed, Alaska will be cleansed. Getting rid of RSK was a good first step.
#9.1 anonymous on 2007-08-22 13:58
Your simplistic solution to the ills of the OCA is idiotic. Metropolitan Theodosius pushed for Innocent over the objections of many, including Kondratick. Bishop Nikolai had the support not only of Theodosius but the Holy Synod. Get you facts straight before you make such off-handed remarks.
And, if you have not noticed, things have never been worse in the OCA since Herman got rid of Kondratick. The finances are worse than ever, cash flow into Syosset is drying up. They are about to annouce that the Bishop's stipends and stipends for Department heads are to be frozen and no new travel will be paid for.
The Midwest turning off the money tap has Syosset in a tight spot. And if and when they release the redacted redacted special commission report with a mini-version of the spiritual court report, BEFORE they have given anything to Fr. Kondratick, then you will see some real fireworks.
Sorry Anonymous, you are way off base on this. Give it another try, but next time do your research before hitting the Submit Comment button.
#9.1.1 A Senior Priest of the OCA on 2007-08-23 12:33
How many times have we heard this song now? "...if you have not noticed, things have never been worse in the OCA since Herman got rid of Kondratick." Sorry, Senior Priest, I do not feel that the reason for our woes is the absence of the former-priest Kondratick from Syosset. His deposition was a needed measure taken by our Church. Your song is old and not credible. Plus you warn us of "fireworks." Been there, heard that. Find a new tune!
Many are our woes. We look for healing. We seek true pastors. Some baby steps have been taken, but the darkness is great.
Oh Lord, save thy people! Lord have mercy on me.
Good post Anonymous.
It seems that Senior Priest is more impressed with his jeweled cross than with dealing in reality regarding RSK.
Enough with the utterly ridiculous threats already. Share it with the FBI. Perhaps they will show some sympathy.
#184.108.40.206.1 Michael Geeza on 2007-08-24 13:25
As St. Paul has said, "Where sin abounds, grace abounds all the more. Shall we sin that grace may increase? May it never be!" Yet, Satan does not tempt and deceive and confuse and destroy where there is no Truth and Virture to attack!
All the faithful of Alasak, rest assured that our eyes are continually cast toward you and your land from where has sprung the holiness of the Alaskan saints who ever pray for us all.
#9.2 Rdr. John on 2007-08-22 14:08
We all lament the current state of affairs both in the Diocese of Alaska and in Syosset. What a disaster to have all this come down at once. But the Church will prevail. It has weathered storms in the past and has only grown stronger by the faith of the faithful, and their prayers and devotion.
But I take exception to Alexis comments that we are all alcoholics and sexual deviants...there are many, many strong, sturdy, faithful Orhodox Christians who steadfastly stand by the Church. This convert must be on the outside looking in. There is and always have been a strong core of faithful Orthodox who have been the pillars of the Church, and when Nikolai came in, he tried and tried to mow them down. But they stood, and they are not alcoholics nor sexual deviants. Methinkd Alexie is projecting maybe what's in his own mind and mental makeup? It reminds me of a meeting we had when Fr. Chad Hatfield charged out of the meeting with 'I'VE HAD IT WITH YOU PEOPLE"...not even knowing what the meeting was about. Actually, the parishioners gathered to ask if traditional church music might not be brought back into the Liturgy; the new choir director bringing music foreign to the Church. There is so much having been swept under the rugs....they are so lumpy.
Thank you Mark for allowing us to vent. I still think anyone who doubts the traumas and angst we've suffered under Nikolai should come up here and experience it first hand.
#9.3 (please do not print name) on 2007-08-23 22:23
Has anyone seen today the posting on oca.org about the openning of St. Herman's Seminary. If there were any doubts that it is still 'business as usual' at Syosset, this proves that it is. What a rosy picture; happy anticipation for the start of the school year at the 'idyllic campus.' What fools do they take us for? Or maybe the better question is, what fools can they be? -- knowing that everyone knows so much about this scandal. The denial here is both nausiating and mind-boggling. ....
#10 Anon on 2007-08-22 18:54
Actually, it's not business as usual at Syosset this time, it's business as usual in Anchorage. That's been on the Diocese of Alaska's web-page for days.
#10.1 Another Anon on 2007-08-24 00:27
"The hierarchs discussed among themselves various rumors circulating with regard to the Diocese of Alaska. His Grace, Bishop Nikolai of Sitka, Anchorage, and Alaska addressed the matter, pointing out certain inaccuracies in some of the rumors, which will be further explored."
The allegations were put in writing at the request of +Herman. There are allegations with corroboration. To call them “rumors” shows how the hierarchs think and diminishes the seriousness of the situation. Also, the “certain inaccuracies” comment is interesting. Paul Sidebottom was asked to write the letter by +Herman. He did what he was requested to do and now seems to be punished for it.
“…In this case, if Mr. Paul Sidebottom were to be removed temporarily from the diocese, ethically and morally, he must be done so with full pay and benefits as well, until the investigation is resolved. This is because Mr. Paul Sidebottom is an employee of the Seminary, and therefore, the Church. Dismissal of Mr. Paul Sidebottom without a full, thorough, and complete investigation not only would be unethical and immoral, but it would potentially be a violation of Federal and State Laws regarding Sexual Harassment."
Paul Sidebottom was subsequently fired. If he was fired because of budgetary constraints as stated by +Nicolai it doesn’t really matter. The point is the firing at the very least has the appearance of retaliation.
“What struck me when the draft for policy and procedure was completed, there was no policy covering misconduct by a bishop. While I (and I am sure, others on the committee) notified Syosset that this oversight could cause major problems in the future, nothing was done to correct it.”
Matushka Helen wrote a very informative reflection. I am grateful for her good works and efforts and that she shared this information with all of us. I find it interesting that there was not policy in place to cover misconduct by a bishop.
Father Isadore is a reflection of all human beings. I am sure there is much good in him. None of us would like to have our negative behavior plastered over the internet or in newspapers, so I hope he knows that there is sympathy out there for his situation and I wish him a full recovery. Who of us is pure? At the same time, it appears Paul Sidebottom was not given much consideration after his dismissal. Of course there are details we all do not know, but it would seem prudent that given the policy of the church Paul Sidebottom should at the very least be receiving his salary while the investigation is taking place.
The fact the Paul Sidebottom is one of a long list of people who have either been fired, removed, or otherwise ostracized for doing nothing more that what is the right thing to do is extremely disturbing. I do lay the blame at the feet of the hierarchs. They are the ones running the church. To blame people who have left the OCA as though the problems in the OCA were their fault is just a method to deflect the spotlight from the behavior of some of those in charge. I would have a better feeling about this if the discussion at the Lesser Synod was more about doing what is right and protecting those people who have done nothing wrong. I am encouraged that +Job has the courage and is not afraid to stand up for what is right. I am discouraged that there is silence from so many others and that their concern is more in line with “these things will get out and we just can’t hide them anymore”.
Thank you for this web site. Thank you +Job for giving us hope.
#11 A sad state of affairs on 2007-08-23 08:59
I apologize to Matushka Ellen for incorrectly calling her Matushka Helen. Both are nice names.
#11.1 A sad state of affairs on 2007-08-23 12:16
Dear "sad state",
"To blame people who have left the OCA as though the problems in the OCA were their fault is just a method to deflect the spotlight from the behavior of some of those in charge."
Amen. This is an ingrained behavior in the whole OCA, abused and abusers alike. This is why, I am sure, that some of us still sign as Anonymous. Our lives are simpler since we stopped allowing ourselves to be beat up by the dysfunctional victims who do not have ears to hear... at least not yet. We can only hope that this cycle of abuse will finally be broken.
#11.2 Anon. on 2007-08-23 13:57
After reading this crap , why has no one sued you yet? Is this true or all slander?
#12 Anonymous on 2007-08-24 05:01
Usually, I just shut up and go about the business that the Lord has given me for the day, but everyone everywhere on all sides of the OCA issues has just been handed a message from above.....
Have you ever noticed that on occassion some one will speak up at a Church meeting in the midst of a "hot" item and say something so utterly inane and off the wall as to give all sides of the spetrum of belief pause to reflect, seriously thinking, and hoping that they haven't sounded so completely disconnected as the previous speaker. It seems to me we have just had such a moment where Anonymous has taken us to a place where no one has dared to go before, a place far, far away and a long time ago. We have just had a "Jean Luc Pichart and James Kirk encounter with Star Wars" moment.
Thank you Anonymous for giving us all an opportunity to reflect on what we say.
#12.1 Fr. Thaddeus Wojcik on 2007-08-24 08:05
To blame people who have left the OCA as though the problems in the OCA were their fault is just a method to deflect the spotlight from the behavior of some of those in charge."
Interesting. I've been reading up lately on spiritually abusive cults, and this is precisely what such cults do when someone dares to leave. The defector is slandered and demonized.
#13 anon on 2007-08-24 08:29
If we dare to leave the OCA over this and other messes, I wonder if we will be slandered and/or demonized?
#13.1 Anonymous on 2007-08-25 07:11
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