Friday, September 14. 2007
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It's all been said: + Herman and Kucynda have to go! They are blocking the entire investigation and hiding the truth. What are the laos waiting for - depose these people. Oh, wait a minute, the OCA statutes has no provision for getting rid of bishops. And Kucynda is protected by a bishop(s). Imagine that!
#1 Anonymous on 2007-09-14 11:57
What about calling a General Council and a recommendation made to investigate the Metropolitan by an assigned committee or have the Met judged by the Church Court?
Metropolitans and also bishops have been deposed in other Orthodox churches. Can anyone provide examples of the procedure?
#1.1 Jacob Grekh on 2007-09-15 21:00
Was not the intent of the Special Commission to investigate all parties within this matter? That would have meant the Metropolitan, Fr. Paul Kucynda, et al.
I don't know if the Special Commission did the following or not, but how about just flying, or driving, out to Syosset on designated calendar dates and get the physical evidence to which they need to get to to do their investigation.
If files were thus locked, missing, or moved, they could report on this to us faithful, the MC, and HS.
Phone conferencing or letter writing or emailing apparently was not working and did not take the teeth out of the Metropolitan's aggressive desire to stonewall. From the posted letter, if the MC and Special Commission were given several historical confidence votes from the MC and HS to procede with the investigation, just go there physically and investigate, collect, or copy said materials!
If the Metropolitan still puts up a fight this way by verbally or physically locking them out, then get the civil authorities to bust the locks so the MC's Special Commission can report back to the faithful what was missing, moved, unlocatable, and what they did or did not find.
At this point, there may be many many missing records. But let us faithful, the MC, and HS know this. Report this to us faithful. How can we sustain, in trust or confidence, any of the current administration who has chosen not to resign or retire yet, with missing records?
These facts would help any diocese cast a "no confidence" vote for those who remain, such as +Herman, and Fr. Paul Kucynda, and any others that appear to be obstructing justice and a fair examination of the evidence in which they were given the necessary historical votes to do so.
#1.1.1 Patty Schellbach on 2007-09-16 12:00
Weaving the tangled web; digging a deep hole; call it what you wish, our current leadership and associates are more interested in obtaining protection from attorneys than in gaining true protection that is available by following the Truth (and that is both Capital T and small t). In just the past 6 months, while hiding behind attorneys, an enormous hole has been dug for the OCA, and why? Because our leadership will not come out with the truth. Shameful, sinful, sad and disturbing are all words that describe the situation in our church. Yes, in OUR church, our Holy Orthodox Church, who could believe it and why does it continue? The answer remains the same, because our leadership will not come out with the truth!
That failure has led to the development of a deep chasm, not only for the OCA but also within individual parishes. Once faithful leaders are now cowering and covering because they don't want to see, hear, or smell the truth. Isn't that ridiculous. What is there to hide? Do you not fear the One who sees all?
Alleluia to the restarting of the Special Commission! Peace to Archbishop Job, who's slow, but steady pace remains resolute in obtaining the truth. I personally know what it is like to be attacked for withholding a trivial $375 that may aid and abet the current situation (Lunch at the NYAC perhaps?). The internal moral struggle of speaking out and taking action renders much agony in the short term. I can not fathom what Archbishop Job has endured, but I realize that he is seeking Light and in the end that will make all the difference.
On this Feast of Exaltation, many years to Archbishop Job and members of the MC and Special Commission who work diligently to enlighten the darkness!
#2 Ken Kozak on 2007-09-14 12:50
Thinking about the bigger picture here just makes me sick, so let me ask a specific question. The Metropolitan states:
"Professional legal opinion has advised us to take utmost care in preparation of the Report."
I'm not a lawyer, but I know that several lawyers read this site regularly. Would one of them please comment on why such care would be needed?
Here's my non-lawyer thinking on the matter:
It seems to me that there are three possible kinds of vulnerability that would need to be protected against (I'm leaving out public relations and perception issues because the clear implication of +MH's statement is that there are legal issues):
1) Possible libel or slander suit from someone (primarily RSK) if unsupported statements are made. I don't take this threat very seriously because there is evidence for all of the conclusions in these reports, and isn't truth a defense in such matters?
2) Action by goverment investigators (FBI , IRS or NYS AG office). I don't take this threat very seriously for a couple of reasons.
First, there is enough in the public record already to subpeona the underlying evidence amassed by PR. I'm sure there are complex rules involved here about what constitutes priviledged work product, so I'm open to be corrected by a lawyer and told that somehow publishing the info would waive confidentiality and open the floodgates to subpoena of materials the administration doesn't want to share with the governement. Still it seems far-fetched that anything that could be said in the report would trigger more of an investigation than may already be underway.
My other reason for discounting this is that I've become increasingly convinced that the likelihood of government prosecution of any of these matters is slight. It's small potatoes in the grand scheme of things. It involves all sorts of messy issues about authority in our church. Resources are scarce and security related cases are being prioritized at the expense of white collar crime.
I just can't see that anything that could be said in such a report would have a significant impact in making the OCA more vulnerable to government action.
So I'm left with possibility #3 --
Which is that the report has to be carefully edited to minimize and avoid implicating people other than RSK in the mess.
This is a legitimate concern for +MH as an *individual*, but it is not a legitimate concern for the OCA as an institution. In fact, the OCA as an institution is better served by having it all out in the open, removing those whose actions warrant it and forgiving those who show true remorse and repentance for mistakes.
If at this point the dragging out of this process and the resistance to releasing information is all about protecting a few individuals including the Metropolitan, then, please -- end it! Just leave! How can a bishop ostensibly dedicated to serving the church with his entire life put his personal needs above the church? Basically only if he believes he is the church.
Just go ... you're getting older, your health isn't great. Spend the rest of your days in peace in that big house in So. Canaan. Keep your cars and your driver. Keep your pretty vestments. Just leave us alone already.
#3 Anonymous on 2007-09-14 13:16
It is always good legal advice to take the utmost care in preparing a report about how millions of dollars went missing. But it is also good legal advice to diligently assemble the evidence and prepare the report as soon as possible – assuming that the purpose of the report is to determine the facts of what really happened. The more time passes, the more memories fade, the evidence becomes more unreliable, and it becomes more difficult to tie up loose ends. Suspending the commission’s work is not consistent with taking the “utmost care” with the evidence.
Regarding potential liability for slander/libel: If this is the primary concern, it sure seems inconsistent to suspend the Special Commission’s work in the name of “utmost care” while at the same time misrepresenting to the press that “a church investigation concluded that Kondratick was solely responsible.”
Regarding potential criminal or tax liability: You are correct – there is a clear conflict of interest between the church and the individuals involved. I am very curious to know how Proskauer Rose evaluated this conflict of interest, and how it determined who its client is.
A few more questions: (1) What was the purpose of the Proskauer Rose investigation? To determine the truth? To design a legal strategy to recover the missing money? To assemble sufficient evidence against Kondratick that he will not sue the church? To build a firewall around the Metropolitan? (2) What is the purpose of the Special Commission’s report? It is difficult to judge what the Metropolitan and the lawyers mean about “utmost care” without knowing the ultimate objective of the Special Commission’s final report. This is especially true if the lawyers and the Special Commission are working at cross purposes. (3) Here is perhaps the most important question of all: If the purpose of both investigations all along has been to simply determine the truth, why not just follow the procedures in New York to call in the Church officers and require them to testify under oath? That would have gone straight to the heart of the matter -- and the Church would not have squandered half a million dollars in the process.
#3.1 Robert Vasilios Wachter on 2007-09-14 22:36
It seems pretty obvious, now, to those of us who have followed this whole mess, that MH hired PR to produce a report with a specific purpose in mind. He was subsequently forced to appoint a Special Commission, but tried to shift blame by appointing +Job to head it up. The whole purpose of the Commission, in MH's grand plan, was limited to editing the PR report, with the sole goal of pinning everything on RSK, and hiding all the misdeeds of others, including himself. Once that purpose had been achieved, he could not allow the Commission to resume and actually investigate anything.
The man is just evil - he has to go.
#3.1.1 Anonymous on 2007-09-15 10:28
Well, I'd have to say the tack taken by Abp. Job here was a bit rough. I agree with his intent, but it seems like it would have been better phrased with I could release the withholdings under these circumstances.
The Metropolitan is in a clear jam now. He is trying to produce a report that will satisfy what he certainly must believe to be nothing less than a blood lust for truth, and still keep a lid on the report getting deep enough to open new wounds.
With the letter from Faith, the Metropolitan and Sarah must now produce a report that accounts for millions and cast's clear blame on the former Metropolitan.
If Abp. Job agreed to table the Special Commission until late October sometime; he made a mistake and absent the Metropolitan accepting another Special Session, Abp. Job must live with his decision. The pain is really Syosset's. I'm guessing part of the problem is how this coincides with the Diocesan Assembly in October. Abp. Job would like to bring something concrete to the people.
What is really sad is that the Metropolitan, with each passing day, becomes a dimmer and dimmer light through his actions and nonactions. The removal of Nescott by Kyrill, per Herman, and then the reinstatement of Nescott by Kyrill to the MC, but not the Special Commission says one thing about Metropolitan Herman. Secrets are important to him.
Just out of curiousity, if you had a really bad Synod that took everyone's money for hookers and lawyers, what would the Statutes allow you to do that would stop it. Answer on my read is nothing. The Synod must give the final blessing on everything.
The Diocese of the Midwest, lacking representation based on the July 1, 2008 requirement for distribution of assessments to the national church should search for a new branch of Orthodoxy? This should be part of the discussions in October. What would happen if we didn't have AAC representation? Or if Abp. Job were suspended, etc.?
#4 Daniel E. Fall on 2007-09-14 15:34
I am really, really confused.
(Was this is what all these "stalls" in the investigation supposed to do?)
Can not the Metropolitan Council reconvene itself to continue the work of the Special Commission "unhindered" and "unimpeded" ?
While it would be nice to have a bishop's endorsement, such as +JOB's, isn't the Metropolitan Council charged with the responsibility and oversight of the financial situation of the OCA?
At this point, I don't even know if the OCA is paying on its lawyers' bills, lawyers that shouldn't have even have to have been hired...
What a mess.
#5 Patty Schellbach on 2007-09-14 16:26
have just read the so-called "OCA financial statements and auditor's report".....and fell on the floor in gales of laughter after reading the opening Lambrides disclaimer, stating, in popular street english, that what follows is total rubbish......ho, ho, ho.....as if it wasn't so sad for the faithful
#6 OCA chuckle of the week on 2007-09-14 18:30
Your signature is the only chuckle.
#6.1 Daniel E. Fall on 2007-09-15 15:14
With regard to this article, is it true that the members of the special commission have resigned? Who is on this commission and are they still serving????
#7 An unknown monk on 2007-09-14 20:46
I have a general comment for the members of the Metropolitan Council. I know there is an awful lot on your plate at this time, and you are being forced into a constantly reactive mode - forced to react to the problems of the OCA and how these problems are mishandled by the OCA.
I am asking you to take a proactive step on something I think is essential to the OCA - the 2008 AAC.
We have heard (whether rumored or fact) that past AACs ran up big debts for the OCA (one rumor says the Orlando AAC caused a $400,000 debt). We also know that after we left Toronto, there were something like a $100,000 in bills which the OCA left behind unpaid, and then paid belatedly by taking out a loan.
In order to plan and properly budget for the 2008 AAC, every member of the Metropolitan Council should request that the OCA provide a detailed accounting of monies raised and spent by the past three AACs. These expenses should detail exactly what money was spent and to whom it was given so that the upcoming AAC can be properly funded. And if there were items at past AACs that particularly were financial losers, these items should be cut from the budget. (If the OCA can't afford to give free rooms, or supply hospitality rooms, or whatever amenities it provided to "dignitaries", this should be made known through past AAC expenses). Let an AAC be planned which keeps in the OCA's very limited means. And take a serious and hard look at past expenses to see if frivolous waste can be spotted and eliminated.
Without real numbers and real lists of expenses how can the Metropolitan Council actually budget for an AAC? And considering the track record of the OCA, do not accept vague comments about expenses, what the people involved in the past "felt" was true, nor guesstimations. We have been doing these AACs for many years, the OCA should be able to produce exact financial records of them. If they can't then be suspicious of anything those involved in them (including the bishops) tell you. Base everything on real numbers not estimations and opinions. If no numbers can be produced, then find responsible people outside the OCA who plan such events and have them give you real numbers.
(Editor's note: What a great idea!)
#8 Fr. Ted Bobosh on 2007-09-15 08:46
There is little doubt the if there is an AAC in 2008 it will be pay as you go event. Since it will be held in November and with no observers as previously reported by Syosset, it will be bishops, clergy and lay delegates. With a greatly reduced number of rooms to commit to, the room rates will be much higher and the complimentary rooms very few. Thus dioceses will have to pay a great deal more, as they should for their respective bishops to attend.
There should be no AAC tax which covered the cost of the PCC.
Everyone who wanted a cut down old time Second Street Cathedral Sobor will have one. The fact that the assembled will still be shills for Syosset passing meaningless resolutions with no way to follow them up, should make for another "spiritually rewarding event!"
The only reason to attend such a meaningless event will be to elect a new Metropolitan. Otherwise, what could Herman possibly say to the assembled body, such as it will be, that would have ANY meaning or credibility?
Best to save the money and effort and let the OCA die a peaceful death as Moscow and Constantinople cast lots for the raiment that was once the OCA.
#8.1 Anonymous on 2007-09-15 09:41
Fr. Ted for Metropolitan!
#8.2 Anonymous on 2007-09-15 09:42
In my humble opinion, what you and many others don't get is, it wasn't important what Mr. Nescott said but rather the fact that he said it. Why is this so difficult for so many to understand?
If this happened in my company, I would have also made an executive decision and let him go, regardless of what he said or didn't say. The fact that he took the liberty of speaking about the issue publicly was wrong.
It's the principle of the deed Mark. Who on the Special Commission apointed Mr. Nescott to be the spokesman? Was it even agreed to by the Special Commission to have somebody make a statement or be interviewed on your site as an offical spokesperson for the group?
I may be wrong, but I'd be willing to venture a guess that it wasn't. And that is the issue here.
(Editor's note: Michael, it is always an ethical adventure to speak with you. This time you really leave me at a loss for words - almost. You assert it is not what a person actually does that makes one culpable, but the "principle of the deed".
And whose guiding "principles" would these be, Mike? Herman's? Sorry, I prefer Christ's.
Once again you shift the standard as your position becomes indefensible. First it was Nescott breached confidentiality, and when it is conclusively proved he did not, you assert it was not the deed, but the "principle of the deed" that was wrong. And the principle violated, you seem to assert was choosing himself to be "spokesperson" for Special Commission.
Nescott did no such thing. Ever. His remarks to the Metropolitan Council were made in response to a motion concerning the Metropolitan Council as a member of the Metropolitan Council. He was later asked to create an edited version of the same by a fellow MC member and members of the Special Commission - Dr. Faith Skordinksi who published them in her parish. Only then did OCANews.org publish them.
What principle was violated here? MC confidentiality? No. Special Commission confidentiality? No. Further embarassing disclosures for the Metropolitan? Yes. This is the "principle of the deed" that was so egrigious.
You claim justification for the Metropolitan's actions by a business analogy. Let me continue it: every successful business knows that to live in the 21st century - a century that is built upon information- service and client loyalty are centered on the trust the truth creates. For the life of me, I cannot conceive you believe in a Church called to a lesser standard.
And that, perhaps, is the truth of it all. If the epitaph of the Kondratick years is the Church of Corruption, you would make the Herman-Kucynda years are the Church of the Lesser Standard.
Pardon me if I don't rise to salute that standard.)
#9 Michael Geeza on 2007-09-15 09:34
If this happened in your company and you fired such a person then this means a few things: (a) you haven't a clue as to the nature of the Church and how it differs from the capitalist economy and the legal system in which American businesses operate; (b) you'd be sued by your terminated employee and would likely be fored to settle for having so poor a defense; (c) you may find yourself the subject of a criminal investigation for violation of a whistleblower law; and (d) for all your words on this site, most of them seeming to exist for no reason other than to showcase your opinion, or whether you agree with someone else's ("Whew, now I can sleep at night!") or not ("Darn!") ... for all your words, you still haven't grasped what the aych-ee-double hockey sticks is going on here.
On what basis do you defend that you are struggling for Jesus Christ in the ideas you have presented here? Is He important to you in this struggle?
#9.1 Anonymous on 2007-09-15 20:17
What do you get when you mix
2 dirty old men
27,000 people represented by a concilar figurehead body
ruled by a bunch of lying old men
2.7M in dues
6.1M in missing money
500k in atty fees
a spiritual court leading to one of the old men getting defrocked
one of the lying old men undefrocking him
The Orthodox Church in America.
Is this okay with you Mike?
#9.2 Daniel E. Fall on 2007-09-15 23:03
You are certainly entitled to your opinion, as am I.
Mr. Nescott was wrong. I could care less that he edited information. Like I said before, the fact that he said anything publicly before the special commission even completed their assignment or had an opportunity to present their case to the MC was poor judgement on his part.
Just like I've said previously on a number of occassions, there are consequences for one's actions and with all due repect, Mr. Nescott should have known better.
(Editor's note: And Dr. Skordinksi, who was the first to publish Nescott's information in her parish? Or who recently revealed information not in the special report to the entire MC ? What action was taken against her? None. You are entitled to your opinion Mike, but the facts speak against you.This was not about what Mr. Mescott said, or did; it was about what he and the Commission wanted to do. The rest is all pretext.)
#9.3 Michael Geeza on 2007-09-17 07:54
What you still don't get is that Herman and Kucynda have been around for the past twenty plus years. Accept it, they are the past!
#9.4 Margo on 2007-09-18 10:28
The next AAC should be at a St Tikhon's, and soon. Each particpant should pay for her or his own lodging and food or share the cost with her/his own parish. If local motels run out of space, pitch a tent or find some floor space in one of the seminary buildings. No fancy dinners, just simple, healthful meals. Its not supposed to be corporate training with resort perqs.
#10 Anonymous on 2007-09-15 09:41
Better yet, make the thing a monastic experience. Everyone brings provisions for and eats from the communal stew-pot. No meat necessary, no wine for wine's sake, real beds only for the truly aged and infirm, camp cots for the somewhat aged and infirm, and on the floor bedrolls for the rest. A constant prayer vigil running in shifts throughout the whole thing.
Let our leaders become the example we should follow once again.
#10.1 Sniveling Underclerk on 2007-09-15 21:22
Don't worry, Your Beatitude, the ripping sound you just heard wasn't the seat of your pants (you may continue flying by them with your usual abandon) it was just the sound of Archbishop JOB tearing up the Diocesan assessment checks he was preparing to sign.
What is wrong with you? Expense Management 101. How dare you propose something so mundane and beneath the haughtiness of this crowd of potentates; who only feel at home when visiting the home country where the peasants bow dutifully and offer lavish banquets, worthy of these byzantine misanthropes?
(Another vote from the laos: Good suggestion. It is amazing that something so fundamental to daily living appears to be a great revelation. Gheesh.)
#12 Anon. on 2007-09-15 11:54
Another All American Council seems meaningless. Another meeting of the Metropolitan Council seems meaningless. Another meeting of the Synod seems meaningless. All these meetings seem meaningless.
Decisions reached at these meetings often mean nothing. (Made under conditions where there is inadequate input from the staff at Syosset.) Beneficial teamwork between the OCA Central Office, the Synod and the Metropolitan Council does not exist. Sadly, this is our OCA leadership today.
The problem seems to be this. The function of these meetings (Synod and MC) is oversight, direction and authorization within a limited scope. The paid employees of the OCA Central Office are the intended recipients of this oversight, direction and authorization. Yet sadly, it seems that of late the employees at Syosset (nonchalantly)) ignore all this oversight, direction and authorization. One can easily wonder what function of value the central office performs.
Perhaps the Lord will step in and help.
#13 Samuel Osman on 2007-09-15 12:19
It sounds from their letter that a large reason for the resignations from the Special Commission is their great deal of frustration with continually not getting anywhere where they need to be.
That IS frustrating. They continually meet a stone wall where one is not supposed to be built. Truly frustrating.
Where is the FBI, IRS, or NY state authorities with all of this?
There must be a way to get to the facts.
More of them seem to be leaking out. But this is no way to establish accountability for the sound future of the OCA.
#14 Patty Schellbach on 2007-09-15 13:33
Dear Ms. Schellbach:
I know from your previous posts that you have been following the OCA situation for quite a while. I can't believe you now ask this question: "Where is the FBI, et al?" Come on! Don't you know that the USA is a nation at war? We've got Al-Qaiada at our doorstep! In my metropolitan region of DC, someone is shot dead on average Every Day! Law enforcement and the U.S. Federal Gov't have got far bigger and pressing fish to fry than a tiny organization like the OCA, which may have leadership problems, which has a set of organizational documents which don't allow anyone concerned to force responsible management to come clean with the facts! Face it: The Feds aren't going to risk the First Amendment over our little "denomination," one that not even mainline Orthodoxy recognizes!
We, the membership have to do it. After some two years of this "situation," the only way to do it -- and we've proven this by being nice, and all, 'Your Beatitude,' and 'Your Grace,' and so forth -- is to (a) STOP the money flow to Syosset, and (b) STOP attending events hosted by/led by Bishops and the Metropolitan, and furthermore to stop following their orders. As Nancy Reagan once told other addicts in this country, "Just say NO!" Seminarians can wait to be ordained another day; contributions to OCA institutions can be "tabled" for the moment; contributions to OCA Parishes can be designated, "For the Electrical Expenses of St. (insert name here) Church for October 2007," and so forth. Isn't it painfully obvious to EVERYONE at this point that our Metropolitan is up to his neck in this thing so deep that he's NEVER going to release the true story, he's just going to continue to use his unfettered power to lord-it over this organization, and that there is nothing anyone can do about it -- nothing that anyone is willing to do, at any rate.
I for one, have simply had it up to here with the posturing and wishful thinking poured-forth on this site. Not enough people in the OCA membership care that Herman & Co. have stolen the organization blind; you still get people on this "evil" site defending the man, and the contributions continue to roll-in. And the Holy Synod? Not even thinking about deposing our little mini-pope! I tell you, it's disgusting!
As a convert, I'm not loosing faith in Orthodox theology and the message. But I have totally lost faith in the OCA as an organization, and every passing day only makes it worse. Quite frankly, from my review of the circumstances everywhere else (other jurisdictions), well they've all got their problems and seem to me, just a regular ordinary American, to be hopelessly tied to their ethnic forebearers and ethnic festivals designed to perpetuate their (formerly-local) culture, rather than to spread the Word of Christ throughout America.
Now I remember why I dropped-out of the "organized church" oh so many years ago, and thought when I found orthodoxy, I had found something different. When the Greek church wouldn't even return my phone calls, and I actually met an OCA priest, I thought, "Thank you God." Maybe the Lord has a better sense of humor than I thought he did. But you know what: This isn't funny anymore. The OCA as an organization is letting one executive run-amok destroy the organization, all because we chose to give him the title of Metropolitan Archbishop -- and no one has the authority or the gumption to take that title away from him, even though he's stonewalling the truth in a multi-million-dollar scam! No wonder no one outside of the very small circle of orthodoxy in this country has ever heard of the OCA; and no wonder we don't have time or the budget to spread the message of orthodoxy to America. We've got our bishops in total control, and they're outta control; yet, the protestant megachurches grow and grow and grow ... It's a disgrace!
#14.1 C.C. on 2007-09-15 21:35
You know, I feel the same way and I am not even a convert, I am an Orthodox "by birth" from the "old world." I lived in a communist country half of my life where the Church was oppressed and we had priests that collaborated with the secret service, but in that case I was willing to forgive -- there was an openly atheistic government that threatened with imprisonment and tortures. In the case of OCA, there is no "external" excuse for such behavior, there is just something wrong with this Church.
I am just tired of dealing with this and I cannot simply bury my head in the sand like many of the people from my parish (including our priest) are doing and hoping that if we just wait a while it will all clear up.
So I started looking for another church. I am doing the same kind of "church shopping" that we as Orthodox like to proudly laugh at -- "Look at those protestants shopping for churches like they shop for cars, ha, ha, ha!" Well I would rather do that than be a part of a church that approves when the bishops steal, lie and hide behind lawyers. Because to me, not doing anything is the same as approving and going along. This has been going on for years and there is absolutely no sign that this will ever stop.
#14.1.1 Alex K. on 2007-09-16 09:05
Are you shopping for another Orthodox "jurisdiction," another church "denomination" or another OCA parish? If another church denomination, then what of the Eucharist? The Eucharist, the purpose of the Church, so to speak, is all that matters, no? If another jurisdiction or another OCA parish, why leave your friends merely because they don't have the courage or perspective you do? They may very well need you there to be their sole consistent witness.
#18.104.22.168 Anonymous on 2007-09-17 11:15
There are many things that make a parish either a spiritually beneficial place or not for a particular individual. In spite of friendships, when one finds oneself in a position where the mind is constantly distracted and in turmoil, you sometimes need to look for an alternative. First you need to bang away a bit at yourself and see whether you can subdue the turmoil, but when the banging turns out to get you nowhere, it's time to look around a bit.
Similarly, while one can recognize the grace in sacraments served by any Orthodox cleric or hierarch, when the experience of standing through the liturgy in the presense of someone becomes so unbearable, you're faced with a choice between going and subjecting yourself to a temptation or absenting yourself.
Laity are not bound to remain in the same parish or same jurisdiction. There can be great harm in parish/jurisdiction hopping, but sometimes change is beneficial.
#22.214.171.124.1 Rebecca Matovic on 2007-09-17 14:36
The Midwest's Diocesan Assembly will soon be held in Cleveland on October 1-3. As a delegate, I have submitted a resolution that calls for a vote of "no confidence" in the Metropolitan. There are probably other delegates or parishes out there that are considering the same.
It might be helpful if those of us who wish to take a strong stand at the Assembly could touch base prior to going. If you are so inclined, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
#15 Christopher Eager on 2007-09-15 19:25
The business of the Diocese of the Midwest, in my opinion, should be no greater than that which it is truly responsible for...
That would be something like planning for and responding to a possible suspension of Abp. Job. How would the Diocese respond if a new Bishop were placed that agreed to disburse funds to the central church bar none?
That would be things like planning for a possible ban from participating in the July, 2008 AAC. We'd be banned if we are still withholding then.
I would prefer delegates from my Diocese focus on those things that are within the locus of their control and likely or possible outcomes on the current course of the Diocese. I don't set the agenda, but these are my thoughts.
Further, the work of Christ isn't to either lie to people about how you spent their money, or to remove bishops for really bad decisions. The work of Christ, like building new churches and spreading the Word must be part of the subject matter. The highest level of accountability isn't a simple financial report, or a simple legal report on grand larceny (which seems damn difficult for our Metropolitan to share), but rather how well we carry out Christ's message. Now certainly, people will find easy twists on this to bring it back to the scandal, but there should be higher callings than this ugly history, which will be told.
You see, eventually, what will happen, is someone is going to spill the entire can of beans, regardless of what Metropolitan Herman thinks or wishes.
It is only a matter of time.
#15.1 Daniel E. Fall on 2007-09-15 22:14
You write: The business of the Diocese of the Midwest, in my opinion, should be no greater than that which it is truly responsible for...
If the following is true for a parish, how much more so for a diocese?
The Parish Council shall be responsible not only for the spiritual and material needs of the parish, but also for the parish's unity and connection with the Diocese and the Church, for each parish is called to be a living cell and a member of the Body of Christ, and each carries responsibility for the whole Church. Article X, Section 8(d), Statute of the Orthodox Church in America.
Each person, each parish, each diocese is catholic - complete and lacking nothing. We each are responsible to each other. We pray for those who cannot pray. We forgive those who cannot forgive. We feed those who cannot feed themselves. We speak for those who are silenced.
#15.1.1 Christopher Eager on 2007-09-16 13:04
You wrote The business of the Diocese of the Midwest, in my opinion, should be no greater than that which it is truly responsible for...That would be something like planning for and responding to a possible suspension of Abp. Job. How would the Diocese respond if a new Bishop were placed that agreed to disburse funds to the central church bar none?
How many bishops are required to suspend a bishop? Just the rest of the Holy Synod? And on what canonical grounds could Archbishop JOB be suspended, tried and defrocked? Thank God the OCA has no "Guantanamo". I find this notion of Archbishop JOB being suspended alarming and would like to know why you brought it up.
It would of course be disastrous for the OCA if such a retaliatory move where made by several other bishops. It would certainly show their true colors as if such colors had not already been shown. For one thing, while it was finally decided by His Emincence to withhold the assessments, it is clearly the will of many people to do the same. To attempt manipulate a diocese and a great many laypeople by slapping the Archbishops wrist will not increase monetary flow to the Central Administration. Certainly no rational person would think such a ploy would help at all.
I do believe it is the business of any diocese to discuss matters such as paying money to the Central Administration. It is in fact the business of His Eminence Archbishop JOB to maintain all aspects of communion with other bishops, period, isn't it?
I have yet to find the canon that says that a bishop who allows his diocese to stop financially supporting a mismanaged Central Administration (to put it mildly) should be deposed. Is it an OCA statute to "pay Syosset lest the bishop be deposed"??
OCA Article VI Section 4.b says the Diocesan Bishop "Has the right of initiative and authoritative guidance in all matters concerning the life of his diocese;"
Furthermore, same article Section 7 says "Vacancy in Office:The office of Diocesan Bishop shall be declared vacant by the Holy Synod in the event of death, voluntary retirement, medically certified incapacity, transfer, or deposition by due canonical process."
I don't see "He didn't pay Syosset" listed as a reason to be deposed. What other reason could there be?
Finally, Article XI, Section 7.e "A judgment of deposition or defrocking of a bishop has final validity only when signed by at least 12 bishops. (If such need arises, bishops may be invited from neighboring ecclesiastical provinces to complete the quorum.)"
If there were 12 bishops that were to agree to depose Archbishop JOB for uncanonical reasons (such as His diocese didn't pay Syosset), I predict a significant apostasy, if not a great flight of the faithful to a more sound jurisdiction.
Anyway, I am sure you know all this, but I wanted to respond.
#15.1.2 Rdr. Alexander Langley on 2007-09-17 10:43
Well, so far, in case you didn't know it, Abp. Job has had less apparent support for his efforts than any other Bishop, so it is more of a matter of a what-if analysis. But your counterpoint that it can't happen without all bishops voting the same...well, that is probably one of the worst policies in the Statute of the OCA. If you had 10 of 12 Bishops agree that a fellow Bishop needed suspension or deposition for say stealing 100 grand, the allegiances of the other 1 Bishop would save the guy? Not a good policy. The Statutes of the OCA are not well written and there are other clear problems with them. Metropolitan Herman wanted to modify them [not sure his intent], but has lost the credibility to do it now.
I believe, the Metropolitan, can, in the interest of the welfare of the church, take nearly any action he deems appropriate. I believe RVW or one of the other attys who frequent this site have shown the legal precedence.
In my note, I also mention, what will the Midwest do if not allowed to attend the AAC as subject matter.
More importantly and more generally, I am hopeful the Diocese of the Midwest is able to swiftly deal with the dissatisfaction of the central administration, and spend more of its time on more important issues like the development of missions and the reinvigorating of failing parishes, etc.
I recently asked the Diocese of the Midwest a question regarding fundraising for church buildings and my questions went unanswered in the window of time I needed. I'm guessing part of that failure was due to this mess. In fairness to the Diocese and Abp. Job, honesty years ago would have alleviated his other pressing issues. However, I am very hopeful the Diocese of the Midwest can spend a minimal amount of time on the crisis.
How disappointing it would for all the people to gather and not discuss sharing Christ's message with the world by adding more churches, for example, for the sake of widely known financial mismanagement in Syosset.
That is my hope and prayer for the Assembly.
#126.96.36.199 Daniel E. Fall on 2007-09-17 20:30
You know Rdr. Langley, if you look closely at the Statute, the Metropolitan could transfer Abp. Job.
Let's hope things don't go there.
#188.8.131.52 Daniel E. Fall on 2007-09-17 20:38
If the OCA were to just cease to be (effectively for lack of money or actually) as the result of the financial crimes and mismanagement and the failure of Herman and his goons in Syosett and on the MC to fix the mess, what would happen with the OCA seminaries? Anyone?
#16 Anonymous on 2007-09-15 20:05
They would lose funding; they would then lose their accreditation - if they even had it. As well-respected as St. Vladimirs is, it needs funding to continue to hold onto its accreditation, AND stable leadership. Look at St. Herman's already: Non-accreditted; a staff and leadership in a total shambles; and listing faculty members with bogus doctorates on its pamphlets (one faculty member shows a "PhD" from the phoney "Columbia Pacific University" on his c.v. The California Att'y General has been trying to shut-down that organization for years.) Frankly, I feel sorry for the poor seminarians at SVS and St. Tikhon's as well; I mean, who knew that the OCA wasn't a "real organization" when they signed-up for classes there? By putting these young men (and a few women, too) who are dedicated to God and building-up Christ's church, at risk -- this only further shows how little our Metropolitan cares about the work of the Lord, and how much he cares about the perks of his own soon-to-be-defunct position.
#16.1 C.C. on 2007-09-15 21:42
What funding? The OCA provides no funding to any of the three seminaries.
#16.1.1 Michael Strelka on 2007-09-17 07:49
i believe the resignations are a mistake. now herman can fill
the positions with lackeys, reconvene the commission, and
look like hero.
our parish is celebrating its 90th anniversary this fall, and we
are going to PAY to have this thoroughly disgusting metropolitan join us ! that is one blessing i will not seek, and if he serves, one communion i will not receive.
St Nicholas Orthodox church
(Editor's note: Why not just disinvite him? That would send your message more clearly. And if the parish will not, get your friends together and you send the letter. As long as everybody goes on as if nothing has happened, nothing will. Express your displeasure. )
#17 michael j molenaur on 2007-09-16 01:41
I still don't understand why those of us who write here, educated and reasonable people for the most part, can't separate in our minds the difference between Herman Swaiko as a person, and Herman Swaiko as the Metropolitan. We all loathe the person, but it would be wrong to loathe the Metropolitan.
There is a respect that the Metropolitante (or any episcopacy) demands, despite whatever the particular holder of it does to desecrate it. When the Metropolitan visits your parish, it's not because 'Mr. Swaiko' is dropping by for a visit. There is an ecclesiology in play that transcends all of our personal shortcomings. You do not take a blessing and receive communion from him on a personal level; it's not some favor 'Mr. Swaiko' is doing for you. If you had a disagreement with your parish priest, it wouldn't be any more reasonable to not commune with the rest of the parish because of some personal tiff between you and the man who is your priest. This same concept applies to the Metropolitan.
I'm no Syosset lover by any means, but I'm tired of all these snarky comments by people who find self-satisfaction in announcing that they will boycott parish anniversaries or ordinations because the Metropolitan is coming. You have missed the boat completely, if that's how you feel... I could quote for you all endless parables about people becoming so distracted by unimportant things that they miss out on the Lord's grace.
Perhaps when you do go up to him and have a personal conversation with him, you can make him realize the grassroots dissatisfaction with his leadership. I think that a personal scolding is more tense, awkard, and compelling than a simple letter of disinvitation. It is much easier to ignore a piece of paper than a living breathing human standing right in front of you. Go confront him, just not at our Lord's chalice.
#17.1 Rdr. Nilus on 2007-09-16 11:06
Let's please remember that there is no such thing as a Roman Catholic-style papacy in orthodoxy, not even in the OCA, no matter how oddly and arrogantly Met. Herman behaves toward his fellow bishops and toward all of us.
Met.H is trading on a severely distorted understanding of his function in the OCA, and isn't a reliable model of a first hierarch's appropriate behavior, which should be a blessing to his church, not a curse.
Keeping an authentically orthodox ecclesiology in view, we must also remain aware that the OCA's metropolitan has no authority in any eparchy but his own, and over no parishes but those in his own eparchy, hence he has no business being present in another bishop's diocese or parish for ANY reason except when the local bishop invites him, and without whose blessing the metropolitan may not officiate at any services whatsoever or even enter a church.
But if the local bishop DOES invite the metropolitan (can't imagine why that would happen these days), and especially if he serves, we can either attend or not. But we're not allowed to be disrespectful or sacrilegious in God's temple.
So, inviting and disinviting is up to the local bishop. If I found myself in such a position as Mogadore's people do now, I might make other plans that day.
#17.1.1 Monk James on 2007-09-17 10:42
You are no monk. Your comments prove that that is the plain sad fact. Instead of desecrating monasticism with your example, why don't you do us a favor and save us all any more tarnish, and quit calling yourself what you are not.
#184.108.40.206 Rdr. Nilus on 2007-09-18 20:40
Mark, your note is right on. Unfortunately, there are those who believe that it is necessary to invite the Met. to such events (of course it is not) and their priest is one of those (I know him). The same thing is happening at a parish in Cleveland where they are having their Altar blessed, and both Met Th and Met H are coming. Sadly, I will not be attending either service.
This scandal is dividing people, families, and destroying Christians. The intransigence of Met H shows that he does not care one bit about the salvation of the flock. He only cares about saving his white hat.
#17.2 Anonymous on 2007-09-16 14:02
Would it be wrong to spontaneosuly erupt into a chorus of "Anaxios" upon his arrival?
#17.3 Anonymous on 2007-09-16 16:09
The Investigative Committee never was within the competance of the Metropolitan. It always belonged to the Council. Read the Statute.
#17.4 Daniel E. Fall on 2007-09-16 18:30
Yes; dis-invite ! At the recent Archdiocese of Canada Assembly the Met. was present and the whole atmosphere was one of pretending nothing was wrong. The only discussion of the crisis was in a brief talk by the Met. where he said "It is NOT business as usual at Syosset" ; and he then commenced to say; (this is my paraphrase) 'let's not talk about it.' Talk about disfunctional. It's like living in a family with alcholism or physical abuse and pretending nothing's wrong. And I think probably that too many appearances by the Met. are turning out like this. Being polite, thinking " well; I guess this isn't the place to bring up all this bad stuff ..... It's got to stop. Yes; Midwest; do a no confidence vote. And if the midwest is banned from the 2008 AAC, everyone else should absent themselves in protest. Then MH would see what an empty shell of an organization he has .
#17.5 AnonPriest on 2007-09-16 18:59
Please tell us, where does Archbishop Seraphim stand in all of this? Has he ever spoken publically about the crisis? Does he support or oppose Archbishop Job? Thanks.
#17.5.1 J.G.W. on 2007-09-17 10:04
I take it from you silence, Fr, that he has said nothing - exactly like all the other Bishops except for Job.
If this is true, it is shameful. How can it be possible that an orthodox Bishop say nothing about theft and lies at the highest level of his Church?
If it is true, I am not sure that I can ever look Archbishop Seraphim in the eye again.
This is so painful.
#220.127.116.11 J.G.W. on 2007-09-18 14:35
when i brought up the possibility of rescinding the church's
invitation to BOTH herman and job, i was told that "would
but i guess it's ok to pay for two people who, at the very least,
'overlooked' everything that was going on.
#17.6 michael j molenaur on 2007-09-16 19:18
oh, and btw, i am composing a personal letter to both,
asking them to find somewhere else to be - and save what
little 'face' they might think they have.
#17.7 michael j molenaur on 2007-09-16 19:23
when you receive the blessing,holy communion or any other holy mystery from a priest or bishop,it is NOT THEIR blessing you are receiving,but the blessing,the holy mysteries OF THE CHURCH,OF CHRIST HIMSELF.the bishops and priests simply are the conveyors of that grace together with the faithful.the grace of the holy mysteries does not depend on the moral state of the celebrant.this is absolutely necessary to be fully understood.thus,receive him with all honors,receive the holy mysteries and the blessing and then politely express your concerns to him if you feel the need to do so.have a nice and blessed parish celebration,many years,mnogaya leta!
#17.8 Anonymous on 2007-09-16 20:29
I know how you feel, I could not attend the St. Elia (Akron) 60th anniversary last year. I was planning to attend, but just prior to the event the OCA released an abysmal draft financial report for 2006 and also indicated that they could not tell me what happened to money we donated just a few months ago in December of 2005, (and also 2004, 2003, 2002 ...).
As Treasurer of the parish council, I thought about attending the private Council dinner after Saturday Vespers thinking that I could engage in open discussion, but I later realized that would not occur. I also thought about standing outside the church prior to MH's arrival with a sign that would silently speak, something like "Met. Herman let us know! Where did all the money go!" I also considered having pins made up with a similar slogan. I ended up just not attending and going to Liturgy elsewhere. At the time, I felt that I did not want to embarass my priest or parish (I now recognize that I am responsible for my actions and the MH will continue to stall and play around until we start taking action). I also knew that if I attended Liturgy at my home parish that day, I would not be able to receive communion. With MH present, my mind would have been bothered with earthly cares and I would not be able to "lock in" to the Liturgy. Unfortunately I beleive that this moral crisis at the top is having a similar toll on many. There are some Sunday's when I am totally locked in (seemingly more so than I have ever been in all my life), and there are other Sunday's where the distraction is too great.
It ended up that many of our parish did not attend the anniversary banquet, but I was told that many of the seats were filled by parishoners from your parish - St. Nicholas. That's a problem, no one want their parish to "look bad" for the Metropolitan, so events may get filled by selling tickets through other local parishes, that way everything looks nice for MH.
Reconsidering, I think I could have openly but quietly voiced my thoughts by:
1) attending the Saturday dinner and trying to hold an open discussion with MH
2) Welcoming MH in the parking lot with a considerate sign that just asks for accountability and truth
3) Wearing a small pin that would also silently voice my conerns (those pins would be available for others to wear as well).
4) Attending the banquet and again looking for an opportunity for open discussion. Truly, this was at that time (and unfortunately remains so) the most significant issue (non-theological, or perhaps it is) in our OCA today. Certainly, as sheppard of the flock, the Metropolitan will take this opportunity to openly address the concerns of the sheep.
For a joyous celebration of you parish anniversary,
#17.8.1 Ken Kozak on 2007-09-17 08:20
Is "orthodoxy for the OCA" too much to ask for?
#18.104.22.168 Anonymous on 2007-09-17 13:11
I'm writing to you with compassion and understanding of your situation, but I must also warn you with the consquences of your actions.
To begin with so many recent posts have been written with reference to divisions in the local parishes. Last year at this very time Another Local parish St. Elia in Akron was celebrating their 60th Anniversary and many people were just finding out about the tip of the scandal, they too wanted to take a stand, many did not attend the service with Metropolitian Herman being present, not just to show that they were hurt and disquisted, but to not support such a regime.
In fact these people were treated as though they had a plaque, shunned and so the illness of the entire OCA Corrupted the atmosphere with the presence of the Metropolitian and his crew into the local parish family and I must report (Still has continued,) your current priest had attended with covering the parishes numbers with your own crowd from the Mogadore Church. In fact St Elias's 60th Anniversary turned into A party with Herman at the top of the guest list.. .
An Anniversary is to be a time of Celebration to give A great deal of thanks and graditude to God the families of the parish currently and with past reference to acknowledge the faithful that have built the home out of love and generosity with their years of service and sacrafice.
This still has not been accomplished in this loving small church. I feel very saddened that It never took place at the Anniversary of St. Elia's Church and that It will not take place at yours. Please don't make the same mistake that St. Elia's did. Please ask your Priest to commerate the 90th Anniversary with the same vision that the parish family had 90 years ago, with the unity of the family. But I must also add that your current priest family has Godparents of Herman
in the blood and a deep rooted tie to the Swaiko family and so your concerns and tasks will be difficult.
I Pray that God will continue to help you to hold up your cross and be strong in faith, and that the Church be granted Many More Blessed Years!!
Yours truely a Friend from Akron.
Ps.I would sign my name, but I would be at risk for my family to suffer more from this devastating illness that has plagued our local churches, and nationwide, for speaking the truth.
#17.9 Anonymous on 2007-09-17 10:29
in Deuteronomy 28 we read: "But it shall come to pass, if thou wilt not harken unto the voice of the LORD thy God, to observe to do all his commandments and statutes which I command thee this day; that all these curses shall come upon thee, and overtake thee:"....( there follows 53 of them)......"The Lord shall smite thee with madness, and blindness, and astonishment of heart: And thou shalt grope at noonday, as the blind gropeth in darkness, and thou shalt not prosper in thy ways: and thou shalt be only oppressed and spoiled evermore, and no man shall save thee"
#18 Luke on 2007-09-16 03:59
Am I missing something here?
Why is it that everyone who continues to post on this website seem to be totally helpless to effecting any changes in the OCA's administration?
Is it true that no other bishop in the Synod can do anything to curb or stop a renegade bishop or so called metropolitan?
Who or what is really in charge? is anyone?
I dont want to hear that God or Christ is in charge - our church or any other was not created by God... nor is it or any other totally sanctioned as such.
I hear some who call us to pray... yeah thats a expression of faith... however I am not willing to confuse prayer and faith with action and responsibility.
I've heard it said before;
I can pray all day long for God to mow my lawn
at the end of the day it's still my responibility to get it mowed.
Has anyone ever seen any different?
It seems to me that we and we alone are responsible for the dire state of affairs in our church, if we sit and do nothing or expect that God or someone else will "fix" our problems we really are a mess?
No.. I am inclined to believe that we need to take action to cleanse our church of the evil that has permeated it,
WE, with the guidance and help of God need to exorcise our church of the unclean spirits who reside in the deep lairs of darkness within.
I seem to remember that St Herman and many others here and throughout the world took action, they did the work necessary to effect some positive end - they did the work!
What are we doing? Do we care? if so, how are we expressing the concern? What action/s are we taking?
Are we truly leaderless?
#19 Ted P on 2007-09-16 15:00
You are absolutely correct! I believe the problem is that most people, and perhaps this includes both priests and bishops, don't really know how to stop this fiasco. I hate to say it but it comes down to money. When the money dries up to a point where the OCA can no longer sustain itself this is when it will truly end. But what then? The next move will be that the OCA is diced up into other various jurisdictions.
It seems to me that the only way to legitimately resolve this is through meeting of the Holy Synod. The bishops are really the only people that can stop all of this madness and force Metropolitan Herman to resign for the good of the church. Will this happen? God only knows.
Perhaps the bishops of the OCA could take a lesson in conciliarity from the ROCOR Holy Synod. I know that there was a considerable amount of disagreement regarding the reconciliation with the Moscow Patriarchate. In fact Bishop Gabriel of Manhattan signed one of the letters with words that said something to the effect of "I don't agree." Somehow they managed to put aside their differences and reach a conclusion that they could all live with, including Bishop Gabriel. In speaking with friends that are close with the ROCOR Holy Synod they have told me that there are often disagreements but each of the bishops understands the importance of conciliarity and they try very hard to reach this conciliarity. And might I add, stick with the conciliarity! Unlike the current OCA bishops that appear to agree one minute and turn around and do or say the complete opposite the moment they get back to their respective diocese, the current group of ROCOR bishops has shown a tremendous amount of respect to one another and to my knowledge they are all sticking together.
Something has to give in the OCA. I just don't see how the OCA is going to get any closure on any of these major issues with Metropolitan Herman at the helm.
Again, I believe you hit the nail on the head. What is it going to take to get the bishops in the OCA to wake up and start acting like leaders and take charge of the OCA. Archbishop Job seems like the only person that is truly willing to stick his neck out to save it but he can't do it alone.
Pray, pray, pray, but withhold, withhold, withhold, until Metropolitan Herman says goodbye.
#19.1 Anon. on 2007-09-17 08:01
Ted, I would like to do something, but I honestly don't know what to do.
If the Church were any other organization, I would simply resign my membership and have nothing more to do with it. But the Church isn't any other organization.
If the Church were a regular corporation, I could buy a few shares of stock so as to attend shareholder's meetings and make my views heard there. But the Church is not a regular corporation.
I simply don't know what to do. And I don't think I'm the only one. That's why people are saying "withhold" or "disinvite" -- those seem to be the only things within our power.
What else can we do? If you know, please tell us.
#19.2 Josephine on 2007-09-17 08:08
I'm right there with you!
If we look to the Holy Synod, they refuse to act.
The MC which is, to use a secular model, the Board of Directors, is powerless and completely cowed by MH.
Despite an FBI investigation, it looks very doubtful that anything will come of it. It's been over a year and while the Govt. moves s-l-o-w-l-y, it doesn't move THAT slowly.
The Special Commission has all but disbanded (to MH's utter delight, I'm sure)
Meanwhile, MH & Co. are sitting on over $10 MILLION of property in Syosset that NO ONE has petitioned a judge to bar them from selling, piecemeal or even wholesale. Not to mention St. Tikhon's. So, while I still applaud the Midwest's decision to withhold, barring Divine intevention, the long decline of the OCA will continue.
So, echoing your question, what do we do now?????
Holy Metropolitan Leonty, pray to God for us!
#19.2.1 Aleander Ivsky on 2007-09-17 16:46
What are we doing? Do we care? if so, how are we expressing the concern? What action/s are we taking?
Are we truly leaderless?
I'll bite: what are WE doing? What are you doing? How can we follow you?
#19.3 Anonymous on 2007-09-17 13:56
I dont know myself what to do...
I am so deeply hurt and confused, I dont know where to go, what to do, who to speak to... and of what?
I dont profess to have any answers, to the contrary - I feel totally hopeless and fearful.
I can truly identify with the person above who stated that I cant resign, I cant buy stock and vote them out, I am stuck here... with no place to go.
I remember being told that this time was coming - that I should have to pray and pray hard - that I should not trust in the person/s behind the cross/panagia, that even the church (building) would not be safe haven.
The only place where truth would be is in my heart like I knew from childhood - the way it used to be, when we were whole and spiritual, that childlike innocence.
Why havent our Bishops stood up? They havent even spoken!
Why? What are their roles in all of this? Arent they supposed to have a place to effect some sort of pastoral leadership at the very least?
Dont they care? Dont they believe in their vows they took when aspired to lead us?
Arent they the least bit scared?
And if... If... they dont care or are unable to lead - how or what do we do?
I was always raised that some aspects of the rule of the church was untouchable, almost like the Ark of the Covenant...
Is that why its is not known to be present anywhere in the world?
I yearn to hear a bishop to speak! Not the emboldened evil one whom covets this sham!
Maybe the leader will come from the ranks of a plain humble monk of simple means... a new Saint in the making? a real monastic!
#19.3.1 Ted P on 2007-09-17 21:30
What if they held an All American Council and no one showed up?
The life of the Church is in the parish and the diocese. An All American Council can do nothing without people showing up.
The moment the OCA inks a contract with a hotel, (the dump Hilton in Pittsburgh) they will have to commit to a certain guarentee and if they don't make their room count, they will have to eat a BIG penalty.
I would think it best simply not to show up at all. But if you must, DO NOT stay at the host hotel.
The fact is an AAC next year will be a disaster, settle nothing and be an exercise in impotent futility.
STAY HOME. WORK IN YOUR PARISH. BUILD UP YOUR DIOCESE AND IGNORE THE OCA AS LONG AS HERMAN IS IN OFFICE.
And finally, I agree with another writer, if you have invited Herman to a parish or diocesan event, uninvite him.
#20 Anonymous on 2007-09-16 19:40
Gnosis - Greek for knowlege.
"Why can they continue to do this? ... How does the cover-up, theft, and 'hanky-panky' become justified to the Met & his supporters?.... Why are the legitimate questions ignored?" For the longest time the answer to these questions has been floating around in my head.
Gnosticism. "They" have it, we don't. The inner spark of knowlege is not universal. The Bishops & Met, plus RSK have this inner knowlege of what is good/true/right for the church. THEY know how best to run things, know best how to divert and spend the millions. A Gnostic thinks (knows!) that laws are, well, not all perfect. Ten Commandments = perfect; Some laws are imperfect, such as 'an eye for an eye'... not very Christian to poke your eye out, where does turning the other cheek square with that? Other laws are, well, symbolic; such as the debates over circumcision. Stay with that thought, it's a small step to dismiss laws on book keeping and finance. Sins of the flesh and various coverups are mere bumps in the road to the greater good.
This Gnosticism that MH and his minions 'know better' allows them to sleep at night, what other explanation could there be? Perhaps MH and the rest also know a few details about the true nature of Christ and the Resurrection that those of us without the divine spark will never know? They do not fear the laity, or certainly The FBI. Nor do they fear Christ because they have the inside track with Him. Gnostic thinking is at the root of all of this.
#21 J. Murray on 2007-09-17 10:59
while i speak only for myself, and no others, i understand that
more than a few St Nicholas parishioners will not attend the
as for receiving a blessing from the Metropolitan and not herman,
i really can't separate the two in my mind.
and ab job, and the synod of bishops, seems to have become
vocal only after things were coming into the public eye. i do not
believe they knew nothing about the funding over all those years.
i respect Fr Nicholas and would not assume that he would take
a blind stand in this matter. i have spoken with him, just so
he understands my position.
i will always state my position freely, and openly -
i don't speak for them. they don't speak for me.
and i will not hide behind anonymity for any reason.
St Nicholas Orthodox Church
#22 michael j molenaur on 2007-09-17 12:58
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