Monday, September 24. 2007
Your comments welcome on the petition, Syosset, Alaska and all things OCA.
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Does Father Isadore remain rector of St. Herman's in Alaska?
Is anyone else appalled that Father Innocent writes a letter to the bishop, REQUESTED by that bishop, that contradicts Paul Sidebottom's statement to Herman and is granted a full-time teaching position?
Is it true antique artifacts from the church in Alaska are being sold on ebay as one writer reported in a thread that is currently inactive on this site?
Does the church care at ALL that it's obvious things are in the works to discredit Paul Sidebottom? Does the church care at ALL that Father Isadore may still be in charge of the seminary given that the investigation has not taken place and that the investiagation is obviously compromised? Does anyone care at ALL that Father Innocent seems to be going along with Bishop Nicolai and having contact with him? I do not know Father Innocent and cannot judge his actions, but I am dismayed with the appearance of cooperation between him and Nicolai regarding this investigation. Or will this be yet another church non-investigation?
Well, there is so much sorry news, I leave my comments and questions to these. I hardly think I can trust the church to protect the innocent at this point....
#1 A sad state of affairs on 2007-09-24 13:06
Many people have told me that they are in agreement with the petition, however they also stated that they would not sign due to “fear of repercussions.”
That is a sad commentary on how our “leadership” is viewed.
#2 Andrew on 2007-09-24 13:08
I believe every word of your postings. What your talking about is the Illness that began to spread throughout this whole administration.
Abuse... Emotional abuse is a behavior designed to control another person with fear.
Intimidation and manipulation are also true forms of abuse. This erodes a person's self confidence, self worth and trust in their own perceptions. The greatest example is what you stated...
I want to sign the petition but I'm in fear of the repercussions.
This is a mind control tactic... Allowing your own decision process to be denied of the right verses the wrong due to FEAR...
Please remind these people that God is loving, pure and doesn't accept the manipulation and control that is clearly arising and coming out of Sysosset and through the Church. This Church is Truth... Love Peace made in the image and likeness of Christ.
All we want is for our Home to be Truthful Loving and Pure. I wish you all the Health, Peace and Blessings for a Peaceful week, please don't give up the good fight.
I signed and asked many at church on Sunday, I overcame the fear... With Love Irene
#2.1 Anonymous on 2007-09-25 05:47
Thank you for the kind words and encouragement. The road to the truth is indeed a difficult one and for some to be traveled at their own peril. I was told from a very reliable source that two seminarians signed the petition and subsequently were told to remove their names or leave the seminary.
This is dictatorial policy at its finest.
#2.1.1 Andrew on 2007-09-26 14:10
It is arguably one of the most minor points exposed during the past 22 months, but I think it is telling. The OCA membership has been presented as 2 million; 1 million and most recently 0.4 million. All of these numbers were presented by senior members of the administration of OUR OCA, so which is it? What number should be affirmed to the Associated Press if the news article is retracted? Is it Fr. Kucynda's 2 million when applying for a loan; MH's 1 million when speaking as head of the OCA with the local press, or Fr. Jarmus's 0.4 when speaking with the national press? In providing the real membership number to the Washington Post and AP, shouldn't we also inform the Honesdale Bank or NY Attorney General's office as well as the Toledo Blade? I suspect that the OCA will take no such action, because once you start weaving the tangled web it becomes very difficult to present an open, honest answer; you just can't remember what number you provided and to whom? What would the NY Attorney General's office think if we now reported our membership at 50,000-80,000 (perhaps realistic if we include all of those baptised & chrismated in the OCA)?
Yes, I think it is quite telling in that OUR OCA cannot provide a truthful answer to this simple question. With the leadership and culture developed over the past 15 years, should it surprise us? As a member of this Orthodox Christian Church, I have to sorrowfully ask myself, why?
#3 Ken Kozak on 2007-09-24 13:44
The main reason why there have been so many crazy numbers about membership in the OCA is that we have a system of funding the OCA that almost guarantees under reporting. As long as you have a dues paying system, you are going to leave it in the hands of those who are most hurt by seeing money leave the parish. It's like a Pyramid scam in reverse.
I am sure you will see a PLAGUE hitting the OCA come January 2008. Parishes will under report in protest. Sadly diocesan budgets will also be hurt, except in the West and South where OCA census numbers have little impact on diocesan budgets, and of course all those dioceses that have special arrangements with the OCA on funding.
Why Kucynda lied about the membership of the OCA is a great question. If he lied about this fact, I am not sure I would believe him with much weightier matter of truth.
We have a broken system of funding the OCA (Syosset). We won't fix that system until we also look at why we fund Syosset. What is its role. The sad fact is that with only ONE diocese holding back its money, Syosset is on the verge of financial havoc. If another diocese stalls its head tax funds, they will be in big trouble.
Another sad fact is that Syosset is preparing its 2008 budget not expecting the Midwest's money. That is $600,000 they will have to cut from the budget. It does not seem possible that they will be able to PRETEND that all their good work they are doing now to convince us that THE WORK OF THE CHURCH is continuing without interruption.
For me the real questions are these:
1. WHY DO WE NEED TO PAY FOR A FULL TIME METROPOLITAN WHEN HIS FIRST JOB IS TO BE THE BISHOP OF HIS DIOCESE?
2. WHY DO WE NEED TO PAY FOR A FULL TIME SECRETARY?
3. WHY DO WE NEED TO PAY FOR A FULL TIME COMMUNICATIONS PERSON?
4. WHY DO WE NEED TO PAY FOR A FULL TIME CHANCELLOR?
Of course we can't find a Treasurer, but if we do, WHY DO WE NEED TO PAY FOR THAT POSITION TOO?
According to the Statute of the OCA here is the job description of the Metropolitan:
Among the bishops of the Church, the Metropolitan enjoys primacy, being the first among equals. He is the Primate of the Orthodox Church in America, and is the diocesan bishop of one of the dioceses of the Church and bears the title, "Metropolitan of All-America and Canada." He supervises the internal and external welfare of the Church and represents it in its relations with other Orthodox Churches, religious organizations, and secular authorities. The Metropolitan's name is mentioned during liturgical services by the other bishops of the Church. The Metropolitan mentions the names of the other heads of autocephalous Orthodox Churches.
Section 2 Duties
1. Consecrates and distributes the Holy Chrism;
2. Provides the diocesan bishops with the Holy Relics necessary for the consecration of Church altars and Holy Antimensia;
3. Convenes the All-American Council, presides over it, and promulgates its decisions;
4. Convenes and presides over the meetings of the Holy Synod and of the Metropolitan Council;
5. Issues pastoral letters addressed to the bishops, clergy, and laity of the Church;
6. Reports to the Council concerning the life of the Church;
7. Initiates action to fill vacancies in the office of diocesan bishop;
8. Gives advice to his brother bishops, and in cases of necessity, submits their cases to the Holy Synod;
9. Has the right of pastoral initiative and guidance, and when necessary the right of pastoral intervention, in all matters concerning the life of the Church within the framework of the holy canons;
10. Receives petitions for admission of clergy from other Orthodox Churches.
DOES THAT SOUND LIKE A FULL TIME JOB TO YOU? And all the work that may result from those duties, HOW MANY FULL TIME PEOPLE DOES IT TAKE TO ASSIST THAT WORK?
We have tried the centralized model for the OCA. I would suggest it is time to try the decentralized model for central church governance.
Will this happen while Herman is Metropolitan? NEVER. Why? Because he is a product of the old model, plus the sad fact that the man has no idea how to bring people together.
No, Herman has to go if for no other reason that he does not have ANY of the skills necessary to move the OCA forward. So, then who would replace him? NO ONE, at first.
Either retired or resigning, a locum tenens is appointed, by custom the senior bishop of the Holy Synod. That bishop should then appoint a temporary administrator to direct the day-to-day affairs of the Church (that could be a respected senior priest or even a lay person). I would suggest a four point plan of administration outlined by the senior bishop to the temporary administrator until the next AAC and election of a new Metropolitan:
1. Call for an All-American Council to be convened next year or later if necessary. In the meantime....
2. Dismiss all unnecessary full time staff in Syosset.
3. Use the saved money and PAY DOWN the Honesdale loan ASAP.
4. If this can be accomplished before the AAC and the OCA budget shows a profit, return the surplus funds back to the dioceses as a percentage of their total paid to the OCA budget. (Sorry Midwest, if you don’t pay in you don’t get the rebate.)
5. Get out of all OCA fund raising activities, Appeals, FOS, etc. by suspending them until the AAC can decide if such activities should be part of the new Syosset.
Give the new metropolitan a clean fiscal balance sheet to work from and maybe even a little surplus in good will and trust towards Syosset.
Also, I would think it best that every person involved in this mess recuse themselves from being part of the new OCA. NO Herman means NO Job too. A new start means a new start. No old wine in new wine skins!
When a company’s business plan goes belly up, you can either put a band-aid on it or you break it down to its essentials and rebuild it. I am for rebuilding and a greatly reduced role for Syosset. Let the future decide if Syosset should take a greater role. For now, they have lost that right.
In reality the next Metropolitan will have one job, to truly be a focus of unity for our Church. If he can do this, we will be on the road to recovery. That is why Herman must go and soon because he simply does not have the ability to bring us together.
#3.1 Anonymous on 2007-09-24 18:22
I agree. Since your four-point plan for administration already has five points, may I suggest two more:
6. Sell the Syosset mansion and move the headquarters of the Church to a place like South Canaan where we already have a good paid-for facility and costs are low. I know we got the Griswold mansion for free, but the high cost of everything else in Long Island would make it a bad deal. And why would an organization that is supposed to value poverty even want to have their headquarters in a wealthy neighborhood?
7. Cancel the AAC hotel reservations and move it to someplace cheaper. Change the menus from steak to peanut butter sandwiches. With a wonderful facility like St. Tikhon's available, I can't understand why we don't have it there. The meetings could be in the Memorial Day pavillion.
#3.1.1 Peter McElvein on 2007-09-25 15:32
The mansion in Syosset is not the problem, it's the people who work there.
As for So. Cannan and an AAC, interesting idea. I can see the blue Porta-Potties lined up as far as the eye can see. We just better make sure we have LOTS OF INCENSE.
#220.127.116.11 Anonymous on 2007-09-27 09:10
Sir or Madam: While I don't disagree with any of your suggestions, I would counter by saying that you are missing the forest for the trees. What compelling reason is there for Syosset to exist at all?
#3.1.2 Michael Strelka on 2007-09-26 07:32
Exactly, Michael! Bravo!
And, for good measure, why is the Metropolitan automatically the Bishop of Washington and New York? Why can't the Bishop of Chicago and the Midwest or the Bishop of Pittsburg and Western Pennsylvania be the Metropolitan?
Martin D. Watt, CPA
(Editor's Note; By tradition the Primate of a Church is given the title of the capital. The few exceptions are where the capital postdates an important Christian center - such as Alexandria and Cairo, or Antioch and Damascus, or in the case of Finland, Karelia, the traditional Orthodox region of Finland versus Helsinki. The OCA adopted that practice in the 1980's by making the Primate the Archbishop of Washington DC rather than the Archbishop of New York. When the two dioceses were united, well....)
#18.104.22.168 Marty Watt on 2007-09-27 09:22
If I remember correctly, the first hierarch's throne was moved from NY to DC primarily so that Abp Peter could have NY for various odd reasons, one of them being so he could be close to St Vladimir Seminary where he occasionally taught.
At the time, it was pointed out that since DC is the capital city of the USA, and since it's traditional for the local church's primate to have his throne in the capital, it made sense to have our metropolitan there rather than in NY or anywhere else, and most of us had no serious objections to that.
However, it eventually began to dawn on me (and others, too, no doubt) that the OCA straddles THREE COUNTRIES. Which of the three capital cities should be the throne of our primate? What does selecting one say to the other two countries? No wonder the Canadians are so misunderstood by the Unitedstatesers and the Mexicans almost completely ignored!
It would make much more sense for our first hierarch to have the title of NYC with only the five boroughs and Long Island for his responsibility. Ten parishes, maybe? That's more than enough for the primate.
BTW: When Met. Theophilus became primate, he remained bishop of San Francisco and came to Syosset infrequently.
It's also true that he'd previously been bishop of Chicago, but I suppose he decided to hew more closely to the canons which forbid the transfer of bishops. Or maybe he just really liked SF.
As it is, our practice (based on the Roman Catholic papal model) has long been to elect an incumbent bishop, declare his throne vacant, and transfer him to the primatial eparchy.
We need to stop doing this, and elect local bishops with no special provision for transferring a newly elected primate, but rather let him preside from his own throne as Met. Theophilus did, with an episcopal vicar helping him with the NYC parishes -- assuming that we didn't just elect a bishop for NYC who incidentally became primate upon his confirmation by the Holy Synod.
And, yes, our OCA Statute is full of holes on these issues, too.
#22.214.171.124.1 Monk James on 2007-09-27 15:44
I'm glad someone else noticed this inconsistency! New York is an international city. Washington is the centre of American nationalism - why should our OCA be associated with all that that stands for? One of my hopes for the OCA when I joined one of its local churches was that it would show the world that Orthodoxy can be multiethnic and multinational as the ancient patriarchates were before the rise of the national Churches in Transcaucasia and the Balkans. Having Washington as the primatial see of the OCA does not send that message, not to me (a Canadian Orthodox Christian) or to the rest of world Orthodoxy.
#126.96.36.199.1.1 Jon Marc Teusink on 2007-10-04 11:36
You make some valid points, especially if the problem were purely financial. However, the problems in OUR OCA are actually deep rooted moral and culture problems. It must be made clear that the financial mess we’ve been able to observe only helped to expose the underlying moral crisis.
Because of the historic lack of financial control and irrational spending, the short term finances can be corrected quite easily and would likely not require some of the drastic measures that you propose. I've posted before that the OCA lost $1.9 million during the years of 2002, 2003 and 2004. (see the financial report presented at the 2005 All-American Council http://www.oca.org/PDF/14thAAC/FinReport.pdf With losses like that, the proposed 2005 budget was yet again to increase the operating expenses from the 2004 actual of $3,498,000 to $4,397,000 for 2005. Yes, after losing nearly $2 million over 3 years, they wanted to increase the expenditures by another $900,000 in 2005. (Any wonder why the OCA needed a $1.7 million loan in 2006.)
Now, look at what’s happened since this website started and since people started to become informed. Amazingly, Expenses were drastically cut. The $3.9 million in budgeted operating expenses for 2006 were actually reduced to $2.9 million! Yes, one million dollars of money was saved. (The link for the detailed presentation of the 2006 Financial Report from the OCA web site from August 31, 2006 is: http://www.oca.org/PDF/finances/2006budget.pdf compare to the Draft Report released by the OCA on June 25 or 26). The $420,000+ in travel expenses appears to have been reduced to $65,859. The administration that couldn’t come close to the budget for 2002-2004, suddenly woke up to a website of angry, but caring faithful and somehow managed to trim $1,000,000 in expenses! Take out the excess legal & audit fees, and the OCA that couldn’t help but lose money year over year, while crying out for more donations, suddenly has a gain of over $400,000 for 2006. Yes, when put to the task the finances were very quickly righted, even with the declining donations of 2006. Again, thank you Mark and all involved.
Yes, the finances will get much tougher if the moral problems do not get resolved. There will be less and less income as folks refuse to send $'s to the OCA, but if not removed, the current administration will make the cuts and find the money to support their regime. If you look at the Investment Assets of OUR OCA, we have nearly $3 million in stocks, bonds and money market accounts. Again, if left in place, the current regime will find a way to tap those assets or sell off other properties/assetts even if they are restricted.
I think we are in agreement, but the focus needs to be on the moral and cultural changes that must be made. The health of OUR OCA, (yes, financial, but more importantly spiritual) will continue to decline until the moral decay is removed. I'm using an analogy again, but it seems to fit -Just like a tooth, the OCA had a cavity 15 years ago that needed to be filled; it went neglected for several years and then needed a root canal, which was ignored at the 2005 AAC. Nothing has been done and now the tooth has abscessed, with great pain and suffering. The only fix is extraction. No, OUR OCA won’t die with an abscessed tooth, but it will continue to suffer horribly until the physical removal occurs and the healing can begin.
#3.1.3 Ken Kozak on 2007-09-27 10:29
Ken, working the budget backwards---try approx. 27,000.
St. James - Brother of the Lord
Kansas City, MO
Steve, Could you fill us in a bit more and tell us how you calculated the 27,000 figure? Thanks
#3.2.1 anonymous on 2007-09-26 07:26
On page 5 of 13 of our 2006 budget, our assesments were $2,673,712 divided by $120 =22,280 paying members plus 10%.
St, James - Brother of the Lord
Kansas City, MO
Thanks. Could you give us a similar breakdown on membership for several years previous to 2006?
#188.8.131.52.1 Jan on 2007-09-28 06:32
Jan, for several years prior to 2006 there were no records kept, which is part of the problem we have today. The OCA historically did not reveal this information. However, after the AAC in Toronto some numbers were issued that I have seen, but I do not have a copy of said numbers. SORRY!
St. James - Brother of the Lord
Kansas City, MO
The link to the Toronto 2005 report is: http://www.oca.org/PDF/14thAAC/FinReport.pdf
The territorial revenue is listed at the top of page 3.
The figure to divide by is $85/member as shown on page 4.
Thus, membership for 2003 is: 26,641 add 10% yields 29,300
and membersip for 2004 is: 25,870, addint 10% yields 28,460.
If you want to cry, read the rest of the financial report at that link. I've made enough comments, but reflecting on the requests in the report for more money through "Fair Share" to fund additional immorality is sickening.
Does anyone know what action was taken when this report was discussed? Or was this the issue where the Midwest and others were not allowed to speak out?
#184.108.40.206.1.1.1 Ken Kozak on 2007-09-28 16:28
This is heresay Ken, but from what I understand about the AAC in Toronto from a delegate is that Q&A was basically absent.
I challenged our delegate as to why they didn't realize restricted funds had gone for operating expenses for 3-4 years at the time of the AAC.
I was told there was no time for it in the schedule. I didn't see what they were provided and the OCA has made no effort to show us what was provided to our delegates at the AAC.
From what I was told, the agendas were not really open forum.
The reasons for the lack of a concillar spirit are certainly now well clear.
The thing that isn't clear is whether this was only articulated by RSK or whether it was a group effort from all members of the administration. It is my understanding the RSK was the clear leader at the AAC, but then I would expect that from the Chancellor anyway..
This lack of clarity and investigative reporting not only suggests Metropolitan Herman was well aware of the delicate financial situation, but he also was part of the orchestration of it.
How unfortunate he can't seem to release a report on how the financial collapse of the church occurred, but rather that honest and fair minded people like myself must speculate that he and even members of the MC had to be involved
There are those that consider all the posters here blood lusting and vengeful. This is not the case.
I want answers more than justice. I can forigve errors when I understand the nature of them, but I can't forgive a coverup, nor can any prudent man or woman.
#220.127.116.11.18.104.22.168 Daniel E. Fall on 2007-10-03 21:03
Oh yes, and essentially forcing out the 90 year old woman from her home. Can anyone up there is Alaska who is a Nikolai supporter give me a good reason why this is an okay thing to do? I mean I really, REALLY want to understand Nikolai's justification. Maybe then putting a 90 year old woman out in the cold in Alaska, or extorting $1400 per month from her will make sense to me.
Oh, and we all know the with holding the communion is simply a power play, a chance to ridicule another person in front of a whole congregation.
There's just too too much stuff to comment on. I look forward to other's comments. Especially I would love to hear from a Nikolai supporter that could justify putting out this 90 year old woman.
#4 A sad state of affairs on 2007-09-24 14:12
I've only heard of one person in Alaska who has supported Bishop Nikolai's putting a 90+ year old woman out of her long-time home. That was Fr. Innocent Dresdow.
#4.1 anonymous on 2007-09-24 22:14
Is defending your bishop, now a crime? Just what is Fr. Innocent accused of, other then loyalty? Just where does "news" cross the line into "slander?"
#4.1.1 fdr on 2007-09-26 05:40
Please then, tell me if you think that putting out a 90 year old woman is okay? Maybe I don't have all the facts in front of me, but on the face of it, this doesn't look good. Making a 90 year old woman homeless? So loyalty wins out over doing what is right? Putting out Dr. Black was bad enough, but a 90 year old woman? So then when do our priests and bishops stop and say this is not right? Why don't they speak out and say this woman should NOT be removed from her home. Okay, so you can say she just has to come up with the $1400 cash every month and everything will be fine. What if she does not have the funds?
How does this become slander? Father Innocent supports Bishop Nikolai and therefore agrees with the decision to remove a 90 year old woman from her home.Maybe you are confused, because, yes, the idea of making a 90 year of woman homeless after her spending years in her home does sound very bad, so someone who supports that decision doesn't sound so great. But that's not slander, that is the fact, right?
So it's all okay because the bishop says it's okay and a priest agrees. I hardly think this sets a good example of an Orthodox Christian bishop or priest who does not demonstrate a charitable character towards a 90 year old woman by removing her from her home. Again, this is not slander, this is just an opinion based on the fact that a 90 year old woman is being removed from her long time home.
#22.214.171.124 A very sad state of affairs for a 90 year old woman on 2007-09-27 09:45
I just noticed some "composition" by an anonymous writer on the petition site questioning the intention of the group of parishioners from St. Mark's. The comment questioned them concerning Proverbs 6 in that they were "sowing discord". There is apparently some confusion between the words "sow" and "harvest".
Please dear writer, think before you type! He that soweth the discord is not at St. Mark's! No, the discord was sowed with the manipulation, theft, lies and false testimony provided by the OCA administration over the past 15 years (and counting!). (Please read all of Proverbs 6 for a more complete understanding).
Unfortunately, what we see from St. Mark's, and across the entire OCA, is part of the "harvest" that the administration sowed, but blindly hoped would not sprout. Each one of the dollars that was misappropriated is now a weed that has been allowed to grow stronger with fertilizer of lies and coverup. The administration had the chance to clean up the garden many times over the past 15 years. Unbeknownst to us outside of the Midwest Diocese, they were pushed at the AAC in Toronto in 2005 and they have been prodded by that same "Diocese of the Heartland", ever since they could not be provided with a faithful response.
Since the start of the website, the pushing and prodding has grown from the Midwest to the entire OCA and yet, we still don't have a truthful, unhindered investigation of the wrongdoing. Do you think the faithful of the OCA will now lay down and go away? Sorry friend, if you've been watching or listening, perhaps you've had your eyes and ears closed. The call for change is widespread and growing louder!
No, dear writer of prose, we also abhor the discord that has been sown, we've tried to study the garden and investigate which are plants that should be kept and which are weeds that should be removed. However, the investigation has been halted. That leaves us with little choice but to plow through the field and re-plant.
#5 Ken Kozak on 2007-09-24 15:20
OCA funding is limited for education...but, are the overpayed assistants and Archdeacon to the Met still taking home a tidy sum?
#6 Anonymous on 2007-09-24 16:38
As of Monday evening September 24, at least 20 parishioners from my parish, SS Peter and Paul, in Endicott, NY have signed the petition with their names. What is significant about these signers is that they are hardly the radical types or malcontents. They are in general life-long devout Orthodox Christians, faithful in attendance at most of the divine services including vespers and liturgies for the twelve major feasts as well as Saturday vespers/Sunday liturgies, very active in maintaining and building up the church through a great variety of activities such as service on the parish council, in the “R” Club, fundraising, choir, charitable works, pirogi and halupki workshops, etc. Further, they are always the type to give the benefit of a doubt. I truly hope that the signers from other parishes reflect the same caliber of faithful. If this holds true, and I believe it will, then Metropolitan Herman should take notice and think long and hard about holding out to the bitter end. As the list of signers from my parish grows, the veil of fear will collapse in tatters leading yet others to add their names to the petition.
#7 Terry C. Peet on 2007-09-24 22:11
With regret, of my own free will, not under any duress and with a certain level of embarrassment and chagrin, I wish to retract the entire statement that I made above.
#7.1 Terry C. Peet on 2007-09-28 14:40
What? A rant like that -- well written, too -- and you want to retract it?!
In any case, once again on this site, calls for the dumbing-down of the OCA central administration, so that the OCA will be a Church "in name only," with a distributed operation, instead of a dynamic, well-run organization who's leadership speaks-out in our society for Christ's Truth. This really is the work of Satan, in yet another attempt to splinter and water down the Witness for Christ! More evidence that MH & Co. are pawns of Evil.
No retractions -- let's speak the truth and keep up with the withholdings, whether organizational and personal! In yet another ref to the Moon, the tide seems to be turning!
#7.1.1 C.C. on 2007-09-30 07:38
Doesn't sound the least bit unreasonable that you would state this...
Most all the people on the Clayton, Wi listing are patient, forgiving, and reasonable folks, and people I respect greatly.
It would be my hope that Metropolitan Herman recognizes the frustration in patient and forgiving and reasonable people and works to fully understand and appreciate the reasons why they would want his resign..
Your statements are a wise and balanced assessment.
#7.1.2 Daniel E. Fall on 2007-09-30 21:18
I am really not sure that withholding the OCA assessment like the Midwest Diocese is doing is such a noble idea. However I do agree that Syosset has to feel the financial pinch and be convinced that just "changing the deck chairs on the Titanic" and pretending that all things are moving forward nicely is an affront to the membership of the Church.
Here is my crazy idea and maybe others would like to weigh in on it.
Instead of withholding the assessment have dioceses find out the loan number for the Honesdale OCA loan and have dioceses make direct payments on the loan. It has the benefit of knowing that that really dumb loan is going to paid off while at the same time, Syosset will be forced to cut its staff and just do what is really should be doing, which isn't that much.
What do you think?
#8 I Couldn't Sleep on 2007-09-25 06:16
No... the major liabilities they have are those with outside entities. Those obligations come with legal ramifications. Paying off the Honesdale loan, which was used to refill misappropriated money, would be one of the best things you can do for them. First, it helps them with a non avoidable obligation, secondary, it gives them credibility as getting their obligations paid, thirdly, it allows them more money back at the ranch for paying people like Proskauer Rose. By just keeping ALL the money back you leave them with no wiggle room and very soon decisions are going to have to be made at ranch. There are more churches that people haven't heard about that are withholding money. The upcoming assemblies, if they are honest in their figures, should be very telling.
I appreciate you trying to do something "good", but we must face these problems with the same vehemence that they are facing us. In other words, NO MORE MONEY TO SYOSSET. PERIOD.
How many of those over 700 people on the petition, still in some way, support the thieves in Syosset? Think about it. You're not going to get anywhere if you try to keep funding your fantasies about what this Church is doing.
A lot of money has been cut off, maybe 30% of assessments, and pretty much all appeals. Have we heard any howls from people that are in distress because of this lack of money? No, we haven't. We haven't because it was never used for any worthwhile purpose. When we get these miscreants out think of how we can trim the budget with a new administration? Just goes to show that it was all a waste and we can still cut a lot more until there is significant pain.
#8.1 Stonewall on 2007-09-26 10:40
The newest blurb at oca.org confirms what we have known for some time. The press release on the Special Commission concludes as follows:
"...how to continue the Committee's work in a way that will best fulfill the original purpose and bring its mandate to a logical conclusion."
Notice that the Commission will only be allowed to fulfill its original purpose and to bring its mandate to a logical conclusion without any further investigation. No mention is made of the mandate at the last metting of the MC, confirmed by the Synod itself, that the Commission be allowed to continue its work unhindered. No mention is made of the Best Practices conflict of interest policy, which would effectively eliminate +MH from any involvement.
No, there will be no investigation of +MH or +MT. There will be no investigation of current and former treasurers. The great rug sweep is reaching its final conclusion in October, at least if +MH has his way.
When will our bishops finally see themselves as protectors of the Church? of Christianity? When will you bishops finally move to protect your flocks? How long must we wait?
Dear Synod: HELP!
#9 Priest Christopher Wojcik on 2007-09-25 06:52
Perhaps a better way of saying it would be, "When will our bishops actually become shepherds?" Most of our bishops, especially MH, seem to have no idea what a bishop is supposed to be. They seem to think being a bishop is only about lots of fancy vestments, hats, banquets, pompous liturgies, trips abroad, etc., none of which has any true pastoral value.
We can talk all we want about the Orthodox Church being "hierarchical", but if that is all a hierarch is about, who needs one? What value is any of that to building up the Church, to building up the parishes, to bringing the Gospel to spiritually starving North America?
The OCA needs real pastors, real shepherds, not wannabe emperors.
#9.1 Anonymous on 2007-09-25 16:58
For the past fifteen months we have heard cries to cut off the money to Syossett. We now see a scaling back of needless activities, because we have CUT OFF THE MONEY.
Now, we must go on with this investigation of The Special Commission. We cannot let anyone stop this work. This work cannot stop because we,"THE OCA" have an impotent leader, who is fearful of the findings that will be uncovered. We do not need to be intimidated by this unscrupulous man.
I am truly sad to hear what the seminarians have gone through, many with families. This is very disgusting, especially when one is called Metropolitian, a Christian leader.
Herman has made mockery of the OCA,he is not worthy of that position. We need a true CHRISTIAN.
I want to thank the all of the people from St. Marks, for your courage in this matter.
CUT OFF THE MONEY
The great rug sweep is reaching its final conclusion in October, at least if +MH has his way............. It won't be the final conclusion, it'll be the Final Delusion, at least as far as I am concerned.
#9.3 sophia Weisheit on 2007-09-25 19:04
Fr. Christopher is, I think, unfortunately quite correct in his evaluation of what the future holds. We can hope that the Synod will not be complicit in this deceit, but with the exception of Job, our Synod has been a Synod of silence.
The terrible reality which our bishops do not wish to confront, is that if they cannot feed their sheep, other shepherds will be found.
#9.4 David Paynter on 2007-09-25 19:33
They cannot see themselves as something they are not. They are not protectors of the Church. They have, and continue to, do everything in their power to take this Church down. You don't have to actively do acts that are detrimentral directly to the Church. Your lack of concern, lack of corrective action, and looking the other way are just as much contributing to the problems as the actions of the central players over 15 years. The bishops are no better, no better. Yet, we continue to fund their charades and fall down at their feet. And they know we're going to do that so they have no real reason to do anything. And don't bring in that they are answerable to God himself for how they protect the church. From their behavior that's not a factor. NOW, if the legal authorities started breathing down their necks they would pay some attention.
Words continue to fall on deaf ears. In one notable case the words of concern and pleading just resulted in one of them saying they had righteous suffering as a result. Not that they had any effect on him, but were words from a bad people that resulted in his righteous suffering. Words of wise holy men, words of the parishioners who are in pain over this, words of the Saints, the words of the Gospel. No effect. Words from a lawyer in how to write a release from the Holy Synod - taken with the utmost of seriousness.
#9.5 Stonewall on 2007-09-26 10:51
Thank you for your cogent remarks.
In my post in the prior thread, I essentially placed all the responsibility for the financial misdeeds and their truthful revelation and reconciliation as well as a writing of a Statute capable of governing the central church on the Synod. I am not a fan of the resignations and firings of people, even those that have erred, but it may be the only way to remove the burdens of the past we now bear if those people don't help us to see, or those that stand in the way.
A pentecostal once told me the Orthodox Church was the church of 'dead works'. Why? They said our observances of Liturgical tradition were just rituals and absent of the Holy Spirit. I, of course, didn't agree, but I had seen evidence that supported this statement, so it bothered me a little. Now, I am recalling that conversation long forgotten.
I believe we all need to ask the Synod a question. All of them.
That question is this.
Is the Orthodox Church in America the church of dead works, or is the Holy Spirit alive in it?
If they answer the church is alive with the Holy Spirit, we must follow up with another question, which I preface with Hebrews:
"Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us,
2Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God."
How Holy Fathers are we to lay aside the weight of scandal of the church when we do not even know what it is?
How Holy Fathers are we to run the race with this weight?
How Holy Fathers will you resolve to rid the OCA of this weight and truly keep the OCA in the race?
It can't happen with the hanging of Kondratick. Too much, much too much weight remains. Unknowns are greater weights than knowns.
I can tell you Father that today I am running the race, even without the truthful reporting on the scandal. I can tell you that I am deciding that running the race doesn't need empty rituals like singing 'eis polla eti despota'.
Maybe that pentecostal was sorta right.
Or maybe not.
#9.6 Daniel E. Fall on 2007-09-27 18:03
I read the latest news on oca.org last night (9/24/07) and I quickly ran outside to see if there was a full moon! Now I know first hand the popular lunacy connection with the moon. The current moon phase last night was “Waxing Gibbous” (the illumination of the moon appears to be greater than one-half, and is increasing). The full moon is tomorrow, September 26 and I can’t wait to see the effect on Syosset!!! I can’t believe the roller-coaster ride we are all sharing! Time to get off and return to sound ground.
Rom 3:10-13 10 as it is written:
"None is righteous, no, *not one*;
11 no one understands, no one seeks for God.
12 All have turned aside, together they have gone wrong;
no one does good, not even one."
13 "Their throat is an open grave,
they use their tongues to *deceive*.
In our utter weakness we cry out to You, My God, my God, why have You forsaken us? Relieve our pain because we are victims of so much senseless suffering and pain. Do not prolong our agony.
#10 Lizzie on 2007-09-25 08:55
The moon is a rock. It causes nothing. Some of the Holy Fathers, commenting on the "lunatic" healed by Jesus, said that it is Satan who takes the opportunity of a full moon to do his mischief--exploiting man's false and self-excusing notion that our behavior is helplessly in the grip of cold, lifeless spheres spinning above us.
Be not deceived. We can surely expect something even more bizarre from our friends in Slyosset, but neither they nor we can blame it on the moon. It's just Satan dropping off another bag of tricks.
#10.1 BLM on 2007-09-25 16:30
I agree with you completely. This is all Satan's work.
#10.1.1 Lizzie on 2007-09-27 08:01
Lizzie, Lizzie, Lizzie...
Look for that press release to appear on Jay Leno's headlines next Monday night! LOL!
#10.2 Anonymous on 2007-09-26 10:53
Maybe God has "foresaken us" to let us know how wrong we are and have been?
When we blindly supported these men of no integrity or ethics what have we done?
I believe in free will... God gave humanity free will shortly after Creation - Garden of Eden; pre-tree etc...
If He gave us free will would he "interfere" with our corrupt Bishops and mismanaged church administration? I think not!
He might... might... give us the opportunity to endure some pain as we struggle to find the "righteous path" through this crisis - to show us our weakness and frail misplaced trust " put not your trust in princes and sons of man in whom there is NO salvation"
He may be allowing us the opportunity to see the error of our ways so that we can change - Men cannot lead without followers can they?
A church with no laity (either acknowledged or actual) cannot exist, nor does it have a reason for existence?
Doesnt it seem like our church has become somewhat of a circus sideshow of fancy clothes and glitter - a few men prancing around the globe in brocades, gold and jewels, instead of a group of people who seek Truth and Salvation?
And what of monastic humility? Anyone remember the church Fathers of old - those who are known for their humility and purity of soul?
Are we known for christian piety and humble meekness of our masses?
Today... when Orthodoxy is mentioned what visual picture comes to mind?
I remember in the days of Soviet Russia... how my thoughts were always of the long suffering people who were persecuted and killed for their belief and church... people who gave their last ruble to light a candle in the church after walking miles through freezing cold to get there to pray.
My visualizations were never of Bishops in their glorious vestments and bejeweled panagias spending the few rubles [given by the babuski for God's house] on their vanity and parties, not to mention blackmail and hush money
What have we done with our Inheritance?
Are we worthy of the same?
Please forgive me!
#10.3 Ted P on 2007-09-26 11:29
Recently I expressed that the higher-ups operate in such a manner due to Gnosticism. THEY have an inside track to divine knowlege. Yes, Gnosticism has many forms and permutations but to my understanding it breaks down into an 'us' (wink, nudge) versus "them". The aloofness and distain for the laity is a minifestation of Gnostic attitudes.
Since invocations of The Holy Spirit for insight and guidance on meetings of any designated group of OCA higher-ups seem to be in vain (no Truth in the face of facts, no Honesty..2 million members?, etc) The Holy Spirt is letting them twist in the wind. And rightly so....
#10.3.1 J. Murray on 2007-09-27 10:27
MONK JAMES exposes what may be the fundamental theological flaw that has culminated in this scandal. In case readers may have missed it, buried deep in the commentary of the previous subject, "To Sign Or Not To Sign?" - the full thread of Comment No. 8 - may be a theological "smoking gun." The dialogue with Monk James may have exposed a wrongheaded "feudal" theology of leadership that seems to have (mis)guided several decades of Orthodox leaders, spawned their current arrogance and intransigence, and continues to direct their failing efforts. In his dialogue with "Name withheld" he reveals a view that bishops are somehow separate and apart from the laity and are somehow immune from accountability to the laos, the people of God in council, contradicting the most fundamental tenants of Orthodox Christian Trinitarian theology and life.
#11 Anon. on 2007-09-25 21:18
That's baloney. The only theological issue is whether the commandments from God Himself are followed or not. Let's not cloud the matter with some theological babble that will lose people. Let's get back to first principles. Thou shalt not steal. Is there anyone outside of the Syosset establishment, past or present, who doesn't understand that ?
Do what God wants and all else falls into place. Plain and simple.
#11.1 Anonymous on 2007-09-27 19:01
Hmmmm. Our Trinitarian theology is now "babble"? Are you serious?! We are truly dying if comments like yours reflect general thinking. God have mercy on us. The "babble" to which you refer is the basis for our life and faith. I grow sadder by the day at the listing of this rudderless ship. Why do you recite the Creed each liturgy if you consider it "babble"? You just cannot be serious.
The Church's day-to-day life must be founded upon its vision that emerges from its rooted beliefs. Without that, all is shifting sand.
#11.1.1 Name withheld on 2007-09-28 15:52
The issue isn't Metropolitan Herman's resignation.
I noted eighteen months ago that those who guided our ship into these dangerous waters did not deserve to remain at the helm, and that honorable people in similar situations accept responsibility and resign.
That, however, assumed honorable people making honorable resignations, but resignations need not be honorable at all. Resignations are frequently engineered to frustrate those who seek the truth.
These last two years have left us all so far beyond surprise that none of us would expect anything other than a resignation in favor of anyone who would agree to permanently put a lid on the truth.
No, the issue isn't the resignation. The issue is discovering and displaying the truth. The issue is the completion of the investigation. Archbishop Job's question remains unanswered; "Are the allegations true or are they false?".
Rephrasing the question inherent in the St. Mark's poll, am I confident in the leadership of Metropolitan Herman, and do I want him to retain his present position? Hardly. Did I sign the petition? Sure. But a sham resignation in favor of a willing dupe would be catastrophic for our Church.
#12 Mark Warns, Poulsbo, Washington on 2007-09-25 22:48
It won't be long until this scandal is over. Everyone but MH has moved on. The people on this site are not heard. MH runs the show and RSK has moved on to greater things. Life is to short to make up lies and listen to them.
The gossip site might go on for ever but how many listen. Speaking to both RSK and MH , of course not together , only one of them cares. Believe me it isn't MH. RSK will speak out soon with about 5 announcements , some will like them and some will be floored.
God Bless and keep praying.
#13 Anonymous on 2007-09-26 05:17
threatening to make announcements rather than just making them leads some to think that you may be trying to influence the actions of others by threatening them.
"Greater things" -- we can hardly wait.
#13.1 Rebecca Matovic on 2007-09-27 09:17
Amen to that, Rebecca.
How many spinmeisters are there for RSK? Perhaps just 2 or 3...
I know we are exercising right to speak as "free men," but I'm wishing that our dear editor didn't give voice to those who want us quaking in our boots or gripping our computers with anticipation for what RSK will do/will say...
Lord have mercy on us!
(Editor's note: If you are waiting for RSK to speak, you will have a long wait. He will not speak until his appeals are ended. This may take years, since he has appealed to the Patriarch of Constantinople. All this talk of "revelations" from RSK is just so much flubber. It is far more likely that he will simply use proxies, as he does on this site, to reveal anything he chooses - assuming, of course, he has anything besides rumours to share. )
Fr Robert Kondratick has NOT appealed to the Constantinople or to Moscow or to any of the churches. I don't know where such ideas originate.
It is true, though, that the other churches are watching our OCA very closely to see what happens next. They are amazed, generally, that Met. Herman remains in office, and that he continues to persecute FrRK, whose deposition none of them appear to take seriously because of its canonical irregularities and lack of compliance with our own Statute.
This is embarrassing in the extreme, and it's Herman, not Kondratick, who is embarrassing us.
When FrRK has finally exhausted all the canonical remedies assured him by the canons and the OCA Statute -- a process which Herman has tried very hard to short-circuit and pervert -- and still not received fair treatment or justice, he will then consider whether an appeal for our mother church's intervention would be a good and graceful remedy for this protracted misery which Herman, Kucynda & Co. have inflicted on our OCA.
But that is a future possibility, not an accomplished fact.
Still, the H-K cabal have already tried to cut off or pre-empt any future effort on FrRK's part to appeal to Moscow or elsewhere by sending letters and delegates to undermine confidence in FrRK's position.
Last I heard, Moscow, at least, is amused and disappointed by petulant Herman's childish smear campaign against FrRK, and no less likely to try to be fair to FrRK and to our OCA, too, should they be asked to intervene.
#126.96.36.199 Monk James on 2007-09-27 16:50
Wrong again , the Patriarch is backing RSK on his appeal. Ask old MH he knows about that. Your info shill at the chancery must be on vacation.
#188.8.131.52 Anonymous on 2007-09-27 17:44
Fr Robert Kondratick has advanced no request to be heard on appeal except within the OCA, as is his right in accordance with The Statute of the OCA.
If a patriarch (who?) supports that, well and good -- but it's beyond the competence of any of the other churches to intervene at this point, and will remain so unless and until FrRK and/or the OCA petitions them to do so, and even then only if they accede.
I have no 'shills' at the Chancery (meaning just what ?), which is losing people by the day, anyway. My information comes much more directly from the sources.
It's a fact, though, that a couple of characters on the Orthodox-Forum list have consistently referred to me as a 'shill' for FrRK -- but that's not true, either.
That word ought to be retired from civil discourse altogether, and especially not be used as a false 'ad hominem' to attempt to undermine the credibility of people with whom we disagree.
#184.108.40.206.1 Monk James on 2007-09-28 16:42
Apparently, as of 4pm Sept 27, about 808 listen.
#13.2 Anonymous on 2007-09-27 13:02
ok I can play that game too. I will give 5 announcements soon (I can't tell you exactly when) (I can't tell you what they are about) (I can't tell you who will be impacted by them) (I can't tell you if you'll be pleased or not) (I can’t tell you if it’s about global warming) (I can't tell you if they will be true or not) (I can't tell you if you will be floored) (I can't tell you if they will be important of if they will be more of the same) Yada Yada Yada Yawn!
#13.3 Anonymous also because you gave no news and neither did I. on 2007-09-27 13:13
CUT THE MONEY AND ALL THE STENCH WILL GO !!!
St. James - Brother of the Lord
Kansas City, MO
Re the petition: those Anonymous listings from Venice have got to go. Give 'em one as representaitve, but sheesh!
#14 Anonymous on 2007-09-26 20:30
Now I've seen everything....."anonymous" complaining about other anonymous signatures on a petition. I think that Mark can save a lot of space on this site by assigning one anonymous poster as representative for all anonymous posters and permit only one anonymous post per day---or per week or month. Whatever.
Are these posts really representative of the OCA?
#14.1 nicholas skovran on 2007-09-27 13:45
After reading your comment again, I guess my answer is, in my opinion mind you, that Father Innocent is "accused" of perhaps not doing the right thing by supporting a decision to remove a 90 year old woman from her long time home. That he is loyal is unquestionable. You would have to be very loyal to someone to support a decision such as this.
Geesh! How are we supposed to listen to what our priests tell us when what they do looks so counter to what we have been taught about being good Orthodox Christians?
Again, I say I do not have all the facts, so I really can't make a final judgement, but it just does not look good. Perhaps Bishop Nikolai could explain to all of us why he made that decision.
#15 A very sad state of affairs for a 90 year old woman on 2007-09-27 09:55
Is there anyway to verify that all those people from Venice are actually, consciously signing their name to the petition? Call me a cynic, but I don't find it hard to imagine a single person with access to a long list of parishoner's names (particularly of the elderly, internet-deprived, and even children) sitting down to the computer and entering all those names in. By selecting anonymous, everyone is kept in the dark. There are plenty from Venice who have signed their name. Why all the anonimity all of the sudden? And what at coincidence they were all entered one after the other. That just adds to the suspicion that one "person of interest" may have taken a list of members' names and submitted them without their consent. Further, to cover his or her tracks, they were all submitted anonymously, to avoid having parishoners recognize their names. It all sounds way to suspicious if you ask me.
(editor's note: Of course the Venice entries have been noted, and are being checked according to the petition organizer. The OCA is a small church, and everyone is only 2-3 people away from anyone else.It may take a few days, but if the Venice names are proved to be false, they will be removed.)
#16 Cynic (a.k.a. Backfire) on 2007-09-27 10:36
How could anyone NOT believe the people in Venice would sign.
I happen to KNOW they have tried, begged and pleaded and to no avail.
The people in Venice ARE authentic!
#17 Margo P on 2007-09-27 16:27
Have not one of you know how the inner workings of the church work? Apparently not. First off, you people are blind to the simple fact that Metropolitan Herman has no authority over any other bishop in the Holy Synod excepts when it comes to his own diocese of New York and Washington. For example, if a parish wanted to invite the Metropolitan to an event they could not just ask the Metropolitan. You would first have to ask the Local Bishop and then he would ask the Metropolitan. If the Bishop does not want the Metropolitan visiting then he can say no and its over. So why are you people holding just Metropolitan Herman accountable. If you want to make a commotion over this whole issue then hold everyone accountable not just one individual. In the Holly Synod everyone has an equal vote, no one "outranks" another. So this petition is just for you radicals who are trying to stir up trouble and confuse the faithful of the Orthodox Church. Have you people not realized that you are essentially trying to make our church a democracy? Well news flash it's not!!! This is a heirarchy whether you want it or not! Have you people not realized that you are tearing this church apart for our children, and gradnchildren? Have you not realized that because of your anger we are hurting ourselves rather then helping? Yes, we are all upset with what is happening. Yes, we want answers. However, answers are not going to come if we can not pay the lawyers to set this investigation straight. Here is a thought... If all of this report is published what do you think will happen? Yes you will get your answers, but think of how many lawsuits the church will face. The church will lose its status as a non profit organization and then we wont have a church!!! Think of the consequences of your actions before you make these assumptions and allegations. So go ahead hold on your OCA assessments, and then how are we going to feed our priests, bishops? How are we going to pay the lawyers and be able to keep ourselves afloat. GROW UP! Stop making fools of yourselves and stop arguing!!! Do you not all believe in GOD? Because apparently you dont have enough faith in Him that He will make this right. Instead of making things better you all are just causing more problems. Grow up and look at the bigger picture then just yourselves!!! What's done is done! So be true Christians and follow your scripture readings. Forgive.
#18 Annon. on 2007-09-30 20:17
Oh. My. God. Have you, oh brave anonymous one, ever heard an old-time phrase beloved by generations of (gasp) Protestant grandmothers: "Tell the truth and shame the devil"? Understand something. If the hierarchs of the OCA (except, so far, for +JOB, God preserve him) continue to acquiesce in wrongdoing, coverup and stonewalling, the OCA will die. And when it happens, which it most certainly will, and sooner rather than later, it will be the fearful judgement of God in action. Do you think He will be mocked forever? Does it even occur to you, braveheart, that perhaps God wills to heal the sickness in the OCA through the very "fools" you so evidently despise? Ever consider that the Apostles did not apply for tax exemption before preaching? It is more important to be found faithful than to have lovely buildings and gorgeously vested hierarchs. If the faithful had followed your advice following the Council of Florence, there would be no Orthodox Church. Remember? All the bishops except one had sold out. Marx was right; history repeats itself, the first time as tragedy, the second time as farce.
#18.1 Scott Walker on 2007-10-01 17:17
I am not angry, I am sad. I have faith in God. I have no faith in the current administration of the Orthodox Church, save +Job. There may be other bishops that I do not know who may well be good bishops. But I have not heard them speak up, so I do not see that they are trying to right the wrongs.
Your posting sounds like it is coming from a hierach. Just be quiet and send in your donations. Yes, we do know the church is not a demoacracy. But that does not mean we must tolerate illegal behavior and poor leadership. You are attempting to cast the blame on us ("you people") instead of recognizing the blame lies squarely with the administration of the Orthodox Church. If you are a heirach, the blame lies squarely on your shoulders if you are not trying to get to the bottom of this. Money was stolen. I want to know what happened to the money I donated. If I do not know, I cannot donate. I will not be fooled again.
From a "you people" person
#18.2 Not getting my donation on 2007-10-02 08:55
Whoever you are, do you actually believe what you have written. Let’s take a look at a few of your points.
1. If all of this report is published what do you think will happen? The church will lose its status as a non profit organization and then we won’t have a church!!!
Just what do you think will happen once the authorities conclude their investigation and to further exacerbate the problem come to the conclusion that the OCA did nothing to remove those responsible and find that there is culpability on behalf of the entire organization for not taking appropriate action.
2. Instead of making things better you all are just causing more problems.
No, we are not the cause of the problem, as the old adage states you are either part of the solution or you are part of the problem. Things will not get better until those that have created these problems that go back many years are no longer in a position of power and authority.
3. Grow up and look at the bigger picture then just yourselves!
I would suggest that you pass that advice on to those responsible for this mess.
Ask them to resign so that we can move forward and put this behind us.
4.What's done is done! So be true Christians and follow your scripture readings.
The actions of the people here have shone that they are being “true Christians” and care very much for our Church.
I wish that people such as you would stop hiding behind religion. Face up to the real facts and issues, if this situation had occurred in a public or private company not only would the perpetrators have been out, they would be awaiting trial. Yes we have faith and trust, only it’s not in our current leadership.
On a final note stop hiding behind “anonymous”, if you have something to say stand up and be counted, by the way that also goes for everyone else. Have matters deteriorated to the point that some are reluctant to post their name even thought they stand on the moral high ground?
#18.3 Peter on 2007-10-02 13:04
I'm sure the Catholic Church Bishops, upon learning their priests had molested and raped little children thought the absolute best thing to do was to keep it hushed, lest it hurt the religion and lest it cost them a lot of money in court.
News flash back at you...
They [the hierarchy] mistakenly let it fester for years and years. The silencing ones did it. The vocal ones were absent or silenced.
The pain of the Catholic church is that pain caused by silence. If the matters had been handled speedily, without the spirit of sloth and despair, and with the spirit of chastity and humility, the churches would have had nowhere near the financial cost they now bear years later.
Faith in God? Faith in God didn't resolve the Catholic churches efforts to cover up the heinous and evil sins of the clergy. Nope. Do you know what did? The will of man. The will of man is what brought the churches sin out into the light.
The Catholic church will not die, but it has been brought to its knees for its silence.
So, you wish to remain silent?
You believe the people that are voicing reasonable opinions are evil? Not so.
I have not called on the Metropolitan to resign, but I have never been closer.
The Metropolitan has held full power on the matter.
He could resolve to give away the power, but he apparently lusts power.
The Metropolitan could easily relinquish the power he need not hold.
Unless he himself is culpable of a crime, we all begin to wonder why he holds this power so dear when it goes against all that St. Ephraim's prayer tells us and all that his 75 years of Orthodoxy have taught him.
#18.4 Daniel E. Fall on 2007-10-02 15:38
This is the single most ridiculous posting I've ever read on this site, and there have been some real doozies! This kind of thinking is exactly what the Metropolitan is counting on! "Just shut your mouth, and obey the man in the white hat!" Balderdash! In the Scriptures, the parable of the servants illustrates that the Lord desires and EXPECTS the servants to be good and faithful, and to exercise their God-given judgement and talents in order to increase the Master's wealth, not just bury it in the field (and our head in the sand). Yes, God will make it 'all right' at the End of Days, but he will also ask each of us about this situation -- "What did YOU do about the thief and liar which you found at the head of My Church, way back in 2007?" I don't think, "Well, Lord, I prayed harder, and hoped you'd make it "all right" at the End of Time." is going to be a very satisfactory answer. In all humility, I think that, "I took a moral stand, O Lord, and tried to drive the Money-Stealers from your Holy House." is going to go over a lot better! Oh, I have complete faith in the Lord's ultimate judgement, and I can even pray for mercy for the perpetrators and for myself,a lousy sinner. But in the meantime, I can also speak up and step up, and say, "Enough! Enough money has been stolen from this Church, and we need you to go now, so we can pay back the loan (consider it penance for our unwariness), and then start to apply this Church's resources and attention to spreading the saving word of Christ in this Godless culture we call Modern America." If your house is burning, do you stand to the side and say, "Well, someday the fire department will come, and make it "all right." No, you rush in and save your spouse and your children, and get a hose on it! That is, you aid the fire dept by assuming some of the responsibility for yourself and your family. In this case, our Church Family and the Lord's House. And it's burning! Our future is burning; seminarians are being put-out and evangelization training events are being cancelled. And by the way, the Lord told the harlot, "Go and sin no more," He did NOT say, "I forgive you, now hurry along or you'll be late for your next trick." We can be good Christians and forgive, but we don't have to overlook the fact that our leader appears to be covering up a massive theft of millions of dollars from this organization, and just let him stay in place, ready to take more, and cover-up the facts of the case! That's not "forgiveness." That's foolishness. That is the "bigger picture." "Making more problems?" And you're telling ME to "grow up?" With your attitude, I expect that you're out there lobbying your local gov't to shut down to County Jail, and get rid of the police, because, putting all those criminals in one place might cause more trouble; and the expense! Unbelievable attitude! With your post, you've just given the Metropolitan another week of easy sleeping; he's hoping your way lets his tenure drag-on longer still.
#18.5 c.c. on 2007-10-02 21:56
if we can't have faith in god to fix things for us, or atleast to guide us in the direction we should go, then what is the point of worshiping the almighty?
#18.5.1 Kurt Massie on 2007-10-04 12:58
In response to your question ["Yes, God will make it 'all right' at the End of Days, but he will also ask each of us about this situation -- "What did YOU do about the thief and liar which you found at the head of My Church, way back in 2007?"] I would have done what Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ did at His final Hour to the Wise Thief; forgive.
Look into your heart and ask yourself what is the real reason you go to church. Think about the reason you are Orthodox and what "being Orthodox" truly means. Bash me all you want, because what you say truly has no affect on me. At the end of the night, all I know is I love being Orthodox, and I love being a part of the OCA, and I refuse to watch our church crumble in the hands of those who stand before me.
#18.5.2 Anastasia on 2007-10-04 20:15
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