Thursday, October 4. 2007
Your comments and thoughts on the decisions of the Midwest Assembly are welcome.
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Thank you Mark,
For keeping us posted on these very singificant developments from the very courageous, brave, and spirit-filled Diocese of the Midwest's assembly's resolutions: No Confidence, No Money, No +Herman. There is a saying:
Joy is not in the absence of suffering, but in the presence of God. The Diocese of the Midwest truly fulfilled this statement at its recent assembly. Bravo to all!
#1 Patty Schellbach on 2007-10-04 19:07
It is with a deeply gratified heart and hopeful soul that I write this post.
I am hopeful once again, that our Church may find salvation once again - salvation from those who would destroy it!
I entend my gratitude to the Diocese of the Midwest for their devotedness and steadfastness in seeking to bring about a peaceful, postive end to the evil that befalls our Church.
I am further encouraged by the lead the Diocese and their Bishop is taking in pushing forward a solution to our devastating issues currently embroiling us all.
Should God Will It...
I pray He will give strength and guidance to those who now stand up and are counted.
Ted Panamarioff - Kodiak Alaska
#2 Ted Panamarioff on 2007-10-04 20:51
The delegates to 46th Diocesan Assembly of the Diocese of the Midwest should be thanked and congratulated for their restraint and for the careful, intelligent phrasing of the resolutions they passed today. Some of your like-minded brothers and sisters in the faith in the rest of our continent were concerned that you might cross the line between protest and mutiny and condemn yourselves to the fringe of the controversy at its most important moments.
Again, thank you and congratulations.
Please allow me to make a recommendation. For you to use the witholding of funds as a means of showing the seriousness of your concern was necessary, but the use of money to enforce principle will raise negative implications soon. You have granted your leaders the power to release funds in certain circumstances. Trust their judgment. They are obviously bright and deft; trust their sense of timing, and allow them the widest discretion in making adjustments to achieve your goals.
Mark Warns, Poulsbo, Washington
#3 Mark Warns on 2007-10-04 23:13
While I concur with the spirit of your suggestion, I think that the Midwest has already empowered their designees to release funds IF they see fit. However, I would urge against it, unless there is action. It is quite clear that the Central Church Administration is only responding to hardball, not slow-pitch softball.
They have not resigned from the Church. They have not been excommunicated. As for myself, I have no idea whether I'm listed on OCA rolls or not, despite having joined an OCA Parish some two years ago. With all the numbers and so forth flying around, who knows what would happen if I turned up at an AAC and said, "Sure, I'm an OCA member."
Rather, I would like to suggest that, as the Midwest continues to withold its funds, if this becomes an issue at the AAC, and an attempt is made to disenfranchise the Midwest and its delegates, then the delegates from the other dioceses all vote "Abstain" on any substantive resolutions, etc, wherein the Midwest is not allowed to participate. After all, they are witholding the money, not forever spending it on something else. In other words, once the foxes have been ejected from the hen-house, then the money will flow again! It's obvious that the individuals currently manning the turrets at Syosset know how to play hardball, the we hens in the hen-house have to follow suit, and not back down. (Sorry for mixing at least three metaphors there, but I think you get the point.)
Otherwise, I call your attention to the Charlie Brown/Lucy scenario which was mentioned by another poster earlier on the site. Once they get the cash, it will be "pull the football out" again ... and again ... and again. For Charles Shultz's sake, let's not fall for it again.
#3.1 C.C. on 2007-10-05 13:13
Mark, what does the last sentence imply "Syosset strikes back. Saturday."? Could you post whatever information you now have ASAP? Alice
(Editor's note: I ask for your patience. I work full time, have a family, took two days off to attend the Midwest Assembly, and posted four articles this week alone - not to mention more than 50 comments; or the hundreds of emails I plow through everyday, and try to respond to. It will most likely be Monday, not Saturday before I can get the next article out. Thanks for being understanding.)
#4 Alice Carter on 2007-10-05 03:00
I'd bet the farm that "Syosset strikes bacK" refers to this notice posted on the OCA website on 10/2:
The relevant paragraph is:
"After a review of the 2007 Budget, it was determined that due to the withholding of monthly financial support by the Diocese of the Midwest since August, it is necessary to suspend episcopal and departmental stipends, together with most departmental expenses, through the end of 2007 in an attempt to maintain a balanced budget. It was agreed that when funds become available, stipends previously approved in the 2007 budget will be restored."
From my reading, "suspend episcopal and departmental stipends" means that the bishops won't be getting paid. Will the various department heads get stiffed as well? Aren't those mostly part-time positions?
Will MH forgo his stipend, as well, I wonder?
#4.1 Michele Hagerman on 2007-10-05 11:35
Well, it's pretty clear what the laos wants. Who will talk some sense into + Herman and Fr. Kucynda? They are liabilities - time to go - now!
#5 anonymous on 2007-10-05 07:04
I have a concern that should be everyone in the Midwest's concern. Why didn't the largest parish in the OCA send any delegates to the Midwest Assembly? They can have like a dozen or so with all the clergy there.
In case you didn't know, I'm talking about St. Mary's Cathedral Church in Minneapolis. And for such a big parish, only one person has signed the petition. It seems like you don't even want to participate in the discussion. If you can't stand up for this, what would you stand up for?
Also, where are the seminary leaders? Don't be afraid of Herman! He is a little man in a white hat, he is not the Lord. That's what I think anyway.
A Midwest member and proud of bishop Job
PS Does OCA stand for "Ostrich Clan of America"?
#6 Eddie Kayeti on 2007-10-05 08:53
Please keep your enthusiasm for what is going on in the Midwest in check. Humility should be the key virtue here and not judging our fellow diocesan members. Each is free to come to their own conclusions and to speak up or not. Just because someone is not prompted to sign a petition does not mean they are doing nothing.
#6.1 Anonymous on 2007-10-05 14:46
My heartfelt thanks to Mark, Archbishop Job, and to all of the courageous men and women who have been taking a stand for what is right. It is not easy and I will strive to keep you in my prayers. Thank you!
#7 David Capparuccini Richmond, VA on 2007-10-05 10:21
I was looking for Robert Vasilios Wachter's Reflection on the fiduciary responsibility of the MC but don't see it listed any longer. Has it been removed or am I just missing it? Thank you.
(Editor's note: The link had disappeared for some unknown reason. Thanks for pointing it out. It is back to being 11th from the bottom....)
#8 Rachel Andreyev on 2007-10-05 14:13
Bishop Job said something in his fine speech which, for the sake of clarity and clear understanding, must be corrected. I don't fault him though, for that speech had a lot of content to cover and he can be forgiven for mistakes given the breadth of the material he had to cover.
He said that this crisis was not about theology, but rather about ecclesiology. Those two ideas cannot be divorced or set in juxtaposition. The fact is, all of life emerges from our theology... our words about God. Therefore, our ecclesiology emerges from our theology and has no existence apart from our theology. Our ecclesiology emerges (or should emerge) from our understanding about God, in Trinity. How God Himself relates in His Three Persons is fundamental to a right understanding about our ecclesiology - how we related to one another in the Body of Christ; and certainly how we relate to our bishops and priests. This crisis has revealed a desperate lack of understanding about this most fundamental of our beliefs.
#9 Name withheld on 2007-10-05 17:36
And how is that relationship in the Body of Christ worked out? A fundamental componet that does not seem to be addressed is monasticism. It is from the monastery that the candidates for the episcopacy are generally drawn. The monks are laity yet set apart, and the tenor of the Christian spirit of that monastery is determined by the abbott. This is the bedrock of Christianity as practiced since it's inception. The bishop oversees the parish and the monasteries. From the parishes are born children that chose to be monks. In the monastery, the monks choose the abbott. The abbott prepares his fellow monks to be leaders of the Church whether or not any of them become bishops.
If you want to be Orthodox inwardly as well as outwardly, then
the abbott has to be free of all political and monetary influences. If the bishops do not hold each other accountable, then as a last resort at least the abbott should be able to speak the truth without any fear of repurcussion. Building a strong monastery is the only way to prevent becoming a just another Western church in America.
Please note that the seminary and the monastery are two seperate and distinct functions. They may be intertwined, but they should never be confused.
#9.1 Fear and trembling on 2007-10-06 04:43
Re: "This crisis has revealed a disparate lack of understanding about this most fundamental of our beliefs."
And what about this strange line from Fr. Vladimir Berzonsky?
"Or, else we make some attempt at the next AAC in Autumn 2008 to make it one of contrition, open and genuine confession, repentance and - only then - mutual forgiveness."
"Only then, mutual forgiveness?"
I thought that it was a basic practice (if not belief) in the Orthodox Church to forgive others- and only then- unconditionally.
Now we learn that "conditional forgiveness" is to be a milestone in the healing process of the OCA.
I am nostalgic for the good old days when an Orthodox priest, speaking on the subject of forgiveness could only say things like:
"For an offense, whatever kind may have been given, one must not only not avenge oneself, but on the contrary must all the more forgive from the heart, even though it may resist this, and must incline the heart by conviction of the word of God: "If ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses" (Matt. 6:15).
"Do we forgive our neighbors their trespasses? God also forgives us in His mercy. Do we refuse to forgive? God, too, will refuse to forgive us. As we treat our neighbors, so also does God treat us. The forgiveness, then, of your sins or unforgiveness, and hence also your salvation or destruction, depend on you yourself, man. For without forgiveness of sins there is no salvation. You can see for yourself how terrible it is."
#9.2 Anonymous on 2007-10-06 08:03
Dear "#9 Name witheld",
Thank you for this most interesting comment. Would you be willing to expand upon your points a bit further?
Would you describe more fully what you mean by the "disparate lack of understanding about this (by this"this" I presume you mean the nature of the relationship between theology and ecclesiology) most fundamental of our beliefs"?
You have very succinctly indicated what precedes (theology) and what "emerges" in a contingent status (eccesiology). Would you elaborate a bit further than you have done in your comments about the implications of this?
I am specifically interested to learn what you mean when you say that how God himself relates to His Three Persons is fundamental to a right undersatnding of "how we relate to our bishops and priests". And to the Metropolitan, as well?
I think most would agree that the present problems in the OCA reflect a crisis in the exercise of authority. There seems to be confusion about nature of authority in the OCA and the limits of its exercise. Specifically to whom is the Metropolitan accountable and subject to diciplinary correction?
Resort to the indirect tactic of withholding funds essential to the central authority's function would seem to reveal an absense of a more direct approach to the revelation of abuses perpertrated by persons central to the governance of the OCA. It seems to suggest that there is no direct way to address wrongdoing, hold the perpetrators accountable, apply appropriate dicipline and restore good order.
Events have revealed a contradiction between the self-presentation of the OCA and it's reality. I was given to understand that the ecclesiology of the Orthodox church admits of no absolute and autocratic authority existing in any of its members. But the hallmark most characteristic of absolute and autocratic authority is that it is immune from challenges to be accountabie and subject to diciplinary correction.
I would be grateful for your reply and responses from any other interested readers.
#9.3 Jean Langely Sullivan on 2007-10-06 09:18
Please explain what you mean. If you mean the following, I agree with you.
If the Trinity is the example of how we should relate one to another, then the Bible injunction to prefer the other to ourselves in love (and repsect) would apply to all of us whether laity or clergy, would it not? And why? ... because we should see God in the person with whom we are dealing and therefore become a servant to that one who is imaging God to us. And if we all treated each other this way, perhaps we would not have our present problems.
#9.4 Karen Jermyn on 2007-10-06 09:54
i see that herman has reinstituteed the special commission. i
do not know the recommended new members. is it too early
to ask if they are herman's "lackeys", or will the commission
go where no one has gone before ?
as for whom i speak - see 'Shame and sham' comment #22.
michael j molenaur
parishioner, Saint Nicholas Orthodox Church
#10 michael j molenaur on 2007-10-06 03:16
(Mark you may want to put this post with your review of the Hermcynda attempt at Special Committee, II -The Sequel)
It is hard for me to believe that Herman and Kucynda now expect anyone to believe that they will not interfere with the Special Committee Part II. As much as I respect Bp. Benjamin, there isn’t even a hint of any of this being at “arms length.”
This is such a cynical attempt to keep the appearance of an investigation going without actually doing anything.
No investigation with Herman in office and Kucynda behind the scenes pulling the strings is going to be stomached by anyone anymore.
It’s over Herman and Kucynda. Get out now while you have a chance. The door of opportunity is about to slam shut and you will have no options left.
Whatever happened in the pas,t and can be found out after all these years, will come out and the more you try to stop it the more determined people will be to get to the bottom of it.
As Herman often says when things are going exactly the way he wants things to go “It is out of my hands, there is nothing I can do about it.”
Well, Your Beatitude, you are exactly right. It is out of your hands now and there is nothing you can do about it!
There is no point in staying silent any longer (Fr.) Kondratick. Those who you wanted to protect sacrificed you. Your old friend Ab Job may still be your friend after all!!!!!
#11 Anonymous on 2007-10-06 13:29
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