Thursday, February 7. 2008
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Bravo, Mr. Sidebottom!
Melanie Jula Sakoda
I am glad Paul Sidebottom has gotten the support he needs
from the group in Kansas to stand up to the abuse. There is no excuse to give support to the abuse by the man, N. Soraich who calls himself a bishop in Alaska. I pray more support will be forthcoming for others who have had long term abuse.
This is a victory for surviors but much more needs done.
Look at the insurance money spent to place Isadore out of the way, for months at a time, and then bring him back and continue the cycle of abuse. I hope more eyes will open to this abuse of power.
We need a new Orthodox Church in America unwilling to be used for sexploitation and deversion of criminality.
Thank you Father Herman of Alaska and all America.
We continue to ask your help to hold back the wave of
exploitation whose breakers seek to drown the real mission of
renewing the Kingdom of God Within Us.
Matushka Carol Klipa Bacha
This is certainly the correct and ethical action for Paul Sidebottom to undertake.
If +Nikolai, Met. Herman, and the entire Synod were not motivated by the desire for truth, if they were not moved by the plight of the abused, they were not motivated by love for righteousness, if they were not moved by the love for the suffering people of Alaska, if they were not motivated by cries and please of innocence, if they were not shamed into action by the disgusting and perverse conduct of +Nikolay, if they were not moved by the fear of God, then maybe they will be motivated by the fear of punishment the laws of the federal government. That's, of course a very big IF.
My full support and prayers go out to Paul Sidebottom and his legal team. God bless you for acting to stop the isanity and madness and the tyranical, derilict and evil bishop Nikolai who's destroying the Church and scattering her sheep.
It will be interesting to see how the EEOC investigation differs from the (ahem) investigation conducted by the OCA. When impartial folks from the Feds start poking around the various dark corners in the diocese of Alaska, many awkward things may, finally, come to light. Too bad that the OCA has proven itself incapable of self-correction, and really too bad that Caesar has to enforce the OCA's policies about sexual misconduct. For those among us with short memories, it was the involvement of secular law enforcement that finally brought the scandals in the Roman Catholic Church to a head, following years of denial, obfuscation and cover-up from their hierarchs. I think that, just maybe, Barad-Dur is beginning to tremble.
#3 Scott Walker on 2008-02-07 15:27
WONDERFUL NEWS! Now, these are charges to either depose this nut or legally have him removed. Either or, "the angels rejoice!"
#4 Anon-i-Moose on 2008-02-07 15:50
#5 Daniel E. Fall on 2008-02-07 16:50
Thank God that Caesar has arrived aka the EEOC to bring some order to the chaos we call the government (episcopacy)of the OCA. Nick and Stan in Alaska have been lawless. One of them propositioned a homosexual relationship and the other fired Paul Sidebottom for reporting it. Paul couldn't win. Stan was mad that Paul wouldn't have sex with him and Nick was mad for relating to him (the Bishop) that Stan had an issue. Apparently that touched a nerve for both and Paul was fired.
The OCA can turn a blind eye via the Synod of Bishops but that won't obscure the investigative analysis of the EEOC. I wonder what the EEOC will do if they find that not just Nick and Stan, but Herman, and the Synod, did not follow their own statutes and protocols as they relate to sexual misconduct towards Paul Sidebottom. The EEOC, unlike the Synod of Bishops, will not be scared of Nick's big as Montana temper.
This will be another matter costing some money because there is no accounting method, statute, law, canon, administrative procedure, or common sense that some of our Bishops are not above.
I'm thinking that the way through this mess is for me to try to get the victims of the rogue bishops to tithe their settlements to my parish. This will work for everyone. Some of the Bishops can keep making stupid decisions and creating victims. The victims can recover via large monetary settlements. The local parish can reclaim some of its misspent assessments and charity collections via the tithe from the victims. This will retire our building debt and allow the money, that seems so precious to the bishops, to flow back to where we actually want to manifest the Church, In the local parish.
I wonder if Nick and Stan will try to blame this investigation and subsequent penalties on Bishop Job?
Maybe the only way to get the Bishops interested in dealing with the truth is via investigations by governmental agencies and/or the loss of monetary capitol via penalties and fines. We have seen the Synod of Bishops shy away from the truth for these last several years. Maybe the way forward is to pray that the FBI, IRS, Border patrol, homeland security, et al will force the HOLY CHURCH to finally deal with TRUTH. For all those in civil authority, LORD have mercy!! God bless Paul and the EEOC!
#6 Anonymous on 2008-02-07 17:07
Do you mean to tell me that those godless, non-Orthodox, secular ethicists at EEOC have determined that retaliatory firing is WRONG? Do tell!
God bless you, Paul Sidebottom. You will be in my prayers. Perhaps your example will help others understand that it IS possible to stand up to bullies. And perhaps some of our OCA priests will learn that they are not completely powerless in the face of +Herman's known penchant for such behavior.
Just when you think all is lost, God surprises us with joy (here, through his servant Paul)...
#7 Cathryn M. Tatusko on 2008-02-07 18:06
I may be a nit here, but joy isn't the adjective for me, not even close. Nor is bravo. I don't see how anyone can revel in any of this...
The one bad thing that this website can do is polarize the people in authority into believing we are only revelers, taking delight in the pain of those in authority, or even taking delight in the human cockfight they have fallen into..
The filing of this claim is certainly going to be sobering for the DoA, pun intended. Our hoorays won't help the remediation of the situation.
Our discussion and highlighting of fact may...
...but seriously, what is the remediation for Sidebottom?
The only thing he can do is punish them financially. The courts rarely honor anything else, and our Synod doesn't have enough power to remove a Bishop for much less than murder.
sorry if I'm being a nit, but I find some of the reveling here in this thread, well, a bit disgusting...you can have the last word..
#7.1 Daniel E. Fall on 2008-02-08 21:11
This supposed "joy" has to come from some other source than the Lord. In the world, it is called "schadenfreude."
#7.2 Anonymous on 2008-02-09 09:38
Okay, anonymous. I'll bite. Schadenfreude means "shameful joy". Kindly explain where the shame lies in being grateful that truth may, finally, be told, and that wrongdoers may, finally, be held accountable for their wrongs. I thought that we are supposed to love truth and justice? The holy prophets might be surprised at your take, and there is quite a lot of what you seem to consider schadenfreude in the Magnificat. Listen to what you chant tomorrow at Matins, for heaven's sake.
#7.2.1 Scott Walker on 2008-02-09 11:38
Don't bite off more than you can chew.
"[H]ear the prophet saying “If Thou observedst iniquity O Lord, who shall stand?” And if it seems good to thee to investigate this saying, leaving the accurate enquiry into the life of each, alone: (For it is not possible even to know all that has been accomplished by each man) let us bring forward those sins which all, without contradiction, commit: and from these it will be plain and manifest to us, that if we were chastened for each of our sins, we should long ago have perished.
He who has called his brother fool, “is liable to the hell of fire” saith He. Is there then any one of us who has never sinned this sin? What then? Ought he to be straightway carried off? Therefore we should have been all carried off and would have disappeared, long ago, indeed very long ago. Again he who swears, saith he, even if he fulfil his oath, doeth the works of the wicked one. Who is there then, who has not sworn? Yea rather who is there who has never sworn falsely? He who looketh on a woman, saith he, with unchaste eyes, is wholly an adulterer, and of this sin any one would find many guilty.
When then these acknowledged sins are such and so insufferable, and each of these of itself brings upon us inevitable chastisement, if we were to reckon up the secret sins committed by us, then we shall see especially that the providence of God does not bring upon us punishment for each sin.
So that when thou seest anyone rapacious, covetous, and not chastened, then do thou unfold thine own conscience; reckon up thine own life, go over the sins which have been committed and thou shalt learn rightly that in thine own case first, it is not expedient to be chastened for each of thy sins: for on this account the majority make reckless utterances, since they do not look on their own case before that of others, but we all leaving our own alone, examine that of the rest."
- St. John Chrysostom
#18.104.22.168 Anonymous on 2008-02-09 20:47
I'll see you and raise you. "I wrote to you in my letter not to associate with immoral men, not at all meaning the immoral of this world, or the greedy or robbers or idolators, since then you would need to go out of the world. But rather I wrote to you not to associate with anyone who bears the name of brother if he is guilty of immorality or greed, or if he is an idolator, reviler, drunkard or robber-not even to eat with such a one. For what have I to do with judging outsiders? Is it not those inside the church whom you are to judge? God judges those outside. "Drive out the wicked person form among you." St. Paul !st Corinthians 5: 9-13. My confessors know my sins, and funny thing, we are supposed to confess and repent them, not cover them up. I'm chewing quite well, thank you.
#22.214.171.124.1 Scott Walker on 2008-02-10 14:16
Let us pray,"God, I thank You that I am not like other men—extortioners, unjust, adulterers, tax collectors or even as these OCA hierarchs."
#126.96.36.199.1.1 Anonymous on 2008-02-10 19:55
Go and set St. Paul straight, will you? Clearly he couldn't have meant what he said. And if we're citing gospels, let's visit Matthew 23, shall we? You know, the chapter where Christ recurrently calls out "Woe to you, scribes and pharisees, hypocrites!" He has several things to say to religious authorities, and none of them are pretty, and none of them are kind. Once again, the way to deal with sin is to confess it and repent it, not to cover it up, nor to accuse those who see it and call it what it is. David's response to the prophet Nathan when the latter accused him of murder and adultery is instructive. We chant it several times a week. I hope that, at least some of the time, I mean it.
#188.8.131.52.1.1.1 Scott Walker on 2008-02-11 09:03
Actually schadenfreude means taking pleasure (joy) in someone else's misfortune. I can see why there might be some schadenfreude in the storm that is besetting certain hierarchs and chancellors.
#184.108.40.206 BB on 2008-02-09 21:55
I sit here and read so many hateful and unchristian comments about our Bishop and Fr. Isadore and it hurts to see how far so many have sunck to not really see what is really going on. Ephesians tells us about the spiritual battle that we are engaged in and how we are to wage warefare against it. Law suites and slanderous comments are not going to end the spiritual war that each one of us are engaged in. We really need to reflect on our own lives and root out the sin in it before we can rejoice.
The lawsuite that is being talked about is another shameful display of avoiding being held accountable for our sins. All the EEOC can do is make a judgement as to weather Paul was fired because of retaliation, its purpose isnt to uncover the skeletons in the closet nor to even get at the Truth of this whole situation, thats not its purpose. Theres only two people who knows what really happened Paul and Fr. Isadore. I dont remember (even though it may have been brought up) if anybody has questioned Pauls true intentions in this situation, he could just be making it all up about the sexual advances. But for us who were not personally involved to stick our nose into somebody elses business is rather shameful, we can make all the speculations we want but in reality all that is being done is to fall further into sin.
It really bothers me when so many people who dont even live here are weighing in on the situation and casting judgements. Thers to much mud slinging to much hatred being espoused.
Bishop Nicolia is human and he does make mistakes, but then again so are we. We dont always make the right decisions in our work life or in our family life. I know I have made pleanty of mistakes. Bishop Nicolia has a very diffucult job to perform, there are so many in this dioscee wh are very head strong and it doesnt matter how right someone else may be, its not the way they would do it and so they wont do it and when they are being held accountable for there actions they dont like it and so they rebell.. and blame the one they are rebelling against. Anyways Ive spoken to much so before I get my passions aroused even more I had better get quiet.
I do want to add one thing though the Evil one is fighting against us hard, and we need to fight back but not with weapons of our flesh but with prayer and fasting. How many of us are fasting and praying. How many of us are praying "Thy will be done on earth as it is in Heaven...." how many of us are seeking after the Lords righteousness instead of our own. We were never promised an easy road. The problems that we see and we are so passionate about has been going on long before us and will continue to exist long after we are gone. We need to have our perspective right, we need to be on our knees seeking forgiveness and then we need to walk and act in repentance and the world will know that we are His disciples because we will finally have Love for one another.
I do know Paul and Fr. Isadore and Bishop Nicholai and I love them dearly even with all their human weakneses because I know that my faults are even greater. I beg of you who read this to beging a campaing of prayer and fasting that Gods righteousness will be found in each of our lives and that when we are called before thae great judgement seat we arent found guilty because we were so busy finding other people guilty.
#220.127.116.11 Anonymous in Alaska on 2008-02-11 22:23
Anonymous in Alaska:
Your words appear to be heartfelt, sincerely, compassionate and the Christian ideal of forgiveness. If you are, in fact, writing this as an outside individual and not as one of Nikolai's "insiders", then I applaud you for your desire to see goodness in the Church. However, having previously known Nikolai and Isidore, must caution you to be careful what you defend yourself without knowing the whole truth. They have committed many deeds which now seem to be getting their just reward.
If you are someone in their inner circle, perhaps a secretary or someone else close to the current administration, then shame on you for being a part of such propaganda. Many people know many bad things about these two men and they just happened to be somewhat "caught in the act" by Mr. Sidebottom.
#18.104.22.168.1 Anonymous on 2008-02-12 10:19
My response is from my heart. I am not part of any inner circle.
Anonymous in Alaska
#22.214.171.124.1.1 Anonymous in Alaska on 2008-02-12 19:55
Nice platitudes, but real people have been hurt and continue to be hurt by these thugs; you sound like a an enabler with "wife beater" syndrome i.e. "keep people out of our business! Only my wife and I know what really happens in OUR house" SMACK! I am also an "Alaskan" and want to see these people GONE, and I know of many other "Alaskans" who feel the sae way. Using Scripture to run interference for abusive clergy is lame. I've heard your tired line before, usually when people in our Tlingit villages want to protect various sexual predators, corrupt politicians, and shady so-called "elders". Find a new song to sing.
#126.96.36.199.2 Moses on 2008-02-12 11:57
“Theres only two people who knows what really happened Paul and Fr. Isadore.”
You said the above and can you swear that it is true? I don’t think so. And by the way, can’t you get deposed by drinking too much? I think there is a canon to cover that behavior. Weren’t there people who witnessed this breach of conduct? At the services, at the airport?????
It is nice of you to stand up for your friends, many in prison have friends who stand up for them too. But any defense is weak when pictures show the church is empty. There is no defense of that.
At first, because of the Apostles and the early Fathers, people would die for Christ. Now because of the hierarchs, they won’t even attend church to pray to Him.
“Take heed to yourselves and to all the flock, in which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to care for the church of God which he obtained with the blood of his own Son. I know that after my departure fierce wolves will come in among you, not sparing the flock; and from among your own selves will arise men speaking perverse things, to draw away the disciples after them.” (Acts 20:28-30)
#188.8.131.52.3 Sad About Alaska on 2008-02-12 14:14
Im not standing up for anyone, if someone has done something wrong I believe strongly that they should be held accountable for their actions. It doesnt matter who they are including myself. I dont hold a double standard.
I appologize I should have been more specific when I was writing I was thinking about the alledged abuse that went on behind closed doors not what was out in the open and I am just speaking based upon reports written on this site. Hopefully that makes sense.
"But any defense is weak when pictures show the church is empty. There is no defense of that."
Im not sure which Church you are going to but the one I go to isnt empty on Sundays. Of course in this area there are thousands of baptised Orthodox that dont go to Church but its not because of our Bishop or Priest, its because of their own sins.
"At first, because of the Apostles and the early Fathers, people would die for Christ. Now because of the hierarchs, they won’t even attend church to pray to Him. "
It was because of the Apostles and the early Fathers that the Gospel was preached but it wasnt because of them that people would die for Christ, it was because of their Love for Christ that they would die. It should be no different today and unfortunately it is.
If the Church is empty and people are not praying then it is a reflection on our sins not the sins of the Bishops and Priest. The people who go to Church all the time it is because of their Love for Christ and His Church, they are the ones who arent scared if the Bishop is there, those who dont go to Church and blame their reason on the action of somebody else, cares more for their comfort than for their Salvation.
If we truly Love Christ than nothing should seperate us from His body and blood, not the actions of a Bishop or a priest or another layman.
Anonymous in Alaska
#184.108.40.206.3.1 Anonymous in Alaska on 2008-02-12 20:38
Did not think I'd every be "happy" to see the EEOC get involved in anything! But, I think that this is a good thing.
I continue to be disappointed to see posts like many in response to this, which support the lie-telling, abusive, arbitrary way in which certain people carry out their office in the OCA. If there is "joy," it is not "joy" in seeing someone, be it +Nikolai, Isidore, or anyone else get their hand slapped. The "joy" is that there may be a step towards "justice," "transparency," "fairness," and so forth. The "shame" if any, is not that many of us experience "joy" in such a step, but rather that it looks like - pardon the expression - someone has to "make a Federal case out of it" to get such justice, transparency, fairness, etc, into the OCA.
I, for one, don't "hate" +Nikolai or Isidore; never met either one of them. But I can clearly see that they've each in their own ways mis-handled their OCA roles, and brought or continue to bring the pain of injustice into the OCA by their actions. And that some would counsel to allow these actions to continue - that's the shame. We can pray for forgiveness and guidance for these fellow human beings, and even for the much-maligned Reader involved in this saga, but that doesn't mean that they should not be removed from office or their position within the Church. To allow them to continue would be unjust and unwise, even unacceptable. Doesn't mean we "hate" them! Just means that we recognize that their continuation in office is an injury to the Church, and a blotch on every "good" bishop, imandrite, and reader, chancellor, etc. "Good" being defined as those struggling to ensure justice, fairness, honesty, and so forth, to their daily lives and the professional responsibilities.
#7.3 Stephen Morgan on 2008-02-11 14:11
Yes, as a matter of fact, I feel worst of all for the girls in question. Taken advantage of at a very, very young age by Mr. Dushkin, then to see him brought into the ranks of clergy in the Orthodox Church. Doubt they'll be signing-up to join the Church anytime soon!
I'm sure, however, that Syosset issued the "cease-and-decist" order for the 19th on the modern calendar, and +Nikolai's blessings of the waters were on another calendar. How confusing; how convenient.
#220.127.116.11 Stephen Morgan on 2008-02-13 22:12
According to pictures posted on the website of the Diocese of Alaska of the Orthodox Church in America, Reader Terenty Dushkin served with Bishop Nikolai (Soraich) and Archimandrite Isidore (Brittain) at Theophany on Saturday, January 19, 2008, despite having been suspended on January 17. The blessing of the water took place at St. Innocent Cathedral in Anchorage.
#8 Ann Onymous on 2008-02-07 20:02
Maybe they thought nobody would notice since almost nobody showed up for the service in the first place.
did you also notice all the empty space on the main floor and the loft?
#8.1 Eddie Kayeti on 2008-02-08 13:16
Congratulations Metropolitan Herman. You have once again shown how incompetent you are to bring this Church together. A matter that should have been handled within the Church is being laundered outside the Church.
Because of your incompetence and total lack of seeing beyond your nose, we now have to endure another humiliation while your pathetic website "informs" us that you need a Secretary because the workload is too much for the Chancellor. Better hold off on making "opps payments" to Bodnar and plans for a Secretary cuz this lawsuit is going to go right up the legal food chain to Syosset.
Oh, I can't wait for Pittsburgh, it should be a wonderful display of complete nonsense as Herman trys to convince us that he is the man for the job of leading the OCA. STOP ALREADY.
It has become a cruel joke as bishops prey on each other instead of praying for each other. It has become a mockery of a Church lead by vindictive, petty and ineffectual bishops either too weak or too stupid to see beyond the borders of their own diocesan fiefdoms.
And you, Most Blessed Herman, you are not part of the solution. You are part of the problem because you can't even discharge the one duty of the Metropolitan, that of being a focus of unity for the Holy Synod. You have made a mockery of the OCA by making a mockery of the Holy Synod. You have divided brother against brother. You have caused mistrust to be the norm in the Synod and in our Church and have done nothing to restore any sense of reconciliation in the Church.
How many more lawsuits, how many more examples of the world taking over this Church do we need to endure? How long, Lord? How long?
#9 To The Point of Despair on 2008-02-07 20:08
GEEEEE! I THINK YOU NEED TO CALL DR. PHIL! YOUR FRUSTRATIONS WITH THE MET, ARE YOUR OWN DOING! YOU HAVE NO FACTS, BUT YOU WANT TO BLAME HIM? GET OVER IT! DID YOU TAKE YOUR MED TODAY? PLEASE LET THE BISHOPS OR THE FEDS DO THEIR OWN JOBS. I WOULD LIKE TO SEE THE WRITTERS ON THIS WEBSITE TELL THE FEDS HOW TO DO THEIR INVESTIGATION! OR TO TELL A JUDGE IN ANY CASE HE OR SHE DID SOMETHING WRONGE! PLEASE GO SIT IN A COURT ROOM IN YOUR SPARE TIME, SEE IF THE JUDGE GOES ON STOKOES WEBSITE FOR THE TRUTH, OR DOES THE JUDGE GO ON THE FACTS OF SAID CASE? THIS IS WHAT THE MET AND THE BISHOPS HAVE DONE! AND THIS IS WHAT THE FEDS ARE GOING TO DO LIKE IT OR NOT! SORRY ABOUT THE CAPS BUT MY KEY BOARD IS BROKEN. GOOD DAY!
Editor's note: It is a fact that the Metropolitan reappointed Kondratick as Chancellor in 2005, knowing allegations of financial misconduct ( not to mention a video of it) existed. He chose to ignore them. He cannot use "for the good of the church", or an ongoing investigation, or the need to protect the OCA's tax exempt status, or any of the other empty excuses he has used in the last two years to justify his dereliction of duty. It is a fact that the Metropolitan interfered in the investigation of these crimes by the Special Commission. There are lots of more facts, which many would like to ignore, and just "move on". Well, the wheels on this bus are going round and round, but we are going nowhere until the rubber hits the road of truth; and that is a fact as well.
Finally, yes, I have told the Feds what they should investigate, and offered assistance in doing so where I could. So, yes, they did consider "Stokoe's website" an avenue to reach the truth. And that, too, is a sad fact, given that our Church is supposed to proclaim it even at the cost of our own death, not cover it up to protect our reputations or that of our friends.)
#9.1 Anonymous on 2008-02-08 13:59
It ain't just your keyboard that is broken, pal.
#9.1.1 Scott Walker on 2008-02-08 17:34
One more thing, crazed anonymous guy. If your keyboard is broken, as you claim, you can't use commas or periods, both of which appear in your rant. So you are a liar as well as a loon. Are you sure you aren't really Nikolai?
#9.1.2 Scott Walker on 2008-02-08 23:12
To be fair, if anon's keyboard is broken such that he is stuck in Caps Lock mode, it will still print periods and commas by default. To get the alternate characters you have to actually press SHIFT (just like you still get numbers when you type them with Caps Lock on).
So it's a bit infair to assume anon is lying.
I reserve comment on the rest.
#18.104.22.168 Kevin Nikolai Payne on 2008-02-10 05:11
Your singing to the choir Stokoe and wasting your time. You have started chaos with your buddy wheeler. You both deserve each other. Waste more time , try to figure out a way to heaven because right now you have no chance.
#9.1.3 Anonymous on 2008-02-10 07:21
Oh my! I believe we all have a chance, until our last breath, to repent. I am surprised,however, that you know the mind of God and that knowledge includes the fact that the Editor of this website has no chance to get to Heaven. That is very frightening. Without the information on this website we would never have had any knowledge of the situation in Syosset. Thank you Mark and Eric Wheeler....and thank you Mr. Sidebottom.
#22.214.171.124 Carpathia on 2008-02-10 15:06
Whoever you are, your bitterness is palpable. Malicious behavior is being exposed and you rant against those that had the courage to speak up. Hmmmm. You don't like it. With attitudes like you are expressing, I am going to guess that you were at one time called one of our "leaders". Were you one of FRK's and MT's bribes from the stolen money... "for the good of the Church"? God save us from such leaders. Just maybe He is, thankfully. Whatever business you are advocating clearly is not God's business.
#126.96.36.199 Anon. on 2008-02-10 21:51
STOKOE! YOU MIGHT BE ABLE TO B.S OTHER PEOPLE! BUT YOUR COMMENTS THAT THE FEDS ARE READING YOUR WEBSITE FOR THE FACTS! IS JUST ANOTHER FAIRY TALE PUT OUT BY THIS GOSSIP WEBSITE! SORRY SECOND AND THIRD HAND INFORMATION DOES'NT FLY IN A COURTROOM !!!! YOU MUST HAVE FACTS!! IF YOUR TRYING TO LEAD YOUR FOLLOWERS TO HELL, BY MAKING UP THE FACTS YOUR DOING A GOOD JOB!! EXAMPLE: YOU STATED MET HERMAN KNEW THIS AND THAT! IS THIS SECOND AND THIRD INFORMATION FROM BISHOP JOB? WHERE ARE YOUR COURT DOCUMENTS TO PROVE WHAT YOU SAY IS TRUE???? YOUR A FOOL AND I DONT TRUST FOOLS!!!
#9.1.4 Anonymous on 2008-02-11 10:45
It must be hard, Mark, to pass it up when some hapless pitcher serves up a hanging curve ball right over the heart of the plate. You're a better man than I.
#188.8.131.52 Scott Walker on 2008-02-11 12:05
I for one can say I don't trust people who act like they know something but can't spell. If you're going to criticize others, at least do so with a dictionary.
#184.108.40.206 Anonymous on 2008-02-11 13:31
Oh, yeah? Well, I don't trust people who don't know the difference between "your" and "you're." So, they're! I mean, there!
#220.127.116.11 C.C. on 2008-02-11 14:26
Exact same spelling pattern and tone as several inter-changeable posters on Orthodox Forum who consistently tow the RSK line.
Over time the tone has become more and more shrill and hysterical.
[and he/they HATE having the spelling errors pointed out -- at least for the sake of covering his/their tracks you'd think he/they would make a bit more effort]
#18.104.22.168.1 Rebecca Matovic on 2008-02-11 15:41
SORRY MY COMPUTER DOES NOT HAVE SPELL CHECK!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! ITS THE SUBSTANCE OF THE POSTING THAT COUNTS!!!!!! REMEMBER NO FACTS, NO POWER, JUST DO DOO!! THAT'S ALL THIS WEBSITE PUTS OUT! AS I HAVE STATED IN THE PAST "STOKOE SHUT DOWN THIS GOSSIP WEB SITE" MAYBE THE CHURCH CAN START TO HEAL!
#22.214.171.124.1.1 Anonymous on 2008-02-12 10:10
I think we should get together and buy crazed anonymous guy a new keyboard, and perhaps even some instruction in the word processing program he is using, which almost certainly does have a spell-check function. Or is he using a Commodore 80? Hardware and software issues may be remediable, but the content will, I fear, continue to be self-parodying. But by all means, keep it up, crazed anonymous guy. You're doing such a terrific job of advocating for your point of view.
#126.96.36.199.1.1.1 Scott Walker on 2008-02-12 14:58
Can we take up a collection to buy this poor guy a keyboard?
Propaganda is even more annoying when it's in ALL CAPS.
#188.8.131.52.1.1.2 Anonymous on 2008-02-12 19:48
Tell you what, dear broken-keyboard broken-record "you're all gossipers!" friend:
You imply strongly that you have proof that Mark doesn't know what he is talking about and that he has lied about things.
So I'll make this easy: prove it. Sing. Show us your proof with supporting documentation and sources--as Mark has done over and over.
I frankly do not think that you can do so. At least Monk James had a good reason why he could not simply "tell all" willy-nilly.
You on the other hand are guilty of doing exactly what you accuse Mark Stokoe of doing.
And by the way, much of the evidence that Mark has offered on this website is more than adequate for trial purposes--criminal or civil. And I have THAT directly from a state's attorney who has surveyed this site. Some would be considered hearsay, but there is enough source-supported information (he says) that it would be of use to an attorney, whether prosecuting or defending.
#184.108.40.206 kEVIN nIKOLAI pAYNE on 2008-02-11 15:27
In one way it is extremely sad that this situation has had to reach this point. Sad for the Church, and certainly even more so for Paul Sidebottom. Anytime abuse by the clergy is brought to light is a good thing because it allows the Church to take action to stop the behavior, help the victim heal, and prevent future abuses. The Church refuses to police its own, so the government must step in.
My prayers are offered for Mr. Sidebottom, that justice will be served in his case.
Now at least we now know what has sparked the renewed (misplaced) anger toward the long-suffering Archbishop Job.
I know that God will eventually prevail in this matter. Even though my wife and I now attend a church in another jurisdiction, I still weep for the church in which I was raised.
#10 Guy & Christine Kogut on 2008-02-07 20:15
Its amazing, isn't it? Nikolai is facing a federal investigation that could lead to God knows what and Nikolai is centering his concerns on canonical charges against Job. Excuse me while I laugh my ... off!
For anyone to take the charges against Job seriously at this point in time would be akin to rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic. If the Synod doesn't suspend Nikolai and Isidore and takes action against Job they will have broken every law of physics, let alone common sense!
#10.1 Anonymous on 2008-02-07 22:32
Well, +N just gets in deeper and deeper, doesn't he?
In a sad sort of way, this is perhaps the best news that has come in years. The whole sexual sub-culture could be "outed" if this actually went to court. Of course, it probably won't. But, at the very least, this whole thing should give the bishops great pause in considering any support of +N against Abp. Job, especially if any of them don't wish to be "outed".
#11 Anonomous priest on 2008-02-07 20:21
By the Grace of God... good work Paul!
I wonder how much longer the do-gooders of the OCA will defend these pitiful creatures from their fate?
How can anyone deny the reality - I am not that smart am I?
I can honestly say that I know of even worse... much worse...
Unfortunately I cant speak! God knows... and so do the persons involved!
I am almost willing to be sued and jailed to expose the things I know.... My family and others need me though...
Makes me wonder how much crap little herman and the white hat boys club have done - if they can stand there and deny all of this insane behavior of head of the Alaskan Diocese and still keep shut. What does he have on them, that they're willing to topple the church in America to keep the lid on.. and the so called synod keeps on truckin along with no regard to any of it..
This ainy even a good ol' boys club... its in the same league as organized crime...
I wonder if I can be bishop too... I have driven under influence of alcohol, done drugs, slept with some trolls, lusted in my heart... sassed my parents, withheld the truth....
Well maybe not; I have not molested anyone, failed to right crime when it was my responsiblity, never embezzled money from widows and orphans... and yeah... I was a on the street crack addict for years... am clean now though.. for years..
C'mon people - get a grip!
#12 Ted Panamarioff on 2008-02-07 21:09
Calling Fr. Karlgut! Care to restate your conclusions?
What a joke your investigation is going to be shown!
#13 Anonymous on 2008-02-07 22:21
If Nikolai and Isidore are not suspended in the next couple of days, it will show, yet again, and this time with a Federal agency involved, that the bishops don't get it. They live in a world disconnected from any reality.
The clock is ticking, boys, what are you going to do? More coverup or remove Nikolai until at least the conclusion of the EEOC investigation?
And, what about Nikolai flaunting the suspension notice about the new reader allowing him to serve on suspension. I would figure that canonical charges should be brought up against Nikolai!
Come on, you guys, what are you going to do? I imagine its the first praying this bunch has done in a while now that they're in deep doo!
The sticks in the hands and the slow walking about isn't going to impress these disinterested investigators. May fool some of the faithful, but now you got to come clean.
#14 Anonymous on 2008-02-07 22:28
Last count someone saw this article already in 51 papers from sea to shining sea and across to the pond in London.
Well, now, Synod, you did good this time! The good ole boys club has now shown its incompetence in the extreme. Can't do anything proactively or even when its known.. it has to get to the papers where sex and church are chum for circling bands of press.
In a normal organization where this wouldn't have gotten to this point, we would assume there will be a suspension today!
#15 Anonymous on 2008-02-08 06:33
I am SHOCKED, SHOCKED that AP, FOXNews and other newspapers would run a story about sexual harassment involving the Church!!!!! What do we expect them to do? They love to fill space with these stories. Sex sells folks! Let the process run its grinding course. Our hand-wringing "way to go" comments reveal a spiritual immaturity that is more embarrassing then the allegations and the not-to-be-unexpected press coverage.
How about returning to our respective prayer corners and PRAY for all involved, starting with ourselves for gloating over this sick situation.
#15.1 Anonymous on 2008-02-08 08:24
Get behind us Satan! Only a fool or a blind person would make such idiotic comments about the support so many of us are giving Paul Sidebottom in bringing to light the evil, corruption, abuses, and darkness tolerated and enabled for years in the very core of the OCA.
I am perplexed and disturbed by your comments, Anonymous! Where is your SHOCK and OUTRAGE against those within our church for providing this fodder for the media? And who is gloating? Concerned member of the Church have been begging our leaders to handle these problems within the OCA and they have refused for years already. If the church will not enforce it's own laws, then how is this to end if not with government intervention and media interest? Prayers have been and will continue to be offered by individuals and by parish communities until there is an end to this ungodly mess one way or another.
#15.1.3 Ellen Barber on 2008-02-08 12:54
You're entitled to your opinion, but I don't think people are gloating over the mere fact that the church is being held up to derision. The hope of everyone I see posting here, whether they express outrage, sorrow, hope, or even invective is that the unwelcome media attention will force Syosset to take the actions it otherwise refuses to take.
You think we're all just "yay, Orthodox Christians look like a bunch of idiotic perverts in today's news! Good for ol' Fox News!" Sorry, but you are reading us so wrong it must be on purpose.
It reminds me of a discussion on another list where it was suggested a separate list be established so as not to scare away potential converts. Folks, I would hate to think we would want converts coming into the OCA now without knowing just what they were in for. If the OCA looks bad on the news, the reason may be that the OCA -- or its leadership anyway -- is acting bad, and the news reports are merely accurate and whatever gets posted here is merely fair comment.
So go back to your prayer corner -- but if God answers those prayers with chastisement for his church and exposure of its misdeeds, please take your complaints upstairs.
Oh, and if you really think the reaction here is more spiritually immature than serial sodomy by persons in high places (if it happened -- not saying it did, but it is a theme that is hard to ignore in all of this) and widespread stealing (if it happened -- wasn't there, but even the official version acknowledges some of it) by top church officials, then I'd check the incense you're burning in that prayer corner of yours.
I know it is is a real bad day for all you Anonymous Syosset boosters, but you might as well get used to it, because it is going to get worse before it gets better.
#15.1.4 Timothy Capps, Esq. on 2008-02-08 13:20
Pray, yes, without ceasing and always.
Then get off your duff and do something, even if that something is speaking out (which seems to be all we can do at this point).
Recall, please, that "faith without works is dead."
We show our faith by our works.
Martin D. Watt, CPA
#15.1.5 Marty Watt on 2008-02-08 13:24
I for one, am not gloating over the situation.On the contrary,I'm saddened.Metropolitan Herman performed the wedding of my wife and myself more than 30 years ago.I have nothing personnal against Metropolitan Herman,but he's not a Pope nor a Tsar.As for Archbishop Job,I've known him since he was the Reader John Osacky in 1972.Vladyka Job like everyone else has made mistakes(I understand that some of former flock in New England have floated rumours about him;maybe he ticked off the Masons there or something).I feel that now Archbishop Job is trying to do what's right for the Church.I hope God will bless him in this struggle.As for the other bishops,I usually support the right of a bishop to run his diocese as he pleases,BUT as I said above,they are bound by Canon Law just as is every priest,deacon,monk,or layman.I've often complained about laity have too much power in parish councils(I've seen this not only in the OCA,but in ROCOR,and other jurisdictions as well).That being said,the bishops are accountable before God as all of us are.
#220.127.116.11 Old Ukrainian on 2008-02-08 16:22
I think that when I go to my prayer corner, the first item on the agenda is thanksgiving that God, in His mercy, is going to bring some light into the dark corners of the OCA. Too bad He has to use the Feds to do it. Nobody here is gloating, but everybody here is grateful, except for the usual anonymous internet warriors. Rave on, braveheart.
#15.1.6 Scott Walker on 2008-02-08 17:49
Congraluations to Paul Sidebottom for his courage to file a lawsuit.
I hope more people will have the courage to come forward with lawsuits.
The oca needs a complete overhaul. The so called leaders must first of all tell the entire truth and then step down and beg for forgiveness.
It would be a great way for them to start Great Lent. Instead of sermons ---their telling the truth and asking forgivess would be the greatest example of being true Christians.
Of course we all know that will never happen.
They want to retain the money and power at all costs.
The poor beliving people do not have many role models within the leaders of the church. Perhaps their is a Bishop who can be very brave and start the chruch on the road to healing. If not the oca will not last much longer.
I feel many parishes will start looking to join other juridictions.
#16 John Macenka on 2008-02-08 07:27
Finally, someone with the courage and will TO ACT! We are all collectively with you Paul--the people in darkness have seen a great light! May that light expose and destroy the forces of Evil that have taken hold of the OCA and threaten its continued existence.
Most importantly, there is now some hope, where previously there was only despair.
#17 Kenneth R. Tobin on 2008-02-08 07:37
We are watching this closely here in Alaska; hopefully the outcome will be the Bishop of Alaska packing his bags and leaving us in peace. He also needs to take all of the members of his good ol' boys cronie clique that he brought here with him, including the Okhrana spies he has planted in parishes throughout the state, we know who you are, did you actually think you were fooling anyone (Deacons and Monklets)? Bye.
#18 Moses on 2008-02-08 08:02
Thank you, Mr. Sidebottom.
#19 Kristine Patico Koumentakos on 2008-02-08 08:16
Just out of curiosity... can someone explain to us what the charges were that lead to the defrockments of Frs. Poulson and Whitehurst?
Wondering if what they did warranted a federal probe as well?
#20 Anonymous on 2008-02-08 12:02
The OCA: No longer America's best kept secret. : (
#21 Anonymous on 2008-02-08 13:11
If Archbishop Job suffers retaliation in May from +N and the other enablers on the Synod, wouldn't this also come under the jurisdiction of the EEOC? Just a thought.
#22 Richard Mason on 2008-02-08 15:10
Lord, have mercy.
And, if this is what it takes, may God direct their paths.
#23 It's About Time on 2008-02-08 18:45
May God guide you in your efforts Mr. Paul Sidebottom. I’m glad you did this so don’t misinterpret my meaning. My parish has decided to withhold everything (assessments and that $8 surcharge) so I will be anonymous in this writing. I don’t think we will continue to fund any more lawyers which has become the sole effort of our church recently. If the synod did the right thing, Mr. Sidebottom would not have to take this action. But no, the synod insists on letting things get into such disarray that they end up being featured in the media and that only undermines our purpose for being. Come on guys, get your act together and get rid of the bad apples yourself. Do your job and protect the church, suspend Nick and Isidore now!!!!! The next headlines may be worse than those today.
And regarding that $8 surcharge, how is that going to be spent? We need figures. They came up with that figure somehow! Why not $6 or $5 or $9?
Another thing, Nick looks really fine in his white robes along with Isidore next to him in those pictures on the internet, but I visited that church some years in the past (just before Nick came) and I can recall people everywhere and really lots of children!!! What good are those fine white robes when the church is EMPTY! Downstairs and upstairs! I wonder what Christ wore when he gave the Sermon on the Mount to a crowd! How awful, how unchristian, how absolutely unneeded is all that water they blessed! Poor St. Herman must be crying to see what he has built now being ground into dust under the foot of Nick, and all our bishops turn away and pretend not to see.
And before I go, what on earth is that investigation that was made by Fr. Karlgut all about? If anything comes from this EEOC investigation, Fr. Karlgut should be fired. Not in retaliation but for not doing his job in the first place!!! Complete and utter incompetence from Herman, the synod and some of those who should know better!!
#24 Anon on 2008-02-08 19:49
>And regarding that $8 surcharge, how is that going to be
>spent? We need figures. They came up with that figure
>somehow! Why not $6 or $5 or $9?
Come to think of it....they are expecting to spend 16-million dollars on the AAC?
Cause didn't we borrow 2-million bucks on the basis of having a membership of 2-million people?
And if that's so, and they have assessed 8 bucks per member, then they must think they will get 16-mil.
And if that is NOT so (they don't think that we have 2-mil members) then are they not guilty of fraud?
#24.1 Kevin Nikolai Payne on 2008-02-11 15:33
Finally, some action. It is long overdue. Does anyone find it curious that none, not one of the Syosset defenders ever attempts to discuss the *$4M+ in missing ADM funds*? I strongly suspect that FRK used those funds to buy silences or compromise into silence any bishop, clergy or layperson whom he thought might give him a problem later. He is no doubt calling in those chips... hence the silence. Utter silence.
Who got the benefit of the $$$ ADM millions? The list starts at the top and reaches down into many parishes in this country and others. MH was the treasurer during that period. Everyone who was close to Syosett at that time knows that the previous Metropolitan was not capable of embezzlement without assistance.
Perhaps the discovery in this and other suits to come will start getting the truth here. Clearly the people involved are compromised into utter silence.
#25 Anon. on 2008-02-09 06:26
It's not merely a case of sexual offenders being ordained or money being stolen. If a Synod of Bishops refuses to show decency and honesty, it deserves what it receives.
I have no crystal ball. The future is unknown to me. However, the OCA is not long for this world if it does not act (and act swiftly) to right these wrongs.
Been around for some time
#26 anonymous on 2008-02-09 08:33
First off, I would like to express my thanks to Mark for this website and keeping us informed. Second, I am sure Paul Sidebottom could use some finanical help with his law suit. Is it possible to publish his address on this website as I am sure there are many others who wish to support his efforts to bring this injustice to the OCA to a quick halt and get the guilty properly punished. Thank you, Peter J. Sredich
#27 Peter J. Sredich on 2008-02-09 16:06
I agree-I would like to support Mr. Sidebottom and know of a few others who would also like to contribute to his legal expenses. could we be directed to a place to send these donations? Thank you for your help.
#27.1 Carpathia on 2008-02-10 14:50
Thank you Paul Sidebottom! Your great courage is heartwarming, commendable, and noteworthy.
Below is a brief commentary to all the courageous souls who have spoken up in our present debacle within the OCA.
Some persons here may have made this analogy before since Mark has started this blog site, but it is hard to ignore:
Hitler had his cronies that carried out his orders (even unto the death and concentration camps). They turned a deaf ear and a blind eye to what Hitler was doing, gladly carrying out his orders to the extreme of exterminating the "imperfect."
However, towards the end of the war the US army and others started documenting the stark realities of how evil Hitler was. It was not his own people who exposed Hitler; it was not those closest to him; it was the outsiders who came and saw and heard and got sick about the death and concentration camps.
Of course, just as in our own OCA situation, during Hitler's time, there were a few brave military commanders who thought Hitler was nuts (deservedly so) and tried to assassinate him. Unfortunately, they died or were murdered or were hung (one I believe committed suicide?) and Hitler survived.
However blind most of his close followers were, particularly his henchmen, the evil SS, the world took note. Evil did not triumph. The Nuremburg Trials did not forget. Indeed there is presently a man still hunting down the war criminals of WWII.
Many of us faithful, not necessarily close to Syosset, but close to what truth and integrity stand for, are taking note in several ways. The current web site is helping those who would stand for truth and integrity take note and be counted among the opionions that the evil within the OCA's administration should stop.
The Feds appear to be involved.
As several people have commented, this outside force is becomming more and more relied upon to clean up what the insiders of the OCA may not be able to do.
But just like the fiasco under Hitler, no one forgot how disruptive such evil was and many museums around the world commemorate the Holocaust. There is proof. There is committment that such evil shall not happen again.
And while evil does occur, such as 911, most of the world knows that there is evil and there is light. Most of us are not giving up on the light!
We faithful must persevere, just like the concerned world did, to correct the agregious abuses of justice right within our own OCA.
Paul, I am hoping for a favorable outcome to your case. The wheels of justice may turn slowly but they do turn.
Thank you again, and may God protect you!
#28 Patty Schellbach on 2008-02-09 18:42
I am at a loss to understanding, why Bishop Nikolai, in Alaska and Metropolitan Herman in Brooklyn, N.y., were blessing water on the Feast of Theophany, according to the Julian Calendar. on January 19, 2008... What happened to the Revised Julian Calendar , is it not used by the OCA anymore or only for Christmas or whenever Herman wants? AGAIN LAWYERS NEEDED FOR COURT CASES, AS WAS NEEDED BACK IN THE EASTERN DIOCESE OF PA. IN 1982. BUT NOW , MONIES EMBEZZLED, PRIEST DEPOSED, -BISHOPS CHARGED , SEX - OFFENDERS WHAT ELSE WILL WE HEAR NEXT? ALL UNDER HERMAN'S LEADERSHIP !!!! MAY GOD BLESS THE OCA.
#29 jeanfedak on 2008-02-09 19:43
The Diocese of Alaska never changed to the revised Julian calendar. The church in Brooklyn also remains on the old calendar.
#29.1 anon on 2008-02-10 13:41
Dear Jean,Are you the Jean Fedak from my late wife's home parish in Simpson,PA? In 1982,as you noted,the OCA did indeed adopt the "Revised Julian Calender."However,Alaska refused to accept it,so did many parishes in Canada,and some very Russian parishes here in the states,such as the one in Brooklyn.As I understand it(I've been out of the OCA for many years),Bishops were allowed to make exceptions in such cases.At that time,Metropolitan Herman was only Bishop of Eastern PA and so couldn't answer for other dioceses.He CHOSE to go after Mayfield and Simpson parishes in court.I heard he alienated some of the people in Simpson and Mayfield by suggesting that their parents might have been wrong for stickiung to the old way.As a Carpathorussian himself,the then-Bishop Herman should have realised that telling these "hunkies" that their parents were wrong is sort of like pouring gasoline on a raging fire.After all,the ancestors of these people were usually treated as second-class citizens by the ruling Poles and Hungarians back in the old Austro-Hungarian empire and even here in the New World,they were often ridiculed by Anglo and Roman Catholic neighbors for celebrating Feast Days on the Old Calender.Because of this,they have developed a thick skin.Then-Bishop Herman entered into a war he could not win.It has to be an embarresment for him and the rest of the OCA that newly-arrived Russians insist on the Old Calender Nativity,so that in some churches,they actually have services on both dates.
#29.2 Old Ukrainian on 2008-02-10 16:47
Dear Jean only one question! who can you (JEAN) controll? the fact is jean you can only controll one person! and that one person jean is who? right its JEAN! How do you expect the met to controll anyone? is it fair to blame the met, when kondratic stole the money! what about kondratic does he know right from wrong? I think so! so why blame the met! I think the author of this website is more to blame, because he's putting out false infom.....!
#29.3 Anonymous on 2008-02-15 11:17
The met and others knew full well what was going on and did nothing to stop it until the public outcry. He and they were even involved in much of it. Try another line, 'cause this same old one ain't workin'.
#29.3.1 Anonymous on 2008-02-15 12:28
Thank you for answering my question about the blessing of water, and the calendar issue. How can a church celebrate two Christmases ? What gospels and epistles are read before the Holy Day? When does Lent Start???? What about the teachings of the church or is the church becoming convenient for the Orthodox now, as it became for the Roman Catholics. In response to annonymous Yes, I Jean, can olny control myself and everyone is responsilbe for themselves. BUT In any organization, be it civil, religious or political, there are checks and balances. So, no one was checking the treasurer, the Chancellor, and the Metropolitan No one was accountable for the memberships " monies. " Someone was in control. Their is always someone in control.
#18.104.22.168 jeanfedak on 2008-02-22 11:50
I'm sorry, but it is not Stokoe and Wheeler defending the immoral, perverted and power hungry bishops. Those who defend them are the ones in need of our prayers. I'll add you to my list right away even though I don't know you.
Mark, you're doing the right thing. The ones who fight the most against you are the ones who will have the most to lose once the trash gets thrown out once and for all!
#30 anonymous on 2008-02-10 15:24
first of all i ask forgiveness from God, my parents, my elders, and anyone i may offend. even as i sit here staring at the screen, i tremble wondering if he will know its me.
from the beginning it is like "brain wash", telling us the way he wants to be addressed, fed, served, EVERYTHING!
we the people of the delta have limited access to the internet making it harder to let our voices be heard. from the first time bishop nikolai has hurt our respectable elders, many of whom are widows/ widowers, we (younger people) were encouraged by our wise elders to pray harder, love stronger, and give Glory to God. because when we don't retaliate God gives His Mercy, and to the wrong doer later on his name will be "like on billboards" everyone will know his/her wrong doing, from things behind closed doors, to whispers in the ear.
and he knows that yupik people are thought this way, and he took advantage in a way.
many of our priests here in alaska are wonderful people, to him many are a disgrace. people are aware of this and they don't like to go to church when he's coming. alot don't go, and for a few they go because they know that their parish priest will 'GET IT' from him, and some go for the Love of God.
when he's here parents with small children, disabled kids, families that were humiliated by him, and old people that can't stand in one place for long period dare not go to services, not because they don't like to, because they are AFRAID to 'distract' him, and it doesn't take much to distract him.( as many readers don't know how life is here in the delta our people seem to age faster physically because of all the hard work without the help from machines. so most people ail from joint problems) that may help explain why they need to sit from time to time, poor hearing and eye sights too have them delayed to rise from seats, and our bishop CAN'T accept that.
maybe if the other bishops came and witnessed this with open hearts they can see our silient suffers. since he came to alaska alot has changed to the negative side from prayerful services to tension triggering heart aches. in the beginning he was nice, had many fooled, not even a year later he had 'his ways', wanted everyone to look way up at him, so he can look down on us. from the way we dressed to church, to how and what we should feed him in our homes. he never accepted our hospitality and food with truth, never gave thanks whole heartedly because he would later belittle with disgust, and laughed about it with his chancellor.
when the first orthodox missionaries came they had limited materials with them from Holy Bibles to books, and communications were poor because english was foreign to us. so they taught as best they can and our people were told to carry on and teach others as they were taught. so, we did, we learned it, never changed it, and when he came he told us where we were wrong,(good that he did) BUT, put us down while he's at it like we were worthless. he and his chancellor never show compassion, and this so not nice for our younger generation to understand. some children ask why they always seem so rich with the best clothing, walking stick, materialistically... " i thought monks don't do that." thats scares most parents, and for some it's embarressing to stand next to them.
people are talking in their villages, hoping that we get a loving bishop someday. OCA send us a God fearing bishop. most native people are quiet, and humble like some of our priests. forgive me if i sound like i have pride. but, key word is humble.
i know that he can be a nice person if he gave it a try, everyone can. i know he can fill his heart with love and commpassion if he would open it. i pray he does one day.
please understand that our people and priests are not just sitting back twiddleing their thumbs, they are praying for the good of everything. even now when this is going on people here are still going to church, encouraging eachother to pray harder, love stronger, and giving Glory, Thanksgiving to God because he isn't physically here. again, OCA send us a God fearing bishop. forgive me if i humiliate you my dear alaskan family.
#31 yupiknativeofalaska on 2008-02-10 17:48
I can only weep when I read your message. As one raised in Fairbanks, I fully understand your heartbreak. Your bishop has no understanding, at all, of the Alaskan people. I too, pray that you will one day have a godly and loving bishop.
Fr. Daniel Swires
#31.1 Fr. Daniel Swires on 2008-02-11 07:31
Thank you for your heartbreaking post. It would seem that Bishop NIKOLAI should be investigated. I don't know him and I don't judge him, but now not only Mr. Sidebottom, and not only the government, but his own people are asking for an inquiry. This is clearly not a conspiracy of Archbishop JOB (although His Eminence Vladika JOB was in the right to ask for the lesser synod to gather to consider Paul Sidebottom's concern)! What will it take for Metropolitan HERMAN to do the right thing? When will the supposed "internal" investigation of the Diocese of Alaska come out with the facts? When will there be transparency and accountability in the OCA?
Father Mark Hodges
St Stephen the First Martyr Orthodox Mission
Nothing is going to come of Nikolai internally. If you look at the common thread in all of the workings of the Chancery pre Herman you will see a lot going through Las Vegas. The reason that Nikolai isn't disciplined isn't because he'sa bully, but because he's a main center in the entire scandal. I venture to think that there's a lot of fear of revealing facts that could lead to serious civil actions against Nikolai. Nikolai did not get this job by being a pillar of faith, it was a pay off for all he did for the Kondratick regime.
#31.2.1 Anonymous on 2008-02-11 18:48
Thank you for this post, my brother in Christ. Your heart-wrenching post is a reminder of what this is really all about. Holy St. Herman of Alaska, pray to God for us!
#31.3 Scott Walker on 2008-02-11 12:11
When your bishop was first went to Alaska i read a copy of your diocesan magazine, the North Star. After reading it I thought to myself,"Well, he seems awfully severe. Maybe that is what Alaska needs. But I'm glad Nikolai isn't in San Francisco." And I decided then not to read anything else from Alaska so I wouldn't be tempted to think badly of a bishop. When friendsin my parish called him "The Wicked Witch o the North" I would say, "Well God put him there for a reason" or "Alaska is far away and we have our own diocese to worry about." Well, I was wrong. Forgive me. As of now I am praying that God will remove Nikolai from your land. Also, I have written to the Holy Synod to ask them to remove Bishop Nikolai.
Can we expect to see an announcement from Oyster Bay Cove today regarding the suspension of +Nikolai and Fr. Isadore pending a federal investigation ? We now know this is being handled by those with badges not theologians with multiple initials after their names. Who will compare Fr. Karlgut's investigative report to the Feds?
Who is minding the shredders?
#32 Anonymous on 2008-02-11 07:35
And earlier posters wonder why we post anonymously. My heart breaks as well for our Alaskan brothers and sisters. If the Yupik native used his or her name I don't think anyone could bear hearing about the consequences of that action. Their righteous suffering will go rewarded, just not by those in charge. Instead of posting criticisms of anonymous posters, I would love to see our legal eagles post a recommendation of what could be done with an expectation of a high degree of success here rather than club an anonymous poster. Would outing this person help them? Any "pro bono" offers of help?
#33 Anon on 2008-02-11 13:32
Is the lawyer representing the OCA against Sidebottom's case the same attorney referenced below; who argued (*against*) the Alaska bill which favored survivors of childhood sex crimes?
If so, it appears he represented Alaska Jesuits and was experienced enough to be involved in Alaska Legislature.
Posted April 3, 2007 on AlaskaLegislature.com (NEWS AND RESOURCES FOR CONSTITUENTS) VIA JuneauEmpire.com
"Committee OKs bill for sex crime lawsuits -
Plan seeks to open window for civil cases against perpetrators
By KEN LEWIS
Brian Wallace / Juneau Empire
David Clohessy, left, national director of Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, speaks Monday with Caren Robinson at
the Capitol after Clohessy gave his testimony to the Senate Judiciary Committee.
A bill that would create a one-year window for lawsuits against perpetrators of decades-old childhood sex crimes passed the
Senate Judiciary Committee on Monday, despite concerns voiced by an attorney representing Alaska Jesuits.
Senators gave greater weight to the victims' accounts of their suffering than to the assertion from (*Anchorage attorney Jim
Gorski*) that the proposal is "a matter best left to the law as it currently exists in the state."
"The goal of this bill is to get access to the truth for the victims," said Sen. Lesil McGuire, R-Anchorage\"
read rest of article at "http://aklegislature.com/stories/040307/leg_20070403019.shtml"
#34 J Necaise on 2008-02-11 16:06
First, I too ask forgiveness from God. Then from my brothers and sisters here in Alaska, And from all the Bishops, clergy, and laity of the Glorious Church of Christ.
Although, the glorious church here in Alaska, seems to be forgotten, and laid wast to the wolf of souls. The forgotten goal of Salvation is replaced with wonderful, glamourous clothing, Long meaningless services, and graceless sermons by the Bp. here who is supposed to be the representative of Christ himself.
I remember, those pious servers, wonderfully prayerful elders, who knew how to sing the whole services of the year, being blind without the help of a service book, BUT having these salvific prayers burnt into their hearts. Singing along with everyone else in the community, proclaiming the wonderful gift of life and salvation from Christ Himself. Each and every member of the community in the yupik areas, wanting to see the Bishop, and waiting in the hundreds in the smallest villages, travelling even hundreds of miles in rain and cold weather to the place where the Bishop was going to visit. Not caring about the costs or the struggle to get there. For them, seeing the Bishop, was seeing the image and representative of Christ before them. And many, many people would cry seeing their own unworthiness, but God making them worthy to see him.
Now,.. we are ruled by a tyrannical WOLF Of SOULS, who drives even the smallest of little infants out of the church. The villages and people not wanting to know where the next Bishops visit is going to be, the priests being afraid to speak out because of how quickly his temper goes up, and his eyes turn as dark fire as filled with demons because of his rage. Many have gotten in his path, and he has trampled over them one by one. Thousands of souls hurt, crying and lost, elders and Holy Priests belittled and being called names even during the church servies. The most wonderful of priests laughed at and treated as though they were nothing being called names in front their very parishoners.
I remember the great 5th year anniversary party he held for himself, the lavish food, and expensive music. And the green vestments and gifts that he received which came from the SEMINARY FUNDS. (YES) He chose the color of the vestments before this party by the way. And most of this was paid out by the seminary funds anyway. I guess he is more important than the seminarians in Kodiak who scrimp and save for thier next meal of their families and children. I know these things, and so do many of the faithful people who have been subjected to all of this, because of the person who wears a crown and sits on a throne. All are subject to Him. So bow low before him, as did one other bishop who was really the one with humility. Imagine how high +N's ego was then, to have a bishop bow down before him. Here in alaska not once, not even on forgiveness Sunday, does he bow down. But, he stands just a little higher on that day.
It is said, that the wolf of souls will come and scatter the flock of Christ. And it is so true here in Alaska. This is the reality we live in here, this is the state of affairs the OCA Bishops leave us in. When, is it the time to act, and who is good enough to save? Does not Christ say, "All have been given to me by the Father," And yet those whom God entrusts to be representatives of Christ, have become complacent, bound by Canons, which have been known to be broken by +N himself.
Here I sit, on the Forgotten HOLY Land of St. Herman and St. Innocent. seeing the deterioration of the Diocese of Alaska.
Christ has said, "the tree is known by it's fruit." And the fruit is not salvation here. It is eternal exile from heaven for those who do not come to church, and do not receive the body of Christ, who were once pious, and prayerful people that have been driven out by the BP. Driven out by long and spiritless services, graceless sermons. All for appearance, and stature. I.E. the Metropolitans throne.
I do not sign this for out of fear myself. but I do speak out for those who cannot, here in Alaska. Please those who are able to speak from this Diocese do so with all haste. POST ON THIS SITE SO THAT ALL MAY SEE> EVEN THE OTHER BISHOPS!!!!! PLEASE!!!
begging your humble forgiveness before Christ..
Anonymous, God knows who I am and and he also knows my sinfulness.
#35 St. Herman's forgotten Holy Land on 2008-02-13 05:27
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