Thursday, April 17. 2008
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Glory to Thee, o Lord, Glory to Thee!
#1 herman on 2008-04-17 17:03
#2 Teresa on 2008-04-17 17:07
The HOLY Synod did the right thing the right way. Now may they do the right thing the right way by encouraging Herman to go the same way has Nikolai.
#3 Anonymous on 2008-04-17 17:33
My first thought was that now I will be able to spend Holy Week and Pascha at my home parish in Kodiak. I applaud the Holy Synod for doing what had to be done and encourage them to make the leave of absence permanent.
#4 K. Carlsen on 2008-04-17 20:12
Thanks be! Seconding the motion to make the leave permanent!
#4.1 Anonymous on 2008-04-17 23:46
Applaud the Holy Synod? Rather than applause, perhaps it's a good time for prayer; a prayer of thanks that this is behind us as we approach Holy Week, a prayer of forgiveness, as well as a prayer for our church leadership - including +Nicholai - that there will be better times ahead, and a prayer for all Christians in rural and urban Alaska, and Christians everywhere.
It's a time for healing, and it's a time for forgiveness.
#4.2 "Adakaleut" on 2008-04-18 00:34
It will be interesting in the next few days to see how many of the named and anonymous bishop-bashers of the last few weeks will take the time and acquire the humility to post here with apologies for rushing to negative judgments about Abp. Nathaniel and Bishops Tikhon and Benjamin. And how few "pile on" the sad Bishop Nikolai.
#4.3 Fr. George Washburn on 2008-04-18 06:58
Oh, Please...these guys wrung thier hands and did NOTHING for 6 years while real spiritual damage was done to countless Orthodox Alaskans, we owe them nothing...let's continue de-colonzing the Church in Alaska! People like you are too much.
Moses the Tlingit
#4.3.1 Moses on 2008-04-18 19:17
As one of the vocal "bishop bashers" in my parish, if not on this web site, for what do you think I need to apologize? Calling for the hierarchs to do their sworn duty or resign or be removed? .... Please show me from the fruits of their works (and) I will publicly ask each hierarch for his forgiveness here and through a personal message or in person.
#4.3.2 Mark C. Phinney on 2008-04-19 03:44
Dream on Father! The apologies you are soliciting are as unwarranted as is your cloying plea for letting our bishops now, in effect, handle everything. The only reason the bishops you mentioned came to this decision is because of the uproar their previous stupidities had created.
#4.3.3 Kenneth R. Tobin on 2008-04-19 05:17
Dear Moses, Mr. Phinney, and Mr. Tobin and others:
Not too long ago I was criticized here for a post that was too wordy, so yesterday I thought I would try to cure that by posting briefly. The result: a drubbing from you three who may have no idea whatsoever what I was trying to say. My fault for not being clear, no doubt.
A bit over two weeks ago the Synod rescinded the involuntary leave of absence and appointed Abp. Nathaniel and Bishop Tikhon to investigate. There were all kinds of named and anonymous hand-wringer postings here to the effect that they were just sent there for window dressing and would just do a pro forma look-see to rubber stamp Nikolai's continued dominion.
The announcement from Syosset, to those who read it with care, seems worded to indicate that the report of the two investigative bishops was, like the suppressed work of Fr. Alexander, most unfavorable to Bishop Nikolai and played a big role in the decision of the Synod and of Bishop Nikolai.
My post yesterday then was an attempt to suggest that those who had dumped all over the two investigators and had derided in advance the work that they would do might just want to apologize.
Now you three and others may feel that past mistakes by these bishops may be so huge as to relieve any unfair critics of the two bishop investigative team of any responsibility to apologize sight-unseen for what the negativists ASSUMED would be a whiteash of some kind. I interpret the Christian faith differently, and even try to apply it differently. If a guy is wrong ten times in a row and I criticize him unfairly on the 11th time, I think it is good for my soul - and his too - to say "sorry, I got it wrong." In weaker moments I may mutter or be tempted to add "this time." under my breath.
But chill, dudes. It was that kind of apology - by people who trampled these two bishops and their work in advance - that I meant, not some running up of the white flag by all who ever stood up against the mistakes of the past. I was tempted to think that way myself and am glad discretion told me that ithe two bishop report was not just going to be mere window dressing.
I thought that the people who had unfairly damned them and their work in advance might interpret their faith and their integrity to allow - or even require - them to at least say "oops" if not "sorry." What does your heart tell you?
#126.96.36.199 Fr. George Washburn on 2008-04-19 11:14
Fr. George isn't asking for apologies to every bishop to the Synod. He just remarked about his curiosity regarding the particularly skeptical - those who openly accused Arbp. Nathaniel and Bp. Tikhon of engaging in a "whitewash". Well, obviously, their report was not a "whitewash". So, yeah, maybe some people should be apologizing to the two investigating bishops. I don't know enough about Bp. Benjamin's role in any of this to know if Fr. George's curiosity about who will apologize to him is warranted. I do know that most Alaskans aren't going to "pile on" Bp. Nikolai - they're just glad he's going away in time for Pascha.
#188.8.131.52 Anonymous on 2008-04-19 13:32
Don't you think they should now pile on MH?
He is guilty of everything they accuse Bishop Nikolai of and then some. It's really a shame! I can't wait to see what MH does to deflect attention now. He has managed to have it diverted from him for a few years now. It will be interesting to see what he pulls out of his white hat now!
#4.3.4 MP on 2008-04-19 07:27
I'll echo what Kathleen has said and add: the the healing now begin.
#4.4 Mark Harrison on 2008-04-18 07:27
I could almost hear a collective sigh throughout the whole state of Alaska from both the clergy and the parishioners. God has shown us his mercy, Glory be to God !!!!!!!!!
#5 Joanna Nelson on 2008-04-17 23:10
I don't believe the bishops want to incriminate themselves by a countersuit. Herman please step down ....
#6 Anonymous on 2008-04-18 03:25
A good day for many, including paper shredding machine service shops?
As the new leader isn't the synod but instead one who this website makes clear has a view of accounting that has the same quality as a teenager viewing french fries.... will Alaskan church real estate and other assets remain owned by the Alaskan church and not be mortgaged from afar?
And what, exactly, is a 'bishop at large' or a 'bishop on leave of absence'? As I understand it the former short-time Greek Archbishop enjoys life at a villa in Portugal in exchange for his short time imposing unpopular financial policies -- policies which endure to this day to the benefit of those who assigned and then replaced him.
#7 Harry Coin on 2008-04-18 08:09
Alas, who is the bishop of Alaska now??? Maybe don't order up a celebration just yet...
#8 anaon on 2008-04-18 10:43
I will join you in what is probably not a popular position--a "naysayer", perhaps? We have been given this wonderful respite as Nikolai takes his "voluntary" leave of absence and the beleaguered people of Alaska, along with the rest of us, enter Holy Week and celebrate Pascha with Nilolai's tyranny at bay. We collectively and justifiably breathe a sigh of relief, we seek to set aside these particularly vexing earthly cares for a time, and focus on the Passion of our Lord and His glorious Resurrection victory. Thanks be to God!!
But I think that we would be naive to leap to the conclusion that the problem is resolved and we are headed at long last, in this action by the Synod of Bishops, into real change and the healing for which we watch and pray. Time will tell us how absent Nikolai remains, and whether or not +Herman and +Benjamin as administrators in Alaska are a solution or an ineffective holding action. We have no way to know if this was the intent of the Synod of Bishops or a compromise, and we do not know if they will be able to achieve a permanent absence. As grateful as we should all be to the bishops that this much was accomplished, maybe we should be only cautiously optimistic and, yes, not order up a celebration just yet. BUT--Glory be to God, we do celebrate Pascha knowing that, for now at least, our Alaskan brethren have this relief.
#8.1 Anonymous on 2008-04-18 19:37
+ Herman in Alaska: The Fox is guarding the henhouse.
#9 Greg Denysenko on 2008-04-18 10:44
Hey, I don't like the guy either, but lets all pray for him, OK?
#10 no name on 2008-04-18 15:55
Peace now brothers and sisters. It is a time for silence, prayer, reflection, and forgiveness. The Great and Holy Week of the Passion is upon us. What is done is done. Some wanted it; some did not. It is finished.
#11 Anonymous Alaska Priest on 2008-04-18 17:17
I donít really have the right to weigh in on any of these events in Alaska or the Orthodox Church for that matter. I have been watching all these events unfold over the internet and boy am I glad Iím not part of your religion, its pathetic how you are treating each other, all the fighting and bickering and lying that is going on, who do you really think that you are? Itís not the Christianity that I have read in the Bible itís not the prayerful, considerate, loving life that my grandmother lived for close to a hundred years and she wasnít Orthodox either. I remember one summer she had hired someone to do some work for her, this guy was a hobo, looking for a quick meal and some cash to score some booze with. He was not a very nice man as a matter of fact a downright mean and fouled mouth son of a gun but he presented himself real nicely when asking for work, which was to dig out the old storm cellar. Every time my grandmother would bring him some lemonade he would flash her a smile and be so kind and thankful, when I was out there he was chewing tobacco and spiting everywhere and every other word that came out of his mouth was a cuss word, every time I came near he would spit at me and try to hit me with clumps of dirt he had dug up. Well he only worked for a few hours before he came to the back door of the kitchen asking for some more lemonade and had his hand out seeking to get paid for the complete job, he promised my grandmother that he would be back the next day to finish. My grandmother gave him the money and little bit extra and packed him a nice meal for him to eat for supper; she bid him a good night and he left. I remember asking my grand mother if she knew how mean he was and how he used such foul language. She shook her head yes, her advice to me was profound she said: ďDonít fret to much over all of this, God knows his weakness and so does the devil all we need to do is offer up a prayer that he will find what he doesnít even know he is looking for. Its not a matter of how people treat us that counts itís a matter of how we treat them in return.Ē After prayers I heard my grandmother go out back and with her old and worn out body she went about putting up the tools and covering the hole so nobody would fall in. Every summer I would go and visit her and when ever she was busy either caning vegetables or cooking or knitting she would always be singing or humming this song.
There is a balm in Gilead to make the wounded whole; There is a balm in Gilead to heal the sin sick soul.
Some times I feel discouraged, and think my workís in vain, but then the Holy Spirit Revives my soul again.
If you canít preach like Peter, if you canít pray like Paul, Just tell the love of Jesus, and say He died for all.
Over the years my grandmother had other people take advantage of her, she was even beaten one morning when she went to get her paper, the neighbors found her bloodied and with a broken rib laying dew soaked in the front yard, she caught pneumonia and a month later died. I was 26 when she passed just before she passed away she could tell I was very angry and hurt, she understood that pain and gave me the same advice she did when I was six ďDonít fret to much over all of this, God knows his weakness and so does the devil all we need to do is offer up a prayer that he will find what he doesnít even know he is looking for. Its not a matter of how people treat us that counts itís a matter of how we treat them in return.Ē This time I asked her what it was that he was looking for and she said the Love of Jesus. She closed her eyes that night and told me to go and get something to eat, I did and as I left the room she began to hum: There is a Balm in Gilead.
My grandmother new what that Balm was and how it needed to be applied. I just thought I would share this chapter of my life with you and maybe it would help some of you out as you struggle with your hurt and pain. I never did have any of my own children and my wife of 53 years has passed on and soon I will. Just remember God knows our weaknesses the same as the devil, He wants to make us stronger and the devil wants to make us weaker all we can do to guard ourselves from being weak is to watch and pray.
#12 Jeremiah 46:11 on 2008-04-19 03:14
With all the scandals in other main line churches I don't think any church is pure. The Orthodox faith is a beautiful faith and as has happened with the main line churches our church has been taken over by corrupt leaders. Leaders who have let their pride for power and money rule their life. It is not what Jesus wanted for his people. The people have a right to rise up and demanded change and for the church to go back to the true faith. I think you are being to hard on those who saw wrong and tried to right it. The only way evil can continue is if good people do nothing. It was time to speak up and be heard. Just as Jesus got angry and turned over the tables in the temple so to have those who spoke up and demanded accountablility of their spiritual leaders. Jesus did get angry and expressed it. There is nothing wrong with righteous anger aganist those taking advantage of the faithful.
#12.1 Sandra on 2008-04-19 09:59
We don't need balm, we need a good, sharp knife to continue cutting out the cancers in the OCA. + Theodosius has been cut out; + Tikhon (retired) has been cut out; + Nicolai is now cut out; RSK has been cut out; now we need + Herman to be cut out and all the others hidding money at St. Tikhon's.
Yes, a good, sharp knife to clean out the cancers!
#12.2 Anonymous on 2008-04-19 10:50
Dear Jeremiah: Thank you for sharing your story. However, you are tarring all posts with the same brush. Our Church has been attacked by evil; yes, there are those whose postings reflect the influence of that evil, especially those whose bitterness, cynicism and despair are the result of the original attack of evil and their succumbing to it. I am going to point out that the messiness and struggle you are witnessing is precisely because evil will attack what is good, and then a battle for the soul commences. This is a battle for not only our individual souls but the one, true Church. In addition to how we treat others, we must also fight evil - there are the agents of evil, the defectors and the casualties as there are in any war, but there are also those who carry on the good fight, and we can only hope that they are victorious. Your story reminds me of all those within our own Church who wished to turn a blind eye to the evil in their midst under the guise of "This too shall pass," despite all evidence that the cancer was growing.
#12.3 Anonymous on 2008-04-19 13:43
"boy am I glad Iím not part of your religion"
So I suppose you are saying that there are not sinful, even deeply sinful, people who belong to your religious body or believe as you do? I don't doubt that your grandmother was humble and kind and loving despite not being Orthodox. I know many such people.
The thing is, some of them aren't even Christian. And a person like that might look at how some Christians behave, and said to you, "boy am I glad Iím not part of your religion, its pathetic how you are treating each other, all the fighting and bickering and lying that is going on, who do you really think that you are?"
Except that someone humble, kind, and loving probably wouldn't use such a belittling tone. In fact, a person like that might be sort of put off by seeing it. Why, he might think to himself -- "My grandmother was Jewish, and she was the sweetest, kindest person I ever knew. If Christians are this rude to each other, who needs what they believe?"
He's be wrong, of course. Right?
#12.4 A Fellow Orthodox Christian (though not one to you, to your relief!) on 2008-04-19 17:39
#13 Terry C. Peet on 2008-04-19 05:33
This sad saga of cunning and deceit is not yet over!
Please dont be too quick to rejoice over something not yet done.
Read the carefully worded statements, read it remembering what has transpired over the last few months of recanting, reinstating, retribution etc...
No.. this is not a done deal... the roots of this tree are deep and very firmly rooted, and like all deeply rooted trees - the roots are out of sight, to see them requires digging! I fear for future...
The Evil One does not just give and turn tail and run away!
(my personal belief)
#14 Ted Panamarioff - Kodiak Alaska on 2008-04-19 06:48
Just a small question here.
where is Archimandrite Isidore?
#15 Jim of Olym on 2008-04-19 16:10
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