Friday, August 1. 2008
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Father Reeves's has eloquently said it all. If we ever get a new Metropolitan, his first appointment should be Father Reeves as Chancellor.
#1 Kenneth R. Tobin on 2008-08-01 13:55
Bravo all three! Reeves hit this one out of the park, but there will be no one to catch that fly ball wnen it comes down. The establishment of the AAC and the SOB'S will probably kill what is left of the Church without a true and massive swell of lay support. Where is the popular outrage? Why are there not 20,000. signatures on the petition to remove Hermititude. Perhaps people should PRINT OUT THAT PETITION AND TAKE IT TO COFFEE HOUR SUNDAYS AND GET MORE PEOPLE TO SIGN IT!
#2 no name on 2008-08-01 14:13
I am in absolute agreement with Fr. Bobosh's reflection. The underlying problem has been that the current leadeship is more interested in preserving their positions rather than interest in the OCA. And why not? What ever would they do if they had to work real jobs again?
I have also wondered for sometime what value there is in being OCA rather than an orthodox church in the USA under a mother church. Obviously being OCA isn't working and doesn't seem to have any purpose. Perhaps we should reunite and gain better leadership by virtue of reunification.
Thank you, Fr. Bobosh, for raising these two very crucial points. It is time for a very hard, realistic look at ourselves as OCA, including the leadership we've had thus far.
I'm sorry to offend their respective supporters and Job and Seraphim can write all the pastoral letters they want but you cannot tell me they have sat on the Synod for so long and didn't have knowledge of this situation years ago! I will never believe that. They are very much a part of the "old boy" tradition - at least until now. Now they realize there are many who want the resignation of the entire Synod so now they appear to be ready to roll over on the other members.
What we need is the strong leadership of priests - and let's not forget those priests who demonstrated phenominal strength of character in Alaska when they opposed Nikolai - to bring the faithful together to plainly talk about the future of the OCA - if there is any. After all, WE ARE THE CHURCH and we deserve true spiritual leaders. St Tikon can't have been the last one out there. PRIESTS, UNITE. I think it is long overdue and I think the faithful are ready to support and to follow.
#3 Absolutely on 2008-08-01 14:33
You question the value of being OCA rather than being under a "mother" church. Ironically, what you do not realize, is that our current problems are caused by those who precisely have the mindset of "mother" churches. Basically, this mindset is one of a Western wolf in Orthodox sheep's clothing! It includes having a magisterium of bishops: members of a "good old boys" network, who never went to seminary or dropped out of it (the mandatory necessity for consecrating only bishops who have completed their seminary education has to be reflected in amendments to the OCA Statutes!), who are appointed because of who they know, or whose noses haven't seen daylight for years, or, from the recent examples of the two who left office in California and Alaska, who are totally lacking in prayer, love of God and the Church, and are totally filled with emotional narcissism.
Another quality of this "Western wolf" mentality is the presence of infallibility (it's amazing that we sing against all this on the Sunday of Orthodoxy, but then live the rest of the year as though we were suffering from spiritual Alzheimer's!). The behavior these past few years of +Herman is proof enough of that: lies, gag orders, threats, intimidations, temper tantrums, cover-ups, delays, posturing, and politically-correct platitudes! And the behavior of the rest of the SOB's (a most appropriate abbreviation for this body!), with the exception of +Archbishop Job, doesn't bode well for our Church, either: to sit there, as I've previously stated, sitting on their hands, while an emotionally unstable Nikolai goes off on +Job, to the point where, for the good of the unity of the Church, the Archbishop had to prostrate himself before the offending loon, is just the tip of the iceberg!
A current candidate for the episcopacy, who has spent several years in a monastery in Greece, says that, compared to what is going on in the churches in Europe, our crisis is like a cake-walk! This is the "legacy" of so-called "mother" churches!! Is this what we want to continue perpetrating? It's bad enough that we have "mother" churches-minded hierarchs in an autocephalous Church! Do you think going back under those "mother" churches administratively is going to be better?? Rather, it will expand, justify, and validate the nonsense we have suffered so far!
Why autocephaly, you and many others ask? Well, if for nothing else, it allows GOOD and HOLY clergy and laity to courageously respond to the spiritual fertilizer that has been spouted by our current administration, all functioning under the perspective of "mother" churches!!! While many posts on this website have been lacking in Christian charity in their articulation, nevertheless, the majority of responses, of both clergy and laity, has shown a body of Christians hungry and thirsty for the "one thing needful" (Luke 10), serious about the Gospel, loving of God, neighbor, and Church, active in their prayer life and Church life, willing to work to get the Church, in her human nature, to repent, heal, and move again to "making disciples of all nations" (Matthew 28), especially this nation of North America!! THIS is the reason for autocephaly, and it's our best, last chance for witnessing to the Gospel and the Kingdom of God here in this fallen world!!!
#3.1 David Barrett on 2008-08-02 04:09
You wrote "A current candidate for the episcopacy, who has spent several years in a monastery in Greece, says that, compared to what is going on in the churches in Europe, our crisis is like a cake-walk! This is the "legacy" of so-called "mother" churches!! Is this what we want to continue perpetrating? It's bad enough that we have "mother" churches-minded hierarchs in an autocephalous Church! Do you think going back under those "mother" churches administratively is going to be better?? Rather, it will expand, justify, and validate the nonsense we have suffered so far!"
To clarify: I was asked at an open meeting with clergy and laity how a major scandal in Greece, four years ago, which included the Church was handled. In order to make the point properly, I explained that while it involved the Church of Greece, there were many other aspects as well. I do not remember my exact words, but it was important to make the point that it was a much larger and more complicated affair than that -- as I understand it -- which faces the OCA at present: There were financial irregularities on the part of certain bishops, there were accusations of immorality (sexual, and use of narcotics and trafficking in the same, etc) leveled at clergy at all levels, there were charges of bribery of government officials, foreign and domestic and of court fixing by clergy, as well as theft of various Church properties. As a result, several bishops were removed from their Dioceses -- including one who had not been convicted of anything, but who was felt to be so compromised by accusations that it was best that he step down at least until the facts of the matter were determined definitively -- several clergy, and, I believe, a bishop went to jail (the whole thing broke on the day that I entered the hospital for medical treatment so I am, unfortunately, vague on a lot of details at this point). But the point that was made, and which was emphasized by the person who questioned me, was that the whole thing -- with the exception of a couple of loose ends which proceeded from previous court actions and have been resolved more recently -- was resolved in a matter of six to eight months. In other words, the 'Mother Church', in this case, set a model of dealing with the matter expeditiously, and this 'expeditiousness' is, in this particular case, the 'legacy' of the Mother Church. On one hand I do not believe that the OCA should give up its autocephaly. On the other hand, it might be well if the leadership of the same (as well as everybody else) would remember how it was, that when they were adolescents their parents didn't know anything, and after they got their educations, settled into their first jobs and had to run a household, their parents all of the sudden turned out to be vast reservoirs of knowledge and experience.
I am reminded how, when we were in Seminary, Fr. John Meyendorff, of blessed memory, used to say how the Church must be a Divine institution, otherwise She would have never survived the scandals. We may, because our sinfulness, be condemned to endure scandal from time, but that does not mean or imply that we can not or must not deal with it forthrightly, truthfully, and expeditiously when we are so confronted. And neither does it mean that we cannot look to the older and more established Churches, from time to time, to see how they have done it.
#3.1.1 Anonymous on 2008-08-05 07:16
While your points are certainly well taken, I thought Mr. Barrett's point, with which I completely agree, is that we (North American Orthodox Christians) can not run to "Mother Churches" to solve or handle our internal problems, which in many respects, are the same ones they have faced and continue to face.
The thirst for some type of infallible worldly authority is a disease that precludes the necessary exercise of individual and corporate responsibility. In this time and place, i.e. 21st Century North America, the authoritarian models of Church governance bequeathed from an entirely different era of widespread illiteracy and Church/State entanglement, are not relevant or appropriate for contemporary Christian witness. This is one area where the Mother Churches can learn from us, if indeed, we can ever escape from the destructive mindset Mr. Barrett so articulately describes.
#18.104.22.168 Kenneth R. Tobin on 2008-08-05 14:58
The point which you make about 'thirsting for infallibility' in "this world" is well taken, as is the objection raised against any hankering for 'authoritarian models' of Church governance whose time has gone. I agree that these points are at the center of David's letter, and I agree with both of you completely. However, (1) my own experience of living in this part of the world for 10 years is that the local churches have not simply mouldered in some retrograde Byzantine time warp. The local church governments have evolved and continue to evolve as they face the contemporary world. In many instances they have a ways to go. In others, they have met and solved problems that continue to plague many American jurisdictions. For example, it is almost unheard of for a diocese in Greece to remain vacant under a locum tenens for more than two or three months at the most -- compare 12 years for New England, over 20 years for the Albanians, 5 years in the Midwest, etc. One other area seems to be the ability to face a problem squarely and deal with it turthfully and expeditiously. (2) As I said, the OCA shouldn't simply give up her autocephaly. Additionally, I did not say, or mean to imply that the OCA either can should simply run to the 'mother churches' to solve her problems. But, this does not preclude the humility to see how others have faced the same kinds of issues. (3) The original purpose of my clarification was that it seemed to me that my comments, as presented, could be interpreted as implying or providing some kind of proof that the 'old world' churches are hopelessly corrupt and mired in backward looking historical fantasies as regards their government. They are not.
#22.214.171.124.1 Archimandrite Melchisedek on 2008-08-06 06:17
Fair enough. Unless I missed something, I think we are all on the same page. More or less.
#126.96.36.199.1.1 Kenneth R. Tobin on 2008-08-06 09:17
I'm reminded of Bishop Nikon's statement after the Cleveland town hall meeting - to paraphrase "this scandal has gone on so long because none of us knew what to do. We had never had to deal with this before in the OCA. And that's a good thing!"
I sat there, mildly befuddled, and thought "lots of other Orthodox churches have gone through major scandals - why didn't you ask around for some advise?" If they didn't go to one of the "mother churches" for fear of having our autocephaly made a mockery of, they could have gone and confidentially asked some of the Antiochian bishops, they like us well enough. Or just put in a line on the Orthodox "telephone" of a friend of a friend that someone knows on Mount Athos and ask for advise on a "hypothetical" situation. But oh no, according to sweet Bishop Nikon, ignorance really is bliss, it can help you cop out of any inaction you may have taken.
Whether this problem is due to the OCA being too young and small to be autocephelous, or because the "mothers" keep on poo-pooing our existence so much we can't even go to them for help for fear of being backhanded across the face, it is a major problem. One which wouldn't exist today if Ligioner actually did what it intended to do. (Random thought: perhaps the resistance to ecclesiastical unity here in America actually lies in the fact that the bishops fear a merger would expose/expunge their humongous secret/discretionary accounts?) Nonetheless, the answer that "we didn't know what to do" is not only a really bad answer, it also makes absolutely evident that just about every bishop is incompetent at their job.
#188.8.131.52.1.2 Anonymous on 2008-08-06 11:30
The real truth is that Herman and Kucynda built their plot with lies. They hired PR long before the RSK Harry Kutner letter. The lead female attorney assured Herman that within two years, the church will be healed. Well, it's more than two years, the PR firm made a lot of money and the church is near collapse.
I believe the truth will never be known because the cover up has been incredible. Herman really believed that after the deposition of RSK, everyone would blame and move on - but Herman was wrong.
Now no one has any confidence in Herman or any of the current administration. All they have done is tried to look good by blaming the past. The wrong computer programs, no knowledge of their fiduciary responsibility, part time help, etc., etc.
The real truth is that Herman cannot resign or retire because he has too much to loose - legally. He has lost the confidence and respect of the church and the entire world, but if he would let go, the deeds of the past would haunt him and Kucynda.
Both of these men have led many astray and have encouraged the people in the pews to revolt against the lies and corruption that they were and continue to be part of. The upcoming All American Council will prove to be a waste of time as long as the current administration is still in place. Although with talk of reduced assessments, they may all become part time employees.
#3.2 MP on 2008-08-02 06:59
Having read both Archbishop Job's and Seraphim's pastoral letters, I do not understand how you can fail to see the difference in their respective approaches to this scandal.
It is true that they both share some responsibility for the overall failures of leadership in the OCA. However the big difference is the repentence reflected in Archbishop Job's words and actions of the last few years. He alone among the members of the synod has sought full accoutability by all of the OCA's leadership, and has been willing to walk his talk.
If the other members of the synod had all exibited the humility and repentence of Archbishop Job, this sad and sordid scandal would have long ago began to be healed. Some of the leadership would have been retired because of direct involvement, yet some could have been able to effectively continue to lead through the synergism of repentence and forgiveness.
One thing is certain, without true humility and repentence, the Holy Spirit, the Spirit of truth, can't guide the member's of the OCA's synod to do God's will instead of their own.
#3.3 Marc Trolinger on 2008-08-02 09:27
["T]o worry about the Church that so obviously does not want to be saved by my recipes, by our recipes, is sinful in the final analysis: it comes from pride. For God has chosen what is totally meaningless and worthless” (1 Corinthians 1:27).
- Fr. Alexander Schmemann
27But God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty...
It will not be the ocanews mob that will save the OCA.
#3.4 Anonymous on 2008-08-04 15:39
Another anonymous internet defender of True Orthodoxy. Tell us, brave anonymous one, what do you think about the "mob" of the simple faithful who rejected their sell-out bishops after the Council of Florence? Problematic? Or is it okay because it happened a long time ago? The Enemy is always trying to undermine the Church, and he does his best work when he manages to corrupt some bishops. It seems to me that when that happens, maybe the Christian thing to do is to work together with like-minded believers (form a mob, if you will) in order to make more noise together than we can individually. Forget the loaded language and offer a suggestion about just what we're supposed to do in the face of continued obfuscation, spin and dispensing of the mushroom diet? Ignore it? Like our Lord ignored another gang of reprobates infesting His temple? LIke St. Athanasios ignored the Arians? I do not see how anybody claiming to be serious about living as an Orthodox Christian can continue to be passive in the face of open and blatant corruption, but heaven forbid we work together to try and make our Church congruent with what we say we believe! No, that would be a mob, and we can't have that. You guys make me tired. Here's a prediction: if the AAC turns out to be a whitewash and backscratch session, the OCA will be gone within two years. Oh, there will be some parishes around, and the bishops will continue to gather and issue pious pronouncements that nobody believes, but the money will dry up and many of the faithful will have walked away. It's called judgement, and it's how God handles withered branches.
#3.4.1 Scott Walker on 2008-08-04 21:34
Well, Fr. Reeves really hit the mark if you ask me. I think my most common theme in my postings has been the observation of a total governance failure. Fr. Reeves basically reflects on this reality. If the governance has failed, we first ask why and then change it. Metropolitan Herman's change in governance from the Treasurer and Secretary reporting to the Chancellor to all three positions reporting to the Metropolitan centralizes power. We clearly need a decentralization of power; its that simple. The Metropolitan Council needs more power. I'm not sure I understand the 'at large' designation well. I understand that Dr. Woog is 'at large' and I think any Diocese that elected her should have recalled her back in about 2006 January.. I'd be concerned that 'at large' delegates would not be recallable because the AAC is no longer in session. This is my only concern over the notion. Perhaps I've missed some way in which these MC members could be recalled. A resolution should be passed at the AAC that no more than 50% of the collected assessments from any respective Diocese go to the national church. This is simply a fair approach. If the Bishop of that Diocese has excess funds on balance, build some more churches for Christ's sake. No apologies on my usage.
Mark Stokoe's reflection clearly hits the mark, but I don't think the hierarchy see clearly. I think they [the hierarchs] believe integrity is all about apostolic succession. Where they are wrong is when Metropolitan's clearly ain't [sic] in any lineage by their actions. The OCA should have no problem rejecting apostolic succession as a belief given the fact we don't believe in Papal Supremacy (the caps are for the Bishops who might read my post). Once they fully accept the Orthodox notion that popes and bishops ain't [sic] imfallible, there should be no problem with them starting to have an ounce of integrity; the real kind Mark talks about. In other words, the words of Wisconsin rednecks like me, cut the bulls.i..
Fr. Ted as well reiterates my comments made at Bur Ridge. The OCA needs a strategic plan that isn't an image festival. Our Bishops seem to live in fear and self preservation, rather than fear and trembling before God. Is that heresy?
Metropolitan Herman didn't post a reflection here this week, but I again call on him to file a report on how the church allowed restricted funds to be abused since 2001 or longer. And how he allows priests like Fr. Chris Wojcik in Clayton to look at themselves in the mirror and feel foolish each day for pleading with their parishoners to help the poor and give to the Mission Appeals when it was all a big lie.
May God forgive me a sinner.
#4 Daniel E. Fall on 2008-08-01 19:57
I concur in all three statements, yet it is Mark's that I especially agree to whole heartedly. To me OCA has lost all its integrity. Until I can feel that any statement made by the "church" authorities is true I cannot feel I have a Christian bond with them, one that I haven't felt for the last twenty years. I have had many friends among the clergy, and I hope I still have. But, with a hammer, lord Herman, over so many, their actions have to speak for them. I look forward to his resignation and a restoration of a Christian life among us.
#5 William Kosar on 2008-08-02 06:52
Fr. John, Fr. Ted, and Mark,
Thank you for speaking out so forcefully once again. The moral corruption at the highest levels in our Church has been astounding and as Fr. John rightly points out, continues to this day abetted by those clergy and laity who have remained silent in the face of such darkness. Those who have not yet spoken should do so now and be unrelenting in the pursuit of an OCA purged of the secrecy and deceit which led to this crisis. The Metropolitan Council's recent call for the resignation of Herman should be supported by all the membership of the OCA. His resignation or deposition would be the beginning of the restoration of the integrity of the Church.
#6 David Paynter on 2008-08-02 08:50
Regardless of how Met. Herman may view his guilt or innocence, the rest of us know full-well that while we were being told that the OCA had no money for its missions the leadership (with and under him) was eating, drinking and fornicating away millions of dollars. Over the years that this crap has gone on those very same millions might have planted hundreds of parishes and grown this church into a truly autocephalous Orthodox Church in America and a genuine witness to Christ in our midst. What we have inherited instead is a self-absorbed and petty despot overseeing his own little Orthodox Potemkin Village.
If I can credit anything to Met. Herman's legacy by his complicity and subsequent behavior in this scandal it is that he has finally restored my faith in divine retribution.
#7 Dr. Hebert Elfers, D.D.S. on 2008-08-02 15:08
I had an interesting conversation with the Verger (Caretaker) of Christ Church Cathedral (Anglican) in Dublin today. (I was singing a concert there...) I was asking some questions about the split of Catholicism and Protestantism (a subject I know little about - a lack of knowledge that becomes incredibly obvious to anyone visiting Ireland). In fact, I was asking some naïeve questions about Henry the VIII needing the split to continue with his marriages. He instead gave me a lesson on Martin Luther and the printing press. He suggested that it was the printing press that allowed the populous to begin educating themselves about the corruption in Rome. ("Selling" a pathway straight to heaven to immoral rich men on their deathbeds - ie no endless stop in "purgatory" as would be expected for a poor person who led an honest and devout life - this was the example of the Verger.)
So...why the story? The internet. Our printing press. Our means of enlightening the laity in its entirety. Thank you Mark for maintaining this website. Allow anyone to agree or disagree, but at least we are able to use our modern technology to learn and make our decisions and possibly find a way to reform the indulgences of a few who have abused a position of power and trust.
#8 Christine Nass on 2008-08-02 15:47
While attending the SVS Town Hall brunch, remembering the frequent use of the term "OCA family", the image of a popular movie arose...........the main character was the capo de capo Herman/Joe Swiako, the other capos all resembling the hierarchs of the OCA, and the "soldiers (all of whom had their 'bones', if you know what that means) sat in the foreground...............of course we know that the 'captain of captains' is also known as the 'godfather', which image seemed so appropriate to the activities of the attendees (PK was there) ...............capturing such a corollary at SVS was so clear that it needs to be passed along.......
#9 Guileless on 2008-08-03 21:45
AMEN! AMEN! AMEN!
Fr. John Reeves' reflection is a powerful reminder that the Holy Spirit is active and working through God's people. I am comforted, encouraged and strengthened knowing that so many courageous, loving, and wise priests still exist and are willing to confront evil and corruption. There's great hope for the Orthodoxy as long as men like this continue to speak the truth and follow Christ.
Thank you Fr. Reeves for your comments. The essay was among the most intelligent and thought provoking that I have read on this site.
Our bishops are "smart". There is genius, even in evil. And, I personally suspect that the delay has to do with criminal charges / potential statutes and time expiring, etc. It's obvious that crime has been committed. A non-profit organization stole funds. Technically, we as parishioners can file a class action lawsuit demanding out money back with interest!
The report won't though justify the lavish parties, expensive wines and foods that were consumed and first-class trips. And, it still continues. Just last month B. Tikhon vacationed in the south of France. There is absolutely no humility, and i can't help but think that the recent hierarchal deaths, the illnesses of MT and MH and others are not caused by the stress and deception.
Personally, the scandal has affected me for reasons it has affected Fr. Reeves. My priest no longer preaches nor serves with the zeal that attracted me to the parish. Likewise, community service is ABSENT. Non-existent. And, I am talking in a major city, not the midwest, south, etc. Here in the city, parish life is dead, and our church no longer holds any water to the countless Protestant and Catholic churches I see all around me making a difference and indeed growing. Just this with, the Catholic church broke ground for a $500M new facility, all monies in hand, and it will be debt free. Our church can't admit it stole $3M and figure out how to day trade to get it back!
What is really lost is the real mission and purpose of the church. MH will have to answer for that one day, as will MT, regardless of whatever lie of a health issue he has this week. I am most disappointed in MT - a puppet of Fr. S and the new OCA from the beginning, he knew it all, and did nothing about it either.
In an age when I personally look to the church to set an example and lead by example, it's very sad. If I want drama, I'll go to work on Sunday.
It would be nice to regain zeal and learn how Christ matters in my life today - not 1000 years ago, and not exclusively by what the fathers say, but how Christ is relevant today. Sadly, this is lost, and to hear a sermon like this, one needs to go elsewhere outside our church. The real mission of the church is non-existent, and I fear, like BN eludes, that there will be more scandal forthcoming from the report!
#11 Anonymous on 2008-08-04 14:35
I would imagine many posters here agree with Father Reeves' appreciation of the scandal and his prescriptions. Count me in as well. I just want to add couple of thoughts.
Church governance is obviously the elephant in the room. There must be a way to provide for meaningful participation by the laity, priests and deacons in governance. Right now, the OCA statutes give the appearance of such meaningful participation. In reality, the Statutes are a shell game: all power belongs to the bishops. True that they may agree with lay/clergy recommendations but the words in the document that purport to ascribe power to the Metropolitan Council, for example, are smoke and mirrors, that is untrue and dishonest.
ONE HAND GIVETH: Article V is about the Metropolitan Council, described as "the permanent executive body of the Church Administration Which exists for the purpose of implementing the decisions of the All-American Council and continuing its work between sessions." Section 4 of Article V lists 13 competencies of the Council and they all seem reasonable for a hierarchical church operating as a not-for-profit organization in North America. To give the reader a flavor, among the competencies are the following three:
"Provides for the maintenance of the central administrative bodies of the Church and for the allocation of the general Church funds;
Decides on the purchase, sale, or mortgaging of property of the Church, except in cases covered in Article X, Section 8
Initiates, prosecutes, and defends all legal matters affecting the interest of the Church"
Sounds like the Council has lots of power, doesn't it?
THE OTHER HAND TAKETH: In Article IV, Section 2, the duties of the Metropolitan includes the following power "Has the right of pastoral initiative and guidance, and when necessary the right of pastoral intervention, in all matters concerning the life of the Church within the framework of the holy canons."
Practical result: The Metropolitan can intervene whenever and wherever he chooses because he alone can determine the appropriateness of such initiative. Note that the Holy Synod does not have the power to review such interventions by the Metropolitan. And folks, any similarity to the Pope of Rome's power must be purely coincidental, no?
In Article II, Section 7, The Holy Synod's competencies include "Appointment, upon recommendation by the Metropolitan Council, of the Chancellor, Secretary, Treasurer, and other officials whose competence or service extend beyond the boundaries of a single diocese " and "Pastoral supervision over all Church organizations whose activity extends beyond the boundaries of a single diocese."
Practical result: The Metropolitan Council, which is a Church organization whose activity extends across diocesan boundaries, is completely supervised by the Holy Synod. In other words, the Metropolitan Council acts more like a sub-committee of, or an advisory board to, the Holy Synod than the permanent Executive Body for Church Administration between the All American Councils. Again, any similarity to the way the Roman Catholic Church functions is also purely coincidental.
One more example of smoke and mirrors: The All American Council is defined as "The highest legislative and administrative authority within the Church is the All-American Council." By Statute, the Metropolitan chairs it and all the bishops are members, as are all parish clergy and lay delegates. I am pointing this out because the bishops not only have a vote, they have veto power. Section 12 of Article III, states without any further qualifications that "All resolutions adopted by the Council shall be examined by the bishops at the end of each session (morning, afternoon, or evening). No resolutions shall be valid unless approved by a vote of at least a majority of the bishops attending the Council."
Practical effect: How can the All American Council be the highest authority for anything when a majority of the Bishops have to approve each and every decision?
My point is this: The OCA Statutes are neither fish or fowl. They must become either truly conciliar, with proper roles and powes given to the clergy and laity, or they must reflect the despotic episcopal governance that the Roman Catholic Church has and apparently our bishops would love to have.
#12 Carl on 2008-08-05 08:31
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