Monday, October 20. 2008
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Could someone in the Pittsburgh area please request a correction to "one million membership" statement in this article ?
When will THAT particular lie stop??
#1 AnonPriest on 2008-10-20 15:50
It's only half the lie it was, since they dropped the membership from 2 million to 1 million. Now we have to whittle it away to
#1.1 Anonymous on 2008-10-20 17:16
Funny how the press just runs with a story once they have heard it without checking the facts! Makes you wonder, doesn't it?
(editor's note: In defence of Ann Rodgers, that is still the "official figure" in the Yearbook of American Churches when I last looked. No one has ever bothered to correct it, although the ability exists.)
#1.2 Anonymous on 2008-10-20 17:21
The actual number might be 20,000. Probably less!
(Editor's note: That is not accurate. The 25,000 number most commonly cited is accurate. It refers to actual contributing members, not actual members ministered to by our clergy and laity - which would include children, and those who participate but do not contribute, etc. The best estimates of our total "membership", including all the above, is betwen 125,000 - 150,000. Our situation is serious, but let us not make it more dire than it is.)
#1.3 Anonymous on 2008-10-21 06:49
There is little doubt if parishes were not culling their numbers to refrain from paying the head tax, both nationally and diocesan, and were free to offer the number of people they minister to, your figure of 125K is a much more accurate number.
To the degree that the silly and arbitrary "financially supporting membership" figure is thought of as the ACTUAL number of the OCA is believed as our total membership of the our Church is an abuse.
The sooner we free ourselves from the chains of the head tax the better.
Thanks for reiterating what the truer number of souls in the OCA is.
#1.3.1 Anonymous on 2008-10-21 09:41
I believe if you check the "real" numbers of those who actually pay, it's more around the 20,000 figure. Since you are on the MC, please get an accurate count for the future.
(editor's note: The number being used currently is closer to 25,000 than 20,000. If you know something I don't, and that Syosset, you seem to be inferring isn't telling us accurately, please let us all in on your sources. Or me privately. Its a serious allegation.)
#1.3.2 Anonymous on 2008-10-21 10:27
Mark's comments about the OCA's having 125,000 to 150,000 is backed up by research. The study is available online at www.hartsem.edu.
What needs to be pointed out is that the 25,000 figure represents only the members in those territorial dioceses which are assessed by the CCA. Excluded for a number of different reasons, some of them legal, some, economic are Alaska, Canada, Mexico, and some of the "ethnic" dioceses.
Fr John Reeves
#1.3.3 Fr John Reeves on 2008-10-24 05:43
A cause for rejoicing is Fr Symeon's reflection on the concept of conflict! (Also, the fact that Fr Symeon is a graduate of St Vladimir's Seminary with a Master of Divinity degree, is further proof that we must stop the age-old practice of consecrating men to the episcopacy who do not have the full theological eduation from an Orthodox seminary!) It is intelligent, precise, enlightening, and gives proof examples in detail on how our Church fathers handled the concept of conflict in their centuries! Most enjoyable was reading, "When St. John Chrysostom was made Archbishop of Constantinople, he quickly fired a large number of these wolves – bishops and other clergy. He had them booted out. Sacked. Dismissed. Did he love them? Yes. Did he forgive them in his heart? Yes, of course. Did he sack them anyway? Yes!" After being reminded of St John Chrsysotom's handling of conflict, I think it is time to seriously revisit Dr Paul Meyendorff's excellent suggestion of wiping the slate clean with most of the current crop comprising the Synod of Bishops, and look for more worthy candidates, those who take seriously the Gospel, its message of repentance and accountability, and act like men!!!
#2 David Barrett on 2008-10-20 20:21
Perhaps we ought to tell all the Bishops, +Job included, that they are done and send them back to a monastery. I know of two who would probably welcome the suggestion, take their prayer rope and run as fast as they could. Let's do them the favor.
As for "Rev." Dr. Symeon's reflection, I would suggest we all take a long gander at his website [http://www.mindsetbootcamp.com/about.php]..."
Once again, thank you Mr. Stokoe for your time and efforts to keep us informed. Sincerely, I do appreciate it. You are in my prayers as the AAC approaches.
#2.1 Philippa on 2008-10-21 09:42
I'm afraid +Seraphim's choice for "Second Priest at the Cathedral of the Annunciation in Ottawa" is yet another reason not to elect him metropolitan.
On the other hand, maybe he'd use mental conditioning and the Law of Attraction to reach peak performance, find his passion and purpose, live his dreams, eliminate self-limiting beliefs, change his vibration, get some synchronicity occurring, and manifest abundance.
When I close my eyes and assume a vaguely Eastern meditative pose, I dream of a fat wad of cash, a chest-full of Olympic medals, and bishops who do something about embezzlement.
#2.1.1 A Fellow Orthodox Christian on 2008-10-25 10:04
David, thank you so much for your kind words on my reflection.
For the benefit of other readers, I would just like to clarify that your statement in parentheses...
(Also, the fact that Fr Symeon is a graduate of St Vladimir's Seminary with a Master of Divinity degree, is further proof that we must stop the age-old practice of consecrating men to the episcopacy who do not have the full theological eduation from an Orthodox seminary!)
...is your statement, not mine. Actually, I would not support this line of thinking as I believe it's too rigid. Here's why...
We recently had an episcopal candidate for our archdiocese who was highly educated, supported by the people and well suited in terms of personal integrity and temperment. Alas, he was rejected by the synod on the thin grounds of education. It seems his Ph.D. in Eastern Christian Theology from a Catholic institution here wasn't good enough. The fact that he has been Orthodox for over 3 decades, taught Orthodoxy at the university level and knows the Patristic Tradition inside out didn't seem to count!
Personally, I'm more interested in a candidate's integrity and character than anything else. Education is necessary, but not the deciding factor in my mind.
I would certainly endorse your idea of revisiting Dr. Paul Meyendorff's resolution, and I'm glad you mentioned it. Personally, I believe the OCA could function quite well with a minimal, "interim" synod of 3-4 bishops at most until the 2011 AAC.
This would give us the time we desperately need to revisit our vetting processes for episcopal candidates in order to avoid the kind of tragic "selection errors" this scandal has exposed.
Finally, I would also like to thank you for the reflections and comments you've posted on this site. They have been an inspiration for many, including myself. Keep it up!
#2.2 Fr. Symeon Rodger on 2008-10-21 09:47
Thank you for your kind words, as well as sharing your thoughts regarding the theological education of our hierarchy! Yes, having a seminary education does not guarantee a man will be a loving, wise, and capable bishop. However, I still feel a theological education is important! Witness to this, your example of the episcopal candidate with a PhD in Eastern Christian Theology from a Catholic institution! To me, what it comes down to is this: I would never even entertain the thought of putting my physical health in the hands of a so-called doctor who did not have a degree from an accredited medical school. Isn't it, therefore, even more important to put our spiritual health in the hands of episcopal "physicians" who have the proper education and know what they are talking about???
Again, as you pointed out, this is no guarantee that the candidate will be the right one. I do believe, though, that we should pursue candidates for the episcopacy who do have the appropriate theological education! To this end, I also agree with Fr Ted Bobosh's new Reflection, which says that we should look for these candidates within our own shores, and implies that, contrary to the endless lament of the members of the Synod, there are viable candidates out there!!! What these members of the Synod are really saying is that there are no viable candidates who are also the typical "yes men" of the "good old boys" network whom they can coerce and manipulate, especially when it comes to sweeping their own inappropriate behaviors under the rug! A classical example of this is Fr Alexy Karlgut who, at the behest of +Metropolitan Herman, approached the woman in Maryland whose Confessions were being bandied about in the parish by the priest there, and was asked to sign a waiver, absolving the OCA from any liability! To make matters worse, he then states that Confession does not mean confidentiality, and then, when criticized for it, backpeddles by stating that counseling does not imply confidentiality (I guess he is not aware of the laws of the land, which *insist*, by law, that all counseling is confidential!)!!
I appreciate your response to my remarks, and your feedback! I believe, as Fr Schmemann did, that a crisis is a time when we have the chance to examine how things are, correct them, repent, and move forward in an atmosphere of spiritual growth! I think God is giving us an opportunity in this crisis to again become a Church where open discussion, conciliarity, and teamwork on all levels of the Church (bishops, priests, deacons, and lay people) is again a reality!
#2.2.1 David Barrett on 2008-10-24 04:03
Please be accurate with your postings. Dr Meyendoff did not say that we should "wipe the slate clean" your inference being that we should get rid of all of our OCA bishops and start fresh. He made the suggestion that they resign and if so be re-elected or re-confirmed as a diocesan bishop in their respective dioceses.
So there is no wiping the slate clean. Besides if they all resigned, who then would consecrate them? Oh, yes, we would have to go outside the OCA to find three bishops to help us reconstitute ourselves with bishops.
What Dr Meyendorff suggested and what you spin with your "wipe the slate clean" are two totally different thoughts. Of course you are entitled to your opinion, as is Dr. Meyendorff, but you misrepresent what he said. Besides, it is never going to happen Church-wide.
If a particular diocese has an issue with their diocesan bishop, that is there business not the business of the entire Church to effect because that bishop ultimately retires or resigns from his diocesan See, even Herman retired from his See, and thus as Metropolitan.
If you have a problem with your diocesan bishop, take it up within your diocese because, quite frankly, I don't have a problem with my bishop so your suggestion/spin is affront and inappropriate.
#2.3 Anonymous on 2008-10-21 09:55
First of all, thank you for the correction regarding Dr Meyendorff's suggestion! He did, indeed, mention the re-election of each bishop by his respective diocese! Yet, he did begin by asking that all the bishops resign, and then to see if they got re-elected by their diocesan flocks!
Concerning having a problem with my own bishop or another bishop: I have a problem with any bishop who comes down in a harsh manner on people, but then turns around and laments in a whiny manner that they were not interviewed by anyone, picked on and rebuked in the SIC report, make excuses for themselves, and then sulk in their own soup in a "poor me" manner, like a petulant child! This business of, "Well, we reported Archimandrite Zacchaeus' concerns to the Metropolitan!" holds about as much water as a sieve! Okay, they reported it to Herman! So what? The thing is: what did they do after that? When nothing was done within a few months, did they, at their next session of the Synod, pursue the matter by saying, "Your Beatitude, concerning the incident and the problem reported by Archimandrite Zacchaeus, what is being done about it? Is anything being pursued or moving forward?" No, they did not! In typical Pontius Pilate manner, they washed their hands of it!
Another example: St Vladimir's Seminary faculty released a statement in the spring, acknowledging our national crisis and calling upon our bishops to lead us to truth, healing, and closure. It was a very benign statement, not mentioning names, insinuating guilt, or pointing the finger at anyone. Yet, on the feast of the Nativity of the Theotokos, "my bishop," as you call him, who celebrated the Liturgy at the seminary, when called upon to make some remarks, berated the seminary community, accusing them of "blaming the bishops" for the problems in the national Church! A friend of mine, who is a member of the seminary community and was there, related this to me. When I asked what everyone's reaction was, my friend said that they were all stunned! This is the type of episcopal behavior that I "have a problem with!"
In conclusion, I agree with many who have posted on here (Frs Ted Bobosh, John Reeves, Vladimir Berzonsky, Thomas Hopko, Symeon Rodger, along with many fine lay people, such as Mark Stokoe himself) who have shown that constructive criticism that calls for the revelation of the truth of the matter is not, as some call, being "hungry for blood", but is actually thinking and behaving, as St Paul said, with "the mind of Christ," Who is, Himself, the Truth!! Again, thank you for your clarification regarding the suggestion of Dr Meyendorff!
#2.3.1 David Barrett on 2008-10-24 03:41
Excellent, Fr Symeon... really excellent! Thank you and may God bless you and protect you. You display great intelligence and courage. And, what a contrast with the feeble, self-centred excuses recently offered by +Seraphim for his shabby behaviour during the years of this crisis! May God show his Grace the path of true confession and repentance. In the meantime, I thank God for your presence in the Ottawa Cathedral.
#2.4 Ottawa Annunciation parishioner on 2008-10-21 14:15
I wonder if the pitt. gazette will be the next one sued? I don't believe all the info is actual , more assumptions. I would look out because a false word and your liable.
#3 Anonymous on 2008-10-21 05:23
I can understand identifying with persons become disturbed when things go wrong, and indeed becoming angry at times. Yet is it not too simple to simply compare a person's anger with the action of Christ in the temple? Our Lord sought to correct a situation that he found intolerable and made clear his feelings. Yet he did not curse or insult or resort to other expressions which sometimes persons use. And there is a great difference in that. And our Lord's actions must be seen in the context of His whole life and being. He was the sinless one expressing displeasure. We as persons are not sinless and so must be careful that as we identify wrongdoings we do not fail to see the errors we make, the sins we commit. And it is necessary to see in Christ His foundation of love, mercy, forgiving--even from the Cross--as well as His being and standing for Truth--He would not even have come without those things. Our approach too then must be loving, merciful, seeking truth, forgiving. And forgiving does not mean looking the other way, ignoring problems, avoiding correcting mistakes--it means just that forgiving--not judging others so harshly that we create the icon of a demon in someone rather than the image of Christ which persons carry. Not condemning their immortal soul. Willing to forgive them for their mistakes as we ask God to forgive us for ours. I think we know a forgiving, loving spirit when we see it, and when we see it alive in persons we can find those persons also trying to correct wrongs, rectify mistakes, etc., struggling to do so as followers of Christ. Just some thoughts.
(editor's note: With all respect Father, you have been arguing the same for three years: before, during, and now after the scandal has been exposed. If we had all taken your advice and criticism to heart, as pious as it sounds, we should be no better off in 2008 as we were in 2005 - the widows and orphans would still be being robbed.)
#4 Archpriest William DuBovik on 2008-10-21 12:06
Fr. Symeon Rodger's excellent and insightful sermon is a call for the OCA, and particularly the upcoming All-North American Council, to face our scandal, and the fact that those who perpetrated it need to be disciplined.
Controversy has always been in the Church, and for us to be the autocephalous American Church we, like our faithful predecessors, must resolve it. This is why we need, as the first act of the Council, to hear from those named in the SIC report --all of them, every bishop, Syosset officer, and Administrative Committee member. Admittance of what they knew, when they knew, an apology or explanation, and acceptance of ecclesial sanction or discipline.
Nothing less will allow us to move forward.
Father Symeon's assessment of our situation is quite right, in that our own Synod of Bishops "have betrayed the trust of their flock" by their own gross sins of omission and commission. Each of them must "come clean" before the Church --specifically and personally, not generically or as a group.
Father Symeon's teaching on anger and its place in the Christian life is biblically sound and healthy. One of the greatest disappointments I found when I joined the Orthodox Church 18 years ago was how much priests, professors, bishops and other leaders would gossip and slander one another privately, but cower in silence when given a chance to speak out, such as at meetings or assemblies or councils. And then came the marginalizing (and private ridicule) of those who did speak out (oftentimes seeking to address problems those who ridicule them were complaining about in private)!
This is just the opposite of what we are called to do. Instead of ruthlessly slandering people in private, we are called to speak the truth about our problems openly. "Better is open rebuke than hidden love" (Prov 27). Such honesty at the upcoming Council is the only hope for the OCA.
Without going into semantics, Father Symeon's exhortation that a lack of discipline is harmful both for the victim and for the abuser is right on. A Rite of Forgiveness, though well intentioned, can do more harm than good, if nothing more is done or admitted or expected with regard to perpetrators first. As Father Symeon writes, it "distorts the truth," is a "huge pastoral blunder," and is "very much like asking a rape victim to apologize to the rapist." More importantly for the salvation of the souls of abusers, it won't help recovery.
As Father Symeon writes, "only a forceful intervention into the (abuser's) world will succeed in persuading him to accept to the help he needs." This is ecclesial discipline. Father Symeon rightly explains that ecclesial discipline is a loving act: "Did (St John Chrysostom) love (those he defrocked)? Yes. Did he forgive them in his heart? Yes, of course. Did he sack them anyway? Yes!" St John was not "confused about his responsibilities toward the faithful" when abusers harm the Church. He "knew that loving the criminal and forgiving criminal behavior don’t mean you leave the criminal is his post so he can do it again." Yet our bishops of the OCA are reticent to act, and remain steeped in confusion.
Indeed, this AAC is not the time "to do prostrations and simply forget the whole thing." Our leaders have betrayed and lied to us, and they must come clean. It is true that facing reality, even if it is a "war," is better and more pleasing in God's sight than the posture of silence and denial, a false peace.
Father Mark Hodges
I thought Fr. Symeon's reflection was on target. The section regarding a request to the rape victim to apologize to the perpetrator was powerful. The process of abuse seems somehow to be recapitulated in the timeline of the OCA's troubles.
#6 Edmund Unneland on 2008-10-22 18:16
Can someone please point us to where the $25,000,000 libel/slander suit is filed and what the case number is?
Been desparately trying to find it, to no avail.
#7 Anonymous on 2008-10-23 10:06
Does ANYONE know? Mr. Editor, do you know?
The lack of concrete information on this suit has us wondering why the secrecy? Is there REALLY a suit?
(Editor's note: There is no secrecy, and there is a lawsuit. The usual stuff has not been posted on-line yet, and since I am in no mood to fly to Hempstead NY to check out the court house on my dime, in person, I can wait until it is. If you can't, I suggest you go and get it for us, and I will be glad to share it. Thanks.)
#7.1 Anonymous on 2008-10-26 18:54
The Chancellor of the OCA makes $95,000 plus benefits?! Yikes ... I wish I were a chancellor of a non-profit organization in the United States.
#8 Anonymous in Russia on 2008-10-23 23:47
Let's be fair here. New York City is one of the most expensive places in the world to live in. And the salary is comparable to what an executive director, with similar educational credentials, of a comparable size professional organization would earn.
#8.1 Michael Strelka, CPA on 2008-10-24 12:55
In my opinion, this salary is a reasonable salary for the top priest living in New York. I don't know if that amount reflects all his benefits, but in my personal opinion, this is a salary that is fair to perhaps only slightly high. If you do some research, you'll find median incomes in the US for families of four are well above 60k. Well educated persons typically make salaries at that amount or higher (not always), so I'm sure his salary is very close to fair.
Living in New York is extremely costly. I'm not sure what other arrangements are provided for the Chancellor.
The Chancellor of the OCA is clearly a position that needs revisions well beyond the changes in the reporting hierarchy implemented by Metropolitan Herman. It is my hope this position is well reviewed in strategic planning. I don't think the Chancellor needs to do more, but I am hoping the Chancellor is ultimately responsible for meeting the goals of the strategic plan and held to accountability by the joint MC and Synod.
...rather than the Chancellor driving everything and bonusing himself all the way, it would be good for the Chancellor of the OCA to have goals set by the MC/Synod and if given he meets them to receive a financial bonus not on his own decision. For example, suppose the new plan is for the Chancellor to get 90k annual salary and be eligible for 10% bonus if he meets goals of the strategic planning. Say adding a net increase of 5 parishes per year or something. While it seems more costly, great good could come of it.
Probably going to stir someone's proverbial pot, but I am not suggesting any specifics, just generalizations about wages here in the US and how bonuses get paid the RIGHT way.
I also believe the guy in place now would probably agree with this type of setup, but that is purely conjecture on my part.
#8.2 Daniel E. Fall on 2008-10-24 16:58
Bringing life and growth to God's church in which, a priest, is a servant thereof isn't enough. He needs to be given a bonus?
A lot of the reason we're in the trouble we are is because people don't see this as a church but rather a business where the idea is to get as much of it as they can. A little straightening of that compass is needed here. If you want to make it big and make big money, don't come to the Church, come for reasons that are worthy. If you want to make it big, become a secretary at Goldman Sachs!
Looking at the figures, it appears as if the OCA is paying both sides of the FICA and Medicare? And there's talk to lob a bonus on top of that? Daniel, you pay 7.65% on your first $100K of earnings, right? Why can't the employees of the OCA? Why are we spending around $60K on a housekeeper in a place no one lives?! There are many municipal groundskeepers that would love to have THAT gig!
The Central Administration has to be more than a trough that people line up to suck out of. For all we've been through, people still don't get it. I love how if you don't support the $105 over the $90 assessment you can kiss goodbye to all the 3 youth expenditures that are spent directory on the youth! Its nuts, its madness, and, people, its Godless.
#8.2.1 Anonymous on 2008-10-27 16:50
The housekeeper is independent of expenditures for the groundskeeping.
#18.104.22.168 Anonymous on 2008-10-28 05:22
in the greek orthodox archdiocese many parish priests make about a hundred thousand a year, so what, your average "quack"(doctor) makes at least 300,000. most oca priests get "peanuts" and many have to work secular jobs to make ends meet. it has to do with the make up of the oca. many of oca cradle born are blue collars, most converts are not of the rich class either. rich americans are too busy making money or spending it and thus don't have the time to find the true church. the greeks have many very rich buisness people who can give huge donations. many of our small poor oca churches simply CANNOT pay the priests adequate salaries. the fact that the oca basically is a poor church makes the squanderig of all this money EVEN WORSE MORALLY. but, we cannot change the hierarchical order of the church.(fr.schmemann's article is excellent) embezzling and stealing also take place in congregational denominations.but the LAOS TOU THEOU the people of GOD have the right to know what their donations are used for. clergy visiting RUSSIA should eat schchi or borschch(sour cabbage or beet soup) with the monks and nuns at the monasteries instead of dining at high class restaurants.ALL MONIES DONATED TO THE CHURCH MUST ONLY BE USED TO DO THE CHURCH's WORK which may include financing necessary travel, but with the knowledge of the people.
#8.2.2 Anonymous on 2008-10-29 09:14
And with all respect to the editor who choses to respond to many messages, I would offer the following. I have never written that problems should not be addressed and that anything done wrong should not be corrected. I have been very clear on that for the past three years. I also have been clear that in doing so we do not ignore our own misdeeds. In that spirit we will find a more positive approach that truly seeks to correct or hate the sin while loving the sinner. To say that I have somewho advocated a course of action of doing nothing is simply wrong. I have, however, criticized the tone of some of the "criticism" which has been at times crude and in my mind not up to the teachings of Christ. Of course, we all--and please allow me to say lest I be accused of preaching to others that I include myself--stumble and fall in trying to live up to His teachings. Yet we need to try.
So what is wrong with trying to be positive in the face of much negativity? I think a positive approach can be very effective, and can produce results. I can find good things to say about all of the persons who have been criticized or who have been offering the criticism, which I have done on this site and others, and I think those good things that we can say are true facts. We can also find things to criticize as has been shown, and in this there are true facts.
However, I cannot help but believe that a loving and forgiving attitude is what is called for by Christians--and we know such attitudes when we see them--even as persons strive to correct any wrongs. Some do this, others do not. I try to understand the differences in approaches.
So let me offer two things in conclusion:
When I speak of loving and forgiveness, as others much more wiser and spiritual than I have done, I do not speak of closing one's eyes to what went wrong. Anyone who knows me knows that I would not condone stealing, something I would not do myself, and that I am sincere in what I write.
And finally below I share the words of St. Nephon, just one of many of our saints, who captures a spirit of not judging--again something that can be done even while correcting wrongs.
Thank you for allowing me to comment.
"My child, if you want to live amongst people, you must watch the following: Do not criticize anyone at all; do not ridicule anyone; do not become angry; do not despise anyone. Be very careful not to say 'so-and-so lives virtuously,' or 'so-and-so lives immorally,' because this is exactly what 'judge not' means. Look at everyone in the same way, with the same disposition, the same thought, with a simple heart. Accept them as you would accept Christ. Don't open your ears to a person who judges."
(editor's note: Thank you, Father, for that clarification. I have never doubted your sincerity, only the efficacy of your stance.)
#9 Very Rev. William DuBovik on 2008-10-24 08:42
I would also like to add my kudos to those praising the reflection of Father Symeon Rodger. As a part time Canadian resident, it comes as a great relief to me to see our brothers and sisters in the North increasingly aware of the "going ons" in the South, and showing a willingness to confront and resolve the many problems thereby exposed.
It is also heartening to see that academic credentials and common sense are not mutually exclusive. On the other hand, ignorance (i.e. piety without a discerning mind) and leadership should not really go "hand in hand."
#10 Kenneth R. Tobin on 2008-10-25 05:30
Well, according to Money magazine last year, NYC was 15th on the list of most expensive cities. Ironically Moscow was #1 which explains a lot considering the previous bunch liked to spend time there. Syosset is also about half an hour from New York City and costs drop the further out you go. That means that if its expensive to be in New York City, you don’t have to go there!
Rather than arguing the expensiveness of living there, I'd like to see what the average earnings of people living in that area are. I would also like to know, what is the housing arrangement for the employees of the OCA out there? If you combine the housing and salary and the 7.65% that the OCA is paying for the employee side of the FICA/Medicare and their stellar healthcare and pension (look at the pension numbers - $11K on a $95K salary – get THAT at any other employer) and I bet that they're in a pretty high tier as far as earnings in that area.
Let's take a look at facts here. Take a look at:
and I think you'll find some interesting numbers. The MEDIAN SALARY for an attorney/lawyer in Syosset is $80,000. This is fascinating because this does not include, what we might guess is a housing allowance and there are probably more allowances we don't know about in the Chancery, it does not mean top flight healthcare to which they probably don't contribute a cent, probably means that the attorney/lawyer has to pay about $5800 in FICA/Medicare, and I would think that people would consider him (the lawyer) to be doing fairly well in Syosset. But, Mr. Lawyer, you want to do REAL well? Become one of the three officers in the Orthodox Church in America! In fact, your experience is much needed!
The numbers are amazing to look at. A person who works at a company of 20000-49999 employees has a median salary of $95,500. A person working at a company of 10-49 (the OCA) makes $52,500. Apparently the OCA considers each member an employee?
Someone was mentioning bonuses. The median bonus for a LAWYER is $8,250, but there was talk of a $9,000 bonus if the Chancellor meets the strategic numbers of getting people to go to Church in his vocation as a priest.
Now here's the REAL kicker here... on that same page, look at the median salary for Non-Profit Organization. $52,000! And it probably doesn't include all of the items I mentioned above. So, there are people working at non profits in Syosset that have a total compensation package less than the housekeeper in the Chancery. People, its an outrage, and its out of control.
I get tired when people say that its expensive to live out there, but no one looks at the facts. Look at the facts, research it. There are many people in the NY area and on Long Island that do very well living on a lot less than we are giving our officers, people who have to deal with a lot of bad problems that our officers don't have to deal with in their cushy roles, and they are crying above poverty living in that area. Its a disgrace!
Listen, I don’t feel that people should not make a good living, but in the current economic environment, and with the state of the church, and the dwindling numbers who are not going to come running back with a new Metropolitan, we need to get some common sense and pay what is reasonable and not what we “feel” it costs to live somewhere or some other fuzzy measure there’s no quantification for. We need to start living within the means of what we are and not some major corporation for whom the numbers are just that, numbers.
#11 Anonymous on 2008-10-27 17:17
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