Friday, January 30. 2009
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GOOD! Now maybe they'll do what they should have originally - depose him. They should also look at any other priest or hierarch wishing to bring law suits upon the church. All should be deposed and none should be serving in any capacity anywhere.
#1 Anonymous on 2009-01-30 09:36
Amen! The faces are different but the devil is still in charge and really nothing has changed. I'd be surprised if any of the clergy (?) who sue the church really think they will win any judgments. It is extortion, plain and simple. Where does extortion fit into Christ's plan for His church????
#1.1 Sad and Not donating any money for these crooks. on 2009-01-30 18:44
Please clarify to us which "faces" are the same. NOTHING has changed?
Times are still hard to be sure. But we are not where we were at months, years ago when we had a Synod that was not willing to deal with anything. If things were the same as in the past such an admonitory note would have taken 6 meetings, hours of discussions with lawyers, hundereds of ocanews posts and great gnashing and gritting of teeth to complete.
Go ahead and withhold your money and place yourself outside our community in Christ. But do not allow yourself to cause others to stumble. There is hope and I think the past months have shown such.
Those of us who are members of the Body of Christ will continue to support our church against such wolves who would like to grill us on the barbie.
#1.1.1 Anonymous on 2009-02-02 03:53
Dear "member of the body of Christ",
It is patently absurd that you get to decide that "Sad" is somehow denied "membership" to the community of the Body of Christ because they are withholding funds. Please tell me that you don't actually mean this? I realize many want to move on as if we are making real progress here, but many of us still are unsure and I think we are entitled to our skepticism.
I have grave concerns about many problems in the church that have yet to be dealt with. One of them is the outcropping of "traditionalist" churches, many with adherence to strict and sometimes draconian (see fundamentalist/cultish) policies relating to traditions of the church. Many of these churches think they are the only ones practicing "true orthodoxy". They question the sex lives of married couples and encourage living as brother and sister. They try to exist as a little "mini-monastery" even though they are comprised mostly of families. Everything "worldly" is vilified and they (the people in these churches) look down with disdain and judgment on all non-orthodox Christians and even those Orthodox who practice "lazy Orthodoxy". I have listened in on many conversations where members earnestly debate whether riding a bicycle or listening to jazz music is a sin. Of course, that is nothing compared the scandal of a woman who enters the church without wearing a head covering. Where is the Christian love and humility in all of this?
#184.108.40.206 anonymous on 2009-02-03 17:17
Alas, Anonymous, here is another example of episcopal failure. It is not simply the existence of such parishes that should give one pause. If the polity of the Church were congregational, these would simply be independent congregations. But, Orthodoxy is not congregational in polity. THE pastor is THE bishop, and no practice is conducted within his diocese without his permission, be it express, implied or by his failure to enforce standards.
When I lived in the States, our diocesan bishop was more than happy to have parishes such as you describe. They added to the "body count", and they acted like 19th century peasants, the people of his fantasy world. They and he could all pretend they were "Russians", even though they not only had no "Russian" ancestry nor had any ever set foot on Russian soil. They acted out a fantasy and called it Orthodoxy. I often wonder if that bishop's successor ever demanded a stop to such practices and led these people to a more proper Orthodox expression.
Weak, lazy or ineffective bishops result in a perverse Church. There is still a long way to go. Orthodoxy is not a cult, no matter how hard some alleged Orthodox try to make it so.
#220.127.116.11.1 Overseas Observer on 2009-02-04 07:22
Spiritual elitism results from a sense of inadequacy mixed with hypocrisy. Those latter must also prompt people to mimic some imaginary stereotypes of foreign and vaguely understood cultures. I am not sure bishops can do much about it. Such clowning around is distasteful but it cannot be forcibly abolished. Plus, hostility to outside influences and resistance to edification has to be quite strong in such groups because many of their convictions do not bear serious scrutiny. Hopefully, the phenomenon that you describe is not too widespread.
Just for some comic relief allow me to suggest this lovely article by Met. Jonah that I found very insightful and amusing, and hope, it pertains to this subject: http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-religion/1403441/posts
#18.104.22.168.2 Karina Ross on 2009-02-09 17:30
All they've done is to corner an angry badger. Watch out!
#2 no name on 2009-01-30 14:51
Summoned ? Why should he go anywhere when the synod abandoned him ? Are these people for real ? Lawsuits mean that your at war. The oca might as well claim bankrucy.
(Editor's note: The Synod did not abandon him - they retired him. And no, the OCA will not declare bankruptcy. There is no reason to assume the OCA will lose any of these lawsuits. On the other hand, one has to wonder where a retired Bishop and a defrocked priest are getting all their funds to continue suing the Church?
#3 Anonymous on 2009-01-30 16:32
The editor notes that there is no reason to believe that the OCA will lose any of these cases. That may be true, but the OCA is paying dearly to defend itself.
The case brought by Elizabeth Kondratick in December of 2007, seeking reimbursement plus interest, will have involved 20 court appearances by the end of February 2009. Six motions have been filed, five of them by the defendent. When you consider the attorney's time, the court filing fees, and the travel expenses, plus whatever may have been involved in preparation for each of these 20 appearances, this could get to be very expensive, and all this is preliminary to the actual trial.
Meanwhile, one does wonder where the plaintiffs are finding the funds to bring these cases into court. Those questions go together with the questions about who funds the salary being paid to RSK in Venice. All very interesting.
If the plaintiffs do not expect to be awarded one penny in the law suits, then perhaps the whole point is to bleed the OCA with endless pretrial expense, using up resources in both money and in time and energy expended.
#3.1 cate on 2009-01-30 21:20
As to who funds the salary of Bob Kondratick the Parishioners of the Venice church do.
#3.1.1 DOS Member on 2009-02-02 14:19
The check is written from the Venice parish. Do you know for sure where the funds to write that check come from?
#22.214.171.124 cate on 2009-02-03 22:23
You could not be any more wrong in your assumptions. In fact the OCA is fighting on very bad ground in the Elizabeth Kondratick lawsuit. The judge in the case is advising that the suit be settled. The OCA lawyer is advising his client to settle the suit. Major players on the MC are also advising that the suit be settled.
Considering how badly the Herman administration and the MC played this one, I feel bad for Met. Jonah who is trying to clean up the mistakes of the past. Mr. Stokoe, as a member of the MC, you are dead wrong if you think the OCA will win the Elizabeth Kondratick suit. The promissory note is not bogus. In fact, one of the main points first made by Kucynda was that there was no note, that it did not exist. Well, lo and behold, the original note was produced by Elizabeth Kondratick's legal counsel in court! Talk of a settlement began at once.
As for how the Kondratick's are paying for the suit, that is simple, it is called a contingency. Their lawyer will get 33% of the settlement. If the OCA wants to be bled white, that is the choice that will be made by the members of the MC. Remember, the MC has already authorized to pay lawyers for the Church in excess of $200,000 in legal fees on this one case.
The sooner the OCA cuts ALL TIES with the Kondratick's is the sooner that the OCA under Met. Jonah can get on with the real work it needs to do.
Your Beatitude, and members of the MC, as much as it stinks, cover your collective noses, make a deal, and close the book on the Kondratick era of the OCA.
#3.1.2 Anonymous on 2009-02-02 16:28
For an anonymous spectre, you have a lot of opinions, some quite on the mark. Nevertheless, you would be wise to think before you start spouting and flailing your arms and flapping your gums. Opinions are not facts.
For instance, I did not "express assumptions," I stated facts about what has actually already transpired. Whether or not the OCA ought to settle, or will settle, has nothing to do with what I wrote. The fact is that the OCA has not yet settled, in 13 months, soon to be 14 months. By the end of 14 months, this will have involved 20 scheduled appearances, and even the ones that were adjourned required time and attention prior to the adjournment.
Your opinions are fine and welcome, but really, they lose something in the way you come roaring in like an old time gun slinger wearing a blindfold and ear plugs.
#126.96.36.199 cate on 2009-02-03 22:16
It would be interesting to know exactly where you get your facts. I know you and cannot see where you are getting all your information.
#188.8.131.52.1 anon on 2009-02-06 10:27
Information is abundant, like the air we breathe, and like the air we breathe, it varies in quality, depending on its source.
The particulars regarding Elizabeth Kondratick's suit against the OCA for reimbursement of funds spent on the Martin Drive property are available free of charge over the internet, to anyone who wants them. The New York State Unified Court System posts case information for most of the counties in New York, including Nassau. eCourts obligingly includes internal links to abbreviations and to a glossary, to assist those not in the legal profession, and it also offers an external link to resources such as a standard legal dictionary.
If you really knew me, you would know that I am trained to collect, evaluate, organize, and analyze information. I used to be paid to do that. If you were a nicer person, I would be happy to share with you, but since you choose to hang around with some unsavory people, you are out of the loop.
#184.108.40.206.1.1 cate on 2009-02-07 07:52
I do not hang around with unsavory people. I feel that RSK was justly punished. As for his wifes suit I feel that is fair. She has a note saying the money would be paid back. That money was a personel inheritance from a family member. Why do you feel you need to delve into all this stuff?
(Editor's note: As a point of fact, she is the one suing for the "note", thus "delving into all this stuff." )
#220.127.116.11.1.1.1 anon on 2009-02-09 09:29
"Well, lo and behold, the original note was produced by Elizabeth Kondratick's legal counsel in court!"
Correct me if I'm wrong, but the issue was not the actual existence of a piece of paper, but that the signer(s) had no authority under the Statute to sign the note.
#18.104.22.168 Michael Strelka, CPA on 2009-02-04 07:21
Hard to close the books when Venice FL is keeping them open!
#22.214.171.124 Daniel E. Fall on 2009-02-04 07:57
My guess would be that the attorneys for the Plaintiffs have taken these cases on a contingent basis, betting that they can sweat a settlement out of the Church and take a third. Defendants, of course, don't have the option of a "contingent fee defense". This is a simple matter of "settlement by harassment". It's good that +Jonah has taken the preliminary steps, apparently, to bring +Nikolai to account. This Metropolitan seems to have no patience for such shenanigans as His Grace wishes to impose on the Church.
#3.1.3 Christopher on 2009-02-02 16:57
Gee, maybe the lawyers are getting paid when the suits are settled? The usual 33% cut. That is how.
And to all the experts out there who are looking for Nikolai to be deposed, or have said that the HS should have already deposed him, you just show your ignorance when you write stupid stuff like that.
Deposition is a process. You just don't do it. The calling of Nikolai is NOT to depose him but to call him to repentance. It is an opportunity for him to reconcile himself to his brothers and to the Church. Whether he does so or not will be up to him. If he does not, then further action, like a formal suspension, can take place. Then charges can be filed and an accuser against the bishop found. Then a spiritual court of 12 bishops would be convoked.
If Nikolai is deposed, it won't be for what he did in Alaska but rather that he filed a lawsuit, refused to follow canon law in directly releasing Isidore and Pantelemon to the Serbs, and his refusal to repent of these actions.
You see, the idea here is to try and save the man from deposition not punish him because he is a jerk. Repentance, compassion, reconciliation, love. Remember those virtues? We extend them not just to those we like but especially to the sick in our midst.
#3.2 Anonymous on 2009-01-31 13:11
Probably contingency deals with their attorneys. When bad guys want to obscure the truth, the file these kinds of cases, assuming that the other side will eventually settle rather than pay the legal fees. It's an unscrupulous game our legal system allows to go on. It is unconscionable.
#3.3 Anon. on 2009-02-01 20:22
I am bemused by the quick, pessimistic comments of some of the automatic anonymouths who speak without accountability here. Who ARE these people? Faint-hearts? 5th columnists who support one or more of the claimants and want to sow fear and confusion? Habitual pessimists who see their own reflection in these matters? Just nice people who jump the gun and don't know what they are talking about? Clairvoyants?
Please! The ink is barely dry on the retired bishop's filing. As a veteran of approximately three decades' work in legal matters, and several hotly contested church tort cases in which initial predictions like the ones posted here proved to be completely wrong, let me assure you that the accounts of Bp. Nicolai and his claims that I have seen suggest that there are VERY major flaws in this case. VERY major.
Let me be candid. This early - and with such sketchy knowledge of the facts and the precise legal standards of the forum where this is pending, - I can't pretend to know how this will come out in the end either. But based on experience and the seeming flaws to which I refer, I can say without hesitation that anyone predicting the OCA's bankruptcy or some other dire outcome based on what has been reported so far is almost certainly talking through his hat - or perhaps someone else's mitre.
#3.4 Fr. George Washburn on 2009-02-01 21:28
Today's news about the Holy Synod's action and Metropolitan Jonah's "adomitory letter" brings mixed feelings. Bishop Nikolai violated Church Canons a number of times. The Holy Synod chose to retire Bishop Nikolai rather than go through the divisive process needed to depose him. That allowed members of the Alaska Diocese hurt by his actions to experience a meaningful Holy Week and a Joyful Pascha. He no longer had control over us as Diocesan Bishop.
I find it spiteful that Bishop Nikolai sued OCA claiming he is entitled to receive a "lifetime salary" from the Diocese of Alaska. This from a bishop who decided a few years ago to terminate the small pension paid to then retired Alaskan Archbishop Gregory. This pension was voted years ago by the Alaskan Diocesan Assembly in gratitude for 22 years of service to Alaska by their beloved Hierach. Where was Bishop Nikolai's compassion?
Bishop Nikolai left the Alaska Diocese with over $900,000 in loans that did not exist before he became Bishop. About half the amount is against our Diocesan Cathedral, which can ill afford them. His actions also led to many persons no longer attending church, and feeling lost- no longer feeling part of their church and the church of their ancestors. And, now he wants to be paid for his services - services that could bankrupt us!
Many of us respected and liked Bishop Nikolai during his early months and first year as Bishop, but well before his departure not many respected him any more. None of us are perfect, and all of us sinners have good in us. This is true of Bishop Nikolai, and I pray daily for him and his salvation. His lawsuit will be a distraction to that, and will not help in healing our Diocese.
However, even though the process that the Holy Synod has embarked upon will be long and may cause more hurt among people on both sides it appears to be necessary at the moment. I hope Bishop Nikolai will reflect upon what is happening , and remember his own remarks when his predecessor Bishop Gula was going through this process. May God have Mercy upon all of us, and help us to focus on our own Salvation.
O. an Alaskan OCA parishoner
#4 Nicki J. Nielsen on 2009-01-31 00:05
This just continues to prove the fact that these guys are men.
Once the Bishops realize they are all fallible men and nothing more, then maybe they will put rules in place where they can all be held to a fair account and disciplined, reprimanded, and removed when they perform as dismally as Nikolai did.
How it is incomprehensible that a Bishop be disciplined is really bizarre. And I don't mean shooting someone and getting deposed. I mean all that stuff in the middle that Nikolai was so crafty about doing because he had the power.
That Abp. Job had to prostrate himself in front of Nikolai is a simple manifestation of these things which we all know are true. That is, the Bishops have no peer review or fair systems of checks and balances even between each other, lest their clergy or flock.
The former Bishop of Alaska probably has something of a case against the OCA because the OCA doesn't have any reasonable rules in place that hold in check the bad behavior of Bishops and Metropolitans. How many calls were made to an ethics line to report unethical behavior by Nikolai? How many were logged and followed up on?
Removing Nikolai now by deposition is more evidence of the problem of the OCA. That is, the all or none approach.
The Bishop is held beyond reproach and unapproachable even by his brothers it seems until things get so bad he is done by ouster.
In the secular world, CEOs are accountable to boards and directors accountable to shareholders. This system works fairly well actually, albeit it too can be slow to react.
Why then Bishops aren't given annual reviews by their peers then, for example, is how things get so quickly out of control and fall into disarray. A bad Bishop is bad, it seems, until he becomes terrible, and then at that point, after the fellow is retaliatory and vindictive, the church reacts.
This system of treating Bishops as small kings or dictators doesn't seem to be working so well as it intertwines with secular laws and the British tort system. In fact, it doesn't seem to work so well based on the population of the OCA.
I'd like to be wrong, but if Nikolai gets past a hearing and it is allowed to proceed to trial, then I'm right. It doesn't matter if he wins or loses, in fact, the OCA will wisely settle before taking the risk that far.
These are my thoughts, feedback and criticisms are welcomed, desired even. I'd really like to be wrong, but I call it like I see it.
Have a blessed Sunday and love one another.
#5 Daniel E. Fall on 2009-02-01 14:39
Has anyone heard anything further as to the reason(s) Archbishop Seraphim resigned from being Secretary to the Synod? Does it have anything to do with retirement?
#6 Philippa on 2009-02-01 17:04
After serving as secretary to the Holy Synod for 19 years, Archbishop Seraphim asked the Metropolitan to relieve him of that duty. To the best of our knowledge, the reasons are, firstly, issues related to the Archbishop's physical health, including exhaustion; and, secondly, the non-stop complaining and nagging he has been getting from clergy and laity alike in this Archdiocese to ditch most or all of his synod-related duties and focus as much as possible on this Archdiocese and its needs. We are, perhaps, selfish and/or myopic; but we want our archpastor here at home, furthering and nurturing the significant growth that has occurred under his episcopate, not killing himself chasing all over the planet on synod business. As for his retirement, I, for one, certainly hope not!
#6.1 Igumen Philip (Speranza) on 2009-02-04 07:15
Thank you for sharing that information. I am grateful. I can appreciate what you have written about Abp. Seraphim. I am sure he is exhausted! He has a lot of territory to cover, literally. Why there are not more Bishops in Canada is something I cannot understand.
By your prayers.
#6.1.1 Philippa on 2009-02-04 21:31
After a long and serious consultative process with both clergy and laity throughout the Archdiocese, His Eminence did put forward the name of a candidate for vicar (auxiliary) Bishop prior to the Toronto AAC. The then-Metropolitan deputed Bishops Tikhon (of California) and Nikolai to interview the candidate. Not being privy either to the interview or to the subsequent Holy Synod meeting, I cannot say with any certainty why the candidate was rejected....other than the fact that this highly intelligent M.D.and paediatrician----with vast and highly successful hospital administrative experience and 20 years of pastoral service in one of our parishes, and with enough moxie to earn (in his late 50's, yet!) a Ph.D., with a wonderful thesis on the therapeutic role of the Orthodox funeral service----was told he was ineligible because he had not graduated from an Orthodox seminary. The theological term for such reasoning is #$@+%~$&^*!
Recently His Eminence, again after careful and extensive consultation and "vetting," put forward a different candidate, a long-time monastic, fluently tri-lingual (French, English, Russian), and a graduate of an indubitably Orthodox seminary. Naturally, we are watching this matter with particular and intense interest and, after our last experience, with more than a little suspicion.
#126.96.36.199 Igumen Philip (Speranza) on 2009-02-06 14:58
If Nikolai has nothing to fear about his shenanigans in Alaska then why did he get out of dodge ergo, traipse over to Australia? His actions mirror that of a fugitive from Justice,....
I would be very surprised if he gets on a plane to the East Coast to face the music.
#7 Vladimir Bogolyubov on 2009-02-03 10:18
Bishop Nikolai left Alaska because he had no place to live. He was "kicked out of Dodge." You leave the clear impression by your comment that because he went to Australia he was fleeing the law in the USA. Of course, I am sure you have proof of this, why else would you say it. So what is your proof?
In fact, there is no criminal investigation of Bishop Nikolai here in the USA for his actions in Alaska. He went to Australia because of his friendship with the Serbian bishop in that country and at his invitation. Sorry, nothing too salacious in that.
And, again, your comment, that he won't "face the music" is based on what? That is your opinion but is appears to be based on a faulty premise. More likely, Bishop Nikolai will try his best to convince the Serbs or anyone else that he is a great guy who was simply misunderstood by his peers. But, alas, that will come to naught.
In the end, Bishop Nikolai, if he is smart, and he is a very smart man, ........ but very smart, will realize that will be "clean cut off" if he does not reconcile himself to his brother bishops. He can go no where if he is not one with his brother bishops.
In the end, he will return to New York. He will face his brothers. They will make every sincere attempt to call him to repentance. (If they are not sincere in that effort, then they will be worse then he is.) The choice will be his, but the offer to be reconciled will be ours through our hierarchs.
If we simply cast stones at Bishop Nikolai, judge him for his sins and want him punished, as too many people on this site spew, without offering reconciliation and forgiveness to him, then, in fact, we are much worse then he is. This is a matter now for our Holy Synod of Bishops. Leave it to them and pray for Bishop Nikolai.
#7.1 Anonymous on 2009-02-04 07:30
When are you guys going to follow him (out of Alaska)?
Just say no to carpetbaggers in cassocks!
Moses the Tlingit
#7.1.1 Moses on 2009-02-04 12:57
I was under the impression Anonymous that Bishop Nikolai owns a home in Las Vagas. If that is indeed factual, then how can you state that he had no where to live?
#7.1.2 Michael Geeza on 2009-02-05 13:11
If you go to this website
and search for Nicholas Soraich, you'll see that the retired bishop still owns the property he lived in while at St. Paul's in Las Vegas.
Melanie Jula Sakoda
So what is wrong with Nicolai's law suit?
First and foremost, according to Orthodox Canon Law, no cleric is automatically a cleric for life. This idea is a fallacy. A priest serves at the bidding of his bishop. The bishop can dismiss him with "due cause." A bishop serves the people. When he ceases to serve the people, then he too can be dismissed, "with due cause." There is no life-long appointment here nor compensation.
Now, the OCA statutes have to be examined, but I'm certain they will be in order with Orthodox Canon Law.
#8 Anonymous on 2009-02-04 09:13
There are other Orthodox Canons which come into play. Are people aware that there cannot be a bishop who is without a diocese? Are people aware that there cannot be a priest without a parish? A priest or bishop in "absentia" doesn't exist. They are returned to the laos. It is a Roman Catholic idea that a bishop can be roaming around without a diocese or a priest without a parish.
These people came from the laos and are to be returned to the laos.
#9 Anonymous on 2009-02-04 11:47
Thank you for bringing up an important set of points. Checking "The Holy Synod and Episcopacy" web page on the OCA web site -- http://www.oca.org/HSindex.html?SID=7 --and reviewing the entries for the "retired" hierarchs, I noticed that only His Beatitude Metropolitan Theodosius is listed using the term "retired; the rest are listed as "former Archbishop" or "former Bishop". On an earlier version of that web page, I clearly remember seeing His Grace Bishop Mark listed as the "Bishop of Bethesda"; now he is listed as the "Former Bishop of Boston". (The listing of Bishop Mark as the Bishop of Bethessda was of particular personal interest since I have attended St. Mark Orthodox Church, the OCA parish in Bethesda, Maryland, since the summer of 1994, and I have yet to see Bishop Mark attend a service in the only OCA parish of his see.)
Is this splitting hairs or is there a significant problem here that it seems most people do not recognize? (I certainly had not thought of the situation of either a hierarch without a diocese or a priest without a community to serve.) Is this another case of the Synod, the Central Church Administration, and the Metropolitan Council trying to take shortcuts or avoid their sworn duty or necessary confrontation? It seems to me that so many of the problems this web site was created to help correct are due in large measure to a desire to avoid the unpleasant but very necessary work to properly administer the national church and oversee that administration,
#9.1 Mark C. Phinney on 2009-02-07 04:54
I hope all of these outstanding issues will be resolved very soon, judgments rendered, disciplines administered and upheld, and a spirit of humility and repentance would descend on the OCA. It's over. It's time to stop yelling so loudly and start helping the ship right herself. May God bless us all!
(editor's note: Sometimes one can only help the "ship right herself" by yelling to warn of impending dangers. Unfortunately, it is not over, and the dangers facing the OCA are no less, if less immediate. Some are even immediate though, i.e. the various and many lawsuits we face. You can wish and hope and act as if it is "all over", it just makes you look like you weren't really paying attention when it comes back to bite you. And this scandal will continue to bite for quite some time. But, if it makes you feel better, I promise to yell more softly in the future...)
#9.2 Mark Atkins on 2009-02-11 17:33
Well the dangers have been pointed out and are obvious. And yes, I have been paying attention all along. But at this point, continuing the loud screaming produces agitation and confusion, like having a crew of sailors on a ship yelling "Iceberg!" continuously, well after the whole ship knows there's an iceberg and the captain is working on redirecting the keel. After a while, it gets to be both absurd and very unhelpful. I agree with the premise and goals of this website, and I think it certainly has played a very important part in bringing accountability to the OCA. And I'm not suggesting that anyone here "shut up," but what I am saying is that the unrestrained criticisms, condemnations, and insinuations found here are not helping the problem or bringing more accountability to the OCA. The most eggregious of these, of course, are in people's comments (mostly anonymous, unsurprisingly), but some of the editorial statements have an innuendo quality to them as well, which I find disconcerting. After all, one could very well argue that the Internet has less accountability than the OCA's Holy Synod.
My point here is to encourage people to stop formulating these harsh, passionate opinions about hierarchs and other clergy before any kind of investigative due process is done. And once that due process is done, I would also encourage people to move on and stop dwelling on it. Stop wishing ill on those people who have been involved in these scandals, and do not rejoice in their ruin. If we learn anything from the saints, it should be that remembrance of wrongs leads only to more wrongs. And lastly, everyone please restrain your criticisms of the new Metropolitan before he has even had a chance to do his job. He hasn't been there for but a few months and it seems like he already has a small mob gathering up pitchforks. Patience, people, patience. God is patient with us, long after He has no reason to be. We should go and do likewise. May God bless us all.
#9.2.1 Mark Atkins on 2009-02-14 13:00
We should all stop bickering and love one another!!! I feel sad that we do not have a Bishop in Alaska and CAN"T wait to get one. We have suffered. 900,000 in debt and we are still happy that priests serve us and give us and our children communion weekends and Holidays!!! We are Blessed to have that. It hurts! I don't hold any grudges upon the past Bishops who served Alaska and mistreated us or used up the money. When we die, we won't die with the money, we will go to the LORD and he will take care of us. Be good to one another, LOVE ONE ANOTHER and ALWAYS FORGIVE. For those of you out there that read this pray for us Alaskans so that through the LORD"S WILL we may be granted a BISHOP!!! I keep all of you in my prayers and thank you!!! God BLESS!!!
#10 Sophia from New Stuyahok Alaska on 2009-02-16 07:34
Yours are wise words. I pray for the Church of Alaska. It is our American Orthodox heritage! I pray that you have the best of priests, as in many cases you do, and that you acquire the best of bishops.
I will share with you something that you may not know. As I was traveling from Hungary to Romania on a bus, I sat next to a woman who painted Orthodox frescoes. Her first question to me in halting English was whether I had met any native Orthodox, and I was glad to answer in the affirmative and whether I had personally made a pilgimmage to Alaska, to which I had to say that sadly I had never been fortunate to go to such a holy place. All through Romania, simple Orthodox Christians came to ask me the same thing, but in Bulgaria I found something even more interesting. What I met there were Orthodox Christians who wanted to move, study and serve the Orthodox of Alaska. They were fascinated by the idea that the natives of a place were Orthodox, that Orthodoxy was seeded in America there, that the living conditions might be harsh but people were warmed by the Faith in that state. Some people had visited the Alaskan Church through internet cafes and collected information there.
The point is that whether someone like me came to fall in love with Alaskan Church heritage through reading the Tlingit Herald to my children, or whether from a love from the life of Saint Herman, there are thousands of Orthodox worldwide that love the Alaskan Orthodox and want the best for them and pray for an opportunity to simply see Alaskan Orthodoxy. May an inspired bishop be found to serve you all, love you all, and bring about renaissance of Alaskan spirituality.
#11 Galina on 2009-02-20 18:55
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