Wednesday, November 17. 2010
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Well here's to you, Metropolitan Jonah. With your kind of leadership, why did we even bother getting rid of the other guy?
#1 Cordelia on 2010-11-17 09:19
Whatever the Holy Synod may or may not decide at its meeting this week, they have the responsibility to discuss issues, even some that you may not agree with.
Are you stating, Cordelia, that they have no right to discuss and act? And what kind of leadership are you insinuating His Beatitude displays? Do you know him? Have you ever met him? Have you ever prayed with him or worked with him? Do you have any idea of the types of decisions he is faced with on a daily basis and do you have any sense of the man of prayer that he is?
We can disagree on things, but I now brace myself for the onslaught of personal attacks that will now be posted here just because the Synod wishes to revisit previous decisions.
Whether we like it or not, in the final analysis, the Holy Synod has the final say on church matters. His Beatitude has been an open player in the input, advice, and even admonition he has received from the Metropolitan Council. He takes such input with great humility. And, having taken such input, he makes decisions that fall to his office as does the Holy Synod decide things that fall to their role in the Church.
It is the Holy Synod that implements policy in the OCA and to do so they meet, discuss and then act.
Cordelia, show some simple respect, if not for the man, then for the office of bishop. It is a very difficult and lonely office to bear. Metropolitan Jonah is a good man and I believe that it was the Holy Spirit that came upon our Church in Pittsburgh and raised him up.
#1.1 Anonymous on 2010-11-17 09:59
It may not seem that way, but I actually do love Metropolitan Jonah, and felt him to be an exceptionally kind and loving bishop.
However, restoring Robert Kondratick to the priesthood in the current circumstances is a possibility I find so GROTESQUE AND PERVERSE that it defies justification. If this is actually carried out, it will rival the poor judgment of Bishop Nikolai in tonsuring a reader who was a convicted sex offender, and of Metropolitan Philip in restoring Bishop Demetri to an active episcopal role after allowing him to retire in peace. I (metaphorically) stand before you ashamed and tearful at seeing what may be done in the OCA.
Robert Kondratick....shamelessly mismanaged and misdirected OCA funds, and hid others so well that we will never know how they were spent. And when brave people like Protodeacon Eric Wheeler and John Kozey spoke up, Kondratick used his illicit influence to make sure they would be silenced and abused. He also made sure the Church would legally owe him money, so that the Church would be forced to pay him more, even after he was exposed.
Has Robert Kondratick ever confessed to his crimes openly? NO!
Has Robert Kondratick ever revealed what happened to the missing financial records? NO!
Has Robert Kondratick ever made any public statement of repentance for.... mismanaging funds from the OCA? NO!
Has Robert Kondratick ever appeared sorrowful over what happened to people like Kozey and the Wheelers? NO!
Has Robert Kondratick EVER disproved a single one of the charges of the spiritual court that deposed him? NO!
Has Robert Kondratick been serving the church in a lay capacity in a manner that befits a humble and penitent man making no demands to be restored to the priesthood, but only seeking to heal the Body he wounded so deeply? NO!
At EVERY STEP, Kondratick has done nothing but cover his own behind, prancing around in a cassock and filing lawsuits against his victims!
Then-Bishop Jonah made some very brave statements on the night before his election to Metropolitan.
Is the man I see in the white klobuk worthy of that reputation any longer?
#1.1.1 Cordelia on 2010-11-17 13:31
(Dear Mark, I see what you did there. Thanks and sorry.)
(Editor's note: You are welcome. It's why we all have editors.)
#18.104.22.168 Cordelia on 2010-11-17 15:26
Great questions and a review of his case before the Holy Synod would be the place for him to answer. Would you not agree, Cordelia? Whether one likes it or not he has a right to the review of his case.
#22.214.171.124 Anonymous on 2010-11-17 15:36
Just who is Kondratick going to appeal to? The Holy Synod and the Metropolitan Council were both involved in bringing Kondratick to trial and deposing him to begin with. Unless the trial was full of errors and corruption, I think the only place left to appeal to may be Constantinople.
Has new information come to light that exonerates Kondratick? If so, where is it and what is it?
Has Kondratick given himself over to some extraordinary penitence that warrants restoring his former position? If so, where does he give a full accounting of what happened while he was Chancellor and of his repentance, so that the faithful are not scandalized by his restoration?
Don't get me wrong, I don't think Kondratick was the only bad guy. But he had plenty of powerful friends and ample opportunity to try to defend himself if the charges had been false. He simply has not behaved in the manner of the saints, whether the persecuted but righteous saints, or of the sinful but penitent saints.
For Metropolitan Jonah, I know he is a bit of a misguided optimist, and I would like to attribute this to that tendency of his. He is kind and forgiving to a fault, and I believe he'd take that as a compliment. But I hope he understands that it certainly would be a fault to forget what happened and pretend it didn't happen.
I really do respect and love Metropolitan Jonah, which is why his favoring reinstating Kondratick upsets me. I know good and well the kinds of things he has to worry about, and I thought he of all people would remember what a terrible trial the OCA recently went through. It was his frank admissions about the matter, and loving spiritual insight about forgiveness and healing, that got him elected Metropolitan!
When you have someone like Kondratick on your hands, you are morally obligated to forgive him, to not seek revenge, to love him as Christ does. Metropolitan Jonah was very firm about this in his AAC speech, and yes, we all have to learn to do that for Kondratick, and for Mets. Herman and Theodosius. But by no means are you obligated to put ANYONE back into a position where he or she can do harm again.
Handing Kondratick's priesthood back to him, as if nothing happened, would not only put an apparently unrepentant man back in a position of spiritual authority, it would also reveal Metropolitan Jonah's leadership is not all that different from that of the previous era, and even exceeds some of the flaws in judgment. It would make me wonder whether Metropolitan Jonah fully appreciates the gravity of what happened, or the kind of desperate situation the OCA was placed in by it.
This is not just a private disciplinary matter. This undermines Metropolitan Jonah's leadership, and most importantly, the spiritual credibility of the entire Orthodox Church in America. It scares me more than anything Metropolitan Herman ever did, because at least I didn't expect anything better from him. But Metropolitan Jonah was supposed to be different from the lies and intimidation leadership that characterized the OCA's previous thirty years.
If Metropolitan Jonah turns into just another eunuched pseudo-leader hiding behind a bottle or a klobuk, I would wonder what we went through all of that for, to only have the same bad things happen, and the same untrustworthy people put back in power.
#126.96.36.199.1 Cordelia on 2010-11-18 14:44
If knew anything about church order you would know and therefore not expose your ignorance, (no offense directed) that the Metropolitan Council had no say in the Kondratick appeal. It is a Holy Synod - or the matter of another Church (Moscow, Antioch, Constantinople) which can be rightfully appealed to.
This matter is far from from over - and to all who have invested so much in the deposition of Kondratick - justice will prevail.
#188.8.131.52.1.1 Anonymous on 2010-11-18 17:55
Dear Anonymous, are you the same person as before, or are there multiple people? It helps people keep you straight if you pick a handle of some kind.
Looking back at Ye Olde OCA News, painted on cave walls in France, I found articles like these:
A bit on the Nescott Affair: http://ocanews.org/news/NescottDismissalPt.three.5.28.07.html
A very special bonus - a charming letter from Kondratick's attorney: http://ocanews.org/news/KutnerLetter102306.html While it doesn't have much to do with the MC's involvement in Kondratick's suspension and trial, it does establish a conspiracy theory involving the "Wheeler-Stokoe-Nescott triumvirate" and Archbishop Job, who was "driven by the same deadly vices in his ambition for power and envy of those who have it".
(Yes, Archbishop Job, the power-hungry despot, who used to describe his life as having been ruined by his consecration as bishop and was literally counting off the days to his retirement before his tragic death, but whatever.)
Long story short, the Metropolitan Council helped keep the SIC alive when Metropolitan Herman would have preferred to send the SIC on a slow train to Siberia, and was part of making sure Kondratick got suspended and tried.
So, if there's some kind of large-scale conspiracy against Kondratick, as alleged, the MC was part of it. And if the MC was involved, the Holy Synod certainly was, as evidenced by the link to the OCA website (which was linked to from OCA News), that one where the Synod finally appears to notice the shenanigans of late.
Kondratick's only known defense rests on this alleged conspiracy, and there's not really any body within the OCA that wouldn't continue being tainted by such a conspiracy. Archbishop Job is deceased, but Archbishop Nathaniel and Bishop Benjamin are still alive and well, as are Mark Stokoe and Protodeacon Eric Wheeler. Kondratick can continue attributing any synodal decisions that don't go his way to this so-called conspiracy.
I swear, if the OCA is particularly strapped for cash, they should sell the movie rights to this crap. Mel Gibson would be perfect to play Kondratick.
#184.108.40.206.1.1.1 Cordelia on 2010-11-18 21:59
Thank you, Cordelia. I can't even wrap my mind around the idea of restoring a defrocked priest. Why would you bring the wolf back into the flock? Hey, here's a thought for the Synod to consider. Restore him, then admit the OCA was in the wrong and reward him with a huge pay off! And don't forget to pay off his wife too! Is that absurd enough for the Synod to consider? He was defrocked for a reason. Cordelia you obviously have more sense than all those "bishops" put together!!!
#220.127.116.11 anon on 2010-11-17 17:02
Actually Cordelia you have it all wrong. The OCA had an opportunity to prove it's case in civil court in which it spent over $500,000 and couldn't prove it's case against RSK!!!! From where I'm sitting if the OCA had such an open and shut case they would have let the case go to trial and won in court! Instead they spent over $500,000 on legal fees (for a $250,000 note) and still had to pay RSK what they owed him!! The Kool-Aid jug is empty!!
(Editor's note: You have the facts backasswards, as they say. No desire to offend anyone, but the facts are these: RSK sued the OCA; the OCA countersued in response, as is normal in civil cases. The fees, therefore, were racked up defending the OCA from a disgraced former priest. According to RSK, the OCA owed him $26 million. He finally settled for 1/100 of that amount, which was well less than the face value of the note he claimed to have (minus his legal fees). And he is still disgraced, no longer a priest, and well, you get the idea. Sorry if the truth is bitter for you. )
#18.104.22.168 Thomas Hotchko on 2010-11-18 07:36
Mark, your "version" of what happened makes absolutely no sense. According to public records RSK never said he was owed $26mil, it clearly says he sued for $26mil. The only documented, hard dollars owed was the $250,000 note, the remaining $25,750,000 was legal "fluff". Let's face the facts the OCA lost, period, end of story!
(Editor's note: Oh, so 99% of RSK's claims were "fluff"? Interesting. I'll remember that the next time you, and his other minions, make claims. Listen, if it helps you sleep at night to think that being disgraced, defrocked and rebuked means the OCA "lost", go for it. Sleep well. )
#22.214.171.124.1 Anonymous on 2010-11-18 12:50
Disgraced???? For Real???? No, Mark, the Synod of Bishops and MC were the "disgrace" in this whole debacle. The fact that your website "forced" the Metropolitan to make decisions that he wasn't ready for is the disgrace. Mark...to you and those who've chosen to follow you in your path to destroy Fr Bob...that is a disgrace.
The disgrace....is me reading below and actually finding proof that you "choose" to edit people's comments. I'm pretty sure that your "supposed" purpose in all of this is transparency, accountability, conciliarity.....blah blah blah. I guess you choose Rule #2....Mark Stokoe's website, Mark Stokoe's rules. Let the reader's decide what they want to read and not read or believe or not believe what they read. If you’re going to “talk the talk; then how about you walk the walk.”
(Editor's note: Mike, websites have no power. There are a billion of them. It is the truth that has power. As Alexander Issakivich said: "The Truth outweighs the whole world." Feel free to rail if it makes you feel better, but it won't change the truth. One day we all will stand before God, and I while I fear the day, I'm pretty confident on these issues. )
#126.96.36.199.2 Michael Livosky on 2010-11-18 13:04
...many of you that elected him have so much 'invested' in him and that act, that you cannot see him for what he is. The OCA will come to ruin. Is it all too late? Moriak seems like a great choice, more we want more solid men!
#1.1.2 no name on 2010-11-17 14:41
Dear Mark, I see what you did there. Thanks, much better.
#188.8.131.52 no name on 2010-11-17 16:56
There will be NO movement on watering-down or rescinding the OCA's autocephaly. No matter what any bishop may want for whatever reason; the autocephaly of the OCA is permanent! The people of the OCA will never give up what is the logical, theological progression of the American Church. If those under foreign bishops wish to join the OCA as they should, so be it. However, the OCA WILL NOT move back to 1915. The bishops of SCOBA in 1961 understood that an autocephalous Orthodox church in America was the ONLY answer to unity in N. America. The OCA is still waiting for the Greeks & Antiochians to join. As for the Episcopal Assembly; it is a horrible joke! Giving veto power to foreign bishops is just ridiculous. As Met. Philip said, "There was no reason to abolish SCOBA; SCOBA had a Constitution!" There is no unity subjecting ourselves to foreign bishops and if anyone thinks they will grant autocephaly for all, freely, I have a bridge in Brooklyn for you to buy!
#2 Anonymous on 2010-11-17 09:57
" the autocephaly of the OCA is permanent!" You no doubt believe the doctrine of American Exceptionalism but autocephaly can and has been rescinded before. There is precedence. Ask the Serbs, and the Bulgarians. But if the OCA wants to the odd man out, while the rest of the Church in North America tries diligently to find a way forward then so be it. But, I think Met. Jonah is wiser and more humble than this.
(Editor's note: Well, the writer obviously forgot that nothing is permanent. Moreover, there is precedence for almost everything in a 2,000 year old church, so that proves nothing either. The real question is: Would it be wise? Would it be just? Would it be helpful to evangelization? Would it be Christ-like? If any of these are answered in the negative, it would seem that no matter how politic, financially attractive, or even "canonical", a Christian should hesitate to do it. Can poison fruit bear good seed? )
#2.1 James on 2010-11-17 17:32
Chambesy is closing due the Greek economic meltdown. And get ready for round two with misbehaving Greek bishops enthroned by none other than the EP.
Don't place any hope in the old world churches doing the right thing when they have so MANY severe problems of their own.
The OCA autocephaly is real and we can all rally around it. With a large enough synod of bishops, it would be much hard to have another +Herman or +Philip.
The EA is just another way to slow down the inevitable course toward unity as we travel on to extinction through attrition.
#2.1.1 Iskandra Tannous on 2010-11-19 15:52
Total forgiveness means embracing repentant sinners and not in any way depriving them of those things which are necessary to and will aid their salvation and enable their loving inclusion in the Body of Christ, the Church.
Is the priesthood necessary for salvation?
Are those who have shown themselves fallible in the face of the temptations of leadership to be put in positions where their temptations will be multiplied?
Where is the wisdom, charity, or love in handing a recovering alcoholic a bottle of booze?
And that's only commenting on the impact of these actions on the sinner, who is somehow presumed to be repentant.
Perhaps there's some idea floating in some people's heads that there is a catechetical value to the restoration of the sinner to the priesthood -- that it somehow challenges the faithful to practice radical and complete forgiveness. But on this level it, frankly, seems only to teach the faithful that actions are without consequences, repentance can be cursory and secret, and the clergy are a separate class of being who are to be held to lower standards than laity living in the world.
Let Robert Kondratick live out a life of repentance within the church, but he does not have to be a priest to be in the church. His restoration to the priesthood would mock the honor due to clergy.
#3 Rebecca Matovic on 2010-11-17 12:18
Very well put, indeed.
#3.1 John Congdon on 2010-11-17 14:14
Well, Anonymous....here is critic #1. Let the fun begin.
#3.2 michael livosky on 2010-11-17 14:44
I agree with you, Rebecca.
#3.3 Anonymous on 2010-11-17 16:00
Actually Rebecca, the way how they trialed RSK is a disgrace for the entire OCA , and that's why it needs to be corrected and if nothing else is happening, at least offer him a real trial (a fair one, not a kangaroo) led by a real spiritual/ecclesiastical court, not by a one whose purpose is obviously a set up to destroy a person!
(Editor's note: I have heard ARchbishop Nathaniel called several names, good and bad, but a "Kangaroo" is a first. I suppose he, Bishop Michael of New York, his Chancellor and the member of the Met Council from New York, are also members of the same club? You have no evidence Father of anything you claim, therefore, you are embarassing yourself and us by such accusations. Do you have any facts, other than you didn't like the verdict? No.
So stop with the name-calling, please. )
Actually Mark, I have more proof on everything that I'm saying than you want me to have! I don't talk "bologna", just to find myself talking!
I am responsible for every word that comes out of my mouth, because based on what I promise at the time of my ordination, I owe to witness Christ all my life and to tell the Truth!
But you and many others from here, mainly lay people from the OCA, are very disrespectful for the clergy, I never saw, nor imagine so much disrespect of the laity given to the clergy, in my whole entire life!
(Editor's note: Fr., I am not disrespectful of clergy, although some comments in this section are, that is true. On the other hand, like begets like. How respectful are the clergy of their laity? And who, of the two, bears the greater responsibility for civility? That being said, you are clever is shifting the issue from evidence to respect. This issue not about respect, it is about evidence. The OCA ponied up in the trial. If you, or anybody else, has any exclupatory evidence, we're still all waiting to see it 5 years down the road. Like the Loch Ness monster, this evidence is reputably big, and scary - but like Nellie, no one has really ever seen it. Let's move on, as a white hat once said.)
Fr. Kondratick again?
Yes Father Kondratick again! At least that should be the right thing to do for moral reparation and for the OCA to start eliminating all their anomalies that they have been committing over the period of 40 years of "Autocephaly"!
The trial was a mockery led by +Nathaniel and +Benjamin, two bishops who were working at that time at the orders of +Herman who ordered this "Soviet Stalin kangoroo trial", which was a setup, just to defrock a man, whom they want to put everything on him and to hold him responsible for everything they did! Shame on The entire OCA for that!
If R. Kondratick was trialed, why weren't trialed former Mets Herman and Theodosius?
....No, nothing from the above, it's been almost 5 years, since Kondratick has been deposed and you guys still don't know (or don't want to know) where did the money go!
So injustice has been served, but there is no "accountability" at all, as Mark Stokoe, wants to "fight" for all the time! In fact Mark Stokoe doesn't fight for justice, transparency, accountability and any of these values, he only fights for his personal interest,claiming that he represents the "underground" voice of The Orthodox Church in America!
No transparency of what had happened, no information about anything,nothing really has been served so far!
And as for you, Mrs. Matovic who said:" His restoration to the priesthood would mock the honor due to clergy",I ask you to please refrain yourself from making statements, if you don't know the truth(or only know the truth that they brain wash you with), and go and see your father confessor, making sure that you confess this big sin about the situation of Robert Kondratick, because I tell you, that you don't understand anything about the Canon Law of The Orthodox Church, of which member you claim to be!
I hope justice will be served this time, because The OCA had enough anomalies!
Fr. Catalin O. Mot, former pastor of the Holy Spirit Orthodox Church. Venice Florida, now a priest of THE GOARCH!
(Editor's note: This is the first time I have heard the Diocese of the Midwest, which I do represent on the MC, described as the "underground". It's kinda cool....)
(Editor's note: This is the first time I have heard the Diocese of the Midwest, which I do represent on the MC, described as the "underground". It's kinda cool....)
You know what, Stokoe?, you should say that you SADLY represent in the MC, the Diocese of the Midwest, it was a big "mistake" or a "big accident", that you got elected into the MC!
When I mentioned the "underground Church", I to this website of yours, which is a collection of scandals from all Orthodox jurisdictions from the United States!
As of your representation in the MC, it's sad, that they elected you there, but it's not surprise to me, because with the support of your mentor + Nathaniel, all anomalies are possible!
(Editor's note: Not all scandals, Father, I don't do the Greek Archdiocese! I leave that to the NY Post ( see yesterday's headline:
Nun spurs $260,000 mystery
"A nun at a Greek Orthodox church in Queens turned over to the NYPD $260,000 in cash and 100 gold coins mysteriously left behind by the head of the congregation shortly after he left the country, The Post has learned.
Metropolitan Paisios Loulourgas, the abbot of St. Irene's Church and Monastery in Astoria for more than 30 years, was summoned to Greece earlier this month to meet with Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew, the head of the Orthodox Church, according to parishioners...")
and the National Herald:
Patriarchal Delegation Visits St. Irene Chrysovalantou Monastery, Cordons Off Rooms -
BOSTON – The patriarchal delegation investigating the allegations circulating around the scandal at the St. Irene Patriarchal and Stavropegial Monastery in Astoria, NY has ordered that the chambers of the abbot Metropolitan Paisios of Tyana, deputy abbot Bishop Vikentios of Apameia, and former nun Christonymphi Fitzpatrick be sealed..."
Finally, Father, I am sure Archbishop Nathaniel is as surprised as I was to learn that he is my "mentor"! I think you might want to look at the story earlier this week (Statement of Clarification). It might give you a different perspective! But thanks for the laughs.)
Fr. Catalin is to be congratulated for not posting anonymously.
I have no interest in tit-for-tat bitterness.
As for confessing my comments, my father confessor would say more vehement things on the topic than myself and might laugh out loud if I tried to confess this. I don't pretend to be an expert on canon law, but I do pretend to be an expert (in my professional life) on communications and have simply reported what Robert Kondratick's restoration to the priesthood would communicate to the laity of the OCA.
#4.2 Rebecca Matovic on 2010-11-18 04:43
Dear Mrs. Matovic,
Thank you for answering in a very professional way and for congratulating me, for not posting anonymously,however,I don't deserve such congratulations, because I don't have any"personal merits", for revealing my real name. I do that, because I have nothing to hide, why do I need to hide,am I afraid of something, no not at all, I didn't steal anything from anybody, I didn't lie to anybody, nobody can't accuse me of any kind of misconduct!
The impact of the restoration of RSK to the Holy Priesthood that will have in the media and among the clergy and laity, shouldn't affect The Church too much. And that's because the laity in The OCA were misinformed, even to the degree of "brainwashing" them, even if we don't like to hear this term "brainwashing", that represents the whole truth.
Let's face it, the trial was not a fair trial,it was just like you send an animal to the slaughter house! A narrow one way road from which, there was no way out and in addition to that he was not deposed for a Canonical charge, financial misconduct is not a canonical charge, it can be a civil charge, in a civil court, but not ecclesiastical, in other words to make it clearer, it is not the competency of a spiritual or ecclesiastical court to charge and depose a priest, based on civil charges!
Therefore the purpose of that spiritual court was illegal since it didn't serve an ecclesiastical cause, the accuser Faith Scordinski, was a lay person who couldn't preside a spiritual court, not to talk about voting in it, there was no door open for defense, what else do you want me to tell you?, it looks like a big anomaly to me!
You had two bishops there, just to make it look legal, who wouldn't even permit RSK and his attorney to enter the room, because he refused to sign the disclosure that they impose on him at that time.
So before determining anyone being or not guilty, I think that you should at least offer him a fair trial, don't you think so?, or else, you are going to have a "soviet Stalin kangoroo court", the way how in fact the things were going on.
As for your spiritual father, if he is a true Orthodox priest who knows the Canon law and the rules of his Church, then he should probably review his attitude in this case!
(Editor's note: Sorry, father, you are dead wrong yet again. RSK and his lawyer choose not to participate, in the same way Charlie Rangel choose not to participate offer a defense yesterday. Leaving the courtroom doesn't make you right, nor does it mean the court was a Kangaroo court. It was a strategy that backfired, and no amount of ex post facto complaining will change that. Secondly, there is nothing in canon law that prevents a lay person from being the "accusor" in canon law: he was judged, and convicted by his priestly peers in a trial presided over by a bishop - a bishop, it should be pointed out that was not his own, since in an effort to be fair, his own bishop recused himself. You can scream to high heavens, but your real problem is with the verdict, not the court. And screaming won't change the facts - although feel free to scream if it makes you feel better.)
Uh, excuse me, but.....is not stealing something that would come under the category of a "canonical charge???" Fine, it is also a civil charge, but that fact does not remove it from also being a canonical charge/ecclesiastical matter!! If a priest is guilty of stealing and does not repent or make restitution, isn't his being deposed from the priesthood a valid consequence of that???
#184.108.40.206 David Barrett on 2010-11-18 19:29
David, do you have proof that RSK indeed stole the money from the OCA and that is the only one responsible for "financial misconduct", or is just that you think that he stole the money, or the OCA made you believe, or brainwashed you with it? Which is not a surprise to me if that would be the case!
And yes, stealing is a civil charge, not a Canonical one,if you affirm that it is a Canonical charge, then your knowledge about the Canon Law of the Church,as much as I have about electrical engineering, which I know nothing about.
Just for your information, if a priest is found guilty of stealing money, then the procedure goes as follows, he is dismiss by his local bishop from the parish where he serves, than the diocese, metropolis,patriarchate, or whatever Church authority he is under,will file a law suit against him and after the final sentence of the civil court, which will be more likely a jail time for a number of years, based on that civil sentence he can be suspended and after that defrocked from The Holy Priesthood, because anyone who was is/was in prison, can't be a clergyman anymore.Now that represents a Canonical charge, if a clergyman was imprisoned!
These are the teachings of the Orthodox Church according to the Canon Law and don't try to teach me otherwise, because I got a Master of Theology degree in Canon Law, just for your information!
(Editor's note: Father, I know it will do no good, but I think you are doing your position little good by explaining canon law, and the moral positions of the Church, in such a fashion - MTH or not.)
#220.127.116.11.1 Fr. Catalin Mot on 2010-11-19 05:05
It is obvious that you have much anger and resentment pent up inside of you, which I find to be very sad. Because, not knowing me at all, you make some rather bold assumptions ("OCA...brainwashed you with it? Which is not a surprise to me if that would be the case!") just because I asked some objective questions regarding this situation. Also, you went further than my question, which was only in regards to your remark that if a priest were guilty of stealing, it would not be a canonical challenge. That is what I was questioning, not if Kondratick himself specifically stole, or how much he stole, or whatever. My only point was that (and, please, read my post exactly as I wrote it, which is as follows:) "*If* a priest is guilty of stealing and does not repent or make restitution, isn't his being deposed from the priesthood a valid consequence of that???" The "if," therefore, Father, shows that my question was a generic one covering all possible similar situations!!!
#18.104.22.168.1.1 David Barrett on 2010-11-19 18:51
It's rather clear, RSK ...should be in prison. + Herman ... played "hide the money" for 30 years. He also should be in jail. Yet, RSK lives in Florida paradise unscathed. Herman lives in a house he swindled .... Both of these individuals are clear examples of corrupt leadership in the Church and both should be in jail!
#5 Anonymous on 2010-11-17 15:12
"It's rather clear, RSK ...should be in prison."
Hey, Mister Anonymous, who don't even have the dignity to reveal your real identity! If that's the case, I advice you to go to The Holy Sacrament of Confession, it's Christmas Advent anyway, it'll be just perfect time for that!
(Editor's note: Second that, Fr. Catalin. Everyone should go to confession in Advent to welcome our Lord's birth with a clear heart and mind. And I am sure more than a few writers here would be willing to offer others a list of their sins, in case anyone is having trouble remembering....)
Confession has nothing to do with it! This has nothing to do with confession other than the fact these three should make a full, public confession...These three are GUILTY and the OCA gave them a pass. Forgiveness is wonderful, but those who tread on Christ must be called out!
#5.1.1 Anonymous on 2010-11-18 12:18
You're wrong Anonymous, Repentance and Confession has a lot to do with this, but you just don't see it!
And on the other hand, from now on, I refuse to talk to you, until you'll reveal your real name, I don't talk to "anonymous people", because I don't trust those who are hiding behind that mask!
Exactly! It makes me sick that Kondratick and Herman and Theodosius are free men. They ALL should have been brought to justice for their embezzlement from the OCA - and I blame the Holy Synod for not being aggressive with their prosecutions,,,
Come on Met Jonah!!! Where the hey is your head at? You need to knuckle down....and above all NOT entertain ANY ideas of restoring that slimeball Kondratick to the priesthood. I swear, it sounds like a bad case of "miteritis".
#5.2 Pauline Costianes on 2010-11-19 12:08
Congratulations, Mark, on winning “The Best Church News Blog” by the 2010 Eastern Christian New Media Awards. You have worked tirelessly, my friend, and I know I speak for many of us when I say that you richly deserve it.
(Editor's note: Ah, I have not won it. But thanks for the thought. I was nominated. And unlike some dioceses in the OCA, nomination is not winning, at least for the ECMA. Therefore I encourage you all to vote for your favorites!)
#6 Gail Sheppard on 2010-11-17 16:32
Bishop Nikon clearly stated that such a major decision as redefining the canonical status of the OCA must be made by the entire Church that includes bishops, clergy and laity. Hopefully, this statement reflects the unanimous attitude of the Synod. The decision regarding the OCA’s autocephaly would directly affect all those who have remained in the OCA or joined it with a clear understanding that it is an indigenous Church that manages its internal affairs without foreign interference. That said, I am rather perplexed by Metropolitan Jonah’s position on the autocephaly. I wonder if he is attuned to his flock because diminishing or rescinding the OCA’s current status will likely prompt a vigorous protest by the OCA faithful. The Metropolitan has spoken on numerous occasions about his respect for the principle of conciliarity but I do not believe he has ever openly and adequately explained why he is in favor of rescinding the autocephaly. (In fact, we are learning about his position only from Mr. Stokoe’s comment.) Furthermore, I am not sure how exactly Metropolitan Jonah and the Synod intend to listen to opinions and questions of the faithful and what lines of communication are open. For an average layperson this forum appears to be the only venue where they can express their point of view on this issue. It is my hope that the Synod will continue to work with the other Orthodox jurisdictions and foster a cooperative and peaceful climate in the Orthodox world in this country, yet that it will maintain a balanced approach in its governance of the OCA and would not strive to settle external affairs at the expense of its sovereignty.
#7 Karina Ross on 2010-11-17 16:54
Vote for the OCANews.org site as the Best Church News Blog for 2010. I don't know where the Antiochians would be without Mark.
#8 Gail Sheppard on 2010-11-17 18:20
And one more thing, Mark Stokoe,,why did you cut off from my first comment, whatever it was not convenient for you to post? I'm talking about the phrase when I say the :" NO PRIEST CAN BE DEPOSED WITHOUT A CANONICAL CHARGE!", which you deliberately cut from my post!
Am I experiencing "censorship" again, like 20+ years ago when I lived in Communist Romania? Apparently YES !
(Editor's note: Because there were canonical charges in his trial, of which you clearly seem unaware. I was trying to focus your comments on your opinions, not your errors.
And no, this is not Communist Romania. Hardly.)
Bring back Kondratic? On the request of Herman? If this does not prove that the OCA is in no shape to govern itself and needs to run back to the Russians then nothing else does. It was a grand old try, but folks, this one is failing and needs to be put out of its' misery. The only thing propping up OCA autocephaly now is pride.
(Editor's note: Ah, before you write that epitaph, friend, you might check and see if the letter from a discredited Metropolitan concerning a discredited Chancellor to a Metropolitan who suggests everyone is to be forgiven everything, even without repentence, was acted upon, other than being received. If it wasn't, and won't be, no matter how much he writes, it speaks well that sanity rules in that Synod. Sorry to disappoint you.)
#10 Anonymous on 2010-11-18 05:16
Mark I hope with all my heart you are correct about all that.
#10.1 Anonymous on 2010-11-18 11:32
Metropolitan Jonah, How is it that forgiveness has become so cheap and corrupted in the OCA? How is it that only a select group of people are worthy of forgiveness and restitution? Is forgiveness just a game for you and the Holy Synod?
How many Kondratick victims are out there? How many men and women lost their livelihood because of the corruption of Kondratick, Theodosius and Herman?
Why do these people not deserve to be made whole?
Are some lives more worthy than others?
Thanks to Metropolitan Jonah and the Holy Synod for making forgiveness a cheap and meaningless commodity with no Christian value.
Metropolitan Jonah is hiding behind his white klobuk while degrading the true meaning of forgiveness and repentance.
#11 Andrew on 2010-11-18 07:58
What the heck are you talking about, "how many Kondratick victims are out there?..."
When Garklavs, under oath while being deposed, not in a trumped up and not-so-spiritual court swears that Kondratick never stole one penny nor enriched hi self in his position, and when the former comptroller, Strikis, under oath, while being deposed, said that Kondratick never stole one penny, what victims are you talking about?
Let the man finally face his accusers. Let his case be heard on appeal by the Synod that deposed him. This is his right and there is nothing wrong with him asking for it.
(Editor's note: Since neither you, nor I, have those hundreds of pages of transcripts, making claims about them, and who said what, and most importantly, in what context ("Did you ever personally see Kondratick steal anything? No.") , is misleading, deceptive and unethical. Stop making such claims unless you do have the documents to prove such claims, and are willing to publish all of them, unedited.
As for making an appeal to the Synod which deposed him, what's the point? Unless of course there is new evidence? THere could be - he was seen taking all the papers out of the building by Fr. Kucynda, so he might have new evidence no one else has seen. Of course, one has to wonder why it has taken years to come forward then. And of course, what could be in there now since he could not explain the old evidence at his trial? I don't think you want to go down that road, friend. No one is impressed with the screaming, the smears, and the promises - never fulfilled - that characterized Kondratick's defenders over the past four years. We don't need more of the same. Been there, done that, not going back....)
#11.1 Anonymous on 2010-11-18 11:50
How about some facts to go along with your distortions. Asking Fr. Garklavs a question such as, "Did you see Kondtratick steal anything?" is ridiculous. Hello! He was made Chancellor AFTER Kondtratick, not during or before. And using Fr. Strikis's responses as some sort of proof text of Kondratick's innocence is even more pathetic.
Here are some legitimate questions for Kondtratick.
What did you do with all of the Archer Daniels money that was given ......? You don't recall? It was the money you systematically had Fr. Strikis and others systematically withdraw at the rate of $10,000 every couple of weeks to avoid scrutiny by the IRS. Does this ring a bell? And while you're at it, what happened to all of the 9/11 funds, Beslan funds, Orphanage funds, and other restricted funds that disappeared under your watch?
Can you explain the separate bank accounts you established which were separate and distinct from the rest of the OCA bank accounts where you deposited church funds?
Did your kids get any of the money?
Are they willing to provide proof that no funds ever came into their hands?
Are you willing to produce bank statements for all the years in question?
What did you do with all of the withdrawls of around $10,000 every other week for years ?
Where was the reimbursement of expenses charged to the OCA credit card for all of your trips?
How were you able to afford such a lavish lifestyle with a just your OCA salary?
What do you know about a black American Express card?
Can you explain all of the charges to a certain Marriott hotel in New York city?
Put up or shut up!
#11.1.1 Anonymous on 2010-11-18 22:34
Are not your questions the very point of giving the man a chance to "put up or shut up"? And where would you like him to have that chance to answer EACH and EVERY ONE of your questions and others? Here on this website? In a court of law? No charges were ever filed by the Nassau DA. Where can he answers these questions, one and for all?
Indeed, he and his lawyer chose not to participate given the restrictions put on them by Archbishop Nathaniel and the "spiritual court." You can do your homework and find out exactly what those were, if you are interested.
Nonetheless, everyone here can scream and lament the consideration of review of the case, but he does have a right to an appeal. Shall we deny him this right? Is that what you all are asking? The Holy Synod discussed his situation this week and it appears that there is sufficient support with a majority of bishops, (Nat and Ben) the only two against, to pursue an appeal. When? Don't know.
(Editor's note: This website has always offered RSK the platform to express his opinions in an interview. Offer is still open.
As for a possible appeal, the only defense I have heard RSK's minions offer over the past three years are variations of "You can't prove it" (and that, after RSK having walked out with the documents....) and "tu quoque" (Lit: "You too", meaning "Everybody did it.) It wasn't allowed as a defense at Nuremburg, nor is it much of a defense here. What would be the point of an appeal if that's all he has to offer?)
#22.214.171.124 Anonymous on 2010-11-19 08:42
You are right, if your conclusion is true. But that would not be the basis for the appeal and it is up to Kondratick to offer on what grounds and for what reasons the appeal would be requested, but it does seem that there is momentum within the Synod for a rehearing of the case. And if the many searing questions posited here can be answered by Kondratick to the satisfaction of the Synod, would not that be a good thing for the Church?
It would surely cause all of us to reassess our stances with a whole lot of public confessions!
Personally, the sooner the better so that we can move on.
(Editor's note: Ahh, that famous word: "If"!
"If" the Synod would rehear the case; "If" RSK would answer; "If", "If", "If"! Rather than "cause many to change their stances", is it not more likely to do just the opposite? As the Scripture say 'Like a dog returning to its vomit", is it not more likely just to be a wallow in past filth we could all avoid, by just moving on now?
Ah well, the decision is neither yours nor mine, and we shall all just wait and see. And see how unhelpful even that constant uncertainty is?)
#126.96.36.199.1 Anonymous on 2010-11-19 10:00
"So lets save the outrage, and stick to all the facts, rather than cherry picking." Let me steal your quote, Mark, from above.
The FACT is Fr Bob never owned the house in Syosset. Whether he tried, begged, pleaded, forced or whatever you want to call it...he never owned it. Regardless of how you and your minions choose to spin it in the end…THAT is a FACT; everything else is hearsay.
"As for a possible appeal, the only defense I have heard RSK's minions offer over the past three years are variations of "You can't prove it" (and that, after RSK having walked out with the documents....) and "tu quoque" (Lit: "You too", meaning "Everybody did it.) "
As one of Fr Bob's biggest MINIONS…the FACTS are the OCA never had any proof. IF they did he would be in jail. As for him walking out with them; show me some pictures….then I may think about your scenario being true. Whether the supposed “documents” were carried out, burned, shredded, etc, etc. It really doesn't matter, as far as anyone knows....another employee working there could have left the "back door" open and the documents just walked away...hahahaha. Once again, hearsay....NOT A FACT. So stick to the FACTS Mark and not your "view" or the hearsay of how things happened. Plain and simple.
(Editor's note: Just as you don't get make up your facts, you don't get to make up definitions for words either. "Hearsay" is someone telling what someone else said. A "Witness" is someone telling what they themselves saw, or said. "Evidence" is an empirical fact, like a document. In RSK's case we do not have "hearsay", that is, " Someone told me RSK shredded documents, misdirected monies, etc." we have multiple "witnesses" - that is people who testify they actually saw him shred and take documents. We also have "evidence", that is documents showing how monies were misdirected. And of course, a video tape from Moscow. You can question the veracity of the witnesses, you can question the authenticity of the documents, but you can't call them "hearsay". As for not being in jail, that is not the OCA's call, that is the secular authorities, who are, as we all know, loathe to involve themselves in ecclesiastical disputes in general, and in the OCA specifically, where the whole crowd was engaged in questionable activities (i.e. What, Herman was going to testify against RSK? Sheesh.) Then again, Herman paid $750,000 to Proskauer Rose to make sure that didn't happen. So we all won right, because what he paid for didn't happen? Them's the facts, Mike, plain and simple. )
#188.8.131.52.2 Michael Livosky on 2010-11-19 12:05
I think it's best to say that RSK was the Frank Nitti of the OCA.
(Editor's note: Who? From Wikipedia: Francesco Raffaele Nittoni, AKA Frank Nitto, AKA Frank 'The Enforcer' Nitti" (January 27, 1881 – March 19, 1943) was an Italian American gangster. One of the top henchmen of Al Capone, in charge of all strongarm and muscle operations. Nitti was later the front-man for the Chicago Outfit, the organized crime syndicate headed by Capone.)
#184.108.40.206.3 Anon on 2010-11-21 20:15
First of all it would be a grave mistake for the OCA to move forward with the option proposed by Metropolitan Jonah to "give up our autocephaphaly" in hopes to persuade the jurisdictions who do not recognize our autocephaly now, to do so in the future. The Antiochian Archdiocese has move backward from their automony (self-rule) by reducining its diocesan bishops to auxiliary bishops. The Greek Archdiocese is not interested in an autocephalous church in the USA. The Ecumencial Patricarch is interested in preserving the Greek Orthodox Church in Turkey. Patriarch Bartholmew sees gaining authority of all Orthodox Churches in the US as a way of persuading the Turkish government to see him as a world governing hierarach and not a local bishop. Thus, giving up our autocephaly is not beneficial to the Orthodox Church in America. The OCA elects, and elevates its own bishops on US soil since the early 1900's. It solves its own problems without interference of foreign Patriarchs. It is funded without foreign money. The OCA is far from perfect, but it is the only Orthodox jurisdiction in the US that is without allegiance to foreign powers. Metropolitan Jonah is far way to immature in Orthodoxy to understand what he is proposing. The entire Church -- laity, clergy and synod would have to approve this proposal at an All-American Council. I personally cannot believe it would be approved.
Regarding R. Kondradick being given back his sacramental priesthood, I wonder why he is being allowed to administer the Venice parish while under suspension. I am not surprised that he is asking for the uplifting of his suspension. Personally I think all facts should be made public.
#12 anonymous on 2010-11-18 09:37
Reading these comments, including my own, I feel myself being sucked into a rift in the space-time continuum -- experiencing again feelings and conflicts from a couple of years ago. But it's not 2008 or 2006, it's 2010, and things are different.
Perhaps the most persuasive reason for Robert Kondratick to continue to accept his deposition and live as a layman is that to return him to the priesthood would reopen all the old wounds ... and although we're human and fallible and things are far from perfect, many of those wounds are healing.
Example of healing -- last week, I had the pleasure of attending the Diocesan Assembly of for NY/NJ. This assembly wasn't noted here on OCA News and there's no particular reason it should have been -- it was an orderly, peaceful, constructive gathering. The diocese faces some serious challenges, most notably on finances and parish membership trends. But these issues were contemplated with sobriety, prayer, and optimism.
It was the first assembly presided over by our new bishop. Although the process by which he had been selected was not as inclusive or as open as in the midwest or the Bulgarian diocese, no residual ill feeling was evident. Bp. Michael spoke with love and spiritual balance. He struck me as a caring and practical man (unlike many in the diocese, I really didn't know him before). His energy and dedication were clear. For example, in the first six months as bishop he has already visited 40 of the 57 parishes. He has ambitious but concrete and achievable plans for bringing together clergy, musicians, clergy wives, and parish council members across the diocese and within deaneries.
Two things spoke particularly to our progress and healing.
A question was raised about auditing the diocesan finances. A review had been done, but not an audit. An audit had been voted by a previous assembly. The discussion went back and forth for a while. It was pointed, approaching contentious. Old minutes were consulted. The question wasn't really getting resolved. And then the bishop stepped up to the podium and said (I'm paraphrasing), "We're not going to debate this any more" ... and for maybe a nanosecond I felt a flashback to another assembly in the early 90s when contentious financial issues were being discussed and the bishop stopped the debate dead in its tracks by declaring the questions over ... but the current bishop continued, "An audit was voted on by this assembly, this assembly has ultimate authority in these matters, therefore an audit will be done." Flashback shattered -- we're in a new time.
The second was subtler and more personal and harder to explain. It wasn't a specific moment -- it was about people talking to each other comfortably and focusing on practical and positive things. People who'd been on all sides of the mess and involved in a variety of ways. It wasn't about forgive, forget, and let's pretend nothing ever happened. One person in particular made a telling, self-deprecating remark when he rose to address an issue. But it was about getting on with our common struggle as Christians and, as clergy and lay leaders, trying to engage constructively with the challenges we face.
I have no desire to re-litigate the mess of the past. But I also have no desire to forget about it and pretend nothing ever happened. The challenge made us stronger and better able to act as a mature ecclesiastical body dealing with the realities of modern America.
Forgive and forget doesn't work because only by remaining conscious of our institutional and personal fallibility can we keep moving forward in a constructive way. Nothing's perfect, but we need to keep trying.
#13 Rebecca Matovic on 2010-11-18 12:27
Yeah, great story here.....so, where do you get all your information from seeing as how NOTHING has been posted on the OCA Website (OFFICIAL NEWS) yet??!
Not to mention the fact the Holy Synod has been in a few CLOSED session meetings?!
I thought you were supposed to wait until after the OCA website posts news before posting stuff...additionally, I thought you weren't supposed to sensationalize and create falsehoods (bringing up Robert Kondratick for instance).
You've gone way too far (again).
(Editor's note: I do not discuss my sources, for the 1,235,879th time. And if one waited for the OCA website to post news.... Not to criticize, but they are all too overworked with their own jobs to worry about news. They will post, when they post. Finally, please indicate my falsehoods concerning Kondratick. Did +Herman not write a letter? Is he not the administrator of the Venice parish? Etc. Everyone has the right to their opinions, you are not, however, allowed your own facts.)
#14 Seeking Truth on 2010-11-18 14:16
Of course you don't discuss your sources...I'm pretty sure no one would believe anything you post if you did. Kinda funny...everyone else has to be accountable for everything except you. Since when do you not have to be accountable and post your sources? It's a sign of professionalism, HONESTY and integrity when sources are given.
And for the record...overworked staff at the Chancery or not, as a Metropolitan Council member you of all people should know that you should wait until news is posted on the OCA website before you say anything so that you do not conflict news and so that you're sure you get your facts straight.
Seems to me you just love causing problems within the churches (or should I say Church - as a whole). Did you really have to bring up stuff about Robert Kondtratick beFORE the OCA says anything? I mean come on! All you've done is open up a can of worms and create more hatred and animosity. Causing hate, animosity and needless stories is Orthodox Christianity? God help us!
#14.1 Seeking Truth on 2010-11-19 11:56
Dear Metropolitan Jonah,
Pope John Paul II forgave his would be assassin Mehmet Ali Agca and visited him in Jail. He did not intervene and say he should not go to prison. He did not ignore the crime. Robert Kondratick can be forgiven but he has no place in the priesthood of the leadership of the Church. You should know better, the synod should know better. But they don't.
What you advocate is not forgiveness but political patronage. How much damage will be caused by bringing Kondratick Back. You are so worried about this man who has not made his victims whole that you are willing to sacrifice the spiritual health of many by scandalizing them. You are also sending the message to every potential crook that its OK to steal from the OCA. There are no consequences.
This is not leadership Metropolitan Jonah. This is political patronage and moral apathy. How many souls must be sacrificed for your cheap forgiveness...... How many victims must continue to suffer without the slightest recognition from you!!!
How many is enough? How high does the spiritual body count have to go before RSK's victims are made whole? Do you really know what forgiveness is Metropolitan Jonah. Or is the Church just some pretend world like a medieval renaissance fair?
#15 Andrew on 2010-11-18 16:47
I can't believe anyone would ever consider reinstating Kondratick to anything. My gosh, the revisionist history that is coming out now is amazing! Most shocking of all was that Bishop Michael Dahulich would consider reinstating Kondratick.
Metropolitan Jonah and Bishop Michael,
In case you missed it, please re-read the SIC reports! Kondratick took hundreds of thousands of dollars from various specially-designated funds. He provided no proof that he actually spent the money as he was supposed to. There is documented proof that he used his corporate credit card for anything and everything that he wanted. Millions of dollars went missing when he was the chancellor. He almost single-handedly brought the OCA to bankruptcy.
And let's not confuse the facts. In addition to letting Kondratick pillage the accounts of orphans and 9/11 victims, he pulled a fast one with +Theodosius and had him give him a house. And if that wasn't bad enough, he used "his own funds" to renovate the house and had the audacity to ask the OCA to pay for it. And the idiots on the Executive Committee approved a note for $250,000. It is this note that Kondratick was suing over. Since the note was signed by a sitting judge, who on earth would have thought that the OCA would win it's case? Then the OCA spent $500,000 to defend Kondratick's lawsuit on the $250,000 note. But let's not mix up the issues. The OCA never got its day in court to sue Kondratick over the missing money. It was wrapped up in a counter suit that the OCA did not have the money to take all the way to a verdict.
Any hierarch that would reinstate Kondratick should have their own head examined. Reinstating that man is about as unforgiveable an act that I can possibly imagine in the church. What he did to financially destroy the good deeds of so many people is not worthy of the priesthood.
May God have mercy on the soul of any hierarch that would even remotely consider such a stupid, irresponsible and eggregious act.
#16 Anonymous on 2010-11-18 17:49
"......he pulled a fast one with +Theodosius and had him give him a house. And if that wasn't bad enough, he used "his own funds" to renovate the house and had the audacity to ask the OCA to pay for it."
What house are you saying the OCA gave him? Are you referring to the Martin Street house? That house was never owned by the Kondraticks. It belonged to the OCA and was sold by the OCA, which benefited from the increased value, of which the upgrades the Kondraticks paid for personally, thus adding value to the home were part of the appreciation. Money, by the way, that was NOT OCA money but personal funds of Bette Kondratick from her being a beneficiary of the estate of one of her deceased family members.
Hey Mark, so quick to correct, why did you let this fabrication go without a comment?
(Editor's: One slips through now and then; one is only human. Sorry. However, the fact is that RSK insisted the OCA buy a house for the Chancellor in the first place - neither the one before or after him had that luxury, since all already received a housing allowance. That he did not own the house when it was finally sold was not from lack of trying. Protodeacon Wheeler and others have stated that RSK tried to get the OCA to transfer title to him more than once. So lets save the outrage, and stick to all the facts, rather than cherry picking.)
#16.1 Anonymous on 2010-11-19 08:23
Since you want a correction, I'll give you a correction. Robert Kondratick took a housing allowance at the same time he was living in the house on Martin Drive that was owned by the OCA. This is called double dipping. He and his lovely wife got the benefit of a house and they did not have to pay the IRS all of the taxes that were due on his salary because part of it was claimed as a housing allowance.
And by the way, when is your friend Bobby going to make restitution for the money he received from the 9/11 funds, the orphanage funds and all the others, or doesn't that count anymore?
Is your defense of him because you, like many others received gifts that were never reported to the IRS? Did you get a free trip to Aruba or Russis like so many others? Did you get a few 5 star meals for free as well? Or maybe you received one of those "special" envelopes that were taken to Russia.
How about you come clean about why you want to defend him?
#16.1.1 Anonymous on 2010-11-19 14:49
Consider this analogy in understanding how Bishop Michael and Metropolitan Jonah misunderstand and manipulate forgiveness ...
Metropolitan Jonah bringing back Kondratick is the equivalent of Pope John Paul II giving his would be assassin Mehmet Ali Agca a position with the Swiss Guard.
#17 Andrew on 2010-11-18 19:52
Working Draft point #4, specifically the words "fulfilled" and "merged", aren't sitting well with me. Don't care, either, for point #5's putting an earthly adjective (American) in front of the word Church.
#18 GB on 2010-11-19 05:06
Why are we re-hashing this here? Read all the past posts on these issues when Mark started this site. 3 are guilty of gross mismanagement and the disappearance of funds from the OCA. Met. Theodosius, RSK & Met. Herman. All three should have been prosecuted to the full extent of the law, but the OCA did not seek to do so. None of these 3 can ever be re-instated to respectable clerical levels. The CHURCH is still waiting for public confessions from all three!
#19 Anonymous on 2010-11-19 09:11
Since when does a Church prosecute criminals...turning the other cheek is what Christ teaches. And if anyone thinks the Terrible Trio is gonna be reinstated they've gotta stop assuming things. It's not gonna happen so why get worked up over nothing.
Here's something for everyone to think about:
The measure of how much you love your worst enemy is the measure of how much you love God.
(Editor's note: Interesting. One should love both enough to tell them the truth. And in former case, the truth hurts.)
#19.1 Seeking Truth on 2010-11-19 12:01
1. The problem is that, like it or not, there are many in the Church, such as myself, who feel that the Kondratic Trial was a kangaroo court that was out to convict him from the start. He may be guilty of all he is being accused of by some people who write in this website. But the way he was judged is not accepted by everyone. For many of us the image of that court is one of pre-judgement, some hysteria, anger and incompetence. We're talking image here, how it "looks." I'm sure this feeling is going to spark an angry response - but there it is and that's the way it is.
2. Thus, it might be a good idea to revisit the whole painful episode in a calm more objective way so that the moral legitimacy of the court could be established and its negative image erased. This might be one of the reasons the Holy Synod is considering re-opening the episode - painful as it might be to some.
3. Another reason might be the fact that Mr. Kondratick's personal relationships with members of the Russian hierarchy might be extremely beneficial as the OCA struggles to retain its rightful autocephally and avoid the disaster of its being "rescinded" or mutilated. Those who detest Mr. Kondratick should be aware that international Orthodoxy is in a critical place right now and that decisions concerning 'cannonical' church structure and government - especially in the US - could last for centuries. Mr. Kondratick's valuable knowledge and relationships may very well transcend his sins and crimes. This is only conjecture on my part. I can already feel the venomous response to this idea. But there it is and that's the way it is. Have a drink and relax. The sun will rise and set tomorrow regardless of how you feel, or don't feel.
4. I am neither for or against Mr. Kondratick's innocence or guilt. That is for proper authorities and structures to decide. It seems to me, however, that he is in a rather catch 22 situation: it may very well be that the money he is accused of mishandling (or, for some, stealing) was used for reasons that he would be extremely reluctant to disclose for reasons having nothing to do with himself or his actions. As "Father" Kondratick, I do know that he helped many in the church - priests, priest wives and others who needed it - and whose privacy should be maintained. And I know that there are those who think that they have an inalienable right to know everything about everything and everybody, but who would be humiliated if their own sins and needs were exposed.
5. Many thanks to Karina Ross, whose above post was a welcome, clear and firm articulation of what many of us feel about autocephally, what is going on in international Orthodoxy, and the fact that there is little opportunity for rank and file faithful (those for whom Christ was crucified), to express their opinions outside of this website. Seems to me it would behoove Syosset to establish a similar, open forum on the OCA website. They may not like what they hear, but it is imperative that the leadership knows what the flock is thinking and feeling before it runs off making impulsive decisions affecting the life of the Church in the US. A good leader fears nothing - especially those whom he is leading. And a good leader is not afraid to express his opinions and goals openly and submit them to the wider wisdom of the Church body for rejection, correction or acceptance.
Anyway, that's what I think - and thanks for the opportunity to say it.
An OCA parishioner.
#19.2 Anonymous on 2010-11-19 13:20
Metropolitan Jonah likes to chat about ego. But the truth of it is that it is his own EGO that is driving his twisted vision of forgiveness. ...
Your Beatitude, the twisted vision of forgiveness you propose is an extention of your own unhealthy egotism. You are willing to amputate the souls of many so you can parade around and claim how "forgiving" you are. You are not forgiving ---you are enabling and manipulating. Metropolitan Jonah is simply a new breed of fundamentalist who wants to twist the virtues of the Church for his own gain.
You Beatitude, I urge you to cease the egotistical behavior and let the tough love of the Church -a love that can say NO- continue.
#20 Andrew on 2010-11-19 12:07
Metropolitan Jonah laid out his vision of forgiveness pretty explicitly in his famous speech during the All-American Council. He said that it wasn't about making excuses for Kondratick or Metropolitan Theodosius, but that it's simply saying, "My reaction is destroying me, and I need to stop it." Apart from the thieving and lies, some people had gotten so worked up over the situation that it ran a very real danger of killing them spiritually.
And there's nothing wrong at all with what Metropolitan Jonah said then. That's actually very good advice that I think a lot of people needed to hear right then.
What worries me is the thought that Metropolitan Jonah did not have an irrational definition of forgiveness in mind. Rather, I wonder if he was trying to protect the OCA from the Kondraticks' lawsuit. Met. Jonah was deeply troubled about the huge amount of money that the OCA was spending on legal bills earlier this year. He may have considered taking such a drastic action in order to settle the lawsuit. Now, the lawsuit has been settled, but I've never seen a date or anything, or even a source, on Met. Jonah's alleged approval of restoring Kondratick.
What I would like to see is Metropolitan Jonah clearly and unequivocally state his own position on the matter, and give whatever reasoning is behind it. "Was this part of Dumbledore's insane determination to see the good in everyone?" - Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (Heehee!)
#20.1 Cordelia on 2010-11-22 14:41
I mean really--does it get any crazier than this? Submission to Moscow and a resurrected "Father Kondratick!" Why don't we engrave the following over the OCA Chancery: "The more things change--the more they remain the same."
So what happened to all the cheerleaders for Metropolitan Jonah? Not really "change you can believe in" is it?
#21 Kenneth R. Tobin on 2010-11-19 14:53
I had a recurring nightmare as a child.
#22 Daniel E. Fall on 2010-11-20 09:09
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