Wednesday, February 14. 2007
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Why does "On behalf of Metropolitan Herman, Father Paul Kucynda welcomed..." appear several times? Were they receiving heads of state? Or is it beneath the Metropolitan do welcome mere attorneys? Do we need a Protocol Officer for the OCA? Perhaps Martha on greeting Jesus outside of Bethany should have said, "On behalf of my dead brother Lazarus, my sister and I welcome you."
Why did the Metropolitan appoint the Special Commission? I would think that someone from the Synod or Metropolitan Council should have made a motion to establish the Commission and set its charge. I would like to have seen a record made of who wanted or did not want the Commission.
#1 Christopher Eager on 2007-02-14 14:14
Anyone still think there is NOT a coverup in play?
We're watching the slow death of the OCA, and theres not a damn thing the latity can do about it.
Maybe we should start a class action lawsuit.
#2 K.K. on 2007-02-14 20:05
Chris, we should all know that Metropolitan Herman (MH) is running the show. It's very clear to me that nobody wants to rock the boat.
MH, has come up with many new cliches in the past fifteen months, none last more than the next meeting.
After talking with many priest in the past fifteen months, most have said that MH. is not the man, to be our Metropolitan. Why can't the priest vote to have him removed. I know these are hard words, but for the OCA to move forward, this seems to be the only solution.
St. James--The Brother of the Lord
Kansas City, MO
There are many things that may not be "edifying". Unfortunately not discussing them doesn't make them go away.
I expect Metropolitan Herman to realize even when things aren't "edifying", sometimes they must be made public.
Some of us have a knowledge of some of that which is not so edifying. Rumors have gone very far, even into sexual matters of monastics.
Rumors become reality when they are not dispelled, or when other matters are deemed not "edifying". Perhaps we believe when we read something unedifying won't be discussed that this is the bad rumor we heard.
It seems rather silly that a church who operated in hiding its failures for the past 7 years would still operate on any principle of that which is unedifying must not be discussed.
Perhaps those rumors about our monastics are truths afterall.
Regardless of what the pre November 2005 truths are or aren't. It seems that Metropolitan Herman has missed the boat on at least one point here. That is, the church must be open and forthright about things, even those which are not "edifying". Otherwise, the incense burning is nothing more than smoke and mirrors.
It is a very difficult thing. The Catholic church dealt with sexual problems by burying them until they got so bad, the church in America was bankrupt in many dioceses.
The challenge for Metropolitan Herman and the hierarchs is to recognize it is their duty to bring us even unedifying news. A subset of the challenge is when does it begin and is it a full open story. Certainly, unresolved employee problems can't be discussed, and there are laws around what can and can't be discussed. When does an open book policy start? Does it start with everything past and present and future? Does it start with present and future only? Is it an open book when legal?
It would be wise if Metropolitan Herman made it clear that the church will discuss everything that it can legally, regardless of whether it is edifying.
I'd like to recommend to any readers, especially those in decision making roles, that the council work hard to determine when things should be discussed. Information not getting disclosed because it may be unedifying is simply unacceptable in the context of the OCA and Catholic scandals.
The church probably needs a disclosure policy written. I'm not an expert in this area by any stretch or measure of imagination. I just find it hard to accept we don't get told about something because it isn't edifying. A disclosure policy would really be establishing a solid foundation for the church.
Although the church began in the 1900s, the OCA is still a young church as an organization. Hopefully, our hiearchs and council leaders recognize this and listen to these ideas as constructive and not negative criticisms.
I apologize if this posting seems to attack Metropolitan Herman's word choice in any way. Wouldn't it be better if Metropolitan Herman were to say, this matter is not allowed to be disclosed by our policy, rather than this matter shouldn't be disclosed because it may be unedifying? The council minutes could simply read (undisclosed due to policy), rather than not getting distributed. Further, the disclosure policy itself could be public.
I, of course, would argue that the overall financial matters of the church be subject to full disclosure.
Just trying to help.....
My husband and I just received a mailer from the OCA to donate to the mission appeal. We wrote back that we will be giving directly to an OCA mission, which we have already been doing. We said that until we know fully about what the Proskauer Rose investigation has found out that we did not feel we could give to the mission appeal.
Patty and Fr. Paul Schellbach
#5 Pattty Schellbach on 2007-02-15 18:14
indeed.........the Mission Appeal return envelope had a Syosset address on the front..........HUH ??
#6 luke on 2007-02-15 22:33
We are also sending our mission appeals directly to missions.
I have a couple of questions for everyone about the next AAC. I know we would all like to see this councel be profitable for the OCA & not just a bunch of empty words and rhetoric (especially since my family will be paying for our plane tickets and lodging).
1. What can we do to prepare for the next AAC? (I will be attending as a delegate.)
2. How can we (the delegates and clergy) facilitate the "turning the tides" of the OCA at the next AAC?
I am looking for honest facts based on the statutues that we are to work within. I am optimistic that because this is Christ's church, His church will prevail.
#7 Anonymous on 2007-02-16 05:48
Can you please explain why you insist that a coverup is in progress?
Why don't people understand how detrimental it can be to allow certain information to be leaked prior to the completion of a Federal Investigation?
Can't anybody out there put two and two together and understand why Proskauer Rose is so silent?
Do you really want whatever progress has already been made by PR or the Feds to go up in smoke just because you feel we deserve and have a right to know everything before this investigation has even been completed?
Let's all wake up already.
#8 Michael Geeza on 2007-02-16 13:31
You have an excellent point that revealing critical pieces of information before an investigation has been completed can be detrmental. In fact, I have a question for Mr Stokoe on that particular point: if PR is working for a client other than the OCA, how is it that "[t]he Commission reviewed 700 pages of documents provided a week earlier in response to a formal request to Proskauer Rose"? 700 pages is a lot of material; is it not reasonable to expect that some of it was the kind of confidential material that would only be shared with the client?
In spite of this particular question, I wish I could believe in general that the patterns of behaviour at Syosset can be attributed fully to an appropriate protection of confidential information. Unfortunately those patterns as a whole speak more of attempts to hold on to power than anything else. It has been made public that what PR did reveal in December was stunning. There was malfeasance, as has been suspected. If the current administration wishes to truly and fully disassociate itself from that malfeasance, one would think that it would be going the extra mile in its transparency. For example, if the Metropolitan had become convinced that there were not enough people on the original search committee for new officers at Syosset, it would have been far more prudent under the circumstances, to ask that the existing members nominate more people from whom the Metropolitan Council itself could make additional selections. That would have avoided any perception of a power-play, which His Beatitude cannot afford at present. One might also expect that priority be given to posting minutes within hours (maybe up to 72) of an MC meeting (or the like), not 2 months! I saw that one person suggested getting a retired court reporter to transcribe the proceedings, and I read that there are to be audio recordings. I was surprised that Mr Nescott suggested that the recordings be destroyed after the minutes have been published. I trust that he had a good reason, but keeping them would seem more prudent in terms of rebuilding confidence, even if legitimate confidentiality issues required those recordings to be secured.
This administration has lost all credibility. It doesn't take a conspiracy theorist to be suspicious of what is happening. In my personal opinion, regardless of what comes to light in the next 12 months or less, it would be wise, for the sake of the future of the OCA, if the current administration, including the Metropolitan, would voluntarily leave office by the next AAC, which should not be allowed to be delayed by a lack of budget, or anything else. Finding space in the budget for a 2008 AAC - at the cost of many other things, should be the top priority of the OCA, right next to the completion and publication of the results of the investigation, and the election of a new metropolitan should be at the top of the agenda. Metropolitan HERMAN, no matter how innocent God may know him to be, is too close to the situation. He can step down and be remembered for his wisdom, or attempt to keep power and risk the demise of the OCA and more personal consequences as well.
Confidentiality is a serious issue. I don't think anybody here, either Mr Stokoe or the readers, undervalue confidentiality. Speaking for myself alone, if it were not for the surroundng issues, I'd think nothing of silence in some areas. I'd expect silence where confidentiality is an issue. Unfortunately, the general patterns of behaviour (which necesarily connect back to the primacy of Met. THEODOOSIUS since many key players today were key players then) have torpedoed my trust that confidentiality alone is the reason for silence.
#9 Sine Nomine on 2007-02-17 01:38
That ship has sailed! Since all the information is available here, why on God's green earth would a simple statement in writing be so difficult to get? If PR released there findings and findings verbally to the joint session, as well to the Federal authorities, what could possibly hinder the investigation? Its time you faced the fact that Herman and your beloved Kucynda are just as guilty as anyone else, and they are protecting themselves through PR!
#10 Thomas Langley on 2007-02-17 08:08
An interesting question.
How to facilitate turning the tides at the next AAC?
The real problem with the next AAC is that it is likely little will be gained. Too many people will come to the table with too many questions, and too many comments and the thing will be a failure.
To keep from this happening, the delegates must establish the agenda prior to the meeting. I believe this is in stark contrast to the more recent AACs in which the administration (Fr. Bob from my understanding) created the agenda.
Some recommendations for the AAC would be to greatly reduce the focus on the past and to focus more on the future. This will be tough.
An idea for an agenda item:
My greatest disappointment in the scandal was touched on by Fr. Bobosh in his last letter. Our MC members also played a role in the failure of the churches finances. Even Mark Stokoe may agree that he failed in some way while he was an MC member. If so, he has certainly done all he can to reverse the tide by letters, many, many letters.
I don't believe the MC members have a forum (like OCANEWS.ORG) to bring back problems to the laity and clergy. Establishing such a forum would be a successful AAC in my opinion. I sincerely believe the MC believes it is responsible to the administration and the Synod. In fact, they should be responsible to those that elect them. That is, for the most part, the laity and clergy.
Something as simple as a letter could help them shift their focus back to where it belongs. The AAC could establish a council letter to electors as a standard tool the MC members could use. This letter could be approved by a any Diocesan Bishop (a point of great debate ensues) and distributed to the churches. **The Bishop part may not be a requirement, but a desired part. Requiring a Bishop to sign a potentially controversial letter may place too great a threat on the Bishop's bread.** This letter would report on anything extraordinary, and perhaps annually on the ordinary. The annual letter could be the most important requirement of the MC. The letter could be written sometime in June, after there was ample time for fiscal audits to get completed. This would help to bring back the concillar nature of the church by getting the MC to focus on results for the church (people). The letter could report on many healths of the church. New priests vs. priests leaving, financial well being, major events, etc.
This seems like something so basic, but in all my times at church, never once do I recall the MC elected members sending our church a letter and it getting read on a Sunday. A letter that says we gained more priests than lost, gained more parishes than lost, and kept the finances on target and were fiscally responsible, etc.
This idea of a council letter to electors would also help the Synod and administration reestablish confidence.
Achieving just this one result, rather than 100 shouting matches over the past, to me, would be a successful AAC.
#11 Daniel E. Fall on 2007-02-19 08:54
Dear Juliana: Since the AAC is at least 18 months away and the location and agenda still undecided, probably the best thing to do for now is a lot of praying.
#12 Michael Strelka on 2007-02-19 14:58
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