Wednesday, May 9. 2007
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The dismissal of Mr. Nesscott sends a very strong message to all the members of the Metropolitan Council. Do not talk about church concerns with the OCA laity that you represent. A sad and inappropriate message to all concerned. If the laity is going to be represented by the Metropolitan Council, then this dialogue needs to take place. Relate this to the city where you live. Would you want the mayor to prohibit all members of city government from discussing city issues with its citizens? I would not. I would look for a different city to live in. Mr. Nesscott's dismissal is very similar. Gag orders are dreadful.
#1 Samuel Osman on 2007-05-09 13:40
One of my first comments to this website last year addressed the need for the faithful to pray fervently for our bishops because of the nature of the unseen spiritual warfare constantly going on. Given that attacking and destroying the command and control of your enemy is a proven winning strategy, Satan and His demons continue to attack the leaders of the Church. When a bishop in the Church lies he has been captured by the father of lies, Satan the devil. He must be deposed and replaced for the true good of the Church, while the faithful continue to pray for his repentance and ultimate salvation.
#2 Marc Trolinger on 2007-05-09 14:09
We need to remember the lessons from scripture. When Kings and priests were evil, and did not do what was right n Godís eyes, they were punnished. When the people became complacennt with evil , they were all sent into exile. If WE do not take proper care of the Church that God had entrusted to us, then as sure as He made little green apples, He will find someone else who will.
Our Lord assured us that the gates of hell will not prevail against The Church. He never gave any assurance however that Hallways of Syossett would not prevail against the OCA. It looks like the ball is in our court.
#3 Sophia Weisheit on 2007-05-09 14:52
Someone did a thorough job of research for this article, and I commend you. We knew Gregg Nescott had not revealed any confidential information, and now we have chapter and verse to prove it. Can this shameless charade ever end?
I am not quite sure how Metropolitan Herman benefits from this not so smooth move, of savaging Gregg Nescott. This only leaves Mr. Nescott and many of the rest of us angrier than ever at the Church hierarchy, and leaves Mr. Nescott freer than before to say whatever he likes in the future, unfettered by any rules imposed by the Metropolitan upon those who serve on the Commission and/or the Metropolitan Council. Cate
#4 Cate on 2007-05-09 15:22
A vote of "no confidence" is in order. We must insist on having pastors at the helm. Let us be rid of those who use the shepherd's staff entrusted to them as a weapon.
#5 Name Withheld by Request on 2007-05-09 16:03
This is the email I sent to the members of the MC today. You might want to consider contacting them, too.
"Dear Fathers, Brothers, and Sisters,
Are any of you sickened by the fact that the known liar, Fr. Paul "Two Million" Kucynda is still on the Metropolitan Council but the truth teller Mr. Nescott isn't? I surely am. You should invite Mr. Nescott, who's love for truth and the OCA is undoubtable, to attend the next meeting of the Metropolitan Council. The Metropolitan is a tyrant served by a liar. His will should be defied. I pray to St. Tikhon and our Champion Leader for you all.
A layman at Holy Trinity Cathedral in San Francisco"
Mark, thank you, this is excellent reporting (as usual).
Would still be very useful to know what really is behind the dismissal, unless it is just a knee-jerk repressive action by the Metropolitan. Yet if it is, then why did the Synod (including Bps. Job & Nikon) buy the "breach of confidentiality" explanation? Somebody should share what they know...
#7 Inga Leonova on 2007-05-09 19:11
The question is asked "What will the the Metropolitan Council, the Special Commission, the Diocese of Western Pennsylvania who elected Mr. Nescott, the clergy and laity of the OCA do?" I ask all of you to do what I have done since I became aware of this scandal in January of 2006: Stop supporting the central church financially, and if you're in the diocese of NY/NJ/Washington, stop supporting the diocese as well. It's simple: Money talks, b s walks. Perhaps we will then be like the phoenix, and rise from the ashes.
#8 Terry Filippini on 2007-05-09 21:13
The removal of Gregg Nescott should be enough reason for all the churches to escrow their contributions.
If Dr. Skordinski's request resulted in Nescott's removal, why hasn't she given them a 30 day notice of resignation?
If Dr. Skordinski released publicly the same information, or subsets of information released by Nescott, why hasn't she been booted?
What part of integrity is not understood here?
End the nonsense.
Publish a disclosure policy.
Cut the bull.
#9 Daniel E. Fall on 2007-05-09 21:33
How does he benefit? Pretty simple, really. It's all about power. When you look at all his moves since this whole mess began, they are all about maintaining his power and position. He only acts to correct something, begrudgingly, when forced to, and even then only in ways so as to maintain his power and control. But, he is very swift to act to suppress any perceived challenge to his power.
#10 Name withheld on 2007-05-10 05:39
Good points! The time has now come to also pray for deliverance from those heirarchs and their henchmen who are destroying the OCA. We shall see if their arrogance has risen to the point that they no longer fear God or the prayers of his people.
#11 Kenneth R. Tobin on 2007-05-10 05:43
St John Chrysostom says, "Observe how Christ when Himself suffered wrong at the hands of the Devil, being tempted of him, saying, "If thou be the Son of God, cast thyself down," yet was not moved to chide the Devil. But now when the Devil usurps the honour of God, he is wroth, and drives him away, saying, "Go thy way, Satan;" that we may learn by His example to bear injuries to ourselves with magnanimity, but wrongs to God, to endure not so much as to hear; for to be patient under our own wrongs is praiseworthy, to dissemble when God is wronged is impiety."
#12 fledgling priest on 2007-05-10 07:00
The path is now clear but the way will be painful. The Holy Synod needs to meet in special session to ask for the retirement of Metropolitan Herman. At the same time is must relieve Fr Kucynda of his Church position and send him back to his parish. The new Metropolitan needs to bring in his own people and we need a totally fresh start. Only then can we truly begin to turn the page on this sad matter.
Special investigations and all the rest have done what needs to be done. They have uncovered the weak links in our church finances and controls. A new team can implement these needed changes. Kondratick has been turned out and the rest must be sent home too.
If there be any criminal actions done let the civil authorities take up that matter. If arrests are made and convictions are handed down, THEN the Church can call its court in response.
The goal was to clean up Syosset. That is almost accomplished. Let judgment and hopefully not revenge be someone else's duty, not ours. We must go forward united in peace and love.
Please dear bishops, bring an end to this terrible page in our history. Retire Metropolitan Herman so we can breath again.
#13 Anonymous on 2007-05-10 08:21
Why is the Metropolitan saying that "he" removed Greg Nescott? Was there any consensus to this? Is there anything that the Metropolitan really allows to happen in true conciliar spirit or process? I really hope the upcomming meeting with the MC will challenge a bishop who is not listening to what the OCA faithful are wanting: information and the truth of what has gone on with OCA finances.
#14 Patty Schellbach on 2007-05-10 10:39
Is it possible to file a class action suit against the involved leaders of the OCA? In addition to withholding contributions to the national church, perhaps this last resort has found its time. With all the stalling from the OCA Leadership, I fear this will never be resolved unless we, the laity, turn to more drastic measures.
Legalities. I know. As a church we don't like to think that way. We want to forgive and move on. We live in a society that has laws to govern the misbehavior of its participants. What's taking so long? I thought that "thou shalt not steal" was one of the 10 Commandments. Perhaps the OCA version is, "Thou shalt not steal unless you feel personal entitlement"?
Why is there no state or federal investigation on these matters? I have seen people brought up on federal charges for far less- within a matter of months - just for the illegal promise of a job in return for influence.
As individual church members we are still required to obey the laws of our society in regard to taxation and financial responsibility. We must pay taxes, we must be financially responsible. Our Church, though tax exempt, cannot be held to any lesser degree of accountability.
#15 Wendy C. on 2007-05-10 15:49
It's no longer about power. Now it's about maintaining control of the situation and what gets out and maintaining that he's not thrown in the slammer - all the while YOU paying for that. He long ago lost any power he has and even longer ago lost his moral authority. He's a man without a purpose beyond preventing himself going to jail.
He should be a man who's scared about his final judgement, but maybe he doesn't believe all that religion stuff - it was just a means to his ends.
#16 Dumb and dumber on 2007-05-10 18:04
There is a place for a vote of no confidence - savetheoca.org
There's a lot of people complaining about this not continuing, but when it comes to putting your money where your mouth is there's very few people who are really concerned and interested and willing to help when we need to clean up the mess.
You don't have to pledge hundreds, but a $5 pledge is as much a vote of no confidence as a pledge of $1000.
#17 Publius on 2007-05-10 19:49
Mr. Nescott has done his good and selfless deeds and we thank him. If it wasn't for him we would not be where we are at now. We need new and more Nescotts. People who are willing to put themselves out there, (*get involved*), and do what's right and move us an increment closer to cleaning out the pigsty.
#18 Weeping Priest on 2007-05-10 19:57
The PR law firm, hired by Herman who then got the Holy Synod to approve his unilateral action, turned over its investigation to the FBI. The FBI has their report. They may act on it, they may not. If they do, it is because they believe that criminal actions took place. If they do not, it is because they do not believe, either there is enough evidence that criminal action took place OR they have concluded that there was no criminal actions.
Such an action by the PR law firm is a very serious action. Why did they do it? Why has the report not been released? What is the basis of the PR report? Remember it was a very selective investigation on their part. Their WAS Metropolitan Herman, NOT the Orthodox Church in America. Could it be that the FBI has already seen through the charade that Herman and his cronies foisted on us?
If the website has done anything, he has elevated the level of critical thinking for us. I don't think the FBI is going to bite on this one.
#19 Anonymous on 2007-05-10 20:33
Good point, Wendy, however enforcement of the tax code and criminal laws are not within the authority of the Church. We must let the civil authorities (IRS/FBI) continue their work on this matter.
Our lot, as Christians, is indeed to forgive. Christ didn't say anything about the state of repentance of the other person -- only that we are to forgive.
We have, and we will forgive. There are certain actions and responsibilities that others (the Synod) will / should take regarding clerical status and penance. That is the purpose of the spiritual court.
It is very frustrating to sit and wait. I share that frustration. Yet, it is our lot. What can we do about a non-accountable Synod? That is the question we must answer at the "soonest" opportunity, and what we need our learned monks and scholars to advise us. I don't think it blasphemous or heretical to think that the bishops are accountable to the laity, in the absence of a state oversight.
In our current situation, it will take the resolve of at least three of the sitting bishops to begin the process of holding the bishops accountable, and 12 bishops to hear/agree on the case. I've suggested SCOBA (Greeks, Antiochians) be the empaneled 12. If the cancer will not leave voluntarily, we should excise it. But we (laity and clergy) have no authority and no standing to accuse a bishop according to our statute.
So, in the final analysis, we can pray that our Bishops gain the intestinal fortitude necessary to reform their house, or we pray for new bishops. In either case, it is necessary that we forgive and continue to forgive all those who have offended us - including our bishops. Don't let the bishops steal your salvation as well!
Sdn. JohnMartin Watt
Martin D. Watt, CPA (Inactive)
#20 Marty Watt on 2007-05-10 20:58
Has anything changed? The following is part of an exchange with Fr. Jonathan Ivanoff of Syosset with a member of the Orthodox Forum:
OF Member: "Methinks you skipped a step there. If I remember Chris' post, he said that we must get rid of the bad people first and then put the good people in. You skipped the part about getting rid of the bad people.Most people seem to believe that they are still in place, except for RSK, of course and several now entrenched in the Diocese
of the South."
Fr. Ivanoff: "No steps skipped whatsoever. Chris and others can demand anything they want; the reality is that these new officers are coming on board regardless of whatever else happens, so one is not necessarily contingent upon the other."
And there it is: they don't (*care*) what you think and "demand" and definitely don't take it into account. They are going to do what they want and there's nothing you can do.
Back to square one.
#21 Anonymous on 2007-05-10 21:22
I also believe that the time has now come to consider a class action civil law suit. Waiting for secular authority to bring criminal charges may prove futile and is my least preferred course of action anyway.
A good starting point would be for the OCA attorneys, who sent their letter warning of legal consequences some time ago, to address this issue. Just a credible threat might bring surprising results.
#22 Kenneth R. Tobin on 2007-05-11 05:28
Retirement? Don't you mean indictment?
#23 K.K. on 2007-05-11 05:45
D and dumber
I liked the ďall that religion stuffĒ comment. This crossed my mind many times.
#24 Ande on 2007-05-11 06:36
I totally agree!!!
#25 Ande on 2007-05-11 06:42
For those who remain frustrated with the situation in the OCA but feel their hands are tied in terms of actually doing anything about it, I believe that the suggestion that we contact the New York State Attorney Generalís office has merit. Itís easy to assume that by now SOMEONE must have done this. I think the only way we can individually have peace of mind that this resource has been tapped is if we do it ourselves. I know someone tried this route before the past election, but candidates were not interested in taking on a church before an election. Perhaps now that the election is behind them, the office will be more responsive. I believe that the correct URL for the form you would need to fill out and send in is:
Itís only a two-page form, and you may remain anonymous if you so choose. The form asks for documentation to be sent with the complaint, but I would think it would suffice to simply write in the OCANews.org Web site address. All of the documentation is available from this source. The address for the OCA is:
Orthodox Church in America
6850 N. Hempstead Turnpike
Syosset, New York 11791
To "Fledgling Priest"--The quote from St. Chrysostom was wonderful!
#26 Cathryn Tatusko on 2007-05-11 07:32
I tend to believe you are correct. What power?
I fear I see Metropolitan Herman as one engaged in an intense effort to kill a troublesome bird with a mallet. His single-minded focus on his task prevents him from noting that the bird he seeks to hammer into oblivion is sitting on his head. Cate
#27 Cate on 2007-05-11 07:50
Not retirement! Rather a defrocking of both he and his predicessor. This whole mess could nave been solved two years ago. But alas, there is fear in the Metropolitan. Fear of what Mr. Nescott knows and may use to remove the Metropolitan from his perch. Remove the cancer that has eroded the life of the OCA. Both have proven to be userpers of the faithful. I urge the Synod of Bishops, the Metropolitan Council and the brave seven lawyers who demanded the truth be known to remove these evil men from their positions of trust. They have not protected the flock, but rather dispersed them in disarray. The flock no longer accepts these people as leaders but rather as stonewallers who do not need our support. It is time for the sleeping clergy and the laity to awaken and arise and speak out about this travesty. Each individual who was in employ at the time of all this nonsense should be brought before this spiritual court, not only Fr. Bob, but every member of the Syosset circle. Go back to Metropolitan Theodosius, and his regime, to all the Treasurers, and those who controlled the finances of the church, to those who willingly took monies from the church and used it on their own behalf. Each one of these individuals is as guilty as the one they are trying to hang with this whole mess. It is time for the Metropolitan council to take charge and demand a full
accounting of all finances, to bring to bring to the foreront, the truth. For the Lord saith, only the truth will set thee free. +MH, do you believe this? And all those who used the monies of the church believe this? If you do, then I inplore you to come forward, speak the truth, no matter the result of your own misdeeds. If you do believe the words of the gospel "the truth will set you free" then for the sake of all the suffering memebers of the OCA I implore you to take up your cross and not only set yourself free , but also all those suffering Orthodox Christians who trusted you and believed that you were honest and forthright in handleing their donations to support the many requests for support. Can you imagine the disappointment and the sadness that you had created?
You who took on the robe of salvation to provide direction and salvation to the Orthodox Christians when you were ordained as followers of Christ. You made a vow of acceptance and you have now betrayed your vow. Don't you think it is now time to get your life and the life of all those of who you provide guidance for to question th ethics of your Bishops, the Metropolitan and anyone else who controls our well being? It is time for the sleping clergy and the laity to awaken and take control of those who would lead us down the path of everlasting dispair.
Like I said earlier, this whole mess could have been solved several years ago, but those who have the so called "power" have ried to hide their mistakes and shortcomings have tried to prolong this to their advantage. Do not let them be successful. They are working for the"Evil One"". Again. MC, Synod of Bishops, demand the removal of those who have hindered the truth to those who have provided the lifeblood of this church.
Many times I have heard our Metropolitan say, "there are no secrets in the Othodox Church". Then why is there a censoring of the facts of the Special Committee? Just as the Metropolitan fears the likes of Mr. Nescott being on the Special Committe, so does he also fear that the real truth may be known of his misdeeds and the misdeeds of his predicessor, Metropolitam Theodosius. Let the truth be known that it might set all us Orthodox Christins free. If they have done wrong then we as a whole have to face whatever they have done to blemish our faith.
Again I implore you, come forwqrs and confess your misdeeds to the whole church so that we can move forward as a true Christian faith.
#28 Anonymous on 2007-05-11 12:39
Itís hard not to read all these postings collectively and feel nauseous. I am not a MHer or a Kondratikite, I to be honest never really thought much of them, and this recent scandal just confirmed my previous suspicions. That's one of the advantages of coming from a protestant background: you do not put you trust in princes or the son's of men. However, I don't think that's a distinctively protestant attitude. In reading Byzantine and Russian history I've realized the bishops/leaders have always opted for this world at the expense of heaven and the loyalty of their flock. The Old Testament is full of examples of the same.
However, what I take issue with here and all those who post is the bold one- sidedness. Sure, apply blame where blame is due. In the Old Testament, it seems to me, there was a pattern. When the people turned from God to worship false gods, God punished them with defeat, captivity and evil leaders. How could it be otherwise? If the people are evil, and the leaders are taken from the people, then the leaders would, as a matter of fact, be evil. As I look upon the present situation in the OCA, I can't help to see a parallel (you will forgive me for being judgmental, but it seems to be the rule around here, so just bear with me). People are calling for the repentance of the hierarchs, and rightly so. But, what about the people? Are we above reproach? What kind of stewards have we been with the talent the Lord has given us?
I'm not just speaking of money, but of the whole tradition of the Church, its wonderful liturgical, ascetical and monastic tradition. As I look at our individual church web sites, it grieves me to see that most of our church lives is limited to one service a week (liturgy) on Sunday, and a short vespers on Saturday. What about the other beautiful services of the church, what about Monday Friday? Liturgically speaking, the OCA seems to be a minimalist church, that is, we worship the least amount possible, and the services that we do serve, we cut them up according to our fancy, to make them shorter. I suppose it would require a greater deal of commitment and sacrifice to come to church more often and stand at prayer longer, a sacrifice most of us are unwilling to make. Even in those parishes that attempt to have a more liturgically rich life throughout the week, I bet there are only a handful of people there. Are we really a worshiping church? Or are we satisfied with our minimalist attitude?
What about monasticism? Fortunately we have the Antiochians that fall a little shorter than we do and take the last place in that arena. I would suspect many of OCA people are suspicious of monasticism, some are indifferent to it, and others are outright hostile towards it. Those who do support a bold monastic witness are ridiculed as fundamentalists. We do next to nothing to promote that worthy vocation...then we are baffled that we do not have many options when it comes to choosing bishops. Nope, we take the businessmen and make them prelates. Monasticism is too inconvenient for us.
Last but not least is charity. What are we doing to reach out to those in need in our own communities? Sure we like to send money away to other "important" places, but what about those who need care around the block, in our very own parishes and cities? There are only a handful of parishes that have made the sacrifice to be a source of warmth, sustenance and rest to those less fortunate. We like the idea of charity, but let someone else actually do the work for us.
We have forsaken these three great pillars of Orthodoxy: worship, monasticism and charity. On what then do we stand?
The people who post here seemed so outraged at what is happening, as if this whole scandal just came out of nowhere and bit us in the middle of the night. Oh, but this is the greatest deception of all, beloved! Were 1453 and 1917 pure aberrations of history, freak accidents in church history? What folly it would be to lay the whole blame on the clergy. The people, too, had departed from the true path, they were content with the outward forms of religion, but had lost the meaning behind them. We have lost, neglected rather, and are loosing both the content and meaning of our religion. There are those among us who think that by removing every single hierarch the woes of the OCA will disappear, and our good name will be restored. Blind! There is a greater ill in our OCA: US. Yes, all of us!
You can proceed with all the trials and firings you want. That, however, will not take care of the problem. Until we become a truly worshiping people, people willing to sacrifice all in service to our God and King, through monasticism or heroic charity, then we are just building our ďchurchĒ on popsicle sticks, and not on the tall, strong and beautiful pillars the Church has longed depended on.
But, thanks to God, the OCA is not the end all, be all of Orthodoxy. If the OCA should fall, Orthodoxy will survive. You can bet your last dollar on that, better, you can bet your whole life on that. Byzantium and Holy Russ fell in due time, and if it be the Lordís will to allow the OCA to fall, so be it. Orthodoxy always refuses to be put in a box, be it Byzantine or Russian or American. It will live on, unto the ages of ages. Amen.
#29 T.A. from GP on 2007-05-11 14:13
We should be cautious when reading comments posted on the web site. They could be a setup to intentionally mislead the people or they could be accurate.
An example of one that I just read may be true or ??? I donít know! It was signed Anonymous. It implies that the FBI has the info, and if the FBI doesnít act on it, no criminal action took place.
A portion of the comment:
ďThe PR law firm, hired by Herman who then got the Holy Synod to approve his unilateral action, turned over its investigation to the FBI. The FBI has their report. They may act on it, they may not. If they do, it is because they believe that criminal actions took place. If they do not, it is because they do not believe, either there is enough evidence that criminal action took place OR they have concluded that there was no criminal actions.Ē
This one could be 100% legitimate. I donít know.
I donít know if Mark knows the writer.
I personally have 14 different ďlegitimateĒ screen names, within 5 different providers. I could be a relative of MH or Father Bob, (but Iím not!, or am I???). They could be telling me what to write, and I just send it in. Then they could tell me to send another using a different screen name raving about the previous one, etc.
There are numerous signatures I could come up with, like: Anonymous, convert, cradle Orthodox, reader, widow, retired, life member, etc, etc.
Too many people that I know take everything written as gospel!
Please be cautious
#30 Ande on 2007-05-11 20:11
Why don't we call this exactly what is is? EMBEZZLEMENT When officers of organizations in the course of their lawful activities come into possession of property, such as money, actually owned by others, they are guilty of Embezzlement.
#31 Subdeacon Robert Aaron on 2007-05-11 20:53
Dear Fr/Mr/Ms T.A.: I would be very careful of making generalizations. There are people who post here who I know for a fact avail themselves of all the services the Church has to offer, and give generously (even sacrificially) of their time, talent and money. I also know for a fact that there are many churches who take care of the sick and the suffering in their communities. What do you think is more important, four hour vigil services, or feeding the hungry and cloothing the naked?
Moreover, most who post on this topic want not the resignations of all the bishops (just one, I would say), but merely want the truth of what happened, and repentance from those who wronged us.
Further, Fr/Mr/Ms T.A. it seems apparent you have a misguided notion that parish life should mirror monastic life. It shouldn't, and it never has in the life of the Church. Perhaps you haven't noticed, but most families have two working spouses. Those that can come to weekday services (and just for your own edification, our parish has Divine Liturgies on feast days at 7 am, so people can come before work) are usually retirees, who might be unable to drive anyway.
Even further, Sir/Madam/Fr, you might just look at a few church web sites. You might be surprised at the number of churches that have weekday vespers, in conjunction with bible study.
#32 Michael Strelka on 2007-05-12 08:12
It is written, My house shall be called the house of prayer; but ye have made it a den of thieves.............
#33 Quiet Voice Of The Lord on 2007-05-12 10:26
As you all know, I have been concerned about the crisis of truth in the OCA these days. Here is a link to an excerpt from an address, which is posted on the official ROCOR web-site. While we might take exception to the stated view of Metropolia/OCA, I think this article says much about facing up to the truth, and not living in some sort of daydream or outright lie.
#34 Mark Harrison on 2007-05-12 16:49
The Palatine Resolution should be adopted if the dismissal of Greg Nescott did not follow the Statutes or (exclusive or) if the OCA does not publish its best efforts at a full set of financial statements as promised by May 25th (I believe that is the date they have promised for the first quarter report.) This would meet my minimum standard of within 60 days of the end of the quarter.
I support the decisions of the Minneapolis and Clayton deaneries because the financial statements for the end of the year, for example, have not been submitted. However, given the fact the OCA has announced its intent and made a promise, the Palatine Resolution should be put on hold, while those churches that have adopted their own resolutions need be accepted.
Truly, I do not know the circumstances surrounding the four churches not providing assessment monies. However, I believe there is something very important to at least validate and make public. If this issue is something new for these churches, it must be important for the Diocese of the Midwest to qualify that these churches are not short due to the problems in the National Church. That is, if a church cannot make its assessments because its people have fallen away from contributing, the Diocese needs to assess that fully.
I'm not sure what 4 churches are referred to by the Diocese of the Midwest, but if they are referring to Minneapolis and Clayton, it would be inappropriate to boot them for nonpayment. The national church has fallen behind miserably on simple disclosure of its calendar year 2006 financials, for example.
For those people in the Diocese of the Midwest voting on the adoption of the Palatine Resolution, I applaud their courage to vote no and extend some confidence to the efforts to produce financial statements. It is vital for anyone reading here to recognize the no vote should only be good until June 25th and then it should be a yes vote if the OCA hasn't met its promise.
If May 25th comes and the statements are not released, that is cash flows, balance sheet, and activity statements, with at least a condensed set of notes, and in comparison to budget. I would expect nothing less than a June 25th vote by the Diocese to fully adopt the Palatine Resolution and unanimously support.
#35 Daniel E. Fall on 2007-05-12 21:12
if you receive money
you are an employee or a crook
stop all the money now!
the grace period is over
#36 Ande on 2007-05-13 16:23
It's Mothers Day!
These are the words that rang out this very day at the breakfast nook this morning from my 8 year old son. I have a present for you~as he sang Happy Mothers Day to me I unfolded a neatly handmade card with cut out flowers carefully colored and hand pasted onto the cover of the card all assembled with stems outlining his flower pot in red. Just beautiful I thought~open it he says there is a special suprise inside~they're flower seeds he exclaimed! shirley poppy's they call them he says each one Mom will be different colors~some red, some purples, and pinks along with touchs of white these especially stand out he says! We can plant them outside water them carefully and give them sun and watch them grow~We can cut them and bring them inside the house all summer long~Mom look at the top of the flower in the picture on the seed package he explains they are so delicate~
On the opposite side of the page another insert is carefully cut out and placed inside~it reads~ Dear Mom My love for your will bloom forever! My favorite thing about you is you are so loving. My favorite time with you is when you make cookies with me and Take me to Church. Thanks for Everything: You Color my world! Love ------. With Two little flowers along side his name and in full bloom with smiling faces on the flowers.
Mom I hope this makes you feel better I know your sad about going to Church. These are the very words he uses this morning on Mothers Day May 13th 2007. He looks at me and says I'm not feeling good my stomach is acheing As his older brother and sister and Father are getting ready for church we hear them scrambling to get ready~which Church are we going to this morning? Should we go to the Greek Church? someone says upstairs, the Serbian one or the the one that is a few miles away or should we go to ours? These is a question mark floating in the air this morning lingering somewhere up the stairway??? No answer has come from the silence.
Its Mothers Day! I thought~As the Church Sings Christ is Risen~This is Passing along in my head as it does every morning from the past weeks as every one of them heads out the doorway to go about there day as they depart one another through the garage doors to the car for work and school this rings in my head so happy they are to depart with this farewell for a good day to be had by all. I feel so blessed with these words of Joy! Coming from there hearts and young minds.
These very words give some sense of Assurance and Hope! This gives me hope that Maybe next Mothers Day will be different from the last two. I ask myself what lessons has this taught my family, our gift from God to be So Blessed to have these Wonderful children to nurture them and to give the absoulute Best of My Knowledge To teach them the truth, the very truth of the knowledge of Christ with the most limited time that I and my spouse have to give them on this very Earth before they depart from me there Mother. What lessons am I teaching them from Church that will frame cut and paste on paper and plant in their minds to be watered feed nurtured and to shine through the Sun, the wind and the rain? I Ask this in the Very Depth of My Soul and with the Many seeds that are given to me and our family to do the very will of God.
From The Depth of My Soul To Each and Every Mother Who is Struggling With The Devastation and Desire Sense to Plant New Seeds and Sow the Crops of the Old Ones, I Wish You and Your Family A Blessed Mothers Day! And I Thank God for All of The Gifts He Has Bestowed On Us~The Courage To Change the things that I can and the Wisdom to Know the Difference. With Love~ Happy Mothers Day!
#37 Anonymous on 2007-05-13 17:53
Amen, amen, amen! It never ceases to amaze me how many clairvoyants we seem to have these days: favoured souls who, without doing any actual research and/or without any real in-depth conversation with other souls, can judge with divine precision the state of parish half-way across the globe or the state of a soul standing next to them at Liturgy.
T.A., whether or not being judgmental "is the rule around here," you have no excuse for doing it. You do not know what is happening much beyond the borders of your own parish, and you certainly cannot look into the souls of others. To pretend to be able to do so is the essential definition of hypocrisy. (You are also falling into the fallacy in logic of proceeding from the particular to the general, but that is understandable; I doubt that anybody has actually studied logic and epistemology in the last 40 years.)
Further, parishes life and monastic life are and have to be rather different, especially in our North American economic climate. When I was growing up (when dinosaurs roamed the earth) most mothers could work in the home, and were thus freer to participate in weekday services; now, most have to work outside the home, with consequent restrictions on their participation in weekday services. Some parishes use the Vesperal Liturgy as a way to celebrate at least the more significant feasts; others serve the festal Liturgy at 7:00am or even 6:00am...and get a pretty decent attendance!
Moreoever,if you are eager to see monasticism flourish, how regularly and fervently do you ask God to give an abundance of monastic vocations to us in North America? And how often do you fervently ask God to the various monastic houses and plantings in the OCA the help (spiritual at least as much as material) that they need to be healthy and grow? How often and how fervently do you pray for monastics, that God grant them the graces both of perseverance and encouragement? Let me tell you something: just to keep putting one foot in front of the other and faithfully live the monastic life in definitely non-monastic circumstances so as to be salt and light is not as easy as falling off a log; so some prayer-support would be welcome.
The exercise of charity also exists among us OCA heathen: food banks, soup kitchens, individual volunteers in all kinds of social service ministries within and outside of Church structures. (And, Michael, just remember that four-hour vigils and social service are not mutually exclusive! It's not either-or; if we're obeying the Lord, it's both-and.)
Do our OCA parishes, people and priests have to struggle against the materialism and secularism that are putting our entire North American society on a greased chute to hell? Yup. But do you think it's easier in Russia or Ukraine right now? The Body of Christ and its members have always had to struggle against the world, the flesh, and the devil; that's part of what it means to follow Christ in a fallen world. And sometimes people and parishes are going to mess up. Everybody spills their milk sometime; but failure isn't (or at least doesn't have to be) fatal. The need is to exercise with others (and with ourselves too!) the same patience God exercises with us.
Lastly, for the umpty-zillionth time, you, T.A. in GP, and everybody else in this walking nervous-breakdown we call the OCA need to do a much better job of obeying the Lord when, in John 7:24, He tells the Pharisees of the day, "Judge not according to appearance, but judge with righteous judgment." A healthy suspicion of one's own infallibility (mine too, BTW!!!) would go some way towards generating less heat and more light.
#38 Igumen Philip (Speranza) on 2007-05-14 04:52
First of all, I do not doubt there are very many such parishes, maybe 10, maybe 100, but is what is that to the hundreds of parishes in the OCA. What I'm saying is that this depth of liturgical richness is not the rule in the OCA, rather the exception.
Second, I never pitted the liturgical life with the life of charity; rather I said they most go hand in hand. Indeed, we should all have one hands raised in prayer and the other extended to the poor. And I never said parishes should be monastic, just need to have more depth to their liturgical life. What is our attitude towards the traditionalists or ROCOR who avail themselves consistently the richness of the Church's liturgical wealth. I'm afraid we will find that many of us relegate such folks to such labels as rigorists, fundamentalists, etc. I do not doubt, there are 10, 15 or 20 parishes who have an active program of helping the needy in their communities, but they are the exceptions, not the rule. Again, our liturgical rigor should be tempered with the heat of our charitable endeavors.
Third, in reference to monasticism, I simply mean to point out that the OCA has done precious little to promote that worthy vocation, and that there is undeniably an anti-monastic element within the OCA.
Maybe it would be best to put what I'm trying to say in the form of a question: Is the OCA characterized by its liturgical rigor and depth, coupled with its strong charitable arm and strengthened by a bold monastic army? If not, what, then characterizes the OCA: Building campaigns? Jeweled crosses? Beautiful temples? In short, the facade of Orthodoxy?
Lastly, I am not harkening back in nostalgia to some golden age of Orthodoxy. The members of the church in every age have had to choose between being a worldly church or living up to its high calling. The OCA must make that decision. Every single parish must make that decision. As long as we're a worldly church, our leaders who are taken from among us, will be worldly. Our churches have been worldly, thus our leaders have been worldly.
#39 T.A. from GP on 2007-05-14 06:43
This very selective quoting of material from the OF misrepresents the exchange.
Fr. Jonathan went back and forth at length with several members who had questions about the software and about the way in which it was announced. In the course of that discussion, several strong advocates for change acknowledged and expressed appreciation for Fr. Jonathan's participation and frankness. Some people expressed continuing distrust of anything that might be used as window dressing for lack of real change. But some also expressed appreciation for the need to move forward with positive steps, so long as those do not come at the expense of addressing the other issues before us.
Nothing about this crisis is simple, and the stage of the whole thing that we're living through right now is particularly fraught and difficult -- some things are happening, other things aren't; we see some encouraging indications, we see some very discouraging indications; some new people are coming in with energy and commitment to build towards the future, some old people are in place whose presence makes many of us skeptical of the possibility for the new people to be effective.
Personally, I believe that attacking everything coming out of Syosset today as if nothing had changed at all is as wrong-headed as believing that things have been solved and that we can all just go back to sleep.
#40 Rebecca Matovic on 2007-05-14 08:12
So what can we do? How do the laypeople defrock a bishop? I don't understand why the other bishops aren't defrocking the metropolitan. Should a person just go up to the metropolitan during a divine service and take his vestments off?
WHAT CAN WE DO?
If we withhold money, they'll just keep stealing. If we just keep writing about it, the devil laughs at our torment at the hands of dishonest clergy.
WHAT MUST WE DO?
To Quiet Voice of the Lord: who will go and flip over the tables?
#41 Anonymous on 2007-05-14 09:19
You have touched on the point exactly. Thank you for pointing it out. Many people have done a much better job than I have of decifering the hearts of men and have had the "boldness" to name specific names and judge them here in the public arena. Your assessment of what I said, and of me, is dead on. How can we from our keyboards and computers claim to know the intentions of those whose names are even remotely connected with this scandel? Yet, that has not deterred many from publicly "quartering" them. Up to now, not many have stood up to call for restraint. Thanks again, father. And please forgive me.
However, those three points I made are of great concern to me. With each passing year I am marvelled at the depth and beauty of our Liturgical life and hymnography. I have often told protestants that they do not need to go to some special school to learn what the Church teaches. They just need to come to church, time and time again, and listen intently to what the Church is saying through its liturgical cycle and its hymnography. Alas, many of us know very little of the pearls and diamonds contained within the pages of the Pentecostarion, the Triodion, the Ochtoechos, and the Menaeon.
I have the blessings to have as close friends many monastics, from England to Athos and Palestine and many places in between. I pray for them, but, I have not specifically prayed for the growth of monastic houses within the OCA. Your advices is well recieved, father.
I hope that after the mess if rectified, Lord willing sooner than later, the OCA can have an honest and open conversation about parish life, and of trying to recover some of those lost or neglected aspects of our liturgical life; about the role of charity in the life of the parish, and of the role of monasticism in the life of the church as a whole. More time spent in church worshiping in spirit and in truth, more time reaching out to the needy, and more monastic houses would indeed be a welcome change in our OCA.
I think there should also be a conversation about family life. I don't think our forefathers here in america had it any better financially than we do. If I recall my U.S. history correctly, it seems to me they had it as hard if not harder than we do. What, then, is it that seperates us from our forefathers? Could it be a fundementally different way of viewing family life, of "family planning", and a different way of viewing sex roles both within and without the home? I don't claim to have answers. I just hope to spark a conversation.
#42 T.A. from GP on 2007-05-14 11:33
I think we need to be careful, as mothers, not to make these crises that have emanated from our central church administration into our personal family crises, causing stress within our children. Children need to think and act like children, and as adults, we need to attend to the world of adults. We don't move from house to house on a weekly basis because we find the neighbors to be immoral.
#43 Paula on 2007-05-14 11:36
Perhaps someone could stand in front of the procession during the annual Memorial Day pilgrimage. Like the man who stood in front of the tanks at Tiananmen Square.
#44 Christopher on 2007-05-14 13:23
Oversimplification of the implementation of financial controls and public financial reporting is as irresponsible as those in administration that let it go as long and as far.
Let us not equal their irresponsibility in our expectations for better things from them.
It takes hard work and diligent effort, along with competancy, not to mention demand from us.
#45 Daniel E. Fall on 2007-05-14 14:29
Response to Paula, Its Mothers Day!
Dear Paula, I thank you for your comment on the crisis in the church and the children to be protected from the scandal. But I must comment to you~ I don't think you fully understand the crisis, this crisis is fully not about money~its about the fullness of the true faith, its about the future of the church existance its about the future of our children, its about lies, disception, corruption, and most of all repentance for those who have fallen off the path of salvation. Not my blood children our children in the whole united states of america and surrounding countries~ its about teaching the truth~not hiding the abuse and fully recognizing the devastation of the effects that it has on each and everyone of us!
~ Our children heads are not in the sand! We are an open family and they are extremely involved in the church going to church every sat evening for vespers, church on sundays, and church school. As well as traveling to camps, and basketball tournaments, Children Talk~they all know, I can't protect them from the outside world they are fully aware of the scandal! And with the help of their parents and church leaders they are understanding this page in history.
There Faith Is Fully Alive and Well. I can guarantee this because this is my job as a parent to insure this, but I must teach them the truth and will not deny them the truth about the devil and the temptations of the world that is around them everyday of their lives. There heads will not be in the sand. These are our future leaders, and with gods help if one of them decides to go to seminary one day I will certainly lead them in the direction of Gods Calling. But I will not keep them in dillusions.
They fully understand that this is the Work of Men, Ego, dictatorships and Pride, work of illness , yes this is a word that the older ones know about illness in the world of mental illness and physical illnesses they came to me and said the word homosexuality. And that its not the work of God.
This Generation is taught Physical Education in School and they know homosexuals in their classrooms, does that not surprise you, their heads are in the year 2007! This has taught them so many important lessons, and I am Grateful for All of these Gifts, the good and the bad. I certainly don't mean to sound so harsh with my words and tone, please forgive me if I do, But I want you to know The Children of the World in Our OCA Are the Children who we need to be upfront with so that this doesn't effect the next generations, We are the teachers of our children~ I will as a parent fully take on my own responsibilities to Teach Them the Fullness of the Faith To Be Active Alive and Well In Each and Everypart of their being. But~I will also As A Parent Protect them~ and if protecting them means they must leave the OCA then they will remain in the Faith of the Orthodox Faithfull and not under the Dictatorship control of this Administration.
#46 Anonymous on 2007-05-15 06:46
The issue, it seems to me, is the bishops do not hold themselves accountable to one another, much less to their faithful (the body of Christ).
For fear of offending a "brother Bishop" they prefer the souls of their brothers be lost. The souls of their brother's flocks as well.
Are we one flock or many?
I beg the bishops that have been silent thus far, Tikhon of EPA, Benjamin of the West, Nikon of New England and Seraphim of Canada to join Archbishop JOB and speak out for reform in the OCA.
I beg our brothers and sisters in the Greek and Antiochian archdioceses and the ROCOR to speak out about the proper ecclesiastical structure for the Americas in the 21st century. I beg the Patriarch of Moscow to speak out for your daughter church and offer wisdom and guidance.
Some may say they have no dog in this fight. That would be incorrect in my assessment. What is at stake here is the very soul of Orthodoxy in the Americas.
We have to have a discussion, as a Church, in a conciliar fashion, about what the OCA is and is to become. I do not believe Christ came to earth to set up a monarchial church. We are family, not military. To you continue to offer obedience to the earthly father that is abusive? Certainly not.
Slowly, slowly, we're seeing the eroding of support for the Metropolitan. It is coming from all corners now. Perhaps there will be a groundswell at the next AAC for change. Can we be patient that long? I hope so.
Some ask that our leaders be defrocked. Why? The only power and authority they have results from our obedience. Do we need to fear the white hats? I think not.
Let them keep the "dignity" - but get them out of active roles within the Church. They are men, not kings or princes. They are servants, not masters. They are men, with failings and foibles just as I have failings and foibles. They are worthy of forgiveness, just as I am worthy of forgiveness.
They have proven they cannot, and should not, shepherd our souls. We no longer recognize their voice.
So far, the voice of Archbishop JOB is the only voice I hear that I recognize - the voice of Christ, one of repentance, respect, honor. He said he didn't know if he could remain part of such a church. I'm not sure I can either.
I don't know Archbishop JOB well. My impression is that he is honorable and his statement was no idle threat - no dramatic "grandstanding" here. I suspect his statement to the council was sincere. I only hope I have the blessing to be able to follow him should he follow through on this assertion.
Sdn. John Martin Watt
Martin D. Watt, CPA (Inactive)
#47 Marty Watt on 2007-05-15 07:12
I wish you had the courage of your convictions enough to sign your name to an internet post, since you feel so strongly about so many other things having to do with truth and not deluding ourselves.
My children know nothing of this scandal. They have heard nothing from their peers, they have heard nothing from any other adult in our parish. That is as it should be. All these problems we are facing in our church administration are imminently solvable if adult persons do what we must do to solve them. It is not the work of children, nor should children be dragged into an adult world, as you have honestly expressed, before their time. I have no quarrel with the persons who sit next to me at worship. I have no question in my mind that they are good orthodox christian people who believe in the Lord and pray to Him with sincerety. I am not church hopping because of something happening in another part of our church, yet I remain engaged and involved in doing my part to solve the problem in anyway I am called to do so. It is not a matter of jamming the children's heads in the sand... it is a matter of knowing what is and is not appropriate for them and exerting parental decision making. You have rightly complained that the schools often circumvent the wishes of parents by introducing them to topics that are beyond their years. The church is where you have complete control over that.
When we, as adults, have addressed these problems in the church and brought them under control, our children, when they become adults and face other crises in the church (which they will), they will have the benefit of our wisdom and experience to draw upon as they take up the adult task of solving those problems.
Anonymous, this is neither the first nor the worst scandal or set of scandals to ever occur in the Orthodox Church. We draw upon our training as Christians and our intelligence as educated adults fortunate enough to live in the United States of America to handle this as well as the other problems in our lives.
#48 Paula Brkich on 2007-05-15 16:02
Dumb and dumber,
You actually made a very good point when you mentioned your doubt if Metropolitan Herman actually believes in God. His behavior is simply not consistent with such a belief. Of course, who am I to know who believes and who doesn't, God only knows but it's just gut a feeling I am getting and sure I hope I am very, very wrong.
This actually reminds me of a very interesting question posed once on the www.oca.org Q&A forum by someone. Here is the actual link from the oca's website:
The person asking the question states that they want to become an Orthodox priest but there is one "obstacle" they are facing -- they are an atheist! (Yes, you read that correctly see link shown above for yourself.)
When I read the question I was shocked. Not because of this particular person's logic and motivation, I was shocked at the realization that perhaps there are many priests/ministers/pastors out there who simply do not believe in God. It is exactly those people that will be drawn to seek a higher and higher position in the hierarchy, the ones who are humble and are true believers, will probably just want to stay back.
This is not news however, many who lived in the Soviet Union will know that many priests were KGB agents. Ok, that's understandable, an evil superpower with unlimited resources wants to control the people. KGB just appointed it's evil henchmen to certain positions and told them to do their job. It is extremely disturbing, but somewhat understandable.
But how do we understand the actions of Syosset. What's pressuring them to act in such ways? The devil, as a post just above this one suggested? Ah, yes, "the devil made me do it" -- it's such a wonderful excuse, it is almost too hard not to use.
In light of what has been happening in Syosset I have wondered many times at the possibility that many of those involved in the scandal are actually atheists. Again, I hope I am very wrong.
#49 An Atheist Priest ? on 2007-05-16 00:23
"Some ask that our leaders be defrocked. Why? The only power and authority they have results from our obedience. Do we need to fear the white hats? I think not."
While we need not "fear the white hats", the AUTHORITY our leaders have comes from the Lord Jesus Christ, through the HOLY SPIRIT and the laying on of hands from the first generation of the Apostles through an unbroken line of bishops to our present hierarchs. AUTHORITY comes from no other place. Read Matthew 28:18 and John 19:11 if you doubt that.
The saddest part is the blasphemous and disgusting behavior of some of these hierarchs. Perhaps "lowerarchs" would be a better word for them. Their acts have born much rotten fruit, especially the suffering of the millions of faithful hurt by their lies and thefts. Also sad is the hesitation of other hierarchs to discipline their misbehaving brothers unto OBEDIENCE TO GOD and for the sake of the Church.
The real question, I think, is "WHAT ARE THE GOOD BISHOPS AFRAID OF?"
That being said, are you declaring that if one were to go and undress the OCA Metropolitan (down to his street clothes), that the undresser would not be sinning against Christ and that such an act is sufficient to remove the bishop's authority? I doubt such an act would bring anything more than embarrassment and further chaos to the Church.
WE ARE NOT PROTESTANTS!!!!!
Finally, the other hierarchs you are appealing to, e.g. the Patriarch of Moscow, may not be reading this website. Or maybe he is. I agree that we could use their help. The help of any canonical bishop to pressure the entangled and lying bishops to REPENT would be beneficial. So in that regard I think that all reading here and all concerned need to write to our respective bishop and beg him to speak up. Well, mine (His Eminence Archbishop JOB: Eis polla eti, Dhespota!) already has. Thanks be to God.
We did not vote these sick men into their episcopal ranks, neither by direct vote nor by "obedience". Our obedience made no one a bishop, but rather the Holy Spirit and other bishops made them bishops. I do not doubt the authentic work of the Holy Spirit, but I really have my doubts about the skittish brothers who with few exceptions appear to be quite fearful indeed.
It is nothing but the devil they fear. If they commit righteous and brave acts to the glory of God by disciplining their shameful brothers, then there is nothing to fear.
I have no doubt that if the Incarnate Lord were already back on earth at His glorious Coming Again, He would have already called them vipers and flipped over their tables.
Finally, Mr. Watt, what do you mean "Let them keep the 'dignity' - but get them out of active roles within the Church. " Those who have done wrong have no dignity, only a facade. They've already forfeited their dignity inasmuch as they have done wrong. We humans do not give anyone dignity. Dignity as with Authority, comes from God alone. God gives us many good gifts. Some of us invest them and bear good fruit. Some of us abuse them and bear nothing that will survive the fire to come. But God is the giver of all good things. We do not contrive good things on our own, but we can be bad stewards of God's good, which is clearly what has happened with the OCA leadership.
I am a reader. What can I bind on earth and therefore heaven, or what can I loose on earth and therefore heaven? Is it not the Apostles and their apostolic descendants alone that have such authority, and their priest as deputies? It seems to me that on the human side of this mess, it's up to the good bishops. I trust the Holy Spirit has already done what He must do in such situations.
#50 Rdr. Alexander Langley on 2007-05-16 07:54
I too serve under the omophorion of Archbishop JOB, thanks be to God. And I agree that the immoral ones have no dignity. Why is it that our own diocesan council is hesitant to simply escrow support for the national church, as directed by the Palatine resolution?
What I oppose is that attitude of vindictiveness that says "everyone needs to be defrocked". It is necessary they be removed from active service - for sure. Alternatively, they can take the same path as Vladika JOB and repent openly and work for reform and change. I have said since the beginning that the faithful are fully ready and able to forgive.
As for the authority of the Bishops, I too concur. I have been a leading proponent of devolution - the reduction of central authority. We have a primate who, in many respects, seeks authority over his brother bishops. This is not Apostolic.
Sadly, however, it is entirely consistent with our Orthodox history. I am currently reading the history of the Orthodox Church in the Byzantine empire. That time (7th century) makes our issues seem rather petty. It is rolling schism and depositions, exiles and even murder.
I have never and would never suggest a bishop or presbyter have their robes removed forcibly. I do not desire that anyone be defrocked - only that they be allowed to retire and no longer be in active service.
You are correct in one aspect - we do not make them Bishops. However we do elect them at our diocesan assemblies and all american councils. In the Antiochian church they are also elected in assembly. The synod then invests them with their office. Even in scriptures, the ones you mention, the Bishops are selected by the assembly and then have the hands laid on them.
It requires the "Axios!" of the people to form clergy, be that a deacon, priest, or bishop.
In order to remain a functioning bishop, it requires our obedience to them. Our obedience is offered freely, under no compulsion. If our obedience is withdrawn, the efficacy of a shepherd is restricted. It is no different than the rejection of the faithful of the Council of Florence. The faithful simply stopped obeying the bishops.
My point is to quit focusing on the national church and focus on the diocesan churches, and indeed our own parishes. We do not have to recognize the primacy of a Metropolitan. The primacy issue doesn't apply except in Synod with the other Bishops. Even then, our history is primacy of honor, not of authority.
We have emasculated our diocesan bishops. Centralization creates monarchical tendencies, not conciliar. Bishops are heirarchs, not monarchs.
I would also encourage people to look at the confessional absolution prayers, including the Greek, Antiochian, and pre-Peter the Great Slavic. The priest does not forgive. The priest is a witness to God's forgiveness.
What we are losing here is a significant concept. Our bishops are not princes to be obeyed, they are fathers to be respected (or endured). Christ did not set in motion a monarchy, otherwise we would concur with our Roman brothers that the authority to bind and loose was given to Peter alone. No, Christ desires that we are one as he is one with the Father and the Spirit.
We have to recapture that sense of purpose and to the extent we can rid ourselves of political intrigue and ambition.
I've rambled too long. My apologies.
Subdeacon John Martin Watt
Martin D. Watt, CPA (Inactive)
#51 Marty Watt on 2007-05-17 07:36
perhaps you are suggesting that these "hierarchs" should go to jail as adults.................
#52 Metropolitan Novelties Co., Inc. on 2007-05-17 16:22
Dear Subdeacon John,
Thank you for taking the time to elaborate. One thing you said has me curious, and it's probably just a matter of me learning:
"we do elect them at our diocesan assemblies and all american councils."
Is this orthodox? Seems a protestant way to go about things (my background is evangelical protestant). Has it always been the way of the Orthodox Church for laity to have such assemblies and councils.
If you think it's relevant to explain here, please do if you (or someone else) has time.
I see your point about obedience and efficacy. Sadly it seems the good priests and deacons (like the one in EPA mentioned elsewhere) get caught in the middle and suffer unjustly when the sheep revolt.
Clearly, as evidenced by this mess, we all must pray for our clergy constantly. It's more than a litany. This is a spiritual battle for souls.
As for a solution, it sounds nice that the "guilty" should just retire and be docile. It seems for that to happen, repentance must begin beforehand.
#53 Rdr. Alexander Langley on 2007-05-18 08:36
You are most fortunate in residing in the diocese that you do. For most of us, the ruling heirarch presents many problems at both the diocesian and parish level. The heirarchy also strongly impact the attitude and selection of parish clergy, often in negative ways.
#54 Kenneth R. Tobin on 2007-05-18 09:00
I actually do appreciate your snarky humor, but is it really appropriate? You, also, obviously feel very strongly, yet not strongly enough to reveal your identity. Why is that?
#55 Paula Brkich on 2007-05-18 12:41
I'm not an historian - perhaps others can comment - but I know even before there were Bishops the leaders were gathered from the assembly - at least that is the way it is described in Acts of the Apostles.
In some cases, laypersons have been elected and enthroned Patriarch of Constantinople. As well, for centuries the Patriarch of Jerusalem has been approved by the secular rulers.
According to our (OCA) Statute, if any one candidate receives a super-majority of the vote, two-thirds, the Synod will elect them, or if not, give the reasons why. It gets complicated from there, but basically the Holy Synod holds a veto power. They do (generally) have to express their reasons for not accepting a "concensus" candidate.
Our current Metropolitan did not have a majority of those of the All American Council - Bishop SERAPHIM of Canada let the voting. He did not receive the two-thirds majority, however, and the decision between the top two vote-getters (+HERMAN and +SERAPHIM) was made by the Synod.
Sdn. John Martin Watt
Martin D. Watt, CPA (Inactive)
#56 Marty Watt on 2007-05-18 14:55
Actually, "we" do not elect the Metropolitan. The AAC votes on candidates and then submits the name to the Holy Synod, who may approve or not. The section says:
d. In the second vote, two names shall be written on each ballot; the tellers shall not count any ballot on which fewer or more than two names are written. The names of the two candidates who receive the highest number of ballots on the second vote shall be submitted to the Holy Synod for their choice by majority vote.
So, while this is a little vague, it has been applied in such a way that the Holy Synod selects the Metropolitan, which is exactly what happened. The AAC did NOT elect Herman. The Holy Synod overrode the vote and selected him.
#57 Name withheld on 2007-05-18 14:58
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