Monday, June 4. 2007
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At last, clarification! Down with the bribes, the perks, the secret benefits, the intimidating fear of ruined reputations for those of integrity!
Up with Cleansing Truth! God's will be done!
#1 Anonymous on 2007-06-04 07:12
... This was one of the most sober, responsable, adult thing yet written on this site in other words people stop involking XC, The Most Holy Theotokos, clocking in w/ yet more opinions etc. etc. blah, blah, blah, and do your DUTY ... ( so that His name not be used in vain) ... just do it !!!!!
#2 John Morariu on 2007-06-04 07:33
It would be a worthwhile exercise to ensure that a copy of this article is sent to all Parish Councils in the OCA so that all members who have any responsibility at Parish,Diocesan or National level should be aware of the Legal obligations entailed.
This article would appear to point up the fact that our hierarchs and administrators have failed in their legal responsibilities as well as in thei spiritual responsibilities.
The suggestions made at the end of this article might just bring everyone involved to their senses before civil authoities take a hand!
#3 Retired Archpriest of DOS on 2007-06-04 07:44
There's nothing to comment on here. Tremendous article.
This provides a basis for the MC, at its next meeting, to draw a line in the sand as it is squarely on their shoulders. We will see if they take their responsibilities seriously. We recognize that for many years the MC was stacked by the accused so as to rubber stamp what was going on to give it an air of legality. Members who were put on to go along with the regime and saw this more of a social group need to re-orient their thinking.
With newly enlightened members and the return of Mr. Nescott, and hoping that this article is read and taken to heart by the entire council, we can have hope that the bull will be taken by the horns and lead out of the china shop before it can cause more damage.
Considering that PR has some fairly smart people working this case and reading this article, you can only imagine that the firewall that was installed places the entire fault of this scandal at the feet of the MC - they were negligent in their responsibilities. They need to beware. The Metropolitan will send them down the river with no blip on his conscience radar. The Metropolitan has shown he has no problem with resorting to legal council, the MC needs to take similar action.
Reading this should cause the Metropolitan sufficient cause to lose sleep for the next two weeks. Especially if the MC recognizes the danger not just from the law itself, but from a man who is more than willing to hang them on that law if it comes down to him or the MC members taking the legal fall.
No wonder he scheduled the trial the same week as the MC.
#4 Publius on 2007-06-04 07:51
Well written and well said. A clean sweep is STILL what is needed. Wheeler is gone, Theodosius is gone, Kondratick is gone, Strikis is on the way out, Herman and Kucynda must be the next to go- every vestige of the past moved out either by their choice or the direction of others responsible for such a decision.
The Special Commission must be free to investigate what went wrong and most importantly how we can make all the necessary changes to minimize the chances of what we have lived through to happen again.
These changes must offer a new culture and thinking for the central administration so that the new Metropolitan and his new staff, from top to bottom, can start fresh, so that we all may start fresh.
I would go so far as to say that we also need a complete new Metropolitan Council. New members, free of the direct scars of this sad affair.
Closer oversight by the Metropolitan Council and just as importantly the Holy Synod. In a spirit of love and trust the new approach must be "trust but verify."
Only then, over time, can we begin to move on.
I am not really that interested in legal suits or such, let the civil authorities look into that if necessary. For me, it is enough that those who were in charge are and WILL BE no longer in charge. They will have to answer for what they did or did not do before the Lord, as we all will.
For me, it will be enough that we learn from our mistakes and do our best never to repeat them so that our children and their children can grow up in a Church that lost its way in the past, but had the courage to face its shortcomings, make the necessary corrections, and be a better Church for the effort.
#5 Anonymous on 2007-06-04 07:57
Everyone who knows a member of the Metropolitan Council should make sure that member has a copy of this article. If a member of the MC is unwilling to fulfill his/her fiduciary responsibilities as spelled out in this article, then that member needs to understand that he/she is in violation of the law, open to prosecution and suit, and should resign immediately.
Remaining members MUST take this very seriously and act accordingly to fulfill their responsibilities.
#6 Name withheld on 2007-06-04 08:07
There is a reason why we repeat the words of the psalmist at each Liturgy: Don't put your trust in earthly princes...
We are followers of Christ. His Gospel is what we must struggle to follow. We fall, we sin, we make mistakes, but God has always allowed us to get up again, to seek mercy and forgiveness, and to seek to correct things in our lives. He has given us the freedom to do this, and in our limited time on this earth, the time to do this. There is no legal standard or consideration that places such a high calling on persons as does the Church. Let us be humble, forgiving, and cling to the Truth which is Christ.
#7 Very Rev. William DuBovik on 2007-06-04 09:10
What the fiduciarcy duties explained particularly well to me is what Proskauer-Rose was hired to protect the "OCA" from.
Instead of working to insure that honesty, integrity, purity, transparency, and righteousness are our normal way of functioning, thanks to our current leadership, the OCA is now (in opposition to the apostolic writers of the New Testament)being governed by the principles of corporate and crimminal defense attorneys. Instead of being examples of upright behavior, our leadership instead wants to avoid having rightfully to suffer for its wrong behavior "Be subject for the Lord's sake to every human institution, whether it be to the emperor as supreme, or to governors as sent by him to punish those who do wrong (1 Peter 2:13-14).
Our current path of allowing PR to govern us and protect us puts us in opposition to the New Testament and to God.
#8 Fr. Ted Bobosh on 2007-06-04 09:13
Excellent article, this is the kind of education we need in order to deal firmly with our crisis.
I hope every member of the Metropolitan Council read this article to fully understand their legal duties and be aware of the great responsibility they have to manage the legal affairs of the church.
The Metropolitan Council is meeting soon and it is time for the members to assert their authority specially when Metropolitan Herman steps out of his boundries.
#9 Michel Michail on 2007-06-04 09:29
Finally, someone who has spelled it out clearly! It is interesting to note that the writer has also placed his name on the savetheoca.org list to further cement his adamant desire to bring this mess to an appropriate end. He has brought to light my responsibilities as a member of our church board of trustees. Financially, we are very well documented and no question arises in our records and the availability to inspect them at any time. However, in regards to this situation, our mantra has been to keep it “out of sight and out of mind.” However, after reading the following: “Courts in different jurisdictions have recognized several fiduciary duties that apply to officers and directors of religious corporations.” He goes on to add: “Everyone who serves the church in a fiduciary capacity, whether as Metropolitan, Bishop, Priest, Metropolitan Council Member, Diocesan Council Member or Parish Council Member should be aware of the legal duties that accompany the position.” Among those he lists as recognized by courts in different jurisdictions are: (iii) the duty of good faith, (iv) the duty to avoid conflicts of interest, and (v) the duty to disclose and account to the principal. With this in mind, we will publish his letter on our church website to be sure that all who sign on to read it from our parish will be informed as to the problems faced by the church. Thank you.
#10 Gratefully (previously Hopefully) on 2007-06-04 10:21
Given this detailed Reflection by Robert Wachter, how can this Stalin-like Show Trial of Kondratick take place next week? Mr Wachter article clearly shows that even this trial (I refuse to call it a Spiritual Court for it is neither spiritual nor a court) has been manipulated by Herman and Kucynda.
If I were a member of this Show Trial, I would resign AT ONCE. Talk about being open to civil action, those poor folks are walking into a meat grinder if they don't stop it.
Stop the Show Trial.
Herman and Kucynda must go first. Only then will we ever have a clear opportunity to find out what went wrong and how.
There can be no justice for any of us until Herman and Kucynda are removed.
(Editor's Note: How does this article show how the trial has been manipulated? You make claims, but no evidence to back them up. And threatening the judges with civil action is hardly evidence of a desire for the truth.... As for stopping the trial, according to informed sources Fr. Kondratick has already requested a second continuance...)
#11 Very Upset and Angry on 2007-06-04 10:41
could you spell out for us what the Metropolitan Council risks if it does not act?
Does the OCA risk its legal status as religious entity? Is the risk a possible lawsuit by the members? Would the members of the Metroplitan Council be personally liable? And finally, so you see the there being legal responsibility at the level of the local parish council?
Thank you very much for the time and thought you gave in composing your article.
#12 Rachel Andreye on 2007-06-04 11:36
Give it a break already!
#13 Stonewall on 2007-06-04 13:45
So, the question arises: if a parish council continues their submitting of assessments to the central administration knowing what they do of the actions of the central administration, are they open to legal action as well? Does this provide the basis to stop sending them money?
#14 Publius on 2007-06-04 13:47
Yes, but in the Orthodox Church, we are supposed to follow and be obedient to our bishops. So, what to do when our bishops are thieves, liars, and breaking the laws of our country? Just lie down and cry? Just forgive, forget, and follow Christ? That is the Protestant mentality - "just me and God, forget about bishops, they have no purpose."
It is good that we have people of prayer in our Church (probably more than you give credit), but we also need people of action if the OCA is to survive this. Now is definitely the time for the members of the Metropolitan Council to be just that - people of prayer AND action.
#15 Name withheld on 2007-06-04 14:21
Absolutely Fr. Ted. The emperor has no clothes. It is time for the Conciliar Principle to take charge and find new hierarchs worthy of the honor bestowed upon them; titles they assume by virtue of the mantles of responsibility to which they commit. No more titles without accountability. A true vision of the Kingdom has been lost at the top.
#16 Name withheld on 2007-06-04 16:16
Very well researched and useful posting.
To me, this demonstrates that we can look to civil law to give us guidance in a constructive way, rather than just viewing civil authority as a cudgel.
We need to be prayerfully and respectfully open to help and guidance where we can find it --and then we all need to courage to fulfill our respective responsibilities in the Church.
#17 Rebecca Matovic on 2007-06-04 16:24
Dear Friends --
There's a great deal of misunderstanding at work in people's apprehension of Met. Herman's recent attempts to call Fr Robert Kondratick before a Spiritual Court.
In the first place, it should be understood that MH knows nothing of the sacred canons, and very little of the Statute of the OCA, whose figurehead he is -- or how else can his behavior be more kindly explained? Our admitting this serious liability on his part makes it somewhat easier to interpret at least some of his erratic behavior.
Contrary to Mark Stokoe's usually accurate insights, the very structure of FrRK's proposed trial has indeed been manipulated by MH and his secular advisors, attorneys who are good at what they do in civil court, I'm sure, but not at all aware of the Church's ancient and sacred canonical tradition.
In the first place, Article XI.4.b and c of the OCA Statute makes it clear that a preliminary hearing must have been held in the accused's own eparchy to determine whether or not a Spiritual Court is to be convened. That hasn't happened, so it's simply not possible to proceed until it does.
It is indeed inappropriate to threaten in any way the judges whom MH proposed to hear the trumped-up charges which he and Dr Faith Skordinski (who, per the canons, will be excommunicated if even one of those accusations is proved false in a spiritual court) have brought against FrRK.
Still, it must be known that three of the judges MH appointed, namely Fr Michael Dahulich, Fr John Erickson, and Fr Joseph Lickwar, are all dependent on the good favor of MH to keep their positions, and it's well known that MH has never hesitated to attempt to make life miserable for any churchman who disagrees with him. (This is ONE of the reasons for which we don't hear more noise from the clergy here, and why so many of our correspondents feel that they must conceal their identity.)
The fourth judge, Fr David Garretson, is on record as having accused FrRK of embezzling church funds, and threatening to 'take a baseball bat to him' had FrRK been in the room when FrDG made these remarks -- in MH's own presence -- on Thursday 9 February 2006 during the lenten day of retreat for local clergy held at Holy Resurrection church in Wayne NJ.
Most obviously, FrDG is disqualified by virtue of prejudice from serving as a judge on this tribunal; the others are just as well disqualified through no fault of their own, but all four should recuse themselves or be dismissed. Whyever did MH jeopardize the integrity and good name of these men by appointing them to serve as a kangaroo court?!
Finally, FrRK has NOT 'requested a second continuance'. In his as yet unanswered letter of 25 May to MH, FrRK pointed out the many flaws in MH's proposal to call him before a Spiritual Court; it will not be possible to convene such a court until MH corrects his own consistent refusal to comply with the canons, the OCA Statute, and with he usual rules of disclosure and discovery.
The bishops and the Met Council are taking all this under advisement. Let's see what happens after next Tuesday when Gregg Nescott and his colleagues decide that enough is enough, and proceed to civil court if the bishops fail to act by convening a special session of the Holy Synod to hold MH accountable.
Peace and blessings to all.
#18 Monk James on 2007-06-04 18:16
Thank you, sir, for the work represented in this posting. If it were a different season, I would walk bare-footed through the streets of Syosset in the snow to nail this to the door of the Chancery!
Now, I would like to encourage -- no, to BEG -- one of the members of the MC to use this as a template with which to prepare an appropriate complaint, and to file it with an appropriate Court in the State of New York. The sooner the better, but perhaps on the 4th of September 2007, the day of Moses the Prophet and Godseer. On the cover page, you could write, "Thus saith the Lord: Thou Shalt Not Steal."
#19 Convoluted Convert on 2007-06-04 18:58
Great article but the proposed remedy is more suitable for run-of-the-mill nonprofits than for a church.
Article V, Section 2 of the Statute specifically states that "The decisions of the Metropolitan Council shall become effective upon approval of the Metropolitan or Holy Synod, depending on the nature of the decision."
Mr. Wachter's scenario supposes that the Metropolitan Council would take action to effectively cut off Metropolitan Herman's influence over the continuing investigation. He suspects that Metropolitan Herman would rule such actions out of order or veto them in accordance with Section 2. Then, the scenario posits the Council or Council members to retain counsel and sue in civil court. It should be said that any member of the Council may sue, but I suspect Mr. Wachter's scenario would make the law suit stronger.
Let us look at another scenario: The Council passes the two motions mentioned in Mr. Wachter's scenario but Metropolitan Herman recuses himself. Per Section 2, the Holy Synod addresses the decisions of the Council and disagrees with them. Now what? Is the Metropolitan Council (or members thereof) to sue the Holy Synod itself, which will probably consider the canons in arriving at its veto. So, we are back at the Abstention Doctrine.
Most importantly, I do believe that a church should try to solve its problems internally. This is not because of tradition: after Constantine, the Orthodox Church has been ruled by the authorities for centuries.
The reason is the ultimate source of Tradition--the Holy Bible, which indicates that we should try to solve our problems internally: "If your brother sins against you, go and show him his fault, just between the two of you. If he listens to you, you have won your brother over. But if he will not listen, take one or two others along, so that every matter may be established by the testimony of two or three witnesses. If he refuses to listen to them, tell it to the church; and if he refuses to listen even to the church, treat him as you would a pagan or a tax collector." Matthew 18: 15-17.
I don't know if we are at that last stage yet. I fervently hope that the Holy Synod will do the right thing and either (a) persuade Metropolitan Herman to retire, (b) take disciplinary actions against him that effectively curtail his power while stopping short of defrocking; or (c) recruit the necessary 12 bishops to depose/defrock him. Of course, the Holy Synod must then be willing to get to the bottom of the various sins committed against the church and endorse appropriate structural changes to prevent recurrence.
#20 Carl on 2007-06-04 20:52
Thank you, Mr. Wachter.
Your well-argued article can serve as a basis for the rest of us to understand better what our reasonable expectations might include. It is good to be informed!
#21 Mark Harrison on 2007-06-05 00:07
I, too, would like to add my "hosanna" to the chorus of praise for Mr. Wachter's article. As many have said, it should be used by the MC as a blueprint for action at its next meeting this month.
Leaving aside PR, I would also like to ask those OCA attorneys assisting the Syosset leadership if their consciences have not been pricked by all these recent developments? Are they really comfortable with what is happening? Is their advice being followed? Are they acting as Orthodox/Christian attorneys or adopting the ethics and posture of their secular brothers?
Undoubtedly, they will not speak or respond--but one does wonder.
#22 Kenneth R. Tobin on 2007-06-05 06:12
It's not snowing now, so instead of a platitude for the
multitudes, wear sandals and go to the door in Syosett.
Regarding MH's attitude toward this scandal, in my opinion,
I've seen better 'Christian attitude' from my Buddhist and
atheist friends in Singapore and China.
mjmolenaur, St Nichloas Orthodox Church, Mogadore, Ohio
#23 michael j molenaur on 2007-06-05 07:26
Do you think for one momment MH listen to a Gossip website I'll tell you right now your crazy! By the way, you dont run the church HE DOES! thank God its not people on this website RUNNING THE CHURCH!
#24 Anonymous on 2007-06-05 09:35
Like much else having to do with this scandal-cum-tragedy-cum-debacle, this posting points out the the so-called "spiritual court" being convened for FrRK is being done in a non-standard, non-prescribed manner. Frankly, not being a canon lawyer, I don't know, but perhaps someone else does. If so as Monk James points out in this posting, how can this be allowed to go on? Given that it has been established that MH often exercises action with complete disregard for the OCA Statute and possibly for the canons as well, why is it that activities and events simply move-on ahead at his command if it's not proper and/or standard and/or in-keeping with the Statute and the canons? In short, "Is FrRK's proposed spiritual trial being legitimately constituted, or is it not?" Frankly, at this point, it seems to me the only the Holy Synod can answer this, and take control of the movement forward to conduct the trial (if such a trial is even appropriate and/or necessary).
Now the real purpose of this post: Again, not being a canon lawyer, I don't know the answer to this question, but if it is true as Monk James states in his post, I find it very convenient that Faith Skordinski has been "appointed" to serve as the accuser -- if she must be excommunicated if even one charge is found to be false in these proceedings. How convenient! How on Earth can it be that MH is "appointing" one of the most outspoken critics with respect to this scandal to be the accuser -- who would then be excommunicated from the Church and jettisoned from the MC if even one of the potential several charges against FrRK is found to be not true. That way, she would no longer be a thorn in MH's side, and he could say, "Well, I didn't want to get rid of her (so to speak), but them's the rules!" How very, very convenient!
This is beyond the question, in my own personal view, as to whether it is appropriate to have a member of the laity bring charges against a priest in a "spiritual court," wherein the said member of the clergy has not been accused of any specific crime against the specific lay-person. Should not a brother priest be the accuser with respect to another priest?
I would like to suggest: Faith -- don't do it! I perceive that you may be being set up to take a fall, and a heavy fall. I don't know how you personally feel about being the accuser, although I know that you feel strongly about the scandal. In my mind, we (members of the OCA) need your presence and vigilance on the MC, when any number of other people could and probably should serve as the accuser in the said trial. I can't for the life of me see why you should have to risk excommunication in order to see this through. I hope that you would reconsider accepting this role -- perhaps seek further legal and spiritual advice on the matter. There are other ways in which you can contribute to this process meaningfully. Frankly, I think you've been maneuvered into a trap by being asked to serve as the accuser. Especially if this "trial" is being pushed-ahead in a non-standard way -- there would be no shame in stepping away from this role, and I would personally encourage you to do so.
Quite frankly, given how many others -- including clergy -- have been much closer to the day-in and day-out operations of the chancery in years gone by, I think that it is cynical and cowardly to have asked you to do serve as the accuser in the first place!
Don't do it!
#25 Convoluted Convert on 2007-06-05 11:30
You are invoking the canons to excommunicate Dr. Skordinski. How convenient. Yes, lets invoke the canons. Let's see. All bishops have to be able to recite the psalter by heart. Maybe we could get rid of some bishops this way. All priests should be 30 years old before ordination. We could get rid of some priests. Churches should face east. Get out the wrecking ball.
Not to mention we are past believing anything you say.
#26 Linda Weir on 2007-06-05 12:48
Eventually I would suggest that the OCA create a legal resource manual to explain the fiduciary relationship to all Metropolitan Council, Diocesan Council and Parish Council Members. I will be happy to help with that task. The Presbyterians already have such a manual and have posted it online:
#27 Robert Wachter on 2007-06-05 13:58
The Church will never lose its legal status as a religious corporation under New York law. Theoretically it is possible that the IRS could challenge 501(c)(3) exemption status, but this is a remote possibility. The IRS generally only challenges 501(c)(3) status to churches that are total sham operations. Regarding you question about responsibility at the parish level: Every parish and every diocese is a separate legal corporation. Parish council and diocesan council members have fiduciary obligations to the parish and the diocese, respectively, but not to the national church.
#28 Robert Wachter on 2007-06-05 14:21
Don't forget Canon 17 of the first council: Clerics are forbidden to lend at interest.
#29 FIS on 2007-06-05 20:07
Herman does not "run the Church" (try as he might), nor is it in the Orthodox economia that one bishop should "run the Church" (non habemus papam.)
And if you think for one moment that this is a "gossip" site, then you would do well to consider the definition of "gossip" in any number of dictionaries. You may disagree with the opinions or the conclusions of those posting to this site, but the circumstances that led to this site's existence and its rather lively continuation are not in the nature of rumor or idle talk about the personl life of some person; they are the factual reality of graft, corporate corruption and other crimes realteds to the loss of real monies, dedicated funds for charitable uses. Maybe you think those accused are not responsible; fair enough -- but you would be more helpful if you articulated a well reasoned (reasoned!) defense of the accused and would even help the necessary resolution by exposing those whom you think to truly be responsible.
Nes c'est pas???
#30 Anon on 2007-06-06 04:26
i just read wachter's well written article (finally) and would not come to your conclusion, publius (though perhaps others with corp and nfp experience might, and from them i'd be delighted to learn).
no, parish council members of st. so-and-so church in pleasantvillle, usa, submitting assessments to the central administration should not worry about legal action due to conern (even reasonable concern) that such may be misused. on the other hand ... it seems to me that concern over proper use by the natl church's management would provide a sound and moral basis for a local parish council to stop sending money and instead place assessments, as well as funds dedicated for charitable use by the national church, in a secure escrow account as an exercise of both christian stewardship and fiduciary responsibility (though there would be, i think, some distinction b/t a parish's asessment funds, on the one hand, and, on the other hand, funds donated for a charitble purpose to be applied by the national church which are merely collected by the local parish as a sort of collection mechanism).
local parish councils dont have a legal duty to see to it that funds transferred by them to the national church are used as intended at the national level. this is for at least a few reasons i would think, not least of which is practicality (and from that, fairness). E.g., if funds are donated by an individual to the national church through the collection mechanism of her parish, the duty of the parish council (more specifically, the person (prob the treasurer) to whom the specific duty to see to the physical transfer of the funds is delegated) would be to transfer the funds in a timely and secure manner with due notice to the recipient that the funds transferred are dedicated funds (that is, dedicated for a specific purpose). at that point, i would expect that the duty to use the funds as dedicated belongs to the national church (and specifically to its treasurer and anyone else to whom that duty has been properly delegated) and no longer to the local parish council, and the same for parish assessments; in each case subject to a parish council's considered decision to place any such funds in escrow as an exercise of security and responsibility.
by the way, at the end of the day, fiduciary duties are even more simple than what rob wrote (though he did a very nice job i thought, and he writes well). but even more directly, a fiduciary should just do what we learn from our parents and sunday school teachers: dont lie, dont steal, dont cheat, work hard, be nice (collegial). its really not that difficult a concept ... in fact its so simple only an adult could screw it up.
#31 Anonymous, Esq. on 2007-06-06 04:59
The bottom line is that it is still "GOSSIP" !!! gossip is fabricating what ever! you people on THIS WEBSITE HAS NO FACTS! DO YOU HAVE ANY CERTIFIED COPIES OF ANY DOCUMENTS? DO YOU KNOW IF R.K DID ANYTHING WRONG? BESIDES GOSSIP! LETS SPEAK THE TRUTH! THE ONLY PEOPLE WHO KNOW WHAT IS GOING ON IN THE CHURCH, ARE THE BISHOPS IN CHARGE. THOESE PEOPLE TALKING ON THIS website dont have a clue whats going on in the church!!!!! their only goal is destroy the spirit of the church! but this will never happen!!! BECAUSE GOD KNOWS EVERYTHING,AND THE PEOPLE WHO SPREAD GOSSIP KNOW NOTHING
#32 Anonymous on 2007-06-06 11:08
R.K. can speak to us and tell us why it's gossip. Metropolitan Herman can tell us why it's gossip. God knows we all hope this is gossip. Unfortunately the only people who can prove it's gossip aren't that eager to do so. They prefer to have their lawyers shield them from the gossip.
(Editor's Note: While I agree wholeheartedly with the author, the very idea that what is being discussed here is "gossip" is typical of disinformation techniques. Just keep saying it enough and people begin to believe it. Six members of the Special Commission, 23 members of the Metropolitan Council, and 11 members of the Synod of Bishops , a total of some 40 people have already read the Special Commission's report and found it, in their words, credible, shocking and worthy of initiating suspension proceedings. Fr. Kondratick himself appeared before the Synod and was found to be not credible and unpersuasive in his explanations of it. This is all of public record. Yet, someone can still write that it is all "gossip". We are beyond this. There can be no clearer evidence that we labor against - and why we must all continue to fight them, lest we lose contact with the real and the true as well.)
#33 Wistful in MA on 2007-06-06 13:39
Another canon that is interesting, Monk James. A monastic should not insert him or herself in ecclesiastical affairs.
#34 Linda Weir on 2007-06-06 14:51
Calm down. First, if you knew Dr. Skordinski, you would know that the fear of excommunication would not stop her from doing the right thing.
Second. Don't believe the supporters of Kondratick that "non-standard" procedures are being followed. Don't you think the lawyers on the Commission (not PR) will make sure that that any appeal will fail? Or as well as they can.
Third, I suggest the reason a woman is the accuser and not a priest, is the same reason only women (excepting St. John) were at the cross and only women went to annoint the body....the men were hiding because they were afraid. Ouch. Sorry, guys.
Fourth, Dr. Skordinski, is the accuser, not because she has personnally been harmed (though I maintain that we ALL have been harmed by Kondratick) but because she is on the Metropolitan Council and, more importantly, on the Special Investigative Commission. She has SEEN that elusive report. She has SEEN the evidence.
On a personal note, I hope and trust it does not stop with Fr. Kondratick. Met. Theodosius and Met. Herman are culpable, perhaps for different reasons, as well as Fr. Kucynda. Indeed, the majority of the Synod are wrong in not acting. Let's face it, it is the laity and Archbishop Job who have pushed this thing through. We have a very deep seated problem here.
If +Herman thinks for a minute that he can say after the trial of Kondratick, "Well, we have found and punished the person responsible and the investigation ends now," he is as deluded as sadly I think he is.
#35 Linda Weir on 2007-06-07 07:57
Thank you, also, Mr. Wachter,
I had inadvertently skipped the posting until tonight! You put much work ,effort, and care into your post! I am hoping, too,that the MC will use this as a moral compass in their upcomming meetings!
This has been the clarity I had been seeking too.
IF, I I hope this is not the case, the MC and HS get NOWHERE in the next few months with this crisis, can any of us faithful go to the NY district attourney to sue the OCA?
#36 Patty Schellbach on 2007-06-07 15:38
First of all, I am calm -- as calm as I can be under the circumstances. Calm as I can be given that certain posters on this very site think it's all "gossip." Well, my "gossip" comes from several members of the MC that I know, several people who have worked in the past for the Church in various capacities for MH and others involved in this, and from shrewd analysis of the available facts, such as that presented by Mr. Wachter, and earlier by Mr. Wayne Tatusko. Further, there have been statements released by the MC and the Holy Synod stating that FrRK's testimony was "not credible." This is not gossip.
Second, I don't have "fear of excommunication" per se. What I am suggesting, however, is that because Dr. Kordinski is one of the few people who HAS seen the evidence and is a leading voice in favor of "the right thing" on the MC, that it would be very convenient for certain parties to see her excommunicated. I guess then she wouldn't be on the MC or the Commission anymore, right? It would be a bold/treacherous stroke to silence a key member of the "Truth Squad."
Third, can't argue with you about the men, although plenty of men have signed their names on this Website.
I agree with you -- this should not end with Fr RK. Others are apparently involved, and in any case I simply can't see how MH can continue to serve after this. If he was not involved from the beginning in the entire scandal, he seems to have certainly lost the confidence of many in the OCA in the subsequent handling of events. I say he "seems to have lost the confidence," based upon what I've read on this Website, and even in the FACT that revenues to the OCA are down significantly since this burst onto the scene, and has been handled the way it has been handled.
#37 C.C. on 2007-06-07 21:18
Dear Sir or Ma'am:
To your points:
You wrote: "gossip is fabricating what ever!" No. Gossip is idle talk or rumor; rumor is a story widely disseminated without confirmation; and idle means the subject of the story has no importance or significance. Here, the subject is clearly of significance. Here, there is confirmation (in the testimonies of Dn Wheeler and others, the absence of business documents that should exists, and presence of a financial trail indicating wrongdoing). You may not agree this evidence rises to the level of confirmation that Father Bob, Herman and Theodosius, et al are the malefactors, but it necessarily removes us from the seedy realm of gossip; smoke may not confirm the presence of fire, but only a fool would not investigate.
You wrote: "you people on THIS WEBSITE HAS NO FACTS!" A fact is something that actually exists or actually is. This website is intended to find the facts; matters purporting to be factual have been stated here, and many of them have been confirmed (e.g., that crimes have been committed against the OCA by someone). It has been alleged that Fr Bob was one of the criminals; that is a factual assertion that may or may not be objectively accurate. But, there is evidence tending to indicate that it is a fact. The goal is to come to an accurate conclusion about that. Many people, many of us smart and having significant real-world experience in investigations, the law, and forensic accounting, are convinced of the conclusion to which we think the evidence points. Whether it is a fact or not is a matter of objective reality; but where intelligent, experienced people who have reasoned to a conclusion from the presence of a not illogical nexus between 2 points, you can not say it is Gossip (not if you want to be accurate in the use of your vocabulary); though, you can say you are not, yourself, pesonally convinced yet.
You wrote: "DO YOU HAVE ANY CERTIFIED COPIES OF ANY DOCUMENTS? DO YOU KNOW IF R.K DID ANYTHING WRONG?" Certified by whom? Why are documents necessary to you? Scripture calls for the agreement of 2 or more witnesses -- is that not sufficient for you? That said, there is a trail of documentary evidence that point to crimes committed against the OCA. They also tend to indicate that RK and a few others were involved. We must investigate to find out.
You wrote: "LETS SPEAK THE TRUTH! THE ONLY PEOPLE WHO KNOW WHAT IS GOING ON IN THE CHURCH, ARE THE BISHOPS IN CHARGE." If you believe this statement is accurate, then it can only mean one of 2 things: either you are a bishop; or you don't know what is going on. If the latter, then you have as much reason to direct your own admonishments toward yourself as to others. If the former, then you appear to be somewhat self-deluded -- there are clearly others involved in church activities than bishops. Moreover, several of our bishops have shown themselves to be somewhat low voltage, and at least one to be, sadly, quite ill mentally. It is impossible that your statement is accurate; and even if possible it would be extraordinarily improbable given the realities of day-to-day OCA governance. (NOTA BENE: if your statement re bishops is accurate, it necessarily means, by the way, that it is the bishops who are the malefactors who perpetrated the crimes against the OCA. Think about it ....)
You wrote: "GOD KNOWS EVERYTHING, AND THE PEOPLE WHO SPREAD GOSSIP KNOW NOTHING" Again, note the discussion about the meaning of the word "Gossip." You are right: God knows everything. However, even people whole spread Gossip know something. No one knows nothing. The goal of this site (I think) (at least my goal in reading and contributing to this site) is to learn what the facts are anre reason to a truthful conclusion. This is certainly not the only source for that. Nor is is even a dispositive source. But, it has inspired an investigation into the commission of crimes and deep thought about the poor soil in which we have been sowing. We cannot just sit back and not investigate; though if the wrong people have been "indicted" then they have a big apology coming to them. If the right people have been identified, however, than, no matter how much we may like them personally, we must confront them with their crimes and allow them to repent. BUT ... repentance presumes admission of wrongdoing. So, no matter what the facts are, no matter what the evidence tends to show, the wrongdoers will not benefit unless they admit, and their defenders will likewise be hurt be willful blindness.
You (here I speak to all who may share your position) really should come to the table with a reasoned position; we could all benefit from that. You obviously have a passion for this issue. Good for you! Thats a great beginning. Now, consider the meaning of the words to be used (words mean things), think through the matter, and with intellectual integrity make conclusions that are supported by the nexus, or note that you disagree with the conclusions of others and show why. But, please do consider using words and reason in a way that moves to issue forward toward a helpful conclusion.
P. Rose Kommen
#38 P. Rose Kommen on 2007-06-08 06:02
I do not know enough details about the OCA Articles or Incorporation or the finer points of New York law to confidently say whether a lawsuit brought by a OCA member could be successful in New York courts. Some attorneys who have posted on this website believe that option is available -- but I am skeptical. It would be far more worthwhile for members to focus their energy on electing representatives to the Metropolitan Council who understand how the legal system works, and who will not hesitate to go to court if that is what it takes. We need more no-nonsense members on the Metropolitan Council who can speak boldly and fearlessly, without fear of retribution. That means that quite a lot will be riding on the choulders of the lay members of the Metropolitan Council -- the members who are the least beholden to the current power structure. They need our full support. I wonder if any of them realize just how much the entire Church is looking to them to take a stand.
#39 Robert Wachter on 2007-06-09 02:28
Thank you, Mr.Wachter,
I appreciate your response. I hope the MC will be up to the task to help restore trust in the OCA administration and to know the truth.
#40 Patty Schellbach on 2007-06-09 20:43
Why don't you sign your name? Are you afraid.? I am in +Herman's diocese. Sr. Mark in Bethesda. Fr. Gregory Safchuk is my priest and spiritual father, St. Mark is the parish that both Dr. Skordinski and Wayne Tatusko are members of. And I am not afraid to sign my name. What could possibly make you afraid? If I could, I would ask for a show of hands. I bet all the "anonomous" posters" are men. yeesh.
there comes a time when you have to stand up and be counted. In my opinion, that time is now in the OCA.
Oh, and I too am a convert. I was convoluted about the scandal but now I am just angry and saddened. I may go down with the Titanic but I will go down saying, "This is wrong. This has to stop."
And keep in mind that the problem was caused by a few very bad actors in places of authority. And sin. It was also caused by good people turning away from what they had to suspect was true. The alegations. How could the MC and Synod not believe them? The first time I read them I knew they were true. No one makes such specific alegations (Is that one "l" or 2?) unless they are true. They would be too easily disproved. When you lie it is what Hitler called a "big lie". So although there was someone I love very much on the MC for years, I know in my heart that he was either very gullible or stupid or looking the other way. Well, he is very intelligent so that rules out stupid. I choose to believe he was gullible. If I thought he knew this was going on and did nothing, I would have left the OCA by now.
Why am I saying this, Convoluted? I guess so you know I have my own struggles with this but I am not afraid to sign my name. I am not confused or convoluted. I am determined to see this end. And I hope you stay and work with the many, many good, sincere Christians in the OCA pick up the pieces. The many priests that have posted here have given me great hope, so thank your, Fathers.
Everyone pray for the trial Monday and the MC meeting that follows.
P.S. Convoluted nothing I have posted has been rumors either. But then I have not posted anything of substance. Just my own disgust.
#41 Linda Weir on 2007-06-10 18:48
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