Tuesday, June 19. 2007
The new secretary, Archbishop Kyrill's funeral and legacy, next week's day of prayer and fasting, the new allegations against, well almost everybody, from supporters of Fr. Kondratick. Your comments are welcome.
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Vechnaya pamut Vladiko...may your memory be eternal
#1 Anonymous on 2007-06-19 13:10
What is beyond my ability to comprehend is why Herman and Kucynda are playing right into the hands of the Kondratick supporters? They are now trying Kondratick in absentia. Don't they realize that this will only turn him into a martyr? What idiots.
They kick him out of court and now they will carry on the trial without him. Sure grounds for appeal to the Holy Synod and if they rule that he should be deposed, the Holy Synod will surely not go along. It is a lose/lose situation for our Church. And let's not forget the potential for a mega civil suit if he is deposed under these circumstances. What a mess!
Of course no one asked me, but if I were asked, I would have given Kondratick every benefit of the doubt to make his best case. I would have given him every bit of evidence against him. Let him see what has been dug up on him. Then if he is found guilty, the court could say, “hey, what more could we have done?” But no, they have to continue this “secret society” approach and keep everyone in the dark, including Kondratick. Not too smart since this case is different from most church courts which only confirm the “self-deposition” of a cleric who has remarried or apostatized the faith. Most church courts are not contested. This one is. See the difference???
I can't believe we are being led by such a complete fool in Herman but what is worse, we are putting up with it. God help us.
#2 Anonymous on 2007-06-19 14:13
Yet Another Lie
The first day of the Church Court was held yesterday, June 11, 2007.
Essentially, the formal charges leveled against Father Kondratick were heard.
Substantive documentation was reviewed. Witnesses were invited and questioned.
"Later this month, the second phase of the Church Court will take place. At that
time, the panel will receive Father Kondratick's response and then determine if
any further action is appropriate.
The above was taken directly from oca.org.
Today RSK was informed by James Perry that he will NOT BE ALLOWED to present his evidence this Friday. Furthermore, RSK was told that he will receive the verdict directly from Nathaniel in the coming weeks. I'm sure your asking yourself, this Lester fellow is wrong, this can't be. The fact of the matter is NO ONE wants to hear what RSK has to say. What's sad is all this drama regarding the Spiritual Court is because RSK wanted a definitive accounting of what was said at the hearing. No matter what Monk James says or doesn't say, we still have yet to hear anything from RSK himself. The fix is in ladies and gentlemen!
#3 Lester Sokolov on 2007-06-19 16:32
Maybe the Spiritual Court is afraid to hear what the former chancellor has to say. I bet he has plenty of dirt on all of them!
#4 Anonymous on 2007-06-20 00:18
Does that imply that he will not be allowed to testify at his own trial? That is pretty mind-boggling! Must be a large marsupial hopping around Syosset, er, Oyster Bay Cove.
#5 Name withheld on 2007-06-20 03:05
There is an easy fix to your "fix" - the Internet. Fr. Kondratick can go public with his story and evidence. Nothing stops him, and it has been demonstrated the Internet can be a very effective way to get one's story out to the members of the OCA. To keep complaining that the trial is fixed, when the whole public forum is available for presenting one's case, is a bit lame. Many people have been waiting and wanting Fr. Kondratick to publicly present his case and defense. The fact that he doesn't do it seems indicitive that he in fact doesn't have much of a case to make. If you have seen the convincing evidence that Fr. Bob has in his defense, then convince him to publish it so that the truth can be known. It does not serve the Church to have him suppressing the truth.
#6 Fr. Ted Bobosh on 2007-06-20 04:32
First Proskauer Rose will not give a written report, then the Special Commission is not allowed to interview anyone new or expand on PR's findings, now Fr. Kondratick is not allowed to present his evidence and his side of things. This is a cover up from the word go! Herman and Kucynda must think were all idiots! Actually we might be, were letting them get away with this nonsense!
Where are our bishops?
I smell a rat and he's wearing a white hat!
#7 Natasha Trubetskoi on 2007-06-20 05:28
Lester, you are forgetting one small, but important fact. That is, a fact based in a terminated deacon. Yes, Deacon Wheeler was fired for exposing Fr. Kondratick years ago. A fact that Metropolitan Herman has surely lost sleep over.
Letters exchanged between Fr. Kondratick and some crafty Vegas criminal lawyer regarding the powers of the Council, while not incriminating surely raise the question, why would he want to talk with them, this priest of the OCA, another fact you forget.
Further, Fr. Kondratick has not made one single attempt to defend himself in the court of public opinion.
If Fr. Kondratick has done nothing wrong, he sure hasn't given that appearance.
#8 Daniel E. Fall on 2007-06-20 06:40
It sounds like a lot of bluster.
Mr. Kondratick. Doesn't sound that bad. He should be happy that he merely gets out of this with just losing his clerical position.
He won't present anything at all to the Synod or whomever. IF he has anything and that is a BIG IF after all this time and his threats, he'll save it for a wrongful termination suit which the courts won't touch.
Whenever his people talk it just does him a lot of no good publicitly because when people are at a height in their rage against Herman along comes one of the Kodratick apologists to stir up the pot against their man and then the rage against Herman goes back to Kondratick. It's a comedy at times. Maybe they don't like all the attention being put on Herman.
#9 Anonymous on 2007-06-20 07:03
To Anonymous from another Anonymous
Maybe the secret society are not idiots, but rather crazy like foxes. Maybe what is a lose/lose for the Church is a win/win for them if they can keep it looking as if they are on different sides when they are really unified in keeping the secrets *secret*, until such time as the Federal authorities who probably don't really want to be involved are satisfied that the organization is making adequate efforts to legitimize its financial operations.
The financial mess is out in the open, that cannot be covered up anymore; other potentially damaging things (in their minds) may not be. Perhaps the secret society is using time and clever cunning to protect the secrets that are left in their control. Perhaps also this strategy works to protect some innocents who may have benefitted from the malfeasance unsuspectingly. Cause to wonder, I guess.
#10 Anonymous on 2007-06-20 08:32
Re: the recent announcement of the appointment of Fr. Jarmus and Mr Bodnar to the upper OCA bureaucracy in Syosset---whoops--Oyster Bay. Both individuals, by all accounts, highly competent and creative Church workers with many years of dedicated experience in the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of Canada--a Church and country largely invisible on the OCA horizon. And now we hear that MH, who has been so engrossed in 'finessing' the current scandal low these many months that he has had to curtail many of the usual pastoral visitations, will have time to attend the Canadian Archdiocesan assembly in July. Perhaps he thinks the news of the recent shenanigans hasn't reached the frozen north yet where the locals seldom question anything in an HQ they generally know little about.
If I were a conspiracy theorist, I could easily put together a plot featuring a last moment resignation of a hopelessly embroiled Met H., just before the next AAC, and his replacement by the 'favorite' candidate at the last primatial election--all just in time to placate the angry lynch mob. And the new Met Seraphim would already have in place key members of his bureaucracy with no possible taint by former association with the OCA, one of which had just proven his loyalty by a year or so of service in one of the parishes of the Canadian Archdiocese. All that would be required would be a 'quick fix' at the upcoming extraordinary meeting of the Synod. All the uncomfortable details of the former Metropolitans' involvement in the scandal and the Kondratick kangaroo court could instantly disappear with a slight of hand and the euphoria of a new AAC coronation. Oh what tangled webs we can weave....
#11 Sartor Resartus on 2007-06-20 10:25
Our Lord Jesus Christ (remember Him? In over a year of following this ungodly saga, one hardly hears a small refernce to the Saviour. That is certainly telling in itself.) Our Lord Jesus Christ instructed us that we would know the character of a person or a group 'by the fruits of their labors.'
'A good man out of the good treasure of the heart bringeth forth good things; and an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart bringeth forth evil things (Matt.12:35).
Obfuscation: to confuse, bewilder, stupify- to make obscure or unclear, to darken, to make so confused or opaque as to be difficult to perceive or understand, to render indisdinct, to darken- from the Latin, obfuscat, to darken: ob-over, fuscare-to darken.
Let's be clear: M.Theodosius, M. Herman, Fr'Bob' and Fr. Kucynda and their supporters and confederates are all products of the false path the OCA has taken from the beginning of it's eixstence, i.e. the 'fruits of its labors.' They are not a corrupt exception to the norm, but perfect expressions of of the true nature of the OCA, with all of its false pretentions of being THE Orthodox Church in America, under whom all other Orthodox would be evetually be subsumed, with all of its false public proclamations of the OCA being 'the fourth major religion in America'(and attendent sad shows of 'power and influence'- M. Herman in C deck at Yankee Stadium after 911 was pathetic, not to mention the many photo-ops with, and publicized letters to, the President, and other worldly authorities-- certainly a distortion of the work of a true Heirarch), with all of the distorted teaching that has emerged out of SVS over the years, with all of Fr. Schemann's and Fr. Myendorff's false aspirations to 'be somebody' in modern theological cirlces and be accepted by other religious 'thinkers' of their day, with Fr.'Bob's unchallenged 'iron fist in the velvet glove' rule of the OCA over years of time, with the OCA's obsession with issues of money, 'corporate governence' (as if the Church was an American Corporation - God Forbid! and not the Mystical Body of Christ, united to and tending toward the Heavenly Realm) Where to end the list of distortions?
These are the fruits of the OCA.
Ponder, then, the effect of such distortions on the sincere seeker of truth, the devout heart that strives to love God above all,and neighbor as oneself. Ponder, then, the terrible fate of those who have- and continue to- offend 'these little ones.'
You were all apparrently drawn to the OCA because Traditional Orthodoxy was too 'quaint' or 'old world' or 'behind the times', and preferred some kind of Protestantized version of the Church that would be more 'familiar' and 'less demanding'- and more acceptable to worldly neighbors and co-workers.
Well, now you have it, and here before your eyes is the fruit of your labors.
OBFUSCATION -to darken (darkening one's spiritual understanding of the other-worldy character of the True Faith- 'My Kingdom is not of this world"- darkening through theivery, lies and deceipt, the virtues that Christ lived before us and commanded us, in turn, to live by ourselves. And finally, in the current context, darkening the hearts of men by having the very heirachs- and the many priests who enacted their decrees and subscribed to their worldview (if not out of conviction, then certainly out of persoanl ambition)- who were supposed to be to the faithful and to the world the icons of Christ Himself in our own day, to be the very source of scandal, despair and disbelief.
If these are the fruits of your labors what can we say but that the OCA has worked all these years to obfuscate, to darken with a worldy mind and approach and to serve the purposes of the dark 'father of lies', satan, who out of malice and hatred of God and jealousy of His creation, man, seeks to destroy both the person and his means of salvation, the Church.
Remember: your "Tome of Autocephaly" that you cling to more than the saving teachings of the Saviour- as if 'self-governing' will save you!(what could be more protestant?)- WAS SIGNED BY A KGB AGENT, charged with the destruction of the very Church of Christ you claimed to serve. Why would you even appraoch such a man? This you have to ask yourself concerning your own motives in pursuing such a path!
For those of good conscience who have been deceived, but still desire to serve Christ, and not darkness, to work out your salvation by repentance and humility, there is only one choice left to make: come out of her and find the True Faith in the Church of Jesus Christ, Holy Orthodoxy. What you have now is a distortion and a fake, the dark fruits of your labors of 40 years, shown clearly for all to see.
Let those who will fuss and fume that there is yet hope for the OCA to acheive the power, prestige and dominance it has always lusted after, be left with the crumbling facade of the building that once sought to appear as the Church, but being built on sand, fell with a great fall.
#12 Nathaniel Eichner on 2007-06-20 10:40
Your comment is logical, but when has logic been part of this whole process? I do not know what Fr Kondratick will do, but I would think that he thought it beneath a churchman to use the Internet in lieu of the Church when Wheeler did so, so two wrongs don't make a right. Maybe that is what he is thinking. Just a guess.
I find it interesting though to see that he has tried to play by the rules in all of this. He was obedient to Herman while he languished for 7 months without any pay or benefits after he was fired. When he was transferred to the Diocese of the South, he went to work in his new parish and focused on building up a dying community. Then he is stolen back by Herman when his canonical transfer was “rescinded.” Rescinded, what is that? A Herman ploy that he pressured Dmitri into going along with, and when Dmitri later resisted, in other words had the gall to oppose Herman, the now senior Hierarch of the OCA was threatened with immediate retirement if he did not give in to Herman.
And so now we see Kondratick, objecting to outrageous rules made up by this spiritual court. Rules that were never approved by the Holy Synod. And when the court said “no “ and kicked Kondratick out of the proceedings, he left, only to find out later that the court went on without him and will continue to go on without him and therefore he will not have any chance to defend himself.
Since there will be no justice in this so-called spiritual court, and court that is being manipulated by Kucynda and Perry to protect Herman, not the Church, it will be up to the Holy Synod as the court of last appeal – in the OCA – to take up the issue and make a stand. Will they?
No, Fr Ted, going to the Internet has only accomplished the firing of Kondratick that Wheeler set out to do in the first place. And, granted some changing of the deck chairs on the Titanic has also taken place, but I view it as a much of smoke and mirrors to keep the dogs aways from Herman and Kucynda's life long desire to “tinker” with the Church.
To be honest, I think that in the end most people will look at the “new” chancery and say, “so what!” Like you said earlier, we have been without an effective central church administration for a couple of years, and we don't really seem to be worse off because Syosset has become impotent. A much smaller central church is what we need. If we will be stuck with Herman, then his wings needs to be clipped off and he should do just what his limited job description says, not the “Super-bishop” job description that Kucynda wants for him. He ain't no Patriarch, he is a small-town player, inarticulate and mean.
No, Kondratick won't use the Internet to pillage the Church, and I really think that Stokoe, Wheeler, Job, Zacchaeus, Herman, Klimechev, Martin Paluch, and Kucynda always knew this. Why? Because they know that what he knows about them will be kept locked in his heart and will go to the grave with what he knows. No, he won't spill the beans on all the players in this saga because what good would that serve the souls of the innocent, who, let's face it, outnumber those who write and look at this site.
But then again, maybe he will.
#13 Anonymous on 2007-06-20 11:55
My point was that the few times RSK has been "called" to answer questions he was never allowed to actually answer them. Doesn't that strike you as odd? What is even stranger is that Faith Skordinski based her "charges" against RSK on a Special Commission's Report that didn't interview/question RSK before they issued their recommendation, as a matter of fact, the only thing they were allowed to do is rubber stamp whatever information they were provided by PR, who was provided their information by Herman and Kucynda. Not to mention that we paid over $500,000 for this. I would understand if the Special Commission called him and he refused, but they didn't even ask.
#14 Lester Sokolov on 2007-06-20 12:28
There is more than one way to look at the apparent absence of a defense case. Sometimes nothing is a lot better than a little bit, if you get my drift.
If this were a regular criminal court, I would be disappointed at a trial in absentia -- although it is not unheard of even in real criminal courts; defendants are routinely warned about the prospect by the judge. I have seen defendants dragged into court in shackles and even gags. Once I had a client brought in like Hannibal Lecter, with a full face mask. (That didn't last long.) Even in criminal courts where liberty is at stake a defendant is present upon his good behavior. Measures up to and including proceeding without the defendant are available.
A record is important for a formal appeal, but even in some criminal cases a record is not made. Misdemeanor cases, for example, are not normally recorded here. I have appealed a misdemeanor and followed the ordinary practice of preparing what is known as "a bystander's record." You just write down what happened and who said what. Surely no one was prohibiting anyone from taking notes!
Fact is, however, the Church is not the State, and doesn't have a governmental-sized stick to hit someone with. We are not dealing with loss of life or liberty. Nor is it like there is no process at all here. There has been an investigation, evidence was presented to the court and, presumably, witnesses testified and would have been subject to questioning by both sides (had one not left).
There is another reason it may be a mistake to conflate one's idea of People or United States vs. John Smith with a spiritual court. They have different purposes and different structures. For one thing, most boards and courts like this are inquisitorial in nature, not adversarial. In an adversarial system like we have in our criminal courts, two equal parties, say the United States and Tim Capps go at it on a, er, level playing field and may the best side win. Is this the way the Spiritual Court is desgined? I don't think so. In an inquisitorial system (like they have most places in continental Europe) there is a search for what really happened.
Frankly, I don't know what the evidence is, how compelling it is, or what the "defendant" would be able to present to rebut it, if anything. Believe me, having complete access to the prosecutor's case file is usually a depressing gift, anyway.
On appeal, it is not enough for a defendant to complain that something was done improperly. Usually, he has to show that it would have made a difference. "My lawyer didn't call any witnesses," is a classic. Would your witnesses have had anything to say that would have been likely to change anyone's mind? No? You don't know? You don't want to say? Sorry, you lose then.
So when someone tells you what a farce this court is because there was no record, and the "defendant" was eventually asked to leave (although I suspect he had a choice to follow the rules as they were given to him and stay -- and make his bystander's record) take it with a grain of salt. The oldest lawyer's tactic in the world is to complain about the process when the facts are against you
I expect I'll get slammed by the "this is an outrage, he had no idea what he was even being charged with or what the evidence against him was, there was no record and he was told to leave!" crowd. I'm just pointing out that some of the overheated rhetoric may be more spin than substance. I could go back in the archives and find any number of "Just wait, he's about to tell HIS side of the story and then won't everyone be sorry" posts. That got old long before this court was convened.
But like I said, sometimes nothing is a lot better than a little bit. Surely you agree that my latest novel is better than To Kill a Mockingbird and The Brothers Karamazov combined. No, it's not published yet, but boy is it great!
(Editor's Note: Mr. Capps is a criminal defense lawyer practicing in southern Illinois.)
#15 Timothy Capps, Esq. on 2007-06-20 17:56
Please don't believe everything you hear.
Maybe, just maybe, Kondratick and friends weren't kicked out of anything. When they learned the Church was not going to cave in to their demands that a court stenographer be present (solely for the probable use at a future civil trial I presume), maybe THEY decided to leave and took their toys home with them.
RSK knows exactly what he's being charged with. He had to receive a letter spelling out what the charges are didn't he?
If he and his team decide not to attend the next round, then why shouldn't the Church court continue? No one is caving into him or making him a martyr.
He's no longer calling the shots.
If someone will not cooperate, then what are we supposed to do? Beg and plead for him to come and defend himself?
Had he anything at all substantial to refute the claims made against him, wouldn't one think he would have already done so within the confines of some type of public forum?
Perhaps nothing is being said because there really is NO DEFENSE for his actions. Just complaints that this isn't fair and no one is allowing me to see any evidence. They kicked us out, etc. Baloney!
It's time for the decision folks and I don't think it's going to be a popular one down in the sunshine state.
#16 Michael Geeza on 2007-06-20 18:38
"Oh, the tangled webs we weave When we practice to deceive."
I of course do not know what secrets the Metropolitan or Fr. Kondratick want to hide, but it appears both of them are not going public with what they know about the scandal. Both seem to be able to hide behind some noble reason for not telling what they know. The Metropolitan can claim for the good of the church what happened should remain unspoken so as not to scandalize the weak. He also can claim that Proskauer-Rose will not release their findings in order to "protect the church." (Though who is being protected and from what, we know not). Fr. Bob can also claim he is not revealing what he knows because he is an honorable man and will not blame the metropolitans out of respect for them and their offices and also so as not to scandalize the faithful. And of course his legal counsel has probably also advised him not to say anything as anything he says might be used against him.
Since I don't know what they each are trying to keep secret, nor do I know who would be hurt by the revelations, my thoughts about how to deal with the standoff are simple. Withholding information from the membership seems to me self serving for them, and a disservice to all who are members of the Body of Christ. "Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others" (Philippians 2:4) "They all look after their own interests, not those of Jesus Christ" (Philippians 2:21). All of those who were involved in the chancery would serve the church by speaking the truth. It seems to me, the efforts to hide the truth, are only in the interest of those who will be shown to be accountable for what went wrong. So personally I don't see the behavior of those most directly involved in the scandal as being noble. Their efforts are all aimed at making the rest of us blind, deaf and dumb. Christ on the other hand came to give sight to the blind, hearing to the deaf and voice to those who could not speak. The only way to enter into the healing of salvation is through confession of sin - revealing and vocalizing what I have done - not through covering up of my sin.
#17 Fr. Ted Bobosh on 2007-06-20 19:09
Why does he have to wait for Herman and gang to ask the questions? Mark will gladly give him space to tell all he wants to tell here. He just has to do it. Nothing holding him back and a VERY captive audience!
(Editor's Note: As we have said privately and publicly in the past, we would welcome the opportunity.)
#18 Anonymous on 2007-06-20 20:13
Do we have an extradition treaty with Canada?
#19 Anonymous on 2007-06-20 20:15
My only comment to add to what Mr. Capps wrote is that although "life and liberty" (in an earthly sense) might not be at stake, eternal salvation very well could be. I think that is what some of us find more important and are upset about.
We all know what happened to Ananias and Sapphira. God has shown much grace in this case. If the wrongdoers haven't begun to repent, that is very sad, for them and those who are tempted to abandon the faith because of this.
Rdr. Alexander Langley
#20 Rdr. Alexander Langley on 2007-06-20 20:33
You seem to be enjoying this.
Think twice before crowing at the misfortune of others.
Most unfortunately, much in your negative characterization of the OCA has been true in the past 15 - 20 years. But where I believe you err is seeing this as the fruit and logical conclusion of our history and approach to our mission. In fact, these sad events are the result of a complete distortion by some of our leaders of that history and mission.
Some comments you make show a complete lack of understanding, or even passing familiarity, with the character and motivations of some of the people you mention. Some, most unfortunately, are sadly on target. But whether flights of whimsy or sharp insights, such observations served up with a generous dose of schadenfraude do nothing to bring about constructive forward motion and much to please the demonic forces that delight in the disunity and mutual enmity among the different "camps" in today's church.
Please pray for us.
#21 Rebecca Matovic on 2007-06-20 20:49
This whole process is a sham. These jokers are trying to avoid the 10,000 pound gorilla in the room: what happened to the ADM millions? This entire investigation and the obfuscation of MH et al seems designed to avoid answering this question at all costs. Why? Because everyone is tainted by it, and FRK has the goods on them all; Syosset and Synod. This blackmail was his insurance. MH and PK were both Treasurers during this period. Clearly they don't want this investigation to occur. That misappropriation of designated funds is/was criminal. When is someone in the OCA going to file suit and get on with the rat killing? Clearly it will not occur by our "leaders".
#22 Anon. on 2007-06-20 21:16
LOOK. Let's get one thing straight and in the open. This is a time-tested and undeniable fact. Herman Swaiko is a liar....
His latest lie is to say that the departed Archbishop Kyrill's reinstatement of Mr. Nescott was the result of a "misunderstanding." This is a lie... a lie so stupid and barefacededly obvious that one would have to be retarded-- or spiritually blind-- to acquiesce to it. Herman the unrepentent liar overtly announced previously that "he" had fired Mr. Nescott for a supposed revealtion of "confidential" information. Mark Stokoe painstakingly, irrefutably proved on this site that Herman simply lied about all of this; Herman fabricated a "breach of confidentiality" to eliminate a man who challenged his disgusting, lying darkness.
Is it not clear that Herman used yet another elderl,y ailing hierarch's infirmities to obfuscate and create a smoke screen to protect himself? Now Archbishop Kyrill is dead, and the wretched liar Herman tells the Metropolitan Council that the whole thing about Nescott was "a misunderstanding." Can't anyone at the council simply look the disgraceful, evil, primate in the eye and say "You, vladika sir, are a liar." ?
If there is no one, not a one who has the courage and faith, then the OCA is truly a tragic, tragic entity.
Prayers for courage along real fasting, not lip-service fasting as is so common in the American churches-- along with prayers for purification laden with sweat, and tears and blood, are necessary, and called for, to gain spiritual strength-- strength that brings righteous boldness-- for priests and metropolitan council members... and Holy Synod members (I dare to day with fear) and laity to deal with, and expunge the Church of this forked-tongued liar.
#23 A person who's watched Herman for a long. long time on 2007-06-20 23:07
Dear Nathaniel Eichner,
You make some valid points, but actually, quite a few people have mentioned our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ in their posts here.
And you sound so terribly angry. But about what? Since you are rehashing things that were written and said by ROCA against the OCA's Autocephaly "from the KGB" more than thrity years ago, are you a member of ROCA? And are you, perhaps, now upset that ROCA has joined with the ROC?
And what, may I ask, are the "fruits of your labors," Nathaniel? Christian love?
Wishing you peace!
#24 Ann Animus on 2007-06-21 00:31
You must have some issue with Fr. Bob , one lie after another. I believe Fr Bob will speak soon after he's found guilty. Will anyone listen , yes because people are feeding off all of this garbage. Geeza everyone knows Kucynda is your man , he'll go when Herman goes. He's as liked as much Kondratick or Herman.
What will happen when Fr. Bob is guilty and Herman retires? I guess these same people will have to start another site to bash someone else.
#26 Anonymous on 2007-06-21 03:37
It's disturbing - if what Fr James Silver says is true - that the Fr Zacchaeus tape is edited. Back a year and a half ago, when Archbishop JOB went public with his concerns, this tape was the "smoking gun." If it's not a valid piece of evidence, maybe that's why the FBI, which has the tape, has not done anything with it as yet. (Mark Stokoe's rationalizing explanations regarding this tape incident are not very convincing. People have to remember that, even within the Church, due process and evidentiary rules are necessary. We may know in our gut what raelly happened, but it has to be proven legally - in civil law and in canon law. The impatience being expressed at the slowness of this process is naive. Criminal prosecutions are slow and deliberate; the hasty ones are often those that are trumped up and fail or are overturned in appeal. This whole scandal only was only opened to clear exposure in November of 2005. In the Church's time, where change only occurs at glacial speed, this is just a few moments ago. The important thing is that we change the way the OCA does things - from finances to selection of bishops to the procedures of All-American Councils and Diocesan Assemblies, etc. All this should be on the table at what could be an open and democratic All-American Council next year - if we are ready for it. As far as the prosecution and punishment of the guilty, it will take time. It took four years to convict the perjurer Scooter Libby, and the person who gave him his law-breaking orders - Dick Cheney - is still at large. Congressman William Jefferson was caught with $90,000 in bribe money in his freezer. It took 2 years for him to be charged. Why should the amateur criminal justice system of the OCA, in an Orthodox Church in which efficiency and speed are not even cansidered values, be any quicker?
#27 Fr Tom Mueller on 2007-06-21 05:23
NOW IS THE TIME FOR ACTION - One of the Kondakions that is sung prior to the beginning of Great Lent. I have thought long and hard about the current situation in the OCA and it boils down to one thing. . . . . . . irresponsibility. We need to encourage our hierarchs to ask the assistance of another patriarch. MH is obviously incapable of handling the Church. Best practices - where are they? He ignores the correspondence and call of hierarchs, clergy and laity. We are neglected on all levels - the man is incapable and irresponsible. Good people of God we must get guidance and direction from someone who is willing to accept responsibility and act for the good of the Church. We are tired of hearing "it's out of my hands" - well we must ask, in whose hands is it in???
#28 Natasha Trubetskoi on 2007-06-21 05:32
Michael, is that what Kucynda told you to say? It has been confirmed by this website that RSK was told to leave. I for one would love for this to be tried in a civil court, something tells me that your pals Herman and Kucynda would not! If our bishops had any heart at all they would take this whole thing over and then we would find out the truth, not this one-sided report that your boss, Kucynda, put together to to endear himself to Herman!
(Editor's Note: OCANews.org did not "confirm" any such thing. We reported what one eyewitness (monk James Silver) said regarding the trial; and we have posted opposing testimony as well.)
#29 Natasha Trubetskoi on 2007-06-21 05:57
Now, that is funny.
Read the chronological history before you give Metropolitan Herman such a break by damning objective reporting.
I've been giving him a break for 18 months.
The Synod must repeal the 1999 resolution, which was created by RSK and Theodosius under false pretenses, made fully apparent by the mere existence of a "Spiritual Court" today.
Anything less and you should donate to the Red Cross instead.
#30 Daniel E. Fall on 2007-06-21 06:31
I am a cradle Orthodox, baptized in a Romanian parish, and reared in Carpatho & Antiochian parishes. Since college, I have been a member of three OCA parishes. Two were true spiritual greenhouses, with superb priests, healthy prayer/worship life and outreach/service mission, excellent education offerings for both children and adults, and a great atmosphere of open-ness and Christian community. The last OCA parish my family and I attended (following a move) was revealed to us as a microcosm of the problems in the hierarchy: clericalism; concern with appearance rather than substance; service only when it enhanced prestige; spending huge amounts of money for showy banquets (for MH & FrRK) and special project plaques with engraved names, but having low weekly stewardship for parish operations & ministry... we left that parish because it poisoned our spirititual development. It made us feel dirty and unGodly.
I know from personal experience that parts of the OCA are indeed as described, and that the corrupt administration in Syosset is indeed the fruits/reflection of corruption at the parish level. But not all parishes are that way: many are preaching the Gospel and serving the spiritual needs of their Orthodox flock and reaching out to the surrounding community. It is WRONG to dismiss the entire OCA... Christ IS in the midst of its faithful parishes.
#31 Anonymous on 2007-06-21 06:35
What will happen?
We'll dedicate ourselves to building up the OCA into what it has always been meant to be. Many are working away at the building up even as they continue to call for the house to be thoroughly cleaned.
The various accusations that those who advocate for cleaning up this mess are somehow "enemies of the Church" is a lie that is useful to some, but a lie nonetheless.
#32 Rebecca Matovic on 2007-06-21 06:53
Facts, just facts Brendan. No lies. There is absolutely no reason to lie. The Holy Synod themselves said there were no credible answers to any of their questions when they met with RSK some time ago.
Fr. Kucynda nor any one else for that matter is "my man". I base my own thoughts and opionions on facts and principals, not personalities. There's no issue with anyone Brendan.
Enough with the threats of maybe RSK will tell all. I say, go for it already. How much longer do we need to hear that maybe he'll tell all. Tell all what? Perhaps some dirty little secret about someone which has no bearing on anything but will just divert attention elsewhere?
What you and everyone else who defends RSK seem to forget is that we are simply dealing with certain allegations in this matter. Nothing more and nothing less.
Bringing up or threatening to bring up other issues which have absolutely nothing to do with the allegations at hand are IRRELEVANT and simply grasping at straws.
Why is it so difficult to see that?
#33 Michael Geeza on 2007-06-21 07:18
How do you really feel about + Herman?
Just putting a little sugar in your statement!
As the coach would say "atta boy"
St. James--Brother of the Lord
Kansas City, MO
Good God, man! In what conspiracy-laden basement have you been hiding for so many years? And, why do you even bother to read this Website or anything else about the OCA if that's the way you feel about it!?
I notice that you didn't put in your rant the name of the "True Church" so that the rest of us could come on over and beg forgiveness at this House of Perfection that you seem to have found here on Earth! Please!!
First of all, as a relatively new convert, I haven't noticed anything like what you say here in the OCA. What we have here is a handful of ambitious and theiving men taking advantage of a group of the faithful who in Christian compassion are doing their utmost to continue to honor them, per the tenets of the Church, despite all evidence to the contrary. I'll tell you, if this were a protestant church, brother, +MH & Co. would have been outta-here a long time ago. Remember Jimmy Swaggert? Garner Ted Armstrong? The list goes on. They didn't last very long once their donors got wind of what they were up to!
As a new convert, I've done a lot -- and I mean a LOT -- of reading about Orthodox doctrine and history. One thing I notice about the long history of Orthodoxy is that, as it moved into new territory and new administrations (i.e., countries) since the dawn of the faith, new "local" churches were established -- sometimes riding rough-shod over other, established, churches -- within which the doctrine was taught in the local language. Should America be so different? I mean, as for myself, I just want to hear the Liturgy in my own native tongue (that would be English, in my case), so I can express to Almighty God the Creed AND ACTUALLY BELIEVE IT, since I know what's being said. Listen, I love to listen to Orthodox chants sung by a Russian choir -- there's nothing better to hear in the world -- but frankly, I have NO IDEA what they're saying. I used to enjoy listening to the music of Nusrat Fatah Ali Khan, a very fine singer of the Sufi tradition. Then one day, I read a translation of what he was saying -- it was all praise to Allah, and thanks for sending Mohammad, etc. Well, those CDs went straight into the garbage can, my friend! So, I ask, is it so bad that the English-speaking American public want a local Orthodox Church, wherein the Liturgy is delivered in the language of the (local) people? That seems to be the biggest consequence of autocephaly.
As for the rest of your rant, well, I've never seen any organization on this Earth, that didn't have an ambitious man or two in the hierarchy. And theives, traitors -- even our Lord and Saviour invited Judas Iscariot into the Twelve, and he was a thief, too (stealing from the common purse, etc). Frankly, our theiving clergy in the OCA could take a lesson from what happened to the Apostle Judas -- and his "position" didn't save him, either, did it?
But, there were others, too. I mean, look at Peter himself; by all accounts an utter ninny. Yet, Christ said, "On this rock I will build my church," and following Pentecost, Peter didn't do so bad, did he? I have no doubt that we have good -- even excellent -- clergy in the OCA as well as some bad, just like any Earthly organization.
I don't see how anyone can post a rant like this gem you've done against the OCA, while at the same time claiming to belong to the true, all-knowing, all-compassionate, all-Christ-like, honest-to-God Orthodox Church. This thing is so full of hatetred it's fairly dripping with venom. I would advise you to stay off of this site, because whatever it is you're reading here is causing you so much anger that it's endangering your soul. For your sake, brother, I'll pray even harder in the next week or two for the OCA to be fogiven its sins -- of which there must be many -- just so that it won't cause anyone like yourself to fall into a pit of hatred as you seem to have done.
Lord, forgive us and have mercy!
#35 C.C. on 2007-06-21 08:29
Did you get ANYTHING RIGHT in your "report" on Best Practices? Kinda makes you wonder if you get other things SO WRONG.
(Editor's note: I suggest you re-read the Protodeacon's reflection again. The differences between our understanding of events rarely deals with a dispute of the facts, but how to interpret events. For example, in #1, the Protodeacon makes the point the Council had "Best Practices only from September 2006", although he admits they had drafts well before that. I chose to begin the countdown when they got the initial drafts - "more than a year ago..."
In #2, for example, the Deacon suggested my statement "were not passed in previous meetings" was inaccurate, although he admits at earlier meetings Best Practices were passed, returned for attorney review, tabled, reworked, and then adopted. I'll stick with "were not passed at earlier meetings".
In short, Protodeacon Danilchik and I may disagree about where to put the emphasis, or the definations of terms, or how to interpret events, we rarely disagree about the facts themselves. If you have an instance were the facts OCANEWS.org reported are incorrect, please send us a clarification - as did the good Protodeacon.)
#36 Anonymous on 2007-06-21 08:43
If the reason they were told to leave was because of their insistence on a record being made, it was their choice: they could stay and make a bystander's record (i.e. take good notes) and participate, or they could leave. I should be very surprised to hear that they objected to the lack of record and were then ordered out, no ifs ands or buts. The real question is: if they were willing to go ahead without a court reporter, would they still have been ordered to leave? Common sense and experience suggests the answer is "no."
If the answer is yes, then it would appear that the court was just itching to kick the accused out of court, which would be very, very dumb. For that reason alone, I find the spin implausible. When it comes down to a choice of explanations that involve one side's lawyer being dumb and callous while the other side's lawyer is innocence wronged, OR two reasonably intelligent lawyers acting in the best interest of the clients, I'll always choose the latter.
This may have been the least bad play available to them. Rather than go through a trial where conviction was almost assured, the better strategy would be to seek an excuse to get thrown out then complain about the process and impeach the result. (It would be unlikely that the issue of whether a court reporter would be present or allowed came as a surprise to well-prepared attorneys.)
Also, whatever "goods" anyone has on other people -- you know the ones we are always hearing about but never seeing -- are much more effective as a threat than on display for all to see. Once you've shot your big gun, there it is: the game is over. (That's probably why we haven't seen said goods, nor are we likely to -- assuming they exist.) As long as you've got a threat, however, you have some leverage; you're still in the game. So there are multiple reasons why non-participation in the court can be a better strategic option than participation.
I'm not saying that the prosecution's evidence was great, or that the other side didn't have any evidence of his own to rebut it. I have no way of knowing. The only information out there is that quite a bit has been laid at the feet of someone by a very big law firm and churchmen who have seen the investigation. (I would further venture the opinion that that investigation was apparently not complete or far-reaching as necessary, but that doesn't mean it is wrong about allegations it DOES make against someone.) When it came time for the accused to have his day in court, there was a squabble about procedure and he ended up being told to leave -- but not before, I'd wager, being given the option of staying and abiding by the court's rules.
If someone who was there can tell us that I'm wrong, and there was never a chance to stay as long as the insistence on a court reporter was dropped, I'm sure we'll hear from him.
What I do know is that we are being presented one side of events with the spin that there is some horrible denial of due process by a sham court. I am simply pointing out that one need not take the spin at face value on the basis of what we know at this point.
Again, it could be the worst process in the world, but if the evidence is compelling and there is nothing to really challenge it, it doesn't make any difference. Like I sometimes have to tell my clients "The evidence is what it is." It's all about playing the cards you've been dealt, and sometimes a bluff or turning over the table is the best you can do.
#37 Timothy Capps, Esq. on 2007-06-21 08:56
#6 ANONYMOUS! WARNING! YOU HAVE MENTIONED A PERSONS NAME IN YOUR MESSAGE! THAT TOUCHES ON SLANDER! PERSONAL ATTACKS! IF I SEE THIS PERSONS NAME MENTION AGAIN! I WELL NOT HESITATE TO FILE THE CORRECT PAPERS IN COURT! I WILL SHOW YOU WHAT A PRO SE PERSON CAN DO IN COURT! I PROMISS IT WILL BE YOUR WORST NIGHTMARE! DEAR MARK THIS GOES FOR YOU ALSO. IF ANYONE ON THIS WEBSITE SLANDERS A PERSONS CHARACTER, BY MENTIONING NAMES, EVEN THOUGH THEY ARE ANONYMOUS OR GO UNDER A DIFFERENT NAME, TRUST ME THEY CAN AND WILL BE FOUND AND PROSECUTED! THERE IS NO NEED FOR THIS BEHAVIOR!
#38 Anonymous on 2007-06-21 09:55
To you who have been offended in my comments above, I would like to ask your forgiveness for the 'heat' that it was written with. I have re-read my comments and they were indeed overzealous.
But to characterize them as hate-filled, etc. is simply wrong. I am not filled with hate. I AM concerned about the welfare of the Church and what has transpired in the OCA affects the whole Church deeply.
I will bow out of the conversation as you demand- and I will continue to pray for a Godly and healthy resolution to the crisis.
God bless your journey.
#39 Nathaniel Eichner on 2007-06-21 11:43
Who was slandered MR ALL CAPS?
#40 Just Curious on 2007-06-21 13:18
Let's just say that a few of us file a class action suit against the OCA tomorrow. Who's going to pay for the cost of the OCA's defense?
Again, assume that the NY or Feds show up and start an action against the OCA (as some people have wished for on this list). Who's going to pay for the OCA's defense?
#41 Michael Strelka on 2007-06-21 13:45
Although corporations can be prosecuted, I cannot in my wildest nightmares see the Department of Justice bringing charges against the OCA. No, what could happen would be that individual suspects could be charged, and then it would be up to them to secure their own defense or go to court with the federal public defender.
#42 Timothy Capps, Esq. on 2007-06-21 15:00
Please think twice about threatening others on this website. Instead, consider using Christ as your model to respond to the individuals who choose to follow this forum and express their individual opinions. Many of us are just searching for a solution and seek the truth so that the OCA can become strong and vibrant again. Help us to understand your concerns and your issues without the rage and anger. There is no need to use all CAPS-we can hear you. Thank you.
#43 Carpathia on 2007-06-21 15:01
I have heard worse things said about God and I have yet to see anyone go to court to defend the character of God!
There are a lot of people who are working very hard to get the OCA back on track. It is undeniable that many people we trusted betrayed us and the church and unfortunately the devil is going to stifle the recovery at every angle. Please do not become a part of devil’s handy work by threatening to take your fellow brother/sister to court. I am certain there was a Christian way for you to address your disapproval.
#44 Juliana on 2007-06-21 15:07
We don't. We cooperate with the authorities completely and without reservation. We were the one's harmed. They're the knight in shining armor!
#45 Anonymous on 2007-06-21 15:11
Is it getting hot in the (St. Tikhon) kitchen?
#46 Out of the Pan and Into the Fire? on 2007-06-21 15:37
Dear Nathanial, far from disdaining Orthodox churches other than the OCA, I went over the years to several and never understood a word that was said. What brought me to the OCA was simply being able to participate in a Liturgy entirely in English. I have not found the OCA parish I am in to be a real easy path to salvation. We have four services a week, and we keep the fasts and we study the Fathers, the Bible and the history of the Orthodox Church in America and we keep peace with one another, God helping us. I thank God every day for the OCA which made Christian faith and worship possible for me. Alice Carter
#47 Anonymous on 2007-06-21 15:48
Dear ALL CAPS,
This is precious. Threats are not very convincing arguments. Why don't you try logic and truth to make your point, or, carry through on your threats. Simply shouting in ALL CAPS is more for the Gulag. Hopefully civilization is passed that.
#48 Anon. on 2007-06-21 18:36
Not that I am an expert on this matter, nor am I involved in this by any means, I would like to think of something and throw it towards all of you. *PLEASE TAKE NOTE: I AM NOT a FRK supporter nor am I in anyway a supporter of Herman, nor the MC, nor anyone involved in the Spiritual Court and for the matter of anyone in the oca*. I ask that you please bear with me, for I am not a person who writes well, I tend to try and get my point across while not beating around the bush, so I ask your patience and forgiveness! While reading this page (personal note: I find reading very interesting and very well put together) I noticed that it was mentioned that FRK was thrown out the court hearing for insisting on having a stenographer present, yet was denied and no reason given. Here is one of my four easy questions: A) what is the proper protocol for having a stenographer present during the trials at a SPH (Spiritual Court hearing)? B) What has been the practice in the past SPH's, is there always a stenographer (or some type of recording device) present or only upon certain situations? And D) Isn't Bishop Nathaniel head of the Spiritual Court in the Romanian Diocese, who have at all SPH's a video recording and a stenographer present?
So, wondering if at all times there is some type of recorder present what makes this case so different? From my understanding during any court proceeding there is always a stenographer present, even when there is no jury! Isn't true even when two lawyers confer with a judge the stenographer is present.
Also, after reading page upon page of articles and comments about this touchy topic, PLEASE NOTE I am NOT pinning anyone guilty on this topic for I do not know all the facts, but I wonder HOW could ANYONE think that FRK was capable of being responsible for this mess all by himself? Surely, the MC, Theo, Herman and anyone else involved with the oca financial responsibilities would not take notice to any mishappenings over the many years that this was taking place!!
PERSONAL NOTE I PRAY that all involved in this situation who are guilty, would be man or woman would come forward for the GOOD OF THE CHURCH and resign of ALL positions held in order to save the Orthodoxy in the oca.
#49 NJS in NEPA on 2007-06-21 18:40
The suit should be against the wrongdoers. The OCA (us) is not the wrongdoer, the OCA is itself a victim and should probably join the action as a co-plaintiff and contribute to the fees, and perhaps reimburse the other plaintiffs once the action is under way. The defendants, should they lose, if proven to have committed criminal acts, may likely have to pay the legal fees. We're taking bets how much of the ADM monies have been squirreled away and available to be remitted back.
#50 Anon. on 2007-06-21 18:45
For God's sake, stop screaming at us. Or is it just that your shift key is broken?
#51 Scott Walker on 2007-06-21 18:50
My, my. Are you a Christian?
"if a man says that he loves God and hates his brother, he is a liar."
#52 Name withheld on 2007-06-21 19:00
NOBODY tells me what to say. I have a mind of my own and base my comments on facts, information that's already been made public and basic principals of moral integrity.
#53 Michael Geeza on 2007-06-21 19:08
The suit would look something like this:
Plaintiff#1, Plaintiff#2, Plaintiff#3, etc., individually and on behalf of The Orthodox Church in America vs. Defendant#1, Defendant#2, and Twenty-four (a number) John Doe Defendants.
The list of John Doe's will be added to as the discovery of evidence proceeds through depositions. This is a normal, everyday process. The OCA is not the culprit here, it is the victim, just like the rest of us trusting saps.
#54 Name withheld on 2007-06-21 20:04
Excuse me for saying, but Dcn. Wheeler didn't go to the internet. He went first to the Audit committee chief, then to the Metropolitan, then to the members of the Metropolitan Council.
I believe his letter made it's way onto the internet via an OCA discussion forum.
And since when is the mode of communication "beneath" anyone? If that is so, then perhaps Fr. Kondractick would be willing to address Dcn. Wheeler's allegations in a letter to, say, Archbishop JOB? Recall it took the better part of a year to get an answer to his rather simple question: Are the allegations true or false?
For the record, the inquiries of Archbishop JOB and the diocese of the Midwest began the summer before Dcn. Wheeler's letter was released on the internet. The question was about finances at the last AAC in Orlando, in preparation for the AAC in Toronto. Abp. JOB was told by Fr. Kondractick (paraphrasing) he would not release information to Abp. JOB, or any member of the Diocesan Council. This was June 30, 2005.
There is documentation supporting warning signs in 1999 concerning the need to change practices. Lets see now ... the body count is piling up ... first the Treasurer, then the Audit Committee chair, then the Secretary. Finally, the independent auditors. Anyone delivering "bad news" was summarily executed by the staff/leadership in Syosset/Oyster Bay Cove/Nassau County, New York.
Incredible. I haven't seen such amazing teflon coating since Richard Scrushy.
Sdn. John Martin
Martin D. Watt, CPA (Inactive)
#55 Marty Watt on 2007-06-21 20:34
Classic! I can't stop laughing! I just see this person screaming and screaming! At least they break up the agony we are struggling with! Its hard to be serious all the time. I thought that the Metropolitan Toys & Games guy was humorous, but that was from a different perspective. I don't know if you are from Syosset (OBC), St. Tikhon's or related to someone who is trying to keep some deep secret, but calm down, I'm afraid you're going to have a heart attack.
But seriously, is this the same technique that has been used to keep people in place? Trying to intimidate and bully? Come on brother Heirarchs and clergy, you can't be serious about this approach. Stalin is gone and last time I looked, we were still living in a free society.
On a side note, how can we trust anything that is going on? Is the RSK shipment to Florida/removal/trial just a well orchestrated move? Why won't RSK talk? Who is paying all the OCA legal fees? We don't see anything on the financial statement. If ADM/Andreas Foundation could send $5-8M to a church that he never belonged to, wouldn't they be willing to spend additional $millions to protect themselves and the other parties involved?
Wishing it were just a movie script.
#56 Libel Larry or GIMMIE YOUR LUNCH MONEY OR ELSE!!! on 2007-06-21 21:37
I am very bothered by the posting of the good Deacon Peter. He points out many differences in the interpretation of events, which you admit he and you differ on. But, isn't that a very important point. You post here with your interpretation of the events and, I am sorry to say, too many people take what you say at face value as fact. It is a fine line between the interpretation of events and the facts at hand. It can be a very blurred line at times.
You have been in the battle for many years, maybe since the day you were fired from Syosset. I think you would do us all a great favor and look carefully inside yourself and make sure you have not lost your perspective on things. It can happen so easily.
(Editor's note: Thanks for the concern and comments " SVS Friend", (also known as "anonymous" in your 3 others postings over the past 3 days on the same topic....) . It is a typical tactic of those attempting to deflect scrutiny and abjure responsibility for the acts of the former administration to blame the messenger, throw mud, and seek to create division where none existed. That you do all three in two short sentences show just how good you all are at it. You did not learn that at SVS; but you seem to have forgotten most everything else you did, using this post as evidence....
In short, we all fell for your manipulations, financial, administrative and spiritual for 18 years. No more. Your tactics are exposed, your methods worn-out, your visions false. Having squandered your credibility through fake "anonymous" postings, don't lose the last shreds of self-respect by maintaining the charade. Have the decency not to continue attempting to disrupt the important dialogue that is taking place through this site. It really fries you that the OCA may just survive you, doesn't it? And that given the opportunity, several thousands of OCA members can discuss things and work towards solutions without your "guidance" every night...
Sadly, you want us to fail, so that you can all take perverse delight in the ruins. Sorry. We may indeed fail, or not - the issue is still in question.
But we are no longer afraid of your type, nor will we stay in silence. The Resurrection, not autocephaly, is our touchstone now - and the Resurrection gives us courage.
Finally, as for losing perspective, that has hardly been the case. For the past 18 months my perspective has been remarkably clear - as evidenced by the fact that I sign my name to everything I write, and everything I have written is still on online, for all to read. From January 7, 2006 till today I have not changed one bit in my perspective. Nor will I. All we want is the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth. Your words, however, remind one not of Christ, the Truth, but of Pilate. For as with all the defenders of the former administration, and many of the current, the implied, if not articulated, question in your postings is always: "What is truth?".
Well, we are on the way to finding out. We have a ways to get there. But we shall. For the Resurrection gives us courage, friend.)
#57 An SVS Friend on 2007-06-21 21:56
The oft quoted Herman line, "it is out of my hands" has been used by this little man for many years. However, to help those who have not been the victim of his abuse, let me decode this phrase for everyone, it really means, "things are going exactly the way I want them to."
Herman is a liar and a cheat. He has robbed the widows. He cajoled the poor Jaciuzuwicz sisters into giving over their entire estate to St Tikhon's and to build a house, which, oh my, now belongs to Martin Paluch to live in the rest of his life.
Just the tip of the St Tikhon's iceberg. So much more to reveal.
#58 A Fed Up Victim of Herman's Abuse and Lies on 2007-06-21 22:13
I have in my files an article written by a "Rev. Nathaniel Eichner" called "You, Your Job (And the Rest of Us). This piece appeared in the January, 1978, issue of "Sonflowers Discipleship Journal." Sonflowers was a publication of the Holy Order of MANS. Are you that Nathaniel Eichner?
Sometimes I wish you would require that everyone sign their posts. However, I understand that some clergy (and maybe even some of the laity) fear retribution if they sign their names. I understand that situation, and I believe that their voices need to be heard even if it is on an anonymous basis.
However, messages like this one do not fall into that category. This is nothing more than a personal attack from someone who has no fear of retribution, and who lacks the courage to sign his or her name. Posts like this are not constructive.
I suggest that you reconsider your policy of allowing anonymous postings, and to only allow exceptions when someone claims a fear of retribution.
#60 Robert Wachter on 2007-06-22 04:18
Does anyone know if the special meeting of the Holy Synod was set? If so when? Just curious to see if Herman is going to ignore that as well.
#61 Natasha Trubetskoi on 2007-06-22 07:03
This thread so far, News from Around the OCA, dated 6-19-07, has been very enlightening for me, particularly about the various comments and reflections about Fr. Bob's situation. From the posts I have read, it may take years to have any admittance of any wrong doing on his part. He has a lawyer who seems to be maximizing "stall tactics" to as large a degree as possible.
However, the OCA's MC does seem to be trying very hard to get the OCA to a better place. The reflections that we need to be patient with all of this are very wise. If we keep supporting the MC's efforts, and Bishop Job's efforts, we may be continue to see a more sound, healthier, efficient, functional, spiritual, and integral OCA, and it may take a bit of time.
However, I would like to see some sort of official request from the MC or Synod, to formally ask Metropolitan Herman and Fr. Paul Kucynda to step down from their current positions and retire from any further involvement within the central church administration. Their time is done serving the central church. Period. Let them retire without their continued interference or their formal presence in the healing and re-construction process.
From what us faithful have been able to follow so far, thanks greatly to Mark's website, I don't see how anyeone would argue otherwise.
#62 Patty Schellbach on 2007-06-22 08:34
Robert ("cc:" Mark),
Its a compelling point, and I've thought about it as well, but (for what its worth (which may not be much, of course)), I think the anonymous postings are necessary. I've posted several times, remaining anonymous in most of them for a couple reasons (none of which are personal retribution (I always have Antioch, after all)). I personally know a few other anonymous contributors whose words have been meaningful, sober and respectful. Many anonymous submissions (even if not mine), in fact, have been substantive, moving forward the debate in a well articulated, well reasoned way, considerate way. While we may shed some unsightly poundage from the less edifying of the anonymous postings by proscribing anonymity, we'd also lose some of the more healthful and tasty morsels that are brought to the table under the protective cloak of anonymity.
Somewhat relatedly, some may think that anonymity = lessened value with respect to the substance of a matter discussed, but, of course, its not so; not in matters of reasoned discourse (as with The Federalist, e.g.), except to the extent that one's particular expertise, education or first-hand experience is the source of facts or esoteric opinion that lends necessarily to the credibility of what is written on some specific, important point. But otherwise, if what is said is of value for its content, then the reader's knowledge of the writer's identity is an ancillary matter, tending even to detract, in some cases, from the substance of what is included by the human tendency to value the message for the messenger. My opinion would be that, just as constitutional jurisprudence permits so much objectionable speech to ensure the protection of that which is truly worthwhile, here we should continue to respect the desire or occasional need to remain anonymous in order not to chill the good activity, thought, prayer, and community that this website has generated and continues to generate. (As well, Mark might then be called on to weigh the credibility of those who may start requesting the "political asylum" of anonymity -- which I suspect would increase.)
But, that's merely one opinion; take what works and leave the rest. : )
So, even though I remain anonymous here (respectfully, I hope), I also remain, by your prayers,
Your sibling in XC
#63 Anonymous on 2007-06-22 08:56
Truely I must say to you as a friend of SVS you must take a closer look at yourself. In Fact your Dean Father Thomas Hopko is a remarkable outstanding Christian and has deciated his life to orthodoxy he himself has written a Revealing Reflection on this Site, please reread what he writes and he too has asked for the Administration to come clean and repent.
Fr. Thomas Hopko stands by the 12 step program that the Alcoholic Anonymous has adopted and relates to this in Christian lives to follow these steps towards Christ surely he has taught you his lesson program at SV .I believe Mark was listening those days he was there. Were you listening? Or were you absent?
To refer to you brother Mark as Pilate, I certainly would not attempt to offer a judgement on him or anyone else, I really think you need to hold back your tongue those are ugly snarky comments and yes personal attacks.
To refer to the last 18 months of this revealing scandal, I too have not lost my perspective and I must say I'm very grateful and thankful to Mark and many True Orthodox Christians for speaking up and trying to clean up the mess, if they hadn't we would still be controlled by Sysosset and nothing would be changing at all????
Also Please remember Mark is not held accountable for the actions and words of writers on this site this is freedom of speech Certainly Mark will not be threatened or intimitated by your comments of the failure of the OCA. God is in the midst of this scandal and you must remember if its corrupt, misleading and not holy in his name he will not continue to bless the Orthodox Church in America and he will allow it to crumble he will cleanse it. That my friend at SVS you can be sure of.. Now Go forth and take up your Cross and always remember its not so easy to call yourself a Christian we each have a responsibility to hold up to with those words. I wish you a Blessed day and I will pray for you to repent your unclean remarks on your brother. Signed with Love
#64 #13.1 SVS Reply on 2007-06-22 10:46
Hi Melanie, there is a bookstore in Columbus, Ohio, called Way of a Pilgrim Bookstore, c/o Fr. Dn. Nathaniel Eichner. It is part of the "Valaam Society", which is associated the "Holy Order of MANS", I gather.
#65 Ann Animus on 2007-06-22 10:50
Dear SVS friend of Mark Stoke,
I have never thought that Mark may get every detail totally accurate. But he is communicating to us in a way that has never happened before. He DID post the corrections from Fr. Danilcheck and he was very matter-of-fact about it. He was fair. I have not asked more of Mark other than to attempt to continue an ongoing dialogue with my fellow human race.
Mark is doing an invaluable service by allowing us, the faithful, and others, to discuss our most pressing thoughts and questions in an open forum. The clarity I am receiving from his site from what has happened is much more than the short news posts on oca.org. OCA.org has its place, but so does Mark's site.
Keep up the good work, Mark!
(Editor's note: Thanks, Patty, but I do try to get every detail correct. All my stories are fact-checked, and require, when possible, two independent sources to confirm them. When an error of fact is made, we correct it. For example re-read the opening of our last story. It originally stated Mr. Bodnar's brother was the priest in the OCA Gary Indiana. It was brought to our attention that the parish has recently moved to Merrillville. The story was changed to reflect that move....)
#66 Patty Schellbach on 2007-06-22 11:20
You are to commended for the eloquent manner of your post. Very wise and very true.
Thank you for sharing it.
#67 Michael Geeza on 2007-06-22 12:17
You should submit this as a Reflection. You put what my non-lawyer gut has been telling me so well. Plus, I find it very upsetting that one side has put out false information on what happened at the trial, and the other side cannot talk about it publically.
#68 Linda Weir on 2007-06-22 12:51
I do not think there is any question as to Mark's integrity as can be seen by there being no true challenges to what he writes AND the level and quality of contributions he has in the reflections section. If there was not the level of integrity maintained here those people would not lend themselves to contributing. He also, I am sure, carefully reviews and excludes those comments which are not worthy or which do not add to the discourse in a positive manner. Mark's integrity and carefulness are an example for all to follow.
#69 Publius on 2007-06-22 13:27
There are indeed cases where anonymity can be utilized. You mention the Federalist Papers, which were discussions of ideas. Here, however, most of the anonymous postings have not been about ideas at all, but about evidence and testimony.
No court in the US would allow anonymous evidence or testimony to be admitted.
If someone wishes to discuss the relative concepts of ecclesiastical relations or authority under the banner of anonymity, I would welcome their input. But to have someone say they have relevant evidence or testimony and try to remain anonymous, I would think such evidence would have to be discounted heavily, to the point of ignoring it entirely.
Sdn. John Martin
Martin D. Watt, CPA (Inactive)
#70 Marty Watt on 2007-06-22 13:28
The Federalist Papers! I do remember those long past days well!
#71 Publius on 2007-06-22 13:36
The conspiracy is not to get "our" men into place. Fr. Andrew was released to the OCA from the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of Canada (UOCC) only within the last year; Mr. Bodnar was a member of a UOCC parish when he was here. So this looks more like the Halychani planning a coup. The real Canadian plot is to trick all of you into abandoning potato chips in favour of poutine. We thus destroy your arteries and gain control of Disneyworld.
#72 Igumen Philip (Speranza) on 2007-06-22 15:21
You just want to claim REAL beer!
#73 Anonymous on 2007-06-22 18:55
Very good point (though I haven't "weighed" the volume of the content of the many, many postings to determine the ratio of testimonial postings to reactionary, visionary and missionary submissions; perhaps it is as imbalanced as you say. I don't know).
However, I'm compelled to note that, regardless of such imbalance, if any, this site, as a blog of sorts, is more in the vein of journalism or a public hall meeting (a hybrid of the two, perhaps) than a court of law. As such, it seems to me proper -- and I urge Mark to give this more than all due thought -- to respect the wishes of those who for many and sundry reasons desire to remain in the shadows.
Now, as to your excellent observation that one disclosing evidence of a crime has more creditbility if known, yet that one would have even more reason, perhaps, of remaining anonymous. In fact, here is where the journalism comparison has most meaning.
But, speaking of shadows, I need to go introduce my head to my pillow. So, as this is yet another example of where reasonable minds can disagree, I'm done pitching my twin pennies; in my estimation, you, Marty, and Robert, among others who've written in here (named or not) are minds most reasonable, notwithstanding any disagreement on this issue. (There, now I bet you can sleep better (I jest).)
G'night, y'all ....
#74 Anonymous on 2007-06-22 18:59
Truth is determined by the weight of all the evidence available. This website has done a remarkable service to those seeking the truth by providing a comprehensive accounting of the facts.
Mark, the editor, should be commended by all those who are truly interested in the truth. For those who care little about the truth, Lord have mercy!
#75 Marc Trolinger on 2007-06-22 19:29
Nice... Carefully aimed arrow, with a poisoned tip, shot from behind the corner (how about signing your post?), and gone completely off the mark (pun intended).
i have always been a staunch defender of the anonymous posters on this site, knowing a few of them (and their highly defendable reasons) personally, but there is a difference between constructive criticism and accompanying fear of retribution, and outright libel. Does someone (that I am getting rather sick of, BTW) feel justified in yelling and screaming at all of us (for that's what posting in CAPS is) because he/she is enjoying the privacy of an anonymous posting? Do you, the so-called "SVS friend", feel you can say things that are just gossip since you do not bother to supply supporting evidence because you do not sign your name and therefore none of us who may actually know you can judge the validity of your allegations?
To that end, I am not sure I understand the logic of the anonymous "sibling in XC". If I am reading his post correctly, he is saying that the condition of speaking the truth for some is "the protective cloak of anonymity" even when there is no justified fear of personal retribution. Hmmm... I think I have a really hard time with this. What is the value of personal integrity and courage, then? This logic really undermines the level of this discussion instead of elevating it.
#76 Inga Leonova on 2007-06-22 19:30
The warnings go back much earlier, to the early 1990's. Look at the first 1993 Audit Committee document on this site - Document 0 - http://www.ocanews.org/documents.html. These people have been absconding with Church funds for at least 15 years. Plenty of time to build up a handsome largess. The legal actions need to start on behalf of the OCA by people outside of this administration. This administration is clearly trying to cover up the sins of the past... and probably to try and hang on to the benefits that accrued to them.
#77 Anon. on 2007-06-22 19:35
Now that WAS funny!
Poutine, for the uninitiated, is Freedom (whoops, I mean French) Fries smothered, and mean SOTHERED, in gravey and cheese!
#78 Kenneth R. Tobin on 2007-06-23 05:04
An OCA priest I know, from Ukraine, once told me that clergy serving in MP parishes used to marvel at the large number of Ukrainians serving at the altar (where are all the 'Russians'?).
But 'Halychani'? Most Ukrainians I know, or at least their ancestors, hail from places like Poltava, Kyiv, Mykolaiv, and Bila Tserkva, in addition to 'Halychani', depending on the period of immigration (pre-WWI, or post-WWII).
#79 Dn. Nicholas Denysenko on 2007-06-23 07:40
You've made an excellent case for not having anonymity. Why have it if the discourse offered is reasoned, articulate, and thoughtful? Indeed, more of the strident comments are by those who post either as anonymous or pseudonymous. If retribution were really a risk, I would be more forgiving, but non-attributable posts only give comfort and aid to those wanting to maintain the status quo in Syosset; it plays into the culture of fear that this website is trying to crush. If you're edgy about posting openly, quietly let your parish priest know; at worst, you can both agree to disagree in the most Christian manner. Sign me out and proud?
Anonymous CDLXVIII or Terry C. Peet
#80 Terry C. Peet on 2007-06-23 13:03
Your reply to my short comment, which I found rather strident, was a surprise to me. You have been carrying the weight of this (almost gone) administration since you too were part of that administration, and were fired. Those are facts, and it would appear that being fired from Syosset is more of a badge of honour than a curse, depending on who did the firing.
As for your comment that my comment was a tactic to maintain the status quo in Syosset is a misinterpretation of the facts. I want nothing more than to see the entire cast of characters in Syosset sent packing and a new administration from top to bottom in place. Only then can we have a chance to put this episode behind us.
Truth? I think you and I agree on what Truth is. Truth is not an abstract concept or a pawn to be used for personal advantage, like when Pilate posed the question to Jesus. Rather Truth is in a Person and that Person is Jesus Christ. As for the Resurrection, no one has a corner on its power. We all share in it if we love Christ and His Church. How we love Him and His Church and how we work for it, that may be the question to debate, but one thing is for sure, tearing each other apart on the pages of this website is not what will put this Church back together. I pray you have a blessed Lord's Day.
(Editor's note: If you really knew me, "friend" what you call "strident" would not be much of a surprise.
Nor is your interpretation of Pilate's question, reducing it to a power game for personal advantage. It was a hallmark of the former regime to reduce everything in personal terms, friend, to spread misinformation and to see all aspects of the Church in terms of structures of power. I won't play that reductionist game with you. Nor will I agree with you, "Senior Priest of the OCA" in one of your other many incarnations on this site, that it is this website that is tearing this Church apart.
The damage was done, is still being done, by those whose evil deeds are now slowly being exposed; as well as those whose collaboration, "friend", allowed the evil to flourish without hinderance.
Whatever our agreements or disagreements, I do thank you for your best wishes on the Lord's Day, and I hope you will join the Midwest Diocese in our Day of Prayer and Fasting tomorrow. That is surely one way we can all work together. )
#81 Your SVS Friend on 2007-06-24 06:32
There is only one logical reason to the solution. Stop the money! If you stop the money the administration will fold, the lawyers will go away and you and I can begin the process of reorganizing the whole administration. Untill then We... You and I are paying big bucks to keep this charade going! You know that if a fellow co worker had these issues they would of been offered a pink slip within two days of employment.
Seriously ask yourself the questions why are we still sending any money at all and why are we taking 18 months out of our precious daily lives to keep some of the same discussions alive? This has been going on for 10 years now, Have you not had enough!
I'm beginning to wonder if that's part of the illness.
Okay, We have Leaders that have not proven themselves worthy of their positions, along with ones that are trying to put the blame on others, this is all criminal activity in my mind and the minds of others, so what do we do. Nothing! Demanding the accountability is making no change, I have not seen any call from M Herman asking for assistance from his bishops, clergy and laity to help him to clean it up! No they are just using up more time, days and money to cover up and to diverse the problems.
Any logical person would of said I'm stepping down for the good of the church. Also you would of cried out for help in rectifying the problems and asked for solutions.
Ah Hello! who's paying the lawyers our money to protect the wrongdoings of himself and the other players? Stop the money! then they will all have to go out and get real jobs to pay there own legal bills . Come on were not there get of of jail card this is not monopoly!
People have been writing and asking the Bishops to speak up! I too want to know where are you? where are all of the priests and deacons, where are you?
In closing I would like to address a quote from Benjamin Franklin it reads, The man who does things makes many mistakes, but he must never make the biggest mistake of all-doing nothing...
I will be praying with you and asking God specifically for the courage for each of you to speak up for the good of the Church... Signed Irene My deepest love to you all.
#82 #18 Irene on 2007-06-24 09:23
Do you feel we should not have secret ballots (anonymous balloting)? Do you think that we would have more honest and fair elections if we had to sign our names to our votes? A discussion of Herman’s elections in this regard should be saved for another thread.
Anonymity allows one to give an expression of one's true feelings without having to endure reactions that would prevent one from expressing themselves otherwise. Anonymity allows more ideas to come forth divorced from the personality or personalities which raise those ideas. A wider spectrum of ideas can be presented that are not considered to be mainstream that people feel should be given to discussion but would not want to be associated with presenting them. Those ideas present thoughts that are useful in the general discourse. In our case here considering the muck we find ourselves in we need to ensure the widest possible range of ideas.
It doesn't matter if a person as honored and respected as Fr. Hopko or as despised as some of the people involved in this scandal are speaking, the idea speaks for itself without the baggage of motive, personality influence, retribution, etc. We remove any arguing of an idea based on who said it and turn our attention to what is said. There is reason for people as reasoned and respected as Fr. Hopko to write anonymously as for lesser known people. Anonymity allows ideas to be presented that are then discussed on their merits rather than muddying the waters with who presented those ideas. Some ideas which are good are not given much consideration because the writer isn’t well thought of and some ideas which are not good are given more consideration because a person of high respect wrote them. We remove the possibility of contributors being attacked as a way to counter an idea rather than a true, reasoned argument as a counter. Anonymity levels out the playing field.
The Federalist Papers have been mentioned here a couple of times. No one would discount Alexander Hamilton, John Jay, and James Madison when it comes to their intellect and contributions as founding fathers – without them we would not be where we are today in this great country. Writing under a pseudonym allowed their writings on the new constitution to be considered for the ideas itself, not within the context of those three great men, who had their opponents that would have been eager to use them as a reason to counter the arguments they made.
Anonymity also allows one to distance themselves from remarks which could be incriminating to themselves.
Surely there are times when it is abused but those can be recognized and discounted. A good moderator also knows how to handle those. It could also be humorous to see what level of argument one side may use by allowing them to hide behind anonymity.
At the end of the day, this scandal will have had a more thorough discussion and surfacing of facts and ideas through anonymous contributions than it would have otherwise. If Mark said who the source was for each fact we would not know as much as we do. We know because of the non existent countering of the facts here that anonymity has been used constructively. Again, the one’s more likely to harp against anonymity are those that have railed against the internet being the cause of this entire scandal in the first place. Facts, discussion, and ideas, those are the bane of those that have something to hide, those that bath in the status quo, and those that are afraid to be held accountable for their actions. They’ve gone after the motivations of Pdn. Eric and Mark rather than counter the facts. When using anonymity they have nothing to resort to but to call it “hate”, the same effect as yelling “fire” in a crowded theatre, because there’s no reasoned explanation on their part.
If we had a voting capability on here to gauge people’s feelings at any time over a topic that would aid in this process even more.
#83 Publius on 2007-06-24 09:54
The Valaam Society is associated with The Brotherhood of St. Herman, not the order of MANS.
#84 Scott Walker on 2007-06-24 10:19
Yes, the Valaam Society is associated with the St. Herman of Alaska Brotherhood. However, it is important to realize that the composition of that brotherhood changed after Fr. Herman Podmoshensky was defrocked by ROCOR in 1988. At that point in time, those members of HOOM who wished to pursue a monastic lifestyle filled out the ranks of the St. Herman of Alaska Brotherhood, which had been decimated when ROCOR washed its hands of the group. The proliferation of Valaam Society bookstores stems from this latter period of time, and was funded by Christ the Saviour Brotherhood, which is, of course, the name the Order began using in 1988.
Your attack on SVS and Fr. Schememen and Meyendorff, of blessed memory, I find deeply troubling. To use the current tribulations of the OCA, to disparage and hold in contempt the work of these great icons of our faith is quite sad. I take heart in the fact that what we are going through is not new and that if God would not spare St. John Chrysostom from vicious attacks by those "in" the church, why should we complain. I for one know that SVS is a jewel of the Orthodox faith and a shining witness to founders faith in the Holy Spirit. May God protect and strengthen our parishes, seminaries and seminarians during this time of trial. During the last two years it has helped me to remember the words of James 1:2-3 "Count it all joy, my brethren, when you meet various trials, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness." For it is only by this testing that we will demonstrate to the world the victory of our Lord Jesus Christ and therefore obtain the crown of victory ! Let us be joyful !
#86 Rick Wagner on 2007-06-24 12:17
After this mess is over and RSK is found guilty you will get your interview with Fr. Bob. Mark my words. That was out of his lips.
(Editor's note: I look forward to the opportunity. He knows how to reach me.)
#87 Anonymous on 2007-06-24 13:15
#88 Sergei on 2007-06-24 15:59
Speaking of +Theodosius, why is he so seldom mentioned on this website? Was he not Metropolitan until 2002? Were not the missing millions from the Archer-Midland Corp. put into a "ghost" discretionary account, to which (we are told) only he had access? +Herman was Treasurer while +Theodosius was Metropolitan and Fr. Bob was Chancellor.
There have been a lot of allegations and talk about +Herman and RSK, but very liitle about +Theodosius.
#89 Eugenie Osmun on 2007-06-24 16:55
Spot on! The best apologia for the power of ideas divorced from personalities. Please keep on posting.
#90 Anonymous on 2007-06-24 17:07
I am begging you to stop this now.
I started it all with my thoughtless comments, which I wholely regret making now. But my thoughts were my own and not anyone else's.
I am that Nathaniel Eichner that was once a member of the Holy Order of MANS, but I have been an struggling Orthodox Christian for many years now.
I would like to apologize and ask forgiveness of everyone for posting the comments above. I should have been more thoughtful of the sincere work of the vast majority in the OCA, and avoided the 'shooting from the hip' that I am prone to do when trying to make a point.
But please believe that my comments have nothing to do with the Valaam Society (I once had a very small book service associated with them) who is doing God's work or the St. Herman Brotherhood. The thoughts were my own and any condemnadtion of them should directed to me personally.
I am a lonely soul trying to figure out the true nature of the Church and am drawn to a tradtional approach to Orthodoxy, remaining concerned about modernist approaches.
I vow to you to refrain from posting to this site again.
Please forgive me and pray for me a sinner.
#91 Nathaniel Eichner on 2007-06-24 17:46
It's quite apparent that you're an optomist. I like your take on the pros of allowing anonymity on this site. At this particular point in time (in the oca's history), do you see the sun rising or setting and why?
#92 'K' on 2007-06-24 20:36
Thanks for adding thoughtfully to this very important sidebar. I'd reply to one thing you wrote, though. You noted "Why have [anonimity] if the discourse offered is reasoned, articulate, and thoughtful?" I'd answer thusly:
(a) if the discourse is reasoned, articulate and thoughtful, then that's all that matters, and disclosure is truly ancillary (perhaps for some also no more than a mere curiosity; worse, for others perhaps knowing the speaker/writer would become an excuse to reject something well reasoned if the speaker/writer is not held in good esteem by the reader/listener (e.g., a prophet reject by her own home town ....)); and
(b) because the speaker/writer may simply be in a comfort zone (for any number of benign reasons) if anonymous, and not trying to hide, but also wanting to share on this important topic.
So, I still say lets not try to "out" everyone who has something to offer anonymously, merely because certain anonymous folks are saying things we don't like. This would be way too [insert adjectival form of your favorite dictatorial political regime here] (for me, anyway).
Still Anne A. Nemos, and still (by your prayers),
#93 Anonymous on 2007-06-24 20:52
I, too, have wondered what happened to the two sisters, Julia & Anna's monies. Having been involved with the Friend of St. Tikhon's for many years, I personally heard them remark how St. Tikhon's would get their millions. If this occurred where is the record of it? Also, did St. Tikhon's get this money or did one or two individuals inherit this fortune? Also, one correction -- not one house was built with their money -- two homes were built. I understood that Bishop Tikhon now resides in one of the homes and the Seminary's Dean lives in the other. I haven't heard whose names are on the deeds. I assumed St. Tikhon's owns them; however, you pose an interesting question as to whether or not individuals own them. What a mess! With all of the sisters' monies why did a loan have to be taken out for $1.7 million dollars -- why didn't the National Church just borrow from their estate? "Fed Up Victim", you have my mind in a whirl over this money -- I personally heard them (Julia & Annie) talk about it for years!
God help these vultures!!!
#94 Anonymous on 2007-06-25 04:01
It's a honor to be FIRED, than to wave a White Flag, knowing that you are telling the truth.
As for signing Senior Preist, I would never take a confession with any priest that is afraid of his shadow. In the course of the day one's shadow will circle his body, you can't hide from it.
I don,t know you or Mark, but I would believe Mark before believing you.
As a seventy five year old, cradle ORTHODOX, I have heard these dumb stories, always with a priest saying it will get better, but it never did get better.
When we tried to get things done, we would get a dumb, letter from the BISHOP,saying, don't stir up any trouble.
As a good coach would say, ATTA BOY , MARK. Keep it going.
My dear Learned Friend,
I must put it to you that the parallel between the current Spiritual Court and secular trials conducted "in absentia" is not exact....and in my view, not even close.
Firstly, I would remind you that in secular courts there are reasonably well-established rules of procedure grounded in legitimate authority. But given that Holy Synod has yet to fulfill its responsibilities under Article XI,4,k of The Statute and establish consistent procedures to applied across the board in every Diocese, for the OCA there are still no clear and set rules. Each Diocese and/or each Spiritual Court has been making it up as they go along, and without legitimate statutory authority to do so.
Secondly, even if the defendant is gagged, shackled, and has to watch the proceedings via closed-circuit television from another galaxy, in what specific North American jurisdiction is it allowed for a trial to proceed without at least the defendant's lawyer present and representing his client as vigorously as the canons of his profession demand? Given that all of the evidence and testimony heard by the Spiritual Court was not subject to cross-examination, of what real probative value is it, in a legal sense?
The immediate issue here is neither Fr. Kondratick's putative guilt or innocence, nor the weight of the evidence, but the unexplainable absence of stautorily-mandated clear, precise, and universally-applicable rules of procedure for Spiritual Courts.
And in response to 5.2.1, I don't drink (don't ask about undergraduate years, OK?). But I am told by those who do that Canadian beer is rather stronger than the dishwater served on your side of the border and actually has some flavour. Poor you: never really repealed the 18th Amendment, eh?
#96 Igumen Philip (Speranza) on 2007-06-25 07:13
you may say and post what you want,it's a free country.some of the things you said are not entirely untrue but you have to realize that every jurisdiction here in america has its own history and problems,my point being one is not better then the other.there is good and bad in all of them.i see all the jurisdictions in this country as ONE ORTHODOX CHURCH,especially even more now since rocor established union with the mp and thus with all other orthodox churches. i prefere traditional russian or serbian churches for many reasons but we must have entirely english parishes for the american converts and our second and third generation america borns and the oca is here to serve them although other churches also use english in their services.frs alexandr shmeman and john meyendorff wrote some excellent things and ARE respected in the entire orthodox world for that and st. vladimir has done good work too,so in that regard you were a little overboard.there are great bishops,priests and layety in all of our jurisdictions and some bad ones,but we must try to see only the good.
#97 Anonymous on 2007-06-25 08:22
I understand and respect your concern with the process. What I was responding to was the tenor of some posts that suggested the court was a "sham," that it was disgraceful that an accused did not have the kind of "due process" granted in a secular criminal court, and that the procedural deficiencies of the court somehow had anything at all to do with the reality of the scandal.
Different institutions have developed their own means of fact-finding and discipline. For instance, in the military, significant punishment can be meted out by both non-judicial punishment (Article 15 of the Uniform Code of Military Justice) and summary courts-martial, neither of which provide rights to discover evidence or the assistance of counsel. Even in civilian criminal courts a "right to counsel" does not attach unless the violation grants the State the power to lock the accused up. (Demand a free lawyer next time you get a speeding ticket and you'll see what I mean.)
The adversary system (reflected in faith in cross-examination as "the greatest engine of truth devised by the mind of man" in Blackstone's phrase, assistance of counsel -- counsel being the forensic equivalent of the champion in trial by combat -- and full discovery) is one way of doing things. I happen to think it is a good way. (Even if I did not, it is how I make my living so I wouldn't admit it.) It is not, however, the only way. When it comes to getting to the bottom of things the "inquisitorial system" (unfortunate connotation here, perhaps) is arguably even more effective, although undoubtedly riskier to the accused.
I am not familiar with the rules of procedure for spiritual courts in the OCA. They may not be standardized or even written down. None of the complaints I have seen posted here, however, would lead me to the opinion that (a) they are incapable of engaging in effective fact-finding, (b) that the accused was NOT given the option to stay and participate if the demand for a transcription were withdrawan, or (c) that because of deficiencies in process we are somehow at a loss to discover or know what has happened in this sorry affair.
Perhaps you are correct that the OCA needs to develop standardized, written rules of procedure for spiritual courts. In the context of resolving this particular crisis, however, I respectfully submit that spiritual court reform is a separate topic and distraction. To an accused and his supporters (I am not suggesting anything about you by this; if you have expressed a preference for persons here I can't recall) I'm sure it is of great concern. I also appreciate your desire to make sure the OCA's procedures are effective and fair. To the extent others have appeared to use these issues as proof that someone is being railroaded, however, I urge a degree of caution.
Thank you for your well-informed and good-natured posts on this site.
#98 Timothy Capps, Esq. on 2007-06-25 10:16
Im not sure if what you said is what I (the shadowy sibling) meant, as Im not sure what you meant! : o
But, I will (try to) clarify: Simply, people ought to be able to express their thoughts, their prayers, their fears, their frustrations, etc on this scandal with or without anonymity, even if we don't like it or agree with what they say. I take it your position would be something to the effect that the only objectively legitimate reason to remain anonymous is fear of retribution, but I respectfully disagree both with that conclusion, as well as with the underlying notion that one individual can discern whether another's motives to remain private are legitimate (since those reasons would themselves be unknown to us). (By what objective standard would we measure such people? What is the source of that standard?). There are probably more than one reason, and either empathy or an admission of my own infallibility is needed to accept that.
Seems to me the motivation behind demanding disclosure is either idle curiosity or a desire to address the messenger rather than the message. This is a forum in which the members of a hierarchical church pillaged by its leaders can speak up ... and fear of retribution from a mitred malefactor is not the only subjectively unpalatable "risk." Heck, there may even be a virtuous reason some may desire to remain anonymous. In this forum, it is the content that is important, not our knowledge of who it is who speaks (absent a declaration of a purported fact, the source of which is critical to the assessment of such declaration).
Moreover, anonymity may or may not go to fortitude, as you seem to have noted. But, inasmuch as courage is a virtue, presuming its lack in someone else rises to the level of a judgment of the heart, so we might do well to tread with care.
Anonymity is not proper in the Sacrament of Reconciliation; and at the end of Time, yes, all will be revealed ... but here it seems to me there is no wrong in accepting the will of another to speak from behind a veil rather than from behind a "cyber dais." Best to discern the value of the content of what is said by reference to the content itself, and hopefully enough wisdom will be granted to us all to separate the wheat from the chaff (which, not being infallible, I must admit my whole privacy premise may very well be ....)
#99 Anonymous on 2007-06-25 10:43
So much finger-pointing and name-calling. Yet, no one can deny the FACT that all it would take to put an end to suspicions about certain people's behavior, would be a fully-audited financial statement from the OCA for the period in question. Is it s Mark Stokoe conspiracy that is preventing that from happening? I think not. The only conspiracy being perpretuated here is the conspiracy of the theives to keep it all under wraps, so that they can keep the money they've stolen! Otherwise, we could have properly audited financial reports and be done with it. For an organization with as little money as the OCA has/had, this should be childsplay for even a fifth-rank accounting firm.
We don't need a Patriarch, and we don't need a reorganization. All we need is for the MC and the Holy Synod to hold accountable those who have been placed into positions of responsibility for the OCA's finances over the past decade or so. As long as the MC and the Holy Synod are not willing to do this, the laity/donors to the OCA will do it for them, and not through this Website. They will do it by keeping their wallets and their checkbooks closed, or by donating their monies to other Orthodox and/or Christian institutions, of which there are many. This is, in fact, already happening to a very large extent, and this will grow as the "scandal" is not dealt with seriously by our "leadership," that is, the MC and the Holy Synod.
It is extremely obvious that people have lost their trust in the Metropolitan. Why he would want to continue in a position where he is not wanted is beyond me. If the finances collapsed, and he could not be paid any further, that might further reinforce the point. People aren't abandoning Christ or Orthodoxy - they are abandoning the OCA as an institution. There are numerous ways to do this, from withholding funds to actually leaving one's local parish to join another jurisdiction. To me, the really sad part of all of this are the many people who might be reached and brought into Orthodoxy if it were not for the scandal. THAT is why we need a healthy, active, fully-functional central church administration. Sure, individual parishes could get by without it - but is that what we want to do, "get by?" I don't think so. I think we want to grow and mature and build-up; to have healthy seminaries and so forth. To be a "real church," based upon a strong and healthy Orthodox organizational structure, from the principal bishop down to the newest deacon or reader.
That people are willing to look the other way when a theft has been perpetrated against them is a measure of the respect which we collectively hold for the office of bishop or metropolitan. We just can't believe that anyone put into that position would do such a thing. All we have to do, however, is look at the facts: If the Metropolitan(s) didn't take the money (possibly with help from others in the administration) then why no audits? And why the obfuscation now? If the investigation conducted by PR cleared everyone or anyone, no law firm in the world would recommend withholding its findings from the general public; therefore, we can conclude that there is in that report incriminating evidence against one or more church officials; that's not a rumor! Neither Mark Stokoe nor anyone else posting on this site are responsible for those actions or lack of action, or the withholding of an outside investigation.
#100 C.C. on 2007-06-25 10:53
The only thing I don't like about the anonymous posters is that I don't have a sense of how many posters are really out there. It was interesting to learn that SVS Friend is also Senior Priest, for example. Too bad each email address doesn't have a "tag", but that, I suppose, would be an editorial nightmare.
I am not sure that this website is "all" about discourse either. Although the discourse has usually been helpful, and often impressive, I've also valued this space as a way to get a glimpse of the broader OCA community. Anonymity gets in the way of that somewhat, but also informs my understanding of our church at this historical moment, for better or for worse.
#101 Rachel Andreyev on 2007-06-25 14:20
Speaking as one who has done a lot more damage shooting from the hip, may God forgive us both!
And while I am at it, I've benefited a lot from many of the books published by St Hermans Brotherhood. May God Repay.
#102 Rachel Andreyev on 2007-06-25 14:29
I, for one, was not offended. You did make some valid points. But you sounded so angry that I wanted to figure out where "you were coming from."
Please continue to read and post on this site. You have my permission, but I'm not the editor .
Still wishing you Peace!
#103 Ann Animus on 2007-06-25 14:45
I second that.
#104 Kenneth R. Tobin on 2007-06-26 05:36
Dear Mr. Capps,
I am, I suspect, too much a prisoner of the Bristish-American concepts of justice to be willing to trust the inquisitorial system. My heavenly protector, the Hieromartyr Philip, Metropolitan of Moscow, ended up unjustly deposed and then murdered at the behest of Ivan the Terrible; and by reason of his case and far too many others in the history of the Church, I am not prepared to concede that any system other than the adversarial even comes close to producing justice for the accused. Further, in any case, given the absolutely unbalanced distribution of power between the prosecution and the accused, I submit that concern for the rights of the accused becomes crucial. I refer you to all of the capital cases in the State of Illinois which have come under scrutiny over the past...what....ten years?...because the power of the State was used wrongfully to secure unjust convictions and unjust death sentences.
My specific "legal" concerns in this matter fall under two discrete headings.
1. I am concerned that this process be just and be seen to be just, because I am convinced that the OCA cannot even begin to heal if this process generates only more suspicion, more accusations, more division. The Lord tells us in John 8:32 that by abiding in His word "you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free." But in order to be liberating, truth has to be credible; and in order to be credible, truth must emerge from a process that is and is perceived to be honest and above-board.
2. I am concerned about the power of precedent. While it may be difficult for a lay person to understand at gut-level, this really is a capital case; for a priest, deposition is equivalent to (and in some ways worse than) capital punishment. Since I was 8 years old, I've wanted nothing other or more than to be a priest; and
quite seriously, I would much rather die a horrid physical death than be deposed. (And this, BTW, explains why some priests, anyway, are so reluctant to speak publicly on our current crisis.)
Thus, if ever I were brought to trial in a Spiritual Court, I would want at least as good a chance to defend myself as I would get in a secular court. But if this Spiritual Court is as flawed as it appears to be in terms of procedure, and if its procedures set a precedent which is allowed to stand, that genuinely fair trial would never be certain for anybody. (And this doesn't even begin to cover the issue of repentance, redemption and reconciliation, which should be the real goal in any genuinely Christian Spiritual Court.)
The point is that this goes far beyond the issue of Fr. Kondratick; what happens in and with this Court impacts very directly on the life of every priest and deacon in the OCA. And if it is indeed the "Stalinesque show-trial" it has been called elsewhere, the precedents it sets form a powerful weapon against clergy who might otherwise speak up and speak out when necessary.
And to suggest, as another post has, that the solution in this instance is for Fr. Kondratick to post "his side" on the internet misses the point completely. How does that help him defend himself in the Spiritual Court? The immediate issue is a proper Court with proper procedures and proper safeguards; that, I submit, is the one and only way the verdict will be seen to be just. fair, and true.
#105 Igumen Philip (Speranza) on 2007-06-26 06:52
I think that it is absolutely ridiculous that you even comment on Martin Paluch. Do you know how much he helped the Jaciuzuwicz sisters? He took care of them every day. He had known them for many years and for his dedication to them, the sisters wanted to thank Martin for being there in their time of need and left him the house to live in. And if you actually talked to Julia and Anna you would have known how much they loved St. Tikhon's. It was their choice to leave their estate to whomever they wanted to.
#106 Anonymous on 2007-06-26 15:53
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