Wednesday, June 27. 2007
The Midwest has drawn a line, er, lines in the sand. Your comments are welcome.
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I just read the resolution of the Dicoese of the Midwest, setting benchmarks for sending money to Syosset, and the letter of Vladyka JOB to the Metropolitan, and I am positively impressed with each.
The Diocesan Council of the Midwest has set an excellent example for the rest of the OCA. Its actions are clear, focused, and strong. They are not the result of hot tempers, ill will or faithlessness. Instead they show, as far as i can see, great responsibility in stewardship. They require accountability while not making spiteful ultimatums. They set a clear course for how Diocesan funds CAN continue to be forwarded, and in doing so give the resolution a positive nature that balances the forceful language. It would be my personal hope that other dioceses of the OCA would seriously examine what the Midwest has done and take similar actions.
His Eminence, Archbishop JOB's letter to the Metropolitan was likewise forceful and yet balanced. I am sure I am not alone in wishing, because of my own passions, that he told +MH that he is calling for this session to get the Metropolitan to step down or be deposed. Thank God, +JOB is the bishop, not I. It may yet come to demanding that +HERMAN step down. It may even come to that in this upcoming session. Other hierarchs may not be as conciliatory as Vladyka JOB. Clearly, however, +JOB has taken the path of wisdom, bluntly telling the Metropolitan that the people of the OCA are losing all confidence and action must be taken, and imploring him to allow the other bishops to assist him. I infer, hopefully correctly, that if +MH is not open to such assistance, the other hierarchs are ready to taken the necessary action to find a new primate.
Fr Thomas Hopko, whom I cite often because of the tremendous impact he had on me, likes to point out that our English translation of "Vremya sotvoritye Gospodyevi" is MIStranslated as, "It is time to begin the service to the Lord." Elementary grammar would suggest that such a translation is accurate, but the grammar is more complex. More importantly and to the point, this liturgical phrase is a quote from Psalm 118/119: It is time for the Lord to act, for Thy law has been broken." My brothers and sisters in Christ, I submit that Fr Tom's understanding of that phrase from the Liturgy is not only spot on, but also that our present circumstances in the OCA amply demonstrate make his point for him. Our condition is a microcosm of the sin of all of humanity - an absolute disaster, and now it is clearly time for the LORD to act.
Let us pray that as the Apostles did on the day of Pentecost, their successors in the OCA will find true unity in the Spirit, despite their differences of opinion and temperments, their past disagreements, and above all, their own pride.
#1 Mark Harrison on 2007-06-27 11:16
It was a relief and breath of fresh air initially to hear the decision of Archbishop Job and the Mid-West Council. It feels as if someone has finally turned on the lights and spoken common sense and truth as to what has to be done, and that all the dysfunction is being laid aside and normalcy might return. To me the decision expresses reality and health and normalcy in such a situation.
However, that in Archbishop Job's letter regarding a meeting of the Holy Synod in July, the request is "to assist the Metropolitan" in laying out a plan to deal with matters, drags the spirit again to the depths. What is needed is confrontation of the Metropolitan and his removal - now!
So, I would still say, "where are the bishops? where is the Holy Synod? whatever happened to 'first among equals'? Demand that the full Proskauer-Rose findings be shared with the Holy Synod. How much more despising of the Church as the Body of Christ and the Holy Synod as brother bishops can be tolerated in the leading bishop of the Church? How can we, the laity, not wonder what is at stake for some members of the Holy Synod if they can't address Metropolitan Herman as equals and challenge his behaviour and his controlling of all information and action regarding this scandal? Can the bishops all be deceived? What are the laity to think except that something darker and more devastating is being protected desperately by Metropolitan Herman and perhaps by some members of the Holy Synod?"
If the Bishops would like their people not to speak out, then why don't they, who have been given the authority, speak out and confront their brother bishop? Soon the stones will cry out!
I appeal to every bishop of the Holy Synod. Are you terrified of Metropolitan Herman? Do you accept his behaviour of dismissing anyone who opposes him and insulting those who have given their all for the Church. Do you think that all of his stalling and dissembling and his controlling is healthy? Does a Church function by cajolling and needling and dragging concessions and actions out of its leading hierarch? Would you accept this from a member of the laity? What kind of dysfunctional family is this?
Do you think that what has not been revealed will destroy the Orthodox Church in America, implicate you, lead to lawsuits of devastaing proportions, criminal charges, perhaps decimation of the Holy Synod's membership? If not, why then don't you act? Why shouldn't you, as the Synod of Bishops have access to information of crucial importance to the whole Church? What absolute nonsense that it must be kept secret by one only "for the sake of the Church"! These behaviours are not healthy or sane.
I am prepared to be disciplined in whatever way rather than kill my spirit by not speaking out when those whose task it is to speak out will not do so.
#2 Spencer Estabrooks on 2007-06-27 11:19
Bravo Midwest! Research in group dynamics says that in an open and free exchange in a group the solution to a problem found by the group is always better than the single best solution by any one member. The solution that the Midwest came up is a case in point. It gives identifiable and meaningful benchmarks which, if accomplished, will be rewarded. A positive face on a dire action. The benchmarks and their fulfilling, initially, by the notice of an extraordinary session of the Synod really reveals something about the motivation that money provides in the day to day life of our Metropolitan and the Chancery. It shows also that the financial state of the organization is on extremely shaky ground when the loss of the Midwest assessments caused some dire measures as the last minute release of the 2006 audit Ė just days less than a half year since the end of the year. On what data did they file with the IRS?
While its interesting that the diocesan clergy were split on the withholding idea as initially conceived, itís a very positive event in the chronology of this scandal that finally there is a real action to force a resolution of this crisis.
July 31st is technically still July, but it is funny to see how calling a meeting in July is scheduled for July 31st. More games by his highness. How much can happen in those 30 preceding days!
It is very telling, however, how much Herman is driven by money. Like a mouse will find cheese in a maze, Herman can smoke out the money. The Midwest, doing a good job, required benchmarks for sending along money and Herman wasted no time in doing what is minimally needed for him to get his money. Let's see just how fast he acts on the August requirement. At 11:59pm on August 31st (as people are at their Labor Day festivities) the revised report will come out. The August requirement is going to be, sadly to say, skirted. Based on his track record we cannot be optimistic that we will get what we want out of Herman. Herman and his legal team will rewrite the reports to include as little as possible and place the blame squarely on the shoulders of other people. To think we are going to get what we really requested is a tad naive. The requirement should have been worded to release the report as was given to the MC at its March 2007 meeting. Herman, no doubt, will rewrite history as to what was in that report. Heís rewritten history when there is a record of what he said, we can have no doubt that he will rewrite what there is no record of available!
Midwest, what happens with the September payment? There is July, August, and October. Curious.
The Midwest did what it had to do while giving Herman an opportunity to make good on his promises. The onus is now on Herman if he wants the money to flow. It drew lines in the sand and placed responsibility squarely on the shoulders of Herman for his checks of gold. It's terribly discouraging and telling that Herman would not counsel with his fellow bishops unless having been basically threatened by the withholding of money to do so. So much respect does he gives to the opinions and wisdom of those that are his equals (not that he believes they are). So much respect he gives to money that the day after the Midwest meeting thereís an announcement of a meeting. He questioned our motivations, we know his.
Now it's upon the Synod. The make or break time for the Church. We've been through the MC meeting, the Midwest meeting, and now we come to the big daddy. The meeting where the Synod shows us what they are made of and thereby defining their relevance in whatever is left of the Church after their deliberations however they result. Will they find their backbone and do the dire actions that are needed? We can speak openly that the needed action is, at the very minimum that Herman is released from the Metropolitan office and someone placed in there temporarily until the next AAC to see through the conclusion of the investigation and facilitate appropriate disciplinary actions. It would be disappointing and a travesty if Herman got away with merely a retirement. That would be an injustice to the Church. Based on their actions, Herman and his minion Kucynda should be suspended ASAP for their damage to the Church. If the Synod wanted to do something that showed us that they were serious about this and that they were as fed up as the simple people are, that would be the action that would do it. Or will they abdicate their responsibilities and circle the wagons and defend Herman and crucify people like Mark and this website?
What an interesting end of July it will be, friends!
#3 Publius on 2007-06-27 11:39
Congratulations to the Diocese of the Midwest! This is the only course possible to effect change in Syosset short of legal action. It should serve as a model for other dioceses, and to the extent it doesn't, individuals should withhold themselves.
Now the bishops will, yet again, have a chance to act. It's their last chance.
#4 Kenneth R. Tobin on 2007-06-27 11:47
Fr. Matusiak's minutes of the DoM Diocesan Council meeting are very interesting: the Diocesan Council voted 13-1 to implement the Palatine Resolution with three benchmarks... but the Deans reported, and the Bishop re-stated, that there was no clear consensus of among the Diocese's clergy/parishes.
I personally agree with the action taken (as much as my opinion matters, I applaud the Diocesan Council and +JOB), but I am curious as to how the clergy/parishes in the Midwest were polled by the Deans, and why nearly a half of the clergy/parishes did not support the concept of withholding/escrowing.
Also, kudos to DoM for outstanding communication.
#5 Anonymous on 2007-06-27 12:01
"On what data did they file with the IRS?"
Just a note: churches do not file exempt org tax returns with the IRS, unless they have unrelated business income.
another note: the timing of the release of the October, not September payment, may have to do with the next meeting of the MC, then hext chance that an AAC can actually be set.
#6 Michael Strelka, CPA on 2007-06-27 13:17
I personally had reservations about completely withholding funding at this time. I heartily endorse this 'benchmark' approach and think the timeframes are quite reasonable.
#7 Brad Miter on 2007-06-27 14:55
What incredible forbearance!
Then Peter came and said to Him, "Lord,
how often shall my brother sin against me
and I forgive him? Up to seven times?"
Jesus said to him, "I do not say to you, up
to seven times, but up to seventy times seven.
Let us pray for our bishops, that they do come together in Christian love, ready to assist His Beatitude, and that His Beatitude be open to their assistance as well.
#8 Rdr. Alexander Langley on 2007-06-27 14:59
With their documented track record over the last decade, I will be very surprised if they do much more than pledge allegiance to Herman.
#9 Name withheld on 2007-06-27 17:26
Letís pose a hypothetical question to the Midwest. Herman is being a wise guy, no doubt, with his choosing of July 31st as the date of the meeting of the Synod. This summer the east has had more than its shared of afternoon storms snarling air traffic to the point of massive cancellations. If there is not a meeting of the Synod on July 31st due to weather, will Archbishop JOB not hand the check over to Herman? Now, you may say this is merely a technical reading of the conditions the Midwest put through and that it would be in bad faith saying that the condition has not been satisfied. But is not Hermanís setting the meeting on the 31st a wise guy adherence to the requirements by the Midwest? It is fair to say that the setting of the 31st for a meeting mandated in July is a technical reading by Herman of the requirements of the Midwest and not arranged in good faith, therefore the Midwest should not turn over that assessment if that meeting is not concluded by 12:00am on August 1st.
God acts in strange ways. A look at the weather radar this very night brings these thoughts to mind.
#10 Publius on 2007-06-27 19:50
What's the next step , a seperate oca ? Herman has to give a little and get a little. The question is will the people follow him after him really showing his true colors ? He'll never let RSK go or stop being so bull headed. We really have a crossroad , the question is which way will he go.
#11 Anonymous on 2007-06-28 05:41
I haven't heard from many, about the money used for church missions verses money spent on Hermans shysters,
Proskaur (?) Rose. IT"s laughable and regrettable that some people think he is OK.
People please read the audit, if you can't understand it ask someone to explain it to you, preferrably, your treasure or a lay person with financial knowledge.
St. James---Brother of the Lord
Kansas City, MO
Finally, some (aparently) concrete actions. It continues to amaze me, however, how many people are willing to simply look the other way as a handful of men loot the Church! I further submit that, spiritual forgiveness must not be confused with leaving the perpetrators in-place with full power to continue the looting and lying to the community. I submit that it is not enough for the Bishops to "assist" the Metropolitan; +MH must be replaced. As for myself personally, I would not quibble with allowing him to retire vs. being deposed -- as long as he and his henchmen no longer have day-to-day control over the OCA. And, as for withholding, DoM appears to be the only "group" that is engaged in this, but for the benefit of the +MH crew reading this, please note: I am also personally withholding, and will continue to do so, as long as they are in office(s). Until the full, unvarnished truth is revealed by the release of reports and so forth, I will continue to do so, and I would ask anyone else to consider the same course of action on an individual basis.
Again, I ask you to consider: Forgiveness is one thing, and anyone may be forgiven of any sin; redemption is a key component of Chrisitanity. But let's not let spiritual redemption blind us into accepting criminal and other inappropriate behavior go unchallenged in the hierarchs of the Church! Whatever you may think, such actions are injurious to the Church as a whole, and we should all encourage greater responsibility amongst our leadership, supporting them when we need to, but not fearing to speak the truth a la Fr. Vladimir, when we must. Millions of dollars have been looted in this scandal, which apparently went on for several years if not a couple of decades; apparently, the same men have been involved for years (I say men, since it seems to be mostly if not exclusively men involved). In that time, consider what could have been done with those funds for the building-up of the church over that time. Such disregard for the mission of the Church can be "forgiven," but is such disregard what is needed in the very leadership of the Church? I think not.
To +Job and the DoM -- I am not within your diocese geographically, but I'm with you in spirit and in prayer. And, thank you for your courageous actions to date. It's a shame when getting a simple file of audited financial statements requires "courage," isn't it?
#13 C.C. on 2007-06-28 07:12
Come now, friends. Such scheming is really not important. It's not really about the date at all. It's about the intent and the outcome. Frankly, I don't care if the Synod convenes on the 1st of July vs. the 31st -- what happens at the meeting, that's what matters. No one who cares about the situation is going to allow the Metropolitan to hide behind the details of what date a meeting is held, esp. if it involves a Summer storm and airline schedules! The Diocese of the Midwest has made its point, and it's not about the date of a meeting.
Quite frankly, as far as I am concerned, it's not even about the money anymore. It's about people such as Fr. Vladimir B. being upbraided as he apparently was by +MH and Fr Paul K. during the most recent MC meeting -- that's what it's about. Such invective hurled at a well-respected priest of Christ for such a reason does not belong in the top leadership of a Church. That's what it's about, now. +MH & Co. have shown their true colors (i.e., spiritual bankruptcy) throughout this debacle; at this point, their collective theivery and cover-up simply provides us with a legally-sound reason to remove the lot of them who are destroying this Church.
#14 C.C. on 2007-06-28 07:25
Good thought, Publius.
To the Midwest: make the 31st your brightline rule -- no excuses for postponements or adjournments for weather, traffic, power outages, nuthin' ... even if the meeting has to occur without air conditioning. If you falter due to something even such as that, you'll be seen as much less than serious.
Query: what do the rules provide if the Metr. does not show up ... say, for exampl, he suddently get "ill" and can't make it?
#15 Anonymous on 2007-06-28 07:29
Who monitors and determines compliance to the benchmarks? Will they have the nerve to go through with the withholding of funds... or will they once again falter?
I can see another set of pointless, legalististic wranglings that further push these issues into a corner, but I also understand why this decision was made.
This was a reasonable, modern corporate comprimise that would yield results in a law abiding society. I would hardly call Syosset a law abiding society... it's more like the Russian Imperial Court!
My prayers for leadership and the descent of the Holy Spirit amongst the Synod of the OCA continue.
#16 Alex Kreicbergs on 2007-06-28 08:20
A looser federation? I would like to know more about the purpose of the OCA Central Administration (why we need it) versus the several dioceses. I'm not trying to stir up a political hornet's nest. I just would like to know more about the OCA history and why it is structured as it is. Or if someone would just like to point me to references that I can read for myself, that would be fine.
#17 Rdr. Alexander Langley on 2007-06-28 08:21
Come on, now Publius. The Midwest could see tornadoes and hail storms like never before. So what?!
How about we pray that all goes well so that the Synod can meet, instead of predicting evil before it happens? It seems like some of you want blood and want these men to fall so that you can hop all over them like Rumplestiltskin.
P.S. I found something thought-provoking at someone's blog today. She could have been talking about us in the OCA. This is why we must be salt and light, and pray for our hierarchs. How can we bring the Orthodox faith to more in America if we sink to the level of "society" and look only for worldly solutions to what is fundamentially a SPIRITUAL BATTLE? Remember what St. Paul wrote to the Church in Ephesus about this?
Please read the following, quoted from a blog...
A wicked and perverse generation seeks after a sign. A carnal, lukewarm, lax, unbelieving Church sits back and demands of God the supernatural to give value to His credibility. The spotless bride often looks more like a self-absorbed whore. Dennis E. Green said: "We feast on the bounty provided by our husband while neglecting his wishes that don't excite and please us. We seek to be fulfilled by our selfish pursuits rather than by serving Him."
A.W. Tozer said: "Religion today is not transforming people; rather it is being transformed by the people. It is not raising the moral level of society; it is descending to society's own level, and congratulating itself that it has scored a victory because society is smilingly accepting its surrender." May we be "salt" and "light" in the world bringing preservation and exposure to the persuasive wickedness in men's hearts.
Posted by Telma at http://telmaloux.blogspot.com/
#18 Rdr. Alexander Langley on 2007-06-28 08:31
The initial reaction on this thread is interesting. Almost unanimous support for the action of the DoM, but division on whether or not Herman must go.
Ladies and gentlemen, reverend sirs, how is that possible? Are we so authority ridden that simple common sense must be suspended? Anyone following this site must know by now that Metropolitan Herman has had numerous opportunities to provide constructive leadership and on every such occasion has used his office to obstruct the search for truth and refused to repair the damage inflicted on the Church by himself and many others. This is really no longer debatable--a simple fact to be achnowledged or ignored. And ignoring wrongdoing seems to be a hallmark of OCA witness for many, many years by most of its leadership. Enough is enough!
The notion that there may be some way for MH to continue in office is, at this juncture, nothing less than an abomination. If it happens, it will be proof positive that the OCA as an institution and arm of the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church is beyond redemption. That will be the time that one must consider abandoning ship for the sake of one's soul.
#19 Kenneth R. Tobin on 2007-06-28 09:02
Please correct me if I'm wrong. If the Proskauer-Rose report was designed to build a fire wall aroung Herman, and all of the information posted on this website regarding Herman and his knowledge of what was goin on is accurate, wouldn't it be more prudent to have a new investigation commenced by a bi-partisan commission? It seems to me that most, if not all of the the Proskauer-Rose report is tainted, therefore the report of the special commission is based on inaccurate information. If you take it a step further, Faith Skordinski based her "charges" against RSK on the Special Commission's report, wouldn't it be most prudent to declare a mistrial until this mess is sorted out by a bi-partisan group?
Editor note: You are wrong. No one, except Fr. Kondratick and his supporters, have questioned the veracity of the charges leveled against Fr. Kondratick in the Report of the Special Commission, which were based on the information supplied by Proskauer Rose. No one.
What has been questioned is whether the information supplied focused too narrowly on one person. There is no need for a bi-partisan commission, the old one - including Gregg Nescott - is more than fully capable of doing its work. )
#20 Natasha Trubetskoi on 2007-06-28 09:05
From Luke 16:10-15; 10 "He who is faithful in a very little is faithful also in much; and he who is dishonest in a very little is dishonest also in much. 11 If then you have not been faithful in the unrighteous mammon, who will entrust to you the true riches? 12 And if you have not been faithful in that which is another's, who will give you that which is your own? 13 No servant can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon." 14 The Pharisees, who were lovers of money, heard all this, and they scoffed at him. 15 But he said to them, "You are those who justify yourselves before men, but God knows your hearts; for what is exalted among men is an abomination in the sight of God.
This is ridiculous! On and on we go. Are we stewards of the church, or not! When we see something is wrong, do we do something about it or do we hide behind nice phrases! Everyone wants God to do something about this. Well, people, He is! He has inspired Mark with this website and someone else with the savetheoca.org website. What have you done!!!!!! Well, from the statement above, we know that what is exalted among men is an abomination in the sight of God. We have exalted the Bishops, who do they serve. You canít serve God and mammon!!! Has anyone told us where the money went?? Has anyone said ďIím sorry, please forgive me?Ē I havenít heard anything of that type. Where is the money that people gave in good faith to charities that never received it??? Sure, go and fix the books. Theyíve been cooked enough in the past so whatís the difference. We wonít notice if theyíre re-heated! How many of you readers out there know about accounting? Look over the books and find the errors! God is waiting for you to do something. He gave you the means through a good mind and education and now it is your turn to give something back! Hey, you lawyers out there (except for Mr. Wachter who has done something) itís time to pay back to God what He has given you and take a stand. All you priests who preach the will of God to all of us. I canít imagine the will of God is to let you sit back, let corruption destroy His church and not do something to save it. God IS doing something. He has put all of us here at this time in this situation to do something! Iím signing this disgusted because that is a better statement of who I am than my name. And by the way, I am in my small way doing something. We are notifying all in our parish about what is going on and they are dumbfounded that it could go on this long. I have signed on with a good sum on savetheoca.org. I will not give one dime to any appeal coming out of Glen Cove Bay or whatever they call it now. And I am praying. Not for God to do something but for God to inspire us all to clean out the church and return it to Him.
#21 Disgusted on 2007-06-28 09:40
I was thinking about many of the things you mentioned myself... But you expressed them much better than I could have.
For a lovely illustration of MH's feelings about $$, please go to
It's a great photo.
#22 Ann Animus on 2007-06-28 11:04
"We have exalted the Bishops, who do they serve...... Has anyone said 'Iím sorry, please forgive me?' I havenít heard anything of that type..."
Yes, Disgusted, someone has done just that.
Those of us present at Bridegroom Matins April 16, 2006 in Holy Trinity Cathedral, Chicago, had the privilege and honor of being so addressed by our Archpastor. That evening Archbishop JOB not only denounced the diversion and squandering of as little as one dollar from one person intended for the Lord's work as "intolerable", but personally begged his flock's forgiveness for not getting involved sooner in the struggle for honesty, transperancy, and the soul of the Church.
It was an historic, unforgettable moment: our Archpastor acting as a successor to the Apostles, not as a self-proclaimed infallible princeling. The text from which he spoke that night is still available on this website, in the Reflections section.
Many years, Vladyka, many years!
#23 Sdn Henry Shirley--Orthodox Mission in West Bend, WI on 2007-06-28 13:16
What "we want" is for individuals like you to WAKE UP! How many times (7x70!) must it be pointed out that "forgiveness" does not equate with keeping the wicked and incompetent in positions of authority.
I continue to hope and pray that the bishops (collectively) do the right thing in July. They must demonstrate by concrete actions that they are following Christ, and are not the successors of Judas! The spiritual battle you reference is over that choice.
#24 Kenneth R. Tobin on 2007-06-28 14:07
We expect a cat to meow, a dog to bark, a bird to fly, and MH to stall, obfuscate, cheat and hide.
#25 Anonymous on 2007-06-28 15:18
I hold your Archbishop Job in great esteem and I pray that our Lord will remember him in His kingdom for all the love and humility he has shown. He is my hope. However, I am in the NY/Washington diocese and Iím still waiting........ and I am despondent knowing that I will wait indefinitely....
#26 Disgusted on 2007-06-28 17:19
You might wish to visit orthodoxwiki.org and explore the history of the OCA. It coudl be helpful to you in your understanding of the current situation.
#27 Marc Trolinger on 2007-06-28 20:21
One of the best editorials written thus far.
#28 Daniel E Fall on 2007-06-28 20:54
I'm quite awake. Awake to the fact that this is fundamentally a spiritual issue, and a spiritual battle.
I have written about forgiveness, yes. Why do you insist on jumping to conclusions regarding issues about which I have not written?
If you think by forgiveness I mean "turn a blind eye", you are both wrong about me and wrong about what forgiveness means.
Rdr. Alexander Langley
#29 Rdr. Alexander Langley on 2007-06-29 05:17
Thanks Marc. That was helpful, and very enlightening to this convert.
#30 Rdr. Alexander Langley on 2007-06-29 07:52
Most don't realize it, but Archbishop JOB drives to most engagements, including Syosset. And, for what it's worth, he typically drives himself.
Sdn. John Martin
Martin D. Watt, CPA (Inactive)
#31 Marty Watt on 2007-06-29 20:40
Thereís a lot to talk about this weekend with the flurry of releases from the Ivory Tower in Syosset, er, Oyster Bay Cove. Letís start with the release of MH arranging a meeting of the Synod to discuss the plans for the next AAC. In talking about this itís really a shrewd piece of propaganda put out by the lawyers. Herman has convened a meeting of the Synod (point 1 in the Midwest resolution) to discuss the plans for the AAC in 2008 (point 3 in the Midwest resolution). Nowhere is the real intent of the Synod meeting revealed and that he was forced into this by the JOB, but heís heeding the call for an AAC in 2008 and now there must be haste because its just 12-13 months off and no planning has been done. So, whatís the bottom line here? The Midwest, in what originally appeared to be a good resolution, has now provided the cover and agenda for the Synod meeting on the 31st in addition to the rationale for his wise guy move of making the meeting on the 31st. We have a bunch of guys flying in from all corners of the US to give their ok to the planning of the next AAC. Why not just have a conference call? Oh, thatís right, we need the meeting so that Herman can take glee in watching JOB hand him a nice check in front of the rest of the Synod. Like that picture someone posted, only this time the glee is all the more because itís from the hand of JOB.
Another striking item is his disregard for the annual FOCA convention which are set up at least 2 years in advance. The FOCA has basically arranged all the large pieces of the 2008 convention already so thereís not ample time for them to change it. People make their vacations plans around this convention. But, hey, Hermanís feeling is that if you want an AAC Iím going to screw the holiday plans of a lot of people (the FOCA people and the people who would attend an AAC) as a result. Another spiteful act in a long line by our archpastor-in-name-only. You want to try and do something that is really intended to hurt me? Iím going to make it as painful as possible for you. Doesnít he realize that typing his name is pain enough?
Yet again, Herman letís not good deed go unpunished. And yet again, weíve been had, this time the Midwest and its good intentions have given this conniving liar, cheat, and thief his cover. Heís presented an image of a man doing important things, convening the Synod to move an agenda for renewal through and all through the motivations of the Midwest resolution. Hillary needs to hire Herman, Kucynda, and PR if she intends to win Ė she can learn a lot from these guys. Kucynda, that intellectual genius, used the wrong word when he said ďfirewallĒ. Itís more like a moat with PR being the alligators patrolling the waters.
As this goes on further and Herman fights like a cornered animal, for those that read whatís going on here, thereís no doubt that this stuff is bad, very bad. For the vocal, caring minority we know that Herman and Kucynda are likely criminally involved in actions that the average church going person couldnít conceive. And yet, the majority of people in the OCA donít know, donít care, and donít want to do anything. A lot of them want to keep sending in money because the programs of the church might be hurt as a result of keeping money behind Ė only those that bury their heads in the sand or do not have reasoning capabilities would think THAT. Itís good to send in money to the Church, God will reward me, and I donít want to know whatís going on with my money. I just want to send it in, get the deduction, and thatís good enough for me, the IRS, and God who wants us to give and give generously. To those that donít care and donít want to do anything: are you going to take the place of all the work and money that those that care are going to leave for you to do when they leave this organization or are you going to be the first to cut and run? Do nothing, send in money, and when the thing implodes youíre the first to go another church? Herman and Kucynda arenít the only cowards in this. You really wonder how many of these people do the church thing just because the Sunday thing so ingrained in their ritualistic lives or just because the parents are alive and they want to please them and make it look like the grandkids are being brought up properly.
#32 Publius on 2007-06-30 09:45
From the Metropolitanís opening speech to the MC (June 12th):
"3. As a result of the findings of the investigators from Proskauer Rose LLP and of the independent audit work of the accountants from Lambrides, Lamos and Moulthrop LLP, it was deemed appropriate that our former chancellor, Protopresbyter Robert S. Kondratick, be summoned to a Church Court.
"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.Ē
Itís July 1st, some information on this should have been given already. Did they think that the current flood of releases would help us forget about this?
#33 Anon on 2007-06-30 21:01
I was disappointed by the results of the Midwest Council meeting as it appears to me that the Council simply revised the Palatine resolution rather than implemented it. The Central Administration takes only minimal, last minute steps to appease its critics and to buy itself time in hope that the scandal will fade away as people get worn out. (For example, the extraordinary session of the Synod was set at the very last minute for the very last day of July.) While the benchmarks set up by the diocese may be and most likely will be met, I donít see how they will necessarily change the current situation.
If nothing significant happens during the special Synod meeting and the Primate and his supporters remain in control, then what? The Midwest will have to remit July assessments.
If the report of the special commission is published and, as explosive as its findings are supposed to be, no real steps are taken to remove the offenders, then what? The Midwest will have to remit August assessments.
If Syosset comes up with some plan for the next All-American council in 2008, which is already scheduled for that year, then what? I donít need to continue.
As Mr. Stokoe reports, there will be no more meetings to debate the issue. However, what is the guarantee that after the investigation commission resumes its work, the Metropolitan will not change his mind in October or November and disperse it or dismiss anyone who happens to displease him? Do we continue to pay?
And what is a ďclearĒ plan for the next All-American Assembly? Who is to decide whether it is a ďclearĒ one, how and when, if no further discussion of the issue can occur?
I do not want to be pessimistic, stubbornly defiant or riotous, but someone recently compared the dynamic between Syosset and its critics with that between an abuser and a victim. The pattern of abuse is perpetuated by the abuserís temporary concessions to the victimís desperate demands for a change and the latterís resulting willingness to continue to tolerate the status quo. The Midwest Council's benchmarks are akin to such demands. There are presently no signs that this trend is about to change.
The operating principles of the Primate and his supporters are as foul as they are characteristic of autocrats: ďdivide and conquerĒ, ďtake no responsibilityĒ, ďthe best defense is a good offenceĒ and ďportray oneself as a victimĒ. For as long as the small group of people responsible for the present crisis remains in control nothing is going to change.
#34 Karina Ross on 2007-07-01 19:36
I recommend this book as well:
Also, Prof. Bogolepov's history of the American autocephaly is very helpful in understanding where the OCA came from canonically:
#35 Inga Leonova on 2007-07-03 07:56
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