Tuesday, August 7. 2007
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And now Fr Bob is deposed. So what do we have? Has anything changed? We are left with a corrupt Metropolitan who led a corrupt investigation, which has led to a corrupt verdict. Why don't I feel any better? Hooray, we now have financial best practices at the cost of our soul. Congratulations members of the Holy Synod, save two that did not vote for the deposition. Congratulations members of the spiritual court. I hope you all sleep well tonight.
I will now go and puke.
#1 Anonymous on 2007-08-07 11:06
We should remember to pray for him.
#2 Nathan on 2007-08-07 11:24
I undersand the sentiments of "Anonymous" above, though my reaction is somewhat different. I have something of a sense of relief. I agree that in the bigger picture, we must ask what really has changed, especially given what very little we know about the meeting of the Synod of Bishops. Nevertheless, something, however seemingly miniscule, has happened. Will an appeal result in a different decision? I doubt it. For one thing, there are politics, for another, I have confidence in my former professor, Fr John Erickson. Yes, he is directly under the Metropolitan; nevertheless, he has always been one, in my experience, to consider the evidence before him, be it historical or other.
Yes, this is a relatively small step. So much more needs to be done, but it is a step. SOMETHING did happen, and to cynically disregard that fact, is just that - cynicism, and it does us no good. In effect, in says that we have given up. Is that what has happened? Are we at the point where no matter what, we'll figure out how it doesn't really make a difference? It seems far more profitable to recognise positive steps, no matter how small they may be.
#3 Mark Harrison on 2007-08-07 11:29
Fr. Kondratick was the OCA. The magnitude of this makes this a remarkable and dark day. Two years ago if someone was to say today would bring this they would be termed "insane".
May God Bless Robert Kondratick for the good he did and have mercy on him for that which brought this on. We thank him for the good and are sorrowful at how it ended.
Now we can concentrate on the big fish.
#4 No rejoicing on 2007-08-07 11:53
So surprise, surprise, the sacrificial (but not exactly unblemished) offering is made to cleanse the defiled alters of Syosset. Now all is right with the OCA and our glorious mission of bringing uncorrupted Orthodoxy to North America can continue unhindered and unabated. Not!
Periodically, there are sanctimonious calls on this site, usually from amongst the clergy, to forgo judging others lest we fail to see the same sin in our own lives. I wonder if this same admonition applies to Metropolitan Herman et al?
#5 Kenneth R. Tobin on 2007-08-07 11:59
Lord have mercy! Lord have mercy! Lord have mercy!
A sad day.
#6 Athanasia on 2007-08-07 12:03
I doubt there is any joy from anyone in this verdict. We have known it was a foregone conclusion for a long time, now, ever since MH setup the PR report and controlled the SC. Nothing has really changed, just made official.
Let's all keep him in our prayers.
#7 Name withheld on 2007-08-07 12:10
"We are left with a corrupt Metropolitan..."
So it seems that Kondratick's supporters and detractors agree on something.
Does anyone know if there's any ability for (or precedent for) a vote of no-confidence in the Metropolitan at the upcoming All-American Council?
#8 Anonymous on 2007-08-07 12:23
Fr Bob does not need our prayers. Pray for all the poor priests who still have to work under such dysfunctional cowardly bishops who all benefited from his love but were not willing to accept any personal responsibility for their actions over the past 20+ years. What a bunch of Rip Van Winkles.
#9 Anonymous on 2007-08-07 12:26
How terribly sad that you erroneously insist the Metropolitan is corrupt as well as the Church Court proceedings.
Do you honestly think the 4 individuals who comprised the court as judges as well as Archbishop Nathaniel are making this up?
It's time to face the facts Anonymous. I hope the story can now be told, as painful as it probably will be, for you and other's to finally believe the truth.
No matter what our thoughts, I hope we can all remember RSK in our prayers.
#10 Michael Geeza on 2007-08-07 13:04
I pray that God in His loving mercy will be merciful to Fr. Bob and his family as they go thru this terrible time. I'm saddened by these events. The sadness I feel, though, is not that Fr. Bob had to go, but that he went alone!
#11 Anon on 2007-08-07 13:21
So, i'm confused. If someone asked Fr Kucynda why the 911 funds, charity collections, etc still arent disbursed, wouldnt he be obliged to answer?
(Editor's Note: Not in the OCA, it seems. What are they going to do, fire him? He serves at the pleasure of the Metropolitan, as "acting" treasurer, and the Metropolitan offers no objection to his continued stalling with these funds.)
#12 Anne on 2007-08-07 13:34
Of course the priests all need our prayers and the bishops too! I will happily join you in praying for them.
But how much greater need does Robert Kondratic have for our prayers and (in time) our forgiveness? The decision was probably the right thing, but we should take no joy from it. We have every right to be angry at what has happened but, in time, we must forgive and pray for Robert's soul. Would you not join me in praying for him?
#13 Nathan on 2007-08-07 13:46
I beg to differ. If this was a first step in the reformation and cleansing of the OCA, then you would be quite right. But I'm afraid it is intended to be the final act, and as such merely perpetuates the lie that Fr. Kondratick alone is responsible for the scandal, which I know you, and every other thinking person who follows this site, realize is nonsense. Rather than being cynical, I fear this is a realistic assessment.
#14 Kenneth R. Tobin on 2007-08-07 13:53
Two new comments have caught my attention:
First, this is a sad day. It must never be a day of rejoicing. We must never rejoice over verdicts of guilt. They should be a cause for sorrow, always, sorrow for the victims and sorrow for the guilty.
Second, RSK should be in our prayers. He is still an Orthodox Christian, he is still a human being, as much as the rest of us, in need of repentance, and one for whom Christ died. This isn't like promoting the rights of a perpetrator - this is our Christian obligation to see in even the "least of these my brethren" the Ikon of Christ. However disgusted we may be, however much we may justly desire to see justice done, we must desire the repentance of every sinner, "to do justice, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with [our] God."
Today is a sad day, and a day for prayer - for all involved, from every angle.
#15 Mark Harrison on 2007-08-07 14:00
SHAME! SHAME! SHAME! I said it all along that Fr Bob would be THE scapegoat for all the OCA problems. Was he involved? Probably. Was he the ONLY one involved? I highly doubt it.
For the Synod to actually state "The Holy Synod took this action with great sadness and with assurance of its prayers on behalf of the former Father Kondratick" is incredibly ludicrous. So the Holy Synod of Bishops, who are the appealing authority, have already made a decision. How can Fr Bob appeal this verdict when the Synod already made a decsion. This STINKS unlike anything else I've ever smelled.
I have now lost all respect in this organization and will leave it immediately.
To those of you whom I've bantered with over the last year +; including Mark Stokoe...I embrace what you tried to accomplish. Unfortunately, the intent of this website pushed the Metropolitan to make thoughtless decisions in order to cover his own rear end.
God bless all of you and your families.
#16 Michael Livosky on 2007-08-07 14:21
One guy gets axed and all of the others get away scot free?
This is good, how!?!?
#17 Yash Kandaets on 2007-08-07 14:21
I do believe it's a sad day. For a priest, the worst thing that could happen, is to be unable to serve. I feel for Fr. Bob but he is responsible for his actions. It's also a sad day because there are others who need to be held accountable for their actions. I fear this may not happen. Fr. Bob has been sacrificed while +Theodosius, +Herman, and Kucynda go their merry way. The truth has not been told. The bishops have proved themselves inept and lacking to be kind. And the bottom line remains, trust and credibility in the OCA has not been restored. Unless bold steps are taken, the OCA will continue to weaken from this scandal. Let's pray this isn't so.
#18 Andrew A. Lukashonak on 2007-08-07 14:28
If anyone knows anything about other's involvement within this sad chapter within the OCA's administration, I would think that person would be Fr. Bob Kondratick.
But I believe he has a lawyer and I don't know what type of advice this lawyer would give in terms of Fr. Bob telling the full story or truth to the public (us faithful). Unfortunately, this sad chapter appears to be dealing with the heavy legalities of misuse of money. I don't know if this would be in Fr. Bob's best "legal" interest to talk.
I don't think, however, that we are at the end of this story.
#19 Patty Schellbach on 2007-08-07 15:07
Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
Today on the Feast of the Annunication I will say that a small step has been accomplished. That a small light has shown through all of these days of the somber news on this web site.
As the comments will continue to be made please remember that Christ asks of each of us to pray for our enemies and to pray for ones who have tresspassed against us. Nathan I will be praying for Fr. Kondratic and his family, I truely don't believe that he acted solely alone in any of this mess that needs to be unfolded in Sysosset nor do I think that he should take the part of the scapegoat.
I want the truth to be known so that the hard working Orthodox Christians in the OCA can begin to rebuild what God has placed before us.....We have wasted such precious time all of these months on yearning for the truth.... as each day passes we move forward a bit and backwards some.... but overall I want to rebuild on a solid foundation with solid forth right leaders....
I will state that I am saddened though; because a Man had a vision one day while he was young, this vision was to become a Priest and to serve the Lord with all his might, to serve the Lord and to be an example to all of his followers of sheep to lead them into the fields and to multiply and to go forth and spread the news of their faith to hundreds of other sheeps, and now this vision is lost, gone and dead.......
Yes, Fr. Kondratic you are still my brother in christ, and I will pray for you, I hope that you will be saved through actions of repentence and that God will Grant his Mercy..... With love Irene
#20 Anonymous on 2007-08-07 15:57
Answer me this. Will your priest, Fr Paul Kucynda pay back the OCA every penny spent on him with trips to Russia and many other venues since such trips were one of the basis for money being spent in an "inappropriate" manner, so concluded the court?
How will your priest, Fr Paul Kucynda explain the many times he took cash to Russia? Did he confess his "crimes" to PR?
You are a blind as those who support Kondratick. Stop writing on this website. You got your pound of flesh. Go back to where you came from and grovel and the knee of Kucynda who was called "Judas" by the staff in Syosset and he still is.
When Herman and Kucynda are kicked out and defrocked, then we can begin to see the light at the end of the tunnel.
#21 Anonymous on 2007-08-07 16:15
Fr Bob is my friend and will always be my friend. He is friend to many more than the 70 priests who signed their "famous" letter. He is friend to Patriarchs, Metropolitans, Archbishops, Priests and Deacons around the world. He is a respected man because he lead with his heart and loved others to a fault. He is not the devil he has been painted on this website. Anyone who has met him and worked with him knows this to be true.
No, Father Bob's friends will always call him Fr. Bob. No "Robber Council" can take that away from him. As a layman, he is twice the priest of any of them that call themselves bishops.
Father Bob and Bette have always been in my prayers and will continue to be in them. God knows their heart and the intention of their actions, and in the end, that is all that counts.
You are a kind person Nathan. God be with you.
#22 Just One of the Many Friends of Fr Bob. on 2007-08-07 16:49
You're kidding, right?
So you didn't get the answer you wanted and now you are throwing a temper tantrum and leaving the OCA. Don't you get it; the devil is trying to destroy the OCA by splitting us apart. This is not a new tactic on satan's part. Read the lives of the Saints and see how the devil throughout history tried to split the church through varies ways. The devil has thousands of years of experience dealing with man and devising ways to destroy us. We have to stick together. In the end the insanity of this scandal will be dealt with in full by God. In the meantime we need to do our part as Orthodox Christians and defend our faith and Christ's church in America.
As I said before, the grass ain't greener on the other side of the Orthodox fence....they have their problems too, just not as big as the OCA's right now.
Peace my friend.
#23 Anonymous on 2007-08-07 16:57
serendipitously we read in the next chapter: "And the Lord said unto Cain, Where is Abel thy brother? And he said, I know not: Am I my brother's keeper?.......And he said, What hast thou done? the voice of thy brother's blood crieth unto me from the ground.......And now thou art cursed from the earth, which hath opened her mouth to receive thy brother's blood from thy hand.......When thou tillest the ground, it shall not henceforth yield unto thee her strength; a fugitive and vagabond shalt thou be in the earth"
#24 Luke on 2007-08-07 17:08
So that's it, right? Problem solved - we can all go home!
Excuse me now, I have to go take care of my fleet of porcine aviators.
#25 Wayne Matthew Syvinski on 2007-08-07 17:21
May God have mercy on Protopresbyter Rodion in His Heavenly Kingdom. And may He have mercy on all of us who have been foolish enough to be our neighbors judge and jury.
#26 Priest Matthew on 2007-08-07 17:44
It is interesting that the charges that led to the deposition of the former Chancellor were not mentioned in the OCA press release. This may be common practice, I do not know, but one would think that the basis if not the specifics of this decision would have been mentioned. This does fit the continuing pattern of releasing as little information as possible.
#27 David Paynter on 2007-08-07 17:51
Without a doubt, most of us would agree that Fr. Bob is a likable guy. We always felt he was congenial and pleasant and a smile always accompanied his greetings. He never passed us by without a warm hello. It is with great sadness that I admit, even though we never saw the evidence against him, it must have been damaging enough to cause this event to take place. My thoughts and prayers are with him and his family and it is without a doubt that the oca has lost a charismatic member. However, this is not the time to use this incident as an excuse to, as they say, “hang it up.” This incident has caused all of us to be on the same side. Now is the opportunity for us all to band together and express our wishes for a new administration. Some of us may feel we have lost ground but in reality we’ve reached a new point. Time heals all wounds and if this is true, Fr. Bob will do well and his friends will be there for him. Now the rest of us need to assure that those who were a part of the organization when he was Chancellor are all retired and a new connotation can be put on the word Syosset that is neither evil or negative.
#28 E.F. on 2007-08-07 17:53
No, I'm NOT kidding. And it's apparent to me that you've never met or had the opportunity to meet Fr Bob and Matushka Betty. As the commenter said above...they are my friends and he will always be Fr Bob to me, period. I will ALWAYS appreciate Fr Bob for who he is and not what this website has portrayed him as.
As for the temper tantrum; you also don't know me. This has nothing to do with the devil or anyone else. Furthermore, this isn't about the grass being greener anywhere. This is about the grass in the OCA.....and it's brown and dying a quick death. I'm not about selling one person up the river for the "betterment of the church." Come talk to me when both Metropolitans and all the Bishops and current/former members of the MC are given the same punishment that Fr Bob has received.
This is one man who's taking his stand against the crap going on in Syosset.
#29 Michael Livosky on 2007-08-07 18:43
The Lord executes righteous and justice for the oppressed. He upholds the widows and the fatherless,but the way of the wicked He will bring to ruin! May sinners be consumed from the earth and the wicked be no more. Bless the Lord, O my soul! Praise the Lord! Talk of all His wondrous works! He is the Lord our God; His judgements are in all the earth. Brothers and Sisters Amen!!
#30 Withheld as an anonymous deacon on 2007-08-07 19:01
I seems to be that the dynasty that herman started 25 years ago is starting to crumble little by little, people by people. How muck longer will the oca be able to exist while having the bishops and clergy preaching the word of God and yet showing the practices of the devil. I for one feel saddened, for the true church of the oca began dying so many years ago, and noone with the proper authority was able to stop it before getting completely out of control. In the Liturgy we pray " for the peace of the whole world, for the welfare of the holy churches of God, and for the union of all, let us pray to the Lord", we DO NOT even have unity in our own church, some churches are celebrating the Julian calendar some celebrate the New Revised Julian canlendar (whatever that may be). How can we pray for unity when we have our own division. I have seen many things in my life, and I can't help but wonder how much more there is to come for me to see before the Good Lord takes me away. Herman has destroyed the oca church in Pa. and is doing a fine job of following his trend while being the met. throughout the whole oca. He has a protodeacon who collects double pay one from being director of St. Tikhon's bookstore and a check from the diocese. Sweet deal, I am glad that I worked so many years on one check just to be able to survive month by month. Our beloved monastary (which as a child and my youth enjoyed visiting and working on) is falling apart, roof leaking, floors lifting up the muti-million $ dorm looks as though its a hundred years old with no up keep on the inside, yet herman lives in a big beautiful house. Fr. Bob, as mentioned before on this page and I agree may not be completly innocent, but there is NO WAY that he could be responsible for this on his own. There are other fish to fry, however, the fryer is the man in charge. PERSONAL NOTE TO HERMAN: Joe time to become a man, make the bed that you lay in, for the good of the church and not yours, retire, resign, be honest or whatever it takes to bring Orthodoxy back to the faithful who are suffering! We need to teach the young men who enter seminary how to become a priest, how to serve and cater to the people, learn liturgics, learn slavonic, keep our traditions of our ancestors alive. Money is the root of all evil and I believe that is showing here. No jurisidition is perfect, however, problems are addressed quickly and resolved properly. This is a shame and disagrace how the hierarch play us like puppets to cover their own faults. God save us!
#31 Stephan on 2007-08-07 19:10
Michael Livosky asks: "So the Holy Synod of Bishops, who are the appealing authority, have already made a decision. How can Fr Bob appeal this verdict when the Synod already made a decsion?"
Art. XI (4) (i) of the statute provides: "Judgments requiring the final deposition (defrocking) of clerics are effective only upon their confirmation by the Holy Synod."
It would seem this provision exists in some tension with the Holy Synod's appellate role. Perhaps the answer is that they would expect that in any contentious case, a judgment of deposition would always be appealed, in which case the Holy Synod would decide whether to confirm the depositon in the course of deciding the appeal.
#32 Edmund Unneland on 2007-08-07 19:41
Leaving the OCA certainly is an option, but it doesn't necessarily mean joining another jurisdiction of Orthodoxy or another religion. Many of us will stand on the sidelines as observers with the hope that matters will right themselves so that OCA can move forward. In the meantime, we no longer give financial support to the robber barrons in Syosset. They will no longer play with my donations.
#33 Anon on 2007-08-07 19:59
Even if a person’s sin is not only obvious, but very grievous and comes from a hardened and unrepentant heart, do not condemn him, but raise your eyes to the wondrous and incomprehensible judgments of God; then you will see that many people, formerly full of iniquity, later repented and reached a high degree of sanctity, and that, on the other hand, others, who were on a high level of perfection, fell into a deep abyss. Take care, lest you also suffer this calamity through judging others.
- St. Theophan the Recluse
#34 joe on 2007-08-07 20:17
This "chat" is sounding more like a bad "reality" TV show rather than as a forum for members of the body of Christ.
Move past the this decision and look to the next opportunity for truth... the release of the full report by the Metropolitan. He is being encouraged by +Job and the one thing that seems to move the Imperial Court in Syosett... money in the form of withheld dues.
Pray for ALL the players and look to the possibility of either reforming the OCA as a valid jurisdiction, or joining another... parish by parish, diocese by diocese...
#35 Alex Kreicbergs on 2007-08-07 20:30
We have just watched, in living color, a den of thieves sacrifice one of their own to save their skins. They did it to countless others over the last two decades and now they are doing it to themselves. This lesson reveals the nature of a sin that becomes endemic to an administration of any kind, but most telling to an allegedly "Christian" administration. This sin is haughty, resilient, relentless in its persistence, self-righteous in its claims, self-serving in its actions, addicted to authoritarian structures, and most telling, demeaning in its view of other human beings - others made in the image and likeness of God in Trinity. Only when the laity wakes from its horrible lethargy and stops sending money to support this sin will the perpetrators finally leave for greener pastures. Stop the exploitation by ceasing to fund these power-mongers; they will scatter. They're not following Christ, but they are following a god alright - themselves.
#36 Anon. on 2007-08-07 20:47
Thank you so much. Said well. RSK is in my prayers.
#37 AW on 2007-08-07 20:59
Well, what a week. The leadership, Syosset, had there chances and choices. What is alleged to have occured and could be continuing has been indirectly confirmed now.
In my opinion, the issues/scandals were just too big for the administration to deal with on any level except openly, honestly, and in a timely manner.They choose not to and got caught in spinning, stalling, and stonewalling.
Because of a concerned and interested laity the administration could not even avoid the issues/scandals let alone hide. Thanks to high tech and this website. I mentioned in earlier posts that Mr. Stoke is due for a GRAMOTA for his efforts. He may have saved or at least helped save the OCA.Furthermore, because of pressure on the OCA by this website potential lawsuits and even prison may have passed certain individuals.
As far as Fr. Rob, he may have well been a faithful priest for years but went astray. Do I think he acted alone, no. Did others know and were afraid to act in a forthright manner, yes. This includes but is not limited to fellow priests, office workers, as well as family members. This is not the end yet. Futhermore, think about all the real poor and needy INNOCENT children outside the US. A little financial help could have made a difference in their lives.Yes, a choice between even living and dying.Now everything is tainted.This is not the fault of a website.
Many people of written about the tale of a king with no clothes. I wondered years ago looking at pictures of various trips our leadership went on.Were did this vestments come from? Furthermore, can we as a church have some sort of agreement as to what stealing is. Perhaps, the ethics professors at our seminaries can address this.
And finally, if my son or daughter attended an event for example, the pilgrimage to St.Tikhon, and hid and perhaps stolen from an offering plate would I want to know. Should the monastery know. Should my children be disciplined and punished. What if I joined in on this evil deed but blame others. Or if I saw something and turned a blind eye. You know where I am going with this scenario. Let's get back to basics.
Forgive me a sinner.
#38 a concerned orthodox christain on 2007-08-07 21:01
"Fr Bob does not need our prayers."
What a horrific and terribly unorthodox and unchristian thing to say! When is the last time you read the scriptures?!
EVERYONE is in need of EVERYONE'S prayers! Do you not pray for "all mankind"? You, surely, are in my prayers!
#39 AW on 2007-08-07 21:06
Now it's time to get what is owed to you , wrongful termination and the promissary note. Ask to see all the docs MH made up.Go get the man in the big white hat. God Bless you RSK.
#40 Anonymous on 2007-08-08 03:35
No fan of Robert Kondratick, the verdict and his deposition from the priesthood leave me numb and empty. We’ve lost an opportunity to show compassion. You can never go wrong with compassion. The sentence seems to me to be counterproductive. The verdict will harden peoples’ hearts and polarize the church for a long time.
Would it not have been wiser to have suspended him for a short period of time, say six months, and then assign him for a period of three years to a remote parish in the Pribilof Islands in the Bering Sea? There in the remoteness and in solitude he would have ample opportunity to reflect, contemplate, recollect and to accept the Prayer of Manasseh as well as to find himself by serving a small and humble people of God thereby gaining rehabilitation and restoration in the true sense.
"O Lord, God of our salvation, Who relent in punishing our wicked deeds (Joel 2.13) and desire not the death of a sinner, but rather that he turn to You and live (Ezek 18.23), come now and comfort Your servant, Robert (Ps 89.13)".
#41 Terry C. Peet on 2007-08-08 04:28
Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
While there certainly has been a great deal of politics surrounding this decision, I believe that our former Chancellor was in fact guilty of many and serious violations of his trust and his office, and that the decision to depose him was both terribly sad and sadly correct.
Does he have friends? Yes. Many. I would consider myself one of them. He helped me resolve a problem in 1989, for which I will always be grateful.
However, while having friends, helping people, and doing good may be MITIGATING circumstances, they are not exonerating ones.
Moreover, it appears that the former Chancellor did many things for his friends at the expense of his obligations to the Church as a whole. It is inexcusable for him to do this, and it is improper for anyone to accept any benefit which is given in this context.
Please bear with me, as I would like to make what I consider to be a very important point. The Chancellor is an administrative officer of the Metropolitan. The Chancellor does not have any authority which is his own; His authority comes from the Metropolitan. It is axiomatic that, while you can delegate AUTHORITY, you CANNOT DELEGATE RESPONSIBILITY. The Metropolitan is, inescapably and by virtue of his office, responsible for the actions of his Chancellor and administrative staff.
Therefore, unless it can be demonstrated that (1) the Metropolitans exercised reasonable and proper oversight and due diligence in monitoring the actions of the Chancellor AND (2) that in spite of that the Chancellor misled and deceived them in regard to what he was doing - both Metropolitan THEODOSIUS and Metropolitan HERMAN are responsible for the Chancellor's actions, just as if they had carried out these actions themselves.
I think perhaps that, the Metropolitans were not only NOT deceived by the Chancellor, but that they themselves benefited from his actions.
Whether or not this is the case, it is clear that the decision of the spiritual court to recommend Fr Kondratic's deposition, and the concurrence of the Holy Synod with this decision, themselves constitute evidence against both our current and our former Metropolitan.
If this reality is addressed, our Church can move on, recover from its wounds, and perhaps even become stronger through the experience. If it is not, it will remain a crippling wound, robbing our central Church administration of the ethical foundation required for it to lead us, or to provide positive leadership and influence in American and world Orthodoxy.
with love in Christ,
#42 Fr Andrew on 2007-08-08 05:36
I totally agree. Deposition of a priest is an extraordinary event, especially in this case. And to not have the evidence, or at least the charges, presented to the body of the OCA is a travesty. That, to me, points more fingers to more people and that means more trouble in the future.
#43 Bob Kovalak on 2007-08-08 06:53
We are called to prayer for mercy for Fr. Kondratick.
Perhaps we could also pray that his heart will be softened and his eyes divinely opened to pray for those who have deposed him, and all those who have (whether rightfully or wrongfully) brought about his deposiiton.
Prayer for the one who suffers, whether undergoing godly discipline or demonic persecution, is always trumped in God's eyes, by the prayers of the one who suffers praying for those who have inflicted that suffering, no matter how righteous or unrighteous the judgment.
This is the mercy that is not strained, but flows like a healing fountain that rains on all from God who is no respecter of persons. The prayers of Fr. Kondratick for those who have deposed him could now be the divine spark that could begin the healing
of the OCA, breaking down the walls of silence to reveal the whole truth, bringing repentance to the hearts of all who have sinned and showing that the the Lord triumphs over evil, not with vengeance, but by love.
Could it be so?
#44 Karen Jermyn on 2007-08-08 07:09
Thank you Father Andrew. Your post is perhaps the most concise and accurate statement to date that explains the reality of the ongoing crisis in the OCA and how it can be resolved. May our Lord continue to guide and bless you.
#45 Marc Trolinger on 2007-08-08 07:10
Thank you, Your Eminence, Archbishop Nathaniel, members of the Spiritual Court, and Dr. Skordinski for your prayerful labor in the grave matter of the spiritual court concerning the former Fr. Kondratick. RSK deserved the judgment that was given out by this court. The damage he caused during his years as Chancellor still reverberates throughout the OCA.
Attention, Your Beatitude, MH+, all members of our Holy Synod, Syosset staff, especially our new Chancellor, Fr. Garklavs, and our still-acting Treasurer, Fr. Kucynda, and all members of our Metropolitan Council. The crisis is not over! The spiritual and moral crisis continues. Many swam in the polluted atmosphere around our former-Chancellor. Have they answered for their acts and inaction?
I do not see transparency. I will not give to any appeals from Syosset nor support our Central Administration until transparency and good stewardship reign. Our financial gifts will go directly to those in need, to our monasteries, to charities until our confidence is destroyed.
Deep within is the spiritual crisis, years of neglect by our hierarchs in many of our dioceses – or worse. Your Beatitude, you should resign. Now is the time to retire. Your flock is wounded and weary – and you are incapable of being their shepherd.
I pray for RSK and his family. I pray for our hierarchs, for our clergy, for our faithful.
Lord, have mercy on me a sinner!
is there a scandal or a civil war going on? now we have "mr. robert, soon we will have mr. herman, mr. job, mr. nikolai, mr. nathaniel, even mr. theodosius ect. we will be sure to pray for all of you. oh yea, we look forward for the blessing. this has become a house of cards and the wind is about to blow. it"s about time you reap what you sow. anonymous because the "cia" of the oca is still watching.
#47 Anonymous on 2007-08-08 07:17
I think you make a good point in your comments about the responsibility ultimately being with the metropolitans.
Is the Special Commission still functioning to investigate this mess?
By the way, are us faithfu supposed to know the charges against Fr. Bob? Or is that "secret"?
Again, I think Fr. Bob is a walking data bank of all that occured at Syosset. But with a lawyer, money, and legalities involved, he may not speak on this further. We will have to see.
#48 Patty Schellbach on 2007-08-08 07:21
"We need to teach the young men who enter seminary how to become a priest, how to serve and cater to the people, learn liturgics, learn slavonic, keep our traditions of our ancestors alive."
You obviously have never been through a seminary. Being an Orthodox priest is not about catering to the people. And in America, it is definitely not about learning Slavonic.
#49 Anonymous on 2007-08-08 07:43
Let this be a lesson to all of us. Make sure that our parishes are in order. Be sure that you have your Annual Parish Meeting, and that you elect new officers when they are due. Fill vacancies on your council when they occur thus not leaving an office vacant for months or years. Have a Treasurer who is accountable to the people that frequently shows either monthly, or quarterly or semi-annual balances as well as the annual financial reports.
Let us not be negligent and disregard having annual meetings for any reason. Only the Treasurer and assistant should have the check book and make the payments. No matter how willing a parishioner or the priest may be to do these things in his stead, it sets up a situation for problems and questions. For their own protection, leave the job to your bonded Treasurer.
If we do not have our own parishes in order, we are very wrong to criticize others in the central administration. Furthermore, we are diluting ourselves in thinking that we are not subject to the same financial irregularities of which our leaders are accused. There is really no excuse for us to not be accountable also.
#50 Fides on 2007-08-08 07:58
Thank you, Fr. Andrew, for your most helpful words.
You have stated with clarity and precision something we all need to be very sure we fully understand, both in the description of the current situation and its logical implications.
The Chancellor is the administrative officer of the Metropolitan. The Metropolitan is, inescapbaly and by virtue of his office, responsible for the actions of his Chancellor and administrative staff.
Unless the Metropolitan, despite exercising due diligence in monitoring the actions of the Chancellor, was completely deceived by the Chancellor, both Metropolitans Theodosius and Herman are responsible for the Chancellors actions, just as much as if they had carried them out themselves.
Whatever the Chancellor's actions were they have now been judged to be sufficiently wrong as to warrent his deposition.
If Metropolitans Theodosius and Herman cannot effectively demonstrate that they were so successfully deceived by their Chancellor regarding his actions, whatever wrongdoing he did that was suffient to warrent the deposing of him is equally suffient to warrent the deposing of Metropolitan's Theodosius and Herman.
The recommendation of the spiritual court to recommend the Chancellor's deposition, and the concurrence of the Holy Synod's with the decision, represent the presence of evidence sufficient to warrent in effect "indightment" of Metropolitan's Theodosius and Herman for the same wrongdoing.
If Metropolitans Theodosius and Herman, or their delegated representatives, do not step forward now to address the reality of the situation, the disastrous consequences to the OCA can be clearly forseen.
It would seem to me that the summary and implications which you have offered are undeniable.
I recommend your comments be read and reflected upon by everyone before they make any further comment in this forum.
#51 Jean Langley Sullivan on 2007-08-08 08:26
Your point is? Is this directed at MH or me?
Just to be clear--there is entirely too much talk on this site about being non-judgmental without explaining what that means. It does not mean, for a Christian, refusing to evaluate someone's performance, statements, actions, etc. It does mean leaving the ultimate judgment on that person's soul and salvation to God.
So in that context, it is entirely appropriate to say that Fr. Kondratick is longer fit to serve the Church by informed observers in possession of enough facts to support such a conclusion. It is hypocritical and unacceptable for his chief accuser, MH, to do so, when he is so deeply compromised by all that has happened.
Telling the laity and parish clergy "not to judge, lest they be judged," has in my view become a device to silence criticism and protect the guilty. Fortunately, few are now falling for this highly offensive misuse of Scripture.
PS: I would like to alter "alters" to "altars!"
#52 Kenneth R. Tobin on 2007-08-08 09:15
You made your point. Please re-read what I wrote. I am quite Orthodox and know the power of prayer. Calm down and breath deep. Now, that's better, right?
#53 Anonymous on 2007-08-08 09:33
Fr. Andrew, you took the words right out of my mouth. Amen, amen, amen.
I only hope that the investigative commission is allowed to continue its work. I fear that one of the reasons that Met. Herman "suspended" it and so far has not rescended that decision, is that he fears where further investigation will lead. To both him and Met. Theodosius.
I was very much in support of the deposition of Fr. Kondratick, but I have to admit I am saddened. I am sure he defined himself as a priest. And he had been the "Man in Charge" for so many years, it must be beyond painful. And let's remember that his mother died almost on the day the verdict was rendered.
So, while I believe the correct action was taken, it saddens me on a personal level. I will remember Mr. Kondratick and his family in my prayers.
I hope this is only the first step in restoring spiritual health to the OCA.
Fr. Schmemann pray for the OCA you worked so hard to bring into existence. St. Patriarch Tikhon, pray for your former missionary diocese.
#54 Linda Weir on 2007-08-08 10:08
Thank you for your very considered response. I can't agree with you more. It is this lack of responsibility which is so severely undermining the Church today.
My concern is that the current administration will continue to control any investigative process to avoid their probable culpability. To be honest, I am at the point now that I think it would be better for outside authorities to investigate the financial misdeeds of the various OCA administrations.
For those of us raised with a very high sense of the Episcopal Office, what has transpired and continues to occur erodes our capability for both personal forgiveness and financial generosity.
I feel particular sadness for our clergy who are more intimately tied to their bishops, and whom must see, unless they refuse to look, the terrible damage that has been wrought by their material and spiritual dishonesty.
#55 David Paynter on 2007-08-08 10:53
Bravo! Excellent statement, Father Andrew, and down to the point! What is next?
#56 Anonymous on 2007-08-08 12:28
forgive me for coming from old school, roughly about 80 years worth. If not catering to the people, for the religious and spiritual life, to help in time of need, darkness, sadness after losing a family member than I don't understand why have the priest. I am first generation to this country, who speaks russian, knows slavonic, for I was raised in that atmosphere. The oca is the orthodox church in america, however not the only one, look back at history, it was not founded by americans. immigrants who worked hard for living, to keep what TRADITIONS they know and had alive. (This is all gone in the oca). I would say atleast 60% of the students are converts into orthodoxy, why must we change for them. As my father said many, many years ago. The church doesn't change for anything or anyone, people change for the church. The Orthodox church (except the oca) is the most traditional church in existance, why throw everything away. Why go on a list as anonymous to say something, be straight forward and let people know who you are. There is no man to fear, the only fear that we have is the fear of God. My time is done, I have done what I could for my physically through out my life, now I am not capable of doing so. I say morning, noon and evening prayers. ( how many people still abide by this) I keep the fast days strict as we were taught as children, I am capable of driving to the services at all times, no matter what is happening in the world around me. How many young people know the feasts days, when they are, there importance. This would be catering to the people, teach them what they do not know, for noone can learn all by themselves. I raised my family on strict teachings, I am proud to say that they know their faith, perhaps not everything, but they know more than these students and priest that are out here today. You don't have to attend seminary to know what the priest duties are. Better yet, perhaps you can enlighten my on what they are- anonymous?
#57 Anonymous on 2007-08-08 12:54
I'm not sure where to begin. I too am a "deposed" priest from the OCA. My circimstances stemmed from a small church in the midwest that failed after 25 years in existance. I worked an outside job and leaving the area to take another church was not an option fro me. I hsd no choice but to ask for a release. It is very disheartening to me that my parish was allowed to fail while all of this was going on.... No wonder there where/are no funds to help our struggling churches and dedicated priests.
#58 Anonymous on 2007-08-08 13:09
Please enlighten us all to the other Orthodox jurisdictions that are having problems. I have belonged to two other jurisdicitons since leaving an OCA parish who had its own financial scandal.
Both of my experiences have strict acocuntability. Where the OCA had not and still has none.
Please, what what you know Anon.
#59 Robert Holowach on 2007-08-08 19:55
Thank you for speaking up Father. The landscape is littered with victims of the abuse coming out of Syosset for the last two decades. All who were abused need to start speaking up. Perhaps that can become part of the healing process. It would be nice for someone in authority to eventually say "I am sorry for your mistreatment. What can we do in the way of restitution?" Wouldn't it? I await such a miracle myself but have low expectations.
#60 Anon. on 2007-08-08 20:25
Financial mismanagement is something owned by everyone.
Graft is something owned by the thief.
According to the rambling Bishop of the West now retired, the state of nonpayment of charities was well known in 2002 against the 2001 charity collections. This means everyone who had the compilations (assuming the rest of the Synod and Council had it) bears an equal responsibility.
The Synod owes us a full reporting, including the ADM monies or the withholding of assessments to both the Diocese and the central church should be full and forthwith.
The apology to Dn Wheeler is still missing.
The repeal of the 1999 bylaw allowing the Bishops discretionary accounts is late.
A prayer for Fr. Kondratick is needed, but it sure would be good to hear from him.
#61 Daniel E. Fall on 2007-08-08 21:51
I re-read your comment, took a deep breath, and CONTINUE to keep you in my prayers.
From your comment, I dont think you DO understand prayer and I will no longer respond to anymore posts like this. It just becomes sinful.
Also, your sarcasm is not needed nor appreciated.
#62 AW on 2007-08-09 07:03
I don't think we need to do away with discretionary accounts. I do think they need to a) have a set budgeted amount each year and b) they MUST be audited by the standard practice for such accounts (which reveals no names or situations). A possible c) is that the account may only be used for certain purposes--such as aiding those in need, not for new vestments, books, etc.
I have seen such accounts do much good and operate without problems, but the rules have to be tight.
I can't imagine why a bishop would need more than $2500 in a discretionary account, and probably not that much.
#63 Kevin Nikolai Payne on 2007-08-09 10:50
Neither you or His Beatitude, but rather to me.
The words of this (non-sanctimonious) Saint are good directions to guide me away from the direction a lot of people are traveling on this site.
I wonder what the OCA would be (will be?) like if or when reformers like yourself are control of this jurisdiction. As has been said before, the cure(s) that you and your ilk propose are worse than the disease.
Time for me to fly!
#64 joe on 2007-08-09 19:22
In my mind, it is when we see that apology to Dn Wheeler that we'll know the tide has turned.
#65 Rachel Andreyev on 2007-08-09 19:44
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