Thursday, August 16. 2007
Display comments as (Linear | Threaded)
I have been waiting for this comments section to go up so that I could post a proper “Thank you” to Archbishop JOB and all the clergy and lay members of the Diocese of the Midwest. Your action in withholding funds from Syosset has given me more hope for the future of the OCA than I have had in months. God bless you and keep you as you persevere down this path. You are bearing the burdens of many.
I can’t help but note that when I read the writings of +JOB I hear the voice of the Shepherd. I stranger’s voice I will not follow—but this is a voice I could follow with my whole heart. You in the Midwest are very blessed to have such a Bishop (and I still believe there are other Bishops in the OCA who are also worthy).
#1 Cathryn Tatusko on 2007-08-16 15:25
Slowly, slowly, slowly ...
At least we're inching in the right direction.
Having been out of the country and far away from news for over three weeks, I'm surprised by my own optimism in catching up. Yes, the situation remains awful. Yes, it's a tragedy. No, certain key figures still don't seem to 'get it.' But ... well, we have to fix things -- there's no alternative, it's too important to just leave alone. And, eventually, necessity will triumph over adversity.
The new chancellor's column in TOC was encouraging. The publicity and action surrounding the mess in Alaska is encouraging (in a rather bleak way, but still encouraging). That the midwest if following through and withholding is encouraging. Even the recent publication of the detaied audit notes is encouraging.
But it's still going to be a painful slog.
#2 Rebecca Matovic on 2007-08-17 06:48
I hate to burst your bubble of good feelings but what is happening right now is that Fr Kucynda is scrambling to come up with some sort of "special investigation" report that can get the Midwest money flowing again. However he must be very careful because there is no way that the entire report can be distributed. Why? Because PR has given orders that it must not be disseminated in public form. Why? Because they do not want their work to be part of any discovery process in any forthcoming legal proceedings.
That is the same reason that the Spiritual Court did not want any record. However minutes were taken and do exist, but no one has seen them except Perry, Herman and Kucynda. Not even the Holy Synod.
In addition, if that legal proceeding takes place, Kucynda will be legally culpable for his manipulation of the investigation. Emails exist, conversations can be verified and people called in either a Grand Jury investigation or a full blown lawsuit will testify to the level of manipulation by Herman and Kucynda in PR investigation and the "special investigation" which wasn't that special and wasn't at all an investigation of what went on in Syosset.
Also, remember this, there is no way that Kucynda and Herman will EVER let Nescott back on the SI. Why? Because they know he will keep digging and digging which will lead to Herman, Kucynda and many others.
Let the acid test be RIGHT NOW that Job adds an addendum to his benchmarks.......Nescott must be part of the SI and it must be unfettered. That won't happen and thus, if Job caves in to a compromise, it will be a huge step backwards.
If Job plays ball with Kucynda and jettisons Nescott, then he is no better than any of the rest of them.
#3 A Senior Priest of the OCA on 2007-08-17 09:58
I could let the whole reality of what appears to be growing chaos in the OCA depress me, but I won't. There is much good for each of us to do.
We do not need to be ordained to pray and minister to others. However, ordained clergy are part of the order that the Lord has prescribed for us, and we certainly need order, and shepherds. So while we struggle to keep our faith (I say it is truly a struggle some days), let us weep for the sins of our hierarchs and priests and all the clergy, and those around us, and ourselves....and keep walking in faith.
St. Paul called it "the good fight". A fight entails bruises, bleeding, pain and second-guessing at times, taking blows from the prince of the powers of the air, who often seems to be working through weak people around us.
God, help us!
And unto His Eminence Archbishop JOB, who's leadership never ceases to reassure and amaze me and others....
EIS POLLA, ETI DHESPOTA!!!
EIS POLLA, ETI DHESPOTA!!!
EIS POLLA, ETI DHESPOTA!!!
Rdr. Alexander Langley
#4 Rdr. Alexander Langley on 2007-08-17 11:45
No burst bubble ... I'm not deluded that this is going to go smoothly nor that those committed to surpressing the truth and maintaining whatever they can salvage of the status quo will stop using every mechanism available, both straightforward and devious, to do so.
But so long as there are a few good bishops, many good priests, and multitudes of faithful laity ... somehow, some way the institution will eventually be conformed to its true mission.
#5 Rebecca Matovic on 2007-08-17 13:50
The issue of manipulation is the issue for me that does not seem to be going away.
Are we destined to move on in the OCA without knowing all the facts that others know?
+JOB's withholding funds until we know more of the truth is the boldest move so far in breaking through this thick, course fog of manipulation. I hope Gregg Nescott will be part of the Special Investigation. I thought he was reinstated on the SI. He was not?
(Editor's Note: While Mr. Nescott had been officially reinstated to his Diocesan and the Metropolitan Councils by the late Archbishop Kyrill, Metropolitan Herman has not formally reinstated Nescott to the Special Investigation Commission. The Commission as a whole, however, has remained "temporarily suspended" for the past 5 months. And there are no plans to reactivate it for another 2.5 months, at least. )
#6 Patty Schellbach on 2007-08-17 14:29
If +JOB is very persistent, then maybe, and hope against hope, he will break through this thick veil of manipulation. This would be a great moral and ethical victory. Once this manipulation is broken through, I believe it will be very difficult to go back to. To me, this will be very important because I believe the breaking of this manipulative spirit is the biggest obstacle in righting this waivering OCA ship.
#7 Patty Schellbach on 2007-08-17 18:33
Thank God! Finally, the flow of cash to fund the dysfunctional is slowing down. This must happen and it must hurt. Don't be tempted to have pity on the moaning and whining that is sure to follow. Much guilt will be heaped upon the Midwest, but please stay the course. Demand accountability with teeth and integrity. Only then will the wrongdoers scurry for fresh meat to fleece. Remember, greedy people don't like to suffer. Instead, they will seek new sources of cash to fund their predilictions and cover their many sins. The age of narcissism within the OCA is coming to an end, hopefully. The laity must wake up and stop funding false piety and guilt-mongers. We pray for a new age of true spirituality, courage and godly leadership, full of the Holy Spirit - "You shall know them by their fruits."
#8 Anon. on 2007-08-17 18:49
A very interesting and realistic message, unfortunately, for those of us who are perpetual optimists. Your opinion is that Mr. Nescott will never be allowed to return to the Special Investigative Commission, and you give very cogent reasons why you believe this. You are probably correct.
My question is, why does that matter? There is nothing magic about this straw man commission, set up by Met. Herman and completely under his control like a puppet dancing for the one who pulls the strings. Mr. Nescott is intelligent, experienced, resourceful, and focused, so quite capable of operating, if need be, and if he so chooses, outside the commission.
In fact, it seems that the Metropolitan does himself a disservice by removing Mr. Nescott, on the grounds that in certain types of circles, the procedure is to keep one's enemies even closer than one's friends.
#9 Cate on 2007-08-18 08:05
re: " The age of narcissism within the OCA is coming to an end, hopefully."
One can hope that this Age of Narcissism is ending for the hierarchs and clergy of the OCA due to the troubles that they have brought upon themselves, but the spirit of this Age is only gaining strength amongst the laity.
#10 Anonymous on 2007-08-18 13:15
I'm not one bit glad to see the Midwest's announcement of withholdings, but I understand (to steal a phrase from a comedian about another subject).
Bishop Job requested a repeal of the 1999 resolution allowing for unauditable discretionary accounts, which was a personal requirement I had established before I would support any Palatine Resolutions. This has happened.
After reading the letter from Senior Priest, I think it is important to note this as probable legal advice received from PR.
I have to trust that Abp. Job has enough information to discount this in his decision to withhold and I support him fully as I'm sure do nearly 100% of the laity of the Midwest.
#11 Daniel E. Fall on 2007-08-18 22:36
Agreed, the sheep have been funding the predilections of the shepherds, who long ago laid down their leadership staffs and frolicked wantonly while the lambs wandered off. Scandalously, we are counting the lost lambs in our "million man church." An embarrassing circumstance indeed for a Church that touts itself as "the one true Church." (I don't use that phrase anymore. If we cannot live it, then we'd better not be claiming it... and don't give me the theological theory here... I don't buy the idea that we can live like hell and still make that claim. That is the definition of a hypocrite. Faith without works is dead. I read that somewhere.)
#12 Anon. on 2007-08-19 07:16
Re: “... and don't give me the theological theory here... I don't buy the idea that we can live like hell and still make that claim” and the “lost lambs”
Of course, by “we” you mean ourselves: you and me, right? Surely, we can’t lay all of the sins of the OCA jurisdiction within the Orthodox Church on the bishops and presbyters.
Since you don’t like “theological theory, you might find this bit of political theory applicable to the situation in the OCA: “You get the leaders that you deserve.”
The way that this scandal has played out on this website and in my home parish has been a revelation.
A question that should be on the minds of every participant on forums such as this one: If our brothers and sisters can so casually bandy about the alleged sins of the hierarchs, casting judgements to and fro, can we expect a sudden stab of conscience, sober discretion, love and forgiveness (seventy times seven) from them if they come to know our own personal sins?
No, of course not.
We learn to avoid such people if we can, for their sakes and for the sake of our own salvation, and so some sheep wander away from the OCA onto greener pastures for purely practical reasons.
We need to make a distinction between these sheep and the ones that the Holy Apostle St. John the Theologian wrote about:
“They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would no doubt have continued with us: but they went out, that they might be made manifest that they were not all of us.” (1 John 2:19)
I’m sure there are stories to tell of people leaving not just the OCA but the Orthodox Church on the account of the scandals. Sadly, this overreaction is symptomatic of a deeper loss of faith than can be laid at the feet of the hierarchs.
People leave the Orthodox Church, the one true Church, for many reasons like the ususal suspects of heresy, apostasy, schism, but this scandal highlights another reason: unforgiveness.
Whatever the reasons, leaving is still leaving and the tragedy is that those who leave can no longer be a part of the ongoing life of the Church, a life that has always included sin and repentance, love and forgiveness.
If we are to thank God for all things, then we must thank God for allowing these scandals to come to light in order to reveal what was hidden in our own hearts. There, if we look closely enough we will find our own need for reform, accountability, new leadership and repentance.
#14 Anonymous on 2007-08-19 17:13
Re: "An embarrasing circumstance"
I have been truly embarrassed by the argument put forth by many on this forum that the coin of the realm of the OCA is... well, "coin." Not love. Not holiness. Not Life in Christ, but coin. We are being told that the way to fix the OCA is to use mammon as an inducement (enticement or as a lash) for the hierarchs to do the right thing(s).
Let's say for the sake of argument, that this scheme succeeds. What will be left of the OCA? Intstead of a Church we will have a coin-operated machine.
Who wants to be a part of that?
#15 Anonymous on 2007-08-19 17:29
I should add that I expect the investigation to mostly yield that the church mismanaged and overspent.
However, it would be nice to go to the church and not wonder everytime I walked in whether someone misused 4.5M dollars.
I guess if a report said 1M dollars was paid in blackmail and the church mismanaged and overspent 3.5M dollars, etc. that would be enough for me.
The absence of such a report really means people need to be terminated. The reporting is what will allow them to be forgiven.
My brother says forgiveness can only happen when the sin is understood. For someone to say I have sinned against you, but for you to not know what the sin is, well, that is very difficult. Did you take my money? Did you party like a rockstar? Did you bolster the campaign of an evil warmonger?
A general understanding is important.
#16 Daniel E. Fall on 2007-08-19 20:20
Which special commission report do you think Ab Job is leveraging to have released? The private PR report which was the basis for the very limited special commission report that Ab Job regurgitated to the Holy Synod, or the complete report that could be produced if a real unfettered Special Commission was permitted?
Herman pushed the special commission off until the fall session of the Holy Synod by getting the bishops to say that they would consider the work of the special commission in the fall. That is code for maybe people will get tired of the whole thing with Kondratick out of the way. However, Herman is quickly running out of options.
The release of the current special commission report would be a legal disaster for Herman and Kucynda. They will be caught squarely in the middle of P-R and a potential lawsuit by Kondratick, who would be itching to finally have the report released to the public so that everything that P-R produced, the emails between Kucynda, Perry, Herman, the MC and special commission and the manipulation of the spiritual court can go public in a discovery process to show the collusion to hang the whole thing on Fr Bob. The infamous words of Kucynda spoken to Dresko and Vansuch that PR was hired to build the firewall around the Metropolitan would come back to haunt him and so much more.
Either Archbishop Job plays his hand all the way and is all in for a full special commission with unfettered investigatory powers, or his folds and cuts a deal with Herman. Job really has no choice but to go all the way now. However, if he folds, even your faith in him would need to be reevaluated.
Should be an interested next few months and don’t forget Fr Bob’s appeal process. That adds another wrinkle that can’t be overlooked.
Looks like Syosset will have to do without the Midwest $45,000 monthly check for quite some time: and that is another problem because P-R and Lambrides are calling Syosset almost everyday asking when they will be paid what they are owed. So much for all those cost cutting measures. Guess they will have to cut more. Maybe that is why they have not yet found a Treasurer?
#17 A Senior Priest of the OCA on 2007-08-19 22:36
I'm fearful of the brothers and sisters that we are losing each and everyday as this madness continues.
I'm Embarrassed that in 2001 we The Church collected appeals money to help with the victims of 911 and they just received the check of 90,000 just in the last 2 weeks. As I read the paragraph about the priests giving the money over and saying how our church was instrumental in collecting for them, I cried. How could anyone in their right minds say such a thing, Aren't they embarrassed behond words! I am so appalled....You and I gave to 911... the money was stollen, now we have a bank that loans sysosset money to replace it, and were going to pay again.
This is for the Good of The Church.... The money is not the real issue, yes stop the funding in all areas to sysosset the real crime is of Faith, faith that I had trust in my leaders and Truth, truth that is so deeply rooted back to Metropolitian Theodeous with the manipulation.
Why can't we as a Church simply say to each other brothers and sisters we made some terrible mistakes, mistakes so far behond money, its words and deeds and sexual embarrassments its against the commandments so on and so forth why can't we just come clean of the heavy burdens of these human faults that are in every person and ask for repentence, forgiveness.
To begin the new for the Good of the Church.... Why can't we just do it ?..... In all honesty I am not worthy to recite and pray the prayer that God gave to each and everyone of us, To forgive those who tresspass against us... This is only valid if I forgive them and they forgive me as the Father forgives each of us and blesses us in his holy name. I hope and Pray today that we can somehow get to this point in this madness.... We can no longer afford to lose one more human being to another faith, we can no longer afford to pay for these lawyers, and we can no longer afford the embarrassment to God to use his name for our own purpose and self righteousness. The madness needs to be exposed!! For the Good of The Church and All Mankind... Love Irene
#18 Anonymous on 2007-08-20 12:48
Dear Senior Priest,
I believe you have many interesting insights to what may be happening within the OCA's administration's thinking on all of this. Is it possible that PR or Lambrides could, or would, sue the OCA for what payments are due them? If they sued, would their reports be "court evidence" so that they could not then be released to the public? What would this do to the OCA's current financial crisis?
#19 Patty Schellbach on 2007-08-20 16:58
The compromise won't be as simple as the Bishop "playing his hand" or "caving" by my read. I expect the compromise will be an edited report that explains enough to give us a general understanding. And I have said that would be enough for me.. I don't need to know who the blackmailer is or was, just the amounts would be enough.
To date, I am only able to credit Fr. Bob for about 137k in questionable reimbursement requests based on the documents the church has provided. The rest of the 1.7M debt and the 4.5M disappearing, some 6.2M dollars over 15 years seems to be something we'd credit our past Metropolitans, Met. Council, and Synod for... This would be deficit spending about about 413k per year for 15 years.
Since Metropolitan Herman was around for most of that time, he is currently the person I hold mostly responsible for the 6.2M.
Sadly, it is unlikely that he deserves full credit.
It would be interesting if he didn't want the truth reported, because it would suggest he owns the whole amount.
I think he will recognize the importance of sharing information because I believe the Diocese of the Midwest is only the beginning. Other Dioceses, that is Bishops, around the country can't possibly expect to credit the Metropolitan for the entire 15 years of half million dollar unfettered deficits and allow him to be the first among them.. They too will begin to recognize the great importance in reporting.
So far, although I consider the pace grudgingly slow, I believe the efforts the Metropolitan is making are decent. I won't speak to whom I credit. I will support the Metropolitan as long as he continues to strive for a bright future for the OCA and as long as he removes my questions about the past everytime I walk into a church. And that includes if he owns some of them via chain of command.
I, to this day, remember Fr. Chris Wojcik asking for one of the appeals that was sacked. He did so in an empassioned fashion and I would like to make sure the Fr. Wojcik can have a full heart of passion for future OCA works. I don't believe he can do that without a fairly comprehensive reporting and if the Metropolitan wants his priests to be half hearted, what Bishop could stand by him?
The Metropolitan and the Synod owe the greatest debt for mismanagement of the church to the clergy.
Just my thoughts... Dan
#20 Daniel E. Fall on 2007-08-20 18:50
I do not know what the proprietary nature of a PR or Lambridies work product would be if they are not paid and sued. Short of suing, it is conceivable that Lambrides would not hand over a concluded audit, for example.
As for PR it seems that there was no written work product since information sharing of a conclusive nature was done orally only to those approved by Herman and Kucynda. Copies of bills, credit card statements and checks were copied and provided to MC members and the Holy Synod, but said copies were collected up by Kucynda with great scrupulosity as if they were greater than Holy Writ. Such attention I think demonstrates that PR gave strict orders that no work product be made public.
Would PR sue the OCA? Maybe, but worse they would not like to spend billable hours in being dragged into a lawsuit filed against the OCA by someone objecting to their report being made public. One can see that PR would be irked especially not being paid in full for their services.
This is very thin ice that Herman and Kucynda are now navigating but with the lack of funds they are working with they may make the big mistake that many are waiting for so that Herman and Kucynda can finally be swept out. Added to this, Fr Thomas Hopko recently wrote personal letters to both of them asking them to step down.
Time will tell.
#21 Anonymous on 2007-08-20 19:48
Find a Church (jurisdiction) that doesnt have such a problem! Sooner or later, the veil falls away and exposes the reality that people screw up no matter where we find them. But, that doesn't make the Church any less the Church; nor, thus, the Eucharist any less the Eucharist. Its not like this is new in the history of the Church. Its just the current manifestation of the human nature of the Church; but the spiritual nature and reality is nonetheless real, also. If this scandal pushes you away from one jurisdiction to another, then you are at risk, maybe, of deluding yourself; because that jurisdiction will be a mess as well, also, sooner or later. Just go to your current parish, receive Communion, sing along with the Liturgy's hymns, make it to vespers now and then, join the coffee hour afterwards and be part of the community, and get together on occassion in non-church activities with some fellow parishioners for socializing and support, and invite a non-Orthodox to join you once in a while, and then your own little square yard of Earth which you occupy at any given moment will become better, and you will probably feel better, as a bonus.
#22 Anonymous on 2007-08-21 04:13
Good advice, but limited.
All that you recommend is necessary and desirable. But for those who can stomach the task without either eroding their faith or falling prey to the temptations of self-righteousness, it is also necessary to work to improve the situation, to combat the problems.
It's never enough to just shrug your shoulders and say, well, all men are sinners. The church has to be a place where we don't simply seek comfort and solace, but also where we struggle to do better.
#23 Rebecca Matovic on 2007-08-21 07:51
If your information is accurate, it is good news that Fr. Tom wrote +Herman and Kucynda to step down. Their time is done. They did what they could, or could not, do. The desire for them both to step down has been voiced by several faithful for quite some time. Leaving before it gets any more embarrassing is desirable. There is at least one opening in Venice, FL. The monasteries are perpetually open, too.
#24 Patty Schellbach on 2007-08-21 08:21
Thank you, Fr. Tom, for writing to +Herman and Fr. Kucynda to step down. Perhaps the pressure of PR and Lambrides continually asking for payment will finally do it.
#25 Patty Schellbach on 2007-08-21 15:02
Right on, Rebecca! I meant to limit my thoughts, though, to the notion that leaving the Church because its full of mooks (self included, no doubt) is not the answer. (Too many have voiced the idea, as though its a sensible one.) Focus on one's own square yard of turf and one will begin to approach peace; from peace, one will better be able to contribute in whatever way one is called to do so to this mess ... which may or may not involve varying degrees of "activism" with respect to our marquis scandals. It may just be: that by being that undisturbed, peaceful soul, one is able to inspire other individuals to stay who would otherwise have left, or to attract new converts despite the garbage that others are more activly confronting; and that those individuals and converts, so inspired by the sober but less activist soul, may turn out to be the wonderworkers in this thing. Etc etc. But in any event, all we can focus on is this moment, in this place: there is no future; there is no past; there is only here and now--its all any of us have.
#26 Anonymous on 2007-08-21 19:55
Re: "If this scandal pushes you away from one jurisdiction to another, then you are at risk, maybe, of deluding yourself; because that jurisdiction will be a mess as well, also, sooner or later."
It's not just "this scandal." The OCA is collapsing under the weight of its own pretensions. The OCA is rocking itself to pieces. First, the violence of hierarchal ineptitude and then the pendulum swing of lay self-righteousness, back and forth, back and forth...Money is found to be the root of the evils of the OCA, and lo, money it is also the solution to all of its problems!
Not everyone is being "pushed out." If anything, prayers are being answered and people are being led by the Holy Spirit out of this shambles and into places where there are true expressions of Orthodoxy in contrast to the "truly American expression of Orthodoxy" that we are seeing now in the OCA.
#27 Anonymous on 2007-08-21 20:11
Lest anyone think that leaving the OCA is just indicative of a case of nervous "jurisdiction jumping", I'd like to share a quote from filmmaker Emir Kusturica (Bosnian, a former Muslim who converted to Orthodox Christianity):
"I've reached the 50th year of my life, and now every question related with life also includes thinking about death. When I leave, I want to leave my offspring a clear idea about identity."
By "identity" Kusturica was referring to being an Orthodox Christian. Having reached a similar milestone in my life, I too think of death and how much time I might have to work out my own salvation with fear and trembling. I've got children too.
Bottom line, the OCA, in its pursuit of an American identity, is losing (has already lost?) its coherence as an Orthodox Church body. Can I leave this sort of incoherent identity to my own offspring? The answer is simply, no.
#28 Anonymous on 2007-08-21 20:31
Did you all notice that it was recommended to the OCA Central Admin. that they no longer write checks payable to "Cash"? My Mom (God rest her soul) taught me never to do that. Doesn't everyone know not to do this?
As well, one definitely doesn't take cash just under $10,000 (suspiciously avoiding the rules in IRS Publication 1544, or form 8300) to pay bonuses (income), "under the table." I mean really. Isn't that a No-No?
I wonder if the list of 32 "Observations and Recommendations" posted at OCA.ORG on August 15 technically answers satisfactorily the question posed by His Eminence Archbishop JOB.
I confess I've jumped to my own conclusion now.
I nominate Mary Caetta to be treasurer of the OCA. Seriously. Good job to the authors of the list of 32. Now we're getting somewhere!
There is hope for the OCA. Gotta have hope.
Rdr. Alexander Langley
#29 Rdr. Alexander Langley on 2007-08-21 20:39
Fair enough, except that the OCA, qua OCA, is not collapsing under the weight of its own pretensions, inasmuch as, ultimately, only individuals can have pretensions (by which, I presume you mean "a claim or an effort to establish a claim" (there being several definitions for this word). I would also assume (not unreasonably, though perhaps still incorrectly?) that you would disagree with the claims you believe individuals within the OCA have made/are making -- which in this case would presumably be claims with respect to the OCA's position (or desire to be positioned) as the catalyst or foundation for a united domestic Orthodoxy.
Perhaps, then, it would be better to say instead that such pretensions as these as have been adopted by, and especially as have been voiced by, its past and present leaders are themselves being crushed -- vitiated -- by particular moral failures of certain leaders within the OCA and the quiet acquiescence of others in the OCA, both leaders and just plain 'folks' (me included, I'm sure).
But, I know a number of clergy (OCA and other jurisdictions) and from candid discussions with them, and from a general appreciation of human nature, I am fairly confident that it would be no surprise if the next headlines of gross clerical misconduct (of whatever nature) pertained to any of the other jurisdictions, or again to the OCA. But, like the OCA, this would seem to have less to do with pretense (in the sense noted above), but instead with the Church not functioning eschatologically ... that is, not living with the transparency that (so I understand the Teaching to be, anyway) is endemic to living as though the Kingdom had, in fact, already come.
Or maybe not. But that's the way I see it at this point in my unremarkable life. I have no credentials on any of these subjects, and I have no exemplary moral victories in my life, so ultimately your and others' ideas are at least as worth considering (probably more) as these as we slog our way through this morass together.
#30 Anonymous on 2007-08-22 08:10
Re: "...ultimately, only individuals can have pretensions (by which, I presume you mean "a claim or an effort to establish a claim" (there being several definitions for this word)."
By pretension, I mean: "an allegation of doubtful value - pretext, a purpose or motive alleged or an appearance assumed in order to cloak the real intention or state of affairs."
Pretensions: A 20,000 membership that can morph into numbers in the hundreds of thousands and up to 1.1 million depending on who the OCA wants to impress. Chest-beating about "Autocephaly" and its "mission" to unite all of the Orthodox in the United States, when said autocephaly is effectively ignored by all the Patriarchates (including Moscow) and the Autonomous Churches. The OCA's fear and loathing of the reunited Russian Orthodox Church because it (rightly) fears that its claim to St. Herman and the original Russian missions in Alaska are about to be challenged...Need I go on?
#31 Anonymous on 2007-08-22 16:40
Regarding the list of 32 "Observations and Recommendations" posted at www.oca.org on August 15, I can hardly believe my eyes. Our church gives "bonuses" to employees!?. unpaid personal loans?! Checks made out to cash?! This document tells me that it's been even worse than I thought. Did the Apostles pay each other "bonuses" with the money they collected for the widows? I am stunned by the audacity and the ineptitude of it all. And all of this going on right under the noses of the Treasurer, both immediate past and present?, the Metropolitan, the Synod, and the Metropolitan Council for so many years. Amazing.
#32 Janet Damian on 2007-08-22 17:33
Nah. You've made yourself pretty clear, I reckon.
#33 Anonymous on 2007-08-23 10:56
Get real, it's the only thing that get anyone's attention.
Kucynda and Herman lie and swear to ANYTHING!
Why hasn't anyone see any evidence?
The good people paid over one half million for the PR Report, who has seen it?
How can anyone in their right mind believe a word that any of them say?
With all of these scandals - where is the proof that their actions were warranted?
Wake up and get real!!!!!!
#34 Margo P on 2007-08-23 11:16
It looks like now is the time for action. Kucynda has been behind the scenes trying to retain that "firewall" built by PR and their report. It's amazing to me that RSK was not interviewed by PR or the Special Commission (what did they really do anyway). I'm certain that he WILL tell all once he is on a level playing field. He was now allowed any access to the documentation that was used against him. I have seen Archbishop Nathaniel's letter affirming that. This is America, Herman has to realize that the jig is up!Other churches have agreed that there were irregularities in this hearing. Why was the Diocesan Bishop not the accuser, as per the Statutes? It's time for a reality check, Kucynda and Herman!
#35 Peggy from Wilkes Barre on 2007-08-24 16:26
It seems like the OCA crisis is multiplying with no end at hand, thanks to the failing management and leadership of Metropolitan Herman. With him refusing to step down, the members of the church should implement means of forcing him to do so.
I congratulate the laity and clergy of the diocese of the Midwest for succeeding to be the first diocese to hold, in escrow, the financial assessment to the central administration. If all the other dioceses would follow this fine example, we would then send a clear message that the OCA members will not financially support Metropolitan Herman and his administration until a new leadership replaces him.
I urge all the members, laity and clergy, of the OCA dioceses to insist on escrowing the assessments to the central administration. If we succeed to do so, then there will be no choice for Metropolitan Herman but to step down.
Holy Annunciation Church
#36 Michel Michail on 2007-08-26 19:21
The author does not allow comments to this entry