Wednesday, August 29. 2007
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How bad will Herman smother Kondratick from telling all ? Mark this is why MH must go. Let the truth be told. Herman will say "no" because for him it's all about POWER !!
#1 Reese on 2007-08-29 06:49
Why should he not appeal?
He has never been allowed to see any reports, any evidence that was used to accuse him OR did not participate in the trial.
He was asked to leave as he was in contempt because he asked that minutes be taken. After he left, minutes were taken. This has been a kangaroo kourt from day one!
#2 Margo P. on 2007-08-29 06:50
Could somebody explain to me the difference between the terms "deposed" and "defrocked"?
(editor's reply: The terms are synonymous. Protestant clergymen in the 18th and 19th centuries wore "frock" coats as a sign of their stations. When they were stripped of their ministries, they were then " defrocked". In Protestant America, this became the common term to denote a clergyman who had been removed from office. Among the Catholic and Orthodox Churches is the more technical term, coming from canon law, to speak of the "deposition" of a priest or cleric. )
#3 Pennsylvania Coalcracker on 2007-08-29 07:44
Thanks for another well-written article. I've been very impressed with the quality of the recent journalism. Well done.
#4 Rdr. Nilus on 2007-08-29 08:13
First of all, there is no doubt RSK is guilty. However, he acted with the complete knowledge of + Theodosius and + Herman. In fact, if the truth ever comes out, you will find that most of the monies RSK siphoned off were at the request of both metropolitans for various reasons. Let's not forget, RSK was + Herman's hand-picked guy from STOTS. There was more hanky-panky going on here than most people know. By making RSK the sacrificial lamb, everyone was hoping that this whole thing might go away, but thank God it hasn't. It's now time for RSK to sing and I hope he sings LOUDLY!
#5 Anonymous on 2007-08-29 09:23
While I agree that he should have the right to appeal, as should anyone, I fail to understand how it is that he is still on the staff in the Florida parish. Is he still serving? Is Abp. Dimitry in defiance of the Holy Synod? It seems the OCA is crumbling around MH.
#6 Name withheld on 2007-08-29 10:04
Mr. Kondratick can appeal the decision of the OCA’s spiritual court to depose him – and is doing so. I have great respect for those who served on that court. They looked at the facts and came to the only possible decision in deposing him from the holy priesthood. It is sad, although not surprising, that Mr. Kondratick is appealing this decision.
I do not understand what is going on in the Diocese of the South. How can Mr. Kondratick be serving a parish seemingly as its parish priest and be listed by DOS as a priest after having been deposed and stricken from the list of clergy in the OCA?
It is sad that Mr. Kondratick now may seek a way (per the postings on the Orthodox Forum as quoted by Mark) to circumvent the OCA by appealing either to the Moscow Patriarchate or the Ecumenical Patriarchate. If he should do so, I hope those hierarchs will respect the good order of our Holy Orthodox Church and not interfere with the decision of the OCA’s spiritual court and Holy Synod in this matter.
I have felt for some time that MH+ should resign and retire. Fr. Kucynda should resign as well. This does not change my feelings about Mr. Kondratick. I pray for him. How long will he and his followers continue down the road of deception and delusion?
Lord have mercy on me, a sinner.
Now please, many people have been interviewed on this forum, if both sides of this story were to be told, why was he not interviewed? Why was he not interviewed by the Special Commission? Why was he not interviewed by PR? Why was he found to be "in contempt" for requesting that minutes be taken at his hearing and there is proof that minutes were actually taken after he left? Has anyone asked him? His telephone number is available. It is very obvious that at all cost (over a half million dollars) he has not been asked and I'm certain that there are those who really do NOT want to hear what he has to say and what documentation he really has. Do I think he can get a fair appeal? No! If MH wanted to expose both sides of this story, it would have been done. Kucynda and MH have successfully avoided him giving testimony. Why is that?
#8 Margo on 2007-08-29 12:37
Your recent editorial is quite interesting. Are you being critical of the actions the people in Venice have been blessed to take by their bishop? Is there something wrong with what they have done? If Kondratick is wearing a cassock, is that a big deal? Even first-year seminarians are blessed to wear a cassock. If people still call him “Fr Bob, is that a problem? Could it be that they know who he is and even though he can no longer perform any sacred functions, that he is still their “Fr Bob’?
Why does it bother people that the people in Venice did not “throw him out on the street” or run him out of town? Why does it bother people that they are still paying him? Why does it bother some people that he is still loved by so many, even Patriarchs? Why does it bother people that he is still respected by those who really know him? Does it bother you that even in all of this, he has kept his dignity and has tried his best to be a Christian?
Another very interesting remark you make is “Critics of Kondratick complain that Kondratick’s only goal now is to breed further discord in an already wounded Church, wounds that they blame on Kondratick’s decades of misdeeds.” How can the rightful appeal breed further discord? Some may be puzzled by your implication that Kondratick would even try to appeal. I mean, as you present, all the steps were followed, and at every step the verdict was clear.
This case can’t go away that easily, nor should it.
Should the deposed Kondratick just go away now and be quiet? Wheeler did not after he was fired, why should Kondratick?
Whether the Holy Synod hears the appeal or not is rather moot. They appear to have already made their decision, but Kondratick will go to them first. They might just say they have heard the appeal and their verdict stands. That’s fine, but they must also now live with the consequences of their hasty judgment and flawed process which denied Kondratick his due process. Such errors have already been brought to the attention of the OCA by another Church. We must accept the real possibly of being admonished by other Orthodox Churches and the judgment vacated.
Actions taken by one Orthodox Church can never be seen in a vacuum. They have an impact on other Churches. Bad policy can lead to bad precedent and bad precedent can lead to bad ecclesiology and that can lead to heresy. If another Orthodox Church sees this, they are duty bound, if asked, to get involved. This is the basis for our Statue provision that the Metropolitan can pastorally get involved in another diocese, “For the good of the Church” and according to the Canons. This Holy Synod, and for that matter, Archbishop Job, have acted as if they can do whatever they want, without consequences. I think the time for that sort of isolationist and cavalier thinking is over.
The thousands of people, around the world, who know Fr Bob, who love Fr Bob, some of whom owe their life to Fr Bob, don’t need a “Robber Council” like our Holy Synod to tell them who a priest is and who is not a priest. They know a real priest when they see one, even if that priest can no longer perform any sacred function.
No “Robber Council” can stop him from praying with the people in Venice, advancing the work of the Church in Venice, encouraging them, consoling them, and being a leader. Nor can such a “Council” stop him from picking up the folks who can’t drive and take them to their doctor appointments or pick up their prescriptions. This might be beneath some clergy to do, but it wasn’t before “Fr Bob” was deposed and it is not now. He is doing everything he did before to help the Church grow in Venice, except, for now, perform any sacred function.
You see, the folks in Venice, accept “Fr Bob” because they know there is more to being a priest than just swinging a censer. Metropolitan Herman can perform all the sacred functions in the world. So what! I would rather take a deposed “Fr Bob” over an imposed Metropolitan Herman.
Our wounds will heal, the Church will survive and Fr Bob will always be Fr Bob. Those who hate him will always hate him and those who love him will always love him. And so it goes.
(Editor's note: No, such does not go in the Orthodox Church. Fr. Bob may still be, in your opinion, a wonderful man; but in the eyes of the Orthodox Church, he is no longer a priest. To refer to him as such, even as a courtesy, is incorrect. If you truly were a "senior priest of the OCA", you would know that. )
#9 A Senior Priest in the OCA on 2007-08-29 13:08
I am and you are the one mistaken. But that's ok. It's not the first time you have been, and it won't be the last. No one is perfect.
#10 Anonymous on 2007-08-29 14:21
"Should the deposed Kondratick just go away now and be quiet? Wheeler did not after he was fired, why should Kondratick?"
Your reasoning is frightening if you are actually a priest (senior or not). You may as well identify John the Baptist with Judas: Wheeler paid a price for speaking the truth and disclosing the wrongs committed by Kondratick et al; Kondratick betrayed everyone in the OCA (involving a heckuva lot more than 30 pieces of silver) and received his due reward (though not without sympathy and prayers from so many of us who agree with his deposition -- as the melodrama in your 2d paragraph seems to imply is not the case).
You asked a question, though. Why should Kondratick go away quietly? Because:
-- its the right thing to do
-- its not about his "rights"
-- its an act of love by him toward the rest of us
-- its dignified and honorable
-- its likely to help bring him peace
-- its likely to help bring his family peace
-- its sure, if he doesn't, to further the agony he's caused
-- its in imitation of the Suffering Servant (if he's innocent)
-- its in imitation of the Good Thief (if he's guilty)
-- its for the good of the Church
~A Senior Nobody Special
#11 Anonymous on 2007-08-29 14:45
Someone asked why the diocese of the South is bucking the decisions of the SOB. Well, it's like this...
When Bishop Dimitri received the popular vote for Metropolitan in 1970, the SOB chose + Theodosius instead and from that time forward, + Dimitri chose to set himself up as the "Anti-Syosset" beating to his own drum. He ignored Syosset and the SOB; ordained every Tom, Dick & Harry with little education; set up his own former uneducated deacon as Bishop of the West (a disaster) and in general, did what he wanted. This RSK move is to poke Syosset in the eye and say, "Now what are you going to do?" RSK will sing and the divisiveness within the OCA will continue. What needs to be done? + Herman and Kucynda need to step down. A new, strong Metropolitan needs to be found (good luck) and + Dimitri needs to be retired. And the mess continues!
#12 Anonymous on 2007-08-29 15:25
Remember the ADM funds? They were earmarked by Mr. Andreas for the Patriarchate in Moscow. Surely some funds got there and the Patriarch "owes" him for having been the beneficiary of at least part of that cash. Kondratick also used to wine and dine the Patriarch on his visits to the USA. Also remember, Russians in general find our American moral sensibilities rather naive and Puritanical - black and white. Everything in Russia tends to be shades of gray. Has a "deal" been cut in Moscow and this is the next step? Now that the Patriarch controls his ROCOR churches in the USA ... the next chapter begins. Can Moscow resist the temptation to meddle? We will see. Kondratick no doubt bought a lot of loyalty with $4+ million dollars from "discretionary account" full of stolen funds. Is it payback time? (How much of that money is still sitting in offshore bank accounts right now?)
#13 Name withheld on 2007-08-29 16:59
Fr. Kondratick will ever bear the indelible mark of priesthood despite his deposition from sacred functions. At least he received an investigation and a spiritual court, whatever that entailed, which is much more than some priests I know who were summarily suspended and or deposed without benefit of either investigation or court.
One such instance I have in mind is the absolutely unchristian, uncanonical and ungodly treatment of Fr. Laurence Mancuso of New Skete with the active participation of Fr. Kondratick inter alii. He was sent into "retirement" aged, infirm, and desitute (not just poor). He was suspended in the fall of 2000 and the suspension was lifted in late October 2005 after Fr. Laurence went on dialysis. When Fr. Kondratick received word Fr. Laurence was on dialysis, he demanded proof. Once assurances were given Fr. Bob checked with the monks to see if they would consent to the lifting of the suspension. Fr. Laurence feel asleep in the Lord June 10 last and the last sentence of his obituary said it all: "All expressions of sympathy may be sent in the form of monetary contributions to his brother to defray funeral expenses."
I hope no priest, including Fr. Bob, is ever treated in such abominable fashion as was Fr. Laurence of New Skete.
Fr. Bob received his due and may God have mercy on him!
#14 Terry C. Peet on 2007-08-29 17:11
MY DEAR SENIOR PRIEST,
It is the senior priest, priest, and the so called HOLY SYNOD, that has allowed this BEAUTIFUL CHURCH to enter the Kingdom of Extinction. It is because you all are spineless and are afraid of Theodosius and Herman. You all fill the only way to HEAVEN is through these two guys. The GOOD LORD SAID FOLLOW ME AND NO OTHER MAN!!
Why do we call it the HOLY SYNOD. Most of these Bishops have been elevated through the PETER PRINCIPLE.
Most Bishops are less holy, percentage wise than the LAITY.
If you are proud of your acomplishments as a priest you should sign your name. PRIEST that sign their names speak from their Hearts. They are the leaders that I would hope our CHURCH had many more like them.
St. James--Brother of the Lord
Kansa City, MO
All former Presidents, Judges, Military Officers, etc. are respectfully called by the title they last held. Father Bob is respected by his parishioners in Venice, and to them and us, even deposed will always be Father Bob.
We know there have been problems in the OCA -- many people have grievances, including Eric Wheeler and Mark Stokoe, and steps have been taken to correct some of them.
We are appalled at Bishop Job's diocese wielding ecclesiastical blackmail. We are all supposedly Orthodox Christians. As Christ said, He who is without sin, let him cast the first stone.
Father Bob has taken up his position in Venice,a tiny Church, and worked very hard to minister to his flock -- as small as it is. It was ready to close when he came, and now it is ready to expand. Why can he not be allowed to work in peace to serve the Lord?
It was a disgrace that he could not serve for his own Mother's funeral. When a young woman in the Venice
Church - Holy Spirit - was murdered, her Mother came from Russia -- (with no knowledge of English), and her young son -- also a parishioner, was a witness to the entire tragedy; it would have been beneficial to the survivors if he could have been permitted to serve the funeral. He was denied serving the funeral. Who suffered and who gained from this denial? How tragic!
Get off his back and start behaving as the Christians we all profess to be -- and not the super correct people we have become. If you don't know what "super correct" is, read Father Serafim Rose's book. Heaven knows we are all sinners.
The parishioners of Holy Spirit Church need Father Bob to serve. We love him regardless of what has happened.
Dr. Albert Maruskin
Parishioners of St. John the Baptist Church, Canonsburg, PA - St, Nicholas Orthodox Church, Donora, PA, and Holy Spirit Orthodox Church, Venice, FL
#16 Dr. Albert Maruskin and Marie Guidos-Maruskin on 2007-08-29 17:25
If Bob Kondratick spills the beans on Syosset, there may be hope. But all I have seen so far, is not the answer to the question, "Are the allegations true or false," but the verification of the old adage, "Oh, what tangled webs we weave, when we practice to decieve."
The question, "Are the allegations true or false," has become grossly obscure in the intrigues of ego, power, control, and the lack of morals and ethics.
Perhaps Mr. Kondratick can get us a bit closer to the truth to the real question, "Are the allegations true or false?" His honesty will be refreshing to hear if he does not cling to the old adage.
#17 Patty Schellbach on 2007-08-29 18:32
Why hasn't anyone paid attention to this?
Reflections On The Scandal
Unhampered and Unobstructed
The Special Investigating Commission of the OCA Metropolitan Council must continue its work unhampered and unobstructed. The Commission must not only question Metropolitan Theodosius, Metropolitan Herman and Fr. Robert Kondratick about financial matters. It must question all of the church's hierarchs, all who worked at the OCA Chancery, and all leaders of church institutions, including seminaries and monasteries, since 1990. Its goal must not only be an accurate explanation of the financial malaise. It must also be the production of a comprehensive report with specific recommendations for concrete actions. Only in this way will the systemic sickness that caused our present scandal be properly diagnosed and effectively treated. For our present disease, disorder and dysfunction are not simply a matter of personal weakness, incompetence and sin. They are also the result of erroneous theological understandings and misguided practical policies about the nature and operation of Christ's Holy Church.
Protopresbyter Thomas Hopko
St. Vladimirís Orthodox Theological Seminary
Crestwood, New York
#18 Anonymous on 2007-08-29 18:52
All this is very sad; but my goodness; accept the decisisons of the Holy Synod. I'm sorry, but the decision was correct. It's all pretty clear and obvious. People of Venice; get a new priest; there are many willing to serve. Of course, you have to be willing to pay him a decent salary/stipend. Doing this; getting a new priest; maybe one newly ordained, idealistic, ready and willing to give every fiber of his being to the Church; and again; compensating him properly--will show your love of our Faith a hundred times more than clinging to a deposed priest.
#19 Anon on 2007-08-29 21:00
I'm feeling nitpicky tonight....
Former officials retain their titles and honorifics if and only if they left office on honorable terms and not because of disciplinary action.
So, say an American President is impeached and convicted. He loses the "emoluments of office", among which are any honorifics.
Therefore, technically, former Protopresbyter Robert is now Mr. Kondratick.
OTOH, given the railroading that Mr. Kondratick got, I'm not going to sweat it if someone continues to address him as Father Robert.
#20 Wayne Matthew Syvinski on 2007-08-30 00:51
There is an interesting story in the Bible about a leader who fell into incredible sin. He began to use his position for nothing but self-advancement, with no thought at all of the people as he trampled them.
God saw this and annointed a new man to be king.
From that point, it was YEARS until the new king actually sat on the throne. The people SUFFERED under the bad king, but it continued for years until the new king was ready to take the throne. God was preparing the new king's heart, and it was worth the wait because the new king was King David, who wrote the Psalms, killed Goliath, and led the people in the way of the Lord.
We are currently suffering under a bad king. No doubt about that. But, like David, perhaps we should simply let the Lord take care of our "bad king" and stop calling for his head, and all his henchmen's heads, on a plate. David had chances to kill Saul, and he let them all pass by. Maybe there is a lesson in that story for us.
If we say we are Orthodox, then our suffering under a "bad king" can be something God uses for our salvation if we use it correctly with the right attitude. Let us not be guilty of bringing the spirit of our current age into the Church and forgetting about the timeless teaching of the Word. God did not write the Bible to take up space on the bookshelf, and He does not want us to take everything into our own hands. 'Vengence is mine says the Lord, I will repay' is a true saying. If all the bishops, chancellors, etc. in the OCA are crooks and hypocrytes then you can believe God will see it. "God is not mocked. Whatever a man sows, that will he reap".
Let's not lose our salvation over the actions or allegation of actions of bishops.
#21 George Kruse on 2007-08-30 05:21
Dear Dr. & Mrs. Maruskin,
When Mr. Kondratik comes foward and truthfully discloses his deeds to the laity and repents, and asks the entire Orthodox community for forgiveness then I think Mr. Kondratick will earn back some of the respect that he lost due to his role in this entire mess. If Mr. Kondratick is the kind of man and former priest that you and others claim he is then why is it so hard for him to come out in public and tell the truth? What is he hiding? For now I have to believe that RSK is a thief along with the former Met T (who hails from Canonsburg Pa.) and Met. Herman. I am in amazement of you folks who belong to three different Orthodox churches and don't understand the meaning of DISPOSED. It is unfortunate that RSK could not serve his mothers funeral but that is the consequences of his OWN actions and involvement in the sin at Soyosset. We will not get off of his back, or Theodosius, Herman, Kucycinda, Isadore, Nicholas, or any of these so called holy men who have brought shame and ruined the OCA for quite some time to come.
Holy Trinity Orthodox Church, Charleroi Pa.
#22 Anonymous on 2007-08-30 05:36
Archbishop JOB decided, with the express consent of almost the entire diocese, to withhold funds only after many months of requesting, waiting, and than being summarily denied a very few and, frankly, obvious requests of disclosure of information which was readily available. Don't blame the messenger! +JOB was doing the only thing that would hit them where it hurts!! He did what his flock wanted him to do. You see, unlike many of the ruling bishops I have heard of, +JOB tends his flock, he doesn't bully us or demand unearned respect for every word that passes his lips. I am really sick of the +JOB bashing!! Worry about your own diocese and what message you are sending to The Church by blindly throwing good money after bad and believing that it's all going where it's supposed to go. "Those who do not learn from the past are doomed to repeat it!"
#23 Anonymous on 2007-08-30 06:12
The absolute reasons for continuing the work of the Investigative Committee and for full reporting to the clergy and the laity is to clarify just what has been done by the people in positions of trust, including Fr. Kondratick, Fr. Kucynda, Met. Herman, Met. Theodosius and any others identified as participants in illegal affairs or simple mismanagement.
If the Holy Synod has deposed a priest and a Bishop still has him serving a parish, the next spiritual court should be for that Bishop. This ain't rocket science. That Bishop would be defying all his brothers.
One person above calls for forgiveness. First, I would say it is nearly impossible to forgive Fr. Bob for what we do not know, another reason for reporting and withholding (absent reports).
Absent reporting, the Diocese of the Midwest is clearly doing the right thing. Absent reporting and following continued withholding, Abp. Dmitri and then Met. Herman must leave.
The only possible way any appeal by Fr. Kondratick should be heard is if the entire OCA understands the charges against him, for the implied sins of Fr. Kondratick are against all of us.
Back to the forgiveness poster for a moment. Why would we consider forgiving Fr. Kondratick, when we have never forgiven another priest? Terry Peet put up an example of a deposed priest, why wasn't he forgiven? He hadn't sinned against all of us as we now assume Fr. K did.
When could the Synod forgive any priest for wrongdoing? A good example would be a priest with a drinking problem. Why would you not give him a second chance after a long period of sobriety?
The truth must be told. This becomes clearer each day.
Archbishop Job has moved to repeal the Synod's terrible 1999 resolution allowing unauditable accounts. Archbishop Job has provided the Diocese of the Midwest's financial reporting. Archbishop Job will see us through to a full reporting of the affairs of this church that led to stealing money from widows and orphans. May God grant him many years to undo the 1999 error.
Mark, can you reclarify what must happen in an appeal. What if one Bishop or two disagree with the ruling of the court?
#24 Daniel E. Fall on 2007-08-30 07:03
"If the Holy Synod has deposed a priest and a Bishop still has him serving a parish, the next spiritual court should be for that Bishop."
C'mon, Daniel. He's serving the parish as outreach minister. If they choose to pay him for that role, that's their business.
#25 Michael Strelka on 2007-08-30 09:34
Robert Kondratick had a choice many years ago. Remember the 2 paths? He choose to go down a path that led to his deposition. It was his own actions that led to this.
He is no longer Fr. Bob. He is Mr. Kondratick
It is very, very sad that his actions caused him to not be able to serve at his mother's funeral or the funeral of his murdered parishioner.
I am sure he did not act in a vacuum and I hope he now tells the truth so we can put this behind us. Whoever was involved. "And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall set you free."
Linda Elizabeth Weir.
#26 Linda Weir on 2007-08-30 09:49
IMHO, Fr. Hopko is being ignored because of very culture he mentions in his reflection.
God's prophets are often ignored. And the result was often a disaster of "Biblical proportions" (excuse the pun) for the People of God.
Still in dispair and wondering why I am still hanging around,
Linda Elizabeth Weir
#27 Linda Weir on 2007-08-30 09:55
I'm sorry, but MH will never let that happen. He has made certan that the information released is one sided. I'm also sorry that not too many people see how very corrupt this is. How can one man continue to reign? It is because of this many people are suffering in their prayer life, their hearts and many souls will be affected by this terrible trauma placed on this Church by it's leader. Why can't the silent majority speak and find out if there is confidence in his leadership? I feel that the only way people are speaking is through their wallets. What a shame! Many of our innocent institutions are suffering because of this leader who does not follow the sacred Canons of the Church OR the Statutes of the Orthodox Church in America. Yet, we allow him to continue to lead us. I don't believe that speaking on these forums does anything but allow people to vent. The real problem lives in South Canaan, Pennsylvania and that too breaks the sacred Canons of the Church!
#28 Margo P. on 2007-08-30 10:41
The Maruskins refer to Robert Kondratick, though deposed, as Fr. Bob. Yet Protodeacon Eric Wheeler, though still a member of the clergy, is called simply "Eric Wheeler."
What's wrong with this picture?
Melanie Jula Sakoda
If you are a doctor, then you must have studied. How is it you don't even know the definition of the word blackmail ? You say bishop Job is blackmailing the church by holding money until there is information/investigaiton. That's not the meaning of the word!
Blackmail is when you have information and you want money. Bishop Job is doing the opposite! He has the money, and he wants information. It's called an ultimatum but you want to put a dark spin on what the good bishop is doing.
Maybe with all the books you have, you should have also bought a dictionary.
#30 Eddie Kayeti on 2007-08-30 12:17
To clarify my post. I mean these folks need to go if they keep a deposed priest in authority and our Metropolitan can stay in PA if he refuses disclosure. Hopefully neither...
#31 Daniel E. Fall on 2007-08-30 14:02
If he had been asked, what would he have said or done?
Kondratick has always had ample opportunity to speak out, yet remains silent - his choice. Were we supposed to sit around and wait to pursue this issue until he decided to speak? We know there was wrongdoing. The proof is clear, and cannot be denied. We know that Kondratick was not alone in the misappropriation of funds, either. If indeed he was the honorable man who has been railroaded, why has he not stepped up to tell the truth? In a way, he has communicated with us - his silence has spoken volumes.
#32 matushka on 2007-08-30 14:24
How is it that +Herman said "jump" and all that the Holy Synod and Metropolitan Council can say is, "how high?"
The Diocese of the Midwest has asked for an investigation "unhampered and unobstructed," and this is a very reasonable and sane request that is re-iterated by Fr. Tom.
Dan Fall makes a good point that we should know what these investigations are telling us so we know what to forgive!
What will it take? An "act of Congress" to "impeach" a metropolitan? I think it just takes a sincere and humble effort to answer the question, "Are the allegations true or false?" All the efforts by the HS and MS should be going towards answering this question.
#33 Patty Schellbach on 2007-08-30 15:25
In the words of the Holy Prophet King David:
"Destroy him not: for who can stretch forth his hand against the LORD's anointed, and be guiltless? David said furthermore, As the LORD liveth, the LORD shall smite him; or his day shall come to die; or he shall descend into battle, and perish. The LORD forbid that I should stretch forth mine hand against the LORD's anointed..."
In the context of OCANEWS: Who can spew forth such vile and self righteous words of judgement against the anointed Bishops of the Church and remain guiltless?
#34 Anonymous on 2007-08-30 15:45
We are posting below a letter we mailed to the members of the Holy Synod prior to their July 31, 2007 meeting. We hope this letter will encourage others of a like mind to take the time to write letters to the Holy Synod. We cannot depend on the bishops to read postings on ocanews.org. It is important that a loud chorus of voices be heard.
July 18, 2007
We are writing in anticipation of the meeting of the Holy Synod scheduled for July 31, 2007. We want to express to you the great sense of sadness and disappointment that is affecting the Orthodox Church in America. Many individuals from different parishes have approached us to convey their frustration and discouragement. We implore you to take decisive action at the meeting of the Holy Synod to restore hope back into the lives of the faithful.
We do not know whether His Beatitude, Metropolitan Herman, was directly involved in the handling of the missing funds from Archer Daniels Midland and the Andreas Foundation. We do not know whether Metropolitan Herman was involved in the misapplication of the special appeals relating to the 9/11, Beslan, and other similar appeals. We do not know whether Metropolitan Herman was aware that over One Million Dollars in cash was withdrawn from 2001 through 2005 without any accounting or receipts.
What we do know is that, when these things came to light, Metropolitan Herman struggled mightily, and continues to this very day to struggle, to hide what has happened, to vilify those who simply want to know the truth, and to keep a full disclosure from taking place. Parishes and even whole dioceses are told not to discuss these matters. People are frightened that if they speak out, or if their parish takes a stand, their priest may be removed or the antimensions taken.
Are these the actions of the man who is supposed to stand in the place of Christ in our Church? Is fear of retribution the proper reaction to the man who is supposed to be our archpastor?
We adopt Best Practices and buy new software. So what? We humble members of the flock must ask ourselves – what if the new treasurer or Chancellor misapplied funds or opened a new secret account with funds from another foundation? How would our Metropolitan react? Why should we believe that he would do anything other than what he has done to date in this scandal—hide, vilify and obfuscate? Would those who called these new officers to account be labeled “muckrakers”? Would he not say, “for the good of the church,” just move on, forget about it, continue to donate, and be forgiving?
Would anything have happened, would there have been new personnel, new software, Best Practices, and so on, if there had not been a long, loud outcry? Should not a true Christian leader take initiative to disclose, be loving, and invite scrutiny?
Even if Metropolitan Herman had absolutely nothing to do with the evil deeds that were committed, his response to this crisis has ruined the trust of a vast number of Church members. The Orthodox Church in America needs a new leader, a Metropolitan who is not afraid of the truth, who is willing to demonstrate leadership, and who is respected and loved by the faithful. We don’t expect perfection from our Metropolitan—we ourselves are very sinful beings. But we do hope that one among you is being prepared by God to obediently and humbly accept this cross from Him.
Metropolitan Herman will either be the last leader of the OCA before its collapse, or the first leader in its rebirth. That rebirth can occur by the sacrificial act of his resignation. In a Christ-like way, Metropolitan Herman can take on the sins of the past and allow this to end his time in office so that the Church can rise again to fullness of life.
We ask you to encourage Metropolitan Herman to step aside to make way for new leadership whom the people can trust and respect. If he will not do so voluntarily, please take whatever measures that need to be taken to cause him to be replaced.
Yours in Christ,
Wayne and Cathryn Tatusko
#35 Wayne and Cathryn Tatusko on 2007-08-30 17:29
He wasn't railroaded (this implies a false charge or insufficient evidence). He did it, as overwhelming evidence indicates; nor was he scapegoated (since he didn't bear the blame for others. BUT .... he is being made to take all the blame as the only one involved when the evidence seems also to indicate that it is impossible that others (bishops) were involved to a culpable degree. But, not "sweating" it if some still call him Fr is still good--why bother sweating that, after all? But, let's do continue to push for an investigation that outs those who have let Bob take the fall for their own complicitness ... arguably the more gross crime.
#36 Anonymous on 2007-08-31 05:01
Correction ... meant ro write impossible that others were NOT invovled. (Those darned double negatives.)
#37 Anonymous on 2007-08-31 20:58
How is it that one priest can be deposed in the Terry Peet example and end his life in pure poverty and another can become an "outreach" minister after stealing "thousands" and that's okay?
I'm just a confused idiot on these matters, so forgive me for my stupidity.
Again, the investigation and reporting must happen.
#38 Daniel E. Fall on 2007-09-01 08:59
I am glad Father Thomas Hopko, Dean Emeritus Of St. Vladimir's Seminary has written and asked for the
Special Commission results to be told as well as stating the expansion of the investigation to accounts in the 1990's needs to occur too.
If Father Tom is asking for this, its seems very important
there are things to be learned from this investigation to direct the future.
Let's all continue to write and and say NO in whatever fashion
our conscience leads us.
Matushka Carol Klipa Bacha
P.O. Box 381
Christmas, Florida 32709
#39 Matushka Carol on 2007-09-03 10:41
Yes, and did you know that Adolph Hitler was a vegetarian, and that he was kind to small animals? Too bad about that misunderstanding involving all of those people. Presidents of entire countries (like Iran, for instance) have pointed-out that those charges were trumped-up for political purposes.
If you a truly a priest in the OCA, then you are a perfect reflection of why the organization needs a total house-cleaning from top to bottom. How dare you, a supposed member of the clergy, call the Holy Synod a "Robber Council"?! I don't know what Canons you're reading, but they're not the Canons as I understand them!
If you are such a fan of RSK, then the two of you should form your own church -- "Orthodox Cleptomaniacs of America;" you could call it, "the OCA."
#40 C.C. on 2007-09-04 08:35
Have you interviewed the OCA clergy who had served at the Cathedral in Moscow during the questioned period? They must know more about activities and spending of those funds. They had participated in the wining and dinning of the guests from OCA and the Moscow Patriarchate described above and had travelled with Metropolitan(s) to Russia. Some of these clergymen owe properties in Moscow and still are making annual pilgrimage there to visit their dentists and doctors in addition to the Mother Church. On their return to USA and/or Canada they bring literature in Russian, and various items such as Candlestands, icons, Lampadas, carpets, etc. These are installed in the churches here, and no one knows who pockets the funds from the sale of the books and the icons, the parish or the priest. Some of those priests give their annual salary as a donation to the parish to cover the budget's deficit. So, here we run in a circle, and no one ( including the Bishop) asks where those funds are coming from: from serving the Russian people after Perestroyka or from other sources? The abuse continues...on the expense of the faithful. Meantime, this clergyman builds a reputation among the new Russians here of being generous and caring about the Russian Orthodox community in the city.
#41 Anonymous on 2007-09-06 11:04
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