Monday, October 15. 2007
The delegates shared much interesting information. Any comments?
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A MESSAGE FROM THE DEVIL
Dear Disgusting Christians Who I Hate:
Enough already! About 2,000 years ago, the one you call God sent me into a herd of swine and over a cliff for a few fun seconds of free-fall. Good one!
But now, the one you call your leader has banished me to the Midwest and W. Pennsylvania, USA. I have to admit that I’ve been there, had fun there, and even made some inroads there over the years. But I don’t live there any more.
A few months ago, a bright light started to shine in the Midwest. I hate bright light! Against my most irresistible efforts, human backbones actually stiffened, their speech turned painfully truthful and their actions blew a strong wind in my face. So I had to get the hell outta there!
It happened again last week in Mingo Junction. Very rude and inhospitable to me. The light got so bright that it made me wince, and the granite-spined humans made such proclamations that it gave me a severe migraine. There was so much light, truth and courage in that place, I didn’t know where to hide. Only garlic, prayer and fasting would have been worse, so I got the hell outta there, too!
So please tell the one you call your leader that he has no idea where I am. Until last weekend, I was assuming he’d forgotten that I exist. Also, please tell him that I’m really appreciating his work. Watching him mislead the people of God (my favorite hobby) is pure pleasure.
Now I need a place to hang out. Somewhere that’s dark so I can fit in. Somewhere where the neighbors won’t mind my roaring. Some place where most of my work is done for me. I know! I’ll go back and live in the details. I can bury details forever...or until He comes back again.
Oh well, nice talkin’ to you. See you at the "Legion Hall".
I hate you!
#1 BLM on 2007-10-15 16:32
Ode to “my dear Vladyka.”
There is more to that can of worms in yonder Texasland I say.
Hear me now for I will not snore some’mores and then go away.
A trifle of conscience for a fallen comrade does faking make,
Florida! O Florida! My heart a new testing ground for my own sake.
“Look up you riffraff to yonder mighty fallen man and say:
‘Your priesthood I shall never take away!’”
“Alas, it is so precious a thing I know,
My support for you now comes and it will never go.”
Normal people know right from wrong we pray,
Yet get a gold crown and your morality is all gone away.
Hoot’n holler “the devil has gotten his day,”
Yet Mr. K still soaks in his hot tub down Venice way.
A title and a yank does not the man truly make,
Yet this type of evangelization will take you all the way to the bank!
“Empty this, that and the other account!”
“It is God’s will for me not to be found out!”
The forensic examiner my dearest is on his way,
The prokeimenon is in the thirteenth tone and the gig is up today!
O hearken you slavish deaf hunkies and hear:
the bluebonnets are a’ honking for the OCA’s end in near!
Tho’ a man knows not yet nature has its way,
Truth or black mail is the real reason for this waning day.
It got us here and it will get us out,
the gauntlet was thrown down by God and for this there is no doubt.
A fairly good report and accurate, but I found one objectionable line in it. And that inaccuracy spills over into other places.
"Due to huge drops in income, a full and part-time Syosset staff that had grown to nearly 30 has been cut to fewer than 20."
My take is that the OCA overspent and abused 1.7M dollars or so over the last 5 years. If you took a staff of ten and paid them each 35k, that is about 1.75M.
Did income really fall, or was the church just overspending income it didn't have, requiring the borrowing?
"Huge drops in income", I believe is a false, misleading, and inaccurate statement. It may be inadvertent, but it still isn't right by my understanding.
That is, the income was never there. Credits belong to the Best Practices implemented by shhh, Metropolitan Herman.
My assertions seem to be supported by the auditor's statements that operating costs were greater than operating income for many years.
Sorry to be a nit, but the income was never really there was it?
To the WPA fair share reduction resolution against these talking points... At $50 per capita on the one resolution, that'd leave about 1.3M for a total annual budget. At a non-New York wage of say 40k (with benefits, etc), the 20 people alone would cost 800k. After tax, they could all team up for 3 bedroom apartments and still afford lunch at McDonalds once a month! 40k, by the way, would be an employers share of about 3k and employees share of 3k, leaving 36k, with say 4k for health or 32k, subject to say 20% state and federal, leaving the employee with 25,600 take home, or not quite 2x the poverty level for a house of 2.
Where are these WPA folks getting their numbers from?
And why doesn't Metropolitan Herman or Fr. Paul get any credit for shrinking the staff that led to overspending for the last 5 years?
Just a few important, but critical points missing.
Along with the report of the Special Commission, also missing.
Stooping to his level?
It seems misinformation, or missing information are handy either way.
Metropolitan Herman deserves some credit. Establishing our own credibility in addressing the Metropolitan requires recognizing both his accomplishments and his failures.
#3 Daniel E. Fall on 2007-10-15 21:57
*The ADM funds*. Where are they? What happened to them? Lets ask the Moscow Patriarchate how much of these funds they received since they were ADM's intended recipient of the giving. A full accounting is DEMANDED. FRK and MT played games with their stewardship of these funds and breached our trust; even cajoling an aging Andreas to write a covering letter (correction: wrote for Andreas - the language was flowery clerical fluff; not Andreas business style) years later. A travesty. The wrongdoers must be exposed, otherwise we will not learn from this mistake. It exposes a total absence of accountability checks and balances; perhaps issues too mundane for Fr. Schmemman when he drafted the Statutes, but clearly a glaring oversight.
Legally, misappropriation of these funds is criminal theft of stolen property. This means that those who received this stolen property (knowingly or not) are just as culpable as those who stole it. MH claiming that he was not "in the loop" is a wild joke conjured up by PR. He is a shrewd manipulator. He knew as did many others. FRK liked to schmooze. Schmoozing with dollars in hand can be very effective... for a time. Notice how quiet Tikhon has been since retirement? Take note of all those who are backing away; probably all recipients of these stolen funds. These people played with confession these many years; toying with people's trust. Now it is time for them to learn that confession truly can cleanse the soul, even if the consequence remain.
How much of these funds are still sitting in US and foreign bank accounts right now? $5 million is a huge sum of money to hide. Find a whistle blower among the thieves. One of them will likely turn if offered immunity.
#4 Anon. on 2007-10-16 02:11
Unfortunately prior to any MC or HS Meeting there is always HYPE. What happen? Herman and Kucynda continue their reign or terror. It is very unfortunate for the entire church. But they must continue to continue covering their own deeds to get to this point in time. ..... So because he enjoys the comfort of this support, everyone is suffering.
The only way to deal with this is continue NOT to support except for your own parish. The Canadians do not support, the Alaskans do not support, nor do the Romanians so why should a few support to continue the corruption?
#5 Sue on 2007-10-16 04:04
Daniel, since you have the math down, as an engineer, my math don't agree with yours.
Please list the accomplishments of MT and MH?
For the last thirty seven years I probably belonged to a different OCA than you!
St.James - Brother of the Lord
Kansas City, MO
Let's see, a metropolitan who everyone has lost confidence in and refuses to step down; an Alaskan bishop who is terrorizing his diocese with monies disappearing yet, he has a new set of regal vestments ($10K a pop) for every occasion; a retired metropolitan who really knows all, but refuses to talk; an ex-chancellor who refuses to talk; independent investigations into wrong doing stopped and evidence hidden or destroyed and the laos can do nothing? What is wrong with this picture? Why have bishops in the OCA been set up as "gods" doing as they wish right or wrong? Where are the checks & balances? What "holy" synod? And after abusing the people and their office, they get to retire with full pensions for life? Accountability anyone? Real justice and truth anyone? How about just restored credibility!
#7 Anonymouso on 2007-10-16 06:26
$5 million is a lot of money to hide ... but not all that much to spend. Esp if one's spending takes place in Moscow and New York City.
#8 Anonymous on 2007-10-16 06:34
Alas, dear soul you know not the man you 'tempt to scold.
No hot tub has he
No life except to serve Thee.
Our times of toil can no longer blame we he
For his time is done
Yet we still blame he.
What more shall a people of love
Claim we to be
While we still throw darts impaling he?
Move on, move on and pray this day
For our soul too will be judged as he's
#9 Anonymous on 2007-10-16 06:46
I am mad and sad about Hermie saying that the Midwest is led by the devil. What gives?!? This is my diocese and he also blamed our good bishop for causing all the problems and disunity. What a crock!
He better had be careful, because he is saying that we are heading for Judgment. "Then it will be too late" is what he said. But too late for who? is what I say.
Its like a line from a great movie:
"Of all the necks on this boat, Your Highness, the one you should be worrying about is your own"!
#10 Eddie Kayeti on 2007-10-16 06:46
Please, I have to say that my family of 6 just moved from Manhattan last year, yes because we had long known we could no longer afford it, but 40k was one of our better years and there were never any benefits.
"Average" wages take into account the people there earning enormous amounts against the wages of people in service jobs, non-profits (like our church) and the arts that earn far, far less.
#11 Rachel Andreyev on 2007-10-16 06:49
This is a discussion we desperately need in the Church. What is the role of the central administration? Interestingly, of the total staff in Syosset, nearly 2/3 were in fundraising (development) and communications. There are zero full-time staff for what I consider to be appropriate functions for the central church - curriculum development for Church Schools, liturgical publication and standardization, and vocations.
Which functions do you believe deserve to be centralized?
As for the $50 per head, if you believe the numbers from our acting treasurer and Metropolitan, that would provide $100,000,000!
Martin D. Watt, CPA
#12 Marty Watt on 2007-10-16 07:48
"Take note of all those who are backing away; probably all recipients of these stolen funds."
Your statement is an assumption based on no fact at all.
It is statements like this that cause people to say this site is all about malicious gossip. Your comment is pure conjecture... pure gossip.
It is statements like this that seem to be getting more and more prevelant that damage the integrity of this site.
(Editor's note: Point of order, Ken. This site makes it clear we are not responsible for the comments of people who post here. The integrity of this site is dependent on the articles we publish - not the comments we post. Both are important for different reasons - but lets not conflate the two, which have very different standards. I do not post my articles anonymously, and in 2 years no one has challenged the veracity of any major fact, of for that fact 99.9% of the minor ones, I have stated. Feel free to disagree with my opinions, but to lump it all as "rumour" is to belittle the work of very many people risking their time, livelhoods, etc. to bring people the facts. They have earned their credibility, just as others have earned the skepticism that attends their words. )
#13 Ken Sanders on 2007-10-16 08:11
I would expect a monk to accept humiliation as salvific chastisement, and meek man to be equally undistiburbed when either honored or offended.
A proud man gets pissy, rants and rushes to the exit.
#14 Anonymous on 2007-10-16 08:18
Please, Daniel, credit for what? Credit for fixing something that he caused? I believe you even commented prior on the fact that MH authorized the "borrowing" of appeals money to cover overspending. And it wasn't even temporary borrowing; the appeals money wasn't repaid for years until this site brought it to light. So how in the world can MH claim that he knew nothing that was going on (especially when he was told by Dn Wheeler, years ago)?
How in the world, for that matter, can the MC or the AAC delegates claim that they knew nothing was going on, when, as far as I know, nobody questioned a $1 million deficit in 2002, and what that money was spent on?
And I have to disagree with you to some extent about the central administration budgeting. What has to be done is for the MC to start from scratch, and decide exactly what REALLY is necessary for our central church to function, and eliminate everything else.
btw, one of the Midwest Diocese resolutions called for a complete accounting of the spending at all AAC's going back to 1992.
#15 Michael Strelka, CPA on 2007-10-16 08:37
There is a misconception about Canada's monies/OCA support. It is illegal for Canadians to send monies south of their border. Not sending support to Syosset is not a matter of choice for Canadians--it simply cannot be done at all.
The OCA portion of Canadian parish collections is therefore kept in a separate account in Canada, and is used when +MH and his entourage visit Canada (as they did this past July*). I believe those monies were also used when AB Seraphim was travelling on behalf of (or with +MH), when ABS was representing the OCA in his External Affairs role.
Lord have mercy!
*I understand that +MH invited himself to the Canadian Archdiocesan Assembly July 2007
#16 Larissa on 2007-10-16 09:07
You think Met. Herman deserves credit for cutting back the profligate amount of staff at the Chancery? Absolutely not.
It's akin to a captain of a sinking ship throwing ballast overboard. Met. Herman thought he could appease the "devil-inspired" naysayers with a few sacrificial lambs. They were all unimportant to him, it was an easy enough sacrifice.
Unfortunately, this ejected ballast hasn't solved the problem. The boat is still sinking, and it's not because of the extra weight of hangers-on. It's boat is sinking because of its captain: Metropolitan Herman. And unfortunately for all of us, it seems he's committed to going down with his ship.
#17 Anonymous on 2007-10-16 09:28
As head of the OCA, the Met Herman has blamed everyone including the devil himself for the evil dwelling among us. He need look no further than his mirror to see the face of the one perpetuating this evil. If he only addressed the problems in a sincere and responsible manner; if he only heeded the biblical quotations he sites; if he only stopped protecting the primary source of this evil; if he only would recall and take seriously the vows he took.
His past performance has sent out warning signals which overshadow all his actions and promises. Consequently, who can believe him? He is certainly not worthy of being the head of the Orthodox Christian Church in America.
#18 Anon on 2007-10-16 10:23
I understand your point Mark, but the comments made in the section do contribute to the perception of this entire site.
Perhaps that is not fair but it is reality. This site has become a place where comments like this are more and more common and there are no rules and guidelines posted for people using this comments section as other websites have.
Perhaps it would be good for you to post some to help change the atmosphere of the site.
Basic things like..
1. Remember your Christian teachings, do not post anything that you would not say to Jesus Christ Himself.
2. Be Courteous and Encourage each other. We are all in this difficult situation together and all of us need to be there for each other. This is a place to positively “let out” all the feelings that are being built up inside of us.
3. Offensive language, and name-calling WILL NOT be tolerated! If you feel you need to let out negativity then find a safe place to do so that does not spread and potentially mislead others.
4. We reserve the right to withhold comments that are inappropriate, hurtful and un-Christian like. If you have any questions then once again please feel free to email us.
5.. Finally remember, “So in everything, do unto others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and Prophets.” (Matthew 7:12)
If everyone who posted on this site would follow rules such as these and was exprected to by you as the owner it would do better service to the Church.
(Editor's note: Thanks for the nice set of rules, most of which are indeed followed on this site, with a few exceptions. Unfortunately, many of us may have problems with a notion of Christian dialogue, or dialogue between Christians, that must always be encouraging, gentle, postive, or so reduced in content and scope so that no one may possibly be misled by anything one says. Life seems to be complicated than that on ocassion; and Christian life is no exception. I will stick with the standard my mother taught me:
"A gentlemen is one who is never unintentionally rude." This does not excuse rudeness, but encourages us all to act as Christian ladies and gentlesmen, and places the exceptions to that rule in context. That being said, thanks for your words. )
#19 Ken Sanders on 2007-10-16 10:34
Herman is serving one good purpose as he claws, cheats, bullies, rants, lies, and shames the OCA by his presence........that one good purpose is that we will NEVER AGAIN elect a man such as he.
Even in this, God is working. But, I ask, Lord, how long?
#20 Anonymous on 2007-10-16 10:59
I don't think Metropolitan Herman cares about the spiritual damage he does when he cloaks himself in scripture and accuses the rest of us, who want nothing more than straight answers about what happened to our money, of being devils.
Were it not for Archbishop Job, I would have the very worst attitude toward those in episcopal robes. How can one avoid a bad attitude in the face of such blatant hypocrisy, coming from a Primate who exalts himself to the highest level?
#21 Greg Denysenko on 2007-10-16 10:59
His Beatitude has said: "those who previously served and have resigned are not eligible." By what authority may his Beatitude forbid someone to be elected by the Metropolitan Council to one of their commissions?
#22 Edmund Unneland on 2007-10-16 11:19
I’m incredulous with his opening to the Synod! He just does NOT get it! And, truth be told, he’s not going to get it lest there be a firebolt from heaven! Maybe, though, he does get it, but he thinks the more stern he acts and the more ferocious are his words that we will cower and submit to him. Is there anything we need more to prove the pathology of Joe Swaiko? His opening statement, yet, again, portrays himself as being a martyr for the Church and that we all need to get behind him and move on. His truth is the THE truth, you need not look any further. He welcomes you to his reality as long as you pay the bills to keep it operating. And, true to form, in this preemptive strike against the Synod, he gives his swipes at those that didn’t want to play ball with him using his rules and refuses them a place at the table. My, my, the Lord, the example for all of us, who sent the apostles who Joe is a direct successor of, never turned away those that wanted to do good. For Joe, those that want to do good are considered to be doing the work of the devil! Those that wanted to change and do what is right.
What more do we need to show us that Joe Swaiko is not living in the same reality as you and I? What’s even more disturbing is that in order to get his word in first and mark his ground, he couldn’t wait til they sat at session, he had to do it as liturgy ended. Getting his word in first, last, and being the only word is the most important to a man of his stature. Make it first, make it concrete, and make it the last word to be on a subject, instilling fear in the hearts of those that listen. Let them know that if they go against those words that there will be hell to pay. A man of God to the end, this Joe Swaiko. And he is called “Most blessed”?
We spend over half a million dollars to build a legal firewall around a guy who has merely been misunderstood and who’s words and deeds have been distorted or misinterpreted? Hello! Where have we misunderstood stonewalling? Where have we misunderstood half a million dollars on legal fees for HIM? Where have we misunderstood his halting of an investigation because it was getting into uncomfortable areas for HIM? Where do we misunderstand a man who calls the actions and concerns of the conscientious faithful and clergy of this OCA as works of the “devil”? Joe, there is a misunderstanding, and its YOU who misunderstands the reality we live in! It’s you, who sad to say, misunderstands the word of God. That’s at the crux of this.
Listening to that most arrogant, unrepentant, defiant man who has learned nothing in this entire mess but has hardened his selfish, self righteous, arrogant ways, with a flagrant disregard for anyone or anything that does not conform to the Joe Swaiko model of the universe, should have turned the faces of the other members of the Synod, save Bishop Benjamin, to red so deep as to be painful!
What more do we need to hear and how much more do we have to go through the pain of listening to words like these before we’ve had enough and do whatever we have to do to have him removed? This is no man of God. There has been increasing questioning of this person’s faith over the past two years, but in the space of four days he left no question as to what he believes and it extends no further than his nose!
People, two thousand years ago a man hung on a cross in unbearable pain and died demonstrating his unconditional and boundless love for us. Today we have a man who will put US through any sort of pain for his own gain, and his own vanity, and he is the by name only leader of our Church started by that man on the cross. The incongruity of that has to be reconciled. The time has come for the Synod and the MC to take off the gloves and put an end to what can only be called what it is: madness. For the future of the OCA, for the good of the Church, Joe Swaiko must be relieved of all his duties and eventually returned to the ranks of the laity for all the pain, suffering, and outright abuse of the Church that will be his legacy.
Yes, Joe, its time to move and its time you moved out of the way so we, the faithful of the Church, can move ahead.
#23 Stonewall on 2007-10-16 11:54
So glad to see that the OCA's "Best Practices" document is working soooo well to prevent the huge conflict of interest situation with +Herman. (Sarcasm is intentional.)
When one deals with unethical and power mad individuals who refuse to "Walk the Talk", no rules and policies in the world will convince them to do the right thing. It's time for the adults in the room with the necessary reason, Christian love, courage and conviction to end this farce and remove this egotistical, unaccountable, dellusional, vicious, vindictive, abusive, and unethical hierarch from the position he has betrayed and desecrated. Enough is enough!
i heard - from more than one source - that herman's final
comments at the DoWPA were stated in a calm manner,
and NOT a rant.
although if the part about DoM doing the devil's work is true,
i'm more disturbed.
can someone who was there add some clarification ?
my sources were not there either - so hearsay could be
parts of the story could be 'myth.inc' - keeping in the literary
michael j molenaur
parishioner - Saint Nicholas Orthodox Church
they don't speak for me - i don't speak for them
(Editor's note: I refer you to Archimandrite Patrick Carpenter's comment earlier on this thread in respose to "An Observer". What OCANews.org reported about the Assembly and its aftermath have been confirmed by multiple witnesses - including the Press Officer of the Dicoese. As for use of the word "rant", it refers to content, as much as to tone. What surprised so many at the WPA, I have been told, is that the Metropolitan's angry words were not spoken in a hysterical voice; but in his usual tone. )
#25 mjmolenaur on 2007-10-16 12:09
Let us all remember to pray long and hard for our Church, our Metropolitan, the Synod of Bishops and all in the Metropolitan Council. Our prayers matter, let's all make the extra effort during these important days.
#26 Gene Bohensky on 2007-10-16 12:26
My mother said, "A lady never accidentally hurts someone's feelings..."
#27 Anonymous on 2007-10-16 12:35
Deftly and nicely written. Its true: these darts, these missiles of triumphalism, do no good. Once consequences have resulted from a wrongdoing and the wrongdoer removed from where he can do more harm, the wrongdoer should be left alone and prayed for. If he wants peace, the prayers will work.
#28 Anonymous on 2007-10-16 12:52
Yes, Ed--I had the very same question. How in the world does this man have the audacity to once again make such a sweeping, unilateral decision?
Fast, pray, and give alms...
#29 Cathryn M. Tatusko on 2007-10-16 13:03
We will never elect another like this if we learn from this experience and are vigilant and never assume that because people wear the right clothes that they will do the right thing or display character and integrity.
Once this one is out of our hair, we must beware of his replacement. We know of one ambitious bishop who would, by all accounts, make Joe Swaiko, look like a choir boy.
We must remember this scandal, and the pain, of getting to a point where we can get to it's core, find out what went wrong, how, and clean it up. Once Joe is gone, the work really begins and the vigilance must never weaken. The image I have is that of Europe after the war and the ruins and all the work needed to rebuild. In a like manner we will have a lot of ruins and a lot of rebuilding in the wake of Joe.
#30 Stonewall on 2007-10-16 13:18
And therein lies the legacy of Joe and the bishops that closed their eyes, didn't want to hear of anything, and least of all didn't want to do anything. We are going to have a generation or two that rather than look to their bishop as a shepard are going to be very weary and cautious in dealings with them and not quick to believe all that they say.
They would do very well to tone down the princes part and roll their sleeves up with the rest of us.
#31 Anonymous on 2007-10-16 13:22
My apologies for continuing this, but having looked through many threads and comments on this site.. your comment that these rules are mostly followed with few exceptions is not accurate.
While I can understand the anger and strong feelings of the people posting, there are MANY comments posted that resort to name calling, judgement of persons (not just their actions) and are founded only in people's speculation.
The list I posted was a suggestion of the kind of thing that could be offered.. as there is currently nothing... I have no problem with editing or changing them to allow for the kind of dialogue you are encouraging on this site .. I am 100% open to that. It is possible to have Christian arguements and I do not assume to be the expert on how to do that. I just think that your site should have some declaration reminding people kindly to allow the manner of their discussion reflect the faith that we are declaring.
To be honest, I would think (again I could be wrong) that if any of us heard our kids on a play ground speaking the way many of the posters speak on here we would sit them down and try to correct them about it.
I have often found that adults can benefit from reminders of what we expect from our children... myself included.
Sorry for belaboring this point on this thread but I have not seen a thread posted where these kinds of things can be discussed.
Some may say that this is just distracting us from the real issue, but I believe strongly that the manner in which we address this situation is as important as the response that we seek from the Metropolitan, the Holy Synod, Syosset staff etc. and that it needs to be part of the discussion.
#32 Ken Sanders on 2007-10-16 13:28
Dear Chris: The OCA web site has mentioned that the Holy Synod signed all the BP documents. So far, to my knowledge, has there been any mention of MC or staff signing the Best Practices documents.
#33 Michael Strelka on 2007-10-16 13:33
I don't agree with you being anonymous!
However I agree with you on what you have written. Since + Job wrote his Charlie Brown Series, I am skeptical of ALL BISHOPS.
None of our bishops deserve a pat on the back. They are all part of this fiasco, because of fear. How can they be called our "fearless leaders?
St. James - Brother of the Lord
Kansas City, MO
From today's speech by Herman we read:
"Following today's Court of Appeal, the information from the Preliminary Report of the Special Investigation Committee utilized in the Church Court proceedings will be made public."
Why now Joe? What is in it for you to release this report now? A bone to throw at Job and the Midwest?
An act of desperation, why now and not months ago?
And why after the appeal of Kondratick? What do those two events have to do with one another?
What makes you think the deposition may not be set aside until A REAL investigation takes place?
Is this an attempt to throw the dogs off your scent by throwing out the Kondratick meat again?
I may have been born at night, but I wasn't born LAST NIGHT!!!!
Nice try Herman, but it's a NO GO until YOU GO!!!
#35 Anonymous on 2007-10-16 13:50
Chris, now what do you really THINK of MH?
St. James - Brother of the Lord
Kansas City, MO
He (+MH) has co-opted the commission entirely. Note that there are no longer any references to the commission being created by and for the MC - no, in his version of history, HE formed the commission, HE appointed the members, HE gave the charge.
That is the unfortunate reality in which HE lives.
Martin D. Watt, CPA
#37 Marty Watt on 2007-10-16 16:17
The key work here is *monk*, which implies:
1.having a spiritual father to whom one owes obedience in matters pertaining to ones own spiritual life.
2: Having completed completed a period of formation in a monastery--or at the very least-- under a seasoned monastic.
A story related to me tell of a young priest arriving at the monastery prior to Divine Liturgy, being tonsured a monk, and made an archimandrite, after which he hopped in his sports car and drove back to his own house.
We would be better off selecting candidates for the episcopacy from the married clergy over continuing to support such false monasticism.
Yes, it is indeed another issue than those at hand, but, perhaps things would be different today if members of the synod were all true monastics living simple lives of prayer and poverty.
#38 Guy Kogut on 2007-10-16 16:44
WHAT COULD HAVE HAPPENED BUT DIDN'T: IS THERE STILL TIME!
Metropolitan Herman forgive me. What could have happened? When this whole mess came out into the open you could have voluntarily taken a sabatical and sought a location of reflection in silence at either Jordanville or New Skete Monastery. You could have asked for a locum tenents to be appointed who inturn could have appointed an investigative committee. Your could have broken your silence only in response to their investigative questions and continued in silence until enough resolution permitted your return from sabitical. Sometimes we are blinded to sacrifice our position in order to preserve our position for the sake of ourself. Somewhere in their is our ego. So that no one doubts our intentions ultimately we have to sacrifice our ego in measure to the transgression at hand. Sometimes a priest or bishop must sacrifice, must relinquish the duties of the ordained office and this is so painful but sometimes necessary for the welfare of another, in your case the church at large. The necessary humility for this act is so painful but so cleansing and really puts things into perspective. There are saints of our church, ordained to the priesthood who have celebrated the liturgy one time in their lives and never again realizing that one time was good for all eternity and good for the welfare of the church. The question which must be asked is what are you willing to sacrifice and what are you willing to contribute to the welfare of the church? Keep in mind also that there are a few priests who have been transfered from their parish because the people there have raised their voice enough to be heard by their bishop. In turn money was contributed to the diocese or national church as a direct result of those transfers. This same disease is now played out against the church because of the choices you sanction. This damage is self inflicted now by both you and the ones withholding financial support. It is dangerous to play this way with God's tithe, don't you think? What will you do? Will you sacrifice the church for you episcopate or will you sacrifice your episcopate for the church? The choice is yours. may God help you to choose rights.
#39 Anonymous on 2007-10-16 17:52
Does anyone know what Kucynda's responsibilities are going to be when, and if, they hire a full time Treasurer? Is he going to be out of the picture?
#40 Anonymous on 2007-10-16 19:02
We invariably hear this whenever the subject is brought up. But, the fact remains that the Canadians do not contribute to the funding of the OCA. I'm no lawyer, but I suspect there are probably legal ways to allow them to contribute.
Of course, this also means that Canadian funds were not stolen, unless they contributed to the Special Appeals, in which case they, too, were defrauded.
#41 A priest of the Midwest on 2007-10-16 20:20
Obviously, you did not excel in poetry class my dear lacklusterist chum! And I dare say that you have not yet gotten the point intended. Was that intentional? I hope it was intentional for your sake.
However, in anger management class at the correctional facility (I work there!) I was told by the politically correct consultants to: ". . . find ways to express your self without hurting anyone’s feelings. Please, please, Mr. Greenburg, try to be nice." So, what is "nice" already?
Now, friends, this brings up a point that is relevant to all who visit this site: what is the nature of holiness? Is holiness equated with being “nice?” Is being effeminate how men should be "nice?" Is being uni-sexed being “nice?” Is being "nice" mentioned at all in the Creed? Is being "nice" anywhere to be found in Canon Law? Is being "nice" what makes one saintly and glorified and one with Christ? Is being "nice" going to get one to heaven? Is being "nice" the criteria that Jesus will use to judge me and you?
Being "nice" is gutless and dehumanizing because it actually means that NOTHING REALLY MATTERS! If this is the case then we should all put a red dot on our foreheads and become Orthodox Hindus! If nothing really matters then let's all get on the karma band wagon and call this OCA farce quits.
Was Elijah, Nathan, Paul, George, Athanasius or Demetrious “nice?” Why should I be “nice?” What saint has ever been “nice?” Who can be found WORTHY while being "nice?"
Justice needs to happen or virtue is dead in the Orthodox Church. Well, maybe it can be dead in the OCA and few will even notice . . . or would have ever noticed if it wasn’t for the good people who started this web site and who told the truth and repented. All too many are habituated to the folly of sin and have no nerve or virtue to stand-up to it. Sin has become “normal” in all too many places while virtue has become abnormal and an aberration.
I will NOT be pathologically "nice" as some who float in here on their cyber-manic magic carpets do – being “nice” is for the folks who think justice is something that is eviscerated of power and grace and all the while being hollow and desiccated and not expedient. Mr. K should be in jail! And so should the alumni of Syosset U! This is Christian reality. Wake-up and smell the incense! Holiness and the truth are not POLITICALLY CORRECT! History is not politically correct, either!
Holiness and virtue are counter-cultural. Do you have a stomach for reality in Christ?
Who is blaming Mr. K? He, Mr. K, is convicting himself publicly! He is because he can’t even defend himself in public after all that has gone on in the dark -- and don’t make him out to be a small “b” bridegroom in the pattern of the flagellated Christ, either. After all that has gone on he should be behind bars et al. Are there ecclesiastical prisons? Maybe I can put in for a transfer.
Alas, some are just born to help others repent . . .
#42 Al Greenburg on 2007-10-16 20:28
Steve, I wanted to make sure folks knew where I stand with the current crisis. Do you think if I sent +Herman my latest article he might see the light, repent, walk the talk, and finally speak the truth?
Truth in Organizations is Not Just a Matter of Opinion
Mark's report used the words 'rebuke' and 'lashed out'. that does
not imply normal tone. and Archamandrite Carpenter's comment
doesn't seem to speak to tone either.
not to belabor the point, but i think your editorial comment was
out of place as an answer to my question.
michael j molenaur
Saint Nicholas Orthodox Church
#44 mjmolenaur on 2007-10-16 23:05
Correction to the last sentence in the above post, "may God help you to choose rightly!"
#45 Anonymous on 2007-10-17 04:10
Something concerns me greatly. At present, several autocephalous churches are experiencing turmoil as a result of rival primates. The Churches of the Ukraine, Jerusalem, and Bulgaria have schism after a former primate was deposed and refused to accept the decision. If our own Church succeeds in deposing Metropolitan Herman, could we see our own "ROAC" body? Could our former chancellor start his own rump church? Worse, could we end up like the Episcopal Church with primates from outside the OCA setting up a rival authority? I will be the first to offer thanksgiving when (not if) the Metropolitan is gone, but I fear the possible schism. In the present age, it seems noone any longer seems to acknowledge any ecclesiastical authority as final.
#46 Reader Nicholas Bailey on 2007-10-17 06:22
A rebuke is not necessarily a harsh, loud statement.
The most painful rebukes I have ever received have been delivered quite calmly and softly.
Likewise, lashing out is a function of the words used, and not necessarily the tone, though the phrase has been so abused in modern times that we automatically assume it means something violent and rude.
The Diocese of the Midwest and Abp. Job have rebuked and lashed out at the misbehavior in Syosset, you know, and have not been violent or rude about it.
#47 Kevin Nikolai Payne on 2007-10-17 09:08
your explanation and my dictionary and thesaurus don't agree.
this is becoming 'antics semantics'
not worth the effort.
no further comments
#48 mjmolenaur on 2007-10-17 18:08
Forgive me for the annonymous posting. I usually always post in the open with my real name. But what I am saying now might be confidential. I don't think it is, since it as said to in a room full of people, but just because I don't think it was confidential doesn't mean that the hierarch who sad it doesn't think it was confidential. I'd ask him but he hasn't returned any of my eamils for a couple of months.
Anyway, I was talking to this bishop after a liturgy one sunday. He said that the details of the theft will never be made publically known because the possiblilty of being sued by ADM is looming.
It seems to me that keeping the truth bottled up is impossible. But it is also a hideous thought that the Church would be brought before Caesar's judge for fraud. I think it would be better that we admit wrong doing, repay ADM their money, and sue Theodosius and Konradtic (and who ever else) for fraud and conversion.
And as for getting rid of Herman, and his statements that he is misunderstood, well, all I can say is that he was not misunderstood when he failed to stand up to Theodosius when he fired Fr. Dcn Eric Wheeler when Fr. Dcn. became a nuisance to the thieves. That alone is reason to sack him.
#49 Annon. on 2007-10-19 01:37
How does the fact that Wayne Andreas wrote, or at least signed, a letter to Met. Theodosius, which said something to the effect that all the money ADM had given the OCA was meant for +Theodosius, to spend as he saw fit, with your having heard a bishop say that the OCA may be in line to be sued by ADM? Seems as if the two do not support each other. Cate
#50 Cate on 2007-10-19 13:34
Actually Marty, the Metropolitan is correct. He formed the original commission, appointed its members, and gave the charge. The Metropolitan Council did not. That was the problem.
Subsequently, resolutions attempting to continue the commission's work free of the Metropolitan's control were passed by the Metropolitan Council in March and June. These resolutions were never allowed to take effect. Two points need to be made. This new agreement was a compromise to be sure, but one made between the Holy Synod and the Metropolitan Council. And, the charge ("the seven points") is the work of the Metropolitan Council.
This is now in the open and becomes the template for scrutiny of the new Special Investigative Committee's work.
We can hope. We can pray. And we must be vigilant.
#51 Fr John M Reeves on 2007-10-19 20:20
A couple of things complicate the answer to your question, Cate.
First off, the donations to the "Discretionary Account"(s) came from two different sources... the ADM Foundation and the Andreas Foundation. If memory serves, Dwayne Andreas pretty much controlled the second, and was more-or-less "arms-length" with the first.
So, since he sent a letter to the OCA granting control to +MT, the rest of the money (the money from the "other" foundation) probably wouldn't be "covered" by that letter. Does anyone know which letterhead Andreas wrote the grant release on?
But a more definitive answer could perhaps be gained by filing a FOIA request for applicable ADM Foundation and Andreas Foundation tax returns (and any amended returns) for the appropriate years. If either or both foundations amended their returns for those years to reflect non-tax exempt gifts rather than tax-exempt grants someone might learn something.
On the other hand, maybe they just forgot. It happens.
Unfortunately, my copies of the original ADM and Andreas Foundation returns are packed away in storage... probably never to be seen again.
#52 Joe on 2007-10-19 20:52
If I understand this right, if Mr Andreas personally gave Met Theodosius the money, it would be one thing, and Met Theodosius would have been responsible for reporting the gift as income. If Mr. Andreas gave the money, and then reported it as a charitible deduction, which (according to an OCA News article from 2000 available in the chronology section here) seems to have been done, then he could not legally have given it to an individual. If his foundation, or his company, donated the money, then the boards of directors for those entities have a legal fiduciary responsibilty regarding the gifts and the deductions and, I think, would have to sue.
#53 Rachel Andreyev on 2007-10-20 07:28
That's a more or less accurate summary, Rachel.
On the one hand, I know that the money that has been reported came from the foundations, and not from Mr. Andreas personnally, because I have seen the tax returns from the foundations, and the donations to the "Russian Orthodox Church in America" and "Russian Orthodox Church of America" are listed line-items. If memory serves, the aggregate total is somewhere upwards of $6Mil. (I could be wrong by as much as $1.5 Mil either way on that... it's been a LONG time since I looked at those returns.
What I don't know is whether Mr. Andreas also personally gave money to either +MT or to the OCA in substantial amounts. I, at least, have not seen his personal tax returns.
In any case, and again if memory serves, the Andreas Foundation was pretty much controlled by Dwayne Andreas and his immediate family, while the ADM foundation was much less tightly controlled... Andreas merely served on the board of that Foundation.
#54 joe on 2007-10-20 20:18
Rachel Andreyev's analysis of the IRS implications of the ADM money is right on the mark.
This is precisely how I lined it out for Met. Theodosius in a long conversation at the Syosset chancery in January 2001, nearly seven years ago.
He called me on the carpet to argue that I shouldn't have demanded public accountability for himself, the ADM donations, and the OCA, especially on the OCA-Clergy Internet list (no longer active).
But even after all that effort, MetT didn't believe me, after not believing Pdn Eric Wheeler, too. MetT's 'reasons' for not following proper not-for-profit procedures were silly and stupid.
And MetT was in control of it all, just as Met. Herman after him.
Now look where we are....
#55 Monk James on 2007-10-22 07:09
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