Wednesday, November 28. 2007
And what is your parish doing to end the crisis? Comments, thoughts, and reflections on the St. Mark parish initiatives are welcome.
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WHAT DOES THIS MEAN ? WHY DO WE ONLY HEAR FROM MARYLAND ? WHY DOES MH NOT RESPOND TO HIS PEOPLES DISCOMFORT ?
#1 Anonymous on 2007-11-28 14:17
St Mark's! you guys rock! Its time for other OCA churches to follow the example of St. Marks. As to the question above, he(Herman) probably considers the "reformers" to be a small group of trouble makers. This man is probable not even phased by any of this. Perhaps Herman will only understand when he gets served with papers to appear in court. Its time this crisis comes to a conclusion already! You lawyers among us in the OCA, what can be done through the legal system? I am tired of investigations, special commissions, Metropolitan council meetings, Holy Synod of Bishops meetings,etc. This thing has been dragging on for way to long and after two long years STILL NO CONCLUSION! Its time for legal action against those who participated in the cover up .... the THEFT of $$$$$$.MH,MT,RSK,FK,all a bunch of dishonest crooks! The same goes for Alaska! Who do these guys think there BSing anyway? I am convinced these men don't care what their flock thinks or says. Please put these men out of power already! They can go to prison for all I care. Commit these crimes in a secular world and see what happens! Yes, I am loosing my cool and my patience! So I better stop typing now.
#2 David Rudovsky on 2007-11-28 15:38
God bless the parishoiners at St. Mark's! They have shown themselves to be courageous and faithful stewards of the True Faith. Their stedfast committment to the truth and resolve to bring back ethics and accountability by our leadership shines like a bright beacon in the darkness. I just hope their example encourages others to stand by their principles and have the courage to speak and act to help the OCA.
We're all still waiting for our theologians and teachers to speak. Their silence and abscence from the public square and various other venues is troubling to say the least. If not now then when? How much worse does it have to get before our respected elders and theologians get the courage to speak and lead?
Our "respected elders" have spoken a long time ago, Chris - remember the "70 letter", the one the Synod chose to ignore? Some of our theologians have as well. The silence of our academia is certainly deafening, but I think the biggest problem is that people at the helm of the Church, each I am sure for his own reason, are paralyzed like deer in the headlights. Have you partaken of the pastoral letter of Abp. Seraphim? "Forgive and go back to sleep" is its essense. Forgive what? whom? How can one forgive those who are not repentant? It is presumptious - and sinful - to forgive those who insist that they have done nothing wrong. All this is just so much church speak, which is a language completely alien to true Christian rhetoric.
#4 Inga Leonova on 2007-11-28 19:06
Why should the theologians speak? Isn't it obvious to everyone that RSK, + Herman & + Theodosius are guilty? Do you need theologians to point out what's already been uncovered? The problem is that + Herman thinks he can stay in power and come out of this as the guy who saved the OCA. Well, I've got news! He was the Treasurer after Wheeler and DID NOTHING. He claims he didn't know. Yet, RSK was HIS hand-picked guy from St. Tikhon's to be Chancellor of the OCA. What's wrong with this picture? How much of the missing funds filtered through St. Tikhon's?
#5 Anonymouso on 2007-11-28 19:46
I am a Trustee of St Vladimir's Seminary, so I have some background in issues surrounding "theologians and teachers". I am decidedly not a theologian or teacher but feel blessed by my association with them. They have an awesome task to perform in the base case for the education of our future clergy and lay workers. That is their primary and public responsibility -- and those whom I know personally are quite frankly overworked on a daily basis. However, I would not assume that they are not working privately to help resolve the problems in ways that are within their individual competencies.
Taking myself as a poor example, I have been active in both public arenas (including this website, "Best Practices", etc) as well as private regarding the financial accountability issue. It's obvious that you and most others would not be aware of these private arena activities. Examples include in-depth communications and discussions with the Chancery administration including Metropolitan Herman, the members of the Metropolitan Council, and the Holy Synod of Bishops. Have these private discussions proven fruitful? Some yes, some maybe and some resoundingly not.
For me, I would never assume that any others, including "theologians and teachers", who have not participated in the public arena, would not be active in the private arena, consistent with the press of other duties and responsibilities. All of us need to put our abilities and experience to the most good for building up the church. We are not all going to do the same thing, since we each have different ways of (and different competencies in) approaching the problems. For the theology behind this, see Ephesians 4: 11-14.
I therefore believe it would be incorrect to assume that those who are not speaking out in the public forums are not working as hard as they can behind the scenes to make matters better. Further, I believe that we need to respect their individual decisions to work in such a way as to build up the church in the best way they can.
An afterthought - I have recently seen on another forum some scathing personal attacks made on a highly-respected and dedicated theologian by people who disagree with his published opinions. The public arena reminds me sometimes of a gladiatorial stadium. Those who would wish people to speak out in public can help by contributing to a more rational, polite and civilized environment for discussion.
In Christ, Deacon Peter
#6 Protodeacon Peter Danilchick on 2007-11-29 03:58
I like the way this Church,St. Marks, operates, openly and without fear. I wish all of our churches, priest and bishops would do the same.
We are in the USA, not Russia....
Keep up the good work at St. Marks.
St. James - Brother of the Lord
Kansas City, MO
Chris, the theologians and teachers serve at Herman's pleasure. If Herman gives them a dirty look they are on the unemployment line. These people have families and lives. Do you really wonder why they are keeping their mouths shut? If they agreed with MH they would trumpet out loud and clear and probably get a bonus for it. They have nothing good to say so they are doing all they can do and stay working: they are keeping quiet. Sometimes you have to just put food on the table, please don't fault them for that.
#8 George Kruse on 2007-11-29 06:29
Finally, the small voices are starting to be heard. Will we hear from more parishes? A change needs to be made in the OCA and this is a step in the right direction.
#9 Greg Cipkins on 2007-11-29 06:50
Herman will NEVER resign. NEVER. Herman could care less about petitions, resolutions, public opinion of his leadership. All he cares about his St. Tikhon's and his small group of loyalists who surround him
Herman could care less if everyone stopped paying the OCA assessment, as long as he can be a SQUATTER in the EPA diocesan bishop's house.
Does he care if no one likes him? Not at all. He has NEVER been liked, so what is new?
That does not mean that we have to stop voicing our opinions, but Herman will just cast them as that, opinions, and there are twice as many opinions as there are people.
Herman continues to do his best divide and conquer routine. He now is playing the the song, "If I go who would replace me? Seraphim, Job, Nikolai?" Better to live with the devil you know then the one you don't.
So what is the point of an AAC next year? It will be nothing but a "rally round the Herman flag folks" gathering. All hail Herman who got rid of Kondratick and restored order to the Church. We have a bright future ahead, don't look back, look forward. I will lead you there. BUNK.
I for one don't intend to spend one penny to go to such an event. The best vote for the future of the OCA would be to BOYCOTT the next AAC. That will speak louder than any resolution, and vote, any petition. An empty room will be the loudest voice of all.
#10 Anonymous on 2007-11-29 08:47
Fr. Deacon , I don't buy your interpretation. What is going on "behind the scenes"? Too much goes on "behind the scenes" that never gets to the "stage". This is more of the "dont worry, things are being taken care of. Trust us" rhetoric that has kept so many of us, includilng me, docile. I was told, for example, that the Alaska scandal, specifically the possiblility of disciplining +Nikolae and Archim. Isidore was surely being taken care of "behind the scenes." And now Isidore is back in Alaska as Chancelor! And so, yes; I woiuld like to see something coming from the seminaries on all this. But then again, the academics are people with families too, and like most of us live from paycheck to paycheck. So, like my cowardly self they seen to be choosing silence, anonymity and self-preservation over speaking out in a public way. But the time may be coming SOON when none of us, in conscience, will be able to maintain this silence.
#11 AnonPriest (A.ofC.) on 2007-11-29 09:39
Thanks for giving us some insight into some of the work that is being done in private and behind the scenes to help the current situation. Unfortunately given the breadth, depth and length of this crisis that is simply not enough. I specifically mentioned the needed leadership in the "public" square to act as guidance, illumination, and reference to the rest of us. We have already seen sober and great examples of clergy and laymen posting many articles and commentaries on this site. We have also occasionally seen a few from our theologians and teachers, but not much lately.
Regarding the "I have recently seen on another forum some scathing personal attacks made on a highly-respected and dedicated theologian by people who disagree with his published opinions" comment, if it is whom I think it is, I would say that all of the public criticisms of the opinions published by this priest were fully justified; and mild in comparison to the responses I have seen from Orthodox Copts and other Orthodox Christians who suffered under, escaped from, and are familiar with the radicalism, violence, and intolerance of Christianity rampant in the Middle East.
It is a rare sight indeed to see an Orthodox priest act as an apologist for Islam and criticize American freedom for the reason radical Islamists hate us. It was also revealing to claim that the violence (I am not excusing it in any way) in our culture was offensive to Muslims, while the vastly more violent, demeaning, deadly, and intolerant culture in the Middle East was given a pass; all this in the middle of a war on terrorism where tens of thousands of innocents are slaughtered indiscriminately by Islamic terrorists meanwhile American men and women volunteers sacrifice their lives and limbs to defend those innocents.
Interestingly enough while the OCA crisis grows and worsens this priest chooses to say nothing about it publicly, but he does find the time and energy to step into the public square to blame America for offending Islam and ignoring the poor, while completely ignoring the spiritual cancer destroying the OCA. Surprising sense of priorities!
I've heard my share of Russia bashing here. Having lived in Russia for a time, I'm not sure I understand what you mean. Could you enlighten us about the plight of the poor Russian peasant faithful and the treachery of their bishops? Or is your statement an "off the cuff" remark that you didn't give much thought to, but thought it might give your comments some legitimacy.
You're right, though, when I come to think about it. We're no Russian church. They are moving mountains trying to spread the faith there, they are reaching out to the people in need through national programs for the poor, they are really making an honest effort to impact and change society for the better.
Are there problems? To be sure. Just read Deacon Andrei Kuraev's writings.
We, the OCA, we the "hope" of Orthodoxy for the 21st century, we are complacent, lazy, backbiters, content to have a squeeky clean church, but nothing more. If the OCA goes under, its not because of 1 or 2 men. We have made ourselves irrelevant and apathetic to the world in which we live. We have neglected sacrifice and service, those two things that have nurtured the Church throughout the centuries, and therefore we will die of malnutrition, self inflicted of course.
We must carve out our own way. We will not, however, get anywhere by casting stones at the other Churches, especially the one through which many of us have recieved the faith.
(Editor's note: I believe Mr. Babish was referring to the Russian state, not the Russian Church. )
#13 Bautista Cabrera on 2007-11-29 11:15
So what is the point of an AAC next year? It will be nothing but a "rally round the Herman flag folks" gathering. All hail Herman who got rid of Kondratick and restored order to the Church. We have a bright future ahead, don't look back, look forward.....................
You left out what will happen next. " We've raised some very hard and valid points for our Church. However, due to lack of time all of these issues will have to be tabled until the next AAC. WOW, look at how much we've accomplished here at the AAC!!!. Now go home and Pay, Pray, and Obey. "
#14 Sophia Weisheit on 2007-11-29 13:03
"The best vote for the future of the OCA would be to BOYCOTT the next AAC."
Sir, madame or Father: I beg to differ. I have meant to write a sort of reflection on this subject, but now seems like an opportune moment to present my thoughts.
Staying away from the AAC next year would be the WORST possible thing that we could do. If the only attendees are the supporters of the status quo, they then have the power to amend the OCA Statute in any fashion they choose. Gone would be the AAC and the MC, and you can bet that we would be ruled by the HS.
Is this the result you seek? Or would it be better to marshall the forces for change, and make the amendments to the Statute that WE want? And the agenda be damned; nothing can keep amendments from being voted on.
(editor's note: I think Mike has an interesting point. If the delegates do not like what the Preconciliar decides for a program what, or who, is to stop the AAC from deciding its own agenda at the first session? Or from passing its own resolutions to change things the way it decides? For those who are interested in this method, rather than boycott, there is one whole year to begin working out and building consensus among delegates, clergy and lay, to pass such resolutions, and develop the floor leadership needed to pass them. Okay, Mike, you've got my attention.... )
#15 Michael Strelka on 2007-11-29 13:37
I disagree that the AAC will in fact be a rally around MH and that it would be better to boycott. We have seen that the diocesan councils have not been aatended in vain but rather people are finally finding their voices.
There was an interesting program not too long ago on NPR describing the atrocities associated with Henry Kissinger and his involvement in crimes against humanity/war crimes in Latin America. There is a group of faithful protesters who follow his every move and demonstrate at his every whereabouts. This has caused an international uproar where ever he goes and he has even been forced to leave several countries rather than risk being arrested and tried for his crimes.
Those who disagree with what he has done could have done one of two things: first, boycott his appearances, or two, make such a stink that the whole world knows and force some ammount of change.
I think that the AAC is the OCA's chance to stand tall in the face of what has gone on for far too long, by far too many people.
#16 annon. on 2007-11-29 14:54
With great respect for you and your dedicated work for the Church Father Deacon Peter, please allow me to strongly disagree with you. While private talks and working behind the scenes is good and necessary, by now our leaders are obligated under Christ to also speak out. In a public scandal such as we are in, and at the point we are at in this very public shame, to keep silent before the ecclesia is to abdicate one's responsibility as a leader. This doesn't mean they are obligated to enter into internet arguments or mudslinging, of course, nor does it mean they have to speak more than once (Father Thomas Hopko has clearly made his views known, for instance) but it does mean they must speak, or lose the respect they have gained as passers-on of holy Tradition. Chris rightly points out, now is the time. "If not now, when?" When everyone in the OCA is informed (even pagans who read the newspaper!) and we are in pain over this, speaking privately about it is not enough. The flock is demoralized, and some are even apostacizing -- there is no excuse for silence now. Our theologians and teachers have accepted the position of guidance in the Church. Their lack of leadership in this crisis is troubling, as Chris says. Very troubling.
Those whose "primary and public responsibility" is "the education of our future clergy and lay workers" are all the more responsible to speak out. Do our theologians say holy Tradition is dead, or is silent when it comes to Chancellors embezzling money, or Bishops engaging in sexual immorality, or Metropolitans assuming papal authority? Do the Fathers of the Church have nothing to say about such things? Is our history silent? They teach us that it is the responsibility of all the faithful to discern the mind of the Church and articulate it for every generation. In the words of the Ethiopian eunich, "How can I understand unless someone guides me?"
If they have no conviction about the most pressing spiritual and moral issue facing our Church, why are they authors and teachers? If they really don't have anything to say, then they should not be in positions of leadership and education. If they have conviction and know what to say but keep silent during the Church's hour of need, how are they different from those in Syosset and elsewhere who kept silent during the commission of crimes against the Church?
It's not just theologians that are overworked (what about mothers? what about mission priests holding down additional jobs?), and even if overworked that's not an excuse for leaving the faithful without guidance. Being busy is not an excuse when the Church is in crisis. And no matter how overworked, claiming one is too busy to speak the truth in love is an easy smokescreen. We, the faithful, are not asking for an exhaustive theological document for hardcover publication worthy of passing on unto ages of ages. We are looking for our teachers to teach, theologians to theologize, and elders to lead. If Orthodoxy speaks today, where is it speaking? If the Church has answers for modern man's dilemmas, what are they? Hiding behind one's job as "primary responsibility" is an excuse, too. All of us have as our primary responsibility the health of the Church in America, which is in its worst scandal now. "Pragmatic" thinking can become an excuse for putting self-preservation over honesty in Christ's Church.
Today, seminarians are intimidated into silence and clergy are in fear. The time for relying only on "private arena activities" is past. While we should always seek to employ diplomacy, the time has come for our bishops, priests, seminarians, teachers and theologians to offer in humility the guidance entrusted to them. Our Church is built on those who stand up, not on those who shrink back and hide --especially in times of controversy. "Where the battle rages, loyalty is proved."
Having stated the above as strongly as I know how, I do agree with you, Father Deacon, that "scathing personal attacks" --particularly calling people "evil" and personally condemning those who disagree-- is serious sin. (It is more detrimental to the cause of the accuser than the accused.) I have always been discouraged by the tenor of posts on this site's blog, specifically the focused personal attacks --on either "side." (One poster warned his opponents that if you accuse a priest falsely, you should be excommunicated. May God have mercy on him -- he later proceeded to condemn his own bishop and call him evil.) I believe all of us should be held accountable by the Church for what we write on this site or any site. (Better now than later: "On the Day of Judgment, men will render account for every careless word they utter; for by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned.") There is a heaven-and-hell-sized difference between characterizing activity and condeming people. It is true, we are called to discern right from wrong, to exercise loving discipline in the Church, and to "expose the works of darkness," as Ephesians says. Jesus tells us to "judge with righteous judgement." But we are never to condemn anyone personally, at anytime, for anything. Even when the Church anathamatizes someone, it is in the sense of St Paul's judgement of the immoral man in Corinth (I Cor 5:5), who later repented (II Cor 2:6-8): it is a disassociation, a "have nothing to do with," and an excommunication which has as its goal bringing about repentance. Jesus' words, "Judge not, that you may not be judged," are better translated "Condemn not...". We are never called to villify anyone, but rather always to remember that I am a worse sinner.
I don't generally read whatever "other forum" was referred to, and in writing this post I'm not thinking of anyone in particular. It is my honest intention and sincere hope that I have spoken in the strongest terms while condemning no one personally.
Father Mark Hodges
St Stephen the First Martyr Mission
The subject of the comment was our intra-church issues. Logically, for any anologies to be valid, the subjects being compared must be equal. My mistake if If I assumed he was comparing our intra-church problems with the intra-church issues of the ROC. If that is so, and he was referring to the Russian State,....I'm confused because we're not dealing with secular leaders intruding and messing things up in our Church.
I wonder If I'm the only one who takes things the wrong way?
Na. Everything is as clear as mud.
(Editor's note: if you are confused, stand in line with the rest of us. It's about to get more confusing as well. I think Mr. Babish's analogy was that we are in a "free country" where we can ask questions, whereas Russia has a history of oppressive rulers that forbid and dislike being questioned. )
#18 Bautista Cabrera on 2007-11-29 15:48
Hope all is well with you in Palatine.
You make excellent points, but I can only say that all that effort would prove difficult to execute if the Holy Synod stands up (save Job) and rules such efforts out of order. That is the end of the debate.
What then, a shadow Council? Who will call the other's Council the "Robber Council?"
Resolutions to the AAC have to be sent, I believe 90 days or 120 days before the event. Changes to the Statue have to be sent well prior to the Council. The Pre-Conciliar Commission filters all resolutions. You can bet they will protect the status quo.
And again, if something is ruled out of order by the Chair, IT'S OVER. Then what? Everyone walk out? My point is, why go if you are only going to walk out?
Mark, you talk about floor leadership. You can have all the floor leadership you want, but if the process is fixed, and it will be, what is the point?
Remember, no matter what is passed by the AAC, it only becomes valid IF THE HOLY SYNOD ALSO VOTES IN FAVOR OF IT. They can also amend anything after the vote.
The entire Statue of the OCA needs to be revised, but it can't be looked at now. There is simply too much contention in the Church now for a dispassionate review and revision of a very flawed document.
My vote for BOYCOTT says more about not supporting the leadership of Herman. He can be the Metropolitan of what is left of the OCA. Until he is gone, there is no need to continue to snip at each other. Build up our respective parishes and dioceses and let Syosset, which is dead, bury the dead.
#19 Anonymous on 2007-11-29 16:09
Perhaps a couple broadly well-regarded priests, together with one or 2 lawyers who've followed this know the OCA and its Statute and the State governance laws applicable to the OCA, and who've spoken up courageously, articulately and dispassionately (read: a reasonable man could not say such a person lacks credibility for having been rude, impolitic, knee-jerk or otherwise uncontrolled) could create for online publication a sort of tutorial of the Statute and all rules pertaining to AAC procedure well in advance of the meeting date. Parishes, using such a tutorial, could prepare their representatives for various possible attempts to silence or otherwise undermine those who want to what is right, and each representative could make herself or himself intimately familiar with the rules, so as not to be hoodwinked or bullied. (Kinda like preparing for a trial, maybe.)
#20 Anonymous on 2007-11-29 17:11
Despite my comments on the previous thread regarding the futility of any good coming from an AAC meeting under our current leadership, I must admit Mr.Strelka makes a valid point. As long as there is some fight left in us, perhaps we should give it the old college try and not abandon the field to the forces opposing reform and full disclosure.
Just let's do it with our eyes open and realize that any meaningful success is a long shot at best. Planning and organization are essential, a la St. Mark, Bethesda, if there is to be any hope of overcoming the controlled agenda that will certainly be in place. And remember too, that virtually all the bishops will oppose, to varying degrees, any real attempt to implement change.
Miracles can still happen--the question is can they occur in the OCA.
#21 Kenneth R. Tobin on 2007-11-29 18:31
Michael, Mark, and the others readers of OCA News,
In an effort to begin the planning for an alternative agenda and alternative resolutions for the 15th All-Amercian Council (15AAC), I have created the "2008 All-American Council Planning" group at Yahoo! Groups.
I think that the list of questions contained in Fr. John Hopko's Reflection, posted here on June 28, 2007, make an acceptable starting point for determining what motions and resolutions should be considered by the delegates to 15AAC. (I will attempt to post those questions as the first posting in the first thread on the new group.)
Mark C. Phinney
#22 Mark C. Phinney on 2007-11-30 04:34
It really is good to see so many voicing their concerns and opinions here; it really is refreshing and I'm sure, therapeutic. It is also good to see Fr. Dn. Peter reading here. For those not knowing, Dn. Peter has one of the sharpest and most analytical minds within the OCA leadership today. If the OCA were to look for it's first married bishop, Dn. Peter would be the choice. As Dn. Peter can see, it is clear that + Herman has to go for the OCA to continue to heal and move forward. Waiting until next Nov. is just too long. The only justifiable reason to wait until next Nov. would be if the OCA were to announce it's merger with the AOCA (Antiochians). It certainly is about time!
#23 Anonymouso on 2007-11-30 08:40
A clarification of some of your points is needed, especially the difference between a resolution and an amendment to the statute.
A resolution can be brought up on the floor, on the spot, at the AAC (this was done at Pittsburgh in 1999). Resolutions can be vetoed by the HS.
An amendment to the Statute must be at Syosset 90 days prior to the AAC and to the parishes 60 days prior. There is nothing in the Statute that says that the HS can veto an amendment (although you could make the argument that if the amendment violated Canon law, they could veto it). If the AAC votes in favor of an amendment, it becomes part of the Statute.
Second, note that "the agenda may be changed by vote at the All-American Council" [OCA Statute, Art. III, Sec. 5.e.].
Third, let me reiterate the problem with boycotting the AAC. If we don't make changes now, we could be waiting 12 years (or more) for a chance to turn this around. Isn't it better to go and make a stand for truth, NOW?
Don't let those in power use that opportunity to destroy any chance we might have in the future of salvaging the OCA. Our autocephaly is a precious gift that is worth fighting for, NOW.
#24 Michael Strelka on 2007-11-30 09:07
Thank you, Mark, for your efforts. I believe that Fr Thomas Hopko also had some suggestions in the past for what should take place at the next AAC.
And although I am not at liberty to give any details, I can say that there is a group working towards forming an alternative agenda for the AAC.
#25 Michael Strelka on 2007-11-30 09:18
Boycotting the AAC is a terrible idea.
Rather we should begin now to plan and organize for the AAC.
The diocesan assemblies have been useful and positive, even if not everything has turned out the way one might wish. Issues are for the most part at least being discussed, the division and dissent is at least visible -- none of this leads directly to a solution, but all of it helps build towards the possibility of solutions down the line.
The AAC is an opportunity to address these issues openly and honestly. Just because there will almost certainly be an attempt to make it into a happy-smiley celebration of the path into the bright future forgetting all that nasty mess that we never did actually clear up doesn't mean that the attempt has to succeed. A boycott would guarantee the success of that effort and would represent the self-inflicted marginalization of those concerned with these issues.
More fundamentally, one of the underlying causes of our problems has been the alienation of the administrative institutions of the church from the real life of the church as it is lived out in our dioceses, parishes, and institutions. It is past time to re-establish unity of purpose between the actual body of the church and its administration, to re-enlist the administrative apparatus, including the AAC, in service to the life of the church.
#26 Rebecca Matovic on 2007-11-30 10:27
The OCA needs to last only as long as MH lives, this all the care he has for this Pearl of Great Price. American Church as an institution is dead. The small grass roots lay support for change is a failure there are not enough. MH will sacrifice large chunks of the Church just to survive. We need 20 thousand people angry not the few that are. The outrage has no real voice except the valiant Mark S.I call people in neighboring parishes every night to try and rally support. The people are not excited.
Syosset must be cleaned out completely, no employees from the scandal, no past employees from before and the new ones must be unassociated with the MC, the Holy Synod and any old guard. I hear Bodnar is being fired, is this true? And can someone tell me who is Hunchak? (sp?)
#27 Evdokia on 2007-11-30 10:47
I appreciate your efforts working with the OCA administration and in particular with the board of trustees of SVS. I read your reflection on the above posting. Please, allow me to take issue with your thoughts this time. You offered as part of the private activities arena these “examples including in-depth communication and discussions with chancery administration including Metropolitan Herman, the members of the Metropolitan Council, and The Holy Synod of Bishops. Have these private discussions proven fruitful? Some yes, some may be, and some resoundingly not” I, a lay person, who is simply looking for any fruitful results concerning our OCA crisis have seen NON. In fact our crisis is getting worse day after day. Obviously those private activities are not working. Even the “ best practice” document proved to be just what it is, a document on paper. Is it the division and fear that +MH planted among our clergy, seminarians, members of the MC, The chancery administration, and even some of our Bishops? Do you expect the members of the OCA to trust them with this kind of performance?
On the positive side, I am gratified by the activity of St. Mark’s Church in Maryland who set a good example for us to publicly bring our OCA crisis into the open. Let the world know that we have no confidence in the leadership of Metropolitan Herman and his administration. They sent a clear message that we can learn to be faithful to Christ without this nonsense. Our theologians and teachers have the responsibility to speak up. They must continue to guide and educate us. If our theologians and elders of the church were ignored by Metropolitan Herman, we will not. We need to learn the truth from them, publicly of course.
Holy Annunciation Church
#28 Michel Michail on 2007-11-30 11:15
Dear Mr. Stokoe,
if Mr. Kondratik is indeed seeking Moscow’s support is there any indication that he is getting or about to get any? Regardless of whether he traveled to Moscow or not, I worry that raising this issue can kindle unfounded resentment of the Russian Church. Unless, of course, such intervention is occurring, in which case I would be troubled too.
I understand your point about the Russian state vs. the Russian church, but Mr. Babish’s remark did appear conceited to me. Russia certainly had and has major failings, but exporting Met. Herman, or Met. Theodosios, or Mr. Kondratik to America would not be one of them. They are homemade. Understanding how and why is very important, I believe. And it is even more indefensible that in this free country there developed such a culture of fear, which despite of two years of open turmoil still largely persists, and that so many in the leadership roles remain silent. (I truly appreciate Fr. Mark Hodges’ commentary on that subject.)
#29 Karina Ross on 2007-11-30 15:03
"Herman will NEVER resign. NEVER. Herman could care less about petitions, resolutions, public opinion of his leadership. All he cares about his St. Tikhon's and his small group of loyalists who surround him
Herman could care less if everyone stopped paying the OCA assessment, as long as he can be a SQUATTER in the EPA diocesan bishop's house."
It takes a lot lately to make me smile, but this statement did. I absolutely agree now that you mention it.
So thank you Anonymous, for making this very sad member of the OCA smile.
#30 Linda Weir on 2007-11-30 15:27
To illustrate Mark's point, please see the following observations by Michael Moynihan in the Reason Magazine Online, 11/30/2007::
"Putin’s increasingly long reach isn’t limited to control of the news media and public sector workers; his influence, like that of his Soviet forbearers, naturally extends to classroom curricula. A Russian text book judged insufficiently obsequious to the regime was recalled on orders from the Kremlin, to be replaced by a new text featuring a gushing paean to Putin ( "We see that practically every significant deed is connected with the name and activity of President V.V. Putin"), a Pravda-like section on the crimes of America, and a mealy-mouthed apologia for Comrade Stalin ("The most successful leader of the U.S.S.R.").
Besides nourishing an expanding personality cult of his own, Putin has actively worked to rehabilitate the Soviet past, declaring in 2005 that “the demise of the Soviet Union was the greatest geopolitical catastrophe of the century.”
Such Sovietophilia was detectable from the very beginning of his reign, when the newly-installed President presided over the reinstatement of a plaque at the KGB’s notorious Lubyanka headquarters celebrating former Soviet Premier Yuri Andropov, architect of the brutal repression of the “Prague Spring,” as an “outstanding political figure.” Earlier this month, Putin, with a troupe of saturnine, medal-bedecked KGB men in tow, attended a champagne reception to posthumously award the highest state honor to George Koval, an American who passed atom bomb secrets to Stalin. Considering this ongoing reassessment of Soviet history and historiography, it’s unexceptional that, according to a report from Radio Free Europe, a recent study of Russians found that “45 percent of respondents said they believed Stalin had played a largely positive role in Russia's history.” In fact, Stalin was deemed “Russia's second-most successful leader since the 1917 Bolshevik Revolution”—losing out only to Mr. Putin."
Just amazing isn't it?
#31 Anonymous on 2007-11-30 16:08
Is it true that Bodnar has joined the rest ? Can Herman fire himself sometime soon. Is this true? I read it on the forum.
(Editor's note: Yes. please see my article posted this morning. )
#32 Anonymous on 2007-11-30 18:51
It's disgusting and disheartening! For all his failings, Boris Yeltsin shines in comparison to this neo-Nazi--crypto communist, who, unfortunately, he promoted.
Furthermore, for those holding up the Russian Church as model, let us not forget their role in all this. They are all too comfortable with reestablishing a Church and State dynamic that has been the bane of Christianity for the past 1,682 years. I thought they had learned their lesson when the Patriarchate was revived, however imperfectly, in 1918. This will only compromise their ability to stand for morality and human rights in the ongoing struggle over Russia's future.
Yet another reason for a free and independent Orthodox Church in North America.
#33 Kenneth R. Tobin on 2007-12-01 11:01
The Bethesda parish has done the right thing. Every OCA parish should follow suit.
Personally I have seen little but hand waving by the central administration during the unfolding of this scandal. Yes, they have applied a few band-aids here and there. Sufficient when you agree to sweep problems under the rug. Sufficient when you agree to let irresponsible persons set things straight.
Again, I applaud the decisions the Bethesda parish made. They exercised courage and common sense. It seems obvious to me that they desire a brighter future for the OCA and have some good thoughts on how to make this happen.
#34 Samuel on 2007-12-01 19:00
Paul Hunchak is the former secretary of the OCA.
#35 Michael Strelka on 2007-12-03 17:14
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