Thursday, June 29. 2006
In the past two week we have had several priests and lay people contribute reflections on the scandal to OCANews. What do you think of their comments? Is there anyone you would like to hear from?
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The "REFLECTION" written by Father John Reeves put everything into perspective. When you read the OCA statute covering the "Council", one can understand why the OCA has a financial scandal. Article "V" section #1 is designed to allow for intimidation, mismanagement, malfeasance and financial scandal. All of which has taken place.
The "Metropolitan Council" is organized to create intimidation of the members and in favor of the administration. Article "V", section #1 states that the Metropolitan must be on the Council and must be its Chairman. In addition, it also states that the Chancellor, the Secretary and the Treasurer are also on the Council. Being that the Metropolitan is a Bishop, he also has a Priest from his diocese on the council. If there is someone in the administration such as the Metropolitan or Chancellor that may have a sticky finger complex, being chairman, the Metropolitan is in a great position to control and manipulate the balance of the Council. This is not unlike putting the fox in charge of guarding the chickens in the Hen House. It is a scandal waiting to happen.
I never have liked the term "Council." To me it denotes a "suggestive" body. A "Board" suggests a "ruling body." I have always referred to our ruling body as the "Church Board." The Priest has no vote. The Board President (elected) has a vote only if there is a tie. The Priest makes his report and the Board acts on his requests.
On the Metropolitan Council, the members of the administration should have no vote. They each should make reports of their area of expertise. The chairman should be an elected position by council members from one of the three laymen elected by the All-American Council. This should take favoritism and intimidation out of the picture. This type of "Board" structure is better suited to fulfill the requirements of the "Board" members as called for in Article "V" Section #4. If the Board members have the responsibility as prescribed in Section #4, then they too must have the authority to fulfill their responsibilities.
One more item. There should NEVER be a discretionary account for any member of the Administration that is out of the reach of the auditors. Never are checks to be issued for "cash." There must always be a receipt for expenditures.
I am sure that anyone following the OCA financial scandal closely has an opinion as to "who" is involved. At this point, to me, it is obvious. In time, they will confess and start a program of restitution and accept proper punishment. Until the guilty come forward, I can see mass resignation from the present "Council." They have been placed in a very vulnerable, liable, and undesirable position.
I would like to express my appreciation to Mark Stokoe for his untiring efforts of keep us informed. I am also waiting for the OCA administration to stop blaming the messenger, apologize to Eric Wheeler, name the guilty, and to give a full report to the Parishes. May this happen sooner rather then later.
Peter J. Sredich
A number of commentators have questioned where the "missing money" has gone. Good question. After a brief survey of issues of "The Orthodox Church" , OCA newsmagazine, going back several years the following trips by OCA hierarchs, clergy and Syosset personnel show where some of the money has gone.
01.12.03. +Metropolitan Herman (MH) visited Mexico with +Dmitri, Fr.Brum, Fr.Hapsch, Fr. Rios, John Mindala and Jason Vansuch;
06.02/06.03. +MH visited Russia with Fr. Kondratick (RSK);
07.03/10.03. +MH visited Istanbul with RSK, and Fr Kishkovsky The article did not say when they left Istanbul or where they went.
07.29/31.03. +MH visited Sarov, Russia with RSK, Fr.Kishkovsky , Fr. Zacchaeus Wood and John Mindala.
08.02/11(?).03. +MH visited Ukraine with RSK and Fr. Kishkovsky. No mention in TOC when they left or where they went.
09.04/11.03. +MH visited Poland with RSK, Fr. Kishkovsky, Fr. Matusiak, David Wagschal and John Mindala.
01.21/25.04. RSK, Fr.Basil Summmers and John Mindala (It appears transportation was furnished by the GOA).
04.16/04. +MH visited country of Georgia with +Seraphim, RSK, Fr. Kishkovsky, David Wagschal, David Lucs, Jason Vansuch and Alexei Klimitchev.
06.??.04. +MH visited Russia re the Tikvin icon return with +Job, RSK, Fr.Brum, Fr.Zaccaeus Wood, Deacon Klimitchev, Isadore Brittain, Peter Ilchuk, Alexis Liberovsky, John Mindala, Jason Vansuch and Joel Wilson.
09.18/26.04. +MH visite Slovakia with +Seraphim, +Nikon, RSK, Fr. Daniel Ressetar, Dn. Klimitchev, Peter Ilchuk, Mark Petaskey, John Mindala, David Hagschal and Martin Paluch.
10.23/24/04. +Seraphim and RSK visited Alexandria, Egypt for the entrhronement of the Patriarch of Alexandria.
10.27/28.04. +Kirill and Fr. Brum visited Sofia, Bulgaria for the 90th birthday of the Patriarch of Bulgaria.
12.06/07.04. +MH visited Russia to celebrate the 10th Anniversary of St. Catherine's with +Nathaniel, +Seraphim, +Nikon, RSK and Fr. Kishkovsky.
12.08/13.04. +MH visited Finland with +Nathaniel, +Seraphim, +Nikon, RSK, Fr. Kishkovsky and "support staff".
04.??.05. +Seraphim and Fr. Alexander Rentel went to Rome for the funeral of Pope Paul II.
04.??.05. +Tikhon (Mollard) and Fr. Brum went to Rome for the enthronement of the new Pope Benedict.
Anyone out there with some familiarity of air travel, hotel and meals expenses?
#2 Niicholas Skovran on 2006-06-29 13:50
I have watching the comments and opinions expressed from the sidelines for some time. I want to clarify that I am neither naive or insane, I am a successful business person and a cradle orthodox. I am not a scholar or theologian, but an active, middle aged lay person. I have had the opporunity to work closely with Metropolitan Theodosius and Fr. Kndratick, but I haven't spoken to them in years, I consider myself an objective obersver.
Anyone that watches this website regularly has seen the peaks and valleys of the issues of the moment and any new revelations. When sitting back and looking at many of them objectively I truly wonder where some of the issues really are. One hot bed of activity a few weeks ago was the revelation that there were a number of checks issued to staff for about $9,800. Has anyone investigated if those checks coincided with a trip to Russia? Over my lifetime, the only sure things in Russia were cash and blue jeans. For years banks could not be trusted to maintain deposits and transaction in the Soviet Union and then Russia. I know of many individuals, groups and I dare say church delegations that have traveled with cash in order to DO THE WORK FOR WHICH IT IS INTENDED. While the method of issuing multiple checks may be a bit odd, I hardly consider obtaining cash to take overseas a huge issue.
Can any of you tell me one time in the history of our church where we have not been in a tight financial situation? Neither can I. Quiet frankly, our administration has done an incredible job of giving the OCA the image of a class A jurisdiction on a class D budget. Does that mean that funds and finances were crossed over to meet needs...probably. Was it done with the best interest of the church, absolutely.
In retrospect I am sure that Metropolitan Theodosius and Father Bob would prefer to have a few decisions back and in hindsight would have done things differently, but the world doesn't work that way. From my interaction with them they never had anything but the best interest of the OCA in mind with their thoughts and actions. The OCA has been able to get an incredible support base of volunteers largely due to the charisma of these two men. Did Fr. Bob buy dinner for a group of volunteers from time to time, of course and he should have, but I'm not aware of anything more than that. Fr. Bob has the ability to identify future volunteers and givers and he respected their time and talents.
This all began with the question, are the allegations true? I don't think anyone can think that this is a yes/no answer. The comments and reasons are multiple and far reaching. My opinion, and it's just that, my opinion is that:
A. Mistakes were made attempting to do the right thing
B. Rather than expose a multitude of other people to endless comments and questions, the previous administration is taking the brunt of the abuse themselves, as I would expect. Surely explanations exist
C. After sifting through the hysteria, major issues will be few.
D. These two made tirelessly worked to create an OCA that we can all be proud of on a shoestring budget. Peter may have been robbed to pay Paul, always with the intention of paying back Peter.
E. I cannot see either of these men doing anything that would harm the church in any way for personal gain.
Fire away, this is just one old man's opinion.
#3 Can't Say on 2006-06-29 15:17
I would dearly like to hear the positions taken by the Holy Synod, especially +Dimitri. In my opinion, silence means assent. I for one, refuse to contribute to any entity that supports, actively OR passively, the crooks that are in charge. The apologists for +Herman and company are simply blowing smoke, regardless of how eloquent they frame their arguments. The bottom line is that +Job's question has not been answered. I suggest that all solicitations from the OCA, and the Diocese that support the crooks, be sent back with the question, "Are the allegations true or are they false?" By mortgaging OCA property, the crooks have borrowed enough to keep them in power for a while. Howver, if we, the people, starve them by not contributing, they will not be able to make the monthly payments. When foreclosure happens, the crooks will have to abandon ship. Then we, the people, may regain control of the OCA. If the crooks hang on, the OCA will go down financially, however, like the Lord, will rise again to, hopefully, become a stronger organization.
#4 Sergei on 2006-06-29 17:27
The reflections component of OCANews is a special gift and service to the Church; here we have first hand the analyses and spiritual insights of modern Church fathers (and mothers). These have been enlightening and helpful and personally for me a godsend. Perhaps when this mess has been sorted out and corrected, you may wish to consider publishing a compilation in print.
Terry C. Peet
#5 Terry C. Peet on 2006-06-29 18:06
Some comments on anonymity, governance, leadership and “follow-ship.”
The criticism of anonymous posters on this blog is an icon of how out-of-touch with the plight of the Church some of the faithful have become. Especially for the priests, there is much to be lost for simply writing an open opinion or observation. Silence has become a way of life for many who were ordained for prophetic witness.
Have you ever attended a Church gathering and observed the silence of what has come to be known as "the audience?" Glaring problems are ignored, wonderful opportunities are missed, any meaningful discussion is out-of-order and "the audience" just sits there. Only later, in the parking lot or on the phone, does the frustration gush out, but to no avail. Meanwhile, leaders begin to believe the silence means “the audience” agrees with them. Not! And “the audience” begins to think that a few hugs and chats with friends can fulfill what is really a delegate’s awesome responsibility to the Church. Not, again!
The Bigger Question.
In an ideal world, anonymity on this blog would be the coward's way out. But the OCA itself has created this monster by allowing an atmosphere of intimidation to prevail. Why has there been so little oversight, questioning, inquiry or interest over the past decade? The bigger question is whether this kind of scandal, or worse, will come upon us again; whether silence and fear will prevent us from the bold change-of-course that is now required of us. Remember that most of those who allowed this fearful atmosphere to take over are still in power and just itching to put their stamp on the "new, improved" OCA.
Leadership and Follow-ship.
After this scandal is resolved, the discussion (if one is allowed) will inevitably turn to the subject of how Orthodox governance should be practiced in America. The proven Orthodox Trinitarian model of hierarchy in conciliarity was never practiced in America and therefore cannot be blamed for our fall. What little was practiced was distorted beyond recognition in recent years. Everything must be rebuilt. So when the laity mounts a white horse to save the Church by replacing over-stepping hierarchs with over-stepping laymen (or visa versa), remember that every council, assembly, AAC and virtually every meeting at every level of the Church has been attended by equal numbers of laity and clergy, most of whom allowed themselves to be intimidated and deceived -- to become an "audience."
So in addition to adopting a system of governance, we must first concern ourselves with the raising up of qualified leaders and informed followers (both are needed) whose mutual actions will move the Church either to glory or more disgrace, no matter what governance we adopt.
Everyone needs to pray, study, learn and speak boldly in love. If anonymity on a blog is the price we pay, then so be it! We can never return to this scary dung-hill again!
God bless the OCA!
#6 Baba Lou on 2006-06-29 23:59
I think that Fr. John Reeves' June 25 Reflection is right on the mark. The OCA Statute may be flawed. It might not be canonical. It might not reflect the Orthodox idea of Church governance (as an aside, if everyone was intent on doing things the Orthodox way, the crisis would have never become a crisis, and nobody would be talking about the OCA Statute). But the OCA Statute is what it is. It is the OCA's governing document, and it is a document Caesar requires.
It is worth knowing what it says. I was surprised when I finally read it. The Statute is rather specific about matters within the competence of the Holy Synod (Article II, Section 7) and matters within the competence of the Metropolitan Council (Article V, Section 4). The bottom line is that the Metropolitan Council is responsible for all of the financial and legal matters that are at the center of this controversy.
If the council members need to consult with the Church's outside lawyers, they have a responsibility to consult with the lawyers and should not be ruled out of order for making this request. The council is entitled to all information and reports concerning the Church's finances and property. If for any reason the information does not exist or is unavailable, it is the council's responsibility to take the initiative and fix the problem.
The Metropolitan Council should not be waiting on the Metropolitan, the Holy Synod, Proskauer Rose or Lambrides, Lamos and Moulthrop to take proactive corrective action to start restoring trust. For example, regardless of whether the internal investigation concludes that anyone misappropriated funds, the Metropolitan Council can and should immediately implement a few fundamental policies. The Metropolitan Council can and should say "Henceforward there will be no reimbursements without proper documentation. Henceforward all property and accounts will be accounted for. Henceforward discretionary cash accounts will be limited to nominal amounts. Henceforward every dime from every special appeal will go directly where it is supposed to go."
The Metropolitan Council should not be waiting for a cue.
#7 Robert Vasilios Wachter on 2006-06-30 00:53
It would be helpful to add a brief "biographical" background statement telling the reader something about the person who is offering the reflection.
The lay persons who have stepped up to offer reflections are most gratefully appreciated.
The OCA laity can learn from observation of the outcomes of the recent child molestation scandals in the Roman Catholic Church that if they do not become active, untiring and relentless in their pursuit of the truth of allegations, they will be ignored and "out waited".
#8 Jean Langley Sullivan on 2006-06-30 06:35
Dear "Can't Say",
You say that "our administration has done and incredible job of giving the OCA the image of a Class A Jurisdiction on a Class D budget".
In what way was that a good thing?
What is wrong with being a Class D Jurisdiction with a Class D budget, if that is the truth of the matter?
#9 jean langley sulllivan on 2006-06-30 08:43
In this generation perception is too often reality. Public perception can open many many doors which can help the OCA execute it's mission, receive donations, grow, attract members, etc., etc. While our church, it's teachings, values, etc. ultimately secures support; public perception can bring people to the door.
I have heard many people comment about the quality of the OCA website. I truly believe that the website has brought seekers to us that may not have come if we looked like a Class D jurisdiction. Simple example.
#10 Can't Say on 2006-06-30 12:27
Can't say and fire away!
The classic attitude oversimplifying the complex gives you away as a conservative, and that might give me away, too.
You are are trying to tell us its okay that the chief stewards of the OCA didn't tell the laity the church was running $1.7 million in the red over the last 5 years? You are trying to say there is no reason for them to balance a checkbook? You are trying to say destroying receipts is a good business practice?
How are mission appeals collected by the OCA any different than the donations you make to your church?
Try this in your business and see how long it works: Instead of applying any money to your utilities bills, just use that money for travel and birthday parties. Or better yet, in your simple view, you can just stop giving to your church for 5 years and that's okay, too. The 9/11/2001 appeals were unpaid last I knew.
Or how about you have an accountant disclose relevant information to auditors? In your view, you'd fire that person, and that'd be okay. Says alot for your principles, probably more why you "Can't Say".
Or how about when you vote for board members in your business, you fail to disclose to the voters the state of the business,? Why not? If it was failing, it'd be best to rehire bad directors right?
The financial stewardship was horrible here, "Can't Say". I WILL SAY that much.
If you ran your business the way this was run over the past few years, you'd be working for someone else, or looking to borrow, hmmm $1.7 million?
We, the laity, are the revenue budget. We are the sales in your P&L. Try telling your sales staff tomorrow that they need to start making up for lost sales from back in 2001 and see where it gets you. I'd like to be there for the laughter!
Your post is so ridiculous, it almosts begs the question whether the editor posted it himself to stir the pot.
(Editor's note: I did not. I couldn't make up all these comments if I tried. MS)
I've stayed away from the non-stop anonymity dialogue and will continue to do so, but in this case, the posting was signed 'Can't Say' because its just downright silly what you said.
The $1.7M dollar loan divied up among 27,000 members is $63 bucks per person. Over the 5 years in question, its an increase of $12.60 per year in dues. for a church with a headcount of 100, its, $1,260 per year in added assessments.
Try to explain how not paying the 9/11 special appeals until Mark Stokoe complains, is wise management in your next post, and be brave and sign your name so we can all chuckle deeply at the thought the church didn't pay the 9/11 appeals because the stewards didn't ask us for $12.60.
#11 Daniel E. Fall on 2006-06-30 12:56
You are telling me that we have to be phoney to attract more members to the OCA? In 1970 we had about 52,000 members, and now we have 23,900. You have to explain your math to me, I'm only an engineer.
Where is this growth you are talking about? It's like trying to explain what "is" is.
We don't have to pat any of the Bishops,or MCM's on the back, because they all knew of these problems for years.
The MCM's should have resigned from the council when it started. If you sleep with a skunk, you will smell like a skunk.
At least you came up with a new cliche:
Dear "Can't Say,
But how many more will the allegations subsequent revelations about HOW that facade of Class A status was maintained turn away from the OCA door in disgust ?
#13 Jean Langley Sullivan on 2006-06-30 18:33
Sergei - you're right on the money (pun intended). The only noise the laiety can make, and be heard, is to withhold donations until there's a thorough house cleaning in Syosset.
Supporting the continuation of illegal and immoral activity is sinful.
#14 NO MORE $$$ for OCA on 2006-07-01 07:01
If I read the message conveyed in Fr. Michael Plekon's "Relections of the Scandal" correctly, Fr. Michael calls for all to exercise tolerance, forgiveness and compassion for those who may be responsible for the state of affairs our OCA is experiencing.
Listing the human failings of early church fathers, those apostles and disciples may have had shortcomings, according to scripture. Since all of us fall short of such saintliness, we can only pray that our hierarchy will find a means to exercise honesty, truthfulness and confessing as to the scope of our distress, the why and how it occurred and make it a rule that the OCA administration will be transparent and open and above reproach, as it should be.
The age of miracles is not past, and should this occur for our OCA, we may ultimately survive and prosper. And if it does not, I fear for the future of the OCA. It may be hopeless, sadly.
How can YOU lump me in with Can't Say Fire Away"???!!! ... I agree with much of what you say (but) How can the Orthodox Church, claiming to be the authentic right-believing Christian Church, justify living the high life merely to present a good Madison Avenue image to truth seekers?
#16 Rich on 2006-07-02 13:21
Dear Can't Say: "...major issues will be few." I'm sure we can take great comfort that one of the few major issues was the fact that for months the adminstration denied that hundreds of thousands of dollars of special appeals money was used to cover operating deficits.
#17 Michael Strelka, CPA on 2006-07-03 12:42
What do our theologians have to say about this scandal; more specifically, what do our paid theologians have to say? Other than Fr. Tom Hopko's letter to the Holy Synod, I do not recall seeing any comments by others. This scandal has raised seminal questions that need serious, sustained, open dialog. Perhaps they are making comments in other forums. Would others kindly point out those forums?
#18 Name withheld on 2006-07-04 10:16
I can't figure out who you are, but thank you for stating the obvious (that most of these others chose to ignore).
Our OCA has come to the forefront in world religions and now we are faced with a problem. Those being accused are presenting themselves with dignity, and holding their heads proud. Those of us who support them far outweigh the accusers, as witnessed by the extremely poor showing on this site.
I applaud you for your words and ask that you continue to pray for Fr. Bob, his family and Met. Theodosius. People who have labored long and hard to make the OCA more than: "Oh, you mean like Greeks?"
#19 Anonymous on 2006-07-04 16:07
Perhaps Archpriest Oleg Kirilov, currently the Rector of the Russian Orthodox Cathedral of Christ the Savior, OCA, in Toronto, Canada, could be added to at least once to the accompanying entourage of MH to Moscow?
Father Kirilov was also assigned to St Catherine's Cathedral in Moscow in the early 1990's. He later served in another parish in Moscow until his new assignment in 2003 (Toronto).
Would not it be illuminating to interview Fr Oleg Kirilov about the funds "designated for St Catherine's in Moscow " and about the "corruption in the Russian Church" ?
Name Witheld by Request
#20 Anonymous on 2006-07-05 07:55
I tend to agree with what you are saying. I don't agree with your thinking that anyone will confess to anything. I feel when this all comes to a head and pops the players are going to act as they are the victims as much as the people in the trenches. Lets think about it we are not going to be able to recover anytime soon from all the financial errors. What we can do is start from the beginning utilizing financial experts that are not going to be manipulated by what anyone tells them to do.
#21 Jeffro on 2006-07-05 09:53
I have reflected on this for 3 weeks. So far I only able to write on Father Michael's reflection. I really liked the part about Peter's denial. I have had much off line correspondence about our bishops. Based on that correspondence, I could draw an analogy between the behavior of our bishops and Peter's denial. Also Father Michael writes about Peter's impulsiveness. I am not sure about the relation between addiction and impulsiveness, but I wouid venture to write this could apply to one our bishops as well. Also Father Michael writes about Saint Paul's intensity and agitation which could most definitely be applied to our bishops, as well as the part about autobiographical nattering. I think all in all we must pray for our bishops.
Based on the article by Father Michael, I would like to see an article telling us how we could better support our bishops in prayer and perhaps some special prayers from the Book of Needs for bishops if there any. We pray for them every morning and every polychronius and at every liturgy, but apparently that is not enough. We need more. It would be good to see hagiography of modern bishops, such as Metropolitan Anthony Khrapovitsky. And finally I would like to see my bishop write a reflection for this site and not just a comment. I will take a huge risk and write that I would like to see the other bishops I correspond with condescend to write for this site. I believe their words could have a huge impact on the internet. And I would like to see all the priests I correspond with write for this site as well. Again, I believe their words could make a huge impact on the internet. The scholar and teachers I know as well. I have told Mark some names in private out of a protective instinct. I will end by writing that I found my way to the Eastern Orthodox Christian religion through an article I found on the internet about Rastafari and Orthodoxy and that is how I know that the words that are published on the internet have a tremendous impact. That is why I want to see more bishops writing on the internet.
#22 Olympiada on 2006-07-05 09:57
I know that a while ago I got a bit carried away with myself and wrote a much too strongly worded post about anonymity. And I do think that, by and large, the whole topic is sort of a distraction from the central issues under consideration here. But I still feel compelled to express my dismay that "can't say" and "anonymous" in this exchange feel compelled to seek the protection of withholding their names when they are expressing full and complete support for the status quo and powers that be. What's that about?
Their posts do, however, go right to the heart of the matter here -- what is the Church? What is the OCA? What are our goals? Our mission? Our day-to-day calling as we eek out our lives with pathetic inadequacy?
Are we about "pride"? Isn't pride considered the mother of all sins?
Are we just another fundraising non-profit that is in the business of raising our own profile and grooming major donors? Or is our responsibility as the Church to make sure that we only raise money in a manner that is consistent with our calling and that is not spiritually harmful or encouraging of wrong thinking among those from whom we raise the money?
If there are those that will give to promote the status of the OCA as a religious force and who seek pride in that status, isn't it the church's place in the person of her clergy to discourage such thinking and to educate and inspire such people to understand that the only thing we can expect as a reward for our labors is the cross? And that our glory is in the cross, not in the praise of men?
#23 Rebecca Matovic on 2006-07-05 16:53
I second Sergei's reply (pun intended)! Jean Sullivan used an appropriate term in her comment .... "out-waited". I'm sure many of us on this site have concluded that Syosset's discernment is to stall and wait it out until the fury of the scandal has subsided to an insignificant number of "disgruntled" members.
Sad to say, now is the time for an even bolder offensive until Archbishop Job's eight-word banner question is answered and fully elaborated on. Indeed, members ought to withhold their pledges to national appeals and stuff the solicitory envelopes as prescribed by Sergei. In addition, national functions (AAC, FOCUS, ect.) ought nought to be attended.
Result: Maybe, just maybe, the truth will be revealed in a much more timely fashion.
#24 NO MORE $$$ for OCA II on 2006-07-05 17:52
First, the "poor showing on the website" is an attempt to NOT act as a lynch mob. Would you prefer we pull out all the stops to make a point ? Probably not.
Also, I am not that bright, but have the task of working with a class D parish budget, and we seem to be growing in spite of the Class A OCA administration and a shrinking census - what am I missing? As a matter of fact, no one has joined us to be part of the OCA, they have all chosen to be orthodox and part of our parish, and then by definition, part of the OCA.
With respect to volunteers who need to have someone buy them dinner - never mind, if you don't see the obvious contradiction I'll never be able to explain it to you. By the way, that is the same mentality that excuses taking a few halupki (without paying) because "I have been volunteering here all day". As my dad said, stealing is stealing.
Finally, $5,600 for a trip to Vegas and a $110,000 loan to fix your personal residence (with 12% interest - per this site and the OCA docs at a time when bank rates were 4%) hardly gives the former chancellor a reason to hold his head high.
Sounds like you like him, and that's ok. Buying dinner for "volunteers" with money from a Class D budget, when you continue to raise my dues year after year, is a sin.
I saw "The Crossing" on the History channel on July 4th - about Washington crossing the Delaware. One of the comanders told Washington he was insulted by the man who supplied the boats. (Sorry, I can't remember the names). General Washington asked for an explanation. The Commander replied, "He told me that to be fat when your men have not eaten for nearly 3 months is damn near treason."
I think that probably sums it up. (Insert sinful for treason).
#25 Peter Baker on 2006-07-05 18:23
I am proud to say that I was "Anonymous" in reply to "Can't say". It was late at night and I forgot to input my information.
Here I am; take a shot at me!
#26 Tina Rhodes on 2006-07-06 20:13
There are "You" letters which are devoted to nothing so much as blame. Then there are "I" letters, whose sentences are all "I" and "Me" and "My." These are selfish.
Commending all to Christ's love and will,
+Tikhon, The Bishop of San Francisco, Los Angeles, and the West; The Orthodox Church in America.
"It is hard not to write sarcasm." (Juvenal)
#27 Bishop Tikhon on 2006-07-06 20:48
Your Grace..you suggest that using, "I", "Me", and "My" in postings indicates selfishness.
Does using "Mr and Mrs Fitzgerald's son" to identify yourself in your posts somehow sidestep that trouble spot?
#28 Anna T. on 2006-07-07 18:51
Even if Joseph Stalin were alive today and inquired "Are the allegations true, or are they false?", I would say that that is a darn good question and most worthy of an honest answer!
#29 Anonymous on 2006-07-07 21:52
I do not know this Olympida person but why are people ripping her to shreds?
#30 Anonymous on 2006-07-08 18:05
#31 Bishop Tikhon on 2006-07-08 20:47
All I am trying to say, Your Grace, is that it seems that many of your Grace's own posts include much that could be considered blaming posts..and much that could be considered "selfish" posts, by your own standard, stating your opinions..I believe you even mentioned once or twice the plan to write your 'memoirs', where, I imagine you will be writing an entire book on 'your' experiences, 'your' thoughts, and your opinions, should anyone want to read about these. So, I wondered why you wrote as you did, stating that "You" posts are blaming posts, and "I" posts are selfish, when you, yourself dont seem able to avoid either.
#32 Anna T. on 2006-07-09 18:45
My apologies, Your Grace.
However.... Color me curious as to who this poster is who has decided to use an old email address of mine AND my usual signature. I was pointed here by an acqaintance. Given that I have not had access to that email addy for nearly 7 years NOR have I ever visited this site prior to this evening, I am not at all amused to find someone impersonating me.
I can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org - any info would be appreciated.
#33 The "real" Anna T. on 2006-07-09 20:10
Anna--please forgive me for the coincidence of having more than one "Anna" on this list. If I ever post again, I'll refrain from using my name to avoid any confusion.
What I am curious about, though, is how it is that I can be using your email address..I've had the same email address for years and it in no way resembles yours.
#34 Anonymous on 2006-07-10 06:11
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