Thursday, July 2. 2009
Your comments are welcome, but I won't be posting them until after the holiday. See you all on Monday.
Display comments as (Linear | Threaded)
Mark, would you care to elaborate on what is so "interesting" about the greeting on website of the Diocese of Los Angeles and the west?
(Editor's note: How many times has a diocesan website from one jurisdiction greeted the election of another diocesan bishop, who was not only not a Primate, but not in the same jurisdiction, nor even in the same region? Ahh, never? If this continues people might begin to think we really were one Church....
That Bishop Joseph did this is a good thing - and given its novelty, an interesting thing. My hope is that it loses its novelty soon, and becomes standard for all dioceses in all jurisdictions to rejoice with their brothers and sisters in other dioceses upon their good fortune.)
#1 Anonymous on 2009-07-02 16:07
Thank you for the latest News From Around Orthodox America. I was pleased to see a return to the former structure of two separate dioceses, NY/NJ and the DC area. I also feel it is preferable to have His Beatitude residing in the DC area, which is, after all, the capitol of our country. One question: with the Metropolitan relocating to the DC area, will the Chancery staff stay in the Long Island area, or will they, also, relocate down to DC? Just curious!
#2 David Barrett on 2009-07-02 17:08
It would be a massive loss to St. Tikhon's if Fr. Michael were to leave for the episcopacy. He would, of course, make a fine bishop -- he is one of the most dedicated, honest, forthright, serious, and godly men I have ever known. He was my confessor, professor and friend during my three years at St. Tikhon's. May God's will be done.
#3 Former seminarian on 2009-07-03 04:33
AOCA Finances and Budget?
Why not borrow $191,000 [projected shortfall] from the earnings on over $20 million in endowments we hold and pay back the endowment funds with interest when the economy recovers – probably before 2011. Those endowments earned several million dollars last year – why can’t we shake loose 191K if absolutely necessary? Let’s take a good hard look at our endowments and put a portion of the earnings to use if this is a real crisis.
Cut the budget across the board by approx. 3.5% [balances the budget]- a proposal that is not entirely unreasonable or out of line – every parishioner is doing it at home and at work and we expect the Church to do nothing less. This sacrifice amounts to the average ‘cost of living increase’ which everyone who works for a living forsook this year – surely the Church can show leadership by doing the same.
Decrease the budget allocation to each department and balance the budget. In a drastically down economy we are all familiar with cutting back – freezing salaries is an obvious necessity but it really can’t be considered cutting back – slashing line items is the hard work of balancing budgets. Any department should expect to operate on less [3.5%] and make the necessary adjustments on expenses and services – [decreased allowances, fewer staff, less travel, fewer mailings, scaled back programs] it may impact the parishes but this is reasonable and acceptable for the short term – as the economy recovers the department budgets can be reevaluated. Department heads have a responsibility to scale back expenses.
Take a good look at the current annual report that lists each parish and their contribution for a two year period – substantial decreases [ in the $10,000 to $20,000 range ] from several parishes jump off the page. What’s the story here? It isn’t a factor of unemployment since giving from nearby parishes has increased. Look at the demographics – something’s wrong here. If every parish pays their fair share and there is still a shortfall then make a case across the Archdiocese and everyone will do their part – but no one wants to pay for slackers. The bishops, the ‘trustees’ and the finance committee need to go after the slackers first and then get back to us.
No household, no business, no corporation, no institution, no country [with the exception of a third world dictatorship] would propose additional taxes without demonstrating leadership and responsibility by cutting back on expenses and making a serious effort to collect what is already owed. Not to do so is to risk incurring a hostile reaction from the very people who constitute the ‘household’. As Fr. George K. so poignantly observes “emotions are running high right now”. Let’s avoid another lightning strike and take ownership of our budget – cut it and live with it for a while or borrow from our income and pay ourselves back later. Leave the current program alone – goodness knows it was achieved only recently and after long and exhaustive debate – all things being equal, it works – keep it at 10% - allow for reasonable deductions [the IRS does no less] – collect from the slackers. In any case let’s see that everyone gives proportionately; sharing one another’s burden.
#4 B in B on 2009-07-03 08:47
Thank you Mark for all of the important information. Remarks, threats, inuindo's. Nice job people. I would like to thank the Holy Synod for supporting the Orthodox way of life and the support from the world around weighing in on this issue. Upholding the Dioscian Bishop ruling. If Detroit isn't going to respect and OBEY as I have read that they demand others to do then why don't they go under the guise of the old country, it's been done before. You then will be done with disrespecting our Bishops, back door dealing and politics to enhance your own pittance of feeling good as a member of a board, or a power hungry priest grappling for more power. We love our Bishop Mark and priest. Many do, do not believe that you can wisk this away with harsh words and threats. I believe that the Dioscian Bishops should choose the board members for the Archdiocese. The trip to the old country has proven that, it is time for new leadership, clean house and install people who are faithful to the faith and not badgering, threating, posting filthy and harsh sediments on the internet, oh, this includes the priest up North espically or their parishioners. 40 years is enough, and if the Holy Synod comes across this small email, thank you and we support our Bishops and priest, God Bless. GBINC
#5 GBINC on 2009-07-03 12:50
ANALYSIS OF ARCH'D TRUSTEES - More than one blog has referred to the Ant. Arch'd Trustees. We are amongst the many unenchanted by its composition and Metropolitan Philip domination.
First of all about 55-60 possible members. Thirteen honorary and put in that "status" for their continuing monetary "helps".They do not vote and few vocalize on any subject lest they be quietly terminated. But, of course, that speaks for all the Board as most all of the semi annual meets are PRE PROGRAMMED by the Met. We have scores of present/past who attest to this !!
Other than the 6 Bishops (only 1 or 2 dare speak out) there are 7 officers (with varied titles). All appointed or preplanned by the Met. naturally! They enjoy their titles. Two are vocal in their own way and may soon retire anyway, The Chaiurman belongs to Bp Basil's Cathedral and he has had enough, we are informed.
There are 3 converts - two of whom went to Damascus with the spurious hand chosen of Met. P. Another long time member enjoys the glory (Serb) but has never spoken at any meeting. A few women members (3 or so) and one of which has never attended a meeting. Keep the $$$ going though! Other than the purported felons from MA & MICH. the rest are for the most part the, "society of the rubber stamp". Constantly reminded that the Arch'd has grown under Met P. (varied reasons no comment) they wade thru the reports and predecided agendas looking forward to their dinners/fellowship of thye choice3 "club".
One Chancellor is gone another Deacon lawyer as interim person. The other Chancellor back tracked and apologized to Met. P. Prestige and position above all not to mention the $40K plus each year to Englewood.
Few have chance to get on the Board (east Coast dominated) and it is a fact that parishes with large votes (1 per 100 souls) are "visited" by Met P. followers informing them who tyhe Met. wants! This we have witnessed at MANY Conventions.
Will things change? No, not under the present arranged set up. A few voices (1 So West and 1 Woman) speak out. Our Met. is a great Charmer and has always played his movements to his advantage) and yes, little will change. Many do not care and that is the saddest part.
#6 Anonymous Priest & Council Chairman on 2009-07-06 11:25
Mark, thank you very much for your response. As a regular follower of Bishop Joseph's website, I have noticed that he has regularly greeted any hierarch in the world who has been elected/enthroned or even announced when a hierarch has fallen asleep in the Lord, asking everyone to pray for him. Perhaps in the future, you could indicate that it is interesting, and a good thing, thus eliminating the possibility of someone thinking something else. Again, thank you for recognizing this good thing.
(Editor's note: I had no idea he did that. Bravo. And yes, "interesting" can have good connotations as well!)
#7 Anonymous on 2009-07-06 14:21
Having the Met. of the OCA reside in the Wash., D.C. area is a serious mistake. Wash., D.C. is not the real hub of Orthodoxy, religious activity nor influence. New York City is! NYC is the capitol of the world. The US is not the Byzantine Empire and Wash., D.C. is not Constantinople. Having the Met. reside there will do nothing for anyone. It is a silly and not well thought out move!
#8 Anonymous on 2009-07-07 06:28
Fr. Michael would make a fine bishop, but not of the NY/NJ area. In the same manner + Herman was fine for Wilkes-Barre & STOTS, as the Met., he was a disaster. Fr. Michael should have been Bishop of Pitt. The NY/NJ diocese clearly needs someone like + Jonah, not Fr. Michael.
#9 Anonymous on 2009-07-07 06:32
Mark, you need to stop using the term "forgery". Because the first impression is that is a completely false document with a false signature, this is not the case. It is a real signature. I understand there are different interpretations of the word "forgery" but the impression you give off is that they are 100% falsified and with a fake signature. This is NOT true.
Please try to stop manipulating the readers objective with the term "forgery, forged, or forgeries". Can you say "incorrect" instead. Thanks.
(Editor's note: No, it would be incorrect to not call them forgeries, for that is what they are. A forgery is defined by dictionary.com as
"1. ...falsely making or altering a writing by which the legal rights or obligations of another person are apparently affected;" (That would seem to qualify the spurious documents as "forgeries", no?
"2. the production of a spurious work that is claimed to be genuine, as a coin, a painting, or the like." (That's two for two.) I will continue to refer to the spurious decisions as forgeries for that is what they are. Sorry - sometimes the truth is painful.)
#10 William on 2009-07-07 07:53
St. Tikhon's loss would be the NY/NJ Diocese's gain, however. The Holy Synod of the OCA should be stocked with men like him. Axios!
#11 David Maliniak on 2009-07-07 10:55
They were not false. The Patriarch signed them with the ENGLISH written on them. Come on. Gees
(Editor's note: The, Williiam, how do you explain the Patriarch's note on his website :" The Patriarchate wishes all readers not to consider any other version in Arabic language excepted the attached one that appears below" - which is the version not having anything in English written on it? How do you explain the Metropolitan's posting of such a document, officially rejected by the Patriarch? How do you describe a document that purports to be a "final decision" when your own Synod says it is not? Sorry, William. It is not OCANews.org who says those documents are frauds: it is the Patriarch of Antioch and his Synod.)
#12 William on 2009-07-07 11:40
Got the OCA magazine only to read of what appears to be the EXODUS from the Ant. Arch'd. Now Fr Sam Gantt, Fr Isaac Farha, note Fr David Ogan (more?) My Priest is baffled! I attend both an OCA and Ant. parish (my Oca Priest us a great preacher and prepares). How many more will leave? THE Hand Writing Is On The Wall, as they say.
#13 Anonymous Antiochean on 2009-07-07 14:23
And the Congress, the State Department, and the White House is still in Washington, DC. The vast majority of decisions affecting us as a nation, domestically and internationally, are still made in Washington, DC. Thus, it makes a lot of sense to have a bishop, especially one who is comfortable with the media right here in the capital of the country.
#14 Lola LB on 2009-07-07 15:48
William, have you ever signed anything without reading it because you trusted the person who put it in front of you? I have, and I'll bet almost everyone has. If that person slipped something into the document, unbeknowst to you, I'll also bet that you'd be pretty ticked off and would tell people that it didn't matter that you signed it, it was a forgery (or else you'd use similarly strong language).
#15 Jimmy the Greek on 2009-07-07 19:06
However these other documents were created and distributed, the Patriarch has clearly stated that no version other than that posted on the patriarchal website should be considered.
I'll say that again slowly.
The Patriarch says NO OTHER VERSION SHOULD BE CONSIDERED.
Regardless of how any other versions were created or distributed, anyone considering them is DISOBEYING THE PATRIARCH AND THE HOLY SYNOD.
#16 John Congdon on 2009-07-08 06:04
LOL! If NYC was the capitol of the world I would have to find another planet to live on. Look, if we are going to act like the local Church in America, then our Met. needs to reside in the capitol city. It just makes sense.
#17 Anon. Seminarian on 2009-07-08 09:45
Why Pittsburg and not NY/NJ? Fr. Michael will make a great bishop nomatter where he is. Personally, I don't see how the WPA and the NY/NJ diocese are really that different. And for the record, Herman wasn't good for anywhere.
#18 Anon. Seminarian on 2009-07-08 09:50
Father Issac left the Antiochians because his wife is native Alaskan and wanted to go back to Alaska. It had nothing to do with the Antiochian Archdiocese or anything else. I don't know about the others
#19 Anonymous on 2009-07-08 09:53
Actually, this is a very good move. We must remember that, above anything else, the Metropolitan is a diocesan bishop who must care for the clergy and faithful of his diocese, whose Father in Christ he is. With only 11 parishes, the Diocese of Washington is much more manageable for the Metropolitan, and this would free him up to do his broader work while ensuring that he can give the necessary attention to all of the parishes in his own diocese.
This is also better for the parishes in New York and New Jersey, as they will get a proper ruling Bishop dedicated to them alone, rather than getting short shift by having an auxiliary bishop assigned to caring for them. And if that Bishop is someone like Father Michael Dahulich, well, all the better for them!
#20 ejv on 2009-07-08 11:48
Anyone have any comment on the latest OCA financials?
#21 Morton on 2009-07-08 12:56
RE: OCA's latest financial report.
Great report, analysis and financial content. It is really too bad that central admin cannot keep Father Tassos as Treasurer.
I don't mean to delve in personnel matters but I wonder if they thought of keeping Father Tassos on part-time contract to provide functional supervision to a really good bookkeeper who can also use the financial software. He can also produce the quarterly reports. Given today's technology, Father Tassos would have to physically be in NY only a few days each quarter.
#22 Carl on 2009-07-08 19:09
Yes, I think it is great that they released what they did, but I think that such a disclosure behooves them to describe their 'line items' a little more clearly. Such as the ~$7,000 in "Holy Synod expenses."
It is a good thing for us to have such a disclosure, but a lot of things on it are perplexing, vague, or confusing.
Also, did anyone notice the new OCA RSS feed? feed://www.oca.org/newsrss.xml (is it even new? I just noticed it.) I think this is an excellent addition, really overdue. But the website still has a long way to go.
#23 Silenced on 2009-07-08 19:26
One thing was revealed at the ROEA Congress last week: the members of the "due diligence" committees. A Bit disappointing: On the legal committee there is Mary-Lynn Pacurar, wife of one of the JDC members, Fr. Ian Pacurar. On the financial committee is his sister, Ianne. Their professional qualifications not withstanding, it seems a terribly apparent conflict of interest. Lastly, there is no canon law due diligence committee, which is perhaps the worst oversight of all. But of course, this may be excused since there is no canonical precedent for "maximal autonomy 'with but not under' another church." (Except maybe what the ROEA already experiences in its relationship with the OCA.) Why spend the money when you know what the answer will be?
#24 Vatra Fink on 2009-07-08 23:27
"The NY/NJ diocese clearly needs someone like + Jonah, not Fr. Michael."
I feel for you. Really! The DOS needs +Jonah also AS HE WAS SUPPOSED TO BE before the OCA stole him away from us.
#25 Steve on 2009-07-09 14:18
The author does not allow comments to this entry