Thursday, December 7. 2006
Should the Proskauer Rose Report be released? If so , why? If not, why not? Your thoughts and comments welcome.
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The Metropolitan Council should resolve to not pay Proskauer Rose another dime until its questions are answered. The Council needs to figure out who Proskauer Rose is really representing. It needs to understand how Proskauer Rose has analyzed and resolved potential conflicts of interest in this case. If Proskauer Rose is really representing the private interests of the Metropolitan and Fr. Paul at the expense of the interests of the Church, the Council might consider terminating the representation and trying to get some of that $250,000 back.
#1 Robert Vasilios Wachter on 2006-12-07 10:16
Having worked with lawyers for quite a long time, I would suggest that the FIRST thing that should be 'released' is the contract under which the law firm was hired. It may be that the firm cannot - by virtue of that contract - release this information except to certain people. One can hardly fault the law firm for this situation, rather, the question must be raised as to who framed the contract and why the restrictions involved were put into place - but that's another issue.
on the other hand, if P-K can be shown that LEGALLY the Metropolitan Council represents its stated client - the Orthodox Church in America - then I believe it would be impossible for the firm to fail to release its findings to that body. The point is that the Council - if it is not receiving the results of the firm's investigation - must put forth its claim TO PROSKAUER ROSE that it is one of, if not the ONLY proper recipient of the report. It is not enough for various individuals within the Church to demand that Proskauer Rose release this report to the Council or anyone else. The contract under which the firm was hired is the criteria which must be applied by law. Foolish threats to withhold payment until the firm responds as wished only opens the OCA to a suit for unpaid compensation and a violation of the contract. This would mean the loss of MORE money since any violation of the contract between the Church (in whatever capacity) and the law firm must redound to the benefit of whichever entity is abiding by that document!
Once one has left the 'confines' of the Church and engaged the services of the World, one can no longer ignore those laws, rules, regulations and strictures upon which our legal system - civil and criminal - are based. That is one of the reasons that St. Paul among others warned Christians against bringing their disputes OUTSIDE of the Church. Once that path is chosen, then perforce those involved must abide by another set of standards. I can only reiterate that we must LOOK AT THE CONTRACT between the OCA and Prokauer Rose to determine to whom the report was to be released according to that document. Without knowing that, no demand can be reasonably made.
Matushka Valerie Protopapas
#2 Matushka Valerie Protopapas on 2006-12-07 10:52
St. Ambrose of Milan (whom we commemorate on December 7) is famous for his courageous demand of penance from the Emperor Theodosius. Theodosius, emperor though he be, took seriously his Christianity and publicly did penance. When the Emperor Theodosius died, St. Ambrose gave the funeral oration, and said of the Emperor: "He, an emperor, was not ashamed to perform the public penance which lesser individuals shrink from, and to the end of his life he never ceased to grieve for his crime." St. Ambrose's biographer wrote, "So Christianity was displayed to the world as being no respecter of persons." Ambrose the Christian bishop publicly called a Christian emperor on the carpet. Our bishops today who now wear the imperial robes and even sometimes behave like Byzantine despots ought to learn from and imitate the Emperor Theodosius in humility and in penance as well. It falls upon our Metropolitan Council to stand as firm as St. Ambrose in confronting Christian leadership which wears the imperial robes today. Peace was restored between St. Ambrose and Emperor Theodosius. So too peace is possible for the OCA if our leadership exhibits such Christian behavior. We all watch with hope our Metropolitan Council and our Metropolitan.
#3 Fr. Ted Bobosh on 2006-12-07 12:07
If Metropolitan Herman is truly a servant of God, He will either ensure that the information compiled by Proskauer Rose is made completely available to the Metropolitan Council and the Holy Synod next week or he will resign. If he fails to do either, he should be deposed immediately.
#4 Marc Trolinger on 2006-12-07 12:23
Bravo for your well-written editorial. I hold out a last bit of hope for the upcoming joint meeting, though it is not a great hope. Metropolitan Herman has a history of keeping people in the dark, and sadly, I hardly see this meeting as the forum in which he will change his erroneous way.
In the Epistle reading this Sunday, we will all hear the Lord command us to expose unfruitful works of darkness. Yes, expose them. Perhaps, just perhaps, Metropolitan Herman will be listening too, and perhaps, just perhaps, he will decide that the time has come to listen to the Lord rather than Sarah Gould.
Priest Christopher Wojcik
#5 Priest Christopher Wojcik on 2006-12-07 12:48
Maybe PR has bought in to the Metropolitan's expansive intrepretation of his authority? It certainly makes life easier for them to have one individual to report to and keep happy.
#6 Kenneth R. Tobin on 2006-12-07 14:22
Just a quick couple of questions that I don't think to date has been asked.
Why aren't the faithful going after those who were in positions of authority while a good portion of this fincancial charade was underway?
How come Met. Theodsius, Fr. Kondratick and one of the former Treasurer's, Fr. Oselinsky, are seemingly getting a free pass in all of this?
Why all the hostitlity only toward Met. Herman and Fr. Kucynda? For the life of me, I can't figure out why the other's never seem to come up in comments or in sharing frustrations.
I hope once this is all said and done, the real culprit(s) is/are put away for awhile while wearing an orange jumpsuit(s).
#7 Michael Geeza on 2006-12-07 15:03
Great question. Certainly those who were in authority (+Theodosius, Fr. Kondratick, Oseelinsky, et al) bear responsibility for any misdeeds they may have committed. And should the evidence confirm any misdeeds, it is hoped that Church would take appropriate measures (whether or not the State chooses to do so).
That being said, it is not +Theodosius who is preventing the release of Proskauer Rose. +Herman is.
It is not Fr. Kondratick that is failing to release the information the Metropolitan Council is requesting - such as current financials, time with Proskauer Rose and a written report. Fr. Kucynda is.
Therefore I do not find the frustration evidenced here to be out of place . On the contrary, it is focused on those who have the responsibility for making things right, as they so loudly proclaim they are trying to do. Well, now is their chance. If the "culprits" in all of this do get a "free pass" it is because +Herman and Fr. Kucynda would not reveal the evidence of misdeeds to those chosen by the Church to deal with such matters.
#8 Editor on 2006-12-07 15:33
As any sinner, I am well aware of how difficult it is at times to tell the truth. Most of the time one is afraid for consequences to oneself. Leaving aside worldly challenges, how many people have had a hard time spelling out their sins even at confession for fear of their beloved priest "thinking poorly" of them?
Yet often enough one is loath to harm others, and would rather continue to cover up a transgression of a loved one than to expose that loved one to the scorn of the world.
I think I understand this sentiment well. I am even willing to give Metropolitan Herman the full benefit of the doubt and to suppose that he is agonizing over revealing the information that would expose the transgressions of the individuals that he may feel he owes pastoral protection. Just for the purpose of the argument I am assuming that he may have no first-hand involvement in the wrongdoings, although the information revealed over the last year does not really support such assumption.
Yet, even if this is true, how does he, as a Primate of the Church – first and foremost as a bishop - intend to proceed with resolving this nightmare we, the OCA, have descended into? I have heard one veteran member of the Metropolitan Council attempt to shut down an open discussion of the crisis by telling people that "competent groups" were handling the matters and everything was under control, no need to worry ourselves anymore. I have heard a very nice and respected priest and educator lecture on the dangers of "miring ourselves in the tenets of what is an isolated although painful crisis”. I am sorry, but it is too late for such platitudes, no matter how well-intentioned. It hurts too much, and it does not feel “isolated”. We held our breath for the November Synod meeting. We are now holding it for the next week’s joint meeting of the Synod and the MC. We are going to forget how to breathe!
What has come to full light of the day in the last year has revealed, as some of the more enlightened among us said as early as last winter, the scandalous depth of the ecclesiastical trouble we are in. The missing $8 million, even on a miserable scale of our church’s finances, are but a trifle boil on a deeply diseased body (sorry, cannot resist borrowing someone else’s analogy). We have an autocephalous church that in 30+ years has failed to rise to its intended role and to unify the numerous Orthodox jurisdictions in North America. It had failed so completely that our involvement in the recent negotiations leading to the restoration of the canonical communion between ROCOR and Moscow Patriarchate could be compared, at best, to watching from the gallery. We have a church that clearly has an identity crisis hidden under the veneer of the form of traditional liturgical practice (although, as evident by discussions on this website, the form is not all that uniform!). We have long-term feuds, hidden agendas, all kinds of normal human skirmish, all under the same beautiful veneer. We have shepherds whose idea of tending the flock is with a whip and an iron rod, we have wonderful pastors who have given up and have resigned to a form of Orthodox congregationalism… You name it – we have it. And we have so many “good guys” sitting around doing nothing, being “obedient”, “preserving the unity”. We have the unity? The unity of what? Clearly when we say our ancient creed we do not all mean the same things – just read the latest discussion on the epiclesis!
It was asked in a reflection on this website last February, “Are we in communion with each other? Do we want to be in communion with each other?”. Almost a full year later, listening to all these voices from all walks of the OCA, I fear the answer to both may be “no”. There are calls from the OCA laity AND clergy to run to Antiochians, to Moscow, to ROCOR. Your Beatitude, what do you say? What is your understanding of what is said at every liturgy, “rightly to divide the word of Your truth”? What is it that you are planning to do to help this church – this local body composed of living, breathing, hurting bodies - survive?
#9 Inga Leonova on 2006-12-07 15:36
In a phone conversation earlier today someone told me that we should get together to talk about what we could do to keep what little light is left flickering in the OCA. I said we should talk about Chanukah.
Long ago in the land of Judea there was a Syrian king, Antiochus. The king ordered the Jewish people to reject their G-d, their religion, their customs and their beliefs and to worship the Greek gods. There were some who did as they were told, but many refused.
After three years of fighting, the Maccabees were finally successful in driving the Syrians out of Israel and reclaimed the Temple in Jerusalem. The Maccabees wanted to clean the building and to remove the hated Greek symbols and statues. When Judah and his followers finished cleaning the temple, they wanted to light the eternal light, known as the N'er Tamid, which is present in every Jewish house of worship. Once lit, the oil lamp should never be extinguished.Only a tiny jug of oil was found with only enough for a single day. The oil lamp was filled and lit. Then a miracle occurred as the tiny amount of oil stayed lit not for one day, but for eight days.
Well, since it is Chanukah, and since we were talking about keeping a light lit and since there ain't too much oil left in the OCA either, we may have to take a lesson from the Maccabees, and be prepared to fight a 3 year war to cleanse the temple known as the OCA of the corruption which now fills it. Perhaps God will keep the oil lamp lit for as many days as needed. The Maccabees sometimes fought a guerilla war, so, maybe, that is what we have to do to dislodge our Syrian occupiers who deface our temple.
By the way the Maccabees are saints in our Orthodox calendar.
There are many things worth fighting for in the OCA:
The autocephaly. We have a chance to build up (edify) a people in Orthodoxy who are freed from government interference, and who aren't bogged down in centuries worth of useless and harmful accretions. We actually can ask questions about things many old world Orthodox assume and therefore can't see as questionable. The autocephaly is a gift and responsibility given to us by one of the most reactionary and oppressive Orthodox churches! We have come darn close to extinguishing this candle and cursing the darkness. But remember Chanukah!
Leadership: We have opportunity to embrace Gospel notions of Christian leadership. We can challenge the sense that anyone in authority in Orthodoxy does not have to answer to anyone, and does not have to explain, defend or justify anything they do - whether totally lame or foolish or wrong or incompetent, or when they chose complete inaction or indifference. This creates in the church a total indifference by all who are "below" them in the ossified hierarchical paradigm. This leads to "leadership" at all levels assuming whatever they do for whatever reason is correct and unquestionable. Indifference among underlings is encouraged.
This is not based in love.
We need to talk about a process to help cultivate and train future leadership. Holiness does not translate automatically into leadership. We need to revive the biblical sense that there really different gifts in the body, including different types of leadership and at various times and ways different types of leaders are needed. Orthodoxy's past choices have led to us having to accept that episcopal leadership has to come from monks. But not all monks are leaders. Many who choose monasticism do so to avoid "secular" responsibilities. Don't make these men bishops! On the other hand don't make men bishops who choose monasticism so that they can become bishops!
Let us consider how to make use of monasticism as a means to recognize and prepare leadership.
We have a chance to help restore lay ownership of the mission of the church. We are not "a church of one" (namely the hierarch). The church is the body of Christ. The church is not merely hierarchy. We need to keep the oil lamp of lay participation burning.
Institutions are good servants but bad masters. We can restore the institution to its proper and limited place in the life of the Church.
#10 Anonymous on 2006-12-07 16:15
For a long time, now, questions have been posed to Metropolitan Herman, directly, and on this website. Has he answered a single one? Has he said anything to his flock? Does he care about his flock? Apparently not. We shall see next week.
#11 Name withheld on 2006-12-07 16:17
How does one add to the eloquence of an Igna Leonova or, for that matter, the first two above replies? Perhaps our bishops, save one or two, have been struck dumb, .... by the sheer blinding clarity of truth they encounter on this website, from time to time.
#12 Kenneth R. Tobin on 2006-12-07 17:10
Once again, I want to thank you for your tremendous efforts at this web site and your tenacity for the truth. It seems to me that the absolute worst thing that can come out of this would be that +Herman and Fr. Kucynda wait everyone out. It would appear that this is the basic strategy, stall, stall, stall and hopefully the ire will dissipate.
Whether it is a church or corporate America, nobody likes their dirty laundry waving out for everyone to see. They will do everything in their power to make sure that information does not come to light -- especially if it comes to money. Is this not exactly what +Herman etal. are doing? They are using every defensive tactic they can to make sure that negative information either doesn't come to light or by the time it does come to light no one cares.
If those of us in the church really do care about these issues, there is no more important time to keep the pressure on. And from my personal experience this has to include the threat of withholding funds.
Since the announcement that the Midwest Diocese was willing to stop sending assessments I have noticed a kind of softening in some of the posts on this site. The acts that were committed, namely the misappropriation of funds, were eggregious and do not deserve to be swept under the rug. Second, the current administration's continued attempts to hide information/shade the truth/evade the truth or whatever else you would like to call it are reprehensible.
Why there isn't a serious call to depose +Herman or at least force him into retirement is rather amazing. Again to use an analogy from the corporate world, there is a reason companies ask their CEOs and presidents to step down. It is usually because whatever their vision is for the future or the culture that they are instilling of the organization is not in keeping with the board of directors of the company. Obviously we are talking about the Church and not some random fortune 500 company however it certainly appears that the OCA has reached a point where there is immense disharmony, competing ideologies, and an almost complete lack of trust. If this isn't the time to ask for the resignation of the metropolitan and his administration I certainly don't know when there would be a time. Or in other words, what's a metropolitan got to do around here to get fired?
#13 Fr. Michael on 2006-12-07 18:30
Will Geeza relize if the Met. and kucynda were true reps. Wouldn't they have told us something different. The jigs up and the money is spent . Its time for a fresh new start and acting like a church. STOP THE LIES !!
Dorogoi Misha: Yer kiddin', right? Kinda obvious. Former Metro Theo and Padre Bob are (a) not in the way right now, and (b) possibly headed for the hoosegow in any event. That's why the "faithful" are not "going after" them ... it ain't a lynching ...its a search.
#15 Anne A. Nemos on 2006-12-07 20:50
I love the Holy Orthodox Church in all its jurisdictions and I would not make light of the suffering of the OCA. I saw Met. Herman at St Tikhon's earlier this year and I was moved to pity him as I saw what appeared to be anguish in his eyes. My concern for him subsided when he got into his Cadilac and drove down the road to his fine home. Enough is enough. Perhaps this is God's way of dealing with our sins of jurisdictionalism in North America. Perhaps Met Philip could be recruited as the Met of a combined OCA/Antiochian Archdiocese and bring some money with him, or perhaps reunion with ROCOR or affiliation with the Greeks would be an answer, but we just might get rid of the sinful curse of multiple jurisdictions in time.
#16 anon on 2006-12-08 05:26
In March 1917, following the February Revolution when the Church of Russia had freed itself from oppressive government control, the Synod of Bishops, acting to reform the Church, reconstituted itself, replacing all but one sitting bishops. It was the highest governing church body, no longer controlled by the Czar's procurator. At the same time the Church rid itself of the rot of bishops who had gained their positions under Rasputin's influence, requiring them to retire or resign.
The joint Synod/Council meeting next week must look to this example for reform in our Church. The meeting must be a example of Orthodox councilliary government and not lapse back in the monarchial government of the past couple decades. Resignations, if not deposals, should be obtained so that our Church came be healed.
#17 William Kosar on 2006-12-08 09:14
And when will all the ignorant people out there realize that Herman and Kucynda didn't cause the financial crisis?
Unfortunately they inherited the problem and are being made to look like crooks!
I hope and pray that PR knocks the socks off of everyone this week with their report, bishops included.
Let's wait once and for all what they will say before unjustly blaming and crucifying others.
If I'm wrong, I'll be the first to admit it.
However, if I'm right, then many of the naysayer's should apologize for their rudeness and lack of respect to those who are trying to rectify the problem.
#18 Michael Geeza on 2006-12-08 09:19
One of yesterday's Readings is still ringing in my ears:
1 Timothy 3:1-13
This is a true saying, If a man desire the office of a bishop, he desireth a good work. A bishop then must be blameless, the husband of one wife, vigilant, sober, of good behaviour, given to hospitality, apt to teach; Not given to wine, no striker, not greedy of filthy lucre; but patient, not a brawler, not covetous; One that ruleth well his own house, having his children in subjection with all gravity; (For if a man know not how to rule his own house, how shall he take care of the church of God?) Not a novice, lest being lifted up with pride he fall into the condemnation of the devil. Moreover he must have a good report of them which are without; lest he fall into reproach and the snare of the devil. Likewise must the
deacons be grave, not doubletongued, not given to much wine, not greedy of filthy lucre; Holding the mystery of the faith in a pure conscience. And let these also first be proved; then let them use the office of a deacon, being found blameless. Even so must their wives be grave, not slanderers, sober, faithful in all things. Let the deacons be the husbands of one wife, ruling their children and their own houses well. For they that have used the office of a deacon well purchase to themselves a good degree, and great boldness in the faith which is in Christ Jesus.
#19 Michael Gregory on 2006-12-08 09:38
I am fighting the urge to begin smoking again, after the rejection of the collective bipartisan wisdom (such as it is) by our President. In three years plus he has created chaos and planetary ill will and will not tell the truth. So also our "princes", who will I am sure, imitate the Bush strategy. Lucky for me I really can't afford to smoke, Waiting for the Iraq report or the Proskauer Rose report is a bootless task. Christ will find us in the ruin we have made of His Church. Talk about a stable. Alice
#20 Alice Carter on 2006-12-08 10:48
I am sure one of the best law firms in the country researched the appropriate statutes to determine just who "the church" is. Ethical requirements regarding conflicts of interest and privileged communications and the discovery of criminal conduct in the course of the representation can get very sticky.
I always make sure everyone is clear who my client is, because in my practice mom and dad are typically shelling out the dough for precious little darling, and they figure that gives them the right to know what's going on in the case. Sorry. Junior is my client and it is entirely up to him to decide if I talk to you. I may not be an expensive big-firm lawyer, but at least I know that much.
Of course, Metropolitan Herman is not "the church." (Louis XIV: "I am the state.")
However, based on what I have read here, it does seem that Metropolitan Herman and PR are behaving as if he is the cilent, not the church. I suspect even now this matter is being clarified in writing among interested parties, and someday THAT correspondence might make interesting reading.
If there has been a mistake, PR should simply return any money that was paid out of OCA funds to the OCA, and send a bill to the man they have been dealing with. PR won't miss it, and doesn't need the headache. The OCA could consider anything paid to PR out of OCA funds to be held in a constructive trust pending its return. Injunctive relief might be appropriate, too, to keep any more assets from being squandered.
The MC should (and who knows, maybe has) put it to PR very simply. Cease work immediately and give us the files to our case or else. That would force the issue. Then we can all go to court on the contract dispute and let Caesar decide who the church is for us.
Note I am NOT accusing PR of unethical conduct. My assumption at this point is there was legitimate confusion and PR found itself itself holding the proverbial opened can of worms. But that's why they get paid the big bucks.
#21 observer on 2006-12-08 11:09
Sigh.... we are deteriorating into calls for deposition, accusations of immorality and/or illegality etc. etc. etc. without having sufficient information brought forth to justify any such calls and accusations. As we don't know why Metropolitan Herman has not yet spoken - and it may be as simple as not yet having all the requisite information to reveal - we cannot in justice make any such demands. Indeed, by so doing, we only serve to cause those responsible for addressing the matter to feel uncomfortable at best and terrified at worst in placing confidence in the judgment of the people.
Nor is it enough to suggest that most Orthodox are willing to reserve judgment until the matter is thoroughly investigated and reported upon. Why? Simply because the loudest voices (metaphorically speaking), usually carry the day in a matter such as this ('Crucify Him! Crucify Him!'). As that is the case, 'judgment' might be determined by 'voices' that are seldom moderate in either their pronouncements of evil and doom or their demands for the matter to be 'fixed' and the 'guilty punished' - or else. And, frankly, that is not 'justice' - or at best, it sets the stage for *INjustice*.
Again, both the Church and the Faithful are better served by prayer, patience and vigilance. Christ tells us to be gentle as doves, but He also tells us to be wise as serpents. Disrespectful and derogatory language directed at individuals in the OCA does not help in arriving at the truth nor does an intrusion of partisan politics into the affair assist since neither the comparison nor the point being made by the poster will be seen as appropriate by those with a different point of view on such things. Posts of this nature tend to divide rather than unite and, I might remind everyone that the very word 'devil' means one who divides. Nor are good intentions sufficient to excuse divisiveness given that - according to the old saying - the road to hell is paved with them.
To paraphrase the Psalmist, 'Keep watch over my mouth, O Lord and set a guard over my lips.' The same might be said about our fingers during this time of trial.
#22 Matushka Valerie Protopapas on 2006-12-08 12:36
I am reminded of the scene in Jurassic Park where the wiley park ranger, stalking the raptor, gun poised, peers to his left only to see the raptor, instead, stalking him. His remark? "Clever girl"...just before he is eaten alive.
The purveyors of scandal have pulled a fast one on Prokauer Rose, it would seem. They have invoked the monarchical doctrine; singularly vesting in MH all authority, despite what the Statute says. Keep in mind, PR are a bunch of attorneys. Who are they to get in the middle of our ecclesiology squabbles? The monarchical doctrine gives them plausible deniability. Not being Orthodox, how would they be expected to know the difference? They can give the report to MH, collect their $250,000 fee, and run. What court is going to fault them for being confused over who has jurisdiction in this matter?
We now have only to see who gets eaten, the purveyors of scandal or the OCA itself.
#23 Anon. on 2006-12-08 13:21
Your view that many choose monastic life to avoid secular responsibilities is utter nonsense. Monasticism is not and can never be "escape" from the world's fallenness and brokenness and the responsibilities of life. Why? Because monastics bring into the monastery their own fallenness and brokenness, and---just like every other Orthodox Christian---commit to spending their lives wrestling with that brokenness and fallenness in the struggle to cooperate with God's grace in the process of deification, only on a full-time basis. Further, monastics have the responsibility to be financially self-supporting (just like people "in the world"), the responsibility to provide for their sick and ailing brothers or sisters (just like any other family), the responsibility to practice patience, tolerance, forgiveness, mutual support and edifcation (again, like any other family). And if you think the fundamental demand placed on all monastics, especially on beginners (viz., the cutting off of one's own will), is easy (particularly for the alpha-male type) or some kind of escape from anything, I suspect you've never actually tried it. But, provided you meet the basic criteria and my Bishop blesses, I would be happy to accept you into obedience and help you try your vocation here in the frozen North. Care to give it a go?:-)
Igumen Philip (Speranza)
#24 Igumen Philip (Speranza) on 2006-12-08 14:20
We must be careful what we wish for, as we just might get it. And then what? True, Metropolitan Herman has been difficult; he has not answered questions, he has not acted as some of us might have wished him to act. He seems to be stonewalling. Rumors scurry about beneath the surface regarding some aspects of his behaviour. To some who have seen him up close over the past year, they say it is frightening, how he seems really and truly to believe there is no problem. I think maybe he could be called "delusional" if he believes that.
But who would replace him if he were to resign or to be deposed? The phrase "from the frying pan into the fire" is well-known for good reason. There are some on the Holy Synod who could do a creditable job as Metropolitan, and there are others who would be worse than our current Metropolitan. Unfortunately, one we can think of is the very one who is most interested in having the posiition. Those who might do a more satisfactory job by virtue of their character and their spiritual maturity, not to mention the requisite administrative skills, are the ones who are less eager to be chosen.
And then, there is always the spector of politics, and all that is involved, so that the choice of a new Metropolitan might be no more satisfactory than it was the past two times a Metropolitan was chosen, contrary to the majority choice both times.
These issues have to be dealt with before we rush into deposing Metropolitan Herman. How? There surely must be some in the OCA with the necessary skills, hopefully some leaders among the persons now serving on the Metropolitan Council, but they are up against a formidable obstacle in the present Synod. Only with God's grace, and a lot of hard work by people whose eyes do not glaze over when discussion of administrative concerns comes up, can this be resolved. Cate
#25 Cate on 2006-12-08 16:48
Well spoken, Matushka!
#26 Sine Nomine on 2006-12-09 05:33
Mene, mene, tekel, parsim:
If those words do not strike fear in the hearts of certain people, they should, just as they did the king of old. They are words of doom - the proverbial handwriting on the wall. They were well-chosen. Those who have ears to hear, let them hear.
#27 Sine Nomine on 2006-12-09 05:44
I can verify Mark's point about the flood of reports which were good to a point, though some seem incomplete. At present I haven't received a copy of the proposed budget which we will be expected to endorse this coming week. Absent also is a financial analysis of where we actually stand.
As it is the Saturday before Monday's Metropolitan Council meeting and the mail has already been delivered today, I don't really expect to see a copy until I get there. One would think that with all the other documents, minutes, reports, etc, members might have been sent a budget proposal either by post or e-mail by now.
Fr John Reeves
#28 Fr John M. Reeves on 2006-12-09 09:00
Fr. Reeves has informed me that a budget proposal was sent to the Council by email shortly after 1 PM this afternoon.
#29 Editor on 2006-12-09 14:42
Just a thought:
I think it might be good if you were to place this under Fr. John's original comment, for the sake of clarity.
#30 Fr. Dennis Buck on 2006-12-09 17:38
Your question, "Who would replace him?"is a very good one. While I attended St. Vlad's I serve in the Antiochian Archdiocese. Perhaps it is truly the time top talk about Orthodox unity in America. It's sometimes funny/bizarre to me that you can go on the internet and see bishops and priests serving from several jurisdictions around the world. In Russia it is not uncommon to see the Serbian bishop or the Antiochian bishop serving with the Patriarch. However in America it is extremely rare to see clergy from other jurisdictions serving in other than their respective archdiocese. Yes, there are exceptions such as Orthodox Education day at St. Vlad's but most of the time there are very few true concelebrations of the hierarchs in America.
This scandal in the OCA could be used as a great catalyst for change. It could be used as atime to stop being ethnic ghettos and begin to be one united Orthodox Church in America. Why, exactly, would it be so horrible to consider that the OCA become part of the Antiochian Archdiocese -- or the other way around for that matter(sans the current administration, of course)? Just an interesting fact of history: Bishop Raphael Hawaweeny, the first Antiochian bishop elevated to the episcopacy in the United States, was also the bishop who consecrated St. Tikhon's monastery (oh yes, isn't that the OCA's monastery?).
There are numerous examples of this kind of brotherhood through the history of America, however it seems in my lifetime we have definity moved in the opposite direction. Another interesting fact: St. Tikhon's seminary did its first Vespers according to the Byzantine tradition just a few short months ago. Why did it take them over approx. 50 years to even consider this idea? Simple, ethnic myopia.
So what's my beef in all this seeing as how I'm not part of the OCA? I believe that all Orthodox Christians are hurt by this scandal. The internet is a tremendous tool that has the ability to keep people informed in ways unimaginable even 20 years ago. This scandal is not just the OCA scandal, it is hurting all Orthodox jurisdictions. Just look at the varied posts on this web site.
I believe that the best solution out of this debacle is to unite the OCA with one or more other jurisdictions. From what I have seen and read, the current OCA administration doesn't really have a clue as to how to fix the problems and its current metropolitan needs to find a nice comfy rocking chair and a remote control somewhere far away from Long Island. I will be glad to offer my apologies to him when he personally replaces the "missing" $1.7 million.
#31 Fr. Michael on 2006-12-10 19:30
Dear Mr. Geeza,
Was not Met. Herman OCA Treasurer under Met Theodosius? How does this relieve him of any responsibility of what happened under Met. Th. tenure?
We are not as ignorant as you may think.
#32 Eugenie Osmun on 2006-12-10 19:53
If you are commenting upon my post which is above this one, I'm sorry, but I fail to understand the point being made. I would suggest being a bit less convoluted and a lot more forthright in your meaning.
However, I will happily accept the term 'clever girl' since no one has called me either 'clever' or 'girl' for a very long time.
#33 Matushka Valerie Protopapas on 2006-12-11 06:56
Thank you for keeping us so updated with the next coming days in Sysosset. I fervently pray that the next few days will see wise, sound, and prudent decisions made for the OCA.
#34 Patty Schellbach on 2006-12-11 14:50
On the eve of having the Proskauer Rose investigation released, it definitely should be released. This was the OCA faithful's money, who thought they were contributing to certain funds, that went to other funds. We definitely have a moral and ethical right and obligation to know what has happened to our money.
#35 Patty Schellbach on 2006-12-11 19:11
LOL. I was not commenting on your post..., but if the "clever girl" shoe fits, then please, by all means, wear it proudly!
#36 Anon. on 2006-12-11 20:37
Me thinks that the comment/analogy was directed not to you, but to the wrong doers who, through cunning (and not a little obfuscation) have trapped the still-fledgling OCA in order to dine on her. I dunno for sure, but thats what it reads like to me, and its seems to me apposite, no?
#37 Anne A. Thema on 2006-12-12 02:04
Do you really think + Herman was privied to any pertinent financial documentation while + Theodosius and Kondratick were in charge, including discretionary accounts?
We've already been told that the MC and other's were shown only what the powers that be wanted them to see. Very misleading reports.
Why don't people believe this?
Syosset was a dysfunctional group for years and unfortunately, we are only now realizing this.
Let's see what PR has to say today.
#38 Michael Geeza on 2006-12-12 07:30
Ah, if only I could get it on! :p
However, no law firm goes into any agreement with a client without knowing just who gets the 'report' when the job is done and this is especially true when it is a corporate client rather than an individual. Rest assured, Proskaur -Rose knows to whom it is to report. It is NOT doing any 'guessing' and there IS no 'confusion' - at least on the part of Proskaur - Rose.
Perhaps the first thing that people should learn at such time as the report is released is who got the report because that is the individual and/or group to which the law firm was contracted to report. There is no confusion or guessing here. When the contract was signed, the law firm was apprised about to whom the report was to be issued, period. Law firms don't operate the way the Church does; they can't afford to.
#39 Matushka Valerie Protopapas on 2006-12-12 09:34
I'm sorry,but I do... As you said, Syosset has been disfunctional for a long time. Met. H was part of it. If he had not any inkling of what was going on, he was not doing his job as Treasurer of the OCA.
As for the PR report, it remains to be seen WHO is their client.
#40 Eugenie Osmun on 2006-12-12 10:36
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