There are so many unanswered questions and so little open communication. I hope for the sake of the parish in Bethesda (and indeed for all of us) that this Q&A session will be fruitful -- and lead to healing. That is my hope, but, may God forgive me, I doubt this will be the outcome.
May the Holy Spirit be our guide! Lord have mercy on us!
I agree, but like you would be happy to be proved wrong.
At least some of the questions will apparently be asked from the floor, and not rehearsed or vetted beforehand. I hope and pray my "former" parish will rise to the occasion and not be intimidated by anyone or anything from asking penetrating questions!
In the Interests of all who would like to Know and calibrate you-- why don"t you publish your true biography and your Orthodox history. I sense some tensions in your Orthodox life and it is not always clear to me you are being a balance reporter. What say you?
Dear Deacon Andre:
Never having met, to my knowledge, I am really curious what you have read here that would lead you to discern "tensions" in my Orthodox life! I hope one day you will share that with me.
As for your question about my background, I have already done so in a clarification to some inaccurate information contained in a comment posted on 6.21.06. In case you missed that comment, I repost it here with a few minor additions:
" Thanks for the google. However, in the interests of accuracy let me add, correct, and clarify some of your findings regarding my church activities:
I was born in 1955, not 1963. (1963 Mark Stokoe, no relation, is a world class hang glider in Western Australia.)
I was chrismated into Orthodoxy in 1976 in
I graduated from St. Vladimir's Seminary in 1981 and sang on two octets, visiting hundreds of parishes throughout the USA & Canada.
I was the Administrative Assistant for the OCA's Diocese of the West from September 1981 to August 1982.
From September 1982- July 1989 I served one term as an assistant Secretary General of Syndesmos, The World Fellowship of Orthodox Youth; and two terms as the Secretary General, living in Finland the majority of the time.
From 1988-1991 I was the first Director of the OCA's Department of Youth and Campus Ministry, working at Syosset half time, and from 1989 on, full time.
In 1994-5 I was asked by Syosset to co-author "Orthodox Christians in North America 1796-1996" for the OCA. (So much for the "disgruntled former employee" riff). I was publicly thanked by Metropolitan Theodosius for this effort at the Chicago All American Council.
In the past 10 years (1996-2006) I have served two terms on my parish council in my new hometown, Dayton OH; two terms as parish council President; helped organized a Diocesan Assembly; served one term on Metropolitan Council representing the Diocese of the Midwest; participated in OCA-DRE as well as at SVS meetings, and was a keynote speaker at the 50th anniversary celebrations of Syndesmos in Durres, Albania.
I have not posted any personal information before because this website is not about me. However, since people have asked, and you googled, I post the above.
With all best wishes,
#15.1 Editor on 2006-06-21 16:35 "
None of which, Deacon, makes my reporting balanced. It simply provides a background. The balance comes from a) whether the facts I state are indeed true, and b) I do not knowingly omit, or distort facts. While there are some, such as the former Bishop of the West, and many in Syosset, who disagree with my efforts for accountability and transparency, no one, to my knowledge, has accused me of printing untruths or distorting the facts. If I did either I could be quickly dismissed. But that has not been the case....
I hope this helps you calibrate me, and places my work, which is really the work of many with just my name on it, in perspective.
You are doing the best possible job on this site. You should know that you have been calibrated at the highest possible level. Without you everyone within the OCA will be much more victimized than they are at the present time.
I feel sorry for using this terminology "victimized". Really the OCA members as clergy and laity are real victims of the OCA hierarchy who with little faith in God is still playing games on the Church soil.
I am afraid that time is coming when everyone victimized by the current OCA Holy Synod and Central Administration will be happy in seeing the guilty ones gone for ever. It is almost unbelievable for how long the OCA hierarchs can be deaf and blind, treating with disrespect the whole OCA members. The OCA clericalism is the most critical issue to everyone of us. This is similar to the former comunist countries totalitar regime structure.
There are so many questions that were not posted on this site, but they will be asked from the floor during the upcoming meeting. I hope the OCA Metropolitan did sense the pulse of the people, and he can make up his own mind and honorable resign.
The OCA Metropolitan (Gherman) is running the entire show from the very beginning up to this time. There are so many YES people who are sorrunding the OCA Metropolitan and covering up the numbers and realities we should know.
Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
It is obvious that:
a) the Minutes of the Metropolitan Council meeting WERE not been published yet;
b) the internal auditors DID not issue any statement about their work yet;
c) the Independent Special Commission DID not issue any statement about their work yet.
WE URGE the OCA Holy Synod Secretary, His Grace Seraphim to immediately post on the OCA site the Minutes of the last meeting of the Holy Synod and the Metropolitan Council (Dec 2006) with an apology.
Also WE URGE His Eminence Archbishop Job and the members of his Committee to let the OCA members know about their job done up to February 1st, 2007, and their findings. We have no reason to wait so long and get nothing. It is time to properly post the truth on the Internet.
However, in our Church field there are so many different categories of people. The most dangerous ones are the pharisees, the scribes, and the hypocrites. We should look into the Holy Bible terminology and properly associate that kind of terminology to the OCA people, starting with the first hierarch and ending with the last parish priest.
It is a BIG SHAME to see so many irresponsible SILENT PRIESTS of the OCA parishes doing nothing. This is the price we the laity are paying versus the oca secular clericalism. For God's sake for how long the laity will make donations, contributions, collections, etc, and the funds are not received by those in need.
The OCA laity shoud not make any donation and contribution from now on, and no response to any OCA Metropolitan appeal. I have no idea how the current OCA Metropolitan (Gherman) is asking for money, while he is covering up this financial crisis.
The most crucial questions to the OCA Metropolitan:
1) How soon YOU will resign?
2) How soon YOU will assume the guilty plea for the OCA financial crisis cover up?
3) How soon the letter YOU received from Fr Kondratick before his job termination will be posted on the internet to see the accusations of the former OCA Chancellor addressed to you?
4) How soon the promisary note will be explained by YOU to the people?
5) How soon YOU will feel responsible for the moral crisis existed within the OCA clergy?
6) How soon the OCA clergy involved within the sexual misconduct as presented at the ACC 14th in Toronto, Canada will be defrocked, and make their names know to the OCA members?
7) How soon YOU think the entire OCA Holy Synod should be replaced by another members with low salary?
It is time to think once again about more delay in knowing, because the Great Lent is coming again. It is almost impossible to think that the OCA hierarchs will be honest during the Great Lent in publishing the truth.
Mark, do your best and post everything. We keep you in our daily prayers.
I had a feeling, Ande, that the meeting would last 1 hour. I was there -- and indeed the meeting lasted just one hour. It's a shame that MH did not adjust his schedule to stay at St. Mark for Great Vespers and a reception (for the new parish council) afterwards. But what MH said and did not say is what is saddest of all for those who were present, for all who have been praying, hoping, and crying out for answers and spiritual leadership. My heart was heavier after this Q&A session than beforehand. Lord have mercy on us!
Odd, that. I do remember or at least SEEM to remember making quite a few posts on this thread that are no longer 'here'. I also remember a number of people responding to those posts and those responses are no longer here. Maybe there somewhere else? Or perhaps it was another thread, still I do remember the 'questions for the Metropolitan' heading. But as one grows older...
By the way, sometimes your posts have your name attached and sometimes not, which I think is accidental on your part. Be sure to check remember information on each thread when you post.
Furthermore, there are now so many anonymous posts (sigh!) that it is impossible to keep straight who is saying what. Can't people at least use "handles" (nick names) so we can tell one anonymous post from another?! I don't want to "yell" at the wrong person.
Openess does not seem to be the order of the day.. nor of any day past. I am amazed that minutes of a major meeting of our OCA can simply choose not to record major events and discussions of critical issues at will. Sadly, it is so much like the "Ancient" Watergate tapes. The infamous minutes of silence are so much a parallel with what was omitted by the Metropolitan's fiat from the meeting's record. Do they think that we are such children that we are incapable of handling the truth? Or is it that we are being told "That what has happened to millions of misappropriated monies is none of your business! Now be silent and contribute!"(Contribute when the monies from the last appeal have barely been touched.) How long will the faithful endure this arrogance? This flat out dishonesty and ateempts to cover and mislead? It is now appears that it has become a matter of fraud and abuse of power andneeds be addressed as such.