Reflections On The Scandal
A Letter to the Metropolitan
by Fr. Ted Bobosh, Dayton OH
September 7, 2007
The Eve of the Nativity of the Theotokos
Most Blessed Master bless!
It has been several months since I last wrote to express my concerns for our beloved, and tiny, yet wounded OCA. The central church has made some progress in cleaning up the corruption which so thoroughly possessed the chancery offices. Thanks be to God for the Internet which has made it possible for us to hear a prophetic voice pointing out the wickedness of our sins and calling us back to God. Thanks be to God for members of the Metropolitan Council whose impetus has pushed the central church back onto the straight and narrow road toward the Kingdom of God. And thanks be to God that Archbishop Job has remained steadfast in his support of those who called for serious change in personnel and policies and procedures. It is these good people who have led the central church administration back to the Way. And thanks be to God that you have been given opportunity to witness to the courageous work that these men and women have done in the name of Christ and in love for His Church.
But, Vladyka, much work remains to be done. The membership has not yet been told the truth about what happened during the scandalous days of the chancery. Reports have not been released, the investigation has been stifled, Fr. Kucynda (a left over from the corrupt administration is still acting as treasurer), the work of the Metropolitan Council members is being hindered, misinformation is being given out in statements from chancery officials, the chancery is not serving the needs of the church members, questions when asked are arrogantly ignored, basic repentance – humbly asking forgiveness and admitting wrong doing – does not happen, the central church still seems to ignore its own rules about dealing with problems, transparency in all things is not the normative practice, and, efforts are on going to cover up and hide other problems and scandals. And all of this happens while you are Metropolitan – a Metropolitan who refuses to live in his own diocese and chooses instead to live in a diocese of another bishop.
In John’s Gospel, Nathanael questioned the reputation and integrity of Nazareth saying, "Can anything good come from Nazareth?" (John 1:46) That is the same question we are asking about Syosset and about our Metropolitan, for the reputation of both is equally negative.
Interestingly though the Gospel response to the dubious reputation of Nazareth was the Apostle Philip’s beckoning Nathaniel to "come and see." Nathaniel is acknowledging the ill repute of Nazareth, but he does it by opening the door, not by trying to hide the dark and dirty secrets which caused such incredulous scorn. “Come and see!” Dear Vladyka, that is the key to resolving the scandal. The central church needs to take its cue from this and open its doors and its books and its records and its audits and its investigative reports to all those who want to follow Christ. Instead of trying to hide anything, what we need is leadership which invites all believers to “come and see.” Come investigative committee, come and see and tell everyone what you find. Come whistle blowers and accusers and complainants, come and see for yourself that we will allow the truth to be seen and to be told. Come and see and test for yourself as the doubting Apostle Nathaniel did – come and be satisfied that there is nothing to hide and that all is in the open for all to see.
Of course, you might argue, but Jesus and Nazareth had nothing to hide! Ahh, but neither should we. And we will get rid of all those hidden things not by covering up and lying and misleading, but rather by revealing and exposing them. Then we too will have nothing to hide! And everyone will see that the OCA will be honest about everything. That will be the proof that we are trustworthy witnesses to the Gospel as well.
Vladyka, I am sure you know the parable our Lord Jesus Christ told in Mark 12:
"A man planted a vineyard, and set a hedge around it, and dug a pit for the wine press, and built a tower, and let it out to tenants, and went into another country. When the time came, he sent a servant to the tenants, to get from them some of the fruit of the vineyard. And they took him and beat him, and sent him away empty-handed. Again he sent to them another servant, and they wounded him in the head, and treated him shamefully. And he sent another, and him they killed; and so with many others, some they beat and some they killed. “
I believe we have been witnessing this very parable in the OCA. The Lord planted the OCA as a vineyard in the U.S. But the tenants, the men of the central church administration including our Metropolitans, have not produced the fruits of this vineyard for the Master. And when the Master sent his servants to find out why no fruits were being offered, the men who were the tenants of the central church have tried to prevent the servants from finding out why there is no produce. Those who made allegations against the men of the central church, and those who called through letters and emails and web pages for investigation are in fact the real servants of the Master. And the wicked tenants of the central church have cast them out empty handed and shamefully abused those servants. And when the Special Commission tried to find out for the Master about the lack of fruit from the vineyard, they were cast out and one was fired, and the rest mistreated. Jesus asked,
“What will the owner of the vineyard do?
He will come and destroy the tenants, and give the vineyard to others.
Have you not read this scripture?”
That is the very question Jesus asked.
Vladyka, that question is being asked of you. Have you not read the scriptures? Do you not know this parable? God has been displeased with the OCA and He has visited upon us a time of failure and testing to see whether we would be faithful to Him or whether we would be idolaters. And we have seen the lack of growth in the OCA, and the failure in leadership, and the financial scandal, and the moral bankruptcy of the chancery. These are part of the test.
The Pharisees wanted to have Jesus arrested for telling that parable, for “they perceived that he had told the parable against them.” They crucified Christ for telling that parable. Are you going to crucify Him as well? Or are you going to act like the Apostle Philip and invite all who are interested to come and see the truth about the central church?
In the Book of Baruch, God tells the people that there is a way to know idolatry and to recognize false gods. In the fraudulent religion, “Sometimes the priests take the silver and gold from their gods and spend it on themselves, or give part of it to the harlots on the terrace.” (6:9-10). Is that not what the record shows that Bob Kondratick and the former Metropolitan Theodious did? They behaved like idolaters and rejected faith in the living God and spent money on themselves in sexual immorality. This was part of the test which God has visited upon us. And we know their idolatry and we see the scourging effects on the OCA. Are we going to expose their wrongdoing so we can repent or are you going to do what is warned against in Psalm 50:18, “When you see thieves, you befriend them; with adulterers you throw your lot”?
Remember, Vladyka, God answers back in Psalm 50:21: “When you do these things should I be silent? Or do you think that I am like you? I accuse you, I lay the charge before you.” God exposes the wrong doing in order to give men the chance to repent.