10.2.07 Fourth in a Series: The End of the Special Commission
Expressing 'No Confidence'
in Metropolitan's Leadership, Archbishop Job Calls on Primate
to Step Down
In an emotionally-charged opening address to the 46th Diocesan Assembly meeting today in Cleveland, Archbishop Job called on Metropolitan Herman to step down as a first hierarch of the Orthodox Church in America. Coming near the conclusion of the thirty minute review of the past year in the life of the Diocese and the OCA, the Archbishop stated:
"Last year in Palatine I stated in my report to you:
'As to the resignation of Metropolitan Herman, I do not want this to occur. I want him to solve the problems and put an end to the crisis, but with full involvement and assistance of the Holy Synod and the Metropolitan Council, as it should be.'
My friends, my heart goes out to His Beatitude and I mean that sincerely. I cannot imagine the pressure he is under as he endures bad press, hurtful and sometimes insulting criticisms, and now an on-line petition for his resignation. I honestly wanted him to oversee a process for discovering the truth, making it known and devising a plan to restore integrity and confidence in the Central Church Administration. I hoped against hope for this to happen. But in reality, a year later, we are in worse shape than ever. And again, it promises only to get worse. Mistake after mistake, dysfunction upon dysfunction.
I realize that I now place myself in a most vulnerable position. But in all that I hold in honor, and out of duty to the Church, to the Diocese and to all of you, it is certainly no joy, but rather an agony to state that I have no confidence in the leadership of His Beatitude, Herman. And with respect, and out of love and concern, I ask him to step down as the first hierarch of the Orthodox Church of America in order to assuage the suffering of the Church and her people."
The address was met with a standing ovation by the assembled delegates.
In addition the delegates began deliberations on three resolutions related to the OCA scandal. These include a 'No Confidence' resolution in Metropolitan Herman's leadership from Holy Trinity parish in Overland Park Kansas; a resolution from St.Paul parish in Dayton Ohio to continue withholding from Syosset until the established benchmarks are achieved in full; and a resolution from St. Thomas Springfield, Missouri that if Syosset has failed to achieve the established benchmarks within six months from September 2007, the withheld monies may begin to be distributed throughout the Diocese where needed, "bypassing the National Church, and yet attending to the needs of widows, orphans, seminary students, mission that sadly have been ignored by the National Church these last years." The resolutions will be voted upon on Wednesday morning, October 3rd.
- Mark Stokoe