Kondraticks Withdraw Lawsuit
Exactly two weeks after it was filed, Fr. Robert Kondratick and his wife Bette have voluntarily terminated their lawsuit against the Orthodox Church in America for $250,000 according to informed sources. The notice of termination was delivered to Syosset late yesterday evening (October 17th). The OCA, while acknowledging the lawsuit on its website (read the press release here) is expected to officially announce the withdrawal later this week.
The surprising turn of events caps a week of potentially significant changes in the OCA:
• The Kondratick's lawsuit came the day before the OCA's largest contributing diocese, the Archdiocese of Chicago and the Midwest, expressed no confidence in the current administration and approved a resolution to consider withholding its assessments beginning in Spring 2007. This one-two punch from opposing perspectives in the scandal encouraged Syosset to reach out to several OCA lawyers who had previously offered their services to the Metropolitan Council.
After speaking with representatives of the current administration, two of the lawyers agreed to represent the OCA in the civil suit, pro bono. In addition, one of the lawyers has been invited to speak to the Holy Synod meeting next week on the Proskauer Rose investigation, the Kondratick lawsuit and Best Practices.
• The Metropolitan Council changed last week. Dr. John Schultz, Immediate Past President of the FOCA, was not re-elected as a Metropolitan Council representative from the Diocese of Western Pennsylvania; and his clergy colleague, Fr. Igor Soroka resigned. Elected in their places were Syosset critics Fr. John Reeves and Pittsburgh Attorney, Gregory Nescott. OCANews.org has learned that both have been confirmed by the ailing Archbishop Kyrill, who was unable to attend the meeting.
Schultz's loss had even more significance in that he was among a group of persons who were to meet with Proskauer Rose on Wednesday, October 18th, to hear their preliminary report. The group would then report back to the full Holy Synod next week, and to the Metropolitan Council in early November. (Their report however, does not change the fact, as reported in the Metropolitan Council minutes (read those minutes here) that attorneys from Proskauer Rose are expected to meet, report and answer questions from the entire Metropolitan Council on November 10th.)
Given Schultz's defeat, however, Metropolitan Herman was forced to name alternates for this initial meeting. Informed sources now state that the group will be composed of the Metropolitan, Bishop Seraphim of Canada, Fr. Kucynda, Fr. George Hasenecz - a representative from the New York & Washington diocese - and Mr. John Zoranski from the Diocese of Eastern Pennsylvania, as well as the attorney.
• Finally, the Kondratick's situation changed last week. They have moved out of the Martin Street residence in Syosset, and relocated to Florida. Matushka Kondratick has also resigned her job as Pension Coordinator of the OCA Pension Fund. It is expected that job opening will be announced shortly.