REVELATIONS, HESITATION HIGHLIGHT MIDWEST MINUTES &
The Minutes of the Diocesan Council of the Midwest, held Wednesday in Chicago and posted Friday on the new Diocesan Website, reveal startling new facts concerning the status of the Special Investigative Commission, recent decisions of the Metropolitan Council, and the growing movement to withhold. (Read the minutes in full here)
In the same vein, a letter from Archbishop Nathaniel of the OCA's Romanian Orthodox Episcopate of America to his clergy, dated April 27th, offers a "Report on the OCA Investigation Into the Church's Recent Financial Administration" that reveals new facts concerning the upcoming trial of Fr. Kondratick.
• Archbishop Nathaniel To Preside Over Kondratick Trial
In his letter the Archbishop announces that he " ..as a senior hierarch has been asked to sit on the Church court but has no vote." In other words, the Archbishop, rather than the Metropolitan, will now preside at the trial of Fr. Kondratick. The Archbishop also announced that the court will be held on May 18th. (However, it is expected that this date will not be met, as Fr. Kondratick is reported to have asked for a delay.)
• Special Commission Suspended
In the Minutes of the Midwest Diocesan Council, speaking of the work of the Special Investigation Commission, Archbishop Job "...related his concerns about the ongoing work of the Special Investigation Commission. Specifically he noted that the Commission’s work has been suspended until after Fr. Kondratick’s Church hearing.” More ominiously, the Archbishop confirmed that “it is still unclear as to how the work of the Commission will proceed, however.”
•MC Recommended +Theodosius
Be Called Before Synod like Kondratick
Fr. Vladimir Berzonsky and Dr. Richard West, Midwest delegates to the Metropolitan Council reported that
“with limited information and an atmosphere of mistrust, it is difficult for Metropolitan Council members to know exactly what they should do.” West did reveal, however, that “ The Metropolitan Council “called for the an appearance by his Beatitude, Metropolitan Theodosius, before the Holy Synod”. The former Metropolitan would be asked to explain his role in the financial scandal that has its roots in his administration. This had never been previously disclosed publicly - since the Minutes of the last Metropolitan Council meeting have not been published. The statement of the Synod of Bishops which followed the last Council meeting made no mention of such a request, nor did former Metropolitan Theodosius appear.
Equally surprising, Berzonsky and West stated that “It was confirmed for the record that there is no prohibition against looking in discretionary accounts.” More than $4.75 million dollars disappeared into “discretionary accounts” controlled by Metropolitan Theodosius and Fr. Kondratick between 1994-2000. Adoption of a resolution banning such investigations was a key point at a Synod meeting in 1999; a decision which Metropolitan Herman publicly reaffirmed as late as January 2006.
• Decision to Withhold Postponed
Following a “lengthy discussion” on the resolution overwhelmingly adopted by the 45th Diocesan Assembly held in Palatine, IL in October 2006, (Read that story here) the Midwest Council voted 8-5, with two members abstaining, against a motion to withhold assessments from Syosset as a Diocese, although several Midwest parishes are already doing so individually. According to the Minutes, “.. a number of diocesan council members expressed the feeling that some positive changes have been enacted by the OCA, while others felt that change had not gone far enough.” More discussion then followed the vote, which led to a second motion to rescind the vote just taken. That vote was 10-3 in favor of rescinding the motion not to withhold. With time running out, the decision to withhold or not withhold was therefore postponed. It was agreed that the meeting would continue on Tuesday, June 26, as which time it was felt “information .. will be available after the next Metropolitan Council meeting” that “will be central in making a final decision on the Palatine Resolution.”