Thursday, March 22. 2007
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DMITRI REFUSES TO SUSPEND KONDRATICK AND THEN HERMAN PULLS A SWITCHAROO. I GUESS WHEN YOUR THE MET. YOU CALL ALL THE SHOTS. DOES THIS MEAN HERMAN NEVER KNEW ANYTHING ? PLEASE ? HERMAN YOUR NEXT.
#1 CONFUSED on 2007-03-22 17:42
Will the investigative committee be allowed to continue the investigation? I hope the Holy Synod will apologize to those who have been demonized this last year. I pray that the other more serious failings of those in leadership will not be hidden by this apparent change of direction on finances. I rejoice in what is done but recognize that there is still much to do.
#2 please withhold my name on 2007-03-22 18:26
Nothing about the rest of the report or the release of it to the general Church though...
#3 Zach Borichevsky on 2007-03-22 18:33
Is this it? Not very transparent is it? PT Barnum of circus fame said, "You can fool some of the people some of the time, but you can't fool all of the people all of the time." Is this another circus?
#4 ANON on 2007-03-22 20:03
Thanks be to God that the Holy Synod finally acted and did the right thing. Axios!
However, a couple of key issues were not addressed in the announcement: (a) What will happen with the Special Commission report? Did the Holy Synod approve its release to the entire Church? (b) What will happen to the Special Commission itself? Will it continue to investigate and complete its work?
Can I afford a little cautious optimism now? Will I be proven the fool if I indulge myself thus? I'll try it, but I'll also remember that the fat lady hasn't sung yet. What is the Metropolitan going to do now? He seems to have boxed himself into a corner. I don't see how he can get around suspending the accused. That would be blatantly abetting him. (I'm using the term loosely.) Why did Abp Dmitir ask that the transfer be rescinded instead of transferring Kondratick back? That may be splitting a hair, but is it perhaps significant? I don't know. Finally, is there any real significance in Bishop Nikolai's non-participation?
#6 SINE Nomine on 2007-03-22 20:36
This archpastoral letter is anything but pastoral. Yes, it is about time that Fr. Kondratick reaps ecclesiastical discipline. This long-overdue action is certainly necessary and is one crucial piece in correcting the OCA's massive troubles.
Beyond this one decision, this "pastoral" letter, like Metropolitan Herman's self-serving address to the Metropolitan Council last week, reeks of the same mindset that allowed the corruption to occur in the first place. "It was everyone else's fault, and we came to the rescue." (Just count how many ways +MH refers to himself in his address to the Metropolitan Council. I'm sorry to have to point this out, but this posturing must stop!)
Now the Synod admits it was wrong to chalk up the allegations to "personal animosity." How about an apology to Protodeacon Eric Wheeler, whose name they dragged through the mud both within the Synod and outside? How about an apology to Archbishop Job, whose character was assasinated by some bishops while the rest watched?
In addition to apologies, where is the thanks to Protodeacon Eric Wheeler? Where is the thanks to Archbishop Job? Where is the acknowledgement that without these two men, Fr. Kondratick would still be Chancellor and money would still be draining to who knows where?
If we are to take our cues from our archpastors, apologies and thanks are clearly not necessary in the Christian walk.
And now the Synod admits it was incapable of investigating the allegations without professional help. "We", they write, secured the services of Proskauer Rose. Ummm, this is a nice re-write of history, but PR was hired against the kicking and screaming of several members of the Synod, and certainly not by "we" bishops. According to Metropolitan Herman's address to the MC, he acted alone -- there was no "we" in the hiring of PR.
The reality, of course, is that PR was not hired because of some altruistic motive on the part of either the Synod or +MH himself, but becasue of the legal threat that was realized after 8 lawyers informed +MH that he could be held liable if he did not act. It would be nice if they would just admit this. How about a "thank you" to the Orthodox lawyers rather than continuing to pat yourself on the back?
Even now, the recommendation of the MC is received and touted by the Synod, yet where is Metropolitan Herman's apology for trying to stifle this same report less than a week ago?
And still, the blame for pain is placed everywhere but where it belongs. They "pastorally" write: "Much has been said or written during this time that has added temptation, pain and suffering to so many." So once again, it is the people who speak and write against abuse that are blamed for causing so much pain.
Where is the admission that without those of us who speak and write, the problems would still be with us? Where is thanks for Mark Stokoe and his writers, without whom Fr. Kondratick would still be Chancellor, and charity funds would still be flowing to who knows where?
To the hierarchs of the OCA, I am sorry, and I am hurt, and I am disillusioned, but your letter is hardly "pastoral." It is not comforting, it is not edifying, and it rings hollow on many levels.
You conclude by inviting us "to join you as our Archpastors." Believe me when I say that there is nothing I would rather do more. Perhaps a few missing sentences might just help the rest of us do that. Perhaps we might actually be able "join you as our Archpastors" (as you say) if you include these in your next "pastoral" letter:
"We hierarchs are so sorry for our repeated inaction when the allegations first came to light."
"We hierarchs are so sorry that we tolerated the defamation of good men and women of the Church by our brother bishops, and for even participating in this defamation ourselves. We have no excuses for such un-Christian behavior. We are particularly sorry for the treatment endured by Protodeacon Eric Wheeler and Archbishop Job."
"We are so thankful that people like Protodeacon Eric Wheeler and Archbishop Job had the courage to bring these devastating charges to light, and that they had the fortitude to press for the truth even while we hierarchs shamefully tried to stop them."
"We are so sorry for abandoning you, the faithful of the Church, at your hour of greatest need. Our inaction and silence are inexcusable."
"We are thankful that through Mark Stokoe's persistence in exposing the truth, even when painful or embarassing to us, and the persistence of those who contributed to his website, the truth was revealed, and that this truth has helped begin to clean up the mess in our Church."
"We are so sorry that we have failed to lead, that we have only acted when pressed to do so, that we who were supposed to be shepherds and leaders abandoned our responsibilities. We are sorry that nearly all the leadership in this investigation has come from the laity and priests. Not that this is bad in itself, but that we failed to join the rest of the Body until we were pressed into doing so is inexcusable"
"We are so sorry that we have consistently refused to hold our brother bishops accountable for their sinful, vindictive, and unkind words and actions. We are sorry that we have acted like kings rather than servants."
"We are so sorry that we have wasted so many opportunities in America by being concerned with image and pomp, and have forgotten our calling to be a missionary and charitable body."
Perhaps with a few more sentences like these, and a few less litanies taking credit for what others have pressed you into doing, and we just might be able to do that which we so desperately want: to join you as our Archpastors.
Priest Christopher Wojcik
#7 Priest Christopher Wojcik on 2007-03-22 20:37
One must hope that throwing Fr. Bob under the bus will not keep the church from learning some of the details the Synod is now privy to.........or do they intend to make us all get off at the next stop?
#8 Metropolitan Transportation Authority on 2007-03-22 20:38
This website and the forceful and cogent comments made by many especially Nescott and Fall, I am certain, contributed in the end to the Synod's statement. Truth no matter how sordid will set us free. Looking further ahead, the absence of Bishop Nikolai virtually assures us that he can never be a serious candidate for primate of the OCA.
#9 Terry C. Peet on 2007-03-22 21:27
The Special Committee needs to continue.
Write those involved to say they have your prayers and support.
"WE have only just Begun".
There is no turning back. Truth and its finding and revelation needs to march on.
This is not one individual.
A Florida Missionary
#10 Anonymous on 2007-03-22 23:07
It seems inappropriate that Metropolitan Herman be put into a position to determine what "further actions appropriate under the circumstances" should be initiated against Fr. Kondratick. They both had control -- or were in a position to assert control -- over the missing funds. This is an obvious and insurmountable conflict of interest, because it is in the interests of both men to say as little as possible.
The purpose of the Church Courts is to provide "due canonical procedure" Art XI. Sec.1. A Church Court does not have the authority to issue a legally binding decision in a case involving misappropriation of funds. The Metropolitan Council, rather than a diocesan court, has the authority to initiate and prosecute legal matters affecting the interest of the Church.
The only way the truth will ever come to light is if the Metropolitan Council initiates legal action to recover the missing funds. That would eliminate the conflict of interest and give Fr. Kondratick every incentive to tell his side of the story to a neutral decision-maker.
#11 Robert Vasilios Wachter on 2007-03-23 02:09
Well....now I've heard it all! Making Fr. Bob the scapegoat for the entire situation. He pulled all of this off without the knowledge of two metropolitans, not just one. Two Metropolitans that are control freaks.
I hope Fr. Bob reaches out to his lawyer and sues the OCA for libel and slanderous comments made about him on thier website.
Actually now that Fr. Bob has nothing to lose, and a bit of his dignity to gain back, when he comes clean, and he will, we'll know the real true story.
I think again, this statement, while strong, continues to be posturing. Actually, to me it read like the "end", hoping this has now closed the chapter so they can begin making dinner reservations on our dime.
Fr. Bob....won't you consider releasing your own statement of truth the OCANEWS.ORG??? Now that they have offered you up, you can tell us the truth to restore just a bit of our faith? At a minimum we know you have nothing to lose, and your reputation to salvage. To me, they've placed you in a dangerous situation, one that allows you to tell the complete truth without penalty. Don't you and the others owe us at least that?
#12 K.K. on 2007-03-23 03:38
Thank you, Father Christopher, for so perfectly capturing the response that I--and no doubt many others--had to reading the Synod’s statement. Your comments are measured, yet full of candor. How very refreshing! May our Metropolitan and our Bishops read your words with great care and humility, and may they respond with courage and truth. At some point in each of their lives, the desire to serve our Lord, God, and Savior Jesus Christ was no doubt pure and undefiled. Though that image has been marred, it has not been destroyed in any one of them. May they choose the way of confession and repentance that each of us must choose again and again throughout our earthly journeys—and if they do, may their youth be renewed like the eagle’s! Such is my prayer for all of them.
With hope in Christ,
#13 Cathryn Tatusko on 2007-03-23 04:52
Father, you would make the perfect confessor for the Synod!
Every point I wanted to make, and then some, you have most pointedly made. I wish I had you for my parish priest.
#14 Kenneth R. Tobin on 2007-03-23 05:34
So it was Fr. Kondratick acting alone after all. I have read this thing three times now, and there is no other interpretation. Our bishops have solemnly informed us that an exhaustive investigation has revealed that one man was responsible for diversion of church funds and conversion of church funds to personal use. That was what PR said, the MC recommended action against that man, his explanations were neither credible nor persuasive and now he's to face sanctions.
Maybe that's best. Perhaps it is expedient for all the blame to be placed on one man so that the church can move on, other failings acknowledged only tacitly, but acknowledged nonetheless, so that they may not be repeated. There can be the symbolism of exposure and punishment of one man, while real reform goes on quietly.
Or, in the alternative, perhaps it really was Fr. Kondratick acting alone, in secret, and no one knew or could have known.
Either way, it looks like the package is wrapped up, complete with a pretty bow, and it would be almost unthinkable to leave the nice men holding it out to us to just stand there with faltering smiles while we complain it's not what we really wanted.
#15 Tim Capps on 2007-03-23 06:14
Altho, before I read your comments, I must admit I was pleased that the Holy Synod HAD ACTUALLY made the admissions that they did (deep down, I really was afraid that they would continue as they had in the past). But after reading your comments, yes, I agree, these statements need to be offered.
#16 Alexander Ivsky on 2007-03-23 06:43
Nice try MH et al. Bob Kondratick is certainly guilty, but cannot be made the sole scapeogoat. EVERY member of the Synod and EVERY employee at Syosset knew what was going on, don't kid yourself. Millions cannot fly around for that many years in secret, especially when it was "for the good of the Church." We have two former treasurers during that period running the show right now. Any breathing person can smell this rotting fish. Many others are culpable and must be suspended, fired and perhaps prosecuted for their roles. Misappropriation of stolen property (money) is just as much an offense for a knowing beneficiary as it is for the thief.
#17 Name Withheld by Request on 2007-03-23 06:46
So it looks like THEY decided to play the “one man theme song” card. The truth may be soooo incriminating that it would certainly destroy them and the OCA. And they felt this strategy may have at least a 1% chance that us dummies would buy it.
If I owned the business, and one person could fool all the rest of management, I would keep that person and fire all the rest of the management team. Of course I would have to watch him carefully.
#18 Ande on 2007-03-23 06:47
His Grace Nikolai is not done yet! From his last publication out of Alaska a number of us thought he was going to try and take Alaska back to Russia! Not back to the Czar, that is, but to the Moscow Patriarchate in the context of ROCOR!
It sounds as if His Grace Nikolai really was His Grace Tikhon's revenge upon us ungrateful serfs! Episcopal tantrums! God save us from these tantrums! However, in all of this where is the episcopal "grace" and respect for the people of God? Is the Orthodox Church up Alaska way being packaged like a gift salmon for Moscow?
Just a question because Alaska is getting more than fishy at this point!
#19 Al Goldberg-Rogovich on 2007-03-23 06:53
Please extend this request for apologies to all those who have been demonized for the last 20 YEARS. That would be a better approach. We need a lot of healing to get back to any semblance of normal Christianity.
Let the small-mindedness and mean-spiritedness that has driven OCA leadership for so many years finally come to an end. That behavior has not been worthy of even being labeled "Christian."
Let MAGNANIMITY become a new attitude and behavior for the OCA.
#20 Anon. on 2007-03-23 07:07
What makes you so sure that any funds may be recouped?
The money is GONE, SPENT and NEVER TO BE SEEN AGAIN.
#21 Michael Geeza on 2007-03-23 10:26
I will say "Wow" to this comment, and double-"Wow!" to your reflection posting. The address of the Holy Synod is a step in the right direction, but does not go far enough. The enforced removal of Fr. Kondratick is a good first step, but seems to me to be ONLY a FIRST STEP. And, a forced step at that.
What a refreshing thing it would be if the entire Synod were to resign with a joint letter asking for forgiveness! What a joy it would be if the OCA could stand-up with a new Synod interested in promoting Orthodoxy in America, instead of maneuvering to save their (individual) skins. And, talk of re-uniting with non-American patriarchial entities? What?! Is America not mature enough to warrant its own episcopal Orthodox leadership? I would like to say, "Yes, of course." But recent events do call that into question. As for Alaska, why does the Website there call themselves, the "Russian Orthodox Diocese of Alaska." Such things do NOTHING but obscure the united doctrine of Orthodoxy, and make us Orthodox look like just another "denomination" amongst the non-Roman Christian universe. I had someone the other day ask me, "Well, how can you be Orthodox if you're not Greek?" I explained, "Orthodoxy is Orthodoxy, the country name is just an administration." They replied, "Oh, I see. So, when did you people break away from the Pope, then?"
So much potential, the OCA -- and so little leadership, and even less united leadership; so much posturing and positioning, and so many little fiefdoms! Meanwhile, the Truth that we profess to hold so dear lies there like an orphan!
As a convert, the more I learn about our Orthodxo faith, the more I love it! And I want to share it. But, I'm frankly afraid to introduce anyone to my OCA Church. The more I learn about the OCA, the more I just want to cry!
I want my bishops to quit posturing, quit cooking the books, and resign if you want to rend the OCA! I want a Synod that wants to represent Christianity in America, that wants to grow this Church in America, and that wants the OCA to be the very model of Truth, Repentance, Grace, and Dignity in this hemisphere!
A step has been taken ... we (the faithful) must ensure that the NEXT steps are taken as well -- and not in 2008, but NOW. This country needs the Orthodox message, and it needs it as soon as possible. We must cleanse ourselves individually and organizationally, and stand up together as the OCA and present a consistent message of Christian Truth to them, our fellow citizens. If our current leaders want to do this -- esp. the cleansing part -- then fine, let's get to it. Otherwise, resign your post in the OCA (note the "A"), and seek a position through another administration. But please, either help FIX our OCA Church, or leave it alone, already! The maxim, "You are either part of the solution, or you are part of the problem" definitely applies in this situation.
#22 Convoluted Convert on 2007-03-23 10:50
I do not know if you recall or not, but Fr. Bob was an advocate for bringing in Bishop Nikolai in from the Serbian church to head up the Alaskan diocese. A sponsor so to speak- he and his cohorts in Nevada. That is an area that has to be investigated!
It was Fr. Bob , Metropolitan Theodosius and Bishop Tikhon of the West that were responsible for making the then Fr. Soraich a bishop in the OCA. That was after Bishop Innocent of Alaska questioned the finances of the OCA as did Deacon Wheeler later on. When he opened up that bag of worms he was relieved of his episcopacy. So why wouldn't Bishop Nikolai not attend a meeting that would have connections to the former chancellors removal? I hope I have my chronology correct but these are times when alot of the dealings were going on that we were not made aware of.
#23 Hal Pukita on 2007-03-23 11:06
I am curious to know where you received that impression. Did anyone else get that impression? If so, from what specific statement(s) or action(s)?
#24 Sine Nomine on 2007-03-23 13:37
Reflecting on the events of the last two weeks and what led up to them, I have a few comments to share. I am very thankful for all of the efforts made for the Church by the members of the Special Commission and the Metropolitan Council. I am very thankful for this website; to Mark for initiating and maintaining it, and to all my brothers and sisters who have contributed their reflections and comments on it. I am also thankful for those members of the Holy Synod who have acted responsibly to correct the wrongs and to bring about changes that will preclude anything like this from happening again.
I believe the biggest lesson to be learned from all this is that we must always maintain vigilance, not just over our own lives, but also over the life of the Church. We must never assume that those in positions of responsibility will always act responsibly, and we must never forget the true nature of the spiritual warfare we must all wage against Satan and his demons. As the Metropolitan Council and the Special Commission continue their work to restore integrity by completing the investigation and establishing effective safeguards that will ensure future accountability, I hope that this website will continue as the effective instrument of current accountability that it has proven to be.
#25 Marc Trolinger on 2007-03-23 14:06
He needs our prayers. We don't need statements or anything else from him.
#26 Michael Geeza on 2007-03-23 14:12
"Our bishops have solemnly informed us that an exhaustive investigation has revealed that one man was responsible for diversion of church funds and conversion of church funds to personal use."
Tim- Read the statement again more carefully. It says the abuse of Church trust was "centered" on one person. The statement does not say that he acted alone.
You might also want to re-read Gregg Nescott's speech to the MC as well. (btw, the only islands I've been to is Greek Islands restaurant)
#27 Michael Strelka, CPA on 2007-03-23 14:54
Are you reading about the same scandal that this website's entire existence is based on?
Fr. Bob needs our prayers? He needs our accountants and lawyers to keep him from bearing the ENTIRE brunt of this situation. Fr. Bob DID have his hands in this, just not alone sir. Fr. Bob coming clean and helping clean the house...may just do enough for me to include him in my prayers each night.
The gig is up, the excuses have played out, the laypeople are growing tired of the lack of action and truth.
Fr. Bob can save a little face by for once, telling the truth. The whole truth, no matter how sordid it be.
You can forgive, only once you have confessed in totality.
Lord have mercy on the laypeople and the folks who continue the quest for truth.
#28 K.K. on 2007-03-23 15:06
I understand they have used the words "centered on." This is nothing new. I submit that the phrase is carefully chosen to obscure more than reveal, and, in this context means this: "Fr. Kondtratick was in this up to his armpits but there is plenty of culpability to pass around if anyone were interested in doing so, which we're not."
I stand by my reading of a carefully worded official statement that -- at this point, at least -- seems to suggest there was a very bad apple indeed in the barrel, and the real blame for everyone else was only in not believing it earlier. By golly, though, once they started sniffing out his misdeeds they hired the best lawyers and accountants, dug deep, and got to the shocking truth. Ever see the movie Casablanca? "I'm shocked! Shocked to think that gambling is going on in this establishment." (Claude Raines to Humphrey Bogart, just before someone hands him his cut.)
So the marker is laid down. I think the real choice is do we recognize that everyone knows that everyone knows what really went on and we're going to put a brave face on it for the good of the church and quietly put our house in order? Do we trust that now we have responsible overseers that will make sure that happens and that those who have contributed to the problems in the past have no choice but to allow things to be fixed?
Where does it end? Do we really want to hear more about the "gay subculture?" Coverups and tapes and exactly who benefitted from the theft of church funds? Maybe we do. Maybe we need a thorough housecleaning. Or maybe not. Honestly, I do not know at this point. What do you think?
#29 Tim Capps on 2007-03-23 16:24
Thank you Hal. Bp. Nicholai's behavior is certainly suspicious. What in the heck is going on? It appears as if the Holy Synod's bubble is bursting. Who will be left when full truth is known? So, so sad and embarrassing for a church that touts its commitment to the "true faith." If this is the "true faith", then who would want it? It is my prayer that we Orthodox will start taking our faith seriously and at least make an effort to live out our faith by right actions. Having the right doctrine without living it is shameful.
#30 Anon. on 2007-03-23 16:43
What makes you so sure you know what happened to all the money? We know that large amounts were converted to cash. What makes you so sure some of that money was not deposited into another bank account somewhere? What do you know that the rest of us don't know?
I honestly don't know whether any of the funds can be recouped. But legal proceedings are the only way to bring out the whole truth.
Why are Fr. Kondratick's supporters crying foul? Why are they saying he is being thrown under the bus? In fact, Fr. Kondratick must be counting his blessings. Up to now, nobody has demanded that he pay back any of the missing money.
Doesn't that seem strange to you?
It looks like there is an implied agreement between Metropolitan Herman and Fr. Kondratick. Both men have been as quiet as possible. Neither has publicly accused the other. Both have shown an inclination to sweep this all under the rug and forget about it. Metropolitan Herman has not shown any inclination to take any action against Fr. Kondratick except to the minimum extent that the political reality requires. When the pressure was so high that he had to do something, Metropolitan Herman removed Fr. Kondratick from office, but arranged for a transfer to another paid position in Florida. It is as if they are both trying to protect each other.
The tradeoff seems to be that Metropolitan Herman and Fr. Kondratick say nothing publicly. Fr. Kondratick takes the fall -- which is inevitable considering that his name is on all of the checks. But Metropolitan Herman agrees to do all in his power to prevent legal action, to prevent any demand for restitution, and to continue to sweep his under the rug. And Fr. Kondratick accepts the role as scapegoat and agrees not to implicate anyone else -- as long as Metropolitan Herman protects him from the legal consequences of the scandal.
Metrpolitan Herman opposed the Council's recommendations on the ground that it was time to move on and put all of this behind us. The recommendations passed anyway and the matter was referred to the Synod. Now the Synod has turned the matter back over to Metropolitan Herman. What do you expect will happen now? Metropolitan Herman will handle the situation exactly as he has done all along: he will do the minimum that the political reality requires.
The only way to find out the truth will be if Fr. Kondratick faces potential legal consequences.
#31 Robert Vasilios Wachter on 2007-03-23 17:49
For all the reasons you enumerate, oh KK, yes, indeed, Fr. Kondratick certainly needs our prayers. The greater his responsibility for all this may have been, the more the prayers are needed.
Also, do keep in mind that Mr. Geeza has been among Fr. K's most ardent critics through these postings.
#32 Fr. Dennis Buck on 2007-03-23 18:05
Too little. Too late. I am not very impressed.
Exactly. Nobody talks everybody walks. I have to hand it to them. They are playing a bad hand brilliantly. From hiring PR to lay the groundwork to this latest statement they are always two steps ahead of everyone else. Only the feds could shake things up at this point, and that is just the kind of press the justice department needs these days (not). Besides, our guys have the better lawyers.
Still, there are deals and there are deals, and the deal between our Metropolitan and Fr. Kondratick -- if indeed such an understanding exists, as would make sense -- may not be the only deal. I'm hoping there are other, more edifying deals, wheels within wheels, and real change will come out of all this, but probably not heralded by a news release. I guess it still all boils down to trust. I think the "reform party" has the momentum, now.
#34 Tim Capps on 2007-03-23 19:24
Michael, BK will need more than prayers!
We need to find the truth, and this must continue until all is revealed to the OCA.
The SAD part is that,according to oca.org- there are six(6) active heirarch and seven (7) retired heirarch with a total of three hundred ninety seven (397) years in the heirarchy, and no one saw this until six (6) years ago, boggles my mind.
MH (+) has been a heirarch for thirty four (34) years. Reading all of this sad story, he is a certer piece of this FIASCO. MH has to go, anything less, this story will go on and on.
It has been clear for some time that this is precisely the strategy of MH to put this crisis to rest. If we allow it to happen, then the OCA will truly have been turned into "a den of iniquity."
#36 Kenneth R. Tobin on 2007-03-24 05:30
As I have read over the releases in the past year, I see that not much changes for the OCA. While the vast majority are devoted laity and clergy, the leadership has suffered for years with a developmentally immature mentality that has nothing to do with being an American Church, an ethnic church, or anything related to church. It has to do with power and greed, it has to do with sin. It has to do with making yourself look like something that your are not, i.e. saying you have a million members and believing such a lie that it becomes true and then even the rest of the church starts to believe it.
It also has to do with men and women who hide behind the banner of being the true faith and true church that they forget what it was they believed in. It is worse than fundamentalism, it is in a sense, a belief in dogma but with no practice of the faith, just blind adherence to rubrics and "traditions/Traditions" that make everything seem real, when in reality, the inside is empty and hollow.
Lets go back and forgive all of the priests, deacons, and devoted laity who suffered, were relieved from their parishes, kicked out with little notice, and who were tossed aside, etc., etc., all due to the politics in Syosset.
These are the ones who were truly hurt and need the church. Maybe real healing and forgivenes can occur. As for placing the blame on one person, We All know it just is not true. All of the Bishops allowed this, both by omission and comission. They all failed the church and all of them need to ask forgiveness. Most of them as a sign of true repentance could retire. That would save many resources, time, and allow the OCA a fresh start.
#37 Michael C. on 2007-03-24 05:35
Good questions--my answers.
I do not want to hear the details concerning anyones sex life, but a violation of celebacy vows by a member of the clergy is pertinent as to whether or not they should remain in their position. Perhaps this has already been addressed, and if so, then the Church at large should be so informed--not misinformed.
While an "auto da fe" for Fr. Kondratick might provide satisfaction to some, it also obscures the role of others who most certainly have contributed to this scandal. At a minimum, the Metropolitan should resign, everyone in Syosset during the period in question fired, and at least half of the Synod "retired." (I'll leave it to others to identify those who should resign, but advanced age and ill health are certainly two good reasons.)
BTW, what has happened to the other actions of the Metropolitan Council? In many ways they are far more important than the Kondratick yoyo scheme.
In the end, it is the TRUTH that will set us free from the ill effects of this scandal.
#38 Kenneth R. Tobin on 2007-03-24 06:09
"Do we trust that now we have responsible overseers"
If you mean the present administration, the answer is no. If you mean the MC, not until the next AAC and some deadwood is voted out (including the non-functioning audit committee), and not until Best Practices is adopted and put into practice. And not until the outside accountants are able to render an unqualified opinion as to the OCA's financial statements.
"Do we really want to hear more about..."
Not all the details. But what if the ADM millions were being used for those purposes? Don't we deserve to know what the Beslan children's money and the priests' widows and orphans money and the 911 money was spent on? Tim, if we don't get a full answer to all the questions that have been posed on this site in the past months, the next AAC will be a very, very ugly affair.
#39 Michael Strelka, CPA on 2007-03-24 06:28
You are obviously a fair person; willing to give people the benefit of the doubt. That is often the right course. However, if you read this site carefully, from the beginning, you will conclude that these people no longer deserve the benefit of the doubt.
We need to hear the whole truth, and nothing but the truth. These people betrayed a public trust. These betrayals must be revealed in all their painful detail. Otherwise, these public positions will have no credibility going forward.
Trust must be restored. Having an OCA that only goes through the motions and whose words are hollow is a useless organization that is not worthy of anyone's commitment.
#40 Anon. on 2007-03-24 08:49
"Stunning Synodal Statement..." Mark, you should write for the New York Post.
#41 Peter Von Berg on 2007-03-24 10:38
Are there any dates that we could be tracking? Like target dates for reports, meetings, minutes, etc.
Don’t misunderstand, I am in no hurry for this to be resolved. It’s really great to have all this extra spending money since I have been “pretending” to donate since the first of the year. Just like the OCA has been “pretending” to fix the problem.
Seriously, any dates you know of?
#42 Ande on 2007-03-24 10:40
Why do you twist what I said? You took my comment totally out of context. I didn't say we need to pray for him because I feel sorry for him, don't understand what's happening or that I'm a supporter of his. The sooner he's out of the OCA the better.
Fr. Bob is incapable of telling the truth with regard to this matter. He had his chance with PR months ago and he had his chance with the Synod this past week.
He needs our prayers becuase he's up to his neck in trouble, severe denial and frailty as a human being. Are we not told to pray for those who've affronted us? Should we not pray for those who may be in danger of losing their soul?
Frankly, if what came out this past week is true, (and nothing has been brought to light to dispute the facts), when all is said in done, he probably deserves to lose his priesthood at the very least and possibly even go to jail. However, that doesn't mean we should stop praying for him.
I may be very adament about the stance I've taken with regard to Fr. Bob, but I'm still first and foremost an Orthodox Christian, and I for one, will continue to pray for him. What would I be if I chose not to?
#43 Michael Geeza on 2007-03-24 11:30
I wish I could be more sanguine about the Synod's statement. Like some here, I feel it repeats a pattern of too little, too late. The Church is asking for accountability. Our faith demands it. It beggars the imagination to think that the Synod has only now realized that the former Chancellor misused funds entrusted to the Church. The Metropolitan as an act of humility, as an acknowledgement of his failure in oversight, as a man responsible for his own actions or lack thereof, as a bishop who has failed his flock, should resign that the Church may live.
#44 David Paynter on 2007-03-24 16:54
In light of the most recent events, in the words of Emily Litella, "never mind." It seems my speculation was wrong and my optimism misplaced.
#45 Tim Capps on 2007-03-24 18:39
I stand corrected, and yes I did misinterpret your posting.
#46 K.K. on 2007-03-25 12:47
Where do we go from here and what do we do when the parish
priest never talks about the situation in Syosset?
#47 elc on 2007-03-25 16:06
None of the parish priests that “I” know will talk about this situation with their parishioners. They are too concerned about their paychecks and pensions. I’m sure that there are many good priests that I don’t know.
The only way this can be fixed is if more Parishioners believe that it is broken.
They will not believe this until the parish priest admits it.
Don’t let anyone tell you that all the priests don’t know about the problem.
One way would be to print out the articles and distribute them to a few parishioners.
Another way would be to temporarily withhold donations from the local parish (and hold in escrow).
If enough do this it may get the priests attention.
#48 Ande on 2007-03-26 06:10
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