For those of you who remember yesterday's exchanges regarding the recent actions of the OCA's +Dmitri, Metropolitan Herman just officially responed to him on the official OCA website. The letter is copied below:
SYOSSET, NY [OCA Communications] Ã¢â‚¬â€ In a letter dated March 30, 2007, His Beatitude, Metropolitan Herman, responded to a recent letter and posting by His Eminence, Archbishop Dmitri of Dallas and the South.
The text of Metropolitan Herman's letter reads as follows.
"Your Eminence and Concelebrant in the Lord:
"I received your letter dated March 22 and reviewed your posting on the Diocese of the South website dated March 28 and I must confess that I am confused by your mischaracterization of the events that took place at our most recent Holy Synod meeting and disappointed that you chose to permit the March 28 correspondence to be posted before you consulted with your brother Bishops. However, when I read the thinly veiled threats to sue the Church, the members of the Holy Synod and/or myself, it became clear to me that persons close to you must have 'assisted' you in preparing the letter since I am confident that you, who have given your life in service to ChristÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s Church, would never consider such an option. Nevertheless, I must still clarify the confusion that has been caused, perhaps inadvertently, by the letter and the posting. While it is not my practice to put personal correspondence on our website, I am compelled in this instance to do so since your posting of March 28 has caused considerable turmoil throughout the Church.
"On March 20, the Holy Synod heard a presentation by Archbishop Job and Bishop Benjamin of the work of the Special Investigative Committee regarding allegations of financial improprieties committed by Fr. Robert S. Kondratick while he was Chancellor of the OCA. This presentation was accompanied by a written report which consisted of a detailed summary of the evidence to support the allegations that was uncovered by our law firm and accounting firm. The investigation was not 'fueled by fear and intimidation' as you allege, but was rather the result of nearly one year of deliberative investigative work. As you pointed out, the evidence presented was 'overwhelming.'
"Fr. Kondratick then presented himself to the Synod, allegedly to answer questions about the allegations concerning his misconduct. Contrary to the implication in your letter, neither I nor the Holy Synod requested his attendance at the meeting. Rather, as is clearly documented, it was Fr. Kondratick who asked to be permitted to address the Holy Synod to answer questions about the allegations against him. We consented only in deference to your request to permit him to do so even though he had ample opportunity to cooperate with the investigators yet either refused or failed to provide any credible evidence to explain his actions. After hearing his presentation, his answers to specific questions presented by members of the Synod, and after significant deliberation in executive session, it was concluded that his limited responses were neither credible nor adequate to explain his actions. The Holy Synod unanimously supported the immediate suspension of Fr. Kondratick. This action was not a 'synodal suspension' as you state, it was a recommendation for his Bishop to take corrective action.
"Our final session was held on March 22. At that time, you persuasively requested that I rescind Fr. KondratickÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s letter of transfer to the Diocese of the South. This request was based on your assertion that the actions complained of did not take place during the time that he was a priest in your diocese. Therefore, I agreed to your request and rescinded his transfer. Fr. Kondratick was notified in writing of his change in status.
These actions were taken at your request and with my approval and were witnessed by the Holy Synod. Thus, they are appropriate, legitimate and valid. Let me be clear on this point Your Eminence, Fr. Robert S. Kondratick is no longer under your omophorion; he was reassigned to Stavropeghial Status and he shall be permitted to serve in Venice until I send him further instructions.
"Your Eminence, let me respectfully suggest that that with Holy Week upon us that we focus our attention on Christ, the author and finisher of our faith, and speak no more of this matter until after the feast of Pascha.
"With brotherly love in Christ,
Archbishop of Washington and New York
Metropolitan of All America and Canada"
Copies of Metropolitan Herman's letter were sent to all of the members of the Holy Synod of Bishops.