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Author Topic: OCA Financial Scandal  (Read 19454 times) Average Rating: 0
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« Reply #135 on: April 04, 2006, 12:09:35 PM »

A Romanian living in the US.

Oh!  well, nice to have you on this board.
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« Reply #136 on: April 04, 2006, 12:13:49 PM »

Just a warning...  One could lose his faith by getting too involved in higher church politics such as this.  (I'm not insinuating that anyone here is.)
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« Reply #137 on: April 04, 2006, 12:26:36 PM »

Just a warning...  One could lose his faith by getting too involved in higher church politics such as this.  (I'm not insinuating that anyone here is.)

You're right about that.  It's important to remember that the OCA is just a jurisdiction that is a part of the Orthodox Church, and that it is only a very small number of OCA members involved in this at that.  The vast majority of OCA members--bishops, priests, laymen--are all well-rounded and respectable Orthodox people.

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« Reply #138 on: April 04, 2006, 01:47:51 PM »

 Bishop Tikhon seems hypocritical to me: mad at some for calling for direct donations to charities and appeals until accountability is restored, then calling on his own diocese to withhold funds.  His comments against Archbishop Job are nonsensical to me: Archbishop Job being one of the most missionary-minded, "real-deal" bishops around, a commended and well-respected hierarch, etc.  Archbishop Job understands how it works in America and is trying to save the Church from the embarassment of audits by forcing it to do it itself, I think.

Metropolitan Herman on the other hand, while personally a nice guy I've thought when I've met him, has started to act unilaterally and that really can't be countenanced, and on the other hand, he must have known about at least some of this before and as such probably should just step down.

Anastasios

I always had the greatest respect for Metro. Herman, I can't imagine what doing on right now.  As for His Grace, Tikhon, he seems to be on a self destruct mode.  Archbishop Job never acted like His Grace is now doing.  I wouldn't be surprised if he gets an official silencing.  Its sad when we forget the story of Noah and his sons after the flood...and are exposing our father's nakedness.  If His Grace, Tikhon needs to let off steam with his Metropolitan, then do it privately.  
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« Reply #139 on: April 05, 2006, 10:47:40 AM »

Wow.  My Bishop really has gone off the deep end.  Maybe he can retire as well and have +Benjamin officially manage the diocese.

 I am a great admirer of Bishop +Benjamin!  I believe that his future leadership of the Diocese of the West will be a real Springtime for our Church and a real needed change in direction.
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« Reply #140 on: April 05, 2006, 08:37:11 PM »

Great News!!!

from http://www.oca.org/News.asp?ID=970&SID=19

-------

Archpastoral Message of Metropolitan Herman, April 9, 2006

Article posted: 4/5/2006 3:33 PM    
April 9, 2006
Fifth Sunday of Lent
Saint Mary of Egypt

Esteemed Brother Hierarchs, Devoted Clergy and Monastics, and Beloved Faithful:

...

The work of resolving this controversy has begun on behalf of our whole Church. A law firm has been retained to undertake an internal investigation of all allegations regarding the finances of the Church that have been brought to my attention. An independent audit of all accounts for the past two years, an examination of the disposition of all monies collected through appeals for the past five years, and an evaluation of chancery personnel and operations have all been initiated and will be ongoing. As Primate of the Church, I pledge to you that my office, the Holy Synod of Bishops, the Metropolitan Council and the Chancery staff will cooperate fully with the auditors and investigators until these issues are resolved. As the independent audits for 2004 and for the special appeals are completed, they will be made available on our OCA website in a manner similar to those of other government-regulated not-for-profit religious organizations. Additional audit reports as well as the results of the internal investigation will also become part of our public records when deemed appropriate to do so by the investigators. The Holy Synod of Bishops, the Metropolitan Council, and then all of you will be made aware of the findings in a timely fashion and with good order.

I have further initiated “Best Practices” procedures in financial accountability and other administrative practices established for not-for-profit religious institutions, in order to insure that mistakes will not be made in the future. I realize that for some, these measures were taken too late; for others, they are too severe. I know that whatever decisions I make, I cannot please everyone.

I wish to state unequivocally that I take full responsibility for what may have happened during my service as Primate of the Church. The Holy Apostle commands me as first hierarch of the Church “that you should set in order the things that are wanting” (Titus 1:5). If I have failed in any way to do that, I ask for your forgiveness and God’s guidance to enable me to undertake whatever corrective measures may still be necessary. To all those who have been scandalized and pained by the weaknesses of the human aspect of the Church, and to all those whose faith has been challenged because of it, I apologize with my whole heart. I beseech the Lord, the divine Head of the Church, to heal and strengthen these members of His Body through His mercy and compassion and love for mankind.

Again, I ask for your understanding and forgiveness, and for your prayers for myself, for the hierarchs of our Holy Synod, for our clergy and for all our faithful. The time has come for us to unite our efforts to restore peace and harmony in our Church. If we are to become the co-workers with Christ that we are called to be, we must place our focus on our Savior, His saving mission and our shared participation in that saving mission. We must direct our energies to the work to which each of us has been called: our own salvation and the salvation of those around us.
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« Reply #141 on: April 05, 2006, 09:37:06 PM »

</Lent>
God be praised.  May deeds match words, for the glory of God.
<Lent>
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« Reply #142 on: April 05, 2006, 09:38:30 PM »

Well, let's see the results... on the surface, it's a good step... but it still doesn't address the years that are thought of to be pretty bad.
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« Reply #143 on: April 06, 2006, 01:18:16 PM »

Well, let's see the results... on the surface, it's a good step... but it still doesn't address the years that are thought of to be pretty bad.

Which years do you mean?
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« Reply #144 on: April 06, 2006, 01:22:09 PM »

</Lent>
God be praised.  May deeds match words, for the glory of God.
<Lent>

What deeds are you looking for? He already said "I wish to state unequivocally that I take full responsibility for what may have happened during my service as Primate of the Church."
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« Reply #145 on: April 06, 2006, 01:37:24 PM »

Which years do you mean?  

I think the core years of the allegations were the 90's, right?  The OP states that the problems began in the 90's with a drive for an audit that got the dn. fired.
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« Reply #146 on: April 06, 2006, 01:39:06 PM »

He says that he wants full responsibility, but what if that means that laws were broken - will he step forward to match his words?  What if canons were violated?  There are a whole lot of "ifs" and "buts" here, but it is something that needs to be considered.
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« Reply #147 on: April 06, 2006, 01:48:49 PM »

I think the core years of the allegations were the 90's, right? The OP states that the problems began in the 90's with a drive for an audit that got the dn. fired.

Oh, I thought it was mostly about Sept. 11th funds or something, which would be included in the checking over of the appeals for the last 5 years. However, he also seems to indicate that the issues of the 90's will be investigated too:

"Additional audit reports as well as the results of the internal investigation will also become part of our public records when deemed appropriate to do so by the investigators."
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« Reply #148 on: April 06, 2006, 01:50:40 PM »

He says that he wants full responsibility, but what if that means that laws were broken - will he step forward to match his words?  What if canons were violated? There are a whole lot of "ifs" and "buts" here, but it is something that needs to be considered.

If he had no intention of taking responsibility, why would he even mention taking it, and not just do the "Tihkonian" thing? Whether he is guilty or not, this all seems to indicate he really is sorry and wants to make things right.
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« Reply #149 on: April 06, 2006, 01:51:53 PM »

Oh, I'm sure Sept. 11th funds are included; but he said the problems started in 99 when he wanted to do a 5-year audit (or something like that...).  

I hope they do have the moxie to go back that far, and correct the problems of the past.  Not that it will recoup the money any faster, but at least the accountability will be a start.
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« Reply #150 on: April 06, 2006, 01:52:51 PM »

I am inlcined to believe him - but it's always helpful to see the proof that he is as remourseful as his statement.
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« Reply #151 on: April 06, 2006, 01:57:04 PM »

I am inlcined to believe him - but it's always helpful to see the proof that he is as remourseful as his statement.

He has already done everything he has said so far, has he not?
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« Reply #152 on: April 06, 2006, 06:29:49 PM »

I don't doubt it - I'm just saying I hope it keeps up.  When it comes to this stuff, I'm not really a hardcore skeptic... just cautious.
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« Reply #153 on: April 06, 2006, 06:37:47 PM »

He has already done everything he has said so far, has he not?

Which isn't much, but this is a time consuming process.  It looks like now that we should just wait and see.
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« Reply #154 on: April 06, 2006, 06:57:08 PM »

I don't doubt it - I'm just saying I hope it keeps up.  When it comes to this stuff, I'm not really a hardcore skeptic... just cautious.

Oh yeah, I am definately cautious about these things too. I just don't want people jumping the gun and saying "guilty until proven innocent."
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« Reply #155 on: April 06, 2006, 07:49:12 PM »

Which isn't much, but this is a time consuming process.  It looks like now that we should just wait and see.

It may not look like much in the big scheme of things, but I'm encouraged by what he's done.  I throw my prayers and support fully behind +HERMAN.  He's doing a lot more now than has been done by anyone, and apparently without the vocal support from his fellow bishops.
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« Reply #156 on: April 06, 2006, 08:10:15 PM »

After the Jim and Tammy Fae Baker financial scandal, since the media wrongly branded those two charasmaniacs as evangelicals, genuine evangelicals such as Billy Graham's organization, World Vision and Prison Fellowship created an organization called (something like) Evangelicals for Financial Accountability. It is voluntary, but to be a member, the organization MUST subscribe to commonly accepted accounting practices, submit to an annual outside audit, be within certain perameters percentage-wise as to how much can be paid to executive staff, other staff, fundraising appeals, advertising etc. Members get to publish the seal Cheesy of approval from EFFC on their appeals. It is heralded as setting the standard for religious organizations.

Maybe the OCA could join! (just kidding! I hope no one had an aneurism over that one Grin)

Seriously, more important than who steps down is GETTING IT RIGHT THIS TIME.  Angry

This ain't the "old world." Get out of the 19th C and into the 21st dear hierarchs!

As I have said over and over and over and over and over on OC.net, at the local parish level and at the "denominational" level, Orthodox should sit at the feet of evangelicals and learn from them when it comes to financial stewardship. Church dues and ethnic food sales just
doesn't make it at the parish level and the hierarchs having secret discretionary funds at the
"corporate" headquarters level doesn't make it either.

BTW I will continue, as my mild form of protest, to use the term denomination rather than jurisdiction until there is one Othodox Church in North America.
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« Reply #157 on: April 06, 2006, 08:32:13 PM »

First let me say that I had been a member at one time of a parish where there were suspicions of, let me say it politely, financial irresponsibility.  It seemed that the money was controlled by one or two families mostly through bingo proceeds.  And these suspicions were made to me by some of their relatives.  The Diocese and Archdiocese seemed to wash it's hands of the parish years before, when they couldn't find a priest they could control and were playing musical priests,and allowed them to be a renegade parish.  The Bishop wouldn't even come to visit nor would they invite him.  As far as I know they have never been audited by anyone and wouldn't even consider an audit committee.  The council was always all one family, with an occasional outsider.  My point is that I agree that financial stewardship is the best and most appropriate way to support a parish.  And that the financial irresponsibilities are not only at the top but at every level.  I intentionally left out any identifying information about the parish or the jurisdiction, because it doesn't matter.  Unless you have been a member of this parish, you won't know which of the many parishes I have been a member of that I am referring to.
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« Reply #158 on: April 07, 2006, 02:05:06 AM »

New from Bishop Tikhon about Fr. Hopko's helping the Metropolitan:

"I have my own diocesan council, and a Presbyterium second to none. What do I need with a dogmatic theologian's, (I should say, 'popularizer of theology for the educationally challenged') kibbitzing advice? Any matushka and many other ladies in all my parishes have as good a grip, as advanced piety, and as many brains as Father Thomas Hopko. His letter to the Metropolitan Council is an unconscionable and mob-inciting RANT. What arrogance and self-delusion!"

http://www.orthodoxnet.com/articles/OCA-crisis/OCA_Tikhon_Attacks_Hopko_2006-04-04.php

I should also ask what the problem is with teaching Orthodox theology to those who don't have "advanced degrees" or why there is a need to insult them...
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« Reply #159 on: April 07, 2006, 02:29:06 AM »

You can't take anything Bp. Tikhon says personally. He's a paper tiger, don't let his roar trouble you.
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« Reply #160 on: April 07, 2006, 02:34:20 AM »

This is going to tear the OCA apart just watch.

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« Reply #161 on: April 07, 2006, 02:58:09 AM »

You can't take anything Bp. Tikhon says personally. He's a paper tiger, don't let his roar trouble you.

Oh I know. It's just quite sad to see a bishop do that type of thing continually.
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« Reply #162 on: April 07, 2006, 02:59:19 AM »

This is going to tear the OCA apart just watch.

I'm not so sure it will. There is probably going to be some bad news for Bishop Tikhon down the road, but I don't see this leading to a schism of any magnitude, if there is one at all.
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« Reply #163 on: April 07, 2006, 01:38:59 PM »

I'm not so sure it will. There is probably going to be some bad news for Bishop Tikhon down the road, but I don't see this leading to a schism of any magnitude, if there is one at all.

I have a friend who has travelled much throughout the OCA and visited a lot of parishes for extended periods.  She has told me that most of the clergy in other dioceses consider Bp. Tikhon the fundamentalist of the OCA.  It doesn't sound to me like he has a lot of respect from the other bishops of the Holy Synod.
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« Reply #164 on: April 07, 2006, 01:44:17 PM »

What's ironic is that while he attempts to play the role of most traditonal OCA bishop, we "traditionalists" (you know, us scary people who read orthodoxinfo.com!) do not consider Bp Tikhon a fundamentalist or traditionalist in any sense of the word. LOL.

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« Reply #165 on: April 07, 2006, 02:15:01 PM »

What's ironic is that while he attempts to play the role of most traditonal OCA bishop, we "traditionalists" (you know, us scary people who read orthodoxinfo.com!) do not consider Bp Tikhon a fundamentalist or traditionalist in any sense of the word. LOL.

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How so? Huh
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« Reply #166 on: April 07, 2006, 02:46:42 PM »

There's nothing traditional about a bishop spending all his time chatting, citing popular TV shows, not really being a monk, being rude to others, etc.  Having a beard, wearing a chotki, and serving perfect Slavonic services is not what makes someone traditional.

From my pov, as a member of the Greek Old Calendarists, there are positions of his that I object to that disqualify him from being a "traditionalist" but I would not like to cause any fights or dissention by listing those and pointing them out.  Anyone would knows anything about our positions would know where I stand, and those who don't, would probably be better served by praying and fasting during this Lent than trying to delve into this issue.

My whole point in writing what I did above is that I find the idea of one person taking a traditionalist stance and using that as an excuse to bash people to be horrendous, especially because there will always be someone else who thinks he is "more traditionalist" and who won't view you as traditional.  For instance, any Russian Old Believer would consider me a horrendous modernist since I accept the Nikonian Russian rites.  So it's better just to be a holy bishop who lives traditionally as an example rather than being a confrontational person who makes a point of being correct and "traditional."

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« Reply #167 on: April 07, 2006, 03:00:33 PM »

I agree with that Anastasios. I wouldn't label myself as a traditionalist or fundamentalist (the way I understand them, at least), but more of a very conservative Orthodox. Nonetheless, I am quite convinced that Bishop Tikhon is none of those things. I might go so far as to call him a pseudo-traditional polemicist, or something like that, if I had to name what he "fit into."
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« Reply #168 on: April 07, 2006, 03:17:47 PM »

Having a beard, wearing a chotki, and serving perfect Slavonic services is not what makes someone traditional.

The beard doesn't make the man, the man makes the beard.

Anyway, I agree with everything you wrote.  Thanks for the sober analysis.
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"The creed is very simple, and here is what it is: to believe that there is nothing more beautiful, more courageous, and more perfect than Christ; and there not only isn't, but I tell myself with a jealous love, there cannot be." ~ Fyodor Dostoevsky
Robert
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« Reply #169 on: April 07, 2006, 04:07:52 PM »

Well put, anastasios.

Bishops must have a lot of free time, I mean he posts on the Internet a lot!

Robert
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BrotherAidan
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« Reply #170 on: April 07, 2006, 11:52:20 PM »

Are there not two Bishops with the name Tikhon - one of San Franciso and the other of Philadelphia?
Which one are you guys referring to?
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« Reply #171 on: April 07, 2006, 11:58:12 PM »

Are there not two Bishops with the name Tikhon - one of San Franciso and the other of Philadelphia?
Which one are you guys referring to?

Yes, two +Tikhons, referring to +Tikhon of San Fran, LA and the West
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Keble
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« Reply #172 on: April 12, 2006, 04:01:58 PM »

And for heaven's sake don't let him catch you referring to as "+Tikhon"-- he had one of his rantlets on the Indiana list about that.
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Psalti Boy
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« Reply #173 on: April 12, 2006, 04:32:25 PM »

And for heaven's sake don't let him catch you referring to as "+Tikhon"-- he had one of his rantlets on the Indiana list about that.


A little sensitive, is he??
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