Comments Posted By SAM
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So to summarize.
Question: How did the letter published by the OCA Holy Synod get approved for public consumption?
Answer: Bishops are very lonely people – incredibly lonely who can be manipulated. The poor dears!
Why do we nominate and elect such fragile/unstable men? This piece is armchair psychology gone boring.
» Posted By SAM On June 7, 2013 @ 12:34 pm
LOL! Too funny. I am rather chuffed to have a strategy of destruction. It is a really wimpy one, though, isnt it? Nothing compared to the rumor and innuendo that whip readers of this blog into a righteous indignation. Indeed, I provide video evidence that people can view themselves.
In point of fact, I only referenced the video. I believe George–or whoever adminstrates these things– added it. I don’t think what I wrote is slander because it is true. I would encourage you to do a little research. Perhaps beyond the rather insular set who regularly post here.
I too wish the bishop well.
» Posted By SAM On April 20, 2013 @ 6:48 pm
Dear Amazed in the Midwest,
I am also amazed. Amazed at what you see in the bishop’s conduct. From his victim grooming behavior to his abrasive and condescending treatment of his clergy to his narcissistic personality, Bishop Matthias has scandalized the DoM. He could not come back. Our Synod finally got a decision correct.
Watch the youtube video of his “sermon” at Holy Trinity in Chicago on March 24, specifically part two. It is pathetic. It is filled with bitterness and shirking of responsibility. According to him, he is more sinned against than sinning. What baloney!
You may not have experienced the bishop’s arch-pastoral ineptitude, but please refrain from singing the praises of a man who has caused such hurt and scandal to his diocese.
» Posted By SAM On April 18, 2013 @ 10:39 am
If you have actionable information, you should bring it forward. Not doing so is reckless on your part. If you do not have information, your speculation is malicious. Either way your conduct reflects poorly on you, whoever you are.
» Posted By SAM On April 17, 2013 @ 2:33 pm
We are lucky to have Bishop Alexander. What we need is less of is inane references to alleged, vague misdeeds. Get a life!
» Posted By SAM On April 16, 2013 @ 9:49 am
I agree with you.
» Posted By SAM On April 16, 2013 @ 9:47 am
Agreed. At least he left.
» Posted By SAM On April 16, 2013 @ 7:46 am
This is a good outcome. Perhaps not perfect, but the best that could be had. After a series of poor decisions, the Synod has gotten one correct and Bishop Matthias made a mature one. Thank goodness!
Of course there are qualified men out there. Specifically Bishop Alexander, who should have been the DOM hierarch to begin with.
» Posted By SAM On April 15, 2013 @ 10:16 am
Thanks for your response. I am not sure that it squares the circle, but it does certainly help me understand where you are coming from. I think the gloss you give to Metropolitan Nikodim and the Russian Church’s motivations for granting autocephaly to the Metropolia is a bit unfair. Certainly not a fulsome account of either the man–who deserves better–or the objectives of the Russian Church.
As for the rest of your points. I don’t find them compelling. That is just my opinion, and I don’t think I have the time or energy to write an extensive blog post about why. I have never met anyone who became convinced of a hitherto disagreeable idea by reading a blog post.
But still the circle remains unsquared. You fault the OCA for not-acting like a “true” local church. Then criticize them for acting like a local church. Which is it? Perhaps the OCA is in the unhappy position of failing in every possible way.
» Posted By SAM On April 1, 2013 @ 1:41 pm
You are welcome. And I pleased for your friends and relations. I suppose that it comes down to the fact that I don’t really care about the OCA’s autocephaly. It exists, so the OCA acting like a local church doesn’t bother me. I suspect there will come a time that OCA will be absorbed into a new American administrative framework. I am fine with that. What I don’t care for, Damage, is complaining about the OCA acting like a local church.
I find hard to understand why you critise the OCA for being “othered” in Rome, whilst simultaneously complaining about the OCA wrong headed assertion of autocephaly. If you we’re a autocephaly true believer, I can understand being upset about the “othering”. If you were against the OCA’s assertion of autocephaly, I can understand how the label “other” would confirmation of your views. If you are like me, and don’t care, you might look past this kasha and see a delightful event. But, I have hard time understanding your view, Damage. Perhaps you could square this circle for me?
So, I won’t mistake your criticism as sour grapes. Nor, I hope, will you mistake mine for a simpleton’s game.
» Posted By SAM On March 30, 2013 @ 9:41 am
I don’t understand your argument. The OCA is puny, so it should not have gone to Rome? I am not sure what size has to do with anything. Size of what exactly?
You write that the OCA went to (1) promote themselves as self-defined (2) autocephalous church. This is just factually inaccurate.
(1) I have seen nothing to suggest that this trip was a self-promoting tour. Perhaps you are a more accomplished Syosset-gazer than I am. Frankly, I have other things to do. Only the needlessly negative types on this blog portray the Rome trip as a some sort of self-promotion gone bad. Some times it isn’t all about us.
(2)Descriptively, the OCA is autocephalous. It conducts its own affairs, elects its own bishops, etc. It is also recognized as such by other local, autocephalous Orthodox Churches. Not all, which is problematic and will need to be resolved.
It is time, Damage Control, to cheer up! Your relentless negativity may be somewhat justified, but it is in no way helpful moving forward.
» Posted By SAM On March 29, 2013 @ 12:29 pm
No. The Roman Church deserves our respect, even in schism.
» Posted By SAM On March 27, 2013 @ 10:06 pm
Good grief! It was respectful to go to Rome. Who bloody cares about who was mentioned where? Who was seated where? Not me. Unlike Damage Control, my sense of self-worth as a member of the OCA is not predicated on other people’s opinion of the OCA. I am glad we were represented. It was a joyful and hopeful occasion.
So, George and Damage Control, cheer up and get a grip!
» Posted By SAM On March 25, 2013 @ 1:28 pm
I very much recommend the Brother Cadfael series to you. It is compelling reading. As to your other points, I just think your presentation overly simplistic. To be fair, I do share a bit of your schadenfreude when it comes to the Midwest’s election of Matthias. That such a process–irritatingly vaunted by some– has culminated in this current fiasco is somewhat pleasing. Hopefully those people will have sufficient self-awareness to shut up about such things in future. But this is not a terribly adult point of view.
» Posted By SAM On March 4, 2013 @ 2:15 pm
Fr Justin, are you channelling Brother Jerome from Ellis Peters’ Cadfael series? Come to Midwest or speak to Midwest clergy before offering such “ten thousand feet” pastoral advice. I suspect your advice on troubled marriages is a bit more nuanced.
» Posted By SAM On March 1, 2013 @ 8:16 am
This is why the mature and sensible course of action is for Bishop Matthias to abdicate. I suspect that the Church canons were not designed to create spectacle and scandal. Indeed, the very opposite. The canons are to create and keep good order. By his own testimony, Bishop Matthias’ return will split the diocese. Using the canons to create such a toxic environment seems bit odd, wouldn’t you say, Oche?
» Posted By SAM On February 28, 2013 @ 10:05 pm
I won’t pretend to expect rigorous standards of journalism from you. You are not a journalist, and your site is mainly driven by opinion. This article is an exemplar of the problems that this type of opinion piece produces. The over all tone of you article is one of distrust and malfeasance. Jillions the devious chancellor is on the prowl for information with which to blackmail his colleagues and his superiors. This is a serious charge. Yet, what evidence do you marshal? Mostly innuendo and anonymous sources. Sound familiar? Mr Stokoe please call your office.
It is astounding that you accuse Jillions of painting Metropolitan Jonah in the worst possible light, whilst doing exact same thing to Jillions. Worse still, you publicly paint the Chancellor’s actions in the worst possible light. Pot meet kettle!
Let’s talk about what we really know. To borrow your phraseology “what we do know is that [George] is on an [anti-Syosset] crusade.” And perhaps justly so. I, for one, am fed up with the incompetence on display. But I try to base what criticism I have on publicly verifiable and documented events. George, I suggest you do the same.
» Posted By SAM On February 19, 2013 @ 1:13 pm
I am not sure what your point is, Mr Johnston. You say that giving the Main OCA more money created the RSK scandal. But then you suggest that we give more, so Main OCA can do more. Do more what? Scandal creation?
I would interested to know what action you would have Fr Karlgut take? His are good points, well made. Yours are incomprehensible. Are you a wordsmith for OCA Main?
And, lest you think that I am insulting you, I am not. I am being descriptive about what you wrote above. There is a big difference.
» Posted By SAM On February 15, 2013 @ 10:25 am
I suspect that, if one were to be a fly on the wall of Main OCA, one would hear expressions of exasperation and disbelief at the reaction to the CE program. I am almost positive that the administrators spent many hours coming up with this program and drafting the press release. Just like the they did with the press release about the bishop of the Midwest last year. But the end result is the same: a shambles.
The underlying reason, in my opinion, is that the administrators at Main OCA are intellectual light-weights. They may be fine, moral men, but the public track record time and again tends to show a lack of awareness, understanding, and good judgement. I suppose as failings go, these are not the worst possible examples. But, really, it is getting tremendously tedious.
» Posted By SAM On February 14, 2013 @ 5:48 pm
Perhaps. Although, I do find it hard to believe that the clerics at Main OCA could muster enough intelligence to enact a such a plan. No, I think what we are seeing is the work of intellectual light-weights who are overmatched by the challenges facing them. Or, if not intellectual light-weights, one of those curious situations in which the whole is much, much less than the sum of its parts.
What action taken by Main OCA in the past decade could you look at and say, “that, that is impressive”? None. From personnel decisions to policy decisions, the constant result is mediocrity. I am not naive enough to think that administering the OCA is an easy task. But at some point it would be encouraging to see one thing, just one thing, that the church as whole could look at and say, “well done!”.
» Posted By SAM On February 14, 2013 @ 11:04 am
The silver lining in all the incompetence on display is that the mandatory sexual misconduct training might teach the synod about the problematic behavior of the bishop it is about to re-instate.
» Posted By SAM On February 12, 2013 @ 11:02 am
Thank God you aren’t my priest or bishop, Carl.
» Posted By SAM On November 6, 2012 @ 7:21 pm
Is there a Steve Holt in your group? Steve Holt!
» Posted By SAM On November 2, 2012 @ 10:41 pm
This self-description of the “Sons of Job” brings to mind a secret society. Do you have special hats? Any Orthodox clergy involved might want to look to their oath at ordination.
» Posted By SAM On November 1, 2012 @ 9:00 pm
The OCA lists developing and managing preventative and educational programs as a main feature of the misconduct co-ordinator’s job. I suggest that this shows a comprehensive approach to the issue.
» Posted By SAM On June 21, 2012 @ 12:16 pm
I am all for thinking bishops, and doubly so for bishops that re-think things. Your characterisation of the misconduct positions may be accurate, but it would be odds with my reading of the OCA policy. I have no way of knowing what the facts are other than what is in the documents. A case-by-case consultant may be the way to go.
I don’t have much knowledge in this field, but if salaried officers mitigate liability in one case, such officers would probably be a good investment. The lack of lawsuits in the past may indicate that there is no problem. It may also be a tremendous run of good fortune. Fortune is a fickle lady, and I would not depend on her assistance too much.
The problem with letting the civil authorities alone deal with the issue is the doctrine of respondeat superior. Liability is created in the employer when the employee engages in sexual misconduct arising out of his employment. Were I plaintiff’s counsel, I would immediately inform my client about bringing an action against the employer in such a situation. Were I employer’s counsel, I would work as hard as I can to show either than the Church is not the employer or that the accused acted ultra vires.
Your example of the Archbishop is distinguishable here. The Archbishop is in Canada. The OCA’s insurance policy does not extend to Canada. Thus, the Archbishop was not provided with defense counsel through the OCA. He was left to provide himself with a defense. If the Archbishop was provided with defense through the OCA’s insurance, any action the OCA took, as insuring party, would not be “getting in the way”. This case is not a good example of how the OCA should handle its own people, nor is it a good example of what would happen here in the US. What a great selling point for prospective clergy: get accused and fund your own defense!
What you say about your diocese makes sense. Who is doing the insuring–the insured party? The diocese? The OCA? If it is the OCA, you are back to the national office issue.I don’t think that setting up these offices constitutes an abdication of episcopal duties. Taking advice from people versed in a particular field is mark of intelligence.
» Posted By SAM On June 23, 2012 @ 6:08 pm
I would imagine that the two misconduct officers would be best positioned to offer advice to the diocesan bishop. If I were a bishop, I would want to take the best advice before making a disciplinary judgment. I would also want to take the best advice on how to educate and protect my clergy.
Please take a moment to contact your diocesan authority–bishop or chancellor–to ask if your diocese is in a position take on these education and protection responsibilities. My suspicion is that–if you are in the OCA–your diocesan authority will answer in the negative. Please let me know if I am wrong.
Your statement that sexual misconduct is a matter best dealt with on the diocesan level is conclusory. What are your grounds for saying this? Are they economic? Is it a matter of canon law? I would like to see your financial analysis and/or an brief on what is uncanonical with our bishops blessing the creation of these positions.
In sum, I do not “comprende”. But I think it is because you offer conclusions, not argument.
» Posted By Sam On June 23, 2012 @ 3:20 pm
Section 10.4 – 10.6 of the OCA Sexual Misconduct policy state that applicable diocesan bishop will make the final judgement in matters of ecclesial discipline. What power grab are we talking about here?
» Posted By SAM On June 23, 2012 @ 10:03 am
This is exactly right. Which diocese as the money to take the necessary precautions here? None. It has to been collaborative at the national level.
» Posted By SAM On June 22, 2012 @ 9:51 pm
Back To Stats Page
I do not understand your essay. In the first section you describe a lack of distinction/definition. Section 2.07 of the OCA’s Sexual Misconduct Policy defines the types of misconduct covered by the policy and, presumably, the national misconduct officer. Your reference to civil law offenses and consensual conduct does not make much sense to me.
In the second section, you look at the job description and find it lacking. I would think that the job description is just that: a description. Other rules, such as professional codes of conduct need to be applied when analyzing the position. The OCA misconduct policy needs to be applied when analyzing the position. I submit that after such analysis your concerns might be assuaged a little.
In the third section, you ask, “how many cases are there.” By analogy you suggest only a few. If you are right, it means that all the members of the Holy Synod, Chancery, and Metroplitan Council are misleading the Church. This I find very hard to believe. Our Church is blessed with many intelligent people in leadership positions–who may not always get along–so to cast them as deceivers is hard to swallow. Indeed, Fr Tassos on this very blog confirmed the volume of cases.
In the fourth section, you state that sexual misconduct should be dealt with by the civil authorities. There is no quibble here. It will be in court when liability dictates it must be. But going back to your opening paragraph, misconduct liability also affects the church who hired the priest under the doctrine of respondent superior. It affects the whole parish community. Therefore, it behooves those liable and responsible to take the necessary precautions to protect the Church in all the availed ways.
» Posted By SAM On June 19, 2012 @ 5:26 pm