Courage in Leadership

Source: Fr. Peter-Michael Preble HT: AOI

One of the fundamental characteristics of a good leader, no, strike that, a great leader is courage. Of all the skills that leaders, especially leaders in the Church, need it is courage. We are faced with an unprecedented attack on religious freedom in this country, and what we need more than anything are leaders who are not afraid to say what needs to be said. We need leaders who put themselves out in front to protect their flocks from attack. We need leaders who will speak the truth in all situations regardless of the consequences of that truth.

I spent twelve years in the Army of the United States, and I served under many leaders. The one thing that distinguished the good ones from the bad ones was courage. I am not talking about courage under fire on the battle-field, but courage to do what had to be done, regardless of the consequences. That is the mark of true leaders: the willingness to risk it all to complete a mission because they know what will happen if they fail. Courageous leaders always have the welfare of those they are leading in the fore-front of their mind and think of themselves only after they think of those they are leading. Their platoon’s or their church’s welfare is more important than their own.

Bp. Daniel Jenky

Recently, Daniel Jenky, the Roman Catholic Bishop of Peoria, Illinois preached a sermon in which he said that President Obama was heading down the same road that Hitler and Stalin had taken. He was referring to the change in the HHS mandate that would require religious institutions to provide abortion and contraception coverage regardless of their moral objections. This change, in my opinion and the opinion of many others, is a direct attack on the religious freedom we have always enjoyed in America. I have written on this topic myself and was publicly taken to task by a bishop of my own Church for what I had to say.

In that April 14 sermon, Bishop Jenky said that the Church will survive what is being done to her and that many “have tried to force Christians to huddle and hide within the confines of their churches.” It is important to note that those governments that have tried to extinguish the church have all fallen, yet the church continues. As Jenky said.

Hitler and Stalin, at their better moments, would just barely tolerate some churches remaining open, but would not tolerate any competition with the state in education, social services and health care…

In clear violation of our First Amendment rights, Barack Obama – with his radical, pro-abortion and extreme secularist agenda, now seems intent on following a similar path…

Every other Roman Catholic bishop in America has made similar statements saying what the Church should be teaching and speaking what her bishops are speaking.

This takes courage! Shortly after Jenky’s sermon, a left-wing, God-hating group filed a complaint with the Internal Revenue Service citing the sermon as a violation of the IRS tax code in relation to churches. And the faculty of what used to be a Roman Catholic University, Notre Dame, publicly called on Bishop Jenky to retract his statements but so far he is standing by his words.

I believe we have lost sight of the fact that the Church does not change to fit the culture; the Church is supposed to influence the culture and keep the culture on track. When a church changes to fit what society wants her to believe, she has failed in her mission and confused the people. The Church does not decide matters of faith and morals based on opinion polls; the Church decides on what has been revealed to her by the Holy Spirit and through her long tradition. If the culture needs correction, it is up to the Church, and her authentic teachers, the bishops, to bring that culture back on track. I believe we are where we are as a society, because we, the Church, have not been doing our job effectively.

We can look back at the political takeovers of the last century, and see that one of the first things accomplished was the silencing of the Church. When the Nazis rolled into Poland the Roman Catholic Church gave her assent, because Hitler had promised that the Church would not be affected. Soon after the Nazis arrival, that all changed; the Church began to be persecuted.

The socialist plan will not work unless the government is in control of the moral compass of the people. The moral compass of the people is the Church, the authentic Church and her bishops. Right now, with few exceptions, the Roman Catholic Church is fighting this fight on her own. She has the loudest voice, yes, but this is not a simply a Roman Catholic issue, as the liberal media would like us to believe. This is an issue of religious freedom that will affect all of us in America. If we stay silent, we will end up like the Roman Catholic Church in Poland of the 1940s.

To be a leader means to have the courage that it takes to stand up when needed. Leaders cannot be afraid of the political or economic fallout of teaching and upholding what the Church teaches. The Church is to be counter-cultural and to remind people that we do have a moral code, a code that this country was founded on and, if we are not careful, a code that will become a distant memory.

This moral code is very counter-cultural, and most of the adherents to the Orthodox faith are confused on many of the issues that face them every day. The Orthodox faith is not simply a faith practiced on Sunday or when it is convenient another issue that the faithful need to consider but it is a faith that is lived, a faith that is part of the very fabric of our humanity. We can’t separate our life outside the Church from our life inside the Church, because there should be no difference.

What we need now, more than ever before in the history of America, are leaders who are filled with the power and the boldness of the Holy Spirit, as the apostles were on the day of Pentecost. Courageous, Spirit-filled leaders leading the church and say what needs to be said, whether or not it is politically correct and regardless of the fallout. We need leaders who are not afraid to stand up and say that what is being done is not right and who will tell the world we will not be silenced.

But it is not just up to the leaders of the Church. The laity needs to support its leaders when they come under attack. The Church needs to be defended at all levels of society and everyone needs to be involved in this defense of the faith.

The Church needs courageous leaders who are and will be authentic shepherds of their flock and are, in a very real way, willing to lay down their lives for those that God has entrusted to them. Thanks be to God, the Church does have leaders like this, but we need so many more. We need leaders with the courage and conviction of Bishop Jenky, who will stand up and be counted, and take the government and the faithful to task for what they are doing or not doing.

Throughout Scripture, the image of the shepherd is used as an image of Jesus leading His flock. This image has been repeated throughout the history of the Church in reference to the clergy, who lead the Church as descendants of those very apostles. The shepherd who stands on the hillside is not there for his own gain, but to watch carefully over the flock that God has entrusted to him. He is constantly scanning the horizon for any threat to that flock. He provides the nourishment the flock needs. His first thought in the morning and his last thought at night is about his flock. If left alone, the flock is not able to defend itself. The flock needs the shepherd.

Each bishop of the Church carries a staff like those of the shepherds on the hill-side. That staff is to remind him, and the faithful, that he is there to protect them, nourish them, and lead them at all times. If the shepherd turns away, even for just a moment, he opens the flock up to attack. He needs to be as concerned for the ones in the back of the pack as he is for the ones in the front. The shepherd has to be fearless in the defense of his flock, and he has to be willing to lay down his life to save just one.

We have just completed the holiest week of the Church year. The entire week was spent focusing on the Cross. The hymns of the Church services and the Scripture reads helped us to focus on the events that took place. In a very real way, we walked along side Jesus as He went to His voluntary death. We walked alongside Him as He laid down His life for His flock.

The Romans had used the Cross as a symbol and instrument of terror and death for years. The action of one man, Jesus Christ, transformed it to a symbol of freedom. This symbol we need to cling to. With the Crucifixion of Jesus, the cross changed from a symbol of fear to a symbol of courage. We wear that Cross around our necks as a reminder what Jesus did for us. The Cross has become a symbol of truth, and if we just cling to that symbol, we find the courage that we need.

I was reminded recently that the role of the priest is to be the mediator for his people. When priests or bishops put on their vestments for the liturgy, we are reminded that we are clothing ourselves with the armor of God and preparing for battle. We are warriors in the army of the Lord and we are to use that armor to defend the flock.

More than 2,000 years ago, Jesus Christ called twelve men to follow Him and to continue His teaching as the inheritors of His mission on earth. One of those chosen fell into temptation and sold Him into the hands of the enemy, but the others became the voice that has given us the church we have today.

The earliest settlers of America had the courage to leave all that they knew to come to a harsh and uninviting place, simply because they wanted to be able to practice their faith without government interference. For more than 200 years, that has been the law here in America. Recently, with the stroke of a pen, that liberty and freedom has been taken away. For the first time in the history of America, the government has forced the Church to go against her teachings. The wolf is standing close to the flock. We need leaders who are courageous who are not afraid to place themselves between the wolf and the flock.

Comments

  1. Diogenes says:

    This is just crazy. Right-wing hysteria.

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    • George Michalopulos says:

      Yeah, written by a crazed, right-winger who voted for McCain. Oops, scratch that, who voted for Obama.

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    • Michael Bauman says:

      Wrong again Diogenes.

      The complaint of many who are pro-abotion is that Christians ‘force’ our beliefs on them just by stating our objections. A little consistency here where is the ‘force’ coming from–real force with real authority to damage and destroy and imprison and kill.

      That is the ultimate end of all statism.

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  2. Logan46 says:

    I surprised the good bishop could take time out from defending pedophiles and child molesters to concern himself over our first amendment rights.

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    • Archpriest Alexander F. C. Webster says:

      Shame on you, “Logan46,” for what might be a libelous comment about the character of a Roman Catholic bishop–if, that is, you weren’t hiding behind a veil of cyber-anonymity.

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      • Logan46 says:

        And shame on the Catholic Church. If you can show me what positive actions Bishop Jenky has taken to bring pedophile priests to justice and to account for their criminal actions, I’ll gladly retract my statement and apologize. Otherwise, he is part and parcel of the same hierarchy that acquiesced and looked the other way, or worse yet, covered up the crimes.

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        • Honestly, we can’t really fault Logan here. Guilt by association is a time-honored way of smearing the reputation and credibility of someone you disagree with, without actually having to prove that person ever did anything wrong.

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          • Geo Michalopulos says:

            But therein lies the fault, Helga. We can fault Logan, not because of his anonymity, but because he chooses to make the perfect be the enemy of the good, thereby encouraging the continued existence of evil.

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            • I was being sarcastic. :)

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              • Geo Michalopulos says:

                I know, but I’d been meaning to use that cliche about “not making the perfect be the enemy of the good,” for a long time now. You finally gave me the chance. ;-)

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            • Logan46 says:

              I did get Helga was being sarcastic, but I have to admit I don’t get the cliche about “not making the perfect be the enemy of the good.” Not sure how I am encouraging the existence of continued evil as well.

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              • I think it means that someone (Bishop Jenky) is doing a good thing here, but is being needlessly criticized for (allegedly) falling short of perfection in an area not related to the issue.

                Bishop Jenky does not have to be a perfect person in order to make a good point here. Neither does Fr. Peter Preble. If you want to criticize what they’ve done here, you should stick to the issues, not try to use guilt by association against Bishop Jenky just because he happens to be a Roman Catholic bishop.

                Also, maybe you could find out whether or not Bishop Jenky has had any need to deal with child sexual abuse in his diocese, and how his response in those cases would be assessed legally and morally, before criticizing him about it. It is patently unfair to tar all Roman Catholic bishops with the same brush.

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                • Bishop Tikhon (Fitzgerald) says:

                  Helga, I thought it was being claimed that the portly hierarch was being ******courageous****. What did he risk in that act of “courage?” His job? The Pope’s good graces? I don’t think so. I have no quarrel with his opposition to abortion, but I’m not going to join him in claiming that giving information about contraceptives and safe sexual practices is a grave sin. I don’t see him as a courageous leader at all, but only a passive and enthusiastic blind follower. Many, but not all, of our married parish clergy all across the land and from the scholar to the military chaplain, do rather obviously trust in various popular American contraceptives and contraceptive practices ( and, perhaps, an occasional molieben to Saint Vasectomus)!

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                  • The issue isn’t so much “providing information”. The issue is being forced to provide the actual contraceptives themselves (including morning after pills and others can actually cause abortions.)

                    But at the heart of it is the issue of the government using force to dictate to a religious body what it must provide. The camel’s nose is under the tent, if you don’t stomp on it now, the camel will be living in your kitchen soon enough.

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                  • Too bad our clergy follow the world and not our Church Fathers in this.

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                • Geo Michalopulos says:

                  As usual, Helga, you cut through the dross and get right to the point.

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        • Geo Michalopulos says:

          Logan, welcome to our side! It is precisely because homosexuals infiltrated the Catholic Church in great numbers beginning in the mid-60s that the RCC experienced the pedophilia outbreak of the 90s. This is why many here on this sight have campaigned mightily against the ordination of homosexuals as priests and bishops.

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          • George,

            Did homosexuals infiltrate the RCC in the 1960s, or is that just when the lid began to come off (amidst the post-Vatican II madness) so that by the 1990s we could all see what was bubbling away underneath? I rather think that there has been a significant homosexual sub-culture within the RCC clergy, just as there has been in Anglo-Catholicism and even among Orthodox monastics and higher clergy, for a very long time. I suspect that churches with ranks of celibate clergy and monastics have long provided a safe haven for men with homosexual inclinations, especially when homosexuality was proscribed by civil society. In many cases, in more religious times, I suppose these men repressed or totally suppressed their feelings, but there is enough evidence in the history to suggest that homosexual sex had to be guarded against in seminaries and monastic settings well before the 1960s.

            Also, strictly speaking, most RCC child sex offenders appear to be hebephiles rather than pedophiles; that is, their victims have been pubescent youths rather than pre-pubescent children. From what I understand, the attraction to male youths on the cusp of pubescence or just past it is much more prevalent among men of homosexual orientation than pedophilia, being a recognised ‘fetish’ (cf Thomas Mann’s ‘Death in Venice’, a novel which I find disturbing but which nonetheless provides an insight into this world), whereas pedophilia is much rarer and is not necessarily homosexual in orientation. Thus the high number of victims of clergy molestation who have been altar boys or servers is explained.

            It’s all a very unpleasant subject to have to deal with, but deal with it we must if the church is to be a safe place. For that reason, I agree with you that homosexuals should not be ordained to the clergy and if admitted to monasteries special precautions must be taken to protect the innocent. In fact, I would think that there may be a specialized role for monasteries suitably gifted with spiritual counsellors in the remediation of men (and women) with homosexual desires.

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            • Geo Michalopulos says:

              Good question, Basil. It would be ridiculous for anyone to state that there had been no homosexuals at all in the RCC priesthood pre-Vatican II, just as it would be stupid to say there were no gamblers, alcoholics, or anything else for that matter. However after Vatican II, the RCC lost some 25,000 priests worldwide for a variety of reasons (some thought that Vatican II would allow them to marry their mistresses, others were aghast at the liturgical changes, etc.). This caused a dearth of new vocations and several seminaries in the US were in danger of closing their doors.

              Into this vacuum came effeminate men and in time, many seminaries became defiantly and blatantly homosexual (we’re talking mid-70s thru the early 90s here).

              Don’t take my word for it though, please read Michael Rose’s book Goodbye, Good Men.

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              • Geo Michalopulos says:

                Also, you’re correct about ephebophilia being the predominant strain of molestation. In the final analysis, it doesn’t make it any better.

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                • “In the final analysis, it doesn’t make it any better.”
                  Absolutely! When one reads the stories of teenage victims of priestly abuse and how it has affected them into adulthood, including the suicides…well, it is deeply, deeply disturbing that these acts could be perpetrated by men posing as God’s servants and with the church authorities turning a blind eye.

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            • Jim of Olym says:

              Yeah, remember ‘custody of the eyes’ and ‘particular friendships’ in RC monastic circles back when?
              Wonder what they were talking about veiled…..

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          • Anna Rowe says:

            Child molesters don’t really have an adult sexual orientation nor able to have mature relationships with other adults, either men or women so, they focus on children. Homosexuality and pedophilia or molestation are not interchangeable. Not ordinating homosexuals as priests or bishops will not protect children. Don’t misread this as the Church has every right to not ordain those not aligned with Church doctrine.

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            • Geo Michalopulos says:

              Anne, very simplistic. According to the FBI stats, 36% percent of all child-molestation is same-sexual (man on boy, woman on girl). Yes, that means that 54% of all child molestation is heterosexual. But look at the percentages. According to Kinsey, 10% of the adult population is homosexual in orientation (that’s a lie btw but let’s stick with these numbers). That means that homosexuals are three times more likely to molest children than heterosexuals.

              In reality, the homosexual population is far less than that: 4% for males and 2% for females. This means that homosexuals are at least 10 times more likely to molest children than heterosexuals.

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              • Anna Rowe says:

                Perhaps simplistic but, you’re giving the act itself of molestation a sexual orientation.Many more studies have been conducted since Kinsey’s time, over 50 years ago.

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          • M. Stankovich says:

            Mr. Michalopulos,

            In that you feel qualified and competent to make such precise, emphatic, factual statements as to the relationship between homosexuality and paedophilia, I would appreciate knowing how your side reached its conclusions.

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          • Diogenes says:

            Not only the RC Church, but Orthodox Church and still does. Which leads to the logical issue of WHY do we insist on celibate men for the episcopate? The RC’s insist on celibate men for all clerical positions. Then, they are surprised they have lots of homosexuals, paedophiles and nut single men. So why are the Orthodox continuing to look at ONLY celibates for bishops? Our Tradition includes married bishops.

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            • Bishop Tikhon (Fitzgerald) says:

              Rather, our Tradition once upon a time included married bishops. The practice was dropped from our Tradition centuries ago, by the Church under the guidance of the Holy Spirit, so it is no longer being passed on and is no longer part of Traditioni. Rather, it is a dead Tradition that some would like to revive. That’s called Reformation or Renovationism, not Tradition.
              Once upon a time the problem of sin happening after Baptism was addressed by Public (note: NOT general) Confession at the entrance to the place of worship by the sinner, informing every member of the faithful of his or her sin and asking forgiveness.
              That is no longer our Tradition. Now, in the words of the service of confession the priest leads the one (and not the two or three) sinning before the icon of the Savior Not-Made-by-Hand…..etc. and this takes place inside the place of worship.
              Next someone will object to “the secrecy of the Confessional” (sic) because “the ‘original’ Tradition is that there is nothing secret in the confessional.”

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            • Michael Bauman says:

              Being married cures nothing in and of itself. I am personally familiar with one case in the Orthodox Church of a predatory priest who molested altar servers in early puberty. The priest was married and had children of his own.

              The fallout was devasting to the parish and to the targets and their families not to mention to the man’s family.

              The priest’s bishop knew of his diffculty and had pulled him from parish ministry at one point but stuck him back into a small parish with little episcopal oversite and, of course, no notice to the parish.

              The issue is spiritual/psychological suitability for the priesthood, supporting them in their ministry (rather than the big donors) AND not leaving priests in bad situations those parishes that I call ‘priesteaters’.

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    • Michael Bauman says:

      Two things: 1. The Catholic Church would have more credibility regarding the new mandates if they had had the good sense to oppose the entire monstrosity of federal excess and taxes known and PCAA in the first place instead of waiting until their ox was gored. What did they expect? Give the government power, they are going to use it for their own ends. Give an anti-Chrisitan government power and guess what……

      2: the good bishop’s obesity and mine speaks more to our softness and the ability (or lack thereof) to stand strong in the coming hard times than anything else. Will we worship the created thing or the creator?

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      • Fr. Hans Jacobse says:

        Michael, the first point is right on the mark. There is some internal debates going on I hear about this critical lack of foresight.

        On the second point, some people respond well to hardship. They get stronger. Some even find a strength they never knew they had.

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  3. Bishop Tikhon (Fitzgerald) says:

    Courage is necessary in order to lead; however, a lot more than courage is needed to identify a good leader. One may consider Hitler, Stalin, Tojo, Mussolini, Attila, Jenghis Khan, Kublai khan, Timurleng, etc., to be leaders with courage par excellence . God protect us from their like! Closer to home, we can see that Al Capone and all the rest of the leading crime lords, mafia dons, hitmen, embezzlers. and so on were also imbued with courage. Contrary to what the, no doubt, well-meaning but mixed up Father so wordily and enthusiastically lays down as the basis for his rant, it is morality that we need to find in our leaders, and it is moral leaders that we must choose when we have the opportunity to choose.
    This sentence: “Courageous leaders always have the welfare of those they are leading in the fore-front of their mind and think of themselves only after they think of those they are leading,” is just plain goofy. Space to Father Preble! Space to Father Preble! Come in, Father! It is what courageous leaders MUST have, but often lack, that is needed. Too often courageous but foolish leaders lead their followers over a cliff.
    As for the obese RC Bishop from that center of holiness and virtue, Peoria, he’s no more courageous than Octomom. He had his moment on Huff Post and is now minding his own business in his own diocese, tail between (or trying to get between) his enormous hams. Appearing to oppose temporarily the guidance of the administration, some of whose members are also courageous, is no virtue. How hard is it for a celibate latin church potentate to inveigh against birth control, contraception, abortion, etc., while seeding the private approbation of the Pope? They needed someone to stick his neck out, but Not Too Much.
    Surely the case against abortion can be made more intelligently and effectively than that truism-packed and self-appreciative rant.
    What is needed is the conviction that God loves us and we can trust Him, No Matter What.

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    • Fr. Hans Jacobse says:

      It’s hard to read let alone respond to a post filled with so much emotional invective. Nevertheless, one point needs clarification.

      Surely the case against abortion can be made more intelligently and effectively than that truism-packed and self-appreciative rant.

      The essay isn’t about abortion. It’s about the attempt by the Obama administration to force the Catholic Church to adopt policies contrary to its moral teachings.

      Grasp this and the other references will make more sense.

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      • Bishop Tikhon (Fitzgerald) says:

        The Obama administration knows, as do we all, that no one and no government can force the Catholic Church to “ADOPT” (Father Hans’s word) policies contrary to its moral teachings!”

        Grasp this and you’ll get it, Father: No action or word coming from anyone in the Obama admnistration encourages the Roman Catholic Church to change ANY of its POLICIES relative to its moral teachings, let alone contrary to them. What an idea!

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    • Anna Rowe says:

      The Rev.Martin Luther King, Jr. was a great leader with great courage among other qualities. This raises the bar extremely high but, we should all have aspirations.

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    • Centurion says:

      You impostor! You dare speak of courage when you shamelessly and pathetically mistreated your own flock and told the mothers of the children that were sexually molested by a man under your authority to: “get a life — get a life in Christ”. To this day you never apologized or asked for forgiveness for failing to do anything to comfort or help or be a minister to those suffering children of families or even admit you did anything wrong. You savage Fr. Peter for no reason while you keep silent on so much evil you saw and tolerated while a bishop. You demean a decent priest him for courageously speaking out while you kept your vile mouth shut while the abuses in the OCA and Alaska and the Synod and the malfeasance of Kondratick etc. went on for years. You have no credebility no shame!

      You are a really sick individual with a deep spiritual darkness that clouds judgement and reason. There is no love of Christ in you. You are an anti-Christ. The words and poison you constantly post attacking good and honorable priests and others who speak up that you insult, attack and savage shows the evil that lives in your heart and soul. Repent !

      http://orthodoxbeacon.com/viewpoints/a-tribute-to-pokrov/
      It was the early 90’s when Melanie Jula Sakoda and Cappy Larson thought they had found a home in Orthodoxy at San Francisco’s Holy Trinity Cathedral, part of the OCA — The Orthodox Church in America.

      Instead, they found a nightmare: a place where a layman went about the church wearing black clothes and a large cross, but was molesting children of the parish. This was taking place even though he had admitted to the pastor that he had a history of pedophilia. As many as 11 children were victimized, some were toddlers.

      When parents sought redress and understanding from the church and its hierarchy their nightmare continued. The head of the OCA at the time, Metropolitan Theodosius Lazor, never replied directly to the parents. He did so through his chancellor, who would then direct the parents to deal with their bishop, Tikhon Fitzgerald. The bishop, now retired, at one point admonished parents to “get a life — get a life in Christ”.

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    • Centurion says:

      You hypocrite and false bishop! You dare speak of courage when you shamelessly and pathetically mistreated your own flock and told the mothers of the children that were sexually molested by a man under your authority to: “get a life — get a life in Christ”. To this day you never apologized or asked for forgiveness for failing to do anything to comfort or help or be a minister to those suffering children of families or even admit you did anything wrong.

      You savage Fr. Peter for no reason while you keep silent on so much evil you saw and tolerated while a bishop. You demean a decent priest him for courageously speaking out while you kept your vile mouth shut while the abuses in the OCA and Alaska and the Synod and the malfeasance of Kondratick etc. went on for years. You have no credebility no shame!

      You are a really sick individual with a deep spiritual darkness that clouds judgement and reason. There is no love of Christ in you. You are an anti-Christ. The words and poison you constantly post attacking good and honorable priests and others who speak up that you insult, attack and savage shows the evil that lives in your heart and soul.

      http://orthodoxbeacon.com/viewpoints/a-tribute-to-pokrov/
      It was the early 90’s when Melanie Jula Sakoda and Cappy Larson thought they had found a home in Orthodoxy at San Francisco’s Holy Trinity Cathedral, part of the OCA — The Orthodox Church in America.

      Instead, they found a nightmare: a place where a layman went about the church wearing black clothes and a large cross, but was molesting children of the parish. This was taking place even though he had admitted to the pastor that he had a history of pedophilia. As many as 11 children were victimized, some were toddlers.

      When parents sought redress and understanding from the church and its hierarchy their nightmare continued. The head of the OCA at the time, Metropolitan Theodosius Lazor, never replied directly to the parents. He did so through his chancellor, who would then direct the parents to deal with their bishop, Tikhon Fitzgerald. The bishop, now retired, at one point admonished parents to “get a life — get a life in Christ”.
      ..
      Others insist that one should simply not question the behavior of clergy or the church, let alone create a web-site that raises such questions. One critic wrote that the “women of Pokrov” were “self-professed ‘watch-dogs’”, who should be obeying their bishop, instead.

      In the year 2000, when Greta Larson was scheduled to speak at an Orthodox conference, Bishop Tikhon, working through the offices of a fellow bishop, tried to have her removed from the program, but he was rebuffed by the organizers.

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      • Heracleides says:

        Cough, cough… while the style and tone of the above post very much resemble something I would write in response to this bishop, let me come forward and state for the record that I am not, nor have I ever posted under the pseudonym Centurion.

        P.S. Jane – told ya he’d be back.

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        • Dear Centurion,

          Exactly what did Sam Allen do to these 11 children at HTC in SF? You say they were “victimized” that is a vague term. Were they sexually assaulted, molested? What was the nature of their victimization?

          From what I know of the case, Allen never actually molested any of the children at HTC. HTC permitted him to be in contact with kids, which was wrong, stupid, plus it was 20 years ago and not too many Churches were dealing with such cases too well. What seems to be vexing to people like you was the response of the DOW and OCA to the original allegations against Allen and the apparent insensitivity to the allegations by the Church.

          I am not trying to advocate for one side or the other, but the presumption of this case some 20 years later using terms like “victimized” can only leave one not familiar with the case to draw their own conclusions not based on the facts of the case.

          Thanks.

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      • Jane Rachel says:

        “…and the malfeasance of Kondratick…”

        Centurion. You have your truth twisted. Stop believing the lie. Nikos, Monk James and Bishop Tikhon addressed this for the hundreth time, on this page, with the truth. Fr. Kondratick was cleared of all charges. There were no deals made, no money stolen. Every charge against him has been removed and every question untangled. If you don’t believe it, that’s your problem

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      • Bishop Tikhon (Fitzgerald) says:

        Unlike “Centurion”, I was never ever convinced that children were molested at Holy Trinity Cathedral, as has been claimed.
        A parishioner there called me up once to report that children had been molested at Holy Trinity Cathedral and that the perp was in jail. I heard her out, and I opined that if that had indeed happened, we should at least be grateful to God that the perp was already in jail and we need not go through all kinds of investigations and court appearances, perhaps involving public testimony my children, to establish his identity. An almost deafening scream of “NEVER!” was the next thing I heard. One of the mothers whose child had allegedly been molested explained that this was nothing to be thankful for because she couldn’t “get at him” in jail. I met with a group of the parents in San Francisco. I learned that the occasion of the alleged discovery of acts of abuse was one of the parents learning that a convert in the parish for whom she had developed a great antipathy, had been put in jail as a sexual criminal, a molester of children. From that point on, the alarmed group of parents who disliked Sam Allen, began to interrogate their children and send them to “professionals” from whom they “learned’ that their children had been molested. I assigned my chancellor, Father Nicholas Soraich, to investigate and report to me. He went to San Francisco, investigated and reported to me. He was greeted by and accepted with great enthusiasm by the parents. He even went throughout the Cathedral plant blessing everything with Holy Water.
        to make a long story short, no molestation of children at Holy Trinity Cathedral was ever proved in criminal court; however, a civil court did find the Cathedral to be guilty of negligence in its supervision of children in its custody, and civil fines were levied. I admit I was distressed by the proclivity and readiness of some of the parents to magnify and publicize who their children had been “damaged.” This, it seems to me, was not evidence of putting their children’s welfare first. One of the parents was an attorney, and she gave at least one interview to a popular bay-area newspaper a couple years later when her son was in school, reporting that he had been molested and thus was damaged. I was once a boy, and I know how boys in school act when they learn something like that about one of their number. Another mother managed to make one of her daughters into a crusader against “Clergy Sexual Abuse.” She and her mother liked to appear at either HTC in San Francisco, or at the Cathedral in Los Angeles, standing outside on the sidewalks, rather than worshipping and glorifying God in the Church, carrying placards on poles which stated “Stop Clergy Sexual Abuse!” on the Feast of the All-Holy Trinity.
        I believe that Sam Allen, interviewed by an investigator in prison, did admit that he had intended to commit abuse at HTC, but never got around to it since he was arrested for offences elsewhere.
        I’ve always been disappointed that some of the families left off glorifying God in Church in order to devote their lives to exposing sin, to wit, “clergy’ sexual abuse.” I still wish that the Pokrov ladies WOULD get a life, a life with Christ. Yessir, yes, indeed!
        Protodeacon Eros (aka Eric) Wheeler did come out to the Bay area in connection with the civil negligence suit.
        One attorney-parent threatened me AND HTC, AND the Diocese with utter and outright financial failure and bankruptcy. Never happened.
        I have no recollection whatsoever of ever having striven to have Greta Larson prevented from speaking anywhere at all, and I can’t imagine what “other bishop” I could have manipulated to attempt that.

        I wonder if the clinical psychologists and social workers who made their livings “discerning” evidence of sexual abuse in children and uncovering suppressed memories and so forth around the country back then are still at it. Anybody?

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      • another one says:

        George,

        I think Centurion calling the bishop an “antiChrist” probably comes under the heading of calling someone “evil”, which was one of your few ban-able offenses.

        This invective is a bit over the top, is it not? Maybe time to get out your ban – hammer…….

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      • Bishop Tikhon (Fitzgerald) says:

        I still recommend that Cappy Larson, Melanie Sakoda, and many of my interlocutors over the years, as well as, now, “Centurion” DO get a life, a life with our Lord, God, and Savior Jesus Christ!

        As an aside, it’s my conviction that no sexual molestation of children ever took place at Holy Trinity Cathedral, San Francisco during my time as Bishop of San Francisco.

        “Centurion” calls me “Imposter.” I deny that I am an imposter. I have a birth certificate, lutheran baptismal and confirmation certificate, Orthodox Chrismation Certificate, high school diploma, A.B. Degree, as well as service records for my service as an enlisted man in the US Regular Army and an officer in the U.S. Air Force, as well as certificates for my ordination as Deacon, Priest and Bishop. I pay my income taxes quarterly, federal and state, have credit cards and a driving license in the state of California, and have lived at my present address for many years.

        “Centurion,” amid other false charges and lies, indicates that I told someone they must obey bishops.
        I have never ever told any person or group that he, she, or they must obey the bishops. I certainly never ever told Cappy Larson or Melanie Sakoda she must obey me or any other bishop!
        To have COMMANDED anyone to obey me would have been a, to me, shameful admission of impotence and iincompetence. Anyone who has to tell people to obey him has failed Leadership 101..
        In short, I categorically deny the truth of all “Centurion’s” anonymous charges against me, except for telling him and others to get as life, a life in Christ.

        Centurion! Get a life! A life in Christ!

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  4. Fr. Preble is right when he states: “Courageous leaders always have the welfare of those they are leading in the fore-front of their mind and think of themselves only after they think of those they are leading.” This is indeed the model of loving, self-sacrificing, and others-oriented Servant Leadership that Christ taught us, and the saints, apostles, disciples, and many other true shepherds have emulated in their own lives and continued to teach in their own ministries.

    Great leaders have character, integrity, and courage. They exemplify a solid moral foundation in both their words and their actions. Their management style and decisions demonstrate an unwavering consistency and integrity in practicing what they preach and speaking truthfully even when it’s not expedient or beneficial to them personally.

    Great leaders stand up for what they believe in and have the courage to defend their principles and their people even when it would be easier to cave in and compromise. They are not afraid to challenge lies and falsehoods, take action to deal with incompetence and evil, and defend those who are doing what’s right and needed for the long-term benefit of their organization and their employees. Great leaders have the courage to do what is right and ethical despite the pressures to be cowardly, silent, or complacent. Cowards, fence sitters, enablers, and those who believe in political correctness never make for good leaders.
    http://chrisbanescu.com/blog/2008/06/key-characteristics-of-great-leaders-part-ii/

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    • Geo Michalopulos says:

      Chris, it’d be nice if we had more men of Fr Peter’s mettle in the episcopate. You’re right, the money quote is the one about leaders thinking of those they are leading and about themselves only afterwards.

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    • Carl Kraeff says:

      I invite all to sign the Manhattan Declaration at http://www.manhattandeclaration.org/the-declaration/sign.aspx

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    • M. Stankovich says:

      If I may quote myself from Fr. Ioannes’ site, from where this article was taken:

      “My immediate reaction to Fr. Peter-Micheal’s commentary was that, like many things, courage is a subjective concept. From a PR standpoint, any reference to Hitler, Stalin, and the president in the same breath is bound to draw attention, with little or no consequence (except if you are Ted Nugent or complainants such as myself who call it the “cheap shot” that it is). Seriously, the IRS would consider revoking the tax-exempt status of the Roman Catholic Church over such a statement? My thought is that when you have a professional “media office,” prepared materials, contacts in the media, “soundbite-worthy phrases” (that just might include Hitler, Stalin, & Obama), and a nice haircut and suit, the risks are negligible.”

      Having been closely following the trial of the priest in Philadelphia who is accused of covering up cases of child sexual perpetration by priests for years – his defense being he did so by order of the now deceased cardinal – I must admit my first thought was similar to Logan46. I do not find this libelous in the least, if only because I am forced, face-to-face (which is now more than 400 times), to work with similar perpetrators. Addressing this issue would have gotten my attention.

      But it is altogether more sickening when – are you reading, Abouna? – we, again, are forced to revisit Fr. Ioannes’ dead-on accurate assessment that the issue is first and foremost a fundamental lack of moral authority, and not courage. Forget the fox who circles outside, and fear the fox within.

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      • Geo Michalopulos says:

        Basically what you’re drawing elaborate circles to indict those who disagree with you politically and to continue to excuse American Orthodox ineptitude and lethargy. I could just as easily say, “gee, because Bp Stenky is obese he has no right to go after the HHS because he’s probably on insulin.”

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    • Bishop Tikhon (Fitzgerald) says:

      No, no: Attorney Chris Banescu still doesn’t get it when he writes:
      “Fr. Preble is right when he states: “Courageous leaders always have the welfare of those they are leading in the fore-front of their mind and think of themselves only after they think of those they are leading.”

      Courageous leaders, Monsieur Banescu,MAY OR MAY NOT have the welfare of those they are leading in the forefront of their minds or think of themselves only after they think of those they are leading.
      Many would consider Douglas Mac Arthur to have been a courageous leader; but his courage involved abandoning his troops and General Wainwright….only flamboyantly proclaiming, as he fled the fray, “I’ll be RIGHT back!”

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      • Prospective Nomad No Longer says:

        C.S. Lewis once wrote that “courage is not merely one of the virtues, but the form of every virtue at the testing point. Pilate was merciful, until it became risky.” A person who acts rightly despite fear of negative consequences is displaying courage, even if the fear is misplaced. A person who acts wrongly without or despite fear of Divine justice is displaying foolhardiness (cf Psalm 14:1), not courage.

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        • Geo Michalopulos says:

          PNLN: Aristotle likewise said that courage is the first of virtues. Without courage none of the other virtues could flourish because we would be cowering in fear.

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      • George Michalopulos says:

        In the interest of fairness, Gen MacArthur was ordered by the President to evacuate the Phillipines. Morally, it must have weighed on Mac’s conscience to do so, but legally he had no choice but to obey his C-in-C.

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        • Bishop Tikhon (Fitzgerald) says:

          1. President Roosevelt’s order may have been preceded by a phone call from Mac Arthur to Marshall saying, “Get me out of here, George. Now!”
          2. Going by MacArthur’s subsequent behavior with President Truman, I think that to say that Mac Arthur had no choice but to obey his C-in-C is a little problematic. I think he showed that he believed that other choices WERE available to him.

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      • Saddam Hussein faced death with more courage than most, yet one does not think of him as being particularly concerned with the welfare of anyone beyond himself.

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    • Bishop Tikhon (Fitzgerald) says:

      Monsieur Banescu! Courage is no substitute for brains and is hopeless without them.

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  5. Chris,

    What does a leader do when they slander an innocent person like you did to Bob Kondratick Jr.? Do leaders see their error, accept responsibility and apologize? Remember that comment you made that “the fruit doesn’t fall far from the tree.” What should a leader do, Chris? Are you a leader?

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    • “Nikos” or whoever you are, if you can put forth the information that Bob Kondratick Jr. was found innocent of all the criminal charges that the SEC documented, then I would gladly acknowledge that I was wrong and I drew the wrong conclusion from the serious charges and case the SEC brought against him and the subsequent arrest with the other co-defendants.

      As far as I know, the SEC does not normally issue permanent injunctions against defendants, bans them from participating in penny-stock offerings, and bans from serving as officers or directors of public companies based on superficial information or minor infractions.

      Last we heard of this case was that: “The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of New York, which conducted a parallel investigation of the matter, today filed criminal charges against Aronson, Buonauro, and Kondratick, who were arrested earlier today. ” as shown on the SEC site:

      Litigation Release No. 22117 / October 6, 2011
      Accounting and Auditing Enforcement Release No. 3326 / October 6, 2011
      Securities and Exchange Commission v. Eric Aronson, Vincent Buonauro, Jr., Robert Kondratick, Fredric Aaron, Esq., PermaPave Industries, LLC, PermaPave USA Corp., PermaPave Distributions, Inc., Permeable Solutions, Inc., Verigreen, LLC, and Interlink-US-Network, Ltd., Defendants, and Caroline Aronson, Deborah Buonauro, DASH Development, LLC, Aron Holdings, Inc., PermaPave Construction Corp., Dymoncrete Industries, LLC, Dymon Rock LI, LLC, and Lumi-Coat, Inc., Relief Defendants, Civil Case No. 11 Civ. 7033 (S.D.N.Y.)

      SEC CHARGES OPERATORS OF GREEN PRODUCT-THEMED PONZI SCHEME

      On October 6, 2011, United States District Judge Jed S. Rakoff entered an emergency order halting a Ponzi scheme that promised investors rich returns on water-filtering natural stone pavers, but bilked them of approximately $26 million over a four-year period. The order temporarily restrains defendants Eric Aronson, Vincent Buonauro, Jr., Robert Kondratick, Fredric Aaron, and the PermaPave Companies (PermaPave Industries, LLC, PermaPave USA Corp., PermaPave Distributions, Inc., Permeable Solutions, Inc., Verigreen, LLC) from participating in the fraudulent offering of securities. The order also freezes the assets of these defendants as well as relief defendants Caroline Aronson, Deborah Buonauro, Aron Holdings, Inc., DASH Development, LLC, PermaPave Construction Corp., Dymoncrete Industries, LLC, Dymon Rock LI, LLC, and Lumi-Coat, Inc.

      The SEC’s complaint, filed in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York, alleges that convicted felon Aronson and others defrauded investors in PermaPave Companies, a group of firms based on Long Island, N.Y., and controlled by Aronson. About 140 individuals, many working in the construction or landscaping business, invested in the scheme between 2006 and 2010, the SEC alleged. Investors were told that PermaPave Companies had a tremendous backlog of orders for pavers imported from Australia, which could be sold in the U.S. at a substantial mark-up, yielding monthly returns to investors of 7.8% to 33%. In reality, the complaint states that there was little demand for the product, and the cost of the pavers far exceeded the revenue from sales.

      Lacking the profits promised to investors, Aronson and two other PermaPave Companies executives, Buonauro and Kondratick, used new investments to make payments to earlier investors and then siphoned off much of the rest for themselves, buying luxury cars, gambling trips to Las Vegas, and jewelry. In addition, the complaint alleges that Aronson used investors’ money to make court-ordered restitution payments to victims of a previous scheme to which he pleaded guilty to conducting in 2000.

      According to the SEC’s complaint, when investors began demanding money owed to them, Aronson accused them of committing a felony by lending the PermaPave Companies money at the interest rates he promised them, which he suddenly claimed were usurious. Aronson and his attorney, Aaron, then allegedly made false statements to persuade investors to convert their securities into ones that deferred payments owed them for several years.

      The SEC also alleges that the defendants used some of the money raised through the Ponzi scheme to purchase a publicly traded company, Interlink-US-Network, Ltd. Several months later, the SEC said Interlink issued a Form 8-K, signed by Kondratick which falsely stated that LED Capital Corp. had agreed to invest $6 million in Interlink. According to the complaint, LED Capital Corp. did not have $6 million and had no dealings, let alone any agreements, with Interlink.

      The SEC’s complaint charges Aronson, Kondratick, Buonauro, the PermaPave Companies, and Interlink with violations of Section 17(a) of the Securities Act of 1933 and Section 10(b) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 and Rule 10b-5 thereunder, and charges Aaron with aiding and abetting the Section 10(b) and Rule 10b-5 violations. The complaint charges Interlink with violations of Section 13(a) of the Exchange Act and Rules 12b-20 and 13a-11 thereunder, and charges Aronson, Kondratick, and Aaron with aiding and abetting these violations. The complaint also asserts violations of Section 5(a) and 5(c) of the Securities Act as to Aronson, Buonauro, and the PermaPave Companies and violations of Section 15(a) of the Exchange Act as to Aronson and Buonauro.

      The SEC is seeking preliminary and permanent injunctions against the defendants, and to have them return their allegedly illicit profits with prejudgment interest, and pay civil monetary penalties. In addition, the SEC seeks to bar Aronson, Kondratick, and Aaron from participating in penny-stock offerings and from serving as officers or directors of public companies.

      The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of New York, which conducted a parallel investigation of the matter, today filed criminal charges against Aronson, Buonauro, and Kondratick, who were arrested earlier today.

      The SEC acknowledges the assistance of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of New York and the Securities Fraud Squad of Federal Bureau of Investigation in connection with this matter.

      http://www.sec.gov/litigation/litreleases/2011/lr22117.htm

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      • Geo Michalopulos says:

        Chris, you’re going to have to get off of your crusade against Kondratick. The facts are plain: the State of New York found nothing actionable that he did. Plus, you’re reaching when you go after his son. That’s like blaming me for my kid’s speeding tickets.

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        • Your kids have speeding tickets? SHOCKED. Next you will be telling us that YOU have speeding tickets. Oh that pesky fruit business. ;)

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        • George, I did not make these accusations, the SEC did! Last time I checked the SEC does not normally issue permanent injunctions against defendants, bans them from participating in penny-stock offerings, and bans from serving as officers or directors of public companies based on superficial information or minor infractions.

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          • No, you didn’t Chris, but you sure jumped on the Bash Kondratick Bandwagon as quick as you could and now you are trying to justify yourself. Give it up man. You were wrong. Admit it.

            And you being the barrister, I am sure you will find the information that all criminal charges were dropped.

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            • Alexander says:

              The SEC’s civil action, Case No. 1:11 cv 7033, in the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York, appears to be ongoing against Kondratick. Judge Rakoff issued orders on March 7 and 12 governing the case schedule and discovery. I’d post .pdf’s of the orders, but am too technologically impaired to do so. It also appears that Kondratick is proceeding as his own attorney, appearing pro se, and actually signed one of these orders.

              There is no mention of an Amended Complaint on the docket. An unknown document was recently filed under seal which precludes public viewing. It may be relevant to this discussion.

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              • Alexander, that was old news. The April 5 announcement posted by Fr. John does not mention Kondratick Jr.

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                • Alexander says:

                  There appear to be two distinct matters related to Kondratick, Jr.

                  The criminal indictment, Case No. 1:11 mj 0989, filed in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of New York was dismissed without prejudice on April 4. (Docket Document No. 55). This was a federal proceeding involving federal law. And a dismissal without prejudice is not an adjudication on the merits.

                  It appears that the SEC civil matter, pending in the Southern District, Case No. 1:11 cv 7033, remains ongoing — unless something the document filed under seal in May changed that. It very well may have. Again, it appears, that as to the civil SEC matter, he remains a pro se litigant subject to a discovery and trial schedule in place.

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        • Diogenes says:

          George:
          You are wrong! Kondratick stole millions of dollars. We even have him on tape shaking down the OCA representative in Moscow for money. The money trail was followed through Las Vegas and Moscow with disappearing monies from the head of the agricultural giant trying to cut deals in Russia. RSK isn’t in jail now because deals were cut. The OCA was left holding the bag and mysteriously, his son had lots of money for business deals. Theodosius refuses to talk because he helped cut the deal to save himself.

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          • Monk James says:

            Diogenes says (May 9, 2012 at 8:14 am):

            George:
            You are wrong! Kondratick stole millions of dollars. We even have him on tape shaking down the OCA representative in Moscow for money. The money trail was followed through Las Vegas and Moscow with disappearing monies from the head of the agricultural giant trying to cut deals in Russia. RSK isn’t in jail now because deals were cut. The OCA was left holding the bag and mysteriously, his son had lots of money for business deals. Theodosius refuses to talk because he helped cut the deal to save himself.

            ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

            Actually, it’s ‘Diogenes’ who is wrong and repeating The Big Lie yet again.

            Let’s be realistic here and ask cui bono? Just who, exactly, can be thought to have benefited from these imaginary ‘deals’? And at what cost? What sort of trade-off could possibly make such arrangements worthwhile?

            If ANYONE acrually ‘stole millions of dollars’, from whom was that money stolen? Not from the OCA, certainly, which never had anything like that kind of money to steal. Once again, we must remind ourselves that there is not nor was there ever any money missing from the OCA. Reallocated, sure, in accordance with longstanding practice re: unrestricted funds, but not missing. These accounts have all been untangled and straightened out, and nobody was accused of anything more than sloppy bookkeeping.

            A serious judge and a serious prosecutor found out all this and more, and decided that the OCA had no case against Fr Robert Kondratick. The OCA then settled with FrRK and paid HIM in an omnibus settlement which requires both parties not to revisit these issues in civil law. Now, those officials are not fools, and to suggest (as ‘Diogenes’ does here) that they were somehow bought or compromised might actually be actionable under the laws regarding libel.

            The ADM money given without restriction to Met. Theodosius personally never came through OCA accounts. That’s what got Pdn Eric Wheeler and myself balking as far back as 1999. MetT even called me in and took most of an afternoon going round and round to try and explain to me why he was handling these millions as he was. He failed.to offer satisfying answers to me or to anyone else, but there’s nothing to be done about it now, since Dwayne Andreas, the donor, would not hold MetT accountable for his gift.

            Further, ‘Diogenes’ hasn’t got the foggiest idea about the origins, progress, and ultimate scuttling of a venture setting up a church supply business between Sofrino and already established american firms. Just know that it wasn’t anywhere near as shady an enterprise as he thinks. It just turned out to be impractical.

            So, please, friends, let’s acknowledge The Big Lie for what it is, and restore Fr Robert Kondratick to the priesthood with sincere apologies from everyone who slandered his good name, libeled him and tried to destroy him and his family. He will forgive them anyway, since that’s the sort of man he is, but it would be good for their own salvation for them to admit their sins and ASK his forgiveness.

            )

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            • Bishop Tikhon (Fitzgerald) says:

              In fact, in accounting for his gift, which was for him alone to do, and not for Metropolitan Theodosius, Mr. Dwayne Andreas signed a letter, a copy of which was provided to every member of the Holy Synod, pointing out that his gift was to be used SOLELY at Metropolitan Theodosius’s personal discretion WITHOUT reference to any church entity whatsoever. The Holy Synod unanimously (including,for example, the hierarchs Job, Seraphim, Nathaniel, Kyril, Peter, Dmitri, Gregory, Tikhon, Herman) agreed that the money donated to Metropolitan Theodosius personally was to be used by Metropolitan Theodosius at his own discretion, in accordance with the expressed, written dictates of the donor of that money.
              Protopresbyter Rodion S. Kondratick should not have been held culpable for the actions of: Dwayne Andreas or the Holy Synod.

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              • Jane Rachel says:

                Yes. The letter from Dwayne Andreas, and the letter signed by the Holy Synod where they unanimously agreed that the money was to be used by Met. Theodosius alone was posted online, years ago and very clearly for all to read. That accounts for the “millions.” Duh. BIG DUH. Facepalm DUH. DUH DUH.

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                • Bishop Tikhon (Fitzgerald) says:

                  Some preferred, Jane Rachel, to listen to what that downtown Manhattan law firm (“Gold, etc.’) specializing in criminal defence and advertising itself as such, and hired by a desperate Metropolitan Herman to deflect all interest from his own actions, and not only to listen but to adopt as Gospel Truth and court verdict what they produced for Metropolitan Herman and the Metropolitan Soviet of that day. Sarah Gold wouldn’t even allow “O heavenly king” to be sung before opening a meeting with the Chancellor et al in the library room at Syosset.
                  So you had, at one end, the banning of Christian prayer by a non-Christian and, at the other end, the swallowing whole of the Gold report by a specially created ad hoc ‘court” convened to finalize the number done on the Chancellor by Metropolitan Herman (with the enthusiastic support of the EVER-memorable Archbishop Job and his cheering section on the Holy Synod and back in the Ohio Stokoe-Brown residence) and chaired by a Hierarch who barely escaped investigation by “the prisoner in the dock” himself.
                  How did it go? “A verdict in time saves nine?”

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                  • Jane Rachel says:

                    “…and chaired by a Hierarch who barely escaped investigation by “the prisoner in the dock” himself.”

                    Really? Thought so.

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                    • The “Gold” report was NEVER a written report either. It was only verbal. The PR law firm refused to provide a written report to the OCA. Kinda makes you wonder why, don’t it? But of course we know that PR was only hired to do two things: put all blame on Kondratick and “build a firewall around Metropolitan Herman” as uttered by Paul Kucynda.

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              • Diogenes says:

                Andreas covered his own arse legally. The monies were given to + Theodosius and placed in phony bank accounts for opening doors in Russia. When Communism fell, the need for importing “seed products” and other agricultural products from elsewhere (USA) was possible. RSK became a conduit for opening the doors in Russia via the ROC & govt officials. His own personal “fee” for opening these doors was enormous; if any doors were opened at all.

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                • LMAO. You really are just looney. Not one word of what you have written is true. Not one word. However I find it fascinating to see how your mind works.

                  ADM needs the puny OCA to open doors in Russia? The largest agro business in the world needs the OCA to open doors for it? Just too funny. Diogenes, you have outdone yourself again. Thanks for the good belly laugh.

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                • Bishop Tikhon (Fitzgerald) says:

                  Monk James is quite right and Diogenes won’t admit it.
                  It is true that there was a shredder in the Chancellor’s office and that the Chancellor used it. In fact, shredders are as common as pencil sharpeners used to be in most offices. I have two at home which I use to shred monthly credit card statements, bank statements, gratis checks, and most waste documents that would have gone into the ordinary waste basket before identity theft, etc., became an ever-present danger and a crime of frequent incidence.
                  No doubt, the former employee of the Chancery (and not only he, but many, many others) had the opportunity to see the Chancellor shred documents. It’s not exactly thrilling. However, what is thrilling is that the former employee of the Chancellor was, and maybe still is, an employee of Reverend Wheeler’s business entity…something to do with cemeteries or funeral flowers or the like. He liked to certify, as it were, “I SAW him shredding documents!” But he never ever identified the documents beyond saying what he opined they MUST have been.

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                • Bishop Tikhon (Fitzgerald) says:

                  Diogenes now makes Dwayne Andreas of Archer-Midlands to be the behind-the-scenes creator of all the OCA “Unaccountable” mischief, since Diogenes has not been able to prove or demonstrate anything egregious in Metropolitan Theodosius’s receiving millions from Andreas and using it as he saw fit without reference to the OCA treasurer of the day, Reverend Wheeler or the Metropolitan Soviet.

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            • M. Stankovich says:

              Having worked in courts – and specifically family courts – in NY for ten years, it became quite obvious that even when a “serious” prosecutor chose not to pursue criminal charges for lack of sufficient evidence, it is not necessarily because there is “insufficient evidence.” As Diogenes points out, witnesses, families, corporations, even churches, “cut deals” all the time – sometimes for reasons “unworthy of a blessing” (e.g. fear, financial gain, avoiding the revelation of scandal); and sometimes, out of a misguided pity, a family member or friend with crucial incriminating evidence – such as knowing that incriminating records were shredded – can say, “for better or worse, I can’t let him have a criminal conviction and/or go to jail” and refuse to testify. Without crucial evidence and witnesses, the prosecutor has no choice but to drop the pursuit. This, however, is altogether different than saying there is no case. We are not privy to the actual process and decision reached by the prosecutor, and without that information, the comments of monk James are as viable as the comments of Diogenes.

              My thought is that, while we might well never know what went on, and probably for the better, this sustained attempt at the legal exoneration of Robert Kondratick by Suffolk County is as disingenuous as it is “slight-of-hand.” The only Court of “standing,” to which he pledged obedience kneeling at the altar, had no such evidentiary restrictions and reached their conclusion. Obviously, circumstances being equal, we will never know what a Suffolk County jury of his peers may have concluded. But make no mistake: no legal body has exonerated him of criminal behaviour.

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              • Monk James says:

                M. Stankovich (May 9, 2012 at 8:56 pm) says
                (among many other speculative ruminations):

                ‘ crucial incriminating evidence – such as knowing that incriminating records were shredded – can say, “for better or worse, I can’t let him have a criminal conviction and/or go to jail” and refuse to testify. Without crucial evidence and witnesses, the prosecutor has no choice but to drop the pursuit. This, however, is altogether different than saying there is no case. We are not privy to the actual process and decision reached by the prosecutor, and without that information, the comments of monk James are as viable as the comments of Diogenes.’
                ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

                Once again, it seems necessary for us to be reminded that Fr Robert Kondratick did not shred incriminating records in order to protect himself.

                That accusation, brought by a former chancery employee, was simply not true (like most of the SIC ‘testimony’), as was determined in the discovery & disclosure process leading up to a trial which was never held because (in agreement with the prosecutor) THE JUDGE (not Monk James) said that the OCA had no case against FrRK. THE JUDGE directed an omnibus settlement, and the OCA paid FrRK barely enough to cover his legal expenses.

                While neither the OCA nor FrRK may comment on this settlement, it’s fairly obvious that its payment didn’t go to him because he was guilty, at least not on this side of the looking glass.

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                • Diogenes says:

                  Once the “fit hit the shan,” RSK spent long hours and nights in Syosset shredding documents, deleting emails and trying to cover his tracks. The Treasurer at that time should have locked RSK out from Syosset, but didn’t. People still question why.

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                  • Monk James says:

                    Diogenes says (May 10, 2012 at 9:49 am):

                    ‘Once the “fit hit the shan,” RSK spent long hours and nights in Syosset shredding documents, deleting emails and trying to cover his tracks. The Treasurer at that time should have locked RSK out from Syosset, but didn’t. People still question why.’
                    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

                    Friends, this is an outright lie.

                    Fr Robert Kondratick was dismissed from his post as chancellor on 16 March 2006. With a member of the Metropolitan Council as a witness, Met. Herman handed him a written notice of dismissal.

                    After that, FrRK was told to clean out his office, a task he completed on 17 March 2006 — the saddest St Patrick’s day of my 75% irishman’s life.

                    When I arrived for work at the chancery that morning, I found Mtka Elizabeth Kondratick distraught and weeping in the drive in front of the building’s main door, and as I tried to comfort her, she told me what had happened. I immediately went up to FrRK’s office where he was busily packing his personal effects, mostly ikons and books, interrupted by telephone calls from all over, even from Russia, thanking him for all his help and wishing him well; the news had spread with amazing speed.

                    In all this, there was no shredding going on, and the locks were changed almost immediately.

                    I highly recommend that ‘Diogenes’ cease and desist before he gets himself into legal trouble for spewing out all this libelous bilge.

                    Rating: +2 (from 2 votes)

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                    • Diogenes says:

                      Sorry James, we have the proof of the shredding & deletions. As I said before, you have supported RSK from the beginning on all forums. Maybe we should be checking your bank accounts.

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                    • Monk James says:

                      Diogenes says (May 10, 2012 at 10:58 am):

                      ‘Sorry James, we have the proof of the shredding & deletions. As I said before, you have supported RSK from the beginning on all forums. Maybe we should be checking your bank accounts.’

                      ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

                      We can’t begin to imagine just whom ‘Diogenes’ is referencing by ‘we’, but I can say for a fact that they have no such proof. They have nothing. Nada. Bubkes.

                      Or did they gather up and paste together all the little shredded pieces of the documents which Fr Robert Kondratick was accused (by ONE unhappy former employee of the chancery) of destroying in order to make himself look good?

                      Or maybe that former employee knew the contents of the papers which FrRK routinely shredded so as to protect other people’s reputations from discussion of sensitive material?

                      FrRK certainly wasn’t protecting himself if he let even one other person know the contents of those papers. Or just how stupid does ‘Diogenes’ think we are around here?

                      Either way, this allegation holds no water.

                      I’ve already commented on my loyalty to FrRK, and people of good will and normal intelligence will take that as a sufficient explanation.

                      My bank account? MY bank account?! For several days before 3 May (when my Social Security benefits were deposited, my checking account held a grand total of 37 cents, and thus was it ever. Had I wanted to be wealthy, I could have been, but I embraced the monastic way as my spiritual father directed, and — God help me — I hope never to fail in my commitment.

                      All that notwithstanding, ‘Diogenes’ keeps writing here with all these lies and distortions. It would be almost funny if it weren’t so sad.

                      Perhaps it’s time for our longsuffering host to insist that ‘Diogenes’ post with a real name, or be put on moderation, or banished from this blog. .

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                  • And what source told you all this Diogenes? Were you there, in the corner watching this shredding by night? When you say stuff like this you only show how little you know and how you have just accepted lock, stock, and barrel the loads of manure Wheeler and Stokoe fed the OCA.

                    Can you believe it, even Wheeler now confesses that he had no idea that it would turn out this way. Regret? Can anyone, maybe someone in Dayton, OH. confirm that Stokoe is AWOL from the OCA parish there?

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            • Diogenes says:

              James:
              1st, if you are going to claim to be a monk, get to a monastery and cease from your internet activity. Otherwise, you are a joke. 2nd, the secret bank accounts of RSK were uncovered. The monies from the agricultural barron were traced. The tape of the RSK shake-down in Moscow is real. The missing monies that Dn. Wheeler can attest to is not fiction.

              You have supported RSK from the beginning. How much was your pay-off?

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              • Jane Rachel says:

                This is a real question. Diogenes said “The monies from the agricultural barron were traced.” So? What does that mean?

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              • Tell us more about your knowledge of the “secret bank accounts?” Since you know all about them, which banks were they in? In the USA? In Moscow? Maybe Swiss bank accounts? Since all of this has been uncovered, enlighten us. The shake-down in Moscow? Tell us more about that too. I am sure you know all the circumstances that led up to that secret taping. Play all your cards right here right now. You would do us all a great service.

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              • Monk James says:

                Diogenes says (May 10, 2012 at 8:07 am)

                ‘James:
                1st, if you are going to claim to be a monk, get to a monastery and cease from your internet activity. Otherwise, you are a joke. 2nd, the secret bank accounts of RSK were uncovered. The monies from the agricultural barron were traced. The tape of the RSK shake-down in Moscow is real. The missing monies that Dn. Wheeler can attest to is not fiction.

                You have supported RSK from the beginning. How much was your pay-off?’

                ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

                Ah, yes. ‘Who will rid me of this troublesome (monk)?’

                It’s always a wonderment that people like ‘Diogenes’ know how to be a monk and assume that those of us who don’t meet their expectations are doing it wrong. As history well shows, monastics have consistently been in the forefront of education and media for the work of The Church. Why, some of us even have telephones and running water now!

                ‘Secret bank accounts’?! Give us a break! As Mtka Elizabeth Kondratick once famously said: ‘If Father Bob stole all that money, where are all my servants? Why do I have to go to work?’

                ‘The monies from the agricultural barron (sic) were traced.’ Really? Since the donor asked no accountability from the man to whom he gave those millions, and since the recipient provided none, this is an amazing statement.

                The tape? THE TAPE?! Listen, friends, a copy of that ham-handed attempt by Fr Zacchaeus Wood (with help from his ex-KGB goons who bugged his offices at St Catherine) is sitting on a shelf right next to me as I write. I’m supposed to return it to somebody one of these days, but nobody’s asking for it.

                Bp Benjamin, though, let it be known that he’d be extremely displeased if I showed it to anyone, seeing as how that could compromise his SIC once it was properly annotated. Yet, even without professional examinations, anyone can see how clumsily the tape was edited to make it appear that FrRK was trying to make off with church funds.

                The truth is, though, that FrZW had long been under suspicion for just that, and his meeting with FrRK was intended to catch him in the act and make it possible for him to repent before things got any worse.

                ‘Diogenes’ closes with a real zinger here. Perhaps he’s never had a true friend with whom he could share every confidence, whose joys are his own and whose sorrows he feels as deeply as his friend, friends between whom there is no deceit. That’s the kind of relationship I have with FrRK (among others), and that’s why I’ve stood with him from the very beginning of this sad episode in our life as a church, this ‘time of troubles’ beginning in March 2006.

                Our OCA will not begin to recover from these troubles and not even start to be healed unless and until FrRK is reinstated as a priest of the OCA. This will require some massive servings of crow to be consumed by the SIC people and the bishops, but it’s better for them to do that now than to go into eternity with this unrepented sin still staining their hands and their hearts — assuming that they really do believe in God and fear the judgement of Christ.

                I suppose I ought to feel insulted because ‘Diogenes’ accuses me of somehow being paid off by FrRK, but I just feel pity for him in his emotional and spiritual impotence and insolence. I remember him in my prayers as I do all of you. Please remember me in your prayers, too.

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                • Diogenes says:

                  “Our OCA will not begin to recover from these troubles and not even start to be healed unless and until FrRK is reinstated as a priest of the OCA. ”

                  This is one of the most ridiculous comments anyone has ever said. “REINSTATE?” How about hang him from the nearest tree? He made his legacy: If not thief, then the shady guy who played fast & furious with OCA funds that weren’t his. I’d love to get + Theodosius into a room, fill him with sodium pentathol and film his telling of the events at Syosset. Then, put it on YouTube. Same with RSK & Herman.

                  The OCA will heal, but after RSK, Theo & Herman, it will take a while. + Jonah is not the guy for the job and should go to Dallas. The new bishop, + Alexander Golitzen is.

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                  • ALEXANDER GOLTIZEN? Sure, let’s trot out another episcopal newbie and make him Metropolitan. Dang, Diogenes I am beginning to think that you post on here for comic relief because you can’t be serious. Really, this is standup material!

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          • Geo Michalopulos says:

            Diogenes, I honestly don’t know what went on. All I do know is that when push came to shove, the civil authorities found no standing to prosecute the former chancellor.

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            • Diogenes says:

              George:
              What part of “deal-cutting” don’t you understand? Met. Herman, who was also culpable of theft and misappropriation of funds, refused to press charges against his trained protege from STOTS, RSK. The evidence was clear and a deal was cut. RSK was thrown out and defrocked. + Theodosius took a medical leave and as a bishop, reduced to his home parish. Later, + Herman was discovered to have mortgaged, several times, STOTS monastery properties to obtain cash used for ??? Now, with + Jonah, he wants to forgive everyone and re-instate everyone. That worked well with Fester.

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              • That is truly the dumbest thing you’ve ever written. (Not an easy task considering everything you’ve written is similarly lacking coherence.) You’re simply lying and you should stop it. Do you not fear God at all? Or fear for your soul? The county, state and federal government did not need Met Herman to “press charges,” because the state presses charges when there is a felony. It was the ***government***, not Met Herman that refused to press charges. Stop spewing lies.

                And it is also true that the government dropped charges against Robert Kondratick Jr. But maybe it’s because Met Herman refused to press charges against him too. ;-)

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                • Diogenes says:

                  Spasi:
                  What I state is absolute Truth. What you have been told are lies.

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                  • Jane Rachel says:

                    Answer this. “Kondratick stole millions” is not “absolute truth.” There were no “millions” to steal. The Andreas letter proves that. The OCA never had “millions”, did they? Was the OCA administration staff angry that the “millions” given by Andreas were not given to the OCA but instead place in a discretionary fund to be used at the sole discretion of Metropolitan Theodosius, as approved of by the Holy Synod? Were they incensed that those funds were not “on the books”? Were the funds intended for the orphans and widows pushed around to cover expenses, and then later paid back? Is that what happened? Someone here can surely tell us the truth. Perhaps the OCA did not have enough money to meet expenses because the “faithful” were not faithful in giving (or “tithing”) to the Church. Selfish. Do you think that just because we small folk sit here in the dark, not knowing because we are simple nobodies, this does not affect our lives? It does.

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                  • The only thing absolute here is your complete ignorance and incompetence. You’ve not only demonstrated you know nothing about the RSK situation other than what you made up in your head, you’ve demonstrated you know nothing about the nature of the serious charges that were ultimately NOT leveled against the former Protopresbyter. The federal government has not hesitated to go after embrzzelers of church funds as well as tax dodgers. No governmental authority needed anything from Met Herman, since all documentation was given to the county prosecutor.

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                    • Spasi,

                      No need to try and reason with these folks. They live in their own little world of make believe. They have constructed a reality that the OCA back then was bad and I suppose they believe that it is better now. These folks have never met any of the players in this saga. They get their news from second-hand sources. They make no effort to actually talk to the people involved. They are content to just use the Internet to continue to make themselves feel important.

                      George is doing a great job letting these folks spout here. In the end it does all come down to what Monk James said, the OCA will not recover until it undoes the injustice done to Fr. Kondratick. The OCA is now only a shadow of what it was and her bishops are more concerned with flexing their feeble muscles like Nikon firing Fr Justin than really dealing with the issues that are crippling it. The synod will do what it always does when they perceive that they are under attack, circle the wagons and tell each other that they are all fine and it is the other guy who is bad.

                      Next thing you know is the synod will consider making +Mark the new rector of St Tikhon’s Seminary.

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                    • M. Stankovich says:

                      Spasi,

                      Let me pose a purely hypothetical situation here – and I emphasize it is purely hypothetical: a Chancellor and and Protodeacon were very close personal friends – as well as their respective families – for many years. They shared an intimate relationship at the altar; and finally, in the working environment, one was a supervisor and one was a subordinate.

                      Let us say that at a certain point, the Protodeacon discovered financial “irregularities” that were in conflict with his “standard of practice,” eventually his “ethical standard,” and finally, he was asked to engage in actions that would put him in jeopardy with the civil law. He refused to be compromised, reveals his findings & dilemma, and is dismissed. Knowing that the Church will be legally accountable for the missing & misappropriated funds, their legal representatives present information to the Suffolk County District Attorney. In the interim, someone reports to the Protodeacon that the Chancellor has been “shredding evidence” and “deleting email”; tampering with evidence – a crime in itself. The Chancellor is suspended until trial.

                      The Protodeacon begins to feel the responsibility that “bringing this man to justice” could mean, literally, sending him to jail. For the one who witnessed evidence tampering, he may have overheard a less than subtle comment from his “brothers” that he was a “snitch,” and about to “ruin a good man’s life & career.” Both ultimately decide that to be “defrocked” is “punishment enough,” and when questioned by the investigator for the District Attorney, are no longer so “sure” of events.

                      The District Attorney in this matter may rightfully believe that serious crime(s) had been committed, and there is sufficient evidence to pursue charges against an individual(s) for that crime. But now, the person who saw him destroying evidence says, “It could have been his old sermons, I don’t know.” The Protodeacon says, “I re-ran the numbers and there are some errors…” The District Attorney could not pursue this case or bring charges without cooperative witnesses.

                      As I mentioned above, the “slight-of-hand” of the monk James is to suggest that by not pursuing the case, Suffolk County Court is saying it lacked merit; that it, in fact, exonerates Robert Kondratick. It does no such thing. The fact is, we do not know why the Suffolk DA chose not to prosecute this case, but to suggest that it “exonerated” Robert Kondratick or suggests he did not engage in criminal behaviour is purposeful misrepresentation.

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                    • Was there a question?

                      If the SIC reported there were thousands of pages of evidence, and it was enough to defrock RSK, how in the world would there not be enough evidence to being charges against him by the county DA? It’s true, a pass on prosecution is not necessarily an exoneration, but it’s most certainly enough to stop the sickening narrative that “he stole millions of dollars.” Even in the case of civil court, where the standards for evidence are much lower, the OCA was unsuccessful in asserting their claims. So the the only thing they have is a biased self-serving narrative that they MUST perpetuate in order to save face, since all objective governmental forums could not find enough evidence to even begin an investigation, let alone prosecute. This much is very clear, and anyone who denys it is simply denying reality.

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                    • The idea that Wheeler is responsible for calling off the dogs is simply ridiculous. There was no lack of “cooperative witnesses,” and we know this from the civil case, where numerous individuals submitted testimony in affidavit form. We also have Wheeler’s written reports and letters on which the SIC committed based all their work. Then we have the volumes of commentary written later by him littering the internet on various forums. How can you possibly even theorize that Wheeler got cold feet? It’s absurd. And it would also mean that his former assertions were misrepresentations, and he should approach the Church if he has doubts. RKS’s life and career was ruined over Wheeler’s machinations. The man has ice flowing through his veins when it comes to the matter of destroying RSK. And we now reap the reward in the form of a hopelessly crippled and rapidly diminishing OCA.

                      And I’ll absolutely take issue with you that the DAs pass on prosecution doesn’t suggest that he did not engage in criminal behavior. It most certainly does, and strongly. If it doesn’t, then our justice system might as well be completely scrapped. One need only do a quick internet search on “clergy embezzlement” to find scores of successfully prosecuted cases for far lesser amounts of money than RSK was accused of stealing. In your theory, one convincted of a crime is no more guilty than the one who wasn’t prosecuted is innocent. In theory it’s certainly true in at least an isolated case or two, but we can posit with certainty that the vast majority of people who are convincted are guilty, and the vast majority of people who are not prosecuted are innocent. That’s pure statistical logic.

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                    • M. Stankovich says:

                      Spasi,

                      The family courts are filled with battered victims of domestic violence, yet they refuse to testify against their abusers. The DA’s are acutely aware that a vicious, heinous crime has been committed, and they know exactly, and often repeatedly, who perpetrated these acts. Yet, without the testimony of the victim, they are forced to dismiss case after case. These are not “an isolated case or two,” but normative. Your statistical logic is ridiculous.

                      My whole point here has simply been to say that the fact the Suffolk County Count chose not to pursue this case against Robert Kondratick says nothing, and implies nothing about their opinion as whether he engaged in criminal activity. To suggest this is pure deception.

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                    • And your analogy is ridiculous. You needn’t look at everything through your own myopia of family court. Federal prosecutors and County DAs are NOT social workers and Eric Wheeler is not a battered wife. I’m quite familiar, thank you very much, with the dynamics of dysfunctional families and the failures of the court system to keep that disasterous part of our society in check. It has absolutely nothing to do with the decision of the County DA, as well as the FBI and IRS, all of whom were contacted by the legal counsel of the OCA with complete cooperation for an investigation, to refuse even an investigation, let alone pressing charges. Stop the bullsh*t already.

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                    • M. Stankovich says:

                      Then please settle this for everyone and tell me: exactly why did the “serious” DA and the “serious” judge described by monk James say there is “no case?” Where is their statement that they “refused even an investigation,” given the serious nature of the charges, the amounts of money suggested, and notoriety of the contributors? Where is there any official public document that indicates Robert Kondratick was found to be innocent of criminal behaviour, exonerated, and compensated for $250,000?

                      You know as well as I do that such a document(s) does not exist and they intended no such implication. It means absolutely nothing.

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                    • Is there public document that RSK was paid $250,000? Yes and no. We do not have the actual settlement documents, but we have the clear reports of the OCA treasurer which clearly states that there was a settlement paid to RSK for one quarter of a million dollars.

                      Do we have a public document that states the County DA passed on prosecution? Yes and no. What we have is the testimony of the SIC which ordered contact of the DA and a presentation of evidence. This was approved by the MC and accomplished. This action was followed by silence by the governmental authorities.

                      It couldn’t be any plainer, unless you’re just exceptionally slow.

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                    • M. Stankovich says:

                      I should have posed the question first, sparing me your grandiosity. The fact remains, neither you, nor monk James, nor anyone else has demonstrated why the Suffolk County DA chose not to pursue this case. To suggest it was intended to imply their was no criminal behaviour, that Robert Kondratick is innocent, or to exonerate him is purposely misleading and certainly never the intention of the Suffolk County DA. Period. Your opinion, and the opinions of Diogenes & monk James are equally conjecture, and sloppy at that. Someone knows exactly why the Suffolk County DA chose not pursue this case – DA’s are not “silent” about such decisions – but it certainly is not the three of you.

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                    • Which statement is more plausible?

                      “The County DA refused to pursue the case against Kondratick because there was sufficient evidence to prosecute him.”

                      “The County DA refused to pursue the case against Kondratick because there was insufficient evidence to prosecute him.”

                      You can argue this a 1,000 times and explain it away however you wish. The fact remains, the DA passed on pursuing even a simple investigation. Prosecutors DO NOT pass on investigations and prosecutions when the the so-called ‘victim’ claims from their ‘voluminous’ evidence: “it’s a slam dunk case,” “he stole millions,” “he should be hung from a tree,” “he should be locked in a trunk and drowned in the river,” and the rest of the insane babbling that we’ve been treated to for the past five years from the brainwashed, kool-aid drinking zombies.

                      The OCA is paying for their unjust actions, not only financially, but as they continue to decline in morale among parishes, in stature among others, and in membership numbers.

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                    • Disgusted With It says:

                      I’m not a “player” in any of this, nor am I convinced necessarily that a criminal activity did or did not take place. However, I do notice one interesting characteristic of this conversation. M. Stankovich interestingly seems to work from the “guilty until proven innocent” perspective. I think that we need to keep in mind that it’s the other way around. The US court system considers people “innocent until proven guilty”, and for good reason.

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  6. All criminal charges were dropped against Mr. Kondratick. Not so against the others named. I suppose you can look it up by following the links you used to discover the original charges. Then you can apologize and ask forgiveness. It is up to you to make amends do your own research since you don’t wish to take my word for it.

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    • Gosh, why would anyone not “take the word” of an anonymous poster who launches into off-topic personal attacks, doesn’t bother to look up the definition of “slander”, and refuses to produce any documentation to back up one’s claim.

      FYI – Don’t forget to include the explanation(s) for this little tidbit from the SEC complaint:

      “In addition, Aronson, Kondratick, and Buonauoro used investor funds to pay over $3 million in personal expenses relating to their home mortgages, luxury cars, clothes, gambling trips to Las Vegas and other vacations, jewelry, and bills incurred at “GENTLEMEN’s CLUBS.”

      See Bullets 49 and 50 from the actual SEC complaint:
      http://sec.gov/litigation/complaints/2011/comp-pr2011-201.pdf

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      • Cute, Mr. Leader. Still can’t bring yourself to admit that you were wrong. Nice touch reprinting the allegations all of which have been dropped. Kinda sticks in your craw don’t it. Personal attacks? Me attacking you? Now, now, nice try, but it was you who attacked Mr. Kondratick, dontcha remember?

        So, again, are you going to apologize or keep trying to change the subject? The general topic was about leadership, of which you were so quick to point us to your blog. Come on, now, Chris, just admit you were wrong, say you are sorry and we can move on.

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      • Anna Rowe says:

        The words of an anonymous poster offer zero credibility unless accompanied with verifiable facts. After time, you figure out who they are but you still wonder why the anonymity. I use my real name but I am just one of the faithful flock.

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      • Monk James says:

        Chris Banescu needs more current information before he spouts off.

        Things are not what they might seem to be in his prejudiced imagination.

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      • Bishop Tikhon (Fitzgerald) says:

        Only malice could possibly motivate the attorney Chris Banescu’s publication of the accusations against Protopresbyter Rodion S. Kondratick’s son even after the findings exonerated that son, Robert.
        Why it’s as if some rabbi were to post an accusation here that Our Lord has been charged by the Sanhedrin witht trying to usurp Caesar’s throne! Once again, Attorney Banescu is shown to be a bad judge of character who prejudged a case! Thank heaven he’s just an attorney and not a judge or someone involved in a personnel department’s hiring process or in a job requiring discernment, especially of character! He aggravated his mistake by bold-facing Bob Kondratick’s family name. And as for his excerpt from the allegations being a “tidbit” (sic), I would consider that an example of a very very strange taste.

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        • Carl Kraeff says:

          Now, I am confused. His Grace, Nikos, Monk James et al, are saying that Chris Banescu’s presentation is wrong. So, we have an SEC complaint that all can read, which is dated a few months ago, and everybody is intimating that Bob Kondratick is innocent of all charges. I am surprised that a court case of such magnitude and complexity is brought to a conclusion in just seven months. I am also surprised that the counter-argument which is made with such conviction and vigor has not included a document. The court’s decision that cleared Bob Kondratick would be such a document.

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          • The case never went to the court. The Feds dropped all charges against Bob Kondratick. The Feds are proceeding against the other defendants. The Feds concluded that Bob Kondratick involvement did not warrant them proceeding against him.

            The Feds are good at producing all documents when they charge someone, but not as good when they drop their case against someone. It is usually up to news sources to inform the public about a case being dropped.

            However, Chris, in is continued campaign to throw any type of dirt he can against the Kondratick family does his cut and paste journalism and re-presents the original charges against Bob Kondratick to do what? For what purpose? I think Bishop Tikhon gave us the answer to that, and all the while, we still wait for Chris to ask forgiveness.

            I hope you are less confused, Carl.

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            • Carl Kraeff says:

              That is good to hear. However, we still have “document vs. the testimony/opinion of an anonymous poster” (no offense, just calling it as it is IMHO). Has anyone seen the amended SEC complaint or even has a reference to an official announcement?

              I should add that I cannot believe that Mr Banescu would have published the SEC complaint if he knew that Bob Kondratick’s name was dropped from the complaint.

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              • I keep asking for real proof and any documented evidence and all I see is more anonymous posters with an obvious misunderstanding of the legal definition of slander and libel pointing fingers in my face, calling me names, and demanding to “take their word for it” that it has happened.

                There is no publicly available information that I could find anywhere corroborating the claim that all charges were dropped, that Kondratick was found innocent of all claimed wrongdoing, and that the permanent injunction against him by the SEC has been lifted.

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                • Lola J. Lee Beno says:

                  Umm . . . the case was reviewed by a judge, who then threw it out of court. So . . . you’re not going to find that Kondratick was found innocent or guilty in front of a jury. How hard is it to understand that, for crying out aloud?

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                • Monk James says:

                  Chris Banescu needs to look farther, deeper, more objectively.

                  He also needs to reserve judgement until ALL the facts are in, a situation which might escape his thoroughly prejudiced attention.

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                • Bishop Tikhon (Fitzgerald) says:

                  A call to some office inquiring if there has been any progress on the SEC filiing (or “tidbit”, to be true to his taste) that Monsieur Banescu triumphantly bruited should be enough for a competent attorney to essay. Surely, he doesn’t imagine that the court is going to notify him personally as it did Robert Kondratick? That would be like the Pentagon copying everything to Camp Swampy to inform General Halftrack!! Probably, though, Monsieur Banescu wouild want to delay as long as humanly possible being confronted with the facts in this case that he had already decided.

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                  • Isn’t it interesting that Chris, who is a lawyer, is just waiting for evidence to come to him? He finds it unnecessary to do any work on his own to confirm that the Feds dropped their case against Kondratick Jr. Thus he continues to judge Kondratick Jr by reposting the Feds original accusations. He continues to expose his malice toward the Kondratick family.

                    Not a good example of leadership to follow. It is sad and lamentable. Chris, do the right thing and apologize so we can move on. We all make mistakes. Just admit it.

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                    • Carl Kraeff says:

                      Mr Banescu put something on the table. Everybody else is just blowing hot air as far as I am concerned. You counter document with document, not verbiage. Let me ask y’all a question: is any of Mr Banescu’s detractors not able to obtain the amended SEC complaint? It is not up to him to do so but up to those who claim that the SEC complaint does no longer reflect the charges against Bob Jr. Let me ask another question: is any of Mr Banescu’s detractors not able to cite a news release by the SEC or even a news report that will back up the claim that the SEC charges were dismissed?

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                    • Carl,

                      Why in the hell would I post what I posted if I didn’t know it was true? If Chris will not admit his terrible malice ridden comment about Kondratick Jr. was wrong until he puts his finger in the nail holes and thrusts his fist into the side of the person he wounded with his words, that is Chris’ problem and yours too if that is what you need.

                      But, go ahead, dig yourself deeper. That is your choice.

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                    • Jane Rachel says:

                      Chris has his reputation – his “good name” – to defend.

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                    • According http://www.secactions.com/?paged=3 criminal charges have been brought against the other defendants. Kondratick is not named in the criminal charges.

                      Criminal cases

                      Investment fund fraud: Eric Aronson, Vincent Buonauro and Fredric Aaron were indicted (E.D.N.Y. April 5, 2012) on charges of conspiracy, securities fraud and money laundering in connection with the sale of promissory notes and their operation of Permapave Industries and Permapave USA. From 2006 through 2010 the three defendants operated their companies as a Ponzi scheme. During the period they raised about $26 million through false representations. The companies claimed to import paving stone from Australia. In fact portions of the funds raised were used to repay some investors while at least $3 million was diverted to the personal use of the defendants

                      According to http://www.sec.gov/litigation/litreleases/2012/lr22231.htm a summary civil judgement was made against Permapave et al with Kondratick listed as a defendant.

                      So, guilty of being an officer in a company running a ponzi scheme? Looks like it. Criminally liable? Apparently the SEC doesn’t think so.

                      That took about 15 minutes on Bing to find.

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      • lexcaritas says:

        Allegations in a complaint are hardly proof of guilt. An accused is innnocent until proven guilty beyond a resaonable doubt. The charges having been dropped, in justice and in mercy we should hold the man to be innocent and not assume or assert to the contrary. Continued publication of statements accusing a person of criminal conduct are libellous per se and are not becoming to a person admitted to the Bar or of one who would bear the name of Christ Who bids us love our enemies and pray for them and Who also commands us to lay our fgift at the altar and seek reconciliation before offfering it and Who warns that one would withholds forgiveness may not expect ot receive it for the measure we use is the measure we get.

        Christ is risen. May we honor Him in what we say and do.

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    • Jane Rachel says:

      He will NEVER apologize. Chris is a person who can’t be wrong, and therefore, he concludes that you, Nikos, are lying. Just like everybody else around here who Can’t Be Wrong (we know you by your words), and those who refuse to recognize that their leaders are human and therefore sometimes sad and faulted. But that doesn’t make them bad. The good leaders are called bad and the bad good. It’s in the BIBLE! Well, I know better. I know that good leaders can be recognized as good because I can see that they are doing the best they can, just like I do. I don’t expect them to be perfect, but, like me, to do what is required of them, which is to try to do justly, love mercy and walk humbly with their God. They are NOT bad, not hypocritical, not evil, not feeding off of other people’s pain like some leaders do. They are ready to repent and trying to be as honest as they can. When accused, they explain, but they are still attacked, sometime viciously, and without reason.

      I’ve pretty much thrown in the towel around here; or rather, I would have, except that I perked up when posts from people like you, Nikos, along with comments from Bishop Tikhon, Jacob, Spasi, Amos, and Monk James appear. I’m also happy to read Mr. Stankovich’s posts, and also, Mike Myers. At the very least, they are honest. Anybody recognize that Mike Myers CHANGED? Gee! I wonder why?

      I’m not ill or stupid, I’m not in the dark and I’ve not had the wool pulled over my eyes. I’m not a fool. For heaven’s sake, who’s a fool? The OCA HEROIC, ALREADY DEIFIED, EVER-MEMORABLE BISHOP _________ , the hero of all, was GAY (and maybe a lot worse than that) !!! The always adored leaders adored him! Nobody listened to the opposing voice(s).* No, Sorry Chris, you’ll not convince me that Nikos, Bishop Tikhon, Jacob, Spasi, Amos, and Monk James are lying, evil, bad, corrupt, or without backbone.

      *Yes, I’m still mad about that.

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  7. Patrick Henry Reardon says:

    When I read Bishop Jenky’s sermon a couple of weeks ago,, I immediately called the Roman Catholic Chancery Office in Peoria to thank him for it.

    The personal attacks against Bishop Jenky—including his weight, for heaven’s sake!—on this blog site are disgraceful.

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  8. Thank you Fr. Patrick to bringing this discussion back to the point I was trying to make in the essay.

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  9. Ivan Vasiliev says:

    Reading all this, I feel like I fell down the rabbit hole! Everyone here seems to agree that the jabberwocky is out there, but most seem to be having difficulty figuring out what it looks like.

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  10. Centurion says:

    You impostor! You dare speak of courage when you shamelessly and pathetically mistreated your own flock and told the mothers of the children that were sexually molested by a man under your authority to: “get a life — get a life in Christ”. To this day you never apologized or asked for forgiveness for failing to do anything to comfort or help or be a minister to those suffering children of families or even admit you did anything wrong.

    You savage Fr. Peter for no reason while you keep silent on so much evil you saw and tolerated while a bishop. You demean a decent priest him for courageously speaking out while you kept your vile mouth shut while the abuses in the OCA and Alaska and the Synod and the malfeasance of Kondratick etc. went on for years. You have no credebility no shame!

    You are a really sick individual with a deep spiritual darkness that clouds judgement and reason. There is no love of Christ in you. You are an anti-Christ. The words and poison you constantly post attacking good and honorable priests and others who speak up that you insult, attack and savage shows the evil that lives in your heart and soul. Repent !

    http://orthodoxbeacon.com/viewpoints/a-tribute-to-pokrov/
    It was the early 90’s when Melanie Jula Sakoda and Cappy Larson thought they had found a home in Orthodoxy at San Francisco’s Holy Trinity Cathedral, part of the OCA — The Orthodox Church in America.

    Instead, they found a nightmare: a place where a layman went about the church wearing black clothes and a large cross, but was molesting children of the parish. This was taking place even though he had admitted to the pastor that he had a history of pedophilia. As many as 11 children were victimized, some were toddlers.

    When parents sought redress and understanding from the church and its hierarchy their nightmare continued. The head of the OCA at the time, Metropolitan Theodosius Lazor, never replied directly to the parents. He did so through his chancellor, who would then direct the parents to deal with their bishop, Tikhon Fitzgerald. The bishop, now retired, at one point admonished parents to “get a life — get a life in Christ”.

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  11. Matt Gates says:

    It’s precisely this kind of wildly hyperbolic rhetoric -comparing Obama to Hitler and Stalin- that make what would be an otherwise interesting and perhaps even reasonable argument about religious freedom impossible to stomach. Clergy should hold themselves to a higher standard of reason than Hank Williams, Jr.

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    • Lola J. Lee Beno says:

      First they came for the communists,
      and I didn’t speak out because I wasn’t a communist.

      Then they came for the trade unionists,
      and I didn’t speak out because I wasn’t a trade unionist.

      Then they came for the Jews,
      and I didn’t speak out because I wasn’t a Jew.

      Then they came for me
      and there was no one left to speak out for me.

      By Martin Niemöller, a German pastor who was arrested by the Nazis and held prisoner in Sachsenhausen and Dachau until he was freed by the Allies. Need I remind you who was in charge during this era?

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  12. Matt Gates says:

    No need. I would suggest that Fr. Preble Jenky poll some holocaust and gulag survivors to see if they find the analogy between the horrors they endured and the idea of some employees at Catholic institutions getting birth control covered on their insurance policies to be a compelling one.

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    • George Michalopulos says:

      Matt, this is a specious argument. But I’ll give the liberals credit for fighting in the last ditch with an extremely weak hand. No one in his right mind is comparing medical coverage to the Holocaust. The issue is and always was, and only is, that forcing the religious to act in ways that violates their conscience is evil.

      But since you feel that it’s ok for the state to force Catholics to subsidize activities that is against their faith tradition, I assume you will be writing your Congressman to force American Muslims to do the same as well.

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      • Bishop Tikhon (Fitzgerald) says:

        I agree with George that it is way out there to compare medical coverage to the Holocaust. Who did that, anyhow? I missed it. I thought some were equating birth control to the Holocaust, no?
        Now, when George says in bold-face type that the issue “ONLY IS forcing the religious to act in ways that violates their conscience is evil, ” I’m not sure how that relates to another opinion here that said that the Obama Administration is trying to force the Roman Catholic Church to violate its policy on morality and that is the issue. Anyone?
        Now “the religious” in RC circles means monastics. If, however, George is referring to the pious amongst the Roman Catholics, I believe that there are very, very many pious Roman Catholics whose conscience finds NO fault in contraception or contraceptives or such Roman Catholic Birth Control as the Rhythm Method.

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    • Patrick Henry Reardon says:

      Matt Gares tentatively suggests, “I would suggest that Fr. Preble Jenky poll some holocaust and gulag survivors to see if they find the analogy between the horrors they endured and the idea of some employees at Catholic institutions getting birth control covered on their insurance policies to be a compelling one.”

      Since neither Fr Preble nor Bishop Jenky mentioned the Holocaust, this suggestion has no rational basis.

      This fictitious attribution (to Bishop Jenky) was made by the Anti-Defamation League, a group that claims exclusive rights to speak about the Holocaust.

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  13. Matt Gates says:

    I voiced no opinion as to merits of the issue itself, which, I agree, raises some troubling questions about the government’s proper relationship to religious authority. My point is simply that such rhetoric does no service to those who use it, but simply makes them sound idiotic and extreme, irregardless of the merits of their argument, and deeply trivializes genocide. The “reductio ad Hitler” is a cardinal crime against logic, used all too often by all kinds of people to put their feet in their mouths when speaking about all kinds of issues.

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    • Bishop Tikhon (Fitzgerald) says:

      And, Matt, don’t forget the “reductio ad Marxum” which is equally egregious!

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    • Fr. Hans Jacobse says:

      The “reductio ad Hitler” is a cardinal crime against logic…

      A “cardinal crime” is Latinizing a phrase to make it appear to be a principle of logic that in fact it does not exist.

      And, Matt, don’t forget the “reductio ad Marxum” which is equally egregious!

      Same error.

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      • Bishop Tikhon (Fitzgerald) says:

        I wouldn’t say that Father Hans is exaggerating, lest I be accused yet again of invective; however, I do not consider logical mistakes, any of them, to be crimes worthy of the the label “cardinal.”
        And, I’d like to, with an appropriately punctilious obeisance of profound respect, point out that my comment to Matt, starting, “Matt, don’t forget..” is not the “Same error,” as Father Hans graciously claims; rather it is a satirical rephrasing of the “reductio ad Hitler” error, that is, I did not repeat the error but good-naturedly (!) and gently poked fun at what Father Hans brands a “cardinal crime”.
        In writing this, I truly strove for the bland, colorless, klein-buergerlich kind of impotence in expression that Father Hans has taught us is to be expected of (courageous, of course) Orthodox hierarchs.

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  14. Bishop Tikhon (Fitzgerald) says:

    Have any Roman Catholic leaders here or abroad endorsed the Peoria bishop’s statement or opinion?
    Surely, if Rome feels the consciences of the Faithful are being endangered by the Obama Administration or that they are being forced by the Obama Administration to violate the Roman Catholic Church’s policy relative to morality, somebody besides that guy should be forthcoming about it all.
    Don’t they have nuncios or ambassadors or legates or episcopal conferences, etc. to address matters of grave concern to the Roman Catholic Church or to confirm what so many Protestants, as well as Mormons and Christian Scientists, are saying: that the Obama Administration is making war on the Roman Catholic Church~

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    • R. Howell says:

      Yes, the US Conference of Catholic Bishops has spoken clearly, forcefully, and repeatedly on the issue.
      Many statements on the subject can be found here: http://www.usccb.org/issues-and-action/religious-liberty/conscience-protection/

      While you will not find explicit parallels to Hitler and Stalin drawn here, there is no question that the US Catholic bishops officially and collectively regard the HHS mandate as an assault on religious freedom.

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      • Fr. Hans Jacobse says:

        R. Howell, don’t forget that Hitler and Stalin were men of the Left.

        Don’t take the disdain thrown at those who mention Hitler and Stalin too seriously. If Christendom becomes completely de-Christianized, the rise of the Strong Man is inevitable given the deep-structure presuppositions that shape culture. Nietzsche was right about that. Obama’s egregious overreach with the HHS mandates mirrors the rule of the state over individual conscience held dear by the Strong Men of recent history. Obama’s not a Strong Man of course, but he is a man of the hard Left.

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        • Bishop Tikhon (Fitzgerald) says:

          Father Jacobse writes: “Obama’s egregious overreach with the HHS mandates mirrors the rule of the state over individual conscience”
          Though often heard, that is not true.
          I think that the trouble the Catholic hierarchy has with “the HHS mandates” is its obvious catering to American Roman Catholic voters, rather than American Roman Catholic ecclesiastical potentates. Further, one of the foremost Roman Catholic universities in the world, Notre Dame seems to be closer to the Roman Catholic voter than the hierarchy is.
          In other words, the HHS mandates threaten the rule of the RC hierarchy over individual consciences.

          I’ve always found it kind of “kicky” when Hitler is characterized as a man of the left. Hitler and his government actively fought the left and any liberalism that dared to raise its head or voice in his society.
          It’s true that he tried to fool the left-leaning and socialist-leaning German public into voting for him and his party by inserting the word “Socialist” into the name of party. The Socialist in National-Sozialistisch is, however, no more accurate than, later on, the “Democratic” in”The German Democratic Republic” and the “Free” in the nomenclatures of other rigidly controlled states.
          Hitler began his ****public**** assault on the Left when he had the Reichstag set afire and had a Communist to take the rap! Likewise, Hitler’s foreign lackeys, like Petain, also devoted as much time to rounding up liberals as they did Jews and gypsies. Mother Maria Skobtsova was just one of many “lefties” rounded up and sent off to the camps.
          Not everyone who lived in the days of Hitler’s Germany is dead yet, so one still can’t get away with making Hitler out to be a lefty. It seems ludicrous to me. Next someone will call Netanyahu or the Ayatollah Khamenei, or Mummar Gaddafy or the King of Saudi Arabia or the Taliban “lefty!”

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        • “…don’t forget that Hitler and Stalin were men of the Left.”

          Someone’s been reading more Jonah Goldberg than history.

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    • Patrick Henry Reardon says:

      Yes, the Pope wrote to the American Catholic bishops on this very subject just weeks ago, explicitly warning about the very matters on which the Bishop of Peoria (aka “that guy”) expressed his concern.

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  15. Fr. Hans Jacobse says:
    • Whilst Orthodox ones remain silent!

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      • Ivan Vasiliev says:

        Alas, Fr. Peter, you are right. It is a terrible shame that our hierarchy is (almost) silent in the face of a dangerous assault on Christian conscience. If we were more serious about having a mission to the world–and on this continent in particular–we would speak with a united voice in the face of a government that is obviously attempting to subvert and humiliate us.

        On the other hand, in reviewing the truly execrable invective being thrown around this site in response to your reflections (well, not really, the same folks would be throwing around the same kind of invective had you written on the relative merits of chocolate vs. vanilla ice-cream–its about personal vendettas, you see), one wonders if it might not be better if we (Orthodox) are not noticed. The RC’s have numbers and blat’ (pull). What they have to say gets attention and their fruitier element tends to get pushed to the side. Compared to the RCs, with their superb organization, know-how when it comes to the media, and their “dignitas” and “gravitas” (just plain presence) — we Orthodox, when we deliberate (Holy Synod meetings, parish council meetings, diocesan assemblies) tend to look like a doo-doo fight in the monkey house. I suppose it is a matter of getting our own house in order…. one of those, “Physician, heal thyself” sort of things.

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        • James P. says:

          “doo-doo fight in the monkey house”

          Thank you, Ivan Vasiliev. I’m going to be belly-laughing at that mental image for a long time. It’s not so far from reality.

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      • Logan46 says:

        I read all this and figuratively scratch my head. The low birth rate in the US suggests that a high percentage of child-bearing age women use contraception. Studies for Catholic women show an equally high percentage of use. It seems that the Catholic bishops’ ire should be directed against Catholic women rather than the US government. What are Catholic bishops doing against all those unrepentant women? It’s so much easier to blame the government than focus on their own failure to convince their followers.

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        • Lola J. Lee Beno says:

          Its the “cafeteria Catholic” mentality. And Vatican II didn’t help matters either. Compare the rates before and after.

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        • “Against” Catholic women, Logan? I doubt the Catholic bishops would see it that way. They are against a mandate that forces people to violate their consciences, but I hardly think they would consider themselves “against” the people involved.

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          • Logan46 says:

            Helga, apologies. My bias that the Catholic Church historically has devalued women slipped out. I still don’t understand how the mandate forces people to violate their consciences? If your insurance plan covers contraception, it is still the individual that makes the choice to use contraception or not.

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            • Logan, I’m tired of being told that what goes on in someone else’s bedroom is none of my business, but that I have to pay for killing the children that result from what goes on in there.

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            • Michael Bauman says:

              Logan46: “…the Catholic Church historically has devalued women…”

              Can the demands for women in the priesthood be far behind.

              Jesus Christ restored women to the dignity they have as persons and allows them and we men to function more closely in the manner in which we were created. The Church has been, even if begrudginly from time to time, an instrument of upgarding the status of women in this world–even our confused brethren Catholics.

              When you throw in the word historically, I can just see al of the relativist, presentist arugments for ‘gender equality’ being rolled out in their nauseating self righteousness–repleat with the ad hominum attacks on any one who dares think differently.

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              • Logan46 says:

                Michael, I indicated that was my “personal bias,” but since you brought it up I did check some RC websites reference the role of women. Yikes, women can’t be politicians, judges, soldiers, police officers, supervisors, or any position or role that might give a woman authority over men. I don’t think you subscribe to that?

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                • Fr. Hans Jacobse says:

                  What websites were those?

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                • Michael Bauman says:

                  Logan46, scarasm on I’d let you know, but my arm is tired from beating my wife. scarasm off

                  Seriously:

                  Men and women are designed by our Creator to act in synergistic concord with one another so that we may dress and keep the earth be fruitful and multiply. Equal before God and in each other’s hearts, but different in function. We are ontologically complementry but fully equal before God.

                  In a world that was not fallen there would be no question of who had ‘authority’ over whom. It is part of our falleness that we place more value on position and authority than we do on who we are ontologically. It is part of our falleness that there is the Biblical injunction that man is head of the wife (as Christ is head of the Church-crucified for us)

                  If men were more willing to step up and act as real men in the manner God designed us, there would simply be no need for women to fill any of the roles you mentioned. However with men often abdicating their role particularly as husbands and fathers; the ecomonic pressures and requirements of the late industrialized state-post-industrial state combined with the heresy of egalitarianism leaves us with a stituation in which both men and women are forced to operate in roles that are not the best fit for either.

                  I would say it is not a matter of ‘can’t’ but rather a matter of not at all optimal for women to fill any of the roles you mention. Women serving in the military and as police officers is not where they should be for sure. The other positions are less than optimal.

                  That does not mean that I devalue women at all, but rather value more highly their unique capacity to be mothers, care-givers and to nurture in a ways that men cannot.. Women have the capacity to ‘magnify the Lord’ and incarnate a whole host of blessings that men are far less able to do or no able to do at all.

                  Egalitarian feminism and the current world mind, says that such ideas are oppressive and archaic. The e-f philosophy devalues both men and women by trying to force us into some sort of unhloy androgny that IMO contributes just as much to the low birth rate as contraceptives.

                  Men tend to become forever children or brutish while women have to try to function as both a man and a woman hardening their hearts in the process.

                  Let the games begin.

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                • Michael Bauman says:

                  Logan46, to further expand on my comments ponder this:

                  “The heart of women’s oppression” Shulamith Firestone commented in 1970, “is her childbearing and child-rearing roles…To assure the elimination of sexual classes requires the revolt of the underclass (women) and seizure of control of reproduction…so the end goal of the feminist revolution must be unlike that of the first feminist movement, not just the elimination of male privilege but of the sex distinction itself; genital differences between human beings would no longer matter.”

                  The sexual distinction between men and women is part of the warp and woof of the entire creation. The attempt to eliminate that difference is one of the surest signs of the nilhist revolution against God.

                  Homosexual marriage, trans-humanism, animal rights, GAIA and other such vulgar and digusting concepts are part of the whole revolt to bring down the human being to less than the beasts.

                  I can’t imagine any Christian who even remotely understands the glory of God’s handiwork would support any of that unholy agenda.

                  The only reason I can see is that for such people God is not real–simply a mental construct of the human mind that is kinda fun to play around with. Jesus Christ is not God Incarnate-fully God and fully man, but a hyperbolic and/or deulsional moral teacher who had a few good things to say but can be safely ignored when we feel like it. The Holy Spirit, well that’s just the winds of desire in my heart moving me this way or that so I can feel gooooooooooood!

                  Oh and don’t forget Shelby Spong’s blasphemy of describing the Holy Theotokos as a Jewish whore who got knocked up by a Roman soldier.

                  It is all in the same basket.

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        • Michael Bauman says:

          Such bicameral, dualistic thinking.

          Forcing people or entities to purchase health insurance with required coverage that is a violation of their beliefs is an act against conscience. That is simple to understand. It requires them to acquiese to the sins of others. You can believe that abortion is next and the table is set for euthasia (even if only passive euthansia by denial of care).

          Contraception is not health care-except for a few very limited situations where contraceptives can help women regulate their periods. There is no logical reason that contraceptives should be covered under any health plan anymore than breast augmentation should be or lasik surgery, etc, etc. Contraceptive drugs and devices used for their primary purpose of prevention of pregnancy are simply not medically necessary treatments. That is why they have been excluded from coverage from most health insurance. So one cannot even say that the contraception is needed health care. It is simply giving people the opportunity to indulge themselves in promiscuous sex (any sex outside of marriage).

          But, as I said before, if you hand governement power, they will use it to further their own ends, not yours.

          The Catholic Church and us too, would have been far more true to our faith tradition to have opposed the unnecessary, horribly expensive and corrupting ceding of un-Constitutional power to the Federal government in the first place. Since neither the Catholics nor we did so, it is institutional hypocrisy to object to specific use of the power we so willing granted unless there is a complete turn around. Something which I have yet to see from the Catholics–certainly not from our bishops who are just silent on everything that matters.

          We should do a better job of convincing our people. The only way to do that is to teach the doctrines and the reasons for them, counsel and restore those who come with a repentant attitude and exclude from the Eucharist those who prefer the way of the world on such things.

          At the same time, we should let the world know of any and all actions by the government that impinge on our Constitutionally protected right to exercise our faith. Remember: “The Congress shall make no law…”

          I just wonder Logan46, do you not understand the words “no law”?

          The statists of both parties want to limit and exclude and marginalize the people and institutions of faith, especially Christians. They use any opportunity they have to do so.

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    • Bishop Tikhon (Fitzgerald) says:

      Father Hans gave us a link about hundreds of RC Bishops speaking not only against abortion, but birtch control. Shows they are even more out of touch with their Laity, i.e., RC voters, than Orthodox Bishops are with theirs!!!

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  16. FrJohn Bohush says:

    Please refer to the FBI press release at this link for the PermaPave indictments …

    http://www.fbi.gov/newyork/press-releases/2012/importers-charged-with-securities-fraud

    I believe that this is what the “Kondratick” argument above was referring to. Although there is no reference to Robert Kondratick, this is the case related to the SEC complaint.

    Fr. J

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    • There is no reference to Mr. Kondratick Jr because all charges against him were dropped. Good enough for you Chris and Carl.

      Thanks, Fr. John.

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      • Carl Kraeff says:

        No, it does not prove that all charges have been dropped. The April 5th announcement said that “The criminal case has been assigned to United States District Judge Arthur D. Spatt.” I believe that the SEC Complaint was assigned to another judge. This one you can look up yourself,Nikos-whoever-you-are, if you would deign to do some work and back up your statements. I absolutely dislike your lazy, I know it all attitude, Nikos whoever-you-are and call on you to apologize to Mr Banescu, reveal your name, or produce the evidence that is called for.

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        • FrJohn Bohush says:

          Sigh, refer to the following link for the CIVIL litigation …

          http://www.sec.gov/litigation/litreleases/2012/lr22231.htm

          My earlier post gave the link to the CRIMINAL litigation. Please deal with facts before these posts look like another bad SNL skit. There are two cases , civil and criminal.

          Looks like a 1-1 record here.

          Fr. J

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          • Carl Kraeff says:

            Right. That’s what I was trying to get across to Nikos. Besides, Alexander has posted the necessary links as well. This proves that Nikos is at best a fanatically pro-Kondratick person who does not care for the truth or is a mentally handicapped person who cannot tell the truth. Or, he may off his medications.

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        • Carl,

          You are the lazy one and about as thick-headed as they come. The criminal complaint posted on April 5 does not include the name of Robert Kondratick Jr. It contains the names of the other three defendants. Can’t you read? Take the time to look at the original complaint linked by Chris with all his highlights. Who is named in the original complaint? Who is named in the April 5 posting? One name is missing? Why, because the government dropped the case against Kondratick. Am I going to fast for you?

          I stated clearly that all criminal charges were dropped and they have been. A motion to the court by Kondratick and an order by the Judge to remove him from the government’s suit was executed and hence that is why he is not named by the government in the April 5 posting, I know I repeat myself, but I hope you are finally getting it.

          As for the civil case, I cannot comment on that because it is in the final stages of being resolved.

          So, I will await your apology.

          BTW, all of this information is available to Chris, all motions all filings with the criminal complaints and the amended complaints since he is a lawyer. If he knows a lawyer in NY who will access it for him as a professional courtesy, he can also set you straight on the criminal case.

          You are wrong again Carl, and I am not mentally handicapped, a cheap shot at all those who suffer from such an affliction, nor do I take drugs, another cruel poke that those who must to function. That was just nasty but it sure does smoke you out.

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          • Carl Kraeff says:

            Nikos–I had put together a rather long reply that laid out all postings on this subject chronologically. I submitted it but it just went nowhere. So, in case I hit the wrong key, here is a concise summary.

            - You started this whole thing on May 8th by accusing Mr Banescu of slander.

            - Chris defended himself by citing the SEC case agains Kondratick Jr.

            - You kept insisting that the government had dropped all charges against Jr.

            - I kept asking for something more than your word, and suggested that there may ne more than one case at play. .

            - Fr John and Alexander both pointed out that there were indeed two cases, one civil (the SEC one) and one criminal (the FBI/DA one).

            - You still kept insisting that all charges were dropped by the government.

            Even if you were talking only of the criminal case, that does not excuse you from not acknowledging that Mr Banescu, myself, Fr John and Alexander were also talking about the civil case. Indeed, your response in each instance was the same old “He has been cleared of all charges.” So, my only conclusion must be that we are dealing here with an utterly unreasonable and untrustworthy person.

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            • Since when does a civil case amount to “charges” (your term)? Anyone can sue anyone in a civil action. It means nothing.

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              • Carl Kraeff says:

                First, when the Securities and Exchange Commission takes you to court, it is not the case of “anyone suing.” Second, I used the term because Spasi used it regarding the SEC Complaint.

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                • Carl,

                  Good morning. You certainly went to great pains in your cut and paste exercise to make your point, however if you recall, your friend Chris got this all started when he cut and paste the criminal charges vs. Kondratick Jr. I was very clear when I said all criminal charges were dropped. I never spoke about the civil case because it is on-going, and I asked Chris to fess up and apologize for his comments.

                  You all brought up the civil case, which again I will not comment on since it is being resolved.

                  The deeper question is the unloving arrogant and malice ridden behavior of Chris in his hatred towards the Kondraticks. This was an opportunity for Chris to dial it back. He didn’t and you, sadly in your frustration call me mentally ill, on meds, and other invictives.

                  All criminal charges have been dropped by the Feds. We all know this to be true. That was my original point. If subsequently I said all charges without the word criminal and you then turn that into a justification for Chris to not apologize or call me names, well, I will leave you and your father confessor.

                  Have a nice day.

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                  • Carl Kraeff says:

                    Nikos–Good morning to you too. First, I am glad that you finally came up with an explanation/defense. For my part, I do apologize for goading you to come to this point and I am sorry for the tactics that I used.

                    There are three related issues here that should not be conflated:

                    1. The propriety of Mr Banescu saying that “the apple does not fall far from the tree.” This isuue was started by Mr Banescu a while ago and on another thread.

                    2. The part that Kondratick may have paid in the legal wrongs committed by himself and his business associates. This issue was not started by any of us on Monomakhos.

                    3. The present issue that was mainly about what sort of legal woes are faced by Jr. This issue was started by you and not by Banescu.

                    Here is the present situation:

                    1. The civil case before Judge Aronoff continues. Kondratick Jr remains a defendant.

                    2. The criminal case is before another court and does not include Kondratick Jr. From what was presented on this blog and the documents that were referenced, we simply do not know if criminal charges had been considered and then “dropped.” What we do know is that they have not been made officially.

                    3. “All” charges against Jr have not been dropped. However, it may be that the lack of criminal charges against Jr may help him the civil case.

                    Finally, let me point out that words do matter and have consequences. If I may give you a bit of advice, please choose your words carefully and be aware of the context in which you utter them. For example, when Father John pointed out to you that the civil case is ongoing, he said “that’s old news, all charges have been dropped.” (my paraphrase)There are only three possibilities here:

                    1. You were thinking that the criminal and civic cases were one and thus the latest news of April 5th trumped the October announcement.

                    2. You were thinking that the civil case did not matter.

                    3. You were thinking that the feds not charging Jr in the criminal case was tantamount to his innocence of the civil law violations.

                    My theory is that you were so intent on proving wrong Banescu’s earlier statement (“apples do not fall far from the tree”) that you got carried away and did not pay attention to either what other folks were saying or what you were saying.

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                    • Carl,

                      You are not old enough to be lecturing me nor concluding for me what I did and did not say.

                      Your points 1-3 are incorrect. I was not thinking that the criminal and civil cases were one in the same. I clearly again was speaking about the criminal case. You all brought up the civil case and when you did I stated clearly that since it is ongoing I will not comment, however I can say that what I do know and am not at liberty to share further discredits your assumptions about ongoing proceeding.

                      2. The criminal case is before another court and does not include Kondratick Jr. From what was presented on this blog and the documents that were referenced, we simply do not know if criminal charges had been considered and then “dropped.” What we do know is that they have not been made officially.

                      It is clear now that you will not accept my word that the criminal charges have been dropped. The fact that I know and you still want more proof, is your problem now and not mine. You have boxed yourself in and if and when the Feds wish to make further comment on them not pursuing Kondratick Jr and why, is not up to me to provide but up for the Feds, who I would think, in their minds and to most people here, have already done that by demonstrating that the criminal proceedings will not include Kondratick Jr. I further stated that a motion to the court was presented by those representing Mr. Kondratick that his name be withdrawn from the criminal proceedings, the motion was granted by the Judge (obviously without objection from the government) and motion was than executed by the Judge and hence the April 5 announcement. Chris can find all this out, all the filings, all the motions, all the court orders by asking a lawyer friend in NY to provide him with access to the case. Maybe Chris doesn’t have a lawyer friend in NY who will provide this professional courtesy.

                      You are right, I brought this up and Chris took the bait by replaying his standard anti-Kondratick tactics and reposting the original criminal complaint. He showed his malice then and he has done little to do himself credit by disappearing once, and I would only presume here, that he knows that the criminal case against Kondratick Jr. indeed is gone but he just can’t bring himself to admit it. I will stand corrected by him if I make an incorrect assumption.

                      I have nothing further to add to what for me is a very happy situation that those who wished to jump on the bones of the Kondratick family by making hay will just have to find someone else to vent their spline on.

                      I wish you a good day.

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    • Is there any way in the world that we can get through a single thread on this blog–even one–without mentioning Father Kondratick?

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      • Monk James says:

        asdf says (May 10, 2012 at 3:18 pm):

        ‘Is there any way in the world that we can get through a single thread on this blog–even one–without mentioning Father Kondratick?’
        ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

        My guess is NO, since it was the scapegoating and rairoading of Fr Robert Kondratick which started this whole ball of calamities rolling. That momentum will cease only by reinstating him as a priest of the OCA, with appropriate apologies — especially from the bishops.

        Met Herman’s financial foolishness and fiduciary irresponsibility and Met. Theodosius’s mostly silly and yet truly sad use of the money entrusted to him are only side shows flanking the main attraction, which has always been the OCA’s mistreatment of FrRK.

        When that’s fixed, everything else will fall into place. But the bishops, especially, are just going to have to swallow their pride and admit their sin.

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      • Bishop Tikhon (Fitzgerald) says:

        Why, yes, asdf, there is! Just devote yourself to seeing that the Holy Synod of the OCA would be held responsible for the decisions of the ad hoc “court” created to depose Protopresbyter Rodion S. Kondratick which deprived him of his living, his priesthood, and his good name and to persuading the Holy Synod of today to take another look at what the Synod had done in his case and reverse the unconscionable actions of the presiding hierarch and prosecutor. If you succeed, then we will stop using Protopresbyter Rodion S. Kondratick’s case as a most obvious and ready-to-hand exemplification of the results of a lack of intelligence, courage, and character in a hierarchy.

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  17. Since there appear to be seveal “Alexanders” floating around, I’m changing my name to “Sasha” to avoid confusion. For those still confused, I’m the one with the “read more” link that goes to a forum called “The Orthodox Christian Way.”

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  18. Bishop Tikhon (Fitzgerald) says:

    Coming back to the subject of this thread, I’d like to state categorically that brains are more important than courage in any leader; moreover, courage without brains is the cause of disasters great and small. I’m not disparaging courage, just expressing dissatisfaction with an essay by a priest that has no real substance, but has been found most pleasurable by several people participating in Monomakhos.
    Personally, I perceive no particular amount of either courage or brains in the actions of the Bishop of Peoria, and no actions or words of his seem either particularly intelligent or courageous, especially now that I and others have been so generously informed of the many other Roman Catholic leaders, authoritarian and powerful leaders, even higher up in the hierarchy over the Bishop’s head, whom he is pleasing. It takes no courage to please one’s boss. While I am totally against abortion, since the canons equate it with murder, I would say that any Roman Catholic bishop who defied the RC leadership and flamboyantly supported the President of the United States in everything, including an insurance program, would be courageous. Now, would he be intelligent? Would he be virtuous? Different questions. As for Bishop Jenky….how does that old song go……”I don’t want him; you can have him, he’s too…”

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    • Fr. Hans Jacobse says:

      This focus on courage and leadership avoids completely the thrust of Fr. Preble’s essay that the egregious overreach by the Obama administration is a threat to religious liberty.

      It’s like arguing over the color of the carpet when termites are gnawing at the foundation.

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      • Carl Kraeff says:

        Thank you.

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        • Bishop Tikhon (Fitzgerald) says:

          To repeat: Father Hans, who is responsible for giving the title “Courage and Leadership” (and thus focusing on courage and leadership) to Reverend Preble’s essay?
          Father Hans, who decided to devote the first two paragraphs (as premise) of Reverend Preble’s essay to a theory about courage and its relation to leadership?

          Are you accusing Reverend Preble of arguing over a carpet while termites eat the floor?

          Is addressing the premises of a hypothesis or theory foreign to your discourses?

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    • Patrick Henry Reardon says:

      Bishop Tikhon comments on Bishop Jenky:

      “As for Bishop Jenky….how does that old song go……”I don’t want him; you can have him, he’s too…”

      Probably it is best simply to note the sentiments of this comment, without drawing attention to their moral quality.

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      • Monk James says:

        Patrick Henry Reardon says (May 11, 2012 at 2:03 pm):

        ‘Bishop Tikhon comments on Bishop Jenky:

        “As for Bishop Jenky….how does that old song go……”I don’t want him; you can have him, he’s too…”

        Probably it is best simply to note the sentiments of this comment, without drawing attention to their moral quality.’

        Indeed.

        I mostly agree with Bp, Tikhon’s observations on matters discussed here, yet I’d like to point out a cultural curve which I see with increasing frequency.

        In our currently diseased ‘politically correct’ social discourse, I’ve noticed that there are three categpries of people who may be mocked while still being PC: catholics (especially the roman pope), heterosexual men (portrayed as buffoons in sitcoms and commercials on TV), and fat people.

        I THINK (can’t prove it) that some people’s opposition to Met. Jonah at every turn is based on the fact that he’s a fat man and — for that — shouldn’t be taken seriously.

        This is wrong, and if it’s a factor in people’s criticism of him — as I realistically suspect it is — it must stop.

        MetJ is not a fool, and we must take him seriously.

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        • Fr. Patrick, I believe you are correct in your suspicions about Met. Jonah’s opponents attacking him about his weight. I personally know that some of his associates have mocked him about this behind his back. Shame on them.

          Being overweight does not make him a bad person, as if he gained weight because he stole extra food from starving orphans. From what I know, he’s simply been on the heavy side for most of his life, and having a very stressful line of work probably doesn’t help things.

          And it’s not like Metropolitan Jonah is the first Orthodox bishop to be overweight. Two of the other OCA bishops have had bariatric surgery for their own weight problems. A certain GOA bishop doesn’t resemble Santa Claus just because of his white hair and beard. If being overweight is such a catastrophic character flaw, where are all the jeers and condemnations for them?

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          • Bishop Tikhon (Fitzgerald) says:

            Helga’s quite right in listing other fat hierarchs besides the Bishop of Peoria, Metropolitan Jonah, etc. I myself have become DISGUSTINGLY AND REPULSIVELY obese, just as disgustingly and repulsively obese as Metropolitan Jonah, Bishop Benjamin, Bishop Tikhon the younger, and so on. This shows, of course, that we are Americans, although Russian hierarchs seem to be catching up. Bishop Mercurius who was a tremendous fatty, has got even more so upon returning to the Motherland. And, yes, it shows stress combined with flouting of the ascetic ideal or even the lowest ascetic standard.
            I’m not demanding in the name of justice that every fatty hierarch be jeered or condemned just because the fatness of one or two has been remarked, however. I do feel that Bishop Nikolai’s reference to Bishop Benjamin’s failure to control his appetite(s) as evidenced by his ballooning up even after stomach surgery and apparently compulsive drinking and porno-laden hard drive. Those who keep becomingly silent about our faults that CAN be corrected are not putting our welfare in first place.
            Well, the OCA Synod has appointed their newest member, Bishop Alexander (Golitzin) to be in charge of External Afffairs, and they’ve decided that all bishops automatically become Archbishops after five years, and not only Archbishops but given the award of a cross on their klobuks automatically as well.
            Now they’re all (except for a couple “newbies”) right up there with Archbishops Seraphim and Lazar!
            My, it’s often been remarked that the smaller, more insignificant and even irregular a community calling tiself Orthodox is, the more fabulously elaborate its official title and those of its hierarchs.are.
            And all the Diogeneses and so on that participate enthusiastically on “The Orthodox Forum” are now busy expostulating and clucking over the latest directions coming from the Bishop of Chicago and the Midwest. Doors! Curtains! Inaudible prayers! Poo-poohing of “programs!” Time for a snack, including a another cup of freshly ground Uzuri with heavy whipping cream.
            Yes, Helga, please call me “on the heavy side”, too, rather than fat, obese, plump, portly or gargantuan.

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            • Heracleides says:

              “I’m not demanding in the name of justice that every fatty hierarch be jeered or condemned just because the fatness of one or two has been remarked, however. I do feel that Bishop Nikolai’s reference to Bishop Benjamin’s failure to control his appetite(s) as evidenced by his ballooning up even after stomach surgery and apparently compulsive drinking and porno-laden hard drive.”

              Given Nikolai’s skeletal gauntness, can we therefore assume that his appetite(s) are also to blame for his physical condition? Heroin and/or Methamphetamine addiction certainly lead to such ‘disgusting and repulsive’ – nay – GROTESQUE emaciation. Let the jeering begin!

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            • Jane Rachel says:

              Bishop Tikhon wrote, “Those who keep becomingly silent about our faults that CAN be corrected are not putting our welfare in first place.”

              It’s the truth. What makes it so very true is the word “becomingly.” This is also the reason many will pooh-pooh that comment (and this one) and discredit the bishop and criticize the bishop’s morality, ever so becomingly, or not so becomingly, depending on the person, without giving it a second thought.

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              • Heracleides says:

                Jane-Rachel,

                Pay heed to the words below of your mentally-ill hero. For your sake (especially given your age), I certainly hope that you’re not even the slightest bit overweight, otherwise the daft Bishop will soon have you within his sights. As for ‘discrediting the bishop and criticizing the bishop’s morality’ – that’s hardly necessary, as he accomplishes both quite well all on his own with minimal poking… er, prompting.

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                • Bishop Tikhon (Fitzgerald) says:

                  Heracleides’s expression above, “that’s hardly necessary,” is as accurate as it gets. Did I not write, “I myself have become DISGUSTINGLY AND REPULSIVELY obese, just as disgustingly and repulsively obese as Metropolitan Jonah, Bishop Benjamin, Bishop Tikhon the younger, and so on”?
                  I suppose I am mentally ill (sans hyphen) and daft, too redundantly.. But I’m not sure how relating that is a revelation or helpful.
                  I’d like to think my recently acquired fattiness is due to some mysterious new ‘disease” as those incredibly intelligent media people have it, but (no doubt because I’m not only mentally ill (sans hyphen) and daft, but also immoral (cf Helga’s remarks in that vein), I have the idea that most people who have recently joined the fat brigades have done so through siting before a computer monitor and/or tv all hours of the day and night.
                  Helga would be doing Metropolitan Jonah a good deed if she would send him a recommendation for a fat clinic rather than moralizing on Monomakhos about noticing his fat. Perhaps its some kind of helplessness connected with “obesity depression” that causes him to submit meekly his official itinerary to be APPROVED by the Holy Synod in advance, thus setting him up for a reproof, remonstrance if he should reply to an invitation not foreseen.
                  I remember the joy with which the Holy Synod in the “bad old days” awarded Archbishop Dmitri, after long service, the privilege of attaching a cross of brilliants to the front of his klobuk: long a way of recognizing the achievements of a hierarch who already had received all possible distinctions. Now, Metropolitan Jonah and the rest of them have not only made All diocesan bishops who’ve served five (5) years into Archbishops, but one may go to the OCA official website and see that all those new Archbishops were concomitantly awarded (or photoshopped) crosses on their klobuks! Now, that’s what we call leadership, no?

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                • Jane Rachel says:

                  The only “hero” I can ever remember “having” – or the first person who comes to mind when I think of the word hero in connection with a person – is John Glenn. I was seven years old in February, 1962, when John Glenn orbited the earth for the first time, imagine!. The teacher said to us, “He is a hero!” I had never thought about what a real “hero” was before. At the same time I was watching the tv cartoon “The Mighty Hercules.“. The theme song goes,

                  “Hercules, hero of song and story!
                  Hercules, winner of ancient glory!
                  Fighting for the right, fighting with his might;
                  With the strength of ten, ordinary men!
                  Hercules, people are safe when near him!
                  Hercules, only the evil fear him!
                  Softness in his eyes, iron in his thighs;
                  Virtue in his heart, fire in every part of
                  The Mighty Hercules!”

                  John Glenn turned myth into reality for this little wide-eyed second-grader.

                  (Herc, predictably, you’ll get smart-alecky about this, and I don’t know how smart you really are, but I’ve learned over the past few months that you think you are being smarter than you are actually being.)

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                  • Heracleides says:

                    Not really smart at all Jane-Rachel; I simply won’t call you a “fatso,” “fattie,” or some such to cover that deficit.

                    Not sure what your “Hercules” bit was about (i.e. why I would get snarky about it). Certainly has nothing to do with me or my pseudonym, which is drawn from the Acts of Barnabas, not Greek mythology. No matter.

                    I now return you to the daft Bishop from whose dry well you draw deep insight (“truth”). Consider yourself soundly ‘pooh-pooh’ed. :P

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                    • Jane Rachel says:

                      Haha! Okay, I give up. Here’s what. If I were the bishop in question (the “courageous” other one, not the “icky” one, the one who is a much-praised hero of millions now that he’s stood up to the evil, evil, evil, evil government… what’s his name again?) or any spiritual leader of people for that matter, and if I had a hugely obvious physical problem of my own doing that just looks like, what’s he up to, why does he eat so much and have all those chins, like for example, he is (or both of them are, apparently, fat), being excessively overweight (wait! is that the only physical problem of our own doing? Okay, let’s be fair to fat people. Let’s say I had had too many facelifts), and I published something I knew millions would read (I haven’t had time to read it, meself, too busy), and I was, in my lifestyle, really, a “fat cat-type,” meaning, getting all my needs over-met, say, like, um… living too well for my own good, and then I got to get my little self even more fed by all the praise of the mob, who glob every kind of praise on me (never good for the human soul), even calling me courageous (!) (what’s the worst that could happen to him? Somebody might call him “fatso” online?), all that praise, plus my over-eating would be a danger to my well-being, physically and spiritually.

                      Then, if someone comes into the midst of the mob and counters all the hoo-hah being raised about that “courageous” “fat-cat” -type spiritual leader of millions who is being called heroic but really didn’t do anything at all compared to John Glenn, and that someone called me “Fatso” (which is true) or “Stretchy-Face!” and I read it, or the mob read it, instead of being offending, it should give pause in the midst of all the hoo-hah.

                      So now this courageous bishop (not the “icky” one) is being made into a Saint by the mob already! What happened to good ‘ol St. Herman of Alaska, St. Ignatius, or St. Xenia, or St. Mary of Egypt, for example? Why don’t we heap praise on them, look at their lives, their politics, their courage, their quietness? That’s what I’m saying.

                      What a bunch of malarky.

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                    • Jane Rachel says:

                      Heracleides, I took issue with your use of the word “hero” in your earlier post to me but couldn’t think of how to word it (I’m not good with words) until I realized that John Glenn is the first person who made me understand what the word “hero” really means, and what it means to act with courage. We Americans are losing our understanding of what “heroic,” “courageous,” and “brave” leaders are. I remembered the cartoon “The Mighty Hercules” in connection with John Glenn because they both did heroic deeds requiring real courage (it had nothing to do with your pseudo-name). One was real and one was mythical, but what John Glenn did was mythical in its scope. Real leaders. Real courage. Real integrity. Even the silly song points out characteristics of good leaders.

                      Truly courageous leaders actually go out and lead. They DO things to help people. They don’t sit in front of a computer in a happy armchair writing articles.

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                  • Anna Rowe says:

                    JR, if I may add to your May 14, 2012 at 7:12 am post that truly courageous leaders actually go out and lead……they also inspire, guide, and walk the talk. Afterall, you have to give people a reason to follow you!

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            • Your Grace, a man is defiled not by what goes into his mouth but by what comes out of it.

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              • Bishop Tikhon (Fitzgerald) says:

                Heracleides, poking fun at fatties is one thing. Blaming a man who has been battling cancer for a very long time for being as thin as he’s always been is beneath contempt.
                It means you are a man of ill will, and willing to descend to the lowest level in an effort to make a point. Yes, his last chemo was in, I believe, last November. As long as I have known him, about 20 some years, he has maintained a daily heavy physical workout. Daily. He kept it up even when nearly immobilized with the after-effects of his cancer therapies.
                He’s a man, Heracleides, but you can’t recognize such a quality. Go back to your amateur cartoons.
                Their idiom is that of those skewered in them.
                Bishop Nikolai, Heracleides Kept His Weight Up as well as his spirits in spite of cancer and the malice of “brother Bishops,” and others who know him no more than you do.
                As for Helga’s fixation on protecting fatsoes, I’m sorry she thinks that using a cancer patient for purposes of retaliatory sarcasm is excusable.
                She has one pet cause, defending Metropolitan Jonah in everything. I agree only that Metropolitan Jonah has been treated like a dog, and no one, not EVEN Metropolitan Jonah,deserves to be treated like a dog!

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              • Bishop Tikhon (Fitzgerald) says:

                Helga wrote:
                “Your Grace, a man is defiled not by what goes into his mouth but by what comes out of it.”
                Helga, you didn’t think that one up: it’s a quote from Scriptures, but you didn’t give credit to Scriptures.
                Many intelligent believers have commented in ways related to that quotation, and here’re a couple:
                C.S. Lewis, in his “Screwtape Letters” wrote: “She’s the sort of woman who lives for others—-you can always tell the others by their hunted expression.”
                Charlotte Bronte wrote: “Conventionality is not religion. Self-righteousness is not religion. To attack the first is not to assail the last. To pluck the mask from the face of the Pharisee is not to lift an impious hand to the Crown of Thorns.”
                And Dr. Johnson wrote: “Censure is willingly indulged because it always implies some superiority. Men please themselves with imaginings that they have made a deeper search, or wider survey, than others and detected faults which escape vulgar observations.”

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  19. Carl Kraeff says:

    You are wrong once again. For the record, here is the chronological evolution:

    May 8, 2012 at 4:56 pm. You first brought up Bob Kondratick, when you called on Chris retract his alleged slander against Jr. that was made at another time, another thread.

    Banescu says: May 8, 2012 at 5:21 pm. “Nikos” or whoever you are, if you can put forth the information that Bob Kondratick Jr. was found innocent of all the criminal charges that the SEC documented, then I would gladly acknowledge that I was wrong and I drew the wrong conclusion from the serious charges and case the SEC brought against him and the subsequent arrest with the other co-defendants.

    Nikos says: May 8, 2012 at 5:49 pm. “All criminal charges were dropped against Mr. Kondratick. Not so against the others named. I suppose you can look it up by following the links you used to discover the original charges. Then you can apologize and ask forgiveness. It is up to you to make amends do your own research since you don’t wish to take my word for it.

    Banescu says: May 8, 2012 at 6:07 pm. Gosh, why would anyone not “take the word” of an anonymous poster who launches into off-topic personal attacks, doesn’t bother to look up the definition of “slander”, and refuses to produce any documentation to back up one’s claim.

    FYI – Don’t forget to include the explanation(s) for this little tidbit from the SEC complaint:

    “In addition, Aronson, Kondratick, and Buonauoro used investor funds to pay over $3 million in personal expenses relating to their home mortgages, luxury cars, clothes, gambling trips to Las Vegas and other vacations, jewelry, and bills incurred at “GENTLEMEN’s CLUBS.”

    See Bullets 49 and 50 from the actual SEC complaint:
    http://sec.gov/litigation/complaints/2011/comp-pr2011-201.pdf

    Nikos says: May 8, 2012 at 6:53 pm. Cute, Mr. Leader. Still can’t bring yourself to admit that you were wrong. Nice touch reprinting the allegations all of which have been dropped.

    Carl Kraeff says: May 9, 2012 at 7:28 am. Now, I am confused. His Grace, Nikos, Monk James et al, are saying that Chris Banescu’s presentation is wrong. So, we have an SEC complaint that all can read, which is dated a few months ago, and everybody is intimating that Bob Kondratick is innocent of all charges. I am surprised that a court case of such magnitude and complexity is brought to a conclusion in just seven months. I am also surprised that the counter-argument which is made with such conviction and vigor has not included a document. The court’s decision that cleared Bob Kondratick would be such a document.

    Nikos says: May 9, 2012 at 7:39 am. The case never went to the court. The Feds dropped all charges against Bob Kondratick.

    Carl Kraeff says: May 9, 2012 at 5:38 pm. That is good to hear. However, we still have “document vs. the testimony/opinion of an anonymous poster” (no offense, just calling it as it is IMHO). Has anyone seen the amended SEC complaint or even has a reference to an official announcement?

    Nikos says: May 10, 2012 at 8:12 am. Isn’t it interesting that Chris, who is a lawyer, is just waiting for evidence to come to him? He finds it unnecessary to do any work on his own to confirm that the Feds dropped their case against Kondratick Jr. Thus he continues to judge Kondratick Jr by reposting the Feds original accusations.

    Carl Kraeff says: May 10, 2012 at 10:12 am. Mr Banescu put something on the table. Everybody else is just blowing hot air as far as I am concerned. You counter document with document, not verbiage. Let me ask y’all a question: is any of Mr Banescu’s detractors not able to obtain the amended SEC complaint? It is not up to him to do so but up to those who claim that the SEC complaint does no longer reflect the charges against Bob Jr. Let me ask another question: is any of Mr Banescu’s detractors not able to cite a news release by the SEC or even a news report that will back up the claim that the SEC charges were dismissed?

    Nikos says: May 10, 2012 at 10:23 am. Carl, Why in the hell would I post what I posted if I didn’t know it was true?

    Fr John Bohush says: May 10, 2012 at 11:30 am. Please refer to the FBI press release at this link for the PermaPave indictments …

    http://www.fbi.gov/newyork/press-releases/2012/importers-charged-with-securities-fraud

    I believe that this is what the “Kondratick” argument above was referring to. Although there is no reference to Robert Kondratick, this is the case related to the SEC complaint.

    Alexander says IRT Nikos May 8 posting: May 10, 2012 at 11:47 am. The SEC’s civil action, Case No. 1:11 cv 7033, in the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York, appears to be ongoing against Kondratick. Judge Rakoff issued orders on March 7 and 12 governing the case schedule and discovery. I’d post .pdf’s of the orders, but am too technologically impaired to do so. It also appears that Kondratick is proceeding as his own attorney, appearing pro se, and actually signed one of these orders

    Nikos says IRT Fr. John: May 10, 2012 at 11:50 am. There is no reference to Mr. Kondratick Jr because all charges against him were dropped. Good enough for you Chris and Carl.

    Nikos says IRT Alexander: May 10, 2012 at 11:56 am. Alexander, that was old news. The April 5 announcement posted by Fr. John does not mention Kondratick Jr.

    Alexander says irt Nikos: May 10, 2012 at 1:07 pm. There appear to be two distinct matters related to Kondratick, Jr.

    The criminal indictment, Case No. 1:11 mj 0989, filed in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of New York was dismissed without prejudice on April 4. (Docket Document No. 55). This was a federal proceeding involving federal law. And a dismissal without prejudice is not an adjudication on the merits.

    It appears that the SEC civil matter, pending in the Southern District, Case No. 1:11 cv 7033, remains ongoing — unless something the document filed under seal in May changed that. It very well may have. Again, it appears, that as to the civil SEC matter, he remains a pro se litigant subject to a discovery and trial schedule in place.

    Carl Kraeff says IRT Nikos: May 10, 2012 at 1:05 pm. No, it does not prove that all charges have been dropped. The April 5th announcement said that “The criminal case has been assigned to United States District Judge Arthur D. Spatt.” I believe that the SEC Complaint was assigned to another judge. This one you can look up yourself,Nikos-whoever-you-are, if you would deign to do some work and back up your statements. I absolutely dislike your lazy, I know it all attitude, Nikos whoever-you-are and call on you to apologize to Mr Banescu, reveal your name, or produce the evidence that is called for.

    FrJohn Bohush says: May 10, 2012 at 1:19 pm. Sigh, refer to the following link for the CIVIL litigation …

    http://www.sec.gov/litigation/litreleases/2012/lr22231.htm

    My earlier post gave the link to the CRIMINAL litigation. Please deal with facts before these posts look like another bad SNL skit. There are two cases , civil and criminal.

    Looks like a 1-1 record here.

    Carl Kraeff says: May 10, 2012 at 2:12 pm. Right. That’s what I was trying to get across to Nikos. Besides, Alexander has posted the necessary links as well. This proves that Nikos is at best a fanatically pro-Kondratick person who does not care for the truth or is a mentally handicapped person who cannot tell the truth. Or, he may off his medications.

    Nikos says: May 10, 2012 at 3:15 pm. Carl, You are the lazy one and about as thick-headed as they come. The criminal complaint posted on April 5 does not include the name of Robert Kondratick Jr. It contains the names of the other three defendants. Can’t you read? Take the time to look at the original complaint linked by Chris with all his highlights. Who is named in the original complaint? Who is named in the April 5 posting? One name is missing? Why, because the government dropped the case against Kondratick. Am I going to fast for you?

    My conclusion from the above? Nikos, you are as full of (fill in the blank) as anybody I have encountered. I gave you multiple opportunities to back up your slander against Mr. Banescu. Fr John and Alexander helpfully provided the distinction that there are two separate cases. And, like a donkey you keep on braying that the feds dropped all charges against Kondratick Jr. Nobody can help you understand that the SEC is part of the federal government, just as the FBI and the Federal Prosecutor. You are stuck on stupid and everything you say, not just on this matter is now suspect.

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    • Carl, are there any CRIMINAL charges against Robert Kondratick Jr any longer which first caused your champion Chris to say ugly things about Kondratick Jr.? A simple yes or no will do.

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      • Carl Kraeff says:

        I do not recall when Mr Banescu first brought up Kondratick Jr. What I know is that (a) the SEC Complaint was in October and the criminal charges in the following April, and (b) on this thread, Chris Banescu consistently referred to the SEC Complaint.

        You may have been right in saying that criminal charges were “dropped” in the following sense: the Prosecutor had been considering such charges but decided not to when he first announced the criminal case in April. This may have happened for many reasons, not just because the prosecutor considered Jr to be innocent–a deal where Jr testifies against his former business associates comes to mind.

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        • Yes, I have talked about and referenced the SEC civil complaint. I only quoted references from the SEC complaint. I only linked to the SEC lawsuit and documentation. The key reference to “criminal charges” was in regards to the violations of SEC laws that the SEC case (a CIVIL case) talked about:

          The SEC’s complaint charges Aronson, Kondratick, Buonauro, the PermaPave Companies, and Interlink with violations of Section 17(a) of the Securities Act of 1933 and Section 10(b) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 and Rule 10b-5 thereunder, and charges Aaron with aiding and abetting the Section 10(b) and Rule 10b-5 violations. The complaint charges Interlink with violations of Section 13(a) of the Exchange Act and Rules 12b-20 and 13a-11 thereunder, and charges Aronson, Kondratick, and Aaron with aiding and abetting these violations. The complaint also asserts violations of Section 5(a) and 5(c) of the Securities Act as to Aronson, Buonauro, and the PermaPave Companies and violations of Section 15(a) of the Exchange Act as to Aronson and Buonauro.

          Carl, I suspect Nikos is a close friend of Kondratick & Co who is purposely and cowardly hiding his identity so he can freely continue his vendetta against anyone who at one time or another dared point out Kondratick’s abuse of power and influence while in the OCA. It seems I’m a big thorn in their side and along with Monk James and Bishop Tikhon they don’t miss any opportunity to come after me; even hijacking this thread to make it about my one phrase opinion “apple does not fall very far from the tree” based on publicly released information from the SEC regarding the SEC civil case.

          We’re wasting our time trying to reason and engage in substantive discussion with such characterless men. They are not interested in objective discussions, logical argumentation, and reality. It’s like trying to discuss anti-abortion or traditional marriage issues with Bill Maher, Dan Savage, or Frank Schaeffer. No argument, fact or documentation, not even the basic meaning of the English language matters (hence Nikos’ complete misuse of the term “slander” and Bishop Tikhon’s excessively emotive rants where he belittles and insults others, especially Fr. Peter and Fr. Hans).

          I’ve already wasted too much time due to the actually malicious diversion by “Nikos.” Need to step aside from these fruitless discussions and focus on my real work. Time for a rest from these forums…

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          • “Thus endeth the reading.” Chris has proclaimed all of this a malicious diversion, although it was his malicious diversion with his malicious comment about the fruit and the tree that started all of this. Now he shall leave us because he has more important things to do, thus leaving all of us to the “less” important things.

            We bow and kiss his ring as he leaves, without an apology. Farewell, dear Chris, farewell. Your last act confirms your first.

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    • Carl Kraeff says:

      Well my long post appeared anyway. Looking over this discussion, I have to ask Mr. Banescu and other legal minds on this blog the following:

      Isn’t the SEC’s case against Kondratick Jr. weakened by the latter’s omission from the criminal case?

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      • Alexander says:

        The exact meaning and impact of a “dismissal without prejudice” is nuanced and can vary from jurisdiction to jurisdiction and case by case. Law review articles and appellate court opinions wrestle with the contours and details.

        However, as a general, black letter principle, the law considers a “dismissal without prejudice” as the dismissal of the case without an adjudication of the merits. It leaves the parties as though the action or proceeding had never been filed — beyond the obvious headache and cost. And it leaves open the possibility that the case can be refiled, though subject to local common law, statutory or regulatory constaints, and other things like statutes of limitations. Sometimes criminal defendants who have been dismissed “without prejudice,” upon re-filing by the state or federal government, contend that the dismissal was actually “with prejudice,” the label of the original dismissal notwithstanding.

        There are any number of tactical reasons why a case may be “dismissed without prejudice,” especially on the civil side. It is hard to speculate why in any specific case. The prosecution in a criminal case may not have enough facts at the moment. Or, she may be holding the prospect of refiling as a hammer over a “dismissed defendant” to cooperate with the prosecution. On the civil side, a “rocket docket” discovery and trial schedule may prompt a busy plaintiff’s lawyer to buy time to get his case in order.

        A lawyer who specializes in SEC actions will have greater insights on how criminal culpability and guilt impact statutory liability under the applicable SEC rules, regulations, statutes and/or common law. But, the burdens of proof to demonstrate criminal culpabilty — “beyond a reasonable doubt” — are more stingent than proving civil liability — “by a preponderance of the evidence.” Simply stated, under identically proven facts, a criminal defendant may be found “not guilty,” but found affirmatively “liable” or “responsible” in a civil matter. (Think O.J. being “not guilty” of murder, but still having to pay the Goldman family millions.) It gets even more complicated when the civil action is really an administrative law proceeding. The applicable administrative code or rule may create different burdens of proof and standards for admissible “evidence” to demonstrate a statutory or regulatory violation.

        Litigators spend a lot of time briefing and arguing about the relevance and admissibility of criminal findings, testimony, and “evidence” in civil cases involving the same underlying events at issue in the civil case. The fact of a conviction — or acquittal — may or may not be admitted in a civil case. But a criminal conviction certainly impacts the perspectives and tactics of the plaintiff and defendants in the civil case. So too an acquittal.

        Broadly speaking, all of this is generally why civil plaintiffs usually wait to proceed until after the related criminal matters are complete.

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      • Carl,

        Alexander explained it very well. There’s nothing else I could add. Stepping aside for a while to focus on more important and meaningful work. Seems I had to pay the price for daring to defend a decent and courageous priest like Fr. Peter. His light and words are just too bright for some.

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  20. Bishop Tikhon (Fitzgerald) says:

    Father Hans, who is responsible for giving the title “Courage and Leadership” (and thus focusing on courage and leadership) to Reverend Preble’s essay?
    Father Hans, who decided to devote the first two paragraphs (as premise) of Reverend Preble’s essay to a theory about courage and its relation to leadership?

    Are you accusing Reverend Preble of arguing over a carpet while termites eat the floor?

    Is addressing the premises of a hypothesis or theory foreign to your discourses?

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    • Fr. Hans Jacobse says:

      Fr. Preble wrote it so I assume he chose the title. I assume he wrote the first two paragraphs too. After all, his name is on the article. I am sure he stands by it. Why not ask him?

      But the courage-leadership argument is a sideshow. I’m not interested in parsing it. The focus of the article is the encroachment of the Obama administration (federal government) into the moral teachings that define the policies of the Catholic Church. I, like the Catholic Bishops, see the conflict as an issue of religious liberty.

      Above you said:

      I think that the trouble the Catholic hierarchy has with “the HHS mandates” is its obvious catering to American Roman Catholic voters, rather than American Roman Catholic ecclesiastical potentates. Further, one of the foremost Roman Catholic universities in the world, Notre Dame seems to be closer to the Roman Catholic voter than the hierarchy is.

      In other words, the HHS mandates threaten the rule of the RC hierarchy over individual consciences.

      Let’s try to avoid pedantry. Do you see the conflict solely as a clash between competing power blocs? Are there no other principles at stake?

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  21. Daniel E. Fall says:

    Wow, this thread really went off topic. For my comment on all the RSK chatter…no matter what right or wrongs were done related to removing him from the priesthood; one thing is certain. The position of those that believe he will be returned to the priesthood is an absurd one. There are political realities and one political reality is that RSK is not going to be returned to the priesthood without damaging reprecussions in the OCA. I know many of you cannot get oriented to the future in your comments; please refrain from the look back rhetoric.

    As to the topic at hand; the fellow is wrong. If the Catholic church wants to stay out of the business of providing health care for employees; then it ought not offer it. If they want to cherry pick an insurance policy so it fits church doctrine; then the government ought to step in, and tell them no. I’ll never forget the atheist that was also anti-doctor who didn’t want his kid to go get help for a broken leg until the kid nearly died from some infection. The employer has no business making health care decisions of the employees because some wacky religion or employer can always get a wierd idea about a medical procedure. I get a super kick out of Republicans that don’t want the government making health care decisions of citizens, but expect its okay if your boss does. The principle at stake is whether or not your boss can make health care decisions for you. Just think of the implications if you needed cancer treatment and it was going to cost 2 million dollars and impact your group’s insurance cost by 20% the next year and your boss could say NO to it.. The political reasons are simple; Obama is kicking the pants off the Republicans with women voters…and Republicans grossly miscalculated the political manuevering.

    As to the topic of gay marriage. The government has no business in any marriage whatsoever. The only business the government ought to have is making sure married people and unmarried people are treated equally. If the church of Festivus wants to marry gays; I couldn’t care less. Eventually; the US will recognize the notion of states rights was only a way to avoid the reality that marriage as an institution is inherently discriminatory and must not be blessed by the government. If any of you suggest the government blessing marriage is okay, well, I guess I’ll consider you pro-government (any takers that want to explain why government ought to be involved?). Obama is wrong; Romney is wrong. It should be a complete non-issue. If you want someone to visit you in the hospital; make a list. If you want legal privileges in a partnership; document them. There is no reason for the government to be involved; none. (Personally I think this is Obama’s position, but he won’t take it because too many married people would get all uppity about it. I’m disappointed he didn’t take this position publicly as well. I think he wimped out and I think both candidates are pandering.)

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    • Monk James says:

      ‘The government has no business in any marriage whatsoever.’

      Daniel Fall is greatly mistaken here, as can be easily shown by the scriptures, where St Paul clearly accepts people in their marriages under civil law.

      In addition, we must recall that there was no christian rite of matrimony for the first thousand years or so of church history. It was only in the power vacuum which ensued the gradual collapse of roman legal structures that christian bishops began to assume the reponsibilities of civil magistrates, including the registration of marriages.

      Prior to that time, Christians relied solely on the state for the institution and dissolution of marriage and were registered as married for the orderly management of inheritance protocols and taxation.

      In our own time, there’s a bit of overlap, but no priest (at oleast in the US) would dare officiate at a marriage without a civil license — at the same time as no priest can be forced to officiate no matter who grants such a license, whether to homosexual or heterosexual couples.

      And it’s the specter of just such a scenario which alarms american RC bishops (and should greatly alarm us and our bishops, too), if RC institutions are required by civil law to provide contraception in any form, since all contraceptive drugs and devices (such as IUDs) are abortifacients insofar as they prevent nidation (implantation) of an embryo in its mother’s womb.

      Such early-stage abortions are no more and no less murder than a partial-birth abortion at the latest stages of pregnancy, and as such are contrary to the moral tradition which we share with the RC bishops and their faithful people. For this, we should make common cause with them and oppose such governmental co-option of our american constitutional right to freedom of conscience no matter what anyone or any government might do if they don’t share with us the moral vision of the authentically orthodox catholic christian tradition.

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      • Monk James says:

        I should have mentioned that there really must be some sort of insurance coverage for mothers who must choose abortion over their own death. This is complicated, but I suppose that’s why God made lawyers and actuaries.

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    • Monk James says:

      Daniel E. Fall says (May 12, 2012 at 1:20 am):

      ‘Wow, this thread really went off topic. For my comment on all the RSK chatter…no matter what right or wrongs were done related to removing him from the priesthood; one thing is certain. The position of those that believe he will be returned to the priesthood is an absurd one. There are political realities and one political reality is that RSK is not going to be returned to the priesthood without damaging reprecussions in the OCA. I know many of you cannot get oriented to the future in your comments; please refrain from the look back rhetoric….’

      ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

      I understand most of this paragraph.

      It needs to be said that wrongs must be righted. Our Lord Jesus Christ Himself says that we will be judged by exactly the same standards as we use to judge others.

      Fr Robert Kondratick was judged by a shamefully contrived process and unjustly deprived of his priesthood. We Christians are called to be better than that, and the bishops — especially Herman, Nathaniel, and Benjamin (and also those who either support them or were too fearful to oppose them) — must man up and admit their sin.

      Politics has no place in the life of The Church, which is The Body of Christ.

      Our OCA will not even begin to be healed unless and until FrRK is reinstated as a pries. The scriptures are full of just such examples of divine displeasure at human injustice, and the Great Kanon of St Andrew of Crete is a good place to start for inspiration.

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    • Gail Sheppard says:

      You’re talking about “healthcare decisions” that negatively impact health. Choosing not to offer benefits for contraception has nothing what so ever to do with “health,” unless you’re arguing that it’s adverse to one’s health to have a baby. – The decision to offer contraception is about giving an employee the “choice” to terminate a pregnancy should one occur. I don’t think the Church should be forced to offer a “choice” that conflicts with religious doctrine.

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      • Bishop Tikhon (Fitzgerald) says:

        Contraception is not abortion nor the termination of pregnancy. It is the prevention of pregnancy, Gail.

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        • G. Sheppard says:

          All forms of contraception covered by insurance can terminate a pregnancy. Even “the pill” can be an abortifacient, because it thins out the lining of the uterus. I assumed, perhaps wrongly, that this is why the Catholic Church objected to such methods of birth control and stressed NFP, a method which does NOT have the potential to cause abortion.

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          • The Catholic Church forbids all forms of contraception except NFP. Abortifacient methods, like the Pill, just earn a particular ire because they kill children.

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        • Monk James says:

          Bishop Tikhon (Fitzgerald) says (May 13, 2012 at 12:13 am):

          ‘Contraception is not abortion nor the termination of pregnancy. It is the prevention of pregnancy….’
          ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

          By definition, contraception = abortion since it prevents the nidation (implantation) of an already complete embryo, causing the womb to be inhospitable and thereby expelling (and killing) that incipient human being.

          This is just as true of drugs as it is of devices such as IUDs.

          The only way to avoid pregnancy without the possibility of committing murder is to prevent fertilization. Apart from abstinence, this may be accomplished by preventing ovulation — a hormonal treatment which often creates problems of its own — or some sort of barrier method.

          As always, medical and spiritual authorities should be consulted before a couple decide to avoid having children.

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      • Logan46 says:

        When the Church is acting in the capacity of “the church” is one thing, but the church acting in the capacity as “employer” is not quite the same thing.

        Contraception is now abortion? How far does this line of thinking go? An expectant mother smokes, or drinks alcohol, or engages in any other potentially injurious behavior and a miscarriage occurs–would this not be an abortion (as long as it is infinitesimally mathematically possible that such behavior contributed to it)?

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        • Michael Bauman says:

          Actually, Logan46, in some jurisdictions a mother who smokes or drinks during pregancny can be charged with a crime (some variation on endagering the welfare of a child), but if she actively aborts the child…no big deal.

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  22. Patrick Henry Reardon says:

    Daniel Fall declares, “The government has no business in any marriage whatsoever.”

    No government in history–including contemporary history—would agree with this declaration.

    Indeed, J. J. Rousseau is arguably the only political philosopher in history to espouse such a view.

    Unlike Mr Fall, Rousseau attempted to give some rational explanation of his view on the matter.

    Perhaps Mr Fall would grace us with some explanation, since his view of the matter flies in the face of universal human experience and reflection.

    I have no idea if Mr Fall is married, but I wonder if his conscience permitted him to solicit a marriage license from the government.

    I have no information about property that might be in Mr Fall’s ownership, but his declaration that “government has no business in any marriage whatsoever” prompts reasonable inquiry about his views on inheritance laws,

    That is to say, does Mr Fall really believe what he declares?

    .

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    • Geo Michalopulos says:

      Fr Patrick, thank you for positing the unintended consequences of moral posturing. Ultimately, I guess the reason I can’t be a Liberal/Progressive is because I believe in the fallenness of man. In other words, if there’s a way we could screw up a good intention, we’ll find it.

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    • Logan46 says:

      George, interesting reason for being conservative/reactionary–we are so fallen, we should just give up and not even try?

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      • Michael Bauman says:

        Logan46, not exactly what George was sayhing. The Liberal/Progressive ideology is primaryily based on the false notion of the perfectability of man and the myth of linear progress and the confusion of equality and egalitariansim.

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    • Daniel E. Fall says:

      I am married and have 3 kids.

      Although I find marriage as a government blessed activity to be necessary; that doesn’t mean I agree with it.

      My rationale is simple. There is no reason for government to treat people any differently than a general partnership. And marriage should never result in discrimination in either direction.

      A veteran of the US military should not be required to add his wife’s income to a wherewithall application, for example. The wherewithall application makes receiving VA benefits welfare. For another example, any private company ought not discriminate against promoting an employee due to his or her marital status either.

      If marriage were strictly a religious activity, there would be no civil rights issue with gay marriage. The church of Festive Lights could marry gays, and the Orthodox Church could marry men and women.

      I give you guys and the gays the best solution to the problem and you wholeheartedly reject it; believing we’ll end up with a gay marriage ban in the US. This is an invalid dream and eventually, all the state bans will be overturned because they are clearly discriminatory.

      The government people like judges and ship captains and the like could all decide who they were willing to marry and as long as it wasn’t forced down their proverbial throats; things would be fine because noone would care if two gay womena wanted to get married.

      What we have now is an issue we’ll all end up hearing about until we are gone.

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  23. Fr. Philip Vreeland says:

    There are those who maintain that health insurance provided by an employer is part of an employee’s pay package and it is therefore at the employee’s discretion as to how that pay is to be spent. If this be the case, could not the employees of Catholic institutions be allowed to spend the health insurance part of their pay as they may personally and individually choose? Just a question.

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    • Michael Bauman says:

      Fr. Philip, short answer is no. There has to be a comprehensive health plan either a plan that is self-insured (partially or fully) or a plan that is fully insured. Such plans have to meet certain requirements under ERISA and other federal and state laws in order to qualify for the tax breaks they are given.

      The Flexible spending accounts that allowed employees to set aside money from their pay to offset medical expenditures used to have an unlimited ceiling on a use-it-in-a-year-or-loose-it basis. The Obama administration changed the rule to limit the the contributions to FSA’s to $2500. Another way of forcing the single-payor system he and his cronies want, i.e, all healthcare under the control and direction of the federal government.

      Qualified Health Savings Accounts (HSAs) can only be opened once a person is insured under a qualified High Deductible Health Plan (HDHP).

      The way the federal governement controls all this stuff is through the tax code. That is Obama’s principal agurment for the Constitutionality of the abominationcare plan. Its just a tax. In a sense they are correct as it is the forced extraction of resources from the private sector to the public. And there is more about taxes in the bill than about health care.

      If everybody were on private pay, the cost of health care would drop perciptously. The problem with health insurance of any kind is that it is guaranteed to drive up costs simply because it is other people’s money.

      However, the statists don’t want people to be able to pick and choose, they know better and their thrist for power simply will not allow for such freedom. That is what the Orwellian named PCAA is all about, extracting resources, concentrating power and limiting actual freedom.

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    • Geo Michalopulos says:

      Fr Philip, you bring up an interesting point. Being in the healthcare field, I’ve always wanted a market-based system that allows flexibility and true choice. Although I am philosophically opposed to gov’t healthcare, I must admit that Medicare Part D did allow for market-based alternatives and portability for seniors for drugs. Previous to that time, seniors were locked into a one-size-fits-all plan for drugs.

      Your larger point deserves exploration and could be a way out of the morass of having a health plan that pays for abortion but even if the Supreme Court overturns Obamacare, the ground has shifted too far to the Left to ever see true market-based reforms that take into account the consciences of the religious.

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    • Gail Sheppard says:

      Father, as with compensation, the employee does not decide what benefit package the employer will offer; only whether or not he or she will accept it.

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      • Fr. Philip Vreeland says:

        Thanks to you, to Michael Bauman, and to George, for your thoughtful answers to my question.

        I’m wondering if an employee–even if the healthcare package offered by the employer contains provisions the employee finds unconscionable–cannot refuse to use those parts of the package he/she finds unacceptable. In other words, just because the policy provides for abortions, does that mean the employee has to have an abortion? Cannot the employee follow his/her conscience and refuse to use that part of the package? As I recall, the current pope of Rome is quoted extensively as having written years ago that the individual’s conscience is supreme in matters of moral choices.

        It’s like providing tax dollars for a war of aggression; my conscience tells me I must not support such a war, yet my tax dollars are used to fund it. What are my choices? Pay the tax and say, “There’s nothing I can do about it”? Or do what a Catholic archbishop of Seattle did years ago (during the Vietnam War): withhold that amount of the tax liability which would go to the war effort–20% if memory serves correctly?

        Another example: If my conscience tells me that employing the death penalty is unconscionable, what are my choices? Pay my state taxes and say, “There’s nothing I can do about it”? Or withhold that amount of my state tax liability that would cover the costs of executing a death row inmate? Or support those state legislators who consistently fight against the death penalty? Write letters to the editor denouncing the act?

        Again, just asking.

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        • Fr. Philip,

          Cannot the employee follow his/her conscience and refuse to use that part of the package?

          Absolutely. Having dental coverage, for example, does not require me to go for my semi-annual cleanings.

          It’s like providing tax dollars for a war of aggression; my conscience tells me I must not support such a war, yet my tax dollars are used to fund it.

          This is where the administration made a cowardly and huge strategic blunder in terms of accomplishing their goal. This is is not a tax; it is a mandate to purchase a product. If they had simply made it a tax (but they didn’t, knowing it would be rejected), there would be no grounds for the Supreme Court case currently pending because the Federal government clearly has the constitutional authority to levy taxes.

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        • Michael Bauman says:

          Fr. Philip, individual employees may not use madated coverage of course, but they still pay for it and the employer still pays for it whether it is used or not. That is not the issue. The issue is the federal governement exceeding the limits of their power.

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          • Logan46 says:

            The issue is whether or not the federal government is exceeding the limits of their power. I know many of us are constitutional experts, but we’ll have to defer to SCOTUS for the definitive answer.

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            • Michael Bauman says:

              The Supreme Court is not the only or last resort in determining the Constitutionality of laws. If that were so the fugitive slave laws would still be the law of the land.

              Each of the three branches is enabled to act on their own with regard to determining Constitutionality, so are the states and finally the people. To cede sole and final authority to any one branch of a central government is part of the problem.

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            • Logan, SCOTUS has reversed itself in the past. Often the Executive branch reversed or nullified Supreme Court decisions. Like when Andrew Jackson ordered the expulsion of the Five Civilized Tribes against the wishes of the Court which ruled in their favor. Likewise, Dred Scot vs Sanford was overturned by the Union Army which enforced the Thirteenth Amendment.

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            • Isa Almisry says:

              No, we will not. Take for instance abortion: Roe v. Wade has been significantly eviscerated (though more work is to be done). Some day, Lord willing, it will be nullified, superceded or overturned.

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        • Michael Bauman says:

          If one refuses to pay taxes, jail time and crippling fines are the consequence. Most folks, especially those with families are not able or willing to make that kind of sacrifice. Thus money doth make cowards of us all.

          Under the abominationcare people are forced to buy coverage and fined if they do not. At present the fine is low enough that it is likely less expensive to pay the fine than buy the ‘health’ insurance.

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          • Fr. Philip Vreeland says:

            Correct me if I’m wrong, but did not the martyrs of the early church refuse to do homage to the pagan gods (somewhat like our contemporary god, money)? Were not these martyrs people of families–some of whom went with their parents to the arena–like our contemporary speakers of truth?

            In a former life I was paid as a professor in a diploma mill called a “state college.” I tried in vain to have administrators deal rightly with faculty and students. After five years of futility, I resigned. My little family at the time fared all right after I left academia and went to work as a printer. We were never hungry, paid our taxes, had health insurance, and lived with clear consciences. It can be done.

            If “money doth make cowards of us all,” do cowards really have an effective voice in trying to eradicate perceived evil? Do our families really admire us for refusing to speak truth to power just because we fear the loss of our paychecks?

            Again, just asking.

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            • Michael Bauman says:

              Father, you aska good question: Is paying taxes for things we don’t support from conscience the same as worshipping the pagan gods, including the emperor?

              I don’t know of any tax protests by either the original or the new marytrs in either the pagan empire or the Muslim states where taxation is an instrument of oppression. Given Jesus dictum to give unto Caeser the things that are Caesar’s it would seem that paying taxes is not the same as offering a pinch of incense to the emperor or otherwise recognizing divinity where divinity is not.

              It may come to some sort of tax protest. If it does it will be an action that only God can see not a tool of change. I suspect it is something that cannot be legislated either way nor should it divide us one from another. However, under current tax law, we can donate to the Church is sufficient amounts to largely offset any payments to the government.

              In any case, I think the Pope was right. The Church will become small and much of what we see now as the Church will no longer be there.

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              • Fr. Philip Vreeland says:

                Thank you, Michael, but I did not ask, “Is paying taxes for things we don’t support from conscience the same as worshipping the pagan gods, including the emperor?” I asked, “If ‘money doth make cowards of us all,’ [your words, Michael] do cowards really have an effective voice in trying to eradicate perceived evil? Do our families really admire us for refusing to speak truth to power just because we fear the loss of our paychecks?”

                The question is much larger than one of paying or not paying taxes. Withholding part of one’s taxes is only one possible form of loyal opposition to perceived injustice. Christ’s injunction to render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s pertains to legitimate taxation. If we conscientiously believe the taxes to be illegitimate or used illegitimately, we have the right–indeed the duty–to engage in civil disobedience and accept the consequences. “In any society which imprisons anyone unjustly, the only place for a just man is prison,” we’re told by H. D. Thoreau.

                The original theme of this thread was “courage.” I cannot see how cowards [again, your word, Michael] could be thought of as “courageous.”

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  24. Alice Carter says:

    I think a separate Orthodox blog for those of us who are in our 80s and up would be a wonderful venue. All of us can remember the Depression of the 30′s, the Stalinist purges of the 30′s, WW2 and silent movies, boot-leggers, and bread lines, which means we wouldn’t have to correct the mistakes of the younger generation. I rarely agree with anything posted here but always enjoy the historical corrections (usually done by B. Tikhon) I have nothing against younger folks, but find many of them unable to discuss much of anything in an enlightening manner. Especially here.

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  25. Alice Carter says:
    May 12, 2012 at 6:24 pm
    I think a separate Orthodox blog for those of us who are in our 80s and up would be a wonderful venue.

    I agree, 100%.

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    • Bishop Tikhon (Fitzgerald) says:

      Hear! Hear! God willing, I’ll pass the 80 mark myself next November. I’ll be glad to have a place to communicate with others who lived through the depression and WWII, the Korean Conflict and Viet Nam, who therefore know that Hitler was not a “leftie”, that the National Socialist German Workers Party (NDASP, or Nazi) was neither socialist nor a workers’ party, and that the Soviet State was an example of state capitalism, neither socialistic nor communist in its economic nature, and that the Free Republic of North Vietnam was not free, nor was the Democratic German Republic (“East Germany”) democratic, and so on. I remember a thinking and intelligent Republican Party, with its Tafts and Vandenbergs, Rockefellers, Wilkies, and so on….even Eisenhowers.
      As for today’s Democrats….they’re also somewhat degenerated, but not as badly as the Republicans. There was no Roosevelt around (only a Bush who calculated how it would further his purposes, like invading Iraq) to say immediately after 9/11 “The only thing we have to fear is fear itself.” Nossir. We had (and still do) leaders who, rather, preached fear: “Be afraid, be very afraid or you’ll lose all you’ve got!”

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  26. Bishop Tikhon (Fitzgerald) says:

    George, What happened to the access to previous comments of each participant? And why does the GD Star Rating remain on “Loading” forever?

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  27. Bishop Tikhon (Fitzgerald) says:

    Here’s a good one…what Chris B. would call a tidbit, I suppose.
    The companion of a bishop in his ‘Excellent Adventure in Las Vegas’ is being appointed to be the dean at Saint Nicholas Cathedral in Washington DC, the latest successor to Father Joseph Fester.

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