Let Your Yea Be Yea and Your Nay Be Nay

Sergey Khudiev

Some people say just what needs to be said. Here Sergey Khudiev takes on some of Fr. Robert Arida’s ideas in his essay “Response To Myself.” Note that Mr. Khudiev is from Russia which tells us that interest in this debate extends far beyond the USA. (I had 41 visits from Russia last month, 17 from Moscow, with 90% of them in the last week and a half. Obviously somebody is interested.)

I’m thankful for this. Suffering under the Soviets has burned away any intimidation by the politically correct crowd and they are not afraid to call nonsense by its name. HT: AOI Blog

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Source: Pavmir

By Sergey Khudiev

The article by Archpriest Robert Arida ‘Response To Myself is of interest, but not so much because it shows a certain approach, which is above all characteristic of contemporary liberal Protestantism. Convinced atheists, Muslims and Christians of various confessions have something in common – they all try to set out their views clearly and without ambiguity, so that any reader can clearly grasp what the writer believes and does not believe, what you agree with him about and what you do not agree with him about and what the arguments he puts forward are.

Liberal theologians are not like this. They have a particularity which entails a tendency to explain themselves with rhetorical questions, vague allusions and highly mysterious phrases from which you can with more or less justification guess at their positions, but are unable to explain clearly. This is very noticeable among liberal Protestants, very rare among Catholics and, until recently, simply did not exist among Orthodox. However, Orthodox do not live in a separate world and a certain influence of liberal Protestantism can creep into the Church.

We will not analyse the whole article, but let us concentrate instead on its concluding moment:

How is the Church going to minister to those same sex couples who being legally married come with their children and knock on the doors of our parishes seeking Christ. Do we ignore them? Do we, prima facie, turn them away? Do we, under the rubric of repentance, encourage them to divorce and dismantle their family? Or, do we offer them, as we offer anyone desiring Christ, pastoral care, love and a spiritual home?

Although the style, as mentioned, is characterized by rhetorical questions and leaves the position of the author unclear, he opposes the demand for ‘divorce and dismantlement of their family’ to ‘pastoral care, love and a spiritual home’.

So what? A situation where what is completely acceptable to secular society, but is seen by the Church as a sin is not unusual. An abortionist may be a respectable citizen, working in a perfectly legal occupation, paying his taxes on time, giving money to charity, a courteous and charming man. But how do we deal with the abortionist who comes and knocks on the parish door, seeking Christ? According to the rules of repentance, do we exhort him to abandon his previous occupation? Of course, we do! Pastoral care does not at all consist of testifying to the world that his actions are good.

How do we deal with someone who is involved in an unnatural cohabitation? Do we exhort him to abandon such a lifestyle? Since Apostolic times the Church has done exactly this:

Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God. And such were some of you: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God (I Cor. 6: 9-11).

‘Pastoral care’ is different from a session of psychotherapy or a friendly pat on the shoulder, in that a priest acts in the name of the Church of Christ, announcing Her Truth and forgiving sins by the power given him by Christ in the Church. Someone who openly breaks with Church Tradition in this matter can be anyone you want – a friend, a psychotherapist, a coach, but never a pastor.

It is exactly the same as a doctor who, not wishing to upset his alcoholic patients, reassures them ‘with love’ that they can accept his treatment and continue to drink. In fact, he cannot give them any real help and deserves to be called a quack, not a doctor.

There are questions which we cannot avoid and from which we cannot hide in a fog of rhetorical questions and vague allusions. Basically, there is the question of whether single-sex cohabitation is a sin which separates people from the Church, or not.

If we answer this question with a yes, as the Church has always answered it, then we must not hide this from those on the outside. We must witness to this with tact and love, but we should leave nothing unclear or ambiguous. If this is not a sin, then let us acknowledge the inescapable conclusion – that the Orthodox Church has been deluding people on a question which is vital for their salvation.

Still worse, to say that this is a sin before God (if God did actually have nothing against it) means that the Church has all this time been lying about God. Let us be consistent in our beliefs; if our demand for repentance and an end to cohabitation of a single-sex couple is wrong, then the Church – the Apostles, the Fathers, the Councils, anyone who has ever as much broached the subject – has been teaching an untruth. Such a viewpoint is possible and I think that any sincerely erring person would accept this.

But if he is sincere, then he will not start claiming ‘pastoral care’ from the Church. How can a community, which all this time has been teaching an untruth about God, be a source of spiritual guidance? The acknowledgement that in fact all this time we have been lying about God, that we have been deceiving you as regards what is indispensable for salvation, all this time we have been preaching such a monstrous injustice, refusing to recognize single-sex cohabitation as legitimate marriage, makes any claim to spiritual guidance sound completely ridiculous. If you have been lying for two long millennia and were going on to continue lying, if purely external pressure had not forced you to go away – then what spiritual guidance can we seek from you now? It is no coincidence that modernist communities are losing parishioners at breakneck speed, they have deprived themselves of any possible claim to be teaching the truth.

However, if the Church was right in everything all this time, and this is a matter on which all Christians, despite all their internal disagreements, have always agreed on, then we should not be afraid to tell the truth with love.

Nevertheless, we should address ourselves to one objection which is often encountered. This is that a homosexual ‘orientation’ is genetically determined and, as it would seem, this has been established by contemporary science, which Christians in earlier ages did not know about. Therefore, we must review our concepts according to new discoveries about the world and human nature.

There are three problems with this argument. First of all, if it were true and science could determine that there is nothing wrong with homosexual behavior, then this would not simply require an adjustment to the Church’s teaching, but the recognition that our faith in the Church in general is illogical. In such a case, for two thousand years, let us remember, the Church, which is guided by the Holy Spirit, as it is affirmed, has unanimously, and in councils, been teaching an untruth. If that is so, then it would be more honest to consign the Church to a museum than to adjust Her. Such things cannot be repaired.

However, and we note this as the second problem, this argument comes from a sort of substitution. The point is that just because certain behavior is, supposedly, genetically determined, that does not make it morally acceptable.

For example, imagine that a whole series of researchers suggests that a so-called anti-social personal disorder, in which someone demonstrates a stubborn inability to respect moral and legal social standards, is of a genetic nature. Does this mean that such behavior in people who suffer from this disorder is morally acceptable? No, even the hardiest supporters of ‘the genetic theory’ do not believe this. Even in the eighteenth century David Hume pointed out the insuperable difference between ‘being’ and ‘having to’. Science can establish certain facts about the world, but this does not, and in principle cannot, affect our values.

If science, for instance, establishes that ‘men are inclined to polygamy’, this does not mean that ‘being a polygamist is morally acceptable’. We determine the moral acceptability (or moral unacceptability) of polygamy on the basis of our values, which in any case are to be found at a completely different level from scientific facts.

And finally – and perhaps we should have started by this – science has not established anything like the genetic determinism of homosexuality. This may sound unexpected; the thesis that homosexuality is genetically determined ‘has been established by science’ is proclaimed with such certainty, such pressure, such contempt towards all those who doubt it, as if they were retarded, stupid and ignorant, that only very rarely do people ask for proof of it.

However, we do have data, acquired for instance from research on identical twins, which shows that people with an identical genetic make-up can have a completely different ‘sexual orientation’. Even such a pro-homosexual group as the American Psychological Association (APA) refrains from asserting ‘the biological determinism’ of homosexuality, acknowledging that ‘there is no consensus among scholars regarding the reasons which lead to the development of one or another orientation’.

When you are told that homosexuals ‘were born like that’, you are dealing with an ideological myth, not with a scientifically established truth. This myth looks even more vulnerable in the light of the plain fact that there are a huge numbers of examples where people have changed their sexual preferences one way or the other.

Therefore, let us turn to the definition of marriage which the Lord gave us: ‘But from the beginning of creation God made them male and female. For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and cleave to his wife; and they twain shall be one flesh: so then they are no more twain, but one flesh’ (?k.10: 6-8).

Yes, we will have serious disagreements with the world, but there always have been and always will be. Yes, the liberal press will revile us and slander us in all sorts of ways – so what, we shall survive. But be honest – if the bimillennial teaching of the Church is false, then reject it at once. But if it is true, then confess it openly.


  1. This is an excellent statement of the situation. It is as direct as C. S. Lewis’s statement about the purpose and character of Jesus. Some people would like to say he is one of history’s great teachers, but that is not what he said about himself. He said “I and the Father are one.’ Lewis said there are only three choices. Jesus is a liar, a fool, or the Son of God.

    • Has anyone listened to this recent podcast (June 17-19th) from Fr. John Behr at St. Vlad’s on gender differentiation? I find it really disturbing. He seems to be advocating throwing out everything we accept about gender differentiation to make a place for something else. This guy is the dean at St. Vlad’s and teaches young seminarians this stuff.

      • I heard Fr. John’s lecture as one long cheer for heterosexuality! He said we’d overcome a lot of the trappings of sexual differentiation, but not sexual differentiation itself, because we will be saved as men and women. Yet we will be saved the same way, by acquiring virtue and becoming truly human, but we’ll still be men and women, just without a lot of the craziness that defines our sexual differentiation here on earth. He said that sexual differentiation provides an immediate experience of otherness and allows for self-sacrifice in erotic love. This quotation from the very end of the lecture really struck me: “Human existence really begins with the longing of man for woman, woman for man, the love of the other both creates and reconciles the sexes, teaching us how, through sacrificial love, to be human.”

        The really important thing to note here is that this framework of his absolutely cannot describe a homosexual relationship. Basically, I think he’s done a really great job of drawing out why it is that homosexual sex is unnatural and wrong.

        But hey, I could be misinterpreting the entire thing, so I’d welcome other opinions.

  2. Ashley Nevins says

    George, be sure not to post this.

    There is a forth choice. Christ was insane. He was a lunatic. That is, He was irrational in thinking, attitude and behavior. Any church that follows a liar, fool or the insane will have that outcome as a church. In other words, how a church THINKS determines its outcome in the rational real Christian world. A church of liars, fools and the insane is characterized by failure, corruption, irrelevance and church demise. It is circular without solution. Can an insane liar and fool have any other outcome than failure and corruption?

    A church FOLLOWS what it believes is its salvation and that determines its outcome. Oh, yes, it does too failed and corrupt Orthodox who believe their church is their salvation. Live up to your claim of salvation or die by that claim in rational modernity. You no longer control image or outcomes by religious church and state power and control prop ups and walls. The truth in EOC salvation is now EXPOSED in the real world. The walls and prop ups are all going away and what is now seen is what has been hidden for centuries. Not pretty, is it. It is the reality of it in rational modernity that exposes fools, liars and the insane. Its called rational thinking that can think for itself without a corrupt and failed church thinking for it.

    You think ROC circa 1917 was exposed for its corruption and failure? Rational modernity will expose the entire EOC far more deeply and thoroughly over time. Modernity is the paradigm shift that EXPOSES what was left behind in the relevancy paradigm shift of God to our generation. You know, the paradigm the EOC is dying in and cannot paradigm shift out of because it is Gods only paradigm of church. God left the EO behind in their dying paradigm and they cannot paradigm shift to the relevancy in our generation or any future generations. The EO by their claim are really only relevant to themselves and their outcome proves it.

    Jesus was rational modernity come to the Sanhedrin. He was the paradigm shift the orthodox could not make. The EO have three things in common with the Sanhedrin:

    1. Totalism
    2. Tradition
    3. Orthodoxy

    Totalism, tradition and orthodoxy can paradigm shift to the relevancy of God in our generation? Are you people in your right Christian minds? The only way you can be relevancy here will be seen when we all go totalism church and state power and control. Freedom of religion is not going to do that. It left that DEAD PARADIGM far behind by paradigm shift.

    All three by DEFINITION are ANTI PARADIGM SHIFT. Three strikes and the Orthodox are OUT. They are the same three strikes that put the Sanhedrin out. Look up their definitions, think for yourself and then tell me how wrong I got this one. Those three problems are what the Orthodox are trying to use to solve those three problems and it is not working, is it. It only makes sense that the problem is not the solution to the problem. Would you fix a flat tire with a flat tire? You got THREE big holes in ALL your tires. You are not going anywhere, Orthodox.

    Was Jesus anti paradigm shift in the Gospels or did He address all three of these issues as the reasons why those who opposed Him could not see Him as the solution that must be paradigm shifted too? The EOC is so over its over is over. You cannot paradigm shift no matter who tries too or what is tried to shift. Have you noticed how nothing in America’s two largest jurisdictions has changed??? Care to take a wild guess why they are not going to change? If they do not paradigm shift they will DIE. Since they cannot paradigm shift you see them in a DYING STATE. Get it? Can Orthodox eyes see this reality or do they believe they alone are Gods only right and true who all must paradigm shift too?

    The answers to the questions are obvious to anyone with eyes. Orthodoxy is ALL ABOUT, come to us and because we for sure are not coming to you. You find us and we do not find you. That is a closed, isolated, exclusive, reclusive and subjective system that claims to be Gods only alone right and one true salvation come to us. The church outcome proves it is Gods salvation come to us? Prove it by outcome and not by words in a claim made. You can’t. That is your failure and it is your corruption. Think it through those whose salvation thinks superior to all other salvation before it. I am not talking about the failure or corruption of one jurisdiction or a couple of bishops. The Bible tells us that is to be expected. I am talking about the complete systemic failure of the EOC from its salvation. I am talking about Orthodox salvation unable to provide solution to this state of church. Difficult to hear, is it not?

    If EOC salvation cannot save itself from church death it cannot save anyone outside of it. It will by its salvation turn them into the salvation outcome of the EOC. They will know you are Orthodox by your love? Our love is our salvation, right? I see the love outcome of Orthodox salvation by the state of the EOC. Oh, but don’t any of you compare your claim to your outcome and for sure do not compare the love of Christ to your claim outcome. It might cause you to see your salvation and church for what it truly is in the practical reality of the real world where outcome of salvation matters to God.

    A church thinks through its salvation. How a church thinks by who or what is its salvation determines its outcome. Idolatry of idols as God and salvation of a church has a different outcome of church than Christ as God and salvation of a church. Anyone with eyes to see can see the difference in a church outcome by how it thinks through its salvation.

    Salvation is mind control. Who and what mind controls a church mind determines its outcome. That who and what can be God, Satan or an idol of some kind. The Orthodox need to take a hard and honest look at the outcome of their salvation thinking in the practical reality of the real world. The EOC is dying a slow, ugly and painful death from what source cause of thinking?

    Yes, I know, in Orthodoxy how the EOC thinks by its salvation is Gods only alone right and one true salvation that all other churches and their salvation are compared too. The EOC outcome by its salvation thinking is the comparison of all other churches not of it to it. All other churches outside of the EOC need to convert to the EOC salvation and have the same EOC outcome. Only then will they be God Orthodox Correct before Christ our salvation that is the EOC.

    Gods only alone right and one true salvation and church is its outcome that proves the Orthodox claim true. Only if you believe liars, fools and the insane is that statement true. The outcome of the claim thinking is the proof of the truth in the claim in the rational sane world of Christ’s salvation where outcome of church salvation matters. Outcome of claim does not prove the claim in Orthodoxy. The claim itself is the stand alone proof of it being Gods only truth in salvation and true salvation in Orthodoxy. That is Orthodox sanity in the rational world outside of it and that it is found a corrupt failure in.

    Orthodox, do not match the outcome of your church to its claim of church. That would be sane and rational thinking that is objective about itself by its salvation. Make the absolute claim and then die absolutely by how you cannot remotely live up to it. The absolute claim has the absolute outcome of that claim made. It absolutely proves it truth or lie. The absolute claim is based in absolutism and absolutism is TOTALISM. It is dictatorship of the mind that leads to corruption, failure, irrelevancy and church death by the dictator who claims to be God and salvation. It is the mind of legalism, works and performance salvation. The dictator is a liar, thief and murderer. He is a fool and he is insane. He will lead the Orthodox to his outcome of DEATH.

    Sanity is objective about itself. Insanity is delusional about itself. Insanity is a liar and a fool. Is Orthodoxy having a sane outcome or a delusional outcome? Is it having a liar and fool insane outcome or a truth and wisdom sane outcome? I believe anyone can see its outcome by how it thinks through what it believes is its salvation.

    The Orthodox want the church outside of Orthodoxy to come home to the original church and find the fullness of Christ, Salvation and the Gospels that they do not have. In the Orthodox Mind they don’t know what they are missing. You know, they are missing the state of the GOA and the OCA, etc. The Orthodox believe that their church role model and example of its claim is the proof in the claim that is its relevancy to those outside of it.

    The church outside of the EOC can compare Orthodox claim made to the outcome of that claim made. It lives in the reality of the real world that compares words in a claim to the outcome of the claim made. The Orthodox cannot make that comparison and because in their minds they are the church that is to be compared too. Which one is the FOOL? Which one is the LIAR? Which one is INSANE? Look at outcome to find the answers to the questions posed. That is exactly what Christ did in the Gospels. He exposed their salvation thinking and its real world outcome. He compared and He is the ONLY comparison. Yes, I know, since the EO believe they are Gods only salvation they believe they are Gods only comparison.

    The outcome of the EOC claim in its salvation thinking by its claim is seen in the EOC outcome and no matter what any EO states otherwise and like that opinion really matters to anyone outside of the EOC and where it really matters. The EO are not God or salvation and their outcome of claim made proves it. That is, unless you are an Orthodox and then only the claim matters and not the outcome of the claim.

    The Presbyterians can split, divide and leave corruption. I know MANY who are. They have a way of escape. That story is not being told here. Their church is not their salvation. Salvation and solution is outside of them. They walk out and leave the corrupt to their corruptions. Christ walks on corruption and He exposes it as He walks out the door. It’s in the Gospels. Christ is not unity by or in corruption. If you cannot divide over sin then your church is all about unity by and in corruption. The outcome of the EOC proves it. It is circular without solution dying and it provides absolutely no way of escape to those under its continual failure that spiritually abandons and abuses ALL of you.

    The Orthodox do not have a way of escape. You do not escape we are Gods alone right and only true church. Yes, and just when is the OCA goiing to escape the corruption and the failure of the EOC? When is the GOA going to leave the corruption of the OCA and when is the OCA going to escape the GOA failure? You can’t. It’s systemic corruption on a massive scale and it all comes out of the theology, structure and system of religious totalism that is your Orthodox salvation. Yes, all those OCA folks can escape to the GOA or ROC. That is EOC solution that provides no way of escape and that means the EOC is over. What, none of you can tell by all the signs, symptoms, proofs and evidences that it is over and has been over for a very long time?

    Any church that cannot paradigm shift to the relevancy of Christ in its generation needs to DIE and get out of the way of God. The Presbyterian church needs to go away. Guess what other church needs to go away and get out of Gods way? In effect, it is out of the way. It is dead by comparison to what is alive in that comparison and the EOC is not who the alive church is compared too to determine its life. If it was the standard of church alive with Christ would be lowered to the point of church death.

    Ashley Nevins

    • Huh? Could you sum up this pretentious blather in a couple of succinct sentences? I lost you at the first Acronym.

      • Ashley is basically applying the post-modern critique to the Orthodox Church. The critique deals with language, and criticizes the propositions that Orthodox use to define themselves. He argues that the propositions reveal a mindset that is incapable of the change the modern world requires (the “paradigm”) and thus is doomed to the ash heap of history.

  3. Jane Rachel says

    Let your yea be yea and your nay be nay.

    I am happy to post these two comments here, the first written by Bishop Tikhon (Fitzgerald) and the second by Monk James Silver), posted today on Listserv Orthodox. Finally. This is the truth, folks.

    Sender: Orthodox Christianity
    Poster: Bishop Tikhon
    Subject: Re: We are all free men

    On 7/11/2011 10:20 PM, Gail Sheppard wrote:
    You are mistaken, Your Grace. Ironically, the allegations WERE pursued and verified by the ocanews. org.

    No. I’m not mistaken. The allegations about the connection between Archbishop Job of blessed memory and Archimandrite Zaccheus (Wood) have still not been investigated or pursued by ocanews.org. (“allegations about SOME kind of connection between the ever-memorable Archbishop Job and that “somewhere in Russia,”) were never pursued or verified by ocanews.org) . Under the rule, “de mortuis nihil nisi bonum”, those matters should be buried and not pursued, no doubt: that would be more revolting than pursuing the exact circumstances of a sudden death all alone in a motel parking lot with no access to a confessor or the Mysteries.

    Too bad all that Stokoe-Berezansky stuff had to be put on view again. I had to take a shower after reading it again, and I wish that I had had some Lava soap instead of my regular ivory when i did so!

    After i stated that the allegations about some kind of connection between the ever-memorable Archbishop Job and that “somewhere in Russia” (i.e., Archimandrite Zaccheus) had never been pursued or veified by ocanews.org, THEN I went on to refer to the astonishing matter of the clandestine electronic surveillance equipment used at the American representation Church in Russia without the knowledge of the constant stream of visitors there who were taped and catalogued: persons of all stations and callings: Americans, Russians, and so forth. I did appreciate the careful language of Stokoe in referring to the tapes showing Protopresbyter Rodion S. Kondratick “allegedly tampering” with some funds! Yes, indeed, ‘allegedly’ characterized every charge against the protopresbyter. Allegations were more than enough for the outrage, judgment and condemnation in which the allegations resulted! Have you seen those tapes, edited or not, Gail, by the way? Do you think that the tapes were shown at the “trial” in absentia of :Protopresbyter Rodion S. Kondratick? Did ocanews.org refer you to the minutes of the trial which record that or indicate on what day and what time the members of the “court” viewed the tapes? I’ve always believed that the “court” only heard someone’s testimony to what “someone” had seen on the tapes, which would be something like “hearsay” or “seesay.”

    Monk James Silver wrote:

    ———————- Information from the mail header ———————–
    Sender: Orthodox Christianity
    Poster: James Silver
    Subject: Re: We are all free men

    Dear Friends –

    While I’m sure that Gail Sheppard means well by sending us this material, I have to tell you that she is just one more victim of The Big Lie being told about Fr Robert Kondratick.

    As Bp Tikhon has already pointed out, OCANews pursued and verified nothing. As a reporter, Mark Stokoe was in no position to do either, and he was not present either for that embarrassment of a fictive church trial or for the Special Investigating Committee (SIC) headed by Bp Benjamin.

    But I was present for the first meeting of the ‘spiritual court’ which uncanonically and unethically tried FrRK _in absentia_, and — as directed by Abp Nathaniel — found him guilty of crimes he didn’t commit. And I was interviewed by the SIC, which was ridiculous, since BpB, Faith Skordinski and Dimitry Soldatow all made it perfectly clear that they’d already made up their minds no matter what testimony might be adduced.

    As an aside: Had FrRK been guilty of the (to him and to me vague, undefined and undocumented) charges against him — and of which Gail Sheppard here clearly thinks him guilty — he’d have been in jail long since. There is no ‘statute of limitations’ exemption at work here, as some people seem to feel managed to keep FrRK from civil prosecution and punishment.

    I’ve seen the VHS ‘Moscow Tape’, crudely bowdlerized by Fr Zacchaeus Wood and his ex-KGB friends; I still have a copy of it. As far as I know, no unedited version of that recording exists. That tape does NOT incriminate FrRK. It rattled FrRK a bit, but we can now find it a bit amusing, that FrZW shook that recording in FrRK’s face just before serving together at the Divine Liturgy (?!!) in Moscow, saying that this was his (FrZW) ‘insurance’. And that after years of FrRK’s getting FrZW out of embarrassments in Moscow, and even with Abp Job here.

    For the unprejudiced viewer, it shows only that FrRK asked FrZW to split the $90k so that he — as chancellor of the OCA at the time — could bring at least some of that money to Beslan. As it turned out, FrZW was left with all of the money to take to Beslan. We have no way of knowing if it — all or any of it — actually got there.

    Then we have to recognize the fact that FrRK found himself in a legally adversarial position with the OCA, the church he loved and helped grow into its mission in spite of the bizarre behavior of Mets Theodosius and Herman. The OCA got lawyered up, and FrRK then had no choice but to respond in kind.

    If FrRK can be accused of anything, it’s that he did his job too well, protecting two very odd primates from public embarrassment at the same time as he kept the OCA functioning. I won’t get into details about the personal failings of our recent primates here, but you can be sure that they were serious enough to have prevented both these men from serving as clergy at all, let alone as bishops. Anyway, has anyone noticed that our OCA is completely dysfunctional since FrRK was dismissed as chancellor? Please, let’s think about that, and what it might mean.

    So the OCA, on very bad legal advice (Central should get a refund), decided to sue FrRK. He had no choice but to countersue, since the OCA (on very bad legal advice) avoided proper canonical procedures and went to civil courts to redress their imagined grievances.

    In the run-up to trial, attorneys for the OCA and attorneys for FrRK went through the usual processes of disclosure and discovery. Both sides deposed witnesses brought from places near and far.

    When a judge of the Superior Court of New York reviewed all this material, she determined that several witnesses had lied in their testimony to the SIC. That perjury, plus the positive testimony of several officers of the OCA attesting their certainty that FrRK hadn’t ever stolen anything from the OCA, resulted in her recommendation that the OCA settle with FrRK for $250k. And that’s how it happened as of 1 May 2010.

    BTW: The fact that the settlement was exactly equal to the amount of the promissory note which the Metropolitan Council offered the Kondraticks several years earlier was a complete coincidence.

    What we must take away from all this, I suppose, is the simple truth that all the evidence was presented to a competent civil court, and that court found the accusations against FrRK to be false and inactionable in civil law, despite the fact that he’d been accused of civil crimes.

    It’s clear, then, that our OCA’s spiritual court was driven, directed, and manipulated by bishops who had it in for FrRK. WHY? But they failed, and they should be required to answer for their sins and crimes.

    I don’t so much blame the four judges in FrRK’s spiritual court as I do Met. Herman and Bp Nathaniel, and a couple of others, for forcing those judges into an irrational verdict .

    Perhaps Gail Sheppard and all of you will consider this testimony of mine. ‘He who saw this bears witness, and his testimony is true.’

    But why does everyone believe The Big Lie, and not restore FrRK to the priesthood from which he was so unjustly deprived?!

    The civil court made it clear that he is innocent. May the OCA follow in truth to undo this terrible injustice done to a good man, an asset to our OCA, and bring him back in with all the respect he has earned and deserves.

    Peace and blessings to all.

    Monk James

    • Peter A. Papoutsis says

      Between the dysfunction in the GOA, AOA and the OCA it is truly miraculous we still have an Orthodox Church in this country.

      Quick question? Why did FrRK remove MS? What did Fr.RK know that we do not? This was all orchestrated by one man Mark Stoke. What did Fr.RK know abou this guy?


      • Good question. I suppose if it was answered we’d learn a lot more about the recent past, to say nothing about what we have been told.

        • Jane Rachel says

          Comment to those who are sticking their heads in the sand, plugging up ears, refusing to hear: Let’s stop making Archbishop Job (Osacky) into a Saint, shall we? For heaven’s sake. Get a clue, folks. Why talk about him after he’s dead? What does Archbishop Job have to do with it? Anyone read Bishop Tikhon (Fitzgerald)’s two most recent posts on Orthodox Listserv today?

          Because history shapes events, and Archbishop Job is at the center of the travesty. Remember all those priests of the Diocese of the West who gathered around him, weeping and signing their names? Is there anyone willing to admit the damage that those actions caused the OCA? Look at what the sheep did, how they followed that sweet, syrupy voice. Oh, Lord, forgive me for my anger… Look at the evidence! Who is reading this? Anyone???

          • Jane,

            Please enlighten us who are without knowledge of the situation as to what in the world you are talking about. I met Archbishop Job of blessed memory and from all of his teaching and the way that he interacted with people, he did come off to me as a saintly man. Did he make some mistakes, or dare I say it, sin occasionally. . . gasp. . . perhaps, only God really knows that, please enlighten us with evidence as to what you are accusing him of instead of making him out to be Lucifer incarnate.

  4. Patriarch Kirill versus abortion and same-sex marriage (sermon on July 8, 2011):


  5. igumen Gregory says

    Frankly what keeps Orthodoxy Orthodox in this country is the multiple jurisdictions, a sort of checks and balances. Individuals may go astray but the consensus of Orthodoxy can be trusted. Frankly Orthodoxy is a lot larger than the certains members of theGOA, AOA and the OCA and some of the controversial agendas. Christ has many ways of protecting His Church.

    • Jane Rachel says

      Agreed. I just wish they wouldn’t hurt so many people on the way to their agendas. Very difficult to undo that kind of damage.