More developements, Nephew

Wormwood,

We didn’t have to wait long for our Scribe to take the bait. I know some people said that he had been beaten back, that he’d gone strangely silent, and that he was over and done with. After our last Lesson, you yourself said that he would lay low for awhile. Wrong you were, Nephew! In time you will understand how Cabals of self-important sinners work. Especially those who have spent decades justifying their sins. They’re a tough nut to crack these Caballeros; they won’t just roll over for any Tom, Dick, or Harry!

True, he was taken aback for awhile. As were others in our gay little Cabal. They’ve rested on their laurels for far too long and have long considered ordinary people to be timid. (Isn’t it curious that one of his named Conspirators issued a call for a “stop to gossip” after he was implicated?) Even so, don’t forget that I said that even the righteous were overwhelmed. Some still are. Some Senior Officers are already defecting, calling into question their General’s mental balance. Regardless, our Scribe has dug further into his bag of tricks and come up with some prettier postings. Good! things like this will intimidate the Enemy’s Camp for awhile longer. We must play for time, Wormwood! I’m not sure it’s on our side. Yes, I’m still worried.

“Why” you ask? Well, look at it this latest missive. Yes he took our advice and used all the right words. He even added a few scare-words of his own (like “rogue”) as well. But then he went and made a mess of it by not understanding what the word “unilateral” meant. Don’t get me wrong, I’m very glad that he can’t agree with his Army’s Code of Conduct, but he should have let that one lie. The fact that he keeps implicating others in this matter only exposes their infidelity to their Lord. Others may catch on to this subtrefuge. Desertions will take place from these battalions soon enough. The regiments of the more resolute Commanders will swell. (We saw that happen with the Episcopal Church, didn’t we?) And don’t tell me that they will defend this position by saying that he should have acted in a conciliar matter in this regard. The uttering of shibboleths no longer works in these matters, at least not when battle-lines are being drawn and the slings and arrows of Misfortune start flying.

But the substance, Dear Nephew –it’s still not there! Even if what he writes is true, it still is nothing more than ineptness on the part of the Metropolitan. And that jovial fellow goes about as if nothing happened. For one thing, he’s still meeting with other Generals from the Enemy’s camp. Taking his picture with them and so on as if he doesn’t realize he’s been put on mandatory Rest and Retirement. And I must say, I really don’t like his meeting with one of these Commanders in the camp of one of the more battle-hardened Infantry Divisions. You know, the one that really doesn’t like girly-men.

At this point, we might as well talk about those Bishops I hinted about in our last Lesson. You remember, the ones dressed in full-military garb and armed to the teeth for Battle. These are indeed worrisome to our side. They have in the past beaten us back on numerous occassions. Some of them even died in Battle holding aloft the Standard of their Lord! Oh what a fearsome sight it was to behold such bravery! Even in full Berserk mode, the dreaded Norsemen had nothing on them. How many of us fell in the ensuing onslaught! I still shiver when I think about it. You and I were fortunate not to see their Lord when He went into the very hart of our Camp and Harrowed it two thousand years ago! We thought we had destroyed Him once and for all but how wrong we were! We still have not recovered from that Terrible Day. (That’s one reason why we concentrate our forces and attack during their Spring Training, when they prepare for the commemoration of their National Holiday. They’re very weak in those days right before and the pickings are easier.)

Anyway, back to the issue of Bishops. Even though it’s easy to confuse the weaklings among them with the stalwarts (if you just look at their garb), you will be able to distinguish them soon enough. Here are a few hints. For one thing, they aren’t all that –how shall we say it?–stalwart. Many chose to enter their Military Academy because they thought that it would afford them an easy life and stop their mothers from hounding them about finding a good wife. How tiresome it is to hear middle-aged women prattle on and on about “that nice little Betty-Lou So-and-So and what a fine wife she’d be”. If Betty Lou isn’t a cow she will be in good enough time. Second, look to see if they’ve decided to stay at the Academy teaching on some obscure topic, or perhaps choosing to work at Regional HQ. Here’s a sure tip-off: they are assiduous at shuffling papers and speaking elegantly. If you’re not sure, ask yourself –did they ever serve as a parish priest or live in one of the more rigorous monasteries? And of course, do they eagerly accept posting as head of some abandoned Fortress? Remember what I told you last time? I used the title “Metropolitan of Utopia.” I could just as easily have said “Erehwon” or “Nowhere.” Regardless, they aren’t ever going to set foot in these non-existent places nor fight any Battles there. It’s really just as well, they don’t have it in them.

Herein lies the danger: even if we succeed in taking him down, we will only have won a temporary battle. For I fear that these gay Caballeros will succeed in turning their Church into a complete laughing-stock. And then where will we be? Remember what happened to ECUSA? We weren’t supposed to decimate them as completely as we did. Why nobody takes them and their bad vestments seriously anymore! That’s no good for us! We don’t need them to make a mockery of themselves. Any Church must be taken at least half-seriously if we are to get any profit out of it. Some of the Demons tasked with these assaults can’t seem to restrain themselves from overreaching. In fact, because he is innocent, I fear that his overthrow will cause a complete collapse of their Army. Why do I say this? For one thing, there are no others of his calibre –this much is true. The soldiers will recoil at the thought of any of the weaklings taking his place and will throw down their arms. But also because he is not guilty of anything. Remember, when taking down an Enemy Commander, be sure that we have something concrete against him; this makes our job much easier but it also assuages the guilt of the fratricides. It dispirits the Army for awhile (which is good) but does not destroy them completely (remember, we need the Enemy’s Army to still look like an Army). And this is the dangerous thing Wormwood: if there is no guilt in the victim, then the shedding of innocent blood makes our Enemy stronger. (I still haven’t figured that one out, but it is nevertheless true.)

But yet, we must persevere in his overthrow regardless of the ultimate consequences to us. It’s because that is what we do. We can’t help ourselves. Sometimes I wish we weren’t this way but we are past redemption. And our Master won’t be content until complete annihilation of the created order occurs. This is not as dire as it sounds as there are many delightful and sensuous ways to do this Wormwood. On that note, we shall begin our next Lesson.

About GShep

Comments

  1. Nick Katich says

    George: Is Fr. Hokpo a Caballero?

    I actually fear that the EP and not MS is the real ring leader.

    • It would be strange for the EP to resort to such underhanded tactics to undermine the OCA. He could just break communion with it and be done, right? Why would he even care enough to try to overthrow its primate?

      On the other hand, it is awfully weird for the first news break to have gone to a Greek website before anyone else said anything. They even scooped Mark Stokoe, who’d obviously prepared for the end of the retreat with a pre-written article about the events leading up to it.

      Then we have the mysterious matter of Fr. Garklavs, who is said to be an innocent and hardworking man, persecuted by the supposedly mentally unstable Metropolitan Jonah, who nevertheless had his employment come to an end by the Synod’s acceptance of his resignation, which Fr. Garklavs supposedly never offered.

      This is pretty much like watching Oliver Stone’s OCA. The New Orleans District Attorney’s office should be getting involved at some point.

      • Nick Katich says

        Helga: My EP comment was tongue-in-cheek, so to speak. I was needling my good buddy, George. Don’t take me seriously on this post, although I would like to know if Fr. Hopko is a Caballero since I have never known him to ride a horse and herd steer.

      • George Michalopulos says

        Helga, you are a perceptive woman! Since it was just uncovered that there was a plot to assassinate His Holiness, Bartholomew, I would rather not bring his name into this sordid mess at present, but let us instead say that it was functionaries at http://www.romfea.gr who broke the story of +Jonah’s “resignation,” and that they were fed this information in a real-time sense, that is while the Holy Synod was still meeting in Santa Fe, you know, at that “luxurious resort” that exercises St Mark the Humble/Grand Inquisitor so much.

        The question is, did one of the OCA bishops feed this information to an agent of the Phanar or did somebody else? It’s always good to ask: cui bono? The destruction of the OCA by the people who supposedly want to save it would be ironic wouldn’t it? And of course, who would benefit?

        • I don’t think it would be hard to guess who’d be the most likely leak on the Synod. I have a specific person in mind, but I am reluctant to accuse someone by name without hard evidence. I can only think that if I’ve managed to figure it out, I’m sure Met. Jonah has.

          The leak to Romfea is particularly bothersome to me, as I think it clearly shows that the planned outcome of the confrontation was Met. Jonah’s resignation.

          Ever since this broke, I have been thinking about sending Met. Jonah a note in the mail to DC to say I’m praying for him and hope he’s feeling better. But I wonder if I shouldn’t just send him a copy of Julius Caesar instead, as the Ides of March are not long in coming.

  2. George Michalopulos says

    Nick, vaquero seems to be the more popular Spanish idiom for what we Americans call “cowboy.” I used the word caballero since it can be used to identify a member of a “cabal.” (“Cavalier” just doesn’t cut it for me, although both words have been appended to the adjective “gay,” as in “gay cavaliers” or the song “Gay Caballeros.”) Maybe I should have just stuck with the more straightforward word “conspirators.”

    Anyway, to your point about Hopko. No, I don’t feel that he was part of the Cabal in question as his name wasn’t part of the original conspiratorial e-mail. (God bless those fine men at ocatruth.com!) I imagine that the Cabal we are talking about was any or all of the men who had been e-mailed by Stokoe in the first place. Although we can’t be too sure as Stokoe may have delusions of grandeur (the little throw-away line about things moving fast like “Tahrir Square” and all). My point is that he could have sent this e-mail to men who may not share his hatred of +Jonah, and who don’t want to be identified as such, or good Christians who would like to see the OCA destroyed in the process. For example, a couple of years ago Stokoe and I exchanged a couple of e-mails over this that or the other, that doesn’t mean that he and I are part of the same Cabal.

    On the subject of Hopko, do you agree with him that +Jonah is clinically insane? Otherwise, please tell me what you think “gravely troubled” means. Personally, I’m “gravely troubled” myself about this whole situation. The fact that Stokoe has information that he shouldn’t be privy to could open up legal avenues of redress, both against him as well as those on the MC who leaked this information to him (assuming again that he isn’t lying through his teeth about these events). But I digress. I pray that Fr Tom thinks instead that +Jonah needs our prayers (and that would be very Christian of him to exhort us in this way), because of the ferocity of the attacks against him. Otherwise, knowing +Jonah as I do and since I know that he is a sane man, I believe that unless Fr Tom clarifies what he means by “gravely troubled,” he will have hurt his credibility immensely. And I’m being sincere here, I mean that. A lot of good people I know who think Hopko’s a good guy have been kicked in the teeth by his use of these hurtful words.

    Anyway, just my two cents! May you have a blessed Lent!

    • George Michalopulos says

      Nick, you are a good guy and I want you to please accept what I said about in a spirit of fun. I’m trying to find humor in this tragic situation but it’s not coming across well. God bless you.

  3. I honestly don’t think this kind of speculation about supposed “conspiracies” is particularly God honoring. Reminds me of a certain rabid Russophile blog site I once came across (and quickly learned to avoid for the good of my own soul), where adrenaline-inducing invective, diatribe, and gossiping conjecture about what our hierarchs are up to is the order of the day. Really, don’t you think such speculation says far more about us and our fears than it reveals about what is really going on? Perhaps Met. Jonah really is ill, burned out, confused, making poor judgments in the eyes of most of his Synod and in need of rest? Whatever the case, God will eventually bring all the machinations of the enemy to naught in His own time and wisdom, and prayers are the best response. Forgive me.

  4. Nick Katich says

    George:

    I didn’t know where to post this so I am posting it here. This is an excerpt from an exclusive interivew that the Serbian Partriach gave last week to one of the local priests in my area. This was the only question asked about the Episcopal Assemblies. It does not sound that he is ready to give up his diaspora flock — as I have previously suggested on AOI:

    Q. We are, Your Holiness, very much attached to the Serbian Orthodox Church and we endeavor to maintain close ties with the motherland. As you already know, all around the world outside of the borders of the autocephalous churches, Episcopal Conferences of Orthodox Bishops have already been organized which could grow into independent units. Could that contribute to the loosening of ties between the Mother Church and us in the Diaspora? What is your view on this subject?

    A. We are hoping and doing everything so that our Church survives on this continent, and it will exist here as long as there is a national consciousness among the people that they belong to the Serbian family and culture. We need to welcome and support the organizing of conferences of Orthodox bishops in places where there are representatives of Orthodox autocephalous churches and people. There are many problems that are common, and it is natural to solve them together. We all belong to one Church, that is only administratively divided, and it is completely natural and normal to lead a dialogue about canonical and pastoral issues on a common territory. This does not call into question relations with one’s Mother Church.

    • George Michalopulos says

      Nick, I never meant to imply that. It was just that the position of +Jonah in the center of five other bishops in the photograph was “interesting.”

      Like you, I am under absolutely no illusions about the foreign patriarchs and how they feel about their dispersed flocks. I fully expect the EA to come to naught. I know other, better men than me think that it’ll all work out in the end but I fervently believe that the entire EA process was a charade from the start.

  5. Nicole Troon says

    Dear Mr. M:

    I apologize if I am asking you to repeat information. I have just been referred to your site by a priest who has been refreshingly outspoken about the general topics of pro-life, heterosexual marriage, chastity for the nonmarried heterosexual or homosexual, although he has not commented with applications to our OCA Synod and M.C. members such as Ethics Chair Fr Ted and Mark Stokoe to whom the anonymous ocatruth.com blogger refers by name.

    Am I right to gather you are a member of the OCA? I know from a post on AOI blog that you were at St. Seraphim’s to hear Met. Hilarion speak. I was as well. I was Chrismated there, now attend a mission, and last night was at Vigil with Abp Nathaniel visiting, only to return to the ocatruth blogger sending out the rallying call to question him this morning. I notice you applaud that blog.

    Do you know who the blogger is and do you respect his/her reasons for being anonymous?

    Do you respect his/her sources?

    Have these sources ever been implicated in Synod reports in the past (or are close friends of those who have) so that they might have an agenda themselves?

    Can you help me understand the “why now and not before” of revelations with documentation to the http://www.ocatruth.com blogger whose information you seem to trust?

    Are these revelations really “new” to most OCA clergy (polling those you know)?

    If so, why would they have been withheld until now by the person(s) only now just revealing them to oca truth?

    If most OCA clergy (who are married) and/or the elected M.C. members have been aware, why would they have done nothing to alert us, their Metropolitcan Council reps, their parishes until now, and only now through leaks to a blogger?

    Does anyone in your experience of the OCA clergy have a combination of moral courage, knowledge, kindness, honesty, and balance? OCA truth does reveal Abp Dmitri as such a person in one leaked document, which fits my knowledge of him. But I’m not seeing any active OCA priest speaking forthrightly and with concern if this information is true, are you? Please let me know if so. The prospect of married clergy who may have known and said nothing is actually the most distressing aspect of all to me. We all know power goes to people’s heads. But are there many or most anonymous priests “afraid” for their jobs and just cheering on bloggers who speak for them? Any martyrs for their faith while in a job who got demoted or punished to your knowledge for trying to share this info previously or do something about it? I truly need to know there were, hard to read about the Saints every day dying for Christ, being asked to pick up our crosses, and then read Anonymouses afraid for their jobs or simply silent. And anonymous bloggers protecting more anonymous clergy? Not helping.

    What part of Mark Stokoe’s reporting on the financial scandal do you dismiss as simply the homosexual “cabal” at work?

    Do you believe former financial officer Kondratick was remiss and possibly blackmailing folks or not? That is, do they have a clean slate in your book?

    Do you dismiss the comment from Ms. Cozy (sp?) about Fr Fester’s response to her after her husband’s revelations as part of that “cabal’s” agenda?

    Do you believe the Synod’s recommendation to Met. Jonah in the recent minutes is fabricated just to serve the purposes of the “cabal”? Or is it possible he truly is personally overwhelmed and behaving atypically for him?

    Do you believe it is possible that all of these things can be true at once, like seeing many sides of an elephant? I am just trying to figure out how wounded the elephant is.

    Thanks for any light you may shed. It is refreshing that I can actually ask you as a person who can actually be known. Thanks for that.

    Heading to a ROCOR Church with an outspoken priest this morning just for the fresh air.

  6. George Michalopulos says

    Nicole, please call me George.

    You raise several valid questions. I will answer them as best I can.

    1. I am in the OCA.

    2. I don’t know who runs ocatruth.com.

    3. I completely trust his sources and analyses.

    4. In a better world, nobody should have to post things anonymously, having said that his reportage and analyses speak for themselves.

    5. I have met +Nathaniel and respect him. Regardless, Stokoe has opened a can of worms that will never be sealed again. One of them is his and the Metropolitan Council’s exaggerated sense of lay control over the Church. Under such a scenario, you, I, Mark, whoever, has no choice but to be firm with our bishops. So yes, I agree with ocatruth’s insistence that we be respectful but firm and demand answers and not pious platitudes.

    6. As far as “why now, not before,” all I can say is to refer you to number 5 above. It wasn’t ocatruth that opened this can of worms, but a clearly biased ocanews.org. Most of us would have been happy to go along to get along. Having said that, I applaud Mark for opening up this can of worms. The culture of corruption that has existed in the OCA (and the GOA, etc.) is too entrenched to deal with otherwise.

    7. As far as the MC is concerned, I view them as being part of the problem. We now know thanks to ocatruth.com that the HS was aware of sexual improprieties long before +Jonah came along the scene. Since Mark is part of the MC and was well-connected to the Syosset for a couple of decades, he must have known as well. Why didn’t any of the MC speak up then? “Why now, why not before?” as you asked in another context. Because now, Syosset is being threatened. Because now, we have a metropolitan who is consequential. Because now, we have a metropolitan that is clearly within the Christian moral tradition.

    8. I think it’s wrong to expect our priests to take the lead on this. This is not a cop-out –it’s the bishop’s province to correct corruption within the Church. Yes, I realize that most married priests are worried about their livelihoods, but their primary job is to care for their congregations.

    9. Stokoe’s latest salvo contains very little about financial improprieties. His great work to the Church was when he broke the stories about Methodius and Herman way back when, when we knew (or suspected) that things were awry. As I noted time and again, I think Mark’s done heroic work in this regard, in the past.

    10. Initially, I viewed Kondratick in the most negative possible light. I still think it was a major blunder on +Jonah’s part to want to take him to DC with him and said so. Having said that, I only recently found out that when push came to shove, the NY Attorney General found nothing of a criminal nature to punish him for. I’m not sure what to believe anymore about this aspect of the entire mess, but anything is possible. Having said that, until further evidence comes forwards, I’m gonna leave the entire Kondratick angle alone.

    11. “Ms Cozy”? Please elaborate.

    12. Fr Fester. Unlike Kondratick, I’ve actually met Fr Joe and have known him for 2 years. He seems a stand-up fellow. No one at St Seraphim’s has had anything but nice things to say about him. However, I’m not a member of St Seraphim’s. What is your assessment?

    13. Re the Holy Synod’s “minutes.” I don’t know what transpired there. Neither does Stokoe (unless he had the room bugged). Having said that, I’ve talked with a trusted friend of one of the bishops who was there and according to this source (admittedly second-hand), it wasn’t as nefarious as ocanews makes it out to be. Consider that my friend received his information first-hand. Well, so did Stokoe. Your analogy of the elephant and the five blind Hindus may be apt.

    14. Re “burn-out.” I don’t believe +Jonah is burnt out. I do believe he was doing too many things. I think the Holy Synod was right to take away/lighten some of his burdens.

    15. “Agenda/Cabal”. Here I must speculate. When Stokoe’s report first came out, I accepted it at face-value, pretty much like everything else he’s written. At least the first 1/3 of it. However, certain things struck me as being rather too neat and pre-packaged. The more I read, the more I could feel biases. I documented several of them and am in the process of doing more. Still, things would have remained there, with me more or less believing most of it, until it was revealed that Stokoe and others (whom I took to calling a “cabal”) were actively undermining +Jonah. The leaked e-mail clinched it for me. Since then, I re-read his piece more carefully and it now appears nothing more than a hatchet-job.

    I hope these answer your questions. Please let me know if I need to elaborate.

    Now if you permit me to speculate. I am a firm believer in Occam’s Razor so I don’t believe in conspiracy theories. I must say though that Stokoe did not “break” the story of +Jonah’s resignation –www.romfea.gr did. And they did it while the Holy Synod was still meeting! Who leaked the story to romfea? Somebody on the Holy Synod? Syosset?

  7. Fr. Yousuf Rassam says

    In the interests of clarity for the questions above, the question (11) about “Ms Cozy” is about the wife of John Kozey, chairman of the OCA audit committee in 1999, whose name is prominent among those who tried to raise an alarm about the financial doings in Syosset at that time. His name appears very prominently in the telling of those days. If you will pardon a reference to OCAnews, the “Chronology of the Scandal” section, (it being the chronology of the OCA financial scandal from its beginnings to the founding of OCAnews, John Kozey’s name is especially prominent from May 1999 – May 2000. For this he was villified by the Kondratick regime. His mistreatment is more than merely “alleged”: after all the documentation, the 2008 All American Council acknowledged it. His wife posted the following on OCAnews on the “Jonah goes Rogue” thread. By the way, RSK stands for Robert S. Kondratick.

    “Bravo to Fr. Hopko!

    Allow me to share my “Fester” experience with you all, especially those in Dallas.

    I am a convert to Orthodoxy. When taking my spiritual journey to explore my conversion I was “assigned” to Fr. Joe as my advisor. We spent one night a week together for a year reading and discussing the many questions I had about our faith. I daresay we had a close relationship which included his entire family. In the interest of full disclosure I would say I had a close relationship with everyone at the chancery at that time. Until the financial scandal hit when everything took a sharp turn.

    As the chairman of the audit committee at that time, my future husband John revealed some very shocking truths about what had been transpiring in the church. Our family was shut out for years. Father Fester was no longer willing to work with me on my spiritual growth nor was he willing to be the officiant for our marriage. He along with RSK said that no one would be willing to marry us. They actually went so far as to ask other local priests to deny us Holy Communion, not to bless our cars or our home.

    I leave it for you to decide if this is a man you want to be your Shepard? This man knows nothing of the Christian way. What he knows is his agenda and how to manipulate the system. He has learned from his cohort, the top of the heap, none other than Robert Kondratick himself.

    As always, I stand tall and proud next to my husband for always doing what is right for our family and for our beloved church. It turns out that the time I spent studying with Fr. Fester learning about “what is good and right” about our faith would have been time better spent learning from the man I married.
    #42 Name Removed at Author’s Request on 2011-03-09 08:39″

    I would also like to follow up your point 10. Do you actually know for a fact that “the NY Attorney General found nothing of a criminal nature to punish him for.” I mean, we all know for a fact that no civil prosecution occurred. I always thought it unlikely. Several allegations were past statute of limitations, and prosecutors are wary of stepping into ecclesiastical disputes. (You have only to review briefly the judge in the Kondratick lawsuit to see some of the reasons why). I would be surprised to hear that a prosecutor would opine so freely, even that is what he thought.

    But there is another fact. He was convicted by a spiritual court. At the time I was rather bothered by the then Metropolitan’s handling, (most of those criticisms remain). BUT, the priests who sat on that court were Very Revs. Joseph Lickwar, Michael Dahulich, and John Erickson, and the Rev. David Garretson. I have at least met all of these men. Some of them I know rather well. It holds a great deal of weight that they believed that he ought be deposed from the priesthood. And whatever the civil prosecutor thought, he was convicted in a spiritual court and defrocked.

    • George Michalopulos says

      Fr Yousef, these are very interesting observations that you bring to my attention. They help flesh out the picture more fully. As I’ve said repeatedly on this site, I’m an agnostic when it comes to the alleged crimes of Kondratick. Having said that, I don’t believe the entire culture of corruption that is plaguing the OCA chancery rises or falls on him or his actions. I believe it’s more deep-seated than that. A very good case can be made that Stokoe was himself part of this massively dysfunctional system. He admitted to one of my correspondents (Helga) that he pretty much controlled events at the Syosset/MC level because he was too powerful. In other words, he used the same extortionist tactics that Kondratick was accused of using all these years.

      As for Fr Joe, if what you report is true, then it’s a spiritual blight on him for which he needs to repent. Having said that, his alleged inaction/inattentiveness/pastoral ineptness to this family was certainly unfortunate but it was not criminal. Since those unfortunate days, I have been in contact with people in Dallas (where he was senior pastor for 2 years) and have heard nothing but good things about him. Who knows? maybe he learned from his past mistakes. Maybe he repented and has become a better priest. Let’s not forget that what I’m all about on this site is repentance. I prayed for Mark Stokoe last night, and those who want to get rid of HB.

      “For God desireth not the death of a sinner…” I can’t place myself above God.

      • Fr. Yousuf Rassam says

        Dear George,

        Please read more carefully!

        You respond to me with “if what you report is true”. I have made no allegations about Fr. Fester, nor did I report about him. I answered your question to another poster “please elaborate”. The only claim I make is that I understood her question and you apparently didn’t, and after noticing that your question had gone unanswered for a space, provided the information to which she referred.

        I agree strongly with your assertion about the culture of corruption being more than one man.

        I am sort of befuddled as to when and how you choose to believe Mark Stokoe. Especially the how. (Again, Please read more carefully!!) As I recall the episode which you refer to with Helga. Stokoe claimed the ability to maintain his own MC seat, he did not claim the ability to control every aspect of Syosset and the Met Council. Wasn’t the attempt to remove him at the juncture at the behest of met. Philip? I don’t believe that any one in the OCA was very enthusiastic and zealous about fulfilling Met. Philip’s demands, (and I certainly also hope that that is the case).

        Anyhow, it is Stokoe that assumes that the Metropolitan and the Chancery staff are interested in preventing his revelations, and would rather have him prevented from posting what goes on in executive session.

        There are two aspects that I see there. One: Stokoe has not escaped the dynamic of his first years at OCA news, which is an adversarial relationship with the powers that be, his assumption is based on that. Two, point one remaining, it is probably in the interest of the Met. Council and the Church that executive sessions of the Met Council not leak. Right now the OCA is like a colander with leaks, and I doubt the helpfulness of that. One of our representatives to the Met Council stated openly that Stokoe’s information at the time was so good and thorough that they would go back to the hotels and look at OCAnews to refresh there own recollections, his stuff then was like minutes. Stokoe did not claim to be able to “control events” in general, he claimed to be able to keep his seat, a much less astounding claim. And he didn’t claim to “have all the goods”, he claimed that as a Met Council member he couldn’t report on executive sessions, as a private citizen, he could.

        At this juncture I might propose a careful reading about what is claimed, about whom and by whom, line by line in the “conspiracy memo”.

        My motive in posting on your blog has been primarily to provide available information that seems lacking.

        If I am arguing for anything, it is against adopting convictions that are divisive and unnecessary. I do not wish to be an apologist for Stokoe. Nor do I wish to be an accuser, of RSK or Fr Joseph Fester.

        to continue, your wrote:
        “2. I don’t know who runs ocatruth.com.
        3. I completely trust his sources and analyses.”

        I don’t know how you decide to completely trust person(s) unknown. If pushed to the extreme, I am not sure I would say what you say in point three about anyone but God. But anyhow, let us look at OCAtruth’s latest analysis, (I realize it was written after you wrote the above).

        OCAtruth’s latest offering, (March 21, 2011 – “Leaked!”) about Bp.Tikhon’s leaking of an email from Faith Skordinski. They assert that the letter of Faith proves that Fr Alexander Garklavs was trying to alter the report in order to hurt the Metropolitan. Yet there is nothing in Faith’s email that backs up that claim at all. Faith admits that she doesn’t know what Fr. Alexander G wished to remove from the report, nor does she know exactly why. Nor do we know if Fr. Alexander continued to pursue his desired omissions, nor do we know if he was successful, if he did try to push it. OCATruth writes “The conjecture is that the Burke case, as well as case for the clergy member accused of homosexual misdeeds in the Fr. Vasile Susan law suit, were purposefully omitted from the report because they failed to make His Beatitude look bad.” And they claim that the leaked email supports this. The very most that could be said is that the leaked email might support that allegation.

        On the other hand, the conjecture itself does not seem to have a lot of merit. According to the currently published information, the report was an avenue that Fr Alexander Garklavs offered that committee when they threatened, again, to publicly resign en masse to protest their frustrations with the Metropolitan. He offered them to detail their frustrations in a Report. Now if the report was a general report on the committees doings and concerns, the omissions of the OCATruth conjecture might be highly improper. But if the report is a report on “why we the committee are so frustrated with the Metropolitan that we want to quit”, one logically expects the bulk of the report to be complaints about the Metropolitan, and no further conspiracy is needed to explain the contents.

        Also, I think it obvious that not everything that is considered from a Church perspective to be sinful and sexual is the responsibility of the committee. For instance, masturbation is certainly sexual, and certainly misconduct, but we do not expect to refer such sinners to the committee, nor to hear about them in a report. rather it will be dealt with though the Church’s usual pastoral & canonical ways. Thus the “Burke case” as involving “two consenting adults” getting married, might not ever be referred to this committee. Their are things which are sexual, which are misconduct- indeed sinful, which might deprive one of clerical ministry or even eternal salvation, but which might not be the sort of sexual misconduct which the committee is intended to deal with.

        Do you completely trust OCATruth’s analysis in “Leaked!”?

        If so, how do you maintain agnosticism about the former chancellor and not not have such agnosticism in the accusations about the current chancellor? How about the benefit of the doubt being more evenly spread around?