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Investigation Turns Up Additional $1.25 Million Mortgage on St. Tikhon’s

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  • Bill Samsonoff
    http://ocanews.org/news/MortgageDiscovered12.1.08.html 12.1.08 Diocesan Investigation Turns Up Additional $1.25 Million Mortgage on St. Tikhon s Monastery
    Message 1 of 1 , Dec 1, 2008
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      Diocesan Investigation Turns Up Additional $1.25 Million Mortgage on
      St. Tikhon's Monastery Lands

      Lawyers hired by Bishop Tikhon of Philadelphia to conduct a full
      title search on the Eastern Pennsylvania Diocesan Center have
      discovered that the Monastery land on which its Diocesan Center is
      located (some 86.5 acres) has been mortgaged for $1.25 million. Who
      authorized this mortgage of St. Tikhon's Monastery lands, when, and
      for what purpose, was not disclosed. According to the OCA Statute, it
      is the Metropolitan Council alone that "decides on the purchase,
      sale, or mortgaging of property of the Church." (Article V, Sec. 4j.)

      The lawyers' findings were first reported to diocesan authorities on
      November 6th, and then reported to the annual Diocesan Assembly on
      November 22nd by the Chancellor of the Diocese of Eastern
      Pennsylvania, Fr. John Kowalczyk. In his report to the Diocese, Fr.
      Kowalcyzk stated that titles to the Monastery and its related
      properties are a "mess", with titles under various names. In short,
      it is not always clear who owns what, or who is now legally
      responsible for what. None of this, however, was reported to the
      Metropolitan Council during its recent meetings at the All-American Council...

      The revelation of this mortgage of property (read about an earlier
      unknown mortgage here
      http://ocanews.org/news/HermanMortgagesSTM9.16.08.html) at St.
      Tikhon's came about from the lawyers' discovery that Eastern
      Pennsylvania's $400,000+ Diocesan Center, intended as a residence for
      the diocesan bishop (and commonly known as the "Blue House"), was
      built on land not owned by the Diocese, but on land owned by the
      Monastery. Given the existing, large mortgages on the land, it is not
      likely the Diocese will be able to correct this situation in the near future.

      Fr. Kowalczyk reported that the lawyer's current investigation,
      authorized by Bishop Tikhon (triggered by the Synod and Metropolitan
      Council) into the complex financial, property and legal relationships
      of the associated institutions in South Canaan, all of which were
      controlled by Metropolitan Herman for decades, will continue. Fr.
      Kowalczyk promised to continue to report to the Diocese as
      information becomes available. (You can see pictures of the Diocesan
      Assembly here. No documents have been posted.)

      In related news from South Canaan, it has been reported that
      now-retired Metropolitan Herman is presently moving out of the
      aforementioned "Blue House", his residence for more than twenty
      years, to a new residence, also on Monastery property. The retired
      Metropolitan's new residence had been the home of the late Jacewicz
      sisters, noted benefactors of the Monastery. The question arises: to
      whom did the Jacewicz sisters leave their house, a home that is also
      built on monastery land: to the OCA, the monastery, the seminary or
      to Metropolitan Herman personally? The question is not idle, given
      that significant additions have been made to this home recently in
      preparation for the retired Metropolitan's move. Who authorized these
      renovations, and who is expected to pay for them? Does anyone beside
      the former Metropolitan Herman know?

      Finally, it has also been reported that the former manager of the
      St.Tikhon's Bookstore, Archdeacon Alexei Klimitchev, has left that
      position and closed his own personal bookstore/jewelry business in
      Philadelphia. He recently opened a new jewelry store in Honesdale PA,
      near South Canaan.

      - Mark Stokoe
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