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OCANews: The call for financial accountability has exposed us.

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  • msopts@aol.com
    Submitted by Melanie Jula Sakoda _http://ocanews.org/news/2NEReflection.html_ (http://ocanews.org/news/2NEReflection.html) 2.09.06 A Reflection The call for
    Message 1 of 1 , Feb 9, 2006
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      Submitted by Melanie Jula Sakoda



      A Reflection

      The call for financial accountability has exposed us.

      While it is imperative that the Synod of Bishops call for a comprehensive
      audit, it is also imperative to acknowledge the frailty of our autocephalous
      Church. The various and often opposing responses to having a comprehensive audit
      should not be construed as a sign of health but of a spiritually fatal
      disease that undermines every aspect of our ecclesial life.

      To disagree with or to question anyone or anything related to the
      administration of the Church results in division. Witness the rhetoric that fills
      cyberspace. Anyone with a feel for language can detect anger, vitriol and dare I
      say even hatred spewing from the snide, bombastic and scatological remarks of
      so many clergy. So much duplicity in the name of Christ, Truth, Gospel,
      Church, Hierarchy, Catholicity. So many hidden agendas beneath the thin veneer
      of brotherhood and conciliarity.

      The call for financial accountability has exposed us.

      We are an "us" versus "them" Church. The clarion call to action has been
      sounded. The scramble to tap the usual arsenals is underway. Scripture,
      Fathers, Canons, Liturgy are being put to work for the building up of the
      invisible and impregnable walls of division.

      Accountability is no longer just a matter of fiscal responsibility. That
      the simple question "Are the allegations true or false?," has not been directly
      answered confirms the fear that permeates the Church. The "culture of fear"
      is real. All of us are part of it. All of us allow it to reign over the

      No one can claim to have clean hands. The inherent swagger prevalent in so
      much of the erudite and pious language used to correct, clarify and advise all
      camps is a testament to the fear that has been strangling the Church in
      America for decades. We launch verbal salvos at each other but do we really
      "communicate" with each other? Are we in communion with each other? Do we want
      to be in communion with each other? Upholding and defending the truth has
      been overtaken by the quest for self preservation.

      The culture of fear is real because of the obvious lack of trust we have in
      each other. If the contrary were true - if there was no fear and lack of
      trust - would the Church be so polarized? Would blessings, salutations and
      embraces be poisoned by the sardonic formality we have trained ourselves to accept
      and perpetuate?

      Resolution(s) to the issue of the Church's finances will not heal the deeper
      problems and sins affecting us. The resolutions and changes that ensue will
      only be cosmetic until clergy and laity cease transforming "the pillar and
      foundation of truth" into a pile of dust.

      Drawing near to one another will not be easy. The recovery of personal
      integrity will demand more than perfunctory apologies. The Lenten spring draws
      near. If we are humble enough we can enter together and learn once again that
      sin and death no longer have the final word. If we are wise enough we will
      flee the vanity of the world and run to the embrace of the Savior who, by the
      Spirit, will again teach us to love one another as he loves us.

      Through the Lord's self-emptying love all fear will vanish and we will again
      go about the work of salvation.

      - A Priest in the Diocese of New England

      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
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