OCANews: "Three Questions for the Metropolitan"
Three Questions For The Metropolitan
The Metropolitan, to his credit, has agreed to publicly answer
questions regarding the scandal during a question and answer session
at St. Mark's parish in Bethesda, Maryland. If the questions being
asked in the Comments section on this website are any indication,
some of them will be hard, some are likely to be skeptical in tone,
and others downright harsh. Such is the price of continuing silence
in an atmosphere of distrust.
And silence is the key word here, lest distrust overwhelm the
process. After a flurry of timely and welcome postings during the
historic joint meeting of the Synod of Bishops and the Metropolitan
Council seven weeks ago, the OCA has released precious little
additional information about anything substantial. Oh, there was
time to let people know OCPC was
suspending service for yearly inventory, pictures from a trip to
Mexico by the Metropolitan, and of course, 75th birthday greetings.
But at least three events of concern to everyone in the OCA have
occurred without notice being given, without statements issued or
without explanations offered. The Metropolitan's appearance would be
a good time to ask "Why?"
1. "Why have the Minutes of the Metropolitan Council meeting not
been published yet?"
The meeting was held December 11-13th. Council members received
their copies before Christmas. It is now February. What is the delay
with sharing the minutes of a most important meeting
with the clergy and laity of the OCA whom the Council actually
represents? It would be best if the MInutes came from the OCA.
What's the problem?
2. "Why have the internal auditors not issued any statement about
their work yet?"
The internal auditors of the OCA, composed of the V. Rev. Paul Suda,
the V. Rev. David Mahaffey, Mr. David Donlick and Mr. Frank Tkacz
after a two-year hiatus, met in Syosset at the end of December. Yet
this meeting, too, was not announced, nor has any report been
issued. Nothing. Although elected by the All-American Council, the
internal auditors' total lack of fiduciary responsibility over the
past 10 years cries out for the Metropolitan to accept their
resignations, and for the Metropolitan Council
in March (which is, according to Statute, the continuation of the
All-American Council) to replace them before the next. Failing that,
they should at very least not be afraid to state their findings
publicly. That is whay they are there to do.
3. And most importantly: "Why has the Independent Special Commission
not issued any statement about their work yet? "
The Independent Special Commission of the OCA, charged with
completing the work begun by Proskauer Rose LLP, met last week in
Parma OH. This was widely known in clerical circles in Cleveland.
Now no one expects to hear anything about their investigation until
they report to the Metropolitan Council in 40 days. Yet we have been
given no information about their meeting schedule, plans, methods,
procedures, or scope of their investigation. There are no good
reasons to keep such things confidential. Indeed, the opposite
is true. They are to be independent, not secret. Like Moses, this
Commission was charged with going up the mountain. And unless the
people hear something soon, the New Israel risks the same fate as
the Old. "When the people became aware of Moses' delay in coming
down from the mountain, they gathered around Aaron and said to
him, 'Come, make us a god who will be our leader; as for the man
Moses who brought us out of the land of Egypt, we do not know what
has happened to him.'" (Exodus 32:1)
These are the three questions I would ask in Bethesda. But the fact
is, in an atmosphere of uncertainty and distrust, silence is a
formula for disaster for the Independent Special Commission's
credibility. It is even worse for the damaged credibility of the
auditors who ignored the scandal for years. And most of all, it is
damaging for the Metropolitan. Continuing the silence risks losing
what little credibility he has gained since March 2006.
The Church deserves to know.
© 2006 Orthodox Christians for Accountability Orthodox Christians
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