Loading ...
Sorry, an error occurred while loading the content.

Archbishop Job's Sorrowful Epistle

Expand Messages
  • Nina Tkachuk Dimas
    http://www.midwestdiocese.org/news_070604_1.html POSTED: Archpastoral Letter to Diocesan Clergy - 05/31/07 May 31, 2007 Afterfeast of Pentecost Apostle Hermias
    Message 1 of 1 , Jun 4, 2007
    • 0 Attachment

      POSTED: Archpastoral Letter to Diocesan Clergy - 05/31/07

      May 31, 2007
      Afterfeast of Pentecost Apostle Hermias of the Seventy
      No. 113

      Out of the depths have I cried to you, O Lord;
      Lord, hear my voice. (Psalm 129:1)

      To the Reverend and Esteemed Clergy of the Diocese of the Midwest


      My Beloved in the Lord,

      Glory to Jesus Christ!

      I address this letter to you my co-workers in the Vineyard of the lord
      � The Diocese of the Midwest � and my friends and brothers in Christ,
      during this Feast of Pentecost, when we most especially and fervently
      pray that the Holy Spirit will �come and abide in us and cleanse us
      from every impurity��

      Using the words of the holy Apostle Paul,

      �Grace to you and peace from God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
      I thank my God upon every remembrance of you, always in every prayer of
      mine making request for you all with joy, for your communion in the
      gospel from the first day until now, being confident of this very good
      thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until
      the day of Jesus Christ��(Philippians 1:2-6)

      I make these words my own, and I offer them in utmost sincerity.

      In my letter of 28 November 2005, to His Beatitude, Metropolitan
      HERMAN, I stated, � I do not claim to be a good man, but I like to
      think that I am an honest man.� This crisis in our Orthodox Church in
      America has made me painfully aware of the fact that I cannot claim to
      be a good man. Yet, from the beginning of this struggle, which for us
      in the Midwest began nearly two years ago when our Diocesan Council
      dared to request transparency and fiscal accountability from the
      Central Church Administration prior to the Toronto All American
      Council, I have prayed, again and again, that my motives remain pure
      and objective. That remains my prayer to this day.

      Permit me to share with you a sad but sobering story. On Holy Saturday
      evening, as I was preparing to leave my apartment for Holy Trinity
      Cathedral to help celebrate the Feast of Feasts, I put on a beautiful
      ivory Panagia which I had worn on every Pascha night since it was given
      to me many years ago by an old friend. I looked in the mirror and then,
      with great sadness, I took it off, placed it in its box, and chose
      another. I could not wear it, not out of any spirit of
      self-righteousness, but because I question whether or not it was a
      genuine gift or something other than that. Fifty-some days later I
      still don�t know if I am simply playing the fool. But the beautiful
      panagia remains in its box. I cannot wear it again until I make
      restitution to the Church for its approximate worth as well as for
      other �gifts� that I have received. You see my friends, that I am
      baring my soul to you. Forgive me. I realize that critics will label
      this letter as �melodramatic� or �obsequious.� When I wrote a very
      personal letter to each of you a few years ago, it was labeled, I am
      told, �Sappy� by the former chancellor. It wasn�t. It was genuine,
      heartfelt and sincere. But we know that these qualities have not been
      held in high esteem for many years in �Syosset.�

      God knows, and all of you know, that this crisis has taken its toll on
      all of us, affecting some more than others. There have been ups and
      downs, glimmers of hope followed by utter devastation. To read the
      chronology of the crisis is, in the words of one commentator, like
      reading � a bad novel.� We have witnessed transfers, rescissions of
      transfers, rescissions of rescissions, suspensions, reversal of
      suspensions, disregard for decisions of the Synod and Metropolitan
      Council, and now Byzantine intrigue and controversy concerning due
      process in an ecclesiastical Court (as though this were the first
      Church court convened in the 37 � year history of the Orthodox Church
      in America!)

      On May 4, 2007, I placed a call to Metropolitan HERMAN, seeking
      direction for the Special Commission, since I had arranged for a
      conference call with the Commission members for later that evening. I
      also informed His Beatitude of our approaching Diocesan Council meeting
      which would render a decision on the �Palatine Resolution.� I told him
      of our parishes that are already withholding assessments. He inquired
      as to their reasons for doing this and I told him that it appears that
      nothing is being done by the Central Church Administration because
      there is no communication. I then asked for his help and his guidance.
      I received nothing except that one of our attorneys would contact me. A
      few hours later I receive the devastating letter about the suspension
      of the the Special Commission (which has since been made public.) I had
      shared it only with the Commission members, our Deans and the Diocesan
      Council members.

      For the record, in spite of the impression that the Commission is
      �dead� I assure you that it is not! Its members remain frustrated,
      defeated and demoralized, for much time is being wasted. But we are
      determined to continue our work as endorsed and directed by both the
      Metropolitan Council and Holy Synod. And our work must include genuine
      investigation followed by thorough reporting. I ask your prayers that
      our work be permitted to go unhindered.

      I reported all of this to the Diocesan Council at its meeting on May 9,
      which was for me an inspiration. The various opinions about the
      Palatine Resolution were exchanged in an open, honest and respectful
      way. In a nutshell, as they say, some spoke in favor of withholding as
      a Diocese the assessments to the Central Church Administration. I found
      myself agreeing with them. Others spoke against withholding. I found
      myself agreeing with them, too. A vote was taken. The resolution was
      defeated. More discussion followed. The arguments were convincing, but
      because of the �gray area� in question, no one, I believe, was entirely
      convinced. The vote was rescinded and �part two� of the meeting was
      scheduled for June 26. I regard this as the more responsible approach
      to a difficult situation. I left the meeting energized and encouraged,
      but unfortunately this was short lived.

      In the short time since Pascha, serious and tragic mistakes have been
      made, the suspension of the Special Commission being, in my judgment,
      one of the worst. My friends, we have a crisis of leadership. I had
      stated that I stood in support of the Metropolitan in this crisis. I
      should have clarified this and should have stated that I support the
      positive decisions that he has made � and there certainly have been
      some. But there have been far more poor decisions, made unilaterally,
      without consultation and communication, which, as we see have had
      devastating results. At the Diocesan Council meeting I described myself
      as being � at the end of my rope.� Now I find myself in a worse state
      of mind. I ponder on such things as �Desperate situations require
      desperate measures.� I am persuaded that I am not alone, because I have
      heard that there are those who were against the Palatine Resolution who
      have now changed their positions. Fathers and Brothers, souls are at
      stake! We cannot forget that.

      A few days ago, I read a comment by someone on the ocanews.org website.
      It concluded with, �God, save us from our bishops!� and I confess that
      I cried. Never would I have imagined that such a statement could be
      made. Now it appears that it is held by many. God help us!

      By next week, I will announce a special day of prayer and fasting for
      our Church. A service of prayer will be made available to be celebrated
      in all our churches. Meanwhile, let us continue to strive for truth and
      righteousness. Let us continue to work together to make our Diocese of
      the Midwest the best that it can be. Let us remember the good things
      and rejoice in them.

      Once again I state, � I thank my God for every remembrance of you��

      Always relying on your support, and asking your prayers for my
      unworthiness, I remain

      Faithfully yours in Christ,

      Archbishop of Chicago and the Midwest

      cc. Diocesan Council Members


      Moody friends. Drama queens. Your life? Nope! - their life, your story. Play Sims Stories at Yahoo! Games.

      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
    Your message has been successfully submitted and would be delivered to recipients shortly.