MC ASKS SYNOD TO DENY LEAVE, RETIRE HERMAN INSTEAD
- 9.4.08 BREAKING NEWS
MC ASKS SYNOD TO DENY LEAVE, RETIRE HERMAN INSTEAD
The Metropolitan Council passed a unanimous resolution yesterday
asking the Synod "in the strongest possible terms" to deny
Metropolitan Herman's request for a six month leave of absence "in
view of the findings of the Special Investigative Committee's
Report". The resolution asks instead that the Synod adopt the first
recommendation of the SIC Report, that Metropolitan Herman be removed
from office immediately.
The Synod is scheduled to meet today separately from the Metropolitan
Council where it will discuss the matter as well as the other
referrals for discipline. Other items on its agenda include the
possible election of Archimandrite Jonah (Paffhausen) as Vicar Bishop
for the Diocese of the South.
The SIC Recommendations
In other news of the first day of the joint meeting, Archbishop
Dmitri, as the senior OCA Bishop, has indeed asked Archbishop
Seraphim to chair the event, in the absence of Metropolitan Herman,
who refused to attend. After hearing the SIC Report in its first
session yesterday morning, both the Synod and Council agreed to sever
the Report from its recommendations, as the first three
recommendations were the canonical responsibility of the Synod alone.
The two bodies then unanimously voted to accept the Report of the
Special Investigative Committee.
Later, in its separate meeting in the afternoon, the Council agreed,
with minor changes, to adopt all the recommendations of the Report
and forward the first three to the Synod for action. With one
exception, these recommendations were adopted unanimously. These
- The referral of +Metropolitan Theodosius to the Synod for
discipline prior to the 15th AAC.
- The referral of the former part-time Treasurers Father Paul
Kucynda , and Father Dimitri Oselinsky and the former Comptroller Fr.
Stephen Strikis to the Synod (HS) for discipline prior to the 15th
- A joint HS and MC resolution of apology and repentance to the
Church prior to the 15th AAC and a joint resolution of apology to and
commendation for John Kozey acknowledging his vigilance and
dedication to his fiduciary responsibilities in light of the
opposition he encountered.
- A joint HS and MC resolution of commitment to implement the SICs
recommendations prior to the 15th AAC.
- To seek the recovery of funds from +MT and Kondratick immediately
after receiving this report during the HS and MC joint session,
- The OCA Legal Committee and legal counsel to review this report for
possible referral to the Nassau County District Attorney and other
appropriate authorities no later than September 30,2008, and report
back to the HS and MC on that date.
(This recommendation was the sole recommendation not adopted
unanimously. One member objected.)
- A report by the OCA's external auditors to the HS and the MC
regarding the adequacy of the newly established internal financial
controls and the release of the same on the OCA's website at the 15th
- The establishment by the HS and MC of a committee to oversee and
report on the progress of the SIC's recommendations. This committee
shall consist of one hierarchchosen by the HS, the three OCA
corporate officers, and three MC members selected by
the MC during their meeting of September 3-5,2008.
- The designation of the MC's Ethics Committee as the OCA's
ombudsman, aplace for whistle-blowers and others to bring concerns
without fear of retribution,
beginning at the joint session, September 3-5,2008.
- The establishment of a presentation by the OCA's legal counsel to
the HS andMC concerning their fiduciary and other legal
responsibilities as members of theirrespective bodies during the 15th
AAC and annually thereafter.
- The MC's selection of a committee during its September 3-5, 2008
meeting to develop a comprehensive crisis management plan, developing
and adopting a policy of
immediate action within the Church, and a commitment to provide
effective communications with members of the Church, while problems,
issues, and crises are
being addressed. The committee will present a progress report to the
HS and MC no later than the Spring 2009 HS and MC sessions.
- Beginning with calendar year 2008, annual external financial
reviews of all OCA bodies and institutions (including Stavropegial
institutions) are to be mandated. Additionally, the financial records
of the former Diocese of New YorkNew Jersey shall be audited. The
results of these audits will be presented to the HS and MC and
published on the OCA's website within 30 days of their presentation.
(This was a minor change from the SIC's recommendation. A "review"
is less costly than a full scale audit, but would uncover most
irregularities, if any. The Diocese of NY/NJ records, however, are
to be audited.)
- The establishment of qualifications for election as a member of
the OCA's Audit Committee during the 15th AAC.
- The OCA's Annual Audit Committee reports shall be presented to the
HS andMC and published on the OCA's website within 30 days of their
- The publication of the OCA's annual budget and monthly financial
reports on the OCA's website, beginning October 1,2008.
Implement changes to ensure the OCA's website is current with the
goal of its
becoming a reliable source of Church information, and one to which
questions submitted to the OCA, beginning no later than January
The establishment at the 15th AAC of a long-term strategic planning
review: (a) the relationship of the dioceses to the Central Church;
(b) the appropriate
division of responsibilities and funding between the dioceses and the
(c) the separate and joint roles and responsibilities of the HS and
MC in the governance
of the Church; (d) the role, functions, structure, and funding of the
Administration and its geographic location; and (e) the development,
implementation of sound business policies, procedures, processes, and
committee will conduct a comprehensive review of The Statute of the
in America and all HS, MC, and Chancery policies to ensure
and communication to the Church-at-large. The committee will report
to the HS and MC
during their Spring and Fall sessions, beginning no later than the
Spring 2009 sessions,
and semi-annually thereafter.
The meeting, including full discussions surrounding the SIC Report
and its recommendations, as well as questions and answers by the
SIC, went until past 10 PM Wednesday evening.
- Mark Stokoe
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