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  • Nina Tkachuk Dimas
    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
    Message 1 of 1 , Sep 4, 2008
      9.4.08 BREAKING NEWS


      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,
      September 3-5,2008.

      - 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
      answers reader's
      questions submitted to the OCA, beginning no later than January

      The establishment at the 15th AAC of a long-term strategic planning
      committee to
      review: (a) the relationship of the dioceses to the Central Church;
      (b) the appropriate
      division of responsibilities and funding between the dioceses and the
      Central Church;
      (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
      Central Church
      Administration and its geographic location; and (e) the development,
      documentation, and
      implementation of sound business policies, procedures, processes, and
      practices. The
      committee will conduct a comprehensive review of The Statute of the
      Orthodox Church
      in America and all HS, MC, and Chancery policies to ensure
      accountability, openness,
      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

      --- End forwarded message ---
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