Voices from Russia

Wednesday, 27 August 2014

Dokos Pled Not Guilty to Theft Charge

01 money

______________________________

This morning, Fr James Dokos pled not guilty to felony theft charge this morning during his arraignment in a Milwaukee County courtroom. Dokos, who’s on leave from Ss Peter and Paul Greek Orthodox Church in Glenview IL pending the outcome of the case, faces charges of improperly spending more than 100,000 USD (3.6 million Roubles. 615,000 Renminbi. 6.05 million INR. 108,400 CAD. 107,200 AUD. 75,800 Euros. 60,400 UK Pounds) from a trust fund intended to benefit Annunciation Greek Orthodox Church in Milwaukee WI. Dokos, 62, was the long-time pastor at Annunciation before transferring to Ss Peter and Paul in 2012. In June, authorities in Milwaukee announced that they’d file the charge against Dokos after launching an investigation last year into how the trust fund money was spent. A long-time Annunciation parishioner and his wife established the fund, and whilst the church received 1.1 million USD (39.8 million Roubles. 6.8 million Renminbi. 66.4 million INR. 1.2 million CAD. 1.18 million AUD. 834,000 Euros. 664,000 UK Pounds) from the fund, Annunciation members alerted authorities after finding possible discrepancies in how the rest of the money was allotted. Dokos’ attorneys denied that he engaged in wrongdoing and said that Annunciation members sought the prosecution against him to cover up their own mismanagement of the fund. Dokos is next due in court in December.

26 August 2014

Alexandra Chachkevitch

Chicago Tribune

http://www.chicagotribune.com/suburbs/glenview/ct-james-dokos-pleads-not-guilty-met-20140826-story.html

Sunday, 3 August 2014

3 August 2014. One of the Cabinet Speaks Up… It’s a Read n’ Heed Kids…

signing-on-the-dotted-line

The OCA LOVES “confidential settlements”… “We admit no crime or wrongdoing”. It’s time that we held clerics to the same standard that we hold everyone else to (which includes public judgement of criminal matters). In any case, hasn’t Storheim injured the Church’s credibility enough? It’s time to ‘fess up and get down… but will we?

_______________________________

Editor:

I got this from a Cabinet member a while back… it still has relevance. We have a lot of labour ahead of us… I have a word or two after this.

BMD

******

I just can’t wrap my head around why the [OCA] Chancellor posts the Pastoral Changes with a three-month delay. Okay, so maybe the dioceses don’t send in their reports sharp at the end of the month, so it takes, say, a couple or three weeks to extort the data from overworked diocesan chancellors with families, parish assignments of their own, etc. Can’t they have the thing done and posted by the end of the following month, then? Does it really warrant a quarterly posting schedule? Also, note that they’re not posted in a single place on the OCA website; you literally have to search for the press releases and dig them out one by one. It’s maddening.

Speaking of the Pastoral Changes, it hit me that I’d missed the ones for August and September, so I went and looked them up. Guess what I found? Archimandrite Gerasim Eliel assigned to St Seraphim Cathedral in Dallas TX effective 1 September 2013!  I knew (and I think you reported earlier) that he’d gone to a parish in the Diocese of the South, but being assigned to the Cathedral there is whole ‘nother story! So, is this how they’re trying to foist him upon the South? Remember, Fr Gerasim didn’t drop out of GTU. No, he dropped out of college at UC Santa Cruz and ended up going off to Platina in 1981. Download a copy of his excruciatingly detailed episcopal search autobiography, which is good for these points here. By the way, Fr David Brum didn’t attend GTU either… he attended St Patrick’s Seminary in Menlo Park CA for his M.Div. and the Catholic University of America in DC for his JCL (a licentiate in Canon Law). Here’s his bio for the details.

Now, speaking of Canon Law, I should add a few words on the Storheim saga. Firstly, in canonical terms, a man is either a cleric or not. When we depose a cleric, we don’t demote him to a lower order, but remove him from the ranks of the clergy altogether. Therefore, we can’t “roll back” Storheim to be a simple priest… we’ve ordained him a Bishop, and he must either remain a Bishop or no longer be a clergyman at all. It’s correct that according to the canonical tradition, we can’t punish someone for one crime twice. What this means is that, if we deposed him for the abuse of minors, then, we couldn’t excommunicated him for that same crime. That would be the double punishment.

Now, presumably, Storheim received monastic tonsure before being ordained a Bishop, so, even if we depose him from the clergy, he’d still be a monk under obedience to whomever his Bishop is unless he asks for a release from that state of life as well. If we depose him, his Bishop (after consulting with the Synod) CAN and SHOULD send him off to a monastery somewhere far away to live out the rest of his days. He seems to like Finland; they should see if somewhere over there would take him.

As for the deposition, note that the canons require a court of twelve Bishops to depose another Bishop. Even with the newly filled vacancies in Alaska and Eastern PA, the OCA is up only to 10 (it’s still down three, with vacancies in the Midwest, the South, and for all practical purposes, Canada). Now, one thing the Synod can do (there’s historical precedent) is to ask another Local Church to provide the missing number of Bishops… which realistically means Moscow in this case. I don’t know if they’ve asked them, but even Moscow might have its reasons not to soil its hands with the OCA’s dirty work, at least not immediately. We’ll just have to see what transpires in the immediate future… I can’t imagine that session of the Holy Synod that considered SMPAC and ORSMA policies and “reviewed a variety of clergy matters, including disciplines” ended without discussing the Storheim débâcle. Anyway, it’s important that the canonical process of deposition is impeccable. This is the first time that the OCA would set out to depose a Bishop, and we should give no excuse to Storheim’s supporters to argue that the deposition wasn’t valid. You remember how JP’s supporters argued that his own resignation was invalid? Imagine some employing the same tactic here, and with a far more unnerving goal.

Regarding Metropolitan Philip Saliba, your correspondent was right. He released clergy to and received them from the ROCOR normally even when they weren’t in communion with anyone else but the Serbs, and he had a beautiful wall icon of St Xenia of Petersburg painted at the Ss Peter and Paul Chapel in Antiochian Village even before Moscow canonised her because the ROCOR had already done it. There’s certainly a debt of gratitude there!

******

As for tardy reports of pastoral changes, that’d be easy to fix. Each diocese would report weekly via a standardised computer form. If no changes, they’d simply check the “no changes” box. It’d take five minutes at best. Modern computer technology allows understaffed institutions to be just as efficient as the MP is… and we should use it! If a chancellor of a diocese refused to use it, well, it’d be time to replace the chancellor. “Use modern means or go home”… we don’t use quill pens anymore… ‘nuff said, end of story…

If Eliel is a dropout, we shouldn’t have him on any list for bishop… full stop. That’s the end of the story. David Brum is the author of the notorious (and anti-canonical and anti-Traditional) “Brum Doctrine”… that the Metropolitan of the OCA is a tin-pot dictator who can override the Holy Synod. Of course, that ain’t Orthodox, but what do you expect from someone who lacks a real Orthodox formation? He DOES have a full-bore papist formation. Of course, he doesn’t (and can’t) teach according to Orthodox formulations! Note well, the konvertsy drool over both paladins. The Centre wouldn’t consecrate either one of these champions as bishops… neither should we.

To put it simply, Storheim’s put the Church through enough grief. It’s time to depose him and pack him off to the Mountain, where he can’t bother any more kids. I’d bet even money that the Canadian courts would sign off on that one. It gets rid of a headache for all concerned, it acknowledges Storheim’s guilt, and it means that the Church accepts and respects Mr Justice Mainella’s assessment of Mr Storheim… that he lacks any shred of credibility. Besides, the Church should apologise publicly to Storheim’s victims… not only for the abuse, but also for the unfounded attacks on their credibility by Mr Gindin, Storheim’s legal mouthpiece. Yes, it means that the OCA will have to pony up for the damages caused… but that’s fair. In fact, it’s a licit use for the “widow’s mite”… whereas to use it to savage the victims in court was not.

My Cabinet not only keeps me informed, they keep me grounded. Note well that most of the konvertsy bloggers are “lone wolves”. In Orthodox terms, that’s really beyond the pale. Keep it centred and focused… the times ARE evil… many who look “good” are crook, and many who look “off” are good. Keep the jug at hand… it hasn’t got any less crank in the last 24…

BMD

Thursday, 31 July 2014

Ordered to Stand Trial… Fr James Dokos, Accused of Stealing from Church in Wauwatosa

01 throwing away money

______________________________

A former Milwaukee-area priest accused of stealing from his church will stand trial. On Wednesday morning, Fr James Dokos was in facing charges of felony theft. Prosecutors say that he took more than 100,000 USD (3.56 million Roubles. 109,000 CAD. 107,500 AUD. 75,000 Euros. 59,000 UK Pounds) from Annunciation Greek Orthodox Church in Wauwatosa WI when he was priest there. If convicted, Dokos faces up to 10 years in prison. He’ll be back in court in September… when he’s expected to enter a plea.

30 July 2014

Katie DeLong

Fox 6 Now

http://fox6now.com/2014/07/30/ordered-to-stand-trial-father-james-dokos-accused-of-stealing-from-church-in-wauwatosa/

Monday, 21 July 2014

“It’s Very Hard”: Annunciation Greek Orthodox Church Trying to Move on after Priest Accused of Embezzling

00 Mojum Kamki. Rogger Robber. 2010

______________________________

Bouncing back after an alleged embezzlement, Annunciation Greek Orthodox Church in Milwaukee WI is trying to revive itself after falling into a financial slump. This happens at the same time as a former priest faces charges of improperly spending thousands of dollars from a church trust fund. James Dokos faces a Class G felony charge of theft (embezzlement), value exceeding 10,000 USD (352,000 Roubles. 10,750 CAD. 10,650 AUD. 7,400 Euros. 5,850 UK Pounds), and he was a “no show” for his first two court appearances. Prosecutors accuse 62-year-old Dokos of tapping into an Annunciation Greek Orthodox Church trust fund… to the tune of about 100,000 USD (3.52 million Roubles. 107,500 CAD. 106,500 AUD. 74,000 Euros. 58,500 UK Pounds). The GOAA Chicago Metropolis transferred Dokos to Ss Peter and Paul Church in Glenview IL in 2012, his most recent parish.

Last month, the church placed Dokos on unpaid administrative leave and suspended him from his duties as parish priest at the church in Glenview. Members of Annunciation parish said that they’ve experienced a myriad of emotions since learning of the allegations against Dokos. One member said, “I’m just very saddened. It’s very hard”. Church member Despina Panos said, “He was very good to us. I don’t know. I still don’t believe it happened”. Current priest Fr Angelo Artemas said, “When we realised that there were financial difficulties here and that there was a trust involved, it was very disheartening and all these circumstances have been very sad for us. We are experiencing some financial difficulties”. Fr Angelo said that the alleged theft, carried out by someone so trusted within the church is an unfortunate thing, but he said that he has full trust in the court system, noting, “This is America. Everybody’s entitled to their defence as well, and our sincere prayers are with Fr Jim Dokos as well”. Others are looking toward their faith… praying justice is served. Panos said, “Only God knows the truth, and He’ll give us the answers”.

Lately, it’s been difficult to even get Dokos in front of a judge. He was a “no show” for his first two scheduled court appearances… claiming that he missed them due to car problems and an illness. He finally showed up for his initial court appearance on Friday, 18 July. As Dokos moves through the court system, members of Annunciation parish said that they’re just trying to move on. Church member Constantine Stamantelakys said, “We just really want to move on. We really come here to worship and believe in Jesus and that’s what it’s all about. We’ll survive”. The court ordered Dokos booked and released by 15.00 Saturday, 19 July. If he failed to appear, it’d issue a bench warrant for his arrest.

20 July 2014

Derica Williams

Fox6Now.com

http://fox6now.com/2014/07/20/its-very-hard-annunciation-greek-orthodox-church-trying-to-move-on-after-priest-accused-of-embezzling/

« Previous PageNext Page »

Theme: Rubric. Get a free blog at WordPress.com

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 946 other followers