Voices from Russia

Sunday, 4 October 2009

Where’s the Beef?


After a lovely and invigorating motor through the autumn countryside after liturgy today, Nicky and I were sitting in the Barnes & Noble in Mohawk Commons in Niskayuna having a coffee and looking at magazines. Nicky saw something concerning Leonid Kishkovsky (the head of the OCA DECR (or, what passes for it, actually) under Feodosy Lazor, Herman Swaiko, and Jonas Paffhausen) in the American Spectator and drew it to my attention.

Firstly, let’s give the source so that serious/zealous/pettifogging/vindictive (take your pick of the proper adjective) people can check it. It was found in an article entitled Kazakh Hospitality written by Jonathan Aitken, found on page 63 of the September 2009 issue. Apparently, Mr Kishkovsky was in Kazakhstan to attend the (get a load of this one, folks) “Congress of Leaders of World and Traditional Religions”.

Well… I was unaware that Lyonyo Kishkovsky was a leader of anything, let alone a “world and traditional religion”. No doubt, the bill for the transportation, lodging, and provisioning of Mr Kishkovsky and his entourage was not slight. This bill was not mentioned in the OCA budget. Hell… this trip was not announced on oca.org, or on Mark Stokoe’s website, Orthodox Christians for Accountability. What’s the secret, fellows?


Or, in plainer terms:


How much was spent on this worthless and rubbishy piece of fluff and frippery? Over the past year, Syosset has been screaming about how “open” they are about finances. This is the latest item to surface that was not listed in their “public disclosure”. Note well that the OCA has been forced to combine the offices of Treasurer for the OCA national leadership and that of St Vladimir’s Theological Seminary due to lack of funds. How many other “hidden” expenses are there? What is the expected total legal bill for the Koumentakos case, which is still active, by the way?

For the past 11 months, we have heard a continuous mantra from JP and his associates, “Everything has changed”. It appears from the evidence that nothing has changed at all. Indeed, things are worse than in the past, because lies are being told concerning the reality of the situation.

Now, I see that Matushka Nina Stroyen was correct when she repeatedly asserted to me, over the telephone, that the election of Jonas Paffhausen was a “set-up”. The last time that Matushka Nina gave me any information, the Syosset gang and their friends gave her a very hard time. That is reprehensible and beyond all words because she has done far more for the Church in her lifetime than all of these paladins of autocephaly have done combined.

I stand up and say that if any of these people dare to attack Matushka Nina again, it proves my point abundantly… that there is no truth to be found in Syosset and SVS, and that it is time for all Russian Orthodox Christians in the USA to unite in a single body, that we must “put down” the OCA as an unthrifty and sickly organisation. It has not only outlived what little usefulness it once had, it has become a cancerous lesion on the body of the Church that must be removed for the good of the whole.

I fear that we have reached a point where the OCA shall not die cleanly. Some of the HOOMies shall start their own body. Certain of the Syosset gang and SVS may attempt to form a “rump OCA” (shades of Alex Riggle’s Onion Dome!). The rest of us… we shall do our best to go home, to return to the Mother Church of Moscow.

First, there was the suicide of Eric Iliff after he was assaulted by a faculty member of SVS (note well that the suicide did not occur until he filed a law-suit against SVS… reflect on that). Second, there was the contumacious assault on the reputation of Kristine Koumentakos through the use of material obtained in confession and counselling by a priest who remains in good odour in the OCA (note well that this priest has been rewarded, not censured, by both Herman and Jonas, even though his actions are in contempt of all legal and moral standards of pastoral confidentiality). Third, the financial records of the Diocese of NY and Washington for 2001-05 “simply do not exist” according to the Secretary of the OCA (Igor Burdikoff and Robert Kondratick, who are the responsible and accountable parties in this situation, are going scot-free with no discipline, consequence, or penalty for their actions, whether from ecclesiastical or secular authorities). Now, we have an expensive junket not referred to in the budget or noted on the official OCA website (you can be sure that Lyonyo and Friends did not eat at Mickey Dee’s or stay at a Motel Six, only the poshest and most pretentious venues would do for such sorts, wot?). There is a message being sent here.

The faithful be damned. Pray, pay, and obey… or else. You have no right to question us on how much is spent on what item. If you question us, we shall refuse you the sacraments.

The last stipulation is not hyperbole, as it is exactly what their French buddy Gabriel did in the Plas Affair in Nice. This is not a rosy picture… but, the truth must be told. Just you watch… there is going to be another office eliminated when the next hefty bill from the lawyers comes forth. What can you do?

Send these people no money… what has been done already has had its effect, for Syosset had to eliminate a position (wasn’t their “spin” pathetic?). Send them no money… otherwise, you dishonour the memory of Eric Iliff, you help Syosset to strike at Kristine Koumentakos, you wink at the destruction of your church’s records, and you agree that senior clerics should go on expensive secret junkets on your nickel (without any permission or oversight from you, natch).

Send them a message… send them no cash. God shall bless you for it.

img_0001Barbara-Marie Drezhlo

Sunday 4 October 2009

Albany NY


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