www.byzcath.org
I noticed the Fr. Bitsko/Smithtown thread has been closed. And the replacement thread that I opened seems to have disappeared with no trace of it ever existing...let's try this again... Please keep us informed regarding this parish and any other like happenings...It's important for people to realize they are not necessarily responsible...there is too much of a pattern in the Eparchy of Passaic...

Chris
If you ask me, and I have seen this from experience. People do not support their Church enough finacially,they think everything runs by itself (lack of committment to volunteering) and for free.
They want everything provided for them and yet dont contribute.
Most just attend on Sunday and many not even that often.
So I can see why a parish closes.
It happened to the Church where I was baptized. 150+ years later its being torn down and I find that sad.
I try to contribute 10 % and at times im sure it well over that amount with special collections.
Stephanos I
Father,

I agree with your assesment...I have seen this many times myself...however, from my experiences...what is happening in Smithtown, NY appears to be exactly what happened in my parish almost 2 years ago (and approximately 18 other parishes over the last 20 years in His Grace Andrew's jurisdictions...the commitment of the parishioners and "financial crisis" was a clergy/heirarchy created issue...If you go back and look at some of my postings 2 years ago...exactly what I said to look out for is occuring...I'm not a prophet...just someone who remains vigilant, and looks for trends...

Chris
The bishop is what, 80 years old? I mean how come he has not been forced to retire yet? And has anyone bothered to write the apostolic nuncio about these closings? Has a canon lawyer been contacted about these closings? I mean people can troll and complain about this online all they want but nothing will happen if people don't organize, get a lawyer and do some serious letter writing. I know almost nothing about Canon Law, but I think if these old guys are plotting and disbanding parish councils and destroying grave yards it must in violatoin of some canon. And has anyone thought about the secular government? Are there not laws against messing with grave sites?
I'm taking this opportunity as a Moderator to warn all posters that the tone and tenor of the Smithtown thread went far beyond the bounds of charity that this forum requires and in some cases that posts were edited that could have been construed as libelous. The Moderators and Administrators will not tolerate this kind of venting. That is the reason that the thread was closed.

If this or any future thread moves in that direction, it, too, will be closed and posters receive limits on their posting privileges. We are not to be bashing bishops or clergy here, even if we disagree with their actions in carrying out what they see as their duties related to their offices.

If this cannot be a place to discuss things with charity, then it may be time for new rules relating to specific topics.

In Christ,

BOB
Originally Posted by theophan
We are not to be bashing bishops or clergy here, even if we disagree with their actions in carrying out what they see as their duties related to their offices.

If this cannot be a place to discuss things with charity, then it may be time for new rules relating to specific topics.

In Christ,

BOB


As always, Bob, I'm going to take you at your word: which is a good word.

In reply, to you and to the original poster, I would say this:

Episcopal autocracy is part of being Catholic. It is also part of being Orthodox. It is built into the very structure of those Churches.

In general, the bishops own the parishes and their property and their money. They can do what they want with those things. It doesn't matter what the people might think.

That includes the people who are directly affected by bishops' decisions. I know that from personal experience. When I was a Roman Catholic, our bishop shut down our parish. He said that there was a priest shortage, and he had to make cuts somewhere, so he closed parishes that were not "viable." We thought we were viable, and we had good numbers (in money and demographics) to prove it. We also offered various alternatives to closing our parish to His Excellency, but he decided to shut us down anyway. And because he owned everything in the diocese, he could and he did.

From what I understand, Orthodox bishops have similar power in their churches.

So, it can be all well and good to report on the various decisions by the bishops.

But, after a certain point, it becomes rather pointless. The Catholic Church and the Orthodox Church are autocratic, not democratic, in structure. The bishops in those denominations can do what they want with church property.

Hence, there is a choice: remain or go. If one remains in the Catholic Church or the Orthodox Church, a person must find a way to deal with the autocratic nature of the church's organization around the bishops. (And part of that is carefully deciding who and what to give money to.) The other alternative is to quit and, perhaps, to join a congregational, Protestant church.

Just my two cents' worth.

-- John


Originally Posted by harmon3110
The Catholic Church and the Orthodox Church are autocratic, not democratic, in structure. The bishops in those denominations can do what they want with church property.

Hence, there is a choice: remain or go. If one remains in the Catholic Church or the Orthodox Church, a person must find a way to deal with the autocratic nature of the church's organization around the bishops. (And part of that is carefully deciding who and what to give money to.) The other alternative is to quit and, perhaps, to join a congregational, Protestant church.

By the way, I am not defending that system. I am merely pointing it out and the only two real options regarding it.

-- John
John I agree with your statements...I think that (the authority of the bishop) is sometimes lost in these discussions...the bishop has all authority to do as he pleases in his eparchy. Believe me, if I didn't believe that I would not have become Orthodox. At least to me, the manner in which these closings are being done is "evil". It is scandalous to the faithful. Ignoring these and allowing them to be "swept under the rug" empowers the evil to fester...I also agree that parishioners should "quit" but leave en mass and go to a jurisdiction that respects fellow members of the church...

I think this actually ties in to other items of discussion such as universal jurisdiction of the Pope of Rome...since the bishops are appointed and not elected...

Chris
Dear John:

Just a clarification to your general observation regarding the ownership of diocesan properties.

No, the Bishop does NOT own any of the properties. They are owned by the Diocese, as the juridical entity or "person" recognized under both ecclesiastical and secular laws.

However, the Bishop is the living person in representation of his Diocese and, therefore, he is vested by law (ecclesiastical and secular) with the powers and authority belonging to the Diocese. As part of those powers, the Bishop may acquire and dispose of properties, but always in the name of the Diocese (or in his name as "Corporation Sole" but to the benefit always of the Diocese).

This principle holds true whether the Diocese was incorporated as a "Corporation Sole" or as a non-profit corporate body.

Amadeus...

I believe you touched on something important here:
Quote
However, the Bishop is the living person in representation of his Diocese...

Is the diocese/eparchy or the church as a whole made up by its members...a bishop has nothing if no members under him...it is the resposibility for the bishop to represent his diocese in a way that is becoming a Christian...

Chris
Originally Posted by Job
Amadeus...

I believe you touched on something important here:
Quote
However, the Bishop is the living person in representation of his Diocese...

Is the diocese/eparchy or the church as a whole made up by its members...a bishop has nothing if no members under him...it is the resposibility for the bishop to represent his diocese in a way that is becoming a Christian...

Chris

A Diocese/Eparchy precedes a Bishop or an Eparch. There is no Bishop nor an Eparch WITHOUT first the establishment of a Diocese or an Eparchy.

A Diocese or an Eparchy (not a parish) is the "smallest" integral unit of the Church universal, i.e., the "One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church" subsists in a Diocese or an Eparchy!

Based on the (Catholic) Canons, a Diocese/Eparchy must have at least 2 parishes to remain as such.
These are key points...

I hope you didn't take my prior posting to be some sort of disagrement...it was meant more as questions...trying to get people reading this to do some evaluation of where they stand...

I agree with what you have written in the prior two postings...


Chris
Originally Posted by Job
I think this actually ties in to other items of discussion such as universal jurisdiction of the Pope of Rome...since the bishops are appointed and not elected...

Chris,

Pardon my ignorance, but do some Orthodox jurisdictions still elect bishops?

Gordo
Yes, certainly.
Fr. Serge
John:

I agree with your post. I think we have to remember that God has His Hand in all this--something we seem to forget all too often when things go awry in the Church. Somehow He is involved and His Holy Spirit guides our human history. It may not seem to be something we can always understand, but He is there.

That having been said, we often seem to be--as someone told me many years ago--viewing the tapestry of life from the reverse side with all its broken threads, knots, and dim colors. When we get to the Kingdom, God will show us His tapestry and we will see the big picture clearly. Now it may not be clear; now things may hurt. But to be configured to Christ means we have to suffer with Him and sometimes that means suffering inside the Church as well as enduring the external attacks for being a member of Christ.

For those who are suffering, let me offer my prayers that your pain may ease and you not lose sight of the One Who is your hope. Your hope is not in the building, the events, the community relationships, but in Christ Himself--all other things flowing from that. For some, this series of events will give you a taste of what other threads have discussed in terms of Mother Teresa of Calcutta--the awful emptiness that comes with thinking that God Himself has abandoned you and your community. He hasn't.

In Christ,

BOB
Originally Posted by harmon3110
In general, the bishops ... can do what they want ... It doesn't matter what the people might think.
Strong words stated here about property and money. A far cry from-------

Timothy 1 3:1-5
"This saying is trustworthy: whoever aspires to the office of bishop desires a noble task. Therefore, a bishop must be irreproachable, married only once, temperate, self-controlled, decent, hospitable, able to teach, not a drunkard, not aggressive, but gentle, not contentious, not a lover of money. He must manage his own household well, keeping his children under control with perfect dignity; for if a man does not know how to manage his own household, how can he take care of the church of God?" (NAB)

Ed
I have been a visitor to The Church of the Resurrection over the past three years.
Respectfully asked, why would the Bishop allow this to continue? I find it hard to believe that he is not aware of the tone and attitude of the priest now placed there for the past year.
He must be aware of the 60 or so responses to the article that ran in Newsday.
And I also find it odd that this priest does not reach out to the congregation to smooth these very rough seas.
Why doesn't the Bishop make a visit to the church? This would alleviate many of the parishoners fears and concerns.
Are you aware that there is actually a sign placed on the property that states you may "NOT FEED THE ANIMALS"? I find this odd behavior.
Solo deo gloria.
Originally Posted by Stephanos I
If you ask me, and I have seen this from experience. People do not support their Church enough finacially,they think everything runs by itself (lack of committment to volunteering) and for free.
They want everything provided for them and yet dont contribute.
Most just attend on Sunday and many not even that often.
So I can see why a parish closes.
It happened to the Church where I was baptized. 150+ years later its being torn down and I find that sad.
I try to contribute 10 % and at times im sure it well over that amount with special collections.
Stephanos I

I can only speak for Smithtown, having been a member for decades. People give (gave) what they could afford. The people who could afford more made up for the ones who couldn't, such as some of the elderly and some young families. My family would increase our donations whenever possible; I know for a fact that others did the same. Father Dan never rarely asked for donations of money; rather he requested donations of our time, and physical labor, which we gave willingly and to the best of our abilities, because we wanted our church to succeed and grow, and we took pride in it. We had many talented parishioners - carpenters, electricians, plumbers, etc., who all donated their labor and the materials necessary for whatever projects and/or repairs were necessary around the church. We also had many and various fund-raising activities. Our nursery school brought in a steady income, and brought us many new parishioners, because the young families who enrolled their children were so impressed with the close parish family we had. We were still doing well financially, and spiritually, when our old pastor was fired, and our new pastor came in and began the systematic dismantling of all programs in the parish. So, in this instance, our particular church was well supported by it's parishioners.
Originally Posted by Job
I noticed the Fr. Bitsko/Smithtown thread has been closed. And the replacement thread that I opened seems to have disappeared with no trace of it ever existing...let's try this again... Please keep us informed regarding this parish and any other like happenings...It's important for people to realize they are not necessarily responsible...there is too much of a pattern in the Eparchy of Passaic...

Chris

Chris, I greatly appreciate your efforts in keeping this discussion going. It is necessary for the spiritual well-being of the people this is happening to. I myself shed tears this afternoon when I learned the thread was closed. I asked our Lord to intervene. He has answered my prayers.
Originally Posted by Job
John I agree with your statements...I think that (the authority of the bishop) is sometimes lost in these discussions...the bishop has all authority to do as he pleases in his eparchy. Believe me, if I didn't believe that I would not have become Orthodox. At least to me, the manner in which these closings are being done is "evil". It is scandalous to the faithful. Ignoring these and allowing them to be "swept under the rug" empowers the evil to fester...I also agree that parishioners should "quit" but leave en mass and go to a jurisdiction that respects fellow members of the church...

I think this actually ties in to other items of discussion such as universal jurisdiction of the Pope of Rome...since the bishops are appointed and not elected...

Chris

Chris, as someone who is directly affected by what is going on in Smithtown, I can tell you that I would have felt quite differently about things if the bishop would have come to our church and told us that the eparchy needed money, and he regretfully had to close our church and sell the property. I would have been heartbroken, but I would have moved on and found another place to worship. The way this is being done is torturous and abusive, and it is causing many of the parishioners to question their faith, and that is not a nice thing to do to people, whether intentionally or not.
Originally Posted by Meg
Chris, as someone who is directly affected by what is going on in Smithtown, I can tell you that I would have felt quite differently about things if the bishop would have come to our church and told us that the eparchy needed money, and he regretfully had to close our church and sell the property. I would have been heartbroken, but I would have moved on and found another place to worship. The way this is being done is torturous and abusive, and it is causing many of the parishioners to question their faith, and that is not a nice thing to do to people, whether intentionally or not.

Meg, maybe I can offer some solace and advice.

What you hoped for actually happened in my (Latin rite Catholic) parish.

The bishop --to his credit, may God grant him many blessings-- actually came in person. He came not just to my parish; he came to all of the 23 parishes he was closing or merging that year. And he listened to us and our complaints and our pleas to remain open.

But, the bishop stuck to his position, explaining it again and again:
-- there is a priest shortage,
-- he does not have enough priests to staff all the parishes in his dioceses,
-- he will not allow priestless parishes in his diocese,
-- he therefore has to close some of the parishes,
-- he chose to close the parishes that he considered "not viable" because there they were low in numbers, old in population, or that had other Catholic parishes nearby. (My parish fell into the latter category.)

Now, on the one hand, it was very good of him to come in person and hear us and talk with us. May God bless him. It was also good that he gave us plenty of time (several months) to prepare. It would have been worse if the bishop had simply decreed our closure from afar or without warning.

On the other hand, it still hurt like the death of a loved one for our parish to be closed. Some did question their faith. Others were angry. Etc. It was like any other death.

But, like any other death, the living got back to living our lives. Most people found other Catholic parishes in the area to attend.

And, there were even happy blessings that came from this. Speaking personally, I came to the Eastern Church because of this (although that was something I had not planned). My parish had been closed, and I was looking for a new one, and there was this beautiful little Catholic church with onion domes on top that I had noticed before, and a little intuition told me to stop by . . . And the rest has been a very joyful history.

So, there is hope. The tough work is to get through the mourning and to go forward. If you want the Church of the Eucharist, you must accept the Church with the bishops . . . even though bishops sometimes have to make difficult and unpleasant decisions.

Accept the loss and find another parish. And, as Bob wisely reminded us: God's hand is, mysteriously, in all of this. He will guide you.

May God bless you, and all of your fellow parishioners, in all of this.

-- John


Originally Posted by harmon3110
If you want the Church of the Eucharist, you must accept the Church with the bishops . . . even though bishops sometimes have to make difficult and unpleasant decisions.

Without casting judgment on Bishop Andrew or any other particular bishop at the present time (I am in no position to do so), I would add that sometimes in the history of the Church bishops have made decisions that are not merely difficult or unpleasant, but thorougly sinful. Bishops who are habitually poor shepherds-or even worse, wolves appearing as shepherds-should not be followed, but rather, deposed-in my opinion.

Ryan
John..How blest you were in receiving an explanation as to what you were going to face when your former bishop came to you. We have treated as cruely as can be imagined in the past 2 years...from top to bottom...no visits, no explanations. Witnessing what is occurring is a form of dying, as you say, unlike any other death. However, as much as we hurt now, part of our solace will be that of even having had the experience of the past 32-plus years: Father Dan and a great Parish Family. We were blest. Our Church grounds were a busy hub just about any part of the day or night; and it was ours. Now it is dark; and the grounds, empty. However, I do believe and trust that He will guide each of us.

Your comments and prayers are helpful and truly appreciated by us.

Originally Posted by spinrose
John..How blest you were in receiving an explanation as to what you were going to face when your former bishop came to you. We have treated as cruely as can be imagined in the past 2 years...from top to bottom...no visits, no explanations. Witnessing what is occurring is a form of dying, as you say, unlike any other death. However, as much as we hurt now, part of our solace will be that of even having had the experience of the past 32-plus years: Father Dan and a great Parish Family. We were blest. Our Church grounds were a busy hub just about any part of the day or night; and it was ours. Now it is dark; and the grounds, empty. However, I do believe and trust that He will guide each of us.

Your comments and prayers are helpful and truly appreciated by us.



Thank you, and may God bless you.

-- John
Originally Posted by Athanasius The L
Without casting judgment on Bishop Andrew or any other particular bishop at the present time (I am in no position to do so), I would add that sometimes in the history of the Church bishops have made decisions that are not merely difficult or unpleasant, but thorougly sinful. Bishops who are habitually poor shepherds-or even worse, wolves appearing as shepherds-should not be followed, but rather, deposed-in my opinion.

Ryan, I agree. There is a real distinction between unpleasant decisions and wrongdoing. If bishops (or anyone else in a postion of authority) has behaved wrongly, they should be punished and/or removed from office.

Now, as a practical matter, this leaves the people with two options.

(1) If the people have hard proof of criminal activity, they should speak with law enforcement and the prosecutor. That, by the way, is what is happening in the OCA: where there are strong allegations of finacial wrongdoing.

(2) Otherwise, the only thing the people can do is withdraw: either withdrawing their money from the church or withdrawing themselves --leaving-- for another church.

-- John

Originally Posted by spinrose
John..How blest you were in receiving an explanation as to what you were going to face when your former bishop came to you. We have treated as cruely as can be imagined in the past 2 years...from top to bottom...no visits, no explanations. Witnessing what is occurring is a form of dying, as you say, unlike any other death. However, as much as we hurt now, part of our solace will be that of even having had the experience of the past 32-plus years: Father Dan and a great Parish Family. We were blest. Our Church grounds were a busy hub just about any part of the day or night; and it was ours. Now it is dark; and the grounds, empty. However, I do believe and trust that He will guide each of us.

Your comments and prayers are helpful and truly appreciated by us.

I concur, and the only comment I have to make regarding this is the following: If a bishop has complete authority over the physical and financial assets of his eparchy, and all the parishes therein, is it not then his obligation to exercise that authority in a way that does not cause a crisis of
faith in his subjects? Just wondering.
Originally Posted by Job
I also agree that parishioners should "quit" but leave en mass and go to a jurisdiction that respects fellow members of the church...
We are talking about one bishop here, not the entire Byzantine Catholic Church. Besidess Eastern Orthodoxy is not exactly perfect either... you have Judas's in your Church too.
Yes, one would think that he has an obligation to exercise due diligence regarding the souls in his jurisdiction. However, there is probably Only One who will ultimately judge this and we may not be around to witness the sentence. It will happen, I believe.
Quote
Poster: Zan
Subject: Re: Parishes being run into the ground in the Eparchy of Passaic


Originally Posted By: Job
I also agree that parishioners should "quit" but leave en mass and go to a jurisdiction that respects fellow members of the church...


We are talking about one bishop here, not the entire Byzantine Catholic Church. Besidess Eastern Orthodoxy is not exactly perfect either... you have Judas's in your Church too.

I agree...the eastern Orthodox churches have their own problems...the OCA is a good example of a parish with "financial indiscretions" that seems to mirror the BCC...Part of the problem is at least in the HT situation all of the BCC bishops were kept informed with the situation...nothing happened...nothing was done...although the other bishops can't really "do anything" outside their respective eparchies...the one thing they can do is put on pressure...at least in the OCA financial scandals...Archbishop Job has publically come out and challenged Metropolitan Herman publicly...several times...the fellow bishops of the BCC sit by and do nothing...

Oh...by the way...I don't remember if it was this thread or the one that was closed...I did suggest leaving "en masse" but not only did I suggest the Orthodox but I did suggest the Romainian Catholics as well...

Chris
Chris,
I read one of the more recent posts from the Newsday article where parishioners in Smithtown were told recently (paraphrased)they wouldn't be permitted to have a funeral in the church if they don't use their envelopes. This priest knows full well the church is headed for supression, and some of these parishioners have been there for decades. I don't understand the mentality here- well, I do understand it, but would rather not.

My question- didn't you say your priest had the nerve to take a collection at the very last Liturgy at HT? This was the same day the priests were 'protected' by armed guards, correct?

As far as I am concerned, the sale of the Smithtown property should bring in more than enough $$$$. How could a priest in all good conscience use such scare tactics to continue to take money from people he is trying to get rid of? Just how much blood money do they need?

A
Quote
My question- didn't you say your priest had the nerve to take a collection at the very last Liturgy at HT? This was the same day the priests were 'protected' by armed guards, correct?

My answer - Yes, a collection was taken...however, I believe it was done so as not to "tip anyone off" about what was going to happen at the end...the parish administrator and eparchial chancellor stood by at the end and simply watched without saying a word as the people took their envelopes back...and yes it was the day they were "protected" by armed guards...

Quote
As far as I am concerned, the sale of the Smithtown property should bring in more than enough $$$$. How could a priest in all good conscience use such scare tactics to continue to take money from people he is trying to get rid of? Just how much blood money do they need?

Andrasi...unfortunately the sale of the Smithtown property should bring in more than enough $$$...however, the history of these property sales...is that they seem to be sold well below their market value...to get rid of the property and get their hands on the $$$...(eg...the combined 4 pieces of property that were sold in the HT closing almost 2 years ago was a steal...at $1 million in Fairfield County)

Chris
Quote
I read one of the more recent posts from the Newsday article where parishioners in Smithtown were told recently (paraphrased)they wouldn't be permitted to have a funeral in the church if they don't use their envelopes.

This doesn't surprise me at all...it forces people to either continue being a "cash cow" until it closes...or forces them to leave...in which case the case can be made "we didn't close you" you closed yourselves...I think what bothers me the most regarding this is these are the exact tactics that have been used before and continue to be used...and the evilness continues...I believe it was Meg who stated earlier in the thread...if they were honest...stated that the parish was going to close in x months/weeks...the eparchy needs the $$$...and explained why this was occuring...although people would still be upset...it could be tolerated...I know, I for one, and I'm not alone in the HT community...that the BCC could have held on to some of the members...the disgusting, unChristian tactics that are being used is the problem...the people are understanding if spoken to honestly...it appears that some one or some people still do not get it and believe they are untouchable and accountable to nobody...reminds me of Metropolitan Herman in the OCA...I continually pray for their souls...they may not be accountable to anyone here on earth...but they ultimately will be held accountable if not in this life...then in the next...

Chris Gombos
The Church of the Resurrection, Smithtown, bulletin from today September 16th, states the following:

"Income for the third quarter (April through June 2007) from weekly giving was ($14,941.27. For the same period insurance = $9,722.13; utilities = $6,811.47. Total expenditures for the same period were $45,825.01." Doing some quick accounting - That leaves $29,291.41.
Where is the accounting for these expenses? A tithe to the Eparchy would be $1,500.00. The sextant receives free housing so I doubt his salary is too much. Water bill wouldn't account for that either - HOW MUCH IS FATHER U'S SALARY?
Or is the church paying the Eparchy a back bill?
Solo deo gloria.
Quote
I know of several Roman Catholic dioceses that have had parishes merge or close in the last 10 years or so. Not once have I ever heard of supressions being done the way they've been done in Passaic. In all cases that I know of, the actual BISHOP visits the individual parishes and speaks with the people. Can you believe that?
One or two of their actual parishes have more members than this whole eparchy combined, yet somehow the people manage to get treated like human beings by their >>>bishop<<<.

As far as not wanting to tip off the parishioners at HT that this was their last Liturgy together, what a ridiculous and convoluted thought process!

Lately I am almost embarrassed to admit I am BCC. Is it any wonder we have NO credibility in the larger Catholic community?!
Originally Posted by andrasi
As far as not wanting to tip off the parishioners at HT that this was their last Liturgy together, what a ridiculous and convoluted thought process!

Lately I am almost embarrassed to admit I am BCC. Is it any wonder we have NO credibility in the larger Catholic community?!

The same thing was unfortunately done to the small parish that was served by our former parish priest as well. No warning, BAM! It floors me that there is NO pastoral sensitivity and care for the souls that are left behind. Driving by the church a month or so later after the closing, there was a dead bouquet of flowers by the outdoor St. Nicholas shrine. It broke my heart.
I have appreciated your words and prayers, but certainly didn't realize how similar our situations were/are until I took the time to read your past posts regarding HT. Of course, Eastern Catholic Life never mentions the parishes that have been shut down so unless someone had contacted us directly, we did not know. As HT was closed, the process against Resurrection was getting underway with the disgraceful dismissal of Fr. Dan. Who could have envisioned what was to follow? For sure, you and the others of similar torturous experience who have written are extended members of our Parish Family. In our instance, the EofP didn't even have the class to bring in someone of their own (Nas) to accomplish the dastardly deed gently; instead they went outside to a cold, bi-ritual individual with no people skills whatsoever to be the executioner.

Re. the eparchy needing the $$$, a look in its official website at the "administrators'" list of names (all with a string alphabet-soup letters attached) would indicate a real need for serious "pension" monies in the near future. Ergo, the property rich (obtained through the hard work of the parishioners) Cash Cows in Smithtown and elsewhere have to go. Reality Check: It's a business and we are expendable. Adjectives fail me!



Quote
It's a business and we are expendable.

I think this is a key point...unfortunately this is how members of the Body of Christ in the BCC appear to be viewed...My experiences tell me, that although there is a business aspect to running such a large organization the Church is NOT a business...I do understand with aging clergy...there are commitments that have been made to them for their lives of service that should NOT be taken from them...along with other scandalous financial burdens...but these things need to be taken care of with care and compassion for the faithful...not disregard for and contempt toward them...

Chris
The lack of "care and compassion" has left me hurt and exhausted. Methinks there will be a lot of answering therefor someday. In the meantime, I shall continue to work with my "Family" in Smithtown...but I plan to slide over to the Greek Orthodox Church in Port Jeff starting October for Divine Liturgy. (I guess I'll be making Spanakopita instead of Holupki! Opa!)
Spinrose, I know for a fact that you will never stop making holupki. It a real shame to hear that all of our efforts and hard work to build that parish has all been undone in such a short time and in such a systematic method. I am almost glad that my father is no longer around to see what is going on, but then again he does have a bird's eye view and all the answers that we do not.
And your Dad sees our tears and knows our pain. Stay well, Angel Voice.
I'm currently reading a book entitled "Hunky- The Immigration Experience" by Nicholas Stevensson Karas. Great book if you are interested in the daily lives of your ancestors back in "Old Country"

I'm only in a few chapters, but I can get a feel for the severely opressive, harsh lives of our Carpathian ancestors.
The book tells of Lords(pan)and their gentry who would find ways to confiscate family farms using trumped up charges, making it ultimately look like it was the farmers fault. One day they were farming, the next day they were out on the street.
In another chapter I read that the Polish RC Church, in an effort to gain territory, had Jesuits forcibly convert the Orthodox peasants to Roman Catholicism using such tactics as eviction, near starvtion etc. (No slam meant to our current RC readers, just a part of history)
Reading about the Jesuit activity in the Carpathian Mountains took my thoughts immediately to Smithtown and HT, LOL. I couldn't help remembering the current pastor is a Jesuit. Reading about the activity of the Lords (pan) and their gentry gives me some basis to make excuse for the harsh treatment being doled out to the good people in our supressed parishes. It is almost like history repeating itself in the small microcosm which is this eparchy. The difference is that we are not the simple, uneducated peasants of yesterday. Thanks to their sacrifices we are American citizens. If the BC church is intent on making itself a thing of the past we can choose to go elsewhere. Its a big country, not the small isolated village of yesteryear.
Quote
The book tells of Lords(pan)and their gentry who would find ways to confiscate family farms using trumped up charges, making it ultimately look like it was the farmers fault. One day they were farming, the next day they were out on the street.

Sounds familiar....

Thanks for posting that book title...I'd like to take a look at it...

Chris
I've read it, and it was a good book for the most part. He does have an Orthodox bias against Greek Catholics, and there are a couple of minor historical (ecclesiastical) details that were wrong or glossed over. But an overall good read about Rusyn immigrant life in early 20th America.

Chris,
The author was the grandson of the characters in the book. It highlights the trials of both sets of his grandparents and their families, growing up poor farmers in the Carpathian mountains and coming to the US to work in the mines and steel companies. I'm getting into it.

Like I said, I can't help comparing the present day tactics with these tricks of old.
Another comparison, LOL:
The villages were isolated from each other. No one knew what was going on anywhere else. It reminded me of the Congresses we used to have in PA. Between sessions we were able to talk to people from various parishes throughout the eparchy. Relating this to the book, it seems like the first thing you do in your control plan is isolate your villages. As Meg said, she had no idea HT was supressed in the same exact way. Thank God for the internet. I have to wonder if there are other parishes going through this that we have no idea about.
Quote
it seems like the first thing you do in your control plan is isolate your villages. As Meg said, she had no idea HT was supressed in the same exact way. Thank God for the internet.

Isolate people from each other...that's the only way these tactics work...I left the BCC when the parish closed...and believe it or not I am very pleased with the decision I made to go Orthodox...the only reason I keep on this issue is so the tactics don't get swept under the rug...Not only was Holy Trinity supressed in the exact same way but about 17 parishes prior to us were as well...I continue to stand against the evil that continues to occur...and pray for those going through it...I've been there and know exactly what you guys are going through...

Chris

17 parishes.
The sale of 17 properties over the years should have yielded more than enough for an evangelization or education program that is more than token. What kind of growth have we seen? None.








A painful realization is that one of the clergy, pastor of an upstate parish, is a former Smithtown parishioner who knows many, many of us. He must be aware of what is taking place and yet ..... ????? Silence!
I am sure they are all aware...and yet???? Silence.
Its a sad state of affairs.
We will offer spiritual and emotional support to each other. Though not everyone who reads this forum may post here, I am sure their prayers join ours for you and the people who have left as well as for those who don't know where to go.
God be with all of you.
Originally Posted by spinrose
A painful realization is that one of the clergy, pastor of an upstate parish, is a former Smithtown parishioner who knows many, many of us. He must be aware of what is taking place and yet ..... ????? Silence!

He probably doesn't want what happened to Father Dan to happen to him; thus the silence. I don't envy any priest in this Eparchy.
At the risk of sounding insensitive, I urge you who have had your parishes sold from under you to get over it and go forward with life. Betrayal is, unfortunately, sometimes part of life. Well, now you have to make a decision: do nothing and feel sad about it, or go forward with your lives (and feel sad about it from time to time). From time to time, you will feel sad about what happened to your former parish for the rest of your lives, because your parish and its loss is a part of you. It's like a death. But, like any other death, time heals all wounds if you let it: by actively living your life and going forward. So: if your bishops have been bad, leave. You're not going to change them, and you might as well go someplace where you can worship Christ unimpeded. I would recommend a different Eastern Catholic church (like the Ukrainians, perhaps?) or the Orthodox Church (except for the OCA, which is having its own problems with allegations of financial corruption). Time is short; you can grieve, but keep moving forward to "run the good race."

-- John
Originally Posted by harmon3110
At the risk of sounding insensitive, I urge you who have had your parishes sold from under you to get over it and go forward with life. Betrayal is, unfortunately, sometimes part of life. Well, now you have to make a decision: do nothing and feel sad about it, or go forward with your lives (and feel sad about it from time to time). From time to time, you will feel sad about what happened to your former parish for the rest of your lives, because your parish and its loss is a part of you. It's like a death. But, like any other death, time heals all wounds if you let it: by actively living your life and going forward. So: if your bishops have been bad, leave. You're not going to change them, and you might as well go someplace where you can worship Christ unimpeded. I would recommend a different Eastern Catholic church (like the Ukrainians, perhaps?) or the Orthodox Church (except for the OCA, which is having its own problems with allegations of financial corruption). Time is short; you can grieve, but keep moving forward to "run the good race."

-- John

John, I agree that we must move on, and many have already done so. But children have been hurt, in my parish and in the rest of the eparchy. Young adults with families have been hurt. Some of these people are moving on, but not to Catholic "organiations" of any sort. Others have totally abandoned organized religion, in total disgust for what they see going in in our church. This is not to say they have abandoned their faith, just organized religion. Nobody in the hierarchy seems to care about these souls; they appear to be more interested in the business aspect of "admininstering" to their flock. It is for this reason that some people, while getting on with their lives mentally and spiritually, choose to try and do something to put an end to this.
Does that mean silence buys security in this Eparchy? The first Christians died for what they believed. Now we see hurt and sorrow all around heaped on the broken bones of the faithful and nobody "within" cares.
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A painful realization is that one of the clergy,...is a former Smithtown parishioner who knows many, many of us. He must be aware of what is taking place and yet ..... ????? Silence!

I'm sure he is aware...these stories are known outside the BCC...When HT was closed I heard more from other Jurisdictions, (Orthodox, Roman Catholic & even Protestant) appauled at what occured...I heard nothing from the BCC...so I'm sure a priest of the eparchy would know...but Fr. Dan is not the only one who has been removed, as we can only assume since this has never been refuted, for speaking out...There have been other instances where the priest who spoke out was "fired" and lost the retirement that was due him...I know of at least one case that was tried in Spiritual Court and, Thank God, the priest won...

Sadly, none of this is new.

Chris
Originally Posted by spinrose
Now we see hurt and sorrow all around heaped on the broken bones of the faithful and nobody "within" cares.

Hence the empty pews in most of our little parishes.
Apparently we all need to eat our vegetables and play nice with each other. It is a sad day when the faithful members of a parish are cast aside by those who have taken holy vows to guide them and lead them from this world into the next.

It has been said that we should accept the fact that we have been betrayed, and we should move on. For some people, that is an option, and many have availed themselves of it. Some of us moved away before all this began. Some of us do not want to move on, refuse to accept that no one in the Eparchy cares about us, and are willing to fight for our place. Even though circumstances dictated that I am no longer on Long Island, I still consider myself a member of this parish, as my family and I put forth many hours of volunteered time, devotion, and work in order to help our parish grow to what it was. I now find myself saying how it was, because how it is now is a shadow of what it was. I can only ask this - what right does the leaders of the Eparchy have to determine that a parish is no longer a viable one? What is "the bottom line"? When is a parish considered to be "in the red" and liquidated spiratually?
Originally Posted by Meg
John, I agree that we must move on, and many have already done so. But children have been hurt, in my parish and in the rest of the eparchy. Young adults with families have been hurt. Some of these people are moving on, but not to Catholic "organiations" of any sort. Others have totally abandoned organized religion, in total disgust for what they see going in in our church. This is not to say they have abandoned their faith, just organized religion. Nobody in the hierarchy seems to care about these souls; they appear to be more interested in the business aspect of "admininstering" to their flock. It is for this reason that some people, while getting on with their lives mentally and spiritually, choose to try and do something to put an end to this. [emphasis ended]

Meg, may God bless you !

I can sympathize. When my former Roman Catholic diocese shut or merged over 20 parishes in one year, it was a shock to say the least.

But, some folks --like you-- are at least trying to make the best of the situation: by helping others.

That is the Church: not the building, not even the bishops, but Jesus Christ and all who are united to Him by living lives of selfless love. This is where the rubber hits the road. It is the people who are willing to step through the pain to help others --following Christ's Cross and Resurrection-- that will revive the Church.

Your example --and the example of others like you-- are what keep the Church going.

Then the question becomes: Where? Where to revive the Church? Where to lead people back to Christ? Where --as you put it-- to "do something to put an end to this"?

The leadership of the BCC has made its views clear, with selling off parishes and with "revising" the Liturgy. And, the laity can't challenge the leadership in the BCC. They have all the power in the organization and all the property and money. All that people can do is choose to go or stay.

If you choose to go, the closest fit might be a another Eastern Catholic church (maybe the UGCC) or an Orthodox parish. I think you (or another person from your community) posted about going to the local Greek Orthodox parish? Wherever you go, if you go with love (and not bitterness), Christ will use you to bless and renew the Church.

I'm trying to encourage people to be practical. Everyone needs to vent their anger, but then people need to move forward: or else they will become stuck in bitterness. (I know that because I saw that happen to some people too.) The ones who could get practical and decide where to move are the ones who are renewing the Church.

Best wishes and my prayers,

-- John
John, Your words are appreciated. I am the one who is moving on to the Greek Orthodox Church...certainly with love and not bitterness and knowing that I bring the warmth and appreciation of my experience from Smithtown parish. It has just taken time to accept the fact that I have to leave my "home" of 33 years. We were broadsided by the Eparchy with Fr. Dan's removal and the very hurtful actions that followed over the past two years. Ours was such a wonderful, vibrant Parish Family. It took the cancellation of our famous biennial Bazaar for the shock to create a reaction, and understandably, anger. We are so appreciative of the words from all who have posted comments of care and concern to us. They were ever so helpful. Yes, those who are left will have to try to move forward...some will be able to do so more quickly than others...and we will extend our hands to others who my be in pain in the future because that is what we are about...doing this in the Name of Christ.
I was reading the posts on the other forum, and one poster questioned why Smithtown was forcibly supressed as opposed to Westbury. Westbury apparently has half the number of people in their congregation and much less in terms of income. Westbury and Smithtown share the same priest. (I'm not saying Westbury deserves such treatment either)

Brings me back to the same question. One that will never be honestly answered, I'm guessing. Was the destruction of this parish done solely for the $$$?

I do pray for the people of Smithtown. You know full well it was not you who are responsible for this situation. I too hope you can move on from this tragedy and find a truly God fearing Church to welcome you.

With no disrespect or insensitivity intended to the pain and anger being endured by folks over this situation, I respectfully, nonetheless, wish to express my concern and disappointment over what appears to be an accepted interchangibility between Byzantine Catholicisms and Eastern Orthodoxy.

I don't believe Byzantine Catholicism and Eastern Orthodox are, or should be, interchangable. I think Catholicism is Catholicism. Byzantine Catholicism should be interchangeable with Roman Latin Catholicism, Maronite Catholicism, Chaledean Catholicism etc.

Best to all,
Robster
Robster, I respectfully disagree. We Byzantine Catholics derive our liturgical, spiritual and theological patrimony from the east. With a few minor differences, we are "Orthodox in union with Rome". Nearly all of us have Orthodox counterparts. We relate to and identify more closely with Orthodoxy than Roman Catholicism.
Robster,
I agree with you to a point. Catholic is Catholic. If your point is that the good people of our Ruthenian parishes who are forced out by their bishop should go to a Catholic parish, I think you will find the exact opposite to be true. In general, Cradle Byzantines have been been treated as second class Catholics by their Roman bretheren. 'Converts' are here because they chose to be here, and not the RC church. The next logical step, especially after the cruel treatment received by a Catholic bishop and his priests, for me anyway, would be to go home to where I believe we must really belong- to Orthodoxy
The puzzlement that I think befuddles Robster and other Latin Catholics like me is that there are 13 (4 in the U.S.) other Byzantine Catholic Churches available as "refuge" instead of going Orthodox, if there is reluctance to go to the nearest Latin Rite parish.

This is where the phrase "Catholic is Catholic" should not be rendered merely as a lip service by Eastern Catholics as this Catholic prescriptive is what must identify us both (Latin and EC)!

Are Byzantine Catholics "Catholic" in name only?
Originally Posted by Amadeus
The puzzlement that I think befuddles Robster and other Latin Catholics like me is that there are 13 (4 in the U.S.) other Byzantine Catholic Churches available as "refuge" instead of going Orthodox, if there is reluctance to go to the nearest Latin Rite parish.

This is where the phrase "Catholic is Catholic" should not be rendered merely as a lip service by Eastern Catholics as this Catholic prescriptive is what must identify us both (Latin and EC)!

Are Byzantine Catholics "Catholic" in name only?

The other Eastern Catholic jurisdictions have their issues also. Ukrainians with recited liturgies, the Melkites use inclusive language, etc. Orthodoxy has always been the safety valve for disaffected EC's. There's much less nonsense.

I always felt (and I'm sure many here also) that being EC was like being a second class Catholic. I lost count of how many Latins I've met that have no clue what a Byzantine Catholic is. A great many think I'm nuts when I try to convince them that they are as Catholic as they are. They refuse to believe it. crazy

I love the Byzantine liturgy, and never considered becoming Roman Catholic. That's why I "Went Orthodox".
Quote
Are Byzantine Catholics "Catholic" in name only?

Actually Amadeus...at least the way I saw it...although I learned it wasn't realistic remaining in communion with Rome...that Byzantine Catholics who view themselves as being "Orthodox in Union with Rome" I would see as more "catholic" in that they express differences to the faith...not necessarily dragged to the Latin version of what is and what is not catholic...
Originally Posted by Anna
Robster, I respectfully disagree. We Byzantine Catholics derive our liturgical, spiritual and theological patrimony from the east. With a few minor differences, we are "Orthodox in union with Rome". Nearly all of us have Orthodox counterparts. We relate to and identify more closely with Orthodoxy than Roman Catholicism.

The question remains - What makes a church? What makes a church a "house of God," - a place where one can commune with God and be renewed spiritually? Is it a rite? A hierarchy? A denomination? I think not. I believe it is the community of people who attend that church, and how well they follow and implement Christ's teachings. At Church of the Resurrection, under Father Dan's leadership and guidance, we had that. We reached out to the community, to the underprivileged, and the down-trodden, and the "un-churched," just like Father Dan did. We followed his example. He would often say "Always preach the Gospel, and if necessary, use words." He himself lived in this way. So in my quest for another place to worship, this is what I will seek - another community of Christ's disciples, who live up to and follow Christ's teachings, and a leader who does the same. I hope I can find that in another Eastern Rite, or Orthodox church, because I do so love our beautiful Liturgy, our customs, and our traditions. But if is not to be, then I will go where God leads me. And although Church of the Resurrection will probably ultimately close, the impact it has made on the Community can never be erased. That will be Father Dan's (and his parishioner's) legacy, and no-one - no Bishop, or any other church hierarchy, can take that away. Perhaps that is the lesson God wants us to learn in all this.
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I always felt (and I'm sure many here also) that being EC was like being a second class Catholic.

I think there is another thread regarding a RC priest who refused to give the eucharist to an Eastern Catholic child (or children) even though they are fully entitled to recieve...this type of behavior continues to have many EC's feel like 2nd class citizens...to me it's sad to view other ECs that don't have a problem with it...

Chris
Originally Posted by Etnick
Originally Posted by Amadeus
The puzzlement that I think befuddles Robster and other Latin Catholics like me is that there are 13 (4 in the U.S.) other Byzantine Catholic Churches available as "refuge" instead of going Orthodox, if there is reluctance to go to the nearest Latin Rite parish.

This is where the phrase "Catholic is Catholic" should not be rendered merely as a lip service by Eastern Catholics as this Catholic prescriptive is what must identify us both (Latin and EC)!

Are Byzantine Catholics "Catholic" in name only?

The other Eastern Catholic jurisdictions have their issues also. Ukrainians with recited liturgies, the Melkites use inclusive language, etc. Orthodoxy has always been the safety valve for disaffected EC's. There's much less nonsense.

I always felt (and I'm sure many here also) that being EC was like being a second class Catholic. I lost count of how many Latins I've met that have no clue what a Byzantine Catholic is. A great many think I'm nuts when I try to convince them that they are as Catholic as they are. They refuse to believe it. crazy

I love the Byzantine liturgy, and never considered becoming Roman Catholic. That's why I "Went Orthodox".

Your last sentence is probably a non sequitor!

The Roman Catholic Church does NOT celebrate the Byzantine liturgy. Therefore, you can never translate into her.

The source of the puzzlement is: there are 14 Byzantine Catholic Churches which, undoubtedly, equally celebrate the Byzantine liturgy in its fullness.

In going Orthodox, there is this queasy feeling among us Latin Rite Catholics, at least for me, anyway, that the Byzantine litrugy as celebrated by Byzantine Catholic Churches is less full, or less fulfilling, than that celebrated by the Orthodox?

Perhaps, I am simply misunderstanding the particular situations!
Originally Posted by Amadeus
Are Byzantine Catholics "Catholic" in name only?
Amadeus,

I think there are many of us who see ourselves as "Orthodox in union with Rome." That makes us "Orthodox" first and "in union with Rome" second. We see the schism as something tragic that we are compelled to live with, and certainly not as "good guys vs. bad guys," "right Church vs. wrong Church," etc.

Does that make us "Catholic" in name only? Naturally, some people will think so.


Peace,
Deacon Richard
When one appreciates the beauty of the Byzantine Liturgy, the personal touch in the reception of the Sacraments and the spiritualism of the Eastern Way, it becomes very difficult for one to abandon it in exchange for Latin Rite Catholicism as the only acceptable avenue. The only churches within acceptable driving distance from my house here on L.I. are 8 Latin rite churches and 1 Orthodox church...no other form of Catholicism. I go to church to worship the Almighty, not to ponder hierarchy...especially after what has been happening to us. Further, I pray for the unity between Orthodoxy and Catholicism...our faith is the same. I am sorry that some of us may disappoint you or cause you concern. Please try to understand our position, which was none of our doing.
Throughout my entirelife I have been trying to explain the difference between Roman Catholicism and the Byzantine rite, with little or no success. Having been born and raised a Byzantine catholic, going to a Roman church is very unfulfilling to me. It lacks the beauty and warmth. I agree with Spinrose 100% in this. To have this taken away from you without warning is equal to a stab in the back. I have heard others speak of how their bishop came and met with the parishes that he was going to shut down, and had Bishop Pataki done this with Ressurection, perhaps people would have an easier time of this. Not being told anything, hearing things after the fact or from people who know people is discouraging. Fr. Dan was always forthcoming with us, and to now be faced with a very tight lipped Eparchial hierarchy is very frustrating and saddening.

Originally Posted by nypdjoe
Throughout my entirelife I have been trying to explain the difference between Roman Catholicism and the Byzantine rite, with little or no success. Having been born and raised a Byzantine catholic, going to a Roman church is very unfulfilling to me. It lacks the beauty and warmth. I agree with Spinrose 100% in this. To have this taken away from you without warning is equal to a stab in the back.
I agree with you and Spinrose regarding this, also. We get invited to family First Communions, weddings, funerals, etc., all in Roman Catholic churches, and we leave feeling that something is missing. We have a vacation home in the South, and there are no Byzantine Catholic churches nearby - only one a 2 and 1/2 hour's drive away. We tried to attend the local RC Church, but we felt extremely uncomfortable there, the Mass was over in a very short period of time, and no-one was friendly. So now, when we are there, we attend Liturgy at the Greek Orthodox Church. The only problem is, we may not receive Holy Communion in that church, because we are "uniates." However, we are treated kindly and welcomed in every other way. It's a very ethnic congregation, and the Liturgy is entirely in Greek, but the parishioners are warm, kind and welcoming, so we feel entirely "at home" there. It's tough to be uprooted at our age, but we'll keep trying.
Originally Posted by Etnick
Originally Posted by Amadeus
The puzzlement that I think befuddles Robster and other Latin Catholics like me is that there are 13 (4 in the U.S.) other Byzantine Catholic Churches available as "refuge" instead of going Orthodox, if there is reluctance to go to the nearest Latin Rite parish.

This is where the phrase "Catholic is Catholic" should not be rendered merely as a lip service by Eastern Catholics as this Catholic prescriptive is what must identify us both (Latin and EC)!

Are Byzantine Catholics "Catholic" in name only?

The other Eastern Catholic jurisdictions have their issues also. Ukrainians with recited liturgies, the Melkites use inclusive language, etc. Orthodoxy has always been the safety valve for disaffected EC's. There's much less nonsense.

I always felt (and I'm sure many here also) that being EC was like being a second class Catholic. I lost count of how many Latins I've met that have no clue what a Byzantine Catholic is. A great many think I'm nuts when I try to convince them that they are as Catholic as they are. They refuse to believe it. crazy

I love the Byzantine liturgy, and never considered becoming Roman Catholic. That's why I "Went Orthodox".



Well said, Etnik !!!


To the Roman Catholics who genuinely don't understand this, please consider:

Eastern Catholics are Catholics, but they are not Roman. Their traditions and origins lie with different patriarchs than Rome: the patriarchs of Constantinople, Antioch, Moscow and so on. In other words, their origins and traditions are from the Orthodox world.

And so, the Eastern Catholics are a hybrid of sorts. They are under the ultimate authority of the patriarch of Rome, but they are Orthodox in their liturgy and customs and mindset. Or, as they like to say, they are Orthodox in Communion with Rome.

Hence, if Eastern Catholics have to choose which church to attend, Roman Catholic or Eastern Orthodox, they often choose Eastern Orthodox because it is closest in practice to their own religion.

It is not a fun choice to make, by the way. Eastern Catholics generally prefer being Eastern Catholic (Orthodox in Communion with Rome). Otherwise, in a society with freedom of religion, they would have become Eastern Orthodox or Roman Catholic or something else long ago.

But if Eastern Catholics have no Eastern Catholic parish to worship in --because they move to a new location of if a bishop shuts their parish down-- they have to make that choice. And some choose to be Roman Catholic, but others become Orthodox.

It's not a question of Catholic and Orthodox being interchangeable. They are not. It is a question of finding the best alternative when one's Eastern Catholic church is no longer available.

-- John


Originally Posted by Meg
The question remains - What makes a church? What makes a church a "house of God," - a place where one can commune with God and be renewed spiritually? Is it a rite? A hierarchy? A denomination? I think not. I believe it is the community of people who attend that church, and how well they follow and implement Christ's teachings. At Church of the Resurrection, under Father Dan's leadership and guidance, we had that. We reached out to the community, to the underprivileged, and the down-trodden, and the "un-churched," just like Father Dan did. We followed his example. He would often say "Always preach the Gospel, and if necessary, use words." He himself lived in this way. So in my quest for another place to worship, this is what I will seek - another community of Christ's disciples, who live up to and follow Christ's teachings, and a leader who does the same. I hope I can find that in another Eastern Rite, or Orthodox church, because I do so love our beautiful Liturgy, our customs, and our traditions. But if is not to be, then I will go where God leads me. And although Church of the Resurrection will probably ultimately close, the impact it has made on the Community can never be erased. That will be Father Dan's (and his parishioner's) legacy, and no-one - no Bishop, or any other church hierarchy, can take that away. Perhaps that is the lesson God wants us to learn in all this.


Outstanding post !

Thank you, Meg, and may God bless you and guide you all !

-- John
Quote
The other Eastern Catholic jurisdictions have their issues also. Ukrainians with recited liturgies, the Melkites use inclusive language, etc. Orthodoxy has always been the safety valve for disaffected EC's. There's much less nonsense.

Orthodoxy can be found to have both recited liturgies as well as "inclusive language", and other questionable practices such as "vesperal liturgies" which are also somewhat controversial in both Orthodoxy and amongst the Greek Catholics.

These are not the sole property of Greek Catholics (I myself have been present at weekday "recited liturgies" at an Orthodox parish), and abuses or exceptions cannot in general be argued to be normative of any particular Church.
Very Good Points Fr. Deacon...

One shouldn't run from a church they should be running toward another...We have to remember these Churches are run by human beings (of a fallen nature like ourselves)...we can not expect the grass to be greener on the other side...although, at the moment it is in some areas, but browner in others...I know I have had Orthodox priests say to me that many members of the BCC are "More Orthodox" in their beliefs than some "cradle Orthodox"...the key is to not "jump" but make a wise & careful decision...I can happily say, at least for myself,so far so good...but I know others who "jumped" and are not pleased with there decision (mainly those who went RC since they couldn't break communion with Rome) prayer and God's guidance are what to focus on...not externals...God will lead you where He wants you to go if you only listen to His will and don't let your will cloud the way...

Chris
Amen to that. Don't just jump. Look first. I attended a Ukrainian Greek Catholic liturgy a few weeks ago for the first time---talk about a difference in the music! The words were very similar. But the melody was about as different from what I was used to as the new RDL at my Ruthenthian church. Altough, the priest was absolutely wonderful. He was very charismatic, full of energy, inspriring, witty and just a great speaker. If it weren't two hours from my home and I didn' thave a Ruthenian church in my back yard, I would certainly consider changing to UGC--at that parish, at least!

The big thing people seem to forget is that the entire make up of a church--from the part time parishioner to the Vicar of Peter--are all human beings. Therefore, imperfect. Politics plays a big part in things---don't be naive. Egos can sometimes take over and the good of the people get left behind. Greed, lust, whatever temptations we face---Priests, Bishops, Cardinals and even Popes also face.

If anyone truly belives the Holy Spirit is behind every decision at the Vatican or at every Eparch/Diocese, or for that matter, every church, in the world or, for that matter, at every Seminary---you better stop and re-think.

I don't mean to sound hard. I'm not. I love my church, I want only the best for it. But just look at history--and I don't mean hundreds of years ago (i.e. the battle against the gnostics and the other gospels that many churches used before the year 150, the persecutions of one Christian group against another such as the Donatists, the "rape" of Constantinople by the Venetians, The Spanish Inquisition) but just look at the Vatican Bank Scandal in the 1980's. If you saw everyting that is documented in the Vatican Bank Scandal happen in a movie, you would not think it possible. You'd say "no one could write that, how stupid do they think we are? Not even Robert Ludlum or Tom Clancy could write something that unbelievable and far fetched." But it happened, every bit of it. Who knows what is going on now that we don't know about and may (or may not) find out about in the next few years?

Back to the topic--don't jump before you look. Remember--human beings run the Church. Decisions made one day can be reversed by the same person or another person who follows. It might take days, months, years or centuries. But the decision CAN be changed. If God had wanted a perfect church, he wouldn't have put humans in charge--he would have put Angels in charge. Just think about your decisions before making them.

Tim
I won't be making any decisions now. I have to regroup and wonder why our parish is being suppressed and the parishioners are being oppressed. Read the Newsday Forum.
Originally Posted by tjm199
I don't mean to sound hard. I'm not. I love my church, I want only the best for it. But just look at history--and I don't mean hundreds of years ago (i.e. the battle against the gnostics and the other gospels that many churches used before the year 150, the persecutions of one Christian group against another such as the Donatists, the "rape" of Constantinople by the Venetians, The Spanish Inquisition) but just look at the Vatican Bank Scandal in the 1980's. If you saw everyting that is documented in the Vatican Bank Scandal happen in a movie, you would not think it possible. You'd say "no one could write that, how stupid do they think we are? Not even Robert Ludlum or Tom Clancy could write something that unbelievable and far fetched." But it happened, every bit of it. Who knows what is going on now that we don't know about and may (or may not) find out about in the next few years?

Back to the topic--don't jump before you look. Remember--human beings run the Church. Decisions made one day can be reversed by the same person or another person who follows. It might take days, months, years or centuries. But the decision CAN be changed. If God had wanted a perfect church, he wouldn't have put humans in charge--he would have put Angels in charge. Just think about your decisions before making them.

Tim

Tim, those are very wise words of advice. We too attend a Ukrainian Liturgy once in awhile, just because we need to be able to communicate with God in a place that enables us to feel His presence, something our poor Church of the Resurrection lacks now. We truly are so impressed with the absolutely beautiful singing of the choir, which is comprised of merely a handful of people, including a few youngsters. The church is so tiny they don't even have a choir loft, but sit together in the front pews. As you said, the Liturgy is identical with the Ruthenian Liturgy (before the changes), many of the words are quite similar to the Slavonic, but the melodies are different. But the atmosphere is warm and welcoming. Still, we will be careful.

I want to mention here that my husband, who is a history teacher, is reading a book right now titled "The Vatican - Conspiracies, Codes, and the Catholic Church," by Jack M. Driver.
One has to read it bearing in mind that it is a history, and that, as you say, The Church is governed by mere mortals who have human failings.

Thanks you again for your advice.
Meg
A very good and dear friend of mine, who also happens to be one of the few remaining parishoners @ Resurrection in Smithtown sent me this, and I felt it needed to be shared with the rest of the group. My personal observations and comments are interjected.

Hypocracy and the Eparchy

Fact 1: The congregation of Resurrection is mid-middle class at best.

<<Very true. There were no jet setters, no doctors, lawyers. We were very much a "blue collar" group of people. I can remember whenever someone got a new car, it was a very big deal and everyone noticed.>>

Fact 2: Living on Long Island does not come without great cost.

<<This was one of the reasons that I moved off of Long Island.>>

Fact 3: The Eparchy exacts not only Stewardship money but also quarterly (monthly?) tolls from each church based upon the income received.

<<I can understand the Eparchy collecting from the parishes, much like the parishes collect from the parishioners. Double dipping almost gives new meaning to the phrase "give 'till it hurts.">>

Fact 4: The Eparchy by way of its appointee has decimated the parish by "ejecting" people back to their "jurisdictions" and also by providing a generally unpleasant environment.

<<I personally looked forward to the social aspect of the church and its functions. I remember being taught somewhere that God's house was open to all. Funny, the Romans don't turn people away because of their birthright. Why is it that after 35+ years that people are now being turned away, or forced out because of birth?>>

Fact 5: Fewer parishioners will gross less income.


Fact 6: Many, many bulletins since November 2005 have continually warned about finances.

<<It was a recurring theme for Fr. U to insert brief financial statements into the bulletins, as his way of "personalizing" it>>

Fact 7: We are being treated as if we are morons.

<<Worse. We are being treated as if we are naughty children who cannot possibly comprehend bigger things. Forgive me, but I know that God works in ways not known to us mortals, and that is perhaps best. I was always taught to question what I don't understand, and by that gain knowledge and wisdom>>

As I read through past bulletins, I sat and shook my head. It is all there...just read the words
from ONE 2006 bulletin issued by Harry:

"Bishop Pataki has not intention of closing this parish."
"Parish members support the parish through their responsible financial contributions. If you expect outsiders to support you by attending the Bazaar, then you are living off their fat and not your own sweat. The Bazaar must not be thought of as a sustitute for your giving but as an assist to help your financial support. A Bazaar that depends on outsiders as workers and helpers because parisioners are unable or unwilling to work, can hardly be called a parish function. If the parish cannot function without the bazaar's bearing most of the financial burden, then we are in trouble. The future of this parish is in the hands of the people who attend services here and to whom the welfare of this parish matters. Some parish properties will be liquidated and the money realized will be invested in order to generate some sort of income to assist with parish expenses not to substitute for individual contributions." ...... "It is now incumbent upon me, the pastor, to try to sort out the parish finances as best I can. To be quite honest, witht he present rate of giving, the bazaar account will be drained long before September 2007. We run at a deficit. .... "I will go to the Bishop and ask him to reduce the $18,500 per year DDA contributions... There are other comers which will have to be cut--luxuries (HUH?) which will have to be pruned away. .... As I said at he beginning, the Bishop will not close this parish unless the people of this church request it."

<<The Bazaar was a Church function. Many people, including yours truly, worked their behinds off for those four days, and for many months beforehand in order to raise money. And when we needed assistance with it, Fr. Dan put out the word, and people responded out of the goodness of their hearts. If only parishioners attended the Bazaar, then the Eparchy would not have received their tithe from it. Seems to me that they have been enjoying the fruits of other people's labors.>>

Fact 8: We were stripped of the Bazaar and Nursery School, which equate to less income.

<<Now I read on the Newsday forum about how Fr. U closed the school because it was "unsafe." Horse hockey! I was there when that building was built from the blood, sweat, and labor of the devoted parishioners who donated their time, talents, and labor. If it was so unsafe, why wasn't it closed down earleir? It was closed because someone else made that decision.>>

Fact 9: See Fact 5.

Fact 10: Now we are told we have been running at a deficit. Why didn't the bishop, in Christian charity and kindness, reduce the amount of the Stewardship long ago instead of treating us as Cash Cows. He could have realized a problem by the report of the quarterly income and what he received in assessments. Instead, they took and took and took.

<<I think the loss of the money from our Bazaar started to hurt them on the ledger sheet, and we quickly transformed from asset to liability.>>

Fact 11: We do not get a line items accounting of income versus expenditures. What we get is suspect at best.

<<Fr. Dan never gave an accounting of financial matters, to the best of my knowledge. I am sure that if anyone needed to know, it could have been made readily available. Not to mention that with the Bazaar, we were more or less self-sufficient>>

Fact 12: The sum effect is: they were able to reduce the size and sources of income thereby translating into "the people of this church request(ing) it." And the parishioners will ultimately take the blame.

<<How true that is, and how cleverly it was brought about.>>

According the other good people elsewhere who have been hurt by this same bunch, they experienced exactly the same treatment which resulted in the church closing. Can we beat them to the punch?

Hmm, I would like to think that we can "beat them to the punch." Had it been realized sooner what was going on, perhaps. I understand and can accept that the Lord does indeed work in mysterious ways. I cannot beleive that it is "God's will" that this parish be put out to pasture. Wouldn't God want to welcome more of His children into all of His houses?
I don't know why people are so surprised at corrupt clergy, like everyone was perfect until the big bad Catholic Church got too much power in the dark ages. People forget that it was a high ranking bishop (the treasurer of the Church) who, for 30 silver, caused the death of Jesus Christ by betraying Him to the Jews.

Originally Posted by Meg
I agree with you and Spinrose regarding this, also. We get invited to family First Communions, weddings, funerals, etc., all in Roman Catholic churches, and we leave feeling that something is missing. We have a vacation home in the South, and there are no Byzantine Catholic churches nearby - only one a 2 and 1/2 hour's drive away. We tried to attend the local RC Church, but we felt extremely uncomfortable there, the Mass was over in a very short period of time, and no-one was friendly. So now, when we are there, we attend Liturgy at the Greek Orthodox Church. The only problem is, we may not receive Holy Communion in that church, because we are "uniates." However, we are treated kindly and welcomed in every other way. It's a very ethnic congregation, and the Liturgy is entirely in Greek, but the parishioners are warm, kind and welcoming, so we feel entirely "at home" there. It's tough to be uprooted at our age, but we'll keep trying.

I know that in Ukraine, espiecially in eastern regions where we are denied parishes, Greek Catholics usually attend church at either a Roman Catholic or a UOC-KP church. I would not have a problem going to a UOC-KP parish until a Greek Catholic one was set up, but in America if I was forced because of a parish closure or whatever choose Roman Catholic or Orthodox I would take Eucharist at the saturday evening mass with the Roman Catholics then go to Orthos or Divine Liturgy the next day at the Orthodox parish.
<<Fr. Dan never gave an accounting of financial matters, to the best of my knowledge. I am sure that if anyone needed to know, it could have been made readily available. Not to mention that with the Bazaar, we were more or less self-sufficient>>

Fact 12: The sum effect is: they were able to reduce the size and sources of income thereby translating into "the people of this church request(ing) it." And the parishioners will ultimately take the blame.

<<How true that is, and how cleverly it was brought about.>>

According the other good people elsewhere who have been hurt by this same bunch, they experienced exactly the same treatment which resulted in the church closing. Can we beat them to the punch?

Hmm, I would like to think that we can "beat them to the punch." Had it been realized sooner what was going on, perhaps. I understand and can accept that the Lord does indeed work in mysterious ways. I cannot beleive that it is "God's will" that this parish be put out to pasture. Wouldn't God want to welcome more of His children into all of His houses?


Joe, every January, Father Dan would give a financial report of the finances, expenditures, etc., of the previous year. Everything was itemized, and for some time before he was forced out, he would publish the amount of weekly collections in the Sunday bulletin. I am a saver and still have copies of some of those yearly reports. Now, however, we know nothing - absolutely nothing. Figures that don't add up and make no sense are published from time to time, and we are continually being told that our expenditures exceed our income, but we are never given a detailed list of expenditures. We know nothing of what is happening to our parish properties. We come to church on Sundays, or pass by during the week, and we see dumpsters by the rectory and in other places. We have no idea what is being done, what is being discarded. We went to the social hall one Sunday after Liturgy and found all our dishes, trays, etc., were gone. We have no idea what happened to them. This past Sunday, it was noticed that some kind of work was being done in the house that was our Eastern Christian Formation school. Workmen were putting things into a truck. We have no idea what is going on there - whether the house has been sold and is being readied for occupancy, etc. We haven't heard a word about the cemetary, which we were told originally (over a year ago) was going to be sold to the Roman Catholics. All our assets, financial and physical, have been confiscated, and we have no idea what is being done with them. Each Sunday, new religious artifacts appear in church. These things are expensive, yet we are told we are running at a deficit. I could go on and on. We are being treated so badly, it is heartbreaking. What is even more heartbreaking is the knowledge that some parishioners are depriving themselves, giving larger donations, in the hope that by so doing the church will remain open. The threat is always there - stop donating, and your church will close. As was so aptly stated, our parishioners are hard-working people and life on Long Island is not easy. I find I have to continually remind myself that the men who are doing this to us are mere mortals and will some day have to answer to God for their actions. If we can't "beat them to the punch," - don't worry. In the end, God will take care of it.

Quote
ONE 2006 bulletin issued by Harry:

"Bishop Pataki has not intention of closing this parish."
"Parish members support the parish through their responsible financial contributions. If you expect outsiders to support you by attending the Bazaar, then you are living off their fat and not your own sweat. The Bazaar must not be thought of as a sustitute for your giving but as an assist to help your financial support. A Bazaar that depends on outsiders as workers and helpers because parisioners are unable or unwilling to work, can hardly be called a parish function. If the parish cannot function without the bazaar's bearing most of the financial burden, then we are in trouble. The future of this parish is in the hands of the people who attend services here and to whom the welfare of this parish matters. Some parish properties will be liquidated and the money realized will be invested in order to generate some sort of income to assist with parish expenses not to substitute for individual contributions." ...... "It is now incumbent upon me, the pastor, to try to sort out the parish finances as best I can. To be quite honest, witht he present rate of giving, the bazaar account will be drained long before September 2007. We run at a deficit. .... "I will go to the Bishop and ask him to reduce the $18,500 per year DDA contributions... There are other comers which will have to be cut--luxuries (HUH?) which will have to be pruned away. .... As I said at he beginning, the Bishop will not close this parish unless the people of this church request it."

<<The Bazaar was a Church function. Many people, including yours truly, worked their behinds off for those four days, and for many months beforehand in order to raise money. And when we needed assistance with it, Fr. Dan put out the word, and people responded out of the goodness of their hearts. If only parishioners attended the Bazaar, then the Eparchy would not have received their tithe from it. Seems to me that they have been enjoying the fruits of other people's labors.>>

Fact 8: We were stripped of the Bazaar and Nursery School, which equate to less income.

This is exactly how these are being handled...throw out statements that would ultimately place the blame back on the people...take away fund-raising possibilities...have you heard the one yet about "insurance purposes"? That seems to be a favorite one...then as money begins to tighten (after they have cut off the fundraising) jack up the expenses...and essentially waste the money...this is SICK...I've lived through it...I continue to pray for you and the souls of the heirarchs in the BCC since they are well aware that this behavior goes on and yet sit idly by and allow this...

Chris

PS that language in the bulletin had some of the exact same wording of things that were said to us as well...
This is exactly how these are being handled...throw out statements that would ultimately place the blame back on the people...take away fund-raising possibilities...have you heard the one yet about "insurance purposes"? That seems to be a favorite one...then as money begins to tighten (after they have cut off the fundraising) jack up the expenses...and essentially waste the money...this is SICK...I've lived through it...I continue to pray for you and the souls of the heirarchs in the BCC since they are well aware that this behavior goes on and yet sit idly by and allow this...

Chris

PS that language in the bulletin had some of the exact same wording of things that were said to us as well...


Chris, the insurance "scheme" is being used on us as well. The people in charge of the Bazaar, Nursery School, and other fundraisers were well aware of the necessity for the proper insurance, and were very careful to make sure things were done correctly and adequate insurance coverage was maintained. From scornful statements made by our Pastor, referring to our parish members with disdain as "blue collar," he and the hierarchy apparently consider us to be a bunch of moronic "yokels," who could not possibly have done things correctly. What these men fail to understand is the love and regard the parishioners had (still have) for Father Dan. They would never, ever proceed to do anything that would in any way jeopardize him. Also, Father Dan maintained respectful and loving relationships with the people in charge of the Township of Smithtown, and adequate legal advice was always available. So, when the insurance "scheme" was thrust upon us, we all knew full well it was nothing but a pack of lies. But how does one fight an operation like this, that has been carried out successfully numerous times? Sometimes I feel like I'm part of a grade B "Godfather" movie. We will try our best, but these men have had a lot of practice.
They must have a whole primer published on Running a Parish into the Ground! Attached to the late June/July 2006 bulletin were "Some notes on Financial matters"...which stated:
"INSURANCE. Our carrier is Catholic Mutual and our Agent is Althans Insurance of Chagrin Falls, Ohio. We are not permitted to deal with any other agencies. I have been informed by the Insurance Agency that our Bazaar has never been covered by them nor is it covered at present. The Bazaar is outside the umbrella of the policy. Coverage of the Bazaar will require higher premiums and demand that all providers be licensed by the proper authorities and covered by their own insurance. All outside providers must also secure additional insurance in the amount of $1,000,000.00. This certificate of insurance must name both Resurrection Parish and the Eparchy of Passaic as additional insured parties. It is NOT adequate to obtain a certificate of insurance which names the parish as a "certificate holder." It is important to note that only parish activities which are open to all parishioners are covered by our policy. Private parties, even if sponsored by a parishioner, require additional coverage for each event."
So there you are: The INSURANCE issue.

On the same page: "A pastor may, at this own discretion, spend up to $5,000 for a specific item or service. In order to spend an amount over $5,000 but less than $25,000 for an item or a service, the pastor must secure pemission from the syncellus (Fr. Hospodar)."

The notes were 2 pages long, full of "orders" to the parishioners regarding his regime and the way it will be done. The last line says: "I serve at the pleasure of Bishop Pataki. It is he who assigned me here and it will be he or his successor who transfers me."

And it is obvious that a transfer is not going to happen in view of all of the letters and complaints that have been registered and IGNORED by the Eparchy.
Just reading all of these posts and the posts that still continue on Newsday made me wonder if the Eparchy has a mission statement. Can anyone post it here? It might be somewhat humorous to read in light of these recent tragedies thrust upon our people.

What is with the blue collar remark? 'Blue collar' citizenry isn't good enough for the Eparchy of Passaic? LOLOL! Lets see the evangelization plan to attract a white-collar-only membership. At this point I'd be happy to see ANY evangelization plan.

We can continue to dwell on the negative for the next 10 years. I'm sure what has been done to you by this heirarchy will not easily be forgotten, anf like the 5 Stages Of Grief" you will go back and forth between stages many times before you can heal from this terrible ordeal. You WILL heal, and some new church will be happy to have such good people among their ranks.

Maybe you are the lucky tomatoes. You are being picked from the vine while you are still fresh and alive in the spirit.
Originally Posted by Meg
Now, however, we know nothing - absolutely nothing. Figures that don't add up and make no sense are published from time to time, and we are continually being told that our expenditures exceed our income, but we are never given a detailed list of expenditures. We know nothing of what is happening to our parish properties. We come to church on Sundays, or pass by during the week, and we see dumpsters by the rectory and in other places. We have no idea what is being done, what is being discarded. We went to the social hall one Sunday after Liturgy and found all our dishes, trays, etc., were gone. We have no idea what happened to them. This past Sunday, it was noticed that some kind of work was being done in the house that was our Eastern Christian Formation school. Workmen were putting things into a truck. We have no idea what is going on there - whether the house has been sold and is being readied for occupancy, etc. We haven't heard a word about the cemetary, which we were told originally (over a year ago) was going to be sold to the Roman Catholics. All our assets, financial and physical, have been confiscated, and we have no idea what is being done with them. Each Sunday, new religious artifacts appear in church. These things are expensive, yet we are told we are running at a deficit. I could go on and on.
Meg, if this is true, it is insane. If this is true, you and the rest of the people there should run away from this church. If this is true, you should join an Eastern Catholic parish from another rite / church, or you should think about joining an Orthodox parish. Quickly.


Quote
What is even more heartbreaking is the knowledge that some parishioners are depriving themselves, giving larger donations, in the hope that by so doing the church will remain open.
There is a saying for people who are gullibly being exploited like this. "Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me." Enough said.

-- John

Originally Posted by harmon3110Meg, if this is true, it is insane. If this is true, you and the rest of the people there should run away from this church. If this is true, you should join an Eastern Catholic parish from another rite / church, or you should think about joining an Orthodox parish. Quickly.


[quote
What is even more heartbreaking is the knowledge that some parishioners are depriving themselves, giving larger donations, in the hope that by so doing the church will remain open.
There is a saying for people who are gullibly being exploited like this. "Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me." Enough said.

-- John

[/quote]

Amen and AMEN!
Just take yourselves away from this whole mess before they have the chance to do real spiritual harm. Just go. God will provide. It may take time, but pray and trust in Him. God will provide!

Sam
Now, however, we know nothing - absolutely nothing. Figures that don't add up and make no sense are published from time to time, and we are continually being told that our expenditures exceed our income, but we are never given a detailed list of expenditures. We know nothing of what is happening to our parish properties. We come to church on Sundays, or pass by during the week, and we see dumpsters by the rectory and in other places. We have no idea what is being done, what is being discarded. We went to the social hall one Sunday after Liturgy and found all our dishes, trays, etc., were gone. We have no idea what happened to them. This past Sunday, it was noticed that some kind of work was being done in the house that was our Eastern Christian Formation school. Workmen were putting things into a truck. We have no idea what is going on there - whether the house has been sold and is being readied for occupancy, etc. We haven't heard a word about the cemetary, which we were told originally (over a year ago) was going to be sold to the Roman Catholics. All our assets, financial and physical, have been confiscated, and we have no idea what is being done with them. Each Sunday, new religious artifacts appear in church. These things are expensive, yet we are told we are running at a deficit. I could go on and on.

Meg, if this is true, it is insane. If this is true, you and the rest of the people there should run away from this church. If this is true, you should join an Eastern Catholic parish from another rite / church, or you should think about joining an Orthodox parish. Quickly.

Oh, it's true alright, and what I have described here is just the tip of the iceberg. Add to it the absolutely inhumane way people are being treated by the person who is supposedly our new pastor. Before all the children got thrown out of church, there was one First Confession class that was already underway when he took over, so he had to go through with it. Next Sunday, there was a note in the bulletin "Congratulations to the First Communicants." No listing of their names. Nothing special was done for them. If a Liturgy is being said for anyone, their name is never mentioned during it. And our pastor has at times described our parish (with great disdain) as being "blue collar." Another parishioner who posts put it very aptly - cold, cold, cold. The reason people haven't fled to another "jurisdiction," is because we were such a close church family, and it's hard to say good-bye to dear friends. People came to Church of the Resurrection from afar, and there is no Eastern Rite church within realistic travelling distance
for a lot of them. There are several Orthodox churches about 15 minutes drive away, but there is what I call the "fear factor" involved in attending an Orthodox church. I've heard it many times when I mention we were contemplating joining an Orthodox church.........."But it's not under the Pope." As if God will look askance at us if we dare to attend an Orthodox church, or any other, that is not "under the Pope."
There are some serious accusations that have been made, which, if true, are a breach of fiduciary responsibility. On the other hand, if these are just emotional rants, they are uncharitable, at the very least.

In any event, this forum is not the proper venue for such accusations. If you have proof of a breach, then inform the proper civil and/or ecclesiastical authority.

Originally Posted by Meg
Now, however, we know nothing - absolutely nothing. Figures that don't add up and make no sense are published from time to time, and we are continually being told that our expenditures exceed our income, but we are never given a detailed list of expenditures. We know nothing of what is happening to our parish properties. We come to church on Sundays, or pass by during the week, and we see dumpsters by the rectory and in other places. We have no idea what is being done, what is being discarded. We went to the social hall one Sunday after Liturgy and found all our dishes, trays, etc., were gone. We have no idea what happened to them. This past Sunday, it was noticed that some kind of work was being done in the house that was our Eastern Christian Formation school. Workmen were putting things into a truck. We have no idea what is going on there - whether the house has been sold and is being readied for occupancy, etc. We haven't heard a word about the cemetary, which we were told originally (over a year ago) was going to be sold to the Roman Catholics. All our assets, financial and physical, have been confiscated, and we have no idea what is being done with them. Each Sunday, new religious artifacts appear in church. These things are expensive, yet we are told we are running at a deficit. I could go on and on.

Meg, if this is true, it is insane. If this is true, you and the rest of the people there should run away from this church. If this is true, you should join an Eastern Catholic parish from another rite / church, or you should think about joining an Orthodox parish. Quickly.

Oh, it's true alright, and what I have described here is just the tip of the iceberg. Add to it the absolutely inhumane way people are being treated by the person who is supposedly our new pastor. Before all the children got thrown out of church, there was one First Confession class that was already underway when he took over, so he had to go through with it. Next Sunday, there was a note in the bulletin "Congratulations to the First Communicants." No listing of their names. Nothing special was done for them. If a Liturgy is being said for anyone, their name is never mentioned during it. And our pastor has at times described our parish (with great disdain) as being "blue collar." Another parishioner who posts put it very aptly - cold, cold, cold. The reason people haven't fled to another "jurisdiction," is because we were such a close church family, and it's hard to say good-bye to dear friends. People came to Church of the Resurrection from afar, and there is no Eastern Rite church within realistic travelling distance
for a lot of them. There are several Orthodox churches about 15 minutes drive away, but there is what I call the "fear factor" involved in attending an Orthodox church. I've heard it many times when I mention we were contemplating joining an Orthodox church.........."But it's not under the Pope." As if God will look askance at us if we dare to attend an Orthodox church, or any other, that is not "under the Pope."

Anyone of those Orthodox churches would welcome you with open arms, if you walk inside. Don't let not being under the Pope bother you. It bothered me for about two nano seconds before I converted, but guess what!, I can honestly tell you that God does really love non Catholic Christians.

I really hope this tragic situation changes for the best for all of you.
Originally Posted by Deacon John Montalvo
There are some serious accusations that have been made, which, if true, are a breach of fiduciary responsibility. On the other hand, if these are just emotional rants, they are uncharitable, at the very least.

In any event, this forum is not the proper venue for such accusations. If you have proof of a breach, then inform the proper civil and/or ecclesiastical authority.
In all fairness, many of these incidents have been reported to the proper civil and ecclesiastical authorities with the result being the outpouring of emotions here over the LACK of response from those avenues of redress regarding such injustices.
Originally Posted by Meg
The reason people haven't fled to another "jurisdiction," is because we were such a close church family, and it's hard to say good-bye to dear friends. People came to Church of the Resurrection from afar, and there is no Eastern Rite church within realistic travelling distance
for a lot of them.

Then you have five options: nothing, non-Christian, the Protestants, the RCs, or the Orthodox.

About the Orthodox option, you wrote:

Originally Posted by Meg
There are several Orthodox churches about 15 minutes drive away, but there is what I call the "fear factor" involved in attending an Orthodox church. I've heard it many times when I mention we were contemplating joining an Orthodox church.........."But it's not under the Pope." As if God will look askance at us if we dare to attend an Orthodox church, or any other, that is not "under the Pope."

And Etnik had this to say in reply:

Originally Posted by Etnick
Anyone of those Orthodox churches would welcome you with open arms, if you walk inside. Don't let not being under the Pope bother you. It bothered me for about two nano seconds before I converted, but guess what!, I can honestly tell you that God does really love non Catholic Christians. I really hope this tragic situation changes for the best for all of you.

I agree with that. I am in the process of joining the Orthodox Church for other reasons. The welcome is real and so is God's love. I'm not trying to push you into the Orthodox Church; go where God calls you. Instead, I want you to know that there is nothing to fear in the Orthodox Church along the lines you mentioned.

May God bless you, Meg, and all the others who have been so badly treated.

-- John
Paper proof to present to civil authorities we do not have since we absolutely no access to anything financial or otherwise. The ecclesiastical authorities do not respond to our letters. In other words, the parishioners have been cut off. All we get are negative messages in the Sunday bulletin regarding finances and such. These are not "just emotional rants" from the members.

May God grant you a good life during which you never have to experience similar pain, confusion, frustration and unkind treatment, the likes of which we and others in this Eparchy have been experiencing.
Glory to Jesus Christ!

Deacon John...

There have been some very serious accusations made because their have been some very serious issues that have arisen and continue to arise...the problem is their is no "proper ecclesiastical authority" to deal with since the Bishop is the diocese...no one can, or will do anything...Think about it...if that wasn't true than Cardinal Law from Boston would have been removed...during those scandals...however, he ended up needing to be "coaxed" into leaving by offering him a basicila in Rome...civil authorities won't work as well due to the seperation of church and state and civil authorities are hesitant to act...also, since the Church won't release this financial information...there is nothing to go to the civil authorities with...

I wish it were so...that's why this becomes the forum for getting this information out...there is no formal recourse...

Chris
Regarding the closing of Parishes, Rome has declared the following clarifications of canon law regarding their assets:

Vatican City, 3rd March 2006

Congregation for the Clergy
Prot. N. 20060481
The Most Rev. William Skylstad
President of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops
3211 Fourth Street NE
Washington DC 20017-1194
U.S.A.

Your Excellency,

This Congregation deems it opportune to write to you regarding the closure of parishes in the dioceses of the United States, since in recent times certain dioceses have wrongly applied canon 123 CIC and stating that a parish has been "suppressed" when in reality it has been merged or amalgamated.

A parish is more than a public juridical person. Canon 369 defines the diocese as a "portion of the people of God which is entrusted to the bishop to be nurtured by him". Similarly, "A parish is a certain community of Christ's faithful, stably established within a particular Church, whose pastoral care, under the authority of the diocesan bishop, is entrusted to a parish priest as its proper pastor (cf. can. 515)."

In this light, then, only with great difficulty, can one say that a parish becomes extinct. A parish is extinguished by the law itself only if no Catholic community any longer exists in its territory, or if no pastoral activity has taken place for a hundred years (can. 120 #1). When a parish is "suppressed" by competent authority in reality the still existing community of Christ's faithful is actually "merged" into the neighboring community of Christ's faithful and constitutes a larger community, and the territory of the extinguished parish is added to the other, forming a larger territorial unit. While the parish church and the physical parish plant may be closed and the name of a particular parish extinguished, the spiritual needs of the portion of the Faithful which once constituted that parish, must continue to be provided for in accord with their rights in law.

In the case where the portion of the Christian Faithful is reallocated among pre-existing or newly created parishes, the corresponding patrimony and obligations of the closed parishes must follow the Faithful in an equitable and proportionate fashion in accord with the corresponding responsibilities and pastoral duties assumed by the parishes ad quem. The wishes of any existing founders and benefactors must be respected, as must any acquired rights as expressed in canon 121 or 122.

Often when a bishop calls his action a "suppression" it is in reality a merger of two communities of Christ's faithful. Thus canon 121 applies: "When aggregates of persons or of things which are public juridic persons, are so joined that from them one aggregate is constituted which also possesses juridic personality, this new juridic person obtains the patrimonial goods and rights proper to the previous aggregates...." The "suppression" of a parish is in most cases then a "unio extinctiva". If a parish is divided between more than one existing parish then can. 122 would apply.

Thus the goods and liabilities should go with the amalgamated juridic person, and not to the diocese. This would also seem to be more consonant with the requirement that the wishes of the founders, benefactors and those who have acquired rights be safeguarded, In most cases "suppressions" are in reality a "unio extinctiva" or "amalgamation" or "merger" and as such the goods and obligations do not pass to the higher juridic person, but should pertain to the public juridic person which remains or emerges from the extinctive union. The goods and liabilities should go to the surviving public juridic person, that is the enlarged parish community.

In conclusion, this Congregation notes that the erroneous use of can. 123 in the dioceses of the United States is not uncommon and therefore asks Your Excellency to bring this matter to the attention of the individual bishop members of the Episcopal Conference.
I take this opportunity to renew my sentiments of esteem and with every best wish, I remain,

Yours sincerely in Christ,

/s/ Dario Card. Castrillon-H.

/s/ Csaba Ternyak
Potsy,
This may be all well and good for the Roman Catholic 'supressions' which usually DO involve a merger of a few local parishes. The problem with the Ruthenians is that there is no merger. It appears Fr Untereiner was assigned to close the place. The eparchy is so small that there is no parish within reasonable travelling distance to merger Smithtown with. A merger of the multiple small parishes in the Wilkes Barre/Scranton/Hazleton etc area would make more sense in terms of people, but their property isn't worth squat in comparison to Long Island.
It occurred to me that the BCC is on a contraction course. Downsize and eliminate the eparchy of Passaic by selling off the most lucrative properties, set up a pension fund for the clergy who are the "in" group, petition for the suppression of the eparchy iteslf, and then have the remainder served by the Metropolitan.

??????

BOB
Originally Posted by theophan
It occurred to me that the BCC is on a contraction course. Downsize and eliminate the eparchy of Passaic by selling off the most lucrative properties, set up a pension fund for the clergy who are the "in" group, petition for the suppression of the eparchy iteslf, and then have the remainder served by the Metropolitan.

??????

BOB

You know Bob, thinking about this, why not? Does a church this small really need THREE bishops? If there were some real growth and a plan going on here I'd say maybe. Lets face it. There is nothing one bishop can't handle here, if maintenance is the biggest issue. CEO's of small companies deal with more than this.
sam:

Stepping back one step more--to get a look at the REALLY BIG PICTURE--this type of "plan" had to be hatched at a higher level than Passaic. A bishop in the Catholic Church has to have permission from Rome to do REALLY, REALLY big sales of property. For a $1 million dollar deal, Rome has to give permission. How much are we realizing from the suppression of these parishes? Think of the ones a couple years ago in Connecticut; then Long Island; then add it all together . . .

Like I told the used car salesman who thought he was going to "hook" me--as I looked in a mirror on the side of the car I wanted "I only look this stupid, but don't count on looks."

You have the smallest sui juris Byzantine Church. Would it be that devastating to be "downsized" to a single archeparchy or maybe two--one for the far west. Or even appoint an auxilliary to oversee the west coast and administer the vast bulk from Pittsburgh.

In Christ,

BOB
Good idea -- that should save us enough money to print new books featuring the Full Ruthenian Recension. (sorry, I just couldn't resist!)
A couple of points:

It has been insinuated that the Metropolitan is improperly failing to intervene. The truth is he can do nothing. Canon law does not allow him to intervene as the suppression of parishes is completely at the discretion of the eparchial bishop after consulting with his prebyteral council. So please stop blaming the Metropolitan.

Despite what is often suggested here, officially changing sui iuris Church is important and necessary. If you don't do it, no matter how long you attend a parish of a Church you are not canonically a member of that Church and have no canonical claims against it. If you attend a parish for 3-5 years it is time to change.

Fr. Deacon Lance
"Would it be that devastating to be "downsized" to a single archeparchy"

Yes , we would be downgraded in status and be even more dependent on Rome than we are now. We could probably combine Pittsburgh and Parma and go down to three but considering we cover the entire US I don't think 4 eparchies are extreme.

Fr. Deacon Lance
Actually, Fr Deacon Lance IS correct! smile The Metropolitan is only a first among equals and cannot supersede a canonical diocesan bishop in his own diocese. Canonically, your options are few. The only reason a bishop can be brought under review by his peers is for openly teaching heresy or for apostasy. I don't know with the BCC if the Pope can step in, but I know in the Orthodox Church, the buck stops with the bishop.

Alexandr
Originally Posted by theophan
sam:

Stepping back one step more--to get a look at the REALLY BIG PICTURE--this type of "plan" had to be hatched at a higher level than Passaic. A bishop in the Catholic Church has to have permission from Rome to do REALLY, REALLY big sales of property. For a $1 million dollar deal, Rome has to give permission. How much are we realizing from the suppression of these parishes? Think of the ones a couple years ago in Connecticut; then Long Island; then add it all together . . .

Like I told the used car salesman who thought he was going to "hook" me--as I looked in a mirror on the side of the car I wanted "I only look this stupid, but don't count on looks."

You have the smallest sui juris Byzantine Church. Would it be that devastating to be "downsized" to a single archeparchy or maybe two--one for the far west. Or even appoint an auxilliary to oversee the west coast and administer the vast bulk from Pittsburgh.

In Christ,

BOB

I would have to agree with Bob. We don't need 4 bishops, no matter how much of the country we encompass. The western diocese is very small and the eastern ones are getting smaller by the day. Perhaps when Pataki is finally gone, maybe they'll realign the diocese' which would make logical sense at this point. With the funds netted from all the big ticket closures, such as Lake Worth, and LI, if that happens, and the smaller ones, such as Bridgeport, Brooklyn, South Hadley, etc., it should be an easy transition. It's just so poor that this is not done with any pastoral sensitivity on the part of the diocesan officials.
Glory to Jesus Christ!
All well and good...important and necessary. However, when you are canonically a member of a Church and that Church is shut down, to what Church do the diaspora belong if there are no other Byzantine, of any rite, churches in your area? Does anyone consider the souls that are left behind?


Originally Posted by Fr. Deacon Lance
A couple of points:

Despite what is often suggested here, officially changing sui iuris Church is important and necessary. If you don't do it, no matter how long you attend a parish of a Church you are not canonically a member of that Church and have no canonical claims against it. If you attend a parish for 3-5 years it is time to change.

Fr. Deacon Lance
That's a good question and I sure wish I had an answer. I've been reading the thread as it develops and can't comment on whether the intentions of the Eparch or the ArchEparch, for that matter. But my question is---how did Bishop Pataki get appointed in the first place?

I have read so much of how when Bishop Pataki was in Parma, he did much of the same things. If someone has a known track record of doing something, and let's presume the ArchEparch doesn't like that track record--how could Bishop Pataki have been appointed to that position in the first place? I'm not saying I condemn or support Bishop Pataki. The sensitivity shown is pretty un-Christian, to say the least. If everything said is true, and I have no reason to doubt it for a moment, then it seems as if the Bishop is being pretty heavy handed and forgetting that if it weren't for our ancestor's pennies and nickels and dimes, there wouldn't be any of those churches to close. Real estate has increased in value-but if it weren't for sacrifices made by past generations, there wouldn't be a cemetary to sell and realize a profit. And in many cases, the present parishioners may be the sons/daugters or grandsons/granddaughters of the people who made those sacrifices. To slap them in the face that way--it's pretty shameful. Somone needs to go to the Mystery of Reconciliation for their behavior.

I'm curious as to how the process works. Wouldn't someone have had to nominate Pataki in the first place? Is there an election among the other Eparch's and the name is then submitted to Rome for approval and appointment? Exactly how does one get to be an Eparch? And I understand that Bishop Schott is first among equals here and can't order another Eparch what to do, but surely there is some influence and power that could have been brought to bear? Why wasn't it done? Or was it done and Bishop Pataki simply went ahead and did it anyway? We can spend all day coming up with conjecture after conjecture. But if someone can explain the process that would be a start. Then we need to think of how to stop it from happening in other Eparchs.

Tim
Quote
Potsy,
This may be all well and good for the Roman Catholic 'supressions' which usually DO involve a merger of a few local parishes. The problem with the Ruthenians is that there is no merger.

Actually Sam...I believe these are all considered Mergers not supressions...If I remember correctly there was a substantial distance between the merged parishes with the closure in FL...Also, In CT...the Trumbull parish is only 20 minutes away...which is not an issue for someone young like myself...but a 80 year old who really shouldn't be driving down the street has a far distance to travel...

Part of the problem is, as I believe someone else mentioned earlier is "double dipping" from the eparchy...although the $ may (I don't know if in reality that happens or not) go to "the other local parish"...expenses get driven up...many of them, at least in the case of HT and what I have gathered from discussion with people in Smithtown...are payments to the eparchy that get increased to get the money from the local parish to the eparchial coffers...
Quote
to get a look at the REALLY BIG PICTURE--this type of "plan" had to be hatched at a higher level than Passaic.

That's what I have said all along...Some bishops and priests are more willing to "do the dirty work" than others...otherwise this scandal would not be allowed to continuously occur...

Quote
You have the smallest sui juris Byzantine Church. Would it be that devastating to be "downsized" to a single archeparchy or maybe two--

I would think the "Ruthenians" could be downsized...get rid of Passaic and Van Nuys...getting rid of two chancery offices wouldn't be a bad thing...I think the Ruthenians should also begin to look at reuniting with the UGCC...which split in america almost 100 years ago...and have a merger between the Ukrainians and Ruthenians and it would help some of their overlapping jurisdictions as well (eg. Parma)...Nah...shut the doors, turn off the lights and return to your Orthodox counterparts... grin

Chris
Originally Posted by Job
I would think the "Ruthenians" could be downsized...get rid of Passaic and Van Nuys...getting rid of two chancery offices wouldn't be a bad thing...I think the Ruthenians should also begin to look at reuniting with the UGCC...which split in america almost 100 years ago...and have a merger between the Ukrainians and Ruthenians and it would help some of their overlapping jurisdictions as well (eg. Parma)
Chris
The Ruthenian Church in Europe chooses to remain independent from the UGCC so it only makes sence that her daughter Church in America remains independent too. Besides, a few here claim that Rusyns are "of no relation" to Ukrainians... so why merge with a national Church that caters to a different nationality?


Originally Posted by Job
...Nah...shut the doors, turn off the lights and return to your Orthodox counterparts... grin
Chris
Nah, I have a better idea: the ACROD and half of the OCA parishes should return to the Greek-Catholic Church from which they caim... grin
BRAVO for Job.
And two BRAVOS for Zan.
The UGCC would welcome all.
I do not recall that we were ever informed regarding Bishop Pataki's installation as Bishop of this Eparchy. All I recall is that Bishop Michael Dudick retired; enter Bishop Andrew. Things have never been the same since.
Quote
Nah, I have a better idea: the ACROD and half of the OCA parishes should return to the Greek-Catholic Church from which they caim...

Your reading this thread...and I assume the others...why leave heaven for hell...no heavy handed closings in ACROD...Can't speak for the OCA...No RDL...latinisms as "pius beliefs" not dogma...returning to the Greek-Catholic Church in communion with Rome...I don't think so...
Originally Posted by Job
Your reading this thread...and I assume the others...why leave heaven for hell...no heavy handed closings in ACROD...Can't speak for the OCA...No RDL...latinisms as "pius beliefs" not dogma...returning to the Greek-Catholic Church in communion with Rome...I don't think so...

The Catholic Church is not "Hell". Please do not insult us.

I choose to be Catholic, I am proud to be Catholic, and I would die with out hesitation to remain Catholic, just as scores of Holy Ukrainian Martyrs did before me. I love my faith, as do many, many Rusyns. We are not idiots nor (despite Orthodox claims) were our ancestors idiots who blindly followed a few bishops and the Metropolitan of Kiev into communion with Rome. I would never sacrifice my faith to become Russian Orthodox, or communist, or anything else.

The legacy of Judas is well alive in the Catholic Church, as it has been for the last 2000 years. This legacy is nothing new. You say that joining some Orthodox jurisdiction is the answer to solve the Byzantine Catholic Church's problems. Well I say prayer, not schism, is the weapon to defeat the demons.

God bless -Zan
Quote
The Catholic Church is not "Hell". Please do not insult us.

I apologize...it was typed with "tongue in cheek"

Quote
I would never sacrifice my faith to become Russian Orthodox, or communist, or anything else

I would never sacrifice my faith either...that was why with prayer and years of discernment I realized remaining in communion with Rome I was sacrificing my faith...

Enough of this though...we are straying far from the topic...

Chris
I would never sacrifice my faith either...that was why with prayer and years of discernment I realized remaining in communion with Rome I was sacrificing my faith...

Enough of this though...we are straying far from the topic...

Chris

Chris, to get back to the topic....

In our area, most of the Ukrainian priests are married. I understand that although there is a terrible shortage of priests in this country, in the Ukraine there are plenty of married priests. I don't know if this is true for the Ruthenians also. From what I have been told, the Latin Rite in the US does not look favorably upon married priests being brought in from other countries, thus contributing to the problem of the priest shortage.

As far as any kind of merger, I wonder how willing the other Eparchies (such as the Ukrainian one, for instance), would be to be united. I know that we are not the only ones discussing what is happening to Church of the Resurrection, and other entities are quite nervous about it. - "There but for the Grace of God go I."
Originally Posted by Zan
Nah, I have a better idea: the ACROD and half of the OCA parishes should return to the Greek-Catholic Church from which they caim... grin


Let's extrapolate this reasoning to it's logical conclusion!

biggrin

Alexandr
Originally Posted by Job
Quote
to get a look at the REALLY BIG PICTURE--this type of "plan" had to be hatched at a higher level than Passaic.

That's what I have said all along...Some bishops and priests are more willing to "do the dirty work" than others...otherwise this scandal would not be allowed to continuously occur...

Quote
You have the smallest sui juris Byzantine Church. Would it be that devastating to be "downsized" to a single archeparchy or maybe two--

I would think the "Ruthenians" could be downsized...get rid of Passaic and Van Nuys...getting rid of two chancery offices wouldn't be a bad thing...I think the Ruthenians should also begin to look at reuniting with the UGCC...which split in america almost 100 years ago...and have a merger between the Ukrainians and Ruthenians and it would help some of their overlapping jurisdictions as well (eg. Parma)...Nah...shut the doors, turn off the lights and return to your Orthodox counterparts... grin

Chris

In ten years or so when the Ruthenian Metropolia no longer exists and the few remaining Ruthenian Byzantine Catholics are served only by Bi-ritual priests, will there be the introduction of Bi-ritual bishops???

Ungcsertezs
Originally Posted by spinrose
Glory to Jesus Christ!
All well and good...important and necessary. However, when you are canonically a member of a Church and that Church is shut down, to what Church do the diaspora belong if there are no other Byzantine, of any rite, churches in your area? Does anyone consider the souls that are left behind?


Originally Posted by Fr. Deacon Lance
A couple of points:

Despite what is often suggested here, officially changing sui iuris Church is important and necessary. If you don't do it, no matter how long you attend a parish of a Church you are not canonically a member of that Church and have no canonical claims against it. If you attend a parish for 3-5 years it is time to change.

Fr. Deacon Lance

If parish has canonical members of the Church those members can appeal the decision for closure, and the closure is stayed (put on hold) until the appeal is reviewed.

I hesitate to post the following link because it does contain some material that is irregular(advocates women presiders) but you may be able to glean some useful information on the right so parishioners:

Save Our Parish Community [futurechurch.org]

Originally Posted by Job
Actually Sam...I believe these are all considered Mergers not supressions...

One has to wonder then why the larger parish that generates more income would be the one chosen to 'merge' into the smaller parish?

Sam
Is the concern of a merger income?
Dear Fr. Deacon Lance:
Thank you for your input and the link. Someone from Utah had also notified us regarding it and we are looking into the possibilities. Unfortunately, we must question the ultimate outcome were we successful in asking for a stay of closure pending review. The devasting, deliberate, Eparchy-approved actions that have been taken place in the past 2 years have totally decimated the size of the once-vibrant Parish Family in a manner which does not leave any door open to expect return of any of the faithful. Our famous biennial Bazaar and the Nursery School, revenues from which were needed to support the parish, were shut down. Maintenance, once performed by parishioners is now contracted out on a pay-per-job basis. Given these circumstances which are fact, the number of families left (many retired and on fixed incomes) will most likely not be able to contribute or generate sufficient monies to pay the bills in order to justify "saving our parish community."

Our pain is unfathomable and we will be left with nowhere to go within our Rite.


Dear Deacon Montalvo,
My apologies....I addressed my prior post incorrectly to Fr. Deacon Lance instead of you.
Originally Posted by spinrose
... The devasting, deliberate, Eparchy-approved actions that have been taken place in the past 2 years have totally decimated the size of the once-vibrant Parish Family in a manner which does not leave any door open to expect return of any of the faithful. Our famous biennial Bazaar and the Nursery School, revenues from which were needed to support the parish, were shut down...

Dear Spinrose:

I don't mean to add insult to injury, but given what you posted above, can one really say there was a "once-vibrant Parish Family" if you needed the Bazaar and Nursery to subsidize parish collections?

I can't speak for anyone else, but proper stewardship (i.e.,tithing) should provide for the normal parish operating costs. Bazaars and other income-producing ventures should be used to fund special projects (eg, parish endowments, capital building renovations or new projects, etc)

I apologize if I misread your post.
Does anyone at the Church of the Resurrection know who used the timeshare vacation this year? It was donated to the church and was given as a prize at the bazaar? As there was no bazaar this year, has it been sold?
Dn. John,

In the Archeparchy, most parishes have to rely on money-making events to pay the monthly bills. I would like to know what parishes are soo wealthy that they do not have to raise "extra-ordinary" income?

Ungcsertezs
U-C:

It is not a question of wealth, but a question of stewardship.

There is perhaps one thing we can learn from our evangelical brothers and sisters- the proper biblical teaching on tithe and offerings.

Sunday collections meet the operating expenses at our parish of 135 families. Income from monthly Fish Fry's (weekly during the Great Fast) have been used for such things as capital improvements, physical plant renovations, property acquisitions, etc.
I would say that the parishoners of the Church of the Resurrection, Smithtown understood the parable quoted below, The Parable of the Talents. They gathered themselves as a group every two years, took their hard earned monies, planned, prepared and invested their cooperative "talents" into an "investment" for their church. These monies over the years were used to purchase additional land, build buildings, develop programs (which included outreach to the community vis a vis the school).
There is no "investment" going on there now - the hearts of the congregation have been wounded by the priest sent there by a bishop who does not care what happens to the parishoners. They only care about what the "investments" have purchased for the Eparchy over the years.
I am one of the non-parishoners who helped out at the bazaar. It was a wonderful example of people coming together of all faiths to assist a church. I personally learned many lessons there in how Christ truly wants us to live together in unity on this globe whatever faith we may be.
I continue to pray for this congregation.

The Parable of the Talents

Again, it will be like a man going on a journey, who called his servants and entrusted his property to them. To one he gave five talents of money, to another two talents, and to another one talent, each according to his ability. Then he went on his journey. The man who had received the five talents went at once and put his money to work and gained five more. So also, the one with the two talents gained two more. But the man who had received the one talent went off, dug a hole in the ground and hid his master�s money.

After a long time, the master of those servants returned and settled accounts with them. The man who had received the five talents brought the other five. �Master,� he said, �you entrusted me with five talents. See, I have gained five more.�

His master replied, �Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master�s happiness!�

The man with the two talents also came. �Master,� he said, �you entrusted me with two talents; see, I have gained two more.�

His master replied, �Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master�s happiness!�

Then the man who had received the one talent came. �Master,� he said, �I knew that you are a hard man, harvesting where you have not sown and gathering where you have not scattered seed. So I was afraid and went out and hid your talent in the ground. See, here is what belongs to you.�

His master replied, �You wicked, lazy servant! So you knew that I harvest where I have not sown and gather where I have not scattered seed? Well then, you should have put my money on deposit with the bankers, so that when I returned I would have received it back with interest.

�Take the talent from him and give it to the one who has the ten talents. For everyone who has will be given more, and he will have an abundance. Whoever does not have, even what he has will be taken from him. And throw that worthless servant outside, into the darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.�

- Matthew 25:14-30 (NIV)

A note to those parishoners who cannot with a good heart stop donating their monies to the Church of the Resurrection. Give - but give with direction. Do not give cash. On your check memo - write specifically what the money is to go to - the electric bill, the water bill, for the dance troupe, seed money for the next bazaar etc. You might also want to include a note with your check. I have done this with my church - when they have wandered away from the direction of the Gospel. Prayers continue.
Dear Deacon Montalvo:

Our once-vibrant community was/is not wealthy, but rather middle class. It attracted many from surrounding areas because of the Christian spirit that eminated from here. Life on Long Island is extremely expensive, and I am sure each donated as they were able and still continue to live here.

We had a full Liturgical calendar, Bible classes, Religious Instruction for the children and interacted as a Parish Family. It was through our "special projects" that we paid off our mortgage, erected a dome on our Church, purchased and maintained the buildings for religion and nursery school. Additions were made by member contributions of money, lots of time, and many, many talents. The calendar, people and projects, by and large, are gone now.

Canonical jurisdiction of the members had been a political issue in the area back in the early 1970's as members of the Latin rite came and embraced our Liturgies and customs. Fr. Dan Bitsko could not and did not get into evangelization...this is too long to explain. However, he made it known that the Church was open and welcome to all who wanted to come and worship, and the parish community grew in size, faith and love. Now we are reduced in size by more than 3/4...none of which was the Parish Family's doing.

I guess one had to be here...and has to be wearing our moccasins in order to truly understand.
Sunday collections meet the operating expenses at our parish of 135 families. Income from monthly Fish Fry's (weekly during the Great Fast) have been used for such things as capital improvements, physical plant renovations, property acquisitions, etc.

Substitute 300 families for 135 families, and substitute the Biennial bazaar for monthly Fish Fry's, and you have described Church of the Resurrection as it once was.
September 30, 2007 - quoted from the bulletin of the Church of the Resurrection, Smithtown NY
"The House at 11 Mayflower has been sold for $200,000. The property was not up to code and no bank would grant a mortgage in that circumstance. The parish did not have the money to bring the property up to code. The money realized has been deposited in the parish account."

This was done without notification to any parishoner - there are electricians, plumbers, carpenters and lots of others who could have done a complete renovation on that property to bring it up to code. Then a sale of at least double that amount could have been realized. This is not proper stewardship from any angle!
The red brick building was not up to code. The house next to the red building has mold (so he states) and now this house is not up to code. What does not up to code mean? It must be a Latin rite house.
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This was done without notification to any parishoner - there are electricians, plumbers, carpenters and lots of others who could have done a complete renovation on that property to bring it up to code.

Oh no that wouldn't do sick...the parishioners (even if they make a living doing this type of work) are incompetant with this and the insurance company would not allow it...Wish I didn't have to say this...but I've seen this before...it's these types issues that don't let me fall away into the night and simply leave the issues of the BCC behind...I've seen this numerous times...it is systematically being done...it is evil...

Chris

Dear Chris,

Do you mean that an insurance company really wouldn't allow it, or that the pastor or chancery would claim that an insurance company wouldn't allow it? (I get the feeling you're being ironic, but I'm not sure in which direction).

Jeff
Originally Posted by ByzKat
Dear Chris,

Do you mean that an insurance company really wouldn't allow it, or that the pastor or chancery would claim that an insurance company wouldn't allow it? (I get the feeling you're being ironic, but I'm not sure in which direction).

Jeff

Jeff,
Many of our parishes raised money by renting their halls, renting picnic grounds etc for years. Working together at parish functions strengthened the relationships within our parishes and with the outside communities. It appeared we were on an upswing in many areas.
At or around 1996 something changed in our eparchy. The "we can't do it because of insurance issues" line was the reason most of the rentals started to dry up, less income came in to parishes from these sources and a loosening of the community bonds with our churches had begun.

1996.

Sam
"We can't do it because of insurance purposes" is an excuse widely used by the His Grace Andrew and his minions...I remember I confronted Fr. Hospodar directly on this...since I work for a major insurance company and have some knowledge of this "line" they use...if there really are "Insurance Issues" then the insurer that the Eparchy is requiring...if I may be so frank is terrible...I also remember that with HT we needed to get rid of ADT for security of approximately $150 a month (3 bldgs being secured) for an armed guard service which, we were told the Eparchy was requiring, which brought the cost to approximately $1,100 a month...(figures are not exact...just going from memory and don't have the time or inkling to dig through papers for exact figures but that is pretty close)...it's just another example of "wasting money to get rid of it"...It makes one wonder if someone is getting kick backs on stuff like this...because it's too common in this eparchy for coincidence...
Sam, I moved to Indiana in 1997, but arranged with Fr. Dan to be married in the Church in 1998, which he was more than happy to do as he had known me for 20 years. Even back then, we had began to hear about "insurance issues" and that our Church facilities were not going to be rented for usage by non-parishioners. Now, I am not sure how serious Fr. Dan was about that, but we did begin to hear about it a decade ago.

As far as the recent property sale, I don't know what is meant by the building being out of code. Who was it sold to? Yes, had the parish been asked, volunteers would have come to help bring it up to code. I happen to know that the parish has people with many years of experience in plumbing, electrical work, construction work, and would have been able to fix whatever was wrong for a fraction of the cost, and the parish would have realized a larger profit from this sale. Oh wait, that would have required Fr. U to interact with the remaining parishioners. I must have lost my mind there for a moment, as I mistook him for someone who cared about the parish.

BTW, I would like to thank those who arranged to have not one but BOTH liturgies in Dad's memory. I was very touched and moved to see that. One of the few times I have been touched in a good way from something I have read in the bulletin these past months...
Originally Posted by sam
Originally Posted by ByzKat
Dear Chris,

Do you mean that an insurance company really wouldn't allow it, or that the pastor or chancery would claim that an insurance company wouldn't allow it? (I get the feeling you're being ironic, but I'm not sure in which direction).

Jeff

Jeff,
Many of our parishes raised money by renting their halls, renting picnic grounds etc for years. Working together at parish functions strengthened the relationships within our parishes and with the outside communities. It appeared we were on an upswing in many areas.
At or around 1996 something changed in our eparchy. The "we can't do it because of insurance issues" line was the reason most of the rentals started to dry up, less income came in to parishes from these sources and a loosening of the community bonds with our churches had begun.

1996.

Sam

We (my parish) were told the same thing by our former pastor, when our church was asked to participate in a cultural/food festival put on the city (which BTW drew thousands of people). It would have been a perfect opportunity to not only evangelize, but educate people about our Church, parish, and Carpatho-Rusyn heritage by the displays, handouts, and food that we were planning to have. This event would have given the opportunity to perhaps garner more parishioners or at least occasional visitors. All we kept hearing was "It's an insurance issue, the eparchy won't be covered." The city had a blanket policy we subsequently learned.

What of the many parishes that still have festivals, fairs, dinners, food sales, etc. as fund raisers??? Isn't it the SAME issue for them? Why does it seem to be only certain parishes, while others continue on as usual?
Jeff,
Many of our parishes raised money by renting their halls, renting picnic grounds etc for years. Working together at parish functions strengthened the relationships within our parishes and with the outside communities. It appeared we were on an upswing in many areas.
At or around 1996 something changed in our eparchy. The "we can't do it because of insurance issues" line was the reason most of the rentals started to dry up, less income came in to parishes from these sources and a loosening of the community bonds with our churches had begun.

1996.


Sam

Sam, it isn't only in our Eparchy. A close friend of mine belongs to a Latin Rite church in the vicinity. A repair (don't want to go into too much detail here, for obvious reasons) had to be made to their church. Bids went out and they got a very good price for the work, from a local contractor, then proceeded to raise the money needed. When they had enough money, they were ready to do the work. They were not allowed to proceed on orders from their bishop, who told them they could only use a contractor that the bishop selected, and they also must take out insurance from the agency the bishop had contracted with for the diocese. It took them 4 years to raise the money needed to meet the price of the bishop's contractors. 'Nuff said.
Originally Posted by nypdjoe
As far as the recent property sale, I don't know what is meant by the building being out of code. Who was it sold to?


Joe,
This is a matter of public record. Once the ink dries this information should be available.

[/quote] I must have lost my mind there for a moment [/quote]

LOL!

Deacon John...having been the custodian of the bazaar books for the past 12 years, I can honestly state that no festival monies went into the regular fund or subsidized the regular costs of the church. The last project was the purchase of 22 acres of land for our cemetery. Bishop Michael gave us his blessing for growth and expansion. The land was bought, sites were planned, graves lined and all brought up to state standards. We were on the finishing touchs (landscaping and site sales) when Bishop
Andrew sent us a letter forcing us into inaction. We were not allowed to go forward in any manner. The land is now in waste and up for sale. Of course there are rumors, but we have no solid information as to its future. Just when our investment would have begun giving us returns, it was shelved. With all the mismanagment that is now evident, it would appear that plans for us had started many years ago.
This has been a fallacy that has been going around for a long time...At HT we proposed several times that the hall was the biggest expense...we/the eparchy...could sell that...and with simply keeping the church and rectory we could be self sustaining...however, if the hall was sold while we still existed the eparchy would not have gotten the $$$ and it wouldn't be so easy to "jack up expenses" if it was gone...(it wouldn't hurt that that would have stuck serious money into the bank account as well...which would have guaranteed solvency...)
Picture this: the small stuff (e.g.the Catechetical Center, $200,000) will be sold. Ultimately, the Parish will be closed and the proceeds from the major real estate: church, parking lot and rectory will go to the Eparchy. BTW, hasn't the cemetery been sold?...or is it in contract stage? Again, we will never know until it is too late.
Quote
Again, we will never know until it is too late.

God Forbid that you should know or figure it out before it happens...
Just a thought:

When our ancestors came to America, they gathered together in small groups from the same ethnic group and even the same villages and regions. They incorporated 'societies' in the name of their patron saints, and as they grew and saved money, they eventually contacted bishops back in the old country to send them a priest. The bishops usually complied and thus many of our current parishes were founded.

So, why shouldn't the current 'ethnoi' continue to be together for mutual support and prayer and form a society to further their needs even if their parish status is dissolved? Perhaps at some point, some bishop will recognize the existence of the ongoing 'society' and decide to establish (re-establish) a Church parish? Jurisdiction? ....uhm....er.... yeah, OK.

Remember that "ekklesia" means gathered-together-community. It usually means under a bishop in a diocese, but if there is no bishop or priest, it doesn't mean that the community doesn't exist as a praying/supporting/living entity.

Just a thought.

Blessings to all.

Dr John
Please let us know what occurs this weekend. One thing I learned with HT was that it was pretty rare that something didn't occur each weekend...whether it was in the bulletin, a snide comment or comments, etc...always something...

Keeping you guys in my prayers...

Chris

Chris
Please let us know what occurs this weekend. One thing I learned with HT was that it was pretty rare that something didn't occur each weekend...whether it was in the bulletin, a snide comment or comments, etc...always something...

Keeping you guys in my prayers...


Thank you for your prayers, Chris. We truly appreciate them. There is nothing to report from this weekend. Our esteemed pastor is very, very low-key lately, and "escapes" almost immediately after Liturgy, as always. The Sunday bulletin was almost blank, and contained no information, but there were three items of interest to me. First, the heading is now blank - just contains the name of the church and address. It used to contain the name of the "administrator," the sacristan, and the lay representative. Now it is blank. Secondly, as of last week, the amount of the Sunday collections is being noted. They have gone down dramatically, and this week's collection was even lower than last week's. Thirdly, he is changing the time of the Liturgy to 10:30 when the clocks change in November. It's almost like we are a mission church already.

Your prayers and helpful concern are deeply appreciated.

Meg
Quote
Our esteemed pastor is very, very low-key lately

Doesn't surprise me...it was clear ours didn't want to say anything that could tip anyone off or come back to haunt him...we had the same thing...we periodically would need to get a few of us together to stop him to speak with us...always played dumb..."I'm here." "I don't know what you're talking about." Would never answer questions or be responsive in any way shape or form...It's pretty pathetic for men claiming to be men of God acting this way...

Chris
Job: Do you think it is possible for people and even the clergy to lose their faith in God and Jesus Christ during their lifetime. I do.
Not every man is a man of action.
Is the change in Liturgy time just for the winter? I'm surprised he is making it a more manageable time for people to get there. 9:00 AM wasn't a good time for people traveling a distance.

Originally Posted by Meg
Thirdly, he is changing the time of the Liturgy to 10:30 when the clocks change in November. It's almost like we are a mission church already.

Your prayers and helpful concern are deeply appreciated.

Meg
Is the change in Liturgy time just for the winter? I'm surprised he is making it a more manageable time for people to get there. 9:00 AM wasn't a good time for people traveling a distance.


Our former pastor had 2 Liturgies on Sunday, 10:00 AM, mostly in Slavonic, and 12:00 noon - English. When we changed the clocks in the Spring the 12:00 noon Liturgy reverted to 8:00 AM, then back to 12:00 when the clocks changed again in the Fall. Our new pastor eliminated the 12:00 noon Liturgy, and made the one remaining Liturgy 9:00 AM. Yes, it has been a hardship for many of the parishioners who come from afar, and for the elderly in the winter because the roads can still by icey and such at that early hour. The early hour has effectively eliminated some parishioners. That's why I'm puzzled as to why the Liturgy is now being changed to 10:30. One thing I do know is that it can't be for a good reason; absolutely nothing that has taken place the past two years has been good. frown
Originally Posted by Job
[quote]Our esteemed pastor is very, very low-key lately

Perhaps he's been reading the posts from the Newsday forum?

Didn't he verbalize to the congregation the time was going to change?
No, Fr. Harry did not verbalize to the congregation. It just appeared in the bulletin. And I am sure the posts in the Newsday Forum did not change his mind. The 10:30 AM time, I am sure, is to accommodate someone else?
Originally Posted by Winston
No, Fr. Harry did not verbalize to the congregation. It just appeared in the bulletin. And I am sure the posts in the Newsday Forum did not change his mind. The 10:30 AM time, I am sure, is to accommodate someone else?

Fr. Harry verbalizes nothing to the congregation. As soon as he pulls those new red curtains closed at the end of Liturgy, he's "outta there." Can't get into his car and leave fast enough. What little information we get (as little as possible) is put in the Sunday bulletin. Incidentally, all of us are wondering about the sudden appearance of the red curtains. No-one seems to know what religious significance they have, even parishioners who were born into the Eastern Rite. Anybody?
Perhaps you can post a picture to our photo section for a better explanation, but I'm guessing the 'curtain' is behind your icon screen? In most Orthodox churches and in some of our Eastern Catholic churches this is used to separate the Holy of Holies from the people. It is opened and closed at several times during the Liturgy. Its been back in favor in some parishes for at least 25 years. Some icon screens are solid and can't be seen through, making the curtain unecessary, I suppose. I don't know if it was used in our original pre-1930 parishes or not.
Originally Posted by Meg
[quote=Winston]No, Fr. Harry did not verbalize to the congregation. It just appeared in the bulletin.

Isn't that nice. I'm guessing I wouldn't have a whole lot to say at this point, either. I give him a kudo for showing up, LOL
Originally Posted by andrasi
Perhaps you can post a picture to our photo section for a better explanation, but I'm guessing the 'curtain' is behind your icon screen?

Yes, exactly; it's behind the doors, not the entire icon screen. Just another way to spend down the parish money, I suppose. Thanks for the information.
Dear Meg,

The curtain or "veil" is called for by the books of the Recensio Ruthena (this are the "official Slavonic books from Rome" that many here want the bishops to mandate):

Quote
19. These general rules are to be followed...

g) The veil of the Royal Doors is to be open throughout all of Vespers and Orthros (i.e., Matins). In the Divine Liturgy, the veil is opened after the Prothesis and closed after the Great Entrance; it is opened again when the deacon exclaims: The doors, the doors... and it is closed at the Ekphonesis: Holy things to the holy...; finally, the veil is opened before the communion of the faithful and remains open until the end of the Liturgy.

So in this case, it sounds like your pastor has reintroduced a tradition which many on this forum are calling for.

Yours in Christ,
Jeff
Originally Posted by ByzKat
Dear Meg,

The curtain or "veil" is called for by the books of the Recensio Ruthena (this are the "official Slavonic books from Rome" that many here want the bishops to mandate):

Quote
19. These general rules are to be followed...

g) The veil of the Royal Doors is to be open throughout all of Vespers and Orthros (i.e., Matins). In the Divine Liturgy, the veil is opened after the Prothesis and closed after the Great Entrance; it is opened again when the deacon exclaims: The doors, the doors... and it is closed at the Ekphonesis: Holy things to the holy...; finally, the veil is opened before the communion of the faithful and remains open until the end of the Liturgy.

So in this case, it sounds like your pastor has reintroduced a tradition which many on this forum are calling for.

Yours in Christ,
Jeff

While this is a wonderful thing, it's my understanding, from several priests, that the use of the veil in the Passaic eparchy (and perhaps the whole Pittsburgh Metropolia) is forbidden and that our "particular law" does not call for it's use.
Our pastor may have reintroduced one tradition by the veil of the Royal Doors; but he has eliminated many more that were truly important to the parishioners in Smithtown. At the one a week Divine Liturgy, the personal touch is non-existent; I doubt that he knows the names of more than 5 parishioners; and furthermore, he doesn't care to know more. The Servant of God,***, receives... words which lift each one of us by name and individual to a heavenly level, even if for just awhile, are now a blank. Sad loss of tradition.


I was informed on Sunday that our church is now a mission church and has been for a year. Google St. Andrew's in Westbury. I also have been told by friends upstate that the bishop will be around another year.
Originally Posted by Winston
I was informed on Sunday that our church is now a mission church and has been for a year. Google St. Andrew's in Westbury. I also have been told by friends upstate that the bishop will be around another year.

You have confirmed what I suspected, Winston. Yes, I noticed a long time ago that St. Andrew's had a nice website, while ours, which once was so beautiful, has been dismantled. Why all the secrecy? As parishioners, are we not all entitled to know what is being done? We really are being treated shamefully, and I hold out little hope that a new bishop will rectify matters. Our church has been destroyed, and has been practically non-existent for at least a year.
"Ekklesia", the gathering, isn't the parish or the diocese. It's the people.

Do what needs to be done to preserve the ekklesia. How the state, city, county, diocese, etc. decide to respond to this entity is their response. It doesn't in any way affect the reality of the people and their reality as 'ekklesia' or 'community/group'. How the Church determines it will address this reality is something that the the entities must discuss. And there are multiple possibilities.

Like the "Federation of Russian Orthodox Clubs" that published wonderful liturgical music, this group did its wonderful work OUTSIDE the parameters of the various Orthodox 'jurisdictions' in the U.S. (Metropolia, ROCOR, Moscow Patriarchal) in service to the Byzantine (Russian) heritage. Might there not be something similar for the Kievan (Ruthenian/Ukrainian) community?

All doors are open. It just requires dedicated people to accomplish the good deeds.

Blessings!

Dr John
So you have been informed that we are a now mission church. News (not really) to all the rest of us. Isn't that a great example of our pastor's communication skills...he writes and tells the people to go back to the jurisdiction to which they belong and thereby decimates the congregation. But he doesn't have the decency to speak or write to those of us who are left regarding our future. And he was supposedly a teacher of children at one time. What talent, what class! No wonder his background appears to consist of 2-yr. stints.
I have heard the same about the bishop;s retirement. Let us see if Smithtown will be his Last Hurrah!
Meg: When did you notice ours was dismantled? Also, do you know where the priests' retreat is this week?
Originally Posted by Winston
Meg: When did you notice ours was dismantled? Also, do you know where the priests' retreat is this week?

It was shortly after Fr. Harry came. I have the site bookmarked in my favorites. For a short time, it remained the same as always, with the pictures of the folk dancers and bazaar, but the previous pastor's name was no longer on it. Next time I checked, it was "under construction." Then, an entirely new "homepage" appeared, but no information regarding the pastor, times of Liturgies, parish activities, etc. You can still click on "parish family" and get some bazaar pictures (including pictures of our previous pastor), and onto "resources" and get a list of links, but on the home page is a link that tells you to go to www.ChurchRes.org. [churchres.org.] But you can't get there. You get an error message - "http 403 Forbidden," with the note "The website declined to show this webpage. Most likely causes: This website requires you to log in." Makes one feel like you're in the middle of some kind of spy novel.

As for the retreat, I have no idea, but I'm sure we'll read about it in the next issue of Eastern Catholic Life.
Their retreat is at the San Alphonso Retreat House in Long Branch, NJ, same as always.
Originally Posted by ByzKat
Dear Meg,

The curtain or "veil" is called for by the books of the Recensio Ruthena (this are the "official Slavonic books from Rome" that many here want the bishops to mandate):

Quote
19. These general rules are to be followed...

g) The veil of the Royal Doors is to be open throughout all of Vespers and Orthros (i.e., Matins). In the Divine Liturgy, the veil is opened after the Prothesis and closed after the Great Entrance; it is opened again when the deacon exclaims: The doors, the doors... and it is closed at the Ekphonesis: Holy things to the holy...; finally, the veil is opened before the communion of the faithful and remains open until the end of the Liturgy.

So in this case, it sounds like your pastor has reintroduced a tradition which many on this forum are calling for.

Yours in Christ,
Jeff

Thank you, Jeff, for this explanation. Sunday I will be able to inform those who have been inquiring about it. It's too bad some of the other beautiful traditions of the Byzantine Rite have been abandoned, as Spinrose has explained. We also never hear "Vicnaja Pamjat" chanted after a Liturgy for the deceased, and the deceased's name is never even mentioned during the Liturgy. In fact, most of the beautiful Slavonic hymns and chants seem to have gone by the wayside. We all miss these traditions very much.
[quote=Meg We also never hear "Vicnaja Pamjat" chanted after a Liturgy for the deceased, and the deceased's name is never even mentioned during the Liturgy. In fact, most of the beautiful Slavonic hymns and chants seem to have gone by the wayside. We all miss these traditions very much. [/quote]

Meg,
That may be because your biritual priest doesn't know Slavonic
Originally Posted by Meg
[ . . . ] and the deceased's name is never even mentioned during the Liturgy.

That is outrageous and appalling. The communion of saints extends into the world to come, and some of them still need prayers. Also, God is outside of time, so He can apply prayers for the deceased to any point in a deceased person's life -- thus helping their salvation. To pray for the deceased is also a way to simply honor them and their memory. It is certainly a way to honor the grief that their still living loved ones are feeling. It is outrageous that this isn't being done. I am so very sorry for you, Meg and all the rest, and it makes me repeat my advice to flee from that place and to find a good Catholic or Orthodox parish instead.

-- John
Originally Posted by harmon3110
Originally Posted by Meg
[ . . . ] and the deceased's name is never even mentioned during the Liturgy.

That is outrageous and appalling. The communion of saints extends into the world to come, and some of them still need prayers. Also, God is outside of time, so He can apply prayers for the deceased to any point in a deceased person's life -- thus helping their salvation. To pray for the deceased is also a way to simply honor them and their memory. It is certainly a way to honor the grief that their still living loved ones are feeling. It is outrageous that this isn't being done. I am so very sorry for you, Meg and all the rest, and it makes me repeat my advice to flee from that place and to find a good Catholic or Orthodox parish instead.

-- John

Well, John, I thank you for allowing me to know I am not alone in feeling this way. Our Sunday bulletins are handed out by the sacristan after Liturgy, supposedly because our new pastor doesn't want us to be distracted during The Divine Liturby by reading them. Thus, when a Liturgy is being said for someone, and we weren't in church the Sunday before to obtain a bulletin, we don't know the name of the deceased or the intention of the Liturgy until after it's over. If I remember correctly, there are 3 points in the Liturgy where the name of the person the Liturgy is being said for is mentioned. This is no longer done. As for myself, I now have Liturgies said at a Roman Catholic church in my county that is run by order priests. These are very holy and devout men, as far as I can see, so I feel satisfied the deceased will be prayed for.

As for our new priest not knowing Slavonic because he is biritual, when we first joined our church 38 yers ago, we didn't know one word of Slavonic, but in a short time we were able to join in the singing. It takes a little effort, but almost every Roman Catholic in our church, whom our priest scorns and demeans, used to sing the responses in Slavonic, and so did all the children. Sunday Liturgy was so beautiful to be part of, with the entire congregation participating, that visiting priests used to comment favorably about it. Now, as Spinrose has mentioned before, it is cold - very cold. Sad.
Knowledge of Church Slavonic has little to do with it. The priest appears to be much more interested in the "visual effects"--veil of the Royal Doors, expensive re-gilding of the Gospel Book, candles, etc., rather than the "spiritual life"--of either the living or the deceased of the parish family. The once prayerful warmth has become an atmosphere of cold indifference.
In all fairness the curtin being restored...not singing eternal memory or having the deceased's name (or a Sunday Liturgy for the deceased for that matter) are things I actually applaud...the curtin is an old venerable tradition that as I understand it corresponds to the veil in the temple...and Sunday's being the day of resurrection I can see why eternal memory or having a DL for the deceased is discouraged...

The problem appears to be...as with all/most of these problems...the way they are handled...these are great things in my opinion, but if they are simply implemented without pastoral sensitivity, at least in the area of catachesis...(pastoral sensitivity is not well people complain so I won't change anything) they come across as heavy handed...when HT had its iconostasis installed and major renovations back in the 80's the Pastor bent over backwards to educate why this was being done...there were some vocal critics...but they remained and grew to "love the changes" over the initial reactions once it was understood an appreciation grew for those who did not know...
Ah, therein lies something huge: communication. Your pastor took time to explain that which he wanted to implement. There is no dialog here with the parish community. Things get added; things get subtracted (sold, dumped or perhaps given away); and apparently, it's not ours to question why. As has been written before, our pastor comes in the door, gets vested, recites the Liturgy, unvests, goes out the door and is gone. Perhaps he is very fearful of contracting something gross from this "blue collar country club" as he calls it.
Yes communication is the problem...the one thing I haven't been able to figure out though...(since this was clearly the problem with the final priest at HT) is this communication problem simply one of general communication...or is it designed to "tick people off"...to get them to leave...since I know the numerous times we brought this up it was always "brushed off" as not an issue...

Chris
What happened to today's postings???
Dear Job,

Generalized complaints were fast turning into individualized hearsay and rumors against one individual of the clergy, and the Administrators of this forum thought it wise to remove those potentially slanderous posts to our 'holding cell' until they can be further evaluated, rather than close the whole thread at this time.

Alice, Moderator

Thank you for the reply Alice...

Not sure, feel free to PM me if you don't want to discuss in open forum, what was "potentially slanderous" there are numerous people who could collaborate what was said...

Not to be disrespectful but the question I have is: Does the continuation of keeping these issues in the forefront of peoples minds cause "problems" or are the "problems" the havoc that has been reaked...apparently there are many out there who see it for what it is...otherwise these threads (this one and the prior one that was closed) would not have almost 10K "hits"

Chris
The poster who posted them (not you) has been warned/notified by the Administrators.

Thank you for your understanding.

Alice, Moderator
I guess we are posting at the same time...if there were other posters who made uncharitable/potentially slanderous comments they should be warned and the posts taken down...although I know I made an observation, that I had confirmed by the source, that was taken down as well...

Please, help me understand confused

Job
Dear Chris,

You said nothing wrong. However, since a whole page (comprised of the mostly offensive posts) was taken out, your post was within that page.

Don't worry...
Alice, Moderator
Thank You!
Something does disturb me regarding this situation. I was contacted off line by several people who are part of this situation in Long Island...who now don't feel comfortable posting on this subject...they feel they are being watched and could have repercussions...Whether or not that is true is not the point...the issue is that once again these situations cause such distrust along with the scandal of the situation...it appears to be the modus operandi...that is not the way a Christian Church should operate...

Chris
Chris,

Certainly the administrators and moderators are watching. And people are foolish to think bishops and priests don't read this forum. That said, so what? If one posts in truth and charity one has nothing to worry about. If on the otherhand one is ashamed of their posts, and some of those who post on the newsday forum should not only be ashamed but go to Confession before they go to Communion again, perhaps they should reconsider what they post and how they post it. I wonder what those who contacted you fear? By their own statements they couldn't possibly be treated any worse.

If they feel they are being treated unfairly and canons are not being followed they have every right to post, vent, and get assesment of their canonical situation. They do not have the right to be disrespectful of the bishops and priests, even if they are doing wrong and certainly don't have the right to post unfounded accusation and defamation

Fr. Deacon Lance
I don't think that those who are posting their experiences are ashamed of what they post. Sometimes the truth does come out as less than charitable when those perpetrating such acts are uncharitable in their behaviour.

"I wonder what those who contacted you fear? By their own statements they couldn't possibly be treated any worse."

It would seem that those who are worried about repercussions aren't worried about repercussions from their bishop or priests, rather repression of thier frustration. Essentially by having their "uncharitable" posts unilateraly withdrawn, they are suffering the same fate as when writing to their bishop or attempting to speak with the parish priest. In short, they are being told again: 'you have nothing to say and we don't care that you are hurting'.

I have watched this thread with great interest having friends and relatives who live in New Jersey (and thus the Eparchy of passaic) who are worried about such goings on at their own parishes which haven't gotten to the Smithtown scale of uncharitability yet.
Dear Steve,

Quote
Essentially by having their "uncharitable" posts unilateraly withdrawn, they are suffering the same fate as when writing to their bishop or attempting to speak with the parish priest. In short, they are being told again: 'you have nothing to say and we don't care that you are hurting'.

Infact, it is quite the opposite.

The Administrators and some of the Moderators here on the Byzantine Forum had actually agreed, (a long time ago) to keep the thread open in order to allow the posters a positive outlet to vent and to express their frustrations.

When posts are removed, it is so the whole thread won't get derailed and closed.

Alice, Moderator
It is healthy to be aware that if you decide to not be anonymous and offer opinions about people or groups of people you would not share in their company, there is nothing to stop them from seeing those words.
I heard that Father Harry has left Smithtown and there may be a new pastor coming. Can anyone confirm this?
We were told that Fr. Harry is filling in at NYC parish for two weeks. Fr. Bertha, son of one of our parishioners is just filling in while Fr. Harry is gone.
Thank you PatPenn...

I was also notified that Fr. Harry's name had been dropped from the parish bulletin...did this occur again today or was it simply a mistake that had occured...

Chris
Chris, The bulletin today also does not have Fr. Harry's name on it. The heading has the name of the parish, address and phone number. Again Fr. Bertha told us that Fr. Harry will return for this weeks liturgy.
With Father Andor from White Plains repose, this will throw assignments again into a tizzy, as the diocese scrambles to find someone to cover this parish as well. Lord have mercy!
Quote
this parish as well

John you mean THESE parishes...Fr. Andor had White Plains, along with Yonkers and Holy Cross in Manhattan...I think I see more "consolidation"...as I understand it, these parishes were on the "hit list" prior to Bridgeport...
I heard that Father Joseph Bertha would be celebrating DL on Christmas Eve at the Smithtown parish. Can anyone confirm this?
Has the situation improved any with the news of the incoming new bishop?
Originally Posted by Robert K
Has the situation improved any with the news of the incoming new bishop?

We can only pray for that. I would like to see there not be a need for such a thread.

Job
Originally Posted by Anthony
I heard that Father Joseph Bertha would be celebrating DL on Christmas Eve at the Smithtown parish. Can anyone confirm this?

I heard this as well but I wouldn't be a good source to confirm it...
Fr. Bertha did say DL on Christmas Eve and has been saying our liturgies since then. Today at church I was told that Fr. Bertha will be at Smithtown for the time being. We would love to have him stay. We can only pray and wait until our new Bishop is installed to office.
Found out where Fr. Harry has "re-surfaced" this morning. I was informed that he is in, where else, Trumbull, CT as the replacement for Fr. George Malitz...at least, at the present time...
Yes, Fr.Harry has been assigned temporarily as the Administrator of St.John's in Trumbull. Last weekend Fr.George announced that he had been granted a leave of absence.
...are you insinuating that the actions of Bishop Pataki towards Holy Trinity & the Smithtown Parish were charitable?????
Originally Posted by Angel lady
...are you insinuating that the actions of Bishop Pataki towards Holy Trinity & the Smithtown Parish were charitable?????


Only on here would a poster have to ask if another was insinuationg a bishop did something charitable.

Crazy!
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