Syosset, New York
March 16, 2006
At the fall meeting of the Metropolitan Council, I announced that at my direction, a New York-based accounting firm would be engaged to conduct an Independent Audit of the financial records of the Orthodox Church in America for the years 2004 and 2005.
I also announced that we would subscribe to “Best Practices Principles for Non-Profit Financial Accountability,” as the standard to which the financial activities of the Church would be subject. This project is moving forward under the direction of our Acting Treasurer, Father Paul Kucynda, in consultation with Protodeacon Peter Danilchick. You are aware as well that I endorsed Primary Policies and Procedures proposed by our Acting Treasurer in the fall of 2005. In January 2006, I endorsed Procedures for Scheduling Events/Activities proposed by his office as well. These documents were subsequently distributed to all diocesan bishops, Metropolitan Council members, Auditors, Church ministry chairpersons and their members and consultants.
In January 2006, I authorized the Acting Treasurer to engage the firm of Lambrides, Lamos and Moulthrop LLP to perform an Independent Audit of all Church financial records for the years 2004 and 2005. They began their audit on January 24, 2006 with the hope of finalizing and presenting their report to the Church by March 31, 2006. Their work has been slowed due to the lack of documentation available for some transactions that are integral to the year 2004 audit.
After much prayer and pastoral concern for the well-being of the Church, as the Primate of the Orthodox Church in America, and according to our Statute, Article IV, Section 2-i, I retained the law firm of Proskauer Rose LLP to undertake an internal investigation of allegations relating to the finances of the Church.
At this time, I have also authorized the Acting Treasurer to extend the engagement of the firm Lambrides, Lamos and Moulthrop LLP to examine the disposition of monies collected through OCA appeals from 2001 through 2005 as requested by the Holy Synod of Bishops at their meeting of March 1, 2006.
Finally, if necessary, I will authorize any additional engagements with the accounting firm as requested by the attorneys conducting the internal investigation.
In addition, in my capacity as Primate of the Church, I am reporting to you that after much painful and prayerful consideration, I decided to present a letter of termination to Protopresbyter Robert S. Kondratick relieving him of his service as Chancellor of the Orthodox Church in America effective immediately. My decision was prompted by an accusatory and intimidating letter which I received from Father Kondratick’s attorney, Harry H. Kutner, Jr. I do interpret his attack on me as Primate as an attack on the whole Church. It is with sadness that I report this to you.