March 1, 2006
“Let all things be done decently and in order”.
(I Corinthians 14:40)
The Holy Synod of Bishops of The Orthodox Church in America, under the chairmanship of the Primate, His Beatitude, Metropolitan Herman, met in Extraordinary Session.
The Holy Synod has decided upon the following course of action, continuing to encourage financial accountability, and trust within The Orthodox Church in America.
1. Implement Best Practices for Non-Profit Financial Accountability.
Following are the six best practice principles for financial accountability considered applicable to The Orthodox Church in America:
1. Ensure clear and decisive financial governance
2. Adopt ethics and conflict of interest policies
3. Implement appropriate financial controls
4. Conduct annual independent financial audits
5. Ensure transparency of financial data and performance
6. Maintain knowledge on emerging non-profit issues
2. Review the Disposition of all Monies Collected Through All OCA Appeals from 2001.
Our objective is to have a report from the external CPA firm of Lambrides, Lamos, Moulthrop, LLP for presentation to the Holy Synod by the time of the Spring 2006 meeting.
3. Conduct Independent Financial Audits from 2004
In conformity with past practice, the external CPA firm of Lambrides, Lamos, Moulthrop, LLP will conduct independent audits for all 2004 and 2005 accounts. We have instructed them to give us fair and impartial assessments of our financial controls, and accounting results, providing us with recommendations on how the process can be improved, and made more transparent, disciplined, and accountable.
4. Review of reports at the Spring Session of the Holy Synod
The bishops will review the independently audited reports of 2004 and 2005, and the report on the appeals, when they meet for their Spring 2006 Session, and take such action as may be appropriate (such as establishing a special committee of review).
On the threshold of the Great Fast, we exhort the faithful to remember the Holy Gospel, to conform to the example of Christ, and to live as Christians in mutual repentance and forgiveness.
Archbishop of Washington and New York
Metropolitan of All America and Canada
Archbishop of Pittsburgh and Western Pennsylvania
and the Bulgarian Diocese
Archbishop of Dallas and the South
Archbishop of Detroit and the Romanian Episcopate
Archbishop of Chicago and the Midwest
Bishop of San Francisco, Los Angeles and the West
Bishop of Ottawa and Canada
Bishop of Sitka, Anchorage and Alaska
Bishop of Boston, New England
and the Albanian Archdiocese
Bishop of Philadelphia and Eastern Pennsylvania