Another Church Bites the Scandal Apple

Monday, February 27, 2006 at 09:26 AM

Continuing America's neverending drama of corruption among the powerful and secretive, the Boston Globe today carries a story on the Orthodox Church in America (described as an offshoot of the Russian Orthodox Church). The church's former treasurer says church officials misappropriated millions of dollars donated by retired chairman of Archer Daniels Midland Co., Dwayne Andreas, US military chaplains, and ordinary parishioners across the country.

What did they use the money for?

The highest officers of the 400,000-member denomination...are accused of using the money to cover personal credit card bills, pay sexual blackmail, support family members, and make up shortfalls in various church accounts.

Right now, the truth of the treasurer's claims remains in dispute.  Many church members doubt his story, but others think all or part of his story is true, and, in fact, some parts have been corroborated by other witnesses.

A group called Orthodox Christians for Accountability has posted the letter, other documents, and commentary on its website, including a chronology of the alleged scandal.