Ben Lomond Crisis

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  • 1996 Sep: Sts Peter and Paul Parish ran into difficulties with Bp Joseph. Bp Joseph expressed his desire to reduce the number of clergy at that parish (29 at the time), through transfers and laicisations, to a number more in keeping with standard practise.
Fr John Hardenbrook, during this period, was removed from his position as Dean of the Northern California Deanery at this period. This was seen as retribution for the Phyletism or Freedom!" article written in the parish newsletter, which declared the parish's right to choose from amongst various Orthodox musical traditions and liturgic practises.
  • 1997 May: Bp Joseph issues directive that all formerly-EOC parishes (which included Ben Lomond) are to use the official Archdiocesan service books and the Archdiocesan music within two years, rather than music from many and varied sources.
The parish responded badly to this directive, which compounded the reaction from the first directive. A minority accused the dissenters of disloyalty to the bishops.
Sep: Truce called.
  • 1998 Feb 6: Fr David Anderson was issued a transfer to Chicago. This was seen as an attack on parish life, as Fr David was one of the most popular priests in the parish; it was also seen as cold, due to Fr David caring, with the help of parisioners, for his invalid mother at the time. After the rejection of an appeal, Fr David applied for a release to the OCA.
12: A letter was sent from a number of clergy of the parish, signed by 10 priests (out of 12) and 11 deacons (of 17), outlining the problems had with the hierarchy by the parish and why they lost their trust in the hierarchy. It asked for a release to the OCA. A petition was sent from the laity, with 60% of the laity signing their support for the clergy's letter.

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