The relationship of the IOCC with a politician completely in favor of the holocaust of our time, abortion, and weak in other issues of sexual morality is a terrible scandal. We are called to be salt for the world, and this means we must have the courage to stand for the truth and not listen to or accept, even tacitly, the world's "excuse with excuses in sins".
This reports the IOOCC relationship with former Senator Pail Sarbanes (D, Maryland), the fact that despite his well known voting record, he is an Archon of the Ecumenical throne, the public record which shows that the IOCC is well aware of this difficulty, since they have received and replied letters of protest fro at least two Orthodox Christians, and also their Statement of purpose, which dodges the issue of their complicity with the murder of children.
Paul Sarbanes, Abortion, the IOCC, and the approval of the Ecumenical throne.
Paul Sarbanes is an Archon. Why this is important.
Paul Sarbanes relationship with the IOCC
Letters protesting the association of the IOCC with Paul Sarbanes
Letter 1 of Ronda Wintheiser, sent via email
Letter 2 of Ronda Wintheiser, sent via post
Answer of the IOCC to Ronda Wintheiser
Ronda Wintheiser's response to the IOCC
Response of the IOCC, from Rada Tierney
Priest Seraphim's reply to the IOCC
Position Statement of the IOCC
In a nutshell, Paul Sarbanes was a Democratic senator of Maryland for many years. During that time, he amassed a 100% approval rating from NARAL because of his pro-abortion voting record.
An explanation of his pro-abortion voting record is here: http://www.ontheissues.org/Social/Paul_Sarbanes_Abortion.htm
Here is a quick summary:
Paul Sarbanes was rewarded by the Ecumenical Throne by being made an Archon, the highest honor a Greek Orthodox layman can attain. See this article regarding this appointment - " Constantinople's Moral Oversight" - at http://www.orthodoxytoday.org/articles/EstocinSarbannes.php.
Paul Sarbanes was appointed an honorary chairman of an IOCC dinner (The 20th Anniversary Gala, May 8, 2012). It appears that to this day, he is involved in supporting their activities. The IOCC has not severed their relationship with Paul Sarbanes.
Ronda Wintheiser, an Orthodox woman, protested this appointment with a series of letters, beginning on Feb 5, 2012. The IOCC advertisement announcing this dinner is below, followed by a series of letters, with one IOCC response. The time line is below, with the complete letters - first an email, then a snail mail, the IOCC response (via email), and her last letter.
All of these following are on the blog post and 1 comment on that same post: "IOCC Should Reconsider Senator Sarbanes as Honorary Chairman", http://www.orthodoxytoday.org/blog/2012/02/iocc-should-reconsider-senator-sarbanes-as-honorary-chairman/
There were letters sent by an Orthodox woman, to the IOCC regarding this, and one very politically correct response from the IOCC.
Originally I sent an email to IOCC; I wrote it on February 5th, Souper Bowl Sunday. Here is the text of that email:
Dear friends at IOCC,
Several years ago, I volunteered to be a parish representative for IOCC in my home parish, Holy Myrrhbearers Orthodox Church, pastored by Fr. Nathan Kroll.
Today, our parish is participating in the Annual Souper Bowl of Caring as we have every year, and I intend to donate food to a local food shelf and write a check to IOCC as I have in the past.
This year, however, I feel almost sick about it because of what I read on the OCA website yesterday about the IOCC 20th Anniversary Gala slated to take place the evening of May 8, 2012 with Paul Sarbanes, former US Senator of Maryland invited to be an honorary chairman.
The OCA article refers to Senator Sarbanes as “honorable”, but I take issue with that title because, as you surely know, when he was a senator he voted against a ban on partial birth abortions that then-President Bush had promised to sign.
I won’t describe the details of what a partial birth abortion means for a child in the womb. However, I will say that in voting against the ban on partial birth abortion, Senator Sarbanes voted in favour of one of the most grisly and brutal forms of infanticide there could be.
I cannot comprehend why an Orthodox entity such as the IOCC or any jurisdiction of the Orthodox Church in North America would choose to hold someone like Senator Sarbanes up as an exemplar for the Orthodox faithful when he has so blatantly betrayed the moral heritage of the Orthodox Christian faith.
I can’t imagine that Metropolitan JONAH would feel differently when he hears of it.
Surely in this vast nation you can find someone else who will better represent the mission of the IOCC.
I’d appreciate a response to this note. Thank you.
Very truly yours in XC,
Unfortunately, I did not receive a response, so on February 15th, I wrote a snail mail letter:
Dear Mr. Triantafilou, and members of the board of directors of IOCC:
I recently sent an email to IOCC using the email address provided on your website, and I asked for a response. I felt certain I would receive one since the mission statement of the IOCC states that “IOCC assumes the highest professional standards and renders itself fully accountable to the public and its donors.” Unfortunately, as far as I know, I have been enthusiastically ignored; I haven’t received even an acknowledgement that my note was received.
Perhaps it wasn’t; since I have no way of knowing, I am directing my comments to you, Mr. Triantafilou, and to your board of directors hoping you will respond.
Several years ago I volunteered to be a parish representative for IOCC in my home parish (Holy Myrrhbearers Orthodox Church, pastored by Fr. Nathan Kroll). At various times over the past ten years since our mission was established, I’ve made modest but heartfelt and prayerful financial contributions to IOCC. Just this month, our parish participated in the Annual Souper Bowl of Caring as we have every year; my two daughters and I purchased and donated food to a local food shelf and I wrote a check to IOCC as I have in the past.
This year, however, I felt almost sick about it because of what I had read on the OCA website about the IOCC 20th Anniversary Gala slated to take place the evening of May 8th, 2012 with Paul Sarbanes, former US Senator of Maryland invited to be an honorary chairman.
On the IOCC website, there is also a verse from Matthew 25 noted as the inspiration for IOCC’s mission: “For I was hungry and you gave me food; I was thirsty and you gave me drink; I was a stranger and you welcomed Me; I was naked and you clothed Me; I was sick and you visited Me; I was in prison and you came to visit Me… As you did it to one of the least of these my brethren, you did it to Me. ”
With that inspiration in mind, I imagine that you must not be aware that as a senator, Mr. Sarbanes voted AGAINST a ban on partial birth abortions that then-President Bush had promised to sign.
I won’t describe the details of what a partial birth abortion means for a child in the womb (who most certainly can be described as the very, very “least of these”). I will say, though, that in voting against the ban on partial birth abortion, Senator Sarbanes voted in favour of one of the most grisly and brutal forms of infanticide there could be. (www.orthodoxytoday.org/articles/JacobseSarbannesSnowe.php)
I cannot comprehend why an Orthodox entity such as the IOCC or any jurisdiction of the Orthodox Church in North America would choose to hold someone like Senator Sarbanes up as an exemplar for the Orthodox faithful when he has so blatantly betrayed the moral heritage of the Orthodox Christian faith. Surely in this vast nation you can find someone other than Mr. Sarbanes who will better represent the mission of the IOCC!
I would appreciate and be grateful if you would make a change in your plan for that evening, or else at least an explanation for why not. Please?
Thank you and very truly yours in XC,
Mr. Triantafilou didn’t bother to answer me himself; he delegated the job to someone named Rada Tierney, who wrote me the following email:
On 2/28/2012 3:47 PM, Tierney, Rada wrote:
> Dear Ronda:
> Thank you for taking the time to communicate your concerns regarding our upcoming 20th Anniversary Gala. We value your support for IOCC’s humanitarian work around the world and appreciate you sharing your position with us in this matter.
> Please know that since IOCC’s inception in 1992, our first and foremost mission has been in the spirit of Christ’s love, to offer emergency relief and development programs to those in need worldwide, without discrimination, and strengthen the capacity of the Orthodox Church to so respond.
> Through the support of compassionate individuals like you, IOCC has been able to respond to the urgent needs of millions of vulnerable men, women and children, regardless of race, creed or color. From aiding flood victims in Pakistan and tsunami survivors in Japan, to helping rebuild schools in Haiti and homes in the Gulf Coast, IOCC has responded with equal care and compassion to help uplift the lives of those people it serves. Nothing can equal the joy in their eyes or the gratitude in their smiles as they accept the kindness of a stranger.
> Senator Sarbanes was selected as an honorary co-chairman for the event for his steadfast commitment and support for IOCC’s ongoing humanitarian mission. While we recognize that you do have concerns about his participation, we hope you will not allow it to overshadow a 20-year legacy of positively impacting the lives of so many people.
> On behalf of International Orthodox Christian Charities, I want to thank you once again for taking time to contact us and for your support these many years, and hope that you will, in Christ’s love, continue to share our mission to help those who need it most.
> In Christ,
> Rada K. Tierney
> Communications Manager
> International Orthodox Christian Charities (IOCC)
> 110 West Road, Suite 360
> Baltimore, Maryland USA
> Office: +1(410) 243-9820
> Fax: +1(410)243-9824
> Cell: +1(443) 823-3489
Dear Mr. Triantafilou, board of directors, and the staff at IOCC:
I did finally receive a response to the email and the letter I wrote recently asking you to reconsider your selection of Senator Sarbanes as an honorary chairman for the upcoming gala planned for May 8th. Thank you for it.
The letter read, in part, that: “Senator Sarbanes was selected as an honorary co-chairman for the event for his steadfast commitment and support for IOCC’s ongoing humanitarian mission. While we recognize that you do have concerns about his participation, we hope you will not allow it to overshadow a 20-year legacy of positively impacting the lives of so many people.”
I’m sure you hoped that such a carefully crafted letter would smooth this over and make me go away. But it’s Great Lent, and one of the Scripture readings selected by the Church for Clean Monday just happens to be a warning from God about coming to worship Him with blood on our hands (Isaiah 1) — and I take that very seriously.
Do you realize that the argument made in the letter written by Rada Tierney for why I should continue to support IOCC is the same argument used to defend Planned Parenthood? ‘So what if they are the largest abortion provider in the world? They do so much good! Why allow your concerns about abortion to overshadow their legacy of positively impacting the lives of so many people?’
IOCC Paul Sarbanes Honorary Gala Chairman
In Romans 16, St. Paul admonishes Christians to “associate with the lowly”. As far as I can tell, there are none so lowly as unborn children, nor as needy, isolated, and vulnerable, and as we are about to celebrate on March 25th, Christ deigned to become an unborn Child Himself.
It isn’t my choice to overshadow your “20-year-legacy” with the spectre of abortion — it’s yours. You have made it clear it doesn’t matter to you whether Senator Sarbanes supports killing unborn children as long as he keeps giving his money to you. That makes it painfully obvious that you prefer to associate with rich, powerful, politically correct figures than with lowly unborn children — or with nobody housewives like me, for that matter.
You have Senator Sarbanes’ support, so you surely don’t need mine; therefore, I am writing to request a refund of the $100 check I wrote to IOCC on February 5th during the Souper Bowl of Caring drive. It’s not very much; I’m sure you won’t miss it, and if you do, perhaps Senator Sarbanes will make up the difference.
Lord, have mercy on me, and on you all as well.
- Ronda Wintheiser
In October, 2012, Priest Seraphim Holland, who had originally committed to participate in an IOCC fund-raising dinner in Dallas, was made aware of Paul Sarbanes involvement with the IOCC. He wrote an email to them, which after some delay, was answered. He then answered their answer. The text of these letters is below.
On Behalf Of Seraphim Holland
Sent: Tuesday, November 06, 2012 2:47 PM
To: IOCC Relief
Cc: St. Nicholas Parish List
Subject: IOCC association with former Senator Paul Sarbanes
I am an Orthodox Christian Priest in the Dallas area, and admire your work. I am also a registered nurse and contacted you for training at least two years ago, but have not heard from you. This letter is not about that, but rather a pressing pastoral decision I must make very soon.
Our area will have a fund raising dinner in our area very soon, and I must decide if I will participate in it, both by cooking and attending.
Your causes are good, but your past association with former Senator Paul Sarbanes is troublesome. Of course, even though he purports to be Greek Orthodox, his voting record is radically pro-abortion. As an Orthodox Christian, I am of course, pro-life, in all its dimensions. I cannot appear to agree with an organization that honors a person whose views are opposed to Orthodox Christianity.
I understand that the former Senator is well known, respected by many, etc, and as such he is helpful for fund raising. The fact remains that he is radically opposed to church teaching.
I know that a dinner occurred where Mr. Sarbanes was honored., Since that time, have you done anything publicly to apologize for or disavow this?
I know raising money is hard. Doing it and following the gospel is harder.
Please answer my simple question so that I can know if I should be involved in fund raising for your fine organization.
Again I ask you to answer my question. It is a shame that large organizations often ignore letters from the little guy because they fear negative publicity. We are two Orthodox Christians talking to one another, shall we agree to let our yes be yes, and or no, no?
Priest Seraphim Holland
email@example.com Cell:972 658-5433 Home:972 658-5433
ST NICHOLAS ORTHODOX CHURCH => http://www.orthodox.net
*** 708 S Chestnut, MCKINNEY, TEXAS 75070 ***
Dear Father Seraphim,
Thank you for your email message to IOCC Relief. International Orthodox Christian Charities (IOCC), an agency of the Assembly of Canonical Orthodox Bishops of North and Central America, represents Orthodox Christians in North America and understands its work to include developing in Orthodox Christians a commitment to philanthropy and global cooperative involvement in the work of the Orthodox Church. We embrace Orthodox Christians who desire to support this Gospel-inspired ministry and invite the participation of all Orthodox Christians who are in good canonical standing in the Church. We respect the relationship of every Orthodox Christian with their spiritual father and their bishop and understand that to do otherwise would jeopardize our identity as an Orthodox Christian organization.
I traveled to New Jersey this past weekend, working with church volunteers to assemble and distribute emergency clean-up buckets to the Sandy survivors trying to salvage their wind and water damaged homes. So many have lost their homes and everything that was in them. They are grateful for any help, and the need is still great. I pray that your event is a success and that your proceeds will help bring relief to families desperately in need of a helping hand.
If you are still interested in participating in our Emergency Response Network, I will forward your contact information to my IOCC colleague, Pascalis Papouras. He coordinates the program and would be able to provide you with further details.
Rada K. Tierney
International Orthodox Christian Charities (IOCC)
110 West Road, Suite 360
Baltimore, Maryland USA
Office: +1(410) 243-9820
Cell: +1(443) 823-3489
Nov 12th 2012, a reply was sent to IOCC, and copied to the parish email list of St Nicholas Orthodox Church, McKinney Texas.
I was surprised to see a reply to my email (included at the end [but left out here, since the letter is above, F.S] ) to the IOCC regarding their association with the notoriously pro-abortion (he even voted for partial birth abortion!) former Senator Paul Sarbanes, but unfortunately, not surprised to see a political piece of propaganda.
She did not address my question in the least. She gave a politician's answer. This tells me that the IOCC still has a strong association with Mr. Sarbanes. This is unacceptable.
I am pleased that they do charitable work, but ashamed that Orthodox Christians can willingly be so silent about terrible sin. The IOCC is on the slippery slope of political correctness. I would have appreciated a more honest answer from them, in which they just came out and said: "He has been very helpful to us, the Patriarch made him an Archon, his politics (morality) are unimportant, we do not care about them!"
I regret that I cannot promote such an organization. I think that there could be circumstances in which I would work with them, but only because of the need of those they help. It is a terrible shame that their truly Christian good will is mixed with ignoring the sin of abortion. They are mixing truth with falsehood; something the Scripture commands us to do everything in our power to avoid doing. I could not in good conscience give them money.
On Dec 7, 2012, in response to local discussion about the IOCC, a local priest sent to local clergy the following position statement of the IOCC. It was sent to him by Rada Tierney. It is not known when this statement was written, and whether it is in response to the controversy of this charity's association with Paul Sarbanes, but the smart money says it does!
Here’s the position statement crafted and approved by our Board of Directors.
International Orthodox Christian Charities (IOCC), an agency of the Assembly of Canonical Orthodox Bishops of North and Central America, represents Orthodox Christians in North America and understands its work to include developing in Orthodox Christians a commitment to philanthropy and global cooperative involvement in the work of the Orthodox Church. We embrace Orthodox Christians who desire to support this Gospel-inspired ministry and invite the participation of all Orthodox Christians who are in good canonical standing in the Church. We respect the relationship of every Orthodox Christian with their spiritual father and their bishop and understand that to do otherwise would jeopardize our identity as an Orthodox Christian organization.
Rada K. Tierney
International Orthodox Christian Charities
This document is at:
 The Orthodox Christian who attends Vespers will recognize that this is a quotation of part of a Psalm use in "Lord I have cried", sung at every vespers: "Incline not my heart unto words of evil, to make excuse with excuses in sins, With men that work iniquity; and I will not join with their chosen. " (Psalm 140:4)
 NARAL = National Abortion Rights Action League. They are among the most radical pro-abortion organizations in existence. For instance, they are "all in" on "partial birth abortion", which is a grisly procedure in which a viable baby is partially allowed to be born in a breech position, and the back of the skull is pierced with a sharp instrument, and the brains are vacuumed, out, killing the child, and allowing the easy birth of the carcass. If there is a radical pro-abortion position, they are for it.