An investigation into smuggling activities involving Seventh-day Adventist Church leaders in Argentina has led to the departure of top administrators of the Argentina Union Conference, according to an official communique. Administrators at River Plate Adventist University have also resigned, and the Adventist Development and Relief Agency (ADRA) has been named in a federal judge’s judicial report.
This article contains a factual error. Oscar Ramos, former rector of the River Plate University is not mentioned in the INFOBAE article linked. He has in fact been cleared by the courts. Sadly, he has suffered a heart attack and threatened with loss of credentials after a witch hunt by the South American Division.
In his video to the Adventist Church in Argentina, which is described in the article above, Pastor Carlos Gill noted at approximately the 1:50 mark that both the rector (Oscar Ramos) and the vice-rector (Jorge De Sousa Matias) of UAP resigned in order to allow for a transparent process.
“Para clarificar lo que ha sucedido tanto el rector como en pisa rector de desarollo renunciaron para que permitir que este proceso sea transparente…”
That is consistent with what is written in this article:
[Jorge De Sousa Matias] has since left his position at River Plate Adventist University, along with rector Oscar Ramos.
Given that this shipment originated here in the US and purports to be from ADRA, one has to wonder which ADRA officials here in the US were aware of what was going on. Are you aware of any ongoing investigation here in the US, @JaredWright, or are officials here fervently praying this all just goes away as well?
According with the Judge all were indicted, including Oscar Ramos. None of them was cleared.
“Los procesados, según el expediente judicial, fueron el presidente de la Asociación Argentina Adventista del Séptimo Día (Aaasd), Carlos Gill Krug; el tesorero de la Aaasd, Carlos Giménez Graf, ; Roberto Giaccarini, que trabaja en la Agencia Adventista de Desarrollo y Recursos Asistenciales (ADRA) desde 2002; Oscar Ramos, rector de la UAP; Jorge de Sousa Matías, vicerrector de la UPA, y la despachante de aduana Nilda Saira.”
At length, I was able to reach ADRA for comment. They shared the statement given above, which seems to indicate that local ADRA employees worked outside of the purview of ADRA International:
ADRA International has more than 60 years of experience with international shipments of development and relief materials. ADRA’s current gifts in kind program follows a strict and transparent protocol, including the use of vetted and approved vendors. Any activity in connection with the shipment to Argentina was conducted outside of official ADRA procedures and without the use of approved vendors. ADRA International is not under investigation, and any internal issues connected with the shipment have been resolved with assurance that no private donations or other support were misused.
Thus far, I am not aware of a U.S.-based investigation, but I continue to follow developments closely.
Surely, all of these men were appointed by God. This is the fiction that the Adventist church chooses to believe in respect of its appointed leaders. Not to different to the infallibility of the pope.
Ethics is an area that I suspect is not well understood by the church generally. Different philosophies of ethics exist. Switched on professions require regular it’s members to regularly engage with ethics programmes.
The SDA church has only been around for 150 years (I have said this once before) and there are enough scandals and injustices to probably fill a few cardboard boxes with A4 sheets of paper - typed on both sides - as well as a book or two. Give the SDA church approximately 1,500 years or so and one would not recognise it as any different to the Catholic Church - namely that there are good and bad eggs in most churches - and I suppose we could extend that to most religions as well.
We live in a post-modern society where we are beginning to ferret out the contradictions in most grand narratives. Sadly there are infallible ‘popes’ in most churches - that is, if one takes the time to listen to/deconstruct what is sometimes spoken from some pulpits - whether Protestant or Catholic.
Aside from applying that brief account of Jesus’ deeply emotive reaction to Lazarus’ death I/we could apply it to or own times as well ! Quite aside from the horror stories which emanate from all hues of the religious spectrum there have been some incredibly devout Christians in both the SDA and the Catholic church (popes included!), once again, quite aside from the devout of other faiths . . .