“Ye know that the princes of the Gentiles exercise dominion over them,

and they that are great exercise authority upon them.

But it shall not be so among you:

but whosoever will be great among you, let him be your minister;

And whosoever will be chief among you, let him be your servant:

Even as the Son of man came not to be ministered unto,

but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many.” (Matthew 20:25-28, KJV)

The word the Athenians used for their Assembly was Ekklesia, the same word used in the New Testament for Church
(and it is the greatest philological irony in all of Western history that this word,
which connoted equal participation in all deliberation by all members,
came to designate a kind of self-perpetuating, self-protective Spartan gerousia -
which would have seemed patent nonsense to Greek-speaking Christians of New Testament times,
who believed themselves to be equal members of their Assembly.)

- Thomas Cahill, Sailing the Wine-Dark Sea: Why the Greeks Matter


Tuesday, May 1, 2007

How To Get Removed From The Parish Council

Recently a member of the parish council of the Holy Trinity Church in Dallas was removed from office for "violating his affirmation of office" which, coincidentally was the same charge levied against a member of our own parish council causing his ouster. It would appear on the surface that the responsibility of removing parish council members rests solely with the Metropolitan of each respective Metropolis. Taking a closer look, we can clearly see that the Metropolitan plays a key role but certainly does not act alone.

The Uniform Parish Regulations, or UPR's as they are commonly referred to and frequently quoted when it suits the needs of a particular side, disseminate the process of how one goes about getting oneself removed from a parish council. Chapter 2, Article 24, Section 5A of the 2005 edition we find: "Removal from the Parish Council shall be considered when a member: (1) is not or has ceased to be loyal to the doctrines, canons, worship, disciplines, customs or practices of the Church (2) is in violation of these Regulations or Hierarchical Encyclicals of the Archdiocese (3) does not recognize the duly constituted ecclesiastical authorities of the Metropolis or Archdiocese (4) is guilty of a serious moral transgression or (5) has violated his or her affirmation of office." Should one decide to run for the parish council, be elected and strive to get themselves removed, these are the five ways one can accomplish that goal.

Should a member of the parish council succeed at meeting one of these five requirements, how does the Metropolitan come to the conclusion that removal is necessary? These same UPR's answer that question in Chapter 2, Article 24, Section 5B: "In the event that the Priest believes that the removal of a Parish Council member is required for one of the reasons required in subsections (1) one through (5) listed above, the Priest shall submit his recommendation, in writing, for the removal of the member to the respective Hierarch."

The process listed above is how our Archdiocese has directed its parishes to conduct matters regarding the removal of members of Parish Councils. In the case of the removal of a member of our Parish Council, it would stand to reason that the Metropolitan had help in making his decision. It appears that, if a member of the Parish Council of our community chooses to think for themselves and their thinking isn't in line with the wishes of the Priest their tenure will be short lived. The 'if you don't agree with me, I will see that you get fired' mentality that exists here leaves much to be desired.

Instead of working together for the betterment of our church in this community we have a situation where 'I am in charge and you are here to assist me' rules. There are no common goals and there is no common agenda for the betterment of the community and its members. The Metropolitan makes the final decision but not without the help of the Priest he has assigned. The voice of the people is extinguished and the business as usual thinking reigns.

Our situation here, as well as the situation in Dallas, could have been handled by sitting down with those who have allegedly "violated their affirmation of office" and discussing the issues at hand. It seems that as reasonable adults any discrepancies could have been ironed out for the betterment of the church and those elected by the people could continue to do the people's work. Instead, we make an example of one to keep the others in line.

The Metropolitan made the final decision but he did have help along the way.

1 comment:

njcolessides@msn.com said...

Thank you to the author.

Well said and well documented.

I shall shortly post my own commentary relating thereto.

There is obviously a problem about the Proistamenos' behavior and deeds.

Thank you for your honesty and integrity in setting the record straight.

I shall be posting my own commentary shrortly.

Best regards to all.

Nick J. Colessides