“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


Thursday, June 28, 2007

Killing the Messenger

Numerous reports have been circulated that some of our Parish Council members and others in the community are blaming the community’s current woes on the blog. We submit that these people are confusing cause and effect.

Let’s think about this, shall we? The idea for the blog first began because numerous parishioners were frustrated. Their efforts, after a properly conducted special General Assembly, were thwarted by backdoor subterfuge from the minority, in collusion with the Archdiocese. When one parishioner, also a Parish Council member, objected too strenuously to this sorry state of affairs, someone reported to the Metropolitan. Without even bothering to investigate, perhaps ask the parishioner/council member to explain himself, the Metropolitan imposed highly stringent sanctions, most of which he has now rescinded, against the former Parish Council member. While this situation was occurring, there were also the rumblings surrounding the activities of parishioners seeking to split the community. The die was cast.

Those of us who write for and who moderate this blog have been told by parishioners that it provides the only resource where some information is forthcoming. It is also the only place where issues that are pertinent to all parishioners, not just to the clergy and the Parish Council, are discussed. All viewpoints are welcomed and encouraged. Some Parish Council members have claimed inaccuracies. We invite those who feel this way to write us and point out these inaccuracies; if they are right, like all good journalists we will print a retraction along with their views.

There are those who clearly hoped the blog would just go away. The secrecy that the Parish Council has been embracing, not resisting, of late has all but ensured that it will not go away. More and more it appears they are either unwilling or unable to honestly address their constituents’ concerns. We are outraged by the backdoor tactics and by the clandestine attempts to split the community, which is now presented as a fait accompli. These actions have assured the blog’s growing popularity. Add to these local issues the backdrop of a hierarchy that itself is unwilling or unable to address honestly the growing regional and national scandal of sexual abuse cases. Finally, there is a glaring double standard between the behavior the clergy demand from their flock and that which they will condone for themselves. To claim that the blog is the cause of these problems is absurd.

The blog is causing these problems? Or is it that the blog is pointing to them, thus exposing the clergy’s high-handedness and the Parish Council’s inability to address these issues. All any of us have ever asked is that our Parish Council have the courage to stand up for what is right for their community, and operate openly, as did their fathers and grandfathers.

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