“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


Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Excuses Are Alibis and Alibis Are Lies

Ahhh, the fun continues. Sadly, the lies, deception and back-tracking continue, along with the fun. No sense in waiting... here we go!

As we mentioned yesterday, two members of our Parish Council and our Proistameno made a house call to the Metropolitan in Denver on Monday. (side note: the Metropolitan was just here for three days the week before - did they forget to tell him something while he was here that required this visit on their part?)

We have been told regarding the withholding of the Metropolitan's letter of May 31, 2007 that it was not our Proistameno's fault the letter was not immediately sent to the community. Yup, that's right, it was not his fault! Our Proistameno was merely following the directive of the Parish Council! So, it's the Parish Council's fault? Parish Councils have been dismissed for doing far less than convincing a Proistameno to withhold a letter from the Metropolitan

Let's bring everyone up to speed. Our Proistameno receives said letter and it is read to the Parish Council at their June 4 meeting. Copies of the letter are not made available to the members of the Parish Council (what? no copy machine in the church office?); it was only read to them. Our Proistameno and President saw that the letter was addressed to the entire parish, but no one else was given the honor of actually reading it. It was decided that the letter would be withheld until the Parish Council could communicate with the Metropolitan. Communicate what?!

Certainly our Proistameno had nothing to do with this decision, and he certainly explained the importance of distributing this letter to the community, by telling all in the room to whom the letter was addressed. (So,again, not his fault!?)

Word gets out that said letter exists, our Parish Council writes their sorry epistle followed by our Proistameno's insulting letter along with the famous, or infamous, letter from the Metropolitan, which, it was determined HAD to be sent out to silence the outrage. So now that we're all up to speed, let's remember it's the Parish Council's fault!

Even more baffling now is that the Parish Council will soon try to convince us that it really IS their fault. Here's a question for us to ponder: In the almost five years that this Proistameno has been here, when has he ever done anything other than what he has wanted to do? This is cut and dried. The letter was addressed to the Proistameno, Parish Council AND the Greek Orthodox Community. That means all of us and we all should have received the letter IMMEDIATELY! This Proistameno knew very well to whom the letter was addressed, and even if the Parish Council convinced him not to disseminate it to the community (highly doubtful that he can be convinced to do anything he doesn't want to do) it is HIS responsibility to see that his flock is informed. Again, cut and dried - no ifs, ands, or buts. Sometimes it's lonely at the top, but being at the top also implies responsibility.

If this Parish Council makes any effort to take responsibility for this Proistameno's continuous blunders, they should be ashamed of themselves in that they have failed in their duty to represent us. They should know by now that we will NOT be fooled any more. The time has come for this Parish Council to start FINALLY representing the people who elected them, and stop covering up the devious actions of this Proistameno. You can tell your lies to the Metropolitan and he might believe you, because it may or may not be in his self-interest, but we do not! Just remember Reverend, Excuses are alibis, and alibis are LIES.


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Maria Chachas Mastakas said...

If I didn't know better I would think the Proistamenos is a CEO running a company, not a priest serving the community. Hiding letters from the community and then placing the blame on others is inapproporaite behavior period.

As a member of the GREEK orthodox community of Salk Lake City for the past 30 years, I cannot remember ever having this much turmoil within the community, parish council, or clergy.

The community built both churches, not the proistamenos who would like to see one go to him and his flock as well as a portion of the properties purchsed and owned by the COMMUNITY. I would like to know why this prositamenos, who has not been a member of the community for very long, believes he is entitled to one of the churches and the property.

Andy Giannis said...

In the last paragraph you state, “….If the parish council makes any effort to take responsibility for the Proistameno’s continuous blunders...”

In the Webster dictionary “blunder” is defined as a gross error or mistake resulting usually from stupidity, ignorance, or carelessness. Our Proistamenos is neither stupid nor ignorant. Personally I have found him to be arrogant, deceptive, manipulative, devious and dishonest.

His track record shows that his actions have been contrary to the words he speaks. While he repeatedly tried to assure us that he was against the “split” he was forming a second Philoptochos for PE, terminating the rotation of our priests between HT and PE, and slowly and methodically shaping up the foundation for a split. Now he is about to put the issue of splitting the community in the hands of committees appointed by none other than himself.

For over 100 years the General Assembly was the way through which our community as a whole debated and voted upon issues of common interest and significance. Now with a new Sheriff in town the game is played differently, the majority rule is outlawed and committees now govern. Actually this does not come as a surprise because recently I saw how the Fr. Katinas affair was handled. Archbishop Demetrios suspends and then defrocks a criminal pedophile while Metropolitan Isaiah embraces him. Extremely sad for our church when bishops and priests are free to do whatever the hell they wish. It doesn’t take an Einstein to recognize that the crisis in our church today is caused by the clergy and not its followers.

Passive parish councils and silent parishioners have allowed this problem to escalate to its present magnitude. It’s time to stand up!

Andy Giannis