“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


Monday, October 15, 2007

The Metropolitan's "Flip-Flop"; the Stubborness of the Proistamenos ...

... Or, why is it good to read and review prior correspondence to our Community

We need to learn from history. On June 2, 1998, the Metropolitan threatened to re-assign Fr. John Tsaras because he thought that ONLY the “head priest rotates between the two parishes.” On September 26, 2002, the Metropolitan assigned this Proistameno to serve “primarily” (not exclusively) at Prophet Elias Church.

This Proistamenos ignores the spirit and the express letter of his “assignment letter.” He wants exclusivity. He thinks that the Parish Council exists to serve him. He decides, CONTRARY to the past directives of the Metropolitan, to camp out exclusively at the Prophet Elias Church. This Proistamenos believes that when he deigns to come to the Cathedral of the Community once a year, on Holy Tuesday, he has discharged his duty.

Why has the Parish Council refused to follow the prior directives of the Metropolitan? Why is this Proistameno allowed to act in such a divisive manner to the detriment of the entire community? Why does the Metropolitan allow this situation to continue?

Should the parishioners who worship on Sundays at Holy Trinity not be allowed to know who the Proistameno of their community is? More importantly, how is this Proistameno to know who the Holy Trinity parishioners are? Should he not minister to the needs of the parishioners who attend church at the Cathedral? How can he know what our needs are, when he hides out exclusively at the Prophet Elias campus? Yet this Proistameno was appointed to be the Dean of the Cathedral!

Clearly the Metropolitan recognized in 1998 (see html copy below) that the spirit of the clergy assignment must be made, so that as many parishioners as possible may know who the “head priest” is.

Well said, Metropolitan Isaiah. We applaud your position. It is supported by our community. The only recalcitrant person is this Proistameno. Do we need a Proistameno who refuses to follow the past directives of the Metropolitan? Please assign him to another parish where he does NOT have to choose between two churches. Is this Proistameno the “head priest” of this community - ALL of this community - or not?

No person on this earth walks with holes in the palms of his hands. It is very appropriate to recognize the error; the Metropolitan must correct the wrong. This Proistameno must ROTATE between our two churches or find an assignment that does not require it.

It is evident from the attached letter that in 1998, there were NO canonical issues regarding this community's situation. Nothing has changed since that time to place a canonical issue in play. It is evident from the express language of the letter that there was no “bigamy” issue then! And, there is not one now! This Proistameno’s past expressions (about canonical postulants) are nothing but hogwash.

Please read the Metropolitan’s letter dated June 2, 1998 and draw your own conclusions. It is supplied for your reading pleasure.

Best regards,

Nick J. Colessides

P.S. I. This Proistameno cannot hide forever; he must respond about the reasons for his disobedience. What is his agenda?

Attachment: Metropolitan Isaiah's Letter, dated 2 June 1998, to Fr. John Kaloudis


(As always we have not edited the original document, written on the letterhead of the then Greek Orthodox Diocese of Denver, beyond converting it to html for Internet publication and have tried inasmuch as possible to maintain original formatting.)

2 June 1998

Reverend John Kaloudis
The Esteemed Parish Council
Holy Trinity Cathedral & Prophet Elias Church
279 South 300 West
Salt Lake City, UT 84101

Beloved in the Lord,

I am attempting to arrange my schedule so that I may make a pastoral visit to your parishes in the oncoming future.

Among the items I wish to discuss is the need for your Assistant Priest, Father John Tsaras. The reason I say this is because His Eminence Archbishop Spyridon assigned Father Tsaras to the Prophet Elias Church. Yet, I am told that he is rarely there from Sunday to Sunday.

My position in this matter is clear: Father Politis was assigned to Holy Trinity and Father Tsaras was assigned to Prophet Elias. Unfortunately, Father Kaloudis has ignored the assignment letters, as well as my letter to him and to you that only the head priest rotates between the two parishes and not what you have been doing.

Many of your members do not know who their priest is. The procedure you have been following has rendered the priests more as functionaries rather than spiritual fathers. This does not help the people to grow spiritually.

I am beginning to suspect that you do not need a third priest, since Prophet Elias Church is literally closed during weekdays. If your procedure does not change, and if the assignment letters of the two assistant priests are not honored, then I will have no choice but to reassign Father Tsaras to another parish.

I hope to inform you soon when I will be coming to Salt Lake City, so that this matter may be resolved, as well as any other problems which prevent your parishes from being Christ-centered congregations with the people identifying themselves with one spiritual father.

With Paternal Blessings,


+ Metropolitan Isaiah
Presiding Hierarch
of the Diocese of Denver

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