“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, November 5, 2007

Who Pays for the Sins of the (Reverend) Fathers?

A few days ago an article, originally published in the National Herald, appeared on the Orthodox Reform Web site. The implications of this article are chilling.

Apparently the new priest and the parish council president at Holy Trinity in Dallas, Texas have asked Dallas parishioners to donate an extra $250 - $1,000 each. By doing so they hope to raise an extra $250,000 on top of their standard stewardship. The sum is needed to protect the church and its properties from lawsuits that are being brought by victims of sexual abuse perpetrated by the church’s former priest, Fr. Nicholas Katinas.

So it has now come to this. Our clergy sins; we pay the price. We are not implying that this is the case with all our clergy – the vast majority are fine, honorable, decent men of God. But when they are not, someone must pay the price.

We should keep in mind that earlier this year our Metropolitan was dismayed that revenues in Dallas had fallen twenty percent with the news that Fr. Katinas was about to be defrocked. So the $250,000 needed just to defend the church and its properties probably won’t cover the amount needed for this purpose AND also cover any shortfall from Dallas' usual stewardship level.

The article further states that the Metropolis of Denver and the Archdiocese are also being sued and that they are "taking responsibility for their own defense."

What does this have to do with us – with other members of the Greek Orthodox faith throughout this Metropolis and ultimately throughout the country?

A reading from Metropolitan Isaiah’s budget protocol dated 7/12/07 (page 4) might be instructive:

Should a parish feel that it has a special circumstance warranting my consideration, I will carefully examine whatever information is submitted to me by the parish priest, and will inform all the parishes of my decision. I ask that any such circumstances be brought to my attention as early in the year as possible. The final appeal period will be between June 15th and July 15th.

Please Note: Any reduction in the Total Commitment allocation granted to a parish will be paid for by all the other parishes of the Metropolis. Before an appeal for special consideration is submitted to me, consider the impact of your action on the other parishes. (emphasis added)
Who will pay for the sins of the Fathers? You decide.

* Note: The article mentioned, Church In Dallas Asks $250K From Parishioners, can be found on the Orthodox Reform Web site, http://orthodoxreform.org/cases/fr-nicholas-katinas/dallas-requests-250k/.


TOCB Moderator said...

Yet another reason why we should go ahead with the corporation!!
Are we really the ones that have to pay the price?
It sounds,looks and feels like it.

To my fellow moderators: being honest it might not be in your best interest!
Some might be appalled and dismayed...!

Yannis Armaou

John Mastakas said...

Why should the parishioners in Dallas pay to remedy the disgraceful actions of Fr. Nick Katinas? (although lets be clear that any such a remedy will only be financial, as such acts usually scar a victim for life)

The parties responsible for Fr. Katinas' actions are Fr. Katinas and (if found liable) the people who placed him in such a trusted position. People must be held responsible for their own wrongdoings (criminal or financial, in this case it appears one will lead to the other).