“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


Sunday, February 24, 2008

Imagine a Hierarch Who Is Truly AXIOS!

Enthronement Speech of Archbishop of Athens and All Greece Ieronymos

Below is an excerpt from the enthronement speech of the new Archbishop of Athens and All Greece. The full English translation of the text can be found at http://www.oodegr.com/english/ekklisia/ierarxes/enthr_log_ierwn1.htm and is well worth reading. This portion of the speech is directed at the youth but certainly crosses over to all the faithful, young and old alike.

"My beloved children, I want us to meet personally. So, I am proposing to found a kind of Archbishop’s youth council, so that we can get together, I can listen to your issues personally and we can work together in building the tomorrow that you deserve and that we are obliged to secure for you."

"What I mainly desire is to listen to you, rather than you listen to me. And you should also make your presence felt and your words evident in the life of our Church. I will try to be open with you and transparent, so that behind me can be seen the Crucified leader of Life – the only One Who loves so much, that no-one can resist His love..

And something more. The Church is your home. When you see it ablaze on account of our negligence or unworthiness, do not stand aside and exercise easy criticism. Come in, so that we may salvage whatever we can of the precious treasure of our spiritual inheritance. Come to your home, so that we can together renew and renovate it."

  • Imagine a hierarch who wants to listen to the people, and who doesn't have the attitude of "the people can't tell me what to do."
  • Imagine a hierarch anxious to resolve problems face-to-face, instead of threatening excommunication, and in some cases following through with his threat.
  • Imagine a hierarch who strives to be open and transparent instead of hiding behind the lies of his assigned minions.
  • Imagine a hierarch who believes he has an obligation to secure our future as opposed to securing his agenda.
Sadly, we are left only to imagine. Many years, Archbishop Ieronymos. AXIOS!

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