“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, March 27, 2008

Better Late than Never? Or Too Little, Too Late?

This month our Metropolitan has issued a protocol (http://www.denver.goarch.org/protocols/2008-Protocols/protocol-08-08.pdf), which should be appearing in our next bulletin, that acknowledges the upcoming month of April as "Child Abuse Awareness Month." According to our Metropolitan, April is the month in which "all citizens are called to become more aware of the terrible tragedy of child abuse."

During this month, March, however, yet another victim of Father Nicholas Katinas has joined the upcoming lawsuit wherein our concerned hierarch is also named as a defendant. (http://orthodoxreform.org/cases/fr-nicholas-katinas/greek-american-joins-lawsuit/ )

While we at TOCB are heartened that the Metropolitan is actually acknowledging that such a problem even exists, we are still reminded of Metropolitan Isaiah's ardent defense of .... the victims?

It seems not. His sympathies in the past, well documented in the National Herald, on the Orthodox Reform Web site and on our own site in various blog articles, were and have been with Fr. Katinas. This ardent defense by our hierarch of the accused priest continued to occur well after the Metropolitan's own colleagues acknowledged that the accusations were substantiated, and well after even they had distanced themselves from Fr. Katinas.

Our Metropolitan's sympathies were squarely and steadfastly with the now-defrocked Fr. Katinas and understandably with his presvytera, whom he brought up frequently as a "victim" (and who we admit does, in fact, deserve sympathy). She still is faced with the presence of newspaper reporters on her doorstep hounding her for answers. The reason for this is that the now ex-Fr. Katinas has "skipped town" for some months now and his whereabouts are unknown. Therefore he is the one who left his poor presvytera is to deal with the consequences. Our Metropolitan feels badly for her, and so should we. But Metropolitan Isaiah has consistently failed to point out that, in addition to having to deal with the shocking revelations about her spouse, it is Fr. Katinas' cowardly refusal to face squarely and honestly the charges brought against him that has caused his wife to suffer these further indignities.

The true outrage, however, is that never ONCE has our Metropolitan - the one who is now "embracing" Child Abuse Awareness Month - expressed any sympathy for the victims. While Fr. Katinas was offered counseling (indicating that his superiors KNEW he had a problem), never ONCE were his victims offered paid counseling. Nor has our Metropolitan EVER expressed any remorse for his part, either as chancellor or hierarch, in failing to acknowledge that far too many (and ONE is too many!) of the church's priests were, let's be honest, pedophiles. He, along with others, simply moved them around, just as the Roman Catholic hierarchy did with their "problem priests", further spreading the inevitability of more children being abused. This is why Metropolitan Isaiah, along with others, is named as a co-defendant in the upcoming trial of Fr. Katinas.

So are we now to say "bravo, better late than never?"

Or is the real answer, "sorry, your Eminence, but your concern is far too little and way too late."

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