“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, December 7, 2009

"anti Church"? NOT!

In their recent rejection letters to "ineligible" Parish Council nominees, our proistamenoi labeled this blog site "an anti Church, Archdiocese, Metropolis and Clergy venue".

It is true that we have been critical of an Archdiocese and a Metropolis that for DECADES, like their Roman Catholic bretheren, supported and protected pedophile priests. We decry a hierarchy that pays millions of the church's funds - the funds WE provide to our Church, the Bride of Christ - for "hush money" to prevent the facts of the Katinas case, and others, from becoming public, supposedly to "protect the church". We aren't being disrespectful in asking for a hierarchy and clergy that puts the spiritual and physical well-being of our children, FIRST, and does not seek to protect those who would hurt them.

We yearn for a hierarchy that respectfully and lovingly rules
with its flock, the laity, and not over them. We ask for an Archdiocese that insists that the Greek Orthodox Church in America be given either a formal, or at very least the de facto autonomy it once enjoyed before the current Patriarch "gifted" us our new charter and UPRs, rammed through a Clergy-Laity Congress where no opposing opinion was allowed, much less heard. We ask for an Archdiocese that seeks and embraces its rightful place in World Orthodoxy and world religion, and is not simply happy to be relegated to being a patriarchal province and a cash cow. We ask for a hierarchy, here and abroad, that RESISTS a Papal model (or locally, a Mormon one!) for Orthodoxy, rather than embracing it.

We have pointed out that our Metropolitan came out several times squarely in support of a defrocked priest, even after the Archdiocese had cut its losses with Katinas, rather than expressing any sympathy at all for Katinas's numerous victims. Based on Metropolitan Isaiah's Protocol 8-27, the laity of this Metropolis (or of others for that matter) cannot be confident that another Katinas situation will not occur.

This site has also been critical of the Metropolis' negative attitude toward our community that has actively and aggressively promoted disunity and disharmony, along with others in his metropolis, toward concerned parishioners, and toward genuine and honest differences of opinion as to sound church asset governance. Sadly, the clergy and hierarchy have the arrogance to behave as though they, solely, comprise "the Church". They fail to recognize that Church, the Bride of Christ, is ALL of us - clergy and laity, those who agree with us and those who don't.

If those of us who write on this blog and others were truly "anti Church", we simply would not care. We would do what so many others who are distressed by the misdeeds of our supposed leaders do: show up every so often to services or events, pay the minimum, and go about our business without expressing any opinion at all. Since the clergy and hierarchy have currently stifled honest differences of opinion in local and national laity assemblies, we, along with others throughout this country, have turned to "venues" they cannot silence.

We love our church. We LOVE the traditions we grew up with. We revere the clergymen, leaders of their flocks, past and present, who taught us, presided with love, reason and compassion, and who labored and ruled WITH their flock and not OVER it. We love our church enough to care when things are not right and to try to find ways to put them right.

Anti-Church? That is THE one thing WE ARE NOT!

No comments: