Απο τότε που βγήκε το «συγγνώμη» χάθηκε το φιλότιμο. (From the time that “sorry” became a stock phrase, the sense of honor, and love of honor, was lost.)
We made reference in our Easter wishes to the community that the recent visit by Metropolitan Isaiah gave us cause for hope. He expressed regret, both to individuals and to the congregation, that errors had been made. We were heartened and felt that this was a good beginning.
The incidents of the past few days, during, of all times, Holy Week, have dashed hopes that healing might begin and that a move toward harmony and unity would begin.
We have witnessed a negative and threatening letter signed by our proistamenoi, along with the members of the parish council. The letter criticizes an honorable member of our community – a man who has given much not only to this community, but to Orthodoxy and Hellenic culture throughout this country and the world. Nick Bapis deserves THANKS, not criticism.
Additionally, the letter is critical of Nick Varanakis, Manoli Sargetakis and George Metos. While many who write on this blog have had differences with Mr. Varanakis, the fact is that in this circumstance none of these gentlemen did anything wrong. Despite this fact, Mr. Varanakis was “thrown under the bus” and forced to resign.
In another recent example of inappropriate interference, the parish council demanded that the audit committee sign a confidentiality agreement. This demand is in DIRECT opposition to the Uniform Parish Regulations (as seen in Chapter Three, Article 30, Section 3.)
In addition to these recent events, our proistamenoi and the parish council now insist that ALL formerly separate accounts must be transferred to the sole control of the parish council. These would include those of the Philoptochos (which has historically had separate accounts), the Hellenic Heritage Fundraising Campaign (which was authorized by the General Assembly as an entity with its own accounts), and the Anthony Skedros Memorial Gymnasium Fund Foundation, along with others.
These recent occurrences provide further disappointment to an already disheartened community that has been praying for a climate of healing after so many years of discord. The Metropolitan expressed regret – a highly positive step. Yet there is nothing that indicates that our clergy and our leaders will follow-up in seeking unity and harmony. Instead, the behaviors that have caused discord are continuing. Sadly, "sorry" is not enough.