“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


Saturday, September 11, 2010

Apostolic "Successes"

Matthew 18:
21 Then came Peter to him, and said, Lord, how oft shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? till seven times?
22 Jesus saith unto him, I say not unto thee, Until seven times: but, Until seventy times seven. (King James version)

It is quite clear after eight years that the current "apostolic successor" came to this valley with specific instructions from his "apostolic successor" leader, namely his bishop, to DIVIDE this community. There is simply no other explanation for the absurd, self-defeating actions we keep witnessing with this "ministry". This crusade to divide us continues to the bitter end despite our overwhelming opposition to it. It ignores promises and assurances given to our founders by previous "apostolic successors" whose authority to grant those promises is now being questioned by the current ones.

That an "apostolic successor" can actually voice that he "never forgives" indicates, sadly, that some of our current "apostolic successors" do not have Christian teaching as the top priority of their ministries. That priority falls well distant behind absolute power and complete control.

This state of affairs begs the question: did things really have to be this way?

Father Michael refuses to work with anyone who might disagree with him. He insulates himself against this possibility by disqualifying such persons, on specious grounds, and not allowing their names to appear on the ballot for the parish council. This "dirty tricks" political tactic has ensured that this community (with open approval from Denver, armed with the rationalization of UPRs rammed through a "kangaroo court" Clergy-Laity Congress, and that are designed to hold down the laity) has not had a properly ELECTED board in nearly five years!

Think what might have been accomplished here with some goodwill on the Proistamenos' part. Yes, he would have to deal with some less pliant members of his flock, but that is the stuff of democracy - a vital part of our Hellenic legacy. It is also a sensible part of open and transparent governance. Had there been a willingness to work openly and honestly with all his flock, stewardship would not be falling off a cliff; restricted funds would not be raided; vital projects would not be at a standstill; dissension would be minimized; our youth would not be so disaffected. What kind of "apostolic succession" discourages a strong, vibrant, unified community, and instead promotes discord and disharmony as its ministry's legacy?

Our current "apostolic successor" is proving to be merely a foot soldier to a current hierarchy that, like the Pharisees, is more involved in the letter of the law (but ONLY when it suits their purposes) rather than its spirit - a hierarchy that seeks to dominate rather than lead its flock. When a spiritual leader scorns forgiveness, rather than emulating Christ's gentle manner of teaching and leading, how can there be a successful ministry?

"Physician, heal thyself!" Please! Our community, your flock - and your ministry - is suffering because you either cannot or will not!

PS - Word has it that our Proistamenos at PE is grooming his son-in-law as his successor. Question: since when did the priesthood become a familial, monarchical succession?

1 comment:

Steve Gamvroulas said...

"PS - Word has it that our Proistamenos at PE is grooming his son-in-law as his successor."

No thank you.