Moderator's Note: Mr Paulos submitted this letter in response to Elleney Soter's recent letter to Carol Mikita. Ms. Soter's letter has been circulating throughout the e-mail chain in the community, but we cannot find it on the ksl.com Web site, and therefore cannot link to it. For those who have read Ms. Soter's e-mail, Mr. Paulos provides this response.
I would first like to say welcome back to our Church; I haven’t seen you at the services for a while. I received a copy of the letter that you sent to Carol Mikita and was compelled to write you. In your letter you describe misinformation presented by KSL in their story on the Salt Lake City Greek Orthodox Community split and the meeting among parishioners to discuss the issue, but the truly important misinformation did not come from the KSL story but from you in your letter.
It is clear that the meeting was not sanctioned by the Church for fear that if they sponsored a vote of the people it would truly show how disproportionately the community is in favor of NOT splitting up our community.
Your statement that this meeting was set up as some sort of “mini Greek Festival” just makes me laugh. If that is how you envision a Greek Festival, you should really question referring to yourself as Greek. There was no Greek food, Greek dancing or Greek music at this meeting. The meeting was conducted in a very organized and professional manner and everyone had the opportunity to speak their mind. You had that opportunity, but unfortunately you chose not to attend.
The next item that I take issue with is your statement “It is not a Greek church.” Elleney, two sentences later you state the name of our Church: Prophet Elias Greek Orthodox Church. If I’m not mistaken the word Greek is in the title for a reason. We know and understand that there are many other individuals that come to our Church. Russians, Serbians, Antiochians, Albanians and converts to Orthodoxy are all welcome, but they are coming to a Greek Orthodox Church so they should expect Greek to be spoken in the service and respect this tradition. We welcome all to our Church but that doesn’t give them the right to change it.
Your comment that you could only see one person in the TV footage that was from Prophet Elias is again another misstatement on your part and is obviously intended to give the impression that everyone at Prophet Elias is in favor of the split. I was there and we had an equal showing from both Church’s at the meeting. I can assure you that there are many individuals who attend Prophet Elias regularly that are opposed to the split. Unfortunately our clergy and Metropolitan won’t allow us to take an “official” vote to see how everyone really feels about the split. I think that they are afraid to allow it because they know that it will result in an overwhelming majority opposed to the split, as was the case in 2007 when we were allowed an “official” vote on the subject.
In closing, I believe the person who should have done more research on the subject and vetted their sources was you. With that I will leave you with a sentence straight out of your letter. “As a result, your story is greatly distorted and has no basis in fact.”
Bill Paulos, Member of the Greek Orthodox Church of Greater Salt Lake.