Today, October 9th, we can recall the words of the late President, Franklin D. Roosevelt:
Upon returning from the mailbox, Saturday, October 9, 2010, most of us received the following packet of letters (click here), along with the letter from Archbishop Demetrios, which we posted in the previous blog article.
To say that this high-handed, self-serving, set of letters is an outrage would be to UNDERSTATE the level of perfidy and deception involved. Our parish council "representatives" should be ASHAMED, each and every one! To have held this information for five months while important decisions were made involving our community behind our backs and against our expressed wishes is nothing short of SINFUL. It involves bearing false witness, slandering the names of good and faithful stewards of years' standing, and generally thwarting the spiritual well-being of this community's faithful. Our priests and our Metropolitan have set an example of incompetence, of lies, of greed that is staggering in its breadth. What would Jesus do? Surely not this!
The timing of these letters is further damning. "Prophet Elias Church" has been a de facto separate entity since April. Yet no announcement (was this the portion of the letter from the Metropolitan that Michael Petrogeorge was told NOT to read at the June General Assembly?) was made until today.
Let's see, what has transpired since April of this year:
- Nick Bapis, along with other long-standing stewards known for their tireless efforts and generosity to Orthodoxy were vilified and slandered.
- Members of the HCF were threatened with excommunication, in effect blackmailed.
- The Parish Council, with the express support of the Metropolitan, demanded that the Skedros family return monies to the control of the Parish Council.
- An audit of 2009, finally granted, revealed several glaring improprieties and general incompetence in day-to-day operations (this, by the way, did not seem to move the Metropolitan at all).
- Funds have been spent by the Proistamenos-of-Prophet-Elias-only without General Assembly approval for his pet projects - all of which were at Prophet Elias.
- The Metropolitan, our priests, and this not overly competent (to say the least) parish council have asserted their questionable right to control all monies. This, despite the specific vote that fundraising efforts should be undertaken through a separate entity under the auspices of the general membership - NOT the parish council. (The audit should caution against such, even though the Metropolitan, the clergy and the council saw a way to use this controversy for their larger purposes!)
- The festival and its attendant revenues came and went in September. It's quite obvious WHY the proponents of this outrage waited five months, isn't it? Those monies are specifically mentioned. Surprised?
- And, finally, last night, before anyone had any word of today's outrages, we had the St. Sophia School fundraising dinner. By the way, one could count on the fingers of ONE HAND the number of people from Prophet Elias attending and donating. NO parish council members were in attendance. Yet, not once but several times, does the Metropolitan designate that St. Sophia now falls under the sole auspices of Prophet Elias Church as a separate entity. One wonders how this bombshell would have affected the donations yesterday evening.