“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


Sunday, February 13, 2011

1999 to 2011 - Complaints to Reality

In 1999 a report was written and presented to the Ecumenical Patriarch by four of our current metropolitans. At the time, these metropolitans believed the church to be in disarray and voiced their displeasure in written form to their superior. The following sampling of transgressions against the then regime smacks of irony considering the actions of these same metropolitans today.

“The Archdiocese is presently suffocating in an atmosphere of fear, suspicion, insecurity, lack of trust and vindictiveness.”

“It is surrounded by persons whose main attribute is the fabled “blind obedience” and the so-called “loyalty.”

“The impression is given that the present leadership of the Archdiocese is far more concerned with taking vengeance on its “enemies” than for the progress and increase of the Church.”

If we apply the above accusations from 1999 to our community today we can clearly see the similarities. Our community suffers from an atmosphere of fear, suspicion, insecurity, lack of trust and vindictiveness through the actions of the proistameno of Prophet Elias only, his hand-selected parish council (the fabled blindly obedient and so called loyalty folk) and the local metropolitan. Certainly if these aforementioned individuals were concerned with the progress and increase of the Church, instead of taking vengeance on their enemies, we would not be experiencing the disarray we see today.

The very complaints of 1999 are occurring today at the hands of the then-complainant. He has employed the assistance of the proistameno of Prophet Elias only to distort the truth for their mutual personal agendas and not the betterment of the Laos to which they are entrusted. 

The metropolitans complain in their report that, at the time they were wanting to become metropolitans, they were accused of being "ambitious, lovers of prominence, and seekers of power."  Fast forward 12 years and we see the power they wield, and they do so without regard for the Laos they are in theory shepherding.  As we look at our community and all that has transpired at the hand of the proistameno-of-Prophet-Elias-only and his minions, it is clear he wields his power in the same manner.  The accusations that were offensive 12 years ago, still exist today, and still have been shown to be legitimate concerns that have proven true.  In the case of our community, they extend to the proistameno-of-Prophet-Elias-only, along with other clergy in the community.

St. Ignatios said that where the bishop is the church is also.  Invariably, St. Ignatios understood that without the Laos the church would not exist.  The time has come for the Laos to take back their role in the conciliar operation of their church.  The idea of the Laos playing an important role in the life of the church only when it benefits the clerics is a foreign concept.  It is now time for the Laos to vocally express their collective displeasure with the state of affairs and take back their active role in the daily function of their church.  Our resolve must be strong and message clear:  absolute authority belongs not to the proistameno-of-Prophet-Elias-only or the current local metropolitan, but to God alone.

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