An Analysis by Theodore Kalmoukos
BOSTON - If anything is more evident with the sad developments in the historic community of St. George’s Church of Lynn, Massachusetts, where the celebration of the holy sacraments were forbidden, is that the scandalization and the hurt of the faithful continues in this tragic-comedy mentality and behavior of the Metropolis of Boston. All this is taking place just before Holy Week of the Sacred Passion and Resurrection of Christ, the establisher of the Church, which He cared with His own blood. To begin with, I don’t think that there is anyone who believes the order to stop sacraments came from Fr. Barbas, Chancellor and that Metropolitan Methodios was not behind this. Second, it appears that Methodios doesn’t realize that this vindictive action creates a “schism” in the Metropolis of Boston, since the prohibition of the sacraments cuts off a local church, the parish of St. George in Lynn from the whole Church. In other words it cuts off the sacramental connection and unity of a parish within a Metropolis. The tragic comedy is the sacrament of Holy Eucharist continues at St. George as if this is not a sacrament, and further more, the par excellence sacrament of sacraments of our faith. But the sacraments of weddings and baptisms are forbidden. One wonders will the sacrament of Holy Unction be administered on Holy Wednesday?
It would be very naive for someone to expect that Methodios and Barbas to know that the sacraments in the early Church were connected to the sacrament of the Holy Eucharist. And that you cannot pick and choose which sacraments can be performed or not performed at that same Church which is cut off from that local Metropolis, where Methodios (George Tournas) has been appointed Bishop, meaning overseer and teacher of faith. He is either so confused or lacking basic theological knowledge because on one hand he allows the sacrament of the Holy Eucharist, but prohibits the sacraments of weddings and baptisms. The late Archbishop Iakovos, who selected and ordained him and appointed him Bishop of Boston must be spinning in his grave, because Iakovos would never go to these extremes, because the Bishop should unite the faithful, not divide them as Methodios does, not only in Lynn but to other parishes also. It is sad to say it but it seems he is the most hated hierarch this New England area had throughout its history. Just imagine that he prohibits the sacraments of the Church! Oh God! He does all of this over money. Yes, for the money, using the so-called “National Ministries” as his excuse! If at any time the faithful in America discover the “myth” of the National Ministries I’m afraid we will have rebellion the same as in Egypt. The slogan of the last two Clergy/Laity Congresses, Gather My People To My Home, presented with mush pseudo piety by Archbishop Demetrios, is now dust.
Here we talk about the lives of people, the relationship they have with their church, which is a relationship with the truth and salvation found in their local church, the parish. And here comes Methodios for $20,000. he forbids them to hold their wedding. He is using these young people and their families to pressure their parish into paying more, and at the same time he shows his power. Who will assume the responsibility if these young people leave the Church forever or join another jurisdiction? After all they pay for everything, their stewardship to their parish, the application fee for the Metropolis license, everything. The Metropolis gives them nothing except bitterness and sadness.
In the meantime, the people see Archbishop Demetrios, who writes, “That you are blessed with a distinguished, compassionate and wise hierarch and I kindly urge you to follow his instructions.” These same people are outraged by the magnitude of hypocrisy in general. The people have knowledge, opinion and memory and they remember very well that the Ecumenical Patriarchate had come to the point to impose an Ecclesiastically Reprimand on Methodios in the past and also dismissed him from the Presidency of Hellenic College and Holy Cross School of Theology, and that is why the people make fun when they read Demetrios’ description of Methodios, whom Demetrios knows very well, as this writer is in a position to know. The situation in New England is deteriorating month after month, and things got to such a point of withering of our communities, Lynn is one of them. Many people ask: “Who should we turn to? Who should we trust?”
We should be reminded that the Archdiocese of America, along with its Metropolises, including, of course, the Metropolis of Boston, is an Ecclesiastical Eparchy of the Ecumenical Patriarchate. Patriarch Bartholomew is the Archbishop per se the shepherd and teacher of faith of the Church of America and that is why his name is commemorated at the Eucharist and the Sacred Services. The question that has been raised by many faithful, not only in Lynn, but in the Greek American Community in general is: Does Bartholomew agree with the doings of Methodios? Or doesn’t he care about the Archdiocese and the Greek American Community which are diminishing at the vices of hierarchs such as Methodios, and eventually will cease to exist and His All Holiness will find himself in a big surprise not know what to do? His symposiums around the world for the protection of environment are good and useful, but here in America a whole Church and Community are withering, and Bartholomew doesn’t seem to care about it and many wonder why. The excuse that Demetrios and Methodios are responsible here does not convince anyone and also it won’t be long before the situation becomes the nightmare of the Patriarchate.
Friday, April 8, 2011
An Analysis by Theodore Kalmoukos