“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


Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Orwellian Orthodoxy?

War is peace. Freedom is slavery. Ignorance is strength. – George Orwell
Πεταει ο γαιδαρος? Πεταει. (Do donkeys fly? Yes, they fly.) – Greek proverb

Most of us keep thinking, “well, now we’ve seen and/or heard everything. What more can our clergy, hierarchy and selected parish council throw at us?”

On a national level we are appalled to witness that a Metropolitan has actually forbidden sacraments in Lynn, Massachusetts because the community will not raise its yearly allotment from $68,000 to $88,000. At a time and in an economy where most of us are making do with less, the Metropolis of Boston and the Archdiocese demand MORE. The community is informed by the Archbishop that their Metropolitan is “synponetikos” (compassionate) and that he asks them, “eugenika”, (politely) to comply with the Metropolitan’s wishes. The actions and consequences are anything but compassionate or polite.

Locally, we were told by His Eminence that for the time being we were to remain united; stewards were to be identified and asked to pledge on a single, unified form, and the community should be encouraged to seek a badly needed harmony. His Eminence offered the Archdiocese’s assistance in these matters and others, also asking that Metropolitan Isaiah “kindly” implement these measures with the Archdiocese “firmly” by his side. Instead of “kind” implementation, we received a rambling, semi-comprehensible missive, insistent, as usual, on the Metropolitan’s prerogatives.

Adding insult to injury, the Metropolitan delves into a derogatory diatribe against a local “kind of” leader, who happens to be a Greek-born professional who has given nearly 50 years of devoted service to this community, painting all the Greek-born who arrived in the past half-century as “dishonorable” to the memory of the earlier Greek immigrants. (In fact we honor them greatly enough to engage in this unequal struggle with a clergy that has become anything but kind.) We who are immigrants, or who are related to immigrants who arrived “later” from the “old country” (please, who uses these terms anymore?) resent and are deeply offended by these assertions. It is, further, not the first time the Metropolitan has made his disdain toward “Hellenes” evident. (We wonder how his ancestors would feel about that, or for that matter, Archbishop Demetrios, who is, after all, a Greek immigrant who arrived “later”?)

Finally, there are our local priests and our selected parish council (where nary a Greek word, let alone, accent can be heard!) We have all witnessed how quickly they have rushed to comply with the Archbishop’s directives with regard to stewardship and unity.

But then again, ignorance apparently IS strength.


Steve Gamvroulas (son of the old country) said...


jsefandonakis said...

I have a few questions.
If Denver decides not to take the advice given from New York on our situation here and ultimately a legal battle ensures, will New York cover the defense costs of the case or will Denver pay them? Would New York contribute to the defense when they are not in agreement with Denver's actions? I'm sure both sides understand that the legal costs will amount to hundreds of thousands of dollars in this case if an agreement can not be found. Are communities like Lynn Massachusetts being asked to give more and more to contribution allotments because the Archdiocese is not spending our money wisely? I wonder if the fine people of Lynn would not mind paying the $20,000 rate increase if they were convinced that the Archdiocese was not wasting their money on pointless litigations and such? What does the Archdiocese spend our money on? Are they looking for ways to do more and more with our contributions or are they having a party on our dime because they have become spoiled from people giving them funds without question? I commend the good people of Lynn for not wanting to spoil the Child even more. You can be sure the next time Metropolitan Isaiah pays us a visit here in Salt Lake he will be holding our rate increase too.