“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


Wednesday, December 28, 2011

The National Herald - Lack of Ecclesiastical Conscience in Utah

Moderator's Note: the article posted below may be found on The National Herald's Web site.

by Theodore Kalmoukos

Proved yet again in a vivid and painful way by the recent developments of the Holy Trinity Church in Salt Lake City, UT is the fact that our ecclesiastical life has reached its lowest level under the ministry of Archbishop Demetrios.

The presence of police officers and firefighters at the parish’s General Assembly shows the lack of even the smallest hint of ecclesiastical conscience.

Instead of Demetrios having gone to Utah in person to deal with the issue in a loving, reconciling, and pastoral way before the situation had reached the point of total deterioration, he chose to observe “the crime” being committed from far away. Yes, it is a “crime” indeed, when a parish is allowed to deteriorate. After all, Demetrios contributed to the problem and deterioration of the historic Salt Lake City parish by attempting to divide it into two parishes, by granting a new charter for the Prophet Elias without examining all of the consequences ahead of time. After a few months he was forced to recall the charter, but it was too late because the damage had already been done. Metropolitan Isaiah of Denver defied and continues to defy the Eparchial Synod’s and the archbishop’s decision not to proceed, claiming that he is “the ruling hierarch” in Utah.

Isaiah, too, did not dare to appear at the parish or its General Assembly. Instead, he sent his emissaries, who attempted with legalistic and fearful tactics to demonize decent people such as Nick Bapis.

Keep in mind, your Holiness Patriarch Bartholomew, that Mr. Bapis is an Archon of the Mother Church of Constantinople, a great benefactor of his parish in Utah, and a member of the Leadership 100. At the end of the General Assembly the blessed people of God spoke with their vote so strongly as if to say: “enough is enough!”

What can one say about Isaiah’s “excommunication” of those six parishioners who had the courage to appeal to the civil court after they had exhausted all the proper ecclesiastical ways and avenues? Isaiah had the audacity to ask the six faithful to send him a written apology and also to go to confession. Wow!

Well, Metropolitan Isaiah, Archbishop Demetrios and the rest of the archpriests received the proper answer from Yiannis Armaou, one of the “excommunicated,” that he plans to go to Rev. Demetrios Rekachinas from Connecticut for confession.

Isaiah did not urge Katinas, the pedophile priest of his Metropolis, to go to confession and repent for his pedophiliac despicable activities and for traumatizing so many innocent children, but instead he supported him wholeheartedly. What a shame! What hypocrisy!

The situation in Utah has become far from ecclesiastical. There is no love, peace, harmony, or respect because brother has turned against brother, family against family, friend against friend. This is the drama of our Church in America, Patriarch Bartholomew. The Church’s deterioration comes from those who should be points of unity, love, peace, and reconciliation – the hierarchs. What a pity, really, for a Church such ours with so much potential!

Once again, the only ruling hierarch, or shepherd, of the Archdiocese of America is Archbishop Demetrios, because according to the existing ecclesiastical and canonical order of the Ecumenical Patriarchate, there is only one Ecclesiastical Eparchy here in the United States – the Archdiocese of America. The Metropolises are not autonomous and do not belong directly to the Patriarchate, as is the case with the Metropolises of Europe or the Dodecanese in Greece. The Metropolises here belong to the one, unified, and undivided Archdiocese of America.

For that reason, when Demetrios visits and liturgizes in the Metropolis of Boston, Atlanta, or Pittsburgh, for example, he is recognized as the ruling hierarch of that Metropolis while presiding at the Eucharistic Assembly. It is not possible for any Metropolis – such as the one in Boston, for instance – to have two ruling hierarchs (two heads) for basic and substantial Ecclesiological and Canonical reasons.

The local Metropolitans are not full ruling hierarchs. Rather, they are a strange mixture between auxiliary Bishops and Titular Metropolitans.

During all those years in the Iakovos Era they were just decorative figures, but now, given this contortioned ecclesiological situation, are leading the Church to vicissitude.

1 comment:

Bill Rekouniotis said...

The clergy are on their monthly vacation, let's change the locks.