“Above all, don't lie to yourself. The man who lies to himself and listens to his own lie comes to a point that he cannot distinguish the truth within him, or around him, and so loses all respect for himself and for others. And having no respect he ceases to love.” ― Fyodor Dostoyevsky, The Brothers Karamazov
The Metropolitan’s latest missive announces yet another rump parish council – appointed, not elected – and filled by persons who have not been nominated in a general assembly. To no one’s surprise, he has appointed several persons who have presided under a system of failed governance and improper accounting as detailed in the 2009 Audit Report. No further audits have been conducted, it might be added; nor have any of the problems detailed by the last report been addressed.
The makeup of this council (and the two extras!) is further appalling. The Metropolitan is asking for unity, yet he takes six or seven persons who have all along been in favor of maintaining this community’s unity, and adds to them ELEVEN people who have been consistent in their efforts to split and divide this community and its assets. No one is surprised that the Metropolitan and the clergy continue to thwart free elections. And, typically, he and his proistamenoi, along with their lay minions, care nothing for fairness; care nothing for at least appointing a council that represents the community more equitably. Those who were assigned from Holy Trinity indicated that this is what they were guaranteed. So much for the truthfulness of Christ’s Apostolic successors.
Two months ago, this community had a “gun” held to its head and was told to vote, by two-thirds margin, to unconditionally accept the Charter and UPRs, and to foreswear the community’s historical CONTRACTUAL exception to such in terms of independently owning its properties. As it turned out, nearly two-thirds voted NO. Isn't it ironic that this latest selected board's make-up is approximately the same proportion as that of the assembly in November - in reverse ?!!
Adding insult to injury, the Metropolitan “generously” allows that “since the last affirmation of office was given at the Prophet Elias parish” (a “parish” that does not exist, by the way), the affirmation to this selected board will be conducted at Holy Trinity Cathedral. To rub the noses of the majority in yet one more outrage?
Finally, having witnessed, yet again, our hierarch’s contempt for his own rules, for fairness, for justice, for the love that Christ showed his flock, that he, first among us, should exemplify, he throws out the notion that the majority in this community caused embarrassment and “unintentionally brought scandal upon Christ’s Church.”
The embarrassment belongs to him and his minions who have:
- indulged in lies, deceits, libels, unethical and incompetent governance;
- thumbed their noses at the even-handed “way forward” provided by the Archdiocese;
- invited law enforcement to be present at our last assembly;
- excluded parishioners of long-standing and attempted to intimidate parishioners to vote their way.
It is truly sad that the Metropolitan and the clergy continue to indulge in these tactics that are designed to cause despair, hopelessness and resignation. The truth and God's own justice will prevail. We must persevere. It is now more important than ever that we attend this Sunday's Special General Assembly right after the "affirmation" of yet another SELECTED and UNREPRESENTATIVE Parish Council. Courage! Κουρἀγιο!