THE TIME FOR ORTHODOX UNITY IS NOW!

Analysis: Tragic Incompetence [GOA]

2

Source: The National Herald

It is really unbelievable that the [Greek Orthodox] Archdiocese will mortgage its office buildings in Manhattan in order to get a bank loan of $7.5 to $10 million to pay its debts.

I remind you the essence of the news that we revealed on April 14: “the Archdiocesan Council’s Executive Committee at a meeting on April 10 approved the Archdiocese’s seeking a $7.5 to $10 million loan, which the Archdiocese will now attempt to obtain from the Greek-American-owned Alma Bank of New York. If approved, the loan will be used by the Archdiocese to pay its debts, which have led it to virtual bankruptcy. It will use its two office buildings on East 79th Street in Manhattan as collateral.”

It is the extreme humiliation that this archbishop, Demetrios, has led our Church in America. Instead of doing the obvious, he is trying to hide behind games and tactics, claiming he didn’t know anything; that he didn’t have any idea about the finances, and that now internal controls are in place. All these excuses were destroyed by the January 24 letter of his former close confidant, Jerry Dimitriou, in which he claimed that the archbishop knew everything and was making decisions. Now all these matters become more serious with the probe of federal and state authorities.

The question remains: why wouldn’t he know? Where was he? Was he not the archbishop all these nineteen years? But the archbishop is not responsible alone; the members of the Holy Eparchial Synod are responsible too. Where they have been? Why they didn’t ask to be informed? What kind of a Synod are they?

Furthermore, why don’t the Synodic hierarchs come out publicly and tell the Church what exactly has transpired? Meanwhile, the pillage has been done as the findings have shown up until now and only God knows what else will be found through the audits.

It is really unconscionable that all of this happens in the greatest country in the world and furthermore in New York, the most prestigious and developed city in the universe. We should have purchased part of New York’s real estate to make the Church self-sustaining, not to beg Alma Bank for a loan to continue our existence.

I wonder if the archbishop, the Eparchial Synod and the Executive Committee had the right to make such a decision and tied up the property of our Church. Why did the archbishop proceed to ask for a loan by mortgaging the buildings when the Ecumenical Patriarchate instructed him not to do so?

Does the Archdiocese continue to be an Ecclesiastical Eparchy of the Ecumenical Patriarchate? If yes, then why the archbishop didn’t listen to his ecclesiastical authority?

The Church, I mean the People of God and not the hierarchs, follow the events speechless.

Despite all this mess, believe it or not, we are preparing to have the 44 Clergy Laity Congress in Boston in about three months. I wonder what achievements will be presented. What visions for the future? Look at the Holy Cross Theological School’s enrollment and finances. It seems to me that the archbishop continues to be in denial, but the reality is so scary.

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2 Comments

  1. George D. Karcazes on

    Dear friends,
    I attended ten(10) Clergy-Laity Congresses as a Parish delegate. Two of them as Parish Council president. If the upcoming 44th is like those which have been held in the past, it will be a waste of the time, talent and treasure of the parishes that send delegates. Input from parishes is neither sought, nor welcomed. The appointed lay chairman of one of these Congresses, in response to my question about bringing an important matter up for discussion at the Administration Committee had no idea what I was talking about. He informed me that the “purpose of the Congress was to project Hellenism and Orthodoxy to the American public!

    So much for the Congress being ‘ The highest legislative body of the Archdiocese . [Definition of Terms, page viii, UPR]. and “… the legislative instrument of governance of the Archdiocese” [art. 4, sec. 3, UPR]. As currently in force, impediments remain in place preventing parishes and parish delegates from bringing matters up for discussion and decision. The Congress will be convened in an expensive hotel venue. There will be speeches by politicians; representatives of foreign governments and other “dignitaries”. There will be workshops and lectures. There will be banquets and luncheons. There will be Hierarchical Liturgies and , homilies, bible studies and other events to distract delegates from the important work of the Administration and Finance Committees [which will be dominated and controlled by the “ecclesiastical bureaucrats” from the Archdiocese.

    There will be no accounting or accountability for the monies diverted from the St. Nicholas Shrine at the World Trade Center, or other “restricted” accounts of the Archdiocese. There will be no accountability for those who authorized the diversions, or are responsible for the mismanagement that has resulted ion the bankruptcy, or near bankruptcy of the Archdiocese. There will be no press conferences where members of the Eparchial Synod and Executive Committee of the Archdiocesan Council will be subjected to hard questioning from investigative reporters (or parish delegates, informed and brave enough to stand up and ask hard questions).

    The strongest message that parishes can send to the Archdiocese at this time is to refuse to take part in in this “bread and circuses” spectacle. Save the time, talent and treasure of the parishes until the Archdiocese shows that it is serious about transparency and accountability in Church governance by changing the place and way these Congresses are held.

    George D. Karcazes

  2. Agree totally. I am greek but this Potemkin ecclisiastical village is so well known to us. At least I live in Bulgaria where the Church lives in reality.. There are in USA many good clergy being real priests, returning the liturgical tradition to what it should be cleaned of the organ playing pseudo western kitsch and trying to form real living communities, not folks greekfest ( nothing wrong with ethnic custom and food. Long may they thrive, but not as raison d’etre of church). However the corruption of good living at the centre.. τι λέμε; Το ψάρι σαπιζει από το κεφάλι. Έτσι!!

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