An Appeal to the Patriarch

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Source: The National Herald

By Antonis H. Diamataris

FILE – In this Friday, Aug. 31, 2018 file photo, Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew I, the spiritual leader of the world’s Orthodox Christians, looks on at the Patriarchate in Constantinople. (AP Photo/Lefteris Pitarakis, file)

From one end of America to the other, our community follows, with justifiable anxiety, the issue of the successor of the resigned Archbishop Demetrios.

The community has lived the decline in which the successors of Archbishop Iakovos have led to our Church and endured the consequences with remarkable patience.

But it has reached its limits. That’s why it wants to prevent another mistaken choice.

So, the Greek-American community is turning to the voice that it trusts, to The National Herald. People are telling us: “Do something.”

But what can a newspaper do, other than fulfill its duty to present the facts and express its opinion openly and honestly, in the hope that its voice will affect those who decide?

So, having resigned, Archbishop Demetrios, in his brief speech on Sunday at the Church of the Resurrection in Brookville, Long Island, said – and quite rightly – “there is a time for everything.”

And as the time came for him, albeit with a delay, the time has come for the Patriarch to do what he has to do. To choose, on Thursday, the right candidate. It cannot be delayed any longer.

After all, the resignation of Archbishop Demetrios did not come as a bolt from out of the blue. The Patriarch had asked for his resignation at least three times.

So, we can assume that in order to have made those requests, he must have already decided on a successor.

Therefore, he should announce the election of a new Archbishop of America this Thursday when Archbishop Demetrios’ resignation will be submitted to the Holy Synod.

To end the waiting of our community. To know who will be our new Pastor. We do not want the Archdiocese of America to remain headless, and for the Patriarch himself to give the impression that he is faltering.

But it is also time for our Ecumenical Patriarch to ignore – at last – the messages, promises, pressures, which, as is being reported, are being sent in order to influence his decision.

Times have changed. A lot of water has flowed under the bridge…

The time has come for our Church in America to stand up. To end the cycle of decline which began after Archbishop Iakovos, who was pressured to resign in 1996.

I repeat today the criteria for selecting a new Archbishop which I noted in yesterday’s commentary: “Now, after the resignation of Demetrios, the most critical moment has arrived for Bartholomew’s patriarchy.

“He now has the opportunity to correct mistakes of the past. To make a new beginning. To choose a new American Archbishop who will inspire the Hellenes Abroad. Who will win their trust. Who will reorganize the Archdiocese and the Church.

“And the Patriarch himself must ask the new Archbishop to make a full financial accounting.
So the community can learn where every dollar went. Both regarding the Archdiocese’s money and the construction of the of the Saint Nicholas Church. That is the only way there can truly be a new beginning.”

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1 Comment

  1. In my Mother’s Day Prayers about the crisis of the Orthodox Church in America, I see renewed hope in the infrastructure realignment in the Greek Orthodox Diocese of America to be the leading force to transition to A NEW ERA OF DEMOCRACY and freedom FROM FOREIGN RULERS. FREEDOM FROM designated leaders SWEEPING SEXUAL ABUSE, THEFT of monies from Parishes, and moral travesty under a table that can no longer hold the dirt, mold and decay of unrighteous living.

    When a critical mass of people come together and see the dysfunctional units of ethnocentric preservation at the cost of harm to their children, their families, and the pain and suffering ABUSE has wrought throughout America and the world, and our Lord God acts with the “BOOKS BEING OPENED”, the Light of the RESURRECTION will shine through.

    The answer is NOT in asking a Global Hierarch who is (are) a WOLF (WOLVES) to protect the henhouse and the little chicks.

    The composer Sergei Prokofiev +1953) had more in mind than only education about the instruments of the orchestra when he wrote the musical PETER AND THE WOLF. It was the bravery of a young man to take up his fight against the wolf with a small band of helpers disregarding restraint of the status quo. Th instruments represent all the diversity voices coming together for support.

    What was so very critical about the appointment of Archbishop Spyridon was the revelation of sexual abuses coming to light and occurring in his appointment in the late 1990’s.

    Following the directions of our spiritual leader Father Roman Braga (+2015), “Put your ducks in a row and shout CHRIST IS RISEN!”.

    Address the real cause of the break up. The ability to NO longer effectively take funds designated for one purpose and use them to pay off legal settlements of clergy-related SEXUAL ABUSE.

    This goes for ALL the Orthodox Christian jurisdictions in America.

    Time for through cleaning, not only putting new people in positions as “treasurer” as the OCA has done this week, and changing out the “chancellor” that have not yet experienced the manipulation of funding’s to deal with the abuse issues.

    Acknowledge the sins and change.

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