Source: The National Herald
The message recently sent by His All Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew to His Eminence Archbishop Demetrios of America to submit explanations about the Archdiocese’s finances immediately, to the patriarch and the Patriarchate’s Holy Synod, as The National Herald reported, was certainly ominous.
Beyond the specific directive, the patriarch’s decision, communicated directly by him, clearly indicates that the time has come for Archbishop Demetrios to depart willingly and spend his remaining years in peace and quiet.
It was a way for the patriarch to tell his archbishop to step down, rather than be dethroned, which would not be good for anyone, least of all an archbishop who is almost 90.
He doesn’t realize that the vessel of the Archdiocese is not simply flailing dangerously in very rough waters, it has already shipwrecked. Neither does it help his future posthumous fame, nor the Church or the Greek-American community.
Surely it would not be proper if he were forced out and humiliated. That’s why those who claim to love and respect him should tell him it is time to do the wise thing while there is still some time left.
The upcoming Archdiocesan Council meeting (Oct. 19-21) presents a golden opportunity for the archbishop to stand up and, with magnanimity, ask forgiveness from the Church and the community, in order to salvage whatever prestige is left for him personally and for the Office of the Archbishop. And he should submit his resignation to the Patriarchate.
Otherwise, the patriarch, obligated to serve the best interest of the Church and the community, would have to take action and do the necessary and proper thing of initiating that change. Because now, everyone is asking: “where is the patriarch in all of this?”
Some metropolitans should also follow this course and resign voluntarily, because they have really destroyed some large, once-vibrant parishes. They think they are their own estates rather than churches under one united Archdiocese of America, which is an Ecclesiastical Eparchy of the Ecumenical Throne.
I remind again that the par excellence shepherd, father, and teacher in the faith of the Archdiocese of America is Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew himself. Accordingly, if those metropolitans do not step down on their own, he should dynamically intervene and dismiss, so they may spend the rest of their lives “in peace and repentance” in some monastery or camp.
The Archdiocese is in great need of a total renovation, infused by an influx of normal, stable people who above all love our Greek-American faithful, who sustain them financially, paying their expenses for their lavish lifestyles, from luxurious cars, expensive dinners and fine wines, colorful vestments, and scandalous accumulation of wealth in the name of Christ.
They should be loving and passionate fathers without bullying tactics and rancorous behavior. It seems that today we have lost “the mind of Christ” and we have created a corrupted Institutionalized Religious Organization that serves those who make their good living as its employees.
Obviously, George Vourvoulias should have resigned on his own weeks ago from his position as Chairman of the Finance Committee instead of waiting to be fired. And he should return the $900,000 he received for travel expenses over a ten-year period immediately.
Again, I emphasize that the Clergy Laity Congress of the Archdiocese should be postponed for one year. In case prudence doesn’t prevail and it is not postponed, it should not take place in Boston, because that is a boiling cauldron ready to explode.