Greek Orthodox Stewards of America - May 10, 1999
National Commander Responds to Critics in Letter to All Archons
April 20, 1999
My Fellow Archons of the Ecumenical Patriarchate:
CHRIST HAS RISEN!
Recently, you may have received communications from two Archons that have been critical of the Archon leadership. With great reluctance, I feel compelled to respond to these individuals in order to set the record straight regarding issues that were raised by them.
1. "Commander Limberakis' blind support of the Archbishop..."
My personal support of His Eminence Archbishop Spyridon is best summarized by the words of His All Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew who stated on April 8, 1998 the following in a letter to me which was published in our Newsletter (Summer 1998):
Therefore, our beloved, continue to heed the words of St. Paul: "Obey your leaders and submit to them; for they are keeping watch over your souls, as men who will have to give account." Do this, not out of blind obedience or insincere loyalty, but out of love and respect for your church and those who have been called by God to lead it.... Continue to place your confidence in the Mother Church, for it is inconceivable that any loving mother would ever abandon her children or lead them astray. Rather, listen once more to St. Paul and follow his exhortation: "Be watchful, stand firm in your faith, be courageous, be strong. Let all you do be done in Love" and thus continue to assist this venerable Throne of St. Andrew fulfill its sacred mission of love, unity and salvation.
2. "Improper and irregular procedures" during the Archon General Meeting:
At the February meeting of the National Council, it was reported by our legal counselor John Mavroudis that the certificate of incorporation of the Order on file in the state of New York was different than our Constitution. The governance structure upon which we have been operating is our Constitution, a copy of which is given to all Archons at the time of their investiture. On the basis of his formal legal search, Mr. Mavroudis recommended that we adopt our Constitution as the Bylaws of the Order until such time as full and complete Bylaws may be adopted and approved by the proper authorities. Accordingly, the Constitution was approved by the National Council at the February 18, 1999 meeting to serve as our governing Bylaws. This was announced during the General Meeting, at which time a motion from the floor was made by Archon Kastrinsios Savas Tsivicos (a duly invested Archon, not an Archon "nominee" as was stated in recent communications) to increase the number of Archons on the National Council thereby amending the Bylaws. After open and respectful discussion, the motion was withdrawn. On a motion by Archon John Catsimatidis the body voted to study the plan to increase the members of the National Council.
Regarding the issue of a quorum, or lack thereof at the General Meeting: Unfortunately, the current Constitution/Bylaws has no provision for a quorum and does not make any reference to Roberts Rules of Order as our parliamentary model. Therefore, as is evident, the Bylaws require a thorough review so that important matters such as the above can be addressed.
3. "Alleged exorbitant" fees paid to Concert for Peace consultant:
The comments regarding the fees received by the consultant or the dollar amount of the check that was identified in the communications are without any validity. There was no check in the amount of $100,000 to the consultant. As was stated at the General Meeting, Archons are free to review the official report of the Fact-Finding Committee and of the Forensic Auditor, each of whom expended a considerable amount of man-hours to interview individuals associated with this event, review financial and other documents and then compile their reports. These reports are available in the National Office at the Archdiocese. The National Council voted to accept the Fact-Finding Committee's recommendation to have a committee meet with the consultant and her attorney to "attempt a complete and final resolution of the matter on terms acceptable to all parties concerned...." That meeting took place on January 29, 1999 at which time a committee of Archons met with the attorney of the consultant. Archon Christ Stratakis, a chairman of the Fact-Finding Committee who participated in the meeting, reported the parties were unable to resolve the matter because of an unreasonable settlement demand. It also was reported that at that meeting the consultant's attorney threatened a lawsuit against the Order, the Archdiocese and certain individuals, at which time the Order officially notified its insurance carrier of the situation. We have been advised by legal counsel not to discuss the specific details of this matter which potentially could go into litigation, in order to protect and preserve our insurance coverage in such event. It is my sincere hope that a lawsuit is not initiated against the Church and individual Archons who have sacrificially donated their Time, Talent and Treasure to the Great Church of Christ. We must strive for a mutually acceptable resolution. It was stated in these cacophonous communications that Mr. Mavroudis refused to provide anyone with a copy of the reports. This is untrue. It was clearly stated that the copies of the reports would be made available for inspection at the Archdiocese.
My fellow Archons, I do not object to respectful dissent within the Order. However, I believe that personal attacks against His eminence Archbishop Spyridon who is the Exarch of the Ecumenical Patriarchate, cannot be allowed at any meeting of the Order of St. Andrew, nor should be voiced by any Archon. We are dutibound to support the Ecumenical Patriarch and His Exarch in America by virtue or our position as Archons and Defenders of the Faith. I believe Archons who are true to their offikia will work to promote the unity and well being of the sacred Church of Jesus Christ, so that both clergy and laity will join together in the spirit of Christian Love. My position of unswerving support of His Eminence Archbishop Spyridon, the Exarch of the Ecumenical Patriarchate is not based on "blind" obedience, but out of love and respect for our Church (Hebrews 13.07ff.), and for the person of our spiritual leader in America. Instead of a publicity and letter campaign that is divisive, let us seek an enriching dialogue that fosters fellowship, harmony and respect for one another consonant with our role as Defenders of the Faith.
Let us, the Archons of the Ecumenical Patriarchate, join His Eminence Archibishop Spyridon and the Metropolitans in their "call to reach out to one another in a renewed and reinvigorated spirit of love, unity and forgiveness." It is the right thing to do.
Yours in Christ,
Anthony J. Limberakis, MD
[ Greek Orthodox Stewards of America
May 10, 1999 ]