Greek Orthodox Stewards of America - March 19, 1999
Mr. & Mrs. Gevas Oppose an Autocephalous Church
Support Patriarch and Archbishop
February 22, 1999
Greek Orthodox Stewards of America, Inc.
P.O. Box 462
Lynnfield, Massachusetts 01940
Dear Fellow Greek Orthodox:
We are a husband and wife, James and Maria. James was born in the United States of Greek parents. Maria was born and raised in Greece. By any objective measure, we are typical Americans of Greek heritage. We love our Greek Orthodox Church and our Greek heritage.
From the start of the GOAL public activities, we have been opposed to it. Our initial suspicion that they have an agenda geared to the fundamental goal of an autocephalous church was quickly confirmed as their actions unfolded. We are unalterably opposed to any severance or lessening or weakening of our ties to the Patriarchate of Constantinople. To the contrary, we wish and support strengthening of these ties.
Most importantly, we deplore the serious mistake of our Archdiocese in the past in not adequately educating and informing our laity of the holy, glorious and inspiringly unique history of the Patriarchate of Constantinople and corollary subjects such as the Byzantine civilization itself. We hope that this mistake will be rectified both for our Greek-American laity, and our laity which has converted to the Greek Orthodox faith.
We do not have personal knowledge of any of the details of the GOAL-inspired-fertilized controversy which has roiled our Church in recent years. However, we do know that:
- The Patriarch of Constantinople is our Patriarch, whoever he might happen to be.
- The Archbishop of the Greek Orthodox Church in our United States is our Archbishop whoever he might happen to be.
- Archbishop Spyridon is absolutely correct in his concern that laxity and ignorance in many persons, clergy and parishes threaten the jewel of the Greek Orthodox Church, its perfect historic unchanging adherence to its theology and traditions.
- GOAL is a danger to the Greek Orthodox Church in the United States. It is a danger not only because of what it may or may not accomplish in the near term, but also because it diminishes the stature and authority of our Church and its ecclesiastic traditions and leadership to many of our laity who are not well grounded in these matters. Just a fax machine and website can be a potent weapon against some laity.
We do not know who the leadership of the Greek Orthodox Stewards of America, Inc. are. However, thanks to the kind initiative of a relative, we have read several of your writings. This exposure to you sufficed to wish you well. We thank you.
James C. and Maria Gevas
[ Greek Orthodox Stewards of America
March 19, 1999 ]