Greek Orthodox Stewards of America - June 13, 1999
AN OPEN LETTER TO METROPOLITAN METHODIOS OF ANEON,
PRESIDING HIERARCH OF THE BOSTON DIOCESE
Dear Metropolitan Methodios:
By this letter, The Greek Orthodox Stewards of America would like to express our disappointment in your recent actions and to ask you some questions. We believe that the subjects of our disappointment and the answers to our questions are of concern to the Greek Orthodox faithful throughout the Archdiocese. Therefore, we are making this letter an "open" one.
At the recently concluded Boston clergy-laity assembly you missed a "golden" opportunity to heal wounds in our Church. While it is true that at times during the assembly you spoke of cooperation and healing, you remained silent through the most important part of the assembly (i.e., when the resolution was being discussed). Your silence created the impression that you wanted the resolution to pass. Some have said that you did not speak against the resolution because it would make you look like a hypocrite. That view is simply incorrect. You did not have to recant the Metropolitan's Report that you signed. What you should have done is say (1) that whether you recant the report is irrelevant, (2) that instead, what is relevant is the spirit of cooperation that pervades the Holy Eparchial Synod and (3) that passage of the resolution would be contrary to that spirit of
cooperation. You could have concluded your statement by urging the delegates to vote against the resolution. You did not do this. We ask you why? Your silence, which was deafening, no doubt contributed to the passage of the resolution.
In addition, you failed to point out one other very important matter to the assembly. You neglected to say that the Metropolitan's Report, for the most part, deals with canonical and ecclesiological matters. A resolution which deals with such subjects is not within the jurisdiction of a clergy-laity assembly, something that you very well should know. Why did you remain silent on this point?
The passage of the resolution has emboldened some churches. For example, St. Demetrios Church in Weston has voted to withhold funds. Such an action is illegal under the Uniform Parish Regulations. You have said withholding funds would "only hurt the very church we love and serve". What do you intend to do to parishes that withhold funds? Will you allow them to "hurt the very church we love and serve"? It is within your power to prevent the hurt. What will you do to prevent other churches from withholding funds?
We were disappointed that in your keynote address at the clergy-laity assembly you made negative references to George Rockas and to the Greek Orthodox Stewards of America, Inc. These comments were not the first you have directed against Mr. Rockas and the Stewards. You say you are against para-ecclesial groups in general, but we are unaware of you making negative comments about GOAL or individuals associated with that organization. We would think that if you were to make negative comments about any organization, it would be GOAL. The Stewards are dedicated to defending, protecting, preserving and perpetuating the Ecumenical Patriarchate and the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America. We support the Patriarch's exarch in America, Archbishop Spyridon. GOAL, on the other hand, preaches authocephaly on the internet and at open forums within the Boston Diocese and in the other dioceses. Why do you single out the Stewards for special criticism? Is it because we support the Patriarchate and Archdiocese? What is your position on authocephaly? Why have you given at least the appearance that you support GOAL? Why have you not defended the Ecumenical Patriarchate within the Boston Diocese from those who openly attack it? Why do you allow priests within your diocese to attack the Ecumenical Patriarchate? Why do you mistreat and look down upon priests in the Boston Diocese who support His All Holiness Patriarch Bartholomew?
With love and respect,
The Greek Orthodox Stewards of America
cc: His All Holiness Patriarch Bartholomew (BY FAX and BY HAND)
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