Voithia - July 15, 1999
Demetrius Manolakos accuses GOAL
of disintegrating the Church in the Americas
How I weep over the Church in the Americas as it is being disintegrated by the efforts of so-called Greet Orthodox Leaders, whose only qualification as "leaders" is their financial abilities demonstrated by their capacity to promise, and sometimes even manage to give for the needs of the Church. Never without reward, however, or recognition.
What ever happened to the dreams of our forefathers when they made great sacrifices to promulgate our Greek Orthodox Faith and preserve our Hellenic language and culture? I am amazed the post-war immigrants to the USA who have made it (financially) but who could not manage to keep their Greek names they were born with or baptized with, mascarade as leaders and have succeeded in bringing to the brink of destruction what our forefathers managed to build through their sincerity, voluntarism, and great sacrifice. How can these people feel for out institutions, considering they had little to do in creating them? Other than having succeeded in creating elitist organizations around the person of the reigning Archbishop at the time following the departure of the late and great Archbishop Athenagoras in 1948, what can they claim as their contribution to our communities and Churches?
Americans with names they have adopted because of their shame and embarrassment (sic) to be identified with their Hellenic origin and their Greek Orthodox Faith as was given to them by their parents who baptized them in our Church, could hardly be trusted in ensuring not only the survival of our Faith but the preservation of our Hellenic language and culture in the next millennium.
Let us all not jump on the bandwagon in screaming for change, but rather stop and think for a moment about what the alternative would be.
The disrespectful reference to His All-Holiness Patriarch Bartholomew and identifying him as a representative of a foreign country is not only indicative of the intelligence of these leaders, it should unite those who have maintained their sanity throughout this charade. What ever happened to the vows of obedience that our hierarchs and priests take upon their ordination and elevation to the bishopric?
If Americans who profess to believe in our Faith and who are not embarrassed by their Greek origin want to see the survival of our Church and the Greek language and culture in the Americas, let them take a deep breath, look at themselves, offer thanks and say a prayer in hope of preventing the destruction of the Church it took our faithful over one hundred years to build and the alienation of our Greek heritage.
Let us not repeat the mistakes of the past when our Church in the Americas was divided. It took the wisdom of the late Ecumenical Patriarch Athenagoras to unite our communities after he assumed his duties as Archbishop in the Americas, and the dedication of his able successors Archbishop Michael and Archbishop Iakovos to keep them united. Personal conflicts should not be our destruction.
I believe that we all make mistakes, and Patriarch Bartholomew and Archbishop Spyridon are no exceptions. If either of them erred, it is Christian to forgive. Was it not possible for the leaders to show some compassion and understanding at the onset rather than choose the way of conflict? Are they so vindictive that when their preferences were not realized, they chose to create chaos and dissension in our communities and Churches? And what about our graceful and eminent hierarchs who chose to break tradition and go off on a tangent, hoping that one of them will get the nod of succession?
I suggest that the Patriarch and a senior delegation of the Holy Synod come to the United States and meet with the Archbishop and all Metropolitans and Bishops there, as well as representatives of those organizations that have been elected and/or appointed to run the affairs of your parishes and communities, representatives of the priesthood, representatives from UHAC, the AHEPA, and even hear the complaints of special interest groups such as the self-appointed leaders. Everyone will have a say, apologies expressed, forgiveness granted, and resolution adopted of nature to enable the Church to continue its mission in a conciliatory manner acceptable to the majority, while maintaining the traditions of our Church.
What unites Greek Americans in their Orthodox Faith and their Hellenic origins, language, culture and traditions. Don't be swayed by those promoting s greater American Orthodox Church, for they may well succeed and it will not be long before you will be strangers in your own homes.
O Theos Voithos!
Never to become James Mann, or any other derivative, for I am not ashamed and owe it to my ancestors to carry the flame! Born in Canada, 1935.
[ Voithia | www.voithia.org/content/dm071399a.htm - July 15, 1999 ]