The Hellenic Chronicle - July 23, 1997

Hellenic Chronicle readers write

Undermining Archbishop's Authority

I am currently a seminarian at Holy Cross, and will be entering my final year of study in the Fall, and am writing in response to an article that appeared in your issue of July 9, "Dismissals at Hellenic College ... Put Institution at Risk".

In paragraph three, you state that Fr. Clapsis was fired. This is untrue: priests are not hired and fired, but assigned and reassigned. Fr. Clapsis is a priest of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of North America - this is his primary vocation.

Fr. Stylianopoulos was also reassigned. Like Fr. Clapsis, his first commitment is to the Archdiocese, which has the right to assign and reassign priests according to its discernment. His teaching position (and by extension, his tenure), must not be considered to take precedence over his priestly vocation.

The changes His Eminence has made in the administrative and faculty make-up at the seminary in regards to these, and other, priests were not made as Chairman of the Board of Trustees of Hellenic College Inc. but as the Archpastor of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of North America under the spiritual guidance of the Ecumenical Patriarchate.

We must assume that he made these changes in the best interest of the school, the students and the church, and we must remain obedient to his decision. Any attempt by priests to undermine his archiepiscopal authority by appealing to secular sources and institutions is an attempt to cause divisions within the church, and must not be tolerated by any of its members.

It is especially abhorrent that these priests appear to have resorted to sensationalism and emotionalism to retain positions from which they have been removed. I pray they reconsider their position on these issues, and with humility and the mind of Christ, accept the providential will of Our Lord, I pray that they will accept their new assignments with courage and vigor as priests, called by God to serve.


[ The Hellenic Chronicle - July 23, 1997 - p. 5 ]