The National Herald - April 4-5, 1998

Dissent against the Archbishop is due to his' own bad performance

To the Editor,

I am surprised that the leadership of the Greek Orthodox Church is struggling to keep unity within the Church community. Who is threatening this unity? People that are trying to express their opinion? What are we talking about?

There is enough division in the Christian Church without additional schisms within the "One Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church." Especially schisms caused by the Church's leadership itself!

I worry that the people of the Greek Orthodox community are be coming indoctrinated by other Americans who, most likely as the result of the pain caused by the protests of the 60's, have come to fear public outcry and dissent.

We should only be concerned when dissent is privately and secretly organized, when its purposes are shady. When our views or actions are challenged publicly, we can respond - either with change or with assertion, both of which are healthy in a democratic world.

That is the case with the people that are challenging the Archbishop's mismanagement of the affairs of the Church. The dissent that he is complaining about, is mostly the result of his own actions - or inaction.

And if our celebration of Greek Independence Day is any sign that Americans, especially Greek-Americans, love democracy and the democratic ideals, the Church should have nothing to worry about.

On the contrary, the Archbishop, as his virulently combative speech during last Sunday's great parade on Fifth Avenue shows, seems to fear free expression, probably because he fears the disappointment in him that will be expressed.

Greek American life revolves around the Church. We, however want to have our opinions heard and acted upon.

We are the flock of Jesus not the flock of mindless sheep that some hierarchs make us out to be.

George Livanidis
New York, NY

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