June 18, 1999

An Attempt to Create a Rift in the Archdiocese

By a Special Collaborator

There are many who wish to create a rift in the Archdiocese of America. They speak about crises and problems. They discuss casting votes and working methodically in order to unseat Spyridon. How many are there, however, who have understood where the problem really lies? What happens in this case is that instead of looking at the moon we are looking at the finger which points to it. Some speak about unseating Spyridon for reasons and interests, which are known only to them. The real problem of America is elsewhere.

Was anybody asked who are these people who ask for the Church of America to become autocephalous? If the followers of the para-ecclesiastical group GOAL believe that they will gain an Archiepiscopal throne which will be removed from any influence from the Patriarchate, they are mistaken.

It would suffice if one were to cast a glance at the rest of the Christian Churches and their movements.

If anyone seeks to find quick answers, let him follow the statements of the Patriarch of Antioch Ignatius who is going to visit America in three weeks time. He is the one who asked the Patriarchate to depart from Constantinople. He is also the one who asked for the departure of the Greeks from Jerusalem!

There are many, indeed, who claim that during his visit to America, he will propose in his usual autocratic "boisterous manner," which characterizes him, the autocephaly of the Orthodox Church of America (OCA). Indeed who is it that stands as an obstacle to their plans? Spyridon, of course.

The Romanian theologians of America in their turn ask for the autocephaly of the Greek Orthodox Church of America. Who is it that bothers them with his faithful obedience to the Ecumenical Patriarchate? Spyridon, of course.

The artificial crisis, which the followers of GOAL want to create, serves neither the Patriarchate nor Greece nor even the Greek Orthodox people of America. The departure of Spyridon would immediately open the doors to:

1) The autocephaly of the Greek Orthodox Church of America.
2) The creation of an Orthodox Patriarchate of America, since the tendency toward a second Ligonier still exists.
3) Putting at risk the very existence of the institution of the Ecumenical Patriarchate.

It is with good reason, then, that the questions arise: Who are behind the "friendly Christians" of GOAL? Why have they never published their financial statements, as it is legally demanded by American law? Who supplies them with money? What is their relation with the Patriarchate of Damascus? Why has no one ever raised the question about the purpose of this organization's existence? Why do those who care for the future of Greek education and civilization do not spend money, for example, for the creation of a day school in Boston (which is their base), but pour hundreds of thousands of dollars into expensive advertisements in local newspapers against Spyridon and the Ecumenical Patriarch?

Is it a mere coincidence that at the moment when statements and efforts are made for the expulsion of the Greeks from the center of Byzantium and the Holy City of Jerusalem, the Pope of Rome expresses his wish to bring the Holy Places under his jurisdiction?

Is it a coincidence that those who put pressure for the departure of Spyridon happen to be opponents of the Patriarchate itself? Does the Patriarchate realize that if the "anti-Spyridon faction wins" the ruling authority of the Ecumenical Patriarchate would be endangered? Or is it a chance event that the Metropolitan of Aenos Maximos proposed that the Theological School of Holy Cross in Boston should be ruled by the Eparchiac Synod, the "highest canonical and ecclesiastical Ruling Body of the Archdiocese," as he called it? Why did no one among the ecclesiastical analysts understand in this case the violation of the Charter? Or have they missed the fact that the HIGHEST RULING BODY OF THE SACRED ARCHDIOCESE OF AMERICA IS ONLY THE ECUMENICAL PATRIARCHATE?

In less than three weeks, the Patriarch of Antioch Ignatius will be in America. Some speak about the scenario of the attachment of the Bishopric of Boston to the Patriarchate of Antioch. Has perhaps the moment arrived when those well-informed should open their eyes to see the real danger? This is the moment that the Archdiocese of America finds itself in the sights of many and powerful ones? Perhaps many more than we imagine? Christians and followers of other religions? What is their great obstacle? Spyridon, of course!

[ EKKLISIA |  -  June 18, 1999 ]