Voithia - July 13, 1999

How long must we be players in this Byzantine farce?

By Voithia Staff

Now a bishop must be above reproach, the husband of one wife, temperate, sensible, dignified, hospitable, an apt teacher, no drunkard, not violent but gentle, not quarrelsome, and no lover of money. He must manage his own household well, keeping his children submissive and respectful in every way; for if a man does not know how to manage his own household, how can he care for God's Church?
1 Timothy 3:2-5

Patriarch Bartholomew has not gotten the message. He does not understand that to keep his American flock, he needs to listen to us, to respect us, and, above all, to love us.

Despite all the lessons that ought to have been learned, His All Holiness Patriarch Bartholomew still has not understood. He called three of our metropolitans to visit the Phanar Tuesday. He called Archbishop Spyridon to visit Sunday. He sent Spyridon home on Monday, with an apparent decision -- albeit perhaps deferred -- but a decision already made, even before the arrival of our three metropolitans. Any discussion he might have with them at this point can be nothing but a sham.

Patriarch Bartholomew has already met with representatives from the Greek government who, rightfully, are concerned about the state of affairs in the Archdiocese of America. He met with Archbishop Spyridon and his entourage. He met with the Greek ambassador to Turkey and the Greek consul in Constantinople. He discussed the situation with all these people even before he deigned to discuss it with our Metropolitans Anthony, Iakovos, and Maximos -- the hierarchs and representatives of those who are directly affected.

Yet again, we witness the complete disregard, total disrespect, and utter contempt with which our Patriarch views our hierarchs and us. We, the "diaspora" in America, are treated as a powerless, uneducated peasantry. We are the second-class citizens of world Orthodoxy. While Orthodox Christians in countries such as Albania, Bulgaria, and the Czech Republic are treated as having the maturity to have their own synods and hierarchies, we still answer to the whims of a leader who is at the mercy of a anti-Christian, anti-Hellenic, foreign government. The fact that Orthodox Christians who are citizens of the United States of America continue to abide by this rule, with all its attendant folly at best, and its outright malevolence at worst, is intolerable. Our hierarchs hold the key to our exit from this absurd Byzantine farce.

[ Voithia |  -  July 13, 1999 ]