Orthodox Christian Laity - August 19, 2002

Jesus Christ provides the Real Truth

By Fr. Steven Vlahos

Embracing each of you (supporters and detractors) with Christ in our midst, I pray that you are all well and that you are all enjoying the rich blessings of the Christian life.

I'm sorry to have been away from communicating for so long, but I'm back and I'm really glad to see that in the midst of all the statements made by alleged authorities, opinion-makers, OCL haters, theological conservatives, name-callers and patriarchal defenders there is someone like Mr. Atsaves who is sound enough, tranquil enough and faith-based enough to see and know the real truth as Jesus has provided it to him through sacred scriptures and in our Orthodox history and tradition.  | I'm also glad that he read the Archbishop Spyridon book and recognized the conspiracies from abroad, the power agendas of our hierarchs and the homegrown power brokers (like Father Alex Karloutsos and Michael Jaharis).

Hierarchicalism, secrecy, hidden Patriarchal agendas, covert activities and a plethora of questionable political motives and actions prove that our Church in America and particularly our people and clergy are ready for autonomy, autocephaly, independence, self-rule and the creation of an American Patriarchate.

The issue is: Are the hierarchs, archbishop, metropolitans and bishops ready to follow the people or are they going to prove themselves un-true and un-faithful shepherds only seeking individual power, glory and control of the dismembered Greek Orthodox Church in America?

It is clearly visible to people who have been around church work for decades that Patriarch Bartholomew wants to irradicate any possiblity of the American Church ever being independent and having an archbishop and a church in America like the faith-based, Christocentric, united, cohesive, inclusive Church that we had under Archbishop Iakovos and the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of North and South America.

The Greek Orthodox people and all Orthodox people in America who know the religious and political machinations, conspiracies and exploitative desires of the old world want a divorce not from the overseas spiritual faith and heritage, but from their desire to disfigure the Christ that we possess, our unity, harmony, spiritual maturity, progress, growth, development and dynamism and particularly the involvement of our laity in the support, administration, management and total life of our Church.

If the new Patriarchal charter that further secures the foreign control of our Church, the additional dismembering of the Archdiocese, the creation of powerful diocesan metropolitans commemorating and answering directly to the patriarch and the diminishing of laity and clergy in administration and managements, we will live to see the beginning of the end of everything that we have worked to create for almost 100 years in America.

The Patriarchate may "divide and conquer", but what will they ultimately achieve besides temporary power over a dismantled, divided and disfigured and eroding "Body of Christ" that was formerly the spiritually thriving Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of North and South America!


[ OCL - ocl.org/Jesus%20Christ%20provides.htm - August 19, 2002 ]