Greek Press - March 22, 2010

Kyrie Eleeison! Indeed Have Mercy.

John Haynes Holmes, an American clergyman and reformer who died in 1964 uttered what today more so than in his lifetime is accepted as the ultimate truth. He said that "priests are no more necessary to religion than politicians to patriotism."

Having said that, we can embark with confidence in describing some of the resolutions that came out of Pregny-Chambesy, a commune north of Geneva, Switzerland where between June 6 and 13 in 2009, the Fourth Pre-Conciliar Pan-Orthodox Conference took place. The Episcopal Assembly of all 60 bishops from the Arctic to the Panama Canal will meet after Pentecost (2010) to take the first step in developing 'the blueprint for a unified Orthodox Christian Church in North America.' What this is interpreted as is that all ethnicities whose citizens are Orthodox, will meet and discuss the foundation of a Unified un-fragmented Orthodoxy. All this with the Ecumenical Patriarch present, under the auspices of SCOBA, (Standing Conference of Canonical Orthodox Bishops in the Americas) and with its General Secretary, (Fr.) Mark Arey, an old hand in the ruling Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of 'America' Administration, having the upper hand in the direction the resolutions are going.

You'll forgive me, but I see some inconsistencies already. The last word in the SCOBA acronym affirms that these Bishops are of the 'Americas' while the Christian Church to come out of the blueprint says of 'North America.' Can anyone explain to us why this discrepancy. Now wasn't Bartholomew's Grand Overseer, Alex Karloutsos involved in this dissection of the great Greek Orthodox Church of North and South America just as the short-lived tenure of Archbishop Spyridon got under way shortly after the failed attempt to do just that by Iakovos of North and South America and who was summarily removed by the present Administration? Moreover, what would happen to the rest of the continent, i.e. south of the Panama Canal, when and if the plans become reality; and what if those Bishops in the US who were elevated to Metropolitans balk at returning to their previous titles?

These my friends are all powerfully valid questions at this juncture. We'd love to see one, undivided, and 'Catholic' (in the sense of universal) Orthodoxy which no longer has to submit to the Turkish directives and is not attached in any way to the byzantine conspiracies from around the Phanar neighborhood. What surprises us however is the willingness of the Ecumenical Patriarchate to allow some freedom to the tight grip it's got on its American flock by the agreement of Chambesy. We are aware of course that the Patriarchate's friction with the Turkish government isn't brand new, since even the CBS-Bartholomew interview had been recorded seven months ahead of its showing at the end of last year, which brings it to the target date of the Chambesy timeline.

We also know that there have been meetings between Papandreou, Bartholomew and the Ambassadors of the US and Israel in Athens, reported in practically in every newspaper here and in Greece, and the furiously arranged trips abroad by the Grand Overseer may be to address the chilled air between the Government of Greece and the Patriarchate on the latter's insistence to interfere in the matters of appointing several hierarchs, which should be clearly an internal matter in which Bartholomew should have no say within an autocephalous Church.

So now the questions arising out of all this are, if Bartholomew insists on interfering in internal matters of autocephalous Churches such as Greece, how honest is his intention of letting American Orthodox assimilate into the American Orthodoxy; and since Israel's policy towards the Turks has changed drastically, what is his relationship with that state in view of Bartholomew's meeting with the US and Israel's ambassadors? It would also be interesting were we able to get some glimpse in the Turkish view of the Patriarchate, after what they consider a travesty, i.e. the Patriarch speaking up against his treatment by his own government on live American TV. But above all, do you, the reader, feel that the Patriarch and his Grand Overseer in the States would be willing to loosen their grip on Greek Orthodoxy when and if it becomes American Orthodoxy? Isn't this action  tantamount to sheer suicide for them?

[ Orthodox Truth |  -  March 22, 2010 ]