Monomakhos - September 28, 2017

GOA: the Beginning of the End?

[ By George Michalopulos ]

A few of you have asked me to comment on a recent top-secret meeting of all the hierarchs of the GOA. To be truthful, I hadn’t heard anything until one of you mentioned it. Since then, I’ve only minor rumblings but nothing I could put my finger on.

The one angle that kept popping up in my inquiries has been that there is a tremendous shortfall in revenue. To the tune of 8 million dollars and that certain restricted funds were raided to keep operations at 79th Street afloat. Of particular concern was the rumor that the priest’s pension fund was one of the unwitting piggy-banks that were broken into.

It now appears that the financial malfeasance may be more widespread than that. As reported in The Pappas Post other funds that may have been raided including the trust fund set aside for the rebuilding of St Nicholas, which was destroyed on September 11, 2001. (See below.)

Many are placing the blame on Archbishop Demetrios Trakatellis for this state of affairs. Admittedly, he is the “Archbishop of America” but in reality this is an empty title. At best he is merely a figurehead. | Ever since the sorry fate of Ligonier in the late nineties, when the Ecumenical Patriarch forced his intrusion into the Western Hemisphere, the GOA lost all autonomy. Hence all subsequent archbishops (Spyridon and now Demetrios) were place in an untenable situation.

This situation was made worse by the fact that the various dioceses were elevated to “metropolises” and their bishops became metropolitans. Since then, they reported directly to Constantinople, and not New York City, thereby making accountability impossible.

Under such a scenario, the Archbishop (whoever he was) was a ready-made scapegoat for any failures.

To be sure, under the present archbishop, things have not gone swimmingly. Other than the Episcopal Assembly and the growth of Athonite monasticism, Archbishop Demetrios cannot point to any outstanding successes.

Rather than pile up on him, the question that GOA laymen must ask is: are things going to be better under his successor? More importantly, given the present, heavy-handed control exercised by the Phanar, can they even envision a scenario in which things can turn around?

From where I sit, it doesn’t appear that this is possible. What do you think?

More to follow.

[ Monomakhos - - September 28, 2017 ]