Greek Orthodox Stewards of America - March 19, 1999
Why are the critics constantly on the attack?
What do they want? Why do they claim to be your "Leaders"?
Over the last eighteen months, the Greek Orthodox Church and its members have been the victims of unprecedented strife and turmoil. The alleged cause of the strife and turmoil has been Archbishop Spyridon. His critics have been unmerciful, spending thousands of man hours and hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of dollars to make him the most persecuted religious leader in modern American history. They have created a public relations and media juggernaut aimed at one thing - his destruction. They are acting like sharks going after raw, bloodied meat. To say the least, they are acting mean spirited and unchristian. As a Greek Orthodox Christian, I am ashamed of and disgusted at their behavior.
We all must take a step back and say to ourselves "why is this happening to our Church?" Although many things are unclear about Church affairs, what is clear is that Archbishop Spyridon is being used as an excuse. Anyone who succeeded Archbishop Iakovos most likely would have been made an example. Archbishop Spyridon is being victimized and attacked in order to promote an unexpressed agenda aimed at forever changing the Church and molding it into the image desired by individuals who have obnoxiously proclaimed themselves to be your "leaders."
Ask yourself the following questions: What will they do if Archbishop Spyridon resigns and one of the Metropolitans is not the new Archbishop? Will they continue the revolt? If Archbishop Spyridon were to resign tomorrow and one of the Metropolitans replaced him, would these "leaders" disband? What will happen if they disagree with the new Archbishop on various issues? Will they seek his ouster too? Will the new Archbishop be beholden to the "leaders" and will he be their tool? Will the Church go through cycles of turmoil whenever these "leaders" disagree with the Church administration? Will the "leaders" want to control the Archdiocesan Council and other lay bodies under a new Archbishop? Just how far will they go in an effort to run the Church? Will the attacks only go away if the "leaders" are in complete control? Will the "leaders" ever go away?
Also ask yourself "who are these leaders?". What gives them the right to lead? We know they have loud voices and they are businessmen and professionals (we are constantly reminded of that fact). Is that the litmus test for Church leadership? What are their real qualifications? Many of them were in lay positions of power under the prior administration. What happened to the Church and its various institutions when they held these positions of power? You will be surprised to know the answer to this particular question. Indeed, it is laughable that they claim mismanagement in light of the abysmal "track" record many of them left behind.
We should all say "enough is enough" to the so-called "leaders". They have a right to speak, but not to attack and destroy. There should be reconciliation and peace. The "leaders" should abandon their "scorched earth" policy. Given the amount of damage they are doing to our Church, one would think that they are Turks. If they do not stop their attacks, the Church will continue down a slippery slope, and the result will leave no one satisfied and many people hurt. Perhaps this is what they want. The faithful should stand up and proclaim "no more attacks."
George C. Rockas
Editor of the Stewards' Website
[ Greek Orthodox Stewards of America
March 19, 1999 ]