Greek Orthodox Stewards of America - July 16, 1999
Orthodox Church in America ("OCA") members involved in running GOAL
GOAL is an acronym. Its correct legal name is the Greek Orthodox American Leaders, Inc. This name implies that the organization wants to lead the Greek Orthodox religion and presumably to perpetuate its existence. It also implies a connection to Hellenism and that its members are Greek Orthodox.
GOAL says it wants Archbishop Spyridon removed from his position as Archbishop of the Greek Orthodox Church of America ("Church"). It blames him for a so-called "crisis" in the Church. The Greek Orthodox Stewards have long maintained that GOAL wants more than the reassignment or resignation of Archbishop Spyridon and that the Archbishop is being used to achieve another end. Specifically, that end is the creation of an homogenized, autocephalous American Orthodox Church (i.e., one that is not an eparchy of the Ecumenical Patriarchate) that brings together the various Orthodox Churches in America. It now appears that members of at least one other Orthodox Church--the Orthodox Church in America ("OCA") --are working actively with GOAL to achieve that end.
The Orthodox Church in America is an off shoot of the Russian Orthodox Church. The OCA website describes the Orthodox Church in America as follows:
"On April 10, 1970 the Orthodox Church of Russia granted the decree of total self-government to the Metropolia, thus establishing it clearly as the 15th Autocephalous Orthodox Church in the world.
Autocephaly means complete and total self-administration and equal standing with all of the other self-governing Orthodox Churches in the world.
The Russian Church exercised its right as the Mother Church of American Orthodoxy in granting this status to its original missionary church. It removed all of its ecclesiastical jurisdiction in the USA and Canada.
As the Orthodox Church in America, the new autocephalous church is free to carry on its own life, free from any subordination or submission to any other church or national power, including Russia itself.
The new Orthodox Church in America is the great sign of unity and hope for all Orthodox Christians in America. For the first time in history there is no question that the Orthodox Church in America is a reality for all Orthodox who wish to carry on the mission of Christ in this land in total freedom from any national, political or ecclesiastical pressures from aboard."
It should be noted that the Ecumenical Patriarchate does not recognize the OCA's autocephalous status. Moreover, it is a relatively small Church. Because of these facts, the OCA wants to unify with other Orthodox Churches in America to gain legitimacy and power in the eyes of many in the Orthodox Christian world. This unity must necessarily take the form of an autocephalous American Orthodox Church recognized by the Ecumenical Patriarchate.
Now for the crux of the matter. Voithia, the name of the GOAL website, lists D.J. King as its production manager. GOAL's January, 1999, newsletter also lists Mr. King as GOAL's Production Manager. Who is Mr. King? Mr. King is a vice president and member of St. Michael Orthodox Church in Concord, California. St. Michael is an OCA church and it operates a website at www.stmichael.org. Why is a member of the Orthodox Church in America working so actively with GOAL?
The obvious answer is that the OCA wants to combine with the Greek Orthodox Church (and perhaps some other Orthodox Churches) to create an American Orthodox Church if for no other reason than to gain legitimacy. This raises further questions that the Greek Orthodox faithful deserve answers to. For example, does GOAL receive funding from the Orthodox Church in America? Does GOAL consult with leaders of the Orthodox Church in America with respect to strategic planning? Are other Orthodox Church in America members actively involved in GOAL in other ways? Why are they involved in GOAL? Is the OCA behind the GOAL attacks against the Ecumenical Patriarchate? Why is GOAL allowing non-Greek Orthodox people to intrude into our Church affairs?
Does the "G" and "O" in GOAL really stand for "Greek Orthodox"?
The Greek Orthodox faithful deserve answers to this distressing development.
[ Greek Orthodox Stewards of America
July 16, 1999 ]