About the Crisis that Erupted

His Eminence Archbishop Demetrios (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

From everything we know about the crisis that erupted due to the insistence of Archbishop Demetrios to impose Sebastian as the new Metropolitan of Chicago – and this thanks exclusively to the investigating capability of “The National Herald” – the conclusion is that this crisis is not about our community, since the person chosen was not suitable.

But it is about Demetrios, who for some yet unknown reason, imposed Sebastian.

And it is truly remarkable that he managed to persuade the vast majority of  the bishops to support his position.

The interests of the large and dynamic community of Chicago would be served by the election of a competent, relatively young man, who would be able to correct the glaring problems that were created there that shook the Metropolis with repeated revelations related to the church authorities by the , that made our people ashamed and give a new impetus, a new life to this great community.

Instead of this our Archbishop insisted – and I am really sorry to say this because Sevastianos is not responsible for anything, he is a victim himself, – in choosing him even though he did not meet the necessary qualifications.

And despite the fact that The National Herald has offered repeatedly to publish Demetrios positions, he continues to remains silent.

And he is silent for almost 20 years now.


How can a representative of any group of people and even more so the Archbishop of the Greek Orthodox Church in America not engage in communicating with his congregation at large for such a long time, how can he not wish to present his vision for the future of the Church at some periods of time, how can he not even present his positions on current moral issues?

How can one lead if his people don’t know what his positions are , what he wants to accomplish?

Is it possible that he might not have anything to say?

I do not think so. Demetrios is smart and very learned.

But masterly slinky.

He avoids the public discourse in large part because  he does not want to create a public record so as avoid a comparison between the positions expressed and the facts.

He avoids granting interviews on substantive issues to avoid  annoying questions from the media, like explaining the illusory euphoria, which for almost 20 years he claims exists at the Archdiocese, with the harsh reality.

And he continues to keep silent even now, in this evolving crisis.

He apparently is equating timidity with prudence. The behind the scenes maneuver with wisdom.

But what about his responsibility to offer an explanation for what happened ? \

To invite the media and answer its questions. Even – at least – to issue a press release.

To tell us what he did and why he did it .

Does he not owe it to us?

Meanwhile we stand ready at any time to present his views.

The same of course applies to the Ecumenical Patriarch.

In this age of instant communication one can not use means and ways of the past.

Moreover, transparency was and is – even more now – the only solution, morally and practically.


  1. This endless discussion “About the Crisis that Erupted,” mainly between the Archbishop and the Patriarch, reminds me ofa famous aphorism by the great Albert Einstein, saying that “Unthinking respect for authority is the greatest enemy of truth
    Let’s make things simple, friends! We love our patriarch, we love our archbishop, we love our church! But let us also remember, NOBODY is infallible, Nobody! So, let us listen to each other, so we may arrive at the most appropriate decision about a severe problem we are facing. Let us set aside our “egos” and work together for the future of our beloved Orthodox Church! Let us listen to this editor, who observes reality from the vantage point of the real world. Let us listen to the lay people, who represent a large segment of our faithful people. Let us listen to clergymen, who are vitally concerned about the present and the future of our Faith, not only in this country, but worldwide! Let all sides be heard! Nobody has a monopoly on truth!

  2. Love is the ultimate and the highest goal to which a human being can aspire. This is only possible when Jesus Christ is the center of our lives.

  3. Bishop Sevastianos was selected by the Church in America, following the procedures agreed to by all parties in place prior to the repose of Metropolitan Iakovos of Chicago. If the Patriarch insists upon defying the will of the Church in America, as expressed by our Archbishop and the near unanimous vote of the Eparchial Synod, after input from the clergy and laity of the Archdiocese, it will further alienate the Patriarchate from its flock in America. This is a “crisis” entirely of the Patriarchate’s making, hyped by the media. The Patriarchate needs the support of the Church in America financially, as well as politically. The Patriarchate is under siege not only from the increasingly Islamist regime of Erdogan in Turkey, but from Putin/Kyrill and the Russian Church, which attempted to disrupt the Holy and Great Council of Crete, and is apparently using the monasteries in America to promote Fundamentalism and diminish Patriarch’s Eparchy in America. The issues confronting the Metropolis of Chicago were highlighted by the Open Letter of Elaine Jaharis recently published in The Herald. This is not the time, or the issue that the Patriarchate should choose to impose its will on the Church in America.

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