Analysis: Clergy Laity Congress of Tragicomedy?

Michel Psaros announces his resignation from his position as Treasurer of the Archdiocesan Council. Shown are Archbishop Demetrios of America and Metropolitan Maximos of Sylibria. (Photo by TNH/Theodore Kalmoukos)

Another Clergy Laity Congress of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America, the 44th in to row, has gone into the history taking with it all that was said and done, especially at the July 5, plenary session, which I think using the term “tragicomedy” to describe it is an understatement.

In many instances the impression that was given was that it wasn’t a Clergy Laity Congress, meaning a synaxis of people church oriented and with “the mind of Christ,” but rather …

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  1. From what I saw, synaxis is not the word to describe what happened. Circus or dog and pony show would be more appropriate descriptions.

  2. Why are the priests upset? Maybe because only the principal was returned to the pension fund and not all the interest accrued which amounts to a lot of money? Maybe because they wonder just how big the salaries of the hierarchs are and what their pension plan is, both of which items are closely guarded secrets? Maybe because they are afraid, and rightly so, of the reaction of their hierarch, pretty much without exception? Maybe because they feel the brunt of the embarrassment and shame of what happened with St. Nicholas as they are the point person not only for the Orthodox laity in their parishes but also for many others in their community? Maybe because they see their churches emptying given the corruption? Maybe because many of them serve alone in large parishes and they are exhausted but they can’t afford an assistant priest because of all the money the archdiocese drains from their parishes? Maybe because they understand the sad state of financial affairs that causes many parishes to rely on their festivals to make it through the year? Maybe because they understand that all of the above does great harm to the spiritual life of the clergy and the laity? Maybe because they know, they know, that none of the above is even on the to-do list of the hierarchs?

  3. PS, I’m not a GOA priest and I don’t work for the archdiocese or the church in any capacity.

  4. The perennial question is the salary of the hierarchs and do they have a separate pension plan?
    Can somebody answer it?

  5. A century ago priests did not get paid and had day jobs. Paul built tents.
    Most priests today are theatrical actors with no connection to real life.
    They pontificate on subjects they are oblivious of.
    They got black pants, let them be waiters!
    True, they would have to shed the beard Golobcic said have feces on them
    and those gutter swabbing thobes (islamic for robes).
    At least yiayia only has to shave her moustache when you send her back
    to the diner counter instead of her harlequin religion.

  6. I honestly don’t care anymore. They can have their sloppy, phony, lying archdiocese.

    Will ask a Catholic priest to say a few words graveside when God calls me home.

    GOA destroys people and its parishes. It doesn’t save any souls, it just saves Macedonian naming rights.


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