Letter to the Editor: Response to “A Wasted Archiepiscopacy”

FILE - Archbishop Demetrios is talking to the congregation of the Resurrection parish in Brookville Long Island about his resignation from the Archbishopric Throne of America. (Photo: TNH/Costas Bej)

To the Editor:

In “A Wasted Archiepiscopacy” by Anonymous, the writer said about former Archbishop Demetrios, “he has insisted on clinging to the prestige of his office.” This is totally untrue; Archbishop Demetrios is and was a humble man who guided his flock well. I attended many events and services that he was at, they were well attended, he was never demanding, and the faithful listed attentively to his inspirational messages in both Greek and English. Many members of the church wanted him to stay; “Anonymous” does not speak for all of us. We Greeks love to complain, I have seen and heard them complain about three different Archbishops and I am sure in a short time they will complain about the new one.

The author goes on to say, “The truth is that no one cares what Archbishop Demetrios thinks about Greece, ‘Macedonia,’ or Cyprus, least of all American politicians (not to mention the Greeks and Cypriots themselves).”

I personally do care along with many members of our church, and non-Greek politicians who have championed those causes, I was a 6 year old child visiting my grandparents during the invasion. It is still occupied and many of our churches are stables. It is possible the author of the article does not care, but many do. Also many faithful have and still given money to feed the hungry in Greece.

The author also says, “All signs of Church growth are down except for one, funerals.” Much of the Greek-American population is now past the first and second generation, there are no new waves of immigrants and the U.S. birth rate is down, naturally funerals will go up and weddings and baptisms will not be as high as the past. My parish is full on most Sundays and many youth care about the church. If “Anonymous” wants to make the church better he or she should start with themselves, by supporting our church leaders and not always criticizing them. We should remember what Christ said, “Judge not, that you be not judged. For with the judgment you pronounce you will be judged, and with the measure you use it will be measured to you,” [Matthew 7:1-2 RSV].

As for St. Nicholas, many large projects suffer setbacks, nothing worthy is easy. I have and will give to it being finished; if we work together, we can succeed.

 

John Papas

Dumont, NJ

3 Comments

  1. Well said John, Thank You! People have become way too judgemental acting is if they themselves can do the job better! No one will be perfect.

  2. Dear John and Nikos,
    I know your comments are sincere and loving of Archbishop Dimitrious. If you will recall the first two years of his status as Archbishop had a positive effect on the faithful coming off Archbishop Spiridon’s tumultuous reign. The balance of his 18 years of church service were more the same, yet did not develop in a progressive, forceful, dynamic force for Orthodoxy.
    Think of it this way; is our faith stronger, responsible, transparent today than it was 18 years ago? Picture our status at this moment. Our Archdicose’s is in trouble meeting it’s financial obligations, plus the huge mortgage on it’s real estate; the problems at the St. Nicholas Shrine; the near collapse of HCHC, and combined with the news coverage of these sorrowful events has dimmed the light of Orthodoxy in the USA. Please tell me how we are better today than previously?

  3. The events that transpired on Demetrios’s watch ( especially in Chicago, NJ, elsewhere) are unforgivable and inexplicable in ordinary terms. Now is not the time to get sloppily sentimental about an old man. Now is the time to demand change, accountability, independence, growth, and a return to the basics of running a real church, not a colony of Greek Ottoman, sexually depraved, black tie butt-kissing, phony titled, thieving, gold-laden mini-despots and their sycophants who have screwed the whole deal up beyond repair. This needs to be the time when Jesus clears the Temple of all the filth. Grow a set of cohones and do the right thing. This need not be over-intellectualized.

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