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Columnists

Analysis: Inadequacies and Incompetencies

Since last September, when The National Herald first started the revelations about the Archdiocese’s dire financial situation, many attempts were made to ignore, spin, undermine, or even to refute them.

Let me make it clear that I don’t mean the various defenders and decoys, but rather the official representatives of the Church, including the archbishop, some hierarchs and some appointed laypersons, who were consciously spinning about the well-documented revelations – which rattled our Greek-American community, the Ecumenical Patriarchate – of which the Archdiocese of America is its most Eminent Ecclesiastical Eparchy – Greece, and Hellenism throughout the world.

Thus we arrived to Clergy Laity Congress in Boston and specifically July 2, indeed an unforgettable day on which His Eminence Archbishop Demetrios Geron America with a heavy heart admitted the financial sinking of the Archdiocese, that most prestigious church which His All Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew and the Patriarchate in general entrusted onto him.

The archbishop did not have any other choice or to do otherwise because he knew that everything the Herald was revealing was true and accurate. His problem, as well as that of his flatterers, was and still is where the Herald finds the evidence, how obtains even the most confidential information, and why it reveals it, because the archbishop and cronies didn’t want and don’t want the Church – i.e., the Body of the Laity – to know what is going on. The prevailing doctrine and mentality is pay, pray, and obey.

After noting in his keynote address the events that transpired from the previous Congress, in Nashville, TN in 2016, including mention of those who since passed away, he proceeded with the astonishing admission of the Archdiocese’s virtual bankruptcy as follows: “There have appeared since the 2016 Clergy-Laity Congress in Nashville unexpected serious economic difficulties and problems and organizational inefficiencies for which we genuinely and deeply regret.

“For me, personally as Archbishop, after a long 19-year experience of serving here, and for the entire faithful of the Archdiocese, this dire situation caused truly unbearable pain. This pain resulted from the fact that in spite of the sincere and unselfish offering of work done by many people, we suddenly found threatening before us an extremely difficult and really unacceptable situation. I am truly and deeply sorry for the disappointment, sorrow, frustration, and pain that this unfortunate situation brought upon each and every member of our precious and beloved Archdiocese. And I am still refusing to accept and justify the stopping of the building of St. Nicholas. To stop the building of a church, truly monumental and highly symbolic universally for Orthodoxy as is St. Nicholas at Ground Zero is really unthinkable. Tragically, this unthinkable [situation] happened.”

Even after that clear admission his collaborator George Tsandikos and one or two more of the same caliber continue their innuendos about “misinformation and fake news.” Listening to the archbishop, I felt extremely sorry for our Church, and listening to Tsandikos I simply laughed.

Certainly the archbishop has every reason to feel “disappointment, sorrow, frustration, and pain” for this “dire situation… threatening us extremely difficult and really unacceptable.”
Of course these “serious economic difficulties and problems and organizational inefficiencies” as the archbishop characterized it, reflect not his vociferous inadequacy and incompetence, but also of the members of the Eparchial Synod and certainly of the Archdiocesan Council and its committees and subcommittees, because where had they been?

I emphasize yet again that they are all responsible for this tragicomedy of our Church in America. If all those inadequacies and incompetencies were in the private sector, they would have been dismissed from onset.

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