To the Editor:
I was disheartened to read Theodore Kalmoukos’ “analysis” of “What Does The Sunday of Orthodoxy Mean Today?” (Mar. 11). His contempt of the Archons of the Ecumenical Patriarchate displays a complete lack of knowledge on how one is awarded the honor of being an archon and what is required to do so.
The vast majority of archons have given decades of their time, talent, and treasure to their local church, their diocese, and the Archdiocese. The archons, who are very active in the Order of Saint Andrew, also spend much time in supporting and promoting our patriarch and the Patriarchate.
To read the ridicule of Mr. Kalmoukos by citing theatrical folklore and golden crosses (they are silver) is a dishonor to these men. I do not know what church Mr. Kalmoukos attends, but in my church the archons only wear the cross and the patch on the Sunday of Orthodoxy, which is significant, and whenever a bishop or the archbishop attends their parish.
The entire church – adults and children – are invited to participate in the Sunday of Orthodoxy Procession and Proclamation of Faith (a copy is provided to everyone). This past Sunday of Orthodoxy (a frigid day), our Sunday School Student and about 80% of our parishioners participated in an outdoor (abbreviated) procession. The Proclamation was read inside the church with all the Sunday School students standing on the Soleas with their icons.
The procession is not one that is dominated by archons; most parishes have just a handful of Archons: there are approximately 700 Archons spread out over 400-plus parishes, so please do your homework, Mr. Kalmoukos. Our churches face the same problems as any other mainstream Christian religion in the United States; having a few men wear a cross, a pin and an offikon is not exacerbating the problems.
I challenge you to meet with the Executive Committee of the Archons of the Ecumenical Patriarchate and to publish an article in The National Herald on the good works that these men do. Your contempt for the church and the clergy is evident, for you look at every opportunity to write negatively about them. There are issues and problems with all occupations and organizations. No one on earth is perfect. Perhaps, if you were openminded, you might find some good things to write about the church and clergy.
I anticipate you accepting my challenge.
George K. Lavas
Rockville Centre, NY
George K. Lavas is an Archon Depoutatos of the Order of St. Andrew.