Letter to Editor

Letter to the Editor: On the First Priority of the Church

To the Editor:

In a recent The National Herald interview, Metropolitan Gerasimos of San Francisco is quoted as saying, “the issue of the identity of our youth is the first priority of our Metropolis.” And he continued by adding, “one of my first priorities in the New Year will be to teach and strengthen Hellenism with emphasis on Hellenic Paideia.” Grammatically speaking, there can be only one first priority. If His Eminence meant to say that as his first priority, advancing Hellenism is more important than teaching the Faith, then the future of Orthodoxy in America is, indeed, at risk.

During the interview, Gerasimos continues with another canard by asserting that “the entire issue of Hellenism is the Church,” an ambiguous statement at best, which belies the fact that Hellenism predates Christianity as is known from the study of our ancient forebears. As Greek Americans, we cannot dismiss the awesome cultural and spiritual inheritance that was gifted us by others. Nor should we forget the importance of our historical past. But in our world today, perhaps more than ever before, we must insist that the first priority of our Church is one that leads us to Christ.

James C. Rouman, MD

Hartford, CT


To the Editor: It has come to my attention through friends who work in the New York City public schools that this year, due to the fact that Orthodox Easter is May 5, and Roman Catholic Easter is on March 31, New York City public school students and staff will not have off on Orthodox Good Friday as they have had in the past when the holidays were a week apart, for example, or when Orthodox Easter happened to coincide with the school system’s spring break.

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