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Letter to Editor

Letter to the Editor: Response to Fr. Basil Papanikolaou’s Letter

March 9, 2023

To the Editor:

 

Ultimate Hypocrisy, Letter to the Editor, by Fr. Basil Papanikolaou of Davenport, Iowa, (TNH, February 11), is a personal illustration of the hypocrisy of our Church.

Let us acknowledge, at the outset, as a (neutral) statement of fact, that institutional religion, from inception of civilization, is an ecclesiastical polity and a business. Its cleric-composed canons, alike laws in society, serve its purposes (in brief) of faith, worship, mission, legitimacy, order, behavior, and conduct.

Hypocrisy does taint our Church, and our Church has its fair shares of indiscretions, scandals, and misjudgments from historical to present times. Our Church though, does not command a monopoly on hypocrisy as it is prevalent in all churches (Catholic, Protestant, etc.). The lesson is that we are all human (yes, including priests, bishops, metropolitans, archbishops, patriarchs, who carry out the word of God) but not God. It is inevitable in human nature that we err, but a divine nature to forgive.

Religion, notwithstanding our advanced scientific and technological times, flourishes because it serves rudimentary human needs of spirit and belief, hope and vision, doing good and right, being kind and caring. Without religion we would be barbarians. Religion provides righteous values and our moral compass.

The moral compass here steadfastly points to the reinstatement of Basil Papanikolaou as ‘Fr Basil’. Laws, like the canons of our Church, evolve and are not immutable to rescission or revision to achieve justice. The jurisprudence of law recognizes ‘mercy’ and ‘in the interests of justice’ as profound virtuous principles. Shakespeare extolled that mercy is an attribute of God himself. “In God We Trust” is inscribed in courtrooms.

Fr. Basil who devoted his entire life in serving the Church of Christ and whose infraction of church canon was as a widower to remarry to liberate his heart from hopelessness and loneliness, begs for mercy and justice. In law, the courts adjudicate special cases in the interest of justice and grant waivers or pardons. In religion, it is “For the Lord is a God of justice; blessed are all those who wait for him.”

The National Herald is commended for its journalistic professionalism and integrity in publishing Fr. Basil’s letter, which has moved me to write this open letter of support for Fr. Basil.

As Fr. Basil nears the end of his life’s journey, ‘krima’ and ‘krisis’ here call upon those who do God’s work to bestow reinstatement of Fr. Basil and give his name and dignity back. ‘O Θεός είναι μαζί σου’ Fr. Basil.

 

Michael Manoussos, Esq.

Kew Gardens, NY

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