Friday, December 31, 2010
Many headlines read: "Metropolitan Paisios of Tyana and Bishop Vikentios of Apameia are Officially Out". The key term is officially. It implies ever so subltly that there must be the unofficial position. There has been a lot of mudd slinging since this story broke. My greatest objection has been with the National Herald and other news media agencies who have failed to provide a good working English translation of this story. This is an affront to all Orthodox Christians here in the United States where the official language is English. This catastrophe at Saint Irene Chrysovalantou Sacred and Patriarchal Monastery in Astoria, NY is of concern to all believers. It brings to light undercurrent of concern that this kind of corruption may be a systemic problem in the church and the broader more persistent and chronic approach to splitting the Church along linguistic lines. Both are errosive and abominations of paramount importance.
As for the protocol of the investigation and the Synods conclusions I find little cause for such pandering and concern. The Ecumenical Patriarchs decision to conduct a full scale investigation beginning with in depth interviews at the Phanar and then censoring Metropolitan Paisios of Tyana and Bishop Vikentios by remanding them to Greece is not scandalous. It was to prevent the tampering of evidence and of possible victims. The Synodical Delegation was then sent to review the matter on site in Astoria, NY. They gathered information made the necessary inquiries and without delay returned to the Phanar to report their findings.
This investigation did not in any way impede or supersede the investigation of law enforcement on the city or federal levels. I believe that the allegations of sexual misconduct and fiscal mismanagement are in fact true on some level. The only unbelievable part of this nightmare is Bishop Vikentios' assertion that he was either unaware or remaining in protest of such improprieties.
Metropolitan Paisios of Tyana and Bishop Vikentios are indefinitely suspended from any ecclesiastical responsibility or privilege. They cannot even serve as altar boys. How this is a cover up is a remarkable assertion. It would appear that the witch hunt was begun befure the investigation had even commenced with the character assassination of the investigators themselves. Met. Nikitas has been the target of such bashing and slander that it is unfathomable that the slingers of such mud can consider themselves advocates of anything good.
We as a people of Faith should never use hate speech, assert our bigotry, racism or homophobia in a pitiful attempt to somehow equate such malign evil with virtue. Race, Citizenship, Jurisdiction, primary Language, Religious Affiliation, Intelligence or Sexual Orientation have little, if anything, to do with sexual abuse or misconduct.
Saturday, December 18, 2010
The road to hell is paved with ...
"It is hereby announced that the Hierarchs of the Throne in our City gathered for an extraordinary session today, December 17, 2010, and revisited the issue which has arisen at the Patriarchal and Stravropegial Monastery of St. Irene Chrysovalantou in Astoria, New York, unanimously arriving at the decision to suspend indefinitely both Metropolitan Paisios of Tyana, former Abbot of the Monastery, and Bishop Vikentios of Apameia, its former Deputy Abbot, from every clerical function".
I have refrained from posting further articles on this scandal even when prodded by other bloggers. I wanted to wait to hear the decision from the Phanar. I was resolute in affirming that the Patriarcate would not harbor any offender and would address the matter with all wisdom and courage. Much to the disbelief of others this proved to be true. Although formal allegations were not disclosed, the Phanar did the responsible thing and after reviewing the investigation essentially refused the resignation of Met. Paisios and suspended both he and Bishop Vikentios indefinitely.
This will prevent them from furthering to poison the water hole as it were. This internal investigation proved more fruitful then the one conducted in New York by the police officials or even the Feds. I would venture to say that pressure to sequester witnesses by the community, simply well covered tracks or the technicality on statute of limitations has thus prevailed. Of course the case is not yet closed to my knowledge so I can only assume the investigation will continue. Interestingly, defrocked priest and self proclaimed iconographer George Lemonakis has crept back to the shadows as has is chums.
To those who were drooling at the bit to disparage the Ecumenical Synod 'boo hoo'. To those too cowardly to come out and state their concerns but only slug innuendo and gossip "fatta" (eat it).