Monday, March 17, 2014

Donations for Help for Greek Orphans and Disabled



Dear Angela-Agapia,

Hope there is a possibility to help this girl and roots of course. Due to crisis things are so tight here. I would never post such a cry for help, but it’s a pity not to be able to find a financial solution for her.
Roots are not able to search for anybody for free, tax is so high even ngos have to pay 500 euros per year, though our tax account last year was 4500 euros! We cannot afford rented office and we are sheltered by the Church Archiepiskopi Athinon, not for long.

Do you think you can organize something for us? A lot of Greek charities and associations in US support Greek ngos but up to now we are not fortunate.

Thank you for your time,  God bless you

Mary

  

  

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Gregory Trakas "lacked any semblance of priestly dignity"

A Tribute to Phyllis, who charged me as I left for work after attending services at Saint George Greek Orthodox Church in New Port Richey (for Feast of Saint George). Smoke blew from her nostrils as she puffed her cigarette nervously seemingly outraged by my previous blogs entries reporting and outing Gregory Trakas.  I had removed them for Lent and out of respect for local victims and parishioners who were experiencing significant dissonance.  It lead him and his minions to reframe the argument that I had somehow retracted my comments. However in light of her tenor and words of rebuke I saw fit to I republish this and all other posts regarding the wolf Gregory Trakas.  I have always stood as an advocate on the local, national and international seen for several causes do not speculate I collect information and voice concerns  regarding several matters to include clerical neglect, abuse or malpractice and for causes like religious freedom for the Ecumenical See. This plain and clear for all 26,000+ visitors/readers. 
And so brothers and sisters it seems impossible for Fr. Gregory Trakas to gracefully accept his removal as pastor of a local Florida parish. An innocent evening out to enjoy a concert of Byzantine chants and fellowship was hijacked by the poor etiquette and intrusively shameless behavior of Fr. Gregory. It saddens me to report that he paraded like a jester at his own homecoming.  His buffoonery would be laughable if it wasn't indicative of a true pathology. As I sat with my family he approached dawning his cassock as if a taffeta dress while dawning and his satchel like a studded purse. He lacked any semblance of priestly dignity by breaching a proper threshold of personal space and had the audacity to intrude and impose himself there where elderly and young children were present. He preyed on the civility and polite redirection of those shocked by his brazenness. He tried to lecture my husband on a coming together so that the people do not talk about him. He then quite literally cornered as he approached other family members speaking about unity.  As adults tried to shield the children from the obvious tensions he encroached further grandstanding as the banquet hall guests served as his captive audience watching on. If we remain silent and allow Gregory Trakas to fashion history, to make appearances which are at a minimum in poor taste and then to intimidate people with his septic and underhanded soft tone then we are fools. Father continues to send out his team who continue to call victims, parishioners and members to chastise and defend this man's reputation putting aside to the point of delusion his dereliction to dignity.  They have under his direction even organized in telling families not to attend the local parish.  Fr. Gregory has found some support and this is a good thing if it leads him to humility but he has traveled and traversed in gaining a glaring audacity. I cannot imagine what he hopes to gain. He seems concerned only with perpetuating his fabricated victim hood. His intimidation tactics are flaccid. May the Lord help him find his way back home to his own family oceans away, so he can hope to fulfill his initial commitment to the Mystery of Matrimony, which serves as a good teacher of heading a family. He lacks any authority in lecturing those of us who are in longstanding committed first marriages, nearing a quarter century I might add, on responsibility and accountability  or appearances.  He feels comfortable enough to go where the sheep are to poison the watering holes drawing to himself those who were raised to respect the priest unquestionably especially during the times of celebration and relaxation. This seems to fly in the face of the Metropolis forbidding him to serve in any official capacity as a priest. 

Saturday, March 8, 2014

forgive my indiscretion

After attending The Service of the Salutations to the Most Holy Theotokos I came to the realization that I should remove my most recent posts in the interest of Christian charity considering my brothers and sisters within my extended (local) Orthodox family. In obedience to the His Eminences request to be mindful of this time of repentance and reconciliation I submit humbly this apology.  My intention was not to hurt any of you but to press the discussion expressing concerns and reservations.  It’s not needed any longer and now clearly not profitable spiritually. 

As  I have offended and been insensitive to the feelings and sensibilities of my fellow brothers and sisters forgive me. I sometimes have a hyper reactive response to questionable ethics and may not be always proceed prudently. 

Recalling these words: A Christian must not be fanatic; he must have love for and be sensitive towards all people. Those who inconsiderately toss out comments, even if they are true, can cause harm.

I once met a theologian who was extremely pious, but who had the habit of speaking to the (secular) people around him in a very blunt manner; his method penetrated so deeply that it shook them very severely. He told me once: “During a gathering, I said such and such a thing to a lady.” But the way that he said it, crushed her. “Look”, I said to him, “you may be tossing golden crowns studded with diamonds to other people, but the way that you throw them can smash heads, not only the sensitive ones, but the sound ones also.”

Let’s not stone our fellow-man in a so-called “Christian manner.” The person who – in the presence of others – checks someone for having sinned (or speaks in an impassioned manner about a certain person), is not moved by the Spirit of God; he is moved by another spirit.

The way of the Church is LOVE; it differs from the way of the legalists. The Church sees everything with tolerance and seeks to help each person, whatever he may have done, however sinful he may be.

I have observed a peculiar kind of logic in certain pious people. Their piety is a good thing, and their predisposition for good is also a good thing; however, a certain spiritual discernment and amplitude is required so that their piety is not accompanied by narrow-mindedness or strong-headedness. Someone who is truly in a spiritual state must possess and exemplify spiritual discernment; otherwise he will forever remain attached to the “letter of the Law”, and the letter of the Law can be quite deadly.

A truly humble person never behaves like a teacher; he will listen, and, whenever his opinion is requested, he responds humbly. In other words, he replies like a student. He who believes that he is capable of correcting others is filled with egotism.

A person that begins to do something with a good intention and eventually reaches an extreme point, lacks true discernment. His actions exemplify a latent type of egotism that is hidden beneath this behavior; he is unaware of it, because he does not know himself that well, which is why he goes to extremes.

http://orthodoxcounselor.blogspot.com/

http://orthodoxpsychotherapist.blogspot.com/

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Gregory Trakas and Rasputin


A Tribute to Phyllis, who charged me as I left for work after attending services at Saint George Greek Orthodox Church in New Port Richey (for Feast of Saint George). Smoke blew from her nostrils as she puffed her cigarette nervously seemingly outraged by my previous blogs entries reporting and outing Gregory Trakas.  I had removed them for Lent and out of respect for local victims and parishioners who were experiencing significant dissonance.  My confirmation of said events and questionable conduct and maleficence  is evident in those victims who have classic signs of acute Post Traumatic Stress with their loss of appetite, hyper vigilance, flashbacks, intrusive thoughts, despair and fear  . It lead him and his minions to reframe the argument that I had somehow retracted my comments. However in light of her tenor and words of rebuke I saw fit to I republish this and all other posts regarding the wolf Gregory Trakas.  I have always stood as an advocate on the local, national and international seen for several causes do not speculate I collect information and voice concerns  regarding several matters to include clerical neglect, abuse or malpractice and for causes like religious freedom for the Ecumenical See. This plain and clear for all 26,000+ visitors/readers. 

The struggle is upon us. I have not chosen the battle or the battlefield and will not be hampered by formality or "appearances". If Father Gregory wishes for me to stop this campaign he could stop it in this moment; in the instant he confesses and resigns his position. His efforts are all spent like a miser collecting widows' fortunes and defending his reputation rather than self-examination and amending his own behaviors. He will not answer questions like why do you spend so much of your time with vulnerable women until all hours? And where is his young wife and small child  and why are they not with him? More to the point one might ask what he's doing even in the priesthood in light of recent allegations?

Make no mistake I will not be distracted by his whining about how I and all who see are 'against him' or hostile, as these questions of repeated instances of  gross negligence are not about our behavior.  At every turn with each accusation Father Gregory says that they are unfounded suspicions, rumor and baseless attacks from those who are jealous of him.  Yet with each passing day more individuals come forward with their corroborated stories, with their antidotal proofs and their evidence. Father has tried to rebuke and intimidate me stating directly "I resent you even speaking to me." Newsflash: I get to speak and think for myself to decide what is important for me. He seems accustomed or inclined to think I should supplant my will for his.

Father Gregor encourages and facilitates the means and methods for the weak and the vulnerable to do well beyond what is appropriate; well beyond their capacity and then he side steps and ducks the crossfire disavowing is active solicitation and quite literally blaming all others. I am not satisfied with Father Gregory's refusals to address matters. His emphatic denial and passionate pleads are not convincing; as he all while he is scheming playing one against the other. Experience dictates there must be more people then I am aware of; many more who are too afraid to come forward. Despite my diligence it is statistically unlikely that I have been able to speak with and hear from all of those for whom he is mistreated.  I have more then my suspicion. I have my conviction. 

Often times he encouraged board members or those who expressed concern to divulge the identities of those who feel taken advantage of so he can confront and silence them. He requests to humiliate further the victims by some archaic inquisition style interrogation. What is more he is smug enough to think these people will not come forward willingly because he has both seduced and manipulated them with his demagoguery; with his Jim Jones drink the Kool-Aid approach, with fear of hellfire.

I acknowledge that I had a fundamental mistrust a Father Gregory once I began to spend some time with him and that there is little that he could say that will sway me.  Note however this is not based on my 'intuition', or forgive me discernment, it is based on my years and experience as a practicing psychotherapist. You see it is not just Father Gregory who telegraphs unconsciously his deviance but also those who have been victimized and manipulated who carry with them a set of their own tells. 

Father Gregory, and some misguided and disillusioned individuals, site protocols and niceties to shield him from transparency and being accountable not just for his ineptitude, not just for his laziness, or inexperience but for the abuses of his power. Father Gregory has a history, a past: with a wife, a little baby girl and aging mother on another continent an away ocean. He tells anyone who will listen that he is not supported by this or his previous parish to bring them.  This is  his second parish in two years and he seeks to go elsewhere so he may exploit a new set of unsuspecting individuals.

Father Gregory would like to think I do not have any proof but regardless of his denial and dismissiveness I have testimonies, cases and a comprehensive insight into his sociopathology. Regardless of his denial and calculated extremist tactics I have my certainty and am unshaken. Father Gregory misconstrues the confessional, obedience and church order as the abdication of his personal accountability. He misconstrues his position to discourage abdication of responsibility of each member in the church to protect, one from the other, and in some very rare instances from the clergy. 

He should understand that his immediate removal from our parish is only the beginning or he will have mistaken me and my purpose to. I am calling for his suspension and further sanctions. This remains in the hands of the spiritual court of course but lest we forget "A dog that bites is a dog that bites". I follow the example of those that have come before me who stood with the weak and simpleminded against the Rasputins.  I am encouraged and prepare for battle I urge other soldiers to take charge and wholeheartedly fight against those who exploit the weak and misuse their clerical garb. As far as is possible contending courageously against injustice neglect, self-interest and exploitation I press on. I remain encouraged knowing how necessary protections are and how damaging it is to the dignity of the human being to be mis-used or seen as a means to an end.

When a man falls into corruption, is it not the churches responsibility, the people's responsibility to first address directly, and then as a community to admonish, and then went such deceit seems buried within the heart of the person to expose it?  I pray for prudence and the endurance to stay the course. I pray that the Lord grant me the courage to keep my lips speaking truth despite pressure to be silenced. 

Saturday, March 1, 2014

Fr. Gregory Trakas uses his epitrahili as a body shield


Republished to remain steadfast with those who are old weak and unable to speak out of intimidation and fear.posts regarding the wolf Gregory Trakas. 
As I begin to lay the foundation for substantiating claims and accusations about the misgivings and deception of Fr. Gregory Trakas I want to impart this thought. Clerics are ‘set apart’ in that the measure of good standing and good faith, right living and accountability should be beyond reproach; not above scrutiny.  Additionally they have special responsibility in not allowing their failings to exploit their privileged position as to not scandalize believers. It would be misbehavior that is the root cause of such fall-out not the exposure. 

Additionally there is no a moral equivalence between a blog contributor and the clerics of the church. The ethical standard for editorials pale in comparison to the official homilies of clerics. When priests and intentionally mislead the public about the particulars they do betray the public trust. The fact that deception is rooted out is not the cause of scandal or an act of disloyalty. I seek not to become complicit by omission. What will follow is not propaganda and allegations are asserted by primary sources and there exist records which are  kept by key player many of whom shall anonymous for their safety and well being. This is not done to craft some evasive posture but solely to protect the lowly and disempowered who are afraid of possible reprisal from the coercion and intimidation of Fr Gregory and his minions. 

Fr. Gregory consistently uses his epitrahili as a body shield he is purposefully misusing influence to fly beneath the radar and as a red herring to drive discussion about what is acceptable to request from a priest as opposed to dealing directly with concerns. Fr. Gregory is malicious and underhanded his humility and are merely a thin veneer.  Veiled beneath his statement of good will is a conniving disingenuous man who plays one against the other while he poaches from the flock the elderly and widows. Fr. Gregory has a messianic complex,  is delusional and imbalanced.

More times then I care to detail I have been personally accused of being disrespectful. However information gathering and due diligence has provided unequivocal support of my claims of Fr. Gregory’s hidden agendas, self serving intentions and what amount to ambulance chasing and preying on the weak. There is no honesty in the man he seems incapable of ever giving a straight answer.  Sadly his calculated extremist tactics have made him an effect offender.  He has made efforts to sure up his base appealing to the naive nature of some, conflating issues as to incite others to his defense and summoning his minions has set about with their non-official (unsolicited) telephone calls and to victims to reframe the discussion and debate. He has doubled his propaganda efforts and revisionist history to derail the concerns and quiet the faint hearted. Fr Gregory’s shell game in an attempt to disassociate himself by slandering and attacking the character and stability of those who come forward.



Fr. Gregory Trakas Open Letter to Parish Council

Thank you to Phyllis for her encouraging words In tribute to her offering today I republish this all all other posts regarding the wolf Gregory Trakas. 

(More to come now that I have checked my sources and have learned the extent of his malevolence)

February 2, 2014

Dear Parish Council Members,

I regret the need to inform you that communications with Father Gregory, our parish priest, of Saints Raphael, Nicholas and Irene has reached incendiary levels.  On several occasions when I tried to convey my concerns privately Father Gregory became offensive using spurious comments to deflect, demean and divert conversation. Father Gregory has not demonstrated the capacity in my direct exchanges with him, to listen to my concerns, without seemingly being choked off by his own self-righteous anger. He even purports his royal priesthood makes him beyond reproach; admonishing me not to speak and that he and I are not equals: “we are not the same”.  He seems unable to process information in a receptive manner; enough to allow for the voice of another.

On one occasion I addressed my concerns with Father Gregory while several board members were present.  His first reaction in addressing my concerns was to be accusatory insinuating I was misinformed and to deny out right my statements; suggesting that I do my fact-finding before addressing him. It was only in my persistence that he acknowledged that he misrepresented his behavior.

Father Gregory is immoderate in his communications with me: either going on the attack or being completely defensive. He seems to lack sincere interest in what is being asked or needed but chooses rather to formulate defense strategies.  His statements lead me to conclude that he finds my voice an irritation and an unwelcomed intrusion on his time. Responding to a person who expresses feelings of neglect by telling them they are both incorrect and “negative” is a septic attack.

I have made my concerns known to Father Gregory in good faith to find resolution and to each of you several times as board members of St. Raphael, Nicholas and Irene to advocate, but it seems as if there is no recourse. The way this man is mistreating me needs to be conveyed formally as I can only conclude I am not alone in my frustration and distress.  I would hope for a formal response to my concerns which are echoed throughout the community.

In His service I humbly remain,

Angela

CC: His Eminence Metropolitan Alexios
       Fr. George Tasahakis, Chancellor
       Fr. James Rousakis, Vicar

Revisionist History, Religious Freedom and Whistleblowing

Greetings and salutations.  It seems as if it’s been in eons since my last blog entry.  In some ways so much is changed and yet  still the same.  Quite by chance yesterday I received an email referring to a blog entry that I wrote in 2011. I had the opportunity to revisit some of the entries and consider the on going debate which considers the universal fight for religious freedom especially for our Ecumenical Patriarchate in Constantinople. On the home front much of my effort was spent challenging the warring against Hellenism, anomalies and innovative protocols and the revisionist history of “American Orthodox Churches” or the “Evangelical Orthodox”. Much of their continued propaganda has been to disparage and attack the sacred and holy traditions regarding administration and order of Orthodoxy. I willingly expended much effort along with many greater then I,  state-side and abroad, to fight the constant undercurrent of bashing those leaders, ministries and great churchmen and women who paved the way and who have become targets by such Johnny come lately types who view those ‘ethnics’ as  a mar on Orthodoxy and an inconvenience to the “great American orthodoxy” in their ineffectual and uncanonical power grab.

On a personal note since my last writings I have been busy with raising my wonderful children together with my husband;  advancing the cause of religious freedom through awareness locally, dispelling myths of superstition with this new orthodox fanaticism at one end and the protestant infection at the other. I have had the ability and continued blessing of growing my professional ministry specializing in marriage therapy, co dependence and public service work aimed at destigmatizing depression and providing educational resources for raising families in this ever encroaching digital era.  Orthodox Psychotherapy as a specialty has been my focal point and paradigm in dealing with such sensitive matters as sexual abuse and trauma.  I have been afforded the great opportunity to provide seminars and workshops to reach a broader community and to assist the under served Orthodox families in a manner which is holistic and mindful of the Neptic teachings. Lastly to my clients I consider it my great privilege work with individuals, couples and families in my private  clinical practice as they answer the more fundamental question of cause and purpose.


Such work has been a blessing unto itself but it has become clear to me that my work here on this blog affectionately called the Phanar District is not yet done.  There been several instances where I have been called on in a clinical capacity and subsequently as a mandated reporter I find myself uniquely poised to serve as a watchdog and whistle blower. This integrated approach with its micro and macro features requires some measure courage and attention to detail.

Unfortunately abuse and misconduct effects every community including our Orthodox community and therefore it necessitates a vocal advocate for victims of abuse even when perpetrators are among clerical ranks. Admittedly and thankfully such instances are far between but nonetheless have occurred.  

Most recently concerns are drawn closer to home. I am willing and compelled by compassion and love to have their stories told to voice what  may be considered unpopular or unseemly.  I am not deterred by the opinions of the mob or the polite sensibility of those who choose to look the other way while brother and sisters are potentially trampled.  I will not be silenced for all those who are lacking or maybe uncomfortable or frightened to speak out.