New York.- (GreekNewsOnline)
When on Tuesday, June 26, the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America issued a strong statement accusing the “National Herald” for publishing and article “under the false and unsubstantiated title that “Archbishop Demetrios incites revolt against the Ecumenical Patriarchate,” some could think of it as an isolated incident. The truth is that during the past 12-14 years the “National Herald” using “reliable sources” was [resenting many times Demetrios as “pushed to resign” by the Ecumenical Patriarch.
One of these NH stories happened to be published last November, while the Holy Synod of the Ecumenical Patriarchate was meeting, with Archbishop Demetrios participating. One of the members of the Holy Synod, Metropolitan Amphilochios of Kissamos and Selinou, fed-up with the “flood of lies” and the “perversion of truth” that in his words the article contained, made an official announcement, in which he provides a full detail of the games played behind the backs of our Church in America and the Greek American Community.
The full text of the announcement made by Metropolitan Amphilochios of Kissamos and Selinou on December 1, 2017, is as follows (translated by the Greek News):
“The Holy Metropolis of Kissamos and Selinou announces that following recent published reports, which appeared in the electronic ecclesiastical Press about an issue that arose regarding the Holy Archdiocese of America and particularly the publication of an article on Nov. 29 titled “The behind the scenes background of the announcement of the Ecumenical Patriarchate,” in which they unnecessarily implicate and the name of His Eminence Metropolitan Amphilochios of Kissamos and Selinou, Metropolitan Amphilochios issued the following announcement:
In the Archieratical life and course of a bishop there are moments, and there are many, where the Bishop is faced with a dilemma: to keep silent because so commands the good of the Church or to speak the truth in love.
At such crossroads the Bishop’s discernment must inform him, that is; he should listen to his consciousness as to which path he should follow.
I decided therefore to follow the narrow path of proclaiming the truth in love and I making this statement, as my conciousness informs me that, in the present case, silence would indicate complicity.
The motive of my action is not in any event, the defense of the alleged honor and dignity of a bishop, who felt he was insulted and wronged, as I know that perseverance in the face of slander is a measure and a criterion for our humility.
I feel that when the flood of lies, the perversion of truth, the methodical and systematic misinformation, concern matters of major importance to the Church and concern the ethos and the prestige of the Church, then the body of the Church is harmed, hurt and wounded, and none of us has the right to do this.
This was the only reason and motive that led me to intervene, as a member of the Holy and Sacred Synod, regarding the issue of the Holy Archdiocese of America.
It is known that among the agenda items of the November (2017) meeting of the Holy and Sacred Synod, in which I am privileged, honored and blessed to partake by the will of my Patriarch; was also the issue regarding the Holy Archdiocese of America.
This item was discussed on the evening of the first day of the meetings and also in the morning of the second day.
During the two days of the meetings, it became apparent there was reporting (leaking) to electronic ecclesiastical Press of what was said inside the Holy body, clearly proving that the “reporter” was a member and participant, a fact that caused a nauseating feeling and raised many questions.
What is sad and tragic in this affair is the fact that the “reporter-correspondent,” who is obviously a person inside the Synod, the “informer” therefore, was channeling to the media a distorted truth and falsified facts, serving his own purposes and interests.
It is an unprecedented event in the recent history of the Ecumenical Patriarchate to have Synodal discussions channeled to the Press word-for-word, to distort the truth and sacrifice it to the “altar” of selfishness and personal agendas.
Therefore, as part of this sewer of misinformation they presented the “exclusive” supposed truth and scoop describing that the behavior of His Eminence Archbishop Demetrios, Geron of America “caused an unpleasant impression to the members of the Holy Synod and they have seen a different face of the Archbishop of America.”
This distorted and unacceptable attempt to implicate all the Hierarchs, members of the Holy and Sacred Synod, was the trigger that awakened my consciousness.
As a member therefore of the Holy and Sacred Synod I expressed my strong protest condemning this indecent behavior and wondered: “who is, and what gives anyone the right to manipulate the entire Synod, serving only personal designs and purposes, while sacrificing the truth?”
Additionally, speaking in the Synod I stated, “I fully trust the prudence and wisdom of my Ecumenical Patriarch, Who will find the most effective solution to this major issue,” and I proposed that in the Communiqué that was to be issued, such behaviors and tactics (as those that were witnessed) be condemned as unacceptable.
Apparently the “correspondent” was annoyed by how the whole thing had developed, and once again channeled to the Press distorted facts, distortions that appear in the article “The behind the scenes background of the announcement of the Ecumenical Patriarchate.”
He tried to portray me as an instrument of an imaginary plan, involving unrelated persons and issues. Obviously, as he himself is living in a continuous existence “behind-the-scenes” an existence of entanglement, thinks that others are working and behaving in the same way.
He also concealed the fact that two of the wisest Hierarchs of the Holy Synod who hold senior (Gerontikes) Metropolises expressed themselves with warm words for my views and suggestions, and particularly one of them expressed his “absolute respect” for the person of His Eminence Archbishop Demetrios Geron of America.
The same view was espoused by two other hierarchs of the Holy Synod and thus His Eminence Archbishop Demetrios, who knew nothing of my intentions, expressed his thanks.
As for His All Holiness the Ecumenical Patriarch, first he strongly and absolutely condemned the Synodic leaks as “intolerable and unacceptable,” and suggested that he himself would draft the Communiqué and bring it to the Holy Synod, as it happened.
All in all, the Ecumenical Patriarch, and including His Eminence Archbishop Demetrios of America half of the members-hierarchs of the Synod, took a positive and favorable position towards my suggested points in the Communiqué.
So I wonder: Is this the truth presented in the published story about the so-called “behind-the scenes events?”
Is it accidental the distortion of facts and the leak of false and slanderous news? What interests and purposes does the “correspondent” want to facilitate with this behavior?
Does the legitimacy of the Church and of the Ecumenical Patriarchate benefits or gets damaged and marred by such tactics and attitudes?
The organized and orchestrated attempt to silence the truth and the slandering of people who defend it, is it not ecclesiastical intimidation, commonly called bulling?
Clearly, during the two-day discussions of such a serious matter, I did not express an opinion, since I did not know the subject of the Archdiocese of America, and I thought it was prudent and right to be silent.
But when I realized that someone deliberately and in an orchestrated manner and for selfish reasons, was sacrificing the Church, distorting the truth and involving all the Hierarchy, then my conscience informed me that I had a duty and a responsibility before my conscience, before truth, history and the Church to speak up.
And this is what I did, in full awareness and responsibility of my words and my opinion, with my identity and signature, knowing that it is the truth that will liberate us.
But this … “correspondent” why is he hiding behind anonymity? Behind “exclusive scoops” and supposed “revelations”?
Since he claims to defend the truth, through these leaks to the press, why doesn’t he have the courage to defend his “truth” with his name and signature?
In conclusion, I would like to declare that whatever else might come to public light as supposedly “the truth” in response to this announcement, I am not going to come back and give in to the temptation of answering, as clearly my goal is not the confrontation. But I would like to humbly, genuinely and with love give him (the correspondent) brotherly advice and tell him: “My brother, even if you do not believe it, you should know that there are spiritual laws that are imperishable and relentless and when we do not respect them and we do not obey them, then they become guns and they retaliate.”
In light of this coming Holy Christmas Season I would like to wholeheartedly wish you a good way to repentance for you and for all of us.
+ Metropolitan Amphilochios of Kissamos and Selinou