November 1, 2014

Letters to Metropolitan Gerasimos and Rep. Dina Titus

From the Solomon Hezekiah blog:

Metropolitan Gerasimos of San Francisco (GOA)

Metropolitan Gerasimos of San Francisco (GOA)

His Eminence Metropolitan Gerasimos
Greek Orthodox Metropolis of San Francisco
245 Valencia Street
San Francisco, CA 94103

Your Eminence

As an American member of the Greek Orthodox Church currently living abroad, I was appalled when I learned that a member of your diocese serving in the United State House of Representatives, Dina Titus, publicly declares that she supports ethics of which Orthodox Christians would be proud and uses her position in Congress to look out for Orthodox issues.

Rep. Titus’ ethics are in direct contradiction to the teaching of the Orthodox Church. Rep. Titus openly supports the federally sponsored killing of the unborn. By her words and actions she is declaring that support for abortion is compatible with Orthodoxy.

Metropolitan Jonah of the Orthodox Church in America boldly declared in Washington, D.C. in January of this year, “…the unqualified opposition to abortion that is at the heart of the Orthodox Christian Tradition and is unarguably the teaching and the dogma of the Orthodox Church.” As Metropolitan Maximos of Pittsburgh has said, “It is our obligation as Orthodox to speak up and not remain silent on this issue.”

Rep. Titus has voted in favour of using tax dollars to fund abortion, in House Roll Call No. 571 (the District of Columbia funding bill, H.R. 3170), in House Roll Call No. 643 (the Pence amendment to H.R. 3293), and in House Roll Call No. 884 (the Stupak-Pitts Amendment to H.R. 3962). Such votes unarguably stand in opposition to the ethics of the Orthodox Church. She is openly an accomplice to what the Orthodox Church clearly and unequivocally regards as murder.

As a member of the Greek Orthodox Church, I urge you to fulfil the obligation to speak up and not remain silent. I ask you to call upon Rep. Titus to repent of publicly rejecting the teaching and dogma of the Orthodox Church and Holy Tradition in the Congress of the United States. I call upon you to fulfil your duty to Christ and His Church to guard the holy, life-giving sacraments and demand that Rep. Titus refrain from receiving the Most Precious Body and Blood of our Lord so long as she spends the public purse to rip the bodies of the innocent unborn from their mothers and pours out their blood upon the altar of convenience.

And check out Solomon’s (David Holford’s) letter to Dina Titus.

Also see a patriarch who ‘generally speaking, respects human life.’

Comments

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    Ryan Close says:

    Awesome!

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    Jason says:

    Excellent! I sent my letters last week.

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    Andrew says:

    The Despota of Desperate Housewives does not have the time to deal with letters from pesky pro-life people who have questionable ties to the “omogenia” (race). To answer such questions is beneath the dignity of a Metropolitan of the Green Throne of Constantinople. Therefore we will ignore such documents as we continue to promote Omogenia before Orthodoxy and dumb down an entire generation.

    Btw guys, great job and if you really want to get the Despota of Desperate Housewives attention target the Greek Press with these letters. Nothing gets a GOA hierarch’s attention like a letter published in the Greek media criticizing him.

    Meanwhile lets remind our new readers why the call +Gerasimos the Despota of Desperate Housewives.

    Published by the Los Angeles Times, April 2, 2005

    Hoping a New Leader Will Soothe Internal Conflicts

    A new Greek Orthodox metropolitan bishop for seven states takes office today. One issue is how independent the U.S. church should be.

    By Larry B. Stammer, Times Staff Writer

    OAKLAND (Los Angeles Times, April 2, 2005) — When the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America today enthrones His Eminence Gerasimos Michaleas as its new metropolitan bishop for California and six other Western states, it will install a leader many hope will work for common ground in a church that has been beset by internal divisions.

    Austere-looking as a desert monk, introspective and, in the view of some, a little too informal for a prelate, Gerasimos becomes chief shepherd of the church’s Western region, whose membership has doubled in the last 25 years to as many as 200,000 believers. It has 65 parishes, three monasteries and 80 priests. It reaches to Alaska, Hawaii, Oregon, Washington, Arizona and Nevada.

    Though a long-running controversy over how independent the U.S. church should be from the international mother church has subsided, tensions remain. The American church is a province of the Ecumenical Patriarchate in Istanbul, Turkey, which is led by the patriarch His All Holiness Bartholomew.

    Part of Gerasimos’ task will be to balance his allegiance to Bartholomew and to the Phanar — the Orthodox Vatican in Istanbul — while leading an increasingly Americanized church. In 1999, internal struggles forced the resignation of the church’s then-U.S. Archbishop Spyridon, whose autocratic style grated on a church that had grown beyond its immigrant roots.

    Gerasimos apparently is off to a good start in his new position, formally known as the Metropolitan of San Francisco.

    Priests and laymen say they view him as accessible and a good listener. Some in the church, Gerasimos said, even think his comparative informality in little things — such as avoiding references to his high office in imparting a blessing, or calling himself “Bishop Jerry” — are unbecoming.

    In an interview this week at Ascension Cathedral in Oakland, where he will be enthroned in an ancient ceremony, Gerasimos said his leadership style would vary from that of Metropolitan Anthony, who died in December after leading the region for 25 years.

    “I’m different, I think, than Metropolitan Anthony, of blessed memory, who was very spontaneous, a very in-your-face person,” Gerasimos said. “That was his great gift of captivating people, and at the same time, his great downfall of making people alienated altogether. I don’t have that kind of zest.

    “I’m much more a person who gets to know people from where they’re at and build relationships from there. I’m passionate about what I believe and what I want to do. And I intend to do whatever I intend to do.”

    Others, such as layman Peter Haikalis, said he would reserve judgment until he saw whether Gerasimos followed through. Haikalis is a member of the national board and is immediate past president of Orthodox Christian Laity, which campaigned for a more autonomous church in America.

    “I hope he becomes a really good listener and tries to interact with as many people as possible before he sets a course,” Haikalis said.

    Gerasimos, 59, was born in Kalamata, Greece, to Nicholas and Anastasia Michaleas. In 1970, he enrolled at Hellenic College in Brookline, Mass., where he received a bachelor’s degree with honors in 1973.

    He was ordained to the diaconate in 1979 and served as archdeacon to His Eminence Archbishop Iakovos, the then-prelate of America. During the same period he was dean of students at his former alma mater in Brookline. He earned a master’s degree in counseling and school psychology at Boston College in 1984, and his doctorate in counseling and school psychology in 1993. He was elected a bishop in 2001.

    Now, as he faces the daunting task of running his sprawling territory, he says he has wondered whether he would have to be even more disciplined in maintaining a spiritual life.

    “You ask me about my spiritual life. It’s on a good road, but I think I’m going to have a hell of a fight from now on,” he said, smiling. He said he took hope in the lives of the church’s desert fathers: late 3rd and early 4th century monastics in the Egyptian desert beloved for their spiritual guidance.

    “Many times there is a huge desert in our lives, and I try to water my desert with their wisdom as much as possible,” Gerasimos said. “If I don’t do that, I would literally become withered spiritually and I am not able to be happy.”

    In a wide-ranging interview, Gerasimos spoke of such things as the TV show “Desperate Housewives,” gay marriage, the war in Iraq and the politicization of the Terri Schiavo case.

    He admitted he is an unabashed fan of “Desperate Housewives.” Said Gerasimos: “That little bit sultry TV program has so many truths in it. I’m watching it every time it’s on.” He said the show is popular because it depicts what goes on in many families and connects with viewers.

    “What I’m saying to the church is, can we do that?”

    One of his first plans, to be unveiled at his enthronement today, is to launch an institute to serve families and educate priests on family issues.

    At the moment, Gerasimos said, many priests merely bless a troubled couple and they go about their business. “But what is your business? If Christ is not involved in your business, I’m missing something. I’m not doing my job,” Gerasimos said.

    He also spoke of moral issues that have straddled religious and political thinking.

    On the war in Iraq, he criticized President Bush’s policy: “Was it a preemptive war? We did start it, but it was very much premeditated…. ‘Preemptive’ means you’re going to try to prevent something. What war did we prevent? The politics have their own place. They have their own culture. They have their principles. But when they try to get them sanctified by God and by faith, that’s when I get very angry.”

    Asked if same-sex unions were a threat to the traditional family, he said, “Absolutely not. I don’t see that at all…. I would say God bless you, but I will not sanctify a marriage. But at the same time I will not tell them that you’re condemned to die, that you’re going to hell.”

    The Greek Orthodox church does not have any set rules on the kind of end-of-life issues raised by the Schiavo case, according to Father Paul Schroeder, chancellor of the metropolis.

    Metropolitan Gerasimos questioned the intervention by Congress and the White House in efforts to reinsert Schiavo’s feeding tube.

    “This family has an inherent responsibility to choose and decide for their own,” he said a day before Schiavo died. “So here comes the government and says, ‘No! I’m going to become something over you. I’m going to tell you this is wrong, this is a sin.’

    “This is the way we’re politicizing issues, like abortion, like same-sex marriages. We politicize them to the point that you divide the nation, you divide neighbors, you divide everybody — face to face, black and white. It’s not a black-and-white issue here.”

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    He needs my letter more than I thought, though there is just as much chance of his paying attention to it as I thought. He’ll be too busy saying, “God bless you” to purportedly married gay couples. It’s interesting that he does purport to have the power to sanctify them, but he won’t.

    I switched from the Russian Church to the Greek Church since I’ve been in the UK, so I was not aware of how sick GOA really is at the top. Lord, have mercy. Really. Please. Lord, have mercy.

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