April 24, 2014

Church Renews Fight Over Site

st-nicholas-censing

Wall Street Journal A claim filed against the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey by church leaders and the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America on Monday accused the agency, which is overseeing Ground Zero's rebuilding, of engaging in "arrogance, bad faith and fraudulent conduct" and "shabby and unlawful treatment." Under state law, the church is required to file a notice of claim against the Port Authority for some of its claims, and wait 60 days before it can go to court, according to Mark. G. Cunha, a lawyer for the church. In 2008, after years of discussions, the Port Authority and the church announced an agreement to rebuild the church, which was originally located on Cedar Street, on a nearby site on Liberty Street. As part of the deal, the Port Authority said it would pay $20 million toward the cost of the new church. Read the full article on the Wall Street Journal website. … [Read more...]

Former Gov. Pataki, George Demos: We Must Rebuild Greek Orthodox Church At Ground Zero: Updated »

Source: New York Daily News By Celeste Katz (Many thanks to our Erik Badia for his help with this report:) Former Gov. George Pataki joined NY-1 congressional hopeful George Demos and clergy at the former site of the St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church in an attempt to get stalled negotiations between the Port Authority and the church going again. "I'm calling on the Port Authority officials to sit down with the church leadership," Pataki said as he stood with Demos and Bishop Andonios of Phasiane. "We must rebuild St. Nicholas and we must do it here at the World Trade Center site," Pataki said. "It's incredibly disappointing to me that almost nine years later, not only is it not underway, but there haven't been negotiations between church officials and the Port Authority for over a year." Bishop Andonios said he is hopeful that with the help of Pataki and Demos, they can move talks forward on St. Nicholas: "It is a house of worship not simply for the Greek Orthodox … [Read more...]

How the self governance of the OCA has benefitted Orthodox Christians on this continent

fr-michael-oleska

Fr. Michael Oleska, dean of St. Innocent Orthodox Cathedral in Anchorage, Alaska, writes that self-governance of the church also has an important practical dimension: corrupt bishops can be removed through the combined action of priests and laity. Self-governance in other words provides an essential check and balance that is lacking in the monarchical model of the episcopacy that emerged under submission to the Ottomans on the Byzantine side, and under submission and dependency on the state on the Russian side. The past leadership of the OCA invoked this putative authority to intimidate priests and laity who refused to accept the rampant corruption that afflicted the OCA. In the GOA, the monarchical model has been imposed in greater measure ever since the Bishops were elevated to Metropolitans and the dioceses began to function as fiefdoms of Constantinople. This late development has its committed defenders as well (see: GOA Deacon responds to Dn. Eric Wheeler) although the … [Read more...]

The Bishops Are Coming To New York, As Complex Diaspora Question Looms

Fr. Mark Arey

Read closely. What are the greatest fears? The autocephaly of the OCA (wild card) and the Ligonier Council (precedent). The times are changing folks. The lumbering bureaucratic structures that have sublimated the nascent creativity and energy of American Orthodoxy under the weight Old World self-interest might be loosing their grip. There is more anxiety here than is being revealed. +++++++++++++++++++++ The National Herald, Friday, May 21, 2010 By Theodore Kalmoukos Nearly 60 hierarchs will descend on New York from May 26-28 for the first Assembly of Canonical Orthodox Bishops from the United States, Canada and Central America, under the chairmanship of Archbishop Demetrios of America, and the stage has been set for some clashes about the direction the church should take, and the role of self-rule of some. The Assembly will convene at the Helmsley Park Lane Hotel, and its expense will be assumed by the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese, through the Leadership 100 grant to the … [Read more...]

Archbishop Demetrios on the Way Out?

HT: St. Andrew House Orthodox Discussion Forum Theodore Kalmoukos BOSTON- At 83 years old and beleaguered by a raft of questions about his ability to keep leading, Archbishop Demetrios may leave his position at the Archbishopric Throne of America, it emerged after intense discussions at the Ecumenical Patriarchate in Constantinople, where he traveled unannounced, as well as among prominent Greek-American leaders who want him retained. The National Herald was unable to reach him at press time. Those familiar with the issue attribute the possible development to his age the constant accumulation of various unresolved problems under his tenure recently. Sources said it was believed at the Patriarchate that these questions have stagnated the ecclesial life of the Archdiocese of America. TNH also has learned that a group of prominent Greek Americans do not agree with the possibility of Archbishop Demetrios leaving his post and threatened to stop all financial and other … [Read more...]

The Future of the GOA Rests On 32 Celibate Clergy

The gene pool is shrinking. HT: Mystagogy According to the National Herald, the future leadership of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America rests on 32 qualified celibate priests out of the approximately 600 reported priests of the GOA. These numbers were issued out of the Ecumenical Patriarchate on 16 September 2009. Out of the 32 celibate priests, 5 of them were previously married and have now risen to the rank of Archimandrite. However, 1 of these 5 is over 80 years old, and 2 are over 70. The Archdiocese currently has 12 hierarchs not counting Archbishop Demetrios. 9 serve their respected Metropolis while 3 serve as titular Bishops. Of these there are 2 who are over 80 (Archbishop Demetrios and Iakovos of Chicago), 2 are over 70 (Maximus of Pittsburgh and Isaiah of Denver), and 3 are over 60 (Alexios of Atlanta, Methodios of Boston, and Gerasimos of San Francisco). Nicholas of Detroit is over 55 and Evangelos of New Jersey is near 50. Full text in Greek below … [Read more...]

Archbishop Demetrios Issues Encyclical Calling For Prayers And Help For The Earthquake Victims In Haiti

NEW YORK – With great sadness, the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America and His Eminence Archbishop Demetrios received the tragic news of the devastating destruction and the loss of human lives in Haiti following the earthquake in that country yesterday, January 12, 2010. “Our thoughts and prayers are now with the people of Haiti,” said Archbishop Demetrios who immediately issued an encyclical calling upon the faithful of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America to pray for the safety, health and well being of all the people of Haiti and in particular the Greek Orthodox faithful there. In his encyclical to the parishes of the Archdiocese, (see below) the Archbishop also calls for all parishes “to conduct a special collection on Sunday, January 17 as a response of compassion to the needs of the people of Haiti.” There are two Greek Orthodox parishes in Haiti under the Metropolis of Mexico. The first is the parish of St. John the Baptist in Pétionville, a district in the … [Read more...]

Editorial: Turkey’s ‘Mildly’ Islamist Government

From today's Washington Post. Turkish journalists say that a pall of fear has fallen across their business. Editors practice self-censorship. Many journalists are believed to be among the more than 100,000 people whose phones have been tapped by the government in recent years. Some, including the chief executive of Dogan Yayin, have been swept up in a murky investigation of alleged coup plotting. Mr. Erdogan and his party were once seen by many in Washington as a model for how pious Muslims could practice democratic politics. That image is rapidly darkening. If it is not to be extinguished, Mr. Erdogan must stop coddling Muslim dictators -- and stop following their practice of silencing domestic opposition. Here's an idea: Why not have Greek Orthodox bishops in the United States become Turkish citizens? Read Slipping in Turkey on the Web site of the Washington Post. … [Read more...]

Green Patriarch: “… absolute limits to our survival are being reached”

green-patriarch

His All Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew lost no time ringing the alarmist bell as he officially opened the symposium, “Restoring Balance: The Great Mississippi River” today. He said that, “we have reached a defining moment in our history … the point where absolute limits to our survival are being reached ... instead of living on income, or the available surplus of the earth, we are consuming environmental capital and destroying its resources as if there is no tomorrow.” (Full text below.) Really? No one disputes that we have a responsibility towards the environment and the EP has garnered justifiable praise for leadership in environmental stewardship. Yet His All Holiness increasingly approaches environmental care using the playbook of Progressive environmental activism. The alarmist tone is one example. So are the ostensible "facts" justifying the alarm: We have lost half of the great forests of the world to the demand for timber and for conversion to … [Read more...]

Archbishop Demetrios’ Encyclical for the Beginning of the Ecclesiastical New Year

Aug 24, 2009 | Protocol 63/09 | September 1, 2009 Day for the Protection of our Natural Environment To the Most Reverend Hierarchs, the Reverend Priests and Deacons, the Monks and Nuns, the Presidents and Members of the Parish Councils of the Greek Orthodox Communities, the Distinguished Archons of the Ecumenical Patriarchate, the Day, Afternoon, and Church Schools, the Philoptochos Sisterhoods, the Youth, the Hellenic Organizations, and the entire Greek Orthodox Family in America. Beloved Brothers and Sisters in Christ, We give thanks to God for the beginning of this Ecclesiastical New Year and for His abundant blessings, which fill our hearts with gratitude, deepen our faith, and strengthen our souls. The date of September 1 on our calendars marks the beginning of many things in our lives. For some, it presents the beginning of another academic year filled with worthy goals and challenges. For others, it is the return from summer vacation with refreshed bodies and … [Read more...]

Chambesy statement posted on the GOARCH website

The Greek Orthodox Archdiocese has just posted the official English version of the Chambesy statement, the decision to form conciliar committees in the churches of the diaspora (.pdf file). … [Read more...]

Archbishop Demetrios’ Encyclical on the Fourth of July

July 4, 2009 Independence Day To the Most Reverend Hierarchs, the Reverend Priests and Deacons, the Monks and Nuns, the Presidents and Members of the Parish Councils of the Greek Orthodox Communities, the Distinguished Archons of the Ecumenical Patriarchate, the Day, Afternoon, and Church Schools, the Philoptochos Sisterhoods, the Youth, the Hellenic Organizations, and the entire Greek Orthodox Family in America Beloved Brothers and Sisters in Christ, The Fourth of July is a day when we join with people across this nation and around the world in the celebration of an historic achievement that exalted the necessity of human freedom and initiated a political and social environment filled with opportunity and potential. The United States of America, in the words of Abraham Lincoln, was “conceived in liberty,” dedicated to the ideal of justice and equality for all, thus becoming a nation that broadened the scope and function of citizenship and of the meaning of belonging and … [Read more...]