H/T: Orthodox Beacon
BOSTON — The Executive Committee of the Archdiocesan Council of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America, in a letter to Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew dated January 15, demanded that the Patriarch reprimand Metropolitan Theoleptos of Iconium for his letter castigating Archbishop Demetrios for his refusal to help the Sporidis brothers, the 10-year-old twin orphans from Congo. The story was broken by The National Herald based on Archbishop Demetrios’ letter dated December 21, 2009.
Read the full article (requires paid subscription): www.thenationalherald.com/article/42978
We’ll post the full story once it becomes available. Notice how they demand an apology from Met. Theoleptos, a call first made on the AOI blog. Will Constantinople respond? They just might have to given that the demand comes from the Archdiocesan Council of the GOA. Constantinople shouldn’t bite the hand that feeds it, especially when a rogue Metropolitan does the biting.
Here’s the letter:
January 15, 2010
His All Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew
And the Most Reverend Members of the Holy and Sacred Synod
Your All Holiness,
We, the undersigned members of the Executive Committee of the Archdiocesan Council, on behalf of all the members of the Archdiocesan Council of the largest Eparchy of the Ecumenical Patriarchate, convey to Your All Holiness and the Holy and Sacred Synod our profound distress and disgust over the recent embarrassing letter of Metropolitan Theoleptos of Iconium to the newspaper, The National Herald. It is unconscionable that any Hierarch would attack the good name and reputation of another Hierarch in the press, but when the Metropolitan of Iconium, without any regard to the record or to facts, calls into question the integrity and indeed humanity of His Eminence Archbishop Demetrios, the insult goes well beyond the person of the Archbishop and the Metropolitans of the local Eparchial Synod. The insult goes to the heart of every Greek Orthodox Christian of this Archdiocese, clergy and laity alike.
Your All Holiness, if the Metropolitan of Iconium was so concerned over the two orphaned children, why did he not call the Archbishop and learn what the facts were?
Clearly, his intent was both malicious and premeditated. How is this Metropolitan allowed to write such a letter directly to a newspaper? Who authorized him to do so?
Who urged him to do so? He, or others who prompted him, found an occasion to attack our Archbishop, and in doing so, he has attacked us all. Your All Holiness, with all due respect, we must ask if the Ecumenical Patriarchate itself can tolerate such a violation of the good order of the Church?
Given the history of the peaceful and prosperous ministry of Archbishop Demetrios, and indeed your recognition of his accomplishments during your recent visit to America, a visit in part to honor the tenth anniversary of his enthronement, it is not possible that this vilification of the Archbishop can go without severe consequences.
As those entrusted with representing the interests of the lay leadership of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese, we are compelled to request from Your All Holiness that this Metropolitan must be disciplined in a substantive way and must apologize in public to the Archbishop.
We do not make this request as an invasive demand on the Mother Church, but to assist the Mother Church in turning back a rising tide of negative feeling among both the clergy and the laity that has resulted directly from this outrageous and scandalous letter.
Therefore, as responsible and devoted leaders of this Eparchy of the Ecumenical Patriarchate in the United States, we respectfully ask that Your All Holiness move with all due speed to put an end to this disgraceful situation. We are confident that you will do so, and thereby demonstrate to the clergy and faithful, who are appalled by this violation of ecclesiastical custom and decorum, that their devotion to their Archbishop is valued and held in honor by the Church and by the world.
With deepest respects,
Michael Jaharis, Vice Chairman