December 24, 2003

The Further Depths of Scandal

I began this as a reply to a comment by Aaron (he of Violent Munkee fame) on my blog of this past Sunday. However, the significance of it grew as I typed, deserving a separate entry so it didn't get lost to the general reader.

The previous entry concerned the consistent pro-abortion voting record of the two Orthodox US Senators and the positive relationship that Sen Sarbanes has with the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese. Further to this:

Senator Sarbanes is a Archon of the Church. Apparently, an Archon is sworn "to defend and promote the Greek Orthodox faith and tradition. His special concern and interest is to serve as a bulwark to protect the Patriarchate and its mission." As a cradle Orthodox, you could say that Sen. Sarbanes had no say in his baptismal vows. However, he has no excuse whatsoever for violating his vows as a Archon.

If you think it is just Archbishop Demetrios and his predecessors who have condoned Sarbanes, do not be deceived. During his visit to the US in 1997, after praising the lay-leaders of the Maryland generally, His All-Holiness said:

But among them all, as Ecumenical Patriarch, we desire to single out one man who sums up your love for the Mother Church, for Orthodox culture, for the highest Christian ideals: Senator Paul Sarbanes. [Archon Megas Logothetis of the Great Church of Christ.] We express our fatherly pride in this accomplished son of the Mother Church; for his unwavering pursuit of righteousness and truth in both his public service to the Church and to the people of the United States of America. Well done, good and faithful servant!

This is a scandal of scandals. This is the epitome of calling evil "good" and good "evil".

Aaron asked what can be done to spotlight the problem. Simply put, the issue has to be important enough to enough priests that they put enough pressure the hierarchs to do something. Is the Patriarch going to care what one insignificant layman in backwater England says? Or one insignificant layman in California?

However, we have to remember that the laity have run hierarchs out of town before when they acted in repugnance to the teaching of the Church. I have no problem saying that any hierarch with jurisdiction who has had this brought to their attention and has done nothing in their power to address it has seriously weakened, if not fatally damaged their moral authority to speak as one to whom the Faith of the Fathers, the Faith once for all delivered to the saints, has been entrusted.

Posted by david at December 24, 2003 01:48 AM | TrackBack

Is this David or William Wallace???

Seriously, i pray that i may not sweep this under the proverbial rug. I will talk to the priests and deacons in our parish very soon. Perhaps a blog entry of my own shortly.

Posted by: aaron at December 24, 2003 06:40 PM

Our bishop is visiting our community next month. I hope to raise this with him then. Maybe this will precipitate a rift between Moscow and Constantinople that is really about something worthwhile.

Posted by: David Holford at December 24, 2003 10:36 PM