Author Topic: What's Going On At The Fanar?  (Read 3432 times)

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Offline Basil 320

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What's Going On At The Fanar?
« on: March 09, 2008, 01:10:00 AM »
Does anyone know what is behind the recent administrative changes within the Ecumenical Patriarchate?

"The National Herald," via OrthodoxNews (sponsored by Orthodox Christian Laity/OCL), is reporting that Metropolitan Demetrios of Sevastia found a letter on his desk on March 1st (the day after the Patriarch's 68th birthday), dismissing him from the position of Director of the Private Patriarchal Office.  This is the office that handles the patriarch's pan-Orthodox responsibilities.  He was thought to be a potential candidate for Archbishop of America, after Archbishop Demetrios' tenure concludes.  Metropolitan Meliton of Philadelphia (Asia Minor), Secretary of the Holy and Sacred Synod, resigned in protest, went back the next day to rescind his protest, and was advised, it's too late.  He will not be reinstated.  There had been some financial irregularities concerning this hierarch that resulted in a leave of absence awhile ago, but Bartholomew had reinstated him.  The author of the article, Theodore Kalmoukos, indicated he was not aware of the reasons for these actions.  He tends to be quite well informed, typically.

Does anyone know what the issues are that caused these changes?  These were intimate collaborators of the Patriarch's, in a patriarchate that is grossly understaffed.
« Last Edit: March 09, 2008, 01:12:25 AM by BTRAKAS »
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Offline Fr. George

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Re: What's Going On At The Fanar?
« Reply #1 on: March 09, 2008, 01:17:40 AM »
I'll check my sources over the next few days to see what I can find out.  However, I've met Mr. Kalmoukos, and seen firsthand how he can twist the truth, and how he has a definite agenda.
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Offline Basil 320

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Re: What's Going On At The Fanar?
« Reply #2 on: March 09, 2008, 01:23:30 AM »
I've heard that from seminarians, but I've also been told by respected clergy, during the Spyridon debates, that Kalmoukos knows before any of us, i.e. the informed clergy.
« Last Edit: March 09, 2008, 01:24:29 AM by BTRAKAS »
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Offline Elisha

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Re: What's Going On At The Fanar?
« Reply #3 on: March 09, 2008, 01:24:28 AM »
Btw, BATRAKAS, I believe it is spelled Phanar (ph, not f).

Offline ozgeorge

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Re: What's Going On At The Fanar?
« Reply #4 on: March 09, 2008, 06:43:38 AM »
Btw, BATRAKAS, I believe it is spelled Phanar (ph, not f).
Unless you're Turkish, in which case it's spelled "Fener". When you write to the Patriarch, this is how you have to write the address on the envelope.
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Offline serb1389

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Re: What's Going On At The Fanar?
« Reply #5 on: March 09, 2008, 07:19:27 AM »
I've heard that from seminarians, but I've also been told by respected clergy, during the Spyridon debates, that Kalmoukos knows before any of us, i.e. the informed clergy.

Knowing is a very relative term/idea.   :-X

Offline Fr. George

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Re: What's Going On At The Fanar?
« Reply #6 on: March 09, 2008, 08:10:07 AM »
I've heard that from seminarians, but I've also been told by respected clergy, during the Spyridon debates, that Kalmoukos knows before any of us, i.e. the informed clergy. 

He does have some pretty good sources.  However, I've noticed one thing about them all - his sources are people with interesting agendas and not a few axes to grind.  He's got a few of the Metropolitans who don't particularly like the Archbishop as sources, and one or two of them were also feeding them information from the Patriarchal Synod.  One way that you can tell that his sources are not totally objective (i.e. they're not reporting to him just to "tell the facts") is by the way they transmit information from closed sessions (in other words they're telling him things from Synod sessions which are supposed to be private).  So I don't doubt his pieces of factual information - just his interpretations of said events.  So, in this case, I'd believe that the letter was sent, and conversations were had.  But I don't put much credence in his speculations about financial irregularities, especially since he didn't report about them beforehand.
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Offline Basil 320

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Re: What's Going On At The Fanar?
« Reply #7 on: March 09, 2008, 10:29:10 AM »
 Re.: Reply #7

Cleveland,

In fairness to Kalmoukos, his article didn't mention the financial irregularities associated with Metropolitan Meliton.  I wrote that based on something I had seen reported elsewhere, sometime last year; I don't remember where I had seen it.

I agree with your analysis of Kalmoukos' reporting.  Thirty plus years since my college days, my standard for journalistic objectivity has substantially lessened.  Being a somewhat informed Conservative Republican, and still watching mainstream media, out of tradition probably, I no longer expect it, primarily because I don't believe it is taken seriously in the past -20- years or so in America.  Though he's a Greek-American, the Greek standard for objectivity is far less than even the American standard of today.  Most writers/reporters have an agenda, whether they want to admit it or not.  (I personally know some who admit their opinions, but claim they can't let that taint their reporting.  Yea, sure.)  It's just important to figure out what the agenda is.  Kalmoukos reports information, tainted perhaps, with spin to his liking, too, that you can't get anywhere.
« Last Edit: March 09, 2008, 10:31:48 AM by BTRAKAS »
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Offline Fr. George

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Re: What's Going On At The Fanar?
« Reply #8 on: March 09, 2008, 11:37:03 AM »
Kalmoukos reports information, tainted perhaps, with spin to his liking, too, that you can't get anywhere. 

And that's why I still read him - because he does get quite the "scoop."
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Offline Fr. George

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Re: What's Going On At The Fanar?
« Reply #9 on: March 09, 2008, 11:50:57 AM »
For those who wish, I'm going to post any relevant articles with their sources... Beginning with the original Kalmoukos article (you've got to be a member on the OCL website to see the article; membership is free):

Ecumenical Patriarchate faces internal crisis - The National Herald
March 1, 2008

http://www.orthodoxnews.org/index.cfm?fuseaction=WorldNews.one&content_id=16805&CFID=100121728&CFTOKEN=48120647

By Theodore Kalmoukos
Special to The National Herald

BOSTON. - Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew dismissed two of his closest confidants, Metropolitans Demetrios of Sevasteia, Director of the Private Patriarch Office since 1991, and Meliton of Philadelphia, Supervisor of the Department of Secretariat of the Ecumenical Patriarchate.

The National Herald has learned that Metropolitan Demetrios of Sevasteia found on his office desk a letter from Patriarch Bartholomew telling him, among others things, that as of March 1st ‘you are no longer the Director of the Private Patriarchal Office’. Metropolitan Demetrios gathered his personal belongings and he went home.
Metropolitan Meliton of Philadelphia, a close friend of Metropolitan Demetrios, submitted his resignation to Patriarch Bartholomew. The next day he attempted to return back to his post but Bartholomew refused to take him back.

Both hierarchs were known to the Archdiocese and to the Greek-American Community because they have been in U.S. many times on ecclesiastical missions as liaisons between the Patriarch and the Archdiocese. Metropolitan Demetrios of Sevasteia has represented the Ecumenical Patriarchate in many Clergy Laity Congresses, including the last one in Nashville, Tennessee in July of 2006. No one at the Patriarchate seems to know the real reasons behind these developments. Sources from Athens told the Herald that “it is a serious internal crisis”.
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Offline Anastasios

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Re: What's Going On At The Fanar?
« Reply #10 on: March 09, 2008, 04:12:39 PM »
He gets creative with us Old Calendarists, too.
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Offline Fr. George

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Re: What's Going On At The Fanar?
« Reply #11 on: March 09, 2008, 04:46:37 PM »
He gets creative with us Old Calendarists, too. 

Who, Kalmoukos?  Doesn't surprise me.  What has he written (I'm surprised I don't remember any!)?
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Offline Basil 320

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Re: What's Going On At The Fanar?
« Reply #12 on: March 11, 2008, 04:16:03 PM »
Kalmoukos wrote more in "The National Herald's" English language Weekend Edition, essentially advising of a flap with His All Holiness late last November, when Demetrios asked Meliton to assist his aged mother, while he traveled abroad; and a subsequent dropoff in Demetrios' attendance at the work place; The Phanar. There's no point in elaborating, because it comes across as a squabble among children, I'm sorry to say.

I actually hope there's something more to these dismissals than has been revealed so far.
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Offline Fr. George

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Re: What's Going On At The Fanar?
« Reply #13 on: March 11, 2008, 05:29:22 PM »
I actually hope there's something more to these dismissals than has been revealed so far. 

There probably is... The things we never hear communicated in these situations are details that could be crucial: age, time of service, past difficulties or disagreements, etc.  Plus, Kalmoukos is working off of one source which may not have all the information about the present situation to begin with.
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Offline Basil 320

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Re: What's Going On At The Fanar?
« Reply #14 on: March 11, 2008, 10:18:02 PM »
Yes.  Well, we'll see what more may be forthcoming. 

Again, I do not have any corroboration at all for what I'm about to suggest, but I had developed the impression that Meliton was a primary source for Kalmoukos during the Spyridon crisis.  My feelings in that regard were underscored by what Spyridon said to the Patriarchal Synod in the final show down meeting (July, '99) with them about information that was leaked to "Proini," as related in his authorized biography, not-with-standing that Kalmoukos indicated in his current article that neither Demetrios or Meliton would answer their telephones last week. If Meliton communicated with Kalmoukos by a means other than answering his telephone, Kalmoukos didn't lie and Meliton has deniability.
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Offline Fr. George

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Re: What's Going On At The Fanar?
« Reply #15 on: March 11, 2008, 11:06:33 PM »
Yes.  Well, we'll see what more may be forthcoming. 

Again, I do not have any corroboration at all for what I'm about to suggest, but I had developed the impression that Meliton was a primary source for Kalmoukos during the Spyridon crisis.  My feelings in that regard were underscored by what Spyridon said to the Patriarchal Synod in the final show down meeting (July, '99) with them about information that was leaked to "Proini," as related in his authorized biography, not-with-standing that Kalmoukos indicated in his current article that neither Demetrios or Meliton would answer their telephones last week. If Meliton communicated with Kalmoukos by a means other than answering his telephone, Kalmoukos didn't lie and Meliton has deniability. 

Interesting thoughts.  Very plausible. 
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Re: What's Going On At The Fanar?
« Reply #16 on: March 12, 2008, 03:03:30 PM »
Does anyone know what is behind the recent administrative changes within the Ecumenical Patriarchate?

"The National Herald," via OrthodoxNews (sponsored by Orthodox Christian Laity/OCL), is reporting that Metropolitan Demetrios of Sevastia found a letter on his desk on March 1st (the day after the Patriarch's 68th birthday), dismissing him from the position of Director of the Private Patriarchal Office.  This is the office that handles the patriarch's pan-Orthodox responsibilities.  He was thought to be a potential candidate for Archbishop of America, after Archbishop Demetrios' tenure concludes.  Metropolitan Meliton of Philadelphia (Asia Minor), Secretary of the Holy and Sacred Synod, resigned in protest, went back the next day to rescind his protest, and was advised, it's too late.  He will not be reinstated.  There had been some financial irregularities concerning this hierarch that resulted in a leave of absence awhile ago, but Bartholomew had reinstated him.  The author of the article, Theodore Kalmoukos, indicated he was not aware of the reasons for these actions.  He tends to be quite well informed, typically.

Does anyone know what the issues are that caused these changes?  These were intimate collaborators of the Patriarch's, in a patriarchate that is grossly understaffed.
Wow a jurisdiction other than the OCA having issues.............who da thunk it! ::)

Perhaps we should talk about rescinding Constantinople's autocephaly? ;)


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Offline Fr. George

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Re: What's Going On At The Fanar?
« Reply #17 on: March 12, 2008, 03:24:12 PM »
Wow a jurisdiction other than the OCA having issues.............who da thunk it! ::) 

I don't know how many issues they're actually having - hence our debate here.  It's not like they've got documented embezzlement, hierarchical cover-up, people refusing to step-down, websites cataloging the scandal, and a much-publicized infight with their top hierarch... ;)

Perhaps we should talk about rescinding Constantinople's autocephaly? ;)   

Take it up with the Ecumenical Councils ;) :D
« Last Edit: March 12, 2008, 03:24:59 PM by cleveland »
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