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Author Topic: Corruption in the Greek Church? (truth underneath gossip)  (Read 2304 times) Average Rating: 0
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Michael36
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« on: August 26, 2012, 07:19:03 PM »

I really hate reading stuff like this, but I have this personal need to cut through the nonsense in things I read to figure out the whole situation. In some backwater forum, someone was replying to OCA accusations against the AOCNA and posted this compendium of corruption accusations against the Greek Church: http://www.eurekaencyclopedia.com/index.php/Category:Greek_Orthodox_Abuse. I looked into several of these and discovered that some were true, such as Bishop Timotheos hiring an assassin, and yet the website seems like complete garbage that ascribes to misconceptions about the Church (the suppression of the Gospel of Thomas being alluded to as suspicious and enforced by Constantine). Still, I'm wondering right now if there is such corruption within the Greek Church and if anyone could clear things up. I also read a comment from Archbishop Lazar Puhalo that Archbishop Iakovos made a pass at him when he was a deacon, and that he had sex with young adult men throughout his episcopacy. Yet aside from +Lazar's comments I can't find a similar accusation anywhere. Forgive me a sinner for bringing up Church Gossip, but I find the accusations of the state of the Church in Greece very disturbing. You know how Episcopalian converts have that "Post-Episcopalian Stress Disorder" where they panic at any sign of Liberalization? Well I'm a convert from Roman Catholicism so clergy coverups have a similar effect.

In XC,
Mikhael
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« Reply #1 on: August 26, 2012, 07:48:45 PM »

Skulduggery? Who uses that word and expects to be taken seriously?
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Michael36
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« Reply #2 on: August 26, 2012, 08:38:47 PM »

Skulduggery? Who uses that word and expects to be taken seriously?
Good point. I really don't like the tone of the article.
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« Reply #3 on: August 26, 2012, 08:50:53 PM »

I really hate reading stuff like this, but I have this personal need to cut through the nonsense in things I read to figure out the whole situation. In some backwater forum, someone was replying to OCA accusations against the AOCNA and posted this compendium of corruption accusations against the Greek Church: http://www.eurekaencyclopedia.com/index.php/Category:Greek_Orthodox_Abuse. I looked into several of these and discovered that some were true, such as Bishop Timotheos hiring an assassin, and yet the website seems like complete garbage that ascribes to misconceptions about the Church (the suppression of the Gospel of Thomas being alluded to as suspicious and enforced by Constantine). Still, I'm wondering right now if there is such corruption within the Greek Church and if anyone could clear things up. I also read a comment from Archbishop Lazar Puhalo that Archbishop Iakovos made a pass at him when he was a deacon, and that he had sex with young adult men throughout his episcopacy. Yet aside from +Lazar's comments I can't find a similar accusation anywhere. Forgive me a sinner for bringing up Church Gossip, but I find the accusations of the state of the Church in Greece very disturbing. You know how Episcopalian converts have that "Post-Episcopalian Stress Disorder" where they panic at any sign of Liberalization? Well I'm a convert from Roman Catholicism so clergy coverups have a similar effect.

In XC,
Mikhael

Dear Michael,

I had the misfortune to be a member of  a certain church in  the GOA in which the most slanderous statements were made by some political animals without integrity, against a hierarch with the highest integrity.  These calumnious individuals even went so far as to tell lies to the world wide secular press, knowing that the person they were slandering would never sue them in  a secular court. 

My advice to you is don't believe a word you read about any cleric or hierarch in the GOA, because in most cases,  the person that's arousing suspicion about a cleric or hierarch, is the one that's committing the offense he's accussing the other of doing.  Satan is alive and well, especially in churches.

Best not to look at jurisdictions, but instead choose a church where you can sense the Holy Spirit within it.  The GOA Church I now belong to was given a compliment recently.  Someone from over seas said that he had been in many churches, and that all of them had a few good people, but in my church he found that every person in it was good.  As Jesus said, we should judge the tree from the fruit it bears. 

In Christ,

Zenovia
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« Reply #4 on: August 28, 2012, 10:33:42 PM »

I really hate reading stuff like this, but I have this personal need to cut through the nonsense in things I read to figure out the whole situation. In some backwater forum, someone was replying to OCA accusations against the AOCNA and posted this compendium of corruption accusations against the Greek Church: http://www.eurekaencyclopedia.com/index.php/Category:Greek_Orthodox_Abuse. I looked into several of these and discovered that some were true, such as Bishop Timotheos hiring an assassin, and yet the website seems like complete garbage that ascribes to misconceptions about the Church (the suppression of the Gospel of Thomas being alluded to as suspicious and enforced by Constantine). Still, I'm wondering right now if there is such corruption within the Greek Church and if anyone could clear things up. I also read a comment from Archbishop Lazar Puhalo that Archbishop Iakovos made a pass at him when he was a deacon, and that he had sex with young adult men throughout his episcopacy. Yet aside from +Lazar's comments I can't find a similar accusation anywhere. Forgive me a sinner for bringing up Church Gossip, but I find the accusations of the state of the Church in Greece very disturbing. You know how Episcopalian converts have that "Post-Episcopalian Stress Disorder" where they panic at any sign of Liberalization? Well I'm a convert from Roman Catholicism so clergy coverups have a similar effect.

In XC,
Mikhael

Dear Michael,

I had the misfortune to be a member of  a certain church in  the GOA in which the most slanderous statements were made by some political animals without integrity, against a hierarch with the highest integrity.  These calumnious individuals even went so far as to tell lies to the world wide secular press, knowing that the person they were slandering would never sue them in  a secular court. 

My advice to you is don't believe a word you read about any cleric or hierarch in the GOA, because in most cases,  the person that's arousing suspicion about a cleric or hierarch, is the one that's committing the offense he's accussing the other of doing.  Satan is alive and well, especially in churches.

Best not to look at jurisdictions, but instead choose a church where you can sense the Holy Spirit within it.  The GOA Church I now belong to was given a compliment recently.  Someone from over seas said that he had been in many churches, and that all of them had a few good people, but in my church he found that every person in it was good.  As Jesus said, we should judge the tree from the fruit it bears. 

In Christ,

Zenovia


Very good advice!
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« Reply #5 on: August 28, 2012, 11:32:19 PM »

In the mood I am in right now, I can't read the specifics of the incidents about the Church of Greece.  But, I do recall there was a major scandal in the CofG around the times noted in some of the incidents.  I never knew which circumstances were real and which were unproven, but I do recall that the Church's Primate, Archbishop Christodoulos, of Blessed Memory, and a well respected hierarch, was given credit for facing the problems, which were extensive, taking action with the Holy Synod to correct all problems that were brought to public attention, including cooperating with the civil and criminal authorities. 

The scandalous behavior of some within the Church of Greece became exposed as a result of a financial scandal that was exposed in the Patriarchate of Jerusalem, relative to a layman who the patriarch at the time was alleged to have authorized to sell church property to the State of Israel.  That scandal resulted in the Holy Synod deposing the Patriarch, reducing him to the status of a simple monk, who would not accept this action of the Synod, which appealed to the Ecumenical Patriarch for support of their action.  The EP convened an Extraordinary Pan-Orthodox Synod which re-heard the evidence and voted to support the actions of the Jerusalem Synod.  The last I read about this matter, I saw that the former patriarch refused to leave the Patriarchal compound and was getting food submitted to him in his room, which he refused to leave.

These are my limited recollections.  I don't know much more or details.
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Michael36
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« Reply #6 on: August 29, 2012, 12:36:11 AM »

I really hate reading stuff like this, but I have this personal need to cut through the nonsense in things I read to figure out the whole situation. In some backwater forum, someone was replying to OCA accusations against the AOCNA and posted this compendium of corruption accusations against the Greek Church: http://www.eurekaencyclopedia.com/index.php/Category:Greek_Orthodox_Abuse. I looked into several of these and discovered that some were true, such as Bishop Timotheos hiring an assassin, and yet the website seems like complete garbage that ascribes to misconceptions about the Church (the suppression of the Gospel of Thomas being alluded to as suspicious and enforced by Constantine). Still, I'm wondering right now if there is such corruption within the Greek Church and if anyone could clear things up. I also read a comment from Archbishop Lazar Puhalo that Archbishop Iakovos made a pass at him when he was a deacon, and that he had sex with young adult men throughout his episcopacy. Yet aside from +Lazar's comments I can't find a similar accusation anywhere. Forgive me a sinner for bringing up Church Gossip, but I find the accusations of the state of the Church in Greece very disturbing. You know how Episcopalian converts have that "Post-Episcopalian Stress Disorder" where they panic at any sign of Liberalization? Well I'm a convert from Roman Catholicism so clergy coverups have a similar effect.

In XC,
Mikhael

Dear Michael,

I had the misfortune to be a member of  a certain church in  the GOA in which the most slanderous statements were made by some political animals without integrity, against a hierarch with the highest integrity.  These calumnious individuals even went so far as to tell lies to the world wide secular press, knowing that the person they were slandering would never sue them in  a secular court. 

My advice to you is don't believe a word you read about any cleric or hierarch in the GOA, because in most cases,  the person that's arousing suspicion about a cleric or hierarch, is the one that's committing the offense he's accussing the other of doing.  Satan is alive and well, especially in churches.

Best not to look at jurisdictions, but instead choose a church where you can sense the Holy Spirit within it.  The GOA Church I now belong to was given a compliment recently.  Someone from over seas said that he had been in many churches, and that all of them had a few good people, but in my church he found that every person in it was good.  As Jesus said, we should judge the tree from the fruit it bears. 

In Christ,

Zenovia

That's probably the best thing. I hope none of the Greeks here thought I was singling them out or trying to bring them down. I went back and looked through the list of charges and then I remembered that the CofG has 11,000 clergy members and millions of laymen. Put that next to a page of charges and it doesn't amount to a lot aside from the high ranking clergy involved in scandals.

Archbishop Lazar's claim about Archbishop Iakovos was very odd though. He accuses him of this and praises him in the same breath for being the best thing to happen to the GOA and that he made sure not to sleep with underage men. This accusation made a lot of people mad and the person who brought it up to me says that +Lazar crossed over the crazy line. Regardless of how politically polarizing +Lazar is and how he carries a soap box with him wherever he goes, I wouldn't call him crazy; which makes me wonder about the truthfulness of that claim.
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« Reply #7 on: August 29, 2012, 04:07:04 AM »

The Church of Greece (Greek: Ἐκκλησία τῆς Ἑλλάδος Ekklisía tis Elládos, [ekliˈsia tis eˈlaðos]), part of the wider Greek Orthodox Church, is one of the autocephalous churches which make up the communion of Orthodox Christianity. Its canonical territory is confined to the borders of Greece prior to the Balkan Wars of 1912–1913, with the rest of Greece being subject to the jurisdiction of the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople. However, most of its dioceses are de facto administered as part of the Church of Greece for practical reasons, under an agreement between the churches of Athens and Constantinople.

The Eastern Orthodox Church of Christ is established by the Greek constitution as the "prevailing" religion of Greece. In return for having granted a portion of its estates to the newly independent Hellenic republic in 1821, the mainstream Orthodox clergy's salaries and pensions are being paid for by the State at rates comparable to those of teachers. The Church had compensated the State by a tax of 35% on ordinary revenues of the Church but Law 3220/2004 in 2004 abolished this tax. By virtue of its status as the prevailing religion, the canon law of the Church is recognized by the Greek government in matters pertaining to church administration. This is governed by the "Constitution of the Church of Greece", which has been voted by Parliament into law. Religious marriages and baptisms are legally equivalent to their civil counterparts and the relevant certificates are issued by officiating clergy. All Greek Orthodox students in primary and secondary schools in Greece attend religious instruction. Liaisons between church and state are handled by the Ministry of National Education and Religious Affairs.

Supreme authority is vested in the synod of all the diocesan bishops who have metropolitan status (the Holy Synod of the Church of Greece, Greek: Ἱερὰ Σύνοδος τῆς Ἐκκλησίας τῆς Ἑλλάδος Hierà Sýnodos tês Ekklēsías tês Helládos [ieˈra ˈsinoðos tis ekliˈsias tis eˈlaðos]) under the de jure presidency of the Archbishop of Athens and all Greece. This synod deals with general church questions. The Standing Synod is under the same presidency, and consists of the Primate and 12 bishops, each serving for one term on a rotating basis and deals with details of administration.

The church is organised into 81 dioceses; 36 of these, in northern Greece and in the major islands in the north and northeast Aegean, are nominally and spiritually under the jurisdiction of the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople, which retains certain privileges over and in them—for example, their bishops have to acknowledge the Patriarch as their own primate during prayers. They are called the "New Lands" (Νέαι Χώραι, Néai Chōrai) as they became part of the Greek state only after the Balkan Wars, and are represented by 6 of the 12 bishops of the Standing Synod. A bishop elected to one of the Sees of the New Lands has to be confirmed by the Patriarch of Constantinople before assuming his duties. These dioceses are administered by the Church of Greece "in stewardship" and their bishops retain their right of appeal (the "ékklēton") to the Patriarch.

The dioceses of Crete (Church of Crete) and the Dodecanese, and the Monastic Republic of Holy Mount Athos remain under the direct jurisdiction of the Patriarchate of Constantinople; they are not part of the Church of Greece. The Archdiocese of Crete in particular enjoys semiautonomous status: new bishops are elected by the local Synod of incumbents, and the Archbishop is appointed by the Ecumenical Patriarchate from a three-person list (the triprósōpon) drawn by the Greek Ministry of National Education and Religious Affairs from among the incumbent Metropolitans of Crete.

As in all other Eastern Orthodox Churches, graduates from seminaries, financed by the Greek State, run by the church may be ordained as deacons and eventually priests. They are allowed to marry before their ordination as deacons, but not afterwards. The vast majority of parish clergy in Greece are married. Alternatively they may enter monasteries and/or take monastic vows. Monastics who are ordained as priests and possess a university degree in theology are eligible as candidates for the episcopate (archimandrites). Women may also take monastic vows and become nuns, but they are not ordained.

Monasteries are either affiliated to their local diocese, or directly to one of the Orthodox Patriarchates; in the latter case they are called "Stauropegiac" monasteries (Stayropēgiaká, "springs of the Cross").

A split (schism) occurred within the Church in 1924 when the Holy Synod decided to replace the Old Calendar (Julian) with a hybrid calendar—the so-called "Revised Julian Calendar"—which maintained a modified Julian dating method for Easter while adopting the Gregorian Calendar date for fixed feasts. Those who refused to adopt this change are known as Old Calendarists (palaioimerologites in Greek) and still follow the old Julian Calendar. They themselves have suffered several schisms, and not all Old Calendarists comprise one Church. They refer to themselves as "Genuine Orthodox Christians", and the largest group associating itself with the Old Calendarists is the Synod of Archbishop Chrysostomos II Kioussis. This Synod has obtained government recognition as a valid Orthodox Church, although this is not in communion with the Church of Greece or the other Eastern Orthodox Churches.

Greece was an early center of Christianity. Upon formation of the Patriarchate, the Church was formerly a part of the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople. It was declared autocephalous in 1833 in a political decision of the Bavarian Regents acting for King Otto, who was a minor. It was only recognized as such by the Patriarchate in 1850, under certain conditions with the issue of a special "Tomos" decree which brought it back to a normal status. As a result, it retains certain special links with the "Mother Church".

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Apostolos
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« Reply #8 on: August 29, 2012, 06:05:05 AM »

A large chunk (90% if not more) of this list of "scandals" is taken from the infamous roides.wordpress, a Greek blog runned by fanatic atheists and militant leftists. Most of these "allegations" are pure BS (excuse the language), e.g Vavylis (who is regarded a "mafia man" in the list) was acquitted of all charges in '09. All the accusations against him were lies. He's now a monk.
Unfortunately the Panteleimon of Attica case, and that of archimandrite Giosakis are true. But, there's rotten apples everywhere.
Don't let these lies affect you.
btw welcome to the world of militant Greek atheism  Grin  
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« Reply #9 on: August 29, 2012, 06:53:48 AM »

Thanks, Apostolos, for transmitting facts about this matter in Reply No. 8.
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« Reply #10 on: August 29, 2012, 07:21:27 AM »

I really hate reading stuff like this, but I have this personal need to cut through the nonsense in things I read to figure out the whole situation. In some backwater forum, someone was replying to OCA accusations against the AOCNA and posted this compendium of corruption accusations against the Greek Church: http://www.eurekaencyclopedia.com/index.php/Category:Greek_Orthodox_Abuse. I looked into several of these and discovered that some were true, such as Bishop Timotheos hiring an assassin, and yet the website seems like complete garbage that ascribes to misconceptions about the Church (the suppression of the Gospel of Thomas being alluded to as suspicious and enforced by Constantine). Still, I'm wondering right now if there is such corruption within the Greek Church and if anyone could clear things up. I also read a comment from Archbishop Lazar Puhalo that Archbishop Iakovos made a pass at him when he was a deacon, and that he had sex with young adult men throughout his episcopacy. Yet aside from +Lazar's comments I can't find a similar accusation anywhere. Forgive me a sinner for bringing up Church Gossip, but I find the accusations of the state of the Church in Greece very disturbing. You know how Episcopalian converts have that "Post-Episcopalian Stress Disorder" where they panic at any sign of Liberalization? Well I'm a convert from Roman Catholicism so clergy coverups have a similar effect.

In XC,
Mikhael

Dear Michael,

I had the misfortune to be a member of  a certain church in  the GOA in which the most slanderous statements were made by some political animals without integrity, against a hierarch with the highest integrity.  These calumnious individuals even went so far as to tell lies to the world wide secular press, knowing that the person they were slandering would never sue them in  a secular court.  

My advice to you is don't believe a word you read about any cleric or hierarch in the GOA, because in most cases,  the person that's arousing suspicion about a cleric or hierarch, is the one that's committing the offense he's accussing the other of doing.  Satan is alive and well, especially in churches.

Best not to look at jurisdictions, but instead choose a church where you can sense the Holy Spirit within it.  The GOA Church I now belong to was given a compliment recently.  Someone from over seas said that he had been in many churches, and that all of them had a few good people, but in my church he found that every person in it was good.  As Jesus said, we should judge the tree from the fruit it bears.  

In Christ,

Zenovia

That's probably the best thing. I hope none of the Greeks here thought I was singling them out or trying to bring them down. I went back and looked through the list of charges and then I remembered that the CofG has 11,000 clergy members and millions of laymen. Put that next to a page of charges and it doesn't amount to a lot aside from the high ranking clergy involved in scandals.

Archbishop Lazar's claim about Archbishop Iakovos was very odd though. He accuses him of this and praises him in the same breath for being the best thing to happen to the GOA and that he made sure not to sleep with underage men. This accusation made a lot of people mad and the person who brought it up to me says that +Lazar crossed over the crazy line. Regardless of how politically polarizing +Lazar is and how he carries a soap box with him wherever he goes, I wouldn't call him crazy; which makes me wonder about the truthfulness of that claim.

Archbishop Lazar's gossip about Archbishop Iakovos' life style is WHOLLY WITHOUT MERIT AND VILE.  No one ever made such allegations about His Eminence, while he lived on this Earth.  Archbishop Lazar must suffer from delusion.  +Iakovos was dynamic and thus, controversial; but his staunchest of critics, of whom he had many, never made such allegations about him.  There is another active thread on the forum "Abp. Lazar Puhalo," which explains information about this archbishop, whose background was largely non-canonical, having been unfrocked by ROCOR, until the OCA received him by "economia," as a "retired" archbishop about 6 years ago; the link in the thread is another instance of his spreading of this false information just two weeks ago on a homosexual "facebook" page.   He was writing on this "facebook" page during the evening prior to the Feast of the Falling Asleep of the Mother of God; "Most Holy Theotokos save us.".  The OCA needs to take charge of this ostensibly retired hierarch's spreading of vile and false statements about Archbishop Iakovos, of Blessed Memory, a most respected and exemplary churchman.
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