I’m taking a break for a day or two from dealing with the problems in the OCA. Instead, I’m highlighting an example of what I believe +Jonah has been fighting against. Long-time readers know that I’ve been following another Church scandal in Astoria, NY for the past few months that includes, among other charges, the trafficking of minors for sex.
A little over a week ago, one of the miscreants involved, Bishop Vikentios, was ordered by Istanbul to take a position as an auxiliary bishop in the Diocese of Imbros and Tenedos, probably to buy his silence (he’s already turned over a lot of evidence to the FBI). I took this as a personal affront because the island of Imbros is where my mother’s people hail from. The indigenous Greeks there have suffered immensely during the last 90 years of Turkish occupation. Sending this yo-yo to “pastor” them would be like feeding stones to hungry children.
The good news however is that when The National Herald first broke the story, it generated substantial outrage. I imagine some of the wealthier Archons made their voices heard. The backlash was significant enough to cause the Phanar to “rethink” the entire situation. As it stands now, Vikentios has been ordered to stay put in the States until they find some deserted island off the coast of Borneo. (Maybe he could serve the Metropolis of Gilligan’s Island, which no doubt falls under Istanbul’s purview under Canon 28.)
Ever wonder what institutional rot looks like? You looking at it now. Usually, this game can be played for several years, decades even. Think of it as musical chairs but for different purposes than fun. You know, move Pederast A to Diocese B, move Pederast B to Diocese C, and so on. Sooner or later though there are no places left to run. Istanbul may have run out of places to dump the bad guys.
My question to all the critics of +Jonah is: how long has this same game been played in the OCA? And who in the old regime has been a party to it?
My question for Istanbul is: why are you taking the two hierarchs at the center of the scandal out of the country? Why not come clean instead?
From the National Herald | Theodore Kalmukos
Patriarch Tells Bishop Vikentios: Don’t Go
BOSTON – Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew has sent a directive to Bishop Vikentios of Apameia ordering him not to depart to the Holy Metropolis of the Turkish islands of Imvros and Tenedos until further notice. Vikentios was getting ready to depart to Imvros to serve for the upcoming holidays of Holy Week and Easter, as The National Herald reported. What prompted Patriarch Bartholomew’s directive was a strong protest by former associates and friends of the late Archbishop Iakovos of America who resisted to the idea of Bishop Vikentios staying at Iakovos’ paternal home in Imvros. Resentment had arisen in the Greek American community and beyond after TNH reported the story. Sources told TNH that Patriarch Bartholomew now either is trying to find another place for Bishop Vikentios to live in Imvros or another solution. The issue will probably be discussed at the upcoming meeting of the Holy Synod on April 8th. In a telephone interview, Bishop Vikentios told TNH that, “Yes, indeed your information is correct about the new development. I received a Patriarchal directive through the newly appointed Chef Secretary of the Holy and Sacred Synod Archimandrite Bartholomew to postpone the date of my departure to the Metropolis of Imvros and Tenedos and that from now on to communicate with him for dealing with the St. Irene Chrysovalantou Monastery.”
Asked about the reasons, Bishop Vikentios said, “I do not know because no mention has been made in the letter except that I will be informed in the near future of what is going to happen.” Asked if this development has to do with legal issues about the St. Irene Chrysovalantou Monastery in Astoria, N.Y., Vikentios said, “The interim Abbot Bishop Elias of Philomelion informed me that I will be having a meeting the next few days with the legal advisors of the Monastery so I can submit my resignation from all the Legal Corporations of the Monastery so that they go ahead the Monastery’s issues.” Vikentios added that, “My position was very clear from the beginning that I will never cause any obstacle to the directives and decisions of my Patriarch.” To the question if he is willing to stay as he is at the Dependency of St. Nectarios in Brooklyn and not go to Imvros, Bishop Vikentios said, “My desire is to leave, but if the Patriarch wants to do something else I will obey to him and do whatever he orders me to do.” When asked if he knows anything about resentment from former associates an friends of the late Archbishop Iakovos, he said, “I have already communicated with families here who come from the island of Imvros and attend Services at St. Nectarios and they are willing to provide a space to me to live in. Therefore, let those who were troubled to calm down.” To the question if he has any communication with Metropolitan Paisios from the Chrysovalantou Monastery, he said, “We will only meet in the next life in front of the just Judge, never again.”