No less than a week after the Metropolitan of Boston evaded the awaiting parishioners of St. Athanasius at Logan Airport, he emerged from his five week silence to 'shed light' on the issue that he created by dismissing Fr. Nicholas Kastanas from the St. Athanasius parish in Arlington.
The Metropolitan chose to do this on a Sunday morning, as people were waking up to attend Sunday services. You would have thought that at a moment like this, and after having created havoc at the parish, he would have the wisdom to chose a forgiving and conciliatory tone towards his 'Brothers and Sisters in the Lord' to whom the letter was addressed.
Instead, the letter that was posted on the St. Athanasius website, took no prisoners! In his opening paragraph the Metropolitan starts his tirade of 'setting the record straight' by accusing of 'a ceaseless, multi-pronged attack relying on aggressive social media and other forms of intimidation and misinformation'.
Instead of shedding light, he is pouring 'oil on the fire' by repeating old and debunked arguments such as 'The St. Athanasius Parish has for several years been in a state of tumult as a result of issues revolving, in large part, around Fr. Kastanas' and finally using the false accusation on Fr. Kastanas' lawsuit against the Church'. This false accusation is now his main argument to justify the withholding of due Ecclesiastical conflict resolution process for Fr. Kastanas, and Fr. Nick's ability to carry on his liturgical duties.
Read a pragmatic rebuttal of this false argument in the letter recently send to the Parish Council and parishioners of St. Athanasius by John Sofis Scheft, Esq. a lawyer for Fr. Nick, trying to mediate with the Metropolis legal team.
The Metropolitan has prepared the ground for this false accusation through the latest letter of the Parish Council (PC) 'president' Dean Ioakimidis, and the substitute priest Fr. Andrew Demotses, who has dutifully read from the script of the Metropolis time and again since his arrival at St. Athanasius.
Of course we all remember Fr. Andrew's memorable second week live-streaming on Facebook, where he falsely claimed that Fr. Nick 'has sued the Metropolitan, he has sued the Chancellor, he has sued the Metropolis, he has sued the Archdiocese'. Of course, reading the Metropolitan's letter now, we know that the Fr. Demotses did not quite had his story straight, and neither does Metropolitan Methodios has his now.
Perhaps, we can forgive Fr. Demotses because he is over 90 years old, retired, and only tends to his tomatoes and cucumbers instead of intelligent human beings made in the likeness of God, like the parishioners of St. Athanasius.
However, how do we explain the arguments of an intelligent Metropolitan of 33 years that seems to be so flawed and disconnected from reality? At this point, the facts that many of us have experienced during our involvement with the St. Athanasius parish must be presented and contrasted to the Metropolitan's claims.
It is well known and documented that the real cause of turmoil in our community is a group of 5 (GO5), or so, parish council members that for the last several years have in cooperation (and apparently by the blessing of the Metropolis) hijacked the decision making process, finances, communications and legal process of the St. Athanasius parish.
Well known and documented facts include:
- The bullying of individual parishioners going on for years (by this same gang) with threats of bodily harm and intimidation
- The intimidation of a 70 year old PC member who was arrogantly told by a GO5 member in front of 130 parishioners "If you were my daughter, I would tell you to shut your mouth right now!" Or another PC member who told Fr. Nick to 'sit down'!
- The presentation of blueprints for the construction work to be done at the rectory by GO5 without the knowledge or the approval of the parish General Assembly, or Fr. Kastanas, as noted by the Metropolitan at the Vespers for the Feast of St. Barbara
- The legal/illegal issues surrounding the purchase of the house at 32 Acton St. in the name of a GO5 member.
- The demolition of the internal structures of the rectory without the knowledge of the entire PC and the General Assembly
- The lack of appropriately audited financial statements for 3 years where an annual audit is required
- The hiring of an assistant priest by 7 PC member votes while not allowing the General Assembly to vote on the issue
- The intimidation and removal of experienced and valuable members of the parish communications team
Could all of this be done without the approval or most likely collusion of the Metropolis? Let's just review what happened when people approached the Metropolis to voice their concerned voices about these disturbing facts and behaviors.
- The Metropolis violated the will of the people during the December 2016 parish elections when it annulled the elections and appointed 5 PC members who were either not elected or voted out of office
- The Metropolis and the president of the PC blatantly lied to the entire community insisting, just weeks before Fr. Nick's dismissal, that Fr. Kastanas was not leaving the community
- Two women parishioners when they attempted to speak openly about the rumors from relatives of the GO5, surrounding Father Kastanas' departure from the Parish community, were bullied and intimidated by staff of the Metropolis
- The Metropolitan likened Fr. Nick to the 'coach of a loosing team' that needed to be fired for the team to perform better, a thinly veiled threat to the reality that was soon to come
Finally, in his letter the Metropolitan makes the dramatic assertion that 'In my thirty-three years as shepherd of the Lord's Church in this Metropolis, I have never before removed a priest unwillingly from a parish'.
Who is he kidding (or thinking that he is reassuring?) Just consider how many Metropolis of Boston priests have felt comfortable to come forward and express support for Fr. Nick, their fellow brother and co-celebrant in the Lord, that they have known and learned so much from for over 30 years? The simple answer in NONE!
If you don't find this amazing, then re-consider the above statement by the Metropolitan one more time. And then you'll know that it is just another lie. There are several examples of priests that have been removed unwillingly in the Boston Metropolis. Of course the most well-known example, is that of Fr. George Tsoukalas who was removed for supporting the decision of his community not to pay the extra $20,000 demanded by the archdiocese! Fr. George was forced to open a dry-cleaning business to support his family.
So, Metropolitan Methodios should stop accusing the parishioners of St. Athanasius of 'intimidation and misinformation' and he should instead be looking in the mirror. It is only then that healing and reconciliation can begin in this wounded parish. It is only then that his Eminences's beautiful admonitions can be a bit more than just 'a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal' in St. Paul's own words.
Until then our Metropolitan is miserably failing the 'Reality Check' !
Until then our Metropolitan is miserably failing the 'Reality Check' !
Methodius, stop being a stupid jerkReplyDelete
There are only 2 people who know fully what occurred... The Bishop & Fr. Nick... I wonder with all Fr Nick's close friends & supporters why they cannot get from him the an honest & full answer? If you attended his last Sunday then you would know that Fr. Nick was asked directly that exact question in front of the whole congregation & he gave a non-answer. I wonder why? This was days before lawyers got involved so that excuse doesn't apply.... I honestly wonder why Fr.Nick does not help his flock in understanding. We certainly have had letters from the Bishop, but nothing from Fr. Nick.... I wonder why?...Delete
Fr. Nick was gracious and classy in his homily and responses during his last Liturgy. The day after, he was accused of a 'despicable display' and all hell broke loose. Follow the link in the article for a chronology of events. Honestly, there are a lot more questions to be answered by the Metropolitan given that he was away for 5 weeks and that other people (like Fr. Demotses) appear to have knowledge and authority to speak on his behalf. Apparently there are more than 2 people that know fully what happened (or they are all reading from a badly reading script)Delete