Look in the Mirror!
The letter sent by Metropolitan Methodios to the St. Athanasius parish council, parishioners and stewards is an example of uniformed decision making, ignorance of facts, and lack of respect for all who have labored for over 50 years to make the St. Athanasius parish what it is today.
And this is to put it lightly!
The Metropolitan's letter has drawn the ire of the overwhelming majority of the St. Athanasius stewards and parishioners, because 'from the ground' they have seen the situation at St. Athanasius unfold in a way that is totally distorted and misrepresented in his letter.
Fr. Kastanas is accused of 'damaging the spiritual environment of the community' by allowing the 'distribution of hurtful and destructive communications throughout the Community' (I guess communications like this one would count among them). Apparently, even parishioners personal Facebook postings have drawn the anger and intolerance of the parish council and the Metropolis!
It all boils down to this question for the Metropolis.
Why isn't the priest the POLICEMAN of the community? Apparently the Metropolis feels that in the end they are the POLICEMAN, JUDGE and EXECUTOR of us ALL!
On the other hand, stewards and parishioners have:
- Experienced their voices being ignored in parish council elections, and General Assembly decisions, where established norms and procedures were not adhered to.
- Witnessed ad-hoc application of parish by-laws, and continuous undermining of the will of the parishioners in collusion with the office of the Metropolis Chancellor (for example the results of the parish council elections in December 2017 were over-ruled and deemed invalid)
- Witnessed the PC leadership making decisions and taking actions without transparency and consultation with its full membership
- Being served incomplete and un-audited financials of the parish
- Experienced ruckus and disrespectful public meetings where the PC leadership demonstrated repeated lack of respect and common courtesy for the presiding priest, specific members of the PC, and especially women.
- The reputation of the priest being attacked directly and indirectly through rumors, innuendos and misinformation, some even emanating from PC family members
All of these situations were reported to the Metropolis in writing, and personal meetings by multiple parishioners. All were pleading for a constructive involvement of the Metropolis instead of the one-sided, misguided support of a few 'favorites' in the St. Athanasius parish council who seemed to have the ear of the Chancellor, and inevitably of the Metropolitan, who proclaimed his unwavering trust in his person.
This is what the parishioners of St. Athanasius witnessed and that is why the anger and anguish over the Metropolitan's decision to relieve Fr. Kastanas of his pastoral duties (instead of draining the swamp of the parish council) is now so great.
Reap what you sow and look in the mirror!