OPEN LETTER TO THE MEMBERS OF THE
BROTHERHOOD OF THE HOLY SEPULCHRE
My Dear Brothers,
Some time ago, when I was writing my open letter to Patriarch Eirineos, I was hoping that I wouldn’t need to write anything any more. I really believed that the truth, so obvious, and which you all know very well, would prevail and that a new page would be opened in the history of our Patriarchate. Unfortunately I was wrong. It seems that nothing really changed.
I could not ever imagine that even after the election of Patriarch Theophilos the same situation would continue as before, the situation we all condemned and eventually fought against, a protest that led to the dethronement of Patriarch Eirineos.
I will not go into an analysis of the situation prevailing after the election of Patriarch Theophilos, a situation you all know so well. I will only refer to my specific case.
As you know, I left Jerusalem because Patriarch Eirineos and the Holy Synod asked from me, in order to reinstate me, to file an application which I should sign as a civilian, and to accept that I was wrong in my protests against Patriarch Diodoros, declaring actually that no one should protest against the Patriarchs. For the reasons that I explained in my letter at that time, to the effect that I could not do such a thing, I left Jerusalem in protest.
After the election of Patriarch Theophilos, and while I was almost certain about my reinstatement, I was surprised when he asked me for the same thing. Finally, because I trusted Patriarch Theophilos, I submitted my application, which I signed as a civilian, at the formal request of the Synod, thinking that this way I was helping move towards the solution of my problem that, in my opinion, was a problem for the Patriarchate.
How wrong was I, again! The Patriarch and the Synod took advantage of the situation and, while they reinstated me canonically, and even promoted me to the rank of Archbishop of Askalon, they condemned me morally by stating that I, with my application, “expressed sincere regret” (See Official Announcement of My Reinstatement), meaning that I on my own, accepted that I was wrong in my protests against Patriarch Diodoros.
In this way, they actually approved the decisions of patriarch Diodoros and all the punishments he imposed on me as justifiable. 18 years later and while Diodoros is wherever he is, my “beloved brothers” in Christ condemned me once again for my protests against Diodoros. Of course, when I confronted them to tell me what I did that I should have to declare sincere regret, I received no answer, except that this is how it should be done.
So the Holy Fathers ultimately agreed with Diodoros, who said in the Synod: “How are we going to deal with the unbecoming intentions of Bishop Nikiphoros of Constantine? Are we going to tolerate his boasting, which may become a bad example to follow?” They decided that they should justify Diodoros and condemn Nikiphoros. This is, according to them, what the Patriarchate needed in order to survive!
All these remind me of something I read in a book. In this book it said. “…it is best for us that one must die for the sake of the people…” and “…the High Priests convinced the people to ask for the release of Barabbas and the condemnation of Jesus”, and also “…if they persecuted me, they will do that to you too…”
Because the above decision of the Patriarch is unacceptable to me and because I do not accept my moral condemnation by Patriarch Theophilos and the Synod, which represents the Brotherhood of the Holy Sepulchre; and because the years are passing and I will not be able to, for health reasons, continue protesting forever, I declare that I submit my resignation as a member of the Brotherhood of The Holy Sepulchre and from the title of the Archbishop of Askalon, as a final protest to these wrongdoings. I will live in seclusion, abandoning myself and those who, with their decisions did wrong to me, and committed crimes against the truth, the justice, the Faith, the Patriarchate, the Episcopacy and against someone who dedicated his life to the service of the Holy Places and the rights of the Greek Orthodox community on them, asking for the mercy of the Almighty on all of us.
Before leaving Jerusalem I was told that Patriarch Eirineos did not want to reinstate me because he was afraid that I could ask for compensation for all the past years. In the open later I sent at that time to the Patriarch I declared that I had no claims from the Patriarchate of any kind for what happened in the past. It seems this rather made things worse. However, undoubtedly, whoever thought of this idea that, if reinstated, I was going to ask for compensation, I admit must be a brilliant mind. Because actually this is what I have been thinking all along. I thought: “I will provoke Diodoros to defrock me; then, when Diodoros Dies, I will convince the new Patriarch to reinstate me and then I will sue them for compensation. Given the fact that these things may take only maybe 10- 20 years, after that I will enjoy my life with the compensation.” One thing I cannot grasp is why the wise guy who thought of this did not do the same thing himself, since this seems like such a terrific idea! Anyway, in order to help ease them from the anxiety of this idea, declare that the idea never came to my mind and even after it was proposed, I never thought to use it. Let them keep the money for themselves and they should know that in Christianity justice is not applied under conditions. It never crossed their minds that I was unjustly punished and suffered for 18 years. The only thing that matters for them is not to suffer any financial loss.
Holy Fathers, I admit I failed in my efforts. You won and managed to make sure that Diodoros, Eirineos, and Theophilos all were kept free from any anxiety. You managed to finally clear Diodoros of any wrongdoing and leave me convicted. Congratulations! Rejoice in the fact that everything is okay at the Patriarchate and we have nothing to worry about. We can sleep peacefully as God will take care of all our problems and when we get up we will find ourselves in Heaven. I wish you always, such victories and I do thank you for your love and your care for myself and for the Patriarchate.
Athens, Dec. 6, 2006
THE CHRONICLE OF MY PROTESTS
LETTER TO PATRIARCH DIODOROS
OPEN LETTER TO PATRIARCH EIRINEOS
ANNOUNCEMENT OF MY REINSTATEMENT
LETTER #1 TO PATRIARCH THEOPHILOS
LETTER #2 TO PATRIARCH THEOPHILOS
OPEN LETTER OF RESIGNATION
ANNOUNCEMENT OF ANATHEMA