The Chicago Tribune published an article on June 20th 2014 that a priest in the Greek Orthodox Metropolis of Chicago is to be charged with felony theft amid allegations he took over $110,000 from a trust fund.
While the article extensively explains the story, it also mentions that around $6,750 of this went to the Metropolis’ Bishop Demetri Kantzavelos. It seems that prior to this discovery that the Bishop received a portion of these funds. Bishop Demetri is reported in the article to have stated in a letter that the Metropolis had its own investigation and that the funds were spent properly. The only disciplinary action reported to have been taken by the Metropolis was to remove the Parish Council President for communicating these concerns.
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * June 26th 2014 ARTICLE BELOW!* * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
There are instances of each throughout the New Testament. While anything sinful jeopardizes our chances of receiving the gift of Grace and Salvation, there seems to be a particular focus in regards to what the Gospel accounts show Jesus Christ to overtly condemn: the pompous and callous hearts of religious leaders (e.g. Pharisees) and other people who consider themselves “religious” or “spiritual”.
Specifically, it is fascinating at the audacity of Jesus Christ to tell the religious leaders of the time that prostitutes and “tax-collectors” (a euphemism for those who steal from others) will get into the Kingdom of Heaven before those religious leaders do. Audacious and brave.
Should we be gracious only to those we like? What good is that to us? Is Grace something we dangle over someone’s head to manipulate them into doing what we want? Should we be gracious only to those who do what we say and live the way we want them to? What good is that to us? Grace is not capricious and selective – otherwise it wouldn’t be called grace.