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Chicago Priest to be Charged. What about the Bishop’s Leadership?

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.

It beckons the question as to what kind of leadership is at the helm of the Greek Orthodox Metropolis of Chicago?  There may very well be more surprises.

Click anywhere above to see the article.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * *  June 26th 2014  ARTICLE BELOW!* * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

The National Herald

Click here to read the June 26th article in The National Herald (TNH) that includes TNH’s interview with Bishop Demetri. Interesting how the Metropolis viewed and handled this incident.  

* * * *   NEW : July 9th 2014  ARTICLE BELOW from Chicago Tribune! Priest Formally Charged * * * * *

The Chicago Tribune

The Chicago Tribune reported in the July 9th 2014 edition, that Fr. Dokos was formally charged.  Click here to read.



Consistent or Capricious Grace?

Consistent or Capricious Grace?

If Jesus Christ were to condemn sinners, I am afraid we would all see each other in Hell.

Conversely, the same would be said in the giving of Grace. If it were reserved only for those without sin, no one would ever have received it.

Condemnation and Grace are the two things that often pop up in a person’s mind when contemplating the spiritual life.

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.

In that same vein, Jesus condemned those who follow “the letter of the law” and not “the spirit of the law”.

The spirit of the law is Grace and Love. The spirit of the law includes the all-important caveat of mercy.

This is not to say that we should change our beliefs to “anything goes”. It simply allows for the important expression of compassion.

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.

Grace is meant to be consistent. The prostitutes and tax-collectors were changed by the gift of Grace that Jesus Christ gave them. The hard hearts of the Pharisees only became harder.

Here is a modern day example of this story today. It does not mean to suggest any judgment call on anyone’s lifestyle. It just calls us to examine ourselves and ask “where is the love?”