by Mr. Steve Johnson
Everyone loses in the blame game. The only ones who don’t know this are the ones who play it. The financial problems of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America (GOA) have caused numerous articles in national publications to appear. The Titanic is sinking because no executive leader in charge has heard the screams of those trying to warn us of our impending demise.
Reports of alleged improprieties, perpetual suspicions, the quest for the next scapegoat – what do these have in common? There are intentional (i.e. contrived) results, and there are unintentional byproducts. The intentional effect of those who contrive to put blame on others is that they hope to take attention off the root cause(s) of the problem. The unintentional byproduct is that people get disillusioned and will simply leave, taking their money with them (that is what happens when people are not inspired by their church leaders). The financial crisis of the GOA, in every Metropolis, is evidence of that.
To address it, no in-depth and substantive examination is pursued, rather, more blame is put on a new round of scapegoats, even “sleeper” scapegoats (those who have been given enough rope to be hung out to dry when the need arises, then the noose is pulled tight). So very byzantine (not Byzantine). The vicious saga replays itself. Those in charge hope that there will be a different outcome, and that the new scapegoat will catch everyone’s attention longer. Inevitably after a brief view of each new scapegoat, the critical attention of the masses again returns its focus to where the root cause ultimately lies: the executive leaders of the GOA, our Hierarchs, who again remind us of how woefully inept they are in functioning in today’s world in a meangingful way.