By Achilleas Lingeras*
There’s been considerable recent controversy surrounding the purported ousting of Archbishop Elpidophoros of America from the Greek Archdiocese. Most of us are aware of the individual behind this cowardly scheme, but it’s crucial to dissect its apparent motivations.
When Archbishop Elpidophoros visited the Turkish House in Manhattan and shook hands with Erdogan, the then Ambassador of Greece to America, Mrs. Papadopoulou, allegedly advised against it. The Consul General of Greece in New York at that time, Mr. Koutras, purportedly spread rumors that the Archbishop disregarded Mrs. Papadopoulou’s directive, insinuating that his visit significantly harmed our nation’s interests.
However, when Greece’s Prime Minister, Mr. Mitsotakis, recently visited the Turkish House to meet President Erdogan, did he irrevocably harm our country’s national interests? Clearly not. Symbolism carries its own significance, subject to individual interpretation.
I personally believe that the current Consul General of Greece in Constantinople, Mr. Koutras, is the frontman of a cowardly scheme orchestrated by perennial predators of the Archdiocese. Through high-ranking officials of the Greek Ministry of Foreign Affairs, they endeavor to remove Archbishop Elpidophoros from his role. Mr. Koutras is relentless in his pursuit and seeks to ascend to the position of Greece’s Ambassador to America someday.
In my humble opinion, any Ambassador of Greece to America must embody serious, brilliant diplomacy, possessing leadership acumen and profound critical thinking. Mr. Koutras lacks these important qualifications and is utterly unsuitable, not to mention potentially hazardous, for the role of Ambassador to America.
Should Archbishop Elpidophoros face consequences simply because he didn’t appease these predators, it won’t be the first time an Archbishop is ousted by the Archdiocese.
Your Eminence Archbishop Elpidophoros, stand firm! You are not at fault for curbing the embezzlement of the Archdiocese’s finances by these perennial predators, along with their lavish privileges like credit cards, luxury travel, and stays at five-star hotels. Your decisions were sound, and I believe our Diaspora appreciates your actions.
In conclusion, I publicly implore Greek Prime Minister Mitsotakis, whom I supported in the recent elections, to promptly address this contrived church issue. This pointless perpetuation serves neither our homeland nor our Diaspora’s interests.
Moreover, the Archdiocese, as a non-profit organization based in New York, enjoys constitutional protection, including Archbishop Elpidophoros, under the “Establishment clause of the First Amendment,” often interpreted to require separation of Church and State. If the shoe fits, wear it! It’s time to acknowledge it!
*Commercial Real Estate and Business Developer New York
Source: anamniseis.net / Translated by: Konstantinos Menyktas