Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of Australia

Greek Orthodox Community of South Australia Inc.

Greek Orthodox Community of South Australia Inc.

We’re approaching the four-month mark for our blog now, and recent events have inspired us to dedicate another post to reflection on the past four months.  In particular, we’d like to focus on the practical concerns of re-unification from the perspective of “ordinary” people.

A few people on our FB page have stated that they want to see GOCSA reunite with the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of Australia. This is very encouraging. However, they also recognise that questions like “what happens to the GOCSA clergy” are out of their hands. A fair question may be asked, then – for the average person who wants to re-unite, what can they do about it? In answer to this question, we think it is important to re-visit the last attempt at reunion to see what caused it to fail and see if there is anything that can be done about it.

As recently as earlier this year (2011) there were serious attempts to bring about a reunion. However, these attempts fell through. This failure is undoubtedly due in large part to the fear campaign that was distributed in the form of not for sale flyers around the time of the GOCSA AGM. This flyer claimed that the Archdiocese would seek to sell off GOCSA property if a reunion took place. No doubt it caused enough fear to scare people away from reunion.

As we have shown in various posts on this blog, this rumour is false. Here is a summary of the evidence offered:

  • His Grace Bishop Nikandros has explicitly denied it: “I repeated categorically that His Eminence Stylianos is not interested in the properties as only the people are the wealth of the Church” (see this Neos Kosmos article).
  • We gave reasons in our second-ever post why their claims are inconsistent with the Archdiocese’s track record on this issue (including the fact that it’s never sold a Church).
  • We showed that this didn’t happen in the recent reunion with GOCNSW.
  • “His Grace Bishop Nikandros added that if a future agreement eventuates within the South Australian Greek Orthodox community, it will be along the same lines with the agreement within the New South Wales community.” (from the same Neos Kosmos article).
  • We explained that it is not even legally possible for the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of Australia to sell GOCSA property under an agreement like the one with GOCNSW.

In short, there’s no rational reason to believe that the Archdiocese plans to sell GOCSA property (or even that it would be able to), given the evidence that we have available.

We’re not sure who started these false rumours or distributed these flyers (though we have our suspicions), but that doesn’t really matter. What matters is that they are an unnecessary barrier to reunion, and as long as they continue they are likely to impede any reunification attempt.

So, for the average person who wants reunion, here is a very simple and practical way that you can help:

  1. by denying these false rumours ourselves,
  2. by speaking out against these false rumours,
  3. by gently correcting people who may be spreading these false rumours (bearing in mind that most people do so without realising that the rumour is false).

In this small way we can do our part and make a difference. We encourage all those who desire unity to do the same.

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