Greetings to all in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ!

For those who are not in the know, a lot has happened in the last couple of weeks. But before we get to that, we thought it might be a good opportunity for us to remind our readers why we started & persist with this blog.

Article on the meeting of disgruntled GOCSA members from the Advertiser (Sat 3rd Aug 2013)

Article on the meeting of disgruntled GOCSA members from the Advertiser (Sat 3rd Aug 2013)

Despite what some people seem to think, we don’t maintain this blog simply because we want to poke fun at “the koinotita”,  as many people claim. In fact, it’s quite the opposite. We care about the people of GOCSA and we want to help them, because ultimately it is they who are suffering the most when these fraudsters are inflicted upon them. Thus we feel duty-bound to spread awareness of such frauds so that the unsuspecting members of GOCSA can be informed and try to guard themselves against it. Or perhaps even try to do something about it themselves. Glory be to God, this is exactly what is now happening.

The catalyst for all of this was the executive committee of GOCSA voting last month (July 2013) to appoint Mr Panagiotis (aka Prokopios) Kanavas to the position of “Bishop” of the so-called Autocephalic “Greek Orthodox” Church of America and Australia. This was in spite of the fact that at the most recent AGM this very motion was raised and was not carried. In other words, not only do these people disregard the Canons of the Orthodox Church, they even disregard the expressed will of their own constituency and violated their own Constitution in the process.

They are simply a law unto themselves.

This time, however, they may have bitten off more than they can chew. Fed up with all of the intrigues and lies and deceit being inflicted on them by the management committee of GOCSA, a significant group of GOCSA members (as well as members of the other communities of the Autocephalic Greek Orthodox Church of America and Australia) are now starting to stand up for their rights in an effort to put an end to it all. These people have followed Mr Kanavas’ antics in the press as we all have, and like us are disturbed by the revelations and don’t want him to become their bishop and further tarnish their reputation. Accordingly, last week they sent a letter to the GOCSA executive committee demanding answers and asking them to postpone the ordination until such time as the answers to their concerns could be ascertained. Subsequently they held a meeting on Saturday (as reported by Nigel Hunt in Saturday’s Advertiser – see image) to discuss further action  that they would take if their demand was not met.

Given that the deadline for a response from the Executive Committee has now passed, these people are now pressing ahead to get a Supreme Court injunction to halt the ordination (scheduled for this Sunday 11th of August) until such time as the constitutional questions raised by the group can be examined. Getting a Supreme Court injunction is an expensive exercise, so clearly they think that they must have a pretty good chance of success. It will be interesting to see what happens if the injunction is granted: will Prokopios and the GOCSA executive abide by it, or will they simply disregard it as they have every other law that they come across?

It is our understanding that these disgruntled members are not happy at the thought of taking their own executive to court, however they feel that they have been driven to this by their unscrupulous behaviour. It is our understanding that they have the following concerns about irregular behaviour (among others):

  • The GOCSA executive have elected Mr Kanavas to be “bishop” of the so-called “Autocephalic Greek Orthodox Church of America and Australia” (AGOCAA). However, the AGOCAA is a separate entity in its own right and if Mr Kanavas is to be appointed bishop of AGOCAA then the AGOCAA has to agree to it. This agreement has not been obtained – GOCSA is only one of the member communities of the AGOCAA but they are acting unilaterally without consulting the other communities – as if they owned the AGOCAA or were the sole members.
  • They are concerned that the so-called “Holy Synod” that they are proposing to join is not recognised by the Greek government – so even if it goes ahead it will not solve the problem that they have of their marriages being unrecognised in Greece.
  • They are concerned that the synod they are planning to join is comprised of more unscrupulous characters.
  • They are concerned that the earlier decision at an AGM was completely disregarded by the current executive committee.

Let us pray that these concerns and others are enough to stop the ordination of Mr Kanavas to prevent further damage being inflicted on GOCSA’s long-suffering membership and the rest of the wider community.

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