Αγαπητέ μου Άρχοντα κ. Ανδριόπουλε,
Thank you for writing, Nathan. And thank you for your honesty. Though I have to admit I am tired of defending our bishops when they’re on the wrong side. Perhaps that’s what some people expect deacons to do.
You are right about my respect for the Archbishop. I respect him like no other Orthodox bishop in our church. Which is why his response hurts even more.
I did of course read his paschal encyclical. And I hoped for more. He has not condemned Russia; he has not condemned Putin; he has not condemned Kirill’s unequivocal endorsement and shameful blessing of the war. He condemned the crimes; he condemned the violence; and he spoke of love. In my humble opinion, this is not nearly enough. He should have called a spade a spade and been more forthright. The right word from him would matter more than from anyone else in our church.
Almost everyone has condemned the war and the bloodshed; almost everyone has mourned the victims and the dead. There is no cost and no commitment in this. It is meaningless, especially when people are dying — not dying to read nice statements about peace; just dying! Frankly, the only one that has dared to mention president Putin and patriarch Kirill is the Ecumenical Patriarch! And I deliberately omitted mentioning his name in my article because people would say I am praising my own spiritual leader.
I don’t judge why the Archbishop hasn’t named names; I am sure he has his reasons, and I am sure they are – as always – prudent. But I am also sincerely convinced that from those who have more, more is expected.
As ever, in the risen Lord