Dear Editor and Staff of The National Herald,
A most unjust and heinous persecution has been unleashed by the principalities and rulers of the darkness of this age against a most righteous, humble and honorable priest. In Proverbs we read, “The hypocrite with his mouth destroys his neighbor, but through wisdom the righteous will be delivered.”
As Christians, we are commanded to never bear false witness against another, this includes remaining indifferent and withholding the truth in the face of an onslaught of violence against the innocent. As a spiritual child of Father Gerasimos Makris, I am compelled to share a truthful personal testimony in support of this faithful servant of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
In Proverbs again we read, “The righteous man walks in his integrity,” and it is in this righteousness, coupled with a highest caliber of integrity, that Father Gerasimos walks. Despite facing this deplorable act of vindictiveness set against him by his opponents, who have been influenced by disillusionment and are on a path of spiritual destruction, Father Gerasimos walks in truthfulness and righteousness.
Having known Father Gerasimos since 2006, I have had the blessing to spend much time with him as he has served in the capacity of Spiritual Father to many, including myself. Never has there been any indication or instance of his acting in a manner unbecoming of a priest of our Holy Orthodox Faith. In fact, quite the contrary, Father Gerasimos has served with distinction as long as I have known him and I can attest to his impeccable character with a first-hand account.
Recently there has been public mention of his admission of certain personal failings, but the tabloid press in New York and elsewhere has taken this innocent comment to fabricate a false narrative of their own making. Likewise, in 1976, Democratic Presidential Candidate Jimmy Carter innocently said, “I’ve looked on a lot of women with lust. I’ve committed adultery in my heart many times.” This seemingly innocent comment by Carter was of great political cost and the tabloid press went wild. Both President Carter and Father Gerasimos spoke innocently in their responses, with purity and sincerity of heart, but their confessions, based upon the highest degree of ethical standards weren’t comprehended by some, especially not in the media.
The National Herald on the one hand provides a service to the Greek-American community, but on the other, TNH provides a grave disservice when it casts our Archdiocese in an awfully negative light. Our hierarchs, clergy and laity offer such light into a dark world, I implore the TNH to write more on these topics. The Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America is a source of love and life for so many throughout our nation and world, granted we face some difficult times, but by the grace of God we will persevere together as the body of Christ.
Saint John Chrysostom once said that oftentimes when we see our brother being devoured by a ferocious lion, we cast stones against our brother, rather than against the lion. Instead of casting stones at our brothers and sisters in Christ, we ought to help and support one another.
The Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America parish in Brooklyn overwhelmingly supports Father Gerasimos precisely because he is honest, innocent, righteous, humble and worthy of the priesthood as much as any man can be. It is for this reason that so many of the faithful proclaimed, “Axios-Worthy,” as you had made mention in a previous article. I stand with them and cry out “AXIOS Father Gerasimos!” I can honestly state that in every instance of knowing Father Gerasimos, he has constantly upheld to the fullest degree of integrity the holy office of the Priesthood.
May our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ quench the fiery darts of the Evil One so treacherously cast against Father Gerasimos, and may our loving and merciful Lord grant him many more years serving in His Vineyard.
Presbyter Christopher Xanthos