From the Salt Lake Tribune, by BY SCOTT D. PIERCE AND ERIN ALBERTY
Holladay • After death threats, litigation and a church meeting supervised by police, members of the Greek Orthodox Church of Greater Salt Lake voted Sunday against adopting the bylaws of its national hierarchy.
The seemingly technical issue has thrown the church into an ongoing emotional dispute that culminated at Sunday’s general assembly. Hundreds of people turned out, and some were not allowed in the doors of the Diamond Z. Miles Multi-Purpose Center.
“It’s very heated. People are getting upset,” said church member Mary Kontgis. “My mom [is] 90 years old. She’s just beside herself. It’s dividing the community.”
“I’ve never seen so many Greeks in my life,” said Bob Baliban. “Honest to God, they must have come from Idaho and Wyoming, too. I think the Mormons must be getting a kick out of this.”
Members of the local parish, which includes both the Holy Trinity Cathedral in Salt Lake City and the Prophet Elias Church in Holladay, have clashed over whether to bring local church bylaws in line with Greek Orthodox Uniform Parish Regulations. Opponents fear the move would take control of the local finances away from local members.
Parish council members dispute those claims, saying adopting the bylaws would only codify the way the church already makes decisions.
Church member voted on two resolutions that would have adopted the new bylaws, rejecting them approximately 60 percent to 40 percent, parish council president Jim Mylonakis said.
“I don’t know what’s going to happen,” Mylonakis said. “We will see what directives we’re going to receive.”
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