Comments Posted By Geo Michalopulos
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Yeah, and all the while priests who work in Syosset get ~$140K year. Given that there are priests in the OCA on food stamps, that will forever stick in my craw.
» Posted By Geo Michalopulos On December 21, 2011 @ 3:15 pm
Peter, you’re very correct. Our frivolity is a way of letting off steam but is not spiritually profitable I’m afraid.
» Posted By Geo Michalopulos On December 20, 2011 @ 8:18 pm
I still like it. Certainly in his spirit.
» Posted By Geo Michalopulos On December 20, 2011 @ 7:38 pm
I chalk it up to “if it’s not something Chrysostom said, he SHOULD have said it!” (It certainly does sound Chrysostomic!)
» Posted By Geo Michalopulos On December 20, 2011 @ 2:29 pm
I know, Michael. You are right. Evangelism does seem to happen easier in the heartland and in the South –among all jurisdictions. The question that concerns me is what happens after +Philip? He’s held it all together with an iron fist but at the expense of growth and maturity. Ultimately, no difference than what the EP ahs done with the GOA. Like him, he’s retarded the natural growth of the Greeks here in America.
If I may continue to ramble: I fear a schism in the AOCNA, between the Coasts and the Heartland/South. We saw this first erupt 2 years ago at Palm Desert in which the Arab majority pulled out the knives. Ironically, the hero in that encounter was Bp Mark Maymon, unfortunately, he used the offices of Stokoe to get his way and continued his pathology in the OCA, where he is now bound that that sorry chapter.
» Posted By Geo Michalopulos On December 20, 2011 @ 12:25 pm
Basil, what you say is largely true. I must take issue with your assessment of +Jonah “disrespecting” the EP. His first statement upon election was one of utmost respect for the prerogatives of C’pole. The speech in Dallas 3 yrs ago was given in response to an odious speech given by Rev Lambrianides, which alarmed most everybody, even the GOA in its extreme negativity.
Lest we forget, all HB did was reiterate the autocephaly of the OCA and its prerogatives in North America.
» Posted By Geo Michalopulos On December 20, 2011 @ 11:38 am
Peter, go for it! Nobody needs my permission to link to anything on this website. (Within reason of course, preferably things that are germane to religion, politics, and culture or the issues at hand.
» Posted By Geo Michalopulos On December 20, 2011 @ 11:34 am
Fr, I’d rather you didn’t.
Everybody, please let’s take a breather. We’ve all had our beefs with +Philip, myself included. But in the grand scheme of things, he’s held a tight lid over at the AOCNA, perhaps a little tighter than is necessary, but at least they don’t have the nonsense like we do in the OCA with a Gay Cabal nearly running their jurisdiction into the ground or forcing a good man into “evaluation.”
As for Assad and his overlordship over the Church of Antioch, what’s the difference between what he does and what the Turks do to C’pole? I dare say that he’s been more benign than the Turks. Of course, the fact that these ancient patriarchates are under the jackboot of non-Christians is a scandal in and of itself, but when it came to Evangelism, Antioch came through with shining colors. To this day, the Phanar doesn’t understand the basics of Evangelism, just some vague, anodyne words about “creativity” and “submission the First Throne of Orthodoxy.”
» Posted By Geo Michalopulos On December 19, 2011 @ 8:17 pm
If I may just bring up things in general, I admire Fr Patrick immensely and totally understand his picque in the past regarding disrespect to His Eminence, but we must allow honest criticism on this site. Sometimes it gets a little rowdy but that’s ok. As for myself and most of my readers, we very much like Herc’s graphics. In some ways they are cathartic and anyway they’re part of the American political tradition. I think our bishops need to know that they are not above criticism.
Maybe I’m giving myself more credit than I deserve, but I can’t help but think that if Monomakhos was around 2 or 3 years ago, a lot of the tumult that has engulfed the OCA would not have transpired. The absolute rot that existed within the Syosset/MC axis was allowed to form a Hate +Jonah meme that had no bearing on reality. (I mean really: +Jonah being forced to undergo “evaluation”? Is this Planet Marx?) Maybe, just maybe if we’d been around to draw cartoons of HB’s antagonists they would have acted more circumspectly. Now at least they know that they got somebody looking over their shoulder.
Certainly the reasoned discourse that has transpired on this blog by myself and others has had some positive effect. Likewise I believe that Herc’s graphic talents have drawn blood as well.
» Posted By Geo Michalopulos On December 17, 2011 @ 7:32 pm
Jane Rachel, thanks for coming to my defense. I really appreciate it. As I’ve said before, if people want to attack me or my site they may do so. If nothing else, it keeps me humble. However, Mr Frost’s offense was that he mentioned a friend of mine by name and made mention of my parish (both past and present).
I also agree with you about the Mike Myer’s of the world. I think they really are trying. As are the Ashley Nevin’s of the world.
» Posted By Geo Michalopulos On December 17, 2011 @ 7:05 pm
Fr, that reminds me of that old cliche: “Man plans, God laughs.”
Think of it though, the absolute brutality that was thrown at the ROC could not destroy it. Maybe that’s why I can overlook Hitchens’ unreasoning bigotry regarding it. I imagine if he still has any issues with Christianity he can take them up with the Lord personally.
» Posted By Geo Michalopulos On December 23, 2011 @ 8:28 pm
James, I likewise shuddered at his condemnation of Orthodox Christianity. Unfortunately, I blame his miseducation on this issue because of the general ignorance of Western Christians (esp Protestants) who softened up the near-destruction of Orthodoxy based on their earlier, rationalist critique that was ushered in by the Reformation. I would have withstood Hitchens to the face for these beliefs had I had the opportunity. A lot of his critique was made easier by Darwinism as well. In fact, it’s impossible to maintain a non-theistic worldview without Darwinism.
Basically, Hitchens had a stick-figure view of Christianity in general, seeing straw men everywhere. Having said that, how was Hitchens any different from some of the critics of Orthodoxy that we’ve encountered on this blog? I don’t want to personize this issue but two critics spring instantly to mind. Don’t they essentially agree with Lenin’s actions (if not his argumentaon)? Recently, as per the Russian Orthodox Church, another critic likewise has likewise echoed Hitchen’s view.
» Posted By Geo Michalopulos On December 23, 2011 @ 9:46 am
Yes, I read about that as well. Meanwhile, the USAF Academy is busy building a chapel for the Wiccan and Pagan students. I suppose next we’ll have the USS Barney Frank, complete with a sensitivity-training room instead of a chapel.
» Posted By Geo Michalopulos On December 15, 2011 @ 4:38 pm
Of course they are. He’s not pliable like the EP. Be on the lookout for more stories about his supposed “corruption.” If it’s anything the neo-cons can’t stand, it’s a vibrant Russia with a vibrant Church. One that can’t be made to feel guilty for the sins of the West.
» Posted By Geo Michalopulos On December 15, 2011 @ 12:08 pm
But Your Grace, the MMs of the world aren’t concerned with what happens in churches that are in countries in demographic free-fall. It’s the Russian Bear which terrifies them, and the fact that the ROC is serious about Orthodoxy and evanglism.
» Posted By Geo Michalopulos On December 15, 2011 @ 9:49 pm
Carl, I think we all get it. Helga does as well. As for monks “amassing fortunes,” I think we should be careful throwing that phrase around. I for one, cast a suspicious eye at what I read in the MSM about Orthodoxy and Russia. I’m sorry, but there’s just too much banging on war-drums for my tastes. And besides, as to your point about “fortunes,” I know of monks and nuns who are the sole support of their families (elderly parents, disabled siblings, etc.)
Would I prefer that every monastic live in a monastery and take a strict vow of poverty? Yes, but we don’t have luxury in America as yet, do we? It barely existed in Russia until recently. (Actually, Russia has had a more difficult time maintaining monasteries because ever since Catherine II, the Romanov dynasty was actively hostile to monasticism, viewing it as a waste of time.)
And let’s not forget, that over in the GOA, where there are some vibrant and growing monasteries, the secular elites are doing their best to marginalize them. That’s a tragedy: in just one monastery alone (St Antony-of-the-Desert) there are as many monks living in actual poverty as there are bishops in our Episcopal Assembly. But just try nominating one of them for an opening in the GOA and the fur will fly.
» Posted By Geo Michalopulos On December 15, 2011 @ 8:38 pm
Heracleides, as usual, your graphic talents are mucho appreciado but I really like the idea of “drive-by appearances.” I figger MM’s doing recon for Leonova. I think they retreat inwards for a couple of months after having their heads handed to them, commiserate and come up with some newer talking points, and then come back in.
You know, let’s explore this shall we? Why all of a sudden this new-found concern for Russia, the ROC, and its supposed corruption? Why not go after Serbia or Greece? Or Antioch or Alexandria? Trust me, there’s way more corruption in other churches.
I think PtDnJ pointed us to the answer: it’s because the ROC is the only Orthodox Church with any standing in the world. The Coven is part of the zeitgeist, it’s not a conspiracy per se but “birds of a feather flock together.” The secularist set recoil from Christian Tradition.
» Posted By Geo Michalopulos On December 15, 2011 @ 8:27 pm
You know, every now and then I like to put on my health professional hat. This is one of those times.
Regarding the life expectancy of Russian males, ostensibly due to tobacco and alcohol, several facts stand out:
1. Japan has the highest tobacco consumption per capita in the world. They also have the highest life-expectancy rate in the world.
2. Greece has the highest tobacco consumption per capita in Europe. Their life expectancy is higher than Russia’s.
3. France has the highest alcoholism rate per capita in Europe. Again, their life expectancy is higher than Russia’s.
Do I have an explanation? No, but a reasonable man would have to consider genetics.
» Posted By Geo Michalopulos On December 15, 2011 @ 7:25 pm
PtDnJ, interesting point you bring up there. Outside of +Jonah (whom they also tried to take out), HH +Kirill is the only obstacle in the Orthodox world towards the homosexual’s world-wide agenda, isn’t he? Wouldn’t it be grand for MM’s, Leonova’s, Larry Kramer’s of the world if a major bulwark of traditionalism was taken down because of some “corruption.”
I guess we should be looking for more journalism from the MSM about how terrible things are in Russia. You know, really good journalism, like the kind that assured us that Iraq had WMDs. Remember what a “slam dunk” that one was? It’s delicious in retrospect to cough up all those old New York Times’ headlines from the 1990s on about the imminence of Iraq’s nuclear program.
Then when things turn sour, neo-liberals and neo-cons can always pull an Andrew Sullivan and talk about how terrible war is.
» Posted By Geo Michalopulos On December 15, 2011 @ 7:12 pm
OK, Mike, if you can’t take the heat, I understand why you want to get out of the kitchen. BTW, weren’t you on this blog about 2 monthts ago promoting the homosexual agenda? If so, it’s clear that you’re really just a back-biter who’s always looking to find the flaw in any argument rather than living a faith-abiding life.
It’s rather lonely life to always be looking for the faults of others in order to justify your own sins.
Come back whenever you want. It’d be good if you did so say after you come to belief in Christ. It’s liberating.
» Posted By Geo Michalopulos On December 15, 2011 @ 12:18 pm
Cynthia, I don’t support Russia’s incursion into Georgia either. I just think the issue is far more complicated than Mr Frost lets on. However, I unequivocally don’t support America’s involvement in this dispute either. That’s my main point.
As for the Russians protestting the power that be, OK. That’s a good thing. Isn’t that democratic?
As for the contention that people are supporting Russia as a counter to the Greeks that’s neither here nor there. People all over the world (esp in Africa) are gravitating towards the ROC because they recognize real evangelism. I know this is a hard thing for Russophobes to swallow but in comparison to Istanbul’s efforts (which thin gruel indeed) then it’s very easy for Russia to look good in comparison.
Of course, no one has ever disputed my main point, and that is that the ROC is clearly resurgent in Russia, building new churches and rebuilding destroyed ones, setting up monasteries, making outreach to those who are hurting, criticising the government (a major unreported story which belies the Russophobic arguments of Messrs Frost and Myers), etc.
» Posted By Geo Michalopulos On December 15, 2011 @ 12:04 pm
Carl, if I may echo Helga, one of the most important canons specifically condemns priests who have jobs in the secular sphere. Fine, let’s get rid of them. We’d have to close 40% of the churches in the US. Ready for that?
Another canon says that we should tithe. I’m still waiting for that one. And the one about being a drunkard or a sodomite…oh never mind.
How about this: let’s stop playing canon roulette. Let’s look at those patriarchates which are actually doing good things (like Jesus said, “by their fruits ye shall know them”) instead of being sanctimonious asses and accusing those of whom we know next to nothing.
We could tend to our own knitting but then we here in America can’t decide seating arrangements at the Episcopal Assemblies.
» Posted By Geo Michalopulos On December 15, 2011 @ 10:39 am
No worries about me Mike. And I’m glad to be the source of amazement. What do you want me to do about Russian life expectancy? Wave my wand and make it all better? I’m sorry that the health of the Russian people exercises you so. I expect you take an equal interest in the life expectancy of American homosexuals who have been decimated by AIDS. Or the life expectancy of Latinos in the barrio and blacks in the ghetto, where men dying peacefully in their beds past the age of 40 is an unknown phenomenon.
Mote. Beam. Your own eye.
» Posted By Geo Michalopulos On December 15, 2011 @ 10:33 am
Of course he should. Mr Frost is a Georgian apologist. Whether he is a neo-con war-hawk is another matter. (See my most recent blog posting.) I am not a ROC triumphalist but neither do I beat the tocsin of war based on the wishes of American imperialists who wish to get us into another war. Mr Frost on the other hand has been whitewashing Georgia’s role in this and is at best oblivious to the consequences that would follow should we heed his victimology.
» Posted By Geo Michalopulos On December 15, 2011 @ 10:27 am
No, we don’t care about what one particular Mother Church may think of us, but what all Sister Churches think of each other. We are here for all of us.
But since you brought it up, if we assume that bishops who are in the stock market are doing something negative, can we also not assume that homosexual bishops (and drunkards, embezzlers, etc.) are engaged in nefarious activities as well. Or do you believe that sodomy is OK but selling tobacco is not?
» Posted By Geo Michalopulos On December 15, 2011 @ 10:24 am
OK, I’ll be fair. I remember hearing a story about one of the Desert Fathers (forgive me, I can’t remember his name). Anyway, he lived a long life, a righteous man, miracle-worker. Never said an unkind word, never harmed a flea. A life of ascesis, repentance, and prayer.
Anyway, as he lay dying, his brethren were gathered around him and he kept muttering something to himself. They asked him: “what are you saying brother?” He said “I need more time.” “Time for what?” they asked. “I need more time to repent.”
» Posted By Geo Michalopulos On December 14, 2011 @ 7:32 pm
Seriously? You don’t know?
» Posted By Geo Michalopulos On December 14, 2011 @ 7:27 pm
As for your other questions, you “stipulate that it is possible that the hierarchs of the Orthodox churches are indeed chosen by the Holy Spirit.” Why do you stipulate that? Do you believe in the Holy Spirit? Based on what evidence? (I’m sorry but it is you who is begging the question –we really must settle on first principles.)
As for the final question, the question about whether it is “revealed” or not was answered by our Lord when he said to Peter “thou are Peter, and up on this rock I will build my Church, and the gates of hell will not prevail against it.” At the risk of belaboring the point, yes, it was revealed that the bishops of the Orthodox churches are chosen by the Holy Spirit.
Now, What does this mean?
1. That the Church is physically immortal (even though the people in it are not).
2. That Peter showed the type of faith (rock-like) upon which our Lord would build this immortal institution. Ergo,
3. men of such rock-like faith (bishops, clergy, even laymen) would not only be part of this institution but would lead it. (This is necessary because all institutions are hierarchical.) And of course as Jesus said in another parable, there would be weak men in it, some of whom were leaders as well. (The parable of the three stewards for example –the last steward was niggardly with the talents given him.)
Really, it’s just simple logic.
» Posted By Geo Michalopulos On December 14, 2011 @ 5:04 pm
I do know what it is to beg the question. In a debate though, we have to know what the terms are. Otherwise there can be no debate. I freely acknowledge that I’m a sinner. For the salvation of my own soul I must stop there. However since “all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God,” I can reasonably assume that HH +Kirill is a sinner as well, as I can assume you are as well. I don’t presume to worry about your sins however therefore I must look askance at your preoccupation with +Kirill’s supposed sins.
I will for the sake of argument ask you again: what is immoral about owning stocks in legal commodities? Do the pastors of mainline denominations draw big salaries? Or those of the mega-churches? How much does the presiding Bishopess of the Episcopagans make? Or T D James?
» Posted By Geo Michalopulos On December 14, 2011 @ 4:53 pm
Back To Stats Page
I can’t remember who it was that said this but that Judas’ sin was not that he betrayed his Master but that he did not repent. Let’s not forget, Peter likewise betrayed his Master after a fashion. He repented.
» Posted By Geo Michalopulos On December 14, 2011 @ 1:49 pm