Comments Posted By Geo Michalopulos
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Very well said, Your Grace. We “Constantinopolitans” have a lot to account for. Even today, the ecumenizing liberalism that is coming out of the Phanar causes Traditionalists no end to grief. It’s very possible that if this doesn’t stop (and soon), then their will be a schism within the GOA with the Ephramites holding to Tradition.
» Posted By Geo Michalopulos On December 10, 2011 @ 9:09 pm
Dn, your point is well taken. However I would ask all of us to refrain from using the word “married” when speaking about two people of the same sex who are cohabiting and/or engaged in homoerotic activity. “Gay Marriage” is an oxymoron, kind of like “kosher pork.” It does not exist because it cannot exist. The lesbians in question are engaged in immorality, not marriage. (This is not to say that they are beyond redemption, certainly they can repent of their sins as a married couple can repent of adultery.)
I just want to make that distinction because increasingly on this blog I see the casual use of the word “married” to describe these homoerotic unions. In doing so, we concede the terms of the debate to those who would debase it further.
» Posted By Geo Michalopulos On December 10, 2011 @ 9:03 pm
That is mine too, Helga. Although here in the States the GOA regularly takes a pass at their members being Freemasons. I’ve heard that some of the other jurisdictions are lax as well.
» Posted By Geo Michalopulos On December 10, 2011 @ 4:42 pm
Your Grace, I’m not sure about where the Freemasons come in but to my knowledge, most of the governing elite in the US have been Freemasons. As for the Venerable +Dmitri’s take on them, all I know is that one of my godsons who was a Freemason asked Vladyka about his membership. It should be known that the man in question had become quite an upstanding citizen because of his Masonry and was in fact open to mystical experiences and the Orthodox aesthetic. If memory serves, His Eminence said something gracious about what Masonry had done in his case without actually endorsing it.
I don’t know whether the Masons are tax exempt. Anyone know?
And yes, you’re right about the clerical corruption in the RCC going back to pre-Luther.
» Posted By Geo Michalopulos On December 10, 2011 @ 3:01 pm
Helga, I completely agree with you. The influx of tens of thousands of nominal members would have debilitating effects on the Church here as it did in Rome, Byzantium, Russia, etc. No question. And the liberalism of the last twenty years have had numerous debilitating effects on Russia. Again, no question.
My complaint was that critics like Mr Frost are ignoring the obvious gains that have happened. Maybe it’s because I’ve been involved in building programs here in my hometown and I’ve seen how difficult it is to build an outhouse for the church. The contention, the squabbles, and the government regs. And over there in Russia, gigantic edifices are springing up like mushrooms. That’s not nothing.
Also, I find it hard to believe that critics would overlook the fact of the 70 year tributation that was imposed on Russia. That alone will have severe sociological consequences. Consider what the Roman persecution did to the Christians: created the Donatist heresy which was hyper-holiness, created factions of colloborators, probably even outright heresies.
I always try to look at things with the proper perspective, that’s all (I freely conceed that my perspective may be wrong).
» Posted By Geo Michalopulos On December 8, 2011 @ 5:08 pm
Nowhere did I say a “triumphant” Church, just a “resurgent” one. Triumphalism is the curse of all Orthodox. That the ROC is resurgent in Russia after 70 of violent atheist persecution is obvious to even the most casual observer. Even during the desperate 90s when the USSR collapsed, the people of Russia banded together and to the tune of tens of millions of dollars in overruns, rebuilt Christ the Savior Cathedral in no time flat.
If that’s not the sign of resurgence then I don’t know the meaning of the word. As for being a “Kremlin apologist” I am no such thing. I am unalterably opposed to the US needlessly trying to resurrect the “Evil Empire.” If I’ve said it once, I’ve said it a thousand times: the Cold War is over. We won. Now we need to “come home.”
» Posted By Geo Michalopulos On December 8, 2011 @ 2:06 pm
Mr Frost, thank you for your background as well. If I may, I still believe that your overall critique is unbalanced and unfair. You write a lot about the pathologies in Russia (divorce, abortion, etc.) yet you overlook the fact that that entire nation was subjugated to a odious and violent atheism that did everything it could to destroy the individual conscience. Is that fair? What about the very same pathologies we have here in the good ole’ U S of A? What excuse do we have? After all, we had freedom of religion and Christianity used to be extolled. Or what about Greece which had a state-supported Church?
As for the immoral foreign policy of Putin re George, by what right did we take Kosovo from Serbia?
» Posted By Geo Michalopulos On December 8, 2011 @ 1:20 pm
Mr Frost, your entire polemic is nullified by the xenophobia and cultural triumphalism of the “ancient patriarchates.” Besides being scabrous to the extreme, the EP, by creating this coalition out of thin air is embarked on a path of sundering communion. After all, what will prevent the MP and the patriarchates of the Slavic nations, Greece, and Romania from banding together to form a coalition known as “the patriarchates of the Living Orthodox Churches”? Or “the evangelizing Orthodox Churches”?
P.S. I’m not at all sure that Antioch is really part of this new grouping considering that +Kirill paid a high-profile visit to Damascus. (We all know why +Bartholomew can’t visit Damascus –his Turkish overlords won’t let him.)
P.S.S. Perhaps the silver lining to this cloud is the diminution of the possibility of a Great and Holy Council taking place. I have long shared St Justin Popovich’s concerns regarding such a conclave.
» Posted By Geo Michalopulos On December 7, 2011 @ 6:42 am
Trey, my question ultimately is does the law which states that homosexuality is “incompatible with military service still stand”? And if so, how will it be enforced. On the other hand, if it is not in force any longer –and in fact has been repealed, then what about the Defense of Marriage Act? The basic question is for how long can the military proscribe gay marriage if DOMA is overturned? After all, DOMA must be overturned otherwise it violates the “civil liberties” of homosexual servicemen.
» Posted By Geo Michalopulos On December 7, 2011 @ 6:33 am
P.S. I agree with you. The Holy Synod should spell out precise policies regarding the performance of the Sacraments and th precise penalties that will immediately fall upon any priest who violates them. Of course, the fact that we are at this point of having to state openly and unequivocally that there can be no sanction for homoerotic/polyamorous couplings in the Orthodox Church means that the battle is alreay lost for the most part. What was once a no-brainer is now the subject of an extensive protocol.
» Posted By Geo Michalopulos On December 6, 2011 @ 7:47 pm
Your Grace, your reasoning chastens me. I’m sure your wisdom is a balm to my worries which I hope are needless. Having said that, please understand though that speaking as someone in Jane R’s “peanut gallery” (i.e. the normal workaday world), I’ve been living my life, providing for my family as best I can, generally minding my own business and –KABOOM!–the Church I joined about 10 years ago to help start a mission was by and large controlled by a liberal/ecumenist/gay cabal, at least on the national level.
As for my own environs, I live in what has been known as “the buckle of the Bible Belt.” OK, it is. But even here in our public schools we have LGBT clubs, transgendered clubs, etc. On the nite of the Sr Prom, parents buy hotel rooms for their kids because since they’re minors, they can’t purchase a hotel room for themselves. I mean, where the heck did all this come from ? If I raise my eyebrow at this my friends and family come down on me like a ton of brickes all but comparing me to Archie Bunker. How did we get here? From puritanical America in which premarital sex was a taboo to “celebutants” like the Kardashians making tens of millions of dollars and all because they happened to inherit the name of a minor member of the OJ “Dream Team”? I mean, the teenage sex-tape is now almost an obligatory part of a young girl’s resume.
Pardon my frustration but how did all this happen? Am I foolish to suspect that this will happen in our Church? I hope I am but the portents don’t look good. The Dean of the Boston Cathedral has sanctioned a pro-homosexual Facebook Group that meets at his church. One of the auxiliary priests at St Nicholas in DC openly rebuked another clergyman just because he used the word “sodomy.” Both men would have never thought for a moment to act in such a way ten years ago. But here are.
» Posted By Geo Michalopulos On December 6, 2011 @ 7:43 pm
Thank you Your Grace for clarifying that. I take full responsibility for the miscommunication regarding my interpretation of +Jonah’s words. However you bring up an interesting point: since these chaplains are commissioned by the President and not by the Metropolitan, this causes me to fear that in time the liberal zeitgeist will overtake them as well. And since they’d be protected by the gov’t which of course will want them to perform gay/polyamorous marriages and/or counsel gay/polyamorous servicemen, then any traditionalist Metropolitan would be unable to discipline them.
This is in fact what we are seeing at present, a metropolitan who is being actively hamstrung by those who disagree with him. It’s based on other matters at present but I fully expect that in the future an Orthodox primate will be unable to discipline liberal chaplains in the military.
» Posted By Geo Michalopulos On December 6, 2011 @ 11:52 am
Basil, I must disagree, “piety” is as different from “superstition” as astronomy is from astrology. One is based on reality while the other on magic. As to the history of the Iveron Belt I must confess myself agnostic but the fact that it comes from Mt Athos must be a mitigating factor in its authenticity.
And for the record, that same first century Jewis peasant-rabbi regularly attended the Temple and paid for its upkeep. He also upheld the Sabbath laws. I imagine he probably wore phylacteries and other identifying markers of His faith in order to distinguish Him from the pagans.
» Posted By Geo Michalopulos On December 6, 2011 @ 6:35 am
Your Grace, I pray you are right. I am somewhat hopeful in your remark that the Armed Forces are more “conservative” than other bodies. (And I agree with your contentionn about the arbitrariness of the judicial process in the OCA.) But if it is indeed the case that the Armed Forces are more conservative than even society at large, then there is going to be a massive confrontation in the near future regarding the homsexual agenda. I’m not at all sure that the Amerd Forces are going to win that one.
Instead, what I fear to the Armed Forces is what has happened in the American Catholic Church and (dare I say it?) the some of the Orthodox Churches, both here and abroad. And that is that a coterie of closeted homosexuals insinuated themselves within its clergy, ascended to the hierarchy, took over several seminaries and to this day surreptitiously direct policy by various means, including blackmail, the softening of standards, and making life generally miserable for heterosexual men.
Again, I would love to be proven wrong.
» Posted By Geo Michalopulos On December 6, 2011 @ 6:29 am
Mr Frost, the “5%” regular attendance figure is high compared to Western Europe. What is your point? My point was that fantastic things are happening on the ground in the Russian Church. We’re talking monasteries being reopened, churches being rebuilt, orphanages and homeless shelters being established, awareness about abortion being raised, students from Africa being offered seminary educations, etc., etc., etc.
In comparison, what are the various Orthodox eparchies here in America doing?
» Posted By Geo Michalopulos On December 6, 2011 @ 6:20 am
Thank you your Grace for bringing this up. The news of this “warning” by the “real” patriarchates to Russia eluded me. I guess my original pessimism of the Episcopal Assembly and the good intentions of Istanbul are finally being laid to rest. I had hoped against hope that maybe, just maybe, there was going to be a patriarchal “kumbaya” moment but alas, they were dashed. The Phanariotes have no intention of giving up their supremacist claims.
» Posted By Geo Michalopulos On December 6, 2011 @ 6:16 am
Your Grace, unlike yourself, I have not had the distinction of wearing my country’s uniform. My own fears therefore must be taken with this in mind. However, I am firmly convinced that the spirit of the age will indeed force Christian clergymen to act against their will in time. This will happen first in secular parishes which will have their tax-exempt status yanked because they are engaging in “hate-crimes.” Then Army chaplains who would counsel a homosexual to heed the Gospel will be at the very least forced into retirement.
Simply put, the obstinancy of the Christ-hating secularists will stop at nothing to destroy His Church. I wish I could offer words of optimism here but reality forbids me from doing so.
» Posted By Geo Michalopulos On December 5, 2011 @ 4:00 pm
Of course, we in America are not superstitious at all. We stand in line for hours to pass through Graceland Mansion to venerate the relics of The King. And then, after the tragic death of The King’s one-time son-in-law, the former Secretary of State, Colin Powell, took time off from his retirement to teach us all how to grieve the passing of The Gloved One.
» Posted By Geo Michalopulos On December 5, 2011 @ 12:27 pm
Jane Rachel, the short answer: yes.
» Posted By Geo Michalopulos On December 28, 2011 @ 6:40 pm
Praise the Lord! And when we think about how the Stokovites wanted to deport them back to Greece, I suffer bouts of sadness. If what OCAN reported was true, that Bp Mel was behind it, then shame on him.
» Posted By Geo Michalopulos On December 21, 2011 @ 10:08 am
Amen, Helga. I don’t know how Jacob got a hold of that information –and we are assuming here that it is correct (but it may not be)–regardless, we can now see the folly of this entire affair –including HB’s acquiescences. (He should have said “no.” It’s a complete sentence. “Hell no,” is a paragraph.) Anyway, given that two other bishops accompanied him to this “evaluation,” and given the fact that Fr Denis Bradley is well acquainted with this facility, the alleged diagnosis (OCD) may have slipped out from others than HB. Indeed, +Jonah is such a man of integrity that he is constitutionally incapable of playing such games.
» Posted By Geo Michalopulos On December 20, 2011 @ 6:39 am
Antonia, I agree with you, but your outrage should be directed at those persons (Denis Bradley being one of them) who are NOT qualified to make diagnoses and force a person (in this case +Jonah) to check into a mental institution based on no basis other than they don’t like the way he runs the OCA. This is nothing short of repellant.
» Posted By Geo Michalopulos On December 19, 2011 @ 3:13 pm
Yes Carl, that’s exactly what I’m saying. It’s called the Jesus Prayer. The prayer of the heart. Hesychasm, you might want to look into it Carl. It’s part of our religion.
» Posted By Geo Michalopulos On December 18, 2011 @ 1:56 pm
Carl, are you SERIOUS? Even if the *ahem* “evaluation” was OCD, all that means is that we’re in a world of hurt. Have you ever heard of the Jesus Prayer? Don’t you know that we’re supposed to pray it non-stop? Especially if you’re a monk? Do you think I give a rat’s tukhus about what some worldly “clinicians” at a “Catholic” institution who know nothing about hesychasm think?
As for SLI, are you aware that they “cured” Fr John Geoghan, who later went on to continue his pederasty and brought the Archdiocese of Boston to the point of bankruptcy? Do you think we are idiots? Just because the Stokovites and their acolyte Fr Denis Bradley thought SLI would be the place tells me all I need to know about them.
Lord have mercy.
» Posted By Geo Michalopulos On December 17, 2011 @ 7:14 pm
Jane R, that’s what I heard. I don’t know about the other particulars. I would hope that the priests in question would listen to their bishop.
» Posted By Geo Michalopulos On December 17, 2011 @ 3:14 pm
good points, Helga. I still think it was a fraud perpetrated by bad-faith actors. If provable, then it’s actionable in court. Kind of like going to an orthopaedic surgeon and complaining about back pain so you can get on Oxycontin. Fraud. Jail time if convicted.
Leaving that aside, what’s delicious about this is that the rump faction of Stokovites can’t use this “diagnosis” in the secular, administrative, New-York-state-corporation-commision-way-of-going-after-+Jonah. Like, “one of our major executives won’t show us his medical records” type of thing. Have these people never heard of HIPAA? Do they not realize the civil liability that they’ve exposed the OCA to? Given their track record with the court system, we have a right to ask who in heaven’s name is their legal counsel?
» Posted By Geo Michalopulos On December 17, 2011 @ 10:46 am
Wow. There’s a lot there Jacob. Personally, as abhorent as I think the forced evaluation was, the fact that +Jonah still wears the white hat –given the fact that the Stokovites threw everything AND the kitchen sink at him–means that they have effectively lost. Now it’s just a war of attrition. From a church’s point of view not a good thing but given the circumstances, not a bad thing either.
I’ve always believed that if you’re only ruling paradigm is to throw excrement then ultimately you’ll fail. Even a victory would be pyrrhic because that’s not an effective executive paradigm. It also lasts so long before the excrement is used up. As an old Sunday School teacher told me a long time ago: “Any jackass can kick down a barn, the question is, what’s gonna replace it?”
The Stokovite paradigm of a corrupt group of insiders running the show can only work as long as the funds keep rolling in and the people being kept ignorant. It also helps to have some geographical focal point as well. With the national chancery being exposed as a Potemkin village in Seattle and fund-raising at an all-time low, then the rats will eventually scatter. It’s only a matter of time before the bishops start falling in love with the New York Plan and thus acruing more power to themselves. And then comes the selling of Syosset.
» Posted By Geo Michalopulos On December 17, 2011 @ 10:39 am
Carl, His Grace is just correcting the historical record (as opposed to the hysterical record proferred up til now by OCAN). The OCA will never come to correction until it admits that collectively it had a problem. Just like the alcoholic who won’t go to AA because “he can handle it.”
Do I want to know about the moral weaknesses of Bishop X? Not at all. But if Bishop X and his partisans (i.e. Arb Job and Stokoe/Wheeler/Brown/Kishkovsky/etc.) are driving the OCA in a particular direction (in this case, the ground), and we have been saved from complete implosion because of the election of a neophyte bishop as Metropolitan, and this same cabal is doing everything within its power to derail actual reform –yeah, I wanna know about it. I deserve to know about it. You know, in the name of Accountability and Transparency.
It’d be different if this same cabal left things alone, decided that the jig was up, just go along to get along but they acted uncanonically when they tried to depose a duly-consecrated bishop. It’s too late to now say “let bygones be bygones.” Now what needs to happen are canonical courts, and I mean real canonical courts, not hastily convened, ad hoc kangaroo courts with no due process, records being kept, etc.
The people who acted nefariously in the past –people like Garklavs and even bishops who tried to derail the process and/or have canonical/moral impediments–need to be brought to account. If not to the bar of spiritual court then to the bar of history. For this we can thank His Grace for enlightening us and pulling back the veil of secrecy by which immoral and unethical men have heretofore governed the OCA. Nothing wrong with that.
This bears repeating: I would have been perfectly willing to let bygones be bygones, but it was they which could not let go of the past. If nothing else, a sign of spiritual and ethical immaturity.
» Posted By Geo Michalopulos On December 14, 2011 @ 7:28 am
Carl, you state that “The 2011 financial report should have included the salary and benefits paid to Fr Gaklavs…”
Yes. You are 100% correct. However it didn’t. And it’s crap like that ticks people off and diminishes the credibility and moral authority of +Jonah’s detractors to curb-side levels. Anything you wrote beyond that point is tedentious and smacks of good-ole-boy smarminess. Nobody believes it. People at Seattle just looked at Ringa and at best felt sorry for her, probably believing that she was put forward to cover the sins of Syosset. (It’s never a good thing to see grown men cowering behind a woman’s skirts.)
Here’s a hint: when institutions practice these kinds of accounting techniques, we can be sure that they are at the point where they exist for themselves.
» Posted By Geo Michalopulos On December 13, 2011 @ 10:55 am
Back To Stats Page
Fr James, Helga, et al: let’s take a bit of a breather on this. We’re all on the same side but in the heat of the moment, it’s easy to make a mistake or misinterpret something.
» Posted By Geo Michalopulos On December 12, 2011 @ 10:49 pm