Comments Posted By George Michalopulos
Displaying 31 To 60 Of 3,345 Comments
Brilliant analysis. I’ve been thinking of the Iconoclast controversy lately. What was significant about it? Several things: 1) it lasted for at least 200 years, 2) it was instigated by the “good guys” i.e. the Christian state acting in concert with a co-opted church.
Are we in the midst of a replay here? Yes, but I think that this may be a dress-rehearsal for a more widespread tribulation, one in which the State and corrupted churches act in concert to institute a new spiritual regime.
» Posted By George Michalopulos On May 21, 2013 @ 5:59 am
I would go further Helga and state that Fr Victor is worthy of the actual episcopal distinction. He is indeed, AXIOS!
I guess I stepped in it but one reason I feel queasy about it is because I was told that Catherine the Great created this concept out of thin air in order to grease the skids for married men to eventually replace celibates. Although she was a capable rule, the damage that she did to the Russian Orthodox Church was significant.
» Posted By George Michalopulos On May 21, 2013 @ 5:54 am
OK, lemme ask a question: Did the Synod investigate this incident? A simple “yes” or “no” will suffice.
» Posted By George Michalopulos On May 21, 2013 @ 5:50 am
I said “it seems possible.” I stand beside that. I think it very possible that elements from the report have been given to others. In fact, I was told by a source I trust that it was shown to a layman. I would go further and propose that given the lack of moral fiber as evidenced by the credible allegations against the Director of SLI that it is probable that something along these lines could have happened.
» Posted By George Michalopulos On May 21, 2013 @ 5:47 am
Even if we accept for the sake of argument that the priest in question was resident in Bp Basil’s apartment, what of it? Is he still there? No. Who removed him? Jonah.
But let us take this further. If the possibility that he was resident there bothered the Synod, then were they equally bothered when another young man actually died from alcohol poisoning in another (living) bishop’s residence?
Let us at least be fair and apply the same standards in our respective critiques.
» Posted By George Michalopulos On May 20, 2013 @ 10:20 pm
Very much agree with you Theodore. It’s not “either/or” but “but/and”.
» Posted By George Michalopulos On May 20, 2013 @ 10:15 pm
I’d compare my conscience to those of any functionary in Syosset any day. At least I never bore false witness against one of my brothers.
» Posted By George Michalopulos On May 20, 2013 @ 10:14 pm
For what it’s worth, the concept of mitered archpriests is one of the more ridiculous concepts that modern Orthodoxy came up with, right up there with every bishop of every village in Greece being a metropolitan. Is that the same as “crowned archduke”?
» Posted By George Michalopulos On May 20, 2013 @ 10:12 pm
Stan, if the brouhaha surrounding Jonah is such a side show then why is it still roiling the waters?
Having said that, I ask you again for answers to my questions wanting to find out if indeed the OCA is increasing. Specifically why so many of our dioceses are still vacant? Your excursion into the mitered archpriesthood was a diversion, nothing more.
I do agree with you that the “answer is a united, autocephalous Orthodox Church” but given the massive missteps of the OCA over the previous 10 months, there is no way that the other jurisdictions are going to join and form such an entity. Not gonna happen. And not because Mama in Ruritania/Slobovia/Lutonia/wherever won’t let go of the American ATM machine but because few ethnic-American Orthodox really want to see it happen. The wishes and hard work of good people in the OCL and others was nothing but a pipedream. The ACOB is nothing but a false-flag operation to appease the agitators.
Things might have been different had the OCA proved itself to be a mature body but that’s all been thrown out the window now. It’s sad, really.
So does that mean that we won’t have a unified American church? Maybe in 30 years. In the meantime, Orthodoxy will continue to atrophy here in America. Central America is another issue.
» Posted By George Michalopulos On May 20, 2013 @ 10:10 pm
Lex, as usual you hit the nail right on the head.
» Posted By George Michalopulos On May 20, 2013 @ 9:58 pm
If it is true as you say that Tikhon has removed and/or marginalized two priests at St Nick’s, then this is a good start towards repairing the pro-gay reign of error that has driven many fine families from its precincts. In fairness to Jonah, this is no different than what His Beatitude attempted to do in upholding the moral tradition last year when he issued two encyclicals to his archdiocese. The strategy was the same the tactics may have been different.
Be that as it may, I am worried though that in doing so, Tikhon has placed a target on his back. How will this play out? My guess is that if “married” gay couples are turned away from the Chalice then things could get really ugly for Tikhon really quick for two reasons: one, the Liberal elites in Syosset and other pro-gay clergy on the East Coast will turn on him; second, the bulk of the remaining people at St Nick’s are indifferent at best to the pro-gay agenda.
This is significant: St Nick’s has lost over half its congregation and these were people who have decamped for other jurisdictions. Barring a dramatic turn of events it’s going to be hard to win these people back. My hunch is that the rump faction that remained will allow Tikhon’s tepid reforms to continue then bide their time. When things don’t get better financially and membership-wise, then they’ll revert to form and Tikhon’s actions will be largely forgotten.
I’ve seen this type of entropic collective behavior happen again and again in parishes.
The sad thing is that Tikhon has a window of opportunity to clean house within the entire OCA, as even the ultra-concilialists/ultra-liberals have no stomach at present for another bruising fight. The question is does the putative Primate have the resources to do so? My guess is that based on the lethargy evident in Philadelphia during his tenure there, I’d say probably not. And even if he did, my very real fear is that the internal rot in Syosset is so widespread and geared in a continuing secularist fashion, that he could not reform the OCA even if he wanted to.
I pray that I’m wrong.
» Posted By George Michalopulos On May 19, 2013 @ 7:46 am
I think we can dispense with such high-minded concepts like “personal integrity” when talking about Syosset. Unless of course men of “integrity” engage in fabrications and conspiracies. I’m always open to this possibility.
» Posted By George Michalopulos On May 18, 2013 @ 6:59 am
Thank you for answering one of my questions at least. Although here it seems like your “membership” in an OCA parish is very tentative, what with “attendance” at an AOCNA and GOA parish as well.
Regardless, you very carefully don’t answer my other questions, instead choosing a diversionary tactic, in this case talking about the celibate episcopate. That is not in question here, the vacancy of 4-5 dioceses is the question and the vapid insistence by some that there are no “qualified” men to oversee them.
I am troubled about your insistence that Fr Garklavs is a “good man.” He may very well be. But kindly tell me if in your estimation “good men” enter into conspiracies. If you find me that verse in the Bible and/or Patristics where it is indeed good to do so, then I will start engaging in conspiracies of my own. Perhaps others will join in as well and start their own conspiracies.
Also, do “good men” like to see it when other men “get the boot”? Have you ever been laid off or fired? Do you know anybody who has? Are you happy when this happens? Maybe we should reevaluate the careers of leveraged-buyout specialists and award them Legions of Merit when they buy a company and lay off hundreds of workers.
» Posted By George Michalopulos On May 18, 2013 @ 6:57 am
You are wrong on so many levels (thanks Collette). The Synod ruled on this affair and found the charges in question baseless. Jonah recused himself from this investigation as well.
On another note, one reason I support His Beatitude is because of the sterling character people like Marilyn who vouch for him. She also vouched for Vladyka Basil who was drummed out of the OCA and is now being considered for sainthood in the Russian Orthodox Church.
» Posted By George Michalopulos On May 17, 2013 @ 10:36 pm
These are interesting assertions Stan. I hope they are true, mainly because, unlike some of Jonah’s most vociferous critics on this site, I’m still a member of the OCA. May I ask a few questions so we can get to the truth?
First, are you a member of the OCA?
Second, have you personally seen any church growth in any parishes? I realize that’s a hard thing to quantify but we can start with new missions being opened. Do you know of any? On the other hand, do you know of any churches and/or missions that have closed and/or been released to another jurisdiction?
Third, if our autocephaly is in fact “doing well” then why are so many of our dioceses vacant? Are there any worthy candidates to replace them? If not, why not? (I’d venture to say that if there are no worthy candidates then our autocephaly isn’t doing so “well” after all. But that’s a fight for another day. I personally think that there are many qualified men to become bishop right now, it’s just that they may be “too qualified” and present a bloc against our Mighty Chancellor and his minions.)
How are our seminaries doing? Are the incoming classes full? Have any men dropped out of them for whatever reason?
We can start here.
» Posted By George Michalopulos On May 16, 2013 @ 10:40 pm
When I graduated back in ’81, the MC would announce honors in this way: “Joseph Smith, with honors!” When he got to me, it was “George Michalopulos, by the skin of his teeth!”
» Posted By George Michalopulos On May 15, 2013 @ 10:26 pm
I’m not the one doing the diagnosing.
» Posted By George Michalopulos On May 15, 2013 @ 10:25 pm
Please tell me on what criteria you base your assertions on, specifically that the OCA is growing? As for giving the “Jonah thing a rest” and moving on, it’s not me driving this thing, it’s the events themselves. The ongoing implosion of the OCA will ensure that things will continue to heat up. The frittering away of American autocephaly is what is driving the narrative at this point.
» Posted By George Michalopulos On May 15, 2013 @ 10:24 pm
Stan, I see that you continue to evade my very simple questions. Specifically, how many God-pleasing martyrs have there been in the EP-dominated patriarchates over the past 100 years? A handful? How does this compare with the millions of martyrs from behind the Iron Curtain? Just asking.
As for my “true colors,” they are plain for all to see: I am an American of Greek descent, one who believes in Southron regionalism, and one who is committed to Evangelism. I am not “Russophobic” and anyway, my feelings one way or the other are immaterial to what is important to me.
I must take umbrage with your assertion that the ROC did not “only return to faith since 1991.” That is simply beyond the pale given what the Church suffered during the theomachist regime of the Bolshevists.
Again, I kindly ask: what corruption? Simply repeating assertions doesn’t make it so.
» Posted By George Michalopulos On May 24, 2013 @ 8:42 am
Stan, if I hear one more time how the ROC is the “most corrupt” Orthodox Church, I’m gonna throw up on my keyboard. Over the past two years, I’ve filched numerous postings from all over the world detailing heartwarming stories about how ordinary Russian priests are performing feats of philanthropy and charity that border on the miraculous. Of churches being built from the ground up with not a penny in debt. Of men and women entering the religious life and ROC missionaries going to Africa and Indonesia to preach the Gospel.
Be very careful of castigating the ROC, it has more God-pleasing saints than all other Orthodox Churches combined. (Quick, can you name any of saints in the See of Constantinople in the past two hundred years?)
If this is “corruption” give me more of it.
As for your criticism of Philip and the nature of some of the Evangelical Orthodox Churches he took in –some of them being “home churches”–so what? All of the ancient churches were home churches, and then catacomb churches, and then temples. I don’t know how many of the AOCNA parishes were in fact home churches and how many still are and how many went on to become permanent.
Does anybody have an idea?
As for the New Smyrna colony, I was being sarcastic.
» Posted By George Michalopulos On May 24, 2013 @ 12:12 am
Stan, I very much appreciate your critique and am in agreement with parts of it. But how can you say that “autonomy means nothing”? I agree that Philip has functioned as a tribal sheikh but you can’t disparage what he has accomplished with his archdiocese. He did all that before AOCNA became autonomous. You don’t need autocephaly to preach the Gospel. The OCA is living proof of that. (And yes, I do believe in autocephaly, but I believe in the Gospel more.) Going from 65 to 250 parishes in no time flat is not something to sneeze at. True, as a sheikh he could have kept the AOCNA in the ethnic doldrums (a la the GOA, Serbs, etc.) but he didn’t. That’s key.
Second, Assad is a murderer, no doubt about that. But Assad is all that stands between the indigenous Christians and genocide. Sometimes you have to pick your poison. When Tsar Alexander II brutally put down a Polish rebellion in 1863 Honest Abe uttered nary a peep. Why? Because Alexander was on his side in the War Between the States. (To be fair to Lincoln, he did rescind General Orders 11 –an expulsion of the Jews of Nashville–which Gen Grant issued when he took control there.)
I don’t know Tikhon. He seems like a likeable fellow, “a humble, monastic figure-head.” Leave aside the fact that Jonah is humble as well and a real monk, it’s your insistence on “figure-head” that bothers me. Perhaps this sheds some light on your biases. The Church does not need figure-heads but real bishops who are able to stand up to Caesar.
Curiously, I see that you’ve backed away from your astounding claim that Jonah was “brainwashed” while in Russia and have instead fallen back to the default position that Jonah acted “unilaterally” and was emblematic of a “Super-Orthodox type…of fringe Orthodoxy,” one which is contrary to “normal American Orthodoxy.”
That’s a loaded statement with some scabrous gratuities which I’ll leave for others to pick apart. What I’m more concerned is with you consider to be “normal American Orthodoxy.” From where I sit, there is NO “normal American Orthodoxy,” just a hodge-podge of do-it-yourself, whatever-floats-your-boat ecclesial embarrassments that pass themselves off as “Orthodoxy.” Seven bishops in Chicago, six in New York, three in LA, two in Detroit, none in Kansas City, St Louis, Houston, New Orleans, Seattle, Portland, etc. Parishes with truncated liturgics, differing fasting observances, Orthodox laypeople who will never darken the door of a parish because the people there are not “our kind,” no hospitals, orphanages or soup-kitchens. Precious few parochial schools and so on.
How long have we been here? 200 years. But that’s not us, that was those Eskimos and don’t they all live on reservations? Everybody knows that Orthodoxy came to America when the New Smyrna colony was set up, or the first Bulgarian parish was erected, or the Albanians first heard the liturgy chanted in their language. This is normal American Orthodoxy?
Give me Moscow any day.
» Posted By George Michalopulos On May 23, 2013 @ 11:43 am
First, I do agree with you about foreign bishops controlling American territory in the ham-fisted fashion that many of the patriarchates manage their eparchies. That doesn’t mean that autonomy isn’t possible even under the present regime. The Antiochian jurisdiction is a standout in this regard. So is ROCOR. Granted these are the exceptions that prove the rule but there you have two.
What can I say about your bold assertion that Jonah was “brainwashed” while in Russia? Well, I’m gonna at least thank you for putting your finger on something at least. At this point, I’ll gladly accept a conspiracy theory. If this was the case, or if it was widely believed to be the case, then why didn’t the Synod convene a spiritual court and try him as a foreign agent? Why didn’t they get a real psychiatric evaluation rather than insist on a bogus institution like SLI?
Lemme ask this though: if you think that Jonah was “clearly…brain-washed” while in Russia, are we allowed to assume that many of our American Orthodox priests and bishops who have completely bought into the secularist mindset have been “brainwashed” by the CIA? I’m thinking of Left/Liberals who laud Obama and who are strangely silent when it comes to gay marriage, abortion-on-demand, etc. (Just so you know, even though I don’t agree with these hierarchs, I do believe that they came by their political beliefs honestly.)
Getting back to reality, Jonah “re-imagining autocephaly” may have been tactically unwise but it was not without precedent in the OCA. Metropolitan Theodosius Lazor said the same thing almost 20 years ago and it’s known that Fr Leonid Kishkovsky has long recommended that the OCA surrender its autocephaly to Constantinople.
» Posted By George Michalopulos On May 22, 2013 @ 10:22 pm
I think you hit the nail on the head: kicking a man when he’s down and continuing to do so. A horrible witness. Why would anybody in his right mind join the Christian Church, much less the OCA?
» Posted By George Michalopulos On May 18, 2013 @ 6:48 am
Carl, your dancing skills amaze me. When you are caught in yet another misguided obeisance to one of the Stokovite’s contrivances, you search for yet another meaning, another nuance to justify your initial obeisance.
The facts are the facts: there was a conspiracy against Jonah from the first 100 days of his tenure. Before the “alcoholic, gun-toting Archimandrite,” entered the US, before his speeches in 2010 challenging the EP on the one hand and “reimagining autocephaly” on the other, before Manton started going off the rails, etc.
It’s just that you don’t want to see it. Hence your devotion to tainted sources and anachronistic timelines. It reminds me of something Woody Allen wrote in Side Effects: Don’t trust a Dead Sea Scroll if you see the word “Oldsmobile” in it.
» Posted By George Michalopulos On May 18, 2013 @ 6:46 am
And I thought we Greeks had the monopoly on this type of behavior!
Anyway, is it any wonder that our priests are burned out in this country? It’s bad enough they have to deal with this type of behavior on a daily basis but the real tragedy is that the bishops don’t have their backs.
Is it any wonder there is no Orthodox creativity in America?
» Posted By George Michalopulos On May 18, 2013 @ 6:39 am
Yes, and the patriarch Joseph was sold into slavery by his ten brothers. Your point?
» Posted By George Michalopulos On May 15, 2013 @ 10:31 pm
Well, Carl, that settles it! Stokoe wrote it in OCAN: it must be true.
» Posted By George Michalopulos On May 15, 2013 @ 10:18 pm
And yet, isn’t it ironic Carl that that which you did not want –the surrender of the OCA’s autocephaly–is now the inevitable consequence of the treachery of Syosset?
» Posted By George Michalopulos On May 14, 2013 @ 10:20 pm
Especially Carl. Just to see Metropolitan Jonah as a human being and not a slobbering, mustache-twirling evildoer.
» Posted By George Michalopulos On May 14, 2013 @ 10:16 pm
Back To Stats Page
If The DC Nuns were “lawless monastics” then why did they nurse their then-chaplain back to health? Would he agree with your assessment. Good Lord, man, do you have no fear of God?
» Posted By George Michalopulos On May 14, 2013 @ 8:55 pm