Milwaukee Priest Excommunicates Parish Council Treasurer

Rev. John Ketchum, who excommunicated Patricia Galanis on the Saturday of Lazarus. PHOTO Facebook

Rev. John Ketchum, who excommunicated Patricia Galanis on the Saturday of Lazarus. PHOTO Facebook

Source: The National Herald

MILWAUKEE, WI – Rev. John Ketchum, priest of the Annunciation Church in Milwaukee, WI, excommunicated Parish Council Treasurer Patricia Galanis at the beginning of Holy Week, on April 8, the Saturday of Lazarus, for reasons, he said, of “disobedience to the Ecclesiastical Authority, the priest of the parish.”

Galanis is the wife of former AHEPA Supreme President John Galanis. The parish is upset and nine of the fifteen members of the parish council including the president, Dr. Clemens Stoeckl, have resigned collectively. The situation was more painful for the entire parish because the excommunication was done during Holy Week.

Initially,Ketchum announced the excommunication verbally but her husband, who is an attorney, requested it in writing. Ketchum prohibited Galanis “to approach the Holy Chalice to receive Holy Communion for one month, to show repentance and to ask forgiveness from the Lord.” Galanis has been a member of the Annunciation parish for 47 years and has offered valuable volunteer services, including having served as Parish Council president.

The nine Parish Council members who resigned collectively sent a letter to the parishioners dated April 10, stating among other things that “after much prayerful thought and consideration, we the undersigned of the Annunciation Greek Orthodox parish resign effective April 17, 2017.

“For some time, it has become evident to us, and we believe to most of you, that there have been serious issues in the life and administration of the Annunciation Church. We joined the council in hopes that we could contribute in some way towards resolving the problems that exist.

“Unfortunately, we feel that we are no longer a democratic body and are being bullied by the priest and hierarchs to demands that are not consistent with our pledge to the congregation or the Church. We have been disrespected in ways never before in our lives.

“In order to heal and restore our beloved church we recommend new leadership in the form of a new pastor as well as bishop.”

Galanis and her husband, along with Ketchum, did not comment to The National Herald.

Stoeckl told TNH that “Rev. Ketchum told us that there is a donor who is willing to donate $92,000 provided that a member of the parish council resigns.” Stoeckl refused to name the person of the council that the donor had requested to resign in order to make the donation, and when we told Stoeckl that we already know the story and the name, he said that “the priest has never revealed who is the donor.”

Stoeckl said that “six weeks ago during a closed meeting of the Parish Council, Fr. Ketchum verbally attacked Mrs. Galanis and asked her to resign. On March 23 we had an open meeting of the Council in which Mrs. Galanis was not in attendance, she was on vacation. The priest started again saying that Mrs. Galanis should resign so the donor will give the money to pay the 2017 financial contribution to the Archdiocese. Then Fr. Ketchum turned against me saying that I am unacceptable, and the shame of the church.”

Stoeckl also said that “on the Saturday of Lazarus the ladies of the Philoptochos were in the kitchen preparing the meal for the next day, Palm Sunday. Fr. Ketchum entered the kitchen and verbally attacked Mrs. Galanis in the presence of the other women, threatening that he would excommunicate her. He asked her to go into his office alone, but she refused to go because she is afraid of him and she wanted to take some women with her, but the priest refused and he immediately excommunicated her right there.”

This is the same parish where former priest James Dokos pleaded guilty to theft of funds from the trust of a former parishioner, and was placed on a one-year liturgical suspension. According to Stoeckl, the parish is withering. He said that “ten years ago the parish consisted of 800 families. Today there are 275 families out of which just 180 have fulfilled their contribution. People refuse to come to church. This parish has been burned and it cannot afford to be burned any longer.”

Comments

  1. anthony says:

    This was once a vibrant parish that is now being decimated by scandal and lack of hierarchical leadership. The Frank Lloyd Wright design disturbed many parishioners at the time of its creation, but people grew to love it. The parish has lost members and collections; it might behoove the Bishop to give back the $6,000 “gift” he received from Fr. Dokos to help the parish survive and pay its assessment to the GOA.

    • Anthony says:

      Here’s a thought – Raise the cost of candles to make up for the loss of parishioners or charge a cover to enter. Father John is a puppet.
      One word – hypocrisy!!!!

  2. Billy Jack Sunday says:

    The GOARCH endorses and is dependent on The Ahepa. A secret society based off of Freemasonry. It has it’s own alter, ritual, mysteries, illumination. They speak of illumination and also of a different trinity. It’s alter is not of the Church. Those mysteries that its members enter are not of the church. The Ahepa also claims that many of their members are also Freemasons. The god of Freemasonry is Lucifer.
    Excerpt from the Revised Ahepa Ritual
    “In the small country of Greece many hundreds of years before Christ, a new power for mankind was taking form. It was a power unknown in previous history. It was so magnificent that its creations greatly influenced the whole future of civilized man. The power we call Hellenism.What is there about Hellenism that promotes democracy? What does Hellenism teach us that is so important? Why should we try to understand it and teach it to others? Why is the Order of AHEPA devoted to Hellenism”
    Excerpt from the 1969 ritual
    “Candidates, as you are aware, the Hellenes are descended from a noble race. Their ancestors are the greatest and most learned men of the ancient world. They were leaders in every art and science and the great philosophers and statesmen of ancient history. The whole civilized world looks with wonder and admiration upon the Hellenic race . . . I charge you, therefore, to think seriously as you make your way to the sacred Altar of this Lodge where the oath and obligation of this great fraternity will be administered to you”
    “I will enter the sanctuary of this Temple with a pure heart and an open mind and will receive the sacred mysteries of the Ahepa in a manly way as becomes a gallant knight seeking Light and Knowledge. I will be always loyal and steadfast to the Order of Ahepa, founded in Atlanta, Georgia, on the 26th day of July, 1922. I will not either in writing, by word of mouth or in any other manner divulge its secret work”
    Exerpt from Daughters of Penelope Order:
    “Our general purpose in the Daughters of Penelope is to cultivate the principles which are known as the Hellenic Trinity, namely, Truth, Goodness, and Beauty; and to promote our personal ideals which are Purity, Loyalty, and Patience, the virtues which were embodied in Penelope, the faithful wife of Odysseus and an ideal example of womanhood throughout the world.”
    “Secrecy is a fundamental principle of this Order, no action taken, no comment made, no ritualistic ceremony executed, and no other event pertaining to our secret work shall be revealed to anyone other than to a regular and duly initiated member in good standing of this Order.”

    • I have heard of “Ahepa” and of the “Daughters of Penelope” but have never seen any of these “initiation rites” until now.

      This is amazing, and tremendously scandalous. No doubt these organizations come directly from Freemasonry and are counter to Christ. It’s no coincidence that Ahepa was founded in 1922, the same year that the GOA was founded under the omophor of Ecumenical Patriarchate; the Patriarch of Constantinople at that time was a mason! (Patriarch Meletios IV, Emmanuel Metaxakis — it is well known that he was a mason.) Not to mention that these organizations are racist! (“The whole civilized world looks with wonder and admiration upon the Hellenic race”…. seriously??)

      Are there any Orthodox Christians reading this who are members of “Ahepa” or of the “Daughters of Penelope”? How do you reconcile being Orthodox and members of these organizations? For priests who have parishioners who are members, how do you allow your parishioners to commune as Orthodox Christians and also to be members “in good standing” of these Masonic organizations?

      Most Holy Theotokos, save us!

      • -For priests who have parishioners who are members, how do you allow your parishioners to commune as Orthodox Christians and also to be members “in good standing” of these Masonic organizations?-

        I hate to break this to you, but it’s more like most of the priests in the GOA have more than one AHEPA member in their parishes. It’s not really a matter of how many parishioners are in AHEPA, but whether or not their is a chapter related to the parish. Most GOA parishes around here have an AHEPA chapter attached to them, though AHEPA is on paper a separate entity I believe.

        ETA: You have a better chance of climbing Mt. Everest with one arm and one leg than GOA priests denying AHEPA members communion simply for being in the organization.

        • Billy Jack Sunday says:

          Very true. Why bite the hand that feeds? There’s a reason why the GOARCH is bigger than all the other jurisdictions (though masonry is known to affect the others to some unknown degree). I also find it odd that such a small church (by comparison to all other “churches” in the US) as the Greek church has such a great political pull. A certain GOARCH official lead prayers (Holy Trinity and Jesus not mentioned, no crossing himself – how syncretically delicious!) at both the Democratic and Republican National Conventions – in the same year! How does such a minority church have so much political clout?

          Side note – a GOA priest even told me he would not refuse communion to a known mason.

          Also – if you google search Ahepa and Orthodox – you will find many churches have a dedicated hall for The Ahepa on church property – as well as Ahepa recruiting booths.

          Craziest of all perhaps? Ahepa Sunday as proclaimed – read all of the encyclicals off of the GOARCH website yourself:

          https://www.goarch.org/archbishop/encyclicals/ahepa

          We all need to wake up and see this for what it is and make no excuses for it. This is not good

          • It makes no sense how the GOA has so much political clout when they only get around 130,000 people for Liturgy on a good day.

            It doesn’t surprise me that the priest said that. If he withheld communion from masons he would probably have to consider the Lions and Shriners as well. Refusing to give communion to members of these three groups will either result in less parishioners, or significantly less money. This may not seem like such a big deal to some, but to some GOA Metropolises if a priest can’t bring in money it’s a case of `what have you done for me lately?’

            I could see something like the Maids of Athena, or the Daughters going the way of the dodo, but there’s just too much money tied up with AHEPA; and the GOA won’t allow that to happen.

      • Billy Jack Sunday says:

        Indeed, I am still beside myself having discovered this. Then I learned that my priest is a member and the Ecumenical Patriarch did a “historic visit” to the AHEPA headquarters in Washington D.C. a few years ago. Not only is there all this AHEPA stuff, but I also recently ran across a current photo of the inside of the GOARCH synodal chambers. It has the same distinct purposeful checkerboard floor pattern of a masonic temple:

        https://www.goarch.org/eparchial

      • Joseph Lipper says:

        Wow, yes. When I joined a parish council, I had to swear an oath on the Bible before my parish priest that I wasn’t part of a secret society like this.

        How does the Greek Orthodox Church reconcile these groups with Orthodox Christianity? Have the rituals since changed?

        From the way this is described here, it sounds like straight-up paganism. I hope there is an explanation.

        • Billy Jack Sunday says:

          The 2014 survey suggested that they continue to get away from the ceremonies/rituals more and more as it is not a draw for younger recruits anymore – I guess a generational thing. I can’t see it not retaining its pagan elements, though. Yes, it’s straight up paganism (with altar and candles and all) – and it was right in our faces the whole time. I spent a decade in the Greek church before it hit me. “Maids of Athena.” How can we have missed that? Conditioning! Why did they call it that? Was “Maids of Isis” or “Children of Moloch” already taken?

    • AHEPA is similar to the Lnoghts of Columbus, Polish Falcons and Irish Honernians. The Bible is read at meetings

      • Billy Jack Sunday says:

        Although they tip their hat to the bible and Jesus Christ, the hellenism that they celebrate is about the Greek pagan past – not Greek Christian history. They are merely using the Greek Church to recruit from. Esoteric groups always present themselves as do-gooders with harmless ceremonies. The deeper you get involved, the greater esoteric knowledge is passed on to you. On the surface, even the masons look benevolent and harmless. Ultimately, you find yourself in Gnostic paganism. Real paganism (on par with the ancient Sumarian/Egyptian/Greek paganism) is not dead. It survived and it’s signature is all around – if you know what to look for. It is hidden in plain site.

        From The AHEPA 2014 Membership Survey:

        “In addition to AHEPA, what other Hellenic Organization do you belong?
        Greek Orthodox Church / Parish Council Member
        Societies(Cretan, Macedonian, Arcadian, Icarian, Laconian, etc.)
        Hellenic Professional Organizations (Professional Societies, Legal, Medical, etc.)
        A.H.I. (American Hellenic Institute)
        AHEPANS belonging to the Greek Orthodox Church was
        #1 most mentioned.
        Let your priests and religious leaders know this!
        We are not a cult!” [I can’t believe they printed that!]

        “In addition to AHEPA, what other Professional or Civic Organizations do you belong?
        Professional Organizations (Bar Associations, Medical, Real Estate, Business, Etc.)
        Rotary/Lions/Kiwanis Club
        Masons
        American Legion
        University Alumni Clubs
        Chamber of Commerce”

        And

        “Comments, Suggestions, Recommendations continued
        Need to connect more with the community (beyond the Greek community) –more mixed marriages in our communities and need to connect to those people
        Greek Church should be more willing to help and/or work with AHEPA membership growth considering everything AHEPA has done for the church”

        Did the Greek church make a deal with the devil?

        I did a little rough figuring. The Orthodox comprise approximately 0.5% of the American population and 1.0% of the overall Christian population. The Greek church is approximately half of the Orthodox population in America or 0.25% of the American population. Of the 0.25% of the Greek church, the vast majority are cradle, non-convert members. Of the very few non-convert members, I don’t have a figure, but from stories and experience, the vast majority of converts to Greek Orthodox church approach the church, the church does not find them.

        Conversely, The Ahepa helped build up the entire GOARCH and uses it to recruit from. If you noticed the above survey, many Ahepans are/become masons – masons who worship Lucifer (not revealed to the novices and lower ranks – but is still their god as “the great architect”)

        Given the extreme low low low evangelical effort of the Greek church in America, combined with it being used as a fishing pond for Ahepa – and that The Ahepa is a fishing pond for the Masons – looking at it from that point – it would appear that the Greek Church has done more active recruiting for Satan than evangelizing for Jesus Christ.

        It begs the question – who’s side are we on? Are we being played?

        BTW – The Ahepa is not a benign group of old man poker players – it is an extremely powerful political force that is active around the world. Just ask Harry Truman, Gerald Ford and the Israeli government for starters – but that’s a whole other topic.

      • Both AHEPA and DOP are philanthropic women’s and men’s clubs with a little pretence toward being something like a sorority or fraternity. My local chapter supports 42 separate charity and our activities consist mostly of fundraising activities and long discussions on how to volunteer and give locally. At a local church, aka the TEMPLE, the AHEPA cooks and serves one hot meal a month for about 150+ neighbors at a local medium term shelter that also provides hot meals for people who show up and the DOP does it the next month with the Philoptochos doing the next month. Every member buys hoodies and new winter jackets for homeless children and teens in the winter and we help a local free clinic. We have fun fundraising, ex. the DOP holds formal tea parties and hauls out the good china and party favors and models local shops’ clothing to justify the expensive fundraising tickets. There are scholarships, some of which have fueled stays in Orthodox seminaries. The AHEPA, with and without nationalist rhetoric, holds events to try and get people interested in investing in Greece. Both put on health fairs.We honor members with prayers at funeral homes and in church in addition to the regular services. It is not required to be Orthodox to belong to either, but both societies are 99.9% precisely. As for priest allowing such radical organizations in their parish building, ours shows up twice a year to give a religious lecture, and sometimes asks questions to see if we were paying attention. I won a pair of Russian painted egg shaped icons of the Pantocrator and the Theotokos once in a how many categories of saints can you name with examples contest. Oh, and for Masonic ritual behavior, who do you think puts out the majority people labor for all those Greek festivals. Who do you think comes up with the bibles for the awards at church school?

        But then, some folks see a Mason around every corner.

        • johnkal says:

          Yo, this sounds like an apology for the Mafia to me.

        • Billy Jack Sunday says:

          You say, “Both AHEPA and DOP are philanthropic women’s and men’s clubs with a little pretence toward being something like a sorority or fraternity.” I disagree. The AHEPA and DOP are secret societies that conduct philanthropic work in order to endear others to the organization. Financially supporting church efforts makes the church dependent on them. The AHEPA even states that the church owes them. The GOARCH therefore has owners. The AHEPA is para-masonic, has a pagan altar with its own rites and mysteries. The fact that it has a secret initiation rite, a distinct altar that is not of the faith, and its own funeral rites is appalling. It is no secret that it is a secret society, and secret societies are forbidden by the church. No amount of charity work excuses their insidious role in attempting to control the Greek Orthodox Church in America. Ever listen to a Mason or Shriner talk about the wonderful philanthropic work of those organizations? Ever listen to a Baptist who is also a mason talk about how there is absolutely nothing wrong with Freemasonry and that being a mason is completely compatable with the Christian faith? All the same justifications are provided that you provided for The AHEPA. Since The AHEPA drives the Greek American success story, and is politically powerful, the Greeks as an ethnic group have tightly controlled the politics regarding Orthodox juristictions in the US. It really wouldn’t be that hard for all Orthodox juristictions to unite in the US and become a totally autocephalous church. Which juristiction has blocked this the most again and again and refuses to do the work of evangelism? The GOARCH. Why? Such activity is counter to the goals of The AHEPA and does not benefit those who rule from overseas. The GOARCH does not evanglise. It is pretty much offical policy now as they broadly call such efforts as “proselytizing.” So, pretty much only the cradle Greek Orthodox are baptized into the church. But then what happens? That Greek baby grows up, and maybe joins The AHEPA, taking the initiation rites that belong to Satan. Baptized right in, satanically baptized right out. The AHEPA is a great impediment to the souls of those living in America. The AHEPA has endangered many many Orthodox souls and has successfully stopped evangelistic efforts of the Church in North America. But, that is what is to be expected from such a group, because that’s what those groups do. It’s wheat and tares. An enemy has done this. It is inconcievable how our bishops have endorsed and embraced such activities from spiritual predators. I advise all not to take the candy of The AHEPA.

        • Tim R. Mortiss says:

          And that fearsome Mason is usually a Shriner riding a bike and dressed as a clown in the local parade.

          I joined the GOC but haven’t joined the local Ahepa, mostly because I don’t care about the “principles of Hellenism”. The church is Greek enough without getting into that.

          On the other hand, our Ahepa puts on the world’s greatest all-you-can-eat crab feed every year. It’s a never-miss event.

          • Billy Jack Sunday says:

            Hi Tim

            Does the Ahepa you speak of hold the crab feed event at a Greek parish – on church property?

            • Tim R. Mortiss says:

              No, it never has. It had many venues over the years, but in the last several years has been in the gymnasium of a local Catholic school.

              • Alitheia1875 says:

                The issue of allowing the AHEPA to use parish grounds for an event goes to whether the AHEPA is, like Freemasonry, a secret society and its members are required to do and say certain things which conflict with the teachings and practices of the faith. It is not possible for one to be a member of any Freemason organization and still be a member of the Body of Christ. This means there would be good grounds for excommunication, not just the epitimion of not receiving the Eucharist, unless the person leaves the organization. However, Freemasonry being recognized as being in direct conflict with Orthodoxy is about as slim as waiting for hell to freeze over or pigs to fly.

                • Tim R. Mortiss says:

                  How about a “Greek” fraternity at college and university? They have some secret handshakes and passwords and that’s about it. Can Greeks become Greeks?
                  (Asks a member of Mu chapter, Theta Chi, University of California, Berkeley, 1966)

                  (Incidentally, one of the things we had to do as pledges was jump up on a chair, strike a kitchen match, and recite the Greek alphabet six times before the flame got to our fingers. I’ve never forgotten the Greek alphabet since…..)

              • Billy Jack Sunday says:

                It’s good that it isn’t held on Orthodox church grounds at least.

                However, an annual crab feed in Portland is put on by AHEPA as well. The venue is at the Orthodox cathedral.

                No crab feed where I’m at as far as I know. However, there is an annual AHEPA event – always held at the main hall of a local Orthodox church. It is a dinner/drinking/dancing (including disco style) event held every year during lent for Greek Independence Day. The other local Greek churches help advertise for it.

        • αληθινός; says:

          Sounds like you’re saying, “AHEPA does a lot of good things. What’s wrong if it brings a little paganism into the Church?”

          A question: Are non-Greeks allowed to join AHEPA? Only if they acknowledge allegiance to the “Hellenic race?”

          Come on, man. We weren’t born yesterday. AHEPA is pagan. It has no business having anything to do at all with the Church.

          • Billy Jack Sunday says:

            Yes – non-Greeks can join The AHEPA. I have read this and I have also heard it from a Greek priest.

            Both Harry S. Truman and Gerald Ford were members of The AHEPA. They were also both Masons.

            A WASP would probably join for the political connections. If not, then for business. They would just have to continue to applaud how awesome it is for people other than them to be Greek – or how thankful they are for reaping the benefits of Greek culture and society.

            • Joseph Lipper says:

              Billy Jack Sunday,

              Freemasonry is such a cornerstone of the philosophical architecture of America. Personally, I am inclined to believe that we are more of a country founded by the principals of Freemasonry than Christianity. So much of the religious rhetoric of our nation’s founding fathers was very carefully crafted in the terminology of Freemasonry. It’s deistic terminology is ambiguous and completely avoids saying that Jesus Christ is God. It instead refers to the “Glorious Being” and “Author of the Universe” and the “Great Lord and Ruler of Nations”. It is actually Lucifer, “the prince of this world” (John 12:31), that they refer to, but they carefully craft their terminology in a very deceptive and dangerous way that hopes to resonate with peoples of all faiths. It’s really a denial of Christ. One can see this deistic terminology, for example, in the proclamation of thanksgiving of 1789 from our first president of the United States, George Washington, who was himself an advanced Freemason.

              Orthodox Christians are deceived by George Washington’s rhetoric:

              http://www.orthodoxytoday.org/view/what-george-washington-shows-us-in-his-first-thanksgiving-proclamation

              Washington’s rhetoric sounds nice, but it isn’t actually Christian. It’s really a denial of Christ as God, and written in such a way as to draw the support of those who actually profess Christ. It’s a great deception.

              • Tim R. Mortiss says:

                Rotten from the beginning! Why in the world have so many people wanted to move here over the last couple of centuries?

                What’s especially interesting here at Georges’ blog are those who denounce the foundation and constitution of the country for the same reasons you do, then praise George Washington for trying to follow it and excoriate Abraham Lincoln for supposedly trampling on it. Of two minds, they seem to be. As they are with American Christian history……

              • Billy Jack Sunday says:

                Hi Joseph

                What do you think of the terminology offered in this prayer at the 2016 Democratic National Convention? Notice anything missing?

                https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3tziA6BZbII

                • Joseph Lipper says:

                  Billy Jack Sunday,

                  I have nothing bad to say about His Emminence. What a difficult job he has, may God help him.

                  I like George Washington too, but I believe it’s important to recognize he was a professed Master Mason. He was deep into this stuff. Freemasonry is a diabolical religion that actually worships Satan. When I read George Washington’s religious flourishes, I have to roll my eyes.
                  Freemasonry wants everyone to believe that it doesn’t contradict Christianity. It’s a big lie.

                  • Billy Jack Sunday says:

                    Hi Joseph

                    Most masons are not outspoken, they hide it. You have to look for the signs.

                    Yes, masons worship Lucifer.

                    Masons are very proud of “Brother” George Washington and have a huge national memorial to him:
                    https://gwmemorial.org/pages/george-washington-the-mason

                    They are adamant to affirm that he was a mason through and through until his death and then buried with masonic honors.

                    http://www.mountvernon.org/digital-encyclopedia/article/freemasonry/

                    However, some feel that he had distanced himself from the order later in life and that his overall envolvement was embellished.

                    http://thefederalistpapers.org/founders/washington/was-george-washington-really-a-devout-mason

                    I’m not sure where the truth is in how he felt about them at the time of his death. I do know that he was a mason, though. The masons claim him and I think those who would wish to see him unstained by it therefore downplay his involvement. But who knows? Either way, the newborn government was masonic.

                    When he’s depicted wearing his apron in the masonic portrait, he is often seen standing on the masonic checkerboard flooring. Have you noticed this? Have you seen how it is always present in the masonic lodges?

                    Does it bother you that it is in the synodal chambers of the GOARCH in NY? What do you think of this:

                    https://www.goarch.org/eparchial

                    ?

                    It wasn’t placed there by accident or coincidence

                    Ecumenical Patriarch Meletius Metaxakis, who essentially started the GOARCH, was a 33 degree mason. American Archbishop and then Ecumenical Patriarch Anathagoras was also a known mason. I don’t know of others by name, but one has to have their doubts. If the American archbishops since then are no longer masons, great! Let’s help the current one redecorate his office! Now that’s a GOARCH fundraiser I could get behind!

                    But why is the floor still there today?

                    My intention is not to be mean, presumptuous, or to judge anyone. However, I am greatly concerned and I feel that these are fair questions to ask. I find Freemasonry and it’s little brother AHEPA to be completely unacceptable and cannot be tolerated within the church and among the clergy. This, however, appears to be the norm – at least within the GOARCH.

                    • Cyprian says:

                      Hello Billy,
                      Are you aware that freemasonry is dying out? Do you think young men are clamoring to join the fraternity? Not by any means.
                      As far as George Washington goes, after his death, his wife sent a lock of his hair to all the Grand Lodges in the country. At the installation of every Grandmaster of the Lodge of Masons in Massachusetts, a lock of Washington’s hair is carried in an urn as part of the ceremony.

                      As far as masons worshipping Lucifer goes, that’s another conspiracy with absolutely no basis in fact whatsoever. When a person is raised to the sublime degree of master mason, there is no higher degree than third degree mason The 33rd degree is strictly honorary. Upon raised a master mason in the Blue Lodge, the newly raised mason is given a king james version of the Holy Bible with the New Testament. In the footnotes, it specifically states that Jesus Christ is our Lord and Savior. Masons emphatically do not worship Lucifer; it is calumny to suggest otherwise. Please allow wiser heads to prevail.

                • Michael Bauman says:

                  The invocation of the Holy Trinity of course. Maybe he is giving a prayer without extending his blessing to the politicians?

                  The masonic presence in the founding of this country is significant. The first seven Presidents were masons. That symbology has never escaped me. There was even a political party in NY for awhile called the Anti-Masonic Party. Never got much traction. It is easy to loose sight of their influence amidst “more important” issues.

                  The founding of this country was not Christian. Anybody who says that is ignorant, deluded or lying.

    • Maximus says:

      Council in Trullo 692
      But in future, since the priestly canon openly sets this forth, that the crime of conspiracy or secret society is forbidden by external laws, but much more ought it to be prohibited in the Church; we also hasten to observe that if any clerics or monks are found either conspiring or entering secret societies, or devising anything against bishops or clergymen, they shall be altogether deprived of their rank. (Canon 34)

      • That’s great and all, but what happens when the bishops are in on it?

        • Billy Jack Sunday says:

          Hi Vergil

          I’m glad Maximus posted that. I’ve wondered the same thing since reading it.

          No Greek bishop in America that I know of has opposed this activity to keep his cohorts free of it. If there has been an outspoken bishop against this activity, his actions must have failed and fallen on deaf ears. It is clear that the Greek bishops have been compromised. Condoning or actively participating in this activity seems to be the rule, not the exception. Think of the grave implications.

          The priests cannot possibly stand up to this if they wanted to and tried. They would be immediately removed.

          My only guess is that the laity has to take responsibility somehow to keep the bishops accountable regarding this issue.

          It is clear that any such bishop engaged in this type of activity is supposed to be discovered and removed. Instead, these Greek bishops rule over America and flaunt it.

          Some would ask if it be to the peril of someone’s soul to demand bishops to repent of this activity and/or see them removed? I would ask if it is to the peril of our souls (and future souls) if no action is taken?

  3. Anonymouse says:

    Doesn’t seem to be any good guys in this story.

    I have a dislike of parish councils. The church is not a democracy, and the model is better suited to Congregationalist communities than to the Church. These people seem incredibly entitled.

    But if the priest is acting out of anger and is publicly threatening people, that’s also wrong. Though excommunication is a perfectly reasonable way to deal with someone who is unrepentant. If they have indeed done wrong, especially a public wrong. Still, the priest is (should be) the ultimate authority in the parish. What he says goes, and he is answerable to God.

    But in any case, this should not have been brought into the media. Let the bishop deal with it. Whoever contacted the newspaper is low. There is a place for getting the authorities involved, but only if its a crime and it’s not handled internally.

    • George Michalopulos says:

      Anon, I agree about not bringing the media in but believing that the bishops will settle this is like believing foxes can guard hen houses. At least this episcopate as presently constituted.

      The Lord in His mercy sometimes allows the heathen to come in and execute His judgment. We may be witnessing this here.

    • So what do you prefer in lieu of parish councils?

      The priest should just do whatever he wants including bowing to the wishes of who pays him the most?

      I think there needs to be a lot more explication of what conciliarity looks like in a parish.

      • There is no conciliarity in parish councils. Conciliarity functions at the level of the episcopacy. The bishop, surrounded by his flock, celebrating the eucharist, is the Church.

        The bishop has delgated the privilege to serve the liturgy to his priests/presvyters. The laity certainly have a function in services, and they have a function in the reception of purported councils as great and holy. But that role is to acquiesce if what proceeds from the council seems to be in accord with the Holy Spirit. It is during times where the devil convenes robber councils that the vocal objection of the laity comes into play vis a vis the clergy. Also, per canon law, the laity have certain rights and responsibilities vis a vis the clergy.

        But as far as the parish council constituting a sobor, that is nonsense. It is more like a board of advisors or staff for the priest. Now, that is not what it amounts to in many parishes . . . but there you go.

        • Estonian Slovak says:

          There was a PA Carpatho parish in the 40’s still in the OCA. Back then, a new priest arrived. Two laymen stood in the altar area, no doubt to keep him in line. During the antiphon, one of them said to the priest, “Don’t mention that bishop in the services, we are an independent parish. ” The priest grabbed the man and pitched him through the Royal Doors! Then he turned to the other man and asked,”Have YOU got anything to say to me?” Drastic to be sure, and a violation of the Canons on the priest’s part, but he saw it as a means to cure an unacceptable practice . There is no such thing as an “Independent” parish in Orthodoxy.

      • Parish councils are the ruin of a Church, they are capitulation to the protestant mindset of America. To much protestantism has leaked into the Orthodox Church and parish councils are one of the worst leaks. Parish councils are nothing more than people trying to mold God in their image.

        There are means to keep a renegade priest in check without the need of a parish council, but I suspect that most of the “problems” with priest are usually parishioners – again – trying to mold God into their image.

        • For good or for ill, parish councils are not primarily a capitulation to the Protestant mindset, except in the sense that the laws of our land were framed in accordance with Protestant democratic ideals.

          Parish councils have been a part of parish life in this country for so long that we have all but forgotten the reason for their existence in the first place. That reason is primarily the civil laws of our land. Non-profit organizations are required by law to have a representative board of directors to rule on matters of the property controlled by them.

          Whether this is good or bad in the context of our parishes is another subject altogether. My only point is to remind of why they exist at all when, generally speaking, they seem to be in conflict, with the canonical norms of Orthodox ecclesial governance.

    • Wayne Matthew Syvinski says:

      “I have a dislike of parish councils. The church is not a democracy.”

      True, but I never saw the parish council as a governing body, but an advisory one. When a pastor (or anyone else) only listens to himself, or to those who always agree with him, trouble is ahead.

      “Still, the priest is (should be) the ultimate authority in the parish. What he says goes, and he is answerable to God.”

      If I see this sentiment one more time I think I will puke. We Orthodox yell and scream (justifiably) about Papal Infallibility in the Roman Catholic church, but in Orthodoxy, we seem to attribute infallibility to anyone in a cassock. I once made the observation, “To a man, every Orthodox bishop would decry Papal Infallibility, but they seem to affirm Episcopal Infallibility.”

      I was a parish president for four and a half years (I haven’t recovered yet….), and I believed firmly it was part of my job to tell the pastor when he was getting off course. The discussions were always behind the closed door of his office, but I didn’t hesitate to tell him when he was listening to the Good Idea Fairy (Google it), even though I hated having to do it every time I did. I figured I was doing my duty to point out such things. If the pastor took the advice, fine. If not, I had done my duty. In either case, God was (and is) the True Judge.

      • George Michalopulos says:

        Wayne, I like your style. I too, am only now recovering from my stints as president for 3 out of 5 years.

  4. I love my church, but I also tend to be a cynic in some matters. I find it interesting, to say the least, that this incident is taking place just as Fr. Dokos had his felony conviction reduced to a misdemeanor (as per his plea deal) in the Wisconsin courts. Remember, the Dokos camp put incredible pressure on both Annunciation (Fr. Artemas in particular) and Ss. Peter and Paul in Glenview (in particular the Parish Council, removing someone there) to give Fr. Dokos a pass.

    Now, in general, a donation request like this must be refused, because it does so much to undermine the operations of an organization. However, being cynical, the only reason I can think of a priest carrying such a request out is if the person behind it carries a lot of influence. We know, too, that Fr. Dokos has the complete support of the Chicago bishop. Interesting, too, that this woman holds the position of treasurer there.

    Fr. Ketchum was formerly the priest at Kimissis tis Theotokou church in Racine. The GOA only has six churches in the state of Wisconsin, and so he became the ‘local’ priest publicly supporting Fr. Dokos. Whether this support was genuine or coerced can certainly be speculated. However, because of this, it was not surprising that he ended up as priest at Annunciation – even though the parish needed someone wholly disconnected from the situation. However, if he was coerced, even to some degree, it would make perfect sense that he could possibly find himself again in a situation of coercion regarding this donation. Furthermore, Annunciation is in such a troubled financial state that if he hadn’t, I’m sure word would have gotten out that he refused a sizable donation, stirring up even more discord among Annunciation’s remaining parishioners.

  5. Ah, the devil is hard at work.

  6. More of the same! says:

    Sigh.

    Ho hum. More of the same from the GOA.

    I’m astonished at some parishioners’ persistence. It is actually a bit impressive, humbling even. Like those who stay in the ECUSA as it’s sinking, as if they can “save” it, make a difference. Who knows? Maybe they can. The string quartet playing while the Titanic sinks.

    Perhaps God’s divine retribution is at play, as some sort of payback, since these good Milwaukee folks built Him a church 50+ years ago that looks like a UFO? Yes, yes, I know, Frank Lloyd Wright designed it, yes, yes. So that means we have to like it? No. It looks like a UFO.

    And their parish now is firmly in outer space. Literally.

    Praying for them. That they find peace and sanity. But the likelihood of a “new bishop” in their diocese is about nil. “The parish is withering,” the non-Greek parish council president says. Wonder why?

    Christ conquers all — even terrible church leadership. Flee “modernist” Orthodoxy, especially modernist jurisdictions that embrace it. Do what St Paisios of Mt Athos would have done.

    Χριστὸς ἀνέστη!

  7. Michael Bauman says:

    It would be nice to have a bishop flee with us.

  8. The church itself, designed by Frank Lloyd Wright, is quite beautiful.

    • George Michalopulos says:

      That’s a matter of opinion.

      For what it’s worth, my late father-in-law was an architectural designer steeped in the Usonian tradition pioneered by Frank Lloyd Wright. It’s interesting for sure but not to everybody’s tastes.

  9. Sean Richardson says:

    I grieve over this situation because it casts such a long shadow over the entire Orthodox Church. In addition, from reading this article, I suspect that the entire story has not been revealed. I’ve been in Orthodox Churches where the priests had too much dictatorial power, and I’ve been in Orthodox Churches where the parish councils have wielded way too much power and authority. There is always more to these situations than can be summed up in one article. I pray a resolution can be quickly found, that shines light on God’s glory, for the sake of everyone involved.

  10. Orthodox Christian says:

    How about instead of focusing on “how the Church is always wrong,” we instead focus on how the Church is right. Do you know how many holy canons of the Orthodox Church that forbid people from approaching the chalice or that call for excommunication? There are many.

    A priest would not restrict a person from approaching the chalice unless the priest believed there was a serious spiritual need to do so. This is common sense to any Orthodox Christian who actual believes in the teachings of the Church. No one is perfect except Christ, and sometimes we must not approach the chalice so that we may learn of our own faults and judgements.

    Everyone is quick to assume the priest is in the wrong. Perhaps Mrs. Galanis did indeed do something that required the priest to take this action. That is between her and the parish priest. But my guess is Mrs. Galanis and those who only want to destroy the Church are trying to make this an issue by getting the media involved. If Mrs. Galanis or any of those members of the Parish Council attempt to sue the Church over this, then we can safely say that their intent is not to “forgive” as we hear in the Pascha hymns, but rather to judge, criticize, and be hypocrites to the teachings they claim to profess.

    As an Orthodox Christian, I want my brothers and sisters to stop airing the dirty laundry to the public. We are suppose to be examples to others of what it means to live an Orthodox Christian life. By constantly revealing one another’s faults and weaknesses, we are not being FORGIVING Orthodox Christians. By making media attacks against the Church, that simply means you want the Church to fail, you want the Church to be destroyed. And for that, it scares me that people like to see the Church weaken. Sounds like the devil is working in these people.

    I pray that this little comment wakes people up to what it means to live as an Orthodox Christian. Listen to the hymns, they can offer great guidance.

    • George Michalopulos says:

      OC, I agree with you in the main. However from what is reported, the priest chose to admonish Mrs Galanis publicly, hence the furor. Had he done so privately (and presumably because of a justifiable canonical reason), this would have never been a story.

      • Wayne Matthew Syvinski says:

        Hear, hear, George!

        To continue my thought from my previous post in this thread – what is it about putting on a cassock that makes a person think he or she can treat those who don’t wear cassocks like dirt? (I say “person” because I’ve “taken it on the chin” from Orthodox nuns as well).

        I have a friend who attended a Lutheran church in Minnesota who was denounced by the pastor by name, from the pulpit as an unfit mother. The bishop swooped in like an avenging angel and cashiered said pastor. As far as I am concerned, that Lutheran bishop responded correctly. I have yet to see an Orthodox bishop do anything resembling that in a similar situation.

      • Gail Sheppard says:

        But, George, she wouldn’t talk with him privately. She said she was “afraid” of him and wanted to take the other women with her.

        If she had a reason to be afraid, I certainly wouldn’t blame her, but if she just said that to increase the drama, she lost all credibility with me.

        It hurts ALL women when one woman says she’s “afraid” without cause. Because of something similar, we had to (don’t know if this is still true) meet with our priest with his door open; a door which happened to be off the kitchen. Needless to say, none of us were all that comfortable talking to him about anything personal. I think that’s sad.

        If this priest is violent and abusive, she better follow it up with a police report, which IMO, should have been posted BEFORE this article. Otherwise, this woman’s name is mud to me, as is anything she stands for.

        • After a bizarre experience with a priest, nothing the police would care about, I also suggested to fellow parishioners to not meet alone with him.

          One did anyway, and also faced lies and the priest abusing his authority. So at least from my experience, I am prone to give her the benefit of the doubt.

  11. Honest Abe says:

    In the latest Assembly of Bishops report on evangelization, a priest is quoted in Appendix 4 commenting:

    Priest and parishes are afraid to lose people who might be causing problems but who might give a lot of money. Donʹt give in to threats: ʹIf you donʹt do what I say or want, Iʹll leave!ʹ Let them go! They need to leave in order to make room for more spiritually healthy people.

    $92k to fire the parish treasurer sounds like a textbook case.

    • Fr. Harry Linsinbigler says:

      Good reference, Honest Abe. NO church, nor parish council, nor priest, nor bishop, should ever subject themselves to a quid pro quo. Christ said that when we give we should expect NOTHING in return, not even thanks. This is a “hard word”, but in John 6 we know disciples who walked away from hard words. Jesus didn’t say “no, stop, come back.” He let them walk. So should we.

      BTW, on this very subject I wrote an article “The Church of Quid Pro Quo”, the first part of which can be found here: http://www.orthodoxchristianed.org/blog.html

      • Father Harry,

        We always need to be reminded, that right minded Orthodox Christians are polar opposites of this world mindset. The joy of giving, and the act of forgiveness, is not only unmatched to anything this world can give back, but most importantly eternal. Thanks for sharing Father!

  12. Alitheia1875 says:

    Patricia Galanis was not excommunicated. What the priest did was place an epitimion, which is a punishment. Excommunication entails total removal from the Church. The issue here is that he did it publicly and that it might involve giving of money. Priests many times tell people they can’t receive communion but that is not excommunication.

  13. Lotsa holes in the reporting…

    What ifs abound. But if the Treasurer was the one who shed light on fmr Dokos; then a Dokos sympathizer kicks her out; the new priest, aka Dokos sympathizer, should have noone show up this Sunday; except a videographer for local news media.

    And the bishop; well, he needs to act or wither with the church.

    But all what ifs.

    What if the Treasurer emboozled?

    • Reading through the story and the comments here, there seems to be some confusion between a priest placing someone who confesses to him under a penance of not taking confession for a sin worthy of that severe a penance for a period of time and excommunication, which is permanent and needs a service for reinstatement. And can a priest excommunicate, or only a bishop? Where is the bishop in this story?

      • “excommunication” can simply mean barring from the sacraments. This can be confirmed with a dictionary.

        • Alitheia1875 says:

          But that is not the definition that is known in the Orthodox Church. That is a literal definition of the word….ex (out of) communicate (participation). The Orthodox definition of excommunication means a total cutoff from the Church. What the pries did is clearly an eptimion, to use the Greek word.

  14. Fr. George Washburn says:

    Good morning, friends:

    This whole exchange reminds me of one of the things that is terribly, terribly wrong with this kind of Mono, and that is a deliberate allusion to a debilitating disease.

    What kinds of posts can be expected? People who know a little about the facts and have an axe to grind against one or more ‘participants, provocateurs who love to feed on the creation and exploitation of drama, voyeuristic tut, tut, tutting, people with scripts that constantly play in their own heads which they can’t wait to project ver and over onto the screen of each successive ‘stir, ‘ minders of other people’s business, gossips, people who love to cross swords with those whom they imagine to be their own adversaries or ‘enemies of the Cross.’ and of course the catch all which certainly includes me – folks who have enough repenting and real work to do but are once again postponing it.

    I am particularly disappointed again with George, who tells us (excuses himself) that the way in which the priest allegedly admonished the parishioner justifies the sticking of his camel’s nose into the tent of this wounded parish …. with the sure knowledge that the rest of the camel (us) would swiftly and most enthusiastically follow. Booooo.

    Love,

    Fr. George

    • Father George,
      Couldn’t agree more. No one truly knows the in and outs of that situation, except those involved, especially when we rely upon The Nation Herald’s storytelling. That rag is no friend to Orthodoxy!

      • Scary thing is Father George, I was going to post something very similar to your post,a few days ago, but then decided, “What’s the use?” Glad you did, wish I had, but a least I know I’m not the only one, who feels like you. I/we really need to focus on our own sins more. I personally need to repent more and go to confession, it’s been a while. Shame on me, and Lord have mercy on me!

    • Michael Bauman says:

      On this Father, I agree with you.

  15. Love God and serve Him alone. live by the Word of God. nor bread alone, do not temp God.This is the Christ’s Vision given to His Church’ So the people do not perish. This salvation requires us to perform the Vision with free will in Truth and Spirit’ It still stuns me that people can think they do other than this and still inherit the Kingdom of Heaven.
    Those who do other than what is required must be engaging in Christianity in outward appearance to try to implement an quite different agenda. I read on the INTERNET that the present Patriarch of Jerusalem, who replaced a canonically chosen Bishop is a nephew of a CIA director George Tenent. The New Word Order and deep state US government seem to have their interests looked after a great deal more than what is seemly by this co de tait of Patriarch Ireneus.

  16. Pat Reardon says:

    we feel that we are no longer a democratic body

    Oh my!

    • I thought the same, father, but not being Greek thought maybe I am missing some nuance of “democracy” /s

  17. Michael Woerl says:

    Ah, that;s what years and years and years of ebign run by Masons and ecumenists does … “Church” loses its meaning. Becomes a money-making enterprise. Disgusitng.

  18. P. Antonio Arganda says:

    Orthodox Christianity is , by definition, hierarchical and not democratic. This reality is frequently misunderstood by both members of the hierarchy as well as by laity. Americans are not known for their prudence but this virtue is key to understanding the implementation of hierarchy.

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