More News on the GOA Front

First the good (or at least not bad) news: Archimandrite Nathanael Symeonides was “elected” GOA Metropolitan of Chicago. A fine man by most accounts, he appears to be (as St Paul) said “a man of good report”.

As for the recent Leadership 100 meeting in Miami, reviews are still coming in. Word on the street is that the bishops leaned on the L100 types for a $10 million dollar donation to stanch the bleeding. The L100 types however held firm and didn’t give anything. According to other printed sources, His Eminence Archbishop Demetrios left abruptly, mid-meeting. (According to another source, he was hastily called to Istanbul.)

The situation is fluid if you ask me. If you don’t mind, I’ll read to you another gmail which I received from the same correspondent that I’ve been reciting to you over the last week or so. As I’ve said in the two previous vlogs on this matter, he’s a well-connected and respected veteran who loves his Church. (I don’t necessarily agree with him on every point but his judicious words deserve a fair hearing.)

More to follow in due time.

Comments

  1. “O what an hour and fearful day shall that be, when the Judge shall sit upon His fearsome throne! Books will be opened, deeds will be checked, and the hidden works of darkness will be be made public. Angels speed about, gathering all the nations. Come, hearken, kings and rulers, slaves and freemen, sinners and righteous, rich men and paupers, He is coming who is about to judge the whole world; and who shall bear His countenance, when angels are at hand to accuse your acts, your thoughts, your desires, be they day or night? O what an hour that shall be! But before the end arrives, O soul, make haste to cry,”O God convert me, save me as You alone are compassionate.”-Matins Hymm for the Sunday of Judgement

    Pray for our leaders, they need us, more than ever!
    Lord have mercy on us!
    Nuff said, Amen!

  2. Greatly Saddened says:

    So well said, “the gang that couldn’t shoot straight.” How sad, but yet so true when referring to the GOA.

    Now we seem to find out there may be more behind the records. In fact, records may have been lost due to some sort of flood or perhaps due to not being stored properly. Amazing just how difficult it seems to get the real truth!

    If in fact true, I commend Leadership 100 for not giving in to “the robes” for additional money. It is past due time for the “boys at East 79th Street,” to realize they created this mess and it is high time they take responsibility to correct their same mess. Not to expect others to bail them out once more. Enough is enough!

    Time has come to finally and realistically address the on going mismanagement of the GOA. Without quick fixes from affluent donors or organizations. We all know too well that as is the past, it is merely a tempoary fix until the next financial crisis. The “boys from East 79th Street,” feel they have a sacred right to do as they have in the past without any repercussions.

    As for the Ladies National Philoptochos, I hope and pray they stand strong and resist the unwarranted pressure from the “boys from East 79th Street,” with the possibility of selling the Saint Basil’s property to help pay off the Archdiocese’s present financial crisis, which they themselves caused.

    If need be, let them sell their two buildings on East 79th Street in Manhattan and work out of Saint Basil’s. Oh, how inconvenient!

    Let us not forget the selling of His Eminence of blessed memory, Archbishop Iakovos’ residence and where the money for that sale went. As with everything else, it’s a mystery. The mystery needs to end here once and for all.

    The truth finally needs to be told, once and for all, and those responsible need to be held liable. The GOA has been fooling us for way too long.

    It’s time the faithful demand answers. By answers, I do not mean these long winded announcements by public relations firms, but from the GOA itself. The GOA’s report card is nothing but dismal. The word “Excellence” is no where to be found!

    If the GOA wonders why the faithful have been leaving, all they need to do is look at themselves. An institution who supposedly aligns itself with our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, yet seems to be corrupt, scandalous, lacks transparency and accountability, lacks basic leadership and management skills and seems to feel they are above reproach. A religious institution that seems to only care about itself, rather than its faithful.

    What a great example for us to follow, as well as look up to.

    • Constaninos says:

      Dear Greatly Saddened,
      I may be wrong, but it seems to me that everyone is ignoring the elephant in the room. The Ephraimite Monasteries! Conflict over the monasteries has been devastating and dividing Greek Orthodox Churches. As much as anything, the controversy over the monasteries will surely kill the Greek Orthodox Church. Where are they getting all their money from?? The Ephraimite Monasteries have reeked inestimable damage to the Greek Orthodox Church.

      • George Michalopulos says:

        Costa, I respect much of what I say. But we must disagree about the Ephraimite monasteries. Where do they get their money? Probably from the flood of pilgrims and disaffected GOA parishioners who stream through their gates almost daily.

        • Constaninos says:

          George,
          Due to lack of familiarity with them, I am really in no positions to comment on them one way or the other. I meant they are very controversial within the Greek Orthodox Church. Hopefully, everything will work out in the end. I’m not looking to create any controversy, drama, or ruffle anyone’s feathers. Sorry if I came off that way. May the Lord bless you and your family George.

          • George Michalopulos says:

            Thank you, Costa. Twenty years ago, when Elder Ephraim first set up shop, all the talk was about cultic fundamentalism, yada, yada, yada. Then I went to one, then again, then again. Over the last 20 years, I’d say I’ve been to St Antony’s twice and Holy Archangels 6-7 times.

            I just learned to investigate something for myself.

            As to why they “controversial” I can make this reasoned guess: because ordinary GOA parishioners go to them because they’re sick and tired of parish politics and having to work their butts off at the annual festival. That’s my guess. I could be wrong.

            • fr Chris Moody says:

              As a pastor, I would second your comments. The laity are secularist and a pastor can only feed Enfamil milk, not solid food, except one on one. Thus the more mature spiritually minded laity visit the monastery. To state Ephraim is the problem is curious. Both monastic and married have the same calling to holiness, just a different means. Maybe this suspi ion of monasteries should instead cause us to ask, are we being secularized or divinized?

          • Peter A. Papoutsis says:

            They are controversial because they preach Orthodoxy and the GOAA laity are to protestanized to know it.

            Why no problems in Greece, Russia, Serbia, Albania, the Middle East, etc.? Only in America, in Americanize, Protestantized GOAA Churches. I wonder why?

            Think about it. Just ask some question and you will figure it out.

            Peter A Papoutsis

            • First off, the Church should be preaching Christ and not Orthodoxy. To quote St Paul– I preach Christ and Christ alone. Again, St Paul stated–I know in whom I have believed.Our faith is in a person not a system that defines that person. Many preach a Christless Orthodoxy.

              Peter you belong in an Old Calendar Church. You will be happy there and not tormented by the protestant, heretical GOA?

              • Orthodoxy has preserved the message and nature of Christ, glory to God that I found Christ in full form only in Orthodoxy! When I was Roman Catholic the monasteries/convents were always regarded as sanctuaries and places of refreshment and renewal for the laity on our visits/retreats there. The antipathy of some toward the monasteries of Elder Ephraim which bring Mt Athos to us is always singularly concerning to me. I have benefited greatly from my visits to both Catholic and now Elder Ephraim monasteries. Glory to God for Orthodoxy and for those who serve God in these monasteries and us wearied Orthodox most faithfully! Axios!

              • If you preach Orthodoxy, you preach Christ……because Christ is the head of the holy Orthodox Church.

                If you are preaching some type of secularized mutation of Orthodoxy….then you are not teaching Orthodoxy at all……you are teaching something opposed to Christ.

                • Mikail and Peter, I must disagree. Preaching of Orthodoxy has value in apologetics and triumphalism. In other words, we are correct and everyone else is wrong. Apologetics do have value but are not central to the Gospel. The transforming power of the Gospel is manifest when Jesus the Christ is preached. There is power in the name of Jesus. There is only one name in heaven and earth by which we must be saved–Jesus. I know in WHOM I believe. I could go on with quotes but realize many on this blog dismiss the authority of scripture and are stuck in their fundamentalist scripts–mindset. If Orthodoxy is going to advance it must return to preaching salvation, repentance and new life found only in Jesus the Christ. Christ is the power of God unto salvation and Orthodoxy is the system that defines Christ.

                  • johnkal……I did not know that you are protestant.
                    That is the reason you cannot understand.

                    There is only one truth…….Jesus Christ. And He has only one Church…..the Holy Orthodox Church. He is the Head of His Church. The Church decided on the canon of Scripture….and She interprets it for us through Sacred Tradition.

                    I am sorry that you do not understand this.

              • Johannes Ypsilantis says:

                This is not true. The Old Calendarists are mostly right on this issue (and it gives me no pleasure to watch my beloved Bishop wince when I tell him I think so) but it is not a reason for schism. Who is in communion with Mount Athos? We need people who care about Orthodox truth back in the Church, not running off like Protestants to start their own sects whenever poor decisions are made.

              • Peter A. Papoutsis says:

                If you preach Orthodoxy you preach Christ. I’m happy in Christ’s one true church. Are you?

                Peter A Papoutsis

        • 1. The monasteries of Geronda Ephraim are the shining pearls of the GOA.
          2. Many of the ecumenists within the GOA have disdain for these holy monasteries.
          3. They receive generous donations from the pious pilgrims who love and cherish these monasteries.
          4. Can we please not refer to them as “Ephramite?” I know for a fact that many view that term as derogatory.
          5. If the GOA sees these monasteries as a “problem”…….I think the best case scenario is them to come under the Omophorion of the Metropolitan of ROCOR.

          • The goal of every Christian is to do God’s will. Living outside God’s will is called sin. Under the direction of Ephraim, worship is only in Greek. This is contrary to God’s will as evidenced by the tradition of the Church. St Paul states—“But in the church I would rather speak five intelligible words to instruct others than ten thousand words in an unknown tongue.”

            It seems to me that even Ephraim is guilty of ethnocentrism.

            • Peter A. Papoutsis says:

              The Gospel is in Greek. English is a help, and one that is need, but not a substitute. Where you see ethnocentrisim i see faitnfulness. It seems to me you are guilty of slandering a fellow brother and elder without understanding the whole situation.

              Peter A Papoutsis

              • George Michalopulos says:

                I take the risk here of being a hypocrite, as I fervently believe that the liturgical services of the Church should be in the nation’s native vernacular –albeit a “high” form of that vernacular. I will go to my deathbed with that firm conviction.

                So why do I approve of the way the Athonites here in the States do things, liturgy wise?

                I’m sure there are a few reasons, some spiritual and one prudential. Let’s get the prudential one out of the way first. I believe the monks are aware that over the last 30-40 years, there have been more than a few English translations commissioned by and/or for the GOA. I’m going to be very charitable here and say that on the whole, they are very uneven. As such, it would be a disaster for the monasteries to fall into the same trap.

                Now of course, there is the translation crafted by the Venerable Dmitri of thrice-blessed memory which is outstanding. It is in elegant, Elizabethan English which I believe to be the “Old Church Anglic” of the English-speaking world. As to why the Athonites don’t borrow it, I imagine you’d have to ask them.

                This brings us to the spiritual reasons, which I believe boil down to (1) they will in time either borrow Ven Dmitri’s translation or come up with something very much like it, but only after (2) they have established a rigorous course of piety for the thousands of pilgrims that go to their monasteries.

                Basically, the people that go there go for the piety and fellowship which many must feel is missing in many of the parish churches. Adhering to Ecclesiastical Greek is a small price to pay for the grace that these people feel they receive at these monasteries.

                It’s kind of like this: the penances that pilgrims receive (we are told) are severe. Why? I believe this is because Confession is pretty much a dead letter in the GOA. The fall in piety and observance has been precipitate. Therefore the rigor needed to attain a level of spirituality must likewise be severe. The rigor is needed.

                Again, that’s my opinion.

                • Billy Jack Sunday says:

                  I once went to vespers where the service had been in the vernacular, but regrettably I had been in the Old English :-/

                  If I were a bishop

                  All services would be in Klingon only

                  Electroshock therapy would be employed for penence. A foot washing basin would be included for needed acts of extreme penitence.

                  I would insist on being called, “Your M & M’s.” No giggling would be tolerated.

                  Anyone addressing me as “Your Eminence” (or having giggled) would be swiftly rebuked and corrected. An act of penance may be subsequently assigned for carelessly misadressing a church hierarch.

                  • George Michalopulos says:

                    Billy Jack, to appreciate Shakespeare in all his magisterial fulness, one needs to experience it in the original Klingon. Of this there can be no doubt.

                • An imperfect translation is better understood than Greek. People will not fall into heresy because of inadequate translations. Upon visiting an Ephramite convent I was told that they have no intention of ever using English. This statement was made by 2 non-Greek sisters who stated they are required to pray in Greek and that the abbess stated that it is important to preserve Greek.

                  George you do sound hypocritical and use fancifull illogical reasoning to come up with your suppositions. The reality is Ephraim wants to preserve Greek. He is as ethnocentric as the GOA.

                  • George Michalopulos says:

                    Johnkal, I accept your take on the dialogue you had with those sisters. I myself have not broached the subject while at the two monasteries I went to.

                    Having said that I still stand by my insight into the matter, perhaps because of stubborness (I don’t know). Also, I must disagree with you regarding mistranslations. I believe that they can lead to heresy.

                    If memory serves, Martin Luther inserted the word “alone” after the word “faith” into Paul’s phrase “We are saved by faith.” Lot’s of mischief has resulted because of this.

                    • George, please give me an example of a liturgical translation that could possibly lead one into heresy?

                    • Peter A. Papoutsis says:

                      The New Revised Standard Version is a bad Biblical Translation of the Bible that can lead and has led to heresy. Just the Psalms are a prime example.

                      As for liturgical translations I will defer to Monk James’s critique.

                      Peter

                    • George,

                      I agree with your take on the matter. I will add something else from my own experience at these holy monasteries. My family and I are very familiar with the Liturgy and many of the services (we are non-Greek). When we visit the monastery we are able to follow the service with no problems. After a few times, we were able to begin learning some of the Greek through exposure to the services! It is always edifying for us to embrace the holy Liturgy in this way. Furthermore, my child is home schooled, and she’s picking up on a new language!

                      Sadly, it seems that johnkal is embittered….and has a bone to pick with these holy monasteries. It would be better if he refrained from his attacks.

                • Monk James says:

                  It’s a great understatement to describe most American translations of liturgical texts as ‘uneven’. Every single one of them, for example, misses the point of _kata panta kai dia panta_ just before the Epiklesis of the Divine Liturgy, and so mistranslates those words. The intermediate Church Slavonic translation is also wrong here, and so is of no help.

                  St Tikhon Monastery Press just published an edition of the Hieratikon which includes the DLs of St John Chrysostom, St Basil the Great, and the Presanctified Gifts. Its editors protest that this is not a new translation, but they made several changes anyway. These changes are described (justified?) in a pamphlet which accompanies the book. The changes are often just as mistaken as the problems they sought to solve.

                  I can’t agree with George Michalopulos in his high praise of Abp Dmitri Royster’s renderings of the services. English — like all languages — has its own genius, and it’s the genius of the receptor language which must be the standard of a good translation, assuming that the rendering is accurate to the meaning of the source language. In AbpD’s work, for instance, he consistently honors Greek/Slavonic word order rather than native English-language modes of expression, then falls all over himself trying to avoid syntactical disasters.

                  There are times when I can almost sympathize with the idea of leaving things in their original language and teaching New Testament and liturgical Greek to all the Orthodox. Forget the folk dancing and recipes — just learn the services!

                  • Thus, the pre-requisite to being Orthodox is knowing Greek. The pre-requisite is faith in Christ. Our Lord Himself spoke only Aramaic.

                    • Peter A. Papoutsis says:

                      Why how utterly Protestant of you Johnkal. I think you need the Old Calendar more than me.

                      Peter

                    • Billy Jack Sunday says:

                      Johnkal

                      I’m gonna back you up on this

                      The presumption to be Greek Orthodox is to be Greek, or speak it, or just love it and affirm that all Greeks are better than you

                      This is America. Like the Hispanics, learn to speak English and use it exclusively in public, or get out. If you can’t translate it, it means you don’t care. What missionary departs to a foreign land determined to not come prepared with translations? We have church Slovanic, right? Does legitamate translation work end with the Slavs?

                      I saw a document from an early 20th century Scandanavian church. It was the voting results from around 1910-1920, whether the church should continue to have services in English, or Scandanavian.

                      The vote was for English. 100 years ago. The Scandinavians didn’t really start coming to this country any earlier than the Greeks

                      The Bible is also written in Hebrew. Any of you masters of the Hebrew language and professional dreidel spinners?

                      The King James bible is just fine for now, as well as the NKJV. We can work towards better translations, but if your catecumen comes out of your class believing in a flying spaghetti monster, I doubt your translation used was the issue there.

                      As far as liturgy goes, no heretical errors are going to occur as a result. Only Orthodox persons learning Orthodoxy in an Orthodox context would be reading Orthodox service book texts

                      The West had to needlessly choke down Latin. Totally not needed.

                      I studied and translated the New Testament for approximately 2 years in college. Yes, it’s helpful. But necessary? Come on! We are needlessly burdening people and therefore burning down the crops with our devotion to pita bread and funny shoes

                      You know my people used to dress funny too. Exactly like Christmas elves! We abandoned the funny shoes a long time ago, but you Greeks still wear your version of them!! Out in public! And you invite the whole community to come out once a year to stare at your goofy shoes while taking their green!!

                      Ya look like a Mediteranean munchkin or a Hellenic elf. Perhaps a Greek guh nome. Like the Hispanics, you want everyone to learn and speak your language while you hang around on someone’s lawn

                      What are you Greeks putting out for Santa on Christmas Eve? Dolmades and ouzo?

                    • Nonsense. Our Lord would have spoken Greek reasonably well, considering that He came from Galilee, which was heavily Hellenized at the time. As a carpenter who worked around the local towns, Greek would have been essential for His work.

                    • Constaninos says:

                      Johnkal,
                      How do you know our Lord spoke only Aramaic? He obviously knew Hebrew, and could very well have spoken Greek as well. In fact, it is highly likely He spoke Greek and probably Latin. He was multi- lingual.

                    • George Michalopulos says:

                      I agree. For what it’s worth, some of Jesus’ aphorisms make sense only in Hebrew.

                    • Joseph Lipper says:

                      The Scripture that Christ and the Apostles read, I believe it was the Greek Septuagint. No?

                    • M. Stankovich says:

                      The internet has provided the opportunity for anyone to rightfully accede to the role of “translator,” or more accurately, “bot.” It is fully possible for a “machine” to accurately parse a phrase in a foreign language that is “defendable” as more correct than not on a word-by-word basis, yet miss the con-tent and in-tent of the writer by a mile. The corollary is that, without knowing and appreciating the original language, it would never be possible to draw the frequent subtlety, nuance, or emotion intended by the writer. Nothing is more subtle and nuanced than poetry, and consider the Psalms of David, a man frequently crying “out of the depths” of his heart and soul, both in agony and desperation, but equally in gratitude and praise.

                      Secondly, beside the fact that it is imperative that the translation is accurate as to the in-tent and con-tent of the writer – and this obvious means that the translator has a knowledge of the language, not by analogy, but by study and instruction – it must be in complete congruence with the theology of the Church (i.e. humility dictates that a “cowboy” says, in the words of Jethro Tull, “I hope you don’t mind if I sit this one out.”) True “paradigm shifts” are revealed over time and by
                      the Holy Spirit, not by reference to Strong, et al.

                      In response to Johnkal’s “one word challenge,” it takes little effort to point out a single example that could – and would – have changed the entire course of Christianity: the word παρθένος (parthenos) is universally translated as “virgin” from the Ancient Greek writings of Homer through the Hebrew (cf. Isa. 7:14) through Matt. 1:23, Matt. 25:1, 7, 11, Lk. 1:27, Acts 21:9, and so on. Nevertheless, the same word, παρθένος (parthenos) is also used to indicate simply a “young woman” or a “young married woman” (cf. Homer, Iliad 2, 514), “and it shall be (to that) young woman [καὶ ἔσται ἡ παρθένος] Gen. 24:43). Obviously, if one suggests that the Lord was born to a “young married maiden,” the narrative would suddenly change. Voila!

                      There was a time when translation, when necessary, not conducted by “whim or imagination,” was conducted in monasteries and seminaries where there was open critique and correction. To this high calling we should return.

                • Michael Bauman says:

                  George, you have hit upon something that is quite important. For a translation to mean anything the people for whom it is translated have to have sufficient piety to receive it and embody it properly.

                  To translate the Divine Services for a people who have lost piety is a bit like throwing pearls before swine.

                  If the services are performed with piety and the people are there to receive Jesus Christ, it does not matter in the short term what the language is. As you suggest, as the piety grows, the form and substance of the translation will be revealed. It will not progress nor evolve but will be shown to us as we are able. Until then, we have what we have.

                  Our tiny monastery here in Wichita is only a block away from the Cathedral. Their services are not open to the parish laity or to pilgrims at this time because 1. there is no space; and 2. Bishop Basil does not want a competition set up.

                  We have daily vespers at the Cathedral and confessions almost every Saturday before vespers plus feast day Divine Liturgies mid week. Continuing Catechesis every Wednesday evening after Vespers. Most Sundays the monks are at the Cathedral for Divine Liturgy. Occasionally, they are tapped for teaching duties in the continuing catechesis.

                  I was fortunate to be included in vespers at the monastery once as I arrive early to pick up the Hieromonk for a dinner out with other friends. The Vespers was delightful.

                  We have three monks who live there full time and several more who are attached to the monastery and come home occasionally. We also have a young man who has been investigating monasticism who has been with them for several weeks.

                  None of the resident monks are Arab or proficient in Arabic so all of their services are in English. One of them comes from the heart of eastern Kansas farm country about an hour east of Wichita. All were received into the Church as adults. While the other two monks have ministries that keep them from the monastery a lot, it is this monk who maintains the prayer through out the day. He is a wonderfully humble man. Each of them are gentle people with great humor and real humanity.

                  IMO, there is already a lot of fruit growing from this one tiny monastery in the middle of a rather wealthy sub-division of Wichita, KS, the middle of fly-over country. It is within walking distance of the patronal estate of the Koch family on land they used to own BTW. It is just two blocks from the Lutheran church in which the abortionist George Tiller was shot and killed nine years ago.

                  The monastery is an integral part of the whole Orthodox community centered on the Cathedral that Bishop Basil has fostered; a slow maturation and growth which will draw many, God willing, and help the rest of us be healed.

                  It is these places of wisdom where the faith is kept (not just monasteries) that shows the indestructibility of God’s grace in the midst of depravity and cupidity.

                  Here is the Light made manifest, simply, quietly without discord or confrontation. Not on the grand stage of politics and war. There slowly and steadily revealing the love and mercy of our God. “…It droppeth as the gentle rain upon the earth beneath…”

                  So Michael and Bob and others who thought my post on western civilization was dark and kindly worried about me: Think of it this way, a bit like Elder Sophrony advised: stand firm and look into the abyss as long as you can, then withdraw and have a cup of tea.

                  There is more tea than darkness. For me the years I have spent in studying the abyss and, God forgive me, participating in it, coincide with Jesus revealing His presence and person to me. It allows me to appreciate the Light and the tea when I am graced to experience it. In the course of my explorations, I have never been without His protection and His guidance. It is intriguing to me that now the essence of what I studied and learned over the years is now a current topic of discussion. So I share what I have seen to the best of my ability. Do not be afraid, for He has overcome it all.

                  God has a way of making Himself known in the middle of darkness. He did after all descend into Hades. St. John Maxomovich is …of San Francisco for Pete’s sake and his relics are in the very heart of that city.

                  Glory to God.

                  …and please to all: if in your travels you are led to the edges of what used to be called The Great American Desert, perhaps on a pilgrimage to Eighth Day Books, stop a while for refreshment and the breaking of bread.

                  • George Michalopulos says:

                    Quite possibly one of the most insightful pieces you’ve ever written Mike. I very much appreciate the fact that you came to my rhetorical rescue early on when you expanded on my shots in the dark regarding the proper use of liturgical language coupled with the right phronema.

                    And I do need to make the trek to Wichita. It’s been too long and it looks like you all didn’t let the grass grow under you feet.

                    • Constaninos says:

                      Brother Billy Jack Sunday,
                      It’s really not nice to bash Greek people. As the saying goes,”life is too short not to be Greek.”
                      While you are hanging out on someone else’s lawn, you can take out your Greek weedeater and do some work. That’s right! The weedeater was invented by a Greek. Mr. George Ballas,, grandfather of Mark Ballas of Dancing With The Stars infamy.
                      Also, as far as Santa Claus goes, one of the most beloved saints is the Greek Saint Nicholas. You didn’t know Saint Nicholas was Greek? We Greeks are the best- always have been and always will be. Do you know what the US needs more than anything? A Greek President! Cheers!

                    • George Michalopulos says:

                      Just as long as it wasn’t Field Marshall Dukakis!

                    • Constaninos says:

                      George,
                      I did some digging,and the consensus is that Jesus was probably fluent in Greek. The Romans spoke Greek Jesus spoke to the Roman Centurion amd Pontius Pilate in Greek. He probably did not speak Latin at all. So it would be Aramaic, Hebrew, and Greek. Of course, the gospel was written in Greek, often quoting from the Greek Septuagint, of particular note is the Greek translation of Isaiah 7;l4. In Hebrew, the word almah is used which means a young woman of marriageable age. The Septuagint uses the Greek word parthenos which means a virgin. Matthew uses the Greek word parthenos from the Septuagint. Let’s not forget the Lord and His disciples used the Septuagint in their writings.

                    • Constaninos,

                      I give you a word…any word, and you will show me how the root of that word is Greek.

                      GRIN! Sorry. I just couldn’t resist.

                    • M. Stankovich says:

                      “GRIN” comes the Greek root Γρηγο (“gringo”) which means “unaffiliated white, non-hispanic California male.” What did I win, Brian, what did I win? I just love word games!

                    • Congratulation, Michael! You win a grin as wide as the one in my original post.

                      I just loved that movie (the first one). It made me want to be Greek (honestly!). To this day, on the day of their baptisms I always tell the catechumens, “It’s your lucky day to be baptized in the […] Orthodox Church.” And I mean it every bit as much as Gus.

                  • Tim R. Mortiss says:

                    Readings in one language would be good. Reading the epistle in Greek and then in English, and then the Gospel in Greek and English (and a few other things to boot) is….unnecessary.

                    • Bishop Tikhon (Fitzgerald) says:

                      “Constaninos” (without a “t”!) writes “Let’s not forget the Lord and His disciples used the Septuagint in their writings.” Please list the Lord’s writings for this illiterate lout! As for the Greek rendition of Old Testament Scripture, the Septuagint, Iranians may enjoy how, according to Isaiah, God called the Zoroastrian Persian Shah Cyrus, “My Christos.” And let’s not overlook this fact, uncomfortable for Greeks, that the original Hebrew of the Old Testament Scripture contains this passage: “Then they said unto him, Say now Shibboleth: and he said Sibboleth: fot he could not frame to pronounce it right. Then they took him and slew him in the passages of Jordan:” Likewise Greeks can’t say (or write!) “Shibboleth.” They can’t say “sh”, “ch,” “zh-j”, because even their alphabet doesn’t have those sounds: when the Eastern Slavs needed an alphabet, the missionaries used the Greek alphabet, except for those signs, so they raided the Hebrew alphabet for the sounds sh, ch, shch,and zh! Even today, new Grecian immigrants say “artsibiskop, “tsorts” (church) and so on. In the Septuagint, the Persian names, “Kurosh,” “Khshayarsha” and “Artakhshassa” became Kyros (Cyrus), Xerxes, and Artaxerxes, because the Greeks had no way of pronouncing and writing Zh, Ch, Sh. Timor Mortis has the right idea! The Greeks even turned “Joshua” into “Iesous” for the same reason. Does anyone here imagine that the Angel said “His name shall be called “iesous” and not “Joshua” or “Jeheshua?” As if the Lord God spoke Greek to the Jews!!!!!

                    • Constaantinos says:

                      Your Grace,
                      I caught my error after it was published. The only known time the Lord wrote anything was when the woman was taken in adultery. You are correct. Thank you for your excellent post. You put me in my rightful place. (in the dog house)

                • George,

                  Do you know where one can view or purchase the liturgical translation made by Archbishop Dimitri of blessed memory?

                  • George Michalopulos says:

                    I imagine by calling the diocesan chancery in Dallas. Also, I’ve heard that the OCA Diocese of the West uses that translation. (If I’m wrong, please correct me.)

              • Peter, look at the facts. I have no intention of slandering Ephraim I point to what is true.

                • You can start by calling him Elder Ephraim or Geronda Ephraim or Fr. Ephraim. The way you address him is disrespectful and shameful.

          • Menas Faxylas says:

            This is exactly how abusers are described. Now “nice” they are. In fact, many kids aren’t even told whatis going on in the abuse. Everything is “how nice”. If they didn’t perpetuate this myth, they could not perpetuate their victims. Many molestors even have advocacy groups that sound just like the Efrem advocates.

        • Migas Dioutsikos says:

          No, Efremites get money from credit cards they pilfer from elderly they care for and from making krokodil from kerosene to stupefy Trump voters for Putin. Spyro Gyro is ultimately responsible for letting the Efremites and Lulurgans turn the Archdiocese into a romper room. All of the outer borough parish councils and radio stations are dominated by Lulurgas butt boys.

      • The monasteries are the heart of the church says:

        Costa,

        I’ve been to one of the GOA’s “Ephraimite” American monasteries several times, and they are the best thing going in the GOA these days.

        They don’t get a dime in financial support from the GOA. All of their financial support comes from private donors. The monastics are a healthy, heartwarming group who include mostly non-Greeks working out their salvation in monastic obedience. How America needs them!

        I like George’s theory as to why they cause conflict in the GOA — maybe the E. 79th Street NYC folks think all the money that the faithful are giving to the monasteries should be going to them!

        The monasteries are a much needed antidote to the overly secularized and modernist GOA parish, which is sadly too common these days. People — those yearning for the Truth and an encounter with Christ — crave authenticity, and the monasteries are certainly authentic. The E. 79th St. folks? Not so much.

        And how healthy is a central church administration if it is disdainful and envious of its own monasteries?

        This is akin to modernist Episcopalians’ disdain for traditional Anglicans — like the ECUSA getting angry that traditional Anglicans aren’t financially supporting them anymore.

        You reap what you sow, and sadly over the last half-century or so, much of the GOA has not been built on a solid foundation. Built on sand, maybe, instead of rock?

        One question on St Basil’s Academy in Garrison, N.Y.: is it no longer serving at-risk, parentless children? What is it functioning as now?

      • Billy Jack Sunday says:

        Maybe they play golf with the Jesuits?

  3. Greatly Saddened says:

    On a positive note, I would like to congratulate the Very Reverend Nathanael Symeonides on his election as Metropolitan of Chicago. I pray God continues to guide him and give him the strength he will need to lead this extremely important Metropolis with love, patience, humility, caring, compassion, empathy and understanding towards his fellow clergy and faithful.

    May he be an example for all of us to follow and most importantly, may he keep “Christ” always in the forefront. This is a tall order, but then again, he is held to a higher standard and rightfully so. Axios!

    • Upon reading about the new Metropolitan’s history:

      1. He fully supports the EP climate change propaganda.
      2. He is a committed ecumenist and a staunch supporter of the Cretan Robber Council.
      3. He used to teach at Fordham.

      • Billy Jack Sunday says:

        4. Also loves pandas

        • GOA has gone too far says:

          Pandas? Seriously?

          Defrock immediately.

          ANAXIOS!

        • How could someone not love Pandas?

          • Billy Jack Sunday says:

            Hahahahaha

          • M. Stankovich says:

            I had gone to the National Zoo in D.C. – must have been in the late 1980’s – specifically to see the panda’s on loan from the Chinese. It was unmercifully hot in mid-August, and the line to pass through a specially designed built to protect them was hours long. When I finally arrived near the point where there was a large glass window to look out and see them, they had eaten, were lying on their backs feet facing the observation window, spread-eagle, as big piles of fur. Directly through the window, the only distinguishing characteristics separating the pandas from simply piles of errant fur were their genitals shamelessly on display. And, of course, you could hear children asking, “Momma, what’s that?” Lovely. Finally, since I had been in line for more than 4-hours and the panda house was closing but minutes, I was being offered special tickets to move to the head of the line the next morning. I accepted 4-tickets and immediately gave them away. I no longer love the pandas.

            • Will Harrington says:

              You expected Pandas to have shame? Very strange. Are you, by any chance, an urban person? I ask because, coming from a rural background myself, I have to say that no rural child of my acquaintance would be asking “whats that?” or scandalized by the answer. Cultural differences fascinate me but I am, I must confess, having a hard time understanding your perspective on this most likely unimportant issue and would love to know where your perspective originates.

              • M. Stankovich says:

                It originates, Will, in my standup act at the the La Jolla Comedy Club every Friday night at 2300. Dude, it was a joke! While I am an admittedly devout urban-dweller and an admirer of Camus’ statement, “I love the drama of the city too much to worry about nature,” I appreciated the irony of surviving the heat & humidity, only to find the guests of honour on the snooze. Not enough to return the next day, mind you – this was, after all, my “Look for America” tour, and I had monuments to see, but I do remember it to this day.

              • Constaninos says:

                Will,
                I knew it was a joke, but I was thinking if you think pandas are bad, how about monkeys? They scratch their private areas in full view of everyone.

      • Alifas Crementeris says:

        And you don’t apologize for these hideous posts? You dogs came to Holy America to escaep your islamosoviet homelands, to assimilate and become “sostos anthropos” instad you propogate the very filth you escaped. Maybe you all need to be set down to gitmo to hang by your own gizards. Here is what real Americans are doing: https://www.putincon.com/

        • Alifas by your poor grammar and spelling it is obvious you are not a well educated person. But most telling is your name calling and personal attacks. Your posts demonstrate your lack of manners, education and good breeding.
          On the substance of your posts, you fail to realize that many well educated people and knowledgeable people believe that the real problem is the subversive actions of the deep state and necon movement that wants us in a perpetual state of conflict with Russia to feed the war machine and line their own pockets along the way.
          Putin is by no means perfect, but the more we learn about the crookedness of the Obama Administration, and of the Crooked Clinton’s who stuffed their foundation and their pockets with cash from Middle Eastern dictators, we should realize how little room we have to throw stones. We live in a big glass house.
          Instead of coming off half-cocked attacking the people who come to this board to respectfully discuss the issues of the day, why don’t you learn grammar, spelling and how to craft a post based on facts and thoughtful ideas instead of name calling and ad hominem attacks. There are some things I don’t like about Putin, some that I do, and I am always happy to discuss them with respectful people in a professional manner. In summary, grow up.

          • Constaninos says:

            Dear Michael,
            I’m so glad you’re on this forum. I marvel at your eloquence, tact, diplomacy and skill. If you were a trial lawyer, you would win every case hands down. You would make a great Secretary of State. I’m definitely an admirer.

          • Monk James says:

            Sometimes, even well educated people speaking or writing in a language other than their native tongue express themselves inelegantly. Sometimes their choice of words and expressions is harsher than — or at least different- from — what they really mean to say, since they are unaware of the emotional weight of some of those words and the impressions they create. .

  4. Zimas Alevrohaftas says:

    Read Mitch Fatouros books. When Lambrakis was arrested, his addicts at the Archdiocese started ratting each other out.

  5. What damage are you claiming these monasteries have caused? Folks I know who visit them speak very highly of them.

    • Constaninos says:

      Hi Dan,
      I have never visited any of these monasteries so I’m totally unqualified to comment on them one way or the other.

  6. Gail Sheppard says:

    He was hastily called to Istanbul because Erdogan is giving the Patriarchate to Pope Francis! Ok, ok, someone please tell me my imagination is running away with me! Why did Pope Francis call Erdogan to the Vatican this week, why was His Eminence Archbishop Demetrios called to Istanbul and why is our very own pacifist (the EP) backing Turkey and blessing anti-Kurd tanks? Is the EP struggling to get on the good side of Erdogan to stay in the Patriarchate? What is going on, exactly?

    • George Michalopulos says:

      You tell me! Anybody?!?

      I don’t know which way is up!

      • Joseph Lipper says:

        Why doesn’t Erdogan just start calling himself Sultan? In the below article he calls the Turkish Republic a continuation of the Ottoman Empire and praises the late Sultan Abdulhamid II as one of the greatest strategic visionaries of the last 150 years:

        http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/turkish-republic-is-continuation-of-ottomans-president-erdogan-127106

        Seriously, this guy Erdogan needs to be reined in, but the problem seems to be that whenever someone tries (as members of the EU have), Erdogan will then threaten to release the currently estimated 3.7 million refugees that Turkey hosts and send them into Europe. This is what Brussels seems to fear the most. Brussels is allowing itself to be controlled by this fear, and in this way Erdogan has the upper hand on a now squirmish EU.

        What will the European Union do about Turkey? That seems to be the big question. Last summer there was talk at an EU meeting about dividing the EU into two different “speeds”. There would be a union of “high speed” EU countries and a union of “low speed” EU countries. Perhaps these would even represent separate “schengen” areas. The EU might then demote Greece into a separate low-speed “schengen” area with Bulgaria, Romania, and Turkey. What a nightmare that would be for Greece!

        The meeting between Pope Francis and Erdogan is now being praised by Turkey as a meeting that will bring about global peace:

        http://aa.com.tr/en/middle-east/erdogan-pope-meeting-promises-global-peace-spokesman/1059789

      • Billy Jack Sunday says:

        George

        Okay things are crazy, but this is still mostly speculation, right? And figurative? The EP isn’t literally blessing tanks, right?

        • George Michalopulos says:

          He blessed the Turkish Army.

          • Alifas Cremeneris says:

            He served in the Turkish Army. For generations all the Ottoman clergy, muslim, Orthodox and Jewish jointly blessed many military and civic assemblies, long before your freaky Efremites began calling them ecumenist syncretists for it. Just as Patriarchs served at the pleasure of Byzantine emperors, they serve at the pleasure of Turkish authorities. That is why the eagle has two heads. You’re the dogs who don’t believe in separating church and state, who corrupted the Greek state by having the government pay all their salaries.

          • Billy Jack Sunday says:

            Well that sucks – and is embarrassing and extremely disturbing

            I can’t imagine how King Harold must have felt when the Pope blessed William the Conqueror to invade England

            “Hey, Harold – how do you like being king?”

            “Meh, it’s better than a poke in the eye with a large stick . . . ”

            “Oh, really . . . ?”

    • Migas Dioutsikos says:

      The reason L100 went crawling to Stravidas was this was ent to all the ethnic and labor RC press: The original Greek WTC church was built by the Czars, as can be documented by all the trinkets they donated, but they trojaned the date. BBC Monitoring January 15, 2018 said Russian state TV channel Rossiya 1 has broadcast a film about the Valaam Monastery in Russia’s north that focused heavily on lengthy excerpts from interviews with Russian President Vladimir Putin [who said] . . . “In fact, the Communist ideology is actually akin to Christianity.” Alexander Litvinenko accused Vladimir Putin of being a paedophile four months before he was poisoned (Independent UK 21 January 2016. On 9/11/01 the Archbishop of Athens Gristledule said we deserved it as retribution for our bombing the Serbs (Vaslaces, ISBN 978-960-252-007-9). How else did the Greek government know to move Atlantic Bank from the WTC the prior June. The Czars were always communist, forbidding land ownership because the Obsina mir belonged to Mokosh, and had free education and health care. Aristides Papadakis tries to make the early Christians into communist (David Bentley Hart NOV 4 2017 NY Times). Kim Philby spawned the Oxbridge Orthodox under Tim Ware and Steve Khanya Hayes who taught Savas Zombilas, George Stifanopolis, George Demcopolis and John McGughen. The Srebrenica genocide was directed by Greek KYP agents Spyrus Djanopoulos, Dimitrus Zavitsanos, and Haralabus Dimulas. In 1182 Greeks massacred sixty thousand Istanbul Catholics, selling the remainder to their Turkish sultan. On Jan 1 1920 US Adm Mark Bristol judged the Greeks with the initial provocative August 18 1919 genocide of Smyrna cabled to the NY Times on Nov 26 (NYT Jan 3 1920 pg 10, Aug 19, 1919 pg 18). That is why the Greeks made Cosmus Aitrellus their patron of genocide. Soviet Seleucid Jean Bouchedior wrote “The rich are in possession of the goods of the poor, even if they have acquired them honestly” (Lazarus 11). The Theodosian Code promoted confiscatory taxation and promoted Diocletian socialist feudalism (Rostovtzeff 1926, Gibbon ch. 13) that Toynbee (1939, IV p. 399) said caused Anatolia to apostase into Turkishness. Gun control hails back to Justinian’s Novella 85. See “Is Orthodox Christianity progressive?” By Michelle Boorstein Washington Post November 4, 2009. If Greeks trojaned their eurobudgets, do you trust their food hygiene, caique shipping, quisling lawyers or olive witch doctors?

  7. George, can you give me a short and sweet breakdown on why the GOA/EP is so troubled?

    • George Michalopulos says:

      As a priest told me: through their ethnocentrism and Byzantine nostalgia, they have “hindered the Gospel”.

  8. Greatly Saddened says:

    Below please find an announcement from yesterday on the Byzantine, Texas website.

    Saturday, February 10, 2018
    Bp. Demetrios steps away from Chicago following election

    http://byztex.blogspot.com/2018/02/bp-demetrios-steps-away-from-chicago.html?m=1

  9. Greatly Saddened says:

    Below please find an announcement from the Metropolis of Chicago from Friday pertaining to His Grace Bishop Demetrios of Mokissos and Chancellor of the Metropolis.

    Bishop Demetrios Sabbatical Announcement
    February 9, 2018

    http://chicago.goarch.org/news/2018/2/9/bishop-demetrios-sabbatical-announcement

  10. Constaninos says:

    I read for the umpteenth time on Orthodox Christian Laity a former Greek Orthodox priest whining about his ” beloved” Orthodox Church cruelly abusing him for the “crime” of remarrying because of a “devastating” widowhood after forty eight years of marriage. The Greek Orthodox Church “cruelly” laicized him for violating the proscription against a priest marrying after ordination. He has repeatedly appealed to the Ecumenical Patriarch to reinstate him ” to his rightful place” to no avail. He has even complained to a newspaper about his “cruel mistreatment” at the hands of his mean Orthodox Church.
    Does this man realize how ridiculous, embarrassing, undignified, and unmanly he sounds. He was an old man when his wife died. So what? There are millions upon millions of people in this world who have suffered much greater tragedies than he. I know many of these people who make his problems pale in comparison. I wrote a post on the website suggesting that he get over himself.
    He’s eighty four years old, enjoyed a marriage for forty eight years, and yet he is shedding crocodile tears about his situation. I am reminded of the Godfather when Frankie was crying to Don Corleone, ” Oh Godfather! Godfather!” Don Corleone jumped out of his seat, slapped Franky, shook him and yelled, ” You can act like a man!”
    Just three houses down the street from my church a precious thirteen year old girl’s father had died less than a year earlier at the age of forty two of a sudden heart attack. She had just recently celebrated her thirteenth birthday. She was visiting her father’s grave in the cemetery behind her home. On her way back to her house, her fifty eight year old neighbor asked her to help him move his boat in his garage while feigning a bad back. When she entered his garage, he proceeded to close the garage door, lock it and savagely, brutally rape and murder her. Her dead body was found five days later in her neighbor’s basement buried under some junk. This poor child lost her father, was savagely beaten, murdered and raped, her mother and younger sister’s grief was incomprehensible. She never got to go to her junior and senior proms, graduate from high school and college, have a career, get married and become a mother. She would have been forty one years old now if she had lived. And this priest has the temerity and gall to complain about the “cruel abuse” by his Orthodox Church. Melissa’s death shook me to my core because she was only four years older than my own daughter. Life has a way of upsetting “our” plans, rain falls on every garden, and yet I’m supposed to somehow feel sorry for this ungrateful, little crybaby, poor example of a man and a priest. I’m amazed at how self obsessed, narcissistic, and self absorbed people can be – let alone a cowardly Greek Orthodox priest.

    • I can’t guess, but the man is 84 years old, likely isn’t coping well and perhaps a touch demented?
      Constantinos, it is difficult to measure pain. People cope, or do not cope based on many factors. Is the tragedy experienced by your neighbors family worse?
      Absolutely yes!! It is horrible.
      But we don’t know until we walk in the others shoes. I think the real fault of the priest is thinking the rules should bend for him, not that he can’t cope with his personal hell.

  11. Greatly Saddened says:

    Below please find an article from today on the WSOC TV website.

    Teen accused of assaulting Charlotte priest to face judge Monday Updated: Feb 12, 2018 – 12:17 PM

    http://www.wsoctv.com/news/local/teen-arrested-after-allegedly-assaulting-church-leader-in-south-charlotte/697768898

  12. Greatly Saddened says:

    Below please find an article from Saturday on The Charlotte Observer website.

    Teen accused of assaulting a church leader in a south Charlotte parking lot
    BY WBTV
    February 10, 2018 06:52 PM
    Updated February 10, 2018 06:53 PM

    http://www.charlotteobserver.com/news/local/article199526769.html

  13. Greatly Saddened says:

    It has been reported in today’s edition of the Ethnikos Kyrix that Metropolitan elect of Chicago, the Very Reverend Nathanael Symeonides, will be ordained to the Episcopacy by His Eminence Archbishop Demetrios on Saturday, March 17th, at Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Archdiocesan Cathedral in Manhattan. Orthos at 8:30AM, followed by Divine Liturgy at 9:30AM.

    His entronement to Metropolitan of Chicago by His Eminence Archbishop Demetrios, will take place the following Saturday, March 24th, at Annuciation Cathedral in Chicago, at 11AM.

    • M. Stankovich says:

      There must be three bishops to consecrate a new bishop. His Eminence Archbishop Demetrios cannot consecrate a new bishop alone.

  14. Michael Bauman says:

    I am sure Jesus spoke any language He needed to speak. But, he only ate one style of tabouli

  15. Monk James says:

    Since our Lord Jesus Christ preached in the Dekapolis, it’s almost certain that He spoke Greek in addition to His native Aramaic. And since He is described as reading the scriptures in the synagogue services, it’s obvious that He could read Hebrew.

    Constantinos’ and others interested in the dependence of the New Testament on the Greek 70 would do well to consult this book:
    OLD TESTAMENT QUOTATIONS IN THE NEW TESTAMENT: A COMPLETE SURVEY. Gleason Archer and Gregory Chirichigno. Moody Press Chicago 1983
    ISBN 10: 0802402364 ISBN 13: 9780802402363

    It’s also available in paperback editions.

Speak Your Mind

*