An Open Letter to the Assembly of Canonical Orthodox Bishops of the United States of America

An Open Letter to the Assembly of Canonical Orthodox Bishops of the United States of America

 

“Finally, brothers and sisters, rejoice! Strive for full restoration, encourage one another, be of one mind, live in peace. And the God of love and peace will be with you.”

2 Corinthians 13:11

 

“Keep an eye on your bishops as far as their Orthodoxy is concerned lest they go so far as to teach doctrines against the true faith or celebrate with heretics and schismatics. As far as other things, they act out of ignorance or because the days are evil and they will give an account to God only.”

St. Gennadios

 

Greetings in Christ, Your Eminences and Graces,

 

Christ is Born! 

As a layman of the Orthodox Church in the United States, I feel compelled to write to you about two events that have not only scandalized the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese, but all the faithful in America. 

On a recent trip to Greece, His Eminence Archbishop Elpidophoros conducted a scandalous baptism that was completely unbefitting of an Orthodox hierarch.  Yet he remains the head of not only the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese in America, but of the Assembly of Canonical Orthodox Bishops, embarrassing each represented jurisdiction with seemingly little regard for the precedent it sets.  

Recent events in Ukraine have also drawn negative attention to the Orthodox Church, this time at the hands of His Holiness Patriarch Bartholomew of Constantinople.  His consecration of anathematized schismatics within the territory of the Church of Russia has undermined the witness of the blessed Metropolitan Onuphry, who for the better part of a decade was recognized by the Ecumenical Patriarchate as the legitimate Metropolitan of Kiev and all Ukraine.

Yet in 2018, at the behest of a Ukrainian businessman and politician, His Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew issued a Tomos to these unrepentant schismatics installing yet a second Metropolitan of Kiev and all Ukraine, much to the consternation of the Local Churches, not one of whom approved of his actions. 

This has resulted in a schism that has ushered in a war of unpresented scale.

How long before this schism manifests itself as acutely here in America where we are multi-jurisdictional, making even the possibility of unity within the Orthodox Church in America all but non-existent? 

I ask and pray that as heads of the various jurisdictions in the Orthodox Church, you implore your respective patriarchates to come together in unity to resolve this issue.  Not only for the sake of the laity in America, but for the sake of unity throughout the entire world. 

In closing, Your Eminences and Graces, Orthodox unity must be preserved and protected over the perceived needs and actions of a single patriarchate.  We ask that you reflect on this, as I am far from being the only concerned layperson in America.  We know these matters are of grave importance to you, as well, as we have witnessed your commitment and hard work to make unity a reality in this country.  We are dependent upon you to protect this dream and with God’s help, we are confident you will find a solution.

 Please pray for me a sinner as I continue to pray for you. 

Concerned Member of the Laity

Signatures:

  • Fedec, Alexios M.
  • Hitt, Randall
  • Michalopulos, George & Gail
  • Nelson, Hilber
  • Pearson III, David
  • Petros
  • Wintheiser, Ronda
  • Reader John – Art Danks

 

Comments

  1. Thank you, Petros! Please let us know what communication you receive.

  2. How do we sign our names on this document?

  3. Thanks for posting this George & Gail

    To all who read this, please forward this letter to your respective priest, bishop, or even Patriarch

  4. Zane Carides says

    Dream on lemmings! Chekov clearly debunks myths of Russian piety showing them instead to be drunken wife beaters with no understanding if their faith and insistence on pagan rituals.

  5. Thank you! We pray for the awakening and action of our beloved canonical hierarchs. I know our kingdom is of Heaven, but what is being allowed is just wrong!
    “Thy will be done, on earth as it is in Heaven!”Lord have mercy!

  6. This is the kill-shot from Rod Dreher’s latest piece:

    “He’s right. You can never, ever appease these people. Ever. I advised my Methodist correspondent that there is no way to avoid the hard theological dispute dividing that church. People are going to have to take a stand. Those who believe that there’s a third way are deceiving themselves. Those congregations that choose the path of tradition will likely have more to suffer for their stance. But they will have shown that the fear God more than men. Besides, to the best of my knowledge, every church that has taken the path of formal affirmation has continued its decline. True, conservative churches are also declining. Still, in twenty years, in may places the only people still going to church will be those who are drawn to countercultural congregations who are faithful to the Bible and to tradition.”

    Here’s the entire essay by Dreher: https://www.theamericanconservative.com/sorry-anglicans-there-is-no-third-way/?utm_source=mailchimp&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=editorsweekly&utm_source=The+American+Conservative&utm_campaign=130b32dd98-EMAIL_CAMPAIGN_2021_07_29_02_06_COPY_01&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_f7b67cac40-130b32dd98-63714250&mc_cid=130b32dd98

    • The Teaching of the Twelve Apostles,
      Commonly Called the Didache

      https://biblehub.com/library/richardson/early_christian_fathers/the_teaching_of_the_twelve.htm

      The Lord’s Teaching to the Heathen by the Twelve Apostles:

      ‘ 1 There are two ways, one of life and one of death; and between the two ways there is a great difference. …

      ^4 “Abstain from carnal passions.” …

      2 The second commandment of the Teaching: …

      ^2 … do not corrupt boys; do not fornicate … do not murder a child by abortion or kill a new-born infant. …
      ^4 Do not be double-minded or double-tongued, for a double tongue is “a deadly snare.”
      ^5 Your words shall not be dishonest or hollow, but substantiated by action. … ‘

      ie: Neither do it, nor encourage nor celebrate it;
      for it is the way of death.

  7. If I may be controversial, this is why Protestantism happened and Christianity is the better for it.

    • Ah, yes, because 35,000 new heretical sects and counting is far superior to having a minority of dysfunctional bishops. Great take, Bob.

      • Gail Sheppard says

        Instead of a single voice, the Holy Spirit becomes refracted, reflected and projected through lenses of broken glass. Not an improvement by any stretch of the imagination, but I can see the allure. If you can create your own version of the truth, of course it would seem better.

        Until you realize it isn’t true.

        • Solidarity Priest says

          That’s the problem, Gail. Luther rejected the whole concept of holiness of the church, because he saw no holiness in the papal church of his day. So, he decided to “roll his own.” And that process has been repeated countless times.

          • Just a dad says

            “…Luther rejected the whole concept of holiness of the church, because he saw no holiness in the papal church of his day. So, he decided to “roll his own.” And that process has been repeated countless times.”

            I am not sure I’ve read a more succinct and profound summary of the origins of the protestant church (where my wife and I spent 40 years, not unlike wandering in the desert, searching for something we knew was out there).