A Big, Fat, Greek Fiasco

You would be forgiven if you thought that this was the half-completed St Nicholas Shrine. You would be wrong however. This is instead a German anti-aircraft battery from World War II. Yours Truly chose it because it is an apt metaphor for the Big, Fat, Greek Fiasco that is the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America (GOA).

(Also, because I couldn’t find a graphic that exemplified The Gang that Couldn’t Shoot Straight.)

Anyway, where was I? Ah yes, the ever-more dire news out of 79th St. There’s a lot to digest on that front, but at the end of the day, it’s clear that Archbishop Demetrios Trakatellis is being left to twist in the wind based on the hammering he got at the latest Holy Synod meeting in Istanbul.

That’s a shame really because he was placed in an untenable situation from the very start of his archpastorate. I realize of course that as “Geron” of America, all this happened on his watch so he is technically, officially responsible. But let me put my cards on the table right now and say it’s not going to get any better under his successor, whoever that might be. Why? Because with the eradication of the Ligonier movement, with elevation of the GOA bishops to metropolitan status, and with the globalist designs of the present Ecumenical Patriarch, the GOA had unwittingly been set up for a fall.

Consider: why were there no such fiascoes such as this under his predecessor, or his predecessor? Is it possible that things were more quiescent because the GOA under Iakovos was essentially autonomous and the previous Patriarch (Demetrios of blessed memory) had no global pretensions? In retrospect, it appears that the GOA under late Patriarch Demetrios operated under a regime of benign neglect. Nothing wrong with that all things being equal.

Iakovos certainly made his share of mistakes but there was no doubt that he viewed himself as an American prelate first and foremost and not as an emissary from a long-dead empire. He loved this country and tried by hook and by crook to acculturate the Orthodox Church to America (while America was still America and not the giant public orgy it has become). He viewed the ghettoization of Orthodoxy here in America with abject horror –as did Patriarch Demetrios for that matter.

The globalists however had other designs for Orthodoxy. And to effect this they needed another, more westernized agent. And for him to succeed, the GOA had to be transmuted into something different. Hence the disruption of anything organic forming in America (such as Ligonier).

It’s clear to me now that in order for the present Ecumenical Patriarch to be able to operate on the world stage he needed several things from the GOA from the get-go: money from well-heeled Greek-Americans and the political clout that said money could garner for him from the political class here in the States. And to better effect these, the need for a sustaining narrative to justify these pretensions. As such Byzantine nostalgia was elevated to an art-form and Canon 28 mythology was dusted off.

Archbishop Demetrios, the Archons, Leadership 100 and all other organs of the GOA succeeded to an extent initially at least for awhile. But they could not succeed forever. (Jesus Himself said something about “a house built on sand” if memory serves.) A willing American political class likewise pretended to buy into these pretension for their own cynical purposes. But ultimately they fell short. Everyone associated with this charade fell short. It could not be any other way. And so we are left with the debacle that is the St Nicholas Shrine. The half-built edifice is in this sense, emblematic of that failure on so many levels.

So will things get better once the present archbishop is given the gold watch and shown the door? That’s doubtful. And not just because the 79th Street is carrying a tremendous debt burden. It’s because it has not come to grips with its grandiosity. By making a scapegoat of Demetrios (as you can read from the minutes of the just-concluded Holy Synod meeting), it proves that they haven’t learned their lesson.

Or I should say lessons? The first of which is that Ground Zero is hallowed ground in America. The people who died there, the buildings that were destroyed, the city of New York itself, suffered a type of martyrdom. It was the first strike of the global jihad against the West. And the GOA has so mishandled that atrocity that one could be forgiven for thinking that they made a mockery of it.

If 79th Street was in charge of memorializing Pearl Harbor, they would have erected be a gyros-and-trinkets shop on top of the USS Arizona. And even then it’d be half-built with huge cost overruns. One can easily imagine a annual food-fest on its deck, together with children dressed as evzones and dancing on top of turrets. (I suppose they would draw the line with belly dancing.)

As far as I’m concerned, the entire Eparchial Synod (not just the Archbishop alone) should issue an abject apology to the American people for the mockery they made of the suffering that was endured at that place. And if the Archons and Leadership 100 can’t see their way to make Ground Zero whole, then they should disband forthwith.

And if the shrine defaults to the Moslems (who have the wherewithal to complete it), then so be it. After all, the present shrine is not being built upon the land in which the original St Nicholas was destroyed. Let that be a lesson to future American Orthodox, what happens when Byzantine ethnarchs get too clever for their own good.

About GShep


  1. Greatly Saddened says

    So well said. It seems this group is filled with corruption, lies and deceit. Shame on the laity for allowing these people, hierarchs and laity alike, who have been appointed by these hierarchs to be a rubber stamp and allowing for the terrible situation the archdiocese finds itself in once again.

    All we hear is, things are getting better. To think, no one, I mean no one, has even had the conscience to apologize for the on going fiasco. Not that by doing so would excuse all that has transpired.

    They are a complete embarrassment to themselves and to us. What nerve to even think of having a Clergy-Laity Congress this summer. All this is, is a gathering of sycophants telling each other how wonderful things are. They refuse to face reality and the truth. Who from all the people attending will be bold enough to ask the necessary questions and furthermore, if they did, who would expect to get honest answers from this seemingly dishonest group?

    This organization, along with their appointed laity should be ashamed of themselves. This isn’t a church, it is and has been for a very long time a circus. All they do is deflect. Look at the submitted budget, it is a joke. After all this, why would anyone in their right mind want to give?

    Let the Patriarchate, the Archdiocese and the Metropolises find their own ways of funding themselves. The parishoner’s stewardship/ dues depending on the parish, should go directly to that specific parish and allow them to decide how and where their money should be spent. This is to include the various missions at the local level.

    It is quite obvious the Archdiocese is not capable of handling the financial contributions of their stewards/members properly. They cannot be trusted. So sad, but ever so true!

  2. George,
    Don’t know if you ever noticed, but homes in Greece would remain unbuilt for years on end. Growing up, my parents would take me to Greece to visit the grandparents every couple years for the summers. Every visit I would see the same homes unfinished or bottom units finished, and top units half done. My relatives told me, so long as the home was never 100% completed they did not have to pay any tax on it. Seems our Greek born Bishops, and their minions have brought more than Holy Traditions from Greece, to our shores.

    Until arrests are made, corrupt bishops will not change. In my experience, with my parish, laity will do nothing, until churches shut their doors on Sunday. There is a lot of apathy, disinterest, and ignorance within the Greek Orthodox laity. But deny a Greek, a church wedding, and a cheap reception hall…. the knives will come out, especially those from Crete.

    This all may be a blessing in disguise. If change occurs.

    • Billy Jack Sunday says

      Unfinished buildings are a Greek tradition?

      So what you are saying is, even in this sad state of being, this shrine is all about celebrating Greek. What about the non-Greek, Germanic convert parishioner?

      Representation of the Greek Orthodox convert would be simple and would match perfectly

      Just place a Camaro and a rusted out Chevy pickup on cinder blocks outside this unfinished building

      • Billy,

        I must truly be a red blooded Greek American! I had an old 1960 Dodge Phoenix, two door. Looked a lot like the haunted car in the movie Christine. So I named her Christine. Used to cruise her up and down El Camino Real in San Mateo, during my high school days. Then as I got older,I got a more reliable car and traveled a lot for business. Old Christine, just sat in front of my uncle’s house for years collecting rust, until my uncle made me sell her, as I had no garage space in my apartment in San Francisco, and didn’t want to store her. I always thought I would fix her up, but never did. Wish I still had Christine and brought her back to her glory days.

        • Most likely most missed it, actually I did as well, until I read it a third time….

          There is a lesson to my story of neglected Christine, for our Bishops. Bishops who have squandered, and neglected so much, given to them, never to return.

          Christine is more than just a car long gone, after being left on the side of the road…

          Pray for our Bishops! They need us more than they know.

        • Billy Jack Sunday says


          And I eat hummus every day – no lie – every day

          It is the hummus and hoopties that bind us together

          [Small solemn bow]

    • Especially those from Crete, I lol’d at that

    • Dino,

      Your unfinished houses comment brought back memories of visiting my son when he was studying in Athens. Between there, Aegina, the Metaora monasteries, and Chios we saw thousands of what I jokingly referred to as “shells,” basically two or three-story steel-framed structures with poured concrete floors but as yet no walls or anything else. There were so many of them that I found it almost comical. My assumption, perhaps mistakenly, was that people there must build in stages as they could afford it. I actually admired it in the sense that (again I assumed) they, perhaps, didn’t go into a lifetime of debt in order to own a home. Is this the case? It certainly isn’t for the government, I have since learned, LOL!!

      I especially laughed when reading your comment about them because one day while walking down a street in Athens at night we couldn’t help but peer down into a well-lit office below sidewalk level where an architect was designing a building. Being the sort that finds humor in everything, I smiled to my wife and in the best Greek accent I could muster said, “I design beauteeful shell!”

      One of the strangest things about that trip was that wherever we went, no matter what we had to eat – a simple Souvlaki at a roadside joint or a fine dinner at a nice place – dinner for four always cost 35 Euro. It was as though the waiters didn’t even pay attention to the cost on the menu and thought, “Hmm…four Americans, 35 Euro.”

      Beautiful country. Beautiful people. Wonderful memories.

      • Brian,
        Keep in mind this was about 40 years ago when I first noticed unfinished homes. Now it might be as you thought, no funds, or perhaps no monetary incentive to finish homes as well, as the real-estate market has hit rock bottom. Example: My family has a good sized condo 2bds/1bth on a corner lot facing a park, not other buildings, in Kalithea, Athens. Walking distance to central plaka/plaza, the rail station, but trains far enough not to be heard. At it’s peak right after Athens Olympics, it’s market value was $250,000 Euros, now it’s $50,000-$75,000 Euros. Greece is truly struggling.

        Don’t know if you knew, but my mother was born in Chios. My mother’s first cousin, was a nun at Panagia Voithia Monastery. She passed away about 15 years ago, May her Memory be Eternal. Saint Anithimos was well know by my grandparents. My mom, uncles, and aunts used to play in his cell/room, and jump on his bed. Perhaps you visited the monastery?

        I could never repay my parents for all the great memories I had visiting Greece. Wonderful and unforgettable memories!

        • Dino,

          We were there in 2004. My son said he would meet us at Syntagma Square (we took the train from the airport) and that it was “just a short walk” from there to our hotel. I assume your family’s “walking distance” condo is much closer than the Marriott. It must have been a three-mile hike over those extremely catawampus, bumpy marble sidewalk slabs dragging two heavy suitcases and carry-ons apiece at what for us seemed like 3:00 on the morning because of the time zone difference. I could have walloped him. He obviously knew the street that ran along the square but not how far it really was to the hotel. When we finally got checked-in, youth that he was, he insisted we “push through” and head straight for the Acropolis. Yikes! It was two days before I finally felt normal.

          The Acropolis was certainly fascinating, but not nearly as enriching as being on Mars Hill and the Agora where Paul preached and being in the churches and monasteries. We didn’t make it to Panagia Voithia Monastery (at least I’m not sure we did) when we were on Chios. We didn’t even know it was there, but we did go to the beautiful main church on the Island (Come to think of it, perhaps it was the monastery, and I was too ignorant to realize it. Now that I think of it, “Panagia” was part of its name.) and prayed before a wonder-working icon there. There were some pious pilgrims who literally crawled on their hands and knees the long journey up the mountain from the seacoast to the church.

          Apart from Chios, we traveled to venerate the incorrupt relics of Saint John the Russian. At the request of a woman in our parish, we took a photo of her relative specifically to him and rubbed it on his reliquary for his intercession. At the Meteora monasteries, we were fortunate to encounter an English-speaking monk and nun who allowed us to kiss the relics of Saints that the foreign tourists would even be allowed to see, being largely mere curiosity seekers.

          I must say that it was truly wonderful to be in a culture saturated by centuries of the Orthodox Faith. Nevertheless, I would say honestly to any who have not been fortunate enough to have had this opportunity that although it was an enriching experience, I did not feel any closer to God there than I do here when I celebrate the Liturgy with my American brethren, surrounded by all the Saints whose relics I was privileged to venerate.

    • Wayne Matthew Syvinski says

      I have said for years that this kind of stuff won’t change (clergy financial shenanigans, clergy sexual abuse) until a few bishops get cuffed and stuffed; in this day of saturated media coverage and YouTube, it probably wouldn’t take many for the others to finally figure it out.

      Have Orthodox bishops learned nothing from the events in the Catholic Church (which has included financial scandals)? We talk about scandal (literally, a stumbling block) in the Church, but Judaism has what I think is a better term for it: khillul haShem, “desecration of The Name (of God)”. In Judaism, khillul haShem describes sins that bring God Himself into disrepute, and are sins considered very difficult for which to obtain forgiveness. Using the authority of Christ to bilk the faithful does, I believe, meet the definition of khillul haShem. By the way, the opposite of khillul haShem is kiddush haShem – “Sanctification of The Name”.

      When I say these things, too many of my fellow Orthodox Christians whine and wail about me not having enough respect for the clergy. Besides the fact that too many clergy see the laity as carbon-based ATMs, I would respond to my aforesaid critics that they are idolaters. Yes, idolaters: ecclesiolatry (worship of the human structures in the Church); clericolatry (worship of the clergy), which includes the even nastier form, episcopolatry (worship of bishops); even monastolatry (worship of monastics and monasticism).

      We are to worship:
      * the Father
      * the Son
      * the Holy Spirit
      (N.B.: end of list)

      While the institutions of the Church, its clergy, and its monks are to be, in general, respected, none of them are above criticism – even bishops are subject to fraternal correction by the laity, and the laity have every right to resist the orders of a bishop who has gone criminal or renegade – in fact, I would even say to resist a bishop who suffers severe lapses in prudential judgement where said lapses would have significant harmful consequences.

      Yet, even in all this, there is hope. Christus ist auferstanden von den Toten, hat den Tod durch den Tod zertreten, und denen in den Gräbern das Leben geschenkt!

  3. P. Antonio Arganda says

    The EP has been turned into a minor office of the US State Department and as long as that is true, nothing good will come from it. The truth is that Bartholomew is a patsy of the US State Department. While this DC exile continues , no one should pay the least attention to him, even the GOA.

  4. Billy Jack Sunday says


    If you need a graphic that exemplifies “The gang that couldn’t shoot straight”

    I recommend using Star Wars Stormtroopers

  5. It’s such an odd contrast to me how the Greek churches have produced some of the greatest saints, like my personal fave, St. Nektarios – yet the churches are so freaking cucked these days. But it’s not a new problem, ecumenism and modernism were issues over there even 140 years ago, smh.

  6. The Church is for ever with Judas betraying Christ and with Peter denying Him

    • Nah, bro, the Church is the faithful believers. We got Sts. John Chrysostom and Nektarios with us, we cannot lose.

  7. Michael Bauman says

    The Turkish Yoke created a culture of corruption and subservience to the state perhaps?

    • Corruption is a result of our fallen nature not the Turkish yoke. One must take responsibility for their sins rather than blame the circumstances surrounding them.

    • Nah, bro, the Church is the faithful believers. The hierarchy might sell their mom for a hit of crack, but we got Sts. John Chrysostom and Nektarios in our corner, we can’t lose.

    • Alitheia1875 says

      Not really. Secularism and ecumenism could only take hold after the Ottoman yoke was lifted and Greece and Constantinople were exposed to how things are usually done in the west. Why is it, for example, that Greece and Constantinople abandoned the patristic calendar and most of the rest of the Orthodox world did not?

  8. After visitors tour Freedom Plaza, aren’t they hungry? Isn’t our only reputation and history in America that of carry-outs, souvlaki, and restaurants? Isn’t attendance at our churches dropping drastically? Why not play to our strengths here to find a solution to this debacle? UNCLE NICK’S SOULAKI & GYRO

  9. George Michalopulos says

    According to one of my correspondents, the metropolitans of the GOA just voted themselves a pay raise. This correspondent told me that according to Spartan (and USMC) lore, “leaders eat last”. This group however “empties the buffet line while priests have to contend with a broken pension system.”

    • Yet George would give up his 2nd amendment right, and all other rights that go up and down the line, with them, to be ruled, and governed by the likes of such bishops whispering in the ears of Orthodox Kings, under George’s fantasy world of living in a monarchy? Who would/could argue with an Orthodox King, after all the King was appointed by God, and God is always right! AND, since God is always right, so is the King. So to hell with your rights! Right George?

      News Flash brother! Sparta no longer exists, George, nor do honorable kings.

      Merika is as good as it gets. At least that’s what my daddy told me, and my daddy never lies.

      • George Michalopulos says

        Nah, not really. Tsarist Russia was the most heavily armed nation on earth. The right to be armed is a natural right which no Christian king –whose own rule is based on said rights–would or ever did disabuse.

        Remember, our Founding Fathers rebelled against England because their own rights as Englishmen were taken away by the Crown’s representatives here in the Colonies.

        • Antiochene Son says

          Well said.

          Just as the faithful have their “axios” in the Church, citizens have their axios (in the form of arms) in civil society. An Orthodox monarch would recognize that.

          • George Michalopulos says

            Indeed. If nothing else a Christian Christian monarch would recognize the primacy of the nuclear family.

            • Booooosss! The plane! The plane!

              Welcome to fantasy island!

              Talk about silly talk in silly town.

              Sure put your families lives, in the hands of the ever changing whims of a man with a shiny crown on his head and the whims of his spoiled brats.

              And of course God’s chosen will allow you to keep all the AR-15’s you want, because that, we’ll just cause George says so. Someone please tell George what century were living in. Or has Mr Roarke and Tattoo sold you to the fantasy as well?

              • Estonian Slovak says

                Come on , Dino! I disagree with George on many things, but not on this. The Tsar was God’s annointed and a martyr. That’s good enough for me. Were all Orthodox monarchs good rulers? Or course not. Will we ever have a perfect church or state situation? No. We will never attain perfection in this world. Even if we all sign on to a single autocephalous church here, still no guarantees. One poster here bemoans the Byzantine look on clergy, another calls for “furry” clergy. We will never please everyone. We forget our life here on earth is a testing ground for eternity. Even the best earthly kingdom is temporary.

                • George Michalopulos says

                  Thank you, ES.

                  For what it’s worth, why do we buy into the secularist nonsense about the Tsar-martyr as an inept administrator but we blithely overlook the ineptness of our constitutional republic? I threw up four weeks ago when I saw the Omnibus spending bill that Congress passed. One could say that this was because of divided govt. OK, I’ll bite: we didn’t have a divided govt in 1965 when LBJ sent us to Vietnam. We didn’t have a divided govt in 1993-95 when Bill Clinton couldn’t pass HillaryCare.

                  As an amateur historian, I’ve always looked askance at the rosy pictures that revolutionaries painted of their regime while necessarily casting aspersions at the previous one. Our Founding Fathers overthrew royalism but it was the royalist regime in Britain which ended slavery, 60 years before we did. Modern Greece under the Glucksburg dynasty was a far happier place (especially in the 50s-60s than it is today. (Hell, Greece under the Colonel’s was a better place than what it is today.)

                • Estonian Slovak,
                  Since you and others here consider Tsar Nicholas God’s near and dear, anointed and a martyr/saint, I will respectfully not debate the good, bad and ugly, upon the Tsar. Been there, done that. I actually feel great pity for the man, in his last few years alive.

                  But I will say this. Tsar Nicholas was the last true Orthodox Monarch we have seen. Right or wrong, the world no longer cares for true monarchies. They will not work in society today. Hence, Fantasy Island silly town/talk. Horse drawn buggies might get us from points A and B, and get the best gas mileage, but…

                  Finally, regardless who’s to blame. The last Orthodox Kingdom that failed, spawn the largest scourge humanity has ever seen. EVER! In fact if we combined the death tolls, at the hand of Communism it is nearly 100 million!

                  Let the backward ass Muslims enjoy their Kingdoms, and Mullahs ruling them. We know who their God is. The days of Christian kingdoms are over. Get over it. Bishops need to fix their own houses, before they go destroying others, whispering into the ears of kings and queens.

              • Antiochene Son says

                Sure put your families lives, in the hands of the ever changing whims of a man with a shiny crown on his head and the whims of his spoiled brats.

                How is that different from the whims of a rabble of men in suits and women in pantsuits, shiny pensions in their wallets, and the whims of their spoiled staffs and chosen oligarchs?

                Except that monarchs know that they are mere vassals who fulfill a sacramental role, and by the holy chrism on their foreheads, they will be judged by the King of Kings.

                Has anyone seen the BBC film “King Charles III”, in which Prince Charles becomes king and he dissolves the parliament after they pass a law limiting free speech? No president, even the GE Trump, could do that here.

                • George Michalopulos says

                  AS, I did see that movie! Excellent!

                  Your point however is well-taken. Let’s look at it in the converse: by what right do James Clapper, John Brennan, et al have to threaten the sitting POTUS and overturn an election? How is that different? Instead of a divine right of kings (which is modern invention, not a Medieval one) we now have a divine right of the CIA/FBI/Deep State to not only choose who are to be the candidates but to overthrow a duly-elected magistrate.

                  • Antiochene Son says

                    Definitely. The sanctimony of one James Comey is far greater than any European monarch in recent memory.

                    Not only do the Deep State oligarchs see it as their duty to save Americans from Trump, but indeed to save the whole world. What monarch has started numerous wars in defense of a tiny, poinless “ally” while debasing their own population? Yet that is modern America as run by swamp interests.

                    • George Michalopulos says

                      You see, that’s the thing: when a monarchy is hereditary, it’s a family thing. In most functional families, the paterfamilias exhibits far more sagacity and wisdom (and mercy) than some bureaucrat. Just the fact that a man is a father makes him more receptive to understanding human folly than being a hired/elected interloper.

                      Making decisions based on family lore provides a unique insight that cold rationalism and/or secular materialism cannot. Chesterton called tradition the “democracy of the dead” or allowing the dead to have a vote (and not in the Chicago/Democratic Party sense).

                • A.S.
                  You assume and expect much from ONE man. Orthodox Christian Baptism does not guarantee a good man, nor ruler. Law of averages, for ALL society, not just our narrow,yet true view, works better in our current system of government, no matter how flawed. It’s as good as it gets, with a little fine tuning now and then, removing the clogs, and cucks.

        • Alitheia1875 says

          Not really. Secularism and ecumenism could only take hold after the Ottoman yoke was lifted and Greece and Constantinople were exposed to how things are usually done in the west. Why is it, for example, that Greece and Constantinople abandoned the patristic calendar and most of the rest of the Orthodox world did not?

      • Michael Bauman says

        Dino, I am sure your father was an honest man, but he could still be mistaken. Hierarchy is built into creation and as Christians we are already under a King and Lord. Most of the time we still act as if our opinion and will make a bit of difference. Modernity with its constant cry to “make a difference” and to “change the world” continues to reinforce that lie. God made us innately at liberty, but the only way to recognize that liberty is in obedience to His incarnate Son our Lord, God and Savior.

        There are two forms of government that could work for a truly Christian populace (which we are not in any way shape or form nor have we ever been).

        Those two possibilities: A Christian monarchy or a Representative Republic founded on Christian principals with a limited suffrage. There are many permutations and combinations and structures to contemplate in either form so do not get stuck on one and react.

        The representatives would be elected not to express our will and desires but to govern in accordance with their own faith and conscience according to the basic Christian principles established to form and execute proper government (it is still a hierarchical government do not forget). The principals articulated in the U.S. Declaration of Independence are neither adequate or even true because they fail to recognize God as He is and have a drastically wrong anthropology. The U.S. Constitution was and remains the single greatest tool for the centralization of political power in the history of man. Robbing each of us of our ability to act and accept the consequences of our actions in community with others. Do not forget the pre-amble: “In order to form a more perfect union…” I used to thrill at those words, now I see them only as a preamble to tyranny.

        Several things that would not be included:
        Moral license
        Fascism (aka crony capitalism)
        An entrenched bureaucracy
        Political Parties
        A monopolistic central government.

        • Tim R. Mortiss says

          Well, if the United States didn’t start out as a “Representative Republic founded on Christian principles with a limited suffrage” then it is truly hard to imagine what other circumstances would bring one forth.

          Probably my temperament, but I haven’t myself experienced these wild swings between exalting then abominating various systems and things over my lifetime.

          One of the odd things about this blog is how many members carry water on both shoulders about their country.

          The Constitution was bad. George Washington was good because he tried to follow the Constitution. Centralized authoritarian government is good. Abraham Lincoln was bad because he brought about centralized authoritarian government. And so on.

          Then there’s the endless search for primal causes. Every ill that has ever befallen the West for centuries is the result of the filioque. (I’ve actually heard that one.) The Founding Fathers were deists, and (unspeakably!) Freemasons. Therefore the nation has been corrupt since day one. On and on.

          Could be just that the country was once better and is now not doing so good, for a lot of reasons that have been repeated throughout history…..

          • Michael Bauman says


            Two out of three. The principals were not Christian. It was about ‘rights’. It was a thought experiment put into action. When ‘rights’ are proclaimed, a fight is brewing.

            I long felt, in sympathy with Patrick Henry, that the U.S. Constitution was a vehicle for great centralization. He was quoted as saying, “I smell a rat.”

            I used to think that centralization was not so bad a thing. Union is really important and necessary for good government. Now, not so much. A fundamental approach-avoidance anxiety.

            Union in governmental terms always devolves into tyranny. That is the one problem I have with monarchy. Monarchy is not inherently scriptural or Christian. While a hierarchy is necessary, the hierarchy needs to be defuse and quite nested in local communities where the people charged with governance are known and to whom they are responsible.

            Warning: Gross oversimplifications follow:

            The filoque did not cause anything, it is a symptom of a lack of appreciation for and fidelity to (from the religious sense) the Incarnation and the proper theological economy of the Holy Trinity as the Church has always understood it. The history of it is quite complicated and fascinating in its own right

            It is further an indication of the movement of thought away from the actual Lordship of Jesus Christ toward humanism (man the measure of all things, etc).

            The premise on which it is based is similar to some of the premises on which Protestantism and the Enlightenment critique of the Roman Church were based. They are related but not causative. Assuming causation within history is easily over done and leads to some really bad conclusions.

            From the Great Schism on the movement in the west has been away from Incarnational Christianity and the mercy of God toward a re-creation of the old pagan ‘sky-god’ and divine legalism. It is the drift toward so-called secularism and nihilism–nothingness.

            You are right though that any human project typically is better at its inception than after being passed down. Freedom and liberty are not the same thing. The founders realized that, but not so much the rest of us as one example. A republic is not at all the same thing as a democracy. The founders understood that, not so much the rest of us.

            We see the same erosion in the Church to be sure. There is nothing eternal in the human part of the Church. It is subject to same entropy of sin and death that we are, despite the salvation that Jesus has gained for us.

            The Church, however, is not just a human project as are governments. Within her there is always the opportunity for resurrection. Still some candlesticks will be taken away. That could be what is happening to the GOA and the EP. I hope that is not the case but it is a possibility. Even if it is, that does not mean the end of the Church herself. We may become quite small and exceedingly insignificant by worldly standards, perhaps as small as a mustard seed.

            All countries and empires pass away. So too will the United States of America. The fractures that erupted during the Civil War have never healed. They are once again at the fore front with new variations and could lead to complete dissolution this time–or not. In that context it is not surprising to see folks thrashing about for new systems to replace the old.

            • George Michalopulos says

              The principle I should have talked about was “subsidiarity”. When Aristotle, Plato or Macchiavelli wrote about governance, their mind-frame was the polis or city-state, not a nation-state (a modern creation for the most part) or even an empire.

              As Jefferson said, he governs least governs best. Sam Houston said: “The great misfortune is that a notion obtains with those in power that the world, or the people, require more governing that is necessary. To govern well is a great science, but no country is ever improved by too much governing…”

              The problem however is that modernism, Marxism and Freudianism have destroyed that which is necessary for subsidiarity to function –the family. Feminism and faggotry have been brought in to finish the job.

              • Tim R. Mortiss says

                Leaving Macchiavelli to the side, the Greeks never solved the problems of governance and politics. That turned out to be up to the Romans.

                Lots of issues. On the legalism of the West, it seems to me that some of that is simply innate; the old business of Rome vs. Greece– Law vs. Philosophy.
                It was in the Roman nature to see things in legal terms. In the Church, the West was always going to be something different than the East in some respects.

                • George Michalopulos says

                  TimR, largely agree. The reason I mentioned Plato and Aristotle is that they were the first political scientists in history. My point about subsidiarity still stands however. Governance –even ecclesial governance, no change that, especially ecclesial governance–has to be as local as possible. Anything about the diocesan level is problematic.

        • Michael B,
          I must agree with Tim. My point all along is we reach too high and expect too much, from our governments, and I’m starting to realize our religion as well. We are wretched creatures when push comes to shove. My father was crude and straight forward, brutally honest because he and his father lived in the Soviet Union when a human life was only seen as a commodity. He understood how dangerous a unbalanced government can be without checks and balances. All emperors no matter what the religion or system of rule are dangerous. Even if they are benevolent, a monarchy is never stable. Our system is the best humanity can offer. Kings and queens are obsolete, there is no going back, so what’s the point in hoping for one.

          Just look at the mess within Orthodoxy, especially all the darkness coming thru this blog today. Quite frankly it is creepy, and I no longer know if I want to respond upon the current state of the GOA. No doubt mine and others faith in organized Orthodoxy will/is being tested.

          All this talk of conspiracy within the different Orthodox jurisdictions is scandalizing all of us. I pray we are not guilty of vanity and pride, but in hopes of saving our Church from within. Is that even possible from a blog?

          • Michael Bauman says

            Dino, of course we put too much hope in governments. It is part of our fracture with God in the first place. The essential Adamic temptation–to rule without God.

            I would agree that the discussion of the difficulties within the GOA and the EP seems to have devolved into a dog eating its own vomit and probably ought to stop. Pretty soon, we might see Pat. Bartholomew and the GOA bishops charged with murdering Lindbergh’s baby and running a chain of pedophile souvlaki parlors.

            Want change? Repent. It is that simple. Change does not come by demanding the repentance of others.

            In order to better understand the depth of repentance required I refer you to Fr. Stephen Freeman’s blog Glory to God for All Things. The latest post: The Eroticism of Prayer.

            Keep in mind that no matter what darkness there is, the light is always greater.

            The chaos in the world orchestrated by the evil one always looks more powerful that it really is. We can feed its strength with our fear, or not.

            Just ask St. Peter as Jesus reaches out His hand to rescue him from the waves and the storm. Inside every storm there is a point of peace.

            Still it is kinda fun to construct a government in exile. A human hobby that has been around since at least Plato.

    • Billy Jack Sunday says

      How unfair

      How dare the metropolitans give themselves a pay raise?

      The Archbishop is homeless!

    • Billy Jack Sunday says

      I have seen this pattern before with the implosion of a Christian denomination

      Elevation of certain ranks, isolation iron fisted rule at the top, diverting of funds, massive pay raises

      The laity gets hip to it all, then a major tipping point, implosion, clergy skip town with cash, start again

      With cash, assets and authority – while leaking things to the press and other sympathetic ministries in order to spin what happened

      Remaining pieces reconstruct to a dead end or flame out

      New church emerges from its own ruin due to the slick audacity of its relentless charismatic clergymen hustlers

      Study the story of Mars Hill Church – Mark Driscoll

      It’s a pattern that repeats itself across the board

      My guess is that the Metropolitans themselves dont believe in the GOA

      Otherwise, why would you further suck blood out of something struggling to breath?

      Usually ministers take a pay cut to keep their ministry/church afloat – if that is what is desired

      Sucking something dry is what you do before a collapse

      This has to be engineered indeed – a controlled demolition – IMO (as it seems to be other people’s opinion as well)

      And no, I am not going to volunteer for this year’s festival

      • Greatly Saddened says

        BJS … unfortunately, it seems the word “humility” is non existent when it comes to the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America.

        By this, I am referring more so to the East 79th Street boys! I do believe the best word to describe this group of absolute failure is “arrogant.” I actually don’t believe they believe in anything but themselves. If they actually did seem to believe in the good Lord above and were fearful of Him, I would like to think this continuing fiasco and tragedy would have never happened. So sorry, and please do forgive me, but at this point, I do question their belief in God.

        This is far beyond anyone’s possible comprehension. No one could even possibly fathom the magnitude of this disaster. To say this is unbelievable is an understatement!

        Where is their sense of morality and ethics? Are these the very same people that have the “thrasos” to preach to us from the pulpit on what is the right and correct thing to do? Have they “NO” shame at all? From their actions, I guess “NOT!” How do they face themselves in the mirror each and every day and are able to sleep at night? Don’t they have a conscience?

        And as for taking a possible pay cut, are you for real and kidding me at the same time? Remember … “the first will be last and the last will be first.” I guess, they seem to forget the words of our Lord and Savior. Does this group of people and I am being ever so kind in referring to them as such, do they truly deserve our respect?

        It’s time to wake up, face reality and see that this three ring circus is closed down once and for all and for the good of all of us as well. Time is overdue to “Drain the Swamp!” Because if we don’t, there will be nothing left of our hard earned contributions to this group of failure and doom.

        I don’t know about anyone else, but at this point, I have very little hope that things can or will get much better. Every time I think we have hit rock bottom, the bottom continues to be pulled out from under us once more!

        When does it finally come time to say … “enough is enough!” and “it is high time to take action!” Or will we just sit back and let it all disintegrate in front of our very own eyes? Remember, if we do nothing, we have no one to blame but ourselves for the actions or the lack thereof of others!

        Lord have mercy on us all!

        • Billy Jack Sunday says

          Greatly Saddened

          If I may ask

          If this “three ring circus” was closed down permanently, what would you propose replace it?

          What would you see done for all the displaced GOA parishioners? Where would they go?

          • Greatly Saddened says

            BJS … as I stated in another post, under Breaking: Demetrios Going to Take the Fall!


            Let’s face the facts, without our dimes, there is no Ecumenical Patriarchate, no Archdiocese, or no Metropolises. But rest assured, even without the above, we will always have our churches! You are all dispensible. If you have any doubt, feel free to take a walk through any cemetery!

      • Greatly Saddened says

        BJS … pertaining to your April 27th post at 7:21pm. Sorry for my late response. I do agree with your above comments. We could only hope these hierarchs would have the conscience to take a pay cut to help the archdiocese out. Now, we hear these same hierarchs may have in fact given themselves a raise. I find that rather hard to believe, but then again, nothing should surprise us.

        As for the GOA general laity, in years past they unfortunately seemed to perhaps been apathetic when it came to matters of the church. Especially the ones from Greece. As someone had commented, as long as they had their church to have tbeir weddings, baptisms and funerals, that is pretty much all they cared about. Yes, it is a sad commentary, but I do believe there is much truth to that comment.

        I do think this present generation seems to be more willing to get involved. I hope I am correct in my assumption. I feel that is a positive sign than in years past. This newer generation will hopefully expect results and not just empty words. One can only hope and pray. Again, only time will tell. We need to take back our church and put “Christ” back at the center, which “He” always should have been.

    • Whiskey Six says

      By the way George have you ever been around one of these man children when they don’t like the meal they are served? They throw a fit insult everyone and make a complete ass of themselves. Makes you want to never be around them ever again. It’s a joke to call them icons.

      • George Michalopulos says

        In fairness, the only GOA bishop I’ve had the honor of meeting and breaking bread with is Isaiah of Denver. A good man by all accounts. But then again, from another generation and a former Marine. The newer set (i.e. Baby Boomers such as myself and ordained after 2000) are not impressive. A little too well-coiffed and refined if you ask me. No real desire to break bread with any of them. (Not that I would be against it it’s just not on my bucket list.)

        • Alitheia1875 says

          I don’t believe any of the metropolitans were ordained into the priesthood after 2000. All of the metropolitans and bishops, except for Alexios and Sevastianos, are graduates of Holy Cross, but Isaiah is the only pre-1960s graduate. I wonder if that tells us something.

    • Greatly Saddened says

      Please excuse me but sure as heck hope there is no truth to the roomer these metropolitans decided to give themselves a raise. Especially knowing the dire financial situation the archdiocese finds itself in. If so, I hope the Ethnikos Kyrix and The National Herald expose this and the metropolitans are held accountable for doing so. God help us if this in fact is true.

  10. fr Chris Moody says

    ως επος. ουδέν σχόλιον. As the saying goes, no comment.

  11. Greatly Saddened says

    Below please find an article in today’s The National Herald. The article is in its entirety at the time of this posting.

    How much worse can things get? Things are far beyond pathetic. The Archdiocesan Headquarters which includes hierarchs, clergy and appointed Archdiocesan Council should be ashamed to show their face in public. You are one “BIG” embarrassment and disappointment. You seemingly have “NO” shame. This is one “BIG” Greek tragic comedy and sadly, one “BIG” joke as well. You lack any credibility. Who will ever be able to take you seriously any more? You are and have been one “BIG” failure!

    Since you seem to be more concerned with being in public relations for the Hellenic Republic rather than the religious institution you should be. Perhaps Greece can help bail you out of your once again financial mess. Oh, please forgive me, they do not have any money to lend you either. How ironic! Perhaps you are both using the same fnancial advisers and/or financial plan!

    McGrath Architectural Company Warns to Dispose St. Nicholas Materials
    By Theodoros Kalmoukos – April 30, 2018


    • Alitheia1875 says

      The first mistake was this notion of a national shrine. St. Nicholas should have been designed, built and dedicated as an Orthodox house of worship first and foremost and then allowed itself to declare the need for it to be a national shrine because of its location. This notion of putting national shrine first and Orthodox church second is undoubtedly what drove the design concept, something akin to a nuclear power plant. This is a typical Greek fiasco. Doesn’t anyone realize just how important, and sacred, this spot is for all of America and cannot be used as a propaganda piece to promote the reputation of the GOA?

      • George Michalopulos says

        Indeed, Alithea! You hit the nail on the head. We –I–overlooked this fundamental premise: that it was an Orthodox church and should have been rebuilt as an Orthodox church, one which is open to everybody. Instead, it became a “national shrine” and the Lord used the hubris, pettiness and arrogance of the GOA/L100 to bring it to a crashing halt.

  12. Greatly Saddened says

    Isn’t it simply amazing how we have been told the much new and much improved Archiocese will now be accountable and transparent. As per the esteemed hierarchal appointed members of the Archdiocesan Council.

    The fact remains, the only way we found out about the letter from McGrath Architecture to His Grace Bishop Andonios of Phasiane, the Chancellor of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America, was once again through the Ethnikos Kyrix and The National Herald. That is correct folks and “NOT” by the Archdiocese. Now, isn’t that quite interesting? It seems at least someone is doing their job correctly and reporting the news.

    So, once again, the statements made by the hierarchal appointed Archdiocesan Council are empty statements at that. Transparency is still no where to be found at the Archdiocese, not to mention accountability.

    Nothing like these ever so humble hierarchs living off the dimes of the hard working faithful. And they have the ordacity to want respect when they continue to manipulate laity with their lavish style of living. How dare them!

    Perhaps they should try living the humble lifestyle of a real monk and see how true humility really is. Instead of taking and I do mean talking our hard working donations and contributions for granted. They are an embarrassment not only to themselves, but to us the paying laity as well. The sad part is they don’t have the fortitude to stand up and speak the truth. Once again, amnesia has set in and it is CYA time. Each and every hierarch for themself. Their mere silence speaks volumes.

    How does that Greek saying go … “O Theos Enai Megalos!” Only time will truly tell when and how this disaster and fiasco ends. In the meantime, God help us all!

    • Wayne Matthew Syvinski says

      > Transparency is still no where to be found at the Archdiocese, not to mention accountability.

      It depends upon what the meanings of “accountability” and “transparency” are….

      Beware of Greeks bearing financial statements! (Sorry, George, but I couldn’t resist! 😛 )

      • George Michalopulos says

        LOL! Timeo Danaos et dona ferentes! –Virgil, Aeneid. (I fear the Greeks when bearing gifts.)