Regrettably, “Anaxios!”


I’m sorry, but I can’t come to any other conclusion about the selection of Metropolitan Elpidophorus Lambrianides of Bursa to the primacy of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese.

I have purposely held back on anything but the most generalized commentary regarding this latest move by the Phanar. Unfortunately, the onslaught of negativity in the blogosphere (as well as over the phone, in person, online, etc, is extreme). I have yet to hear one positive word about the placement of this hierarch to head the GOA. And yes, my phone has not stopped ringing for two solid days. (I got the heads-up on Friday.)

Not one.

Oh, that it was otherwise. Lambrianides I’m sure is a fine man as far as it goes. He’s a gifted academic (I believe two Ph.D.s) and he’ been able to rehabilitate two ancient churches in Turkey which had long fallen into disrepair. We are told that he is the abbot of the monastery on the island of Halki. Besides Greek, he speaks Turkish, Arabic and English, again–that’s all well and good.

My scrupulous devotion to fair play demands that I give him a chance. So should we all. Unfortunately, this is quite impossible given that the future Archbishop is a prisoner of circumstances, some of which he himself created.

What I am speaking about is several missteps he has made over the years. And certain novel doctrines which are astonishing to Orthodox ears.

The first misstep, as far as we in America are concerned, was the scabrous and startling screed (one could hardly call it a speech) which he delivered at Holy Cross in 2009. It was not merely an anti-American Orthodox diatribe but it showed that he had absolutely no idea of what it took to create the various churches here in America with absolutely no help from overseas. Its xenophobia and ethnocentrism are astonishing in this day and age.

Make no mistake, we here at Monomakhos have long criticized certain aspects of Orthodoxy here in America. I myself have received all types of criticism as well –that’s only fair. Things are far from perfect here in the good ole’ U S of A. But for some academic who had never pastored a congregation or administered a real diocese to come here and ridicule American bishops who have done some seriously heavy lifting against all odds is really too much to take.

Whether he was instructed by Patriarch Bartholomew to give that speech or whether he gave it on his own is immaterial at this point. For those of us in America, the damage to the Metropolitan’s reputation is enduring. It would take a whole lot of repentance and humility on his part to undo it. And I’m not holding my breath.

Why? Because this brings us to his second misstep –a doctrinal one.

Lambrianides is the originator of the novel doctrine known as primus sine paribus or “first without equals”. He has somehow conjured this formula into existence without recourse to Holy Scripture or the Canons of the Church. Even the infamous Canon 28 of the Fourth Ecumenical Council did not go anywhere near that far. Indeed, he has felt the need to borrow Trinitarian language to sustain this doctrine: just as the Father is the fons et origo of the Trinity so, too, is the See of Constantinople the locus of origin for all other local Churches. (Even Jerusalem!) This is a historical absurdity of the first magnitude.

I’m sorry. But that’s a bridge too far.

All of this is bad enough. And it is bad, make no mistake. His actions and words, therefore, mitigate against him at this late date. Thus, Lambrianides begins his archpastorate facing a daunting cliff. Unlike the Army Rangers at Point du Hoc or the Marines at Okinawa though, he has no naval backup.

And for this reason, I feel for him. You see, while he has thrived in the hothouse academic world that is the See of Constantinople, the present Patriarch of that venerable city has only encouraged such febrile imaginings. Constantinople, like the Ruling Class in America, lives in a bubble of its own imagination. One of the first rules of politics is to not believe your own press clippings. If you do, you will get a Brexit, or a Trump, or a Bolsanoro. And so on.

Unfortunately, His Holiness believes his own propaganda and has further been a willing dupe of the globalists who likewise have ecumenical pretensions. His worldview has seeped into all quarters of that Church. This is the only possible explanation as to why he took the disastrous steps in Ukraine that he did. And it is in this milieu that Lambrianides finds himself in. Simply put, the well of goodwill for Constantinople and its neo-Roman pretensions has run dry.

Nor should we forget that the See of Constantinople is the present locus of other globalist doctrines. It has made secret accommodation with the present Zeitgeist regarding all things “progressive”. Ecumenism is likewise a fait accompli: Lambrianides himself said at one ecumenical venue that “we have two fathers: Pope Francis and Patriarch Bartholomew”. (Was the Dalai Lama not available?) Seriously, if Pope Francis is my father, why can’t I go to the local Catholic parish and commune? I’m not being snarky; I’m deadly serious.

But let us put our cards on the table: ever since the defenestration of the late Archbishop Iakovos Coucouzis of blessed memory, the primatial throne in New York City was stripped of all its authority. It has been –and probably will continue to be–an empty shell and its occupant a mere figurehead. He is there to make things “right” but he is not given the tools to do so.

I suppose it doesn’t make a difference. What Patriarch Bartholomew doesn’t want is a vibrant Greek-American church if it means cleaving off, uniting with other jurisdictions and declaring autocephaly. Better a moribund church that relies on Greco-triumphalism and Byzantine nostalgia, as long as it prevents an authentic American Orthodox Church from arising. As in all dysfunctional families, the perpetual victim always believes that at the end of the day, Daddy will come and bail him out. There will always be nostalgics who will take the empty title of Archon even if it means getting out the checkbook.

Finally, we must ask: to what end? The GOA at present is a hollowed-out husk of what it was several decades ago. It is not only bankrupt, it is hemorrhaging parishioners by the thousands. The priests are demoralized and they don’t like what they see on the horizon. Too much talk of “cutting costs” and such. Truthfully, it’s hard to see how this ship can be righted. The abandonment of St Nicholas Shrine, the decrepitude of Holy Cross, the very fact that electricity has been turned off at 79th Street and so on, does not bode well for the future.

And given the contempt that Lambrianides feels for non-Greek bishops, I can’t imagine anything but the continuing deterioration of the Episcopal Assembly of the United States of America. I imagine we’ll hear the refrain, “Will the last GOA bishop out the door at ECUSA please turn out the lights?” in due time.

The Ligonier Conference took place in 1994. That was twenty-five years ago. Almost a generation. I imagine that we will have yet another generation to go before we right the Ark of Salvation here in America. Then again, who knows? Perhaps the new archbishop’s renowned maladroitness and the attendant ill-will which the Phanar has sown over the last several years will bring things to a head.

Perhaps the Orthodox in America, regardless of ethnic origin or jurisdiction, will simply say: “Enough! Yes, we know we are not ready. But nobody ever is!” After all, our Lord and Saviour told us to not worry about what we are to say when we are brought before the tribunal, that the words will be given to us.

Lord have mercy. And yes, “anaxios“. I pray that I am proven wrong —in every particular.


  1. As someone who is under Antioch, I would love to be optimistic and say this could lead to something good.

    But, I have to ask again, where are the patriarchs? Where is Alexandria calling for a council? Letting this go unchecked will no doubt turn into 1054 all over again, I can imagine this is a modern version of how that played out

    Let’s not forget, we will be called to judgment for what we have done..but also from what we failed to do

    “The road to hell is paved with the skulls of erring priests, with bishops as their signposts.”

  2. Greatly Saddened says

    So truthful and beautifully said. God only knows what the future holds in store with the newly elected Archbishop. All we can do is hope and pray.
    Lord have mercy on us all!

    • George as usual u speak the plain truth.
      Yes as a greek does any one believe I oppose the Phanar with Joy and pleasure? It gives me sorrow. Great sorrow. But the situation is as it is.
      Yes this man from Bursa is clever, academic, good as far as it goes, would make a good professor somewhere. But no pastoral experience and looking down on USA churches thst as George says, for all their missteps, were created mostly minus bishop, and by ordinary people struggling to survive in USA, yet finding strength and energy, FAITH, and money to build.

      I am outside looking in, but i feel this will be a spyridon situation writ large.

      In addition to follow up my comments on a prayer blog led by a Florida greek Parish. Very good hard working priest I will be first to say and themes daily say much good stuff that need to be said .
      But their protestant feel and lack of Orthodox spirituality seem clear to me.
      Today it was on prayer. Excellent points made re needing to pray with our own words and simply. And that outside of church we Orthodox, even clergy, do not pray. In hospital etc etc. And how we should and he does and excellent.
      Yet all examples given are evangelical protestant in spirit.
      NO MENTION OF THE SIMPLE JEAUS PRAYER, OR EVEN Lord Have Mercy. Or the lenten prayer of St Ephraim of Syria
      No mention of, where it is possible, to use icons in prayer, or to bring an Orthodox spirituality to prayer witness. Or the books on how to pray in own simple words, of bishop Anthony Bloom for one.
      Personally speaking I have always found this ‘shopping list prayer ‘ of ‘ please God, I want I want I want,’ very prinitive and like ordering a take away, and just as unhealthy.
      Tells me of the protestant mentality even amongst clergy.

  3. Joseph Lipper says

    There has to be a reason why Metropolitan Elpidophorus was chosen. He was chosen by the Holy Synod unanimously. Is it because this is the guy the archons want?

    I’ve heard the financial troubles within the Greek Archdiocese are not actually due to lack of funding, but rather to a general unwillingness to release the funding needed. Purses typically have strings attatched.

    • Precisely, Joseph.

      As I commented to John on another thread…

      On another note, my gut tells me that by the measures that matter to some (the financial health of the archdiocese, the completion of the St. Nicholas Shrine, etc.), things will likely improve rather quickly. These measures, however, while not bad in themselves, are not those we care most about.

    • Dark days ahead for the GOA says


      He was chosen “unanimously” (whatever that means) for a clear reason: to get the American Archdiocese back under clear, direct control of Istanbul and to send the message that the #1 priority of the GOA is not to serve Christ or to spread the Gospel in America — its #1 priority is to support the church in Istanbul, no matter what the church in Istanbul says or does.

      This Archbishop was almost certainly selected “unanimously” for this job years ago; they were simply waiting for the appropriate time to get him in there.

      I feel considerable compassion for those faithful Christians who are “stuck” in the GOA and who are rightly terrified about this new Archbishop. Their dilemma is similar to that of traditionalist Anglicans as the ECUSA was being overrun 20-30 years ago: do they stay and try to resist from within (this won’t work; the GOA Titanic will sink no matter what they do or how they try to rearrange its deck chairs).

      Or do they go and worship elsewhere and start their parish over from scratch? (Like the ECUSA, I’m confident the GOA would sue to no end to keep an empty parish building rather than to let it go with an unhappy parish that’s leaving.)

      But Joseph, there’s no complex hidden meaning about why Abp Elpidophoros was chosen. It’s all about Istanbul keeping control and making sure that we barbarian non-Greek-speaking Americans in the unfortunate diaspora know who’s boss.

  4. George, I don’t believe it can be said any better than the way you just stated things here, i.e., with factual accuracy, sound logic & a very guarded charitable hope for the best.

    Lord have mercy.

  5. Francis Frost says

    We need a little context here. As I recall, Metropolitan Elpiphdoros’ screed’ followed no long after Metropolitan Jonah issued his own “shot across the bow” screed on the Sunday of Orthodoxy. In the presence of Archbishop Isaiah of Denver and our own Bishop Basil of Wichita Jonah had the chutzpa / gall (take your pick) to declare that the OCA was the only canonical church in North America, and that all the other jurisdictions were obligated to submit to it (him)! So there is a certain irony that Metropolitan Elpiphodoros in “in” while Jonah is gone.

    • George Michalopulos says

      As usual Francis, you are wrong. Jonah gave his speech in Dallas at pan-Orthodox vespers in the presence of priests from all local jurisdictions. Neither Isaiah nor Basil were there.

      Not did he say that the OCA was the “only canonical” church in America.

      And it was very well received at the time.

      Please get your facts straight.

  6. Francis Frost says

    In a prior thread, my old friend, Monk James, issued his personal anathema against the Ecumenical Patriarchate, for what that is worth.

    Of course, Fr. James is making several assumptions, which are not necessarily in evidence.

    The Moscow Patriarchate unilaterally proclaimed its autocephaly in 1448. That autocephaly was only recognized by the Ecumenical Patriarchate in 1589. At that time, the Moscow Patriarchate did not include the Orthodox churches in what is now Ukraine. Those churches were either under the control of the Roman Pope via the Unia; or were under the omophorion of the Ecumenical Patriarchate via the Rum Millet. It is only after the conquest of Ukraine in the time of Catherine the Great, that the Ukrainian dioceses were incorporated into the Russian church in 1686. That incorporation was never ratified by the Ecumenical Patriarch or any church council. This fact was noted when the Ecumenical Patriarchate granted autocephaly to the church of Poland and the church in Czechoslovakia. When the Ecumenical Patriarchate allowed the Metropolitan of Moscow to appoint the Metropolitans of Kiev, he did so with the stipulation, that the Metropolitan of Kiev would still commemorate the Ecumenical Patriarch as his primate. In effect, the Ecumenical see never ceded its ultimate jurisdiction over the Ukrainian church. If the Russian accession of the church in Ukraine was accepted after the fact as a concession to reality, why, then is it illegitimate to now recognize the fact that the Russian and Soviet Empires no longer exist, and that the ecclesiastical situation should reflect the current political reality?

    It has been asserted that the MP’s control over the church in Ukraine must ben maintained because “its been that way” for 300 years. Of, course that is nonsense. The Russians, themselves, overturned the pre-existing canonical regime which had prevailed for 700 years!

    Many assert that the schismatic clergy in Ukraine cannot be reconciled to the canonical church without a public repentance. This is clearly not true based on recent history. There is no question, that the ROCOR was in schism from most, if not all, of the canonical churches for many decades. During its time “in exile” ROCOR’s bishops created schismatic ‘traditionalist’ jurisdictions on the territories of the Ecumenical Patriarchate, the Church of Greece, the Bulgarian Patriarchate, the Russian Patriarchate, and the Patriarchate of Georgia. In 1996, ROCOR’s “daughter jurisdictions” attempted to foment an ecclesiastical coup against Patriarch Ilya II of the Georgian Orthodox Church; by consecrating 3 renegade Georgian priests as an anti-synod in opposition to the actual Holy Synod of the Georgian Orthodox Patriarchate. Thankfully, that ecclesiastical ‘coup’ failed. Despite these multiple canonical violations, the ROCOR was reconciled to the canonical church without repentance. If the ROCOR, which literally invaded the territories of 5 autocephalous canonical churches, can be reconciled without repentance, why then why is reconciliation impossible for the Ukrainians, who have not invaded anyone’s territory?

    It is has been asserted that the Ukrainian clergy must be re-ordained as their ordinations by the deposed Metropolitan Filaret are illegitimate and graceless. Of course, this must be viewed in historical context, as Fr James noted in his post. The Russian Orthodox Church has its own unique set of regulations, the ‘Tserkovniy Regiment’, enacted by Tsar Peter the Great. Under the Tserkovniy Regiment, Roman Catholic clergy could be received without chrismation and without being re-ordained. They were received merely by ‘vesting’ and the proclamation of “ Axios” by the bishop. This practice pertains even today among churches of the Russian tradition. Indeed, Bishop Daniel of the Orthodox Church in America, was a Roman Catholic priest who was converted to the Orthodox faith without being re-ordained. If a Roman Catholic, who is clearly outside the bounds of the canonical Orthodox church, can be received without re-ordination, how then is it impossible for the Ukrainian clergy of the former Kiev Patriarchate to be reconciled to the church without re-ordination? It seems clear to me that his All-Holiness, Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew was acting within the normative bounds of “eikonomia” to receive the Ukrainian clergy as he did.

    Since the fall of the Soviet Union, the Russian government has tried to claw back its prior conquests. Russia has illegally invaded its neighbors six times. Some 65,000 ordinary civilians, nearly all of them Orthodox Christians, have perished at the hands of the Russian military. There are some 2 million homeless refugees due to Russia’s occupation of its neighbors’ territory. The Moscow Patriarchate is, itself, complicit in this crime spree. If you want to see how this impacts the ecclesiastical situation, I would direct your attention to American Public Broadcasting Service’s Nightly News Hour report on the ecclesiastical situation in Ukraine titled “The story of a Ukrainian Village at a Crossroads”. This video may be accessed from the PBS web-site of via the “Byztex” blog site.

    The Moscow Patriarchate would like to invoke the Sacred Canons to protect its interests in Ukraine. Unfortunately, the Moscow Patriarchate has, itself, been in constant and flagrant violation of these same Sacred Canons for the past twenty-five years! The Moscow Patriarchate has uncanonically invaded and occupied two entire dioceses of the Georgian Orthodox Patriarchate. Muscovite clergy literally participated in the invasions of Georgian territory and publicly “blessed” the violence against civilian populations. The Moscow Patriarchate created, funded and provided clergy for the schismatic parches created on the ruins of the legitimate Orthodox churches.

    In South Ossetia, nearly 100,000 ethnic Georgians were expelled from their homes in 1991, while Russian “peacekeepers” armed and protected the Ossetian militias during the fighting.  In Abkhazia the Apsua (Abkhazian people) with the help of the Russian army and their allies in the “Union of the Mountain Peoples of the Caucasus”, a Muslim confederacy, all but exterminated the Georgian community in Abkhazia in a ruthless campaign of genocide and ethnic cleansing. Nearly 47,000 Georgian Orthodox Christians were killed, and nearly 250,000 were driven into exile. I one single incident, the entire Georgian population of the city of Gagra were driven into the city soccer stadium and executed en mass by machine gun fire,.

    Descriptions of the suffering of the victims of this genocidal campaign can be read at:

    During the genocidal campaign of 1992, Hieromonk Andrea Kurashvili and the Subdeacon Giorgi Adua ,who were the restorers and guardians of the Shrine of the Repose of St John Chrysostom in Komana, were brutally tortured and martyred. You may read the their Life and Martyrdom on the Mystagogy Resource Center web-site.

    After the 1992-93 invasion of Abkhazia, the Russian Orthodox Church created a schismatic “Abkhaz Orthodox Eparchy” on the ruins of the legitimate Orthodox Diocese of Tskhumi and all Abkhazia. The “leader” of this schismatic church is the renegade Archimandrite Vissarion Apliaa. Despite the obvious schismatic, un-canonical nature of this so-called “Eparchy”; the Moscow Patriarchate ordained and assigned clergy to this diocese, and has funded its work.

    This Abkhaz Eparchy has since divided into two camps, one still loyal to Moscow, the other has declared itself an “Autonomous Abkhaz Metropolia” with a self ordained bishop, Archmandrite Dorofei Dbar. The 2008 documentary “Orthodox Occupation” describes the participation of the Moscow Patriarchate and its clergy in the aggression against the Georgian nation and the Georgian Orthodox Patriarchate. 

     In the “Orthodox Occupation” television documentary, the Russian Bishop Panteleimon of Karabadino-Adyghe is shown con-celebrating with the schismatic Vissarion Apliaa, and officially awarding him the Order of St Seraphim of Sarov on behalf of the Holy Synod of the Moscow Patriarchate. This demonstrates the direct involvement of the Moscow Patriarchate in the creation of the schismatic “Eparchy” By its own public actions, the Moscow Patriarchate stands self-condemned of schism, violence and murder.  
    Following the 2008 invasion of Georgia, this same renegade Vissarion Apliaa led the forces that expelled the last legitimate Orthodox clergy from the newly occupied Gali and Kodori districts in eastern Abkhazia in April 2009.  Vissarion Apliaa was received into the ranks of the clergy by the Moscow Patriarchate without a canonical release; and Patriarch Kirill personally con-celebrated with this renegade monk in violation of the Sacred Canons of the Orthodox Church. Reports of the persecution of the legitimate Georgian Orthodox church by the schismatic “Abkhaz Eparchy” and its sponsors may be read at the Forum 18 Religious Freedom web-site:

    The Human Rights Watch Organization has posted updated reports on the on-going persecution of the Georgian Orthodox faithful in occupied Abkhazia

    In August 2008, the Russian bishops, Panteleimon of Kabardino-Adyghe and Feofan of Saratov accompanied the invasion forces and publicly “blessed” the weapons used to attack civilian populations. These “blessings” were televised first in Russia and then in Georgia. You may watch the video with your own eyes as it is included in the “Orthodox Occupation” video on You Tube. These infernal “blessings” are also included in Andrei Nekrasov’s documentary “Uroki Russkogo” (Russian Lessons), which debunks the Russian government’s propaganda campaign of justification for its invasion of Georgia. Mr. Nekrasov’s documentary is also available on You Tube in 12 segments, some with English sub-titles for those who do not understand the Russian language.

    On August 8, 2008, the missiles “blessed” by Bishop Feofan were used attack the ancient Ghvrtaeba Cathedral and the Shrine of the Protomartyr Razhden in Nikazi. On August 9th, the Russian military and their Ossetian allies looted, desecrated and burned this ancient House of God. These weapons were used in bombing raids and missile attacks on civilian populations throughout Georgia, including areas well outside the so-called “zone of conflict”.

    The 2008 documentary “Orthodox Occupation” has been re-released and posted on You Tube at the following url:

    Portions of this documentary plus additional footage are now available with English voice over, titled “Orthodox Occupancy Part 1 and Part 2” at the following urls:

    A television documentary on the destruction of Ghvertaeba Cathedral and the work of reconstruction carried out by Metropolitan Isaiah may be viewed at:

     By their own actions, the bishops of the Moscow Patriarchate have violated the most ancient Apostolic Canons, and they have spurned the Lord’s commandment to “Love your neighbor as yourself”. They have specifically violated the Apostolic Canons 11-16, and 30 -35.  The prescribed penalty for any one of these crimes against the church is deposition and or excommunication, both for the offender and any who continue to commune with him!
    Through their infernal “blessing” of military weapons of mass destruction, the Russian bishops have blasphemed against the Holy Spirit, since through their actions they have invoked the Holy Spirit, the Lord and Giver of Life in the cause of murder, mayhem and destruction. Without profound repentance, this sin will not be forgiven; not in this world nor in the next. 
    Despite the enormity of these crimes, His Holiness, Patriarch Ilya II and the Holy Synod of the Georgian Patriarchate have followed the apostolic example of long-suffering and conciliation. “When reviled, we bless; when persecuted, we endure; when slandered, we try to conciliate.”  
    I Corinthians 4:9.  The Georgian Orthodox Patriarchate twice sent a delegation headed by Metropolitan Gerasime of Zugdidi to Moscow to conciliate. The Georgian Patriarchate offered to grant the status of a metochion to the Russian clergy operating in the occupied territories. The Russians refused that offer and demanded the right of conquest. The leaders of the Moscow Patriarchate believe that they may violate the Sacred Canons and the Savior’s commandments with impunity. The tragedy of the Russian Church is that its leaders have chosen to serve a master who is not Christ.

    These past twenty years of persecution have caused enormous suffering for the Georgian Orthodox faithful. Nearly 50,000 innocent civilians have lost their lives. Almost 300,000 have lost their homes and livelihoods. Two entire dioceses have been laid waste. Schismatics are promoted and the legitimate churches destroyed.
    Examples of the suffering of innocents can be read at:

    Related photo album is at:

    Of course the Muscovites, now want to invoke the Sacred Canons, those same Canons that they wantonly violated with impunity. Of course, the cannot do so without being exposed as complete hypocrites.

    We need to consider what it means to be a “canonical” Orthodox church. Is canonicity merely a legal status, a one off imprimatur that confers legitimacy? Or, is it a life lived according to the Gospel, according to Christ’s saving commandments and in accord with the Sacred Canons of the Orthodox Church? If we accept the first possibility, the we reduce canonicity to a mere pharisaic legalism. If we accept the second definition of canonicity, then we must admit that the Patriarchate of Moscow is itself not a canonical church. Indeed, the leaders of the Moscow Patriarchate are themselves conscious of their guilt before Almighty God. Over the past two years, Metropolitan Hilarion Alfeyev has made a half dozen trips the Tbilisi, asking for the Georgian Patriarchate to renew its offer to grant the invaders the status of a “metochion” as a fig leaf to hide the shame of their crimes. At this time, the holy Fathers of the Georgian Patriarchate are no longer to accede to that demand. In the past month, Hilarion Alfeyev has resorted to threats of “adverse ramifications” should the Georgian hierarchs not agree to support the Moscovites position in Ukraine. For more on that you may read the Article: “Politics of Ecclesial Occupation” on the website:

    We live in perilous times, when all of our Christian values have been up-ended. The preaching of God’s mercy has been replaced by cynical power politics. The Cross of Christ has been replaced by Mr. Putin’s “power vertical”. Our Lord’s command to care for “these, the least of My brethren” has been replaced with indifference to the suffering victims of an endless and unjust war. Our Lord’s search for the “lost sheep on the mountain” has been replaced with with a demand for pharisaic legalisms and revenge.

    Have we not become like the Pharisees, whom Our Lord Jesus Christ derided as hypocrites? “You hypocrites! Isaiah prophesied correctly about you: “These people honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me. They worship Me in vain; they teach as doctrine the precepts of men.’” Matthew 15:8

    His All Holiness Patriarch Bartholomew has acted in order to restore to the church those who had fallen away. The Russians, however, wish only to exclude and punish their adversaries. Who then fulfills the Savior’s command: “Go and learn what this means: ‘I desire mercy, and not sacrifice.’ For I came not to call the righteous, but sinners.” ? Matthew 9:13

    Again, I apologize for my lengthy documentation of the history; but truth is lost when we reduce history to twitter feeds and catch phrases. Truth matters for as our Lord said, “I am the Truth, the Way and the Life.” John 14:6

    • Monk James Silver says

      That’s a VERY long post!

      Without engaging all of its many points, I would reiterate that Ukraine and Russia are areas of the same very large country, and that the Russian Orthodox Church is the same as the Church of Kievan Rus out of which it grew. The political independence of Ukraine is a rather recent thing, and engendered by communist confusion at the beginning and end of sovyet era. The fact remains that there is one common history here, not two.

      Additionally, the Russian Orthodox Church claimed autocephaly for itself after the false synod of Firenze-Ferrara, in which Constantinople abandoned Orthodoxy in favor of Vaticanism. (This might be happening again.)

      Finally, the very nature of autocephaly requires that we understand each church’s full integrity to exclude interference of any kind — especially administrative interference — in its internal affairs by any other autocephalous church.

      It’s Constantinople’s interference in the internal affairs of the Russian Orthodox Church, its egregious breach of that ecclesiological principle which has so upset the entire Orthodox Christian Church. And, as if that weren’t bad enough, Constantinople has decided not only to reconstitute Russian dissidents as an autocephalous church and attempt to legitimize them as independent of their own local church, but also to irregularly accept their unordained pretenders to the clergy as bishops and priests.

      So, given these concerns, I do indeed oppose the ecclesiological and canonical errors of Constantinople, mistaken precedents notwithstanding. Canon law and decisions of _oikonomia_ are not based on case-law precedent as happens in (at least American) civil law.

      I am not well enough informed about the political/ecclesial friction between the Georgians and the Russians to have an opinion about their situation.

      • Deep Steak says

        this is why talkin bout ukraine on this site is pointless because the party line is that ukraine is not actually an independent country but just part of russia

        bunch of americans insisting a bunch of ukrainians should have no political autonomy and bend knee to moscow is fun wankery to read tho

        • Joseph Lipper says

          “bunch of americans insisting a bunch of ukrainians should have no political autonomy and bend knee to moscow is fun wankery to read tho”

          Yes, indeed!

        • Beryl Wells Hamilton says

          To the point where God takes the Eucharist right out of their mouths.

        • Johannes says

          Talking about Ukraine on this site is almost pointless because about half the people on here can’t distinguish between church and state. What Russia or the US have done or not done is not relevant. What matters is what the Orthodox Christians of Ukraine pursue as the best path in accordance with love of God and neighbor and the canonical order of the Church. There are no errors that the Russian state can make, and none that the Russian church has made, which justify Istanbul’s choice to install a new parasynagogue composed of men they themselves have long regarded as schismatics on the ground of an existing autonomous Orthodox Church. The greatest danger to Orthodox Christianity in the world today is the false ecclesiology of Istanbul, and it is incumbent on every Orthodox Christian of every denomination who understands what is being promoted by the Phanar to oppose it.

        • Monk James Silver says

          Deep Steak (May 13, 2019 at 12:41 pm) says:

          this is why talkin bout ukraine on this site is pointless because the party line is that ukraine is not actually an independent country but just part of russia

          bunch of americans insisting a bunch of ukrainians should have no political autonomy and bend knee to moscow is fun wankery to read tho
          Such writing is not expected of a gentleman and a scholar.

      • I know a bit more about the Abkhazian/Georgian situation myself. The post that he made was just straight up lying about that. I don’t mean to be diminutive or divisive, but the idea that the ROC “created the schismatic Abkhaz church” is just a straight up lie. I don’t know where the writer of this post got the idea that somehow the Patriarch of Moscow had concelebrated with a schismatic monk living in a Georgian war zone, or that a Russian bishop had at some point, but most of the evidence that the post gives is non-existant. I looked up “orthodox occupation” and no such video exists on YouTube. There is one 1 minute long video about the occupation of Georgia by Russia in the 1800’s, and the actions of the ROC during that period, but nothing about the modern situation. Here is a source that I found that better explains the modern situation of Abkhazian Orthodoxy:

        “The ethnically Abkhaz Vissarion Aplaa was the only remaining priest after the early 1990s war in which almost all priests living in Abkhazia were deported due to their Georgian Ethnicity. He thus became the de-facto acting head of the Sukhumi-Abkhazian eparchy. In the following years, recently consecrated clerics from the neighbouring Russian Maykop Eparchy arrived in Abkhazia. The new priests (archimandrite Dorotheos Dbar, hieromonk Andrew Ampar, hierodeacon David Sarsania) came into conflict with Vissarion, but through the mediation of Russian church officials, the two sides managed to reach a power-sharing agreement in Maikop in 2005. Under the agreement, the Eparchy would thenceforth have co-chairs and be named the Abkhazian Eparchy with undefined canonical status, to stress its separation from the Georgian Orthodox Church. The agreement did not hold however, when Priest Vissarion refused to share the leadership and continued to sign documents using the old name of the Eparchy.

        On 15 September 2009 the leadership of the Sukhumi-Abkhazian Eparchy declared that it no longer considered itself part of the Georgian Orthodox Church, that it was re-establishing the Catholicate of Abkhazia, and that it would henceforth be known as the Abkhazian Orthodox Church. Its leader Aplia asked the Russian and Georgian churches to recognize the “Abkhazian Orthodox Church”. A spokesman for the Georgian patriarchate said the decision to separate from the Georgian Orthodox Church was taken by a “group of impostors”, while the Russian Orthodox Church confirmed that it continued to view Abkhazia as the canonical territory of the Georgian Church.”


      • George Michalopulos says

        Really Francis, your hatred blinds you to simple historical facts. Yes, the Moscow patriarchate did unilaterally declare autocephaly but as Monk James points out, this was in response to the Unia that was put in place by the Council of Ferarra-Florence.

        What would you have them do? Submit to the Unia?

        Personally Francis, I think you’d be happier if you just went under Cpole as I believe you’re going to be really depressed when it becomes obvious how closely tied the patriarchate of Georgia is to Russia (as well as the rest of world Orthodoxy).

        The handwriting is on the wall, Francis. Because the Serbs were the first to come to the aid of Orthodoxy, the State Dept’s schemes regarding the subjugation of all Orthodoxy to pole have been confounded.

    • Johannes says

      Some of what you say about the Russian Church is true; none of us are without sin.

      Bartholomew is openly supporting the murder and seizure of property of pious Orthodox Christians in Ukraine and you characterize this as “restoring to the Church those who had fallen away.” Your monstrous misuse of scripture to justify the murder of your brothers in Christ makes me very sad. Canonical irregularities by the OCA or extreme steps, justified or not, taken by ROCOR at a time when they thought the Russian Church was a communist front aren’t relevant. The many political failures of our Bishops in all jurisdictions are also not relevant.

      It is up to the existing autonomous Church in Ukraine to work these things out for itself. It can engage in witness, martyric witness if necessary, to Constantinople or Moscow or the USA or EU or the Ukranian government itself at its own discretion. In the Ukranian crisis the Russians, whatever their political failings, are not guilty of canonical violations. The existing Ukranian church for the time being has been content with autonomy rather than autocephaly. The Phanar is guilty of canonical violations. Furthermore they are not minor ones; they are ones that will, if taken to their natural conclusion, end with the murder or subjugation by Rome of the Ukranian Christian faithful, and possibly also turn the Ecumenical Patriarchate into something worse and more totalitarian than the forerunner of Antichrist in Rome.

      There is nothing that can justify this no matter how much evil has been done and blood has been shed elsewhere.

    • Antiochene Son says

      That incorporation [of the Ukrainian dioceses into the Russian Church] was never ratified by the Ecumenical Patriarch or any church council.


  7. Michael Bauman says

    All I can say if the version of the Orthodox Church were the Greek version I do not know where I’d be.

    • George Michalopulos says

      Michael, “the Greek version” of doing things ecclesiastically doesn’t even work for Greek-Americans and hasn’t for two generations. When the GOA was established back in the early 1920s, there were 900,000 members. According to the US Census Bureau, the Greek Orthodox religion was the fastest-growing religion for the decade 1910-1920. All of course due to the massive influx of Greek immigrants to the US.

      Now, there are barely 100,000 members on the rolls of the GOA while the Census Bureau states that there are almost 1,000,000 Americans who claim Greek ancestry. That’s a stunning rate of attrition. Indeed, it’s an abject failure.

      To believe that someone as impolitic as Lambrianides can turn this thing around is insane. I suppose it’s possible that the Archons’ purse-strings will be opened somewhat now that Arb Demetrios is gone but to what end? Will Holy Cross be rehabilitated? What GOA family (or convert family) is going to spend the money to send their son there to get a worthless degree? Will the Archons do the Met Philip thing and totally subsidize the cost of an MDiv at SVS or St Tikhon’s?

      Even if the GOA continues its downward trajectory, Pat Bartholomew’s plan to make sure and confound American autocephaly will be viewed as a “win”. It’s much like the Democrat Party today, if they can’t rule, they are more than happy to ruin.

      • Lester Comrite says

        Greek ancestry is not exclusive. Overwhelmingly, the ancestry is mixes.

  8. Prayerful for God’s ultimate checkmate says


    Great piece. Well said.

    Concerning what you write at the end, “Perhaps the new archbishop’s renowned maladroitness and the attendant ill-will which the Phanar has sown over the last several years will bring things to a head“ — I think it’s true that this may ultimately be a very bad chess move on the part of Istanbul. Istanbul May think they’re saying “check” right now, but Christ always has the ultimate “checkmate.”

    Archbishop Elpidophoros is more gaffe-prone than his bud Joe Biden is (yes, it’s that bad). But as they say with gaffes, it happens when you let it be known what you really think. For that, I’m thankful for Abp Elpidophoros’s “gaffes.”

    He’s going to bring Istanbul’s “my way or the highway” approach here, to New York and to America. That’ll go over like a lead balloon to everyone except for only the most ardent Istanbul supporters.

    In due time, I expect this Abp to fully alienate the OCA, the Antiochians, the Serbs in America, ROCOR, and all the others. This new Abp has already made clear that he detests everything Russian, so he’s really already alienated ROCOR and the small MP diocese in America. The Serbs have already spoken out against this Abp with respect to the Ukraine fiasco and have appropriately sided with Russia. From the latest small tête-à-tête in Cyprus, it seems like the Antiochians also appropriately side with Russia against Istanbul’s unjustifiable shenanigans in Ukraine.

    So really, once he gets here, this new Abp just has to alienate the OCA, which probably won’t be hard to do, once he pushes Istanbul’s “my way or the highway” agenda and approach toward inter-Orthodox (non)relations.

    As Fr Andrew Phillips has said, God can make good out of human stupidity. And Istanbul’s stupidity over the past century may be coming to a head in America, where God-willing all of the other Orthodox churches will come together to tell Istanbul to either come to her senses or else to go away in irrelevance.

    I’m prayerful that this terrible choice of an Abp could actually foster Orthodox jurisdictional unity in America, something that we desperately need! May it be so.

    • Agree. His gaffes are classic from someone
      who never had to deal with people in the sense of listening and discussing. He says and you hear. He I think is being groomed for next Patrarch but one unless Bartholomaios hangs s on another few yrs. Then he could be ‘ parachuted ‘ out, as the Term goes for Uk MPs shoo- horned into safe parliamentary seats to shove them upwards.
      Still Francis is his father!!!

      • Christos says

        Yes, he is only 52 and a Turkish Citizen. He no doubt is on the very very short list.

  9. Constantinos says

    Hi George,
    Wow!!! You really excoriated him in your response to his address at Holy Cross. It is posted on Orthodox Christian Laity’s web site. The only thing I’m going to say about this situation is that you truly are a humble man. You are a giant in the Orthodox Christian world. A man less humble would be touted his accomplishments. I was unaware of the things posted about you on Orthodox Christian Laity.
    I never knew you are a former board member of OCL, that you started an Orthodox Mission Church for the OCA or that you were a published author. I want to commend you for not tooting your own horn or engaging in self promotion as some do. I’m thinking of certain priests.
    Okay, George, your article is meticulously written, and deeply researched with annotations. As awesome as you( I mean that sincerely), I have to disagree with you. I thought his Eminence’s speech was outstanding. Sorry to say this: I think he is going to be a great Metropolitan.

  10. Constantinos says

    Hi George,
    I was reading the statements by the Archons. They have said that the Metropolitan of the Greek Orthodox Church is the spiritual leader of all Orthodox Christians in America. I agree with that statement. If you are not imbued with Hellenism, you don’t know jack squat. You can’t even understand Orthodoxy without a thorough understanding Hellenism. All you get is strange people with some crazy ideas.
    Just a small point, at the OCA in which I attend, most of the women wear pants to church with short hair! When I went to the Greek Church, all the women were dressed in their Sunday best. In other words, they looked like dignified women. When I see a woman attending Church with skimpy blouses, pants, and short hair cuts, I feel sick. That is part of the Cultural Marxism that has infested our country and now our churches.
    Men should look like men wearing full beards, (no goatees) like you, Mr. Mortiss, and me.

    • George Michalopulos says

      Francis. Autocephaly is never a seamless process. Cpole’s gradual aggrandizement of its own prerogatives have taken centuries to come to fruition. And they are still controversial and in no ways universally accepted.

      • George Michalopulos says

        Francis, in addition, your recollection is seriously flawed in another way: Met Jonah’s speech in Dallas was a clarion call to arms and reasserted American autocephaly in no uncertain terms. This should have been music to Syosset’s ears but little did he know that there was a cabal working to undermine that very autocephaly and bring the OCA under the omorphor of Cpole.

        And then of course he was derided by others because he was too close to Moscow. Poor guy couldn’t win. But that’s a story for another day. You just need to figure out what you want as an American Orthodox Christian and stop worrying so much about Putin.

    • I have no difficulty distinguishing a man from a woman without “full beards “
      You don’t have to look like Paul Bunyan
      To be Orthodox
      What’s next?
      A pick up truck and beer belly

      Or for women the “jumper”
      And socks with sandals?


      • Gail Sheppard says

        One day someone is going to have to explain to me why people take the time to say absolutely nothing important.

      • Constantinos says

        No one said anything about being red necks. Do you have a problem with reading comprehension? As far as beer bellies are concerned, I do not drink ever. No beer, no wine, no alcoholic beverages.
        What I am saying is important. We are in God’s house. Shouldn’t we show respect by dressing appropriately? In my opinion, men should wear suits with ties or bow ties. For ladies, that means modest dresses. If I want to see women looking like men all I have to do is go to the gym or Walmart. When in church, I expect dignity.
        As far as beards are concerned, it’s kind of funny, but all the saints are wearing long glorious beards. Wearing a beard helps a man in his quest for humility.
        By the way, as far as looking feminine is concerned, look at some of the photos on any Maronite Catholic Church web site. In my opinion, wearing pants and short hair cuts is low class. I also object to all these “Hollywood stars” posting nude photos or skimpy bikinis of themselves. When I see a woman in church dressed modestly, I automatically have more respect for her. Hillary Clinton could have been the most competent person running for president( she wasn’t ), but the fact she was always wearing pants means that I never would vote for her for anything other than dog catcher. So please learn to read with more comprehension.

        • I agree with what you are saying
          Men should look manly and women should look feminine.
          Like the Saints.
          I suppose nowadays since some women can dress with short hair and pants,
          The beards are necessary to tell the men apart!!

          I have good hopes about the new Archbishop as well

          • Constantinos says

            Mary. I apologize for saying that you lack reading comprehension skills. Your response to me was very kind. I pray that God will bless you and your family.

        • St. John Chrysostom is always depicted with a goatee dude, plus apostles Philip and Thomas are never depicted with beards in icons. Having a beard is cool, but not having one isn’t a bad thing.

          • Constantinos says

            I was being more or less facetious about beards. For me, a beard is a good way to try to be humble. Being voted best looking in my high school class, and hearing at least 10,000 times how handsome I was (I’m sixty four now), and being told I’m much better looking without a beard, it got to be very tiresome. I honestly can’t tell you how many times females would stop their cars to tell me how they were going to go home and fantasize about me, and tell me I was the most handsome man they had ever seen, it got to be very draining. Even now, I forget how good looking I’m considered until I go out in public. For me, a beard is a good antidote to vanity. So for me, a beard is a beard. It covers up my looks. Sorry, if I sound conceited. I’m really not that way, but the temptation is always there.

          • Randy, you are absolutely right IF you are talking about priests brought up in the West, certainly outside Greece.
            However if you consider mainly Greek Priests, born/brought up INSIDE Greece, THEN, I am afraid there is a correlation between length of their beard and extent of their “adhesion” to the Church Tradition.
            Statistically speaking, the longer their beard, the stronger their bond with the Church Tradition.
            Funny? It is true and I am sure you will find an explanation which has to do with their overall attitude towards the Church vs the Western Civilization.

            • And hair. As the saying goes ‘the rason does not make the priest’ or the beard per se but a beard is the natural dignity of a man and says something about the priest.
              Re length, here in Bulgaria most married clergy have trimed full beards, monks untrimmed full. In any case every young man currently walking round with a beard!!
              A normal trimed beard for a married priest is a mark of dignity and priesthood.
              As the rason. It gives a dignity.
              But I have to say I prefere a clean shaven face any day to the Phanar three hairs on the chin rubbish.

          • Clean shaven men may indeed be a bad thing when one considers pagans in the first century.  Church Father Arnobius of Sicca  equated it with effeminacy.

    • Constantinos, Till your own weeds dude. I agree that seeing women in church with inappropriate attire can make me feel uncomfortable, but our job is not to judge their actions. If the priest wants to notify these young ladies that they are dressed inappropriately, then let him do so. But I would rather have a young woman regularly attending church, even if they may be dressed inappropriately, rather than her not attending church at all. I am currently attending a public high school in a very liberal part of town, and I have seen first hand the endless amount of temptations that young women have to go through when at this age. I honestly think it is a miracle that any young girl aged 15-21 is able to overcome those temptations and go to church every Sunday, even if they may be not appropriately dressed. “Hellenism” has nothing to do with it.

      • Constantinos says

        I like your sense of humor, brother, but, unfortunately, my post is really in response to some ideas on this forum with which I disagree. By the way, I completely agree with you on the temptation young people face in this day and age.
        Personally, I really don’t care about other people’s attire. I’m getting involved in local politics; in fact, I’m thinking of running for the local board of selectmen next year. The number one complaint I hear from the residents in my town is rising taxes. People are having a hard time affording their homes. I’m committed to improving my local community. There are many Orthodox Christians who think nothing of driving 100 miles to attend their Orthodox Church. You add the wear and tear on their cars, the cost of its upkeep, the fact they are making the trip more than once a week if they are heavily involved in their church, they are stretching their finances waaay too thin.
        Many of these dishonest priests beat the laity about how they expect these already overtaxed members to tithe to them. I’ve studied the issue of tithing, and it’s a great rich scheme for greedy priests to build their little empires and fiefdoms. I say spend your own time and money in your own community- and give to the faraway church only what you can afford without straining your already over strained budget.
        Now, these people who slavishly adhere to the priest’s every whims and fantasies are being used. Time, talent, and treasure? That should apply to your local community.
        What really shocks me is how raggedy the ladies’ clothing is. It looks like they are wearing second hand, very old clothing. Why? Because they are spending too much money on car maintenance, and are giving much too much money to their far away
        church. I firmly believe charity begins at home, and your home is your local community. Give what you can comfortably afford to your church, but the overwhelming bulk of your charitable giving, and time involvement should be to your local community- and you just might be able to afford some decent clothes. Capice?

        • Gail Sheppard says

          Great post, Costa!

        • Michael Bauman says

          Costa, disregarding what I consider to be over heated rhetoric about the “greedy priests” I agree with the content of your post. Good luck on your campaign. I might even send you a contribution if it is legal.

          • Constantinos says

            Dear Mr. Bauman,
            Thank you. I certainly appreciate it. I really won’t need any campaign contributions when I run, but, at some point, I’m definitely going to run. Probably when there is a race t fill a one year seat.

        • You’re hard to track Constantinos, but you seem like a good guy. Good luck to you in your endeavors!

          • Constantinos says

            Thank you brother. I enjoy your posts. May God bless you and your family in all you do. I think you have a very bright future.

      • Like Saint Mary of Egypt, a woman who arrogantly flaunts herself cannot enter the Lord’s house.  If the heart is willing,  the clothes should not matter.  

      • Dear brother Randy,
        “But I would rather have a young woman regularly attending church, even if they may be dressed inappropriately, rather than her not attending church at all.”

        With all respect and love in Christ,
        I agree with the spirit of your post, but not the letter of it:
        Everyone of us is daily faced by “either-or” decisions. It’s a trap!

        I was struck by the wise simplicity of St.John Chrysostom, when asked:
        “Shall I clean my heart OR my room?”
        He replied it is NOT EITHER-OR:
        “First you go to church and clean your heart (confess)
        AND THEN go clean your room.

        So, to paraphrase/imitate the holy Golden-Mouth:
        “First, the young woman should regularly attend church,
        then learn to  be dressed inappropriately”
        How about that?

        • Please correct penultimate line to read:
          “then learn to  be dressed appropriately”

  11. For Greatly Saddened, I guess: where to find, if available, transcript of Lambrianides’ remarks at 2006 HCHS.

  12. Mike Labinas says

    Might you please publish Elfidorcus 2006 speech? I also believe he speaks German because that was where his major studies were. Lex Lutsos is promoting him as the next Athenagoras, that he will come to America, become friendly with all the powers and use the connections when he returns to Contantinople as Patriarch. Lex Lutsos doesn’t care about GOD, only Hellenism. He cut his teeth in Richard Daley’s Chicago. He is oblivious to core American Conservatism. Lex Lutsos also refused to comprehend the basic rules of economics. He chases after fads where he can gratify his own ego by hob nobbing. All of his financial fiascos were based on “Buy High, Sell Low”, the reverse of how smart people make money. When Michael was a baby, he hit his head at Aspen, but Lex Lutsos refused to take him to the hospital, telling those who suggested it they should take his now-brain damaged son instead. How telling. It is now not only the son which is brain damaged, but the entire Archdiocese.

  13. Lex Lutsos, he must mean Alex Karloutsos, posing as Lex Luther. Karloutsos is the very Snake of Eden, The Self-same snake of Eden, the Modern Caiaphas, serving the same Lazio Evil Empire. He is the one who got Giannoulias Broadway Bank to launder Iran nuclear funding. Meliton prevented Iacovus patriarchy after long grudge. Karloutsos manipulated Clinton White House to ascend Bart Arcantony and then abused travel agency.

  14. Kenneth Ritter says

    What is known of Bishop Makarios of Christoupolis who was unanimously voted in as the new Archbishop of Australia on 9 May?

  15. He may be another Spyridon. The Archdiocesan council etc. wanted to get rid of him less that a year after he was in. If he is not wanted they could persuede the INS not to grant him a visa in to this country.
    Maybe give Eiipidiphoros an American see such as Denver. Metropolitan Isaiah is 87 or 88. I also understand that the State Department got Archbishop Athenagoras elected as Patriarch.
    Also what will happen to Bishop Demetri of Mokiskos?

    • Good question about Bishop D. He has always been an interesting character in the GOA. He was on an all-expense paid “sabbatical” which ended a few months ago. He has not been assigned anywhere that I have read. He is an auxiliary to the Archbishop, I believe. Last I heard of him he was assisting Metropolitan Emmanuel in Paris, maybe hoping that he would become Archbishop. I don’t know where he could go without again opening up the scandals associated with his time in Chicago and Milwaukee.

  16. I have seen several mentions to Archbishop Spyridon so I went searching for some information. I found this older article from December 20, 2015 on the OCL site. What caught my eye was this paragraph:

    “When invited to comment of the attempted “ecclesiastical coup” that TNH revealed in July, aiming to dethrone His Eminence Archbishop Demetrios of America and replace him with Metropolitan Elpidoforos of Proussa form Turkey, he said “I know one thing that these type of coups are done usually in the silence and in darkness. A coup would overturn the ‘balancing’ and where would the leadership of the Patriarchate find a more accommodating archbishop?”

    Yet everyone I have talked to in recent days since Archbishop Demetrius resigned have acted like the elevation of Elipidiphoros is a completely new and unexpected piece of news, like casting lots in the upper room to select Matthias.

    What a mare’s nest this is!

  17. Antiochene Son says

    From his Archpastoral Message:

    In the coming days and weeks, we will all be learning about one another.

    It would be nice to have “a shepherd” who “knows his flock”.

    And, on June 22nd at my Enthronement, I look forward to embracing our ecumenical and interfaith friends as well, and the whole pluralistic American society that values freedom of conscience and religious liberty with such intensity.

    Gag me.

    • Michael Bauman says

      Antiochian Son: AMEN. You had more stomach for reading the message than I did. Among many other problems, it shows he knows absolutely nothing about “American Society” that increasingly devalues both freedom of conscience and religious freedom. It also shows he has not intention of actually propagating the Orthodox faith. It is kumbaya time while the camp fire burns beneath.