AOI Weighs In on GOA Human Rights Award to NY Gov. Cuomo

Source: American Orthodox Institute

Memo to Greek Orthodox Bishops: Stop Honoring Pro-Abortion Politicians

New York Gov. Cuomo receives 'human rights' award from Greek Orthodox Archbishop Demetrios

By Fr. Johannes L. Jacobse

Giving the Patriarch Athenagoras Human Rights Award to New York Governor Andrew Cuomo was a mistake. Cuomo is a defensive tackle for the abortion industry. He uses the power of the state and his bully pulpit to bulldoze anyone who dares defend the unborn. Gov. Cuomo advocates for partial birth abortion through the ninth month of pregnancy. Maybe you didn’t know.

The award muddies the moral waters. The first calling of Bishops of the Orthodox Church is to “rightly divide the word of truth.” All of us — clergy and laity alike — pray for this every time we meet for worship. Rightly dividing the word of truth applies not only to what is taught inside the church but also to the public witness of our Orthodox Church. And the moral tradition is clear: aborting the unborn is morally indefensible.

This is not the first time the waters were muddied. Paul Sarbanes, the Greek Orthodox former senator from Maryland, was feted countless times with no mention that his abortion advocacy militated against the moral tradition. It scandalized the faithful, so much so that when Sarbanes was appointed as the honorary chairmen of the Twentieth Anniversary Celebration of International Orthodox Charities back in 2012, the faithful protested.

No second-tier moralizing is necessary either. We know that abortions are frequent. We understand that given the cultural climate some women chose abortion out of desperation and confusion. Priests deal with this all the time. But certainly you know that no therapy can be applied until the disease is properly diagnosed and that the unrestricted abortion that infects American aoxiwrt is a cultural disease of the first order.

Sin corrupts and the corruption that abortion fosters affects the larger culture. Do you not understand this? Ask yourselves: Does selling aborted baby parts reveal that we are falling even deeper into a dark pit? If this bothers you at all, then ask: Why give Gov. Cuomo — who defends these practices as a moral and social good — an award for human rights?

Yes, we know that Gov. Cuomo untangled a political knot that allowed the Ground Zero ecumenical structure to be built. We also understand that politics is a complicated business especially in New York. Yet you could have given Gov. Cuomo a certificate of merit or a plaque thanking him for his service — anything that does not muddy the moral waters in the ways that giving the award did.

The waters have been muddied, the public witness of Orthodox Christianity weakened, the meaning of the words “human rights” diminished, and the award cheapened.

Do you not see how this erodes your own moral authority as well?


  1. Well said. Especially his summation of the difficulties the issue presents but the nonetheless imperative need for clear witness.

  2. Why was a Greek Orthodox Church that I presume was consecrated replaced by an “ecumenical” structure?

    The list of “Orthodox” politicians who are pro-death is long. Most of them appear to be from the GOA. There can be no union with such.

    I know my Bishop and whom he serves. I do not know these men.

  3. Pat Reardon says

    Thank God for Father Hans and the AOI site.

    • George Michalopulos says

      Indeed, Fr. The AOI has long been my lodestar and Fr Hans is a standout in American Orthodoxy. His ministry has brought many to the Faith and emboldened those who have despaired at the present morass.

  4. Does he not know? says

    Does the good Fr Johannes not know that the primary goal of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America is to publicize the Greek-American success story? History shows that the chief goal of the GOAA is not to spread the Gospel of Christ to fellow Americans.

    As such, standing firm with the likes of Mr Cuomo, Sen. Sarbanes, Michael Dukakis, Olympia Snowe, and George Stephanopoulos makes perfect sense. At least with the latter, they can say his dad is a priest and his sister is a nun…

    Who knows, up next perhaps the GOAA bishops will give a nice award to Greek-American Jennifer Psaki, the ignominious White House propaganda minister communications director and former State Dept. chief propagandist spokesmouth. After all, she’s a prime example of the Greek-American success story! She made it to the top! Oh, she’s not a practicing Christian you say, and she works to actively undermine traditional Christian cultures by pushing American secularism on Orthodox cultures that don’t want it? I’m sorry, is that relevant?

    • George Michalopulos says

      For what it’s worth, Jen Psaki (btw, I didn’t know she was Greek) is held in such contempt in Russia that they have a “reverse IQ” scale using “Psaki-1, Psaki-2, etc.” to denote abysmal stupidity.

  5. A very upstanding and decent letter. As a liberal, I see the reason for the laws, but I find the practice abhorrent, overpracticed, and against church.

    All politicians need to be held to some standards. If they choose to vote in ways that are contrary to church teachings; the church owes them no reward.

    The letter was even tempered and graceful.

    I don’t often see eye to eye with the good priest, but he gets my praise on this one.

    As a critique, I’m not certain about Cuomo’s voting record or the specifics where he might have voted differently, so I’m giving this one to the priest.

  6. The road to hell is paved with good intentions, not to mention priests and their bishops. Author unknown

    “Believe to the end, even if all men went astray and you were left the only one faithful;bring your offering even then, and praise God in your loneliness.” Fyodor Dostoyevsky-The Brothers Karamazov

  7. I think it is important to understand the true beliefs of the elite establishment. The following Wikileaks revelation confirms the suspicions of so many that have been seeing and understanding the clues, but have been belittled as conspiracy theorists:

    This is real, my friends, and is big time popular among the elite establishment.

    One of my all time favorite links by Lucis Trust , the organization that sponsors the meditation room at the UN. Their site is worth investigating, at least to show how involved they are at the UN.

    Can it really be clearer that this?

    I realize many of us are in denial. We don’t want to believe it. How many Orthodox are going to vote for Hillary or Trump believing they are really doing any good? That the evil “in high places” we were warned about is only in the “spiritual” realm? Or that the “synagogue of Satan, those to claim themselves to be Jews but are not” is not really real? Or that Tsar Nicholas and his family were not murdered in an Occult ritual to eliminate the last true Christian monarchy? Or that Serguis Nilus was delusional when he published the protocols and a warning and cry to the Orthodox leadership at the time to push for an Eight Ecumenical council, as he felt the rise of the Antichrist was coming?

    We haven’t been paying attention, and we have been blinded by comfort, wealth and propaganda.

    You can deny all of this but the reality is true. Today the real evil is being exposed, and so many of us are coming to the realization and of course we are scandalized – especially if your primary source of news and information are official sources – your world view is going to be shattered. I feel sorry for the older generations, whose loyalties are being tested.

    For me there is only one loyalty, to Christ and his Church. Nothing else.

    • Make Monomakhos Great Again! says

      “Or that Serguis Nilus was delusional when he published the protocols”

      *record scratch*

      *freeze frame*

      (Jewish man wearing “I’m with Her” t-shirt is frozen mid-stride looking at the camera as he’s being chased by a horde of Monomakhos posters bearing torches and pitchforks)

      Yup, that’s me. You’re probably wondering how I ended up in this situation.

      • Bishop Tikhon (Fitzgerald) says

        Sergius Nilus. That’s the mystic that deposed Abbot Herman fell for, isn’t it? The “Protocols” were originally composed and published in Paris by an agent of the Tsar’s version of KGB, Matvei Golovinski in 1903, based on an original paper against Napoleon who was trying to take over the whole world through unscrupulous plotting and “manipulation of the media”—a claim even today the desperate recourse of losers!