Archbishop Peter Addresses the Present Evil –AXIOS!

All is not lost. One American Orthodox bishop has the fortitude to speak truth to power, in the wake of our liberties drowning in civil acts of disobedience on a scale this great country of ours has rarely seen.   

AXIOS! to His Eminence, Archbishop Peter of Chicago and Mid-America (ROCOR).

And thank you, especially, for calling out the present evil and comparing it to the earlier evil of Bolshevism. AXIOS! AXIOS! AXIOS!


Abp. Peter Encyclical (ROCOR)

Click to Enlarge


  1. Arthur Samouris says


  2. Axios Bp Peter for this comment on temporal civil peace which we presently have, unlike many Orthodox countries. How beautifully put about our role in regenerating society itself via peaceful means.

    To accomplish that secondary temporal end, do we not need the full healing Grace of the Divine Energies as Orthodox Christians to share with others?

    Do we not need to honor and witness to our Faith and most importantly be regenerated individually as we always have been taught to do? To achieve our own individual regeneration by participating fully in the Divine Services including frequent Holy Communion honoring the Divine Energies as All Healing along with all the Sacraments such as Confession, Holy Unction, reverencing of Holy Icons, the Cross, entreating God and Panagia publicly with repentance for our own sins and those of our nation, as Orthodox have always done? And as some nonAmerican Orthodox have done during COVID?

    Is this not necessary for us as Orthodox Christians for our own spiritual peace and salvation, more important than any temporal value?

    May our hierarchs ever speak about our spiritual condition and honor what our Saints and Holy Fathers and Saints to be have taught since the beginning about the All Holy Trinity, ever loving and all powerful, and the superiority always of Our Faith and the Mysteries over the rational IF the two conflict or seem to conflict.

    Holy Scripture dictates that we should be prudent (wise as a serpent) when dealing with any threat outside the Protection and Healing of the Divine Energies, but in the place where the All Holy Trinity has chosen to manifest the Divine Energies through countless centuries?

    Archimandrite Gregorios Estephan of Lebanon in his Paschal address discourses in ways taught to me about western rationalism versus the true fronema of Eastern Orthodox faith and about the utter need for the Traditional healing methods of the Church especially now. I encourage you to read his article.

    Several priests have told me to be quiet/be at peace with whatever the Bishops say. But what they are saying and/or implying is not what I have ever heard before. It is alien. I can respect a priest’s obedience to his Bishop but I sorrow deeply that he must criticize those of us who are trying to honor Christ and the Orthodox Faith. At least may we agree to disagree. Archimandrite Gregorios sums up the sense of many of us about obedience:

    “Obedience is essential in the Church, it is obedience in the One Truth. Everything in the Church must abide by obedience, except that which conflicts with the Faith and Mysteries. Thus, all obedience which does not find its roots in obedience to the Church Tradition, which includes the Faith, Dogmas and Canons is a futile obedience, and the corresponding humility (that is being promoted) is a false humility.”

    I remember well St. John Chrysostom’s important qualification about the commandment to honor our parents…EXCEPT he said, when asked by them to do something which dishonors God.

    I know how many patristic and nonpatristic priests and hierarchs have great good will, no judgment about them personally. But please know many of us want to be more obedient to God and to the Faith we have been taught (NOT our own thinking) than to obey men blindly as the Roman Catholics are more wont to do.

  3. Chris Banescu says

    AXIOS!!! A true and faithful shepherd of the Orthodox Church has the courage to speak the truth and challenge the evil threatening America.

  4. I’m not sure if this makes up for the fact that he drank the pandemic kool-aid and was the most oppressive ROCOR Hierarch with regards to Church lock-downs …but it is nonetheless refreshing to see.

    • George Michalopulos says

      Mikhail, I too was rather disappointed in Arb Peter for buying into the pandemic nonsense but he’s more than made up for it now.

      • George, when I saw your exuberant title  and read Arthur S’s Axios, I assumed Bp Peter was leading us all back into the usual worship with all the attendant understanding of Divine Energies intact.  Then I read what he wrote…and what you are saying.    Have I missed Bp Peter or Patriarch Kyrill changing their decrees about Holy Communion, veneration of icons, kissing of the Cross, etc?  I pray I did miss it, would love to be wrong in what I wrote originally! 

        • George Michalopulos says

          Nicole, I was speaking specifically about the conflagration that is presently destroying our cities. Arb Peter addressed the evilness around us simply and pastorally. And he did not buy into the BLM nonsense that LP was hoodwinked into accepting.

        • Rhipsime says

          From what I can tell, the local ROCOR church went back to normal operations (including no more livestream) on May 30.  Their website invites everyone back for this service, with no notice of sign-ups or mandatory restrictions or anything.  

  5. LonelyDn says

    From the official Black Lives Matter website:

    We make space for transgender brothers and sisters to participate and lead.
    We are self-reflexive and do the work required to dismantle cisgender privilege and uplift Black trans folk, especially Black trans women who continue to be disproportionately impacted by trans-antagonistic violence.
    We build a space that affirms Black women and is free from sexism, misogyny, and environments in which men are centered.
    We practice empathy. We engage comrades with the intent to learn about and connect with their contexts.
    We make our spaces family-friendly and enable parents to fully participate with their children. We dismantle the patriarchal practice that requires mothers to work “double shifts” so that they can mother in private even as they participate in public justice work.
    We disrupt the Western-prescribed nuclear family structure requirement by supporting each other as extended families and “villages” that collectively care for one another, especially our children, to the degree that mothers, parents, and children are comfortable.
    We foster a queer‐affirming network. When we gather, we do so with the intention of freeing ourselves from the tight grip of heteronormative thinking, or rather, the belief that all in the world are heterosexual (unless s/he or they disclose otherwise).
    We cultivate an intergenerational and communal network free from ageism. We believe that all people, regardless of age, show up with the capacity to lead and learn.
    We embody and practice justice, liberation, and peace in our engagements with one another.

    • George Michalopulos says

      LonelyDn, I can never remember, am I cishet or what? What is a straight, white male? (Other than a patriarchal oppressor.)

      • LonelyDn says


        To be honest, I’m STILL shocked Black Lives Matter is so openly Marxist and neo-communist. If we pulled ourselves away from our iphones long enough, perhaps we’d see the cultural revolution unfolding before our eyes…with the Greek Archbishop literally leading the march.

        Orthodox churches in Washington State are threatened with massive fines and with the threat of being shut down by our government while our cities burn by masked communists and black nationalists. The government in Washington still forbids communion, let’s not forget. They can walk into any of our parishes and hypothetically shut us down.

        Meanwhile, the governor of Washington passes legislation requiring five-year-old children to learn anal sex and the pleasures of masturbation and abortion. And yet I’m not allowed to have parishioners venerate the cross, or receive blessed bread.

        We see what happened during the house arrests and lockdowns. I ask all of you, what is the ‘utopia’ to which these forces walk? Point to ONE culture that is closest to the ideal envisioned by Black Lives Matter and its globalist supporters. And what is the kingdom to which our Churches move?

        What line shall we draw in the sand?

        • Anonymous says

          A brilliant conversation drawing parallels between Barabbas and the Jewish Revolutionary Spirit and what is currently happening with the death of George Floyd and mass riots:

        • RIP (reluctant internet poster) says

          “What line shall we draw in the sand?”
          I’ve decided to go with a Constitutional one.  I believe it’s robust enough to address everyone’s current concerns.

    • Fr. Deacon John says

      If you read between all these lines of communist trash there is one message that stands out – Anything goes, so long as we are in charge…..

      • George Michalopulos says

        That is it in a nutshell, Rev Deacon. Thank you for stating it as clearly as you did.

    • “We are self-reflexive…”

      They are mirrors in which they admire themselves…?

  6. Pat Reardon says

    My deep gratitude to my friend and fellow-Chicagoan, Archbishop Peter. 

  7. Sage-Girl says

    ⭐️✨⚡️AXIOS! Indeed!✨?
    sent to Met. Hilarion of NY, a true holy man

  8. I have met Vladyka Peter a few times. I am pleased that he mentioned both “law and order” and made a comparison to the Bolshevik Revolution.

    May Christ guide us through these unusual times.

  9. Thomas Barker says

    Once again the ROCOR speaks with courage and without regard for the vile “correctness“ that has so many bending a knee to Baal. Archbishop Peter’s message is clear and beautiful.

  10. Sage-Girl says

    ? Birthday ?News?
    Today June 9th?
    Happy Birthday GM — you’re a Gemini like our good President — ?so when is Gail’s birthday?

    • George Michalopulos says

      In exactly one month!

    • Gemini?

    • Enough of this astrological nonsense, please, we’re Christians.

      • RIP (reluctant internet poster) says

        The shrugging off of astrology is when I thought, OK, none of this is meant to be serious, it’s all just entertainment. I mean, that’s the joke, right?  The Bishops Are Denying The Faith.  While Mercury is in retrograde.  I get it now.

        • Sage-Girl says

          We all need a break — some levity —  from scorching ? Hell befallen us…
          retrogrades or not, a better world is dawning, we must hold on ?

          • Michael Bauman says

            Sage-Girl, the “better world” inevitably is through the Cross and least for Christians.  Anything else is modern ideology.  

          • Dear Sage one,
            Seemingly innocent jokes may have serious tacit implications and consequences.

            It happens to me to, sometimes I forget this. Lord have mercy.

            Please, there is no room for joking with our Faith in God as opposed to faith in the position of the stars (like Nancy Reagan did).
            Yes, we do need a break, but not astrological jokes about Faith.
            You are sage enough to appreciate this.

            • Sage-Girl says

              Yes Sir Ioannis, but like GM observes the full moon ? really impacts us + observing things around us does Not diminish our spiritual life Faith … unless you make “it” into a god, an idol, like some do with politics or you name it.
              As Shakespeare said in Hamlet: ? ”There are more things in heaven + hell Horacio, than are dreamt of in your philosophy”

              • Yes Ma’am.
                If I may, I’ll choose not Shakespeare but rather Prophet Isaiah who said, 

                ” Thou art wearied in the multitude of thy counsels. Let now the astrologers, the stargazers, the monthly prognosticators, stand up, and save thee from [these things] that shall come upon thee.Behold, they shall be as stubble; the fire shall burn them; they shall not deliver themselves from the power of the flame: [there shall] not [be] a coal to warm at, [nor] fire to sit before it.”
                (Isaiah 47:13-14)

        • Of course, the occultists who are manipulating all these events actually believe in the power of the stars and planets (or do they? It might be just another layer to their sick joke) but Orthodox Christians do not, so having someone on here attributing a ‘zodiacal sign’ to someone, as well as other astrology-related remarks, is perplexing.

          • George Michalopulos says

            Basil, Sage-Girl, et al:  astrology is fascinating in this regards only:  like alchemy which gave rise to chemistry, it gave rise to astronomy.  

            Having said that, I will say that as a practicing retail pharmacist, the worst part of the month was whenever there was a full moon.  That brought out the absolute worst in people.  I’m willing to chalk that up to the moon’s gravitational pull on the seas of the earth a possible disruption in magnetic fields.  I dunno.

            • If the Moon’s gravitational attraction can cause tides in the oceans, perhaps it can cause tides in brains floating inside human skulls…

              • George Michalopulos says

                That’s what I’m saying.

              • Michael Bauman says

                Brendan there is a lot of anecdotal evidence from ER workers that it does indeed create tides in the brain.  

                • Michael, I don’t doubt it. I deal with the public…

                • Yes we observed that in the psych ER every time except Super Bowl evening (anecdotal but predictable). Of course every Saturday night was gunshot city! 

            • Sage-Girl says

              Thanks Brother George – I’ve noticed its true about Full Moons? + the Wise Men knew astrology + led them to find baby Jesus; I’m just curious about astrology up to a point as I’m curious in all things in the universe, but I do Not make it an Idol… just think how many things people make an IDOL of : golf, football games, fancy weddings, trophies, a spouse, even a church… subtle isn’t it? 

          • Michael Bauman says

            I do not know how old you are Basil, but growing up in he sixties zodiac stuff became part of the common lexicon.  Those that objected just were not cool.  After all it was the New Age, the age of Aquarius, “Drop out, tune in, turn on”, etc, etc, etc.   
            There are a lot of folks who, once they learned the emptiness of such stuff but looking for something real, gravitated to the Orthodox Church.  After all the Wise Men were taught by the stars to worship the Son of Righteousness. 

            • Sage-Girl says

              “After all the Wise Men were taught by the stars to worship the Son of Righteousness” … 
              thanks Michael Bauman, I rest my case ?

              • George Michalopulos says

                Sage-Girl, the point here re astrology and the magi is a subtle one. It does not justify astrology but amplifies the point that even righteous pagans and idolaters were able to see that a new age was dawning. That’s why I’ve seen Byzantine icons with the pagan Greek philosophers sitting around a table, because their love of wisdom (philo + sophia) prepped the world to receive the Gospel.

                I’ve even seen an icon with the Buddha looking towards Christ as the eternal Tao.

                • Sage-Girl says

                  ? Brother George, excellent summation — as Eliza Doolittle said — I think I’ve got it!
                  How interesting ? please can you send pics of those 2 Icons?

              • Michael Bauman says

                Of course, the reason the stars teach has nothing to do with the stars themselves, that is a secular belief.  The stars reveal their Creator as does the rest of His creation. Human beings alone have the capability of not doing so.  “He who has eyes to see, let him see.”
                The modern response is, paradoxically, a return to the pagan understanding–once again worshipping “the billions and billions of stars” as things in themselves refusing to see the Creator revealed by His handiwork.
                Thus it is with everything even, in some cases, holiness.  The modern mind, even when acknowledging holiness, attributes it to the person, not God.  That is the ultimate error at the heart of all “New Age” nonsense and much of what passes for Christianity even in the Church.   Phenomenon becomes more important than God.   Thus, I find it helpful to take Hamlet’s admonition to Horatio seriously for myself:  “There are more things in heaven and earth Horatio than are dreamt of in your philosophy”.  

          • Alleluia, brother Basil! Alleluia!

  11. the Ossetian says

    excellent. Bishop with brains and guts.

  12. At the other end of the spectrum, we have a letter from an OCA priest which is being widely circulated. He has decided to “anonymously” berate those who dare to question the faithless actions of the Bishops. He hurls the usual insults. He warns Orthodox Christians to stay away from blogs and videos. He throws a veiled ad hominem attack against Fr. Peter Heers and the Elder that he interviewed. He accuses those who disagree with the great wisdom of the bishops as fear mongerers, conspiracists, and angry/hateful individuals. He accuses those who disagree with the bishops as “arm chair bishops”.  He warns that those who disagree with the bishops will cause another schism on the level of the Old Believers. He defends the use of multiple spoons with the most ridiculous explanation I have seen. He repeats the asinine claim that we must bring ourselves to the level of those who are afraid that Holy Communion can carry disease, so that everyone may continue to receive. There are so many problems with this article, I don’t know where to begin. The fact that the Bishops allowed it to be posted on the OCA website tells us that this is how the OCA hierarchs feel about the situation. This article may have done more damage than any other I have read since the fake pandemic began and the Bishops instituted their systematic dismantling of our holy Temples. George and Gail…I urge you to post a separate blog post about this so that those who are more learned than myself can expose it for the putrid propaganda that it is.

    • “Brothers and sisters, there is real danger of another sort of Old Believer schism affecting the Church today as it did in Russia a few hundred years ago when people refused to accept changes to the service books and some of the practices of the faithful even when it became clear that the old ways were mistaken.”

      If it is a real danger, then the bishops should reverse course rather than provoking another such schism.  Just changing the spelling of the name of “Jesus” alone was a terrible idea; for instance, English can get much closer to the Messiah’s name (translated directly from Hebrew/Aramaic), so imagine bishops insisting on switching to “Yeshua” and then doubling down when a large percentage of their churches and believers fell away. There’s a reason that Patriarch Nikon “was tried by a synod of church officials, deprived of all his sacerdotal functions, and reduced to the status of a simple monk” and is NOT considered a saint.

      • George Michalopulos says

        Agreed. With the Lovin’ Spoonfuls what we are seeing is nothing less than a new iconoclasm.

        What the Fordhamites and liberals don’t understand is if the Spoon is the issue (as they like to say), then why not icons, vestments, and other sacerdotal orders? Why don’t the bishops just sell their vestments and give the money to the poor?

        Why can’t we be like the Quakers and just sit in an empty room until the Spirit moves one of us to speak?

        • Michael Bauman says

          George, the Friends practice is a real effort at common prayer and quite deep.  Before becoming Orthodox I attended a Friends meeting for a short while.  If I were not Orthodox that is where I would be.  
          The problem is there is no physical communion alas.  But if we could teach the same level of preparation a lot of our problems would disappear.   
          There would be far less BMC (bitching, moaning and complaining) in parishes.  
          We either acknowledge, trust and participate in Jesus or we don’t.  

          • Doing so helped me as well, Michael. It made me more open to silent prayer which as a Catholic became Centering Prayer and now as an Orthodox the Jesus Prayer.  Grateful to them.  

          • Daniel F says

            Of course Michael, if folks just actually abided by the teachings of The Orthodox Church, there would be far less MBC. 

    • Antiochene Son says

      ” In one of the recent videos he interviews a so-called “Elder” who repeatedly calls the pandemic a conspiracy of the Zionists, Kabbalists, and Masons”
      Keep taking the blue pills, Father! Surely the world is run by incompetent bureaucrats and nothing more!

    • The bishops themselves probably wrote this and attributed it to a ‘supporter.’

      • Mom of Toddler says

        It definitely could have been a priest that wrote it.  Until recent events, my family was in the OCA Diocese of the South and this is almost exactly how my former priest thinks and writes.  If it wasn’t him, then that means there is another priest in the diocese that thinks and writes this way…which is even more disconcerting.   The commute to a local ROCOR parish will not be short or easy for us, but with God’s help, we can do it.  There is much more that I am tempted to write but will leave it at this.  Lord, have mercy!

        • Family man says

          The OCA priest in our former DOS parish (before this COVID nightmare) made most of the same points and used some of the same language (“armchair bishops”) in his recent homily.   We don’t mind the longer commute to the nearest ROCOR parish, it gives us time to be thankful for a more spiritually healthy environment.

  13. Archbishop Alexander of the Diocese of the South -OCA has written a letter to the faithful too.

  14. Here is the cover letter written by Bishop Alexander of the DOS praising the anonymous priest’s attack article. I will use his own words and say that it is this Bishop who is the wolf in sheep’s clothing…and it is HE who will also answer before the dread judgement seat of Christ….like us all.
    June 5, 2020
    The Leavetaking of Ascension
    To the Clergy and Monastics of the Diocese of the South,
    The blessing of the Lord!
    It is with great sadness that I have learned about the continued detrimental impact that the the so-called “Orthodox Ethos” website, which is sanctioned by no canonical jurisdiction to my knowledge, is having upon the spiritual well being of the flock entrusted to my care. I am reminded of the words of our Lord, “Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly are ravenous wolves.” (Mt.7:15) It takes so little effort to devour and destroy, while it is so very difficult to heal deep wounds of the soul. God forbid I stand by in silence! I would never encourage censorship – we may read what we will. The articles on the “Orthodox Ethos” site are written by people that do no answer to me (though they will certainly answer to God). On balance, I offer to you not my words, but the letter of a “wise priest in the diocese” who is unfortunately facing the scandal of doubt, fear and anger provoked by “wolves in sheep’s clothing.” Please use all or parts of this as you see fit in the care of your flock.
    Be assured of my prayers for you all during this difficult time.
    I am yours, in Christ,
    Archbishop of Dallas and the South
    cc: Archimandrite Gerasim, Administrator of the Diocese of the South, Archpriest Marcus Burch, Cancellor of the Diocese of the South


    • It’s interesting that OCA leadership will demonize their own people who, as far as I can tell, only want to be able to worship God together again and SIMULTANEOUSLY put out vague, effete statements seemingly in support of the BLM protests. They can’t even bring themselves to condemn mob violence, but they’ll throw you under the bus for wanting to go back to church.
      Honestly, I’m trying to be obedient to my bishop and give him the benefit of the doubt, but with his continued letters demanding blind obedience (“the doors shall remain locked” for Pascha; “sheep in wolf’s clothing”; “naysayers”; etc.) it’s becoming more difficult. I never expected an Orthodox archbishop to hurl insults at the people he leads–again, all because they want to worship together!

      • Abp Golitzin’s words echo papal rhetoric in a tone foreign to those we have revered in the faith in the DOS (Vladika Dmitri) but resonant with any talk by Patriarch Bartholomew or Pope Francis.  Perhaps his work on the Orthodox Catholic Dialogue Committee for the AOCB and his time teaching at a Catholic institution may have rubbed off on him.  From having been Roman Catholic for 20 years before converting  (and a bookworm),  I find his beliefs and manner to be consistent with liberal Catholicism.  Am sure he is a devoted, loving, devout Christian, no judgment of his person.    Just different, sadly from the conciliar, respectful, Patristic teacher Vladika Dmitri and his priestly sons. Perhaps just in the wrong house.  Praying to the Theotokos for illumination for all, especially moi.  

        • George Michalopulos says

          Having met the Archbishop, I must say that I was impressed by his erudition and pastoral sensitivities, as well as his humility.  As I understand it, he was a spiritual son of the Elder Aemelianos of blessed memory.  All of that to me means a lot.  Hence my bewilderment at the directives.

          I am fully aware that the entire American episcopate was complicit in this whole shut-down nightmare.  Some of these bishops have–like Archbishop Alexander–well-formed monastic mindsets.  (Some, not all.)  As such there is more than enough blame to go around.  Still, I cannot grasp the magnitude of the entire corona/Floyd fiasco and why good men in the Church hierarchy succumbed to it.  I am no saint, but even I was aware that something wasn’t just “quite right” with the lock-down.

          We should pray for our bishops.  Pray that they be more stalwart in the face of Fauci/Caesar during the next go-round.  

          • Yes George I pray for that and again in no way impute any lack of spiritual striving or intention to Abp Alexander.  The question is whether he is teaching what is Orthodox or what is Roman Catholic.  
            Long story to explain why describing someone’s position is not an insult, just a statement of objective fact:
            I was Protestant for 40 plus years before becoming Roman Catholic after reading all their documents and convincing a liberal Jesuit at Georgetown Med School to let me in the side door (I had trouble with their account of the Virgin Mary.  Turns out I had the Orthodox understanding of Panaghia from the beginning)
            I was Roman Catholic for 20 years.   Due to my great admiration for John Paul II, I believed him when he said that the Orthodox and RC were “two lungs in the same body” so with joy began reading about the Holy Fathers from the first millenium and loved Axiomatic Dogmatic Theology and rejoiced at the exquisite understanding of the Eastern Orthodox Church.  At the time I hosted a weekly Catholic prayer group in my office right by our Catholic Church and went to daily Mass there.  So imagine my shock when one of the members, who taught a Bible Study herself said rather objectively, “You know, Nicole, you sound like an Orthodox now rather than a Roman Catholic.”  She was simply describing a position and an understanding which I conveyed.  I soon learned from her that Pope John Paul II had “fudged” and there were significant differences.  I still admire Pope John Paul II (except for the intentional fudging) and my dear friend and many in the Catholic Church.  But I now believe differently.  
            My point is this:  we can simply observe what the actions, words, and decisions of a person seem to say they are and where they “fit.”   My friend was right about me and helped me sign up for Orthodox Cathechism classes to see.  She was right about me.   I am not name-calling when I say someone’s position seems Roman Catholic or Episcopalian.  I have been both on my long journey upward in understanding to Orthodoxy.  I pray for all especially me to “become” fully Orthodox.  I think, however,  this is the reason we who have flocked to the Orthodox Ethos interviews do so because we are becoming aware of nonOrthodox positions which purport to be Orthodox (see Public Orthodoxy for good examples).  
            Again, I value much in the Roman Catholic faith but not the heresies.  I value much in Abp Alexander and his love for Elder Aemilianos and the Church.  These are not personal attacks of any kind.  They are about substance.  Everyone is free to disagree and I would be glad to learn I am misperceiving and delighted if everyone comes into loving Patristic unity.  

    • Gail Sheppard says

      What I find interesting about this anonymous priest is that he claims he is not anyone important like a bishop, an epidemiologist, or a theologian, and yet has no compunction against saying:  “The changes in practice to receiving Holy Communion are not primarily out of fear that someone will get sick from the spoon or the Eucharist, but are aimed at trying to prevent government interference in the Church.

      If this were truly the issue, why are we first hearing of it from an anonymous priest who is not qualified, by his own admission, to comment on anything?  Shouldn’t this information be coming from a bishop rather than through a bishop?

      If Bishop Alexander’s flock is responding to Father Peter Heer, perhaps it’s because what Fr. Peter Heer is saying resonates with them.  Instead of posting the words of an anonymous priest, wouldn’t it be better for a bishop to talk directly with his flock about his concerns?

      Fr. Peter Heers isn’t leading us; we’re leading him.  He is saying what we’re thinking.

      “Come and see” has become “watch it on TV.” We can’t do this anymore.

      Get rid of the mask, the spoons, the disinfectant, the sign-in sheets, the Xs on the floor.  Bring out the Eucharist and the Cross and open the Parish Halls.  Let us worry about our health.  Give those who want to stay home a blessing to stay home for as long as they want.  If they want communion, I’m sure our priests will go give it to them.

      This is a no-brainer and certainly not worth having a schism over.        

      • George Michalopulos says

        Beautifully put.

      • Thank you, Gail! You so perfectly synthesized what was in my mind. On top of the incredibly troubling outright hostility towards certain members of his flock, this priest is also a coward, hiding behind the “anonymous” label. I personally thank God for true shepherds like Fr. Peter Heers, Fr. Geoffrey Korz, Fr. Josiah Trenham, Fr. Zechariah Lynch and others. I can’t imagine the island of confusion many of us would be living on without their guidance throughout this lockdown. 

      • Gail, amen and you will be glad to know that both Archimandrite Gerasim (Dallas) and Fr Vasile Tudora (Euless) have offered special Agape Divine Liturgy services for the “at risk only” which allows people to come in a more protected environment.  Such a beautiful and loving effort by both men and their accompanying skeleton crew.  Axios to them for this extra labor of love for those of us who actually NEED church the most (are closest to meeting our God!).   We are a church of “both and” so the participation of all should be protected and ensured, just as we have handicapped parking spots and the young do not begrudge them but want to help the handicapped participate and be part of the community and love.

      • Yes Gail, many people I know are flocking TO Father Peter because he echoes and confirms what they have been taught and believe in contrast to what they are now hearing. They are not being misled by him once they arrive. Many write to me that they are simply RELIEVED to find someone saying what they have always been taught and believe.

        These recent statements by OCA Hierarch are actually criticizing the teaching of Vladika Dmitri and many of his spiritual son priests and spiritual children and admirers for one.  Surely the Holy Synod understands this and is in favor of it? With Met. Tikhon’s effusive praise of Pat. Bartholemew (PB) on matters of substance for his name day and the undermining of the DOS which was a bastion of Patristic teaching in contrast to the East Coast,  has the OCA Synod now decided it is safe to proceed with rapprochement toward PB which also means toward Pope Francis?   Perhaps just testing the waters?  Or perhaps a good conscience shift by the Holy Synod which reveals their true theology?  Significant for sure.
        Lord Jesus Christ, illumine our darkness and bring us all into Thy Light.

      • NotaKaren says

        I had given up hope, thinking I was the only one who thought this very thing!  Alleluia, I am not alone!

  15. George Michalopulos says
    • Sage-Girl says

      George, birthday man:
      I saw List of companies that support rioters, but are you sure Chick-fil-A is one? ?They’re Christian based I thought ?

      • Antiochene Son says

        Chick-fil-A has changed. They have disavowed their founder’s open hostility for gay marriage and last year stopped supporting the Salvation Army over some SJW issue. 

      • Yes, but they also sell chicken and the people that just love chicken the most are…
        No, I’m not going to say it.

      • George Michalopulos says

        Chik-fil-A through in the towel last year.  And that was after millions of Evangelicals came to their defense over the years.

        • Sage-Girl says

          Yikes! GM, how could ?CFA give up with all support from evangelicals??
          Is nothing sacred anymore? Even liberal Tom Hanks ruined Mister Rogers film + Walt Disney cartoons are all slanted in subterfuge.  No wonder Elder Paisios of Athos warned us of tv/film world 

          • “GM, how could ?CFA give up with all support from evangelicals??”

            Support and even profits don’t protect you and your family from being murdered by Leftists, and then, if the people who murdered you are caught, there’s a good chance they’ll avoid any consequences.  For instance, the black rioter (with a prior criminal record) who murdered the 77 year old retired black police captain was sentenced to seven (7) years, but was merely released on probation, violated that probation, twice, still no prison. 


            If they manage to convict the two white police officers for pushing the white 75 year old who refused orders to leave, probably safe bet they’ll actually be imprisoned, for years, while black rioter effectively escapes any consequences for murdering a 77 black man because he got in the way of looting. Clown world.

  16. So the man who was not even on the ballot for the DOS after a seven year vacancy, decides to champion the oppressive multiple spoon social distancing disinfected Halloween party. I wonder how long it might take for many of the good people of the Diocese of the South to find a good ROCOR parish. Perhaps the 50 year old autocephaly experiment has run its course? The OCA and the GOA have been in lock step throughout this entire scamdemic fiasco. Perhaps the earlier predictions are correct and the OCA will go under Elpi?

    • Gail Sheppard says

      Metropolitan Tikhon has said, several times, that he’s looking forward to concelebrating with AE.

      • The OCA from top to bottom is corrupt and evil. Arch Bishop Benjamin Petersen is the ringleader. He controls everyone including the Metropolitan.

        • Michael Bauman says

          This is slander and specifically goes against the exhortation of Archbishop Peter.  Shame!

          • Gail Sheppard says

            They are public figures so the rules of slander don’t apply. An anonymous reader is not going to hurt anybody’s reputation by expressing his opinion.

            We do not want people shaming other people on the blog, Michael. This is simply not allowed. Matters regarding what other people should or should not be doing in their personal life are also unwelcome, especially with regard to their prayer life (or lack thereof), repentance, etc. Telling George or me to “cool our jets” is definitely unwelcome, as George has no doubt explained to you by now.

    • Any switching over by the OCA as a whole to go under the EPC would have to be voted on by the clergy and laity at an All-American Church Council. I doubt that the OCA hierarchy would be foolish enough that they’d try to pull a fast one by just saying hey, “We’re no longer autocephalous, and we’re going to be going under the EPC umbrella.” Because, if that far-fetched scenario did happen, ROCOR and the AOCA would be getting many parishes asking to join them. I know that mine would.

      • Mom of Toddler says

        I have no idea what will happen or what the “plan” is, but I think many of the people that would argue against joining the EP are probably leaving now.  It will be easier to make changes once the “traditionalists” are gone.  At my own parish, that I am aware of, we are the only ones as of now not buying into the propaganda.  Everyone else is standing with the priest and the Diocese.  If you read this letter by Archimandrite Gerasim, he is nearly asking us to leave: 
        “This seriously compromises the well-being of your community because there are a number of parishes that breed naysayers, that will have no or little regard for observing preventive measures during this pandemic, and will use their disregard as a banner of “true-Orthodoxy.” They will say that intend to go wherever they can to receive Holy Communion as often as possible, as stated in the Bill of Rights. Perhaps I am exaggerating, but not by much. You do not want such people, in flagrant disregard of the instructions of your Archbishop, worshipping together with your flock.”

        • Wow! Archimandrite Gerasim was the people’s choice to lead the DOS at one time. Now it looks like he may have been a worse choice than AB Alexander! They used to have a living saint (Archbishop Demetrios)…now they have propaganda and chaos. How sad. 

          • Gail Sheppard says

            I am going to go on record and say I do not believe these words were penned by Abbot Gerasim which has caused me a great deal of consternation, both for him and for myself. For him . . . well, it’s obvious. This is not the first time he has been maligned when he didn’t deserve it. For me, because I am either wrong about him (which I would find, personally, very painful) or the problem we have higher up is far worse than I thought. – It feels like a bandage is being ripped off all at once: God is giving us a great deal of clarity within a very short period of time and what we’re seeing is not at all pretty.

            • Mom of Toddler says

              I’m sorry to bring up a sensitive subject.  I really don’t know anything about him other than I read the letter and it had his name on it  – nothing personal to him.  It’s certainly possible there is more going on behind the scenes.  All I know about him is that people wanted him to be Bishop earlier on and that he has some association with St. Herman’s monastery.   To cheer you up, I am sharing a beautiful folk song by a local-ish band called The Petersons:
              (note about song: in Orthodox tradition/hagiography sometimes God does have a plan for where people are buried.)

    • Disappointed in OCA, yet again says

      I loved the OCA once – it was my first experience with English-language Orthodoxy, almost 30 years ago now.  I was blessed with wonderful pious clergy in the ‘90s and early 2000s. 

      Then came the mid-2000s and I realized that my donations to Syosset had likely been feeding bad habits. The former Fr Robert Kondratick era, stories of Met. Theodosius, the “don’t take Christ or Orthodoxy too seriously” crowd, the “we’re American Orthodox” crowd, of which I’m sad to say I was a part.  The stories from former OCA clergy who knew too much and fled for refuge elsewhere. The overt favoritism shown to the OCA “royal families” who can do no wrong.

      Once they threw Met. Jonah under the bus, I’d had enough. By God’s grace, the prayers of Vladyka St John of S.F. led me to ROCOR, for which I’m eternally thankful.  Initially I was leery – I have no Russian blood – but now my opinion is that ROCOR is definitely, by God’s grace, the English-language missionary arm of the faithful Orthodox of the Russian tradition.  My ROCOR parish serves almost exclusively in English. 

      With what’s happened to the GOA over the recent years, my experience tells me that the OCA will splinter, maybe in 5-10 years?  The faithful group will probably go to ROCOR, and the modern secularists will probably join the GOA in becoming the newest Uniates. Sad for the OCA, from Uniates they came, and many  may be headed back that way. The northeastern OCA contingent may even just become Episcopalian, or nothing at all. 

      My 20/20 hindsight opinion is that the OCA – in schism from the rest of world Orthodoxy between late 1940s through 1970 – was simply too immature a group for autocephaly. That’s so clear now. At best, an autonomous group under Russia would’ve made sense (like the church in Japan). Tensions were too terrible with ROCOR in the 1970s, but the best option would’ve been for the OCA to reunite and be with the Russian bishops in the free world at the time (ROCOR). 

      I’m disappointed in Fr Gerasim. I had thought he was different.  America is simply too hostile a land to Orthodoxy – and there are no deep Orthodox roots here – for the United States to have an autocephalous Church anytime soon. That we’re “exceptional awesome Americans” means zilch when it comes to autocephaly. It makes no sense. The OCA DoS’s ridiculous “holy flowsheet” and calculation pages highlight the absurdity of it all.  

      May the bulk of the faithful of the OCA find home in English-language ROCOR, where they rightfully belong. 

      • “exceptional awesome Americans” is not necessarily a compliment.
         Replace the noun with any of: Jihadis, Atheists, Bolshies etc and see…

      • ‘Disappointed in OCA’, I respect your observations and opinion. However, I prefer to be optimistic. Yes, the OCA has had problems, but so has the GOA and AOCA.
        Holy Orthodoxy is a perfect faith, full of imperfect people. We all fall down, but have the ability to get back up through humility and repentance. I’ve been in the OCA my whole life (being born a few years before autocephaly), have lived in different parts of the country, and have met many, many people from other (OCA) parishes. The OCA won’t break apart. Though, I do believe that we’ve lost our vision and momentum for expanding the Gospel here in America. (I’m not sure if its the fault of our seminaries for not training our clergy correctly, or the candidates being ordained just aren’t the right caliber to lead properly.)
        Yes, if things don’t change, I can foresee the OCA treading endless water for a very long time. But the OCA won’t be going under the EPC or breaking up (dissolving) itself where parishes go their own way. But then again, that’s just my observation and opinion.

        • Disappointed says

          I pray that you are with Christ in your OCA parish. Many men of God have served in the OCA – Fr George Benigsen, Met. Leonty, and many others as examples.  

          But when the current OCA leadership vilifies the likes of Fr Peter Heers, Fr Josiah, etc., and then extols the “virtues“ of the Fordham Orthodox pathetic group and of the chief persecutor of Met. Onuphry in Kiev, that is, Patr. Bartholomew (check the OCA’s website today – again, it’s gushing over Patr B!), well I just see true insanity. 

          Plus, they’re alienating their flock in the only locations where the church is growing.  The gray-haired old church ladies in Wilkes-Barre don’t listen to Fr Peter Heers, but the converts coming to Orthodoxy in droves in the South, the Midwest, and the Rockies/West certainly do!  

          The OCA dioceses in Pa. and NY/NJ and in the northeast ain’t growing.  All the growth is in the parts of the country where people aren’t afraid to talk about Christ and of their love for Him. 
          Why does the OCA leadership insist on alienating the Christ-loving faithful in its high evangelism regions and always favoring the old-timey Rusyns of the coal country?  It’s *always* been that way.  They’re experts at shootings themselves in the feet. 

          • ‘Disappointed’, thank you, I am with Christ in a vibrant and growing OCA parish. We received six souls into the faith last year, and are expecting three or four this year, depending on how they progress as catechumens.
            I’m also puzzled regrading Met. Tikhon’s gushing over Bartholomew. I know that messages get sent out to all of the primates on their name days, but only certain ones get published on the OCA website. And, it does bother me that Bartholomew gets a lot of attention. Not sure if Tikhon is just trying to be friendly or maintain good relations, or he’s just being careless. I’m sure all of this doesn’t make the Moscow Patriarchate happy. And, I don’t blame them. The OCAs official position has been to only recognize the canonical Ukrainian Orthodox Church under Met. Onuphry, yet we fraternize with his nemesis—Bartholomew. I don’t really like it either. I have addressed this matter to my own bishop, and he’s frustrated, too. (He told me that the OCA is trying to be neutral and not to take any sides until everything gets resolved in Ukraine. Yet then also admitted that this issue could go on for decades.) The landscape of American Orthodoxy is complex, and I think that it will get even more complex. Groups will be in communion with each other, yet not in communion with groups that are within certain other groups’ umbrellas. (Case point: the former ‘clergymen’ from ROCOR that were recently received into the GOA as a Slavonic parish vicariate. The OCA clergy have been instructed to not serve with them. Though, what will happen when (OCA) clergy are invited to serve somewhere, and one of these ‘clergymen’ happen to show up at the same service? It hasn’t happened yet to my knowledge, but it more than likely will, I’m sure.)
            I’m not totally ready to abandon the OCA yet; I hope and pray that the ship steadies and gets back on a straight course again. (I have many friends (both clergy and laity) in ROCOR and the AOCA. I’m confident that they’ll guide me—when and if I need the help—to a safer harbor.)

      • George Michalopulos says

        Personally, I very much like and respect Abbott Gerasim.

        What is happening here in the Church and in society is nothing less than anarchy and good people (like Fr Gerasim) and myself, and pretty much everybody else, are being caught in a whirlwind not of our making.

        • WanderingFool says

          I agree, George. Here! Here!

          Fr. Gerasim is a good priest, who has a balanced, middle way of the fathers, type of Orthodoxy.

          Can anyone prove that it was actually Fr. Gerasim who wrote the letter, or is that even in question? Because it sounds very uncharacteristic of him.

  17. If the virus was as bad as some people feared, like rumors were portraying the situation in Wuhan to be, or twice as strong as the vicious strain that hit Iran, then the closing of services might be justified. I mean, if the virus was so contagious that you would certainly get it from being within 6 feet of an infected person, and if the fatality rate was pretty high, like 10-20%, then it seems like a good idea to close services and public functions to avoid 10-20% of your parish dying. But fortunately the virus did not turn out to be so bad, and one could tell within a month or so of the outbreak in America (like in mid April) that it was not so bad as feared, and that the total closures did not have to occur.
    It seems like some closure was justifiable. If you have an elderly base of parishioners, then maybe you would have to take measures like keeping everyone 8 feet apart. This is because there were real deaths from COVID, like oldd people in nursing homes, as well as even some bishops and clergy. The cloth masks don’t really stop the virus because the virus particles are too small to be stopped by regular masks. You would need expensive P100 masks to actually block the viruses. The instructions for everyone to wear cloth masks in churches is stupid. The limit on only 10 people or so to attend church is stupid.

    Apparently what happened was that some people high up in world politics decided that total lockdown was the way to go, and then the EP made this decision. You can date all this out chronologically. After the EP made his decision, bishops in the US started following that policy. Probably the GOARCH decided first and then later the OCA, with some mixed opinions in the OCA. Then later still the MP closed Moscow services, ie those in the capitol, which probably caused consternation among his flock.

    Some of the quarantining measures were merited, since there were cases of even hierarchs dying from the illness. But it looks like there has been major overreaction because they could have had outside services or kept people standing 8 feet apart and not closed services totally. And since it is an overreaction, then how do you evaluate the response? The logical conclusion was that people had a hysteria, an excessive fear of the virus, and that this overreaction was also in conjunction with the decision by the unofficial influential figures who decided to shut down services and public gatherings, etc.

    • Michelle says

      It disappoints me to think that churches were shut down for financial reasons (to avoid fines); be that as it may, I’d rather we be honest about what happened.  Now that hundreds of thousands of people are gathering to protest in favor of the “black trans women” movement, our leaders should CERTAINLY feel safe to discard the masks, social distancing, etc. and protest in favor of our full first amendment rights.  Government cannot dictate how we worship.
      I do not understand the excuses; we now know that the virus is not dangerous (less than 1% lethality).  What Christian fears death, anyway?
      Fr Peter Heers comforted many of us, for months, while no one else did.
      The only upsetting article that I read during this ordeal can be found here, in that it implied that the laity were to blame for this situation for being “spiritually spoiled.”  (Quote:  “…over the past thirty years many of our parishioners have become spiritually spoiled and relaxed. They are now used to having everything in abundance—churches on every corner, Communion at every service, and monasteries, spiritual fathers, just take your pick…”)  I am a recent convert to Orthodoxy and I certainly do not want to posit myself as an “armchair bishop” or a theologian, etc., but the term “spiritually spoiled” does not seem to reconcile with God’s infinite compassion and love.
      We clearly need to repent more, and resuming normal church attendance can only help.  

      • Antiochene Son says

        We wouldn’t need armchair bishops if our actual bishops did their job. 
        No one could fault anyone for assuming the worst in late March. But rather than respond to changing realities, our bishops and our civil authorities doubled down on their earlier orders.
        Even today, my understanding is that one bishop of the Antiochian Archdiocese has closed parishes again despite the Metropolitan having opened them all nationwide to 25% capacity. It boggles the mind. 

        • Michelle says

          Forgive my ignorance.  
          It may be that bishops serve as fundraisers and church administrators more than as sources of the Word.  If that is the case, the bishops are indeed acting wisely to prevent the churches from incurring fines (I know I cannot financially contribute to a church’s legal defense).  As soon as they are able, bishops should reopen churches.  Meanwhile, they should organize parishes to ensure that Liturgies can be held “underground.”
          Perhaps it is our fault for looking to bishops for the living Word rather than looking to saints.  I am sure there are saints being formed among us.  We know who we look to for fortifying truth.

          • Michelle says

            I am writing to clarify that bishops should reopen churches NOW.
            In the future, when this event occurs again on a larger scale with a deadlier virus, the bishops should be prepared to organize “underground” liturgies.
            This will happen again.

            • Antiochene Son says

              They should never have closed. I remain terribly disappointed that so many bishops are deferring to civil authorities even after it has become clear our first amendment rights are in the trash.
              Unfortunately I don’t think many of our bishops were chosen for their ability to make tough decisions in trying times. Nobody saw this situation coming, so these men—many of whom are honorable and wonderful pastors, to be sure—were not chosen for their mettle or resilience. Many were chosen to be obedient and not bold leaders.
              Our hierarchs had better get a clue. You are right, this will happen again. Times are not going to get better going forward. We need bishops who are up to the task.

              It’s not enough to comfort the sheep. Sometimes shepherds need to fight off the wolves, and I have seen nothing of that.

              • Steven J. M. says

                A commentator said recently that one of the main reasons for Orthodox churches closing wholesale and in lockstep was because of fears that parishes might steal others’ flocks. When asked what his source was for this view, he said that a woman in his parish, who has contact with hierarchs and whose husband is a seminarian, told him. I’ve tried to do the math on this, and I’m not sure it adds up, but the idea is out there now and it does still make me wonder. 

                • Gail Sheppard says


                • Antiochene Son says

                  That is true. That is why the Assembly of Bishops agreed that people must only attend their home parish until this is over. 

                  • So the AoB is trying to limit parishioners’ freedoms and simply control people?

                    A reminder that Christ values and routinely stresses the importance of each person’s freedom — for us to approach Him of our own free will, or to not. He cannot ever encroach on our freedom. Christ and God cannot ever “control” us, contrary to what a Calvinist may postulate.

                    Yet the AoB is simply trying to “control” the Orthodox population in America. Good luck with that.

                    Everyone knows that the AoB is simply a control tool of the Patr of Constantinople. It’s high time people started talking about it as such. Thank the Lord that ROCOR and the Patriarchate of Moscow pays it no heed. According to the AoB, we should all glorify the GOA’s new “Slavic Orthodox Vicariate” creation! Hahaha! No self-respecting Slav or any other Orthodox Christian would walk within 2 feet of that false-“vicariate.”

                    In these terrible times, American Orthodox Christians need to seek Christ and go to Him where we find Him. If one Orthodox parish is closed for months because its clergy are too busy marching in the latest riots-du-jour or are too busy out buying thousands of disposable Holy Communion spoons, then yes, the faithful are free (and definitely should) seek a Church home elsewhere.

                • Foolishness, people go where they choose to worship. No parish can steal parishioners only lose them.

  18. Antiochene Son says

    I was upset with the Antiochian hierarchy, but I’m glad to see Met. Joseph has changed his tune a bit. His latest directive opens all parishes to 25% capacity, irrespective of local civil directives. States which are more open can open to whatever extent is allowed.
    While he defends the lockdown, he strikes a regretful tone. I think he knows this was a mess and while he acted in good faith, it turns out it was overblown. And his directives do not approach those we are seeing elsewhere (multiple spoons, etc). Even the directives that are in place are not being followed. I didn’t see a single mask, glove, or face shield at my parish on Sunday. 

  19. George Michalopulos says

    I can’t say that I know this particular police major (he’s in the Tulsa Police Force), but he is definitely speaking the truth to Maoist power:

    Anyway, I imagine he’s going to answer for his heresy. The First Amendment was wonderful while it lasted.

  20. The OCA has instigated a concerted attack against Fr. Peter Heers. This tells us that he is doing God’s work. Those who have shut down the Churches and discarded the people are squirming on the Bishop throne. The only recourse remaining for them is slander and calumny. Thank you Fr. Peter for exposing what many of us already knew to be true. And thank you for holding steadfast to the faith of our holy fathers and the patristic phronema.

    • Arthur Samouris says

      Amen Mikhail. 

    • Disappointed in OCA, yet again says

      May God grant Fr Peter Heers and his family steadfastness and protection. He is a true voice in the wilderness which we the faithful desperately need right now. Being a native Californian, he (like Fr Josiah Trenham and Met. Jonah) fully understands the American mind yet is also faithfully and fully steeped in Orthodox tradition — a rare but oh-so-needed combination.
      I am beyond deeply saddened and angry at the faithless, cowardly OCA leadership who persecutes and maligns these men, who proclaim the truth and who suffer for Christ daily. 

      Now I more fully understand why a priest told me years ago that “OCA” more appropriately stands for “Orthodox Cesspool in America.”
      May God grant us all much-needed discernment during these terrible times. Through the prayers of St Luke of Crimea and Simferopol (feast day today!)!

    • Mikhail,
      You can’t really generalize about the OCA bishops in that way. I don’t know if you have read Abp. Mark (Eastern PA and Philadelphia)’s writings on the topic, but not all bishops actively chose this course of action themselves, as opposed to submitting to the rest of the bishops who wanted this course of action.

      • I read some awful directives from Abp Mark. Are you saying that some Bishops were forced and/or threatened. Please explain.

        • My understanding via grapevine was that he was accepting the position of other bishops. My sense is that his preference wasn’t to close them, but I’d rather him speak for himself on that topic instead of me doing grapevine stuff.

          Just go to his Facebook posts and decide for yourself.
          I don’t know what conversations he had with others before his decision.


          • I do not have Facebook (and never will). Is it something I can read without needing an account? Can you provide a link? Thank you.

            • Hi, Mikhail –  

              Most of what Archbishop Mark posts on his own FB page and on the OCA Diocese of the Eastern Pennsylvania FB page are Public posts,  so I don’t think you have to be logged in to FB to read them if you have the link. (but I do think you need the direct link to the post to access them without having a FB account.)

              For example:

              Archbishop Mark posted the “Letter from an Orthodox Mom” (he linked to the Orthodox Ethos website)  ,  along with this comment:

              “Very heart wrenching and challenging comment. We all need to be sensitive to the long term impact of our responses to the younger generation and the parents who are rearing them.”


              Archbishop Mark also posted Dr. Eugenia Constantinou‘s article “More Dangerous than Covid-19”  , with the comment:

              “Very good read. When we question the Life Giving Mysteries, are we also going to question the waters of Baptism? The oil of Chrismation? Holy Unction? Myrrh from Myrrh Streaming icons and the generation of relics? “


              • Thank you David. This is encouraging. It leaves me to wonder who is the real AB Mark?
                If he was forced or threatened to post oppressive directives, he owes it to his flock to expose the oppressors.

            • David Nektarios says

              This is Abp. Mark’s page:
              OCA Diocese of Eastern PA Public group:

            • Sage-Girl says

              Agree with you about Facebook – Ugh. I’ve always refused to be on it + recently had to go on FB to watch a church livestream that used to be on YouTube — let me tell you what big mistake, for them to bring their service to FB: it was like meandering through a Slum –  when I did find church video it was grossly surrounded by sleazy photos, photos not at all connected with church site — one pic was a man holding his privates … seriously — Why would a church allow their image to be sullied there? 

    • Which jurisdiction does Fr Peter Heers belong to? Who is his bishop?

  21. George Michalopulos says
  22. Mom of Toddler says

    I wanted to share this quote below of St. Paisios from Spiritual Counsels Vol 1.  It really reminds me of what is going on in the OCA/GOA, etc.  It also reminds me of the video by Father Peter Heers where he (or someone he is interviewing, I can’t remember) says that the type of heresy/blasphemy happening now with communion, etc. has not been condemned by a counsel so laity are not bound to leave necessarily, but he also implied that if we partake in these things we are also at risk of falling into delusion.  (i.e. When it is really time to leave, will you recognize it or will you be caught unaware and lose your spiritual sensitivity?).   This quote by St. Paisios, I think, is getting at the exact same thing.  
    “Because the secular spirit enters our hearts gradually, like the hedgehog into the hare’s nest.  In the beginning, the hedgehog pleads with the hare to allow it to put just his head inside the nest, and stay there for only a short time, so as not to get wet.  But then, it puts one foot in, and then the other, until finally, its entire body is inside the nest, and its thorny quills have left no room for the hare.  In the same way, the secular spirit deceives us into making small concessions at first, until it gradually gets hold of us.  Evil walks in small steps.  It it were to come all at once, we would not be deceived.  You see, if you want to scald a frog, you must do it gradually, by first pouring water on it that is just a little bit warm.  If you pour boiling water right away, it jumps up and leaps away.  It escapes the danger.  But if you pour warm water slowly, little by little the frog will first shake it off but then it will accept it.  If you pour a little more, it will continue shaking it off but without jumping away.  In this way it will sit there and be slowly scalded without realizing how.  Even if you say to it, “Hey Mr. Frog, get up and leave, I am pouring scalding water on you,” it still wouldn’t leave.  It would stay beneath the streaming water, which gradually becomes hotter and hotter, until it is totally scalded.”

    • Sage-Girl says

      Excellent post Mom of Toddler:?
      but then, anything by beloved Saint Paisios of Holy Mountain is a salient point. He knew the secular Godless powers were coming + as he described himself: he “barked like a dog” about it till his spiritual comrade Saint Porphyrios told him keep quiet.  I prefer Paisios — Truth must be told

  23. Quite frankly this rocor-mp bishop Peter does not impress so much. Find most his letter to be of generic quality. “The Holy Church was always against any revolutions or forceful overturning of power.” You don’t say. “The Holy Church was always against such actions” like looting rioting mayhem and destruction. No kidding. “Apostle Paul writes that we should pray for the land we live in and its authorities.” Well, as far as the godless authorities go I pray they get voted out of office and removed, and for the ones that are not Godless that they remain in office, that is how I would look at it. I think the prospects of finding “peace” with the likes of blm antifa and their corporate political backers just not a likely proposition. Then the protestant style talking prayer seems rather naive to be seeking some kind of accord that we may “abide” all with one another “as one, in Thee O Lord” kind of hard to imagine with this radical element that is at war with God and is violently opposed to everything that is Christian and is trying its utmost to shut all Churches and services down and all the many attacks.

    I’m also curious if you may have seen that new “war cathedral” complex in Moscow with frescoes or murals of the red army in action and Christ the Pantocrator brandishing a sword and some number of other things along those lines it was just recently completed u-tube has a video. May be an interesting article for you see what your take may be.

    • Christopher McAvoy says

      Dear Cyril, I agree with your assessment of his excellency’s letter. Though there is nothing wrong with stating timeless teaching, for this is always a bishops role, I too feel that the letter is lacking. Yet we are still glad to receive some semblence of an attempt at proper leadership, given such rare examples  of Holy Church’s shepherds in North America exercising their apostolic ministry with depth of faith to convert nations and willingness to accept martyrdom. 
      In my own life, I too have failings, which everyday I am reminded of. Our sins and mistakes while forgiveable by God, leave us with some allotment of misery, whether for a long or short time. Our faith should be antidote for fear of any sort. We must never cease to be afraid to carry our cross and suffer with Christ, even unto death.
      Perhaps his excellency misunderstood the continual colour revolution we have had since than and nature of this threat. May preserve our bishops. Either way, now after three weeks, we see that the prayer is does not address the origins of the civil unrest precision. A month ago the state of the United States as less clear, now it is more clear.
      Perhaps a prayer such as this would be better:

      O Queen of Fatima, in this hour of so many dangers for the Americas and the world, turn away from us the scourge of atheistic communism. Do not allow communist regimes, which deny all the Commandments of God, to be established in the many countries born and formed under the sacred influence of Christian civilization. Therefore, O Lady, nourish and intensify the rejection which communism encounters at all levels of society in the Americas.
      Help us always remember that:
      1. The Decalogue commands us, “Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with thy whole heart,” “Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord thy God in vain,” and “Thou shalt keep holy the Sabbath day”; whereas atheistic communism does everything to extinguish the Faith, to lead men to blasphemy, and to create obstacles to the normal and peaceful celebration of worship;2. The Decalogue commands us, “Thou shalt honor thy father and thy mother,” “Thou shalt not commit adultery,” and “Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor’s wife.” Now communism strives to break the ties between parents and children, turning their education over to the State. Communism denies the value of virginity and teaches that marriage can be dissolved for any reason, at the mere wish of one of the spouses.3. The Decalogue commands us, “Thou shalt not steal,” and “Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor’s goods.” Communism denies private property and its very important social function;4. The Decalogue commands us to “not kill.” Communism employs wars of conquest as a means of ideological expansion and promotes revolutions and crimes all over the world;5. The Decalogue commands us to “not bear false witness,” whereas communism systematically uses lies as weapons of propaganda.
      Intervene so that all the peoples of the Americas, resolutely hindering the steps of communist infiltration, may help bring closer the glorious day of victory which Thou didst predict at Fatima with these words so filled with hope and sweetness:
      Finally, my Immaculate Heart will triumph.
      Glory be to the Father, and to the Son and to the Holy Ghost. As it was in the beginning, is now and ever shall be, even unto the ages of ages.

      • “Perhaps a prayer such as this would be better… O Queen of Fatima…Thou didst predict at Fatima…Finally, my Immaculate Heart”

        The “Mary” that has been appearing to the Roman church since the Great Schism isn’t the Theotokos, but is another spirit that has been leading Rome away from Orthodoxy ever since:

        The Gospa has said that divisions in religion are man-made, and is also said to have declared that God commands in all religions as a king does in his realm, although I did not find this latter statement in the books I read, which is not surprising as the apparitions have been going on for so long, with hundreds of messages, that it would be impossible to include everything. Also, as Fr Rene Laurentin has noted in one of his articles, Rome has shown concern that some of the messages seemed to be implying religious indifference, and therefore it is quite likely that such a controversial statement would be suppressed in any publication favourable to the apparitions, since such an all-out ecumenist position is not (yet) generally acceptable. I wrote to the London Medjugorje Centre for clarification on this point but received no reply. It seems that some kind of unity without Christ is envisaged for non-Christian religions. For some time now Western ecumenists have been tentatively discussing the need for a possible revision or modification of the traditional Incarnational view whereby Christ is unique and final revelation of God to man, on the grounds that it is incompatible with inter-religious dialogue. Be that as it may, my impression from studying the messages from some of the shrines (Fatima, Zeitoun, Hriushiw, Medjugorje) and different writers’ comments on them, is that the Pope is to be the symbol of unity for Christians, who will be reunited despite doctrinal differences (subjection to the Papacy without unity in the faith) and the father of people of all faiths and cultures (the new world religion).

        • I think you are on the right track Myst. The Fatima apparitions were complex and in the link you provided just skimming through I noted  there was the “third sealed letter” which was opened and the contents were not revealed. Have some recollection that the instruction there was for the Roman Catholics “hands off Russian Orthodoxy” or “hands off Orthodox Russia” which would make sense reason why its content was not revealed. The notion of  “immaculate heart” itself is not recognized in Orthodoxy insofar that it is an internal organ and no internal organ has ever been revealed as such in the Scriptures and so to have “consecration” to it is entirely foreign to Orthodox theology all the same. Doctrinal separation between Orthodoxy and Catholicism is too wide apart and when the Roman Pontiff and the Moscow Patriarch met not so long in that so utmost “holiest” of places Cuban airport lobby they worked on some agreements where they could set the theological debate aside sweep a few things under the rug and decide “unity” after all is what matters most! Truth in Faith back seat!  

    • “Protestant-style talking prayer”? What are you talking about? It looks just like any supplicatory prayer you’ll find in an Orthodox prayer book.
      It’s not naive to pray for peace and concord, as we do it every day at the Divine Liturgy. With God all things are possible. Although, I will paraphrase a Latin motto: “pray for peace, but prepare for war.”

      • Yes, but in Orthodoxy prayers are not just improvised with thoughts that come to mind, in Protestantism you have that practice. The pastor will squint his eyes, pinch the bridge of his nose with thumb and index finger, focus in concentration and start enumerating things he wishes for the Lord to hear. One of the saints I recollect on the topic may be St. Seraphim of Sarov indicated that The Lord already knows all things you do not need to explain too much and it is better to adhere to known Orthodox prayers passed down written by the Saints adhering to Orthodox Church Tradition.

  24. Christopher McAvoy says

    May we pray for the Holy Bishop Peter, that he may be made worthy of the promises of Christ. I concur that the letter does not precisely realize the pervasive intransgience of many Godless people who attempt social engineering following the plans of the evil one. May our bishops remind us not to fear to suffer with Christ, who suffered death on cross for the redemption of the world. The blood of the martyrs is the seed of the Church!

    Another prayer:
    “O Queen of Fatima, in this hour of so many dangers for the Americas and the world, turn away from us the scourge of atheistic communism. Do not allow communist regimes, which deny all the Commandments of God, to be established in the many countries born and formed under the sacred influence of Christian civilization. Therefore, O Lady, nourish and intensify the rejection which communism encounters at all levels of society in the Americas.
    Help us always remember that:
    1. The Decalogue commands us, “Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with thy whole heart,” “Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord thy God in vain,” and “Thou shalt keep holy the Sabbath day”; whereas atheistic communism does everything to extinguish the Faith, to lead men to blasphemy, and to create obstacles to the normal and peaceful celebration of worship;2. The Decalogue commands us, “Thou shalt honor thy father and thy mother,” “Thou shalt not commit adultery,” and “Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor’s wife.” Now communism strives to break the ties between parents and children, turning their education over to the State. Communism denies the value of virginity and teaches that marriage can be dissolved for any reason, at the mere wish of one of the spouses.3. The Decalogue commands us, “Thou shalt not steal,” and “Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor’s goods.” Communism denies private property and its very important social function;4. The Decalogue commands us to “not kill.” Communism employs wars of conquest as a means of ideological expansion and promotes revolutions and crimes all over the world;5. The Decalogue commands us to “not bear false witness,” whereas communism systematically uses lies as weapons of propaganda.
    Intervene so that all the peoples of the Americas, resolutely hindering the steps of communist infiltration, may help bring closer the glorious day of victory which Thou didst predict at Fatima with these words so filled with hope and sweetness:
    Finally, my Immaculate Heart will triumph.

    Glory be to the Father, and to the Son snd to the Holy Ghost. As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, even unto ages of ages. Amen”

  25. Estonian Slovak says

    Cyril, if you are the same person who posted as “Cy” in the past, I ask your forgiveness for having said rude and uncharitable things to you. In any case, Archbishop Peter is my bishop, and I feel called upon to come to his defense. His Eminence’s father was a White Army veteran. What Archbishop Peter and others(myself included) see happening today in the United States, is very much like events happening in Russia, right before the Tsar Martyr was forced from the throne. This was predicted, but that doesn’t make it any more pleasant to be living on these times. May God grant you salvation!

    • You remember and likewise I ask forgiveness we discuss religion politics things get flung around in both directions. Abp. Kyrill was my bishop one time in SF before him Abp. Anthony and yet some time before him St. John of Shanghai SF whom I have some bit of memory from childhood. I was never too “churchly” per-se but there were some volunteer things I helped out with around the Cathedral back in them days and then the “unia” came around with MP, I actually had some open mind with that at first but then I was seeing things that just were not looking right to me it was “departure” from the old historic ROCOR and I was thinking nope, not for me. Well anyway wish you well and Lord have you in His care. 

  26. Christopher McAvoy says

    So long as this bishop was willing to bend the knee to the state concerning the closure of the very public sacrifice to the faithful, which our Lord Jesus Christ willed his holy Church to always defend and always maintain, which holy russian martyrs died for, than he himself has committed a sin against the faith which up to this day, so far as I know, there has been no reparation or apology made for. Is this not hypocrisy? May God have mercy on my soul and May God save our bishops! Yet all bishops must be held to account for their sin. Who are we to ignore such a sin? Would my heavenly Father have any less of me to not pray and will for repentance and accept it will all forgiveness?