BREAKING: BELYA BOOTED! (Hold That Thought!)

One of my sources within the GOA just informed me that later today, they will announce that the consecration of Mr Alexander Belya to the episcopate has been “postponed.”

This of course, is good news –on many levels.

Personally, I think that the strongly worded letter sent by the Orthodox primates took effect, especially the last letter, which was even more strongly worded than the first.  There’s also the possibility that the whole Big Fat Gay Greek Baptism thing in Greece had an effect as well.  Mainly because this has caused great scandal within worldwide Orthodoxy, which of course has blown up in Archbishop Elpidophoros’ face.

The collateral damage of this “gala” to the Ecumenical Patriarchate is incalculable.  This will no doubt cause the removal of His Eminence from the primacy of the GOA.  Which, to be fair, has been in the works for several months now (thanks to the ministrations of Fr Alexander Karloutsos, who will now have four archiepiscopal scalps under his belt).

In any event, even with Elpidophoros’ removal, this doesn’t mean that the downward trajectory of the GOA will be reversed.  If (as is rumored) he is to be replaced by Archbishop Nikita Lulias (presently the primate of Great Britain), then this will present further complications for the GOA going forward.  

That, however, is a story for another day.  For now, we can take comfort in the fact that the primates of the Episcopal Assembly stood strong and that their demands were met.  This bodes well for the future of American Orthodoxy.

God be praised!

More recent Breaking News:  At approximately 2:04 pm today, the Greek Archdiocese shared the following update from the Orthodox Observer:

Postponement of Ordination of Bishop-Elect Alexander of Nicopolis

NEW YORK – In a spirit of the careful responsibility for the presentation of Orthodox Christian unity in the United States of America, the episcopal ordination of His Grace, Bishop-Elect Alexander of Nicopolis has been postponed until a consensus has been reached. 

[At this juncture, should he be called “His Grace” or “Bishop-Elect” if a consensus about his suitability has not been reached?] 

His Eminence Archbishop Elpidophoris of America is committed to engaging in an open dialog of brotherly love and understanding with the other heads of jurisdictions of the Assembly of Canonical Orthodox Bishops of the U.S.A., while at the same time determined to prioritize constructive partnership and cooperation.

The Assembly of Bishops is a unique venue where all Orthodox Christian jurisdictions participate in the building of Christ’s Body in America through dialog, joint program development, and concelebration.  

[Is this true?  I don’t believe the Phanar has concelebrated with Metropolitan Tikhon of the OCA nor did Bartholomew want him to participate in the Assembly of Canonical Orthodox Bishops; however, he later relented.]

As St. Paul proclaimed: “You were called to the one hope of your calling, one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all, who is above all and through all and in all.”  [Ephesians 4:4-6]”



  1. Praise be to God!

  2. Hmmmmm, ‘postponed’…sounds like a maybe we’ll do it anyway. Just press the pause button. I pray to God that’s not the case!

    • Mark E. Fisus says

      Right. Not counting chickens until they hatch. Need an actual cancellation notice from the EP, like they cancelled that other elevation a few years ago.

  3. Not to be a downer, but whenever I hear from Progressives that they have decided to “delay” or “hold” on some evil plan it simply means they have been forced to change tactics while the strategy itself remains. So they wait until the furor settles and proceed with a Slavic vicariate headed by one without so checkered a past. How is that good for Orthodoxy in America…or Orthodoxy period?

    Moreover, a delay or even a cancelation of plans for a Slavic vicariate still leaves ROCOR isolated, which is precisely what the EP wants.

    It was good that our bishops withstood the EP via Elpidophoros by means of the assembly. Doing so affirmed true Orthodox “territorial” ecclesiology. But they surely know that Orthodox ecclesiology means nothing to the EP. If the “delay” is true, Bartholomew is simply moving a Byzantine chess piece, and we’re right back where started before Belya became an issue.

    • George Michalopulos says

      Brian, I don’t disagree with you. We’re kinda back to square one, however all things being equal, this was a loss for the EP.

      Eventually, ex-GOA primates (as well as present-day bishops) are going to tire of being thrown under the bus by Bartholomew and/or having to constantly explain the latest shenanigan/turnaround to honest people in the pews. It’s a steady drip-drip-drip of loss of credibility which doesn’t bode well for the future.

      • Yes, George, it was…for now. And it is/was encouraging to see our bishops stand firmly. Let us hope their doing so set a strong precedent for the future. Their most recent letter made it clear that this wasn’t only about Belya, but also about establishing a Slavic vicariate. Let us hope they are willing to stand firmly on that as well.

    • ROCOR is not isolated – did you see the list of bishops that came to Metropolitan Hilarion’s funeral?

      Metropolitan Joseph just went on pilgrimage to Saint John’s cathedral in SF and met with the ROCOR bishop there.

      Fr. Peter Heers’ recently-announced conference is being chaired by Bishop Luke from Jordanville and has speakers from across the jurisdictions.

      It’s GOARCH that is increasingly isolated.

    • Yea, those of us who used to be Roman Catholic, Episcopalian or other Mainline Prot knows this sort of language of “dialogue” and “consensus” is really just code word for buying time till they can cram whatever agenda through

  4. Why can’t they replace him with an American? Why fly one in from Turkey or Great Britain? In any case I’m taking my family to OCA.

    • George Michalopulos says

      You know, that’s a good question.

      I must say however that the best primate the Greeks ever had in the US were Greek-born: Iakovos. Leaving aside the fact that he wasn’t perfect, there is absolutely no doubt that he loved America and it was he who spearheaded the goal of pan-Orthodox unity in America.

      As for Nikita, he is American born, however he took out Turkish citizenship several years ago.

      I for one am completely against dual-loyalties in all forms: secular as well as spiritual.

      • accuracy says

        Archbishop Iakovos was born in the Ottoman Empire, on the Island of Imvros. He was a Greek of that former iteration of present-day Turkey (so is the current Ecumenical Patriarch). Unfortunately, Imvros should have been part of Greece but was sold out by the British…. The Turks have treated Imvros the way the Chinese have treated Tibet. Colonized it to change its ethnic and religious character.

        • Mark E. Fisus says

          Made me check. Bartholomew was born in Turkey, not the Ottoman Empire. He’s old, but not that old!

  5. Will only delay the inevitable. And please stop calling Mr. Bart an “ecumenical patriarch.” He’s a heretic, and the term “ecumenical” is completely misleading because it props up his claim to be “first without equal.”

    Frankly Constantinople no longer exists, even has become a source of serious division in the Church. Time to call it what it is, a tiny little local Istanbul diocese with a weak, heretical bishop. And unite and set up our own Patriarchate here in the American Orthodox Church.

    • Beter to call him the Ecumenist one. We know how he handled GOA and how that all went. Now he wants a “Union” of all?

  6. Message was heard, acted on, great! We’re still not out of the woods if it is to be Archbishop Nikitas as a replacement, he has issues that must be addressed as does Emmanuella taking over at the GO Patriarchate in the future.

  7. Ella Marie says

    Like if you got another Jaguar when you traded your old cuz it had electrical problems, and the electrical issues are unresolved. But you sure look good behind the wheel.
    Here we are replacing a corrupt one w another one… the machinations of other corrupt ones…
    Everyone dons a new fancy sparkly prom dress and disco ball…you know just like Jesus did..:

  8. Someone still needs to explain why it is considered permissible to elevate a defrocked layman to the Episcopate.

    • Solidarity Priest says

      Correction, defrocked monk, not layman. One may deprived of a clerical rank, but once you take the monastic tonsure, you are a monk forever, even if you lose your clerical rank. Belya is still a mitred archimandrite. As long as he continues to serve, even as a priest, the Greek Archbishop has a serious problem( though he could care less what everyone else thinks).
      If Belya was concerned about his soul, he would have repented of his error, his disobedience, and retired to a monastery to repent. Then MAYBE he could be restored to his priestly rank.
      Also, the cancellation of him being elevated to bishop doesn’t alter the fact of the Archbishop performing a baptism which was basically signaling to the world that he is progressive enough to go with the times. I imagine right now some hillbilly preacher is saying,” them Orthodox ain’t only idolaters, but they’re sodomites as well”.

      • Solidarity Priest says

        Just correcting my own correction. I meant to say that Belya is serving as an Archimandrite. I believe that as he is serving after having been banned by his own church, he is grievously sinning.

      • George Michalopulos says

        Of course, Fr. The elephant in the room (apres Belya) is the Big Fat Gay Baptism thing.

  9. This is good news, but Elpidophoros is still a massive subverter of the Faith. The bishops on the Assembly should have mentioned the “baptism” in Greece.

    There are tons of things Elpi has done than just try to consecrate Belya, they should have brought up all of them.

    Now he will go back to quietly being subversive until there is a “consensus,” which probably just means until they can bribe enough people.

    I really wish he would have moved ahead with the consecration so there was a clear line draw, now the waters of American Orthodoxy are yet again muddy

    Could also be that it is being delayed to boot out Elpi, put Nikitas in and then have Nikitas sweet talk the American bishops into it.

    This isn’t the end of the EP’s fight there’s zero chance they would give up that easy.

    • Katherine says

      Mentioning the baptism in the same letter would have muddied and obfuscated the pressing issue. I’m not American, but I know for a fact that the Bishops over there have been reprimanding the GOARCH primate for a while now, and I’m certain that they will continue doing so.

    • Solidarity Priest says

      Reprimand, nothing! They have to break communion. All this big talk, whining and complaining, but the more traditional Church of Greece never does anything concerning the EP. On the contrary, they have followed Constantinople in recognizing the Ukrainian schism.

  10. This act shows the EP is scared of being totally isolated, because this wasn’t just about one church getting upset at them: this included the Antiochians and Romanians who have so far been otherwise neutral. I’m willing to bet Bartholomew was afraid of a chain reaction against the EP as a whole, plus having to once again hope that his alliance of Ieronymos, Chrysostomos, and Theodoros will continue to have his back with the Slavic vicarate project (even though technically it’s not their territory) when it’s headed by a man of disrepute.

    Postponed or cancelled be baby Belya’s elevation to the bishophric, regrettably it is simply a matter of time before Belya II, III, IV appear on the horizon. The EP has an amazing talent for selecting real ‘winners’: be it Belya and son, be it Filaret Denisenko, Dumenko, et all. When you’re out to do no good, you need nasty folks to get the job done.

  11. Gail Sheppard says

    There has been another update. See original post for an explanation.

    • “…an open dialogue of brotherly love.”

      I hate to be cynical; I really do, but this language is classic. Typically it means, “We must keep talking until I get exactly what I want and you’re stuck with it. And if you won’t discuss it you’re unloving and unreasonable.”

      Hopefully our bishops realize that these charlatans cannot be trusted.

      Lord have mercy.

  12. James Feyler says

    This is a common tactic of the progressives. See how far they can go with their agenda until it causes a scandal/uproar, then dial it down for awhile. Then when the dust settles, ramp it up again and increase the intensity and assess the response to see how far they can go yet again, ad infinitum. Thus following the demonic playbook.

    • James,
      Your playbook description clearly resonates with my observations and is INDEED demonic, bravo for identifying this game plan.

      Satan has been carefully orchestrating this reversal of truth and its replacement with lies since Eve was deceived with the Apple. Having seen just the changes that have occurred since the 1960’s when i was a child, sodomy was illegal in many states and widely acknowledged as a DEVIANT PERVERSION it reminds me of my patron Saint Anthony who said:

      “A time is coming when people will be insane. When they see someone who is not insane, they will rise up against him, saying, “You are insane” because he is not like them.”

      Jesus, please come soon and end this madness, ALL glory to God in the Highest!

  13. Ilya Zhitomirskiy says

    Take note that ROCOR also postponed his consecration before removing him from consideration and subsequently suspending him.

    I don’t believe that anyone takes the Slavic Vicariate seriously, because almost all of its clergy are either ex-ROCOR clergy who have been suspended or defrocked, or other clergymen of questionable provenance (Archpriest Ioann Spasiuk, for one).

    • The leadership of the GOA and the Patr of C’ple is a complete sham, a complete frivolous disaster.

      There is no need for a “Slavic vicariate.” The American Carpatho-Russian Orthodox Diocese is part of the Patr of C’ple in America and would qualify as a “Slavic vicariate” in the USA if they really wanted one. Their only goal: to tell the Russian Orthodox Church in America to “shove it.”

      The GOA leadership is a bunch of lunatic losers. Let the leadership of the GOA/C’ple go become Byzantine Rite Episcopalians, for all we care. I really don’t care what they do anymore, honestly. Any who are stuck with the GOA but who prefer otherwise have ample opportunity to seek refuge in a sane (canonical) Orthodox Church jurisdiction in America. I will pray for the GOA and its leadership, but I am under no delusions that anyone can control what they do except themselves.

      To use the ECUSA model as an example, where is the ECUSA today, about 30-40 years after it was taken over by gay, leftist lunatics? Well, it’s now run by gay, leftist lunatics, has a lot of expensive pretty buildings, and no parishioners. And no one is flocking to it. No one wants it. Projections are that it will be down to zero parishioners in the forseeable future.

      If this is what the leadership of the GOA/C’ple wants for themselves, go for it, man. Just don’t try to drag the rest of us down with ya’.

      The gay tranny stuff may sell well in leftist lunatic fringes, but most Americans want nothing to do with it. The biggest movie hit of 2022? The Top Gun remake, about as far from the gay tranny stuff as you can get. What about all of Disney’s gay tranny stuff they are trying to push down Americans’ throats? No one wants it, no one watches it.

      The #1 series on Amazon Prime Video? The Terminal List, again about as red-blooded-American a series as you can get. The gay tranny stuff on Amazon Prime? No one watches it.

      I am partially embarrassed that my Orthodox baptismal certificate from the 1970s comes from the Greek Archdiocese in America, which was once not a leftist lunatic fringe, as George comments, back in the day when it was led by the ever-memorable Archbishop Iakovos. Who, by the way, loved and respected and had fantastic relations with the Russian Orthodox Church in America.

      I will not pay one further speck of attention to this frivolous, imbecilic organization at its higher levels that the GOA has become until this fake Archbishop who is currently the leader resigns, shuts up, and recuses himself to a monastery for the remainder of his days to learn in quiet repentance. That, I would respect.

      And a most blessed feast day of the Russian Holy Martyrs! As they suffered mercilessly and were murdered at the hands of an atheistic government, may they pray for our souls, as we labor to remain faithful to Christ and His Church in the modern, aggressively secular, West, and as we are attacked from within by our own wolves-in-sheep-clothing church leaders like “Abp” Elpidoktonos.

      Remember, Christ was/is not “nice.” He was/is Holy. There’s a difference. The false perception of “Nice Christ” is so common in modern America but is a figment of modern imagination. We are not doing anyone any favors by being “nice.”

      As the Russians say, God exists everywhere except in fantasy and imagination. “Nice Christ” is the product of fantasy and imagination. Christ is Holy, not “nice.”

  14. Austin Martin says

    This is the first time LP has lost, and especially from his own beloved patriarch. He must be fuming with rage. He’s like a gay Greek version of Hillary Clinton.

  15. jimofolym says

    St. Reagan said: Trust but verify! I think this applies here!

  16. Anonymous II says

    Greek Orthodox Jerusalem Patriarch warns Biden of ‘extremist Jewish’ threat

    Extremist Israeli forces are raising tensions in Jerusalem’s Old City, straining daily life and harming worshipers, warned Theophilos III of Jerusalem, the current patriarch of the Orthodox Church of Jerusalem, when he met with US President Joe Biden, Channel 12’s Yaron Avraham reported.

    In a letter to Biden, the patriarch wrote, “The main way to the Church of the Holy Sepulchre is under serious threat from extremist Jewish forces who have targeted the Christian Quarter with the goal of altering the historic, demographic and geographic nature and validity of the site and terminate the Christian presence in the city.”

    According to the report, the letter continues, “It is saddening that these groups are supported, in part, by right-wing figures in Israel’s political sphere. They are, together, trying to disrupt the longtime status quo in the city.”

    The tension between Christians and Jews in the Old City
    This is not the first time the Greek Orthodox patriarch has made such claims. In January, he accused radical Israeli groups of threatening the presence of Christians in the Old City. Israeli officials at the time rejected those claims as baseless.

    “Our presence in Jerusalem is under threat,” Theophilos III wrote shortly after Christmas in a Times of London column, explaining his belief that there was an aim to drive the Christian community from the Old City.

    “Our churches are threatened by Israeli radical fringe groups,” he wrote. “At the hands of these Zionist extremists, the Christian community in Jerusalem is suffering greatly. Our brothers and sisters are the victims of hate crimes. Our churches are regularly desecrated and vandalized. Our clergy are subject to frequent intimidation.”

    His statements stood out because he identified Israeli groups as being hostile toward the Greek Orthodox Church. Other heads of churches in Jerusalem issued similar statements a month earlier, before Christmas, referring to “frequent and sustained attacks by fringe radical groups” but stopped short of identifying them as Israeli.

    Theophilos III did not accuse any radical groups by name or cite specific incidents. Nor did he provide evidence that they were Israeli or that their goal was to drive Christians from the city.

    The Israeli claim
    In April, Jerusalem Deputy Mayor Fleur Hassan-Nahoum accused Church leaders of painting a “false narrative” and misrepresenting the facts about minorities in Jerusalem as part of a “well-orchestrated fundraising campaign to the Christian world.”

    Hassan-Nahoum described recent attacks by Church leaders, including those by Theophilos III, as “surprising and deeply disappointing.” She noted that the city has invested “unprecedented resources” in the Old City and east Jerusalem over the past seven years to help close social gaps, and that the reports of vandalism had not been corroborated by the city or by the Israel Police.

    The deputy mayor shared the following numbers via the Israel Democracy Institute: The Christian population in Israel has grown by 1.5% in the last year, and 84% of Christians are satisfied with their lives in this country.

    “In tragic contrast, the Christian communities living under the Palestinian Authority are dwindling, the most glaring example being the Christian population of Bethlehem, the birthplace of Jesus, that has shrunk from 80% to 12% in the 27 years the PA control the city,” Hassan-Nahoum wrote.

    Jerusalem’s land scarcity heightens tensions
    Another area of tense conflict, also in the Old City, has intensified relations between Christians and Jews recently: Property ownership.

    Back in 2005, two properties, the Imperial and Petra Hotels, located just inside the city’s Jaffa Gate were sold by the Greek Orthodox Church to right-wing NGO Ateret Cohanim. Then-patriarch Irenaios denied knowledge of the sale, claiming it was void, but then backtracked and cast the responsibility of the sale on the church’s finance director Nicholas Papadimas.

    Irenaios was replaced by current patriarch Theophilos III, who took the sale case to the Jerusalem District Court.

    The court ruled that the sale was valid. So the church appealed to the Supreme Court, requesting a retrial based on the affidavit of Ted Bloomfield, who worked for Ateret Cohanim in the 1990s. Bloomfield claimed the NGO routinely bribed senior church officials and on occasion provided them with prostitutes.

    The Supreme Court recognized on June 8 the sale of the lease agreement to Ateret Cohanim, leaving the future owners and inhabitants of the two hotels in question. The Arab Dajani family has lived in and run the Imperial hotel since 1949.

    Reuters and Gil Zohar contributed to this report.


  17. Mark E. Fisus says

    I don’t believe the Phanar has concelebrated with Metropolitan Tikhon

    Yes they did.

    But 2016. That was a different era. The EP is still commemorated at OCA primatial liturgies, I understand, but I don’t know they’d go for something as visible as a liturgical concelebration in the current climate.

  18. Henry Bellman says

    Something tells me the “consensus” will be some money changing hands.