Breaking: Demetrios to Take the Fall!

Best friends

In case you were wondering why the minutes of the Holy Synod were leaked, wonder no longer. This was a strategic (albeit cynical) move by Fr Alex Karloutsos which accomplished two things: 1) to make Archbishop Demetrios Trakatellis the fall guy and 2) to preserve his own position within the GOA (post-Demetrios).

That’s basically all you need to know.

The machinations of the Phanar and its “American” subsidiary are now laid bare. The boondoggle that is the St Nicholas Shrine project is a huge part of it. It’s not the tip of iceberg but has become the iceberg (so to speak). It’s sucked up all the oxygen (and cash) in the room.

Mark Arey floats the idea in a Facebook post (copied below) that Abp Demetrios should resign. Arey works for Karloutos. Arey is a lieutenant, while Karloutsos is the general. Karloutsos is Patriarch Bartholomew’s man on the American scene and it is inconceivable that Arey would call for the retirement of Demetrios apart from Karloutsos’ direction and approval. Arey’s posting is the “hook” to bring the issue of retirement into the public narrative. It’s the same tactic Mark Stokoe used when plotting the overthrow of Metropolitan Jonah Paffhausen a few years back except that Stokoe planted a story in some small news outfit out of the country somewhere.

You will notice that the leaked minutes, when read closely, places Demetrios against the “Holy” Synod and simultaneously elevates Metropolitan Evangelos Kourounis. Why Evangelos is being elevated is anybody’s guess but expect Constantinople to move him front and center soon (the seriously flawed are often the most compliant). In any case, we now have two documents in circulation prepping the ground for Demetrios’ departure.

It’s clear what is happening. Karloutosos is trying to save his reputation along with Bartholomew’s and thus Demetrios has to be the scapegoat. Demetrios is solely responsible — at least that is what the spin-masters want you to think. Pure late-stage Byzantine snakery if you ask me.

Still, that hasn’t stopped our “monk-bishops” from voting themselves a pay raise. (Boy, do we have the worst of both worlds! Monks who aren’t bishops and bishops who aren’t monks.) As one of my commentators wrote to me in an email: Leaders eat last. “These guys,” he went on to tell me, “clean out the buffet line first and then let the priests wrestle with the depleted pension funds.” It looks like they got theirs.

So no, the GOA is not going to turn around, not merely because they didn’t repent of their maladministration, hubris and deceit but because they can’t. Evangelos is particularly egregious in his grandstanding against the Archbishop. His “tribune of the people” act doesn’t sit all that well given his persona and past behavior.

Anyway, please take the time to read the following two items. The first is by Theodore Kalmoukos writing in The National Herald, the second is the leaked minutes.

Mark Arey Asks Archbishop Demetrios to Resign

By Theodoros Kalmoukos

[Editor’s Note: Don’t be fooled by this “Hellenic Initiative” thing. It’s just another globalist front group, probably financed by George Soros. According to its own webpage, two Turkish billionaires sit on the board of directors and its chairman is The Big Dog –Bill Clinton–himself. And this after his son-in-law pillaged a Greek hedge fund last year. Nice work if you can get it I guess.]

BOSTON – Mark Arey, Executive Director of the Hellenic Initiative Organization, posted an article on Facebook urging His Eminence Archbishop Demetrios of America to resign, noting that “his continuing presence at the helm of the Church of America is part of the problem.”

Arey was a close collaborator of Archbishop Demetrios. He was a priest for 34 years of the Greek-Orthodox Archdiocese of America. He served for seven years in different positions at the Archdiocese including as Director of the Department of Interchristian and Interorthodox Relations. He also served as spokesman for St. Nicholas church at Ground Zero and he had many times appeared in the American Press including The New York Times.

A few years ago, Arey departed from the Archdiocese and left the priesthood. He was converted to Orthodoxy. He was an excellent student at Holy Cross Theological School and he is fluent in Greek.

In his article on Facebook, he wrote among other things that: “I do not intend to be unkind toward His Eminence nor ungrateful for the many opportunities of service that he gave to me. What I am trying to be here is honest, to speak the truth with love.” He also stated that: “For those of you who take offense, I ask your forgiveness beforehand.”

The National Herald communicated with Mark Arey and verified the authenticity of his post on Facebook. He expressed the wish if it will be published, to be published in its entirety.

The entire article of Mark Arey is the following:

“Dear Facebook Friends;

Executive Director of the Hellenic Initiative Organization Mark Arey

I have thought a lot about posting these thoughts, and I certainly do not wish to scandalize anybody, but with the growing crisis in the GOA and the abysmal publicity about the Saint Nicholas National Shrine, I felt that I should. For those of you who take offense, I ask your forgiveness beforehand.

The last seven years of my life as a clergyman (2007 – 2014) were spent in service at the Archdiocese and to the Archbishop. The Archbishop is a good man who is truly impressive in his academic abilities. Nevertheless, with all of the managerial and financial problems swirling around the Archdiocese, and the fact that HIs Eminence is now over ninety years old, I feel it is unjust for the faithful of the Archdiocese to expect him to continue to serve. Indeed, it is as unreasonable as it is unjust. He clearly does not have — and should not be expected to have — the expertise, energy, and facility to restore the Archdiocese to its former stability.

There will be blame enough to spread around for the current sorry conditions, but what we should be seeking are solutions! His Eminence is no longer part of the solution; his continuing presence at the helm of the Church of America is part of the problem. I do not intend to be unkind toward His Eminence nor ungrateful for the many opportunities of service that he gave to me. What I am trying to be here is honest, to speak the truth with love.

It is time for a new captain to take the helm and help restore the Archdiocese to a position of trust and responsibility. The nineteen years of the Archiepiscopacy of His Eminence Demetrios deserve a better end than the continual unravelling of Archdiocesan affairs. The Saint Nicholas National Shrine is singularly the most important project in the history of the Archdiocese. After years of fighting to maintain our legal right and moral responsibility to rebuild, Archbishop Demetrios has led the project to exhaustion and an embarrassing mismanagement that in the corporate world, would demand the immediate resignation of the CEO. But we are not a corporation; we are the Body of Christ. And the member who has been our leader these last nineteen years is deserving of a dignified retirement and rest.

I understand that it is hard to give up a glorious position. But I was there at the last address to the clergy by the ever-memorable Archbishop Iakovos at the 1996 CLC. His voice quaked with emotion and my eyes filled with tears as he said, “I lost none of you…”. Archbishop Demetrios may have only served half as long as Archbishop Iakovos, but he deserves just as as much. Let us pray that he makes the right decision sooner rather than later, and submits a grateful resignation to His All-Holiness and the Holy and Sacred Synod of the Ecumenical Patriarchate. Then the Church can move on, and his legacy of nineteen years of service will not be lost and can abide with dignity and grace.”

Patriarch, Synod, Grills Demetrios at April 20 Meeting

Source: The National Herald

By Theodoros Kalmoukos

BOSTON – Archbishop Demetrios of America was severely criticized by the Holy Synod of the Ecumenical Patriarchate at its April 20 meeting, presided by His All Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew, according to exclusive information The National Herald has obtained.

Specifically, reports about Archbishop Demetrios and the Archdiocese were read, at which point Patriarch Bartholomew asked the synodic members if they wanted to ask him any questions.

First was Metropolitan Apostolos, Geron of Derkon, who wondered why there is so much delay regarding the results of the Archdiocese audits. He also asked why the cost for the marble for the St. Nicholas National Shrine is so exorbitant.

Demetrios replied that the audits will be completed within a few weeks and promised they would be available for the next Patriarchal Synod meeting in May. Regarding the marbles, he explained that Pentelic marble has been proven the most resilient to climate conditions in New York City, and that the only place that marble can be milled is Austria.

Metropolitan Athanasios, Geron of Chalkedon, was particularly hard on Demetrios, deeming his lengthy comments at the Synod misleading and accusing him of always avoiding answering the Synod’s tough questions.

Demetrios responded that due to Athanasios’ lack of collegiality and decorum, he would not reply to him.

Metropolitan Evangelos of New Jersey made a plea to Demetrios to expedite the audits, because the delay causes individuals such as ousted Executive Director Jerry Dimitriou (and their families) to suffer because of harm to their reputations. He told the Archbishop not to belabor the situation because things are extremely critical.

Demetrios replied that he is particularly pastorally sensitive to Dimitriou and calls him frequently, and that Evangelos should wait because the audit of the finances may reveal surprises that no one expects.

Demetrios blasted the words and actions of Leadership 100 and the Faith Endowment for Orthodoxy and Hellenism because they refuse to pay the Archdiocese’s debts. He emphasized that “the money in their accounts is the Church’s money, and they increased during my Archbishopric ministry.” He said the money is there, “but they don’t give it to us.”

Metropolitan Bartholomew of Smyrna proposed that Leadership 100 and Faith be dissolved with the money to go to the Archdiocese. Demetrios called that proposal “logical but difficult.”
Metropolitan Arsenios of Austria wondered why his own metropolis is so poor and “yet we never arrived at the point of not being able to pay our salaries,” so how did the Archdiocese of America, “which is the most prestigious and wealthy Ecclesiastical Eparchy of the Ecumenical Throne,” end up in that situation?

Demetrios attempted to answer, but apparently no one understood what he was trying to say.
Patriarch Bartholomew then asked Demetrios if the information that the Holy Cross Theological School is in financial trouble is true. The archbishop admitted that “there is difficulty, but efforts are made to overcome it with money from the Endowment Fund,” at which point Evangelos reminded that the Fund is for a specific purpose and its use for the School’s operational expenses is prohibited.

Demetrios added that there is an issue of leadership at the School, particularly doubt about the effectiveness of Fr. Christopher Metropulos as president. He said it is necessary to support Fr. Metropulos’ continuation as president for now, and that there is a period of evaluation, which could or could not result in a search for his replacement.

Metropolitan Kirillos of Rhodes asked how under these circumstances there can be a Clergy Laity Congress convened in Boston in July, stating that there is danger that the wound will deepen and confrontations might arise. He suggested that the Congress be postponed.

Archbishop Demetrios replied that he disagrees with that assessment because recent clergy-laity congresses in metropolises went fine, and that no problems arose because the people’s questions were answered with sincerity.


  1. Greatly Saddened says

    If there is any truth to the fact that Father Alexander Karloutsos is behind the move to get His Eminence Archbishop Demetrios to resign, this once again is a sad state we are faced with.

    If my memory serves me correctly, this would seemingly be the third Archbishop, Father Alexander Karloutsos would have been instrumental in bringing down and all under the same present Ecumenical Patriarch.

    It is simply amazing what has happened in the past and unfortunately seems to continue to be happening.

    In my humble opinion, this Ecumenical Patriarch has been a total failure when it comes to the governance of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America. Not that the present Metropolitans and hierarchal appointed Archdiocesan Council have been any better.

    Perhaps an age requirement for retirement should be passed and instituted. But then again, just like Congress, these same Metropolitans would have to vote on this and I highly doubt they would be in favor of a mandatory age requirement for retirement. They have it too good to be willing to relinquish their office and retire.

    In addition, unfortunately the choices for higher office are slim and seem to be gettng even slimmer. Especially, since to hold the office of Bishop, the present requirement is one who is unmarried – celebate.

    At this point, the only way things may possibly change for the better is for the laity to get involved and certainly not from within. These people who hold positions in the Church, seem too concerned with holding on to the positions they presently have.

    A major tsunami is needed by the general laity to become cohesive and stand in unity against the Ecumenical Patriarchate. Time has come to drain the swamp from all this that has been happening ever since this Ecumenical Patriarch took office.

    How much proof does one need to see that this man doesn’t seem to care about his biggest and I believe, most financially supportive eparchy?

    So, we have no one to blame but ourselves. Until we as one body of laity stand united and demand to put an end to all this byzantine intrigue, things will never change. And from the way things look, may even get much worse. If that is even possible.

    • Antiochene Son says

      In addition, unfortunately the choices for higher office are slim and seem to be gettng even slimmer. Especially, since to hold the office of Bishop, the present requirement is one who is unmarried – celebate.

      Good thing for the GOAA, they actually have a lot of monasteries. I am sure there are monks who have administrative and financial backgrounds who would make good bishops.

      They ought to clear the decks and place a bunch of serious monks in power, while also stripping the episcopacy of the huge salaries that a true monk would not know what to do with.

      • George Michalopulos says

        But that’s the sad thing AS. They would go out of their way to never choose a real monk from one of these monasteries! And that’s a shame because I’ve been to two of these monasteries and I can tell you that these humble men have more construction experience, life experiences and administrative skills than the academics which we insist on placing on the diocesan thrones. Their skill sets include pastoral experiences as well.

        • Johannes Ypsilanti says

          People with advanced academic backgrounds are extremely dangerous to Orthodoxy in general. I think people with MA degrees should probably be required to spend five full years in a monastery before being appointed Bishop anywhere; PhD ten. They also should be looked at with greater skepticism as priest candidates (although at least one good Orthodox priest I love deeply has a doctorate). As someone with a PhD myself, I know my own kind.

          • Whiskey six says

            You forgot at an MBA in Management. With a minor in finance and people skills.

            • Gail Sheppard says

              Interestingly, there are some academics out there who have little to no acumen when it comes to the Church but are mysteriously attracted to her. They want to learn everything they can, but not from a classroom. It’s more experiential for them. They’re reading the Holy Fathers. Many of them weren’t even Christian until recently. They were avowed atheists who underwent an abrupt change of heart. Jonathan Pageau, Jordan Peterson, and James Fox Higgins come to mind. They’re public figures at this point. They have varying levels of understanding but can’t stop talking about God and the Church. They have all these YouTube clips out there. In their respective worlds, they were catapulted to the “head of the class,” quite suddenly. They have captured the attention of thousands of people who see them as icons for Christianity, although in one case, the individual is not fully there yet. He’s trying to study Christianity from a scientific viewpoint. It’s hard for him to abandon the idea that the mind is the only way to understand reality. You can see him struggling with this. It’s bizarre, really. It took me a while to realize that God may be calling them to us. We’d better help them because A LOT of people are looking to them to lead them to the Truth.

              Frankly, we could use some academics and leaders who love the Church for who she is, as opposed to who they want her to be. They’re going to need our help, though. They haven’t fully grasped this yet, but they may be on their way to becoming Orthodox. – Either that or this is a grand delusion designed to lead people astray. I hope it isn’t. I pray God is leading them to us for their sake, for our sake and for the sake of all those people who are following them.



              • Michael Bauman says

                Peterson thinks clearly but he is still missing the experience of God nor does he really get the Incarnation. Where he is really good is his understanding of totalitarianism.

          • Yes agree. Saw this in health care, and I must on up to higher academic bits of paper in clinical psychology and physical care. The Bishop is a pastor and surely those around him can support at admit and finance. But monks running a monastery have these skills anyway.

  2. Greatly Saddened says

    Below please find an article from today in The National Herald. Unfortunately the article is locked and doesn’t appear in its entirety. I will continue to be on the lookout for the article in its entirety and if found, I will post.

    McGrath Architectural Company Warns to Dispose St. Nicholas Materials
    By Theodoros Kalmoukos – April 29, 2018

  3. Greatly Saddened says

    In all fairness to His Eminence Archbishop Demetrios. Yes, he is the man at the helm and I do not excuse what has transpired, but let’s not fool ourselves, this did not happen just because of one man alone. Others are responsible as well. I hope and pray one day the full truth comes out and for those responsible to be held accountable for their actions or lack thereof. If this happens to include criminal charges, then so be it. These are serious matters and should be acted on accordingly, no matter whether it was clergy, laity or both. Let this be an example to all in the future. You cannot get away with this!

    Accountability, transparency, honesty and yes, even humility are required, rather than an air of arrogance. If there is even a chance “trust” can once again be restored to this deeply troubled and ailing, so called religious institution.

    Time has come to face reality and put aside the excuses. Take the bull by the horns, rather than giving us a line of bull. Unfortunately, time after time, after time of the same.

    One doesn’t need a PhD, nor a Master’s, nor even a college degree. What is in fact needed is plain and simple “honesty.” Something which should have always been a part of this so called religious institution’s mission statement. The truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth, so help me God! Please stop trying to insult our intelligence, because it hasn’t been working. Like to hear it or not, it is our dimes you have been spending or allegedly misappropriating, not yours. And since it is our dimes. we rightfully expect to know where and how these dimes are spent.

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

  4. Billy Jack Sunday says

    Demetrios Under Bus

    Excellent, excellent name for a punk band

    • Wayne Matthew Syvinski says

      Would this band be the “spiritual successor” of The Ramones? 😀

  5. Billy Jack Sunday says

    A scapegoat is necessary, I would think

    This is because, my guess is, all of these financial issues are linked together in a way

    The shrine is not the whole iceberg. It fact, I don’t think iceberg is the best analogy

    It’s like gopher holes

    You got the gopher hole of Dokos scandal in Chicago, then the gopher hole at the NY shine

    Many more holes to be discovered is the real fear, it seems

    But it’s all the same gopher

    The gophers name is MO

    No one wants the true MO to be discovered. It might truly get people to wake up and realize that maybe they have been purchasing their religion from their leaders unknowingly for quite a while now

    If I’m wrong, I would be happy to be, so forgive me if I am

    However, this looks like spin and misdirection because I believe the reality is that this is all by design.

    Am I to believe that the cash flow doesnt make it all the way to the top and by such means?

  6. Whiskey Six says

    Mark Arey that guy was the gate keeper and spokesmen for the GOA when they were shaking us down for the shrine.

  7. “The Saint Nicholas National Shrine is singularly the most important project in the history of the Archdiocese.”

    A telling sentence if ever there was one. Quite sad.

    • George Michalopulos says

      Yeah, I caught that too. Shouldn’t the “baptism of America” be that “single most important thing”?

      I imagine that ranks just below having a Greek-American admiral (who is now an Episcopalian) address the Archons/L100 and all the other swells at the Ritz-Carlton. I suppose next year they’ll have Jennifer Aniston as the keynote speaker.

      • Yeah, I caught that too. Shouldn’t the “baptism of America” be that “single most important thing”?

        Amen to that!

        How about opening some Orthodox primary schools with the money spent on the National Shrine? American Protestants are able to run quality parochial schools on a shoestring budget, yet I have barely even heard of Orthodox primary schools existing in this country.

        • The Hellenic American School in Lowell, Massachusetts is under the Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church in Lowell. In has been in existence for more than 70 somewhat years. I have always commented that each Diocese in every State should use the Hellenic School as a great example and build a similar one. It is true that most churches have smaller versions of Hellenic School, but they cannot compare. HAS brings teachers from Greece to teach, at least that’s what I remember and I am not sure of their current policy. But we had excellent Greek teachers and English teachers so we learned both. Let’s start a fund drive and initiate a school in every State. It can be done. If the Catholic Diocese can do it, we as Greeks certainly can. My grandchildren attend Catholic School because there isn’t a Greek school. It is a shame. I am sure that each greek parent would be willing to pay a tuition for their children to attend an actual Greek-American School.

          • Antiochene Son says

            Not just every diocese, but every PARISH of sufficient size ought to have an Orthodox primary school—or at least every city which has more than one Orthodox parish in it.

            I have to echo Mike’s words… I am from the rural midwest, and it is not uncommon to find every 10 miles or so small Protestant churches of 100-150 members running a K-8 school. It’s less common today than 20+ years ago, but still, it is possible. It should be possible for any place with an Orthodox population of, say 500+.

            • George Michalopulos says

              Agreed. A K-8 school is not that hard to set up for a medium-sized (100 family) parish.

      • J Clivas says

        Or possibly Tom Hanks.

      • Yes they will. All that concerns them is outward political recognition and power. The rest is immaterial.
        As they sit in their pews hardly making sign of the Cross,as the organ swells, never having been ever to confession or fasted, .. IT IS ALL GOOD BECAUSE WE SAY IT IN GREEK and yes we do run a few token English phrases. GREEKFEST with the Liturgy when there is time and a organist and kitsch choir.

  8. Alitheia1875 says

    Am I correct in thinking that Met. Evangelos of New Jersey is being considered to replace Archbishop Demetrios? Really? Seriously? What parallel universe did that notion come from? Unbelievable in the real world but apparently not so in some parallel universe.

  9. Whiskey Six says

    Anybody else think the guys running the show went to the Pete Rose school of coaching? Bet against your own team and make sure they lose.

  10. I live in Bulgaria but greek and here the churches LOOK VISIBLY POOR OFTEN, my local one is blackened inside and raising money cent by cent but when i attend liturgy, beautifully done, and sung, i feel close to God and to my roots.
    I know USA a little all over and at local level good clergy and humble dedicated people and I personally think Dimitrios is a good man now elderly, not a crooks, but he surrounded by them and if not crooks by careerist pseudo monks, THE WORSE SORT OF PERSON who over the DECADES have allowed the Archdiocese to adopted pseudo western worship in organs etc and be obscessed with money. As bishops they have not done their job, but worshipping money. And yes Church needs money Yes.,TITHING,!!! but it needs FAITH AMD TRUST IN GOD
    I had a mymosyno done for my late mother in NY. 100 dollars for place of koliva…Disgusting. I would have given the Church a 100$ gift or even two but to sell a place of koliva at 100 is needing no comment AND that was 2012!!
    Let us not forget that the Russian church of the martyrs was also that of the creatures of RASPUTIN even to Metropolitan of St Petersburg, Pitirim, sexuality and morally OPENLY corrupt
    But he was followed by elected by the workers, Veniamin martyred soon after by the bolsheviks
    And Judas was at Mystical Supper..
    If the Catholics have problem with Sex, we have with money.
    Nothing is more guaranteed for people to walk away. After all if they want a taverna night out, a good traditional greek restaurant will do nicely

  11. Antiochene Son says

    They ought to have replaced the humble St. Nicholas Parish with another humble church. The pretentions of the grand “national shrine” with its stated goal of being able to host pan-religious and secular gatherings is perhaps a reason why the Lord has seen fit to allow so many problems.

    • Wayne Matthew Syvinski says

      I hate, I despise your feast days,
      And I do not savor your sacred assemblies.

      Though you offer Me burnt offerings and your grain offerings,
      I will not accept them,
      Nor will I regard your fattened peace offerings.
      Take away from Me the noise of your songs,
      For I will not hear the melody of your stringed instruments.
      But let justice run down like water,
      And righteousness like a mighty stream.

      Did you offer Me sacrifices and offerings
      In the wilderness forty years, O house of Israel?
      You also carried Sikkuth your king
      And Chiun, your idols,
      The star of your gods,
      Which you made for yourselves.

      Therefore I will send you into captivity beyond Damascus,
      Says the Lord, whose name is the God of hosts.

      Amos 5:21-27 NKJV

    • I am reminded of the communists inability to build on the site of Christ Saviour in Moscow.

  12. We don’t need another archdiocese. Flatten the organization by eliminating the whole useless NYC operation and then concentrate on concentrating on retiring the marginal Metros one by one and replacing them with American pastors, not princes. How? We CONTROL THE MONEY! Exercise that control for goodness sake!

  13. Wayne Matthew Syvinski says

    The bishops of the GOA voted themselves a pay raise?

    Wennschon, dennschon!

  14. A see with no Gospel has nothing to offer its flock but misery. I posted this on my FB homepage today:

    A word of wisdom to all my friends and former friends in GOARCH:

    If I were you, I would lobby the Synod of Greece to take GOARCH under its omophorion, assuming you don’t want to be on the wrong side of history, for there is a train coming through and Black Bart has no idea of the magnitude of the storm he is provoking.


    He cannot possibly win.

  15. Except the Lord build the house, they labor in vain that build it

  16. Whiskey six says


    Where can I find info on the Pay raise the Bishops voted themselves? Do you have a link? I would like to pass the info along to our parish council.

    • George Michalopulos says

      Unfortunately, word of mouth. There is no paper record of what the bishops make or their pension. It’s very closely guarded.

      • Billy Jack Sunday says


        There is no paper trail on how much the bishops make and their pensions?

        Are you sure? We don’t know how much any of these bishops are making?

        I thought this was known or available . . . just not really talked about

        Is this unknown only in the GOA? Do any/all other juristictions disclose bishops compensation?


        • George Michalopulos says

          Billy Jack, please see Wayne’s reply above. Maybe his ideas can show us the way out of this morass.

        • Wayne Matthew Syvinski says

          For the (Patriarchal) Bulgarian Diocese, Metropolitan Joseph’s salary is explicitly listed in the annual budget and annual financial reports, which are distributed to the delegates at the annual Diocesan Convention. While he was the Vicar Bishop/Protosyngel, Bishop Daniil’s salary was also disclosed therein (he is now a ruling hierarch in Bulgaria).

          • Billy Jack Sunday says


            That’s very good and as it should be for sure. Yet another gold star for the Bulgarians

            I’m seriously concerned that the GOA bishops compensation is undisclosed.

            This is especially troubling.

            Can anyone provide any justification as to why the bishops compensation and pensions should remain undisclosed?

            Is this really what we want from our leaders?

            How are any finances held accountable when we don’t even know this?

            I’d expect this exact abuse from fringe evangelical ministries (again, read about Mars Hill, Gateway, etc) and Christian cults, not the descendants of the Apostles of the Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church

            Man, I wish we had a Metropolitan who would pull a Marjoe and expose what really goes on behind the scenes

            IMO – Marjoe Gortner is an American hero

            I know I should believe it, but I just can’t.

            Blows my mind

            • Estonian Slovak says

              I know Metropolitan Joseph. I believe he lives a monastic life, at least in comparison to some hierarchs. Even though he’s a traditionalist and champions the old calendar( the Bulgarian Church is new calendar, but most of his convert parishes are on the old), he is mission minded. Also, he’s easily approachable. I know there’s the controversy about him collaborating with the Communist state. But he has publicly asked forgiveness. The MP and EP have had to collaborate with the Communists and the Turks, respectively.
              In fact, a point no one has brought yet, here at any rate, the EP’s relationship with the Turks may have something to do with this Ukrainian autocephaly deal. Personally, I see no problem with an Autocephalous Ukrainian Orthodox Church. It’s just the timing and motives that I question.

              • I live in Bulgaria and am Greek and very happy. Sure there are problems, as are usual but in this secular country I see the church gaining after some yrs of being regarded as just out for money, which was not true but thought.
                I worship simply with small choir joined by congregation in beautiful harmonised folk style byzantine music and kiss of peace exchanged and all prayers aloud and in modern Bulgarian . No rows of pews or worse fixed chairs like an auditorium, and clergy looking like orthodox clergy, not in that extreme convert pasted on big beard way, but with full neat beards and if not in rason, in normal clothes and approachable as bishop. Sure communion is infrequent as was the norm but that is changing, but as a point to raise is that with us Greeks as it gone to other extreme of ‘its my right ‘each week with no fasting or confession?
                I even heard a sermon from Los Angeles Greek cathedral where priest casually assumes the congregation had a good breakfast before taking their seats.

          • There’s a certain cultural dysfunction endemic in the GOA that allows the GOA episcopate to continue to manipulate the faithful, and which allows for the faithful to play their part as willing codependents. I know, I was there for a long time, until I got more emotionally healthy myself and realized that I needed to find my spiritual home elsewhere. I have never experienced so much clericalism than that which I experienced in the GOA.

            From the nearly complete lack of catechism (“let’s have Greek schools,” instead of “let’s have Orthodox schools”), to the complete lack of the practice of confession (“that’s a Catholic sacrament,” we were told…), to the complete lack of tithing (“we fundraise through Greek festivals!”), to the cultural pride and all-too-frequent unwillingness to voluntarily bear a little shame. I simply couldn’t take it any more. I was drawn much more to the Russian-style of Christian Orthodoxy once I discovered it. On the whole, my impression is that the Slavs are much less ashamed to put Christ front and center in church life. I have no idea why the Slavs seem less ashamed of Christ, but this is how it seems to me. In the churches with Russian roots is since where I’ve since found my home — altogether a much better fit.

            The fourth factor I mentioned above — the cultural pride and all-too-frequent unwillingness to voluntarily bear a little shame — I feel that this is the root of all of the GOA’s problems. Too many in the GOA simply can’t bear to admit mistakes, to admit failure, or to show vulnerability — really, they can’t bear it, like it will kill their soul. Seriously — it goes that deep.

            But every act of courage requires vulnerability, and methinks that if the GOA as a whole required the practice of confession — which is itself (by definition) a very vulnerable act — the GOA culture would then have the courage to do the right thing. In being vulnerable through the act of confession, we make connection with Christ.

            Indeed, it’s impossible to truly connect with anyone (including Christ) without being a bit vulnerable.

            I can only pray that little by little, faithful parishioners, clergy, and even bishops of the GOA will find their own courage and be willing to be a bit vulnerable. Only then may the GOA begin to find some healing and begin to courageously do the right thing.

            Until then, if a certain unhealthy codependent aggregate of GOA faithful agree to fund their hierarchs’ pay raise amidst these terrible times for the GOA, then so it is. We can watch from the sidelines and pray, but we don’t have to participate in it.

            • Yes agree. Saw this in health care, and I must on up to higher academic bits of paper in clinical psychology and physical care. The Bishop is a pastor and surely those around him can support at admit and finance. But monks running a monastery have these skills anyway.

      • Wayne Matthew Syvinski says

        Non-religious tax-exempt organizations are required to file Form 990 with the IRS. Form 990 is an “information return”, which, among other things, requires disclosures regarding “Compensation of Officers, Directors, Trustees, Key Employees, Highest Compensated Employees, and Independent Contractors” (Section VII).

        Religious institutions are not required to file. I have sometimes wondered if it would be a good thing if they were required to file, but I am extremely hesitant to advocate for the government forcing general disclosures from churches – you know, the First Amendment and all that.

        However, nothing prevents them from filing voluntarily. So, here is an idea for those of you in the GOA. The next time you are asked to contribute to the GOA apparatus (as opposed to your local parish or to the poor), print out a Form 990 and send it with a letter saying that you will contribute when the GOA makes public disclosures via Form 990 and the information disclosed therein indicates no “funny business”.

        Well, I can dream, can’t I?

        • Billy Jack Sunday says

          “Having dreams is what makes life tolerable”





  17. George Osborne says

    Good morning, George. Here’s a thought for you. How cool and ironic would it be if the government of Greece sent a delegation to the EP requesting autocephaly?

    • George Michalopulos says

      George, here’s the delicious irony of it all: the Church of Greece is already autocephalous! All the other patriarchs would do is recognize the Arb of Athens as “Patriarch of all-Greece”.

      This might be inevitable as the Greek homeland (or at least its borders) is being singled out for eradication by the traitorous Tsipras government. He’s floating an idea to flood the Greek voter rolls with the tens of thousands of Orcsillegal immigrants who are presently destroying Greece:

      Sounds like he took a page from the Soros playbook vis-a-vis what the treasonous left wants to do to America.

      • Honestly George, The more I read stories like this link, and all the other news with our church here in America, it makes me want to run to a monastery a become a monk. Problem is I have a wife and children to raise.

        Truly depressing article, nearly 10% of Greece’s population flooded by mostly Muslim refugees, and that does not even include the migration from years past. The communist have finally taken control, and found a voter base that knows and is willing to reproduce, while most Greeks now are only having one kid.

        Greece’s only hope is a backlash as we have seen here with Trump. Problem is, the majority of traditional Greeks in Greece is so far left, that is a pipe dream at best. Greece is done George, all that is left is removing the cross from their flag.

        The GOA is done as well. At some point soon, I see one parish after another parish refusing to support New York. Which means our Metropolitans will have to choose sides as well, as our stewardship goes thru them first, before going to New York.

        If the Metropolitans choose to support New York, then the revolution might be on. Especially if Metropolitans use the nuclear option and close churches, by removing priests. Properties belong to the parish, so I don’t believe they would take over properties, but you never know.

        Metropolitan Isaiah technically closed two churches in Salt Lake City, by not allowing priests to serve, after the parish council decided not to pay one priest.

        Lord have mercy on us!

        Pray for our Bishops!

        Pray for our Church!

        Pray for Wisdom to prevail!

        • George Michalopulos says

          Dino, your assessment is spot on except for one point (and I may be wrong on that) and that’s this: all parish “franchise fees” go directly to 79th St first and are then doled back to the dioceses. It’s a revenue-sharing scheme (i.e. redistributionist) which allows the bigger, richer dioceses (i.e. Chicago) to help subsidize the smaller, poorer dioceses (i.e. Denver). It is by such a mechanism that each GOA bishop is paid the exact same salary and lifetime pension.

          • Sorry I thought that was the logical process, as they determine how much each parish should pay, and even at times, give breaks to parishes going thru dry spells, or just starting out.

            Regardless if parishes decide not to pay 79th Street, lines will be drawn, and Metropolitans will have to make big decisions, actually historic decisions for Orthodoxy in America.

            The Lord works in mysterious ways. Imagine if we are witnessing, what might become the birth of a new more America first Orthodox Church. The sounds of schism are everywhere, here and abroad.

            Don’t know how parish bylaws, U.P.R. and civil laws play in all of this, but can parishes vote to leave one orthodox jurisdiction for another?

            If the shrine is never completed, and finally sold, are the donors given their money back? Or is it just, sorry my most cheerful giver?

            • Gail Sheppard says


              This is what can happen when building plans change:

              Is it just me or does it seem like an inordinate number of Greek parishes catch fire? Miraculously, relics are often left unscathed.

              07/2010 Greek Orthodox Church
              Brighton, UK

              05/2013 (Candle Narthex) St. Demetrios Greek Orthodox Church
              Tucson, AZ

              08/2013 (Candle Narthex) St. Demetrios Greek Orthodox Church
              Long Island, NY

              09/2014 (Electrical) Saints Raphael, Nicholas & Irene Hellenic Orthodox Church Palm Harbor, FL

              04/2015 (Candle Shorted Electrical System) St. George Greek Orthodox Church Knoxville, TN (Followed a $360,000 Theft by Treasurer)

              04/2015 (Narthex) Kimisis Tis Theotokou Greek Orthodox Church
              Montreal, Canada

              07/2015 (Refrigerator Alter) St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church
              West Babylon, NY

              05/2016 (Outside) The Holy Church of Annunciation of Our Lady
              Melbourne, Australia

              05/2017 (Candle Narthex) Transfiguration of Christ Greek Orthodox Church Corona, NY

              08/2017 (Propane) St. Nikolai Orthodox Church
              Louisville, OH

              04/2018, St Panteleimon Greek Orthodox Church
              Adelaide, Australia

          • Greatly Saddened says

            Yes, from what I have been led to believe, somewhere in the vicinity of 25% of the funds are then supposedly returned from the archdiocese back to the respected metropolis. But then again, who really knows for sure.

            The only thing that seems to be certain is, the archdiocese has been on a downward spiral and no one knows where or when it will finally bottom out. In the final analysis, this ship has been taking on water and is sinking at an unimaginable rate. One can only wonder who if anyone will be left on board!

            • Greatly Saddened,(me as well)

              A man with an evil eye hastens after riches, and does not consider that poverty will come upon him.(Proverbs 28:22)

              We will know which direction the GOA and laity is heading at the next Clergy-Laity Congress in July.

              If it’s business as usual then all parties are just waiting for rock bottom, and who will blink first.

              If a majority of parish council presidents, and a few brave parish priests come forward with hard questions, and demand straight forward, no B.S. answers then at least that will be a start. Open investigation, and detailed audits should follow.

              Now if our bishops just look down at laity, ignore questions, and kick the can down the road, and the collective laity leaders grow a pair, and not let the bishops treat us as dumb children, with wallets that never shut. Then it might start some thing the bishops might understand…..

              …The root to all evil…

              Shepherd the flock of God which is among you, serving as overseers, not by compulsion but willingly, not for dishonest gain but eagerly; nor as being lords over those entrusted to you, but being examples to the flock; And when the Chief Shepherd appears, you will receive the crown of glory that does not fade away.(1 Peter 5:2-4)

              Some bishops seem to have received their crowns a bit too early. Makes one wonder which kingdom they truly seek.

              Seriously, we must pray for our bishops, and make sure they hear our voices. The rest is up to them.

              • Greatly Saddened says

                Dino, I am in total agreement with you! As the saying goes … from your lips to God’s ears.

                All we can do is hope and pray the presidents of the parish councils attending this upcoming Clergy-Laity Congress in Boston, begin to ask the pertinent and necessary questions needed, get straight answers and are held accountable once and for all.

                It has come time the archdiocese is held accountable to the faithful stewards/members who without their hard earned contributions and donations, there would be “NO” archdiocese. It’s time laity gets their voice back and these hierarchs and their hierarchal appointed laity hear the message loud and clear. Stop taking us for granted. Enough is enough!

                • Alitheia1875 says

                  Well, the last time a layman got up and asked an uncomfortable question at a CLC here’s what happened. St. George parish in Lowell, Massachusetts refused to accept a $10,000 increase in their annual assessment. The parish was isolated, the priest not allowed to go to other parishes for services, no other priest could go there, no field work for seminarians, etc. Well, someone got up at the general assembly and asked about the situation. He was told by the chair that he was out of order and to please sit down. End of that discussion in public……

  18. Mirkos Peligrotsis says

    That’s the idea, put athe Archiocesan district under the Metropolia of New Jersey and abolish the archdiocese.

    • Billy Jack Sunday says

      There are 2 senarios being proposed

      1. Elevate the church of Greece to Patriachate status. Then have the GOA be submitted to it.

      2. Disband the GOARCH. Have NY go under the NJ Metropolitan

      As to the first point: Maybe that would be beneficial for Greece. However, I would not want our GOA to become a part of the Church of Greece. I don’t think our American Church should be subject to a foreign government’s Church.

      Point 2 – disband the GOARCH. Well, this may be part of the EP’s plan. Think about it. He already took the teeth out of the Archdiocese by elevating the Metropolitans. Everything he’s been doing seems to be leading everything into a soft unia.

      First, the robber’s council. Ecumenicism is attempting to wipe out Orthodoxy by slowly erasing distinctions. Calling other faith communities “churches” was part of this. We are constantly hearing this brotherhood nonsense.

      Next, now he is looking at “granting” autocephaly to Kiev. A move to weaken the MP by division and resources, as well as convolute the meaning of what it is to be Orthodox even further. If that happens, in America, there will be serious division. But, as it has been pointed out, the majority of Orthodoxy in America is Greek. If the Greek Archdiocese is done away with, only the Metropolitan provinces will remain. The EP will announce that all ethnic juristictions should submit to those metropolitans. Those metropolitans I fear may not stand for Orthodoxy, but go along with the EP’s soft unia.

      What I mean by soft unia is – no official union with Rome yet. Just the further acknowledgement of brotherhood, sister churches, etc. It will continue to grow closer until lines are so fuzzy, that essentially the EP will be looked upon as the Eastern Patriarch, in brotherhood to Rome. Then an official statement will be made, against which, there will be no easy opposition

      When the American church finally wakes up and realizes that Orthodoxy is all but gone, they will see that each metropolitan firmly holds juristiction in the territory and will not budge.

      They will look to appeal to an Archdiocese, but there won’t be one. It was taken away so that those who wouldn’t go along with Unia couldn’t unite under an Archdiocese in opposition.

      Therefore, I could see the EP preventatively disbanding the archdiocese to help insure that a second Ligonier attempt would not be possible – especially if some turmoil and resistance is anticipated because of planned actions

      Also, the OCA isn’t strong enough. ROCOR will be viewed as fanatical. Any American who looks to the Russian tradition as a way of escape will be seen as an opponent of the EP as well as potentially suspicious by our government (as the whole Russian collusion thing shows down right hatred and suspicion).

      I give props to the Russians for the first missions to North America. To be honest, however, I don’t want to be tied to a Russian church or American Orthodoxy to be identified/confused with Russian culture and/or government

      We need to be an American Church

      I think pretty soon what you and I know as Orthodoxy will be officially labled as religious fananticism. To be Orthodox will be unacceptable

      IMO – the only solution to all this is for there to be an Orthodox Church in the United States. Whereas the GOA GOARCH would willfully become along with the OCA and all other juristictions.

      If the EP disbands the GOARCH (instead of a willful grass roots merge among fellow Americans/juristictions), I’m afraid his unia has a greater chance of success.

      If the EP does, in fact, successfully dissolve the Greek Archdiocese soon, I feel we will have a very short window of time to see things corrected, before the cement of Eastern Patriarch Ecumenical Unia solidifies

      Funny, it seems that the GOA is kinda an obstruction either way

      We don’t want unia, though. That’s far far worse

      Then again, I could be totally reading this wrong – but I don’t think so at this point

      • George Michalopulos says

        I like your insights. Visionary and optimistic however I’m not there yet. Though I wanna be. Maybe it’s just a matter of timing. I see a total collapse and fire sale in the GOA before an American unification. Your scenario is more hopeful and less scandalous.

      • Ternas Ligofanitis says

        Stop calling Uniatism “Ecumenism”. The Protestant Ecumenists Episcopaleans and Presbyetrians actually treated us a lot better. It is only because the Peloporicans and Islanders are already Ounia Fatsa Ounia Ratsa, having spent half the Ottoman period under Venice, that this fiction prevails.

        • Billy Jack Sunday says


          Not interchangeable words but interrelated subjects

          Distinct, yet corresponding issues

          All IMO

    • Alitheia1875 says

      The Direct Archdiocesan District has a new administrative set up. It is now run independently of the Archdiocese with its own chancellor. Who knows what this means.

      • anthony says

        It may well mean that the Archbishop’s oversight of the District is being diminished. Again, the EP and Karloutsos et al may be setting up the Archbishop to resign or be re placed.

  19. Greatly Saddened says

    If my memory serves me correctly, I believe there are some 5 ecclesiastical jurisdictions within all of Greece. I believe some of the jurisdictions, such as Mount Athos and the New Lands, still belong to the Ecumenical Patriarchate.

  20. Zoe Pellas says

    Ankle Caruana is the laziest, most incompetent self serving bishop of all. A typical Jersey Boy. Think of the Sopranos and Chris Christie running the church! And he is connected with Meliton’s slime cousin, Cottros/Kotrotsios. Meliton was the one who prevented Jake becomin Patriarch and made them promise our next archbishop would not be from here. Since SPyro was born here but moved back, he fit the bill as a Trojan Horse.

    • Whiskey six says

      I think the right hand in Chicago takes that crown (laziest etc.). Also, have you met the “meanest man born of women” from Detroit? They are all a bunch of winners.

    • Alitheia1875 says

      Metropolitan Evangelos is from New York City and still maintains his home there, travelling to the NJ metropolis offices daily. As for Archbishop Iakovos, the Turks hated him and the last time he visited Turkey, as I recall, he had to leave rather quickly. He was one of the old guard, the last, really. That group includes Archbishop Ezekiel and Archbishop Michael who was about as authentic an archpastor as we are likely to see in this country. The story goes that Michael was a fill in because Athenagoras couldn’t quite swing the vote to Iakovos, after Metropolitan Timothy from Crete, who had been elected to succeed Athenagoras in the US, died suddenly before he could make it here. But Michael was greatly beloved and his grave at St. Basil’s Academy became a pilgrimage site. The next wave couldn’t wait to get rid of them. It is said that Patriarch Demetrios knew who his successor would be and was not at all happy about it.

  21. Greatly Saddened says

    Once again, we have no one to blame but ourselves. In my humble opinion, we had an Archbishop of blessed memory, His Eminence Archbishop Iakovos of North and South America, who seemed to respect the Ecumenical Patriarchate, but when needed, he had no problem speaking his mind when he disagreed in a kind and respectful way. I truly believe he was genuinely the last to care about the future of this Greek Orthodox Archdiocese.

    I guess that is why the Ecumenical Patriarch decided to force his Godmother’s brother to resign. And this my brothers and sisters in Christ, is what we call love for our fellow man and fellow Christian. This was the beginning of the demise of this Archdiocese. History plainly speaks for itself.

    The change in the Charter in the early 2000’s, continued to diminish laity’s say here in the USA and with the governance of this so called religious institution. This change allowed the hierarchy to become even more powerful and unfortunately, even less accountable, transparent and more self serving. The motto … “it’s all about me” is ever so fitting and appropriate.

    I am getting the feeling this is going to come to a head and hoping that perhaps, just perhaps, the general laity will get to the point where they have finally had enough and be forced to begin to act on all that has been happening. One can only hope and pray. Please do not even try and attempt to tell me about the holiness of this so called religious institution. Because by its actions, it is anything but holy!

    It’s time to hold back funds to this seemingly crooked, unaccountable, lack of transparency, corrupt and deceitful so called religious instiitution. From their past actions, I feel they do not deserve either our reverence or trust. Time is running out and we still seem to be standing by and watching from the sidelines. Not a good sign at all. At this point, a massive general laity revolt is in order!

  22. Greatly Saddened says

    Since transparency and accountability should be a part of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America. How is it that:

    A priest who admitted to sexual pedophilia for years, requested he remain a priest and not be defrocked? Why should there be any question as to the action to be taken? It is black and white. As reported, originally His Eminence Archbishop Demetrios seemed to be leaning in favor of granting this priest’s request. Thank goodness he had a change of mind.

    What happened to the monastery review board report? I believe the late Mr. Jaharis addressed this at a Clergy-Laity Congress but nothing ever came of it. How surprising.

    What happened to the Scott Nevins investigation? No matter what one thinks, this unfortunate event seems to have been brushed under the carpet. I truly feel sorry for Scott’s parents. Especially considering this had to do with a Greek Orthodox monastery here in the USA.

    How does the archdiocese transfer a priest who has been accused of sexual improprieties to another parish? What is the newly assigned parish supposed to do and think? A rather uncomfortable situation, wouldn’t you agree and rightfully so. I guess it’s ok as long as it isn’t your parish this priest is being assigned to!

    How about the Dokos case? Here we allegedly had a priest who was spending I believe, a trust account for his own personal expenses, as well as making donations to other hierarchs. Of course these same hierarchs conveniently do not recall any such donations.

    Meanwhile we are told just how holy and reverent these clerics/hierarchs are. It should not be … do as I say … not as I do. Talk the talk and walk the walk! To at least try their very best to be an example to us all. If they truly cannot, then perhaps they should be truthful with themselves and either resign or retire. They are held to a much higher standard as they should be.

    There’s much to be said about the failings of this Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America. Yes, we are all sinful and have failings but still in all, this so called religious institution has much to improve upon. And in my humble opinion it could start with showing some true humility and forego the arrogance. It is certainly not a trait becoming to some of these so called clerics/hierarchs. This institution should be a shining example of what to strive for, rather than what not be be like. Actions speak louder than words.

    • Well said. And I would say it is a graver sin than most to bring public shame upon the Church, the Body of Christ. Private sins are one thing, but public sins committed by, in Catholic parlance, “princes of the Church,” are quite another!

    • Jane Rachel says

      Dear Greatly Saddened,

      I’ve been reading your posts lately, and appreciate your links and information. I’ve had Ashley and Diane Nevins and their son, Scott Nevins, on my mind and in my prayers many times over the years since Scott’s death. Your mention of the late Michael Jahari prompted me to find this article: . Excerpts:

      Jaharis also said that “some time ago, a committee was formed to review and examine several such matters and persisting rumors. Suspicions, however, of irregularities and of existing improprieties, and lack of cooperation, made it impossible for the committee to further act beyond initial observations.”

      He made reference to a death last June of 26 years old novicemonk Scott (Ioannis) Nevins in a short distance outside of the St. Anthony the monastery in Arizona. He said that “lastly, as a result of a recent horrible fatality of a young person in the immediate area of a monastery in Arizona, we feel compelled to take extraordinary measures to determine the bizarre circumstances surrounding that fatality. Following a complete and objective investigation and in conjunction with the expected report by the local police, we expect to take severe and appropriate action as required to remedy this existing issue – since not doing so could have long term grave consequences. If we are to bear fruit as a faith we have to make certain to guard our garden from disease.”

      Researching further, I found an interview with Scott’s parents, Ashley and Diane Nevins: . I’ve cut-and-pasted most of the the interview below. Why was the gun found in his left hand, and why were his parents so concerned about that?

      “TNH: How sure are you that Scott committed suicide?
      Diane: We are sure. We had one question: we wanted to know which hand the gun went in because and it was in the left hand.”

      TNH: Did he change his behavior?
      Ashley: As soon as he went to the monastery for the first time, he started to become more deceptive, more elusive, and more reclusive of what he was talking about.
      Diane: He was saying one thing and then he was saying another.
      TNH: Did he ever talk to you about problems at the monastery?
      Ashley: Not until the end.
      TNH: What did he say at the end?
      Ashley: He had some physical problems at the monastery, his diet and so forth, and they had taken him to an emergency room. Scott could see that the elder had a different lifestyle. He had different food, he had a refrigerator with his own food in it. He had special gifts from people. Scott had told me that the place was set up for the glory of elders Ephraim and Paisios. Everybody was working for the glory of those two people. It was like a tourist center. He had just started seeing these things. He had a confrontation with the elder asking him “are you holy, are you holy?” He said there was something wrong with the money, he couldn’t figure out what it was, he just knew that there was something wrong.
      TNH: Did he ever say that Ephraim or Paisios or anybody else had made any kind of attacks or insults towards him?
      Diane: He had said that charges had been trumped charges on other monks and they were arrested. He had told us that there were monks in disagreement and they would take those monks out in the desert and bury them alive. After Barack Obama became president Scott called us and said that “I am hearing that martial law will govern the United States.”
      Ashley: He was in conspiracy theory environment and that made his mind thinking in those terms.
      TNH: Did he tell you what type of insults he experienced in the monastery?
      Diane: One time he had toothpaste on his beard and there were no mirrors in the monastery and Paisios came up to him and said something in Greek asking him if there was sperm of his beard, i.e., as if he were giving oral sex.
      Ashley: Maybe that is going on down there.
      TNH: Did he say if any sexual activities were taking place in the monastery?
      Ashley: No, in fact it was the opposite of healthy sexuality. You can’t look at a girl. You can’t have any thoughts like that. He was 19 years old. They were clamping down his normal emotional sexuality, his emotional well-being.
      Diane: Scott at times said all of the monks were using drugs. I don’t know if that included drinking. After he escaped and he was at the airport, he was petrified because he was afraid that he was going to be reprimanded by the elder.
      Ashley: He left around 2AM and walked for four hours until some ladies gave him a ride and some money and he got to the airport.
      TNH: Did he say what kinds of drugs were used at the monastery?
      Ashley: He might have exaggerated. Maybe some people were on medication.
      Diane: He didn’t give any specifics at all.
      TNH: How was he after he left the monastery?
      Diane: Very quiet, he didn’t talk a lot. There was a long silence between the time you asked a question and he answered.
      TNH: Did he tell you why he left?
      Diane: He went to confession with Ephraim through an interpreter and he continued to ask Ephraim “are you holy, are you holy?” Ephraim said “no I am not holy,” and that was the last thing which broke the chain. It didn’t make sense to me, particularly. It was sometime after 2009 that he wrote a letter to us saying “I can’t write any more letters to you. I am not going to take any more phone calls. I am not going to call you, I am going to work on my prayer more,” and we thought that’s it, and it’s over. We are never going to hear from him again.
      TNH: Did you visit him at the monastery?
      Ashley: Yes and I spent the night there one time just to get the feel for the place.
      Diane: We took our daughters there once, they wanted to see.
      Ashley: He had become a weak person. He couldn’t keep a conversation. He would go dead after 15 minutes.
      Diane: Also, he didn’t give us much to talk about after a few minutes. He fell silent and started chanting under his breath. He never asked us: “how are you? How are the girls doing? How is school for them?” He never had an interest in anything.
      TNH: Did he embrace you as a son would his parents?
      Diane: No, no.
      TNH: How did Ephraim and Paisios treat you at the monastery?
      Diane: We didn’t see them. Scott wanted us to meet them, but we didn’t want to. The other monks were very kind and polite.
      Ashley: They wouldn’t talk to you unless they had permission. I was at bookstore and there was a monk and I asked him which one out of these books is probably the best book I can read? He spent some time looking at the books and he said these are all good books. I picked up a New Testament and I told him this is my favorite book. He became red-faced.
      Diane: He said the Bible is a good book written by men, but they study Ephraim.
      TNH: Did you write a letter to Archbishop Demetrios of America and ask to meet with him in person?
      Diane: He said “you should talk to Gerasimos.”
      Ashley: He told me in a letter “you should talk to Gerasimos because he has a psychological degree.”
      TNH: At some point you met with Gerasimos. Would you tell us about that meeting?
      Ashley: We told him that we were concerned about what is going on in that monastery. We don’t think is safe there. We don’t think it’s good there. What do you think? He went on to tell us a story about two sisters in Greece that had run away in the middle of the night to join a nunnery. He told us he was going to make changes to oversee the monastery but none of them would be retroactive. He didn’t like the fact that I spoke out and I spoke out boldly for my son. He didn’t care. He wasn’t helpful at all and at the end I told him “you can’t help us.”
      TNH: Recently you sent a demand letter to the Archdiocese, to the Metropolis of San Francisco, and to the Monastery asking for a settlement. What type of settlement are you talking about?
      Ashley: We are not at liberty to talk about it.
      TNH: Are you talking about money?
      Ashley: We are not at liberty to talk about that.
      TNH: Did the Archdiocese, the Metropolis, and the Monastery respond to your demand letter?
      Ashley: Yes, they did.
      TNH: What message do you send to those parents whose children have gone to the monastery?
      Diane: Don’t go. Be aware. Watch out. It’s not healthy there. Save your children.
      TNH: Has the American Media shown interest in this story? Did any major networks communicate with you?
      Ashley: There are people interested in talking to us.
      TNH: If you had an opportunity to meet with Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew, what would you tell him?
      Ashley: We want our son back. Will you please bring him back to us?
      Following is an excerpt from an Orthodox discussion forum:

      “…It is no wonder then, that Monasteries in the US were created by Father Ephraim to extend the reach of his organization’s financial wizardry skills and to get backing from the wealthy and government officials to push through money creation schemes. Father Ephraim clearly has mastered wealth creation taking non-cash generating land and parlaying it into hard cash for his organization by orchestrating complicated land swaps that enrich those at the table leaving the Ephraim Monastery organization all the wealthier.

      One news outlet published an story that detailed potential connections between the Ephraim run monasteries in Florence Arizona and Pleasant Prairie Wisconsin.

      Both of these US monasteries run by Father Ephraim (St. Anthony’s Monastery in Florence, Arizona as well as St. John Chrysostomos Greek Monastery in Pleasant Prairie Wisconsin) have strong connections to the Mamalakis Family. The article elaborates on the money laundering activities that appear to be orchestrated by Milwaukee Business Man and past political candidate Emmanuel Mamalakis. ”

      Watch the following video in its entirety:

      How does this kind of cultish, bizarre thinking reflect the love of Christ in any way? It’s a dangerous thing to post videos like this on YouTube for all to see. What kind of “Orthodoxy” is this??!?

      – Jane Rachel

      • Gail Sheppard says


        I, too, have lost a son who was Scott’s age. Take this for what it’s worth: Do NOT base your opinions on the comments of the grieving parents. They lost their child, Jane. OF COURSE, they have questions. When you lose a child, EVERY SINGLE DETAIL MUST LINE UP, which in real life, doesn’t happen as often as it should.

        The Nevins believed the monastery was Scott’s downfall, long before he killed himself. It’s worth noting that he seemed perfectly happy when he was living there. Look at his posts. I have a very close friend who knew Scott when he lived there and he said that Scott thrived in the monastery. He did not kill himself when he was living at the monastery. He killed himself after he went home to two parents who believed the Church was a cult. Think about that for a moment. Scott was no longer in a structured environment. His mother mentioned that Scott told her he had to go back to the monastery to get his mouth retainer. This indicates that Scott was not functioning at that point. There is no evidence that he did not kill himself outside those gates and there would be no motive for the monks to take his life. Since no one can know the particulars of this case, perhaps it is best to pray for all involved rather than cast aspersions.

        • George Michalopulos says

          Gail, if I may second your observation: as someone who was once suspicious of the monasteries (back in the 90s) I decided to actually go and visit one to see for myself. Then another. From what I can discern, things are pretty hunky-dory there. I’ve now been a total of 8-9 times to two of these monasteries, St Antony’s and Holy Archangels.

          I don’t want to open up old wounds for the Nevins family but from what I’ve seen, most of the monks I’ve met are well-adjusted and seem to thrive on the atmosphere there. Some men need the regular religious life (sorry for the Catholic locumtion) and speaking for myself, I could easily see myself making a semi-annual pilgrimage and living the regular life for days or weeks on end.

          I see the world for what it is and I can honestly say that the only beauty that exists can be perceived only through the Church’s understanding of creation. People, animals, plants, mountains, valleys, rivers and seas are all the more stunning when we try and see them as God sees them. The monastic experience allows us to live as God intended man to live.

          Long story short: if the material, the secular, is all there is, then there is in truth no beauty. Or if I may be more cynical: even when you win the rat race, you’re still a rat.

      • Jane Rachel says

        My apologies for not getting the links to work properly. I found the video, “The Jesus Prayer burns the demons” to be beyond alarming. Again, to repeat what I wrote above, “How does this kind of cultish, bizarre thinking reflect the love of Christ in any way? It’s a dangerous thing to post videos like this on YouTube for all to see. What kind of “Orthodoxy” is this??!?”

        Link to “Greek Monastery Money Laundering!” on the Orthodox Discussion Forum, in which the writer talks further about the monastery’s ties to the Mamalakis family:!topic/alt.religion.christian.east-orthodox/zNjCnsIPZ4Q

        • George Michalopulos says

          JR, I’m not unsympathetic to your concerns overall, however I think it’s wrong to castigate Elder Ephraim for his YouTube videos regarding the Jesus Prayer. I don’t think it’s cultish at all. In fact, I’d rather inquirers look at his videos than Arb Lazar Puhalo’s, whose stock-in-trade is praising Darwinism (among other secular-humanist nonsense).

          Let’s not forget that Jesus literally wrestled with the demons and He certainly believed that they were real. They’re not any less real now simply because it’s Present YearTM and nobody believes X anymore because we’re now more “enlightened”.

          As for the financing schemes supposedly employed in the monasteries, they should be looked into certainly, especially if there is fraud involved. But before we look at the splinter in their eyes we should look at the mote in the GOA’s eye. And I’m not talking about merely the St Nicholas Shrine boondoggle but everything.

          1. How much do the bishop’s get paid? Let’s start there. Why do they fly first class on their incessant travels to Istanbul to be merely a rubber-stamp for the EP and tell him how great Eastern Papalism is?

          2. How much was paid out to settle sexual abuse cases? (I keep hearing the number of $17 million being bandied about.)

          3. Why did the budget for the GOA go from $12 million to $30 million in ten years? How much was being siphoned off to support the Phanar?

          4. Is the IOCC being used as a CIA front group to help foment the “color revolutions” in the Orthodox lands that abut Russia (in order to destabilize Russia)?

          That’s a start.

          • Estonian Slovak says

            Our Lord didn’t wrestle with demons, he expelled them. He didn’t believe they were real, as God He knew they were real.

          • George Michalopulos says

            To add to what George is saying, in First Thessalonians 5:17, scripture tells us to “pray without ceasing.” Repeating the Jesus Prayer is a way to do this.

            Because the Jesus Prayer calls out the name of Christ in three ways, i.e. “Lord,” “Jesus Christ” and “Son of God,” it makes it particularly powerful. (See John 14:14, 15:16, 16:23.)

            Mercy means “love” so in the Jesus Prayer you are asking Christ, in His name, for His love, which Scripture tells us He freely gives. In this way, the Jesus Prayer very much reflects the love of Christ.

            You can see why a demon would find this particularly unpalatable.

          • Gail Sheppard says

            To add to what George is saying, in First Thessalonians 5:17, Scripture tells us to “pray without ceasing.” Repeating the Jesus Prayer is a way to do this.

            Because the Jesus Prayer calls out the name of Christ in three ways, i.e. “Lord,” “Jesus Christ” and “Son of God,” it makes it particularly powerful. (See John 14:14, 15:16, 16:23.)

            Mercy means “love” so in the Jesus Prayer you are asking Christ, in His name, for His love, which Scripture tells us He freely gives. In this way, the Jesus Prayer very much reflects the love of Christ.

            You can see why a demon would find this particularly unpalatable.

            • George Michalopulos says

              Very well said. I never considered the tripartite nature of the Jesus Prayer. As another friend told me, in the twelve words of the Jesus Prayer (“Lord Jesus Christ Son of God, have mercy upon me, a sinner”) lies the entirety of the Gospel.

          • Jane Rachel says


            Elder Ephraim describes the torture a young novice is going through under the influence of “demons” as he struggles to say the Jesus prayer, and in the video he states, “It tormented him terribly and left him a wreck,” and then goes on to say how much he “learned” about demons from watching this young man suffer. A young novice at a monastery, in case you don’t get the connection… At what point is this okay? Do you have demons swarming around you right now? I don’t. Were they swarming around you as you walked around the monastery grounds in Arizona and prayed the Jesus Prayer?

            • George Michalopulos says

              Jane, I don’t mean to scandalize, but as a health professional, I’ve learned a lot from watching suffering. Dr Stankovich I’m sure has seen more than his share of suffering. Of course it’s regrettable –nobody should suffer. But let’s not forget that Jesus suffered in the desert for 40 days and then His Passion was totally horrible.

              I’ll admit that I haven’t seen the video in question so maybe I should before I comment further but allow me in my defense to state this: demons exist, that’s an ontological fact. Secondly, they are not beneficient being but malevolent in every sense of the word. You must view the Elder’s commentary in light of these facts and in no other way. Nobody who is spiritually attuned gets his jollies from being flippant about these encounters.

              When all is said and done, I don’t have to personally experience them but the fact that Jesus believed in them is good enough for me.

              • Jane Rachel says

                I guess if you have time, you might want to watch the video in full. He did say that the young man was “terribly tormented” whilst fighting demons and saying the Jesus Prayer. The young man wanted to do some woodwork on some barrels or something… and ended up tormented. In the monastery. Under Elder Ephraim’s watchful eye. What kind of spiritual leader allows that kind of torture? How does that make sense? Was Jesus “terribly tormented” by Satan and his minions? Have we Christians not been given authority over demonic powers in the name of Jesus? We need to address Elder Ephraim’s direct words as stated in the video I posted, not discuss whether demons exist.

                • Desert Fathers says

                  Jane, read the lives of the Desert Fathers, especially Saint Anthony. They fought demons and were attacked by them incessantly. It’s the last resort of the demons when they can’t take us down with thoughts and other distractions.

                  After a severe beating from the demons, Saint Anthony asked Christ, “Where were you?!” to which the Lord replied, “I was right here with you.” After that, Saint Anthony became the great leader of the Egyptian monastic movement.

                  There is nothing strange or peculiar about what the Elder is saying, if you are familiar with the ancient texts of the Church. The invasion of the secular and materialistic mindset into the Church is what makes people confused and scandalised.

                  • Jane Rachel says

                    Dear “Desert Fathers”,

                    Saint Anthony fought demons in the third century, in caves, in isolation. His calling was this: “If you would be perfect, go, sell what you possess and give it to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come follow Me” (Mt.19:21).

                    Here is a excerpt from an article I found interesting (link below):
                    “It is no wonder then, that Monasteries in the US were created by Father Ephraim to extend the reach of his organization’s financial wizardry skills and to get backing from the wealthy and government officials to push through money creation schemes. Father Ephraim clearly has mastered wealth creation taking non-cash generating land and parlaying it into hard cash for his organization by orchestrating complicated land swaps that enrich those at the table leaving the Ephraim Monastery organization all the wealthier. ”

                    Last time I looked, Saint Anthony did not have YouTube.

                    • Antiochene Son says

                      It is no wonder then, that Monasteries in the US were created by Father Ephraim to extend the reach of his organization’s financial wizardry skills and to get backing from the wealthy and government officials to push through money creation schemes.

                      Fr. Ephraim is using his skills and connections to expand the ministry of the church and establish monasteries. So what? Do you think the monasteries of the Old World, from the grand monasteries of Athos to wilderness sketes, did not need money?

                      This sounds a lot like the laymen who once harangued St. John Chrysostom for visiting bathhouses. To paraphrase: If I go to the bathhouses, you will call me extravagant; if I don’t go to the bathhouses, you will call me a slob.

                      If Fr. Ephraim wasn’t a monk, and instead had become a business leader, I suppose he would be crucified for using his skills there too. It is easy for people with no such skills to throw rocks at those who do, and use them for good purposes.

                      Last time I looked, Saint Anthony did not have YouTube.

                      That is not an argument. Last time I looked, Saint Anthony did not live in the 21st century. He used the communication tools available to him. Today we reach people using today’s tools.

                      Saint Anthony didn’t have indoor plumbing either. If Fr. Ephraim made his monks relieve themselves in the desert in imitation of Saint Anthony, I suppose he would be called a cultist for that, too. So really, he can’t win.

                    • George Michalopulos says

                      To all: there is something to be said for “financial wizardry” that needs to be said, I think (and please, don’t be scandalized, please forgive me ahead of time). And it’s this: Jesus spoke incessantly about finances and talents, both metaphorically and fiscally. A good steward (oikonomos, i.e. treasurer) we are all called to be. To make good use of our “talents” (a significant measure of money in Roman times); to increase them. And we would be held accountable for how we used them and increased them.

                      The Elder has certainly been given talents and multiplied them exponentially, to the benefit of everyone who lives in these monasteries as well as attends them as pilgrims. It’s ironic, I can envision a scenario where the GOA is reduced to just these monasteries to the exclusion of every other worldly endeavor. There is so much that is repellent about 79th Street and its “fruits”, the various parishes and their festivals, and of course St Nicholas Shrine. The monasteries are oases in a vast GOA desert in the opinion of many.

                      This insight came to me some twenty years ago when I helped spearhead our annual festival into the cultural behemoth it became (and yes, I still go and help out and buy tickets to hand out to people I like). I was told after five years by a critic, “we are a church that supports a festival”. That statement hit me in the gut. Not only is it wrong to be a church that needs a festival, we had now turned that entire paradigm inside out.

                    • Desert Fathers says

                      So monks in cenobitic monasteries don’t get attacked by demons? News to me, and probably anyone else that has the slightest inclination to these topics. Have you ever read the lives of the saints or monastic literature? Saint Anthony is just the prime example among many.

                      You’re producing this unsubstantiated quote from some yahoo on an internet chat room to try and refute thousands of years of the Church’s collective experience. What a joke.

                      Do you really think that someone who left his family as a young boy to go and live in a tiny hut for many years, subsequently resurrecting or founding dozens of monasteries all over Greece and North America, and producing hundreds of monks and nuns is a ‘financial wizard’? Don’t you know that wealthy people have been the patrons on monasteries for centuries, going back to the earliest days of the organized cenobia?

                      I hardly think that the Elder is sat around posting videos on Youtube. I doubt he even knows how to use a computer, given his age. Your ‘good point’ is really quite infantile.

                      The Gospel says that you will know them by their fruits. These monasteries have produced, as a said, hundreds of pious monastics, reinvigorated the live of many individuals and families that visit them, and, most importantly, have given a huge boost to the spiritual life of the GOA – something the apparatchiks at the Archdiocese have failed to do, as this thread, and others like it, show.

                    • Jane Rachel says

                      George and “Desert Fathers,”

                      Now we discredit links because they come from “some yahoo on an internet chat room.” Or because there are fruits that come from these monasteries. Of course there are fruits. God is in control of everything, and will not abandon His faithful people. When all the questions are addressed, and valid answers are given, then we can go on with truth as a banner.

                      As for the YouTube links, they should be stopped. The person who posted them should be contacted. Hundreds of thousands of views. How do these sheep/masses see Orthodoxy when they read about demons slamming young novices to the ground and tormenting them? Just have the “powers that be” get those videos removed. It’s only an opinion, but yes, I know when the hair rises up on the back of my neck that I am not being “infantile.” Of COURSE I’ve read the writing of the Saints. Mr. “Desert Fathers,” your anger is showing.

                      As for the “yahoo in the internet chat room,” let’s examine further. I’m thinking, but I don’t know, that the monasteries have given a huge boost to the financial “life of the GOA” in some way… What buildings! What opulence! We have palaces and “the Son of Man has nowhere to lay His head….”

                      I wasn’t there, but I can read, and this internet fellow is no “Yahoo.” People tend to want to skim, but let’s get down to what is written and linked to in the article posted there, cut-and-pasted below. Has anyone addressed these issues? No reason for concern. Move along, you say.

                      Finally, I have a question: so…Scott Nevins’ parents are lying?

                      “One news outlet published an story that detailed potential connections between the Ephraim run monasteries in Florence Arizona and Pleasant Prairie Wisconsin.


                      Both of these US monasteries run by Father Ephraim (St. Anthony’s Monastery in Florence, Arizona
             as well as St. John Chrysostomos Greek Monastery in Pleasant Prairie Wisconsin) have strong connections to the Mamalakis Family. The article elaborates on the money laundering activities that appear to be orchestrated by Milwaukee Business Man and past political candidate Emmanuel Mamalakis.

                      Emmanuel Mamalakis is the founder and past president of SXP Analytics which was removed from his control by order of the court following an FBI raid and a Bankruptcy filing by the company.

                      Both of the two monasteries referenced in the website appeared to have been vehicles used by Emmanuel Mamalakis to move massive sums of cash out of SXP Analytics through shell non-profits controlled by Mamalakis and onward to the Monasteries and Indigents receiving millions allegedly belonging to other parties.

                      St. John Chrysostomos was the monastery where Emmanuel Mamalakis’ mother Angelica Mamalakis once worked overseeing finances for the “Charity”.

                      In September 8th, 2011, approximate to the beginning turn in Emmanuel Mamalakis’ personal finances, his Mother Angelica passed according to the funeral home website

                      Without Mamalakis’ mother working in the nearby Ephraim run St. John Chrysostomos Monastery, cooking the books may have become more of a challenge for Emmanuel Mamalakis and his account Linda Johnson to orchestrate. Later contributions made by the many Mamalakis’ shell non-profits to the Ephraim Monasteries shifted away from St. John Chrysostomos Monastery back to the Florence, Arizona St. Anthony’s Monastery. It was also around this time that Father Ephraim reportedly moved to Florence Arizona to continue to expand his empire in the US.

                      Near the end of 2013 in December, well after millions of dollars had been siphoned out of SXP Analytics LLC bank accounts into shell not-for profits entities and EMM Holdings Real Estate Company and onward to the “indigents” and Ephraim monasteries, foreclosure proceedings were brought against Emmanuel & Kimberly Mamalakis’ personal residence (2013CV002808 SunTrust Mortgage, Inc. vs. Emmanuel Mamalakis et. al. on, indicating the Mamalakis family is clearly under much stress and in need of funds, or is diverting all funds outside the US for protection from creditors.

                      The court appointed Receiver for SXP Analytics, Joseph Newbold, acting on behalf of the State of Wisconsin and Shareholders of SXP Analytics filed a lawsuit January 31st, 2014 against Emmanuel Mamalakis and the numerous “non-profit” shell companies controlled by him claiming embezzlement, racketeering and numerous other charges against Mamalakis and St. John’s. See the complaint at

                      It is interesting that local Wisconsin press have eagerly ran with stories spun by him or his Political PR Firm “The Firm” (also a named defendant in the litigation recently filed).

                      Since the recent lawsuit was filed, a bare mention of the litigation was made in local Wisconsin press, with no substantive reporting, suggesting that the relationships between “The Firm” and local press run deep.

                      Mamalakis’ former attorney, Daniel Adams once defended Mamalakis in the SXP Analytics litigation. Daniel Adams is a principal at Adams Ulfer LLC (A Wisconsin based Criminal Defense Law Firm), but formerly worked at the Wisconsin District Attorney’s office as an Assistant States Attorney where Adams worked as a colleague to the Milwaukee County District Assistant States Attorney David Feiss (more on Feiss later). Daniel Adams and Mamalakis appeared to have parted their ways. Adams is currently running as a political candidate against a candidate backed by Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barret

                      David Feiss, interestingly enough is the individual Assistant States Attorney that Emmanuel Mamalakis continues to declare is pursuing a criminal case against Father Dokos for fraud.
                      The irony here is killing me!

                      A search on showed that Mamalakis once employed Father Dokos’ daughter and was also rumored on some blogs to have employed Father Dokos’ wife, Cristina Dokos. Milwaukee County Assistant States Attorney David Feiss, still continues his long, yet never ending investigation against Father James Dokos, presumably at the request of Emmanuel Mamalakis likely funneled through Mamalakis’ money buddy Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett. Feiss is reportedly in the process of concluding his investigation of fraud allegations made by Mamalakis on behalf of the Greek Orthodox Annunciation Parish in Wisconsin. The Greek Orthodox Metropolis reportedly conducted their own investigation and found no proof of illegal activities, but has remained relatively tight lipped in the press regarding the investigation.

                      David Feiss and Emmanuel Mamalakis have a shared political history supporting some of the same candidates for office and clearly the two have many connections in common that may be causing lots of behind the scenes gasps over what could happen next. Both Feiss and Mamalakis have supported Laura Perez in her race for judge as detailed on the campaign website
                      Various other links scatter the internet showing campaign contributions from Mamalakis and related people involved in the various investigations and litigation. See–DOA-Home

                      Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett and Emmanuel Mamalakis run deep in their relationship given the large contributions Mamalakis has made over the years to his campaign. Perhaps there is a pause to act due to the potential for the house of cards to fall on so many.

                      All of those $20,000 plus campaign contributions ( ) made by Emmanuel and Kimberly Mamalakis sure do go along way in buying influence in the Wisconsin Cheese State.

                      Its no wonder that there has been no criminal indictment filed by the DA yet against Emmanuel Mamalakis despite the clear paper trail laid out by the Receiver detailing Mamalakis’ alleged money laundering activities. Maybe the Republican Attorney General of Wisconsin J.B. Van Hollen will act in areas where the local law enforcement leadership atleast appears on face value to have sat on their hands thus far.
                      Perhaps there is a good reason ADA Feiss hasn’t taken action. Consider the possibility that the Feds are working on a “Jackson” type deal with Mamalakis whereby if Mamalakis helps target and get others involved in the money laundering schemes caught on the record and convicted, then he gets a reduced sentence or great plea bargain? There could be much larger fish involved such as the Russian money behind Singletick startup.”

                • George Michalopulos says

                  Jane, I’ve withheld comment until somebody else answered your question. Someone having done so, I will now add this question to your question: what makes one think that just because one is a monastic that he/she will be immune from demonic attacks?

                  • Jane Rachel says


                    Who thinks that? Not me! Oh, I wish I had the desire to go to the video and transcribe Elder Eprhaim’s words. A spiritual leader like Saint Anthony the Great would NEVER allow it. Again, I’ll make this point because it’s a good one: Saint Anthony the Great did not have YouTube.

                • Gail Sheppard says

                  Jane, to answer your questions:

                  (1) You DO have demons surrounding you. You’re just unaware of them.

                  (2) Being tormented when you enter a monastery is not uncommon. Read “The Arena.”

                  (3) No one said it was “OK” for demons to attack, but they do. An elder or a spiritual father, including St. Anthony, cannot entirely dismiss them; however, they can help with their prayers. – They don’t allow it; God allows it.

                  (4) Yes, Christ was tormented by “Satan and his minions.” The temptation of Christ is detailed in the Gospels of Matthew, Mark, and Luke when Jesus fasted for 40 days and nights in the Judaean Desert.

                  (5) Yes, Christians DO have a remedy against demons in the name of Jesus. It’s called the Jesus Prayer!

                  I have a question for you, Jane: Have you ever been to an Efraim monastery? Because it can be arranged. (BTW, the trepidation you may feel at the mere mention of visiting one of these monasteries is coming from the demons you think don’t exist.)

                  • Jane Rachel says

                    Gail, I’ve fought them in intense situations many times, and spent all night once with an icon of Saint John Maximovich in front of me, shouting inwardly, “YOU SHALL NOT PASS!” so I know they are real.

                    The difference between Christ being tormented by demons and the young novice being tormented by demons seems to me to be hope, and certain knowledge that God is in complete control of everything. I realize that the elder made him calm; however, the intensity of the idea about demonic possession should be kept private, and not plastered all over YouTube. Hundreds of thousands of people have viewed it. Something is simply not right about this, and no ‘splaining will ‘splain it away.

                    I have no trepidation over visiting the monastery and I’m sure everyone I would chance to come into contact with there is very nice, and that God would be there, within the hearts of those who love Him; however, I wouldn’t touch it with a ten-foot pole.

                    How do you know that demons are telling me to have trepidation about visiting the monastery? Are you here in the room with me? Nope. I can assure you, no demons around here. Plenty of Jesus Prayer, but no demons.

                    IF the Jesus Prayer is the remedy for getting rid of the torment, then why was the young novice tormented, and why didn’t his spiritual father help him? At what point are Scott Nevins parents lying, or so stricken with grief that they are making it all up?

                    No one is noticing, nor cares to comment on, the elephant in the room:

                    Here is an excerpt from an article I found interesting (link below):
                    “It is no wonder then, that Monasteries in the US were created by Father Ephraim to extend the reach of his organization’s financial wizardry skills and to get backing from the wealthy and government officials to push through money creation schemes. Father Ephraim clearly has mastered wealth creation taking non-cash generating land and parlaying it into hard cash for his organization by orchestrating complicated land swaps that enrich those at the table leaving the Ephraim Monastery organization all the wealthier. ”

                    Last time I looked, Saint Anthony did not have YouTube.

              • Michael Stankovich,
                May be wrong, but I believe George is trying to lure you into the GOA financial and political scandal.

                The bait: Pain, and suffering, and it’s spiritual benefits.

                Of course spiraling around all this is also a bit of, Ephraim hatred, and mistrust, demons, Greek envy, and tragedy, Orthodox jurisdiction infighting, turf warfare, and our/their conspiracies within, corrupt bankrupt bishops, rich con-men elders/monks, the suicide or murder of a novice monk, unfinished shrines, and last but not least tollhouse debates rearing it’s ugly head again. A full house indeed, even for Monomakhos. Yet here we are.

                The GOA monetary scandal, has Monomakhians sucked into a scandalous vortex with it’s regulars, newcomers, and irregulars gobbling like a bunch of turkeys right before Thanksgiving, in a thousand different directions, pointing fingers, and in hidden delight by some, waiting for the axe to fall on the EP, Archbishop, and GOA. Not realizing that the axe falls on all.

                All sucked into the vortex except for our beloved Dr. Michael Stankovich. His absence has been missed, yet telling.

                But, I am a selfish man, and will not mince words, nor troll. Dr. S Help! Your thoughts, please!

                Michael Stankovich, as an Orthodox brother, whom I trust, respect, and love in Christ, other than praying for our bishops, and EP. What do you make of this mess, how do you view the direction, and exposure this blog is giving the GOA scandal, and what do you believe I, we, laity should demand from our leaders, and if ignored should we hold back stewardship, or just zip it, pray, and pay?

                If you believe I scandalize you, please forgive me. I will accept your silence.

                • Jane Rachel says


                  Who hates Ephraim? Not me! Who’s gobbling around here? I was on Monomakhos whilst Monomakhos was a young sprout, but it’s been a while. I’ve sparred with M. Stankovich enough to turn your hair green. George is an honorable man and not given over to “baiting,” so that wasn’t nice at all. Good grief! I hope the axe doesn’t fall on the GOA. Yikes, what a problem that will be. For the two cents I have to give, I think George’s blog is important. I don’t belong to the GOA, but I am Orthodox, and I care, just like you. I hope we all share trust in God, for God is, after all is said and done, in control of everything.

                  • Jane,

                    After 2-3 years of enjoying George’s blog, I would hope George knows how much respect I have for him, and as such it is a rare day when he, or I need to apologize to one another.

                    I agree with you, hate was not the proper word, let’s just stick with mistrust, or a lesser degree of hate for some.

                    I must thank you Jane. I don’t know you at all, but you came out of nowhere, and made me realize I was behaving like a turkey, within the GOA frenzy. Your advocacy for the Nevins family, and the dark light you shine upon Elder Ephraim, and his monastery in Arizona, with your links, unfortunately is the first and only impression I have of you.

                    I thank you because you made me realize that if something as holy as an Orthodox monastery can have such a dark cloud brought upon it, because one man and his circle of supporters believes the monastery is responsible for Scott Nevins death, and thus a evil institution, regardless of all the good they do. So how much shade thrown at the GOA is misconstrued. Sure there is some bad crap going on, but does it out weigh the good? I for one, am taking a step back from my gobbling.

                    I, like George, believe the Elder’s Monasteries are one of the best things about the Greek Orthodox Church. What I consider a spiritual family member(koumbaro) and spiritual father is buried at Saint Anthony’s Monastery in Arizona. His family visited the monastery many times a year, even though his parish was a 800 miles away. We were very close, and if anything slightly fishing was going on there he would of told me, as we spoke about everything, and anything openly. As much as he loved the monastery and the elders, he never pressured me to go there.

                    How he lived his life, and what he received from the monastery, and the elders as his spiritual fathers was all I needed to witness, to understand it is a holy place, and should be left alone.

                    Perhaps we should take a deep breath, the ball is now in motion, in regards to the GOA. Trust me the news slants of rags like National Herald are jaded. I pray angels will prevail over our demons.

                    • Jane Rachel says

                      Dino, rather than leaving things alone, let’s look at facts and address them, and not keep rehashing all of the wonderful experiences people have had there. Okay?
                      1) Money laundering. “Money laundering is the act of concealing the transformation of profits from illegal activities and corruption into ostensibly “legitimate” assets.” I posted this on an earlier post to “Desert Fathers,” who, I presume is an angry monk attached to the monastery, but what do I know? Feel free to refute the following statements with facts (not opinions):

                      “Both of the two monasteries referenced in the website appeared to have been vehicles used by Emmanuel Mamalakis to move massive sums of cash out of SXP Analytics through shell non-profits controlled by Mamalakis and onward to the Monasteries and Indigents receiving millions allegedly belonging to other parties.”
                      2) Are Ashley and Diane Nevins lying? Is Scott Nevins lying?
                      Opinions don’t matter. Only facts matter:

                      Sigh. God forgive us. Who could even begin to make this up? “Diane: One time he had toothpaste on his beard and there were no mirrors in the monastery and Paisios came up to him and said something in Greek asking him if there was sperm of his beard, i.e., as if he were giving oral sex.”
                      Legal Document:,-103,422
                      Shall I go on?

          • Either we literally believe a God-Man rose from the dead, or we do not. Either we literally believe in the demons He Himself warned us about, or we do not. But let us not kid ourselves that we are all believing Orthodox Christians.

            It is only those who have faith.

            I turned it into a little chant, in the Tone 1, that I sing to myself perpetually, “Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me.” and then sing “Lord, have mercy.” as one does during remembrances for the dead, interspersing the Jesus Prayer or praying it to that melody.

            It’s all you need. Sword and shield. Spiritual warfare. However, of course, this does not obviate the necessity of the Mysteries of the Church.

            Yet it is extraordinarily powerful.

        • Michael Bauman says

          Jane, there are many, many sinful activities within the Orthodox Church. None of us are immune. It would not be the Church if she were free of sin. There is a time and a way to address that sinfulness but it always begins with one’s own repentance. It can be an easy distraction to go tilting at windmills. Indignation, righteous or not can easily pull one away from the salvific grace of the Church that exists despite and in the midst of great sin perhaps due to the sin if one follows St. Paul.

          Several years ago, I was actually considering not going to church any more because of the shenanigans of Met. Philip as I am in the Antiochian Archdiocese.

          Then I talked to my local bishop who was deeply impacted by the shenanigans personally and he told me “Hold onto your peace. Do not allow anyone to take your peace from you.”

          I took that as a word from a spiritual father. I have since that time endeavored to be obedient to that direction. By God’s grace, my faith has deepened since that time.

          It has also helped me see more clearly the reality. The GOA is a mess that is, by human standards, probably beyond reconstitution as a viable Orthodox entity. From my perspective it has been that way for a long time. It makes us all look bad to the skeptics, but everything we do is weird, crazy and stupid anyway. It could deter folks looking for something more from approaching the Church but if they are really looking for Jesus Christ, He will lead them where they need to be.

          I second Gail’s suggestion that the best home for those here in the US who wish a new home within the Church should and may come to the Antiochian Archdiocese. That has already begun in my home parish. It has been going on for years. A trickle but there is already a path. Those who are so self-consciously GREEK that they cannot see the Church probably will not come.

          We also have good relations with ROCOR because of St. Raphael.

          We have a number of good men who are bishops.

        • johnkal says

          I am no supporter of the Ephraim movement but find no offense in the above referenced post on Utube. Demons exist and there is power in the name of Jesus to expel the demons. Burning the demons away is symbolic language.

          The problem with the Ephraim monasteries is the exclusive use of English. This practice is contrary to the tradition and practice of the Church. We can not forget St Paul’s words about speaking in a known language. Use of GREEK IS CONTRARY TO GOD’S WILL. Ephraim is as ethnocentric as the GOA.

      • Jane Rachel says


        I’m sorry for your loss, and believe me, I understand.

        It seems to me we can assume that Scott’s parents did not make up the story about the toothpaste on the beard, nor the story about the special gifts and the money; however, I wasn’t there so I don’t know. “Scott could see that the elder had a different lifestyle. He had different food, he had a refrigerator with his own food in it. He had special gifts from people. Scott had told me that the place was set up for the glory of elders Ephraim and Paisios. Everybody was working for the glory of those two people. It was like a tourist center. He had just started seeing these things. He had a confrontation with the elder asking him “are you holy, are you holy?” He said there was something wrong with the money, he couldn’t figure out what it was, he just knew that there was something wrong.”

        To quote Michael Jaharis:
        “Jaharis spoke about the monasteries which he called it “a regrettable and most distasteful subject, i.e., the current status of monasteries in their relationship with the Church.” He said that “in the United States, the monasteries fall within the scope of the Charter and have certain obligations not unlike those of each Metropolis and each Parish. Over the years, it has become regrettably noticed that with respect to many monasteries, the tendency was to flout its obligations under the Charter and to go beyond the traditional role of the monastic ideal.”

        Jaharis also said that “some time ago, a committee was formed to review and examine several such matters and persisting rumors. Suspicions, however, of irregularities and of existing improprieties, and lack of cooperation, made it impossible for the committee to further act beyond initial observations.”He made reference to a death last June of 26 years old novicemonk Scott (Ioannis) Nevins in a short distance outside of the St. Anthony the monastery in Arizona. He said that “lastly, as a result of a recent horrible fatality of a young person in the immediate area of a monastery in Arizona, we feel compelled to take extraordinary measures to determine the bizarre circumstances surrounding that fatality. Following a complete and objective investigation and in conjunction with the expected report by the local police, we expect to take severe and appropriate action as required to remedy this existing issue – since not doing so could have long term grave consequences. If we are to bear fruit as a faith we
        have to make certain to guard our garden from disease.”

        • Greatly Saddened says

          What I find extremely interesting is, at first, I do not believe the archdiocese seemed to have much interest in the monasteries. This seemed to change after it saw how much money was being generated by the contributions/donations of the faithful to these monasteries. I guess the archdiocese saw it as a possible cash cow. Especially after seeing how quickly these monasteries were growing and multiplying here in the states.

          What I also find rather astonishing is the amount of attention to detail and the quality of the workmanship on all the projects they complete at these monasteries. As well as the fast pace these projects are completed. It is truly amazing. Glory be to God!

          I have personally been to three of these monasteries and have found them to be extremely spiritual. Everyone I came in contact with was welcoming, polite and cordial. I truly felt spiritually uplifted. I had heard so much about these monasteries I wanted to experience it for myself and am ever so glad I did.

          Perhaps the hierarchs of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America could learn a few things from Elder Ephraim and the way his monasteries operate.

          In fairness, since these monasteries are under the archdiocese, they, just like the individual parishes, should be assessed accordingly.

          I wonder, are these monasteries required by law to publicly disclose their financial statements? Truth be told, I do seem to get the feeling there is much more to these monasteries than meets the eye. By this, I mean, what is actually happening behind the scenes. I guess this is something we the faithful will really never know. Much like with the archdiocese.

          • Jane Rachel says

            Whatever happened to the “like” button? Oh, for the good old days…

        • Gail Sheppard says

          Oh, Rachel, if only I could talk to you! Scott was not “OK.” His parents lost a son, first to the monastery and then to death, and they are not “OK.” Consequently, nothing they told you is necessarily “OK” . . . or true.

          I can tell you, with authority, that there are people on this blog who pray for Scott daily and will continue to pray for Scott. His death was a great tragedy for all concerned.

    • Alitheia1875 says

      Bishop Demetrios of Mokissos publicly declared that hierarchs get gratuities from others, as he happily pocketed a check for several thousand dollars. As for those clergy who engage in pedophilia, or any other improper sexual activity, they can become saints but they can no longer serve as priests and should be defrocked.

  23. Fr. David Hovik says

    Christ is Risen!
    In many ways all of these problems start with the Seminaries in America and in Greece: who is teaching and what is being taught? Are they pro or anti monastic? Are they Progressive or Traditional in their understand of the Holy Scriptures and the Fathers? Roman collar or cassock? Keep the Fast strictly or mock those who do? Beards or beardless? Are Adam & Eve real people or simply a literary device? The list is endless but what is the fruit of these seminaries? Fr. David

    • Fr David, I wish it were that easy. Look at Transfiguration monastery in Brookline. It promotes all the items you mentioned, yet as is well known, was led by homosexual abbot and for years has hopped around from one jurisdiction to another. The same can be said about Sammy Greene and his monastery in in Blanco TX. Look at the Old Calendar bishops in NYC who were accepted into the GOA and the disgrace they brought to the church.
      The real challenge for the Church is to put Christ first. We have lost our first love–Jesus.

      • Michael Bauman says

        johnkal. Amen!

      • Gail Sheppard says

        To take this one step further, Johnkal, some responsibility belongs to those who take these people under their omophorion like Archbishop LAZAR Puhalo did when he was with the non-canonical Kievian Patriachate. He took in Christ of the Hills, KNOWING their proclivities, and did not turn them into the authorities. His solution was to put Greene outside the grounds in a trailer and make them all promise not to do it again, which, of course, they did (again and again), and Lazar walked away.

        Archbishop LAZAR, who is a gifted writer, BTW, is now with the OCA. How a deposed deacon from ROCOR, who was made a bishop by a non-canonical group, after walking away from two illegitimate children and one legitimate son whom he gave to relatives at the ripe old age of 6, after the poor boy’s mother died, so he could play “monastery” with his best bud (who is with him today) in a one-room hut, can wind up as an Archbishop with the OCA is beyond my understanding. COTH was not Archbishop LAZAR’s only experience with child molesters. He helped to ferret out another one from AK so he could avoid charges. Both the Archbishop and the repentant child molester, who has probably passed at this point, admitted this to me.

        • Jane Rachel says

          Hello Gail,

          Not to mention the fact that Archbishop Benjamin has not yet been dealt with, and the letter Bishop Nikolai wrote to him has not yet been addressed, and that Father Robert Kondratick is still innocent, and the allegations are still false, that the priests who signed the petition have never even looked into their foolishness in helping to destroy the OCA, and Monk James and Bishop Tikhon (Fitzgerald) are still not lying, and Bishop Nikolai is still innocent, and Father Joe Fester is still innocent, and Metropolitan Jonah was still thrown under the bus, and the OCA goes on and on….

          • Gail Sheppard says

            Jane, you’re bringing up some really old stuff. Is there a reason these things are still on your mind? The OCA has been pretty quiet for awhile.

          • Estonian Slovak says

            How on earth do you know Kondratick is innocent? Because a bishop and a monk said so? Even if we assume that the OCA Synod threw him under the bus, how do you explain the charges against him in Florida? Do his enemies really have the power to rig the justice system against him? Or are you privy to some inside information?

            • Jane Rachel says

              Estonian Slovak,

              In a word, yes. I do believe the monk and the bishop are telling the truth. Don’t you? Are they lying? This was discussed (and proven) over and over again a few years ago right here on Monomakhos. Lives were destroyed. As far as the Florida incident, we do not know the facts. Not by a long shot. Father Kondratick may have pled guilty in order to protect innocent people. He may have used the money (without letting anyone know where it was going) for people who needed it. Father Kondratick certainly has a track record, over many years, of taking tens of thousands of dollars in cash across the border into Russia, and distributing it to the poor in Russia … I wasn’t in Florida when “it” happened; however, I also know the track records of those who threw Father Kondratick under the bus. They were (and are) some NASTY folks.

          • Gail Sheppard says

            Thank you for your reply, Jane. In retrospect, I kind of wish I hadn’t mentioned Archbishop Lazar. Although many of his actions were regrettable, there is nothing that can be done about it now except to pray for him.

            Thankfully, things seem to have calmed down for the OCA. The greatest lessons are often learned from the greatest trials.

          • M. Stankovich says

            Obviously, someone has sorely mislead you into believing there is justice in this world, and worse, that you (or anyone else, for that matter) is entitled to have it. It seems to me there are two distinct, fairly obvious reasons for these situations going “on and on,” as you say, without resolution to your satisfaction:

            1. We are simply unworthy:

            Therefore is judgment far from us, neither does justice overtake us: we wait for light, but behold obscurity; for brightness, but we walk in darkness. We grope for the wall like the blind, and we grope as if we had no eyes: we stumble at noon day as in the night; we are in desolate places as dead men. We roar all like bears, and mourn sore like doves: we look for judgment, but there is none; for salvation, but it is far off from us. For our transgressions are multiplied before you, and our sins testify against us: for our transgressions are with us; and as for our iniquities, we know them; In transgressing and lying against the Lord, and departing away from our God, speaking oppression and revolt, conceiving and uttering from the heart words of falsehood. And judgment is turned away backward, and justice stands afar off: for truth is fallen in the street, and equity cannot enter. Yes, truth fails; and he that departs from evil makes himself a prey: and the Lord saw it, and it displeased him that there was no judgment. (Isa. 59:9-15)

            And 2. We have the words, the promise, and the demonstration that our God is a jealous God, a vengeful God, and a God Who has sworn that He will not suffer injustice against the righteous, and will vindicate them, riding “from Edom, with blood-dyed garments from Bozrah; [He] that is glorious in his apparel, traveling in the greatness of his strength.” (Isa. 63:1) Well and good. But the undercurrent of these posts clearly suggest “I want what I want when I want it,” contradicting the Scripture which tells us, “It is He [ὁ Κύριος] – the Lord – that executes judgment [κρίμα] in the heights [ὕψος], and he has established justice [δικαιοσύνην] on the earth.” (Amos 5:7) Justice belongs to God alone, not to us, not in our time frame, not according to our impatience, not according to our lack of trust in the promise of our God to vindicate the righteous for injustice. And in this is the classic dilemma of “rock and and a hard place”: justice is not yours to have, and apparently you cannot, or will not, trust that our God will act according to His word and faithfulness. And this pretty much leaves you pacing the dark nights, calling out the transgressions of others:

            Out, damned spot! out, I say!

            –One: two: why, then, ’tis time to do’t.–Hell is murky!–

            Fie, my lord, fie! a soldier, and afeard?

            What need we fear who knows it, when none can call our power to account?–Yet who would have thought the old man to have had so much blood in him.

            Lady Macbeth

      • So true. While I am no hair or beard worshipper etc any body who understands Orthodox and the Church knows in sensible bounds making g distinction between married clergy ( trimmed to degree but never shaved or apology for) and Monasticism, as with rason, these bring meaning and dignity. And in this day and age where every guy has a beard!! ?
        And better every day clothes than the 19c full dog collar and undertakers suite they seem to love, giving our a message of clericalism full of ridigity, devoid of humility.
        But return to tradition as political statement, if not in Christ, will again be just a dressing up devoid of meaning.
        In general a Orthodoxy without monasteries is a spiritually dead Orthodoxy and maybe those who deliberately monks and nuns should look to moving church or set up a greek Anglican church.

        But by same token lay people’s focus on monastery amd not local Parish AD their spiritual centre, says more about the dead greekfest, organ playing kitsch worship and protestant ( ministries) mentality in parishes. than it does about Monasticism.

  24. Kynikός says

    Great, more Byzantine intrigues. The Hierarchy remains supremely dismissive of the laity. If a Phanar-compliant sycophant is “elected” Archbishop with the intent of “milking the great American cow,” then it is time for GOAA parishes to express their displeasure with actions rather than words. But, this time it should be a coordinated effort with as many parishes withholding assessments from the Archdiocese as possible. If fraud, criminal breach of fiduciary duty or any other crimes have been committed in the GOA financial scandal, we must demand prosecution to the fullest extent of the law by the appropriate public authority(ies) of all individuals complicit in those crimes.

  25. Wayne Matthew Syvinski says

    Quick note: I am a huge proponent of Sarbanes-Oxley, and think that even private companies and not-for-profit entities should follow it where possible. Sunshine is the best disinfectant….

    Here are a couple other tidbits for you. I checked the GOA website for their financial reports – I wanted to take the most recent audited reports and perform some financial analyses on them.

    However, the last available set of audited financial reports is for the year ending 12/31/2015, with the audit opinion issued on 10/6/2016. That means that there should be a report for the year ending 12/31/2016, with an audit opinion issued sometime in October 2017 – but there isn’t. (Cue a very out-of-tune and badly played version of Entry of the Gladiators.)

    I took a look at the 10/6/2016 audit opinion. While the auditor’s report issued an unmodified opinion (that’s the best audit result you can get) on the financial statements, the auditor expressed no opinion regarding the internal controls of the Archdiocese because it wasn’t in scope to do so as part of the audit engagement. Normally, that’s OK, since the establishment of internal control systems that can pass a GAAS*-compliant audit can be very expensive, and audits of internal controls are required only for publicly-traded companies per Sarbanes-Oxley.

    That said, given the state of financial funny business in the GOA, perhaps the laity of the GOA should demand (yes, demand) development of proper, documented internal controls and that all future audits have an audit of internal controls as part of the engagement. Another consideration: adherence to Sarbanes-Oxley internal controls standards also means increased compliance with, or disclosure of violations of, the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act – which (unfortunately) may be a consideration in dealing with the machinations of the Phanar and the Turkish government.

    One last thing – the last annual report for The Home Depot, Inc. contained their financial statement for the fiscal year ending January 28, 2018. The auditor’s opinion letter was dated March 22, 2018. Therefore, The Home Depot, Inc. – a much larger enterprise financially and logistically than the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese – managed to have its audit wrapped up in two months. The GOA needed NINE months. Does anyone else find this odd?

    *GAAS = Generally Accepted Auditing Standards

  26. Gail Sheppard says

    BJS, I think you’re leaving out one more possibility, which is for the (soon to be former) GOA to fold up into Antioch. There are a number of reasons this would make sense but the main one is because our credit is good and we could work out a way to pay off the debt. ROCOR doesn’t have the money, nor would the GOA laity find them palatable because they’re so strict. The OCA is too poor. Yes, the GOA would have to get over themselves to come to us. They didn’t want us but we’d welcome them. Paying off even $100M would be doable if we inherited their real estate and sold some of it off over time. We have room in our parishes.

    Or the GOA can go up in smoke.

    However, NO ONE is going to go along with the machinations of the EP. He is persona non grata at this point. He pissed off a good part of the Church with Crete and now the MP is gunning for him because of the Ukraine. The OCA is still miffed that they had to sit in the back of the Assembly of Canonical Bishops and for other indignities. ROCOR has no use for him, nor does Antioch. Greece is too weak and Mt. Athos would gladly wash their hands of him. Even Pope Francis broke up with him. He has been running amok and he needs to be stopped.

    I suspect the GOA powers-that-be are talking to Patriarch John, as we speak. It will cost them, but it would at least solve the problem.

  27. Alitheia1875 says

    There is no way, I repeat, no way, that the parishes of the GREEK Orthodox Archdiocese of America would go under the omorphorion of Antioch. It is far too much of a Greek club first and spiritual center second. And, in order for the GOA to go to ANY other jurisdiction, it must be released by Constantinople. If that doesn’t happen and the GOA moves it will cause a schism, a very large one indeed, if any other jurisdiction were to accept the GOA without such a release. And the GOA clergy could be suspended by Patriarch Bartholomew. This is basic ecclesiastical procedure. Don’t forget Antioch and Jerusalem went into schism over ONE parish in Qatar. Constantinople will never give up the GOA because it knows it will cease to exist without the financial support of the GOA, not to mention the emotional support given to the “Pope of the East” by his sycophants here in the US. Last, name me one GOA metropolitan who would go along with changing to Antioch? This is not meant as a judgement or criticism of the idea, just bringing a little harsh reality to the subject.

    • George Michalopulos says

      I hear you, Alithia. I think it’s more a matter of timing. Many Greek-Americans are already voting with their feet. They are either dropping out completely or are already going to the other jurisdictions (even ROCOR believe it or not!).

      It’s a matter of critical mass occurring. Several dire things have to transpire first but some of them are already happening. Word on the street is that more and more parishes are reconsidering how much (if anything) they’re sending to 79th St.

      • Billy Jack Sunday says


        I do agree with the initial idea that this is a controlled demolition. It really looks that way

        I left my thoughts about Antioch out of my statement because quite frankly, I’m not sure what to think as far as how they fit into this

        I did say that I don’t believe the future of American Orthodoxy should be submitted to any foreign patriarch. This includes Antioch

        I could offer what I feel are many ecclesiastical reasons for this


        What about the governmental angle?

        I feel so much of the mess we are in with the GOA is because government officials and special interest groups seduced the success driven Greeks

        This is why we tend to have a little green puppet for a leader

        We’ve dealt with so much Byzantine intrigue mixed with neocon b.s.

        How fast do you think a neocon-comprimised Greek American infused Middle Eastern based American Syrian church would be compromised?

        Faster than you can say selfieswithslickwillie

        Plus, I wouldn’t want any unsavory powers piggy backing their way here, if you catch my drift

        Don’t get me wrong – I’m not implying that those sorts of things are already going on with the Antiochian church reality in America now. Im sure the Antiochians are a great group as they are right now.

        I totally get why some would see a possibility with Antioch – so no offense – but it isn’t a long term solution – and I also agree that it isn’t a sellable idea

        We got to hit the brakes, stop the music and be willing to do this the right way

        Our faith calls us to have juristictional unity. This is for good reasons. Why do we resist this?

        Schism may come, but we dont want to exacerbate the issue. I agree trying to punt the GOA as a large mass to Antioch is extremely problematic for this reason as well

        And -IMO- this may have helped some evangelicals, bit it hasn’t helped us as a whole.

        The solution needs to be for everybody in many contexts

        The only way forward – IMO – is for a unified Orthodox Church in the United States

        All of us need to be humble as well as bold for it to happen

  28. The sooner sorted the better The sooner reality enter into the delusion market ‘ glorious Eastern Patrarch ‘ The better. The Orthodox Church and Church of Greece especially. Held back by a collection of empty titles dependent on the new ottomans.
    I recall this centre of Orthodox faith in 1922/3 recognised the ‘ pseudo Orthodox living church ‘ in Soviet union, asking Patients Tikhon to respond . Nothing has changed.

  29. Predictive typing. Patriarch Tikhon to retire, and the delusion marked as….

    I know a greek lady related to phanar people who related a story to me about visiting phanar on Easter day just few yrs ago, where she was not even offered an egg or a drink by the Bishop of chalcedon in expensive business suit and three hairs on his fat fasting! ? chin who told her they were about to eat so could she go.
    Some years ago B. seemed to be have Thyateira (uk) in his sights .But efforts to drag up support for papal style visits,went down like a load of sick with the good greek cypriot people outside the ship owning Bayswater, London St Sophia club.
    Two years ago I saw the priest there walking out in very tight fashionable suit with a day’s stubble. As my grand father would have said. Μακρυά από τους Χριστοφαγους, Christ Eaters.!

    Δεσποταδες πατριαρχε. Ανάξιος Ανάξιος Ανάξιος.
    Time you all went and stopped being parasites and got a job .

  30. Yosemite Tom says

    Michael Barley Karloutsos, ostensibly a liberal democrat consultant, was going around predicting a Trump victory. Alex is wanted by Erdogan for his role in the Gulen conspiracy and Mike Flynn was going to provide him. Alex and his famous wrinkled raincoat got his start as an operative for Richard Dailey in Chicago. But, look

  31. Greatly Saddened says

    Please excuse me for being so naive but this has been on my mind for quite some time. Considering all that has been transpiring with the archdiocese, who actually owns claim to each individual parish? Is it in fact each individual parish or might there be an outside chance the archdiocese can attempt to lay claim to them?

    • Billy Jack Sunday says


      You raise a very important question

      Who owns these GOA parishes?

      Does the Archdiocese have rights to claim them?
      Or each metropolitan diocese? Other?

      Anyone know?

      • Whiskey Six says

        There are churches in the GOA that are legally structured so that the people in the parish own them. Depends on how smart the founders are or were.

    • Gail Sheppard says

      With regard to the Antiochians, the Archdiocese owns everything if a parish bails. Ben Lomond found that out. They changed their minds about being Antiochian, the Archdiocese sued them and won. They lost everything they brought into the Archdiocese: their building, property, school, and bank accounts.

      It is money that keeps us from being able to have our own Church in this country: Money wanted by the archdioceses and money wanted by the mother churches. They won’t give it up. We would have to abandon our jurisdictions and start all over again but then we’d have a canonical problem because we’d be persona non grata to the ecclesiastical world. We could join the OCA but they don’t have enough parishes.

      • Monk James says

        The OCA would plenty enough parishes if everyone else in North America would join it.

        The legal claim of those people’s former ‘jurisdictions’ to their property and resources would result in a pyrrhic victory of epic proportions.

        • Gail Sheppard says

          True, and a lot of them have mortgages. Let the jurisdictions take them! We have to extricate ourselves somehow.

    • In the OCA, the property apparently rests with the individual parishes, not with the Diocese or with the OCA as a whole. This was clearly illustrated last year in 2017 in the Diocese of Eastern Pennsylvania, when St Nicholas Church in Philadelphia left the OCA and went to the schismatic Ukrainian “Kyiv Patriarchate” — the parish of a handful of people took their huge church building with them. And also in 2017 when the Alden Station, Pa., OCA parish (Diocese of Eastern Pa. as well) went with the self-proclaimed and maybe self-ordained “Father” Michael Pasonick to the “Palestinian Orthodox Church.”

      Both properties went with the parishes to their new respective jurisdictions; the OCA did not get the parish buildings or anything. Maybe that’s because the OCA didn’t bother fighting for the parish buildings (not sure), but why wouldn’t they fight to keep the buildings if they thought the buildings rightly belonged to the Diocese or to the OCA as a whole? Possibly no energy/desire or no funds for a legal battle?

      • Tim R. Mortiss says

        Those property struggles can yield very Pyhhric victories; maybe this is the reason.

        Most hierarchical churches have ownership of properties by the larger church, not the parish or congregation. This is true in parts of Protestantism. For instance, the Presbyterians are hierarchical (through “judicatories”) and own the local properties.

        However, when a few years back the Presbys nationally voted to allow gay clergy, several hundred congregations left. The national church waived all rights to local properties, and agreed to devolve and convey the buildings and other properties to the departing churches. This was seen by all as a class act by the Presbyteries. But the larger church also would have had no use for all of those properties. Happily, there was no vindictiveness or litigation over properties. Sometimes this is simply the sensible course.

      • Monk James says

        AGS (May 6, 2018 at 1:16 pm ) says:

        In the OCA, the property apparently rests with the individual parishes, not with the Diocese or with the OCA as a whole.
        Maybe that’s because the OCA didn’t bother fighting for the parish buildings (not sure), but why wouldn’t they fight to keep the buildings if they thought the buildings rightly belonged to the Diocese or to the OCA as a whole? Possibly no energy/desire or no funds for a legal battle?

        The postulations put forth by ‘AGS’ are all wrong.

        In the 1920s, a schismatic communist-backed group called ‘The Living Church’ came into existence in Russia, and claimed to replace the Patriarchate of Moscow and the Russian Orthodox Church altogether.

        In the United State, they sued for and won several parish properties, including our primatial St Nicholas Cathedral on East 97th Street in Manhattan, NYC. (St Nicholas Cathedral was returned by the courts not to the Metropolia, but to the Moscow Patriarchate after the demise of TLC.)

        In order to prevent further loss of property and funds, the OCA’s (then the ‘Russian Metropolia’) first hierarch, Met. Platon Rozhdestvenskiy, directed all parishes to incorporate locally and so not be vulnerable to TLC’s predations. Previously, all properties and possessions of the Metropolia were had been vested in its first hierarch as a corporation sole_ on the model of Roman Catholic dioceses in the U.S.

        That wise move spared the OCA from losing anything more when its first hierarch was again sued by TLC people in American courts. From that time on, TLC had to sue each local parish, inevitably losing and finally going out of existence around the beginning of WW2.

        • Monk James,

          Thank you for the correction. It is unfortunate (and ironic) that the means by which Met. Platon wisely protected his flock from the evil “Living Church” is now being used to take parishes away by other fly-by-night “jurisdictions” that call themselves Orthodox.

          Are all new OCA parishes still under the directive to incorporate locally? The two parishes which left the DoEPA last year are very old parishes that probably fell under Met. Platon’s directive decades or even a century ago. However, many OCA parishes — nearly all of them in the South and many in the Midwest and in the West — came into existence well after the “Living Church’s” demise. Are all new and mission parishes in the OCA still told to incorporate locally, without being vested in their Diocesan hierarch or in the OCA’s First Hierarch/Metropolitan?

          • Monk James says

            You’re most welcome, ‘AGS’.

            As far as I know, all parishes and institutions of the Orthodox Church in America are incorporated under the laws of the states in which they are domiciled, at least in the United States. Other considerations may apply in Canada and Mexico for the OCA in those countries, but I don’t know anything about their legal status.

            The relative age of a parish would seem not to re relevant here. Once the OCA learned that it stood to lose a great deal more in a lawsuit if its first hierarch or local bishop were to be vested as a corporation sole in all parishes within his jurisdiction than if each parish were incorporated independently. It quickly became obvious that — painful as it is — losing one parish and its property was not as bad.

            The fact that Roman Catholics in the United States maintain their bishops as corporation sole over all diocesan parishes and institutions nearly bankrupted them when they had to pay very high financial damages to victims of abuse by their priests. The same is true for some of their religious orders of men, yet they keep that legal structure.

  32. Greatly Saddened says

    With all that has been happening at 8-10 East 79th Street in Manhattan. Perhaps time has come to have an act of exorcism performed there to cleanse the place from its demons and evil ways!

    Lord have mercy and God help us.

    • johnkal says

      What is needed is repentance not an exorcism.

    • Jane Rachel says

      They need to get Elder Ephraim down there to do it: “Fowler, who was about thirty two years old at the time, was an enthusiastic personality who was interested in the young people in the local Greek Orthodox parish. Fowler made quite an impression on teenage Scott. The older man, who had been a novice monk at an Ephraimite monastery, related with enthusiasm his exorcism from demons, and extolled the wonders and miracles performed by ‘Elder Ephraim at St. Anthony’s.” I’m presently reading through this report. It’s QUITE a read. Lord, have mercy. (

      • Antiochene Son says

        I enjoyed the section “Eight Signs of Thought Reform,” which describes pretty well every monastic rule since St. Anthony. I guess we are supposed to be horrified that anyone would wish to “be transformed by the renewing of the mind.” 😮

  33. Greatly Saddened says

    Please forgive me but from all I have seen, heard and read, 8-10 East 79th Street in Manhattan, where the headquarters of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America resides, seems to be nothing more than a place of ill repute. They should finally come to terms, face reality and admit they have been in the past and continue to be a complete and utter disgrace and disappointment. More so than to us, to the good Lord above. They should be ashamed that they even attempt to associate themselves with our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ!

  34. Greatly Saddened says

    If only the majority of the churches, if not all, in the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America could grasp on to the concept of tithing and stewardship. Membership has more to do with a club like style mind, whereas stewardship (time, talent and treasure) is more closely related to a church. Things could be so much better with the right kind of basic thinking. In due time, parishes would not have to rely so much on their festival being the major source of their church’s income.

  35. Greatly Saddened says

    Below please find an article from today’s The National Herald. Unfortunately, the article is locked and doesn’t appear in its entirety. I will continue to be on the lookout for the article in its entirety and if found, I will post.

    Patriarch Bartholomew Hospitalized in Constantinople
    By Theodoros Kalmoukos – May 7, 2018

  36. Greatly Saddened says

    Below please find an article from Saturday on the Greek Reporter website.

    Patriarch Bartholomew: Halki Theological School will Reopen Soon
    By Philip Chrysopoulos
    May 5, 2018

  37. Greatly Saddened says

    The National Herald has decided to unlock the above article. It now appears in its entirety as of my posting.

  38. Greatly Saddened says

    There are bright spots within the GOA. Here is one great example. This article appears in today’s The National Herald.

    Historic, Glorious Day for Church of Our Savior in Rye
    By Theodoros Kalmoukos – May 7, 2018

  39. Greatly Saddened says

    Below please find an article from Monday, June 5th, 1989, in The National Herald with reference to Father Ephraim.

    He Was Going to Create an Organization Not in Accordance with the Church
    Theodore Kalmoukos
    June 5, 1989

    “Not in accord with the Church and inappropriate. The presence of monk Ephraim from Mt. Athos in New York. The Patriarch advised him to get to his senses, otherwise, he will be defrocked. The role of Panaghia Glykofilousa.”

    [Boston] A serious clerical problem has been created in our community and really with possible division in the Church because of activities of the monk Ephraim, the abbot of the Philotheou monastery at Mt. Athos together with the Christian brotherhood under the name “Panaghia Glykofilousa.” The above referenced individuals operated “not in accordance with the Church and inappropriately,” to a point that the Ecumenical Patriarchate would punish the monk Ephraim with defrocking. The situation is as follows:

    How the Monk Ephraim First Appeared in the U.S.A.

    About ten years ago the monk Ephraim started visiting the U.S.A. and Canada with the excuse, in the beginning of getting therapy on his leg, and later, to hear confessions from people with whom “he had a spiritual union.” Most of the time, he was using the trick of receiving “permission after the fact” from Archbishop Iakovos, who as a matter of fact, even under these circumstances showed understanding and love and offered him the permission.

    The following actually happened: The monk Ephraim would go first to Canada after having received “permission” of Bishop Sotirios and then he would come to the U.S.A. in the Astoria, New York area, by preference. He would then appear at the Archdiocese asking a blessing to stay from the Archbishop and finally, [Archbishop Iakovos] would act as a father and give him permission, but at the same time, making sure to tell Fr. Ephraim he omitted asking for permission ahead of time. Fr. Ephraim, who is considered by some who know him as a spiritual leader, started handling confessions at their homes and many times even performed liturgy, something that would reach the level of “outside the Church activities,” although he [Fr. Ephraim] would insist that this was done “for practical reasons.”

    Around the year 1984 in Astoria, NY, a “Christian brotherhood” under the name “Panaghia Glykofilousa” was created with Mr. George Dimopoulos as the head of the organization which was established in the most part by “followers” of Fr. Ephraim. This brotherhood opened a store in Astoria selling religious items and, in a way, became the home base for Fr. Ephraim. Please note that similar situations have been established in other cities in the U.S.A. and Canada.

    Fr. Ephraim’s visits started becoming more frequent to a point that he would spend more time here [U.S.A.] than in his monastery at Mt. Athos. Circumstantially, we say that he avoided performing the liturgy together with other clerics of the Archdiocese, sometimes offering excuses that would reach the limits of jokes, that is, that he does not like high profiled churches and big crowds, when in reality, he was trying to avoid including the Archdiocese in his universal movement. In spite of this, the Archdiocese faced him with love and tolerance. As a matter of fact, several discussions took place between bishops, Mr. Sotirios of Toronto, Mr. Iakovos of Chicago, and Mr. Maximos of Pittsburgh to use the monastic experience of Fr. Ephraim and start monasticism in the above referenced areas, which shows that the bishops embraced this with a spirit of love.

    And Wealth Resulting from Property

    Recently, though, the brotherhood “Panaghia Glykofilousa” of New York was not satisfied with just a bookstore and its “Christian activity” but bought a piece of property in the Poconos of Pennsylvania for $150,000 with future plans to establish a monastery, putting in charge Fr. Ephraim. We must underline, however, that construction-wise and administration-wise, it would belong to the brotherhood who then would only make a “typical report” to the Archdiocese. This way they would be appropriate and they would be fulfilling an obligation to the Church.

    And a Green Card

    Consequently, the brotherhood was able to provide Fr. Ephraim with a green card of permanent residence in the U.S.A., a fact that reveals many intentions and presents a lot of doubts. Without any doubt, this has legal implications because the questions as to why and under what occupation was he given a permanent residence, especially to an abbot of a monastery who promised at the time of his “tonsure” to remain in the monastery. Naturally, in this case, there are many serious theological reasons which we will cover in the future.

    A Proper Stand of the Archbishop

    As soon as Archbishop Iakovos was informed of the events, he informed by telegraph Mt. Athos (Holy Mountain) and ordered Fr. Ephraim to return there. As a matter of fact, at a meeting of the two at the Archdiocese, Archbishop Iakovos made clear the slip to Fr. Ephraim and called him to face his responsibilities before this case reached a level of no return for the Church and Fr. Ephraim personally. In the meantime, the other Brotherhood of Chicago “Panaghia Glykofilousa” had placed an agreement to purchase a piece of land with intent to build a monastery there, at the cost of $450,000. They had already paid a $20,000 deposit. Information has it that the contract was cancelled after the way things turned out.

    Patriarchate: Pay Attention

    Last week a committee of the brotherhoods of Fr. Ephraim, there exists 10 such brotherhoods, with George Dimopoulos in charge wanting to bypass Archbishop Iakovos, went to the Ecumenical Patriarchate hoping they will receive the blessing [of the Patriarchate] so they can proceed. However, the position of the heirarchy of the Church was ecclesiastically proper offering a serious order to Fr. Ephraim “to return immediately to the monastery where he was tonsured.”

    In case he refused to obey, the Patriarchate is determined to proceed with defrocking him, a fact that the Patriarch mentioned in a conversation with the committee. The Patriarch Mr. Demetrios is commonly known as a man of God, filled with forgiveness and truth, simple, wise and with a lot of love for everyone. For such a man to reach that point and speak about defrocking Fr. Ephraim means that he wanted to maintain the unity of the Omogenia # and not allow any type of “extra-religious activities.”

    The Omogenia is not a Vineyard Without a Fence

    Something that Fr. Ephraim and his followers did not take into account is that the Church and the Omogenia* has ecclesiastical limits. They are not a vineyard without a fence “activities exceeding the limits” unless they want to be equated with Peters, Paissiuses, Pangratioses, Panteleimones, and all the remaining “high-handed” bandits of the purely non-existent….

    * Omogenia=native-born or fellow Greek

    NOTE: The Panagia Glykofilousa Brotherhood shut down in the early-2000s. Mr. Photios “the Cretan” rented a Uhaul truck, loaded it with all the bookstore’s books, and drove them up to St. Nektarios Monastery in Roscoe, NY, where he donated them. The Abbot, Geronda Joseph, let his monks have first pick, then he took some to sell in the bookstore, and donated the rest of them to the Apostle Paul Bookstore in Toronto, Canada (via Mr. Tzimi).

  40. Greatly Saddened says

    Below please find an article from today’s The National Herald.

    Hundreds Attend Event in Honor and Support of Fr. Kastanas
    By Theodoros Kalmoukos – May 10, 2018

    • Billy Jack Sunday says

      You know what I’d really like an update on?

      You remember that ridiculously repetitive late 80’s, early 90’s (IDK – somewhere in there, I think)
      R &B song where the lady sang:

      Been around the world and eyeyiyi

      I can’t find my bay bay

      [Yada yada more dribble]

      I don’t know where he could be

      But I’m gonna find him




      The woooorld!




      Mah bayee bay


      A round the wor ur urld

      But I’m gonna find hiiim!!!

      I don’t know who this lady was and I certainly don’t know whoever her scorned person was

      But she manages to beat this little personal random factoid about herself and her plans into our heads and clearly she was very passionate about this issue

      And then she provides absolutely no follow up

      Did she ever find her stupid bay bay??

      This type of crap gives me insomnia

      This is one side benefit to Amazon destroying the brick and mortar shopping reality

      It will still ruin the Moons Over My Hammy, though

      • Morosely Saddened says

        It turns out, of course, that it was Barry White!

        • Jane Rachel says

          That was great! I wouldn’t have missed it for the WORLD!
          I lingered on YouTube for the next up in line – Pavarotti & Barry White – My first, my last, my everything… whoa…

          Is Pavarotti jealous, or did he just eat something that didn’t agree with him?

      • Gail Sheppard says

        I get it, BJS. Inquiring minds want to know.

        The Manchester-born singer and actress had been making music since 1980 but didn’t achieve success until she hooked up with an old school friend, Ian Devaney. It was he who came up with the music for All Around The World, but the pair were struggling with the words. “We came up with ‘been around the world’ and I just couldn’t think of anything else,” recalls Stansfield. “So I kept singing I-I-I and we all started laughing because it was so ridiculous. Then after a while we just said, ‘It’s actually quite good’.”

        The irony is that, while she became a star singing about searching for love, it turns out the love of her life was in the studio with her. “I had him along,” she says. “It’s [like] a great work of fiction.”

        Stansfield and Devaney attended the same secondary school in Manchester, along with future band mate Andy Morris. At the age of 14, Stansfield won a singing competition and signed to Polydor but her solo career never took off and she became a children’s TV presenter on ITV’s Razzamatazz and The Krankies Klub. “Ian was the person who made me realise I could write songs,” says Stansfield, recounting the tale of how they met again. She was on a date with a man she had met in a club and “I’m really sorry to say this, but he was one of the most boring people I’ve ever met in my life. He’s showing me his holiday pictures, it’s so vile when people do that!” Devaney and Morris happened to walk into the same pub where Stansfield was enduring her date from hell. “I’d not seen Ian for maybe five years. And I just went ‘Help’! So that night we all got talking and I think the guy left and we didn’t even realise that he’d gone.”

        Devaney and Morris were struggling musicians and when Stansfield told them she wanted to get back into music, Devaney suggested she write her own songs. “I said, ‘I’ve never written a song in my life’. And then I went home and thought ‘Well, I can at least try and see what happens.’ She wrote her first song and later sang it to Devaney, who enthused about how great it was. “I thought he was taking the mickey and I just stormed off!” laughs Stansfield. Devaney had been genuinely impressed, however, and made a backing track on his home recording system. “I’d never heard anything like it, it was incredible,” says Stansfield. “And that’s basically when we decided to make music.”

        Stansfield, Devaney and Morris formed Blue Zone in 1984, releasing a series of dance singles before deciding to concentrate on Stansfield’s solo career, to great success. Stansfield married an Italian designer, Augusto Grassi, in 1987 but the relationship was short-lived and a new romance blossomed behind the mixing desk. “(Ian) was living with someone, I was married. There was always this sort of sexual tension between us, and when we both got prospective partners we let our guards down, we really did get a lot closer, we talked about our own relationships and ended up completely falling head over heels for each other.” The couple were married in 1989.

        After a hectic decade of stardom, which she admits she didn’t always enjoy, the couple moved to Ireland and took some time off, a break that stretched into nearly ten years. Stansfield has been acting (appearing in the film The Edge Of Love with Keira Knightley and various TV and stage productions) but says she “always wanted to come back”. This year, she began performing live again, and this month released a new single, Can’t Dance. A new album, Seven, her first since 2004, will be released in 2014. Stansfield admits to being a bit nervous about her return. “I’m looking forward to it hopefully working out. I don’t want to continue if people don’t want me. I really want to enjoy it this time.”

  41. Greatly Saddened says

    Below please find a “Letter to the Editor” in today’s The National Herald by Thomas Bletsas of Brooklyn, NY.

    Letter to the Editor: On the Archdiocese Investigation
    May 14, 2018

  42. Jane Rachel says

    Greatly Saddened, thank you for the link.

    “The issuance of a subpoena indicates the court has been presented with an accusatory instrument that the District Attorney wishes to further examine. While we don’t know the full implications, we do know an investigation of a serious nature is underway- an investigation the Archdiocese cannot quash.”

    “While none of us know whom this investigation may target, (in the end perhaps nobody) it should be noted that basic legal safeguards are always utilized by organizations that are being investigated, whether large corporations or tiny family businesses.”

    “Thanks to civil authorities we may now find out the truth.”

  43. Greatly Saddened says

    Below please find an article from Saturday on the ekathimerini website.

    NEWS 12.05.2018
    Thousands of Muslims pray at Hagia Sofia

  44. Greatly Saddened says

    Below please find an article from yesterday on the Orthodox Church in America website.

    May 14, 2018
    Project Mexico: 30 years of building homes—and hope!
    CHULA VISTA, CA [Project Mexico]

    • I’m a meritocrat says

      Talk about pouring money through a sieve!
      Quite the well oiled little operation
      Having kids pay their own way down to eat beans and build little hovels, while there large staff has lovely offices in San Diego, and pays staff to take all expense paid trips to beg all over the country. Notice they never offer any scholarships to help poor Kids come to work
      You think the Archdiocese is over staffed?
      Better to give your hard earned money to the orphanage in Guatemala!!

      • Greatly Saddened says

        I must respectfully disagree with you. My experience has been nothing but positive for these kids who volunteer to give up their time and may I add, pay their own way to help build what are considered houses for these people. Houses these kids could never in a million years imagine living in. These so called houses basically consist of a concrete floor, four walls, a roof and no indoor plumbing!

        While there, these kids sleep outside, under the stars and each day truly put in a full day of work.

        When these kids come back, they are usually asked to address their particular parish after Divine Liturgy and explain their experiences while there. What a wonderful experience for these kids to realize and see that not everyone lives in luxury, or at least not anywhere as fortunate as most of us are. It is truly a humbling experience and something these kids will remember for the rest of their lives. God bless these kids and their families, who decide to volunteer for a good cause such as Project Mexico!

  45. Greatly Saddened says

    Below please find an article in today’s The National Herald. Unfortunately, the article is locked and doesn’t appear in its entirety. I will continue to be on the lookout for the article in its entirety and if found, I will post.

    The Drama of the Theological School
    By Theodoros Kalmoukos – May 15, 2018

    • George Michalopulos says

      GS, we thank you for constantly giving us info from The National Herald. Please keep it up.

      • I’m a meritocrat says

        There is a new article on Pokrov
        Apparently a petition to oust the Boston metropolis leadership
        It’s going to be a bumpy ride folks!

        • Alitheia1875 says

          Yes. The group supporting Fr. Kastanas has started a petition to remove Metropolitan Methodios and the Chancellor Fr. Theodore Barbas. Apparently, they are also going to stage some kind of demonstration at the Clergy Laity Congress in July in Boston.

    • Alitheia1875 says

      How is it that, after 80 years, HCHC has an endowment of only $25 million ? How is it that one of the most upwardly mobile socially and financially successful ethnic minorities in the United States, still doesn’t have a college and school of theology that is able to grow and make important contributions to the American society? Doesn’t anyone else think that the school’s endowment should be between $250 and $500 million?

      • Constantinos says

        How is it that after being in existence for thousands of years, Greece is Europe’s welfare case? Greek Americans are nowhere near close to being one of America’s most upwardly mobile, wealthy minority groups. In fact, we don’t even rate in the top ten. Number one is India. The Nigerians are the third most educated ethnic groups in the US. By no standard of measurements, do Greek Americans compare favorably with many immigrants.
        In Europe, Greeks have a reputation for being very lazy. Greece hasn’t even manufactured an automobile. I think it is because of all the beautiful beaches, lovely weather, and some ridiculous sense of entitlement.

        • Very stupid superficial read. I have plenty of criticism of greek state and Church but one would hope discusion can be held at informed level…
          Turning out a car is not the be and end all of life nor modern production.
          Some knowledge of greek history might inform.. One may as well type cast the american peopke with their floating in debt and war, as being supremely lazy and ignorant..

  46. Greatly Saddened says

    An article appears in today’s Ethnikos Kyrix stating Leadership 100 will be donating $200,000.00, for the cost of the dinner at this year’s Clergy-Laity Congress to be held in Boston, MA.

    Unfortunately, the article is locked. I will be on the lookout and if found in its entirety, I will either translate from Greek or post from The National Herald.

    • Billy Jack Sunday says

      Almost a quarter of a million dollars for one dinner?

      How many people are expected to come to this dinner?

      What does that make the cost of plate?

      • Tim R. Mortiss says

        I wonder if they will be seeking to sit at the head table?

      • Greatly Saddened says

        Meanwhile, I am sure the amount of money spent for these waste of time “shindigs” could be much better spent to assist much needy families and seniors at the parish level, along with perhaps retired priests that could surely make better use of these funds.

        Instead, the archdiocese throws this money away on a totally unnecessary gathering of the useless! Especially, with all that has been happening most recently. This is certainly no sane way to justify spending such an exorbitant amount of money. Unfortunately, nothing seems to really and truly get accomplished at these Congresses!

    • Antiochene Son says

      My God! They could start at least one new mission parish with the cost of that one dinner.

      The bit of the article before the paywall says that L100 has 100 million dollars on hand. If they want to show leadership and be remembered as true visionaries, they ought to use those funds to start 100 new parishes and train 100 new priests to serve in them.

      Clergy ought to refuse to attend this ridiculous dinner. Let their money perish with them! The veal and foie gras will testify against them at the Last Judgment!

      • I’m a meritocrat says

        Food is the least of it
        Security, speaker fees are substantial
        Still……..a lot of dough

        • Antiochene Son says

          What need have they for speakers? Get some homilies of St. John Chrysostom and a CPA up there, and they will get everything they need to hear.

    • Greatly Saddened says

      Below please find the article from The National Herald, which as of this posting is in its entirety.

      Leadership 100 will Pay $200,000 for Clergy Laity Banquet
      By Theodoros Kalmoukos – May 18, 2018

    • Can they read the Parable of Lazarus and the Rich man, monastic style as they eat.??
      Of course these good people do give to Charity, yes I acknowledge. But this sort of shindig illustrates what is wrong at heart of greek archdiocese., U know a few days in a modern uni lecture Theatre etc with similar accommodation would costs thousands of dollars less and be more about what church should be about. Perhaps they might save thst money to replace their electric harmoniums with organs ‘ FOR THAT ORTHODOX SOUND ‘???
      Oh I do feel deprived here in Bulgaria?. But is hope as they have gutted the worship in Albania and Korea even. Still on second thought, eat up.!!

  47. Greatly Saddened says

    What a waste of time and unfortunately money! This Clergy-Laity Congress to be held this July in Boston is simply a joke.

    Here we have an archdiocese in dire straits and it has the ordacity to put on a so called “dog and pony show” for their own folks.

    Will real questions be asked and more importantly, who in their right mind can expect any “honest” answers from this hierarchy and their hierarchal lay appointees?

    Rational thinking would suggest to “NOT” have this Congress until the archdiocese comes forward with the honest and truthful answers owed to the general laity for the misappropriation of funds, lack of trust and accountability, transparency etc..

    Why the need to even continue to hold a Clergy-Laity Congress when we the general laity fail to be told the truth?

    Why the need to hold a Clergy-Laity Congress at such high priced exclusive locations? Wouldn’t it be fiscally prudent if they are to be held, to hold them at perhaps less costly locations/venues? Does this archdiocese have money to waste? I think “NOT!” Is there no shame?

    The archdiocese is responsible to be prudent when spending the general laity’s hard earned contributions. Would this same archdiocese be spending this money in the same fashion if it was their hard earned contributions? I think “NOT!”

    Time has come to think differently and to live within one’s means. Prudent financial responsibility is in order. Time to come down from the so called “Ivory Tower” and finally come down to earth, where the “real” folks live and work!

    • Billy Jack Sunday says

      I don’t know what it is about the episcopal style of church government that tends to breed this type of decadence. It is pretentious and totally nausiating

      I’ve seen it first hand and it is totally off-putting

      Spending 200,000 on a dinner reaffirms that with Leadership 100/Archons the heirarchy has created a Royal class vs peasent class in church

      With all that is happening, this meal sends a message and I believe that it is totally intentional

      They can just do whatever they want and the best you can hope for is hope that you are invited to go along for the ride

      Either that or pony up and throw some cash around – sometimes just for show!

      I’m nobody’s church nigger

      You couldn’t pay me to hang around such pretentious self absorbed poobahs and their boot licking glory sponging piggy backing fan boys

      Put that money to proper use – then grill yourselves some hamburgers and hotdogs. Or order pizza

      Skip the booze. We don’t need any more excuses to drink

      I don’t know. Be normal for once

      • Greatly Saddened says

        I must tell you, I truly enjoy your sense of humor. You have such a way of adding much levity to these ever so sad and tragic events. Thank you!

    • Antiochene Son says

      It’s like the end of the Byzantine Empire—the smaller it got, the grander the titles became.

  48. Greatly Saddened says

    Furthermore, perhaps some humility would be a good start. I know, a word unfortunately “not” associated with this archdiocese. Please forgive me!

    The so called “Princes of East 79th Street,” should be setting an example of humility and cease living their lavish life style of opulence. Especially on the general laity’s so called “dimes!”

    They should live the humble life they chose. If economy class of travel is good enough for the general public, so should it be for them as well.

    This excess spending needs to be curtailed. It has gotten out of hand. We have no one to blame but ourselves. It would be a miracle if these same hierarchs decided on their own to scale back their spending to help the archdiocese out. But then again, they are the primary reason the archdiocese finds itself in the position it is presently in.

    We could only hope to be as “poor” and as “homeless” as them!

    Lord have mercy and God help us all!

    • Michael Bauman says

      GS. A deeper problem is the lack of organic connection to a functioning parish or in genuine obedience to a monastic spiritual father for most of these men, if I understand correctly. That puts them in an untenable position to begin with.

      The other items you mentioned are significant as well however.

  49. Greatly Saddened says

    Below please find a posting from Monday on the Byzantine, Texas website. When reading, please also take note of the comments below as well.

    Monday, May 14, 2018
    Metropolis of Denver teleturgical messages are the best

    When the official letter makes it to the metropolitan website, I’ll make the necessary updates below.

    • Thanks Greatly Saddened!
      We need more posts like these, and more bishops, such as Metropolitan Isaiah not afraid to speak the truth, to laity of weak faith.

      Laity must understand The Holy Gifts received are the Body, and Blood of Christ, PERIOD! Without doubts, nor fear, and when properly received will only heal, never harm.

      One of greatest examples of faith in The Holy Gifts I’ve heard, was of Saint John Maximovich, who while visiting a insane asylum dropped or a patient knocked over The Holy Gifts on to the floor. Without thinking twice how dirty the floor was, as many patients had ‘accidents’ on the floors daily, Saint John quickly got down on the floor and licked up all of the Holy Communion off the floor.

      Another incredible example of Saint John’s great faith, was when he was visiting a woman who had been bitten by a rabid dog and was suffering/dying from rabies.

      Her treatment was not working, and Saint John came to give the dying woman Holy Communion. Just as he gave her Holy Communion, the poor woman, began to foam at the mouth, because of the disease, and vomited out The Holy Gifts.

      The Holy Sacrament cannot be thrown out! And Vladika picked up, and put in his mouth The Holy Gifts vomited by the sick woman.

      Those who were with him exclaimed: “Vladika, what are you doing! Rabies is terribly contagious!” But Vladika peacefully answered: “Nothing will happen, these are The Holy Gifts.” And indeed, nothing did happen.

      We should all pray to have such faith!

  50. Greatly Saddened says

    Below please find an article from today’s The National Herald.

    Leadership 100 will Pay $200,000 for Clergy Laity Banquet
    By Theodoros Kalmoukos – May 18, 2018

  51. Greatly Saddened says

    A house built on sand will “not” stand, nor will masquerading as a so called “Christ” centered religious institution!

  52. Greatly Saddened says

    Perhaps the tag line for the archdiocese should be the following:

    I see nothing! I hear nothing! I know nothing! So help me God!

  53. Greatly Saddened says

    My thoughts and prayers are with the students, parents, faculty, first responders and everyone affected by this morning’s shooting at Santa Fe High School in Texas. May God give comfort to the families and friends of those who lost loved ones. May He also help heal those who were injured in today’s most tragic event.

    • Antiochene Son says

      Much like in Florida, it looks like another case of a bullying victim who could not handle the daily torment anymore. The school system is a failure that allows the kind of behavior that begets violence like this.

      Parents: opt out though homeschooling if you have the remotest means to do so.

      • Michael Bauman says

        I was noticing today how much we focus on schools in our country. In Kansas their has been.a decades long battle about “adequate” funding for the government schools because our state Constitution requires it.

        The God hating government school lobby wants every penny of state tax revenue or it is not adequate. The schools themselves are often hell holes for kids who are different. With social media the bullying never stops.

        Discipline is verboten. Everything kids want to do is a right except Christian prayer and the Bible.

        They have always be intended as propaganda institutions for the state. Read Horace Mann.


  54. Greatly Saddened says

    Below please find an article from Monday on the World Religion News website.



    • Antiochene Son says

      According to the (((World Bank))). So in reality it sounds like we are right on target.

  55. Greatly Saddened says

    God Bless Houston Texans’ J.J. Watt, who will reportedly cover the funeral expenses of the victims who lost their lives at the Santa Fe High School shooting.

  56. Greatly Saddened says

    Once again, I would like to thank you ever so much for Monomakhos. Your tireless efforts are greatly appreciated.

    Monomakhos affords us the opportunity to share our thoughts and opinions with others, in a most civil and respectable fashion.

    Thank you as well to all the correspondents who contribute to making this blog so interesting and so informative. May God continue to bless you and your families!

  57. Greatly Saddened says

    Below please find a letter to the faithful by Metropolitan Isaiah from yesterday on the Pappas Post.

    Diaspora – Greek America
    Greek Orthodox Leader Cites “Dissension and Division” of American Public Life in Letter to Faithful on Texas School Shooting
    written by Gregory Pappas – May 19, 2018

    • I am glad that someone mentioned the teenager’s Greek heritage and alleged Orthodox Christian faith. I have heard it mentioned on the news that the teenager is “Greek Orthodox.”

      I simply have a really hard time buying that this teenager, suffering as he does from inner turmoil I am sure, is a faithful Orthodox Christian.

      This is where language is important. To many of us, being “Greek Orthodox” means being a faithful Orthodox Christian, struggling with everyone else to live the faith, going to the divine services, going to regular confession, partaking of regular Holy Communion.

      However, I realize that to many others, being “Greek Orthodox” simply means that one is of Greek heritage and that his parents decided to baptize him as an infant. It says nothing about his struggle to grow in Christ or his closeness to the faith. This is the decidedly the most incorrect definition but, sadly, the one in most widespread use.

      And sadly, like all of us, I have seen too many times the story of people being called “faithful members” of the Church and participating in ethnic festivals, yet knowing nothing of the faith, not being catechized, never going to confession, etc.

      I do not mean to cast aspersions on this young man and his family. God knows that they are suffering, just as the families of all of the victims are suffering.

      I merely mean to point out that I have a really hard time buying that a faithful, struggling, confession-going and partaking-of-Holy-Communion Orthodox Christian would do such a thing as this young man did.

      I could easily understand, however, how someone who is caught up in the nihilist Zeitgeist of the age, of secular, godless America, but who happens to have been born into the faith but for whom it means nothing more than an ethnic association, could unfortunately do such a thing. Recall that Stalin was born Orthodox as well, later consciously rejecting the faith.

      May this terrible event be a wake up call for our bishops to denounce mere “ethnic” association with Christian Orthodoxy but to call all faithful to regular confession and in the partaking of the sacramental life of the church! As Bishop Basil (Rodzianko) used to say, God can turn tragedies into triumphs. And so many prayers for the families of those who were killed. As an Orthodox Christian American, I am so tired of these events in our country, yet they will continue unless we as a nation come to a national “metanoia.” May God grant us His peace and love.

      • Greatly Saddened says

        I couldn’t agree with you more. Unfortunately, the association at Church seems to be more “ethnic” than “religious.” So sad, but yet so true.

        I have found at the parish level, especially in the more immigrant and first generation parishes, the setting seems to still be much more cultural. Perhaps we have forgotten what the main purpose of the Church truly is. I often get the feeling it is a social club with a cross affixed to the top of a building.

        These same parishes, seem to put much more emphasis on the learning of the “Greek” language, rather than in learning the religious aspect of our “faith.” Greek School seems to somehow take precedence over Church or Sunday School. Let us not forget, it is a Church, first and foremost.

        I can only hope and pray that one day, the religious aspect will be made to be the first priority, it should be. God help us!

  58. Greatly Saddened says

    Below please find an article from Thursday, May 10th, on the World Religion News website.


  59. Greatly Saddened says

    Below please find an article in today’s The National Herald.

    The Order of St. Andrew Archons Condemns Attack against Ecumenical Patriarchate by Hellenic College–Holy Cross Honoree
    By Theodoros Kalmoukos – May 21, 2018

    • “Valiotis also stated that ‘we can’t be governed by a small group of people from Turkey without any flock and purpose, with no mission and with different agenda.'”


    • He called for the Church in America “to become autocephalous or the Ecumenical Patriarchate to move to the U.S.” Valiotis also stated that “we can’t be governed by a small group of people from Turkey without any flock and purpose, with no mission and with different agenda.”


      All of the Hierarchy, clergy, and laity of the Holy Archdiocese owe their allegiance to the Ecumenical Patriarchate and we, the Archons, express our deep concern that while one spoke against the Mother Church, no one seems to have spoken for Her.

      Sheer papism.

  60. Greatly Saddened says

    Perhaps, just perhaps, time has finally come to somehow and in some way change the way the general laity’s money is being handled, or better yet, the lack thereof.
    Rather than a top down approach, meaning from the archdiocese to the individual parish level. Why not try something completely different, such as a bottom to top approach. Whereas, the individual parishes decide how much to give to the archdiocese. How would the archdiocese like that?
    Then, just maybe, the archdiocese can really and truly get a much better understanding and feeling of what we the general laity has been feeling and dealing with for quite sometime now. Let’s see how these fine princes live on a so called shoe string, rather than the present lavish lifestyle they seem to be living off our hard earned money. Because Lord only knows they haven’t been too diligent with the stewardship of the money we give to them. Why should each and every hard working parish kill itself just to offer its hard earned money to these undeserving hierarchs, who seem to continue to spend it so frivolously. God forbid we ask for individual breakdowns of how and where the money is spent. We wouldn’t accept this in our own personal daily life, why should we accept it with the archdiocese?

  61. GS, most parishes would not give enough to support a budget half the amount of the current budget. Many valuable ministries would be terminated and Holy Cross would have to close. What you are suggesting is the demise of the Archdiocese as we know it.
    Do you suggest a similar style of management as exists in parishes. That would only create more problems with secular minded individuals managing the affairs of the Church. Parishes where the parish council is in control do not function more effectively than parishes with syn-diaconia with clergy and laity working together to serve Christ.
    Whether we like it or not,Orthodoxy is a hierarchical church and what you suggest is congregational Christianity.

    • Alitheia1875 says

      Holy Cross closing is besides the point of the Archdiocese budget. The Archdiocese budget has a line item for 1.5 million for the school. And it hasn’t been paid to the school for over a year. This is nothing new. The Archdiocese has been several hundred thousand in arrears every year for years. Back in the 90’s there was a plan to increase the annual contribution to 3 million. That went away because, guess why, the Archdiocese had major financial problems. Why is it that an 80 year old institution has such a measly endowment, 25 million or so? Greek Americans are one of the wealthiest, successful and upwardly socionomically mobile of all ethnic groups in the United States. Very rarely have big gifts been given to the school. Veliotis and Calamos each could easily give 10 million and not lose a moment’s sleep. The largest gift was the 5 million given a few years ago and that isn’t controlled by the school.

      • The answer is simple–most Greek Americans are not faithful stewards including the bishops. Lack of faithful stewardship is the reason most parishes are in the restaurant business.

        • Constantinos says

          No Johnkal,
          The problem is massive overspending. A faithful Greek Orthodox Church is commanded by our Lord to give to the poor, widows, and orphans. The Church should eliminate all unnecessary spending- and so should you in your own personal life that you may have enough money for investments. You owe it to your family. Read the book The Richest Man in Babylon. A person should save at least 10% of their gross income, working up to saving 50% of their gross income, then you will have accumulated enough money to start your own business, and provide good income for the poor. It is the highest form of charity.
          Also, it is not your business how much any person gives to his church. That’s his business, and his business alone. Don’t buy into the Sunday morning shakedown. Read the Didache. A person who asks for money is a false prophet. There should not be any full time priests. Let them pay their own way like everyone else. Never let someone try to lay a guilt trip on you. The hierarchs should follow St. Paul’s example and work with their hands. That includes the clergy.

        • Greatly Saddened says

          So sad, but yet, so true!

  62. Greatly Saddened says

    Below please find an article from yesterday on the Orthodox Christianity website.

    Santa Fe, Texas, May 22, 2018

  63. Greatly Saddened says


    At this juncture I must admit, I am at a total loss. As perhaps most of laity is.
    Yes, true, the Orthodox Church is hierarchal, but things haven’t been working out so well as such.
    And perhaps, congregational may not be the answer either, but we cannot continue doing the same any longer. These hierarchs do not seem to have a conscience when it comes to being fiscally prudent with the handling of laity’s hard earned money.
    The archdiocese cannot go on spending as if it has an unlimited checkbook. The individual parishes put in countless hours of hard work by volunteering to meet their archdiocesan assessment and then to have these frivolous hierarchs continue to spend it like there is no tomorrow.
    Let us face some facts. The archdiocese decided to dismiss/fire roughly 25% of its employees and by doing so, of course drastically reduced their budget. It didn’t take a rocket scientist to figure this out. Rather than systematically cutting expenses, they decided to show compassion and get rid of people. Nice work boys!
    Have the hierarchs budgets been reduced, which includes their travel expenses as well? Since it is the laity’s money, doesn’t the laity have the right to know just where and how the money is spent? The laity deserves this, No ifs, and, or buts. Is an advanced degree needed, I think not! It is basic, plain and simple. The archdiocese has been trusted with laity’s money and it is their responsibility to make sure it is properly spent and accounted for. This money just doesn’t just drop out of the sky!
    I too am extremely concerned about supporting the various ministries. Let me ask, when was the last time a payment was made to either Hellenic College or Holy Cross School of Theology by the archdiocese?
    This archdiocese has been and is one complete failure. Are any of the hierarchs or their lay appointees concerned?
    Please try telling me where this archdiocese has put “Christ” first? Sadly, it seems to me, this archdiocese seems to worship the almighty dollar, rather than our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. The archdiocese’s repeated actions clearly speak for itself. There is nothing “holy” about this institution. The only perfect thing about this institution is absolute failure!

  64. Greatly Saddened says

    In the comments section of the article below in The National Herald, a commentator states the following:

    The Archons Condemn Efstathios Valiotis’ Attack against Ecumenical Patriarchate
    By Theodoros Kalmoukos May 23, 2018

    USAVeteran says:
    May 22, 2018 at 2:41 pm

    The Orthodox Church most certainly does have one leader: Jesus Christ. That the flock does not know this says a lot about the poor catechetical state in modern churches in America, many of whose practices make them ethnic clubs first and Christ’s church second.
    And the “sham” council in Crete was wisely boycotted by several of the largest Orthodox Churches worldwide. There was a huge elephant-in-the-room clue that it was a sham from the beginning: the agenda was not open for full discussion prior to the council, and it was being called a “Great and Holy Council” by its organizers well before it even began. Church councils are only deemed “Great and Holy” by the Church as a whole decades or centuries after they meet: to acknowledge that the council’s decisions correctly explained Truths of the Orthodox Faith. It is truly impossible to know if a council will be “Great and Holy” before it meets. To call it such beforehand implies that conciliarity is not a goal, bishops’ thoughts and opinions are not important, and it is merely supposed to be a rubber stamp.
    Plus, at every other church council in the world, every bishop of the Church was invited. The robber council of 2016 stipulated that each church only had 1 vote (completely ridiculous, but a cunning tactic if you wish to make the Greek churches more influential than they are numerically. Well more than half of all Orthodox Christians and Orthodox bishops in the world are in the Church of Russia; the Greek churches (the Church of Greece, the EP, and the church of Cyprus) are very tiny by comparison). Many bishops in the Church of Greece wisely and publicly criticized the robber council in Crete — may God strengthen them.
    The Church of Constantinople needs to affirm its Orthodox faith, not be power hungry. It is compassionate to understand the predicament of the Church in Constantinople, but (excepting a true miracle), it will not be returning to the days of the Byzantine Empire anytime soon.
    And there is historical precedent for moving a patriarch out of a no-longer-welcoming city: the Patriarch of Antioch is no longer in Antioch and hasn’t been in Antioch for centuries (he is in Damascus.
    The idea of moving the EP to New York City or to Geneva, Switzerland, has been floated around for a long time. It would be the wise thing to do. I realize there is so much sentimentality and emotionalism around this issue, but as of now, the Church in Constantinople is largely composed of a group of hierarchs without a flock.
    Continuing on its current course will make the EP continue to look outside of itself for money and protection. The way it’s been heading (with the EP threatening to create – out of thin air – an “independent” schismatic jurisdiction in Ukraine, for example), we may very well see the Church of Constantinople become an Eastern-rite Catholic church ultimately under the omophor of the Pope of Rome.
    But perhaps this has been the goal all along. After all, it is no secret that the Vatican was deeply involved in planning the failed “robber” council in Crete in 2016. But an Ecumenical Patriarchate in trouble should rather reach out to his Orthodox brethren for help (such as the Church of Russia, by far the largest Orthodox Church in the world). Yet instead he reaches out to western money and to the Vatican, and to the wealthy “Archons.” God help us. Terrible.

  65. Greatly Saddened says

    Another commentator under the same above article states the following:

    Michael says:
    May 22, 2018 at 12:14 pm

    Get a grip on yourself Toula. We are not looking for freedom or money. Most of our Greek ex pat community in America has much of both. What we want from our Church and its leaders is honesty and transparency, and most important of all a Christ-centered Church. Not a Church that acts alternatively as an extension of the Greek Foreign Ministry most of the time, and when desperate, an extension of Turkish foreign policy. Did the EP really bless the Turkish troops and tanks and invasion into Syria that killed many Kurdish civilians? The Kurds are also Americas best allies in that part of the world.

    What does a Synod of twelve or more metropolitans and countless other bishops and functionaries do all day sitting around Istanbul with a flock that is now smaller than 2,000? There are places all over the globe dying to hear and receive the message of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, but we have a dozen or more Metropolitans tending to decaying churches rather than going out into the world and preaching the Gospel. And a dozen more Metropolitans in America spending most of their time on first class flights to Greece and Turkey to play politics and footsie with the Metropolitans in Turkey. What Byzantine intrigue!

    When is the last time any of our Metropolitans engaged in any true missionary work preaching the Gospel in this country where we Orthodox are 1% of the population. Instead they like to act as our temporal leaders and be feted, fed and driven around in black town cars like royalty. And when did our princeling bishops stop being monks? God help us.

  66. Greatly Saddened says

    Below please find an article along with a you tube video by Jordan Peterson, from this Monday on the OCL website.

    Jordan Peterson – Thoughts On Orthodox Christianity
    BY WEBMASTER ON MAY 21, 2018

  67. Greatly Saddened says

    And one more commentator under the same article states the following:

    Lower Manhattan Cynic says:
    May 23, 2018 at 8:58 am

    Archons and Patriarchate in that order:

    Archons might as well wear bags over their heads because they are so in the dark.
    They are in love with honoring themselves and acting like the medevil Illuminati and reserving the first two rows in Liturgy and events because they are the Knights Templar of the Patriarchate. Their patriarchate titles are FOR SALE. That’s called Simony and it’s a major sin. They are Bart’s bankers and advocacy group and in return get more medals for checks. Fr. Alex Karloutsos is their US “spiritual advisor” and patriarch “customer rep and fixer” and keeps everyone in line. Dr. Limberakis takes orders. And now, Fr. Alex will be honored as their Humanitarian of the Year by the group. Go figure.

    The Patriarchate could remain in Istanbul and leading superficially, if it delegated all operations and authorities overseas and gave the US autonomy to exercise transparency and good business practices. Instead, it has centralized power ( yes, post Iakovos, a papal model was implemented to assure that there would never be another Iakovos). Problem with that is that they are prevented from governing anything by their Turkish Civil Affairs government commissars. Erdogon has them in box like monkies in a cage on Coney Island. The result is complete paralysis and decay, which is what you have now.

    Lastly, Valiotis was given the honorary degree because they want one more loan from his bank, ALMA, on the 79th Street properties. Do you get it now?

    • Billy Jack Sunday says

      Archon Dimos Skandalis responded to such on-line commentary:

      “Simony? I don’t know what that is. Never heard of it. I just know this isn’t some itenerant tent revival. If you wanna dance in our church, you gotta pay the band.”

  68. Billy Jack Sunday says

    So making valid points verbally is an “attack?”

    I don’t think so

    Also in the news:


    When asked why, Archon Dimos Skandalis stated,

    “We [Archons] always support the efforts directed by an imperial type figurehead who relentlessly attempts to build bridges that are detrimental our own well being.”

  69. Sure boys, LOL, except it stops becoming funny when Orthodox laity cannot tell the difference between the “Allied forces”, from the “Axis forces” within Orthodoxy. It makes one wonder if our bishops are seeking soldiers for Christ or soldiers for themselves. Problem is they are played, by their rich and powerful faithful,(Archons, L100, Russian & Eastern European Govs.etc.) as much as they believe they play, and rule the faithful.

    Schism is a ploy of the devil, and boy do we gleefully fall in to his traps. Unfazed bishops will continue to witness apathetic, confused, and angry laity stray from Orthodoxy, however that will be defined by the new king on the hill. They disregard that most Christians really, really, really, don’t care for church politics on any level, and really get turned off by wasteful spending, nationalism, and elitism by our bishops. Many will leave Orthodoxy for good, by all this and finally as they witness national alignments fighting to define true Orthodoxy.

    Will Orthodoxy be defined by which jurisdiction has the largest population, richest, and most powerful government backing? Or simply what IS true Orthodoxy? Many within future schisms will accuse one another of heresy, and allegiance to heretics. Or the greatest irony Monasteries and Monastics too Orthodox. Elders evil and accused of building under supervised, cult centers.

    Shame on us, if Orthodoxy at large, begins to burn bridges permanently between us. Especially more upon national jurisdictions, and power hungry bishops. Not Checkmate for the devil, but definitely check.

    The destruction of the GOA, a desperate EP, and a eager MP waiting in the wings for schism and third Rome officially unveiled, will not benefit Orthodoxy.

    Pray for our Bishops, and Lord have Mercy on us!

  70. Greatly Saddened says

    Below please find an article in today’s The National Herald.

    Evangelos Strongly Condemns Valiotis’ Statement about Church Autocephaly
    By Theodoros Kalmoukos – May 24, 2018

    • Billy Jack Sunday says

      “Evangelos strongly condemns Valioris statement about Church autocephaly”

      An evangelist condemns the only thing that can truly breath the good news message that has the power to restore life to our country’s sick and dying invalid shut-in souls who suffer from spiritual dementia


      How Kevorkian

  71. Greatly Saddened says

    Please be sure to read the comments below the above referenced article. At the time of posting there were two, but I would venture to guess there are more to follow!

  72. Billy Jack Sunday says

    The Archons also condemned the attacks on the 1st and 2nd Death Stars

    In the first instance, force sensitive pilot and honorary Jedi Knight Luke Skywalker should be held accountable for his actions against the empire. Actions that were also against his own father’s authority.

    In the second event, it was acknowledged that the Death Star had not been completed, due to undisclosed funding issues. However, Achon Dimos Skandalis stated, “However incomplete, at least it [Death Star 2] was still fully operational and could serve a purpose. That usually doesn’t happen.”

    Admiral Akbar then adamantly defended the actions of himself and General Lando Calrissian.

    Stated by the Admiral, “The attempts to forcefully unify the Galaxy through tactics of fear and intimidation by a power driven individual attempting to resurrect a long gone Sith Empire will never result in true unity.”

    When the topic of Ukranian Autocephaly came up, Admiral Akbar emphatically stated, “It’s a trap!!”

  73. Greatly Saddened says

    Below please find a press release from yesterday on the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America website.

    Archdiocese Statement about Opinions Expressed at HCHC Commencement
    Stavros Papagermanos,
    Press Office-

  74. Greatly Saddened says

    Below please find an article from today on the website.

    Patriarch Bartholomew is visiting Rome
    By Jivko Panev
    24 May 2018

  75. Greatly Saddened says

    Below please find an article from today’s The National Herald. Unfortunately, the article is locked and doesn’t appear in its entirety. I will continue to be on the lookout for the article in its entirety and if found, I will post.

    Demetrios’ Delayed Announcement on Valiotis’ “Autocephaly” Speech
    By Theodoros Kalmoukos – May 25, 2018

  76. Greatly Saddened says

    Here are some more interesting comments from the following article below in The National Herald.

    “Evangelos Strongly Condemns Valiotis’
    Statement about Church Autocephaly”

    maria tsih says:
    May 25, 2018 at 8:14 am

    We, the Clergy and Laity….,” how is it Metropolitan Evangelos can speak for us, the “Laity?” We, the “Laity” in America, build and support Greek Orthodox churches. Therefore, our voices should never be silenced.

    Metropolitan Evangelos and all Greek Orthodox “Clergy,” it’s time to listen to, rather than speaking for the “Laity” or risk further church shrinkage.

    Michael says:
    May 25, 2018 at 8:34 am

    Maria you are so right! Evangelos is out of touch, I think he speaks for very little of the laity and only for his own ambition.

    It is interesting that every time you see him in a Greek newspaper, online or otherwise, he is cutting ribbons at new diners or grand openings for insurance companies or car dealerships or some new business owned by successful Greeks. I suspect he never leaves without a fakelo in hand.

    In all his time on the throne, have you ever seen him welcoming people at a homeless shelter, serving people at a food kitchen, ministering in a prison or a sober living house? Have you ever seen him doing any of the things that Christ did and gave us as examples when he walked the earth?

    The first time I have seen him get excited about anything is this little phony tantrum he had to catch the attention of the EP.

    I take my kids on weekends to serve food and spend time with people in two of our local homeless shelters. We go about two weekends a month. There are some volunteers there who go almost every day and give much more than we do. There are volunteers there who have very little but give from their need to keep these shelters open. I tell my kids to look into their eyes and they will see true icons, reflecting the divine uncreated light of God. I ask you, truthfully, do any of you look at this hierarch and see an icon of our Lord? I ask that he speak for himself, he certainly does not speak for me.

  77. Greatly Saddened says

    Below please find a statement by Metropolitan Gerasimos from Tuesday on the Metropolis of San Francisco website.

    Statement Regarding the Mother Church

    May 22, 2018

    Metropolitan’s Messages

    His Eminence Metropolitan Gerasimos

  78. Greatly Saddened says

    Below please find another comment from the article below in The National Herald.

    “Evangelos Strongly Condemns Valiotis’
    Statement about Church Autocephaly”

    repanidi1908 says:
    May 25, 2018 at 5:15 pm

    First, there is no such thing as “world Orthodoxy” as those who propose the EP is its head would have us believe. Autocephalous churches are just that, self ruled with their own “head”. Even in
    Europe and England the Russians probably have more parishes than the Greeks. Second, concerning wealthy Greeks/Greek Americans who like to think they are calling the shots, they need to take a step back and take in the reality that is staring them in the face. Seventy five per cent (75%) of the marriages in the GOAA for the last generation, and possibly longer, have been of the so-called mixed type, Greek/non-Greek, Greek Orthodox/heterodox. This fact is ignored at the peril of the well-being of the faith.