Breaking News! EP Removes Metropolitans Isaiah, Iakovos and Demetrios (Chicago)

bartIs Pat. Bartholomew tightening his grip on the GOA? It appears so. This news is breaking and there is no official English translation yet.

The situation is fluid. We will continue to report on this as events unfold.

Below are the first two reports of the change in the GOA.

Source: Ethnikos Kyrios – Εθνικός Κήρυξ.

Ο Πατριάρχης ζήτησε παρέμβαση Δημητρίου σε Σικάγο και Ντένβερ


Full copy in Greek pasted here.

Source Orthodox Reformer

BREAKING: “Patriarch Calls for Archbishop Demetrios to Intervene in Chicago and Denver

Breaking news from the Greek-American newspaper The National Herald/Εθνικός Κήρυξ. The Patriarch of Constantinople and the father of our Apostolic Church has called upon Archbishop Demetrios of New York to intervene in the rapidly deteriorating situation in Chicago. You can find and read the article here. As of the writing of this article, there is only a Greek version available. Hopefully, The National Herald will publish an English version soon.

EDIT: Find a translation and backup of the article here

This is a major significant step in confronting and fixing the administrative mess within the church. The Bishop and Metropolitan of Chicago have held the Diocese under their despotism for too long. I have already written about some of the improprieties that have been exposed in the past few years.

As you follow this situation, remember that the issues are not only administrative, but also financial. The Chicago Tribune writes that the Bishop received “gifts” from Fr. Dokos, the same priest on trial for stealing money from Annunciation in Milwaukee. This system of kick backs, the Bishop claims, is part of the “Greek Orthodox tradition”. This type of behavior, which may have worked in 19th century Greece, is completely unacceptable in a major American institution.



  1. Patrick Henry Reardon says

    One hopes this means what it seems to mean. We’ve been needing some good news here in Chicago.

  2. Peter A. Papoutsis says


    [1] Praise the LORD!
    Praise God in his sanctuary;
    praise him in his mighty firmament!
    [2] Praise him for his mighty deeds;
    praise him according to his exceeding greatness!
    [3] Praise him with trumpet sound;
    praise him with lute and harp!
    [4] Praise him with timbrel and dance;
    praise him with strings and pipe!
    [5] Praise him with sounding cymbals;
    praise him with loud clashing cymbals!
    [6] Let everything that breathes praise the LORD!
    Praise the LORD!

    • Bishop Tikhon (Fitzgerald) says

      Peter! Praise God? Should we not pray for their salvation and mourn anyone’s fall or stumbling?? I don’t understand many of your passions. Remember, too, that Satan can resort to quoting Scripture!
      This, like the famous Greek economy, will work itself out Do you approve of Syriza, one wonders? Are they Orthodox?

      • Orthodox truCHURCH says

        He has a long history of shuffling around and covering for pedophile priests.Finally God has answered my prayers

        • Bishop Tikhon (Fitzgerald) says

          To whom is “Orthodox truCHURCH” referring? Surely not Patriarch Bartholomew?

  3. A bold move by the Patriarch, even though I fully endorse Met Isaiah and believe it is a mistake to remove him. However, a house cleaning is needed in the GOA and one must start somewhere. I believe the Patriarch has overlooked the worst of the worst Evangelos of NJ. This guy is bad news and it continues to amaze me that he could ascend to the position of Bishop. That’s what you call scraping of the bottom of the barrel. I cannot imagine what criteria one would use to choose Evangelos as a Bishop. Kind of like electing Bozo the clown as president of the USA. The even more concerning issue is who will be the replacements. There is not an abundance of qualified candidates.

    • Molon Labe says

      Yeah, don’t worry. The xeno monastics will let you keep your organs and pews. Maybe.

  4. Monk James says

    Met. Iakovos should have been deprived of office and deposed from the priesthood more than thirty years ago, and Bp Demetrios, too, more recently and for the same reasons regarding their personal lives. But nobody in the GOA structure thought that those issues were important enough. THEY ARE.

    It’s a sin and a shame that it was a financial matter which finally brought them down.

    Met. Isaiah, though, as far as I can tell, is guilty of nothing more than not taking bribes while trying to restore order in his eparchy, disrupted as it was by personal issues and sinful pride. Maybe some of those disrupters have enough financial clout to get the Phanar’s attention. Sad, so sad.

    May the Lord send us good bishops, and have mercy on us all.

    • Carl Kraeff says

      At least some folks within the GOA believe that Denver and Chicago have the following in common:

      “Further, the Metropolitans have allowed the cancer of Ephraim-worship to grow unchecked in the Chicago and Denver Dioceses.”

      • Paul Stasi says

        I’m not sure how this situation will help to relieve the allegations concerning the Ephraimite monasteries. Aren’t they all Stavropegial and therefore answer directly to the EP (and not to the local bishop in whose diocese they reside?

        • Bruce W. Trakas says

          No, it took years to negotiate, but all the monasteries founded by the Elder, Fr. Ephraim, are under the authority of the metropolitan within the Holy Metropolis in which each is located. It was early in Archbishop Demetrios’ tenure that the regulations were approved by the Eparchial Synod and by each monastery individually. They are not “Stavropegiac.”

          Are we overreacting to a single report from Theodore Kalmoukos, whom I read as well, but who is known for sensational classically Greek Yellow Journalism? The Holy Eparchial Synod would have had to convene to vote to act against Metropolitan Iakovos. I doubt that this has occurred. Patriarch Bartholomew asked Archbishop Demetrios to intervene in the Metropolis of Denver’s problems in Salt Lake City a few years back. His Eminence did so and the two communities were reunited into a single parish community, although, Metropolitan Isaiah later approved of a charter for a mission parish for the area, which would have been submitted to the Holy Archdiocese for approval–I’m not sure if that happened.

          Archbishop Demetrios has been careful to not interfere in the administrative affairs of the metropolis’s. If the Patriarch recommends that he does such, His Eminence would oblige, knowing that the metropolitan would not have recourse to the Phanar, as +Bartholomew maintains relationships with them individually.

          Archbishop Demetrios challenged Metropolitan Iakovos’ motion to the Eparchial Synod for the elevation of Fr. Demetri Kantzavelos to the episcopacy when he first proposed it, but after the Synod ordered an investigation, no one would go on record as to the scandalous allegations against +Kantzavelos, so, with the informal agreement of +Iakovos of Chicago that he would support the assignment of assistant bishops to the other metropolitans, the Synod disagreed with Archbishop Demetrios’s objection, enabling the election of Fr. Demetri as Bishop of Mokissos, an auxiliary see, assigned as Chancellor of the Chicago Metropolis. Keep in mind too, through +Iakovos’ leadership, the Metropolis of Chicago provides the largest financial support of all the Holy Metropolis’s to the National Ministries.

          Although there was a huge uproar over Metropolitan Isaiah’s actions with regard to the Salt Lake City Church, it should not be overlooked that His Eminence was an assistant priest at the Salt Lake City church in the early years of his priestly ministry–he knows something about the community and has relationships there. My sense is that the disputes are between the leading entrenched Greeky elements, and those who desire more of an American oriented, Orthodox parish community. I’ve not heard of deficiencies in +Isaiah’s archepiscopal leadership. I think he’s been good for the region. It should also be kept in mind, that +Isaiah has always had the reputation of being a Phanar man.

          I agree with some of the speculation above, there does not seem to be an obviously qualified candidate for the Metropolitan see of Chicago, In fact, there’s a horrible option lurking out West with connections in the Chicago Metropolis.

          There’s a comment above about the lacking of quality of leadership of the Most Reverend Metropolitan of New Jersey. He was a deacon to Archbishop Iakovos of America; most of +Iakovos’ deacons have become metropolitans, with the Synodal assistance of one of his former Archdeacons, the Most Reverend Metropolitan of Boston. I’ve heard the priests of the New Jersey Metropolis deplore his leadership.

          • George Michalopulos says

            Mr Trakas, thank you for giving us clearer insights into this whole mess, as well as shining the proper, positive light on Metropolitan Isaiah’s sterling archpastorate.

            It would be a tragedy indeed if the more worldly elements among the laity were to succeed in getting rid of His Eminence over the SLC kerfuffle.

          • Paul Stasi says

            Ditto Mr. Trakas. Thank you for clearing up many questions.

          • Patrick Henry Reardon says

            In fact, there’s a horrible option lurking out West with connections in the Chicago Metropolis.

            Saints, preserve us!

      • George Michalopulos says

        “Ephraim worship” is a straw man. Nobody “worships” the Elder Ephraim. They do very much respect him however.

      • monk andrew says

        It’s not just the Greeks. ALL Chicago Orthodox Churches are shady. The foul odor is becoming impossible to hide. You Chicagoans know what I am referring to. May God have mercy on our souls.

    • Monk James,

      I disagree with your comment about Met Isaiah. He has shown a complete and utter lack of leadership in our community and has refused to communicate with us so we could come to some sort of understanding. He has called many good, God fearing people thieves while allowing local priests to pilfer from our Benevolent funds with no consequences. I could go on and on but suffice it to say, It is time for him to be replaced.

      • George Michalopulos says

        Sid, I disagree with your assesment of Met Isaiah. Certainly he’s made some administrative errors in the past and he angered the Archons for excommuicating three of them during the SLC affair, but in his personal life, he’s been a stand-up kind of guy.

        • Bishop Tikhon (Fitzgerald) says

          Assessing hierarchs, the fascinating and self-stimulating main attraction of this blog for many. as, for instance, George and Heracleides Pompikos can’t get enough of this activity, I believe! It’s as good a way to keep busy as any other maybe. I don’t know any of these Greek hierarchs well, but I’ve always had a soft spot for Isaiah of Denver because he was an enlisted man for our country. The only think I really KNOW about Iakovbos of Chicago is that I heard him say loudly at a SCOBA Bishops’ Assembly that pews are evil..and he repeated “evil” loudly for emphasis. I’ve been told by Greek clergy over the years that anyone chosen to be a hierarch in the GOA must bring a good sixzed check to Istanbul in the process. Some one said that ever-memorable Archbishop Iakovos thought he had the EP position sewn up, and so when he didn’t get it and they offered him Alexandria for only sic million American dollars he turned it down.
          They used to say that the Patriarchate of Jerusalem was the last survvving place where you could get anything done if you had enough cash, but I think that’s an exaggeration….money plays a wide and often determinative part in the doings of other patriarchates as well. And while ‘leading’ laymen can manipulate ecclesiastical events they NEVER get publicly shamed if they goof, unlike the clergy!

          • Fr. Blues says

            Re: Bishop Tikhon,
            So it seems Mr. Ashley Nevins speaks the truth.

            • Bishop Tikhon (Fitzgerald) says

              I’ve never said Mr Nevins spoke the truth or lied. I felt he didn’t care about that so much as he cared about being SEEN to win an argument about lder Ephrain and the Orthodox Church. It can’t be repeated often enough, though, that even a broken clocke is right twice a day! If Mr Ashley had thought that ANYONE believed that all Orthodox hierarchs are holy or devout, then he’d be stupid, not just mistaken. If he claimed that several Orthodox clergymen dishonored the /holy Martyrs and hid their identity for wprldly purposes and well-being, then he’d have been quite right! Thr pseudonym marks the coward here!

          • Bruce W. Trakas says

            Don’t believe that, Your Grace. It is the stuff of fantasy. There’s no expectation of payments to the Phanar in exchange for episcopal elevation.

            Archbishop Iakovos of America had been asked by the Phanar leadership if he wished to be considered for election to the Ecumenical Throne in 1991 following the passing of Patriarch Dimitrios. He was said to have replied, “If I am the only candidate to be considered.” The offer was only a courtesy, in any event, he was not favored among the Phanar leadership. (In the previous Patriarchal Election in 1972, +Iakovos was “Persona non grata” by the Turkish state, and thus ineligible for consideration; Turkey had prohibited his attendance at Patriarch Athenagoras’ funeral, who had been his mentor. It was at that time that his supporters had planned on his elevation, but he lacked support among the Constantinopolin Hierarchy, led by his former classmate and rival for election to the Throne of America 13 years earlier, the Locum Tenens of the Patriarchal Throne, Metropolitan Meliton of the Senior See of Chalcedon. +Iakovos was likely the favored successor of the deceased Patriarch Athenagoras.

            Note too, +Athenagoras’ personal checking account was in deficit when he was elected to the Patriarchal Throne in 1948)

            • ReaderEmanuel says

              Bruce, when Iakovos tried to attend Demetrios’ enthronement, wasn’t that when the assassination attempt on Iakovos occurred? He was stabbed in the back, had a punctured lung and almost died, if I recall.

    • Paul Stasi says

      Monk James and others on this forum and elsewhere have made veiled allegations concerning the “personal life” of Metropolitan Iakos and Bp. Demetrios of Mokissos. These same veiled allegations have floated around the Chicago GOA for years. In other words, it’s no secret.

      Let’s assume the allegations are true for a moment.

      Does anyone else out there feel just a little bit concerned that higher ups only seem to act when there are finances involved?

  5. GOAPriest says


    The headline is National Enquirereque – i.e. untrue. How can you write the Patriarch “EP removes…” and in the next breath, “…our Apostolic Church has called upon Archbishop Demetrios of New York to intervene…


    • Interesting and coincidental that this comes right after Fr. Artemas is “reassigned” to Atlanta from Milwaukee by the Bishop, who is in Greece is not available for comment. We can only speculate he ran to the EP to try to salvage his and the Metropolitan’s job, perhaps?. Maybe Chicago can finally heal from this scandalous situation. The Bishop should also still return all those “tips” he received from Milwaukee; the church is in dire financial straits because of this scandal and it’s the least he could do if he really cares about healing as he exits.

      • Johnny Babarakis says

        It’ll be tough to return the “tips” at this point. It makes him look guilty of doing something wrong…or should I say more guilty. He should have returned them right away when all of the “tip” nonsense first came out..he could have said it was wrong, apologized and returned the “tip” with an extra amount as a show of good faith. Instead he was arrogant, defiant and unapologetic, presenting a sense of entitlement no less. (Maybe he has been spending too much time on the North Shore).

        • George Michalopulos says

          Mr Barbarakis, if nothing else than the practice of “tips” (or baksheesh) exposed –and eradicated–then something good will have come of all this mess.

          In my dream regulations for an American Orthodox Church, this would be called what it is: simony and those accused of both receiving it as well as giving it would be laicized, excommunicated and forced to serve a life-long penance.

          • G.M:

            In my dream regulations for an American Orthodox Church, this would be called what it is: simony and those accused of both receiving it as well as giving it would be laicized, excommunicated and forced to serve a life-long penance.

            G.M. see Chalcedon, canon 2. Penalty for clerics: deposition. For laymen involved in the scheme: anathema. There’s nothing peculiarly “American” about it, the canon SHOULD apply to the whole church. ANOTHER FINE EXAMPLE of how the modern church ignores canons willy-nilly.

          • Abbouna Michel says

            George, I think what you actually mean is those convicted of receiving it as well as giving it.

    • Paul Stasi says

      Fr. GOAPriest: Christ is Risen.

      George Michalopoulos does not write “Patriarch “EP removes…” and in the next breath, “…our Apostolic Church has called upon Archbishop Demetrios of New York to intervene…” Those are the words of Theodore Kalmoukos, the original author of the article. If you find a fault in the reasoning there can be only one of two possibilities: Either Mr. Kalmoukos was misinformed, or that it demonstrates the administrative influence of Patriarch Bartholomew.

      • GOAPriest says

        Are you willfully ignorant…or just kidding? I thought this blog was under the ownership and management of George Michalopulos. He created the headline, he posted Kamloukos’ article.

        So, yes…nonsense.

        • Paul Stasi says

          Are you willfully ignorant…or just kidding?

          Suggestion for you Father GOApriest…..decaf.

  6. Bishop Tikhon (Fitzgerald) says

    How horrible! The Ottomans turned the Ecumenical Patriarch into a Caliph of the Greeks (the Arabs too, but they escaped, with Russian help.)
    Ruling Bishops removed from their positions without participation of their own dioceses! They OBVIOUSLY SERVE AND ARE CHOSEN SOLELY THROUGH THE WILL OF THE EP.
    Even Roman Popes never acted so hihghandedly!
    Who caresW WHAT their flocks think—after all, the Greek and Turkish Foreign Offices obviously gave theit stamps of approval.
    And some here are nodding their approval of a process ECERY BIT ASRBITRARY as the number done on Metropolitan Jonah, right?

    • Paul Stasi says

      Bishop Tikhon:

      Christ is Risen!

      You write:

      Ruling Bishops removed from their positions without participation of their own dioceses! They OBVIOUSLY SERVE AND ARE CHOSEN SOLELY THROUGH THE WILL OF THE EP.

      I’m unfamiliar with the normal procedure involved in the removal of a Bishop from his diocese. Would you be kind enough to elaborate the procedure that is involved?

      BTW, good catch on that observation. It slipped right by me.

      • Dear Paul,

        You asked

        I’m unfamiliar with the normal procedure involved in the removal of a Bishop from his diocese. Would you be kind enough to elaborate the procedure that is involved?

        The article cited is hearsay, suggesting that the Patriarch has asked Archbishop Demetrios to ask for various resignations and then goes on to discuss the monasteries under the direction of Gerontas Efreem. No sources are given. No official letter has been given. The article does not discuss canonical removal.

    • The fact is that the “flocks” HAVE spoken to the tune of abut 700+ who signed the petition for removal of the two hierarchs and for change in the Diocese of Chicago. The Phanar apparently does care what they think; it’s just a shame that it took this long after so much scandal and impropriety.

      • GOAPriest says

        700 unverified signatures means that the “flocks HAVE spoken” ? You do realize that there are canonical requirements for removal of hierarchs, and 700 signatures by way of an anonymous website (see if you can find any indication on the website in questions of its owners) of unverified signatures, is not among them.

        • That 700 is more like 800 at this point and growing. Yes, there may well be canonical requirements for removal and I would bet deception, misappropriation of funds, and trying to subvert evidence would be among them. The 800 are speaking loudly and are brave enough to list their names; and the EP is noticing.

        • previous post is not here: That 700, GOAPriest, is now over 800. They have spoken listed their names on the petition, and the EP is listening finally to the stories of deception, funds misappropriation, and arrogance by those involved. How can it be anonymous when all the names are there for all to see?

        • Louis G. Atsaves says

          “Unverified?” I signed it. Consider my signature “verified.” Metropolitan Iakovos should have been retired years ago. I never realized what a laughingstock the Chicago Metropolis was within our Church until I began traveling the country a few years ago and hearing other priests and hierarchs say so. Sometimes we can be too close to a problem to recognize it.

          Ephraimitism is running rampant in our Metropolis. When superstitions and village ways supersede our faith and when the Metropolitan and Bishop are more concerned about money and parish assessments than the eroding of Greek Orthodoxy in their jurisdiction, it is time for BOTH of them to go. Immediately.

          • Empraimitism? Is that a new heresy? It doesn’t surprise me that Chicago folk would rather go for modernist, watered down, “Orthodoxy” than deal with patristic, traditional Orthodoxy (which IS ORTHODOXY its sad that I need to put in those qualifiers when they should be understood). They seem to like criminals and marxists in that neck of the woods. Tradition and truth has little place there so of course they would hate the Elder and Athonite monasticism.

    • Patrick Henry Reardon says

      Ruling Bishops removed from their positions without participation of their own dioceses!

      The operative and troubling word—the word descriptive of the situation in Chicago—is the active participle.

      • Bishop Tikhon (Fitzgerald) says

        Shepherds rule their flocks, Historically our Bishops are handed a shepherd’s staff to aid them in ruling their flocks, although some people might prefer them to be given Bose headphones to listen to their sheep’ advice! And I guess the word “operative” means “provoking” to that writer?
        “Thy rod and Thy staff, they comfort me.”

        “Participles?” “Gerundives?” Takes ya back!

        • Patrick Henry Reardon says

          some people might prefer them to be given Bose headphones to listen to their sheep’ advice!

          I wonder if it is prudent for those unfamiliar with the “situation” in Chicago to comment on the situation in Chicago.

          • Bishop Tikhon (Fitzgerald) says

            Prudent? Prudent? “unfamiliar with the “situation” in Chicago?” Why the quotation marks around the situation? Does this mean there is really no situation in Chicago per se? Don’t they teach English composition in high schools any more? I already knew that no one studies traditional logic any more, so I hardly turn a hair when some half-educated writer confuses ad hominem with personal, but this sloppiness or ignorance about quotation marks smust be a result of texting and its pathologies!

            • Patrick Henry Reardon says

              this sloppiness or ignorance about quotation marks smust be a result of texting and its pathologies!

              My modest education did not include “texting.”

              If a communication cannot be handled with smoke signals, I’m not your man.

              • Bishop Tikhon (Fitzgerald) says

                I’ll have one of whatever those are he’s having, but without the maraschino cherry!

        • Louis G. Atsaves says

          You meant to say Shepherds guide their flocks. Their flocks are not chained together and whipped until they move in a certain direction. They are guided towards that direction. The two Chicago dictators must go. Now.

  7. Paul Stasi says

    translation of the article from Greek at


    Wednesday, May 13 2015 by Theothoros Kalmoukos

    Boston. The Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew appears to be particularly concerened with the state of ecclesiastical affairs in the Archdiocese of America and has asked Archbishop Demetrios to intervene. The “National Herald” has information that the Patriarch has intimated to Archbishop Demetrios the need to request the resignations of the Metropolitan of Denver Isaiah and the Metropolitan of Chicago Iakovos, and to recall the Bishop of Mokissos Demetrios to the Archdiocese in New York.
    The Patriarch’s subtle intervention was not done officially via a Synod to avoid any leaks, but communicated privately with Archibishop Demetrios. It should be reminded that some months ago Archbishop Demetrios went to Denver himself to address the issue with the parish of Holy Trinity at Salt Lake City in Utah.
    The Patriarch seems to be particularly concerned because the Archdiocese of America is in every respect the biggest Eparchy of the Ecumenical Throne abroad. He is highly concerned and agonizes over the divisive situation created in Utah within the parish of the Holy Trinity in Salt Lake City, where the Metropolitan of Denver Isaiah has tried to break it up in two, as the “ National Herald” has repeatedly mentioned in its articles.
    Metropolitan Isaiah has even reached the point of closing for a month both the two churches of the parish, and the situation is so out of control that police presence is required inside and outside the church of Prophet Elias during the Holy Liturgy.
    Because Metropolitan Isaiah did not achieve his goal, he permitted and encouraged the creation of a new parish in the same city the so called “Missionary Community” as previously mentioned in the “National Herald.” In the mean time the problems in Salt Lake City continue to exist.
    In Chicago the situation worsened with the case of the priest Fr. James Dokos who was formally charged by the Prosecutor with stealing money from a church trust fund of a former parishioner during his twenty year priesthood with the Annunciation parish in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. The Bishop of Mokissos Demetrios, who in essence is the Auxiliary Bishop of Archbishop Demetrios and serves the Metropolis of Chicago as a Chancellor due to the advanced age of Metropolitan Iakovos, proceeded with the simultaneous transfers Fr. Dokos and Fr. Evangelos Artemakis from Saints Peter and Paul in Glenview, Illinois, to the Annunciation parish in Milwaukee, and the reverse.
    Fr. Dokos as revealed by the “National Herald”, gave money from the trust fund to the Bishop of Mokissos Demetrios , as well as to the Metropolitan of Dardanellia Nikita who is also the Director of the Patriarch Athenogoras Orthodox Institute in California, and to the Metropolitan of Buenos Aires Tarasios.
    There is already movement with the clergy and the laity calling for the retirement of Metropolitan Iakovos and the recall of the Bishop of Mokissos Demetrios back to New York. Signatures are being collected through an Internet petition, while the Syndicate of Priests in the Diocese of Chicago on April 1, 2015 sent a letter of support for both hierarchs Demetrios and Iakovos.
    Priests from the Chicago area have talked to the “National Herald”, with the condition they remain anonymous because of fears of retaliation from the hierarchs, about the situation in Chicago. Various “interest groups” have also been created in Chicago with participation in the Archdiocesan Council and a variety of Committees of the Archdiocese including that of Finance.
    Especially strong is the influence of the monk Efraim and his Monasteries, both in the community and over the priests in Chicago, who adhere to their fundamentalist movement presently operating without any control in Chicago but also in other Metropolises of the Archdiocese of America, presenting itself as a kind of “anti-Church” (alternative to church?), that has parents concerned about their children getting exposed to the extreme doctrines taught by some priests, as many have revealed to the “National Herald.”
    Another element for concern is the sharp decline in church attendance in many areas in America, with first place given to New England. Many churches in large parishes have become the abominations of desolation with only a few attending liturgy on Sunday, where even on Holy Friday and Holy Saturday there were empty seats in many churches. Many communities experience decline due to unfortunate administrative interventions and the faithful and driven away, while the child molestation case of the priest Adamantios Mitropoulos who has been the head priest for thirteen years in the parish of St. George in Bangor, Maine has given rise to even more questions. We should add that Hellenic Education in Boston and in the New England area at large is totally anemic and in a state of neglect.
    Meanwhile the conversation between clergy and laity regarding what needs to happen with the succession of Archbishop Demetrios, when “his time comes” as they say, is intensifying. The Ecumenical Patriarchate has the exclusive privilege of electing the Archbishop and in essence it depends on the Patriarch.

    • Re: the “extreme doctrines” of the monasteries

      I don’t know much about the Ephraimite monasteries, but I dare say ordinary Orthodox praxis (going to church every Sunday, fasting on Wednesdays and Fridays, and going to confession every month or two) would be “extremist” to many so-called Orthodox.

  8. Stan Shinn says

    With regard to Metropolitan Isaiah, I have personally seen him turn a deaf ear to credible clergy sexual misconduct accusations, enabling credibly accused abusers to remain in a position of trust.

    Take (former priest) Nicholas Katinas as one example:

    Metropolitan Isaiah’s soul-crushing acts towards victims of sexual misconduct, his blatant disregard of the Archdiocese clergy misconduct polices, and his eagerness to leave sexually abusive clergy in active ministry despite the potential danger they pose to those in their parish, is well documented and cause for grave concern.

    See the sidebar on this page for the numerous articles documenting Metropolitan Isaiah’s history of inappropriate dealings with clergy misconduct issues:

    • Heracleides says

      Uttering the word “credible” and then subsequently sourcing Pokrov is more than a little ironic.

    • Daniel E Fall says

      Stan…George…thanks for the edifying and seemingly fair posts. My psychological profile is someone on the fence about church. I’d rather not delve into my profile, but posting here has resulted in pushing me to the wrong side of the fence many times to the point I’m not sure anymore what my intent ever was. But hearing you say wrongs have been done by a hierarch has the opposite effect of what you might think.

      When I critically examine the story, I see the biggest negative here was/is foreign rule-where the EP is not accountable for his clergyman or brother bishops for years and years and even when recommends. The positive is finally. This is probably tough for George to read because I think he would prefer totalinarianism by hierarchy.

      But corruption by hierarchy while recommending marching for or donating to causes is worse than deception. It puts the church et al on weaker ground than the Wizard was when Toto pulled back the curtain. The Wizard was never a man of God. The guys here rip Stokoe plenty, but he was a toto for us.

      It is too bad we need toto in the church…pretty clear we do.

    • OrthodoxtheTRUChurch says

      I get sick of PEDERASTY being swept under the rug in the GOA and the victims marginalized and mocked. If someone gets molested they need to tell the police firs before bishops can cover it up.Clerical Narcissism is a live and well.No offense to the clergy who really take being a shephard seriously. A true shepherd protects and would lay down his life for his sheep if he had to.These molested boys are wounded. Snide remarks are not one bit funny. Look at the crisis in the Catholic Church

  9. Unless there is other news not posted, it looks as if the headline is wrong. The EP has not removed Archbishop Demetrios. He has not even removed Metropolitans Isaiah and Iakovos, or Bishop Demetrios. Rather, the Patriarch

    has intimated to Archbishop Demetrios the need to request the resignations of the Metropolitan of Denver Isaiah and the Metropolitan of Chicago Iakovos, and to recall the Bishop of Mokissos Demetrios to the Archdiocese in New York.

    • Bishop Tikhon (Fitzgerald) says

      123, get over it nobody has taken this blog’s headlines seriously since the headline annouced that retired Metropolitan Jonah had bee received by ROCOR!

  10. Michael Woerl says

    Now, about that dedpotism in the Phanar …

  11. Michael Woerl says

    the ‘monk Ephraim’ left the jurisdiction of the EP in the 1990s … he received threats on his life, and threats that all his spiritual children would be excommunicated … who da “fundamentalists?”

    • Paul Stasi says

      Michael Woerl:

      Are the monasteries of Elder Ephraim under any bishop at all? If so, who?

      • Bishop Tikhon (Fitzgerald) says

        I believe Elder Ephraim was established in Arizona by ever-memorable Anthony (Georgiades) os San Francisco, and I assume they are under his successor, Gerasimos….

  12. Molon Labe says

    The small kerfuffle regarding the auxiliary bishops in the Antiochian Archdiocese a few years ago seems tame compared to what has transpired in GOA and OCA. By and large, the Antiochians seem to be free from the afflictions of other jurisdictions. What do they do differently?

  13. Souvlakisam says

    So, while the oca celebrates the life of that corrupt old […] Leontius. The EP shows the way, at last leadership! Thank you Your All Holiness!

    • Very Rev. Andrei Alexiev says

      What did Metropolitan Leonty do that would have made him corrupt?

      • Souvlakisam says

        He was in schism and in 1940 when the patriarch of russia ordered him and other bishops of the metropolitan district to repent and return to proper church order and authority he did not. We can thank him for many of rhe problems of a lack of unity we have. He made disobedience an every day act. Look at all the disobedient monks and priest’s in America. He made it happen.

        Samy Constantine

  14. Definitely not to divert into this tangent BUT: One of the complaints against the “Ephraimites” is preaching the “heresy” of tollhouses. If that’s heresy then recent Saints like Paisios and Porphyrios are guilty; as are contemporary notable hierarchs like + Kallistos, + Hierotheos Vlachos and +Hilarion Alfeyev. And even outstanding Orthodox scholars like Fr. Maximos Constans and Jean-Claude Larchet.

    It just makes we wonder about the charges leveled against Elder Ephraim and his monastics. Perhaps many in the GOA are unfamiliar with patristic teaching.

    • It’s hysterical blather.

      Note well how liberal Orthodox resort to memes like “fundamentalism” to accuse others of… I don’t even know… adhering too closely to the scriptures, or something? (Because that’s bad, you know. Only Protestants read and obey the Bible. We can read from it in our services, but should anyone try to “hear the word and keep it”, they’re nuts.)

      I saw this gem posted on social media recently and had to laugh.

      Fundamentalism is the last thing we should be worried about. Our youth are not leaving the church because too much is asked of them. It’s because too little is asked of them.

      • Ages:

        Fundamentalism is the last thing we should be worried about. Our youth are not leaving the church because too much is asked of them. It’s because too little is asked of them.

        Here are some real reasons our youth and adults are leaving the church: sexual abuse. Corrupt hierarchs. Scheming political hierarchs. Crazy Ephraimite monks. Irrelevant doctrines like the aerial tollhouses. Out of touch clergy who lack interpersonal skills. Etc…

        • The church laity, hierarchy, and monasteries have always been full of sinners and inept people. That fact is not justification to leave. “Where else would we go?” This speaks of the narcissism of people today.

          I stand by what I said: young people leave because it costs them nothing. (At least in this life.)

        • Michael Bauman says

          OOM, yup it is, of course about all the things other folks do isn’t it?

        • OOM,

          No Orthodox doctrine is irrelevant since they all have practical ramifications. Many of the Saints saw fit to deliver sermons on said subject and even referred to them in their very last prayers in the flesh. Oh well…

          Perhaps the Ephraimites should just leave the GOA again. Blaming the GOA’s problems even partially on Elder Ephraim is silly to me. As a non-Greek GOA member I see that the problems are club mentality, lack of Gospel teaching/preaching, phyletism and a magical understanding of the Mysteries and church attendance. Plus, the hierarchs seem to be despotic administrators, and the children are not taught how to behave in the temple. Lord have mercy on us!

        • monk andrew says

          And egomaniacal priests with “fan clubs”. Quick, let’s start an Orthodox Priest reality show. Then they could be the celebs they long to be.

      • Pere LaChaise says

        Ages wrote:
        “Fundamentalism is the last thing we should be worried about. Our youth are not leaving the church because too much is asked of them. It’s because too little is asked of them.”

        Very astute point, in light of recent polls so poorly and tendentiously reported by MSM that “Americans are rapidly losing their religion”. I heard a guest on a very progressive radio program, a religions scholar from UC Berkeley, talking about how the current scene is not marked by mass apostasy as so widely reported by MSM corporate shils but by typical American fluidity of confession which sees many spiritually restless people move from the faith community of their upbringing to others, with often a gap during the college years before children are born to them, wherein they practice no particular religion.
        The guest (sorry forgot his name) went on to say what I have heard before, that the only real demographic losers are ‘mainstream (liberal) denominations’, while ‘conservative’ churches like the Roman Catholic, Calvinist & Orthodox are at least holding their own, all things considered. He predicted that the American scene will not be fundamentally changed into something resembling Europe’s widespread atheism, only that some Americans now feel free to answer (problematically-posed) pollsters that they have left their old faiths and they don’t currently have one. Whereas in the past they might have been asked differently and felt they needed to continue identifying with their original confession.
        The interview went on to speak about the unscientific methodology of polls in general and the overweening bias of the MSM to report only negatives about religion. This latter insight ought to alarm us more than it does, but until people learn to switch off the TV and disregard what the newsclowns are spewing altogether, we will torment ourselves to the desired effect of their corporate masters, who want us to worship mammon.
        If we want to maintain our youth in Orthodoxy, we simply need to be ourselves, true to our roots unashamed of our heritage and tradition. We may remain a minority faith, but at least we will be able to hold our heads up on that Last Day. Our children will appreciate that in the coming winnowing of American religion and see that our faith, which has survived the collapse of every Orthodox Empire and Realm, will never be outmoded, as its renewal is continual in the Holy Spirit.

        • M. Stankovich says

          You both make the interesting points about the “tolerance” and “appreciation,” of our children, and if we are talking “unscientific methodology,” Pere LaChaise, you are equally guilty! No “data” exists, to my knowledge, and there is no pejorative connotation to my comment. I believe there are significant assumptions & conjecture.

          I walked to the Royal Hours on Holy Friday at the largest Greek Church in San Diego proper, and it was sparsely attended. Nevertheless, the priest, who I suspect is in his early 40’s, served the First – Ninth Hours in their near entirety, 99% in English, with three Cantors, one of whom was African American. After two-hours and twenty-five minutes, as the Ninth Hour was concluding, the front doors to the street opened and easily 100 children – from approximately ages 8-18 – entered single file and grouped by age, and seated themselves near a child holding a sign with a number. At the end were a group of men & women all with Starbucks or similar coffee cups who sat in pews behind the children. At the conclusion of the Hours, the priest gave a very short homily on the significance of the Royal Hours, then noted the children were having their “annual retreat.” Outside, I asked a group of the adults why the children did not attend at least a part of the Royal Hours, and they looked at me like I was insane. The answers ranged from, “They”re going to be here decorating; it would make the day too long,” “They would get bored,” “They don’t understand,” “They would act up,” ” Would you want to be in church for two hours if you were a kid?” “I couldn’t even get my kids to come at all.” When I asked, “How do you know this?” they laughed like, “Are you serious and/or stupid? They’re kids!”

          I thought back to my grandmother and parents, and they would never ask if we wanted to go to church, knowing it was Holy Week and services would be long and not always in English. It was what our family did during Holy Week. And our priest always prepared a letter for our school when the Pascha cycle did not coincide with the West, explaining that we would be absent Holy Thursday morning, Holy Friday, and Bright Monday. And we were absent from school and in church celebrating our Namesday and the Great Feasts of the Church, and so on. And I stood looking looking at these people with Starbucks’ cups thinking of Fr. Alexander Schememannn and the The Problems of Orthodoxy in America, and that it’s you that don’t want to be in church, but it is Holy Friday, my mother is dying, and I have no fight left in me.

          So, Pere LaChaise, I agree we should be faithful to our heritage & tradition, but we need to be delivering it the next generation – and especially you selected and anointed by God as shepards – because in too many cases, what they are receiving is insufficient for the world they face. And I pray for your stamina & faithfulness, because no task is more difficult.

          • George Michalopulos says

            Dr S, you have written quite possibly, the most eloquent and poignant comment to appear on Monomakhos for a long time. You touch on many layers of what afflicts us, particular the spectacular lack of phronema that was on display at this parish for Holy Friday. It leaped out at me. If I may digress slightly: what you describe is why the Athonite monasteries are growing.

            • Christopher says

              I have only encountered this sort of Orthodoxy once that I can remember. My wife and I converted in a small, seemingly dying Greek parish (it had a wonderful convert priest who shepherded us along) and I can see something like this happening there. In fact, my wife and I would often be the only ones at Saturday vespers. We would be singing/chanting and below us, in the basement, one of the societies (a men’s society of one sort or another if memory serves) would be laughing it up to the point it was distracting. About half way through Holy Week, a chanter would show up (he had been absent the entire rest of the year) and insist on chanting, everything in greek of course (the priest had it about 1/2 english). He was on the board of course and may of the old timers loved it. It was a battle that the priest was losing, and he was eventually driven out.

              Yet, there were a small minority of the old timers who knew all this was wrong. I just now looked up the church, and they still exist and have even moved to a new building. Still, the pictures reveal they are as small as ever. A few ethnic and moneyed “greeky greeks” keep the place going.

              Can this sort of Orthodoxy survive? I don’t think so, but then, perhaps God is using them for some reason…

          • Very well said. Just to add from Solomon: “Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it.”

          • Michael Bauman says

            Parents are anointed by God as shepherds to their children and we fail in that task when we demean their humanity and their desire to know God and ability to commune with Him.

            I am beginning to suspect that a flood of demonic rage has been loosed on us and our children are even more subject to it than most. If they don’t have the tools and the foundation to stand fast, they will be victims to the flood. Even our children who are young adults. The responsibility of parenting never goes away, it just changes form.

            Blessed Theotokos, pray for us and strength us to guide our children aright.

          • Pere LaChaise says

            Thanks, Mr Stankovich, we clergy need al the hlep we can get from adults who take an active interest in the ‘religious aspects’ of church life.
            Those cowards who deprive their parish’s children of meaningful religious experience are cutting them out of the Gospel, when their youth is precisely the time when they should be getting written into it. If secularization is proceeding, it is most significant it its leading edge where people who go to church leave the Church part out of it.

      • GOAPriest says


        Very well said.

        Based on my many years of service in the GOA, the scourge is not Ephraimitism, it is club-minded Christianity.

    • r j klancko says

      Just look at all of this diatribe and dribble, and why, because we have lost our relevancy and allow petty dictators and their pawns who have missplaced motives and allegiances. why these hierarchs and clergy are no better than congress. they all bring shame upon the church, all appear to be rotten from the top down for how can these leaders have allowed this to happen? They all should be liacized and sent packing – new bishops, american born, widowed priests, all with mba’s. what we have is not what christianity is all about, all of these people have perverted the faith, the faith of our fathers – anathema on them all – i grieve, for this is in part why our youth are voting with their shoes and leaving us, this is why many of our converts are fringe cultists who emphasize the externalities but not the internalities .

      it is time for us to redefine out mission and vision, is it that of the new testament to spread the faith and follow the word of christ, or is it to perpetuate the byzantine politics that has stagnated us, that continued archaic system of buying favors and power – of being petty dictators i would dare say that jesus is weeping over this one – as far as i am concerned the sacraments preformed by these people and their supporters and enablers are up to be challenged for how can the altar be sanctified with such characters in it?

      they are holy men? why because other unholy men have decided that they are holy? who is fooling who?
      if it has gotten so far in the press, the only sane conclusion is that they all are unholy and need the boot – once they are lay people, we can then consider forgiveness but bishops and clergy they are no more and i mean from dimitrios down – it happened on his watch, and on that of the other metropolitans – so aren’t they all equally culpable?

      what a disheartening situation – i pray for all, even those who have written the dribble above – please see the light – we must get back to the truth of the faith

      • Alexander says

        Happily, the Holy Assembly of Bishops of the Serbian Orthodox Church meeting in Belgrade this fortnight finally acted and relieved one particularly bad bishop, George (Dokic), of his duties as bishop of Canada. Scandals have plagued his episcopacy almost since day one of his enthronement.

        The Assembly’s decision, apparently a 21 – 16 vote, has deeply divided the SOC bishops and captivated in an unprededented manner the Serbian press. As much as anything, the process of George’s removal reflected an “ideological” proxy fight between two powerful camps in the SOC, one led by the western-leaning, pro-Ecumenical Throne, Bishop Irinej of Bachka, and the other, putatively by led the Patriarch Irinej as momentarily puppetteered by the prevaricating Metropolitan of Montenegro, Amphilohije. All three of these bishops are not exactly pillars of virtue themselves — none of us are, of course — but still.

        George was ultimately done in the same thing that retired his biological brother as a bishop, gross financial improprieties and self-dealing with diocesan funds. George’s malfeasance was chronicled in a 1500 page report comissioned earlier this spring by the Holy Synod as the basis for his long awaited suspension in April. But the real problem was not George’s failures as a novice criminal accountant. His moral transgressions — long and short term relationships with women, oppression, marginalization, maltreatment of clerics, and rejection of non-ethnic Serbs in his diocese among other things — played an important role in the Synod’s initial decision to suspend him and then the Assembly’s decision today to remove him.

        Here is the learning point for those in the OCA, GOA and elsewhere disgusted by the, ahem, “lifestyles” of their hierarchs: people who complained about George’s administrative and financial monkey business also documented in spades his moral monkey business with incontrovertible pictures and videos. It was hard for him — and his equally compromised, previously involuntarily “retired” brother bishop — to escape the camera’s lens. Among dozens of examples, they were most recently filmed traveling to, in, and from Cuba with their “lady friends.” It will be practically difficult for George to take his handful of sycophants into schism because he is so reviled by the laity and an overwhelming segment of his now former priests and deacons.

        This also is a relative plus for those interested in establishing pan-Orthodox administrative untity as George was a decided critic of, and AWOL member of, the Episcopal Assemblies, believing his diocese was simply the northwestern most village of Serbia and nobody else’s business but his.

        Given the Irinej of Bachka versus Amphilohije/Patriarch battleline, this proxy fight lilely has a ripple effect on how the SOC may be posturing itself in the run up to the 2016 Great and Holy Paper Shuffle and Rubberstamping proposed by We, Our All Great, Supreme Grand Poohbah and Green Humilitiness of New, New, New Rome, the Eastern Lung Ourself, and Bishop of a Diocese of 750, 900 on a Good Day with Visiting Tourists, Bartholemew. The SOC has centuries’ experience as a windsock, vascillating between Moscow and “Greece,” including Irinej of Bachka and the Metropolitan of the Kleptocracy of the Black Mountain. But, the SOC most recently owes an awful lot to the Patriarch Kirill (and the Russian government) for his efforts in securing the release of Metropolitan John of Ohrid from political prison in Macedonia and providing him safe harbor in St. Petersburg.

        I digress.

        Thank God George’s out, albeit the contours of his new status left to be defined. Next this week is the case of Bishop Filaret of Mileshevo, another rather creative accountant. He creates a different dynamic, as he is a militant nationalist and supporter of accused war criminals on trial whose ouster is rumored to have been requested by the US State Department. All things equal, his gross financial mismanagement and self-dealing would easily justify making his suspension an outright permanent removal. But, when viewed as a proxy fight between those SOC bishops who curry US/EU favor versus those who do not, the Assembly’s decision will send a signal that will be microparsed beyond the postage stamp sized diocese of Mileshevo.

        Let’s just hope that the Assembly gets around to the disturbing case of Pahomije of Vranje — an oft-accused child molester who has skirted the civil and ecclesial authorities for far too long.

        In the end, there’s hope that the bishops anywhere can clean themselves up. Not necessarily a lot of hope, and not certainly for the “right” reasons, but a faint glimmer nevertheless.

        • George Michalopulos says

          Alexander, thank you for this update. Would you be so kind as to flesh out the inner dynamics of the SOC for us? I’m particularly intrigued as to how this plays out in the run-up to the upcoming Council.

          • Alexander says


            Your first question is a rather challenging proposition and one that I’m not sure I or anyone else could ever farily answer with any meaningful authority. My observations are nothing more those of someone with fifty odd years as an extremely interested outsider looking in.

            The hierarchy of the SOC has shifting allegiances and alliances that depend on the issue and when in time it arises. One thing is certain, in broad strokes, it has certainly become a younger group over the last decade and Irinej of Bachka has got himself a following in that group. This Bishop George thing — Bachki supporting him ostensibly on procedural grounds — was at one point conceptualized as an attempted silent putsch against the Patriarch and his Synod.

            As with most ethnic groups, there’s the saying, “given two Serbs, there are three political parties.” Then there’s the proverbial observation made by a Roman Catholic priest to his Orthodox counterpart that goes something like: “Yes, our one pope believes himself infallible. I feel sorry for you. Each of your bishops believes himself to be infallible.”

            From my 50,000 ft. perspective, alliances tend to coallase on these issues:

            Bishops born in Serbia proper versus those bornoutside Serbia proper, especially those born in Bosnia, a disproportionate number
            Putative disciples of St. Justin of Chelije (“Justinovci’) versus those not as impressed with or even adverse to his dogmatics and ecclesiology
            True monastics (no so many) versus careerist bishops (many)
            Serbian nationalists (many) versus “that’s the past” (not so many)
            Practicing homosexuals (too many) versus womanizers (some) versus the truely celibate (not enough)
            Pro Moscow versus Pro Phanar — and the secular politics, theological proclivities, and ecclesialogical principles provide inconsistent nuances
            Pro US/EU (fewer) versus Anti US/EU (most)
            Academics versus pastors

            Regarding the Council, who knows. This much is sure, with perhaps the exception of Bishop Max of Western America, no one is remotely interested in creating workable autocephalous local churches in the “diaspora.” Pick your cynical conventional wisdom explanation, “We need them as ATM’s,” “Wait a second, there are Orthodox outside our borders?,” “We need them to stay good ‘Serbs,'” and a dozen other excuses.

            The SOC representatives to the various preparatory meetings, most recently Irinej of Bachka and Amphilohije of Montenegro, embody the schizophrenia of “Greece” versus “Moscow.” Irinej is decidedly pro-Phanar and theologically very, very western. Amphilohije is a conniver and opportunist who, in my view, momentarily sees the power of Moscow as being very real. But in his time, he can be a big supporter of the Phanar. (To his credit, however, Amphi shut down the John of Pergamon crap on “sexual minorities” from one of the recent confabs. But then on the other hand, he almost single handedly creates a fictitous SOC “South American Diocese,” for the spiritual care of the 15 Serbs in South America of course, appoints himself administrator, and then plops his keister down on the EA for South America, and the SOC Episcopal Council for North and South America. How convenient.)

            Also, among the bishops there is a raging liturgical/theological controversy on the Consecration of the Gifts — “traditional” Slavic versus some Greek “innovations” and abbreviations.

            More to your question, the most interesting clue will be if before the Council the SOC manages to resolve the issues with the uncanonical Macedonian Orthodox Church, and the terms on which it would be accomplished. Over time, it has tried in fits and starts to do so.

            The result, if any, will tell the temperature of the SOC’s current relationship with the Phanar and the SOC’s working paradigm for “autocephaly,” “autonomy,” a “local church,” and the like. Russia suddenly got interested in Macedonia — perhaps at Putin’s insistence regarding logistics for gas pipeline reasons. In stunningly short order, Hilarion met with very senior Macedonian government officials and, I believe, representatives of the MOC. Viola, the Archbishop of Ohrid is released from political prision and sent to recover and publish in St. Petersburg.

            (Meanwhile, back at the ranch, at the Soros Foundation’s suggestion, the US State Department has been sniffing around and just as fast, ethnic Albanians in Macedonia are creating problems, including the murder of 8 policemen in Kumanovo. And suddenly, the National Review publishes a week long travel log of its reporter’s experiences in Macedonia, effectivley lining up the basic issues. Hmmm.)

            In the end, George, these are simply the musings of a moron who, based on experience, has a rather cynical and jaundiced view of how the SOC has operated in the mid 20th century onward. Ultimately, the observations and the incomplete answer to your question are likely not worth the electrons I killed to post them.

          • Bishop Tikhon (Fitzgerald) says

            Alexander’s comments are, indeed, right on. I think, though, that politely asking to “flesh out” the “inner dynamics” of the SOC looks like a request for gossip. I enjoyed Alexander’s reference to the coming mass episcopal ashram very much. It is sad and ironic that a Church that produces playboy hierarchs also produced a spiritual teacher like the sainted Justin Popovich, who wrote the wisest possible commentary on any coming “Great Council,” that should be mandatory reading for every Orthodox hierarch alive and is beneficial reading for all Orthodox who can read.
            Too bad Lawrence Durrell is no longer with us: he could do a MARVELOUS job on a an ecclesiastical assembly as he once did for a party for various international diplomats….

        • Tim R. Mortiss says

          Man, oh man…..

          This Cuban travel with mistresses— this isn’t made up?

        • Alexander says

          And it looks like the SOC Holy Assembly of Bishops canned Filaret of Mileshevo this morning. Good for them.

          • Alexander says

            Well, it may be a purge at the SOC.

            Today, the SOC excommunicated — if not outright anathemized — the former bishop of Ras-Prizren, Artemis. Several years ago, he was suspended, then defroked, and finally returned to the status of a monk. There was never any meaningful allegation against him about his morals or financial dealings. Rather, using contemporary parlance, he was “extreme right wing,” incessantly railing against ecumenism, papism, the New World Order, the West (USA/EU), etc. He wound up attempting to create a “church in exile” of sorts with a handful of monastics, clerics, and laymen. Along the way he “consecrated” a “bishop.” A couple of days ago, the Assembly publicly pleaded with him to recant and return.

            This comes on the heels of the Patriarch, Bachki, and Amphilohije meeting earlier this week with a high level delegation of Roman representatives. The purpose of that meeting is unclear, but the SOC continues to object to the Roman beautification and proposed, pending canonization of the Croatian Archbishop Stipinac, an alleged WWII war criminal who at the very least purposefully turned a blind eye away from the murder of hundreds of thousands Orthodox Serbs.

            It will take some time to figure out what all this means.

      • monk andrew says

        Don’t you mean drivel? Dribble is what a basketball player does to a ball.

        • Daniel E Fall says

          Yeah! And I never could dribble either. Thanks for the correction

        • Bishop Tikhon (Fitzgerald says

          Monk A ndrew. The word “dribble” has been around centuries before anyone invented basketball! FAUCETS DRIBBLE in standard English, both in America and Great Britain. Brooks and streams and rivulets DRIBBLE. If English (or standard English?) isomething you grew up without. use a standard dictionary before claiming any kind of expertise! Daniel Fall did not make a mistake there!
          “A dribbble of water came off my car as I emerged from the car wash.” GET IT?

          • Michael Bauman says

            Your Grace, despite its origin in the sense you describe the word dribble has been used more and more in a sports sense since the mid 19th century starting with soccer (football) then moving on to basketball.

            In the context above, clearly drivel is the better word. There is no sense of the word dribble that seems appropriate to me.

            • Bishop Tikhon (Fitzgerald says

              Michael, thanks for informing us of YOUR standard! I think that, while BOTH dribble and drivel were correct standard English in the case citedm “drool” might have been less disturbing to the sensibilities of Monomakhos savants such as you and others. I’ll continue to respect the Merriam Wbster definition of the NOUN “dribble:” 1a., “a small trickling stream or flow; 1b a drizzling shower; 2 a tiny or insignificant bit or quantity; 3 (three) an act, instance, or manner of dribbling a ball or puck.

              People should READ books and get out more, rather than just watching tv or their smart phone!!!

  15. Michael Bauman says

    Just some questions that I think we ought to ask ourselves concerning bishop scandals:

    1. Am I a bishop?
    2. Am I qualified to be a bishop in anyway, shape or form?
    3. If I were a bishop, subject to the immense temptations of such an office, would I do any better?
    4. Do I pray regularly and deeply for my own bishop?
    5. What are my motivations for seeking to correct a bishop(s)?

    When I began to ask myself these questions and began working to be obedient to the direction my own bishop gave me in such matters to “hold onto my peace” my entire attitude began to change, not only about bishops but a good many other things as well. The change has been for the better in my case.

    Bishops behaving badly has always been the case, it will continue to be the case and with what little I know of the history of such things, they are rarely removed–even more rarely by involvement of the laity. The recent turnover in the OCA is, perhaps, an historical anomaly, but I could easily be wrong about that.

    We are all broken and deeply scared and compromised human beings. Frankly, I am amazed that we have any competent bishops.

    When I recently thanked Bishop Basil for his leadership, he replied, “The people of my diocese make it easy.”

    • r j klancko says

      perhaps we should ask

      what is a bishop
      what are the qualifications to be a bishop in today’s world
      how do others in power keep an even keel
      what historical baggage is there in the church regarding the bishop that needs to be ended
      do i pray that things are done properly
      what do i do to ensure that things are done properly
      what safe guards are in place to ensure things are done properly

      and from your comments please remember the divine right of kings is passe, and from what i see, and it makes me grieve, too many believe in the divine right of bishops, and many, yes many do not deserve such honor – as they try to control our lives in the manner they believe is proper, in turn we must place the same criteria on them – if not , we get the mess that every jurisdiction presently finds it itself embroiled in and the youth leave – and this is just what is happening

  16. Michael Bauman says

    r.j. klancko

    When the issue of “historical baggage in the Church” is raised, I get nervous. How can we possibly answer such a question? Is the Church an amalgam of separate parts and ideas that can be evaluated and improved?

    We need to stick to the standards for even being considered for the episcopate given my St. Paul to Timothy:

    A bishop then must be blameless, the husband of one wife, temperate, sober-minded, of good behavior, hospitable, able to teach; 3 not given to wine, not violent, not greedy for money,[b] but gentle, not quarrelsome, not covetous; 4 one who rules his own house well, having his children in submission with all reverence 5 (for if a man does not know how to rule his own house, how will he take care of the church of God?); 6 not a novice, lest being puffed up with pride he fall into the same condemnation as the devil. 7 Moreover he must have a good testimony among those who are outside, lest he fall into reproach and the snare of the devil.

    The episcopate was originally not so much a office of honor as it has become, it seems, but a position of leadership and sacrifice. If a man does not have a track record of good and virtuous behavior in many different circumstances so that both the content and the quality of his character are clearly known, he ought not be a bishop.

    If a man longs for the office, he is questionable.

    But, if we did this we would have to look well beyond the ranks of the professional political clergyman and maybe even elevate a few laymen with a history of self-forgetting service within their parish and diocese.

    The brokenness of our lives and our culture makes such people quite rare. God forgive us.

    All the more reason to pray diligently, fervently and frequently for those men who have such a burden, that they be protected from temptation and be blessed by the Holy Spirit to overcome their deficiencies.

  17. The qualifications of a Bishop are clearly stated in 1 Timothy 3:1-7 and Titus 1:5-7. By the way, one of the requirements is that a bishop be the husband of 1 wife. CELIBACY IS NOT MENTIONED. Please remember that Jesus did not use celibacy as a requirement for his 12 disciples. Historically we know that 11 of the 12 were married with the first bishop of the see of Rome, Peter, being married. We have strayed from our biblical roots.

    • Carl Kraeff says

      The requirement for a bishop to be celibate was not present in the East until the Council in Trullo in 692 AD. Even then, this council did not do away with married bishops but merely (!) separated the then currently married bishops from their wives (Canon 12) and the bishop candidates likewise from their wives by mutual consent (Canon 48). Over the centuries, the practice of the Orthodox Church evolved to what can be found in most modern local church constitutions, where the new bishop must become a monk if not already one. This is the OCA’s list of qualifications:

      “Article VII, Section 6. Qualifications:
      a. If he is not already a bishop, the candidate for the office of bishop shall be nominated from among the clergy or laity, monastic, celibate, or widowed.
      b. To receive episcopal ordination, the nominee must satisfy all the requirements of the Sacred Canons pertaining to this highest of all ecclesiastical offices.
      c. It is preferable that the candidate have completed a course of study in a graduate school of Orthodox theology.
      d. He should be conversant in the English language and, as appropriate, in another language commonly spoken among the faithful of the Diocese.
      e. If at the time of his nomination he is a layman or a celibate or widowed priest, he shall pronounce at least the first monastic vows (rasophore), if he has not already pronounced such vows.
      f. Diocesan bishops shall not be eligible for nomination for another Diocese.”

      Interestingly, with the growth of the church, most of the duties and functions of a bishop were given or delegated to parish priests, who in fact act as deputy bishops in any given parish. As we know, Trullo did not apply to presbyters so that the vast majority of Orthodox priests conform to Apostle Paul’s list of qualifications–at least in theory. Indeed, I recall the following anecdote: A graduate of a Catholic seminary had set out to find a bishop who would accept him as a priest. The very first one that he approached told him “I don’t ordain no singles.” So, there is indeed a huge bias in the Orthodox Church for our pastors/deputy bishops to be married men, while our arch-pastors/bishops are celibate. What I am driving at is that we have not deviated far from the Scriptures if we look at the reality on the ground. Indeed, the proposed Article XI of the draft revised OCA Statute struck me with its emphasis on the deaneries, that are headed by senior parish priests. Here are their functions:

      “Section 3: Competence of the District Dean. The following are within the competence of the District Dean. The District Dean shall:
      a. Oversee Deanery matters and the activities of its clergy;
      b. Assist the Diocesan Bishop by giving direction and fraternal counsel to deanery clergy in areas of pastoral concern in a private and circumspect manner, whenever their personal conduct or manner of discharging their duties indicates the need for such counsel or action;
      c. Receive and investigate complaints against clergy and laity and against the decisions of Parish bodies and submit his report and recommendations to the Diocesan Bishop;
      d. Participate in Parish meetings at the direction of the Diocesan Bishop;
      e. Participate in Parish meetings at the request of the Parish Priest or the Parish Council with the permission of the Diocesan Bishop;
      f. Provide for services during temporary absence of Parish Clergy with the consent of the Diocesan Bishop;
      g. Assist the Diocesan Bishop in the planning and organization of new Parishes within the Deanery;
      h. Convene periodic meetings of Deanery clergy and submit the minutes of the meetings to the Diocesan Bishop; and
      i. Submit an annual report on the Deanery to the Diocesan Bishop and the Diocesan Assembly.
      The District Dean shall fulfill other duties entrusted to him by the Diocesan Bishop.”

      The interesting development is that the proposed Statute has the deans appointed by the diocesan bishop, while the current Statute has them elected by the Diocesan Council and confirmed by the bishop. (I am glad the revision fixes that ecclesiastic glitch). That said, it is quite clear to me that not only the bishop delegates to parish priests (rectors) pastoral, parish-level administrative and most of his sacramental functions, he also delegates to a dean additional administrative and pastoral functions. Organizationally, that is the way it should be, unless one wants to replicate the earliest practice where the parish priest was in fact the bishop. As a layman, the most important thing to me is that we have not strayed too far from 1 Timothy 3. In fact, to use an analogy that most folks are familiar with, as with a sheriff department, we have the principal whom we elect/nominate, as well as his chief deputies, and deputies. The vast majority of these folks are indeed “…blameless, the husband of one wife, temperate, sober-minded, of good behavior, hospitable, able to teach; not given to wine, not violent, not greedy for money, but gentle, not quarrelsome, not covetous; one who rules his own house well…”

      • ” We have not strayed too far.” One has either strayed or not strayed. A women cannot be almost pregnant, she either is our is not. One either lives in obedience to the Word of God or not. If we take any teaching of the scriptures and applied the logic of “not straying too far” we would be in trouble. Can you imagine; though shall not kill, lie, commit adultery and the other commandments are meant to be followed without straying. Yes we sin and fall short but the answer is not to say “I don’t stray too much”.

        • Tim R. Mortiss says

          Well, I’d rather have as a priest or a bishop a man who has lied, rather than one who has murdered.

          Indeed, I expect that all priests and bishops have lied, but few have murdered.

          As far as pregnancy is concerned, I insist that a priest who has impregnated a woman is married to her.

          • Monk James says

            In an odd, backhanded sort of way, ‘Tim R. Mortiss’ here seems to appreciate the standards emplaced by the Tradition: a man who has killed a human being may not be made a priest, and a priest who kills a human being is returned to the status of a layman.

        • Carl Kraeff says

          Different folks…

          In any case, I am a “glass is half full” type of person. Besides, we strayed from the earliest model during the Apostolic Age; witness St Ignatius who talks about the church being defined as a bishop is surrounded by his priests, deacons and laity. Incidentally, I do believe that we can benefit from returning to the pre-Trullan situation as this will give us a larger pool of episcopal candidates. I simply do not think that it’s absolutely necessary that we do so.

  18. ReaderEmanuel says

    A friend of mine in the Denver Metropolis contacted a priest close to the Utah situation and said that this story is COMPLETELY FALSE. Shame on the National Herald for printing lies about a bishop!

    • George Michalopulos says

      when all is said and done, I hope that the headline (at least as regards to Isaiah) is false. In my estimation, he’s always been a stand-up kind of guy. The GOA would be worse for the wear without him.

  19. Statements from above –This article is not false. They wanted to handle it diplomatically & let them resign with their replacement standing.
    If you are praising Isaiah above you are not from Salt Lake City Utah. He is not an administrator, he is not a spiritual advisor he is a dictator & accepts innuendo. Holy Trinity and it’s long time members will flourish once again with him gone.
    Thank you for the long over due departure.

    • ReaderEmanuel says

      I’m not from the Denver Metropolis, but I’ve read some of Metropolitan Isaiah’s writings. I found them to be wise and sound. Be that as it may, I’ve heard from 2 sources now, from the Denver Metropolis, that this story is false. None of those bishops have been deposed or recalled. I question this story myself, because it seems to say that the EP did this WITHOUT convening a synod. I thought only a synod could depose a bishop, not a patriarch acting alone. Besides all that, I think we need to all go back and re-read both St. Paul’s epistles to the Corinthians and also Clement’s first epistle to those same Corinthians. You can’t just depose a bishop (or a priest) on a whim or because you don’t like him or because you don’t like the way he administers his Metropolis. Unless he has been guilty of wrong teaching, or has committed some grave sin. What has Isaiah really done that is worthy of him being deposed? Now, in the case of the other two, it wouldn’t surprise me if they did get deposed or recalled, but ONLY after the Patriarchal Synod approves. That hasn’t happened. I can only remember one instance of an American bishop in the GOA being booted, and that was Anthimos of Pittsburgh about 35 years ago, because he was guilty of fornication with a woman. He was transferred to the Denver diocese and then defrocked, BUT ONLY AFTER AN INVESTIGATION AND A SPIRITUAL COURT. The spiritual court hasn’t happened here. I also remember very well the situation with Archbishop Spyridon and him basically being pressured to resign, which in my opinion, was because people thought he was too conservative. That’s a different case and a different story, but the lack of a synod or spiritual court here is what makes me think this story is bogus.

      • Unless something has changed, in practice, the Greek Metropolitans in the US are actually auxiliaries to the only true bishop with actual episcopal authority in the GOA — the Archbishop. A spiritual court would certainly need to be convened to depose them from their ecclesiastical rank as bishop, but I would bet that the fine print says that the Archbishop can unilaterally remove any Metropolitan or bishop from his position. That was what I understood from those who were supposedly in the know some years ago — if I am wrong or if things have changed, I am happy to be corrected on that point.

  20. Bruce W. Trakas says

    I just noticed that the GOAA Archdiocesan Council will be meeting this week in San Francisco. This meeting was on Archbishop Demetrios’ published schedule. The Most Reverend Metropolitans are members of the council, so they should be there, and, thus, the Eparchial Synod could possibly assemble an extraordinary session, if there is a need. (There’s no mention of it on “The National Herald’s” website.)

  21. I would assume we would see the “resignations” before the October court trial of Fr. Dokos in Chicago.
    Both the Metropolitan and the Bishop will say there is too much attention away from parish life because of this drama and will resign “for the good” of the Diocese. Standard operating procedure in the GOA. Bishop Demetrious will probably be reassigned, as he is officially connected to the Archdiocese, to a desk job. I think both of their parish assignments are exhausted after this scandal. And if only they had come clean in the beginning and acknowledged mistakes and returned the money. I just wonder if this is the extent of the funds diversion, as the Annunciation Church in Milwaukee is near foreclosure, having missed several payments already.

    • ReaderEmanuel says

      I know Fr. Dokos although I haven’t seen him in years. What a shame. Still hard to believe.

  22. Bruce W. Trains: You are entitled to your own opinion but you should come to Salt Lake City and communicate with members of the parish and get your facts straight. I have been a member of the parish for 84 years, past president and a board member many different times. Your praise of Metropolitan Isaiah is not quite accurate.

  23. I correct the last name of Bruce W to Trakas.

  24. ReaderEmanuel says

    It appears the article about the removal of the bishops was removed from the Herald. As I said, the story was not true. Apparently the author removed it. No bishops have been deposed!