The GOA: More Ecumenism Ahead?

Well, folks, it looks like we need to open another thread on the continuing woes of the GOA.

Archbishop Demetrios wants to pay homage to the Greek Orthodox Church of St Nicholas purportedly to “symbolically suspend the separation of the Roman Catholic and Greek Orthodox church a thousand years ago.” I’m hoping that this is overstated. You know, chalk it up to normal journalistic laziness.

Anyway, you can read the article Below.


Archbishop Demetrios of America will reportedly attend on September 9 an event to honor the Greek Orthodox Church of St Nicholas, which was destroyed in the September 11, 2001, terrorist attack, when the south tower of the World Trade Center came crashing down upon it.

The event will be held at the Church of St Veronica, the former Roman Catholic parish church in Greenwich Village, in a move that is seen as symbolically suspending the separation of the Roman Catholic and Greek Orthodox church a thousand years ago.

The initiative to use former places of worship in the area for special events, beginning with the September 9 commemoration, has been spearheaded by the publisher of Greenwich Village’s WestView News.* George Capsis.

*(Editor’s Note: The WestView News is not known for its editorial sobriety. In July 2014 it published an article by James Lincoln Collier titled “Nigger in the White House,” critical of perceived racism in the far-right’s opposition to then-President Barack Obama.)


  1. Alitheia1875 says

    Bravo George for bringing this to our attention. Who believes such a service will symbolically heal the rift? It is sheer stupidity to believe that a joint prayer service will “join” the Orthodox and Roman Catholics, symbolically or not, so it is more than unfortunate that this notion is trotted out to describe what the archbishop will be doing on September 9. Let’s hope that isn’t the Archdiocese’s take on the event. First of all there is nothing to “unite”. You can’t “unite” something that has never been divided. The Church is the Church. Orthodoxy is the Church. The Orthodox Church is the Body of Christ.The Body of Christ cannot be divided, broken asunder, as the priest prays during the Liturgy, which is why Christ’s legs were not broken as He was suspended on the Cross.The folly of being sucked into “ecumenical” services is well portrayed by the Ground Zero service held there several years ago when the Pope visited there. So there’s the Pope, Archbishop Demetrios (who made sure to tell all that he was reading a Gospel passage in the original Greek which, of course, limited the Gospel message being understood by 99% of those in attendance), a female Protestant bishop (if my memory serves me correctly), the chief rabbi of a 5th Avenue temple, and a Muslim imam and a couple of other representatives of various faiths. The folly, or sheer stupidity, of Orthodox participating in such an event came when a man and then a woman, perhaps Hindu or such, said prayers in their native languages. Does anyone know what they said? Perhaps they were praying to one of their “gods”? You know, an elephant or a woman with several arms? Orthodox faithful would do well to steer clear of such events. Of course the greater problem is that when your bishop participates in such services you, as well, are participating, even if you are not physically present.

  2. This is not the time to be hobnobbing with the Catholic Church. Instead we should be inviting them to join Orthodox Churches. The rot in the Catholic Churches has exceeded most people’s imaginations and is a deep sorrow for many Catholic parishioners. Sincerely hope that it hasn’t spread to Orthodox hierarchy.

    • George Michalopulos says


      I follow several trad/con RC sites and many (not all) are coming to the conclusion that the “rot” is ineradicable. Please understand: I am not a “gay-basher”, but once sodomy becomes normative within an institution, that institution will be destroyed.

      I say this not from a moralist standpoint (as I am not a moralist) but as a historical observation.

      • Alitheia1875 says

        Homosexuality and pedophilia are not the same. There are heterosexual pedophiles. As for what each does to the detriment to society is a matter for debate but it is important to note they are different. Most married men who are pedophiles rarely abuse their sons. They abuse their daughters. Likewise pedophiles abuse boys and girls sometimes to an exclusive extent, that is either boys or girls, but also abuse both sexes. And pedophilia is not limited to men. This is said not to condone homosexuality, by any means, but just to make people aware there is a difference.

        • George Michalopulos says

          Pedophilia is horrible in and of iyself. My comment had nothing to do with pedophilia but about what happens to any organization that is infiltrated by homosexuals.

          • Alitheia1875 says

            Yes. But given what’s going on among the RCs it is important to make the distinction because they need to be understood separately and dealt with separately. It will be easier (but not easy) to deal with the issues if they are kept separate. The other thing to remember is not what your sexual orientation might be but rather what you do with that orientation.

            • Never the less one deviancey easily transitions to another. Many homosexuals are the victims of abuse and would not find themselves enmeshed in it otherwise. To say the two are separate and unrelated may be popular with the media but it is nothing more than obfuscation.

            • George Michalopulos says

              Respectfully, I must disagree. We are all sinners and in need of repentance. Period. End of story. There is however a certain psychological pathology that inures by and large to homosexuals which is not found in most heterosexual men. Thus placing homosexuals in positions of authority causes problems down the road.

              We are seeing this play out in the Roman Catholic church.

      • I follow them as well and they are in a very difficult position. Their instinct to go back is good but they cannot go back before the Papal Reformation of the 11th Century. In a way they are stuck just like the Continuing Anglicans but even worse so. They have a choice: Sedevacantism or return to the correct and historical understanding of the Papacy and see the Papal innovations of the past thousand years for what they are. Sadly I think most will choose Sedevacantism and disappear into schism upon schism.

    • Well said, Nangib.

    • Jonas Colecas says

      Like it or not, most American Greeks would rather their kids marry Catholics than Orthodox.

      • I am minded to be flippant and think it’s so they will not miss out on the pews and organs.!! Shock horror if Catholic priest has a beard.

  3. Greatly Saddened says

    The above has also been reported on the Greek Reporter online website.

  4. Lower Manhattan Cynic says

    I don’t think anyone cares anymore for the what, who, or why anything happens to or with the Greek Orthodox Church. It’s 2018 and the world has moved on. GOA stands only for corruption, self-dealing, pederasty, and Greek nationalism. So, why should anyone care?

    • I CARE! There are many people in the GOA I love and for which I have great respect.

    • Billy Jack Sunday says

      Lower Manhattan Cynic

      I see the point you are trying to make

      However, if you are an Orthodox Christian living in America- everything that’s going on in the GOA greatly affects all – whether directly or indirectly

      If the GOA can’t pull its head out of its armpit, it most likely will dissolve due to corruption. Unfortunately, that may be a needful reality

      Either way, can you see it as the future of Orthodoxy in America?

      They sure do

      But then again, they pretend as if the Byzantine Empire is actually a thing

      • GOA Priest says

        Billy Jack,

        If the GOA can’t pull its head out of its armpit, it most likely will dissolve due to corruption.

        What’s with the axilla reference? Travel south. Way south.

        As for the second sentence, it must have been a joke, because you, my friend, are a generation late.

        • Billy Jack Sunday says

          GOA Priest

          “What’s with the axilla reference? Travel south. Way south.”

          Haha – yes. The inference is for farther South. I was trying to use less colorful words on purpose

          I got the use of expression from Crazy Jack.

          He would say things like, “Not that way, ya dipstick! Pull your head out of your armpit!!”

          Think R Lee Ermey back in his History Channel Mail Call days

          As far as dissolving due to corruption –

          I see your point that it hasn’t happened so far and these problems didn’t arrive overnight

          However, a lot of things have changed the last few decades

          The GOA should not think of itself as impervious to implosion

          After all, there are so many organizations that have seemingly gone down similar paths and are no more

          It’s like the GOA rarely if ever looks outside of itself, so it cant learn from the mistakes of others – or see very predictable outcomes of cause and effect

          I do believe the GOA could collapse if it doesn’t make some significant course corrections

          All other organizations that make the same mistakes seem to

          • GOA Priest says

            Billy Jack,


            My point was it has already imploded, is completely corrupt and has made itself irrelevant.

            There is no more “this is coming….” because it’s slready here.

            • Billy Jack Sunday says

              GOA Priest

              Ah, I see

              Your point being, we just haven’t seen the liquidation sale?

              I’ve always wanted to put a couple of pews in my living room

  5. Greatly Saddened says

    LMC … I wish could disagree with you, but sadly enough, we cannot go on denying the truth either!

  6. Michael Bauman says

    LMC, because Greeks tend to exaggerate their importance. Not unlike the rest of us. It is sad because it need not been that way.

  7. So angry about the lies and deception says

    Are the GOA leaders not aware of the terrible cover-up scandal that is ravaging the modern Roman Catholic Church? Pennsylvania just released the results of an investigation that show that thousands of Roman Catholic clergy and bishops are involved in decades of child sexual abuse and cover-up. This is way worse than the alleged “big” Catholic sexual abuse scandal of the early 2000s.

    Former disgraced D.C. Cardinal Theodore McCarrick and the current Catholic Cardinal of D.C. Wuerl among them. The former papal Nucnio to America released a testimony yesterday saying that Pope Francis has been aware of the child-abusing and cover-upping bishops and priests and Cardinals for years, yet he continues to promote them and allows them to serve.

    Read Rod Dreher’s blog on “The American Conservative” website. He has chronicled this mess well.

    The entire Roman Catholic hierarchy – with probably a few Mother Teresa or St Thérèse of Lisieux exceptions – is entirely corrupt through and through. Full of influential and unrepentant pederasts. The Lavender Mafia is in no way made up. It’s how they operate.

    Why on God’s green earth would the GOA want to associate with these people. Unless for the obvious reasons??? If the GOA hierarchy is corrupt in a similar manner as the Roman Catholic hierarchy, then may I never set foot in a GOA parish again until the current GOA hierarchy collapses and until healthy, monastic bishops come to lead it.

    These are indeed terrible times. May the Mother of God save us! Blessed Dormition this coming Tuesday, Aug. 15/28.

    Most Holy Theotokos save us!

    • GOA Priest says

      The GOA “leaders” don’t care.

      One of Met. Methodios’ best buddies was Bernard Law. At least until recently (I assume it’s still there) and even years after he was completely disgraced from office, he had pictures With him visiting the Pope on his office wall. Even after he was disgraced, he included photos of him in a book that was published in his honor.

      Look — the GOA hierarchy and ladies in waiting are replete with homosexuals. The electing body in Turkey is full of homosexuals. It is little different that the RCs. We are not so numerous, so their indiscretions and dalliances are easier to keep under wraps. I am not saying they are raping boys, but our own clergy have done such disastrous wicked things.

      When Fr. Katinas was discovered to have been a serial predator, Met. Isaiah protected him, tried to stop any investigation.

      When Met. Alexis was made aware of a rape at his summer camp years ago he asked the priest who witnessed it to cover it up. This is widely known.

      Gerasimos was housemates with a man for years.

      Believe what you want, but anyone with active gaydar can spot these “light in the loafer” bishops a mile away.

      These guys are creeps.


      Got it?

      • George Michalopulos says

        GOA Priest, we have been dancing around the problem of episcopal sodomy for several years now. I myself have personally tried to refrain from ever bringing up this subject directly on this blog. One reason is because I don’t believe it’s been given to me to parade another man’s sins to the public. Another is because none of us (myself included) is without sin. The third reason was because I was hoping that this problem would rectify itself if given time.

        That was naive. If anything, the lesson we can draw from the incessant spate of scandals in the Roman church is that once the rot of sodomy entrenches itself, it becomes impossible to eradicate.

        The other lesson that can be drawn from the present scandal (and which is more troubling), is that it will be impossible to hide the names of these hireling bishops.

        • Greatly Saddened says

          May we like it or not, the truth should be told. Rather, than in our case, having these so called men hiding behind their rassa! It is absolutely disgraceful and disgusting. Is there “no shame” at all to be had?

        • George,

          I agree. There is no joy in this. It’s a sorry state of affairs, and I would rather just forget about it.

          However these miserable characters are actively destroying lives (clergy and others), while they themselves have been protected by our good will towards them and offices they hold.

          Well, they’ve just about used up every reserve of good will there is.

          People need to stop being so naive. As the Body of Christ, we ought to be able have better. That means families raising pious young men for future generatioms of hierarchy. Men who love God, their fellow man, and are well-grounded in the spiritual traditions of our Church, including monasteries; men who wish to carry out the great evangelical commandment given to us by the Lord.

          The current crop are none of those things. And yes, I am being a very slight bit over general to make my point. There is always some good, but most of whatever good there is has been tarnished by psychologically unstable and spiritually sick individuals who are unfit for the offices they hold.

          The fish rots from the head. Start at the top and make your way down. We begin with a homosexual pseudo-intellectual elder-poser, and things just devolve from there. That man has the misguided affections of many who are spiritually under-developed and unable to call a spade a spade.

          You are right, we are all sinners. However not all of us are actively working to upturn the blood-soaked soil upon which the Holy Church of God has been established. Their actions have needlessly brought instability to the institutional Church.

          Time to wake up.

          • Bob Carpazes says

            Both here and in Greece, the lowest entrance scores are priests, teachers and social workers, all blathering wastrels.

  8. 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 entirely, and if found, I will post.

    Let’s Fix it: the Inherited Legacy of the Church in America
    By Ari Stone, Special to TNH – August 27, 2018

  9. Greatly Saddened says

    Below please find an article from Saturday on the Pappas Post website.

    An American Bishop’s Perspective on Ancient, Old World Traditions
    written by Gregory Pappas – August 25, 2018

    • Alitheia1875 says

      Give me a break. When you have Gregory Pappas speaking thusly about Bishop Demetrios of Mokissos it’s like adding two and two and coming up with five. Those who know, and know of, these two will understand the equation.

      • Greatly Saddened says

        And to think Bishop Demetrios of Mokissos is on a year sabatical, and in doing so, I believe he will be receiving his salary. In my most humble opinion, I find this absolutely ridiculous. He should have stayed and faced the consequences in his Metropolis of Chicago, and if not, he should have been reassigned, or should have tendered his resignation.

    • Tired of the craziness says

      How can Gregory Pappas, who self-identifies as gay, be a reliable source for what’s going on in modern Orthodox Christianity? He wrote a whining piece a few years ago on how terrible it was that he was denied Holy Communion because he practices gay sex. Oh, the nerve of the Church! As if he (or anyone) “deserves” Our Lord’s body and blood. I’m so tired of this B.S. It’s totally non-sensical. We need to stop paying attention to him and to the likes of Michael Huffington.

      If this were a healthy church, Gregory Pappas would be ignored and would be given help to heal his delusion. Instead, his active homosexuality is celebrated. “If only the Church were as enlightened as he is,” some seem to think.

      And isn’t Bishop Demetrios supposed to be a bishop in America, helping and teaching his flock how to live as Orthodox Christians in North America? Instead, he leaves America for a while and then writes about how wonderful and easy it is to live as an Orthodox Christian in Greece?

      Give me a break. What kind of backwards world is this?

      • “Helping and teaching his flock how to live as Orthodox Christians…” ???Give me break, as well. The Bishop was slapped on the wrist for apparently trying to intimidate witnesses in the Dokos Scandal, as well as apparently never returning the “gift” from the widow’s estate which should have gone to the Church. This is teaching?? He left on the paid sabbatical (our money, by the way) because he was annoyed that he was not installed as Metropolitan. Looks like he is looking for a permanent assignment in Greece now.

        • GOA Priest says


          You don’t get it.

          Having been perceived as too American for America, he’s now trying to show his Hellenic bona fides to the thugs in that famous compound in the Fanar district. Even though his spoken Greek is poor, he can appreciate the Motherland just like the next good Greek-American boy.

          Look at the whole picture, including his procession mate, Lord Frenchy. Are you good with math? Start your calculations. Demetrios has…

  10. Hesforad Alonis says

    The Spartans invented pederasty and then colonized Sparta, begetting the Roman empire. The SPartans were the original mafia fascist molestors

    • Will Harrington says

      Pederesty pre-exists the Spartans and was much more widely spread than the Peloponnesian peninsula. Further, the Romans were not Greek in origin, but Latin, even if they claimed descent from a Trojan. The Romulus and Remus story of a founding population of scoundrels, outlaws, and exiles from the surrounding Italic communities rings truer.

  11. Ternas Ligofanitis says:
    May 4, 2018 at 12:05 pm
    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.

  12. Demandments of American Orthodox:

  13. Ridiculous article. I’m surprised George Michalopulos gave it the space. The memorial is being held at a FORMER Roman parish and there is no information given about what the service will entail. The editorial comment of “temporarily suspending the schism” is simply retarded thinking.

  14. Greatly Saddened says

    Below please find the above article from today in The National Herald. Which as of this posting, is unlocked and in its entirety. Please note the comments below the article as well.

    Let’s Fix it: the Inherited Legacy of the Church in America
    By Ari Stone, Special to TNH – August 27, 2018

  15. Jim Mellis says

    Parishes exist only as gyro franchises and abhor religion. Pappas P[…] wants you to “Dance Greek” like Payurges and Buddha Zorba. Many remote American parishes actually hold dance exhibitions on the altar after mass where they shamelessly dance filthy dances like whoresapiko religiously clueless as to their origins.

  16. Loras Camzekes says

    The franchise model is working in other Greek diasporas and is the trend for the future. Your dues and sacraments will be stored on a chip on your GOACARD, which you will swipe to get in and again to take communion. Colleges now take attendance by having students swipe into class. This way those who are not in good standing will be barred, especially for hatch,match & dispatch. Instead of having cake fart withhold his Fair Share to build a choir loft with faulty ventilation and which removed the cornerstone mentioning his predecessors parishes will have to pay a franchise fee to have their sacraments recognized in other parishes. Yiayia parishes will get robopriests as yiayia gets her sermons on yahuvidas mp3 she thinks are from Athos. Robopriest doesn’t even have to be life size. Priestie can pop out of a clock with incense and squawk “Gyro Lay On!” every hour.

  17. 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 entirely, and if found, I will post.

    Patriarch Bartholomew urged, again, Archbishop Demetrios to resign
    By Theodore Kalmoukos – August 29, 2018

  18. Yes I read the piece from the Bishop which sounded like some weekend magazine travelogue write up of a ‘ dip into native culture’, so trite and BANAL.
    As for easy to live as an Orthodox in modern Greece? Yes in some ways superficially but look deeper. One would have expected the good bishop to have been looking deeper. Enjoy the vacation Fr.!!

  19. Greatly Saddened says

    Below please find an article from today in The National Herald.

    Archdiocese of America Launches Creation Care Toolkit
    By TNH Staff – August 30, 2018

    • Billy Jack Sunday says

      Greatly Saddened

      A proper creation care tool kit would include

      1. Styrofoam
      2. Aerosol cans
      3. Plastic bags
      4. Used batteries

      This is for the spiritual environmentalist Christ lovin’ Wiccan admirer on the go

      You’re welcome, guys!

      There is also the more industrial kit that includes larger items of waste

      I guess they are doing this for the annual GOA environmental awareness month of September

      There is only one tree we are suppose to worry about in September

      Why don’t they start wearing crystals instead of crosses?

      • Greatly Saddened says

        BJS … I needed a good laugh and you certainly succeeded in doing so. Thank you!

        • Greatly Saddened says

          Let’s not forget the Ecumenical Patriarch is known as the “Green” Patriarch. Perhaps, he should stick to environmental issues, rather than dealing with ecclesiastical ones. In my most humble and honest opinion, his success rate with the latter leaves a lot to be desired. Especially for us here in the good ‘ol U.S. of A! Oops … sorry, that’s right, I seem to forget he loves us. His largest and most financially supportive Eparchy. Lucky us. Keep the money coming in!

    • Matthew Panchisin says

      Dear Gail,

      I’m trying to comprehend the presentation and issuance of creation tool kits. Are the people in creation with their fingers on nuclear suitcase buttons possible participants or is this just a worldwide farce for other reasons?

      Was that just for the children or all spiritual children? I don’t think that these notions or the ecumenical movement have taken root among the layity, I have not seen long lines within Orthodoxy for the creation tool kit or the other initiatives.

      “For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes, in divers places.”

      These things are really going to take place, so I always thought that our souls matter.

      I’m just wondering, does anybody know how these things work out in ancient times and real time? For instance, does the bishop of Rome and others thank the hindus, pagans and the green reincarnation constituency etc. at ecumenical encounters/gatherings when they say they will pray for them with the other souls within their religious traditions just to be polite or are they sincerely thankful? Are they really for those or really against them or is that just another presentation with potential vexation?

      “Do not give what is holy to the dogs; nor cast your pearls before swine, lest they trample them under their feet, and turn and tear you in pieces.”

      In Christ,

      Matthew Panchisin

      • Gail Sheppard says


        The Latins have an environmental “toolkit,” too. Bet you dollars to donuts, it looks a lot like ours.

        You’re right, Matthew. Most of the laity is going, “huh???” because they don’t know what the environment has to do with the teachings of the Church. It’s the old “bait and switch.” The globalists want to replace everything “Church” with something else and they don’t care what it is. If they cared, they wouldn’t keep changing up the “issue du jour.” Ever wonder what happened to all those tree huggers? They’ve moved on to plastic bottles now. Pope Francis has been all over the news about it. Bet he hopes it will distract his detractors from talking about the sex abuse scandal.

        I’ve got to hand it to these globalists. They recognize that people are long on passion and short on substance these days. Tap into all that passion and it will buy you more than a cup of coffee.

        • Matthew Panchisin says

          Dear Gail,

          I think it eventually moves from “huh???” to seriously asking, what are they doing?

          When the Bishop of Rome bows in ecumenical grand gesture(s) to hindus etc. in all “humility” and all “sincerity” (or not) for the hindu and other “prayers” offered at the ecumenical “prayer” services is that just acquiescence? It seems it is either a farce or an open expression of apostasy. Is that really a peaceful way and good example for Orthodox Christians to embrace? Is the Bishop of Rome really of good cheer and at peace in his settings? Are there not holy Orthodox martyrs that departed this world in Christ instead of bowing in the aforementioned ways. The Orthodox Church proclaims that the martyrs are among the great cloud of witnesses, the blood of the martyrs is considered to be the seed of the Church, pleasing to the Lord God. So why on earth would any Orthodox Christian want to be an ecumenist? Shouldn’t the Orthodox explain to the Bishop of Rome why such a movement is so pernicious and try to help the poor man out? Do the ecumenist in the Orthodox Church really want to embrace those movements with the Pope, the successor of Christ and the Pastor of the whole Church (who alone) has full, supreme and universal power over the church. (Christus Dominus 2:9)

          I think the reason the critical sickness hasn’t taken root among the faithful is because we are blessed within the services of the Church, the beautiful deposit of the Orthodox faith. Many Orthodox Bishops and Priests really don’t promote ecumenism, thanks be to God. They might have to listen to it as it is forced within the GOA by the E.P. these days. I don’t think they really embrace it with their whole hearts as others don’t, as you have mentioned, lest they more frequently find themselves in times of trouble, sooner or ladder. I think there are many that remain faithful in all jurisdictions, thank God.

          The ecumenist say that they participate for witnessing Orthodox Christianity, but is the aforementioned really consistent with “genuine” Orthodoxy. What is the purpose of such a condemnation in Crete?

          The Orthodox Church genuinely conveys that we are to be in the world but not of the world, so the pronouncement against the “genuine” must be somewhat fluid as time goes by. Well, we all know that the Lord God knows our hearts so many of the “genuine” can be a peace and certainly don’t want to promote any type of schism.

          In Christ,

          Matthew Panchisin

    • Linda Albert says

      Dang! I thought I was just being Scots cheap, pardon me, frugal by washing and reusing plastic bags and aluminum foil and refusing to spend money on lawn care chemicals. Here I was really being an environmentalist.
      I really do enjoy seeing bees on my sea of dandelions in the spring, though and I do occasionally give my young oak tree a friendly pat.
      Linda Albert

  20. Greatly Saddened says

    Below please find an article from today on the OCL website.

    Musings of the OCL Executive Director: A New Ecclesiastical Year – So What?

  21. Greatly Saddened says

    Below please find a communique from yesterday on the Orthodoxie website.

    Communiqué of the Ecumenical Patriarchate Holy Synod
    By Emma Cazabonne
    30 August 2018

  22. Greatly Saddened says

    As reported yesterday in the Ethnikos Kyrix, the Holy Synod of the Ecumenical Patriarchate has come to a historic decision in allowing Priests who are widowed or abandoned by their Presbytera to marry a second time.

  23. Greatly Saddened says

    The above article in the Ethnikos Kyrix, also goes on to state each case will be dealt with on an individual basis.

  24. Greatly Saddened says

    Below please find the above article which appears on the Romfea website in both English and Greek. I purposely copied the English version. I hope this is the one that appears below.

    Ecumenical Patriarchate’s decision for a second marriage of priests
    Written by Theodorou Kaloukou
    National Herald 
    Sunday, September 2, 2018

  25. Greatly Saddened says

    Please forgive me. The link above will only let me copy in Greek, so here is the article in English below.

    Ecumenical Patriarchate’s decision for a second marriage of priests
    Written by Theodorou Kalmoukou
    The National Herald – Sunday, September 2, 2018

    The Holy Synod of the Ecumenical Patriarchate took the historic decision to allow the other marriage of the priests in the event of their widowhood or if their presbyter abandoned them.

    It is specified that it will not apply to those who leave their elders and wish to marry another woman.

    It is underlined that each case will be examined separately and will be sent by the chief priest and judged by the Holy Synod of the Ecumenical Patriarchate.

    Also the marriage mystery for the second marriage of priests will be different, a simple prayer and a very close family circle.

    Within the next few days an official Letter will be sent by Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew with details and directions.

    It is stressed that the “National Herald” has periodically subscribed to the second marriage of the priests in the event of their widowhood or abandonment by their elders.

  26. Gail Sheppard says

    Greatly Saddened,

    I’m not against second marriages for priests, per se, but I have heard of cases where the woman is badly mistreated and forced to leave. I do hope they intend to get the presbytera’s signature before releasing her husband from his responsibilities to his marriage. With today’s no-fault divorce laws, you can’t depend on a court document to tell the story. I could see the potential for saying your wife left the marriage when that might not be the case at all, further damaging the woman by tarnishing her reputation. – Seems we’re right back to Matthew 19:8. In a perfect world, remarriages wouldn’t be necessary.

    • Estonian Slovak says

      It is meant only for widowed priests. A priest can’t wilfully divorce his wife and remarry. Still, I don’t like it.It will cause more unnecessary division. Constantinople is testing the waters. Look for women clergy and/or same sex marriage blessing to follow.

      • Gail Sheppard says

        ES, I thought I read somewhere if the wife leaves her husband, he can remarry. I can’t read Greek, but one of the articles in English says, “According to the document, only widowed priests will be allowed to remarry, whereas priests intending to enter a second marriage by willingly leaving their spouse will not be granted such permission.” What does “willingly leave their spouse” mean exactly? Wouldn’t it be sufficient to say widowed priests can remarry? Rhetorical questions. Seems like the EP is opening himself up to a potential loophole.

        I think it’s interesting that second marriages have a different ceremony. I’ve been told the crowns are a visible reminder of the crowns that await us in Heaven. We know that Christ died to save sinners so presumably crowns are waiting for those whom He saves whether they’re murders, thieves OR divorcees! Is there a reason the Church withholds them? (I honestly don’t know the rules and I’m asking.) Marriage is kind of a positive threshold, i.e. either you are or you’re not. If you are, the same expectations apply whether it is your first or your second.

        If there is any reparation to be done following a dissolution, I would think a penance would be more useful immediately after the fact as opposed to skimping on the delivery of a subsequent sacrament. If the dissolution of the first is connected to the second, that might be a different story but even in that case, a broken marriage is a broken marriage.

        I know of a couple where at least one (perhaps both) was married previously but because they both came into the Church during their present (civil) marriage to each other, they were granted a crowning ceremony. Actually, I know of all kinds of situations. Seems like this may be an area that requires further thought and prayer on the part of the hierarchy.

        Just out of curiosity, are there any other circumstances that would warrant partial delivery of a sacrament? Baptism might be an example but even if you’re baptized after having been baptized by some other group, you receive a full baptism when you come into the Church.

      • Gail Sheppard says

        ES, I think we spoke too soon! I believe Greatly Saddened posted this: “The Holy Synod of the Ecumenical Patriarchate has decided to allow a second marriage for Greek Orthodox priests in the event that they are widowed or abandoned by their wife, religious news website says.”

        Abandoned, as not in death. “Abandoned” is such a loaded word, isn’t it? It could mean anything. It did in Moses’ day. I suspect there are more than a few people who sit behind the EP and do nothing but play with words.

        • Monk James Silver says

          Although there is generally not much attention called to such matters, I am personally aware of several men, both deacons and priests, who have been offered the opportunity to remarry after the death or departure or divorce of a wife — in varying combinations.

          Each bishop, by virtue of his holy office and sacred responsibilities, has the authority to grant an oikonomia in such situations, each of which is treated independently of all others. The bishops are not bound by any sort of legal precedent in their exercise of oikonomia — or akribeia, for that matter.

          People seem to have missed this in the EP’s statement, that this is not a general reversal of the canonical rule that a man may not marry after being ordained at least a deacon, but that each case will be examined individually. Insofar as that is the case, this is not really much of a change.

          • Thoughts from Texas says

            Monk James,

            Though yes, you are correct, that Orthodox priest marriage-after-ordination has been done before, it is always rare and under weird/bizarre circumstances that marriage after ordination has been done. I think the EP is changing the game by formally announcing this as policy, which like many things coming out of the Orthodox leadership in Istanbul, is simply bizarre when taken in the context of Orthodox tradition and global Orthodox practice.

            Many may remember or know of the case (from the 1990s I think) of the Antiochian priest in northern New Jersey who remarried well after he was a priest. That case sparked widespread scandal since, not only was it a remarriage after ordination for this priest, but the priest married a woman who herself was divorced. There are some who say that this priest counseled this woman to get divorced before they married. To further compound the picture, many felt that this priest was being shown special favoritism by his bishop (Metropolitan Philip), as they had a good relationship. The public allegations in this case brought against Metropolitan Philip were brought by new converts from the former Antiochian Evangelical Orthodox Mission. Though maybe formerly viewed as wonderful pious converts, some AEOM folks later became thorns in Metropolitan Philip’s side as he derided them as “pharisaical” for calling him on this event. Many later recall the Ben Lomond debacle in the later 1990s. These conflicts demonstrated the age old controversy that Gail recently saw played out in Tucson, per her own description: old-country Orthodox mentality vs the American Orthodox convert culture clash.

            My chief problem with the Orthodox leadership in Istanbul’s new proclamation about considering marriage after ordination is that they willingly and purposefully creating divisions within Orthodoxy by publicly proclaiming this. Sadly, creating divisions within Orthodoxy is something that the EP has demonstrated again and again that it is wont to do. They did it in America in the 1920s when they created more divisions by creating the GOA (though I suppose that everyone was carving their piece out of the American Orthodox market back then…). They did it in Estonia. They did it when instituting the new calendar — astronomical accuracy issues aside, when 70% of the Orthodox world is not even represented at the conference in the 1920s when the EP decides to institute the new/revised Julian calendar (these 70% of the world Orthodox were in Russia, suffering and being martyred by the communists…), you know that by instituting the new calendar, you are creating a huge division within the church. And they did it anyway; the EP’s new calendar division that it started almost 100 years ago obviously remains through today.

            So the EP is doing it again in articulating a unilateral policy change on marriage after ordination, which they know that no other Orthodox body has a public policy on. And some think that the EP is getting ready to formally create yet another division in Orthodoxy by granting “autocephaly” to the schismatic, corrupt “Patriarch” in Ukraine.

            By their actions, the Orthodox leadership in Istanbul is not demonstrating that it is working foremost for the health of the Church. Instead, it behaves as if it is trying to attract attention to itself, as if it misses the Cold War days when no one in the West paid attention to the Church in Russia and the EP was it, as far as the West was concerned.

            I’ve had it with the Orthodox leadership in Istanbul. Anyone in their jurisdiction — whether GOA, ACROD, UOCofUSA, etc. — seriously needs to evaluate what is the EP foremost fighting for: is it Christ and His Church, or are they narcissistically only looking out for themselves?

            The EP should have moved to Mount Athos decades ago — I think that would have allowed them the best opportunity to flourish outside of Turkish domination. I fear that now it is too late for the Orthodox leadership in Istanbul to return to spiritual and psychological health.

            • George Michalopulos says

              You know, when all is said and done, the legacy of this EP will not be an auspicious one, and I’m genuinely sad about that.

              Here for example is an unintended consequence of this recent action: the line of priests lining up to pester their local bishop will grow from a trickle to a flood in no time at all. The EP did no favors to the local bishops the majority of whom don’t want to touch this issue with a ten foot pole. Now they will be forced to confront it.

              • Thoughts from Texas says

                Not to mention, George, the dilemma of all the widowed and divorced clergy looking in the Constantinopolitan patriarchate for their dates.

                Hopefully Patriarch Bartholomew will tell his presbyters that if they’ve a date in Constantinople, she’ll be waiting in Istanbul.

                • Matthew Panchisin says

                  Dear George,

                  Don’t listen to the “thoughts from Texas” person. I know many Orthodox Priests etc. as I’m sure many here do, they are not that raw.

                  In Christ,

                  Matthew Panchisin

              • While I certainly empathize with any priest who bears the burden of being widowed, I cannot sympathize. This is yet another concession to the spirit of the age in which all crosses are to shunned rather than borne, the smashing of yet another icon with little comprehension of the impact of iconoclasm itself.

            • The other issue in the “ Allen” mess in the Antiochian Archdiocese is that Father Allen also married a woman that he was counseling . Met Phillip shut down all questions and protests . It sat the table for the banquet at Palm Desert and what happened to Gail and Sara Hodges .

            • Monk James Silver says

              ‘Thoughts from Texas’ (September 4, 2018 at 12:30 pm) says:

              Monk James,
              Though yes, you are correct, that Orthodox priest marriage-after-ordination has been done before, it is always rare and under weird/bizarre circumstances that marriage after ordination has been done. I think the EP is changing the game by formally announcing this as policy, which like many things coming out of the Orthodox leadership in Istanbul, is simply bizarre when taken in the context of Orthodox tradition and global Orthodox practice.
              I’ll grant ‘Thoughts from Texas’ that the marriages of deacons and priests are rare, but calling them weird or bizarre is a bit of an overstatement.

              These are compassionate responses to real human needs, and the bishops — when they apply such rare uses of oikonomia — act largely for the sake of the priest’s children — not to indulge the priest’s own desires.

              The situation here in New Jersey, with which I am familiar, was — to almost everyone’s taste — a misuse of oikonomia on the part of the bishop who granted it. No one disputed the bishop’s authority to be lenient in the matter, but so many people disagreed with his leniency that many left the parish of that remarried priest and joined other local parishes. God bless us, we have that luxury here: there’s an Orthodox Christian parish every five miles or so. Perhaps less compassionately, local clergy treated the remarried priest as something of a pariah rather than helping their troubled brother, and many of the laity refused to attend any events at or sponsored by his parish. He will retire soon, and I hope that interparochial relations can then return to normal, especially since the bishop at the center of the controversy died several years ago and has been replaced by a man less likely to make such a mistake in the future.

              Rather than ascribe such arch motives to Constantinople’s announcement of what must appear only to the uninformed as a change in policy, we might better consider the EP’s political position.

              It’s obvious that Turkey would rather have the EP gone from their country, but the EP is not (yet) inclined to relocate and set up shop elsewhere, although this has been suggested to them for years.

              Probably on the strength of the notion that ‘no publicity is bad publicity’, the EP consistently calls itself to the attention of at least the Orthodox churches — if not the world altogether — at every opportunity; this is a survival tactic, although we might realistically wonder if it’s worth the effort.

              Consider the seven churches addressed in Revelation. Where are they now?

              If those ancient centers of Christianity can evaporate under the pressure of hostile cultures and changing times, why can’t Constantinople? It’s not that far, geographically, from the territories of those extinct churches, is it? We shouldn’t be surprised if Constantinople ultimately shares their demise, since the same conditions are afflicting them as afflicted those long-gone churches.

              Only this time, we can be a bit more organized and pro-active about the relocation — if there’s to be one — or Constantinople’s disappearance altogether, passing the torch of primacy to one of the more viable churches.

              • Christopher says

                As I understand it, there is no canonical and very little traditional basis for a “relocation” of the EP (or any other bishop) as you describe. On the contrary, the vast majority of the canonical tradition is explicitly against such a thing, and bishops (or just evangelists or “prophets”) moving into other local churches was a real problem in the early church. Exceptions might be Antioch and Alexandria, which are not really in there original cities…but then the original cities don’t really exist anymore…

                On the other hand, the Empire itself does not exist anymore but this Imperial Church of the East plods ahead (canonically, ecclesiologically, etc.) as if it does and we make it work, more or less…or does it, given that we have not had a real ecumenical council since the Empire fell?

                In my opinion, one of the marks of a real ecumenical council will be it’s working out of what a “metro-polis” (mother city) or “primacy” even mean in the “new” (oh, the irony) situation of the dissolution of the Empire, east-west split, nation states, religious plurality and secularism.

                Before that however I expect the EP will be exiled (maybe even self-imposed) from Constantinople Istanbul to somewhere (northern Greece most likely) and the Church will accept this (just as it has accepted multiple “jurisdictions” Europe, North and South America, Asia, etc. The “ontological distance” between “our way of life” (anyone want to guess who I am quoting??) and our canonical order will be even more anachronistic and strained than it is today course, but we will make it work somehow.

                Perhaps a canonist will chime in here…

                • Monk James Silver says

                  My thoughts concerned the possible relocation of the Ecumenical Patriarchate to another city, not the Patriarch himself, and — with that — the possible shift of the primacy to another church altogether, not the transfer of the Patriarch of Constantinople into another local Orthodox church.

                  Please forgive whatever confusion I caused by my using the abbreviation ‘EP’.

          • M. Stankovich says

            I am fascinated by this discussion in that it attempts to “speak,” but never quite addresses, several very significant issues related to the remarriage of the clergy: “forced celibacy,” and the idea of one’s wife as a “helpmate.”

            In the middle of the tirades on this site, where it appeared that when the Lord said “[It is] not good that the man should be alone, let us make for him a helpmate [βοηθὸν] suitable to him,” (Gen. 2:18) the word βοηθὸν was being translated as “Make me a sandwich,” and such was birth of Aunt Jemima. The fact, however, in the Ancient Greek, the word βοηθὸν is derived from the word βοηθόος which was a military term, “calling for assistance,” or better, calling in haste for more troops; “backup.” The Creator gave man a helpmate, βοηθὸν, frequently translated as “an auxiliary.” Why? So that he not be alone, and because he needed assistance.

            You hear of it, the wife of a priest, with young children, no different than any other “relatively young wife, with young children” anywhere, is diagnosed with a disorder that, despite the prayers of her parish and community, her church, that takes her life. And as painful as the loss of his spouse might be, the real impact is perhaps only fully realized in the passing of time as he faces caring for his children alone. Yet, when the issues arise in him for which the Scripture indicates the Lord said, “It is not good for him to be alone,” when he is confounded by those things which ordinarily would be shared by two Orthodox Christian parents in support of their children, “Let us send him a βοηθὸν,” a helpmate, “backup,” he must decide, literally, between his vocation and his family.

            Likewise, later in life, when a man’s ministry has been so intricately bound in his relationship with his spouse – certainly not to say they he would go home and share the “details” of anyone – but his frustration, his fears, his failures, and his accomplishments & joy. And suddenly her loss, when all they have know for thirty years was the priesthood and ministry to the church. And now, his children are grown, with children of their own and concerns, and while the Burial Service has in many ways brought “the consolation of Christ” for her loss, relief from the loneliness and the loss of the simplest intimate sharing of affection is intermittent. As in the first example, the only “choice” is to leave your vocation, but I don’t believe anyone would argue that this choice is accompanied with great pejorative.

            In citing either example, some “succeed” and some do not in what we can only term “forced celibacy.” I, then, am immediately struck by the coincidence of the “dilemma” posed by Met. Kallistos Ware: we have people in this world who are totally unprepared, and perhaps totally unequipped, for imposed celibacy, yet our “solution” seems to be, “That’s life in this fallen world, my friend,” quote some Scripture & the Fathers, and walk away satisfied we have “dealt” with the issue. Or, far worse, by defying the Tradition of the Church in imagining that economy makes darkness into light, foolishness into wisdom, or lies into truth.

            These are simply not issues where the appropriate application of economy will undermine the theology of the church, but neither are they simple questions to ever be removed from an interest of an individual’s salvation, not their “anxiety.” It seems to me the problem is that we never have these conversations.

            • I am struck by what a sad commentary this widowed priest topic is on our apparently shallow shared understanding of what communion is. It is as though communion and shared life have become little more than ‘religious’ ideas that bear no relationship to the realities of life.

              Other than sex and the companionship unique to married life (not minor struggles, I admit), why is it that a widowed priest (or anyone) should be left to “fend for themselves” in the rearing of their children? Is he nothing more than an employee? And if so, how sad and utterly un-Orthodox is that?

            • Christopher says

              “I, then, am immediately struck by the coincidence of the “dilemma” posed by Met. Kallistos Ware: we have people in this world who are totally unprepared, and perhaps totally unequipped, for imposed celibacy, yet our “solution” seems to be, “That’s life in this fallen world, my friend,” quote some Scripture & the Fathers, ”

              I agree with you Mr. Stankovich, we need to have this conversation. I would say the conversation is stuck on point A. however, and that is mostly on what in the west is called “human nature”. We have not just a “sexual ethic” ensconced in the the new testament and the Church’s Tradition, but an assertion about human nature and a soteriology (which rests on Christology) that informs us that our sexuality and our body’s are to be “a living sacrifice”. The first sexual revolution was the Christian one.

              Then, some 2000 years later comes the second sexual revolution, and we have men such Met. Kallistos and yourself who informs us that a new thing has come into this world (and was always with us), an understanding aided by the social sciences of the nature of sexual attraction (and thus human nature) and that of course Christ or St. Paul would have never placed this particular “burden” (Met. Kallistos words), this particular sacrifice, on “monogamous homosexual couple” (Met. Kallistos words). As you put it, “we have people who are“…they did not choose this and it is not a moral fault, they simply “are” this or that…

              You assert this “we are”, this allegedly empirical fact about humanity and its nature, as if it is the crux of the matter. Point A. Yet all of Christianity and the Christian life is a burden – this enormous weight of all the suffering in this world, not “fixed” by Christ – on the contrary He tells us to embrace it as it is, to take up our Cross (a torture machine), and only through this suffering unto death our we saved!

              Allow me to put it straight forwardly: Christ and His Apostolic Church explicitly rejects Point A. or rather your “compassionate” understanding of the meaning of Point A. Christ, St. Paul, the whole Apostolic Tradition says to men such as yourself and Met. Kallistos “Your right, it is an unbearable suffering and no amount of economy, relief from the strict letter of the law-of-the-household will “fix” it.” Which is to say, the Law (or is economic application) is not enough for salvation.

              Perhaps what is at the root of this reform effort recommend by Met. Kallistos and yourself is a misunderstanding of St. Paul’s seeming application of economy (i.e. “if you burn”) which was as he explicitly admitted is not a application of economy to the commandments of Christ (or even “human nature”) but a relief from his – St. Paul’s – desire, understanding, etc. of how to live in this world before the second coming.

              Christianity is hard, it is the narrow way. The Cross is hard, in fact it is impossible without Grace. Even with Grace, it is a suffering and a sacrifice of everything we are. Christ wept over Lazarus, and even raised him from the dead. Where is he today? Is he dead once again? Is Christ ineffectual? Why are we called to this impossibility of an actual sacrifice unto death?

              Just a few words towards a conversation…

              • M. Stankovich says


                For all intents & purposes, I stopped participating at Fr. Hans’ site for several simple reasons, which you happen to epitomize. Fr. Hans loves to employ “techniques” e.g. “state something (generally improbable, but that is insignificant), but despite correction/refutation, keep repeating it until it becomes part of the canon” (his embellishments of what Priest Robert Arida actually wrote on the “Wonder Blog” immediately come to mind); “discredit by association” (First it was, “You & your friend Robert Arida,” and now it is “people like you & Met. Kallistos”); the empty jingo and and jargon of the christian right – and let me be very clear, I do not to Traditionalist Orthodox – who would turn any criticism into “finger wagging & scolding, which is not acceptable around here,” which is to say (with the voice of loathing) “beneath us.” Finally, there is always the need of someone to “school” the miscreants (as Dino pointed out me after one of your missives), which universally conclude with the underlying message of the 14th c. Byzantine “gentleman” philosopher, and pariah to the Byzantine court, Theodore Metochites: “What is there to discuss? Everything that needs to have been said in the church has already been said.” But not satisfied, you additionally stamp it with your version of Metallica’s, “Turn the page…”

                Secondly, I generally speak to the struggles in which I am actively engaged, day-to-day, face-to-face. I receive a considerable amount of email & calls regarding ethical dilemmas that clergy or other healthcare professionals have in the areas in which I have expertise. There are plenty of areas in which I am completely incompetent, but in others, I am able to assist. Now imagine being challenged by an unqualified, arrogant google scholar who, in fact is promoting not simply misinformation, but information that may be dangerous. “Everyone is entitled to their opinion.” Walk away. “I have been mischaracterized.” Walk away.

                Your response to me is fraud, Christopher, and I will not respond to you again. I said nothing of homosexuality; I criticized the misuse of economy; I promoted no “reform” whatsoever; and I made no comment or misguided interpretation of 1Cor. 7:9, and you are an inept “scholar” for not continuing on in epistle where you would have discovered my exact motivation. You are a book-learned “ethicist” who apparently feels competent to judge the heart’s of men from the comfort of his living room, but you now feel qualified to provide me, literally, with the speech you would use to “correct” me?

                Finally, let me close by telling you how moronic and how offensive I find your dramatic question, ” Is Christ ineffectual?” particular having shared the fact that I struggle with the lack of faith that should move a mountain, yet cannot promote the simpliest changes in a patient’s so I don’t get the news they are dead in a doorway downtown.

                Personally, Christopher, I have not once, but twice sat in the darkness of an oncology unit, soaked in sweat, with unimaginable body itching, constant nausea and vomiting, and finally left to myself, have considered the entire situation, and asked myself: “Could it possibly be worse to die?” I reasoned probably could not. To shorten a lengthy process, I will simply say this: am I grateful I survived. Certainly. What did I learn from this suffering? Nothing. Absolutely nothing. Am I a better person for the experience, or was I “awakened” to some internal process or strength? No. “[Is/was] Christ ineffectual?” This is the wrong question, Christopher, because there is no question. I was ineffectual because I lacked the faith the size of a mustard seed; the faith that would say to this mountain, move away, and it would move. The narrow path to the kingdom is followed by those who are champions, those who lack the capacity & capability but continuously suffer (some of whom, I contend, would benefit from our worldly intervention), and people like me who struggle to put one foot in front of the other. And I know this much, Christopher, nothing on this earth would have prevented Priest Robert Arida – and I suspect Met. Kallistos – from dropping their books and coming immediately to my side on that oncology unit to hold my hand had I asked. I hope, Christopher, that you never have to learn that, at times, the words of the Scripture are as much platitude as Hallmark. And for Dino’s enjoyment, in a few hours I am off to buy a new pair of shoes, ’cause that’s what my mother always did when I returned to school. (It’s a joke)

                • Well shucks Mr. Stankovich, I thought you wanted to have a conversation. This post of yours is yet more or your usual finger wagging over past sins, mistakes, misunderstandings or (in your view) intentional mischaracterizations that only you seem able to see. You are a voice crying in the wilderness…or something.

                  As to suffering, it is a mystery is it not. Is it didactic? Why do we expect it to be? Christianity, and Christ’s passionate suffering as moral instruction? Is that not a good summation of a secularizing Christianity.

                  Yep, I have no doubt that the Priest Robert Arida and Met. Kallistos are “good” men. I have no doubt they are not filled up to their eyeballs with empathy. Then of course, so is the rest of the modern world. I like this essay on the subject:


                • Glory to God you survived Michael Stankovich!

                  Where you not with Him , and Him in you, during that awful period? How many good works, and blessings, He has allowed you to accomplish, and enjoy since then.

                  He, and the love he has put in my trust, is all that gets me thru my own, without taking the easy way out.

                  Like as a woman with child, that draweth near the time of her delivery, is in pain, an crieth out in her pangs; So have we been in thy sight, O Lord.(Isaiah 26:17)

                  Pain is forgotten, at least with myself. But the fervent prayers and dialogue, with our Lord, during those dreadful days, I will never forget, nor ever able to repay, in prayers answered, my dear brother. I’ve lost count how many times I’ve been reborn in my Lord.

                  He has yet to destroy me, and allows me another day to meet his mark.

                • Fr. Hans Jacobse says

                  Somebody told me Michael Stankovich was trash talking me again so I took a look.

                  For the record, I put Michael Stankovich on moderation on my blog because he insisted that he was qualified to provide a psychological assessment of Peter J. (Giacomo) SanFilippo after I published a rebuttal to Sanfilippo’s scurrilous piece insinuating that Fr. Pavel Florensky was a closet homosexual. It is clear by now SanFilippo wants to homosexualize the Church which, as our Latin friends show us, is not the way we want to go.

                  I told Stankovich I would not publish it. There are two reasons I refused. First, while psychological precepts can be beneficial in private therapy, universalizing them can skip the relevant questions entirely. Psychological precepts tend to get universalized among those who practice the craft. It is assumed that the psychological dimensions (a profile of SanFilippo in this case) shines the most light that could be shed and thus closes the case.

                  It doesn’t. We live in a culture where many practice Moralistic Therapeutic Deism , especially the Protestant wing of American culture (it’s the new Civil Religion), and Stankovich’s offerings dovetail seamlessly with it more often than not. That’s why a psychological reading of an issue often assumes more authority than it properly has, and why Stankovich (loudly) presents himself as the resident expert on psychology when anyone offers conclusions that contradict his (“Google scholar,” a recitation of the resume, hero stories, etc., etc.).

                  Secondly are the ethical considerations. Psychologists and other mental health professionals are not allowed to offer the kinds of analysis that Stankovich proffered. This falls on Stankovich of course but as editor I would have no part of it. I set up my blog where the posts of commentators that I trust appear automatically. I didn’t want the profile to appear so I put him on moderation because I decided that publishing a psychological analysis of SanFilippo would be grossly unfair to him. I don’t know if Stankovich even knows SanFilippo.

                  I want to clear the record. I made the decision to moderate Stankovich and I stand by it. Much of Stankovich’s other commentary above is skewed and some of it is outright wrong. Nevertheless, if anyone wants to know what I said about SanFilippo, Arida, or Ware, it’s on the record and I stand by that too.

                  I won’t be responding any more to it here.

                  • Mikey S. does not opine, he pontificates. In his mind he is the absolute authority on all subjects.

                    • johnk,

                      While what you post has SOME truth in it, it’s good for us ALL, to hear different view points. Why? Because in every view point there is some truth, regardless if one pontificates. We all learn just as much in our disagreements, as we do in our agreements.

                      Take the opposing opinions truth out from the falsehoods, and one if openminded enough will come to multi-faceted truth. From there one can discern if there is room to move forward, or a dead-end. From there live your life in that truth, the best you can, and promote that to the world around you. I am always open to vigorous debate if it will make one better person, and Christian, at the very least plant a seed of thought forward.

                      Be offended, it’s all cool, bring a jab, but at least bring a point, so that we learn something, other than one is a jerk, at times, or most of the time. Makes no difference, we all fall under that tent. Some tents are just pitched higher than others.

                      If I have offended anyone here, without a point, or without a hint love, please forgive. I do the best I can.

                  • M. Stankovich says

                    Good lord, man, you should have accepted my offer to refer you to a neurologist regarding your memory several years ago! That or you have lost your mind.

                    For the record, Rev. Fr., you put me on moderation at least a year prior to the issue of San Filipo, when I openly chastized the cowards at the ROC cathedral in the Castro district of San Francisco for ignoring a small group of LGBT activists in San Francisco – with whom I had become acquainted with because, after exercising every polite and reasonable means to speak to someone at the ROC cathedral in the Castro District about the position of the Orthodox Church as to the much publicized violence and intolerance against homosexuals in Russia at the time – had been completely ignored. When this small group of less than 30 activists announced they were going to stand outside the cathedral after the liturgy with some informational handouts about the violence against homosexuals by the police in Russia, the clergy and parishioners literally packed up and had run off to the ROCOR cathedral to serve with Abp. Kyriil, who also served a Thanksgiving Service for the Deliverance from One’s Enemies. When the activists arrived, there were more San Francisco cops waiting at the ROC cathedral then there were protestors. The protestors, mainly in their 40’s and 50’s, decided to communally sing, “Over the Rainbow,” and left. The ROC Dept. of External Affairs released a statement that said there was a protest by a group of homosexuals; there were no injuries, and no church property was damaged. I don’t care what you think to this day, Fr. Hans, and I stand by my position that this was a fundamentally cowardly act that defied the command of the Scripture:

                    Be ready always to give an answer to every man that asks you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear: Having a good conscience; that, whereas they speak evil of you, as of evildoers, they may be ashamed that falsely accuse your good conversation in Christ. For it is better, if the will of God be so, that you suffer for well doing, than for evil doing. For Christ also has once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh, but quickened by the Spirit. (1Pet 3:15-18)

                    On that day you placed me on moderation. I regret nothing that I said then, and stand by my statement to this day.

                    As to San Filipo, indeed, anyone may go to your site and read what transpired. The fact of the matter – as will become immediately apparent – is that I am the only one in the discussion who knew him personally. Secondly, it is outrageous for you to suggest that I would “diagnose” anyone – even my mother, for heaven’s sake – without a proper examination and assessment. And I believe you purposely remove the context of comments – that being you were making yourself appear to be a “champion of Orthodoxy” by taking down an enemy of the church, but in fact inflating his influence and importance. Because I knew him personally, I could confidently say he struggled to be a mediocre student at SVS, and his “diagnosis” was a matter of public record to anyone who happened to be bothered to read the Gannett News Service account of the local court proceedings. I complained as recently as 6-weeks ago that I find it absolutely ridiculous that Orthodox Websites continue to publish links to Public Orthodoxy and to San Filipo’s writings. To what end? In the off chance they might be deceived?

                    Finally, I will repeat myself in saying what I have so many times, you have absolutely no business lecturing me as to what is and what is not my within the competency of my training and experience. Unfortunately, you misuse and abuse some of the classic principles of human medicine, psychiatry, Patristics, Ancient and New Testament Greek that you learned from me, and the “way of the Holy Fathers” that was handed down to me from the fathers and greatest teachers of our generation. In fact, you scorn them, and I suspect it is because of me. This is not wisdom. This is foolishness. This is why I no longer come to your site. This is why I ignore you.

                    • Constantinos says

                      Man, what a massive ego!! I,I, I…me, me, me. It’s all about you, isn’t it Dr. Stankovich?

            • Yes thank you for that wise and thoughtful post. The issue is there with no easy solution. I think of bishop Basil Osborne in Russian church in Uk who evntually left the priesthood. I do not know if he left the Church!? The same for abortion. I oppose it totally before I get jumped on , but it is a moral not legal question at base.
              The law may enable an abortion, but a female who believes it to be wrong will not have one because of the law.
              Yet we know that with no abortion law the abortion rate is higher than it would be, as in Greece ASHAMED to say. So do we have a law and reduce the rate or be high morally minded and have murdered babies above the level we would have? I do not have an answer except it is a moral question that must be pushed and thought at that level. It is the loss of the correct Christian moral state at the INDIVIDUAL level that drives abortion or anything else.

    • Tim R. Mortiss says

      Recipe for collusion and, with it, perjury. Or at least, disingenuous “testimony”.

      An older judge hereabouts at the time of his retirement, very early in my career as a lawyer, said that the thing he would miss the least was perjury in divorce cases. Most of his tenure had been before our state had moved to “no-fault” divorce.

      By the way, can the EP just pronounce this?

  27. Greatly Saddened says

    Gail … So, true. I think this is going to be quite interesting to say the least! I do not mean to make light of this serious situation. I hope and pray this is worked out in some sort of a satisfactory outcome for the Priest and his Presbytera.

    • George Michalopulos says

      Gail, thanks for pointing this out. In my naivete, I didn’t realize what a loaded word “abandonment” could be. There’s that darn “women’s intuition” for you that I hear so much about.

      Regardless, I can now see the trajectory of the EP-dominated eparchies. For one thing, even if the EP succeeds in replacing Arb Demetrios, all it will be is putting a new coat of paint on a rotten edifice. I don’t see how Humpty Dumpty can be put back together again.

  28. Greatly Saddened says

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

    Istanbul, September 3, 2018

  29. Greatly Saddened says

    Another article has just appeared in the Ethnikos Kyrix, stating at the Holy Synod of the Ecumenical Patriarchate, Metropolitan Evangelos has brought up some serious problems existing at Holy Cross Greek Orthodox Theological Seminary. Among the numerous problems, is the rapid drop in the enrollment of students, along with the resignations of two senior faculty staff members. In particular, those of James Katou of Hellenic College and Dean James Skedros of Holy Cross.

    In addition, he raised concern with regard to that of Saint Nicholas National Shrine at Ground Zero, as well as the issue of autocephaly.

    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.

  30. Michael Bauman says

    Gail, the ceremony for the second marriage is not incomplete but penitential in nature. Speaking from experience even in the best circumstances a second marriage is frequently tainted with sin and repentance is needed. Not so much when a spose has died but even there if one falls into the category of “better to marry than to burn”.

    The union in a second marriage can never be quite what it could have been as an only marriage. Not only are there often children but the other partners are still around even if reposed. My wife and I consider our late partners as part of our marriage. We are free to still love those people and grieve for them at times but they are with us. Even the jerks who cheated on her and abused her are not absent, even after nine years of marriage my actions can bring back unpleasant emotions for my wife that are almost like a mild PTSD. Even in bad marriages outside the Church there is some level of one flesh created. That is intrinsic to marriage. Any subsequent marriage either adulterates that union or is adulterated by it to some extent. This is existentially true for my wife and I.

    The crowns are specifically given as “a reward for their continence”. Obviously not something that applies in a second marriage.

  31. Greatly Saddened says

    Below please find a news release from today on the Ecumenical Patriarchate website.

    News Releases
    Synaxis of the Hierarchs of the Ecumenical Throne comes to a close

  32. Greatly Saddened says

    Below please find an article from yesterday in The National Herald.

    Patriarchate Allows Widowed/Abandoned Priests to Remarry
    By Theodore Kalmoukos – September 5, 2018

  33. Greatly Saddened says

    Below please find a comment from yesterday which The National Herald decided to publish. Also note the additional comments below it.

    More about Fixing the Greek Orthodox Church
    September 5, 2018
    The following is a comment on our website…

  34. Greatly Saddened says

    Below please find an article from yesterday on the OCL Facebook website.

    Suggested Options Addressing the Urgent Financial Challenges Facing the Administration of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese and Hellenic College / Holy Cross School of Theology

  35. Greatly Saddened says

    Below please find an article on the OCL Facebook website.

    Back-to-School Advice for College Trustees

    Editor’s note: Required Reading for all Boards of Trustees of Orthodox Christian Educational Institutions…Helpful advice for Hellenic College/Holy Cross Seminary Board Members,  Brookline, MA

    Source: The Wall Street Journal
    By Allen C. Guelzo

  36. Greatly Saddened says

    Below please find a “Letter to the Editor” by Evangeline Mekras Scurtis, of Miami, FL, from today in The National Herald.

    Letter to the Editor: Response to “The Parish Priest”
    September 6, 2018

  37. As of right now I quite agree with those who are against allowing second marriages. I lean this way because adhering to Orthodox Tradition is so important; and important because it’s simple obedience to wisdom and meaning that surpasses our own – addressing the problem of the fall whereby Adam and Eve were given God, Paradise and the simple instruction not to eat the forbidden fruit. And yet they did, and now here we are. But we still have the Church – and with it the simple instruction to abide by what she has taught always and everywhere. Simple obedience to this seems most sensible; anything else appearing to come too close to taking on more than we can handle. And besides, isn’t the price to pay for arrogance/disobedience suffering for reacquaince with humility – that is, understanding again our place in the order of things?

    Against such ideas come accusations of Phariseeism and the like, but I’m not persuaded by such things. For one, I’m not frightened of obeying prescriptions, providing they’re followed in the right spirit.

    What might persuade me to think differently, though, particularly in relation to the topic at hand, is the sound application of economy. In all honesty, I have no skills in this area, and yet I bring it up because it must be central to any further and constructive duscussion on this point.

    On the one hand, we have people invoking economy in favour of second marriages, and on the there other there are those of us who disagree – whether taking economy into account or not. So, then, what is good economy and how do we apply it to now?

  38. Gail Sheppard says

    When I became a parent, I realized it was an irrevocable contract and though it wasn’t easy, I was happy to pay the price. I didn’t get to start over with more “suitable” children. I had the children God gave me and I was grateful, even though it was difficult and often required great sacrifices, including the ultimate, i.e. losing one of them. Though I would not wish this on any parent, I am STILL grateful because I got to be my son’s mom for 28 years. If I could have a “do over” I wouldn’t take it. There are some relationships that are all about giving and anyone we call Father should understand this. I suspect most do.

    The EP may think his “gift” will be well received but I suspect it will be like the underwear one gets from one’s grandmother that sits under the Christmas tree. It will wind up in somebody’s bottom drawer and nobody will care from whence it came.

  39. Yes Gail very well put.

    Accepting (the more the better) whatsoever we’re given in our lives is the greatest affirmation that God, life and creation are good.

    Apart from Rising from the dead, and not to downplay the huge trials you and many others have had to face, I think nothing says this better than holy martyrdom; and so when we want to talk about Orthodoxy, and what could or should be grateful for, it’s hard to go past saying that it’s A LOT.

    Someone else might try and say that not everyone is expected to struggle the same, but the role we play in that would be minimal, I think

  40. Greatly Saddened says

    Below please find an announcement from last Saturday on the OCL website.

    The Call to Revive the Female Diaconate: Thirty Years After Rhodes
    Source: St. Phoebe Center for the Deaconess


  41. Zimpas Ourafas says

    If they send us Elfidorcus we will make sure every American newspaper misspells his name. There are more of us here in the USA than them in Turkey

  42. Greatly Saddened says

    Once again, please forgive me. I wasn’t sure where to post this article from the Pew Research Center website.

    AUGUST 8, 2018
    Why America’s ‘nones’ don’t identify with a religion

  43. Greatly Saddened says

    Another article below from the Pew Research Center website.

    AUGUST 29, 2018
    The Religious Typology
    A new way to categorize Americans by religion

  44. Greatly Saddened says

    Below please find an article from today in The National Herald.

    New Members Appointed to Holy Synod
    By TNH Staff – September 9, 2018

  45. Greatky Saddened says

    Today as we solemnly mark the 17th anniversary of the 9-11 attacks on our country. Memorials are being held at the World Trade Center at Ground Zero, at the Pentagon and at Shanksville.

    How sad to know at the World Trade Center at Ground Zero, there sits a shell of a memorial that has been left unfinished by the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America. For all the many reasons that have caused this embarrassment and demise. None is greater than the financial mismanagement and lack of proper planning.

    This should be a constant reminder to one and all that the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America is a failed entity and has caused needless pain and sorrow to not only to itself, but to each and every parishioner that was once proud to be associated with this once glorious so called religious institution.

    His Eminence Archbishop Iakovos of blessed memory will always be remembered as a beacon of light to what this Archdiocese once was and the enormous potential it once had.

    In my humble opinion, I guess we can thank His All Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew for the undoing of what once was! His past and continuous actions, speak volumes of his love for the faithful Greek Orthodox Christians here in these United States of America. I believe he will go down in history, but for all the wrong reasons.

  46. Greatly Saddened says

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

    Constantinople, September 11, 2018

    • George Michalopulos says

      Why not? What ethnic qualifier should they use? Maybe Patriarch Kirill will recognize it’s autocephaly? (Alex Tsipras, call your office!)

      File this one under “Unintended Consequences” or “Opening up a Can of Worms”.

      Things seem to be spinning out of control. Yup. Yes indeed.

  47. Greatly Saddened says

    Below please find a “Letter to the Editor” from yesterday in The National Herald, by Costas V. Perdikopoulos of San Diego, CA.

    Letter to the Editor: On Patriarchate Allowing Remarriage of Widowed Priests
    September 12, 2018

  48. Loras Camzekes says

    You don’t appreciate most of the ghetto parishes get “faith based” grants of Bushwhacked cooptation. That is why the homosexual Greek state senator appears at all their events, even outside his district. Add enough grants for elder, child, after-school, drug, alcohol and other programs and that is what keeps the church afloat. All you have to do is carry a lighter or pen cam and record one wrong word from the priest and you got him in a head lock to do whatever you want.

    • George Michalopulos says

      Bingo! In the future, all those ethnic parishes (we’re talking primarily of the GOA here) who are “on board with the program” (today, gay-sympathetic; tomorrow, who knows?) will have more than enough money to stay afloat. Festivals may not even be necessary.

  49. Greatly Saddened says

    Below please find an article from yesterday 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 entirely, and if found, I will post.

    By Theodore Kalmoukos – September 19, 2018