Perhaps This Is Why Strange Things Are Happening in Chicago?

What’s interesting about this story (other than the obvious) is that it refers to the Authentic Transparency and Accountability blog about the time the first death occurred back in September.

The author of this story expressed to our source that he “was frightened for his life”. If you click on the link you will see the page was wiped clean.  Why? It’s interesting to note that his critique of Metropolitan Nathanael’s directive did not align with the prevailing Zeitgeist (if you know what I mean.)



  1. Your link is working and the one referred to on NFTU is not; the story is frightening regarding the stability of our church; I am in the GOA and have been staying ‘on board’ for a period of time because of the lack of alternatives, but the recent postings of the advice that Geronda Ephraim gave to the Greek people in Cyprus about staying with the church even with the flaws in leadership has been keeping me there. But, if the Chicago ‘open communion’ and ‘commemorating the Pope’ spreads beyond the metropolia of Chicago, I may have to regard my church membership as I might regard the coronavirus; stay at home and keep my head down and have lots of colloidal silver on hand. Below is a clip from NFTU. 
    In 15 years of running NFTU, my jaw literally dropped reading this article and that has almost never happened. This is “commemorating the Pope at a Patriarchal liturgy” level stuff that frankly you don’t really expect to see in the United States, because it’s often so ecumenistic anyway. For this reason, I am simply copying the text from the blog, and if you want to see more, well… there’s more, so just click the link above. — DJS, Editor

    • RE: “…but the recent postings of the advice that Geronda Ephraim gave to the Greek people in Cyprus about staying with the church even with the flaws in leadership has been keeping me there”
      Was the advice given during this alleged appearance to the Cypriot couple supposed to apply to ALL Greek Orthodox Christians?

      How was it discerned that the post-mortem appearance of the Elder was genuine?
      We are warned in the Church that the devil has in the past taken the form of an “angel of light” in order to deceive and destroy believers.

      Can  someone who believes in this vision and has taken the advice given from this vision, please explain how you discerned these things to be true?
      What if another person posts on the Orthodox interwebs that the Elder appeared to them and told them to leave any jurisdiction who follows the lead (or becomes an enabler) of Bartholomew?


      • It is the responsibility of each of us to discern the spirits. Thank you for your warning, brother Ioan. We are to pray to the Lord for discernment without passion and to depend on the sign of the Cross to chase the evil one; he will scram very rapidly. The people in Cyprus did exactly what they were supposed to do, they made the sign of the cross, prayed and went to their spiritual elder who told them when they walked in the door to obey Geronda Ephraim. I had similar concerns regarding the recent problems with the direction that the Phanar was taking, but will hang in with my local GOA monastery unless the satanic infiltration into the church here in America becomes a local problem. There are degrees of infiltration and it is up to each of us to decide which straw will break the camels back.
        I remember some years back seeing a cartoon where two Episcopalian priests were at the back of a large cathedral observing the obviously gay female bishop with her paramour following her and up holding the gospel (I believe) with two little girls preceeding her up the aisle throwing flowers into the congregati0n. One priest said to the other, “any more changes and I am out of here.”
        There comes a point in our church life where we have to say, “I am out of here.”

        • Gail Sheppard says

          If the Church becomes any more politicalized, I don’t think it will hurt like we think it will when it’s time to leave. We will cease to recognize it.

          • Good point!

          • George Michalopulos says

            I guess it’s all a matter of discernment.  And of course being led by the Holy Spirit.  
            BTW, loved that cartoon!  If anybody can find it, please send it our way.

            • I tried to find the cartoon, but it was on the web about 20 years ago and I couldn’t find it.

        • “Out of here” or “Off of here?”
          These Churches that are under Bartholomew or are following him are not static.  They are not fixed structures that are having their furnishings rearranged or redecorated.
          They are moving structures, vehicles in motion like a moving train with a locomotive with attached cars.  These Churches are moving along on a track with Bartholomew as the conductor and Elpidophoros as switchman and the US State Dept. and Intelligence Services as the track men.  
          If this train is headed towards an abyss, it is better for its passengers to get off sooner than later because the longer they stay on the train, the closer they will get to the abyss.  What’s the point of staying on until one has to leap off just before the train plunges down?
          If the passengers wait too long, some might be too distracted by the view from their window to see the coming abyss.  Another might be lulled to sleep by the rhythm of the tracks and the soft rolling of the car.  Others might be enjoying themselves too much in the club car or stuffing their faces in the dining car…
          I take no joy that my “car” was never hitched to Bartholomew and that my travel guides made sure I never stepped aboard his train.  My hear breaks when I see my brothers and sisters leaving the Station, most without a care and others saying see you later somewheres further away from the Station…but short of the abyss.

          • …and the traincrew will end up fighting each other.

          • Here is a real runaway train.
            What happens is not pretty.

          • nathanial of Chicago is not only being fast and lose with the truth but double faced. 
            With language, even greek. Context is all. And the context of celebrating the liturgy, all liturgies,  is the Church teaching  that only baptised members of the Orthodox church may approach, and actually technically unless gone to Communion before hand, can be refused by priest as happens in my Parish here in Bulgaria. 
            If the Metropolitan wants open Communion why does he not openly and honestly say so. 
            He is a stupid, shallow hypocritical fool.  They are ethnarchst not hierarchs.  They are running cultural club in bad taste.  And I AM GREEK. I should know.   

            • In my darker moment  I wonder if the Church SHOULD survive?

              • Gail Sheppard says

                Certainly not the “Church” we’re seeing at the moment but that’s the crux of the matter isn’t it? This apathy and lack of boldness for the Truth is not the Church. We were warned that we’d see great apostasy. Apostacy can take many forms. We are to follow the example of the Holy Martyrs, without whom there would BE no Church. Seems they are in short supply these days.

              • Michael Bauman says

                Nikos, remember we are not saved in our excellence, but in our weakness.

            • Nikos, you say “gone to Communion before hand”. Do you mean confession beforehand?

  2. Alitheia 1875 says

    RE: open communion. Metropolitan Nathanael shows his ignorance of church teaching and tradition. There is a petition in the Divine Liturgy which is often omitted. It calls for catecumens to depart, let none of the catecumens remain, etc. This comes after the Gospel reading and the sermon, which should immediately follow the Gospel reading. The Divine Liturgy from the Great Entrance on is for Orthodox only. This clearly shows that non-Orthodox may not be given Communion. Secondly, regarding a priest giving communion to an Orthodox (the no catecumens refers to not just catecumens but non-Orthodox) whom he knows should not be given Communion for one reason or another, does so at the peril of his, the metropolitan’s, and the priest’s soul, not just the communicant. Clergy will be held accountable before the dread  judgement seat of Christ. (That’s also referred to in a petition in the liturgy, by the way.) That a metropolitan should instruct his clergy to commune non-Orthodox and those Orthodox who should not receive Communion shows an extraordinary lack of archpastoral care, for clergy and laity alike. It is probably grounds for spiritual court. But, of course, nothing will come of this because the EP won’t be against it. Some years ago, at the Archdiocesan Cathedral of the Holy Trinity in NYC, 2 men, unknown to the clergy, were given Holy Communion. They promptly spit it onto the floor and left the church.

    • George Michalopulos says

      Oh dear.

    • Estonian Slovak says

      I think I mentioned this before. I have a nephew who is an OCA priest. Many years ago, while still a deacon, he accompanied Metropolitan Theodosius to visit Moscow Patriarchate parishes in the Soviet Union. He reported that there had been instances of Communists getting into the Communion line in large cathedrals or monasteries; receiving Holy Communion and then turning around and spitting the Holy Gifts out. To combat this problem, deacons would carefully question unknown persons right at the chalice.

  3. Concerned Orthodox Christian says

    This “conspiracy theory” you are promoting is so troubling.  Though I disagree with much of what I read on this blog, from time to time, there is something of some value.  However, never coming back to this site again, as the implication of the last few posts makes any continued reading of this blog to be a total waste of time.  The accusations, name-calling and judgmental spirit have no place in Christian life. We need to see the log in our own eyes!

    • Antiochene Son says
      • Similar to gaslighting…and thanks for the wiki above…   for coc above, just move on – you’re holding up the line.

    • George C Michalopulos says

      COC: of course we must look to the log in our own eye first! That does not mean that we can excuse corruption in Christ’s Church.

      I for one, am very careful about the stories that we here at Monomakhos comment on. For every story we investigate, there is at least another that we pass on. Personally, I wanted to comment on David Bentley Hart’s apparent embrace of Marcionism/Gnosticism vis-à-vis the Father as He is presented in the Old Testament.

      Likewise, I passed on the directive of Met Nathanael in which he promulgated open communion. Perhaps I was unwise to do so because that is probably what caused the dam to break in his diocese.

      I dunno. here are only so many hours in the day…

      • George, I’m not aware of the David Bentley Hart thing — of course, I am a great admirer of a lot of his writing but wouldn’t mind hearing your comments on it. 
        Thanks for being careful about what you post, there’s no way to please everyone.  And thanks also for allowing me to remind folks that some of your fellow Orthodox Christians are civil servants who work in the diplomatic and national security sectors of our government and who are carrying out their work as an act of service to this nation, for all of us.
        My parish is Antiochian, and I often visit an OCA monastery and one amazing monastery under the Patriarchate of Georgia.  At each place, the truth is still spoken in love.  May God grant this to continue, and may God protect His Church, our Holy Mother.  The gates of hell shall not prevail against her. 

        • George Michalopulos says

          I too, am an admirer of DBH’s writings –in the past. I’m afraid he’s gone the full Marcionite in his latest efforts to justify universal salvation (a concept of which, I am not unsympathetic to).

          • Michael Bauman says

            To be a full bore dogmatic universalist requires rejecting quite a bit of Holy Scripture and the teachings of the Fathers and going reductionist on the interpretation of many other passages.

            Many people go that direction because they reject “eternal damnation”….”where the worm does not turn and the fire is not quenched” as being against the character of God or any God they want to worship. The rejection of the Old Testament God is often included in that because, well, He killed or directed the killing of “innocent” women and children among other things. All very generalized in our minds and definitely an exercise in what any competent historian would recognize as the fallacy of presentism.

            It gets real messy, real quickly and for universalists ultimately salvation comes down to having a party with God in the beautiful hereafter. It is a white wash of all the evil done by people in this world. It is the opposite of mercy.

            The Church describes the Judgement Seat of God as a dread place for a reason. Likely my soul will be turned inside out and all the darkness in there will be exposed without excuse. The same of everybody else.

            How dark a soul has to be to get excluded, no one knows. There is at least one unforgivable sin which I understand to be blasphemy against the Holy Spirit, the comforter, the Spirit of Truth, the giver of life.

            There are people who do that. I know one. He raped his own pre-teen daughters and did other evil things. He is a friend of the demons. Yet he is superficially quite charming and was even held in high esteem in his RC parish as a “good Catholic”, taught adult catechesis, etc. But, he could never repent. In fact, he used the confessional as a weapon.

            Repentance is the key. Want a good defense before the dread Judgement Seat of Christ? Accuse yourself before you get there, bring your accusations to your priest/confessor. Be prepared to tell him something about yourself that you think will make him think badly of you. At least that is what Fr. Stephen Freeman advised in one of his talks at the 8th Day Symposium this past weekend. Most of all allow your heart to weep for all the pain in your life.

            It is no sin to hope for the salvation of all, indeed we should but to make God such that He is required to save everybody or He is not God is ridiculous.

          • The reason, why I do not believe in a universal salvation, because it denies human freedom. God does not impose Himself on free beings made in His image. He invites friends for His banquet not the robots.
            Universalism is a form of benevolent predestination, an error.

            • Archpriest Alexander F.C. Webster says

              RE: “Universalism is a form of benevolent predestination, an error.”
              Martin, that is a remarkable insight!  Did you coin that phrase?
              To be sure, I would rephrase it as follows to remove all doubt about the senselessness of the heresy:
              “pseudo-benevolent predestination”

              • “Martin, that is a remarkable insight! Did you coin that phrase?”
                Yes, both the insight and phrase are mine. Thank you Father. I tend to think things through, without prejudice, so I studied the debate between conservative Calvinists and Unitarian/Universalists with great interest and sympathy.
                I came to the conclusion that both sides have tendency to believe in predestination, only that UU think that all are predestined to be saved.
                Another thing I noticed, that what drives Calvinism and what is so tempting in it, is the moral outrage a la Cromwell, Robespierre and Dzerzhinsky. Among UU milder but related zeal might take form of political correctness. There is a good book I later found on that topic – The Revolution of the Saints by Michael Walzer.

            • Monk James Silver says

              As I recall, St Gregory of Nyssa’s only doctrinal error was that he once asserted the theological necessity of universal salvation as an aspect of the apokatastasis pantOn (‘reinstatement of all things’ —  Acts 3:21), an inevitable consequence of God’s love for His creation.
              It was pointed out to him that elevating such a blessed possibility to the stature of an ontological necessity completely undermined the already established doctrine of angelic and human free will.  He humbly accepted correction even while he lived, and is now venerated as one of our greatest teachers of the Faith.
              Still, it would be wonderful if all of us creatures endowed by God with free will would use that freedom to repent, and so ultimately be saved.  And it might be allowed to hope and pray for that, but not to insist that it must be so.

              • Archimandrite Sophrony writes of St. Silouan the Athonite:

                I remember a conversation between [Silouan] and a certain hermit who declared with evident satisfaction, ‘God will punish all atheists. They will burn in everlasting fire.’ Obviously upset, [Silouan] said,‘Tell me, supposing you went to paradise, and there you looked down and saw someone burning in hell-fire – would you feel happy?’ ‘It can’t be helped. It would be their own fault,’ said the hermit. [Silouan] answered him in a sorrowful countenance: ‘Love could not bear that,’ he said. ‘We must pray for all.’

                • Michael Bauman says

                  Brendan, none of which speaks to universal salvation but rather to the state of one’s own heart and the dragons of judgement found there. When it is morphed artificially into universalism it partakes of two great errors: predestination and the hubris of believing I am more merciful than God. I believe is was St. Isaac of Syria who said that we know nothing of God’s justice, only His mercy. And so it is even with the separations and torments of hell described so graphically by Jesus Himself.

                  Even my hard heart has difficulty with that even for the man who used to be my friend who, I found out, is rather a friend of demons and a pedophile rapist of his own daughters. I pray for his repentance. Someplace in the darkness of his soul I hope there is still a human being. That does not mean that he will repent.

                  • Our hope is that when all the play is played that all will be all in Christ and nothing God has made will go to waste. That is our hope – which does not deny our right to refuse salvation.

              • Um, no. Gregory’s entire theology would fall apart if he took out universal salvation. I don’t dispute you read this somewhere, but the stuff Christian’s fabricate to justify their theologies is mind blowing.

            • Martin,

              I agree with Fr Alexander – what you highlight is a tremendously important insight and crucial to what one of our roles is as Orthodox Christians in America – to work to stop so many cultural misconceptions that exist in America and in the West about who God is.

              In America, Calvinism drives so much of what the “default” assumptions about God are: that He is cruel, vindictive, volatile, capricious, doesn’t really like or love His people, demands to be appeased, etc.

              From therein stems the attraction of universalism: God is either so mean that He condemns many arbitrarily to Hades/Sheol (most modern people have rejected or are actively rejecting this false God, thankfully).

              Or, the corollary to this false God is a wishy-washy God who simply “saves everybody” with no work required on our part.

              It’s vital to note what piece is missing in both of these models: There is no room or no role given to human free will, for us to either approach God or to choose to reject Him. That’s no accident, since Calvinism (of which American culture is a direct descendant) stipulates that human free will is meaningless and plays no role at all in salvation. It’s a huge heresy, and for good reason.

              Compare all of this with the Orthodox (and correct) model: God creates us as His people, loves us all, and desires the salvation of all. But it’s up to us whether we approach Him or not. Essentially, we as humans are in charge of our own salvation and connection with God – the ball is in our court, so-to-speak.

              This is Calvinism turned on its head, which is why (in my opinion) Orthodoxy makes no sense to so many westerners – the entire Orthodox concept of God and who He is and how salvation works goes against everything that our culture teaches.

              All of this is encapsulated so well in the story of Aaron Rodgers, the quarterback for the Green Bay Packers who recently left evangelical Protestantism.

              On why he left the Ev Prot of his youth, he’s quoted as saying, “I don’t know how you can believe in a God who wants to condemn most of the planet to a fiery hell…. What type of loving, sensitive, omnipresent, omnipotent being wants to condemn his beautiful creation to a fiery hell at the end of all this?”

              Man. As Abp Dmitri used to say, “Well, I don’t believe in that God either!” This “God” that Aaron Rodgers rejects is a straw man “God” built up by Calvinism and much supported by northern/Western European culture, until recently. It’s the “God” whom most Americans think of when we/they think of God.

              This false “God” whom Aaron Rodgers rejects doesn’t exist. Yet this false concept of “God” is where the attraction for universalism comes from, as being the antithesis to this false God’s capricious cruelty.

              The truth of the matter is that our salvation is in *our own* control – a concept that Calvinism simply cannot and doesn’t allow for. God loves all of us and wants us to be with Him – it’s on us whether we work to approach Him or not.

              This gross cultural misconception of God is what we’re fighting. It’s a huge battle. And oh so vitally important.

              • In his novel The Private Memoirs and Confessions of a Justified Sinner, James Hogg (the Ettrick Shepherd – a man who never went to school) produced the most powerful indictment of Calvinism I have ever read. Hogg, himself a Calvinist, lays bare the delusions and contradictions that have to be swallowed when the creed is pushed to its logical limits. It is an astounding book which has been used in teaching hospitals as a classic description of paranoid schizophrenia – yet was written long before the disorder was identified. At the same time, it is a novel of demonic possession in which, perhaps, the Enemy literally walks the face of the Earth. Reading it innoculated me against predestination long before I became Orthodox.

              • No it is most definitely not Orthodox to say the ball is in our own court. That would be a heresy.
                I do think that there is a uniquely American twist to how eschatology is evaluated in our Orthodox churches, especially in the libertarian account of “free will”. Thay is an excellent point and a deep problem.

                • Greg,
                  Not clear of your point. If our God-given free will allows us to reject the salvation that God offers us – and even to reject our baptism in Christ (for we know that many nominal Orthodox who were baptized as infants have walked away from God and the Church) – yet we can use our same free will to lovingly approach God and to grow in Christ through the Church and the sacraments — it seems to me that yes, we and our personal work/efforts play a tremendously strong role in our own salvation. 

                  I reject the “universalism” that “God will save everybody” because this denies the free will aspect of things – we may not like to say it, but many people choose to reject God when He presents Himself to them. 

                  The universalist “God will save everybody” line of thought comes out of a Calvinist way of thinking – that God does what He wills with us, that we’re merely marionettes, and our efforts/free will have no role in the matter.  This is not true. 

                  And yes of course all strong Christians in America and in the West have benefited from the “American Protestantism” of old, primarily via the way it focused on and stressed knowledge of the Holy Scriptures.  This truism resonates for me – the one important take-away I got from the time I dabbled in ev-prot-ism was the importance of reading and knowing the Holy Scriptures.  Beyond that, I found ev-prot-ism fairly vapid and completely lacking depth. 

                  But other things about American Protestantism need to be thrown out and kept in the trash bin (i.e.: its all-too-common depiction of God as a vengeful, capricious, narcissistic God who wants people to be appease Him (à la Jonathan Edwards), its history of denying other forms of Christianity with the goal of turning all Americans into good Protestants (as the Presbyterian missionaries did with the native Orthodox population in Alaska after the American purchase of Alaska from Russia in the mid-1800s), our American “city-on-the-hill” protestant missionary narcissism that Americans know how to do everything – including Christianity- better than the rest of the world and that it’s our God-given duty to export “the American way” to the rest of the world (these days, this means exporting our militant secularism, our penchant for abortion, our uniquely western view of “LGBTQ” rights, etc.).  

                  Many Americans still view ourselves as missionaries to the world, just now about different things. 

                  We see this now with the schismatic “OCU” in Ukraine. Mike Pompeo – a faithful ev prot – having no respect for or understanding of the traditional Orthodox faith, but rather viewing Orthodoxy as merely political accoutrements to governments in power. He’s using the weight of the US State Dept to prop up the Ukrainian schismatics, quite shamelessly too. He clearly views faithful Orthodox Christians as weird, bizarre, inferior, and easily messed around with – in the same manner that those protestant “missionaries” to Alaska forcefully took native Alaskan Orthodox children away from their families to turn them into “good Protestants.”

                  Pompeo is exporting American narcissism to the Orthodox faithful of Ukraine. And he is playing C’ple/GOA for fools, bribing them into support. Talk about shameless. And shameful, as C’ple willingly takes his $ and plays along.

              • Tim R. Mortiss says

                This is a considerable exaggeration of what “American Christianity” supposedly is. Of course, there are no doubt many elements of truth in the picture.
                One thing that would be good for Orthodox to do would be to eliminate their favorite straw men about Western Christianity and be a little more clear-eyed about the subject.
                The Orthodox complain, but like complainers always, they never do anything about it. Did they evangelize the Western hemisphere? Did they evangelize sub-Saharan Africa? Did they evangelize Japan, China, Korea?  Have they translated the whole Bible into 2,000 languages, and the New Testament into 3,000? Indeed, they evangelized millions in long-ago centuries.
                But what have you done for me lately? We always had to answer that question in business when we closed out last year’s books….
                What have we done with our Talents? Invested them today, or buried them in the ground centuries ago? We’ll get no credit for ‘centuries ago’….

                • Michael Bauman says

                  Tim R. There was an evangelical presence by the Orthodox Church in both Japan and China–see here for one such piece of evidence: and here: and here q=boxer+rebellion+orthodox+icon&qpvt=boxer+rebellion+orthodox+icon&FORM=IGRE

                  Of course there is also St. Nicholas of Japan whos life is still bearing fruit

                  The Arians were quite good at evangelization and, in fact, “evangelized” the part of Europe that was the cradle of the Reformation.

                  Christianity came to the New World under the dubious RC belief that the Cross followed the sword.

                  What Christ was planted?

                  You are assuming, I think, that “evangelization”, regardless of what Christ is preached, is ood thing and it must be large to be real and effective.

                  During the majority of the time all of the activities you mention were conducted the Church was under a continuous and unremitting martyrdom held captive by Islam with the tacit agreement of the largely Protestant western powers. Later the Communist Revolution all but destroyed the evangelical efforts of the Orthodox in the New World.

                  I would also point to the evidence that the Russian Church has committed to re-evangelizing her own country with the fall of Communism but still works with missions abroad (which many criticize due to our arcane and archaic understanding of “territory” which I would argue is an artifact of our time under the Turkish Yoke).

                  The work of the Antiochian Patriarch in the Middle East is also an example of such evangelical work in a political and social environment that is beyond challenging. I point you to the work and pastorship of the present Met. of Homs, George who I have met personally when he spent a year at my parish prior to be consecrated a Metropolitan. Who, with few capital resources was working to achieve a near miraculous resurrection of that most ancient of Christian dioceses UNTIL–Obama unleased the dogs of war in the Middle East with his twisted destructive ideas of Wilsonian Democracy.

                  Oh, I cannot forget the quite successful evangelization of the Native tribes of Alaska who your vaunted Protestant missionaries under the auspices of the US government ravaged in their effort to “convert the heathen”. Efforts that included forcefully taking children from their tribes and families and placing them in boarding schools in order to “save their souls”. That was a pattern in Protestant evangelism.

                  The continued translation efforts by many Orthodox of the incredible richness of the Fathers of the Church is having an effect that should not be underestimated as they shed a bright light on the many Protestant heretical interpretations of Holy Scripture.

                  Orthodox efforts at evangelism since the fall of Constantinople (note to Joseph it did fall in AD 1453) have been met with severe political and governmental opposition at nearly every turn mostly from the secularized “Christian” culture of the west. I will take the seeds falling into the ground (including Philip Ludwell III of Virginia who commissioned George Washington into the army) and seeming to die over all of the Protestant altar calls and forced conversions and cultural rape called evangelism any day.

                  See also:

                  One of Mr. Ludwell’s relatives is a convert member of my parish BTW. I will also point once again to the evangelical efforts of Fr. Paul Abernathy in Pittsburg and Fr. Moses Berry in Ash Grove, Mo as well as the work of FOCUS. Oh, there is also Fr. Alexi of the Holy Archangel Michael and All Angels Skete in Weatherby, Mo. who was an parish priest in the “hood” of KC, MO until is wife died. Oh, I almost forgot, Hank Haneggraaff, the Bible Answer Man who held forth for years on Protestant radio recently became Orthodox after a visit to China. These are just examples known to me that are at the front of my mind. Many, many more, I am sure.

                  As I have said before, Protestant theology is heretical sometimes in the extreme and enormously destructive in ways. It has successfully inoculated many people against the truth even as they turn from God. These heretical and even blasphemous renderings of God and Christ are not ‘straw men’. That being said, I have been greatly blessed by many Protestants I have met along the way both before I was received into the Church and since**. I agree with Clark Carlton, that we would be better off being Orthodox than anti-Protestant. However, when met with a continuing stream of miasmic nonsense from “Protestant” sources it is quite difficult.

                  **One that deserves particular note is Sam Johnson of Indianapolis, a lover of God and true worker for Him in caring for others. I will always be blessed by meeting him, through divine guidance, in a Dairy Queen in Indy in 2008.

                • Michael Bauman says

                  Tim, just one personal note on Fr. Moses Berry. He evangelized me. I have known him for over forty years (since 1973). I know the man’s heart and some of his struggles. I have personally seen him accosted on the street by other black people and called all kinds of names for his faith, I also know of at least one instance in St. Louis, early in his Priesthood were he was forced to sit in the back of the room by one of those GREEK priests simply because he was black. Fortunately another GOA priest saw what was happening and brought Fr. Moses up to the front table.

                  If you have any doubt as to his missionary labors and spirit just look up his name on the internet. Watch one of the YouTube interviews with him. Or you can search this site for the article I wrote about him back in 2010.

                  The examples such as Fr. Moses are actually legion, but Orthodox evangelism is slower and often less flashy usually smaller and more intimate. You look at the web site Journey to Orthodoxy for some tangible fruit and add Fr. John Peck’s name to the list of stalwart Orthodox evangelists.

                  I could keep adding to the names on this list for days I am sure, but I hope you get the idea. Every time I think of one, another pops up.

                  Certainly the Church should do more, no one questions that, but it is not accurate to write such a subjective false comparison with Protestant evangelism. I expect much better of you than that.

                  BTW, about three more names just came to me but since two of them are high lighted in George’s Memory Eternal main post today, I will refrain.

                  Glory to God, I am shutting up.

                  • Tim R. Mortiss says

                    Michael, I don’t disagree with a single thing you say, really.
                    My point is the endless negativity here about Western Christianity in general; to me, so often an expression of a real inferiority complex, which I think, frankly… well, doesn’t matter….
                    Remember; I am Orthodox– I abandoned Protestantism for all of the reasons well known to all, and never even considered Roman Catholicism at any point.
                    Here, well, one sometimes wonders if it would have been best if the Muslims had discovered the Americas and taken them over (and there are some unspoken dhimmis who I believe must actually believe that). Better the Spanish than the Turks, say I. And better the English, the French, etc.
                    Even the beautiful Gothic cathedrals of Western Europe are all wrong; just lecture halls with ceilings that are too high to be “truly Christian”.
                    Before I joined up, I would look at the yellow pages (remember those?) in cities and towns that business took me to, looking for Orthodox churches. A medium-sized city would have page after page of small print listing Christian churches; now and then an Orthodox church. But I’m glad there were hundreds of Christian churches– not mosques.
                    One last thing– finger-pointing and blaming, I was taught by my dad, and it was pounded home by my senior partners when I started in the practice of law 46 years ago– is an abandonment of responsibility. It was impermissible. Resentments and grievances should be eliminated from Orthodox Christianity. Unless, of course, resentments and grievances and blame, historical and religious, are part of Orthodoxy. As for myself, I don’t think they are.

                  • Tim R. Mortiss says

                    Michael, I respect what you say, but you are missing my point. We Orthodox should get on with evangelism, as many are, as you say, but drop the endless invidious comparisons to “American Christianity” and all the rest. Let’s just get on with it.
                    When I left my Presbyterian church, where I had been an ordained deacon and elder, where I was baptized in 1948, where my grandfather, grandmother, mother, and father, had their funeral services, where our five children were baptized, where our three daughters were married– on and on– one church, not just one denomination– I wrote a long letter to the session, to friends, and to the pastor, explaining my decision. My apologia, so to speak. There was not one single negative note in that letter. Instead, I expressed my love for that church, my encounter with our Saviour there, and the reasons in detail why I believed that Orthodoxy was the full expression of Christianity. Not a syllabus of errors, not a negative screed– not at all– just the opposite.
                    That’s my attitude. And let’s quit pretending that Western Christianity has made no contribution to the Faith– maybe starting with all of those bible translations.
                    I am very familiar with tiny non-denominational evangelical congregations that for generations have maintained missionary couples and families in far lands– there are thousands of examples. Have we done that?

                    • George Michalopulos says

                      TimR, we have fallen in that last regard. If I may a quibble: perhaps the best way to “do evangelize” is to set up missions made up of monastics?

                      I ask this generally & in All sincerity.

                    • Tim,
                      Without dismissing the very valid criticisms of “Western” Christianity, I must say that I agree with you.
                      On a personal note, I will be forever grateful to the many (non-Orthodox) Sunday School teachers and Camp councilors who took the time to introduce me to Christ, as well as to teach and to nurture in me a love of the Scriptures.  They, in fact, are the ones who made it possible for me to recognize the fullness of Christ, to Whom they had already introduced me (for He is a Person and not merely a doctrine), in the Orthodox Church.
                      Thus, when I was finally exposed to the fullness of the Faith I was able to know deeply and without reservation, “This is the God I have known my entire life, and these Scriptures that I have come to love are both the product of – and a testimony to – the Faith of His Church, the Orthodox Church.”
                      There is no need to be overly polemical or to focus on being against.  The truth has its own power.  All we need to do is speak it in love.

                    • Michael Bauman says

                      Tim R, gratitude and Thanksgiving for what brought us to the Church is fitting and proper. The route God led me through to the Church was a field of landmines.  
                      I am greatful for each and every moment but they were valuable because Jesus was there with me.  That does not stop me from realizing the deadly errors of those landmines.  I would be even more concerned if I had friends and loved ones still there.  

                  • Michael.thank you for thst journey through american Orthodoxy.  
                    How disgusting the attitude of that greek american priest.  Follower of Christ?? 
                    And Phanar evangelism is to make pseudo Greeks first. But as in Korea, worship with sone sort of sakellarides banality with electric harmonium,  they can’t even give koreans, authentic greek church Culture. 

                    • Michael Bauman says

                      Nikos, Fr Moses is in the OCA, Old Calendar.  He was both rejected and received by priests from the GOA and both were Greek Americans.  
                      It was a personal sin, not jurisdictional or ethnic.  Fr. Moses holds no animosity to the sinful priest.  Indeed his whole ministry is focused on healing such stupidity and he has endured far worse.  
                      Unfortunately he is not in good health.  Please pray for him.  

                  • Michael Bauman says

                    George, your suggestion has merit as long as they are under the authority of the nearest Bishop without regard to “jurisdiction” AND the name of the skete does not include any ethnic modifiers and all services are conducted in English and only English. 
                    That would require a whole lot more monks than we have now.

                    • I totally agree that in preaching the Church we need to be positive and not negative and leave the exact situation of western Christianity to God while acknowledging the many goods it has done.  
                      Sometimes we given to exaggeration of  the differences between us, AND YES THERE ARE MANY!! and  the fact that in today’s world the traditional 16th dividing lines no longer stand.  In Uk every Easter I used to drive past a presbyterian church that put a big flowered Cross outside the Church and an Icon of Christ in the window facing road. Things the 16th century reformation  would have largely hated and destroyed. Although not Luther!  We are not dealing with same mind set.  

            • First, love the phrase. I hope it becomes commonplace.
              Tell me, as God cannot do evil, do you believe he is unfree or that we should reject the reality of God as such? If you maintain that God is both the Good as such, cannot do evil and is perfectly free, is he less free than man?
              What is the proper end of the natural will such that a perfectly free and undeluded person would not choose the Good?

              • Michael Bauman says

                Tim, the prayer list in my parish lists several missionaries  in foreign lands we help support not to mention the various mission parishes in Kansas and else where funded, in part, by the Bishop Basil Missions Endowment Fund.  That is funded by contributions from all over the Antiochian Diocese of Wichita and MidAmerica. That includes mission parishes in Hillsboro, Garden City, Lawrence and Manhattan Kansas.  
                Orthodox missionaries were instrumental and still are in over coming the ravages of communism in Serbia, Albania and Romania.  My Godfather is a lifetime missionary in Romania starting as a addictions recovery therapist initially.  
                Western Christianity is the foundation of secular modernity so any cultural critique requires a careful assessment of that, not excepting us, so that repentance is possible.
                Is a false Christ better than nothing or anti-Christ?  I do not know but probably, but that does not mean we should not say such a Christ is both false and injurious to your soul if one continues in that belief.  

                • Tim R. Mortiss says

                  Don’t really know how to respond to this. Are we to compel them to come in? How might we do that?
                  You know my story; a Protestant who dabbled for decades in “Orthodoxy’, attended Orthodox services often for those decades, observed Lent and had Pascha feasts at home every year– and then who was evangelized into the Church by a son who’d observed all that all his life. He joined and brought me in at the same time. His four children are baptized into the Orthodox Church.
                  I have eight other Christian grandchildren, and four other Christian children. They are not “false Christians”. We hold up our example and leave the rest to God, who has already acted in our family in His mysterious ways. To me it has been roundabout indeed; to Him, I think not.
                  I have no worries at all about it.

                  • Michael Bauman says

                    Tim, I think it is rather more likely that I am one of the one’s who get thrown out of the banquet and other folks are the ones on the highways and byways who are compelled to come in.

                    As a mentor of mine has said, “Modernity is a Christian problem” . Therefore it needs a Christian solution. All have failed and fallen short of the mark. The Orthodox are not blameless in the Schism(s) that bedevil us and cause us to fall even further. But the heresies are real to us all and we each need to guard our own hearts against them. Heresy hunting of others will not work. It is counterproductive, indeed likely partakes of the heresy of Dontatism.

                    I am deeply sorry if my words have caused you pain. Love your Christian family, you are a great witness.

                    All of us are too easily seduced by the false God’s we are fed everyday.

                    • Tim R. Mortiss says

                      No pain, Michael. After all, contention and controversy are my stock in trade! I enjoy the conflicting viewpoints.

                      I do sometimes even so become frustrated with the overall negative tone of much discussion here (this does not apply to you); which I do believe has somewhat increased over the years.

                      If one had a friend newly interested in Orthodoxy who asked about informational websites, one would not likely refer them to Monomakhos!

              • Greg, for a biblical perspective on suffering,
                as opposed to a philosophical one,
                I suggest you read the book of Job.

                • Well, Job is my favorite book of the Old Testament; in difficult times, of the Scriptures overall, so I think I do just that this weekend.

                  • I love Ecclesiastes, particularly in the majestic king James Version. When I was a theology student I often pondered the truth of:
                    “…of making many books there is no end; and much study is a weariness of the flesh” 
                    but could always cheer myself up with:
                    “…the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man.
                    For God shall bring every work into judgment, with every secret thing, whether it be good, or whether it be evil.” [12:12-14]
                    However, by far my favourite take on Ecclesiastes is the Pete Seeger song ‘Turn, turn, turn”, extracted from chapter 3 – in the version sung by the young Judy Collins:

                  • Tim R. Mortiss says

                    Job is right up there for me, too. “Man is born to trouble, as the sparks fly upward.”
                    Whaddya been up to, Satan? Oh….just walking back and forth on the earth, and up and down upon it….
                    But when God speaks from the whirlwind, well, there’s nothing like it!

                    • Michael Bauman says

                      I, too, look to the Book of Job for strength and guidance yet my lovely, kind and God loving wife has great problems with it.

                      “His wife and children are wiped out simply because of some macho bet” is how she typically phrases her objections. While I am bemused by that approach, my love for her requires that I consider it and share it.

              • Greg,
                allow me to contribute 2 cents wisdom:
                “If you maintain that God is both the Good as such, cannot do evil and is perfectly free, is he less free than man?”
                (1) If you are a robotics engineer and you make the best robot you can, there is no way that robot will understand you, its maker, fully. In the same way and even more so, we cannot fully understand God. We can try to approximate only, by using human terms.
                (2) God is philanthropos ie he really loves man. He loves you more perfectly  than your biological mother and father. Surely, when  you say,
                “My Dad cannot do anything evil to me”,
                you do not imply that he is not free. You are simply implying that he loves you very very much. Now that is my approximation.

          • Antiochene Son says

            Maybe my heart is hard and cold like a stone in winter, but I have never been moved by drivel like DBH’s regarding God in the Old Testament. I don’t understand people for whom the OT is a spiritual stumbling block.
            To me it is incredibly obvious that the entire movement of God in the OT is to grow a nation that could finally produce a woman, the Theotokos, blameless and pure through human obedience alone, worthy to give birth to the Word Incarnate. Everything that happened, all the bloodshed and “evil” actions of God were to serve that solitary end.
            It was the only way the Incarnation would be possible. DBH’s Marconistic beliefs are an attack on God’s divine wisdom in bringing Jesus into our world at all.
            Everything had to happen in the fullness of time. Everything served the spread of the Gospel: the Roman Empire and its system of roads, common language, developed philosophy, and relative freedom of travel; an Israel which was pious and untainted enough to produce one sinless woman; a Judaism which had received enough gradual revelation about the nature of God that some could accept Christ as the Messiah. For all of this to happen, Israel had to be set apart from the pagan neighbors, which meant destroying those who lived there and eradicating paganism from the Israelites.
            If DBH is so wise, I’d like to know how he would have done things if he were God. It would be quite entertaining to hear.

            • George Michalopulos says

              AS, interesting perspective which you bring here. Last weekend, Gail & I went to Wichita for the 10th Annual Eight Day Symposium (and met Michael and his lovely wife Merry while there). The guest speaker was Fr Stephen Freeman and boy did he knock it out of the ballpark! The providential historiographic narrative which you describe above dovetailed very nicely with Fr Stephen’s speech.

              • Antiochene Son says

                I may well have picked up a lot of the points from Fr. Stephen’s blog and/or podcast over the years.
                Even the stuff about “which God was YHVH?” makes more sense through this lens. God had to use brutal tactics which the primitive Hebrews could understand. They first needed to understand God’s oneness and almighty nature—”You shall have no other gods before Me.” To back up this command, he had to use brutal tactics. Gradually, God softened as the heart of his people softened. When they hardened against him and rebelled, he would harden again.
                Those who have trouble with this, I wonder if they actually think that the Gospel of Christ could have made any progress with the Israelites in the days of Abraham, Moses, David, Isaiah, or even as late as the Maccabees. There is no way. Everything happened exactly as it had to happen. We cannot second guess God, as he taught Job so vividly.

                • I am sure this is wrong in certain respects, but it is what I want to say in response to the heretical defenders of universal salvation – forgive me for my inaccuracies and errors, and please correct them if you know how –
                  Like us, the ancient Israelites were sinners who had brought calamity on themselves. The miracle is not that some were harmed but that any were saved. In “Unforgiven,” the Clint Eastwood character says “we all got it comin’, kid.” This is a Christian thought. 
                  I am damned through my deeds. We (human beings) are damned through our deeds. I am saved by Christ. We (the Church) are saved through Christ. I am neither to doubt the infinite power of Christ to bestow mercy on me or others nor to take this mercy for granted, even on my own behalf as a baptized and chrismated Orthodox Christian. If I were to wake up tomorrow before the Judgment Seat and find myself condemned to eternal fire I would have nothing to complain about. 
                  The punishment of sinners is justice. Justice is good. The salvation of sinners is mercy. Mercy is better than good, the perfection of justice. Mercy is available to all through Christ. There is no evil done to those who do not accept it.

                  • “How can you call God just when you come across the Scriptural passage on the wage given to the workers? “Friend, I do thee no wrong: I choose to give unto this last even as unto thee. Or is thine eye evil because I am good?” How can a man call God just when he comes across the passage on the prodigal son who wasted his wealth with riotous living, how for the compunction alone which he showed the father ran and fell upon his neck and gave him authority over his wealth? None other but His very Son said these things concerning Him, lest we doubt it, and thus bore witness concerning Him. Where, then, is God’s justice?—for while we are sinners Christ died for us! But if here He is merciful, we may believe that He will not change.” Isaac of Syria

                    • Monk James Silver says

                      Yes!  God’s justice is perfect, His mercy is infinite, and His ways are not like ours.
                      We can take great comfort in these few simple yet incomprehensible facts which God has revealed about Himself while we strive to ‘work out our salvation in fear and trembling’, as St Paul teaches us.

                  • Michael Bauman says

                    Speculation, yes. But speculation based on hope, I think. DBH is primarily a polemicist. A good one with an extraordinary vocabulary.

                    I sometimes mourn that we never fully grappled with the possibility of some sort of mid-state akin to purgatory. The RCC way, especially the manner in which it was presented is clearly flawed and St. Mark did well.

                    However, does that mean there is no such state?

                    Are we not in a similar state in our earthly lives?

                    The key to me is this: Repentance is the door to salvation and the door in our heart upon which Our Lord knocks. Sin slams the door shut but there is no lock, is there?

                    The real question is, can repentance occur after we have shuffled off this mortal coil? Followed quickly by the question: Is God’s Grace irresistible?

                    I think it is wrong to speak in absolutes when we are given only incomplete clues.

                    The only solid evidence in my mind is this: “Repent for the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand.”

                    We also must keep in mind Jesus’ directive to the Apostle Peter in John 21:22.

                    Another point of contemplation: If I am the chief of sinners and I can be saved then it must be possible for all to be saved. However, I can only know of my own in this life and even that is hard to determine some days.

                    Repentance: real, deep authentic repentance, restores us to our humanity and in that restoration, we are united with our Lord in both his Humanity and His Godhead.

                    This is a mystery, a mystery which can only be known through experiential revelation. It can never be known through discursive reasoning no matter how good one is.

                    “…a contrite and humble heart, God will not despise…”

                    “The quality of mercy is not strained.
                    It droppeth as the gentle rain from heaven
                    Upon the place beneath. It is twice blessed:
                    It blesseth him that gives and him that takes.
                    ‘Tis mightiest in the mightiest. It becomes
                    The thronèd monarch better than his crown.
                    His scepter shows the force of temporal power,
                    The attribute to awe and majesty
                    Wherein doth sit the dread and fear of kings,
                    But mercy is above this sceptered sway.
                    It is enthronèd in the hearts of kings.
                    It is an attribute to God himself.
                    And earthly power doth then show likest God’s
                    When mercy seasons justice. Therefore, Jew, Though justice be thy plea, consider this-
                    That in the course of justice none of us
                    Should see salvation. We do pray for mercy,
                    And that same prayer doth teach us all to render
                    The deeds of mercy. I have spoke thus much
                    To mitigate the justice of thy plea,
                    Which if thou follow, this strict court of Venice
                    Must needs give sentence ‘gainst the merchant there.”

                    Shylock’s damning reply: “I crave the law…” Yet Antonio has mercy on Shylock and refuses to impose the whole penalty as long as Shylock, among other things, agrees to become a Christian.

                    Lord have mercy on me a sinner.

                • “I wonder if they actually think that the Gospel of Christ could have made any progress with the Israelites in the days of Abraham, Moses, David, Isaiah, or even as late as the Maccabees.”
                  I’m not sure David would have grasped it, judging by the list of ‘unfinished business’ he had Solomon complete after his own demise.
                  I sometimes wonder if this tale inspired the endings of the Godfather films.

              • I have always seen the old Testament as a ‘story of the spiritual evolution of the jews’ from primitive if u like, and almost as if God revealed Himself at the level they understanding,  to a growing spiritual understanding led by the prophets and preparing the way for Christ. But they are not a text book to tell us how to live. Yes the psalms enspire and we can learn alot from the stories,  but they are not our text book of directions. A very protestant mistake.  We have the Gospels and above all the Holy Spirit that guides us and the Church.  Not what is written on page ten so to speak. One is freedom within the Spirit. The other is as jews and Muslims, to be trapped in legistic dead end. 

            • Michael Bauman says

              Antiochean Son, DBH and other like him already feel they are more merciful than God. They have no comprehension of sin and what it does to people, even children, let alone death. They have less comprehension of what their teaching does to people’s souls who are already hurting. It is not the balm they think it is.

              I guess they totally ignore Matthew 25:41.

              They “just can’t bear the thought of anyone ever being condemned to everlasting fire”.

              As Fr. Stephen pointed out this past weekend: Salvation is not general, it is particular, just as Mary and Jesus are particular people.

              I would love to ask DBH about the particular person I know who was a supposedly pious RC but in his private time raped his own pre-puberty daughters and communed with evil spirits. Unless he repents deeply it is unlikely that he would be particularly happy to be in Kingdom of Heaven in close communion with Our Lord.

              Your interpretation of the Old Testament is new to me but I assume there is a Patristic source for it.

            • “To me it is incredibly obvious that the entire movement of God in the OT is to grow a nation that could finally produce a woman, the Theotokos, blameless and pure through human obedience alone, worthy to give birth to the Word Incarnate. ”
              I like your whole presentation, Antiochene Son. I would add (if I remember well, from the St Basil selection of “good things”(filokalia) of Origen), that there three levels of meaning in the Holy Scriptures, literal, symbolic and mystical. 

      • Yes, George and you expedited the ‘news’ from Elpi that the OCA was soon to be his. Great journalism. 

    • Saint Basil disagrees:

      Rule Seventy-Two (in part):

      1. Concerning the hearers: that those hearers who are instructed in the Scriptures should examine what is said by the teachers, receiving what is in conformity with the Scriptures and rejecting what is opposed to them; and that those who persist in teaching such doctrines should be strictly avoided.

      2. That they who possess little knowledge of the Scriptures should recognize the distinctive mark of the saints by the fruits of the Spirit, receiving those who bear this mark and avoiding those who do not.

      Contextual note: The “teachers” in this part of Basil’s work are generally the Bishops of the Church.

      • WOW !

      • Johannes, an excellent quote from St Basil. Learned people are able to detect false teaching, the simple can detect corrupt hearts.
        When the Living Church took over in Russia, the faithful shunned the bad clergy and teachers. At first churches got empty, then the Orthodoxy rose up again, purified from errors.
        “Where sin increased, grace increased all the more” Holy Spirit is present everywhere .

  4. I think this is what God lets happen to those who lack the strength or conviction to fight for anything,
    who are so lulled with comfort and material wealth.
    We stand for nothing.
    How could he not talk away the true cup from those who know not its worth? Perhaps the end us coming sooner than we think. This is the sign of the Holy Spirit leaving.
    May the Lord Have Mercy On Us All

    • In my bulgarian Parish people unknown to the priest George are questioned by priest before giving Communion. If the priest is not happy he will refuse as I have seen ot administer confession there and then.  
      Unless it is play acting with no meaning,  these things have meaning and content for which we are, and will be, answerable.  Otherwise it’s all a play acting joke and the atheists  are totally correct. 

  5. The website was taken down the day after allegations of predatory sexual advances and manipulation were made against (a certain Metropolitan). I assumed it was the threat of a lawsuit that prompted the website to shut down.

    • Antiochene Son says

      It’s unfortunate that it wasn’t archived.
      PSA to everyone: Use a website archiver (such as or any number of alternatives) when doing these kinds of investigations, and post the archived link together with the regular link.
      In the Internet age the public record is extremely fluid. News articles can be changed at will or deleted. Entire websites can be taken offline. Don’t let critical information be memory-holed as the ATAA website has been.

      • George Michalopulos says

        Most distressing. We thought that the internet would be a great equalizer (and it has been for the most part) but its “fluidity” makes it ultimately unreliable.  Does it not?

        • Antiochene Son says

          Indeed. And beyond journalism, look at how much human culture is wrapped up in electronic bits on hard drives. There is no objective permanent record of much that goes on today. It’s troubling and makes a 1984 world so much easier when the last 30+ years of world history can literally be wiped out with the flip of a switch.

          • Good quality paper can last centuries. Hard drives a decade or two.
            More worrying is the easy  changing of the past by Ministry of Truth (1984).

          • Michael Bauman says

            AS, as a student of history I think we are busy creating a potential void in the historical record. Electronic data storage is the most ephemeral method of data storage we humans have ever had. When data created and stored on a “state of the art” computer 20 years ago is all but non-recoverable now where will that leave us in 1000 years? But that may be a very good thing in the long run.

        • So whoever controls internet,
          controls bit-coin,
          controls data, etc,
          controls the future of humanity?

          • Michael Bauman says

            Ioannis, the future, for awhile, of government–fully tyrannical, but not the future of humanity. Our future is determined by the Providential mercy of our Incarnate Lord, God and Saviour, Jesus Christ and our own submission to His love in our lives.

            May the Lord grant me repentance with tears for not living that way.

            • Indeed Michael.
              I meant the future of humanity if God leaves us alone, e.g. for the purpose of learning a lesson etc.

  6. E M Cimmins says

    Dear Friends,

    There is no way to adequately describe the incredible grief I feel at this news.

    E M Cimmins

  7. Abbot Tryphon offers his usual healing Orthodox explanation of “closed communion” today:

  8. SeekingTruth says

    So, is this the core issue or not? Is the Metropolitan of Chicago [concerned] with a homosexual agenda? Let’s not tip toe around the subject

    If so, we recall that a successor to the late former Chicago metropolitan (who was long-thought by most to be a homosexual with a homosexual staffing agenda) was chosen and it was not the current metropolitan–then Bart interfered with the election process and slam-dunked the current guy into the job.

    What’s never been openly discussed is –what is the policy of the Greek Orthodox Church of America in ordaining homosexuals and then elevating them to the hierarchy? There has never been a real conversation about any of this, so the whole topic stays in the shadows, like most of GOA’s business and policies. The stakeholders have a right chosen know who’s who and what’s what.

    So what’s the deal ? This is America 2020 not Byzantium 1020.

    • George Michalopulos says

      The (unfortunate and not-quite-accurate) fault lines between the Greek and Russian Churches appear to follow the current LGBT Zeitgeist.

      Recently, the new GOAustralian primate Makarios, awarded his archdiocese’s highest award, the “Order of the Christ-loving” to Senator Andrew Bragg of the Australian Senate. Bragg, was proclaimed a Grand Commander of the Order at a special Doxology service on Jan 21, 2020 at the Cathedral of the Annunciation. Previously, Bragg was the National Director of Liberals and Nationals for Same Sex Marriage and was the leading campaigner that led to the legalization of same-sex marriage in Australia in 2017. (

      Curiously, the previous primate (Arb Stylianos) had campaigned publicly and aggressively against the drive for same-sex marriage.

      Kinda makes you go “hmmmmm….”

      • So, GOARCH awards the mad abortionist governor of NY state, and GOAAus awards a pro-sodomite marriage politician?
        Can anyone find anything positive in this at all?

      • George, I was under the impression that GOAAus was more “Orthodox” than GOARCH? I guess this is not the case after all? It does not make sense to me how Abp. Makarios can be out campaigning against abortion, then, turn right back around and do this. Having been a former RC, this seriously reminds me of the double-speak among the Catholic hierarchy and “throwing a bone” to the traditionalists by paying lip service to tradition 

    • Greatly Saddened says

      Amen, so well said and unfortunately so true, Seeking Truth.
      Time has long come for whatever you prefer in calling us … congregants, members, parishioners or stewards. We need to know just where the Church stands on these extremely important issues.
      I am sad to say, I continue to see the demise of our Holy Orthodox faith before our very own eyes and it is truly troublesome, to say the least!
      Rather than hide, the hierarchs need to be bold and finally take a stand and address these ever so important issues head on!
      Lord save us and have mercy on us all.

    • Alitheia 1875 says

      One can be a homosexual and lead a virtuous, just as some one can be heterosexual and not lead a virtuous life. What matters is what you do with your sexual orientation and that includes practices, preaching, supporting and promoting.

      • Alitheia, exactly..  If one is a celibate monk that bishops are,  yr previous sexual status is irrelevant if u lead a celibate life.  Only relevent if u do not. And many obviously do not. Or lead a simple life. And who funds the lavish life style? The people..  Often minus one of their own ( lavish life style) 

  9. Antiochene Son says

    It’s time to bring back the expulsion of Catechumens and strangers. (“Recognize one another!” from the Liturgy of St. James)
    We need more mystery, not less.

    • Amen.  It’s pretty simple:  Keep the Traditions.  The Holy Fathers of Orthodoxy through the guidance of the Holy Spirit have laid out the walls that protect us within our beautiful New Jerusalem, the Church.  But modernist clergy and the episcopate think they are free to remake Orthodoxy into whatever shape (or lack thereof) relieves THEM of the responsibility to educate whining parishioners and outside observers that Orthodoxy is a joyful CROSS, not another have-it-your-way.  Adoption of the new calendar that divided the Church and wrecked the liturgical cycle was the first jump over the walls of Holy and ancient Orthodoxy into schism; the rest is just signposts marking the accelerating descent into the abyss.

    • Glory to God for these truly Orthodox brothers. God deals with the bishops in His time and in His way.

    • Gus Langis says

      Unfortunately this petition was made years ago. Pretty sure the Synod just threw it out. More importantly the monastery is that of Elder Pholotheos Zervakos of great memory. A saint never canonized due to his anti-ecumenist stance who didnt follow the script of new calendarist zealots. 

      • Never canonised yet.
        Hierarchs come and go.
        The Church remains.

      • Apologies. Did not realize it was from 2017. I hope something like that is done again as I’m sure that list is a bit longer now 

  10. V. Rev A. James Bernstein says

    My Ancient Faith booklet COMMUNION A FAMILY AFFAIR: Why the Orthodox Church Practices CLOSED Communion directly relates to the issue of OPEN COMMUNION. Here is the link:

  11. The Partriarch of Jerusalem called for a council in Jordan for February. What has been the response? Russia and the Church of the Czech Lands and Slovakia have responded. There is silence from Antioch, Bulgaria  Georgia, Serbia, and Romania. Poland has changed its tune. The traditional bishops and priests from the Church of Greece who were calling for a council, have gone silent. The OCA continues to concelebrate with the GOA. The holy monasteries of Elder Ephraim are tight-lipped. The divided mountain of Athos is quiet. And so Bartholomew continues his reign of unending scandals and no one stands against him.  He is coming to America soon and his publicity pamphlet has a photo of him kissing the pope of Rome. The laity are crying out for another St Mark Ephesus…but our tears are met with silence. My conscience grows heavier with each passing day as I watch the Hierarchs of the Church I love, surrendering to the world. I am seriously considering moving to an area where I can live the remainder of my life closer to a ROCOR parish. In America, they seem to be the last remaining jurisdiction that speaks the truth in love.
    Lord have mercy on us all.

    • Poland has not said no.

    • Antiochene Son says

      Antioch is still out of communion with Jerusalem, and thus could not concelebrate the Liturgy at the said council. I don’t foresee Antioch being part of the solution until that schism is fully healed, unfortunately. (And we can’t just tell Antioch to “get over it,” as they are facing a similar situation as Russia, though not with invalid clergy.)
      And since none of the other ancient patriarchates have stepped up, that makes it a tough sell to the junior patriarchates. I’m kind of surprised about Bulgaria and Serbia, as I thought they had closer Russian ties, and Serbia is facing the same kind of meddling as in Ukraine. It seems like everyone is waiting for someone else to go first.

      • Yes I live in Bulgaria so what Bulgaria  does, affects me very much. 
        I seem to get the feeling of no leadership. Of a passivity, a deadness, as if modern life has emptied the content of belief, leaving an ethnic shell that they have as their comfort zone.  And also COWARDNESS and fawning to western politicians. They fawned on communist ones, so business as usual I guess. 

    • Mikhail, you may want to revise your statement regarding the church of Poland.

      • Yes. I wrote that last night….and then this morning the statement comes out about Poland. However, Poland has not officially responded.

        • It’s this studied ambiguity from the churches I can’t stand… Until they get a USA politician’s visit who seems able to bring  enlightement courtesy of Pompeo ‘ s ‘Holy Spirit.’ 

    • George Michalopulos says

      Mikhail, if it’s any consolation, there was one bishop –Mark Eugenicus of Ephesus–who stood up to the powers-that-be at that time.  We remember him today as a saint.  The others?  Not so much.

      • Yes, George. We need another St. Mark. I know things move slow with the Church, but each day that goes by in silence, is another day that Bartholomew is emboldened.

    • Bp. Benjamin won’t concelebrate with Greeks and tells his clergy they are free to avoid them or not. He’s quite upfront about his ire.  

  12. Michael Bauman says

    Here is the fundamental problem with this post and thread: too ephemeral. Therefore anything is possible and plausible. It is too easy to fall into the trap of what I call depressive imagination in which any bad thing is not only possible, but likely and no one can escape the maw. Quite quickly, all the “bad guys” known and unknown become like The Slender Man. Our own inchoate fears give power to evil.

    Death is not the end no matter the cause. We are to weep and wail for a time fully and completely with our friends and family. Justice is not for we human beings. Justice in human hands ends up with the damnation of all. Mercy is a hard and difficult discipline. It requires tears and a soft heart especially when I want my heart to be hard and seek revenge.

    My prayer for all the families who lost someone is that the comfort of the Holy Spirit and His mercy be with them in their grief and bring healing and resolution while protecting them against all evil.

  13. A friend shared this recently:
    Fordham-funded, obviously, and trying to paint conservative-traditional converts to Orthodoxy as being dangerous shills for a Putin Tsardom, or something.
    As well as labelling us under the anti-LGBTQ haters moniker, the “Orthodox” liberals are painting conservative-traditional Orthodox Christians as politically subversive too.
    I think that they are getting the groundwork in for when they can use this kind of ‘research’ as grounds for arresting Orthodox Christians, seizing property, and basically dismantling the Church in America when it is expedient to do so.

  14. Michael Bauman says

    Tim R.  I would refer them to Glory to God For All Things. Fr. Stephen Freeman.  (I do not know if I believe you about the lack of pain)

  15. Michael Bauman says

    Over on Fr. Stephen Freeman’s blog: Glory to God For All Things is the beginning of a discussion focused on the Ecclesial Tragedy of the West. Each of us shares in that tragedy, indeed folks born anywhere in the Western world have that tragedy epigentically given to us I think,

    Running around and being Chicken Little about the RCC or the Protestants is simply arrogant denial of the reality. As we enter the Church, by God’s grace, we bring with us bits and pieces of that tragedy. As we enter further into the life of the Church, my prayer and hope is that, unlike Shakespearean Tragedies in which the stage, at the end, is littered with the bodies of the dead and dying, All may be transformed in an through the Cross and we may all enter the Bridal Chamber together.

    The vituperation and polemics against “The West” paradoxically make the fragmentation even greater and more difficult to heal.

    Speaking for myself alone, at the best of times my cries against the theological and ecclesial difficulties in the west has largely been motivated by wanting to be free of them myself–a public way of saying I recognize the wrong, the sin here. Now, perhaps, in light of the Gospel just preached on the Publican and the Pharisee and the grace of our Lord in His mercy, I can begin to make a step in the direction of saying “yes” to a greater Union with Him who IS.

    Lord have mercy on me, a sinner.