Doubling Down on Irresponsible

It appears that despite the fervent warnings of the other bishops who are on the Assembly of Canonical Bishops (ACOB), Archbishop Elpidophoros is going to go ahead and ordain Alexander Belya to the episcopacy.

Belya, a controversial figure within ROCOR, was defrocked by their Holy Synod last year.  That much is clear; yet he claims that he was not defrocked, that before this action was taken, he was given a letter of release by the late Metropolitan Hilarion (Kapral), the primate of ROCOR.

The Holy Synod stands by its decision. 

They are not alone in questioning his character.  The bishops which make up ACOB, likewise had many questions about Belya, questions which they conveyed to Elpidophoros verbally and in writing.  Belya reacted against this action by initiating a lawsuit against both groups.  (Under pressure from Elpidophoros, he withdrew his lawsuit against ACOB.) 

At any rate, the ACOB concerns derailed his consecration.  When he went to Istanbul last year, he was told that things were on hold. 

And so they remained –until now.

Yesterday, orthochristian.com broke the story that Elpidophoros decided to throw caution to the wind and proceed with Belya’s consecration to the episcopate.  You can read the story for yourself here:  https://orthochristian.com/155347.html

Elpidophoros’ unilateral action is worrisome on mutiple levels, not the least of which is the fact that as far as the GOA is concerned, the mask of conciliarity and equality of rank has been ripped off. 

Also laid bare is the insouciance with which the GOA views its own policies and procedures:  

Hoping to alleviate the bishops’ concerns, Abp. Elpidophoros proposes that despite Assembly bylaws, which dictate that active and canonical bishops are automatically members, Belya will not become a member of the Canonical Assembly and will not participate in any Assembly events.

The same is dictated by the rules of operation adopted at the Fourth Pre-conciliar Pan-Orthodox Conference held in Chambésy, June 2009, establishing the various Canonical Assemblies throughout the diaspora.

To be blunt, this is yet another example of Phanariote duplicity and double-dealing.  In secular terms, this is akin to making things up as they go along, a time-honored tradition of the Byzantine court.  Anyway you cut it, it’s Mickey Mouse.

To suppose that Elpidophoros thinks that the other bishops will be mollified by making Belya ineligible to join their meetings is laughable to the extreme.  It shows a blatant disregard by Elpidophoros for their concerns assuming “they’ll get over it.”

They won’t. 

In addition, it makes a mockery of the laborious policies and procedures that were hammered out at the Pre-Conciliar meetings held at Chambesy over the last thirty years. 

It also makes a mockery of ACOB’s own work in trying to forge unity in America. 

When all is said and done, this tin-eared action by Elpidophoros shows that all their work has been for naught.  It was always a charade, since the primate of the GOA will do whatever he wants. I guess because like his boss, he’s “first without equals”, 

This is not a good look for the United States of America.  It certainly isn’t a good look for Orthodoxy.

Whether Elpidophoros proceeds to go forward with this ill-advised consecration is immaterial at this point.  He’s proven his untrustworthiness once too often.  What should happen is for the rest of the bishops who make up ACOB should immediately tender their resignations.  Otherwise, they will never be taken seriously again.  

This cannot be stressed enough:  there is no way that the GOA can ever be trusted again.  By this action, Elpidophoros has made sure of that.  

 

 

 

Comments

  1. My question is: Why do they need Belya as a bishop so bad, and why does he need to be a bishop so bad. Both of those things tell me he should definitely not be a bishop at all, his moral fiber besides the point. The fact that he currently has a ongoing lawsuit against a canonical Orthodox jurisdiction in America is just a cherry on top of why he should not be a bishop.

    I’m assuming Elpi does not recognize that ROCOR (which is rapidly growing) has very good relations with the Antiochians, and seemingly the OCA & every other jurisdiction. The Holy Iveron Icon even made a stop at the Antiochian Convention. Let alone the close ties the Antiochian Patriarchate in Syria has with the Church or Russia in general.

    Given the previous letter that was signed by almost all of the bishops on the AOB, I have to imagine/hope that their concerns still stand. I also have to imagine that they have FINALLY realized that there will be no canonical unity in America as long as the Archbishop of the GOA is the de facto head of he Assembly. Frankly I’m shocked that this issue with Belya is the straw that broke the camels back of the AOB considering all of the problematic things Elpi has said & done.

    Let’s not forget that when the AOB recently held it’s meeting, Elpi chided all of the other bishops for not recognizing the OCU, this could not have gained him any favors with the other bishops.

    That along with completely ignoring the concerns of the other bishops on the AOB to me tells me he now considers himself the First Without Equals of American Orthodoxy. I think that is 10000% accurate, he sees himself as above reproach.

    I would highly recommend that everyone write a letter of concern to their respective bishops.

    The question now is, what will the other bishops do? Will they actually hold true to their words on suspending the assembly?

    If they were smart they would drop out of the AOB, regroup and restart a new Assembly with ROCOR, after all the Antiochians and ROCOR are growing by leaps and bounds.

    Gail & George, I hope ya’ll are able to make it to California to get some more inside information.

  2. Antiochene Son says

    This should be the end of Elpi’s “hello fellow Americans” schtick. Acknowledging a set of rules and then openly setting them aside is not how Americans work. And it’s also illegal. I would imagine any Orthodox Christian could have standing to sue the AOB in response.

    I pray Met. Saba stands strong. This will be a big test for him.

  3. Isaiah: 28:8 For all tables are full of vomit and filthiness, so that there is no place clean.

  4. We will all have to give an account at the dread judgement seat of Christ. As one monastic said, its not our sins that will condem us but it’s our UNREPENTANCE.

    • and the things we have left undone.

    • Fr Nicholas Young says

      Truly. Only God is without sin, the rest of us should repent. Sadly there seems no sign of this in some of our leaders, so-called. It saddens me to see that Orthodoxy has been affected by “the long march through the institutions”. Thankfully, as somebody said: “It will not last because there is no Truth in it”.

      • Johann Sebastian says

        As a late Xer/early Millennial, I have far more concern for when the time comes for our generations to lead the Church, if they are even capable of any sort of meaningful leadership.

        Not all Boomers are hippie leftovers—the degeneracy has been a century in the making, and at least when these people were of impressionable age, the rot hadn’t fully engulfed the institutions entrusted with their education or the culture-at-large. As for more conservative Boomers (in the case of my parents, for example) they miscalculated, thinking that (as my father thought) progressive deviance was nothing more than a passing fad confined to a few extreme fringe groups or that they could (as my mother thought) reverse the rot at the voting booth or by signing any number of questionable petitions that are followed by incessant junk mailings.

        There are only two options. The first: accept what has happened in peace, but not capitulate to it. The second: Use their own “medicine” and tactics against them—but in doing so, there will be deception, there will be manipulation, and there will be other things that need no mention.

        • If I had to guess you’re a Gen X, right? How have you fought the good fight? What significant things do you feel you have done for the Church that others should emulate?

          • You are correct that I am Gen X.

            Regarding your other statement, I did not say that I’m someone to emulate, and neither do I need to be for what I said to have merit

            • No, you didn’t. It was inferred based on the rest of what you said. – Insulting people has no merit.

      • Archbishop Elpidophoros is indeed Generation X. Born in 1967.

        • Goes to show that Gen X-ers can be deluded, incompetent leaders just like anyone else!

          And I say this as a Gen X-er myself.

          God and our Holy Mother, please save us from narcissistic bishops!

        • Johann Sebastian says

          And the false-metropolitan Epiphany is in his early 40s—either late X or early Millennial.

          I know these generations are meaningless outside the West, but Patriarch Kirill and Metropolitan Onufriy are right around my parents’ age and at the early end of Boomer territory.

          I’m not optimistic about anyone born after 1965. People born from the 1930s-1950s are really a mixed bag, but at least they can remember a time when normal really was normal. Anyone born after that only caught the last vestiges of the old order.

        • .. which makes him both younger and decidedly less spiritually mature than my younger, Downs Syndrome brother.

        • Every generation has its strengths and weaknesses. I don’t like putting anyone, regardless of age, into categories. All that matters is faithfulness to Christ.

  5. The Phanar is playing the Martingale strategy. Yes, Martingales do pay off periodically. But that risk of ruin keeps getting exponentially bigger each time.

    Let’s not kid ourselves: the Phanar knows that in the States, it’s got home field advantage. Intelligence agencies are on their side, and there are plenty of operatives and allies who can also get the inner scoop on what’s happening inside each Orthodox jurisdiction in the States.

    Just as the Hellenic Orthodox Church, Cypriot Orthodox Church, and Alexandrian Patriarchate were tested – and failed – now is the case of the Orthodox bishops in America. Can they speak truth to the Deep State?

    • Well, I guess “Martingale Strategy” sounds more dignified than “Mickey Mouse way of doing things”.

      • Hiding from Deep State Bishops says

        Sung to the tune of The Mickey Mouse March

        Who’s the leader of the plan
        to turn the Church into a mess?
        E-L-P I-D-O F-O-R-O-S

        Who is on the payroll
        of the Deep State and Soros?
        E-L-P I-D-O F-O-R-O-S

        Heresy
        (Schism too!)
        Heresy
        (Schism too!)

        Join him; get your thirty pieces too!
        You, you, you, you!

        Who grabs earthly power
        and forfeits eternal rest?
        E-L-P I-D-O F-O-R-O-S

      • Nick Shahood says

        George,

        If there are any “Theologians” that communicate through this website, I would like to ask a general question:

        If Archbishop Elpidophoros (for example) serves[d] with [Metropolitan] Epiphanius Dumenko does this make him equally heretical and then anyone who serves with Elpidophoros falls into that category of heresy? Or, is it only a first order issue when someone would serve with Epiphanius (or other OCU clergy or in their churches)?

        Same question would be if (e.g.) John X concelebrate with EP Bartholomew would that result in John X be designated(?) a heretic by others?

  6. Has anyone heard if the ” snakes of the Panagia” appeared this year 2023 in Kefolonia Greece???

    • Joseph Lipper says

      I haven’t heard anything. It’s supposed to be an ominous sign if they don’t appear during the Feast of Transfiguration.

      “The snakes first appeared in 1705 when pirates approached, intending to rob the monastery. When they entered the village, they were terrified by snakes everywhere, crawling on the floors and walls and the monastery was surrounded by snakes. The pirates fled.

      “Since then, the snakes have appeared every year except twice: once in 1940 and again in 1953. This signified that something bad would occur, which it did when World War II broke into Greece and a disastrous earthquake struck Kefalonia.”

      https://www.livesofthesaintscalendar.com/blog/the-sacred-snaked-of-kefalonia

    • It’s questionable whether they even appear anymore. They just bring in some juvenile snakes now from “somewhere” as the large crowds can simply trample them. Here is article on the John Sanidoopoulos on how only 1 snake appeared in 1990 (only 3 the previous) and while he was there in 1991 didn’t see any:
      https://www.johnsanidopoulos.com/2009/08/holy-snakes-of-virgin-examining.html?m=1

  7. Regarding the renewed appeal for the consecration of Belya, Elpidophoros Machiavelli has listed two concessions to put at ease the minds of the other bishops of the Assembly. Those of us who have been following the political “Antics of Elpi” should be wary of his ulterior motives in making those modest offers. For some reason having to do with money and power, Elpi is determined to shoehorn Belya into the episcopacy, so he is trying to make it palatable to the bishops by keeping Belya off the Assembly…for the time being.

    Nevertheless, just you wait! In a matter of a short year or two, Elpi will make another devious request to regularize Belya’s position on the Assembly. If the bishops of the other jurisdictions can’t see that coming or can’t find their way to act in response to it, then they don’t have the gonads that Met. Joseph had.

    Here’s an idea! Why not kick Elpi off the Assembly for unscrupulous leadership and downright heresy?

  8. I pity the poor chap who trusts his soul and spiritual life to either of the two depicted in the photo at the top of this page. Anaxios! They’re as “Anaxios!” as you can get!!

    What a pathetic image that is supposed to represent Orthodox Christianity in North America.

    Holy Hierarchs St John of San Francisco and St Tikhon Apostle to America, pray for us!

  9. Joseph Lipper says

    It’s now looking like Fr. Alexander Belya has a pretty solid defamatory case against ROCOR. Given the current political climate, I doubt that ROCOR will still exist for two more years. A restructuring would inevitably mean that some overseas parishes would have to transfer over to the EP. As for the U.S. parishes, perhaps they would transfer over to the OCA, the Serbs, or even the Greek Archdiocese. Currently, there’s only six parishes in the Slavic Vicariate, all former ROCOR, but that number will probably grow.

    Archbishop Elpidophoros listened to the complaints of members of the Assembly of Bishops and agreed to postpone this ordination. That was over a year ago. He has now fully addressed their complaints and even made a special concession. We will just have to see how the members of the Assembly of Bishops respond. It’s entirely possible that the ordination could be postponed once again.

    The current bishop of the Slavic Vicariate is Archbishop Elpidophoros. So does anyone really have to wonder why these former ROCOR parishes want their own slavic bishop?

    • Wishful thinking I believe ! VL

      “I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.”

    • Given the current political climate, I doubt that ROCOR will still exist for two more years.

      ROCOR existed during the interbellum, World War II, and the cold war, and post cold war, enduring all the political challenges of the time, including the IIIrd reich. To think that due to a civil lawsuit by a reject cleric ROCOR will fold is beyond ludicrous and shows a total ignorance of the history of ROCOR.

      Also, to imagine that more ROCOR parishes will flock to this ersatz Slavic jurisdiction is likewise showing the same ignorance. Even those who broke off from ROCOR would never consider joining under the Ecumenical Patriarchate in any way, shape, or form, as it would nullify their arguments of Patriarch Kirill being a modernist (it would be like a Buchanan voter going with Hillary).

      Schismatic jurisdictions have always attracted troublemakers and the heavily politicized who see politics over the Church. That’s who will be Belya and Son’s flock.

      • Joseph Lipper says

        ROCOR has a lot of wonderful momentum right now, which is a great thing until it hits a concrete wall. Could the U.S. government insist that ROCOR separate itself from Patriarch Kirill? Yes, I believe so, and especially given our current political climate.

        https://www.rocorstudies.org/2022/09/10/the-liturgical-commemoration-of-patriarch-kirill-a-canonical-aspect/

        I remember reading Fr. Victor Potapov’s anti-Moscow and anti-Communist screeds in the “New American” magazine back in the late 1980’s. He was easily able to do that, because ROCOR had no affiliation with Moscow back then. The MP had no power to “shut him up” so to speak. Yet I don’t hear about him criticizing Putin or Patriarch Kirill now.

        ROCOR has never been targeted by the U.S. government before, but I believe that could easily change.

        • No, the government could not insist a Church separate itself from its patriarch. If they did, it would be ignored.

          One good thing about being a boomer is knowing when the times they are a changin. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=90WD_ats6eE

        • I remember reading Fr. Victor Potapov’s anti-Moscow and anti-Communist screeds in the “New American” magazine back in the late 1980’s. He was easily able to do that, because ROCOR had no affiliation with Moscow back then. The MP had no power to “shut him up” so to speak.

          I can assure you that 1) Fr. Victor is still an anticommunist, as are a vast majority of those within ROCOR to this day and 2) His views on certain subjects (e.g. the Moscow Patriarchate) has evolved over time, otherwise he would not have gone along with the reunion back in 2007.

          For that matter individual ROCOR bishops have on occasion made pronunciations that have differed with consensus opinion within the Russian Synod, without any consequences.

          ROCOR operates within the full specter of autonomy it was granted, and is free to lead policy as it wishes in the States and elsewhere.

          Unless this was Turkey, or perhaps at a stretch the EU, the government cannot prevent neither the commemoration of a patriarch nor his administrative authority which, again, is quite limited in the case of ROCOR. The Patriarch is a citizen of the Russian federation and a public figure, but he is not an employee or agent of the Russian government (I’m aware some haters are going to start mumbling about ‘collusion’, but the evidence will always stop at hearsay). If the latter were provably true, then the most the US government could do is force ROCOR to register as a foreign agent. But even that would be a line impossible to cross as nobody in ROCOR receives a salary from Russia.

          The Moscow Patriarchate, by the way, still has 34 parishes in the United States that are ruled by the Patriarch himself via a vicar. There has been no attempt to ‘shut down’ the Moscow Patriarchate within the USA, because that would be a legal calamity that would come against the bill of rights. It’s another matter that these parishes have been subject to vandalism and harassment, as have ROCOR parishes – this is despite them adopting a neutral stance over the conflict.

          True Christians are not afraid of harassment and persecutions, and to imagine for a moment that this anti-Russian dynamic within some elements of US society would push ROCOR parishioners into the arms of Belya and Son is beyond fantastical and quite out of touch with reality, if I am to put it as diplomatically as possible. It shows, at the least, a very poor knowledge of ROCOR and its current flock.

          • “ROCOR operates within the full [spectrum] of autonomy…”

            Let us reserve “specter of autonomy”
            as a more apt description of the OCU.

          • GeorgeS, very well put. You brought up several good points, if I may however, I’d like to expand on one of them: you mentioned the Bill of Rights.

            Yes, it does exist and yes, it would be a huge obstacle (all things being equal) to the American Establishment in their push to punish Orthodox Christians in this country. Notice I said “all things being equal”. To my mind, that means that the DS is going to try and find some legalistic way to get around the Bill of Rights (as they have with the 4th Amendment).

            My instinct tells me that with Elpi’s commencement speech before the National Intelligence University last May, the DS has found their “way” around the !st Amendment regarding the non-compliant Orthodox jurisdictions, those that will arise in the future. Simply put, the GOA will be their vehicle for doing so; the primate of said jurisdiction will be their agent.

            And if there’s a hot war with Russia, the machinery of the State will also be harnessed against ROCOR and other non-compliant jurisdictions. The IRS will lend its services as well when they decide to take away the tax-exempt status of offending parishes, especially those which preach “hate” against homosexuals who show up in the Narthex wanting to get “married”.

            All of the above is persecution; perhaps not as violent as what happened to Christians during the Bolshevik Revolution but persecution nonetheless. Somewhat akin to what happened to Christians after Stalin eased up the Soviet persecution against the Church. At any rate, we should not shy away from it but welcome it.

          • Joseph Lipper says

            GeorgeS, during times of war, civil liberties can and will be curtailed, despite the U.S. Constitution. There’s also the Espionage and Sedition Acts from WWI, and more recently the Patriot Act after 9-11. Those can be very loosely interpreted as the government wills, as much as some people may protest. During WWII, thousands of Japanese Americans were simply imprisoned, despite their Constitutional rights.

            • And that’s a good thing? The mass-arrests of Japanese-Americans and placing them in concentration camps is a stain on our history.

              Seriously, I see your point, but why hasn’t the engine of the Fed govt been turned against religious institutions that are clearly working for alien governments or those that are seditious against the United States?

              Do you want us to go back to the Palmer Raids of 1917 wherein Socialists and anti-war dissidents were rounded up and put into prison?

              • Joseph Lipper says

                George, no, I don’t want any of this to happen. I’m only trying to point out the problematic and inherent weakness of ROCOR being under the Moscow Patriarchate.

                As much as people want to criticize the EP, the good relations between the EP and the U.S. government go a long way. I believe all of us here are just trying to be Orthodox Christians, despite the controversies. Good bishops protect their flock from politics, sometimes by having good relations with the government. That’s something I don’t believe Patriarch Kirill is able to do very well anymore outside of the Russian Federation.

            • GeorgeS, during times of war, civil liberties can and will be curtailed, despite the U.S. Constitution. There’s also the Espionage and Sedition Acts from WWI, and more recently the Patriot Act after 9-11

              …it is precisely for this reason why I don’t have a lot of faith in ‘democratic institutions’, or rather, I am relatively ambivalent toward them being some guarantor of rights and protections. At the end of the day you can’t stop the spell of group think which is as prevalent in democratic societies as in less or non democratic ones. If everyone on the top thinks similarly, you will get a similar result regardless of the ‘institutions’. In the Soviet Union there were also courts and defense attorneys: it was all a mirage.

              Bottom line I’ll agree with you in one thing: when there’s a will, there’s a way. If group think holds sway, then all the institutions and lawyers in the world won’t save you.

              For my money, the group think in the US of A hasn’t gotten that bad – YET. It usually takes a generation or two to affect such changes in every layer of society, unless one is to resort to the Robespierre/Leninist methods of social reeducation. But prior to that you have to win a civil war.

              Lastly: if it were true that ROCOR parishioners would switch to the EP for reasons of avoiding political persecution, that would mean that its corpus would be corrupt. Back in 2007 when the reunion happened with the Moscow Patriarchate, US-Russia relations were by far not in good shape either (the GW Bush/Cheney administration was hardly a friend to Russia). The animus was there, it just wasn’t as open as it ended up being 7 years later during the Maidan coup and the aftermath. Yet the vast majority of ROCOR went along with it. A number of those who refused to go along with it were people who had ties to the DC establishment, including John Herbst, former US ambassador to Ukraine who is an avid supporter of neocon Russia policy. Let’s not forget that Russian Americans were at one point useful assets during the cold war, and some have built their careers around that. Of those Russians born in the states with Ukraine flags on their avatars, a big percent of them belong to this category.

              As for the others who refused to join, a number of them have returned and to hear of anyone going in the opposite direction – outside of scandalized clergy I haven’t. I think that speaks to your point of Belya and Son’s potential.

    • Joseph,

      One of these days I’d like to have a beer with you and find out how much you’re on the official GOA/C’ple payroll for.

      My guess is maybe a few grand per month?

      They couldn’t have hired a more persistent PR lobbyist/attorney who seems to have fully bought and propagandized their kool-aid for years….. It’s almost impressive, my man!!

      Part of me wants to say nice job!

      • FTS, I concur! Joseph is an enigma.

      • We’ll never know, but sometimes having a representative from the other side (assuming it doesn’t degenerate into a flame war) can be interesting. Sort of like seeing a far leftist activist on Tucker.

        And people like Joseph may have a contrarian personality, people who like to be the odd one in the crowd. To them it gets boring being wherever people are always in agreement, so they look for action.

        To each their own.

    • ROCOR is growing. They just opened a mission in my area where there are already three other Orthodox parishes.

      ROCOR isn’t going anywhere but up.

      • The ROCOR parish that I serve at is growing. We have almost doubled in size. By the Grace of God we are able to expand our space to accommodate the new converts and those from other jurisdictions. We have two priests and two deacons. We usually have at least 4 altar servers any given Sunday. I attended the last Assembly meeting and in my humble opinion we are in very good shape. I’m not a Church history expert but it seems to me ROCOR has survived a lot worse than this Belya situation.

    • ROCOR won’t exist in two years? LOL!

    • Deposing someone and refusing to release them to another jurisdiction is not defamation. It’s a way of protecting other jurisdictions from the issues that led up to the deposition. This is the way the Church works. It keeps us from passing pedophiles and other undesirables from place to place. It’s not defamation unless you print something that you know is untrue with malice. ROCOR stands behind what they said. They believe the deposition is valid.

      If Belya went through the proper channels and proved to them they made a mistake, I am not aware of it. This is the way things are resolved in the Church.

      ROCOR has done nothing wrong. Clearly the Assembly of Canonical Bishops believe this, as well.

      The courts should not have intervene on Belya’s behalf. Deposing someone is not defamation. It’s the way the Church operates and we take it very seriously.

      Within the Church, if someone is deposed by “mistake,” for lack of a better word, the individual has an opportunity to go back to the jurisdiction and work it out. The “DC nuns” are a prime example. They didn’t fight with anyone over whether or not their papers were in order. They went back to Greece and straightened it out without lawsuits.

      The canons forbid us to file lawsuits within the Church.

      But the court doesn’t know that. They are totally unfamiliar with the workings of the Church. They are interfering with the Church and there are laws against this.

      • Joseph Lipper says

        Gail, I get the impression that Archbishop Elpidophoros is calling ROCOR’s bluff. As for the allegations made against Fr. Alexander Belya, are they actually true? That’s really the bottom line.

        Any church has the protected right in the U.S. to fire people and even to depose clergy. However, if false and defamatory allegations are initiated and made by a church against somebody, then that’s really a separate issue. Churches are not supposed to do that. It’s called bearing false witness.

        As for lawsuits, I’ve heard about so many bishops either initiating or threatening lawsuits against other bishops. Yes, it’s sad when it comes to that. I remember even Metropolitan Jonah was either suing or threatening to sue the OCA at one point. If I recall, it had something to do with his retirement compensation.

        • And yet I get the impression Elpi may be afraid of him because he inflated his expectations before checking with the Assembly. He may have been threatened with a lawsuit.

        • Joseph, as far as I know there are no allegations which ROCOR made against Belya. As I understand it, the basis of his defamation suit against them is that they stated that he was never released in the first place.

          If however, there were discreet, episcopal conversations between ROCOR and ACOB about Belya, those are protected under the 1A. This would be whether said conversations were good, bad or indifferent.

        • Antiochene Son says

          The Synod said he was not elected bishop and documents he sent were forgeries. That’s not defamation if it’s true.

  10. “Given the current political climate, I doubt
    that ROCOR will still exist for two more years.”

    Would this make you happy?

  11. Nick Shahood says

    I am an Antiochian Orthodox Christian clergyman who believes the hope for the Orthodox Church not only in the US but throughout the world, lays with the Russian Orthodox Church (ROCOR or Moscow Patriarch), which is not willing to compromise Church Teachings, Articles of Faith and Orthodox Moral positions.

    These are VERY BAD days for ORTHODOXY. The heretical Turko-Greco EP and its lackeys in the Greek Church, Alexandrian Patriarchate, the Cypriot Church (many but not all) and the creation of the Orthodox Church of Ukraine, was the progenitor of all these troubles. The EP is working as a Globalist entity grabbing whatever they can; i.e. Albanians, Slavs in the US, Bulgarians etc.).

    Unless the Assembly of Canonical Orthodox Bishops exercises an intelligent, effective and strong position (guided by the Canons of the Holy Orthodox Church) and supported by each “Mother” Church, the ACOB should be disbanded. Each and every member bishop, which remains at that point, are complicit in the Turks-Greco plan to destroy ORTHODOXY.

    ENOUGH is ENOUGH!!!

    May God guide the Bishops to adhere to their oath and principles!

    O Lord Sve Thy people and bless Thine Inheritance!!! Lord Have Mercy!!! Most Holy Theotokos Save us!

    • Ihavehadit! says

      The Antiochian Orthodox Church is an absolute catastrophe. A lot of work needs to be done to fix the AOC.

  12. The whole Ecumenical Patriarchate has gone insane (we already knew this of course), it’s looking like the Kiev Lavra will be completely moved under the EP as a stavropegia and the OCU will be the only ones allowed to use it. Lord Have Mercy.

    What are the other Patriarchates going to say when the Lavra is completely stolen by the EP?

    I guess the crosses on the Lavra turning black was not enough to scare them.

    • Petros,

      It is fascinating that none of these people actually understand the military reality beyond what they are fed by the CIA and State Department. There is no other explanation for their actions.

      When (not if) the Russians take Kiev, justice will be inflicted upon all these minions of the OCU.

  13. https://www.assemblyofbishops.org/directories/bishops

    Here’s the link to the directory for the AOB, I’d recommend we all email/write our respective bishops on the assembly and let them know that not only should they not allow Belya on the assembly, but, to also do some about Elpi.

    I’m not in the GOA officially but I go to their parishes enough so I’ll be sending an email to Met. Alexios.

  14. Reading the Life of St. Maximus the Confessor… In 630, the patriarchal thrones of Constantinople, Antioch, and Alexandria were all occupied by Monothelite heretics at the same time.

    The Lord has delivered His Church from terrible delusions before. He will do it again.

  15. https://www.helleniscope.com/2023/08/15/assembly-of-bishops-sends-final-warning-to-elpidophoros-on-belyas-episcopacy/

    Thanks be to God!

    It looks like the bishops on the AOB have sent a final warning to Elpi to not consecrate Belya a bishop. It was also signed by Met. Saba.

    It wasn’t signed by all the bishops but the heads of the Antiochians, Serbians, Romanians and OCA signed it.

    • Antiochene Son says

      Thank God for Met. Saba holding the line.

      • Much like the collective West royally miscalculated on how much the rest of the world would side with Russia…Elpi & Bart have miscalculated how much their sh** storm would unify Orthodoxy in America against them. Seems like we’re seeing that play out.

        • Petro, you could say that Elpi did wind up uniting us here in America –against the EP’s globalist agenda.

          • He did indeed. I believe when Elpi first apperead on the scene after his first couple of scandals ya’ll called that this would be the case, he would be unifying Orthodoxy in the U.S by galvanizing the other Orthodox bishops.

            So far he has been admonished three times in public, and who knows how many times in private:

            1) The bishops having to clarify Elpi’s scandalous words at the March for Life

            2) Belya 1.0

            3) Belya 2.0

            Even if he relents and chooses not to consecrate Belya he will either find another equally problematic person to make bishop, or, it will just be something else. He seems wholly incapable of not causing scandal after scandal so my vote is disband the AOB anyways. That’s the only way a clear message will be sent.

            We know for the Antiochians, Serbians, Romanians, OCA & especially now the OCA Albanian vicariate would have no problem leaving. Not to mention ROCOR is obviously already gone. If this happens it would essentially just turn into the GOARCH bishops synod bc that’s all who would be left. I wish more of the GOA Metropolitans would stand up, I know of at least 2-3 who for sure would. I guess we can take the massive backlash that Elpi has received from the various clergy in the Metropolises as a good sign.

    • Best part is the letter makes clear that the previous two letters by the assembly still apply. In other words they may as well just forwarded to Arch. Elpidophoros those letters with today’s date. There has been absolutely no change in tone since then. That’s a strong signal.

      • Best part is the letter makes clear that the previous two letters by the assembly still apply.

        The other best part is that the patriarchs were CC’d as well so we know they are see it and paying attention.

      • Joseph Lipper says

        Note that the bishops of the AoB aren’t threatening to leave if Fr. Alexander Belya is ordained a bishop. They have only threatened to leave if he participates in the AoB. Since Archbishop Elpidophoros has promised not to allow that, my guess is that the ordination will likely proceed.

        The defamation case in question seems likely to rule in favor of Fr. Alexander Belya. So it is important that this statement was made to show some support for ROCOR. It would at least be nice if the ROCOR bishops would write a response to Archbishop Elpidophoros though. Instead, these bishops from the AoB are having to do that for them.

        • The defamation case is over, Joseph. This is weird on so many levels, not the least of which is he got the job! Nothing said in that deposition kept the Greeks from talking him in which is what he wanted. He’s their boy, now.

          The problem for the Geeks is the Assembly doesn’t want him.

          • Solidarity Priest says

            Why should they care? They didn’t care in Ukraine, taking in that phony church. ROCOR and the OCA have both screwed up in the past. But eventually they owned up to their mistakes and righted the wrongs. Being with the EP seems to mean never having to apologize or admit to wrongdoing, NO MATTER WHAT. I know, Gail, that you don’t think much of the Greek Old Calendar church, but I would go to them before ever submitting to the EP.
            And for Mr. Lipper, I may continue to pray for the two Ukrainian bishops of the EP here in the US, but I won’t attend their services nor take a blessing from them. And that’s that.

            • I have always been extremely partial to the Greek Old Calendar Church, as I’ve mentioned on this blog a number of times.

              • Solidarity Priest says

                Sorry, Gail, if I misrepresented your views. I admit there are extremists among some of the Old Calendar groups. And some like HOCNA are nothing more than cults. Another discussion we once had led me to write what I did. Not worth rehashing, in my opinion.

                • Nor did I mention anything about “extremists among some of the Old Calendar groups” or HOCNA, about whom I know very little.

                  I did know Father John Bockman who was a teacher at my high school. I knew a few of his children who went there, as well. Wonderful family. Wonderful people. Not at all “cult like.” Curious if you knew any of the them. https://www.struggler.org/FatherJohnBockman.html

                • George Michalopulos says

                  Fr, sorry for any misunderstanding, but both Gail & I are very sympathetic to many of the Old Calendar jurisdicttions

                  Just wanted to clear that up.

          • Joseph Lipper says

            Gail, my understanding is that the defamation case is being allowed to proceed. ROCOR tried to block it, appealing all the way to the Supreme Court, based on the right of religious bodies to have “ministerial exception”. However, the final ruling was that “ministerial exception” did not apply to this case of defamation.

            • Belya blocked the Supreme Court from hearing ROCOR’s argument, so the Belya’s suit against the Church moves on.

              Washington, D.C., June 14, 2023 – “The Supreme Court rejected on Monday the call from the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia to hear its objections to lower court rulings allowing the case of the defrocked Alexander Belya to be brought against the Church jurisdiction.” https://orthochristian.com/154242.html

              • ‘ ROCOR … “had argued that the First Amendment’s jurisprudence and ministerial exemption, which bars legal claims brought by religious employees against a church, require courts to dismiss the lawsuits, leaving the internal dispute to the church,” reports the Washington Times.

                However, the Supreme Court declined to hear their case. ‘

                If you have a Constitution with amendments that protect you,
                but the Supreme Court will not enforce those amendments,
                can you truly be said to have a Constitution?

        • Antiochene Son says

          Joseph the word “participate” is nowhere in the letter. It says no such thing. It plainly implores Elpi not to ordain him, period.

          • Antiochene Son is correct, Joseph. They mention nothing about his not “participating.” Nor did they say anything about leaving. They specifically ask that Belya not be elevated to the episcopy for the sake of unity.

            See highlighted words in letter below:

            It was with sorrow and disappointment that we received your letter of August 7, 2023, regarding your intention to ordain Alexander Belya to the Holy Episcopacy in spite of our concerns and objections. Our position, as expressed in letters dated June 27, 2022, July 12, 2022, and January 19, 2023, has not changed.

            Therefore, we come to you at the eleventh hour, praying that, for the sake of Orthodox unity in America, you will not proceed with this ordination. Moreover, we ask that you propose to the Holy and Sacred Synod of the Ecumenical Patriarchate that it reverse its decision to elevate this individual to the Episcopacy, whose conduct and canonical status have caused, and will continue to cause, so much division among the Orthodox Christians of the United States.

            Wishing you a blessed Feast of the Dormition of the Most Holy Theotokos, we remain,

            Your brothers and concelebrants,

            • Joseph must have missed that bit.
              How unfortunate.

            • Joseph Lipper says

              Gail, as you point out, no threat is being made to break up and leave the AoB if Fr. Alexander Belya is made a bishop.

              This is in contrast to the letters from 2022.

              The letter of June 27, 2022 sent to Archbishop Elpidophoros stated: “There are those of us who have explained to you that we find it impossible to concelebrate with him and the vicariate. Naturally, then, we cannot continue participating in the Assembly itself if this man is elevated to the episcopacy and thereby becomes an Assembly member.”
              https://orthochristian.com/146933.html

              The letter from July 12, 2022 also stated: “We reiterate our position, which cannot be compromised, that we cannot and will not concelebrate with Alexander Belya or his vicariate, and we cannot continue to participate in the Assembly if this man is elevated to the episcopacy and thereby, according to the Chambésy rules, joins the Assembly as a member. You are, of course, free to consecrate him; we, in turn, are free to avoid any dealings with him.”
              https://orthochristian.com/147200.html

              So in response to those letters, the EP decided last year to postpone the episcopal ordination of Fr. Alexander Belya.

              Yet after a year of postponing, the eventual response of Archbishop Elpidophoros on August 7th, 2023 is a promise “not accepting His Grace Bishop-Elect Alexander of Nicopolis as a member of the Assembly despite article 3, section 1, of the Assembly bylaws” and “subsequently, by not inviting him to participate in any Assembly activities that would put you in any position of discomfort.”

              https://orthochristian.com/155347.html

              Given these concessions, it is noteworthy that in the August 11, 2023 response sent to Archbishop Elpidophoros, there is no longer an explicit threat being made to leave the AoB if Fr. Alexander Belya is ordained a bishop.
              https://orthochristian.com/155464.html

              • Joseph, I didn’t mention anything to do with “threats.” Nor did I say anything about “intentions.”

                The Assembly may very well decide “to break up and leave the AoB if Fr. Alexander Belya is made a bishop.” I don’t know. But I think it’s pretty clear if Elpidophoros proceeds, Orthodox unity in America, whatever that means to the Greeks, is over.

                I did not discuss the other letters you mentioned because they are really immaterial at this point.

                • From the OED [Oxford English Dictionary]
                  2nd Edition 1989:

                  chaff (n)

                  6. b. Strips of metal foil or similar material released in the
                  atmosphere to interfere with radar detection. orig. U.S.

                  I think the definition covers the extra material
                  that Joseph cites and his purpose in citing it.

        • Note that the bishops of the AoB aren’t threatening to leave if Fr. Alexander Belya is ordained a bishop. They have only threatened to leave if he participates in the AoB. Since Archbishop Elpidophoros has promised not to allow that, my guess is that the ordination will likely proceed.

          The specific language of the response to the archbishop never considered the option of Belya being ordained and NOT a participant of the assembly. However, why would the assembly all the same write to protest the ordination if this new solution was acceptable to them? It makes no sense.

          We’ll see what happens of course, but one thing is clear: if the Ecumenical Patriarchate elevates Belya to bishop, they will be very sorry. Let’s remember what happened with Philaret Denisenko…

          • Joseph Lipper says

            ROCOR needs to be part of the conversation. They are not doing that. The other members of the AoB are doing it for them, but it would be best if ROCOR spoke directly to Archbishop Elpidophoros themselves.

            Has ROCOR’s Metropolitan Nicholas addressed anything at all to Archbishop Elpidophoros? I haven’t heard of anything.

            Apparently, ROCOR doesn’t really care what Archbishop Elpidophoros does. So, my question is, does ROCOR actually care about Orthodox unity in America?
            I don’t think so.

            • ROCOR is not a member of the Assembly. Why would they be part of the conversation? This is between the Assembly and Elpidophoros.

              • Joseph Lipper says

                “The Assembly of Canonical Orthodox Bishops of the United States of America is made up of all the active, canonical Orthodox Bishops in the United States of America, from every universally-recognized canonical Orthodox jurisdiction, including the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia (“ROCOR”), despite the decision of its Bishops to suspend their participation in the Assembly.”

                That’s from last April’s communique regarding Fr. Peter Heers:

                https://www.assemblyofbishops.org/news/2023/communique-04202023

                ROCOR did communicate with the AoB about Fr. Peter Heers, but Archbishop Elpidophoros says he has not received anything from ROCOR about Fr. Alexander Belya.

                • This may be, Joseph. However, ROCOR, a universally-recognized canonical Orthodox jurisdiction, has chosen not to participate in the Assembly because of Bartholomew and his involvement in the war between Ukraine and Russia. It was/is the Ukrainian Azov Nazi who are responsible for all the atrocities committed against Metropolitan Onufriy’s Church in Ukraine. Had it not been for the Greeks, Zelensky would not be in a position to kick the Church out of Ukraine.

                  I suspect those who care about the Church will never get over the involvement of the Greeks who sparked this war.

                  The bishops, however, remain on good terms with one another, even choosing to meet in Russia when Patriarch Kirill or Puten call them together.

                  If this Belya thing goes through, however, I wouldn’t be surprised to see the other jurisdictions drop out as well. The Greeks are wearing out their welcome in this country, Joseph. Every day, another drama. The expectation that we must accept their deposed clergy is a problem for us all.

              • ROC(OR) has spoken its last word to the CP after it started the pseudo-church, OCU. Unless and until the CP shuts the OCU down, the ROC has nothing more to say to the Phanar and company, considering them schismatics. That is why it is no longer a member of the Assembly as well.

                The modernists will have to settle this among themselves.

                But Joseph is right on one count: ROCOR and the ROC are not interested in “Orthodox unity” in America. It would be a “unity” with schismatics which is no unity at all. Even unity with modernists (i.e., in one local church) is a bridge too far, IMHO.

            • I think ROCOR cares about Orthodox unity
              where Orthodoxy is traditionally defined;
              while Elpi is after orthodox Unity
              where Unity is what the Primus Sine Paribus says it is.

              • Joseph Lipper says

                That’s much the same argument the Greek Old Calendarists make, or just about any schismatic group for that matter. For example, there are several schismatic groups that have split from ROCOR, because it is no longer Orthodox enough for them.

                • And there are kids who no longer drink chocolate milk when they grow up (I’m not one of them; I love chocolate milk). You seem very perturbed that the Greeks may have hit a wall with Belya.

                • Unity is what the Primus Sine Paribus says it is.”

                  Can I justify this? Let me see now…
                  According Bartholomew: OCU = UOC [KP] + UAOC

                  ie: the EP Orthodox Church of Ukraine was established
                  through heretics, schismatics and the excommunicated.

                  QED!

                  • Joseph Lipper says

                    Patriarch Alexy II and Metropolitan Laurus of thrice-blessed memory also healed an 80 year old schism in 2007. Metropolitan Laurus is without a doubt a saint, but at least three splinter groups from ROCOR told him “doh svidaniya” and formed their own “churches” because they disagreed with the reunion. They did this all in the name of protecting “Orthodoxy”.

                    • Well, they were wrong.

                    • I haven’t posted for a while but I have followed from time to time, keep up the good work!

                      The latest developments around the Belya case are becoming interesting, my question would be why is Rocor willing to go through an expensive 2 year battle trying to stop the court case going ahead without providing a single bit of evidence towards the ‘forgery’ – sounds like they don’t fully believe they will win and tried to stop the case before it could start?

                      The truth is world Orthodoxy is in a mess and this is all due to BOTH the MP/ROCOR and Constantinople.

                      All other jurisdictions (including the UOC) should join together and remove those 2(3) trouble makers, their incessant fighting is tiresome for all others and their own!

                      P. Bartholomew has royally messed up in Ukraine and has blood on his hands over the war. Elpi is nothing short of a catastrophe, with his “nonOrthodox” views/actions and then there’s Emmanuel!

                      Many Greeks and Cypriots including bishops are ashamed of them! Lord have mercy! The ‘Greeks’ (Constantinople, Anthens, Cyprus, Alexandria) are not unified in their recognition of the OCU, how/why do they expect the rest of Orthodoxy to recognise them!

                      The situation is no better on the other side. Without going through the endless heretic things PK and the MP have said in the last couple of years, PK has an equal amount of blood on his hands. The MP should have given autocephaly to the UOC years ago, and it’s still in denial about it now, the UOC will never rejoin them, even if Russia wins the war tomorrow. Then there are the Latvians who seem to be following suit, going their own way. The next ticking time bomb is Moldova, if trouble continues between the 2 churches there, with the aggressivity of the MP towards the Romanians, I could actually see the Romanians breaking communion with the MP (which could lead to them potentially siding with the Greeks over Ukraine? I hope not but this would be the MPs own making).

                      Rocor continually messes up, when will they learn? All the parishes that left due to the reunification and how they treated them afterwards (I personally know some would have returned would it not be for the way in which they were treated afterwards, with their endless defrockings, excommunications, slander, etc…) and now Belya, Phillips, Vilgerts, Gayfudinov (whose statement says a lot), Chervinsky, the list is ever growing (there are countless other cases).

                      As a European, having lived in various countries (inc. USA, although a long time ago), the situation in Europe is very messy (I must say I don’t know what it’s like in the USA currently). The UOC has set up many churches in Europe and has already overtaken Rocor in number of parishes in Western Europe. Most Ukrainians (old and new) are leaving for those new parishes, leaving both the MP and Rocor. Only “true” Russians (or those that think that way ideologically) are still with the MP. The new Parisian Metropolitan Cathedral is a “cold” building full of “cold” people, with security everywhere and metal detectors in the lobby, how inviting! The Paris Archdiocese is the opposite (who rocor broke communion with and still remains); warm and prayerful (even though under the MP); not one parish commemorates PK during services. Only Metr. John does, during his hierarchal services (with some people leaving the church during the opportune moment so not to hear it), they are growing due to many other nationalities and home grown people joining. Rocor is in a mess for various reasons, it never really recovered from the reunification with the MP and has struggled to grow since. In Europe, in truth it resembles the MP much more than the “old Rocor” (the one before the reunification); feudalism, power and luxury-living seems to be the order of the day (in a weird copycat of what happens in Russia). The “old” rocor used to have very down to earth, elder-like, family orientated bishops (much like the bishops of the archdiocese in fact). It hasn’t stopped commemorating PK as the Archdiocese did, many foreign nationalities have left, Russians obviously prefer MP parishes, Ukrainians are leaving for their own churches and will be left with very few people to cater for. Furthermore, in Europe the anti Russian sentiment is such that any local people interested in Orthodoxy are not going to join the “Russian church” (whether MP or Rocor) but others, such as Greek, Antioch, Romania, etc…

                      Rocor needs to think hard about where it goes from there. On its own(?) and join/supports the UOC (against the MP), merge with the OCA or integrate the MP? If you are unwilling to continue in the footsteps of who you once were, you will eventually need to pick a side.

                      Sorry for the rant, it’s depressing me. No one wins! All of Orthodoxy loses!

                      Going back to Belya (who is clearly a careerists, but just like many other bishops out there!), they should settled this out of court, something is fishy with the Rocor story (whether you want to call it house-cleaning or whatever), and it could hurt them even more, stop the rot. Simply reinstate Belya as clergy and let the GOA do what they want with him, if he’s trouble, then good riddance! They should also reinstate all those that left and look to the future without trying to continually fight and defrock/excommunicate all the time. The thing I hate most with the Orthodox is hypocrisy and it’s extremely hypocritical when Rocor has taken so many clergy without such release letters and your “mother” church has recently taken on hundreds of clergymen in another continent without such papers! If people want to leave, let them go! What are you scared of? Only J.W. and cults pursue and punish in such manners. Good bishops always attract people! Bad ones repel!

                    • Philippe, I can see that you make many valid points (not necessarily probative but valid nonetheless) overall. However, I have to completely disagree with your last paragraph.

                      How so? No matter how messy the original situation re the release/defrocking/whatever of Belya, the problem is much bigger now in that the other bishops have taken a measure of the man (perhaps unfairly) and in doing so, have recoiled in horror from what they see. Good, bad or indifferent, it’s very hard to thread the needle for innocence for a man when a random group of his peers all agree that in no way way, shape, manner or form should he ever be elevated to the episcopate.

                      This may be unfair. Belya may be a walking saint. If he is, he will be rewarded with the crown of sanctity in the next life. Unfortunately, in this life, a jury of his (actual) episcopal peers have come to the conclusion that based on what they know, seen or heard, he is not episcopal material.

                    • Phillipe wrote,

                      “. . . my question would be why is Rocor willing to go through an expensive 2 year battle trying to stop the court case going ahead without providing a single bit of evidence towards the ‘forgery’ – sounds like they don’t fully believe they will win and tried to stop the case before it could start?”

                      In a civil court case, the defendant must plead all defenses upfront in order to preserve the right to raise them. The most obvious defenses were the “ministerial exception” and the “church autonomy doctrine” given the circumstances. If they had prevailed, they would have not had to go to trial or engage in further discovery, etc., since that would throw the case out. The fact that ROCOR lost on those narrow issues means nothing at all regarding the alleged “defamation”. These were analogous to forms of immunity from suit. The question of whether ROCOR defamed Belya still must be determined by a jury.

                      As to the rest of your post, I just have to disagree with your whole attitude toward ROCOR. Occasionally ROCOR makes missteps, no doubt. But it is the exception rather than the rule. They are 100% correct on the Ukraine matter and regarding the Phanar. I don’t know much about the synod’s attitude regarding remnant Rocor since that ship sailed years ago. But the rhetoric coming from the other side on that matter was very sharp and acerbic and so I’m sure the synod may have acted “decisively” at times.

                      If people want to go their own way, the wise policy is to let them. You will be stronger for it since you lose a negative influence.

        • The civil government can rule anyway it wants to. It was wrong of Belya to instigate the case and it should be no surprise to anyone that the AOB opposes him on that ground alone as well as others. Filing suit against the Church is usually a very bad idea.

          Nonetheless, ROCOR and the ROC are largely indifferent. If the GOA, which we consider a non-canonical jurisdiction, wishes to receive Belya, then snakes of a scale den together. If the AOB bishops have a problem with that, then I suggest that they simply institute the excommunication of the Phanar and its minions which they should have done in response to the uncanonical intervention of the CP in the Ukraine. Their inaction has created more problems for them.

          Constantinople belongs outside the Church, absent a very unlikely total repentance.

          • “Snakes of a skin”! Love it! You certainly have a way with words.

          • Constantinople belongs outside the Church, absent a very unlikely total repentance.

            I’d add a caveat that Bartholomew and certain members of the Ecumenical Patriarchate need to be cast outside the Church.

            If the whole patriarchate belongs outside the Church then that includes Mt. Athos, the Ephraim monasteries here in the U.S and other Athonite monasteries around the world, and countless numbers of faithful in Greece, and around the world.

            The Church should get together and condemn those specific clerics in the EP, not the entire patriarchate.

            I don’t even think the Church of Russia says the EP is totally outside the Church. For example, I’m in ROCOR and I’m still allowed to receive the Eucharist, confession, etc., in GOA parishes.

            Their inaction has created more problems for them.

            I completely agree with this.

            • Perhaps “the whole patriarchate belongs outside the the EP,” allowing the Mt. Athos, Ephraim, and Athonite monasteries, as well as the countless number of faithful in Greece need to ban together.

              • Completely agree, I really wish they would. I understand the Ephraim monasteries “hunkering down” as it were, but, when they speak people listen. Not just people in the GOA but Orthodox from every jurisdiction. If they issues a joint statement that would go a long, long way.

        • “They have only threatened to leave if he participates in the AoB.”

          As prescribed by the Assembly’s own rules. Rules schmules, apparently.

          “It would at least be nice if the ROCOR bishops would write a response to Archbishop Elpidophoros though.”

          The ROCOR bishops have already spoken about Belya in canonical (not political) terms. They have zero reason to believe they would not be ignored…yet again. Canons schmanons.

          There is a reason ROCOR broke communion. You cannot have communion with those who steadfastly ignore your concerns. The other bishops on the AOB have demonstrated astounding patience, but they are slowly learning this as well.

    • I will say it is wonderful seeing the Orthodox Church in America and ROCOR having so much more of a shared, joint vision these days….. Natural brothers, as they should be, as back in the days of St Tikhon!

      The senior leadership of the OCA walking in blind lockstep with the leadership of the GOA/C’ple seems to be over….. Thank God!!!

      • Amen. Thank God!

      • SLAVA BOGU !!
        dVL

      • The OCA growing closer to ROCOR seems to be a recent re-development which is very good to see.
        The Antiochians remaining close to ROCOR is also very good to see. Especially with regards to Metropolitan Saba, he has just arrived in America but he seems to be wasting no time helping right the ship.

        • Absolutely.

          • George Michalopulos says

            More good news: Metropolitan Tikhon (OCA), Patriarch John X of Antioch and Metropolitan Sawa of Poland recently congratulated Onuphriy, the Metropolitan of Kiev, on the occasion of his ninth anniversary to the Metropolitan See.

            Curiously, Bartholomew, the hierarch in Istanbul, sent no congratulations, even though he had attended Onuphriy’s assent to the throne as well.

            I wonder, did he not check his date book?

  16. Dr. Sherri Tenpenny: Show Me the Health Freedom Doctor
    & the Medical Board will Show You the Crime

    https://rumble.com/v36okqu-dr.-sherri-tenpenny-show-me-the-health-freedom-doctor-and-the-medical-board.html

    [Video – 32:06]

    Dr Sherri Tenpenny has medical license suspended
    for failure to comply with inquiry into complaints
    which complaints inquiry refuses to reveal to her.

  17. I think the opposition of the other Churches on the Assembly should be enough to stop the ordination in itself. However, things have been really wierd with ROCOR in recent years, and it is enough to give one pause. 3 major scandals have cropped up over the last few years—-

    First, the debacle in England. Father Andrew Phillips, who along with his whole parish and a few others, left for Rue Daru. Rue Daru accepted them, and as a result ROCOR and Rue Daru broke communion for a time—-a literal schism. Later, Rue Daru rescinded that reception, even after Metropolitan John of Dubna publicly went to bat for them. From what I understand, a big chunk of ROCOR in England left, either for Rue Daru or the Romanians (which is where Father Andrew ended up).

    Second, the Belya debacle. Accusations of forgery, mutual accusations and the ugliness of a court battle (also an Orthodox tradition in America, sadly). Interestingly, the aforementioned Father Andrew knows Belya and is firmly on his side, talking about a “coup” within ROCOR, with figures in their Synod taking advantage of Metropolitan Hilarion’s illness to cancel decisions he made (or to make decisions in his name, without his knowledge).

    Which brings me to the third debacle, Father Peter Heers. He was a part of ROCOR, and then he wasn’t?

    Taken together, all of this is strong evidence that “something is up” with ROCOR leadership. Father Andrew is a crank and a little eccentric. Belya’s lawsuit certainly violates Orthodox canons (although that didn’t stop the lawsuits in the early 20th century), and Father Peter Heers is controversial and a bit too independent for most bishops to like. HOWEVER, where there is smoke there is fire. What if Belya is telling the truth? I still think he shouldn’t be made a Bishop given the assembly’s opposition, but I am not necessarily going to call him a liar either, especially with what happened in England and with Father Peter. There are obviously serious problems here. If some political mess went down in the ROCOR Synod, and Belya and Heers were thrown under the bus because of it, that needs to be addressed.

    • Sometimes when there is smoke it’s hard to tell who set the fire. So what you need to ask yourself is this: “Is there a common thread that enabled these issues?” If the answer is yes, the next question is: “Does this thread still exist?” If the answer is no, then you don’t have a problem that needs fixing.

      For the sake of argument, let’s assume Metropolitan Hilarion may not have been on top of his game, as he was suffering from Parkinson’s and close to the end of his life. Other bishops can say only good things about him so there was no problem with his “leadership,” unless you consider being close to death a deficit. As a leader, Metropolitan Hilarion was and continues to be a very respected hierarch.

      With regard to the other players, we’re not going to know the truth. Ever. We may think this or think that, but we can’t know. Not knowing, however, is not a reason to call ROCOR into question.

      What we do know is one has to follow one’s bishop, suing someone in the Church in a civil court is against the canons, and if you’re not under a bishop, you’re not a priest. These things we know. Not judging. Just stating the obvious. You can’t make people follow rules if they think they don’t apply to them. This is not a leadership problem. This is a people problem.

      Not taking sides is not the same as throwing someone under the bus. It’s OK not to take sides. These men chose their own paths. They don’t need our help or want it in some instances. Trust me on this.

      I would disagree that if “taken together, all of this is strong evidence that ‘something is up’ with ROCOR leadership.” For every ROCOR problem, I can show you a problem or two in each of the other jurisdictions. Not kidding. We’re not a bunch of angels. We’re a bunch of people trying to work out our salvation. We fall, we get back up. We fall, we get back up.

      • This isn’t about Metropolitan Hilarion himself. By all accounts, he was a true man of God. The issue that has been raised, is what the people around him did. In short: like John Paul II in the Catholic Church, bishops around an ill primate used that illness for their own ends. That is the allegation that both Father Andrew in England and Father Alexander (Belya) have made.

        I also read that Metropolitan Hilarion’s former personal secretary joined the Vicariate (and some other ROCOR folks). If true, that raises additional questions. Normally, this sort of sordidness wouldn’t and shouldn’t be discussed so openly, but given that Orthodox unity in America is now on the line over the merits (or demerits) of Father Alexander, it has to be discussed. This lawsuit will inevitably air all of our dirty laundry in public. Just like on the Catholic side, once the ball is rolling on “finding the truth” it rarely stops with one bishop.

        I’m saddened by the whole thing, because even if Father Alexander is telling the truth, nobody wins. He violated the canons and the trust of brother bishops. I think him remaining a priest and quietly ministering to whoever is entrusted to him is better, but now events are spiraling out of control. The implications of the allegations against ROCOR being true are astronomical. All of the jurisdictions have had scandals at one time or another, nobody is above them. I pray that it is settled with love, and peacefully.

        • I think you may have hit the nail on the head: there was another priest who was an aid to the late Metropolitan and left ROCOR forthwith. He appears to be at the center of this confusion, especially regarding Hilarion’s electronic signature.

          As to “political machinations” within ROCOR, where have there never been political machinations within the various Holy Synods of the local Churches?

          Ultimately, the point is not whether the signature is authentic or whether Belya’s release is above-board. The reality is that these other non-GOA bishops have more than enough reason to demand the Elpidophoros not proceed with his consecration.

          The whole “where there’s smoke, there’s fire” sort of thing.

      • All three “scandals” are tempests in a teapot. Fr. Peter’s status will be resolved in due time, Orthodox time, which is slow moving. Belya is not the ROCOR’s problem anymore but a Trojan horse style gift to the modernist schismatics who wish to receive him. Good luck with that.

        Fr. Andrew’s situation was the story of an overreaching bishop and an unjustified rebellion against one unwise decision of his. The small group of rebels moved on and that is that. Now they can critique above their paygrade in some other jurisdiction.

        None of these are scandals. Just little Peyton Place dramas.

    • A ROCOR Priest says

      Speaking as a clergyman of ROCOR, I can tell you that the people involved in these controversies have always been considered shady opportunists by their fellow clergymen. Nobody liked or trusted them. It’s true that Metropolitan Hilarion of blessed memory, was forgiving to a fault and let a lot of very unscrupulous people get close to him, despite their taking advantage of his kindness, mercy, and love. These people, however, are the Belyas and their ilk, not those at whom Andrew Philips points his finger.

      The Belyas, Gayfudinov, and the others all saw that their goose was cooked, either when they got caught out (Belya) or when the Metropolitan reposed (Gayfudinov). Our current Metropolitan – long an understudy of Metropolitan Hilarion and close associate of Metropolitan Laurus – and other stalwarts in the Synod were not going to let those guys carry on any longer. We are happier and much better off without them.

      Andrew Philips is a polemicist and fantasist. Just read the rants on his blog and you’ll see what direction he is going – yellow journalism and slander. If you look at the ROCOR Western European diocese website, only one parish left with him. Everything else claimed by Philips are simply ‘parishes’ that he decided he was going to form without hierarchical blessing. Thousands did not leave ROCOR in the UK and of all the clergy that did leave, only those at his parish remained in schism, the others either came back to ROCOR or went to Antioch when they saw what he was up to. Reports are that very few people remain in his parish.

      Fr. Peter Heers is an unfortunate case. As has been demonstrated elsewhere, there was an issue with the paperwork pertaining to his reception into the MP from the Church of Greece and the Synod decided to revoke his reception into ROCOR. I have no idea why, but since Fr Peter has demonstrated that he has been blessed to serve at ROCOR parishes both before and after this decision, it tells me that there’s much less scandal, if any, than some are hoping for.

      • Father,

        Thank you very much for the details and clarification!

        Years ago St John Maximovitch gave me hope when I had no hope after I had made a pilgrimage to his relics…. It is heartwarming that these scandals are being cleaned up as best as possible. I often pray to Christ for discernment…. especially these days in chaotic modern society when you never know what to believe.

        I love the Russian Church Abroad in America and am thankful that’s where God has put me…. I do pray that, someday, at least part of the OCA (preferably all of the OCA) and ROCOR in America reunite as they were years ago.

  18. Some Pfizer Vaccines Were Contaminated —
    What Does That Mean for Millions Who Got the Jab?

    https://childrenshealthdefense.org/defender/pfizer-covid-vaccine-contaminated-gmo/?utm_source=luminate&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=defender&utm_id=20230818

    Brownstone Institute: Multiple internationally recognized laboratories confirmed the findings of Kevin McKernan, a microbiologist and former team leader for the Human Genome Project at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, that some Pfizer-BioNTech BNT162b2 COVID-19 vaccines were contaminated.

    By Julie Sladden and Julian Gillespie

    ‘ The alarming discovery by scientist Kevin McKernan, et al., of DNA contamination in vials of Pfizer and Moderna COVID-19 vaccines has raised significant concern in the scientific community.

    Meanwhile, the reported finding has attracted criticism from those quick to “demonize” anyone questioning the safety, efficacy and sanctity of the “vaccines.”

    McKernan’s detractors — and there have been plenty of them — have criticized everything from lack of peer-reviewed publication to speculation about the viability of the anonymously sent vials.

    Now, don’t get me wrong. Criticism and open debate in scientific inquiry are good things. After three years of censorship and stifled debate in science and medicine, one thing is patently clear: Freedom of speech is paramount to the truth.

    Let’s be clear on another thing. The peer-review system is essentially broken. The same players with vested interests in the pharmaceutical industry curiously have the same influence on the research and publication industry.

    As McKernan rightly points out:

    “The market will validate this finding long before traditional peer review even puts its boots on. Independent wet lab reproduction trumps 3 anonymous readers every time.”

    This, then was the motivation behind publishing the results online with a call to action for scientists in the field to independently verify the results.

    Answer the call they did. McKernan’s results — for the Pfizer product (BNT162b2) — have now been independently verified by a number of internationally recognized laboratories confirming both the presence and levels of DNA contamination across different vials and batches.

    So, in asking the question “Is the result reproducible?” the answer (for the Pfizer product BNT162b2 at least) is “Yes.” The contamination is real. These results now lead us to ask some other questions which hang heavily in the air.

    Questions like, “How bad is the contamination?”, “What are the regulatory authorities doing about it?” and — the question on everyone’s lips — “What does this mean for the billions who took the jab?”

    These questions deserve answers.

    So, how bad is the contamination? There are two things to consider here. Firstly, what are the levels of contamination and secondly what are the components of the contamination?

    As previously reported, levels of DNA contamination in the Pfizer BNT162b2 product came in around 18-70 times over the limits set by regulatory authorities. These levels of contamination have also been confirmed independently.

    To put some perspective on these numbers McKernan explains in terms of polymerase chain reaction (PCR) testing for COVID-19:

    “You were probably swabbed with one of those nasal swabs to get a Covid PCR. You would be called positive of a CT (cycle threshold) under 40. We’re getting CTs under 20 with the contamination of the vaccine.

    “That’s a million-fold more contamination than you would be called positive for having a virus. Now, the virus they’re swabbing is outside of your mucosal membrane in your nose.

    “We’re talking about a contaminant that’s getting injected, bypassing your mucosal defences at a million-fold higher concentrations…There’s an enormous difference here in terms of the amount of material it’s in there.”

    The manufacturing process, as discussed in a recent BMJ article, points to how DNA contamination may have occurred. The clinical trials were run using “Process 1” which involved in vitro transcription of synthetic DNA — essentially a “clean” process.

    However, this process is not viable for mass production, so the manufacturers switched to “Process 2” to dial things up. Process 2 involves using E. coli bacteria to replicate the plasmids.

    Getting the plasmids out of the E coli. can be challenging and result in residual plasmids in the vaccines. But there’s another concern.

    When plasmid contamination is found, there is a potential for bacterial endotoxin to also be present. This endotoxin can produce serious side effects if injected including anaphylaxis and septic shock.

    Australian professor Geoff Pain remains most vocal providing extensive details on these endotoxins.

    Sequencing of the plasmids from the Pfizer vials resulted in another “accidental” discovery. Something was found that wasn’t in the sequence map disclosed by Pfizer to the European Medicines Agency (EMA). This something is called an SV40 promoter.

    The SV40 promoter is a sequence that turns on gene expression, like a switch. It is also a potent nuclear localization signal, meaning it makes a beeline for the nucleus.

    The entire SV40 genetic sequence came to infamous prominence in the 1960s having been found to have polluted the Salk polio vaccine, causing a subsequent surge in cancers. We’ll return to the concerning significance of the SV40 promoter sequence in a moment.

    Subsequent experiments suggest that most of the DNA contamination is fragmented, which is by no means benign. McKernan states:

    “Much of the DNA is actually linear because they do go through a step trying to fragment this and (linear DNA) has a higher propensity for integration than circular plasmid DNA.”

    It seems that a significant amount of the DNA is in this form and presents a greater risk to humans in terms of risk for integration into the genome, than the circular DNA.

    To make matters worse — as if things could get any worse — it appears that much of the DNA is packaged in the lipid nanoparticles (LNP).

    “If the DNA is actually in the LNPs, we have different risks, as… this will then transfect the mammalian cells and become a genetic alteration. Now, whether it integrates with the genome is secondary, the fact that you’re getting foreign DNA into the cell is a risk in and of itself, because it could partially get expressed, or it could muddle around with other transcription, translation machinery that’s in there,” McKernan explains.

    Let’s recap. We have DNA, which is mostly packaged in LNP and designed to travel all over the body and enter cells, delivering its genetic cargo like a trojan horse.

    Some of this DNA may contain the SV40 promoter sequence — the one known to make a beeline to the nucleus and turn on gene expression.

    McKernan states an obvious concern:

    “If (the SV40 promoter) becomes integrated into the genome it will turn on gene expression wherever it lands. If this happens to be an oncogene (a cancer-causing gene), you’ve got problems.”

    This dear reader, is only one of the many possible adverse effects of injecting synthetic DNA into humans.

    The scientific literature acknowledges the potential for foreign/synthetic DNA alone to be oncogenic (cancer-causing), infectious and prothrombotic.

    In addition, genomic integration of a viral promoter like SV40 can contribute to cancer and is well known to cause leukemia in gene therapy trials.

    You can see why scientists are alarmed. These concerns were presented to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on June 16. What have they done with this information you ask? Probably filed it in a box somewhere in a deep dark warehouse between the words “conspicuous” and “conspire” is my guess.

    When we consider the above it is clear why strict legal rules exist in the field of genetic science especially where humans are involved.

    Rules designed to (actually) keep people safe from the potential known and unknown consequences of messing with the genetic integrity of human life.

    Which brings us to the next question, “What are the regulatory authorities doing about it?”

    From what we can tell, nothing.

    The independently verified contamination alone heralds a serious quality control issue that behooves immediate attention from the likes of the FDA, the Australian Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) and the EMA.

    Combined with significant adverse event data and climbing excess mortality rates around the world these shots should have been pulled over two years ago. Indeed, we would postulate they should never have been approved.

    This unfolding story is by no means over. Serious questions have been raised asking whether these products, which have been injected into billions around the world, were approved illegally.

    The disturbing revelation was raised in a recent landmark publication by one of the authors. It appears that even without DNA contamination “the so-called ‘vaccines,’ from the beginning fulfilled the legal definitions for being categorized as genetically modified organisms [GMOs].”

    They, therefore, required GMO licenses. It would appear those licenses are missing.

    The Australian Federal Court is being asked to consider this issue in proceedings recently filed under the Gene Technology Act against Pfizer and Moderna.

    Australia’s TGA and the Office of the Gene Technology Regulator were thoroughly informed of the GMO and synthetic DNA contamination by the lawyers responsible, but neither office has bothered to reply nor comment.

    In a statement to the press, instructing solicitor Katie Ashby-Koppens says:

    “We took this case on because neither of the appropriate regulators were doing anything about it.

    “The Therapeutic Goods Administration and Office of the Gene Technology Regulator were both put on notice in 2022 that these products contain GMOs and they have failed to act. It has been left to citizens to do what the Australian Government won’t do.

    “Every single person who has been injected with these products has received a GMO that has not been through the expert regulatory process in this country. The human genome could be changed permanently, and no one was informed.”

    If all this bares out, at best the regulatory bodies have failed in their duty to protect the people. At worst, they have been complicit in a crime with consequences for the world’s population and generations to come.

    To answer the final question the question on everyone’s lips: “What does this mean for the billions who took the jab?”

    We may soon start answering this question more precisely, with the development of qPCR kits to differentiate between Long Covid and “Long Vax” and determine whether vaccine sequences are present in human tissue samples. ‘

    Originally published by Brownstone Institute.

    Curiouser and curiouser?
    No! Worser and worser!

    • Did you hear about Karen Kingston? For whatever reason, Dr. Robert Malone is going after her (while suing others) who have challenged him in some way. He and Karen disagree about whether or not Pfizer is libel.

      She put out the following video saying he may be trying to kill her and she was being poisoned (she looked like she had been poisoned). She then disappeared. No one knows where she is. https://rumble.com/v35zjoi-karen-kingston-poisoned-calls-out-robert-malone-and-others.html

      https://www.facebook.com/ComisiondeBusqueda.QuintanaRoo

      • Yes. I discovered she had fled to Mexico from Mike Adams:
        https://www.brighteon.com/4bfa0efb-38d4-45fb-82ed-4e6fde0efa3a
        [Podcast – 01:30:07]

        It’s not Malone she says is trying to kill her, it’s the CIA.
        She’s asking Malone to use what influence he may have
        to get her off the hit list.

        Meanwhile, Malone is suing the Breggins and Jane Ruby.
        His stated intention is to put ‘a chill’ on discussion.

        But discussion of what? His ‘links’ to the CIA?
        His ‘invention’ of mRNA technology.
        I don’t know, but he does seem to me to behave
        as if he were controlled opposition:

        Everyone must accept him at [his] face value
        and none may question that face.

        • She says Malone put out a hit on her. She may mean “put out a hit on her” from the stand point that he turned her in. I don’t think this is about the vaccines or whether or not Pfizer can be sued. I’m on her substack. She’s been talking about something far more terrifying. synthetic biology

          • She just put out another update. Wherever she is and whatever she’s doing seems to be helping her. Praise God.

            • Why should Karen Kingston be afraid?
              Because she has read and compared the patents.
              If people were to start to believe what she says,
              it could prove to be dangerous for the Deep State.

              Lord, protect Karen Kingston!

            • I have twice tried to reply to this
              but both posts have vanished.

              • They both are in “trash.” I’m never sure if people want them there or not. Sometimes people write us personal notes and then trash them on purpose. We eventually delete them unless the person speaks up like you just did. I’ll post the most recent one you submitted.

  19. American Pravda: Why the Media Fears RFK Jr.
    https://www.unz.com/runz/american-pravda-why-the-media-fears-rfk-jr/

    Investigating the Sounds of Silence

    Ron Unz • August 14, 2023 • 8,200 Words

    Full analysis of RFK Jnr on Fauci and AIDS.
    [plus Pete Duesberg and Kary Mullis videos]

  20. Former NatWest chief receives £2.4m pay-off after Farage row
    https://archive.ph/Zq7WM#selection-1497.0-1590.3

    ‘ DAME Alison Rose, the former chief executive of NatWest Group forced to step down following a row over Nigel Farage’s accounts, will receive a pay-off worth £2.43 million.
    The NatWest veteran resigned on July 25 after it was disclosed that she was the source of stories in the BBC concerning the former UKIP leader’s accounts with Coutts, its private banking division. It was first reported that Mr Farage had had its account closed for commercial reasons before it was later revealed managers had voiced concerns over his political views.
    The episode led to a wider debate about whether people should be “de-banked” on account of their opinions.
    Dame Alison was initially backed by the NatWest board before resigning just hours later amid pressure from Downing Street.

    NatWest, which owns Royal Bank of Scotland, said in a statement to the stock market today that Dame Alison was currently serving a 12-month notice period during which she will continue to receive her fixed pay. This comprises a salary of £1,155,660 and a fixed share allowance of £1,155,660, payable in NatWest shares and released annually on a pro-rata basis over five years from the date of award, and a pension allowance of 10% of salary (£115,566) Dame Alsion will also receive contractually agreed benefits in line with the bank’s approved policy.
    NatWest noted that her notice period and the payments she will receive relating to it will be reviewed on a continuing basis, having regard to the internal and external investigations taking place into the Farage affair.

    Separately, the bank announced her interim successor Paul Thwaites, who has been appointed to the role for an initial 12 months, will receive fixed pay comprising a salary of £1,050,000 and a fixed share allowance of £1,050,000, as well as pension funding. ‘

    Even when forced out for wrong-doing,
    they still take their millions with them…