Elpidophoros the Defiant

One Time Use, Not For Profit, Commentary

Instagram, One Time Use, Not For Profit, Commentary

Q:  What’s the difference between a GOA primate and a Missouri mule?

A:  Once the mule is hit by a 2×4 you don’t have to hit him again.

(Somebody needs to tell Elpi that there is no education in the second kick of a mule).

As you can tell by this latest interview with Vivian Benekou, His Eminence came out with both guns blazing.  Basically (well, not basically, actually) he came right out and said he had no regrets about the Big Fat Gay Greek Baptism.  

Here are the sordid details courtesy of our good friends at Helleniscope:  https://www.helleniscope.com/2022/09/22/heretic-elpidophoros-i-baptize-the-children-and-i-dont-care-about-the-lives-of-the-parents/

So, what can we gather from this?  After all, Patriarch Bartholomew told him he needed to write a letter to the Holy Synod of the Church of Greece explaining the situation, i.e. apologize to the Synod.  Ordinarily, one would think that this could be viewed as a chastening, a career derailment so to speak. 

Ordinarily, this would be the case, especially given the furor that this event caused.  But in the curious, Byzantine world of the Phanar, the exact opposite happened:  he was placed on the Holy Synod of the Ecumenical Patriarchate instead! 

Talk about “failing up.”  (Click here for a refresher course:  https://www.monomakhos.com/its-called-failing-up/)

And now, emboldened, he sticks his finger in the eye of all the people who were offended and outraged by the scandal.

Mr Stamatakis views this as another misstep in “an avalanche” of mistakes that will surely bring him down.  Regrettably, I must disagree with Nick.  My take is that the Archbishop believes that Bartholomew has his back.  Not only that but the Archon/L100 class is indifferent.  After all, the collective West has gone completely globohomo; this includes the entire American Establishment. 

However, ultimately, that’s who his audience is.  –  Delivery 101:  gotta know your audience.   

As for the ordinary Greek-American people in the pews, they will continue to go along with all this nonsense (or leave).  They’re just not that important to the 79th Street crowd.  It’s been pray, pay and obey as far as the latter is concerned but everyone has their limits.    

One would think that this would be a deal-breaker but the GOA isn’t all that big in the first place.  Every disgruntled traditionalist that walks out the door will be replaced by well-heeled liberals, childless urbanites with disposable incomes.

His Eminence, who is not long on logic says he “doesn’t care what the parents do.”  He’s forgetting that these children had two parents.  (It’s hard to get away from nature, isn’t it?)  The fact that their biological mothers rented their wombs is regrettable, but they still produced offspring.  Does the Archbishop not care about these “parents,” as well?  I guess not.  I wonder why Scripture spends all that time on genealogy if one-half of the parental equation is irrelevant?

In other words, he’s taking a calculated risk.  For anybody who’s disgruntled with his scandalous actions, he thinks he can tell them to take a hike and join one of the other jurisdictions.  After all, as everyone knows, the average Greek-American would never be caught dead in an OCA, Antiochian or (horrors!) ROCOR parish. 

Until they do.

Enter the walking dead from the GOA who are flooding other parishes, bringing new life to them.  It’s that pesky need for God thing.  Some people just won’t let it go.   

But the way things are going now, Elpidophoros thinks the wind is at his back. 

Until it isn’t.    


About GShep


  1. “Every disgruntled traditionalist that walks
    out the door will be replaced by well-heeled liberals,
    childless urbanites with disposable incomes”.

    To exist, a Church needs members.
    To continue to exist it needs future members.
    Future members do not spring from homosexual relationships.

    • George Michalopulos says

      Brendan, you’re absolutely right. Unfortunately, liberals don’t think long-term. If they see a perceived “injustice” they want it rectified NOW, consequences be damned. As for their poorer voters, they want their gibsmedat NOW as well; again, consequences be damned.

      The Achilles’ heel of childless, urban hipsters (some of whom are homosexual) is, since they don’t have posterity, they don’t care if the local GOA parish becomes Eastern-rite ‘piskie and then closes down in 30 years. As long as they have a Christic social club to go to for fabulous parties and SJW events, with an occasional pep-talk given by a man dressed in robes, then it’s all good.

      It’s all about virtue-signaling and fellowship.

  2. At my (OCA) parish, we’ve always had a nice mixture of Slavs, Arabs, Romanians, Greeks, and converts. Over the last few years, we’ve had a number of newer Greek families join the parish because of the language issue. (As in they want to hear the whole liturgy in English.) Though, so far, no Greeks have joined the parish because of the financial scandals, rudderless leadership, and immoral behavior of their archbishop. I’m praying that some eventually will!

    • For at least a generation 75% of the marriages in the GOA have been of the so-called “mixed type, Greeks/Greek Americans with non-Orthodox. It would be interesting to find out, to the extent possible, how many of those couples continue to attend GOA parishes, how many of the non-Orthodox converted, and, perhaps, most importantly, what about the children of such marriages?

  3. When the 79th Street crowd forced us to wear masks, take our temperature in the church vestibule, told us to take Communion from multiple spoons, and stand on dot marker 6 feet apart – I left. Recently, I called an OCA church priest to take Confession. I never got a call back. I called twice.

    Where is the line drawn for obedience?
    I do not need the answer. There is but one priest!
    Jesus Christ.

  4. A Greek Orthodox clergy friend of mine, commented that the GOA is planning on estblishing a Middle Eastern Vicarite, to take in disgruntled Antiochian parishes because of the Metropolitan Joseph situation. Is this just pie in the sky, or is there some veracity to the observation? I also hear it from two lay people. Becasue of the Slavic Vicarite situation, one does not know truth from fiction.

    • Gail Sheppard says

      I said this right out of the gate. I believe the Elpi planned this surprise about Metropolitan Joseph, unfortunately along with the Antiochian Board of Trusties, to get rid of him after he stood up to him.

    • Good luck with a Middle-eastern vicariate. Neither Arab cradles nor converts, many of whom are now cradle themselves (being born of first-generatiom converts), have any affinity for the schemes and/or apostasy of the EP senior heirarchy.

      • Antiochene Son says

        Yeah, I don’t think that will happen. The Antiochian Archdiocese already overcame a schism in the 20th century, I don’t think anyone is interested in that.

        • I have a guarded optimism regarding Antioch. It is basically because their native habitat is not conducive to Western liberalism. The weakness of the Phanar is its dependency on the CIA/State Department and its American provinces. Antioch too has been touched by the Western Captivity, but not to the same degree and shows signs of trying to shake it off. It’s greatest strength is that it is centered in Damascus, in a multiconfessional Muslim state (Syria).

          Time will tell.

      • George Michalopulos says

        At this point, I think the Phanariotes should just come out of the closet and do what they want.

        At least then, we’d know where we stand.

    • It was mentioned by Metropolitan Joseph in his letter to Elpi that the Greeks were planning a Romanian vicariate too. Probably true.

      • George Michalopulos says

        I can’t imagine the GOA would have any luck with a Lebanese vicariate. They went down that road before with their “Palestinian/Jordanian vicariate” and out of those 12 parishes all but one asked to be taken out.

        As for the Romanians, maybe.

        Regardless, if the GOA goes through with these, then it will completely destroy the ACOB. Nobody likes poachers. Especially if those doing the poaching are liberal.

        Ultimately, it’s a crisis in leadership. Deck chairs on the Titanic.

        • Can you provide some information about these Palestinian parishes, what happened, and when? Who are they under now? All I have seen is one in CA that went ROCOR, but all the rest seem to have stayed put, at least according to the vicariate website.

          • Tony Tangalos says


            In the fall of 2020, with the overwhelming support and encouragement of the local clergy and laity, Fr. John Peck wisely moved several Arizona Orthodox mission churches from the Vicariate to ROCOR.

            Once this prudent, well thought out move was completed, gifts of land and buildings quickly materialized as the laity who was waiting for this move was not comfortable with G.O.A. sticky fingers having ANY hierarchical control of our parish real property due to the corrupt and highly compromised G.O.A. leadership’s well known history of involuntary seizing control and legal ownership of real property from local communities.

            With the G.O.A. moving in a direction that violates so many timeless Christian values and truths, it is not hard to see a future where G.O.A. laity will have to choose between worshiping in a severely compromised G.O.A. church they worked hard to fund and build; or move to a nearby ROCOR community that stays true to the ancient faith, tradition and dogma of the original Orthodox Church. As a cradle G.O.A., I’ve made the move to ROCOR and heartily encourage fellow Greek Orthodox laity to explore making their move to ROCOR.

        • And still the sea came in…

        • I can’t imagine the GOA would have any luck with a Lebanese vicariate.

          I can’t imagine them having any luck with any sort of Antiochian Vicariate, minus maybe 1-2 parishes like their “Slavic Vicariate.”

          Given the explosive growth that the Antiochians have had recently in converts (my former parish has ~35 catechumens currently), and given the majority of priests are converts, I can’t see any of them going for the GOA.

          TBH I can’t imagine them even having luck with a Romanian Vicariate. There is very little love for the Greeks from the various jurisdictions.

  5. . . .

    • Gail Sheppard says

      Unfortunately, Linda, none of your comments meet our rule that we do not allow people to go after our commentators.

  6. I’ve hear some rumors here and there that he has set his sights on becoming the next EP. But the more I hear about him, the more such an idea puts my stomach in knots.

    • Supposedly, he is one of three who are considered frontrunners. Elpidophoros, Emmanuel and another metropolitan in the Phanar (don’t know his name offhand) who is considered the dark horse. Some think that Elpidophoros was made archbishop in order to make him a legitimate candidate for patriarch because he never really led a parish, much less a diocese.

    • Without a doubt. The man is all about ambition. There’s probably a war going on in the background between him and Manuela.

  7. It’s not a matter of judging others, its a matter of telling people what you are doing is wrong in the eyes of God. It is against His teachings. If people don’t realize it than its our duty as Christians to teach and show them as did St Paul to the churches in his epistles.

  8. Chris Banescu says

    “Alas, it is a demonstrable fact that the people of God, when they fall, often enough do not fall to the level of good paganism, but much lower. They sink down so far that even the law-abiding pagan is bewildered.” – Fr. Patrick Henry Reardon


    • George Michalopulos says

      Brilliantly spoken words by Fr Patrick!

      Seriously, many ancient pagans were wise and within their context, had morals.

  9. Chris Banescu says

    “St.” Lewis offers us great wisdom regarding the heretical and scandalous comments and behavior of Elpi:

    “When a man is getting better he understands more and more clearly the evil that is still left in him. When a man is getting worse, he understands his own badness less and less. A moderately bad man knows he is not very good: a thoroughly bad man thinks he is all right.

    This is common sense, really. You understand sleep when you are awake, not while you are sleeping. You can see mistakes in arithmetic when your mind is working properly: while you are making them you cannot see them. You can understand the nature of drunkenness when you are sober, not when you are drunk. Good people know about both good and evil: bad people do not know about either.” ~ C.S. Lewis

    • George Michalopulos says


    • Yes, though we wish to blame them for the evil they do, they know not what they do. We bring it to their attention in detail, but their minds are warped by ideology and the slumber of delusion.

      Now, we Orthodox have our own sins as well. But we have a measure, a mirror, available where we can look at them directly. That is Holy Tradition. I am the foremost among sinners because I know full well what I am doing and yet miss the mark repeatedly. But God is forgiving.

      Forgive us our debts as we forgive our debtors.

      We must defeat the Liberal Borg. We may sometimes hate what they do. But when it is all over, so long as we don’t leave them in a position to repeat their reign of evil, we must be prepared to forgive them, as we are forgiven for our sins.

  10. We are members of a GOA parish on the orbital fringes of the power center of the Metropolis. The actions of the Archbishop have certainly reverberated through our community. but the unwritten rule of conduct is don’t rock the boat and put our priest on the spot. I know I have not made my thoughts known to the priest on this matter. I keep thinking that we are okay, uninfected if you will, if we concentrate on our walk with the Lord and faithfully participate in the Eucharist. The rest is just, well, fill in the blank. My thinking has been, how does this really affect us, a very Protestant view, with its emphasis on individual salvation. My meter for gauging organizational mischief barely registers these days. I don’t know that the strong sentiment that the antidote is the establishment of an American Orthodox Church. How on earth would such an entity withstand the winds of modernity? At least jurisdictions that have a viable connection with the “old country” have an anchor to the vast perspective of the apostolic faith.

    There is a quote from Cervantes that regularly consoles me. “All these squalls to which we have been subjected are signs that the weather will soon improve and things will go well for us, because it is not possible for the bad or the good to endure forever, and from this it follows that since the bad has lasted so long, the good is close at hand.” Alas, this saying may not be consolation as much as self-deception.

    • Susan,
      “Alas, this saying may not be consolation as much as self-deception”:
      One way out:
      “Pray without ceasing”
      (1 Thess.5,17)

  11. These are perilous times. We have traitors in our midst, we can’t forget this, or expect different. Everyone needs to align themselves accordingly. Staying silent is equivalent to being an accomplice. We are not powerless. God expects better of us.

  12. The babies were born of surrogate mothers. They must have been paid, no? And did the fathers have to pay? So, it’s a baby sale.

    • Gail Sheppard says

      I think there was just one mother so the children could be biologically half brother/sister. They seem to care enough about convention to fit it into their lifestyle but rearranging their lifestyle to fit convention is too much to ask.

  13. Mr Stamatakis views this as another misstep in “an avalanche” of mistakes that will surely bring him down. Regrettably, I must disagree with Nick.

    I do have to agree with you George. As much as I like Nicks work I do I have to disagree with Elpidohphoros being taken down. If anything he seems impervious to repercussion from his actions.

  14. “Every disgruntled traditionalist that walks out the door will be replaced by well-heeled liberals, childless urbanites with disposable incomes”

    I don’t think so. They’ll be replaced by no one.

    Secular leftists don’t go to church. Yes a few might, but most don’t. There’s a reason that leftist, non-serious, frivolous churches hemorrhage members. The only ones at these kinds of churches are the power-hungry who run them and the codependent/flying monkeys who attend. No one else bothers, nor should they.

    For me, it’s always been a very conscious choice — do I go stand in the presence of God, Our Holy Mother, and the Saints at Vespers or Liturgy, or do I just go get coffee or something. It’s what Fr Seraphim Rose says, that at the heart of it, every choice a man makes is either for Christ or against Him. There’s no in-between. Similar to what Solzhenitsyn said, that the line between good and evil runs through the heart of every man. We are capable of both — for the Christian, it’s a daily, conscious effort to continually choose Christ.

    Attending a frivolous church is so ridiculous it isn’t even on the radar.

  15. Anyone care to discuss the alternative to individual salvation? As a former Protestant I was always under the impression that we make a personal decision to follow Jesus and we work it out in community.

    Unless we make that decision we can live in the community but being in the community will not necessarily save us.

    However if a person is without access to a community he can still follow Jesus. I am reminded of a group of Messianic Jews who traveled to Belarus on a mission trip and met several Jews who individually had begun to believe in Jesus, but hadn’t told anyone else Jesus works it all out.

  16. Wayne Matthew Syvinski says

    > Once the mule is hit by a 2×4 you don’t have to hit him again.

    In Computer Science/Information Technology, a 2×4 notionally used this way is called a LART: Loser Attitude Readjustment Tool.

  17. I was chrismated two years ago this weekend. God led me away from Episcopaganism to a Christ-centered Antiochian parish. I DO NOT regret this one bit. I know that leaders can sin just like I do. None the less I’m becoming distraught over the leadership of the Church in America. Elpidophorus…I just left that stuff behind. Joseph…the lack of transparency & honesty is stunning. ROCOR/OCA…I’m a Cold War kid, I can’t fathom belonging to a church that looks to Moscow – especially now.

    • Gail Sheppard says

      The lack of transparency of whom? Curious what you mean.

    • Please, Please do not equate the OCA and ROCOR. Yes Moscow did give the OCA its autocephaly over 50 years ago. However this autocephaly means they are self gocerning and an American focused church. From the use of English in their churches, to their churches working to become part of the American communities which they serve, they are light years beyond th focus of ROCOR.

      Just look at the enthronement video of the new ROCOR Metropoltan Nicholas. There is a ethno-centric Russian church. Even the Antiochians have become more ethno-entric, more Arabic in the liturgy, more byzantine chant, more and more money going out of the USA to Damascus, plus, foe the most part, life long celibate foreign born bishops.

      In my opinion, at this point the only hope for a successful American Orthodox Church, focused on growing and becoming part of the American community is the OCA.

      • Half of the ROCOR bishops are converts. It was an international gathering of hierarchs from all over the world, and Church Slavonic is the common language.

        • to show the international nature, it could have included English, French, German, Arabic, and Spanish — is not the universality of Christianity more important than a singular myopic presentaion? This is the subtle signal that is sent out. The cement that binds us is 19th century Russian culture and presentation and the ultimate future as a heterogenous church that puts Christian universality as its cornerstone is of no consequence. Ergo, the if you do not embrace the Russian way, then go away???????? Or am I complely off base?

          • Completely off base? Yes.

            Look above – half of ROCOR bishops are converts. Convert parishes are exploding and missions are opening up all over the place. Multiple languages are used in all major parishes.

            The only negative that I can see is that there are still people out there calling out for some kind of watered-down, clean shaven, WASP-y masonic pseudo-orthodoxy.

            • Why, oh why are we still on the masonic band wagon,,,,,I cannot see how the masons are in back of everything,,,,,,,as to being clean shaven,,,why not,,,,,we have two major flaws, one we live in the past, but do not learn from the past. The other is that we are too hung up on externalities and forget about the internalities.

      • @ rjklancko, I have zero confidence in any of the OCA Bishops. Of course, I live in the western part of the US, so Bishop Benjamin is my primary vantage point.

    • I, too, am a “cold war kid”. I fully embraced, and continue to embrace, the notion that the Soviet Union was the “evil empire” and “focus of evil in the modern world”, in the immortal words of St. Ronnie the Ray Gun (God rest his soul). But Reagan himself appreciate pre-commie Russia and was an acquaintance of Suzanne Massie who wrote the book,https://www.amazon.com/Land-Firebird-Beauty-Old-Russia/dp/096441841X, which should be read by everyone who needs to deal with or comment on Russia.

      One should entertain the possibility that the Russians are reverting to their true, pre-commie character.

      • Gail Sheppard says

        I grew up in the cold war, too, in a place that had 19 Titans; one of the top 10 places on the Soviet’s hit list during the Cuban Missile Crisis. One thing you learn growing up like that, is it is to no one’s benefit to wage a nuclear war.

        Putin is not stupid. Look at Ukraine. Seriously, look at it. The Russians could have taken all of it in a heart beat. Now, it’s maybe 10% of what it was in the beginning, militarily. This is a prolonged game to keep people’s attention away from the other things that are happening.

        This is a psyop. Putin is playing his part. I told you the truth about COVID and I’m telling you the truth now. If you want the whole thing explained, that’s available, but it will all be out by November anyway. If you can’t wait that long, start doing some reading.

        The worst thing we might face is a civil war, but maybe not. People are so tired of the status quo, seeing our standard of living going further and further down the toilet with CRT taught in our schools, trans story tellers, migrants flown in or bussed to our borders, criminals wandering the streets, police quitting, Antifa burning our cities, $9 orange juice, corruption rampant everywhere, human trafficking, children missing from CPS, not to mention an extinction event perpetrated on the world through the vaccines, too many things to list.

        It’s all got to come down and unless you’re one of them it won’t be painful in the least.

  18. “This is a psyop. Putin is playing his part.”

    So you’re suggesting that the current world crisis over energy (which is what it really is) is all theater and that the CIA and Putin are on the same page of a common script?

    If so, why bother with the culture war policy differences? If one side is preordained to win as in a professional wrestling match, why bother creating the illusion of conflict?

    Who makes money from this and who loses?

    The American MIC make money from this. Big bucks. The American people, however, do not benefit but will suffer a recession. Europe is the big loser in that it has sent all its weapons to the Ukraine and has to restock from the American MIC. Also, Europe loses because of the sanctions regime which is deindustrializing it and starving it of energy. It is headed for a depression.

    Russia profits from the war. They are selling more oil and gas than before and the ruble is so strong that they’re taking measures to cool it down as well as distributing the largesse through their welfare state arrangements. It’s a bonanza.

    It looks to me like a war between the CIA and the Russian siloviki. I suppose one could speculate that the CIA is just putting up a grand fight to make it look like America tried to resist the coming authoritarian wave, even to the point of toying with a police state, but if that were the case, why bother with the theater in the first place?

    Beware assuming that the actors are smarter than they really are.

    • Gail Sheppard says

      The military conducts psyops.

      There is no energy crisis. The United States, alone, has enough natural gas today to last 90+ years. The shortages are self-imposed. We can start harnessing it at any time and then we can then start building back up the reserves Biden gave away.

      Of course Putin is profiting, but look how he’s doing it and why.

      Putin is part of the alliance I mention several months ago. I think it’s comprised of 123 countries at this point. This alliance is redefining how things are going to be from this point forward.

      Putin’s role started with defeating the Khazarian Mafia’s “color revolution” in Kazakstan. The KM is an organized crime syndicate that has deeply infiltrated and hijacked the political institutions of the United States.

      Next, Putin took out the Khazarian Mafia and Oligarchy in Ukraine, which is why Biden, et. al got so invested in this war.

      Then he forced countries to start paying for gas in gold backed rubles to undermine the funny money Biden throws around that has literally bankrupt the country.

      Now Putin is moving the separatists under his protection.

      Finally, he will relegate what’s left of Ukraine to a safe spot where the U.S., NATO and the EU can’t leverage them to threaten Russia’s borders.

      He took these steps, so there wouldn’t be a nuclear war. So far, no one has stopped him and the west is running out of ideas. If he allows himself to look weak, they might want to take things further.

      There are a LOT of other things at play, as well. Like I said it’s an alliance and they are coordinating their efforts.

      People are going to be shocked when they learn the truth about why there’s really nobody in Washington DC anymore and what had to be done to protect the constitution.

      Ask yourself this, under what circumstances can the National Guard be called into federal service and why did they surround Washington DC before Biden was inaugurated?

      Why would Trump have called in the National Guard?

      Did Trump believe the January 6th fiasco was a true danger to the country? No. Did he believe our election process, at the very heart of our constitution, was compromised? Yes. The DOD wasn’t interested in looking at the evidence, but maybe the military, whose job it is to defend the constitution from both foreign and domestic enemies, did, and because there was enough evidence to conclude that there had been outside interference, they got involved.

      And maybe from that point forward, they have been doing things the “military” way; trying people, quickly coming to a decision, and dispensing the consequences.

      Some amazing pictures: https://www.washingtonian.com/2021/01/13/photos-national-guard-troops-are-patrolling-the-capitol-building-in-force/

      10 U.S. Code § 12406 – National Guard in Federal service: call
      (1)the United States, or any of the Commonwealths or possessions, is invaded or is in danger of invasion by a foreign nation;
      (2)there is a rebellion or danger of a rebellion against the authority of the Government of the United States; or
      (3)the President is unable with the regular forces to execute the laws of the United States;
      the President may call into Federal service members and units of the National Guard of any State in such numbers as he considers necessary to repel the invasion, suppress the rebellion, or execute those laws. Orders for these purposes shall be issued through the governors of the States or, in the case of the District of Columbia, through the commanding general of the National Guard of the District of Columbia.
      (Added Pub. L. 103–337, div. A, title XVI, § 1662(f)(1), Oct. 5, 1994, 108 Stat. 2994; amended Pub. L. 109–163, div. A, title X, § 1057(a)(5), Jan. 6, 2006, 119 Stat. 3440.)

      So what’s the role of the president in such a situation?

      Based on H.R. 5122, which became Public Law 109-364, in addition to allocating funding for the armed forces, the president has the power to declare martial law and to take command of the National Guard units of each state without the consent of state governors. .

      Could that explain what we’re seeing? Did Trump bring in the military? If so, I’m wondering if they’re going to be around for the mid-terms. Might be a very different experience than the last time people came to the polls.

      • Interesting take, Galinushka.

        Two points.

        Europe will be relieved to know there is no energy crisis!

        Secondly, do you believe that Mark Milley and Lloyd Austin are leading this military effort to cleanse the republic and restore Trump? The military does have a chain of command. Or is military intelligence in business for itself, like the CIA?

        For my part, I think all is as it appears. The military are not opposing our coup here in the United States. The upper echelons are completely compromised and to the extent they are active, they are supporting the coup.

        But the rest of the gist of your comment, IMO, is spot on. Putin is not reading from any script other than his own. The Ukraine War is simply a vehicle to induce an energy crisis in Europe and break Europe away from US hegemony. Putin can do the math and has an excellent intelligence service. He knew the Europeans could not continue without Russian energy. He also knew that there was a market ready willing and able to absorb all Russian production outside of Europe (China, India, etc.).

        All the power in a relationship is held by the one who cares the least.

        Europe has to care, and General Winter is on the horizon. Putin’s calculation is that worst case scenario he pivots East and washes his hands of the West. Best case scenario is that Europe ousts its present leadership and comes crawling back for Russian energy. I believe that is what he is really shooting for, if he can get it. If not, regardless, he’s done dealing with the West as such (i.e., America and its satellites). If he can break up NATO and its American colonies, so be it. If not, the hell with them. Let them rot in an economic backwater.

        Putin has more respect, in a way, for the US. He understands that it is currently experiencing a bout of schizophrenia – globalist elite vs. nationalist populism. Assuming the nationalists win out, he has a nascent potential ally, or at least not an implacable foe. If the globalists win out, it will be a Pyrrhic victory in that they will have destroyed their European colonies and become more of a regional power, albeit with nukes.

        Dumping on Putin and openly contemplating the dismemberment of Russia was the worst mistake Western elites ever made.

  19. Peter Chaplain says

    Pravmir.com published an epistle by the ROCOR Synod dated September 25th, 2022 calling on all sides in the Ukranian War to stop fighting and to come to the negotiating table. The epistle stressed that we do not take sides but must be peacemakers.

    • Russia tried diplomacy for EIGHT years, while the Russians in the Donbass got shelled every day. The Minsk agreements were completely disregarded by the US / NATO / Ukraine. There is absolutely no point in negotiating with psychopaths.

  20. I appreciate the references and much more the disagreement. And I know where it comes from: we all have seen the “hierarchy” act as nothing phases them and we have seen the “failing up” many times- most notably on Met. Emmanuel’s case after the Paris scandals.
    But the messages I receive from major parishes around here (parishes that support the headquarters with more than $150.000 annually) point to a very sharp decline the last few 2-3 years, well over 25%. They see it in membership and donations and school registration and even in church attendance… If this is verified nationwide it will be unavoidable to have change of leadership… Any organization, public, private, not profit or for profit when faced with such a decline will have to change leadership… in a commercial corporation Elpidophoros would be history already… For GOA it will take a little more time..
    BUT, I have stated on many occasions that our problem is not simply the choice of Archbishop but the dependence on the Phanar. We all know why… There is a little glimmer of hope here though: Elpidophoros, if removed in any way, will be the fourth such case in 30 years. The Phanar and Karloutsos have lost all credibility trying to satisfy their arrogance and corruption. They will have rendered themselves useless to their handlers at State Dept… it seems to me that we are at the end of the road for the previous “status quo”, and their failure in Ukraine will make it even more obvious..

    • George Michalopulos says

      Nick, until the GOA laymen take the leadership (not the faux Archon/L100 kind) of the GOA, they will always be held hostage to the insipid machinations of the Phanar.

      In the meantime, keep up the good work!

    • First off, really appreciate the work you do at Helleniscope, Nick!

      But the messages I receive from major parishes around here (parishes that support the headquarters with more than $150.000 annually) point to a very sharp decline the last few 2-3 years, well over 25%.

      I think this was essentially corroborated in the Orthodox census/study that was done in 2020(?) even mid-covid there was a massive drop-off in the GOA, and I want to say they have lost ~100,000 in the past decade. That is obviously not at all sustainable.

      Say what you will about Makarios & Nikitas (they of course have their problems) but at least those eparchies are much healthier than the GOA, at least as any eparch of the EP can possibly be.

      Until they put in an Archbishop that can spiritually right the GOA ship, it will continue to flounder until there is no one left. They will all have either gone off into secularism or left for another Orthodox jurisdiction. The longer the “higher-ups” wait, the less people they will have left.

      While the Antiochians, ROCOR, etc., are being flooded with converts, unless I’m missing something, other than a couple of parishes here and there the massive influx of converts seems to not be a thing in the GOA.

      I actually would not be surprised to find out that the 25% loss in membership in the GOA was from the converts they did have.

  21. I’m with Misha on this. And if I’m right in my own thoughts about Putin, I hope he is successful in setting up an alternate system, and crushing the decadent dominance of the West. And hope we can be friends with Russia in future in building something new and hopefully sane.

    As for the other part about the military or Trmp being secretly in control, I thought it was nuts in the immediate aftermath of 2020 and think it nuts now. I had a lot of friends who totally bought into the idea, but not me.

  22. George Michalopulos says

    This is exceedingly good news: the Macedonian hierarchs concelebrated with all the right bishops (i.e. nobody from Dumenko’s outfit).


    • Agreed, George! This is great to see.

      It also goes to show that other Churches see Bartholomew’s creation in Ukraine as a scam. Other than a few Greek hierarchs no one has concelebrated with them.

      Contrast that with the Macedonians, who I would imagine the majority of Church if not all, view as legitimate.

      It probably annoys the OCU to no end that several Churches have already recognized and concelebrated with the Macedonians.

  23. Stained Glass: Theology in Colour?
    Or Politics in Pictures?

    Church replaces Edward Colston stained glass window … with Jesus in a migrant boat

    Design competition was launched after Bristol’s St Mary Redcliffe church removed stained glass panels dedicated to slave trader

    Artist and junior doctor Ealish Swift is the winner of the stained glass window competition at St Mary Redcliffe, Bristol

    A picture of a Jesus in a migrant boat is set to replace a stained glass window dedicated to Edward Colston, the slave trader, in an historic Anglican church.

    St Mary Redcliffe church in Bristol made the decision to remove four stained glass panels dedicated to Colston two years ago after the toppling of his statue.

    The window was temporarily replaced with plain panels, and the church invited the public to submit new designs in a competition.

    The panels formerly made up the bottom section of the North Transept window, commonly known as The Good Samaritan, depicting the story that Colston had taken as his motto.

    The four new panels are designed to “depict a crucial aspect of our shared Bristolian history as neighbours, and reference a relevant aspect of the character of Christ”, according to Ealish Swift, the artist.

    Among them is one that “portrays the current refugee crisis, and Jesus as a child refugee fleeing to Egypt”, Ms Swift, a Bristol-based junior doctor, said in her artist’s statement.

    “Jesus is depicted as multiple ethnicities to counter the Anglo-centric narrative of ‘white Jesus’, and running water flows between the panels to centre the designs in the seaport city of Bristol,” she added.

    Ms Swift said her design draws upon the “the deep and complex history of Bristol, from atrocities of the past to modern day concerns, to remind us of the journeys of our neighbours and how we have come to be together at this moment, looking forward towards a shared future”.

    She was unable to be at the unveiling of her design as she was performing surgery, but was delighted to find out she was the winner, but told the South West News Service: “I am deeply honoured that my design has been chosen for this wonderful space that means so much to me.”

    Although prompted by the toppling of the Colston statue, the replacement of the Colston window was part of a larger process at St Mary Redcliffe in the ongoing exploration of, and engagement with, contested heritage that will continue over the coming months and years.

    The grade I-listed church is deeply rooted in British history, having been described by Queen Elizabeth I upon her visit in 1574 as “the fairest, goodliest and most famous parish church in England.”

    A spokesman from the church said the competition was launched as “part of an ongoing process of reflection and action to ensure that today’s church building echoes St Mary Redcliffe’s stated values and is welcoming to all”.

    Dan Tyndall, the parish priest, told South West News Service: “The winning design is powerful and imaginative, managing to resonate with contemporary issues and yet will also stand the test of time.

    “Ealish’s concept was very popular with visitors to the church and will sit well within the current Victorian window”.

    Another of the new panels celebrates the Bristol Bus Boycott, which Ms Swift said “paved the way for the Race Relations Act of 1965, with Jesus as a fellow protester and radical.”

    The Bristol Bus Boycott of 1963 arose from the refusal of the Bristol Omnibus Company to employ black or Asian bus crews in the city. ‘

    The windows are shown in the Telegraph story