Enough is Enough

We received the attached letter from one of our readers.


Enough is Enough

Greetings in Christ, Your Eminences,

I am writing to you as a concerned lay person of the Orthodox Church in the United States. There is a disturbing trend in American Orthodoxy that is being pushed by a small, yet vocal, minority based out of the Orthodox Christian Studies Center at Fordham University.  They produce and disseminate a plethora of research initiatives, publications, lectures, and an undergraduate minor in Orthodox Christian Studies.

Their benefactors include the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Patterson Family Foundation, the Jaharis Family Foundation, the Henry Luce Foundation, the British Council, the Nicholas J. and Anna K. Bouras Foundation, and Leadership 100, among others.

This group consistently attempts to mainstream themes and teachings that are in direct conflict with Holy Orthodoxy and Holy Tradition, examples being homosexuality and women’s ordination.

They will soon be hosting an event at Fordham University titled “Seeking Harmony and Compassion: Pastoral Care and LGBTQ+ Orthodox Faithful.” Of course, we in the Church should minister to individuals who suffer from this cross to bear, as with any other sin, but you’ll find if you look deeper into this event, it is using nuance to push acceptance of these aberrations.

At a time when the secular world is being rocked with wars in Ukraine, Israel, and other places we inside the Church are being rocked with schism cause by non-canonical actions in Ukraine, that threatens spreading to the whole world Orthodoxy, now we have the actions which I mentioned above that seems to have the support of high-level individuals in the Greek Archdiocese of America.

With the scandals from the Orthodox Christian Studies Center at Fordham, the constant stream of scandals by His Eminence Archbishop Elpidophoros of the Greek Archdiocese of America namely: His support for communing of non-Orthodox spouses, his homosexual baptism in Glyfada, Greece, his scandalous remarks at the March for Life, and many others. I say, Enough is Enough.

Speaking not only on my behalf but on the behalf of thousands of other faithful Orthodox of every jurisdiction, I humbly ask that your Eminences on the Assembly of Canonical Orthodox Bishops, as well as the bishops in the Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia who are not longer on the assembly, to stand up for Holy Orthodoxy and stop these scandals from Fordham University.

I especially ask the Metropolitans within the Greek Archdiocese of America to stand up, I know you all are in a difficult situation, but this is happening in your backyard and the silence has been deafening. Myself, and many others from the Greek Archdiocese, have left for other canonical Orthodox jurisdictions.  Will you speak up when the pews are finally empty?

Believe me, you have support of faithful laity and clergy not only in the Greek Archdiocese but across every jurisdiction.

Enough is Enough.



  1. Thank you, Gail!

    For anyone that reads this, please help me in sharing this with our respective priests, bishops and fellow laypeople.

    Even if you’re not in the Greek Archdiocese you will not be immune from this. For example the “St. Phoebe’s Center” “served” at an Antiochian parish in Massachusetts. This will continue until we put a stop to it.

    I’m looking to the priests & bishops of the other jurisdictions, along with those in the Greek Archdiocese, to help with this.

    So, if you don’t mind, please share far and wide!

    • Good piece, Petros.

    • Petra’s, it’s inspiring to see you took a stand. Begging corrupt men will not work, though. You have to walk away from scoundrels pretending to be spiritual warriors.

    • DeanTheGreek says

      Admirable attempt, Petros, but it’s a Fool’s Errand to try reforming anything within the Greek, Greek Orthodox , or Greek Archdiocese worlds. Especially with words. They are corrupted and corrupt, they are led by inept , irreligious, foreign controlled, compromised nobodies. It’s hopeless and dispiriting.

      The Fordham deal is the creation of the “ Manhattan Church” and it serves no purpose other than to assuage the Greeks that they are somehow participating or are relevant in the public square, which they are not. Millionaires thinking they are public intellectuals, egged on by Malfeasors in Robes with Icons around their necks, who reward the donors with fake medals and awards.

      The sooner you realize you’re dealing with a world-wide organized criminal conspiracy, the smarter you’ll be.

      And no, the answer isn’t to flee, it’s to financially cut NY headquarters off until they cry uncontrollably. Starting with the monthly extortion payments made by each parish.

      In the words of the legendary, late Iakovos , archbishop of North and South America, Exarch of the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans, to me personally, over 30 years ago, “ Dino, money talks”

  2. Hilber Nelson says

    Thanks so much for sounding the alarm in defense of the faith. I will share it. Back in June I made a very similar appeal to our leaders to take action against the blatant and increasingly hostile attacks to our faith, family and freedoms. You can read ‘An Open Letter to Our Shepherds’ in Orthodox Reflections here: https://orthodoxreflections.com/an-open-letter-to-our-shepherds). It received several positive responses, all from laity. I snail mailed it to multiple bishops and clergy across the country. No replies.

    I share this dismal response not to discourage but to add context to the same silence you are likely to receive, one that points to a financial reality. Priests are employees of their archdiocese. Confronting higher-ups, or calling their parishioners to do so, is to invite trouble. The silence of consent screaming from our parishes today is not unique to Orthodoxy. Since Bishop Strickland was fired by pope Francis for defending the canons of the faith, I’ve yet to read of bishops, priests or clergy publicly rallying in his defense.

    I urge you to read ‘Hitler’s Cross’ by Erwin Lutzer, an insightful analysis of how nearly all Lutherans and Catholics went along with Hitler, one phase at a time. We are in phase two. Those that refused to go along to get along left their apostate churches, worshiped in small groups with the faithful, and/or ended up in the camps. Another book I recommend is Rod Dreher’s ‘Live Not By Lies’, now being made into a documentary. It offers practical advice for surviving the coming inevitable totalitarianism, made possible and with the help of silent churches.

  3. Petros, this is a great letter and I include my prayers that it will be received, heard and acted upon. Though like Hilber Nelson says, I expect you’ll hear crickets.

    Kristina Baktis (I believe she is the daughter of the rector) of the Mother of God, Joy of All Who Sorrow, Princenton, NJ serves on the Board of The Phoebe Center. And to my utter shock & disappointment, the priest who received me into the Orthodox Church 20 years ago, Fr. Radu Bordeianu, serves on their Advisory Board. The list of supporters contains several names that also disappoints & shocks me. The above parish has girls that serve like acolytes/altar servers (see one of several FB photos: (https://www.facebook.com/photo/?fbid=1606775469467370&set=pb.100064651603600.-2207520000).

    However, as I have recently heard said, The Church corrects Herself as She has done over the centuries. It is this on which I lean. By no means does that mean we (I) should remain silent, and I don’t, both in action and word. It makes one very unpopular. So be it.

    I agree with many who have said on this forum that like-minded Orthodox Christians need to stay closely connected in order to support and pray for one another but to also be resources to each other as the time creeps ever closer where we will need “safe havens” for worship and communal edification.

    George and Gail, I truly appreciate this website – more than you know. It is a main source of information for me. Thank God for your faithful courage and that of the frequent people who post rational and faithful commentary.

    God bless!

    • Thank you, Athanasia!

      • George Michalopulos says

        I second that, Athanasia! Gail and I view this as a ministry of sorts and it’s nice to get a pat on the back every now and then.

        All I can say is “keep the faith”. It will get better.

    • Can someone explain why the “St Phoebe center” thinks we need an ordained female diaconate?

      I really don’t know. Never heard of them before now. Seems like Betty Friedan stuff but not sure.


      • Because they think that they (women) should be eligible for ordination.

      • FTS

        With all due respect for some of the more honest scholars who are greatly outnumbered by the dishonest ones in their organization, they cannot seem to articulate, or provide much evidence for, the “pressing need” that they claim exists. Moreover, their proposals for its implementation far exceed any historical practices or qualifications for such an office.


        Personally, I would not be opposed in principal if the actual historical qualifications were enforced (absolute celebacy, over 40 years old, total obedience to male clergy, not the equivalent of the male diaconate, ministry only to other women, etc.) But that is not at all what they are proposing. Add to this the fact that a great many of their members who write ‘papers’ for the organization do, in fact, also advocate for the priesthood and beyond (in spite of what this proposal states), and it is a recipe for disaster.

        IMO, the “pressing need” is mostly to be found within themselves and their desire for ‘validation’ and authority – the very ambitious qualities that should immediately disqualify any man.

        • I think something needs to be said about the impact on the Church were women to be ordained.

          Women already have a role in the Church when the “Church” is defined as that which promotes its teaching. Women are the life bearers. They aren’t charged with the mechanics of running the Church.

          As the Theotokos is the icon for women, Joseph is the icon for men. Men are to surround and protect the woman who is like the jewel at the center of a ring because only she can carry life. A redundancy of roles in the Church would create an imbalance. There could conceivably be more “men” than “mothers.” A woman can do the job of a man, (although I would argue, imperfectly); a man, however, cannot do the job of a woman.

          Rather than going back in history and making the argument that women should be ordained as deaconesses because there have been deaconesses in the past, it makes more sense to look at the entire history of the Church and say, “In all the time the Church has been in existence, ordained women were the exception, not the rule. Deaconesses were not necessary for the formation of the Church.

          At the end of the day, this isn’t about how these women “feel” or what they “want.” It’s about what works best for the Church. That they’re not happy with their role should not be the impetus for changing the Church.

          • This is the clearest reasoning I have
            yet read on either side of the matter.
            It covers all main points in dispute:
            theological, historical and practical.
            It is, I think, irrefutable…

            Men are the waiters who distribute the bread.
            Women are the bakers who bake the bread.

          • George Michalopulos says

            Very well said. As a wise priest told me once: “Woman is the pinnacle of creation, this is so because she was the last thing God created.”

          • There is nothing – nothing – apart from being vested and serving liturgically (and perhaps formal chaplaincy that is in any case not required to visit and minister to those in hospital) that prevents any woman from serving the Church in the ways they claim is needed.

            Such ministries include but are not limited to pastoral counseling, chaplaincy, spiritual companioning, teaching religious subjects /catechesis, missionary outreach, interfaith witness, philanthropy, nursing and social work, parish administration, family ministry, and youth and young adult ministry. The aim of all efforts of deaconesses would be to contribute positively to the salvation and spiritual care of the Church’s members and the larger society

            Interestingly, they themselves state that the office of Deacon has been largely ‘reduced’ to a liturgical function.

            So it is reasonable to ask what need there is for a formal female diaconate other than mere ‘recognition.’ Women can, and indeed all good women already do, serve in these ways. So also do lay men without the need for any formal clerical recognition. And what, again apart from mere recognition, would be the point of them serving liturgically? Is anything lacking in the liturgy by their absence?

            We no longer baptize naked, and it is no longer culturally improper for priests to visit women in their homes. And although it is always wise for priests never to be alone with a woman, having another woman present does not require this other woman to be ordained.

            So what, exactly, is this "pressing need" of which they speak? And if there are pressing needs, what prevents them from fulfilling them? Nothing.

            • Antiochene Son says

              Imagine if a man sought ordination for “recognition.” He’d be laughed out of the chancery, and probably be told to go to confession.

              • Antiochene Son says

                Maybe it should be called the Simon Magus Center for the Deaconess!

              • I have met men who went into the ministry for recognition in my lifetime in both the Episcopal Church and the Orthodox Church. And I understand it has been a hiding place for gays in the Roman Church. People go into ministry for all kinds of reasons.

                And as to need of recognition, what is this business in the Orthodox Church of a hierarchy of clergy as evidenced by hats and bigger and bigger crosses and who can pray with the curtain open and shut? And I suppose that there is more than I have not uncovered.

                • Or 3 or 4 crosses dangling from their chests. What is the need for that?

                • People join the clergy for all sorts of reasons.
                  Some will be appropriate and some will not.
                  Whatever causes drive particular individuals,
                  there will be those who find a true vocation.
                  These are the ones the Church must cherish.

            • Instead of learning how to die to oneself, which is one of THE most important reasons to be in the Church, they are insisting on their own way. It’s their worldly experience that teaches them that “if I want something this bad, I should have it.”

              Like shopping with a kid:

              “Mommy, can I have that?
              “Mommy, I want it.”
              “Mommy, I have to have that!”
              “You’re mean, Mommy.”
              “Jimmy’s mom lets him have it all the time.”
              “Why? Why can’t I have it.”

              You then see the kid dragging his feet, crying hysterically, as his mom wheels the whole kitandcabutle to the checkout stand. She whispers to the check-out clerk, “I will have to come back for this later.” Without a word, the clerk waves her on. She understands. She has 5 of her own.

              You see, this kid had a “pressing need” and his mom is showing him he will be OK if she doesn’t meet it. She’s teaching him how to die to himself. In the future, he will be less likely to insist on having his own way on the playground, in school, on a job, in a marriage, etc.

              He won’t go into 2000+-year-old-institution and expect millions of people to change the way they do things for him because he has a “pressing need.”

        • Brian,
          “IMO, the “pressing need” is mostly to be found within themselves and their desire for ‘validation’ and authority – the very ambitious qualities that should immediately disqualify any man.”

          Boom. You nailed it right there. Any woman (or man) who thinks that he/she “deserves” the ordained clergy because they’ve been slighted or left out — more or less, if the desire for ordination is driven by bitterness, anger, or anti-masculine vengeance — well, none of these folks should ever come close to ordination. Full stop!

          This is what happened in the Anglican Communion and we see it playing out in the homosexualized Roman Catholic Church — the push for women’s ordination is/was driven by bitterness, anger, and a desire for anti-masculine vengeance.

          I think there’s a simple test for this issue — we should pray to our newest North American Saint and to our only canonized female North American Saint — Saint Matushka Olga of Alaska — for clarity. Wonder what she would think of a female diaconate that plays out in the manner as driven by the St Phoebe society?

          Happy Thanksgiving to all !!

          “Everyone capable of thanksgiving is capable of salvation and eternal joy.” From the Thanksgiving day sermon given by Fr Alexander Schmemann the last time he served Divine Liturgy before reposing in December 1983.

          • You, too!

          • George Michalopulos says

            I for one am grateful for the canonization of Matushka Olga.

          • FTS,

            As your comments about the Anglicans and now many RCs (as well as others)
            indicate, I firmly believe there is a direct link between the ideology behind all this and outright apostasy (not just heterodoxy).

            The headship of the man and the submission of the woman (both in love) is an icon that points beyond mere human relationships, social constructs, etc. It is a living icon of Christ’s love for the Church and of His Church’s desire to submit to Him and thereby receive His love in all its fullness.

            This icon can be seen in every Orthodox Church on the iconostas itself. There we see Christ, the Man by whom all things were made and in whom all things consist. His head is uncovered as “the image and glory of God” (I Corinthians). And there we see the most holy Theotokos, the Woman, the image and embodiment of the Church, “the glory of Man” (I Corinthians). Her head is covered, indicating total submission to her Head (Christ) in love. Her own head shines with the same glory as that of Christ her Son and her God, indicating that there is nothing He is or has (save being divine by nature) that He has not given to her, even as there is nothing she is or has that she has not given to Him. This is the icon of what it is to be male and female in the image of God.

            When this icon is smashed (and I hasten to add that men, as well as women, can be iconoclastic in this), the telos – which is to say the ‘end’, the meaning, the purpose and goal of everything being freely united to Christ in His Kingdom under His Kingship – is distorted almost beyond recovery and renders this ‘end’ impossible apart from complete repentance and firm rejection of the ideology.

            This, I believe, is why those who foolishly think these egalitarian ideologies can find a place in their churches (heterodox or not) without tragic consequences delude themselves. If they will not obey Christ in this regard, willfully ignoring the commands of His Apostles, picking and choosing what they like while ignoring the rest (which is the very definition of heresy), seeking to obfuscate rather than to understand the purpose and ethos of the commands that don’t fit their ideology… well…it invariably leads to total apostasy.

            • The headship of the man and the submission of the woman (both in love) is an icon that points beyond mere human relationships, social constructs, etc.

              Yep. Exactly.

              Problem is, in the secular sea that we swim and live in, virtually everyone views social relationships through a lens of *power*, not love. Thus a man’s headship is not viewed through the lens of love, but through power. (These days, throw the lens of sex in there too…. social relationships in the secular West are almost always now viewed through a sexual lens in our disordered culture.)

              Virtually every non-Orthodox-Christian I’ve talked to about this stuff over the past 30 years perceives the church hierarchy as a *power structure.*

              Those of us inside the Church who struggle to stay faithful to Christ and to the Church know this “power structure” stuff is complete nonsense, yet it is how secular society perceives it – probably because that is how Catholic/Protestant hierarchies have been structured in the past (as hierarchical power structures), and people just bring that baggage with them.

              The feminist movement grew out of historical Northern/Western European/American Calvinist protestantism, which often treated women like slaves and garbage. It’s not an accident that there was no feminist movement coming from traditional Orthodox cultures, and it’s not because the women were so oppressed in those cultures that they could not speak up. Anyone who knows faithful Orthodox women knows that they have no fear of speaking up when needed 🙂

              This “St Phoebe Society” nonsense will probably continue as long as these folks perceive the Church hierarchy as a power structure that they are excluded from.

          • FTS,

            It seems that they prefer to pray to St. Phoebe in order to help them “discern” what they have already decided.

            Prayer to St. Phoebe

            Most holy Phoebe, who was found to be worthy of the diaconate; who was Paul’s helper and carried his words to the people of Rome; who is called the lamp of Cenchrea; we now humbly ask that you intercede for us, and pray to Christ our God for us as we discern His will for revival of the ordained female diaconate for the upbuilding of the entire Church today. Pray that we will be blessed and fruitful in our works this day and always, to God’s glory.


            I trust that St. Phoebe is no fool.

            To be fair to them, however, I would hesitate to say they are driven by masculine vengeance. IMO it is more akin to envy as in, “We are just as smart as you, and we, too, have advanced theological degrees. Why, then, can’t we…?”

      • The St. Phoebe deaconess movement is spearheaded by progressive Orthodox women, a group which includes open lesbians. Some of them are converts who are just unhappy with the church they converted to – but they have PhDs, which tends to make what they say credible to the naive audience. And yes, there are also some progressively minded priests and male theologians that support the movement. Their agenda pervades any scholarly Orthodox organization of women (Axia). There is no debate with them – any forum they sponsor where this is discussed included little, if any, dissent from the “must be deaconess” narrative. if any theologically educated woman speaks against their narrative, they are ostracized.

        Arrogance. Entitlement. these are not reasons for ordination. To say that one cannot do ministry without being ordained is to participate in clericalism, a heresy.

        • “…they have PhDs”

          People with letters after their names
          often know a lot about a little,
          but not much of anything else.

        • Out of curiosity, can a person be both progressive and orthodox?

          • Interesting question, Lina.

            I would say NO; if by “progressive” you mean supporting all manner of things that conflict with the teachings of the Church.

            Shouldn’t both parties be concerned just about governing the people? When did it become a requirement for us to have to sleep on the same bed with people who engage in sin? Couldn’t they just leave the sin part out of it?

            This is where the bishops are failing us. Those who don’t lead the charge in putting the teachings of the Church first have abdicated their role. When it gets to the point where a party stands for aborting fetuses all the way up to full-term babies, I would think that would be a deal breaker for them.

            Being a democrat used to mean something different than it does today. It has become less about freedom and more about legitimizing debauchery. At what point does an Orthodox Christian say, “Not only do I NOT support this, I will not vote for anyone who does. What people do on their own time is between them and God but I’m not going to help legalize it.”

            How do we convince our children to live a wholesome life according to the Scriptures when we politically support those who are in direct opposition to them? Do we tell them

            “Yes, there is a candidate who will protect our freedoms to continue to live a Godly life, but darn it, the other guy who has literally UNITED the nation is not polished enough. I’m going to vote for the guy who looks good, because that makes me look good.”

            Actually, it doesn’t make you look “good.” Orthodox Christians who embrace this nonsense look like the hypocrites they are who are going to have a hard time explaining all this to God.

  4. Love the letter!

  5. Acts 28:26
    Go to this people and say, “You will be ever hearing but never understanding; you will be ever seeing but never perceiving.”

  6. Ok, so I get that GOARCH won’t take action here, but where are the remaining bishops in North America, to formally Excommunicate the Fordhamites, and all those who in turn proclaim their heresy?

    That’s where this argument begins and ends, folks. Once you formally excommunicate them as heretics, then they are delegitimized, and can no longer use the word Orthodox with any validity…

    What are the other bishops waiting for then? This is a real simple equation to solve…

    • Many but not all remaining bishops of the Greeks, as well as other jurisdictions, are compromised. Hence, they will not make a move knowing their sins will be ousted.

      • So why don’t the Georgians, Serbs, Antiochians, Romanians, etc excommunicate the Fordhamite heretics? Why don’t they just make it official on paper?

        • Because they’re not clergy. You can only declare someone a heretic if they’re clergy and teach something heretical. They are perpetual students.

          • That’s not necessarily true, unless you are thinking of a declaration of a “new heresy” in a general sense. Very recently, Ambrosios the retired Metropolitan of Aigialia in Greece read the Excommunication service for 3 Greek politicians, including the sitting prime minister, after it was leaked that they made blasphemous comments. If the Fordhamites have made any statements or confessed any beliefs that are contrary to Orthodoxy while claiming to be Orthodox, this situation would not be much different, and it would totally fall under the jurisdiction of Orthodox bishops.

            Besides, the Canons are full of statements that include the words “…if he may be a layperson…let him be excommunicated…”

            So, the original question remains…and nothing in the Canons prevents Orthodox bishops from declaring anyone a heretic, or at least publicly stating that the person is “non-Orthodox”, and the faithful should not pay attention to their false teaching…

          • Laypeople can certainly be excommunicated, I know of someone very close to me who was excommunicated for a period of penance. I asked my priest about this and it’s far from uncommon, it’s just usually not public.

            What needs to happen by the AOB if they don’t want to “formally” excommunicate the Fordham, Phoebe Center, Public Orthodoxy crowd, then at the very least they should issue an encyclical penned by all the AOB members calling them out like they have done to Elpidophoros. If Fordham is “pan-Orthodox,” which they never claim to be officially part of the GOA, then it’s on the bishops of the AOB to denounce they claim to be speaking on behalf of all Orthodox jurisdictions.

            • Of course, lay people can be excommunicated. I’ve known one. I was threatened with it myself for writing a letter to Met. Philip. But Archbishop NATHANIEL from the Romanian Orthodox Episcopate knew and had apparently written a letter to take me in before I even knew Met. Philip wanted me out.

              But we’re talking specifically about excommunication for heresy, wrong teaching (not excommunication for anything else), which, as I understand it, applies to the bishops.

              • Ah I see what you mean, I didn’t actually know that, I thought anyone could be excommunicated for heresy. If that’s the case I wish they would go ahead and excommunicate Elpidophoros for heresy, I think there’s plenty of evidence for it.

                • You know, I don’t think I’ve ever heard him teach the Gospel. He uses Scripture to illustrate his points, but it’s as if his talking points are the most important part of what he’s saying. Never Scripture.

  7. https://orthodoxtimes.com/president-of-ahepa-to-the-ecumenical-patriarch-elpidophoros-does-not-divide-he-inspires-and-unites-the-diaspora/

    No need to panic folks, the president of AHEPA assured us that Elpidophoros being here has actually led to MORE unity in the GOA. Phew…I was worried.

    I’ve 100,000+ leaving the GOA is more unity then we have bigger fish to fry.

    • The implication that Archbishop Elpidophoros “divides” the Community is far from true. On the contrary, he unites the Community and our Church, in the name of our Ecumenical Patriarch,” Tsivikos stressed in his letter.

      A typically revealing assertion that explains 98% of what ails the GOA, institutionally speaking.

    • Someone sure loves to accumulate titles.
      Actually the Supreme title lost me. I don’t think God is interested in our titles. He wants our hearts.

  8. Alexander Smith says

    Faithful Orthodox Christians must STAND THEIR GROUND in the Greek Archdiocese. Stop retreating! Do not cede a single inch. Stay exactly where you are and get loud! Make life Hell for the modernists!! Fight them everywhere and force them out. These are OUR churches. OUR institutions. Countless faithful families contributed everything to GOARCH for generations on end. This archdiocese was built with our blood, sweat, and tears. We will not allow their sacrifice to be in vain. We will not allow modernists to hijack our Church. The heretic has no place in Orthodoxy. If you ever see a Fordhamite at your parish, run them out! All zealous converts should flood the Greek Archdiocese to assist in this purge.

  9. An excellent book to read on the subject is The Disappearing Deaconess, by Protodeacon Patrick Mitchell. From the author’s description:

    “ ‘ The whole Church has never had a tradition of having deaconesses, but the whole Church has had a tradition of not having them.’ — The Disappearing Deaconess examines not just the history of deaconesses but also patristic teaching on male and female and the evolution of ministries within the early Church to conclude that the order of deaconess was inherently problematic for early Christians because it appeared to elevate women over men in the hierarchy of the Church, contrary to Christian beliefs about both the natural order and the divine economy.

    “The bulk of this book is my master’s thesis completed in 2018 at the University of Winchester. To that, the book adds two important appendices broadening the scope to include current efforts to create a new order of “deaconesses” (nobody is proposing an order like the old one) as well as the fundamental issue of male and female as understood by the Orthodox Church. Available now in hardback and paperback from all major retailers.”

    Fr Thomas Soroka interviewed the author, Protodeacon Patrick Mitchell, a few months ago on Ancient Faith Today, where he made clear his concerns and warnings:

    Available in hardcover, softcover, and Kindle editions at Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Disappearing-Deaconess-Hierarchical-Ordering-Diaconate/dp/0991016971

    • Zosimas thanks for sharing this link for Protodeacon’s talk. I learned a lot and found it all very interesting.

  10. https://orthodoxtimes.com/archbishop-of-australia-the-russians-have-created-their-own-a-parallel-orthodox-church/

    Well, I’m disappointed but sadly unsurprised that Archbishop Makarios is fully on board with the EP & Project Ukraine

    • For me, it’s a deal breaker. He’s a globalist.

      • George Michalopulos says

        Ditto. Haven’t the globalists done enough damage to our world?

        • George/Gail, fully agree. It’s disappointing to see from him because he’s quite literally one of the only solid bishops within the Ecumenical Patriarchate.

          But, this is the first time I’ve seen him say anything related to Ukraine. Why now? Maybe those articles from last week where he’s the favored person by the Greek authorities to take over the throne after Bartholomew have something to do with it? He’s speaking their language to gain their favor. I still think even with this he’d be a better successor to Bartholomew than Elpi or Emmanuel or almost anyone else within the EP

          • They don’t have anyone. Truly. I suggested to someone they look at Father Paisios at St. Anthonys. I was told, “The Greeks don’t like monasteries!” There is a monk there I like who spent a good amount of time at Mt. Athos. His name is Father Markellos. I’m sure he’s very pious, but he is also a “people” person. He has a “lightness” about him that I think the Greeks would like.

  11. I’m curious if anyone else has heard the rumor that enrollment at St. Vlad’s & St. Tikhon’s has tanked with seminarians opting to go to Jordanville?

    I’m not sure about Holy Cross but I have heard that about St. Vlad’s & St. Tikhon’s.

    • Interesting. No, we haven’t heard anything.

    • The OCA Diocese of the West is currently putting together a pilot Seminary. Seminarians will take remote, online classes. Seminarians will only go to a seminary for one week during summer, then gather together once a quarter at a location in the diocese. If that’s how the OCA is heading, can we blame future priests for wanting more? Gone is the intense, transformative experience of learning the daily cycle of services as a community of future priests, gone is the comraderie with other families, gone is the in-person mentorship of faculty. It’s all quite shocking.

      • So how do they expect formation to take place? Who will be their role models? How could they possibly lead a parish? Good grief.

        • I can partially understand what Christine has said being a good idea if the seminarian is attached to a parish and not isolation. Is it ideal? Nope. But, for years people have been complaining about the COL having to go to St. Vlad’s due to it’s location. If a man is wanting to go to seminary, has a family, has to relocate, has to pay rent, etc., then that is probably feasible for a very small portion of men. What makes Jordanville appealing is that it’s in the middle of nowhere with lower cost of living…not on Long island.

          I can’t speak to St. Tikhon’s because I quite literally almost never hear anything about it. Does it still exist? (asking sarcastically)

          Aren’t the Antiochians doing something similar with a virtual seminary?

          At the end of the day I really am not a fan of a virtual seminary for the reasons you mentioned Gail, but, if they find a way to blend virtual with real world experience then maybe that could work. Unless St. Vlad’s is finally moving (which has been rumored for a while) and people can’t uproot their lives maybe this would open up the priesthood to many, many men who find the above obstacles to be too big to overcome.

          What’r your thoughts?

          • Seems to me they could be a assigned to a monastery, regardless of jurisdiction, wherever that is for them, and like the reserves, be required to spend time there. I’m not too enamoured with priests who are attached to their computers.

            • George Michalopulos says

              I’m going to “go there” and say it: one man spending a year in a monastery as a novitiate, participating in its life of ora et labora, would be ample education as far as the priesthood is concerned. Or at least the diaconate. We could use more deacons. (Perhaps after 5-10 years the deacon could be promoted to the pastorate?)

              I have no quarrel with a MDiv education. Perhaps those who graduate would be more theologically trained and become archpriests?

              If some on-line education is necessary in addition, then go for it. Perhaps a capstone year at a seminary to receive a licentiate?

              We must remember that all things being equal, there is nothing in our services that encourage or lead to heresy. If a man recite the Creed (and believe every word), then he doesn’t have to worry about any christological, triadological or ecclesiological errors. Heresy itself comes from too much study IMO.

            • That’s a great idea. There’s plenty of monasteries of various jurisdictions within the OCA Diocese of the West

          • MomofToddler says

            If a virtual/in-person hybrid allows priests to be have less debt and be more financially secure, this could attract some wise men. Additionally, if they had less debt going into the priesthood, they might be more likely to speak up when needed. I have read that is was normative for priests (in certain places and certain times) to be chosen by the parish, so technically the seminarian might be at the parish or region where he might later serve, assisting a current priest in some capacity? It also seems like a good method for starting missions that take off/off-shoot from a fast growing parish in a spread out region, which could become more common. (It’s been a while since I have posted here, the toddler is now a pre-teen.)

        • This is basically what Antiochian House of Studies is doing. According to my brother, who is in the program at AHOS, our bishop prefers candidates for the priesthood who have gone to a traditional seminary, and intends AHOS graduates mostly for the diaconate. Although, who knows? Given the shortage of priests, they may eventually be tapped.

          As far as who is their role model, it is the parish priest, who is also involved in their training.

    • George Michalopulos says

      I have not. Has anybody else reading this any info on the enrollment stats for our seminaries?

    • Founds some stats online:

      St. Vladimir’s Seminary (OCA)
      Stats for 2022-23 academic year: 20 students ordained to diaconate or priesthood. Total of 100 students enrolled: 52 M.Div students, 4 Th.M. students, 19 D.Min students, 25 MA students; 86 male, 14 female. Classes taught online and in-person. (source: https://www.svots.edu/sites/default/files/2023-07/Impact_report_2023_online.pdf)

      St. Tikhon’s Seminary (OCA)
      Stats for 2021-22 academic year: 9 students graduated from M.Div program. Total of 46 full-time students enrolled. (source: https://www.stots.edu/news_220603_1). Of note, St. Tikhon’s received $184,419 from student tuition fees, but spent $1,778,457 on just functional expenses alone (instructional salaries, administration, and operations). St. Tikhon’s could not stay afloat for a minute without endowments and contributions. (source: https://stots.edu/files/FinancialReports/STOTS-Final-Signed-Audit-Report-2022.pdf)

      Holy Trinity Seminary (ROCOR)
      Stats for 2021-22 academic year: Total of 40 students enrolled. 32 students from ROCOR, 8 from other jurisdictions. (source: https://www.hts.edu/news_210904_1#:~:text=Jordanville's%20Holy%20Trinity%20Orthodox%20Seminary,of%2040%20students%20on%20campus.)

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