CONSTANTINOPLE – In a stunning communique, the Ecumenical Patriarchate today recognized the Orthodox Church in America’s (OCA) autocephaly. According to Metropolitan Maximus of Trehagerevopolis, a spokesman for the Phanar, “there was no need for a new tomos to be issued, as the prior one from Moscow was perfectly valid.”

Constantinople’s Holy Synod instructed Archbishop Elpidophoros, the primate of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese (GOA), to disband the present diocesan structure and travel forthwith to Syosset in order to meet with Metropolitan Tikhon (the primate of the OCA). It is hoped that they can come up with a more reasonable structure for territorial dioceses. “And none of this ‘ethnic vicariate’ nonsense” said Maximus.

His Eminence went on to say that “time is wasting. America is white for the harvest and we’ve been spending too much time with food-festivals and arguing over who sits where at the Assembly [of Canonical Bishops] meetings.” At this point, Patriarch Bartholomew interjected “This is long overdue. Canon 28 of the Fourth Ecumenical Council was only supposed to be applied to the three provinces adjacent to Constantinople. It wasn’t ever meant to mean ‘all the barbarian lands’. I mean, it’s there in black-and-white.”

As if to underscore his point, His All-Holiness went on to state, “Why was that so hard to understand?”

As for the fifty or so bishops that comprise the Canonical Assembly of Bishops in the United States (ACOB), there was a growing sense of excitement over the past few months. It was as if they felt that something wonderful was in the air. One bishop, speaking on background said “this is long overdue. We have been growing in love and have long wanted to express Christ-like humility towards each other.” Another added “I’ve heard some say that they’d be happy to give up their present diocesan seat and go wherever the new American Synod wants them to go.”

One plan called for the future dioceses to be located in the fifty largest cities in America. To see which bishop would get which city, the plan is to ballots with the names of the fifty largest cities to be placed in a chalice. After the Divine Liturgy, each bishop would pull out one ballot and this would be his diocese.

Sources at the Phanar also intimated that there were “way too many metropolitans” in America. “Four or five, that’s all you need. There’s nothing wrong with bishops or archbishops”. Smaller cities (like San Diego) could have a bishop whereas larger cities (Los Angeles) could have an archbishop said another source, who spoke on background.

This surprising announcement is expected to diffuse tensions with Moscow and the other autocephalous churches which had been discomfited by Constantinople’s actions in Ukraine. Another source, speaking only under the condition of anonymity bluntly stated “We never wanted to go down that route [in Ukraine] in the first place.” This source went on to say “It was that darn American State Department which wanted us to recognize the schismatics. Damn neocons, they’re friggin’ everywhere! They won’t rest until we’re in a shooting war with Russia. Lord have mercy.”

He went on to say some unflattering things about Epiphany Dumenko: “Epiphony, that’s what he is! How we ever allowed ourselves to be beguiled by that damn George Soros is beyond me.”

According to this same source, the Ecumenical Patriarch, in an act of contrition for interfering in the Ukraine and involvement in ecumenism in general, is considering stepping down and retiring to a monastery. When asked if that would leave the Metropolitan of Chalcedon as his successor, he was told that “We’re cleaning house in the Phanar. No more questionable characters.” He refused to elaborate further.


  1. Austin Martin says

    I saw the title and then immediately remembered it’s April 1st. Aren’t we a bit old for April fool’s day?

  2. observer says

    Clearly written by an April Fool for Christ!

  3. Ah another great satire from the Monomakhos Bee lol

  4. April Fool!

  5. April Fools.

  6. Yawn

    • Gail Sheppard says

      Boy, you went to a lot of trouble to “yawn.” You first created an email with the same name [] and then went to the trouble of creating a unique IP address [never used on this site]. Why?

      Seriously, why would someone need to tell a bunch of strangers they’re yawning when it requires so much effort? Wouldn’t it make more sense just to yawn? [As I get older, I understand people less.]

      So noted.

      Hey, everybody! Anon just yawned!!!!

  7. Love it!! For a second or two I believed it, but then I recalled that this morning my son reminded me that it’s April Fool’s Day 🙂

    The piece describes the Patr of C’ple as behaving far too sensibly and far too much in concert with Orthodox practice and belief – how sad that was the tell that this is a joke! 🙁

    How I wish it were true. What a tragic, fallen world we live in.

    Regardless, good one George and Gail! And I don’t say it enough — Thank you for all that you do to advance Orthodox American freedom of communication and thought and to advance, well, Orthodox “community” and fellowship from your humble mid-America abode.

    A blessed continued Great Lent to you and to all readers of this blog!!

  8. Anthony J Ferrara says

    April Fool’s!

  9. Athanasia says

    April Fools!!

  10. Nice one, George.
    You had me for two and a half paragraphs… 🙂

  11. Jeff Moore says

    Wonderful news! Btw, I still have a bridge for sale if anyone’s interested…

  12. Seraphim says

    If only.

  13. Then I awoke. And lo, it was a dream.

  14. CS Louis says

    Yeah! And it’s April Fools Day. Right? Can’t stop laughing!

  15. Solidarity Priest says

    Nice April Fool’s post. You actually had me going almost for a minute.

  16. I see that it is April Fool’s day today —

  17. Check the calendar everyone.

    But you know, the interesting thing is that the Phanar would be in a better position due to the prevalence of Greek churches and bishops in the newly recognized entity. Within a generation they could control it all.

    Too big a gamble though.

    • Yes, Misha, but many of the Greek churches in the U.S. are empty and a number of them have various financial woes, including the Archdiocesan headquarters. I doubt that they could turn everything around and start to control it all. (I think that its too big a gamble for the OCA to get involved with the GOA. I sent the link of this ‘breaking story’ to my parish priest. He actually burst out laughing so loudly that his wife popped into his office to see what was going on!) 😉

  18. You had me there for a second.. then I looked at the calendar and my heart sank 🙁

  19. April fools!

  20. A-ha! Happy April Fool’s Day!

  21. wwcaterson says

    What day is it, again? (Good one, George!) ?

  22. Totally had me up until the chalice. Well played.

  23. Brian Jackson says

    I’ve been Orthodox long enough to associate April 1 more with St. Mary of Egypt than with farce. That’s good! But I find it takes me longer now than it once did to realize what’s going on with pieces like this, LOL!

  24. Stan Minor says

    The date of the posting says it all.

  25. Anonymous says

    This must be satire!

  26. If only. Ha ha.

  27. Sam Young says

    So, this is why I’m feeling autocephalous today.

  28. Pat Reardon says

    Everyone seems to have enjoyed the joke.

    Please count me among those who certainly did not.

    • Gail Sheppard says

      Yes, we heard you.

    • Ronda Wintheiser says

      Fr. Patrick, I didn’t enjoy it either.

      Because I believed it! 🙂

      Gullibility has always been one of my faults.

    • Pat Reardon says
      Everyone seems to have enjoyed the joke.
      Please count me among those who certainly did not.

      I am sorry, but I did enjoy the joke very much
      although or because it is a “bad” joke as:
      It shows that, we can imagine Bartholomew doing those things, in a joke ONLY, not in reality!

  29. I should have suspected something when I saw the word “forthwith.” Nothing EVER happens forthwith in the Orthodox world.

  30. April Fool’s (?) Sources?

  31. George Michalopulos says

    OK, I owe everyone (including the lovely Galina) an apology. Not a huge one but an apology nonetheless.

    True story: A few days ago, I had this in “private”. Gail called me up at work in a very tenuous state, trying to feel me out. “Why didn’t you tell me that this was going to happen”. I asked if she read the entire thing. “No,” she said. “I’m too shocked.”

    “Go back and read it, again, this time all of it,” I said. “It’s satire.”

    So here’s why I don’t offer too huge an apology: because it is satire. But also because there’s a larger point here, one that indicates how far from Christian humility the Phanar has slipped and how far along the road to papalism it has traveled.

    Among other things.

    • Pat Reardon says

      It is of the nature of satire, Geroge, that the readers know they are reading satire. This is exactly what we expect when we open Babylon Bee or Eccles. This is what I always expected when I read Art Buchwald’s column.

      On this web page, however, I have always expected serious discourse.

      Sorry, George, this was not satire. This was cynicism.

      And cynicism is the last thing the People of God need these days.

      • Gail Sheppard says

        You completely misread this, Father. Cynicism is “can never be.” Hope is “what if.”

        • Pat Reardon says

          What George wrote was something on the order of Mary Magdalen saying “April Fool” to the Apostles later that first Sunday afternoon.

          Satire is supposed to be funny.

          What George wrote is not a bit funny.

          • Gail Sheppard says

            Unless Mary Magdalen was in the habit of addressing one of the apostles in Greek slang, I sincerely doubt this is true.

            George introduces the fictitious “Metropolitan Maximus” over a place that means “go run and search for it” in Greek slang in the second sentence. Polis, of course, means “city.”

            Expressing one’s displeasure with something is better done once. Doing it more than once invites rebuttal. Especially when a woman who loves her husband is involved.

            It should be noted that I was fooled, too.

          • George Michalopulos says

            Fr forgive me, but that rapscallion who is my evil twin Skippy found my password and did enormous damage to my reputaion. 🙂

            Seriously, it’s not Gail’s fault at all, in fact, she really didn’t want me to do this, so all the blame goes to me.

            In any event, I’m not sure I agree with your assessment of the context of satire. One reason The Babylon Bee is so good is because it looks so real. In fact, the first time I came across it I thought it was for real. Sad to say of course that, while it is not real, the legacy newspapers have descended to self-parody.

            • Monty Python would not have worked
              if they hadn’t played it with straight faces.

            • Perhaps I can provide a different angle on this.

              I am catechumen. I am doing all I can to remain in the Church, and stay the course. If the Lord Jesus Christ had not completely convinced me that He is exactly who He says He is in Scripture, there is no way I would ever have become a Christian 10 years ago. Prior to that I had been adopted into a Lakota family and trained as a traditional Pipe Keeper with the chief ceremonial medicine man of the Lakota nation whose family are direct descendants of Crazy Horse. (I have since discovered that standards, both spiritual and moral, are significantly higher in the tiospaye into which I was adopted than any Christian community I have been a part of so far.)

              I have had little contact with my adoptive family since I became a Christian.

              I trained for the ministry and became a Baptist pastor.

              It took a very bad truck crash for the Lord to bring me to the Church, the Orthodox Church. I have given up the possibility of employment as a pastor, and am now a catechumen. Lord willing I will be baptized into the Church this Pascha.

              I am 57 years old, and have completely thrown myself on the Lord’s mercy as I have no idea of what the future holds, even in terms of basic survival. So far, the Lord has completely provided, some times in miraculous ways.

              I agree with Fr Pat. Though at first amusing, your article injects cynicism and levity into matters that are completely serious and very grave. At least they are for me.

              Salvation is not a matter for foolish … call it satire if you want to.

              With love in Christ,

              Please pray for me- and for my son as well whom the Lord in His great mercy has made a catechumen at the same time as me last May. My son has overcome drug addiction, and many other challenges to become a Christian, and now Orthodox. He is now thinking about becoming a monk.

              • George Michalopulos says

                Jeff, I will pray for you. I’m sorry that I caused offense (you’re not the only one) but as I responded to another esteemed reader of this blog, it is only with a sense of gallows humor that I do not fall into despair.

                Please pray for me as well.

              • Jeff,

                George was not satirizing salvation, but rather perdition. His piece puts the divisive nature of the Phanar’s activity front and center by showing what its repentance might look like, given movement by the Holy Spirit. He presents a stark contrast of the schismatics with whom we are dealing as opposed to an imaginary and more noetic version who might be able to heal much of what ails the Church at this time.

                As such, it is not surprising that his satire upsets some. The contrast is stark and indefensible and exposes the open wound that is the Phanar and the codependent behavior of some of the rest of the Church. It is as if to say, “Had they truth and decency, they would . . .”

                If you’re taking flak, you know you’re over the target. Given the outrageous conduct of the Phanar and the abdication of responsibility of much of the Church under Covid, George’s facetious rebuke is fairly mild, IMHO.

                • George Michalopulos says

                  Misha, thank you for this fine defense. I appreciate it. In any event, you hit the nail right on the head.

                • Please forgive me if I have not expressed myself clearly.

                  George’s glib attempt at irony is only more salt in the wound. Then the ‘apology’ is lame, and no real attempt to engage the conversation.

                  Of course, this is his webpage. He can do what he wants. I don’t have to read it. And so forth. Having said that, it is a public forum. The least the man can do is man up and make an attempt to engage beyond a juvenile “I am sorry if you were offended.”

                  As mentioned I am a catechumen. Perhaps a more pastoral approach may be more effective.

                  • George isn’t a pastor; he’s a blogger, blogging what he thinks, how he thinks.

                    I don’t know why people hold him to some kind of high standard like they should clergymen.

                    Man plans and God laughs. Maybe we should laugh along with him sometimes.

          • Fr.,

            Um, Mary Magdalene is a bit much. American Orthodoxy is perhaps one percent of the total. Much ado . . . but you have to expect these things on April 1st.

    • Chris Banescu says

      The tragic thing is that the Phanar would accomplish his heart’s desire if he would put aside his own pride and lust for power, renounce his selfishness and self-importance, become a true servant of the Church, act in a Chris-like manner on behalf of the faithful, and do what this satire says.

      But given what the Phanar has done in the last several decades he is NEVER going to get “what he desires.” As long as he refuses to act in humility and love, continues to put himself first “without equals” and chases after worldly praise and acclaim, he will NEVER be blessed with Godly and Holy authority that the rational and faithful sheep will recognize and follow.

      The more he chases after the wrong things and puts his pride first, the further away from Christ and the True Church he moves and the less genuine authority he will have. He will indeed be king in his private and worldly kingdom as he locks the doors from the inside and crowns himself “first without equals.”

  32. Peter T Howe says

    You almost had me, George; consarn it.

    1 minute in:

    “Hey, wait a minute…”

    Taking a leisurely scroll-down on the comment section:

    “Why, George, you Good Old April-Fooling Yellow-Brick-Road-Following Poppy-Field-Sniffing-and-Detouring Rapscallion:

    You do know, do you not, George:

    I’d rather have this bottle in front of me than

    A frontal lobotomy!”


  33. George Michalopulos says

    If y’all want real satire, check this out:

    The photo of the little boy in a sombrero and mustache is absolutely hilarious!

  34. George, you did just fine. We need humor as only The Monomachos Bee can scribe.
    Gail, Skippy just has to get out and make his appearance sometimes.
    April Fool’s ~ Kalo Mina

    • Gail Sheppard says

      If you read this on March 15th, as I did, it is a totally different read! George could not stop laughing. I’ve got to say I much prefer satire that is bad when the truth is good.

      I’ve also got to say, shame on those who criticize George for showing us just how far we are from realizing unity within this country. Were it not for the obstacles presented by a single patriarch, whom these same people say deserves the respect of a title, this story could have been true.

      • George Michalopulos says

        Dionysia, thank you!

        Galina, muchas gracias as well! (I did have you going there, didn’t I?)

      • To be fair, one has to admit that it is likely not “a single patriarch” that presents these obstacles to administrative unity. But in this regard, he is certainly the first without equal.

        • Gail Sheppard says

          Exactly. It took all the people who bought into (continue to buy into) the fantasy to make this happen. He is absolutely the first without equal. Is it worth it? Do we need a patriarch over nothing?

          • George Michalopulos says

            No. We don’t. And perhaps the Good Lord in His capacity to see where mercy and justice meets (as no other can) will decide on the further usefulness of a patriarchate without borders.

            I imagine the Vatican will put him or his successor in bis place in any event.

  35. Actually, I am not sure if it is a good idea.

  36. Thomas Spiro says

    By the way. San Diego is the eighth largest city in the US. Probably should have an archbishop. And get the Chargers back.⚡

  37. Anonymous II says

    Not a joke:


    • George Michalopulos says

      Dionysia, thank you!

      Galina, muchas gracias as well!

    • George Michalopulos says

      Good Lord in heaven!

      What began with Meletios IV Metaxakis continued on with Athenagoras. I’m afraid it did not end there.

      Lord have mercy.

    • I have to ask:
      Was he an Orthodox Jewish Rabbi?
      Or was he a Liberal Jewish Rabbi?

      (I suspect he was the latter!)

      • George Michalopulos says

        Old joke: There was a rabbi who was stranded on a desert island. He built two synagogues: one for himself; the other was the one he “wouldn’t step foot in”.

        • Archpriest Alexander F. C. Webster says

          George, I heard that joke many years ago, but the protagonist was a (fill-in-the-ethnic-blank) Orthodox Christian.

        • Archpriest Alexander F. C. Webster says

          Here’s another old Orthodox joke that I heard in the 1970s.

          QUESTION: What do you get when two Orthodox churches decide to merge?

          ANSWER: Three Orthodox churches!

    • I realize some people look for stones to throw at those who are, admittedly, betrayers of the Faith, but (again) to be fair, this is what Metaxakis is reported to have said:

      “’We are of the same town and I am very proud of them, In Corfu, where I once lived, I acted many times as rabbi for my Jewish friends.’”

      “Rabbi” (so I am told) simply means “teacher.” He did not say he served as their Rabbi (as in leader of their synagogue, etc. ). He said he acted many times as rabbi which in all probability means he counseled them on a personal level. After all, he was speaking to fellow citizens of Greece from his hometown.

      I know many priests who, quite rightly, consider themselves ministers of Christ and personal councilors to their entire local community, whether they are Christian or not, Orthodox or not, etc. This is as it should be.

      As for the rest of his deeds as patriarch, the false ecumenism he fostered that continues to this day, entering a synagogue, confessing to a Muslim, etc. have at it.

      As a commenter noted (in humor) on the Byzantine Texas post about a photo of Archbishop Elpidophoros and friends standing before the idol of Athena in the Georgia Parthenon, “All GREEK gods count as God. Stands to reason.”

    • Strange as it is, Athenagoras was the deacon and cell attendant of Metropolitan Chrysostomos of Florina, the spiritual leader of the Old Calendar movement in Greece, and went to the Holy Mountain with him when the Metropolitan was exiled.

      • George Michalopulos says

        Interesting. Unfortunately, he learned nothing from his mentor.

      • Gus Langis says

        Basil: Too bad Athenagoras didn’t learn anything from Chrysostomos of Florina. Chrysostomos of Florina relics are incorrupt while Athenagoras body began hatching larva from it’s pores. It was so bad special prayers were needed for the grave to accept him. Part of Athenagoras bizarre closed casket funeral which lacked any icon (only a roman style crucifix attached to the coffin) and placed on a tall bier where proper veneration was nearly impossible can be seen on youtube. This terrifying event tempered his successor’s (Pat. Demetrius) ambitions but came roaring back with Bart.

        [Ediotor Note:

        • I had never heard this, that’s horrifying. One would think that would be enough to set the patriarchs right

  38. I was wondering if it was written for April Fool’s Day but I also found myself wishing and praying that it was true.

  39. Archpriest Paisius McGrath says

    Prayer requests for all to remember:
    1) The newly departed servant of God, Father Antonio Perdomo, who reposed yesterday. Eternal Memory!
    2) The child of God, Adalyn McGraw, who broke her ankle yesterday.
    Blessed Great Lent to all!

  40. Tim R. Mortiss says

    I check in every month or two in case there is a ray of light to be seen in the general gloom, and happened to do so yesterday. George had me there for awhile! Hope springs eternal….

    Speaking of Spring, it’s time for me to order another case of Dry Elderberry Wine from Wyldewood Cellars. Now there’s a ray of light…

  41. George,

    You got me.

    I appreciate the satire. I am thankful that you and Gail do what you do. It provides an important outlet for the laity who care.

    There are plenty of other places on the internet for Orthodox Karen’s. It is refreshing to come to a place that gets it and is not afraid to keep things real, interesting, spicy and witty.

    Being offended has become an American past time and is destroying our country.

    Keep em coming . . .


    • George Michalopulos says

      Thank you, Mike.

      I call ’em as I sees ’em.

    • Pat Reardon says

      You can joke about things like this, if you don’t have skin in the game.

      George’s apology testifies that he still has skin in the game.

      I am persuaded that many souls may be lost by reason of the current bad behavior of some of our bishops. This is damned serious (and let’s maintain this theological adverb, please).

      We can’t afford “spicy and witty” right now, unless, of course, you don’t really have any skin in the game.

      • George Michalopulos says

        Thank you for your graciousness Fr. Rest assured that I do indeed “have skin in the game”.

        We are all called to fight for Christ’s Church. Humor is one way I choose to do so. Having said that, I certainly don’t want to scandalize those catechumens away from the Bride of Christ. If anything (and I realize that this may be a little self-serving), I want to toughen them up for the fight ahead.

        Kind of like the initial boot-camp scene from Full Metal Jacket, in which the Gunny Sergeant used humor to break down the recruits and forge Marines.

      • I’d say that raising 9 children in this world with a hierarchy that cares little about being Orthodox counts as skin in the game. It does as far as I’m concerned.

        I can compartmentalize reality from a bit of gallows humor. As someone who is paid to handle the worst (non spiritual) moments of people’s lives I appreciate a bit of satire.


  42. Breaking news: OCA to recognize Ukrainian autocephaly!

    Now that’s an April fool’s story. Anyone who could possibly fall for believing that deserves a title and an award.

  43. nun Cornelia says

    Well, I have to keep up on Orthodox news so you can imagine that the title caught my eye. I figured it out pretty quickly but kept reading for the sheer enjoyment. I thought it was great. It’s an example of a new literary genre that I’ll call Orthodox wishful thinking. Fr. Andrew Phillips also waxes wishful from time to time on his Orthodox England Event’s blog. He projects 50 years into the future and talks about what’s happening now in past tense, and describes how it all got resolved. One wise priest (now reposed) I knew in Russia once said that you can tell whether a person is in a healthy spiritual state by his sense of humor (or lack thereof). It’s comic relief, and though a steady diet of it may not be recommended, it’s great once in a while.

  44. George,

    The convoluted name ascribed to Metropolitan Maximus’ See, although seemingly Greek, should have alerted me to what you were up to, but it didn’t because I assumed it was another of those ancient and non-existing ones bestowed upon Bartholomew’s minions. Truth be said, I fell lock stock and barrel for the April fool chicanery you used in duping me into believing, momentarily, what many of us dared hope might be true. No apologies needed. It was satire at its best, however any of the stiffs who troll your site wish to define it—many of whom, in my view, are bent on playing the “gotcha” game and professing to be more Orthodox than another, rather than engaging in serious discourse. Lighten up, folks: Live longer.

    • George Michalopulos says

      Thank you JRo, nun cornelia & others!

      I’ll try not to make a habit out of this but every now & then. Rarely.

      I promise.

      I will however link articles to The Babylon Bee.

  45. Ilya M Zhitomirskiy says

    It’s a real shame that this post is an April Fools joke. If Patriarch Bartholomew actually did this, he would receive much-deserved kudos as the man who helped make Orthodox America what it should be. In addition, actions like this would heal the Constantinople-Moscow schism, and lay a ground for regularizing the church situation in Ukraine, and eventually in the rest of the diaspora. May this happen for real. Grant this, O Lord!

    • Amen

      • rj klancko says

        From my perspective,,,such a move by the phanar would be a kiss of death,,,who needs it any way? Who would want it? This is 2021, not 1021,,, we need to live in the present and look to the future,,time for foreign intrigue is past,,,,an american church for americans is what is needed,,,,the tea has already been thrown into the harbor,,,time to recognize reality.

  46. Michael Bauman says


    Due to my experience in dramatic arts (I got all the way up to Rookie Ball in baseball terms), I know about the nature of humor: what it does and how it works. Humor releases us because it creates a cognitive dissonance in such a way that when we realize the dissonance, we laugh, or experience some other form of release, as we understand the essential absurdity.

    Making people laugh is an art form that requires timing, intent and a great sympathy for the human condition OR it can come from a deep cynicism and darkness becoming manipulative. A fine line exists between laughter and doom. Much finer than most people realize**. So, humor can be releasing and restorative or it can create a deeper darkness.

    Unfortunately, satire often comes from a place of darkness. It is a dangerous form of humor especially for Christians when aimed at absurdities in the Christian life. Unlike other forms of humor, satire is destructive in nature; it not only seeks to recognize the absurdity of a thing or a person but seeks to destroy it too. Because of that, it flirts with the darkness at the best of times.

    To be of a good spirit, especially in a Christian context, satire must be finely honed and placed in a context where it is unlikely to be taken seriously as reality. The best examples of literary satire such as “A Modest Proposal” do that. Candide and Gulliver’s Travels also are of that nature and many other such works.

    Personally, I long ago eschewed satire because of its destructive nature and the ease in which it can become only destructive especially when in an ambiguous context or a context of trust. I did not like what it did to my soul even before I was very aware I had one. George’s commentary would have been much better had he labeled it APRIL FOOL.

    **I found this out when I directed Harold Pinter’s play, ‘A Homecoming’. Meant to be a brooding, dark play, I directed it as a comedy because of the insight of my lead actor. His first read of the script made him laugh. So, I altered the timing and intent of the line deliveries and produced laughter instead of brooding thoughts. It was easy to do. The purists were upset though.

    • And yet George’s satire was not destructive,
      as it offered a constructive resolution
      to the problems which caused it’s creation.

      • Gail Sheppard says

        The reality clearly shows a juxtaposition between how it ought to be and what it is. That’s worth something in and of itself. The fact that it made people so jubilant before the letdown at the end is also telling. The end result is that it had an impact.

        • George Michalopulos says

          Thank you, Brendan. Though I am not without cynicism, I am a Christian and want nothing but the best for the Bride of Christ. I mean that. Period. Full stop.

          If I have to poke a little fun, so be it. In one of St Paul’s epistles, he employs sarcasm when he says “…ye are strong, but I am weak; ye are wise, but I am foolish.” He was employing a biting humor to knock the Corinthians off their high horses. (I believe it was the Corinthians.)

          Galina, thank you as well for your perception. Truth be told, I didn’t want a “letdown at the end” but when all is said and done, it’s not me who let the Orthodox people down. (Or you who allowed it to be published.)

          That would be someone else entirely. If nothing else, I think we all see now who that other person is. Especially since the State Dept has ordered the Ukrainian Army to send several tanks to the eastern reaches of the Ukrainian state.

          Will this result in WWIII? It could.

          How will the Phanar then feel about being the puppets who made this happen?

      • Herman the Confessor says

        Exactly. One’s got to be a real Hyperdox Herman/Convertitis-Sufferer to not be able to see the humor in this. Given all that’s going on, Orthodox should be able to take themselves a little less seriously!

      • Michael Bauman says

        Brendan, I was not commenting on the piece itself other than the possibility of labeling it. By the time I saw the piece it had already been outed. I chose not to read it because of my own personal avoidance of such things. As stated, my comment was on the nature and dangers of satire in general. A simple analysis of the craft.

        Anyone who takes it as a direct criticism of George or his piece is wrong.

        • Michael, I never thought you were after George.
          My point is that your dismissal of satire is too broad.
          Every case must be judged on its own merits.
          And satire, like a pungent Laphroaig, is an acquired taste.
          Not everyone has acquired it – but I have! 🙂

          • Michael Bauman says

            Brendan, as I did not write to criticize George, I did not write to dismiss satire. I wrote from a very narrow and personal perspective, i.e. my own rejection of the craft (and it is a craft) because of what I saw it doing to my soul. It was not easy nor instantaneous. I still am tempted by it to some degree.

            It is indeed heady and strong. As I said, it must be approached with discretion and care. In my experience most people tend to imbibe too long and too deeply. At least that was my difficulty.

            My antidote is the contemplation of The Cross and the mercy that is engendered in my heart to be much better for me.

            Please forgive my imprecision and lack of clarity.

          • George Michalopulos says

            OK, Brendan, I must ask: while on High Street in Edinborough, my sons and I went to “The Scotch Experience”, where we got to experience several wee drams of different scotches. Which one of the four regions of Scotland does Laphroaig come from?


            • Four? Four…?
              The Tourist Board needs dissolving. Sack the lot!

              ‘ There are five Scotch Whisky regions – Campbeltown, Highland, Islay, Lowland and Speyside. Each offers a different perspective on Scotch Whisky.

              The most densely populated Whisky region in the world, famous for fertile glens and, of course, the River Spey. Speyside whiskies are known for being frugal with peat and full of fruit. Apple, pear, honey, vanilla and spice all have a part a role in expressions from this region, which are commonly matured in Sherry casks.

              Soft and smooth malts are characteristic of this region, offering a gentle, elegant palate reminiscent of grass, honeysuckle, cream, ginger, toffee, toast and cinnamon. The whiskies are often lighter in character and perfect for pre-dinner drinks.

              This region, which also takes in the islands, has a huge diversity of flavours and characters. From lighter whiskies all the way through salty coastal malts, the Highlands offers a Scotch for all palates.

              Campbeltown whiskies are varied and full of flavour. Hints of salt, smoke, fruit, vanilla and toffee mingle in whiskies of robust and rich character.

              Islay (pronounced ‘eye-luh’) is a magical island where the majority of its population are involved in whisky production. Famous for fiery, heavily peated whiskies. ‘


              Laphroaig is an Islay malt. It is a whisky whose taste is so distinctive
              people either love it or loathe it. No one is indifferent to it.

              • George Michalopulos says

                Thank you, Brendan.

                Duly chastised!

                • Wikipedia: ‘ Campbeltown is one of five areas in Scotland categorised as a distinct malt whisky producing region, and is home to the Campbeltown single malts. At one point it had over 30 distilleries and proclaimed itself “the whisky capital of the world”. However, a focus on quantity rather than quality, and the combination of Prohibition and the Great Depression in the United States, led to most distilleries going out of business. Today only three active distilleries remain in Campbeltown: Glen Scotia, Glengyle, and Springbank.[6][7][8][9]

                  Campbeltown is a “protected locality” for Scotch Whisky distilling under the UK’s Scotch Whisky Regulations 2009 ‘

                  It is also renowned in song:


  47. Well this should be a hoot to read when they get done. Anyone want to take bets/guesses on what they will come up with? I’ll keep cautious optimism until the final document comes out.

    I will give it to them, I do like the below idea, Presvyteras of every jurisdiction deserved to be given credit, there are many that work tirelessly for parishes:

    “And in response to the request of the National Sisterhood of Presvyteras (priests’ wives), the hierarchs resolved that the Sunday closest to the feast of Sts. Marth and Mary be celebrated as a national day of recognition for Presvyteras.”

  48. Sam Young says

    Better autocephaly than hydrocephaly.