Calling Down Blessings on Party of Death

OK, I know I’m gonna get a lot of grief for this one. Too political; too partisan; too pro-Trump; yada, yada, yada.

I get it. God isn’t on the side of any political party. But it is clear that one party at least, is not on the side of God. That is, unless your god believes in infanticide, sodomic nuptials and armed terrorism. It that’s your god, then I guess we can have a conversation. It wouldn’t be the first god in history who asked his adherents to abide by such horrible precepts.

You know: Moloch, Baal, Rahab. Just go get your Gideon’s Bible and read the Book of Joshua. Or Kings. Elijah is a good one for a refresher course.

But, that was then, this is now. Now, we have a real-life political party (one I used to belong to, by the way), that is the oldest and most venerable political party on the planet. Like all parties, it has its good points as well as its bad points. Things like slavery, Jim Crow, undeclared wars. You know the drill. But it had it’s good points as well, particularly being the champion of the working class, among others.

But this latest iteration is a bridge too far. I’m talking abortion-on-demand –now including infanticide. The travesty that is transsexualism, a bogus “medical” condition if there ever was one. And to top it off, open rebellion, and terrorism. The wanton destruction of great American cities which includes arson and Lord knows what else. A happenstance that is going on right now and which no Democrat politician is willing to condemn. Even when it results in the murder of innocent passers-by or random motorists.

And the primate of the GOA, Archbishop Elpidophoros Lambrianides is scheduled to call down God’s blessings on this crew. The real God; not Baal or Moloch or Cybele. The question is why? None of the delegates assembled will listen to a darn word he says, especially if he gets too Jesus-y. (I’m not worried about that so much though.) Wouldn’t such a prayer violate one of the Ten Commandments? You know, the one about “not taking the Lord’s name in vain”? An honest Christian preacher would say “go in peace”. That’s a nice way of saying, “don’t yank my chain and ask me to provide you people some religious cover”.

But no, our beloved Archbishop is being true to Phanariote form. Like most every Greek bishop, he’s always eager to tug the forelock to any office-holder above the rank of dog-catcher. Always looking for the worldly accolades rarely works though. Bishops who do this mistakenly think that this will elevate their standing among their flocks. It doesn’t. Many of them are not held in any respect by us as it is, especially given how quickly they folded to Caesar because of the “deadly” Coronavirus (mortality rate 0.26% in case you were wondering).

The moral authority of many of our bishops is tenuous at best. The local Episcopal Assembly is inconsequential; Orthodoxy in America is barely an afterthought. And the GOA primate appearing tonight at the Democratic National Convention is not going to do anything to reverse this trend, that is unless you think we’re going to get a sudden influx of tens of thousands of semi-theistic gay activists. (That didn’t work out that well for the Piskies, did it?) The reality is that it will drive even more sincere Orthodox Christians out of the Church.

Why? Because nothing screams “meh” more than Orthodox bishops truckling before politicians who don’t give a rat’s ass about the Gospel.

About GShep


  1. Amen.

    • So are these grounds for defrockment?   I bet Franklin Graham would have said no, and we criticize him.  But being a celibate and not a true father, infanticide is of no concern. 

      • You woud assume that the heresy of ecumenism had already done that.
        That’s the story Elpi-are living with the antichrist.

  2. He makes one bad decision after another (though I doubt that he makes most of these decisions on his own). He is like a cartoon. Perhaps he can march with BLM again after he gives his so-called blessing to the people who voted to take God out of their platform in 2012. What a joke. The Republicans would be wise to not invite him to their convention.

    • Yes– if any Republicans who have any form of power and have Pres. Trump’s ear–do not let AB near the Republican convention/….he seems very comfy with them and will never denounce the unprotected in the womb infanticide of the dem Marxist platform….


    Great article, except
    “Bishops who do this mistakenly think that this will elevate their standing among their flocks. ”
    I don’t think they care at all what the laity think. If anything, they do all this nonsense just to prove to us how much we don’t matter.

    • Well, they will care as more and more people leave their parishes and the churches start closing down.   
      Where do they think their salaries come from, pixie dust?

      • AUSTIN MARTIN says

        The same place the Pharisees thought money comes from. The magical money tree of being God’s special city.

  4. Fr. David Hovik says

    An Orthodox Christian does not have to vote for Pres. Trump & V.P. Pence but an Orthodox Christian MUST NOT, under any circumstances, vote for Biden & Harris and the godless Democratic platform. A platform and candidates that support: abortion – up to birth, infanticide, transgenderism, BLM, etc. Hopefully, Bishops and priests will muster the courage to speak up loudly about the Orthodox view of morality and how incompatible it is with the Democratic Platform.  

    • Antiochene Son says

      Thank you Fr. David. My priest always says the same thing before elections. You can vote for whoever your Christian conscience leads you to, but you may not vote for anyone who supports the violation of God’s law. 

    • Jo Biden is forbidden to take communion by his RC Bishop. But this will have no impact on majority of OCA Bishops as in practice they will vote for democrats as  following orders from GOA Archbishop Elpidophoros Lambrianides.  And very few, if any, of the OCA Bishops will speak up loudly against Jo Biden and his anti christian platform. 

    • Joseph Lipper says

      Fr. David Hovik,  is this mandate from your bishop?  Or is this mandate your own?
      “an Orthodox Christian MUST NOT, under any circumstances, vote for Biden & Harris and the godless Democratic platform”

      • Joseph,
        The mandate is from God. 

      • That is my conviction and of almost every priest I know in the Northwest.

        • Joseph Lipper says

          Fr. David Hovik, “almost every priest I know”, then you’re admitting that not every priest you know shares your conviction.

          • Gail Sheppard says

            I think what he meant was that the priests with whom he has had this conversation (for I am sure he knows many with whom he has NOT had this conversation) believe as he does, i.e. that it is incompatible with our Faith to support a platform that embraces abortion, which is now defined as terminating a life up to and including infanticide.

            • Joseph Lipper says

              Gail, what about all the Orthodox Christians who vote in the predominantly Orthodox countries of Russia, Greece, Cyprus, Serbia, Romania, Belarus, and Ukraine.  All those governments have legal abortion.  I don’t think there exists any moral confusion among the Orthodox in those countries about abortion either.  Orthodox people know in those countries that abortion is a sin.

              • Gail Sheppard says

                Yes, Joseph, they all know it is a sin. In THIS country, however, we have the luxury of having a platform that speaks out against abortion. We also have a platform that speaks out for abortion and we get to pick one. I do not want to have to explain to God why I picked the wrong one, especially when the wrong one now endorses infanticide.

                • Joseph Lipper says

                  Gail, the luxury belongs to the politicians, not the voters.  The “Pro Life” lobby is a powerful political machine that gets politicians elected.  Once elected, politicians have the luxury of their office, often with only having to pay lip service to being “Pro Life”.
                  The domestic concerns of the “Pro Life” lobby are so narrowly defined that it has become a caricature, rather than anything that actually is Pro Life.  Instead of focusing on repealing Roe vs Wade, I believe the “Pro Life” movement would do much better by focusing on fighting poverty in America.  Poverty is big reason for women choosing abortion.

                  • Gail Sheppard says

                    If Trump worked to repeal the Hyde Amendment we’d all have “his hide.” Don’t believe everything you are told, Joseph.

                    11.8 percent of our nation lives in poverty, yet 1 in 4 women (25%) have abortions. Poverty is not the most cited reason for having abortion. The most common reason cited for having an abortion is that pregnancy would interfere with education, work or ability to care for dependents.

                    With a change in legislation (overturning Roe vs Wade), I could save over 800,000 children a year. Yet if you, and all your buddies on the Left worked from now until eternity to cure poverty, it would never happen. If you don’t believe me, believe Christ: “The poor will always be with us.” Why? Because of greed.

                    But if I protect the Hyde Amendment with my vote, abortion is less likely to be used as a means of birth control. If I don’t, and my tax dollars become available to Medicaid for abortion, and I would be directly responsible for the loss of countless MORE children.

                    Not seeing the “caricature,” here, Joseph.

                    • Joseph Lipper says

                      Gail, the approach of other Orthodox countries, like Greece and Russia, is to focus on incentivizing women to raise children, rather than on abolishing access to abortion. 
                      It seems to me the trap of the “Pro Life” movement is when it focuses too narrowly on Supreme Court judicial decisions (like repealing Roe vs Wade), when all that time, money, and energy could be better spent at helping women with children.   
                      There’s a caricature I once saw that asked, “Pro Life, or just Pro Birth?”

                    • Gail Sheppard says

                      Again, people adapt.

                    • Joseph Lipper says

                      “I do not believe that just because you are opposed to abortion, that makes you pro-life. In fact, I think in many cases, your morality is deeply lacking if all you want is a child born but not a child fed, a child educated, a child housed. And why would I think that you don’t? Because you don’t want any tax money to go there. That’s not pro-life. That’s pro-birth. We need a much broader conversation on what the morality of pro-life is.”
                      -Sister Joan Chittister

                    • Gail Sheppard says

                      Well, Dear, you’re talking to a woman who bought a house with 3 extra bedrooms 40 years ago just to fill it with kids that were not mine. Over the years, these beds have seen in upwards of 10 people. Even now, I have a 3700 square foot home that is made up with enough capacity to take in a family of 5, and I bought it as a single woman, with the idea that I could open my home, if needed TO ANYBODY, anytime.

                      Since we’re talking about concrete, pro-life behavior, I would love to hear what you have done to demonstrate your commitment to “life” since you thought it wise to admonish me with a Benedictine nun’s lesson in morality.

                      Do you have any idea how long couples wait for a child in this country to adopt? Ever help someone go through this process?

                      If more babies were born, more couples would be able to have the children they long for AND women would miraculously find the wherewithal to be a little more responsible with regard to not getting pregnant in the first place. People are funny that way. They adapt.

                    • Antiochene Son says

                      “focus on incentivizing women to raise children, rather than on abolishing access to abortion”
                      Let’s do both!

                    • Joseph Lipper says

                      “Let’s do both!” 
                      Why not, indeed?  Since the “Pro Life” political movement has the power to elect politicians, why is there not more political impetus among “Pro Lifers” to use tax dollars to help and give incentive for the raising of children in America?  

                    • Gail Sheppard says

                      My point was that it could be done through the reallocation of existing funds if abortion were made illegal.

                    • Joseph Lipper says

                      Gail, the reason I quoted Sister Joan Chittister was not to admonish anyone.  She’s making a point about how the “Pro Life” movement has become a caricature of itself, with a narrow political focus (even obsession) with repealing Roe vs Wade, rather than on also using tax dollars to give incentives for raising children. 

                      I may not agree with her on many things, but I think it’s a fair point she’s making. 

                  • Wow, are you really that naive?? I guess so. First, the sad, tired, totally false narrative, women get abortions because they’re poor. Sigh….
                    Joseph, how many more tens of trillions must be spent? I’d appreciate an answer to that question. Because since LBJ’s (not so) great society, we’ve litterly spent tens of trillions to defeat poverty, and nothing has changed. But I get it, for the left, no matter how many trillions have been spent on any govt program, it’s always just a few more dollars being the answer. again…sigh….

                  • Archpriest Alexander F.C. Webster says

                    Mr. Lipper, that you deem fit on this Orthodox blog to trot out the extremely radical, morally repulsive and heretical opinions of Joan Chittister, a Roman Catholic sister (she is not a cloistered nun), reveals how far your personal position on abortion is from the unanimous moral teaching of the Orthodox Church against abortion as an intrinsic evil from the earliest patristic texts in the 2nd century AD (Didache and Epistle of Barnabass) to the present. 

                    I suggest that you stick to your apologias for the benighted and unenlightened Patriarchate of Constantinople, as futile as those are, and desist from attempting to persuade faithful Orthodox Christians that abortion and government “protection” of that abomination are ever justifiable. Your hollow words are falling on deaf ears here.

                    • Joseph Lipper says

                      Archpriest Alexander F.C. Webster, 
                      You’re side-stepping the point she’s making, and instead it appears you’re engaging in ad-hominem attacks.  Please correct me if I’m wrong, but I believe Sister Joan is against abortion.  She is only questioning why the “Pro Life” movement doesn’t lobby for tax dollars to help mothers raise their children.  That’s the point she’s making. Do you have an answer?

                    • My wife worked at a crisis pregnancy center for ten years.  There is not a single case she encountered wherein  economics, lack of government support, or even the proverbial ‘bad boyfriend’ was the reason given for seeking an abortion.  Interestingly, there was also not a single case wherein the client used birth control, though they were aware that it was readily available, offered free of charge, and they knew how to use it.
                      Far and away the number one reason these women sought abortion was the inconvenience of having a (or another) child.   Or to put it in plain language, they sought it because they knew it was an option available to them.   And they purposely did not avail themselves of any protection because, again, they knew that abortion was an option available to them.
                      Ten years is a long time to get a picture of what most women are really thinking when they seek abortion.  I would advise folks who think like Sister Joan to re-think the notion that more government support is the answer.  Not a single woman in my wife’s experience sought an abortion because they lived in fear that either their or their child’s needs wouldn’t be met if she chose life.

                    • Gail Sheppard says

                      That’s what the statistics say as well. In some cases (maybe many) it’s harder to get money for birth control than it is to get an abortion.

                      And maybe you know about this, Brian, but surgical methods, used to clear the womb appear to significantly increase the risk of a later preterm birth.,Surgical%20methods%20used%20in%20a%20common%20form%20of%20abortion%20or,additional%20risk%20is%20small%20%2D%2D%20.

                  • No, Joseph, most women get abortions because the men in their lives encourage them to. 

                    For a woman to kill her own child is a very unnatural act and requires a lot of self-dissociation (i.e., near psychosis)  to do so.  When Khouriya F M-G was active in the pro-life movement, I remember her statistic that upwards of 85-90% of women said they would keep their babies if the fathers of those babies encouraged them to and supported them. 

                    But no, widespread approval of “casual sex” has resulted in generations of deadbeat, lazy, demonic men who view women as little more than mechanical sex machines.  

                    Men get off the hook *way to easy* on the abortion debate. The fact remains that the vast majority of women getting abortions do so at the encouragement of the baby’s sperm-donor so-called fake “dad” (whereas a true Father would sacrifice himself to save his child – without question).  

                    Most of these women would not abort their children – as it is so unnatural for them – if their loser boyfriends/husbands supported them through the pregnancy. 

                    • Joseph Lipper says

                      Yes mostly it has to do with not having sufficient people support: supportive husbands, families, friends, communities.  Building up supportive communities is essential, and a good way is through prayer and by supporting your church and its outreach to mothers in need. That support can’t be legislated.

                      However, if we are interested in government legislation, then we should recognize that governments can also provide economic incentives to encourage women (and the men in their lives) not to abort their children. It’s far easier to legislate such economic incentives than to change a Supreme Court ruling like Roe vs Wade.

                      Poverty may not be the main reason for abortion, but it is often enough a factor in the decision.

          • Joseph Lipper, Do you agree with the DNC platform? Are you an Orthodox Christian?

            • Joseph Lipper says

              David P., as I have expressed before on this blog, I have not been a registered voter for over 25 years, and I don’t plan on voting in this election either.  Some people may have a problem with that, but I will point out that many people on this blog apparently have a big problem with any Orthodox Christian voting Democrat, as Fr. David Hovik has demonstrated for us. 
              In my opinion, it’s perfectly acceptable for Orthodox Christians to vote either Democrat or Republican.  I believe the central idea behind this blog heading, that the Democrat party is “The Party of Death”, may contain some truth but not the whole truth.  I’m certainly not convinced that the Republican party is not a “Party of Death” also.  Truth is always the first casualty of war, and there is a war.
              As for whether or not I am Orthodox, I will just say that my bishop is in full communion with both Patriarch Bartholomew and Patriarch Kyrill.  How about you?

              • “In my opinion, it’s perfectly acceptable for Orthodox Christians to vote either Democrat or Republican.”

                In my opinion, it is time to excommunicate anyone who won’t spit at Satan and his Democratic party.  They terrorize and murder people straight out of Nazi Germany, the USSR, Mao’s China, or Cambodia. 

      • It’s actually just common sense. But thanks for asking. 

    • Fr David….you had me at hello. Seriously, I’ve become so very discouraged lately by the actions of our Bishops and Priests, so reading your comments here was a total breath of fresh air! Thank you, thank you, thank you Father!!

    • Fr. David, in an election (fantasy) pitting Nero vs Diocletian, who would you “vote” for?  There is exactly zero difference between the candidates on any imaginable level a Christian cares about.  An apostate  Catholic vs a guy who wouldn’t know a church from a hole in the ground.  Multiple adulteries, multiple marriages.  I have no vote in this election.  It is monster A vs monster B.  Everything one hates about Biden is *already being done* by Trump!  Has there been one less abortion, one less instance of indoctrination on college campuses?  Is there one less “gender neutral” public restroom?  No, more of all.  And some Orthodox person thinks one is better than the other?  Forget it.  Sit it out.  I’d feel I had to go to confession no matter who I vote for.  Convince me otherwise.  You know perfectly well you wouldn’t want anyone in your family within a mile of either man.  

  5. In my King James Version of Joshua,
    Rachab (Rahab) was the harlot of Jericho,
    the one who saved Joshua’s spies.

  6. Antiochene Son says

    May God’s blessings rain down like fire and burn up whatever dross it finds. 

  7. V. Rev. A. James Bernstein says

    Amen.  Indeed George. The problem with the benediction is precisely that: it serves to provide the convention with a religious cover. With a semblance of civility and traditional Christian decency. What kind of blessing is this benediction?  In the past this has been done at both Democrat and Republican National Conventions. This is nothing new. Granted both parties have issues. But this time  in my opinion, it is different. The platform of the Democratic party has gone beyond the pale of moral decency and has degenerated into a party that espouses extreme decadence and anti-Christian bias at every level. At what point does a party become so decadent that it becomes onerous to call God’s blessing upon it? Can the primarily  left wing enabled aborting of 62 million unborn babies in the U.S. since 1973 be blessed by God? Should his eminence ignore it? As if it has never happened? Is the human holocaust any less real because it is invisible? Can the espousing of an endless perverse multiplicity of gender identifications LGBTQ  be blessed by God? Or ignored as if sexual confusion is not destroying our culture and youth? Is it not encouraged and abetted by the left wing. So that even calling moral deviancy a sin – may be considered a “hate crime?”And potentially subject us as Christians to fines and imprisonment?  Can the moral filth pored forth from Hollywood and the entertainment industry with partnership, encouragement and funding of the left wing be blessed? Can God bless this? Or can it be ignored as if it is not corroding our very moral fabric? The explosion of pornography is in part related to gender confusion and the encouraging of “sexual exploration” which also is rooted in left wing ideology. Drug abuse. Does not a permissive humanist focused culture enhance this? Does an increasingly hostile anti-Christian education system imposed upon us by progressives – that has gutted schools of any religious content and traditional Judeo- Christian morality be blessed? Can  a left wing culture that morphs “being mean spirited” into being “hateful” into being “prejudiced racist” into being a “white supremacist” be blessed by God? Or ignored? Can lawlessness be blessed? Can the defunding of the police that poorer black communities desperately want strengthened not weakened be blessed? Can anarchy be blessed? Can a godless anti-Christian revolution be blessed? Have we not seen this before in pre-revolutionary Russia? Would ancient hierarchs assent to giving a benediction calling down God’s blessing on a Pagan Roman convocation out of respect for Caesar? Sorry, but in terms of platform, I don’t see this Democratic party as any less pagan than the pagans of old. I do not see this as a Christian witness at all. Unless his eminence surprises us all, which is possible though unlikely, I see this as a witness to timidity and a denial of the spiritual fortitude of our spiritual forefathers. Some say that we are making a big deal out of nothing. In my opinion this indifference reveals a distorted view of the calling of a hierarch – to preach repentance and to speak truth to power as did the prophets of old and St John Chrysostom, St Athanasius, St Nicholas and many others. Who were often exiled for their godly boldness. So some ask. Is the Republican party any better? I personally would say absolutely yes. Though it too has a certain religious veneer. And hypocrisy can be easily found. It’s official positions as expressed in its platform is largely Christian friendly. And supportive of Judeo-Christian ideology and morality. It is not blatantly anti-Christian. Regardless, let us as much as possible rise above politics and remember that the Kingdom of God is neither Republican or Democrat and that our mission is above all to love, Democrates and Republicans alike, even those who we perceive to be our enemies. Maranatha, Come Lord Jesus.

    • Axios Father and thank you!!!

    • Wayne M Syvinski says

      Let’s have a look at the Third Commandment (Second depending on the version you are reading).  It is usually stated as “You shall not take the Name of the Lord in vain.”  However, the Hebrew verb translated as “take” can also mean “carry”, and the nou translated as “in vain” can also mean “emptiness” or “lying”.
      So, a legitimate reading of the Commandment is “You shall not carry the Name of the Lord your God for emptiness or lying.”
      Can you say “chillul haShem”?  I knew you could….

    • Joseph Lipper says

      It’s stunning that Archbishop Elpidophoros was chosen to give the closing benediction tonight at the Democratic Convention.  I would have expected maybe the “Rev” Al Sharpton, but no, instead an Orthodox bishop with a funny Turkish accent.   How did that happen?  His prayer for soberness of mind was quite fitting.  
      Whether we vote Democrat, Republican, or perhaps choose not to vote, our duty as Orthodox Christians is to pray daily for our government authorities regardless. As St. Paul tells us, they are “the minister of God for thee for good”.   Archbishop Elpidophoros no doubt understands the paradox of this, as he formerly prayed for Erdogan as his president in Turkey.

      I have no idea if Archbishop Elpidophoros will be invited to pray at the Republican Convention next week.  He was invited to the White House last month, and he met with both President Trump and Vice President Mike Pence in the Oval Office:


      • Gail Sheppard says

        He wasn’t really “chosen.” The role he occupies as head of the GOA was chosen a long time ago. Greek archbishops have attended many political and inaugural events (prayer services) over the years for multiple presidents like Barack Obama, Dwight D. Eisenhower, John F. Kennedy, Lyndon B. Johnson, & Richard Nixon (twice), George H. W. Bush, & George W. Bush.

        That he met with Trump is not all that surprising. Metropolitan Philip had an audience with Eisenhower, Johnson, Ford, Carter and Reagan before he passed.

        What IS SURPRISING, however, is that Elpi met with Vice President Mike Pompeo in the Oval Office. Now THAT is something!
        (Teasing you, my friend.)

      • I expect Al Sharpton is on standby for the Inauguration…

      • Joseph,
        “Whether we vote Democrat, Republican, or perhaps choose not to vote, our duty as Orthodox Christians is to pray daily for our government authorities regardless.”
        Is the Democratic Convention the government authorities????

        • George Michalopulos says

          Ioannis, at what point does a political party cross where even the meanest Christian clergyman (or even a layman) say ENOUGH! Would Elpi have gone to give the invocation if the DNC had as part of its platform the call for the (say) removal of the Ecumenical Patriarchate from Istanbul? Would that be the Rubicon for the GOA? But infanticide is OK? Or government school curricula that indoctrinate kindergartners about the joys of masturbation or anal sex?

          • Exactly, George.
            It seems Elpi’s criterion for support is 
            -investment in power sharing
            -own glory.

    • Thank you so very much for sharing your comments Father James!!

    • Thank you Rev. Bernstein for your boldness to speak the truth; and for your conclusion that Love is our highest calling. 


    And really, it wouldn’t be a problem for him to pray at this if he said something like, “Grant us wisdom, humility and self control so that we can do your will.” But he will do the “O Heavenly King” bit, say some stuff about racial justice and healing, and not once use the word “Jesus”.

  9. rj klancko says

    So is he setting a good example as a believing Christian,,,,if not then make him a layman immediately,,,,if not, then we are stuck with him,,,,either way there is a loss,,,,and who will advocate for the babies, one of which may have been the future archbishop,,,,is this what God wants?

  10. Today, “One Can Not be Orthodox and Democrat at the same time.”

  11. Michael Bauman says

    Of course he could have called down fire from heaven upon he unbelievers, the heretics and haters of God. That would have been fun.

  12. Sigh. Still, after so many decades, the GOAA continues to vainly search for affirmation and validation from secular America, which it never really gets and which never fills the empty hole in that jurisdiction’s heart. I can understand how an immigrant group might want to always look for approval from the society at large. But it’s now been nearly 100 years since the GOAA was founded.

    The GOAA’s continual search for affirmation from secular America is now very much in the realm of unstable mental illness.

    I suppose such is what happens when Orthodoxy in America degenerates into multiple chaplaincies serving various different ethnic communities, rather than embodying St Tikhon’s vision of Christ-centered unity in diversity (of ethnicities) with the aim of evangelizing the continent.

    From here on out, may we only pursue St Tikhon’s vision, and may the former go deep into the dustbin of history!

    As far as “prayers” at this silly convention, the best quote I read was from an analyst who characterized the Episcopal “priest” (or maybe it was a “priestess”?) who gave the closing “prayer” at the pseudo-telethon-like convention last night:

    “An Episcopal priest is giving the closing prayer. Because, if you have to pretend to believe in God, Episcopalians are always there for you.”

    • Thank you for the laugh at the end, FTS.  Much needed.  (I was once an Episcopalian too).  

    • Metropolitan Joseph said that jurisdictional unity will never happen in America because of the Greeks, it’s sad, but, for the most part true. The other sad thing is that pretty much all of the GORCH clergy and monastics I have known have been amazing and some of the best clergy I have ever met…but, they are shadowed over by a hierarchy that appears to not care about Orthodoxy in general, and the clergy in particular (see the pension fiasco). The more Patriarch Bartholomew, Archbishop Elpidophors, and generally that whole patriarchate do, will just push people further from their pew and (HOPEFULLY) into a different Orthodox jurisdiction 

      • Gail Sheppard says

        Unity in America may have to happen without the Greeks and the Greeks may have to learn to be happy without the monasteries. I have it on good authority they are looking into an exit plan.

        Elpi doesn’t have control over the monasteries, he doesn’t have the money to complete St. Nicholas, he doesn’t have the confidence of the clergy over the pension plan mess, he doesn’t know America well enough to stay clear of the BLM, the elites, the DNC, or any number of other groups who will tank his credibility, and the GOA is having to sell off its body parts (churches) just to survive. If they have to sell Holy Cross it may be just too much for the Greeks to swallow. I imagine Elpi and Bartholomew are going to have a lot to talk when they meet.

        Your observation about the Greek priests (for the most part) and the monastics is spot on. Wish we could keep them and send their leaders home.

        The the remaining jurisdictions, Antioch, Serbia, ROCOR, Bulgaria, Albania, and especially Georgia, etc., coupled with the Ephraim monasteries, could easily come together. They have more in common than not. It might be best to unify with those that can come together now and let the Greeks go home and sulk. The OCA would be stupid to follow the GOA, but if they do, they do.

        • George Michalopulos says

          Your words sting, my Dear, but unfortunately they do so because (from the looks of things), they are true. 
          As a proud Hellene myself, I despair at how far we have fallen and degenerated into an ethnic ghetto with only a veneer of Christian gloss. 

        • The Orthodox hierarchy in this country (or any other country) should be staying out of politics. They have no business whatsoever of speaking at or giving ‘benedictions’ at political rallies or conventions. In reality they should be tending to their clergy and flocks. A short story regarding St. Nicholas of Athens; when asked in a coffee shop by some parishioners about the politics of the day, about who was right and who was wrong, he simply replied, “And, who is prime minister these days?” I wish that our hierarchs could be like the saintly Nicholas of Athens!

          • MomofToddler says

            I agree with you somewhat, but I think the Orthodox should be more vocal about pro-life issues.  We shouldn’t remain so silent about abortion, etc.  Not sure if that is a political issue or spiritual issue to most people though.  

            • Joseph Lipper says

              Yes.  Orthodox Christians ought not be silent anymore about the evil and wicked lie of the so-called “Pro Life” movement .  It has served primarily as an endless tool of political engagement that has not made abortion illegal, but rather has enabled all matter of political causes, including the murdering of mothers and their children in the Middle East.   For example, it’s the unending political tool that has enabled the so-called “Christian Right” and its twisted ideology of “Christian Zionism” and genocide.  Benjamin Netanyahu must thank the devil every day for the so-called “Pro Life” movement, all while the State of Israel is one of the most pro-abortion countries on Earth.
              Yet perhaps the more disconcerting aspect of the so-called “Pro Life” movement is that while it has not made abortion illegal, it has nonetheless successfully brought our country to the brink of civil war.  Just like “Black Lives Matter”, the evil wicked lie of “Unborn Lives Matter” is that it ultimately leads to “No Lives Matter”.

              • George Michalopulos says

                Joseph, while I have my problems with Netanyahu, to say that Israel is one of the “most pro-abortion countries” is simply not true. While abortion is legal in Israel, it has many restrictions on its application. We here in America, thanks to the pro-abortion lobby, have none.

                I just wanted to set the record straight.

                • Joseph Lipper says

                  George, I was personally astounded by the information from the link I posted, which I believe is true:

                  “Each woman in the Israeli military, the Israel Defense Forces, is given at least one ‘free’ abortion if she wants one. ‘Free’ for the woman, but not for the tax-payer.

                  “Furthermore, while all Israeli women who want a ‘free,’ publicly funded abortion must go before a government panel before having an abortion, the Israeli newspaper Times of Israel reports 98 percent of abortions are approved.

                  “In 2012, Israel legally performed 20,063 ‘free’ abortions — approximately 10% of all known pregnancies in Israel — at the expense of tax-payers. These numbers do not include non-recorded abortions performed in private offices without government funding.”
                  That is a stunning statistic. Approximately ten percent of pregnancies ending in abortion, and paid for by the Israeli government. Now I realize that abortion rates are higher in the U.S., possibly even as high as 20%, yet still I don’t think the State of Israel should be given credit for having a more restrictive abortion policy. It’s pretty bad there too.

                  • Gail Sheppard says

                    You know who else gets a free abortion? The winner of this raffle:

                    • Joseph Lipper says

                      Meanwhile, abortion remains illegal in Palestine.  Yet thanks to the “Pro Life” politicians in America, anti-abortion Palestine continues to shrink, and the State of Israel, with its access to free abortions, continues to grow.

                    • Gail Sheppard says

                      Palestine is in Israel. So when women in the West Bank decide to undergo the procedure, guess where they end up?

                      You can back off now, Joseph. American politicians are not the reason the Palestinians leaders, from Yasser Arafat and on, have rejected every single peace treaty that has come their way which would have given them so much more than the “shrinking to nothing” thing they have going on now. Even today, the Palestinians have dismissed a current plan, without having seen it, because the Trump administration is pro-Israel!

                      They don’t want peace, Joseph! They want everything the U.N. partitioned between themselves and Israel in 1948, but MOST OF ALL, they want to keep fighting Israel.

                      “The ‘right of return’ of people whose ancestors lived in what is now Israel, even if only for a few months, before 1948, is a code for turning Israel into a Muslim-majority state (immediately to be followed by massacre or throwing out of the Jewish Israelis). Gee, if such a “right of return” applied to any other nation, my kids would have the “right of return” to Poland, Russia, the U.S. and Egypt (any and all of them) because they have a parent or grandparent or great-grandparent from each. Hey, their great-grandfather was an Egyptian Jew – why doesn’t Egypt think this gives them the automatic right of citizenship and “return” to Egypt??? . . .

                      So the *leadership* isn’t ‘angry’ at Israel, they’re merely stirring up anger, both among the Palestinian population and the outside world, as a tactic to reach their goal of the destruction of the State of Israel. The Palestinian population on the other hand is angry – their leaders consciously foster anger by: teaching kids from kindergarten up that the Jews ‘stole their land, that the Jews are monsters who have to be killed, and that they must never accept anything less than the ‘right of return’. . . To shape young Palestinians, Hamas [their aggressor/protector] created its own textbooks. Inventing and propagating false propaganda and outright lies, such as Jews: have no historic claim in this region, never really lived here; have no historic claim to Jerusalem; intend to take over/destroy/’invade’ the Al Aqsa mosque; are dangerously undermining that mosque and the Dome of the Rock with archaeological excavations (actually it’s the Waqf, the Muslim authority in charge of both, that’s doing that in an attempt to destroy the evidence for the Jewish temple that they were built on top of) – etc. etc.

                      In the same vein, Hamas and the Palestinian Authority stage fake funerals (I have myself seen videos of a ‘martyr’s’ funeral where the corpse got up and ran when the procession was buzzed by an Israeli plane); take pictures from elsewhere (e.g. Syria) and claim they’re Palestinians killed by Israel, etc. etc.” Judy Koren

                      These antics have so greatly soured us in the West (and in the Church). They won’t help themselves so why should we help them? There is nothing in me that can relate to want fighting over peace. And if I wanted you to go on a fool’s errand with me, I certainly wouldn’t drag you along, kicking and screaming, or get mad if you said, “Hey, I’m out, but best of luck.”

                      Don’t cry for me Argentina” about the Palestinians, Joseph.

              • Yes, God forbid that people oppose the murder of babies.
                It wasn’t the pro-life movement that launched the wars in the Middle East, it was the Neocons. Now, it’s the ‘pro-choice’ Democrats who want to continue the forever war.

              • Joseph: ‘…the evil and wicked lie of the so-called “Pro Life” movement”.’
                Joseph: ‘…the evil wicked lie of “Unborn Lives Matter”.’

                Moi: …???

              • “However, if it is the will of God that Constantinople be restored back to Greece, then perhaps Orthodox Christians in America will finally understand the true meaning of the Mother Church, will repent and finally unite. The Greek Archdiocese and the Mother Church is ultimately the key to unity in America…”
                “Yes.  Orthodox Christians ought not be silent anymore about the evil and wicked lie of the so-called “Pro Life” movement.”
                Meanwhile, the abortion rate in Greece, the rightful home of the ‘Mother Church.’  and standard-bearer of Hellenic Orthodox culture is the highest in Europe.  Not to mention the medals bestowed upon openly pro-abortion politicians. There is a rather glaring dissonance in reasoning here that simply cannot be overlooked. 
                “Little children, let no one deceive you. He who practices righteousness is righteous, just as He is righteous.”

              • Dear Joseph,

                As a long-time pro-lifer at a Catholic medical school where I became Catholic, in 20 years of Roman Catholicism and then as an Orthodox Christian I invite you to participate personally in pro-life to learn what actually occurs. The person to person effort of one icon of Christ to help another whether in a medical office, in a pregnancy center, in a parish drawing near to a young woman in need, or in front of an abortion clinic is such a beautiful and life-affirming experience, conducted in a most loving and caring way whether the person goes for an abortion “anyway” (because on the way out there is the loving opportunity for Project Rachel, a recovery from abortion free help). And of course every effort is made to help each individual person (mother and any with her) to choose life AND to be helped with all the problems which stressed her into considering abortion to begin with, help lasting for many years sometimes.  And as a psychiatrist to see the beauty of the difficult choice to give away a child in adoption rather than to abort and to see that play out over years for good in the life of the sacrificial mothers who longed to keep their child but gave them up for the good of the child, etc.  Conversely to see the great damage done when abortion was carried out and especially when abortion was then never seen as a problem or repented of.  As a Christian, you will be pleased by the loving interactions which take place and which are desperately needed by those frightened or hardened by life young or old women entering for the most destructive experience of their spiritual and psychological lives. Your help is needed Joseph.

                You know the power of the evil one to twist individual or organizational minds.  Are you surprised that someone might misuse anything sacred?  Judas was at the Last Supper and had experienced everything with Christ except the Transfiguration.  So the argument that the pro-life movement has been misused is just the state of our human condition.  That has nothing to do with the actions of pro-lifers and the ones I know operate throughout life to ensure all icons of Christ have the chance to live a natural life undistorted by the kinds of sinful action you are astoundingly  somehow attributing to pro-life itself!  Do see the 2019 film “Unplanned” about Abby Johnson (formerly pro-abortion and a worker at Planned Parenthood) and note how loving the sidewalk folks are to the abortion workers themselves as well as helpful to the mothers under extreme stress from others including the deceptive Planned Parenthood workers.  

                You seem very unfamiliar Joseph.  Why not go help out at a Zoe for Life or pregnancy center?  When I was praying on the sidewalk, a most beautiful experience was to see the male sidewalk counselors out conveying love in smiles and kind counsel to very frightened women going in for a late-term abortion. Or praying for them respectfully. Either a great contrast to what these young women were often experiencing about their pregnancy from fathers or boyfriends. Many of these young women had no love from fathers, abuse and pressure from user boyfriends, so to see a man caring about them with a loving and respectful prayer presence and smile makes such a difference.  And the beauty of those young women being helped to make a different decision and visits and the thanks afterwards.  I believe you would like to be part of that, as a devout Orthodox man especially. Not a “movement“ just as Orthodoxy is not an “ism”. Instead, Like Orthodox Christianity, a person to person private and Grace-filled encounter leading to good immediately or sometimes later as Christ Himself encouraged us to do in loving our neighbor. Is there any other quality of experience more meaningful? Truly a most blessed sharing of burdens and expression of love for other icons of Christ. Please participate physically and personally with your whole heart and spirit just as you undoubtedly do in Church.

                • Johann Sebastian says

                  Joseph is throwing the baby out with the bathwater. Christian Zionism is indeed a scourge. How he conflates it with the antiabortion movement requires some serious mental gymnastics.
                  Social positions needn’t be a product of political alignment, and political positions can be selected à la carte. It’s not a happy meal (well, maybe it is), and it’s certainly not religion.

                  • Joseph Lipper says

                    Johann Sebastian, what are the “Pro Life” politicians doing that get elected?  Yes, they’re doing stuff, stuff like their so-called “peace” projects in the State of Israel, Iraq, Syria, and Ukraine.  Yet even though we had a Republican president and Republican-controlled Congress, abortion is still legal. It’s bait and switch.

                    • Gail Sheppard says

                      The Dems will try to repeal the Hyde Amendment. If they are successful, federal funds would be made available for abortions for approximately 74 million Medicaid recipients. It would also free up federal funding for covering abortion in various health programs. A Republican-controlled Congress would keep that from happening.

                    • Joseph, forgive me, it’s a spiritual struggle played out in elections which are most important.  I lost my pro-life Congressman to a former athlete and Obama guy who now votes for infanticide.  Why is Roe v Wade still legal?  Because of legislation And appointments to Courts all of which depends on who is elected and the appointees not going rogue (I was Catholic when John Roberts was appointed, sigh).  I daily get reports from pro-life sources and government agencies about what Trump and his agencies and appointees have done.  And thanks to their generous spirit. I still go to the Catholic Physicians Group (No such Orthodox counterpart)  and hear how his appointees serve our Orthodox causes.  Example:  the Office of Civil Rights and Civil Liberties under Trump appointee (and devout Roman Catholic) is single-handedly supporting religious liberty because certain employee rights are only actionable IF  office will take the case AND guess what happened during the Obama administration?  ZIP.  While now?  LOTS.  Trump & company are always trying to defund Planned Parenthood, etc.  IF one only reads the NYT and WaPo, one would never know.  The Texas AG is always filing amicus briefs to protect religious liberty, rights of parents, etc.  Everything you are for.  But guess who has targeted  and made massive inroads in Texas?  The Democratic demolition team.  Cynicism is absolutely unwarranted here and will keep people from voting for those who are trying to forestall (if not reverse) the nihilist Democratic momentum.  Please don’t add to it, especially when that serves the purposes of those you spiritually oppose I believe.  Please read more widely and deeply and be enlightened and encouraged, at least by the pro-Orthodox actions of this administration.  The platforms this year are diametrically opposed and every vote counts. 

                • Joseph Lipper says

                  Nicole, thank you.  Yours is a beautiful comment, and I believe that you, and the organizations you mention, are expressing a true Christian pro-life response to the problem of abortion.  I believe most abortions are due to women living in poverty and/or without the loving support of a husband, family, or community. 

                  While poverty can be addressed by government laws (and often is by the Democrat party), our government can’t provide the loving support of a husband, family, or community.  The law of Christian love is the most important thing here. Anything that can be done to help these women in their dire circumstances is vitally important.  Thank you for mentioning the “Zoe for Life” organization, which by the way is endorsed by the Assembly of Canonical Orthodox Bishops.  

                  • You are very kind, Joseph.  You are right about the government! And of course if each of us as Christians lived as St. John Chrysostom counsels in “On Living in Simplicity” and shared accordingly from our purse and our time, we could individually give the loving support to that very person In need as well.  I can’t tell you how often in my office I hear about the impact of the kindness of one person on those who are distressed.  Over and over in my office patients  tell me who (usually outside family) has made the difference for them — stopped them from an abortion or murder or suicide or doing something destructive or simply lightened a heart to see an entirely new way of being, not alone but supported, with a brighter future.  Sometimes all a person needs is one other person who does not have to come from the traditional sources which as you point out are diminishing.  And interestingly most often in my expeience they do not tell that person immediately if ever, but treasure the moment and in times of despair remember and hope anew.  Since you might not have heard, just wanted  to tell you that I bet you have been that person far more than you know.  One dear priest always says that all we take with us is the love we shared.  And that seems to get passed along and multiplied by the Grace of God from what I can see.  .

              • “Yet perhaps the more disconcerting aspect of the so-called ‘Pro Life’ movement is that while it has not made abortion illegal, it has nonetheless successfully brought our country to the brink of civil war. Just like ‘Black Lives Matter’, the evil wicked lie of ‘Unborn Lives Matter’ is that it ultimately leads to ‘No Lives Matter’.”

                Don’t know why you’re singling out the Pro-Life movement and equating it with the Marxist Black Supremacist domestic terrorists.  Anything less than full capitulation to the Left on every issue would bring us to the brink of civil war.  No, I take that back, because the Left would just create new and more outrageous demands, and make everyone repeat and pretend to believe things like 2 plus 2 = 5 (which is really becoming a thing already).  As far as Pro-Life movement not having made baby murder illegal, at least they’ve mostly prevented Democrats from fully advancing to “post-birth” abortions, in most states anyway.  Without the Right, the Left might already be murdering children years after being born, if the mother decided she regretted them being born. 



                • “Just like ‘Black Lives Matter’, the evil wicked lie of ‘Unborn Lives Matter’ is that it ultimately leads to ‘No Lives Matter’.”
                   Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it. – John 8:44

            • I agree. Speak at pro-life rallies, as some Orthodox hierarchs and clergy have in the past. No issues there. But speaking at political rallies and conventions, plus giving wishy washy ecumenical prayers?! No way, no how.

              • And pray before Abortion Centers During Abortion hours?  Lead Orthodox in the Jesus Prayer and the Akathist for those in repentance for Abortion and pray on behalf of the poor women Entering And the deluded workers within?   Any priest is very effective in prompting turn arounds ( think agains, changes of heart) in my experience.   Be there, be present at the cross for the babies and for the souls of the mothers going in.  Not just for annual photo ops please. 

            • Amen! Like you M of T, I generally agree with what Alex said, with one caveat: The wholesale slaughter of the unborn and the sanctity of marriage are NOT political issues. They are issue of life that The Church has been crystal clear on for 2K years. It’s pathetic that our Clergy, collectively, refuse to speak to these issues on the grounds that, “they want to avoid politics.” Thanks be to God for the Clergy who have spoken up in this thread. 

          • Antiochene Son says

            No, the Church should be involved in politics, but as the conscience and guiding light, not as a follower and supplicant.

            And the faithful do need to be educated about how to navigate politics as Orthodox Christians. At every election, my priest reminds the faithful that we cannot support sinful political platforms, either by advocacy or by voting for them.
            If our hierarchs and clergy won’t lead and call our politics to account, then you’re right. “Better to be silent and thought a fool than to speak and remove all doubt.”

        • Good points! What do you mean about the monasteries having an exit plan? On the one hand I would be happy about this, but, on the other hand I feel like the GOA monasteries are the only thing keeping GOARCH spiritually afloat 

          • Gail Sheppard says

            I knew you were going to ask me that and I wish I could tell you. The monasteries are the backbone of Orthodoxy.

            • Yes when the final straw is broken they will go with ROCOR. That is what my inside source  tells me, as well.

      • Well why doesn’t he bite the bullet and make it happen,,get all the others together,,,,I was told it almost happened between the antiochians and the oca, but then the joe Allen schandle scuffled it when st vlads fired him,,,,,,but that is in the past,,,Joseph can turn a lack luster career around by starting the unity movement going

        • I would love if Met. Jospeh would do that

        • Rjklancko, regarding the potential merging of the OCA and AOCA, you’re referring to the old Clergy-Laity Bilateral Commission on Canonical Unity that was up and running quite well in the 1980s and early 90s. Then suddenly, and quite mysteriously just disappeared. Was it because of the Fr. Joseph Allen incident? I don’t know? Was it because of the egos of the hierarchs on both sides? Again, I don’t know. I do know this tough, what a tragedy that this wonderful canonical unification never happened!

      • Joseph Lipper says

        Archbishop Elpidophoros would of course welcome administrative unity in America with open arms, but right now nobody wants to merge with the Greek Archdiocese.  Does Russia want administrative unity in America?  No (because otherwise ROCOR wouldn’t exist.)  Does Antioch want administrative unity in America?  No.  Serbia?  No.

        However, if it is the will of God that Constantinople be restored back to Greece, then perhaps Orthodox Christians in America will finally understand the true meaning of the Mother Church, will repent and finally unite. The Greek Archdiocese and the Mother Church is ultimately the key to unity in America, but for now it is a stumbling block.

        • Gail Sheppard says

          I don’t think what you’re saying is necessarily accurate, Joseph, as the opportunity to unite, without being under Bartholomew, has not presented itself.

          • Joseph Lipper says

            When Christ was crucified, His disciples denied Him and fled.  They couldn’t deal with the shame of Christ’s crucifixion.  They wanted instead a powerful messiah who would destroy the cross and defeat the Roman Empire. They wanted Christianity without the cross.
            Well, today few want to bear the shame of the Ecumenical Patriarch’s slow-motion crucifixion.  As such, it’s absolutely unthinkable for most to unite under the EP.  His powerlessness in the face of Islam is an offensive stumbling block for many.  Yet it can only be by God’s providence.  As Christ reigns in power through His crucifixion and resurrection, so it is also with the Church.  In God’s time this will all be cleared up.

            • It’s nothing to do with his ‘powerlessness,’ it’s because he is a Judas.

              • Joseph Lipper says

                Judas left to betray Christ and the other disciples at the Last Supper.
                Who among the churches have broken communion?

                • Who ‘expelled’ Metropolitan Onuphry and the UOC?

                  • Joseph Lipper says

                    Nobody.  They’re all still in Ukraine and most welcome to join the autocephalous Church in Ukraine. They are not even denied communion, and Metropolitan Onuphrey is still recognized as an Orthodox bishop. There is even a willingness to recognize a separate Russian Orthodox jurisdiction in Ukraine.

                    Metropolitan Onuphrey is, after all, the second highest member of the Moscow Patriarchate’s Holy Synod.

                    • Gail Sheppard says

                      And Metropolitan Onufry’s title is Metropolitan of Kiev and All Ukraine, who, of course, is recognized by the canonical Church.

                      A bishop from another territory came into into Ukraine and without permission, installed a new Metropolitan of Kiev and All Ukraine, whose intent was/is to exercised violence against the canonical Church and steal from them.

                      The meddling bishop was less than successful, however, as even the bishops beholden to him only begrudgingly accept the status quo, as they did not support his decision in the first place and told him so.

                      We are now in a schism where the bishops can’t meet.

                      Rather than repent and return to his brother bishops, the meddling bishop considers himself free to meddle again and various factions are talking about how to get out from under him completely.

                    • Yes, Joesph, Gail is most correct. The saintly Metropolitan Onufry is still the rightful and canonical Metropolitan of Kiev and All-Ukraine. The ‘bishops’ that Bartholomew ‘installed’ there are all deposed clergyman, schismatics, and self-ordained layman. To deny that fact—is to deny reality. And, how can Bartholomew look at himself in the mirror anymore knowing that there are church seizures and persecution going on in Ukraine against the canonical clergy and faithful?!

                    • George Michalopulos says

                      How indeed?

                    • Joseph, if you refuse to acknowledge the truth of what went down in Ukraine, the physical assaults, confiscation of property, destruction of property, all at the hands of the fake “Church” in Ukraine (presumably with the full backing of elpi), then you truly are clueless. 

        • Antiochene Son says

          Jerusalem is the Mother Church.

          • Joseph Lipper says

            So maybe Jerusalem will host another “fraternal gathering” attended by a few Primates and denounced by the rest?

            • Antiochene Son says

              I hope so, after the model of Saint James the brother of the Lord and bishop of Jerusalem, the mother of all the churches, according to Orthodox dogma. 

            • There was a Church in Jerusalem before there was a Church in Constantinople. Indeed, there was a Church in Jerusalem before there was a Constantinople.

              And the EP’s Great and Holy Council didn’t work out too well, did it?

            • i will have confidence in jerusalem when their hierarchy reflects the lay membership i.e. arab bishops leading arab laity ,,, the greek click is a travesty.  a major issue as to why the melkite eastern rite church was formed in syria

              • Antiochene Son says

                Yes, this is true. The refusal to deal pastorally with their Arab flock has caused a number of them to leave the Church, which is horrible. 

              • rjklancko, I think it’s more complicated than that. The Melkite Church was a result of western theological influence into the Patriarch of Antioch going back to the early Crusades. Over the years there was infiltration from Jesuits, Capuchins, and Carmelites who spread western theology into the Church of Antioch. Eventually, a very pro-Catholic party was formed that separated itself from Orthodox Antioch over a disputed Patriarchal election in 1724. The Greek vs. Arab factor surely didn’t help much either. In fact, it was like squirting more lighter fluid onto a grill to help the fire spread faster.

        • Michael Bauman says

          The Greeks made their stance clear long ago when the EP vetoed the Agreements at Ligonier and sent his Grace Iakovos of blessed memory into retirement.  
          Bishop Joseph of Bulgaria has said there will not be unity now until all the participants at Ligonier have died. Bishop Basil of Wichita was the youngest. 
          To say that the GOA want and would welcome unity is delusional.  They have long been biggest block to unity (not the only).  Their hierarchs and their politics continue to poison the well with delusions of grandeur. Prelest I am afraid.
          Lord forgive us.  

        • Joseph,___”if it is the will of God that Constantinople be restored back to Greece, then perhaps Orthodox Christians in America will finally understand the true meaning of the Mother Church, will repent and finally unite.”

          What makes you say that big if ?

          The Greeks have allready left God in 1453, ie when they fell to the Turks.
          What makes you think that they have now come back to God and therefore deserve to have Constantinople back?

          • Joseph Lipper says

            Ioannis, it’s not about the Greeks deserving anything.  What does anyone deserve in our carnal bodies but death?  Yet God in His mercy preserves us according to His will. 
            Although it appears likely that the world is currently headed for much more death and destruction, at some point I believe Christ will restore His church in a powerful and miraculous way in advance of His return as a strong testament against the works of Satan.  Sure, the resurgence in Russia of Orthodox Christianity is an important beginning of this, but the full manifestation will be much larger and wider reaching than anything Russia can accomplish.   Russia is currently hamstrung by it’s desperate attempts to maintain and/or restore some semblance of its former empire, and mostly through the Moscow Patriarchate.  Yet anti-Moscow sentiment in places like Ukraine, Belarus and elsewhere have been festering for decades if not centuries, and Moscow has only proven that it is unable to heal those wounds.  Of course we can see that the EP is unable to effectively heal those wounds also (at least they tried), but I personally believe its because the current balance of power is shifted in favor of Moscow.  It’s perhaps inevitable then that there will be a global reset, a world war, in which Russia (and the U.S. and Europe) are humbled.  Greece will likely not be a player in this war though.  I believe God will preserve Greece and that this country and nation will one day serve as a beacon and witness of Orthodoxy to the rest of the world.  I know it may be hard to see this now, but I believe God has big plans for Greece. 

            Of course part of this simply has to with the need for Rome and the Vatican to be humbled. That’s an old score that needs to be settled, and the restoration of Constantinople will finally settle the score.

            • Settling old scores?
              Is that what you think Orthodoxy is about?

              • Joseph Lipper says

                No, it’s not the job of the Orthodox Church to “settle the score” with the Roman Catholics and Protestants.  The Orthodox Church doesn’t have authority over them.  That is God’s prerogative, and I believe God will do this in His own time.  God will settle the score.  I believe one day that Roman Catholics and Protestants will finally realize they are outside of Christ’s Church, and perhaps the miraculous restoration of Constantinople will be a big part of this.

            • Michael Bauman says

              The only person I know needs to be humbled is me.  Presuming to know who else needs to be humbled is close to prelest.  

              • Joseph Lipper says

                Michael, I’m not referring to any person directly, only to the institution of the Vatican and the Roman Catholics.  I’m sure, without a doubt, there are many, many people much more humble than myself among the Roman Catholics, but as a schismatic institution, it is based not on humility but rather on pride.

                God will grant victory to the Orthodox Christians over their adversaries.

                • Joseph,___only to the institution of the Vatican and the Roman Catholics.  I’m sure, without a doubt, there are many, many people much more humble than myself among the Roman Catholics, but as a schismatic institution, it is based not on humility but rather on pride.”
                  Joseph, am I dreaming?
                  Are you sure you have permission from Bart. and His All-Most-Holy blessing to write these words, thus exposing His beloved brother Francis?????????

            • Antiochene Son says

              Constantinople will never be restored, because although humbled to the extreme, her bishop is not humble.
              I have no doubt God could restore Constantinople to its Christian glory tomorrow, but it would surely lead to the pride and perdition of many if it was. Just its wilted laurels have destroyed the souls of many of its bishops and flock. 

            • Joseph,___you are contradicting yourself:

              “Ioannis, it’s not about the Greeks deserving anything. What does anyone deserve in our carnal bodies but death?”

              and then you contradict it by saying:

              “I believe God will preserve Greece and that this country and nation will one day serve as a beacon and witness of Orthodoxy to the rest of the world. I know it may be hard to see this now, but I believe God has big plans for Greece.”

              Really, just what makes you know it and believe it?
              Why “big plans for Greece” and not for …Hmm… Madagascar or Russia?

              Please, Joseph, make up your mind!
              Your zeal to justify Bart. In whatever he says/does leads leads you to contradicting yourself.
              Remember we pray God’s will be done, not Bart.’s!

              • Joseph Lipper says

                Ioannis, you can’t seem to get past Patriarch Bartholomew.  He’s an old man and won’t be around forever.  This is not really about him.  Even Patriarch Bartholomew has said that at his age, the only solace he has comes from God alone.  It’s unlikely that he will ever see the day when Constantinople is restored to Greece.
                So why the country of Greece?  Because Greek was a language used by Christ and His disciples.  Greek is the language of the Septuagint and New Testament.  Greek was a language of the Roman Empire.  Although modern Greek is not the same as New Testament Greek, it is the country of Greece that still carries on both the liturgical tradition and language of the Early Church.  New Testament Greek is still used liturgically.  That’s an important heritage of Greece, and God and the Greek people together have preserved it.  I guess in that sense the Greeks deserve it.

                • Joseph,___that makes two of us, in a way, but with a subtle difference:

                  I cannot get past, not the person Bartholomew Archontonis, but rather the actions he has done to the Church.

                  You, brother Joseph, can’t seem to get past Bartholomew, in the sense that you automatically justify all and any of his actions regarding them as the will of God. It is like a kind of Roman Catholic total devotion to the person of the “infallible” Pope, his words even substitute the words of the Bible. And to think that you very recently (in this very page) correctly criticised the RC for lack of humility. 

                  Your nice and flattening words for my compatriot Greeks and our language would have more value if you could prove their validity by the words of Christ.

        • Joseph you really should not drink during the day.  Do you really think the several million Muslim Turks who now call Istanbul home are going to either leave or be expelled for the now fewer that 2000 elderly Greeks who still live in the shadow of the Fanar?
          I am Greek but I believe Black Bart and his first without equal neo-papal bull crap has permanently frittered away any claim the Patriarchs of Constantinople may have had to any role other than Bishop of Istanbul.  Not sure he is entitled to even that as he has not preached the Good News in his own city,  why should he be entrusted with more?
          Black Bart has become a non-entity in true world Orthodoxy.  He has become a useful idiot for the Pope of Rome.
          The GOA continues to fall apart.  There are many vibrant Orthodox jurisdictions active in North America.  You won’t see the Byzantine trappings of world glory and court titles so much, but you will feel the Holy Spirit.

          • Michael, not only has the EPC become a useful idiot for the Pope of Rome, but of the American State Department as well.

        • Michael Bauman says

          Joseph, a grammar police attack:  the phrase “restored back” is an ugly, unnecessary redundancy.  To restore something means to put it back the way it was.  My little mind has yet to get beyond that part of your post. It finely became such a clanging in my head I had to say something.  Ahhh, relief

      • Antiochene Son says

        Then everyone else ought to move forward with unity without the Greeks.
        It might be better this way, actually. The other jurisdictions can set up the structures and processes we need to administer the diverse flock without Greek interference. Someday later, if the Greeks want to join it and normalize their presence, it could be done.
        But unfortunately I don’t think the other jurisdictions are 100% on board either. The Romanians were long under the OCA, but now we have Romanian patriarchal parishes as well. Russia recognizes the OCA, yet we have ROCOR as well MP parishes. At what point do the historical reasons for all this cease to matter? It’s moving backwards, not forwards.

    • Haha!! That last one line quote is OUTSTANDING!! Thank you!

  13. If Biden is the puppet of his handlers, so too is Archbishop Elpidophoros the pawn of those who determine his moves, namely Patriarch Bartholomew and the wily Fr. Alex Karloutsos, a long-time fund raiser for the Democrat Party.  A veritable “show-boat” unable to deny any camera, His Eminence would be hard pressed to refuse a call from the recipient of The Order of St. Andrew’s (Archons) Humanitarian Award, bestowed in 2015 for his “strong support and friendship of the Ecumenical Patriarchate.” Accepting the award, Vice President Biden said: “Protecting religious liberty is a moral imperative that defends society against violent extremists.”  Really, Joe?

  14. Today we celebrate the joyous feast of the Transfiguration of our Lord Jesus Christ!  Turn off you TV and be joyful today!

  15. Does anyone know? The two wonderful priests who have recently commented on the platform of the Democratic are both Antiochian.  Does anyone know whether other jurisdictions have placed restrictions on what priests may post or publish?

    On Old Calendar Transfiguration today it is quite the striking and mournful contrast to  have AE speaking tonight as part of the Democratic Convention’s liberal to radical line-up of liberal Jesuit priest, Episcopalian female priest, “social justice“ imam, etc, thus giving the clear impression that AE and the Orthodox in the US support the anti-Christian “perennialism” world view  which Fr Peter Heers describes so well in his Orthodox Survival Course.  I am praying the message from AE will be different and distinctively Orthodox by the Grace of God and/or that priests/hierarchs from all jurisdictions in the US will speak clearly and Patristically to the truth of Orthodoxy.

    One wonderful Local Orthodox priest always says we should believe we get the priest we deserve.  I would guess that is true for every rank.  I certainly see my need to repent (in my comment to FTS just now, for example, apologies.).  As Fr Peter and many suggest, I am tryiing to focus on my own passions.

    So grateful to ROCOR bishop, priests, and  parish today for the Feast of Transfiguration and their services and fronema always as well as to Orthodox Ethos/Fr Peter for his teaching ~ all of which is very sustaining and healing, glory to God. A Joyous Feast.

  16. Sort of an effort in futility.  Will God bless those who think they are better and know more than he does?  Does God bless sin? 

  17. Antiochene Son says

    Elpi’s prayer was as bland as demon-eyed Kamala’s speech. It sounded like it was written by the campaign. The “better angels” phrase has become a meme of this God awful convention.
    But it sounded like he was literally blessing Joe to be president. “Vice President Biden to the highest office in the land” or something. I could hardly understand him but it was weird. Is he betting on Joe winning and making Erdogan give the Hagia Sophia back?
    Didn’t even say “Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.” Even the evangelicals pray in the name of Jesus without fear, so what gives?

  18. I think all the dedicated posts stating that people who don’t like Trump should take their opinions elsewhere have finally worked! Not a post of dissent.

    • Gail Sheppard says

      I don’t recall EVEN ONCE where it’s been suggested that people who don’t like Trump should take their opinions elsewhere. There are many people who post here who are diehard democrats like one of our beloved retired bishops who never misses an opportunity to wave his “I hate Trump” flag.

      I suspect there is less dissent because people are having a hard time defending the Democrat(ic) party these days.

      • Antiochene Son says

        They’re indefensible. This convention is an open celebration of abortion, homosexuality, and especially white displacement and genocide.
        I would like to know how any Christian could vote for a Democrat after seeing what I have seen these past three nights.

      • You mean Demonic Party, I think.

      • Enoch Powell once observed that a man who thinks the United Kingdom has a democratic constitution has demonstrated that he does not understand the constitution of the United Kingdom – and knows little of democracy either.
        Replace ‘United Kingdom’ with ‘Democratic Party’
        and the observation still hold true.

      • Perhaps I misunderstood your earlier messages then. Like this one from July: 

        “This is OUR blog and you are a guest. We try to be welcoming but we will not allow our other guests to be insulted, nor will we allow anyone to hijack the blog to make it into something other than what it is. You don’t like the Church stuff, too bad. You don’t like the political stuff, too bad. You don’t like Trump, boy did you got off at the wrong station! Go start your own blog. No need for long goodbyes.”
        At the end of the day, it is your blog, and you should be able to do whatever it is you want. Bless

        • George Michalopulos says

          Dan, if i may speak for Gail, she did not say that criticisms of Trump would not be welcome, only that if you don’t like what we right you may “got[ten] off at the wrong station”. That’s obvious. Just as it is equally obvious that this blog may not be your cup of tea if you think we’re going to become anti-Traditional/Conservative.

          Again, I repeat: if you have honest, good-faith arguments to make, make them. Gail and I have many discussions about Trump, the GOP, the government, the way the world is going, yada, yada, yada. We don’t always agree but whenever we do debate, we do it in good faith.

        • Typical leftist clown. You can rip on DT all of you want, and praise Jo Biden all you want, and you can stand for all of the explicitly anti-Christians positions of the left on any of the AFR blogs and pretty much anywhere else in the O blogosphere. But you must come here, to pretty much the only one left that doesn’t pander to that nonsense, and cry and whine about it. Sigh….

    • George Michalopulos says

      Dan, seriously:  I second Gail’s criticism of your statement.  Never once have we ever banned anyone who was anti-Trump from bringing their arguments to this forum.  Never once.

      If I may speculate as to why the dearth of anti-Trump commentary exists on this blog it may be because any such arguments will be critiqued by not only myself but hundreds of others. 

      Let’s be honest, the entire argument against Trump at this point is reduced to violence and mayhem –essentially ORANGE MAN BAD!!!!  I for one would love to engage in a good-faith debate about the merits or demerits of the Trump Administration’s policies. 

      But as we can tell from the Brownshirted fascism that is taking place in Portland, Seattle and Chicago, good-faith doesn’t exist on the other side.   Does it?

      Prove me wrong.  Please.

  19. Triple Anaxios to Archbishop Elpidophoros 
    I’ve tried to give him the benefit of the doubt but not any longer. His “prayer”/benediction last night was what you would expect from an Episcopalian, not an Orthodox hierarch. 
    If there is no one in the GOA that is will to stand up to him then maybe the GOA should indeed go the way of the Dodo. He is not the person that should be leading the helm of Orthodox unity in America. Maybe it’s a good thing that the Canonical Bishops Council is essentially defunct, less opportunity for him to poison the well 
    Gail, I am not sure what exit strategy is for the monasteries that you mentioned but I think it may be high time to see the writing on the wall. Barring God’s intervention Archbishop Elidophoros will probably have a long reign and we can expect more of this. Maybe the monasteries/clergy/parishes that eventually decide to leave the GOA will find refuge under a Greek Vicariate under the Antiochians? 
    I will continue to pray for Abp. Elpidophoros as all Orthodox are obliged to pray for the bishops/hierarchs, but, I no longer hold out hope for him. This quote seems to be a good way to end this rant:
    “The road to Hell is paved with the bones of priests and monks, and the skulls of bishops are the lamp posts that light the path.“

  20. John Sakelaris says

    Can anyone post a link to a video of the Archbishop’s prayer at the Democratic convention?   

  21. “…the Greeks may have to learn to be happy without the monasteries. I have it on good authority they are looking into an exit plan.”
    Please God…let them find the exit plan very soon!

    Lord have mercy!  

  23. And Abp E praised candidate Joe Biden – having the audacity to call God’s blessing down on his candidacy for president ?!? – when said candidate praises a rap star who sings lyrics like this to our young daughters and children:
    (warning in advance):
    Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah
    Yeah, you f—-’ with some wet-a*s pu—
    Bring a bucket and a mop for this wet-a*s pu—-
    Give me everything you got for this wet-a*s pu—-

    Yes, Abp E publicly prayed for a man who has spoken of the value that this singer brings to the world when she sings about “how [she] wants to be forced to perform oral sex until [she is] gagging and choking. [She] portrays herself as a whore (her word) who has sex for money.”

    And they delusionally elevate this as “empowering” for women.

    Read more:
    Fake-“Abp” E didn’t have much moral capital to begin with, but Abp E had now singularly defined himself as a charlatan “archbishop” of the first order.  He needs to return to his non-existent “monastery of one” near Istanbul.  What a pathetic excuse for a bishop. 

    Now is not the time for faux-“politeness.”  Other American bishops need to call him out on his gross hypocrisy.  

    Damn right I’m angry. Abp E better stay far away from my children if he thinks the Dems and this stuff are good for our children. What a monster for an archbishop. Seriously.  I’d rather my children never set foot in an Orthodox parish again than go to a parish where he is the presiding archbishop.  

    Anaxios to him yet again. Get out of our country if this is what you support. 

  24. the Ossetian says

    wonder how much George Soros is paying this ‘humble’ bishop

  25. “I suspect there is less dissent because people are having a hard time defending the Democrat(ic) party these days.”

    I don’t see why?  Who wouldn’t be honored to speak at the DNC or protest on behalf of BLM? 

    Convicted rapist, torturer, murderer, who squeezed victim’s testicles with pliers, speaks at DNC as “impactful community leader”:

    Black Lives Matter Supporters Run Over and Brutally Beat Raccoon to Death [and way beyond death, taking turns pounding the corpse with a baseball bat], Claim Only White People Worry About Animals (VIDEO):

    BLM mob beats white man unconscious after making him crash truck: video:

    “I ain’t tryna hurt no one,” he told them, with the only unexplained accusation heard in the clips being that “COVID is real.”

  26. Antiochene Son says

    Heretic, pro-sodomite and friend of Pope Francis RC priest James Martin SJ gave one of the closing prayers tonight (flanked by a Jewess and some weird Muslim) and even he spoke against abortion in his prayer.
    Sad when such a vile man hits closer to the mark than an Orthodox hierarch.

    Biden’s speech was boring, dark and dreary. He is obsessed with death, probably because he senses his own approaching. His 20 minute speech was preceded by a 20 minute video that seemed like a eulogy.

    Joe promises that if he’s elected, the pandemic will end because he will create instant tests and a vaccine out of thin air and the jobs will roar back. No mention of the fact the economy is dead because blue state governors shut the economy down for three months rather than deal with it.

  27. Tim R. Mortiss says

    A “Jewess”, indeed. And is your part Lucas de Beaumanoir?

  28. STARK CONTRAST:  US ROMAN CATHOLIC BISHOPS CONFERENCE  (or what AE should have said) And what the Orthodox Assembly  of Bishops and each jurisdiction should say.  

  29. This was Joe Biden as vice president, what will happen if he is elected is beyond our thoughts and still vast majority of our OCA Bishops are supporting him.

  30. Michael Bauman says

    Several years ago a couple of courageous Orthodox mothers here in Wichita founded The Treehouse. A non-profit dedicated to the support of mothers who want to keep their babies.  Their slogan: “Saving the world one diaper at a time”
    They are located in the same area of town as Planned Parenthood.  
    It is not a binary option. Do both. Oppose and support just do not expect law will do anything. Law does not form culture. Law is a trailing indicator of where culture has gone.  
    Repent and do good.

    • Gail Sheppard says

      As bad as the pandemic was, within months we were able to get to the point where we now have the resources to take care of patients, saving far more than we lose.

      If we stopped abortion, we could do the same thing. We could announce one year in advance, it is going to stop. No funding for abortion would be made available, no exceptions. Jail time would await those who defied the law. Contraceptives could be made available for free. For those who “can’t remember” to take the pill, they could have a home nurse go out and give them a shot. IUDs could be put in for free. Adoption agencies could get rid of the red tape. Funding could be made available for children who are born. Checks to women who have babies on welfare would receive less for each baby not more, and if it happened more than twice, they would lose their right to receive anything and the children could be removed from the household if they can’t take care of them. The money saved could be spent in housing, child care programs, food programs, clothes, schooling, etc.

      Within ONE YEAR, we could stop this abomination.

      • I’m going to be optimistic and hold out hope that should Trump win a second term he will work to repeal Roe v Wade, quite possibly the most heinous piece of legislation this country has ever passed 

        • Michael Bauman says

          Petros, even if he does and is actually successful it won’t mean a thing unless there is a genuine transfiguration of our hearts

        • That’s a good point – nobody has any idea of what Trump’s plan for his second term is, other than “let’s stop the leftist horde”

          • Gail Sheppard says

            If that were true, the left wouldn’t be losing so much sleep. They’d just keep pushing his buttons.

  31. Michael Bauman says

    As mentioned by a previous poster the abortion problem is primarily a man’s problem.  If we were virtuous, there would be few abortions.  Women also though. Like the situation my wife faced with the birth of her youngest son. She took some medicine before she knew she was pregnant and was advised by every doctor she met with that the child would be born dead or a vegetable. She finally found a Mennonite doctor who agreed to attend her although even he thought a therapeutic abortion best.  She drove 120 miles each week when she had little money and little support from her husband.  Her son was born whole and alive, quite intelligent and has a wife and two children of his own.  
    Hers is an unusual case.  The vast majority are due to a lack of virtue to begin with. 
    Men–keep it in your pants.  Women realize that unless you have a man who is willing to love, honor and protect you and your children–do not have sex with him Having children and raising them is a sacrifice that many, regardless of income, are not willing to make

    No political solution or change of law will make a dent until our hearts change. Lord forgive us

    • Michael, you speak truth.
      The Lord bless you.

      • Michael Bauman says

        Brendan, I find it telling that in many real life situations women have to be heroic to not abort and men for the most part just have to show some restraint.  We men are far too easy.  
        Yes, the culture is now glorifying rapaciousness by both sexes if the adds for Lifetime movies are any gauge but that is the demonic.  
        We are living in the outskirts of hell but the good news is still the same–The Kingdom of Heaven is at hand.  

        • Antiochene Son says

          I agree it takes two to tango, but if men are to be held responsible for abortions, they should have a say in the matter. There are plenty of cases of women aborting children that the fathers wanted to keep.
          Granted, not many of those were stable, monogamous relationships, which is the only good environment for a child. But still, a life’s a life.

          • Michael Bauman says

            AS, You are right if you are like Candide and we live in the best of all possible worlds. We do not.  Since it id quite rare for men to be raped by women and a child to be conceived because of that rape, we are the ones who have the greatest say-so and therefore the greatest responsibility for children being conceived.  If we were Christian men who did not fornicate and gave of ourselves as Christian men there would be far fewer abortions.   Despite the immoral and evil premises of the world.  There would also be more Christian women.
            Christian men need to step up.  I was eating in IHOP just now and there was a black family there as well. The father is young but has four sons. He was standing up with the youngest son an infant caring for him as his wife ate. I went up to him and told him I really appreciated seeing such a father. His lovely wife immediately and enthusiastically agreed.  I left them asking for God’s blessing on him and his family which they gratefully acknowledged.
            A man and father who has a wife and children who love him.  A great witness.  
            No abortions in that family, I bet.

  32. Dear Brian (from your August 25 post about your wife working at a “crisis pregnancy center” — could not reply to the post itself but wondering if she therefore was working at an abortion center like Planned Parenthood or a pro-life pregnancy center where free ultrasounds and medical help as well support for the mom and baby are offered whether to keep the two together or to support adoption as the mom wishes…Thank you for clarifying.  We may simply use different terminology so wanted to be sure.  

    • Nicole,
      My use of the word “worked” was somewhat unclear.  She was an unpaid volunteer. 
      My wife would recoil in horror at the though of working for an abortion center or one that referred for abortion.  It was a pro-life pregnancy center that offered everything you described (and more) with the exception of ultrasound.   I believe the center where she volunteered does now offer free  ultrasounds. 

  33. Gail, you mentioned in reply to Brian above that the statistics support what he was saying.  Do you have a link for these please?
    Thanks much,

    • Gail Sheppard says

      The decision to have an abortion is typically motivated by multiple, diverse and interrelated reasons. The themes of responsibility to others and resource limitations, such as financial constraints and lack of partner support, recurred throughout the study.

      Perspectives on Sexual and Reproductive Health, 2005, 37(3):110–118

    • Michael Bauman says

      I must say that the 1966 film Alfie which I saw when I was 18 strongly impacted my feelings on abortion. The early scenes include some particularly difficult depictions of both what a woman goes through and what happens to the baby.
      I am sure it was not meant to be an anti-abortion film but it had that impact on me. I submerged it for awhile but it has stayed with me. I doubt that more recent films would treat it as honestly. 

    “Office of REPUBLICAN TX Attorney General Wed, Aug 26, 2020 at 11:41 AM
    Texas Attorney General, Ken Paxton
    August 26, 2020
    PRESS OFFICE: (512) 463-2050
    Kayleigh Date:

    AG Paxton Continues Fighting for Sanctity of Life, Defends Texas Ban on
    Barbaric Abortion Procedure at the Fifth Circuit

    AUSTIN – Attorney General Ken Paxton filed an en banc petition in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit urging the entire court to put a hold on a district court’s ruling that allows live-dismemberment abortions. Texas law prohibits this type of second-trimester abortion, which rips the unborn child apart, limb by limb, while they are still alive.

    “Protecting the sanctity of life continues to be one of my top priorities,” Attorney General Paxton said. “I remain optimistic that the Fifth Circuit will uphold Texas’ lawful authority to protect unborn children from this abhorrent procedure.”

    The Texas law was put on a week-long trial in November 2017 after it was challenged by a group of abortion providers. Although the U.S. Supreme Court previously held that states may pass laws to protect and foster respect for unborn life by banning inhumane abortion procedures, the U.S. District Court in Austin enjoined Texas from enforcing its law. Attorney General Paxton immediately appealed to the Fifth Circuit, where the case has remained pending for almost three years.

    Read a copy of the petition here (not for the faint of heart).

    Typical of the many ENCOURAGING notices of PRO-LIFE ACTION FOR GOOD which I get from state and federal Republican elected and appointed officials. I guarantee you that if Texas goes totally Democratic, you will never see anything like this.

    Please vote by platform if you care about your fellow human beings as icons of Christ being wounded in spirit and psyche by pagan delusions with barbaric consequences. This is a spiritual struggle and worthy of our support and union with it.

  35. At the RNC (and not the DNC): Army doctor who became a nun: pro-life and pro-eternal life:
    Click here

  36. Patristic AFR post with quotes from the Holy Fathers by Abbot Tryphon in contrast to the message from AE:

    AFR can be wonderful.

  37. Roman Catholic priest: You cannot be Catholic and be a Democrat.

    He also calls out Fr Martin for heresy for blessing the DNC. I am hoping to hear our Orthodox version from the Assembly of Bishops, hierarchs, priests.

    Similarly the son of a dear friend in South Carolina witnessed his Catholic priest refusing Joe Biden Communion “before he (Biden) went underground in his basement”. Is this protection of Holy Communion happening in American Orthodoxy, please God?

    Have any Orthodox jurisdictions muzzled their priests from speaking privately to their parishes or publicly about these spiritual issues?

    Does anyone have any good news of similar truth-telling and actions in response to Archbishop Elpidophoros and the DNC or Orthodox clergy who refuse Holy Communion to elected officials calling themselves Orthodox who support abortion and approach Holy Communion?

    Thank you in Christ for any good news.

  38. Roman Catholic priest: You cannot be Catholic and be a Democrat. And calls out Fr Martin for blessing the DNC. Has anyone heard an Orthodox priest, hierarch, diocese, jurisdiction or the Assembly of Bishops speak similarly?

    The son of a dear friend in South Carolina witnessed his Catholic priest refusing Joe Biden Communion “before he (Biden) went underground in his basement”. Has anyone heard of an Orthodox priest who has done the same with a proclaimed Orthodox politician who supports abortion?

    Does anyone know if (God forbid) any jurisdiction or diocese has muzzled their priests from speaking to this issue or acting in this manner to protect Holy Communion?

  39. George Michalopulos says

    This is what happens when 79th Street can’t keep their stories straight:

  40. Roman Catholic Cardinal Vigano calling for 54 day novena of prayer before the election starting today.
    The contrast to the words and actions of the AE, PB, the GOA hierarchy is striking.  The silence of the jurisdictions and Assembly of Bishops  is sad as well. In this case silence truly does support real violence to the Church and to souls and bodies.  How simple and easy is a youtube call for prayer including personal repentance for our failings which have led God to allow these barbaric times.  
    My traditional RC friends are praying Cardinal Vigano or someone like him will become Pope.  

  41. Michael Bauman says

    Gail, Elpi’s rash narcissism in marching with the barbarians has made it difficult for anyone else since any genuine action will be critical of him even if only by inference.  
    Have you communicated with you bishop?

  42. George Michalopulos says

    The Fordhamites strike again!

    For those who had “Black Students Demand Catholic Colleges Hire More Black, Gay Faculty” on your Bingo 2020 cards, you can scratch that one off.