A Hero of the Faith

Fr. Demetrios Carellas, My Favorite Picture

Every now and then, one of our own makes us proud.  This is one of those times.  

Please listen to Fr Demetrios Carellas defend the Faith.  


As far as I’m concerned, if any of our bishops get the bright idea to ever listen to the Federal gummint again we should just descend on the nearest monastery, drag some monks out of them and put mitres on their heads.  (I think there’s a canon for that. –GCM)

Thank you for the audio, orthodoxyforyou.



  1. Reading in Judges today what the Israelites did when some perverse men from the tribe of Benjamin killed the concubine of Micah in a most evil way. They called up their warriors and went before the Lord, asking him to guide them. Many were slain in the first two forays, but instead of quitting they again went before the Lord and fasted and prayed and the Lord gave them victory.
    We could learn something from this

  2. AXIOS !

  3. Since I do not use social media, I cannot access this great message. ☦️

  4. Wonderful!

  5. B. Jackson says

    I love Papa Demetri. Everywhere he goes he carries with him an icon of that defender of Orthodoxy St. Mark of Ephesus. Even puts it in the seat next to him in vehicles (or so I am told). When he found out our youngest son is named for that very same Mark, boy did he forge a bond with my son! Such a dear and gentle and godly man. He also spoke to me of my vocation without me having told him what it is. His presentations on the veneration of the Theotokos at the St. Kosmas Homeschool Conference some years ago had me enthralled and in tears, and he re-energized the prayer life of both me and my long-suffering wife. Contact with him prepared for some very difficult years ahead for my family, but, as difficult as things were, our Lord brought salvation out of it for both my parents. My wife and I continue to recall our short time with him and wistfully consider travelling to Texas to see him again (I think he is in Texas now).

  6. AXIOS!

  7. “This can’t happen again!”
    Papa Demetrios Carellas

    “Be watchful, stand firm in the faith, act like men, be strong.”
    1 Corinthians 16:13

    • Gail Sheppard says

      Yes! And we shouldn’t be too scared to tell them what we want for their consideration.

  8. Axios to Fr. Demitrios.

    Also, it seems that Archbishop Chrysostomos of Cyprus has reposed, Memory Eternal. It will be interesting to see who replaces him, Cyprus has an interesting way of voting in hierarchs. All indications show that two two front-runners are stalwarts of Orthodoxy.


    • I want Neophytos, but will be happy with Athanasios. Not that it really affects me, sitting here in the States, but it’s a morale boost.

  9. While it seems ideal to drag the monks from the monasteries and put miters on their heads, I learned the hard way there were a significant amount of monastics who completely bought into the covid narrative… the monasteries were closed, members of brotherhoods and sisterhoods were highly encouraged to get vaccinated… they wore masks among themselves.

    This entire thing shook the faith of all.

    • I visited a few monasteries during ‘rona and, from what I witnessed, this seemed to be an American boomer monk (cradle and convert) phenomena. Younger convert monks and ‘ethnic’ monks from the mother country either didn’t seem to pay attention to the propaganda or actively opposed it.

      Bad response to COVID wasn’t a jurisdictional thing, but a generational thing. Boomer bishops and boomer clergy sold us out and, as usual, are surprised that people hate them.

      • Gail Sheppard says

        Huh? Pretty off the wall.

        • Just my observation.

          I know that in general US society, pretty much everyone from every generation freaked out, but, from my admittedly limited experience (my home parish, a couple of parishes I managed to visit, some monasteries) and that of people I speak with regularly, within the Church it was mostly a boomer thing. Those young people that are actually still faithful to Orthodoxy are (mostly) serious enough to see the propaganda for what it is.

          • Gail Sheppard says

            You’ve trashed Boomers here before. To suggest that you and yours are somehow more faithful than Boomers is kind of out of line, don’t you think, not to mention completely inaccurate.

            Who do you think is leading the Church to change back to tradition? Young woke people like Metropolitan Nathaniel?! How about our young theologians from Fordham University? Or the young artist with all the weird icons.

            Stop with the Boomer comments. You’re insulting the great majority of the people on this blog not to mention your hosts.

            • Meras Kalabekas says

              What are you referring to as tradition? those imposed by the Turks?

              • Gail Sheppard says

                Nothing I said even come close to suggesting that.

                • George Michalopulos says

                  Meras, I’m not following you. What exactly do you mean?

                  • Meras Kalabeks says

                    The Maqqam cantoral style, the black outfits, the kamfikion… all Turkish, not Christian. Muslims wore white, rayas wore black. Read Schmemann

                    • Xenofon Parikas says

                      Tell them, Meras! Our forefathers knew no gyro or bzuky. Greece was comfortably western before 1922, when all those arabs brought all their wierd arab music and arab religion and antisemitism and communist thinking to Greece. There were never pogroms on the Greek mainland, but on Smyrna and Corfu. The leading communists were all from Smyrna. Send them back!

            • There’s agreement between left and right that the boomers screwed America. Plenty of articles and books explaining why.

              Asking people to refrain from pointing this out, or at least expressing it a a legitimate opinion, because it might ‘insult’ some people is the same thin-skinned snowflakery that my generation are constantly accused of.

              How can we discuss important issues or ‘speak your mind,’ as the comments sections here asks, if there’s a protected group that we can’t criticize?

            • Constantine says

              Who do you think is the teaching young folks to change the Church’s teachings and traditions? Boomers. How about boomer professors teaching our young theologians from Fordham University? Boomers.Or the young artist with all the weird icons and who taught him to despise eastern and pre enlightenment art? Boomers.

              • Gail Sheppard says

                Get over it.

              • First they came for the Jews. Then they came for the straight white males. Then they came for the boomers.

                What is cultural Marxism? Divide and conquer.

                What is the Orthodox Christian perspective on honoring elders? What is the Orthodox teaching on demeaning, dividing, and deriding people based on their age, ethnicity, or other demographic?

                How is it helpful to blame an entire generation for the sins of individuals? Aren’t we supposed to honor our mothers and fathers and to respect our elders?

                Asking for a friend.

                • Gail Sheppard says

                  One day they’ll be telling their children’s children when they are old, “We just couldn’t make it because of our elders.”

              • If you really think about it, it was the “Greatest Generation” that actually ruined it all, not the boomers. The boomers were just the spoiled brats who inherited the apostasy and ran with it. And even saying that about either generation is painting with too broad a brush. For every two Bill Clintons there was a Pat Buchanan.

                The “Greatest Generation” were the ones in charge who enabled the 60’s cultural revolution, Roe, etc. They could have held the line against the social degeneration but chose not to. It was the Age of Apostasy. People had lost faith in the old traditions and institutions. Most were either open atheists or “closet atheists” who didn’t really believe but saw some value in spirituality and curtailed ritual. This loss of faith gave us modernist Orthodoxy, Vatican II, etc. The priests were like the young priest initially was in the movie The Exorcist (before he encountered evil face to face), more like progressive social workers who did not believe in all the hocus pocus at all. That was the religious atmosphere that facilitated a Schmemann, or worse, rather than Holy Tradition.

                Of course, it all fell apart and the modern DNC, the modern RCC and the modernist Orthodox jurisdictions are simply the case study in how it all was destined to end in disaster.

                • Remember William Hurt in The Big Chill making the argument to his fellow boomers that they had the cushiest upbringing of any generation up to that point. There is some truth to that. Of course, they had to face Vietnam as well. Well, some didn’t, but that’s a different story.

                  “Turn on, tune in, drop out.”


                  ” . . . and you and me are free to be, you and me . . .”

                  Spoiled rotten, actually.

                  But, of course, that’s a stereotypical generalization. There are a plethora of exceptions. But recall Family Ties with the hippie parents and the Reaganite stock investor kid played by Michael J. Fox. There was more than a little truth to that. Yet not all of Gen X became responsible. Many became pathologically irresponsible and so you had the phenomenon of kids being raised by their grandparents since daddy was not to be found and mommy was out partying with Mr. Wrong. I wrote a song about this dynamic, actually.

                  • Gail Sheppard says

                    That’s like saying the Crosbys were indicative of the Back experience.

                    The one thing that I’ll admit that I think we did wrong is buying into all that crap the schools were pushing out about the importance of self-esteem. Our kids have so much self-esteem, they roll all over everyone else. That and the participation trophies. It taught them they didn’t have to work all that hard.

                    There is no perfect world.

                    We gave our kids way too much. Life was never the way they imagined. It was always hard. It just wasn’t hard enough for them.

                  • May one ask, why Basil gets booted from the blog for stating what is very much a consensus view (without any evident malice), while you allow yourself such vitriolic attacks on later generations? Why is Basil booted for his “generic” statements, and Misha gets an entirely different treatment for what was arguably more personal?

                    The moderation on this website appears a little bit wonky.

                  • Lyrics? Please?

                  • Gail Sheppard says

                    The Big Chill people were what we called preppies. They came from money. They didn’t go to Vietnam. They all had deferments. They drank and partied a lot and hung out at the Hamptons. Not unlike it is today. But, yeah, their world was cushy and free of consequences until they got older and found out they were the adults.

                    The “turn on, tune in, drop out” thing was a Timothy Leary invention. They were experimenting with LSD. Research projects were a “thing” back in the day. That the research came from Ivy League schools gave them a credibility they often didn’t deserve. But we didn’t know that. At the time it seemed great. Everyone was experimenting with something. That’s when the well-known Kinsey reports came out and psychics cropped up everywhere. Books like Scientology were in every bookstore. We were bent on discovery.

                    I wouldn’t call it cushy, but it was fun.

                    There were very few rules and it was a time when we were given permission to stand or fall on our own. Critical thinking was the mainstay of the day and we were rewarded for it. No one told us what to think. No one judged us. We were unafraid to take on the world, believing that no matter what happened, we could figure it out. Our parents from the fifties were terrified to break the mold. We weren’t. It was kind of expected.

                    How foreign all this seems today. Everyone is waiting around to be told what to do and what to think. If you question anything, you are slammed for it. I remember asking my daughter when she was 13 or 14 if the kid she liked was her boyfriend. She said, “I don’t know. He hasn’t filled out his relationship status on Facebook.”

                    Technology has taken the place of real life and technology is what promotes “group think.” Group think and greed are why the world is in such a troubled place.

                    The Family Ties thing was our attempt to raise our children. We borrowed a bit from the 50s, making sure our kids got a yellow and green vegetable. An Alex P. Keaton or two was expected. It wasn’t until women really started going to work that things started to fall apart. We depended on after school programs like soccer and girl scouts to raise our kids. There they were taught to be rule followers and to fit in.

                    And we weren’t present to see the influx of drugs that was coming their way either. Experimenting, which frankly I never did, is not the same as the habitual use of drugs, coupled with all the crap thrust on our kids by the schools. Stuff like Adderall and antidepressants. Every problem had a drug. The tolerance for alpha males is at an all time low. You pant a kid in the locker room and you’d be handed a mini vacation called a suspension.

                    Everything is changing.

                    But it’s not the world we wanted. And at some point, when our backs were turned, the indoctrination began. It was subtle at first. Ideas started becoming facts. I remember enrolling my kid into kindergarten was a nightmare because he wouldn’t skip. Huh? He could ride a two-wheel bike when he was two without training wheels and he had to skip to get into school? Are you kidding me? Who decided that? Coloring within the lines was also one of their criteria.

                    My son got too many of my husband’s genes. He didn’t want to skip or color within the lines and if something was going to change, it wasn’t going to be him. I remember when he was four, he complained that he didn’t like his new teacher, Mr. Hall, at all. I explained to him that we don’t always get the teacher we want and to try to make the best of it. The next day when I went to pick him up, the principal waved me over. She was laughing when she told me that Chase (that’s what we called him) had asked for an appointment with her. She agreed wondering what a 4 year old would want to talk to her about. I guess he marched in and politely told her that he wanted to fire Mr. Hall and go into Miss Debbie’s class. She admired his chutzpah and allowed him to do it. That his life would be hard was pretty much a given. He was always breaking the mold and the world didn’t like it.

                    What’s the point? The point is that one generation does not determine the future of another. People within a generation are not all the same. In my day, that was OK. Today, it’s not tolerated.

                    Things happen. And the generations that come after have their own ways of doing things; some of which are not entirely healthy. The Marxist schools were a huge detriment to this country and this was an outside influence that we knew nothing about because they didn’t want us to know. The movements we see today started in the 1980s.

                    (The following is not to Misha.)

                    Nobody wanted to hand you a crappy world and if George and I are any example, we’re trying to fix it.

                    But I’ll tell you something: Approaching the world with a defeatist attitude is going to be your downfall, as is focusing too much on the past and what you didn’t get. You got what you got and you’re going to have to find a way to live with it.

                    I don’t mind discussing these things until it gets personal. That’s where I draw the line.

                  • Galinushka,

                    I think you’re taking the critique of boomers personally. I’m a Gen X’er and have heard some serious criticisms of our generation. I don’t take it personally. I know some who fit the type, some who don’t. Now there may be some on here who meant it personally, not I of course. I think you get that.

                    Actually, I don’t know how old/young either you or George are, and I don’t need to. You’re married, so I assume you’re over 16. [insert smiley face].

                    In any case, I don’t particularly blame the boomers for anything inasmuch as my parents predated that era. Nor should we blame the “greatest generation” for anything. Too much of a mixed bag for blame and it wouldn’t do anyone any good anyway.

                    The people I do blame are the unrepentant liberals who have no reverse gear.

  10. The Covid spectacle did not shake anyone’s faith, it revealed their faithlessness. So much faith in government, so little in Christ. So much fear of the government, so little fear of God. Not just the clergy, monks, and bishops–the laity as well. Churches banning the laity from Pascha! Icons taken away! Masks covering the images of Christ! Bizarre efforts to protect ourselves from Christ’s germy body and blood! What a faithless disgrace! Back then the jails should have been filled with faithful Orthodox. Now we should still be on our knees in repentance for turning our back on Christ. (Think of it, the so-called church couldn’t resist little Anthony Fauci or senile Joe Biden, but thinks it will resist the Antichrist?) Yes, had the bishops stood up, that might have been the end of it. But stop hiding behind the bishops! Our Resurrected Lord saw virtually all of His Church turn their back on him rather than face a little persecution.

    • Gail Sheppard says

      A lot to think about here.

    • “The Covid spectacle did not shake anyone’s faith, it revealed their faithlessness. So much faith in government, so little in Christ. So much fear of the government, so little fear of God.”

      Isidora is right. Absolutely right. Let’s hope we come to our senses now and do better the next time the government tries to shut the Church down.

    • It all ultimately boils down to the fear death, the very enemy we claim to be abolished in Christ. So fearful were so many that everything that makes us human was sacrificed.

      How utterly and tragically fitting, then, that Pascha was effectively canceled.

    • AXIOS Isadora!

    • Isadora,

      Somehow I missed this gem of a comment. It is spot on. You preach it, honey! That’s exactly what happened and our current post-Covid status is us faced with our own faithlessness. The Age of Apostasy continues . . .

      Let’s just try to not let it happen again.

  11. The new Antiochian vicar, Met Antonios (el-Souri), might have just become my personal hero. I know nothing about him, but a few days ago he released a powerful letter condemning the entire “sexual liberation” agenda of the West, naming all of it from homosexuality and artificial birth control to transgenderism. He calls it all “uncleanness,” rightly linking it with the lust for money, authority and sex. I’m sure he will upset more than a few apple carts by so doing, and I’m talking about hierarchs here in the US who themselves I know to hold a liberal stance on certain of these things. A man after my own heart.

    Ironically, it was our friends at Orthodoxy in Dialogue that brought it my attention (I just happened to glance at it this morning, though rarely go there as I can’t stand the place), as it was originally posted in Arabic and few American Orthodox outlets have picked it up. It’s not even on the Antiochian website; perhaps they’re ignoring it, as I know many of the bishops are lax on certain of these matters, especially regarding artificial birth control.

    OiD found the English translation at Notes on Arab Orthodoxy, which links to the original Arabic published on Oct. 31st. Of course, OiD is having complete apoplectic fits over it. I hope this is a harbinger of things to come, we seriously need to right our sinking ship if we are to survive the times we’re in.

    I don’t want to promote OiD so here’s the NAO link: https://araborthodoxy.blogspot.com/2022/10/met-antonios-el-souri-holiness-at-time.html?m=1

  12. Thank you for posting this. We heard him say this at the conference Orthodox Ethos, but can’t find it in the conference videos.
    Very important message!

  13. https://orthochristian.com/149377.html

    Looks like the Church of Russia has updated their list of bishops in the Church of Greece who have concelebrated with the Ukrainian schismatics. Wonder how much longer this list will get, and wonder what the ROC will be doing about it in the future.

    • Xenofon Parikas says

      Don’t you get it? Greeks don’t care about no ruskins. Russia killed the Council of Florence so they could gain access to the Hellespont via their Ottoman fellow mongols. All the quisling goats loved the Ottomans because no emperor treated them that well, they were willing fuedal overlords over the poor folk.

  14. Not connected to this post, but important nevertheless, as it speaks to some of those clergy in the life of the Church who speak on behalf of the Church as if their word is “The Orthodox teaching,” . . .

    • Careful, “papman.” Not sure if you’re trolling, or blissfully unaware, but readers of your linked article need to be cautious. Who is the author of that blog? Sounds like they keep company with a similiar website, “Orthodoxy in Dialogue.”

      The article – which I may have seen posted here before, – publicly condemns Metropolitan Neophytos, St. Paisios, Fr Peter Heers, and…Mount Athos! Among others. And all the while, citing th Originist and iconoclast Bishop Alexander of the South.

      At 6:35 of the first link, Apb Alexander announces his support for Origen.
      The second link is the full interview.


      See: https://d50c890e-3c75-49a9-96bb-e3d7d6595e11.filesusr.com/ugd/41320a_36adfe6edcc043caaeb876fc5ddec42b.pdf

      Additionally, are you the author of that blog? If not, what do you agree/disagree with?

      Lastly, and forgive me, why bring up Fr Demetrios Carellas? He, and those you (by association) condemn in that blog article are blessed men, with whom I have served at the altar.

      You insist it is important to call these priests and monks out, publicly. Why?

      • Gail Sheppard says


        I will take the part about Fr Demetrios Carellas out. I thought he was referring to the thread and talking about someone else who “speaks as if he knows Orthodoxy.” (Not sure how he phrased it because it’s not in front of me, but I remember what you’re talking about.)

        With regard to Fr. Peter Heers, whom I don’t know, it’s more complicated for 2 reasons, (1) he is a public figure and (2) nothing said in that blog is unique to that blog owner. I have heard several people express similar questions/concerns and I don’t read Orthodoxy in Dialog.

        Fr. Peter is certainly free to come on the blog and address them.

        Unfortunately, this comes with the territory. If you’re a charismatic figure who draws a crowd in the Church, you are bound to come under some scrutiny. Perhaps he can now put these matters to bed.

        We’ve never posted anything about Fr. Peter, one way or the other, so I would like to correct you on that. Perhaps it was a different blog. There have been comments but they’ve been positive. As I recall, there were a few who were quite enamored with him and posted all his classes and whatnot. But George and I have never written about him.

      • In what way is Abp. Alexander an iconoclast?

        I know there’s problems with his support for Origen and his wishy-washy approach to Nestorianism and Monophysitism, but this is the first time I’ve seen anything about iconoclasm.

      • Antiochene Son says

        I am a personal acquaintance of the author of TheoriaTV and I would not characterize him as anything remotely close to OiD, unless there’s something I’m not aware of.

        While I don’t object to anything in particular Fr. Peter has said or written, I do find his canonical status highly curious and irregular.

    • Theoria‘s post is an anonymous hatchet job
      (a magnificent one to be sure, but a hatchet job nonetheless),
      written against a man who attaches his name to his work.

      In and of itself, that tells us nothing about the truth of the post.
      But it may tell us a great deal about the character of the author.

      See how easy it is…?

      • Gail Sheppard says

        Again, I’ve heard the same concerns from many, many of the clergy (not just one or two).

        A hatchet job is “a forceful or malicious verbal attack.” I don’t think the author was trying to be malicious. I think he was trying to warn people that there is enough there to be concerned with respect to him speaking for the Church.

        As an example, a woman I know was worried about the salvation of her family because they weren’t Orthodox. I repeated an oft heard response in the Church: “We know where God is but we don’t know where God isn’t,” which means a couple of things: (1) We know salvation is possible in the Church, however, it’s not guaranteed because we have free will and (2) we don’t know God isn’t with others who perhaps don’t have the benefit of the fullness of the Faith. God will save whom he will. Anyone who says otherwise is not Orthodox. – Met. Kallista Ware wrote a version of the same thing.

        “There is first a more moderate group, which includes most of those Orthodox who have had close personal contact with other Christians. This group holds that, while it is true to say that Orthodoxy is the Church, it is false to conclude from this that those who are not Orthodox cannot possibly belong to the Church. Many people may be members of the Church who are not visibly so; invisible bonds may exist despite an outward separation. The Spirit of God blows where it Chooses and, a Irenaeus said, where the Spirit is, there is the Church. We know where the Church is but we cannot be sure where it is not. This means, as Khomakov insists, that we must refrain from passing judgement on non-Orthodox Christians: “Inasmuch as the earthly and visible Church is not the fullness and completeness of the whole Church which the Lord appointed to appear at the final judgement of all creation, she acts and knows only within her own limits… She does not judge the rest of humankind, and only looks upon those as excluded, that is to say, not belonging to her, who exclude themselves. The rest of humankind, whether alien from the Church, or united to her by ties which God has not willed to reveal to her, she leaves to the judgement of the great day. (Bold and italics not original).”

        Here’s another example: https://blogs.ancientfaith.com/glory2godforallthings/2008/10/27/from-khomiakovs-the-church-is-one/

        It’s unlikely that we would all be imagining the same thing.

        Plus, there are many examples in Scripture where Christ blessed many, many people who He was not here to save. God was with the thief on the cross. God was with the centurion soldier. God was with the Samaritan woman. God was with the Tax Collector. God was with the Canaanite woman. God was with everyone who believed in Him.

        A few weeks later the same woman’s daughter told me she had asked Peter Heers about the expression and he told her I didn’t know what I was talking about. Essentially, that I had made it up. – It is unbecoming of a priest to discredit someone else because he is unfamiliar with something. He could have said, “Let me look into that. It’s not something that I’ve heard.”

        Unfortunately, as a result of this young woman’s encounter with Peter Heers, I suspect she now believes I either didn’t know what I was talking about or I misled her. I could have perhaps been a help to her. For now, that opportunity has been lost.

        People love this man. Again, he has a cult like following. I understand he is a brilliant teacher. But he is not listed as a priest, anywhere. He has no parish and no one seems to know who is bishop is. It has been presumed it is Bishop Luke, but based on his statement below, that doesn’t seem to be the case.

        He once took a story from Monomakos and put it on his website. When we asked if he knew it was ours (which many other publishers had picked up, always giving credit), we expected him to say, “Gee, I didn’t know. Would you like me to give you credit or remove it?” I would have said either is fine, but I never heard back from him and the last time I looked, the story was still there. Did he get the message? I don’t know, but if you send an email to his contact page, one would presume he did.

        Another time, he made the cook of a monastery upset because she said he had publicly said the food prepared at the monastery was sub-standard. If he said that (not sure why she would have been upset if he didn’t), that was a weird thing to say. In the first place, the food is truly excellent and in the second place, why would a priest be concerned about the food at a monastery when the “food” they serve is intended to satisfy the spirit?

        Peter Heers, like everyone else, needs to be under a bishop.

        This what he says about himself:

        “Recently I was blessed to visit Nashville, TN and I asked Met. Nicholas of New York for a blessing to serve at the ROCOR parish in Lebanon, which he immediately and graciously extended, for I am a priest in good standing, not under any church discipline. For the same reasons, I was blessed to serve with His Grace Bishop Luke while visiting Holy Trinity Monastery in Jordanville for the feast of the Holy Protection. (And, for the same reasons, I was blessed by Bishop Longin to serve at St. Savas Monastery in Chicago a few weeks earlier, and at the St. Petka parish in Nashville earlier this year.) “In 2021 I was received into ROCOR by Metropolitan Hilarion of New York (of blessed memory) and assigned to the clergy of Holy Trinity Monastery, being a lecturer at Holy Trinity Seminary in the certificate program. Sometime later, due to an irregularity with regard to my release and reception, the Holy Synod suggested that I find a way to re-regularize my position. As is clear from the above (and below), I have been blessed (by several Hierarchs) to concelebrate and serve while this process takes place.”

        How can you be a “priest of good standing” if you have “an irregularity with regard to your release and reception” that has yet to be resolved? I’m not sure this particular issue can be resolved by “re-regularizing your position,” if it means to continue calling yourself a priest when operating as a lone agent. That others have served with him does not remedy the situation. Bishops can do whatever they want. One of the bishops he mentioned made one woman I know a nun, even though she had no formal training as a novice or anything else. She just has a good heart. There is another woman who claims to be a nun in the same jurisdiction who teaches things that are antithetical to the Church’s teaching.

        If Peter Heers is going to bill himself as a priest, he needs to be a priest. If he is going to speak for the Church he needs to be under the authority of a bishop who is responsible for him. All these bishops with whom he serves are not responsible for him. Any of them could “regularize” the situation by taking him under their wing. It’s curious that they haven’t. Because they serve with him, I suspect a number of them would. So why hasn’t that happened? Perhaps because Peter Heers doesn’t want to be under anyone’s authority. He likes being un-regulated. That way he can say and do what he wants without consequence which frankly isn’t good for anybody least of all him.

        Interestingly, others have made the same compliant about us in the past: That our blog doesn’t have oversight of the clergy. But the fact is, we don’t claim to be an authority on anything. No one thinks were anything but who were are, i.e. the laity. We give our opinions on a variety of things, many of which are outside the Church. We are not Church authorities on anything other than what’s under the purview of the laity, e.g. Orthodox teaching. However, I can honestly say that that not a single day goes by that we’re not talking to a priest, a bishop, and even a metropolitan on occasion, about the stuff we write or are thinking about writing about the Church. If any of them tells us we’re on the wrong path or asks us to go in a different direction, we absolutely follow their direction. The only exception is one priest who used to fight George on every single thing. No one can be right or wrong 100% of the time so we’ve stopped listening to his opinion and he’s stopped offering it.

        And we have a bishop. We also have had this blog a very long time. It’s not like we’re an unknown entity. If our bishop had a problem with something we’ve said that could be a detriment to others, I think he would probably find a way to tell us.

        I know he wouldn’t have a problem with what I’m saying now.

        Peter Heers needs to be under a bishop or he needs to stop calling himself “Father.” Nothing against Peter Heers, I’m sure he is great, a lot of people love him, but everybody has to be under the obedience of a bishop so someone can rein you in if you get too far out in left field. Being a lone ranger is a dangerous thing for him and for the people he serves.

        So, now, I have written about him.

        • Not referring to Archpriest Peter Heers as father is quite disrespectful. As he himself pointed out, he has been assigned to the clergy of Holy Trinity Seminary and it would seem to be evident then that his grace, Bishop Luke of Jordanville is overseeing him. One who is canonically ordained into the priesthood (itself one of the Holy Mysteries of our Faith) who has not been defrocked or under any discipline does not ever become a non-priest. This disease of super-correctness is sad to see. Please refer to father Peter as such and let’s not think ourselves wiser than the numerous clergy (bishops and priests such as Fr. Josiah Trenham and Metr. Neophytes, to name a couple, who all refer directly to him as father) in recent interviews with him on the OE channel. Let us rather thank God for his ministry. While it seemed as the entirety of The Orthodox Church was following along with the narrative back in 2020 and hiding under their masks and multiple spoons I found Fr. Peter and his voice let me know that I wasn’t alone and rather than falling into despair I was able to make it through the madness and confusion. Please show respect to the priesthood and to Father Peter.

          • Gail Sheppard says

            RE: “Not referring to Archpriest Peter Heers as father is quite disrespectful.”

            No disrespect was intended and what Father Peter Heers said is this: “In 2021, I was received into ROCOR by Metropolitan Hilarion of New York (of blessed memory) and assigned to the clergy of Holy Trinity Monastery, being a lecturer at Holy Trinity Seminary in the certificate program.”

            He didn’t say he was assigned to the clergy as a priest. He said he was assigned to the clergy [of Holy Trinity Orthodox Seminary] as a lecturer, which is 100% true. He just didn’t say it as completely as I just did. He is listed on the Holy Trinity Orthodox Seminary faculty list: https://hts.edu/facultylist

            He is not listed as clergy on the EASTERN AMERICAN DIOCESE Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia under Bishop Luke: https://eadiocese.org/parishes?type=details&id=84

            No one is questioning that “one who is canonically ordained into the priesthood (itself one of the Holy Mysteries of our Faith) who has not been defrocked or under any discipline does not ever become a non-priest.” Nor does this even apply to Father Peter Heers so this is a non-issue.

            I would argue that no one on our blog, least of all us, has a “disease of super-correctness.” For example, it’s OK with us when people use the proper names of people to identify them in the context of a discussion. If we’re talking about His All-Holiness Bartholomew I, Archbishop of Constantinople, New Rome and Ecumenical Patriarch of the Church of Constantinople, it’s OK to say Bartholomew. If we’re talking about His Grace Tikhon (Fitzgerald) Bishop of San Francisco, Los Angeles and the West, it’s OK to use Tikhon (retired). If we’re talking about Archbishop Alexander (Golitzin), it’s OK to say Alexander.

            We recognize this is a blog. Not the Church. It takes key strokes to use titles, which George and I realize is cumbersome, as we comment, too. We even allow nicknames, mostly as a concession to me because I can’t spell Greek names. Archbishop Elpidophoros of America is Elpi on this blog.

            Now, if we’re addressing the clergy in person, it’s an entirely different story. We always use Father, Your Eminence, Your Grace, etc. If you ask the priests, bishops and even a metropolitan or two who know us, they will assure you we treat them with the respect they deserve as clergy and Fr. Josiah Trenham is no exception. We have supported him 100% and he knows me. I doubt very much he would say anything negative about our interactions.

            My issue is not with Peter Heer’s title of authority or honour in the Church. But if you call yourself a priest, you need to be under a bishop. If it’s Bishop Luke, Heers name should be listed among his clergy. Heer’s bishop’s name, and his diocese, should be listed on his own webpage, as well. That way no questions need to be asked.

            I acknowledge everyone who served with him probably thinks of him as a priest in good standing. However, if the Holy Synod believes there is an “irregularity” with regard to his release and reception, which he himself acknowledges, and further, suggests that he find a way to ‘re-regularize his position,” I’m thinking that’s probably a good idea.

            In retrospect, I shouldn’t have shared my personal beefs with Father Peter. I am very protective of “my boys” at The Great Sacred Monastery of Saint Iakovos “New Studion”. I feel like a mother to them because when they were in Tulsa, they were the only place we could go to attend services and when we weren’t there, they were here with us in my home, as we would invite them over for dinner. If my sharing my personal experiences with you offended you, I apologize. I had no intention of offending you or anyone else. I was just being honest. These things concern me.

            When you say Metr. Neophyte, I assumed you mean Metropolitan Neophytos of Morphou and not His Holiness Neophyte or Neofit (Dimitrov), Patriarch of Bulgaria, Metropolitan of Sofia, and primate of the Church of Bulgaria. (Context is more important than title.) We’re great fans of Neophytos of Morphou. I’m OK with people calling him “Father,” if he’s OK with it. Why wouldn’t I be?

            The entirety of the Church was NOT “following along with the narrative back in 2020 and hiding under their masks and multiple spoons.” If you read our blog, you would have found we fought the multiple spoons, the masks, all of it. George is a pharmacist and I’ve been in healthcare all my life so we had it pretty well figured out from the get go. However, we do understand that without our backgrounds, and the pressure of the media, it was pretty hard for others to take the same stance.


            Next time (if there is a next time), please refrain from using such a condescending tone. It’s not necessary. You don’t know me, and you were flat out wrong about a number of things. If you had written this to anyone one of our readers and not to me, I wouldn’t have published it. No one likes people presuming things about them that are not true. I never suggested I was “wiser than the numerous clergy.” You flat out don’t know me or you wouldn’t have said that. You probably don’t even know I’m one of your hosts. Now you know. And this is one of our rules: If you have a problem with something someone says (even if it is George or me), dispute it with facts; don’t make your rebuttal about whatever you feel is lacking in the one who said it. When you do that, it discourages other people from commenting because they think you will jump all over them, too, and we don’t want that.

            • George Michalopulos says

              That’s very well said, Gail.

              As an amateur historian myself, I regularly use the commonly accepted names of historical titles, such as “Chrysostom,” “Damascene,” “Eugenicus,” etc, for well-known historical figures. Likewise “Washington,” “Jefferson,” “Antony” (for Marcus Antonius), “Caesar” (for Gaius Julius Caesar), FDR, JFK, etc.

              I see no disrespect in writing about Kirill, Bartholomew, Neophyt, etc.

              If I may say to our readers, neither Gail nor I intend any disrespect to contemporary figures. (You have no idea how many times we’ve had to excise the adjective “black” from the present EP’s name.)

      • Antiochene Son says

        Theoria’s author is not anonymous. He’s promoting a book he has written on his Twitter account, published under his name.


        Not that it matters. I’ve never understood the fetish for publishing under your real name; arguments should stand or fall on their own merits.

        A priest who won’t identify the bishop under whom he serves is to be regarded with suspicion. This is entry level Orthodoxy that everyone knows, it’s not a specific attack on Fr. Heers, unless he himself won’t identify his bishop.

        • This link from the Orthodox Ethos web site addresses the subject: https://www.orthodoxethos.com/post/a-statement-from-archpriest-peter-heers.

          • Yes, I’d rather avoid eating one of our own, the circular firing squad, etc. I’ve read some of Fr. Peter’s work and he is a traditionalist. I see no reason to be more concerned about his status than any other priest’s.

            • Gail Sheppard says

              This isn’t about the person. This is about the Church. If you’re Orthodox and operate as a priest, you must be under a bishop. It’s not one of those situations where you can go, “Oh, well. It doesn’t matter.”

              • I’m not the clergy police. Those people are called “bishops”. I will leave it to them.

                • Gail Sheppard says

                  Yes, it’s a matter for the bishops which they should resolve.

                  • Father Peter says the process continues.
                    No bishop has contradicted him on this;
                    at least, not as far as I am aware.
                    I would leave the discussion there
                    and let the process continue.

                    • Gail Sheppard says

                      I don’t wish him ill, but one of the bishops needs to claim him. George is going to start with Bishop Luke. He may be able to resolve this. At least we’ll be able to definitely solve this which will stop people from asking us the question.

                    • George Michalopulos says

                      Personally, the incardination process should be more seamless and patent than it is. That would solve a lot of problems, including sparing priests unnecessary grief.

                    • @ George and Gail

                      I do not know what the process entails,
                      but (if it is anything like security vetting)
                      for the man who has stayed in one place
                      all his life it should be quick and easy;
                      whereas for one who has led an itinerant life,
                      it might necessarily take much longer.

                    • Antiochene Son says

                      Not sure why there has to be a process. A priest is always under a bishop, from the day he is ordained until the day he either dies or is defrocked. Which diocesan directory is he listed on? If it’s more complicated than that, it’s a problem and indicates an unwillingness to submit to a bishop’s authority.

                      I support Fr. Heers’ traditional message. Those who speak the truth need to be above reproach (1 Tim. 5:7, Tit. 1:7). So, if he is preaching the truth, it is even more important that he be transparent and forthright about any reasonable canonical question.

                    • There are two entities I’m aware of that have a dog in the fight. One is the Church of Greece, the other is ROCOR. It is up to them to resolve it on their timetable.

                      Until then, it is much ado about nothing.

                      Asking questions is a form of harassment perfected on the left. The very process of badgering is a political weapon in the style of Alinsky. Now, some do not like the answer they have been given.

                      That is unfortunate.

                      They are welcome to continue the questioning until they wear themselves out, I suppose.

                    • Antiochene Son: “If it’s more complicated than that,
                      it’s a problem and indicates an unwillingness
                      to submit to a bishop’s authority.”

                      Problems may lie with bishops
                      rather than particular priests.
                      I don’t know, so I won’t judge.

                  • George Michalopulos says

                    Clearly, there’s a lot on (or should be) episcopal plate.

                    Things are long overdue.

                    • Which brings us back to papman’s post and the article to which he linked.

                      Whatever the article’s factual merits may be, I just about burst out laughing when the author got to the part about how the Church, in her great care for her members and in order to quell controversy, calls councils to address and settle matters that are disturbing the unity of the faithful.

                      If only.

                      I want to be clear that I have no dog in the fight over Fr Peter Heers. On the one hand, I have watched a few of his videos (just a few) and found nothing disturbing about them. On the other hand, I am not a fan of any form of what might be called “Orthodox celebrity,” although it seems unavoidable. One can think of many such “celebrities” throughout the history of the Church- and well before the age of the internet. Some who were later recognized as Saints were ‘officially
                      approved’ in their day while others clearly were not, yet they were ultimately recognized as such. Moreover, there are hundreds of canonical, episcopally covered priests on the internet who don’t hesitate to affirm that what they teach is the Orthodox Faith.

                      But again, when I reached that part about how the Church calls councils about controversial matters…well…let’s just say my BS-ometer immediately registered in the red zone.

                    • BTW, I am personally acquainted with the author, and I’m quite certain that he means well.

              • George Michalopulos says

                Attached is the Faculty list of Holy Trinity Seminary:


                This should set aside aside the issue of the priestly credentials of Fr Peter. As far as I’m concerned, the matter is settled and we should move on to other issues. My humble (but nonetheless sensible) recommendation to the Holy Synod of ROCOR is for them to speed up the incardination process, not only for Fr Peter but for any other impending transfers.

                • Gail Sheppard says

                  When I was new to the Church, I was advised not to read The Philokalia. I didn’t understand why at the time because I had heard about it and wanted to, but Elias (the man who brought me into the Church) knew that exposing me to it at that particular juncture might have threatened any chance I had of fully coming into the Church because it would have crushed my spirit. I would have given up.

                  It’s like taking a delicate shoot whose tip has barely pushed through the soil and flooding it with a deluge of water. There can be casualties if you fail to take into consideration that people who are searching for God probably don’t feel all that worthy. How you balance that out, I don’t know. It would be a challenge for anybody. I would imagine it would take a great deal of humility, empathy and experience in dealing with people on the part of the priest.

                  You and I witnessed a young woman, dressed in period clothes that rivaled what one might see in the movie The Passion of Christ, dissolve into tears in front of the bishop because she just didn’t know how “keep her mind on the Church and the Liturgy all the time, like the Holy Fathers.”

                  She was in serious pain and my heart just broke for her. I so identified with her. I even dressed like her in the beginning thinking it would make me more Orthodox.

                  Many people coming into the Church collapse under the weight of their own expectations because they haven’t yet gone through the process of accepting their very human limitations, which we all have to do in the Church, albeit slowly, under the careful guidance of a parish priest.

                  She probably has no idea of what the Holy Fathers went through to get to point where we hear about them today. No idea what they confessed along the way. No understanding that they, above all, struggled with the passions the most, which is the real message behind their holiness. Because it’s not an act of will. They didn’t flip a switch and start thinking about God all the time. It’s a process. It can take years of setbacks, where you can only depend on God, over and over again. Years of falling down and getting back up. Years of encouragement from a good spiritual father or priest.

                  As you know, my first priest, Father Wayne Wilson, was a saint in my eyes. He never waivered in letting me feel worthy of the love of Christ. Not once. No lectures. No recrimination. Just acceptance.

                  He wanted me to feel I was good enough to be in the Church, something I haven’t always been made to feel since, as you also know.

                  There was a time, after my son died, that I didn’t even go to Church. I probably never told you this. I didn’t go for a really long time. Not because I was angry with God, but because there were people in my parish that I loved who were either very old or seriously ill and I just couldn’t face the loss it would bring. Even flowers dying devasted me. To this day, seeing a lily leaves a pit in my stomach.

                  I am not good with death. You break into pieces when your child dies and the pieces don’t always make sense, even to you, and there is no putting them back together.

                  I don’t remember telling Father Wayne about why I wasn’t in Church, but when Pascha rolled around a year later, I couldn’t not be there so I went. As the priests entered, he saw me sitting there in the front row surrounded by so many people that the parish was overflowing, and he left the procession, in front of all those people, to put his arms around me.

                  I am crying as I remember this as it was the most impactful moment I have ever experienced in the Church. I got to see what real holiness looks like. It’s love. No pithy words. No pontificating on the unexplainable. Just the rubber meets the road kind of love a parish priest has for someone who is dependent upon him to feel the love of Christ.

                  I guess that’s why the title of “priest” is so important to me. God blessed me with an incredibly good one who didn’t have to try all that hard to share the love of Christ that God carefully placed into his heart for people like me who needed it. A true father.

                  It is my sincere hope that the young woman we saw finds such a priest. Because they’re the ones who make you whole in Christ.

                  • My experience has been that Jesus tailor makes our introduction to him. Some have experiences like Saul/Paul., other less dramatic. When we search He comes. Recently a friend loaned me a book written by a Jewish man. At age 20 he was searching for meaning for life and he received a vision of Jesus dying on the cross. That vision change his life, but it was not an easy change. He suffered a lot during the transition.

                    I love reading books about the experiences people have when meeting Jesus

                    He meets us where we are and takes us where he wants us to be. .

                  • This is a beautiful and touching testimony, Gail. Thank you for sharing.

            • Amen and well said

          • Totally inadequate response; clearly he is not under the authority of a bishop.

  15. https://www.helleniscope.com/2022/11/20/pope-and-patriarch-move-towards-a-common-easter-in-2025/

    Looks like that “conspiracy theory” of Bart joining Rome isn’t much of a conspiracy

    • Gail Sheppard says

      Come hell or highwater, Bartholomew is determined to do it. However, a lot can change between now and 2025.

    • Antiochene Son says

      I noticed it says “on the same date,” not “together.” Easter and Pascha already fall together in 2025, so it could be nothing, or it could mean the adoption of the Gregorian Calendar (which I don’t personally take issue with; it’s more accurate, so Pascha won’t someday happen in the autumn, would restore the Kyriopascha and a longer Apostles Fast, and I contend accuracy is what the Nicene Fathers were interested in). Or it could mean the establishment of full communion.

      I’ve been following the RCC’s “Synod on Synodality” and every day it becomes more of a disaster for Latin orthodoxy. Maybe their plan is to drive the small-o orthodox out of each of their respective churches and meet with a lukewarm communion in the middle?

      • Gail Sheppard says

        I get your point, but because it’s Francis and Bartholomew, it’s always going to be about unity. If it were another pope or another EP, it could be a “let’s be friends” gesture, but they’re already “friends.”

        They want the legacy of being the ones who united the church’s after the schism in 1054. This is to be their swan song, which they think will mitigate all the missteps. , but more importantly, they need to satisfy their commitments to the deep state, for which there is probably a payoff at the end. Unfortunately, Bartholomew no longer has the Church to bring to the table (not that he ever did). It doesn’t matter what he does. If he brings Easter and Pascha together, no one on the Orthodox side will observe it, which will put us further at odds with GOA because they will.

        They are going to be united with the RC in 2025 come hell or highwater.

        The bishops should just removed themselves from the Assembly now. Why put up with Elpi, if they don’t have to?

      • “By their fruits you shall know them.”

        Bartholomew, and Francis, have given no indication by their actions that this is “symbolic.”

        Considering what Barts plan for Nicea 2025 is, I fully expect this aligned Pascha to be their ultimate “achievement” of reunion. IMHO to think otherwise is foolish and ignoring their actions.

        But, as Gail said, a lot can change in 2 years and also I expect no other Church other than maybe the GOA/OCU to go along with it. IF it does occur then that is when I think the Ephraim monasteries would leave. I’ve been told as much by a monk at St. Anthony’s.

  16. Here is a quote from Met. Leonid of the Russian Exarchate in Africa, I can’t make much sense of it but it seems they have dirt on Theodoros(?):

    Friends! Yesterday, the Greek publication “Romfea” gave an insider about the decisions of the Synod of the Greek Church of Alexandria. The AOC, supporting the people who caused a schism in Ecumenical Orthodoxy, treacherously using the support of the West, invading the canonical territory of the Russian Orthodox Church, issuing an insignificant tomopisula about their rights to this “land”, recognizing the anathematized person and his “consecrations”, something was born there . The mission of the Patriarchal Exarchate continues its work, we have a lot of them, as you can see. And the opponents have no choice but to splatter with envy and poison. Things in Africa are getting worse and worse. In the meantime, at least put a chair for the main defendant of the AOC. Even though he didn’t deserve it. Unlike Field Marshal Wilhelm Keitel, during the signing of the unconditional surrender of Nazi Germany. Their fates are somewhat similar. Willy, too, initially resisted the attack on the Soviet Union. Keitel visited the USSR in 1931 with a military delegation and unequivocally expressed his opinion against an attack on our country. But as a result, he demonstrated complete loyalty to the Fuhrer (like Theodore Bartholomew), henceforth supporting all his criminal intentions. On May 13, 1941, he endorsed an order according to which any officer on the territory of the Soviet Union, without trial or investigation, could kill any local resident at the slightest sign of resistance. Nowhere in subjugated Europe did the Nazis dare to behave like this, observing at least the appearance of legality. He also fully supported the initiative to shoot all Jews and political officers on the spot. Sentenced to the highest measure, already with a noose around his neck, he exclaimed: “Germany is above all!” (coincidence, right!?). Death was not kind to him. He suffered on the gallows for 24 minutes. It is possible that in his death throes he saw hundreds of thousands of captured soldiers and civilians killed on his orders – women, children, the elderly. The schismatic Theodore did the same in his life. Begging and begging for funds for a mission in Africa, creating “Potemkin villages” instead of schools, hospitals, children’s institutions, etc., for which he was allocated funds. He sang and loved Ukraine, called to be faithful to Metropolitan Onufry in the Russian Orthodox Church. But then, having familiarized himself with the folder about his pranks, kindly provided by the SBU-CIA bunch, he suddenly sharply declared his support for the Turkish officer Bartholomew, thereby justifying the genocide of the population of Donbass, tens of thousands of victims, women, children of the elderly and biting the hand of Moscow. Traitors are not loved anywhere. Therefore, the next document, albeit not soon, but he will sign it, there is no doubt, there will be an act of complete surrender of the AOC, and its main defendant Theodore will not get a place in history. Such a mediocre, deplorable outcome awaits the Greek, who is still in Africa. In the near future, the hierarchy of the Russian Orthodox Church will give a full answer to what we see in the original document of the AOC.

    • George Michalopulos says

      I’d say the gloves are off as far as the Russian Exarchate is concerned.


      As an Hellene, I am deeply ashamed at the way the Church of Alexandria treats its native clergy.