This Just In: Holy Cross to Lose Accreditation!

Things aren’t looking good for the GOA’s only seminary here in North America. Truth be told, Holy Cross has been on the skids for several years now. And it was never known for its academic rigor.

Having said that, I can’t help but wonder if the downfall of Holy Cross was part of a broader plan to take down the other ministries and endeavors of the GOA. (The St Nicholas shrine springs instantly to mind.) With the possibility of the reopening of Halki, one has to ask who benefits? Certainly not an autonomous GOA.

Anyway, please read the letter from the Accreditation board for yourself.


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  1. Greatly Saddened says

    Congratulations to the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America for failing once again! You are a total disgrace, first and foremost, to our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and to anyone that is in any way affiliated with this three ring circus! How sad! You all need to go! Drain the cesspool and swamp!

  2. Austin Martin says

    While I definitely rejoice in the death of Holy Cross (and I’m in the GOA), nobody is going to Turkey for seminary. That’s just not going to happen. The GOA will almost certainly allow its ordination candidates to go to St Vlad’s and St Tik’s (which they used to way back in the day).

    I’d blame the decline in enrollment on having to go there an extra year just so that you can have 24 hours of modern Greek language.

    • To lose the odd national Monument or two is careless but to lose a seminary is definitely negligence don’t you think.!

      • Claes vanOldenphatt says

        Blame ‘Gerond’ Demetrios! Fire his sorry ***! Install a real operator like Emmanuel! Well show them russkies (OCA) how to run the Church!

    • The decline in enrollment is because of the horrific situation in parish life. Priests are under assault, family life is challenged for clergy, divorce is rampant and expectations are unrealistic. Many hierarchs don’t support their clergy but ra ther support a few wealthy parishioners. Think about how many parishes are trying to get rid of their priest. There is little respect for clergy. What person would want that kind of life. What parent would encourage that kind of life for their son?

  3. John Sakelaris says

    Why can’t things continue as they are? How important is it for an institution for training CHURCH clergy to receive an accreditation from a non-church body?

    • George Michalopulos says

      Good question. Is it possible that it could be federal assistance for tuition? I ask this in all sincerity as I am not in academia.

      • Loss of institutional accreditation and (apparently in Massachusetts) state-mediated degree-granting authority most definitely means loss of federal dollars. A few schools have purposely opted out of federal higher education funding (Hillsdale College comes to mind) so as to be “institutionally independent,” and do their own financial aid. But that won’t happen here.

    • John, think about it. If HCHC is doing such a miserable job of complying with the rules of their accreditation institutions, don’t you think it stands to reason that they are doing a miserable job teaching students as well as preparing them for ministry. This is just one glaring symbol that evererything at HCHC, much like everything the GOA has anything to do with, quickly turns to crap. Bartholomew destroyed the GOA and any chance of success here to avoid ever again being challenged by a strong leader like Archbishop Iakovos, of blessed memory. Now for personal glory and financial gain he is destroying orthodox unity in Ukraine and around the world. May our Lord swiftly call Black Bart from this world to his just punishment for his ongoing blasphemy against the Holy Spirit.

      • I couldn’t agree more Michael!
        I think the best thing to do is leave them and go to whatever other devout(!) Orthodox are in your area, whether Antiochian, Rocor, OCA etc.
        That will teach Bartholomew and the others.
        That is the only thing they understand.
        Years later, IF & WHEN the situation changes, you might go back to the Greeks if they become at least comparable with the others.
        But for the time being, first things first. First is the True Faith and then the rest.
        After all, in Eternity, God is not going to look at your passport or your fluency in which earthly languages.
        We love our Greek roots, but not more than the Faith.

        • John Sakelaris says

          Perhaps Michael and Ioannis express the prevailing opinion of the people who comment on this blog. Essentially, their view is that the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese has gone bad in many ways (not just in the handling of Holy Cross), and that Greek Orthodox Archdiocese laity in the US need to leave that structure and move over to parishes of the Antiochian, Rocor, or OCA groupings.

          Well, let me get real with you all. The Greek Orthodox Archdiocese laity, even by the most conservative estimates, are the majority of the Orthodox going to church in the US. A few of them may go over to the OCA over a fuss in their local community, but most are not going to do that.

          I hope for correction of any Greek Orthodox Archdiocese problems within the existing structure, not a revolution. That makes me an outsider on this blog. But it puts me in a lot of company overall.

          • John S, I agree with you. My sense is that the majority of those who post on this site gloat over the demise of the GOA rather than pray and hope for correction and healing.

            • George Michalopulos says

              jk, not true. I believe I speak for many when I say that what scandalizes one jurisdiction in America, scandalizes all. We don’t need the GOA, the so-called crown jewel in the EP’s mitre or the gold standard of Orthodoxy in America to continue to beclown itself in such fashion.

              Remember, several decades ago in Ligonier? All of the American Orthodox bishops and primates who were there were willing to cede their primacy to Iakovos of the GOA, so beloved was he a figure for all Orthodox in America, regardless of ethnic background.

              Now of course the Phanar has so poisoned the well that only a vicious persecution of Christians in general in the West will drain the bitterness from the water which we are forced to drink.

            • JK I don’t think you are wrapped very tight. For myself I am 100% Greek ancestry. I was baptized and grew up in the GOA. What could I possibly gloat about watching an institution that I have lived collapse into greed and corruption.

              Gloat? No. I am angry. Very angry. I I recall the one time out Lord was angry in the Gospels was when the money changers turned his Father’s house into a den of thieves.

          • Thanks John.
            Ok, if you don’t mind, now it is my turn to get real with you too:

            The bitter reality is that the situation is deadly serious, spiritually speaking.
            This man is promoting Syncretism, Ecumenism and lately more clearly Papism.
            As you said, he knows too, most of the American Greeks are really stuck with their Greekness.
            What the man did in Texas a few years ago, affects the very foundations of our Faith the belief in The Holy Trinity, the Crucifiction and rising from the dead.
            So then, what do you propose as a solution, e.g.
            1) stay as we are, gradually and “peacefully” growing in the Bartholomew paradigm
            2) or activate/exercise the laity right and duty to cry “Anaxios” (Unworthy).

            By the way the word “revolution” is not necessarily an negative, ugly or bloody word, and neither am I suggesting violence. Think of the “computer revolution”.
            The large crowd outside this forum do not call revolution what is happening in Ukraine. They call it rather a kind of wise interference by Bartholomew to bring peace there. But it is indeed a real, ancient style revolution with real physical violence!

            But now, if I say simply go to other churches you call that a (bad) revolution?

            To sum up, I repeat,
            What do you suggest we do?

          • Jim Fenelatos says

            How can they tolerate the Ruskins? All those muslimating prostrations! U S Grant protested the porgrams but ROCOR makes the satanic czars into saints. OCA twaddles with all those monophtysites. Greeks are wstern, they don’t want to hang with Slavs and Arabs.

            • Boris Jojic says

              You call Saints of the Church satanic? How many people died under the Czars as compared to those who died under the Soviets? I guess you never heard that Metropolitan Anthony Khrapovitsky blasted the pogroms which took place in Kishinev, now the capital of Moldova. Or Metropolitan Platon, who later headed the church in North America, also spoke out against the pogroms. He did more than speak out, he held a procession as Bishop of Odessa, specifically to show that the church didn’t stand with those who perpetrated the pogroms.

              • George Michalopulos says

                Boris, the numbers of people who were killed under the pogroms was miniscule in comparison to what transpired under Lenin and Stalin. And they were never ordered from above (i.e. by the Czar; no matter what you saw on Fiddler on the Roof). The overwhelming number of pogroms were “bottom-up” affairs, usually Ukrainian and/or Byelorussian peasants who were enraged at their Polish-Lithuanian overlords but could only take out their rage against the local Jewish population (whom they viewed as the middlemen who did the dirty work for the aristocracy).

            • Former GOA says

              Oh, most Holy Mother of God, save us!

              I pray that this post of “Jim Fenelatos” is a poor attempt at satire, otherwise it’s “Exhibit A” for the state of non-catechism and lack of understanding anything about God or Christ in the GOA.

              The “muslimating prostrations”? Islam grew out of early Christian heresy (as is well-known and well-documented). Muslims got the practice of prostrations from us.

              And Holy Tsar-Martyr Nicholas and the Holy Royal family, please forgive this terrible desecration of you and your family.

              There’s a saying in Greek “Πάλι με χρόνια με καιρούς πάλι δικιά μας θα΄ναι” about the recovery of Constantinople and the Church of Holy Wisdom for the Orthodox (“again with time/years and work, again ours she [the city] shall be”). Christian Russia fell because the people did not deserve it, and it has only resurging over the past few decades as faithful Orthodox Russians have been honoring their slain Holy Tsar-Martyr Nicholas and the Holy Royal family. Likewise, Constantinople will only become Orthodox again once the Orthodox faithful are worthy of it and begin converting Turkey to Christ.

              “The fruit of non-repentance and self-justification is humiliation… [Humiliation] is the only thing that can bring humility to the unrepentant.” –Fr Andrew Phillips

            • Dear Jim,
              I trust you want to receive serious, truthful, documented and above all christian replies to your comment and no sentimental talk.
              I shall do my best to meet with your expectations:

              1) Let us not sin by calling another nationality by
              disparaging or offensive names.
              Our Lord Jesus Christ forgave even his crucifiers.
              Saint Paul said:
              “There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor
              free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in
              Christ Jesus.”
              Again,I have selected the serious KJV English translation, which you will find the most serious.

              2) “muslimating prostrations”:
              No doubt, Jim, because you are a devout Orthodox Christian you
              know the original (Greek) text read at the very beginning of
              “Deute proskynesomen kai prospesomen…”
              The verb “prospesomen” indeed means to fall down!
              You can easily prove this if you read Luke 8:47
              “And when the woman saw that she was not hid, she came
              trembling, and falling down before him…”
              The words “falling down” have the same original Greek verb
              as used in the “prospesomen”.
              Ok, modern Greeks do not do this any more, and the good Lord
              does not punish us for that, but does that give us the right
              to criticize somebody else who does it in the ancient manner?

              3) “satanic czars”
              A study has shown that the communist Marx, actually was a
              satanist priest. The satanic marxists killed the czar, mainly, for being christian.

              4)”Greeks are wstern, they don’t want to hang with Slavs and Arabs.”
              Actually Christianity started in the East, (Middle East), not the West. Thus Christianity is originally Eastern, not Western! Most of the apostles and the very first Church on the day of the Pentecost were Jews, semites, not Westerners, not Europeans.
              Saint John of Damascus (Damaskenos) Father and Pillar of our Orthodox Theology, Hymnography and Music, was a christian Arab(!) in Syria with the family name “Mansour ibn Sarjun”.
              Are we then going to say,
              “Greeks are western, they don’t want to hang with the Arab Saint John of Damascus”?
              But the Bible says “for ye are all one in Christ Jesus.”

            • Ioannis u can’t argue with this slogan throwing Straight from 19c western greek elites and Zoe types who saw anything Orthodox as bad and Turkish and anything Catholic as good. This attitude at elite level in greek communities then emmigrated to USA to be seen in thefoundation of GOA I have mentioned prostrations and much else on this blog. I am presuning those pro bourgoise western church, do nor want it’s paedophilia. I hope not.

          • No John, let me get real with you. The Church of Jesus Christ is not about what most Greek Americans do. It is about what the faithful remnant does.

            The GOA has become a not very funny joke. It’s leaders are corrupt venal men. There is absolutely no effort to fulfill the Great Commission from our Lord. There is no effort to do any charitable work to witness to our fellow Americans. The GOA is the Greek culture club. That is nice to have one of those. But it is not the Church of Jesus Christ. It is not the church of the apostles and martyrs who watered the true Church with their own blood.

            I could not care less what a majority of my fellow Greek Americans do. At one time a large majority of a crowd cried out, crucify him!

            The GOA and it’s faithless lazy bishops and it’s snooty well heeled Archons and all the other crap will collapse under its own bloated weight. I hope it reforms itself before then, but I see little to give me hope.

            • Claes vanOldenphatt says

              Did you know the very recentGOA SF Metr. Clergy-Laity Conference has as its title ‘Reclaiming the Great Commission’?
              But the whole thing was prefaced by Metr. Gerasimos enjoining the gathering to defend the Fener in its efforts to ‘exercise love and healing in Ukraine’ against ‘those who use Sacraments as a weapon’. He also urged clergy and laymen to carry this message to their parishes.

              So on the one hand there is a sense on the west coast at least that the Great Commission has been lost by the GOA and needs to be reclaimed. But also there is ecclesiastical-polemical war to be waged on behalf of the rights and privileges of the Fener.

              Personally, I don’t see how they fit together.

              • George Michalopulos says

                They don’t. As a Greek-American who was raised in the GOA, I am constantly appalled by the self-serving language that is constantly peddled by the Phanar and its GOA eparchy.

                • Green, the new Red, Old Rome the new Greek, and Old Soviets are New Rome! says

                  I feel some old Greek envy popping up now that the Greeks are down.

                  Greeks are not going anywhere, and the Russians don’t really want Greeks anyway. For sure not urban churches.

            • Hear hear!!! . Some of the most GREEK greek cypriots I knew in London, never went near a Church. We shared a love of greek literature, and music but not religion So yes u don’t need church today to be greek. Good thing too. And in USA what a church!!

          • Presbyter Iosef says

            Well spoken Mr. Sakelaris. Most of our Greek Archdiocese parishes have faithful Orthodox Christians who love God and one another. As a parish priest, I concentrate on the flock before my eyes and pay little to no care for what is beyond that. It simply is out of my control. Our communities are often large, giving, and diverse (many Slavs, Romanians, Arabs, Eritreans/Ethiopians, and other ethnicities are woven into our parishes). 95% of the marriages in the Archdiocese are between an Orthodox Christian to a Christian. Our vocation isn’t to make them Greek but Orthodox. People are certainly free to be critical of whatever they want. Have at it. I just know from experience many of our local parishes are places of salvation and loving community.

            • John Sakelaris says

              Hello all,

              After reading the responses to my post of yesterday, I see that I did indeed touch a nerve. I do stand by my hope that needed reform can be achieved within the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese. But I am sure that the Lord has uses for the other Orthodox groupings here as well.

              Those who are still upset need to take a deep breath and remember all the things that we do agree on, pray, and wish good things for their fellow Orthodox.

          • Former GOA says


            As a former GOA member myself who grew up in the GOA, the problems of the GOA are so systemic and institutional that very few of us see any real opportunities for rehabilitation within the current organizational structure, barring a miracle (recalling, however, that God cannot and will not act against our own free will).

            Contrary to its Slavic brothers in the faith (which, thanks to the Phanar and its latest dalliances, are now estranged brothers in the faith), the GOA essentially abandoned ἄσκησις (askesis, or asceticism) as a prerequisite for the Christian life in its parishes. The GOA became simply a backdrop against which many Greek-Americans pursued financial success and the American Dream. Too many GOA leaders simply assumed that Greek-Americans would stay faithful to the Church.

            Well, times change, and Greek-Americans didn’t stay faithful. We live in aggressive modern secularism these days — as Rod Dreher terms it, liquid modernity — which infects and essentially secularizes everything it touches. The best definition for secularism I’ve heard is courtesy of Fr Stephen Freeman: “a society where God knows His place and stays there.”

            Asceticism is integral and essential in the Christian life, particularly today when we need our Orthodox ascetical practices to maintain our faith against liquid modernity. Tragically, the GOA never stressed tithing, and confession was unheard of (when I was a kid, after I read in Bishop Kallistos Ware’s book on The Orthodox Church in English (the first significant work on Orthodoxy in English, I think), he mentions that confession is an Orthodox sacrament. I asked about this and was flat out told that confession “is for Roman Catholics, not Orthodox”). Obviously, catechism in the GOA has been historically terrible, even non-existent.

            On the lack of tithing: Tithing is a measurable practice of giving back to God that which is God’s. Our tithe belongs to God, not to us. For decades, the GOA relied on Greek-American millionaires and billionaires to bail it out as needed; it did not stress or encourage tithing. Archbp Demetrios flat out said (last year, I think) something to the effect that he “had always had Greek-American millionaires/billionaires to bail the Archdiocese out, but they just don’t exist anymore.” This is partially true. There still exist thousands of Greek-American millionaires/billionaires. However, there are virtually no more Greek-American millionaires/billionaires who care enough about the Church to bail it out. This is what happens when catechism is non-existent and when liquid modernity subsumes a church organization.

            Mostly all (or nearly all?) of the Greek-American millionaires/billionaires these days are fully secularized, or at least not practicing Orthodox Christians any longer. Greek-Americans are among the most financially well-off of the hyphenated-American-groups that exist. If even a tiny fraction of Greek-Americans were with the GOA and tithed, the GOA’s and HCHC’s financial problems would disappear.

            On the lack of acsceticism: This is the fundamental problem, as I see it, in the GOA today. Without asceticism, there is no Christian life, particularly in liquid modernity. Our culture sure as heck does not support anyone in living the Christian life. Asceticism is not only for monastics — it’s for all Christians. (Fr Peter Heers, who spent a decade as a parish priest in a Greek mountain village north of Thessaloniki, commented that some of his Greek villagers would say that “asceticism is for the monks.” He wisely retorted that this is a blantant lie: there are not two Christian Gospels, one for monastics and another for lay people. Asceticism is for all Christians; it’s the way to approach Christ and the way to joy in the Christian life.) The GOA needs to rediscover ascetical Christianity, from requiring every parish to have the full cycle of services and requiring all parishioners to have a practice of confession (including obviously all parish council members to practice confession regularly). Many GOA parishes do not even know the Lenten prayer of St Ephraim.

            The confession piece is a big one, since it is through confession that we reaffirm our baptism in Christ. It’s my belief that the GOA will continue to wither and flounder until it does away with its bad and wrong tradition of “no confession necessary.”

            Of course, the GOA leadership must set the tone, and the tone in the GOA is set by its episcopacy. It’s been said before that while the Slavic Orthodox generally expect their bishops to be ascetics and monks, Orthodox Greeks expect their bishops to be politicians. This is, again, a bad and wrong tradition that must end. Orthodox Greek bishops must reaffirm the episcopal tradition of being ascetics, and they must be ascetics themselves, setting the example for their flock.

            Of course, things are terrible now with GOA bishops openly supporting the Phanar’s persecution of the saintly and ascetical bishop, Metropolitan Onuphry in Ukraine, in favor of the deluded nationalist “bishops” “Filaret” (who had been anathematized and deposed) and “Epiphany.” I don’t see any future for the GOA if it continues to side with the persecutors of ascetical Orthodox Christians.

            Yes, as Presbyter Iosef comments, there are some isolated faithful and ascetical-loving GOA Christians and parishes, for sure. But these are the exception. Fr John Whiteford has written that if things don’t change, he predicts a split in the GOA, with those faithful and ascetical Greek Orthodox Christians going one way, and those going with secularism and liquid modernity the other way. If things don’t change, I think he is correct.

            This HCHC accreditation drama is a healthy dose of humility and is a tremendous opportunity to be wake-up call for the GOA and for its leadership. May God enable them to take this opportunity and return to ascetical Christian Orthodoxy.

            • Thank you so well put friend. And as u might know I as a non american but knowing and connected to and visited Orthodox believer have said on this blog including recently re Lenten prayer and worship. U put it so well. I got attacked as how dare I in Bulgaria put forth the 2000 yr old experience of the Church over american right to shop around for the Orthodox church thst suits. How dare believers from until 1990s, persecuted and ridicled by communists, have anything to say?

              • Not me as persecuted believer of course but the millions in eastern Europe and Russia.
                And yes Orthodoxy in USA will have it’s own american stamp as that of Bulgaria, Serbia, Greece etc are each different in feel but always totally Orthodox even if they sometimes stumble

        • Amen Ioannis!! The only thing I love more than being Greek is being Orthodox. And that is not even close. Ever since they started with this “first without equal” crap I don’t even want to set foot in the GOA parish in which I was baptized. We go to our local OCA parish now. Lord have mercy.

  4. Greatly Saddened says

    It is unreal. The OCA can run tbree seminaries, while the GOAA cannot run even one! Need any more be said?

  5. Without making excuses for the GOA’s handling of Holy Cross, I would like to ask a broader question.

    Should any Orthodox Christian seminary – be it Holy Cross, St. Vlads, St, Tikhons, Holy Trinity, or any other seminary – be overly concerned with accreditation by a secular agency? Does the desire for accreditation truly align with the needs and educational purposes of the Church? I don’t claim to know the answer; thus the question.

    I would be interested to hear Father Alexander’s thoughts in particular.

    • For one perspective, having a recognized professional degree, such as an MDiv, is essential for getting work in such roles as chaplaincy (particularly military) and other pastoral roles outside of the parish. Not only that, but for those priests that don;t have a salary from the parish, having a higher degree can help them get a job to pay the bills (substitute teaching, etc.).

    • Claes vanOldenphatt says

      Would you spend several years and tens of thousands of dollars getting a degree from a school without accreditation? What world are you living in? Many clergy need secular jobs – with a ‘phony’ degree they would graduate into a job market where anyone with a single CPE unit would out-qualify them for even hospice chaplaincy.

      • Former GOA says

        Especially in the image-conscious GOA, I’m sure that this impending loss (or loss already, if it’s a done deal) of accreditation hurts.

        Remember, the GOA is an organization that for decades built itself on trying to appear like it’s “made it” in America. The $5 million overpriced GOA parish building is too common that it’s ridiculous (paid for by Greek festivals and Saturday night Greek dances, instead of Vespers). When I was a kid, the running theme in our GOA parish was to try to appear as wealthy as the Episcopalians down the road (I grew up in a WASP-rich part of America). And heck, why not worship like them as well? After all, that’s what it means to be “American.” Too many deluded leaders in the GOA thought and continue to think like this.

        Christ tells us that the *only* way to approach Christ is through His Cross and through humility. If a person or a church organization does not approach Christ through His Cross willingly, God will throw ample opportunities for humility in his/her path.

        Typically I would hope that this healthy dose of humble-pie is a wake-up call for the GOA, but given my own history with them and what I know and experienced myself, I’m not optimistic.

        • Claes vanOldenphatt says

          No optimistic here either. I know what kind of stubborn prigs populate the corridors of power. Only complete disaster that takes away everything will shake them.

  6. I agree about accreditation. It doesn’t concern me at all that an Orthodox school has the same recognition that an Episcopalian school has. It might mean something to the academics and perhaps to funding sources outside the church, but not to people in the parish. Certainly the loss of the year in Greece to learn how to be a Greek is a waste of time. THIS is where the cleric will serve, not Thessaloniki. If people from Thessaloniki want a place LIKE Thessaloniki, there happens to BE a place in Greece by that name already.

  7. I agree about accreditation. It doesn’t concern me at all that an Orthodox school has the same recognition that an Episcopalian school has. It might mean something to the academics and perhaps to funding sources outside the church, but not to people in the parish. Certainly the loss of the year in Greece to learn how to be a Greek is a waste of time. THIS is where the cleric will serve, not Thessaloniki. If people from Thessaloniki want a place LIKE Thessaloniki, there happens to BE a place in Greece by that name already. Oh, and by the way, the academic world will not miss the loss of Hellenic College altogether. There are plenty of community colleges out there.

  8. There are pros and cons. Accreditation allows for a degree to be issued so secular employment can be found by those attending. Not all are at seminary to be clergy. Also, financial aid can be sought. From what I know, the accreditation deals mostly with the basic structure and administration as well as financials. There are guidelines too for an educational standard. Censer Swinging cannot be a 10 credit class where Theology 101 is a 3 credit class. I’m no expert though. The more disappointing numbers are the amount of debt and dropping enrollment. Nobody wants to get on a sinking ship.
    The good news is that the OCA as well as the AOCANA went through their times of troubles and was a huge blessing. Now the GOA’s turn. May God be blessed!

    • “The good news is that the OCA as well as the AOCANA went through their times of troubles and was a huge blessing. Now the GOA’s turn. May God be blessed!”

      God bless you, Anon, and very well said. This perspective is very much needed.

  9. Presbyter Iosef says

    Holy Cross Seminary doesn’t need to have accreditation. With this said, if one wants to pursue graduate work this may make it difficult if your MDiv or MTh aren’t accredited. As to Hellenic College, they need accreditation for those seeking degrees in education and other disciplines that demand one go to graduate school. Also, in education, there are state standards that must be met in order to teach.

  10. Greatly Saddened says

    Below please find an article from today in The National Herald. Unfortunately, the article is locked and doesn’t appear in its entirety. I will continue to be on the lookout for the article in its entirely, and if found, I will post.

    Alarming Letter from Massachusetts Department of Higher Learning to HCHC
    By Theodore Kalmoukos 
    April 2, 2019

  11. r j klancko says

    St Sophia under the Ukrainians under the goal is doing well. Christ the savior under the acrod under the goal is doing ok. As is st Sava, as is holy Trinity, as is st Herman’s, as is st tikhons, as is st Vladimir’s what do the Slavs know that the Greeks do not. Something to ponder

  12. Greatly Saddened says

    Below please find an article from today on the Authentic Transparency and Accountability website.

    Tuesday, April 2, 2019
    BREAKING NEWS: New Letter Issued to HCHC, No Jobs for GOA Seminarians

    Massachusetts Department of Higher Education May Revoke Degree-Granting Authority

    Time to end the debate about whether the Degree at HCHC is “accredited.” 
    The School may lose its authority to issue degree.

  13. MatthewPanchisin says

    Yaya and Matushka say if they close it down send the GOA students to the Greek monasteries with Elder Ephraim then we could take a blessed collection in baskets to help out.

  14. It is sad that they have failed at Holy Cross but this is simply another symptom of a greater sickness in the GOA.
    The archdiocese has been increasingly political, messing with US and international politics. The EP has been dragging all of the Greeks into his heretical Schism in Ukraine and soon that will cause the Greeks to be outcasts even in seminary.

  15. Ronda Wintheiser says

    John Sakelaris:

    I’m puzzled by your take on this.

    First, do you think that the GOA has “gone bad”? Do you concur with what is arguably a consensus here that the leadership of the GOA is shot through with corruption?

    If not, then I guess I understand why you would defend the GOA.

    If so, however, what would be so terrible about GOA laity moving to parishes of other jurisdictions? Are GOA parishioners unaware of the goings-on in their jurisdiction? Does it concern them at all?

    You write “A few of them may go over to the OCA over a fuss in their local community, but most are not going to do that.”

    So you think some GOA parishioners might move over “a fuss in their local community”. Why not something *momentous* in their jurisdiction?

    Why would “most” not do that?

    There are plenty of folks who have left the OCA to go to other jurisdictions when things “went bad”. That wasn’t a revolution.

    Isn’t it possible that a reaction to the corruption in the GOA leadership by the GOA laity might motivate correction within the “existing structure”, as you put it?

    “That makes me an outsider on this blog. But it puts me in a lot of company overall.”

    What puzzles me is what seems like defensiveness on your part. It makes me wonder what you are defending, and why. And why it is important to you to be in the company of the majority.

    Is it possible that things like this that happen may result in movement toward unity on this continent under one jurisdiction, as it should be? Is that something you hope for? Or would you prefer the status quo?

    • John Sakelaris says

      My cautious answer to these many questions is to prefer to stay within the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese for now, seeking to reform its problems–with the understanding that a move away to another Orthodox jurisdiction would still be possible later.

      But such a move should not be seen as a first resort. I have some patience. Church break-ups (and that is what this would be) can be messy and can leave many stranded, not knowing where to go. Many unforeseen consequences could result.

      And if it was important for me to be in the company of the majority I would not be commenting on this blog.

      It is worth adding that I truly love the OCA and Antiochian parishes in my area and felt very welcome there a few years ago when my Greek Orthodox parish was between priests.

  16. Ashley Nevins says

    I am not surprised. More than this will be coming to this church. Steeper and more decline is the future of the GOA. I predicted its death spiral years ago and before others were taking notice of it.

    All of you might consider taking a look at the below graph for ideas of what went wrong. More than it shows went wrong with the GOA in America…systemic corruption is what went wrong and there are rational reasons why it went systemically corrupt wrong.

    This is but a sample of what went wrong graphically illustrated…

    And this is what can give you discernment in the signs, indicators and proofs of any jurisdiction going wrong in America…

    To the best of my knowledge the EO in America do not have resources like this and I believe I know why. Authoritarian closed and isolated systems don’t like being exposed and held accountable. I’ve even seen that proved true in my Bible 🙂 (I’ve also done some expose’ of the GOA hierarchy myself and they didn’t like me for it)

    If you had a prolific amount of resources like that the hierarchies would be held to greater transparency, accountability and consequences. They would lose corrupt power by the power of laity accountability that exposes the problems with their authority gone wrong. But, that would take a laity that is wanting, willing and capable of holding them accountable with resources that expose them when held up to them in comparison. It would take a laity that is actually thinking we live in the modern world and we need a modern world relevant church that can reach into the society and culture with the Gospel and grow a living church of Jesus Christ. A church that is other centered to the wounded, lost and broken and not self centered on its isolating and closed system mind set by way of we alone are Gods only true church.

    Moving from the left side back over to the right side of the graph is possible for a church but one must understand what that actually takes before hope is held out that the GOA will move to the right side of the graph. The longer a church has been operating on the left side of the graph the more difficult (generally speaking) it will be for it to move the right side of the graph.

    Did the GOC come to America on the left hand side of the graph? Did it build its church here on other centered Gospel evangelism to those not ethnically Greek? Did it come here with a mission for itself or for others not of its origin and ethnicity? You know, like Jesus and Apostles came for all and not just the Jews.

    Has the death spiral of the GOA caused it to see its reasons for its death spiral. Will it bring about a Gospel Christ centered solution or a Greek ethnocentric, Hellenistic and closed and isolated system solution that is no solution. When the solution to the problem is the problem no solution to the problem comes.

    The church I attend operates on the left hand side of the graph and remains there due to leaders who understand how to keep a church from moving to the right side of the graph.
    Zero tolerance of systemic corruption, cover up, hiding, secret keeping, abuse, etc is the standard. The Gospel is the first priority and not isolating ethnocentric, arrogant we alone are the only God right, authoritarian leadership corruption and leadership incompetency with the Gospel and the management and operation of the church. (The attitude of the GOA is shown in its true priorities and so it is no wonder why it is dying in America)

    Do I strike you as someone who allow his church to move to the left side of the graph?

    Here is a starting point test to see if the Greeks really want solution to their death spiral of a church…take the word GREEK out of the church name title. Show the world that you are Christ centered and not GREEK centered. Not going to happen and so the death spiral will continue.

    The church I attend is not a Gods only true church, but it is a true Christ and Gospel centered living and growing organism. It exposes itself to itself. It actually tries to practice this…

    Yes, I know, that is not the GOA.

    • ” it shows went wrong with the GOA in America…systemic corruption is what went wrong”

      Corruption is a result and a symptom of something deeper. The modernism is the real reason.

      The real event was the New Calendar Schism. The most traditional and devout people ended up outside of the official church, leaving the moderate and practical people uprooted.

  17. Greatly Saddened says

    For those of us who are praying for a Pan Orthodox Church here in the U.S.. We will continue to keep the flame lit! Lord have mercy!

    • Greatly Saddened “For those of us who are praying for a Pan Orthodox Church here in the U.S.”

      I doubt it would end up well. Present fragmentation is a reflection of diversity in America, attempts to impose artificial unity will cause further scandals and divisions.

    • Joseph Lipper says

      Greatly Saddened, do you remember the “Orthodox People Together” project? I think it basically died because everyone realized they didn’t particularly want to be lumped together as a people.

  18. Joseph Lipper: “it basically died because everyone realized they didn’t particularly want to be lumped together”

    Well, the presence of a several Orthodox jurisdictions is very American and has some advantages. With the Greeks (split into organ/pews infused glitzy churches and somewhat gloomy and not exactly canonical Old Calendarists), to the stubbornly traditional Russians and Serbs, plus others between, it offers a beneficial choice. When one jurisdiction sinks, you can be rescued in another. What could be more American 😉

    Unfortunately, hasty attempts to create one centralized structure and authority, could give one faction the power to subdue the others, and be a cause for scandals and new schisms. So let things evolve and settle organically. God bless America.

    • John Sakelaris says

      Martin, an interesting and constructive comment. Yes, God bless America.

      Oh, and my Greek Orthodox parish is only moderately glitzy.

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