Have You Heard the One About the American Barbarians?

Several of you have asked about Metropolitan Elpidophoros Lambriniadis’ speech at Holy Cross.  It was in 2006, not 2009.  Mea culpa.  Though many sources have dropped the text, it appears in its entirety here:  http://www.aoiusa.org/ecumenical-patriarchate-american-diaspora-must-submit-to-mother-church/

My response to then Archimandrite Lambianides speech:  http://www.aoiusa.org/ocl-responds-to-the-ep-about-holy-cross-talk/


  1. Fr. Ioannes Apiarius says

    Reposting the AOI link so WordPress displays it as linked: http://www.aoiusa.org/ecumenical-patriarchate-american-diaspora-must-submit-to-mother-church/

    Lots of thoughtful comments at the bottom of that post. Worth reading them also.

    • George Michalopulos says

      Thank you Fr.

      Personally, I knew that then Archimandrite Lambrianides didn’t understand anything about America from the very first paragraph of his speech.

      • I just read his speech and it shows the man.
        Yes as some scholarly professor he analizes some aspects of the greek situation in USA, and church, fairly well but without really understanding the reality and showing total ignorance of history, such as the disgraceful no mention of Tikhon of blessed memory etc.

        However, being the pretend monk of pretend monastery that he is, and academic, he then treaty the american church as a theoretical topic to be essayed about. As for hellenism, tell all that waffle to third and forth generation ‘ greeks’, or to those married into ‘ greek ‘ families. He seems to regard converts as a disease and instead of seeking to understand the commitment of converts that lead to higher rate of ordinations, he treats this as a disease to be treated.

        One can only hope that when he is discarded by his boss at some stage, the understanding will come.

  2. Fr. Ioannes Apiarius says

    You’re welcome George. You’re right, Lambrianides has no meaningful understanding of America or parish life or family issues as experienced by Orthodox priests and communities in America. It does not bode well for what’s to come for the Greek Church in the United States.

    • Forgot to mention that his defense of his papal Patrarchate and boss, is so poor and theologically blasphemous in way.
      The decisions about other patriarchates and their founding were actually acknowledgement of ‘ changing realities and changing world, not a determination to fit the situation in medeval Europe as ‘ eternal ‘ . They were quite the opposite. At least previous Patriarchal holders, even if unwillingly, acknowledged finally reality.
      These people seem determined to enforce medival ‘ dead reality’ on us all, and create a divine authority. As Rome, no different. Francis must be peeved!!!

  3. Greatly Saddened says

    Here is a man who unfortunately doesn’t have any parish life experience and I will not even touch upon what he is referred to as abbot of the so called monastery of the Holy Trinity on the island of Halki.

    How sad is it that we here in the U.S. seem to not have qualifiied hierarchs capable to fill the office of Archbishop of America.

    If we like, we can continue to make all the excuses we want. But how is it there is no so called bench of candidates within the Archdiocese of America?

    And as many may not like to admit, this present Patriarch has been one complete and total disaster for Orthodoxy and primarily for us here in the U.S..

    His 28 or so years will most certainly go down in history as some of the worst in the history of the Ecumenical Patriarchate.

    God help us all on the future direction of the Archdiocese of America. I for one, hope and pray for a turnaround, but am highly doubtful it will likely occur.

    The byzantine intrigue continues and only time will tell for sure!

    Lord have mercy on us all!

    • It is possible that this Patriarch has already surpassed Meletios Metaxakis of thrice wretched memory.

      • And when the local churches grow spines Metaxakis will be anathematized. Until then we are wasting precious time.

        I swear we are like lost sheep, allowing this hireling in Istanbul to expose us to the wolves. When a churchman like Jonah speaks out, he is roundly condemned by all the smart folk. I recall seeing Frederica Matthews-Green in Nashville very soon after Jonah’s bold statement. She and her Episcopalian clergy friend were very incensed by it. I wish I knew what they thought of Lambrianides’ retort.

        • George Michalopulos says

          Claes, I thank you for this observation –with which I heartily agree. However, I wasn’t aware that Fredericka (who I respect) was “incensed” by Met Jonah’s bold speech. For my money –and to this very day and until I turn blue in the face–I heartily concur with every word that His Beatitude spoke that Sunday evening at Vespers in Dallas.

          We here in America are much poorer for the fact that nothing came of it.

    • Matthew Panchisin says

      Dear Greatly Saddened,

      Lambrianides is the author of the “first without equals” ecclesiastical heresy as such he is in reality a false prophet heresiarch, (he is actively pushing that false teaching to be a reality, suffice it to say it won’t happen in the Orthodox Church) his publicly expressed and officially disseminated ideas are a most serious assault on the entire Orthodox Church and the faith of the Apostles. His and the E.P’s fallen notions have been appropriately refuted as those refutations are written in truth. God fearing and Christ loving Orthodox Christians know the current situation in all of Orthodoxy and in Ukraine are among the fruits of the “first without equals” disposition that he and others concocted.

      While we are now often seeing nice deflections (which is understandable) relative to the aforementioned reality such as “Lambrianides has no meaningful understanding of America or parish life or family issues as experienced by Orthodox priests and communities in America.” we know that our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ has said that we are to “beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves.” Fr. Ioannes Apiarius, I think this much more than a skunk roaming around a picnic with family and friends that the kids should keep an eye on dwelling in the barbarian lands.

      I suspect that when Lambrianides has his telephone conference with all the Greek Priests soon the aforementioned “first without equals” disposition will not be in their minds because many of them are sincerely kind hearted, willing to embrace a “Leadership” exchange for the sake of things getting better. The exceedingly serious forced “Leadership” exchange via the “first without equals” Lambrianides exchange of the Apostolic faith (which is most significant) is seemingly rendered insignificant, nevertheless, I’m sure the Priests will continue to suffer and trust in God. Lambrianides for Demetrios both being falling ecumenist will not be taken into consideration because the spreading disease won’t allow sobriety among them short of some shocks of consciences that require lifestyle changes for the sake of peace of soul. That being said I have learned that many prefer to simply bury their heads in the sand rather than really look into the matter more.

      Bartholomew openly says that he is the founder of the ecumenical movement which also promotes the worst of exchanges, looking to other common figures like Abraham for the three great monotheistic religions to look to for world peace etc. That is not the faith of the Apostles we know and embrace who preach Christ crucified and risen, to the glory of God Almighty.

      Anyway, the ecumenist have a much different perspective since they are apostates of the Orthodox faith.

  4. I was looking for info on the monastery that he’s the abbot of and can’t find any. It looks like there is no parish practical experience and he’s a bishop of a non existent diocese. I’m hoping that at the least he has some pastoral experience as the head of a monastic community. Anyone know if this monastery on Halki?

    • Greatly Saddened says

      Halki Seminary
      The seminary is located on the site of the Monastery of the Holy Trinity, founded by Patriarch Photius I almost a thousand years before the foundation of the theological school


    • I would assume that either the seminary of Halki had a monastery attached to it when it was still open, like St. Tikhons , or it was a small separate monastery on the island. Either way it is most likely that all forms of Monastic life ended on Halki when the seminary was closed down in the 1970’s. So it is unlikely that he was actually ever an acting abbot of an occupied monastery, just another weird honorary title of an unoccupied place that Constantinople likes to give out to bishops.

    • Johannes says

      It’s the seminary the Turks shut down:


      Lots of information about his humble Eminence on the website, not much else.

    • Yes it has no monks just him. As rest of Constantinople potemkin village Patrarchate.
      It is very sad but this hollowed out reality is the cause of all the ills.
      If Constantinople was functional Patrarchate with real people and rest, none of this would be happening.
      Why it can never be anything but a disturbed parent to the (sic)’ barbarians lands’, because this parent CANNOT FINANCIALLY afford the kids to leave home now they working in good jobs with money.

      • Constantinos says

        You said it brother. Having a deep interest in electrical engineering, physics and mechanical engineering, I watch a lot of electrical videos on YouTube. I was amazed at the numerous benefits of an electrician being a member of the IBEW. I’m starting to think what the Orthodox Church in America really needs is a strong union for the laity.
        In my humble, unknowledgeable opinion, Canon 28 is null and void. Bart, get your slimy hands out of the laity’s pockets. The Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople no longer exists, and it hasn’t existed since the end of Byzantium.

    • It’s on the site of the (currently closed) Halki seminary. Not sure if there’s an active brotherhood there or if it is just titular.

    • A senior GOA clergyman in my area remarked candidly on the accommodations in Halki, which included big-screen TV in the lounge. No mention of any actual brotherhood extant. I suspect that like most Fener bodges, this is a paper tiger of a monastery with a brotherhood much like the see of its bishop ‘abbot’ – something which exists by legal fiction.
      What a way to govern the churches of ‘the world’s 250 million Orthodox Christian believers’.

      • This is the root of the evil. This void which thinks it can talk down to the Church of Russia as if it is a nothing. And govern the Church. I wish the turks would close down and call an end but why would they with the great job for hellenism, from their side, the Phanar is doing, let alone for Church.
        Above all there is the scandal with Greece. It’s hands in half it’s church’s diocees and Greece denied the dignity of a Patriarchate.

    • Yes, that’s what I’ve heard too, that the monastery in Halki is a pretend monastery. Seriously. I’d love to read evidence that the Halki monastery really exists, with a monastic brotherhood. If anyone has evidence, please post it.

      The degree of emotional immaturity in the EP/GOA is appalling. It’s such an unhealthy environment, I don’t know how people put up with it.

      My experience in the GOA is that you’re either a narcissist abuser, or you’re a codependent who’s been trained to take the abuse. The minute I got on the road to recovery, there’s no way I could stay there.

      This whole drama is making me think about leaving Orthodoxy. I love Christ, but the Orthodox church outside of well established centers where there’s good infrastructure is a complete mess.

      There is a lovely, traditionalist Anglo-Catholic parish near me which has sane, kind people who work to follow traditional western Christianity, a coexisting large classical Christian school where they teach their youth K-12 because they care about that stuff, men’s and women’s groups, regular daily worship, etc. It’s so attractive.

      I just don’t want to raise my children in a dysfunctional church that can’t do anything and where so many faithful and clergy are perfectly content to live in la-la-land.

      I never thought I’d be at this point, but my faith in God’s Holy Orthodox church is at an all-time nadir. Please pray for me. I feel so like that man: “Lord, help my unbelief!”

      And true to form, when I talk about these concerns with some “Orthodox Christians,” many just shame me for my “unbelief in the church,” which simply serves to drive me away further. When a group can only think to try to keep people in line by shaming them, you know it’s high time to leave.

      • Gail Sheppard says

        Anon 2, there are so many reasons why it is imperative for you and those you love to remain in the Faith (I SO understand your discouragement, though). But there is another reason. We need you in the Body. We need you to stand up against what could be the most important battle the Church has ever faced.

        • r j klancko says

          I meet many graduates of eastern orthodox iny career. To the one the church has driven them to seek other options. And the clergy not being fishers ofen have not bought them out. I visited two parishes in Charlotte n c recently and no one was interested in the fact I was there. Do not damn the message receiver damn the message givers. We all need to change our paradigms. And ethnocentricities

          • Gail Sheppard says

            I’m not trying to damn anyone, but point well taken: We need to change our paradigms and ethnocentricities. What we’re doing is not working.

        • Regardless what Gail and her gang of protectors of the faith here on this blog think they are doing even when right or wrong, on church politics, slanted or not by jurisdictions A,B, or C, these proclamations every single day, is no different in that what Ashley Nevin’s is achieving. Seeds of doubt, seeds of hate, seeds of wholesale slander for one jurisdiction while ignoring the faults of another. Dissecting and believing they can read the minds of our leaders and future actions that will be achieved, reveals a lack of faith, that of which I myself have been guilty of. The more I step back the more I see how unhealthy it is.

          This blog is one of many that can either turnoff thousands of people or turnon depending what they are looking for, to fill a void missing in their life. What they fill it with is the question, but most likely does not come from Jesus Christ. Pointing out the sins, mistakes, and errors of religious leaders and institutions is a guessing game at best,sinful slander at worst. Much time wasted imho.

          • Gail Sheppard says

            We’re obviously turning off you, Dino. You’ve made that clear. As a “reality check”, count the number of comments just in the last week or so that strongly disagree with your POV. You will find there are several hundred. This should give you pause. You’re not going to be able to “shame” anyone away from this. Presuming that you know it is “not coming from Jesus Christ” is flat out arrogant. May God forgive you for this and the other insulting things you’ve said against your friends who love the Church.

            Everyone else who is commenting has made it about the issue: you have chosen to make it personal. When people resort to making something “personal,” they have lost the greater argument.

            • Yes Gail you are correct, I am in the minority here, please forgive my past transgressions. I admit I where comes from what. I am doing my best since your deleted post about mommy and daddy getting a divorce.

              • Gail Sheppard says

                George deleted it. I suggest you follow up with George before you presume to know why.

                • Greatly Saddened says

                  The way I see it, the laity can do two things. One is to unfortunately and may I say, sadly do what the majority of the seemingly apathetic laity is doing and just sit back and accept things.

                  The other choice is to speak up and by doing so, hopefully positive change can perhaps come from it.

                  There will be difficult times ahead and the laity has to remain united, strong and to speak out, persevere. In order to hopefully make a positive difference for Orthodoxy.

                  Many have stated, we here in the U.S. are not ready for a Pan Orthodox Church. And my response to this is: If not now, when? When will it ever be the “right” time?

                  Time has come to cut the umbilical cord and learn to walk on our own. To stop sending money oveseas to a defunct and former Byzantine Empire which fell some 566 years ago. In a modern day country where they do not seem to value religious freedom and whereby to become Patriarch, one needs to be a Turkish citizen.

                  In my most humble personal opinion, His Eminence Archbishop Iakovos of blessed memory was correct in hoping perhaps one day there would be a Patriarchate here in the U.S..

                  God help us and have mercy on us all!

                  • Gail Sheppard says

                    To add to that, Greatly Saddened, one is rarely ready for what life throws at us. We’re not ready for adolescence, but we go through it. Young men, kids really, whose mothers may still do their laundry, aren’t ready for the rigors of war, but they go. And who is ready for the changes that come with parenthood?! The point is that our being ready is not a requirement to be successful. If the time is now for a Pan Orthodox Church, we can do it.

                    • Excuse me, but the OCA turns 50 next year. What are we, chopped liver?
                      It makes me sick to read all these complaints about the lame-o GOA AS THOUGH NO ALTERNATIVE EXISTED. This is America and we are ‘cursed’ with a plethora of competing jurisdictions. The downfall of the GOA is sad, but people can move on from their abusers.

                    • George Michalopulos says

                      Agreed. (Although I do like chopped liver every now and then.)

                    • Gail Sheppard says

                      I don’t think anybody was trying to dis the OCA. Pan-Orthodox, in this context, means all Orthodox coming together in one Church.

                      Pan – “a combining form meaning ‘all,’ occurring originally in loanwords from Greek ( panacea; panoply ), but now used freely as a general formative ( panleukopenia; panorama; pantelegraph; pantheism; pantonality ), and especially in terms, formed at will, implying the union of all branches of a group ( Pan-Christian; Panhellenic; Pan-Slavism ).”

              • Correction: I admit I don’t know where and what comes from, to fill the void. Joan of Arc comes to mind. Anyway Goodluck with your trials and tribulations.,.

              • George Michalopulos says

                Dino, please feel free to email me.

            • Beryl Wells Hamilton says

              Gail, way to do exactly what Dino just wrote! Oops, your reply to me might just do it again! Dino has been posting here for years. He isn’t suddenly going to go bonkers and tell lies so God has to forgive him, according to your judgment. Oh well, carry on!

      • Well, folks, here’s a statement with attached link to a video that tells you what you seem to not want to know. Easier to decide it’s a “Potemkin Village” so we can all disdain the man and the place, than find out what it really is and go from there. Here ya go:

        “Published on Aug 3, 2015
        Since it was shut down 43 years ago, one of the Orthodox Church’s preeminent seminaries has been waiting to re-open its doors to educate future clergy.

        The Theological School of Halki – built on an island in the Adalar district of Istanbul – closed its doors in 1971 but it is kept in pristine condition so it can recieve new students at any time – in case the decision to reopen it ever comes.

        Classrooms with desks dating back to the 19th century are ready to be used again while dormitory-style bedrooms await the next class of theological students.

        Over 96-thousand volumes line the shelves of the seminary’s library, many gathering dust.

        Virtually unchanged since the building was constructed in 1896, the seminary is ready to enroll students at a moment’s notice.

        “If the decision is taken today, tomorrow I am ready to host the first class,” said Archbishop Elpidophoros Lambriniadis who is in charge of the monastery and the seminary.

        Perched atop a hill on Heybeli Island, one of several islands off the coast of Istanbul, the school, founded in 1844, is nestled in the Holy Trinity Monastery that currently houses five priests.

        The Byzantine Era monastery itself dates back to the 9th century.

        “It’s a great honor and I’m privileged to be at Halki, a place that in the last 150 years has produced many clergymen and patriarchs for Greek Orthodoxy. I feel it’s very important to serve the Church,” said 34-year-old Father Gideon, who came to Halki from Athens.

        Halki closed it’s gates in 1971 when Turkey passed a law prohibiting the operation of private universities not affiliated with a state higher education facility.

        This dealt a blow to the Orthodox Christian community worldwide, said Lambriniadis.

        “Our school is an ecumenical school which reflects to the whole Orthodox world,” he said.

        “This was the highest educational institution of the Orthodox Church.”

        At the time, Lambriniadis said, Halki educated not only Orthodox clergy, but also members of other churches, including Roman Catholics and Anglicans.

        The seminary’s status has been a point of contention in Turkey.

        Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan has said the re-opening of Halki depends on reciprocal measures from neighboring Greece.

        “We have two mosques in Athens,” said Erdogan in October, adding that the re-opening of Halki could happen instantly.

        “They’ve (Greece) promised us many times (to open the mosques to worship.) It has been on the agenda for 10 years� unfortunately, we’re still being messed around with.”

        For the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople, Halki’s status may determine its future.

        The Patriarchate of Constantinople, one of Orthodoxy’s 14 self-governing churches, is considered to be the center of the Orthodox Christian Church.

        Its leader, Patriarch Bartholomew, is revered as the spiritual head of over 250 million Orthodox Christians worldwide.

        Halki was the only seminary for the Patriarchate of Constantinople to educate its clergy, and the next patriarch must be a Turkish citizen.

        The spokesperson for the Patriarchate says they’re now “importing” priests into their diocese, mainly from Greece.

        “The patriarchate (of Constantinople) has dioceses everywhere, not only in Istanbul. And for those dioceses we need our own people, just like other patriarchates have their own people,” said Archpriest Dositheos Anagnostopoulos.

        Meanwhile back at Halki, Lambriniadis, whose first name Elpidophoros means “he who brings hope,” isn’t very hopeful.

        He said he doesn’t see his school reopening anytime soon, but will be prepared if his prayers are answered. ”


        • Johannes says

          I posted a link to that very article already. It’s not an active institution. Why do you work so hard to muddy the waters? I don’t understand what your goal is.

          • I didn’t see your link until after I posted. I thought it was pretty straightforward. What always bothers me is the overabundance of criticism. The school and monastery are what they are, but are being used here to make the Phanar look bad, when they seem to be doing a pretty job of it without the added criticism.

            • Gail Sheppard says

              No one is trying to make the Phanrar look bad. They’re doing it all by themselves.

              • Indeed Gail.
                The Halki School, before closing, has produced ecumenistic theologians and clergy. If it does open again and carries on in the same way, then it will damage the church even further.
                Doesn’t Beryl know this?

              • Constantinos says

                Hi Gail,
                I was wondering if I may ask you two questions. First, you mentioned you came from an Evangelical background. Would you mind sharing a little about that ( at your comfort), and how you came to Orthodoxy?
                Secondly, I don’t think the only way to serve God is to be a slave to one’s not very local Orthodox Church. One of the things I’ve been thinking of doing is purchasing a dog like a pure bred Rough Collie, Labrador Retriever, or a Border Collie, teach it to do tricks, and bring it around to nursing homes to entertain the patients or perhaps local schools. Would you consider that to be doing God’s will? I know the patients absolutely love it when people bring dogs to visit. I mean being on the parish council or things like that have no appeal to me. It would consume too much time, and would not be very rewarding to me. As I get elderly, I think it’s time to have some fun- and that would be bring me great personal joy. It would probably be more rewarding than involvement in local government. Thanking you in advance for your kind advice. May God bless you richly in all your endeavors.

                • Gail Sheppard says

                  I think that’s an excellent plan, Costa. I was looking online and this site may be able to help you with this: https://www.tdi-dog.org/OurPrograms.aspx?Page=Hospitals+(Children%27s)

                  I came into the Church through an old high school friend. He had lived at St. Anthonys for a few years. He took me there and Father Paisios made me a catechumen. I was then baptized in Colorado through the OCA and spent the better part of a decade at an Antiochian parish in CA. You could say I am very “pan” Orthodox, as each jurisdiction has been a part of my journey. For me, it’s all just the Church. I don’t see the divisions. I’m comfortable with all languages, not that I know anything but English. I don’t. But I know the liturgy. I know what’s being said because of when it’s said if that makes sense.

                  Please keep us updated on your idea of getting an animal and visiting hospitals. When my dad was in hospice, two miniature horses came through the french doors off the patio of his room. I was shocked because they just wandered in without warning. I was kind of worried about how my dad would react. He LOVED it! – Labs are great, too. I’ve had many. They’re big, sloppy animals with a laid back disposition. Just how I like them. Here’s a picture of the dog park I helped to bring to my city in CA. I got a volunteer of the year award from the mayor! https://www.ocregister.com/2014/01/16/breas-dogs-get-a-park-of-their-own/

                  • Constantinos says

                    Dear Gail,
                    Thank you for referring me to that web site. I think that is so awesome about your work with dogs, and the opening of the park. In my humble opinion, you are doing God’s work in church and in your community. I find what you are doing to be very inspirational. I’m also delighted to see you are animal lover like me. Thank you for the time to respond to my post, and sharing with me. I really appreciate it.
                    Oh, if I may share a little story. We had a kitten from a stray cat. It was the most loving, affectionate animal I’ve ever seen. I fell in love with it because it would follow me all around the house. When I would get into bed, it would crawl up my body and place herself between my left arm and chest. When I would wake up, she was still in the same place, sleeping soundly. One night I came home, asked where the kitten. She had gotten out of the house because my daughter had left one of the doors open. One of the family dogs killed her outside. I was so devastated, I would get choked up when I mentioned her, and wouldn’t even look at the dog after that.

        • Last I knew libraries and desks can easily be moved. Only nostalgia prevents the seminary from reopening elsewhere.

      • Anon I am in Bulgaria and greek. I know USA quite well. I HAVE BEEN THERE. Sometimes still am, thankfully here I have a humble worshipping church. I understand you fully and yr understanding it will never keep yr kids. Yes if helps attend the Anglo Catholic church to keep you going but read more about the Orthodox church, about the 70 yrs persecution in communist Russia and 45 in Balkans. How it was here in Bulgaria. My bulgarian language teacher lost her university job for attending Church at Pascha. Peopke in Russia suffered beyond words.
        I know and feel yr anger. Some days I feel like saying… … It. Had enough of the Politics and pride. Where is Christ, but Christ comes and speaks.
        If you want I can give you my email if that helps, let me know.
        Try and go to another Parish, concentrate on the worship and prayer. Remember there is a dark side to the Church and judas denied Christ.
        In Moscow in 1920s a priest at end of Liturgy took his robes of and said he had never believed. There was an outcry until a young man came forward and said to remember the Last Super and Judas and it is no different now. Read about the Russian martyrs. About Patrarch Tikhon Who was american citizen, and part of yr story.

  5. It used to be a Source of grief, for us Greeks especially, the bondage of the Church of Constantinople under the Turkish book. Now it is a streaming flow of poison for rest of the Church.

    • So leave it. Do you despise the OCA?

      • FRIEND I live in Bulgaria so not issue. I am blessed with a truly worshipping church. But on visits to USA I attend now OCA. I can’t sit through a greek american harmonium cacophony for my health sake anyway.
        My memories of attending vespers in St Vladimir chapel remain with me. And i have a cd of Liturgy in english of St Vladimir choir under Ledkovsky. Superb!!

        • God bless you Nikos! Bulgaria is a wonderful country. I have always wanted to visit Sofia!

          • Do. I am in Veliko Tarnovo. You always welcome. Seriously. Let me know.
            Sofia is a beautiful small city. Lovely. Good people.
            It’s church keeps me in. Being greek I feel great pain for the fifth and scandal coming from Constantinople.

            Bulgarian Church has two traditions, musical the byzantine and the loosely put,Slav/ Russian. Rachmaninov and byzantine chant in same liturgy. Wonderful. But more than that people attend Church from belief. 45 yrs of intense persecution

  6. Boot

  7. Could they seriously not have chosen one of the great monastics from St. Anthony’s or Holy Archangels?

    What I haven’t seen a whole lot of is what the ramifications will be for non-GOA Orthodox in America. The Archbishop of GOARCH is de facto head of the pan-Orthodox bishops council.

    • Stavros: Could they seriously not have chosen one of the great monastics from St. Anthony’s or Holy Archangels?

      I am greatly concerned that the new Archbishop, (with the blessing of Cpole), is going to begin putting a lot of pressure on these holy Monasteries.

      • George Michalopulos says

        That’s the game plan. I’m not sure what pressure they can bring on the parish priests at this point. A lot of them are already between a rock (festivals) and a hard place (monthly assessments to 79th St).

      • George Michalopulos says

        That would’ve have been too easy.

      • Greatly Saddened says

        In all respect and in all fairness. Time has finally come for the monasteries under the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America to be audited as well. Everyone should be held to the same financial standards, accountability and transparency. No exceptions. None whatsoever!

        • Constantinos says

          Dear Greatly Saddened,
          You are a man of uncommon wisdom. Since the Greek Orthodox Church is under the EP’s yoke, why doesn’t he also open his books to each and every parishioner. I agree! Complete and total transparency. I’m sick and tired of these “All Holinesses” acting like Mafia Dons.

  8. He may be another Spyridon. We know what happened. Tell INS tot to give him a visa

    • Antiochene Son says

      It will never happen. The Ecumenical Patriarchate is basically a CIA asset at this point.

  9. I was there in the Summer of 2011 right before Elpidophoros became the Abbot. It’s literally just the school building, the Abbot, and a few kitchen staff who cool for guests. It’s a monastery on paper, but I think that’s the Phanar’s way of keeping the Turkish government from bulldozing the place.

    • Oh whoops I meant this to be a response to Anon.

    • George Michalopulos says

      Vergil, I’m glad I waited to write something after you did. Like you, I was in Halki in 1999 and I saw no active monastery. As for the Church there, we attended Vespers Sat night. Besides the six of us (my family), there was a priest, an altar-server and the local bishop. The altar-server must have been 15-16. Poor guy, he couldn’t take his eyes off of us; you’d have thunk we were from Mars or something. Clearly, he had never served a Vespers with a congregation present.

      It was during that trip (which, btw, I thoroughly enjoyed) that I realized that there was this “you mustn’t pay attention to that man behind the green curtain” quality about the Phanar. I have to give it to Patriarch Bartholomew, he had revitalized the Phanar significantly but at the end of the day, I came to the conclusion that like all post-Byzantine patriarchs, he’s been dealt a bad hand. One which he’s played more deftly than most.

      • We were there for about 5 days, and I honestly can’t remember if we attended a service at Halki or not. I want to say we did, and that Deacon Nephon from the Phanar was there.

        I got a similar impression from the Phanar as well. It is impressive that it still stands to this day given its history, but it loses some of its mystique once you see it in person.

      • George u put it well. I as a greek feel profound sorry. If you have read any of the lovely stories of Maria Iordanidou, (Loxandra etc) about the life of a greek family in Constantinople in mid19th to early 20th century, you will realise what a rich spiritual and cultural AND CUISINE WISE life the greek population lived. Now dead.

  10. Greatly Saddened says

    You may find a bit more information on the Holy Trinity Monastery on the island of Halki, Turkey in the youtube video link below.

    This was a video interview by Father Christopher Metropulos of OCN with Metropolitan Elpidophoros. The interview was at The Archon 2nd International Conference On Religious Freedom – “Tearing Down Walls: Achieving Religious Equality In Turkey.” Held December 4-5 2013 in Berlin, Germany.


  11. Greatly Saddened says

    We must keep things in proper prospective. They have been saying the same for at least the last 20 or so years. There are less than 2,000, Greek Orthodox Christians, if that, in Istanbul , or for that matter, in all of Turkey. These so called hierarchs need to find somerhing to keep themselves occupied.

    Keep in mind, just one parish here in the U.S , for example: Saint Nicholas in Flushing, N.Y., or the combined parishes of Saint Demetrios and Saints Catherine and George in Astoria,, N.Y., have more parishioners than in all of Istanbul, and for that matter, in all of Turkey!

    Yet these so called hierarchs in Istanbul, Turkey want to tell the Archdiocese of America how things should be run. Just how sad and ridiculous is that?

  12. Greatly Saddened says

    FYI … It has only been in the last few years that this Monastery of the Holy Trinity was restarted. As stated, it was operating as the Halki seminary/
    theological school from 1844 up through 1971, when it was then closed by the Turkish government.

    From Wikipedia:
    Halki seminary
    The Halki seminary, formally the Theological School of Halki (Greek: Θεολογική Σχολή Χάλκης and Turkish: Ortodoks Ruhban Okulu), was founded on 1 October 1844 on the island of Halki (Turkish: Heybeliada), the second-largest of the Princes’ Islands in the Sea of Marmara. It was the main school of theology of the Eastern Orthodox Church’s Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople until the Turkish parliament enacted a law banning private higher education institutions in 1971.[1][2] The theological school is located at the top of the island’s Hill of Hope, on the site of the Byzantine-era Monastery of the Holy Trinity. The premises of the school continue to be maintained by the monastery and are used to host conferences. It is possible to visit the island where it is located via boat in approximately one hour from the shore of Istanbul.[3] An international campaign to reopen this theological school is ongoing, as noted by American Senator Ben Cardin of Maryland in the United States Congressduring the 2nd Session of Proceedings and Debates of the 111th Congress.[4]

    The seminary is located on the site of the Monastery of the Holy Trinity, founded by Patriarch Photius I almost a thousand years before the foundation of the theological school. During Ottoman rule the monastery fell into disrepair. In 1844, Patriarch Germanos IV converted the monastery into a school of theology, which was inaugurated on 1 October 1844. All the buildings, except for the 17th-century chapel, were destroyed by the 1894 Istanbul earthquake, but were rebuilt by architect Periklis Fotiadis and inaugurated on 6 October 1896.[3] These buildings were also renovated in the 1950s.[5]

    When established in 1844, the school had seven grades, four high school level and three higher level (theological grades).[5] In 1899, the high school division was dissolved and the school functioned as an academy with five grades. In 1923, on the establishment of the Turkish Republic, the seven-grade system was restored (4 high school + 3 higher level). In 1951, it was changed to 3 high school + 4 higher level.

    The facilities include the Chapel of the Holy Trinity, sports and recreational institutions, dormitories, an infirmary, a hospice, offices, and the school’s library with its historic collection of books, journals, and manuscripts. The library contains over 120,000 books.

    There have been 990 graduates of the theological school and many have become priests, bishops, archbishops, scholars, and patriarchs.[4][6] Many former students are buried in the grounds of the school. Orthodox Christians from around the world have attended and graduated from the theological school and the alumni are distributed around the world.[7]

    For additional information, please see link below.

  13. Fr. David Hovik says

    What exactly would a “united” Orthodox Church look like in the US? It seems to me that the divide between “traditional” and “less traditional” and even “non-traditional” bishops, priest and parishes would make “unity” a near impossibility. I realize the Holy Spirit can work miracles and change hearts but …

    • Michael Bauman says

      Father David, you ask an important question. It is one of the facts of life that the United States has never valued what would be a normal type of unity of belief and practice in Orthodox Church. The Western cultural norms value idiosyncratic fragmented belief of each individual as paramount. In more recent times it has extended to valuing each persons passions and any cultural norms against such passions should be discarded.

      I cannot imagine a less hospitable environment for the Orthodox Church. Still our real unity is about Jesus Christ and Him crucified is it not?

      It will come down to good bishops and priests and people who know, support and practice the Holy Tradition gathering together. It will be a small group I am afraid. Certainly any thoughts of worldly grandeur will have to discarded.

      Such a gathering may well include like minded Roman Catholics and Protestants as the institutions of church crumble and are increasingly brought into disrepute.

      Fr. Seraphim Rose of blessed memory said we are not required to defend sin. Yet that defense of sin seems to be the norm in human institutions.

      We are required to call sinners to repentance in love and forgiveness. That does not mean that we then go back to business as usual. Each of us has to change as we bear one another’s sins.

      • Gail Sheppard says

        Well, said, Michael and Father, we all need to start thinking about the question you asked: “What would a pan-Orthodox Church look like in this country?”

        • Michael Bauman says

          Gail, respectfully there is no such thing as pan-Orthodox. There is only Orthodox. What we have to decide what is whether or not we will be Orthodox in the most intolerant and least supportive environment for the Church ever.

          • Gail Sheppard says

            Good point.

          • Yes american Culture is totally antagonistic and more dangerous than communism because it seeks to secularise the Church to it’s own mould in ways that all those yrs ago the late Fr Alexander Schememn saw so clearly.

    • Exactly. The outward signs all well known to us are also inner spiritual state. Some one took me to task for saying this but it is a psychological and spiritual truth.
      I guess we have to hope that exposed to correct worship and in english, there will gradually be change and in their children exposed to now monasteries. This was lacking for so many years.

    • Mel Lamitas says

      The anti-Americanism of both Comitazis Stoned and Elpidoforus confirm “American Orthodoxy” is an unachievable and traitorous (Under McCarran Walter) OXYMORON

  14. Greatly Saddened says

    With the recent election of the new Archbishop of America. Now is the perfect time to begin to get the finances in order and to perform total and complete audits of the Archdiocese, along with the Metropolises.

    The laity rightfully derserves to know that accountability, transparency and honesty will hopefully be the way of the future from this point on.

    This should be a new dawn for the Archdiocese and its Metropolises. The days of so called cover ups and dishonesty should be and remain things of the past!

    Let’s hope and pray for brighter days ahead!

  15. That’s a great goal, GS, but history shows that transparency is not a part of the GOA. One good thing is that the new Metropolitan in Chicago is doing a complete forensic audit of everything–can you believe that one has not been done in in over 15 years? but I guess we the laity are at fault, took for not asking for details and were satisfied to hear that “all is well” Hopefully the GOA and other Metropolises will follow suit.

  16. Michael Bauman says

    At this point the GOA is DOA in my opinion. There is nothing to save institutionally. Those who wish to save the real Greek Christian patrimony must act in concert to bring those responsible to repentance in open, public and unpleasant ways despite how things have been done in the past.

    Bishops can and should be called to account by the rest of us.

  17. Greatly Saddened says

    And laity most certainly should demand bishops be called to account. No exceptions either!