I Wonder What This is All About?

According to oca.org, Metropolitan Tikhon will “concelebrate” the Divine Liturgy with Patriarch Bartholomew at the patriarchal cathedral of St George in the Phanar District on the tomorrow, on the Sunday of Orthodoxy

If so, this is significant. The word “concelebrate” is not one that is used lightly. According to my sources, it means that in doing so, the Ecumenical Patriarch fully recognizes the canonicity of the OCA. By extension, it also means that he recognizes the autocephaly of the OCA. This however seems to be a bridge too far in my humble opinion. For one thing it would mean that all other jurisdictions would have to subordinate themselves to the OCA (something which I can’t see happening).

More likely, it may indicate that the Syosset is willing to place the OCA under the omorphor of Constantinople, something which has been bandied about in the more liberal circles of Syosset for quite a while. Of course this would mean that the OCA would voluntarily give up its autocephaly which would present a whole other set of problems. (If nothing else, it would expose the hypocrisy of those who castigated Jonah for being open to the possibility of taking the OCA back under Moscow.)

Clearly, something is afoot. The Ecumenical Patriarch would not have invited Metropolitan Tikhon for a mere photo-op. We cannot forget that the Phanar has always viewed the OCA as an irritant and even sent Metropolitan Elpidophoros Lambrianides to castigate us to our face some six years ago. In his words, we were “barely canonical.” Therefore the concelebration is nothing less than a 180 degree turnaround from the previous position.

It’s certainly possible that this was all set in motion due to the recent meeting in Havana between Pope Francis and Patriarch Kirill. We should not forget that this was an end-run around the Phanar. Bartholomew simply had few cards to play. The OCA is one of them.

This is all supposition. I suppose we’ll know something more on Monday. I for one, would be interested to find out whether Metropolitan Tikhon and the OCA were mentioned in the Dyptichs. And if he were addressed as “His Beatitude.” These things matter.

Regardless, we certainly live in interesting times.


  1. Michael Warren says

    Syosset floating into the Bosphoros gambling for resurrection rather than changing course, cleaning house and doing the right thing. The only thing this Istanbul junket can ever achieve is the final, catastrophic implosion of the OCA. But the people paying Syosset’s bills (or not paying them actually) choose suicide to admitting how wrong they have been for over 40 years. Hubris works that way. The desparation of Renovationism. When the pendulum swings back, there will be no hope at another chance. House will be cleaned one way or another: Istanbul prefer numbers in the black and the people sick of Syosset-Crestwood are the demographic majority.

    • Pere LaChaise says

      Not even speculation; Warren’s scurrilous confabulation is plain tripe. Can you even define what you mean by ‘Renovationist’? The OCA may be the only Local Orthodox Church to even attempt financial transparency. The OCA, while small and poor, is utterly in the black and if you had any interest in the subject you could go read it yourself as the documents are all scrupulously public.
      But I forgot, your a priori assumption is that all the books are cooked.

      • M. Stankovich says

        Je me réjouis du retour de Pere LaChaise!

      • Michael Warren says

        Renovationist, meaning jettisoning “traditions” received for REFORMED, nominalized, Eastern Rite worship and introducing a non Orthodox Protestant heretical paradigm which was anathemized by such Bishops as Holy New Martyr Benjamin of Petrograd.

        The “modernism” certain types have been sticking to you all for decades. It is about time maturation set in and you all act like grown ups if you all ever want to be taken seriously. Then again the Renovationist generation are mostly all today AARP members and your children have abandoned the parishes you all vandalized so your Eastern Rite Protestant Reformation’s days are numbered.

        So where is ALL the money Syosset – Crestwood stole over the last 45 years?! Kondratick didn’t cook the books?! Where are 92% of the parishoners now that your Syosset-Crestwood band of scurrilous and larcenous liberal Renovationist incompetents have run the OCA into the ground with their FAILED model?! Where are the tens of millions of dollars you all stole?

        • Michael Warren says

          If you still don’t fully appreciate the insertion of Renovationism into the discussion, please reference Mr. Papoutsis’ comments below on “modernism” to appreciate how others decry its sectarian, ill effects on Orthodoxy in America.

      • Michael Warren says

        And what do you mean by tripe? How is it you have such a working knowledge of our books in the black, mon Pere? Do tell us where the tens of millions +Theodosius, +Herman and Kondratick pilfered are to validate your claims of transparency. There is no cost accounting of it on the website. The question is, “Can you even appreciate how Renovationism is not Orthodox Christianity?” Who gave you license to anonymously talk at people? And who from your crowd of larcenous mediocrity is going to assume responsibility for the abysmal failure you have made of the OCA’s mission by following your unripe and expired vision of the future? Will it be you with your real name affixed to an admission of your perfidy with a little more than sanctimonious posturing and feigned elitism? The narcissists of Syosset-Crestwood must be coming to terms with their unripe and disfigured, hollow images we all now
        see. Ugliness is not a rebuttal nor is it any acceptable artifice by which to assert ones superiority. But if you must, you all are uglier than most especially in your hatred for fidelity to Orthodoxy and the Orthodox faithful: in this are you living tributes to Notes From The Underground alone superior. In all other things, your hubris is nothing but the pretentious bathos of reprobates, your administration a chronicle of our history’s failures which have been allowed to linger by our Christian charity like bad smells, rather than washed away by the justice of the Orthodox faithful. However time is not on your side, and our patience is at an end. House will be cleaned. Envision accountability and weep.

        Don’t you think you “americanizers” should not hide behind French pseudonyms to not be considered hypocrites. None of what I have read of Jean Vianney, whom you venerate as a Saint, coincides with your sociopathic treatment of Orthodox believers. If this is how you endeavor to justify your disdain for Orthodox fidelity and your acceptance of papist heresy, then you make my case for me. Your rabid, hatred condemns you as a heretic. Your penchant for Renovationism and branch theory being merely vehicles for your prideful war on the Church.

        Ridiculous, not so crypto-Uniate.

      • Bishop Tikhon (Fitzgerald) says

        “Pere” is quite accurate. Mr Warren, whom he mentions, resembles a kind of magpie who picks over Orthodox publications ancient and modern for what it considers to be choice invective and then tries to regurgitate down our throats here on Monomakhos and elsewhere. But that is not a matter of choice but due to the limitations of the magpie brain which, like most bird brains, is comparatively limited. Fortunately, many of us have a much richer diet or we too would be regurgitating invective, like our little magpie!
        Its chief cries are shrill pejoratives and other assorted peeps!

        • Michael Warren says

          And the stalking goes on. Seems Syosset has no problem employing geriatric convalescents to engage in scandalously behavior it knows it can’t away with. Guess it is a bit of compartmentalization of the abuse of power it has engaged in for 45+ years.

          But perhaps this ill-mannered
          episcopal relic of bygone years’ presence here is indicative of something more than compartmentalized, ignorant character assassination. Namely, this could be about avoiding transparency coming to fore explaining where the tens of millions of pilfered dollars went over the last 45+ years.

        • Michael Warren says

          The man who lies to himself and listens to his own lie comes to such a pass that he cannot distinguish the truth within him, or around him, and so loses all respect for himself and for others. And having no respect he ceases to love, and in order to occupy and distract himself without love he gives way to passions and coarse pleasures, and sinks to bestiality in his vices, all from continual lying to other men and to himself.

          Fyodor Dostoyevsky, The Brothers Karamazov

          • Bishop Tikhon (Fitzgerald) says

            Let’s thank God for the poor soul that rebuked Warren with that quotation! He was too virtuous to be aware that each and every rebuke sent Warren’s way would be parroted by Warren in future diatribes against anyone critical of him!

            • Michael Warren says

              Criticism is much different than inappropriate stalking, heretical, Russophobic, unread nonsense and character assassination.

  2. A Non-mouse says

    All speculation and conspiracy theory.

  3. M. Stankovich says

    Mr. Michalopulos,

    You are incorrect in your assertion that, whatever is at hand, would “expose the hypocrisy of those who castigated Jonah for being open to the possibility of taking the OCA back under Moscow.” The issue was Jonah’s unilateral, secretive decision to attempt a “private” negotiation with the Patriarch, whereby he (Jonah) would assume a leadership role to which he was not entitled by seniority nor qualification. Fact check? While the full story was detailed in a Russian-language publication by Fr. Leonid Kishkovsky, you posted the story as told by the Dean of the Patriarchal Cathedral of St. Nicholas in NYC. It’s like a bad John Grisham novel: on the downlow – tongue undoubtedly “loosened” by the best vodka – a pitch is made. Comes the morning and the realization, “Traditori!” Even you know, Mr. Michalopulos, there is no snitch like a Russian. So I ask you, in the end, who is the hypocrite? Some people just don’t appreciate Puccini or Verdi…

    • Michael Warren says

      Because the liberals of Syosset – Crestwood have never worked a backroom deal! Or Istanbul is the “good guys” because you Renovationists get to keep your ill gotten gains without answering to the grown ups. Just ridiculous. A liberal is someone who is so sanctimonious as to believe his own lie of reality to the point of psychosis.

      FWIW, a deal with Moscow would have put Syosset back on the map after over 40 years of mismanagement. It would have had juice again. Instead, you all are now busing the tables of Turkish lackeys getting payola from the Vatican. Such fidelity to Orthodoxy! How’s that demographic collapse going, Renovationist Crestwood? You had all the answers to our “American” problems: learn Turkish and beg for money from NYC hotdog vendors.

      Oh, and hate being Russian! Simply vile.

      • Michael Warren says

        Some say you shouldn’t be called on your heretical nonsense and they have a problem with the tone with which you are addressed because it is Lent.

        1). In many places last Sunday anathemas were sung to people like you. So Lent is a season for dealing with sin, deception and heresy.
        2). Your own faux elitest tone and documented five year record of abuse and that of your cloned, liberal Renovationist fellow travelers is the bar you set for your discourse. You prey on low hanging fruit to create straw men and advance your agenda. I don’t appreciate clerics becoming your clones because their offices isolate them from all due scrutiny and criticism, and they know it. Thus, they abusee and bully others with impunity, trafficking in ridicukous ideological nonsense and personal attacks, and stalk. I have not. I have answered you on topic, deconstructed your legerdemain and indicted you as a heretic.

        There is nothing personal between me and you. If I saw you on the street or in a parish and knew it was you I would walk away from the aire of Renovationist sanctimony and Crestwood metaerudition you pompously exude and counsel others to do so. My war is with your thought and what you represent. In that, I have been challenging, deconstructing and defeating the Renovationist heresy you propagate. You are a fraud who teaches heresy. Your heresy is my issue.

        Now, back to Fr. FLOROVSKY. Part of my formation was received from a cleric who was a spiritual son of Fr. GEORGES FLOROVSKY and was converted by him in Paris. You encountered Fr. FLOROVSKY in redaction in Crestwood where metapatrustic and theological redactions to dissemble are taught as an art form.

        I rather don’t redact but deal with the whole truth expressed so that I don’t look like a fellow who opens a book, sees what might seem right, and then quotes it, ignorant of the conckysiobs it supports. My “paraphrase” if you will is based on the thought of the text and not some metaerudite attenpt at stringing together ideological talking points out of context like a hack, Protestant proof texter. Because you evade the thought expressed and insert your own into the quotes is what makes them deception.

        I have read Fr. FLOROVSKY in Russian and English. That is one of the reasons why I answer you and deconstruct your heretical deceptions with relative ease. I refer you back to the place where the notion of the Lost Scriptural Mind surfaced, your quote taken out of context, and my reply which explained Fr. Florovsky’s Neo Patristic Synthesis. That shows I have not only read Fr. FLOROVSKY but am fluent in his thought.

        Fluent enough to say you don’t know what you are talking about in your quote of him regarding the Consensus Partum on the Selling Human Body Parts thread before it was closed. Let’s illustrate how:

        1). In my treatment of the Neo Patristic Synthesis I SPECIFICALLY state Fr. FLOROVSKY called for the cultivation of the Patristic Mind IN OUR TIME in the Orthodox Life where One Truth will be expressed in fulness and agreement with the Mind of CHRIST but I’m different idiom, in different places, by different faces in a different time. That means I do not hold to the papist notion of the Patristic era being the first four centuries of the Church’ s history AND I EXPLAINED THAT.

        2). The Neo Patristic Synthesis relies on the Renewal of the Patristic Mind by the Life in CHRIST IN HIS CHURCH to renew it by Purification, Illumination, theosis, the teaching faculty of the Church, her episcopate, her elders, her laity being Illumination in the HOLY SPIRIT whose Truth in fulness since the Day of Pentecost HAS BEEN ONE albeit expressed in different places, by different DEIFIED faces, in different phrases, addressing emergent issues at different times. Fr. FLOROVSKY NEVER ARGUES THAT THE PHRONEMA CHANGES TO ACCOMODATE TIME AND PLACE, but that it is ONE speaking ONE Truth in the idiom of the time to guide it in Truth. The only thing that changes are the circumstances of its expression, not it. Thus, renewal in the Patristic Life is continually possible, requisite, that the Church in her reception in toto conveys that Life and renews it in the HOLY SPIRIT by the phronema. But that presupposes itself on the notion we LIVE THE PATRISTIC LIFE and attend purification, Illumination, deification to express the unadulterated Truth of the HOLY SPIRIT in the phronema.

        4). This is what Fr. FLOROVSKY was talking about in your additional, decontextualized quote: that the era of the Fathers is not circumscribed to any one given place or time but is effected by the Patristic Life of purification, Illumination, deification acquiring the One Patristic Mind lived in all times of the Church’s experience. Your quote does not mean the Mind of the Church expresses the Truth relativized to the times, but that it expressed the One Truth sovereign in times it is lived, absolutely by persons, circumstances, idiom and in places to speak to its audience. The distinction here is that your contention is that the phronema is a matter or Reformation to get with it and adapt to changing times and that Fr. Florovsky’s being it is a matter of Renewal and living the Patristic Life to conform our times to it by a relevant life and witness of the Church in the HOLY SPIRIT in ONE fulness of Truth. The difference here can’t be more stark and diametric. You and your Crestwood band of Renovationists present a disfiguring of Truth by relativism and Fr. FLOROVSKY states Patristic Truth can be expressed now and tomorrow BY LIVING IT and that expression in and of itself reconciles and dispels all of the errors of relativizations. That’s what Fr. FLOROVSKY goes on to say in the piece you wrongly quoted yet again.

        My person is not the issue here. My points and presentation are. I think anyone who clutches for a means of character assassination is simply trafficking in ideological struggle without a moral compass, and while that characterization suits you, it does not at all express my citicism of your heretical points of view. Nor do I abuse a clerical office to evade being called out on personal attacks and argumentative nonsense which shows total lack of competence in addressing a given topic. You have set the harsh, polarizing tone with which you are answered. I confine myself to dealing with the heretical ideas you express. When you express these ideas in my proximity, I will answer these ideas, deconstruct them and show them to be the heretical nonsense they are. I will do so with your clones and other Crestwood dissemblers as well. Personally, I regard your kind as reprobate, gullible and malformed with deficiencies of character finding a haven in the slum of Renovationist mediocrity and liberal politics and subculture. That personal degeneracy is wholely your affair. But ideas and ideology which you express is not personal. You expressing it in my proximity leaves it open to public discourse because you do it on a public forum. I will confine myself to laying waste to your Crestwood Renovationism. You have to live with what you are and I frankly don’t care that you worship and generate the image you are in your own mirror. Thus, I will never stalk you and I never had: I personally find your kind to be objectionable.

        • Michael Warren says

          This is an incomplete rough draft I respectfully ask the blog owner to delete.

          • Michael Warren says

            In reference to a document awaiting moderation, not Stankovich’s statement on the OCA and +Metropolitan Jonah.

    • Michael Warren says

      This is an edited but fuller reply to Stankovich and his clones regarding things they had written on the “Selling Human Body Parts” topic which has been closed:

      Let me begin by calling Stankovich and his clones on their fraud and pointing out their retreat.

      Some say Stankovich shouldn’t be called on his heretical nonsense and they have a problem with the tone with which he is addressed because it is Lent.

      In many places last Sunday anathemas were sung to people like him. So Lent is a season for dealing with sin, deception and heresy. Anathema is quite a strong rebuke to error calling for the repentance of the heretic(s).

      Now in address to the liberal Renovationist, Stankovich:

      Your own faux elitest tone and documented five year record of abuse and that of your cloned, liberal Renovationist fellow travelers is the bar you set for your discourse. It is an odyssey of abuse, self promotion and narcissm ALL CAPS expressed in emphasis do nothing but call to heel. You prey on low hanging fruit to create pastiches to ideologically vandalize, using them as straw men to advance your agenda. I don’t appreciate clerics becoming your clones because their offices isolate them from all due scrutiny and criticism, and they know it. Thus, they abuse and bully others with impunity, trafficking in ridiculous ideological nonsense, argumentative and unread heckling, resorting to personal attacks thereby stalking in a way fitting of deviants on a police watch list. I have answered you on topic, avoiding your odious person as best I can inasmuch as you make yourself a bone of contention, deconstructed your legerdemain, and indicted you as a heretic.

      There is nothing personal between me and you. If I saw you on the street or in a parish and knew it was you, I would walk away from the aire of Renovationist sanctimony and Crestwood meta-erudition you pompously exude. I would and will counsel others to do so. My war is with your thought and what you represent. In that, I have been challenging, deconstructing and defeating the Renovationist heresy you propagate. You are a fraud who teaches heresy. Your heresy is my issue. Your person is your corpse to bear on your back.

      Now, back to Fr. FLOROVSKY. Part of my formation was received from a cleric who was a spiritual son of Fr. GEORGES FLOROVSKY, a man converted by him in Paris while studying at the Sorbonne, studying later under his tutelage at St. Vladimir’s while Fr. FLOROVSKY was dean. You encountered Fr. FLOROVSKY in redaction in Crestwood where metapatristic and theological redactions to dissemble are taught as an art form to slice and vivisect body parts of truthes to create Frankenstein monsters of Renovationism to set loose upon unsuspecting parishes and innocent people unaware. Victimization and subjugation are your ideological ends at the outset. Fr. Florovosky being misquoted is just another Renovationist, ideological prop.

      I rather don’t redact but deal with the whole truth expressed so that I don’t look like a fellow who opens a book, sees what might seem useful, and then quotes it, ignorant of the conclusions it supports. My “paraphrase” if you will is based on the thought of the text and not some meta-erudite attempt at stringing together ideological talking points out of context like a hack, Protestant proof texter. When I write papers, I employ annotation. When I publicly speak, I reference appropriate to the public forum I engage. You evade the thought expressed and insert your own over the quotes, ideologically dissembling to conjur deception. Crestwood Renovationist Frankenstein unchained.

      I have read Fr. FLOROVSKY in Russian and English. That is one of the reasons why I answer you and deconstruct your heretical deceptions with relative ease. I refer you back to the place where the notion of the Lost Scriptural Mind surfaced, your quote taken out of context, and my reply which explained Fr. Florovsky’s Neo Patristic Synthesis. That shows I have not only read Fr. FLOROVSKY but am fluent in his thought. It also shows you neither understand nor have completely digested Fr. Florovsky’s work with any degree of competence.

      I am fluent enough to say you don’t know what you are talking about in your quote of him regarding the Consensus Partum on the “Selling Human Body Parts” topic before it was closed. (I can now go on the assumption that you have never successfully read Fr. FLOROVSKY and have no competent understanding of his work.) Let’s illustrate how:

      1). In my treatment of the Neo Patristic Synthesis, I SPECIFICALLY state Fr. FLOROVSKY called for the cultivation of the Patristic Mind IN OUR TIME in the Orthodox Life where One Truth will be expressed in fulness and agreement with the Mind of CHRIST but in different idiom, in different places, by different faces in different times. That means I do not hold to the papist notion of the Patristic era being the first four centuries of the Church’ s history AND I EXPLAINED THAT. I state we are called to continue to have Fathers who witness the Patristic Mind IN OUR TIME AND IN THE FUTURE: that is the point of NeoPatristic Synthesis. Yet you too redacted out that fact to float more deception.

      2). The Neo Patristic Synthesis relies on the Renewal of the Patristic Mind by the Life in CHRIST IN HIS CHURCH to renew it by Purification, Illumination, Theosis, the teaching faculty (phronema) of the Church, her episcopate, her elders, her laity being ILLUMINATION in the HOLY SPIRIT whose Truth in fulness since the Day of Pentecost HAS BEEN ONE albeit expressed in different places, by different DEIFIED faces, in different phrases, addressing emergent issues at different times. Fr. FLOROVSKY NEVER ARGUES THAT THE PHRONEMA CHANGES TO ACCOMODATE TIME AND PLACE, but that it is ONE speaking ONE Truth in the idiom of the time to guide it in Truth AND THAT THE PATRISTIC LIFE IN THE CHURCH IS ONE WHICH PRODUCES IT, albeit under different, historical circumstances. The only thing that changes are the circumstances of its expression, not it. Thus, renewal in the Patristic Life is continually possible, requisite, that the Church in her reception in toto conveys that Life and renews it in the HOLY SPIRIT by the phronema. But that presupposes itself on the notion we LIVE THE PATRISTIC LIFE and attend to purification, Illumination, deification to express the unadulterated Truth of the HOLY SPIRIT in the phronema.

      3). This is what Fr. FLOROVSKY was talking about in your additional, decontextualized quote: that the era of the Fathers is not circumscribed to any one given place or time but is effected by the Patristic Life of purification, Illumination, deification acquiring the One Patristic Mind lived in all times of the Church’s experience. Your quote does not mean the Mind of the Church expresses the Truth relativized to the times, but that it expresses the One Truth sovereign in times it is lived, absolutely by persons, circumstances, idiom and in places to speak to its audience. The distinction here being that your contention is that the phronema is a matter or Reformation “to get with it and adapt to changing times” WHILE that of Fr. Florovsky’s being it is a matter of Renewal and living the Patristic Life to conform our times to it by a relevant life and witness of the Church in the HOLY SPIRIT in ONE fulness of Truth. There is no Neo Patristic Synthesis to be found to the thesis of modernity in your Renovationism but rather metapatristics is your synthesis, which surrenders in accomodation to sin, time and place, ie relativism and redaction promoting liberal Reformation (the Anglican dialectic of comprehensiveness to the point of total secularization with a a quasi- patristic pseudomorphized foundation). The difference here can’t be more stark and diametric. You and your Crestwood band of Renovationists present a disfiguring of Truth by relativism while Fr. FLOROVSKY states Patristic Truth can be expressed now and tomorrow BY LIVING IT and that expression in and of itself reconciles and dispels all of the errors of relativizations. That Truth is absolute and sovereign, can be lived in such a way and need not be relativized. That’s what Fr. FLOROVSKY goes on to say in the piece you wrongly quoted yet again. (This is also why Crestwood metapatristics is a cheap, religious counterfeit of Fr. FLOROVSKY’s Neo PATRISTIC Synthesis and often diametrically opposed to it.)


      My person is not the issue here. I am Russian Orthodox unashamedly, of Russian heritage, being a Russian party remnant in the OCA. My points and presentation are not expressed to elevate my person (I will leave that to you and yours) but to engage ideas and combat error, ideological agendas and heresy in fidelity to Orthodoxy. Orthodoxy. I think anyone who clutches for a means of character assassination is simply trafficking in desparate, ideological struggle without a moral compass, and while that characterization suits you, it does not at all express my citicism of your heretical points of view. Nor do I abuse a clerical office to evade being called out on personal attacks with argumentative nonsense evidencing total lack of competence in addressing a given topic. You have set the harsh, polarizing tone with which you are answered. I confine myself to dealing with the heretical ideas you express. When you express these ideas in my proximity, I will answer these ideas, deconstruct them and show them to be the heretical nonsense they are. I will do so with your clones and other Crestwood dissemblers as well. Personally, I regard your kind as reprobate, gullible and malformed with deficiencies of character finding a haven in the slum of Renovationist mediocrity, lazy nihilism, and liberal politics and subculture. That personal degeneracy is wholely your affair. But ideas and ideology which you express are not addressed personally by me. You expressing it in my proximity leaves it open to public discourse because you do it on a public forum. Thus I will confine myself to laying waste to your Crestwood Renovationism. You have to live with what you are, and I frankly don’t care that you worship and venerate your image in your own mirror. Thus, I will never stalk you and I never have: I personally find your kind to be repulsive.

      The only reason why you are fleeing my rebuttals today is because you have been found out, your fraud is exposed and your Crestwood meta-erudite Renovationism is going up in flames. So you are simply trying to retreat and save face and avoid exposure in the future. Let me reassure you that your liberal Renovationism will not be given amnesty and you will no longer deceive unsuspecting people.

      Again, the ECUSA is your natural place of religious expression. It is where your ideas are celebrated. You and your clones belong there. Please retire there in all Renovationist bliss. The Episcopal Church of St. Gregory of Nyssa welcomes you and yours with open arms. It wouldn’t mind developing its own hierarchical liturgics either.

      • M. Stankovich says

        Mr. Warren,

        Part of my formation was Fr. Florovsky, living, breathing, in-the-flesh, Georges Vasilievich Florovsky; I heard him speak; I heard him preach; I received his blessing & kissed his hand; he invited me to tea & he signed several volumes of his collected works for me; I sang in the choir to celebrate his 50th anniversary to the ordination to the Holy Priesthood; and I sang in the choir at his funeral and burial, and may his memory be eternal! You have backed yourself into a corner with perseverating babble posing as “Orthodox Theology,” and writhe like a fish on a hook. Your speech betrays you. Apparently you expect everyone will roll-over simply on account of your “withering,” rabid anger. Enough.

        Personally, I cross the street to avoid no one, and your comment is telling:

        Be ready always to give an answer to every man that asks you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear: Having a good conscience; that, whereas they speak evil of you, as of evildoers, they may be ashamed that falsely accuse your good conversation in Christ. (1 Pet. 3:15-16)

        All of us are born with the combination of conscience & neurological capacity to prevent every thought that passes through our mind from making it to our lips – or, as it were, to the written computer screen. The best analogy is the brake on a train. Some, however, cannot utilize the mechanisms to control themselves, and you are one of those people; and you cannot blame me, as you have consistently & eventually berated & insulted everyone you engage, including Mr. Michalopulos. I am finished responding to you , but I again ask you to stop stalking me, tone it down, turns off the CAPS, exert some control over yourself.

        • Michael Warren says

          Yet again, more narcisstic namedropping admitting your defeat with decontextualized scripture taken out of context thrown in with sanctimonious legerdemain. Whatever will you do if one day your mirror were to break?

          Fr. Georges FLOROVSKY was known to both 1). Not bring people into confidence easily, and he didn’t pal around with anyone. Especially with proteges of Fr. Schmemann, whom Fr. FLOROVSKY considered a dilettante. AND 2). To discount the work of Crestwood and those affiliated with it WHILE 3). You evidence no competent understanding of his work, meaning there is no possible way you weren’t anything more than a person who got a book signed. Meaning your dissembling is both comical and ridiculous.

          Again, you are a liberal, Renovationist heretic and I avoid people like you personally, thus the concept of me “stalking you” is nauseating to me in its pretension. I am confronting your heretical ideas on public forums where you present them, your ideas and teaching: that is part of the purpose of internet forums like this.

  4. Jerome Wilson says

    Not the first time an OCA Metropolitan has concelebrated at the Phanar. He will do so only as a Hierarch in his rank of ordination, nothing more, and certainly no mention in the diptychs and no title “Beatitude.” Moreover, the OCA will not be invited as a body to the forthcoming Council in Crete (maybe as an observer). As for the canonical validity of the OCA, the Ecumenical Patriarchate has always accepted that; it’s the ‘autocephaly’ that was rejected. I believe that in the Fifties and early Sixties, when the MP, the Metropolia and ROCOR were all out of communion with each other, they were all separately in communion with the Ecumenical Patriarchate. I could be wrong about concelebration with ROCOR, but I do know that Archbishop Iakovos served a memorial service at the Synod Cathedral for Metropolitan Anastasy.

    • George Michalopulos says

      Mr Wilson, for what it’s worth, I was taken to task some years ago by well-situated people in Syosset when I made the claim that the EP had concelebrated with the primate of the OCA on two separate occasions. (The first time being with Patriarch Demetrios when he came to the OCA cathedral in Washington, DC in 1991. The other time during the tenure of Met Herman.) I was told in no uncertain terms that these were not concelebrations. In each case, the respective primate stood in the Altar throughout the Liturgy and communed during the appropriate time.

      Being a layman, I didn’t understand the distinction. It was impressed upon me that such protocols are strictly maintained and they are based on the degree of canonical recognition each hierarch has for the other, his church, etc. (Way above my pay grade if you ask me).

      Anyway, unless this is an example of functionaries in Syosset rewriting the rules, I’m going to continue operating under the distinctions which were laid out to me some time ago. If however I was misinformed or perhaps misunderstood, I will correct the record accordingly.

    • Carl Kraeff says

      Looking at the pictures of the occasion, Jerome Wilson appears to be correct, that is Metropolitan Tikhon is seated as a “hierarch in his rank of ordination.” Here is a link to the pictures:

  5. Joseph Lipper says

    The Patriarchate of Constantinople and the Patriarchate of Antioch both live as persecuted Churches under muslim rule. A good deal, maybe even most, of their financial support comes from their respective Archdioceses in the U.S. If either of them were to recognize an autocephalous church in the U.S., it would cut off at least some, if not most, of this funding. However, it may very well be the Patriarch of Constantinople is ready to do just that.

    For the Phanar to cut off their main support doesn’t make sense from a survivalist standpoint, in fact it sounds downright crazy. But with a series of suicide bombings in Turkey that seem to point to civil war, and a very real possibility of war with Russia, life in Turkey right now sounds a bit crazy. Crazier still, Greece was just now yesterday forced by the EU to declare Turkey a “safe” country so that Greece can legally deport refugees back to Turkey. And even more crazy is that Turkey has made great progress in its talks recently towards joining the EU. The EU is desperately courting Turkey as the solution to the EU migrant crisis, and Turkey now seems to have the upper hand in negotiations. This is not good news for the Phanar, as they need EU support, and not EU caving in to Turkish demands. Because of the conflict of Turkey with Russia, the upcoming council in June is no longer scheduled to be in Istanbul at the historic St. Irene church as planned, it is now rescheduled to be in Greece on the island of Crete. Things don’t seem to be going well for the Phanar right now. So why now would the Phanar be willing to recognize an autocephalous church in America?

    It would seem ridiculous for the Patriarch of Constantinople to recognize the OCA, as it currently is, as autocephalous. However he may be willing to recognize some kind of autocephalous church in the U.S., and I’ve heard that the main obstacle to this happening is that the Greek bishops in the U.S. cannot agree on the details. Regardless, the OCA is committed towards there being some form of an autocephalous church in America, and my sense is that the OCA is even perfectly willing to be dismantled if the Ecumenical Patriarch is able to recognize an autocephalous church in America. So why would the Patriarch do that? Why would the Patriarch be willing to give up his main financial support?

    Well, I believe that His Holiness Patriarch Bartholomew is a true servant of the Church, and we will see what happens.

    • Michael Warren says

      I think anyone who calls a council to edit out the anathemas he faces and put in place a structure which is effectively Protestant Reformation of Orthodoxy with a Uniate goal is no servant of the Orthodox Church. His kind conjured up Vatican II in the papist “church” and look how well that went. Clown masses, guitars and divorced 50 something ladies in polyester pants distributing what they call communion as “eucharistic ministers.” Yeah, Rome has been well served by such servants.

      The Holy Canons recognize no Istanbul and Orthodox primacy has reestablished itself in Moscow.

      I once had a discussion with OCA fellow parishoners who contended the EP can’t recognize OCA autocephaly and survive. I simply pointed out to them the EP did survive before the GOA schismatically established itself on our canonical territory. … at the largesse of our Russian Mother Church and by the political patronage of the Orthodox Russian Empire.

      We all know European debt underlies a future disaster, that QE has debased currency and that the days of hyper inflation and the poverty bomb will rip apart Europe. Europe and the USA’s goal is to not leave the Chinese and Russians standing, but by stupidly encroaching Russia’s and China’s spheres of influence they have set the table for rivals who will be left standing to pick up the pieces. Because Russia and China have economically charted independent courses.

      That means vollens nullens, the EP comes to Moscow with mea culpas YET AGAIN hat in hand because the rich American Greeks will face a Weimar assault on their fortunes. Not only the EP but their coreligionists in the Vatican will come begging for borscht, caviar and rubles. Francis told you all as much in Havana last month. Well, Russian rescue of your failures isn’t going to come without a cost: think a religious GM bailout.

      So the OCA is trying to establish a PJ relationship with Istanbul to save itself. It may be lured with promises of “a lead in construction of an American vicariate to unite non Greek ecclesiastical bodies in autonomous, self governance.” Istanbul will never deliver on it in any essential way. Bankrupts accept terms to reestablish credit and solvency; they don’t dictate them. And Syosset-Crestwood is bankrupt, financially and increasingly spiritually.

      The deal to be made is with Moscow to revitalize the American local church with missionary effort and warm bodies. Demographics establish a bargaining position for autocephaly, yet alas the cabal of Syosset – Crestwood has evidenced its utter incompetence in sustaining a positive, demographic model. 45 years of failure with the same management ends either in firesale bankruptcy and/or hostile takeover. These junkets of +Metropolitan TIKHON show he lives in a bubble where his distance from his flock is an afterthought. We are indeed in need of new management with successful missionary models.

      Begging to bus Turkish tables will do nothing for the bulk of our parishes without successor generations to maintain them. Clutching to an irrelevant Istanbul to belay a change in leadership and mission only shouts that Syosset – Crestwood seeks a golden parachute to rob the pension fund and leave the OCA faithful locked out of parishes on the GOA auction block because Istanbul guaranteed Crestwood – Syosset at 25 cents on the dollar and promised not to prosecute the larcenous board in exchange for the deeds and unmitigated, downsizing and consolidating rights. That’s what this chicanery is all about.

      Why do you think the Holy Synod of the OCA has removed or blocked opponents to an Istanbul drift? They want what +Theodosius, +Herman and Kondratick couldn’t steal, and this is their way of making that happen. Or so they think.

      Funny thing is, in 25 years, Russia will be the one dictating terms anyways.

      But why should the current group of muckity mucks in Syosset – Crestwood not get their cut in the meantime? Or at least try. After all, their model is a failure and won’t work. The best they have left is Stankovich clones and retired, Renovationist Bishops carrying their water. That impeccable, missionary witness is really packing ’em in. On the contrary, they act to conceal failure with verbose haze and abuse of authority, the same villainy that emptied the parishes in the first place. So selling out is their way to create the shell corporations Kondratick did to get their cut and get around the auditors. Structural reorganization and their payola is written off as operating costs on the backs of our parishoners. And the Stankovich clones will shout all manner of nonsense for five, ten years until it doesn’t matter so the admission of failure won’t happen and accountability will be avoided.

      All that will be left is the wreckage of the OCA and uninformed bevies of papers in future issues of SVS Quarterly talking about “failed opportunities” and “ethnic resistance to the 1970 Tomos doomed American autocephaly:” The perpetrators will pan off the crime and retire to various warm climes and end up in the news announcing their gay marriages when no one remembers them any longer and all is forgotten about where they got the cash to retire in style. Those who do manage to blog about it will be subjected to Stankovich clone deceitful apologia establishing the “theandric holiness” (iconography!) of SSA, the need for recognition of same sex marriage, and how the Patristic Mind changes with the times to accomodate them and even contradict itself because they have redacted Fr. FLOROVSKY mendaciously with disjointed and incomplete fragments to say so. Their future’s so bright, there is nothing but Turkish haze.

  6. Bishop Tikhon (Fitzgerald) says

    Six paragraphs on a topic of which one is ignorant (“What us this about?” Shouldn’t the title have been “Oh, I KNOW What THIS is About?”

  7. Jillions went with them. I read it and it seemed odd until I thought about it for a minute or two. I think you are on the right track, George. There has been a liberal contingent in the OCA that has been willing to sacrifice autocephaly to come under the omophorion of Constantinople. This may be a signal that a deal is in the works or on the table or, perhaps, already done given the intrigue one finds in OCA.

    Part of me believes that Constantinople may be planning to take whatever part of the OC it can and form its own thing with parts of the RCC and possible Canterbury, call it “Orthodox-Catholic” or whatever, and move on. Could just be a “covenant partnership” or a full intercommunion. I’m not sure why I get this feeling but it adds up ideologically. The smoke signals however are exceedingly thin.

  8. Tommy Katsarellis says

    Here’s what this is all about! In the US, both the OCA & GOA want the same thing – UNITY. Most all the other churches in the Ass. of Bishops want to remain under their mother churches. Now, + Bart knows it’s about over for their Orthodox presence in Istanbul. It could be that + Bart wants to come to the U.S. where the real future of Orthodoxy lies. Also, + Bart realizes he cannot continue to dismiss the OCA as an organic, autocephalous church in America. The OCA is not part of the Russian Church. Damascus isn’t going to roll over for + Bart and neither is Moscow. How does + Bart keep himself relevant? Could he become Pat. of America?

    • Sean Richardson says

      I would love to believe that it is in the “U.S. where the real future of Orthodoxy lies” but honestly I can’t bring myself to believe that right now. Between the political and jurisdictional infighting, lack of capable and Godly leadership and the lack of a real, active vision for conversions, there seems little hope. But while things might be impossible for us, with God, all things are possible.

    • Michael Warren says

      Unity at the expense of Orthodoxy is not an option. Yes, the OCA, in Istanbul’s eyes, is organizationally part of the Russian church, the world’s primatial Orthodox Church. If Istanbul did not see us that way, it would recognize OCA autocephaly and remove its uncanonical administration from the territory of our local church, acting thereby to establish Orthodox unity in North America.

  9. Timmy the Lemur says

    Liturgically, Met. Tikhon was seated below the “metropolitans of the throne”….


    • Met. Tikhon was seated in the rank of a diocesan bishop, not as the Primate of a Church. Why he would do this is a puzzlement. The excuse that he did it in humility might be true but it does nothing to further the OCA cause. It rather demonstrates and reinforces Constantinople’s view of autocephaly and, by the way, not Moscow’s.

      This train has been down the track for many years and it was clearly stated way back with Fr. Meyendorff, (referenced in the latest OCA article by His All-Holiness) was in Constantinople in 1992 to plead the OCA case. In that meeting the OCA was told that Constantinople considered the OCA to be a canonical jurisdiction in communion with other Orthodox churches but not an autocephalous Church. Nothing has changed.

      For those who think that Constantinople wants to take over the OCA, that is nonsense. Again, Constantinople has consistently stated that the OCA needs to get it’s “house in order” meaning going back under Moscow. And, if anyone thinks that Moscow would be happy for the OCA to go under Constantinople, well, it would not.

      So this trip to Istanbul changed nothing. The Great and Holy Council will not address the OCA status either because that agenda item was tabled. Nothing special and no new news.

      One more thing, previous OCA Metropolitans could have served with the Ecumenical Patriarch but would not because they would not be serving as a Head of Church but like a diocesan bishop. If the Primate can’t liturgically demonstrate who he is for his Church, it is not being humble – it is being irresponsible in your role and function.

  10. Michael Bauman says

    How about the revolutionary thought: trusting in the Holy Spirit to reveal the truth?

    I guarantee that any autocephalous church in the US will be such a change for everybody it is going to be tough to get folks on board.

    If I was able to still be under my current Bishop, I could live with it. Other than that, I’m not so sure.

    Personally, I think it is far more likely that the Church will be formed around a few faithful bishops that are not “officially” recognized.

    In any case the constant speculation about the suposed hypothetical machinations of bishops is not helpful.

    Lord have mercy.

    • Michael Warren says

      In other words, the good order of the Orthodox Church in the face of subterfuge is not your concern. It is ours.

  11. Michael Woerl says

    First of all, “Bart,” and his predecessors have made it abundantly clear that there can be NO “exile Churches.” Words they’d have a very difficult time trying to swallow if they leave Istanbul.
    Patriarch Bartholomew, nor his successor, nor any of us typing in here will live long enough to see any American “Patriarchate.” And anyone that thinks “America” will EVER be a “Patriarchate” is smokin’ crack! ? Why would a large geographical area with an extremely tiny Orthodox presence be granted the status of “Patriarchate?” For kicks? ‘Cause we da World Poleece? Wall Street thinks it’ll be good fer bidness? The US Govt. wants it, and will force everybody in America to convert, so “we” can rub it in Russia’s face? Or … “because America deserves it?” It’s to laugh … All Autocephalous Churches are not “Patriarchates.” Greece, with more than triple the number of Orthodox in America, in what- 1/10 of the area? Plus its long Orthodox history and the fact that its the cradle of numberless Saints and New Martyrs is not a Patriarchate … This “concelebration” has no big “meaning” whatsoever! The Phanar ain’t gonna incorporate the OCA aa the “American Autocephalous Church.” The Greeks in America, who far outnumber OCA members, ain’t interested in no Metropolitan Tikhon … Think the Archons would stand for that? ? “Archon of the Syossetople Throne?” What the Phanar wants is control in the US for a) political prestige and clout [as if a few 100,000 people could direct American Foreign Policy in Turkey]; and b) for the Buck$ it would bring in. Period. The “Council” participants have already agreed that the Autocephalous Churches will keep their flocks in the “Diaspora.” Canon 28 is dead. The Phanar’s “Council”
    The Phanar does not recognize the OCA’s Autocephaly; they didn’t in 1970 when it was granted; they didn’t when this concelebration took place, they won’t during or after the “Council.” The OCA is still regarded by the Phanar as a part of the Russian Church, as they have since the Russian Diocese, and the North American Metropolia with its “autonomies that were really autocephalies” but … weren’t. And as the “document” on the Diaspora has already been accepted by the Autocephalous Churches participating in the upcoming meeting in Crete (of which the OCA is not one), seems the OCA’s “autocephalous status” becomes somewhat less “concrete.”

    • Michael Warren says

      Hardly, inasmuch as the document speaks out against unilateral grants of autocephaly to stave off the neopapal traffic in encroachments and schisms of Istanbul. While the OCA’s autocephaly is recognized by more than one autocephalous, local church.

      The canon which is increasingly under scrutiny is the 39th. Canon of the Sixth Ecumenical Council which leads to mandating the Russian church either resume pastorship of its displaced dioceses or work out their transition to constituency in the local churches where they have planted themselves, meaning ROCOR’s days are canonically numbered.

      Then again, who is going to take this Renovationist shriners convention in Crete seriously?

  12. Michael Woerl says

    “The real future of Orthodxy lies in the US?”
    Yep! America will turn Orthodox! When Planet X arrives! ???

  13. Pat Reardon says

    Tommy says, “It could be that + Bart wants to come to the U.S. where the real future of Orthodoxy lies.”

    The late and lamented Metropolitan PHILIP suggested this on several occasions, if memory serves.

    • Michael Warren says

      Late but not universally lamented. This idea would do nothing to create a unity in Orthodoxy in North America, but rather damage it for generations.

    • Archpriest Alexander F. C. Webster says

      I proposed the same move twenty years ago, half seriously and half tongue-in-cheek, in this published article: “Split Decision: The Orthodox Clash over Estonia,” The Christian Century 113 (June 1996): 614–19. Not only would a relocation of the Patriarch of Constantinople to New York have resolved his conflict with the Patriarch of Moscow over the tiny Orthodox community in little Estonia (namely, Russia could have it!); such a dramatic move would have (1) led to a fresh, new identity as Archbishop of New York, Metropolitan of the Americas, and Ecumenical Patriarch, (2) also resolved the “autocephaly” and Orthodox unity questions here in the “New World,” and (3) established the Atlantic Ocean as the limit of Rome’s jurisdiction as “Patriarch of the West” in a future “united” Church!

      I guess the cliché is true after all: “You snooze, you lose.”

      • Michael Woerl says

        The Phanar moving its ecumenical road show to NY would “solve the unity problem?” Everybody have to kowtow to Rome? The EP? “Limit” their Patrons, Mentors, Instructors & Publicity Dept.? Not possible! Not at all!

  14. I hate to have to say but given today’s circumstances, the orthodox need to be more united and what better way than the OCA going under patriarch Bart. There needs to be a more direct, “from the top” structuring of evangelisation and less dispersed efforts, from this church and that church. I’m not suggesting a papistic model, but still one where every patriarch is in charge of his jurisdiction with fewer autocephalous churches. It is a big world nowadays, beyond the traditional boundaries of the height of the Byzantine empire. And the patriarch of Const. Must not be isolated but reinforced. Orthodoxy without Const is very hard to sell to neo catechumens. The historicity of the church is a big factor for a lot of people as they can grasp continuity better like that. And the nonsense going on with the council in Crete is quite pathetic really, feeble seeming. How can the orthodox faithful, let alone the world take us seriously with all the squabbling about who is and isn’t actively participating in it? Such as the church of Greece. There needs to be a spearhead to the spear otherwise it’s just a stick right?

    • Michael Bauman says

      Unity for the sake of unity is a false promise that will weaken the spiritual life of the Church and her members. It is far better to have two or three gathered in honest, humble pursuit of the truth than thousands who are there for any other reason.

      Those gathered around a true and faithful bishop(s) are the Church even if the world does not recognize them. That does not mean schism. The Cappadocians and others who rejected Arianism did not go and start their own Church somewhere else.

      It is unlikely during a widespread apostasy that the Church will grow in numbers. She will not.

      The way is narrow. I can only pray that some remain on it and that the Good Lord is merciful to me when I stray off the way.

      The Cross insures that we each are bearing one another’s burdens. We are not asked to select only those burdens we want to bear and throw the rest to the wolves.

      Ideological finger pointing, scapegoating, having a critical mind concerning the actions and decisions of others and heresy hunting are not the Cross. Heresy is not somewhere else. Make peace with your brother upon the way so that you will not be required to pay the last farthing when you come before the judge.

      God forgive me, a sinner.

    • Michael Warren says

      Because Istanbul does that so well. Or are you talking about its puppet masters in the Vatican and Unia?

    • Michael Warren says

      Most of us in the OCA want unity in fidelity to Orthodoxy, not unity in Renovationist, not so closeted, crypto Unia with an irrelevant Turkish figurehead.

      • Peter A. Papoutsis says

        If you give the OCA enough sugar it will go under the EP and go quickly. There is a plan in motion and the OCA will go along with it. Further, don’t underestimate the OCA either. Bringing in fresh and very Orthodox blood into the EP/GOAA and transforming it into a semi-autonomous Church could do wonders for the EP and the GOAA.

        It won’t be all one sided. There will be benefits on both sides.

        IF this happens the Canon 28 theory will stop, the 1970 Tomos will be abandoned or re-defined, and Moscow will simply continue to dominate the Russian/Slavic world and the EP the Americas.

        Not a bad deal with everybody pretty much getting most (not all) of what they all want.

        EP- Money

        OCA – More freedom and autonomy

        American Orthodoxy – the Start of a truly American Orthodox Church.

        Not perfect, but for now good.

        • This is an interesting scenario, Peter. I wonder where all the chips would fall though. It would likely cause schism within the OCA. I’m not sure what Antioch would do in reaction. ROCOR, of course, has already explained its position regarding everyone else in North America. It will continue as part of the Church of Russia.

          It would end the autocephaly question if it developed as you speculate. No one but the Phanar pays any attention to canon 28. I doubt the future would be any different.

          Overall, I’d have to see that scenario as a negative development. It would consolidate “liberal Orthodoxy” in America. But, of course, where else could “liberal Orthodoxy” survive except in American and Western Europe?

          • Peter A. Papoutsis says

            I hate to agree with you, but I would hope that IF the OCA came in it would stem the tied of Modernism in the EP/GOAA.

            as for Antioch Idk that’s still up in the air. We just have to wait and see.


            • George Michalopulos says

              Peter, believe it or not, you may be more right that you know. One of my sources indicated that the relative conservatism of the OCA (I know, don’t laugh, remember: we’re talking in comparison to the GOA) explains the EP’s overture to the OCA.

              According to this source, one of the issues that the upcoming (robber?) council will discuss in Crete are rules for fasting, reception of converts and marriage. Well, needless to say, the old world churches really want to tighten up this issue. The GOA however, under the modernist rule of the Archons, thinks just the opposite. Therefore, according to this source, the Phanar is using the OCA as a counterweight to the GOA.

              I know it sounds fantastical –delusional even–but it does make a certain amount of sense. For instance: if the GOA continues along its merry way, especially in the continued acceptance of homosexuality in the metropolis of Chicago, then the EP may have to cut portions of the GOA loose for the time being. It’s one thing to coddle the (pretty much) openly homosexual Church of Finland, which is irrelevant, but to continue to let things slide that way in the GOA will cause the Phanar to lose its standing in worldwide Orthodoxy. A coalescence of the more traditional GOA parishes/dioceses with the OCA would at least provide window-dressing to the Phanar.

              The bulk of the Greek-Americans would balk of course but the EP’s between a rock and a hard place. Hence my use of the term “coalesce” “with the OCA” not “in the OCA” or “under the Metropolitan of All-America and Canada”. As to why the EP may be envisioning such an escape hatch for the GOA, we can only surmise that this is due to the acceptance and promotion of homosexuals and/or homosexual sympathizers within the clerical and episcopal ranks of the Church of Constantinople. If I had to guess, I’d say it’s gotten worse in the GOA than in the OCA.

              • Peter A. Papoutsis says

                Oh it has gotten real worse with a clear schism between Greeks who are Orthodox and Greeks who are Modernists.

                Look at what the Modernists did to churches here in Chicago that supported the Father Ephraim monasteries. Those that supported the Monasteries were put on a “Fundamentalist ” list and we’re publicly shamed. My local parish was on that list.

                The EP wanted Father Ephraim ‘s monasteries and those monasteries saved us in the GOAA. The OCA, regardless of its troubles, is still more Orthodox in comparison to the GOAA.

                In fact, I wonder if all this played a part in Bishop Paul coming to our Church recently in Elmhurst? IDK. What I do know is that IF this does happen it would be beneficial for both jurisdictions.

                Let’s wait and see.

                Peter A. Papoutsis

                • Tim R. Mortiss says

                  It’s still Orthodox at my little GOA church! As it is at the nearby OCA church.
                  Two fine priests, indeed.

                  You sure have a lot of theories in the air, George!

        • Michael Warren says

          Only if you all weren’t, Hellenic only, Renovationists massaging Unia and hierofeminism being thralls of the American liberal, political establishment could that make sense, but not at all to the benefit of the OCA.

          The OCA has plenty of freedom: there has been no oversight for 45+ years. Look where that got us. We are a Russo-Ruthenian organism descended from the Russian American mission which oversaw a unified Orthodoxy on this continent. Our submitting to the GOA would mean forfeit of our legitmacy and position to a schismatic body, both validating Canon 28 and betraying the Tomos. While assuring that an autocephalous, Orthodox local church never come into being on this continent.

          Istanbul is a weak organism and will increasingly become a nothing in the Orthodox world, save a tool of Western anti-Orthodox agitation and Vatican II-esque apostasy, unia. While submission to the EP and the subsequent parish closures and embezzlements the “transition” would entail would mean substantial OCA defections to the Russian Mother Church both at the outset of such apostate lunacy and during its implementation. Everyone with a brain realizes that the nothing (but political neo papal sectarianism) of the EP is a stupid choice in view of the FACT of the emergence of Russian primacy in the Orthodox world spearheaded by a Russian Orthodox superpower.

          And since the political situation in the Greek and Turkish worlds is anything but stable, the eventuality is that the EP will soon enough be begging at the doors of the Danilov monastery begging whatever conditions Moscow will allow it. Especially in light of the fact that Istanbul’s Vatican patrons signalled in Havana last month they are ready to do the same thing. The only thing OCA submission to the EP would achieve would be momentary PR to an irrelevant Phanar coupled with a ruinous partition of the OCA with the Russian Mother Church. There are plenty of people still Russian Orthodox in the OCA smart enough to make sure such a betrayal of Orthodoxy in surrender to papal subsidised, Turkish bedlam be nothing but messy and not worth it.

          Nor do I believe that places like the Diocese of the South have any great desire to embrace AHEPA hellenist, Renovationist not so crypto-Uniatism with its accompanying gay crusade and hierofeminist, organ grinding brand of Eastern Rite Episcopalianism.

          So as a Russian Orthodox member of the OCA, I can state, no thank you. Better a poor Russian borscht to share freely in agapes than fundraising Greek festivals to serve as our witness to North America. We choose Orthodoxy rather than Greek, Vatican II, Uniate betrayal of it. We won’t betray CHRIST for 30 silvers earned from the sale of souvlaki.

        • Peter,

          The OCA can not go under the EP. The EP has told the OCA since 1970 that its status is anomalous and to rectify it must return from whence it came, the Russian Orthodox Church. Your scenario is uninformed. Since the EP does not recognize the OCA autocephaly, it would also not recognize any attempt for it to unilaterally become part of the EP.

          • George Michalopulos says

            James, technically I suppose you are right. However the OCA’s position in particular (and American Orthodoxy’s position in general) are so anomalous that we’ve seen (probably) most jurisdictions here in America make things up as they go along. Case in point was the uncanonical removal of Metropolitan Jonah. Syosset was caught in such a blow-back that they kept changing their story and the rules in order to ride out that whirlwind.

            Another case in point: the AOCNA’s elevation of their bishops to full episcopal status then Metropolitan Philip’s demotion of them back to auxiliary status, and all to get rid of Bishop Mark Maymon. Another case: the division of the GOA to four eparchies and various metropolises, making them directly subordinate to Istanbul.

            The most glaring example is the EAUSA itself. When, after four years of meeting it became obvious that it was just a ploy for GOA hegemony, the various ethnic bishops balked at even the most rudimentary redrawing of real, commonsensical diocesan boundaries.

            In other words, the constant shifting of the goal posts, while unfortunate in and of itself, makes any desired outcome a fait accompli should the powers-that-be desire it. Not an elegant thing by any means but I suppose if there were a desired (and desirable) outcome in the offing then I suppose the ends would justify the means.

            • Bishop Tikhon (Fitzgerald) says

              George Michalopoulos! You stated this: on March 25, not for the first time:

              “Case in point was the uncanonical removal of Metropolitan Jonah.”

              METROPOLITAN JONAH WAS NEVER EVER REMOVED, canonically or non-canonically. You are free to characterize his REAL, FACTUAL resignation however you like: he was not removed, ever!

          • Tommy Katsarellis says

            Peter: The OCA is not going back anywhere and it is not going under + Bart. + Bart, + Kirill and all other foreign bishops need to start obeying Orthodox Canon Law. They have no authority outside their own perspective territories. In fact, technically, the OCA is the ONLY real canonical Orthodox Church in America. All other dioceses under foreign bishops need to correct their status and join the OCA – a local, canonical Orthodox Church. The Diptychs ARE NOT and were never meant to be a form of church organization and is a canonical aberration.

            • Gregory Manning says

              Are you saying that I, as a member of ROCOR, indeed ROCOR as a whole, will not be allowed to exist in America? Will we be suppressed and/or forced out of the country if we don’t submit to the OCA? Will it begin as a mere suggestion at first but evolve into marginalization followed by an ultimatum later on down the line? I’m not clear on the direction in which this new national Church movement is going. The overall impression I get is that we in ROCOR, because of our affectionate affiliation with Russian Orthodoxy in general and the Russian Orthodox Church in particular, to say nothing of our long-standing, historical inflexibility in all matters modernist and ecumenical, are not well liked by many in the “American” Orthodox movement. I’m not asking you to reveal strategic secrets of the movement but some hints would be appreciated.

              • Michael Warren says

                Being Russian Orthodox in North America and a member of the OCA is not a mutually exclusive proposition. If anything, the creation of an openly Russian Orthodox metropolia in the OCA uniting with Patriarchal and unashamed OCA parishes would actually strengthen your position and give it a future. Being an “anti-Nikonian” is never a viable position.

  15. Tommy Katsarellis says

    A couple of things. 1st, the head of an autocephalous church “IS” of Patriarchal status. Whether you accept it or not, the head of the OCA “IS” the Patriarch of America. Poo-poo this as you may, it is canonically correct. The OCA is not part of the Russian Church. The OCA will not relinquish its autocephaly unless ALL the churches in the U.S. are recognized as an autocephalic church and become united. The OCA IS NOT going under either + Bart nor + Kirill – going BACKWARD is not the answer for Orthodoxy in America. Basically, the Epis. Ass’ are stupid! They should join in unity to proclaim themselves an autocephalic church where they become the American Synod and choose their own head. Stupid, stupid bishops who refuse to follow Orthodox Canon Law. Foreign bishops (Patriarchs) have no canonical authority outside their immediate territory; including Moscow, Istanbul, Damascus, etc.

    • Michael Warren says

      The heads of the churches of Greece, Cyprus, Poland are of what Episcopal dignity?

      When Istanbul recognizes the Tomos and removes its uncanonical, schismatic jurisdiction from the canonical territory of the North American local church and stops regarding the Metropolitan of the OCA as a sort of ROCOR primate I believe your suggestions will have more merit and should be discussed, but at this point, most of us are not on the same page.

      I think that ignoring the primacy of the Church of Moscow going forward will only trivialize the partisans of an alternate worldview. You can’t ignore the obvious that 70%+ of world Orthodoxy is something you discount at the get go to advance your position and then be taken seriously.

  16. Peter A. Papoutsis says

    Mar 18, 2016

    NEW YORK – Archbishop Demetrios offered ten suggestions for each Orthodox Christian to strive for during the Lenten season, during his homily at the annual Hellenic College Holy Cross Greek Orthodox School of Theology Clean Monday Retreat, March 14, at the Holy Cross Chapel in Brookline, Mass. Below is an edited excerpt of these ten suggestions.

    Ten Suggestions for Lent

    By His Eminence Archbishop Demetrios, Geron of America

    1. Meditate on the History of Salvation

    Think of the Lenten period as a time of meditating on the history of salvation. Think about the creation of the universe and of Adam and Eve as the beginning of human life on earth. Think about the fall of Adam and the entrance of sin in humanity. We see in the hymnology of the liturgical book of Lent, the Triodion, constant references to the tragedy of the fall of the first human beings. For example, in the Oikos of the Matins on yesterday’s Cheesefare Sunday, we read: “Adam sat and cried in those days across from the delights of Paradise; beat his hands upon his face, and said: Merciful One, have mercy on me who have fallen.”

    The memory of what happened through the fall of Adam and Eve continues on in us to this day. Think of the current condition of the world with its chaotic situation, confusion, violence, poverty, injustices, oppression, sickness and death, and remember it all started way back with Adam and Eve as a consequence of their sin and fall. But then contemplate the course of history and how the amazing, unimaginable, and unpredictable act of God Himself to become a human being radically changed everything. So in the course of Lent remember the history of salvation: From the fall of humankind, to the promise of redemption, the Incarnation of God as the new Adam, His Crucifixion, the Resurrection, the Ascension into Heaven, and the Second Coming. Take time to reflect on God’s divine actions through history.

    2. Review the understanding of fasting

    Take fasting seriously as a very important aspect of Lent. Think of fasting not simply as an item of diet, but as something related to the fall of humankind, and at the same time as a victory through Christ. We fast for forty days in Lent before Holy Week not merely as an exercise, an ascesis, but also because there is an important Christological significance attached to fasting. We have forty-day fasting models from both the Old and New Testaments. In the Old Testament, Moses fasted for forty days on Mount Sinai before receiving the Ten Commandments (Exodus 34:28, Deut. 9:9, 9:18) and Prophet Elijah fasted for forty days on Mount Horeb (3 Kingdoms 19:8). Both of these instances are connected with an encounter with God at the end of their fasting. In the New Testament, we have the forty-day fasting in the desert by our Lord Jesus Christ (Matt. 4:1-11, Mark 1:12-13, Luke 4:1-13). At the end of the forty-day fasting by Christ in the desert, there are the well-known “Temptations” of Christ, the first of which is related to eating: And the tempter came and said to him, “If you are the Son of God, command these stones to become loaves of bread.” But he [Christ] answered, “It is written, ‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God’” (Matt. 4:3-4). Is this event in the life of Christ in any way connected to the Fall of Adam? Indeed, the Fall of Adam was caused by an eating situation, yet the victory of Christ also happened through an eating situation. While Adam said “yes” to the temptation and ate (Genesis 3:1-6), Christ said “no” to the temptation and did not eat. This is why the fasting of the forty-days during Lent is not simply a matter of abstention or an issue of diet, but is a major Christological and soteriological situation; the fall of humankind, and then the restoration through the victory of Christ. So let us take fasting seriously and prepare ourselves for a blessed encounter with God.

    3. Reconsider our life of prayer

    Great Lent is a special time to pray. But what is the content of our prayer? What is our praying language? For several people, their prayer is still on the same level of that when they were ten or fifteen years old; it has stayed undeveloped. Why when speaking to God are we using a poor language? What efforts are we making to improve and enhance our prayer in terms of content and expression? Looking at the Triodion, we see many examples of different types of prayer language and content. Try to pray and study the prayers that the Church has given us which are superb examples of conversing with God and try especially to prayerfully read the Psalms, the standard and universal book of prayer.

    During Lent we find an increased number of opportunities for community prayer and worship. The Church invites us each week to pray the services of the Divine Liturgy of St. Basil, the Presanctified Liturgy, the Salutations to the Theotokos, the Great Compline, and others. So try to pray more frequently this Lent and develop through constant praying a more refined language of prayer.

    4. Be conscious of the gravity of sin

    Sometimes we don’t take sin seriously. Yet Scripture offers a very strong and unequivocal picture of the gravity of sin. The hymnology of the Triodion is replete with occurrences of the word “sin” or variations of it. Sin is a very serious issue. In the Hebrew Old Testament, there are fourteen different words to describe sin, but chiefly four: sin as a matter of human weakness, sin as a distortion or perversion, sin as a rebellion (borrowed from the political realm), and sin as an error or mistake related to ignorance.

    If we believe in God becoming a human being and willingly being crucified on the Cross for the sins of the world, then we must understand the seriousness of sin. Let’s reflect on how sin has control in our lives, and how it has distorted the divine image within each of us. Let us deal seriously with our sins with an understanding that they are part of the huge amount of sins and evil that led Christ to the Cross. But then remember that God has given forgiveness as the perfect antidote through the very same Cross. Forgiveness, however, is inseparably connected to repentance.

    5. Make Lent a season for repentance

    Along with sin, we are called to reflect upon repentance. Repentance is a very important aspect in our lives and is a dominant theme throughout the Triodion. We should not forget that Jesus Christ our Lord began His public ministry with the words, “Μετανοεῖτε· ἤγγικε γὰρ ἡ βασιλεία τῶν οὐρανῶν.”“Repent [change your mind], for the kingdom of heaven is at hand” (Matt. 4:17). The whole Sermon on the Mount is a commentary on this fundamental declaration on repentance. The writings of St. Paul and the other New Testament writings are permeated by calls to repentance. Repentance is not merely a shallow or superficial act, but a radical change of mind, soul, will and mentality. It is a central issue and an essential component of the Lenten period. God is always ready to forgive, but first we must repent.

    6. Reflect on our reading the Bible

    Lent is a time to reflect on our relationship with the Holy Scriptures, because the Bible is central in the texts of the Triodion. We must always keep the biblical element at the forefront in our worship and in our life. How close are we to the Bible? Most people think about the Bible only at the reading of the Epistle and Gospel on Sunday at the Divine Liturgy. It is unthinkable that we as Christians do not have the Word of God as a central guide in everything we do. The Lenten period assists us to come closer and more frequently to the Bible and encourages us to reflect upon the Scripture. We should try to make reading from the Holy Bible a daily practice during this Lenten season and beyond.

    7. Be aware of the Christocentric focus

    Of course, the greatest focus of Lent should be on Jesus Christ Himself. Sometimes we can get caught up in fasting, in saying prayers, in going to Church, on our sins, or in all the rituals of this holy season; yet in the midst of all we do, we forget about Jesus Christ Himself. Lent is above all else a time to draw closer to Christ! Christ is the center of this Lenten period and should be the center of our lives. As we go through Lent and arrive at Holy Week with the Crucifixion and Resurrection, Christ must be at the beginning, in the middle, and at the end of all things. This Lenten period is a tremendous opportunity to come closer to Christ, and to be Christocentric in all that we think, say, or do.

    We remember that the fall of Adam and Eve occurred through eating in disobedience to the commandment of God (Genesis 2:15-17, 3:1-24), and that the restoration and victory in Christ was realized through His overcoming the temptation of eating (Matt. 4:1-11, Mark 1:12-13, Luke 4:1-13). But what does our incarnate God offer to us as the ultimate possibility of union with Him? He gave us His Body and His Blood to be eaten. He said to us, “Ὁ τρώγων μου τὴν σάρκα καὶ πίνων μου τὸ αἷμα ἐν ἐμοὶ μένει, κἀγὼ ἐν αὐτῷ.” ”He who eats my flesh and drinks my blood abides in me, and I in him” (John 6:56). Here is the ultimate paradox: During Lent, abstinence from food, i.e. fasting, is accompanied by partaking of the imperishable food, i.e. the Body and Blood of Christ. Adam and Eve fell away from paradise and from their connection to God through eating, and we are restored and united to God in the highest way through the Holy Communion by eating the Body and drinking the Blood of Christ. This is much more than being Christocentric. This is having Christ dwelling in us in a palpable way.

    8. Cultivate human relationships

    The season of Lent is also an opportunity to cultivate our human relationships in more authentic ways. Looking again at the hymnology of the Triodion, we clearly ascertain that there is an emphasis on loving and caring for each other, on moving away from evil and wrong things, on forgiving one another, and on being reconnected with our fellow human beings. The Book of Isaiah, read in its entirety during Lent, begins with a condemnation of the people of Israel because they had abandoned God, and then continues with an admonition to the Israelites to return to God and to be fair and to establish proper relationships with their fellow human beings. So we are called to think of any relationships that are not in the proper condition and make every effort to remedy them. This is a very integral part of living our lives during Lent.

    9. Practice almsgiving

    Almsgiving is a vital aspect of the Lenten period. On one of the multiple occasions speaking about the need to be a person who takes care of others, St. John Chrysostom said that we are all called to give alms. He continued to say that even those who claim to be poor are not free from offering alms. Poverty is a poor excuse not to give. Indeed there are poor people who give the half of what they have (see Mark 12:41-44). It could be said that almsgiving is a requirement for living our life as Christians. Christ said, “when you give alms” (Matt. 6:3), not if you give alms. Almsgiving is especially emphasized during this Lenten period, evidenced again by the hymnology of our Church.

    10. Make this Lent a time for transformation

    Ultimately, our Lenten season is a time of having a transformative experience. We are challenged to resolve that at the end of the Lenten period, when we celebrate Pascha, we are different from what we are today. The transformative aspect of Lent is an absolute necessity for spiritually enjoying this season. We are in the process of transformation if we steadily become Christocentric in all things, through the grace and power of our Lord Jesus Christ. This Lenten season provides us with a tremendous possibility to prepare spiritually, to be constantly transformed, and to be with Christ in His Passion and Resurrection.

    So we don’t forget what Lent is all about.


  17. Peter A. Papoutsis says

    Don’t underestimate the EP or think it’s not powerful. It is very powerful and it is planning something very big with the OCA.

    Moscow reunited with ROCOR, the OCA never wanted to reunite with Moscow, hence the Jonah debacle. The OCA wants to unite with the EP, which means if this happens it will unite with ACROD and all Carpatho-Russian will be reunited and very powerful in their own right.

    I bit you that a very high level of autonomy will be granted to them, but they will be under the EP. A wedge will most likely be drawn between Capatho-Russian and Russians with Moscow and Constantinople continuing their diaspora chess match.

    I only have one question: Where is the Gospel of Jesus Christ and the salvation of souls in all this?


    • I’ve gotten bored with it all. When I look at some of the more cosmopolitan and anti-traditional speeches given by modernist clerics, I know that the days of inter-communion between traditional Orthodox and the modernists are numbered. However, like the Second Coming, we don’t know when the other shoe will drop. So be it.

      It will be interesting to see the dynamic in certain spheres of American and international Orthodoxy. I have in mind the Diocese of the South in the OCA and the AOCNA, indeed, the Patriarchate of Antioch as a whole. I have an idea as to what the stance of Constantinople will be. It could be difficult in the Church of Greece. Jerusalem and Serbia will remain traditional.

      “Who will bolt first?” is the question. I have assumed it will be the Phanar, given their history. But I’m not certain of that. I think there is a desire on the part of everyone involved to be seen as the long-suffering adults in the room and so it might get drawn out in anguish – like a woolly mammoth slowly succumbing to a tar pit. That’s what it looks like when there are no St. Athanathiuses on either side of a divergence.

      Oh, well. God’s will be done. Kali Sarakosti!

    • Michael Warren says

      The Gospel of CHRIST from what we read on the agenda of the Cretan robber synod isn’t Istanbul’s priority, nor are we given so many faithful examples of Orthodox love and piety from the Phanar to emulate. We would love to disassociate from its very political season of Lent. Persuade us by your behavior and not by empty remonstrances. Give us humble, faithful, zealous Orthodox examples. Remove from our midst politicians, quiet betrayals and apostasies. If the hierarchs in question were above board in all things, then they wouldn’t act unilaterally without the consultation of the faithful.

      The faithful asking for explanations and accountability from their hierarchs when Istanbul does such “pious” things as announce a hierarchical liturgy in the Phanar where the pope will concelebrate and be commemorated as an Orthodox Pope in the diptyches during Lent rightly begs the question by faithful of the OCA of what in the world are we doing cozying up with this Turkish official. In view of such dubious, unfaithful and political cozying, posturing, courting of heretics by Istanbul happening during Lent, we rightly engage the political climate impacting us.

      Istanbul is a has been. The EP existed after the fall of the Byzantine Empire as a religious theocratic governing body whose primacy of honor was established on its fidelity to Orthodoxy. Since it has compromised Orthodoxy and traffics in Renovationist models of Unia, qv “two lungs ecclesiology” AKA branch theory, it is a falling (or fallen) see. It represents a few more people than the Church of Sinai canonically. Then it has promoted and promotes schism in other local churches to assert a neo papal authority it never had. Moreover, what authority the EP did have was predicated on it being the primatial see of the Byzantine Empire, whose capitol was Constantinople.

      The Holy Canons recognize no Istanbul. That isn’t such a flip statement, but rather a reality check to the people who seem not to want to admit that a Turkish ethnarch is not a Byzantine Patriarch acting for the good of the Orthodox people in symphonia within an Orthodox Christian empire or commonwealth. What we have today which approximates that model is centered in Moscow, has the backing of an Orthodox superpower, whose brand of Orthodoxy represents and defends 90%+ of the Orthodox world, 70%+ within its own canonical boundaries.

      And we are talking about a Turkish official in Istanbul who acts as a foil to the historical, canonical order of the Orthodox Church, propagates Eastern Rite Protestant transformation and Uniatism?! A Turkish citizen who can’t witness Orthodoxy in a cassock in the city in which he lives somehow has the audacity to claim he has papal jurisdiction over the Orthodox Church because the city he lives in was once called Constantinople?! The EP’s claim on primacy was when he was the spiritual head of that city and that Orthodox empire. Istanbul is not Orthodox Christian Constantinople and the only Orthodox Christian superpower in existence today is Russia. Let us have reality finally set in. Then let us scrutinize that Istanbul works with hostile anti-Orthodox governments to subvert Orthodox unity and promote division, error, agendas inimical to Orthodox ecclesiology and fidelity. For the EP to be taken seriously would mean it show fidelity to Orthodoxy and commitment to Orthodox unity.

      But honestly what Istanbul says and does really is irrelevant. If the Russian church and the other local churches supported and defended by the Russian state simply said we are through with you and severed Communion, 80%+ of world Orthodoxy would consider Istanbul heretical. That’s the wake up call to the AHEPA organ grinders.

      As far as the OCA and +Metropolitan Jonah are concerned, it is laughable that people in bodies openly rejecting OCA autocephaly and acting in schism against the OCA’s canonical authority lecture us today on how we should embrace a post Russian reality. When you all embrace a post Greek reality, we can talk. +Metropolitan Jonah was elected unexpectedly by a majority of the laity of the OCA to serve as Metropolitan. He was removed by a little more than a handful of Bishops who took weeks to explain why they uncanonically removed him against the will of the faithful. The faithful of the OCA were well aware of +Metropolitan Jonah’s sympathies and brand of Orthodoxy when they endorsed him to be their Metropolitan. He never made a secret of it. His orientation was why the majority of the people endorsed him: they had enough of the Syosset-Crestwood corrupt, Renovationist model. Today IF +Metropolitan Jonah were allowed to present his vision versus that of +Metropolitan Tikhon to an AAC, it is probable that a significant minority if not a simple majority would back +Metropolitan Jonah. So let’s not float a post Russian orientation as reality on the acts of a Holy Synod out of touch with its believers. 45 years of failure of that post Russian orientation shout that its vision and course at very least merit the corrective of the Russo-Ruthenian flock which built the OCA and provided for its capability of assuming leadership of Orthodoxy in North America. The fact that the orientation of the powers that be squandered that opportunity with corruption, divisive reforms, and hack Renovationist gimmickry and mindset says that they failed and that their vision going forward is unacceptable and must be abandoned. That vision that failed is a spin off of GOA/EP Renovationism.

      The alternate view, that of the Russian party, is simply this: 1). Unity in North America of Jurisdictions of Russo-Ruthenian orientation in North America established by the Russian Mother Church’s suasion and in cooperation with her. WHILE concurently 2). Pursuing unity with the Antiochian Jurisdiction and consolidating witness to North Americans seeking converts and reverts, again with the aid of the Russian Mother Church. TO 3). Unite Serbian, Bulgarian, Romanian, dissident Greek and other Orthodox Jurisdictions WHILE 4). Dialoguing with bodies like the Union of Scranton and catholic minded Anglicans and Lutherans to unite them in Orthodox Faith. AND 5). Pursuing matters with Byzantine Catholic and ACROD/Ukrainian communities to peaceably unite them, at least individually, to the local North American church. All by pursuing a flexible, big tent model of Orthodoxy (sans heretical ecumania, organs and GOA deaconesses and altar girls) which at its core validates the Neo Patristic Synthesis of Fr. FLOROVSKY as a North American expression of an Orthodox orientation in line with sober currents in the State Church of Greece.

      This is the model which will build Orthodox unity in North America and establish the authority of the OCA and undo the mistakes of the past. Political unions with a Turkish official will do nothing but validate his preposterous claims and heretical acts while acting to cement a secularizing, nominal and Renovationist reality in North America whose generational demographics foreshadow certain extinction. The EP needs to be evicted from North America, not be invited to take up residence and further destabilize the North American Orthodox mission. Turkish Bishops on the Vatican payroll betraying Orthodoxy are not acceptable primatial candidates for any Orthodox unity nor are they anything but unfortunate and pathetic statements of the debasement of Orthodox Christians under turkokrateia.

      • M. Stankovich says

        If I am reading this correctly, “unity” in American Orthodoxy is contingent upon re-uniting under the canonical “protection” and authority of the Mother (Russian) Church. This raises (at least) two significant issues: as Pere LaChaise noted here previously, the majority of the members of the OCA are not Russian, and do not wish to become born-again pseudo-Russians, caps & pins not withstanding. They are, simply put, Orthodox Christians.

        Secondly, no one seems to remember the previous discussion here of what “Holy Russia” in 2016 actually means. Of interest are the findings of sociologist Zoe Knox, who in her post-doctorate fellowship to examine religious tolerance and the impact of religion in the life of “everyday Russians,” published the book Russian, Society, and the Orthodox Church: Religion in Russia After Communism, a good portion of which may be read in Google Books. Needless to say, many protest that Orthodox Christianity is “protected” by law – On Freedom of Conscience and Religious Associations of 1997 – that Boris Yeltsin declared unconstitutional, vetoed, but was overruled – in order to seem more influential than it otherwise might appear. As Dr. Knox observed

        The Great paradox of Russia’s post-Soviet religious renaissance was the transition of the Moscow Patriarchate from a suppressed institution, directed and regulated by an atheist regime, to an institution which directs considerable effort to suppressing other religious bodies by discouraging religious pluralism and enjoying state-sanctioned privileges in a secular country.

        Most significant of her findings was that Russians in general believe that the renewed influence of the Orthodox Church has brought a strong positive moral witness and direction to society; something that was markedly lacking for too long. But she also found that less than thirty percent of Orthodox Christians actually attend the services of the church, except for Christmas and Pascha, baptisms, marriages, and funerals. Both their reasons for non-attendance and the clergy’s explanation for the phenomenon sounds profoundly like… the US. Likewise, they struggle with the identical moral issues, but some to a greater degree than the US – such as abortion on-demand as a primary form of “contraception” – When you cannot keep your own house, how will you assist me to keep mine?

        As I see it, any one of the “dissident” ethnic jurisdictions – Antiochian, Serbian, Bulgarian, Romanian, dissident Greek and other Orthodox Jurisdictions – would join a united American Orthodox Church based on five simple words: “You can be in charge.” And as my beloved Prof. SS Verhovskoy would say: “Sometimes, inclination can be such that we can say with reasonable certainty, it will never happen.” “The EP must be evicted from North America.” Who’d have thought? Shall the Federal Marshalls serve the EP the notice? The ones with the most members, most property, and most assets in the US; the ones who fund and support the grungy 4-blocks by 4-blocks that constitutes Constantinople in a equally grungy suburb of Istanbul? And how patronizing to drag Fr. Florovsky into this; he who aggressively participated in the ecumenical movement (twice on the cover of Life magazine), yet never was accused of “ecumenism,” always said it was his biggest failure.

        This long-winded tome is not at all helpful by stating such things as, “the EP is a has been”; nothing but melodrama. The EP is going nowhere in our lifetime. Try this: Fr. Alexander Schmemann, Problems of Orthodoxy in America. The Canonical, the Liturgical, and the Spiritual. Plans for action necessarily evaluate the problem by probing the details & antecedents of its making; proposes a goal and establishes reasonable & prudent ways to overcome the obstacles to achieving the goal; and objectively measures progress, adjusting where necessary, and encouraging the process. Fr. Alexander does so in a prophetic, sober manner.

        • Peter A. Papoutsis says

          Michael, please stop being reasonable and logical. It is very unbecoming.

          Peter A. Papoutsis

          • Michael Warren says

            Reasonable and logical from a person claiming SSA casts one in the Image of GOD and the likeness of one living the SSA lifestyle is a path to perfection, holiness, iconography?

            Then people wonder why no one takes Istanbul seriously. You make my case against liberal, renovationist heresy for me.

            • M. Stankovich says

              Mr. Warren,

              As you are a demonstratedly proficient Google scholar, I challenge you before everyone who reads the Monomakhos site: if you are able to provide a direct quote of me stating, “SSA casts one in the Image of GOD and the likeness of one living the SSA lifestyle is a path to perfection, holiness, iconography,” or “the phronema is a matter or Reformation “to get with it and adapt to changing times” I will repent openly on this site, and never post here again. If you cannot support your continuous, scurrilous accusation, then you must leave because you are a deceiver. I have had enough and I demand you prove your accusation, and I am relentless. Personally, I suggest you pack up your rabid roadshow and leave on your own because you will never be able to provide such quotes, and you will be humiliated. Until you “put up or shut up,” Mr. Warren, I intend to remind you whenever you post and do not address me, and you can remember I am always looking over your shoulder. You refer to this as “stalking” and find it “repulsive?” Not even close to the repulsiveness of how you have referred to me. Now you will answer to me.

              • Michael Warren says

                Your redacted quotes of St. John Damascene (his apologia On the Holy Icons) in exchanges over SSA regarding plastic anthropology states that. On the selling body parts topic with Fr. Hans. It was brought to your attention on that topic and to that of the readers. Now it is comical you are trying to flee your five year gay crusading record and exchanges with Fr. Hans. A mendacious fraud. Typical Crestwood meta-erudition! “Fake it until you make it. Lie when you get caught!”

                And, honestly, take your Eastern Rite Episcopalian sideshoe down the road. St. Gregory of Nyssa Episcopal church awaits their new swami. Google scholarship is the domain of your would be clones, lay and clerical. You and yours are the only frauds here.

              • Michael Warren says

                Caught Selling Baby Parts Planned Parenthood Doubles Down on the Lie [VIDEO]

                Stankovich writes in reply to Fr. Hans Jacobse, citing St. John Damascene’s Apologia for the Holy Icons, decontextualixing the christological underpinnings of the veneration of Icons to assert an SSA Renovationist anthropology in post dated:

                March 8, 2016 8:03 AM

                His heretical anthropology was addressed by myself where he was called on his blasphemous quote taken out of context teaching a heretical anthropology. He then fled the discussion.

                Asserting St. John Damascene’s Apologia to state GOD made gays to have SSA and thus they are made in the Image and Likeness of GOD and can attain holiness as a result as those who are depicted in the Holy Icons is a heretical assertion stating that GOD creates SSA and that this demonic passion is natural to the human condition and thus can lead to holiness. Such an assertion blatantly ignores the teachings of the Holy Fathers on the sin of homosexuality and redacts out the unseen warfare with the thoughts leading by grace freely given to purification, illumination, theosis. Such a plastic, heretical anthropology disguised in the argument for veneration of the Holy Icons asserts that the this behavior can lead to an anthropological model worthy of iconography. Thus, the liberal, Renovationist heresy is again exposed.

                This fraud is not Orthodox and he teaches heresy for political ends.

                • M. Stankovich says

                  Mr. Warren,

                  A hack you are, and shall always be. Directly quote my redaction, “decontextualization,” and mischaracterization of our Blessed Father John of Damascus and I will repent and leave. I have even provided you specifically with where you might find it in his Exposition of the Orthodox Faith. Appéler un chat un chat, Mr. Warren, you know as well as I do that again you are a deceiver. Yesterday, you could have saved the OCA, and today, you are a Cossack and “Great Russian.” And tomorrow, what’s your gig? I am your Gunnery Sargent Hartman, Mr. Warren, and you will not like me. But the more you do not like me, the more you will learn.

                  • Michael Warren says

                    I have directed the readers to where they can find it and my rebuttals to it and witness how you fled when you made your heretical, Renovationist argument for the iconography of homosexuality. They can read it there.

                    You are a liberal, Renovationist heretic and a fraud. That’s it.

                    I am always who I have been: a faithful, unashamed Russian Orthodox Christian, of Russian heritage. You are not. You are the typical Crestwood meta-erudite fraud trying to evade your agendized and erroneous poseurism. Trouble is, it is here. It is recent it is heretical. You fled when denounced, conceding the arguments.

                    So when are you arriving at St. Gregory of Nyssa Episcopal church?

                  • Michael Warren says

                    Your quote is contemporary and here and has been alluded to. No amount of lying and flight will keep you from being exposed.

                    You were answered. You conceded the points. You fled. You are a fraud and a liberal, Renovationist heretic.

                    Syosset-Crestwood trafficking in the Renovationist tantrums of its children to derail discussion of its larcenous perfidy and expired, incompetent failure in administration for 45+ years

        • Michael Warren says

          I feel glad that the opportunity has presented itself to explain what I mean as a proponent of the Russian party in the OCA. I hope that this exchange serves to provide a modicum of understanding where I foresee things could go for my OCA and at least a small appreciation of my position.

          Thus I shall answer Mr. Stankovich in a brief encounter with the reservations he has shared.

          1). The foundation stone on the majority of parishes in the OCA will read “Russian” and often in the Russian language. So saying that the majority of the OCA is not of Russian heritage is like arguing the majority of the GOA is not of Greek heritage and shows the disconnect between the Syosset – Crestwood liberals and reality. The OCA is certainly not mostly liberal and Renovationist in the Syosset-Crestwood mold and that orientation has only ever been represented by a small minority.

          Attitudes massaging loathing of Russian heritage also show a sheer ignorance as to what Russian Orthodoxy is. At its outset Russian Orthodoxy embraced numerous peoples, respecting their linguistic and cultural differences and even created native liturgical languages for them. They were united not in a nationalistic expression of Orthodoxy but in a cultural paradigm, a paradigm which embodies a family of peoples embracing a common Orthodox ontological reality. The OCA today is still an expression of it in English translation. Moreover, this paradigm celebrates native Orthodoxy as practiced by healthy, predominantly non Russian organisms like the Diocese of the South. Thus, relying on our mother church, the world’s primary Orthodox church, means to rely on her influence in the Orthodox world, not annulment of autocephaly. Our autocephaly languishes in a holding pattern to be realized in time. It is being stifled by the incompetence and corruption of the liberal Renovationists of Syosset – Crestwood. The assistance of the Mother Church in most instances is requisite to convince other local churches, to insure them of the validity and viability of our mission, acting as a type of FDIC to the depositors who would recoalesce into our local administration. A closer arrangement and cooperation with our mother church will do what the Syosset – Crestwood crowd could only ever dream of achieving: it would start negotiations of what reunion with the North American Orthodox administration will look like. Moscow most ceratainly has the influence and state support to bring parties to the table and explain to them “by whose authority.” No one else does: most certainly not a Turkish dhimmi on the Vatican payroll. As 45+ years have seen, the “sober” (spiritually immature, clueless and petty) Syosset – Crestwood approaches alienated people while emptying our parishes and caused other Orthodox in North America to shrug at the unripe and contrived Eastern Rite Protestant banality. We are victims of the failure of Syosset – Crestwood’s lack of Orthodox maturity and utterly incompetent organizational model. No one is going to buy the ticket of a Fr. Schmemann article constituting booking a trip on the return voyage of an ecclesial Titanic. The day we get over the bad ole days of +Metropolitan Theodosius is the day we can actually conclude with a viable tomorrow. No one in their right mind desires to be the next victim of the hackneyed reality of failure using other peoples’ money Renovationist Kishkovsky and Uniate Jillions embody.
          2). The Mother Church, on the other hand, is the unofficial state church of the world’s Orthodox superpower. It represents 70%+ of the Orthodox world. It defends an additional 20%+. Thus, only a liberal, Renovationist out of touch with reality draws comparisons of moral equivalence between its life and viability and the deplorable reality liberal Renovationists have made of the Orthodox presence in the West over the last 50 years.

          But let’s consider Stankovich’s rejection of the Russian church’s primacy predicated on nominal versus active populations of believers. Roman Catholicism boasts 1 billion members worldwide but relies on less than 100 million active members to pay the bills and keep the parish doors open. 10% not the 30% Stankovich uses as his basis to disregard the Russian church’s claim to primacy. Rome lacks anything resembling a modern army, has no nuclear weapons, yet Istanbul is prepared to grovel at its table for scraps while the pope is prepared to share the world with Moscow. Yet Stankovich and his Syosset-Crestwood fellow travelers both are prepared to accord primacy to Rome and Constantinople while ignoring their nominal versus active believer realities. Why? Because these people prefer their liberal and Renovationist vision for the future. Fascinating. Demographic trends in Russia see an increase of the role of the Russian Orthodox church in the lives of the citizenry, in culture, in the state – that’s the “putinism” banderofascists and EU and US colonialists are opposing. So only a person who reads irrelevant literature out of touch with the reality on the ground writes the inconsistent nonsense of the Russian church “being an empty shell whose numbers don’t reflect a working reality.” Applying the same standards of nominalism to the primacies of organisms Stankovich and his pals favor leaves them out of the discussion, excluded as juniors to Moscow’s emerging primacy. So it seems the opposition doesn’t have a point.
          3). Serbian and Bulgarian Orthodoxy maintain close relations with the Russian Orthodox church. When we talk about reincorporating them into the North American church, we are talking about flexible models to include these bodies into our local administration. Models that will work because they bear the full faith and credit of the Russian Orthodox church, the primatial church of the Orthodox world.
          A Serbian Metropolia and an expanded Bulgarian diocese in the OCA, encouraged to maintain ties with their motherlands, financially participate in the lives of their parent churches, even praying for and/or commemorating their respective primates of these churches while commemorating the OCA Metropolitan: a very doable paradigm with influence from Moscow, but impossible in the day of Fr. Schmemann and with the current approach of Syosset – Crestwood. Because the OCA of that day was perceived as unripe, lacking the backing of the Mother Church to allay fears of its competence, rightly justified, to successfully meet the needs of these Orthodox faith communities.

          The case of the Romanian Archdiocese absorbing the diasporan diocese of the Romanian church would be easier to bring about under such an arrangement because the majority of Romanian Orthodox in North America belong to the OCA Romanian diocese while this move would allow the Romanian church to a). Restore a fuller relationship with the Romanian Orthodox in America WHILE b). Giving the Romanian diocese of the OCA sole diasporan authority over all Romanian parishes.

          As far as the Church of Antioch is concerned, Assad would do anything for Russia at this point. So the kind concern of the Russian Orthodox church is magical in OCA – Antiochian relations. The real world difference between the sponsorship of the Russian Mother Church and a paper written by Fr. Schmemann.

          As far as dissident Greeks are concerned, Stankovich’s liberal, Renovationist fellow travelers in
          the GOA are undertaking a purge of “fundamentalists” (ie anyone who desires Greek Orthodoxy the way it has been practiced in Greek lands for centuries without Eastern Rite Protestant Reformation) inaugurated since they forced +Archbishop Spyridon into retirement; in doing so, they have alienated 30%-40% of their parishoners. A similar arrangement where the dissidents could commemorate any given Greek primate of a Greek local church while commemorating the Metropolitan of the OCA can be negotiated with Moscow sitting at the table and guaranteeing the OCA’s bonafides.

          Likewise, the Old Calendarist Greeks have coalesced around the Astoria based Archdiocese for the most part. Assuarances in dialogue on issues like Renovationism and ecumenical activity with an understanding reached over the calendar could merit the fruit of returning this group to Communion with the OCA as it existed under +Metropolitan Leonty. While Moscow’s help in dialogue between these Old Calendarists and the Greek State Church to accomplish a canonical act of Communion and end the climate of hostility and division of the last century would make this all very possible.

          You see, when you are a Syosset-Crestwood Renovationist stuck in a bubble of shame of your heritage clutching to an utterly failed model, quoting papers written a long time ago and advancing a horribly failed model clutching an expired worldview, citing the people who were not capable enough to bring this about and lacking the foresight to even envision how it could be done, you end up returning to your vomit hoping to find it palatable yet once more.

          The Russian party orientation offers the absolute advantage of Moscow sitting at the table. Syosset-Crestwood all have nothing left to negotiate with, except our loyalty either with or against the mother church. These liberal Renovationists abuse their authority. They have destroyed the negotiating position of the OCA. They embezzled it. They snorted it up their noses. They spent it on male hustlers. While chasing our core parishioners out of our parishes making them loathe their Russian heritage and foisting upon them gimmicks and fads they neither needed nor found edifying to their Orthodox Christianity. Today Syosset-Crestwood stands in the way of sober Orthodox dioceses like that of the South and prevents them from having pious and faithful Orthodox Bishops.
          4). The EP is a has been, a Turkish Eastern Rite Protestant See trying to deliver another unia to the Vatican to regain relevance. When it again becomes the principle see of an Orthodox empire we will talk. But for now no one is taking seriously a Vatican lackey on a Turkish leash with an impaired fidelity to Orthodoxy. Orthodox primacy resides in the church of Moscow. The sooner Syosset-Crestwood Russian heritage loathers get in touch with reality and either become Orthodox or pursue their liberal, Renovationist Eastern Rite Protestant dreams with Canterbury, the surer the apostate fringe will be removed from our Orthodox missionary communities in the West: they can be just as they are and celebrate it simply by joining the Episcopalian church or the UGCC. Both groups will probably even allow them to claim they are Orthodox.
          5). Fr. Florovsky and +Metropolitan Leonty inserted themselves into how they agreed Orthodox mission in the West should be pursued. A). By a model which validates fidelity to Orthodox doctrine, worship, anthropology, a pastoral approach which ennervates the Patristic Life in our time. A holistic model not dissected but faithful and IN TACT. WITH B). A segmented approach which deals with different peoples, cultures, socio economic groups in our time yet affirms the Patristic Mind. While living the Patristic Life of purification, illumination, deification, guided by the Mind of the Church. TO C). Cultivate a local church tradition flexible in its living witness of Patristic Orthodoxy, distinctly local, yet affirming Tradition and traditions handed on to us while being relevant socially and culturally to our situation. CREATING D). An Orthodox climate of living Scripture, a Patristic Orthodox corollary of parishoners formed, succored, witnessing Orthodoxy alive in our time, every Orthodox Christian at every level of the model who is faithful and living in CHRIST formed as a living witness of Orthodoxy, Patristic Orthodoxy. In an integrative, segmented by maturation, Patristic ontology. Not as a witness of ecumenist syncretism, as Fr. Florovsky himself came to regret his participation in the ecumenical movement inasmuch as it ignored the witness of Orthodoxy he tried to accomplish. Rather a witness of sovereign Truth and Love in CHRIST JESUS which transfigures humanity in the GOD man and offers creation in faithful stewardship to the HOLY TRINITY evidencing the reality of a Gospel where death is overhrown, CHRIST is risen and by HIS Ascension has united humanity with GOD to be loved, redeemed and justified in CHRIST, a new creation. We are called to live the Faith of the Fathers to continue the Patristic era.

          That doesn’t mean a war on “ethnic ghettos” arbitrarily affirming Tradition while discarding “traditions,” “gleaming Patristic wheat from cultural chaff.” It means Tradition is the living Faith of the Church whose Life is affirmation of CHRIST in every individual believer proclaiming death and sin are overthrown: we are all called and capable to be holy for CHRIST is risen. The witness of the Church IN TOTO, Tradition and traditions, as has been handed down to us as our foundation to cultivate a living reality in CHRIST as the fulfillment of our creation and the deliverance of it from sorrow, evil, cruelty, fear, hate and condemnation.

          • M. Stankovich says

            Mr. Warren,

            In a demonstration of grandiose verbosity that is as uninteresting as it is pointless, you have managed to “address” me by addressing nothing.

            To suggest that non-Russian Orthodox Christians in America should have “fealty” to the ROC is ridiculous. The OCA is not a “creation” of the ROC, and autocephaly is not “given, it is acknowledged. If this were not the case, the OCA would be commemorating the Patriarch of Moscow in its liturgical services, and quite obviously, this has never been done. Secondly, your point regarding “primacy” is equally ridiculous. If, in fact, the ROC enjoyed “primacy,” then why the need for very strict legislation limiting other “religions?” I would suggest that “primacy by enforced legislation” is significantly differently than primacy by faith. There are far too many alive in Russia who associate the church and its clergy with corruption & persecution – and rightfully so – a feeling that a legislated collaboration with the government & the church does nothing to assuage.

            Apparently you feel competent to assess – among many things – the actual rate of church attendance in Russia based on your own authority. My response to this is very simple: I have provided the source of my comment, a published scholar in the person of Dr. Zoe Knox, whom I feel safe in presuming has never been to Syosset nor Crestwood. Until you are able to correct Dr. Knox’s published research with a published source to the contrary, I will presume you distribute shinola to bolster an argument you cannot otherwise substantiate.

            I reiterate that if it was your “mission” to address my response, you would have attempted to critique exactly how Fr. Alexander Schmemann was incorrect in his evaluation of the situation in American, and unrealistic in his proposed solution. Instead, you continue in promoting the idea that “willing” the EP into non-existence or non-influence will be effective. This only makes sense in the sandbox world of the internet. Referring to the Ecumenical Patriarch as a Syosset-Crestwood Renovationist does not make you appear more Orthodox or a traditionalist – a contrivance in itself – but an extremist, czarist kook.

            Finally, I cannot imagine anyone who appreciates the ramblings of a theological hack, and I cannot, for the life of me, understand why Mr. Michalopulos is enabling you to outgun our friend Mr. Nevins. At least Nevins’ verbose insults to Orthodox Christians made sense. Perhaps you could make an effort to stay on topic?

            • Michael Warren says

              Firstly, the “words” above addressed ALL your points. Perhaps use of a remedial program like hooked on phonics will get you there. But let me recap for you and the Syosset-Crestwood, liberal, Renovationist crowd:

              1). I illustrated how the Russian party model would work and be superior to the FAILURE of the Schmemannite 45+ year model which has bankrupted us and emptied our churches.
              2). I illustrated the ridiculous inconsistency of your nominal versus actual membership model by cross applying it to the institions YOU FAVOR and found that your US study of religion in Russia ignores a). Putinism WHICH IS RUSSIAN ORTHODOX NATION STATE TRANSFORMATION, showing your authority to be a hack by ignoring that point AND b). Illustrating that Russian Orthodox nominal vs. active numbers correspond with Western counterparts where Russian Orthodox numbers have an advantage and have decades long positive trends while Western numbers reflect decades long negative trends. Thus, you have no clothes in your ridiculous attack on Russian Orthodox demographics and they state that precisely the Russian Orthodox numbers are more viable than your own.
              3). Autocephaly NEVER pops out of the ground like a mushroom, but is granted by the Mother churches which planted the missions WHICH MATURE into local churches. For a number of reasons, the OCA autocephaly from the get go was a product in the making, made possible by the Russian mother church’s largesse. Two reasons being prominent in its ongoing realization being a). THE LACK OF AN ACTUAL LOCAL CHURCH MODEL WITH DISTINCTLY LOCAL CHURCH TRADITIONS and b). THE PRESENCE OF NON AFFILIATED AND NON AFFILIATING COMPETING ORGANISMS ON OUR CANONICAL TERRITORY, EVEN A COMPETING LOCAL EPISCOPAL SYNOD. Meaning the lack of a unified Orthodox local witness and a genuine native Orthodoxy: until these things are realized, no tomos of any kind creates a spontaneous autocephaly nor is it a matter of one day waking up and saying, “Look, we are autocephalous today, Margie.” Lastly, autonomous churches have been known in the past not to commemorate (so commemoration of a given hierarch definitely seems to be something they didn’t go over in meta-erudite Crestwood with you) their first hierarchs so your entire understanding of autocephaly is something you read in one of those articles from 45+ years ago which never reconciled itself with history, reality or even a competent education. Liberal, Renovationist political fantasy is propaganda, not reality.
              4). As far as being a theological hack is concerned, your brand of liberal, Renovationist Syosset-Crestwood Eastern Rite Protestant Reformation by metapatristic redaction and infidelity to Orthodoxy has cornered the market. And I have illustrated how, Mr. THE PHRONEMA REALLY MEANS CONTINUAL REFORMATION BECAUSE I DON’T UNDERSTAND FATHER FLOROVSKY. Mr. Liberal, Protestant heretical anthropology, who has laid such Renovationist gems as SSA lifestyle perfects the likeness of the faithful and can lead to holiness, even iconography. Renovationism, Eastern Rite Protestant Reformation of Orthodox Faith, worship, discipline to produce a metapatristic reality in diametric opposition to the PHRONEMA and the Illumined Tradition and traditions of the Church, ie the “modernism” others have indicted your kind of closetted Episcopalian over during the LAST FIVE DECADES.
              5). You live in an alternate, russophobic universe where the Russian church didn’t found the Russian American mission, where +Metropolitan Leonty never lived and all the onion domed, obikhod chant using majority of our formerly Russian Orthodox churches don’t exist. In your world, that is somehow American. But in reality it is Russo-Ruthenian assimilate. Thus since you fail to inform your ignorance and understand what Russian Orthodoxy is, you concede you lack any competence in addressing the point. What more needs be said? You are ashamed of your heritage, yet your model of shame is neither normative of the OCA and our parishoners nor has it at all been successful in forcing our parishoners into self loathing “American” ghettos. Your insistance on attacking our Russian heritage rather has cost us 92% of our membership and indicts your 45+ year liberal, Renovationist, Schmemann article failure. Your russophobia has set the OCA back a century! We will not be forced to loathe our heritage. Since you are on the West coast you would be well served to open your eyes and begin noticing all those Russian plaques and books throughout our parishes before you ever again say you aren’t in a Russian Orthodox body. Then please go to St. Gregory of Nyssa Episcopal church and take your clones with you and stay there. There you can be a liberal, Renovationist all day and have appreciated Fr. Schmemann readings.
              6). I will take it as a concession that the Russian party model I propagated for the emergence of our autocephaly with the aid of the Mother Church illustrated its superiority and viability in the face of your 45+ year model of failure. Seems the “tsarist cookery” (from a Red like myself which makes your ignorant, unread diatribe even more preposterous) is a better way for us. It follows you are too much a thrall of your failed ideology and rank, amateur meta-erudite, meta-patristic, Crestwood education to be able to appreciate a successful paradigm. Instead you offer more of the same 45+ year record of failure until you murder the OCA. You demand a captive audience where you refuse to dialogue on anything but your interpretation of Schmemannite articles to boot, calling for censorship to enforce message discipline no less. Refusing to acknowledge the responsibility of your Eastern Rite Protestant, larcenous party in its 45+ year record of failure. Typical liberal, Renovationist dissembling fraud.
              7). Primacy in the Orthodox Church historically has resulted from the influence and political, cultural relevance of a given see. Thus, Rome being the capitol of the Empire was the first primatial see until it fell into heresy. Constantinople established its eastern then ecumenical primacy by being the capitol of the Empire which preserved Orthodoxy when Rome fell into heresy and then when the Empire fell. Today, there is no Constantinople any longer in existence. The EP betrays Orthodoxy, ie “teo lungs,” branch theory ecclesiology and Eastern Rite Protestant, organ grinding Renovationism with not so closetted Unia in its liturgical commemorations of a heretical pope. It has no prominence in the Orthodox world. The Moscow Patriarchate is headquartered in Moscow, the capitol of the world’s Orthodox superpower. It represents 70%+ of the Orthodox world within its canonical territory. It defends another 20%+, being its patron. A result of its quasi-state church status within the Russian state, ie Putinism. Thus, that is a de facto historical affirmation of the transfer of primacy to the Russian church. An affirmation of the Third Rome reality. When the Turkish lackey on the Vatican payroll can manage to be faithful to Orthodoxy once more and function as an ecumenical patriarch within his own city without fear of an Islamist lynch mob, then we can talk about Canons mentioning Constantinople. Then we will show you a map of the world in 2016 and ask you to show us where Constantinople is. Where we will call you a hellenist kook who hasn’t left the twentieth century out of touch with the reality of today’s ISTANBUL not being Imperial Constantinople.

              • M. Stankovich says

                Mr. Warren,

                You propagated the “Russian party model for the emergence of our autocephaly with the aid of the Mother Church”; from a “Red like [yourself]?” And likewise, “People of my orientation built 100% of the membership, 75% of the churches, and 100% of the money your kind [Mr. Kraeff] embezzled.” And I must presume you are also referring to yourself when you state that when “a grown up speaks out against your [neologism?] Scooby mobile model of Me Generation liberal Renovationism, you refuse to even consider the point of view of people who supplied you with a viable organization?” If they had only listened… And finally, in all fairness, if you would refer to Fr. Chancellor John Jillions as “Uniate Jillions,” simply because he was an instructor at a Uniate affiliated university, I would point out that because Fr. Florovsky spent so many years as full professor at the modernist, renovationist, heterodox, and heretical Harvard Divinity & Princeton University, you must likewise refer to him as “modernist, renovationist, heterodox, and heretical Florovsky” as well. And as I think about, Mr. Warren, the person who is so adamantly flustered by Chancellor Jillions’ teaching history is the Russophile-fanatic transgender Barbara cum Stanley from Voices from Russia. It obviously begs the question of who you actually might be, Mr. Warren, but returning to the point at hand: again you invoke my name in this mindless hack, again claiming my heresy in stating the “phronoma” is, in fact, “fluid” & changes with the times, a direct misrepresentation of Fr. Florovsky’s “Loss of the Scriptural Mind.” Provide a direct quote of me, Mr. Warren, or admit you are a deceiver and hit the road. Man up (no pun intended).

                • Michael Warren says

                  1). The exchange regarding your total lack of comprehension in your redaction of Fr. FLOROVSKY’s understanding of the phronema has been taken up on three topics HERE ON THIS BLOG a). The first where you argued that Fr. Florovsky’s teaching on the phronema meant any given person could decontextualize Scripture to advance such things as a married episcopacy, you showing no understanding of the role of Illumination and deification in expressing the phronema. B). On the selling body parts topic where you were shown to again quote Fr. FLOROVSKY out of context not understanding what he wrote and c).here on this topic. So your being argumentative is just being desparate trying to deflect from your total lack of understanding of Fr. FLOROVSKY’s work to misquote him to advance your heretical, liberal, Renovationist agenda. You should stick to Ware or the Rainbow series because everything else Orthodox is way above your paygrade.
                  2). Fr. Jillions has made no secret of his sympathies for the papist church and for papists like the Cure of Ars whom he admitted on the OCA website he venerates as Saints. His own words supply the charges of his Uniatism and his lack of Orthodox fidelity asserts his incompetence in leading the OCA.
                  3). Fr. FLOROVSKY never compromised Orthodoxy, never massaged unia, but, rather, used ecumenical forums and his teaching positions to promote witness of the Orthodox Faith. Uniate Fr. Jillions uses Orthodox websites to promote veneration of papist saints and his position in an Orthodox local church to promote compromise of Orthodoxy.
                  4). Your petty and depraved assaults on people not here present simply indict you for the hack, liberal, Renovationist fraud you are. You are just a slander mongering Crestwood meta-erudite hack. And insulting people is all you have left now that the internet knows you are just a loud mouth fraud. You discussing anything Russian is akin to Barrack Obama discussing anything competently about foreign policy: above your paygrade, as foreign to you as tact, and a matter of poor value judgements which massage all manner of phobias and fringe groups to ineptly spread disaster from nation to nation. You are an inept, crass and ignorant Russophobic nothing whose opinion on Russia isn’t even on the level of a bad Jakov Smirnoff joke. Going through life hating yourself and your heritage wishing you could effect a race change so you could be considered cool is the reality of your identity crisis shouting you hate who you are. Your russophobic nonsense is just a ridiculous waste of space. You aren’t taken seriously because you never grew up and became Orthodox. So please remove yourself to St. Gregory of Nyssa Episcopal church where you really belong. You represent nothing but the liberal fringe of American Christianity, the ECUSA.
                  5). Thank you once again for conceding that my Russian party model will work while your larcenous and incompetent 45+ year of Syosset-Crestwood failure is just a ridiculous joke. So where are the tens of millions of dollars you all stole?

                • Michael Warren says

                  I let him run on, this papier-maché Mephistopheles, and it seemed to me that if I tried I could poke my forefinger through him, and would find nothing inside but a little loose dirt, maybe.

                  Joseph Conrad, Heart of Darkness

                  • M. Stankovich says

                    relent, v.
                    1. To soften in temper; to grow more gentle or forgiving; to give up a harsh intention or inclination or inclination to severity.
                    2. To yield, give way; to up previous determination or obstinacy.

                    relentless, a.
                    Incapable of relenting; pitiless.

                    • Michael Warren says

                      Will you be quoting Russian children’s books again?

                      Relentlessly wrong and heretical about sums up your fraud.

                      So when do we get to know where the tens of millions of dollars you all stole over the last 45+ years are?

                    • M. Stankovich says

                      on the down-low, v.
                      May refer to any activity or relationship kept discreet. Specifically, it may refer to: Keeping an act, action, or some other piece of information a secret.

                      To my best recollection, drugs & women. Next question?

                    • Michael Warren says

                      Are you the second coming of Mr. Furley from Three’s Company?

                      And where are the tens of millions you all in Syosset – Crestwood pilfered from the faithful of the OCA?

      • Carl Kraeff says

        Mr Warren writes: “+Metropolitan Jonah was elected unexpectedly by a majority of the laity of the OCA to serve as Metropolitan. He was removed by a little more than a handful of Bishops who took weeks to explain why they uncanonically removed him against the will of the faithful. The faithful of the OCA were well aware of +Metropolitan Jonah’s sympathies and brand of Orthodoxy when they endorsed him to be their Metropolitan.”

        I am not going to argue with this prolific and rabid poster. I just want to set the record straight. First, Metropolitan Jonah got the plurality of the votes–under 40% in both the first and second ballots. There was no differentiation between clergy and laity votes. Second, there is no factual or evidentiary basis for the claim that the faithful were aware of +Jonah’s views. I strongly suggest to Mr Warren that his manner of argumentation and his disregard of facts are not at all helpful. Indeed, if I thought he represents a typical OCA member, I would have to switch jurisdictions.

        • Michael Warren says

          I suppose a personal attack is all the other side has to offer. I am sure that I will be cast as “rabid” and “prolific” for answering the strident and agendized, but here goes.

          People of your orientation chased away 92% of the membership of the OCA in the last 45 years. People of my orientation built 100% of the membership, 75% of the churches, and 100% of the money your kind embezzled. People of your orientation are wrecking the same or similar havoc throughout the Orthodox Church in the West. 45 years you all have raged war on the Orthodox mission from within and when a grown up speaks out against your Scooby mobile model of Me Generation liberal Renovationism, you refuse to even consider the point of view of people who supplied you with a viable organization. You demand a monopoly on the discussion stridently avoiding your curriculum vitae of failure, mediocrity, embezzlement, infidelity, vandalism. Seems any type of evaluation of the 45+ year track record of your party is out of the question when there are still 8% of our parishoners to drive out of our parishes and there is what +Theodosius and Herman couldn’t steal left to pilfer, right?

          Like I wrote above, the ECUSA exists to accomodate Eastern Rite Protestant Stankovich clones. You have a place where you are cherished, which breathes and lives by liberal excess and theological depravity. Live your Reformation where you are loved as the Anglican you really are. Please take the larcenous Renovationists of Syosset-Crestwood with you. Don’t forget Renovationist Kishkovsky and Uniate Jillions.

          Lastly concerning +Metropolitan Jonah:

          1). What percentage voted to remove him?
          2). What percentage voted for his successor?
          3). What percentage of the OCA Diocese of the South would endorse his candidacy to lead their diocese TODAY?
          4). Why when you liberal Renovationists supposedly have the numbers do you not put your ideas for regime change before an AAC to make sure? Why is it you use a handful of Bishops to uncanonically remove a primate while only supplying a reason weeks later? Numbers not so solid?! Where was the 40% behind the handful of Bishops who ousted a primate whose “authoritarianism” was only a fraction of his predecessors? (How authoritarian was +Theodosius for twenty years while he robbed the OCA blind when he represented your liberal, Renovationist orientation, a man WHO LOST IN THE BALLOTING FOR METROPOLITAN TO +ARCHBISHOP DMITRI BUT WAS APPOINTED METROPOLITAN?!)

          What strange use of numbers you conjecture. No wonder tens of millions were funneled into shell corporations to be embezzled, spent on male hustlers, cocaine, Italian sports cars and German motorcycles for your “humble,” non-authoritarian metropolitans. If only my kind would have convinced you all to abandon the OCA in 1978. Then we would be able to trade 92% for your 8%, maintain our growth model, and still have tens of millions of dollars instead of being bankrupted by your ever so competent and visionary liberal, Renovationist orientation!!! Stankovich clones with their redacted articles have had their way for 45+ years. Look where we are today as a result.

          The OCA-Diocese of the South was well aware of who +Metropolitan Jonah was when he was elected their Bishop and they were ecstatic to have him. Yes, they didn’t miss his resume which stated:
          1). He edited Divine Ascent, a JOURNAL OF ORTHODOX TRADITION.
          2). He was the abbot of a monastery dedicated to St. John of San Francisco, that was an Old Calendar foundation with a traditional monastic typikon.
          3). He had worked in Russia disseminating Russian Orthodox spiritual literature with the blessing of +Patriarch Alexis II.
          4 ). He graduated from St. Vladimir’s, mentored by Fr. John Meyendorff, having an interest in the ascetic tradition of Orthodox dogmatics, spirituality and missiology, being a proponent of monasticism and a Patristic based missiology.
          5 ). He had been influenced by Fr. Seraphim (Rose) of Platina, Elder Dmitri of Santa Rosa (of Old Valaam), MP +Bishop Mark of San Francisco (of Old Valaam) and Hieromonk John (Newcomb) [spiritual son to Fr. Georges Florovsky] in his conversion and early formation in Orthodoxy.

          Where in this resume do you read “Manchurian Candidate”?!

          All of this was well known to the Diocese of the South, in Syosset and Crestwood circles and was made known to the AAC, where these impeccable credentials earned him the primacy of the OCA. Tell us how +Tikhon’s, +Nathaniel’s, +Herman’s and Theodosius’ credentials compare. Oh, and what do we know of them even now (especially now)? What did we know of them when they were elected? How many lies were told for 45+ years?

          Seems you all don’t measure up to your own criticisms? You definitely lack the moral credential to offer it in view of your 45+ year reign of terror. Where is the money your party of liberal Renovationists embezzled? Now that’s something we still don’t know.

        • Bishop Tikhon (Fitzgerald) says

          Carl, the Carpatho-Ukrainian fellow who wrote that “Metropolitan Jonah was elected unexpectedly by a majority of the laity of the OCA to serve as Metropolitan” demonstrated only his illiteracy where the Orthodox Tradition is concerned, and an unintelligent use of language:

          1) The majority of the laity of the OCA has never elected ANYBODY.
          2) The majority of the laity of the OCA has never even attended an All American Council.
          3) The First Hierarch/Primate/Metropolitan of the OCA is, according to the Holy Canons, elected ONLY by the Synod of bishops of which he is a member to preside over that Synod’s meetings. PERIOD.
          4) The Holy Synod has always been a “handful” of Hierarchs who are the only people in existence who can elect and/or remove a First Hierarch/Primate/Metropolitan of the OCA.

          I agree as well, Carl, that Master Warren is a rabid poster; further, he suffers from a delusion that he is being STALKED here, on this blog, and he admits it!!!!
          At 83, I’m too old to be getting down with such on the Internet, but I’ve always believed a bishop should not scorn to participate in ANY forum, and there are no other hierarchs, apparently, that want to get down with the Faithful in any give-and-take format like the Internet!. Until another comes along or I die I’ll still feel it’s my duty to risk censure and try to correct such as Mr Warren et al.

          • Michael Warren says

            Firstly, your Grace, I unfortunately have no Carpatho-Russian forebears but, rather Kuban Cossack and Great Russian forebears: if you can’t competently appreciate geography, please refrain from addressing my person with inaccuracies. Nor can any serious person in the slightest associate me with Ukrainian quackery: moreover, only unread hacks and those unfamiliar with history lend this Uniate, fascist mythology any credence. Secondly, the faithful do indeed vote for the candidates for Metropolitan and Mr. Raeff admitted as such, the function of the laity at the AAC level being a function of sobornost discussed at the All Russian Sobor of 1917-1918 and later implemented within the OCA. Finally, addressing me personally to engage in personal attacks and insert the pretense of particpation on internet forums as the basis of the liberties you take in slandering and defaming other individuals is shameful, unseemly and inappropriate stalking. Neither your monastic ustav nor your episcopal retirement support the premise of unbalanced, character assassination. Nor is such activity appropriate for any Orthodox Christian. Hierarchs have been removed for wayward texting. Yet you use the internet to engage in crass, personal attacks, unseemly and pathological predation, advocating Russophobia and Renovationist nonsense. Presumably being an Orthodox monastic. Articles on internet stalking are available for those unsure of what it constitutes: all concerned parties can easily appreciate how you are engaging in it.

            I neither desire nor appreciate you addressing me personally: you are neither my Bishop nor do you have any clerical license in addressing me personally, being a retired Bishop.

            • Bishop Tikhon (Fitzgerald) says

              I did not address Master Warren in the message to Carl he cites, nor do I intend to do so! What an idea! I agree with him insofar as that it would have been demeaning to do so, no maTter how much his starved ego might yearn for it! We can all guess with assurance how he became familiar with a site rebuking stalkers! Oh, THE DAYS ARE TOO SHORT!!!!

              • Michael Warren says

                Engaging in character assassination of a person you have been stalking is still stalking.
                Perhaps Syosset should ask its attorneys or you all can pow wow with Madame Sakoda to catch up and touch base.

          • Carl Kraeff says

            Your Grace–Mr Warren did us all a favor by posting another rabid rant above, thereby validating my description. I would thank him personally, but that would occasion more incoherent, venomous logorrhea. May be we should just pray for him instead of feeding his delusions. BTW, I do appreciate your participation in this forum, even though our political views are sometimes diametrically opposed.

            • Michael Warren says

              In other words, another victim of a lack of English comprehension too proud to admit defeat but not scrupulous enough to avoid personal attacks.

              Thank you for conceding all my points.

            • Michael Warren says

              “They all talked at once, their voices insistent and contradictory and impatient, making of unreality a possibility, then a probability, then an incontrovertible fact, as people will when their desires become words.”

              William Faulkner, The Sound and the Fury

              • M. Stankovich says

                Why should any one speak of the injuries that result from grief, the insults, the abuse, the censure from superiors, from inferiors, from the wise, and from fools; for the class who are wanting in right judgment are particularly fond of censuring, and will never readily allow any excuse. But the truly excellent Bishop ought neither to think lightly of these, but to clear himself with all men of the charges which they bring against him, with great forbearance and meekness, pardoning their unreasonable fault-finding, rather than being indignant and angry about it.

                St. Chrysostom, On the Priesthood, Book VI, 9.

                Only a fool would claim victory in the midst of a battle, and expect others to believe he has won. Now about those quotations you were going to provide to support your accusations against me…

                • Michael Warren says

                  Only an incompetent child flees the field of battle then claims victory.

                  Then he yet again redacts a father out of context to out of igorance condemn himself. Not even realizing how ridiculous and desperate he looks.

                  Seems you just keep losing ground, hoping that someone will not see your ad hominem failures as concessions of both your lack of scruple and competent standing on addressing any given topic.

                  But your kind are waging your battles by narcissistic worship of yourselves while tossing around personal attacks. You don’t even realize that such sociopathic behavior constitutes your concession.

                  So when will you and your clown college here be entering the ECUSA?

                  • M. Stankovich says

                    I will be entering the ECUSA the moment you directly quote me speaking heresy, Mr. Warren. And on that day, I also intend to kiss the Archbishop of Canterbury fully on the mouth live on CNN. But we both know the day shall never arrive because you are a calculating liar and deceiver. And worse, you attempt to scorn for your own pleasure, the very anointed of God, whom St. Chrysostom refers to as “a man called to an office greater than the angels.” Vladyka Tikhon served in the vineyard of the Lord for nearly a quarter-century without scandal or shame, and without the simple respect for his age or, as the writer of Proverbs demands, “respect for the wisdom of the white hair,” you offer an Orthodox Bishop quotations featuring bestiality and references to sexual scandal and lawyers. “Like a dog returning to his own vomit,” feasting on attempts to hurt, and projecting vile. That is the psychopath. Take your darkness somewhere else.

                    • Michael Warren says

                      Quote of the Day

                      Gilbert K. Chesterton Quotes
                      Man is an exception, whatever else he is. If he is not the image of God, then he is a disease of the dust. If it is not true that a divine being fell, then we can only say that one of the animals went entirely off its head.

                      Gilbert K. Chesterton

                • Carl Kraeff says

                  Here are the results for the top three candidates on the nomination vote:

                  Name/First vote no. of votes and percentage of total/Second vote numbers and percentage:

                  Jonah: 233 (36.12%) and 473 (36.67%)
                  Job: 212 (32.87%) and 364 (28.22%)
                  Benjamin: 75 (11.63%) and 140 (10.85%)

                  Such is the irrationality and delusion of some folks that south of 37% is deemed to be a landslide. There are only two other persons that I know are as delusional as Mr. Warren: Barbara-Marie Stan-the-Man Drezlo and Donald Trump.

                  • Michael Warren says

                    Hooked on phonics and read rebuttal to your numbers argument above.

                    Until you answer the rebuttal above, you are just looking desparate, because you are.

                    There are a lot of people like you who refuse to realize you represent an insignificant Eastern Protestant fringe parasitizing the Orthodox Church in America and that over 90% of Orthodoxy rejectd everything you Renovationists stand for, you will be a deluded clown with nothing to say. Unfortunately, most of the person in Syosset-Crestwood are just like you. Failures and embezzlers, incompetents representing a failed, liberal theological fad. No amount of igorant as hominem stupidity will make your larcenous kind relevant again.

  18. Tommy Katsarellis says

    The top ruling authority in the OCA is the Metropolitan Council. All the OCA bishops can decide to go under + Bart and it won’t happen. Further, the OCA doesn’t want to be under + Bart. The OCA is a dilemma for + Bart and his Great Council will not let him demote the OCA status. So, what does he do about America? The Greeks are losing their youth big-time. It is projected that 30% of GOA church will close by 2025. Orthodoxy unity is absolutely necessary. Will + Bart finally give up on Hellenism and look to a real American church? Probably not.

    • That’s exactly the issue Tommy. Orthodoxy and Hellenism. The connection is fine as long as you are actively studying scripture and history of the church. But from an evangelical perspective, it’s stunting. Since migrating abroad from Greece, I’ve found that having liturgies in Greek for example is a major, MAJOR, hinderance for non Greek catechumens. I find it really annoying. My wife is English, why does she have to put up with incomprehensible, for her, words in church when the message is supposed to be for everyone , is beyond me. I just don’t know. If only Const. Could be resolved. But then it seems Moscow is also assuming numbers equal ecumenical authority over the rest.. It just seems like Orthodoxy is sometimes irrelevant to the world and a true Christian church shouldn’t be. Don’t get me wrong. If orthodoxy is failing there is nothing to replace it.

    • Carl Kraeff says

      I believe such an important action would be taken to an All American Council. While “The Holy Synod is the supreme canonical authority in the Church,” the All American Council “is the highest legislative and administrative authority within the Church. ” See http://oca.org/statute.

      As for the latest OCA position on autocephaly, see Metropolitan Tikhon’s statement after he returned from Constantinople at https://oca.org/news/headline-news/the-sunday-of-orthodoxy-visit-of-metropolitan-tikhon-to-the-ecumenical-patr

  19. Carl Kraeff says

    The recent “official” announcement of the Great and Holy Council was signed, among others, four GOA bishops: Metropolitans Isaiah of Denver, Nicholas of Detroit, Alexios of Atlanta, and Gerasimos of San Francisco. At the same time, I checked to see who is on the Holy Synod, and only Metropolitan Methodios of Boston is listed. Is there a disconnect or am I reading more into this than I should? Here are the links:



    • Bishop Tikhon (Fitzgerald) says

      Who determines IN ADVANCE that ANY council (or, better, congress) is “Great” and “Holy”? Is that typical of the intellectual prowess of the Phanar?

      How does one say “overweening” in Greek?

      • Michael Woerl says

        About par for the course! Will possibly be changed to Bart & Manny’s Most UNexcellent Adventure – don’t seem the Phanariotes are gettin’ much of what they wanted outta this deal. When it’s all over, they certainly not gonna think it was “all that great!”

  20. Ultimately, we can’t stop ya’ll in Syosset if you would like to blow up the OCA and put it under the EP. However, please give us clergy and the parishes a path to canonically transfer to other jurisdictions. I find the thought of doing the whole ROCOR thing all over again really tiresome. What would that be called anyway, the OCA-O-OCA?

  21. Btw an irrelevant question. I live in Australia with my family and was wondering how difficult migration to the US is from here. I have that impression of a more Christian US, than Australia anyway. So I was wondering, as far as raising children goes, how does the USA fare?

    • John,

      The rot is everywhere. Worse on the east and west coasts and in the urban areas. Your best option is to stay where you are, find a parish or monastery nearby where you can center your family’s life around, keep your kids out of public schools, and severely limit your exposure to the media and modern entertainment. Isolation is counter productive but Innoculation is essential.

    • Tommy Katsarellis says

      Wherever you live, you can create a Christian atmosphere for your family. In the U.S. as well as Australia, I’m sure you can find very pagan areas and very Christian areas. The key is: what are you teaching and doing in your own family? Reading daily Scriptures? Praying? Receiving the Holy Eucharist at least monthly? Sending children to Christian based schools is very positive and can be twerked at home if RC or Protestant based.

    • Mom of Toddler says

      I really don’t know how it is in Australia…but I am a mother who moved with my family from California to the Bible Belt area last year. As long as laws where you live are favorable for your freedom to raise your children (i.e. allowed to homeschool) it might not matter that much where you live. Having lived in various parts of California my whole life and now the Bible Belt area of the US, I can say, in my opinion, due to the the media, internet, iphone, etc. worldliness and worldly view points are really everywhere. For example, the kinds of shows currently on ABC Family/Disney channel that many children and teenagers who live everywhere are watching…

      • Well, my children attend a catholic school for lack of a proper Greek Orthodox school, there is one but I wouldn’t say it’s particularly orthodox, doing yoga classes during free hour. We definitely attend service every Sunday or almost every Sunday. Here too the ABC is absolute crap. Recently the government passed an “equality” legislation into the curriculum where primary school children learn about all the genders, as if there’s more than two, an how to accept every kind of person, sexuality classes etc. so far thank God these apply to public school only, so far were safe, not for long. Overall there is a sense of godlessness, and Christians are a fringe. Call yourself religious in most circles and you’re a laughing stock. I think whatever the Anglo nations do, Australia is first to pick up and take it to the next level. There is hardly a base of culture left, accepting everything and everyone is the motto….

        • Tim R. Mortiss says

          The Catholic grade school 5 city blocks from my house has the following over each entrance:

          “Be it known to all who enter here that Christ is the reason for this school. He is the unseen but ever present teacher in its classrooms. He is the model of its faculty and the inspiration of its students.”

          It’s good to see this on a school.

    • Dear John in Australia:

      Re Australia vs the US, Pennsylvania pediatrician Leonard Sax MD in his book the Collapse of Parenting believes that Australia still has respect for elders, wanting to please mom and dad~ as a norm, while in the US children disrespect parents generally more so than in any other culture, turning to their own ignorant and immature peers for approval. Since the peers have nothing valuable to teach and act often cruelly or self-destructively, this leads to chaos in a way unique to American culture, per his perspective. Although not Orthodox (see ZOE Press’s Orthodox Christian Parenting for a specifically Orthodox book), his work does encourage parents to reclaim their responsibility to teach and exemplify values rather than trying to please and placate their children and to be their friends. Would value hearing your take on his conclusions…He asked Australian teachers how they handled the massive disrespect from their schoolchildren, rampant in public schools here in the US, and said they had no idea what he meant! Made me want to move to Australia!

      • Dear Nicole,

        Regarding the situation with children and parents here, it’s difficult to give a general description. The majority I’d say is not particularly disrespectful or respectful to their elders. Somewhere in the 4/10 scale of I could put a number to it? With 10 being a very respectful setting. That said, from experience, Parents don’t usually discipline their children much so there is not as much opportunity or reason for rebellion outright. And for that reason there is extreme moral relativism and almost anything goes. There is a mentality difference gap between the older and younger generations and I suspect time will tell within 25 years. So to summarise I think it’s due to the less number of rules that society has here that there appears to less breaking of rules. For example, up until 5 years ago education was considered unnecessary by Anglo Australian parents beyond high school. You want to be a plumber? Go ahead. So the child wouldn’t challenge their parents authority as they’d pretty much tell them no worries. We call it a sense of entitlement here. But the truth is, in most countries, plumber jobs don’t cut it unfortunately. And don’t mention religion.

        Regards, John

        • Johann Sebastian says

          In the U.S., a lot of plumbers make more than doctors.

          Sometimes I wish I’d become a plumber. Or a garbage–oh, wait, “sanitation engineer.”

  22. M. Stankovich says

    As long as John from Australia posted an “irrelevant question” here, what better spot to bring to your attention an Original Investigation posted March 21, 2016, early on-line ahead of the publication of the Journal of the American Medical Association’s specialty journal, Pediatrics. The article is entitled, “Psychiatric diagnoses and comorbidities in a diverse, multicity cohort of young transgender women: baseline findings from project LifeSkills,” and is available in full text at the NCBI, PubMed site. First, to quote directly from the study, notably the research question:

    Key Points

    Question: What is the prevalence of psychiatric diagnoses and comorbidities assessed via diagnostic interview in a high-risk community sample of sexually active adolescent and young adult transgender women aged 16 to 29 years?

    Findings: In this observational study of 298 young transgender women, 41.5% had 1 or more mental health or substance dependence diagnoses; 20% had 2 or more comorbid psychiatric diagnoses.

    Meaning: Interventions are urgently needed to address adverse mental health and substance use outcomes for young transgender women, including those delivered by health care professionals and via multidisciplinary teams in clinical community-based, pediatric, adolescent, and young adult medicine settings.

    The take-away from this study is simple, and the remainder is carefully worded conjecture: this study determined an extraordinary comorbidity prevalence rate of psychiatric disorder and/or chemical dependency in over 41% of the studied cohort. In my estimation, this is, on the one hand, fairly predictable, and on the other astonishing in that the LGBT community has insisted that the rates of psychiatric disorders are similar.

    Some interesting points to bear in mind:

    Eligible participants were aged 16-29 years; were assigned a male sex at birth and now self-identify as a woman, female, transgender woman, transfemale, male-to-female, or other identity on the transfeminine spectrum

    The transfeminine spectrum refers to individuals created and born male, without any of the 14 genetic conditions that might render genital ambiguity, or a biological condition or disorder (e.g. endocrinological, hormonal, neurological) that would, even theoretically “confuse” one as to their “gender assignment.” They are males who live as females. This is not to suggest that the mental disorder Gender Dysphoria, as classified in the DSM-V & the ICD-10 of the WHO, is not an extraordinarily confusing & psychically painful disorder – because it most certainly is – but it certainly is a mental disorder.

    Further, the study found that, “comorbidities were least prevalent in the youngest group and highest in the oldest one.” This would support the epidemiological data of this age group for suicide in general, and challenge the near hysterical insistence of the suicide risk of trans adolescents. It also seems to me by stating, “These data are consistent with the general adolescent and young adult development literature, which suggest that stressors, such as adverse role transitions or identity development processes, are associated with both onset and persistence of psychiatric disorders,” they are acknowledging the “symptoms” without acknowledging the obvious source: we know from the literature >95% of adolescents “conflict” around the issues of sexual orientation & gender dysphoria will spontaneously resolve as heterosexual & according to their birth-gender with no intervention whatsoever. The LGBT community has influenced the APA’s (psychiatry/psychology), the NASW, family therapists & counselors, and so on, that even discussing this issue with children & adolescents (and we are now to accept that a 3-year old is competent to determine their appropriate gender) is an atrocity. And even in consideration of the damage done by charlatans & creeps such as NARTH & Exodus, there is no scientific evidence of harm – or for that matter, help – by discussing gender assignment with an adolescent.

    Finally, the study reports, “Transgender people who have a sex assigned at birth that differs from their current gender identity represent approximately 0.5% of the US population and experience documented disparities in mental health and substance use outcomes, as supported by the high prevalence estimates in the current study using a brief structured diagnostic interview with young transgender women.” This prevalence rate is based upon a single study which I believe is divorced from the reality of better and more comprehensive research; in fact, at .5% (or 5,000 cases per 100,000 people) of the US population, cases of transgender would outnumber the US cases of schizophrenia, Bipolar Disorders I/II, and blindness between the ages of 40-60 combined, or all cases of deafness in the US and all cases of visual impairment between the ages 40-60 combined. The consensus of data suggests that the truth seems to lie somewhere less than half to somewhere less than a third of what this study proposes.

    Anyone trained at a graduate level of mental healthcare has been trained to evaluate for delusional disorders’; non-psychotic beliefs – sometimes bizarre, but most frequently not – that defy rational truth, even when confronted with direct evidence. Sometimes they are grandiose – attempts at narcissistic intimidation by supposed “expertise” and fabricated education, wealth, or position – sometimes persecutory, and so on. But they characteristically defy “reasonability.” Thus, a man may stand before you who has assumed the “transfeminine spectrum” with absolutely no subjective evidence of gentetic, biological, medical, neurological, endocrinological, or hormonal derangement or distinction from their naturally assigned gender, and our society has joined the “delusion” by supporting lunacy. This study, I suspect choosing to emphasize the need for medical care for this cohort to be the greater goal, has shed some important light on a significant number of fallacies.

    • Michael Warren says

      So GOD hasn’t made SSA to be holy after all. And perversion really has been perversion all along. A responsible person would now retract all of his fallacious, liberal Renovationist nonsense of the last five years and admit the failure of his plastic anthropology at this juncture. I somehow doubt the self importance of Crestwood meta-erudition will produce such an appropriate and scrupulous outcome.

      Now if social conservative x, y, z cites these studies and proposes reform legislation to act on them, I anticipate that Stankovich and his clones will yet again speak out in protest defending the LGBT agenda. The doublespeak and lack of accountability being the MO of these liberal, Renovationist dissemblers.

      • M. Stankovich says

        You, Мокрая курица, are a scientific imbecile and embarrass yourself. You had indicated earlier that I reach out to “low hanging fruit,” and, quite obviously, I have not swung low enough to reach you, even in my detailed explanation of the JAMA citation. Back to the issue at hand: you are a deceiver and a troll of the worst type, and you never should have twisted my words so blatantly after I have brought it to this forum’s attention. As the Canonical Fathers describe, you are “like a dog returning to his own vomit,” in a rabid cycle of spewing and regurgitating, even at the midpoint of the Fast. And it is not “Stankovich,” it is Dr. Stankovich, MD, MA, MSW, and you are out of your league scientifically, genetically, medically, psychiatrically, anthropologically, philosophically, Scripturally, Patristically, and Theologically. Period. You are a posturing hack. Provide a direct quotation, Кролик, of me “defending the LGBT agenda” in “doublespeak and lack of accountability” and I will repent. Otherwise, get on the bus.

        • Michael Warren says

          Wet chicken and bunny, have you stole some Russian children’s books?! And you say you aren’t a hack. So are you watching Russian children’s programming or did someone play a joke on you and provide you with a couple of Russian words to look infantile?

          How soon you keep forgetting! The human body parts topic on this blog explored your SSA “expertise,” found it lacking, and ended with you conceding position after position, admitting your liberal agenda, fleeing after you were found out. Then being shown up once more when you engaged Fr. Hans using St. John Damascene’s Apologia in Defense of the Holy Icons to assert a new plastic anthropology which heretically and blasphemously asserts SSA is a path and means to holiness, validated by the theology of the icon! You EVIDENCED a politicized HACK incompetence in addressing science, genetics, theology, etc. You were shown to be a joke with DNC talking points, who trafficked in redacted and decontextualized quotes you didn’t even understand. Here you are keeping up the act in typical Syosset-Crestwood meta-educated fashion “trying to fake it until you make it.” But a bevy of ridiculous insults simply assert you are ignorant and have nothing left to offer.

          You, a person who in December, wrote here about being sacked, now wish to be called “Doctor”?! Doctor what? Dr. Unemployed Fraud? So the rest of your verbal barrage conjurs a vision of the aftermath of the festivities in a Roman vomitorium. Narcissitic, abusive self indulgence shouting your feigned supremacy (very real incompetence) in the face of your discovered fraud and counterfeit. Your tactics reminiscent of a banal episode of Gilligan’s Island.

          So I get it. You are trying to explore your lack of maturity by acting out as if you were a scolded child on a Russian children’s program? Wet chicken and bunny and all. Publicly.

          This is the type of character Syosset-Crestwood has produced for the last 45+ years to evade discovery by ridiculous banality. Designed to camouflage its incompetence and larceny. We still want to know where tens of millions of our dollars went.

          We still reject your heretical, liberal, Renovatist apologia for SSA and reject your blasphemous assertion that St. John’s Apologia for the Veneration of Holy Icons validates the acceptability of an active SSA inclusive anthropology. When you grow up, you can become a responsible adult and retract your heretical nonsense or at least be responsibly honest about it and take it to the ECUSA where your type of ridiculous Eastern Rite Protestant belongs.

          • M. Stankovich says

            I wish I had seen this earlier – why is he referring to children’s books and Sesame Street? You are truly an imbecile, Mr. Warren. Many years ago, I was invited by Archbishop Makary (Svistun) of the ROC’s St. Nicholas Cathedral in NYC to walk the three blocks on Forgiveness Sunday to the ROCOR Cathedral for Vespers and the Rite of Forgiveness. This was during the time of the Soviet Union, and during the time when Met. Philaret was the Chief Hierarch of ROCOR. The summary is that Met. Philaret was very gracious to Archbishop Makary and the cathedral staff, and even to me. But some subdeacons and people standing around as we walked by and were leaving said just loudly enough to be heard, “коммунист,” “трус,” “Мокрая курица,” and “Кролик,” among other things I will not repeat. I asked the Archbishop what the last two words meant – not your idiotic Google translations, Mr. Warren! Wet chicken, Madonna mia! It is an idiom meaning, “one who gave in, compromised himself,” i.e. a coward, as does трус and кролик. Holy Cow! I thought you read the highly complex, highly nuanced theology of Fr. Florovsky in Russian! Wet chicken & bunny, my sides! You never cease to amaze me at the level of your deception. Aye!

            • Michael Warren says

              So now coward and Communist are two more Russian words you have thrown into the mix because you supposedly escorted MP Bishops, not knowing Russian and in the place of their Deacons, to ROCOR’s ballroom cathedral in Manhattan for Forgiveness Vespers. You single-handedly brought ROCOR to reason and reconciled it with the Mother Church! Overcoming +Metropolitan Philaret’s ideological rigidity! Namedropping and all!

              And no one ever knew it happened, because it probably didn’t.

              And today you are an unemployed State of California healthcare professional, terminated for incompetence and lack of professionalism.The injustice of it all!

              It seems you took a Russian children’s book and then found a Russian dictionary to make yourself the hero of a ridiculous knock off of something you sort of read in Cold War literature.

              The bathos and lies don’t stop. After all, what do you have to lose?! Syosset-Crestwood needs the ridiculous distractions besides.

              Crestwood Kissinger.

              • M. Stankovich says

                You figuratively came to plate with a full count. Now consider:

                I was raised in the ROC – in fact, the only church to which I ever belonged before SVS – and was the only sponsored seminarian of the ROC in the US for three years. This is easy enough to fact-check by asking any of my classmates or schoolmates, most of whom are alive, and the Parishes of the ROC in the US, who provided me a ridiculously small stipend. Then Bishop Makary (Svistun) was the Administrator of the Patriarchal Parishes in the US for that period (easily fact checked), and invited me every year on Forgiveness Sunday – where he made it a point to walk with the staff of his cathedral to the ROCOR cathedral, exactly the three block difference between E. 93rd and 96th Streets in Manhattan – to greet Met. Philaret and ask his forgiveness (surely remembered at either cathedral). While I attended the liturgy every year for three years, I accompanied him to the ROCOR cathedral only once, as I have detailed on this site several times. Again, my schoolmates can verify my recounting on the day it occurred. Magical Thinking: believing it didn’t happen if you say it didn’t = wet rabbit thinking.

                Low fastball, inside, just above the knees. Catches you flat-footed, staring. Called third strike. You’re out, Mr. Warren. Back to the Minor Leagues where you belong.

                • Michael Warren says

                  The ravings of a Renovationist narcissist.

                  Where are the tens of millions of dollars your pals in Syosset-Crestwood stole from the faithful of the OCA?

                • Bishop Tikhon (Fitzgerald) says

                  M.Stankovich! That must have been during the period Master Warren was still a member of the MP’s St Michael Carpathian-Russian (Ukrainian) Greek Catholic Church ON Livernois, in the same neighborhood as SS Peter & Paul Russian Orthodox Church, still surviving, of the Metropolia/OCA. I once, as in a jest, asked the same Makary, “Did you people send us Archbishop Peter like the Germans sent Lenin in a sealed train into Russia?” He chuckled and answered, “Oh, no, Vladyka. We used AEROPLAN!”

                  • Michael Warren says

                    Keep an eye on your bishops as far as their Orthodoxy is concerned lest they go so far as to teach doctrines against the true faith or celebrate with heretics or schismatics. As far as other things, they act out of ignorance or because the days are evil..and they will give an account to God only.”
                    Saint Gennadios Scholarios

                  • Michael Warren says

                    The doctrines of true religion are overthrown. The laws of the Church are in confusion. The ambition of men, who have no fear of God, rushes into high posts, and exalted office is now publicly known as the prize of impiety. The result is, that the worse a man blasphemes, the fitter the people think him to be a bishop. Clerical dignity is a thing of the past. There is a complete lack of men shepherding the Lord’s flock with knowledge.

                    Ambitious men are constantly throwing away the provision for the poor on their own enjoyment and the distribution of gifts. There is no precise knowledge of canons. There is complete immunity in sinning; for when men have been placed in office by the favour of men, they are obliged to return the favour by continually showing indulgence to offenders. Just judgment is a thing of the past; and everyone walks according to his heart’s desire. Vice knows no bounds; the people know no restraint. Men in authority are afraid to speak, for those who have reached power by human interest are the slaves of those to whom they owe their advancement. And now the very vindication of orthodoxy is looked upon in some quarters as an opportunity for mutual attack; and men conceal their private ill-will and pretend that their hostility is all for the sake of the truth. Others, afraid of being convicted of disgraceful crimes, madden the people into fratricidal quarrels, that their own doings may be unnoticed in the general distress. Hence the war admits of no truce, for the doers of ill deeds are afraid of a peace, as being likely to lift the veil from their secret infamy.

                    All the while unbelievers laugh; men of weak faith are shaken; faith is uncertain; souls are drenched in ignorance, because adulterators of the word imitate the truth. The mouths of true believers are dumb, while every blasphemous tongue wags free; holy things are trodden under foot; the better laity shun the churches as schools of impiety; and lift their hands in the deserts with sighs and tears to their Lord in heaven. Even you must have heard what is going on in most of our cities, how our people with wives and children and even our old men stream out before the walls, and offer their prayers in the open air, putting up with all the inconvenience of the weather with great patience, and waiting for help from the Lord.

                    + St. Basil the Great, Letter #92, “To the Italians and Gauls”

              • Something doesn’t add up. Mr. Warren, are you even a Christian? Are you a real person? How can you produce such personal attacks during Lent? Your lack of kindness and Christian charity exposes you.

                • Michael Warren says

                  You aren’t evidently. So I can’t appreciate your frame of reference. I guess the lack of a moral example threw me.

                • Michael Warren says

                  I believe this to be a matter of hate towards man and separation from divine love when one attempts to give validity to a false faith which will ultimately corrupt its followers even more.”
                  St. Maximos the Confessor

        • Michael Warren says

          The most experienced psychologist or observer of human nature knows infinitely less of the human heart than the simplest Christian who lives beneath the Cross of Jesus. The greatest psychological insight, ability, and experience cannot grasp this one thing: what sin is. Worldly wisdom knows what distress and weakness and failure are, but it does not know the godlessness of man. And so it also does not know that man is destroyed only by his sin and can be healed only by forgiveness. Only the Christian knows this. In the presence of a psychiatrist I can only be a sick man; in the presence of a Christian brother I can dare to be a sinner. The psychiatrist must first search my heart and yet he never plumbs its ultimate depth. The Christian brother knows when I come to him: here is a sinner like myself, a godless man who wants to confess and yearns for God’s forgiveness. The psychiatrist views me as if there were no God. The brother views me as I am before the judging and merciful God in the Cross of Jesus Christ.

          Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Life Together: The Classic Exploration of Christian Community

          • M. Stankovich says

            In the presence of the psychiatrist, you are a troubled man, and there is no interest in your “heart,” because you have adequately revealed its contents on your own before everyone here. You have taken it upon yourself to revile the gentlest & kindest individuals who ordinarily come to this site to exchange dialog with other Orthodox Christians. And now what? You would cast yourself with the martyred Bonhoeffer? Please, Mr. Warren. I’ve met so many people like you who take such pleasure in mocking others, even relishing their reaction and inspecting, even scrutinizing, their every word for signs of their hurt or embarrassment at your calculated attempts to rabidly intimidate. Only this time, Mr. Warren, you picked the wrong man. Imagine! Nearly ten long years walking with murders, torturers, sexual offenders, and people who strong-armed took other people’s money & possessions. Now pay attention, Mr. Warren, because this is important: I figured out that, first, to a man they were all imbeciles, and second, they loved what they did. Just so you absolutely grasp this point, I will repeat it: they loved hurting – even torturing – other human beings, just to witness their reaction & feel superior. I’ll never forget one man saying, “The whole experience of their humiliation is almost sexual.” Wow. And if you aren’t asking, “What is their motivation?” you should be, because it is fairly simple: projection. In fact, projection (hey, regurgitation, if we further simplify – and I remind you I choose my words carefully) to which they always return (“like dogs to their own vomit” – where have I heard that before? Oh! The Holy Fathers!).

            Anyone who sees the Blessed Cross of the Lord ahead knows we are at the midpoint of the Fast, Mr. Warren, and you might be asking yourself, “What exactly is this renovationist, Syosset-Crestwood heretic’s point?” Well, Mr. Warren, I know people like you set your sites on people you imagine are both timid, weak, and vulnerable to your rabid – if not vapid – form of projective showmanship. I, however, immediately read you for the Кролик, the rabbit idiom for the coward you are. Seriously, who are you to me, Mr. Warren? You imagine I am having an ego crisis because you referred me to as a “heretic?” My wife & I had a good laugh as we walked the beach in La Jolla, hand-in-hand, when I told her you referred to me as “heterophobic.” And I’m endlessly amused at how you have incorporated both my vocabulary & style into your lunatic writing, “And finally…” Madonna mia! Nevertheless, you do not have license to deceive. You have been thoroughly found out, and are standing in the middle of this site in nothing but a “man-thong.” I promise you, I will not you allow you to feast yourself at my expense, or that of Vladyka Tikhon – a bestiality quotation from Dostoyevsky? Are you serious? – without demanding you provide direct quotes of your accusations, or you need to leave.

            • Michael Warren says

              Perhaps try quoting Sesame Street next time or Sanford & Son. Because you sure don’t get Russian children’s books. Reading comprehension (and topicality) isn’t your strong suit.

              Thank you again for conceding your heretical, plastic anthropology of the iconography of homosexuality. Uniate Jillions new “saint” Maplethorpe being venerated.

              So I guess you all realize that your 45+year record of failure hasn’t escaped the laity’s attention and your gig is up. Great. So where are the tens of millions you all pilfered?

              • M. Stankovich says

                As you wish, Mr. Warren:

                Today we are sponsored by the letters D, as in deceiver, L, as in liar, and K, as in кролик, which is the Russian idiomatic for “coward.”

                This certainly seems solid to me.

                I changed this entire response once I realized you had translated my use of specific Russian idioms meaning “coward, lack of integrity, and personal compromise” to mean “wet chicken & bunny.” My face hurts, I have been laughing so hard. You are an epic con man! Ridiculing me for quoting children’s books and having had someone deceive me with children’s TV and Gilligan’s Island! My sides! And I must point out that you are assuming too many of my words and phrases – and are so confused that you are referring to me as a heretic for something Fr. Han’s said! You are running with scissors, as the other webmaster so aptly accused you when he shut down his forum to stop you! Hilarious. Just hilarious what a nuisance you are. You are on your way to becoming an Orthodox meme, accompanied by a picture of that “eccentric” Oakland County, MI Circuit judge – whose name you stole – with the crazy US flag bow tie. Now Google that dude…

                And finally, Mr. Warren, the one and only “gig” I’ve got going is the Sunday’s at 2:00pm garage band where I play classic rock & blues with three psychiatrist & a lawyer. I assume the role of Duane Allman to add some slide on the Fender Strat or Sun House on the acoustic with a 3″ piece of polished copper pipe being used as a napkin holder I swiped from a pretentious “bistro” in NYC. My share of the $10 million – as I posted elsewhere – was on the downlow.

                Do what you can in life, Mr. Warren, but you will never, ever intimidate me. Never, not ever.

                • Michael Warren says

                  It is like getting hate mail from Carl Reiner’s chihuahua.

                  So Mr. homosexuality as Iconography, where are the tens of millions your kind pilfered from the believers of the OCA for the last 45 years?

                • Bishop Tikhon (Fitzgerald) says

                  Well, Michael, it’s as they say: “Carps do Carp!” (chuckle, snort!)

                  • Michael Warren says

                    He would not lift up so much as his eyes towards heaven. Why not? The eyes are the mirror of the soul. The soul’s sins can be read in the eyes. Do you not see every day that, when a man sins, his eyes are lowered before men. How can the eyes of a sinner not be lowered before God the all-Seeing. Lo, every sin committed before men is committed before God, and there is no sin on earth that does not affect God. A true man of prayer is aware of this and is filled, along with humility, with shame before God. This is why it says: he would not lift up so much as his eyes towards heaven.

                    + St. Nikolai Velimirovich, Sunday of the Pharisee and the Publican: “The Gospel on True and False Prayer,” Homilies: Commentary on the Gospel Readings for Great Feasts and Sundays Throughout the Year, Volume I

          • Michael–I agree totally and emphatically with the statement of the heretical, ecumenist, renovationist, Protestant, sola scriptura advocate, Calvinist, sympathizer with Roman Catholicism who was not even an Eastern Rite Protestant– Mr Bonhoeffer. Are Orthodox permitted to read the writings of heretics like Bonhoeffer? Better check the cannons. Your mind has probably been completely corrupted by his heretical writings. Please remember there is no grace outside the Orthodox Church. You better get to your spiritual father for confession and proper formation. One is forbidden to even greet a heretic let alone read their writings. By the way, I am still waiting your quote from Chrysostom.

            • Michael Warren says

              I believe I answered you on St. Chrysostom when I cut your Protestant co-religionist Stankovich. Go back and read the exchanges. Stankovich fled them and abandoned you there.

              Now, you showing contempt for Orthodoxy simply reinfirces my point. Cheap, ad hominem theatrics aside, you are trying to say that by quoting Bonhoeffer I am somehow compromising Orthodoxy. Thus you and your Renovationist friend continue to misrepresent contexts. Bonhoeffer wasn’t quoted as an Orthodox authority. And the point of the quote was not to address an Orthodox theological or ecclesiological but the ad hominem problem of your Eastern Rite Protestant party who so easily relies on character assassination when it is made clear your mubdser isn’t Orthodox.

              But of course you prefer people not to defend themselves, right? Makes it easier to spread error.

            • Michael Warren says

              “The fact that we do not become indignant over small matters is the cause of all our calamities; and because slight errors escape fitting correction, greater ones creep in. As in a body, a neglect of wounds generates fever, infection and death; so in the soul, slight evils overlooked open the door to graver ones… But if a proper rebuke had at first been given to those who attempted to depart from the divine sayings and change some small matter, such a pestilence would not have been generated, nor such a storm have seized upon the Church; for he that overturns even that which is minor in the sound Faith, will cause ruin in all.”

              St. John Chrysostom
              [Homily One on the Epistle to the Galatians]

            • Michael Warren says

              “We know that salvation itself is a property of the One Church, and that no one can be outside of the catholic Church and yet share the Faith of Christ, or be saved…Neither do we offer any part of that hope to the ungodly heretics, but we place them entirely outside of that hope; indeed, they have not the least participation in Christ, but vainly assume for themselves that saving Name.”

              St. John Chrysostom, Archbishop of Constantinople (4th Century AD)
              [Migne P. G. 59:725]

            • Michael Warren says

              “How then does Paul say, ‘Obey them that have the rule over you, and submit yourselves’? (Heb. 13:17) After having said before, ‘Whose faith follow, considering the end of their life’ (Heb. 13:7), he then said, ‘Obey them that have the rule over you, and submit yourselves’. What then (you say), when he is wicked, should we obey? Wicked? In what sense? If indeed in regard to matters of the Faith, flee and avoid him; not only if he be a man, but even if he be an angel come down from Heaven; but if in regard to his life, be not overly-curious.”

              St. John Chrysostom, Archbishop of Constantinople (4th Century AD)
              [ Homily Thirty-Four on the Epistle to the Hebrews ]

            • Michael Warren says

              “Be aware not to be corrupted from love of the heretics; for this reason do not accept any false belief (dogma) in the name of love.”

              — St. John Chrysostom

            • Michael Warren says

              St. Athanasius (300?-375), “But beyond these [Scriptural] sayings, let us look at the very tradition, teaching and faith of the Catholic Church from the beginning, which the Lord gave, the Apostles preached, and the Fathers kept.” (Athanasius, Four Letters to Serapion of Thmuis, 1:28).

              St. Basil (330-379), “Now I accept no newer creed written for me by other men, nor do I venture to propound the outcome of my own intelligence, lest I make the words of true religion merely human words; but what I have been taught by the holy Fathers, that I announce to all who question me. In my Church the creed written by the holy Fathers in synod at Nicea is in use.” (To the Church of Antioch, Epistle 140:2).

              St. Ambrose (340?-396), “Wherefore all other generations are strangers to truth; all the generations of heretics hold not the truth: the church alone, with pious affection, is in possession of the truth,” (Commentary of Psalm 118,19).

              St. Cyril of Jerusalem (315?-386),”But in learning the Faith and in professing it, acquire and keep that only, which is now delivered to thee by the Church, and which has been built up strongly out of all the Scriptures . . . Take heed then, brethren, and hold fast the traditions which ye now receive, and write them and the table of your heart.” Cyril of Jerusalem, Catechetical Lectures, 5:12 (A.D. 350).

              St. Gregory of Nyssa (330-394), “And let no one interrupt me, by saying that what we confess should also be confirmed by constructive reasoning: for it is enough for proof of our statement, that thetradition has come down to us from our Fathers, handled on, like some inheritance, by succession from the apostles and the saints who came after them,” (Against Eunomius, 4:6).

            • Michael Warren says

              St. Vincent of Lerins reflected on this problem: “If one should ask one of the heretics who gives you this advice, ‘How do you prove [your assertion]? What ground have you for saying that I ought to cast away the universal and ancient faith of the Catholic Church? He has the answer ready: ‘For it is written.’ And forthwith he produces a thousand examples, a thousand authorities from the Law, from the Psalms, from the apostles, from the prophets, by means of which, interpreted on a new and wrong principle, the unhappy soul may be precipitated from the height of Catholic truth to the lowest abyss of heresy…. Do heretics appeal to Scripture? They do indeed, and with a vengeance. For you may see them scamper through every single book of Holy Scripture …. Whether among their own people or among strangers, in private or in public, in speaking or in writing, at convivial meetings or in the streets, hardly ever do they bring forward anything of their own which they do not endeavor to shelter under the words of Scripture…. You will see an infinite heap of instances, hardly a single page, which does not bristle with plausible quotations from the New Testament or the Old.”

              ( 25,26,25)

            • Michael Warren says

              “Of the dogmas and kerygmas preserved in the Church, some we posses from written teaching and others we received from the Tradition of the Apostles, handed on to us in mystery. In respect to piety both are of the same force. No one will contradict any of these, no one, at any rate, who is even moderately versed in matters ecclesiastical. Indeed, were we to try to reject unwritten customs as having no great authority, we would unwittingly injure the Gospel in its vitals; or rather, we would reduce kerygma to a mere term. For instance, to take the first and most general example, who taught us in writing to sign with the sign of the cross those who have trusted in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ? What writing has taught us to turn to the East in prayer? Which of the saints left us in writing the words of the epiclesis at the consecration of the Bread of the Eucharist and of the Cup of Benediction? For we are not content with those words the Apostle or the Gospel has recorded, but we say other things also, both before and after; and we regard these other words, which we have received from unwritten teaching, as being of great importance to the mystery.

              Where is it written that we are to bless the baptismal water, the oil of anointing, and even the one who is being baptized? Is it not from the silent and mystical tradition? Indeed, in what written word is even the anointing oil taught? Where does it say that in baptizing there is to be a triple immersion? And the rest of the things done at baptism — where is it written that we are to renounce Satan and his angels? Does this not come from that secret and arcane teaching which our Fathers guarded in a silence not too curiously meddled with and not idly investigated, when they had learned well that reverence for the mysteries is best preserved by silence…. In the same way the Apostles and Fathers who, in the beginning, prescribed the Church’s rites, guarded in secrecy and silence the dignity of the mysteries; for that which is blabbed at random and in the public ear is no mystery at all. This is the reason for our handing on of unwritten precepts and practices; that the knowledge of our dogmas may not be neglected and held in contempt by the multitude through too great a familiarity. Dogma and kerygma are two distinct things. Dogma is observed in silence; kerygma is proclaimed to all the world”

              -St. Basil, “The Holy Spirit” 17,66 (trans from The Faith of the Early Fathers, vol 2 p. 18f. by William A. Jurgens.

              Here’s St. Basil’s 92nd Canon (Translation from “The Rudder”, which is a book containing the Ecumenical canons, with Traditional commentary):

              [This is also found in chapter 29 of St. Basil’s work on the Holy Spirit]

              “Moreover, as relating to the assertion that the Doxology containing the words “together with the Spirit” is unwitnessed and unwritten, what we have to say is that if nothing else that is unwritten is admissible, then let this not be admitted either; but if the most of the mysteries are conveyed to us outside the scriptures, let us accept this one too together with numerous others. It is a usage that Apostolical, I presume, to adhere to unwritten and extra-biblical traditions. For it says: “Now I praise you, brethren, that ye remember me in all things, and keep the Traditions as I have delivered them to you” (I Cor 11:2). And: “Hold fast to the Traditions which ye have been taught, whether orally or through an epistle of ours” (II Thess 2:15), one of which indeed is the present one, which the first originators composed and handed on to their successors, in due process of time and ever mindful of usage, and have firmly rooted in the Churches by dint of long custom. If, therefore, we are at a loss to present written evidence as though in a court of justice, but can produce a whole multitude of witnesses, should we not received an express permission from you. The way I look at the matter is as follows: “At the mouth of two or three witnesses shall every word be established” (Deut 19:15). But if, on the other hand, we have exhibited the fact to you perspicuously for a long time, should we not except you naturally enough to say that there is no evidence to warrant our being put on trial. For how can it be denied that the old doctrines are awesome and entitled to veneration because of their hoary antiquity?”

            • Michael Warren says

              The Orthodox World-view

              With such an attitude—a view of both the good things and the bad things in the world—it is possible for us to have and to find an Orthodox world-view, that is, an Orthodox view on the whole of life, not just on narrow church subjects. There exists a false opinion, which unfortunately is all too widespread today, that it is enough to have an Orthodoxy that is limited to the church building and formal “Orthodox” activities, such as praying at certain times or making the sign of the Cross; in everything else, so this opinion goes, one can be like anyone else, participating in the life and culture of our times without any problem, as long as we don’t commit sin.

              Anyone who has come to realize how deep Orthodoxy is, and how full is the commitment which is required of the serious Orthodox Christian, and likewise what totalitarian demands the contemporary world makes on us, will easily see how wrong this opinion is. One is Orthodox all the time every day, in every situation of life, or one is not really Orthodox at all. Our Orthodoxy is revealed not just in our strictly religious views, but in everything we do and say. Most of us are very unaware of the Christian, religious responsibility we have for the seemingly secular part of our lives. The person with a truly Orthodox world-view lives every part of his life as Orthodox.

              Let us, therefore, ask here: How can we nourish and support this Orthodox world-view in our daily life?

              The first and most obvious way is to be in constant contact with the sources of Christian nourishment, with everything that the Church gives us for our enlightenment and salvation: the Church services and Holy Mysteries, Holy Scripture, the Lives of Saints, the writings of the Holy Fathers. One must, of course, read books that are on one’s own level of understanding, and apply the Church’s teaching to one’s own circumstances in life; then they can be fruitful in guiding us and changing us in a Christian way.

              But often these basic Christian sources do not have their full effect on us, or don’t really affect us at all, because we don’t have the right Christian attitude towards them and towards the Christian life they are supposed to inspire. Let me now say a word here about what our attitude should be if we are to obtain real benefit from them and if they are going to be for us the beginning of a truly Orthodox world-view.

              First of all, Christian spiritual food, by its very nature, is something living and nourishing; if our attitude towards it is merely academic and bookish, we will fail to get the benefit it is meant to give. Therefore, if we read Orthodox books or are interested in Orthodoxy only to gain information—or show off our knowledge to others, we are missing the point; if we learn of the commandments of God and the law of His Church merely to be “correct” and to judge the “incorrectness” of others, we are missing the point. These things must not merely affect our ideas, but must directly touch our lives and change them. In any time of great crisis in human affairs—such as the critical times right in front of us in the free world—those who place their trust in outward knowledge, in laws and canons and correctness, will be unable to stand. The strong ones then will be those whose Orthodox education has given them a feel for what is truly Christian, those whose Orthodoxy is in the heart and is capable of touching other hearts.

              Nothing is more tragic than to see someone who is raised in Orthodoxy, has a certain idea of the catechism, has read some Lives of Saints, has a general idea of what Orthodoxy stands for, understands some of the services, and then is unaware of what is going on around him. And he gives his children this life in two categories: one is the way most people live and the other way is how Orthodox live on Sundays and when they are reading some Orthodox text. When a child is raised like that he is most likely not going to take the Orthodox one; it is going to be a very small part of his life, because the contemporary life is too attractive, too many people are going for it, it is too much a part of reality today, unless he has been really taught how to approach it, how to guard himself against the bad effects of it and how to take advantage of the good things which are in the world.

              Therefore, our attitude, beginning right now, must be down-to-earth … That is, it must be applied to the real circumstances of our life, not a product of fantasy and escapism and refusal to face the often unpleasant facts of the world around us. An Orthodoxy that is too exalted and too much in the clouds belongs in a hothouse and is incapable of helping us in our daily life, let alone saying anything for the salvation of those around us. Our world is quite cruel and wounds souls with its harshness; we need to respond first of all with down-to-earth Christian love and understanding…

              So also, our attitude must be not self-centered but reaching out to those who are seeking for God and for a godly life. Nowadays, wherever there is a good-sized Orthodox community, the temptation is to make it into a society for self-congratulation and for taking delight in our Orthodox virtues and achievements: the beauty of our church buildings and furnishings, the splendor of our services, even the purity of our doctrine. But the true Christian life, even since the time of the Apostles, has always been inseparable from communicating it to others. An Orthodoxy that is alive by this very fact shines forth to others—and there is no need to open a “department of missions” to do this; the fire of true Christianity communicates itself without this. If our Orthodoxy is only something we keep for ourselves, and boast about it, then we are the dead burying the dead—which is precisely the state of many of our Orthodox parishes today, even those that have a large number of young people, if they are not going deeply into their Faith. It is not enough to say that the young people are going to church. We need to ask what they are getting in church, what they are taking away from church, and, if they are not making Orthodoxy a part of their whole life, then it really is not sufficient to say that they are going to church.

              Likewise, our attitude must be loving and forgiving. There is a kind of hardness that has crept into Orthodox life today: “That man is a heretic; don’t go near him;” “that one is Orthodox, supposedly, but you can’t really be sure;” “that one there is obviously a spy.” No one will deny that the Church is surrounded by enemies today, or that there are some who stoop to taking advantage of our trust and confidence. But this is the way it has been since the time of the Apostles, and the Christian life has always been something of a risk in this practical way. But even if we are sometimes taken advantage of and do have to show some caution in this regard, still we cannot give up our basic attitude of love and trust without which we lose one of the very foundations of our Christian life. The world, which has no Christ, has to be mistrustful and cold, but Christians, on the contrary, have to be loving and open, or else we will lose the salt of Christ within us and become just like the world, good for nothing but to be cast out and trodden underfoot.

              A little humility in looking at ourselves would help us to be more generous and forgiving of the faults of others. We love to judge others for the strangeness of their behavior; we call them “cuckoos” or “crazy converts.” It is true that we should beware of really unbalanced people who can do us great harm in the Church. But what serious Orthodox Christian today is not a little “crazy”? We don’t fit in with the ways of this world; if we do, in today’s world, we aren’t serious Christians. The true Christian today cannot be at home in the world; he cannot help but feel himself and be regarded by others as a little “crazy.” …

              Therefore, let us not be afraid of being considered a little “crazy” by the world…

              Finally, our Christian attitude must be what, for want of a better word, I would call innocent. Today the world places a high value on sophistication, on being worldly-wise, on being a “professional.” Orthodoxy places no value on these qualities; they kill the Christian soul. And yet these qualities constantly creep into the Church and into our lives. …

              In various forms, this is a temptation to us all, and we must fight it by not allowing ourselves to overvalue the externals of the Church, but always returning to the “one thing needful”: Christ and the salvation of our souls from this wicked generation. We needn’t be ignorant of what goes on in the world and in the Church—in fact, for our own selves we have to know—but our knowledge must be practical and simple and single-minded, not sophisticated and worldly. …

              -Hieromonk Seraphim (Rose) of Platina

            • Michael Warren says

              Bible > Library

              Heretics, in Fact, do not Use, but Only Abuse, Scripture no Common Ground Between them and You.
              The Prescription Against Heretics — Tertullian
              Now this heresy of yours [2034] does not receive certain Scriptures; and whichever of them it does receive, it perverts by means of additions and diminutions, for the accomplishment of it own purpose; and such as it does receive, it receives not in their entirety; but even when it does receive any up to a certain point [2035] as entire, it nevertheless perverts even these by the contrivance of diverse interpretations. Truth is just as much opposed by an adulteration of its meaning as it is by a corruption of its text. [2036] Their vain presumptions must needs refuse to acknowledge the (writings) whereby they are refuted. They rely on those which they have falsely put together, and which they have selected, because of [2037] their ambiguity. Though most skilled [2038] in the Scriptures, you will make no progress, [2039] when everything which you maintain is denied on the other side, and whatever you deny is (by them) maintained. As for yourself, indeed, you will lose nothing but your breath, and gain nothing but vexation from their blasphemy.
              [2034] Ista hæresis.

              [2035] Aliquatenus.

              [2036] Stilus.

              [2037] “De” has often the sense of “propter” in our author.

              [2038] Literally, “O most skilled.”

              [2039] Quid promovebis.

              • Tertullian was a heretic and you quote him just as you did Bonhoeffer? Did you read the quotes above from Chrysostom? Am I to assume the quotes you sight from Chrysostom are in response to the posting of a week ago? These quotes do not relate to the subject we were discussing. You seem to be a rather confused know it all.

                • Michael Warren says

                  The subject we were discussing I answered where we were discussing. Please go back and read it.

                  Some of the Holy Fathers quote people like Tertullian and Origen. When their moral or spiritual teaching is in accord with the teaching of the Church, not taking a scripture out of context to argue for a married episcopacy and rail against the Holy Canons like a Protestant.

                  I also provided a quote from Fr. Seraphim (Rose). Previously I suggested you engage in remedial readings of Fr. FLOROVSKY and +Metropolitan Hierotheos to get up to speed on understanding the phronema. Until you read my answers you will not be able to engage this discussion with anything but argumentative and as hominem invective. You are shouting that I am wrong because you won’t read what I have provided or recommended for you to read to understand my position thus stating you refuse to read it and insist your standard of Protestant
                  decontextualization and redaction is the only thing you will consider. Well, Eastern Rite Protestant fundamentalism. Not Orthodoxy.

                  Thus until you read and consider the material you shout you will not take into account Orthodox points of view. That in and of itself says your position is not Orthodox. I have nothing more for you.

    • Martin Paluch says

      Dear Dr. Stankovich,

      Does not .5% of 100,000 = 500 and not 5000?
      I am sure it was just an oversight; however it could make a substantial statistical difference.

      Yours in Christ,

      • M. Stankovich says

        Hi, Martin,

        The calculation for prevalence is done by taking the number of actual occurrences divided by the population in which they occur, and then multiplying by 100,000. In this case, it is a bit speculative in that I had to use the US Census Bureau’s 2016 end-of-year projected population of 322,762,018, divided by the proposed prevalence rate suggested by the author of a single study proffered by this study, times 100,000. So:

        322762018*.05 = 16138100 /322762018 = 0.04999 x 100000 = 4999 or 5000

        I appreciate you actually taking the time to read the study!

        • Martin Paluch says

          however the study says .5% which is .005 x 100,000 = 500
          .05 would be the equivalent of 5% unless I am mistaken, which could be the case.

          • M. Stankovich says


            I went back to the original study, saw that I had not mistyped the authors’ statement that .5% of the US population was transgender, and repeatedly did the calculation. What is Martins point? Madonna mia! You are absolutely correct that I calculated 5% rather 1/2%! This happens because I am dyslexic and use dictation software rather than typing, as far too frequently, what is in my mind does not make it to the written page. And so it goes… Nice catch and I thank you for bringing it to my attention. Mark my word: I await the “outrage” from a parent whose pre-adolescent daughter is forced to share a bathroom or locker-room with a “trans” by law, who didn’t bother to read this important study.

            New calculation:

            322762018 * .005 = 1613810/322762016 = 0.004999 * 100000 = 500

            If you’re interested, you can read the CDC’s “Introduction to Applied Epidemiology and Biostatistics: Morbidity Frequency Measures” here The last data I have seen regarding transgender varies from 1 in 150,00 to 1 in 228,000.

  23. Martin Paluch says

    however the study says .5% which is .005 x 100,000 = 500
    .05 would be the equivalent of 5% unless I am mistaken, which could be the case.

  24. Michael Bauman says

    Just a word in edgewise.